Monday, 30 June 2014

A poem for Bath

For the blue-sky days when steeples sparkle
And walls glow golden with the setting sun.
For bustling streets and quiet nights
And bells that ring clear in the morning.
For the green hills of protection,
That surround this city of perfection,
I say, thank you, and I will come again.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Happy as Larry

There I was, teaching a lesson, when I happen to glance through the door to the corridor. What do I see (after a lightning fast double-take)? A magpie, strolling along, happy as Larry (whoever Larry is). Just as it passes from view another member of staff appears in careful pursuit.
     "Second time this week," he informs me, and the crowd of children who have now gathered to watch. "I'm sure it's the same bird."
     The pair disappeared into Year 2, where goodness only knows what mayhem ensued, and I was left trying to stop children from wanting to go 'to the toilet', (i.e. have another look at the bird).
     Anyway, two weeks today, and hopefully I will feel the same as Larry (and the magpie).

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Wanderer

This is the third part of a story I have been writing recently, whenever I can grab a moment. The previous parts are titled: When Peter woke up and No longer alone. They can be found under 'May' in the blog archive on the right hand side of this page.

Peter clung to the rope ladder as he climbed ungainly up the side of the ship. As he neared the top several pairs of hands reached down, grasping his arms and lifting him easily over the wooden rail. He found himself face to face with a crowd of others, dressed plainly, as he was, but smiling in a welcoming way.
            ‘Good to meet you, Peter,’ said a man, stepping forward with his hand outstretched. ‘Welcome to the Wanderer.’
            Peter took the hand and managed a short, ‘thanks,’ in reply.
            ‘All right everyone, back to it,’ called the man, and the crowd quickly dispersed over the deck and down to the levels below.
            ‘The Wanderer.’ Peter said it out loud and the man took it as a question.
            ‘Yes, that’s us. Just wandering. Going where the wind blows.’
            Peter raised an eyebrow.
            ‘Seriously,’ the man continued, ‘we have to catch the wind or we will simply stop altogether.’
            There was a pause as Peter looked around. ‘Come on,’ said the man, ‘this way. I’m Logan, by the way.’

Together they crossed the deck to a hole where a steep staircase descended. Logan led the way by stepping lightly down the narrow steps, but Peter turned and came down backwards steadily. They continued down another set of steps, for which Logan apologised. ‘Afraid we’re getting quite full, but you’ll get used to the steps.’
            Below deck it was even darker, but a few lamps hung from the wooden beams in places. Men and women moved around busying themselves with jobs that Peter knew nothing of, but was content to learn about in due time. For the moment other questions were beginning to jump into his head but he held back as Logan directed him to a hammock.
            ‘This is yours, Peter. You should find it quite comfortable. There are allocated rest periods. I need to find out which Company you’re in and then I can let you know when.’
            ‘Do we not sleep at night?’
            Logan looked mildly surprised. ‘First, I didn’t say “sleep”, I said “rest”. Of course you can sleep if you want, but have you felt tired yet?’
            ‘No,’ admitted Peter, ‘not since I woke up.’
            ‘Exactly, and second, there is no night. It stays like this all the time. We live before the dawn. We await the new day.’

Thursday, 5 June 2014


The Day of Days, now seventy years past.
A moment that turned the tide. (Excuse the pun).
156,000 men crossed the sea, willingly doing something that no man should ever have to do.
More than 12,000 died that day (including Germans).
I will remember them,
And I will do whatever I can to ensure nothing like it ever happens again.