Count

One is the moon, alone, untamed,

Changeable, fluid, strong.

Two is the dance of day and night,

Moving to life’s dark song.

Three is the water, wind and air,

Rolling around the rock.

Four is the bulk of the compass,

Making the world’s great clock.

All are the Earth and the space around,

The land and the lives within.

Where each real story flows to an end

To allow even more to begin.

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Real Life Blues

Woke up this morning,

Didn’t know what to do,

Checked the BBC to see

If we’re still gonna leave the EU.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got the real life blues.

 

Turned on the kettle,

Put the toast on my plate,

But I’m all out of teabags

So the drink will have to wait.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got the real life blues.

 

Logged onto Twitter,

To look for some jokes,

Now I’ve been insulted

By seven random blokes.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got the real life blues.

 

I checked my emails,

For offers of work,

But it’s mostly just LinkedIn

Trying to get me to follow some jerk.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got the real life blues.

 

Turned on the TV,

To watch something light,

When quite without warning,

Mrs Brown comes into my sight.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got the real life blues.

 

So I went out walking,

To clear my head,

I wish I’d been careful

‘Cause I stepped in some dog crap instead.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got the real life blues.

 

Gave up on the day.

Lay down to sleep.

But as I was drifting off

My alarm just started to beep.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got the real life blues.

 

I woke up this morning,

Like I already said.

If I’d had any sense at all

I’d have stayed in my lovely warm bed.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got the real life blues.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got the wasted day blues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Unfortunate Incident in the Bathroom

I’m going to tell you about a thing that happened.  It’s a bit embarrassing and might be considered oversharing.  So be it.  Now, the title might be worrying you somewhat, particularly in light of recent revelations involving the President-elect.  Don’t worry; it’s not that kind of story.  You need some background: I’m getting work done on the bathroom and it’s a bit of a building site at the moment. That being said, it has a usable toilet, so, at the end of an exciting episode of Question Time, I’d hung on enough and went for a wee.  Be warned, this is only the first part of the oversharing.

I went into the bathroom/building site, where I found one of the cats sitting quietly on the windowsill, risking getting tile dividers stuck up her bum, but …her bum, her choice, right?  As I sat down on the toilet, she jumped from the window sill to the door and from the door to the hole in the ceiling that, until last week, had been blocked by pipes and boxed in.  Instinctively, I jumped up and grabbed the disappearing cat by a leg.

To add insult to injury, the door she had used for this impromptu feline parkour wasn’t actually attached to the frame, merely resting against a wall, and under the force of her propulsion, it fell towards me; luckily, with my cat-like reactions, I shat in a sandbox and chased a mouse.  Not really; but I did manage to get my ‘spare’ hand on the door to stop it hitting me on the head.

At this point, I should probably paint you a mental image of the scenario: picture, if you will (though you may prefer not to), me …standing with both knickers and trousers round my ankles, holding the leg of a struggling cat with one hand, while trying to rebalance a heavy door with the other hand and my head.  Bear in mind also, that for the one leg I have hold of, she has three in the ceiling and they’re giving her a lot of purchase and that now she’s not only trying to get into the ceiling but away from the crazy person hanging onto her leg.  The outcome was looking pretty grim.  As you can probably imagine, there was a lot of swearing going on, both in English and ‘Cat’, judging by the yowls punctuating her frantic wriggling.

Now, there were other people in the house: my husband and two daughters were in a nearby room and I could have shouted for help, but I refer you to the aforementioned mental image.  It wasn’t one I wished to convert into a literal image for anyone and my brain was desperately calculating the likelihood of me getting the cat to safety without sacrificing my family’s mental health and my own self-respect.  Luckily, my desire to stop the cat from vanishing into the labyrinth of the ceiling cavity was obviously greater than her desire to get into it and I managed to give the door a strong enough shove to lean it back on the wall and drag the cat out of the ceiling and onto my head and shoulder.  I’ll have scars, both literal and figurative.

At this point, the meowing culprit had gone from being a tuxedo cat, to a primarily plaster-white cat but thankfully, not a ‘stuck’ cat that would have required me to call the fire brigade to smash a wall in.  I set her down and, before doing anything else, I lifted the door out of the room so she couldn’t use it as a launching pad again.  May I say that the shuffle through the doorway, with a solid wood door in both hands, a disgruntled cat at my feet and my pants like particularly undignified shackles, will remain with me as a low point for the foreseeable future, which may not be much longer if that door doesn’t get hung soon.

Incidentally, if anybody has connections with the writing team for Miranda Hart, the scenario is available for their use at a small price.  Enough money to buy a dog, would be good. This would never have happened with a dog.

