About this time I start to think
about a cup of tea
when all at once I need a drink
and Jock makes it for me.

The humming sound the kettle makes
tells me it won’t be long
Ah here it comes, with home-made cake
Hooray I wasn’t wrong.


In Meeting the Bar at dVerse tonight, Victoria Slotto gives us a well-informed article on Emily Dickinson and common meter.  I tried, I really did, but this is all I could come up with.  Shame on me.  This is the kind of thing my Dad and I used to do all the time – fun it was, but poetry it is not!

I will try again when I am not so weary.

Posted in formal poetry, really bad poem, rhyming poetry, short poems | Tagged | 20 Comments

God Bless the Internet

Jock was peeling potatoes – I’m roasting a chicken tonight for supper – and as usual, singing.  But he couldn’t quite remember the tune.

“It’s a quarter to three… di di dum … ! from him – and “…one more for the road” from me.
How did that go?  Out comes Lappy.  Frank Sinatra, One more for the road tapped into the keyboard.  And before you could draw breath, up pops Old Blue Eyes onto the screen, leaning on a bar like an Edward Hopper painting, and the syrupy-sad notes are with us.

One thing leads to another, and nostalgia washes over us with an all-time favourite Sinatra Song, There Used to be a Ball Park to cement the mood.

Jock is coming round to the idea of the benefits of technology.  As a technincompoop, I’m not sure how to insert the you-tube clips here, but I’m hoping the links will take you there.

Posted in life writing | Tagged | 8 Comments

Nature’s Cento

colour comes creeping in

Insects flittering,
leaves flickering in the breeze
filter the light with moving speckles.
Glistening blue and green
of dragonfly delight the eye
Cacophony of birdsong
tunes the ear to individual airs
A waft of flowery fragrance
scents the air as a small miracle
of light bathes fields in gold.
Scent, sight and sound restore me –
defeat my grumpy mood





CC at dVerse Poets’ pub gives us some superb examples of nature poems and asks us to take our inspiration from the natural world around us for a short poem.  Nature is so often the theme of my poems, especially my “30 days of wild” in June that I was able – with some editing – to make a cento poem from bits and bobs of them.

Posted in found poetry, nature poems, short poems | Tagged | 20 Comments

Poem Starting with a line by UA Fanthorpe

Somewhere along this road an invisible ditch
creates a tangible barrier between us,
requires enormous effort to cross
by car and boat or plane and train –
a day of stoic waiting in discomfort
endured for the reuniting.

But on my lap a contraption of plastic
brings us together without exertion
except the flight of fingers  across the keys
Click an icon and there you are before me
by wizardry of arcane technology
The desire and Skype are all that’s needed
to bridge that ditch.


First line from Homing In, by UA Fanthorpe, my choice for Miz Quickly’s prompt:” to look around. Read some New-to-You poetry. I usually begin with the poem-a-day and follow the links for further reading; doesn’t matter how you browse, though. Just look for a line that captures your imagination (and holds its own as a unit of syntax) That is your first line*. It sets the tone for your poem. You may want to go farther–if you want a little more challenge–and let the length of the line, and possibly its meter, be your template. Just have fun.”

The ditch in UA’s poem is the English Channel, which separates me from my family in England




Posted in free verse, life writing | Tagged | 7 Comments

WordPress is at it again: where has my header gone?

Almost as long as I have been blogging (since 2010) my blog has had a customised look:  Bistro Vivienne header pic  on a background of a line and wash drawing of Paris rooftops.
Suddenly this has disappeared, replaced by a gloomy picture of forest treetrunks.  I don’t like it.  It isn’t me.  I don’t know how to get back my proper “look”, which took me hours to create.   HEEELLLPPPP !!!!! * *** expletives deleted.

Posted in Wordpress gripes | Tagged | 10 Comments

Wordle 209 ….. I wish

I wish I were a girl again,
camping beside the river Thames
basking in the sunshine’s warmth
toasting marshmallows
singing all those campfire songs
having fun with the boys in the kayaks  –
racing, exploring, flirting, turning turtle.
Hell and damnation,
I’ll never camp again
too old, too tired.

Image via Google, here

Two for the price of one today:  for the Sunday Challenge at A prompt each day we were given the phrase “I wish” to start us off.  That was a natural for me, given the words of Wordle 209   I spent a lot of my childhood running wild in on and beside the river Thames.


Posted in free verse, life writing, wordles | Tagged | 18 Comments


It’s a treat to visit family

Ullenhall, the Crowley Oak 7.15Hawkswell House

and good to come home again to unexpected gladioli.IMG_0777PS  This is my 2500th post!   
PPS Do visit other 6-worders at Cate’s Place

Posted in life writing, pictures | Tagged | 23 Comments


There are days when words flow like lava
and other days more like a blocked-up sink.
This is a day to get out the plunger .

