#12Christmas2020things

The twelve things of this years Christmas are in picture form above.

Number 1

My favourite ornament, it has not changed I just stupidly adore my thoroughly modern Angel. An angel in a red coat with a swanky bag. She watches down from above my books, keeps an eye on me. When Christmas is about Angel takes up a different spot. Overlooking the whole affair, smart with tidy dark brown hair. Her coat a ruby shade of red, like santa’s, it has been said her wings and heart shaped bag glisten in the Christmas lights. She is my favorite ornament by far. If Christmas was still to be Christmas she simply must be there.

Number 2.

Charlie. Is a poem I wrote and love it so much.It encapsulates the spirit of kindness of which this weird year I have seen quite a lot. So for your delectation, get the tissues and be prepared to weep.

Charlie wasn’t keen on Christmas, because of the paper, the lights and all the waste, He didn’t think it good to eat so much, when others went hungry, It soured the taste.

Charlie loved wearing Granddad’s flight jacket, the best ever Christmas gift, Grandma said he wore it each day, walking back from his overnight shift.

The coat was cumbersome and heavy, if zipped it came way past his throat. His arms needed to be longer, the leather smelt of tobacco, the wool a dirty old Goat.

But, Charlie could fit mucky Ethel, underneath it when the rain soaked all her card. Or the snow made her fingers go blue … as she sat in that old butchers yard.

He could fit a curled up ham sandwich and an apple from Grandma’s dish, Deep inside the wool lined pocket. So Charlie, he made a new Christmas wish.

He wished that all people had bedrooms, a place to rest their head. That mucky Ethel could have a bath and a coat to hold over her own head.

But Santa, he did not come calling, to the people who lived on the street. Instead he hoped they would have their own Charlie, who would give the shoes from their feet.

Number 3.

My favourite Christmas coat, I feel like Christmas is here when I wear it. I secretly long to be the Angel in number 1.

Number 4.

Christmas Horror stories, These Books, ‘Horror Anthologies’ are the perfect introduction to short snappy stories to be told around the fire. The fact that they each carry one of my own tales inside, makes them even more special. I hope to scare family over zoom this year, but of course, you could buy them as gifts if you wish. A new book is on pre order coming soon Wings and Fire.

Number 5.

Snow! Writing Merry Christmas in snow, building a snow man and sharing it even if it is only on Zoom; would be magical. It will be in the lap of Mother nature but I have asked Santa and I have been good.

Number 6.

CRACKERS! Yes I know but I do not mean me, or the ones with Cheese. I mean who could have a Christmas weird or not without a cracker to pull, a joke to read and a tacky prize. No they are in my Christmas 2020 regardless of weird.

Number 7.

A TREE. no matter how big how bright or how simple, a decorated tree is simply a must. As is a glass of cream brandy liqueur, Michael Bubl’e on the speakers and plenty of giggles. It is just what I want to do and so should you.

Number 8.

The grandchildren, We can not have them all so we will have none. But Christmas without there faces would be the unhappiest place for me. The one above is Ivy. we have two expected in spring and the chronological list is this.

Merlot 15, Flynn 14, Ivy 5, Mabel 4, Matilda 4. Penelope 3, George 18months. How could we have Christmas without all of these. So we will eat breakfast together and I will tell stories and jokes and we will do this while they open our gifts under their own trees.

Number9.

Santa and this one is special, another will never do. Santa has stuck by me and taken me through the bad times and delivered the goods. He will be with me at Covid-19s Christmas. We on a normal year have a tradition. We find a day where we can get as many family together and have our ‘Best’ Christmas celebration, 2018 we managed 19 guests. We have, food and drink, crackers and silly hats, music and laughter. Our tradition of the table game, secret santa. Each household brings, a male gift and a female gift, two children friendly ones each for under £7 each. each plainly wrapped with M,F,C on the package. After dinner the pile (to which I have added extras), is put in the middle; with my santa for luck (santa guides the dice). The die is rubbed and kissed the air thick with anticipation. Each of us take turns to throw, you need a double 6 to collect a gift. This continues until the pile has gone. At this point you can donate, or stick. Players usually donate (if a child has not won a parcel) then we begin again. This time, any double thrown, of any number can now steal. The packages have treats, silly things, and booby prizes inside. We laugh until we all have wet faces and gasp for breath. Not covid appropriate, or safe for 2020, so this year it will be sorely missed.

Number 10.

A phone, TO call up Mother, and people who do not have mobiles or wifi. yes they exist and I will not leave them out.

Number 11.

