Showing posts from November, 2018

Open Art Surgery

Yesterday Lesley and I visited one of our favourite places on earth; The Yorkshire Park. We go at least once a season. 
Even without the sculptures the park is beautiful and changes with each season. When the sculptures are added to the experience it is truly a unique place. There is a large sign in the restaurant stating that The Times said it was probably the best sculpture park in the world. I am not an authority on the subject but I wouldn’t argue with them. 
Open Art SurgeryBreathtaking beauty envelops youDraws you into another worldThe rhythm of nature merges with sculptureOverloading the human sensesThe seasons come and goPainting a unique back cloth to colossal creationsMystery and surprise around each cornerAmbushing all those who search for inspirationAn escape from day to day deliberationA place for any generationThe Yorkshire Sculpture Park! 

Bingeing on Boxsets

Last night Lesley and I finished watching the final episode Breaking Bad. In the space of about three weeks we have watched what must be over 75 episodes. It is ironic that this series is about crystal meths and we were totally hooked! It is one of the best dramas we have ever watched...but we need a break from binge watching and get back to The Chaser!!!!Bingeing on BoxsetsCurled up on the couchBingeing on a box setRegular life is set on holdWeight increasing ouch!
Feels like I’m addictedOne after another they comeUnable to turn the off switchRegular life restricted
Characters become so realExtended family membersSee deep into their soulEmotion you can feel 
Then end feels like a deathA gaping hole in lifeTime to get back to realityAnd finally catch my breath

Search the Racks at TK Maxx

Yesterday Lesley wanted to buy a winter coat. She wanted one that could stand up to Arctic conditions.  She decided after wandering around the local department store that TK Maxx was the answer. I wasn’t so sure. There seems to me to be two retailers that we frequent where you never get what you went in for...but often come out with tons of stuff you didn’t even know you wanted...TK Maxx and Ikea.Well today’s poem is looselay based on yesterday’s experience;Search the Racks at TK MaxxThere’s all sorts of stuff on the racksAt the upmarket jumble sale TK MaxxRows upon rows of last seasons stuffThere’s no end to the searchingTo the aimless rummagingOf shirts and pantsOf potted plantsOf electronic gadgetsGaudy plaid jacketsFinding what you want is always toughSo tough I often lose the will The will to find my way to the tillWith any flippin’ goods to buyMy patience is very much in short supplyThe only shop that instils such fearIs my old adversary bloody Ikea.

What if...

Not sure what sparked my reflective mood this morning...maybe it was a picture of me, that Lesley took last night, when I returned from football training with me wearing a hoodie. I have got to admit that it was not the most flattering picture. I guess it got me thinking that the time for comfortably wearing hoodies has past me by...So today’s poem is a reflection on life...the picture above shows four generations of my family. My grandma, my mum, me and Emily. (Matthew doesn’t like his image on social media!)What if....What if we could turn back the clock?Live our life with lessons learntFulfil dreams that passed us byAppreciate fully earth and sky
What if we could be that boy again?Living free, no cares in the worldExciting experiences fresh and newNo predication, an innocent view
What if we could be that young man again?Full of energy, passion and desireFor a future of endless possibilitiesDevoid of debilitating responsibilities 
What if we could be that new husband again?With limitle…


As I post this blog I am sat in Costa Coffee at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. I am waiting for Lesley to have a blood test. As always it is interesting people watching. My poem today captures a five minute period whilst sat here...Costa Cupping my coffee At Costa CoffeeWatching peopleNormal peopleSome in deep conversationOthers sitting all aloneSome waiting patientlySome passing the time of dayWatching life pass them byA lady with her latteSkimming through the dailiesA businessman delvingDeep into his attaché A family meetingWith baby bawlingOthers trawling throughSocial MediaPhone in hand fixated,Isolated in their own little worldA couple share a precious momentGently she strokes her coffee cupLovingly he stares into her eyesOld and young are gathered todayIt’s interesting to watch the world at play! 

