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Beauty And Beast (11 May 2017)
At the beginning* of this month* we went to see our local May Fair. The fair starts with a parade around the roads, lasting about half an hour. As the area is divided by a railway line, we have two chances to get photos of the procession. We watch them going down the road, then we dash* over the bridge, wait a short while, and then see them again as they come up the road on the other side.* This year it was led by a drumming team, followed by the prospective May Queen in a luxurious open top car, dressed in white and sitting high up on top of the back seat. Walking behind were her maids and pages, and the current May Queen, all dressed in white and green with yellow trim. They were followed by another set of May Queen and entourage from the neighbouring realm, wearing pink and white. Behind these were groups of youngsters from the local dance and performing arts clubs, dancing, jumping and singing, making the most of their chance to wear their costumes in public, and make up their faces and hair with wonderful decorations.
* Omission phrase "at the (be)ginn(ing)" "of this (mon)th" "on the oth(er) side"
* "dash" Ish goes up after D, down after T, to give additional differentiation
The entourages are quiet and demure, as befits royalty, each group surrounded by flowery garland ropes and bowers held by parents and helpers. The dancers* were full of enthusiasm and energy, thoroughly enjoying their moment of fame*. Later on the May Queen was crowned in the village hall by the Mayor, and there were displays on stage by the dancers throughout the afternoon. After that came the maypole dances by the new May Queen and her group, to the accompaniment* of traditional music. I always admire how the smaller ones manage to remember all the moves, but as they all hold their maypole ribbon in pairs, the very youngest do have someone to follow and join hands with.
* "dancers" Insert the vowel, as the outline is the same as "dinosaurs" which are mentioned later.
* "fame" In some contexts it may be helpful to insert the vowel, so it is not misread as the contraction "familiarity"
* "accompaniment" Keep the last Nt stroke short, as "accompanying" is similar
The car park and side road were full of fairground rides and food stalls, and the village hall garden had more stalls of food and items for sale.* As I wandered to the back, I noticed a square of the grass in the corner was roped off, with a large tent at the rear. As I got closer I saw the words Rent A Dinosaur on it and a lady* with a baby dinosaur on her arm and children crowding round in amazement. This was quite a change of pace, from May Queen beauty to dinosaur beast in just a few yards. Their leaflet showed a much larger prehistoric beast on the loose, and apparently walking around and doing its beastly* thing, wowing the kids with its beady eyes, sharp claws and rows of steak knife teeth.
* "for sale" Downward L to allow the join
* "lady" and "lad" Always insert the vowels
* "beastly" Omits the lightly sounded T, and this also helps to distinguish it from "bestial" which does have the T stroke
I was determined to get some video of this monster on the prowl but had to take my place behind the rope at least 20 minutes before the start time, in order to* get a good view. The show started with several of the handlers walking around with the baby dinos in their arms, and the children were very happy to get a close-up view as each one went along the line, looking round and opening its mouth. This was all very friendly, civilised and amenable for small children and no doubt they all wanted one as a pet, especially as there were more little dinos resting quietly in a large pet cage right in front of the children. At least*, that is until the time came to introduce us to the much bigger Dexter. Unfortunately Dexter was sleeping in the tent and everyone had to shout for him to come out. Audience excitement and anticipation was mounting, and not just the kids.
* Omission phrase "in ord(er to)"
* "at least" and "at last" Always insert the second vowel
A big dinosaur head slowly emerged from the tent door curtains followed by the very large body and long swaying* tail of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, in shades of green and brown, with long feathers on his head and all down his back. I was busy holding the camera aloft and just wish I had been able to see the childrenís faces as Dexter walked out. The show continued with a mixture of education and entertainment, and a demonstration of how Dexter can locate his dinner by smell, even with a scarf over his eyes, while a brave young volunteer held a very large pretend steak behind her back. I think the children were divided into those who wanted Dexter as a pet (the minority*) and those who were now changing their mind (the majority). The latter choice was much more rational and wise, as this dino was just a baby but already big enough to see members of the audience as possible snacks and their parents as dinners. But Dexter is well trained, tamed* and obedient, and managed to curb* his natural instincts.
