My grandfather’s watch. Dedicated to Raymond, and to Antony Jefferson, a good old friend, who died today. 8/11/17.

Pampis watch

Just lately,

I’ve been wearing my grandfather’s watch.

It’s nothing fancy,

a Seiko, battery run,

sporting a strap I bought

(which came from Hong Kong)

with the green and blues of Pembroke College.

Seemed appropriate

to somehow acknowledge

where I, and it, have found ourselves,

latterly.

 

One thing I love about it?

The days of the week are there

both in English and French :

Lundi

Mardi

Mercredi

Jeudi

Vendredi

Samedi

Dimanche

 

Something about this sequence,

fills me up

with primary school delight.

Allows my imagination

aboard ‘time’s winged chariot’

taking flight.

 

My grandfather – “Pampi” I called him.

How long this watch encircled his wrist

I’m afraid I can’t be sure.

But he lived, flourished,

enriched our lives,

some 90 years and more.

Stayed married for 70 years plus,

to his beloved Eleanor.

 

A soldier, salesman, publican, manager

gentleman, tough guy, dog lover.

What you get, is what you see.

Author of his own CV.

Gardener, collector, football fan.

Turn his hand to anything man.

Lived through the two great wars.

Raised a family, and well.

 

Courteous, brave, impetuous on times

not one for making too much fuss.

Always one for trying to make things right,

he did not

‘go gently into that good night’.

Fought, as he had so often done.

Diminished, quietened, death

as ever

finally won.

 

One day, maybe

I’ll circle the globe,

as did he.

Unless it’s a privilege

to be denied.

But, for now,

he is here,

living, laughing, breathing

all in my mind’s eye.

As are my grandmother, my in – laws,

today, Antony Jefferson, Sheffield steel.

So many friends

now departed,

men and women of substance and style.

And, over these years,

subdued by sorrow,

flattered by joy,

warmed by many a sun kissed sky,

I dwell awhile.

Memories,

dropping like leaves,

red and blue veined,

autumn scuffled,

where once were bluebell woods

and rain flushed streams.

Now

storm flung dreams

and the broken hearted.

 

Yet sadness can be caught,

spat out,

even

rendered absurd.

If I’ll be true to my grandfather’s word…

why, then,

I’ll wear his watch often

and ever with pride,

in this

my steadily, tick tocking world

for I’m alive

and ever hopeful,

and those I loved are by my side.

The seconds, moments,

months, weeks and years

will pass.

And yes, of course,

mankind is ‘as grass’.

But life, richly lived,

studied and scoped full,

embraced and celebrated,

surely this,

is death denied.

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Is history repeating itself?

Hello friends of themarcistagenda ; here is an, as always, thought provoking and illuminating post from the Blog of Helen Carey. Whilst it is quite a serious reflection on the state of the world, as ever, Helen manages to inject humour…once you have read, scroll down al the way through to the end of the pictures, to see why!

helencareybooks

When I finished writing and editing VICTORY GIRLS, the last of my wartime Lavender Road novels, I realised I could finally emerge from the 1940s. Writing the last three books of the series to my publishers’ tight, one-book-a-year schedule has kept me incredibly busy, and somewhat preoccupied, and it has been quite a delight to be able to re-engage with the real world!
But it is a world worryingly different to the one that I (figuratively) left four years ago. Over the summer we have had about 50 visitors to stay (that’s what happens when I stop writing books!) and I think almost every one of them has in one way or another commented on the general world-wide increase in intolerance, nationalism and xenophobia.
These words ring extra loud alarm bells for me because they are exactly the sentiments that were so prevalent in parts of Europe prior to the…

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A celebration of an ancient tradition – beating the bounds in Newport, Pembrokeshire

Seemed appropriate to republish this as I am leading the Beating the Bounds walk today – August 18th 2017…the 53rd such walk (in modern times, so to speak)

Beating the Bounds – 2011

 

First we met amidst the cheerful noise and roar of living,

Squared off in Market Street

The horses shying, nudging nervously,

Eager to avoid lorries, cars, the inconvenient pedestrians.

Saddled up and stirrup cupped, they sally forth, and,

Like some star crossed lovers,

Their paths and the walker’s ways are not to cross again, this day.

 

It’s a long road to the end of Long Street,

“And miles to go before we sleep”.

The walkers convene, eager to beat, maybe even break the bounds

For we are living history today and the wildly beating western heart of Wales

Resounds, and steers these wilful feet.

 

Estuary and sea behind us

Swiftly we stride the road of kings

Where Henry once slipped towards Bosworth on paths of glory

And, daring to cross the 21st century once more,

We make our way behind, beyond Hendre farm

The leet singing softly across the centuries,

Testament to engineers of another age.

