Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Deja vu

This is another of the songs I wrote when I was in the church

I was nailed up next to Jesus and there, before my eyes
A roman soldier speared him, and much to my surprise
His blood it flowed quite freely and then I saw the sign
Above his head a notice that would stand the test of time

The crowd around the spectacle the mocked him and they jeered
They didn’t know the power he’d have all throughout these years
The man they nailed up to the cross who bought us all good news
Was the undisputed leader the king of all the Jews

I looked at him and in his eyes the soul of all mankind
Why couldn’t these people see this they really must be blind
And quietly as he hung there these words he spoke for you
“Father please forgive them for they know not what they do”

My heart filled with emotion and deep love for this man
If I could be there with him do you really think I can?
I said, “Lord please forgive me for all the wrong I’ve done.
He said “I’ll have a place for you beside my fathers throne

And a light came from the heavens and the father of that man
Said, “Come up here beside me and join the son of man
All bathed in light the angels sang glory to the lord
And all around I saw them there was a heavenly hoard

There was Abraham and Moses and David up on high
Saints and sinners all of them around them glorified
Then somewhere in the distance a rumbling was heard
And Jesus Christ our saviour was there to give the word

He said he’d take the sinners and pardon every one
If only they believed in him , well he was God’s only son
The people all around him sang glory to his name
They sang the very praise of him life never would be the same.

And suddenly this wonderment for all its heavenly guise
Slipped into the distance as I opened up my eyes
I heard the keys a clanking as they opened up the door
And suddenly I realised just what they came here for

Today I go to Calvary to pay there for my crimes
And the horror rose inside of me as I longed for better times
The dragged me to the courtyard and whipped me to the floor
And all that pain and suffering I couldn’t take ant more

I could hear the people  shouting at the man who’d just been led
And very soon that wretched man would oh so soon be dead
I put a shoulder under the wooden cross that was there
With my last remaining energy I raised it in the air

I stumbled through the crowd that stood outside the gate
Those people didn’t know me but they cursed me with their hate
I knew I wouldn’t be alive next time the sun went down
I carried the cross upon my back to a hill outside of town

I was nailed up next to Jesus and there, before my eyes
A roman soldier speared him, and much to my surprise
His blood it flowed quite freely and then I saw the sign
Above his head a notice that would stand the test of time

The king of all the Jews
The king of all the Jews
Praise to the Lord
Praise to the Lord

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


I am not a great one for the church though I used to go regularly. I was in my late thirties when I joined the church band and started writing songs, this was one of them. It was a favourite among the band members.











Friday, 11 October 2013

Just Like You

Last year I heard about the International Day of the Girl then I wrote this.


I am human just like you.

I laugh just like you.

I cry just like you.

I can read just like you.

I can walk just like you.

I smile at the sun just like you.

I have dreams just like you.

I have needs just like you.

I have desires just like you

I do most things just like you.

Just like you I have sex.

Except, I’m only 10, so not like you at all.

Help me!


International Day of the Girl is here again.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

What's that all about?

I don’t have the art work for my book much less a publisher yet here I am sitting in the pub writing the follow-up.

What's that all about?


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Diane Cook

          Has it really been fifty years since I last saw Diane Cook? She was a lovely girl. My memories are quite clear. We were eleven. She had bobbed hair and the cutest smile. I was in love. She lived at No 2 Oxford Close, which was a cul-de-sac just off Cambridge Road. We were in the same class at Sherwood Park Primary. I don’t know when she came there but I was always at that school. The girl’s school uniform was a green jumper and grey pleated skirt she looked good in that. I kissed her as often as I could, which means while no one else was there to watch. She said she didn’t mind me kissing her but not to be too rough. I would hold her hand and carry her school bag to the crossroads where I went left and she straight on.
          I was once invited to tea at her house. I was overjoyed. As you turn into Oxford Close, it was the first house on the right hand side. It was a very nice house, with leaded bay windows. Her parents were middle class. I remember there was a garage at the bottom of the garden. I was invited to help with a nature project, Diane had found an abandoned nest, that of a blackbird, in a bush in the back alley. She wanted me to blow the eggs. She would then have this nest and eggs in her room with other exhibits. I don’t really remember tea.
           I don’t remember how much I saw of her after that, but at the end of the school term we never saw each other again. She went to the Girls Grammar and I to the Secondary modern. I did speak to her on the phone once, I was about fifteen, but nothing came of it. I bet she would have made a great ‘dolly bird’ in the sixties. A few years ago I made contact with an old secondary school chum, John Challis. He remembers her in her late teens. She was a friend of his now wife.
          Despite the life I have had I long for those days when I had no cares in the world and my idea of sexual excess was stolen kisses. Diane was my first love. I probably don’t remember all the details but the images in my head never fail to excite the eleven-year-old boy in me when I recall those early days. Good times!
          I would love to see who she became, what she achieved.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Will I Ever Learn

Well back in nineteen sixty-nine I got married and things went fine
And I couldn’t wait to go home to my wife at night.
But after just one year, well I’d cry into my beer
Cause I didn’t wanna to go home and that ain’t right.

