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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Reflections 2018 w17

Today we went to a Field to Fork event, and the best part for me was my son in the Bubble Football.

The bubble football is well…this…


The child is strapped in to just about knee high and has handles to hold onto inside.I don’t know who enjoyed this the most, me or my son. We have waited for about a year to get a second chance at this game and rolling him fully over with his bright yellow minion wellies flailing in the air was worth the wait. At other times he would roll sidewards more like an egg than a ball and for the most part I was too busy laughing to help.

He enjoyed launching himself at me to bounce off my gut and he nearly had me over more than once. The balls are surprisingly heavy and most of the children could only take a few steps before rolling off in a somewhat haphazard direction. It reminded me of a TV program, that had adults in ridiculously oversized inflatable suits, from my childhood – It’s A Knockout.

I do not think we will be able to past these again without having to have another go.



Something to eat.

To nourish the body.

Starvation to beat.

To cook or have cooked,
or have it delivered.
Are we in, or out, when we eat?.
Fancy or plain,
new or the same?
A cafe, a restaurant, a treat.

With family, with friends,
beginnings to ends,
and all of the ages between.
The happy the sad,
the good and the bad,
through all will food be it seen.

A birthday with tarts,
the joining of hearts,
a breakfast at end of the day.
A seasons event,
with food be it spent,
happy, as children at play.

A loss of a person,
is marked by a wake.
Tis needed to help heal a hole.
Tea and a sandwich,
and maybe some cake,
the food, it comforts the soul.

A connection is made,
of food and of pain,
the comfort of eating,
but weight will I gain.
So punish my body
with sugar and salt.
Eat till it’s painful,
it’s always my fault.

Habit accepted,
my self abuse.
Companies like it,
my habit they use.
Happy they sell us,
with every bite.
Adverts and sales teams,
flexing their might.

Make it addictive,
to profit increase.
Sell it as healthy,
new flavour release.
Turn on unhealthy,
it’s ‘choice’ that they say.
There’s no other reason,
we’ve ended this way.

Psychology and science
to sell food is used.
But treatment when asked for
is often refused.
Or if your accepted
theres often long wait.
So the cycle continues,
with the food that I’ve ate.

A § M 



Reflections 2018 w16

Have you ever spent twenty minutes scrubbing a snail with a toothbrush?

One feels the need to firstly explain that the snail is of the aquarium variety, and secondly I thought I threw him/her out with the water change. So there was a guilt aspect to it as well.

This snail has been through a lot really, I got the horned variety to try and stop it from being a snack for the goldfish that lived in the tank, as so many others had been before. It kind of worked, it got pulled off the glass every now and then, but that was about it, an inconvenience for the snail I’m sure, but the horns seemed to put the fish off – until next time.

I wanted the snails as window cleaners and ornament caretakers of sorts, and this they did very well.

The fish got to large for the tank so had to be moved to a new home, which meant a fresh start to the aquarium. Firstly the water was largely changed and the gravel removed to allow a layer of substrate to go down first for plant growth, this is where the mishap happened.

The snail was on the front of the glass and I was scooping from the side, the bag I was filling with the wet gravel folded outwards and spilt all over the carpet, then I went into panic mode, desperately trying to hold onto the bag – finish emptying the tank – and mop up the wet gravel. I did this and proceeded to clean the glass using the remaining water then squeezing it out into a tub inside the tank. When the tub was full it went out of the window – over the lawn.

In goes the substrate, in goes the gravel, in goes the ornaments, followed by half a tank of water. One then proceeded to plant the new vegetation, I have to admit  it will be nice to be able to have living plants in the tank again, the last tenant pulled them up for fun. The water got topped up and I ask the snail what it thinks of its refurb. That is when I notice that it is not there. Outside I go, with a torch, and spend half an hour looking for it before giving up. The snail killed, not by the fish, but by me having a carless moment.

I ‘stirred’ the gravel as much as I could, trying to ‘feel’ it, whilst not uprooting the plants, and when nothing was felt I thought there was little chance unless he surfaced the next morning. That was three weeks ago.

I told my son that I think the snail might of gone with the fish to a new home, which is plausible if it survived. On Sunday morning I took my son down to Pets at Home to buy two shrimp to place into the now very ’empty’ tank. After dinner we released the shrimp he asked if that was the snail in the corner, it was hard to tell as instead of being yellow with black stripes it was a great /black colour, but the horns gave it away. I could not tell if it was dead and the water stirring had disturbed it or it was alive.

We played a little while then checked on our new tenants, the snail now half way up the glass. He must have been hiding in the gravel I said. Two weeks it took that snail to get free from the gravelly grave.

Each time I looked into the tank it was accompanied by shame. So one got the snail out and as gently as one could possibly be – brushed the algae away with an old toothbrush, before placing it back into the tank, once again yellow and black.

So…Have you ever spent twenty minutes scrubbing a snail with a toothbrush?

I have.


ps. the shrimp got out of the tank last night, quite common it seems, I found one quite dried out in the middle of the room.

Woolly Hat…#Poetry#Poem#Prose

Woolly Hat


Woolly hat that’s filled with holes,

woolly hat brand new.

