Saturday, 15 July 2017


So, on turning 63. Or three times 21, exactly, as I told people all day. A friend said his dad made a thing of being four times 21. When he was 85. Actually that heartened me - the thought that I could have 21 more years. Before I lost the ability to multiply!And as well as some nice presents of DVDs, a make-it-yourself radio and fruity cider, some unexpected things happened. I took a trip out on my bike, as I often do on a Friday morning, and a particular pen I'd been searching every pen - selling shop for, for 6 weeks since I lost it, suddenly appeared and I bought it quite cheaply. But then on my way cycling home from my health - retaining trip to Hemel Hempstead I noticed some 2p coins on the hard shoulder of a dual carriageway. Now, I'll normally stop for anything over a 10p piece. But when I saw maybe eight or so of these, I was intrigued and stopped. And started collecting. And ended up with 70 2p coins. They're sitting in a little heap on my study chair as I write. 70!The third unexpected thing that pleased me was that as my wife, son and myself headed out for a meal to celebrate yesterday evening, we passed the sweet - faced girl who often serves me in Greggs, and we smiled at each other. And my question is this: should I be, at such an age, just a year less than the age my dad died, be thinking thoughts of purpose, achievement, and destination, rather than celebrating such jolly trivia as a pen, £1.40 and a sweet girl's smile? Or should I, as some would advise, live each day as it comes and be thankful for every small 'gift' just for itself? 
While you're thinking, here's a poem about cycling, just in case the latter option is the right one. And no, I'm not actually a menace on the road. And at least I'm ON the road!

When I’m out on my bike
I can do what I like!
Though the traffic lights change
(they can go through the range!)
well, it’s nothing to me
‘cos I’m out there and free.

When I’m changing my lane,
to the cars I’m a pain,
but I really don’t care
cos I’m happy out there.

Though the cars hoot and blast
while I just whistle past,
It is so not my fault
that they’re jammed at a halt!

They sit in their boxins
all coughing out toxins
I’m "exhausted" but fit - 
O the wonder of it!

While I ride it might shine,
and the world is all mine.
When I ride in the rain,
I’ll just come home again!

Thursday, 6 July 2017


They pass by a deathly and gruesome horror every day, and never notice. The pic is of a bun, about 2 feet across, right by where people queue in Greggs, Watford. Look closely. It has the shape of a face. It has two eyes, one closed, the other squashed down. A nose. An ear. A mouth. It looks just like one of those bodies recovered from peat bogs, murdered and hidden there centuries ago, preserved by the peat. It looks long dead and slightly squashed, just like they do. It's exactly right, down to the fine detail, even the jowls and the shape of the side of the nose. The shape of the lips is perfect. It is the squashed head of a dead person. And people stand for a few minutes right next to it, day by day, and notice nothing. 
What are you standing right next to, and never seeing?


In 3 days time, on Saturday 28th July, I will be exactly the same age my dad was when he died. He was 64 and 2 weeks. It was no age, we all...