Contributions from Members
The Last Resort
I have the time to stand and stare,
But what’s the point ‘cos I don’t care
What lies beyond the window frame
Day after day it’s just the same.
A still life painting, no alteration,
This is what’s called ‘isolation’.
Without a wash my hair grows lank,
I have a bath – I’m not that rank.
Apart from that all gone is vanity,
Soon to be followed by most of my sanity.
I search my brain for some solution
Or I’ll end up in an institution.
I could, of course, break all the rules
And take a walk like other fools.
I’ve seen them on the television
The subject of extreme derision.
Don’t really want to be that sort
So I’ll leave that plan as the last resort.
The last resort – a poem
My mind’s made up
I have to leave
“Oh, don’t say that”
He grabs my sleeve
I feel wrung out
This really is
The last resort
You were out all night
You didn’t phone
“Oh darling please”
He starts to moan
He looks bereft
As well he ought
I fear this is
The last resort
A life alone
Won’t be so bad
I watch his face
He looks so sad
If I can only
Hold that thought
It may not be
The last resort
He vows to change
And win my heart
I doubt he will
But it’s a start
If all his pledges
Come to naught
This will have been
The last resort
So here I sit
Alone and free
Is wrong with me
A loving man
Was all I sought
He really was
My last resort
Spot the Cliche (Can you count them?)
Peter Ashton provided this for your Entertainment/Education?
Ramping Up The Cliches (I Usually Avoid Them Like The Plague)
At the end of the day, we are all in it together, trying to navigate the uncharted territory towards an uncertain future. The light at the end of the tunnel is not even on the horizon so we’ll just have to take on board that we are in it for the long haul and take each day as it comes. This crisis came out of left field but I’m sure we’ll all do whatever it takes to remain as fit as a fiddle as we pass through the calm before the storm, but every cloud has a silver lining and we’ll be over the moon when we hear the final whistle. Some say the writing’s on the wall but, right now, staying in is the new going out so, by complying with the rules, our salvation could well be in our hands.
The powers that be seem to have been taking part in a different ballgame at the advent of the crisis, didn’t heed the wake-up call and failed to step up to the plate. Some blue sky thinking might lead to solutions which, without further dither and delay, could enable those in the front line to continue to make a difference. At the moment, they’re not getting it done!
Extract from “A Life Altered” A blog by Bobby Cadwallader
Saturday 4th April 2020
Day 13 of the lockdown. I woke feeling as if I’d drunk a bottle of wine whereas in reality I haven’t had any alcohol since New Year. My shoulder was still aching from yesterday’s Body Combat but, after an inner personal struggle, I forced myself to get up. An improvement on one or two of the previous days. I remembered, with some satisfaction, that I did not have to brave the “one in one out” system at Tesco today. Thankfully I completed that task yesterday. I certainly couldn’t cope with that ritual more than once a week!
I managed both ballet barre and body balance this morning. Thank goodness for Les Mills. A sunshine walk over the fields restored my spirits further. We only encountered two selfish people today. Dog walkers who just hung around the stile, oblivious of our need to pass. Let’s hope Matt Hancock doesn’t ban outdoor exercise because of folk like these. Our routes are really isolated so we don’t see too many people, although we no longer walk the canal paths because they are too narrow to support social distancing. I am increasingly grateful to live in Bierton. I so appreciate the countryside we can just step into: beautiful open fields and a network of public rights of way.
My day improved further when I was able to view my 99 year old mum, courtesy of my brother’s phone, on Whatsapp. Seeing her face to face was a comfort. I am still very worried about her, as she only sees her carer once a day at 8.30am for 30 minutes. She sees no one else unless my brother pops in, which, fortunately, he does at least 3 times a week. I am two hours away and would be rule breaking if I travelled that distance. Besides, my husband is in a vulnerable group so I wouldn’t take that risk. Nevertheless, I feel so torn and guilty. With severe macular degeneration she relies on the radio and listening books for entertainment. On a positive note she did tell me how much her poetry is sustaining her. I am inclined to agree. “Loveliest of trees” seems to have a greater resonance for me this Spring. Although I should be even more wistful than the twenty year old Housman since I am rapidly approaching my threescore years and ten!
