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 this week’s Friday Poem.

The words to this poem came to me after watching some of the news reports about the School shooting in Parkland, USA and the understandable outcry that followed.

What is terrible is the fact that those in government, and other organisations with vested interests, have still turned a blind eye, and refuse to accept that guns are a cancer for America. The fact that one suggested solution was arming teachers, just shows how removed from reality these people are.

The lives of the innocent are not worth doing anything about. They just get thoughts and prayers.

This poem says how I feel about that.
Thoughts and Prayers

Thoughts and Prayers

For lifeless stares.

For upturned tables,

And blood-stained chairs.

For innocence taken on the spot

By random, indiscriminate shots.

Thoughts and prayers

For the politicians.

Voiceless yet funded

By guns and ammunition

Sold under the sacred Bill of Rights

To kill those we place within our sights.

Thoughts and prayers

For moms and dads.

For all the moments

They’ll never have;

No graduation, no wedding bells,

Or whatever the future

Might have held.

What might have been will never be known,

Because their kids aren’t coming home.

Thoughts and prayers

For unanswered calls.

For screams that echoed

Through school halls.

For lives on a normal day torn apart.

How do you begin?

Where do you start

To try to somehow make some sense,

Of an act that does not have defence.

Thoughts and prayers

For the reaction

To teach Kindergarten kids

To be a distraction

So that if a gunman should attack,

They can delay them,

Or hold them back

If even for just ten seconds or so

To give others time to flee and go

Somewhere to safety, or get aid.

“Let’s practice kids! Then have Lemonade!”

On gun law the politicians will not yield,

So long as children form human shields.

Thoughts and prayers

For sisters and brothers.

Lost to fathers and to mothers.

Their voices no more will be heard;

Not. Another. Single. Word.

Their shape in space and time cries out,

And roars through shattered hearts throughout

The remainder of their loved one’s lives

As their memory cuts just like a knife.

Thoughts and prayers

Will not do much

To warm those bodies

Cold to touch.

They will not revive the lifeless figures

Destroyed by a finger on a trigger.

They have no answers to provide,

And cannot quell the rage inside

Which rightly spills out from the hearts

Of those whose lives were ripped apart.

Thoughts and prayers

Should still be said;

Said for the living,

Said for the dead.

And when the thoughts

Run out of words,

And all the prayers

Have all been heard,

Perhaps we’ll become doers

Instead of sayers,

And step out from behind

Those thoughts and prayers.

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 this week’s Friday Poem.

I wrote this poem after taking the photo of the two swans ignoring the “Keep off the Grass” sign. I wondered what their conversation might be about it – if they had one about it.

Do animals have conversations? We know they communicate, but do they “talk”? I think it would be cool if they did, especially if they have the type of conversation us humans have! And based on that idea, and the photo I took, I thought I would write this poem.

This is what I came up with – I hope you like it.

Keep off the Grass

Two Swans paused
At the edge of the path
To read a sign that said
“Keep off the Grass”
The first Swan said
“Just look at that –
Another control measure
By the bureaucrats”

His colleague remarked
As he wandered on,
“What are we supposed
To put our arses on?
The water’s ice-cold
This time of year;
Stay in it all day?
No bloody fear!”

“The ducks don’t do it,
So why should I?
You’ve seen them,
With their tails feathers to the sky.
And don’t give me all that
‘They’re just feeding”
You know they do it to stop
Their bums freezing.

“And besides”, his friend added
By way of report,
“Dogs walk on the grass
Without a second thought.
And walking isn’t all that they do,
Because you can’t take two steps
Without finding some poo.
And I’ll tell you this for nothing
A turd’s not nice to meet
When all you’ve got beneath you
Are two large webbed feet.

“So what’s the big problem?
We don’t do any harm.
(Though I did do a stretch at Abbotsbury
For breaking that blokes arm)
We are an icon of serenity;
The image of style and grace
And all we want
When our bums are cold
Is a nice dry resting place”.

“So whoever put that sign up
The council, or residents association
Can think again when it comes to us
As we’re loved across the nation.
We’re Royalty amongst water fowl
The upper class elite
Just ignore the pungent smell of poo

That’s coming from our feet”.

“So thank you – but no thank you;
We’ll walk on grass if we please.
No matter how many signs you may put up
They may as well be in Chinese!
In fact, that’s not a bad idea
You will have much more luck
Buy dissuading some nosey common fowl –
Those annoying peeking ducks!”

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:

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem, which comes to you slightly later than usual.

The reason I am late is that the fact that I was due to post a Friday poem today (Friday) had slipped my mind for almost all of this week – right up until about two hours ago, so I have been rushing around trying to compose one.

