Incidents, and musings




Beauty is …

quietness and gentleness, a personal, warm smile; wisdom without brusqueness, discretion without guile, firmness without harshness, meekness without weakness, unselfishness and kindliness,

(IP) 10, 20, 30 … 60 …

with apologies to A A Milne At 10, still growing not knowing where going; at 20 time a-plenty; by 30, very busy, family responsibility; so 40 brings perplexity, parental anxiety:

A 2-year old’s Birthday Perplexities

feel puzzled and dazzled … I think I’ll just go up to bed!

A letter from the war …

… my father’s writing …

A rioter’s hangover (IP)

… We’ll run amok, do anything to shock, and break and crack, yell, shriek, attack, until exhausted …

A sweet or sour end?

Though bones may crumble, your movements fumble, joints stiffen, legs weaken – a heart that’s humble, sweet and loving, is ever giving, with gift to lift the weary visitor,

A train journey

One is nearly two, and two are three, then there’s Mum, and also me – to help. How long will it be? trying different seats, exploring, views from windows, rain is pouring,

An outing for Gran

Outing in the car, drizzling outside, can’t see very far, thoughts begin to slide. Saturated hedges, trees are dripping drops, soaking wet the verges; but the driver stops, –

Back to School!

September mornings, sunny faces walking crisply back to school … September mornings, Mums released … Now their therapy’s begun, they walk their flock, or drive the run …

Back-seat kids!

Stop that bickering in the back! …

before it was too late …

A friendship with promise, and stars in her eyes, but he met her sister and couldn’t disguise the mutual attraction and shared understanding, the love and committment,

Caring Restraint!

I’ll hold your hand for your own good – you cannot see the things that could be dangerous, hurt, or make you fall – I’ll hold your hand while you are small! I’ll hold your hand

City in the rain (IP)

Children three, their Mum and me, leave the train, to brave the rain, out from the station, been told there are signs, scanning everywhere, holding hands and bags, and chair,

Co-operation (IP)

A breakdown in co-operation in orchestra, or football team: … To bring about co-operation between those who live lands apart …

Dandelion heads’ bouquet!

Dandelion mopheads, each a golden star Poppy runs to pick them … but … young Poppy’s laughing gift brought quite an unexpected lift!

Elusive Sleep (IP)

you drift and doze … elusive sleep just comes and goes … ‘how come I missed the dawn?'

Extra Busy Parents

Dashing here and dashing there, and at pains the work to share – – paid employment, nappies, chores ( –“these are mine, and those are yours”); shuttling children everywhere,

Frustrations. (IP)

Taking ages to turn the pages … … Learning a knack … some discouragement, some success

Mind The Gap (IP)

Have you dropped your shoe down there, or flip-flop, through the gap? Have you had to find the guard to fish to reach your purse or cap with stick and hook while watched by all,

‘Inconnu’, nearly 94

… a book that’s closed, with cheerful cover …

Jewels in the Tarmac (IP)

A treasured time when school is out, morning lie-ins, laze about; those treasured days, start of new terms, Mum’s ‘window’ 9-3 returns. A treasured time when health’s renewed,

Poor Dad! (IP)

Hungry on holiday kids’ tummies sad end of a jolly day, – ‘Where’s the chippie, Dad?’ Driving up and all around, ‘Stop, Dad, ask a passer-by’ ‘Need a local on home ground

One hour with the twins

Helping Mum for an hour, 4 children, including 2 year old twins

Looking back at … supporting a child with Asperger symptoms

Vision and thoughts in precision-beamed focus, peripheral matters ignored, little notice to much of what else is occurring around. Where did he put down his jacket or book? –

The exact time is … (IP)

He wanted to know, exactly …

Freedom, from a life in pieces

“O son, you know my life was such a mess, – brought others, and myself distress; you know things now are so much better, since, by God’s grace, I broke that fetter,

Nearly three – “You can’t see me!”

Nearly 3, hide behind a tree – “You can’t see me!” though a spotty anorak is sticking out from round the back! “You can’t see me!” Yes, I know I forgot to go

Fireworks (IP)

Bonfire hot, guy alight, brightening up the pitch-dark night, candles fizzing, rockets whizzing, speedy soaring, star-bursts pouring, bangs and crackles, children’s chuckles,

We too will be old one day

Stories pouring, boring, recycled once more, repeatedly pour: heavy chore – listen, smile, in a while try to find a way that’s kind, to stop the flow interject with tact

Three-year old helpers

… between your arms, beneath your feet …

The Stretched Generation

On call to young and old…

Letter from the war (Part 2)

Project about my father’s 1945 letter given to me a while after his death,– an ordinary young soldier’s war-time wanderings, and occupations from late 1941.

On Aging Loss, Fractured World

Quick comprehension of road situations, skilful control, assessing conditions, traffic, and road signs, remembering routes, a brain that’s alert, considers, computes.

I’ve always known best … (IP)

when I started this I had some thought of placing it in the ‘humour’ section, but while writing the situation has so deteriorated that sadness and concern have eclipsed any original wry humour.

Worn down Mum

Rat! tat! tat! … a friendly face … fresh ideas … tensions disappear!

