Checking my blog the stats tell me the script for Cinderella, a pantomime in five minutes, gets the most hits on a daily basis worldwide! My old aunty’s chestnut soup recipe (1920) usually comes a close second.
Visits to local landmarks are popular as are posts with pictures linked to my poems.
Our trip Venice was well read and we may go again next year.
People all over the world were also drawn to bluebells at Emmetts.
Birmingham Uni. where my youngest grandson studies was good. We went to celebrate his 21st.
And visiting Ireland for a writing course with Niall Williams, a real adventure and earned some traffic. I went with my friend Maggie who sustained an injury just before we left so it was all a bit traumatic. But we got to Kilmahil at the last minute and I managed to write a poem on the plane on the way home.
Tending my garden and allotment give me loads to blog about. Quite honestly I am happy if it cheers one or two people along, but in recent months plenty of people tune in which makes it blogging even more worth while.
On the poetry front I never stop writing but I am not an academic poet and in some respects it would seem poetry is becoming an industry!
But I was poet in residence courtesy of the Poetry School (Mixed Borders) and London Open Squares Weekend for the third year running. This time in Earls Court Square and I was filmed on the spur of the moment for German TV.
Sadly the nearby Grenfell tower had burned down the previous weekend which made it a more sombre occasion but many people seemed to carry on regardless.
An unexpected pleasure occurred when I was invited to the newly organised Gardening Museum near Lambeth Palace by a lady I met on the bus on the way to the Poetry School. A real treat.
I’ve just been approached by an organisation that wants one of my poems for children for educational purposes. Fingers crossed!
I pleased too that after seven years my Pop and write poetry sessions for beginners in a local cafe are still working well.
In retirement I am no longer in the market for expensive courses or festivals. But one can learn an awful lot by reading and watching/listening to poets on youtube.
John McCullough has however been my main inspiration and sometimes mentor on and off for over ten years, so he has to have a mention in an end of year resume!
Happy New Year to all those lovely people that take time out to view this blog!
On the eve of All Hallows on Kilmahil Hill
The angel with white wings calls us in.
We enter humbly by the back way,
walk through sturdy brick monuments
with unreadable names,
the recent in black slate with gold lettering.
Bright posies in the light of death.
We wander in silence past the fading momentos
where a fallen angel lies on a bed of pebbles
knocked over by the Irish wind.
We set it to rights, continue
in the shadow of the surviving wall
of a once thriving village church.
We see the ghosts of old traditions,
the coffin rocking gently on the cart,
the mourners walking slowly in a long line behind.
Rows on rows of gravestones like an army
of forgotton souls, turn right and here is the
all-forgiving figure of the sacred heart of Jesus
He guides us past the elaborate sculptures,
The pale pastel colours softening the way
of the Stations of the Cross.
Oh, unbeliever that I am, are you not moved?
The winged healer at the Holy Well,
the blue and white Archangel Michael.
The story of the travelling pony,
miracles and revelations, a bed of roses
with just one tiny audacious deep pink
thistle hiding in the neatly cut grass.