Sunday, 31 July 2011

Just give it a rest

Give that man a standing ovation

Look what he’s done for this nation

He’s very well dressed

He’s feathered his nest

Says he’s done his best

But wears a bullet proof vest

Give that man a standing ovation

Look what he’s done for this nation

Our economy’s gone west

Our wages buy less

Now who would have guessed?

He’s on a world wide quest!

Give that man a standing ovation

Look what he’s done for this nation

A new initiative? - just give it a rest

His policies are but a jest

Oh why are we so blessed?

How can we get rid of this pest?

Give that man a standing ovation

Just look what he’s done for this nation.

Dedicated to politicians everywhere

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Recollections of a warped mind No 1

Many years ago I fell in love with Connie. No, that is not true, I lusted after her. She was young enough to have been my daughter. She was a young tracer in the Drawing Office where I ran a section in a now defunct government department. She was assigned to me and in the days of very short mini skirts she used to attract the attention of all in the office when she worked on her drawing board, getting off of her stool, standing up and bending over to reach the top of the plan she was working on while the eyes of males around admired her pretty frilly briefs and curvy youthful thighs. Once she was mine to supervise, I tactfully told her of the distraction she was causing. She was surprised, but not offended by my mentioning this and somehow she seemed to bond to me after that. I became a second father figure to her so I alone was allowed to admire her legs and bum and sweet face and also to share all her confidences. These included the disaster of her leaving home to share some digs with a girlfriend as well as learning that the reason for leaving home was the impending split up of her parents. Later I had to enthuse over the news of her new boyfriend at Uni and their future plans culminating in her marriage where both my wife and I were invited to the ceremony. I said to her before the big day “I’ll be there but you won’t see me”. She looked at me puzzled “Of course I will” she retorted. Later after the honeymoon when she returned to work she had to admit she hadn’t seen me.

Her skirts however became longer. She still needed to talk about her life though; so their day to day problems were brought to me, such as the need to find a decent flat for themselves; the frustration with her husband’s little foibles such as how scruffy he was and their grand plans of building their own house in the foothills outside of town and him starting his own business. I was always there to nod and sympathise and let her give vent to life’s frustrations.

When she talked to me it was ostensibly about work but I could tell when it was personal when she would plonk the plans she was working on onto to my desk and draw up a seat and get close enough so no one else could hear what we were saying. I must confess as I perused her work and checked it, my hand would occasionally stray and touch her hand as we discussed everything under the sun other than plans she was working on. This was a very pretty hand, albeit with a wedding ring on. She never withdrew it straight away but contemplated our joint misbehaviour and then gradually took that temptation away. This was never done in such a way as to say don’t do it next time which was just as well as fingers were touched again on many occasion.

Many, many years later as I recall those years, I wonder what on earth I was thinking about. However when you come into contact with a beautiful person who you can bond with and clearly like each other, how do your show them? I never kissed her other than one peck on the cheek when she was heavily pregnant as I presented her with a gift from the office on her last day at work.

I know what I was thinking about. It was telling someone that they were special. She knew I cared for her and thought she was beautiful. She also knew that she could trust me to keep what she said to myself alone. Even that time she said “You don’t think I am getting varicose veins on my legs do you?” showing me some flesh above the knees. I must confess I never even told my wife that.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

My glance in the past

The problem is I cannot dance

This is an essential for romance

I should have been born raised in France

Yes, that would have improved my chance

I’m not good at idle banter

As well as not able to canter

Round a room like an enchanter

So perhaps you’ll be the granter

of a kiss, so do not grumble

When my talk turns into mumble

and all I can do is fumble

Say yes, and I will not stumble

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Ahu and Ahuahu (Part 1)

