Writers’ block? No problem! Introducing AutoMatton

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I know this is a bit late, but I thought you might all want to see this – if you haven’t already. (Hint) please note the date of the post. ;)

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Here at WordPress.com, we‘re always looking for ways to improve the blogging experience. We pride ourselves on taking your suggestions to heart and work tirelessly to create better tools for you.

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As WordPress.com becomes easier to use, one piece of unanswered feedback keeps nagging at us: blogging is hard! Not only do you have to think of something worth saying, you have to take valuable time out of your day to write those things down in an appealing, easy-to-read way! Improvements to WordPress.com can speed up things like load times, but we simply couldn’t remove human nature from the equation… until now.

What is AutoMatton?

AutoMatton uses a simple machine learning algorithm to predict the posts that you will write, taking predictive text and auto-correct to the next level. Think of it as your own private blogging DeLorean traveling at 88mph, but without the…

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Mr Happy Man


John Lennon - Happiness Quote - 07



I’ve had this video listed in my bookmarks for ages, I thought it was about time I posted it! I’ve never met anyone so full of happiness like Johnny Barnes or have ever felt that kind of happiness myself, but I absolutely admire the man for being true to himself, and living out whatever comes naturally to him.  He’s clearly an inspiration and has a wonderful effect on his neighbourhood – what a lovely sweet man, and what dedication! ♥


What Happiness Is To Me

Happiness_by_CogitusI completely agree with John Lennon’s statement about happiness, I felt like that too. 

I wouldn’t call myself a happy smiley person, those big smiles I used to give for family photos in childhood were just because I was a good smiler!

I’m convinced the interpretation of happiness is very much down to each individual person as to what it means to them, no-one should fall into the trap of comparing themselves with others on levels of happiness.  There are no rules or measurements in this life on how we should feel.

For me it’s not about having a smile on my face all the time or laughing a lot, but has more to do with eliminating negative thoughts that create clutter, and knowing that my mind is quiet and settled.  I remember all too well as a teenager what it was like to have a turbulent mind, to be up high one day and down low the next.

I consider myself lucky I found determination to deal with unstable thinking at a young age.  I dread to imagine what kind of person I would be now, if I hadn’t been able to analyse my thought patterns and turned my thinking in the right direction.


Share How You Feel

One thing that came across loud and clear to me in this film about Johnny Barnes was how important it is to be able to give something of ourselves to others.  For Johnny it’s spreading his happy feeling because that’s what he’s full of.  I wonder if he wasn’t able to be free to share his inner feelings if that would make him feel unhappy?  But, maybe nothing can make that beaming man unhappy!

I’m sure keeping things we could share with others enclosed within ourselves is responsible for a lot of unhappiness in this world.  We all need freedom to be who we actually are.  If the only thing someone can do at this moment is share how miserable they feel, then perhaps they should do that.  Making an effort to connect with others who are in the same place, has got to be better than not telling anyone at all.  At least it’s being real, and I honestly believe being real is essential to human sanity and finding some kind of happiness.  And maybe through that sharing, a better state of mind may eventually occur.

But if you are one of those naturally happy people, don’t forget to spread it far and wide like dear Johnny Barnes, it makes the world just a little more smiley!

Hoping you all have a happy Easter holiday! gfxlovers.com/smilies


Picture -> Happiness by Cogitus – Deviantart


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Beautiful Crazy Mind


She led him piece by piece
down to her water of life,
and even though he knew
she was possibly quite crazy,
he didn’t mind at all
because sanity was never his anyway.
She fed him tea and poetry,
and the wonders of her endless thought,
sweeter than honey,
a different kind of bliss,
an ecstasy, a loving bed
of like minds and theology.
They drifted on euphoria,
with a kind of nakedness
that opens eyes to the unknown,
and teaches the independent heart
how not to recover from the blending of souls.
In the passing of time,
even the most ancient memory
won’t fail to recall her living water,
the loving bed,
the poetry infused with tea
and her beautiful crazy mind.


Picture: Cranes Fly Away ~ Deviantart


The inspiration for this poem came from Leonard Cohen’s song ‘Suzanne‘ partially describing a woman he once knew.

