Why people must wake up – before they die

In 1996 Yevgeny Yevtushenko came to Birmingham, a key participant in Birmingham Readers' and Writers' Festival. He was promoting the English translation of his novel "Don't Die Before You're Dead." We got chatting afterwards, he was partial to an English pint and there was other common ground. We both wrote poetry, both cycled and both... Continue Reading →

Goodbye Max

Last night the family lost a soulmate. Max – a memory (02/08/2022) It was Birmingham Dog’s Home, Digbeth, some thirteen years ago where you, a yearling whelp, wheedled your way into our home and hearts. Then the beach at Dawlish, Devon, springs to mind, where you seemingly tried to drink the sea dry, Nearer home,... Continue Reading →

Royals and subjects

This is an updated version of a previous piece I wrote some 9 years ago. A royal occasion - 69 years ago 69 years ago today Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England. There were street parties all over the country, with events, races and fancy dress affairs which kept the mums busy sewing and... Continue Reading →


Ode to MODERNA “Grab ’em and jab ’em”’s our modus operandiand so far it’s proved – a nice little earner –no matter how many come a cropper and die,your coffins - our coffers – are full from MODERNA. We grab ’em and jab ’em and prick ’em and stick ’emand send ’em away with a... Continue Reading →

Death of the Old Year

Tennyson's Death of the Old Year was bubbling over with gaiety and the last verse, reproduced below, is the most foreboding verse of all. The Old Year on its death-bed was personified as having been a great 365/6 days in which to have lived, at least for the narrator. "He was full of joke and... Continue Reading →

Half a mind on Christmas

For Gladys Hotchkiss Christmas comes splitting post, ream or quire, the Yule log is spitting with sparks from the fire. Grandma is sitting her mind quite a mire of washdays and knitting of childhood desire. Yellows, blues, pinks a young girl again coloured gummed links then a paper chain of trimmings. She blinks ― her... Continue Reading →

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