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Hubble bubble it's no trouble..I love the thunder, lightning and rain!


Poeticising the electrical storm
Like watching a Hammer Horror
When people are safe under the sheets
Huddling a lover
Heavy bedding
I am turned on by  sheet lightning
Heavy weather
Frightening myself hoping for a strike
When some are being struck by fists
The Monster wakes
No 'rain rain go away come back another day' for me
I happily dance and pray for more
Rain, rain faster alley alley Aster'
Rhymes from wildchildhood
Was I a miserable child?
It could have been 'go go'
Wake me up before you allez allez!
Or I could have been a Nordic ice spirit
Ally Ally Aster
Conjuring terrible weather!
Where Nordic myths hung around
And now I call upon the words
To save me melting like a waxwork
Sweltering heat
Is not sweet
Thunder, lightning and rain
Turns me into Keats!

NB: It would be interesting to hear from people if they know the rhyme 'rain rain faster' or 'rain rain go away'...I remember them but it's only now I think 'where did they come from?'...I am very intrigued by the Nordic myth 'Ally Ally Aster' who conjured up a terrible winter.  Otherwise, it may just be 'alley alley' for the rain to run faster down the drain so more could fall?


Posted by Wendy Young, 25 July 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

Forrest Gumption

To the GP
I started to walk
Feeling free
I could not stop
Along the way
I met humanity
I admired big houses
I smelt the dried piss streets
As the pavement spread
Into the darkest of towns
Even in the sun
It was glum
Downtrodden people
Trying to live
Life's struggle not healed
With a few rays of sun
Just lighting up the gloom
I strode in hope
Wafting through the mire
Perchance to to tire
Perchance to dream
To sleep in this heat
I wore out my feet
I thought 'like the fella in the bible'
Journey's end to get needles stuck in me
By my fasting GP
So that I can rest in peace
But like a bolt of lightning
It struck me
This wasn't just a Forrest Gump moment
I was following my mother's footsteps
But hers were in snow
Waist deep
As her waters broke
As she told her baby
'hold on, hold on'
Four miles in a Northern Winter
She trudged past a particular road
That 20 years later
Would take this baby forever
If only she'd known
All the protection she gave couldn't save him
From a drunken driver one February morning.


Posted by Wendy Young, 22 July 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

Can't think of a title!! I just want to express a bit of happiness

At Harrison's Bar - a gem of a basement for gigs
Fuelled by red wine
I walked from Kings Cross to Euston
I took in the St Pancras Gothic beauties
And said out loud in my head
I love London Streets
I love London gigs
Like Kath Tait's honeyed voice
Lucy Lyrical's ukele
Maggie Swampwino's electric mandolin
Blew away my duress, my stress and the wind up my dress
Fuelling my journey up Euston Road


Posted by Wendy Young, 11 July 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016


The gorgeous, beautiful, hilarious, gentleman Rik Mayall who helped to shape the alternative comedy scene with a new humour for my generation died today.

His first popular role on the BBC was in The Young Ones in which he played Rik the grotesque, neurotic, lefty student with a penchant for Cliff Richard, which led to releasing a record with an hilarious video for Comic Relief with Cliff. 

He and three other miscreants (students!) lived in a delapidated house with a dodgy landlord who all seemed to be moaning about everything being so 'BORING'. So much so they missed various bands playing like Dexys Midnight Runners, Motörhead, The Damned, Madness and Rip Rig and Panic.  Very resonant for a lot of us in London with no money at the time and looking for a party!

The list of his roles and performances are too numerous to mention but just a few include Kevin Turvey the Brummie drip, and he and Ade Edmondson (Vyvyan the mad punk in The Young Ones) were the Dangerous Brothers and Bottom - slapstick meets Chainsaw Massacre! 

He was brilliant as the sleazy Tory MP, Alan B'stard in The New Statesman and appeared in Black Adder as the bombastic Lord Flasheart not forgetting the fabulous Bad News as part of The Comic Strip Presents.... Its members were Vim Fuego (aka Alan Metcalfe), vocals and lead guitar (played by Ade Edmondson); Den Dennis, rhythm guitar (Nigel Planer); Colin Grigson, bass (Rik Mayall); and Spider Webb, drums (Peter Richardson) - comedy doesn't get much more side splittingly funnier.  In fact I remember recommending it to cheer up my friend up who was particularly down and it was the perfect antidote.

