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6.0k · May 2019
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 this...it’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.
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 on...help 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, ...you 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 definitely...fit...Before IT... You know...I’m looking forward to finding my feet, my wings.

So...you 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.
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.
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.
2.6k · Dec 2018
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 cards...no 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 Ted@poetrykit.org 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 www.poetrykit.org 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!
2.3k · Apr 2019
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 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?
1.4k · Apr 2019
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 Nov 2020
At this time of my life
I find myself wearing hats…
I’m not happy with my head you see,
In short, being able to see it
it just doesn’t thrill me.
Not through those depressing, disappearing strands.
So it’s that time - It’s hat time!

Hats are warm, comforting things;
take it off and, for a while at least,
it feels still there - a phantom hat.
Not quite as spooky or worrying
as a phantom arm or leg - after that
severed limb thing, but right there!
It really is that time - It’s hat time!

My Grandma Lamplough,
that’s on my mother’s side,
was an avid knitter of things to order,
She was even a freelancer for Jaeger…
matinée jackets, mittens, cardies, pullovers
But in later days mostly just tea cosies.
If there was no immediate customer in mind…
“Everybody needs a cosy and one size fits all”
she would say… and anyway,
commissions were rare for cosies back in the day

She’d wear it boldly herself
with handle and spout slots front & back, proud
She’d start the next one and announce
to every visitor right out loud…
”Hey…Do you want a cosy for your ***?
Mr Watling, the milkman, he had quite a lot!
But then he showed up every day!
A quart is it Mrs L?… and yes, I WILL have a cosy today!

Me? I’ve never fancied a toupee, wig
or go in for a Bobby Charlton tribute gig ….
I’ll be happy just to settle for a beret,
news boy or Fedora… to hide the offending pate
and avoid the comb over till a later date.
Meanwhile I’ll maybe settle for Grandma’s cosy special?
My Grandma was a cosy knitter extraordinaire!
1.2k · Dec 2018
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 Aug 2021
With the benefit of hindsight
it should have been me…not him.
with the benefit of hindsight
I’d have better teeth - Oh yeh, and be slim…
and, with the benefit of hindsight
that chap that drowned needlessly…
well, he’d definitely have learnt to swim.

With the benefit of hindsight
I’d have tried harder in maths
With the benefit of hindsight.
my classmates would’ve shown respect
not just scorned me with laughs.
With the benefit of hindsight - we’d be IN!
we wouldn’t have lost on penalties
we would have had a ****** rip-roaring win!

With the benefit of hindsight
of course you’d all do your best
approach tasks with vigour verve, and zest.
With the benefit of hindsight
we’d all show true-grit, determination… vim
With the benefit of hindsight
I would have been smarter not quite so dim
What chance a little bit of foresight?…
SLIM!
877 · Dec 2018
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!"
860 · Sep 2020
Sorry I left so suddenly!
Chris Slade Sep 2020
I’m sorry I had to leave so suddenly that night.
And even more sorry to know that you had the shock
of finding my ’not wanted on the voyage’ body.
The useless carcass I left behind.
That shouldn’t happen to anyone,
to find your lifeless partner by your side…
That’s how you’d see it anyway.

But me? I’m off now into the wide blue yonder,
never to return. Not as you knew me anyway.
These are the rules I’m afraid.
Apparently some people do come back.
****** Spiritualists & Clairvoyants… They make us all,
up here - seem like part timers.
Not that I wouldn’t… But it’s complicated.

There’s a kind of apprenticeship,
a protocol to follow…There are still rules
even in death. There has to be a trade off.
No pain… no anguish…
And, you can just dip in and out of your old
family’s life - PAs… Personal Appearances.
That’s what 'Head Office' calls ‘em

Pacifies the loved ones that you are settled.
In the dying mode of things that is.
Really what you’re doing… as a soul,
is waiting for a suitable donor body
then you're born into a new family!
That's the way it goes!

To end on a lighter note… Kind of makes you wonder
why there aren’t more child prodigies around…
Maybe only the smartest ones make it back! Who knows?