* "swaying" Similarly "sway" and "swayer", but "swayed" uses SW circle and stroke D
* "minority" This can also be pronounced "minn-"
* "curb" This spelling means to restrain or hold back. The spelling "kerb" is the raised stonework at the side of a road, and the outline has a dot vowel.
* "tamed" Keep the Md short, as "tame" would also make sense
The handlers were very skilled, with no upset children, and the team would be constantly adjusting their performance in relation to the* reactions of the young audience, to keep everyone happy and entertained. Of course it did help to see the operatorís legs in full view, attached to the insides of Dexterís legs and wearing army camouflage colours. After the show, everything else seemed rather calm and staid in comparison, which is just as this friendly village fair ought to be. I knew that the May Fair was a longstanding traditional event going back very many years, but I think 65 million* years is about as old and traditional as you can get. (907 words)
* Omission phrase "in (re)lation (to) the"
* "65 million" Use M stroke for "million" only with arabic numerals. If you write the number in shorthand, then use the full outline for "million". Same applies to N for hundred and Ith for thousand.
Instructor Phrases Section 4 (15 May 2017)
These sentences practice the phrases in Section 4 pages 204-5 of the Instructor, Doubling.
I think there will be a meeting next week* and I am sure there is much that we need to discuss on this particular subject.
In their opinion everything is in order and they will be making their way to the office today.
I believe there will be a note of this in their statement today in order that the facts* can be made clear to everyone.
I wish there were some other way of selling the items in order to* recover our costs.
My dear fellow* citizens, I know there is much to say and I know there is not a lot of time to say it.
My dear Sir, I see there is a new book out on this subject* and I know there will be a lot of interest.
* Omission phrases "ne(k)s(t w)eek" "in order that the (f)acts" "in ord(er to)"
* "fellow" Only written thus in this phrase, otherwise full strokes
* "on this subject" The Ses circle is representing both S sounds, to help with reading back
My dear Madam, We will certainly write to you if there is to be another sale in that department.
My dear friend, I was wondering if there is a possibility* that we could travel by some other means.
Whenever there is a sale on, my family has to be there and spend more than their budget allows.
This employee has been there for many years even though there is little work to do in that office.
I have been there to see it for myself and I wondered if there was any way to avoid* this problem.
I have their address and I believe that they have been there for some time and are enjoying their stay there.
* "possibility" Optional contraction
* "avoid" and "evade" Always insert the second vowel, as these are similar in outline and meaning, especially necessary when they are phrased and therefore out of position
How can there be any possibility* of taking action before there is a decision on this matter?
They lived above their shop and then found a house in which there is more space to live.
We have their address at last* and shall be there at three in the afternoon for their* party.
We heard from their manager that they have taken more than their allocated time for the job.
We are doing nothing pending their decision or some other instruction that they may wish to give us.
* "possibility" Optional contraction
* "for their" In phrases "if" can be doubled, "for" is not, to provide some differentiation, this is because position cannot easily be shown with some doubled curves
* "at last" and "at least" Always insert the second vowel
They travelled over there a little before their expected time, in other words* they arrived early.
We think they are* doing quite a good job but in some other respects we doubt if there is time to complete it.
We are willing to visit them, if it be their wish to see us, but we will have to wait upon their decision.
We have been there before, to see if their business is doing as well as they say in their reports to us.
I think that in their case we can make an exception but then there are others where we cannot do so.
These items are very rapidly increasing their value over their original cost. (455 words)
* "We think they are" If the speaker said "we think they're" then you could use a doubled Ith stroke
* Omission phrase "in other wo(r)ds"
Kite Festival (16 May 2017)
On the 14th of this month* we went to the 19th Streatham* Kite Festival on Streatham Common in South London. We saw it for the first time* last year, and we were really looking forward* to this yearís event. It has a very happy and excited atmosphere of anticipation, with everyone there just to enjoy the displays and fly their own kites. We were very glad that the day started bright and breezy, after some overnight* and early morning showers. Sun and warmth are both optional, but the breezes are essential and the weather gave us all these at once.* The Common is ideal for kite flying as the back of it slopes gently upwards and I think this must increase the wind that blows in from the downhill* direction, and away from the main road at the base. There are large mature trees dotted around the edges and it is up to the flyers to avoid getting their cords too near to these, if they donít wish to lose their kites in the branches.
