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Ryan May 17
School's coming to an end,
and it's GCSE's,
using all my expertise gained through-out the school years,
It could all end in tears.
Teachers say it's a big deal,
that's what they convey,
it is for them, anyway.

The last few weeks of term and you hand in your coursework,
that was fine, I wish I could shirk the exams,
not very good at revising,
but our teachers are advising us to watch GCSE Bitesize,
but it doesn't really cover what we've learned,
which is a bit of a concern.

We all cram into the exam hall,
it's a bit last minute,
but I'm trying to recall my revision notes.

An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley,
something's stirring,
Arthur Birling,
a public scandal is too much to handle,
Eva Smith,
Eric and Gerald both had affairs,
but the latter actually cared.
That's a start, I guess.

The exam invigilator sets the clocks,
and permits one hour and forty-five minutes.
The Science exams are multiple-choice,
Biology is fine, but Physics and Chemistry haunt me.

Geography next,
tectonic plates,
and the traits of EDC's,
as well as Less Economically Developed Countries.

That's all over,
we await our mark,
the best part is still to come,
everyone meeting down the park,
and that too me is the abiding memory of my school days,
one last time we're all together in glorious weather,
before going our separate ways.
A beginner who is looking for some constructive feedback.
Ryan May 7
From the East Coast of Ireland to the Lowlands of Scotland,
a well-trodden path,
Grandma going to Whiteinch Baths,
to do the family laundry,
And to take my Auntie for a swim,
the black and white photos look a bit grim.

She mispronounces certain words.
When you put your dinner in between some bread,
she'd look at you, dead, and say,
"If yis waanted sangwhiches, I'd have made yis sangwhiches!"

And, "you're very pass-remarkable,"
I think it means you're quick to comment on others,
my Mother's also from Glasgow,
and doesn't know why Grandma speaks like that,
so this isn't just me being a Sassenach,
or a daft English ****.

25th of January is Burns Night,
serve the neeps, tatties, a glass of fizz,
and of course, some Haggis.
Some say offal's awful,
but I just can't get enough of the stuff.

A firm favourite of our clan is a creamy dessert named Cranachan.
Topped with berries and a splash of whiskey,
you can guarantee a thumbs up from me.

The ancient family tartan is red and blue,
then there's the family crest too,
a knight with a shield under a tree,
I think it represents gallantry.

I sometimes wish I had a proper Scottish name,
like Hamilton, Douglas, or McCain,
don't suppose it matters,
at least I can understand the patter,
(that means joke or language.)

A saying about saving your coins,
"Mony a mickle macks a muckle,"
always makes me chuckle.

"Does it, aye?"
is a very dry reply,
used to take the **** and can be easy to miss.

When my Mum was younger, the family liked to roam,
but when she visits Glasgow,
she says it feels like home,
her voice even changes when she's on the phone.

Sounds English most of the day,
then my Auntie calls, and she's on her way,
"Haud ye weesht!" when she picks up the phone,
that means be quiet,
but you wouldn't have known,
that isn't her normal speaking tone.

Scottish family,
some are distant to me,
but through my parentage,
it's nice to have the heritage.
A beginner who is looking for some constructive feedback.
Ryan May 7
this all seems like some dystopian dream.
The PM’s on TV,
saying he’s shutting down the country.

It’s like watching Sci-Fi,
protective equipment is in short supply,
we need to keep our distance,
there’s even been resistance to this.

People flocked to Cheltenham,
over 250,000 of ‘em.
The crowd was big at the Stereophonics gig,
Have a Nice Day,
critics say they should have stayed away.

No gatherings in parks,
panic sparks mass buying,
people are crying because they can’t get their medication.

Stay home,
some people are alone which limits the spread to other people,
but it’s probably not good for their mental health,
despite their wealth,
celebrities are just like you and me.

“Imagine all the people,”
okay, maybe not,
easier to isolate in a 200-acre estate,
behind a giant steel gate.

