Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

Tallis Steelyard: Pictures From an Exhibition Blog Tour – The Market — April 12, 2018

Tallis Steelyard: Pictures From an Exhibition Blog Tour – The Market

Something entirely different from me today. I am extremely thrilled and delighted to be a part of Tallis Steelyard’s blog tour am proud to be hosting today’s story, which is entitled ‘The Market. ‘  If you would like to get the low-down on the backstory then please hop over to Tallis’ blog here.

Now, a word from the man himself:

Tallis Steelyard and Jim Webster proudly present

Tallis Steelyard. The Festival, and other stories.

Available from

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. In here
Tallis touches upon child rearing, politics as a performance art, the joy of
dance and the advantages that come with good manners. Discover why Madam
Dolbart was forced to constantly hire new cooks, marvel at the downfall of
Dash Blont, lecher, libertine, and philanderer. Whatever happens, do not
pass through life without knowing of the advantages to be gained by an early
morning pick-me-up of horse dung spread fine on toast. You too can be
charming and elegant once you know how.
For a mere 99p, all this and more can be yours.

8) The market

Have you ever considered the complexity of provisioning a city the size of Port Naain? How many grain ships must dock each week? How many thousands of livestock are driven into the city from our hinterland? Yet it all happens without obvious drama. Each day there is enough fine quality horrocks to enable Falan Geer to serve truly excellent pies in his pie shop. But at the same time somebody supplies enough nondescript creatures composed mainly of fat and gristle to enable Mingin Webble to continue in production in his somewhat less prestigious establishment. Is not the world of commerce a miracle?
You might ask why a poet waxes lyrical on such a topic, but I served my time with Miser Mumster. Yes as a poet I can make words dance to serve my whim, but thanks to a sound early training I can also take pleasure in the magic of numbers and applaud the precise way they march in their serried ranks.

Still who, you might ask, looks to those other commodities which come into the city? After all, if I, Tallis Steelyard, wish for a cinnamon bun, I do not want to hear that there is an unexpected shortage of cinnamon in the city. But perhaps next week, tired of cinnamon, I fancy something sweeter, a honey cake perhaps? Who is going to ensure that there is enough honey in the city to pander to my whims?

Indeed there are even more esoteric commodities traded in our city and the demand is monitored very closely by skilled professionals. In this painting, Andreal introduces us to two of them. The lady in blue in our picture is Tannit Armley, while the young flower seller is Ettie Wakes.

Tannit specialises in spices and associated commodities. She is one of a number of traders who will drift between various tea and coffee houses, sipping infusions, nibbling exotic cakes and exchanging pleasantries with the customers. She will talk to the proprietors but also to those who wait at the tables. Thus she hopes to spot any trends in the market and take advantage of them. So last year it was she who spotted that lemon and ginger was falling from favour amongst older ladies who as winter came on were switching to hot chocolate with mint. Chocolate always gets increased sales at that time of the year but this was the first time that chocolate and mint had been fashionable. Tannit spotted the trend and it was she purchased enough mint to get the city through winter. Incidentally, she also cornered the market and made rather a lot of money in the process.

That being said, her trade is always uncertain. Last year she correctly predicted rum as the flavouring of choice for custards but other than buying half a boat load of rum as it came into Port Naain, there was little else she could do. Similarly whilst she was correct that the berries of the red-leaved smokethorn would be this year’s culinary sensation, due to transport considerations, by the time the berries arrived, fashion had moved on. This explains why Porridge Vinney and other street vendors were offering smokethorn as one of their flavourings. Tannit was faced with getting rid of her stock at fire-sale prices or paying for warehouse space to store rotting fruit.

Young Ettie Wakes on the other hand specialises in monitoring a very different market. She sells her flowers outside the places where you go to be seen. She it is who watches the ladies and gentlemen come and go and works out who are the rising stars of the social scene, and who are destined to fade and disappear.

It was Ettie who defied opinion which declared that Tannit Armley was finished as mistress of Alaman Just. She it was who always sold Tannit her posy as she was escorted into ‘The Stack’, Port Naain’s main theatre, on Alaman’s arm. She it was who sold a posy to Sissie Toolittle the following evening when she was Alaman’s lady of choice at the theatre. At that point most people had written Tannit off.

But Ettie told those who relied upon her intelligence not to snub Tannit too soon. Sure enough, the next evening whilst Sissie Toolittle accompanied Alaman to the Sinecurists Ball, Tannit also attended. She stopped and surveyed Ettie’s posies.

Ettie asked if there was anything in particular she was looking for. Verona flashed her a smile which showed all her teeth, and answered, “Something with a good sharp edge.”

With that she took a perfect rose, squared her shoulders and with her head held high walked into the ballroom looking neither to the right nor the left.

Obviously everybody knows the story, and how Alaman Just ended up kneeling at Tannit’s feet, held there by his wife who had a tight grip on his ear.

