The Sound of Growing

Hello garden, my old friend
I’ve come to dig with you again
Because some weed softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the sprout that was planted in my bed
Still gives me dread
Within the sound of growing
In restless dreams I hoed alone
Narrow paths of cobblestone
‘Neath the horror of a bout of cramp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a Titchmarsh light
That split the night
And touched the sound of growing

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People mowing without speaking
People pruning without listening
People writing labels that are not true
And no one knew
To not disturb the sound of growing

“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Moss just like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of growing

And the people bowed and sung
Of the Frost and of the Don
And the TV flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the screen said, “The words of the prophets are written on the garden walls
And Waterstones Malls”
And whisper’d in the gardens, Growing.

Is “The Donald” Don Corleone or Don Juan?


Some 14 months ago The D boasted that he was a giver, a giver to both Republicans and Democrats because “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.” , and the only dissenting voices on the stage he shared with other aspiring Presidential nominees, came from the two that he hadn’t given any funds to.

I was put in mind of Marlon Brando on his daughter’s wedding day, agreeing to kill someone in return for a favour sometime in the future.

Maybe Trump hasn’t killed anyone, maybe, but blatantly bragging about his extortion of politicians in order to further his own ends, and not one of the senior Republicans present denied that it went on, smacks of Organised Crime on a national scale. When he called in his debts and became his party’s official candidate for occupancy of the Oval Office, his pockets were bulging with self serving career money launderers.

His serial philandering  has for years been , seeming, accepted as long as things didn’t go too far, and even then it could be hushed up by settling out of court, an action his camp has tried to say means he wasn’t guilty. Surely that implies that at least something untoward had gone on. He seems to think he can jump on any woman he fancies “Because you can when you’re a star”. Driven by a need to prove himself in his father’s dead eyes perhaps?

His whole life seems to be a performance where he  proclaims himself to be the hero, conquering villains of his own making, and blaming them for any setback. Such a thing does does bear close examination well.

As an outsider I look at the politics of the USA with astonishment and sometimes incredulity at the way those on Capitol Hill, State Government Offices, and local lawmakers, use their positions to further their own ends to the detriment of the many and often the greater good. Only recently a judge in Georgia ruled that “Upskirt Photos” were not an invasion of privacy. The senator responsible said he would see what he could do, but it would take some time. Tortuous leaps of logic need to be employed both to justify some of the decisions and to comprehend the towering levels of bullshittery that aim to prove that black is white, if they say so. By the way I am not blind to the nonsense that goes on in Westminster either.

All that twisting is now becoming unraveled as the cowards in their high offices find their justifications for the actions of the monster that they created with ingredients of greed , self interest, graft, sycophancy, and delusion. Delusion in the belief that they could control the concoction and the whirlwind it brought with it like an unholy  ice cream sundae.

Bake Off it ain’t.

The next  performance is due on Wednesday.


Maybe if they had Mel and Sue as moderators…


Procrastination is an excuse for Beer

More rain due this weekend which will help my grass seed to germinate and for the rest of the garden a well deserved drink, the forsythia is already looking better for it.

More good timing as I shall mostly be draining the batteries on my Sky remote flitting between Mount Fuji and Motegi as the combatants in WEC and MotoGP descend on Japan.

To race flat out for 6 hours with up to a 1,000 horsepower under your right foot, whilst contending with  5 other classes of car involves tremendous amounts of concentration and skill to complete many overtaking manoeuvres per lap, with the fastest machines lapping the slower cars at the back of the grid as early as 5 minutes in to the race.

Endurance racing ( Think Le Mans 24hrs etc) is very much a team sport requiring a synchronicity between drivers and crew  that may be unknown in other areas  of motorsport.

MotoGp is more akin to medieval knights jousting with metal horses. In the premier class where top Japanese and Italian factories produce steeds with  up to 224 mph capability – that’s as fast as Formula 1- riders wearing a mixture of low tech Kangaroo skin (with built in airbags) and high tech helmets, hurl themselves into corners with the back wheel off the ground whilst leaning over at up to 60 degrees. True gladiators.

I have no pretence to have any delusions that I could do any of the things that either of these categories of athletes achieve, but I do like watching people do difficult things with a level of mastery, like Michelin star Chefs or superb carpenters and luthiers.

Talking of which, next week I’m hoping to start putting another guitar together if the lacquer has hardened enough for buffing. I suppose in the mean time I should make a start on the electrics and do some sub assembly of the controls, but the combined thought of cold beer, hot metal and rubber is calling….



George Peppard joins The Move

Living on the southern slope of the driest hill, in the driest county in England, this summer has been akin to starvation as far as my garden has been concerned.

I gave my lawn a nice short trim in the middle of June as a preparation before the annual holiday, as you do. Well, as you do if you are listening to what The Don says is wise, then didn’t have to get the mower out again until 25th September when it was done just to tidy it up rather than it needing a cut. The weeds were growing out of a dry dusty greyish white stuff that was only pretending to be a lawn.

All  through the intervening months I’ve been  scouring the Met Office web site  watching thunderstorms punish the inhabitants of North Essex and East Anglia, for some unknown sins, whilst the countryside around The Mighty Crouch continued to turn evermore dry and crispy with many trees and shrubs were shedding their leaves in order to maintain a sustainable level of transpiration.

