Monthly Archives: August 2018


That steady pace through forest,with snapping twig and branch is oh so addictive.You hear a sound to the East:Maybe it’s a Fox,a deer,or a badger.You hope it is,for you love in silent sharing with the animals whose residence they gladly share with you.

Although your thoughts are more akin to the hustle and bustle of life,as you walk,as your cadence settles to the beat of their cycles,you start to penetrate that outness that life is,those surface things that must be attended too,Time moves you,and as you move deeper into the forest,your perception of your own issues changes,you relax into a space that resides underneath yourselves.Like the parts of a string quartet,the Cello and the Viola,you realise that they are always there,those parts of yourselves,but you don’t have time to attend to them as much because your are so so busy with the immediate matters.

Forests,Wether Natural or manmade all have the power to heal us of our mental stresses to a degree.It is such a privilege to live near them,and I always love the sounds of voices,of families,of people,like me,with their dogs,enjoying them.To me,they suck you in to their special aura and they had ve a safeness to them that defies their size.Yes,they are organic,subject to change,but the nature of the change is never irrational,never so sudden as to cause us trauma,

My pace ,although not fast,is brisk enough to catch the breeze as I go around the corner towards the river crane as it cradles my local forest.It is a friend to so many our local forest and while the electrical pylon transmits it’s energy,the where healing power of our forest is a giant among feel good friends.Its was a friend to my son when was a child,firstly with me on our bikes,then ,when he was a teenager,to him as he walked ran and cycled through its pathways,where he found healing for his life.So,our forest becomes the perpetual friend of so many in what is known as our new town here in Dorset.

My strides take a predictable turn these days,my cadence ,not perfect,but sometimes interrupted veering on the plagal pastoral.Its a gift from Mother Nature,a natural resource,a local gem ,and one that i savour.


Bank holiday .

“Are we nearly there yet,are we nearly there yet”,rang out in the family car of the Andrews as they navigated their way down from the Black Country towards their holiday destination,Cornwall.Their children,bored and frustrated by the constant traffic that moved at a snails pace through the spine of the country didn’t quite get that they weren’t the only family who were “getting away for that final weekend” before school started again.If they were the only solitary ones,then maybe their unison Timmy Mallet chant wouldn’t have to be on repeat .Their parents,Bob and Jill,far from fitting the stereotype,loved the children that they felt privileged to adopt ,covering them in a blanket of care and as many of life’s good things as they possibly could.

As Bob Andrews struggled to drive after an accident at work a few years ago,it was down to Jill to be chauffeur.She didn’t mind because she loved Cornwall and she loved the way they all seemed to relax more away from the city and all the pressures of school and work.Bob,although physically not always in the best of shapes,was a fine man,a man with the biggest of hearts and lovely brown eyes to match,He still amazed her even now the way that he could listen to her and to their children.They were their pride and joy and seeing them grow up meant so much to Jill because she had known the loss of her parents as. Teenager,and nothing was more important to her than family.Yes,her job had its pressures,as all nursing can,but she loved the caring aspect of it,and didn’t allow it to deflect from her joy of being a mum.

“Are we nearly there yet dad”, came the dulcet sounds of their boy soprano son Jake,quickly followed by the same refrain from Phill,the baby of their family.”No boys,not quite,but mum is the best of chauffeurs and is really helping us to make good progress.

Bob smiled at Jill,knowing that his care of her boys meant so much to her,and as they hit the M5 ,they were approaching the final stage,passing along the Somerset roads,through Taunton,then into Tiverton and Biddeford,and finally to their destination,Bude.It had been their favoured spot ,a place where their shared memories were positive,healing almost,and they loved that their boys just couldn’t wait to get there.

Granted ,the repeated refrain of “Are we nearly there yet”,was serious childish Jokeying,but to Bob and Jill,it was their family life.Families come in all shapes and sizes,and this family was ,to those who didn’t know ,pretty normal But there is no such thing as a “normal” family,it just doesn’t exist.

Both of their boys had mothers unable to cope with life,but they would know that their children were looked after by Jill and Bob.They were loved ,and,by now,they were nearly there.