* Omission phrases "this (mon)th" "for (the) first time" "looking fo(r)wa(r)d" "at (wu)ns"
* "Streatham" Pronounced "strettum"
* "overnight" The first place diphthong is joined at the end for convenience, an exception to the main rule, similarly "nigh" "deny" "nitre" "neither"
There was a variety of arena displays where the stunt kites do their dances in the air to music. As the action is all up in the air, everyone seated around and further away can watch the spectacle with a clear view. The kite club members had their larger kites flying at a greater altitude*, where the wind is constant and the kite stays almost motionless. Their spools were on gear that allowed them to be spiked securely into the ground. I gave a little tug on one of the very high flying kite cords and it was absolutely solid, which made it very clear how much pull the kite is exerting and how easily it could propel a person or a sand yacht along. No need to hitch your wagon to a star, as a kite will surely do the job. One of the tethered kites had a wind powered bubble machine attached to the lower end, a fun way to indicate the wind direction and strength.
* "altitude" and "latitude" Always insert the first vowel
Last yearís giant blue teddy bear was replaced this time by a bright yellow one, as well as an equally* large multi-coloured octopus, a grey whale, a large blue whale, a crocodile, a green lobster and a penguin. Best of all was a visit from that special person, Mr Superman himself, in his trademark red and blue costume, with his black quiff hairstyle and streaming red cape. He floated and undulated over the crowds, and when he sank nearer to the ground, a group of four small boys were running up and down next to the rope barrier, trying to catch his feet, which they actually did once or twice. Maybe they were hoping to be lifted aloft, a desire not likely to be realised or allowed.
* "equally" The short form includes the "-ly" ending, but sometimes it is clearer to insert the dot
This scene looked like a good story or film in the making, a huge protective Superman figure hovering over the people, ready to fly off and attack anything that was threatening to harm or hurt us, or cause trouble. He had a good view of everything, and his hands and fingers were waving around, as if impatient to get to grips with a problem and solve it as efficiently and peacefully as he knows how. I am very glad to say that nothing untoward happened, which is just how Superman and the rest of us like it, a congenial and enjoyable day out for hundreds of families and children.
I saw several new kite characters this time, other than the usual birds, butterflies and basic diamond and triangle shapes. There was a shiny oval hologram kite that was spinning rapidly as it flew, and resembled a blinking light in the air. There was a string of about 25 mini kites, which were released one by one until they were all in the air. Someone had made a sailing ship, with the central sails in the form of* a box kite, which did fly but I think it probably needed to be flown quite high to get the best of the stable airflow. I saw several small black bats, which being wider than tall seemed to swoop about quite well in a lifelike manner. Some of the children were running around with swirling kites on the end of a stick, so no string or height needed and the stick can be tied to something in the back garden once they get home.
* Omission phrase "in the form (of)"
By the afternoon the common was packed with people. At the lower end families were sitting around on picnic blankets eating and drinking. Further up, although the slope was covered in people, there was still plenty of room for everyone to fly their kites without tangling. The food and ice cream stalls were working hard to supply everyone as fast as they could manage. The kite selling tents were crowded with queues trailing behind like a kite tail, with excited children looking forward* to choosing one and walking away opening the packets* and impatient to get it assembled, with mum or dadís help. It seemed a shame to leave it all, like coming away from the seaside and its holiday atmosphere, but I had a camera full of pictures and videos from every angle, so that I can revisit the event in comfort over the next year. (887 words)
* Omission phrase" "looking fo(r)wa(r)d"
* "packets" Insert the second vowel, so it is not misread as "packs" or "bags". It is helpful also to always insert the first vowel in "pockets", as all these could be misread for each other in various contexts.
