Social Distance

We had enjoyed the fish and chips

With a glass of white wine

Our meal only slightly tainted by the whiff of corona virus, Covid-19 in the air

The sterile formica tables and clinical strip-lighting

Could not protect our conversation from being infected

Along with eighty percent of those about us

With the impending sense of gloom


So we jumped in the car and set off for a bar

Turned down a side street and came to a halt

A man lying in the road, rolling in a puddle, perhaps of his own making

Unable to get any leverage, to even get close to vertical

‘Is he ill?’ I asked, “Very drunk” my brother warned

“Are you alright, mate?” I offered as an opener

I handed the speechless man the carton of cigarettes from the floor, “Here, I’ll help you up.”


I gripped the shoulders of his jacket

Braced my legs, heaved him to his feet

He came up off the tarmac like a bag of grain

Surprisingly, with ease, he weighed nothing

He made left, I steered him right

So he might use the wall away from traffic

To lead him on, steady himself, slow his next fall


He wanted to shake my hand, make contact

Recognise the help I’d given

I patted him on the arm

“Take care of yourself” I called

As he repeated his unseeing thanks

Stumbling on as we drove off

Our social distance under-scored


n.b. Social distancing is the phrase being used to describe how citizens of the UK should interact, i.e. no closer than arm‘s length to reduce the likelihood of catching Covid-19 from an infected person.

This is not to be confused with getting too close to people of the lower classes, such as the voting public, as practised by Old Etonians on assuming high office, such as Her Majesty’s Prime Minister.

If I see someone laid out in the road, I have a choice. I’ll decide.

CLP 12/03/2020

On Alcohol

Photo of Max copyright Tracy Perry

Don’t tell me I’m wrong

When I say “No more, thank you”

I want tomorrow


n.b. Waking up feeling muzzy, a nasty taste in the mouth, dehydrated with headache and a bit grumpy from a broken night’s sleep is rubbish.

Give me a gentle sleep that carries me to sunrise, the beauty of a new day and all its possibilities.

I am learning the power of “No” to be able to say “Yes!”

With eternal thanks to BTW.


CLP 07/02/2020

On Drinking

Did you know that there’s….

A problem with social drunks?

New bar, same story


n.b. Sadly, you may have recognised this phenomenon yourself; sorry if I am boring you. Drunks often seem to be caught in a place from their past and think drinking helps blot it out, but all it does is block out the present, while they replay the pain.


CLP 01/10/2019


A pink rose petal fell

Two edges curled, forming a point

It blew past, just heavy enough to catch on the patio’s rough slab, then tumble

Crumple, tear


Of course, it reminded me of you

Carried on life’s breeze

On your unsteady path

Head over heels, then flat on your face

And all possible positions in between

Crucified by lust

Pinned by regret

Speared by grief


CLP  30th June 2019

On Rain XII

It rained this morning

Not enough to fill a glass

Half full? Not even that


n.b. A Scottish, family lucky enough to own land with its own spring, has admitted that they have had to halt whisky production for a period as that well was dry. Apparently they are not the only whisky producer facing such difficulties.

This raises many questions, not least who “owns” the planet? Who has a right to exploit the natural resources found in the land for profit? Who should benefit from such resources?

Much of the rain in Spain ends up in the Teja river. Obviously the people and businesses (for people and business firms are two distinct legal entities) of Spain use the water that courses along this river. Further along the Teja crosses into Portugal and is known as the Tagus where it eventually flows into the Atlantic Ocean on the southern side of Lisbon. The people and businesses of Portugal need water from this river too, but they have less than previously. The two countries are in prolonged dispute about how this natural resource is being drained.

Returning to whisky production, the family owned distilleries have a challenge that may make whisky a seasonal product, but the corporations which have bought up numerous small businesses to exploit the highly profitable, long-established whisky brands have to sustain production, maintain growth and generate dividends for shareholders every financial quarter. How will these businesses cope with climate crisis and water shortages? Diageo plc says about the Scottish water crisis that “contingencies are in place.” Pernod said nothing, but both corporations leave the details to the imagination.

Personally I have little sympathy for the whisky industry that was happy to smuggle its products into the USA in partnership with murderous gangsters such as Al Capone during the period of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s. capone-helped-whisky-barons-beat-prohibition-1-536957  Like tobacco companies today, international boundaries and national legislation were matters to circumvent in order to sustain profits.

Maybe the fashion for marketing gin is a way for the alcohol industry to shift tastes away from whisky, grounded as it is in the very soil of a parched Scotland, to a drink with ingredients less specifically geographically set. I understand the flavours of gin are drawn from different flower types, which is lovely. Now talking of flowers brings us onto bees…

CLP 02/05/2019