Rik was left seriously ill after a quad bike accident in 1998 which left him in a coma for several days but he made a recovery and was working until recently.  Mayall said doctors had kept him alive on a life-support machine for five days and were about to turn it off when he began to show signs of life.  Speaking last year he said: "The main difference between now and before my accident is I'm just very glad to be alive.  "Other people get moody in their forties and fifties - men get the male menopause. I missed the whole thing. I was just really happy."  A lesson to us all, don't moan about age!


Thank you for the laughter.

wReakious havoc In Pace

Posted by Wendy Young, 9 June 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

Shabby Cheek - let time stand still

I was fortunate enough to go for a country walk after a lovely Sunday lunch in Berks or was it Bucks (confused boundaries but at least it wasn't Starbucks).  It was one of those halcyon days when the City is a distant memory and you wished you lived in cottage, completely relaxed, day job a million miles away.  

Everything was slow. The only buzz was bees around the flowers that hung in front of the 18th century pub, which thankfully is not gentrified. There's been some updating but at least it's not shabby chic as is the trend now (as in my poem Horrorstocracy Gentrified out of all control - no soul, Just boutiqued into non recognition) and it drives me mad. 

I have recently discovered Ian Nairn - a man who should have been Prime Minister in my book!  He fought the town planners who destroyed our town centres eventually. He died young (age 53) from alcoholism and liver failure - his admirers comment that he thinks he failed (life? saving Britain from the nihilism of concrete dross?). 

He seems a kindred spirt who wanted to keep the past alive, renovate old buildings - not flatten them and replace with soulless montrosities.  He did have good things to say about some modern buildings but as long as they were built well and in the right place.  He was a passionate but down to earth man who appreciated an aesthetically good town centre!  He wanted people to stop being listless and fight for their towns and cities.  He also liked the combination of pubs, people and preservation of natural beauty.

I wonder what he'd think now?  He died in 1983 but I've just found him.  In a way this poem the walk inspired me to frantically add reminders to my calendar on my phone, is for him.  It's rushed so not perfect but wanted to get it down write about the lime green butterflies, which I have never seen before and now know to be called Brimstone, flew around our heads who escaped the birds who get to eat them as caterpillars.

Time stood still moments

Like in Kensal Green Cem
In my favourite place
Where the bending of the wild rose
Highlights Victorian grave names
Long tail tits
Flew around our heads
Like caressing angels
Honouring us like a family acceptance
Coot shoots across the pond
Near the shabby cheek pub
Where we had lunch
A cold shudder as I wonder
Will it be gentrified?
Leave it alone
It all fits
Like it did in the film Genevieve
Among the leaves and the pond
With smatterings of frogspawn
Petrol blue and green dragonflies mating
Making me greenvious of their bond
A lone bee sucking the nectar of Foxgloves
Digitalis purpura  - a healer of the heart

O' Ian it could have mended yours
It heals mine just to look at it
If you could, like the bee
have popped in and out of the purple bells
instead of your local pub
Joined in the battles of birdsong
In nature untouched
Leave the natural beauty
Leave the camouflage for the lime green butterflies to touchdown
Brimstones of fire living out their numbered days





Posted by Wendy Young, 3 June 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

The Cooker, The Phone, Her Head & Their Dogma (and a hatchet)

The cooker broke down. I decided on a new one.  That went wrong after a few weeks.  Apparently I could have sent it back to the Shop before 28 days but I was too late.  So the supplier sent an engineer who, after umpteen visits with the wrong parts even got fed up and advised 'ask for an uplift number', which means the manufacturer will inform the company who sold it to me to take it away and refund my money. 

The process should have been simple (in an ideal world) but I spent hours on the phone, was given wrong information, went to the nearest shop about 7 miles away because I was fed up of the phone calls.  After looking at the crap cookers on offer I was told the quite good one and not too expensive one wasn't in store 'it's a bit more complicated than just ordering another cooker'.  (To kill time my bored escort asked about a digital camera 'we dont have that one mate' said the cocky sales assistant.  'It's there' said my escort pointing to the camera in question!)  

So I would have to wait for my refund and then come in and order again. 'Can't I do that online?' - yes I could apparently and my money would be in my account the next day when the cooker was picked up OR I could go back to the store when the collection people picked the other one up.  We can get the collection carried out on Thursday this week.

