Boris and the army

When Mary got home she tried to find her key but it was nowhere to be seen. Then she remembered that she had another key with her. I must have dropped it in the cab she thought to herself I will ring them up tomorrow, Emile her large black and white cat ran towards her very fast.

You won’t believe this, Mother..

Emile I have told you before I am not your mother.

Why do you take everything so literally, the cat asked her in a manner that reminded her of the French psychoanalyst Jack Le Con.

If I am on the autistic spectrum she said to him, that might explain it.

Well you have to take a test to see if you are on the spectrum

But I have got comfortable with you you and I don’t want you to change your personality just because somebody says that you’re a bit odd.

Don’t tell me somebody has been spreading rumours about me. Who says I am odd ;;it all depends on the definition doesn’t it? I may be odd in some words but surely that’s what makes people interesting if they have a lot of different from almost everybody else you know

Well Jesus was very odd and very old wasn’t he ,because God was his father?

Do you think God was my father said Emile ?

I’ll ask him next time I see him said Mary cruelly.

Are you going to see God, can I come with you?

Let me put the kettle on and make some tea and then I will have to get some food out for the supper. Do you fancy some sardines from a tin?

Well I won’t say no to a sardine wherever it’s come from I know that God would never put them into tins

Next time I go to church I will start laughing because they are talking to God as if he is a being from another planet but I will be imagining him on top of a mountain putting a sardines into tins although being on top of a mountain it will be quite difficult to find sardines.

Nothing is difficult for God but he doesn’t sound very practical :I expect some angels would put the sardines in to tins he asked them to do that

Here you are said Mary and she put a saucer of sardines in front of the cat while she 🦐heated up a tin of chicken curry from Waitrose,

Around the kitchen she looked with sorrow because if Stan wete alive he would never have usedu a tin of curry for her dinner. Why am I so bad at cooking? I suppose I’ve never spent enough time doing it and also when you live by yourself it take the way the incentive

The Amazon assistant switched on the radio and they heard the end of the news.

Boris Johnson has an army and they are marching on London from Framlingham Castle because they can’t suffer the Home Secretary any more. When she compared asylum-seekers to insects even Boris Johnson was shocked. And Boris is a very rich man now so soon he will be the King.

Oh that will be very exciting. I believe

I think we’ve had enough excitement here since the referendum what we all want is so hot cocoa and an early night. I hope it’s not too late for that.

But will the citizens of London be able to sleep knowing that Boris Johnson is leading an army from Suffolk although if he meets beautiful women on the way he might take longer to get here. Let’s hope hes not fathering any more children. London is overcrowded already.

Let your lips meet gently

Let your lips meet gently,

the top one resting against the lower,

touching with tenderness

your own skin to skin.

Forefinger propped on chin,

I let the others dangle,

like leaves on a branch;

how softly gravity tugs them downwards.

Let heart beat quietly,slowly

as the blood circulates

carrying its music,

a river,

following the path of least resistance.

How the blood vessels receive willingly this flow,

touching it kindly as with tiny open fingers,

helping and being helped.

How the hair on the head


on the breeze,

like tentacles of an octopus

waving goodbye.

Top eyelid loves the lower one;

as we blink they touch

like lovers kissing swiftly

behind a tree.

and how the light comes in

we see a world.

[mine may not be yours,]

but the blink of my eyelid

sends waves through the air,

so we’re all touching and being touched,

lips kissing each other,

kiss all living creatures.

skin to skin.

air to air.

And inside us,the rich darkness

of creative night

transforms,in turn,

these touches

into dreams.

