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Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Rainy Saturday

24th September

A little capturing of one day in the week that we looked after five grandchildren.

And Then Came The Rain

For weeks there’d been gorgeous weather, temperatures comparable with the Mediteranean.                      Day after day waking up to a blue sky, early morning sunshine warming the earth of the new dawn.                                                                                                                                                          Day after day washing drying outside, with a slight breeze on occasions to help it along, with  the song of the robin in the background.                                                                                                                    Day after day lazy picnics on the beach and keeping cool swimming in the sea.                                                                                         
Then, on Saturday, black clouds descended over Blackberry Way, bringing wind and torrential rain to wash away the summer.  Five little faces pressed noses against patio windows and peered out.  Grandma and Grandad wondered how they were going to entertain them.  It was six thirty; they’d eaten scrambled eggs and were now asking what they could do. The grandparents thought about the cinema, but apart from the age range of the children making it difficult, there was the cost. It was money too that was inhibitive when they considered the swimming pool and the children’s play center.  

So that’s how five grandchildren in wellies and raincoats happened to be walking by the sea on that blustery day.  The parents having gone on holiday for a week had left the children with their, “more than capable” ,  grandparents.  It was now only day three and it wasn’t the children who were counting the sleeps till the return of mum and dad.  They watched the children running across the shingle, arms waving and shouting into the wind looking as if they might take off at any moment and soar into the dark sky.                                                                                                                                                           “Tastes like salty,” Lily- Mae laughed, licking her lips as sea spray wet their little faces.                             
Granddad had told them that they could walk along the edge of the sea in their wellies but they were not to get water inside them. Well, with waves crashing in and their excitement mounting it’s no surprise that they were soon all soaked to the skin.

“Hey, grandma, look,” Cohen pointed up to a group of kite surfers skimming on the high winds over the ocean.  Five open mouths stared up in their direction.  Walking further along the beach they spotted a lone a kite surfer preparing to go up.  For the best part of thirty minutes all five were mesmerised as they stood and watched him assembling his kite.                                                                                                                 

“What’s he doing?” asked Lily-Mae, over and over again.                                                                             “He’s making his kite so he can fly it, like those ones you see up there, look,” Grandad repeated patiently.They all cheered as the kite surfer finally took off and rather tentatively rose to join his companions in the clouds.

It wasn’t long before the children got cold and it was time to go home.
After a change of clothes, they all had a mug of hot chocolate and some hot, buttery toast ,while they sat around the table, writing  and drawing pictures about their adventure to show  mum and dad when they got home.

And Annie said,

“That was the most bestest day ever since you came to stay Grandma.”

Friday, September 23, 2016


23rd September

My writing hands are itching to get words down, but the inspiration is a bit weak. Will keep trying. Going to try the poem a day through October though and just flexing my muscles a little to prepare.


Three more sleeps, I will survive,
Come on baby sleep now.
Yet no matter how hard I strive,
There's always all to do.

It's not that I've forgotten the way,
To care for  children, no,
But  my old bones are weary today
Out of the habit and slow.

Cooking every day for seven not two,
And one that can't eat dairy
It takes all my time to organise it's true,
But clean plates remain.

Up at six to get them all ready,
One for big school, leaving at seven.
Oh, and is it the day to take  teddy?
Yes, it's here, found, thank heaven.

Back to the house baby and toddler,
what shall we do all day,
Let's clean out a cupboard or two
Let's put some clothes away.

And let's play dressing up, you be queen,
let's tell a story that's ours,
The best adventure there's ever been
It could take for hours.

And in the evening when all are ready for bed,
Let's read a story before you go,
Quiet going up be careful where you tread,
The baby is asleep, so be slow.

And when the week comes to and end,
And mum and dad come back,
Grandma and grandad retreat to their home
And immediately hit the sack...

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's a Day For Hats

 11th September

It's a Day For Hats

Two little dogs appeared first, busy in their work of  following scents, nearly tripping us up on the bend. Their owners weren't far behind, a jolly pair, laughing, calling the dogs. "Ah, it's a day for hats", he stopped in front of us, giving us no choice but to join him in conversation. His observation was spot on. 