My bird feeding regime begins in earnest usually with a poem about feeding the birds, With no children to share in the feeding this year I will video myself singing Mary Poppins famous song (I can not sing) Feed the birds and send one to each family household so they can see the birds get fed and Grandma Duck is still bonkers enough said.

Number 12.

My rock/pebble painting, represents a song and the year where saying I love you has been there to replace hugs and kisses that we all are still missing.

Thank you YouTube

Which is your favourite of my #12Christmas2020Things did you like best and what will your celebration miss. answers in the comments, I am dying to know.

Charlie A Poem At Christmas.

“Charlie.”

Charlie wasn’t keen on Christmas, because of the paper, the lights and all the waste, He didn’t think it good to eat so much, when others went hungry, It soured the taste.

Charlie loved wearing Granddad’s flight jacket, the best ever Christmas gift, Grandma said he wore it each day, walking back from his overnight shift.

The coat was cumbersome and heavy, if zipped it came way past his throat. His arms needed to be longer, the leather smelt of tobacco, the wool a dirty old Goat.

But, Charlie could fit mucky Ethel, underneath it when the rain soaked all her card. Or the snow made her fingers go blue … as she sat in that old butchers yard.

He could fit a curled up ham sandwich and an apple from Grandma’s dish, Deep inside the wool lined pocket. So Charlie, he made a new Christmas wish.

He wished that all people had bedrooms, a place to rest their head. That mucky Ethel could have a bath and a coat to hold over her own head.

But Santa, he did not come calling, to the people who lived on the street. Instead he hoped they would have their own Charlie, who would give the shoes from their feet.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7WJ-42kvYrWZVJhRWxLVDhxMUVQbjhJOF9obUU2clJxd3Jz/view?usp=drivesdk

I added a sound bite for anyone wanting to hear me read this. “Do you think a child has opinions on subjects such as this?” I would love a comment please 😁

This year my Christmas cards were bought to support Shelter, we sent them only, to close family and even closer friends. But I purchased one item a week and two when I could, th as extras to my weekly shopping all year. I googled a list of what I should get, to be sure I was providing what was most needed. I trawled charity shops for sturdy rucksacks once cleaned I stuffed them tight. A female sack was complete by August and delivered to the drop in center in our charming market town; you would not think there would be a homless problem here. Just before the cold of December a male back pack was ready to give, being near Christmas, I included a card, a tiny bear and a notebook and pen as extras. My gifts make me tear up as I write this, because who is to judge and it was so little for some but would mean everything to them. May this season and coming year bring roofs for the homless.

‘Think before you speak’

On a pavement Cafe at the end of the street, two smart men took themselves a seat.

Tristan, he bragged about his car, ‘£48000 look at it gleam, Mercedes coup’e a Successful man’s dream.’

Harry said ‘I worked hard taking overtime when I could. No room for a holiday or even a siesta.’ His £17000 spent on a pepper red fiesta.

They argued together, the for and against,
compared fuel consumption the weaknesses and strengths.

Now, Mary, she sat on the ground by the door

listened to them both open mouthed … in awe.

She sat head bowed by a note that said ‘park’ To remind her to get in her box before dark.

Her mac was large came down to her feet, an excellent choice, when you lived on the street.

for underneath, was all she possesses, two pairs of gloves and four threadbare dresses.

She didn’t speak nor look in their eyes when they lit cigars and binned crusts from their pies.

Silently she sat as they said their goodbyes. Missing the quiver of her lip and the tears in her eyes.

They dropped her a pound and crossed to their cars. She could have been an alien living on Mars.

A lightbulb moment!

Let me know what you think. Would you, in your excitement of the moment have stopped and looked at Mary? I’d like to think I would have taken my discussion inside, thought about how she would feel; overhearing.

Who Can Hear You

A Disguise like Autumn

Many thanks to Sandis Helvigs for loaning the photo.

He was bold he was cold he lived in a disguise.

He used a leaf to cover his eyes

With Autumn.

He Wore A Disguise like Autumn.

A fancy dress parade was to follow the carnival. The Carnival comprised of floats and majorettes, brass bands, boy scouts, tumble tots and brownies not forgetting the women’s institute and the natty knitters. The music blared from speakers followed by dancing dwarves; who were following snow white on her bed. The shop doorways lined with stalls, mulled wine, hot soup, cards, gifts and all manner of cakes and crafts for sale.

They paraded through the town twice, full of fun and revelry. The floats were to be judged and prizes awarded. Collections for the hospice and the homeless had been going on several weeks before, and at the event. The parade culminated in the turning on of the Christmas lights by some vacant reality television star; that no one remembered.

