Oct 24th

The Frog

By brenda r

This is one of my favorites 
A frog goes into a bank, and hops up on the desk of the loan officer. ''Hi,'' he croaks.''What's your name?''
The loan officer says, ''My name is John Paddywack. May I help you?''
''Yeah,'' says the frog. ''I'd like to borrow some money.''
The loan officer finds this a little odd, but gets out a form. ''Okay,what's your name?''
The frog replies, ''Kermit Jagger.''
''Really?'' says the loan officer. ''Any relation to Mick Jagger?''
''Yeah, he's my dad.''
''Hmmm,'' says the loan officer. ''Do you have any collateral?''
The frog hands over a pink ceramic elephant and asks, ''Will this do?''
The loan officer says, ''Um, I'm not sure. Let me go check with the bank manager.''
''Oh, tell him I said hi,'' adds the frog. ''He knows me.''
The loan officer goes back to the manager and says, ''Excuse me, sir, but there's a frog out there named Kermit Jagger who wants to borrow some money. All he has for collateral is this pink elephant thing; I'm not even sure what it is.''
The manager says: ''It's a knick-knack, Paddywack, give the frog a loan; his old man's a Rolling Stone !

Oct 21st

Don't Quit, by Harvey Conroy

By Mary B


When things go wrong as they sometimes will

when the road you're trudging

seems all uphill,


When money is low

and the debts are high

and you want to smile

but you have to sigh


When care is pressing you down a bit,

rest if you must, but don't you quit.


Success is failure turned inside out,

the silver lining of the clouds of doubt.

You can never tell,

how close you are,

it may be near,

when it seems so far,

so stick to the fight

when your hardest hit





Oct 20th

Calling all DropBy Members - Research Help Required for UCL

By Mary B

We have been asked to help University College London with some of their research.....by completing a short online survey. We are delighted to be able to help.....


Are you aged 60 years and over?

Are you currently experiencing difficulties with generalised anxiety disorder or long-term worrying?

If the answer is yes then we would like to hear from you.

We have developed a short survey that will ask you about what types of treatment you have been offered for generalised anxiety disorder or long-term worrying and how well this has worked for you.

This should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

If you are interested in taking part then please go to:


Oct 19th

In times of trouble..put the kettle on!

By jackie v


 I have just received a text from Donald Much-Humper. He and his wife, Sherry, have said goodbye to a Russian boy and his Mama after 3 weeks. It has gone well. Donald did the activities and Sherry did the teaching. All seemed very satisfied with this solution.


At Heathrow, Donald noticed that he could hardly lift the suitcases. He wondered what the Russian Mama had bought that would weigh the case down so much. He knows better than to question a Russian Mama whose husband had links to the ex KGB. Keep walking! No talking!


Sergei is 13 but going on 65 with regards to interests. He accompanied Donald most afternoons to the Allotment and helped him paint the shed and cultivate the potatoes and tomatoes. The strawberries it would appear, were not ripe yet. He had been studying with Donald on a Hometuition Course where he lives with his Tutor in a full Immersion Course with Lessons. Previously, he had done this in New Zealand, but the Russian Mama had declared Auckland to be devoid of culture and fashion!


“There is a huge Black Market for Marmite right in the centre of Moscow, dont ya know!Moscow! “


Mama meanwhile went out with Sherry and trolled around the shops in Brighton; Chichester and Guildford.

 . Sherry declared one night over dinner, “there appears to be a lot of flexing of American Express” . Platinum, of course!




Anyway back to Check in.    Donald couldn’t lift the suitcase, without the assistance of a rather nice boy from the Aeroflot Counter!  The pair of them lifted it and both grew rather red in the face.  It was, as you can imagine, well over the limit and then some!    Did she want to empty some of the content out or pay the extra.  The Platinum card was produced with a flourish.   They paid the extra!


Back home over Horlicks and Rich tea biscuits, Donald and Sherry wondered what was in the case to make it so heavy.  “ Did they ask her to open it?” asked Sherry.


“ Not a bit of it, “ said Donald, as he purposefully dunked his Rich tea into the Horlicks


“ I shall write to her then” declared Sherry “ its all rather odd and added to that she has left all of her clothes behind in the spare bedroom!”


Fast forward to a week later


“ I have a reply from Olga” ( Russian mama of Sergei) ) and you wont believe it “


Sherry was almost beside herself with excitement


“ Well come on, Old Girl, spill the beans!” ( this is English slang for tell me all your news, at once!)


Well, the reason why the suitcase was so heavy is because she filled it with jars of Marmite


“ Marmite?” repeated Donald. “Did you said, Marmite?”


“Indeed, I did, Donald. Apparently she can go home and sell it there. There is a huge Black Market for Marmite right in the centre of Moscow! So that explains why she left all of her clothes behind. She completely filled her suitcase with Marmite. All sizes as well”


Donald and Sherry looked at each other. “ There is nowt so queer as folk” and Donald scratched his head. “ Fancy a cuppa, Old Girl?”


“ Indeed I do, “ said Sherry. “… and don’t worry, our next student is from China, so it will be a walk in the park” and with that she went and put the kettle on, as all British do in times of worry




Oct 17th

1000 Marbles

By brenda r




The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work.  Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other.  What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net.  Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice.  You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business.  He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to  listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much.  Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.  It's too bad you missed your daughter's "dance recital" he continued.  "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."  
"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.  The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of  Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.  

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays." "I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a  thousand of them left to enjoy.  So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had.  I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.  I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.  There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your  family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band.  This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." " What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles... 

