Rosy Cole

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Rosy Cole was born and educated in the Shires of England. Her writing career started in her teens. Four apprentice works eventually led to publication of two novels. Life intervened, but she returned to authorship in 2004. She has worked as a Press Officer and Publisher's Reader and is a member of the Society of Authors. Among widespread interests, she lists history, opera, musicals, jazz, the arts, drawing and painting, gemmology, homoeopathy and alternative therapies. Theology also is an abiding interest. As a singer, she's performed alongside many renowned musicians and has run a music agency which specialised in themed 'words-and-music' programmes, bringing her two greatest passions together. Rosy's first book of poetry, THE TWAIN, Poems of Earth and Ether, was published in April 2012, National Poetry Month, and two other collections are in preparation. As well as the First and Second Books in the Berkeley Series, she has written several other historical titles and one of literary fiction. She is currently working on the Third Book in the Berkeley Series. All her books are now published under the New Eve imprint. Rosy lives in West Sussex with her son, Chris, and her Springador, Jack, who keeps a firm paw on the work-and-walkies schedule!

Minding The Gap

 

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Two jaded English Professors were discussing matters of syntax over a pint in the bar of a quaint Oxford inn called the Dog & Duck. They deplored the sloppy standards of grammar now obtaining among entrants to their colleges and harked back to the time when scientific parsing and correct spelling were an integral part of the syllabus.

While proper use of the subjunctive was admitted to be an arcane mystery, the smooth conjugation of verbs and the distinction between adjectival and adverbial clauses were deemed non-negotiable. They were prime pillars of the English presence on the planet, and the dangling phrase, with the speaker severed from all responsibility for his actions, heralded anarchy. Language was the cornerstone of civilisation. The learned colleagues had conducted their lives upon that premise.

"What gets my goat," said Professor Quill, placing his glass concentrically upon the coaster, "is this vogue for starting sentences in the middle. It's become an epidemic!"

"You mean the use of 'and' and 'but'?" mused Professor Nibb. "Expected to do the office of butler ushering in the guests for dinner?"

"Exactly! 'And' cannot stand sentinel, neither in affairs of prose nor dialogue. 'And' is a conjunction and so is 'but' and 'yet' and 'for' and 'so' and..."

"But you just started two sentences with 'and'. What's worse, you used five more. That's what they do in kindergarten."

"And didn't you start yours with 'but'?"

"There you go again! You can't help yourself. You've transgressed your own rules, but you're making perfect sense."

"Well, that is some consolation at least!" expostulated Quill, his cheeks as red as those on a Toby jug.

"I'm all for fine grammar," said Nibb, "but it must assist fluent communication." He glanced through the window where puffs of cloud were sailing across a Delft-blue sky and thought of dinner plates, his nostrils filling with the aroma of honey-glazed ham. He had changed into a blazer before leaving his rooms and remembered his wallet was still in the corduroy jacket he'd worn for lectures. He had no money but loose coins in his trouser pocket and fell to thinking he would have to conjure a sandwich from the contents of his refrigerator.

Presently, he was struck by an idea. "I'd lay a wager," he said to his disgruntled companion, "that you will use five 'ands' in succession in one coherent sentence in the next half-hour."

"That's absurd, Nibb. You know it is," said Quill, contemplating his drained glass. "Let's have another. And it's your shout, this time!"

"Very well. But the one who's wrong pays for dinner! What do you say?"

"Done!" said Quill. "You will."

"Come with me, dear boy," said Nibb. "I want to show you something I noticed on the way in."

Quill was a little intrigued by now and eager for his free meal, so he followed Nibb through the low door of the inn and out into the yard where a ladder was propped against the rough stone wall. Looking up, he observed a painter still at work on the name sign fixed to the side of the building. The fellow was so absorbed, he scarcely noticed them.

"A grand job he's making," said Nibb, "but it's hard to see straight when the light is fading and your subject's right under your nose. A pity about the lettering."

"What do you mean? Nothing wrong with his spelling."

"He's jumbled it all together. One long word. Don't you see? Looks like something out of Charles Kingsley, or Lewis Carroll."

"So he has," said Quill, stepping backwards, his eyes widening. "There's no space between Dog and and and and and Duck!"

