Building a Better Life

Sometimes I drowned under unbearable memories

Pain that you caused is always under the surface

Pushing to the top

Making a nuisance

You don't know or care

Would rather drink it away

*

Well I'm more than that

Better than that

Stronger than you

My heart is full of love

I am the light of the world

I am the peace in the night

The sunrise on the horizon

A faint whisper on the air

Loves eternal embrace

*

Now my life is a straight path

No more pain do I feel

I am more than your evil

That will burn forever

In regret and hate

Whilst I make

The most of it

Winter Short Story Competition

If you enjoy writing blogs, short stories or even poetry then you might be interested to enter.

From 1st December you can submit a short story to me for publication on my site. Stories should be within 1,500 words and focused on the holiday season and or Christmas themed. Entry is free. This means anything around this season is okay. Follow the guidelines below:

  1. 1,500 words limit – anything exceeding this won’t be accepted
  2. Themed around the December holiday season/Christmas
  3. No abuse in an form
  4. ONE story allowed to be submitted
  5. Must include word count, name and any site details at top of story
  6. Correctly formatted. Ex. 12 point Times New Roman double spaced
  7. Submit to psychwizard@yahoo.com
  8. CLOSES 15TH DECEMBER- IF NOBODY SUBMITS I’LL EXTEND IT

Your story if accepted can be published on my site. You can’t distribute it yourself if you win. My site will have the exclusive right to post it. Any violation of this will mean the story will be removed.

Other than that this is a great bit of fun! I really am excited to see what comes up!

Penguin Classics

When you think of publishers you probably think of all the big names, including Penguin Random House. Before we go any further you might like to peruse the complete list yourself here https://www.penguin.co.uk/classicslist

Today I want to lay out those books for you. You may find the list useful. It is also a good way to mark down which classics you have yet to read. They say ‘you should read the classics’ but in reality, the majority of people haven’t even read their own mail.

It is not a full and complete list. You will find that there are thousands of books. I will simply list some here which may be appealing to you. 25 listed.

  1. Jane Eyre
  2. Pride and Prejudice
  3. Frankenstein
  4. The Count of Monte Cristo
  5. Wuthering Heights
  6. Dracula
  7. A Tale of Two Cities
  8. Sense and Sensibility
  9. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  10. Moby-Dick
  11. Crime and Punishment
  12. Great Expectations
  13. Anna Karenina
  14. The Odyssey
  15. The Art of War
  16. The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin
  17. 1984
  18. Meditations
  19. Oliver Twist
  20. Don Quixote
  21. Les Misérables
  22. War and Peace
  23. David Copperfield
  24. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
  25. East of Eden

You can go to a variety of sites to buy these books, including Penguin, Amazon, Waterstones and more. I recommend checking out World of Books first; they offer secondhand books at reasonable prices. I’ve bought from them before with no issues in quality.

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The Farm

The animals they waddled two by two

 the farmer marches through muddy goo

cows that moo

grass and grain

the pain of harvest 

animals and foods

economic disaster.

Written in response to Lady Jabberwocky prompt ‘Farm’

Owl

The Owl can fly when it wants to

If it sees a prey worthy of the flight

When the rain has exposed its location

*

Yet a man cannot run away when he wants to

So, the owl observes

As the men they drown in pain

The owl knows who is to blame


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Taffin – Movie Review!

Before Pierce Brosnan took the leap into James Bond, he played a variety of roles in action movies in which he is using guns. I can see now why they chose him. Take this 80s gem, Taffin, a hard-boiled and small movie with big drama and direction.

It was rated at 5.6/10 by IMDB which is a shame since I found it overall to be interesting, with characters that had clear motivations. There is drama, conflict, a bit of action, some violence, some nudity, and Brosnan as the hard edged Taffin which made the movie quite over played but enjoyable.

