Home thoughts from home

You may know that my fellow blogger Richard Kefford and I have got an ongoing challenge with each other. We came across a blog which listed 73 different subjects it’s possible to blog about. Richard just randomly chose one of the subjects and wrote about it… then he did another… and I sensed a virtual gauntlet had been flung down. I took it up, and starting at number 1 on the list I began over the last few months to work my way through – as did Richard.

This might sound like silly writing fun, and I guess at first this is how we thought of it; however as the time went by and we worked our way down the list it really did become a challenge because we were writing well out of our individual comfort zones. I mostly write fiction, and mostly write long fiction, so to write something brief on a specific topic I did find quite tricky.

I have got to number 21 on the list, parody. Richard has a very quick wit and is so clever with word play, he managed this challenge quite early on… as I’m working down the list one by one I can’t avoid parody… I struggled… but here it is…


Home thoughts from home

Oh, to be in Uphill
Now the tide is high,
And whoever walks in Uphill
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the leaden sea and the muddy shore
Round the tide-line mud from the Severn Bore,
While the seagull squawks on the blackthorn bough
In Uphill – now!

And after low tide, when waves retreat,
And the rubbish dries, and sand worms excrete!
Look, where the fucus sea-weed on the coast
Spreads to the dunes bedraggled marine algae
Bladder-wrack and kelp – at the broke shells’ edge –
That’s the sand flea; he jumps each time so ably,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The jump despite his tiny stature!
And though the dunes look rough with hoary spray,
All will be dry at noontime and midday
The ice-cream cones, the little children’s dower
– Far sweeter than the unripe bramble’s berry.

© Lois Elsden 2018

… and here is the original by Robert Browning:

Home thoughts from abroad

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge –
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song
twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
– Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower.

Here is a link to Richard’s parody:


… and here is a link to the anthology Richard and i wrote with another friend, John Watts:


… and a link to my books:



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