Category Archives: Life

Blog Ja-Vu: We’ve been Robbed – by Coincidence, Chance……and Sod’s Law!

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

It’s been a while, so I thought I would take a long overdue trip down memory lane – to a previous blog I used to write, when my circumstances were different, and the circumference of my waist was less.

It’s a short piece, but I hope you like it.

(that’s what I said to her)

We’ve Been Robbed – By Coincidence, Chance, and Sod’s Law!

So, It’s 2:05pm and I’m sat on a fold up chair (no folded up) in my garden with my laptop on my lap, and a glass of rose by my side. It is another glorious day here in Sturminster Newton, and I suspect for much of Dorset and the UK as a whole. There is a wasp buzzing around my head, so I may in a moment throw my laptop to the floor and run into the house screaming like a small girl. If you never get to read this post, that is why.

But then, how would you know, if I never get to publish this post?

On that line of thought, how many masterpieces of literature, art, music or sculpture have never been completed or released to he world because their creator was interrupted somehow?

For all we know, Michelangelo’s “David” was just something he threw together whilst working on his real masterpiece – only to have his real best work destroyed when a moth flew into his workshop one night, causing him to reel back in panic, knocking five years worth of work to the floor, smashing it to smithereens?
Who can say that the world should have marvelled at Michelangelo’s “Rufus”, and only given “David” the briefest of attention that such lesser work requires?

Beethoven’s Unfinished Symphony might well have been destined to be completed and named “Exultation to the Glory of The World”, or some other more spectacular title, had it not been for the fire that broke out in his neighbour’s house, forcing Beethoven (who was also a part-time fireman – or the equivalent of his day) to leave his work, and spend the next four hours risking his life to save the life of his neighbour, his neighbour’s family, and even his neighbour’s dog, ironically named “Mozart”. And this act of friendship, social conscience, and heroism could well have erased from Beethoven’s mind the melody and tune required to complete his masterpiece. Instead, he returned to his work, scanned what he had created so far and simply thought to himself “I’ll come back to that later on.”

How do we not know that the day after painting “Sunflowers”, Vincent Van Gogh found himself by the river bank, in the perfect place at the perfect time to witness the struggle of life and death in nature, and be inspired to paint his greatest picture ever: “Dragonfly being caught by leaping fish as Kingfisher swoops” – only to inadvertently disturb a hornets nest hanging above him, and in the ensuing attack of the swarm, knock his painting into the river, losing it for ever? None of us can dismiss the theory with any certainty that from that day onwards, Van Gogh would privately refer to his much acclaimed “Sunflowers”, as a pile of crap in comparison to what might have been.

It could well have been possible that the greatest theologians, teachers, artists, mathematicians, and thinkers of their time all lived in the same street in Pompeii, all socialising together and meeting up for daily brain storming sessions. they could well have been on the verge of revolutionising the world as they knew it with ideas centuries before their time – only to be obliterated from the mind of history by that Volcanic eruption that engulfed their city in lava, preserving everything as it was at that moment. The world might well have been a different place is someone had said “that sounds like the volcano erupting”, instead of “is that your stomach grumbling? You’re always hungry you are”.

So, although we know there have been geniuses throughout the ages, we could quite conceivably have missed out on ever greater discoveries, or masterpieces, all because of unfortunate occurrences.

It makes you think, doesn’t it?

Well it made me think, I can’t speak for you lot.


Hello, and welcome to my blog.

It’s Mother’s Day here in the UK, and is also known as Mothering Sunday – though the two are actually very different; Mothering Sunday is actually, originally a day when people in “service” – Butlers, maids, gardeners, cooks etc. would get a chance to have a day off to go to Church at the church where they were christened. This church was referred to as their “Mother” Church, and those who got to go would go with all the members of their family – often the only opportunity they had to do this.

In stark contrast, Mother’s day is the one day of the year that Mum’s get a day off, and dad’s or boyfriends, or significant others get to fight with the kids to get them to help, and they also get to say things like “How’s the oven work?”

I was on duty today for my good lady, and I think I managed it alright – including cooking a roast chicken dinner. I successfully wrangled our children into helping throughout the day – with minimum fuss (although I did have to pull out a small lecture when my 9-year-old daughter complained of being tired when asked to help (at 10:30am).

