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Campers that Camp
Parkers who Park
Clampers that Clamp
Players who Play
Dampers that Damp
Breakers that Break
Stayers who Stay
Sneakers who sneak
Lovers that Love
Layers who Lay
Dreamers who Dream
Day Dreamers who Day Dream
Flouters who Flout
Shouters who shout
Pouters that pout
Wreckers who wreck
Screamers that Scream
Reamers that Ream
Redeemers who Dream and Redeem
Screamers who scream
Creamers who make cream
Streakers who streak
Readers who Read
Bleeders who Bleed
Tearers who tear
Shearers who shear
Sharers who share
Darers who dare
Carers that Care
Trenders who Trend… That’s trending
Menders who Mend... they're mending
they’re Fixers who fix!
They’re Doers who Do
Not Doubters that Don’t

Senders who send’a
a’ huh huh huh!
Thank you very much!
I haven't go t a clue what prompted me to start this... I'm usually quite pragmatic and write about real things, real life and not the 'ethereal'
Sent some flowers the other day
to a friend who’d lost life’s loves,
kith and kin, too often
over the years.
Loves & Lives Lost,
too many fears realised…

Birthdates after death,
death-dates after life
they concertina together
to cause concerning days, weeks,
months. And, commiserations come in
in a flurry sometimes and amplify the hurt.

As time rolls on it's strange
how anniversaries come in bunches!
Just for the moment it seems that all
the good things are in the past…

But let’s look forward to warmth,
comfort and re-assurance from
memories of friends, family,
partners and loved ones - at last.
The lockdown’s knocked down!
The sheep have escaped.
They’re running amok
in an indiscriminate, confusing flock,
flaunting the rules
looking like fools
spreading envy in a frenzy
not to mention the plague.

Stoppit… or else - you’ll coppit!
We're all fed up of being locked down... but THIS has not helped mankind - so be kind- stop it!
Picture the scene… a TV company boardroom.

“OK we have a problem”…

Oh no! - Corporate gloom!

"Thank you for turning up everyone… Listen in.

The opposition has come up with a winner.

Celebrity Pooch Walks with Alan Carr. I know…

But Gary’s got an idea - go on Gary…”

Here’s a synopsis…

It’s called ‘Celebrity Snoop Dogs’

We strap a camera to a dog’s back

and send it through a famous person’s cat-flap…”

“Sorry to stop you there Gary.

Although I recognise the merits -

and you may have it right…

But that one’s on Channel Four tonight!”
Reality TV has stretched credibility to breaking point... And can you believe that there are TV 'personalities' (I use the term loosley) who get involved... It must be for the money. It can't possibly be because it's prime time quality viewing!!
Blessed are the sign makers
for they shall do overtime

social distancing notices
and warnings galore

means extra work
for those who inform.

They’re Reflecting the changes
in a mixed up world

There’s serif, sans serif, cursive,
leaded, kerned, font smoothed

Do the 2 metre 2 step
the 1 metre Shimmy…

The retailers are back
saying Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

Women want to shop…
Blokes just want to be blokes.

It’s a sign of the times folks.
Some people have been doing very well out of lockdown
Chris Slade Jun 21
I visited my old man when he was just a coupla’days from death.
He looked serene as I walked down the ward…
dozing with a satisfied, benign smile - like he was still glad to be alive.
He opened one eye when he ‘felt’ me arrive
“Now then”... He said… “this Morphine… It’s ****** brilliant stuff.
I tell you what - if I’d known how good this’d make me feel
I’d ‘ave been a right ******! I can’t get enough!

What he’d actually said… had been…
“If my mother’s milk made me feel this good
I’d never have been weened!”
I know… Not the most pleasant turn of phrase.
But come on - just an old guy - at the end of his days

“So pa..Eighty Five? What do you reckon?… A good run?”
"Well, apart from the great depression and 2nd World War…It’s been fun".
but I’d have been a lot happier if your mam hadn’t gone before.
What’s the point without her to balance me out…
She’d ride shotgun, map read on trips out, and we had laughs galore
We were a double act, Morecambe & Wise, Little & Large - Margaret & Bud!
So now I’m right fed up of being on me own…it’s no good - I don’t like flying solo - alone.
Being on my tod in the day, well that ain’t so bad
but come the evening the loneliness - it’s driving me ****** mad.”

“And now there’s all this *****”… He points at where the tubes go.
Like this…What’s it really all about? there’s just - well I don’t know…
You should be able to choose when it’s time to end - time to go.
Not hang around rudderless without your best friend.
I’ll be off in a couple of days then you can get on with things
not hanging around - worrying about me… and he was right.
Just tweak that dial on the drip stand and… I’ll shove off,
circle around and choose a new place to land…
Don’t worry - There is such a thing as reincarnation you know.
So, see you when I find me feet…hopefully - in the afterglow!"
Chris Slade Apr 23
There’s a phenomenon; happens at night.
Apparently it’s a lot to do with
the turning of the earth
and bedclothes… You know?
Both the duvet and what I call
the dog barrier! That’s an old throw.

Sure, I have to believe what I’m told.
But every night there’s a real fight
and amidst it I do try to keep hold.
… But every morning it seems
I wake up shivering and left out
in the cold…

I mentioned it to 'the others' in a gentle
and incidental kind of way.
The dog wasn’t bothered.
He was busy having HIS day.
And my missus, with no remorse,
said glibly, and probably without thinking...
"It’s the centrifugal force!"

So there you have it!… The duvet I mean… Or rather you don’t!
Time for separate rooms
Chris Slade Apr 21
Politicians, when questioned, who begin their answer with “So”... Those who waffle when questioned and yet they clearly don’t know.
Juggling “ums”, “erms” and “aahs” when struggling to avoid the truth.
It alienates, infuriates and generally makes those interviewed sound unprepared, uninformed, dense, almost uncouth.
But that doesn’t stop them!

The nation’s thirst for updates demands Government be contrite. Approaching difficult situations, yeh - but ours, dropping ******* left & right.
It means an address from a hapless minister almost every night.
Each department must have top aides quaking in their boots
because the media correspondents, incisive, sharp, erudite and firm
shoot tricky questions, deliberately, to make the politicos squirm.

It shines a light on what the country needs... clear thinking, logic common sense, honesty, truth, stealth and less guille.
Not subterfuge, not **** covering,“let’s dodge the bullet” style. Certainly not ten grand extra for having to work from home.
But sharper more contrition, put yourself in our place for a while! We want to be reassured, buoyed up, not consumed with bile.

You get more support and sympathy if you just tell the truth!
A poem based on the UK Government Press Briefings during Covid-19.
An awkward time
Chris Slade Apr 18
Ted Slade • (my cousin)
Withernsea, Holderness, East Yorkshire

Last night the sea ripped the beach from its bed.
We heard the screams
but know too well not to interfere
in these family disputes.
In the morning we gathered to look,
ghouls at a death,
the sea at our feet, calm,
sated, gulls riding at anchor on it shoulders.

The meadow’s gone the same way,
yard by yard, year by year.
Now the house sways on the brink.
When he saw his rose bushes
scattered down the cliff, Jack cried.
Finally we moved out when
the garden shed was launched
one winter’s night.
Very Important Persons
brought their sympathies,
and went away nodding.
Perhaps we’ll become little islanders.
Though surely not.
... New Atlanteans at least.