Well when seven years were gone I kinda struck out on my own
I couldn’t stand her moaning all the time
Ya’ see I had lots of pay and she would spend it every day
And all the bills she ran up I do decline.

Well I spent some time on my own while I built up my new home
It was a struggle I don’t mind telling you.
Then I met a pretty girl in her hair she had a curl.
Boy I was sold and married number two

Well we had some fun for a time, but then I laid it on the line
Get off your ass and go and get some work.
Well she rode off on her horse and got herself a divorce of course
And all the lady left me was my shirt.

Now I’m on my own again its been eight years maybe ten
And I got plans to stay here on my own
It’s taken me a while but my house is filled with style.
And this time I’ll be hangin’ on to my home.

Now don’t she look a pretty gal maybe I am ready now
I hope my luck will change around about here
Hey lady I would like to see if you could be my number three
Come on over and have yourself a beer.

(Stop playing and say )

Will I ever learn
Hell no its all part of the growin’

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Slow Down

Out on the highway four hundred miles a day
Looking for a night stop so I can go inside an’ play
There in the distance through the trees I saw a light
And then I saw a sign that said “Stop here for the night”

Slow down, pull in over there
Slow down, find yourself a chair
Slow down, have a beer or three
This is the best-darned night stop that you will ever see.

I stepped down from my truck and moved on through the door
An’ dancing there in front of me, in the middle of the floor
The cutest little red haired babe that you will ever see
I gave her the eye and she was standing next to me.

Slow down, this could take all night
Slow down, this girl would do alright
Slow down why don’t I have another beer
I’m gonna start a party and it starts right here.

While I was dancing and giving her a hug
We were sliding on the floor going chug-a-lug-lug
Her voice was deep, she had stubble on her face
Man Oh man what a terrible mistake

Slow down put it in reverse.
Slow down she’s in a different universe.
Slow down she was a part-time male nurse
I feel so bad someone please call me a hearse

Slow down, slow down, slow down . . . . . (to fade)

Chord sequence

Out on the highway four hundred miles a day
Looking for a night stop so I can go inside an' play
There in the distance through the trees I saw a light
E                                                                             A
And then I saw a sign that said “Stop here for the night"

Slow down, pull in over there
Slow down, find yourself a chair
Slow down, have a beer or three
E                                                                               A
This is the best-darned night stop that you will ever see

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Lock

                                                                               clink clack, clink clack, clink clack

                                                                               It’s a sound boaters know well

                                                                               as they draw the paddle

                                                                                to let the water run out

                                                                                let the boat come in.

                                                                                Drop the paddle

                                          Only ten locks today in thirty miles

                                         Then twenty eight in ten miles

                                          Blistering work these locks

                                          Relentless and tiring

                                          Walking one to

                                           the next

Tread the path leading the horse

It’s a never ending day

onwards and up

then down



Friday, 31 May 2013

He didn’t do it!

It was only a short walk to his house. What could happen? As it happens a lot. A man ran out of a shop followed by another, very angry. The first man ran across the road and was hit by a car. He was hurtled in the air and landed on our man. The follower attacked our man, who was unconscious, believing him to be the perpetrator. Police arrested him and despite his injuries and carted him off to jail. To cut a long story short, today he was leaving jail after serving four years for something he didn’t do.

100 words

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The MAN (song lyric)

The sun is slowly setting beneath the darkening sky.
The moon grows ever brighter, did you ever wonder why?
The stars shine in the distance of the early evening sky.
And the sea rolls on along the sloping shore.

And it seems to be a part of a great and glorious plan
But the earth lies here in danger from the endeavours of the man

Don’t you know the world is dying, can’t you see the signs.
It’s oh so easy to shut it from our minds.
Ask yourself the questions, find the answers if you can.
Why do all children starve at the hand of the man?
In the cities all the people seem to live in fear.
Things are getting worse year after year.
Some old girl is beaten within an inch of her life.
Why did the man give the man a knife?

Guns and bombs and flying machines are the tools of the war.
Killing people wholesale is that what men are for.
Murder rape and pillaging armed robbery and cheats.
Laser guided missiles exploding with white heat.
Tell me the answers if you think you can.
Why is the man inhuman to the man?

