Leisure by Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Happy memories of Mum

Mum picked out this poem to be read by yours truly at her funeral this week:

Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall

I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.

I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.

I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,

Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.

I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;

Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.


Our family has found many excuses to toast my mother’s memory recently. On the morning of her funeral, my son and I lifted one of her stylish tumblers with a tot of Highland Park whisky.

The warm glow had lifted my mum’s spirits many times during her battle with ill health. Scotch (the ordinary blended sort) was also her tipple of choice.

Sat around her dining table we clinked wine glasses and reminisced about happier times.


A huge outpouring of emotion

Watching the last 20 minutes of the Liverpool vs Barcelona football match was exhilarating. The seemingly impossible task of scoring 4 unanswered goals against one of the greatest teams in Europe became a slender chance when Liverpool went 3-0 up.


A neatly worked rebound off a Barcelona player in the right-hand corner gave them a last-ditch opportunity. When the Liverpool player spotted the Barca players napping in the goalmouth and a Liverpool striker unmarked, he struck the ball perfectly and the next second the ball was driven into the top left of the goal with skill.

Liverpool erupted into a frenzy of joy and relief. Needless to say, the Barcelona fans were despondent. How did they give away a 3-0 advantage from the first leg?

There is something massively uplifting about watching the underdogs that you support take on superhuman tasks, and succeed. The fans stay in the ground, the players salute their supporters and the managers try to say something meaningful when all they really want to do is hug their players.

Death doesn’t have to be so bad

Mum’s passing was made so much easier because of her positive attitude towards the inevitable. I was asleep in the private room at the precise moment she took her last breath, but my son woke me to tell me she had gone. What a brave lady, sadly missed by family and friends.

Sexual Orientation Awareness

Having been on a gender identity training session some time ago, I signed up for sexual orientation awareness training with the same degree of interest.

Statistics on self-harm, substance abuse and suicide among LGBT people are frightening. Homophobia hasn’t gone away and heterosexism assumes a superiority that heterosexuals have no right to.

The current press coverage of the ‘No Outsiders‘ controversy was discussed in the training session. Protecting children from knowledge conveyed in an age-appropriate way is no protection at all. It fosters old attitudes and misconceptions that fuel prejudice and hatred within society.