Friday, November 17, 2006

Birthday Boy

Today my boy Jack becomes, an adult. My God, is it really 18 years since he was born!

Just like me, he was determined to show his bum first to the world and so was born by caesarian section. I got stuck in traffic and nearly didn't make it in time - they weren't prepared to hang around. After getting him out, they gave him to me and took my wife away to 'finish off' and I was left with my 10 minute old son, alone in a room. Then an extraordinary thing happened - he opened his eyes and looked around the room as if he was thinking 'So now where am I?' and then he looked straight at my face, eyes focussed as if he was saying 'And who the hell are you?' - and then he went to sleep quite calmly.

It was a very profound experience.

So, tonight I shall take him to the pub and buy him his first legal pint, as a father should!

Monday, November 13, 2006

More Poems

These were written by my youngest son, 2 years ago when he was 14. He's definitely the bright one of the family and was reading stuff like 'The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and 'Lord of the Rings' when he was 7. Quote "I don't really understand this bit here, Dad". "What?" "Where Ford Prefect says that going into hyperspace is a bit like being drunk, and Arthur Dent says that's not too bad and Ford says he ought to ask a glass of water...."
Anyway Here are two of his poems. The first should have been posted yesterday - Armistice Day - but I spent most of the day working and then getting drunk (see previous post - 'Gin')

Lives lost in No-Mans-Land

Over the deafening blasts of gunfire and screams of pain,
The signal comes, we turn and run from the death of the trenches.

Trudging wearily forward, each step torture,
Faces barely visible through layers of mud,
Not speaking, limping, sodden, weary, tormented,
Splattered in mud, hair filthy and matted.

Stiffening, we heard and saw gas, poison, death.

Without a thought, shifting our heavy packs,
On went clumsy masks,
But one man chokes.

Gas thickens; shadowy figures try to escape the deadly air,
Drowning in clouds of reeking death,
Drifting to innocent souls now writhing in choking agony,
Retching and staring in horror.

If never that is seem by man, by far too soon it would be,
The filthy bloody face of the writhing man shows what war is,
Never my friend would you have seen with no disgust, no sorrow,
No hate for the common enemy.

But to imagine is to know the rags, the bare bones of what is told,
The sooner you die, the sooner it’s over,
As known when hearing liquidated lungs splutter out spraying
Glory and relief to die.

Never again say, my friend, “do not cower, be proud, war is glory,

You know nothing.

I Do Believe

I do believe that I can cleave the head off
someone’s neck,
The shoulders gone the blade has shone
He’s dead no need to check.

I do believe that I just sheathed a sword
That once drew blood,
It slashed and stabbed and whirled about
And laid it’s foes in mud.

I do believe that I can breathe while others
I know don’t,
The bony hands that wrung their necks means
Blow and suck they went.

I do believe that I achieved
A never ending war,
In which men of many nations,
Went mad at what they saw.

I do believe that I’m the best
That have been born,
Thus I dig myself a grave
For this is what I’ve sworn.

He treats death with a touch too much relish for my liking - a combination of extreme youth and computer games I reckon.......

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Alcohol is all things to all people, innit?
Richard likes 'proper' beer or 'foaming ale' as he calls it, my lad, Jak, who becomes officially adult in 5 days, isn't that fussy as long as he gets off on it and it's cheap (were we like that at that age - I suspect so!) me, I like gin and tonic , (of course) that fine combination of C2H5 OH , jiniper berries and quinine. With a bit of luck I'll never get malaria - just liver failure!
Why this ?
Today I fitted 12 roller blinds into a rich person's holiday flat in a 'New Luxury Development'.
I live in a 'Holiday Area' where these things abound. Wealthy people come here and buy these place for fortunes, thus putting the price of dwellings way beyond the expectation of 'ordinary' local people. I could 'go on' but what's the point?
Anyway, 5 hrs on, I hit the shop, looking for 'dinner inspiration' for my boys - I'm a single parent (sort of) I'll explain sometime later.....and ......there it was .....'special offer'..... 2l of Gordons gin for £25 - COR!!... so if this is starting not to make sense I'm sure you'll understand.....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Getting into this now...........

