Friday, 18 April 2014

Hay Revision Part 1

There is a slight difference between Straw and Hay
Hay Revision - Part 1 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

This three-part article revises stroke and dot Hay. Where there are several ways to write a sound, I find that these require extra practice on the variations to ensure a quick response during writing. Once you know all the commonest Hay words, you need not stop to think of theory, which indeed one should never have to do when writing shorthand. The Hay methods are only used for the spoken sound and not where the longhand H is silent, as in "honour, ghost, eight, rhyme" or where it modifies another letter to produce a different sound, as in "this, photo, cheap, shop, ohm". I have used a selection of the commoner words from the main website Theory 12 Hay page, and you should refer to that page for further examples. Practising in real sentences is of greater benefit than constantly re-reading theory. You will need to know the outlines instantly during writing, without reference to theory rules. It also helps you get down a new outline quickly by basing it on one you already know. I do hope that, after the event, you are looking up and practising such hurried outlines so that the correct one is added to your memory bank.

Hay Revision - Part 2 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

UPWARD HAY - We are very happy with the results and hope that the way ahead is now clear. We think what happened is that he met the head waiter at the hotel. The children were hopping over the heap of leaves under the hedge on the heath. It was his habit to spend the weekend indulging in his hobbies. Everything in the plans hangs on his hypothesis being correct. Mr Hobbs has mended the hinge on the hatch. The hyena was seen eating the honey. It was a huge problem when the airplane was hijacked, which caused* havoc on its journey to Hawaii. The hub of the wheel was very heavy. It was a hazy morning and turned out to be the hottest day of the year. He made a hash of the job and he could not hide the result or hush up his failure. The hotel staff put all my shirts on hangers for me. The aircraft was kept in the big hangar* with the heavy doors.

* Distinguishing outline, to prevent clash with "cost"

* This is the dictionary outline, for the pronunciation "hang-gar". If you don't wish to follow this pronunciation, then use the outline "hanger" above. (You cannot double the Ing, as that would be "hanker")

Hay Revision - Part 3 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The story is about a hero who saves the community from the hairy monster that was harassing the villagers. The book praised these acts of heroism by Sir Harold. Harry was in a great hurry this morning. We saw a flock of herons* on the horizon. They were flying towards their heronry. The clouds formed a horizontal line across the sky. The meal was quite horrid and we hurried through it as rapidly as possible. It was not known how much food they had hoarded. The cowboys herded the cattle to the other side of the ranch* to shelter from the hurricane. We were horrified at the horrible treatment they received. In summer the Victorian hearth was filled with flowers. Their favourites were hardy perennials in happy bright colours.

* Best insert vowels, as the outline is the same as "hunters"

* Keep it clearly in first position, to prevent it looking like "range"

Hay Revision - Part 4 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

We called our rabbit Mr Hopper for obvious reasons. The farmer* filled the seed hopper before driving it through the field. The squirrels were hibernating until the weather became hotter. A header is the top part of a letter or report containing the title and other information. A header also means the action of a footballer intercepting the ball with his head. The book was written in Hebrew and in Hebraic writing. The hydrogen cylinders were lifted up on the hydraulic jack and taken to the hydroelectric installation. The farmer employed a hedger to repair his boundary hedges. A hacker is someone who uses his skills on the computer to gain information or control illegally. The hiker took a shortcut over the field and met a huge heifer face to face*. He hovered over the nail with the hammer to make sure it was in the right position.

* See Distinguishing Outlines List2 for farmer/framer/former/form-er

* Omission phrase "face (to) face"
Hay Revision - Part 5 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

My friend Heather has a very good sense of humour. We hungered and thirsted and we were very glad that someone had brought the food hamper. He was happily reading an article all about the Hubble telescope. He soon got into the habit of reading as he could only hobble after the accident to his foot. The poor villagers were found huddling together in their hovels. The bystanders heckled the speaker. In animals, the hackles are the hairs or feathers on the back of the neck. The shoppers often haggle with the market traders. I like to wear a big hat on a hot day to provide shade against the heat. The competition for first place* was hotly contested. The volcano was positioned over a hotspot on the earth's crust. That country is a hotspot for war and violence. The height of the huts was about two metres. He was full of hate and always made hateful remarks. We do not need the heating on during a heat wave. The hunter* felt that the colour of the jacket would hinder his activities.

