Tag Archives: writing

Poem: Idles when idle

There I was, propped up in bed, a thousand thoughts forming
in the holiday of my head, mask off, headphones on, YouTube,
streaming, dreaming, coming to terms with a recently-deceased aunt
who had trouble breathing. Yes I loved her so, she helped me find sense
in the mess of teenage years, she gave me shelter from the helter
and the skelter of life’s tests, used to tell me: follow your dreams.
Loved her, loved her so, even though she voted Leave.
She’ll never know I’m that close to needing a visa to attend her funeral
in ruled Britannia, God save the Titanic, and all who sink with her.

On the bed was where I met them, mask off, headphones on,
finding sense in a present tense, correct, this is why, this is why
you never see your father cry. Council flats and country piles,
apartments in France – renewed my passport before it turned the blue
they want to make us feel, and act and march in their same shoes.
This is why, this is why, my heart swells with pride, not theirs but mine.
Idles your Colossus is a bridge between my republic and my septic isle,
septic minds, this is why, I point to freedom which is mine,
which is yours, which is ours, it’s called sharing, and it rhymes with caring.

Gone past caring? Don’t give up. Don’t stay down. Get back up.
There I was, propped up on the bed, time for a tea and something on bread.
And there they were, my family, watching The Voice on French TV,
Happily yabbering away in French, and me, in English, bemoaning the lack
of decent tea bags, and the way in which no matter how hard you always work
you’re still broke by the end of the month. Back and forth in two languages,
add Frenglish, Brummie accents, mais, ne t’inquiète pas, pas de problème,
je parle français, oui, avec un accent merdique, c’est pour ça,
c’est pour ça, mon clavier est AZERTY et pas QWERTY.

And this is why, this is why, I love myself and always try
to send the love and give the light, to cry when I like and fight the good fight.
Your tee-shirt, it said: Voltaire. I noticed you wearing it the other day,
got me thinking it did, that tee-shirt, and slogans in general,
Choose Life, Frankie Says, Make Love Not War, #MeToo #Remain, Idles on Tour.
Fudge-packing Crack-smoking Satan-worshipping motherfucker Nirvana,
that I wore on my back in days when my aunty wasn’t a Brexiter.
Wouldn’t mind now: Fairy Remoaning Snowflake Traitor Enemy of the People
see their faces when I tell them I don’t like barriers, and I dream in European.





Poem by the editor. Thanks to Idles.

Poem: The Broken Boat Inn

The Broken Boat Inn

1.

Suddenly we were confronted by God – in the ancient bar of the Broken Boat Inn,
a final frontier drinking den unclaimed by gentrification,
suits with blank cheques and brutal franchise,
our misty outpost for broken-hearted lovers the world left behind.
We’re All In The Same Boat proclaimed the sign above the bar,
next to a Thompson submachine gun that the landlady swore
was once used by Al Capone in a gangland war.
So full of bluster, though we dared not say – at least to her face anyway,
and instead would butter her up for her fine tattoos and curly hair,
order copious amounts of her strange beer and liquors
before setting our weary frames at tables full of the same old faces.
The house band there never got paid – except in beer and nuts –
yet they turned up most evenings to help detach us
from the pins, cogs and wheels of a world bent to grind us.

 

2.

The Broken Boat Inn, where we’d huddle together in that leaking life-boat,
poor, overfilled, but able enough to carry us away from whatever
sinking Titanic every man, woman and child had abandoned themselves from.
And in that creaky boat, with sails turned amber-rose
from nicotine and blood; and in the comfort of other refugees
and survivors of the seas – multi-lingual and all colours and creed,
we’d bail out our grief and plug the holes of despair
as wide as rivers filling gorges all the way to the top,
spilling silky streams down garbagy, pot-holed streets,
up the steps to buildings that jailed music for its own protection.
You heard it as good as we: that watery rap at the door which opened
to the bouncer’s clenched paw – he wasn’t letting it in…
not on yours or anyone else’s nelly!
“You’re not on the list,” the bouncer growled.
“Friend… I wrote the list,” the stranger replied.
Asked the bouncer: “What’s your name?”
“I am Duende. Duende with no beginning, middle or end,
and I am here to show you God.”

 

3.