Ted Slade • 1939-2004
From Ted's book 'The Last Arm Pointing'.
Chris Slade Apr 17
When the skylarks would warble hover and sing
at about a hundred feet, high on the wing, and we…
on a heat clicking Sunday between Salt End and the sea,
well we knew - just from the ozone, on the breeze
that we’d be off …a shimmering heat haze convoy of old crocks,
Bud, Margaret, Brian and me to Tunstall,
a diminishing, mystical land of sun, sand, sea - and tumbling rocks.

But it wasn’t just us…it was a cavalcade - motors galore.
Uncles,  Aunties, Cousins, Grans, Grandads and more
in Austins, Morris’s, Vauxhalls and Fords,
And a big old Rover wi’them wide running boards,
a motor bike’n’sidecar with Maurice, Denise & our Val
to wring the best from the day a’la Plage de Tunstall’…

The beach crackled in the heat…
if you walked too slow it’d burn your feet.
and our Dads, our ‘civil engineers’, built a brick oven and in a
giggling gaggle… Mums cooked a real Sunday dinner.
Kids’d run back & forth to the sea and back
buckets & spades, hacking big holes and shots in goal,
cricket with fallen rocks for a wicket and,
after pudding, burying drunken dads in the sand.

Heavy, wet woolen cozzies, sand in groins,
...changing in turn, under a soaking wet, gritty towel.

“Don’t dry me with that, Ow! Buddy hell - watch my sunburn.”
Then, all back in the cars, for our return
into the sunset and driving away.

Chaffing sore shoulders.

Chuffing good day! - yeah…Parfait!!
Memories of an East Yorkshire childhood. Let's hear it for Tunstall.
Chris Slade Apr 15
Let me get this straight, it's 1914.
Arch Duke somebody or other
gets shot in Sarra-******-Yavo…
And Austro-Hungary declares a
war on Serbia? So?
We, within no time…
and in the blink of an eye,
the whole bleedin' world
goes to war!..Why?

I had a great Uncle. He WAS great!
A proud Yorkhireman, by chance,
gets blown to bits in a trench
on Boxing day, in France!
Just a day after watching a sodding
football match... Our lads against
the bleeding Germans
in No Man’s Land… No way!?
Yeh? Yeh! On Christmas effing Day?

Am I going out of my mind?

“But, there’s worse to come…
“the ****** Germans won 2-1…!”

And get this, right… where I live now,
the great and the good
played a hunch…back then.
“I know we’ll give our fighting boys
a send off.  A slap up lunch!!…
So the Mayor, Civic Officers
and Councillors
waited on the squaddies’ tables.
To gee them up.
And so it did!
“Good Luck” bellowed the bulbs
outside the Kursaal Dome…
After the Brown Windsor,
the Mutton and Plum Duff
and, as if the ignominy of the call to arms,
wasn't quite enough...
it wouldn't just get tough
it became obvious; downright plain,
that many of those worthy Worthing men
wouldn’t be coming home again.

That’s the trouble with war… It's a killer!
Apr 9 · 54
Stir Crazy?
Chris Slade Apr 9
I’m feeling a bit ‘other worldly’
like you do coming out into the light
from the dark of the cinema
in the daytime obviously…
Or that first few steps after
taking off your roller skates…
Remember that?

When, in your head,
you’re still gliding, sliding
rather than stepping
and stumbling.
I’m starting to miss the
contact of others.
Those I wouldn’t maybe
normally see anyway.

How mad is that?

But it’s the knowing
that you CAN
even though you CAN’T
… Don’t want to
that’s what’s important.

I’m looking for closer hugs
rather than distant nods,
smiles, waves or shrugs
Looking for the WILL
rather than the WON’T.

Looking for the SHALL We?
rather than WE SHOULDN’T!
the COULD rather
than the COULDN’T.

We’ve all just got the
LONGING to meet
rather than just having the
THRONGING to beat.
We all have a yearning
for normality and
I’m worried about
losing my personality
I’m ready for the great outdoors
not lockdown laws.

I’m starting to want to go to
places I haven’t been for a while
even though I might not have
enjoyed them when I did.
I’m reminiscing
as well as just ‘missing’.

I think I might be a bit crazy
….Stir crazy!
Chris Slade Mar 25
Jack brought his ‘work’ home after that first day away…his Trojan!
a 22 foot van chassis on the kerb, in Cottingham, outside, that first night.
And Mrs Ellis, number 49, moaned about her front room’s loss of light.
Bud, fascinated, transfixed, sat up front, jiggled with levers, switches and gears.
"Steady on lad… calm down you’ll ****** up the settings,
here, turn that off, flick this switch, push that button. Wow… *******, the roar!
Be careful, ease your right foot off - he shouted - No! No, don’t push it to the floor!"

"Now then…foot on that one, yeh? That’s the clutch. Now push the stick top left.
Ease your left foot off… no, no gently, slowly, else you’ll **** it"…
“******* Jack, we’re moving’ what’s next, what’s next?”
Jack crouched behind the driver’s seat and shouted step by step…
“Ten to two! Hold the wheel tight. Go on, left foot on… stick back… Yep!”
“Foot off, more gas on the right. That’s it. That is it! Tight left lock.”
They were off… along the road - left, left and left again round the big block.

“Go round again, go on!” Jack shouted”. Turn right this time just here, slow down.
“Let the engine tek the load.”
and, instead of just skirting the houses
they were off down the Beverley Road.
No cab, wind in their hair and not a ****** care.
The trees, with wind filled cheeks, and enraptured shrieks
all the blurred green whizzed by…
Bud was driving. He was actually driving, at fourteen!
What a feeling?!

“Mam… Mam… I even double-de-clutched!…
“Did he Jack? Did he?  What is that anyway?”
“Aye Mam, he did… He were just gradely!”
Bud often told me about his early driving experiences...
Maybe it’s why he was so tolerant when, whilst he was at work, I took his car out on the roads around our house in Birmingham when I was only twelve.
Mar 18 · 105
Not Hirsuit!
Chris Slade Mar 18
Never could grow a decent beard…
If I tried It’d be a bit sparse,
trying to cultivate on my face
what grows wild around my ****.
I’ve tried all sorts...hormones, unctions,
ointment, chicken manure…
(I'd heard that was good) but nothing,
it seems, quite cracks it when adding to my allure!
True story
Mar 18 · 85
Family Matters
Chris Slade Mar 18
There’s an early morning toker on the beach.
Can’t go home. His dysfunctional family’s out of reach.
The puzzle’s finished, he’s just a left over piece that doesn’t fit.

He’s a jigsaw piece without a place to go.  A conundrum
for social services, nice charity workers, who fail to know
how a seeming misfit’s mind works and what makes him tick.

He can’t engage with team leaders, “stupid bleeders”. They make him sick.
He’s due back at six… got to be clean - no blow, no skunk, no beer.
He’ll blow numbers and he knows it and it’s clear

They won’t let him sleep in his own bed tomorrow night…
He’s persona non-grata ‘cos every time he’s out he skins up… It’s *****!
He hates the rehab in the hostel, but can’t cope on the outside.

Catch 22 at 20 it’s a cul de sac…Everything he does is wrong… It’s all utter cack
He says he’ll top himself… people can’t see the real him, says he’s not off the track.
He just needs love, warmth, support, reassurance, guidance, a family, a job… He don’t wanna go back.

