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

Before I get to this week’s poem, I wanted to let you know that it’s only a couple of weeks before the Poem that I wrote for The Hidden Needs Trust is launched on their website. I haven’t actually seen the finished video yet, but in conversation with HNT’s founder, Rachel Goodfellow, she assured me that the video, and the poem are amazing. I will let you know as soon as it is launched.

Now, don’t forget that I need suggestions for five poems for me to write about for my “Poem Challenge” – these poems will make up the Friday Poems numbers 70 – 75, and will appear in Volume Two of the Friday Poems which is launched next year. So get in touch and give me your suggestions.

But now, on to this week’s poem. The inspiration for this poem came to me recently after I  had flung myself down a snowy hill on a piece of plastic, and following a conversation with my counsellor about stopping focusing on the future, and trying to stay in the here and now. Between these too things, I created this week’s poem.

I hope you like it.

 

Let Go

Let go.

Lie back.

Enjoy the ride.

For once, put

Doubt and fear aside.

Go faster, faster!

Faster still!!

Keep momentum

By sheer will.

Feel the wind

Rush through your hair,

Release yourself

Without a care.

Live in the moment,

Floating free.

No trying, or struggling;

Simply ‘be’.

No thoughts,

No worries.

No rush,

No hurry.

Just timeless now

In this one moment,

Where nothing matters;

Nothing important.

Just you being you,

And that is all.

Forgetting life’s

Incessant call.

Watch life drift past

As clouds in your blue sky day

As you enjoy this moment

And drift away.

 

 

The Friday Poems – Volume One is now available to buy! Get it from Amazon.co.uk in paperback by clicking here: http://amzn.eu/2tOvhA6 , or for Kindle by clicking here: http://amzn.eu/hbDIMdU

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The Christmas Creeping Cycle Complication

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

Well, it’s all over. Christmas is done and dusted, and I’m writing this blog in the Bermuda triangle that is the period after Boxing Day and before New Year’s Eve – those few days where no-one is really sure what day it is. This cluster of days are spent dressed either in pyjamas (if not going out) or in all the clothing you were bought for Christmas. If you got new pants, trousers, t-shirt, jumper, and a coat you wear them all at the same time – even if it means sweating profusely and not being able to get the seatbelt round you in the car.

I hope your Christmas was all you hoped it would be. I was fortunate enough to have a very nice Christmas with my family. I’m always sad on Christmas Day evening, because after all the build up and preparation that goes into Christmas, it is all over so very fast. Still, it was nice to see the kids open their presents.

Now, I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t know what you are getting for Christmas. It spoils the anticipation, and people who tell their children what they are getting (or confirm that what the children have asked for will be got) are all wrong, and should be put on an island and not allowed to celebrate Christmas. In my house, secrecy is key. I will go to any lengths to retain the mystery – including researching medically induced temporary amnesia. Children are by default nosey, and will search for gifts, so a battle of wits ensues each festive season.

Our eldest child asked for a new bike for Christmas, and while said cycle was ordered weeks ago, I cunningly arranged for the shop to hold it until Christmas Eve. This would guarantee the bike being unseen by the child – who I was certain would be hunting for gifts at every opportunity.

At this point I should say that I never saw any evidence of present hunting, but I know it happened. You can’t see the back of your head, but you know it’s there. Enough said.

So Christmas Eve came and I went to collect the bike. When I got back I sneaked it into the garage, and laid it under our car trailer – convinced that Son would search all buildings thoroughly, including the garage. I then crept back into the house, and sneaked a peek at where our Son was – exactly in the same place he was when I left the house an hour or so ago; glued to his tablet.

Later that evening, the kids went to bed (it’s the one night of the year that they go to bed willingly), and after waiting for them to stop twitching excitedly, we quietly retrieved the presents from their hiding place and placed them under the tree  Several times during this process, my fiancée asked me to bring the bike up from the garage. Each time, I said I would do it later – because I was convinced that our Son was listening intently to our every word

Our garage is at the bottom of our garden. Our garden slopes away from our house, and stops about 2 feet from the garage, with a low wall marking the boundary. The light from the house shines directly onto the garage side door – a normal sized door. At about 10:45pm, my fiancée had lost all patience with me and so demanded that I went and got the bike. I was still sure that our Son was on high alert, so I crept silently out of the back door – and was met with a loud “Good Evening!” From one of our neighbours who was walking their dog up our street. I hissed ‘good evening’ whilst simultaneously cursing their poor choice of volume, before creeping down the street to the garage

There is a path that runs around the garage from the front to the side door, and this path fills the gap between garage and the low wall. Two thirds of this path was in shadow, but the last third was illuminated by the light from the house. I was sure that my Son was watching out of his bedroom window at the garage at that very moment, so I knew that I had to take drastic measures.