Okay great!  Two blokes turned up but refused to take the Cooker away because they were not gas engineers!  A phone call later, 'gas engineer will be here Saturday, 'not in Saturday', 'ok when?', Thursday (my Thursdays were becoming a regular Cooker drama!  My Life was on hold!). 

Sooooo, the final Thursday, they came, they took, I called up for my refund.  'Sorry but you'll have to go back to the shop you bought it from'.  !!!****%%***!!!!!! (then I gathered myself) 'I BOUGHT IT ONLINE NOT FROM A SHOP!'.  (If anyone's bothering to read this and has lost the will to live - imagine my Head!)

Well, after some pleading and explaining, I finally got my refund.  Now, I have spent so much time on the phone I have looked over my kitchen and thought, I could take a hatchet to this unit and get use out of that space and taken on another nightmare - decided on a new kitchen! 

So, a pushy company got in touch straight away after I filled an online form and sent a Designer round that night.  After four hours of what supposed to be a mere quote I had signed to an added interest loan for a fancy kitchen I can't really afford!  This was a classic case of lamb to the slaughter of 'hard sell' tactics!  The man couldn't even finish his words he was talking so fast!  I felt for him, he is obviously overworked - he arrived at 7.30pm and left after 11pm!

Talking of talking fast, I listened to a commercial station on the radio and one bloke was mispronouncing words - under the duress of an airtime limit I guess?  Then on a new channel on tv, trend people giving out the news topics so fast they mispronounced words!  Everything has to be so got over so quickly.  We have to keep up and be trodden on and left behind if we don't.  Life is a ball of confusion and only the wrong survive in my eyes.  What's wrong with taking our time, choosing the right thing, doing the right thing, not being pressured into buying stuff that sends us into an abyss of nothingness in the end?

My work colleague says it's all part of the bigger picture where 'the people in charge' are messing with our heads to the point people don't know where their passport is....I don't know where mine is, albeit out of date, but I need to find it nevertheless and it made me think.  I'm beginning to believe that there this Dogma is stealing our power.  

We are bombarded with so many different companies for phones, energy, appliances etc etc (they call it 'choice') vying for our custom.  Of course, when their product goes wrong they seem to just want to put you off by ignoring us, confusing us, hoping we'll go away and say 'Oh I can't be bothered'.  Then there's the food we eat that's wrong one day, right the other, good stuff, bad it a ploy to finish us off rather than look after us when we need care?  Now a bigwig has come from America to take charge of the NHS and says we don't have enough 'local/cottage hospitals'!!!  Does this mean the campaigners were right after all!!

I digress, back to where it all started - my cooker!  I still don't have one.  I don't know whether I will have a new kitchen as all sorts of negatives are popping up.  Oh, forgot to mention in the middle of all that I almost bought a vintage cooker off ebay but traipsed to the West Midlands (from the South) to find a rusted, dirty, pile of what was once a beautiful Parkinson Cowan!  Then I saw a gorgeous 40s one but realised it was not practical so withdrew my bid!  (Is anyone actually interested in all this???).

Well, that's my rant for today!  However, the oddest things happen when you stand waiting on the phone for a human voice (thought at times an automaton would be preferable), you look at your kitchen, you think about life,

you wonder where the hatchet is and almost chop the whole fucking thing to pieces!  Then someone says 'can I help you?' and the units are saved.

I just want a cooker
be nice to be a looker
but practicality is a must
and I have sussed
though vintage is cool
it be a cumbersome tool
new ones are not pretty
fall apart like putty
nothing's built to last
they wear out fast
like my brain
with the strain
it's been too long now
living on cold food
I wanna make spag bol
Grilled bacon, some stew
Bring me my pan of burning fat
Bring me potatoes (maris piper)
And I will cook some home made chips
Maybe I'll build a makeshift fire
My countenance will be divine
And hopefully I won't lose weight (HA!)
When I have some home made grub
In Wendy's cookerless flat!


Posted by Wendy Young, 30 May 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

Wheelchair Dancer

I just want to express my joy when at a 1940s event on Saturday night, the DJ came from behind the decks in his wheelchair, took a lady by the hand and they bopped a real good jive.  

Turns didn't stop him as he spun like fury and didn't fail to catch her hand as they danced with perfect timing.  I am not sure how he did it but it was very impressive.  It showed real passion and determination for the music he loves.