 

Copyright

© Copyright Rosy Cole 2009, 2011 and 2015

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
funny!
Friday, 17 July 2015 23:06
Founder Member
At least he didn't begin the sentence with "and". I'm such a noodge (No use looking it up; I doubt if you'll find it.) about gram... Read More
Saturday, 18 July 2015 04:21
Rosy Cole
Well, Charlie, I'm the last person to tell you this particular thing is an absolute 'no-no'. The story is a bit of fun showing how... Read More
Saturday, 18 July 2015 13:01
1086 Hits
4 Comments

When Your Dreams Put On Work Clothes

   

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A year ago today we set sail, a varied collective of writers who find inspiration for living and writing in community...

It's been a great adventure so far...!  

 

 

 

The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.
Carl Gustav Jung

 

Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.
Anne McCaffrey

 

Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it's just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.
David Sedaris

 

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
Robert Frost

 

Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what's wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
Neil Gaiman

 

A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
Kenneth Tynan

 

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.
Benjamin Franklin

 

I have written - often several times - every word I have ever published.
Vladimir Nabokov

 

The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.
Tom Clancy

 

And, finally, some insights from the practitioners of three different arts who were born on this day, July 7th

 

I can read Middle English stories, Geoffrey Chaucer or Sir Thomas Malory, but once I start moving in the direction of contemporary fantasy, my mind begins to take over.
David Eddings

 

Work isn't to make money. You work to justify life.
Marc Chagall

 

It is strange how one feels drawn forward without knowing at first where one is going.
Gustav Mahler

 

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Here's to the next leg of the voyage...!

 

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Copyright

© Copyright Rosy Cole 2015

Recent Comments
Founder Member
I wish I could find the quotation so I could be sure to have it right. Also the author who might have been Anne Tyler but maybe no... Read More
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 07:35
Rosy Cole
I didn't know that quotation, but found the source thanks to Wiki and believe this to be reliable. It's Karen Blixen, the Out of A... Read More
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 10:56
Founder Member
Of course. Karen Blixen. The quotation as I read it was condensed and altered for space, i assume. It used to be right in front of... Read More
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 15:00
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Underneath The Archives

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As eerie as the Mary Celeste...

 

 

An open portal no longer beckons

We must enter by the back way

picking our way among dream debris

and broken fragments of the life we knew

Memories haunt as from a long-gone era

Can it be only yesterday...?

 

Voices echo in deserted rooms

the walls, womb-red, still hung with portraits

surreal art, visionary vistas

that once burned through the ether

charged with our inspiration

our hope and phosphorescent courage

 

That cyber palace and virtual empire

whose illumination beguiled us into focus

and fed us atmospheres of oxygen

now lies in ruins like ancient Rome

We are no longer tenants, but revenants

the air as dead as a sarcophagus

 

But there we learned community is all

True charity forms pillars, struts and purlins

lends iron, extends knowledge, quells heartache

joy and grief shared, our souls' cement 

the mirror's flash, a lantern kindled

along our corridor of days to other landscapes

 

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Written September 2014 and first published today, one year after the door closed.

Copyright

© Copyright Rosy Cole 2015

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
An elegant tribute.
Saturday, 04 July 2015 00:04
Rosy Cole
Thank you, kind sir.
Saturday, 04 July 2015 00:05
Founder Member
I started this morning thinking of your comment that "...most poetry including mine isn't." Then I returned to Underneath The Arch... Read More
Saturday, 04 July 2015 17:51
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7 Comments

Dreaming In Courtship

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Inspired by Rina Macasaet's recent post

 

'Marriage is...not a safe house.'  

It's not as uncommon as we'd wish that, as soon as the knot is tied, overnight and sometimes when the ink is barely dry on the certificate, a new husband is revealed in an altogether altered character than that presented beforehand. If the same thing happens the other way round, I'm not aware of it, and wonder whether such a dynamic could be quite as grotesque and threatening.

Women are lucky that education has freed them from dependency. The single life is now a viable option. Half a century ago, matrimony was regarded as a public more than a private obligation. It was held in honour for strengthening the fabric of society, fielding its social problems and building the future. When you'd made your bed, you had to lie on it, if only because of economic imperatives. The pressure to conform and also to produce children within a year or two, was immense. No doubt there was a deep anthropological purpose in this to do with the survival of the species, especially after two world wars. The married state was both more and less of a risk than it is now. Because it was a lifelong venture, it was deemed wise to invite heaven's blessing on the whole scenario proceeding from it.

