Category Archives: Life

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem.

My little girl is unwell in hospital, and is having a really rough time. My fiancée is with her, and it’s hard for her to see our baby suffer. It’s hard for me being at home – I visit, but I worry about them both, and I just want our little one home.

If all of that wasn’t enough, last week my future Mother-In-Law got bitten by a bat.

I know!!

It’s true what they say: if it’s not one thing, it’s your mother!

So, because the best way for me to combat my stress and worry is to laugh and see the  lighter side of things, I have written the following poem about my Mother-In-Law’s adventure with a creature of the night.

I hope you like it.

 

Bat-Nan

Me Mother-In-Law was bit by a bat;

No – I couldn’t believe it either.

I was visiting my daughter in hospital when they told me

So I popped down to A&E just to see her.

 

At first when I entered the waiting room

I couldn’t see her in any of the chairs.

Then my eyesight was drawn to the ceiling

Following the line of all the other patient’s stares.

 

There she was, hanging upside-down from a strip light;

With her knickers on display to the place.

Well, I assumed that it was my Mother-In-Law

‘Cos her skirt was now covering her face.

 

God only knows how she got up there,

But we fetched her down so as not to offend.

And sure enough, it was my wife’s mother

(who I’ll now recognise from both ends)

 

I asked her what the hell she was doing,

And how the devil she got bit by a bat.

She said it happened in doing a good deed

By rescuing the thing from her cat.

 

She went on to say she saw it last evening

Sat quite calmly in front of the TV

With the cat close by in attendance

Watching “Cash in the Attic” it seems.

 

While she spoke, she showed very weird behaviour

She was fixated by a fly on the wall

Her head twitched and jerked rather oddly

And she wasn’t herself – not at all.

 

Expanding her tale, she continued

Telling how she feared for the little’s bats life.

So she wrapped it up carefully in a tea-towel

To release it back into the night.

 

Wrapped up, she moved gently but quickly

So that the trauma to the bat wouldn’t linger

But the bat couldn’t tell her intentions

And as released, bit her right on the finger.

 

Understandably this caused her some discomfort,

And although curses she does not usually utter

Her neighbours noted hearing in the darkness that night

Someone clearly saying “OW! You fucker!”

 

After not too long, she was seen by the doctor

Who thankfully said Rabies was ruled out.

However her hearing aid batteries had packed in by now

So several times the Doc had to shout.

 

It’s been three weeks now since she was bitten

She’s recovered well, I’m pleased to report.

But some aspects of her behaviour still concern me

Like her sleeping hanging down in her porch.

 

She’s been seen less often in the daytime

But has been flitting here and there in the night.

Being deaf, she doesn’t have much sonar

So she relies much more heavily on sight.

 

In the darkness of course this is a problem;

Her eyesight is 78 don’t you know.

She gave me a heart attack last Thursday night

When she smacked into my living room window.

 

But I guess we should be grateful for small mercies

We’ll get used to her as time goes by.

And having some bat traits are an advantage –

She keeps down the moth numbers at night!!

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

I’m not going to be able to write this the way it deserves to be written, because of the situation that my family is in at the moment. I apologise for this, but wanted to put my thoughts down.

My daughter is in hospital. She has been for roughly the past 7 days and is likely to be in for at least another 7 days, if not more. I will not go into detail, but fair to say she is having a rough time of it.

She is all I can think about. She – and my Fiancee (her mother) who has been by her side throughout this. They are at a hospital which is over an hours drive from where I am, so I am at home with our Son, trying to do home stuff (cleaning, cooking, being a dad), whilst also worrying about our daughter and her mother. They are my sole focus – and before anyone says it, writing this blog is a form of release for me for the stress. If you think I’m and therefore less focused than I should be, you can (in the words of Bender from Futurama), ‘Bite my shiny metal ass’.

Necessity has forced me to focus on my family and has made me remove all other triviality from my life.