Woolly hat with bags of room,

woolly hat too small.


Woolly hat with bobble top,

woolly hat with none.

Woolly hat with patterns on,

woolly hat just plain.


Woolly hat with ear flaps,

woolly hat with ties.

Woolly hat of creatures heads,

woolly hat with tail.


So simple is the woolly hat,

Nanna knits at home.

For babies that are yet still fresh,

keep them toasty warm.


And yet when do I sit and look,

not a pair in sight.

Except for on the shopping rail,

they’re selling on my right.

A § M 


Reflections 2018 w15

Today the sun came out – enough to make my arms pink, a far cry from the sleet and snow we had a fortnight ago. April is going to be a yoyo month.

Having spent the afternoon in the warmth the sun, I came back in the house rather tired. The first rays of warm sunshine always knock me out and sap my energy, so I posit a hypothesis that one is conditioned by the environment one lives in.

When the sun comes out it dehydrates me, it burns my skin – leaving it dry and brittle.

The dehydration leaves me with a constant thirst.

I sweat a lot, creating a damp environment around my body (I know not pleasant).

I naturally seek shade.

I, on walks, have occasioned to soak ones feet in a river, stream, or lake.

Now lets look at my natural environment – Stoke on Trent.

We have on average 7-10 days of rain each month. However on the months of the Highest  average temperature we also have the Highest amount of rainfall. Cloudy days are not recorded. Rain/cloud cover is a good chunk of our weather system.

Therefore Stokies could quite possibly be Hydro-powered, and that is the reason for my energy sap when in the sun.

Supermarket Window… #Poem#Poetry#Prose

Supermarket window

I sit high above the path below,
warm by wall of glass.
Turn away from Friday shop,
from busy I do shy.

The others yet to cross the tills,
to reach this finish line.

Down below the wind it blows,
it dances and it swirls.
Unnoticed round the legs it plays,
of people passing by.

They wrap up well from biting cold,
though rushing for the time.

Children play in pile of leaves,
like children of the past.
Never taught this game to play,
when leafy pile tis found.

Laughing with a leafy rustle ,
such a pleasing sound.

The last of autumns golden leaves,
atop of bush of brown.
A faded mat of colours lies,
n’ covers all the ground.
Blackbird catches worms to eat,
it seems they are abound.

Squirrels in the trees they play,
jump from branch to branch.
Doing giant leaps of faith,
when fall it seems is prone.

Bouncing nests of years gone by,
perched on branches end.

And in these twigs and sticks was made,
by bird, twas once called home.
The young have long since been and gone.
And now from nest have flown.

A shoulder tapped,
it’s time to move,
my shoppers now to tend.

A § M

Reflections 2018 w14

The goldfish has moved to a bigger place…

The goldfish in question has been in the family for at least six years, outliving its partner by three years, but it had to go; it had outgrown its home.

This is in stark contrast to the social worker whose I met earlier in the week, he told his story of buying his current home based on the possible future proof-ness so that he can live out his days there, he is only in his late thirties and has no intention of moving again.

Personally I have had two houses, with two ex’s, and I never felt that that was where I would live out my days, it was more of a – I’m here for now. It turned out the relationships where of the same ilk, the others never got to that stage. My current housing situation is the same now.

So have I reached a place of mind that looks forward to setting ‘roots’? No, if anything the urge to constantly move is the strongest, except for a caravan by the sea at Criccieth. Here the scenery moves whilst I stand still.

I don’t know if it’s not knowing who “I” am or where one is heading that leaves the restless feeling or not, but I have heard that if you travel far enough you will eventually meet yourself coming the other way.

As for the old home of the goldfish, the water in the tank has been 75% changed, plant substrate added, gravel reused, a new filter and plants added. Next week when my son has his sleep-over we will fetch a couple of shrimps, then a couple more the fortnight after. In five weeks time there should be a small lawn in the tank and we will fetch some fish, a small shoal of minnows I think, or platties.

The tank looks good with the plants in, but empty. I have missed the sound of gravel being spat at the glass for a meal, or the large splashing if that did not work, returning to the top right corner to stare me out until I got the message.

Yeh, my fish talked to me.

So much for the 30 second memory theory.

Reflections 2018 w13

One does not know how we got there but at the B-WELL group it was decided we needed a picture of a tree to have turned into a jigsaw, one that represents a persons journey through life…The initial idea was simple enough.

A painting of a tree.

Somewhere along the line I was named the ‘resident artist’, as such you would have thought one would know when to not get involved. Alas, one has to yet learn this.

I piped up that as it was a jigsaw maybe having words of empowerment would work, as the person doing the jigsaw would be consciously looking for that word. I for one keep repeating a word over and over when looking for one, whether that be a word search or having text in a jigsaw. So it could work like a mantra.

So here we have the simple idea of a tree with words around it.

Not quite.

The more one thought about it the more I found the idea ‘fake’. Maybe it’s being in a very long trough of depression sqewing my thinking or it is just the artist in me, but it seems that the tree could have a much bigger symbolic meaning, that it should be true reflection of the reality of life.

At this point I do not even know if the tree is even going to be the focal point of the picture.