Beyond the Sphere

Hubble Bubble toil and trouble
All be calm, revenge be sweet
Those who dare to do me wrong

Prepare to feel my cauldron’s heat

As the broth within swirls and simmers
So be it, the legends say
What doth go around shalt come around

And I wouldn’t have it any other way

Thou might mock, and thou might snigger
But in the mirror thou must look
Upon thy face shall lie a carbuncle

A wart for nastiness, lest thee be mistook

Those that do me deeds so good
This curse applies to thee as well
Although to be cursed in such a way

Shall bring rewards that… who can tell?

Cross my path and do it wisely
For life is meant to be such a joy
Treat me bad and not so nicely

You WILL become my Cauldron’s toy

This curse, this spell, this rhyme, whatever
Is just a warning, meant to be
For the power of threefold return’s a strong one

Treat me bad and you shall see.

Revenge and retribution are such terrible things and nothing is really gained from them, the good you do to others is also the good you do to yourself, but this also applies in reverse. Treat somebody badly and you aren’t really being very nice to yourself either. Every action has a reaction, whether it be good or bad.

We all have good and bad in us. Some of us, however, seem to be able to tap into the bad side a lot easier than the good, and use this bad side to the detriment of others.

This little spell is designed to reflect that badness back at the individual so they live with the consequences of their actions. It also, passes more good back to those who do good.

It is intended as a benefit to all, ultimately, although it has stemmed from a little urge for revenge. The less said about that the better. I’ll just sit back and watch the magic work.

One way or another, I’ll make this world a better place.

Mwahahahahahaahahahahhahahaha ha! Thank you, Ghastlia, that will be all…

Originally posted on 27th October 2015.

She cast a spell for happiness, using everything she could find.
She got everything prepared and together at the exact right time.
She spoke words of enchantment, making sure she got them right.
She wanted to be happy and would make herself so tonight.

She thought of all the people who’d wronged her in the past.
She thought of those who’d married when she said “they’d never last”.
She thought of the ones she turned away when they came to her for help.
She thought of all the animals that she’d ‘accidentally’ made yelp.
She thought of all the acids that she poured away down the drain.
She thought of all the pedestrians she’d splashed, driving through puddles in the rain.
She thought of all the people stood behind her in the queue, as she complained quite vocally about the price of her shampoo.
She thought of the hungry kitten that she never once fed.
She thought of the single time she’d regretted what she’d said.

She realised she didn’t need anything in order to be truly happy.
She’d looked within and then brought on her own epiphany.
Her happiness had been with her all along, hidden deep beneath her nasty side.
She sat and thought and clearly saw now that her eyes were open wide.

Originally posted on 30th October 2012.

Queenie noticed the bus approaching in the distance, over the brow of the hill.

“That’s an old bus” she muttered to herself as she rummaged through the stack of old Lottery tickets and sweet wrappers in her handbag, looking for her bus pass. She didn’t speak aloud, although there was nobody else with her at the bus stop.

There was a distinct chill in the air. Queenie shivered as she realised winter wasn’t far away.

Within a matter of minutes, the bus had arrived. Queenie actually thought the bus was going to drive straight passed her, but she realised that the entrance to the bus was at the back.

“Goodness,” she said, “this takes me back.”

Without paying much attention to what she was doing, she grabbed hold of the bar to pull herself onto the bus, and was instantly reminded of a terrible day many years ago.

Pushing the thoughts to the back of her mind, she stepped onto the bus and held her bus pass up to nobody in particular. She was so used to doing that when she got on to the buses at the front, it came natural to do so at the other end as well.

She found an empty seat, sat herself down and made herself comfortable.

The bus had only just started when Queenie noticed the rotting and rancid smell. She looked up, and saw that a strange green mist had descended outside, and the mist was licking at the opening at the back of the bus. It was at that point that she realised the bus had turned into a road on the left and had started heading downhill, whereas it should have travelled straight along the road.

“Excuse me,” she looked at the person sitting opposite her, “Is this the number one?”. She realised the rancid smell wasn’t from outside, but from this person. All of the passengers, in fact.

They were zombies. Creatures of the night. Even the young girl at the front of the bus who looked like… No.

Queenie pinched herself. “Fancy dress,” she thought, “Not far off Halloween now”.

The young girl looked around, and laughed childishly and maniacally.

“Queenie, you never paid any attention to what you did, did you?” The young girl’s head was at a funny angle to how it should have been.

“B-Bess?” Queenie stuttered. “After all these years.” She noticed Bess was staring at her.

