Beyond the Sphere

Nothing escapes
Not even time
Not even water
Not even wine
Surrounded by darkness
Drawn in with the light:
The sock that went missing
In the washer last night

Just where does the washing machine take those garments it takes a fancy to?

Perhaps it spins the items so fast on the spin cycle that the garment’s molecules vibrate out of our existence, and into the washed out land? The innards of a Black Hole? The dark side of the Moon?

All I know is I’m now down another sock. I’ll need to buy some new pairs at this rate!

They say the first step is all it takes to launch the future of your dreams. They also say that first step is the hardest.

It isn’t only steps into the future that prove difficult. Trying to get up to the rooms in the top of the Right Turret is just as hard – if not more so.

The Right Turret (pictured here on the left as the photo is from the back of the Mansion!) has an unusual Spiral Staircase that runs up (or down, depending on the way you are going!) with an added twist. Yes, you read that correctly. A Spiral Staircase with a twist. Two twists, actually. The first twist is that the rotation swaps over halfway up/down. You start climbing the stairs in a clockwise direction, and reach the top going round anticlockwise. The same with the descent. Anticlockwise to start, clockwise to finish. It’s as though the Staircase has a one-way policy top and bottom.

If that wasn’t odd enough, when you reach the halfway point, up or down, the bottom step moves itself up to become the top step. so you can end up taking the same step over and over again and not really going anywhere. It took me a while to work that one out. Half a day, actually. It can be an uphill struggle climbing and not going anywhere. Going down is much easier. You can stand where you are and let the steps carry you. Round and round, clockwise of course.

Now, it’s obvious to miss out the middle step, and reach the top quicker, but sometimes the climb is more fun than actually reaching the top in the quickest time.

At the top, however, that’s where the room is. Beyond the heavy wooden door lies the corridor. Yes, a corridor at the top of a Turret with several rooms off each side, and a final staircase at the far end leads to the Very Top.

The Very Top. The room that feels quite daunting to approach, with ominous shadows lurking where shadows shouldn’t. Whispers echo – possibly from the lurking shadows – or more likely from the vastness of the room at the Very Top.

Some ask if it is worth going through all the exertion of climbing to the top just to get to such a room. Sometimes it has to be done.

Even rooms at the top need dusting.

So, the clues are all here!

The question is: what’s the photo?

The answer will be revealed tomorrow!

For now though… To Be Continued!

(Posted for Debbie’s Six Word Saturday)

Where are they? Can you see them?

How about now?

You must be able to spot them now:

Two shy little ducks hiding there in the midst of the Swamp. Here’s the first photo again, but this time I’ve revealed their secluded hideaway.

Posted for Debbie’s One Word Sunday.

All that space to fill
All those ideas to use
All those paths to go down
All those questions to ask
All begin somewhere

My somewhere has gone for a walk today, and left me with this blank page.

Posted for Debbie’s Six Word Saturday

Questioning Reality is an occasional series and is a complete work of fiction.

The views contained herein are nothing whatsoever to do with the author, and instead are based on the views of the character ‘Thom’. Thom is a fifty-year-old gardener who likes talking to begonias. Although, she may be a twenty-eight-year-old secretary who sings spiders to sleep. Or perhaps he’s a 25 year old panel beater who likes the history of Queen Nefertiti.

Names, where necessary, have been changed, but also where necessary, they haven’t.

Historians used to think the world is flat. Not modern historians, I hasten to add, but history’s historians. I don’t think they had time in those days, although they may have used the occasional sundial. Even though the world curved around in front of them, and they were surrounded by hilly hills, they were still of the impression the world was flat. Nothing anybody said to them to convince them otherwise changed their opinion, and fruit and vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and apples hadn’t been invented yet.

They were probably around back then, in history, but went by a multitude of different names. It wasn’t until the mid to late 1600s when a historical figure by the name of John Ray (sometimes Wray) began a vast classification project of plants and animals that existence began to take on a more structured look. From these yellowed pages, onions eventually became a vegetable and tomatoes a fruit. Presumably, before this classification exercise, they were probably known as ‘weepy thing’ or ‘squishy thing’.

Tomatoes may or may not have been red at that time. As the previously mentioned classification project was starting to take place, Isaac Newton, another historical figure, was discovering colour. Back then, red was the most light colour, and blue most dark. Or least light. You see, Isaac was working on light at the time and discovered the spectrum.

Also at the same time, research was beginning into electricity. Electricity had been a myth for thousands of years before this, even back to the times of Ancient Greece and before. Folk were regularly receiving shocks from creatures such as electric fish, or static shocks from stroking cats, but they had no idea what the effect was and put it to the backs of their minds. William Gilbert, yet another of history’s figures, wrote about a magnet in the early 1600s, and came up with the word electricus at the same time due to receiving a static shock after rubbing a piece of amber. (The Greek word for amber back then was ‘elektron’). Electricity now had a name, several years before fruits, vegetables and spectra came into existence.