Indeed two days later, at a soiree I was helping to organise, I overheard Madam Just say to a friend, “If a man will not be loyal to his mistress, he will not be loyal to his wife.”

Apparently Madam Just and Tannit take tea together at least twice a week, and neither of them will pass young Ettie without buying a posy from her.


#FundayMonday You May Write Me Down In History — December 4, 2017

#FundayMonday You May Write Me Down In History

I wrote this poem a while ago in response to a challenge where we had to use a line of a well-known poem and use it to write one of our own.  I used the first line from ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou ‘You may write me down in history.’

If you enjoyed those poems, and have time for a cuppa then you might like to check out my book Rhymes of the Times. It has many more poems like this and is perfect for dipping in and out of when you fancy a little pick-me-up.

Rhymes of the Times

Click here to be taken to my author page where you can purchase the book.

Free-For-All Friday — March 4, 2016

Free-For-All Friday

Free for all Friday

It’s Friday, it’s Springtime (ahem, for some of us), and I have got a plethora of posts for your delight. Please go and visit these wonderful blogs as you are sure to find many more delights lurking there!

Wendy of the Rock This post made me laugh, I could totally relate to it as well, sadly!

Like Mercury Colliding I just loved this. Kat wrote the perfect haiku for it.

Annette’s Place This is a lady after my own heart, and I enjoyed this.

Wild Daffodil Daffy is so clever and creative and this is just one of the many brilliant things she has made.


So there you have a real mixed bag of goodies to keep you going! Enjoy!

Happy Friday!

Episode 500: Expanding Comments. — September 16, 2015

Episode 500: Expanding Comments.

Once I have commented on a post and interacted a bit with the blogger responsible for it, I tend not to think anymore about it. However, today for Writing 101, I am going to write my post expanding on a comment that I left on another blog.

The lovely Daffy  very often combines two different challenges into one post, and makes a damn good job of it too! I was impressed that she entitled the post ‘Yellow’ as that covered everything perfectly. I commented as much too,

Now, as many of you know, yellow is my favourite colour, and I have a lovely (well at least I think so) yellow car which I wrote about here. Anyway, yesterday I went to pick my sister up after work and was a little early (as usual)! I sat in my car daydreaming when I heard a thump.

I looked up and thee was this cat sitting on my bonnet,  looking straight at me. I nearly jumped out of my skin, but grabbed my phone and got a picture. He hopped up onto the roof, jumped down onto the boot and then disappeared!

How odd, Anyway, I forgot about it and two minutes later he was back, only this time he jumped on my side of the bonnet and was mewing at me (as you can see in the picture). I didn’t know what he wanted but off he flounced again but not before I got another picture of him. He is after all, very pretty with his yellowish fur and blue eyes.

When my sister arrived, I told her about him; she already knows him as he belongs to the people she works for, and is called ‘Cloud.’ Apparently he is a big wimp and normally shies away from people, so I must have been honoured to have had him come to see me.

Must have been my pretty yellow car!

Friday Free-for-All: #15 — June 19, 2015

Friday Free-for-All: #15

It’s Friday already, and time to share some more wonderful posts that have caught my eye over the last week. By the way, If anyone else wants to share something that they have particularly enjoyed, then by all means leave a link and we can go to check it out. This week I have some great thoughts on different topics for you to ponder over.

Lilypupslife This blog is written by Lily who is living and coping with Bipolar. This post I  thought really interesting as it is good to know what others think about things.

Reflections. This is another great post giving advice. I use this programme myself (not to its fullest potential as I do not understand it completely yet, but another read of this post should sort me out)!

Tales From The Family Crypt This is when truth really is stranger than fiction – but is it ‘too good to be true’

A Prompt Reply. There has been a challenge going around which has provoked some wonderful posts. I really liked this one as I have had first-hand experience of the effects!

Aimer Boyz This is a blog that I have recently started following, I really like. We definitely have a similar sense of humour!

So there you have your little weekly treat. Enjoy and have a very happy Friday!

Free-For-All Friday #10 — May 15, 2015

Free-For-All Friday #10

Welcome to my Friday Free-For-All, the 10th one already! There have been some more wonderful posts this week which I would like to share with you. As usual, I have tried to choose a variety of different  blogs which are all brilliant in their own way. Please do go and check them all out.

runawaynunsandleprechauns This is rather a funny little poem that really made me laugh. It is short and sweet and I know you will enjoy it, especially if you are a dog lover.

Dublin Housewife This is another hilarious post from the wonderful Bernie Rose! I just love her style of writing; she is witty, and really brings her conversations to life.

A Momma’s View This post is a reminder to us all really. It may seem pretty obvious, but the point needs to be re-iterated as it does not seem to be sinking in for some people, which is a terrible shame.

The Indecisive Eejit I included this post because I could really resonate with the frustration felt here. Sometimes, despite our best efforts we still can’t seem to get anywhere. I really admire this blogger and have the utmost respect for her.