All that knowledge gone to waste… Just saying!
I write from the other side of death... not the hearts and flowers... but the looking back on life and the the 'still living' from the 'other' side!
805 · May 2019
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 a shove,
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!
IN BRITTANY, WHERE WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME, OUR NEAREST NEIGHBOURS ARE PIGS. THEY DON'T MIND ME SAYING THAT BECAUSE THEY REALLY ARE... PIGS!
715 · Dec 2020
Arrested Development
Chris Slade Dec 2020
Arrested development,
life on hold.
Investment deterioration...
High Street trade goes cold.
Can we have our ball back mister?

Progress halted;
ambitions run dry.
Ineptitude personified
So up goes the cry…
Can we turn the clock back?
Lorry parks overrun,
trucking overspills,
paperwork’s not valid mate,
shortage at the tills.
Unemployment running rife... go on...
Can’t we just have another run at life?

Too many negatives
converging all at once.
Should’ve delayed departure
Covid, Brexit… Extend the talks!
Ineptitude • Handbrake turn before the exit?
No! This is like a yellow box so no!
Do not enter unless your exit’s clear!
Can we have our ball back mister?
Can we turn the clock back?
Can we have another run at life?

Too late goes up the cry… you’re disaffected.
Should’ve been better informed
by the people at the sharp end;
the people at the top…
Ever felt dejected... 1- 2 - 3 - 4...
take it from the top! No!
Can we have our ball back mister?
Can we turn the clock back?
Can we have another run at life?

Sorry say the throng…
we didn’t really mean them
to get it THIS bleeding wrong!
Politics again!
Chris Slade Feb 2020
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!
Chris Slade Dec 2020
I’m Coming for you Bob...
To Hull & Back...
to Carver’s Just for the Mushy Peas!

As a little lad, I think on a Sat’day morning, we’d go

to a market somewhere, was it on the docks?

Asked our Brian, he’s smart, he said it were... I thought - he’d know.

...After all the mooching, the tugging, the shushing, the rows
and all me mam’s “where’s he gone nows?”

If I stuck it out long enough wi’out gerrin’ a clout,
we’d sit inside, or sometimes out,

of a blue striped tent - and I’d eat mushy peas.

There might have been chips,
 there could have been fish;
Mam always had fish,

Brian, would have had a pattie... well, he was 12(ish)

Not sure I’d even have known about patties all them years back.
But anyway peas is what sticks in my mind…

and all down the front of me jumper...or sometimes on me mac.

They say - if you haven’t been to Carver’s
 you haven’t been to Hull.

Well Bob... I’m coming back!… And’ll
bet,
when I was digging mushy peas
 with my fork back in Fifty Three,

it were your Grandad, (also Bob) would have been serving me!

Cheers! And, I know it's cheeky - but - Can I have scraps wi'that?
Carver's was a big thing in Hull - probably still is. They even had a big stall at Hull Fair
442 · May 2019
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!
344 · Mar 2021
Another Virtual Funeral!
Chris Slade Mar 2021
Saying that final goodbye to a loved one,
it’s always been poignant and sad…
But recently it’s joined the online,
the surreal… the quite mad!
The scrolling photo’s on the crematorium wall
have always been more suited to the social media bag
than what, until the digital age,  had a more…
mediaeval...churchy, tag.
Cheers and farewell to Gran, Sis, Bro, Cuzz, Mum or Dad
can now be done without anything at all being said…
Or even, if you’re just a friend or a really distant relative,
long haul, away, abroad... or, just sitting up in bed!
Two funerals in a week... both online - initially bizarre - now assuming the norm!
333 · Sep 2021
Doodlebugs & Jitterbugs
Chris Slade Sep 2021
Night raids on Salt End
were legendary… It were a
giant chemical works with ship docks,
silos, storage tanks, fuel dumps,
an ideal 'drop off point' for Gerry…

But Salt End plant’s night raids
on Hedon Road
weren’t gonna daunt our lot,
they lived a mile or so down the lane to Preston
and seemed unafraid of gerri’n shot.

But they built a shelter across’t main road
in a field… On the outside It were a haystack
within the walls, six foot thick… proper beds
on hay bails to the front and back... cosy.

Down the middle was a ‘lounge’ with chairs,
lights, a radio - electric run from’t big ‘ouse
It’s better than being at’ome our Charlie used to say
For the eldest (and the architect) he’d not much nowse.

Me mam (then 19) told me she bussed it into Hull
“****** the Doodlebugs” She needed Jitterbugs…
and they still danced at City Hall.
******* to Gerry and his mates.
Margie & her pal René,
dauntless, they had a right ball!

