Come in, it's lovely to see you. Pull up a cushion and stay as long as you like.

Monday, 22 December 2014

For A Moment I Was Still

So there I was walking along in the dark. The very dark. The first evening after the longest night dark. It was a clearing my head and getting some fresh air after work walk. You know the ones. To my left the sea and to my right the beach huts. As I approached a sharpish corner where things move round to the right, the beach huts and the path following the natural curve of the sea as it comes further inland and forms a smallish beach and pool, I saw a figure standing on the bend, right on the edge of the path. I knew I would have to walk right past whoever it was standing there.
So I moved as close to the edge of the concrete path as I safely could without falling down the steps into the sea and quickened my pace a bit, took my hands out of my pockets preparing my body for, well, what exactly? A brief burst of energy, some fight or flight. Ah yes. I was nervous, wary, frightened. You know the feeling don't you.
As I got closer I sent out a tentative 'Good evening', hoping the response would give me an indication of my adversary, my foe (for in those few seconds that's what the figure had become). Silence. No response. As I got too close to back away and the path curved some light from around the corner showed me the truth. The figure was a life jacket in it's casing on a pole.

I had to laugh to release the adrenalin, and carried on walking. Round the corner past the beach and then onto the road to complete the circuit. But just before I left the sea behind I turned to face it and stopped. Completely stopped. And allowed myself to feel. A few troubling thoughts immediately made their presence felt and in the intensity of them I panicked and felt as if my heart was going to break and tears came. My rational male mind immediately tried to push the feelings away and start problem solving. But then a bigger thought came to my mind.
'What's the hurry my friend, where are you trying to get to? All there is is this moment. This one moment. Be still'.
I looked out to the darkness of the sea and smelt the freshness of the air. That salty sea air. I love it. I always have. I could hear the wind making music as it made it's way past metal poles and wooden huts. I felt it's chill against my face and its dampness met the wetness where the tears were. I felt solid, whole. I was aware of my head and my hands and my feet. I could make out the sea moving and there were other shapes. I didn't need to know what they were. I was just there. Standing. Breathing. Alive.

Then the moment was over and I turned and continued walking.
I had another laugh at my earlier bit of fear, and sure enough other thoughts started rising. I realised that although it's easy to mistake things in the dark we do it in the light as well. In broad daylight we do it. We see what we want to see or what we think we can see, but we don't look. Inside we are just as dark as this very dark. We judge and project and criticise.
Then I was back, things to be getting on with, what to do first, what can I get away with not doing, did I do that right, will I do this right? Etc.

I sat down to take my shoes off and mentally relived my walk before it faded, lost to my present activity. And I remembered that for a moment, just one moment, I was still.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Does the wind?

What does the wind have to offer
that the sea can't give?

Is the sun
better than the moon?

Does the cry of the gull have more meaning
than the widows tears?

The waves break on the shore
children laugh
and the dying man regrets.

In the forest the trees listen
but they keep their secrets.

Is it true that only suffering
can bring us moments like this?

Hurts cannot be undone
only forgiven.

Heaven or hell?
It's up to you, my friend.....

Sunday, 16 November 2014

A Scenario

I wrote this one evening a week or so ago in my little portable note book whilst sat in a local hotel bar, waiting for a friend to arrive. This is it as written, first draft, unedited or proof read or thought about or planned. Just as it came out onto the page, as these things do.....

A Scenario

Faced with a blank page
our hero bravely offered
some words

and in the writing of these words
the world rejoiced
and all was well.

The blank page was no longer blank,
the words had found a new home
and were settling in.

Our hero had risen
to a new challenge
and proved himself fit for the task.

The sun rose brighter
and the sky was bluer than ever before,
where once there was sadness
now there was joy.

The sick were healed
the poor were now rich
the hungry fed
the naked clothed
and the blind could see.

Books became popular again
and every bookshop
and every library
was filled with avid excited readers
demanding pages filled with words.
Our hero's words.

Fear of the blank page
was no more

and our hero was worshiped
by all.

There is no moral to this story
just words offered
to a blank page.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Ballad of Sid

Whilst out for a beer and some munge
The rozzers caught up with Sid Grunge
He had to think quick
To give them the slip
So he jumped down his lady-friends clunge.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Wrong Side Of The Road

Sometimes in life
you may find yourself wandering
down the wrong side of the road.

It will feel uncomfortable
and you won't like it.

But don't cross over,
dwell awhile.

If all you do is look back at what you have
from a different viewpoint
and appreciate it more,

what a treasure will have been found.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


For the Green Party in Colchester, 10th birthday bash, held at the Waiting Room. I was invited to perform (what a privilege), and decided to write something especially for the occasion. In a desperate attempt to be original I called it this!


