Retroladytyping …

“Sumer is icumen in …”

No that’s not a misspelling.   It’s from a song written in the 13th Century in, according to Wikipaedia, Wessex medieval English.  Apparently it’s a song which can go on and on and on … for an indeterminate length of time …

This post is born out of a feeling of being all ‘Brexited out’ and wondering if it is permissible to just let things happen around us for a while, instead of endlessly checking up on them to see how they are going.

I’ve chosen the song link, because it’s one that we used to sing at Primary School and it always comes to mind at this time of year.

It’s the first proper post I’ve done for quite a while, apart from a couple of failed attempts and a few which probably weren’t posting, being a litany of whines about my failure to write anything worth opening up the laptop for.  So … what triggered this and why today?

The answer is, in some respects, mundane, boring and unremarkable.  Spring, that’s all.  Today for the first time this year, I took my coffee outside and just observed, listened and absorbed what was happening in our quiet little part of the earth.  Nothing much was apparent – the distant whine of a strimmer, the flapping of washing, the slam of the postman’s van door nearby.  That’s all.  But … it’s spring.

Today, I noticed that there are buds on a shrub which I thought was dead, so stuck into the earth in a corner, mostly because MrP said it ‘might’ do something.      I can’t even remember what type of shrub it is, just that it has survived being torn up to make way for a rockery, seemingly giving up on life.  It was stronger than it looked though.  While we were busy with other things, it was quietly getting on with what it needed to do to show itself, renewed, today.   In a couple of weeks, who knows what it will look like, but it will stay, because, along with me taking my coffee outside for the first time this year, it symbolises spring, hope, strength (having survived being unceremoniously wrenched up and narrowly escaping the garden waste bin) and optimism.

There are enormous changes going on elsewhere at present.  The EU, or our role in it, is being diminished – no scrub that, it’s actually being dumped by us, like I nearly dumped that shrub.  Who knows what will happen, certainly not those who profess to do so.  Uncertainty is the feeling of choice, at least it is for me.  I didn’t want to leave the EU.  I still think the referendum shouldn’t have happened, as we weren’t given an informed analysis of possible consequences.  We still haven’t been and that’s worrying.  Not knowing, due largely,  I feel,  to the mis-mash of media comments and opinions,  is the worst feeling.  I googled “What happens now that article 50 has been signed?”  and the answer seems to be that the BBC anyway, who are supposed to  “inform, educate and entertain” us,   don’t really know, because it’s never happened before.  Fair enough.  So what do we do in the meantime?  Do we worry?

It is reassuring, among all that change, that some things can carry on – on the surface unimportant maybe.  Those few buds on a seemingly dead shrub don’t mean much really.  I know that.  However, to me, in the middle of very worrying times, they show that nature continues to do what it does best, carry on regardless of what is happening.  I don’t remember what that shrub used to look like;  I don’t really remember the days before we joined what was then the Common Market.

Perhaps then I need to do the same as that shrub,  instead of metaphorically digging things up to take a look at how they are doing.  Just sit back, take my coffee outside every now and then, take a deep breath and realise that everything is all right really.  Is that burying my hand in the sand?  Probably, but I’m sick and tired of trying to understand what may or may not happen.  I’m going to sit back and let it all take care of itself for a while, till I decide to take another look.


As I said, this is my first proper post for a while.  I’m going to post it now, without repeatedly amending it and see what happens.  Please be gentle with me.  I may blossom forth at some future point.


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Writer’s block?


This is my third attempt in as many days to write something – anything, which is worth the effort of doing so and, more importantly, worth reading.  But I can’t.  I just can’t.  Several compositions have been attempted.   I’ve taken advice to just sit and write, something – anything, but it doesn’t happen.  Actually it does, but it’s just an outpouring of thoughts in no cohesive order,  grammatically ok, but just plain boring …

What has happened?  I used to find it easy to pour my thoughts out via a keyboard.  It was my way of ordering confusion in an increasingly confused world.  I used to wake in the wee small hours full of ideas and find it easy then, with no distractions, to translate those thoughts into some sort of writing.  No more.  When I wake up in the wee small hours now, I just want to go back to sleep.  My brain switches off.

So much has happened lately:  the terrorist attack in Westminster being the latest.  A few months ago I would have had thoughts and opinions, which I would have written about.  I tried.  I tried several times.  I read other, professional writers, thoughts and opinions.  There were many of those yesterday.  Some I agree with; some I didn’t.  None penetrated my brain enough to produce anything of my own.

A friend, and fellow blogger, yesterday wrote a piece which contained the word ‘happenstance’.  I love that word.  That’s it, I thought.  I’ll write about that word, why I like it, with some examples.  I even woke in the wee small hours thinking of it.  Yes, it’s happened.  I can write again!  Job done.  It didn’t happen.  Well, it did, but it was just a lot of waffle.  Not worth the effort and certainly not worth reading.

