Sunday, 17 December 2017

Happy Christmas, and here’s to 2018.

It’s time to draw a blog-breath for a week or two. At this time of year I seem to lunge between hibernating and manic festivities. There are wonderful family days when I’m overrun with grandchildren (oh joy) and then quiet, reflective days when I can catch up with myself (oh joy).

I’ve not had the easiest year. But they happen, and I’m fine and those I love are fine, so I can look back and be proud of that. Not that I spend too long looking back - I’m more likely to spend my reflective days with my Lonely Planets wondering where next year will take me.

And where might it take you? With an orange toad in the White House and a bunch of squabbling toffs in government in the UK we have good reason to be pessimistic. But I refuse to embrace a world in which the tossers always win. I will stand up and be counted, as often as I need to. We live in a beautiful world, full of beautiful people - many of whom have a much worse time of it than you and I. It is a world we must treasure, even if those with ‘power’ seem intent on destroying it. So if my next year takes me to the barricades, so be it.

Maybe you see it differently. Whatever your view of the world, I hope we can find a way to carry on caring about each other.

So this is my Happy Christmas to you all, and may we all have a peaceful new year. I’ll be back in 2018. 

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Not sure what Masefield would make of this?

‘Tis the season, and all that. And, having started playing with poems I can’t quite stop. So, given that most people are beyond thinking straight in the middle of this seasonal chaos, here’s another poetic effort, not to be taken seriously.

And sorry, Masefield.

I must go down to the shops again or I’ll run out of mince pies,
And all I ask is an empty aisle, and a trolley to steer it by,
And a sausage roll and chocolate log, I can’t be arsed for making
All this stuff at Christmas time when everyone else is sleeping.

I must go down to the shops again or I’ll run out of Christmas cards
For Auntie Nell and Uncle Jack, both need our kind regards
And Jim and Jill and Great Aunt Joan who cannot be forgotten
And all the kids because, you know, we have to spoil them rotten.

I must go down to the shops again, to the hectic Christmas mayhem
For stamps and sprouts and nuts and spuds and puds, but then ...
See, all I ask is a good book and a quiet night on the sofa

And a box of wine for me to drink when the whole thing’s over.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

I wandered lonely as a shroud - sorry Wordsworth!

Now I’ve started playing with poems I find ideas all over the place.

So here is A Host of Tinkling, with apologies to Wordsworth.

I wandered lonely as a shroud
That floats through salmon, chocs and cheese
When all at once I saw a crowd 
Of tinkling tinsel Christmas trees
Beside the gin, far from the peas
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle in the coffee shops
They stretch in never-ending line
From Marks and Spencer’s down to Boots
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in festive trance.

The box of wine beside them shone
Out-did the tinsel strands in glee
A shopper could not help be glum
Beside the tinkling Christmas trees
They seemed to say, with little thought
Look at all the tat you’ve bought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood 
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude 
Oh joy, I can lie back with ease

For I escaped the Christmas trees.