Daily Life, Poem, Writer's Blog

The Man in Red

How dare you tell me he’s not real!

Why would you spread such lies?

We surely all have seen him,

Fly his sleigh across the skies.


We’ve all heard of his reindeer,

Who pull him on his way,

We know he has an army,

Elves with no time for play!


Tirelessly they spend their days,

Make toys and gifts for all,

From a quaint and pretty doll’s house,

To the simplest bouncy balls.


The workers under his command,

They have no time to snooze,

No need for rest ‘til work is done,

There’s just no time to lose.


When all is good and ready,

The presents neatly stacked,

The magic portal opens wide,

The night will be jam-packed.


He starts in Australasia,

His journey takes him west,

Covering every inch of sky,

Head to toe in red he’s dressed.


Calling out his ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’

Silhouetted by the moon,

His reindeer keeping perfect time,

Must not arrive too soon.


For if he comes when we’re awake,

His schedule must be changed,

He’ll have to make some detours,

His plans he must then rearrange.


He’s magical, but real for sure,

Be sure to leave a snack,

The poor man works for many hours,

He has no time to slack.


He’s partial to a cold mince pie,

And a swig or two of brandy,

The deer he’ll give a snack or two,

To keep them fine and dandy.


So many disbelievers,

Their Christmas spirit gone,

Those same are always quite content,

To open gifts he’s left, at dawn.


Although he doesn’t live nearby,

Resides far out of sight,

One thing is for certain,

Christmas Eve’s his busiest night!


Daily Life, Poem, Writer's Blog

A Best Friend is for Life (not just Christmas)

My earliest memory of a friendship un-torn,

Is her tonsil removal, she looked so forlorn,

She sat by the window, as to school I trooped,

Only six at the time, her bottom lip drooped.


Trips to the coast in my Mum and Dad’s car,

Pony rides at Hunstanton, we never went far,

Fun at the fair, we were easily pleased,

No worries at all, we’d play, taunt and tease.


School days flew by, the friends went and they came,

But back to each other we’d bounce just the same,

Then came the boyfriends, the coach trips, the laughter,

Best friends once more, and we hoped ever after.


But then one small tiff, over something quite crazy,

meant we spoke not for ages, the days seem quite hazy,

Sixth Form claimed Trina and a bank job claimed me,

Years when we needed each other, didn’t see.


Then one day, quite simply, a surprise visit came,

We both felt ashamed at our stupid mind games,

our friendship we slowly reformed from the start,

We chatted for ages, our old heart to heart.


Such fun, we remembered of our childhood days,

Such happy, fond memories, can’t be taken away,

This friendship, now stronger than any I’ve known,

I’d be lost without her, even now that we’re grown.


Our day to day life is quite different at times,

But still for each other, we try to find time,

Our problems we’ve shared and tried to help deal,

Just a few honest words from the heart can help heal.


It’s true what they say about ‘fair weather friends’,

They’ll come and they’ll go, for how long it depends,

But through thick and thin, my best friend is there,

And I’ll always be there to show that I care.


This all goes much deeper than nights on the town,

And even much deeper than ironing out frowns,

It’s knowing we’ll always be there for each other,

Whatever life deals us, we’ll love one another.


Written for Katrina Dixon,

by Julie Tickle October 1997




Daily Life, Poem, Writer's Blog

Beginner’s Pain for Hopeful Gain

It really isn’t working, it’s just not looking good,

I’m trying so much harder than I ever thought I would,

My heart rate pounding faster, with every single step,

Not seeing much improvement, despite my heavy prep.


The heavy pound of footfall, trying as a might,

To keep the pace a going, to fight my merry fight,

So very much I’m trying, I just can’t shift this lard,

I aim for better day by day, but believe me, it’s so hard!


I started very slowly, just like the books all said,

Building up my speed by day, before I go to bed,

One step, two steps, one step more, I try to catch my breath,

Enjoyment’s what they promised me, this fate is worse than death!


