3 poems.

Some other examples of writing for school.



The legs aflame

Feet of ice

And stony indifference.

The eyes of the crowd

As we lumber and lurch

One uncertain step to another.

A desire understanding,

Not sympathy.

Lost in the desperate battle for movement.

The issues of right

And true respect.

The questions of why

And how

We find the nerve to rise

And conquer the beast.

The burning flame of hope

Is forever the reason

To fight each day

And shout our thunder.


Morning Break.

What makes a perfect time?

A quiet moment,

Sitting by the window

With tea on the table,

Watching the rain fall.

Nibbling the corners of a biscuit

Delicately removing the chocolate.

Then bravely holding the trimmed remains

Soaking in the sweet brown brew,

Before swiftly placing the soft mass

Into my waiting mouth.

But for now,

I wait.

I am not by the window

Where brother and sister sit

Happily disintegrating their’s

Into a chocolate mess.

I wait for Father

To lift the cup

Slowly to my lips.

With every tilt,

A sigh of disappointment

Disguised with a look elsewhere.

A frown,

Pained by guilt,

As each piece of biscuit is broken up

And fed between my dry lips.

In a fit of hope

I reach out.

The cup falls.

Father gives his smile

And wipes the little brown pond,

Spreading before me.

I’ve seen him,

Shaking his head

As I try to play

With stunted arms

And withered fingers

When will he see

Beyond this sentence of anguish?

I can forgive him

For my shackles of impairment

I can forgive him

For the times when I sit

And wait

What cannot be forgiven

Is the stigma of difference.

For I am just like the others

I am both strong and weak

When will he see?


I made a snowbird.

A blustery day

Shook the grey street.

Dancing litter,

Faces pointed into the wind

Fighting the dominant breezes.

I folded the paper,

A sharp crease

Pressed out with care,

Transforms a plain white sheet.

Up she went.

Into the twisting air,

Diving, soaring,

Skirting the roofs and eaves,

Reaching the chimney pots.

Pecked by pigeons.

Jealous of her shining white coat.

She came back to me,

Re-pressing her dynamic shapes

I sent her up again.

Willing, eager,

She looked down,

My faithful flyer.

“Look at my snowbird!”

Passing on the pavement

She threw a casual glance,

And down she came.

Disheveled ruffled paper

No longer my snowbird.

Sitting crumpled on the floor.





On an overgrown path.

I used this as a resource for year six writing. The children were quite keen to read the rest of it. Errrrrrr!

Somewhere on the east side of the island was a sandstone outcrop. A little below the outcrop lay a small wood. Alongside the edge of this dark windswept wood, ran a narrow, overgrown stony path. The dusty gravel led to “Smuggler’s Dip”, so named because it was out of sight from the headland above, and impossible to detect from the sea. Beside a small waterhole leading down to the bottom of the red cliffs, stood a small whitewashed hut. While it’s tin roof would rattle and drum in the breeze the raw burnt grass around the door would sway like a troupe of amateur dancers. This was “Seatops”. Seatops was a lonely desolate place. There was no running water, electricity or anything else. It was here that it had happened.

Diet part three.

What should come in the final part? (Final part? You’ve only just started.)

Remember as Churchill once said:

This is not the end nor is it the beginning of the end; it is the end of the beginning.”

What should come at the end of the introduction?

This is an area where I feel less confident. I want to talk about foods but know everyone is different in so many ways. All I can do therefore, is give examples of what’s worked for me and perhaps open up some new areas for consideration.

Firstly I can definitely say that I have reduced my intake of meat. Secondly, processed food has also been reduced; apart from cheese. I will never give up cheese. As a compromise, cheese is now an ingredient as opposed to the main part of a sandwich or salad.

Meat has been substituted by pulses. The main ones are green lentils, red lentils, chick peas and beans. (I like pinto beans.) The sort of dishes we have cooked have been bean chillies, bolognese with green and red lentils (with cheese on them) and various pulse based bakes. This actually, with the help of weighing scales gives us a better level of calorie control-not so much control but awareness.

This has allowed us to plan evening meals with a good balance of foods.

What about the hours of daylight?

These can be killer times. You may be under constant attack from the enemy buttons.

What shall you have for breakfast or luch? How can you keep yourself going all day?

This is where people are so different. I can here some say:

I feel ill if I don’t eat.” or “I’ll go all floppy” or (like my daughter, “I will personally rip your head off if you cross me whilst I’m hungry.”

This is where it could be a good idea to look at the calorie checker. Perhaps you might feel better if you write your own menu, complete with calorie count. (Sounds a bit anal but it does work for some people.)

I will sign off with three ideas which I have come to love over the past few years. These are creations of my wife who is a creative person in every aspect of life. She’s rather good at art as well.


Trim whole carrots and boil for about five minutes or until you can feel some give on the edge when pronged with a knife.

Drain them then slice long ways. The can be about 5-10mm thick. Sprinkle liberally with coriander leaves, then a little bit of salt, pepper and olive oil. They’re such a great accompaniment for anything.

Courgettes and onions:

Onions can be gently fried in a tiny bit of oil. Then you can cut the courgettes any way you like and add them to the pan. Lovely warm with any form of citrus juice or oil etc.