The four of us were all wearing hats of different sorts . And , what's more, thinking about it, weren't most people we saw also wearing hats. 

Not a lover of hats for myself I had put one on this particular morning because it was another  hot, sunny day and my lips had burnt too many times in the previous weeks . So my hat was wide rimmed and pulled down to protect as much of my face as possible. My husbands hat, only used to cover the ever growing bald patch on his head, was smaller. The couple, who were now settling in for a full blown get together, wore matching baseball caps.

But wearing hats was as far as the similarity went with regard to us and these two. Out for a stroll while the dogs had a run they  wore crocs, loose clothing - her , a dress, him, light shorts and matching shirt. They looked as if they might go home and open a bottle of prosecco with friends whilst enjoying a barbecue.
We , on the other hand looked as if we were on a long walking trek - walking boots, with proper thick socks hanging folded over the top, my husband carrying a rucksack and wearing long shorts reminiscent of the 1940's. And we both had good sunglasses, important if you're going to be out all day.
We were half way through a seven mile walk when they delayed us with idle chatter about the weather and the fact that we didn't have a dog, but we did like to walk. They found that the most strange thing,as if there would be no need to go for a walk if you didn't have a four legged friend to take.
Laughing to ourselves we left them and pressed on.

The whole point of our walk was to see how long the seven miles that we'd mapped out would take us, so any distractions were avoided if possible. 
This short trek was the start of our preparations to do the Camino Way Pilgrimage, which will be about 500 miles walking over 42 days -that was easy to write, lets see how easy the actual doing of it will be. 
Today's 7 miles took two hours, a reasonable pace, I think, at 3.5 mph.
We learnt:
 that we can easily keep the pace up and plan to gradually lengthen the distance over the next few months.
that we need some better, thicker socks.
that it's vital that you look after your feet.
that it's important to have enough water with you.
that it's not easy to walk on the beach and keep up a good pace.
that if you don't look people in the eye they won't disturb you.
that it's great to be outside.

We'll probably learn more as time goes on.

There was one chap who we had to spend some time with though. He was on the beach , not walking a dog, but walking a ferret. A young, furry creature, we found him fascinating, while we had our lunch of salmon sandwiches and coffee. 

 More to come...


Friday, September 9, 2016

What's been Happening

                                                                                                           9th September 2016

It's a long time since I spent quality time posting on my blog.
I have no excuses...
However, there has been a definite lack of inspiration on my part.
Life during the summer has been a wonderful series of busy days having visitors and being visitors ourselves. Living in a seaside town, you are particularly popular in the summer months, usually from the end of April till the beginning of October.
We seem to have had a holiday for the whole summer as we have joined each group of visitors on their adventures.
A new grandchild and a new great grandchild born in July within days of each other add to the ever growing dynasty that is our very special family.
It's been hectic, yes, but so enjoyable too.

Then there was that day when we buried my mum and dad's ashes. I think I'll have to leave that one for a while...

Of course, no time left for writing , or even contemplating writing.

But, now with things being a little more quiet, I hope to get back into the swing of things and ramble away to my hearts content.

I think I have a motivation to help me along.
The month of October is Octpowrimo and the challenge is to write a poem a day for 31 days - similar to the challenge I took last year, in April 2015. I managed it then, could I do the same again???
Well, I am certainly going to try.

So, look out on my blog for posts every day in October.
Also, let me know if there is any subject that you would like me to write about , either in a poem or other.

I'm a little bit interested in Talents:

Talent needs practice... A concert pianist might be talented but he has had to spend many hours/days/years practicing and working on his pieces.
No, I don't think we are all concert pianists underneath , but...

