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Scented candle!

The fuel is in its flame and it illumines the room,

My thoughts are of yesteryear,of centuries past,

Oh,we tend to look back in its atmosphere,

This Scented Candle,this fuel to the eyes,

This soft glow ,this Supermarket trolley filler,

This acquisition from the non food has more value now than some of their produce,

It’s sell by date isn’t known,and ,like its price,is not known to me.

Why,it not a market leader,it’s not ideal home,but somehow,it’s my thought magnet ,

As the damp air mixes with the canine breathe of my pets,it’s a comfort before the test of bed,

As electric lights,so bright and forthright are switched off,I linger in the scented light,

I wonder if I should allow it to glow for a while ,to soothe me,to touch my soul,

Such a simple thing a candle,but just a perfect thing too,

My sister used to have them in her home,her home that she put together on her own,

She would make her candles,make her curtains,make her cloths,

Make make make,

She would make do and mend,

.as the math and the flame exist tighter,so to my memories of people in my past who used candles exist tighter ,

As the scents of us all are remembered,this scented candle acts as an emblem for my memory tonight and it soothes me so I won’t extinguish it’s flame ,but allow it to burn bright ,

With it,the memories of my sisters candles will burn too,and I will allow it to touch my heart.

Stay burning sweet candle,sweet scent of the night.



Heavy eyes from miles and miles of movement,

Stimulus of sounds clattering around in my pulsating head,

Turn right,turn left,watch that bend,sat nav driving you around the bend,

So ,tiredness descends upon you ,and physical activity forsakes you .

“Everyone is tired”,shouts common sense from the passengers side,

“Why yes,you chime”,and so we are ,and so we are.

Tiredness ,like a contagion is no respecter of people,it doesn’t single the good from the bad,it just is .

You are in a state of tiredness and you want to escape it ,to rejuvenate ,to recharge ,to energise yourself .

Is there any hope for tiredness,?

Are we destined to become more so with advancing age?

Is more sleep a solution.?

As I write these questions,I don’t know ,I really don’t,

But maybe ,rather than being a state that people descend into ,its just a bye product of life and no more,

As a boy,I remember the men returning from their shifts down the clay pit ,I saw the abject fatigue on their faces,that brutal tiredness where they struggled to carry their crib bags after their 12 hour shifts,

Now ,we get tired from looking at a screen for 8 to 10 hours,from meetings,from dial in conference calls et al,

We get tired from the daily commute ,from the existence of just being in the life race,

Tiredness is also our alert mechanism.

“Don’t drive tired”, say the signs upon the motorway gangtree.

So,we try to sleep off our tiredness in an effort to be in the centre of something ,and the weekend becomes a “catching up on our sleep ” thing.

But my tiredness is never that ache that I have heard in voices over the years,wether in person ,or on the telephone,it’s never that tiredness with life,with everything,no,I’m one of the lucky ones.

I’ve known and observed people who are just tired of life and I’ve shed many many tears for them.So tiredness comes in different vessels,in different manifestations,

Let’s spare a thought to make life just that bit more bearable to those who are tired of life,and listen to them for a while,laugh with them for a while,cry with them for a while.

My tiredness,my “don’t drive tired” can be solved by sleeping and that makes me one of the lucky ones,

Spare a thought to those who arnt so lucky,

Spare of a thought to their family members who mourn them perhaps decades after they leave them.

Evening Walk.

Not exactly a walk on the wild,more like roads called forestside,

Dogs ,hot during the day,need to play ,to smell,to sniff,to exist,

People stop and say hello,but to admire the canines,the boys ,

I just nod or say good evening and “it’s cooler now”,

Passing number 52 where a for sale board is fixed to the boundary wall,

Where tHe ambulance parked a couple of months ago to take the owner to hospital,

I miss her knowing smile from her garden tending,her routine spoilt by a fall,a fall from life,

Now,walking on,I say hello to Mr Grey,ask after his wife,his son ,and himself,

Past visits to teach his son more than 20 years ago come flooding back:”May,whereHave the years gone”,our power ballad chimes inside our hearts,

Our knowing smile,that knowledge that Mrs Grey was the salt of the Earth lady who didn’t deserve to be struck down with dementia,and Mr Grey ,that hard working guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly.There isn’t fairness,is there.?