Mother’s day is not always a happy day sadly. Many people’s mother are no longer with them – my own included (31 years this year), and many more mothers struggle in difficult relationships, or with health and emotional problems. Lots of mums don’t have a partner, and do their amazing job on their own, and some mums have lost children.

Nonetheless – a Mum is a mum, and today is their day. I wrote this poem on the spur of the moment this morning, for all mums – wherever they are:

To the Mums

To the mums
Who shine brighter
Than all of the stars.
Who dry all of our tears
And soothe our emotional scars.
To the mums who we see
Each and every day.
And to those who Dementia
Has cruelly taken away.
To the mums who have Cancer
But still carry on
Being brave for their families
Still smiling, being strong.
To the mums we have lost
Just now, or long ago
All taken too soon
But we’ll always know
Who they were
Who they are
As we carry them with us
So they’ll never be far.
To the mums for the first time
Frightened and scared
With no reference or guidelines
Or notes to compare.
And the mums who are trying
Their absolute best
In hardship, and struggle
Facing each new day’s test
The mums who aren’t perfect
And who don’t get it right
Who shout at their kids in the daytime
And then cry in the night.
To the mums who are wives,
Fiancée’s, and workmates
Working one, two, or three jobs
Just to keep food on the plate.
And the mums stuck at home
In that stereotypical role
Going mad at the four walls
Of their deepening hole.
To the mums, who don’t hear
This enough every day:
You are all our heroines
In so many ways.

To the mums
Thank you, and sorry, and I love you, and more.
You are so very wonderful, and are so adored.
There aren’t enough words to properly say
Exactly how we feel.

So happy Mother’s Day xxxx

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

Yesterday, was our annual “rush home from work only to rush straight out again because we need to get a parking space at some random school where our child is singing in a concert” night. It’s always a fraught affair, as we never ever get there early enough to get a seat in the audience anywhere near the stage, but every year we set of in high hopes that things will be different.

This year, things were the same.

We arrived at St. Osmosis (or whatever it was called) and took our child to the classroom where the rest of her school mates who were taking part were waiting. The concert was a number of children from various schools singing individual songs and group songs, all around a central theme. This year’s theme was peace and unity, as it is 100 years since the end of World War One.

Once again, we had to sit miles away from the stage (just like we had park way away from the school). I presume that the reason for this was that all the pushy parents were camped outside the school since 2pm on the day, like people waiting for the latest iPhone to go on sale, and then they rushed in to grab all the seats so that they can take multiple photographs of darling little Tarquin or Persephone, as they sing and pout just like they made them practice for six hours every day because all that matters is being the best, when you have no personality.

Soon enough, all the children from the seven different schools filed into the sports hall where the concert was taking place. As they did, each of the children looked for their parents, and vice versa. Across the crowd, it looked like when people do that thing where they don’t stand up fully, but just rise up a little bit – like when a crowd at a football match watch a player approach the goal. They don’t do it all at the same time, but you see one or two at a time bob up expectantly – and then pockets of people bob up all other the place. While they were bobbing about looking for the child, they had (for some reason) a look on their faces like people looking for their baggage on the carousel at the airport – trying to remember what shape and colour it is, but knowing it’s got a dent in it. We saw our little cherub – who decided to dispense with the usual smile and wave, and responded to our waving by sticking her tongue out.

I blame her mother.

The concert was very enjoyable. All the children sung very well, and some of the songs were complicated. Our child did very well – despite spending much of the time pulling faces at me (I was reciprocating) or fiddling with her hair, uniform, or biting her nails. Despite this, I cannot adequately explain just how proud I was to see my child – I genuinely felt like my heart would burst out of my chest. Yes, it was just an inter-school concert, but my child has a few struggles in life, and had a rough year last year health wise, and it was so lovely to see her singing and smiling.

Can’t wait until next year!