Wheels of Fury

DJ of the be bop big band jive
From behind the Decks
He almost dived
Onto the dancefloor
For his favourite song
He and his lady he danced along
With perfect timing
He caught her hand
Syncopated rhythm
Inspiring his aim
Wheels of fury
Round they went
While other boppers had long since spent!

Posted by Wendy Young, 19 May 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 20 May 2014

Is there life on Mars?

With all the furore about the future of housing, the depressing prospects for people trying to find a home, Camerloon laughing at Milipede's proposal for a three year tenant/ landlord agreement, I think it's a good time to pull out this poem that fantasises about getting the hell out of this world! 

It may seem influenced by God Bowie (with a bit of help from Patrick Hamilton's great book title 'Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky' but it could well be for real one day as scientists experiment further and deeper into space. 

As a kid, from our upstairs window, Emley Moor Mast had throbbing red lights and I imagined my saviour David would land there and beckon me in his cream egg suit to save me 'oh no love, you're not alone'. 

There's something about looking up at a night sky, lost in other worlds, and the glitter!  There was something about looking out to the pennines and seeing orange lights and think 'where's that, it must be better than this' until of course you grow up and realise nowhere's perfect but even now I am captivated by street lights in the black of night.  The twinkling and the glimmering of light has always fascinated me. 

There's something magical about looking up and seeing stars - an escape - even the words and names - Milky Way, Galaxies, Mars - though that my childhood fantasy of chocolate bars?  Wilko Johnson, the Dr Feelgood superstar, has a high-grade astronomical telescope which he looks out of his skylight in Canvey Island because he 'wants to see the rings around Saturn'. 

He has just opted for surgery on his pancreatic cancer as he has survived longer than expected (he was diagnosed in early 2013 and wanted to live out his life naturally.  Could his childlike nature, and looking into the cosmos be his therapy?  It is a beautiful experience, as long as your neck is positioned correctly - think Alexander technique and pull it out of the shoulders and flex gently back - as opposed to jerking the head into the back of the neck  as I used to!  Look up and see......


Of which we all are
S.T.A.R plural
I wink back
At the twinkling stars
Shining on me and
20,000 streets under a London sky
I’ll be nice to the stars
Who knows
I may want to live there one day
‘cause I’ll never get a house in Brent!
There’s a brainstorm
A Star
In the 7th house
Say Hi to Jupiter and Mars
Mmm bars
Build lots
In the Cosmos del Stellar
It’s a huge Milky Way
Why not have a retreat between meal deals
Don’t daydream it
Just cream it
Don’t tell the Galaxy
How many squares we can build on
Hard to soft – perfect!
Begin the race
To make our mark-et
Zoom!  Humans in space!
House trekking across the Universe

But watch for the ‘spin’….

Posted by Wendy Young, 13 May 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

Age Concerned

After watching Panorama's harrowing but must see programme about the abuse of elderly patients in a £700 a week 'Care Home' on the BBC last week, I was reminded of my maternal grandmother Lucy's death. 

My grandmother at age 86 fell out of bed, she had not been ill, in fact she had never been in hospital (apart from working as a cleaner in a strict regime in the town hospital).  A week later she was dead. 

I was only 12 and felt traumatised. I would not believe it. Maybe it was youth or maybe it was a deep knowing that something was deeply wrong. My mother and I visited her and she wept 'I've never been like this Jenny'. She kept saying 'what's that black dog doing there?' and 'who's that man?' - there was no man.  What an undignified end to a woman for whom dignity and being a good, upright person was everything.

I now realise she had been given hallucinatory drugs. A nurse who practiced in those times confessed that old people would be 'finished off with a cocktail of drugs'. Sounds unbelievable? It wouldn't surprise me.

Being old in this country is not seen as a positive thing as it seems to have been for mother's and grandmothers generation respected older people (as probably the unfortunate patients in the care homes did). Everything seems geared around youth. When you disclose your age do people try to categorise you? 

Age is a number and as long as we take care of ourselves, it should not impede us. I am certainly more interested in 90 year old Dorothy up the road than the trendy yuppies moving in. A woman who has seen drastic changes, lived through World War II, worked in a munitions factory, wears two hearing aids, broke her hip but defies her kids warnings about going out - has a little walk to the shop and sweeps her pavement is far more interesting to me than whoever or whatever's 'trending'.

