Monday, December 9, 2019

It's All About the Tree

Hello Dear Readers, Yes, this week it's all about the tree. Barnsley streets are coming alive with lights in windows, lights in the gardens and lights on rooftops. Christmas trees are beginning to appear in pubs, in parks, in practically every corner of every village and town. Yes, 'tis the season to be jolly, and today my tree came out of the loft, and is now twinkling brightly in my little living room.
Ah, the magic of elves!
Putting the tree up was an excellent thing to do today cos I had a bit of a boozy head. Why? Because last night I was at the Maison Du Biere in Elsecar where The Barnsley Spoken Voices collective gathered together to perform their latest poems and stories. It was a raucous evening and I was on the bubbly stuff. Well, a good night was had by all, despite the mince pies not materialising as planned. 
I dressed for the occasion in Christmas leggings, boots and my favourite purple tutu, and had a great time chatting to people I only get chance to chat to now and then. We should definitely have more of these gatherings.

One of the people I got into conversation with last night was Granville Danny Clarke (look him up here) he's very entertaining, as were all the performing poets. I did take some pics of the poets, but honestly they're not very good, I really must get a new phone, the camera on this one is rubbish. But the selfies came out ok.
Granville D Clarke et moi!


Tina et moi!

A flavour of the venue



Anyway the bubbly was nice and cold and dropped down very well. Dave and I popped into the Milton pub at the end 'cos we found we had half an hour to wait for the bus, so by the time we got home we were quite squiffy and felt very festive. So it begins!

Add caption

In fact it began on Wednesday when David and I had a little trip out to see friends and family. While I had a reunion lunch with old school friends, Dave popped to see his sister. Later in the afternoon I joined them. It was a very special day; a little train trip, and chance to say hello to people we hadn't seen for at least a year.
Dave, Sister Nan and moi
Kathleen Elsie and Elizabeth, all friends from school and beyond. Our annual reunion is something I always look forward to.
Kathleen, Elsie and moi

Elizabeth

 
 So, that was my week, not too action packed, but certainly jolly. I hope your festive time is kicking off in the same vein.

Of course, politics is taking centre stage. Will it be Boris? Or will it be Jeremy? We shall all know by Friday. Will it all be over by Christmas? I think not. Whatever, I shall go and cast my vote on Thursday like the dutiful citizen that I am.

Here's my political poem:

I’m an Angel

Good News! I bring Good News! It’s what I do,
Fear not! The words I bring are just for you.

So harken up! Tonight is born a king,
Good News! Almighty God is stepping in!

Rejoice! I say, rejoice! Be of good cheer!
I bring Good News! Rejoice! Eat pies! Drink Beer!,

Make love! Let all the bells of Barnsley ring!
A declaration of great joy I bring!

Henceforth the powers that be will see the light,
And put an end to all this Brexit shite!


Talk again soon, it's time for tea, gotta go. Byeee!
Love and Hugs
Jane 













Monday, December 2, 2019

Christmas is Cuming!

Lead me to the mulled wine 
Multifarious Craft Stalls
Christmas is cuming! Well that's what I say, (rhymes with humming), and that's what I've been doing all week, humming my favourite Christmas songs. And there were plenty to hum along to at the Worsbrough Mill Christmas Craft Fair on Sunday. I may have had a bit of a housey week, but David and I were out and about on Sunday.
It was a beautiful, bright but crisp day, just right for striding out. We walked down the hill from Birdwell to the Mill, in under half and hour, and enjoyed browsing the little stalls selling homemade gifts: cards, sewing kits, paintings, pet presents, pots of jam, customised banjos, crystals, and of course the famous Worsbrough Mill fresh ground flour. I even had a lesson in pizza making. 

Crowds around the fresh ground flour stall

Stocked up on Christmas Chutney

Josh the luthier - tin box banjos - brilliant!

Rocking round the Christmas Tree

Hot turkey sandwiches - yummy!
Of course it was thirsty work so we had to try the mulled wine, and all that walking around had turned us into hungry horses, so we splashed out (and off the vegetarian regime) and bought two pulled turkey and stuffing sandwiches - delicious! 
And after a stiff walk back up the hill to Birdwell, we finished off the afternoon with a lovely cup of tea, and a relaxing hour or so watching a programme about the life of Seamus Heaney - a perfect Sunday.