* This phrase omits the L Hook of "place"

* Insert vowel, see "heron" in para 3 above

Hay Revision - Part 6 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Henry showed me the brown hen and all the other hens in the enclosure. I shall hone my skills and hence remove every hindrance to my future success.  He was hunting for his hats but his brother gave no hint as to where they were. Half of the staff went on the course which amounted to about a hundred people. We have halved the time it takes to do the job. In the field we saw many hives full of honey. The animal broke its hoof in its haste to escape. The bank hosted a press conference to discuss the facts of the heist. We hesitate* to recommend this hostel as it has a history of hazardous conditions. The management were very hostile to any suggestions for correcting these hazards. We enjoyed the hustle and bustle of city life. Mr Hoskins planted the seeds in their husks, and raised lots of hazel trees for the woodland.

* Insert the second vowel in "hesitate" and insert the first vowel in "hasted" (which has the opposite meaning) to provide a distinction

* Insert vowel, so it does not begin to look like "masses"

Hay Revision - Part 7 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

It was a misty morning and there was a haze over the mountains. I got out the hose to water the garden. The gardener sharpened his hoes in order to remove the weeds. A woodman is someone who hews wood which means to cut down trees. I admired the hues and brilliant colours of the flowers around the house. The housewife took a great interest in the improvements in the housing conditions. Her husband worked at the hospital during the week and at the hospice on Saturdays. The kettle began to hiss with the steam. We called our pet snake Hissing Harry because he always hissed when we passed his cage. (1098 words)

Hay Revision Part 2

Hay Revision - Part 8 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

DOWNWARD HAY is used when standing alone and in derivatives, and also before simple Kay and Gay, where it makes a better join. // The bird flew high, the plane flew higher and the jet flew the highest. We were highly impressed by Her Highness the Duchess. We travelled along the highways and byways of the countryside, which was a great change from our high-pressured jobs in the city. The red berry of the may tree or hawthorn is called a haw. The fields of hay had been mown and were full of haystacks. He wishes to be addressed as Mr Howe and not as "hey you!". Hugh and his brothers were having a heyday playing in the park. The hue of the flower was a dark blue. To hew wood means to cut it, usually with an axe. The person doing the hewing is called a hewer.  We have taken on two hoers and they will be hoeing the garden all morning. "Ha!* Found you!" he shouted gleefully. "Aha!* That's* the answer" I cried.

* Both of these (and others) need their vowels as there are many variations

* Cannot use the short form to write "that's" so full strokes are necessary

Hay Revision - Part 9 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

A carpenter uses a hacksaw but a hack is also a slang term for a mediocre artist or reporter. The hackney carriage is an old-fashioned vehicle, named after the type of horse that drew it. Hackneyed refers to a term that has become overused in writing and speech. Mr Hawkins went on a hike. He got his coat off the hook and met up with his friend Hugo Higgins. The menu item of boiled haggis turned out to be a hoax. It caused* quite a hiccup in the canteen staff's day. It had been quite a hectic and cold day and the tired workers sat hugging their* coffee mugs. A hexagon is a six-sided two-dimensional shape, and can be seen in the cells of a beehive. We went round the garden as part of the Heritage Horticulture* guided tour. There is a strict hierarchy amongst the horticultural* staff. A person can be a heritor, and goods and belongings are heritable items.

* Doubling used to signify "their"

* Both of these can have full outline or optional contraction, one of each is given here as examples.

Hay Revision - Part 10 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

MEDIAL HAY - The stroke is used in the direction that gives the best outline. // Cohabit* means to live together in the same dwelling. There was mayhem at the Limehouse Theatre when Mr Abraham presented his comedy act. Annihilate means to annul, utterly destroy or defeat. The outline retains the Hay stroke as some people do still pronounce the sound, instead of annihilating it. The invading army suffered total annihilation. Anhydrous means waterless or with the water removed. The man used a billhook to prune the trees in the hedge. I had to look up Lahore on the map to see where it was. A lahar is a wet landslide from a volcano.