Many years after the introduction of electricity into mainstream reality, James Watt (yes, another historical chap) discovered horsepower, nowadays shortened to power. The Watt was named after him. Power, in fact, is the rate of work over time, and it certainly took a lot of time for power to come into existence. Incidentally, James Watt wasn’t really looking into electricity, but steam engines.

The historical fruit, tomatoes, are a source of electricity – especially damaged ones. Lycopene, which is the red colouring in tomatoes and other fruit and vegetables, helps with the generation of electrical charges. The charge is only small, however, only 0.3 watts per ten milligrams of tomato waste, but it’s a start.

From a flat world to a flat tomato the world has come a long way.

The connections between everything in existence are quite remarkable, when you stop and take a look.

Next time: We may look at the invention of time.

Questioning Reality is an occasional series and is a complete work of fiction.

The views contained herein are nothing whatsoever to do with the author, and instead are based on the views of the character ‘Thom’. Thom is a twenty-year-old fashion designer who likes glittery material. Although, she may be a twenty-year-old fashion model who can’t stand fussy clothing. Or perhaps he’s a 30 year old engineer who likes dancing to Celine Dion.

Names, where necessary, have been changed, but also where necessary, they haven’t.

It’s strange, life.

You go to bed one night (or morning if you’re up all night, for instance a night owl!) and awake to a brand new day. A fresh start. A new beginning. Yet we tend to do exactly the same as the day before. Same work. Same(ish) food. Same mistakes. OK, they’re different, but overall they’re the same…. they aren’t massively different. Be creative, is what I say. Given time. And other things.

Take rubbing stuff, for instance. The medication that either warms up or cools down aches and pains. Say, for example, you had a pain in your neck… or shoulder… or hip… or back… or thigh… or knee… or elbow… or shin… or ankle…  (!) and you used rubbing stuff to ease the pain somewhat. Why does it have no effect on your fingers or hands? That’s very strange, that is.

Why is it when you are desperately trying to find something, you have a rough idea of where you last saw it but it isn’t there. You then go off, demolishing every drawer, cupboard and utensil you can find in said search, and then, in one final act of desperation, you go back to the first place you looked and guess what? There it is. By then, you’ve usually forgotten why you wanted the thing in the first place.

Is perception a fact, or a figment of one’s imagination? If something looks big because it’s close up, but isn’t, can we really, truly, believe what we are seeing? The Sun and the Moon look the same size in the sky, but they aren’t, but in the sky they are. Unless there’s an eclipse, and the Moon totally covers the Sun. Mind you, you can’t see the Moon in an eclipse anyway because it’s New, and then you can’t see anything else for a while for looking at the Sun.

That’s not true entirely. After looking at a bright light, wherever you look afterwards all you can see is a whopping black splotch. But is it black? When you close your eyes, it changes to green – or yellow – or red. Or does it? And as it really isn’t there at all, should it even have a colour? Although it’s probably a good thing that it is there, to serve as a warning to prevent you looking into a bright light in the future.

Still, for all of the strange things life throws at us, there’s always something possibly even more strange waiting to turn up just around the corner. That’s what makes life interesting. That and the every day things that we repeat every day.

Questioning Reality is an occasional series and is a complete work of fiction.

The views contained herein are nothing whatsoever to do with the author, and instead are based on the views of the character ‘Thom’. Thom is a forty-year-old woman with an aversion to body hair. Although, he may be a nineteen-year-old army sergeant with immense experience of worldly affairs. Or perhaps he’s a 72 year old hermit who likes listening to Kate Bush.

Names, where necessary, have been changed, but also where necessary, they haven’t.

And as the author no longer keeps fully up-to-date with current affairs, the affairs mentioned herein may not be current. Or affairs for that matter.

Topics such as why is the sky always blue, which it isn’t, will be covered, as will the discovery of a blue-leaved plant and the search for a green-furred mammal. Important issues, such as the editing of television news prog

History will be visited to question today’s events as we will look to the future to predict just how current those events are likely to become. Quantum science will be looked into in minute detail, and major issues, such as just why is it that some people like the colour orange and not the fruit will be put under the microscope.

Why is some rain wetter than others?

How can it sometimes be warm when it snows?

How far can the truth be stretched?

And is reality really real? Is your reality mine? And mine yours? Can realities collide? What happens if they do? Do they co-exist? Overlap? Mirror? Explode? Is there anything beyond reality? Out there, for example, in space. If something isn’t known, is that reality because it isn’t known, or does it only become reality when it is?

