Friday, December 29, 2006

My birthday!

The Yuletide holidays fell midweek in 1973 with Christmas Day being on the Tuesday.
Thursday the 27th was my birthday and the kids were still in a festive mood. They wanted a treat so Barbara and I took them to a matinee at the cinema. Looking back in my diary, I found it was “Where eagles dare.” It was a very good film and we all enjoyed it.
That evening, I had a booking at a club about 15 miles away. I said that there would most likely be a party afterwards so I’d kip down at a friend’s place who lived nearby.
I picked Iris up around
7pm and we went to the venue. It was a lively night and we got back home around midnight. This was the first time we had managed to have to ourselves since Christmas Day. Two whole days had elapsed since then! It was my birthday and Iris made sure it was a very happy one!!!
Iris had, as I’ve already mentioned, made plans for a party for me and had invited our friends round on the Saturday evening.
Once again, she had come up trumps. Although she had never put on a large party before, she had provided sandwiches, sausage rolls, vol-au-vents, pork pie, mince pies and other delicacies for a cold buffet. We had got a goodly stock of drinks in ready for the evening. There were around a dozen or more who turned up and the party went on until the early hours!

Iris was marvellous over the holidays. She had known she would have to share me with my family but she understood and I loved her for it! Some readers may think it strange that I should want to leave my family at Christmas time but although we were a happy family, they were used to my sudden departures, as my work and my club venues often dictated that I had to be away. Nobody thought it was unusual for me to be absent quite a lot of the time. The next step would be how to get round similar problems for the New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Two Christmas dinners!

Iris knew, of course, of my commitments to my family on Christmas Day. She knew we had a traditional dinner in the evening so she put on a meal at lunchtime. It was absolutely superb. I told my family that I had a lunchtime invitation with friends from work. This would guarantee my being away until mid-afternoon. The kids had opened their presents underneath the Christmas tree after breakfast as usual and around 11am, I left to join Iris at her home.

We really enjoyed our roast turkey; Iris had never cooked one before but it turned out fine! She had even steamed a Christmas pud as well!
After lunch we unwrapped our presents. She had bought me a new dressing-gown, some after-shave and an electric razor. I had bought her a gold necklace, a pure silk blouse, a box of liqueur chocolates and some of her favourite perfume. (Ma Griffe by Carven.)
The afternoon passed so very quickly and I had to take my leave. I dropped Iris off at her sister’s where she would be spending the rest of the day and evening. It was a tearful parting but at least we had celebrated Christmas together as best as we could.
That evening saw me sitting down to another Christmas dinner; this time at home. Much as it was a very enjoyable meal surrounded by my family, I couldn’t help thinking of Iris and I knew she would be thinking of me!

By tradition, Boxing Day, at home, was ‘Open house’ when everyone was welcome. Old friends would come round in the evening for drinks and a buffet. I had invited Andrea and Iris. Andrea had been to us before on past Boxing Days and was no stranger there. Iris had met my wife a couple of times when I had been ill a few weeks previously. My wife and Andrea were old friends and Barbara took to Iris straight away. Iris was a little embarrassed about this but she didn’t show it.
Barbara put Andrea under the mistletoe and got me to kiss her. She did the same with Iris as she thought it would help her to mix in. I kissed Iris very perfunctorily under the mistletoe. I was aching to take her in my arms then and there but it was impossible. It was a party night with friends and relatives and, as hosts, Barbara and I had to mix with everyone. There were drinks galore so there was no way I could drive Iris home afterwards.
She and Andrea had arrived by taxi and went home the same way. By this time, I was suffering from Iris withdrawal symptoms and, for the first time in my life, was looking forward to the end of the festive holidays.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I just want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Thanks to all of you who left comments;
they are always appreciated.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Our very first Christmas

Yuletide at home was always a very big affair. Ever since I was a small child, it was a time for family reunions and parties.
My cousin and I grew up together; we were more like brother and sister. We lived next door but one to each other and although we went to different schools we were always very close. It was a great time for us at Christmas. Aunts and uncles would descend on us and we were one big happy family.
There was always a huge turkey on Christmas Day and a roast loin of pork for Boxing Day. With my birthday falling on the 27th, we always had an extra day to celebrate! As kids, my cousin and I would invite our friends to my birthday party and, living in a large house, we could indulge in party games like ‘Murder’ and ‘Sardines’ etc.

Although we weren’t a snobbish family, it was traditional for us to dress for dinner on special occasions; Christmas and New Year being two examples. I remember at the age of 14, being measured for my first dinner suit. It wasn’t so much of a rarity in those days as it would have been now. A dinner suit also came in handy when my cousin and I entered ballroom dancing competitions. In actual fact, we were pretty good as under-sixteen competitors.

Christmas 1973 was, I remember, a cold but dry one. Iris, being on her own, had decided to surprise me by cooking a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings! She so very much wanted this Christmas to be special. In years past, she usually spent it with her stupid sister and her stodge of a husband whose only idea of festivities was to pull a cracker, wear a silly hat and sleep his lunch off listening to the Queen’s speech!
Iris was determined to make this Christmas a different one and she told me she was going to enjoy it in her own home with me beside her. She said she was going to invite our friends over on my birthday and throw a party for me. Dearest Iris; she’d never done this before and she was so enthusiastic about it. I could see the pleasure she was getting from thinking about the holidays and I didn’t want to dampen her zeal. I could see that some period over Christmas, I would have to choose between spending it with her or with my family as usual. I wondered just how I was going to manage being in two places at the same time!
More later.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas shopping

The other day, I did something I never thought I would ever do. That is, to take someone shopping in a super-complex at Christmas rush season.
I must have been bloody stupid even to think about it but she is a good friend and needed transport to get to and from the place. I made a token protest at the crass inanity of venturing into a hell-hole of a shopping mall at this time of year but the words fell on deaf ears. Never try arguing with a female shopaholic!
The first problem was to find a parking space. Not easy in a crowded car-park with everyone trying to get in at the same time! Eventually I got a slot and off we went into the mall.
Women are strange creatures where shopping is concerned. A man will see what he wants, get it and that’s it. A woman will see what she thinks she wants and then scours the place looking for similar alternatives. At the end of the search, she’ll decide to go for the first choice!
The one redeeming feature about this is that we did find a place to have a decent lunch and afterwards, when I took her back home, I was rewarded with a cup of tea. I did, however, say that I'd already done my shopping a few days before thus avoiding a last-minute chase through a packed supermart. I suggested she should have done likewise. The advice wasn't altogether appreciated.
I wonder though, if she was trying to tell me something?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dinner party #2

The guests came around 6.30pm and we settled down to a few pre-prandial drinks. Sherry for the ladies and malt for the men. Our guests were a couple of friends; one of whom was no stranger to us. He had recently met a young lady and it had been a case of ‘instant attraction’! His very charming companion hadn’t been before and had been wondering what she was letting herself in for! Although I had only known the lady for a few weeks, we had become good friends. My wife, however, had never met her but she was soon invited into the kitchen where Barbara explained the finer points of haute cuisine to her and they took to each other straight away.
Dinner was served at 7.30pm and although there were only four of us, we all enjoyed it. After the meal, we were back in the drawing room where we spent the rest of the evening with drinks and lively conversation.
Parties are not necessarily an excuse for the playing of head-banging music nor are they a licence to get as ratted as possible. This little soirée was a quiet but very pleasant affair. I took quite a few photographs of the occasion but ‘R’ asked me not to post them in my blog just yet, as she was rather shy and the said she wasn’t photogenic.How very wrong she was! Both her companion and I told her how attractive she looked and she received the compliment gracefully. It’s a pity I’m not able to show the photographs as ‘R’ is a very beautiful woman. My old mate is a bloody lucky man and there are all indications that their relationship will blossom into something more permanent.
It was a very convivial evening all round and we are looking forward to the next time we meet.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dinner party #1

One of the many pleasures in life is to throw a dinner party. My wife is exceptionally good at this sort of thing and she always rises to the occasion in the way of a very delectable menu. It is planned with all the care of a military manoeuvre!
Normally it is a straightforward affair, only requiring a trip to the local butchers and delicatessen to pick up the makings of the meal. At this time of year, however, even going to the supermarket is a major operation with queues to checkouts miles long!
The preparation starts the day before with the marinade and sauce-mixing. Then there is the job of ensuring we have the appropriate wine for the dishes we are putting on. However much we try to make sure everything is ready, there is always the last-minute rush to get something we have forgotten. This time, it was cocktail sticks!
A few hours before the dinner, things get moving! Table adornment is high on her list, whether it be candles or flowers. Glasses have to be selected and cutlery is meticulously laid out.
An interesting observation here is that cutlery only refers to knives; the forks and spoons are known as flatware and hollow ware.
Red wine is allowed to ‘breathe’ at room temperature while white wine is usually served cooler. Champagne is chilled and placed in an ice-bucket before being opened. The dinner is a leisurely affair and usually takes around an hour from start to finish, after which, we repair to the drawing room for coffee. Barbara ensures that the coffee beans are freshly ground in order to extract the full flavour. There is always a goodly selection of drinks available both before, during and after the meal.
Bon appetite!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A slight problem solved