Ahu looked out to sea. “Where is he?” she asked but the sea just growled to itself and ignored her. The wind had got up and started shaking the trees and had now whipped the sea into a frenzy. She wanted to leave the shore and go and search for yams but she needed to know he was safe. He should be home soon but there was no sign of him on the water. He had gone with Hi’ilei fishing. They were to go to a distant island but with the weather worsening she couldn’t see its shape any more. She was always frightened when he was not close.
They were an unlikely couple. He had been stolen when just a boy from another island in the Pacific and had been absorbed into the community. She was an orphan, and had been looked after by aunts and treated almost as one of their children….almost. Almost, meant that she had more work to do than her cousins. It wasn’t fair but she knew no other life and never thought of the future. That was until she became of marriageable age and the community thought it would be a big joke to have her marry the boy from over the sea. His name was Ahuahu which meant “healthy and strong”. Ahu on the other hand meant “to look after”, which was another reason for everyone to laugh. So the two outcasts were married. There was no great ceremony, just a gathering and a pronouncement. Ahu was merely told she now had to look after Ahuahu, so she did.
In their shelter she said “I am frightened.”
“I will not hurt you” he replied.
“I will try to be a good wife”
“You are beautiful” he replied. She shook her head. “No one wanted me”
“I wanted you; did you not see me looking at you?”
“You have a scar on your face, I did not want to stare at you. It is not a ritual scar were you wounded?”
“I don’t remember, perhaps it happened when I was stolen.”
“May I touch it?” Ahu reached over and touched Ahuahu’s face. She had never touched a man’s face before. It was strong and firm like a tree. “Thank you for being my husband…and for saying I am beautiful…”
“Your eyes tell me much about you. You lower them and that makes you doubly beautiful. I like the way you skin shines. I would like to touch you too.”
Ahu released her tapa cloth wrap and knelt before him naked. He touched her face and chin, ran his hand down her neck and traced his fingers over her breasts. “I am very lucky to have you” he said.
“We are lucky to have each other” she replied.
Ahu remembered her wedding night as she looked out to sea. How could she stop him from doing dangerous things like fishing on the island of the gannets? Her eyes strained to see any movement on the ocean that might mean they were returning. Even if they were, the boat would be hidden in the waves and the spume and not visible from shore. She waited a while longer and busied herself picking live cockles up from the beach where they had been thrown by the angry sea.
She walked back to a tussock on the beach and sat down. She knew now she was pregnant. It was inevitable. Once they had made love the first time they had gone from awkward fumbling to considerate partners pleasing each other for the sheer joy of making the other happy. She loved it that once they were satisfied he would hold on to her, her hand or calf but more often than not her breast and fall asleep still touching her. In the mornings Ahuahu would say “Get up and walk around the village and greet and talk to people. They will think that you are fed up with me already, like they are with their own husbands.” Ahu did this but fooled no one because now she was always happy and would be smiling all day long.
Ahu sat looking out to sea, the wind had abated and she had prized open a few of the shellfish, washed the sand out and ate them while she waited. After the sun had reached its peak she spotted a craft out to sea. Her face shone, he was coming home.
Ahuahu and Hi’ilei finally beached the craft and dragged it up the strand. Hi’ilei looked across to Ahu and sneered “What manner of man have you got for yourself Ahu? We would have been back hours ago but for him being a kiwi hiding in the bushes.”
“Better you are back with him alive than bringing bad news for your wife” she retorted.
Ahuahu shook his head with disbelief that she would be so bold. But looking at Ahu he saw the love in her eyes said “Excuse her Hi’ilei, she is with child.”
"He knows me well" thought Ahu.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Seeds of hope for Chloe

A few months later Chloe and Jim were now living at his place. They had announced their engagement and her apartment which she had sold easily within a couple of weeks netting her close on $150,000 after paying out her mortgage. As Jim had now had his vasectomy reversed Chloe insisted that the cost which was enormous was her engagement present to him.

"My proviso was that whatever good comes out of it should be mine alone." She had said with an impish smile.

Later she said, “I know that even our friends are saying I trapped you in this relationship. That may be true but every woman must do what she can to win the man she truly loves.” They were snuggled up together in his house. They had ignored the settee and she was sitting on his lap their arms around each other in an armchair and somehow he had found his way under her top and was tracing a pattern with his fingers over her shoulders and neck and making little forays into rounder softer places while she lay her head on his shoulder touching his face, running her fingers over his nose and checking the stubble starting to appear on his chin as evening approached.

“You on the other hand” she went on picking up his left hand in a demonstration of the meaning of her words, “not only wanted to change the world but wanted to change me too. You wanted to improve the quality of education in your school and seeing a hopeless girl making a fool of herself behaved like Sir Galahad, rescued her and rode away with her on your charger.”

Jim kissed her nose, then her now closed eyes, continued kissing her cheeks, her ears, nuzzled into her hair then kissed her half open lips. He then drew away from her and said. “Stop analysing us. The most important thing is that we have found each other, love each other and have been completely honest with each other.”

Chloe jiggled a bit as though uncomfortable. Jim sensing there was more to it than that, said. ”Well haven’t we?”

“I want to be married in church.”

“That’s O.K.”

“As early as possible” she went on.

“Must we? You know how complicated these things are to arrange, what with the church and reception bookings and getting the date right to suit everyone.”

“Well I know we talked about next year Jim, but I really wanted a wedding dress that wasn’t too big. Do you understand what I mean?”

“Oh, so Sandra was right in being cautious.”