So why can’t we do that when we have a goal or a dream that  we want to achieve or see realised? We fill our lives with such unimportant clutter – the pursuit of material things, wasting hours watching the nonsense on TV, general time-wasting. Why does it take something awful for us to focus? When a loved one dies, we all realise for a few days just how fragile life is. We all say to ourselves “life is so short” and then we go back to wasting it, just like before.

We all have dreams, things that we want to have happen in our lives. We also all do way too little about them.

Picture it as someone you love in a hospital bed, pale, quiet, weak – and a shadow of the person you love. Imagine the achievement of your goal the only way to get the imagined person well and back to you, and you will make it happen. Remove all other clutter from your life and focus on them.

 

Don’t let your dreams stay sick – make them better, and bring them home.

 

 

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem.

I like going camping.

But I don’t like the almost symbiotic stress that always comes with each and every camping trip my family go. Every time we set off in a happy, and excited mood which lasts roughly up to the point when we have to set the tent etc. up.

This poem is about one particular cause of stress, that we still haven’t managed to get right – in spite of having the same difficulties on concurrent camping weekends.

 

The Airbed

A new airbed we sought, and one for camping was bought

T’was a double – velour top and sumptuously deep.

With electric plug at one end, for compressed air to send

as itself it inflates – which is sweet.

 

Now, in tents it is true; plug sockets are few –

I suppose that is part of the charm.

But I’m no camping chump – I had purchased a pump;

Double-action – to save aches in our arms.

 

The bed was high-tech, and the air intake spec

was “Inflate” (obviously), “Lock”, or “Deflate”.

All set on a dial, so choice wouldn’t be a trial –

A dial, that I would soon come to hate.

 

One fine weekend last March, we at last had the chance

to take the air-bed on its first trial run.

The instructions were easy; setting up would be breezy

Which was bound to make camp sleeping fun.

 

We unpacked it with haste, for success we could taste

in anticipation of sumptuous reclining.

My family couldn’t wait, so as I pumped at a rate

They just stood there, mouth open, admiring.

 

As I pumped up and down, air was forced ‘cross the ground.

To the bed through a tube it was rushing.

But to my shock and surprise, the bed failed to rise

and the sight of its limpness was crushing.

 

“Patience” I said, “It’s a very large bed –

to inflate it will be time-consuming”

And with a confident grin, my pumping again did begin

But inside, I was secretly fuming.

 

With a fury I pumped, and my heart it did thump

as sweat poured in torrents down my face.

Every breath out was snorted, and my face was contorted

but the damn bed – it wouldn’t inflate.

 

Tired and exhausted, to help I resorted –

With my family, we pumped as a team.

My fingers were twisted, and my palms hot and blistered

Which is the first time since I was a teen.

 

I was hurt and perplexed – and in no little way vexed

as to the reasons our efforts weren’t fruitful.

The minutes ticked by, but the bed wouldn’t rise

And I was ready to give it a boot-full.

 

The bed lay there limp – though you could have inflated a blimp

With the amount of air pumping we had mustered.

I now held a grudge – though the bed wouldn’t budge

But just lay there flat, like a bastard.

 

I checked my equipment, offended – which at my age is recommended –

But found it to be working and true.

I could not understand, why the bed failed to expand

And I just didn’t know what to do.

 

Then, with a simple smile my son said, “the dial

Is only used for electric inflating.

And though your efforts were great, with the dial on ‘Inflate’

Air was just passing through and escaping.”

 

With that he turned the dial back to ‘Lock’, and with speed that did shock

Had the airbed inflated perfectly.

Trembling with rage and fatigue, I admit I did jealously seethe

At the bed now inflated correctly.

 

But in the wisdom of youth, I did learn a great truth:

impatience doth man’s best hopes hamper.

And as I look back now, I make this new vow;

Next time, I’m buying a Camper!

 

 

 

 

 

Good evening, and welcome to my blog.

