Saturday, 28 April 2007

What One Lemon Will Do ...

Armed with a Lemon
One of the interesting aspects of clearing out my Mum's house has been the discovery of many old documents, books, letters and the like, which are the accumulated family archive back to the 1600's.

One of the interesting things I came across was a little journal kept by a relative in 1810 in which are many useful (well no doubt they were in 1810) household tips.

I thought I would share this one with you:

What One Lemon Will Do

A piece of lemon upon a corn will relieve it in a day or two. It should be renewed each night and morning.

The free use of lemon juice and sugar will always relieve a cough.

A lemon eaten before breakfast every day for a week or two will entirely prevent the feeling of lassitude peculiar to the onset of Spring.

The juice of half a lemon squeezed into a teacup of strong black coffee without sugar will sometimes relieve a headache.

Perhaps its most valuable property is its absolute power of detecting any of the injurious and even dangerous ingredients entering into the composition of so many of the cosmetics and face powders in the market. Every lady should subject her toilet powder to the test. Place a teaspoonful of the suspected powder in a glass and add the juice of a lemon. If effervescence takes place, it is in infallible proof that the powder is dangerous, and its use should be avoided, as it will ultimately injure the skin and destroy the beauty of the complexion.

Wise words indeed - you have been warned ;) So it's a lemon for me for breakfast from now on - *yum*

Oh - and in case you are wondering, that's my daughter with a lemon that we grew ourselves and which ultimately ended up in my gin and tonic - by far the best use for a lemon that I can think of :)


Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Haiku-a-Thon - The Birthday Surprise

A little while ago (well it was on April 6th to be exact) I thought up a nice little idea to start a thread going on the dgeek forums over on the A Dog's Breakfast Movie website.

The pitch went something like this:

I've always been impressed by this poetic form (Haiku) and
its ability to, with few words, sum up the essence of
a thought, a feeling, a moment or in this case
a Stargate Atlantis episode.

So for those of you who don't know the form is three lines
first line 5 syllables, second line 7 syllables, third line 5 syllables
so 5 - 7 - 5 ... ok. An alternate shorter form is 3 - 5 - 3 ... either will do.

See if you can guess the episode ..... then have a go yourself

Me first:

at the end floating
in darkness inspiration
re-awakens self

Well the thread bumbled along as threads do, gathering a little momentum and more Haiku along the way. So I started to record the offerings in a list, thinking, oh ... this will make interesting reading if we ever complete the 60 verses necessary to cover the first three seasons of Atlantis sometime next Christmas .... Then .... three days ago the thing suddenly took off big time .... !!!

So followed 200 or so posts, three nights with almost no sleep (as my main playmates were situated on the other side of the Atlantic) ... and most importantly ALL 60 Haiku - and then some!!!

The main impetus for this? Well ... although I had thought it but not said anything, someone eventually did suggest that the completed Haiku project would make a nice birthday gift for one Mr. David Hewlett, Writer and Director of and Actor in A Dog's Breakfast and also (of course) the man behind the outrageously snarky (but exceedingly loveable) Dr. Rodney Meredith McKay in Stargate Atlantis.

Many, many, many thanks to Pixel, dpainter, ankhmutes, Icarus, Shawna, Becky S, Netty, and Scifi_lemon who share authorship of what follows with myself, Amararti. The Haiku have no titles but appear in season and episode order (be warned though - some episodes have more than one Haiku). There may be SPOILERS towards the end for those of you who have yet to see the back half of Season 3.

if you want to play guess the episode then you might prefer to take a look a the PDF version first - it is also prettier!

So here we have it: Atlantis from Rising to Flying - the story so far ...