Later in the afternoon we played the board game Carcassonne on Skype with my grandchildren in California. Such fun. Why have we never done something like this before? It beats the ordinary Skype call hands down for engagement and social intercourse, despite the fact we were beaten hollow by our 11 year old grandson! Let’s hope we have started a new custom.
In the evening we decided to create our own “night out” at home. We dressed up for a three course meal, with wine, the first glass of the year, and then “went to the National Theatre” to watch “One man two guvnors.” Such a riot. How we laughed. James Corden is a true comic and the rest of the cast weren’t too shabby either. We even enjoyed an ice cream in the interval.
Getting ready for bed, we agreed that the 13th day had proved to be much better than it augured.
The Silver Lining
I am old, quite ancient I think in bear years. I had better not say how many human years as I am just a little younger than my keeper.
For the last few years I have been sitting on a shelf on what I believe is called the landing; I am not sure what lands there as nothing has ever passed by except for my keeper and two other humans, one of whom is quite noisy when he goes into the room next to where I sit. I’ve got used to the sounds at the beginning and end of each day; in the middle of the day it is quiet, but I don’t mind that.
Let me describe myself to you: my species is known as a Teddy Bear; I am quite small in stature as I have on occasion been placed in the company of much larger teddy bears. Some of these could actually produce quite alarming sounds when their stomachs are pressed. I have no such instrument and am glad that I am not pushed and prodded in that manner. I am light brown in colour and my coat is, or was, fur. Unfortunately, over the years I have lost much of my fur and now only have a light coating over my arms and legs – yes teddy bears, unlike other bears, do have arms. I think my look is described as ‘well loved’.
I was well loved – once. Not that I have been mistreated over the years – no, in fact, I have always stayed with my keeper and lived in many different places.
Let me go back to the beginning. The first recollection is being placed in what I now know is called a pram, next to a small human form. This is called a baby and this particular one was what they call a girl. I don’t think it matters whether the human is a girl or a boy, but I believe girls make kinder keepers. I spent a lot of time being carried around by the girl – her name was Christine and she has been my keeper all this time.
Various memories come back to me. Once I had what is known as a scarf which came loose one day when we were in a place called Woolworths. My keeper was very upset and cried as we never found it; I was upset too but I don’t show my feelings.
Another time my keeper was at home unwell in her bedroom where I also lived. Some other small humans called up to the window and I was brought out to be viewed. What happened next was terrible – I was dropped from that great height but luckily fell into the arms of one of the small humans and was eventually reunited with my keeper.
Lots of other things have taken place over the years. I lost both my eyes and some of my nose; my keeper’s mother sewed me some new eyes with black thread, don’t worry it didn’t hurt but it gave me a slightly beady look. My keeper did not like my appearance at all and told her mother so, but she hasn’t changed my features, so I think she likes me as I am.
When my keeper had babies of her own I sometimes found myself thrown in among a cluster of other bears and various other species – rabbits, dogs, cats and lambs come to mind. These new companions were often brightly coloured and wore items of clothing. I have never seen the need for clothing and prefer a natural look, though I have occasionally sported a ribbon tied round my neck which I put up with as I didn’t really have a choice. When these babies grew larger, I was returned to the sanctity of my keeper’s bedroom and allowed to have my peaceful days once more.
Now something unusual has happened to me – I was taken from my shelf and placed in the window downstairs. I can see humans walking by and the smaller ones sometimes point and wave at me. It is very nice to suddenly be interacting with humans again.
I hear it is for what they are calling a bear hunt and the small humans are seeing how many bears they can spot on their daily walks. I don’t think there will be many bears as old as me, but I have heard my keeper say, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and right now I am inclined to agree with her.
When this lousy time is over
Hymn in the time of Covid 19
(Sung to the tune of “What a friend we have in Jesus” and apologies to the film “Oh what a lovely war”)