No Matter (The Sock Song)

For today…

moonworld

Williamleeone asked: “Have you seen my sock?”

I reply with the lyrics of a song I wrote a couple of years ago for a prompt, “Science”. I’ve never given it a chorus, and I’ll let the reader decide if it stands alone as a poem.

Matter doesn’t matter much to me
I’d rather look at stuff that I can’t see
And whilst this may seem like a paradox
It could explain what happened to my socks

Everything is in superposition
Neither here nor there until volition
And when you look it all snaps into place
Instead of hanging out in outer space

Nothing is the matter you might think
Your table, chairs, your cooker, kitchen sink
Empty space, mostly, all of that
Even you, your dog, your hamster, cat

Some days, when I choose to entertain
Assuming that my guests have half a brain
I’ll feed their minds with Schrödinger…

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The Magic Ring

Isabella stood gazing up at the Grade II listed building in front of her and inhaled deeply before letting out a long, slow breath, which escaped her lips in a thick cloud of mist. The enormous arched antique wooden door looked less than inviting. Its decorative ironwork adornment had seen far better days and, whilst beautiful in its own way, had an air of eeriness about it. She shuddered. The temperature seemed to drop rapidly and she drew her thick woollen coat around her tightly.

A lion’s head held a heavy circular knocker in its mouth, beckoning her to rat-a-tat-tat an announcement of her arrival. She reached out a hand, before pulling back. She was early. She certainly didn’t want them to think her too keen. She looked around to see if there was a coffee shop where she could wait and shelter from the cold, but the street was devoid of any signs of life. She chuckled to herself; nervous laughter as she envisaged tumbleweed rolling down the centre of the narrow, pot-holed road. Then, fearing that she’d look a little crazy to any hidden onlookers, she took another deep breath and hammered on the door. She took great care to stick to the ‘code’ she’d received; a mystical beat of three slow knocks, five quick raps, followed by four slower knocks.

She heard footsteps within; quiet at first, getting louder. The door creaked open a little and she sensed, rather than saw, eyes upon her. She felt a little self-conscious, that this were a great intrusion on her personal dignity. She shuddered once more and wished they would hurry up and let her in so that she could get out of the cold. The door opened wider and a hand finally gestured for her to enter. She stepped inside. The owner of the hand was nowhere to be seen. She had heard no footsteps retreating.

She stared up at the high ceilings in awe. The reception hall was the height of the entire building. The room was dark compared to the crisp winter sunshine, with only thin shards of colour that flooded in from a great, domed, decorative stained window above, providing any light. She waited a few moments for someone to greet her. Glancing around, she saw there was no seating. She stood awkwardly, suddenly wishing she hadn’t come at all.

Isabella had no idea why she was there or who had invited her. A cryptic note had dropped through her letterbox the previous day – a gold envelope, inside which was a simple black card with the message in bold, black olde English text,

“Isabella, how good of you to come. I wasn’t sure if you’d understand the missive. Exceptional talent. Yes, truly exceptional.” The sentence, whilst booming and succinct in the main, tailed off to an unintelligible murmur, as if the speaker had become ensnared in his own thoughts. Still, Isabella could see no-one and it was a struggle to hear where the voice was coming from within the echo of the hall.

Without warning, there was a snap of fingers and a large fireplace sprung into life near to where she was standing. She jumped away, fearful not only of the flames, but of the man behind the trickery, who suddenly appeared from the minor conflagration.

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Marvellous! Marvellous! Still got it!” The voice reverberated and hung in the air. “Priest hole,” he laughed, raucously, pointing to the enormous walk-in fireplace which, now well lit, she could see took up a considerable expanse of the wall it sat in.

“Isabella. Isabella.” He looked her up and down, holding his arms out towards her. “Look at you. Quite the lady. Smart. Very smart.” He tailed off, again, whilst still holding her gaze, which was, by now, numb with a mixture of fear and confusion. When he moved towards her, arms still outstretched, she took a step back.

“Do you not recognise me, Isabella?” He took another step forward. There was nowhere for her to go now; she had backed herself into a corner. She tensed as he took her hand in his, yet surprised at his tenderness. Looking down at the gnarly digits grasping hers, Isabella froze as she caught the glint of the gold signet ring.

In salting and pickling beef (Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery)

“I’m going to pickle some beef.”

He looked at her incredulously. “Pickled beef?”

“Yes. In salting and pickling beef and other scrumptious delights, I’m going to make my fortune. It’s my new business idea.”

“Are you going Bodmin?” he asked, eyeing her quizzically.

It was his turn to be on the receiving end of an incredulous look. “No. Why would I go to Bodmin when I can nip round the corner to Morrison’s and get all the ingredients?”

She shook her head, gave him another incredulous look for good measure, and with a loud huff, stuck her nose into her ‘new’ Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery book.

He chuckled to himself – God forbid she should see him laughing at her! She was always having hair-brained ideas about how she was going to make her fortune. But, pickled beef? Who ate pickled beef in this day and age?

~~~~~~

“I’m just nipping to the supermarket, dear. Can I get you anything?” she called.

“No, I’m good, thanks,” he called back. “Take care on the roads.”

“I always do,” she responded. It was a fairly standard call and response between them; neither of them probably even heard the other.

~~~~~~

“Beef, salt, spices; beef, salt, spices; beef, salt, spices.” She repeated the mantra as she got into his car; taking his old battered jalopy as it was blocking her shiny new car in the driveway.

She could understand why he was always telling her to take care on the roads. Since they’d moved to their new home in the country, he was constantly worrying about her driving down twisty, windy lanes. Truth be told, she was a far better driver than he. “It’s not you, it’s the other drivers on the road,” he’d say.