Two-weeks in quarantine,
nervous wait between infection and symptoms,
not enough testing machines to screen for this unseen virus,
most pull through which inspires us.
others don’t,
they were real people who fell ill,
not a number on a spreadsheet.

There was some negativity,
but people have the capacity to come together,
free taxi rides for NHS staff,
putting in the graft,
but they didn’t sign up for the draft.
They’re health professionals working to the bone,
staying away from home adds to the stress.

People reassess what it means to be important,
not high earners but they still went to work to serve us,
when all this is done,
Remember that in years to come.

If the majority of your office work is done via computer,
you don’t have to be a commuter.
Work from home, no need to travel into town,
Zoom remotely in your dressing gown,
Microsoft Teams,
sending each other memes via Slack,
keeping it all on track,
maybe this could be permanent once life goes back?

Taking an online course,
attacking a new hobby with great force,
exercise, art supplies,
devise fun games with chalk on concrete,
liven up the street.

Rainbow pictures,
reading your scriptures,
video chat with your Nan in her flat,
shopping for your neighbour,
donating to food banks,
giving thanks.

This will pass,
the new normal will be different,
but we’ll be content because we won’t take things for granted,
Emotionally it’s been rough,
turn that frown around once it’s safe to leave Lockdown.
A beginner who is looking for some constructive feedback.
Ryan May 6
Saturday night, I feel the air is getting hot,
gearing up for some pre-drinks,
then heading into Notts.

Round to my mates,
he's already playing Dance Classics by Kisstory,
an insight into British club history in all its glory.

The splendour of The Hacienda,
Fabric sounded magic,
the thrills at Turnmills.

Blasting out Where Love Lives by Alison Limerick,
Too Young To Die by Jamiroquai,
and Sounds of Eden by Shades of Rhythm.

It gets you in the mood,
of course it does, how can it not?
We sit around talking a lot,
then login to Facebook,
see which bars are offering what,
pound-a-pint and half-price shots.

Text around,
who else is in town?
We'll give you a shout once we get to Revolution,
the club solution is Oceania.

Disco floor,
we know the bouncers on the door.
Cut the queue,
annoying for everyone else,
but you would do it too.

Throwin' shapes with my mates all night,
break-dancing, the robot, pop n' lock until two o'clock,
a bunch of geeks,
we're too ****** to care about critiques.

Anyway, we're having a good time,
a bottle of Corona with a wedge of lime,
a few shots of Sambuca,
I'm doing fine.

I'm starving, time to get some food,
it's a whole mood,
into the nearest takeaway,
look at the display,
ten-inch pizza, or just some fries? Maybe both?

I'll go for a Kebab, chicken and salad, with added Mayo,
let's go,
there's a party starting nearby,
people getting high with a constant supply.

It's getting light out,
people are asleep around my feet,
time to leave,
walking back from the city,
this place looks pretty with the morning dew and light layers of fog,
one ******* runner out for a jog.

Later that day, a bit hungover,
I swear I'm never going to drink again,
well, not for a few weeks anyway,
maybe next weekend,
if there's another night-out, I might attend.

What a load of *****.
I'm definitely going and show no signs of slowing down,
that point will come,
but for now, I'm still young,
just go out and have some fun.
A beginner looking for some constructive feedback.
Ryan May 6
A fully qualified journalist,
what path to choose?
I’m not great with breaking news,
I panic too much and get the details wrong,
not very useful under the confines of tight deadlines.

Then there’s the other stuff such as “death knocks,”
while a family is grieving,
there’s no reason to be intruding on their life,
and getting the gory details,
just for a story which improves the page rank,
and Reach PLC can take it to the bank.

Going through people’s bins,
is actually a thing,
but not just dipping in and out,
there’s a plan,
put it in a van,
spread the contents around,
and see what can be found.

This MP talks about healthy food,
which must include no added preservatives,
but what’s this packaging from their fridge?
A chocolate bar?

