Category Archives: From the heart

Reflections on the public house

Did you see that show on the telly last night
I’ll have a cider or a lager, all-right.
The discussion and craik can go on and on,
then before you know it, the evening has gone
it’s one of the reasons we go to a pub,
no membership needed for this type of club.
In some may be music, in others none,
some even have pub-games, competitive fun
A pub-quiz one evening, refreshments half-way,
teams from the village, some from farther away.
There’s pool, perhaps skittles, some unusual ones too
nowadays though, you’re more likely to view
a TV in the corner and on each wall you can see,
no chance for conversation with good company.
So if you don’t like football or sports played by teams
you might as well stay home, with a takeout it seems,
comfortable seating and far cheaper beer,
only one thing is missing, the great atmosphere.

 

 

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Filed under As you read it, Factual, From the heart, Self compositions

Worth bearing in mind

Is your blog accessible to blind computer users?

My thanks to Chris Graham (AKA The Story Reading Ape) https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com, for drawing this article on why much of the internet is inaccessible to blind people to my attention, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-49694453.

As many of you who follow my blog will know, I lost the majority of my eyesight at 18-months-old. I am unable to read print and use software called Job Access with Speech (JAWS), which converts text into speech and braille enabling me to use a Windows computer or laptop. For anyone interested in finding out about JAWS, please follow this link, https://www.freedomscientific.com/products/software/jaws/.

The article linked to above, details a number of problems faced by blind users of the internet, many of which I have experienced whilst navigating the World Wide Web. For example, the piece explains how blind computer users can be faced with unlabelled links on a webpage meaning that what is heard is next to useless. I have myself been faced with a page where JAWS reads “link, link, link”, meaning that the only way in which I can ascertain what the content of a particular link may be is by clicking on said link. This is, obviously a very tedious undertaking and, in many instances I have given up on the site in question and visited a more accessible alternative.

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Turning specifically to sites hosted directly on WordPress (such as my own blog), these are, on the whole accessible. For example all the social media sharing buttons on kmorrispoet.com are labelled so anyone using a screen reader such as JAWS will hear “Twitter, Facebook” etc voiced by JAWS. Likewise the comments form is clearly labelled as such meaning that anyone logged into a WordPress account can easily post a comment.

In contrast I have found that many of the self-hosted WordPress sites are not as accessible as those hosted directly on WordPress. For example I often come across unlabelled sharing buttons on self-hosted sites so the only way in which I can determine what the button in question may be, is by actually clicking on it.

Whilst some comments forms on self-hosted sites are labelled with fields such as “comment”, “your name”, “email address”, others are not. In the latter instance the JAWS (or other screen reader user) is forced to guess what each field is or, more often simply to give up on their intention of posting a comment and navigate away from the site/blog in question.

In my experience the vast majority of bloggers care about their readers and wish to ensure that everyone is able to access their sites equally and enjoy the same ability to participate in discussions. However, unless a blogger is themselves blind (or knows a blind screen reader user), its perfectly possible that they have little (if any idea) as to how blind web users access their site/blog.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has links to useful guidance explaining how webmasters can ensure that their sites are accessible to those with site loss. For anyone who is unsure whether their blog and/or website is accessible, you may find it helpful to visit here, https://www.sightadvicefaq.org.uk/independent-living/accessible-website.

Kevin

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Filed under Factual, From the heart, Re-blogged

50 Word Thursdays # 32 ~Dockside dirge

FF6F01CF-38A1-4E81-947C-BF3C48CA0369Mournful, I stood observing the once ornate merchant’s houses that looked out over the empty, deserted wharves, My sense of nostalgia rising as I remembered the times before, when with each rising tide the hustle and bustle would begin. The rasping breath of steam-powered cranes as they swung the heavy bales from ship to shore. The grunts of heaving stevedores manhandling the trucks, each piled high with sacks and bale,  to the gaping wooden, warehouse doors. The squeal of the pulleys calling the unwary to the hooks plummeting to the ground, hungrily anticipating the next profit-making mouthful to be hoisted.