Another day… cold and driving rain. There’s an early morning toker on the beach…
Actually he’s been there all night - his family’s out of reach. He’s still, not moving. His pupils have no shine.
“Alright mate… are you OK?” Oh **** - He’s sheet white, still not moving… Dial 999.
Mar 10 · 134
Happy Birthday Colin!
Chris Slade Mar 10
There’s a bedsheet on a bush, at a roundabout on the A259

’graffiti’d’ with “Happy Birthday Colin • 65 Today!”…

And, whilst, yeah… Many Happy Returns Colin, that might be fine,

after a month of passing by every day, you have to say,

why don’t they just take the effing thing away?
Chris Slade Mar 10
Elsan! I know… it sounds like a sun-kissed Spanish Beach doesn’t it?. El San!
What it is, is a make of chemical toilet. In the old days, we called it The Can!
In the yard behind a Yorkshire farmhouse… your fate & your poo - was sealed!
Grandma Ellen’s WC was the best advert for crapping alfresco out in the nearest field.

But, in a corrugated shed… a plank seat on a galvanised bin with a cranking handle.
Always best visited in daytime ‘cos after dark you’d need to take a candle.
And, when you’d achieved your goal in there… and it was past your time,
you cranked it and your extrusion disappeared in the primordial slime.

It was not a reader’s loo… No time for catching up wit’ Daily Mail.
although the paper was held neatly to the shed’s timber frame with a trusty, rusty 6inch nail.
It was cut into handy squares.  And almost without fail, you’d start to read still sitting there
and, when you got into the words, readable in the gloom, they were cut off just above the tear!

No, you’d just want to get out quick… The Jeyes Fluid scent would tend to make you gag,
It didn’t even allow my cousin Alan time for a crafty ***.  And monthly, according to occupancy,
Uncle Charlie did the job he’d said he’d never fancy, that of struggling toward the field
to empty the contents. Ironic really that after Uncle Charlie and Auntie Nellie died
the next owners plumbed their new one - up to the new fangled mains inside!
Chris Slade Mar 10
A fishing rod for Brian… wow, of course! A definite must!
He’d been banging on… can I, can I, can I mam…aw… just
like a broken record. So he got one - just because he fussed!
So the mantra switched… "When, when, Mam, when can we go?"
My mam and dad, always busy in the shop, so they didn’t know.

And me dad, he'd never been fishing in his life though.
His own dad had died when he was twelve - so no,
he’d not been shown the ropes: but how hard could it be?…So
":OK, we’ll go down to the pier or the harbour in Brid.
Anything to shut him up." And me? Well I wanted to go and so - we all did!

We’re off in our Austin 10… “Are we nearly there yet dad -
are we nearly there?
Bait, bait, we need some bait where will we get that? Where?”
“Shut up, sit down, button your coat up and I will get you there.
There’ll be a shop a bait shop - AND I, I will bait the hook!”
You, pain in the ****, don’t touch anything - all you CAN do is look!"

We parked, got to the pier, unpacked our stuff - just as it began to rain.
My brother was still whingeing, my dad was seething… Brian WAS being a pain.
The wind blew, horizontal rain. The worm fell off the hook. Dad, annoyed, put it on again.
“Can I do it Dad?” “NO!” This was the moment, the one that we all hoped would be…
the next best thing to catching a fish… The cast!
When my old man threw the whole effin' lot in the sea!
Mar 10 · 41
Chris Slade Mar 10
It started out as a spelling mistake but turned into a poem about petty crime…

A smattering of temptation as you wander through the shop.
You’re certain no one’s seen you, or caught you on the hop!
The carousel of cameras scanning overhead.
If there is a wazz up there watching someone outside would have said.
You’ve popped the bag of sweets (a test) into your hood
so time for the big one…the single malt, the triple filtered ***** or the brandy
That looks good…Handy!… I’d give ‘em an asbo!

Make the punishment fit the crime…no custody, no doing time
for anything so puny. So, lifting from a shop’s not attracting attention
and mugging the pension from a careless granny wouldn’t even get a mention.
If you’re lucky… it’d just get ‘em an asbo!

Inner Cities spawn organised gangs with distractors, dippers, lookouts,
And millions spent on security, surveillance, radio networks…to confound the canny louts
It all gets added to the cost of goods, hits the pocket of the shopper
and when the deal goes down it’s just the ineffectual copper
who passes the gangs on to the courts… just to get an asbo

The system isn’t coping the prisons are full of proper crims & the rest think it’s a game.
We need a dis-incentive, a deterrent something to put them off their aim.
with technology in our lives today like that electric control collar for dogs
Well, this’d be a way to confound those who set out to do us ill…
an extension to the tag but with extra skill… a kind of super asbo

Since I’m slightly to the right of Atilla the ***…

So… there should be a new E-procedure to deal with crime that’s just called petty
like an app that sends a message to the ankle tag when someone sets out to be a lag
and, when their bad deed is done, and they’re divvying up the loot
the tag tightens cuts the blood supply and amputates their bleedin’ foot!
In the UK one of the punishments that law courts can hand down is an ASBO - anti-social behaviour order
Chris Slade Mar 5
It’s probably because these days,
now that my knees hurt more,
that when I’ve tackled our K2  stairs -
and I’m on the top floor,
you might just hear me ask
“what the **** did I come up here for?”
You see it’s not just the legs
but the brain that’s weak.
All the plusses that old age holds in store…
out of breath, can’t speak, need a leak…
but sod it, what did I actually come up here for?
It’ll come to me in a minute if I give it some thought
just for a minute or so...
I know, have at least two of everything,
one up one down, so that wherever you go
there’ll be what you want right there…
Or... just move to a bungalow!

Meanwhile... what did I come up here for?
Everything these days is either about old age or Armageddon!
Chris Slade Feb 15
It’s a dystopian gloom and doom saga...
Also you may notice I’m still crusading for Littlehampton to feature on the world stage.

(and btw… I do know that US presidents only get
to have two terms of office… But, like most world leaders…
we never let the truth get in the way of a good story).

You know what’s coming doncha?
It’s not the end of the world (yet) but…
slowly and, as with all evolutionary stuff,
things are changing - and I for one… Well, I’ve had enough!
But you do know what’s coming doncha?

Like a glacier melts and the oceans rise.
and the maps change shape and,
unfortunately, also each country’s size.
The scary cry goes out…
‘we’ll have to move to higher ground’.
And it ain’t just Shoreham, Worthing or LA
(that’s Littlehampton) It’s EVERY worldwide coastal town!
You know what’s coming don’tcha

Yeh!…It’s official folks - Littlehampton IS a world class coastal town!

On another but very related matter - Social media…
That’s developing apace. cyber chatter! Not face 2 face!
It helps spell the future for the whole human race.
We can chat, chew the fat and generally carry on communication.
with pretty much everyone in every first world nation.
Of course - You can see what’s coming can’tcha?

Even Boris’s next election win and Trump’s 3rd term
could be voted for on-line. Press one for a **** - 2 for a clone…
And evil dictatorial leaders can be rubbed out by drone…
Now you just might think that’s fine,
but the terrorists will lash back - (back/slash, the swine)
and come stalking down your street…
with machetes and suicide vests - real ones this time -
looking for your hatch, your subterranean retreat…
Cos we won’t be living on it but below the street!
You can see what’s coming can’tcha?