Although last week was a bit of a none event, I did manage to write a poem for the Shortland's Poetry Society, of which I am a member, though mainly by post these days. This month's topic is 'Silver Lining,' I always go a little 'off piste' so to speak. So here it is, inspired by a shop in Sheffield.


Hi Ho Silver Lining in Sheffield

There was only one jeweler in town,
his name escapes me now, his shop was no
bigger than a vicarage vestibule,
and just as cold. His gold didn’t glitter,
his silver charms were pre-war, and he kept,
his diamonds in a locked drawer under a
velvet curtain in the back of the shop.
Up close his brown corduroy slacks reeked of
stale tobacco and surgical spirit;
and bits of ash, camouflaged in the flecks
of his jacket, fell, every time he coughed,
Pompeii-like, causing stucco-dust to drop
through the air onto the cracked brown leather
of his one and only customer chair.
A forty-watt bulb hung from a thread of
black cable, casting a moon-glow over
a handwritten advertisement, that read:
Ears pierce, Fast and Painless, New Piercing Gun
The pride of his shop, that new piercing gun,
blunt force being the up-to-date technique,
in those days - nine carat sleepers thrown in –
the alternative being a needle
pushed through soft cartilage into a cork
salvaged from the weekend’s Mateus Rosé.
Either way, it was a mutilation,
frowned upon by draconian fathers,
who deemed pierced ears to be unladylike -
but that was half a century ago.

Now there are specialist shops, clean, fag-free,
with sterile counters that sparkle in
what seems to be a never ending stream
of sunlight, wall to wall neon bedazzling
the buyer. One such bright emporium,
Silver Lining, has a five star rating,
with reviews that revere sweet Anna -
‘Had my nose pierced by Anna – so calm.’
‘Anna pierced my tongue – serene, unruffled,’
‘Came all the way from Dublin for Anna,
had a clitoral hood – God she’s good!’
‘Booked a vagina lip-ring, in the Spring,
hope Anna can fit me in.’ And so they
continue, penned adorations in praise
of navels and nipples and scaffolding
and skin beads and surface bars. And for him:
a Prince Albert – a ring inserted through
the tip of his penis. Or, if preferred,
a barbell of gold through his scrotum.

No one ever mentions the smarting splits,
the soreness of clits, the nipple burning,
the belly button bruise, the Daith, the Conch,
the micro-dermal itch, inflammation,
irritation, infection, weeks of pain,
septicity from the insertion of
dermal anchors, the inability
to eat with a stud in your tongue, shocked, numb.
And yet, still they come, smiling, calm. Trusting
the steady hand of Anna: elated,
excited, delighted, perfectly pierced,
bejeweled bodies; punctured, prodded,
perforated, penetrated, stuck through
with pins, impeccably porcupined,
peacocks of perdition – still they come!

Where will it end, Silver Lining? Tell me.
Fifty years on, will diamonds be replaced
by moon rock, gems from Mars, reclaimed space trash,
bones of dead relatives poked through noses?
Or will we all go for the Dali Droop, the
Stretched Pizza Dough Dangle, the Swiss cheese look,
the Shred, the Bootlace Bum Bite, the Mole Run?
Will the jeweler’s shop become a dark space,
a black hole where you can wallow in the
pain of a Dracula – two nuggets of
jet inserted into the jugular,
or the penultimate pierce – The Vampire
Anna’s silver stake hammered through the heart,
with the ultimate 'Obliteration,'  
throw in - stainless steel nails through the eye balls.


Of course, nobody really wants a hole in the head,
do they? I mean do they?



So, that's it from me dear readers. I hope you are enjoying this pre-Christmas run without too much worry about politics. I am sure, like me you were saddened by the terrorist attack in London, God Bless the two young people, Jack and Saskia, whose lives were taken from them, I offer my prayers.

I have another week of poetry coming up, so watch this space for my next weekly update.

Lots of love and hugs,
Jane x








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