Category Archives: snippets and soundbites

key worker


My dog

It seems 

Has deemed himself a key worker

Responsible for 

Social distancing

Open brackets – Feline – Close brackets

Patrols the house all night

On tippy paws at windows


2 metres….woof….2 metres

The cats are unimpressed



Respond with that well known 2 claw salute

And hiss

Same household motherfucker

Can’t bear to break it to him

That the clap on thursday nights

Is not for him

Or his sort

French bulldog

Just hope 

That he’s aware

Become beware

That when this ends

Someone may decide

He’s not needed anymore

Unless of course

He can grow 2 thumbs

Learn to pick the crops.


today has been a good day

Today has been a good day

A friend messages to let me know

He’s baking sourdough bread

And he would like nothing more

He says

Than to stand at my door

Cradling a loaf

Still oven warm

A loaf that we would tear apart with bare hands

Smear the hunks with that good Polish jam

Sit in the small sliver of my garden that gets the morning sun

Drink coffee out of mugs as big as bowls

And pretend that we’re in France 

Or somewhere else


Of course he can’t



Sends a photograph

And in return

I unearth the cherry jam

Now lost behind a stack of tins

Take another picture

The promise

Of jam


Dog Day Afternoons

The Dogs

Delightful and delighted by these strange days

Loving every little scrap of lockdown

Finally convinced the human care-givers to chill


Embrace the rhythm of a dog day afternoon

Meals that last an hour or two

Naps because there’s not much else to do

And everyone’s excited now

By post

And Amazon

And Deliveroo

The dogs would like to remind you though

It’s their job to jump with joy at doors

Not yours

Potting on in a pandemic – draft & then version 2

Today I am potting on geraniums

No prize winning specimens these

Not liable to win awards for best in bloom

But shunted into corners of the supermarket

Final home for plants that didn’t make the grade

And left

To fade and die

Flower buds already fragmenting, failing, falling

Leaves bruised from just much too much touch


I have hope

And a tiny bag of compost saved for just such an emergency


I breathe


One glance up at unseasonable skies

Helps me decide it’s far too cold



My kitchen is full of tiny pots



They can take their chances

Go outside.

Corvid 19


“I’m worried about this Corvid virus “ she said

And for one split second I saw us all transformed



And magpies

Strut along the pavements

Why fly when you can walk?

Eyes bright with smart

Quick to fix on shiny somethings

Fun Fact

Corvids display a love of beauty

A sense of the aesthetic

Hide their treasures carefully

And return to stare

 Perhaps enjoy

Each rook a curator of their own museum


survival strategies for surviving a solitary holiday season

  1. get a dog – this will require forward planing – a dog is not just for Christmas
  2. walk the dog- a dog will allow you to leave the house at least twice a day in peak holiday periods
  3. if asked how the day is going ,answer carefully ” it’s nice to get some peace and quiet” – no lie but implied that your home is full of light and noise and company and not just four walls closing in
  4. put up a tree, a tree and lights, no matter if tawdry, it’s all display, hiding your shameful solo state  from passers by
  5. do not go on social media
  6. do not go on social media
  7. do not go on social media
  8. count your blessing – no really count them – no mounds of debt, unwanted socks, hissed rows in kitchen’s over who forgot to get the gravy stock
  9. put on some lipstick – red is best
  10. if you must go on social media then use generic xmas images – robins, snow or suited santa
  11. send up beat texts with gifs of dancing bears, be vague about the details of your day
  12. pace yourself – two presents to open, take it slow, the same with wine – no-one likes a maudlin drunk
  13. if you must post pictures of your actual day – cheat – use photos from others years when things were better – no-one checks or cares
  14. a Christmas dinner of cheese or cake or whiskey from the bottle is fine and saves on washing up
  15. do not complain about the chorus of late night karaoke from the house across the street
  16. do encourage neighbours to dump their Christmas Day detritus into your half empty bin
  17. consider small acts of kindness – even to yourself – especially to yourself
  18. hug the dog ( see 1)  and go to sleep.


In my defence, I am struggling with another bout of chronic insomnia and am therefore experimenting, sadly unwillingly, with writing at very odd times of the day or when I am completely exhausted.
It has an odd effect on writing, I’m not convinced its really the way forward.


Her days have a new rhythm now
A recognise able tune, familiar, but with a new syncopation
Get in car…..familiar
Fingers fumble to find the measured tones of Radio 4…familiar
But the crying is new
And she has a new routine to manage this
And then, head on steering wheel, salt tears mixing with that chemical
That spray the Kosovans on the corner squirt liberally over the dashboard when they swarm over the filthy car
That spray that makes old cars new

The tears are time limited
5 minutes and she is ready to go
Has become practised at emergency make up repairs
Stalled,stopped at the traffic lights, waiting to make that tricky right hand turn


The tears have become more frequent
No longer need the nudge of those other voices, other sounds
She carries them
Internal radio
Even in silence

She has become adept at dabbing, mopping
Crumpled tissue always at hand
She wakes at 3,4 am
And finds that her tears have begun before the day itself

Embarrassed by her mute mourning
She takes herself to a doctor
Shines lights, pokes and prods
She has blocked tear ducts
Her crying is a symptom, not of the world tearing itself apart, but her own physical malfunction

There is a pause


Scratches his nose

Rubs his own eyes

Says there seems to be a lot of blocked tear ducts

These days.