*The circle of all these medial downward Hays is written clockwise, as it would be if standing alone

Hay Revision - Part 11 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

I could see the lighthouse very clearly from the farmhouse window. The table was made of polished mahogany. His coat was made of mohair and his shoes of cowhide, but their prices were now sky-high. He presented a coherent and cohesive argument in favour of the proposals. The other person was however incoherent due to excessive drinking. Mr Mayhew has just returned from a visit to Omaha. When you have the know-how you do not have to do the job just anyhow. He said he would nohow and in no way be willing to take on another assignment.

Hay Revision - Part 12 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

He has not been behaving very well at all. He must learn to behave* properly or his behaviour* will cause him to fall behind with his school work. He may end up beholding the face of the magistrate who will uphold the rule of law and not withhold punishment due. It would be a good idea if we withheld permission so that this unwise activity does not gain a foothold. To abhor means to greatly dislike or detest. We abhorred his behaviour, as it was causing too much upheaval and in fact was prohibited by law. The heavy drinker went into rehab which is short for rehabilitation, that is to say* learning new habits and behaviours. An adhesive is something that adheres or sticks to another substance. He wrote a book on prehistory including the lives of the prehistoric animals. Dehydration means depriving of or removing water from, and in people can lead to serious health issues. Some foods can be dehydrated to lengthen their storage time. We have just returned from our visit to Idaho in the United States of America.

* This phrase is modelled on "to be"

* The circles of all these medial upward Hays are written anticlockwise

* Omission phrase "that is (to) say"

Hay Revision - Part 13 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

We had to rehang the doors in the old house, mend the overhanging gutters and overhaul the heating system. He said that he had overhauled it last year, so we did not* need to be overhauling it again. We overheard about the unhopeful alliance between the two parties. His behaviour became unhinged during the overheated discussion. You can preheat the meal but try not to overheat it. There are some foods that you should never reheat due to the possibility of increased amounts of bacteria. It is not a good idea to rehash or rehearse the problems. He attended the rehearsals at the clubhouse. We overheard that part of the warehouse was to be used as a gatehouse. They overheard that they were soon to be rehoused nearby and that the houses no longer had outhouses in the garden. My warning went unheeded and so the unhygienic conditions were not corrected.

* "Did not" goes on the line, but in a phrase it needs the vowel, otherwise it would read "do not"

Hay Revision - Part 14 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The large circle can sometimes do duty for two small circles rather than two S sounds. This is taking a small liberty with the general phonetic basis in order to secure a clear and easy outline. // This old nag is never going to be a racehorse. I like to dry my clothes on a clotheshorse in the sun outside to make them fresher. These parcels must be sent post-haste to the customer, which means as quickly and hastily as possible. The heap of dust and the dusty rubbish were thrown on the dustheap at the end of the garden. A dosshouse is a rough place where someone might sleep for the night and the verb describing this is to doss. (999 words)

Hay Revision Part 3

Hay Revision - Part 15 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

TICK HAY is a shortening of Downward Hay and is always pronounced first. It is used before Em, Upward Ell and Ar, which can be remembered* by the word "HoMeLieR". // Ham is a meat product but the word also means an unskilled actor or one who overacts.* A hammock was strung between the trees which were situated on a small hummock, or mound, in the field. He paid homage to the man for saving the boy's pet hamster which had escaped from his home. The hem of the garment was too short and the person who hemmed it cut off too much material. A humble person is someone who has a great deal of humility. Humility is related to the word humus and comes from the Latin for ground. This country has a very humid climate and the humidity is just too much for me. The victim died from a haemorrhage and the case turned into one of homicide.