This used to be easy.  Any thoughts?  Anyone else experienced this?  Will it go?  Should I keep trying and become increasingly frustrated?  Should I give up, realise I overstretched myself thinking I could do writing thing?  Or what?



Who are you?


I’ve not been here for a while … lack of inspiration, lack of time, my biro being in dire need of a refill … I don’t know, but hopefully inspiration will strike at some point soon.

Meanwhile, from checking my stats, I find that one of my posts, The Special One, is regularly read by an anonymous person in the United States.  I’m glad it strikes a chord with you, but I wondered – why that particular post, why so often and why no comments?

I’d love to know who you are and why you are drawn to it so much.

Let me know, please?



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Tangled words

Complete lack of inspiration and/or ability to assemble words into an interesting, even coherent, piece of writing.  Today a memory popped up on my Facebook page of a blog post I wrote a year ago. …

Source: Tangled words

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Tangled words

Complete lack of inspiration and/or ability to assemble words into an interesting, even coherent, piece of writing.  Today a memory popped up on my Facebook page of a blog post I wrote a year ago. …

Source: Tangled words

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Tangled words


Complete lack of inspiration and/or ability to assemble words into an interesting, even coherent, piece of writing. 

Today a memory popped up on my Facebook page of a blog post I wrote a year ago.   I shall copy and paste it here, together with a link to a post I wrote more recently.  To cut a long story short, I am all out of words, ink, inspiration and need to resort to copying and pasting and relying on links.   Help?

From Facebook

“This popped up as a memory … feeling much the same today. Additionally, to quote a friend, “my word well has dried up.” To quote me in a recent post, “my biro has run out of ink.” I’ve noticed that both posts begin with the same words. The situation is worse than I thought; my word well is completely dehydrated and I still need a new biro.”



God Jul. A Christmas Story    


Sharing this post which was written by a friend.  I wish I had written it.  I love the contrast between the harshness of dementia with the softness of the kissing nurse, the doe and the fawn.  There is always a way to connect with those experiencing even the later stages of dementia.  It  needs understanding and respect for the person within as they are, rather than frustration for what they have become on the surface.  Thank you, Tom, for writing it and reminding me.


What follows is a Christmas story. I have written it for all of the lovely people who read my blog. Thank you all. Wholeheartedly. Tom Tide. ————————…

Source: God Jul. A Christmas Story.

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My biro has run out of ink …


I started this blogging lark, on a whim, just over a year ago, following the example of a friend who lives to write  (at midnight, as all the best writers do).  I’m not sure why I did, other than sometimes it helps to clarify my thoughts by writing (ok, typing) them into some sort of organised, hopefully coherent, order.

However, over the last few weeks, probably months, my metaphorical biro has run out of ink.  I can’t think what to write, how to write it in any case, and most importantly – why to write.  Some of my posts had hundreds (yes, really) of views, some had just a few, but I could guess who those viewers were and they were much valued.  In turn I started following several other bloggers, some of whom I knew, some I didn’t; some have fallen by the wayside;  some favourites I have commented on, always appreciatively, but lately those comments have been deleted, or, to use the word which WordPress use,  trashed.      I never do that, unless comments are offensive, which has only happened once, but some people, apparently, do delete my comments or dismiss them as Spam.  There you go, in the bin.  Spam.   Trash.  To be forgotten.  Pity there was no feedback.

Anyway, to return to the main point, my biro has run out.  Ideas have dried up.  I really don’t know why.  Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the lack of light (the Winter solstice is very soon, so there’s hope on the horizon); maybe nothing much has happened.  Scratch that last thought, maybe it’s because so much has happened.  2016 has been a year to remember, a turning point in the world’s history perhaps.  Is that why I can’t think of anything; there are too many things?

In my own life, everyday stuff keeps on keeping on.  I have written about those, but am now struggling  to relate them in a way which others who are not familiar with my life might find worth reading.   My life is pretty ordinary really; my thoughts are those which others have, but don’t feel the need to describe while sitting in front of a laptop.  I felt that need.  I don’t now.  My biro is empty.  It was only a cheapie from a multi-pack, but even so, it was my biro and I shall miss it.

One more thought:  maybe I need one of those multi-coloured jobs, which I have always wanted, but never had, along with a mini-Cadbury chocolate bar machine.  Not long till Christmas … just saying …






The Dementia side of my trip to Birmingham……


An insight into how a person living with dementia copes with things most of us take for granted.  She is incredible.  Written by a lady with the pen name  Which Me am I Today?  She has early-onset dementia, despite which, or probably because of, she  is doing an incredible amount to raise the profile of dementia, what it means in everyday life and what others can do to mediate its effects.  Her other blog posts are well worth reading for anyone with an interest in dementia.  They should be required reading for the authorities who think that because she is coping, their job is done.  It’s not. 