I have rambled on at length recently about Yule presents and the various recipients of them.I have just about got most of the gifts I’m dishing out this year but there was a slight problem. That is, what to get for my wife!
Over the years, Barbara has amassed a large collection of silver and crystal. There are several cabinets full of the stuff and additions of this nature are no longer a surprise. There is very little room left for more books as my bookshelves are overflowing at the moment. There isn’t much space left on the walls for more paintings so we were faced with a problem as to what to buy for each other. A bottle of good malt whisky, while very enjoyable, isn’t a lasting gift, as indeed neither are perfume, chocolates nor liqueurs.
We were thinking about this the other evening and we decided to buy something we could both enjoy. We don’t need a new TV or a DVD player etc. so what is there? We toyed with the idea of a winter holiday (wouldn’t last) or a new settee. (No, Sid might call round!)
We eventually decided on a Sat-Nav. This, we thought would be ideal. Instead of Barbara following a road map and getting us hopelessly lost in the foothills of Scotland or the junctions on the M25, we could rely on a Sat-Nav to louse it up instead! The more we thought about it, the more attractive the idea became. I reckon we’ll get one.
I dread to think what the overall cost of Yuletide will be. I’m afraid I tend to go over the top at this time of the year and my bank balance will take a bit of a thump! Not to worry; it’s just about sorted apart from the turkey and the booze. (ouch!)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas party Dec. 1973

Every year, my firm would throw a big Christmas party for the staff and workforce. It was held at a large hotel and around 80-100 would be invited.
The Company Chairman would make a speech, sit down and then make himself scarce for the rest of the evening. The party consisted of a formal dinner and dance. Everything was free including the drinks for the first hour until the dancing started.
Andrea, my secretary, was very prominent in organising the event with one or two other senior female staff. Together, they always made it a very enjoyable occasion and this year was no exception.
Naturally, I took Iris and by this time, she was getting to be well-known among my work colleagues. She looked heavenly that night and I was so very proud of her. What a difference she looked compared with last Christmas. What a transformation had taken place! Gone were the skirt and top, gone was the mousy look, gone was the shy demure girl. In her place was the sophisticated Iris; self-assured and everything a man could ever dream of. As I danced with her, I remembered the very first dance I had taken her to. That was way back to January when she was unsure of how she felt. (See blog Jan 7th & 8th 2006) Tonight, everyone recognised us as a couple and we couldn’t have been happier.
Later that night, as we returned home, I remember Iris saying that she was really looking forward to our first Christmas together. I resolved then that I would try to make it a memorable one for both of us in spite of my having family commitments. I was determined to make sure that it would be the happiest Christmas she ever had!
Iris was the very best thing that had ever happened to me. I never regretted one single minute in all the eight short years we were together.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I survived!!!

After the Yuletide shopping trip in town the other day, I was very lucky to come out unscathed.
I survived prams and push-chairs being erratically steered by doting mothers. I avoided umbrellas wielded by aged grannies and I evaded Big Isssue sellers who were bawling in my ears.
On the good side, I managed to get a parking space by sliding into a slot that was being vacated as I got there and we found a table in a department store café when we repaired for a coffee break.
The visit to a jeweller’s was comparatively painless. Fran, my daughter, spotted something she wanted almost straight away. I poked around the place and got a couple of other items and from there, we went for a coffee.
I’ve just about finished shopping for Christmas; I’ve only a few more things to get and I can forget about it for another year!
I’m off to Retford next Saturday to the Farmers’ Market. One can get very good quality beef and pork at a reasonable price so I’ll be stocking up for the holidays.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bloody traffic!

Why is it that as soon as the Yuletide holidays approach, there seems to be twice as many cars on the road as usual? The streets leading into and out of town are virtually gridlocked. I’m used to the rush hour traffic from 4pm to 6pm but right now, it’s a hell of a job moving even at mid-day. Incidentally, whoever conjured up the name, rush hour, when nothing moves, needs his bumps feeling!
Where, I wonder, does all the extra traffic come from? People are still working in the Christmas run-up so obviously it’s a case of housewives with acute shopaholic tendencies!
As for parking, forget it! A parking-space in an urban thoroughfare is as rare as rocking-horse s**t! Traffic wardens are constantly on the prowl and the City Council urges everyone to use public transport. That’s a laugh!
Whenever does a bus take you from where you live to where you want to go without either a wide detour or an infrequent service? Most shops in the city are in pedestrian zones so unless you want to traipse from one end of the shopping centre to the other, you’re licked before you start!
Never mind, once Christmas is over, you can look forward to another snarl-up when the January sales start!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Getting nearer to Yuletide

I was sitting at home musing over the Telegraph crossword when my daughter paid us a flying visit.
She’d been into town shopping for last-minute presents and was full of the joys of Christmas.
Last-minute presents? I haven’t even begun to think about it yet! I usually do my shopping on Christmas Eve like most other men!
The conversation turned to me and she asked me what I would like for my birthday. She explained that she’d already got me a Chrissie present. (My birthday is December 27th… Hint, hint!)
I really didn’t know what I wanted; I suggested a Sat-nav, a new laptop, a 19” monitor, a case of Bollinger champers and a couple of other things. Frances held up a hand and said “Pick a finger!”
Seriously, I didn’t know what I wanted, so being Fran, she suggested I took her into town early next week to choose something. Very thoughtful is Fran!
“At the same time,” she said, “we can look out for something for me. Oh,” she continued, “We can get some earrings for Emma (Granddaughter) at the same time.”
I cringed inwardly… Shopping with Fran is like going out and watching one’s wallet get thinner and thinner by the minute! I think she wants either a necklace or a bracelet. You can bet your life it won’t be from Woollies, knowing her! Emma is fast taking after her mum in this respect. The days of washing my car for a quid are long gone. I could get the most expensive hot wash, wax and interior clean-out for what Emma wants! Not to worry; they’re good kids and I’m only glad I can spoil ‘em rotten!
The trouble with me and shopping is that I see something that takes my eye; I buy it and then have to decide who would like it. It’s a sort of backwards approach to the problem! For instance, I have seen some beautiful jet jewellery and I’m very tempted to buy some. It isn’t cheap but it looks really great! Jet, by tradition is set in silver and not gold in order to provide a greater contrast. I got some earrings last year for a friend and this time, perhaps, I might get her a matching pendant or something. Men are much easier to please; a bottle of decent malt or a box of cigars and they’re well satisfied!
As for me? Well, I know how very generous my readers are so I’ll leave it to you to choose!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Season of Goodwill

Season of Goodwill???
Not on your Nellie!
Normally, I’m an easy-going sort of bloke but recently, some people have really got up my nose!
I have been reminiscing lately about a few people and my presents list will have dropped a little this year as one or two former recipients are no longer in the running They range from the adorable to the dislikeable; from the beautiful to the passable.
One of the more attractive ones is, unfortunately, unable to divulge her a/d for security reasons. The only thing I can do is to send her a card on Incredimail! Seems a pity but I must respect her privacy.
Another is a close relative of the first one. She has problems of her own but always goes out of her way to show some genuine friendship and understanding. This lady is most certainly on my list!
There is one whom I have known for quite a long time and is a self-confessed super-bitch. I have started to appreciate that she really is one hell of a bitch so whether or not she will still qualify, remains to be seen. Then again, we’ve known each other for a long time, I reckon I’ll be getting her something as usual.
Some of my friends live much further afield. One of them is a little selfish. She is not really appreciative of anything and at present, is in a love-hate situation with me. Very rarely has she reciprocated with even the tiniest sign of enthusiasm. In fact, these days, it takes all her time to speak to me! I’m afraid she can whistle!
Another transatlantic friend of long standing hasn’t been around much lately. She’s a great Southern Gal and I always remember her.
There is someone, however, whom I shall most definitely remember. This person has had it a little rough lately but recently, she appears to be much happier. She is rather special and I try to see that she is not forgotten. She is a delightful friend and I really shall take great pleasure in selecting her gift this Yuletide!
There is a newcomer to the ranks; a very pleasant and attractive friend. She, too, has had her share of misfortune but I’m making sure she gets some enjoyment this coming holiday.
I have a 15 year-old granddaughter, going on 25, who has already put feelers out and dropped broad hints that she would like some gold earrings. “Long dangly ones,” she insisted. At least, this is a start, so that’s one problem solved!
As for the others, I’m open to ideas. I suppose, as usual, Yuletide will cost me an arm and a leg. I have already considered earrings, bracelets, pendants, liqueur chocolates and perfume.
Anybody out there got any alternative suggestions?


Ps… There is, of course, another whom I shall be remembering. She is someone I’ve loved for over thirty years. Someone so very special that words cannot fully describe her. I consider myself so very fortunate in having known her and won her love.
Years ago, I gave her my heart; she still has it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Christmas is coming...