Yeh, we’ll be, underground, overground (Stop it!)
yeh… under that dryer, higher ground
and still be in be touch and on the ball so,
with food & stuff grown by hydroponics (naughty).
padded out by UBER drone delivered Just Eats.
We ARE preparing for Armageddon.
Drone warfare will also cure the need for extermination
nation on nation skirmishes… Just Sweet!
So you do know what’s coming don’tcha?

Yep… cast your mind way forward a decade or two…
There’ll be Amazon drones dropping goods for you;
the things you want  - your culinary needs
Dry Goods… rice, noodles, seeds.
Spices (for the very rich) - and freeze dried veg
and, if you are really wealthy, and for you life’s not on the edge
the city’s centralised, homogenised cooking crews
The takeaway kings… the Just Eats & the Deliveroos.
They’ll still be at it!
And you can see what’s coming can’tcha?

You might think that’s a good thing yeah,
well maybe! But, if we all start living underground…
to get away from the blizzards and the scorching wind(s).
The Summer Hot hot… The winter Not not - yeh sub zero,
that’ll be the only way to stay in touch
no more roaming… (that’ll still be extra).
Just as well because the latest proliferating virus
makes messaging just as popular as face to face or phoning.
And you do know what’s coming don’tcha?

Things are going to be SOooo... different in our not so Brave New World…
Talk about alternative. We’ll ALL be ‘Underground’…
but not because we’re ‘Hip’ or Hippy… Or even happy…
but, because above ground just ain’t where you’ll want to live.
and then… The doubters will shape up…
A toss is suddenly something they’ll rapidly give!
NOW…you DO know it’s coming don’tcha?

You’re gonna need Armour for Armageddon!
Nov 2019 · 55
Insect Racism
Chris Slade Nov 2019
A Bee hovers unimpeded - round the room
but for a fly it’s the Radio Times of doom!
It’s Insect Racism!

A Slow fly saunters, airborne, round the room.
A neatly rolled up copy of the Radio Times…Boom!
But... just think for a moment about your motive…”Mmmm”.
Now, a Bee is trapped behind the nets in your window frame…
you could easily wipe him out, you’ve a good aim...
But you trap him gently in a glass and slide a card behind him,
You let him free fly off - and out,
away… a proper little Boy Scout!

Could have been be a Girl Guide…
but it didn’t rhyme…
And anyway it seems, if you’re a fly swatter
and a bee leaver!
you’re an insecticidal racist!
Jul 2019 · 90
Language Barrier
Chris Slade Jul 2019
I was a sales rep in the 70s…
selling art materials to education in deepest Wales
Back in the day those in the far West were passionate.
There were tales of fervent nationalists who didn’t like the English for what they’d arrogantly done.
scouted round for the nicest cottages just for weekends.
These were early Yuppy trends.
They invited down Drusilla, Rupert, Jacintha & Giles
and other poncey friends.
for Pims and Taramasalata and Lava Bread…
“made from seaweed’? Such Fun!

There was a spate of ritual burnings of the cottages
of the weekend renovator’s pride
It was a powerful statement of the Welsh anger at those raiders from… well, the other side.
Cottages burnt regularly caught wider attention on the international news…
so, many understood the Welsh, their hurt, their motives, their PR and their views.
but it was my job to travel the principality hawking paint to primary heads and secondary art teachers
So the nationalist bar was set high. It was their home game and mine only just features
powder and poster paint, brushes, plaster and clay… But I wasn’t daunted… no way!

It was Cardigan,  Aberaeron Primary to be precise…
That was my next call.
And I stood perplexed, staring blankly at the notice board in the entrance hall.
Until recently signs had always been bi-lingual.  
I glazed over….Today… worryingly they were just single!
All I saw was  “Pennaeth, Campfa, Neuadd Fwyta, Swyddfa'r Ysgrifennydd, Ystafelloedd Newid
So… I snapped out of it and took a guess… This Newid one… Girl’s Changing Rooms!!… I flew!
Thanks heavens nobody saw me… I got back to the notice board and re-viewed the list anew…

Thank the Lord, just then, I heard female voices as they clip clopped along the parquet
I turned nervously and said “excuse me I’d like to see the head Mr Meredith… Is he in today?”
with the sweetest smile the lady said… “Mr Mer-ed-ith? Yes I’ll have word…
She disappeared behind the door that said “Pennaeth”…
“Head” I thought! Mmm.
“Mr Mer-ed-ith would like to know if you are a Welsh speaker? “Fraid not I said… I’m from Yorkshire”.
"In that case he says Na! I’m sorry I mean No. Your company should employ a Welsh speaker to sell to us in Wales".
If only I’d been able to say “Rwy'n siŵr mai'r dyn sy'n cymryd y swydd pan fyddaf yn gadael fydd eich dyn!”

Instead I said… If you tell me where I can pick up a phrase book I’ll give it a go! Diolch am eich help, hwyl fawr!
True Story
Chris Slade Jul 2019
Ahh the 60s! How well I remember it…as a lad.
It’s a bit like the kids saying…“What did you do in the war then dad?”
And I HAVE been asked a time or two… “You were a teenager in the sixties...
What was it like?…” Well it was mixed… some bits good (brilliant in fact) and a few, bad.

I’d call my experiences near misses…!

At 13 I lived in Handsworth Wood (that’s Brum) went to the same youth club as Steve Winwood…
He… gangly, wearing shorts, wowed the girls in the gym as a keyboard player.
Spencer Davis, Traffic, Blind Faith,  Ginger Baker’s Airforce, Solo… A stellar career !
Me? At 15 our family moved south to Bognor…  ******…Bognor!

Actually that’s not fair - It’s not as bad as it might sound…

I peeled spuds at Butlin’s for excitable holiday hordes…
I cleared tables for Chess’ World Championships too - with Tim Rice…he got good with words…
“Doesn’t seem a minute since the Tyrolean Bar had the chess boards in it - that’s how it goes!
One of us got a job as a sales rep, the other a seat in the Lords!

See what I mean?.. Another near miss!

I went in for a talent show in a marquee near the pier
won 5 quid - bought a new pair of Beatle boots… and some keen mod gear.
Joined an R&B band and we gigged for a few years…even London… (well Kingston actually!).
Moved on to art college where things got hairy… ***, drugs and rock & roll - scary!

That might have been what I now call Brian’s Jamaican Woodbines!

A new band, a true blues band, made a real mark - without me! -
an offer came in - and it didn’t sound like the best future to me.
So I left, Chalky joined - they flew, I didn’t. Martin Q wrote Maggie May.  
guess maybe I should’ve stayed… Yeah, yeah, yeah!
Their reputation stood the test of time,
toured & played alongside the best, Freddie King, Jeff Beck, AC/DC, Led Zep.
I got my job as the rep! They toured and so did I. So, we all went on the road!
Imagine how sick I felt! Shall we say - a slight lack of zest! Yep!

I’ll just share this with you…

So, I’m standing at the bus stop in Muswell Hill, first day of work - slow traffic passing by, up the hill.
Barry, the manager, pulls up in a dandy sports car… lights at red. “Hi Man! Where to? Get in!
“Starting a new job today - off to pick up my company car”… (I didn’t know that was true)… How about you?”
“Meeting the guys at Gatwick. This week we’re doing Amsterdam, Hamburg and Berlin too! They did well, it's true, but…maybe at a cost... Loves, minds and a few lives lost!  

But this is where I usually say “**** it, I should've given it a go!”