“Jim, from this moment on I do not want her name to be mentioned ever again. You are part of me now. We are one. I know I fought hard to win you. There is something in you that I knew was really special right from the start. You are loving, caring, gentle, sincere and…

“And what?” Jim asked.

“I nearly said flawed.” Chloe went on. “No, that is not it, we both are. You just needed me to make you perfect…again.”

“Well I just have to agree with that.”

“Thank you. Now if the little one is going to be girl I would like to call her Maya after the Indian goddess of dreams.”

“And if it’s a boy perhaps we could call him Ayam,” responded Jim.

“I am yours utterly Jim. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to please you but doesn’t Ayam mean chicken in Indonesian?”

“Yes, you are right. All I did was reverse the letters of Maya. No I should have been called Ayam as I was such a fool nearly wrecking my life before I met you. Shall we go up to bed?”

“It's time we started to prepare a meal Jim."

“It is the right time then?!” Asked Jim.

Here we say farewell to Jim and Chloe. Thank you for your interest in this unlikely couple.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Chloe takes control

Chloe was cross. How could Jim be so stupid? After his confession about his vasectomy Chloe did the right thing and spoke gently to him.

“You are right Jim let’s talk about this in the morning”. She wrapped her arms around him, hugged him affectionately, kissed him on his back then lay still appearing to drift off to sleep. He too relaxed now that her outburst was over and soon was snuffling in his sleep. She was about to move him slightly but thought better of it and tried to work out what they could do to redeem the situation.

She couldn’t believe that in just a split second all her hopes and dreams of a happily married life with Jim bringing up a gaggle of babies had been shattered. In the early hours of the morning she had gone through what she thought were all the possibilities to redeem the situation. Yes, she did love him and was pretty certain that he felt exactly the same way about her. How could he be so stupid to make such decision at such a young age? Would he marry her? Could she marry him now? Should they adopt children? She even thought of having babies by donor sperm. As she drifted of to sleep all her thoughts jumbled into a dream fantasy of scores of babies she was caring for all crying for their mothers while she was hopeless to help them, Jim in the background was shaking his head slowly from side to side.

“Tea” Jim had got up and made a cup of tea. She drowsily peeked out from the covers and looked at him. “Get back into bed”, she said. He did as she asked and looked at her straight in the eyes. “It never seemed to be the right time to tell you”.

“Tell me now. Leave nothing out. I want to know absolutely everything; names dates, places. What exactly were you thinking of?” She stopped there feeling that she might get hysterical. So she reached out for her tea and sipped at it whilst not taking her eyes off him for a moment, lest he might still hide something from her if she couldn’t see his face as he talked.

“I was engaged to this girl, a career girl.” Jim started. Chloe was about to interject, thought better of it and just nodded instead.

“I thought I was in love we had both been in Uni together, spent a lot of time living in each others pockets. We both were ambitious and were constantly planning our lives to minutest detail years in advance. We did absolutely everything together, we met each others parents. Everyone was so proud of us and keen for us to get on and to do well. And we did; we both got good degrees and managed to get good placements. Even though we were sometimes far apart it was agreed we would get married and live happily ever after. Sandra however was adamant that we couldn’t risk having babies at that stage. Later it became we could couldn’t risk having babies at all. After a few years she came up with the idea that we ought to make certain that our plans shouldn’t be compromised by little Jim's or Sandra’s on the scene. Her argument was that the world was overpopulated already. We both had an important job to do. There were plenty of other people having babies they didn’t want and we shouldn’t add to that number. I think once she said can you imagine our babies growing up like my sister or your cousin that would be crime we shouldn't commit. We drifted apart the Christmas before last. An irreconcilable amount of differences".

Chloe couldn’t believe her ears. She just had to say “You said you thought you loved her! And yet a thinking caring man like you would go along with twaddle like that! You didn’t just think you loved her you were blindly, stupidly captivated by this scheming woman. I just can’t believe you would do that”. Chloe paused “Sorry, I am selfish, I am thinking of myself. Just tell me this; how long ago did you have it done”.

“About three years”.

“Well that is better than ten for a reversal”.

“What do you know about vasectomies?”

“A cousin of mine had one after their third child, they were happy to talk about what they had done. Once they decided they had increased the population rather than just replaced it, they decided on the snip”.

Chloe then went on. “You must make an appointment with your doctor to get a referral straight away. Don’t you realise you may have deprived the world of another “Vonnegut, Rowling or Sue Grafton?”

“How about a Pasteur, Cook or Einstein?” he responded. Then thinking about it he went on. “No, the most important thing is to have another Chloe”.