Taffin is a 1988 thriller film directed by Francis Megahy and starring Pierce Brosnan in the title role of Mark Taffin. It also featured Ray McAnally, Alison Doody and Jeremy Child. It is based on Lyndon Mallet’s book series.

Directed by Francis Megahy and with a runtime of approx. 1 hour 36 minutes it clocks in to be an easy evening viewing.

For those who want to see hard men doing hard things this is the film for you. Brosnan plays Taffin who is a no-holds-barred debt collector working freelance. Come the debt, come the Taffin. Soon though the little town he lives in comes under a much bigger threat, that of a new development plan on the local playing fields to build a chemical factory. It gets dirty, very quickly.

Taffin, determined not to get involved is pulled in for his love of the town. So are other people. What starts as a back and forth fight between the corps and the people turns bloody, with fighting, shooting, blackmail, threats, and death.

Taffin, being the man everyone relied on to help, is sadly left to do the dirty work and when the corps hire a freelance hitman – or whatever he is – to burn down a house resulting in a mans death, Taffin is blamed. He is blamed because the people new he was involved and suspected he took it too far. The people push him out despite him helping them when they needed it. In the end, he takes it to the top, he reaches the man he’s meant to reach and eventually flies off with his girlfriend.

A fairly abrupt ending but the film itself was tense, and I found it rewarding and interesting. Although the lack of reciprocation from the people to Taffin after the fire is disheartening.

This is a short review because it’s an easy to view film which doesn’t require much in depth analysis. You have people on opposite sides wanting different things, things turn ugly. This is still a very true albeit fictional account of things that happen in real life. Taffin is also an Irish movie with Brosnan being Irish (although a lot assume he is English because he played James Bond). It is certainly one of the more flamboyant roles, in which Taffin has the ego that could fill your living room.

4 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hurt & Healing

Daisies grow in the flower bed

during the spring the sun beats them out

during the fall, they begin to wilt

winter is a blank skeletal stare

yet they are to come full circle 

for the daisies were never there

***

Your hurt and hate

has been negated

and I have seen

a beam of light

that will destroy your negative plight

***

Now you can heal

begin to reveal

and to feel

once again

strengthened through grace

empowered by God

a beautiful seedling

ready to yet again, grow from the soil.

https://medium.com/@thomas_maxwellharrison/new-poetry-the-healing-we-feel-3128af97a42e: Hurt & Healing

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Highlights of the Week [#1]

Highlights of the Week [#1]

  1. Poem Spotlight!
  2. Movie Recommendation
  3. Book Recommendation
  4. Photo of the Week
  5. Video of the Week
  6. Support the site by making a donation

Poem Spotlight!

A special thank you to the R|cardo / C|pher for the wonderful poem titled Lazarus. I’ve read it a few times, and it sticks with me. I also really enjoy the admiring the accompanying artwork. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I have, along with other works by this prolific, talented poet.

https://rcipher.wordpress.com/2022/11/26/c-90/

Movie Recommendation

The Bansheess of Inisherin – Starring reuniting cast members Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson once again teaming up with In Bruges director Martin McDonagh in this drama come comedy black fiction movie of a friendship gone sour. https://psychedelicwizard.uk/2022/11/18/banshees-of-inisherin/

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_banshees_of_inisherinRotten Tommatoes rated it a whopping 98%! Worth a watch. A Friday or Saturday night easy to view movie with dark undetones.

Book Recommendation

A Spy Named OrphanThe Enigma of Donald Maclean – Roland Phillips – The true-life account of notorious spy Donald Maclean through World War 2, through the cold war and beyond. Focused on the nefarious ‘Cambridge 5’ spy ring.

An interesting, step by step documentation of the life of Donald Maclean, the British student turned communist fanatic. He infiltrated the highest levels of government, worked with the secret service, the USA, in Cairo and more before finally being found, some couple of decades after his infiltration and double agent status had begun.