Stepping stones and hawthorn copses, and

For some a speedy detour around

the long deserted, but still upheld,

stone encircled cattle pound – a mournful story of shillings lost

some here before us were to count the cost.

 

Its uphill now, and the wind is there to whip us lightly

A few drops of rain to remind us of where we are.

But we are following the flag, in its wind kissed flight.

Resolute, you might say, marching

Towards Bedd Morris, and the standing stone,

Where – for a slither of time and a mouthful of sandwich –

Ennobled by mayor and mayoress, resplendent in red,

We rest, and are thankful:

Apart from one young beaten boy, perhaps,

For his is the freshest mind on show, and, let’s

Make no bones about it, if the young are to remember the ancient boundaries,

They must be beaten soundly for their troubles.

“The youth of today”, echoes down the years,

As the stick swishes in the stiffening breeze,

But this is pantomime only, photographs and cheers – no tears.

 

Refreshed, and joined by dogs and other new companions

Fresh for the journey, but walking age old paths,

The mountain top soaked in colour,

Purple heathered and gorse honeyed

And the red and white of the flag, breaking the blue grey cloud.

Sheep safely graze, though they, and skulking foxes, rabbits and a small mountain lizard

Might be forgiven for being a trifle amazed at this unforeseen traffic

A Carningli crocodile, a human hazard.

We pass the stone circles that once were home to those long lost,

Skirt the side of “Angel Mountain”, no celestial voices to be heard

But the song of the lark arouses, a buzzard cries and wheels above

Riding the thermals, untroubled by time

Undaunted by history.

The skies open up before us, the sea and cliffs ahead,

Below, Chapels, Manor, Nevern church

Well mannered fields, undisciplined outcrops and wayward woodland,

Many passed those ways, wrote the tapestry of time,

Though for most our life stories remain unread.

For today, the Pilgrim’s Way, is above the valleys

And we’ve time in hand, as downwards, dogs dancing, we are led.

 

Back to Newport, job done, a stalwart crew,

We salute our standard bearer and make plans to meet

And that evening are rewarded with revelry,

And, later a form of reverence

As the Llwnygwair Arms falls silently to keep watch

Over the time bound tradition, the Court Leet.

Certificated, we walkers, riders too,

Take our place in the boundless tale.

 

Above us, Carningli sleeps,

Dented by our passing, brushed by our boots, hammered by hoof beat,

The drum and the dragon, magical and mystic, the mountain top steeped in sound.

We, time straitened fragments of history, move forward now, on into our own futures

But today – we made our mark

And companionship, community, purpose and vigour, these are the features.

Abundant memories, to lighten the winter dark.

 

Marc Mordey 20/8/11

themarcistagenda

Beating the Bounds  

First we met amidst the cheerful noise and roar of living,

Squared off in Market Street

The horses shying, nudging nervously,

Eager to avoid lorries, cars, the inconvenient pedestrians.

Saddled up and stirrup cupped, they sally forth, and,

Like some star crossed lovers,

Their paths and the walker’s ways are not to cross again, this day.

It’s a long road to the end of Long Street,

“And miles to go before we sleep”.

The walkers convene, eager to beat, maybe even break the bounds

For we are living history today and the wildly beating western heart of Wales

Resounds, and steers these wilful feet.

Estuary and sea behind us

Swiftly we stride the road of kings

Where Richard once slipped towards Bosworth on paths of glory

And, daring to cross the 21st century once more,

We make our way behind, beyond Hendre farm

The leet…

View original post 499 more words


DUNKIRK

A chance to grab a reader’s bargain, for ONE WEEK ONLY…take a trip down LAVENDER ROAD and be transported!

helencareybooks

dunkirk promo pic

Today, as I know that many of my blog followers are interested in the events of World War Two, I am writing about Dunkirk, and to bring you news about a fabulous offer:

The DUNKIRK WEEK WWII EPIC BOOK SALE which starts today, 21 July, for one week only (21 – 27 July).

To celebrate the opening of Christopher Nolan’s movie Dunkirk this Friday, more than 50 authors of the Facebook Second World War Club have joined together to offer you their WWII novel at a reduced price, most at 99¢/99p.

The novels range from military war tales, home front drama and sagas, harrowing accounts of the Holocaust, gripping spy thrillers, moving wartime romances, and much, much more.

lav rd headline UK Edition

It is a great opportunity to stock up your Kindle with a fantastic range of wartime novels, and if you don’t already have my novel LAVENDER ROAD, this is your…

View original post 1,396 more words


A good news story :  announcing, VICTORY GIRLS

Source: A good news story :  announcing, VICTORY GIRLS


A good news story :  announcing, VICTORY GIRLS

Source: VICTORY GIRLS


Serendipity – another great post from the pen of the mighty Helen Carey.

Source: Serendipity