Grandchildren staying (IP)

Round the house, running legs scuffling, shuffling, searching, hunting Easter eggs. Where’s Mum put them? read the clue – one for me and one for you.

Near but far (IP)

I’m snug and cosy in my bed, and smug not to be outside instead – the rain is pattering and battering windows and trees, and I hug my knees, shiver and grin, – it’s nice to be in,

Looking after Jimmy, next door

… Two young girls felt quite assured – of course little Jimmy would be good!… [An early lesson in child management]

Words lost in a tide of ink! (IP)

I was the culprit, little sister, not the young author

Mma Makutsi desires a husband

(with apologies again to Alexander McCall Smith) With big glasses, and an awkward type of skin, she felt it quite impossible to win a decent man, she very keenly felt

One small step = one giant leap, his mother knows (IP?)

… Don’t push that struggling child to run, but praise that step – progress begun! … For that small step, his mother knows, was like a giant leap (pride shows).


Insisting on honour, he lost their respect, absorbed with himself, he could not connect with the thoughts and the wants of those around: a lonely man, who didn’t know

One autumn leaf (IP)

She picked a leaf up off the ground, yellowy-brown, but crispy dry, ‘A treasure to keep by’, she said. She showed it to me, shared it with me, we looked together, traced the lines,

Elderly Worrier, and his Weary Wife

Such an effort to get out of bed, for worried morning, ‘What was it I’d thought about I need to be bemoaning?’ Weary wife finds constant flow of worries and complaints

Derby and Joan’s last Holiday (IP)

Now Derby and Joan were proud of their home, but lately there’d been some confusion: from her fading memory, and wobbly mobility, and the increase of his agitation; so a plan had been spun

“Looking after ’Ealth ’nd ’Appiness” (IP)

Oops! I’ve reversed the letters, sorry! “Look after your ’ealth,” his Momma did say … “Look after your ’appiness, Charlie, me lad …

Is the grass greener ...? (IP)

Shortie said to Bean-pole, ‘I wish that I was tall!’ Bean-pole said to Shortie, ‘I’d rather be quite small! I feel just so conspicuous, up here above you all.’

‘Canta’ was a black Ford car

My parents had a little car, ‘Canta’ was its name, ‘Can’t afFord it! won’t go far!’, – some modest trips their aim. My father fixed a hole above. – A puzzled frown, reproof,

The Day for Making Promises (IP)

A time not for fuss, expense, but for us; – a time to be told to love and to hold in youth and when old… so, when you have heard us each give our word, then stay for some cake…

No Man an Island (IP)

Media brilliant lifestyles flaunt, and peers tease and taunt, boast their jollity, popularity, and depress those feeling they have less, unaware those thrills illusory, elusive,

“Dad! Mum!” (IP)

His Dad could fix most anything with bits of string … his Mum could fix cuts with a kiss …

Scrabble Trouble (IP)

Some like the stress of strategic ponderings, as in chess; but I like to dabble in playing scrabble … … but, where is the 'Z'?

the Holiday Getaway! (IP)

(a kid’s-eye view) They’re packing the car, we’re leaving today, travelling far for our holiday. They scuttle and scurry, worry and hurry, fill crannies and nooks

The Carer’s Respite (IP)

A day of release from a Caring role, relief of pressure and stress, a refreshment goal – … clean, purge out stale lethargy, revive joy and vibrancy; returning anew to …

To‘bottom’ing, at Caer* Caradoc (23:3:13)

[*Ki.r] Plunging, crunching through the deep, crisp snow – what fun, but, oh, so slow! then up the hill we go (the sky a-mist with floating drift), but when we reach the steeper bit

Weakening Muscles and Mind (IP)

Inflexible wrist, slipping grip missed, dish fell with a clattering, all the food splattering the floor and the chair, mess everywhere: a touch of despair – but someone is caring,

Disappearance (IP)

I look at the hook, and cant believe it’s empty of jingling, jangling keys, oh please, where did I place them, can memory trace them? when did I use...

An unintentional ‘flutter’ (IP)

She had some raffle tickets to raise money for her school, she knew I’d want to help but … her Mum would never win …

Toddler Art

I like to use a crayon – it makes a mark, and then I take it round, and up and down, – and push it back again. I’ve got a lot of colours. I like to...

Taking the Risk – a bond repaired (IP)

The night came early … Her hand drifted out to the phone, lying near, she struggled with doubt, embarrassment, fear.

Jumping to Conclusions (IP)

He thought he saw – and told his friends – a floating, waving ghost. They looked themselves and saw it was washed clothes caught round a post … He thought he heard words critical, and shouted wildly back …

Debt Weight

[a102866's poem 'No Frills Shopper' about advertising was partly what got me thinking on this subject] As slick and sly the words fly by, a subtle bribe you may imbibe to purchase now, from hearing how … … deceptive “must-haves” false and fake create financial stomach-ache …

Maybe …

another imaginative background to the 1920s IP photograph Mums and Dads and sisters, brothers, neighbours, grandfathers, grandmothers joined a club,...
Gold cherry

“He should have gone to …” (IP)

(partly inspired by the Specsavers adverts) Was that his daughter coming down the path? He thought her living far away in Perth. Or was it just his...