But I Smile Anyway. Ritu is one of the most creative and talented people around. I don’t know how she fits everything into her day, and manage to stay so cheerful and bright. She is also an inspirational teacher who any child would be lucky to have.

Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman This is a blog that I have only just started following, however it has so much to offer, This particular post I can identify with so much!

I hope you all enjoy these posts as much as I did. Have a wonderful Friday!

Episode 329: You Know You Are Addicted to Blogging When…… — May 14, 2015

Episode 329: You Know You Are Addicted to Blogging When……

  • One of the first things you do in the morning is to log on to see whether you have any comments or not.
  • You have the ‘WordPress’ App on every device you own and are not afraid to use it!
  • Even when at work, as soon as you have a break, you check your mobile phone for notifications.
  • Whenever something happens, especially if it is funny, you have to blog about it.
  • You have to put your mobile on ‘silent’ at night, because if you hear it vibrate you cannot rest until you have looked at it to see if it is a notification from WordPress.
  • Your family knows exactly where to find you…at your laptop blogging.
  • In conversation, you find yourself saying…”Oh yes, I read/heard about that on (insert blog name).”
  • You find yourself becoming interested in statistics for once in your life, just so you can figure out how many ‘hits’ you have had!
  • You lap up any information you can that gives hints and tips on becoming a better blogger!
Episode 313: Five Things I Have Learned About Blogging! — May 4, 2015

Episode 313: Five Things I Have Learned About Blogging!

  • Don’t forget to proofread! Now I am one of those people who, once I have written something, unless there is a glaringly obvious mistake, then I might not notice it, despite re-reading the whole post to check for errors. I have hit ‘publish’ before then have gone into the article at a later date and found a typo in the very first word! How embarrassing! Mind you, even worse is when I have commented on other blogs and made a few typos!
  • Interact with others. This may seem bloody obvious, but you can’t afford to be shy. I know I was very daunted by commenting on other blogs, but we all like to know we are doing something right, so a little encouraging remark can go a very long way; sometimes you might even get a reply!
  • Be careful what you say. Again, this might be blindingly obvious, but if you are having a bit of a rant and rave about someone who has annoyed you, the chances are they will find out about it! Once a post has been published, it is there for all to see, so think twice about putting up drunken pictures of yourself in a heap on the floor. It’s not pretty!
  • Learn how to connect with social media, If you want people to read your blog, and are a dunce when it comes to using social media, you need to learn how it works. So many people use it, that you are missing out on a huge audience if you do not know how to share on these sites. This is a work in progress for me, which I am getting to the bottom of as it is going to take a bit of time, I think!
  • Be passionate about what you write. Nobody wants to read a boring post that drones on and on with no feeling or emotion. Who wants to be dragged down to the depths of despair by a dismal post? Exactly! I find that when I have written a positive and enthusiastic post then I get more comments and likes. Readers can pick up on when you are passionate or excited about something, and it influences the way they feel about it too.
Episode 296: Blog Feed! — April 19, 2015

Episode 296: Blog Feed!

Well today is the last day of the Easter holidays and it’s back to work tomorrow after two weeks off. It has been so nice to have this time off, especially as the weather has been pretty kind as well, on the whole.

The one thing I will miss though is being able to spend more time on my blogging. I have been able to feed my blogging addiction quite a lot over the last two weeks, and instead of my hunger being sated, I find that my appetite has grown!

I am actually going to have to use the ‘schedule’ button a bit more than I normally do as I like to write ‘off the cuff’ about whatever takes my fancy. It is odd to  think though that before September last year when I started this blog, I had never done any sort of writing as such.

I have always loved poems, and little ditties which I still like to do now, along with a newfound extra; I have discovered the Haiku (thanks to dear Hugh and Ronovan).They are also pretty fun to do, although as there are rules with them, they require a bit more thought (stretching my poor brain to the limit)!

Given my love of words, and being such a prolific reader as well, it is odd that I never really considered writing before. Mind you, it probably has a lot to do with confidence really, as my idea of people who wrote, were either of scholarly types, locked away in the attic for hours scribbling frantically, or of the bright and funny young women bashing away at a temperamental typewriter knocking out their latest ‘bonkbuster!’

Obviously, I fit into neither of those categories, nor do I have anything specific that I like to write about, apart from the fact that I do prefer to have some sort of humour running through it. Perhaps that is why I have become addicted to blogging. It seems to fit with me perfectly, because not only can I write to my heart’s content, I also get to interact with other bloggers too. That for me is the main course and the dessert!

Episode 293: A Massive Thank-You! — April 18, 2015

Episode 293: A Massive Thank-You!

I am thrilled this morning to see that I have now got 500 followers! I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am about that.

I would like to say Thank You to each and every one of you, for your support of my blog. When I started out I didn’t know if anyone would read it. How that has changed in such a short time.

I have ‘met’ lots of other bloggers and read so many different blogs. There are so many funny,clever and talented people out there and I am proud to be part of the blogging community which has been such an enriching experience.

Thank you so much.

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