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

I’m undecided whether I like going to the barbers or not. I have found a place in Brighouse that is a cheap no frills experience. When you have as little hair as me it seems pointless going to a fancy place  to reorganise my three remaining hairs. It won’t be long until I pass the responsibility over to Lesley to do the deed. But for now Whiteheads it will be...Today’s poem is loosely based on my visit this morning....Hair Today and Gone TomorrowMy locks are getting longWell those that still belongThat haven’t fallen outIf only more would sproutI’m sat here in the barbersBetween two youths in their ParkersFlicking through pages of the SunGlancing at page three just for fun“Whose next” she calls unenthusiastically Glancing at each other almost apologetically “I think it’s me?”I meekly callQuestioning whether it’s me at allNo one challenges my place in the queueI’m told to sit in the middle pew“What’s it going to be today?”“Do your best” is all I can say“Short at the sides” “On the top …


I was being ‘down with the kids’ yesterday listening to Capital Radio. I still like chart music but it is the links that I am starting to find tedious. I know this is an age thing and that every generation has their own language. However there was one link where to the older generation would sound like mumbo jumbo (by the way would kids know what mumbo jumbo was?).  He was promoting a competition to go to the Jingle Bells Ball. He said wouldn’t it be great for your instastory to be there. Wouldn’t it be bad to see it on someone elses’s instastory. The bit that got me though was when he said “can you die from FOMO?” I am guessing you have always got pretty ill from digesting washing powder!! Well I looked up FOMO and you may already know but it is the fear of  missing out on something on Instagram or other social media. Well this inspired today’s poem:FOMOThere’s a fearNot of spidersOr heightsOr snakes in the grassNot of public speakingConfined spacesDentists or darknessThere’s a fear …

A Tale of the Night

Last night I had one of those where I felt restless throughout and didn’t get a good night’s sleep..... A Tale of the NightMy heart quickens Fear is heightenedI look behindI see no one But there is someone thereCreeping in the shadowsCatching every breath I takeI hide in darkened doorwaysParalysed with forebodingFootsteps resonate From nearby streetsCloser and closerTwist or stickDo I runOr remainIn the cover of darknessConfused and frightenedI stay perfectly stillAwaiting my fateIs it too late?Am I going to meet My maker?Suddenly without warningI am shaken From my slumberAre you ok darling?

Running in the Rain

This week the weather has continued to be miserable in Huddersfield. This has seriously curtailed the runs Lesley and I have been on together. However yesterday I decided to try and persuade her to go for a run in the wood in the rain.  It took a lot of persuasion, however, as you can see, the Rocky character in the background of the photo is Lesley. I managed it. She quite enjoyed it, eventually!Running in the RainIt’s a painMy MrsWon’t run in the rainChances of a showerWon’t step outNothing in my powerWill get her movingEven when Her hair needs doingMaybe she thinksA bit of waterAnd she shrinksFrankly I’m frustratedWhen I run in the rainI feel alive, full of life, elatedI’m going to get her outEven if it kills meCan’t wait for the drought!

Boiler Blues

Yesterday just as the weather turned cold, our heating packed in. Thankfully we have a British Gas contract and all it took was just a click on my phone and the engineer was booked for him to come same day. This poem was written whilst he was trying to sort it out...and no I didn’t read it to him!!Boiler BluesIt’s f...f...f...freezingWith no sodding heatingHuddled togetherIn bloody cold weatherWhen temperatures get colderBang goes my boilerNever a warningShut down this morningMy teeth are chatteringMy wife is natteringTo get someone here to sort it “A gas man, preferably quite fit”Waiting for him to arriveWe’re barely aliveA knock on the doorDon’t want to be cold anymoreHe strides into the hallWith toolbox and all“Cold weather today!”“No shit Sherlock” I sayHe comes in to investigateGives me the prognosis straight“I think your valve is faulty”“Would you like a cup of tea?”“Yes milk and 2 sugars please”“Please be quick it’s only 2 degrees”No time later the man did his magicValve replac…


The weather in Huddersfield was horrible yesterday. It is not very often that we decide to stay indoors for the whole day. Yesterday was one of those days.  I have got to admit that I like to be active and being cooked up at home is not my ideal way to spend the day. I find it really difficult to relax and don’t like having too much opportunity to think. Like a lot of people, I guess, my mind starts playing tricks. I would like just to be able to relax with a good book and be comfortable doing nothing occasionally. Relax?Why can’t I relax?Stop my mind turningWhirring with thoughtsOf disparate dimension
Why can’t I relax?Stop feeling agitatedBuzzing in motionA dire disposition
Why can’t I relax?Stop my pulse racingChatter in my headAn irrational emotion
Why can’t I relax?Take a deep breathNullify the negativeA positive inclination

Pumped Up!