Stan and the green jumper

Dotty cats

Stan was feeling somewhat glum,nay even despairing,on Monday morning.
Mary had gone to work on her new folding 6 gear bicycle with own basket and an extra basket from Wells-next -the- Sea 1995
[the wicker basket now somewhat grey in hue.]
He was left at home sorting out all his art work and materials as well as doing the baking,cooking and bathing Emile,the delightful yet trying male cat.
Sunk in dark misery,Stan sat in an old uncomfortable chair in the darkest part of the room, while Emile snored on the rug by the bright French windows
.Stan went through all the possible reasons for his state of mind.Was he guiltyabout his flings with his alluring next door neighbour Annie?
Could it be his failure to toilet train Emile? Or his omitting to carry out the penance given by Father Brown after Stan confessed to stealing sweets on the way to Confession in 1956?
The longer Stan brooded the more reasons he found for his depression.
He could hardly get up to make a cup of coffee ..even instant seemed too much trouble.Would he even clean his teeth which somehow he’d failed to do?
The doorbell rang… it was a new cord for his laptop as Emile had been chewing the current one ,and 29 books in a sack from Amazon which his wife must have ordered,as he had no recollection of any such foolish spending.
How would they pay the bill on the credit card? he ruminated.
Later in the day.Annie peered through the window.She tapped on the glass with her well manicured blue finger nails.
Let me in she cried.
I’m too tired for any hanky panky he murmured lovingly as he ran his fingers through her thick red tresses.What is this delightful perfume,beloved,he questioned her.
It’s Poison! she replied.Oh no,sorry it’s Iris and Jasmine Eau de toilette from the Bodyshop.
Despite his lowly sunken state Stan loved this perfume.He sniffed rabidly at her well rounded form
.Well,shall we have some tea,she enquired.
Stan sat there hand on chest.I’ve been feeling a little gloomy,he muttered.She peered at him.
You look terribly pale,Stan.Where’s your angina spray?
I can’t recall,he said.Oh,here it is in my vest.
What a strange place to keep it,she responded.
Mary made pockets for all my one time you could buy vests with pockets
She’s good at sewing despite being so clever.In fact she loves doing things with her hands.
Annie got the GNT spray out and handed it to him.
Have you got a pain?
Well,yes,now you mention it,I do,he replied verbosely.
Well,in the name of God, use the bloody thing,she whispered endearingly into his left ear.
He opened his mouth,raised his tongue and with his hand resting lightly on his chin he pressed the button with his forefinger.
His head began to throb.
Annie appeared with a cup of Earl Grey tea and a biscuit.
Why,you look a little better.Do you need another dose?
No,I feel much better now.I’ve had it before.
He drank the tea but didn’t eat the biscuit which he threw out later in crumbs for the field mice in the shed.
His spirits began to rise.Why did he always forget that physical ailments can worsen a mood?He still felt a trifle glum but nothing a meringue wouldn’t put right.
OK,what shall I make for Mary’s supper? he enquired.
You sit there in the window and I’ll just make my special spaghetti,Annie replied gaily,as long as I can stay too.
Yes,I’ll open some red wine he said youthfully,and we can have fried apples and bananas for pudding with non fat Greek yoghurt.
What a wise choice she murmured gently into his ear………that will use up some of the newly picked apples,the bananas were from Lidl’s as usual.
Well,Stan you look better.said Mary happily,You’ve been pale all weekend.Was it Annie who cheered you up,not to put too fine a point on it?
Actually it was nitroglycerine,he said roguishly,but Annie made me use it.
But for us women you’d be dead,she replied equably.
But for you delightful creatures I wouldn’t be here at all,he moaned ecstatically.
Now then Stan,control yourself she urged,After all we have a visitor,Annie!
What a hoot,he thought as he twisted spaghetti round his fork in a careless manner splashing tomato sauce all over his new green acrylicjumper.
Thank the Lord for washing machines,Mary said.
I didn’t know Jesus invented them,Annie said with a tone of mild sarcasm but no-one bothered to reply.

As told by Emile to the local paper.
And believed by all of us

I do hope you’ve had measles already

IMG_20190312_134243.jpgMary was walking down the High Street of a little town  a few miles from Knittingham. Here stood tall trees, which have been hacked into stumps by the local council,They are vehemently opposed to anything that might change the town into an upmarket suburb of   Knittingham. They wante it to be ‘modern’, like a small version of Manhattan or Paris, maybe, or even London. but there was not enough room to build a skyscraper or a Gherkin, like the one that Ken Livingstone had erected in London after he went to Soho


Mary was wearing a long, blue, unlined, woollen coat from Marks and Spencer, over a dark grey and green sweater dress, with matching leather boots .  iIn her hand, she carried a large green handbag, which contained her Kindle Paperwhite and her purse


Suddenly she had a loud cry: “Mary, Mary!”.