“That is an excellent proposal” she said kissing his nose.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

My fair Chloe

“I love you.”

“I know” she replied as she laid in his arms, satisfied once more with his lovemaking; gentle, considerate, overwhelmingly passionate; totally, utterly fulfilling. She wanted to curl up beside him, feel his presence, and relax into sleep.

“No, not like that, I really love you.” Jim continued.

Chloe sighed. She knew that he wanted talk; not like other men who would lapse into unconsciousness as soon as he was satisfied. What was more she knew what he wanted to talk about. For months now they had been going out. That is a misnomer she thought it is more like staying in to devour each other.

She had noticed his indecision with their relationship. It was almost as though he was replaying the role of Professor Higgins in “My Fair Lady”. He had discovered someone to change, to educate, to transform from an ugly duckling into a swan. He was wrong of course and he knew it as she had already snared him in her trap by being the helpless, hopeless female for him to rescue.

“I am not Eliza Doolittle”, she murmured, “or Julie Andrews or Audrey Hepburn. You have got to realise that I am not a toy for you to play with, to decide my fate.”

“Where did all that come from?” Jim said propping himself up on his elbow.

“We have been all through this before, we make a lovely couple, you adore me, but never have I ever been introduced to your family, never! Not only that you are happy for me live here in this pokey little flat but never suggest we live together in your place. Then there is the other thing we still socialise with our mates but never with the people from your work. Are you ashamed of me?”

“My parents are in Taree, for heaven’s sake! The people from work are dull colourless and boring. I have told you I love you.”

“Jim please don’t get me wrong, I adore you but all your protestations of love are nothing compared with a little commitment. I love you utterly. If you said give up your job, live with me and let’s have lots of babies I would say yes, yes, yes! But you don’t. We talk about superficial things, you know; books, paintings, plays or movies we have gone to see. But we don’t talk about our future. You gloss over that issue with “I really love you.” You are happy to go on just as we are.

Jim knew Chloe was right. In his tired, befuddled state he weighed up his options. “Let’s talk about it in the morning.”

“What a cop out” Chloe screamed. “You haven’t got a wife hidden away, I’ve checked. It doesn’t matter if your Dad’s in prison or if your brother bats for the other side or your sister is on the game. What is so bad that you cannot let me into your world?”

“I’ve had a vasectomy” Jim confessed.

“Well you wasted a lot of money on condoms, keeping me fooled” Chloe moaned.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A walk through the trees

The other day I took a walk through the trees at Frensham Little Pond. It is a magical place that held so many memories for a girl I knew. As a young teenager she and her sister with their best friend from school used to cycle here with their bottle of Tizer and some Marmite sandwiches, and their bathing costumes and swim in the shallow waters of this beautiful pond surrounded by sandy gorse land and pine woods.
It was that time in their lives between being children and growing up. There were no boys or beaux in their lives and their innocence was something that I was not privy to. Many years later after we had married and had our children and they too were growing up and away from us she took me back there and told me about her teenage years and the joys of growing up in a fantasy world where the sun shone and nothing troubled their minds.
When we went back we had been keen birdwatchers for some time and had lived in Australia for many years. We were both anxious to see the birds that coloured our childhood that were fast disappearing from the British countryside. We read of the Dartford Warbler that could be seen by careful eyes curiously at Frensham Little Pond.
So we drove down to this secret place from her past and walked the sandy paths to the pond and she told me of times of long ago. We then followed the instructions to find the Dartford Warblers and lost in the trails of gorse and broom and warming up in the sun we saw not one bird of any description. We reread the instructions, which was to face north looking over the wild vegetation and keep very still. So we sat on the ground, with our binoculars at the ready and sat quietly. The sun beat down the air was still and we were as quiet as two field mice. We were finally part of the background. Almost immediately some little birds emerged from the bushes, flying up in the air and flying back down again. One or two would perch proud and confident on a twig before disappearing into the undergrowth. In a lull of activity we consulted the field guide and checked all their attributes and they were certainly Dartford Warblers. So that was a bonus to a magic day for me, I had been shown a part of my dear wife’s childhood and we had discovered together an endangered British bird.
Now I have returned again, years later. My wife has gone on before me. So I walk alone. I park my car and walk through the pine wood, wade my way through the bracken and reach the shore of the pond. I am alone except for a crested grebe on the water and a tern skimming over the surface. He must be holiday from the sea shore. I can hear the tinkle of laughter as the three girls splash in the water and I can imagine their bikes and lunch bags strewn on the shore. I am at last privy to view the world through my wife’s eyes and to regret that she is no longer here to share it with me. However for me it is just another way to say goodbye.
So I do just that and thank her for my time with her and the joy and love she gave me. I turn and walk through the trees to my car and promise to come back to talk to her again.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


It was a nasty day in London; nasty because of the weather. For the last three weeks or so it had rained on almost every day and for some reason before returning to Australia I spent the last three days in London to do what tourists do! Do the art galleries, taking in an exhibition or trade fair and just revelling in the sights and sounds of what I had always regarded as the centre of the known world from my childhood days. The forecast was hot! I laughed up my sleeve as only a few months earlier in Adelaide, South Australia we endured two days straight of 45˚C.

