Toby Jug Collector

You never know where you will find these wonderful lovable treasures, although they are a uniquely British phenomenon, people all around the globe collect them.  I inherited 35 Toby Jugs from my parents, who were avid collectors for many years.  My collection has grown to over 150 now and my problem is that I don’t have the space to display all of them, and it seems a shame to have them stored, but I still have a hard time passing them up when I see them at antique shows and auctions.  They all get along with each other and they look so content sitting on my shelves.  I talk with them and they are the best listeners.  I am so happy that I came to this auction today and spotted one of them.

A Toby Jug is also sometimes known as a Fillpot (or Philpot) and it can be a person that is typically shown seated or an animal.  The original Tobies date back to the 1760’s and they are pottery jugs of a seated person, or just the head of a recognizable person (often an English king).  The figure is often a heavy-set person, someone that seems jovial and it is common for them to be holding a mug of beer in one hand and a pipe of tobacco in the other while wearing 18th-century attire, including a long coat and a tricorn hat.  The tricorn hat forms a pouring spout, often with a removable lid, and a handle is attached at the rear.  Jugs are used for pouring, while mugs are used for drinking.  To determine if a piece is a jug or a mug, look at the top rim.  If the opening has a spout, it’s a jug.  If not, it’s a mug.  Jugs depicting just the head and shoulders of a figure are also referred to as Toby Jugs, although these should strictly be called “Character Jugs”, or face jugs, the wider historical term.

Some people say that the Toby Jug was named after the character of Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night.   Sir Toby Belch is a penniless drunkard who enjoys eating pickled herrings that makes him flatulent.  Others say that it comes from the French word “tope” which means to drink alcohol to excess, especially on a regular basis.  Most likely, it was named after a notorious 18th century Yorkshire drinker, Henry Elwes, who was known as “Toby Fillpot” (or Philpot) and was inspired by an old English drinking song, ‘The Brown Jug’, which paid tribute to Toby Fillpot, whose ashes were made into Toby’s jug.  The popular verses were first published in 1761, and under the name ‘Little Brown Jug’ this was a favorite of Glenn Miller.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt hosted by Yves with today’s prompt being “Choose an Antique”.

A Patch Of Snow On The Ground

As I started looking into the song ‘A Hazy Shade Of Winter’ written by Paul Simon, I was surprised to find out that it is not about winter.  The song came out on the 1966 Simon and Garfunkel Bookends album and it charted #30 in the UK and reached #13 in the US.  This song ‘A Hazy Shade Of Winter’ is about reflecting on your journey up to that point that you are at in life and realizing that a stage of life that you have gone through is over.  This song utilizes seasons as a metaphor (the springtime of my life) and (the sky is a hazy shade of winter) for the cycle of life.  Paul Simon seems to be lamenting about how he was looking for something (or someone) perfect, but he never found it, and now time is running out on his dreams.

The singer is looking back on their life, or at least a significant stage of it, wondering what became of their life, maybe because he feels like it is ending soon, or a momentous birthday is approaching.  He realizes that he missed out on some things and probably should have looked around harder, he might have taken a different path which would have lead to different opportunities and then he could have been guaranteed something more substantial, than what he ended up with, if only he weren’t so hard to please.  The leaves turned brown, and the sky became a hazy shade of winter and suddenly it might be Christmas time, as he hears the Salvation Army band, probably playing that tune ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’.

He wonders if life might be better down by the riverside, than what was planned, and there he will be able to carry a cup in his hand to collect the important things that life has to offer and look around.  He asks his friend to hang on to their hopes, knowing that is easier said than done, but if their hopes should pass away, they can build them again.  Thus they shouldn’t give up when things go wrong, or even when the situation seem hopeless, as there is always an opportunity to start over, if only they can pretend to believe, than they can succeed.

Winter has passed, the grass is high, the fields are ripe, he is entering the springtime of his life.  The seasons change with the scenery, weaving time in a tapestry and he wants to be remembered.  He thinks that it is funny how his memory skips while looking over manuscripts of unpublished rhyme, especially while he is drinking his vodka and lime.  He feels that life must hold a lesson and he would like others to learn from his experiences, especially since time goes by so quickly that most people won’t even notice till it is over and gone.  He urges his friend to think about the things that he said and take his advice, so their life will hold more meaning.  They should always be asking themselves, if they were able to get what they hoped for out of life.  Your destiny is there for the taking, if you choose to seize it.

In 1987, the Bangles recorded this song, and it hit #11 in the UK and #2 in the US.  The Bangles rocked up the song, giving it a modern production and more urgent sound.  They used all four of their voices, giving the vocals a much richer sound as well.  As Bangles’ singles go, this one was only beaten for chart performance by ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ and ‘Eternal Flame’.  Their version was used in the film Less Than Zero, in which Brad Pitt appears as an extra (Partygoer/Preppie Kid At Fight).