Oasis memory number 4:

As Marjorie sat on that bed bolt upright like a ramrod,she paused for a moment because this reality,the nature of the challenge in making this life changing move now confronted him.She just hadn’t really understood what it might mean because coming to Cornwall wasn’t just moving to another part of Britain,it was like a completely different country.For seemed like hours,she sat there,oblivious to the time,only hinted at by the dark clouds of an early evening Cornish Drizzle.If Mrs Jasper had more I sight,she might have gently knocked on her door to summon her for dinner but she wasn’t that type of person.Not standing in ceremony,she banged in her door:”Dinners ready ,you’ll ave to cum down or it will spoil”.Marjorie,composed herself,placed her cutting on the bed,thinking that she must ask for a vase as soon as she got downstairs.

Now,the Fayre on offer ,now famed throughout the country and protected under EU law as an authentic recipe,was “a Pasty”.To Marjorie,brought up in South London,it seemed liked a strange shaped pie.As she searched around for cutlery,she observed Mrs Jasper pick her pasty up with her hand and it seemed like a medieval banquet to her and was contrary to every table manner that she had been taught since a child.Her search for her trusty knife and fork was to no avail and because she was famished because she hadn’t eaten all day,she swallowed her pride and took her first bite.Like a frightened child ,she didn’t fully taste anything as the first one was a taste of hard rough pastry.Because she was so hungry,she persisted in her victuals,and as if to grapple with this thing that seemed to morph into another culinary manifestation.Her early reticence for this dish was quickly replaced as the potatoe meat,suede,onion and gravy fused with the masticated marinade juices ,and that was her hooked on the staple diet of the Cornish at that time,and,to a large extent,remains such today.

“You sum ungry maid”.At first,Marjorie tried to concentrate on this peculiar dialect that is the mangled Cornish version of the English language,but ,no matter how hard she concentrated,it remained an enigma to her.To her,the English language was sacrosanct,but these people seemed to take delight in blending every vowel and consonant together until you can’t make head nor tail of what is being said.Now,to most of us brought up around this dialect ,it’s a normal thing,it’s what everyone sounds like,but to a visitor and especially a highly educated one,it was an absolute affront to the mother tongue.

As Mrs Jasper continued to prattle on,Marjorie had to admit defeat in ever comprehending what was being said,choosing to devour her home made rice pudding.Marjorie might have had profound issues with the way the Cornish spoke,but her love of their food would be a constant throughout her life with her family being coaxed to indulge in her favourite dishes whenever they came down on holiday.

Mrs Jasper had her issues with life,and was vocal ,as many of the Cornish are,in her opinions.These diatribes seemed to last for hours leaving Marjorie quite exhausted and totally confused by the names and activities of the local Cornish clans and their quirky ways.Retiring to bed,with Vase in hand,Marjorie placed her rose cutting in her hand,placing it religiously into the glass receptacle.Her thoughts,though private in many ways ,might have resembled many a would be educator during this period.

It would be Sunday tomorrow and this Methodist village observed the Wesley traditions with zeal bordering on fanaticism.There seemed a strong desire to rest and her bedtime routine of reading ,for once ,took a back seat as slumber awaited .

Memory drop 3!

From the point of leaving her home in Blackheath,Marjorie started out teaching in a small school of around 120 pupils in the clay district of St Dennis,Cornwall.Like most areas just after the Second World War,it was a time of rationing ,coupled with high unemployment.She noticed the depressing clay village had high unemployment ,it was covered in a white clay dust that permeated the cloths on the washing lines of a Monday.Like the Cornish accent that she found incomprehensible,the sheer affect of being around the oftentimes feral population was quite a culture shock to her.From her days at university with the trappings of books and assorted talks ,debates and musical appreciation societies,she now found herself literally at the coal face of the proletariat.