Trying to adjust (IP)

For a long time now, increased confusions meant he needed help with loo excursions; so, retiring early to my bed, with thought of broken sleep ahead...

Little boy lost … (IP)

Little boy lost in a great big crowd pushing and bumping, the noise very loud; a forest of legs, and a sea of shoes – ‘I don’t think my Mummy’s are...

The Tale of a Cracker Jigsaw

… some are lost and later found tossed away or kicked around …

New Year – not 1/1 (IP)

Another new year – what lies before? all of a flutter! – what’s next in store? …

Not what she’d planned (IP)

Walking, walking, emotions numb, hopes dashed, plans crashed, no heart for talking, tongue frozen, dumb. She’d all her life awaited motherhood, and...

“When I am gone …”

‘No-one will worry when I die, they’ll all be glad when I am gone,’ ‘Do you love them? Do you try? or think about yourself alone?’ ‘If you show them...

The General Knowledge Test (IP)

Who wrote ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’? … visions of a fat Pooh bear with blue balloon to help him float …

Piggy Bank

Clonk! clank! Piggy Bank: from the top pennies drop make a puddle in its middle. Crunch! Click! Key turns, flick! Pennies slide from inside. Pennies...

Emotional Deprivation

This is based not on an extreme case, but it has highlighted to me the effects that this can have A pleasant man this Dad, but wholly self-absorbed,...

Planning Exits: Serious and humorous (IP)

Keep your pathway quite clear from you to the door, remember you’ll have to get out, before … ***************************** Keep your eye on the clock when Grandad rings …


A child unchecked in cheek, or greed, or selfishness, or one uncomforted in fear or loneliness, may live to be a hundred, hampered, hindered,...


“If I could clear my mind, be free of my concerns pertaining me, I’d really like to stop and see what all your suffering might be …

Grave Visit (IP)

Black boots, brown boots in a line … ‘Look sad, ’cos smiling’s not permitted’, John said, to make me laugh or squeak …

Time Guesstimates

Just a minute! half a mo’, I’ll be hardly any time – don’t go! In a second, or a tic, I’m coming! (isn’t he going ?), I’ll be quick! Not that long,...


Why? Oh, why? O why are children starved, and under fire, abducted, forced to fight by those who have no right, despise their cruel plight, and teach...


… but now with all abilities decayed, he seems no longer bitter, or afraid … sweet smile awhile.

It’s ’til another day… (IP)

I’m not forgetting that task I said I’d do – I’ve left it ’til another day, and not remembering the worries old and new – I’ve left them ’til another day …

Nursing Home Visit (IP)

– a bunch of old photos ‘Bill’s changed a lot! Joe’s beard’s black! There’s Annie as a tot! Who’s that peeping at the back? ‘Here’s brother Bert, and...

An Aural Spy! (IP)

It isn’t good to eavesdrop but when you have the care of a very aging couple and one can hardly hear – the other has confusion –

Wind in my hair!

Blowing, freshening, blustery gusts bracing, racing, whisking, frisking decluttering clinging, clogging cobwebs – cast out fast by …

Christmas Round Robins (IP)

No Robin rubbin’, feathers ruffling … Like a face-book page it may get trite, artificial, trivial, and sounding over-bright, how much to say? should keep it brief, and remember some recipients may be struggling with grief

Doctor visit @ 95

Days 1,2 Cough, Cough, Cough, Cough Does your chest hurt, feeling rough? No, I’m fine, dear, Cough,Cough, Cough, Cough, Cough, Cough Cough, Cough,...

A 5-year old’s bedroom (IP)

I open my eyes, and what do I see? My own little world that is just for me – the curtains whose shapes and figures I weave into stories of heroes and...


Woke up this morning …

What’s that noise? (IP)

There’s a rustle, like a scuffle, or a snuffle in the drawer – I open it wide, and their inside – 2 bright eyes and a furry nose, I scream! and away...

Peter Macavity Rabbit

cf http://allpoetry.com/Macavity:-The-Mystery-Cat This Peter was a hasty bunny, thought himself invisible, his confidence was immature and dangerous and risible … – but Peter wasn’t there!

Fame or flame? (IP)

The fire approached, the danger encroached, they were building a boat – the best thing afloat. Luxurious, expansive, and very expensive – would hold...

Heart Window

Will you open your heart through your eyes? not just smile with your lips, with your eyes in eclipse. I don’t want to pry, your history spy, but if...

A ‘little bit’ of what you fancy … (IP)

A little runny honey is lovely to lick, but a lot just makes my tummy sick; and chocolate too is yummy, but it makes me feel so funny if I stuff...

What do grown-ups mean by a ‘short’ walk?

Kick a ball and climb a tree – a walk with lovely views to see. Daddy says, ‘We’ll circle down – we’ve time a-plenty’, little boys frown [‘If Daddy...

Selfish Unselfishness

Desire to please can stifle disclosure of personal preferences, rob others of pleasure of being unselfish – though none of us relish forgoing the...

Superficial (IP)

Where are you? I can’t find you! You’re hiding there below … find a kinship and respect a trust that can connect – no friendship shallow, polite and hollow: so take the risk to …


He stole from others – was a thief, now works – can share and bring relief. He boozed – …

Aging Carer

Aging parent too aged to realise he’s cared for by his aging weary child –

At last – Moving! (IP)

He wriggled and squirmed, he kicked as he yearned to reach for that thing over there! He stretched and he pushed, he flexed as he wished to change...

