Hey, Singularity!

In between washing socks and being five minutes late for everything, I like to spend a little time contemplating the mysteries of the universe. That’s why my ideal dinner guest would be the theoretical infinitely dense singularity containing all space and time, which possibly existed before the Big Bang. Or possibly didn’t.

The conversation, I imagine, would go something like this;

Hey, Singularity

Hey, singularity,
Endlessly dense,
Impossibly small,
Completely immense,

There’s one or two questions,
I’ve got in my head,
So if you don’t mind…
Ok, go ahead.

So just how hot are you?
Oh nothing’s more hot,
But there IS nothing else,
So that won’t mean a lot.

And what came before you?
There is no before.
All time is inside me,
No less and no more.

But what is beside you?
There IS no beside.
All space is inside me –
Beside is inside.

So everything’s in you?
We’ll sort of. I’m bluffing,
I DO contain everything –
But, also, nothing.

You’re killing me now.
Hey that’s no big deal –
I can’t really kill you,
You’re not even real.

And neither am I,
Well probably not,
The truth might be weirder.
What else have you got?

No more! Head’s exploding!
Ooh THAT’s a good plan,
I might try that too.
Ok… here we go… BANG!


©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Big long German words

Some people say German is an ugly language, but I’ve always found it incredibly enjoyable to speak, wonderfully descriptive, and, at times, hilarious! Besides, writing this allowed me to spend some time rifling through my Duden German dictionary, which took me right back to the happy place of my student days.

So, if you’re ready for a bit of fun oral exercise…

Big long German words

Big long German words are such a banquet for the ears,
They’re scary on the page, but please, just set aside your fears!
For like those German vehicles we’ve taken to our hearts,
The perfect German word is made from perfect German parts.

“Staubsauger” means hoover, or a “sucker up of dust”,
A “Büstenhalter” is a bra, or “holder for the bust”,
“Liebestrunken” means besotted, “drunk or high on love”,
A “Handschuh” is “a shoe for hands” – you’ve got it, it’s a glove!

“Gluhbirne” means “glow pear”, or a lightbulb, as you guessed,
“Brustwarzen” are nipples, simply “warts upon the breast”,
“Fahrtrichtungsanzeiger”? Well, that won’t take much unravelling,
It’s an indicator, or a “thing that shows which way you’re travelling”.

“Nacktschnecke” means “naked snail” – a slug to me and you,
“Durchfall” – well, that’s diarrhoea, or “stuff that falls straight through”,
“Fallschirmspringerschule” is a parachuting school,
And it means “a school for jumpers with umbrellas for a fall”!

So that’s the way it works! You see, it’s not TOO big or clever,
You just work out all the little parts, then stick them back together,
And now you’ve got the basics nailed, you won’t get stuck again
On words like “Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän”!


©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Ah, poor beleaguered estate agents. I’ve met some nice ones and some not-so-nice ones, but one thing NONE of them can resist is describing properties using those cheesy hackneyed phrases.

My personal favourite was in the description of a small property we sold a few years ago. The garage roof was transformed, by Estate-Agentese, into a “delightful outdoor terrace”. Magic!

So, while many of us know the lingo by now, here’s a quick poetic guide for those who may not!


Thinking of buying a house? I’m so pleased!
But first, I must teach you Estate-Agentese!
Estate agents, see, give some good information,
So long as, my friend, you can do some translation.

“A sought-after road in a popular area”,
(Everywhere else is more pricey or scarier)
“Local amenities easy to find!”
(Above a kebab place with rail tracks behind),
“In excellent decorative order throughout”,
(They painted the damp bits and touched up the grout),
“A beautiful garden, with large, well-stocked beds”,
(A postage stamp plot with some shrubs – mostly dead),

“A garage” (will house a mobility scooter),
“A study” (just room for a laptop computer),
“A lake” (a dry pond filled with brambles and nettles),
“A kitchenette” (space for a toaster and kettle),
“Priced for a quick sale” means somebody died there,
That, or there’s woodworm and dry rot inside there,
“In need of improvement” means stinking and vile,
And if they say “cosy”, then just run a mile!

Well, now you can speak some Estate-Agentese,
Go forth, my dear friend! And view properties!
And don’t look so worried; your prospects are rosy,
I’m sure, on your budget, you’ll find something “cosy”!


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Nina Parmenter x

You cannot beat a stick

My children have some great toys so  I feel a mixture of delight and slight irritation when they abandon them all for sticks.

No trip to a woodland, romp round a stately home, or quick pee in a layby is complete for my children without harvesting a stick. Gun-shaped sticks are among the most prized, although fights regularly break out over a good “staff”.

I am totally without scruples when it comes to disposing of them – however a 2 minute run round my house revealed the booty shown in the photograph. Yes. The sticks are winning.

You cannot beat a stick

Toy companies are pretty sly,
Their flashy ads are slick,
But still they cannot fathom why,