And in Duende came, dressed in black, cowboy boots and a ten gallon hat,
hard to tell if it was a woman or a man if truth be known, let’s say ‘he’
went straight to the bar and said: “I am Duende.”
“What’s your poison?” the landlady enquired.
“Whiskey, and three of your patrons to get up on that stage,
for I’m in need of both liquor and entertainment.”
“Cost ya,” said the landlady. “The whiskey ain’t cheap and neither are my customers.”
Said Duende: “You misunderstand, I make no payment for the things I want,
but I will give you a night to remember when I show you God.”
The Inn went silent. The landlady spat on the floor, lit a cigarette,
before shouting across the bar for three to take the stage –
three to entertain the stranger called Duende.

 

4.

Old Ginette got up first, with aid of her cane.
Her hair dyed pink, as was her custom in later years,
some called her Lady Rose but most just Old Ginette.
Well, she took to the stage and struck us silent as a mighty bell
would still us to make us stare up at the heavens.
And was it poetry or song that parted her lips? as she said to us:
“Brothers and sisters, I quit going to church on Sundays
because my legs could no longer make the steps,
nor could my eyes bring themselves to look into the faces
of people that bored me to godless and witless tears.
So, now, brothers and sisters, I sit in my bungalow,
low, low, low, all alone and pray to God, lo!
Because you don’t need to go to church to find God, right?
God was with me Sunday morning when I dyed my hair pink.
God’s in my hair, brothers and sisters, Gods in my hair!”
We hardly even noticed her exit the stage, such was our awe,
our enchantment, open-mouthed and dumb as dead salmon.
And the house band seemed just in awe of her as we –
that ragtag trio of slackers dressed in black – bass, drums and guitar,
skinny little dogs they were, declaring often: “The Lion Cult loves you!”

 

5.

Luke got up next, with the aid of two friends,
drunk beyond measure and deemed ’round the bend’ –
even when he was sober, which was rare.
Dandy Luke they sometimes called him – and he tried his best,
with his silky hair gelled up on the crown of his head
like a hillock of freshly-laid dog turd.
Ink spots on his frilly white shirt (Luke liked to write poems
when he wasn’t seeing double),
kept a Hollywood lea of neat black stubble
on his beer-soaked face.
Yet he sure smelled nice under that beer stink of his,
from the free samples of cologne handed out by his sister
who worked at the perfume counter of a well-known chain.
“Gonna tell you about a girl called Emma-Jane McGee…”
Luke began to sing, and oh boy were we shocked
that not only did he possess some mighty fine pipes,
but knew words other than: “Bartender make that the same again.”
“Emma-Jane McGee fell from her tree,
into a grave pre-dug by her lover,
a lover whose heart was owned by another.
No stone was laid to mark her place,
no words carved to honour her grace,
nor even a memory, in the cold embrace
of a brand new lover with a different face –
the face that usurped the one of Emma-Jane.
How he’ll kiss that new lover upon her fresh lips,
twist a ring on her finger and say “I do”.
And poor Emma-Jane beneath her tree,
turns in her grave and slips to sleep.
Eternal sleep, the heart goes free,
and endures no pain nor misery.
Goodnight, goodnight, Emma-Jane McGee.
Sleep tight, sleep tight, Emma-Jane McGee.
After, the house band had to be nudged into action to play,
because they were standing there in just as much awe as we.
“The Lion Cult loves you!” they declared to Luke,
as he stepped down from the stage, and fell flat on his face.

 

6.

Unaided, ha! – as if she ever needed anyone’s help!
Third and last to get up on the stage was Rude Girl Sally who was all the rage
back in ’98 when the sun shone for days,
and we all got our money’s worth of a good decade.
Rude Girl Sally snatched the mic and began to sing:
“Show me your face, your soul, your prick, your tits, your money, your bling.
Show me your heart and I’ll show you mine too,
‘cept my black heart is broken in two.
Suckers don’t like that? Then fuck, fuck you.
I’ll keep my fertile futility close to my breast
which will ne’er feel your touch nor tongue on my nipple.
Ra-ra-raspberry ripple, triple lovers in a bed with mirrors on the ceiling.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the sassiest of them all?
The classiest, bad-assiest, nastiest, canniest, most trashiest?
See, I want it all and I want it now! So gimme, gimme, gimme…
diamonds and tiaras and black panthers and piranhas,
bananas in pyjamas and Barbie dioramas.
Doctor, Doctor, I have this disease… and the disease is myself.”
We watched Sally toss the mic over her shoulder –
Lord, it hit the bass player of the house band square on his head,
though he didn’t seem to mind too much – he was in awe of Sally
like the rest of us. Awe, red raw, bleeding all over the sticky stage floor,
as rude Girl Sally suddenly ripped off her dress
and showed us her breasts, upon which she’d scrawled in black pen:
‘Over’ on the left, ‘Rated’ on the right.