Yesterday I went with my mates on a bike ride to Marsden via a two mile hill up to Crosland Moor. Before setting off I decided to give my tyres a little more air than normal. Well I couldn’t believe the difference. Normally I am just looking forward to getting home and crash out exhausted.  Yesterday it felt like I had an electric motor on board. I hadn’t enjoyed a bike ride so much for years. It made me think what a difference a little more air made.Pumped Up!!I felt as thoughI was flying through the airWithout a care in the worldTrees and hedges Passed in a blurHills seemed flatterSlopes seemed fasterI could raise my eyesFrom endless grey tarmacTake in the mistFar back in the distanceHave the breathTo engage in light chatterOn subjects irrelevantReally didn’t matterBut the freedom felt liberatingAlmost exhilarating To a point whereI didn’t want it to endI couldn’t comprehendThe incredible difference The lack of feelingOf trudging through treacle Of aching limbsOf feeling unableTo ke…


On Sunday Lesley and myself, together with our friends Lynn and Ian, went for a walk alongside the canal at Marsden. We stopped off at Crumbles on the Corner for a bite to eat.  Turkey in a tea cake took our eye.  It was a proper Yorkshire dish with plenty of gravy. We had a conversation about the regional variations when it comes to naming the simple bread cake.  I remember one of my early duties when working for Halifax Building Society, back in the early eighties, was to go for the Assistant Manager’s sandwich at Skelton’s on Carr Lane in Hull.  He was not from round these parts, and asked for a ham sandwich in a tea cake. Being one ready to please, I followed his request to the letter, and brought him back his ham sandwich in a tea cake. He didn’t seem to be impressed by the fact that the tea cake was full of currants! He should have asked for a bread roll!It got me thinking....Dough!!!Life can take its tollWithout a simple bread rollCan certainly be crapWithout butter on me bapBo…

Clinging On

At the back of our house there is a wood.  At this time of the year it is always interesting how one solitary leaf clings on when others have deserted. My latest poem...a metaphor of the current political landscape?  You decide!Clinging OnClinging courageously To the branch of the treeIn the autumn breezeA leaf like trapeze
Waiting for the final momentThe final componentOf the summer pastOne we all hoped would last
The hazy autumn sun shinesA spotlight that definesThe last leaf’s outstanding beautyBut even then there is a duty
To fall into line with grounded othersA show of solidarity, nature’s brothersA single breath is all it tookFor the final leaf to fall into the brook. 

Problem in the bagging area

I started my working life in a supermarket, long before scanning. Tonight we did our weekly shop and despite years of trying to get used to self scanning I still get frustrated at what should be a quicker process. Well in my case it seems to take an age. Well anyway here’s my latest rant/poem. Problem in the bagging areaWhy is it when I shop?I’ve got unexpected itemsIn my bagging areaI tell you what they’re not unexpectedBut carefully selectedItems on my shopping listI get really pissedWhen I can’t find the codeOr have to scan a loadOf loose items Which have to be found On the shops computerWhere is that Danish Pastry?None of the pictures Seem to matchI thought these thingsWere self serviceWell if they are my Name is ElvisMy light flashes so oftenWho needs TinderWhen there’s always WanderHovering around To check your ageTwenty flashes laterI’m in a right rageThis bloody processIs taking an ageFinally the last item is scannedThe benefits of this rigmarole I don’t understand. 

The Script

I believe it’s a good thing that in recent years society has become more open to discussing mental health. It probably affects more of us than any other illness. This poem I wrote some time back when I was in a reflective mood. The ScriptSleep walking through lifeNever even noticingEven when cut by a knifeAlways numb never sensitive To compliments uttered by his wife
Retreating silently into solitudeNever hearing simple soundsShowing emotion, never moved Always self selecting the wrong toneNever quite in the right mood.
Some may say self centredAlways focusing on oneself Sometimes feeling misrepresented When there are best intentions Never feeling whole nor contented. 
Life is full of conflict Pulling in opposite directions Never easy never ever licked Facing into momentous challengeRarely if ever sticking to the script. 

Chucking out time

I’m on a bit of a roll...another nostalgic look at Hull. Maybe it’s an age thing!! Today I am looking back to the endless nights spent waiting for a taxi in shirt sleeves in the middle of the winter. This was the norm in Hull following nightclubs chucking out at 2:00am. One of our favourites was Romeo and Juliet’s (pictured). Anyway here’s today’s poem. Chucking out timeFlocking onto the streetNightclub revellers slightly worse for wearStruggling to keep on their feetSome being sick holding back their hair
Shirt sleeved shiveringStanding by the taxi rankSome couples bickeringIn doorways of the local bank
Queued up at the Bun in OvenWaiting for a cone of chipsNot one or two a dozenGirls in frocks and little slips
Lingering notes of cheap perfumeTo move along was the normTo displays of fires in the gas showroomWhere miraculously they kept us warm
Our taxis took an age to comeLife was never ever dullA night on the town was so much funThe centre of our universe: Hull. 

