Rolling Down to Rio

Rudyard Kipling wrote

“I’ve never sailed the Amazon,
I’ve never reached Brazil;
But the Don and Magdalena,
They can go there when they will!

Yes, weekly from Southampton,
Great steamers, white and gold,
Go rolling down to Rio (Roll down—roll down to Rio!)th-16 And I’d like to roll to Rio.
Some day before I’m old!”

The image of a small boy contemplating things he would like to do is somehow poignant. It makes me think of all the  things I’d like to do  ”And I s’pose I never will” .

Here is my version:

I’ve never sailed the Amazon,
I’ve never reached Brazil;
But football fans from England
Will go there, yes, they will!

No longer from Southampton,
Great steamers, white and gold,
Go rolling down to Rio
(Roll down—roll down to Rio!)
And I’d love to roll to Rio
Some day – I’m not too old!

I’d like to go to Rio
If I could go by sea
A cramped and noisy jumbo jet
Does not appeal to
I want to roll to Rio
On a liner sleek and clean
With waves to watch and days to pass
Alas – it’s but a dream.                                                                 

I’ve never seen a Jaguar,
Except the motor car
And as for armadillos –
I don’t know what they are.

But still I think of Rio
As a place I’d like to go
Roll down, roll down to RioI’d love to roll to Rio
If I could roll real slow.




If Things Had Been Different…

th-14 If things had been different..

If I hadn’t missed the bus that day
And hurried worrying on my way
Late again, I’d be in trouble
Faster faster, at the double.

Then I bumped into you.

I stopped, you stopped.
I said “Sorry,”

You said something like “Don’t worry”.
 “But I’ll soon be late,” I said,
 Thoughts of dismissal in my head.

Then you reached out to me

“Get in, ‘ you said, “I’ll take you there
You never thought of asking where
I was bound for, was it far.
Thoughtless, I leapt into your car.

And that is how it started.

We met. We talked, our friendship grew
We laughed a lot and quarrelled too.
No longer “me” and “you” – it’s “us”
And all because I missed my bus!

NOTE: This is a piece of fiction and should not be read as an encouragement to young women to leap into cars with men they don’t know!

“Seeking the Bubble Reputation Even in the Cannon’s Mouth”

Recognise the title?

Shakespeare’s description of the soldier in the seven ages of man. There now, that’s probably earned my a totally unjustified reputation as a expert on The Bard and all his works. You might even want me on your team for the next pub quiz!

Only joking. But reputation is a funny thing. It all depends on your standards of comparison. To many of my friends and acquaintances in the village where I live I am considered as a keen cyclist. But most of them don’t ride a bike at all.  Some of my friends in the local cycling club hardly count me as a “proper” cyclist at all. I don’t go for 25-mile training rides just for the hell of it. They do. I also ride a trike, and not only a trike but a recumbent trike – how weird can you get?

People I meet outside the supermarket – the bike park outside our local supermarket is a great place for striking up conversatioms about cycling – often say “You must be fit.” But it depends on your standard of comparison. Compared to Bradley Wiggins or Victoria Pendleton I am not fit; even compared to some of my cycling friends of a similar age I am not a strong rider. But I don’t care. I ride to get where I want to go at the pace I want to go. I enjoy riding and use my trike to get around.

Many people regard a bike as either a toy – something you get out on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon  to go for a quick five mile ride to a nearby picnic site. To others it is a piece of sports equipment, taken out to do long training runs and carefully maintained and cleaned, My trike is neither of these: it is a “means of transportation” as they used to say many years ago on the radio programme Twenty Questions. I use my trike to get from A to B. Keeping fit, saving money by not driving a car, being ecologically friendly and not polluting the atmosphere – are all only side effects, though admirable ones.





What is it about the word “AWESOME” that I find so irritating?
It’s now widely used as a general term of approbation much as “super” was used back in the 1950’s – anyone out there remember the 50’s? I thought not.

What annoys me is that AWESOME has a real usage – at least for me – and it doesn’t mean something is OK or quite acceptable. A volcano or a tsunami, the Taj Mahal by moonlight, any of the seven wonders of the world might legitimately be described as awesome; a home-made cake or a post on my blog can not by any stretch of the imagination be so termed.

So when I see that someone thinks my witterings on a blog are “awesome”, I think the person who says this is either a) a trying to flatter me b) trying to sell me something or c) seriously deficient in their use and knowledge of the English Language.

I realise that the DailyPost keeps using the term to describe blogposts. Is this just to encourage novice bloggers? It is like a teacher telling a pupil his work is “excellent” when it is really rather mediocre but she wants to boost his confidence and encourage him to improve.

(By the way my use of “she” for the teacher and “he” for the pupil is deliberate. I know about inclusive language use and s/he but I still prefer to use what is known as the “generic he” to include she. Anyway a small child learning to write and needing encouragement is more likely to be a boy and a person teaching such a pupil is more likely to be a woman than a man.)

If I had access to the necessary pictures and knew how to insert them I’d make this post much better by showing something really awesome – like the tidal waves battering the coast of Britain at the moment.


Now this is what I mean by AWESOME

Waves at Newtownards

New Year – New Blog

I am a poet.
I write, therefore I am.
As a poet I am also, by definition mad. It was the Bard himself who talked about “The lunatic, the lover and the poet” being all very alike, and surely he should know.

I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read and wasn’t interested in the written word. I was making up stories well before I could write properly and persuaded my long-suffering aunt to act as amanuensis and transcribe my ramblings onto paper.

Some of my poems have won prizes, been published in anthologies – some were even paid for! I’ve a collection of poems called “A Poet Needs a Bicycle” by QQ Press ISBN 1-903203-872 first published 2010.

I also write plays and have had several produced. In 2010 I won a competition for my play Estella at the Grand Theatre Blackpool.

I’m currently trying to write radio plays and beginning to appreciate the difference between these and plays for the stage – e.g. on radio if a character does not speak or isn’t addressed by the other actors the listeners have no way of knowing he is present.

I do various other sorts of writing, anything from short stories, letters to the papers, comments on several web forums – or should that be fora? and general non-fiction articles including reports for my local WI.

My main interests might be said to be the 3 R’s
RIDING – a bike or recently a recumbent trike. I can be seriously boring on the subject of bikes.

I suppose my main reason for embarking on a blog is to express myself and practise my writing skills. I would appreciate comments on not just what I say, but how I say it. I am not afraid of criticism – note I don’t say “constructive criticism” – I can take “that’s rubbish” or “that’s muddled” as long as you tell me why it’s rubbish or muddled.

Possible readers? I really don’t know. Like so many writers, I find readers see things in my work that I never intended and praise parts that I don’t think very good and pass over what I consider are the best bits.

I’m deliberately not including heaps of personal details about where I went to school and what jobs I’ve had. Nor do I want to go on at length about my family. I want my blog persona to be entirely separate from my everyday personality. How about a new name? Yes, I think I’ll be Esmeralda or Esme for blogging purposes.

I haven’t any unique selling point to attract readers. All I can say is that my posts will, I hope be varied, some prose, some rants, some poetry and any other bits and pieces that might be interesting. The main sin, as I see it, in any writing is to bore. Perhaps I am being boring right now – if so I should STOP.