Thankfully, I remembered a business meeting I had earlier in the week, where (as everywhere) I mentioned that I wrote poem and specifically a Friday Poem. Someone at the meeting suggested that I write a poem about personal space, so that is what I have done.

This has been a rushed effort, but I hope you like it.


Personal Space


 Get out of my way! Get out of my face!

Haven’t you heard of personal space?

Back away now, stop right there

You’re way too close – how are you not aware

That you’re practically sitting right on my lap

Have you not heard the phrase “mind the gap”?


The last time I checked I wasn’t a Siamese twin

But if I wanted to be, let me begin

By saying that this isn’t how I thought it would be

With you being the other half of me.

Do you realise that is my leg you’re feeling?

And your personal scent has sent me reeling

Without the joy of escaping your gravity

Because far too close you orbit me.


So take a moment, take a pill

Take stock of your surroundings – and chill!

If you are trying for a better view

Please heed this advice I give to you:

Use your senses – touch, sight and hear

To tell yourself when you’re too near.


Say “excuse me, would you mind

If I got a better look? – ever so kind”

Or even better, “Pardon me,

For intruding in your proximity”

Such thoughtfulness will serve you well

When you – nimbly, like a Gazelle –

May have to carefully navigate

Areas where space ‘ain’t great.


The alterative – ignoring anyone that’s near you

Won’t make you popular or endear you

To those into whose pockets you are trying to climb

Because it is seen as a personal crime.

It is not the way to make new friends

As getting too close will cause offence.

That being said – an attractive face

Can always invade your personal space.


So come on people, heed the rule

Getting too close just isn’t cool.

Do you like strangers getting closer

Who sir? Me sir? You sir! No sir!

Be respectful of each other

Keep your distance, save the bother.

In an ever-increasing human race

It’s important to remember personal space.


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.

Today, you find me treading water in a ten foot glass of Tequila. Yes – I’m in high spirits.

In case you are not aware (and it would be mind-boggling if you are not, given how much I’ve been babbling on about it), I have recently self-published my first book; an anthology of the first 52 Friday Poems to appear on this blog. It is available to buy in paperback format or downloadable for Kindle or the Kindle App from Amazon. I am incredibly proud to have a book of my own ‘out there’ in the world.

However, in the process of checking out how my book appears on Amazon, I found something slightly odd:

The easiest way to find my book is to search for “The Friday Poems” – however, I did also try searching for “W is for Duck” – after all, it is a pretty unique name and if you type it into Google, my blog is either the top search result, or certainly within the top three. So I naturally assumed that typing it into Amazon’s search bar would automatically take me to my book.

It doesn’t.

For some, unknown and bizarre reason, when I type “W is for Duck” into the search bar, Amazon thinks I am looking for something that is almost spelled the same, but is very, very different. Amazon thinks that what I meant to type in, and what I really am searching for is:

Wigs for ducks.

Yes, you read correctly – Wigs for Ducks. A wig for a duck; a WIG – a syrup, a hairpiece, a toupee.

For a duck!

So my first “W” is…… What?

Now, I know what a wig is, and I know what a Duck is – but I have never ever heard of a wig for a duck. And furthermore, beneath the line that says “showing you results for wigs for ducks – did you mean to search for W is for Duck?” everything that is listed below is NOT  a wig for a duck. There are duck-bill shaped hair clips, a picture of a dog in a wig in the bath with a rubber duck, a child’s unisex duck onesie, and ‘The Duck Walk’ by Chuck Higgins and his Mellotones, and much, much more. But not one actual wig for a duck. So if, by some cruel twist of fate I owned a duck that had no feathers on its head (or Mallard-pattern baldness), and I wanted to save its embarrassment – or multiply it, depending on your viewpoint – I couldn’t buy it a wig even if I wanted to. So what is Amazon doing searching for something that doesn’t exist?

My Second “W” is……….Who?

I could be wrong here, but I think the Amazon website is created by human programmers – or at least a human typed all the coding and created the algorithms that allow you to search for things. So who wrote the algorithm to be so weird? And who thought that wigs for ducks would be something people would want to look for?

My third “W” is…..Why?

Quite simply, why would someone want a wig for a duck? Why? Why???

And my final “W” is……Where?

I’m curious now. If there is a chance that you could get your pet balding duck a hairpiece, I want to know where such a thing could be obtained. I doubt it would be available on the “Dark Web” – but perhaps there is a “weird web” when you can get such things as a wig for a duck, or a leotard for a fish, or even a sandwich toaster in the shape of your lower intestine. The weird web isn’t dark, it’s more of a beige colour………





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