* Past tenses of contractions can be signified by a small line struck through, if necessary

* Compare this with "overcomes" which has the Kay underneath

Hay Revision - Part 16 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

They visited all the countries in the northern hemisphere and are now turning their attention to the southern hemisphere. The human* race can act in ways that are humane and also inhumane. Road humps were installed to slow down the traffic. A raised area of ground in the landscape is called a hummock, which is the same as a hillock or knoll. The police captured quite a haul of illegal hempseed. The hemp plant fibres were made into hempen ropes. Humbug means something that is deceptive or worthless, and also means a mint flavoured boiled sugar sweet, often made in brown and white stripes.

* Distinguishing outlines "human" above the line, "humane" on the line, both following their second vowels. "Inhuman" relies on the last vowel for differentiation.

Hay Revision - Part 17 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The haulage company employed Hayley and Helen Halliday to cover for the staff who were on holiday. The Old Hall was situated in a hollow on the other* side of the hill. The workers had hauled large rocks from the quarry in order to build the hall which did little for their health. A healthy diet will help you remain whole and healed. We are wholly* in agreement with this proposal which will get us out of the hole in which we find ourselves. The wholesale business* in this part of town has come to a complete halt. The hull of the boat was damaged by the giant hailstones that fell during the hailstorm.* The holder of the post had the staff under his heel, so unfortunately he became the butt of some hilarious jokes. The child howled when he hurt his heel as he ran up the hill. We do hope it will soon heal and that he will be as whole, hale and hearty* as before.

* The R Hook of "other" is omitted in this phrase

* Two L strokes are used for ease of reading

* You could also intersect "bis" for this word

* Unusual use of Stee loop to gain a very convenient outline

* Special outline, to distinguish from "hardy" (Hay+Ray+Dee)

Hay Revision - Part 18 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Were you here when we heard the news? I hear that they are going to hire extra staff at the hair salon. The hearers could hardly believe their ears. The mayor said, "I hereby open this Harvest Festival celebration." Herbert lived on the other side of the harbour, and grew and sold herbs for a living. He played the harp in his spare time.* When they heard the news their hearts were saddened. It was very hard for them to hear such harsh news.  His words were harsher* than ever. He spoke very harshly* to them. They would prefer to hear that harmony had prevailed and no-one had been hurt. The car driver sounded his horn which made a very high and harsh sound. The player was not able to hurl the ball very far. The rider was hurled from the horse. The speaker's throat was very hoarse after giving the long speech and became hoarser during the afternoon.

* Halving for the T of "time"

* "Sher" is always down, "Shel" is always up

Hay Revision - Part 19 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

DOT HAY is only used medially and always before a stroke, never after. It is used when the other methods are not convenient. The medial H sound is lightly sounded and often omitted altogether and this means that you can omit the dot in the same way as you do the vowel signs without losing the readability of the outlines. // A letterhead is the paper a company uses for their correspondence. The figurehead of the ship was painted in black and gold. The bulkhead of the ship had been damaged in the storm. He is a kind-hearted* man with a warm-hearted* wife and light-hearted* children. We walked among the hills, uphill in the morning and downhill in the afternoon. We travelled over all the foothills in the area. A hog is an old word for pig, a hedgehog is related to the shrew and porcupine, and a groundhog is a rodent related to squirrels. A roadhog is someone who hogs the road and obstructs other drivers.

* These outlines make it clear that the Hay Dot is the outer one

Hay Revision - Part 20 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

This household consists of six people, one of whom owns the freehold of the property, with the remainder being leaseholders. The report informed* the shareholders of the results of the meeting. A porthole is a circular window on the side of a ship. The armhole of the coat was too small to be comfortable. The manhole cover was missing and posed a great danger to pedestrians. The potholes in the road were being repaired by the council workmen. The people in this neighbourhood earn their livelihood at the local factory. The likelihood is that some falsehoods have been put forward as facts. On reaching adulthood the brothers had to leave the neighbourhood to find work.

