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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Daily Life, Poem, Writer's Blog

A Family Christmas

I turn to the sound of jingling bells,
Source, yet unknown, becomes near,
Eyes are alight with a million stars,
Abundantly draping, as every year.

Carols sung tunelessly, children are wrapped,
Snug from the chill ice and snow,
Vendors push wares, oft unwanted, stuffed bags,
Why do we fall for their patter? Don’t know.

Food hall is crowded, the cupboards to fill,
Snack foods and treats, endless meals,
Displayed festive boxes, the towers are high,
So much we’ll consume in short days, seems unreal.

Gift-wrap, a service to ease us of hours,
Spent on the floor by the fire,
Rather mulled wine, with feet up snug and warm,
Spend it with loved ones, there’s a tree to admire!

Gone are our days filling stockings, small hours,
Waiting for children to sleep,
Feasting on mince pies and carrots, hearth treats,
Leave only crumbs, with a secret to keep.

The seasonal magic we can only feel,
When loved ones are gathered close by,
Laughter and gaiety, food, drink and fun,
Changing roles over, as years pass us by.

No longer the hostess, much food to prepare,
Pans filled with food for the day,
Children are grown, now, with homes of their own,
We’re the guests this year, in their homes we’ll stay.

The years pass, same seasons are spent, many ways,
Loved ones, some lost and some new,
Days filled with family and friends, near and far,
The message is clear, merry Christmas, to you.

Daily Life, Norfolk Beach, Writer's Blog

Autumn Beach Day

Brake lights are frowning, fierce brows lie ahead,
Hoping the green light dares not change to red,
Birds taunt our dilemma, with freedom of wing,
Their flight is our envy, delay is our thing.
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Crawl slowly past houses, this holiday morn,
Those who sleep late meeting not break of dawn,
Fields of young corn whisper, mockingly so,
Leaves rustle their solitude, we pass by – so slow.
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Yawns of indifference break through the tension,
Eyes avoiding each other, annoyance unmentioned.
Silently yearn, wish we’d stayed warm in bed,
Tempered vibes palpable, pounding of head.
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Ominous clouds threaten even less joy,
Incite inward screaming, no smile can destroy,
What lies ahead more than a dull, gloomy day,
Please pass by quickly, my mind can but pray.
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The beach, still no brighter, cold seeps unseen places,
Companions arrive, the same gloom on their faces,
The journey, so tiresome, at least now has ended,
Our spirits, now together, our anger is mended.
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Trolleys now loaded with kit and kaboodle,
We’ll hide ‘neath the shelter, but not to canoodle!
Our journey, not wasted, our men take their stance,
Of their kites we are voyeurs of much merry dance.
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Much laughter and chatter, and wrongs to put right,
Hidden from cold winds, the men just in sight,
Sun’s rays, their appearance a welcome array,
A far better end than the start of our day.

Center Parcs, Daily Life, Dancing, Writer's Blog

Help! Mid-life crisis alert!

Does anybody, like me, wake up some mornings wishing they could start all over again, having made such a pig’s ear of their life so far? I am having one of those days today and I don’t usually write on bad days so this is new territory for me.

I have just returned from a midweek break with my husband, three of our children and our son-in-law at Center Parcs. We have been there lots of times before and always enjoy it for different reasons. This time, we booked ourselves into a luxurious executive lodge with four bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom, and we also had a sauna and a games room boasting a pool table, a multitude of board games and an X-box.

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We often try something new and this time, along with spa sessions, badminton, table tennis, long walks and swimming, we booked ourselves onto a pottery painting session. We had so much fun all week but I have returned to normality feeling completely exhausted and extremely fed up.