Green is the colour of my son's wellington boots
that he lets me wear for wet dog walks
around the village green.
is all around us

England: still the land of pleasant green
with its little villages
and football pitches
cheese and onion crisp packets
and leaf strewn ditches.
Though fast becoming wrapped
in a cloak of lifeless grey
the woodland sacrificed
for the motorway.

Green was the colour of my Dad's estate car
he would drive us to the swimming pool in it
and himself to the pub
(and back again)
and once on holiday to the Isle of Wight.
But we all know that a car
even a green coloured one
is not very green.

Green is the colour of Spring
those little shoots that appear,
heralding the start of
another year.

The sea is sometimes green
a pea is green
it's also the colour
of mint ice cream which
even on a rainy day
eases the cares of life away.

I always ate my greens
especially on a Sunday.
They're good for you Mum would say
and she was right.
But now we all eat too much brown
and white.

Mum sleeps with the green now
she has for some time now,
green is the blanket
for her long goodnight.
And that's all right.
That's all right.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Yours Sincerely

Is there truth in the rumour
that your good humour
has been tested by
my negligent use of
the rules of grammar?

Please accept
this apostrophe
as a means of apology
to insert where you see fit.

Perhaps this is just
an analogy
for something else

Yours Sincerely


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Nothing Worth Knowing

I wrote you a poem
about nothing worth knowing.
I sent it anyway.

I wrote another poem
about something worth knowing.
Although you never liked the first one
I sent it anyway.

I wrote another poem
unsure if it was worth knowing.
It was better than the first two
or so I thought.
But I didn't send it

anyway I wrote another
poem not that you
care one way or the other
but I still wrote it and
will probably write another
one. Or two.

Is any of this worth knowing?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Right and Wrong and the Queen's English


Right and wrong. Why the w at the beginning of wrong? It's a funny thing the English language, in my opinion. And I know I am risking the full fury of the grammar police here, but such is life.

I can see why there is right and write, two different words with two different meanings so lets spell them differently. But then we can have one word spelt the same with two different meanings. Spelt for example. And spell (am I allowed to begin a sentence with and?).

Why the k at the beginning of knee? Why have letters at the beginning of words that we don't pronounce. Would the world end if we nelt instead of knelt? Why run and not wrun?

A friend recently suggested that the reason is without correct grammar and punctuation we are unable to understand correctly what is meant, and dire consequences would ensue. And of course the way our grammar rules are constructed that can certainly be the case. Yet I have read many posts on social media, etc, (not necessarily the best place to look for correct grammar and punctuation I know) that have the most awful spelling and grammar, but I know exactly what is meant. And I can communicate quite clearly with them without feeling the need to correct them or belittle them in any way. I have also read pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages (that's a lot of pages) of correct grammar and spelling and punctuation; essays, books, articles, blogs etc and can honestly say I haven't a clue what that person was trying to say. I wonder if there isn't more literate nonsense out there then well meant and heartfelt honest communication, albeit spelt wrong.

I think, or rather suspect, that when these grammar rules were first introduced the vast majority of the population were illiterate and this was done to further exclude and create barriers, rather than to include and bring people closer together. After all it is the Queen's English (was it ever the King's?). Keep the common woman and man in their place (not there place, heaven forbid), and allow those who knew (not new) the rules to feel superior. And I see that still going on. More so now (not know) than ever before.

For instance, there has been another appalling spate of vile, inhuman beheadings, and I notice a few angry responses here and there (not their). Yet get an apostrophe wrong or miss it out altogether and the world and her wife are outraged and will happily post the offending sign or article and declare the world is ending and death to all ignoramuses.

I think the apostrophe rule is a bit like the offside rule in football, most people don't get it but some do. It's kind of an elite club that the members can have 'discussions' (arguments) about amongst themselves and use as a stick to beat the rest of us over the head with. And boy do they love it.

I fully admit that I don't understand all the rules. You only have to read through my blogs to see that. I never did. And I have tried. Honest guv. They were 'taught' while I was at school, but never explained. And I'm not certain I have the inclination to even want to bother now.

I can still communicate just as effektively.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Still A Child.

So I'm staying at the lovely cottage of my even lovelier friend. We have just had a late Sunday breakfast in the garden, surrounded by trees and horses. In the fields there are deer and owls, hiding wherever deer and owls hide. But we have seen them before, and will again no doubt. Just knowing they are there is magic. The sky is a lovely clear blue with white clouds and it's fresh and cool. Heaven on earth.