Aging 'Countdown' Expert (IP)

Letters whizzed around his brain and slipped in place with ease, couldn’t conceive why others found it hard and their minds just seemed to freeze...

Sick bed touch?!

… with gentle confidence, not a bony, cold finger!

‘Blowing hot and cold’ (IP)

enthusiasms flare up and sizzle … flit and shift … fizzle … out

Valued Escapes (IP)

… and finance applied for things like a ‘sitting service’ supplied for people like us – to shop, take a quiet lunch break, get out in the wilds alone with your husband … four hours, or more, for sanity’s sake …

There’s always one child … (IP)

‘So, why not? … let’s give it a shot …’ – “ New Rule for Campers ”

Surroundings impress (Poetry Monthly)

Concrete cubes and glaring glass … Growing up in rural calm … One lad alone on lonely farm, exposed to winds …

Blue Mood Mall

Swamping, dazzling, echoing chatter and footsteps batter, muzak thumping, people thrusting, bumping, alluring displays (plastic pays), austerity...

The Ultimate Outcome (IP)

The result of the anger was drinking, which led to a lack of quick thinking … and time to give thought, reflection …

Recitation’s Repetition (IP)

[Based loosely on a memory of youth “Eisteddfodau*” of my childhood]: “Now who will represent our school in the local competition? …
Gold cherry

Emptied Lands …

Displaced, pushed out from hunger, cruelty the many flee; and some enticed and fleeced in perilous schemes by those with no regard for safety if they...


Not a net that fishes, extracts, but to penetrate, infiltrate, disseminate facts – while lies are slyly flying …

“The joy of an Indian summer*”

– an unexpected extension of life and love in season of wilting … a sudden sign … diagnosis clear … ‘expect quick decline … the passing is near’ …...


Self discipline of many years to never sniff or drip; determined in these ageing days for manners not to slip, and always to equip …

Spreading their Wings!

Running up with glee, need a little push, scared to start, fly free – slide with whoosh and rush! Swing, away you go – ‘see you soon’ ‘goodbye’, 'now...

Patterns and Ploughshares

… Melt guns into ploughshares, their powder ignite display to delight …

Rupture (Poetry Monthly)

Lonely, forlorn, life torn in two – https://soundcloud.com/rhiannon-weber/rupture

Day of contrasts

The morning was wet, as wet as you get – torrential rain slamming, drumming … when you’re 94 and can no longer dash through the downfall and splash … free for the afternoon – what should we do? … the rain has stopped … a lovely spot to walk, and talk … (now with requested recording!)

Completing the Circle (Poetry Monthly)

This was in the pipeline anyway, so thought it could be a 'Poetry Monthly'. Newborn : constant provision, attention; growth : necessary sharing,...

Upgrade Resolution

Tempers pizzicato softening to legato; sharp distortions, character corners, picasso-like contortions – gentle air-brush out the rash and brash,...

The Softening of Storms

… content in its comfort … Buffeting wind, and howling blast … drenching and scouring … grass glitters … a fruitful life flowing …

Symbols and Substance

Hard heart, soft heart, hot heart (red-hot? – fickle – ice cold – luke warm?) warm heart, even temper(ature), cool head, calm love, kind hands – gentle, ready help, steady …

Restrictions lifted (Poetry Monthly)

Wings clipped, curtailed from many jaunts, involvements not just by cost or real unsuitableness, but rhythm of duties tight of care – boundaries that...

Frozen Ground

Hope nipped, joy buried … fresh melting breeze …

A busy mozzie’s buzz

Vibrations in front and behind, that reverberate round in my mind –


Enticing coyly, words cloying, oily, teasing, easing, sleazily seizing, trickles of tickly tricking, trapping with sugary wrapping, sweetly lulling,...

A tick in time (Poetry Monthly)

seconds ticking, flicking by – notches on the wall – kids grow

A tick in time (Revision) (Poetry Monthly)

As encouraged by Tony, I have worked further on the rhythm of this poem, but I would value critical comment. The first version is still posted if any want to compare. [seconds ticking, flicking by …]

Scrooge … (IP)

… began to laugh, began to grieve for those he’d hurt, and treated as dirt, began to leave his miserly misery, began to care, began to share, began...

Visiting ‘Mamgu' (Poetry Monthly)

Memories of visiting ‘Mamgu’ in Maesteg mid 1950s “Thirty miles, a ‘spangle’ to suck every ten, soon be there … look there’s the pub with our name...

Wonder Diets & Phishing

… announce with allure spectacular cure … trick your finger to click …


Charcoal-smudged swirls – a holiday quick-sit, no time given to fidget or stiffen the grin – … more alive than old photos …

Individuality and Cooperation

Oh, leg, run, catch the bus … – I’d rather stay in bed! … In families and nation, we need, at home, abroad, esteem, co-operation, not malice and discord.

“One up!” “Two down!”