Someone I was following on Twitter posted a You Tube video of the Judy Collins version.  When I played it I really wasn’t sure if I had ever heard that song before or not – but it got my attention, I absolutely loved it.  I have to guess the song is describing fascination and and magnetic attraction when the love of someone, or perhaps the idea of how wonderful they are sweeps us off our feet.  As least, that’s how the song speaks to me.  And the beautiful crazy mind in my poem is describing a woman who is not miss average.  Someone who is highly attractive in personality, but seen by the world as a bit crazy.  Perhaps Charles Bukowski’s wonderful poem One For Old Snaggletooth might have also inspired me on this one?

It was interesting to find that Leonard Cohen was originally a writer, poet and an author of several novels, who later turned to write songs because those books weren’t bringing him in enough money.  I didn’t know that before, but it makes perfect sense, he’s a powerful writer of some brilliant songs!  Here’s the lyrics if you’d prefer to read them.



Just to let you all know, it might be a little while before I get to answer the comments on here as I’m going to have to take a short break.  I have some major work – essential repairs occurring next week in my home, plus a complete refit of my bathroom.  I was hoping it would all be done when I last took a break – but no, nothing went to plan.  I’m dreading the upheaval, not to mention having to move my computer from it’s perfect place in order to ensure it’s not damaged with all the workmen in the house.  It has to be done, but I’m not happy at all, I hate chaos and stress. :neutral: I just hope I manage to keep my cool head on. ;)
If you notice my absence for about a week, I’m not avoiding you all, just a bit tied up with the annoying things of life.  If I get the opportunity to use another computer during that time (might be possible) I’ll drop by your blogs, but if not, I’ll be offline for about a week.  I’m hoping to go ahead with the second issue of The Writing Garden as planned, it’s all complete, just got to press publish.  But again, I might be a while getting round to any comments.  I shall certainly be returning to read your posts ASAP! :)



61y6Z6ZsouLDancing In The Rain – poetry by Chris Moran
All profits from the sale of this book will go to
The Multiple Sclerosis Trust
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Tea Room Adventure

Biddy's Tea Room - Norwich - 3


My little adventurein tea and cakes-002


Something different today, just a little micropoetry to compliment my lovely Sunday afternoon in December when I visited a vintage style tea room in Norwich (England) – a sneaky peek of the city where I live.  I wish I could invite you all for afternoon tea, but hopefully this post will create the illusion you have done just that! :)

From the window display Biddy’s Tea Room looks more like a gift shop, and I’ve been walking past this gorgeous teashop for a long time not realizing it was somewhere to eat and just my kind of place.   That’s what happens when you live in a tourist city, you get used to the surroundings and you don’t see things in the same way as the visitors, you can end up missing out.  I shall pay more attention in the future.

Biddy’s Tea Room was created by Charlie Buchan in 2010.  She explains on her website I’ve always been interested in history and obsessed with antiques. I wanted Biddy’s to reflect the bits I loved in each era… the whimsicalness of the Victorians, the ingenuity of the Edwardians, the romance of the pre-Raphaelites and the work ethic of arts and crafts!  It’s a lot to ask-but I tried to cram as much of this into Biddy’s as I could – I always just hoped people ‘got it’?!

As you will probably see from my pictures, she really has created a wonderful glimpse into the history of afternoon tea and cake in beautiful English tea rooms.  It was like stepping back in time to a scene from an old movie.  I loved the genuine homely antique furniture and the variety of mismatched crockery.  It was just like my Grandmothers home – none of her plates, cups or saucers ever matched.

I kept saying to my brother, “I feel like we’re going meet some really interesting person from the past, perhaps Oscar Wilde sitting in an armchair writing some poetry!  It was a unique and delightfully surreal time travel experience!!

And of course, the tea and cake was delicious.  I’m looking forward to trying the restaurant upstairs to discover more of their main menu next time.  The staff were very friendly and relaxed too, and were happy for us to take some photos.  If you click on the gallery for these pictures they look so much better, there’s also an option under each picture to view them in full size.  The first two pictures and also the last one were taken by my brother, all the others are mine.

I didn’t use the flash on my camera because I wanted to capture the cosy feeling.  I was surprised I was able to get any good pictures without a lot of camera shake, I must have a more steady hand than I thought.  And if you’re wondering what that tall building with a string of Christmas lights around it is, it’s the city hall clock tower.



