I walked with naked fear along the line, never too far from the edge but just close enough to smell the lingering breath, the bitter sweet, the sugar and acid bite.  But I couldn’t look.  Even though the urge wrapped around my soul, ate into my mind, begged and pleaded for me to move a little closer, to sneak a peak, I resisted.  Why?

My eyes.  Forced so tightly shut my face ached, hurt, trembled.  Hot and cold in turn, a soft but decayed breeze, almost damp, fetid irritating against my cheek.  I held my breath, inched with painstaking brevity.  Why?

Seconds crawled by, so slow, so went the minutes the hours the days the years.  Always the pull to vere away and let the danger take me.  Always the effort to keep momentum, to force my way ahead into the distance.  Why?

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Nothing can twist your heart and mess with your mind more, nothing can slice through your soul with more ease like a hot knife through butter.  Chills tingle down the spine, goose bumps pop with a shivering touch, a face from whenever and more.

Does your memory scare you, does it pick those perfect moments to whisper a name or  flash a thought that sinks your heart?  Do you find a revery in solitude but sob at the loss of something you can’t quite touch?

As you sift through your life, events build, time gathers more than dust.  The bitter with the sweet, the warmth with the chill, the ecstacy with the depths of despair.  Your time here is mixed and melted and ground and salted with tears.

You are alone in a vast seething crowd, you are a speck on the beach, a single mind in a sea of thought.  But even when calm, even when the softness of love holds you close, then is the time.  Beware the ghosts.

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Open Plan

My current role has me sat in a crumbling prefab building with archaic air conditioning recycling the germs of the incumbents.  It’s not too bad and in many ways far better than being sat in the car park, though I could do without some of the witty banter that floats around unceasingly from the bitter lips of some seasoned contractors.

There is an ever constant negativity, a barating of unseen colleagues with a twisting sarcastic flavoured barb and a wry chuckle.  Many days I think I’m Bill Murray locked in the same day…

I just caught myself there; in lambasting these poor overpaid people I fell into the same trap, about to throw myself head long into a torrent of clever put-downs.  In many ways is the only thing that separates me from them my lack of verbal dexterity?

On reflection I much prefer my own space though let me add I do have some good company in the office so it is not all bad.  Amidst the cacophony there is a small island of sanity, but the tide is coming in fast.

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Being Exiled in St Helens

I’ve been writing  in this little piece of literary heaven for five years now but the last two have been whilst in exile.  My adopted town of Stoke-on-Trent didn’t provide me with a job and a salary so I set forth into the foreign fields of Lancashire and the surrounding lands, to work my time first in the Wigan health culture and then in the water meadows of Warrington.

I’m still here, with a night time base in the glass land of St Helens, sharing a local religious leader’s old home with some fellow (but rather more rowdy) travellers.

Gentle readers I really should write more, as my evenings just seem to drip away like water through cracks in the pavement.  And so a pledge: I promise to write at least once a week, to build up once more my connection with you and to work ever more solidly at my return to the land of pottery.


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A Slight Return

Once more I find myself (I often lose myself as well and in fact it’s quite easy to do but luckily I have family who know where to find me and a quick slap across the face with a cold flannel usually does the trick) apologising for my absence.

I was last active on here in the depths of winter – which this year proved to be quite mild compared to previous arctic periods (I didn’t even get the chance for a spot of snowman making mores the pity).

Since my last entry I have been jettisoned from the big ship NHS and currently find myself ‘resting’. Not that I’ve been too restful and can now happily report that since my redundancy date of 3rd April I have applied for 150 vacancies of various kinds, had four interviews and gained 0 employment. It is now 3 months since I last worked and though I could get to enjoy the relative freedom I do need to find a job soon (unless I find a suitcase full of cash or that lottery win finally comes in).

I still get up each day at 6:30, get my youngest ready for school and log on ready for another exciting day of searching. I do get a little annoyed at relative lack of responses; I think out of the 150 I’ve only had communications from about 6% of them.

What else can I report? Well I am getting a little tired of Jeremy Kyle and if I see another house auction I’ll probably implode. On the other hand the garden is looking a lot better than it would have if I’d been working; I even had chance with my good wife to build a new Meccano hut which was a challenge (I still have all my fingers but did gain a couple of scars).

I now hereby promise I will return soon to the good old blog, possibly before Christmas.

I thank you for your patience.


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Hidden deep amidst the lull
Still shines her golden heart
Even though through time it dulls
Together or far apart.

I want to see those eyes glow again
And see that joyous smile
Until I do I’ll settle back
And wait and wish awhile.

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Post Christmas Blues

It’s only Boxing day and already we have that coming down feeling. What is it about a single day in the year that gets so much build up and then… down we go? Anyway on the food side I have managed to be fairly controlled though I am sure my belt feels a little tighter! I got exactly what I asked for from Santa – but I’m not hard to buy for: books and CD’s, the simple tastes.

My wife used to complain every year that I always asked for the same things but I think she’s finally got used to the fact and it does make buying for me very easy. I still find it very hard to buy for her and thinking of new and imaginative things is hard. And on a small budget it is even more difficult. I did manage to get her a few things and she seemed happy with them.

What is the best present you have had? Was it imaginative or expensive? Quirky? A complete surprise or something you knew you’d be getting? I bought a dolphin for my wife one year – we didn’t have to accommodate it thank goodness (we didn’t and still don’t have a swimming pool) – it was one of those adoptive schemes where you get a pic and a letter from the beast. Yes I know dolphins are very intelligent but lack the digits for a pen or keyboard but I think you know what I mean. But for my wife it just wasn’t the same as actually having ‘Flipper’ there in the back yard chattering away and we couldn’t afford to go visit the lovely creature in its own natural environment.

Anyway I have a pile of books to read and a tonne of cd’s to listen to (another 4 Neil Young ones from the trillion he’s released in the 100 years he’s been around – I have a few more to collect).

Enjoy the rest of the holidays where ever you may be.


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