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Filed under Flash fiction, From the heart, History, Self compositions, Uncategorized

Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #3 – September 14, 2019 ~Dogs

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“Dogs.”

Four footed, furry friends, faithful forever.

 

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Filed under As you read it, Factual, From the heart, Unashamed promotions

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #38

reed-seed-heads-cp

With penons flying proudly

see  how tall they stand,

not quite in the water

nor yet on the land

standing proud as if on parade

behind a marching band

we salute these natural, flaxen maids

brightening our land

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Filed under From the heart, nature inspired, On the lines of romance, Self compositions, Singalong

First Line Friday: July 19th, 2019

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Picture from Bob Williams, Arx Cynuit

 They congregated up in the hills, far away from judging eyes.  This would be the last time that any of these people would see these Northern barbarians. Fight or die Cobanorum had said and they would follow this exhortation to the end. Far below  they could see the torches zigzagging up the heather-clad slope. The Norsemen had beached their boats at sunset and after making their usual offerings to their ineffective Gods had decided the auspices were right for an assault on the lonely village.

Toothless old men, young boys, women with babies at the breast, young girl, all were assembled at the call to repel this parasitic invader. Those who would take their women and children, mock their Christ, their priests, and without compassion, maim, disfigure and take the life of their brave fighting men.

Their weapons were the tools of the field but they had one advantage, they were fighting for their lives, their homes, all that was held dear. Death had no meaning, for life would never be the same if they were defeated. In their favour was the gift nature had bestowed upon them, the sheer sea cliff, the stone, turf-clad walls, built to protect them from this predicted onslaught. All they had to rely on was the knowledge and belief that their courage would be as strong as the mighty earthen banks built over time with the strength of theirs and their ancestor’s own arms.

The result of their struggle is well known and I am happy to tell you of their victory. Thus was the legend born we know as the battle of Arx Cynuit, the last attempt by the accursed Danes to subdue this island race.

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Filed under As you read it, Christian, Factual, From the heart, History, Inspired by fable, Old knowledge, Self compositions, Short story

Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, July 10th 2019, friendship

The unbroken pact

is a true test of friendship,

death cannot erase

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Filed under As you read it, faith, From the heart, Haiku, On the lines of romance, Otherworldly, Self compositions

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #261

 

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Just a Zen moment,

in the chaos of the day,

sanity restored

 

 

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Filed under As you read it, Factual, From the heart, Haiku, Self compositions

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #33

8489F4DB-C0D9-4FB3-AFA6-9FB14D0A925C.jpegMy first and instant reaction to the photo was a flashback to an amazing concert I was lucky enough to attend a few years ago. A Pogues annual tour where the band played their amazing Xmas hit, the wonderful, “Fairytale of New York,” which of course includes the melodic, lyrically masterful phrase, “You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot.” What else would you expect me to think of?

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Filed under As you read it, Events and diary dates, Factual, From the heart, History, On the lines of romance, Self compositions, Short story

An ironic tale with more than a hint of sadness

Sadly, my mother passed away two weeks ago. As you can imagine there is always a lot to do at this painful time. I am currently seated in her electrical recline and lift chair making all the necessary arrangements. She was confined to this room and two others for two years prior to her demise. Her main regret was not being able to watch the birds on the feeders as she was able in her previous garden. Due to her inability to stand she was unable to see the birds frequenting this small garden from this seat. Looking up, I glanced out of the window as I had noticed a stirring of the abundant foliage of the honeysuckle bush beside the window.  Then the dark brown head of a hen blackbird emerged. Within two minutes a cockbird flew into the bush, passing in full view of the window. Had my mother been alive she would have reported the sightings to me during our next telephone chat. In all this time this is the first time a bird of any species has chosen to nest in the bush. She would have been able to follow the progress of the raising of a family from the comfort of her chair.  But sadly this is not to be. Is this irony, I for one cannot say but it underlines the sadness that invariably accompanies death whether a curse or a blessing.

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Filed under As you read it, Factual, From the heart, Inspired emotion, nature inspired, On the lines of romance, Self compositions