Thursday, 23 May 2013


Anytime you walk
Beside the river
Carefully watch
Down along the waters
Edge you will
Hurriedly jumping
In the grass
June bugs hide
Keeping dry under
Leaves out of the way of
Munching predators
Noisily searching
Out their lunch
Periwinkles reflect the
Quiet sun
Radiating way up in the
Sky bathing the
Utterly oblivious to
Xed the
Zebra crossing.

Just a minute

It takes a minute for sixty seconds to tick by. One by one the sweep of the second hand passes each mark. Now it’s 5, Falling towards 10. Relentlessly onward never stopping. 15 never ceasing on it’s way around the clock face. This is the easy bit. 20 working towards the nadir 25 and then 30. On the upward path now 35 dragging on upwards to 40. 3/4 of the way now and it has reached 45. It is harder on this section 50. The zenith now in sight 55. Tick, tick, tick,60 at last and on we go 5


(100 words)

Monday, 20 May 2013

Diesel Bug

Short Magazine article
The EU are proposing an end to olive oil dipping dishes in restaurants for our protection. We already have laws (in this country) that cover any harm that might be done by bad hygiene practice.

What we don’t seem to have is a law that prevents Cladosporium Resinae (diesel bug) cross contaminating fuel tanks. Is your supplier supplying you good fuel or contaminated fuel? Does he know? Does he care? Has his delivery nozzle been in a tank that is contaminated before you arrived? Does he care enough to clean his nozzle after each delivery? Can you check that the fuel you are given is bug free?

The simple answer is that all suppliers should be compelled to treat their supplies. Whether that be producers main suppliers or retailers is for the clever people to work out. It cost about thirteen pound to treat 2500 litres that’s less than half a penny a litre. Fuel tax could be reduced by half a penny a litre to ensure that suppliers do this cost free. It is easier (more accurate) to treat 2500 litres than it is to treat 10, 20, 30 or even 100 litres. The %age error is far smaller. As of yet it is not know if under-treatment is effective or if over treatment is in some way damaging to engines.

Rather than some boaters and some retailers treating their supplies it would make sense for all suppliers to treat their fuel. That way we know that all fuel tanks are treated properly and the possibility of cross contamination is reduced to an absolute minimum or even zero.

Why should all suppliers be required to treat their supplies and not boaters. Well boaters are a varied bunch of individuals who have their own Ideas about where they will spend their money. Some will, some won’t treat their tanks. No amount of legislation will make Joe Bloggs treat the fuel going into his tank if he doesn’t want to. To check that his tank had been treated before a fuel nozzle is put in his tank will be cost prohibitive. I rest my case.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

My Day

It was five o’clock in the morning when I awoke. What a stupid time to get up, I thought. So I made a cuppa and went back to bed. I read yesterdays Telegraph, finished the crossword. Completed the Suduko then read some of my book. The tea went straight through me and as I stood in bathroom draining it away I thought how badly the bathrom needed a clean. A layer of Talcum powder lay on all surfaces, dulling the sheen that they normally have. It was still early, before seven, I decided to clean the bathroom.
In the corner was a pile of dirty washing. I took it next door and put it in the machine. Looking around the office, which was where the washing machine was kept, I thought, I really must put in some work there too. Back in the bathroom the task looked daunting. I went to the kitchen to get the cleaning stuff from under the kitchen sink. Looking around it occurred to me I had let my standards fall, as low as a dosser. I took cloths and cleaning stuff passing through the bedroom. I wondered why my bed had evolved into a clean clothes and book storage area. The cupboards were virtually empty. Why did I find it so difficult to put the clean laundry away?
I cleaned the walls above the gunnels; brushing of the dust and spraying on wax polish returning the wood to somewhere near its former glory. Toilet pan, sink and then shower followed by the lower walls then finally the floor. The whole task only took an hour, which surprised me although the room was only six feet by six feet.
Time for a quick cuppa, then on with the rest. Having an untidy space has an unhealthy effect on one’s psyche. It brings you down and makes you depressed. It makes for a very sad self. I walked back to the bathroom and was pleased with the result. This spurred me on to do more of my home. As you work on from one end to the other the euphoria builds, but towards the end you start to flag and the office never gets done. So now as always I have a nice clean living area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, but I am left with a very untidy office, as is the norm. Maybe I should start with the office next time.