Mind you, by next year I will be a millionaire!!. The other day, I was fortunate enough to receive an email from Jacob Wunder, the Account Director in United Bank of Africa (UBA) Ghana. Mr Wunder wrote to me to tell me how I would get almost half of a $12.8m fortune, that he has found (found!?) in the bank. I quote:

In my Department here at the bank, I discover an abandoned sum of US$12.8M United State Dollars. The money belongs to one of our biggest customer whose name is General Valery Mikhaylovich Khalilov from Russia. The late General died on 25th December, 2016 on a plane crash en-route to Syrian where a civil war is going on since 2011.His plane crashed into the Black Sea off Sochi, Russia. I contacted you to enable both of us claim this US$12.8M United State Dollars,and have it transferred into your account in your country.”

How amazing is that! All that money being discovered 18 months after old General Khalilov snuffed it on Christmas Day. I wonder if he got to open his Presents? Jacob Wunder went on to explain what I need to do to get my hands on the money – and explained how easy it would be:

No other person will know about this business deal, not even my colleagues in my bank will know about this golden opportunity which I want you to partake with me. Make sure you keep everything confidential, until we have the fund claimed and wired into your bank account.It is 100% risk free, this is because I have mapped out a guideline and procedure to use in claiming this fund on your names. You will be presented as the rightful next of kin to late General Valery Mikhaylovich Khalilov.”
So all I need to do is pretend to be the General’s son! That’s easy! I can find a Russian army uniform on Ebay, get some medals, and before you can say “Perestroika” I’ll be rich beyond my wildest dreams!!

Apparently, there is a small form to fill out – but my new best mate Jacob Wunder assures me it’s a formality to ensure we have the full trust of each other: “I will send you an agreement, you will study it sign and I will also sign it. When we have endorsed the agreement, both of us will have full trust on each other

So, watch this space!

I’m in the money, I’m in the money…..


Hello, and welcome to my blog.

I made an unpleasant discovery the other day, whilst in the men’s toilets.

Before the more sensitive of you start worrying, fear not. I am not about to be vulgar. My vulgar blogs can be found here on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. The unpleasantness I discovered, came in the shape of the hand driers – or should I say, the height. The hand driers were situated very low down on the wall – I estimate only three and a half or four feet from the floor.

Now some of you may struggle to see what the problem is with this – but if you take into consideration the fact that I am six and a half feet tall, then I think the issue may become a little clearer. I was forced to bend over almost to ninety degrees to dry my hands – and although for only a relatively short time, it puts a strain on my back (a common complaint amongst tall people – along with “ow! low door frame!”). I tried to work out why the hand driers would be so low – there were no other low items in the toilets – the toilets and the sinks were all standard height, so just as if I had walked in to find all the toilets stolen, I had nothing to go on.

I know that this is a trivial thing, and that I can (and did) manage to use such equipment even when it is lower down that expected, but it is frustrating when things are lower than normal – for even an average height person. And I’m sure that those of us who are below average height also feel the same frustration about things being out of reach. On average, people are getting taller. The average height of a man in 2011 was 69.4 inches. In the 17th and 18th Century, the average height was 65.75 inches. Despite this, there seems to be still a regular and almost persistent trend of not catering for the taller person.

Perhaps this is a biased perspective. And maybe it’s a conspiracy against tall people, planned and executed by a hidden army of jealous shorter people, always in the shadows, just out of plain sight.

Or they could be in plain sight – but I’d never see them, being this tall…….



The Friday Poems – Volume One is now available to buy! Get it from in paperback by clicking here: , or for Kindle by clicking here:


Good evening, and welcome to my blog.


I thought I would bring you up to speed on events my little world, as I haven’t updated you recently on all that is going on.

Just under two weeks ago, I went to a local college to be videoed reciting the Poem I had written for the charity that I am working with: The Hidden Needs Trust. I wasn’t sure exactly what was going to happen, but I knew! that if I was going to be filmed, then I wanted to look my best. Although the poem is about the Hidden Needs Trust, and is going to be on their website I was also representing myself as a poet and a blogger, and I knew that I needed to make a good first impression that will stick in people’s minds, and increase people’s awareness of myself, and the poetry I write. So, on the day before, I went and had my beard trimmed and neatened up, and then on the day itself I wore my best three-piece suit. If I do say so myself, I was looking very sharp.