With my Oyster card in hand I blithely thought that travelling on the tube underground to where I wanted to go would be a lot cooler that on the surface. No don’t get me wrong it wasn’t heat as I have experienced in Australia, only an annoyance that shops and buses were ill prepared, by lack of air conditioning or opening windows! So down the escalators I went and found that far from it being cooler the atmosphere was stuffy and the ventilation non existent.

I was on the Bakerloo line and luckily grabbed a seat and planned my journey. As I glanced at the route map opposite I also noticed a stunning woman opposite me. I immediately recognised her as an old school friend of nearly sixty years ago. It was Enid. Enid is a name that is not popular anymore. She you may recall was a heroine in one of the centuries old Arthurian tales. She married Geraint and being a knight he neglected his courtly duties to attend to her. Well, why not? Clearly I would have been a hopeless knight too!

Trying not to stare, I looked at Enid again. You might have guessed by now that she could not have been my Enid who would have been 75 by now. But the resemblance was uncanny. She was slim with her hair pulled back into a little bun at the back and my attention was drawn to her hands. I loved my Enid’s hands. They were long graceful hands and dare I say it when we were supposed to be studying in the library I often dared to reach out and touch her fingers. She unflinching, would in turn take my hand and turn it over and run her fingers over my palm. And when alone we talked endlessly about music and ballet and art, but curiously we never went out together! Of course we played tennis together and with friends and we walked back to the bus or train after school but that was it. Now after all this time she was or her daughter or even perhaps her granddaughter was there opposite me.

Fortunately she didn’t notice me staring, she was reading the paper. I glanced at her hands. In my imagination I was looking at Enid’s hands again. Stop it you old fool, it isn’t her. It isn’t her! The standing passengers were now blocking her from my view. I leaned forward a bit to gain a little air from the opened windows in the doors at the end of the carriage. Where were we? Baker Street I think. The passengers came and went and still young Enid sat on her seat. She had folded the paper up now as we approached Oxford Circus. I intended to go on to Embankment to visit the Courtauld Gallery and the Impressionist paintings, they never cease to please me no matter how many times I visit them. In addition there were some animal head sculptures around the fountains in the courtyard of Somerset House that should be fun on a hot day.

She got up at Piccadilly Circus and putting all my plans aside I got up too, grabbed a pole and followed her to the sliding doors. Part of me was saying “Speak to her” and the other part was saying “You are making a big mistake.”

We exited the train and made our way to the exit. You have no doubt worked out my opening gambit: “Excuse me, you wouldn’t be related to Enid Carson, would you?” That seemed to be the right line. But I never made it. She walked far too fast. My old legs just couldn’t keep up. The train whooshed out of the platform, and I was left hot and breathless almost alone on the platform making my way wearily to the escalators. I though better of it and turned around and found a seat to wait for the next train to the Embankment. Alone with my memories.

Sunday, 3 July 2011


I slept with a most beautiful girl last night. She was absolutely stunning, a real peach with a sweet soft face, entrancing eyes and a warm brown skin. I was head over heels in love from the moment I saw her.

Yes, yes! I know you will say well at your age they all look good, but I knew as soon as she came into the room, then lay down on her bed she was something special. Well she should be seeing what I paid for the privilege!

I loved her snubby little nose and the smooth skin of her arms and when she lay out on the bed she kicked her slip on shoes off and treated me with a look of her perfectly shaped feet and pretty toes.

I settled in beside her and glanced nervously at her drinking in her beauty as she demanded champagne. Within moments an attendant had brought her a glass but I refused one myself, I was drunk enough already with her charms.

And so we settled down for a night of passion…

Alas there was but one little hitch; I was merely a passenger on a plane bound for Kuala Lumpur and she my travelling companion. Our plane was delayed and we didn’t take off till after 11.00 pm and so in the comfort of business class we ate our freshly cooked supper, drank, spoke a few pleasantries and merely went to sleep for the night.

You want to know her name? It was Majida, it means glorious. Just like my dreams that night.