Which is why I covered the last third of the path on my hands and knees, so that I was hidden by the low wall. The ground was cold dirty and wet, and I’m fairly sure I squashed a slug between my fingers when I put a hand down as I crawled. I reached the door of the garage; slowly I raised one hand to the lock, and put the key in. As quickly as I could I slipped into the garage, and shut the door behind me. I retrieved the bike from under the trailer, and exited via the large garage door, before creeping back up the street – on the other side of the road, using the vehicles as cover.

I got back to the house, with cold wet knees, and slug under my nails and placed the bike under the tree.

I don’t know if my Son realised that the bike was hidden in the garage, but I was confident that I had kept it hidden successfully.
My fiancée was confident I was an idiot by over complicating things.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approaching Milestones

I’m very excited to announce that I am approaching two major milestones in terms of my blog. Firstly, I am only 23 blog posts away from my 100th blog post, and secondly I currently sit at 48 followers – just two away from the magic ’50’. I just wanted to say a huge thank you to those brave first 48, who are pioneers in the strange new world that is my blog.

You are the reason I do this – I simply want to share the mirth and laughter with the world. Without followers, this would not be possible. I know my blog posts are unlike the majority of other blogs you follow (in fact I have not yet seen any other blog that is as random as mine), and I am so grateful that you have chosen to follow me on my journey.

I constantly strive to improve my blog and, as always I welcome all feedback – what you like, what you don’t, what you think could be better. I’m just a regular guy, so please do get in touch and let me know your thoughts.

Once again, thank you for your support and comments. And in terms of this blog, all I can say is:

You ain’t seen nothing yet!!

The Adventure Begins!

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

I’m writing this in considerable pain. I was minding my own business, doing some washing up (watch out guys – it starts when you sink into her arms, and ends up with your arms in her sink), when I received an incredibly sharp stabbing pain in the my lower back. Initially I thought “ah, my good lady wants a cup of tea”, but soon realised that there was something else going on. I was experiencing a painful stiffening – and not in a good way. Subsequently, I believe I have pulled a muscle in my lower back and standing is agony. So I am sat down, now talking to you.

Well, if I’m in pain, why should you be too?

Anyway, on with my blog post. Well, we are off and running! You may remember, that a few weeks ago I posted a blog titled “That’s not my name“, and in that blog I got side-tracked a little, and started talking about letter writing, and how good it is to actually write a letter. In that blog, I invited you, the readers of my blog, to contact me, and start a written correspondence.

And one of you did!

A lovely fellow blogger answered the call and gave me his contact details and – being a man of my word, I sat down and wrote that man a letter. I can’t tell you how different actually writing a letter is to typing an email – or even typing on a word document to print out and send as a letter is. To start with, the physicality of writing itself is really hard; years of being chained to our keyboards has made us weak, and I got real cramps in my hand from writing, and it was really, really painful.

The last time I found writing that painful, was when I foolishly used the magnetic letters on our refrigerator to spell out “Dinner was crap”. Boy, did that hurt!

I also found that I had to concentrate much more on what I was saying. With email, or text whatever, it seems like the emphasis is on speed rather than content as if we need to get through whatever we are writing as quickly as possible so that we can get on to the next thing to write about. I found that when writing a letter, because I took longer I could focus on the content, and such things as spelling and grammar – which we take for granted in digital communications because of spell check.

So, I wrote my letter and posted it off. I have had confirmation that my letter has been received, and I await a reply.

My original offer made in my earlier still stands, as does my desire to resurrect written correspondence amongst us. If anyone would like to start a written correspondence with me, please get in touch using the contact form on my “about me” page. I welcome you all – but, must insist that if you want to start a written correspondence with me, you also start a written correspondence with someone else.

I’m looking forward very much to receiving the reply to my letter!

 

Good evening, and welcome to this blog offering. I hope that you are well.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to donate both Blood and Bone Marrow – as the image above will testify to, because you get a little card for your wallet that tells people you donate. I am also an organ donor – but ironically, I don’t appear to have my organ donor card anymore, and so am in need of a new one. I am looking for a suitably matched person to donate their organ donor card to me.

Because that is the purpose of these cards; in the event of my death, or if I am in a life threatening accident, these cards will let the relevant persons know that I have given my consent to have my organs donated in the event of my death. I would hope that these cards would have another function; as a deterrent to pick pockets. If someone stole my wallet, I would hope that finding these cards as they rifled through its contents would make them think twice about stealing from such a kind, generous person, and make them return it to me. Unless they had killed me for it, in which case they might just think that they were helping me to do what I had so nobly promised to do.