See? Reality is already being questioned and we haven’t started yet.

Look out for the next part of Questioning Reality. Coming soon.

Vote of confidence

A Beyond the Sphere election special post.

Without images.

It’s General Election day in the United Kingdom today. They come around more frequently than Leap Years in modern times, and are just as much fun.

We’ve had hours of promises and counter-promises, proper gander and hip hop rap, heartfelt apologies for previously bringing in the wrong thing whilst in a previous government, and sincere promises that this time they’ll do better. We’ve been threatened that one thing will happen if we vote for such a party, and that will happen if we vote for a different one, we mustn’t vote for X because of Y, C can’t stand because of B, W was recorded saying this about Q, P became a block of ice, and blah blah blah…

I’m not politically minded. I can’t stand all the squabbling and bickering that goes on between politicians. I couldn’t bring myself to watch the ‘TV debates’ where nobody was interested in what any of the politicians had to say, but most folk were interested in what they had to say wrong.

I didn’t listen to the opinion polls, because I’m not interested in anybody else’s opinion. I did notice, however, how subtle messages the like of ‘you must vote this way’ came through in the oddest of ways; for example a TV programme review flipped itself round to one of the politician’s interests. I just stopped reading the review there.

But tonight I did my bit and went and cast my vote.

I walked down the dimly lit alley to the polling station. I pushed the door which needed to be pulled to open – they’d covered the ‘pull’ sign with the ‘polling station’ sign. I walked across a vast empty room, to a row of desks that were arranged in an L shape at the far side of the room. A man and a woman sat on the left, and two other women sat behind the tables directly ahead. The polling booth was over to the right.

“Hi” said the man, as I approached the table he was sitting at, not knowing whether I needed to go to him or not. I handed him my polling card as I said “Hello” in return. He asked me to confirm my full name, and then checked that I had gone to the correct polling station, which, luckily for all of us, I had done. It was the address on the polling card, so I couldn’t really have gotten it wrong.

The man gave a series of letters and numbers to the woman sitting next to him, and she announced that she’d written down a completely different set and questioned why she’d done that. She wrote down the correct series, and the man then handed me my polling slip.

“You MUST mark ONLY ONE X” the woman said, pointing to the polling booth at the other side of the room. “And then you MUST bring it back, and pop it INTO THAT BOX there” – this time she pointed at the ballot box beside the end of the table where the man sat.

I walked slowly across the room, noticing how eerily quiet and empty the place was. I marked my paper in the booth as instructed, and folded it as I walked back the ballot box to cast my vote. My slip was half-way into the slot when the man asked “Er… did you get that ballot slip from us?” I did that three way double-take look you do when you ask yourself if you were being asked the question. I looked around the room, and I was still the only person in there. “YES, he did.” said the woman. “Yes, I did” I also replied, not actually sure whether I should have been speaking at that moment but the correct words formed as I did so, so it must have been alright.

I then left the polling station, walked back along the dimly lit alley and then rejoined what felt like reality. This reality. Tomorrow’s may be completely different. Or it may be the same. Or it may appear to be the same, but really be completely different.

We just don’t know.

And by Jiminy will we be told about it for months to come.

Beyond the Sphere now returns to its regular irregular programme.

What makes a good character?

Someone mysterious? Boring? Risqué? Over-the-top? Untouchable? Surreal? Perfect? Ludicrous? Rude? Quiet? Professional? Heart-felt? Needy? Brash? Sexy? Offensive? Kind? Alien? Square? Thoughtless? Thoughtful? Dreamy? Inept? Quirky? Confident? Artistic? Argumentative? Stubborn? Creative? Constructive? Forward-thinking? Magical? Business-minded? Helpful? Shut-off? Energetic? Charismatic? Disabled? Old-fashioned? Forward-thinking? Imaginative? Colourful? Radiant? Beautiful? Ugly? Robotic? Moronic? Warm? Cold? Holier-than-thou? Devilish? Inappropriate? Risk-taker? Stick-in-the-mud? Comical? Interesting?

A mixture of all? Just one? Maybe a couple?

There are a lot of ‘interesting’ characters that call by this blog that could easily fit into the list above. Myself included… Tom Merriman’s a character, don’t forget. OK. Maybe ‘interesting’ was the wrong choice of word.

My characters are all adaptable. They try to fit into a number of different scenarios. Some they take to like a duck to water, and others they’re like a fish out of it.

But they are still characters. Surreal creations that exist in Universes far, far away. Surreal lives with surreal existences that desperately need for their surreal stories to be told.

But are they good characters?


I don’t know. They’re all a work in progress.

Why bother?