I the filming was booked for 10am, so I made sure I arrived in good time. I was a little nervous, as I always am before this kind of thing (I do a bit of amateur dramatics for my Village am-dram group), and was repeating the poem over and over again. I was going to be reciting the poem from memory, so had been learning it for the past three weeks. At this point I should state that the poem was actually four poems in one – because Rachel, the founder of the Hidden Needs Trust had given me lots of different information from which to create the poem. In the end I wrote four poems – one about how Special Educational Needs affects the children who live with it, one about the impact on Parents and Carers, one about the challenges facing the specialist pre-school support groups, and finally one about what the Hidden Needs Trust needs in the future to keep doing its amazing work. I submitted these four poems to Rachel, expecting her to choose one, or to pick bits out of each to make up the final poem. What I hadn’t expected was for Rachel to ask me to say all four poems on camera! So, I had been learning these poems over the last few weeks – repeating the poems over and over and over again – in the bathroom, on the drive to the town where I work, on the walk from my car to my work, as I wash up, while waiting for my daughter to finish swimming lessons. It was a war of attrition – I forced those four poems into my head.

And there I was, sat in my car at 9:47am saying those poems in order over and over again. I saw Rachel pull up in her car and got out to meet here. She was with her ‘Right-hand man’, Peter who looks after all the photography and behind the scenes stuff. We said our hello’s and went into the college to the Media suite where the videoing would be taking place. Rachel had commandeered the help of two students from the college to actually do the filming, as this would contribute to their coursework for the year. When we arrived they were already there ready to go. I was taken into a classroom which, at one end had a blue floor and blue back wall. In this blue space there was a solitary chair – on which I would sit and recite the poem. I believe that the blue background is a bit like a green screen, where images can be super-imposed onto it afterwards. I didn’t say anything at the time, but I was a little concerned that they might super impose something that detracted from me and my poem. It is all very well me learning four poems and looking my best, but if all people watching the video can see is a clip of Jurassic Park, or a space battle from Star Wars, then they are not going to be paying any attention. Thankfully I was informed that the Hidden Needs Trust logo was going to be superimposed behind me, so that will be far less distracting.

After a few minor technical hitches with the microphone, we were ready to rock and roll! I took a sip of water, sat down in the chair looked into the camera and……….nailed it. Eight and a half minutes non-stop reciting of the poem without a missed word, or a stumble. One take, that’s all it took. I haven’t seen it back – but I did get a glimpse of a few seconds of me on the small camera playback screen. I was unhappy with how I looked sitting in the chair, and so I asked if I could recite the poems again, but this time standing up. Well, they say pride comes before a fall, and they are right; second time around I fluffed a couple of lines and it was no good. So I asked them to go with the ‘good’ take, with me sitting down.

After that, I just had to record some voice over pieces for some other videos that are going to be shown on the Hidden Needs Trust website, and that was it.

I am very pleased with and proud of myself for doing this. All of this came about from a post I put on Twitter about my bespoke poetry writing service, and Rachel started a conversation with me about what might be possible. I know that all my friends and family tell me how good my poetry is, but to hear it from a ‘stranger’ is especially empowering.

So, it’s all good!!


The Friday Poems – Volume One is now available to buy! Get it from in paperback by clicking here: , or for Kindle by clicking here:


Good evening, and welcome to my blog.


I’ve got a number of subjects to talk to you about in this blog post, so I’ll get straight to it.


Jeremy Corbyn. I like him. I’m not a political person by any means – but Jeremy Corbyn is the first politician that I feel that I can believe in. To me (and this is a personal opinion) he seems to be a genuine person. I hate politics – politicians lie, they never reply to a straight question with a straight answer, and if you have ever seen the behaviour that goes on in the houses of parliament, you would see that they act so childishly in trying to shout whoever is speaking down, that I find it impossible to have any faith in them. But from what I have seen of Jeremy Corbyn in interviews and public appearances, he just seems to be a more down to earth guy. I am under no illusion that he dodges a straight answer like the rest of them – but there is something about him that I feel I can connect with. It’s very likely that I have naively perhaps seen in him a glimpse of how I would like all politicians to be – more respectful, and more in touch with the everyday folk in this country.

