Rainy Day

Yesterday was a rainy day. And unexpectedly so. Bad start, worse end. Trying to put it in context today (with Bach loud in my ears to block out someone else’s toddler), I googled ‘into every life a little rain must fall’ to find the source…

And the wise words of the final verse Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s ‘Rainy Day’ seemed very wise indeed:

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Chin up, buck up and step up is the answer. The ‘middle years’, viewed from one perspective are one long list of unreasonable and irreconcilable demands. But that’s the price of being at the centre, and fulcrum, of so many people’s lives. 

Watching an older man limping awkwardly in front of me this morning (as I rushed from one kid’s activity to the next) was a reminder there’ll be plenty of years when I’d kill for this life. And those years will one day run out. 

I feel better for a hot chocolate, some Bach and some writing. There is no point ‘repining’; behind the clouds the sun is still shining.

More Sun than Shivers


Rainy day
Heading away
Patch of blue
Half way through
Arrive at the coast
Prosecco toast
Beautiful view
Before Barbecue
A day on the beach
Tasty Cornish pasty
Bucket and spade
Castles made
Splashing in the surf
Sun kissed
And wind tousled
Uphill hike
Chilli spike
Before a greyer day
To harbour throng
Ferry wait
Great escape
Walk in the dunes
Steep hill conquered
Happy son
New sword won
And the day is done
Bright again
Beach beckons
Serious boy splashing
Brave girl surfing
She manages standing
Despite hard landings
My job’s to potter
From one to the other
Wiling away
Another sunny day
The next is duller
Overcast overhead
Family fun and games
On steam trains
Boating and putting
A fair few laughs
Despite it being naff
Final day
Clifftop ramble
Among pretty brambles
Perilous steps
Precipitous edge
Stunning view
Sea more black than blue
Footling around
Stomach grumbling
Waiting for orders
Late lunch outdoors
Sword fight
With small knight
Fish on the beach
End is in reach
Sun sinks
A sky of all pinks
No more drinks
Pack up the car
Final hurrah
More sun than shivers
Cornwall delivers.

Deux Mille Treize


Early start
Car packed out
Road hit squarely
Awake barely
Channel tunnel
Bridges and viaducts
Coffee machines and petrol stops
A1 French roads
Reduce down to
Salt pans and mussels
Over water
Paradise lost
Paradise found
Dream campsite
Canvas, clams and camp loos
Washing up and hammocks
Sun, sea and cycling
Then en route encore
To sunflowers and cooling towers,
Overnight stop in
Rural splendour, with mozzies and Aussie
Toulouse trek
Arizona valley
The long and winding road
Swimming pool, shutters and searing sun
Pain, cheese and ham
Bendy roads and supermarkets
Barbecues and rosé
Hot and bitten, but not bothered
Splashing and laughing
Pink, then pinker then browned
Before lassitude and food fatigue set in
Le depárt
Massif drive and sick bags full to
Paris, pool and parking
Kir, Cupole and walking
Metro, dodo
Tour Eiffel and boat trip
Montmartre then long marche
Auchan, duck and Chunnel
“I spy something beginning with…”
Blighty, black clouds, driving rain
Before Home, sweet same old Home
Triumph, acclaim, then bedtime
A fine vintage
Deux Mille Treize



Half me, half her.
Qualities mine, faults hers.
Some things about him aren’t either of us?

Quarter her folks, quarter mine.
Makes sense.
Hang on a bit,
Her folks aren’t all bad.
Some of his qualities might be theirs?

One eighth my paternal grandparents,
One eighth my my mum’s parents
Right old mix there.

The truth dawns.
He’s not half me, half her.
He’s one hundred percent him.
A joy.
A beam of sunlight in our lives.
But his talents and shortcomings are all his own.

Mixed results for the boy at school this week. Some parental adjustment and effort required. But the big penny which is dropping, is letting go of the ‘me’ in him and truly embracing him.

Not hard – he is wonderful. But he is ‘he’, not a mini me.

Half past Eight


Sat in the car
Ferrying daughter,
A thought came to mind
So tell her I oughta…
“For the first time in eight years
I’ve had enough sleep.”
“Why’s that Dad?”
“Cos you’ve stopped waking us up!”
“In that case it’s nearly nine years.”

It’s true. Yesterday morning at 11am, I found myself bright, alert, jolly and thoroughly well rested – for the first time in about nine years.

My daughter has decided she can entertain herself, when she tumbles out of bed at 6.45am sharp every day and no longer needs a parent until 9ish.

So no early morning ‘meerkat’ staring alertly into my sleep filled eyes demanding company. Wow! After a holiday week of lie ins, I felt truly great.

It wasn’t to last. The eve of my return to the coalface of work today and who should arrive at 5.45am – why it’s the Boy Wonder. Ho hum.