Friday, 21 April 2017

It's quiz time 1... Brush up your Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Room at the Birmingham Library

Hello Everyone,

At the beginning of my poetry blogs last month I mentioned William Shakespeare and his sonnets, also the Shakespeare room in the new Birmingham Library. Born on 26th April 1564; died 23rd April 1616, age 52 (just!). As it is April, what better time for a Shakespeare quiz?  Last year was the 400th anniversary of his death. He is known as the 'Bard of Avon' and lived at Stratford-upon-Avon. He married Anne Hathaway to whom he bequeathed his 'second best bed'! The bulk of his estate was left to his eldest daughter, Susanna but he stipulated that she was to leave it to her first born son. Sadly, she and her husband John Hall had only one child, a daughter. Consequently, the Shakespeare line died out. He did, however, leave a legacy of 38 play as well as his famous 154  sonnets. His work is taught in schools worldwide but how many of his plays are YOU familiar with? This week, I am giving you 12 questions; each one has two characters from a specific play.

 Can you name the play?

 Answers next week.

I will start with a really, really, really easy one:

1. Romeo and Juliet?

2.Desdemona and Iago?

3.Miranda and Prospero?

4.Don Pedro and Don John?

5.Duke of Gloster and Duke of Bedford?

6.Marcus Brutus and Cassius? 

7.Claudius and Hamlet?
8.The Ghost of Banquo and Duncan, King of Scotland?

9.Goneril and Regan?

10.Bottom and Puck?

11.Frederick and Rosalind?

 12.Portia and Shylock?

 I will leave you with a well-known Skakespearean quote. . . Thought for the week: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep."

Love you all, Lady M xxxx

Friday, 14 April 2017


Hello Everyone,

I cannot believe that Easter is here all ready. I am sure it's only five minutes since Christmas, and when time speeds by at such a fast pace, you know you're getting older. It's like noticing that policeman are getting younger!

Easter is a celebration. It is a holiday and a time to eat chocolate eggs. In today's society it is easy to forget the true meaning of Easter. It is a Christian festival remembering how Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday and rose again, three days later, on Easter Sunday. In the days of my youth Good Friday was a day when shops closed and there was an air of solemnity as Christians remembered how Christ died and suffered for our sins, "he died to make us good". There would be hot-cross buns for tea as a reminder of that cross. The church was the focus of everyone's attention as we shared those three hours from 9-12  remembering His suffering. Some people organised Passion plays where actors acted out the entire 'passion' or suffering of our Lord. I remember taking part in one in Crewe in the early 70's.

On Sunday the church celebrates the Resurrection of Christ. That first Sunday morning, when the women went to the tomb where Jesus had been hastily lain only to find the stone removed and the body missing, is celebrated. Christianity stemmed from Judaism; Jesus, himself was Jewish and the Jewish holy day or Sabbath is on a Saturday. The beginning of the Sabbath is sunset on a Friday evening and is marked by a synagogue service and meal. It is a day of complete rest and worship; no work is done. Consequently, there was a tremendous rush to pronounce Jesus dead and remove Him from the cross.

The women were anxious to anoint the body, in accordance with Jewish tradition, at the earliest opportunity.  Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and other women arrived at the tomb, expecting to find it secured by a stone. Imagine their surprise, the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Inside, a young man, wearing a white robe, spoke to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go tell his disciples and Peter, that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him as he told you." Mark ,Chapter16, vs 6 & 7.

Later, we read of several appearances by Christ to the disciples and others. The belief in the risen Christ was enough for some very frightened Jews, scared of prosecution, to become the first followers, or Christians. The Eucharist/Mass became the main service, where bread and wine were received by the congregation, in memory of the bread and wine at the last supper on the Thursday evening, and having the extra symbolic significance of the body and blood of Christ. Services were held in secret, and the early Christians identified themselves to each other, not by the cross, but a fish, after Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew, the disciples who were fishermen.

Christians remember that first Sunday morning and rejoice. It is proof, that there is an eternal,  afterlife or new life. Chickens, eggs, rabbits are all symbolic of new life and new hope. However, you spend this Eastertide, have a very HAPPY EASTER!

Love to you all,

Lady M

Friday, 7 April 2017


My brilliant,  beautiful books! (Alliteration)

Hello Everyone,

For the last few weeks I have been looking at various aspects of writing... flash fiction...creating six word stories...dialogue...poetry. I would like to finish this series of blogs with something close to my heart, adorable alliteration. Words are wonderful; they can be powerful and strong or meek, gentle and soothing. They can say so much or so little. I just adore adjectives and adverbs and would despair when one of my editors showed delight in deleting them. To him they were superlative subjunctives. The key in editing is brevity. We have a luscious language where words flourish and I just delight in using them to their full potential. Delightful, decorative descriptions. So, what is alliteration?

It is when the same letter or sound is at the beginning  closely connected words and the more words, in my opinion, the better.

Tongue twisters are excellent examples:

She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Round and round the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran.

Many a mickle makes a muckle.

Six sleek swans swam swiftly southwards.

A few examples taken from the Internet:

But he was blessed with a brilliant brain.

The beautiful bouquet blossomed in the bright sun.

Our financial future fell into a freefall.

She happily helped the homeless.

That’s the sound of someone sipping soup for supper

I trust you are all observant and aware of alliteration (in bold) in my writing.
I challenge you to write your own short sentences using alliteration. It is fantabulous fascinating fun!

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Lady M!