This week’s offering is a poem that I wrote for a work colleague who is off to new adventures after many years doing amazing work in the NHS. I’ve only known him a short time, but it has been an absolutely pleasure.

I asked the rest of his colleagues to give their thoughts and memories of working with this person, and I was happy to put them together into this poem, along with some other bits of info I had about his rough plans for the future.

So, this is what I came up with.

I hope you like it.

Simon

Dear Simon did you really think
That you could just up and go?
Without those of us who are left behind
Openly letting you know
About the impact that you have made on us
And the organisation for which we work?
To do so is rather naïve of you
You loveable silly berk!

You are, and always have been
Far too humble when it comes to praise.
But many of the standards we work to
Are the standards that you have raised.
You were in at the very deep end
With the CSR from the start
Sticking with it every inch of the way
And truly playing your part.

Your methods have sometimes been unique
(I guess with your knowledge, that is your pleasure)
Rumour has it that to highlight the futility of the NHS
You once brought in a Pig Measure?
You were a McKinsey convert –
What you converted them to I cannot say.
But with your love of Combine Harvesting
You could have baled them up like hay!

But, if I can be serious for a moment
(And I know that is something new)
I’d like to tell you some of the words
That people have said to describe you.
You’ve been a Role model, a sounding board
A rock, and a shoulder on which to cry.
You are a fountain of knowledge and insight
And a 100% genuine guy.

You are focused, and dedicated, and true to your word
With always a laugh and a smile.
You always have time for everybody
And no request is ever a trial.
There will never be anyone else like you –
You truly are one of a kind.
And though we all wish you well,
In this team you can tell
There’s one hell of a hole left behind.

We went out for a meal just last Friday
Just a small group, but we sure did have fun.
Though we did have to stare, when you started to swear
As for most of us, that was a new one.
A few times you asked yourself a question
“What am I doing”? you were heard to have said.
But please don’t have any regret,
Because the best is to come yet
As you follow your heart AND your head.

So go to Scotland – go have an adventure
Climb a mountain, and go reach high above.
And don’t worry – we’ll all still be with you
Because you carry our thanks, and our love.

 

Good luck in the future Simon, and thank you for everything.

 

 

Why the Chances of Going Shopping Without Getting Enraged is Approximately 3,720 – 1

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am a great believer in the beauty of the human spirit, and how each of us has the ability to bring light and joy into the lives of others every day. We are, by nature a laughing and caring species – and I am proud to include myself as one of you.

EXCEPT – when I’m walking behind you out shopping. In that scenario, I’d happily kill you all.

I don’t go shopping very often, so when I do I always know where I’m going, which shops I’m visiting, and I don’t hang about. Time is money, people – and as I have little of either, I literally cannot afford to be stuck behind people shuffling along in a little dream, oblivious to everything around them.

I’m fortunate enough to live in a part of the world which has both natural beauty and plenty of history (a bit like me, really). Because of this, at this time of year there are a lot of tourists around – who apparently haven’t seen shops, or buildings before because they slowly walk around looking up at the building that used to be something important, but is now a drive through spray-tan and vajazzle boutique. Whilst I recognise and welcome the valuable income that tourists bring to my little corner of the world, I do wish they would recognise that stopping suddenly in front of me when I am walking at speeds of up to 4.75 miles per hour, could result in at the least embarrassment and minor injury, and in the worst case, an intimate moment and a court appearance. And if the slow walking and sudden stopping wasn’t bad enough, what also appears to be a habit of every other person out in town is the fact that they window shop – from twenty-five feet away!.

The pedestrian “area” of my local town centre is about half a mile in length, and is about sixty feet wide. It is lined on both sides by shops – all of which have lovely window displays, specifically designed to entice and lure customers in. So why do people choose to stop smack bang in the middle of the main thoroughfare and peer from a distance at the items in the window!? I lose count of the times I have nearly rear-ended an elderly couple who have stopped to discuss whether the shop in the distance has shoes in her size. It’s a shop! not a great white shark ! You can approach it – and even go into it if you like to have a better look. I’m fairly sure that the owners of the shop would like you too!!  But no, please don’t take my word for it – please do stay completely still…..it will make it easy for me to bludgeon you both to death with your wheeled trolley!!

