Friday, 31 December 2010


I am having trouble finding enough of interest to keep two Blogs going at the same time, so I have decided to make The View from this End my principle Blog. It feels so much more like home. Daft, I know, after all, they are both floating around in space but, there it is.

I don't have the courage to close this Blog, having lost 'The view'  once, accidently and not liking it one little bit, I shall hang on poems, perhaps, and trivial stuff suitably described as piffle. So please, do come back to me at my old place and help me to re-furnish it.

Saturday, 18 December 2010



Saturday, 11 December 2010

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Blue moon, you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own
Blue moon, you knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for someone I really could care for
And then suddenly appeared before me, the only one my arms could ever hold
I heard somebody whisper 'please adore me'
But when I looked, that moon had turned to gold - oh oh oh
Blue moon, now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own Without a love of my own
(Blue moon)
[Rogers and Hart]

When I was young
And in my prime
I sang and danced
and played with rhyme and gave no thought

I thought about the the boys I'd kissed
who'd kissed me back,
Of softly padded fingertips
and how they felt.
I thought in white
I thought in black,
and gave no thought

I dreamed a future-technicolour bright
where softly padded fingertips
would put my world to rights
Where every kiss would stop my breath,
Where those I loved would sneer at death

Now old, the padded finger tips are calloused
and time waits to stop my breath.
But still, a tune, a song can brings back to me
full versed - the magic pulse which once
brought every nerve to life, and...
I remember when, so long ago
I thought I knew in white
I thought I knew in black
but gave no thought
to all the shades between
as I cling

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

JP and Picasso. A sorry tale.

The revelation of the treasures hidden in the attic, garage and shed of Monsieur Pierre Le Guennec -consisting  of 271 pieces of art by Picasso, and valued conservatively at £55 million, has dredged up an old story from the archives of our family history. And, once again we are hearing some derisive phone calls that begin with:'Thank's a lot, Dad'.

As a young boy aged thirteen or fourteen he helped his mother and her partner in their Epicerie in Cannes, stocking shelves, carrying boxes and delivering groceries on his bicycle. Chez Picasso was one of his regular stops. He would ring the bell at the gate and would be let in by the housekeeper, carry the goods to the kitchen door and receive a pourboire, usually enough for a small bet at the Bouleodrome, where he often played, and won against grown men.

This particular day he rang the bell, and waited, then rang again. Finally Picasso himself came to open the gate and beckoned JP inside and over to the kitchen where he deposited the groceries onto the table. Then the great man patted his pockets and turned them inside out to show he had no small change on him. Disgruntled, JP turned to go but Picasso said 'No, wait, just a moment'. He emptied one of the white paper bags onto the table and, taking a pencil from behind his ear, and with a few bold strokes drew his famous Dove of Peace on it, dated and signed it and presented it, with a smile to the boy.

Outside the gate JP looked at the paper in his hand, crunched it up and threw it into the ravine and muttering words that only be translated into 'what a mean, miserable old......' rode back to the shop in high dudgeon.


Thursday, 25 November 2010


I needed something from the store and was crossing  the living room towards the front door, when I chanced to look out of the window just in time to see JP emerge from the side door into the garden. He was looking down, and frowning and then he half-ran half danced down the path toward the gate waving his outstretched arms up and down as if on a very slow take off run. I peered through the glass, ducking back quickly as he turned and walked slowly back up the path.

Now I should mention here that lately he has been very grumpy in the morning; irascible actually...well truth to tell, a lot of the time his tolerance of the human voice, particularly mine, is limited, so I try to keep conversation to a minimum for as long as possible.  He came into the room.

Me [big smile] What was all that about?

JP. All what?

Me. That dance up the path.

JP. No idea what you are talking about.

Me. Come on. What on earth were you doing, you don't usually dance down to the wheelie bins. [laughing]

JP. Where are you going?

Me. Don't change the subject.

JP. Tell me where you are going and I'll tell you what I was doing.

Me. You first. [you can tell that we have pretty dull lives if we can make a drama out of nothing.]

JP.  [looking sheepish]

Me. [suddenly putting two and two together; the half run, the downcast eyes and flapping arms] Oh my God...[now laughing hysterically] It was the wretched Starlings again...wasn't it?

JP.Weeeelllll! The greedy %$&^***!'s. zose pointy beaks, I 'ate zem.

Me.It was worth it just to see you flapping your arms for take off.

JP. So, where are you going.

Me. To the store, but I've forgotten why.

JP. Silly beech!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

November: That 'inbetween month'

Mr London Street
   in his post Thirty Day Trailer says - [why am I always quoting him? Well, he is a source of interesting ideas and he doesn’t squeak if one steals an idea as long as he is linked] -that he has a lot against November; calls it the ugly sister of the calender.