Last Bus to ‘Withernsea’ from town
dropped her off at the junction
by the Speedway on Hedon Road.
Just as her way was lit by fire bombs - all about
when Gerry dropped his final unaimed load
Maybe ack-ack’d sort him out.

She was 2 miles from home… every few seconds another blast.
Scuttling …dodging whistling incendiaries,
running fast, whippet like…
any second could’ve been her last
anything too close she’d have to jump in't ****.

She couldn’t mek it t’t shelter or house so picked
the coal shed - instead… threw herself down
on coals…noise lifted - silence dawned… all clear
heavy breathing - not hers -  she wan’t alone
What if it’s one of them - a downed ***** airman.

Nervous, terrified more like she let out a little shudder
a gentle cough… to test her nerve
“Is that you Margie?… You daft ******!”
It were brother Tom… He’d been t’t Nags Head
and he’d run the opposite way from the village instead.
332 · Jun 2020
My Father's Day!
Chris Slade Jun 2020
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 quite 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! That was us!
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 Jan 2021
No Funeral.
No Wake.
Just get me down
to the Take’n’Bake.
When they’re done
sweep me into a bag or box
and scatter me wide.
Bits here and bits there
I don’t suppose I’ll really care
or notice where I am.
Places I’ve lived, loved and ventured.
Views that I might have seen
maybe from times when I’ve been
younger, fitter, when health was better.

No funeral means
No awkward reunions
between unmended siblings,
the kids, where a bit of a do
would spoil the day.
And, because it’s MY death,
and it would have been MY day
we’ll just leave it. It'll be better that way.
So none of those daring, glaring
or sympathetic looks.
The disappointment is well in the past.
Do what comes naturally
when I’m long gone. I hope it works
I want no part of it - nor ever did.
But obviously it irks!

But anyway that’s not the only reason
there should be no fuss.
Fuss to benefit not one of us.
I’ve been spiritual, but not religious.
I was parentally shoe-horned into church
but probably wouldn’t have bothered at all
if it’d been left up to me.
I'm happy to like one and all and,
if I got it back, that means I got it right

Being an atheist or agnostic
doesn’t mean you’re a bad person…
It just means you’ve thought it through
and come up with a different answer
than most of the Sunday shufflers,
those who might not question their motives
but just be in that groove. I say Live & Let Live.
What is it THEY say? Be nice to everyone you meet
on the way up… because you never know
who you might meet on the way down!
That about does it. Keep the info sparse.
Always leave them wanting more...
Hedge your bets, cover your ****!...
And the meek shall inherit the earth
If that's OK with the rest of you.
Me? - Ce’st la vie.
No Funeral, No Wake... Just get me down to the Take'n'Bake'
Chris Slade Sep 2020
We were at it like a couple of rabbits back then…
Eating salad I mean! Trying to lose weight!

Laying off the *****… keeping up the exercise.
press ups till you’re dizzy, can’t see straight
And look at them rippling thighs!
Never having a lie in or getting up deliciously late.
But running on the beach early doors, increasing the heart rate.

Heart and lungs that’s the thing - get a proper sweat on!
So good? Yeah! A crafty beer? Well maybe - but please, don’t let on.

The odd indiscretion is OK as long as it doesn’t show.
But the day of reckoning’s looming again and they’ll all have to know…
And in spite of all your calorie counting and life becoming a blur.
On the scales (these 'ere must be wrong) you’re just the same as you were!

Come Friday…”Christopher has had another good week everyone; he’s lost 6 ounces!!”
Daily exercise? Look at them rippling thighs!!

But I’ve done me best I’m on rice crackers with lemon zest
three times every day… I’m exercising… she’s criticising
And I’m worried I’ll waste away!
"No" she says… "your love handles haven’t disappeared.
Until they do it’s more of this and less of that.
And…you’re too shagged out anyway!"

Weight Loss... I don't give a toss!
Do you think if I stop drinking beer and just have red wine... Will that do?
275 · Feb 2021
Mask!
Chris Slade Feb 2021
An older lady…No mask… arsenic and old lace
scuttling along…so I think to cross.
Just to give her more space.
“I haven’t got it…” she shouts, full bore, almost in my face
“No… but I might have - you just don’t know.
There’s no point in you having a go!”