It honestly is like a scene from a zombie film at times – loads of shuffling figures, with vacant expressions on their faces, arms outstretched with the head tilted to one side. I have to plan my route ahead because they keep changing direction or coming out of nowhere to thwart my progress. I feel like the Millennium Falcon escaping from the TIE fighters in the asteroid field in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. Sometimes, I even hum the piece of music that accompanies that scene. If you still can’t picture that image, you can watch the scene HERE.

I know I could shop online, and I honestly do consider myself a real “people” person.

 

Just not when you are in my way.

A Bus-Load of Wetsuits

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

It is fair to say that my blog does not fit in to any particular type of ‘pigeon hole’ in terms of its subject, or target audience. My blog isn’t about food, or fashion, or health, or wealth. It isn’t a transcript of any kind of journey that I may be on in my life, nor is it a guide for others to follow. I would go as far to say that my blog is unlike any other blog that I have seen – and I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not.

That being said, I don’t have a clever formula for the stuff I write. I simply take inspiration from the world around me, and am able to turn it into a standard blog post, or a Friday Poem. There is an abundance of absurdity in this world, that is easy to find if you just pay a little more attention to the world around you. For example, in the past few weeks I have been struck by the following:

  • Two gentlemen walking behind be my as I walked on my lunch break; they were discussing the Tour De France and potential individuals who could challenge for the yellow jersey. They spoke a little about a few contenders, before one of them said “Of course, I don’t trust the French”. I found that statement absurd and intriguing – why does he not trust the French? Is it all French? or did he just mean French professional cyclists? If so, what possibly could have happened to make him distrust French cyclists?

 

  • A colleague at work discussing with a friend the fact that the previous owners of the house she has just bought, did little to make any real improvements to the interior of the property. The phrase she chose to convey this sentiment was “They just put more lipstick on the pig” I laughed out loud when I overheard her say that.

 

  • The fact that during a recent medical test for a mysterious cough that has been troubling me for a while, I was complimented on having the lungs of a 37-year-old. Being 46, I was heartened by this – and then saddened by the fact that I am only retaining my youthfulness on the inside. I feel like a house with a beautiful decor inside, whose exterior walls and cracked and flaking.

 

  • I saw a lady on crutches struggling to get through two sets of doors in a vestibule. The doors were at either end of the vestibule and the far set led to the outside. As the lady struggled through the interior set of doors (the first set), and man came through the exterior doors – and rather than hold the door open for the lady on crutches to get through easier, he rushed forward and nipped through the interior doors being held open as the lady struggled through. As disappointed as I was in the man for not doing the decent thing, I was encouraged by the fact that a guy stood near to me gave me a look of mutual agreement that they bloke who rushed through was a complete tool.

 

And finally, at a recent meeting up of my partner’s extended family, her brother in-law arrived late after completing a triathlon. I was fascinated by the fact that the car parking for competitors was quite a way away from the event, and that after the event finished, this gentleman, and a lot of other competitors had to get the bus back to where their cars were parked. Given that they were all wearing wetsuits from the swimming portion of the Triathlon, the image of a bus full of people in wetsuits tickled me somewhat.

My blog is random, because life is random. And I find that stuff like the ones mentioned above bring much-needed light into this world that we are led to believe (by news and social media) is full of darkness.

I try to find the funny, the quirky, or the light-hearted in most things – it is all out there, waiting for us to overhear, or interpret.

For example, here is a picture of a lily that has finally flowered outside in our garden after what seems like months.

WP_20170730_16_21_58_ProMy partner, has a jokey competition with her mother to see who’s lilies will grow the best. Her mother always wins – this year her lilies are magnificent – there is loads of them, all opening in perfect synchronisation, while we have just one or two open. I reckon her mother comes round and nobbles our plants when we are at work.