As Jarvis Cocker sang 'Help the Aged', not just because we will all be old one day but because they should be respected and listened to. I still feel guilt about my grandmother's death but it was out of my hands, the establishment seemed to order it. And the little Close where she and other single elderly people lived and where everyone looked out for each other e.g. my gran would send me with home made food and lemonade to the man next door or to Annie the 'drunken one' who sometimes could be found laid out on the grass after a few too many stouts at the Rose and Crown an gran felt sorry for her but as was the case back then, no one really knew each other's pasts as people didn't share life stories back then. I feel lucky to be in an age where at least we can exorcise our ghosts. 

My paternal grandmother died long before I was born but it would be nice to have a mirror like Erised in Harry Potter where we could meet our loved ones. She was a psychiatric nurse in Scotland and suffered severely as a result of her sensitivity and ended up in Yorkshire nursing my great grandfather who was a Scottish farmer. She met my mentally unstable grandfather there which led to a terrible life and she died at the young age of 54. So there was a case of paying respect but not being respected back as she fell pregnant, was unmarried and had to clean the stone floors of the farm kitchen for sour milk. 

Will we ever get to a point where we are all equal?  No one disrespects anyone else. It could be just human nature that lies at the heart of it and the way it takes it course can never be controlled.


I am sorry I wasn't there when you fell out of bed
I am sorry you were alone and frightened
I am sorry you called for me when the home-help found you
I am sorry I never told you how grateful I was
For the warm coal fire
For the safety
For the home cooking
For the sanctuary
For being upright
For not giving in
For your humility
For your history

I wish I'd been older
I wish I'd been wise
But my youth was calling
I had to cut ties
But it was never no better
Than being with you
The bullies already had me
You didn't realise
You thought I was selfish
And ungrateful and mad
But underneath
You knew I was sad
I wish for your stories
Of blackleading the stove
Of being a mother to your brothers
When yours had died
The losses you felt
When they were killed in the war

(The ones who survived seemed spoilt
No support)
When your sister died aged thirteen
Like lots of children then
She clutched the orange she never ate
You kept it forever - a brown toy in the drawer
Empty but for pips that I shook like a maracas
Was put in my mother's hand when she died
History gone
Respectfulness rid
You could have lived longer
To this end I am sure
But killing you off seemed to be the law
My testament Lucy, to you, my gran
Is that your dignity and good
Lives on in my in my poem when I am gone.

Posted by Wendy Young, 6 May 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

'Dancing, laughing, living, loving...

...and now I'm all alone in Bedsitland'.........feeling uninspired, I heard Soft Cell on the radio and was taken back to my own Bedsitland.  It was the early 80s and having lived in hotel accommodation with other chambermaids, waitresses, housekeepers, I took the plunge to get a job outside and had one week to run around London agencies and a Paddington Hotel my mate told me about (I was told no, because I was English!). 

I was very young and very naive and thought it was my duty to find my own place.  I looked at the smallest garret in Sussex Gardens with a frightening landlady (I did have a romantic notion of living in a garret, boiling a kettle on a Baby Belling but my dream was quelled forthwith!).  Finally, I found a bedsit in Queen's Park and it was only because the Welsh neighbour thought I was a nurse, I actually had a job in an establishment that was related to Midwives, and she seemed disappointed but was won over by the bloke who came with me.  How did you get such a nice boy?  Little did she know he'd just dragged me round London screaming at me that I was wasting his time - even though he'd promised to look with me, 'yer shudda tekken that Sussex Gardens place yer stupid ....'. 

Anyway, I have him to thank for helping me to get a roof over my head, for a while.  However, Bedsitland is a lonely place.  I drank a bottle of cider a night to help me sleep, I partied Fridays, sometimes at the Replicant where Nick the fishnetted DJ spun Psychadelic Furs, Siouxsie and the Sex Pistols, I would fall asleep and then come back to life about 3am and dance again.  As it closed at 6am I got the first tube home and was wakened more than once by tube staff and slept the rest off in bed until Saturday night when I'd do some other kind of drink induced dancing and laughing.

Sunday nights were spent in the laundrette with my Walkman radio, ready for work again Monday morning.  I look back half sad but half glad, I was not alone, as Marc Almond sang melodically

I think it's time to cook a meal
To fill the emptiness I feel
Spent my money going out
I've nothing I'm left without

and The Members cried anarchically, Solitary Confinement, you're so lonely!

Being stubborn, there was no way I'd admit how miserable I was, nice to let it out now!  This is a poem inspired by that time.