Time, time time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities

I was so hard to please
Don’t look around
The leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hear the Salvation Army band
Down by the riverside’s, there’s bound to be a better ride
Than what you’ve got planned

Carry your cup in your hand
And look around
Leaves are brown, now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That’s an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend that you can build them again
Look around
The grass is high
The fields are ripe
It’s the springtime of my life

Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won’t you stop and remember me
At any convenient time?
Funny how my memory skips while looking over manuscripts
Of unpublished rhyme
Drinking my vodka and lime
I look around
Leaves are brown, now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is “Seasons/Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall”.

Easter Music

I took my first stab at hosting another challenge on Friday, which basically went unnoticed, except for the 17 bloggers that clicked the like button, a few that made comments and I had one blogger who became a participant in this challenge, thanks Li.  It was a rock and roll post titled Rocket 88 and it was supposed to generate interest for people to join in, but it was almost a complete flop.  It was my first post for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music Challenges, which is a bi-weekly post and I guess that I am mentioning it to try and drum up business for my next post which will be on Friday May 3rd.  I plan to cover the Bob Marley song ‘I Shot The Sheriff” which was made famous by Eric Clapton, in case you want to check it out.  I guess I could blame my poor showing on the A to Z challenge that is going on now, as I think it has frazzled more than a few bloggers and this being my fourth monthly challenge in a row, I will be happy when I get to Z.

One great thing about Song Lyric Sunday is that there is no need for me to make any “Let’s win this for the Gipper” emotional speeches, as this SLS community always seems to be raring to go and ready to share their music.  Getting down to business, today we have the prompt Seasons/Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall and here on Earth, and we have seasons because our Earth is tilted (wonky) as it makes its yearly journey around our Sun.  The Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees.  This means that the Earth is always “pointing” to one side as it goes around the Sun, thus either the Northern Hemisphere, or the Southern Hemisphere is facing the Sun, that is unless the Earth is in equinox.  Earth’s orbit is not a circle, it is elliptical, so its distance from the Sun varies during the year.  During part of the year, Earth is closer to the Sun than at other times.  However, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are having winter when Earth is closest to the Sun and summer when it is farthest away, which seems pretty odd!  Thus seasons have more to do with what part of the Earth is facing the Sun, than the distance that the Earth is away from the Sun.  Seasons are reversed for the Southern Hemisphere, as to the what the Northern Hemisphere experiences.  Please be patient, and wait for me to approve your pingbacks, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Here are the “rules”:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to this post will eventually work, as long as you are being patient, but you can also place your link in the comments if you don’t like to wait.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Have fun and enjoy the music.

I am writing about the song ‘A Hazy Shade of Winter’ by Simon and Garfunkel this week. Next week I will write about the Muddy Waters song ‘Rollin’ Stone’. The upcoming prompts will be:
April 28, 2019 – Boogie/Rock/Rolling Stone
May 5, 2019 – Hurt/Pain/Agony/Suffer
May 12, 2019 – Mom/Mother/Flowers
May 19, 2019 – Dawn/Noon/Dusk/Midnight/Nocturnal/Diurnal

R Is For Roc

This post is not about Dwayne Johnson, as the roc that I am discussing today is a gigantic flying bird found in legends from Arabia.  They are also known in legends from parts of Europe, Africa and Asia.  They usually look at least something like eagles or vultures, and they are nearly identical to the thunderbirds of North America, or the Buddhist’s Garuda.  Thunderbirds inhabit the folklore of many regions, but are more closely associated with certain locales such as Pennsylvania, the Mississippi River valley, and The Enchanted Valley in Olympic National Park, located in the Pacific Northwest.  They are capable of creating storms and thunder when they fly.  A Garuda is a bird creature of Buddhist mythology that combines the features of Gods and Animals.  Its exact size is uncertain, its wingspan is said to be many miles long.  When a garuda flaps its wings it creates hurricane like winds that make the sky dark and blow houses down.

The gigantic legendary roc bird is said to have huge talons which allow them to carry off elephants and other large beasts for food.  It would pick up an elephant, fly high into the air, and drop it in order to kill it.  Its wingspan is nearly 50 feet and its feathers are 24 feet long.  It is mentioned in the famous collection of Arabic tales, The Thousand and One Nights, and by the Venetian traveler Marco Polo, who referred to it in describing Madagascar and other islands off the coast of eastern Africa.  Though Marco Polo did not claim to see the Roc himself, he eluded to a bird of impossible size that attacked animals what Arab navigators described as appearing near the island of Madagascar.  Historians write about an old Arab chart describing a group of islands in the Indian Ocean known as the “Islands of the Rukh”.  The famous Arab traveler, Ibn Batuta, who crossed the Indian Ocean in the 14th century, visiting the Maldives, could have sailed very near Seychelles and stated that he had seen the roc!  According to Marco Polo, Kublai Khan inquired in those parts about the roc and was brought what was claimed to be a roc’s feather, which may really have been a Raphia palm frond, leaf or leaf-like part of a palm.