It was the last week in October and I had occasion to go into town to pick a few things up. I was amazed to find most large stores had already set up Christmas decorations. At one time, it was usually the first week in December before they started doing this but every year it seems to get earlier and earlier. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if stores opening after the holidays were displaying Easter eggs!
I’m not against Christmas; I have always enjoyed it, and as quite a lot of readers will know, I invariably make a point of giving special presents to close friends at Yuletide.
I try to vary the presents from year to year, apart from those friends who always like the same sort of thing. For those, I get them that which I know they would like. Usually it’s a bottle of very rare malt whisky.
Last year, the accent was on earrings. I bought several pairs including some for my two daughters.
I bought Blue John earrings for them. (Blue John is a very rare quartz crystal only found in one area of Derbyshire and highly collectable.) I also bought earrings in garnet, amethyst, topaz and jet. I bought a pair of very expensive gold earrings for a special friend but, funnily enough, I didn’t buy any for my wife. She has gone through life without ever having had her ears pierced! Instead, I bought her a jade pendant, set in gold.
This year, I have yet to decide on what the theme will be. Ideally, it will be jewellery, as I can get this from one or two shops in the city centre that I know quite well. I can make all or most of my purchases in one fell swoop, so to speak. They are relatively close together so it would save a lot of chasing about from place to place in the pre-Christmas rush! It isn’t that I treat shopping for presents as a chore; it’s just that I don’t like shopping anyway!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Resumption of verses

Last year, I wrote a poem for a friend describing the summer days we had shared. (blog March 06 2006) It wasn’t a romantic poem in the sense of those I had written for Iris but even so, I felt a little guilty about writing it and regretted doing so. It was almost as though I’d betrayed her memory.
This year, I have started writing poetry again. I have written eight so far, starting with the one I wrote for our anniversary. (blog Feb.14th 2006) What motivated my writing again, I don’t really know. All I wanted was to show that my love for Iris hadn’t waned. I found the best way to do it was to write the verses for her even though she would never read them.
I think that after I had started writing a blog earlier this year on the advice of a dear friend, I felt closer to Iris than I had done for a long time. It was as if she were there with me as I wrote about her. I have never regretted for one minute starting this blog and I have found that there are quite a few people who understand how I feel. Indeed, several friends often leave messages, for which I’m always very grateful.
I am frequently urged by a few close friends to publish some of my poetry. However, I’m undecided about this as, although I would like some recognition for my poetic writings, I feel I would be opening up our private world to everyone and not just to a limited readership as I have here.
Twenty-six years is a long time to grieve over somebody but I make no apology for admitting that I’m still in love with Iris; I always will be.

Can any reader, anyone, tell me I am being stupid and irrational for behaving like this? Am I clinging on to a part of my life best forgotten?
Then again, how could I possibly exist without her memory?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Some notes on the poetry

I first started writing poetry to Iris early in 1973. I wasn’t in the habit of verse-writing and indeed, I hadn’t done so since my early teens in schoolboy ‘crushes’.
I found that I could write verse better if I were either very sad or very happy. The two early poems were written in a sad mood when I was unsure of Iris’s feelings towards me. The first poem I wrote can be seen on my blog page, Jan.20th 2006. The second was published in my blog Feb.6th.
The sonnet, (blog Jan.31st 2006) written in February 1973, was composed on St. Valentine’s Day. It was only a few hours after we had made love for the very first time on the evening before. It is a verse written in sonnet form; i.e. a fourteen line poem with the last two lines as a couplet. The sonnet was very popular in the sixteenth century with Shakespeare, Donne, Marvell, etc. I only wrote that one sonnet as I always regarded it as something very special.
My all-time favourite was Iris of the laughing eyes. (blog March 20th 2006) I thought it captured her very being; it was so descriptive of her. It was written on a train when I was coming back from a meeting in London.
I wrote the poem of our first anniversary one night when I was working late. This has not been published yet. I took great delight in giving it to her a couple of days later. We always made St. Valentine’s Day our anniversary, not because that was the first time we had met but because it was the first time we had shown commitment to each other. I wrote a special poem every anniversary and on all her birthdays. Sadly, very few remain.
Iris’s favourite has been saved, however. (blog Sept.6th 2006) It was the poem written in July 1974 on our return from Scotland and the Gretna Green ceremony. We had quite a few pics taken of the ‘wedding’ but alas, none has survived.
I wrote between forty and fifty poems over the years and Iris enjoyed them all. The original two that she never saw were written shortly after her death. One of them was the one published recently. (blog Oct.8th 2006) The other, written two weeks after her death, has yet to be published. It was the very last romantic poem that I ever thought I would write.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Doldrums again

Writing about the dull and dreary days in the run-up to Yuletide made me descend into a very melancholy frame of mind. The weather was cold and wet and there wasn’t much going on to cheer me up. I drifted into a reverie. I found myself thinking about Iris and how I was missing her so very much. Before I realised it, I had penned another poem. This was the ninth I had written this year!
However, although the poem was a little sad, it helped me out of the slough of despondency in which I had been wallowing.

I can but dream…

My dearest love, how can I hope to say
How much I’ve missed you since you went away,
And in these lonely six and twenty years,
The very thought of you brings forth my tears

And in my dreams, I walk with you once more,
Together now, as we were times before.
And as I turn the pages of my mind,
The images of yesteryear I find.

And every night, I think such thoughts as this,
Those velvet lips I long ago did kiss,
Those hands, those laughing eyes, your silken hair,
And dreaming, do I see you everywhere.

I greet the dawn and face reality,
Another day that you will never see.
How long, my love, how long do I despair
Of knowing that you never will be there?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

In the doldrums

There are two periods of the year that are, to me, most depressing. One of them is just after the New Year and the other is the run-up towards Yuletide.
I am in the middle of such a depression right now. Hardly anything is happening, nothing much appears to interest me and I find there is very little to write about that is worth mentioning.
This is not a new experience; I’ve always found this time of year very boring, although during the Iris era, I didn’t notice it as much.
November and December in 1973 were given over to run-of-the-mill activities. I had my club bookings and we would hurry back home out of the cold instead of staying out for a late meal as we often did earlier in the year.
I remember we once made the mistake of accepting an invitation from Iris’ sister and her husband around this time to join them at their favourite pub one Sunday evening. It was a dreary place in a small village just outside the city. The décor hadn’t been changed for the last twenty-odd years and by the taste of it, the beer hadn’t either! I said it was their favourite pub; in fact it was the only pub they ever visited and that was only on Sunday evenings. The highlight of the night was a half-hour Bingo session with a prize of five pounds! Even in the early 70s, a fiver was laughable!
One evening, I suggested that we took them out for a meal for a change. We picked them up from home and drove out to a decent little place that Iris and I knew quite well. It was a pub in Derbyshire highly praised for its cuisine. Iris and I plumped for escargots for starters. Her sister and hubby chose prawn cocktail! I cringed when giving the order to the waiter! However, I managed to persuade them to try the venison medallions which they enjoyed, not having had venison before.
Yes, these weeks leading up to Christmas will, I know drag on and on until suddenly I’ll be caught up in the pre-holiday mad scramble. I reckon that bears and squirrels have got it made; they can get their heads down and hibernate until springtime!

Trivia note... Doldrums
The doldrums are areas of very still air near the equator that stalled sailing ships. The doldrums are located between 5 degrees north and 5 degrees south of the equator. They are also known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Recently, two people have been libelling me on various websites. The matter became so serious that I instructed my solicitors to issue a warning. They have been given the choice of either removing the offending posts or face a court hearing.
Since then, they have descended into the unspeakable level of making defamatory remarks about Iris. They claim that she was of loose morals; was only 14 when I first met her; had affairs while being with me; likened her cremation to an ashtray and that she was decidedly ugly!
The sheer lies that have been published are really beyond belief. Not only are they completely untrue but neither of these animals ever knew Iris! They didn’t know her at all! As these cretins are under forty years of age, they were little more than children when Iris was alive. One of them is a confirmed alcoholic living in Brighton and the other is a neer-do-well living in Sheffield with a history of drug abuse.
I will challenge each one of these evil morons here and now to prove a single word of their disgusting publications.
I’m sure that regular readers will be interested in the outcome of this.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Am I different?

Looking back over the Iris years, I knew that I was just as much in love with her in 1980 as I was in 1973. I would look at her and be instantly aroused. Her slightest touch would awaken my hormones and a smile would make my heart leap!
No other woman before or since has had that effect on me. No other woman could ever take her place. Was this normal behaviour for a couple who spent so much time together? I know that some other couples become a little stale and take each other for granted. My wife and I have been married for many years, yet while we love each other, we do not live in each other’s pockets and we have other interests that do not necessitate doing them together.
I go out with friends some evenings and my wife will go out with her friends, each of us enjoying ourselves. We don’t have to be together all the time to get along. Not so with Iris. We were absolutely inseparable; we could go out with friends, we could sit at home in front of the television, we could do anything and nothing and find pleasure in doing it together. Our love life was perfect; no other woman excited me as much as Iris. Were we so very different from others? Were we so selfishly entwined?
I would have never dreamed of going off without her on my own, nor would I have ever participated in a hobby or pastime in which she wasn’t interested.
I always observe the basic courtesies when I’m in female company, as anyone who knows me will confirm. I will stand when a woman either enters or leaves. I always open a door for them. I always allow a woman to choose where she wants to go when dining out. (Although I insist on selecting the wine!) Am I so different or am I still living in an age where these things were done as a matter of course? Sometimes I feel as though I’m a dinosaur in another era.
Do manners matter any more? Do women appreciate being treated as ladies these days? Or is a man who observes social niceties considered to be some kind of freak? Comments from readers of the fair sex would be most welcome.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Although I wouldn’t admit it, the influenza had really weakened me and I realised I wouldn’t be going back to work in the immediate future. It was a week since I’d been ill and I was just able to potter around the house. I had lost my taste for cigarettes and beer and I was sick and tired of watching TV and doing endless crossword puzzles!
Andrea came round again with Iris and was I glad to see them? There were only fleeting moments when I could embrace Iris, which made it all the more frustrating but at least she was there. My wife suggested laying on a dinner for the pair of them but I knew I’d never be able to disguise my feelings. I made the excuse that my appetite had gone and to take trouble over a special meal would have been a waste.
The second week began with my going out well wrapped up for a short stroll and gradually I progressed to being able to get in my car and drive round a bit. The ‘flu had left me with aching limbs and a general malaise all over. I needed to see Iris on her home ground; to have her hug me and to feel her near. One evening, I made the excuse that I was going to see an old mate who was appearing at a local club. Off I went and I found myself once more with Iris. It was wonderful to lie next to her again but unfortunately the ‘flu had left me weaker that I expected. Iris didn’t mind; she was just pleased I was getting better! I made a mental note to send Andrea the biggest bunch of flowers I could find.
The good news came at the end of the second week when my doctor announced that I could go back to work the following Monday. The cold hadn’t entirely gone; the beer still tasted awful and the cigarettes foul! However, I was getting back to normal and back to Iris!
It was over two weeks since I had last stayed with Iris at her house; OUR house! I realised just how much she meant to me. I had seen the tears in her eyes when she came to see me with Andrea. I felt so very helpless not being able to hold her. I never wanted to go through such a long separation ever again.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Andrea to the resue!