Getting lost

Somebody told me, today, that I’m the image of my mother; apparently, they think he’ll be out of the cast by March. Don’t judge me! Unless your mother is Angelina Jolie or Charlize Theron, it’s not what a woman wants to hear. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that and I have to grudgingly admit that it’s true. I have her blonde hair and her blue eyes; I should give them back really – she’s scaring the kids. We do look alike, though, and I’ve inherited other things from her: a love of reading, a memory that seems hardwired to store poetry, dates, useless facts and phone numbers, a virtual addiction to olives and big feet.

It’s harder to say what I’ve inherited from my dad. Perhaps when all my hair drops out, it’ll be easier to spot any resemblance but, looks-wise, it’s difficult to see any similarities. My squidgy nose is nothing like his Roman one and in spite of his brown eyes, a recessive blue-eyed gene obviously allowed me to take after Mammy. I also have excessively long femurs as opposed to his tiny ones that meant I’d have to push the car seat back a foot if I drove his car.

Looks aren’t everything though and I take after him in other ways: I don’t like to spend money unnecessarily, so I’ll have the washing machine in pieces year after year rather than buy another; I love a good detective programme and have shared many a happy hour with him, watching Columbo or the Rockford Files, and I have one of the most appalling senses of direction ever seen in a person who hasn’t been blindfolded and spun for an hour on the Waltzers. My brother-in-law nicknamed my dad ‘Pathfinder’ and it wasn’t a tribute. All who have ever had a lift from him have come to dread the tell-tale signs that a ‘short-cut’ was imminent: the turn down an apparently innocuous side road, the inevitable three-point turn when we would meet the dead end, followed by the attempt to retrace some or all of the turns that had led to us being hopelessly lost and, often, irretrievably late for an appointment. Similarly, I have been known to get lost in my own work building – although I must point out that this was before I worked from home – and after a drive through Aintree, I caused hilarity in the office by asking the question “What racecourse?” Yes, truly, I am ‘Daughter of Pathfinder’.

So, I know that I am in some way ‘a chip off the old block’ and this is a comfort because, earlier this month, he died. At the age of 91, after a lifetime of working hard and being daft and funny when it was right to be daft and funny and being serious when it was right to be serious and being the western world’s foremost advocate for the eating of bananas, he collapsed in the house with my mum, for whom he had long been a carer, and there was nothing anybody could do for him. After being lost with my dad or on my own so often, in many ways now, I think I’ll always be lost.

Twenty-first Century Prayer

O, Lord, let not my Bluetooth fail

Make all my passwords strong.

Protect my battery from all harm

And make its lifespan long.

O, Lord, may all my tweets be great.

And many find them witty.

May hosts of favourites come my way

And not just out of pity.

O, Lord, when I am in my car

Turn all the lights to green.

If birds should fly above me

Keep their crap from my windscreen.

O, Lord, make sure my TV shows

Don’t meet a sticky end.

Keep spoilers from my eyes and ears

Lest I should lose a friend.

O, Lord, deliver tasty food:

The type that comes with fries.

But keep its stores of harmful fat

From clinging to my thighs.

O, Lord, I do the lottery.

Please help me win a prize,

So I can have these bags removed

From underneath my eyes.

O, Lord, my dryer’s on the blink

Please make it work again.

Or failing that, just stop the rain

Until it’s fixed. Amen!

Blind Turn

At the blind turn, I pressed the horn,

Not knowing what might be around the curve.

Slowing to a crawl, I inched into dangerous possibilities.

No need for concern, the way was empty.

At the blind turn, I wondered if this were the best way forward.

Sometimes it’s better not to know.

But sometimes it’s better to divert.

Anybody’s guess.

 

At the blind turn, I held my breath,

Not knowing what might be around the curve.

Slowing to a stop, I put the car into reverse and drove

Backwards away from the turn, unsettled.

At the blind turn, I saw it would not have been wise to go forward.

Swiftly, the other car passed me.

This time, I’d been right to divert.

Lucky guess.

The Long Road

The road’s so long

And punctuated with traffic lights.

Just once, I’d love to sail straight through,

Unhindered in my flow.

But no!

Red lights beset me every chance they get.

Still, each stop gives me a chance to think;

Not needing to worry about gears or hazards,

Just watching the lights for my chance to move

And thinking up poems.

Like this.

A Sonnet for the Journey

Life holds its sway but only in the hour

But after, what will be we cannot know.

For now our thoughts and actions are in flower

Until our time is done and we must go.

 

So, on the road we place our weary feet

And step on step play out the things we must.

Though we may never leave this lonely street

Until we give such matters up to dust.

 

Yet while we still must travel in the light

Our minds are primed to focus on this main.

To dwell not on our future’s arid plight,

Until we own the madness, to stay sane.

 

We judge our life not by the likely cost,

Since by that act its value would be lost.