Two rural teenagers waiting on a bench aware of naivety in urban fashion-sense: ‘One up’ ‘two down!’ ‘one down’ ‘oh,three up, there!' – with clothes of passers-by, their own compare! …

Synaesthetic Musings

My memories, and my son’s musical synaesthesia


Intense the heat, the hurt, the pain, repeat, repeat again, again – unbearable sense of defeat. Robot-like keep going, sleep, get up, work, earn –...

Mother Duck and the Wandering duckling

Across the water weaving, the still lake’s surface cleaving … I don’t want to grieve that you are prematurely gone!’

A Dad’s work is never done …! (IP)

Come the rain, son, I’ll mend your train, come the rain, Ma, I’ll try again to fix those shelves, and mend that hole, find a place to store your...


Do you know the story of Thomas and the mine? the roof broke, he fell in, because he’d disobeyed the sign. His pride thought he knew better … – triumphantly he went right past, and thought it quite a laugh.


It was one of those days when I used to say, ‘One of these days now –

Peaceful Explosions

Sparkles in the sky … – kiddies cling amidst the shrieks, but do not fear and quake, as others do in far-off lands …

Not yet

A family party, complete bar one …

Romantic Dramatics

Good-looking to a ‘T’ popular, and chic, immaculate, cocksure, well-dressed and sleek, dangling followers by a string, always in control, confident of all her power, certain of her goal …

School Absence, Home Presence

School absence, home presence – what a noise from a little boy’s questions and chatter and ‘what is the matter with my head and my tum, Mum?’ School presence, home absence –

Chasing the dream

[‘Help to find your new home’ TV presenter – ‘What are your desires/requirements?]

‘Where is your home?’

Together, they entered a home – dementia for him had now come. She needn’t have gone, but she knew …

Kids not wanting to leave … the streets?

Hard to leave the streets, the friends to whom we cling … it’s an unfamiliar, unknown risk to leave …


Daily life a jolly circus, busy, dizzy, loud and raucous, zero tolerance of boredom, caught in hedonistic thraldom, bright the lights, the music...

‘Better a dry crust with peace and quiet …

… than a house full of feasting, with strife.'*] Some love to cook, and have great skill concocting, cooking a meal to thrill … but my attention soon gets distracted …

Family Gathering

Impatient son – he poked the crumbs that topped the pudding’s plums. He licked his finger, quickly went, disaster to prevent – ‘There’s something...

Iconic Women

Available to infant cries, and teenage angst, gentle, but gritty, integrity, love and pity, honesty, no time or aim at name of fame, no widespread...

Bastille Day, 1987

This isn't about 'storming the battlements', but the mention of Bastille Day, brought this tale back to mind …

Poor Rich Man/ Poor Man, Rich

Poor rich man, loved for all his cash … Poor rich girl, clothes and “friends” galore… Poor man, rich in … Poor girl, rich in …
Gold cherry

Tangled Threads

Not long ago when mail was slow across the ocean waters (and phone costs high in days gone by) communication’s steady flow of parted love was written...


(an allegory) A rolling stone will gather no moss – oh, what a loss, no coating of moss; brushed and rubbed and scrubbed and worn, no stillness for...

How long is high?

‘Mary can reach the table bottom, I can reach the top, Dan can reach the curtain rail – but where does growing stop? ‘Dad can’t reach the ceiling,...

He made his mark

First day at school, in a dazzled daze, instructions unheeded he disobeys, wandering around after lunch in a dream, drifting indoors, unnoticed,...

Memories of this summer

A bush full of gooseberries … Family come to visit … sorting, cleaning toys galore … Lovely country strolling despite his weary pain –

A happy old lady

Her face, full of wrinkles, quite suddenly crinkles, her one good eye twinkles …

Last seen 43 years back

The longish garden seems so small … recall the child’s eyes' view of long before. …

Press Ax3, Press C …

My mother wasn’t practical … Mum fought into a cereal box … her watch displayed a time one hour wrong …

Never say ‘bored’!

I’m b o r e d ! What! … an intriguing, intricate world to explore that cannot, really cannot, ever anybody bore!

The Tale of the Clutterbug and the Minimalist

Clutter propagates, from stuffed drawers emerges, submerges … “but where is that thing that I kept just in case …

Getting Ready (and other fun pieces)

Woven together in the depth of the womb, expelled in due time to a sheltering home … Aghast if a child left to flounder unfed, don’t leave them to blunder in the world, unled.

A Friend in the Storm

A tender touch brings comfort through the storm, with a caring, encouraging word to warm, though slander lash, and thunder crash, support can enfold...

Peeping at the Borrowed Plumes

– let’s peep through the banisters for a view of glittering jewels on sparkling dress … for a night …

Does Santa have a budget?

*approx 7 and a half years old* — “Why can’t I ask him for a horse … a bike … (or was it a car?) …” (I didn’t want a horse or bike … [and certainly not a car!] …

A sweeping saga remembered!

We were living in a tied-cottage (just a house really!) but it came with the job, and come the end of term, my husband brightly suggested he’d … where had the brush stuck?!


Dashing here and dashing there, never any time to spare; now she can but lie and stare, watch while others work and care. When she has a need, must...

Don’t tell Daddy!

“We’ll tuck them away in here – don’t say! … “Daddy – that drawer …

No Mamihlapinatapai

… We cannot catch, and lock a look of empathy …

AS* eye-contact progress

[age about 5 ]: I cannot catch his glance, his eye – I wonder why? … and the day the day-old father met his daughter‘s gaze in a hand-held head.