“This isn’t the number one, Queenie. If you’d have checked the number on the front you’d have seen it’s a special bus, a contract bus, contract 42. The Eternal Circular.” Bess still held her face in a contorted smile. Her eyes filled with a frighteningly sinister glee.

“Contract 42?” It made no sense to Queenie.

“This is the bus you tied me to when we were little.” Bess continued. “You made me be the dog. You tied me to the bar on the back of the bus with the rope. The bus was the number 42. The bus drove off with me attached. You must remember, Queenie. You must.”

“That was an accident. We were young. They said you were OK.” Queenie was flustered.

“You never checked, Queenie. You never did. You never do. You’ve won the Lottery more than once, but you never checked. That’s why you’ve never won. It’s OK now though, because you’re here on this bus forever, with us all.”

Bess sat herself down next to Queenie. “We’re going to have so much fun. You can be the dog today.”

Horrified, all Queenie could do was look at the bruises around Bess’s neck.

“Why didn’t I check the number?” She thought as she realised she was now stuck on this eternal circular, heading nowhere fast through a thick green mist. With zombies.

Originally posted on 1st October 2013.

Wind howled through the broken window, caused by the branch of the large oak during the great storm.

I was surrounded by an eerie darkness; the only light coming into the room was from the candlelight in the corridor outside the partly open door.

Trying to keep as quiet as I could, I waited. I heard footsteps in the hallway coming closer to the room.

I held my breath.

The door swiftly opened and bright torchlight shone into the room, straight through me. I waited for them to leave again before I rattled my chains.

That always makes them scream!

Originally posted 26th June 2012.

On Saturn
Is a spectacular sight
With light fluffy clouds
And rainbows so bright
The rings that shimmer in colours ne’er before seen
Of blues that are red
And whites that are green
Oceans of gas
With islands of air
Metals are liquid
But no life is there
To see the spectacular
Saturn sunrise
That for most of the day
Fills all of the skies

Another filler post today, I’m afraid to say… originally posted on 25th February 2015.

Thomasina, my Inner Woman, wanted her portrait painting the other day, so I had no choice but to oblige. In honour of Thomasina, my Inner Woman, being the kind of classic person everyone aspires to be like, the classics were the only place to go.

Everyone has heard of the Mona Lisa, the enigmatic and charming painting created centuries ago by Leonardo da Caprio, yes? Well, I present my version of that very painting, the Mona Thomasina.

Just like the original, she’s sat on a wooden chair on a bridge or terrace overlooking a jagged mountainous terrain, and you can’t tell if she’s smiling or not. With Thomasina, nobody ever can tell if she’s smiling or not, so she is the perfect model for this reconstruction.

Unlike the original, the chair is completely different, and Thomasina just wouldn’t get into the correct pose for love nor money. Mona Lisa’s clothes were far too old-fashioned and motheaten for a modern classic, so Thomasina argued, and she decided on this get up instead. And the mountains in the background are in a different place completely.

But still the resemblance is there, particularly if one squints, and tries to look through the painting as though one is trying to decipher a magic eye picture  just after they first came out in 1991; only with this thing it looks slightly better when blurred.

And before anyone writes in and complains, of course I know that it wasn’t Leonardo da Caprio who painted the Mona Lisa. It was Vinci. Vinci da Caprio. I do knows me art y’know. Mostly.

(Originally posted on 5th May 2019 both here on Beyond the Sphere and over on Splodge and Splatter)

I need one sentence to describe myself.

One sentence that describes everything I have done well, and everything I will do well. Everything I didn’t do well, and everything I won’t do well in the future. Every dream I have had, everything I have created, everything I have learned. Every memory I have. Every experience I have gone through. Every day I have lived. Every cloud I have witnessed a silver lining in. Every miracle I have been aware of. Every magical moment I have been involved with. Every place I have visited, and every place I have yet to go to. Every tear I’ve shed through laughter and sadness, every emotion I have felt. Every smile. Every pain. Every haircut! Everyone I have loved. Every book I have read. Every piece of music I have listened to. Every painting I have admired. Every essence of my reality. Every atom of my existence. Every vibration of my being.

One sentence that will include every minute and trivial piece of information that is unique to me. One sentence that keeps me separate from everyone else on the planet, yet also keeps me connected. One sentence that succinctly sums me up.

I’ve got that sentence now…

I am me.

That’s me in a nutshell!

(Originally posted 24th November 2010)

Not that I’d know or anything.

Everything is perfectly normal.

Putting two completely different shoes on in the morning happens to everyone from time to time. Noticing that they are two left shoes as you are about to leave the house must have been experienced by thousands of people around the world.