I was amazed to find an excellent video on You Tube all about Biddy’s Tea Room (See further down post).  It shows all the bits I haven’t captured in the pictures, and also what it looks like in the summer season.

I’ve been living in this medieval city since 1990.  It was only meant to be temporary, I had some vague plan to live in London one day, but you couldn’t drag me away now, it is such a beautiful place to live.

Norwich has thirty-three medieval church buildings, two cathedrals, an art deco city hall and a striking Norman castle high on a hill looking down at the city centre.  Although the exterior of the castle was refaced in 1839 with Bath stone covering over the flint and Caen stone walling making the castle blend in with a lot of other new buildings of that era.  The original walls would have looked very different and can only be seen from the inside.  If you’re into historical buildings that’s a very good reason to pay it a visit and also take a look at it’s museum and scary dungeons – and believe me, they are very creepy!!

Also there are two large shopping malls, four cinemas, five theatres and a really vibrant outdoor market, trading virtually on the same spot for almost 900 years.  On Saturdays the city centre streets often come alive with buskers, and other street entertainers, we even have our own living statue of Charlie Chaplin Anthony Arnold not only performs in Norwich but has twirled that cane in Hollywood too on his many travels with his captivating performance of Charlie.

Each year in July we have a Lord Mayors Celebration, which is basically a huge carnival, including a beer and music festival, a selection of outdoor theatre productions, and a huge firework display launched from the roof of the castle as the grand finale of the evening celebrations.  Rockabilly band Derrière (from Brighton) performed at the festival just around the corner from Biddy’s Tea Room in 2012, and somehow, I managed to miss that show :( – they sound so good!  If you like the sound of their music you might like Battle Plan, one of their official videos.   Time to dance now!! gfxlovers.com/smilies

If anyone living in Norwich says they’re bored, it can only be a state of mind, there are so many things to do and places to visit in the surrounding area, you can never get bored living in this city.





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Even The End Shall Pass



Everyone knows
a flower has little time to parade in glory
all good things must end
now the leaf has at last let go
it’s sunny days have become
as the final chapter of a good book closing
red berries hold on
and listen to whispers on the breeze
this final stage is not as it seems
because bleakness is granted permission
to paint in harshness for a few short days
so let it colour with untamed rust
leaves lost to the ground
and sweep smoky trails across the sky
because this is the great alteration of shades
and all living things know
even the end shall pass
let the old make way for the new
Picture: Withered ~ Devinatart



I was fairly certain I wouldn’t write about Autumn this year, but obviously something in my mind had other ideas!  I’m sure that happened last autumn/winter too, and then this poem came out in December.  Perhaps I’m in denial as to how much I love this time of year?! ;)

I had real trouble finding an appropriate picture for this one.  When I did a search for images, it didn’t matter what direction I looked in, pictures for autumn were heavily dominated by orange and gold.  Stunning, but I wasn’t convinced they were a true picture of autumn, a little too bright, not quite what I was looking for.

The reality of autumn for me living in England is definitely a lot less vibrant.  There are some colourful trees to be found, but it’s more soft orange and yellow and a lot more rust and plenty of those smoky sky days.  In fact the day after I wrote this, the sky became exactly that, a pale china blue with wide sweeping smoky art trails with a hint of pink – abstract autumn!  It was like seeing my poetry in the sky, can’t say that’s ever happened before.  I guess the colour of autumn must vary a lot around the world, and I can only write about the one I know.

I thought the sound and feel of this Agnes Obel song would go well with this poem.  If you want to see more of Agnes I created a recent music post about her on my other blog CuriostyShopp.  I found her music last year while looking up Ane Brun, I feel they have some similarities in music style, atmospheric and inspiring lyrics.  You can find her You Tube channel here.




A stunning poem Cynthia, as are all your poems! This is so different, a perfect poem and reading for autumn!

Originally posted on littleoldladywho.net:

(originally posted October 31, 2013)

All souls own this evening, love,
blurring borders between quick and dead.
And even if the fearsome moans of man
did not appoint this time as hallowed,
our backyard trees announce it, as they
lose their glory and become their bones.

The veil is at its thinnest now, that
suddenly obscured you and left me
bereft, dumbfounded in the desolately clear.
Once a day, at least, I stop to wonder
where you are.  I do not think of
you as being here.  Except, tonight

a heightening of powers in the darkness
wants to break november from october
with a cold slap and a small wail in the wind.
Something more than me, something much
more sure that you abide, this night, brings
you, in ways that I can almost touch.