But I said “Oh, well done that’s brilliant! I wish you well. Really well!
Anyway after a year or so another band came along and I said what the hell!
But it wasn’t the same… Different game… maybe I’d already had my chance at 15 minutes of fame.
Well, Chris Blackwell, the Island boss, said “no boys… passé… in fact a bit lame”
This is what’s happening now...and he faded up Lindisfarne. Said "now THIS is fame"!

"Meet me on the corner as the sun is going down and I’ll be there".

I’ll keep it short…Now don’t get me wrong… It’s just part of the story and I’ve had a great life.
Two great kids - 7 grandkids and an adorable, adoring wife.
(she might just read this!).
A successful career… an interesting unfolding retirement - and, well - I’m here…
and, when I look at others - it’s all been without much strife, I’m well set.
The fact is there’s so much to do… so little time…
There’s this poetry lark, portrait painting,  learning the guitar, house renovation - two at once in fact - AND anyway -  I haven’t finished yet!
Musing over the fact that I've had bundles of 'near misses'... lived in a house once built and owned by Isambard Kingdom Brunel... Adam Faith lodged with us when I was 12 and then, later, at 18 when I was at Art College with Leo Sayer... Adam picked him up as his manager... And so it goes... What's next?
May 2019 · 5.1k
Air Show
Chris Slade May 2019
The Avro Vulcan, a majestic big old iron bird, sublime,
was to do a flyby for just one memorable last time.
Maybe with a jet fighter or a Spitfire on each wing, who knew?…
Unthinkable to miss it… almost a crime.
Thousands turned up every year, always a great day out -
but this year would be special, there'd be no doubt.
The last flight of such a legendary plane made it essential…
So, after the flyers’ break for lunch, the crowd filled out.

The entry fee to occupy the field was heinous. 25 quid!
That was for adults - and a fiver for each kid.
So, many more than those that paid, sat happily outside pubs.
Others found shelter in the perimeter’s trees and... kinda hid.
Now, to see a Vulcan fly anytime, anywhere, was magic…
She was a Leviathan of the Cold War,
that held players in the planet’s power games in awe.
And this would be her last time doing the rounds on the air show circuit -
Seeing this locally was hard to ignore.

Mark (a nephew) was a window cleaner by trade.
A regular, down to earth, happy go lucky guy.
…Saturday comes and the kids all voted "McDonalds"…
“A Happy Meal!” they’d cry.
He said that was fine - they’d all go after he’d nipped over
to the airshow to watch the Vulcan fly.
No idea whatsoever, of course, that just by going to Shoreham
just 5 miles away, for half an hour or so… that he might die.

He told his fiancé he’d only be an hour or so…
be back in time to take the kids for a burger and, "NO!"...
He wouldn’t stay. He was the only one in the family
who was bothered anyway…so he wouldn’t ****** up their day.
So, in haste, because apparently Chicken Nuggets & Fries
was much better for the kids than a load of old planes,
he cranked the best out of his bike along the 27 and,
once at the lights by the Sussex Pad,
he pulled over to the kerb to watch from the bushes.
Good view? Well not bad!

Andy Hill was a flyer of many years. His weekday job,
flying for BA.Taking holiday makers, business folk, transatlantic in Seven Four Sevens...
A flight deck maestro, soaring up, just under the heavens.
He’d done Shoreham loads of times… it was exciting, exhilarating... almost sport, his game!
He was off the hook,  became an ace. It gave him that 15 minutes of fame!
Free to thrill - a hero! Standing out from the crowd with every daring step. His aim!

He wasn’t just a petrol head… this bloke had aviation fuel in his blood.
Adrenalin on tick-over. Nought to 60 in 2.7 seconds with 22,000 Horsepower under the hood.
He left Epping full of fuel, just 90 miles away, so in two ticks he was with us, fully loaded and, the weather? It was good.
First up after lunch at half past one… he streaked across the crowded field.
Over and out and up, up, up… Little did the spectators know that Andy had forgotten he was flying a Hunter…
He thought it was last year’s aborted routine in a Jet Provost… The one they'd stopped part way through being, too risky.

"He’s not gonna make it… I can’t look!" There was a hush… a nanosecond’s silence and then the rush,
the whoomph that said it all… that hush! The ground shook!
And the eleven - plus others injured - went up in Andy Hill’s very own fireball!
No, of course, Mark wasn’t the only one to die that day.
Ten other ‘innocents’ left us in pretty much the same way…
Maurice, Dylan, Tony, Matthew, Matt, Graham, Mark R, Daniele, Richard & Jacob.
Mark T, our Mark, had the distinction of having two funerals, not just the one…
More remains were discovered, analysed and found to be his!
Even after he’d…already well... ‘gone’.

The injustice that eleven spectators or just passers by should die
when the survivor, the off target driver, who sped too low from the sky, should, after a suitable pause in this ghoulish game, be exonerated and not take any blame.
Well it’s all sort of things… It's ridiculous, pathetic, obtuse, a joke… who do they think we are?

But the great and the good deliberated, scratched their heads and worked hard to make everything look ’right’…
Tolerance for the bereaved to grieve, platitudes, condescending attitudes, a memorial service.
Thanks - genuinely - to the emergency services… Not just a little buck-passing… But the public often judged them. Arsing about - to cover their corporate backside.
They can’t insult me (or us)… intelligent people have tried…

Andy Hill was judged to be not guilty of 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.
But he claimed he blacked out in the air, having experienced ‘cognitive impairment’ brought on by hypoxia … possibly due to the effects of G-force…. Of course!
The 11 were either hit by the plane or roasted in a fireball caused when the jet flew too low and too slow. But if it wasn’t Andy’s fault then whose was it?

Surely this can’t be the end of this travesty of justice!!

BUT, there IS a new memorial to the dead. And, trust’s a good one too…  The best that money can buy - and that anyone can do.

But there's is also a very bitter taste, still today…
that somehow... just won’t go away!
This is a bit of a saga... But I think it's worth it...On August 22nd 2015 there was a disaster at Shoreham Air Show, West Sussex... on the south coast of England and eleven people died. A loop the loop, too low and too slow. The pilot lived and recovered from his injuries and was found not guilty of eleven counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.
May 2019 · 418
Trial Separation
Chris Slade May 2019
We’re having a trial separation. It’s just in its early days.
In fact it’s actually only been a couple of hours…and I’ve been analysing my ways.
I’m still in somewhat of a haze… it’s been a bit of a rush.
And, when I left, she was descaling the toilet bowl using my new toothbrush!

Knowing someone for 50 years… is downright weird… it’s true
like she sits in the bathroom - lid down - plucking her eyebrows on the loo…
"What’s wrong with that? Trunky!… Want a bun?...How ****** dare you?"
Hard to read… Does she, don’t she?…Will she, won’t she? Always the opposite view.

When we were love’s young dream, all those years ago,
we’d start saying the same things at the same time… finishing each other’s sentences… No?
And really there’s not much difference between being totally in love and complete complacency.
Your major arguments might be what to watch and who’s got the controller for the TV!

Recently It’s been surreal. But at the time - comforting - because we always did fit so well.
But you think you read each other’s thoughts - and that creates problems - sometimes it can be hell.
“Fancy some rumpy pumpy - maybe a ****”?
“Absolutely not lover boy! Jog on!”
“In that case do you mind just lying there for a bit whilst I have one?!”

She says our relationship has been weird and only sometimes wonderful.
She says that it’s because it’s me that’s weird and her that’s wonderful.
She might spend her time up the road at the Vietnamese Nail Bar.
Whereas I could sit all day and find genuine pleasure in this fine Real Ale Bar.