Regular readers will know Andrea as my personal secretary at work and how she fussed over me like a mother hen!
When she heard I was ill and confined to bed, she came over to see me one evening. I was so very pleased to see her after what had seemed a lifetime in bed. (It was only the third day!) She brought me up to date with news from work. I wasn’t particularly bothered but as she had taken the trouble to come over, I feigned interest. She asked me if there was anything I wanted and I said that the only thing I really wanted was to see Iris. I was feeling groggy with all the jollop I was taking so she didn’t stop long.
On the fifth day of my confinement, my doctor told me I could get up and sit around the house but not to go outside or to bother about work yet. I phoned Iris to tell her I was, at least, on my feet again. I rang Andrea to tell her likewise.
The next evening, Saturday, my wife announced that I was to expect visitors. Andrea was coming again and bringing a friend from work. I wondered who would be coming with her. I was in the drawing room sitting in an easy chair surrounded by newspapers and magazines when Barbara announced Andrea’s arrival. She said she’d leave us to it to catch up on the news from work.
Andrea entered the room closely followed by another… It was Iris!!! She looked heavenly; I almost yelled out with joy. Iris came to me and hugged and kissed me as though we’d been apart for years. She later sat at my feet while Andrea sat in another chair opposite me. Suddenly, I felt 100% better! Just seeing Iris did more good than all the pills and potions I’d been taking.
My wife entered with coffee and cakes and asked Iris if she was comfortable sitting on the floor. Iris said she was. Andrea introduced her to my wife as a work colleague.
My younger daughter put in an appearance and was surprised to find Iris there. She knew Andrea from way back but she had only met Iris once a few days previously as I wrote in a recent blog article.
After they had gone, my wife commented on how very attractive Iris was and how long had I known her? I muttered something about her being working there for some time now and she was ‘one of the crowd’, who came to see me on the club circuit. My daughter was standing next to me and winked most mischievously. A girl old before her time was Frances!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


It was November 1973 and I was feeling very rough. I had a streaming cold and I went to see my doctor. He took one look at me and said “You have influenza.” I told him that I’d had ‘flu before but never like this. He told me that although I’d had several colds before. I’d never had full-blown influenza.
“Go home, go to bed and stop there for a few days,” he advised. “This is serious; I’ll come and see you in two days time.” I went home, phoned in work and said I was ill. With that, I sat down to a light lunch. Suddenly, I found I had lost my appetite and felt as weak as a kitten. My wife instantly bundled me off to bed with a couple of hot water bottles and an electric blanket. “Sweat it out,” she advised. I began to realise that this indeed was no ordinary cold and I was in no mood to argue.
I stayed in bed all that day wondering how I could contact Iris. In 1973, very few households had bedside phone extensions so a phone call was out of the question.
In the afternoon, my daughter came to see how I was and I asked her to ring Iris for me and tell her I wouldn’t be around for a day or two. A day or two!!! Little did I know then that I would be incapacitated for a whole week in bed.
I had a very restless night and most of it was a combination of feeling awful and worrying about Iris. The doctor came the next morning and confirmed the influenza. He told me it would take at least a fortnight for me to get over it. My wife started ringing round my agents to cancel club bookings and to inform work of my absence for the immediate future.
I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t interested in the newspapers or radio (There was no TV in the bedroom) and I just lay there for the first few days in a miserable state! I was so very worried about Iris and wondered if she knew how I was. My daughter reassured me that she’d been phoning Iris every day to tell her of my progress or, at that time, my prolonged incarceration. Iris had told her I shouldn’t worry; she was thinking of me and hoped I would soon be on my feet again. This was only three days into my bedfast state and it seemed like a month!
I was being fussed over and cosseted by the family who really were concerned about me but selfish as it may seem, I longed for the bedroom door to open and find Iris standing there. God, how I was missing her!
More next time.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Girls' night out!

Before I left home, I ‘phoned Iris to warn her that I was bringing my daughter with me. I added that she knew nothing of our relationship so we’d have to play it by ear, as it were.
We arrived at Iris’ place and we went in. Iris was all ready to go out and she looked gorgeous. Fran took to her straight away as I introduced her as an old friend who sometimes came with me to a club when I was appearing there.
We entered the club and found the table that had been reserved for artistes. I went to the bar and got drinks for the three of us; beer for me, white wine for Iris and a coke for Fran. There was a group on that night which was very popular at the time and the three of them, knowing me, joined us at the reserved table. I introduced my daughter who was over the moon at this! They shortly went on stage to do their first number and Fran was absolutely enthralled. After their session, they rejoined us and I left them to go and do my spot. I was well-known in that club and always went down pretty well. Returning to the table, I found a drink waiting for me bought by one of the group. Fran was drinking something that suspiciously looked like gin and tonic! It was an interval before the dreaded Bingo session started and we chatted away about this and that. Iris had gone to the ‘little girls’ room’ when Fran suddenly said. “Terry (one of the group) says that he thought Iris was your wife but I told him that she was your girl-friend.”
“Oh shite!” I thought, “Now what?” Fran continued, “It’s ok, Dad, I knew you had a girl-friend, Jane and I guessed a long time ago.” Jane was my elder daughter, two years older. I mumbled something about fifteen year-olds drinking gin and left it at that. The evening wore on and both Fran and Iris were really enjoying it, especially Fran, who was being chatted up by the group!
On the way back, I said that I’d drop her off as I had to take Iris home. Fran asked, “Where does mom think you are. I told her I had to pop back into work later to check on the night shift and it may take some time! Fran gave me an old-fashioned look and said, “Dad, I reckon I’ll be able to come out to clubs with you quite often now!” I got the message; blackmail was the name of the game!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Had enough!

For some time now, a certain person of my acquaintance has been posting offensive lies about me on several Internet sites.
For the large part, I ignored them as the writer is believed to have a history of irrational behaviour and I’m not the first victim of his poison pen by any means. His postings were getting more and more objectionable and I knew that eventually I would have to stop him.
Things came to a head the other day when the grossly offensive creature dragged Iris into his evil diatribe. This was the last straw and I had no other choice left open to me but to put the matter into the hands of my solicitor.
I couldn't allow this foul obnoxious animal to desecrate the memory of the woman I loved so very much. I will do whatever it takes to stop him!
This will not come cheap; it will cost quite a sum of money but if the perpetrator wants to have any chance of defending himself in court, he will have to engage legal counsel. Normally, Legal Aid is not available for civil actions of this nature. I will keep you posted!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

In a spot!

The summer had gone and I was very busy with club bookings. It was a hectic time as I also had a bigger work-load in my job. Fortunately, I didn’t need to chase around as much so I could be with Iris just as often. I was lucky in the fact that Iris liked club life and never tired of going with me to the various venues.
A rather embarrassing incident happened one evening. I was at home getting ready to go out to a booking when my teen-age daughter asked if there were any groups playing at the clubs I went to. She was at the age when any idiot twanging a guitar was a super-hero; she was fifteen, going on 30! She asked if she could come with me. Naturally, I refused saying that one had to be eighteen to be allowed in. I told her that a fifteen-year-old doesn’t look eighteen.
Nevertheless, she was adamant and flounced upstairs to her room. Half an hour later, she re-emerged wearing her elder sister’s mini-skirt and make-up, together with high heel shoes and a very sexy-looking top.
“OK, “she said, “So do I look eighteen?” In actual fact, she just about did. I thought that after all the effort she’d put in, I’d better take her. Her mother wasn’t all that keen but I said I’d keep an eye on her so off we went.
I had to pick Iris up on the way and I wondered how the hell I was going to introduce my daughter to her. Furthermore, how was I going to take my daughter (Frances) back home and then go out again to stay the night with Iris? This was going to be a very difficult thing to get out of! Nevertheless, I managed it reasonably well. I’ll tell you about it next time.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Continuing our story

Now that the anniversary of her death has gone for another year, I can resume the Iris saga and write about happier times.
The summer of 1973 was, for Iris, an eye-opener. Before then, she had hardly ever been on holiday away from home and she had very rarely been anywhere of note. This had changed dramatically and she was living an entirely different life-style.
We were, in all events, a couple; just as much as any married couple were and she revelled in it!
She took pleasure in little things that most couples took for granted. She would delight in preparing a meal for me in the evenings after work. She would curl up with me to watch television and was always so very eager to entertain our friends to dinner.
I remember one time when we were out somewhere one evening and one of our colleagues introduced her to his wife who was asking who she was. He said, “This is Iris, Mrs ****.” That really made her day!
I’ve mentioned before that Iris lived in an old house that she had lived in most of her life from being about eighteen. It hadn’t been modernised and still had an old coal-burning hearth in the living room. (This is why it featured so much in my poems!) One day, after seeing a friend’s bedroom, she suddenly wanted a change of décor on her own bedroom. I spent a weekend with her painting and papering the room and to my surprise, she got stuck in with a paintbrush and made an excellent job of it. We re-papered the walls, painted the doors and woodwork and I bought a fitted wardrobe, a dressing table and a new bed. Iris was in heaven over it and got the decorating bug that saw us virtually revamping the whole house. It took us from October to December to do it a bit at a time but she loved every minute that she was working on it. Truly a very typical housewife at last!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Still struggling!