 

7.

And we thought we witnessed a miracle that night
at the Broken Boat Inn after Duende walked in.
And in the silence that followed Sally’s performance,
we heard the slow-handclapping of Duende at the bar,
who supped his whiskey and sucked a fat cigar.
“Did you see God?” he asked us. “Did you see your true creator?”
Sort of. Kind of. Not sure. Maybe, was the general response –
sometimes the crowd there is so hard to work
– none more so than the landlady, who pulled down the Thompson,
and aimed it’s barrel at the head of Duende.
“Let’s call it three-hundred bucks, shall we honey?
Coz the only God we know here is the colour of money.”
And Duende stood straight and tall and took off his hat,
and his head was all shiny, and had this queer radiance, an aura
that stunned us one and all in the ancient bar of the Broken Boat Inn.
“You say you saw no God tonight?” Duende said evenly.
“If so, then who do you see before you now – if not your God?”
“I see a man full of holes,” snarled the landlady,
and she shot Duende dead to the bar room floor,
who did nought else but got back on his feet, dusted himself down and said:
“I’ll forgive you for that, for I’m the forgiving type. Now get to your knees
and worship your Lord, and pray The Lion Cult has a song left in them yet.”
And the house band, not immune to the occasional spell of metaphysics,
began playing something by Jerry Lee Lewis,
and for sure that night, after Duende walked in,
there was a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on…
Shaking and a-quaking, and a rush to the bar to buy drinks for Duende
who was deemed a God worthy of celebration that night
when idols came calling at the Broken Boat Inn.


Words and art by the editor.

Thanks to a three-masted ship of inspiration:

Sophia Riley-Kobacker ** The History of Emotions Blog ** Everything2: Nick Cave’s Love Song Lecture **


 

Curiouser and curiouser… the Bburago HAT Catalogue 1976, starring:

“The Curious Case of the Random, Everyday Objects Superimposed Next to the Cars!”

… and nothing to do with hats, though it is a little mad, Alice…

… mad objects like coins, pasta, moon rocks, pencil shavings, Andorran flag bottle tops, and more! Maybe some of our Italian visitors can help out with the significance of these photographed objects placed next to drawings of cars? Or will they be as nonplussed as us? Non? What’s Italian for ‘no’? The catalogue in question is Italian, a Bburago HAT (Hobbies And Toys) 1976 N°2 edition. Perhaps catalogue N°1 had similar designs? The objects seem to be ‘hobby’ or ‘food’ related? Just how are these everyday items related to toy cars??

So many questions, I know, I know! Let’s move quickly to the scans which show some truly wonderful artwork of the models available by Bburago at the time. As was often typical with 1970s advertising, design teams didn’t photograph their product they hired artists to draw it!


The cover… already you see weird objects, but not so noticeable as the images are tiny…


Inside… it all begins in a quite orderly fashion with a very cool cross section of a die cast car…


And then… Bam! Straight down the rabbit hole… it’s random object time… 

(with bonus FREE pun-and-nonsense commentary from our editing team!!)

1.

… A serious car, serious coinage!

Coins!


2.

Please put the lid back on the toothpaste when you’ve finished brushing your teeth!

Toothpaste lid!


3.

Somebody call me a thimble!

Thimble!


4.

Excuse me, officer, I seem to have lost my marbles!

Marbles!

There are others…

Think I’ve got most of them…

(click images to go bigger)

5 – 22


23.

Bottle tops. The nearest one appears to be the Andorran flag?

Bottle tops!


24.

The pen is mightier than the police car?

Pen nibs!


25.

Back to school. Pencil shavings!

Pencil shavings!

At school, in your pencil case, you were likely to have a cheap, plastic sharpener, red, yellow or blue or something; if you were lucky, you’d have one of those sturdy, metal, technical drawing sharpeners; some had sharpeners that were moulded inside see-through containers into which the shavings could be collected and emptied later; others had novelty promotional sharpeners for cartoon, TV and film characters.