Some people ask me how can I possibly do all the things I do on my own when I have dementia… today I thought I’d give you the dementia side of the trip I described yesterday……….. I received the…

Source: The Dementia side of my trip to Birmingham……

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Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye …


… but maybe it is …

RIP Leonard Cohen – gone to The Tower of Song

Today I woke to the news that the poet, author and musician, Leonard Cohen died yesterday at the age of 82.  He has been referred to by those who don’t know, as the singer to “slit your wrists to,” beloved of depressed students in the 1970s.  I disagree.  His music, to me, was music which helped, helped when feeling sad, helped when feeling contemplative,  helped during difficult times and encouraged reflection in times of contentment.  More than anything else, his music and words were reflective:    He  shared something of himself and his own thoughts and feelings, so making me, for one, feel that I wasn’t the only one feeling as I did.  His music made and will continue to make me feel many things – just ‘better’ sums up all those.  He was a soother and a healer.

I wasn’t one of those so-called depressed students; I came to his work later in life,   during a difficult time.  I heard the song “Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye” on the radio, during a sleepless night. I am so glad I did.  I still remember that moment as one of those stop what you are doing and listen, listen properly, this is special, moments.   Crying (with a little bit of self-pity) to Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye was cathartic.  Singing along, loudly, to his music while in the car was, and always will be, my therapy.  There was a time when my car started with the sound of that unique voice.  A Cohen CD was permanently on ready for me.  That will happen again later today.  Thank you Mr Cohen, you helped the rawness heal.  Pressing the replay button repeatedly is sometimes more effective, and less toxic,  than medication.

His words, his music and his presence were, and will continue to be true poetry, giving solace and, above all, hope, rather than encouraging giving up, or “slitting wrists.”   Who can argue with “There’s a crack, a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in”  from Anthem, especially now with all that is happening in the world.  There is hope. Still.

I was lucky to be able to see him twice, live.  The first time was at an unlikely outdoor venue,  Brooklands Racetrack at Weybridge, in July 2009.  It rained, how it rained!  As Leonard Cohen said, as he came on stage, “It’s a bit fresh.”  It was.  We were soaked,  but we didn’t care.  As he sang/spoke A Thousand Kisses Deep, we were mesmerised.  Everyone there was.  A 75 year old gentleman holding a soaking wet, bedraggled crowd in the palm of his hand. You  needed to be there (or check YouTube) to appreciate that.

I’ve referred to him as a gentleman and I can think of no better example than his manner towards his supporting acts and his backing singers, one such being the “sublime”, according to him, Webb Sisters.  This clip, from YouTube says that far more eloquently than I can.    His respect for others and his generosity of spirit towards fellow performers, as well as his audience,  always shone through his performances.

We were also able to see him at Bournemouth NEC – a large venue and we were sitting at an angle to the stage.  That didn’t matter.  His presence transcended all that.  He reached every corner of that arena.  He spoke, we listened.  He danced, we watched.  He doffed his hat to his supporting singers, we applauded.  Best of all though, he sang to an awestruck audience, we listened, until the silence at the end of each song, when we paused to absorb the beauty of his music and his charismatic presence, before breaking into rapturous applause.

Throughout both of these shows, and it’s clear on my London Live DVD, he is humble, can’t quite believe the audience is there, they are there for him and are in awe of his genius.  He would disagree with that word, I think, and it is much over-used, but I can’t think of any better to describe someone who can ‘hold’ a crowd of thousands just by raising his hat.  He could and did.  That hold was  tightened as the first notes of his deep, gravelly voice were heard and increased its grip till the echo of the final notes died away.  That pause, that silence – awesome, or to quote him when referring to The Webb Sisters,   “sublime.”

.His son, Adam, quoted “Hey that’s no way to say goodbye” today in a tribute to his father.  I think it was just the way he would have wanted to say goodbye.  He had just released an album, was writing till the day he died and had said goodbye in a beautiful, moving poem to his muse and great love, Marianne.    Words never to be forgotten, along with so many others, as well as thoughts and emotions, portrayed in words and sounds by this incredible man.  If you don’t click on any other link in this blog, please do so on this one.  As a friend said when I shared it with him:  “Those hands!”  Indeed, those hands.

While I am typing this, I am listening to a Cohen tribute on the radio, which has  made me feel that anything I write is only a drop in the ocean.  There are so many words, so many phrases – musically and written – that I could share.  Each memory on the radio triggers one of my own.  I can say no more to do him justice.

I am very sad today,  and may not feel like listening to his music , but I will and will be grateful to have heard him, seen him and to have read his poetry and writing.  He has left a wonderful legacy.