She looked round and there was an old friend whom she knew  before the advent of smartphones and computers and, therefore, not being very well organised, she had lost the address of this dear lady, Margaret.

“Shall we go and have a cup of coffee in that  Turkish restaurant?”, Margaret inquired politely.I have my cat in the car and I’ll get him a scone.The people are very friendly


“What a brilliant idea!”, Mary cried, “I have come out just to have a change of scene and Annie, my friend in in Knittingham, has got measles I have a cat myself

“I do hope you’ve had  measles already”,  said Margaret.

Yes, I have”, Mary  lied.
“Well, tell me your latest news. How is your rheumatoid arthritis?  Have they given you any of these new drugs, which suppress your immune system to stop it from attacking your own body?”

“No, they haven’t given me any yet”,   Margaret replied cheerfullyA bit late now

“I believe that, nowadays, they give them to people right at the beginning of the illness tbut, in my day, they did not give them to you until it was fully  developed , unfortunately, I have become somewhat disabled.”

“Well, how do you manage living on your own?”Do you have a lover who might help you?

“No lover as yet but I have various devices that I can use”, Margaret told her with a twinkle in her eye,  giving Mary the impression that Margaret was the owner of a gigantic array of vibrators and other similar implements  trying them out for some Health Magazine for the handicapped

Mary was thinking that they were probably better than codeine for taking your mind off your pains and aches which, in the case of arthritis can be  excruciating, making it impossible in many cases for a woman to have sex  though she had imagined marrying her cat Emile as he had expressive eyes and did not desire her body
She did not tell Margaret what she was thinking but  said:

 “I know that you can get a stand for your electric kettle, so that you can pour the water out of it without lifting the kettle up from the work surface., and you can also get vacuum cleaners that are self-propelled.”

As Mary had a great many books, she was unlikely to buy one of these vacuum cleaners, because they would knock over all her carefully choosing piles of scholarly works and art books, not to mention the tubs full of pens and pencils, and coloured pastel chalks.

When they went into the cafe, the waitress was very polite and soon they were drinking their coffee at a little table in the window, from where they could see the local people passing by.Many were wearing badges asking for an end to the Civil War in Britain

“You’ll never guess what happened to me”, Margaret said

, “I was in  the bookshop, where they have a folding chair for me to sit ; they know I can’t stand up for a long time without suffering pain.  I’d just sat down when this young woman came up to me and said:”

“You can’t sit there and read: you have to go upstairs and sit in and armchair.”

“Well, if you show me the lift, I will be very happy to go upstairs ” , I said humorously

.Or maybe you can carry me up as you are very heavy and strong

“We don’t have a lift”, t he woman cried loudly, “We only have one for us to  take books upstairs and we do not allow customers to use it, because it is not insured.”

=Would you mind if I just sat here for 5 minutes?”

“No!, you cannot sit there for 5 minutes”

“ Well, I was unable to get up, straight away”, said Margaret “but, as soon as I could, I put the expensive book, which Ihad been going to buy, back onto the rack of new non-fiction and saved  £20  there and then

” “That’s not very nice”, continued Mary. i“It might even be illegal to tell a disabled person  to go up some stairs, when there is no lift or escalator.”

Margaret  called
“Let’s talk about something else.  I like that coat: it’s a lovely shade of Prussian blue

“Never say the word Prussian to me”, said Mary “it reminds me of the war.”

“Well”, said Margaret “if our luck continues on its present track and also the Middle East, there will be almost no country that we can talk about it without  getting distressed by the name.”

It’s a real indictment of humankind.Civilisation is inextricably linked to War.Let#s put that thought aside and talk about clothes instead

“I like this coat however we name the olour”, said Mary “because it is made of wool and the sleeves are lined but the body is not lined, which means that is suitable for this early spring weather and also quite llight to wear always an advantage for the older lady. iIt also covers up whatever else I am wearing underneath because it is quite long.”

“What  on earth are you wearing  underneath?”tMargaret asked humorously

“For all you know I might  have nothing underneath it”, said Mary “exccept a pair of silk knickers and a silk vest.”