* Past tenses of contractions can be signified by a small line struck through, if necessary

Hay Revision - Part 21 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

A hobbyhorse* is a toy for pretend riding games and also means a favourite or pet project. The rocking-horse was a valuable antique. Drayhorses were used to pull heavy carts. The museum showed examples of prehistoric fishhooks and boat-hooks. The duke's shield had a greyhound and a sparrow-hawk on a gold background. A nighthawk is a North American bird and also someone who stays up all night. A newshawk is a modern slang word for an energetic, enthusiastic and possibly aggressive reporter. The old almshouse had been renovated into a smart new boarding-house. The huge glasshouse was heated by a small boiler-house at one end. The greenhouse was set up next to the wooden storehouse. He worked at the clearing-house and lived in a penthouse.

* The dot vowel goes immediately after the B and cannot be moved forward to the next stroke, because the Hay comes between

Hay Revision - Part 22 of 22 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The initial curl is used where the meaning is "in"* but this is changed for a stroke if it becomes medial. // Do not inhale the fumes from the fire. Inhalation of the gases can cause damage to the lungs. The patient had to use an inhaler every day. The holiday house was inhabited in summer but left uninhabited during the winter months. They had many inhibitions but when on holiday they seemed to be completely uninhibited. The brothers were hoping to inherit the house but their father had disinherited them. // When it is a negative the stroke En is always used. The conditions on the island were inhospitable. The atmosphere in the house was inharmonious. (1111 words)

* Need to insert the vowel in this short form, as the context does not help

Monday, 7 April 2014

Impatient Gardener

Impatient Gardener - Part 1 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Dandelion flowerhead
Invasive loveliness
I recently started the task of reclaiming a piece of overgrown garden. It had been beautifully landscaped and planted with choice specimens many years ago, but the shrubs had been allowed to spread, lean and ramble, larger plants had smothered the smaller ones, of which only tiny scraps remained, and grass and invasive plants were everywhere. It seemed necessary to strip it out entirely, but a compromise plan was reached where the good clumps would remain and everything else would go. Despite this perfectly reasonable plan, impatience to see it all tidy and finished began to creep in. The large well-anchored stumps and romping weeds added their voices to the general air of intimidation. But I am happy to say that* I have had such encounters before and I deafened my ears to their assertions that they were staying* put and could not be shifted without a mechanical digger, a flame-thrower or a crowd of body-builder friends armed with axes and crowbars.

* Omission phrase "happy (to) s(ay) that"

* "staying" does not have a diphone, as the "i" vowel is included in the Dot Ing

Impatient Gardener - Part 2 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Daffodil stickers on shop windows
Instant daffs
I remembered* my own little gardening adage, that has seen me through many an arduous task without the necessity for unusual muscle-power, namely that as long as I can snip and saw the plants faster than they can grow, I will win every time - and over time. The doomed plants did not like to hear this, but cheers of support from the good plants, about to be released from their overcrowded existence, helped me to strengthen my resolve with the spade and pruning saw. My other weapon is to imagine that the ground was already clear, and ask myself whether I would put these sorry-looking plants in if they were not already there. The answer is always a definite no, they would not even be considered for a single minute. This always resolves the question for me, and overcomes any hesitation about ripping them out.

* Short line through the last stroke of a contraction to indicate past tense, where necessary for clarity

Impatient Gardener - Part 3 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

If you have ever watched a film where the hero is despatching his enemies in hand-to-hand fighting, you will notice that they appear in an almost endless stream, from different directions, but most conveniently one at a time, thanks to the script writers who ensure that he not only wins but that he does not have to share his victory with lesser players in the story. Spreading out the encounters is a good example to follow in the gardening battles. My plan was to isolate a single job, a single troublesome stump or clump, or one small area, and put every effort into dealing decisively with it. This means that at the end of the day there is something to show for the hard work, with a clear patch and the pile of prunings mounting up in a corner. Thoughts of impatience are held back once again and the next day starts with the encouraging view of yesterday's victory over the chaos.