Although I'm back on line, I still can't get any sense out of my new server. Every time I contact the helpline it either disconnects or there is a loss of contact with the advisor. It's so very frustrating, I want to scream at the stupid *#^&*>@#s!!! I'm managing by using my old BT modem instead of the one they provided.
I'm beginning to regret changing servers!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Still frustrated!

Although I can get on line and the e-mail problem appears to be sorted, I can't use the new modem.
After boot-up, it doesn't kick in and there seems to be no way of connecting. At present, I'm resorting to using my old 'Speedtouch' modem and no problems. It's a pity because the new modem has an Ethernet connection making it much faster than USB.
There's no point in contacting the helpline as there's usually a wait of at least 15 minutes before I can get through. When I eventually do get to an advisor, it's usually a paki type whom I just can't understand! Not to worry!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Utter frustration!

A friend of mine told me of the advantages of an Internet server that far surpassed the one I was using. I was with British Telecom and had been since I first went on-line years ago. Recently, I’d become more and more dissatisfied with BT and welcomed the chance of a change.
I signed up with Talk-Talk and it looked pretty good. Free telephone calls both local and international and 8meg Broadband for £29 per month!
BT weren’t happy about losing a customer and played dirty by pulling the plug on my Internet connection a week before I was due to be connected to Talk-Talk. However, a call to them resulted in their sending me a new modem and CD installation guide within 24 hours. I was well pleased.
Unfortunately there was a gremlin lurking about somewhere and after frantic efforts to install the modem, I failed miserably. I was on their help-line for over half an hour at 10p per minute trying to get the bloody set-up running. The advisor eventually admitted defeat and said that the modem was obviously at fault and another would be sent to me in about seven days!
SEVEN DAYS, ffs!!!!! This just wasn’t on! I contacted Talk-talk after waiting in a queue for about 20 minutes and complained most vociferously!
I managed to get a replacement in three days and this time, the installation was a success. However, I could neither send nor receive e-mail!
I tried for two days to resolve this. When I finally got it running, I found I had 6,000 e-mails sent to me. They were old e-mails I’d received and deleted months ago. Wtf is happening?

Sunday, October 08, 2006


The days immediately after Iris died, were virtually unbearable. At the funeral were just six of her family present, yet over fifty of our friends attended. A select few of us went from the crematorium to a nearby pub for a quiet drink. I went to see Iris’ sister later that evening to arrange the scattering of the ashes. Her sister hadn’t given the undertakers any instructions about this so I asked if I could scatter them. At first all she wanted to do with them was to have them scattered in the crematory gardens but I persuaded her to allow me to take them. I told her what I was going to do with them but she didn’t appear to be interested whatsoever. That was the very last time I spoke to any member of the family. I went to the undertakers and informed them I wanted the deceased’s ashes to scatter. Surprisingly enough, they said they were at the crematorium awaiting general disposal. I found out that ashes weren’t scattered in the gardens at all, apart from a token few. Unless requested otherwise, they were usually kept for a month before disposal at a local land-fill site. This, I discovered, is common practise. I had no difficulty in getting the ashes but had to pay £10 for the plastic container. (They said it was not returnable!)
A few days later, I made a lonely journey up to Berwick; the place that held so many memories. I scattered her ashes from the cliff-top to the beach below where we had walked and lain together in the sun. After that, I never went to Berwick again.
On my return, I wrote a poem I thought would be the last one I was ever going to write. Indeed, for 25 years, it was. Only recently have I started writing again.
This poem tells of my despair and loneliness.

On Friday October 3rd 1980, at 11am, my beloved Iris died in my arms at Weston Park Hospital.

Once, once in a thousand years,
A love like hers comes fleeting by
And steals my heart and disappears
For all eternity.

I taste the sweetness of her lips,
I smell the fragrance of her hair,
But suddenly, she from me slips
And leaves me in despair.

Each endless day on endless day
Does naught to help me to forget
Those few brief years of ecstasy,
And still I love her yet.

Through sleepless nights I walk alone,
And, gazing at the stars above,
I know that she’s forever gone.
Goodbye, goodbye, my love!

Later, I shall return to happier times and continue with our story. Meanwhile, I would appreciate a kind comment or two.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Iris Skinner died this day October 3rd 1980 at 11am

I can't write any more today.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Back home

I’m back from my few days away from it all and I managed to relax and enjoy the company of some very dear friends..
We discovered a marvellous restaurant in Brighton. It was the Café Belge. One evening, we went there and the cuisine was absolutely magnificent. The speciality of the house was mussels and the menu included 50 ways to eat mussels. Naturally we went for it and they were delightful. We gave the ball a really big kick that evening with the champers flowing. (of course!)
The journey back home was bloody horrendous! I was caught up in a 20 mile snarl-up that took an hour and a half to cover and then there was torrential rain that lasted another hour when the average speed was about 30mph. As the rain got heavier and heavier, I stopped off at a motorway services for over half an hour to wait for it to ease off. Altogether, the journey that would have been normally completed in about four and a half hours took six and a half!

Although a break away from home helped me through the nightmare of the days leading to the death of Iris all those years ago, I still have to face the horrors of October 3rd when, 26 years ago, she died in my arms. I am not going to write about it at this time; it's much too heartbreaking and this year, it has hit me harder than most. I don't know why but it just has.. However, there are many stories yet to tell of the good days and of the wonderful times we shared.
I have often been asked if I was ever tempted to have a similar relationship since then. The answer is a simple NO! I never looked at another woman for over eight years and even then, I never formed an association that lasted more than a few days. Yes, I admit that from time to time, I indulged in very brief relationships but it was lust rather than love. I have never loved anyone else since Iris and I never shall.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I need a little TLC!

I shall be away for a few days tomorrow; away from the pain of 26 years ago.
I'm going to try and enjoy the break in the company of a very dear friend who can always cheer me up. She's one in a million and yes, the old champers will, no doubt, be flowing!
The only bad thing about the trip is the drive down there. I can enjoy driving 300 miles to Scotland for a holiday but the Brighton run, especially the M25/M23, is so very tiring. I think that every idiot who has ever owned a car is out on those roads!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A sad time

It was on this day on September 20th 1980, that Iris went into hospital in a vain attempt to halt the tumour on her brain. There was no need to operate; there was no point.
The doctors told me that Iris had only a very short time to live. Every day I went to the hospital. Sometimes, I stayed there all night, just being there for her; sitting by her bedside holding her close to me. She stayed there for just a few days until her death on October 3rd when she died in my arms.
Every year, I feel a terrible anguish around this time and I re-live the nightmare over and over again. I can’t help it; I have to suffer the pain and heartache that I suffered all those years ago. I have never really got over her death. I still can’t come to terms with the fact that I will never see her again. I keep her memory alive in my poetry and in this blog. When I talk about her, when I write about her, it eases the sorrow. It is my way of keeping her immortal; it is my way of still being there with her. Iris was in love with me for eight years; I have been in love with her for over thirty!
I envy religious people at times like these. They can take comfort in a belief that loved ones will meet again. As an atheist, I am denied that comfort. This is just as well, for if I were a believer, I would curse God for being the bastard who took her away from me!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I’m back from a few days away in Scotland.
I went to a part of the country I hadn’t seen for almost 30 years. Some of the places brought back happy memories. I by-passed Gretna though, I couldn’t go there again, it would have been too much!
I stayed at a couple of decent pubs, the food was excellent and the local company very friendly. Weather was warm and sunny for the most part and no rain.
On the way up to Girvan, I came across a very interesting place in Creetown. It was an archaeological museum with a collection of various precious and semi-precious stones from around the world.. I got a few souvenirs for a couple of friends, one of whom collects stuff like this. I got some samples of haematite ore, tiger-eye, amethyst, jade and amber.
Amber is a fossilized resin that has been secreted from pine trees. In some pieces, there are the preserved remains of insects and tiny leaves thousands of years old.
Amethyst is reputed to have magical properties and can cure homesickness, evil spirits and drunkenness. The crystals are formed within a hollow rock and look very colourful.
I didn’t forget another old friend. He shares with me an all-consuming passion for good single-malt whisky. I brought some back for both of us!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Off again!

Once more, the call of the haggis and the scent of the heather beckons me to return to Scotland for a few days. It’s only a flying visit but I’m going to an area I haven’t been to since 1978.
There’s a plethora of places to see and to enjoy and I reckon that it will mean another trip in the near future as there won’t be nearly as much time to spend there as I would have preferred.
I’m going to Girvan in south Ayrshire, a place I know absolutely nothing about. I just picked up a map a few days ago and for no reason at all, decided to go there!
There is, I suppose, an ulterior motive for returning to Scotland; I appear to be running low on decent malt whiskies. It’s a good excuse to stock up!
I shall be back next Thursday with a few pics and a yarn or two. Until then, dear readers, t.t.f.n.!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A hiccup in the system...

