Summer’s Last Hurrah

Summer’s last hurrah.

Warm sunshine soaked up

by the leaves not yet tinged brown.

Metallic green and blue flies
gather on red brick in their end of days.

The days are now shorter,

not to be squandered by opportunists.

Birds pause to glance to the south.





Great Wife Shark

I went into the kitchen to get my two mini naan breads to eat with my curry, and this is what I found.


My wife said “I just had a little bit.”
It looks like a surf board after a great white attack.

“This was no boat accident. It was a wife. With a mouth about this big.”

Darling 🙂

On Top Of Ben Nevis

On Top Of Ben Nevis

Vacuous specks in cataract eyes.

Faceless wraiths haunt
low, lunar rocks,
blurring lines, still boundaries,

hungry edges
suddenly thwarted by fractious light
perforating the still sleeve.

These weary phantoms risk all
in a deadly swoon,
cold gnawing
at callused fingers,
laboured breath squeezing out,
in amorphous clouds,
the vaporous cry of the victor.


Update On Last Night’s Post

I got up this morning with last night’s terrible events still fresh in my mind. Up to now, sixty dogs are reported to have died, and none of the two hundred that were inside the building were unharmed. All were suffering from smoke inhalation.
It seems that the part of the building that was targeted was where the kennels was housed. The roof had collapsed.



There were unprecedented scenes as hundreds of people arrived while the fire was still being fought, bringing things like blankets and food, baskets and leads.
When the fire started two men scaled a fence and kicked a door in to gain access. Having to abandon some of the dogs to their fate where the fire was at its most intense, they kicked open the cage doors of other dogs, led them outside on leads where they tied them to a fence and then went back to free more.

Devastated staff and fire crew battled to rescue more of the terrified animals.


Police have been inundated with calls to foster the surviving dogs, and donations have already topped the £100,000 mark.

The community response has been fantastic-this is what we must focus on, not the growing anger and demands being made against the fourteen year old that the police have arrested for starting the fire. Although I understand all of the emotion-my newsfeed last night was full of people genuinely distressed-I think we must leave the authorities to do their job, and do what we can to help with the dogs and the charity that housed them.

Some Terrible, Local News

Some terrible news here in Manchester tonight. It seems that Manchester Dog’s Home is on fire, and a youth has been arrested on suspicion of arson. There are reports of dogs yelping inside as the blaze takes hold.

Two men managed to climb a fence and kick a door in to gain access to part of the building, getting twenty dogs out and going back for more. The latest estimate is that over sixty dogs are dead with 150 rescued.
My Facebook newsfeed is full of people genuinely distressed, and also directing anger towards whoever is (allegedly) responsible.
But that is for later. Local residents are mobilising to provide blankets, food etc, and police say they have been inundated with offers to house surviving dogs. Local supermarkets are already arranging collection points for donations of money and food, with online facilities being set up too.

It is heartening to see the community come together like this, but tonight at this moment in time, all I can think of is the sound of those poor, trapped dogs yelping. 😦

Getting Blood From A Schoolboy Stone

Well we’ve finally had a breakthrough in getting some information out of my son since he’s started school. He’s a lot more taciturn than his three sisters, and bats off questions set by his anxious parents with shrugs and mumbles and general indifferent evasiveness.

How was your first day then?” 


“Did you enjoy it?”

A nod.

“Did you make any friends?”

A nod.

“What are their names?”

“You don’t know them.”

Okay then. Subject shift. “What did you have for dinner?”


“Wow cake!” Overplaying it a little I know. “And what did you have before it?”


“No, before your dessert. The hot meal?”

A lot sharper: “Cake!!”

Deciding to come at him from a different angle: “What did you have for your morning snack?”

(Much louder) “CAKE!!!!!”

I must assure you all that his school really does have a healthy outlook when it comes to eating and food, so we must take his answers with a pinch of cake. I mean salt.

During yesterday’s round of questions he finally began to open up. I went through the accustomed routine, not really expecting to get anywhere. “So what did you have for dinner today?”

“I had chicken….”

I jumped on this to encourage further disclosure.  “Chicken! Chicken is lovely!” Im vegetarian-this was purely tactical.

He went on. “Yeah chicken…and egg….”

Chicken and egg?  “Nice.”

“…and mushrooms….”

“My favourite.”

“…and a fish head.”