The Boat

From high on the hill the scene across the valley was one of rolling countryside. Fields of wheat and barley broken up by hedgerows of hawthorn and of hazel. Dry stone walls along the lanes butting up to houses at the outskirts of the village. Tall stands of pine on a hill on the other side of the great divide, a tarmac road skirting its edge and disappearing down behind the hill. Away down the slope to the left a meadow leading on to a copse of birch trees. In the corner a hump back bridge over a canal, the canal winding its way around a hummock and following a similar path to the stream. A fairly typical English country scene.

Down at the canal bridge just short of a willow whose fronds are touching the dank muddy water moors a laden narrowboat. A figure is standing on the bridge, head in hands.

Through the side hatch of the boat a pool of blood is forming on the floor, a man makes gurgling sounds as the lifeblood drains from the deep gash in the side of his neck. The figure on the bridge, a woman sobbing, drops a knife over the parapet into the water. The life of a working boating family is a hard one, made all the more difficult by the by a brutal man. Her face once more damaged and swollen by the hands of the man she once loved. Her tears fell freely, she sobbed. Though she knew what she had done she was not sorry for him. Whatever the outcome now her life could not be worse than the last ten years.

Leaving You (Robert’s Song)

Song lyric

I was looking back on our life
and saw how things were going
I couldn’t really take the blame
I gave you everything you asked for
But still you asked for more
it seemed to me your life was just a game
It’s no good sayin’ sorry
the time for cryin’s over
I really need to start anew
I found someone who needs me
For who I used to be
she loves me and she’s different to you
I will not say I’m sorry I will not tell you lies
I’m changin’ to how I used to be we’ve had our time together
And I want to leave you easy gotta start myself a brand new me
Now it’s time that I was leavin’
I have somebody waiting
This is the last time I’ll be around.
I’m leavin’ you for ever
To start my life on over
gonna tune my guitar to a brand new sound
I will not say I'm sorry no I will not tell you lies
I’m changin’ to how I used to be we’ve had our time together
And I want to leave you easy gotta start myself a brand new me

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

True story of a country man.

It was a bright sunny morning. Martin awoke early as he always did. He had breakfast then set off in the 4×4 to the far side of his land. He liked to walk there with his dog, Goff. Turning into the field he notice that a travellers encampment had taken up residence. He got out of the vehicle and let Goff out the back. They started off across the field. A traveller approached him and said, “ Don’t let that dog off in here”.

“Why not?” says Martin.

“Coz I got 4 pit bulls in my van and I will let them out,” he said, “They’ll tear your dog to pieces”.

“Oh,” says Martin and he turns and walks back to his 4×4. Taking the shotgun off the rack behind the seats he breaks the gun and quickly pops two cartridges into the breech. Turning back to the traveller he says, “Go on then let your dogs out, you will be surprised how fast I can reload this gun”.

“Ya mean it don’t ya!” said the man.

“Try me,” said Martin, “You come trespassing on my land and threaten me and my dog. Now you and your mates get off my land else I will let you have both barrels and then I will sort your dogs. Do you understand me?”

The man said nothing, just turned called out to his friends and got in his van and drove out of the field. The others followed him.

Moral of the story? ‘Don’t fuck with Martin’.

Monday, 13 May 2013

A Soldiers Life

War is never futile if it is a just war.
A soldier’s life is never wasted if the soldier believes in why he is giving it.

A soldier's life.
It belongs to me it's mine.
I give it in defence of freedom.
I have considered the risk.
I am trained as best I can be.
Our enemy must be stopped at all costs.
If I help to defeat him I die not in vain,
but in glory
knowing I have served my country.
This is my choice.
Because of sacrifices made before
I can choose I have that right.
Do not decry my action.
Join me.
The alternative is unthinkable.
The freedom of my country
from tyranny and oppression
is worth my life.
It is all I have to give.
Freedom is not cheap.
Please do not waste it
decrying my sacrifice.


There I was just
rummaging around,
finger up my nose,
a hand scratching my bum
Its a long held past time
rummaging for lumps of solid snot.
Mum says I shouldn’t do it,
one day my brain will cave in
But it is so annoying when
solid snot gets stuck
just out of reach
I wiggle my finger tip,
twist it round
and round
but the all illusive
snot ball
is nowhere
to be found.
My second knuckle
nearly gone, I’m just
scratching the back
of my eyeball, but
Wait a minute
what’s that I feel,
yes it is!
Lying prostate
under my brain
it’s no wonder I
can't think straight
its sticking all my
thoughts together.
Ah Gotcha!!!!!