But I have a dress on over my silk and wool underwear,I am using an deodorant called

Unarmed and dangerous

“ I have changed a lot since my husband died and I do all sorts of peculiar things.  For example, I believed in times it will soon be legal to marry an animal and I would like to marrylEmile, so that he can sleep in bed with me rather than on top of the bed.”

“But he might scratch you accidentallyy!  “, cried Margaret.And can he kiss you?

“Oh, there’s always a fly in the ointment”, Mary said.

“Well don’t marry the fly”, her  friend responded.”I don’t think that Father Brown would like that, even if it could speak and say ‘I do’; it would definitely not want to sleep in bed with you. it will be flying  around  your bedroom, buzzing all night, and I don’t think it’ll be the only. one”
“I have to marry a spider then”,  said Mary, “Maybe two spiders”

They both laughed uproariously, to the amazement of all the other people in a cafe

“It’s good to see old ladies laughing isn’t it?”

It certainly is.”

“So will you be going back to that book shop?”

“Well, I did try to go back but, as I approached the door, my mouth went very dry and I realised I was getting that ‘fight or flight’ reaction, even though I didn’t feel so anxious but something inside me was worried that history was about to repeat itself and I ’d be the object of scorn and derision.”

“Yes, it’s horrible to feel humiliated isn’t it”, said Mary. 

“I was reading an article in the Guardian, which said that some scientists of the most social sorts have discovered that even the nicest people unconsciously see disabled people as less than human.”.


“Oh my god! that is very frightening because I am getting older and I might get disabled and then I will suffer like you do.”

“Well, you have to be  tolerant of suffering”

But how tolerant should one be? I don’t want to have back some of those politically correct people who go around like Methodist -preachers, attacking people who are agnostic or who want unisex toilets

“Are there any heterosexual toilets?”

“I’ve never seen any but you never know.”

After drinking their coffees, they walked into Marks and Spencer’s  to look at the new spring clothing

That looks like a satin  tracksuit!”,   Mary called politely

“I believe that the short trousers are coming back into fashion. tThey are a big problem because itthey puts all the focus on your ankles, so you cannot wear those dirty old socks that you can wear  at home or with long trousers. I think they are a plot to make us buy ankle boots.”

Everything’s  a plot now, isn’t it. 

“Don’t say that to the doctor or she will think you are getting paranoia.”

 “Getting paranoia? I’ve been paranoid all my life.”“How sad!”

We’ll, nowadays you need a bit of paranoia, especially if you come from Europe and believe that you can work in Britain and contribute to the economy, while enjoying all the lavish pleasures of London city and nightlife.”

“The so-called foreigners are much more courteous than English people. iIn fact I a’m ashamed to be English now and I pretend that I came from Ireland instead.”

You look more like a Valkyrie.”

“Don’t say that! I hate  the composer Wagner.”

“I do believe the word existed before he wrote the music but I understand how you feel. It’s not your fault that you’ve got blonde hair and blue eyes and a white skin.”

“My hair isn’t really blonde any more.  I think it’s more silvery, like Helen Mirren.”

“Does it really matter what her hair looks like now?”

“Well, we have to amuse ourselves somehow and, since we no longer have husbands, wel ’re deprived of much pleasure and love, and we  have to put out the wheelie bins ourselves, which I think is really awful.”

concret sink
Photo by Artem Bali on


Well, it’s a sort of exercise, isn’t it?”


“If that’s all I got, I’d be paralysed by now!”


“So, what else do you do?”


“I do some vacuuming, now and then, I move books out of the bookcase and carry them into the other room and, you won’t believe this, last week I accidentally put a bag of nearly new clothes into the ‘dirty’ wheelie bin and found I still had the rubbish in the hall.!  Unfortunately, the bins had been emptied and there was nothing I could do to get them back.Mind you, I did feel a certain relief but as the hall was no longer full of black bin liners and other stuff like that..

Not to mention all those cables, cords, and chargers that we have nowadays. I think the computer was invented purely to give us more things to buy, to keep the economy going. Nobody really wanted to have computers but they realised that, once you got one, you would want to connect it to your camera, or your television, or the printer, and so it would mean a big market for those cables and cords.