I’m a dreamer – I always have been. This week I am already clinging to the dream that I might just win this Friday’s Euromillions jackpot, which stands at £154 Million. I haven’t even bought my ticket yet, but the dream is already formed. But I don’t think it is an impossible dream to hope that those in power – both locally and nationally, might one day actually start working for the good of the people – ALL the people. It’s not impossible to hope that someone one day might stand up in the house of commons and say that they are not going to bawl and shout and filibuster and act childishly when the opposition are speaking. Perhaps they might say that they are there to work to improve the lives of those who put their trust in them when they marked that ballot paper based on promised made, and to do so they will conduct themselves in a manner befitting the responsibility upon their shoulders. I think that if politicians said that and behaved properly, more people would have faith in our system. Jeremy Corbyn gives that dream substance –

I cannot connect with anyone in the Conservative party based on what I have seen. The same applies for the majority of the labour party. I like what the Green party are trying to do, but don’t think they will get a chance to do it. At this moment in time, Jeremy Corbyn seems to me (personally) to be a decent guy.

And I think that it would be no bad thing if more politicians – regardless of the party they belong to – were like him.

Just saying.


Now – Ducks.

I saw two ducks having a fight yesterday. They were on a small river, not tumbling out of a Weatherspoon’s and I assume that it was either over territory, females, or position in a social group. You know, just like a regular Friday night out for most humans. What astonished me was how savage this fight was – one duck was trying to hold the other’s head under water, and there was a lot of biting of feather and the head and neck from both ducks.

At this point, let me point out that these ducks were males –  Drakes. I’ve never seen female ducks fighting, presumably because they are mature enough to settle their differences sensibly.

Anyway, I suppose that I didn’t think Ducks could be that fighty because they don’t have sharp claws or teeth. They have webbed feet – which I suppose could give you a good slap if they put their hip into it, but apart from that wouldn’t do much harm. And their bills – no, not what they charge you for their company – are nicely rounded and flat so that the worse they could probably do is give you a nice smoothing out of your skin. At least that is what I thought……

But there was no face slapping or skin smoothing going on here – oh no, there were serious attempts to do damage on display. At one point, one Drake appeared to have the upper wing, and the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I should intervene and separate these two before someone got hurt. I was just about to leap into the water shouting “leave it Daffy – he’s not worth it!”, when a number of voices entered my head:

Firstly, my own – telling me that such water-fowl can be dangerous, and reminding me of the well-known fact that a Swan can break a man’s arm. (Please refer to last week’s Friday Poem – #58 “Keep off the Grass” for further proof.) My voice went on to reason that ducks, although smaller, could inflict a scaled-down equivalent of a broken arm – a dislocated finger for example, or perhaps a small graze. Whatever the aquatic ninja’s potential, caution was advised.

Secondly, and almost overlapping the first voice came another voice – again mine, but it quickly morphed into Sir Elton John’s as the words “leave them, this is part of nature, part of the circle of life”. Of course, the ‘circle of life’ part was sang rather than spoken, just the way he does it in the song of the same name.

Thankfully, the third voice quickly kicked in. It was none other than Sir David Attenborough, who was in mid-flow explaining about the importance of these struggles, and although brutal to watch they helped make the social bond between these animals stronger. Each would know their place, and the social group as a whole would be stronger and work better together. David went on to urge me to stop worrying, let go of my fear, and use the force”

Although that last bit might have been Obi-Wan Kenobi, as played by Sir Alec Guinness. (Those of you under forty years of age might need to ask a grown up who that is).

Anyway, by the time all this has finished, the two ducks had stopped fighting and had buggered off. But it was quite a spectacle to see!


And then there is hope.

A little while ago I wrote a blog post titled “Honest”, where I opened my self up to world and explained some of the struggles I have. In that blog post I talked about my lack of confidence and the fact that I was having counselling to help me with my battles.

I’m pleased to say that I have made significant progress since that blog post. My counselling is really helping, and I am in a much better place now that I was when I started it. The battle continues, but it’s more of a struggle than a battle now. I have lots of bad days, but there are a few better days that have been seen too.

After I posted the initial blog, I received wonderful messages and offers of support. I’ve never been good at asking for help, but recently I was able to take up one of the offers of help. This offer came in the form of a coffee and a chat, and so this week I sat down with the person who offered the help and had a coffee and a chat. I can’t tell you how great it was to do that. I’m not great at talking about “inside stuff” – I mean I do with my counsellor, but I’ve been having counselling for almost 10 months now, and it was difficult to talk to someone else. I did talk, but I couldn’t make eye contact very much.

