At what point should I

Admit defeat and turn back,

Robert Falcon Scott?


n.b. When you are in a hole it’s best to stop digging. If you need to ask someone, it’s best to ask somebody who knows what they’re talking about.

In 1912 Robert Falcon Scott, racing to be the first expedition leader to reach the South Pole, led his men to their deaths. Roald Admunsen and his light-footed Norwegian explorers had got there first at the end of 1911.

A remarkable piece of music written by Vaughan Williams was commissioned in 1947 for a film (Scott of the Antarctic) about this ill-fated expedition. Williams extended the score into a symphony, ‘Sinfonia Antarctica’

Admunsen, by the way, disappeared in the Barents Sea in June 1928. There must be something about explorers, perhaps not knowing when to turn back.

CLP 14/02/2020

On Life

Our three school rules

Turn up everyday; work hard

Be nice. Simple as…


n.b. When the then new head teacher first arrived at the school I worked in, he told the incoming Year 7 students the above three things that would make their time at secondary school a positive experience.

The above “rules” I have tried (and keep trying) to apply to my own journey in life.

Mark, thank you for this advice; it makes a lot of sense.

CLP 07/01/2020

On Memory

Cluttered to rafters

Where to keep all the new stuff?

Something has to give


n.b. How does one keep track of a lifetime’s experience? What is retained, what forgot? What is important; what not?

Memories of long ago can resurface at the slightest prompt. These can be matters one had not held consciously for decades. Why do these reappear now?

One moment recalled can lead to a string of recollections, not always welcome, nor happy, yet sometimes funny, or joyous.

If we cannot forget how can we move on in life? The ability to forget is a gift too.

We all edit our life stories in the re-telling; to ourselves first, then to others. Who are we? Who we remember, or how others remember us?

Now, where did I put those keys?

CLP 21/09/2019

On Second Thoughts

Too often tempted

To speak without thinking

Two breaths save me


n.b. A lid to a pottery cremation urn found near North Elmham, “Spong Man” sits reflecting on a life long since lived. This piece of funerary art is dated from the early Saxon era, (3rd / 5th Century CE).

The image I have used of this ageless pose is available under the terms of a GNU Free Documentation license published by the Free Software Foundation.


CLP 15/09/2019

On The Move

Boxed, bagged, packed in tight

Lurching on with all that’s left

Eyes front; use mirrors


n.b. You can’t take it with you, I have been told. What is the least we need? Are we heading to a time when nomadic living is again the norm? Like travellers in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, everyone is on a journey; everyone has a story.

CLP 13/06/2019