These days it’s more profound - the arguments more complex - we’re apt to scream and shout…
But calm down, take a breath, count to 10 - what if  The Hokey Cokey really IS what it’s all about?
And, don’t take life too seriously, is what I’d really like to say… ‘Cos in the end nobody gets out alive anyway.

She’s blowing things out of proportion…I know that.  And I’ve had some time to think.
I’m beginning to lighten up just having had a drink…and really it’s only been just a few hours.
OK, so I’m off …And, at this time of night, do you know where I can buy some flowers?
Similarities between individuals alive or dead are totally coincidental... Of course!
May 2019 · 493
je suis végétarien!
Chris Slade May 2019
They squeal & shriek as they career down the hill.
Not because of adrenalin, seeking a thrill. They don't know of the impending ‘****’.
You see, they’ve never been in the back of a truck before.
Even daylight and the cool breeze is something new they regard with awe.
But prodded, pushed, poked; overwhelming! Terrifying is what it is!

Herded into the light and across the ramp with brothers, sisters, cousins.
No more the cosy family unit, they’re now just some of dozens… hundreds!
The only thing they’ve known till now is darkness warmth and a mother’s love.
And today, at just 4 months and a day…right for butchery - and suddenly are shoved,
beaten… slaughtered, packaged, marketed, eaten!

There’s no realisation that this rude awakening, this beginning, is also…the end.
Their confusion is profound… No inkling… no message to receive or send,
that this first welcome breath of fresh air will also be their last.
But, having witnessed it , I’ve decided that I have a carnivorous past…

Et a partir de maintenant je suis végétarien!
Apr 2019 · 855
Hospital Gown
Chris Slade Apr 2019
I went for an X-Ray the other day. My name was called
and after the expected delay, I heard a nurse say
Right knee? I said Yep! She said “Come this way…
Can you get your trouser leg up to your thigh"?
I said “No… these skinny jeans don’t go that high”.
“In that case” she said looking me up & down... with a frown
Pop in that cubicle… and put on this gown!

For a start…it took me ages to get these trousers off…
and force the rest of my stuff into the carrier bag supplied
and then, when I saw the gown, I very nearly died!
It would have fitted me just fine if I’d been 18 again
but the gaps and bulges in the thing were a farce...
and allowed everyone in the corridor to see my fat 71 year old ****.

I said out loud when I sat down again in the queue
“You know…I had an inferiority complex before I met any of you.
But this has definitely taken me down a notch. And I apologise about the view”.
However, inside the X-Ray room with all the techie kit and Radiographer Rob,
I felt better… The pain in my knee had almost gone apart from a distant throb.
Then he said “You’re completely safe, just lie back calm, quite still…serene”.
Whilst he clicked the shutter from the other side of his lead lined screen. (So he was alright then!)

Well, I’m home again now, hobbling about… It’s bearable (not like childbirth ladies) but not great.
I’m sitting here with my leg up waiting for the letter that will let me know my fate.
Ah yes… men and pain! There is a well know fact about the differences between the sexes.
It’s proven that, with men, colds become flu…and ailments:- epidemics… (No really!)
So, here’s the letter… Now...will it be Ointment? Physio, to transform a permanent slouch?
Or a keyhole flush with a catheter? Or - Oh no!…
For me - it’s a titanium replacement knee!… Ouch!

Somebody pass me that gown!!!
Chris Slade Apr 2019
What do you reckon? I know what you’ve been thinking…
We’re on a ship that looks unsteady, like it’s sinking…
We’ve made shaky plans to be gung-** and to go it all alone…
But we’re beginning to wonder… are we heading for some kind of danger zone?…
At first we were just floating along - enjoying the passing view
And 2 years off it looked a lot easier …leaving the EU!
But there’s a waterfall downstream…and it looks like a helluva drop.
And once we get too near the edge, well, we won’t be able to stop.

The simplicity of Cameron’s ‘in - out’ referendum question dawned…
Cos, divorce is complicated.  Those who voted leave were scorned,
branded racist, or at least suffering some kind of mental disorder.
“Didn’t you stop to think about the about the Northern Irish border?” (best read in a 'silly', sneery voice).
But - back then there were 2 million Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis all walking toward Calais.
Some thought serious overcrowding problems could come our way.
Single Market,? Sovereignty? Customs Union? What the hell’s all that?
It means you’ll need a visa to go to Benidorm you ****!

Meanwhile Merkel diffused things by taking the refugees in.
But only served to rattle the bars of the **** leaning right wing.
The Spanish got all Oity Toity about us having Gibraltar.
And some of those previously unforeseen problems made Brexiteers falter.
This is David effing Cameron!… Farage embarrassed him into calling for a vote.
And, when the Remainers lost, Dave saw his chance to produce his sick note.
“I’ve done my bit”, he said “so… I’m standing down…  so who do you think should take my dodgy crown.
The Buffoon, the Backstabber, the Right Honourable Lady Home Sec?”
She, the author of  Windrush, Repatriation, food-banks, lower benefits? She got it! ****** heck!…

Hoodwinked by a government you maybe invested your life in, in all the earlier polls
Now we’ve all been tricked by a bunch of, navel gazing, self serving arseholes!
So it’s the blind leading the blind… Well, no.! Misinformed…and maybe just a bit short sighted.
And, you know, Theresa… she’ll most likely still get knighted.
But I doubt this episode will score with generations yet to come,
Deserted by this Parliamentary shambles - sitting on their hands, their collective ***.
The proletariat are cut adrift, and heading for the falls…
So we’re looking for a new saviour - someone with charisma…big *****!

Let’s look forward to this time next year… When some trusty politician re-writes our little story.
When we may be out - but far from down… Well I somehow can’t see it being a Tory…
And if isn’t Jezzer - who HAS got his eye on the prize…
McDonnel, Starmer, Benn, Tom (call me Slim) Watson? Who should THEY try for size?
And, just supposing, by chance, the Conservatives actually crack it
who, amongst the front runners there, could get the job and hack it?
Lord Snooty, Gove, Hammond…Hunt the err… Foreign Secretary,  Javid, Liam Fox (surely not!). Bojo?
With this current stay of Brexicution, for just a couple of weeks… the petition, the march, the chaos, could it still be NO-GO?…
Whatdya reckon?
The complexion of this subject - Brexit (if I hear the word one more time on TV I think I'll unplug the thing and throw it out of the window) changes by the minute so it's hard to pin it down - Here is where we're at up to this point.
Apr 2019 · 1.6k
Ladies of the Net
Chris Slade Apr 2019
Ladies of the Net… A warning to male adolescents everywhere…

“Hi Honey….I just got matched with your profile”… At least that’s what I think it said.
Brilliant I thought because I’m available and life round here is, well…it’s dead
“I’m looking for an experienced guy who’s good in bed…  been round the block, but not the clock…
One with plenty of experience and a huge…err…appetite…
for hooking up instead of these inexperienced boys…
They’re all excitable, probably all over too quick…
need someone with poise reserve and a twelve inch errr… Libido?… ego?
Click my pics kiddo and let’s get it on… you Stud!… Well I would!

*******! I’m overwhelmed but let’s not peak too soon…
There’s loads of stuff coming in as Spam that would probably make us all swoon.
So check it out…without fail, “eeeh!”  They’re all there - these ladies of the net - they crop up daily -
Sheila Blige… Tanya Hide… Mandy May,  Bette Sheedus, Lovinia ****…
I’m not sure if these are their real names... But - Phew -
with things like this going on round here we could all get *******!