One of the problems with getting old is the temptation to romantisise the past - 'the good old days...'etc.
Ten years ago, after my marriage fell apart, quite out of the blue, an old lover came back into my life. This turned into a torrid, long-distance affaire which lasted a while and then died (as is usually the case).
Here is my one and only 'poem' which fell out of me in about 10 minutes flat and which I am equally proud of and embarrassed by:


she saw me at the club, singing
then I was standing at the bar
and she talked to me
‘like your songs’
I wasn’t listening
just polite
it was a fan thing.

I went to the place where she was
not to see HER
not to see anyone
just to BE there
but she thought so and came to me
the shy one, just divorced.
strange, I didn’t know her
but nice to be chatted by a pretty young one.
so we drank and danced
I kissed her – how bold!
and bolder still I tried more
she would have
but her clothes wouldn’t
and that was that :
the start of it all.

a strange affaire
out with the lads
what lads?
then drive into the night
naked in the back seat
sex and adrenalin.
then her to home and me to mine
and always to someone else
‘had a nice time dear?’
through all this she loved me
I loved something
but never sure.

she went away
to ease the hurt of never being
the one at home
but she stayed in my mind
there was sex
but never like with her
so, bereft, I followed her
but never to stay
and visits end
but the hurt grew
so she went away again

many years passed
many thoughts of a stupid man
and her beautiful eyes.
love grew in me
too late
much too late.

then when life was too cruel
too much hurt
I cried out
and she heard
so strong.
somehow she found me
took the hurt away
and put love there


a polite enquiry
unleashes years of
hidden dreams.
heart on sleeve
he writes back
and waits
disbelieving all the signs
but hoping.

neither can believe it
more letters
less awkward
a telephone call
such apprehension
her voice after all the years
brings joy to his heart.

he goes to her
brighton pier.
he waits
time slows
hard beach
soft mouth
kisses in a crowded room
one day
a jewel among days

they write
love grows

she goes to him
sunny devon
to find out
about them.
sleeping entwined
strawberry kisses


he is changed
a nicer man.
love rules ok
relaxed now
and being



So, here it starts.
I'm always slow to take up anything, but never late etc.

The title came from a friend a long time ago and for a while I had a computer file into which I put things that occurred to me or appealed to my mood.

Here they are:

At 30 I said that I'd reached the gap between youth and middle age. It's disconcerting at 55 to find, as my body continues to age, that my head is still stuck firmly in that gap. It's surprising how much of a shock it is to look in the mirror. (Obviously that was a while ago - still applies though!)

Fatuous sayings
"Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved"
"You're only as old as you feel"
Speaking as a lonely and sad old git who feels himself unloved and unwanted and who sees the end of his life rushing towards him like an out of control express train. Having virtually nothing to look forward to I take exception to such pearls being cast before me by my younger friends who, having so much before them, have no conception of what it's like to be me.

'Life is what happens while you're making other plans' - Film 'Kuffs'

‘Life is what happens while you’re waiting for a table’ – Sex and the City.

Why do all the women I know store knives point - up after washing them up ?

"If you never want to be criticised: Say Nothing, Do Nothing, Be Nothing" Confucious.

Diplomacy is saying 'Nice Doggy' until you can find a rock. (from a Craig Thomas book)

Is everybody affected by Murphy's Law as much as I am ? Perhaps I'm more aware of it - or more paranoid

Nytol tablets ("a clinically proven sleep aid") have a warning on the pack - 'may cause drowsiness' . Is this ludicrous or what ?

"This kind of certainty comes only once in a lifetime" - Clint Eastwood in 'The Bridges of Madison County'

' in later life it's as if I'm standing on a mountain of broken glass looking for the diamonds I threw away in my youth.........' - Film 'The Foreign Student' (on lovers)

"You are old too soon, and smart too late" - Mike Tyson

Stephen Fry’s Sept 11 shirt story – “if my mother had good taste I’d be dead”

The Moving Finger writes and, having writ,
Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor shall your tears blot out a Word of it.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
It bears out even unto the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor man ever loved.

Well that's me laid bare - now I'll have to go away and think for a while...........