Is writing a story about this going too far?
Of course not, and we’ll contrive to write a few hundred words,
then run it on page five.

What about an internship?
Three months in London,
unpaid, that’ll cost a bit, who can afford that?
There’s travel money, rent for the flat.
If you’re providing written information for the publication,
they should be made to get you paid.

Anyway, freelance reporting could be the way forward,
work remotely,
and mostly write about things I like,
football, music, and community issues,
which team’s going to lose?
There’s a gig on who’s playing?
The residents are just saying,
“What about these potholes and the business rent controls?”

I can see myself doing this long term,
I need more hours, a few years have gone by,
I don’t want to lose the momentum,
become glum and slip back into the way it was before.
A beginner who is looking for some opinions and constructive feedback.
Ryan May 6
So, up to Liverpool,
pretty cool,
I've got family there, and I'm trying to find my bearings.

When I was a kid I went with my Auntie to the Adelphi Hotel,
I remember it well,
so that's where I'll start, move my feet,
it's a quick walk to Bold Street.

Everyone flocks to the Albert Docks,
regenerated, updated, and has created a vibrant corner of a once-thriving port city,
which is pleasing,
the only downside is it's ****** freezing!

The nights out are decent too,
this where Liverpool really pulls through.
Matthews Street, can't be beat,
or Concert Square,
where, you head to Baa Bar for some shots and a few jars.

Then onto Nation with the rest of Liverpool's student population,
going down to Wolstenholme Square,
great memories, shame it's no longer there.

Capital of Culture, lots to explore,
the council wants to restore the city centre,
Liverpool One is second to none.

New shops to buy our Fred Perry tops,
new bars to entertain us,
new places to wear our smart Adidas trainers.
A modern shopping centre to walk through,
have they really called it Everton Two?

Girls off to the supermarket with their hair up in rollers and wearing their PJ's,
funny looks on the face of people who are new to the place.

Lads in black Lacoste trackies,
in the 1980s they came back from the continent after European success,
wearing Fila and Ellesse,
it was called casual,
the style went national.

A city of myths legends,
some more tongue in cheek but still unique.

A sock robber from Kirkby,
is it the original Cavern Club? Well, to a degree.
What about Carragher's tattoo?
He's blue born and bred,
is Paul McCartney actually dead?

I know it's a clichè, but I must say,
it isn't a mere rumour,
there is undoubtedly a Scouse sense of humour,
wordplay and the inflexion on the things they say.
A witty city that's for sure, come and visit,
you'll have everything you need and more.
A beginner who is looking for some opinions and constructive feedback.
Ryan May 3
So, you're a shelf stacker?

It's Stock Replenishing Operative, actually.

I mean, I do take stock and stack it on the shelf, but it's an easy job,
and I can do it by myself.

We're inexperienced, part-timers,
full-time staff are corporate climbers,
which is fine, but they really don't like us.

Fill the cage and wheel it out,
steering 'round corners, missing the customers,
don't hit the display,
they'll be hell to pay from the supervisor,
they'll vapourize, ya.

Thirty pots of Pesto,
here we go,
bent over at an angle, strainin' my back trying to untangle the packaging,
it doesn't have to be perfect just get them in.

Where's the footstool?
It's with Abdul, fair enough, I'll help him out,
have a laugh with the staff, it's the only way to get through, until
"Ryan! We need you on shampoo."
So off I trudge, to grab a box,
Neutrogena, TRESemme, and Radox.

That has dragged and dragged, but it's break-time now,
just 20 minutes to figure out how I'll get through the rest,
I'm not stressed,
just bored, very, very bored.

Working here has shown me what I don't want to do.
It's fine for a wage,
but I'd love to engage in something of interest,
a job that suits me best.

Enroll at Uni?
Maybe that'll improve me?
Then away I go, no looking back
and all those things I think I lack
will become history, hopefully.
Beginner who is looking for some opinions and constructive feedback.
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