I went to my blog yesterday to post the latest comment and to my horror found that it had gone!
Disappeared, vanished, vamoosed, sodded off, absquatulated, completely absent, etc!
I wondered what the hell was wrong; I re-booted but no go. I tried a different search engine; again, no luck. I used 'System Restore' to no avail. I cussed and swore but that didn’t do much good either.
I contacted my personal “PC sorter” who offered some advice. She went to my blog and found it without any difficulty. This was, indeed, good news; all was not lost! She suggested I download Mozilla and make that my preferred search engine.
Nope, Mozilla couldn’t find the url. Before today, I thought that Mozilla was a brand of cheese!
Finally, by swapping and changing, I managed to locate the blog but it was in a different format than before. The font size was much smaller. Later, I managed to access the blog from I.E. and got it in its original form. I saved it to ‘Favourites’ and it seems to have worked.
Thanks anyway S, for your patience with me when I was just about ready for defenestrating the PC!
I owe you a big one!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Her favourite poem

I wrote this poem for Iris a few days after we were ‘married’ in Scotland. I’m so glad that it survived because it was her favourite. It epitomises her as she was then and, in my heart, as she is now and always will be.

To my darling Iris; I love you so very much! July 1974.

If I should chance to live for a thousand years,
No love like yours would ever be so tender sweet.
No other passion would bring forth the tears
Of joy; would make my every waking day complete.

The gentlest rain that falls upon the land
Does not compare with kisses from your angel face.
No zephyr breeze caresses softer than your hand,
Nor radiant sun be warmer than your soft embrace.

No artist’s brush can capture all your charm,
Nor can it paint the magic in your sparkling eyes.
No taste of wine can match those lips so warm,
So warm, my love as they meet mine, ‘tis paradise.

And sleeping, do I dream of you each night,
Such visions of your beauty through my thoughts do run.
But dreams will fade and vanish with the early light,
Not you, my love, you’re there beside me in the morning sun.

Monday, September 04, 2006

"Will you take this woman...?"

I mentioned a couple of times in the past that one day, Iris and I got married. This caused quite a bit of comment and I have had several e-mails and ‘phone-calls about it. I was saving the story for a special occasion and I was going to publish it for my 100th blog posting.
However, I find that I have gone past the hundred mark and this one is no.112. Nevertheless, in order to put readers out of their suspense, I am going to post it without further delay.
Here then, is the story of: .......

The Wishbone Ring

Iris and I spent most of our holidays in Scotland. We would travel up the A1 to Berwick-on-Tweed and from there, we would explore the surrounding Borders Country in southern Scotland.
One year, we decided to stay in Scotland for a couple of days before going to Berwick. We went a different route that time and we had booked in overnight at a pub in Dumfries. Our route took us through Gretna Green. Iris had never been there before but she had heard about the old Blacksmith’s Forge and she wanted to see if it was still there, where eloping couples were married over the anvil. Until 1940, couples could be instantly and legally married without having to wait for banns to be called and by the time that any irate parents caught up with the eloping couple, it was usually too late! In recent years, the old forge has become a tourist attraction and couples can be “married” there in a mock wedding.
As we approached the place, there was a ‘wedding’ taking place and Iris wanted to see it. As she watched, I saw a tiny tear trickle down her cheek. I knew what she was thinking!
Iris wanted to have a look round a couple of gift-shops for presents to take home. While she was busy doing that, I popped into a nearby jewellers and bought a very distinctive wishbone ring. Fortunately I knew her finger size! I picked Iris up about half an hour later and went into a pub for a mid-day meal. After the meal, I asked her if she would ‘marry’ me. She was laughing and weeping at the same time and said she’d been waiting for me to ask her ever since we arrived here!
Yes, we went for it! Iris was given a lace veil to cover her head and I was given a top hat! During the ceremony, I slipped the ring on her finger. Iris was absolutely thrilled to bits by this and we continued our journey that evening to the pub where we were staying, covered in confetti! The people at the pub thought that we had got married for real and they presented us with a free bottle of champagne. Needless to say, we didn’t let on!
Later that evening, she said that it had been the happiest day she could ever remember. Iris wore that ring every day for the rest of her life.
A couple of days later in Berwick, I wrote what was to become her favourite poem.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

That chair again...

Regular readers will know of my favourite Derbyshire pub, The Scotsman’s Pack in Hathersage. The village church graveyard is where Little John of Robin Hood fame is reputed to be buried.
In the 'Pack', there is a chair supposedly used by him and over the years, several of my friends have sat in it. Looking through the blog, there are photographs of three friends who have already sat in the chair and the other evening, it was the turn of my granddaughter to grace it! Her mom first sat in the chair nearly 30 years ago when Iris and I took her there one lunchtime. She would have been of a similar age as her daughter is now.
the other day, Wednesday, we held a dinner party there for my wife, Barbara, daughter Frances and granddaughter, Emma. It was to commemorate both Barbara’s and Emma’s birthday (they are only a few days apart) and what better place could we have gone to but the Pack?
Top pic is of Barbara and Frances. Right
is a pic of Fran and Emma. Below is a shot of my ugly mug with Emma and the last two pics are of Emma and Fran sitting in the chair!
I must apologise for showing my battered fizzog on these pics but Emma said I looked very distinguished and she wanted a pic of the two of us!
I'm a lying bugger... I paid Emma £20 to say that! Well, after all, it was her birthday!

Emma on her 15th birthday

Posin' Fran aged xxxxx? (Daren't say!)

Friday, September 01, 2006

A big 'Thank you'!

I was very disappointed in the apparent lack of interest in my blog lately and was in two minds whether to carry on with it.
Although it was a somewhat delayed action, several readers posted comments as requested. Some contacted me via ‘phone and e-mail.
I am greatly indebted to these readers, some of whom are personal friends. All the same, it has been very reassuring to me that some of my efforts are appreciated. One reader pointed out that I would be utterly lost without the blog. A slight exaggeration but I can see what she meant.
Another reader, a good friend, Snow fairy, has sent in a lot of encouragement and one of her comments in particular almost brought me to tears! (see 'Feeling so low today') She was, incidentally, the very first to leave a comment way back in early January shortly after starting the blog.
Thanks to all who posted and to those who sent e-mails as well. The blog will continue and I shall seriously consider writing a full-length biography dedicated to Iris. She will live on!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Time to re-think

It is some days now since I posted a request for advice whether to go ahead with publishing the Iris story...
It would appear from the absence of comments that there is a total lack of interest and I'm seriously thinking of winding this blog up.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Time to expand?

I think I’ve mentioned before that last summer, I was encouraged by a friend to write about Iris. It was coming up to the 25th anniversary of her death and I was feeling so very low. She told me that it would help me to get out of my melancholy so I gave it some thought.
We were meeting quite regularly then and every time we met, I would tell her how far I’d progressed with my writing. I still had about a dozen poems I had written plus a few negatives that had survived the years. With those bare mementos, I cobbled together a thirty-odd page booklet containing the poetry and the pics. I added some text describing briefly how we had met and how devastated I was when she died so tragically. I also added several anecdotes as well.
Another friend suggested I write a blog where I could further develop the contents of the booklet.
She told me that it would be very therapeutic and that she had found her own blog a good medium for airing views and sharing problems. She proved right and since starting this blog last New Year, I expanded on the story and I reckon I must have written the equivalent of about sixty or seventy pages of text about Iris and I’m nowhere near finished relating the first year of our partnership. It was, quite honestly, the best advice I had been given about Iris and how best to come to terms with my recurring sadness. I shall always be grateful to her for the concern she showed me while, at the same time, trying so very hard to deal with her own problems.
I remember my saying that I would never again write another romantic poem but last February, I wrote a Valentine’s Day poem as I always did for her every year. I recently discovered two more that I wrote for her some thirty years ago that weren’t included in the booklet. During the past couple of months, I have written six new ones. I would imagine that I could write a 200 page book quite easily but I’m afraid it would only have a limited interest and would in no way become a best seller.
What it would all boil down to would be just a love story between a man and a woman. (rare these days!) I don’t suppose it would be much different from many stories of that nature, only this story is so very special to me as it is OUR story! Whether or not it would find favour with a publisher, I don’t know. Those of you who read my blog may care to comment on this...

In your view, would such a publication be popular or not?
Would it be appreciated as a biography of Iris or would it be considered just another “Mills & Boon” sloppy?