My dogs,sniff their favourite tree,their routine investigating the bushes at the intersection of the B 3081 .

Some say it’s therapy this dog walking thing,others know it’s part of being a dog owner,I know that I just do it because I’m me .

I’ve walked dogs for years and years,I’ve always found that people warm to them ,even if they might be aloof at times,or otherwise engaged.

Evening walks are always fun,they don’t always spring up many surprises,but we must never underestimate the lasting benefit of just walking,nothing more,nothing less.

Thank you.


I had two views of a secret,neither really explained the other,

They tossed around in my mind,behind the cerebral hemispheres ,

Those sound bite impressions,those ,ssh”don’t tell anyone”.

For those minutes in secret land,in my personal neverland,I froze.

As night can’t be day,but where my emotional equator lies,I detect the meaning.

If meanings were clear,then secrets would be Lear,but meanings aren’t clear,

As words in a salad of sincerity ,tossed in life’s direction bury our clandestine,

Our resistance is futile,our exposure to our internal secrets multiply with age,

So,are secrets impressions?can impressions be secrets?

Oh,how the plot thickens,as light follows the previous darkness,we think we know.

We think we know so much,and yet we know a little.

These are my impressions from my cortex,on this duo sweet secret .

Colours in music.

When first I heard the contrasting tones ,the colours of the building blocks of the music of the Western classical structure as a child,it struck me that the order and symmetry ignited an excitement that has stayed with me from boy to man.Its maybe not so much of a gift as a sensitivity a leaning you could so and almost a longing.

Wether reflected in the Baroque keyboard compositions,or choral works ,down to the early ensemble orchestras of the period from 1685 right up to the classical period,my senses were ignited and satiated by these pieces.Being award of these composers is one thing,but appreciating them for the colours they show in their music is another.As music education is now under threat by the sheer weight of forces put upon hard pressed educational and cultural organisations,I wonder just how exposure to music will continue in quite the same way as in other generations.

As music ,on the one hand,appears everywhere within our society ,it’s roots can sometimes be forgotten.Like the internet is everywhere now ,apart of the connected life’s of all of us,it might not have had the affect for good that Sir Tim Burners Lee had envisaged when he invented it.While children have an array of music from which to chose from,the culture that they find themselves in ,the pressures to be part of a group of consuming can rob them of the breathe of music ,and it’s history .Its possible that the great masters could be completely closed off to people in a generation because music isn’t taught ,or made available to others.

Because music to me ,is a fusion of modes,a structure of appeal,it seems vital that we u lock them ,gaining insight into how they work because if we don’t,we lose out on the artistic thread that binds of music,the puzzle as it were the inner meanings of what our ears receive and then our mind interprets.

Just as colours can be nuanced ,like the shades of green surrounding our sight lines,so to ,our music has so many subtle textures,it has a dynamic range which takes us into unchartered waters where a colour Bermuda Triangle exists to many,causing intellectual panic,and emotional flight.Oh for a little explanation from a kind Pedagogue to help us navigate our way ,making the strings of the Bach string concertos amplify in our minds,the Haydn symphonies glow in our heart as it were.Why just a little explanation of the structure of musical forms can draw us to these vistas that we might have thought never existed.When the explanations ,let alone the exposure is gone,then where will the heritage be .I fear that it might belong in the hallowed quarters of the cloisters of our prestigious independent schools,far from the deprived provinces and estates of our living population,our folk with access to You tube that promises so much but doesn’t explain ,let alone instruct.

As with all appreciation in art and music,it has to start with a seed of creativity,but that seed has to be planted,rooted in the ground of established knowledge and understanding,so to music has a creative seed that started not in the sixties with the Beatles or with the birth of rock and roll,but it began centuries ago .To quote Paul MaCartney,it took a visit to a symphony concert where he heard the Purcell Trumpet for the first time to ignite in him a love to incorporate these musical colours into the modern genre of the time and it became an integral transitional phrase in Penny lane that we all view now as a musical standard,but it’s seed was traced back into the music of the Baroque era.

As many other examples exist because of the sheer volume of compositions down through the centuries,it needs ,to me,at least,explanation ,or it will become lost in the mists of time.

So,in my conclusion,I’m grateful for the depth of explanation that I was taught I hope that I’ve had a very small part in passing in that explanation to others.