Playing on my bogie

Continuing with yesterday’s theme of nostalgia, today I am reminiscing about how we passed our time when we were young. One of the highlights of my childhood (I know this is sad) was when I finally found some old pram wheels and was able to make my first bogie. Kids gained some kudos in the neighbourhood if they had a well made bogie. We used to have races and terrorise pedestrians. (Not intentionally of course!). There was always an argument as to who was going to push and who was going to steer the front wheels with the bit of rope. For those not from Hull a tenfoot was an alley at the back of the terraced houses. Anyway here’s today’s poem about my bogie...Playing on my bogieFun for meWhen I was youngWas playing on a bogieA fruit box, plankA piece of ropeAnd four wheels from a pramWe took it in turnsTo be the driverWith a friend To do the pushingBest thing Was when we found a hillThat feeling of elationSpeeding perilouslyDangerously, irresponsiblyClose to a tree Now these thingsWe…

Shopping with my Mum

I am being a bit nostalgic today. I am not sure why but I started remembering the shopping trips into town when I was a boy living in Hull. We used to go on the number 14 bus from Bricknell Avenue. I always went on the top deck amongst the smokers. Well anyway here’s my trip down memory lane:Shopping with my MumIt was quite an occasionGoing to townDressed to the nines In my Oxford BagsWith buttons aplentyPlatform soles shoesBig jumbo collarsI was only going with my mumBut if felt so exciting We got on the number 14It was a blue and white Corporation double deckerYou could smoke on top deckNot that I was old enoughBut seeing the AvenuesFrom such a lofty positionI felt like a king. My mum always had her listErrands and pressiesAnd the odd treat for meI used to follow herAround shop after shopBustling with folkClutching their bagsShe used to love HammondsA great department storeShe occasionally splashed outLunch at Picadish yippeeA plate of chips and baked beansWent down great with squas…


Like others I have been touched by the events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistace. I wanted to put in words what it meant to me. ArmisticeI tried to write about ArmisticeBut found I haven’t the vocabularyTo express the emotion felt by the nationMuch better scribes than meHave described in incredible detailHow ordinary men fellDefending the freedom of a nationA nation with which I am incredibly proud To be a descendant of those brave menWho must never be forgottenNor lost their lives in vainFor peace and freedomMust be Everyone’s ultimate aim

Runners’ Prayer

Here’s my prayer for all the runners out there. Runners’ PrayerI pray today won’t be too windyToo hot, too cold or too sunnyI pray to avoid an excuse as to whyI can’t be bothered to go out todayI pray that I have courage to join a running clubI hope my new shiny trainers don’t rub. I pray that I am properly hydratedTo avoid feeling a little light headedI pray that I haven’t drunk to much you seeI’d hate to have to furtively pee behind a treeI pray my gel will not make my hands too stickyThat the gradients are manageable, not too trickyI pray that I can soon get in my stride Start feeling fine not feeling too tired I pray that every step will be better than the lastMaintain the pace be fairly fast I pray that I will last the courseA run with my wife won’t end in divorce I pray that I won’t suffer again, plantar fasciitis A painful injury it certainly is! I pray that I will have a PBHowever hard you try there’s no guarantee I pray I do not get runners’ nippleLooking forward to being rew…


Today I think I am having a Victor Meldrew moment. Is it only me or does anyone else get infuriated by the overuse of the word “super” nowadays. This is particularly prevalent on chat shows where stars are “super excited” about whatever they’re doing. Just how excited is super excited? Is this more or less than “very” excited? SuperAs I write this poemI’m super excitedIn fact I’m super delightedMore than thatI’m super ecstatic Sometimes I can be super erraticBut today I’m super happy As opposed to being super snappyWatched a movie super sadA killer at large super badFeeling super dapper in my Super DryEating fish and chips following my super fryNow I’m feeling super uneasyFeeling rather super queasyAt the overuse of the word superPoem finishedSuper duper.

Drying Out

A few days ago I said I was an occasional drinker. Well I have to admit that I am a social drinker. However we have been doing a lot of socialising recently! I decided for health reasons that I needed a break. So I decided to have a few alcohol free days. I managed 4 days. Last night we were back on the town with friends. Liver working overtime again!! Drying OutI’m drying outI’m crying out For another beerI have this fearI won’t last the weekI’m sure I’ll be weakSuccumb to the needPoor form indeedFor a little bevvyCan’t have too manyElse I’ll be in the dog houseA little lecture from my spouse“Come on love you can refrainYou’ll only have yourself to blame!”