The roc was supposed to be so colossal that its wings could eclipse the sun, and so large that drinking cups could be made of its nails.  In The Arabian Nights the roc appears on a tropical island during Sinbad’s second voyage and it carries Sinbad off to a mountain while he is clinging on to its foot.  Sinbad saw a roc’s egg that was half buried in the sands of Serindib, like a dome fifty feet in diameter.  Although this fabulous creature was described as eagle-like, the actual bird on which it was probably based was the flightless ostrich-like giant Elephant Bird Aepyornis maximus, which is believed to have inhabited Madagascar until about 1700.  Like the Roc, whose egg Sinbad mistook for the cupola of a great building, the giant elephant bird laid enormous eggs (with an internal volume of over two gallons).  Aepyornis is a genus of aepyornithid, one of three genera of ratite birds endemic to Madagascar until their extinction about 1000 A.D.  The species A. maximus weighed up to 540 kilograms (1,200 lb), and until recently was regarded as the largest known bird of all time.  Many semi fossilized specimens have been discovered.

Sinbad was a merchant’s son who travelled to many distant lands buying and selling goods.  On one of the many voyages, the merchant ship stopped at a beautiful, tree-covered island where Sinbad decided to take a nap.  When he awoke, he discovered that the ship had set sail without him!  Looking for a way to get off the island he saw a large white dome.  Just then a huge shadow fell over him.  Looking up Sinbad saw a huge bird, called a Roc, and he realized that the white dome was actually the bird’s egg.  A brilliant idea came to him. “Let me tie myself to this bird’s legs!” he thought.  “Then, I can leave this island.”

On Sinbad’s fifth voyage his vessel stopped at another desert island, and the unruly sailors broke up a roc’s egg with their hatchets and roasted and ate a young roc that was just going to break out of its shell.  The parent rocs returned and took vengeance on the murderers by dropping a huge fragments of stone from the air on the ship, thus sending all of the crew to the bottom of the sea; that is, all but Sinbad, who comes to the surface, grasps a piece of the wreck and swims ashore.  In the 1958 movie The 7th Voyage of Sinbad he hopes to obtain the egg of a two headed Roc, which will help him to restore Princess Parisa to normal size after she had been reduced to the size of a man’s thumb by the evil magician, Kokurah.

In the story of Aladdin, it is hinted that a roc is the genie’s true master.  The princess tells Aladdin that she wants a roc’s egg to hang from the dome of the palace.  Aladdin takes out the lamp and tells the genie to bring him a roc egg.  The genie gives a loud shriek that shakes the hall.  He says they deserve to have their palace burn to ashes for wanting him to bring his master to them for mere decoration.

The original Indian tale speaks of a battle between the solar bird Garuda and serpent Naga.  In two different Sanskrit epics, a story is told of the giant bird Garuda carrying off an elephant that was battling a crocodile.  Throughout Arab and Persian history, the tale of a massive bird capable of carrying off an elephant was told and retold.  It was believed by Arab historians that the bird never came to the ground and lived atop the mythical mountain of Qaf at the center of the world, located on a secluded island in the Indian Ocean.  Other stories say that the island nation of Seychelles is the home of the mythical giant bird of prey.

Iranian mythology has the mysterious mythical bird Simurgh, that is associated with the practice of healing.  The Simurgh was described as a peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion.  She was a creature big enough to comfortably carry an elephant or a whale.  The Simurgh was said to be so old that she had seen the destruction of the world three times over.  This afforded her so much wisdom and learning that she possessed the knowledge of all the ages.  In one legend, the Simurgh was said to have lived for 1,700 years before plunging herself into flames, much like the Phoenix.  The figure of the Simurgh can be found in all periods of Iranian art and literature, as well other regions that were within the realm of Persian cultural influence.  The Simurgh represented the union and served as a mediator and messenger between the Earth and the Sky.  She lived in the ‘Tree of Knowledge’ and, when she took flight, her powerful ascent shook the tree’s branches so violently that the seeds from every plant that had ever existed, were scattered throughout the world, bringing a wealth of valuable plants to mankind.  The fantastic creature known as the Simurgh, was imagined to be a huge bird of prey, and it is a symbol of goodness and is equivalent to the idea of the good spirit in the pre-Islamic Turkish faith.  It was believed that those who obtained the feather of this bird could reach the greatest secret of the universe and immortality.