Her accommodation had been arranged for her by the board of education:Just a room in the form of lodgings in the house of an elderly Mrs Jasper.As she alighted from the bus that took her from St Austell to the village she asked the driver if he knew of the street.His reply,garbled and gruff,took her a while to fathom,and she asked again but with still no real understanding as to the exact location.It seemed like an odd thing to her that the locals didn’t really want to communicate to strangers and she could see that it would be a tough road ahead.Clutching at her suitcase in her left hand and with her rose cutting in the other,she walked along the only real street in the village where she hoped to find the post office.There ,or so she thought,would be someone who would know the address of Mrs Jasper.

As she turned the door handle ,there was a bell above the threshold and it dinged a bright sound that seemed almost out of context with the dreary and depressing accent of the people that she had met.There was only one other in the post office,so Marjorie waited her turn,thinking as was always the case in London that the person would buy what they needed and be off right after.For what seemed like hours,the lady and the postmistress held forth about so many things that Marjorie could neither understand or really appreciate as by now she had had enough for one day .It must have been gone 3:30,and she hadn’t eaten since early that morning.After the customer drew breath ,Marjorie’s cleared her throat loudly in an attempt to get her attention.Still,it seemed that the locals were extremely thicker skinned,and to Marjorie, quite rude.But eventually,the postmistress almost in a derisory manner asked what she could do.Marjorie explained that she was new to the area and that she was trying to locate the following address .As she did,the lady in front of her turned around,looking right into her eyes and said:”I’m Mrs Jasper and if your Miss Alcock,then I thought you was comin ‘morrow!Marjorie was relieved that she had ,at least,found her new landlady but somehow the lines of communication hadn’t quite got off to a good start.Anyway,all was well that ended well,and Mrs Jasper asked her to come along with her to her place of lodging.

Mrs Jasper talked non stop which sort of suited Marjorie as she felt that she couldn’t really contribute too much to the conversation as she spoke ,to her,a foreign language.Marjorie did marvel at the sheer physical strength of her landlady who picked up her suitcase as if if were a feather duster.She even asked if she could carry Marjorie’s rose cutting,but the delicate sackcloth ,soaked in water and tied up in string was Marjorie’s invention to protect it and she didn’t feel that Mrs Jasper would quite get why it had to be handled so delicately.

“Yer ’tis”,was the exclamation from Mrs Jasper as they reached her home.It wasn’t an imposing house,more like a miners cottage she thought but with a little more space.

Once inside,Mrs Jasper showed her to her room at the top of the stairs.Marjorie was a tall women and Mrs Jasper alerted her to the beams that seemed to suffocate you.This was so different to her parents home in Blackheath,a shock really.Sitting on the bed ,clutching her cutting ,a tear ran down her cheek,and the realisation that she might not really be able to do this thing,this teaching in a poor area in the back of beyond.As she starred at her cutting,the words of her long departed dad rang in her ears:”Marjorie,girls should grow up to be homemakers and mothers,men won’t find a bookworm attractive”.She clutched her rose cutting and dreamed of it ,one day ,being part of her Wedding bouquet,and her tears fell some more.

To be continued.


Oasis memory drop number 2.

From the scent of a rose first propagated in 1930 in Blackheath,South London,then transplanted to the clay village of St Dennis,Cornwall,my memory drop is expounded.It came to me on Sunday last during a period of total inactivity but with the wi Dow’s opened and the breeze transporting a scent from my next door neighbours.Wether the scent had existed before,I know not,I only know of this occasion,and it cradled me ,took me up into itself and transported me back to the telling of this story.

It could well be a true story,the recounting of which was told to me by Marjorie Alcock,then a retired school teacher living in St Austell,but the headmistress If St Dennis Primary school during the post war period .As I said,I have no reason to doubt her word as to the authenticity of the story,the details being clearly expressed and ,although tragic in nature,also contain romance and loyalty that would enhance the character of many a beau today.

At the time,Marjorie was a young women,fresh from university,eager to shape and mood the young minds in her charge.She hadn’t ever fully intended to move from her childhood home of Blackheath,but it seemed that this opening might provide her with the exposure she craved and she took the plunge and made the gigantic move at that time of over 300 miles to Cornwall .