We all have talents...
What are your talents and how are you putting them to good use.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Here are a few pieces I wrote when emotions were very near the surface

8th Dec 2015

Spent, used up, hundreds of hours of work well done,
But, still  more moments filled with joy and fun.
Lines on forehead giving proof that you're wise,
Observed now, noticed by much younger eyes.
Battered and bruised, near your journeys end,
Now, mercy and forgiveness, your currency to spend.
All changes, yet in the depths of you you know,
That all stays the same where you're about to go

14th Nov 2015

Heart - frozen, hard,
To the gentle 
Of a loved one,

Heart - frozen, hard,


To warm tears,

Soft words.
What will melt your 


Your sorrow,
What , bring a life pulse,
A love beat,
Of joy,
To you,
What ???

              15th Nov 2015

             END OF LIFE
Bitterness oozes from the pores of the walls,
Drips onto my peace,
Leaving holes where it bores through.
Yet here I am,
Letting the poison deform,
Letting the poison destroy.
I've kept my distance over the years,
Kept her at arms length.
Built myself up with a strong heart
And managed to...
I thought...
Now "end of Life" time
Calls me to give
To care.
To love.
So, I try..
I try not to let
Her meanness go too deep
I try not to let
Her bring me down
Into those open,
No, now I am her peace..
I am her carer,
I show her my love,
His Love
    16th Nov 2015

Hidden,  buried, 
Deep --
Under days of decades
Under rubble of ritual
Under fullness of family
But now, 
Back there, 
In a moment
Cold and clammy,
A wispy shiver.
The thought of it,
Revealed , but how??
Present, but why now?
Bury it again??
No, no..
Rise up, be brave...
Destroy it, kill it, 
Be free

After School

It wasn't the day for netball,
It wasn't the day for piano
It was the day that mum worked late
Heavy clouds unburdened
In grey sky
On this dark November evening
Steps counted, too slow on walk home.
Hands damp and chilled - search
Under geranium pot - flowers dead now,
For the key.
Soggy shoes, dripping coat-
An unpealing
Hang wet bag over bannisters.
How empty,
The house feels.
Sigh, shiver, slump,
With hot chocolate,
In front of TV and
Look at Clock
Not long...

Monday, August 8, 2016

Beijing 2

Just found this poem from last year. A snapshot of our brief stay in Beijing, China. It seems like a lifetime ago. It was such a good holiday. Mum, as usual was making friends everywhere and being the life and soul ... Her only complaint ? -  too much rice. 


After breakfast at the Hotel Continental,
The orange juice cool, pure,
We venture out, arm in arm- for safety, 
Into bustling, dusty, streets.
A tsunami of noise hits us, makes us draw back.
Traffic - six lanes- hooting horns screeching- engines revving-
Making music with constant tinkling of bells  from bikes 
As they weave through disinterested people,
Who, like squawking seagulls,
Swarm along overflowing pavements...

First impressions of Beijing...

Like debris we are swept unwillingly
In this fast flowing river.
We look up - high rise, anonymous, dirty, grey structures,
Imprison ants whose hope is a fleck of blue,
Beside us as we hurry by, shops 
Selling tea, fans, Chinese hats,
Beckon us,
Aromatic bouquets excite our nostrils.
Finally, in a side street, we take a rest,
In a Japanese Cafe.
They tell us:  "Don't eat the food here, It's mostly dog"
We sip a beer a
nd ponder
How we'll get back to the hotel.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Our Garden

Our Garden           26th July 2016

Here is a picture of our statue of Mary taken through the lavender that I grew from tiny shoots and brought  with me from the other house.                                 I have four healthy plants out of the many( probably more than a hundred) that I started off at the end of the summer before last. I'm extremely proud of them.                                                                                      We sit here on these warn sunny mornings and do half an hour of meditative prayer.                                                                        The bees come and work on the lavender, and sometimes some butterflies. It's a restful start to the day. A pot of tea is placed before us which we enjoy very much . 

Looking in the opposite direction we have our attractive pond, in which live,  at least four fish. Well, we've only seen four . This specimen is the largest and is quite cheeky coming up to be fed when my husband walks by on his way to his studio ( or , as all the children call it, his shed). There is a water feature in the pond that has a soporific  effect on us whilst we are quietly meditating. 

We love our garden and spend a lot of time in it when we are at home and the weather allows.