Your comments are very important as it would probably help me decide whether to go ahead with publication or to leave it in blog form for a limited readership.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


With the end of that first summer, I concentrated on my club bookings. Not only did they provide a cheap night out for us, I was also getting paid into the bargain!
I remember one time, I was asked to compére a series of stag shows that were just beginning to become popular. The venue was at a private club a little way out of the city and the shows consisted of a series of strippers who, after stripping on stage, would walk around the club audience starkers. In between the strippers, I was on stage rattling off gags that would never have been heard in any pub or social club. The fees were very good, the place was only a few miles away and the weekly shows were held on Wednesdays. I very rarely had a booking on those evenings and usually Iris and I would enjoy a night in. When I told her about the bookings, she wasn’t all that happy about my doing them as it meant that I would be away for most of the evening. However, as I said, the pay was very good and I promised her an extra special weekend away somewhere out of the proceeds.
After a couple of weeks, Iris asked me what these shows were like and one evening, I took her with me. I had warned her what to expect before we went and I fully anticipated her either to be embarrassed, disgusted or both! However, she really enjoyed the show and later, I found her sitting with three of the strippers when I came off stage in an interval. She told me later when we got home, that the girls had recounted several incidents that had happened to them in the course of their work. Some of the stories were absolutely hilarious and Iris was still laughing about them in bed later.
Iris accompanied me a number of times to these shows after that and made friends with several of the strippers including one who did a spot with a six-foot long python! One of them asked her if she fancied doing a strip one evening but Iris said that all the stripping she’d ever done was to a wall that needed redecorating! Mind you, one evening, after coming back home from one of these shows, she did actually do a strip routine but that was for my eyes only!
I originally thought that she’d be jealous of the strippers but it never entered her head that I would go off with any of them. Indeed, she was perfectly right; I wouldn’t. I had everything a man could wish for in Iris and nobody else on earth could ever have come between us.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Memories of our first summer

The summer of 1973 was memorable. From two nights a week, with Iris, I was soon spending four! We didn’t go out every night but we got as much pleasure from sitting around watching TV or entertaining friends, than we did in going out. We still went out quite a bit as I had my club bookings to fill. These were very important, as the money paid for the extra expense of helping Iris with the household bills. It is said that two can live as cheaply as one but in reality, it costs twice as much!
Writing these last few blogs about our holidays has been very enjoyable. They were good days; happy days. There is a wealth of stories still to tell, as up to now, I have only covered the first few months of our partnership. We were together for eight years and in that time, we crammed in an awful lot of living! They were years to remember.
I shall be writing about other holidays and other events. About the time we got ‘married’ and the time we got ‘rumbled’! These, and other reminiscences, should keep my blog going for a long time yet!
There will come a time though, when I shall have to recount the final days and I don’t really know how the hell I’m going to do that!
Meanwhile, here’s one of the poems I rediscovered recently; I wrote it for her 40th birthday.

To Iris -Forty years young Jan. 1978

Forty years and young at heart,
You have not changed since first we met
I’m proud to know you love me so,
And you excite me yet!

Six years we’ve been together now,
You’ve given me all your love and more.
Though years pass by, my heart and I
Still love you as before.

Remembering the early days,
When I first saw you all alone,
Right from the start, you stole my heart
And kept it with your own.

You’re there beside me through the night,
My arms around you as you sleep,
And come what may, for every day
Your deepest love I’ll keep.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Later holidays

That holiday was the first of many we had in Berwick.
One year, Andrea, my secretary, and her new beau joined us for one of the weeks and the four of us had a whale of a time. Another year, while up there, we got married. Yes, we did! It was a memorable occasion and I’ll write about it in due course.
I have often been asked why we invariably spent our holidays in the same place. The main reason is that we made a lot of friends in the area and we never tired of it. Another reason was that it was a handy setting-off place for exploring many other parts of Scotland. We would often go from the caravan to stay overnight around Loch Lomond, Stirling and Inverness. Iris, while she loved Berwick, liked to travel all over the place. I suppose it was because she never had the opportunity before. There were occasions, however, when we would go to other places for long weekends.
I once surprised her by dragging her into a photo-kiosk to have her pic taken. This was before the days of digital cameras and it was the easiest way of getting a passport photograph. I shall recount the story of our mini-trip to France in this blog at a later date.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A very welcome break

I had occasion to stay with a very dear friend for a few days this last week. The weather was warm and sunny and she showed me round several interesting places. Some of the scenery was marvellous and the panoramic view from the heights of the South Downs was really spectacular.
I don’t know that part of the country at all, East Sussex, and it was a most refreshing change. We went out for dinner a couple of evenings and one night, she produced a meal that was absolutely first-rate.
I think we must have covered 30 years of nostalgia in our conversations and all in all, it was a very enjoyable break. I’m looking forward to another visit before the end of the summer season.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Memories of yesteryear

I’ve been enjoying the summer air and writing a couple of articles al fresco on a laptop. I couldn’t help but think of Iris as I was sitting in the glorious sunshine.
I wrote this one while sitting outside our favourite pub in Derbyshire. Some readers of this blog will have been there.

Memories August 2006

Deep in the reaches of my heart,
The memories keep flooding through,
For all those years we’ve been apart,
You know I’m still in love with you.

Those far-off times are just as true
As though they happened yesterday.
I’m never all that far from you,
However long you’ve been away.

Those happy days are brought to mind
When you were always close to me.
Those nights we lay, our arms entwined,
While loving you so tenderly.

A million years have passed, it seems
But now, I want you even more.
I want to tell you all those dreams
I wish I’d said to you before.

So why can’t I just let you go?
And tortured thoughts of you erase?
I can’t forget and this you know,
I’ll love you till my dying days.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Another interlude

Recently, I have had quite a bit of spare time on my hands and I have taken advantage of the warm weather to get out and about.
A couple of weeks ago, I was clearing out a spare room at home and I discovered a couple of poems stuck behind a drawer in an old bureau. I published one of them in my blog while writing about our first holiday together; that one was written in 1973. Another was written in 1978 on the occasion of her 40th birthday. I shall, of course, publish them in due course.
As I sat in the glorious sunshine drinking ice-cold beers outside a favourite countryside pub, my thoughts turned once more to Iris. I couldn’t get her out of my mind and remembering those recently discovered verses, I started jotting down the framework of a poem. As I was writing, I thought about her more and more and I finished up writing two more poems in just one week!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Holiday pics

We took a lot of pics of our holidays over the years but this is just about the only survivor of Berwick.

This is the famous chain-link bridge between England and Scotland spaning the River Tweed. Iris was not very happy going over it as it swayed alarmingly!
Historian’s note… Berwick has changed hands between England and Scotland over 16 times since 1147. Even now, Berwick Rangers, an English soccer team, play in the Scottish FA!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Our first real holiday. (Part 6 Further afield)

Even though we were on holiday, my natural curiosity for delving into things didn’t wane. We discovered several old places of interest and Iris was fascinated by many of these. She was quickly amassing a collection of souvenirs to take home for friends and it was a common cry when passing a gift shop for her to say “Hang on; I must get this for so-and-so!”
Iris was keen to visit Edinburgh and one day we set off northwards and arrived there shortly before lunchtime. After parking the car we walked around the centre and up Prince’s Street in time to hear the mid-day gun sound from Edinburgh Castle. We found a place to eat and while we were there, Iris saw a photograph of the Forth Road Bridge; she just had to see it! We drove across it and toured around for the rest of the afternoon and went up as far as Loch Leven. Iris wanted to see a Scottish loch! Loch Leven isn’t the most picturesque of lochs but it was a loch nevertheless. We weren’t much more than a stone’s throw from some close relatives of mine who lived in Glenrothes. I knew they would be very pleased to see me but to explain what I was doing with a strange woman hundreds of miles away from home deterred me from a visit!!!
We went back to Berwick, cutting through the Lammermuir Hills and found a delightful pub at a little village called Chirnside. For its size and for such an out-of-the-way place, the pub had a very impressive menu. It was getting late so we decided to have dinner there. The steaks were melt-in-the-mouth delicious!
We arrived back at the caravan around 9.30 pm and immediately went out again to the Ponderosa pub! That first holiday will always remain in my memory even though we went back there time and time again.
The days passed so very quickly and it was soon time to return home. We arrived back late Saturday night, tired and ready for bed. When I left Iris on Sunday morning, she couldn’t help crying a little. It tore at my guts to see her like that; however, we were back together a couple of days later. We managed several weekends before the summer weather was over and we were getting into a permanent partner relationship. God, how I loved that girl!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Our first real holiday (Pt 5 Exploring the area)

There is a wealth of lore and history in the region around Northumbria and the Scottish Borders. There are dozens of old abbeys, ruined castles and other places of interest. Over the years, we must have visited and photographed just about every one of them.
At the time, I was using a cine-camera quite a lot and I still have several reels of cine-film together with the projector. One day, I’ll transfer the film either to video-tape or DVD. Once again, many of the still photographs were lost.
Sometimes we would drive into Scotland and explore the coastline. We went to Dunbar and North Berwick. North Berwick was quite entertaining but Dunbar, we always found a bit starchy.
St Abb’s Head was a small out-of-the-way place but there was a caravan park and a holiday centre there, with a clubhouse that we discovered one Sunday lunchtime. It was very lively with an on-site entertainer.
Back in Berwick; we got to know one or two places that were to become our favourite haunts in years to come. One of these was the local social club. It was miniscule by normal club standards with a concert room that would seat about thirty at a push!
This was strictly for the locals and I think that we were the only tourists that had set foot in there for at least a month! After the second time there, I got chatting to the steward about entertainment and the lack of it. He said that they saved money by asking local members to entertain during the summer months in order that they could afford decent artistes in the closed season for the benefit of regulars.
Mistake number one… I happened to mention I was a club entertainer back home and the next thing I knew was that someone has stuck a microphone in my hand and was propelling me towards the stage.. Stage? Well, it was more of a single step up to where a pianist was playing in the corner. I could hardly refuse and quite surprisingly, I went down very well indeed! Several freebie pints later, I agreed to return later in the week.
Wednesday evening, the place was packed solid (about 40 all told) and I must confess I enjoyed it just as much as my audience! Iris had bought a couple of raffle tickets and we won a breakfast consisting of six rashers of bacon, four eggs, some black pudding, four sausages and a few mushrooms. Berwick Labour Club was going to be a favourite place from now on! We went there many times over the years and we always got a warm welcome.
Our days consisted of breakfast around 10am and then out to anywhere we fancied. If the weather was warm, we went on the beach and swam in the sea. We were lucky that first holiday, as there was more sunshine that fortnight that there had been for the few previous weeks. Iris and I both tanned that holiday and she went a beautiful bronze colour. She looked absolutely gorgeous!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Our first real holiday. (Part 4 The Traffic Warden)