A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend. 

And so, as one smart bear once said..."If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you."
- Winnie the Pooh.

Oct 17th


By brenda r

Something to ponder...



You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. 

It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. 

I know that I lived them all...

And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams... But, here it is ...the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...

How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my babies go? And where did my youth go? 

I remember well ...seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like... 

But, here it is ...wife retired and she's really getting gray ...she moves slower and I see an older woman now. She's in better shape than me .. but I see the great change ...  Not the one I married who was young and vibrant ...but, like me, her age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be. 

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore .it's mandatory! 'Cause if I don't on my own free will .I just fall asleep where I sit! 

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life, unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and the ability to go and do things. 

But, though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long

it will last...this I know, that when it's over...it's over...


Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done ...things I should have done. But indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done.  Its all in a lifetime... 

So, if you're not in your winter yet .let me remind you:

 it will be here faster than you think. Thus, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly! 

Life goes by so fast. So, do what you can today because you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! 

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life ...therefore, do your best today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...

"Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift

to those who came after. Make it a fantastic one." 


Oct 7th

Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth (Arthur Hugh Clough, 1819 – 1861)

By Mary B

Say not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
But westward, look, the land is bright!

Oct 6th

The Highway By Alfred Noyes

By Sandy H

The Highwayman

By Alfred Noyes




The wind was a torrent of darkness

among the gusty trees.

the moon was a ghostly galleon tossed

upon the cloudy seas.

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over

the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding-


The highwayman came riding, up to the

old inn-door.


He'd a French cocked-hat on his

forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,

A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches

of brown doe-skin.

They fitted with never a wrinkle.  His

boots were up to the thigh.

And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,

His pistol butts a-twinkle

His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the

jewelled sky.


Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed

in the dark inn-yard.

He tapped with his whip on the shutters,

but all was locked and barred.

He whistled a tune to the window, and

who should be waiting there

but the landlord's daughter,

Bess, the landlord's daughter,

plaiting a dark red love-knot into her

long black hair


And dark in the dark old inn-yard a

stable-wicket creaked

Where Tim the ostler listened.  His face

was white and peaked.

His eyes were hollows of madness, his

hair like mouldy hay.

But he loved the landlord's daughter,

The landlords red-lipped daughter.

dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard 

the robber say-


"One kiss, my bonny sweeteart, I'm

after a prize to-night,

but I shall be back with the yellow gold

before the morning light;

Yet, if they press me sharply,and harry

me through the day,

Then look for me by the moonlight,,

watch for me by the moonlight,

I'll come to thee by the moonlight,though

hell should bar the way."


He rose upright in the stirrups, He scarce

could reach her hand.

But she loosened her hair in the

casement.  his face burnt like a brand

As the black cascade of perfume came

tumbling over his breast;

And he kissed its waves in the moonlight.

(o, sweet black waves in the


Then he tugged at his rein in the 

moonlight, and galloped away to the




He did not come in the dawning.  He did

not come at noon;

And out of the tawney sunset, before the

rise of the moon,

When the road was a gypsy's ribbon,

looping the purple moor,

A red-coat troop came marching-

Marching-marching up to

the old inn-door.


They said no word to the landlord.  they

drank his ale instead.

but they gaggedhis daughter, and bound

her, to the foot of her narrow bed,

Two of them  knelt at her casement, with

muskets at their side!

There was death at every window;

And Hell at one dark window;

For Bess could see, through her

casement, the road that he would ride.


They had tied her up to attention, with

many a sniggering jest.

They had bound a musket beside her,

with muzzle beneath her breast!

"Now, keep good watch!" and they kissed

her.  She heard the doomed man say-

Look for me by the moonlight;

Watch for me by the moonlight;

I'll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell

should bar the way!


She twisted her hands behind her;but all

the knotsheld good!

She writhed her hands till her fingers

were wet with sweat and bllod!

They stretched and strained in the

darkness, and the hours crawled by

like years

Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,

Cold, on the stroke of midnight,

The tip of one finger touched it.  She

strove no more  for rest.

Up, She stood up to attention, with the

muzzle, beneath her breast.

She would not risk their hearing; she

would not strive again;

For the road lay bare in the moonlight;

Blank and bare in the moonlight;

And the blood of her veins, in the

moonlight, throbbed to her love's



Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot,in

the echoing night!

Nearer he came and nearer.  Her face was

like a light.

Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she

drew one last deep breath,

Then her finger moved in the moonlight,


Her muskett shattered the


Shattered her breast in the moonlight

and warned him-with her death.


He turned. He spurred to the west; he

did not know who stood

Bowed, with her head o'er the muskett,

drenched with her own blood!

Not till the dawn he heard it, and hid face

grew grey to hear

How Bess,the landlord's daughter,

Had watched for her love in the

moonlight, and died in the darkness



Back he spurred like a madman,

shrieking a curse to the sky,

With the white road smoking behind 

him and his rapier brandished high.

Blood red were his spurs in the golden

noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;

When they shot him down on the highway,

And he lay in his blood on the highway,

with a bunch of lace at his throat.


And still on a winters night, they say, when

the windisin the trees,

When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed

upon cloudy seas,

When the road is a ribbon of moonlight

over the purple moor,

A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.


Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in

the dark inn-yard.

He taps with his whip on the shutters, but

all is locked and barred.

He whistles a tune to the windowand who

should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,

Bess, the landlord's daughter,

plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long

black hair.






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