Living in a Bedsit

When the tele conked out
A 40 quid white plastic special
From a conman down Oxford Street
No picture in the end
Just sound
Lucky that me and Marie, we
Put the cash together
For a tiny Argos record player
Marie f’d off to Oz
So it was company for me
Spinning Mad World
Afore I went to the West End

There I am
The little mother
Cooking a Sunday dinner
‘cause mam’s in bed again, badly
My older sister would have opened a tinned steak and kidney pie and marrowfat peas
But I go all the way
I roast a joint and cut up taties
Now she’s the one baking and appearing so so
Married and the little wife

And I’m the one living on toast in a London bedsit



Posted by Wendy Young, 22 April 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

Kate're so so-o-o-o-old out!! Roll up folks - Kate's now selling from £799!!!

Many true fans are in tears because all the tickets for Kate Bush were bought up in 15 minutes of going on sale.  By 10am seats were being offered on Seatwave etc from £799.  I wonder if Kate would approve? 

I doubt it but there's no control.  Gone are the days of ticket touts outside venues, yes you get some, but it's far easier for some greedy sod to sit and press a button and make loads of money out of something so rare. 

Some of us truly want to see Kate Bush live but it will be the well off who will get to see her.  A friend said 'ebay's got a lot to answer for'...


Kate Bush wrote
The soundtrack to my life
From Wuthering Yorkshire
Was so co-o-o-o-old
I was the child of the man in his eyes
Army dreaming got my brother
I've worn the Red Shoes
I've run up that hill
I've rolled right down again
I've been in the trees
Seen it coming
I've still been caught
Running in the night
Afraid, always afraid
Of what might be
Of what could be
And now Wow Wow Wow Wow
Now unbelievable
I can't see you
It's too-oo-oo pricey!




Posted by Wendy Young, 28 March 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

Miners Strike 30th Anniversary

The 30th Anniversary of the Miners Strike programme on ITV last night.  A Tory government full of privileged TWATS like Heseltine 'did what had to be done' while ex-miners told us what decimation has taken place and communities have never recovered.  

Well, you can't have the proles banding together, camaraderie and rights for the working man can you!  I had to force myself to watch as I knew it would be hard going. Seeing a man from the village where I grew up who was battered at Orgreave left with brain damage, the truncheon actually broke as the policeman battered him, was harrowing as he cried about what future there 'isn't' for kids. 

The miners were helped by food parcels from various unions abroad e.g. Russian, French and Belgian - I remember my mother being thrilled when my brother brought home a cafetiere with ground coffee though she never learnt how it should be used properly! A great scene in Goldthorpe with the burning of the effigy of Thatcher. 

After years of health and safety regulations being implemented and a united workforce built up with a strong union, it's now 'dog eat dog', selfishness and open cast mining in far flung places providing coal. The miners were fighting for theirs jobs. They were backed against a wall and yes, nasty things happened but it was unforgiveable what Thatcher and her cronies did. To brand the miners as the 'enemy within' was plain evil.  Well, we have an evil world now where money is God. After years of fighting for rights and equality we are plain lost in the privatisation racket.

Maybe Hesletine would like to see out his lasts days in one of these communites as a rehearsal for the hell he and his cronies are damned to!  

Here is a scribble from a London garret before I knew I could express myself through poetry as a tribute and have added some present day views.

The Decimation

at first they died for their country
in seconds they died for love
third they heard about infidelity
that calls them them the 'enemy within'
now the government's killing them more
they'll not be content
'til we can pay the rent
and we're grovelling on the floor'
heartless bastards in Westminster
cut child benefits so they relied
on handouts from foreign comrades
and soup kitchens in village halls
and the parties in Miners Welfare clubs
now 30 years on with mining communities have gone
livelihoods destroyed
familiar landscapes decimated
infiltrated by drugs
and cheap development housing
and a supermarket sweep o'er where the pit shaft was
well done Thatcher - your 'Methodist' principles 
and your puppeteers certainly did you proud.


Posted by Wendy Young, 13 March 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

Suicide of female soldier brought back sad, bad memories goes on and on

I saw the news about beautiful Anne-Marie Ellement who was a Royal Military Police officer who hung herself after the Army made the decision not to charge soldiers she had accused of raping her. 

It seems the organisation she worked for closed ranks and turned against her, even fellow female officers called her names and made her life a misery.  (Oh these people who never leave the school playground). 

As a final slap in the face was that one of the males who raped her was posted to where Anne-Marie was stationed.