As a base for a home made coleslaw grate or make lomger strips of raw beetroot with thinly sliced red or spring onions. You can add carrots or even fennel. If you dress them with a touch of olive oil and mayonnaise (or plain yoghurt) they can make a really toothsome salad.

I’m not going to finish with a list of foods to avoid. That’s up to the individual. By aiming (sometimes failing) at a certain number of calories a day and trying to keep to it, I have lost weight steadily. It is a year long thing to start with. I’ll make my own judgements next July.

Thanks for reading.


Voting for cuts.

Please take note of this extract from an article in The Independent:
A coalition of 60 national disability charities have condemned the government’s cuts to benefits as a “step backwards” for disabled people and their families. 
The Disability Benefits Consortium said the cuts, which will see people lose up to £1,500 a year, will leave disabled people feeling betrayed by the government and will have a damaging effect on their health, finances and ability to find work.”
Do you not get the idea that the cuts YOU voted for might be damaging. Do you, along with the tory public school toffs think that disability is something to be punished? Do you have an ounce of humanity in you?
I have worked for over thirty years. For at least twenty of those I have battled with the disability which finally forced me into early retirement. Am I not entitled to the lifestyle I worked so hard to get? 
I am so disillusioned by your actions. I am a well informed intelligent graduate with a reflective balanced view yet I cannot find any justification for a rich country such as ours to be hunting down its most vulnerable citizens. 
Don’t go down the austerity, all in it together tighten our belts road, the government could recoup so much more if they “hunted down” the corporate tax dodgers and NO, you’re still not doing enough to convince me you’re committed to that line of policy.
Stephen McChrystal.

Diet part two.

Battle gear.

I could give you a comprehensive list of essential kitchen equipment to arm you ready for the fight. But I’m not a middle class Lakeland loving money’s no object jumped up yummy slummy.

If you are disabled and more specifically, if you have MS, the chances are money is not free-flowing and is something that needs to be considered with care. I am also assuming that like me, your potential in the kitchen is limited. You may well be able to recruit a fellow-in-arms such as a spouse or child; which is marvellous. But if you are on your own, it is more difficult.

So I’m now going to close my eyes and offer a basic list of kitchen essentials. Essentials in the sense of what has helped me do battle:



An adapted cutting board.

Sharp knife.

Poaching pod.

Trolley walker.

If you have a breadmaker that would be great but it can be by-passed if you have time.

Scales would be useful for measuring out things.

The adapted cutting board would be something that can hold a vegetable in place while you slice it.

Sharp knife-I’ve cut myself more often on blunt ones which can slip.

Poaching pod-sorry it’s one thing to order from Lakeland.

Trolley walker for transporting things about.

If you want to buy any of the above, try this site first:


For example: http://www.preloved.co.uk/adverts/show/114529129/home-help-trolley-walker.html?link=%2Fadverts%2Flist%3Fkeyword%3Dtrolley%2Btray

I must say that one other thing is an electric knife for getting into squash, pumpkin or bigger vegetables.

Other things might crop up as I start going through different foods or food groups. Lastly, as part of this introduction; it’s very handy to count calories. I use this:


The great calorie debate.

How many calories should you aim for?

As far as food goes, I have a rough idea of 1000 a day. A lot of recommendations go for between 1400-1600 (for a male). So I give myself 1000 because I know there are some less obvious ones around. I do like a glass or two of wine but watch out for the social button. Just because your fit and healthy mate is necking it doesn’t make it all right for you. Unless you really want to, but it can set you back a bit.

Advice button.

Everyone may have their own ideas and you have yours. Even if you don’t ask for it, advice will come in spades. It’s your diet-your war. It’s just something else to handle.

Now. Are you going to write a list of foods you want to keep and foods you want to forfeit (albeit temporarily)? Are you going to alternate foods so you don’t miss out on favourites?

Dieting: A realistic battle plan.


How can you begin to formulate a diet? It’s a war out there. You’re constantly fighting your body buttons. These buttons can be overwhelming:




Needs (Emotional and physical. Real and presumed.)




What can you offer in reply? A seemingly brutal regime of bodily punishment that only bears fruit in minute stages over a long period of time?

The thing is, the buttons are crafty. They get together to plot against you and Team Diet. I say team but it’s really only you.

Throughout the course of this I will refer to the buttons and the dangers they may present. In fact I may well add to the list. So the mountain grows. How do you start?

Does a shock work?

Going past a mirror or going on the scales in the presence of others. A diagnosis and prognosis from a doctor. A picture. Not fitting in to something you bought last year.

Shocks are a good kick start for the mind. But ss soon as you are shocked some of the buttons will come into play:

Tradition:  It’s expected at my age.

Needs: But I’m under a bit of stress at the moment.

I need the energy to get through the day.

Boredom: It’s going to take me ages.

Conformity: Everyone else is having sandwiches or                 take aways and all I have is some rabbit food and an                 apple.

Social: In your house there may be others with no need or desire to diet. Even with the best of intentions they may well put you under pressure to eat similarly to them. They will have their own ideas.

Other buttons could be pressed. Watch out for them. This brings us to hurdle number one. Find your own way of clearing your mind. Personally, I write them down as a reminder. Next to each one (any of the above), I’ll write down a strategy for doing battle with them. This would include a target weight with a time-related scale.

Formulate your initial strategy and share it with those around you. Reveal the first step of your target. For example, half a stone after two months.

Then let battle commence.