On the Weekend (IX)

Wet Sunday Morning

Porridge, tea and toast, Sports Mail

Time for studying

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n.b. I was very lucky as a child to be sent the Sports Mail each week by my grandfather (Grampy). At a young age and living a distance from Fratton Park this regular diet of football news, results and statistics sustained and fuelled my interest in Pompey.

Despite the thin content of the writing these days, I still enjoy spending time skipping through this publication, one of a few specialist, local football newspapers that remain in the country. No longer rushed out on a Saturday evening, but produced for Sunday morning distribution, it remains a rare treat at weekends.

Of course the back page with the match results, names of goal-scorers, ground attendances and league tables consumes most of my attention. I particularly like seeing how many goals were scored in the last minute (90th) of the games.

This week there were ten last minute goals, including two for Aveley that decided the FA Trophy match in their favour against Chelmsford, (attendance 811).

CLP 09/02/2020

January Road Trip (XIX)

‘Vital Spark’ alongside at Inverary

Not many years past

Since traders relied on boats

Jim called them rockhoppers

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n.b. Jimmy Smith, my shipmate during my time working on cross-Channel ferries in 1980, spent some years as a cook on a boat, not unlike the ‘Vital Spark’, travelling from harbour to harbour around the north of Britain.

The cargo changed depending on what needed moving between quays; roads then were more difficult to negotiate, the sea was the main highway.

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CLP 25/01/2020

Unreel

Moments of time caught

Touch stones, listen to echoes

Hot feet on cool flags

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n.b. There are places and events in life that stay close to the heart, others are left in situ for your unexpected, unplanned reappearance, ready to catch you unawares. How you spontaneously respond will tell you a lot about how the evoked recollection has registered with you.

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This morning I heard a remarkable story of coincidence in respect of a death foretold and its place of happening. A poignant moment for the teller.

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This afternoon I found myself in a village that I never thought I would see again without carefully plotting a return. An invitation to pay a visit to a relative led me into surprise and delight on arrival at the location, only once briefly seen in July 2018, on a hot summer day. The fresh cold streams channeled through stone gutters and the reviving beer flooded back to me. I was awash in nostalgia.

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CLP 17/01/2020

Plot Lines

Her and Him

Him and Her

Developed

A story that drew them

Across the sea

Through mountain passes

By the lake

Through the vines

Along the beach

Coast to coast

In sunsets, at sunrises

On trains. ferries, planes

Bikes, cars, on foot

To cafés, restaurants, hotels

Bookshops and op shops

To farms and gardens

Caravans, tipi, yurt

As shepherds, cowhands, gardeners

Vintners, juicers

Painters, carpenters

Chicken farmers

They worked

Then Earth tilted toward Winter

Its axis wobbled

Threw them out

Unravelled the thread

Her and Him

Him and Her

Started writing

Different stories

Without firm conclusions

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CLP 15/01/2020

On Memory

Cluttered to rafters

Where to keep all the new stuff?

Something has to give

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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