Fertilization – unique genome new DNA combination, triggered multiplication, differentiation, organ formation – preparation new person nine months...

From a troopship, July 1945

The place – he’s in a troopship on the way; the why? long journey home, he fills each day recalling memories of years abroad in war, his toil...

The Jacket

About 1983, my mother bought me a jacket – bargain of the sale! – here it is now (– hole in the pocket – who’s to know? doesn’t show! dilatory and...

Pseudocoma (LIS)

Couldn’t scream couldn’t move, couldn’t speak could think and blink – once for ‘yes’, twice for ‘No’: some easing of stress and distress – they know...

Convenient(?) Forgettery!

‘Remember when …’ “Don’t bring that up again , Mum!” ‘I’m not about once more to …

An 18 month-old meets Penelope the Penguin

‘Hello! I’m Penelope the Penguin’ (Mum wriggling bright hand puppet) “He-ow” (huge smile from ear to ear, shining eyes) …

The Value of the Gift

To give a present less in value than others give – in terms of money – can be a Christmas fear for some – and debt results if they succumb. And...

Something to hold on to

(about 1978) She liked to take a toy with her whenever we went out somewhere, a token somehow of return – but didn’t always grip with care, so custom...

Gladys Aylward and Tenzing

(about 1980) School Fete, fancy dress: Gladys Aylward and Tenzing. Tenzing frowns, suffering from the June heat I think, engulfed in his parka, and...

Dear Dad … 1)

(he died in 1969, nearly 50 years ago, and I am imagining talking to him about the world now. Nothing mystical, just an interesting exercise thinking of the changes of 50 years. This is supposed to be the first of a series, but whether other ideas will take clear form, I don’t know – not this week anyway!)

The mask melting at 98

updating 'Inconnu', nearly 94 [a book that’s closed, with cheerful cover …]

Dear Dad … 2)

[not about 50 years of technological changes this time, but about Mum’s life after his death …]

Where is he? Where is she?

First long journey on his own – we’d meet mid-way at Birmingham. Dad at home, the telephone rings: ‘Will you accept this call?’ A voice begins, ‘I’ve...

An unsought win

I wrote about this incident some time ago, but thought to have another go for this week’s IP.

Merry Royal Wives of Windsor

Happy and merry to welcome a boy – mother, aunt, grandma united in joy for safety, and love at a new addition with Mum and child in healthy condition, for though …

Musical Associations X3

mother-in-law: She’s nearly 100, but remembers a tune her mother used to play and sing – can try to sing to me now – ‘De-dum, dum-dum …’ but can’t...

No-fault Divorce?

'No-fault' divorce can sound so kind, no long legal hassle, nor wearisome grind …

Enjoyment, not jealousy

"We’ve got a new baby in our house … – my baby sister …"


On prematurely awaking from a car-nap, Little boy lost …, Nearly three – “You can’t see me!”, How long is high?, A 5-year old’s bedroom

from the bus' mouth …

"Twenty past nine, at the village green, the forthcoming happenings as yet unseen. Who would be coming along to pay and purchase a ticket for town today? …

Tiny Water Footprints

‘Why is there water on the kitchen floor?’ We look through the dining room door and see tiny footprints wet, in a row crossing the the vinyl, glint...

Dear Dad … 3)

(For the third of these letters, I had been working on trying to explain some of the moral pressures and changes of 50 years on, but not an easy topic, but, prompted by the current IP, I thought I should persevere.)

Playing with a box …

The children found a box on the ground, sealed, and bound with tape. ‘What could be inside it? What could be concealed?’ They wondered, imagined...

A jewel, a flower and a friend

Sharp and shiny …incorruptible … expensive jewel … Soft and tender, fragile … soothing … warm and smiling: transient beauty … exquisite flower …

Light Parties, Oct 31

Longer, dark night – playing with fright? raise up the Light, festive fun bright, no trick, taunt, or gore, or ugly costumes from the store (throw-away single use plastic to scare with the fantastic) …

New life for a hot-water bottle cover!

My face is not appealing, my tummy is concealing a heart that can be hot to cheer a chilly spot. But now I’ve lost my purpose, I’m limp and lying...


“Don’t slap the child”, though …


Culture shock, the norms swept away, no planning long-term, need to plan out each day. Adjustments take time, routines have been lost, some lonely,...

A New Normal @ 100 years!

“I couldn’t cope if you weren’t coming in, so I know you love me”. … Comes Covid … Will she understand, she can’t hear … a letter ‘big print’ – she loves to read with her one partly working eye if it’s ‘big print’ … accepted as us still visiting, loving. … a new ‘episode’ received every two or three days …


So different to last year’s birthday! We havent met in person for 5 months. How will she be? We have to visit with masks (or shields). Born 21/8/1919...


”Hi, Jane, haven’t seen you for a couple of years – I thought you’d have a kid by now, you used to be so keen.” Silence. No quick response. I moved...

One of my father’s carvings

Relaxation from a desk job, one of his hobbies was carving. I think the occasion for this one was probably his parents golden wedding anniversary...