 

Life is a bus load of wetsuits – just hop on and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Ja-Vu: And What, Exactly is Wrong With my Marrow??

Good evening, and welcome to my blog.

Tonight’s offering is plucked from the archives of the previous incarnation of my blog “Larry an every now and then blog”.

The post you are about to read was originally written way back in 2011, and the subject now seems ironic, given that just two years later I would do the greatest thing I have ever done.

Actually, I should say the greatest thing I have ever done so far, because like in all of us there is more greatness in me yet to come.

Speaking of greatness, I will again this week be reading some of my poetry at an open mic night. A New venue, with a new audience to read my poems to. I’m really looking forward to it, and will try to get myself videod and post it on the W is for Duck Facebook page.

If you are on Facebook, feel free to visit my page, and let me know what you think about my blog, and any particular posts you like.

Anyway, here is today’s blog from 2011:

What Exactly is Wrong With my Marrow??

I’m very proud to say that I am a Blood Donor – I’ve been giving blood every six months for the past three years. I’m also on the Organ Donor register, so that in the event of my death, someone else will be able to play music after me.

Of course, that’s a joke – the music dies with me.

But I am on the Organ Donor register. And recently, to ensure that none of me goes to waste, I also registered to become a Bone Marrow donor. I decided to do this, after reading a leaflet whilst giving blood about it. I say reading – the leaflet was laid across my face as I couldn’t move my arm. What about my other arm? That was bent behind my head for comfort. D’uh!
Anyway, this leaflet said that there was a shortage of Bone Marrow donors in the U.K. – and being a giving a sort of chap, I decided that I should do my bit and sign up. In due course, I was accepted on to the register. I didn’t know when they would contact me to ask for some Bone Marrow, but I knew it wouldn’t be long – after all, there is a shortage of Donors.
Well, the days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months. Soon enough my next blood donor appointment came round, so I decided to be pro-active and ask one of the nurses when I might be contacted and asked to donate some Bone Marrow.

“Oh, well we might never ask you” replied the nurse, in a matter-of-fact way.

I was shocked and surprised at this answer to my question. They might never ask me? Why? Why would they not want my Marrow? It’s as good any anyone else’s – anyone else who has had their blood checked for suitability and have been accepted as a potential bone marrow donor – and didn’t the leaflet say that there was a shortage of Donors?

I was struggling to get my head round this concept. There is a shortage of Bone Marrow Donors (apparently), and yet the BBMR – the British Bone Marrow Register – are picky about who they ask. How can this be? You don’t sit there with loads cheques payable to you in your pocket, and then complain about not having any money? You would sell a really popular brand of washing powder, but keep all your stock in the warehouse and none on the shop floor?
I didn’t understand – here I was, with my perfectly good Marrow sitting in my bones doing nothing, and there being a real need for Donors in the U.K., and yet no-one wanted to take it from me?

When I say my Marrow is “doing nothing”, I mean apart from producing new blood cells, and being an important part of the Lymphatic system, especially good at preventing the back flow of Lymph. But apart from that, it is idle. You could say, Bone idle ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

(Ahem).

So I don’t know what is going on. Maybe the Bone Marrow donation process is like the bidding process for tickets to the 2012 Olympics – hundreds of thousands of people register, but very few actually get what they want. Maybe one day, they’ll ask me to donate Bone Marrow which will ultimately be given to an arthritic Hamster, or a duck with rickets.

They keep my details on record until I’m 60 years old apparently – by which time, I’ll be so brittle that if they take any Bone Marrow, my entire skeletal system will be likely to implode on itself.

I have good Bone Marrow – if anyone wants any, get in touch.

 

If you want to find out more about Giving Blood, or the Organ Donor Register, click Here

If you are reading this in the U.S.A. and want to know more about giving blood, click Here