The friend who sat there, listening patiently, empathising, not judging, really helped me. After our chat, I felt more energised, more positive than I had been feeling all that week. They also handed me a small piece of additional hope to add to the small pile I have amassed since June last year when my counselling began.

They might say that they didn’t do anything, all they did was listen. But they did.

Sometimes, just having that moment to be heard, and hear yourself being able to express what is happening for you in your life, is one of the most powerful things you will ever experience.

So I thank that friend, from the bottom of my heart for adding to my pile of hope.


And finally……

The Poem Challenge is coming back!!

In a month or so I shall be asking you, the readers and followers of my blog, or ANYONE who happens to chance upon my blog, to give me a subject to write a poem about. There are no rules – whatever you choose, is what I will write a poem about. It’s that simple!

I’m looking for five subjects to be my Friday poems, #70, #71, #72, #73, #74, and #75, and don’t forget, that because your choice of subject will appear as a Friday poem, it will automatically be included in “The Friday Poems – Volume Two”, when it is published at the beginning of 2019!!

So get your thinking caps on, and keep reading my blog for further details.

It’s up to you!!


The Friday Poems – Volume One is now available to buy! Get it from in paperback by clicking here: , or for Kindle by clicking here:



Good evening, and welcome to my blog!

I’ve not got very long to post this tonight, as most of my evening has been spent swearing out loud and making a fairy castle with my daughter. The two are not connected – I always swear on the inside when I’m making a fairy castle.

No, I was swearing out loud earlier in the evening because I burnt my finger on the frying pan that the pancakes were cooking in. I’m fairly confident that almost all of us will agree that pancakes are delicious – but why do most of us only have them once a year? Some of us get to have them a couple if times a year, but still it’s a long time between pancakes. I think we should have pancakes much more often!

But not so often that it takes away the specialness of them. That’s the trouble with special things – it you have too much of it, it stops being special. Like when you meet a girl and it’s all new and exciting and ….. well, special. So you want to spend every available moment with them, and every moment is special – so you spend more time with them and have more special moments and as you keep having more and more special times together you develop feelings for each other, and then decide to go and live together so that the special times will continue – so you move in together and it’s all new again and even more special because you will now have special moments twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year!! And it is lovely and exciting and special and new and special and exciting and special and exciting and new and exciting and special and special and special and special and then you wake up one day and can’t stand the sight of each other because there is nothing special about seeing that bloody face every day!

Which is why we only have pancakes once a year.

So, one week ago today, I self-published my first book “The Friday Poems – Volume One”, and I am honoured and humbled to say that so far I have sold fourteen copies. Now it’s only fourteen copies, but that’s a huge thing for me – being an aspiring writing and poet (I know I am writing and I am a poet – but I aspire to be better). So I would like to take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has bought my book. I can’t tell you what it means to me, so I won’t. But it does mean an awful lot to me.

If you haven’t yet bought my book, details of how to get it on Amazon (other than going to Amazon and typing “The Friday Poems” in the search box) will be at the bottom of this blog.


And besides – I’m scared.

This Friday I am being filmed reciting (from memory) the poem that I have written for a local charity – The Hidden Needs Trust ( The poem is actually four poems in one, and at this moment in time I have learned 3.75 poems. I’m starting to feel the pressure, and am worrying about messing it all up. I won’t, and I know I won’t  – but there is still the nagging doubt that it all might go horribly wrong.

That being said, I am incredibly proud of what I have done, and what I am about to do. It’s a real buzz for me to be asked to write a poem for someone – let alone a Charity – let alone then be asked to read the poem on camera for a video which will appear on the charity website!

I’m proud of the poetry I write, and although my friends and followers appreciate my poems, to have someone who has not known me before and is not aware of my blog (they are now) ask me to write a poem for them is hugely empowering for me.

So when you read this week’s Friday Poem, I will have recorded just over eight minutes of non-stop talking – and that’s a long time! You will get to see the video once it is put on the website, either via a link on this blog, or hopefully by me being able to post it here.

So cross everything for me, and thanks once again for your love and support.



The Friday Poems – Volume One is now available to buy! Get it from in paperback by clicking here: , or for Kindle by clicking here: