Wednesday, 31 October 2012



I climbed those wooden, creaking steps, those I could not hear for the crowd's clamour and I would not shake with the cold for fear they thought me nervous when I was terrified as the executioner, I could only see his darting eyes, shook me by the hand and I tipped three gold coins into his to pay for a job well done even though, after my address to those near by, he placed the cold steel on the back of my neck, rested the edge of the axe just where my collar might have been where she had kissed me so lovingly and where my children, the darlings, had thrown their small arms around me to tell me how much they loved their Papa and now these hateful accusers, this misguided tumult was going to take off my head, cut their king in two using a rough fellow to wield their vile instrument in an arc through the Whitehall air in one gory hack in which proceeds some dipped their handkerchiefs and all for what, so that I could come back and restore their faith in me and the monarchy for another four hundred years at least.



The Halloween rain blew, blasted, blustered at the window pain of number 13 and little Esme peered out with her face painted, mock horror, silly scars and blood. God had tricked her. No treats for her that wet, wettest, cold , coldest end of October night. Esme's mother tried to consol, comfort her but Esme was in no mood for excuses. She wanted what she wanted, needed, pleaded for on Halloween.

"But be reasonable, darling," her mother implored, implied, demanded in her way.

"I want to go trick or treating, " said the little girl with a wave, shake, prod of her satanic trident, the black plastic, made in China, bought in Asda, three pronged toy fork.

Another bucket full of rain hit, smacked, splashed the window and really answered the question for the two, both of them.

"Well if we can't go out I'll just have to do it here." Esme's painted face cracked a hopeful, furtive smile.

"Of course darling," said her mother. "Let's do it at home."

And so it was that little Esme took her self off to the kitchen to find the very sharp Japanese carving knife. She knew that she had to be careful with it. It was so sharp that it wasn't kept in the cutlery drawer along side all the other knives and spoons and forks. It was kept on its own in a thin wooden box and Esme got it out and held it in her tiny hand. It felt much more real than the black plastic, made in China, bought in Asda, three pronged toy fork.

Esme knocked on the closed door of the front room.

"Who's there?" sang, rang her mother in playful, sing song surprise.

"Trick or treat?" said Esme as she squeezed the comfortable handle of the sharp Japanese carving knife.



At eleven o'clock on November 11th the guns fell silent and tens of millions sighed with one terrible breath, those with ghastly black bayonet holes, home to the rat, from the dark wet bottom of their muddy unmarked mass graves, some sculptured by metal bullets punctured and pocked like grotesque sponges, some ripped apart in little pieces hung out across the cruel barbed wire, torn limb from bloody limb by high explosive blast, some gassed and blinded, racked with a deadly, drowning cough and those missing, erased from the face of the earth, while the rest were driven stark starring mad; and every year since when the bugle sounds the last post, the Glorious Dead fall in for the ghostly parade that stretches further than the eye might see across continents and generations.


Old Mrs McCloud didn't much like children at the best of times. As far as she was concerned they should neither be seen nor heard. She'd spent most of her long life doing without them and had bad memories of the time she had spent being one. Children, she thought, were a waist of space and that was that. So when they came and knocked at her door at the end of October when the clocks had gone back and it was dark by five, she was ready for them.

They helped themselves greedily to the bowl full of sweets she had on offer.

"Trick or treat" they had shouted when she eventually opened the door. their grabbing fingers snatched up the sweets and they ran off in their plastic capes, gapping fangs and scars, swinging their torches and giggling with glee unwrapping the confectionery and stuffing it in their ghoulish gobs not really tasting the rat poison until it was far too late.


Monday, 30 July 2012


When university graduate Anastasia Iron goes to interview entrepreneur Christian Day she gets more than she bargains for.........

I guess that I shouldn't have entered his office on my bum, biting my lip in that silly way I do when I'm not sure how things are going to turn out. I can't help the accident. I just trip over my virginity and find myself at his feet, his piecing grey eyes looking down at me saying I want to tie you up , I want to bite your lip, I want to gag you, I want to tickle your arse with a feather.

But steady on. Things have got to take their time and nothing of any sexual consequence can be allowed to happen until at least one hundred pages have been scanned. Actually about a hundred and ten and then I have my first orgasm when Mr Day does something to my nipples that my metabolism simply cannot resist. I've never heard of a girl coming like that when a guy she's only just met gets a bit intimate with her ferrets' noses. I know that he only wants me as a play thing. When he shows me his playroom, the red room of pain he calls it, with all the trappings of an Ann Summers back room and some, I realise that Mr Day is into more than just what's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this.

I roll my eyes at him and the next thing I know is I'm trussed up like a Christmas turkey with my hands tied around one of the four posters to the red bed so that Mr Day can get on with what ever he wants to at my exposed rear end. He uses that ghastly tie, the one that looks like the sort of thing a doorman would wear round his fat neck. Once again I experience an orgasm.

I'm not even allowed to touch the man who has just done far more than touch me up. He's had my cherry for goodness sake and even though I must admit he's the best looking male I've seen on two legs, I'm not sure about his motives. What I want is a deep and meaningful relationship but what he wants is deep and painful. Never mind aye. Grin and bear it. Literally.

He's got this thing about food and how I shouldn't leave any for Mr Manners. It's a clean plate or a smacked bottom. Any excuse I guess. I simply hate Shredded Wheat for breakfast so I guess it's going to be an over the knee experience before I can say please pass the butter and I'm right. He puts me across his lap and, surprise surprise, I come again. Not eating the crusts on my toast and marmalade brings another punishment. I have to lie naked and flat on my back, spread eagled across the vast breakfast bar (there's a great view of down town Seattle over my right shoulder). Mr Day empties a pot of Actimel (one a day) on my tummy together with a blob of Manuka honey on each nipple and then he tucks in to the unusual snack. Once again I can't really control myself and am forced to come with the result that Mr Day is left looking something like Coco the clown with a lot of yoghurt spread all over his face, it having being forced off my stomach with all the writhing I do when I have that double orgasm. Yes two and this was before the coffee.

Obviously Mr Day has to go and get cleaned up, wipe the health food from his face, but he returns wearing his black trousers, the ones that hang so provocatively from his hips, and that white shirt that just about covers his splendid torso. His hair shines like copper and I want to wipe away the trace of honey I can see he's obviously missed in his beautiful locks. He won't let me and when I bite my lip and roll my eyes at him that is it. Before you could say Vibrating Rabbit we are back in the red room of pain.

This time I have to kneel in the corner like some female Buddha while he goes off and changes into a pair of old jeans. He approaches me with a leather riding crop in his right hand an a green apple in the other. I feel like a bloody horse. I have to call him Sir which is quite difficult with the apple in my mouth but I am determined not to be beaten. Actually I am. He whacks me rather hard with the crop and the apple shoots out of my mouth and catches Mr Day a flying blow, a direct hit, right on the end of his erect manhood. His piercing grey eyes cross and he staggers backwards through the correction room and falls against the large wooden cross perched against the far wall. Even though it looks secure, for a brief moment nothing happens, but then ever so slowly like a falling tree, the thing starts its journey. Mr Day doesn't see it as it comes down on his beautiful head even though I try to warn him by pointing furiously at the thing behind him, he never looks back. As he lies there unconscious on the floor I think that it would be a pity not to take advantage of the unused erection. It is fun bouncing up and down on the out-for-the-count Mr Day and while he has absolutely no idea what is going on, I know precisely and enjoy another orgasmic experience, my sixth that morning and it isn't even time for elevenses.

I cannot find my knickers anywhere. But hey that is the least of my worries as I run off to find the blonde housekeeper to help me restore Mr Day to his pre-wooden cross encounter. The two of us struggle to lift the heavy cross off the billionaire. He comes round but must be delirious as he issues a slurred command for both of us to drop to our knees immediately. What follows is something that a house keeper should probably receive overtime for. The obedient blonde performs her extraordinary duty at one end of Mr Day while I hang about at the other. This again produces an orgasm, actually two as the housekeeper has one before returning to the ironing.

Mr Day isn't feeling his best as we jump into his helicopter to go and have an early lunch with his mother. I still have not found my knickers but I am not going to say a thing. The guy helping me on board gets a bit of a shock what with the updraft and everything but Mr Day doesn't bat an eye lid. Maybe he knows I am not wearing any.

The lunch is an informal affair and it is nice meeting Mr Day's family although quite hard trying to make polite conversation at the dining table while Christian has his hand hovering over my undressed sex. If that isn't tantalising enough, when he grabs a stick of celery as we tuck into the stilton and he tucks it into me, the look on my face must be a picture. I come between cheese and pudding and am just about able to smoother the event by exploding into my napkin with such conviction that everyone round the table blesses me after my enormous and prolonged sneeze.

After lunch the trip to the boat house at the end of the garden gives me another good rollicking and sees Mr Day perfecting a very steady stroke. His little sister nearly catches us at it but Christian is so masterful and tells her that we are just looking at his rowing trophies. If only she'd known.

We return in the black SUV with Tinker driving. Tinker is a real good sport. He does everything for Mr Day and always seems to be on hand. I feel that having met Mr Day's family, I might be winning a place in his affections rather than being just a simple plaything. I try to talk to him but all he wants to do is take me on the back seat of the car in such a way that I'm sure Tinker can see and hear me reach my tenth orgasm of the day.

As we take the elevator to the top floor Mr Day produces my knickers from his suit pocket. I start to say that he can stuff them up his, but before I can finish the sentence he is stuffing something else up mine. He likes doing it in lifts apparently and I can't help reflecting as we go past the eleventh floor that I am having my eleventh that day.

When I come back from the bathroom I can hear the sound of a piano playing. The tune is slow almost mournful . I stop in the doorway and watch as Mr Day strokes the keys. When he sees me the tune changes to "How much is that doggy in the window?" and I know that something is up. As I kneel on top of the grand piano with my naked bottom in the air, I know that something is indeed right up.

The contract he's drawn up for me to sign seems fairly straight forward. He can do to me what he likes and if I don't like it I can tell him to stop. I tell him that I have to discuss things with my mother. She is on husband number three or four and understands these things, how to deal with men. Mr Day doesn't look too happy at the idea and I know that I shouldn't roll my eyes at him again. But I do. He chases me round the big room and before I know it he's caught me and handcuffed me and is marching me off to his red room of pain. This time it is the cat 'o nine tales but not before he puts a blindfold over my still rolling eyes. Each lash makes me squeal with pain, or is it delight? I can't really tell. When the flogging eventually stops I can hear his breathing and the familiar sound of tearing foil as yet another condom is being forced into action. The familiar smell of burning rubber wafts around the two of us as he finds his mark and I eventually reach my thirteenth.

As arranged Mr Day's female doctor arrives to examine me. I explain that I've been through quite a lot already that day. She prescribes a contraceptive pill and I hope that it wasn't a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. She also suggests I get a tub of Canisan as thrush can be an irritating and unwanted distraction for any girl.

Mr Day looks pleased as he writes out the $5,000 cheque for the doctor's time. He is nothing if not generous.

The evening lights of Seattle glisten like so many bright candles lit at a concert when people hold up their cigarette lighters when that tune "candle in the wind" is played. What a view it is as we look down on the early evening rush and have another shag standing against the vast plate glass window so that when the next orgasm arrives my outstretched palms squeak down the cold hard glass like a window cleaner's squeegee.

It is time for me to go home. My flat mate must be wondering where on earth I am. I have promised to go out with Jose my old friend although I am not going to tell Mr Control Freak Day about this.

We kiss in the lobby and armed with the uncalled for gifts from Mr Day, my two first editions, my new lap top, blackberry, the keys to my new red Audi sports car and the good doctor's prescription, I step into the elevator. What a day! What a man!

Jose is pleased to see me. He is so different from Christian Day. He's ugly and as poor as a Mexican church mouse.

"Fancy a shag?" he says to me as he drops me off after our drink.

"Ok then," I reply. May as well says my inner goddess to herself as she limps into the flat rolling her tired eyes for the fifteenth time today.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


When Blakelock’s aunt is cremated, she goes out with a bang. Not one of her friends or relatives know that she has been fitted with a pacemaker and the loud report that it makes when the furnace fires up isn’t quite drowned out by the electric organ. The few who have come to see her off are trying to sing along to its music in the crematorium chapel. The half hearted nature of the congregation’s effort is more to do with the choice of hymn rather than unwillingness to partake. “Onward Christian Soldiers” or “Fight The Good Fight” would both have diluted the bang. “What Our Father Does Is Well”, a rather obscure harvest hymn with a difficult to follow tune, does not promote a natural harmony or the vocal gusto to muffle the unexpected sound. The undertakers from the Co-op are given the blame for the pacemaker oversight and its resultant small explosion but no mention is made to the bereaved about the unfortunate incident and how it interferes with Blakelock’s aunt. The operator of the fiery furnace, the guy at the coal face so to speak, gets a nasty shock when the lid of Blakelock’s aunt’s coffin takes flight and the dead aunt herself tries to vacate her last resting place by suddenly sitting up just as the flames are taking hold. The operator needs a cup of sweet black tea to help restore his equilibrium and he is allowed to go home early entrusting the rest in line that day to one of his colleagues. Some say he will never be quite the same again. The explosion of Blakelock’s aunt’s pacemaker is attributed by the congregation to a coincidental vehicle backfire on the busy road outside, where life carries on as normal as Mohammad, the driver of the A1Lawn At Bargain Price van (“green shoots r us”) speeds past the crematorium gates unaware that Blakelock’s aunt is being burnt to a cinder and her pacemaker is about to explode. The six year old green van is long overdue its service and as Mohammad pushes his booted foot to the floor, the tired engine responds with a noisy and fume fuelled hick-up that sounds like an old blunderbuss being fired. Mohammad curses as Blakelock pretends to sing the words, “Though nor milk nor honey flow, in our barren Canaan now,” and the Good Lord takes the exclamations from both men in His stride as Blakelock’s dead aunt briefly sits up, shocked in her tracks, on her way to meet Him herself.

Blakelock hasn’t really bothered with his aunt and so it is a surprise to discover that she has left him a bequest of £100,000. Blakelock decides that his inheritance, his aunt’s gift, should be marked in some appropriate way. The old lady would probably have liked that. So Blakelock thinks about the various options that are now open to him. He could purchase some rather fancy piece of antique furniture or a work of art with which to commemorate his aunt. He could invest in some fine wine, something he thinks that would have been close to and given succour to his aunt’s heart. It was said that she had enjoyed the better part of a half bottle of red Burgundy every day and that had, together with the pacemaker and the pills, kept her heart condition on the right side of wrong until the very end. Blakelock considers the leg of a racehorse but agrees that this might lead to bad money after good no matter if the leg he invests in decides to be the fastest leg there is. If the other three or just one of the other three is slow then the whole project is doomed from the start or indeed collecting ring.

After about two and half weeks after receipt of his late aunt’s money Blakelock decides on a Hummer. Of nearly all the things he might have chosen to spend his aunt’s money on, a Hummer is not the most obvious. The Hummer is not just an ordinary vehicle but a rugged statement that tells everyone who sees it that here is a car that is much more than a car. Blakelock is not concerned about miles per gallon. He jokes that it is more a case of gallons per mile. The Hummer wags two rude fingers to the carbon footprint and on the basis that Blakelock’s aunt hadn’t apparently shown any signs of believing in the existence of global warming, Blakelock justifies to himself that his aunt would be pleased with his choice of how he should spend her money. Blakelock’s aunt had lived in an old house without the benefit of many modern trappings. Insulation and double glazing were just words as mysterious to Blakelock’s aunt as Higgs Boson or Quantitative Easing. Her old radiators were left to rumble on, Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn, at a steady sweltering eighty degrees and the coal fires that burnt furiously in her various grates added their considerable pollution to Blakelock’s aunt’s personal volume of greenhouse gasses.

As if to add further arrogance to the Hummer statement, Blakelock chooses a brand new red vehicle which is in marked contrast to the old green van driven by Mohammad of the A1Lawn At Bargain Price franchise (“green shoots r us”), a vehicle which doesn’t let the grass grow under its wheels because Mohammad (Mo the lawn to those that know him from the local Mosque) runs a busy business assuring weed free lush swards for his satisfied clients whilst trying to fulfil the increasing demands of his more fundamentalist brethren. The green van is being used to stock pile a dangerous amount of fertiliser without attracting any undue speculation from nosey neighbours, lawns and fertiliser being natural bed fellows.

The thing about a red Hummer is that it does attract attention, some of it unwanted, a lot angry, some of it jealous and quite a lot based on envy. Blakelock secretly likes the more favourable attention, the head turning looks he can see in the vast wing mirrors as he hums passed. He particularly likes it when the swivelling heads are pretty and female. Blakelock hasn’t enjoyed so much attention from the fairer sex and his new red Hummer brings him a ticket, a ring side seat, to a whole new experience that he finds difficult to resist. Sophie is one such but not content with just looking, she wants to touch and in getting closer to the rugged vehicle, she could become closer to its owner.

"Would you like a go in it?” Blakelock says to the young woman when he returns to the new shopping centre car park and sees her stroking the bonnet of his big machine.

"If that’s OK, yeah I would,” says Sophie very excited at the prospect of being let into this brash new world of petrol head heaven. She has enjoyed a Truck Fest or two and the Battle of the Monster Machines at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff sent her into an unusual trance for several of the following days. Blakelock takes her for a spin and enjoys showing off around the car park. It is as though the Hummer is patrolling the lines of parked vehicles inspecting them rather like a general might review his troops. The Hummer looks down on most of them, is the king of the lot, loud and proud and majestically red as it rides through the rank and file.

"Wow,” says Sophie when after having cruised most of the lanes Blakelock brings the big machine to a screeching and rocking halt in one of the parent with child parking bays.

"You should see it off road,” says Blakelock and immediately Sophie wants to. She agrees to meet Blakelock again the following Saturday when Blakelock promises to take her for a decent run with a bit of off-roading thrown in as well. Reversing out of the parent with child parking space Blakelock doesn’t see the A1Lawn At Bargain Price van and the red Hummer slams into the side of it with the sort of force a fast rhino might employ when hitting a slow poacher. There isn’t a big smash but more of a dull crunch and the sound of thin metal being bent and torn. The A1Lawn At Bargain Price van suddenly has a new tattered logo. Several of the letters have disappeared into the gaping holes in the van’s punctured side. The strap line is distorted and doesn’t read any better and the new message seems to be saying something it shouldn’t. Mohammad looks like a wild rabbit caught in the headlights as he springs from his assaulted van to confront what ever it is that has interrupted his progress through the big shopping centre car park.

"What in god’s name are you doing?” Mohammad shouts at Blakelock who is already inspecting the rear end of his Hummer. The damage to the big machine is minimal and it does seem incredible that Mohammad’s van has sustained such scars without as much as a scratch on the Hummer.

"You’ve buggered my van right up.” Mohammad protests loudly.

Sophie is full of mirth. She has seen the whole thing and is probably the cause and distraction for the incident. Blakelock was showing off in front of the new admirer by revving the several horsepower under his foot’s control into a fever pitch before de-clutching and sending the red vehicle lurching backwards into the passing van.

"Ha, ha,” laughs Sophie as she reads the new description on the damaged vehicle.

"Alla at Bar.” She pronounces the strange new words as they have been arranged. She reads them out slowly, in an uncertain childlike manner with no understanding of their meaning. Mohammad spins around as though he’s been hit by lightening. He cannot believe what he is seeing.

“It’s Alla ak bar. Not Alla at bar,” he exclaims incensed at the female’s ignorance. He squints at the letters, takes in the full meaning of the battered new inscription. The letter K could be a letter T, but there is no doubt in his mind about the new message. He looks as though he has seen God and certainly feels as though God is at this very moment speaking to him.

“Shoot us.” Sophie sings out rather more positively, relaying the only two words in the new strap line on the green van.

Quick as a bird with a worm Mohammed wrenches open the rear door and pulls out a twelve bore shot gun which he levels and fires at Blakelock and Sophie in such a casual manner that it looks for all the world as though Mo the lawn is about to perform some top dressing rather than simply comply with his treacherous training.

“Allah ak Bar,” he shouts his battle cry as the little balls of lead shot start their hurried journey towards their unfortunate quarry.

The two blasts at such close quarters splatter into the recipients like sugar on pancakes and they dance and spin like bleeding puppets in an extraordinary enactment. The sound of the first shot is, thinks Blakelock, similar to the noise he heard at his aunt’s cremation. He doesn’t hear the second, but as his and the young woman’s dying blood drips almost unseen down the red paintwork of the peppered Hummer, Blakelock thinks that he really should have gone for the antique, the wine or even the leg of a horse rather than the big American beast.

Monday, 11 June 2012


What a hoot

to be oot

and a boot

in flamin' June.

(Although it's not

my lot

to be a Scot

in flamin' June.)

What a shame


in the rain

in flamin' June.

You got

a new waistcot

for Ascot

in flamin' June.

As black

as a cat

a natty top hat

in flamin' June.

And Flora

looks adora

in her fedora

in flamin' June.


has to queue

for his view

in flamin' June.

Too discreet

with his seat

he sends a tweet

in flamin' June.

The leaves

off the trees

shellin' like peas

in flamin' June.

Tee Hee

what glee to see

the Diamond Jubilee

in flamin' June.

Damp crown jewels


and high heels

in flamin' June.

No matter

wet crowds chatter

at the regatta

in flamin' June

The Pimms

and the gins

drownin' their sins

in flamin' June.

The hearty

street party

kicks off at twelve thirty

in flamin' June.

Someone makes


or should we say bakes

in flamin' June.

There's ringing

and singing

and even more wringing

in flamin' June.

Such a shame


down the drain

in flamin' June.


everyone knows

it's no to the hose

in flamin' June.

And they all know

the euro

is a no go

in flamin' June.

But with stiff upper lip

and a royal Hip


in flamin' June.

Great Britain

is smitten

and we do love it rotten

in flamin' June.

Monday, 4 June 2012


"Bugger this weather," said Philip his gloved hand twitching angrily on the handle of his sword.

"It can't be helped," said his wife as she smiled and waved yet again at what she thought might be another passing vessel.

"If it gets much worse we won't be able to see a bloody thing." Philip wasn't going to be consoled.

"They must have called off the fly past," said Harry with a look of relief on his face. His pink beret was wet through and felt like a soggy cow pat.

"You warm enough love?" William looked at Kate and even the glow from her warm red outfit looked damp.

"I put some thermals on thank goodness," she replied.

"So did I," cut in the Duchess of Cornwall. "Nicked them out of your father-in-law's sock drawer."

The two Duchesses laughed and waved.

"Bloody ridiculous," It was Philip again. "Can't tell if it's a stink pot, a cutter or a bloody dragon boat."

"Why don't you go below Philip?" suggested the Queen.

"Slip downstairs for a Chinky you mean. Looks like a bloody floating Chinese restaurant." The Duke had said as much when he'd first boarded the red velvet and gold floating palace with its two absurd thrones. "Red velvet arm chairs like something out of the back row of the local flea pit," he said to one of his grandsons as they explored the deck.

"They've worked very hard and it's not their fault the weather has turned a little inclement," said the Queen.

"Inclement you call it. Good god woman, if this is inclement then my cock's a kipper."

Prince Charles laughed. "We're not far from Billingsgate fish market father," he added without thinking.

"You know I don't like that sort of talk, " said the Queen looking at her eldest son over her misty spectacles.

The royal party issued another wave and the rain responded cruelly.

"I've been standing here for over ninety bloody minutes, freezing my admiral's pip's off and if this bloody pageant doesn't come to an end soon I'm going to ......"

"Oh do shut up Philip. Stop complaining and wave." The queen was being the boss.

"Wave after bloody wave", said Philip under his cold breath.

"The Princess Royal drew the long straw on this parade. Tucked up in the dry with a stiff drink no doubt," Philip just wasn't giving up.

Another burst of damp music hit the deck.

"I think it's the Royal Philharmonic mummy," said the Prince of Wales.

"Bloody Water Music is all we need," said Philip as he gazed into the swirling mists, a wet drip or two running in time to the music off his peaked cap.

"Lovely," said the Queen.

"If you like that sort of thing", said Philip. "Bloody Handel."

"Well it's better that Elton John", said the Queen.

"We've got that dubious pleasure to look forward to tomorrow night," said the Prince.

"Well let's hope and pray it pisses on his parade", said the Duke unkindly.

"Philip!" said the Queen abruptly. "I must insist!" and she raised another gloved hand and shook it in the direction of the music.

The newspapers had a field day. Of course they did. "Long to rain over us" was the firm favourite until the very last minute when somehow the Duke of Edinburgh slipped as he was moving off the deck. It looked as though her Majesty had almost nudged him out of her way but what ever happened his Royal Highness took a tumble into Old Father Thames and was eventually fished out by the inflatable police launch once it had forced the excited Italian gondola out of the way. It was, so one of the river police men later reported, the first time an admiral of the fleet had set foot inside their dirigible. One red top's searching head line quite simply read , "Royal Barge?" and most of her loyal subjects knew what it meant.

Monday, 28 May 2012


We waited on the pavements edge

Costa coffee opposite and Subway to our rear

and the sunshine played on to the growing numbers

as the trick cyclist whistled his way up and down the street

while his mate, the sweaty guy on his spring loaded stilts, bounced between us

shouting encouragement and gesturing wildly to those that caught his eye.

Ordinary cars that passed looked out of place

uncomfortable at being there stared at by so many sets of eyes,

not the shiny brand new BMW's dressed up in the Olympic colours

but the shabby rusty red Peugeot with "Driven by fairy dust" the message on the back

and the Frome Reclamation truck full of reclaimed tiles

on their way to be reclaimed again.

The unlicensed sellers of the union flags took two pounds for something to wave,

"Just a couple left son," but we knew they had plenty more stock

hidden in their van parked in the free car park behind Argos.

We needed something red white and blue and we shook them at yet another empty bus

(why there are so many empty buses in Frome remains a mystery)

School children filed in up the hill in their bright flack jackets a colourful crocodile

so they too could be seen as bright as any flame

their home made torches in their hands wondering what all the fuss was about.

At long last the wiry, weary promotional girls from Coke and Lloyds

and a phone company that has helped to sponsor the coming games

rev us up into our market town frenzy from the lofty perches of their tailor-made tour buses

with music and dancing and razzamatazz and promises of a brighter tomorrow and things that will go better

and gold for all or those that cross the line first. Shake that pompom Miss, shake that pompom do.

You're a long way from Greece and quite a stretch to London.

The girl behind me wants to "Evacuate London" or so her stencil proclaims

and she talks to the teenage copper on crowd control, shows him her message.

He's one of a team rarely seen in these parts and he just smiles and sends her back to where she has come from.

Pointless trying to piss on this parade Luv, I hope he said under his helmet.

The sun shone into the eyes of those on the opposite side, Somerset squinters,

and the toddler let her balloon slip and it blew across the road to be rescued by another and returned

to the anxious child with everyone happy and united just standing on the side of the road waiting for the Greek flame.

From their high vantage point on top of Barclays Bank a few heads nodded in the sunshine

a real banker's bonus and the girl in the open window above Boots had a good eyeful too.

The police outriders on their motor bikes waved at us as they never have before.

Some of us waved back which seemed strange to be befriending the traffic cop who on another day

would be throwing the book at us for speeding or talking on the mobile phone.

Cameras everywhere and one on a tripod being worked by a girl in a green and white spotty summer frock.

She should have been going to a picnic or off to nearby Babington for lunch not dressed like that for Points West.

And still we waited for the Greek flame.

Would it infect us and turn our decimal coinage back into pounds, shillings and pence?

Could its flicking be carrying a message of despair, a real Greek tragedy waiting to unfold?

Someone had an umbrella with the union flag on it just in case of rain but this was no longer wet April

but sunny mid May and long to reign over us we all hoped. No Greek drama here please.

The ice-cream van doing a roaring trade and the Cornish pasties from Gregg's the Baker

warm but not as hot as the midday sun.

Will they remember this in years to come? Will the children say yes I was there

when the Greek flame came through our market town

on its way from Taunton to Bristol?

Maybe they will and maybe they won't.

They won't remember the beaming white haired man

who held the silver meshed torch aloft and proudly jogged down the hill passed the Crown (up for rent) and on past Card Factory

looking colourful and smug surrounded by the bunting that had escaped and spread like a victorious spider's web above us all.

Who he was matters little. What he stood for matters lots. Will I Am did it the previous day down the road

and the children will probably remember Will for all the wrong reasons. Famous for his moon walk and the Voice

rather than what it all really means.

But It did bring a tear to my eye. Call me sentimental but I thought the whole extravaganza was wonderful.

Even the Postie who right at the end peddled hard to get through the closing throng before the street was clogged

delivering his mail without fuss or applause as he does nearly every day.

Waiting in the Somerset sunshine.

Waiting for the Greek flame.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


The spring time walk through dripping fields

where dandelions roar and shake their glistening cobwebbed manes

and buttercups blaze their yellow streaks

between the sodden green blades,

the teaming, steaming sward.

Black birds hop and flap like competing teams of lazy ballroom dancers

and off she goes after them with little hope

prancing through the meadow, leapfrogging damp tufts

in a headlong dash to catch one unaware,

the preening, scheming bird.

She never does, never comes close, but always runs back to heel

as though she had and gets the nod, the look of approval

and a smile or a laugh out loud that sets her off again

on another wild goose chase to try for murder in the murder,

the bird's collective word.

Watching Minnie chasing crows knowing that she'll never catch one.

What simple fun it is, what a glorious past time

not a moment wasted so I could spend all day, a life long quest

watching Minnie chasing crows,

Nothing more absurd.