Then there was the ‘beast-of-all-sharpeners’… the one that belonged to the entire class, usually bolted onto the end of the teacher’s desk – a sinister-looking device that could grind down three different-sized pencils at a time, automatic or crank handle-operated, when in motion it sounded like a derailed steam train driven over a cliff by Godzilla, and this monster of a pencil-sharpener, make no mistake, could easily rip off your fingers, and the entire lower arm of some of the smaller pupils!


26.

Decorative beads or tongue-tingling sweets?? No fear, we’re not taste-testing them, they’ve been out of their packaging since 1976!

Decorative beads or tongue-tingling sweets??

Calls down to archives: “Wooof… got some tasty new treats for you to test out, dear cat(muhuhahaha)…”
Wooof: “But you’ve already tested them yourself, dear editor.”
Me: “I have?”
Wooof: “Yes, what do you think it was that I sprinkled on top of your cappuccino this morning?”
Me (going green about the gills): “Uuumph!”


27.

… And finally… a back pages questionnaire, for kids, in Italy, in 1976.


Thanks for identifying random objects with us :) If you know the identity of any of the mystery objects in today's post please let us know in the comments. Likewise, if you have any idea what is going on, about anything at all really, ever, we're here, and we'd like to know too! This post has been brought to you by TVTA random objects and old school schools of old school school stories.

 

Day of the Dead poem: Interlude Idioglossia

“An angel may weep if a twin should die”

Interlude Idioglossia (song of the twins)

Why didya haf to go, haf to go? (an leave me all alowen)
Broken-hearted tempo in the hearth (flames all aglowen)
All alowen, larlarlowen, lowen, lar lar lar.
At the Cut, pockits emty, we saw the bombed buildins
crumble, rumble-rubble, rumbba rub-rub.
Granma died in that house, royt, rumbba rub-rub,
rubbed out, smithereens, so mightily blown-up.
A Pfennig for yer thoughts me dear… Luftwaffe,
Left Bank Francs fer catacombs tours deep under Paris,
leftovers, angovers, a face as lung as Livery Street,
an all the Purple Hearts Mom cud eat –
kept her depression dowen (kept pharmacists in lifestyles
they had growen accustomed to).
Is it jus me, or is it the sadness of everything,
an everyone, everywhere, and all that’s ever been?

 

Bacon, liver, taters, carrots, loose tea, lar lar lar.
(rations is a passion for the nostrils when passin through the yard)
Lollylar, lollylar (cominyar cominyar)
Rememba Trev the horse an Joey the tortuss,
an Dandy dog an Patch the cat?
Them stillborn rabbits buried under Dad’s lawn?
(Sausages grow on trees yer know, lar lar lar)
Shellin peas, wipe yer feet on a doorstep made from a shell,
unexploded, metal, so shiny, merry Christmas from Hell.
Why didya haf to go, haf to go? (an leave me all alowen)
Broken-hearted tempo in the hearth (flames all aglowen)
All alowen, larlarlowen, lowen, lar lar lar.

 

Midland Red, daily bread, We’ll Meet Again, blackbird bye, bye,
Mrs Mills knees-up yellin: ‘Happy New Year’ to a thunderous sky.
Breakin hips, breakin words, breakin backs, breakin vows,
bustin guts, chewin gum, G.I. Joe, nylon stockings, choclit up
to the neck in muck and bullets and lar lar soldier blood.
Mom’s best mate… was seventeen…
gassed herself coz she thought she wasn’t clean.
(Or was it coz she was preggers, like?)
O so beautiful, so beautiful she was,
(an I’d cry her some tears if I had any left)
Is it jus me, or is it the sadness of everything,
an everyone, everywhere, and all that’s ever been?

 

Mom promised us a picnic if we were gud,
an pretty new dresses with matching red huds.
(lar lar lar)
The teacher never cud tell us apart in a munth of Sundys.
But school’s dun with now, royt, so cum out n play,
shake off yer unparalleled sadness
as heavy as a hundred woollen coats soaked by rain,
an the river-lung tears of angels missin their wings.
An hark now, listen to the song o the twins…
Fer the sweetest things may be heard above all storms
of the mightiest wrath (and the sadness of all things).