A Memorable Dinner

          Mike and I often went out to eat at night. It was simpler and cheaper than eating in. He had been in Kuwait longer than me and knew lots of places to eat and eat well. On occasions we would go into the poorer parts of the city. We both enjoyed the potluck that this provided. There was never any posh set ups, tables were usually Formica topped or had oilcloth laid on scaffold planks and biers. Eating spanners normally arrived with the meal, as did a glass of water. Such establishments had scrupulous hygiene standards, well by their ideal that was the case but there was a lot left undone. Occasionally cockroaches would join you for dinner. They certainly wouldn’t get a hygiene pass from the authorities here. We should have stayed with what we knew, but the food was often exceptional.
          On one occasion we took a taxi into the posh centre of the city, it was 11 September 2001. We had both been watching the events of the twin towers unfold on the TV. I thought I was watching a film at first, I didn’t realise it was a newsreel. Many of the people we lived amongst were Americans. The last thing we wanted that night was to listen to a bunch of rednecks putting the world to rights. We passed by parts of the city that we would normally like to go, parts that were still damaged from the war. Whole sides of buildings were missing but having nowhere to go the occupants were still living there, just a few blankets or a tarp tied in place for their privacy. A far cry from the luxurious apartment block we lived in on the edge of the city.
          At Maxims the doorman greeted us. Inside a waiter showed us downstairs to a table on the far side of the lower dinning area. This was fortunate for us. We ordered non-alcoholic drinks, as is the law in this Muslim state, and chatted about the events of the day. We gleaned information from some noisy Americans sitting across the other side of the restaurant, all conjecture of course. No we didn’t ask, but they have a way of permeating everywhere they go and to be fair they were angry, The Americans had never been attacked on their own mainland before. Welcome to the real world boys!
          We enjoyed dinner. It was of a better standard than our usual fare. Gulf states usually do seafood so very well and here was no different. Prawns are all grown and only a few fill a plate. They served fish we had never heard of and copious quantities of salad, rice, and side dishes filled all the space on the table left by the main course plates.
          There are many things you cannot do in a Muslim state and there are many things you should not do. Most people know what you can’t do, wine women and song sort of covers that, but what shouldn’t you do? Well one thing you shouldn’t be doing is going out to dinner the same day a bunch of Arabs blow up America, coz you just know these Arab boys are angry. If you do go out you should keep ya trap shut, coz you just know these Arab boys are angry.
          Well our American friends didn’t subscribe to this theory at all. “What we should do is bomb these Mother fuckers back to the Stone Age,” said one. This of course would be a pointless exercise because with the exception of mobile phones and motorcars they are still in the Stone Age. What they wanted their government to do to the Arabs was almost unspeakable. “Nuke the bastards,” said another. Well I am assuming you get the gist of this evening.
There were many nationalities sitting in that restaurant that night, me a Brit Mike an Aussie about ten Americans, not to mention Kuwaitis, Iraqis, and Afghanis. The last thing you need to do when you are sitting down to dinner with the ‘brothers’ of those who had just blown up your country is to mouth off. Americans, particularly rednecks, are good at that.
          It was at fifteen minutes past nine that the bomb went off. I know this because my watch broke in the explosion. There were several bombs in town that night all timed to go off together. We were lucky; the ceiling came down in the basement and showered us with debris. Two of the Americans were killed as a support pillar crashed on to their table. Mike and I ducked under the table and were waiting for the dust to clear. The front of the restaurant was blown out and the ground floor was destroyed. Many staff members were killed outright. The doorman ‘miraculously’ had crossed the street to use the toilet.
          I was bleeding from several wounds but only superficially. Mike had blood running down his forehead. “What the fuck was that,” I said. He said he thought the Americans were being too vociferous! “Wait a bit there might be another explosion.” We could hear sirens in the distance, but only in the distance, they didn’t seem to be getting any closer. A few people started moving so we got brave and came out from under our refuge. The sight before us was one of mayhem. Most of the ceiling was scattered on the tables and floor. People who looked like ghosts, covered in dust from head to foot, were standing surveying the scene with stunned looks on their faces. The support pillar that killed the two Americans was trapping another by the legs. We helped to lift it off him. Both his legs were smashed above the knees; he was rolling in and out of consciousness. The Americans dealt with him and their dead compatriots while all the time telling anyone who was in earshot what was going to happen to those ‘cowardly mother fuckers’. They just never learn. Mike and I tended to some of the others but most wounds were minor. The locals were apologising for the ‘outrage’ bought upon us in their country. Nothing we could say would placate them.
          Generally we got off lightly only two dead and one seriously injured. The rest of us had either got just cuts and bruises or were unhurt. We were all shocked! Slowly those of us that were walking got up the stairs and to the front of the building, what was left of it, where we were tended by the medics that eventually turned up.
          My overriding memory of that debacle that I shall never forget is a Kuwaiti police officer asking if I had paid for my dinner. It was totally surreal.