As a watcher, I stood out, not dressed fancy or otherwise.Because of the cold all the clothes I owned I wore. As one of the recipients of the collections, I thought a few scraps of food would be given me, a few bits … to ease my bones in the late Autumnal weather. Especially knowing it was only going to get colder and harder sleeping rough.

I thought of the cost of the lights, music and costumes, I weighed up the fuel spent and calculated how much the prizes would be. In a previous time, I was a numbers man, a number cruncher and balancer of books. I wandered through the park to where finally the tractors rested their wheels and the children were reunited with parents and teachers. Backs were slapped, kisses freely given and received. Many prizes were happily accepted and some tears were shed in tiredness. Pride shone from the faces of people in fluorescent tabards who were clutching stuffed buckets of dosh.

I bent down and picked up a leaf, I twirled it in between frozen fingers, a beautiful Horse Chestnut leaf as big as a tea plate. The leaf was golden and rust, as if kissed by the turn of autumn its last disguise, before withering away. From my spot, I watched as a photographer took snaps of all he could see, a journalist took notes, then they spied me. I lifted the leaf to my face to hide, a voice asked: “Excuse me can I take a shot … what have you come as?” I stood still, my identity hidden from all but me. “Me,” I said, “I have come as autumn.” A look of confusion crossed his brow, he took the shot purposefully and slowly walked away. The girl tapped her pad with a chewed pencil she nodded my way. She glanced back once or twice as she disappeared into the crowd, I knew she was there somewhere, lost, like me, anonymous, unseen.

I wasn’t given any soup or mulled wine. The vicar scowled and turned away when I asked for a sleeping bag and a scarf. No eye contact was made, no smile thrown my way. I wondered what people thought their money would do, how much it would help … a man like me. Someone down on his luck, shabby, hungry and cold; wearing a disguise like autumn.

Please readers, let me know your thoughts, leave them in comments and I will get back quick sharp. Happy Autumn.

Empathy Calls .

I laugh until the air has gone
Then gasp to draw some in.
Speaking makes me happy
my smile shines from within.
But tear drops plop shamelessly
on cheeks that are too old,
to bear the sight of homlessness
amongst streets  paved with gold.
With hope she looks for a coin,
or a sip, to ward away the shame.
Too hide the pain of life,
Done living on the game.
The want to wash away reality,
Replace life with dreams and cheer.
Or deathly silent moments
That  dull the pain and fear.
We judge them so lightly
Label them; and sneer.
Not seeing their plight,
We rarely  shed a tear.
So why not hovver in that doorway,
Stoop, and smile to say hello
Because they are only human
With no other place to go.

Continue reading

Working In India Wasn’t Proper Work.

railway orphan

My year was up, working in India wasn’t real work, Mum said. Never mind the heart breaking Journey to the railway station in Salur. Where I was to choose three children amongst the crowd that huddled together, with their kohl blackened eyes and swollen bellies that silently pleaded. Three bodies burned on the pyre as HIV and Tuberculosis claimed them, leaving three beds free.

The Government bod I was with, covered his nose and mouth from the stench as we ploughed our way through the filth. You can’t choose, it would catch your heart and rip it out, yet I searched the faces and touched three children of varying ages, then we left for the home.

I knew many would die there beside that track; by the time we had bathed and soothed the lucky three they’d be gone.

A stone marked the spot where a piece of me died in Salur, but it wasn’t
proper work said Mum.

Posted from WordPress for Android

“Hello”

image

I am sat on a path with a comb in my hand,
Made myself nice I teased every strand.
I buttoned the bag that serves as my coat,
Tied a cloth neat at my throat.

I sit very still to not cause alarm
Smiling, for I wish you no harm.
This is my home the space by a door,
It’s where I live because I am poor.

I won’t force your gaze upon my face
as you pass me by with heads low in case.
I sit on the path with my comb in my hand
I am Wishing you didn’t
have your head in the sand.

This photograph was found on ‘pixaby ‘homeless’
Posted from WordPress for Android

Invisible.

image

I am the lost face,
just a face in the crowd.
A lonely soul, in a cold space.
Where you Walk and talk.
But rarely see  me.

Stop awhile, talk to me.
Don’t wait by my blanket
With your phone to your ear
Take it away, it’s my pain
that you hear.

The picture was found on pixaby ‘homeless woman’
Posted from WordPress for Android

Putting yourself in others shoes, is a great way to find inspiration to write. Being empathetic, steping, if only for a moment in to others shoes makes you instantly more aware. But be careful you first have to remove your own shoes…

What outside subjects have you got under the skin of? How have you actually experienced that which you write about? In fact do you need to experience a feeling or a sensation to be able to write a believable account?
Please let me share in your thoughts, leave me a comment if you can. Thank you.