 

Lar lar lar, I knew you’d be waitin fer me when I came home.
Took ages dint it?
More days than I knew what to do with, if truth be known.
Did you miss me?
Is the Pope Catholic?
These colours, ay, they don’t half look gud. Shall we keep em?
(lar lar lar) to be sure to be sure.
An how many, do you suppose, twins are there in Heaven?
Why sister, dear sister, more than anyone cud imagine!
An now there’s us, together again,
Lollylar, lollylar (cominyar cominyar).


Día de Muertos. November 1st. 2018.

Words and lino cut by the editor.

19th and 20th century lithographs + angels, art and advertising

American Crescent Cycles par Winthrop Ramsdell 1899

La Tournée du Chat Noir par Thoéphile Steinlen. 1896. Tin plate.


Cats That Come Back. At a poster store in Montmartre you spent your final few euros on cards depicting the lithographic advertising styles of the late 19th and early 20th century. You took photos of the outside of the poster store, and had one taken of yourself and your youngest son, a part of you indulging in some late-afternoon fantasy that you were the proprietors of said store. What fun, surrounded by art originally intended to part one from one’s cash – and a hundred years later it’s still doing the same, only selling itself this time around. What a sale, what a fine boutique did those Parisian streets make for you. For it’s easy to get lost in the culture, art and spirit of expression when it surrounds you in all its breath-taking vibrancy. There is a deep yearning. A searching back through history to find a part of yourself you may recognise. Print advertising is consumerism’s cocky high art. A brassy exhibition of wonders. A sly yet alluring gallery that invites you inside. It’s everything you love and loathe in the same moment. You pitch these paper testimonials to commercialism with all the integrity and enthusiasm of a loving archivist. But you are also an artist. Those Paris streets and galleries and windows and walls whispered to your heart. Hell, sometimes they yelled at you, told you they remembered, recalled your angels & fey (born from the snippets and slivers of glossy ads in magazines in case you didn’t know), the exhibitions, the foreign shores, the hours spent holding brushes and conjuring colours. You sold it well, they said. You made an impression. You left a mark. People were happy. Sometimes that’s the least you have to do. From: The Artist and the Four Hats




Job par Alfons Mucha 1896

Job done?

For a bit

Too busy writing

To try and score another hit

It’s a circle you see

A merry go round

You jump on and off at certain points

feet touch the ground

Back up again

Always looking for those special connections


Palooka N° 5


Words, Angel & Fey artwork by the editor.
Colour Angels & Fey scans taken from Palooka issue 5.
Lithograph adverts scanned from commercial postcards and tin plates are shown for illustrative purposes only. No infringement of copyright is intended.
Cat count: we spotted at least 26 images of cats in this blog post. A new TVTA record!

Poem: The ever-growing, space-consuming giant Mish-mash tree

Words and illustrations by the Editor.

For Adam.

I grew from a seed in my garden one day
A giant Mish-mash tree with purple fruit and pink spray.
It began at fourteen inches and had such an appetite
That it ate all my tomatoes and grew four foot overnight.
The next day it rained on my giant Mish-mash tree
And the sun shone so brightly that by quarter-past three
It was bigger than my house and had scoffed my runner beans.
Oh how hungry you are, my giant Mish-mash tree!

The following morning as I tended to my flowers,
My shock and my horror, they had all been devoured.
The pansies and the bluebells and my pretty rose borders,
Chomped down to their stalks, this was so out of order!
At first I blamed the slugs then the dog then the cat,
Then I realised in my garden there was only one thing so fat…
Only one thing so portly, porky, podgy, plump to see…
My ever-growing space-consuming giant Mish-mash tree!

Its trunk I measured fifty feet, its height three thousand inches tall,
Each purple fruit weighed sixteen stone and looked like cannonballs.
“She’s a lively little grower,” my old neighbour remarked,
“You’ll need to sell your garden soon and buy a blimmin’ park!”
Pah and utter tish-tosh, how I scoffed at what he said,
But then three hours later the tree had eaten up my shed!
You greedy, gluttonous, gobbling, gulping giant Mish-mash tree,
Where am I to store my tools now my shed is in your tummy?