“I’m wearing a mask to protect both of us
so I don’t know why you’re making a fuss.”
“I told you I haven’t got it… so you can just get stuffed”
Whoa… a minute!… Who’s rattled your bars?
Would you like a mask. I always carry a spare?
“You can just *******”, she said “ ‘cos I really don’t care!”

She’s the one who waves her stick at cars
and picks imaginary fluff off her coat…
So she needs to be looked out for… looked after.
Next time I’ll be on the look out. I’ll take special note
maybe go round the block the other way.
That way I won’t upset her; she’ll have a better day.

I know this situation is affecting everyone
in every country all around the world.  People get tetchy.
But that’s no good reason to abandon reason.
It’s rough, it’s tough - and even good manners are
sometimes not enough… So make time
for others who can’t make the best of things.

Best accept we’re in this for the long haul
because that’s what it’s going to be…
For a generation at least this will be
the way we have to live… balancing
breathing freely against economics,
against promises of socialising in the sun…

Then - No Fun!...No Frolics

Against drip-stands, ventilators and fears that run
deep into our county, our country… our world.
Here she comes again… “I ain’t got it, I ain’t got it!”
Good for you girl!
Chris Slade Mar 2020
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!
243 · Mar 2020
Family Matters
Chris Slade Mar 2020
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…again!
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.
237 · Sep 2021
Brown Paper Folds
Chris Slade Sep 2021
We lay oblivious to the world outside
wrapped in each others brown paper folds
a parcel of tightly sealed emotion.
The warmth, the moisture… the dawning, yawning
the fawning, a rekindling of last night’s unfinished passion.

But you broke the spell, you pulled away.
Too eager to start another ****** frenetic day.
You left me wanting more… I wanted forever!
You spared me just 30 seconds more.
For me it’s more than just the physical thrill -
I wanted a whole lifetime of what we could do together.

It wasn’t anticipated or planned…
but that first day when you accidentally touched
my hand as I left you… we kissed for the first time.
Elated I skipped, jumped and punched the air...
Slow Mo - No guesses as to how long I hovered there.
I knew where this could go… yeah,
and I leapt ahead in time and saw how thing’s would be
after I picked you and you (thank heavens) picked me.

Time passes slowly I know -
but that was more than 50 years ago.  
And we still give each other tingles…
I'm not known for lovey-dovey stuff - but just this once!
Chris Slade Dec 2020
We ain’t sending Christmas cards any more!
We’ve done the list and that’s it!
Oh no!…There’s another one just dropped through the door.
You approach it gingerly like an unexploded bomb
Cautiously wondering “who the eff is it from?”

“Oh no! It’s someone who’s not on the list… the *******!”
Or, an older relative who doesn’t ‘do’ computers....
“We don’t do computers!”...
And so it bounces off them this ‘losers’ two pronged attack.
like getting one in the post and not sending one back!
But we definitely ain’t sending cards any more!

Can’t they just send an e-card, maybe one of those Jacqui whats-her-name jobbies...
with floating fairies, sleigh bell sound effects and ****** labradors too.
Or bang off a picture of Santa on FaceBook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram…surely that will do.
Oh no they’ve got to go the whole nine yards.
Even if they buy ****** Poundland Cards
there’s still the cost of a ****** stamp! That’s extortionate too!
No… Sorry… actually not sorry...
We ain’t buying OR sending cards any more!

We’ll donate to charity instead - that’ll be us…
It’ll be cheaper and a lot less fuss.
Sponsor a neglected reindeer, maybe a redundant elf
Or yeh…better still - rescue a pup.
One that WAS just for Christmas then just got chucked.
For me this Christmas mail-out is over - the game's definitely up!
Or really… if all else fails…we’ll just buy next year’s supply
in bulk from the January sales!
In truth we will probably keep on sending cards and just reduce the mailing list as people 'fall off the twig'... That way eventually all that will be left will be the youngsters who either do it on line... or not at all!
Chris Slade Aug 2020
I looked in the mirror today
and said to my reflection…
"We need to talk!
Have a word,
this is getting absurd…
You’re a mess…
you’re overweight,
those lines on your face
they used to be straight
now they’re wrinkly.
The stoop,
the brewer’s droop
It’s not good.
Your best intentions
are misunderstood.
It’s about time to diet…
go for a run,
not a fun run!
Stay quiet
lay off the *****.
Instead of post lunch
having a snooze.
You’re bloated,
stooped,
Out of breath,
permanently pooped
It’s got to stop!
You’ve got to start
giving a ****.
You must start
conquering it!
Stomach in,
chest out
shoulders back
pack it in,
stub it out,
looking like a
geriatric lout!
’Snot funny…
cut the grin,
this lethargy’s
doin’ you in.
Get closer… focus
just behave…
You can start off by
having a shave!!