Will people never learn about abusing fellow men and women?  It brought back bad memories for me and my own traumatic life and especially the story of a girl I knew at school. 

She was a bit younger than me and we hung around in the same gang (bus shelters, smoking, wasting time but it was better than being at home).  We were similiar in that we were the quieter, shyer and more likely to be picked on girls.  However, I found some strength and got away but on one visit a number of years back I heard that she was dead.

She was dragged into a house and raped by two blokes.  It went to court but they got off.  They laughed in her face.  She got depressed and took a bottle of some kind of painkiller.  She threw up, feeling lousy but because she'd thrown up she was told to sleep it off.  She never woke up!  I hope there's a place where the wronged meet again.

The following is a little poem in rememberance of her and the verse in italics is Oliver Goldsmith's 'When


When lovely woman stoops to folly
And learns too late that men betray
What charm can soothe her melancholy
What art can wash her tears away?
I remember Sparky
Quiet with short hair
And big eyes
A bit crossed
Nice lass
She came from the next mining village
We used hang around bus shelter
Made of concrete it was like a den
We wasted homework time
We could have been bettering our lives
But the bus shelter was better than home
We had our demons
Worse in the gang
As soon as I could, I ran
Left North for South
But still had problems here
But not as bad
As the bus shelter years
The only art her guilt to cover
And hide her shame from every eye
And give repentance to her lover
And wring his bossom is…to die.

Posted by Wendy Young, 7 March 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016


A lot o’ folk say ‘ah wa’ 1st lass in ar fam’ly to guh t’university’….well, Ah wa’ 1st lass in ar fam’ly to guh rahnd tarn… quite an experience! Very educational.

Me poor grandma told me stories abaht blackleadin’ t’aga an’ tekkin broth ‘n’ ash to her brothers in t’in glass factory; in fact, her brother made her a glass pig that I always said ‘it’s nowt like a pig!’… now I realise it wa’ a pig to her ‘n’ she kept it next to the brass Great War medal, the validation of giving his life.. (him bein’ one o’ t’Barnsley Pals)… ‘n’ growin’ up in mining village ah know all abaht t’shaft (that’s pit shaft for you Southerners not as in ‘being a shafter’ or Issac Hayes ‘Shaft’) an’ ah know abaht pit ponies bein’ sacrificed ‘n’ t’sadness o’ bairns dahn t’mines ‘n’ that Strike o’ 1984 but we won’t get maudlin’…

Anyway, as ah sed, ah wa’ fust lass in ar fam’ly to guh rahnd tarn.

We’d meet up in t’bus station, a few on us, then guh t’various pubs ‘n’ meet tutha lasses along t’way….we’d discuss last weeks’ fiascos o’gerrin hooume ‘n’ how smart we all looked, coz that wa’ important, dahn ‘ere, I live aht a charity shops but up theer!!  No chance!  Coul’n’t wear same thing two week running!

We’d also talk abaht t’blokes we wa’ seeing…..who we’d bump into on t’way rahnd to mebbe White Hart, No.7, Corner Pin… n’ God help ‘em if they wer’ talking to anutha lass!!  ‘N’ God help us if we wer’...

Well, we’d hev hafe a lager in ev’ry pub but walking up ‘n’ dahn stopped us getting’ too kalied!!

Well, we’d get last bus hooume ‘n’ ha’e a laff wi’ t’utha revellers... coz ther’ wer’ no taxis… ah’ve known me wait two hours… they wa’ sparse… dunt know if they wer’ allowed to hev moore than two taxis or Barnsley folk just aren’t enterprising!

Which reminds me, if on a Friday we went t’Drum, a disco in t’next village, we’d guh to Ronnie’s Cars for a taxi… but ther’ wer’ only him!  He’d be aht on a job ‘n’ his wife’d answer doour in her dressing gown ‘n’ curlers ‘n’ a load on us’d be sat waitin’ in their front room while she watched t’tele!!!  That woman deserves a medal!!

Ah’ve gorra poem though, inspired by me mate Anita who’s one o’ them hedonists pays for it t’next day… mindst you, dunt be thinkin’ she’s a Barnsley lass!  She’s nor even Yorkshire!!  She’s from Bolton in Lancs wi’ a bit o’ Romford!!

Well moore moorland myst’ries next time.