What’s the point in doing all this blogging?

What purpose does it serve?

For a couple of visits a day, why spend hours creating a different blog post every day? Is it worth it?

Those are the questions, amongst others, that went through my head when I read a recent comment over on Splodge and Splatter, one of my other blogs. I’m sure the question wasn’t intended in the way that I first took it, but it certainly made me think of these questions.

Several years ago, another blogger (who I no longer follow but is still active in the Blogosphere) asked me if I would consider posting less frequently. The blogger in question rarely visited my blog beforehand, so my posting frequency shouldn’t really have concerned her. I gave her my reasons as to why I post as often as I do, and she never responded. Apart from seeing her face dotted around Blogland every now and then I haven’t heard from her since. This was the first time I asked myself the question, Why Bother?

I enjoy blogging. I enjoy writing and being creative. That’s why.

I may not be the world’s best writer / artist / photographer, but I don’t see that as a reason to stop. I keep on keeping on, because with each post / picture / painting there’s just a chance I may get better.

There’s a chance that I may provide a spark of inspiration to somebody else who feels they aren’t good enough.

I may just give someone a smile when they really need one.

I may, however inadvertently, provide an answer to someone else’s stumbling block with something they are working on.

I like the connections I get through blogging. Connecting with people all over the world, who I would never have the chance to otherwise ‘meet’. I always say ‘as and when’ when it comes to visiting my blog, because I am aware of my limitations, and I’m also aware that there are millions of other (most likely better) blogs out there and there simply isn’t enough time to visit everyone.

I don’t have time to visit all of the blogs I follow either, but it isn’t personal. None of it is. It’s just the way it is.

I apologise if you’ve stumbled across one of my rubbish posts, or a boring post, or a rushed post, or a silly post, or a post you weren’t expecting. The post was where my creativity was at at that time. Not one of us can be perfect every time.

I’m grateful if you’ve enjoyed a good post (or a bad one!). The comments and likes I receive are received with gratitude, and help me to Feel Good, which is my motto and has been since the very first day of this blog.

My intention, regardless of my post, is to try and share that Feel Good factor. In blogging, I believe we should all try to share a little light around the world, whether through stories, jokes, photos, pictures, music or any other part of the creative spectrum.

It’s too easy to get bogged down with all the darkness and negativity that is constantly being bombarded upon the world. Balance that with the light, and the world isn’t half as bad as we are made to believe it is.

Why bother?

That’s why.

Blogging is far more than just posting, but the posts help.

For a group of secretive people they are certainly easy to infiltrate.

These robes I bought from that flea market down the road are very itchy, but at least they hide the fact I’m not wearing one of those medallion things they have around their necks. Not that they will look in my direction anyway, but I’d better not scratch myself just in case. It’s really tempting, though.

It’s frightening how they just stand there, individually or in pairs, totally unaware of the biting winds and heavy blizzard. Frozen. Rooted to the spot like statues. At least I’m under cover here! Ha! Under cover… I like that.

I know that they’ll start moving again when the midday bell tolls, and then the next lot will come out. I just need to be still and patient. Act like I’m one of them.

I like how the sunlight comes through the windows like that… it looks too warm for these bitter temperatures, but it still gives off a warm glow. Maybe they concentrate on that. I wonder how they keep these massive windows clean. Especially up the top there. Perhaps they’re self cleaning.

I wish I knew what time it was. I can’t feel my feet.

Look at the light. Look at the light. I think it’s working!

The light doesn’t seem right for midday, thinking about it. How long have I been here? I bet they’ve hypnotised me and forced me to join their number. I hope not. I only want to see what it is they do when they go inside. Oh no… what if they have hypnotised me and had me running around like a chicken? I don’t feel like I’ve been running. I wouldn’t be this cold, if I had.

C’mon… c’mon. Toll bells! Toll! I can’t feel my hands now.

Ah! At last!

No, wrong – it’s a hand-bell from inside. What was that? Three… four… five… six. Six rings.

Now the clocktower is ringing.

Actually, where is the clocktower? I can’t see it from here – it must be behind me. But the sound from the tolls is ahead of me. It must be an echo. That’s odd.

Ah, they’re moving now. They’ve formed a line ahead of me. I’d best try and join them. Nonchalantly does it. Good job I watched how they walk… I’ve got that off to a tee. Just need to speed up a little and then I can slip in there, behind. Made it. They’re still looking forward and haven’t seen me.

What was that? I thought these were a silent order. There it is again – definitely a voice. Sounds like “Order of Six”.

Oh.

This is the Order of Six.

I make the number up to seven. They obviously know I’m here.


A bit of mystery I feel for this week’s What Do You See? challenge from Hélène; link below.

Weekly challenge