Her worldly possessions were few and far between at that times,but the rose cutting ,freshly harvested from her mums garden at Blackheath was guarded by armoire along with her suitcase as she boarded the train at Paddington.Although the cutting,dimunitive and rather puny didn’t appear to be able to survive such a journey,Marjorie had absolute confidence in it.So much so,that she held it all the way down to Cornwall.Wether it was foolhardy,or just youthful exuberance,Marjorie believed the cutting,its lustre,colour and scent would bring her good luck throughout her life.

Well,dear reader,as the oasis drop develops,we might assume that the small rose cutting might have quite a large role to play in the u folding of our story,and this will become apparent as my Oasis memory fully bloomed on Sunday last with what I recalled becoming a story within a story that I gladly share in the pages of my blog posts.

Thank you for your patience as I recollect the details of these events.


Oasis memory.

Cut adrift from the drab and boring,beneath the shopping lists of memories dos,my Oasis memory resided.As if cut off from my normal reality,I grasped it,drew up its moisture as if from a well.It wasn’t easy to draw it up,it being buried deep into the humid of my subconscious.If I hadn’t have been so indolent today,replete with my total lack of activity,I would have missed it.Redundancy was my tutor as the mirage of the scene was presented to me.Not content with just observing the memory water,I set about collecting it in a glass vial,so convinced I was that I had to grasp it.

It is never easy to admit that you can find a personal treasure of the mind by just the sole process of complete inactivity,but that was how it transpired today.Like a gift ,like a chance happening,an enormous slice of luck,I drank this memory from a parched,impotent cerebral state and I drank it in one large gulp.It completely satisfied my mental thirst,the power of which I can but give no thanks,no reciprocal response but I can treasure it,I can retell it.

However,before I retell it completely ,I must protect it,like an otter in a river,I will guard my memory ,dress it in finery,synaptic silk,embroidered in all the careful stitches to preserve it in perpetuity.You understand dear readers,don’t you that I have to do this,to entrust it’s essence ,to protect it.No,it’s not Clandestine,but it’s precious enough not to be revealed to another who might not appreciate its qualities you see.Its provenance is without doubt,but my naysayers might question the authenticity of the memory ,question wether the event ever took place you see.To elaborate,why would this oasis exist in the mind of a non published writer,thinker or Philosophical mind.?That strikes me as fair ,not in the cynical sense,but in the nature of intellectual honesty.

So,dear reader,I’m going to drip feed my oasis memory from its vial one drop at a time until it is complete.By this recollection,I make no boasts of comparisons with anyone else,as I’m very new to literature,to this art,but my passion and sincerity is true.Am I authentic?Well,I know others that probably more so,but I know that my mental moisture this afternoon was real to me and maybe after the first drop,extracted from my vial will intrigue you to read more.

Here is my first memory drop ,it began with the scent of a white rose ,propagated in the year 1930.

I’ve put the stopper of my memory vial on now,but tomorrow I will take out another drop of this memory that ,I hope will attract your curiosity too.

Thank you for your kindness.


It’s late!

It’s late for me ,it is ,it is ,it is,

No midnight treats and music cocktails here,

It’s late for me,it is,it is it is,

Eyelids heavier than an hour before,

Telling their forlorn departure from this cerebral tor,

It’s late for me,it is,it is ,it is,

Lost count of the times I’ve been clumsy today,

Maybe I’ve got to many thinking papers on my plate,

It’s late for me,it is,it is,it is,

Oh ,it can’t be helped,this fatigue,this heaviness,

It’s late for me,it is ,it is,

Maybe,just maybe,it’s late for you too.

Observing Pain!

“Will I get better?”

“Why does it hurt so much..?”

“Why me”?

Those cluster questions,

Those endless probes to your soul,

Those stark choices between life and lifelessness,

“When am I going to get out of here”

“Will I go to work?”

“Why me”, repeated!

You should know ,your dad,dad is supposed to know!

You lie ,not because your a bad person,but because your a desperate person!

You wish that it were YOU,yep,You,you the one with the pain,not your child!

So,you know there is pain,you hear it,you are alerted to the machines,the sounds,the smells of pain,oh yes,your a bloody expert on it.