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Before we left, I had been really good and managed to lose four pounds in weight as I was quickly becoming one of those frumpy, menopausal middle-aged ladies who I do not aspire to become. While we were away, I avoided the sweet shop, enjoyed just one dessert and made as many healthy choices as I could. I had half of a pizza one evening with some wedges but always had healthy breakfasts. I ensured I had plenty of exercise and my pedometer didn’t hit below 17,000 steps each day with one day reaching 28000 and another, 24,000. I kept track of everything using my weight loss app and assumed I would not lose anything while I was away and, at most, gain a pound or two. I was devastated to step onto the scales yesterday morning to find I had gained five pounds, in five days. It seems impossible to me that I could gain that much over such a short amount of time. So, on top of everything else, the diet/healthy eating has begun with a vengeance. It certainly has not helped my overall mood.

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The usual back-from-holiday washing was easy to plough through. Tracksuit bottoms, leggings, t-shirts and fleeces all being easy to dry and put away, no iron required. Job done.

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A small amount of cupboard re-stocking at Tesco, then we decided to use the free time to do some Christmas present shopping. We had been put in the mood for the forthcoming season as our break was Winter Wonderland themed, and numerous twinkling white lights,  Christmas trees, garlands and faux snow had set the scene, putting us in the mood for Christmas.  We even had a luxurious wreath on the front door of our accommodation.  The whole Parc was alight with Christmas, including an awesome midweek fireworks display culminating, for the benefit of the younger guests, with Santa arriving along one of the zip wires across the festively-lit water sports lake.

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Returning to the shopping, both of us were physically tired, but we ambled around the city centre shops and successfully purchased a number of gifts. Pleased with our achievements, we headed home to snuggle up with a healthy vegetable risotto and to watch Strictly and catch up on some previously recorded TV programmes.

I still couldn’t shake the feeling of doom and gloom which had settled over me. Nagging at the back of my mind was my mum, who has been ill for a few years but had plateaued lately. Before we left, we had batch-cooked a bunch of pies and delivered to her freezer and agreed we would pick her up and take her over to see my daughter and son-in-law’s beautiful new home, recently purchased and now ready for visitors. As suspected, when we called her to arrange times she told us she didn’t feel well enough to go over. It’s possible that she didn’t but there is always a reason not to do something and I knew she wouldn’t bother before I even called. Then I started to beat myself up for being so heartless.  I know she is poorly and it must be very hard but she is her own worst enemy. She doesn’t encourage visitors and refuses to go anywhere. This results in my brother and sister-in-law, and my husband and I being poked at if we don’t visit enough. Its harder than you would imagine, to visit a poorly mother who you have never felt close to. There has always been an acidic relationship between me and my mum and, even though she is ill and alone, I have to psych myself to even call her as she drives me mad. Call me heartless, call me a bitch but it is how I feel.

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The trouble is, and I don’t mean trouble in the usual sense because it isn’t, we have five children of our own, all grown up, and my husband also has a mother who is also on her own. We each have a brother and sister-in-law and don’t spend nearly enough time with them all. We also have a new granddaughter who lives a two hour drive away so we have to factor in visiting to see that part of our family, too. We both work full time and my husband is physically tired in the evenings while I can’t resist checking my emails out of hours and helping with problems where I am able. As Manager of the IT Services department of a busy private school, sometimes issues need to be dealt with there and then.

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We used to dance two or three times a week but, as life takes over and changes happen, we are lucky to dance once a week and maybe twice if we have the energy. We always dance on a Wednesday night as I have a regular commitment to demoing while my husband is a Taxi Dancer, helping beginner dancers, on alternate weeks. This cut down in dance nights surely isn’t helping my fight with weight either.

On a Sunday, we have started meeting friends and/or family and I go off on a three mile walk while my husband takes off on his mountain bike with a friend, or joins us walking on other occasions. We keep as active as our commitments allow.

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We have two more breaks planned for the near future. The first is a dance weekender at a luxurious local holiday centre and it encompasses my 50th birthday while we are there. I am not looking forward to being fifty one jot. I already feel tired and listless and the only burst of energy I get is when I step out onto the dance floor. Maybe I missed dancing while we were away last week. It’s only one week but I guess I didn’t get my fix. There are plans for a birthday celebration while we are at the weekender with dance friends so that will be nice.