Incidentally the wording on my Bone Marrow donor card is interesting: “I’m a bone marrow VOLUNTEER donor”. This says that I volunteered to donate my bone marrow – but does that also mean that there are some people who had no choice whether their bone marrow was going to be taken? Do they have a little card in their purse or wallet that says “They took my bone marrow by force – I didn’t need it apparently” ? I think the card should just say “Bone Marrow Donor – Awesome!”

Anyway, I was thinking – why is there no donor card scheme for your clothing? Why are Charities and Humanitarian organisations not creating donor cards for clothing – “I want my clothing to be passed on to people who need it after my death”. Think about it –  the current refugee crisis around the world; people having to flee their home countries because of war and genocide etc. who literally only have the clothes they are wearing at the time. Or the number of people who are struggling to be able to afford to live any kind of normal life due to the current economic crisis and austerity cuts? Food banks are on the increase, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, and the ‘have nots’ outnumber the ‘haves’.

When you are dead, you are dead. You don’t need your clothes anymore. And what happens to them afterwards? They might (only might, mind you) be taken to a charity shop, or most likely be thrown out to end up in landfill. So why not ensure that after you are gone, your clothes continue to serve a purpose by clothing someone who needs them?

I think all the major charities and humanitarian organisations throughout the world should set up a clothing donor card, so that we are able to help those who need help, after we are gone.

And I know that donating clothes is not the solution to the gap between the rich and the poor, nor is it the solution to the refugee crisis. But what is more likely – The governments and powers around the world making a fundamental change to better the existence of everyone who inhabits this planet of ours or a simple donation being set up to ensure that some good is shared around.

 

 

I’m a coffee drinker – have been for most of my adult life. It’s my first drink of the day, and generally speaking I drink it more in the first half / two-thirds of my day. At the weekend I will drink it up to about 1pm, and during my working week right up to the time I finish – around 4:30pm.

I drink too much coffee – WAY too much. In a typical working day I can get through 6 to 8 cups. In fact it’s more than that, because I have one of those thermal cups with the lid (not a spill-proof beaker), which are about twice a big as a regular cup/mug. So I probably have the equivalent of 10 – 12 cups in a working day. The weekend is slightly better, but as I type this at 12:47pm I am just finishing my 4th cup of the day.

If I am out and about and me and my partner stop for a drink, I will have coffee. On pay-day I will buy a coffee on my way into work. In my town, we have a COSTA coffee, although I do like a Starbucks too. I know that other coffee retailers are available. I have never sampled a coffee from Caffe Nero outlet – possibly because every time I” see their logo, I think it says “Caffe Nerd”

caffe-nero-logo1[1]

Caffe Nerd – Only One Duffle Coat at a Time Please.

So, I get coffee from Costa fairly regularly but there is one thing about getting a coffee that I don’t quite understand.

Why give me a receipt for my coffee? Every time I get my coffee, I get a receipt.

Coffee from such an outlet as Starbucks, or Caffe Nero etc. probably falls under the category of “Fast Food”, and therefore is going to be consumed within a very short period of time once purchased. The chances of somebody taking fast food back for a refund is slim, and certainly wouldn’t happen after an extended period of time. Most people check their purchase whilst in the store or very close by – fast food is food that is going to be eaten quickly after purchase – so anything that was wrong would be identified and dealt with soon.

I understand that there might be some businesses that allow their employees to claim back coffee as an expense (although I can’t imagine why), and I suppose that it is possible that some self-employed people could try to claim the coffee as tax-deductible. But would you really bother to keep all your receipts for coffee to add to your tax return? If you are that bothered about watching every penny, then you probably are the type of person to spend £2.95 on a large cappuccino.

But apart from the obvious benefits that coffee Tax havens can give you, why should coffee houses give a receipt automatically?. On one recent occasion, I was given my receipt but said that I didn’t need it. The ‘Barista’ – the person serving me – simply took my receipt and put it in the bin. What a waste – he didn’t even say a word – just had a look of resignation on his face that said “I’ve done this a million times”. He was so on auto-pilot, that I’m fairly sure that more than one customer has ended up finding a screwed up ball of paper in the bottom of their skimmed soya milk caramel macchiato with a double shot of Guatemalan espresso.

Surely it would be better for the environment if receipts were only given if the customer had confirmed that they wanted one? There must be a way to have a prompt on the till that simply said “Receipt Y/N?”. That way, less receipts would be printed, which would save paper and therefore trees – and therefore the environment, and ultimately ourselves.

I think that if you counted how many people refused receipts that were offered to them AFTER being printed, and then compared that to the number of people who said yes when asked if they would like a receipt BEFORE it was printed, the latter would be less.

So, come on Costa, step up Starbucks,……..erm……get a grip Caffe Nero – stop giving out receipts, and make your lovely brown stuff greener!!

A