But it gives me something to do, while the Government argue about  Brexit.”


It’s not just the Government who are arguing. My gardener nearly hit me when I said I wanted to remain in Europe. I am forbidden to mention Brexit anywhere near him.”


“I have noticed that it doesn’t matter what the evidence is,; even the most intelligent people will not change their minds, so it must be coming from a deeper level.”


“It sounds  as though people are trying to understand why Hitler wanted to exterminate the Jews and they have come up with all sorts of theories about his childhood.  I thought it might be related to sexual fantasy   but the latest idea is that it is beyond explanation in any human terms; it is evil beyond our ability to explain. It is not true that, if Hitler did not exist, someone else would have behaved the same way. He could have lost his mind when he was defeated by Russia at Stalingrad but, if you lost your mind, would you go and exterminate six million Jews  and gays or 6 million  other people?

 The frightening thing is that it could so easily become the way that Muslims are treated. People say to me: “I don’t want to think about politics, it’s upsetting me”,
but isn’t that what the German said in the 1930s?  If we don’t bother about it, we may find ourselves in a trap that we can’t escape from.

 It is painful to think about these things, when we would rather think about the daffodils and the magnolia flowers, but who will protect us  or guard us, when we go further down this lunacy track.”

“Yes, I see what you mean. iIt’s like thinking that know, if people are depressed, sad, worried, it’s just thought to be very, very bad and they have been put on tablets and getting CBT when, in fact, it may be  appropriate to  feel that way, as long as one can channel it into some useful activity.”

i“It can give you energy… I believe there’s a big march in London against racism and fascism.  I don’t know wherether the big marches have any effect. dDo you remember the one against the Iraq War?  One of the biggest matrches ever seen in London and yet it made absolutely no difference to Tony Blair.”

“Anyway, just give me your news before we depart.”

“I shall tell you what; I’ll give you my email address and then we can communicate about our children or our other activities: grand-children etc. Maybe we can meet more frequently now, as we don’t have to rush home to make the dinner.”


The two women hugged each other before they separated and then Mary went back to the High Street. although she couldn’t remember now what she was going to buy.It might have been an electric tin opener, or a bottle of wine, or a throw from Robert Dyas to hide under, if anybody looked through the window.


Does it  matter what she was going to buy? s She just wanted to get some fresh air, and meeting  old friends always a good things, especially for aged people


I’m sure Emile would agree,  if Mary brought him with her in her handbag, but he was putting on weight and  is a little bit too heavy to carry.  It would be wonderful  if Emile were very big, then Mary could ride on his back as if he were a donkey
Why not buy a real donkey?


Oh no! cry all of us .”



In my dream, I gave birth to a child

In my dream, I gave birth to a child
The doctor said that   he would die quite soon
My feelings overwhelming made me wild

The Nazi doctor threw him on a pile
I lay  there unmoving as I keened
In my dream,I gave birth to a child

A week passed  by,I knew that death beguiled
Frozen  lips    made no sound, song or tune
My feelings overwhelming made me wild

I had to rise and say my  black goodbye.
My baby  with the others;horror loomed
In my dream I gave birth to a child

I picked him up , when suddenly he smiled
I held him to my breast, my songs I crooned
My feelings overwhelming  drove me wild

I had to   carry him, the landscape  gloom
A desert  grey aand rocky like  some moon
In my dream I gave birth to a child
In terror I  had walked  yet  love consoled