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Nothing Lasts Forever


I watched my mother turn the page of the calendar.  September, a picture of a golden sunset shimmering on a highland lake.  That picture and September spoke of things I wished not to know.

She said “The weeks – they’ve gone so fast!”  Fussing over clothes for school, debating how much I would grow, and if my skirts were long enough to last the winter.  She dragged me to shops, the boring ones, not for excitement of toys, but to buy a perfect pair of sensible brown shoes.  Boring ridiculous shoes, to be worn at a ridiculous place.  Because September always spelled – SCHOOL.  Too close for comfort and never far enough away.  Pressing in like an elephant sitting on my head, crushing my thoughts, reminding me the hot summer had finally melted, like watching ice cream drip, and never getting to taste how good it was.  My short days of freedom were almost over.

The first day of term would always be the same, walking through gates, long faces, clones in matching uniforms.  Grumpy grey, navy numb, charcoal and mud coloured shoes spoiling pretty young feet.  Laughter forgotten, fun stored away for long awaited opportunities, and the warmth of sun luminous on our heads as though holidays were not yet over.  How horribly deprived we felt, how torn we were, like chicks fallen from the nest.

Each new term, a fresh class, a new teacher.  Everything that had been, no longer was.  Strange, alien, vulnerable.  The beginning of another year in a place I wished not to be.  Windows were magnets, I’d lose so much time staring through many, my eyes drawn to outdoors, the trees, birds, and each fluffy cloud that drifted by had more meaning than the monotony of the classroom.  I’d try to find the tiniest evidence of happiness, because hours at a desk was never going to be happy.

A voice interrupted, the stern face of my teacher glared, eyes like fire, speech like rusting metal. “Get on with your work!  There’s nothing to see out there!”

Ah, but there was!  The world with all it’s interesting things.  A place with meaning – the flowers, the wind, the smell of cut grass, tree houses in the woods, picnics, days at the beach, the picking of berries and the refined art of making of jam.  My loving home, my peace, my quite, my own private space.  Obediently, I lowered my head, stared at my book, blinded by numbers – 6 x 9 – 7 x 8 – 4 x 12 …. none of it made sense at all.

While I stared at blank paper where my maths should have been, I learnt to imagine everything that was not of numbers, and wished the daily grind of the classroom clean away.

Before I noticed, September had become like any other month.  Lost it’s strength in imparting dread, and those days moved so far away.

September has changed.  Freedom was given.  And I learned that nothing lasts forever.


Picture – Spring by mechtanyia – Deviantart

Although everything in this story is true, it was actually the picture that originally inspired the idea.  It reminded me of myself at a time when I was most unhappy at my primary school, and how those long school summer holidays were so beautiful, so welcome.  But even after all those weeks off, it was never long enough.

I had a dreadful teacher at the time, I referred to her as ‘the witch‘ because to me she might as well have been.  I was constantly picked on by her and she even had the evil cheek to encourage the rest of the class to copy her in humiliating me.  I wasn’t the only one, she targeted a few others too – all the quiet ones – easy pickings.

I still feel to this day, she should have been dismissed, her behaviour was totally unprofessional.  And it’s amazing how one person can do so much damage to a young mind with their voice.  She succeeded in destroying my confidence for many years, but I’m happy to say, not forever.  And who knows, maybe I should thank her for assisting in making me a stronger person today and for teaching me one very important life lesson – don’t ever tolerate a bully, no matter who they are.

School always felt very unnatural to me, even my first day at school left me feeling I was in the wrong place.  I don’t absorb information very well in a classroom, I’m much better learning quietly in my own company, at my own pace.  I did eventually leave school at the age of thirteen, I just refused to go, caused a lot of problems, but it all came right in the end.

I was lucky to have a family who did their best to understand and support me, and I was home schooled for the remaining years – it was a huge relief!  There couldn’t have been anyone more grateful than me to finally reach age sixteen, it was so good to just forget about the pressure of eduction for a while.  It’s not my opinion that schools are wrong, I just don’t think they are the right place for everyone, we are all wonderful individuals, not clones.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who hated school, or maybe you loved school?  Whatever your experience was, please share your stories if you feel inspired to! :)