A new achievement @16 months

9 cubes in a square box, tip them out, chuck one back in anyhow, then 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – 7th, 8th – maybe need a bit of a shove and push in one of the odd-shaped spaces now left, until they slide in. Now one left – …

Why didn’t I really like it?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Girl_with_a_Watering_Can A copy of this was given by an aunt when I was quite young. She was loving and kindly but...

Toddler opening presents

When you are one it’s really fun to tear off the paper to find what’s inside there. … And then that bag they put the wrapping paper in …

A tooth's tale!

18, and front teeth capped, filed to points and wrapped …in lockdown, the ‘full crown’ came loose One dentist had retired and appointments were scarce … get mixed with my sandwich …? …

Dear Dad 4*

Dear Dad 4* I’m wondering what you would have thought of the present world difficulties. We were born just after the second world war finished, and...


Two arms enfolding … but – … so – …

A mind made up

Of strong opinion, you will find he’ll never change his mind, your temper he will cheerfully wind if you attempt it – he’ll be blind to arguments of...

The Sad Singing Washing Machine

Washing machine starts a mad beep song … her poking finger’s found a button to press to make that lovely sound … the water seal was pierced by their thin sharp pins.

Trailing behind (age 7?)

“I wonder how long it will be? I don’t think they feel it like me – their legs are so long, and they go on and on, they know where they’re going – I hope –

Jumping to Assumptions

He thought he saw – and told his friends – a floating, waving ghost. They looked themselves and saw it was washed clothes caught round a post. He...

Burglars beware!

A burglar should keep away from homes where children roam and play, for in the dark what danger lies to give a sudden shock, surprise! Lurking...

Two bowls

His job to put fresh food waste out (and through the day she piled the lot into a bowl upon the shelf) but often he forgot. One day he heard her give a shout – ‘Where is my salad bowl …

Smothering Love

Hush! Little baby, please don’t cry! Mama your wishes will never deny! My love for you will always show – you never will hear me tell you, ‘No!’. I’...

Suddenly, not there …

Whether rich or poor, kind or cruel all face those moments – someone is missing, gone, incommunicado – can’t phone, can’t see, can’t touch a final...

A yellow world

She felt like vigorously colouring in, some energetic pressing back and forth, and filling in, not delicately shading different colours in, and proudly finished and presented – a yellow rainbow, yellow cloud …

So near, so far

Unmasked smile eyes interlock through glass awhile bright twinkle, blown kiss – its touch they miss, and chatter lost – another cost for young and...

Shiny Brown

Rain or sun we’ll have fun in the squelchy and squishy jump and splash it thickly melted-chocolate sticky of the path in the wood today: bluebells...

Journeying over the gulf

Can I go back? Can we heal the rift? … so far a journey, a gulf so wide

Nearly two, character portrait

Just enough hair for a tiny vertical ponytail on top of her head. Walking around the house in wellies (thinking: I can put these on myself – ready to...

My ‘Mamgu’ (c.1880 - 1969)

(pronounced Mam- ggy as in 'eggy', South-Wales word for Grandmother, meaning ‘dear mother’) Lived up the long hill from the town, half-way up the little mountain., by the cemetery – her husband had been the stonemason …

The way it should be (childhood rituals)

Walking up to Nursery – Grandpa in tow, going down at last the steps – ‘I go first you know’ – – mutter not by Grandpa heard, behind him Mums press...

For a while …

Her “will” was a “won’t” and her “won’t” was “I want”, but there’s safety in “don’t” and “No”, “Not now”, “Not anyhow” from loving parents with more...

False Hope

Risking much for gain or loss on a superstitious toss; ‘Good’ luck fostering compulsion to a frequent repetition thus a strangling addiction slide to...

Extra sleep or extended day?

Every day she wakes at 7, today it will be 6. “Breakfast at 8,” but that will be too late today and the snack will …

When is a pipe a tu_ _?

… it’s an underground train. Some people call it a ‘pipe’ ”. !


It may be too late, but never too soon, to say you are sorry, and get a duty done. Never too soon to remember your promise, but better late than...

The exact time for dozing!

[This is a freshened up old one] The clock was slightly slow … He bought a clock that could compute … dozing, reading, time drifts by

Toy Explosion …

… at Christmas … So many toys sold – away with the old! Hide them from view, make way for the new! Presents in droves, shortage of shelves, tuck some...


It should be so straightforward to put a duvet in its case, but when I rush – no time to waste, I soon regret presumptive haste and find the corners...

‘Twinkle, twinkle … what?’@102

At 102 she can’t hear well and is confused and forgetful, but likes it when her grandson plays hymns and songs on his violin that she knew in younger days … and for his young daughter he plays, ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star … …

Are you wanting to be …

No man is an island though you may want to be alone, independent and totally free, private, no duties, responsibilities gone, doing just what you...

If spin-dryers were uninvented …

In days of yore when we were newly wed, it was awhile before we could afford a twin-tub or a spinner, and for a while I tried to squeeze – as Grandma...

First Choice

These three things will cost just that bit of money she’s given you – which would you like the most? You can choose – a bridge for your railway-line...