During this time, he stole incredible amounts of information and passed it to the soviet state of Russia. Stalin regarded him as his best agent. He betrayed his home country, England because of his disillusionment with capitalism.

A recommended non-fiction book. It is a little light on details however from a broad history point of view does cover a significant amount of time and space, documenting the double agent’s crazy alcohol binged nights and his deadly rage as he grew increasingly uncomfortable living his double life.

There are plenty of espionage novels on the market, and an abundance surrounding WW2 and the Cold War. You can enjoy factual and fictitious writings. An honourable mention would of course be the John Le Carre novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – still superior to a lot of books in the same genre after all this time.

Photo of the Week

Video of the Week

You’ll see something here when I have some content to upload!


Support the site by making a donation

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Show your appreciation of content you enjoy to continue to support this site.

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Carpenters [8]

Welcome to Episode 8 of the Medieval England History Series! We’ve been through quite a few occupations and types of people now and it’s time to begin to explore further afield to the useful carpenter. This is a series you can listen to on Spotify here, and you can find the other posts here. Be sure to follow my site for more episodes and post any thoughts you have in the comments on something you enjoyed about the episode or series so far.


Before we delve into the medieval carpenter, we should first cover the career of a carpenter through history in general, and indeed a career it is. Carpentry is one of the world’s oldest professions (the oldest is tool maker, who used chunks of rock to pound, and flakes made from quartz and flint to make stone tools.) The son of God, Jesus Christ was himself described as a carpenter. Today carpenters are still a priced trade skill in the construction industry and are quite well paid compared with other roles.

But with medieval carpenters things go something like this… Medieval carpenters were highly skilled professionals who would cut timber (wood) to make a variety of planks, beams, doors, windows and furniture. They were producing items for homes, castles, workshops, shops, ports and more.

As with other professions such as the Baker, carpenters were also a part of a Guild specific to the profession. They would join as an apprentice and be taught the skills of the craft; including the use of tools, woodworking techniques and the mathematics required. After the training they could expect to go on to hone their skills further themselves as a journeyman, gaining enough experience to eventually become a master carpenter. The path of learning is similar to other professions, and the path structure is still used today for a variety of crafts. A very skilled carpenter could potentially be employed by the Kings or nobles, being retained in employment as specialists (in a castle, and during travel). A guild of carpenters became a reality when in the 900s the towns began to stabilise their economies and expand, allowing more work. Most towns in England were built near castles (as mentioned sometimes within the walls). Most guild formed officially around the 12th century.

A carpenter guild was designed to allow fair competition and agreement of the basic rules governing their trade. Guilds had the power to fine carpenters who violated their rules, but also took care of carpenters should they become unwell and arrange for burials and take care of carpenter families if needed. They contributed to supporting their town by building churches for example.

A master carpenter or highly skilled professional in woodworking could expect a decent amount of work and pay. They used a variety of tools of course. See the picture above for some examples (saw, adze, awl). Others included the: hatchet, twybill and broad axe, gimlet, compass, square and ruler, twyvette, saws, plane, chisel and gauge, marking gauge, crowbar and hammer. A carpenter would use a whetstone to sharpen the tools if needed.

Some tools were said to be found in the Mastermyr chest – a Viking age tool chest in the Mastermyr mire west of Hemse on the island of Gotland, Sweden. The largest tool finds in Europe (793-1066). Proving to some extent that the carpenter tools of that age were still very much prized. Of course the Vikings are known for large wooden ships, so it made sense to employ a selection of carpenters for the job of building them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A4stermyr_chest

Above is an example of a 16 century wooden chair no doubt made by a carpenter.

A slightly more modern Tudor chest above. See the detail of the carpenter.

The house above was built in 1509. A carpenter would have done a significant part of the work as you can see from the wood structure.


Thanks for reading Episode 8 of the Medieval England History series. I hope to see you next time. In the meantime, support this series by liking and commenting and follow to stay up to date with the newest releases.

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