The following day, Sunday, we went to Eyemouth, a small fishing village over the Scottish border, where we had called at previously on our long weekend. We had lunch at the Lobster Pot Inn. It was a very pleasant place and the food was excellent. All through our stay, the weather still held good and we made the most of it. We swam in the sea; we lazed about on the beach. (This time, Iris made sure she was protected by sun-tan cream!) I remember that there were swans swimming in the sea; it was that calm. In the evenings, we would go back to the ‘Ponderosa’ as the locals called the pub and we would join in games or just natter away to friends we had made. We had also discovered a tiny social club tucked away in a back-street in Berwick but more of that later. We were really enjoying our first holiday together.
A remarkable incident took place when we went to Eyemouth. As we approached the small harbour, we saw the road had double yellow lines freshly painted there. Parking was only available in a handkerchief-sized ‘square’ near the harbour. It was a time when the licensing laws hadn’t changed in Scotland and the pub was only open on Sunday lunchtime if the tide was right for the small fishing fleet of about four or five boats to enter harbour. We stopped near the square but it was choc-full of cars and vans, (about eight, altogether!) As we decided to pull away, a traffic warden knocked on the window and asked if we were staying. It was the last place I thought I’d see a traffic warden. They were a common sight down in Cornwall but up here at the back of beyond??? He was a smallish tubby man of indeterminate years; anything from fifty to seventy. I replied that we wanted to go and have a drink in the pub.
Get this… He said, “That yon van there is going in a couple of minutes, give me your keys and I’ll park the car for you.” I was amazed at this; In a semi-trance, I gave him my keys and we went into the pub. It was very busy and eventually we got served just as the traffic warden was pushing his way towards us with the keys in his hand. I thanked him and asked if there was any charge. He replied “Aye, thanks, I’ll have a wee dram wid ye!” I got him a measure of scotch and the landlord pulled a pint as well.. He told me “Auld Wullie likes a taste o’ beer with his dram, ye know!”.. Auld Wullie was the only traffic warden in my life that I have bought a drink for!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Holiday romance

This is a poem I wrote one day in Berwick while Iris was sunbathing on the beach. She looked so wonderfully attractive in her bikini. I just had to capture the scene as a reminder of our very first holiday together. I took lots of photographs of that holiday but alas, they were lost along with a lot more stuff.

To my darling on our holiday July 1973

I saw you barefoot as you walked along the sand,
The rolling wavelets gently lapping round your feet,
And I was there beside you walking hand in hand,
The splendid magic of that moment was complete.

That summer’s day with you was one of heaven sent,
We had no cares, no doubts, no fears to cloud the day.
Sharing our hopes, our dreams, where ere we went,
It seemed as though we were a thousand miles away.

And later, in the stillness of the evening air,
With loving arms around you; how I held you tight,
So closely now, to smell the fragrance of your hair,
And lay beside you there until the morning light.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Our first real holiday (Pt 3 "Don't touch me!")

Although we’d been lazing on the beach most of the afternoon, we were both a little tired from the journey and the early 5 am start.
We had a light dinner and went out to a pub we’d been to on our previous visit. Iris said she was feeling a little hot round her upper arms and shoulders and opted to wear a light sun-top. The pub was called the Meadow House Hotel and was on the English side of the border. Mine host was a jovial character, Peter Elliot, but known to all and sundry as Jock! He was a man who had been around quite a lot and had a fund of yarns to spin. There was a bell on the bar; every week, he would take it down and polish it. Occasionally, the clapper would strike the side of the bell accidentally. That was the only time anyone would ever hear it ring! Over the years we became very good friends and many a time we would walk, sorry, stagger, out of the pub in blazing sunlight early in the morning.
The first night we went in, we sat and had a quiet drink and chatted to some locals who made us feel very welcome. It wasn’t the sort of pub that tourists or holidaymakers went for but we liked the place from the start.
Around midnight, we were just about dropping so we left the pub and walked back. The caravan was within easy walking distance so we could have a decent drink without having to take the car. I remember Iris saying how she enjoyed the cool night air as we walked back.
Iris was ready for bed and I joined her later after a last cigarette. I was feeling quite romantic and I was looking forward to a cosy night of nookie. I slid in between the sheets and reached out for Iris. She gave a wild shriek and cried “Don’t touch me, I’m burning up!” I saw that her shoulders were raw from the sunburn. She had left it too late with the sun-tan oil! I resigned myself to a celibate night; there was no other option! Fortunately, with the aid of calomine lotion, (who still uses that, these days?) her shoulders lost the burning sensation and a couple of days later, she started to develop a gorgeous tan.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A brief interlude

I don't particularly wish to tear myself away from reminiscing about our first holiday, but with the gorgeous Summer we’re having at the moment, it’s a shame to spend a lot of time indoors hunched up over a keyboard.
I’ve decided to get out and about as much as I can while the fine weather holds. Nothing give me greater pleasure that to sit outside a pub in Derbyshire drinking copious pints of cool ale!
I’m off back up to Scotland shortly for another few days and I’m also going down south to visit an old friend in Brighton. I haven’t seen her recently and I’m looking forward to a natter about old times.
A drive to Scotland is always enjoyable; I usually break my journey en route and stop overnight somewhere. A Brighton trip is much more hectic especially in the holiday season when the M25 is snarled up. Why anyone up here would want to spend a holiday there is beyond me! For instance a trip to Scotland means an opportunity to stock up with various rare malts. What does one bring back from Brighton?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Our first real holiday (Pt 2 The first day)

By the time we’d sorted everything out, it was coming up to midday. We drove into the town and found a snug little café where we had lunch. We walked around for half an hour as neither of us had seen much of it before, apart from a brief visit when we had been here earlier just for a couple of days.
Coming back to the caravan, we changed into beach wear and went down to the sea. It was only a very short distance to the beach down the cliff path from the site. The beach at Berwick is mostly shingle but we found a comfortable spot to sit. It was a very hot day and even the sea felt warm when we went for a dip. We came out of the water and lay on a couple of towels we had brought. Iris looked absolutely stunning in her bikini. It had taken me a hell of a lot of persuading for her to wear it but the weather was ideal for lazing about in the sun. She had said that she felt that everybody was looking at her as we walked down from the cliff-top; in actual fact she was right! I was aware of the envious glances she was receiving from even teenage lads. Iris was 34 but looked much younger, I was so very proud of being with her that day.
The sun was blazing down and I was liberally applying sun-tan lotion on my shoulders and Iris was rubbing some on my back. I told Iris to put some on but she said she didn’t fancy being covered in greasy oil. I said she should get some protection as it really was a very hot day but no, she said she was fine. A little later, we had both dozed off; it had been a very early start that morning. Getting up at 4.30 was indeed a novel experience. 4.30am in my book is strictly reserved for stray cats and burglars! I came to when Iris was nudging me; she was asking for the sun-tan lotion. She said she felt a little warm on her shoulders. I looked and she was like a bloody lobster! I doused her in oil and suggested she covered her arms and shoulders for a bit. Later, we went back to the caravan for dinner and to change ready for going out that evening. I had suggested that we ate out but she insisted on preparing a meal for us. She said that she wanted to feel like a real housewife. I saw that it meant such a lot to her and I couldn’t possibly argue with that! Later, she confessed that she thought living in a caravan was a bit like playing ‘House’ as a child, only a more grown-up version. Nevertheless, she was loving every minute of it. I, too, was looking forward to the prospect of a fortnight with just the two of us, away from everyone and everything. We were in a world of our very own.

Historian’s note… Berwick has changed hands between England and Scotland over 16 times since 1147. Even now, Berwick Rangers, an English soccer team, play in the Scottish FA!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Where have you gone?

It was about this time in July 1973 that Iris and I had our first real holiday together. I am currently writing an account of this as you will see. I posted Part 1 a few days ago
I started thinking about it this evening as I was preparing Part 2 and I was feeling very sad at the memories it brought back.
I started doodling around and came up with a poem that illustrated my sadness. You may not like it; you may think it's soppy and over-dramatic.
You may even wonder why I continue torturing myself over someone who has been dead for 25 years?
Sorry, I'm still in love with her and I just can't let go!

Where have you gone? July 2006

The summer days we shared were always warm and bright.
They beckon; faded dreams, like shadows haunting me.
But you are gone away and vanished from my sight,
I stand alone where once we walked in loving harmony.
Where have you gone, my love?

The years passed by, the times we loved together
The many hopes we shared; the days we spent as one,
The happiness we had; we always thought would last forever
Those days have slipped away; now evermore, you’re gone
Where have you gone, my love?

Try as I may, I can’t forget the deepest love I had for you.
Those precious golden years; the years that meant so very much.
The things that we enjoyed; those things bring memories anew
So sad I’ll never feel again your warm caress, your gentle touch.
Where have you gone, my love?

I look into the sky and wish in vain to see your face,
I gaze into the mist but you’re no longer there.
I search my heart but only find a void, an empty space,
I wait in constant hope; I want to see you everywhere.
Where have you gone, my love?