Poetry aficionado, wannabe professional,
my slapdash efforts are more dilettante
than skilful, more’s the pity.

Miz Quickly wants us to play with synonyms and antonyms for the word amateur
and use four of them in a poem.  I’ve used five, just to assert my independence.

Posted in free verse, life writing, really bad poem | Tagged | 6 Comments

Good Morning

“Good Morning.  Here is the weather forecast
for today, twenty-fourth of July.
A band of heavy rain will cross the country slowly,
remaining over  Northwest France all day.
There will be a strong Northeasterly wind
with gusts up to sixty miles an hour.”

I think I’ll take in the washing
batten down the hatches
and go back to bed.

It really was the forecast, but I woke up to clear blue sky, so maybe I should get up and enjoy it.

from here




Posted in free verse, short poems | Tagged | 6 Comments



The lull that follows the solstice
leaves me gasping.
Where have distant woods and fields gone?
Hidden by waving maize stems.


What am I doing here?
Sitting in the sun doing nothing
gazing at heavy green-ness
with eyes dulled by apathy.


Where is the impulsion brought by Spring?
In this mid-season hiatus
soon to slide into brief Autumnal high
before descent to Winter passivity.

Posted in nature poems, pictures, prose poem | Tagged | 13 Comments

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

I’m home, dead beat, but after a marathon effort following the expensive major surgery, I think Lappy is back to normal (more or less).  At any rate, I can at last get on my blog as me, so maybe now I can relax and start writing again.

Posted in life writing, Poems, prose | Tagged | 8 Comments


Laptop is in for major surgery

Technology is here to try us
tempt us to complacency
then wham bang thank you ma’am
declines to work quite brazenly
wipes out our words so fatally
yah boo sucks to you discourteously
unless you pay immediately
the ransom we demand.

Fraser in Pair

A great  evening watching the action at Tyne United Rowing Club.  Above:  grandson Fraser in a pair and below, daughter Sally in a mixed quad.Tyne United Rowing Club Sally in quad

A shopping trip to Hexham and an eye test was followed by one abortive attempt to fix Lappy (Technician on holiday).  We eventually found some Splendid Young Men in another branch.  With trepidation lwe left Lappy with them, making a hole in my bank account and hoping that the repaired computer can be picked up on our way South on Monday.   Fingers crossed.

Do visit other 6-worders at Cate’s Place 

Posted in free verse, life writing, rhyming poetry | Tagged | 28 Comments

Deauville to Newcastle

Travel broadens the bum and narrows the tolerance
(Hurry up and wait, Hurry up and wait)
leads to somewhere, you hope
(Hurry up and wait, Hurry up and wait)
in God’s good time if there’s no headwind  so the plane is late
and your luggage tips onto the belt when it should
instead of last to arrive
(so you Hurry up and wait)

If your train is on time, you’ve missed it.
(Hurry up and wait, Hurry up and wait)
No seats to be found for the hour and a half  ’til the next one
in scruffy old New Street
(march up and down while you wait)
(lean on a grubby pillar while you wait)
(observe human nature while you wait)

When the one oh five at last arrives, you struggle against a tide
of hurrying crowds with inconvenient packages and prams
(so you wait for a space, and you wait)
You climb aboard at last and the luggage racks are full
(so you wait for a smiling face who helps)
Your reserved seat is on the train you missed
(so you wait for a seat un-graced by another)

Cross country trains have a habit of stopping.
Frequently.  At ill-considered stations,
with a detour via Wakefield and Leeds
(so until your destination, you wait)
By this time you’re hungry and thirsty
(for the trolley to arrive, you wait)
Um! An egg sandwich, bottle of warer, £5
I could feed a family on that for a week.
You’re tired and cold                                                                (so you wait)
’til your heart gives a jump at the sight of the Tyne
that Bridge, the glass domes of the Sage at Gateshead

You’ve arrived.

Posted in free verse, longer poems, rants | Tagged | 32 Comments

Writing to Order

Flumadiddle balderdash, piffle
twaddle, bosh and tripe,
claptrap and drivel
poppycock,  and muddle
is all I can write
when told to write:
poppycock, balderdash, piffle.

Posted in humour, nonsense poems, Poems, really bad poetry, short poems | Tagged | 12 Comments

Quilty bag finished and loaded

Japanese folded bag finished  2Japanese folded bag finished

Posted in quilts and pictures | 5 Comments