A poem for Grandma

My Grandma died a month or so ago. She was a talented artist, exhibiting and selling her work over the previous 30-40 years as well as being the local go-to seamstress, birthday card maker and anything else that required time, skill and patience.

I’ve written a short poem based on this fact and the presumption from my family that I’m the chosen one to carry on her work, in the art at least!

Thanks for giving the time to read it.

A talent lost, creation slain,
what I would give to speak again
about the things we never said
and all the questions in my head

Like did it all come naturally
as it is not so smooth for me
and was it all so effortless
as all I can create is mess

Has your skill passed on to me
however surreptitiously?
If I asked more while you were here
your sage advice I’d hold so dear

I know the answers cannot come
so I must be prepared to plumb
the depth of my artistic skill
before creating work to thrill

So as my life rolls on apace
remembering your kindly face
will not cause me to cry but calls
to create paintings fit for walls

Why Australia are in the Eurovision Song Contest and other confusions, explained

There are two types of country in the European Broadcasting Union, Members and Associate Members. Australia are Associate Members. The regulations for the contest say that you must be a member of the EBU to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Why are Australia allowed to participate in 2015? Australia is allowed is because they’ve been invited – just this once – to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the contest.

Who is allowed to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest?

Dark blue countries are EBU Members, light blue are EBU Associate Members

When Eurovision comes around each year, people are always saying “Israel? They’re not in Europe” or similar. You can’t deny that’s true but that has no reason for their participation or otherwise in the contest. There are 56 countries in the European Broadcasting Union and 56 countries in Europe. However, these lists are by no means identical. Here is a breakdown – participating nations are in bold:

European & EU Countries in the EBU

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican City

African Countries in the EBU

Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia

Asian & Middle Eastern Countries in the EBU

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Jordan

All of these countries may participate in the Eurovision Song Contest if they wish as they are members of the EBU. It doesn’t matter if they’re in Europe or not.

Who are the other members of the EBU?

There are also a number of Associate Members. These 22 countries, despite their membership of the EBU, may not enter the Eurovision Song Contest:

EBU Associate Members

EBU Associate Members

Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Syria, United States. The EBU have said that they are looking into the possibility of inviting guest countries in the future if the Australia thing works out.

What if Australia Win?

Australia would return for the 2016 contest, would organise the contest as winners do the following year – but it would need to held in a European city of their choice. I hope that has cleared the confusion – aggravated by Australia this year – that seems to arise each year about which countries may participate in the contest.

Astronomical Haiku

The moon and planets
Glistening above my head
In near conjunction

Bus Haiku

Walk briskly from work
220 from Cleckheaton
It is always late