T’Anita in Perpetua

A’ ter cumin’ aht t’neet Anita?
A’ ter cumin’ aht t’neet or what?
A’ ter gunna dance t’neet Anita?
A’ ter gunna dance t’neet or what?
A’ ter gunna hev a drink t’neet Anita?
A’ ter gunna hev a drink t’neet or what?
A’ ter gunna hev sum drugs t’neet Anita?
A’ ter gunna hev sum drugs t’neet or what?
A’ ter gunna pull that Pete t’neet Anita?
A’ ter gunna pull that Pete t’neet or what?

Will thy hev an ‘ango’er tomorrah Anita?
Will thy hev an ‘ango’er tomorrah or what?
Will thah be belchin’ ‘n’ fartin’ coughin’ ‘n’ rotin’
Hockin’ ‘n’ hewin’ vomitin’ ‘n’ chokin’
Ere a neet o’ dancin’ ‘n’ drinkin’, smowkin’ ‘n’ totin’

Or will thah stay in t’neet Anita – or what?

Will thah cuddle up t’ Pete t’neet Anita?
Will thah cuddle that sweet Pete t’neet or what?
Or will it bih that Paul thah met last week Anita?
Will it bih that Paul or Pete t’neet or what?
Will thah mek thih mind up abaht t’neet Anita?
Coz ah dunt wanna be a wallflower ageean t’neet Anita!
‘n’ if thah guz off wi’ Pete t’neet Anita
I’ll fly off wi’ Paul t’neet Anita
Only let me know befoor t’neet Anita
Coz ah need t’know whither to dress up hot or what!

(perpetua font Anita in perpetual fun)

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 7 March 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

I'm sick of the British worker being berated as lazy!

It seems that that the latest whipping boy/ girl/ woman/ man is British Workers being called 'lazy'. Not turning up on time, not wanting to work was quoted by the latest pompous ass Jay Rayner on Question Time this week. How dare he - sat up there not lacking in food by the looks of him, with his radio programmes, tv appearances and now political commentator - insult us like this? 

The British working classes (and that insulting term 'underclass') are the scapegoats for the immigration row. Yes, there were at least three people on the panel who have benefitted by living in this country due to their ancestors' immigration and lucky them to be in the media and have comfortable lifestyles. 

All the British people, inclusive of all types of cultures (not sure if Rayner and his ilke include different skin colours in their scathing attacks, I'm guessing they're aiming at the last bastion of someone to be rude to, the white working class).

I know my relatives worked themselves into the ground, literally as some were miners and their working lives were decimated in the 84-85 strike and were treated like criminals for standing up to fight for their jobs and betrayed and duped at Orgeave where police beat and taunted them as if they were the scum of the earth.

I was fuming at the latest 'came 2nd in the Apprentice' idiot who ended up in Celebrity Big Brother who spouted on some stupid immigration row programme on Channel 5 that now hackneyed phrase 'British people are lazy'.  Well Miss 26 year old 'I make cup cakes' Zissman - grow up and learn a bit about British history and the people of this country who have worked and worked and still can't afford the trashy underwear you flaunt on some social media sites!

Welcome all to this great country but please stop these over exposed bloated egotists making such invidious comments because they have their fat asses sitting comfortably by way of privileged upbringings! I had to vent my spleen and here's a poem for all the strugglers, mugs and deserving.

(After Billy Childish exhibition of woodcuts and poetry in Harrow Road, W2. And dreaming I’m the girl with strange eyes on the northbound Bakerloo line)

I do a job I hate
When I should create
Because deep down inside
Like a love hate divide
There’s a chasm holding my fear
A working class adage
Toe the (bread) line
Follow the (bread) line
But don’t eat the bread
Save some for
A rainy day may come
And it has on the Harrow Road
Catching the 36 bus to
Make sure
There’s money enough
For when time gets tough
And they always will be
‘cause I do a job I hate
When I should create
And now I feel guilt
Reading self help books
No such word as should or but
Find other words like can or will
So I’ll say ‘I can’ ‘till
I’m blue in the face
While I compete in the rat race
And ‘I will’ ‘till the cows come home
And roam back into the field again – There Will Be Cud!
And I’ll still do a job I hate
It’s my fate and
In this world of go getting shafters
‘you mean you didn’t buy?’
I’m too late
Be young, gifted and affluent
But not if you went to the wrong school
In the wrong time
In the wrong place
Where they geared you up
To do a job you hate!

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 28 February 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016