Walking In His Footsteps

I have two pairs of thick woollen socks
They are from New Zealand and are made of New Zealand wool.
They belonged to my late brother
and yes they are warm
and yes they are comfortable - but that's not why I wear them.
I wear them because 
when I walk
where ever I walk
whenever I walk
with them on - I walk in his footsteps.


They say two pairs of 
eyes are better than one - but
not on the same face

Bad For You

Smoking is bad for you
that's OK, 
we'll increase taxes on them so much so that you'll have to stop eating to afford them 
(which is also bad for you).
We must stop you smoking in public
but you can huddle outside pub doors in the rain for a fag!
Alcohol is bad for you!
Alcohol causes high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems
...cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum
...weakening of the immune system thus increasing the chances of getting sick
...learning and memory problems, including dementia.
Alcohol is bad for you - but we'll ban that later!
You can't have sugary drinks - we'll raise the tax on them,
they're bad for you.
You can't show fast-food adverts to children
or to anyone at all!
Fast food is bad for you and you seeing an advert might make you go out and buy some.
We'll put calorific values of all foods on all menus so you can see just how bad your choices are.
And you can't have sweets and chocolates at the point of sale, 
sweets are bad for you!
'BOGOF's' must be banned as people are getting too fat.
Gas hobs - gas hobs are bad for you.
Don't let dogs lick your face. 
Dogs licking faces is bad for you!
Don't vape unless you are using it to quit smoking or; you are on fire!
Don't take cake into work.
Don't eat your tie!
Too little sleep is bad for you.
Too much sleep is bad for you.
Sleeping with your head in a bucket of water is bad for you.
Any type of sleep is bad for you!
Don't eat in bed
don't eat out of bed
Don't eat the bed
Eating is bad for you you!
A poke in the eye with a sharp stick is bad for you.
Salty foods like crisps (which are also high in fat)
processed meats
processed cheese 
(in fact anything that has been through a process) is bad for you.
Standing on one leg
too much red meat
too much green meat!
Too much fish (many are high in mercury)
shellfish (they soak up toxins)
vegetables (many commercially grown contain pesticides)
almonds (soak up gallons of water)
salads (they take up too many precious resources)
even water! 
Too much water and you'll drown in it!
Nuts are high in fat
the healthiness of tomatoes is in doubt
and so they must bad for you!
Coffee can cause insomnia, forgetfulness, nervousness, restlessness
...forgetfulness, upset stomach, nausea
...forgetfulness, increased heart and breathing rate, and many other side effects
...like forgetfulness!
Banging your head against a wall
smashing your fist through a window
stubbing your toe
are all bad for you!
Products such as household cleaners, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, petrol, alcohol, pesticides and cosmetics, can be toxic,
so can the contents of your nose!
Binge drinking
wearing pink shorts
weeing into a toaster
arguing with a lion
arguing with your wife
arguing with anyone!
Applying makeup on a penny farthing 
skipping breakfast
skipping lunch
skipping dinner
skipping generally!
Farting into a jam jar
having sex on a bus
not having sex on a bus
having sex too quickly
having sex too slowly
sex generally is bad for you!
Eating too quickly
eating to slowly
eating just beow the right speed but not slow enough to be actually called slow
not eating at all!
Eating is bad for you!
Worrying is bad for you!
Worrying about your bunions 
worrying about your underwear 
worrying about the price of donkeys
worrying about - 'worrying too much'
Air pollution
pollution in the seas
pollution in our cities
pollution in our trousers!
microwave ovens
micro scooters 
My god!

.. .everything is bad for you so go back to bed and hide under your duvet!
(making sure the duvet is hypoallergenic and remembering that too much sleep is bad for you!)

It's Still Home

The heart of this city hasn't changed - maybe my heart has?
It's streets are now clogged with cars and people!
Buildings once familiar
now repurposed
knocked down
everything turned into flats
cafes and restaurants on every corner! (Are we eating out more?)
Not like I remember it - when I looked at this city with much younger eyes.

Time passed and my heart wanted more than I thought this city could offer me
my eyes needed to see
my mind to experience 
and my soul to love.
I've been away and lived many lives
I learnt and loved
been happy and hurt.
I've seen foreign shores and spoken foreign tongues
gained the friendship of many
and the love of a few - but I came home.

It's impossible to ignore the call of home
that place of your foundations
growing up
the experiences that shaped you
where you made mistakes - but learnt from them!
Yes it's streets are now full of cars
and lots of things have changed
but at it's heart
and in my heart
it's still home.

The Real Us

We never really get to see the 'real us'
the 'real us' that other people see
unless of course that's not really the 'real us'.
The 'real us' may be trapped deep inside
we may be deliberately hiding the 'real us'
behind a mask
or behind our best defenses
for some reason which is not best known to us.
We might not think we like the 'real us'
and so mask it with a different someone
maybe a someone we think we'd like to be
a someone we'd prefer to be over the someone we are 
and so ensues a battle 
a battle between the 'real us' inside
and the pretend us outside
we become two people 
the person we are
and the person we think we should be
when all we really want
is the outside us
to be the same
as the inside us
...don't we?

View from a Parisian Window

Tall Parisian buildings rise like familiar cliff faces all around me
the casual car horns for all the world like arguing seagulls
the sound of the traffic is the waves which run into the beaches I miss
and which surfers ride
and in which young and old swim.
The cars on its streets are fishing boats 
home with their catch
rounding the headlands
into the estuary and into the harbour to unload.
An occasional siren many streets away
is excited children 
shrieking as they play in and out of the shallows
under a mother's watchful gaze
and with the kind of joy only a child on a beach could feel and express!

Although this is Paris - it isn't mine.
Here I sit at my open window 
many miles from home
many miles from the sea I crave but whose perfume I cannot sense - whose power I cannot feel.
Those edges where the land tumbles onto the waves
those edges I was brought up knowing
those edges which at home are all around me
those edges which are mine.
Home is those rocky shorelines
those sandy beaches
that granite peninsula which sticks two fingers up to the atlantic and dares it to do it's worst!
That peninsula that thousands flock to in the summer for their two weeks of sun and sand
those tourists heading west that fill the roads with ladened cars pulling caravans and trailers 
all packed full with people!

But this is only Paris.
The cliffs are just buildings
the sights and sounds are just those which every city makes
and despite my love for this place
this place is not mine
all this that man has made 
devoid of any natural beauty
the natural beauty of the rocky peninsula that lives in my heart and in my soul
...and which now calls me home!