Stan looks at the ants

Stan was feeling puzzled. He stood in his front room staring at the rowan tree outside.
Do ants fall in love, he asked himself.
Are swans the most beautiful birds?
Shall I send Annie a card tomorrow?
Should I send Mary one as well?
He went outside and watched the ants running up and down the tree trunk. They seem to work so hard but they never get bored.
But is that true? We have no way of knowing. At last Stan has found a question with no answer.
Is boredom a unique quality of humans?
If that were so we ought to have a Patron Saint of Boredom though not of Bores.
Why are some people so boring?
Luckily Annie had seen Stan and rushed out in a teal coloured all wool dress made more striking by having butterfly motifs scattered on it at random.
“Why have you got those butterflies on your clothes ?” he asked her scientifically
“It’s to cover up the moth holes.”She pertly replied.
“You must have a lot of moths. Do moths fall in love? Do they get bored?”
“You seem in a funny mood today,” Annie murmured.
“Why don’t we go out for coffee?”
“I’ve just made a pot full. Please join me.”
“Thank you,” she cried mildly.
They sat down in the kitchen where Emile was sitting by the window.
“Good morning,Emile,”Annie shouted.
“No need to shout,” Emile miaowed politely.”I’m not deaf”.
“I am sorry, Emile.” she responded furtively,” I am over-excited.”
“Why is that? Stan demanded like an untrained philosopher in a maths class
“Well, I’ve already had ten Valentines.
“Already. You must have done it fast!” he teased her gently.
“No, you horrible idiot. I mean cards.
“You must be popular”
“Some look like women’s writing.”
“Let me see,” he asked swiftly.
To his surprise, one was in the handwriting of his wife Mary.
“Are you bisexual?” he asked her wonderingly.
“No, I’m just annissexual,” she replied saucily.
“What does that mean?”
“Well, it’s just one letter away from “Anti-sexual.”
“That’s a relief. You are not anti yet, then.”
“Not yet”, she whispered coyly.
“Would you make love to a woman?”
“Only if she made love to me.”
.Apparently seeing lesbian movies turns men you watch them?”
“Not bloody likely,I want to get turned off.”
“That could be boring,” she said sweetly as she combed his eyebrows with an old toothbrush.
“Well,I could do the polishing better and get the house sorted out. Fill the freezer with casseroles and defrost the oven.
Yes, though would that be so rewarding as loving another human?
“I guess not” he answered slavishly.
“Shall we go to your place and have a cuddle.
Emile was very put out as he liked to see people kissing but he had grown very philosophical over the years and at least he could get on with his book,
“Wittgenstein’s cat.”
He switched on the netbook and began to type:
“Not everyone knows how important cats were in philosophy. But now we can reveal all.
The saying,
“Of that which we cannot speak, we must miaow” was inspired by Daisy who lived in Cambridge
And,” Of that which we cannot purr we must yowl.” was inspired by Ludo, a fine male cat that lived with Wittgenstein in Ireland.
So as Emile types, we must tiptoe away for he has not much time

Let’s make the most of it

Mary and the curtains

Mary was admiring her curtains :;what a wonderful sense of colour this woman had. It was the one thing which her mother had praised her for . She had not been praised for becoming top of the class at the convent school not for getting a degree. No Mary realised that her mother has a sense of colour because it will be useful when Mary got married and had to make her own curtains.

What a nuisance Mary was no good with the sewing machine. In fact she was afraid of it. That’s one sure way of getting out of a task. Be afraid of the sewing machine clumsy with the knitting needles and when asked to make a cake always put the oven at the wrong temperature so this is either burnt or it is not ready when the visitors come.

And if people know you’re good at making cakes you will get more and more visitors and you won’t have time to read the Oxford dictionary of abstract words or the Oxford dictionary of new words. It is be very hard if we had to spend all the time making cakes and not being allowed to read a book.

Mary was no good at making her own clothes. She had to get a science degree so she could earn her own money. She was terrified of being on the dole and did not want to go on the game as ehe was a virgin. That’s her version of it

When Mary got married to Stan she told him that she did not make cakes and she did not make curtains. Fortunately they could afford to choose the fabric and then get someone else to make it into curtains,

It’s very important to learn about colour unless you go to art school it’s not often discussed in school. Colourcan help you to recover from illness…….

Wait for the next episode

I played within/ upon my mother’s face

Still within her Arm I stood to gaze

Enraptured by the light upon her face.

With my little hands therein I played

As she held me with her fond embrace.

I put my baby fingers in her mouth.

I pulled her lips from side to side north south.

I felt her smile with joy I had not known.

In many hours and days I felt alone.

I squeezed her nose and pulled it side to side.

I did all this for on her knee I rode.

The ground of being and a true life line.

I was hers and she was always mine.

Transfiguration comes, love feels divine.

The artist brush must open up the mind.

And lets us see a world with our wide eyes.

Eternal love may cone in this disguise