Doctors use Greek words to sanitize pain:They call it Palliative care:such a soft word,a less known word,like an unmanned drone attack.Its not a tank of a word like PAIN.

No,what man ,women,or child doesn’t understand the phrase:”Doctor,can you give me something for the pain”?

Why,life doesn’t go on forever,but Pain that can paralyse us all ,pushing us dense conclusions that Pain is universally hated by all.It is the enemy of the human race and far more so then death itself,it is the pain that many suffer daily ,weekly,and sometimes hourly that creates permanent misery,

As I have observed pain over my life,I now have far more empathy for those that would pursue medications that allows for pain to be diminished in their lives.

Thank you .


Caught short.

Today has highlighted to me the false sense of security as regards weather conditions that I’ve got into of is often the case with me that frequent my local convenience store of a weekend.Over the past couple of months,I’ve got used to dressing for the hot weather conditions ,not even thinking about rain let alone preparing for it.

Well today,I might have been aware of a rain shower in the morning,but this afternoon,I walked up to the store with the dark clouds above me looming ,looking menacing,foreboding.If I got to the store without getting a Drenching,I wasn’t so fortunate in my return journey.While,as previously stated,I was aware of the changing weather ,I have been so used to the hot weather,that it has passed me by as regards any logical preparations.

Now,I understand that so many of my posts of late have either directly or indirectly been about the weather,it was this subtle conditioning of my mind that I found so interesting.You see,in my mind,it was as if the heatwave was still with us,and I was still in the throws of the sweltering hot sunny conditions.

Isn’t it funny how we can get so stuck in a routine and we fail to be conscious of physical changes .In my case,I hadn’t really clocked these changes,had I ?

Quite a silly thing to do,but I wondered how many things we could all do without ever questioning if that is still the best way.I wonder.

Well,I might just have to look out my coat for further visits to the shop.

Thank you.


Waking up.

My eyes detected light before the lids opened,a sort of sneaky peek into the day stirring my curiosity for what might be in store for me.For once,the stimulus wasn’t sound oddly,but the light ,faint and weak,but light nonetheless.It conjured up a sketch in my mind of pictures that I’d seen in galleries ,superimposed unto my mind almost.At that time I thought that it would be good to know if others had the same when they woke up of a morning but the thought passed ,with me return to other things.Those other things didn’t resonate as strongly,didn’t capture my attention as the picture sketches did.

For a good percentage of my life,I have been fascinated by the studies and sketches of artists and when the NG had an exhibition of the sketches of Turner,I was so drawn to them as they told stories of his light sketches .Sometimes,what we think we see isn’t always the reality,but more a perception of reality that we can then process into a workable template of existence,Over the years,as I have sought meanings for things,the whys and the wherefores as such I’ve come to realise that one persons reality is another’s fantasy and each has its merits ,it’s good if you like.However,I’ve always been sensitive if you like to the respect of another’s existence even if I don’t agree with them as these realities are what is fuelling them in the life they have.

As the first light hit me this morning,that is ,before my eyelids opened,I thought of Monet and his use of colour to mesh shapes,meshing life ,freezing it in time almost.We are surrounded on social media with his images of colour and I got to thinking that we could,if we are not careful,relegate their power because they are so freely available.In times past,we would have had to travel to view his art to the far flung galleries in the large cities of the world.Now,with the internet,we all can have access to his vibrancy ,his take of life through art.Light ,even in its sketchy shapes,enlists the imagination in all of us,and what we see isn’t the same as another.Visiting galleries is an experience not just for us as we look the art work,but also the experience of observing others as they do the same.Admittedly,over the years,our galleries in Britain have seen a huge proliferation in the numbers attending from overseas but that is a good thing as it preserves these treasures for all to see.

Now,my eyelids have opened,I’ve allowed more of the objective shapes to take centre stage and fore mostly ,they occupy the present.These levels of consciousness of light allow for a more delicate consumption to me ,like the trickle of water from a leaking tap,we observe it more,we appreciate it more.

So,that was my first thought this morning just before I opened my eyes.

Here is hoping that your day spurs you on to the appreciation of the arts,of the good things in life.