Enough was enough, there could be no truce or pardon,
At this rate by tomorrow I would no longer have a garden.
Angrily I shook my fist up at the Mish-mash tree,
But all it did was snigger and snort and grow another ten feet.
And then it rumbled and it grumbled and I had to act fast…
I could see it had intentions on my prize strawberry patch.
And worse, my greenhouse, full of little bonsai trees,
“You leave those tiny trees alone!” I warned my Mish-mash tree.

I rushed inside and quickly dialled
The emergency action garden line…
The botanical gardens and the local nursery…
The national parks and the forestry committee…
Gardens Weekly and Gardeners’ World…
What Garden, Which Garden and The Gardening Herald…
A tree surgeon, a lumberjack, a professor of trees…
But they all thought me mad and put the phone down on me!

And so I chanced upon a book at the local lending library,
‘How to Win Friends and Influence People With a Nice Cup of Tea’…
Well, if it can work for humans why not plants?
So I borrowed the book and took my chance!
And the very next day I approached the Mish-mash tree
With an honest invitation for a nice cup of tea.
Just him and me, in my conservatory,
And if he behaved I would chuck in a pack of custard creams!

The tree it shook with gladness and glee,
Said: “Oh I do so love a cup of tea! I’ll come, I’ll come, quite happily!”
“There’s just one problem,” I warned the tree,
“You’re far too big for my conservatory…
You’re far too big for Buckingham Palace,
And you won’t need a cup you’ll need a king-size chalice!
If only you could shrink to a reasonable size…
I’m certain you would have such a lovely time.”

The Mish-mash tree looked down at me and gave a gentle smile,
Said: “Earl Grey, Indian, Chinese, mint, green and camomile,
Are all my favourite types of brew, and I’m quite partial to a custard cream too,
So I’ll gladly shrink to a dinky thing and join you for a high tea for two!”
“Oh thank you!” I cheered. “Let me find you a pot,
And put you on my table in the sunniest spot.
Come join me indoors, we’ll drink gallons of tea,
My ever-shrinking, not space-consuming, tiny Mish-mash tree.
Drink tea, drink tea, drink gallons of tea,
Just you and me in my conservatory.”

The End

Writers of the world your carriage awaits

Petite – the written world at your small fingertips

1980. Fair-Play. France.

How many of us began our mechanical word journeys on a Petite typewriter? In the 80s I didn’t have a Petite, but I did inherit my auntie’s Scout typewriter that she used for college in the 60s – a small, compact, pastel blue thing of some elegance and which weighed a ton. I wonder how many times my fingers pushed those creamy white keys, how my ears attuned to the striking of hammers against the ribbon onto the page?

The Scout was dethroned by an early 90s electronic word processor, a Brother, which weighed two tons and took up all the space on my desk. It came with a screen about the size of a  letterbox on a front door and could save to floppy disks as well as print. Both the manual and electronic machines served me well as a young writer, popping out page after page of poems and stories (of which a certain few were published. And there is a charm now to that old-school way of submitting typed work by post with an SAE that you had to do back then – but that’s another story for another time). Back to the machines, and I still have pages that were churned out from them which have survived the years and all the moves. It’s funny looking over them again, not just the words I wrote but the typeface, the indents, the smudges and marks. The time-yellowed correction fluid blobs.

When the electronic Brother became redundant, with parts increasingly difficult to get hold of, it was replaced by my first laptop and MS Word package. It’s satisfying seeing words, sentences and paragraphs organise and compose themselves on a computer screen. The tools available make searching and editing simple and fast. With that said, you still can’t beat the elemental feel of a pen in your hand, its shaft working magic from the flicks and swirls of your wrist.

To the left of me right now are hillocks of paper marked by Bics and Papermates and HB pencils – precious notes. To the right is a coffee cup. And in the centre of these is the keyboard, and the screen that I stare into every day, the screen upon which those pen-made notes find their order and place.

I’ll let the artist Stella Marrs have the last word(s) at the end of this post. For now, please enjoy these images of what is possibly the equivalent of the writer’s first car, the Petite typewriter! Plus, a sewing machine, and an activity centre …

It’s all about creation, right?


1980. Fair-Play. France.


1980. Fair-Play. France.


1980. Fair-Play. France.


1980. Fair-Play. France.


1980. Fair-Play. France.


Hamleys. UK. 1983.


stellamarrs.com


Thanks for carbon copying with us 🙂