I started off just walking, the pace kept slow and steady,

I know that running’s not my thing, I really am not ready,

But as I head for fifty years, fitness I must regain,

And as the adage told by all, there’s no gain without pain.


I’m not so keen on going out, alone when darkness falls,

And winter is upon us so my cozy lounge and sofa calls.

With muscle tone a failing, my body slowing down,

I need to work this frame so hard, my sorrows I must drown.


I headed for the World Wide Web, an offer so to find,

And waiting for me patiently, a price which blew my mind,

Pre-Christmas sale, whatever next? Discounts of more than half,

I couldn’t pass this deal up, now it’s time to work on thigh and calf!


Purchase made, my mind made up, my lifestyle I must change,

But having bought a treadmill, my lounge I must now rearrange,

My living area is so small, there’s barely room for guests,

Having now made up my mind, organisation skills I now must test.


The issues came when first unpacked, the bolts and screws and poles,

Mind-blown, hubby’s help on hand to work out what went in which holes.

Gadget was assembled, it took up lots of space,

I had to use it now, I mused, I will increase my pace.


So here I am so battle-sore, my feet are feeling worn,

But strangely so much better now, I feel far less forlorn,

Endorphins are a-pumping, I’m feeling so upbeat,

I need to pass positive vibes, right down my legs and to my feet.


Already feeling blisters, and have not run that far,

I know the reading tells me that, displayed on the front bar.

However, I am sweating now, drops run down my cheeks,

I cannot see through, sweat-filled eyes, I just can’t bear to peek.


It’s only been ten minutes, I’m sure I can do more,

I fear my body, when I stop, will crumble to the floor,

I think it’s been enough for this, my first time on the belt,

My legs tomorrow will give way, the ache it will be felt.


However, I will not give in, not now I’ve spent my money,

I’ll entertain the family, they’ll find it rather funny,

I know they’re all behind me, don’t want an unfit mum,

Need me to be running around, don’t want to see me glum.


Commitment to my need to learn to run, now I can walk,

Is top of my agenda, of hard work I must never balk,

Will work hard through the winter months, stamina building strong,

In springtime, I’ll be running, on the road to the sound of sweet birdsong.









Ceroc, Dancing, Poem, Writer's Blog

Back at The Dance Ranch

Decision is made, dressed and ready to go,

One more sweep of make-up, its Christmas you know,

Head to the city, our nerves are on high,

Wild Stallion awaits, so much time has passed by.


Car parked, bags ready, we head to the door,

Arms opened widely from friends by the door,

Ambient dance floor, the feel festively so,

Garlands abound, Christmas lights are aglow.


Tunes spilling forth from our Rob on the decks,

Wide smiling greets us from Anna, at the desk,

Time for a drink, the choices discussed,

Refreshments aplenty, rehydration a must.


Eight strikes the clock sitting high on the wall,

The floor starts to fill, we are having a ball,

One dance, another, then grabbed for one more,

In need of a drink, I dart from the floor.


No rest I’m allowed because here comes another,

Gentleman dancer, hand proffered, its no bother,

Gulp down a few mouthfuls, my throat to hydrate,

Head back to the dance floor, we’ve hips to gyrate.


Rob spins a tune and one thing comes to mind,

Hurry on down to dance to a Nu Line,

Giggles, true laughter, down the line we can hear,

Nicky and Clive ham up wiggles, oh dear!


Not one dull moment, this freestyle can bring,

Dancing with friends, and chatting in the wings,

Great to see friends we’ve not seen for an age,

Time for a shake up, time for a new page.


Nibbles depleted, the music is over

Its time to now to go, at the door we all hover,

Christmas greetings are many for those we won’t see,

The season is busy, many places to be.


Plans made for dates in the future, not far,

More dancing freestyles to come, near and far,

Next week is for jumpers seasonally adorned,

To wear at all venues, to the theme we have warmed.