Music in the mind!

As a child,I have felt the affects of music in my mind,asking questions in the form of phrases to inhabit my perceptions of my world.Music ,that constant friend in the spheres of my existence,living and breathing and moving.It was the movement,expressed in those elements that enchanted me throughout my childhood before language or the written word.

Oh,those violins from my favourite symphony of the classical masters,pastoral and penetrating,gushing into every crevice of my consciousness.If I were ever aware of why it has,then maybe that might cast too much of an intellectual shadow on the feeling,diminishing it .Its always been,maybe it was encouraged by sincere people,by the primary teachers who wanted to expose us to an orchestra via the school gramophone machine,but,to me,it was more of a sonic journey ,an oddessy of discovery that Homer didn’t feel inclined to tell about.

Back then,I didn’t know why ,I didn’t know the difference between Bach and Beethoven ,I just knew that I was sensitive to these vibrations.Throughout my life,I have always shared with those in my life to the best of my ability my love of the art of music.That love,at times,bordering on addiction,has had its moments of frustration,but I always return to the simplest pleasures of listening to these symphonies from my infant exposed masters and relish them.

If I have inspired my pupils and those that have known me ,then I am touched,but I return to my latent appreciation that maybe I was born with.That circumstance of sensitivity to sound is me I suppose.Today,at my time of existence,I extend my maturity on a backwards journey in search of that relish ,that excitement of sound ,of melody,of harmony,and I want to use my mind to transfer to the place in that little Cornish primary school when first I heard Beethoven ,Bach,and Elgar.

My personal reunion ,not tarnished by complicated analyse,will be a joy of joys and a resting place for my musical mind this morning.


Shards of Pottery found in the depths of the deep,

Like broken pieces of memory,lacking definition and shape,

Shards of broken glass,like words said and received ,

Penetrates the emotions,the impulses,the pulses,

But Shards have different meanings ,it injects feelings by the mere sound of the word.

The Shard,you know,that building in London ,standing tall in its peak overlooking the capitals skyline,doesn’t seem to cut into feelings,making us bleed.

But fragments in the form of shards affect us if we are imprisoned by our own sensitivities.

Ive been imprisoned by my sensitivities and although I might attempt to hide it,

My own sensitive shards are always there,they always have been.

Whatever others might think of the reasons,I know that the reasons are true to me,

I know that the shards of emotional damage have been administered to me probably as a child from people who had also been victims,and so the cycle continues.

Maybe,those fragments have been administered to many others,but just as shards of broken glass don’t affect the person with the mining boots,but ,to the person who is bare foot,the shards cut deep deep deep.

So,the person with the equipment ,a stable family,a loving framework,why those shards of emotional glass affects them,but doesn’t destroy them,doesn’t paralyse them.

Thus ,the power of these shards,these fragments depends on their environment .

So,our fragments,our Achilles heel.If you are able to cope,then you are lucky,mo more,mo less.

Remember those not so lucky if you will,and try not to be cruel to their predicament.

That is all from me .

Thank you.


Motion danced with revolutions of the internal combustion engine ,

My mind ,like the four cylinders of an engine,fuelled by thought,particles of memory,

Pistons and valves in my brain,pushing ideas away,inviting ones to explain,

My ignition ,turned off after a long journey wonders where it has been,

My thought NAV beckons me to take the third exist,but then I take the wrong thought,and do a U-Turn.

Oh,my brain has objective navigation ,it performs these tasks without conscious thought,

It memorises p ast journeys,past life days,past experiences,filtering them in my postscript ,my recapitulation,

My mind remembers the journeys it takes ,but my heart stores the pains of the day in its own receptacle,

Tomorrow,like today,will have its own postscript.

I’ve turned my ignition off now,and my engine will be lifeless,impotent,devoid of thought,of impetus,of pain,of conscious ambition,fore it will be turned off.



It’s something we all think that we can do,

It’s something we all want to be afforded to us,

It’s something that can’t be touched,possessed,inherited,

It’s something that we could take for granted,

It’s something ,nay ,it’s everything,but it’s intangible,

It’s something that isn’t on a balance sheet,

You don’t get a GCSE in it,

It’s something that is rarer in life as I observe now,

It’s something we can’t neglect,

It’s something to mourn when a good listener is no more,

It’s something that I don’t read that much on memorial seats,

Harry Maddock,devoted family man,honest and true,but listening isn’t mentioned.