Impatient Gardener - Part 4 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Floral ironwork on garden seat
Instant flower
The benefit of having to do it in stages is that ideas change as the scene clears, and plans for replanting are revised and improved. This quote made me smile - "The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago" - although with this current task, it is the weeds that have taken this advice and have aggressively ensconced themselves in all the best spots years ago. There is nothing better a gardener likes to do than to set all the lovely plants in their new homes and look forward to seeing them flourish, but there is also nothing worse than failing to prepare the ground and seeing things come up from fragments that should have been removed more thoroughly. From experience, I can now hear these little pieces of plant material talking - "I am going to sit here under the soil, and when you water and feed, I will use it to grow back up, and I will send my biggest roots straight under that huge rock where you can't dig them out!" This brave talk does not last long and the hapless fragments soon join their fellows on the pile.

Impatient Gardener - Part 5 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Butterfly patterns on cushion
Instant wildlife
The worst is now out of the way and the more pleasant parts are next, with the final mature result already being enjoyed in imagination. With just a little more patience, these mental pictures will become reality, and the overgrown mess will be just a memory. Any garden here will revert to tangled oak woodland, if allowed to have its own way. Expensive nursery plants can wear out their welcome, becoming woody and leggy, and crowding out their neighbours, or sometimes just providing too many places amongst their stems and roots for weeds to tuck themselves into. Comparing before and after photos will be an occasional indulgence but the most gratifying result is seeing what can be done with a logical plan and simple, continuous, piecemeal progress, and not with brute strength or expensive professional help and equipment.

Impatient Gardener - Part 6 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

I hope you are getting on well with your own cultivation endeavours, planting tiny seeds in the shape of dots, dashes, circles and lines, both straight and curved. They will grow up into miniature words, expand into phrases and sentences, and eventually cover entire passages, all in the shade of a giant blossoming Shorthand Tree. You have faithfully watered them with your time and attention, and rigorously weeded out the faulty, shaky and unreliable marks before they gain a foothold. Old bits of stringy invasive longhand have been removed and maybe relocated elsewhere for occasional decorative use. Fortunately you do not need to wait for time and seasons to pass, as gardeners have to, before enjoying the delicious fruits of success. The final agreeable, pleasant and useful outcome will exactly match the effort that has been put in, rather than the even passage of time since the venture was started.

Shorthand perfection in box hedging at Stockwood Park, Luton
Impatient Gardener - Part 7 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Unlike fruits and flowers in the garden, you can keep the results forever, as they will never fade, get lost, damaged, broken or disappear, and, as long as cultivation and development continue, they will grow bigger and better as time passes. However, regular weeding and trimming to shape will be necessary to reach and maintain maximum efficiency. Compared to the initial effort, this is a sedate and pleasant job, definitely not a hardship if done regularly and willingly, and well worth doing in order to preserve what you have worked so hard to achieve so far. (1049 words)

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Hall Place daffodils

Daffodils - Part 1 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! BlogspotI would like to share with you some photos of a daffodil meadow that I came across recently in the historic garden at Hall Place in Bexley. I had visited here at other times of the year and had not* really noticed this corner of the parkland, seeing it from afar as just an area of woodland, long grass and pleasant shade. But last week* I headed in that direction, led on by the sight – and photo opportunity – of a few small clumps of daffodils, set in the open grass area in the middle distance. As I approached the clumps, further on I caught sight of the meadow, a sea of yellow and white dots, waving about in the sun. I instantly made my way towards it.

* "had not" needs the dot Hay and dot vowel, to distinguish it from "do not"

* Omission phrase "las(t w)eek"

Daffodils - Part 2 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The morning was sunny but somewhat blustery and fresh, which meant that there were not many people about, just right for my purposes*, as I knew I could get lots of clear pictures without having to skirt around the other visitors. This was truly daffodil heaven and I wanted to capture it all whilst the sun was still out and before the clouds increased and rain started, as had been forecast. A few of the blossom trees were out, but the majority were still bare. The ground was completely covered in daffodils, all lit up in the sunlight with little shade from the trees, and looking their best, as they were freshly* opened. The intermittent breezes were an advantage when taking the movie clips, as they provided movement and interest in the close-ups without any effort on my part.