See blog "Kites" May 2016
Golf Rules (23 May 2017)
A few days ago I went to a park that has a public golf course on one side of it, behind some woodland. I walked through the sunlit woods, now at their greenest after several days of heavy rain last week*. The birds were singing loudly and the tangled undergrowth, long grasses and nettles were waving about in the breezes, an ideal secluded habitat for wildlife. To one side was part of the golf course where the grass was a perfect sward of smooth solid green, closely cut, with not a weed* in sight, despite the proximity of the woodlandís abundant supply of seeds of everything except fine lawn grass. I went over to have a look and saw an oval bunker, half full of cloudy water with a sandy beach all round the edges.
* Omission phrase "las(t w)eek"
* "weed" Helpful to insert the vowel, as this is about "woods"
* "bunker" Hooked or doubled Ing stroke includes the K sound i.e. ing-ker or ing-ger. For the sound ing-er just add Ar stroke, as in "singer".
I continued through the woodland and came to another fairway, and wandered up the slope alongside it. There were* more sandy bunkers and, as there was no-one about hitting golf balls*, I went out a short way to look at the closest one. And there I saw it, a solitary lonely little white ball, sitting pitifully* and sadly in the water at the shallow end. So what happened up to this point? Was it left there and then got rained on? Did it land in the water and the golfers give up on it when they found it there, or use another ball? What is the correct procedure when it lands in a water-filled bunker? Later on I looked up some of the rules of the game and found lots* of instructions on dealing with casual water, water hazards, loose impediments and obstructions, various specific situations in which you can move, lift or replace a ball, and many other injunctions against interfering with its position, along with instances when it is allowed and necessary to do so.
* "golf balls" If you were using the word "golf" all the time, i.e. in employment, then intersecting the G stroke, maybe with L hook, would be more efficient. A new intersection is best decided on in advance of taking the matter, as clashes may only become apparent during transcription, resulting in errors, e.g. "There are new golf/government rules in force regarding safety on the fairway."
* Omission phrase "there (w)ere"
* "pitifully" Full strokes P and T, to distinguish it from "beautifully" which has a halved B
* "lots" Insert the vowel, as it could look like "masses" which has a similar meaning
As I looked back down the fairway, I saw some golfers walking up in the distance with their caddy trolleys in tow. I went back into the woodland for safety, to save myself from flying white globes and to get out of the way of their game, which they canít really carry on with while a walker* is hovering around the edges. The little trodden track between the nettles brought me back to the main woodland path. The nettle patches were wide, thick and tall, and this brought up another question*. How many golf balls are lying in the nettle-beds, gradually becoming mossy and covered in debris? Can they be removed and placed elsewhere in order to* be played, and how much damage to the wildlife habitat would searching for the ball entail, or would it even be allowed?
* "walker" Derivative of "walk" so it just adds the Ar stroke. Compare "wicker" which is not a derivative, and so has W + Kr strokes.
* "question" Optional contraction
* Omission phrase "in ord(er to)"
I made my way back to my starting point, as it was nearly time to meet up and make our visit to the ornamental* gardens. On the way I heard, and then saw, two crows at the top of a tall tree, cawing and jumping around. Crows are big birds and they can probably lift up a golf ball if they really wanted to. Magpies collect interesting items, and if a crow did the same, what are the golf rules? The questions* are endless*, and I suspect that the rules will proliferate to cover every circumstance, especially when something out of the ordinary happens and has to be accounted for. We went on to see the flower gardens and all thoughts of golf vanished amidst the rose bowers, topiary, double daisies and wallflowers. (584 words)
* "ornamental" Upward R to allow the following joins, compare "ornithology" which has Ar stroke to allow its joins with the N and Ith strokes
* "questions" Optional contraction
* "endless" Compare outline for "needless" which has full N + D strokes, which distinguishes it and also allows the first vowel to be put in clearly
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable Ė if anything is excellent or praiseworthy Ė think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
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