She smiled to herself as she thought about how kind and caring he was and, as her mind wandered, she forgot her mantra. In fact, she pretty much forgot how to drive – coming to a tight bend in the road, she slammed the brakes on, skidding off the road as she did so. She just about missed the post belonging to the gate leading into a field full of cows. The gate had, fortuitously for her, been left open. Not so fortunate for the nearest calf, which took the full force of the car’s sideswipe and lay to rest just beside the passenger door as she came to a halt.

“Oh my!” She uttered, which was a bit of an understatement. “Oh my!”

She looked around to see if there was anybody around who could help her. A nearby cow stared at her and mooed forlornly, but there were no humans around. She got out of the car and opened the rear passenger side door. Looking around once more, she heaved the calf – with great difficulty – into the back seat of the car and made her way home. Once there, and, miraculously, without being seen, she secreted the calf in the shed in the garden.

She let herself quietly into the house and went straight to the bathroom to clean herself up. As she came out, he asked, “did you get all you needed, my love?”

“Drat! No. I’ve forgotten a few bits and pieces. I’ll have to nip back out. Won’t be long.”

“Take care on the roads,” he called.

“I always do,” she responded.

She got back into his car and drove, carefully, to the supermarket, repeating her mantra, “salt, spices, car wash; salt, spices, car wash; salt, spices, car wash.”

~~~~~

(The phrase, “going Bodmin” refers to the Cornwall County Asylum opened in Westheath Avenue, Bodmin in 1815, much of which is still in existence, although it has now been turned into housing. The phrase, “gone” or “going Bodmin”, relates to this and actually means, “going mad” or “simple”.)Urban Dictionary

A Place to Change

locked door, accessibility

aka Everybody deserves their dignity

I do not have a physical disability. My sister is in a wheelchair, as is my partner’s sister, and whilst the issue I’m addressing in this blog does not affect them directly, nobody knows what the future holds.

First, a disclaimer. This blog is not written in my professional capacity. All opinions are personal.

I’m a social media officer for a mobility equipment provider, and monitor the internet for relevant ‘mentions’. This has brought to me an awareness of the need for Changing Places facilities.

What are Changing Places?

Changing Places are accessible toilets. Not the general kind of toilet you find here, there and everywhere that only complies with Doc M regulations. Changing Places are truly accessible toilets, with changing benches for larger children and adults and hoists.

Think about these two scenarios for a moment.

Scenario 1

You are the parent of a baby who’s done a pee or a poo in their nappy. You go to a baby changing public toilet and you have a little bench that pulls down so you can lay baby on it. What would you do if there was no little bench? Lay baby of the public toilet floor and do it? Pretty disgusting, huh?

Scenario 2

You are the parent/carer of an older child or adult, in a wheelchair, who’s done a pee or a poo in their nappy/incontinence pants. You go to a public toilet and there’s no bench. What do you do? We’ve already determined that it’s disgusting to put anybody on a public toilet floor. Even if there was no other option than to do this, how do you get them out of their wheelchair?

Basically, whilst there are little over 1,000 Changing Places facilities, it’s inhumane that there are not more, particularly within healthcare company premises; hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and the like.

Campaigns for Changing Places

I’ve been reading blog after blog of parents and carers who are campaigning for more Changing Places facilities. This blog itself has been brought about by me being reduced to tears reading some of these today.

Take a look for yourself

Hadley’s Heroes
A Wheelie Great Adventure
Ordinary Hopes
Mum on a Mission

Some of these parents and carers are the service users of the company I work for and the company’s service centres do not have these facilities, despite many of the service users visiting the premises. I’m making it my mission to get a Changing Places facility into all of our service centres.

What can I do?

Good question and one that I am asking myself every day. I’ve been linking to the blogs in my weekly social media report to raise awareness. If I can get at least one loo in one service centre, I’ll be a happy bunny!

You could…
• read the blogs linked above to see what those directly affected are going through
• sign petitions. Here are 21 on Change.org to get you started
• download the campaign leaflet from the Changing Places website
• share this blog!

If you don’t have time to check out all of the posts in all of the blogs, as it’s close to the festive season, I recommend these:

A Modern Christmas Carol
It shouldn’t happen to an Elf. You can also follow Alfie the Elf on Twitter.

And just in case none of this has tugged at your heart strings, I leave you with this. Merry Christmas!

Six in 10 (actually ‘seven’) #poetry

As I set this task… I’d better reblog it! 🙂

Graeme Sandford


Six Poems Weitten in 10 Minutes (actually ‘seven’)
Quick Haiku
When the clock it ticks

And the count is running down

What can I write here?

Man From Devizes Limerick
There was a young man from Devizes

Who wore hats in different sizes

Some were too big

One had a thingummy-jig

But most covered his nose and his eyeses.
Sensible Poem
I feel the warmth

Of a Summer Day;

And hear the cry of a babe

I smell the coffee upon the hearth

And touch your hand

Even though you’ve gone away;

I remember the looks

And smile at your picture

Captured by me in the fall;

I taste the scent of Bergamot cloves

That you tended so lovingly

In the hall.

Where are you now

My love

Where are you now

My love.
Silly Rhymes Poem
It bites

And fights

With dogs

And logs

It’s a mad cat

With…

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She is…

I think he likes me 🙂

Graeme Sandford


She is the ying

To my tong;

She is the Big Bang

To my Ning Nang Nong;

She is the wotsit

To my doodah;

She is my pasty

And my future;

She is the Cornish cream

That finishes off my scone;

She is with me

So that we are not alone;

She is the ‘never say rabbit’ to my ‘In a boat’;

She keeps me afloat.

She is…

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