He's a harsh critic - that bathroom mirror! Little *****!!
We need to talk about presentation in a distorted world where things matter!
216 · Nov 2020
Branch Line Closure
Chris Slade Nov 2020
A Down the Railway Rhyme!

I walked the line
to where the steel once ran.
I walked the time line…
Where the rail gap clatter
gave way to wild bird chatter.
Where commuter crush
became deer grazing in a siding’s hush…

Wild flowers, weeds & shrubs
flourish where the occasional sleepers lay
and the odd rail cleat on the track bed ,
remind us where the rails once led,
till those who govern these things said…
Too expensive!…No more the train.
Let the trucks & roads take the strain.

Today… Nature’s Food Chain
replaces yesterday’s Freight Train
Wolf’s Bain and Wart’s Ease
instead of strap hanger’s
carriage squeeze…
meant kids would sit on their mother’s knees

Today there’s a diving Sparrow Hawk
where once 3rd Class picked up on small talk
and 1st was treated to business ‘squawk’.
The river & passing pastures have seen it all;
rail trade that kept a town alive
gives way to help the wildlife thrive.
John Betjeman meets Pam Ayers and I doubt either would have been very happy... But I don't hear anyone complaining!
213 · Jul 2021
Now then!…
Chris Slade Jul 2021
A Yorkshire Lads' Night Out...

Are you theer?
Aye, I am, well, I’m near…
Puffin’, ! How many effin'
steps to get here?"
I said “now then!”
He said “reet!”
“How are you?”
He said “reet…Aye neat!”
“Ar thee?”
I said “Yeah!”
“Tha’s alreet then!”

I said “sha we gerron then?”
He said “Aye…
Me stomach thinks
me throat’s been cut
and Ah'm as dry as uz
father's back ginnel…
Let's av that sup.”
Eh… That’s a reet good drop”.
It should be it’s from
our dad’s own shop.

Tekkin' in the best view in With
we supped and enjoyed the sunset view
ower’t town & sea from lighthouse top.
Aye, T't Keeper's a mate a marn!
I said “I think I’ve had more than you.
So he’d  another big-un to level it up!
“I’d say we probably
drank a tad too much”…
cos we staggered a bit on’t
way back home.
“We’ll that were gradely…
“Al si thee then” he said “stay well”.
Aye he said “an you as well!”
212 · Jun 2021
Whistleblower
Chris Slade Jun 2021
The angst, the bile…
the true confessions, the lies
Hey this’ll make you smile…
“We have been working night & day
to keep the evil pox at bay”…

“No!”…You didn’t & you don’t,
you brief a learned stooge
who’s too polite to contradict
and he too sidesteps the truth - huge
apologies… but in fact I know
a source, a whistle blower
a real grafter of course - he’ll tell ya’

He sees beneath the radar,
sees what’s really going on… and
spills the beans at a crucial time
to expose the ******, the excess
the subterfuge, the slime, demi-crime
and BAM! he’s out - because, although
you’re the guilty one...

You’ve also got the clout,
the power to contradict and flout
the rules, the under-funded crawl-out
you scurry metaphorically to
dodge the fall-out. There will be more…
you whinge - but later… I promise.

Hide behind some positive PR
some smarmy spin to cover
your tracks, hide the mess you’re in.
Paper over the cracks…A new Royal Yacht,
a wedding… more cake anyone?…
Smile for the camera darling…
But time will catch you…
Tick tock… watch the clock.

Choose your time when dice should roll
to call the poll…while you’re
up they’ll be down, whilst the good
outweighs the bad… now, quick - SPIN!
Am I too near the truth?
Do you seriously think
we’re all taken in?
Stop the world I want to get off!
Chris Slade Mar 2020
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 Aug 2020
Ted Slade was a Communist, an Atheist,
a Realist, a Pragmatist. All the ‘ists’…
Even as you’d see from his poetry…. a perfectionist.!
So, right to be bitter now and then,
about how the so called maker made him.
I’m right there with him on that.