She says she’s just round the corner, you know like Sompting, Steyning, LA (that must be Littlehampton)… Southwick…Little Haven Halt, Portslade.
We could meet in a lay-by and we’ll get laid… just an innocent little escapade.
It won’t be my fault if you miss this chance…
Just try it - I’ll handcuff you to the bed and lap dance.
Click on my pix, big boy, they all beckon.
Take a closer look at these sonny boy - now what do you reckon?

Well, you’d have to say they do look very alluring in the taster…
so why not just click...
to the next page… see the site… don’t waste-ya time…CLICK!
*******! The screen’s gone blank…
now I won’t even be able to have a __
Knock, Knock, Knock!

"Kevin!!!?"..."Mum?" "Is that you?" "Yes Mum!… Everything’s OK!… I’m just turning out the light… G’night!"
These days the temptations of the internet are many and varied... no longer restricted to top shelf magazines...It's all free and it's coming to gettya - Check out those parental controls!!
Chris Slade Jan 2019
Back then - as a lad he picked up his millions from his dad. He’s Trump.
Yeh - Dad made millions… passed one on… he picked it up and started the run -
Need to make a zillion? Just watch this - be rude about people take the ****.
Buy a bit of land - build a casino - use slave labour - treat em like dirt - we know,  in Atlantic City, It’s a dump…

Moves On. Stamps on the meek makes ‘em squirm - He’s Trump.
Do something naughty - Oi - we saw yer - I’ll cover it up - get a good lawyer.
Loves the limelight can’t get enough… **** Star? Can’t tell the truth...makes up stuff
One rule for me - one for you… Fancy a slinky bird will she *****? Fancy a ****?

Say you didn’t do it - who’s to know… He’d refuse a pardon to an innocent on death row. "I’m Trump".
I’m a bit special and Life’s a doddle… Havin’ it off with a Slovenian model (or two)…
Yeh…fancy a broad grab her *****… I’m up for President and obviously I’m not fussy.
And, behaving like a total ***** house doesn’t stop you from reaching the white house… He’s Trump.

He won the nomination and the election - power makes him nuts, gives him a cerebral *******. He’s Trump!
Smarmy? Yes…but in charge. Yes! Barmy! So I won’t let gay people join the army.
Immigration control Law and order?… won’t let Mexicans cross the border.
Heavy malice aforethought and negative intent. ******* I’m the President. "I’m Trump!"

Thinning hair - Tonsorial arts…let it grow… swirl it - coiffe it - spray it gold, spray again with ‘hard to hold’ - "I’m Trump!
In the wind it unfurls and makes him look like a ****…but he has the answer - the baseball hat…
And the cap allows him to carry the message… Making America Great Again!…impressive!
The permatan the orange strangulated hues… completes the picture, ties the noose…  Internationally - Bit of a chump.

Sociopathic with a personality disorder. Narcisist!…Doesn’t drink so he can’t be ****** - But He’s Trump.
Tell a lie, a big one - deny it. Most sensible people wouldn’t even try it - but he does.
Whatever you think… and it’s been said, he eats big Macs whilst he’s in bed - Tweeting!
How does he do it? What a nerve - a shining example to the people he should serve… They could be going to do ‘the dump’

Foreign policy? …ask the Pope… He summed it up in a glance…NOPE! Putin ‘NYET!” Macron ‘NON’. No go for Trump.
He insults the press corps at home and abroad…It’s fake news this - fake news that - read the message on the hat!
“Impeach… Impeach” some folks cry… “**** the lot of you it’s do or die! I ain’t going down without a fight” -
So, after all the brickbats, guffaws, jeers and jokes… He loses it… lights the fuse… That’s all folks! That was Trump!

Trouble is he could take a lot of people with him! And he will... He's Trump!
Chris Slade Jan 2019
Don't be frightened if you hear me at the door...or even if you think you see me at the window. Pretend it's a trick of the light...or another one of those bumps in the night.
The spirit is strong and, I'm finding, quite playful in its first few days, weeks, maybe months... whilst waiting for another 'mission'. You know...finding my feet - or maybe wings?

But I'm not likely to phone. E-mailing was not my thing! And texting? You’re kidding! I was not a big fan!. All that predictive stuff...If you’re too quick it ends up nonsense...all wrong...not for me.
But I will be sending messages through the wind in the trees or maybe the surf on the rocks and sand. Wherever we walked together listen out for me there. I've always felt that I'd be able to do that.
You know...whilst finding my feet - or will it be wings?

And always, from now spiders out with a glass and a card...
take care not to squash their legs. You never know what happens next. And, anyway, another time, but long ahead I hope, it could be you. Although, I always fancied I would come back a human - like this last time round.

Being me was good. And they say, know...out there...
that you go back to a time when you were at your best.
For me that means being younger, fitter - So, a wander on a sun warmed or breezy beach. A Salsa dance, or this Zumba lark...or doing a painting. I liked that...
But IT... You know...I’m looking forward to finding my feet, my wings. may see me - out in a crowd, or walking along a country lane, incongruously between villages.
I'm already working at appearing for longer and for being more than just a familiar, fleeting, scent or smell. Until I get the calling to make a full life of it again...I'll maybe pop in and out of your life (to let you know I can) ...just in an incidental, experimental kind of way; but then only from time to time.
It's quite tiring...You know...finding your feet...your wings.
I first wrote this after my Dad passed on and there were some experiences that were difficult to explain which gave me comfort to know that he was OK... on the other side. Pathetic? I can understand why people would think that.
Dec 2018 · 739
Oh My!...
Chris Slade Dec 2018
This is something I wrote to be read at my Cousin Rene's funeral.

Oh My! I'm zooming down the Spanish coast... dipping my toes in the Med.
But you might find me on a Cornish Campsite drinking Pina Coladas instead.
Or it could be me, arm-in arm with good pals in pre-war summers... painting Withernsea red!
To all of those who saw me through the darker days I am thankful that you helped & guided...

Oh My! ...But I'm better now... I'm free... it's been a trying time, but once again... I can be me!
And there's something else I've just realised. Do you know what? I can see!
The last few years haven't been kind to me. Apparently I hadn't been making much sense.
I knew inside what I wanted to say... being with me must have made people nervous... tense.

But now the pressure's lifted, for loved ones and for me.
I was ready - went on too long. Now I'm on the 'other side'.
From now you’ll hear me on the wind in the trees and my whispers, in the surf and the tide.
I'm pain free, light and frothy again, teetering on heels... I’m a dizzy apricot blonde... No need for me to hide...
I might even drop in on you as I'm told you can... to say a quick thanks for all who helped - or tried...

Oh My!... and yes....people to thank? It's like an Oscar speech...
there's a list....but amongst all one stands out... shines like a star...
My Chef... my Chauffeur... my Ears.... my Eyes... my Angel... my Wingman... My Ken!
By my side through bad times, the good times and all those difficult bits... Not the now - but the then...
My Multi-tasker, My Carer...My Rock... My 'Rock & Roller'...
I remember we used to jive way back when...
And as the old song goes, I'm sure ... We’ll meet again!
Oh My!
"Oh My!" was cousin Rene's go to phrase when anything surprised her, amused her or was worthy of comment... She loved her caravan trips around Europe. She and my mum would go out on the razz in Withernsea and Hull in the 1930s... "Oh My!"
Dec 2018 · 1.1k
Tripping the Light Fantastic
Chris Slade Dec 2018
(a poem I wrote for Auntie Annie’s funeral).