I should point out that whilst I live about 5 minutes walk  from the riverside, and currently enjoy the honking of Wild Geese overhead as they fly in to their evening roost sites in the meadows nearby , I hardly ever go out into to the environs unless I’m wearing my Renault shaped exterior. I can see a Norman church and a Windmill from my bed room and that’s usually enough of countryside pursuits for a day. I used to be able to see the flare stacks from the oil refineries with their semi eternal flames on The Thames as well until their closure. I do however, like to know what’s around me, so I take notice of what wiser people say about the environment.

The Holy Don says not to worry about the grass as it will survive, but shrubs and flowers etc need watering. Well I think I’ve had the hose out more this last 3 months than I have at any time in the 30 years since we moved here. Ny ferns, sheltered by a North facing fence have survived very well and the tomatoes loved it as have the Nerines, which are now repaying their months of baking in the sun with beautiful flowers. Mum would be so pleased. However my Passion Flower is devoid of any passion or indeed anything much, and a Pieris has just given up and may be dead. But I’ll leave it and its brown leaves to see if the winter will help it revive.

The ground under the grass is still cracked as if small tectonic plates are at work under foot, but I scarified it, fed it with a moss killer and autumn food. On Monday I raked the dead moss out and then on Tuesday re sowed the bald patches.I then checked the forecast even more intently for signs of precipitation.

It rained on Tuesday night and poured down last night, and I awoke to a distinctly more verdant patch.

In the words of Roy Wood “I can hear the grass grow”


I love it when a plan comes together.

Love is, err…

In the coolest of days

and the warmest of nights

When the world is all to cock,

There is love in every corner,

all you have to do is look.

Love never hides its face

or feigns to be your friend,

It just befriends you

while your back is turned

then heals you with its glue.

In the dusty sleepy corner

of an “oh so busy” mind

Sleeps with one eye open,

a power as old as time,

a cure for all that’s broken.

Love is a soft voice,

Love is a cry

Love is tireless

to rejoice.

Love is a warrior

Love will defend

Love’s fairness

cries Excelsior!

And at the end of days

when all may seem lost

Open wide your heart

and open wide your eyes

Embrace the love, be never apart




Some say “I can’t believe”

Some refuse to try, or see

I just stand & let it all

Wash over me


What’s to come some ask

What ever will be will be

Seems to be the answer

As far as I can see


Now comes the time to stand your ground

Now comes the time to set your face

And with your comrades gathered all around

Screw your courage to the sticking place


And after all the fighting

And after all the pain

And after all the argument

And after little gain


Finding that my strength does fade

Like the dimming of the day

I strive against the passing of the light

I’m caught & know not what to say



Too scared to stay

Too tired to run away

Too scared to stay

Too tired to run away




Today I murdered a bee.

No, that’s not true.

It was manslaughter.

Actually that’s not true either, it was car slaughter.

Death by Windscreen.

I wondered later what had gone through the little chap’s brain in his [ it’s] dying moments. The perils of low flying perhaps. Did it’s whole short life flash before it, briefly remembering all those relatives that were so similar? The Oedipus complex he had with his mother, the Queen? The potential incestuous relationships he should have had with his sister[s]?The theoretical impossibility of him being airborne at all?

After some deliberation I decided,

No it was none of these things.

The last thing that went through his head,…

was his arse.

Frinton Foughts.

Slumped on the bench, staring out into the grey nothingness that is the North Sea on most days, she huddles down into the old & too thin coat and wonders how the hell she got here. Checks her watch and glancing nervously about, starts to rummage in her bag for a magazine.

“Bollocks” he says, peering at the mess that seagulls have just made of his hat. Wiping it on the grass he jams it on his shiny head, trying to remember what it was he was supposed to be doing today. Finding a seat he folds down on to the flaking green corporation paint and rests awhile. Takes out a grubby tissue and polishes his glasses, pushing them back on to his rather hooked nose.

After what might have been minutes or hours, she can’t be sure, and realising that she had nodded off in a midday snooze whilst being bored with the exploits of so called celebrities. She notices a companion sharing her bench [she thought of it as hers, after all hadn’t she sat there often enough to claim possessory title?] Squinting a little, she realises a male shape is invading her space.

Through rheumy eyes he studies himself. Threadbare trousers that were good quality, but have suffered unfair wear & tear, some dubious stains of unknown origin, scuffed shoes with odd socks. Faithful Viyella shirt & patched tweed jacket, both about twenty years old. Deceitful self flattery convinces him that he can still get any girl he wants, despite the stick and the dodgy hip. Turning to his left he eyes the other party on the bench.

She sighs softly and begins to regret not using the toilets earlier when she had the chance, it’s difficult to get anywhere in a hurry if all you’re worried about is your bladder. Feeling slightly uncomfortable, she reaches into her bag and brings out the faithful old Tupperware box containing a meagre lunch, and places it neatly on the space beside her. It is then she notices the hand edging toward her from the other end of the bench.

His once powerful arm stretches out, and his hand moves along the bench toward the woman seeking out its prey as if with a mind of its own. Indeed the reaction is purely automatic and without conscious thought on his behalf. It’s not like he hasn’t done this before, and the muscles & joints move with a slow assurance that all will be well soon.

She pops the lid of the lunch box, savouring the aroma of cheese & Marmite that curls upwards toward them both. Reaching in to the tub she hesitates for a moment as if thinking better of it, and trawls instead through her cavernous bag for the stainless steel flask. Finding its reassuring bulk and weight she pulls it out with surprising speed and tosses it across the bench with great accuracy towards the man.

“Howzat?” he cries catching the thermos in his already outstretched hand, and delicately unscrewing the lid says “I love you Mrs. Jones”

Finally she speaks “and I love you too Mr. Jones”,

“Will you be Mother?”