The Old and the Young

Her Daddy playing music upon his violin for older folk in Home of Care … and gently tap their feet and smile remembering past days … she scampered, pirouetted round to her Daddy’s latest tune. …‘Can we ask the dancing girl again to visit us?!

Too much to say to bother with consonants!

‘What is the picture on your birthday card?’ "box!”* ‘What does it say inside? What is that letter?’ “Uh for Deidi!*” ‘Where have you been this...

Auntie Agnes’ Legacy

… a twinkle with kindness and joy replete.…and left me with something I can’t explain …

103, not out!

Some days she sleeps all day – quite determined; other days she’s just sleepy. After five days wakeful she slept all day the day before her birthday...

Where's the Z?

[This is a rework of a piece I wrote for an IP in 2013] Some like the stress, and mental strategies of chess; but my mother and I liked to dabble in playing scrabble – try for a double …

November 5

Fizzing fireworks brief and bright red and orange, gold and white, rocket, catherine wheel and candle, silent sparklers – carrot handle for the metal...

Two Photographs, 30 years apart…

A photograph: bright young thing – twenty-something glamorous, flirtatious, vivacious, self-centred. _______ Another photograph: thirty years later...
Gold cherry


From about age 7 to 14 we had a family holiday many Augusts, a fortnight in a little cottage (called Pengwndwn*) up a little overgrown lane from its...

Your accent tells …

They know I’m not English and ask if I’m Irish, and when that fails, they think of Wales.… …are we Wenglish? …

Tickety, tickety, tock,

Tickety, tickety, tock, all eyes upon the clock – the hand moves straight, time cannot wait – and never can flick or turn back! A second past...


An end of war, blossoming joy, as waiting girl and returning boy could now be wed and optimism in every heart viewed the years ahead: work hard,...

Worked-up Fear?

‘I’m afraid to go in that cupboard.’ “Why? Why are you so bothered? It’s just a box of things to do, on the shelf.” ‘I’m really afraid to go there by...

Welshman’s caviar (bara lawr)

I have good memories of freshly cooked laverbread brought home by my mother from Cardiff market.

Memory Medley

My parents bought the cabinet about 60 years ago to house an encyclopaedia. (I’m not sure how much those tomes were used, but in the days long before...


Mums, Dads, turn your eyes from your phones as you talk or listen to your children – time flies – they need to see your expression to learn the cues...

Grandpa is the repair man!

… or 'Where is that crevice tool?! …

Little Cook!

A cock-eyed chef’s hat and a tired apron all askew, a small wooden bowl and spoon and …

"A place for everything, and everything in its place!"

There’s a place to put your shoes: put them back on the rack! There’s a place to put your pens: put them in the special tin! There’s a bag for dirty...

Do I know you?

I thought to meet her on Sunday morning. Is she a stranger, or not? How much do I know her now, or of the years past, her life before? Friendly, warm...

They aren’t there!

I look at the hook, and cant believe it’s empty of jingling, jangling keys, Oh please, where did I place them, can memory trace them? when did I use them how could I lose them again? (a slight reworking of a piece in 2013)

The Jam-man!

drawer … Cistern… toilet-seat … in this chair … In case of emergency, ask …!

How far can a little stickiness spread?

Jam on their cheeks and jam on their paws, jam on the chairs, and jam on the doors: lick and pick it off the bread – How far can a little stickiness...

The Rebel’s Regrets

""I miss the farm, I miss the food, I miss the calm: It was so good. Those friends have proved so false, they spent my cash they loved, then upped...

Nana and Grampa (c 1950-1960)

Nana: Round and jolly … Grampa: Slow and gentle (slow wink) hen-pecked?…

Nourishing Nurture

With foundational flour … and a cup of … sweeten with …
Gold cherry

Mud fondue!

A wet July is better than dry, or temperatures high – it can bring a supply of liquid mud – so good for a splash and a slither – soon chocolatey face...


She’s failing now, much more gaunt, but still some communication and happy – happier than years ago, most of her life – but waiting. We think she’d like a present – but what? …

Toddler Tea!

Jam on toast: like it, lick it, poke it, pick it …

The puzzle of shadows

Late afternoon sunshine. Standing side by side with 4 year-old. ‘My shadow is longer than yours, isn’t it? Is your shadow taller than you?’ She...

6 (?) to dinner

6 sitting down to dinner. Grown-ups talking … 5 sitting down to dinner …

A Hazy Memory of an Uncle’s Trick

His father made him a wooden box (– I think the making gave him pleasure) … His uncle said he would, with ease open and remove something. (Just why do uncles love to tease?) …


After expensive flats in London, three years in our annexe, now at last they have a home of their own. They moved in today – no longer behind a...

A pigmy goat, 3 guinea pigs and some husky puppies visit …

Caring Care Home: much thought given to variety of invites and activity. One day …

Finding the Foundations

It was the beginning of 1965 that we moved to London. I was in the middle of the 4th form, and found I had to do GCE (not GCSE in those days) exams...
Gold cherry

Joyful, frugal celebration!

Her ring was old, her grandma’s gold; her love, commitment new and true; her dress she’d had to borrow … no sop to superstition, or slavish following of tradition – just

Feeling to find it

Off to a night-time bathroom visit she goes, touching the bed rail, the door handle … climbing back under the duvet … now where’s that bottle to warm...