Well you’ve all taken your time… while I’ve been waiting here.
I’m about to trip the light fantastic in all this sparkly gear.
And, because the aches and pains have gone, I’m about to strut my stuff.
I’m dressed in Rose Organza with feathers and pink fluff.

I’m surprised at how well I feel settling into this ‘other’ side.
I’m sure I’ll calm down after some frivolity, then take things in my stride.
For now though the spirit is upbeat testing my wings; making appearances near & far.
First though, a dance contest, tonight at Bridlington Spa!

Yes, I’ll be tripping the light fantastic… I’ve two partners in the wings.
Both husbands in smart tuxedos, brushing up their moves and things.
And I’m hoping we’ll cut a dash on that shimmering stairway to heaven…
Well, Wally was probably a six point five. And *** (my first love)… A SEVEN!

But seriously…my body had reached the bitter end and my memory was little better.
Who was who  - and what was what - was touch and go, and… let a
ninety two year old tell you with chair, zimmer frame or stick…
that the thought of stepping comfortably - toward that light… FANTASTIC!

… and even more seriously…

I’ll look out for all you kids… with a word or voice on the wind as it whistles through the trees.
Catch a glimpse in a crowd… “Was that?” NEVER?!. But It might be just my scent on the breeze.
But for us to be in touch again, however brief, we must be ready and enthusiastic.
I’ll prompt you to think of me as I trip toward that light… FANTASTIC!
I seem to be developing a reputation amongst family and friends as one who churns out a poem after a relative or friend has passed away... With certain folk from in and around my life it's a natural... It is a compulsion!
Chris Slade Dec 2018
I’ve O’D’d on Glucosamine Sulphate, so much I’m mentally scarred.
It’s escalated now I’m 70… I’ve mainlined on my Senior Railcard…
I bow down to the Norse God Voltarol… He eases all my pains…
and there’s Deep Heat, Germaloids, even Anusol for the other stresses and strains.

The wondrous Winter Fuel Allowance! That’s what lights our lamp these dark days - ahh, those twilight hours!
But after the logs, it’s not Leccy or Gas we crave? No! We buy ***** with ours…
the Whisky, Gin, *****, Wine, a drop of Brandy too. It all helps us numb the cold
whilst memories of happier times gone by - brighten up this ****** growing old.

Supplements, sterols, statins, aspirin, beta blockers… All the heart meds - life’s a battle.
In the 60s it was *** and Drugs and Rock ’n’ Roll… Now there’s less *** and a lot more rattle!
****** fails to make it now - “no more”, after the last time - she said!
These days the only thing it does is stop me rolling out of bed!

The bus pass lets me roam the world… from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
But these days I travel locally Southwick, Lancing, Steyning; oh yeh and a cousin in far Gravesend.
Further afield; abroad perhaps? Well no…Back then it was Newhaven for the Continent.
But now I’m over 70, well, it’ll just be Worthing for the INCONTINENT!

And… did I say? Not that I was ever in the habit of measuring it you understand - or straightening out the kinks
I’m pretty sure that these days - and ’no’ it’s NOT just the cold… but, your once adequate **** - it shrinks!

I'm sorry...Your *******! It ain't so long!
First poem I read in public as a poetry ******... It went well enough for me to decide that I would do it again.
Dec 2018 · 2.2k
Cuz (a tribute to Ted Slade)
Chris Slade Dec 2018
(A Tribute to Ted Slade - poet, 1937-2004)

This new friendship. This journey on which we were just setting out.

How will we work it now you've...well...gone?

It was going so well. That's the way I saw it anyhow.

It had only been a year - we two - back in each other's circle...

Same planet - different orbit. Though I'll never know now what your thoughts might have been..

This 52 year gap in our 'acquaintance', for that's all you'd ever say it was
it closed at dad's (your Uncle Bud's) funeral - as he leapt 'on-flame' to the ether.

He didn't half want to go..."Why don't they just let me slip away?"
And then it was you I wanted to know amongst those finger buffet scoffers.

Those ribboned aces never knew that Bud just kick-started their Lancasters and 'Spits' at Leconfield and Liberia.

Bud's morphine muted passing proved positive, and thankfully at last - 

(he might remember now) - he helped kick-start too this belated kinship between us.

Jack would have been pleased about that...(Bud too I know)

"a good trade" he'd have called it. "I'm knackered anyway".

I was always curious about our respective dads - they only ever sent Christmas letters. No love.

Bud gave me a book  before he swapped "heaven's hopper" for the "take & bake".

"Eer-yar" he wheezed...this is more up your street than mine..."

"Yer what?..."Poetry?...No... I can't make head nor tail of it. Like Shakespeare...Where's me glasses?"

and, with that ,the "Last Arm Pointing" welded that closing gap between us tight shut.

I read 'Mystery Tour' to Bud...about Jack's 'motorised passing' and he cried. So, it was up his street. after all.

Your words filled me in on distant memories...made solid.
Missing chunks I'd seen but never written down
Of Withernsea and its winter isolation

of Jack, his life - and how it intertwined with yours.

I've not found too much yet about Phyllis. Is there a darker story there? Who'll tell me now?

Your final work, tireless as ever, from your New Malden 'crow's nest'...

was steering your second collection to print...and then...

Your literally-literal Mugs and Sweats - flying off the shelves of a California warehouse.

Disabled? Pah!  Why should they ever know the what & why behind the who and when?

Your 'disability'...would only 'publicly' let you down if your trike sustained a puncture in Richmond Park.

"Hi Cuz...Where do I go to get mugs and sweat shirts printed?"

And then, whilst I was looking through directories & old invoices,

you whizzed across the earth on the wings of your laser guided mouse.

By the time I'd got the phone numbers of long distance, half remembered contacts -

you had designs submitted, distribution and royalty deals sorted and were planning the next big thing.

Your freehold on the planet was the web...your very own super-short cut.

Who needs invalid cars when you can 'fly digital'?

You were a lover of the dub-dub-dub which loved you back in floods.

Now, even when your body has deserted you - it still throws us pages and pages - of you - and about you.

The Noddy Holders and Wes the Western Gun-slinger, pale by comparison, they'd envy your PR knack.

Instead of trying to phone, (these heavenly BT - or is it ET-connections often end in wrong numbers)...

and, because a lot of the time talking took it out of you, I'll keep writing like I did before.

Replies would be good. But I often used to write out of turn anyway.

So yes, things could get a bit one sided...forgive me if I 'go on', and... you don't!

But I'll keep writing to and read the answers in your books and old e-mails of the family's past.

Cheers Ted...Lots of love Chris (Cuz) Slade.
Ted Slade was a published poet with (for a sufferer of severe kyphoscoliosis) a stellar career. Only started school at age 12... Qualified for Uni at 16. A metalurgist at Filingdales after graduation (so, a real 'propellor head')... He switched to Head of Marketing for the Portuguese Tourist Authority (as you do)...An Atheist and Communist, his last job before dedicating to poetry was as PC Network specialist at Kingston University...On retirement he turned his attention full time to Poetry and founded We lost touch big-time and only met again in our 60s (mental) and found we had so much in common... except I was and never will be a propellor head!

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