Spraying shaving gel under one’s arms, thinking it is deodorant, has been mentioned in classic novels, it’s that widespread an experience.

Trying to open the car door with the house key is so regular an occurrence it is hardly worth mentioning. As is trying to use the security pass card, that lets you into work, to open the boot. And using the house key to get into work, well, that old chestnut has been around since the invention of work.

Writing the wrong name on a form where your name should be; we’ve all done that. Nothing unusual there.

Forgetting completely and totally a work colleague (name, face, personality) who you have sat next to for five or so years… easily done.

Going into one room to urgently do something, but as soon as you are in the room the question ‘what have I come in here for?’ springs to mind. Very common an experience, perfectly normal.

Trying to answer the remote control when the phone rings, or turn over the TV channel with a glasses case, or even pressing a spy hole on a door to ring the doorbell – everyday things. Nothing to write home about.

No. None of the above, if you experience them, indicate you are losing the plot.

Moving the computer mouse and wondering why the curser is moving down the screen when it should be moving up, and suddenly realising that you are watching an artificial WordPress snowflake head towards the bottom of the screen is the key. Wondering why that particular artificial snowflake, rather than the twenty or so others, caught your attention so vividly that you blanked out the curser on the screen completely is another indicator. And writing a blog post about said artificial snowflake all add up to the fact that your plot is very lost indeed.

Or you are.

But you wouldn’t know, as everything is perfectly normal.

(Originally posted 18th December 2012)

Into the depths of the lake I looked
and saw the fishes swimming
And ducks were paddling, and quacking by,
with faces that were grinning
The heron stood staring forth with beady eyes focussed
on something distant
A lone terrapin basked upon a rock, not moving for an instant
A long blue dragonfly hovered close
then zipped away up high
My attention, though, was then quickly grabbed by
a passing butterfly
On the bank a playful kitten bounced along for a little wander
As the trees on the bank swayed from side to side as the wind
was getting stronger
A dove perched gently upon a branch
before taking to the skies
And I was brought back to the water with the gentlest of cries
For swimming in amongst the lilies
was a little water hen
And into the depths of the lake I looked
and saw the fish again…

(Originally posted 24th February 2015)

I need to catch my breath!

I have absolutely no idea where today has gone. Equally, I have no idea where yesterday went. Nor do I have an idea where the recent January days disappeared to. Come to think of it, 2010 passed by in such a whiz it didn’t feel like a year at all. Having said that, it only seems like a couple of weeks since we were celebrating the Millennium – that was eleven years ago. And the seventies, well, they were last month according to the way I am thinking at present.

Blimey. Decades have passed by all within the blink of an eye.

The odd thing is, is that at the time, time doesn’t seem to be moving. Moving it is, but at it’s own special rate, not the rate at which I would like it to go.

I was counting down the seconds on the microwave earlier, and found myself ahead of time. I am sure that the seconds on the microwave are longer than the normal seconds in the rest of time, but if not, I was definitely beating the clock. When I realised I was ahead, I had to stop my own clock, and wait for the microwave to catch up. And those few seconds – I was more than one second ahead – seemed like an eternity.

So, that causes me to ask the question… if decades have just passed in the blink of an eye, how come time stood still between those microwave seconds?

Another thought has struck me.

I am not using time to the best of my advantage. If it is running away with me, as the previous decades have done, I haven’t really used all of those seconds where time stood still for the best of my experience. I should use them for my creative pursuits. New ideas, things to do, places to go, people who I would like to meet, and what I should, could and need to do to meet them. It only takes a split second – not even a full second – for a flash of inspiration to spark and hit home.

Waiting for the microwave gave me more time. How many people say they could do with more time? I say it over and over again, when in reality, I have all the time in my world. The microwave taught me that. Thanks, microwave.

Maybe the kettle was trying to tell me something similar.

And the red traffic lights; the queues in the supermarket; the times that I can’t get to sleep; the seconds waiting for the computer to power up; even the time spent on hold on the telephone with some awful tinny hold music – they are all highlighting just how much time I have now.

Looking back over the past few decades, those seconds have always been there. The clock is constantly stopping and starting, but I am more often than not oblivious to that fact as I am looking elsewhere.

The second I pay attention to my time is the moment my life can begin again. I think that is most definitely worth stopping the clock for, if only for a second or two.

(Originally posted 23rd January 2011)

I’ve never written a sonnet before. I’m not sure if I’ve written one now either, for that matter, but this is my first ever attempt at writing one. The ending’s slightly weaker than it should be, I feel, but it’s a start. That must be a first: having the start at the end! Anyway, I digress. The theme for the sonnet is strangely familiar… for me, and it’s also wearing a little thin now… but, I’m getting there!