What I have against November is that it has come too soon, the way that Friday seems to come straight after Monday most weeks, and I'm buggered if I know what happened to Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

Of course I totally lost a month when I lost my place in blogland, but that does not explain what happened to September and August, or the 9am that becomes noon, missing out ten and eleven o/clock in the process, then in a twinkling it’s time for bed and I have done nothing to make this particular day any more remarkable than those which preceded it.

November is a sad month coming as it often does after the joys of an Indian summer and seeming to stave off the Christmas Season with an outstretched hand and a screaming ‘noooooo, not yet, please!’. It reminds us that once again we have not fulfilled the promise we made after last years frantic rush, never to leave it all to the last minute, again.

November causes havoc in the gardens and in leafy glens. After the splendour of autumnal colours the leaves fall and turn to squidgy slimy muck underfoot.

November is the month of remembrance. November the 11th is marked by a two minutes silence, and the Sunday nearest to it is marked with pomp and ceremony, wreaths of Poppies, solemn marches to War Memorials all over the country and nationwide two minutes silence.

One year, on the 11th I was in Canterbury, browsing around the Saturday market. I was totally absorbed in my own company and my search for something or other that was terribly important to me at the time. Truthfully, I had not noticed the date and wondered why so many people were standing around as if deep in thought. I wove in and out of them, a little irritated at the slow pace of everyone, or almost everyone; the fact that there were those who were going about their business continued to lull my dull senses. There were a few ‘tuts’ and some black looks but it wasn’t until the Cathedral Bell tolled the ending of  the silence and everyone moved that the enormity of my behaviour brought on a rush a shame and sick sweat and a wave of red that crept over me from head to toe. I abandoned my shopping a drove home.

But there is something good that happened in November. I least I think so.
I was conceived on November the 11th 1933. No doubt about it, it was a good month for me.

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Mr  London Street
instigated this idea and, on my old blog - which has, as you may know disappeared into the back end of Blogland, and which was for a while, withheld to punish me for my stupidity in losing it in the first place – I have already posted 1, 2, 3&4.  Of course I cannot link to them, but thanks to suggestions from bloggy pals, Saz has found the lost treasures and they are all safely tucked away where I can reach them, though not of course in their pristine form.

But this is a new place, not for mourning, so I shall continue as if ‘nowt has happened.

5: I like water, moving water. I prefer a bath to a shower  being immersed in it.
I like to be near the sea, as near as possible; at least five of our homes have been within earshot of splash and slurp and susurration.

 I used to swim every day, from April till September until my mid-fifties and in those days the Bay did not have a very good waste disposal system. There was a long pipe that sent all the nasties a quarter mile out to sea, but nothing to stop it all flowing back inshore. No seaweed grew along our shore and it never occurred to me to ask ‘why not’. I guess I became immune to Staph. and Strep. I was limber and glowing with health.

Then we moved away and the Council built a new Sewage Treatment unit and the seaweed came back and mussel beds grew and the sea lost its dirty brown frown and looked almost Mediterranean on sunny days. But I was older and not happy to frolic in my one piece, hidden panels swimsuit. And the longer I left it, the bigger I grew and I only paddled with Milou once or twice with my jeans rolled up. But the pebbles, which once were as soft as marshmallow beneath my hardened feet now caused me to stumble and prance in a most ungainly manner, as if on hot coals.

I learned to swim and to be unafraid of water in Folkestone during the war. Mother would take my brother and I to the open air swimming pool on the seafront. She would throw pennies into the water and tell us to fetch them back to her, throwing them a little further into deeper water each time.
I would not be afraid to die in water. I almost drowned once, and found the whole incident calming. Silence and the feel of water on my skin like a caress.

I like to sleep alone. Don't misunderstand. I'm as much a fan of bedtime fun as the next woman, and nothing says 'I love you' more than a cuddle, a warm back and a reassuring shhhh! after a bad dream.

But! To stretch and swim on cool sheets, to curl and roll, listen to my radio, speaking out the answers to Round Britain Quiz, read, snore, and occasionally weep, without JP tutting, or shouting out as I disturb the equilibrium of his sleep and he has a nightmare, jumping out of bed, rushing to save the baby, or me, or whatever disaster is unfolding in the nightmarish world he inhabits by night [yet never remembers by day]

We had been married fifteen years or so, fifteen years of broken nights. Of me waking, irritated, not only from lack of sleep but from the wide-eyed and bushy tailed look of my mate. We tried twin beds, and that solved the problem of my movements disturbing him, but not my sounds. A sneeze, a snore, a creak of the bed and he would sit up, switch on the light and stare at me, his eyes red and angry, yet he was still asleep. I quickly learned that shouting at him was not the answer, as it only served to power whatever situation he was living. I had to soothe, gently; 'It's alright Cherie, go back to sleep.'
The next house move gave us an extra room and reluctantly he decided to move into it. We both thought that it was against all the laws of 'happy married life'. How wrong we were.

