Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Take you driving.

Keep on.......

I remember the car – it was a jaguar, old school; leather seats, polished wooden dashboard.

There was not much conversation, a greeting and then settling back and listening to the music and the purr of the engine gliding along the Devonshire lanes. 

I think the music was jazz.

It was night-time, far too late to be hitch hiking and no one else was out on the road at this hour. 

The hedges alongside the lane were thick and high, masking any light escaping from the cottages and the farms.

We were alone.

There may have been a joint passing between those on the front seat, in the back I just stared out into the black.


The second car is an Opal, modern, loaned by the garage.

It’s night-time again, the people in the front seat have been drinking; not too much but more than expected.

They are giggling.

The music this time is Ed Sheeran, one of the three on the back seat recognises it.

Her name is Solange and she is far too young to be hitchhiking this late at night; the driver hardly saw them standing under the lilac tree on the corner by the bridge.

They had been swimming earlier, the evening had surprised them.

 formerly published in The Archives.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

A Caring Society.


This is Greece, 1974; there is an old man walking from his house down to the beach where he has planted courgettes – they are ready to eat and there are tomatoes too. Someone is asleep in a tent that was not there the night before when he stepped out to look at the stars before going to bed. He places a courgette and a tomato in the pan that sits in the grass outside the tent. Two people inside the tent listen to the footsteps as he walks away; they are a little sacred.

This is the city, 2018. The traffic lights change to red and the cars stop. There is a black Land Cruiser, a small grey Clio and a blue estate – possibly a Peugeot; a young woman sits in the Peugeot -she is possibly French. An old man is walking across the road, he needs to get to the other side and for the moment the pedestrian light is flashing and the cars are waiting; perhaps he needs a tomato from the supermarket for tonight’s toast. 
The man’s feet are not happy walking, his shoes are medical and he leans heavily on a stick; the other pedestrians stride across. By the time he reaches the middle of the road the pedestrian lights, designed by experts in the field of human mobility – or not – have changed; the man is stranded and the cars flow past him no longer stopping.

This is Spain, 1967; a young boy is looking up at a paper notice attached to a lamppost; the paper notice has been written by the boy’s mother - she is English, but she has written the note in Spanish. The boy doesn’t understand Spanish and his mother doesn’t a lot but she used a dictionary that she given to her after attending her home-town’s evening class in Spanish For Holiday Makers; the course had been organised by the local authority, and the local authority thought that anyone attending the course should be given a small pocket dictionary. The note tells the boy that someone has lost a library book on the beach and that if he finds it he should take it to the hotel across the road. He won’t find it of course as he is the little boy who has lost it but this is 1967 and people will care.

They cared in 1974 too.

 formerly published in The Archives.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

A Ferry Story.

.............upon a ..........

The track falls through the forest to the river.

There is no bridge.

To cross to the village you must call the ferryman who, most days, sits on the bank below the church.

He may choose to ignore you.

Or he may look at you and wait.

He is waiting for a sign; a gesture of greeting.

Even then he will wait.

If you sit down by the willow that leans out across the water he will stand and step into his boat. 

If you continue to stand, he will remain seated. 

He does not need your money; he is paid by the village to keep it safe.

There are only two ways into the village, across the river at this point or along the mountain road to the north that crosses the ridge and then settles into the narrow valley that leads to the church. The ferryman’s brother waits on this road; to pass him you must pay tribute or be prepared to fight; his reputation is fierce.

The ferryman does not use strength; he relies on guile.

Using a long pole fashioned from the willow tree where you sit he pushes his boat out into the water.

Halfway he stops and looks at you again.

His green eyes match the waters of the river, here at its deepest point.

If you remain seated at this point he will turn round and return to his spot beside the church wall; if you rise and hold his gaze he will continue.

When he reaches the point where the leaves of the willow touch the surface of the water he will stop once more, using his pole to anchor himself in the shallows – too far for you to wade.

He will ask you what you need.

You should tell him.

He will also ask you your name.

You should tell him this.

Then he will name a price.

It may be gold, it maybe a chicken – he alone will decide.

He may ask only for a promise.

Then you can trade.

After that he will push the boat to the shore, invite and help you to step in, collect the gold, or chicken or promise and take you safely to the village side.

For gold or chicken the return is guaranteed; for the promise you will have to speak again.

Do not lie to the ferryman, the waters are deep midway and his green eyes will not weep if you slip at this point.

Do not leave the boat without giving him something.

With gold and a chicken, a hand-shake is enough; if you are travelling on a promise he will ask for your knife.

Be careful not to refuse; the ferryman looks old but he is faster than any man you will ever meet.

And the water never forgets.

 formerly published in The Archives.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019


Back to.....

On Time.
Father Time,
Is on my side.
But waits for no man.
Along with the Tide.
Got the Time?
To read this?
Time will tell.
Killing time; wasting time?

(Half Time)

There’s no time like the present.
A time and a place for everything.
Time for lunch.
Though time is money.
As time is pressing.
And time flies.
A stitch in time then.
‘Cos now,

It’s Full Time.

  formerly published in The Archives.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Certainly a Filler.

straw that broke.....

So, this blog - I write stuff, I stick it on, sometimes someone (me) reads it and the world moves on.

It’s not a big deal.

Some days, I might just leave it like that.

Today is such a day.

  formerly published in The Archives.

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