Carl Jung Concept

I just composed a Synchronicity poem that relates a coincidence of events that seems to be meaningful using eight three-line stanzas in a syllable pattern of 8/8/2.  This poetry is not supposed to rhyme and it is written in the first person with a twist. That twist is revealed within the last two stanzas.  Carl Jung said, “Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.”  I hope that everyone enjoys my poem.

God please grant me some more viewers
Readers that click on the like button
I wait

I can change my writing approach
With your help I will make things better
Or not

Hoping to make the world better
A place that we can all enjoy

Accepting new challenges now
Building a pathway to freedom

Absorbing the bad with the good
As it is, as it should become


Trusting that things will be alright
Always forward, never look back

If I don’t get more new readers
I only have myself  to blame
The end

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip Synchronicity poem hosted by Sarah (aka weejars) for April 20, 2019.


The Bible has a translation mistake in it according to many scholars.  The word rib came from a word that meant curve and since ribs are curved, it was written that Eve was made from Adam’s rib.  The DNA molecule double helix is also curved, but the people that transcribed God’s word had no clue about this when the Bible was written, so they went with curve meaning rib, instead of the curved double helical structure.  Adam was lonely all by himself in the Garden of Eden and God told him that He could create the perfect companion form him, but it would cost gim an arm and a leg, so Adam said, “What can I get for a rib?”

Glad I cleared that up and moving on to Kermit the frog, everyone’s favorite Sesame Street Muppet, who I don’t ever remember ever saying ribbit, but then again it is not easy being green.

Written for 4/20/19 Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is “rib”.

We Are Flatlanders

On this day April 19, 2019 Melanie B Cee has put on her pointed cap again, but I am not calling her a dunce or a witch, although if I see her flying around on a broom, then I will change my tune, hey that rhymes.  Some of my former teachers made me sit in the corner as a punishment, but I was never compelled to wear a dunce cap.  Most of my punishments consisted of me having to write 100 times on the blackboard, “I shall not chew gum in class”.  Stupid petty punishment as it never even helped me to improve my handwriting skills.  Actually these questions have nothing to do with Melanie, they are from Teresa Grabs (aka The Haunted Wordsmith) and her Fibbing Friday post and I thought I would give them a whirl.

  1. Those aren’t chemtrails or clouds…what are they?
  2. Obviously the Earth isn’t round, but it isn’t flat either…what shape is it?
  3. Salmonella doesn’t come from chicken…what does it come from?
  4. Aliens were found in Roswell, but they weren’t taken to Area 51…where were they taken?
  5. Trump was ordained, but by who?
  6. Mars does hold life, but they aren’t martians…what are they?
  7. The internet is spying on you, but who/what is behind it?
  8. We don’t create TV shows…what are TV shows really?
  9. Social media really does erode personalities, but what is the purpose of doing that?
  10. IKEA really is a trap…what is the mystery that keeps people there?

My answers:

  1. Those trails left behind from a jet airplane streaking across the sky always mesmerized me as a child, but I have moved on to studying entrails as there is so much more that we can learn from them. I have become a haruspex trained to practice a form of divination that involves the inspection of the sacrificed animal entrails in order to read omens for the future.
  2. Our Earth is a three dimensional sphere, but from space this truly global picture of the third dimension is not seen and Earthlings become Flatlanders. Human beings, living in a three-dimensional world, can easily recognize two dimensional objects like triangles, squares and other polygons of our Flatland, which are only lines. When Earth is viewed from the fourth or a higher dimension it is possible to catch glimpses of the true nature of three-dimensional objects and to see their relationships to one another. The mathematical journey into the fourth dimension starts with a point, a zero-dimensional object having no length, breadth, or height. A point stretches into a line, which in turn sweeps out a square, which then balloons into a cube, or if you started with a circle this becomes a sphere. Once a line forms, at each succeeding stage, the figure expands in a new direction at right angles to those directions already defined. I hope that I cleared this up for everyone.
  3. It does not take the wisdom of Solomon, or the wizards Saruman and Sauron for everyone to know that salmonella comes from salmon.
  4. The aliens that were captured at Roswell were ground up and made into crop circles.
  5. I am pretty sure that Trump was ordained by either some dumb Republican, or a stripper, or by Vladimir Putin.
  6. At one time Mars did have Martins, but like the aliens at Roswell they were also ground up and mixed with gin, vermouth and olives.
  7. Internet spying is the result of malicious Keystroke logging software that Russian hackers have installed on your computer to keep an eye on what you are writing about. They also take control of your cam in hope that they can catch you watching porn.
  8. TV shows are the dreams that Mr. Ed had after he rubbed Jeanie’s lamp.
  9. Social media exists to make everyone agree with the nonsense spouted out on Twitter by that orange dude.
  10. People get trapped inside of IKEA, because it is built like a maze and there is a lot of smelly cheese there.

Written for Fibbing Friday.