I have just eaten, made by my own fair hands, a double fried egg sandwich with tomato sauce and black pepper, washed down with a very strong coffee. Delicious. All those calories and cholesterol. Yum. (So sue me). And the conversation has turned to what will we do later on? Agreement has been reached on both sides that going for a walk and a pint is the plan. So where to go? Well this is where it gets interesting, and is the whole point of this blog today.

We have two choices. Two pubs, in two different directions. We can walk up the road to the Bush, or down the lane to the Cock. Yes. That's the choice. The Bush or the Cock. I kid you not dear reader.

Isn't that such a lovely choice. I'm going to say it again. The Bush or the Cock. For a pint.

And what's tickling my childish fancy right now is just that. How utterly childish of me, on such a lovely day, to find it funny and for it to make me laugh. How Carry On. How Benny Hill. How Navy Lark and Round The Horne. How Sid James and Kenneth Williams and more besides. I'm 53 but have the mentality of a 13 year old schoolboy. And how much genuine pleasure that is giving me right now is just so lovely. I genuinely love it and I genuinely  could not care less. How puerile. How pathetic. How good and fun it is. Joyful. I'm so glad I haven't 'grown up' (and please God I never do).

And to make matters even better (or probably worse from your point of view) the Cock is actually the Cock Inn. Yes the Cock Inn. (Oh joy of joys). I have a fantasy of opening a pub right next to it and calling it the Cock Out and imagining the discussions people could have about which one to visit. 'Where shall we go this evening my darling, the Cock Inn or the Cock Out. Or we could have a pint at the Cock Inn then another at the Cock Out. Inn and Out. Cock. Cock Inn and Cock Out.

Snigger. Chortle. Guffaw.

And still no decision has been made because this is where I am right now. Being childish. Gloriously and defiantly and oh so happily childish.

Thank you.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Garden Wars Alert

A very lovely traditionally middle class couple who I am friends with were incensed recently when their equally middle class neighbours put up a fence that they say encroached on their land and blocked the sun from their much loved and very well manicured lawn and plants.

Garden wars alert!

Now I do sympathise and agreed that some dialogue needed to take place, but try as best as I can to keep out of other peoples disagreements. I had a feeling this would spiral though, knowing how strongly they followed the maxim 'An Englishwoman's home is her castle' (Did I mention they were strong feminists as well?).

It all came to a head though and I was forced to intervene when I called round earlier and found them all outside, shouting and screaming at each other, almost foaming at the mouths. They had, as they say, 'lost it', and I felt they were going to come to blows so I had to tell them all to just stop and calm down.

For goodness sake I said, is it worth it over a simple fence? Honestly, it was bordering on wisteria!

Thank you

Sunday, 23 March 2014

What's The USE?

I paid another visit yesterday to the good folk of  The Minories Galleries to have a wander, take in the atmosphere and view their latest exhibition USE. Well what else would you want to do on a Saturday in Colchester?

The 'official blurb/information' is to be found if you click on the link above. Here is mine. Not particularly prosaic or wordy just plain and simple. I like it. As in really like it. It's delightful.

Against a backdrop of white painted walls we have collections of whisks, buttons, screws, hinges, coat hangers and, neatly displayed in glass cabinets there are salt and pepper pots, scissors, nut crackers, coffee stirrers and, wait for it, paper clips.

Shall I tell you why I liked it so much? Okay then, seeing as you asked so nicely.

Well my initial and overriding response was that it reminded me of being in my Dad's shed, with all the 'tools' in their place ready for use. The tools in this case being everyday ordinary household objects. The buttons, scissors and the whisks reminded me of my Mum. She used a whisk for cooking and knitted us all jumpers and cardigans. The final act being the sewing on of the buttons. I still have her button tin. Also, on the odd occasion I create an artwork (usually for my Daughter at Christmas) I add a button or three from that tin. It's a way of being creative and passing on a small piece of her. The screws and hinges the very things my Dad would use as he went about his livelihood, and nowadays my Son, both being carpenter/joiners.

I wanted to take a whisk down and make myself an omelette or a milk shake. Then build something that involved hinges and screws. Whilst I was at it I could hang up my jacket, stir my coffee and, erm, crack my nuts.

I was also struck by how much the older style of whisk, with the handles (Mum had a red one) one for holding and one for turning, were very similar to the hand-held drills we used to use for woodwork. Just replace the whisks for a drill bit. None of this namby pamby rechargeable nonsense, and probably why Dad (and Mum at times) had such a vice-like grip of his own!

Who'd have thought it, a collection of everyday inanimate practical objects nailed to walls or in glass cabinets invoking such rich, deep memories. Also just so lovely to wander around and spend some time observing.

But is it art? I hear you asking. Well yes, it is. More on that very question in another blog though as it's also something I have been pondering.