* Optional intersection

* The F stroke is not reversed, this allows joining with the next stroke, compare "fresh" in the top line

Daffodils - Part 3 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Hall Place daffodilsDaffodils and indeed all spring flowers seem to fade away too quickly, and maybe this is because one tends to wait for a warm day, or some free time, to go and see them, which means delays in making the effort, and so opportunity is lost to see them at their best, or even to see them at all. I walked round and round the meadow, up and down the wide mown paths. There was no need to find the perfect composition, as attractive pictures and views were everywhere. Every few steps or change of direction started another flurry of clicks, and more visual treasures added to my stash to take home with me. In the past, I would just have to admire them as much as possible, and wish they would last longer. Without a camera, I would be wanting to stay there all day, preferably with warmer weather and maybe even the painting gear. There are always other people's pictures to enjoy, but viewing your own has the advantage of taking you back to the experience, the actual time and place, with the satisfaction of knowing that the display will be repeated next year.

Daffodils - Part 4 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Hall Place daffodilsI used to have lots of daffodils in my garden, after a particularly active autumn of bulb planting in every available space. After several glorious spring displays, they began to thin out and then disappeared altogether. The clay is soggy in winter and rock hard and dry in summer, and I had to admit that it was not worth replanting. Nowadays, I have them in very large tubs, which can be moved away when they die down, or planted with summer flowers, which does at least ensure that the bulbs stay moist during the year. The ideal garden is one in which there is a succession of flowers and colours, so that as one display fades, another takes over to fill the gap. In my own garden I have not been able to do this to a great extent, I must concentrate on growing what can survive in the difficult soil.

Daffodils - Part 5 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

I do make efforts to look for the very small flowers as well as the big shows, and there is definitely something of interest happening all year. In spring, the first tiny arrivals just need a close-up picture taken, to isolate them from the barer scenery all around and convince me that the garden really is blooming. Even in the depths of winter, there are enough evergreens and berrying bushes to prevent the garden looking entirely dead and empty. I like to leave seed heads on wherever they will provide some interest. At the moment, there are bunches of large brilliant red rose hips that I am hesitating to prune back, although I know I will have to do it quite soon, in order to get the best from the roses this year. The colourful prunings will be tucked in somewhere and will eventually feed the birds.

Hall Place daffodils

Daffodils - Part 6 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

I have always enjoyed William Wordsworth's poem "Daffodils" the first line of which reads "I wandered lonely as a cloud." I can truly say that in this park meadow I really did see "ten thousand at a glance*, tossing their* heads in sprightly* dance. " It was an irresistible feast for the eyes and camera lens, and having captured as much as possible, I felt able to banish thoughts of their imminent fading away, or their being flattened by heavy rain. At last I was able to enjoy the spectacle much more. I learned this poem at school, as it was an easy one to memorise. I could always visualise the scene of the carpet of flowers, blowing about in the chilly lakeside breezes, although I did, in my ignorance, imagine them as the big bold ones that we cultivate in our gardens and parks. The wild ones are smaller and more delicate.

* "at (a) glance" would normally be an omission phrase, but in poetry writing every word is preferable

* Doubling to represent "their"

* Insert the diphthong, as this outline written on the line would be "spiritual"

Daffodils - Part 7 of 7 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Hall Place blossom tree, blue sky, wispy cloudI think he used the word lonely as meaning alone in the purely physical sense, rather than its less agreeable emotional meaning, and I always imagined that there were wisps of cloud floating along above the lake, wandering over the landscape apparently at random. The location of his walk with his sister Dorothy (whose diary entry helped to inspire the poem) was Glencoyne Bay next to Ullswater in the Lake District of North West England. I had to look up "pensive" before I could appreciate the last verse, but I whole-heartedly agreed with the fact* that "they flash upon that inward eye". Without a vivid memory of them, they are lost when one leaves the place, and the time spent with them is gone, without any chance to relive it in thought. I am grateful that nowadays I can also get the views to "flash upon that indoor screen", in much more detail and quantity than memory alone can bring up. (1075 words)

* Writing "act" for "fact" is possible in many phrases, see

Hall Place daffodils