A Thought Occurred (A Sonnet by T L Merriman)

A thought occurred as I sat down to write
This post, correct, precise and so in time
But as I typed the thought just went, took flight,
Cleared out, vanished! Leaving an empty mind
This mind of mine so full of thoughts no more
Is not ideal for me in any way
Thinking, waiting, typing, ‘til fingers sore
Wanting something worthwhile and new to say
The words are there, I know, hidden from view
As if they play a game of hide and seek
And once I work out what I need to do
To set them free I’ll use them so to speak

I’ll play with words, I’ll mix them up, have fun,
I’ll write once more. For now this post is done.

(Originally posted 27th April 2014)

I’m a little busy at the moment, but I just have enough time to write my post for today.

Occasionally, I turn my bathroom into a makeshift laboratory. Nothing like those that you see in any mad professor’s lair in a horror movie or TV show or anything, but, at times, it works well, I’m pleased to say.

Most times it works well.

Sometimes, it doesn’t. The time before last I ended up getting stuck in the bath in a blue quick drying cement that should have been bubble bath. I managed to get out of that predicament, and vowed never to do anything like that again.

And I haven’t.

Not like that.

I can’t bring myself to write about what happened last time. Not yet, anyway. But I can write about my latest experiment.

To say I need to lose a few pounds isn’t exactly stretching the truth. With winter coming on, I don’t have as much time to turn the top of my landing into a Super Gym, so my muscles don’t get the work out they are so accustomed to. I can do my workouts at the weekend, but that’s all. As a result, I have become something of a ‘podge’.

The other day, I had the idea of inventing a drink, a fruit flavoured drink, that would instantly (well, within a few hours) completely burn up those extra fat cells, and give the old muscles a kind of mini work out.

Today – this evening in fact – I set my plan into action.

I liquidised some strawberries, and a banana. I like strawberries and bananas so thought I’d use both for this drink. I could have gone for orange and melon, but maybe next time for them.

I then boiled up some diet lemonade – the cloudy lemonade, not the clear stuff – and measured a litre out into a sterilised bucket. I then added the liquid fruit, and my completely confidential weight loss formula. This formula is available in all good supermarkets, but if my idea is a success I’ll not mention what it is just yet. When I refer to the formula, I mean the components to it – it isn’t one thing, you understand.

Anyway, I was blending away in the laboratory in the bathroom, and the mixture became a nice peachy shade of orange. The smell that came from it was exquisite… like a fresh fruit salad. I blended some more, using both an old wooden spoon and a rolling pin.

I didn’t intend to use the rolling pin, but for some reason my mind was elsewhere when I started and I had grabbed the rolling pin instead of the spoon. I couldn’t be bothered going back to the kitchen again for the spoon and started stirring with the rolling pin. When I realised this wasn’t working I had to get the spoon anyway.

So, using the spoon in my left hand and the rolling pin in my right, I stirred ambidextrously, which worked very well indeed.

The bubbles from the lemonade had been removed during boiling, but one component of my special formula caused more intense bubbles to appear within the mixture. Bubbles the size of apples were popping out of the bucket.

I had to continue stirring, and eventually, the liquid thinned again and went back to its lemonade consistency, with the peachy colour and normal sized bubbles.

I’d decided the mixture was ready.

It was time to try the drink.

I got myself a small glass, and filled it almost to the top with the fruity drink. Holding the glass up to the light, I could see through the liquid, so it was clear and peachy, and lemony, strawberry-y and banana-y.

It didn’t taste at all bad. It was lovely in fact. Really refreshing, with a bit of a zing that would make anyone sing! I drank the glass really quickly, and helped myself to another one.

It tickled my throat as it went down.

I looked into the mirror and noticed it wasn’t the drink tickling my throat. It was my teeth. Somehow, the drink has caused hair to suddenly grow out of my teeth, and it was that what was tickling my throat as I swallowed, not the delicious fruity drink.

Shocked, I reached for my razor and quickly shaved the hair from my teeth, which in turn quickly grew back. I shaved them again, and the hair reappeared, but this time not as quickly. So the shaving was slowly working.

And this brings me to now, and why I’m so busy. I’m having to shave my teeth every fifteen minutes now, so will have to dash again in a minute, but the effect is gradually fading now. Hopefully by tomorrow, I shall have normal teeth again.

I’ll get back to you on the weight-loss properties!

(Originally posted on 24th October 2012)