Greetings over shoulders as we go into the night,

Hugs and more kisses as we bid friends, goodnight,

This dance night’s been awesome, my feet are quite sore,

In just a few days and we’ll be dancing some more!


Daily Life, Poem, Writer's Blog

Spring Is Never Far Away

Soon is the time for the layers to shed,

Warmer will be, now, the days up ahead,

No longer we’ll hide beneath jumpers and jeans,

Disguising pounds piled on, by usual means.


Sweets treats and puddings, to keep cold at bay,

Need to be shelved, there’s a price we’ll now pay,

Bikini-body-ready – I think I am not,

More than a few pounds, its rather a lot!


Time to shed layers of dry, deadened skin,

To try to look beautiful, not just from within,

Will take us much work, it won’t be overnight,

Want summer’s glow with our skin shining bright.


Plucking and shaving, the treatment quite cruel,

Its going to be worth it, you know now the rules,

Don’t let it go while us Winter’s upon,

Always to soon when Spring’s sun is switched on.


Next year will be different, won’t over-indulge,

Give in to cravings, succumb to the bulge,

Trimming and scrubbing, there won’t be a pause,

None of us look good as a jolly Santa Claus!


Daily Life, Writer's Blog

Changing Reading and Writing Habits

One thing is certain when I look back at my Kindle reading habits from the past few months, I definitely don’t have a go-to genre. As a writer, you would think I would have at least a good reason for choosing a book but every one I choose depends upon my mood in the moment.


I do read book reviews from fellow bloggers and sometimes I am swayed enough to buy following a particularly good one but I am quite fickle in my choices. I will choose a book because it has an interesting cover – often the cover doesn’t  truly reflect the content and then another day I will read the blurb or (hold the front page) go looking for a particular genre.

I am currently swaying between haunted and ghostly tales or Dystopian fiction. I am a bigger fan of fiction than non-fiction on the whole so that is the loosest genre I subscribe to.

I have just downloaded three more ghost stories but I am currently writing a ghost story of my own so I can be forgiven for calling it research. However, as I was searching a couple of thrillers, my previous favourite genre, caught my eye so they are now on my list. I love to have a list of books to read. In years gone by it would be a pile of unread, ‘real’ books and I do still have a small pile of three or four books beside my bed. I just find using my Kindle is so much more convenient.


I also subscribe to an app which I have installed on my Kindle, called Readly which gives me and four other family members (or four additional devices if I wanted to be selfish) full access to thousands of magazines. So I carry thousands of magazines and plenty of books with me at all times. That’s the thing with a Kindle, the multitude of reading material in one place. On the downside, you can never replicate the feel and smell of a real book or replace the pleasure of turning the pages.


One thing’s for certain, while trying to keep up to date with my blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages and reading so many books, I am neglecting my own writing time. I need to sort out a timetable to fit it all in. Oh, and then there is the matter of a full time job which takes up a lot of my time!

One day, instead of pushing my published and unpublished short stories and poetry, I hope you will find me advertising the publication of my first novel. Watch this space, but not too closely for now or you will have a long wait!


Daily Life, Poem, Writer's Blog

Time to Party!

Invitations aplenty, so many received,

Especially at Christmas, we should be relieved,

Time for the parties, and hours spent with friends,

Smile upon smile, the fun never ends.


But for some of us home-birds, we’d really prefer,

The warmth of our home, under blankets of fur,

Sat by the fire with hot chocolate in hands,

With only each other, don’t need other plans.


Eating and drinking, and copiously so,

Fighting the kiss, as we pass mistletoe,

Its really an effort to pull us away,

From our warm, cozy home to the murky and gray.


Its all overrated, we’re pushed to the fore,

With expected compliance we head for the door,

Sparkling with tinsel adorning our form,

Rehearsing the cliches they’ll hope we’ll perform.


Declined invitations, upon us are frowned,

Unwillingly honest if we stand our ground,

Tired, no, exhausted, we’ll join in their games,

Know any other way will just blacken our names.