Season 1

the challenge offered
to fly through unexplored skies
cannot be ignored

salvation this time
surface of empty ocean
breached by gleaming spires

something harmless, small,
to fuel a man's obsession...
and a new courage

to thread the needle
should have been routine now lives
hang in the balance

our new friends are close
new enemies seem closer
should we link the two

bird falls from the sky
treasure tempts to lead astray
never felt so old

folly of the people
weapon hidden inside them
their decision made

not all that they seem
facade covers so much more
hid 'neath secret doors

misty illusions
false reunions, where are we?
live to try again

evil incarnate here
with elemental force
threatens our city

a calm in the storm
slaughter fear uncertainty
city in peril

you cannot have her
not while I draw breath nor shall
engulfing ocean

truth in a mirror
my life restrains his desire
my death is my gift

a frightening death
slow, but sudden, right on time
cured for some too late

another eden
desire for companionship
leaves vulnerable

a perfect lady
mysterious, beautiful
much more than she seems

Sleeping Beauty wakes
deja vu heroism
doom but all safe now

trust misplaced
our dream of power
snatched away

loved ones far away
cannot know all we saw and
did before we died

fears, suspicions reign
nightmares frighten, stir self-doubt
blessing in disguise

not the first nor last
tragic noble sacrifice
made to buy us time

maybe I'm crazy
but someone has to do it
I guess it's goodbye

Season 2

thought I had lost him
sometimes, death comes way to close
for now, luck wins out

a killer lurking
one to fight with brains not brawn
a page from Sheppard's book

was lost but now found
stronger, faster, but yet less
now one lost again

a solo player
your thoughts are no counterpoint

trapped on an island
cruel and unusual
now the great escape

trust the sacrifice
at the altar of ego
not infallible

vulnerable child
but do not be deceived for
her bite is deadly

never felt like this
remarkable, yet scary
like a bad, bad dream

a call from my home
moving through the dark after
centuries asleep

Peter Pan bids us
battle pirates in the sky
and we must follow

timidity lost
raw power surges through me
enemies vanquished

lost in a bubble
where are you?

now he thinks I'm smart.
he's gonna get it from me!
damn Canadian...

a warning from home
explosive situation
force crossing a line

lost, alone, afraid
wisdom comes to comfort me
it's been a bad day

noble lords rule serfs
misery for those who toil
rebellion comes

rescue just in time
grant true lovers a farewell
headed for divorce

a treasure offered
a team missing or slaughtered
a power toppled

double helix morphs
evil stripped away it seems
too good to be true

a group of people
trapped at the end of a world
best way out is through

can we believe them?
new friends with everything we need
wolf in sheep's clothing

Season 3 (may be spoilers)

in desperate straits
cocoons hatch and migrate back
must follow the plan

you'd think I would learn
meddling with people this way--
people I should save...

see the world a new
should have listened from the start
so don't remind me

the home I once loved
ghosts memories violence
time to finish it

corrupted offspring
of an ancient race - cold fire
of hatred fuels them

harsh reality
life is a waking nightmare
yearning for return

I had never thought
to be saved by such a one.
Neither had my friends...

how can he not know?
it isn't freedom, it's fear.
not me, not at all

sister sees double
one of these is not quite right
but it's a nice change

how can we fight it
what we fear the most turns one
against the other

I had to leave to
realize that I belong
this is my true home

they are in our minds
so plant a seed - a falsehood
to deceive them all

Doctor Dolittle
questions rise in nightmares
helios the key

familiar faces
one conniving, one evil
get what they deserve

at the end floating
in darkness inspiration
re-awakens self

playing with their lives
McKay and Sheppard face off
it's SIMS Atlantis

actions have impact
make amends and discover
you are not a god

survival of sorts
hollow victory for one
now shepherd them home

just another day
mistakes, choices, the results
but why? why this day?

realization dawns
friendship lost forever, I
face the day alone

a very deep sleep
literally, not unlike
a watery grave

everyone's below...
so who's running the city?
Heightmeyer and Lorne

new friends go missing
through mazes to new terror
danger still to come

offense from afar
poking a sleeping dragon
our enemy's back

.... the story ... as they say ... continues .............