It’s something I wonder often,I do,you know.

So,I reckon that it should be on a memorial seat as it might hit the spot so to speak.

I’m listening to Beethoven now ,soaking up the silences in between the notes.

What other quality would you trade ,or what possession would you give up?

Maybe you wouldn’t !

I can think of many things to trade for the title:Good Listener.

What you think you know!

Can your mind play tricks?You know,you think that your thoughts about issues are pretty clear ,almost set in stone that you would stake your life on some of your opinions,but I challenge myself sometimes,Now,I can’t really do that to you because how could I tell what your thinking,If I could,then I would be you,No,I reject this ,this judgemental attitude in favour of looking at myself.

Some things we just have to know in order to give our life stability,meaning if you like.For example,the knowledge that if you put the wrong fuel in your car it won’t go ,or,if you start your engine,it will cause great damage.Or,if you eat more calories than you burn through existence or exercise,you will gain weight.Those two are concrete examples to me and clearly are what I think are objective facts.

Turning to the subjective ,I want to write about other opinions that form in our minds even though we might be unaware of them,that become part of our fabric of opinion almost if you like.Sometimes these opinions only really matter to us but matter they do.At this point,I have to mention some of my subjective thoughts about art .You see,I enjoy art very much ,have had exposure to great art over my life,and have my opinions that have been formed over time through the prism of my mind.As I look at different pieces and compare them with others that I have also seen,my mind tends to flow towards the subjective rather than the objective.Now,I know that many folk struggle with the concept of “modern art” preferring to anchor their appreciation firmly into the camp of “the masters” of the historical periods.While my love for these periods is likewise,it has never got stuck there and I get just as much pleasure from a. certain 20th century work as I do from a renaissance one.When it comes to opinion,I prefer the subjective one in art because it enables conversations about the pieces without the tick box objective standard that marks out the attitude that unless certain criteria are met within the work,then it has to be rejected.

Many years ago,I visited Malaga,to stay with a friend at that time.He wasn’t aware that Malaga was the birth place of Picasso,but was pleased that he could take me to an exhibition of his earlier works .These were before the artists explorations into cubism and the brutalist art that was engendered after the Second World War.As I viewed the works with my friend ,I could see that he was very surprised,even taken aback by the classical natures of these drawings.Some of them were in the style of the early masters ,devoid from his later manifestations when he would live in Paris,To me ,Picasso was an outstanding artist who could rival in drawings ,the medium of oils and water ,even other classical exponent.It was that the world that he lived in affected him to express himself in cubism,very much like the world affected Salvatore Dali too.

So,opinions as I started this muse ,are certainly a tinder box ,especially where art is concerned.While I have to say that my friend at that time didn’t change his view of the later works of Picasso,it did surprise him to witness those sketches and pencil drawings that showed the young man to be able to draw anything he chose..He chose ,as an artist,to express himself in the way he did.

Yesterday,one of our greatest ever artists of the contemporary genre of singing,had his paintings auctioned for charities that were always dear to his heart.Many works were from the modern era,and his collection ,carefully appreciated and treasured by him over the years,added up to many millions of pounds.It never surprised me that George Michael had those sensitivities as I felt he sang with an expression that cut through the business that at times didn’t understand him.

Whilst I recognise that putting the wrong fuel type into a car spells disaster,the brush stroke that shapes the mind also affects the inward too and the lines from the light also comes from the shadows.Art fuses light and embraces the shadows .Its angles can be right and left hand ,but they can be scaline ones too.

If art reflects life ,or the observances of the artists affect their expressions,then maybe we could be one minded to their works ,looking at what is there,but also why it’s there.

What I think I kniw about the expressive arts is very much subjective ,but like great musicians and artists,they are all objective experts in their craft ,it’s just their mode of expressivecomes from the deepest reaches of their minds and we maybe owe it to them to exert more than a cursory glance.

So,in conclusion,the recipients of the monies raised from George Michaels art collection might be struggling artists of underprivileged children.Although these charities are,by their very nature,different,they underscore the personality of the patron of them George Michael whose talent in life,gave hope to so many,and now,in his death,is continuing to breath hope to so many people who so desperately need it.

Thank you for your attention.