How can there be a superior being… The Big ‘G’
The creator of all things living and breathing
when, he dished out the proletariat’s grand life plans…
The stoop, the damaged flesh, retracted blood and bone,
the twisted hands.

After he’d fixed the sun,
the moon and the stars
and the creatures of the sea,
he made man in his image… his own
the likes of you and me.
But Ted picked up a duff one,
an already beaten body.
Spine twisted, lungs restricted.
Unfit for purpose - ****** up.

Like a life jacket with a puncture
If he had jumped overboard with it
he would have drowned.
He’d picked up the parcel in the warehouse
that had already hit the ground.
One that shouldn’t have made it beyond quality control.
If he’d had a hand in a design that was plainly odd
he would have chosen the super deluxe model for his starring role
So he just ignored everybody else’s God
Just got on with the job…
And as such, scored an even more brilliant goal!
This is about my cousin Ted from Hull ... who, at about the age of 6, was diagnosed with severe Kyphoscoliosis - a complex curvature of the spine ... So he didn't believe in God. Ted still, without formal education till the age 12, was accepted at university at 15 ... Bsc Hons. Metalurgist, Marketeer, Internet Wiz, Programmer, and Latterly, of course, a Poet. As you do!! Ted Slade: 1936 - 2004.
198 · Apr 2020
Coastal Erosion, Withernsea
Chris Slade Apr 2020
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'.
198 · Jun 2020
It’s a Sign of the Times
Chris Slade Jun 2020
Blessed are the sign makers
for they shall do overtime
social distancing notices
and warnings galore…
means extra work
for those who hope to inform.
Reflecting the changes
in a mixed up world…
There’s serif, sans serif, cursive,
leaded, kerned, font smoothed, curled.
Helvetica, Univers, Futura & Gill
Classic fonts urging you -  Stand Still!…
Don’t cross that line…
Follow the science… Divine!
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
and stand outside!
It’s a sign of the times folks…Stay Out!
Onside!
Goal!!!
However many trades hit the economic wall
the signmakers & writers out there, they’ll outlive us all!
Blessed are the sign makers!
Some people have been doing very well out of lockdown
195 · Sep 2020
I Ain't Your Voter!
Chris Slade Sep 2020
It’s bad enough being governed by tossers
but those who might lie about what they’ve
done to prove they deserve their title;
changing diaries, blogs and saying, well
we didn’t get the e-mail…No, honestly - no note!
Well listen to me you tosspot - you ain’t got my vote!

Politicians who don’t take steps to deal
with crises on a Friday - but put it off till Monday
‘cos, well, it’s the weekend - and we don’t do weekends…
Well, I know I’m not even a cog in the wheel…
but I AM a voter… and, you posh-boy procrastinators
whilst your **** points downwards - No sir!
I ain’t your voter!

If everything’s unprecedented, exponential - non essential
that just means you failed… your eye wasn’t on the ball - you bailed!
Countries that tumbled first surely that put the writing on the wall.
That should have given you a clue - but no - not with you.
Cobra? Err, sorry couldn’t do the first five…
Shame mate - ‘cos half of those that died might still have been alive.
You ain’t got my vote!

So how can you do it? What? Well, make amends!
I’ve got a good idea -  why not work weekends!
And, while you’re at it why not just own up
to not coping very well. The Game’s up!
And, after you’re voted out next time
just go to hell! You ain’t got my vote!
Is that the door?… I’ll get my coat!
I've tried hearts and flowers and wandering lonely as a cloud and other ethereal stuff... None of that works for me. Maybe it's because I didn't get into poetry until later in life... Been round the block witnessed too many idiots pretending to know what it's all about - and only when it's too late finding out that they should never have put their hand up!
Chris Slade Jun 2020
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…”
“So…

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!!
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 Mar 2020
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.
177 · Mar 2020
Happy Birthday Colin!
Chris Slade Mar 2020
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?
177 · Jul 2019
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 Apr 2020
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 2020
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 Jun 2020
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.
Chris Slade Sep 2020
Friday night, half five. Offices, factories,
fish docks, shops’d unload…
Pan-stick applied, lippy, slap, fresh scent…
ancient Brits in finest 'warpaint' woad.
Oxford Bags, double breasted jacket, 10 ****,
Brilliantine and Brylcreem.
The Hull to Withernsea train stood ready
with a full head of steam.