Added spice, actually.

He still shouts out occasionally. 'I've left the back door open!' or 'What are you doing down there?' Now I just sing out...'Alls well old thing.' and he goes back to sleep and I stretch and roll and swim on my crisp cool sheets and think...Is this the secret of a long and happy marriage?

Well, it is in this house. 

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Now we are TWO.

I have my old site back. Hurrah! Bells are ringing and I feel such a sense of relief. Although it is empty, my old posts are not lost and I shall try to get things back to normal bit by bit. Almost two hundred posts to edit and illustrate [though I might be a bit picky and use a virtual red pencil.

I think the fact that I was not at home blocked all my creative juices, such as they were and I was beginning to feel a sense of panic...could I write? On what subject? Did I really want to start from scratch?

Well, I think I can.  And I shall.

If only I could remember what I had in draft at The View.

I'm going to use this blog for new things and take the time to bring The View up to date, so for those who are new to me and want to start at the beginning that is where the old posts will go.

Thank you all for your patience in hanging around, and for your encouragement.


Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Sometimes it seems that we agree on very little. Perhaps it is simply a ploy to add a little spice to his day, or perhaps he just loves to argue, and have the last word.

Well this time the word was DAMP.

It was a very grey day, the clouds were thick, smothering the sky. The morning chores finished, grate cleared and re-laid, ready for a match to change the mood of the room. Lunch over I took Milou for his afternoon run, well walk, a brisk round the houses and back sharpish as it was cold.

Me. Yes, but cold.
JP. Can't be cold, not with clouds that tick.' [not a spelling error]

He has this idea that if it rains, it can't be cold because if it was cold the rain would be snow or sleet.

Me. Well, it was, and because it is damp it seems colder, a clammy cold.
JP. You mean, Humid? [actually he said 'umid ]
Me. No, it is only humid when it's hot, Damp when it's cold.
JP.  And you are the one with a BA?
Me. Now you are becoming annoying..It is my language, surely you can admit that I must be right. It was cold and Damp

I dug in the bookcase and carried the Dictionary into the kitchen, thumping it down on the table.
Me: There, Damp:[oh oh] Slightly wet......
JP. 'umid.
Me. Humid.It says...[oh bugger!] Damp.
JP. Both right then?
Me. Well, I still believe  it is not correct to say that it is damp. For instance during the rainy season in Mexico, and the  air is full of infinitesimal amounts of water - what it is then - is Humid. Muggy and Humid.
JP. So if I go to the garden now and sit on the bench....the seat will be 'umid?
Me: No. Damp.

JP. [In high dudgeon] Perfidious Albion.

Later on I run to the village shop for ciggies.

JP. Was it damp or 'umid.
Me. [with a grin] Moist!

My score, I believe!

Saturday, 23 October 2010


20th October.

Either way there was going to be rejoicing.

Where it all happens

I had planned to write: ‘They gave me back my blog...hurrah. Thank you Google and thank you Sara. Thank you Gatsby, whoever and wherever you are for searching out my blog, lost through my own stupidity, into the vast and empty space of the unloved’. And thank you too the lovely friends who wondered where I had gone.

One tiny, almost involuntary movement of my left index finger, one thoughtless click and it was gone; cached for a while, but then gone.  I was beside myself . [A daft but apt description of my state of mind] My blog belonged to me, so much work and heart had been written into it.

Then an email came to say I could not have it back...not enough proof that it was mine. Who else could it belong to?

 I can quote chapter and verse. Who else has a JP, the Champion Bodger?  Who else had their second honeymoon in  a swish cliff top hotal in Acapulco, or crossed a high railway bridge on foot at seven years old. Who ran to Switzerland with Germans shooting at him? Who danced with GI’s at Margate’s Dreamland Ballroom?
Who sat under the stairs during an Air Raid, more terrified of the spiders that lived there than she was of the bombs falling around her?

Sazzie said ‘wait’. She will be here tomorrow and together we will try once more.

23rd October.

Then it turned out that she couldn’t make it.
I tried to put the whole idea out of my mind, read a book, did some tapestry, watched endless telly-but all the time my brain was buzzing, needing to be back amongst you all.

Else be forgotten.

I can do this, I thought, surely I can do this small thing without sending myself off into outer space again.

So here is a new place for me. Rather bare, no ribbons or bells or fancy doodads, but Saz will fix it up.  For now it is enough for me to be online again and hope I can be found.

Hello to all my friends out there, talk soon.