What many couples in the past had a chance to find out, was that weathering the trials of life in company with one another actually strengthened the bond between them and brought them through to unforeseen regions of delight in solidarity. Instead of the 'yoke' chafing at every rut, it began to even the load. Real love is not the stuff of opera and romance, or wild and transient passion, but its compelling force provides a motif and a motivation to take on the world in quiet confidence and leave it a better place. It's not about gazing into one another's eyes, but about gazing out upon the world from a shared platform.

We live in different times. Where divorce was unheard of in those days, except among celebrities, it has become as commonplace as marriage itself. There is a consensus about short-circuiting unhappiness. It is senseless to prolong the agony. We have only one life. And there can be non-negotiable reasons why a marriage in law can be a travesty, or worse. Ghastly mistakes may be made. One half hanging in there against the behaviour of the other doesn't make a marriage. It makes one person's triumph of survival against the odds. Yet how much agony is manufactured by the lure of pastures new, the built-in get-out clauses and the underlying knowledge in the first place that it's okay to cut and run if things don't work out?  And by what criteria do we judge 'not working out'? How much nervousness sets in over comparative trifles when escape routes are easy? As Rina makes clear, marriage finds out who we really are.

New codes of behaviour may have become acceptable, but there is such a thing as objective truth. Where we may change, it doesn't. The fallout may roll on endlessly down the generations. Consequences seldom take effect overnight. Marriage as a structure has evolved in the best interests of everyone, whether on the inside or outside of that institution.

Ideally - yes, ideals are a pathfinder - with perseverance and goodwill, we hope that attraction will blossom into a stable and loving kinship that allows spouses to go on discovering new 'rooms' in the houses of their own and each other's personalities, just because... 

There are hardships in both lifestyles, married and single, yet nothing so hellish, so desolating, as being trapped in an emotional warp. 

In the light of Rina's opening paragraph, I think it's still worth asking the searching question about a prospective partner: Are we likely to make each other twice the people we are, or reduce each of us to half? 

Bearing in mind that a marriage is a new entity, greater than the sum of its parts, the scope of this ratio is almost limitless.

It's still the luck of the draw and, for many, requires divine guidance in making the decision and in living out what comes after, whatever that be.

 

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Some memorable asides from the famous who've been there. Or not.

 

Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.

Franz Schubert

 

To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up.

Ogden Nash

 

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.

Martin Luther

 

Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory.

Abraham Lincoln

 

One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.

Oscar Wilde

 

Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside equally desperate to get out.

Michel de Montaigne

 

They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake.

Alexander Pope

 

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin.

Honore de Balzac

 

Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.

H. L. Mencken

 

The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds — they mature slowly. 

Peter De Vries

 

There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for granted relationship. 

Iris Murdoch

 

Matrimony is a process by which a grocer acquired an account the florist had. 

Francis Rodman

 

That quiet mutual gaze of a trusting husband and wife is like the first moment of rest or refuge from a great weariness or a great danger. 

George Eliot

 

It's a funny thing that when a man hasn't anything on earth to worry about, he goes off and gets married. 

Robert Frost

 

Books and marriage go ill together.

Molière

 

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Copyright

© Copyright Rosy Cole 2015

Recent Comments
Katherine Gregor
A thought-provoking, interesting piece, Rosy. I married relatively young and, coming from a family of divorcées, didn't really kn... Read More
Monday, 22 June 2015 18:08
Rosy Cole
Yes, Katia, I do agree. Separate bank accounts are wisdom, but mainly because they affirm identity in the first place and equality... Read More
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 12:33
Founder Member
All of these lines were interesting but you managed to get three of my favorites in: Ogden Nash (his was definitely worth saving)... Read More
Monday, 22 June 2015 23:13
1351 Hits
5 Comments

Latest Comments

Ken Hartke To Lucinda, Whoever You Were
24 June 2017
Thanks, Rosie. She has been gone 100 years but is still a presence.
Rosy Cole To Lucinda, Whoever You Were
24 June 2017
Love this. Brimful of poignancy and humanity.
Founder Member The Delight of Hand-Writing
19 June 2017
Lovely piece of writing ☼ Reminds me to befriend my fountain pen again. I wrote the first 3 chapters...
Stephen Evans Something Didn’t Happen
14 June 2017
I wrote it some time ago but it did seem strangely appropriate.
Rosy Cole Something Didn’t Happen
13 June 2017
The story of modern News media. This just about sums it up http://www.pilgrimrose.com/index.php/33-t...

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