Inner Peace

Today I am feeling a little more reflective. Retirement has been a big change in my life as it is for most people. In the last year it is fair to say I have had my ups and downs. Recently though I feel that have come to terms with my new life and a feeling of inner peace. Inner PeaceSearching for inner peaceTantalisingly closeBut often out of reachA wish for calmness to descendTo lift life’s pressuresEase the burden on people we dependBe accepting of our uniqueness To be what we areTo live life free and worry less.

On Time

I get really stressed when I am late, as I was last night to watch Manchester City in the Champions League. Everything conspired against us; upturned trucks, terrible sat nav, picking the wrong car park. We were only five minutes late but for me it felt as though the world had ended. Obviously John Cleese’s Clockwise is my favourite film!!On TimeI really hate to be lateFor an important dateWhen it has to be eightI simply won’t waitTo set off early no debate
To arrive on time that is fineTen minutes early that’s divineFive minutes late now that’s a crimeI know this issue is simply all mineI have a thing about being on time.  

Annoying Attraction

After a fantastic long weekend it was back to normality and the weekly shop. In order to save a few pennies we shop at Aldi. This makes sense unless you are drawn to the centre aisle. All the money you save can evaporate in one purchase of something you didn’t even know you needed. (And when you get it home realise you didn’t!!)Annoying AttractionAttracting like a magnetDoing nothing, just waitingTo slowly draw you inAs hard as you tryAnd god you tryIt’s always thereBeckoning youResisting is pointlessIt’s like an annoying habit Irresistible but irritating Never quite the sameAlways something newLuring you into its grasp. It’s no good the temptation is too greatYou have to go and seeThe jumbled goods for saleIn the centre aisle at Aldi!!

Broken Coffee Machine

In the scheme of things it’s not the biggest disaster in the world but this morning my coffee machine stopped working. Lesley said it would be good for the environment with less pods being thrown away. I’m just missing my caffeine hit!Broken Coffee MakerToday our coffee maker brokeI feel that I am a broken blokeNothing to pep me up this morningIt feels as though I’m mourningThe instant feeling of being aliveEspecially after four or five!  I feel as miserable as I can beI suppose I’ll have to resort to tea!


We have spent a brilliant couple of days in Oxford. We were very fortunate to be able to climb Magdalen Tower and have a birds eye view of this wonderful and historic city. Last night we were able to attend the formal dinner in the Hall at Magdalen with my nephew. This was an atmospheric candle lit black tie dinner. One I won’t ever forget...very Harry Potter!!OxfordSpires steeples and bustling streetsQuiet corners where couples meetBikes with bells ringing Choirs cheerfully singingIn cafe bars society chattersCurrent affairs and everyday mattersBow ties scarves and college coloursStudents away from their sisters and brothers  This is a place of learningFor those educated, the quite discerning This is a city of traditionOf academia and ambition. This is Oxford.

Not Again!!

For someone who is only an occasional drinker this has been quite a week. Unlike earlier in the week, a dinner last night in Manchester, culminated in the hangovers of all hangovers this morning.Not Again!!The banging of my headAs I lay here in my bedSignals it was a good nightHowever this is despite 
Not really remembering The finer details surroundingWhat got me to this pointI’m hoping I didn’t disappoint
My wife with my behaviour Toast and tea my saviourWhen I poured into the houseFailing to be as quiet as a mouse
This was a not again nightWhere next time I mightShow a little more self controlTo drink a lot less my goal.

Just The One

Today’s poem is about those “quick pints” in a pub which turn into an all nighter.  Just The OneLet’s just have the oneRest our feet for a whileSavour that first sipGod that was so goodThat first turns into a secondSoon our glasses are emptyShall we have an other?
Yes just one moreChatter is free warm And comfortingSpirits high, banter goodShall we have another? 
Jokes are now filling the airMuch funnier than beforeKnowing smiles with adjacent tablesAlmost knee jerk automaticShall we have another?
Life is now so much more fluidInnermost thoughts out in the openDissected by amateur psychiatristsSlowly starting to feel a little pissed We know we shouldn’tBut show no restraint Shall we have another?
Quickly the clarityFades like a mist descendingRetreating into my own little worldWhich instantly starts spinningOh god what have we doneWe were only meant to have the one! 

Almost Heaven

Yesterday it was a stunning autumn day. We decided to go for a walk from Wells Next to the Sea to Holkham Beach. It was a most beautiful experience. Almost Heaven. Beautiful bright beach hutsEach one deliciously differentStanding like a guard of honourTo those basking in the Autumn glow. Pines protect from prevailing windsAs Seasiders stroll on shell speckled sandA wonderful walk to Holkham Beach Where heaven feels almost within reach.