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We have another long weekend booked with my brother- and sister-in-law at the start of May which we are looking forward to. We haven’t thought further ahead than that.

So, I have a few reasons for feeling so low right now. Post-holiday blues, weight gain, fast-approaching age of fifty and an aged, ailing mother.

However, I have so much to be thankful for. I have the most caring, supportive, fun-loving and amazing husband I could wish for. Between us we have our five grown-up children, one of them married to our lovely son-in-law, one settled with his fiancee and their baby daughter and three who have yet to settle down but have good jobs and plenty of years ahead of them. I worry endlessly about them all, but never quite feel I give them each enough of my time. While they are mostly more than capable, I have been around a lot more years and so I like to be able to offer guidance and support as needed.

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If anyone out there has the answer to what is clearly my very own mid-life crisis, I would be grateful for all suggestions. So far, I have spent the weekend exhausted and crying hard enough to give myself a headache.

Center Parcs, Daily Life, Poem, Writer's Blog

Winter Wonderland, day one

Of the quick Tesco breakfast, we were really not keen,

The trays full of eggs on the counter, we’d seen,

You cant have them scrambled and Benedict, no,

There is no salmon either, the choices were low.

 

Spirits still soaring, to the road we all made,

The convoy of three, we were not dismayed,

At the Parc entrance, we are greeted with snow,

Adorning the trees and the sign down below.

 

Parked up and ready, we grab our swim bags,

Head for the Center, our speed did not lag,

We’ve all been before, so we know all the drills,

So we head for the Starbucks, for hydration refills.

 

Building our energy, of work we’re relieved,

Make for the Plaza, racquets to retrieve,

An hour filled with badminton, we just did not stop,

Expending our energy, day one from the top.

 

Bump into colleagues and people we know,

Gives us a chance to stop, go say hello,

Time up, more hydration then head for the pool,

This place like a sauna, we need to get cool,

 

Swim, seems like hours, is really quite fun,

We shattered but this week only just begun,

The rapids and slides, a source of our squeals,

Racing each other, keep close to their heels.

 

Head to our lodge to unpack and have food,

Have planned for a barbie, we are all in the mood,

Bagged are the bedrooms, our gear is unpacked,

The barbecue started, the coals they are stacked.

 

Chilled and exhausted, we plan for a stroll,

Head for the bar, and some cheeky alcohol,

Everyone’s tired we are done in by nine,

Head back for a sauna, its time to unwind.

 

Day one almost over, we’ve all had a blast,

Do it again tomorrow, this fun it will last,

Archery for the boys, ladies spa morning ahead,

But for now, no more energy, we are going to bed!

 

 

Daily Life, Poem, Writer's Blog

Lazy Sunday

Stirring at six with my built in alarm,

Turn onto my side, wakefulness to disarm,

The hope is to gain me just one hour more,

No need for haste, should relax to the core.

 

Sleep will no longer return, calm my mind,

The day has begun, but I need to be kind,

My husband, my lover, still silent, asleep,

Not wanting to wake him, to the door I will creep.

 

Slide from under the duvet, my feet feel the floor,

Carefully stand as I head for the door,

Gently each step take, my caution laid bare,

He stirs, says ‘Good morning’ and stretches with care.

 

The strong smell of coffee filters throughout our home,

Rousing, allowing our thoughts just to roam,

Bodies wake slowly, with langour and sloth,

Sunday, relax here, a time for us both.

 

 

Daily Life, Poem, Writer's Blog

Remember, my love

Remember me always for my weird little smile,

Remember me even just once in a while,

Remember me for our happiest times,

Remember me spending our every last dime.

Remember the joy and the laughter we shared,

Remember the times our souls we have bared,

Remember the walks and our days in the sun,

Remember together we thought we were one.

Remember the bad days, few and far between,

Remember the intention was not to be mean.

Remember the promise when we said ‘I do’,

Remember, my darling I will always love you.