Do go along and have a wander around and decide for  yourself. You could also have coffee/cake/lunch/wine/beer in the Garden Cafe. You can even get married there. Crikey heck what more do you want?

Go on Go on Go on.....

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Who's A Godlike Genius?

I was listening to Woman's Hour on Radio 4 the other day (get me and I'm not even a woman, honest) Wednesday 26 February 2014 to be precise, and there was talk of the evenings NME Godlike Genius Award and the recipients, good old Blondie (listen to it here if you want, all four minutes worth). And as it's Woman's Hour the strapline is 'Why is the award going to Blondie the band rather than Debbie Harry the performer?'

With me so far? Good. Are you also with me on never having heard of the NME Godlike Genius Awards before? Well fear not here's a bit more info......
The NME Godlike Genius Award is an accolade that is only handed out to the true greats of the music world.  The culmination of the evening, it recognizes the very best of the best.  Previous winners include The Clash, Paul Weller, The Cure, Manic Street Preachers, New Order & Joy Division, Dave Grohl, Noel Gallagher and last year Johnny Marr.....
...that's from Contactmusic.com. 
Other reports run along the same vein. The word prestigious is used a lot. An awful lot. There's a lot of gushing about how prestigious the award is and how honored we are to accept this prestigious award. I suspect that the Oxford English Dictionary definition of the word prestigious has now been altered to mean the NME Godlike Genius Awards.  But I digress.

Notice anything from the above list? Here's a clue. It's Woman's Hour discussing it. Yep you got it. It's all men. Blondie are a group with a female singer. Everyone associates Blondie with Debbie Harry, she is the driving talent behind the group etc etc. She is the first woman to win the award. So why not give it to her directly. Cue discussion and explanation. The music industry is sexist. 

Hopefully this is at least a step in the right direction. Hopefully next year the award, the prestigious NME Godlike Genius Award will go directly to a woman and more women will be recognized for their godlike genius and their contribution alongside the men in years to come and...


I can't keep this up any longer (as the bishop said to the actress). I hate to break this to Women's Hour (and to you dear reader)  but they have got this one wrong. I agree that the music industry is sexist. Name an industry that isn't. And yes it's great to see Debbie Harry be recognized, even if indirectly. But come on. COME ON. HELLLLLOOOOOOOOOOO. 

There is an award called the NME Godlike Genius Award and we're discussing sexism in the music industry. We all know about sexism in the music industry. Old news. 

Let me say this again. There is an award called the NME Godlike Genius Award. And we're discussing sexism in the music industry.

What we 'need'  to be discussing (I highlighted the word need there because we all know WE don't need to at all, the truth is I want to) is the fact that there is an award, in the music industry, called the NME Godlike Genius Award. And people take it seriously. They even accept it. 
To illustrate my point a bit more, when U2 won the award in 2001 (All men. Disgraceful) their guitarist The Edge (capital T on 'the')  'joked'  (I highlighted joked there because we all know there was probably more truth in it than he wanted to acknowledge) 'I suppose it helps having God in your band'...... Ah Dear Bono, we love you really, even though you wear those silly glasses indoors and think you're God.

Do you know what? I wish, I really wish, with my eyes scrunched up really tight, that rather than discussing sexism in the music industry in connection with the NME Godlike Genius Award they had said 'there is this award in the music industry thought up by men and awarded to, and accepted by, men. They have called it the NME Godlike Genius Award, and sadly they are awarding it to women now and they are accepting it too. Just get a grip and stop being so silly (or words to that effect that I'm far too polite to put on my blog).
I love Blondie and Paul Weller. Talented musicians/writers/performers they may well be. I'm not disputing that. I've seen that Mr Weller perform and he's good. Godlike genius though? Nope. No way. No no no no no no no no no no no .
The real problem here, alluded to in The Edge's 'joke', is that once you start calling people godlike geniuses they start to believe it. And their fans do too. And we all know where that leads.

There is an award. It's called the NME Godlike Genius Award. People take it seriously. They even accept it. 

Nuff said......

Friday, 14 February 2014

On A Scale Of One To Ten

On a scale of one to ten

I gave you one, and, then again

I gave you one the next day too

Because I could and, so you knew

That when it all is said and done




I really love to give you one.....

Sunday, 2 February 2014


Samuel Organza
tried to write a stanza.
But he couldn't make it rhyme.

And we all know not rhyming's a crime,
at least in some circles.

So instead he took to writing the story of his life
            including all the bad bits
                           and the sad bits.
Threw in all his failures and his fears
accumulated over many years.

And in the breaking of his heart
found more poetry there
than in a thousand rhyming couplets.