Sunday, 24 October 2010


Mum passed away last Friday.
On Thursday, I was the father, in a one-parent family.
By the weekend, I was also the child.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


It's 1979. April. Maybe May.
Easter Holidays. Warm, but not drought-like.
Those days have gone.
The Commodores are lapping at our wings & The Isleys provide the breeze.
Musically we are sibling-servient
but the stylus tonight, belongs to us.

It's Saturday night, and everyone bar none is in our living-room.
I'm back from boarding-school.
I’m home
and I'm entertaining.
But no-one's really sure of who I am.
Except Simon
and possibly Janice.

I’m validated by my brother’s dog-eared record collection
and a pack of ten No.6.
Motown - Gold.
Philly - Best of.
Elton John.
Crocodile Rock. Badly scratched.
Bryant & May scorched fag-ends are greedily bum-sucked.
Windows open; my mum & dad will be back before we really knew they were gone.
Teenage squabbles reach their peak, in an orange draylon room.
There's juvenile lust for my parents' Dubbonet.
A gift from a now dead uncle.
Adolescent fumble juice, livened-up with flat Dandelion & Burdock.

I live on an out-of-town, new-town,not-quite-council
but nevertheless than aspirational, estate.
And all of my friends go to school locally.
I'm twelve years old. Nearly thirteen.
But in term time, I’m three counties away.

My parents have made their weekly pilgrimage to the Sergeant's Mess.
3 Para. Regimental.
And I'm in charge now.
This is all mine.
This is not a dormitory.
And I know the record will end shortly.
Lionel Richie's lamentation will end with a click and a whirr
The radiogram and other stuff we don't understand
silencing the screach of mopeds and us.

And she will stop dancing with me, she always does.
Whatever her name is.
We’ll all stop dancing, a bit confused and without each other.
Far from close, to anyone close to us.
And we will argue with each other over the choice of another LP, or 45.
And Simon will be sick.
And the evening will end with the smell of bleach upon my fingers.
And nicotine, and loss.
Easter 1979.
Warm, but not drought-like.
Those days have gone.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Bed Time

don't have kindle
don't have an ipod
or macbook either
don't have digital
don't have a plasma
nor dishwasher neither
don't ever buy new
buy second, maybe third hand
forage firewood & herbs
don't get my stash from anyone
property is theft
but I need a new bed
and that's tricky
don't have finance
nor credit
nor overdraft facility
anyone know where I can get one
on the cheap like?

October 13th

We lost mum today
an unmarked ambulance took her away
not on a stretcher like little Jimmy Sanchez
or the Bolivian
she walked
but no goodbyes for dad

And he cried, when she never turned around
and left my sister to take the flak
Mum's in a home now
though God knows where she thinks she is

The nurse is big & black
and mum didn't need to be asked twice
when served up a hot lunch of meat-pie
no husband at table
just flowers
or so my sister said

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

More Followers Please?

The idea, is to consolidate all of my social-networking time, into one daily narrative.
I rarely get comments on my blog, and that's a shame because more thought goes into what is actually written here.
The witty & sometimes informative Twitter is too restrictive.
Facebook now resembles a more colourful, yet less interesting, Ad-Trader.
And Paddy's mum's laptop can't cope with the multi-manic applications on MySpace.

Will you follow me here?
I'll follow you........

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A Poem For National Poetry Day

No-one has ever written a poem about me.
No-one that is, until Luke Wright penned this for R4's Saturday Live programme.
It's possibly the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

"My mate Yanny dropped his phone in the bath
He knifed his Broadband line, kicked in his set
Grew vegetables along his garden-path
Wrote letters to everyone he’d ever met:
His old school friends, forgotten dinner guests
first boss, girlfriend, the man who brought the coal
he wrote in biro from an old fusty desk
didn’t use similes, wrote his words out in full
and soon the replies began coming back
Printed envelopes outnumbered by scrawled-on ones
with pink stickers, as his friends packed
them out with stuff they never said when they called
There was something about making something
that appealed to blokes who had previously
just penned one-line texts about birds & bling,
and each one back felt like something for free
Better nonsense composed at window sills
than a clockwork life and a mat full of bills."


I took a 3-day sabbatical from Facebook.
A de-cyberspace-cation, if you will.
I found it troublesome.
On some days (mainly yesterday) I found myself searching for reasons to pop on to FB.
I had to rationalise with myself that, by removing all 'Notifications' from my email account, denial of access to my social-networking sites was not, in fact, a breach of my basic human rights.
I cried pitifully when I realised that I couldn't make witty & incisive comments after Match of the Day II, to 400 or so 'Friends', who were quite probably at home, online definitely, and ultimately bereft, due to my lack of participation in the safe & friendly neighbourhood local banter a.k.a. Facebook Chat.

I got through it though.
I got through all of the 3 days.

Every single one.

I only wavered once.
Yesterday I removed my Profile Pic from my FB page, and then deleted my last Status Update.
A last defiant act of non-committal.
Other than that, I was incommunicado.

And I was free!

I found that I had not necessarily gained more time per se; but had done a lot more with the time available.
I started jobs that needed doing & began projects that required starting.
I did a long overdue woollens-wash.
I wrote a poem.
I phoned my father.
I emptied the filter on the washing-machine.
I washed the filter on the Dyson.
I watched two recorded episodes of Coast.
And I stopped procrastinating.

My productive chunks of creativity were wholesome & satisying.
There weren't any definable gaps in my daily schedule without Facebook! No!
There were holes, but my efforts had obscured their vacancies from my peripheral view.
Proper gone.
I had discovered the value of time, not the quantifiable absence of it.

If you think about it, time is all we have.
Time is now.

My People; My Followers.
It's time we were more precious about time.
A time for understanding.
Understanding time....


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The more we Google, the less we know ("Notes For An Artist In Auld Reekie")

Watching absolutely no-one watching the Commonwealth Games today, I got to thinking about Lord Horatio Nelson's mum & dad. I Googled 'Catherine Suckling' and, although the various web-pages were in agreement about the date she married Mr.Nelson Snr., four of the first ten listed were wrong about the venue. As a resident of Beccles, I know that she was married here, but a Wiki-entry has the wedding in Bath. As does several other copy & paste knowledge-fonts, including a '.edu' establishment.
I then decided that the internet as a source of information, was actually a bit shit.
As there is no body to scrutinise, amend or reject my findings, I would like to share with you my post-Edinburgh "Notes For An Artist In Auld Reekie".

Scottish water will require use of more hair-product.
The people we see on the telly aren't always like they are on telly.
Mobile phone reception is negligible.
Eating fish & chips on the bus is not a crime.
Meadowbank Stadium appears surplus to requirement.
Boys who wear trainers have no sense of smell.
An Edinburgh head-cold can last a while.
Full-houses do not guarantee laughs.
Greggs are not just a southern phenomena.
Despite staying lighter later, the streets of Edinburgh get very dark early.
Scotland now understands the concept of 'chav'.
A BK cheeseburger-meal is rather unsatisfying.
Scottish women are more attractive than their men.
Despite being regular, efficient & cheap, it is advisable to avoid Edinburgh buses between 7pm & 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Man cannot live on chips & sauce alone.
August is a great time to spot egotistical wankers.
Irn Bru & square sausage are slightly overrated.