The preened, the pummed - the chancers, romancers…
loves young dreamers, the loved up dancers - .
Laden with laughter, the Friday night
‘With’ Special lurches out of Hull…
15 miles of glistening steel…
an escape route from the drudge, the cludge,
to ‘Crazy Night’ chances of a naughty weekend.
It’s anything but dull…      

Paragon to Scullcoates,
Southcoates & Marfleet
the carriages already full to burstin’
and the wackiness awaits.
Hedon Speedway, Rye Hill
and Burstwick trundling by…
Hedonists through Hedon’s Gate
sleepy Patrington, Hollym… With!

Piling off the platform toward digs
and guest house fun, stuffed weekend bags…
A thruppeny bit to the sack truck boy
and one of your precious ****.
We’re carousing down the street,
half the city must be here
and the feeling… well it’s reet!
Gagging for a beer - but first…

“Ooh, Mr & Mrs Smith is it?”…
the landlady asks with a knowing wink.
Bags in, **** out - into The Alex  for a drink…
before tripping to The Queen’s and 'Crazy Night!'
Tuppence and a jam jar (don’t ask) gets you in
and it’s mayhem - out of sight!
What a din! Lively band, cheap drinks… what a night!

Girls giggle in gaggles,
dancing round their bags…
The lads... a beer, a laugh, a leer
and passing round the ****.
The whole of Hull turns out in our With
on a summer’s Friday night.
1935… the town’s throbbing…
will it, ever again, see the like?
One of my dad’s many ‘businesses’ when he was in his teens was wheeling bags from Withernsea Station to the ‘digs’, guest houses, that people stayed in on ‘weekenders’ away from Hull… He used to make it all sound great.
Tuppence and a jam jar? Back in the day I suppose a jam jar was currency! They used to get supplied back to the bottling plants! Those were the days - Before today's recyclng!
btw… The Withernsea locals call their East Yorkshire seaside town ‘With’.
147 · Nov 2020
It’s that good!
Chris Slade Nov 2020
We’ve been married 50 years.
But in fact we are both still around 25!
It’s that good.

We giggle and laugh
and yet neither of us has said anything…
it’s that good.

I read your mind and you read mine…
It’s that good…
It's understood!
Chris Slade Jan 2021
It seems I’m a flash in the pan man.
Too many dreams unfulfilled.
Always swimming against the tide.
Things I know I should’ve done.
I’m procrastination personified.
Bold ambition killed…

An attempt on Ben Nevis when Everest
was maybe what really I should’ve done…
Doggie Paddling (in training of course)
off Littlehampton beach
might not make you dance & sing…
If Channel swimming, you now realise,
would have been a better thing….

So, “Could do better” was always the
school report mantra.
“He’s definitely got it but doesn’t
think he needs to try…and yeah,
he’s Knocked it into Neutral,
he’s cruising, That’s what they said.
But why?
He knows it - but never shows it.

Not so much brought up
as dragged around - it caused tears…
Uprooted every two or three years
as, parental careers, the opportunities
might dictate…ever upward so we moved…
We did move around a lot, but no long stays
9 different schools - all approved.
always the new boy… Too many first days.

But fresh starts open doors; broaden the view.
I’ve seen more new schools than most folk do.
Vistas afresh. Unfamiliarity the cue…
to learn anew…the local geography or
new dialect… “Eh up lad are you reet?” begets
“alright mate? And, you’ll fit in fine if
you speak the language! So round here, as ever,
I landed…with my best Southern ‘posh’…
a plummy… “Hello, how are you?” to the letter…
Yeah pretty good… but could do better!
'Twas ever thus! I was graded at 2% in my Maths Mock 'O' Level... I think because I got my name right! Distinctions in English and Art... So I was ecstatic!
140 · Mar 2020
Not Hirsuit!
Chris Slade Mar 2020
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
137 · May 2021
I’ve Made an Appointment.
Chris Slade May 2021
I’ve made an appointment...
Ooh, better put on a special shirt.
Oh yeh, and a tie.
Don’t want anybody
getting the ****…
"Going anywhere special"
I was asked?
No...only down the council dump!
In the UK it is now necessary to make an appointment in order to take household ******* to the local recycling depot... Seems quite ridiculous! That's the Covid lockdown for you!
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