The last chapter of my memoire is now published!
Thank you to all those who have read and supported this epic journey.
Sorry readers that it’s late but better that than never?
Click below to continue this memoire of a boy’s growing up and the consequences of some of those life choices we are have to make at one time or another.
Click the link above to read this, the story of parts of my life in all their sometimes grim and yet always fascinating glory!
You can start from the very beginning from this link too, the whole thing makes more sense if you do really but, enjoy any part of it anyway!
Chapter Six – new friends and French fancies is now available to read, click the link to find it and the other previous chapters in this telling story of rather interesting parts my life.
The next weekly chapter of my memoire is now available, ‘Chapter Five – home but not alone‘. I hope you enjoy it and, if you are new to the work, the previous chapters too.
Following on from the posting of my Prose Poem – ‘Life ~ Long’ – I have started the serialisation of my book that inspired this piece.
It is posted on its own blog pages and will be updated weekly with the next chapter. It’s not a piece of ‘light’ reading and contains some adult themes so be warned if you are of a sensitive nature, the introduction might explain this but, it is a piece that tells an interesting story of parts of my life, and, as is frequently said, ‘truth is often stranger than fiction’.
If you enjoy the first chapter, or at least find it interesting, you can ‘Follow’ the blog or get updates via email when each new instalment is available, just click the appropriate button on the right of the blogs screens.
This is a piece written from just one of many experiences visiting the residential home where my elderly mum is currently cared for, fortunately without the affliction of dementia.
The coded door clicked open and the now familiar floral aroma swept out to greet me. Inside there were the usual background sounds, quiet unrecognisable voices, doors opening and closing and the occasional chuckle of soft laughter; but all very discreet.
The large communal area was empty except for its high-backed comfortable chairs set in a semi-circle around the electric fake fire on the wall. A short stout lady in smart pale blue tunic distracted me usual path past them toward the wings.
“The lunches are a little late today, can you wait ‘till their done?”
“Hi Jackie, no problem, how are you today? I’ll just sit here for a bit shall I?”
“Make a coffee if you want, you know where the stuff is”
The kettle was hot and the coffee welcome, the chair even more so after the long twice weekly cycle ride. There was music playing quietly from somewhere but it was just to take away the relative silence. Despite the sun outside being the brightest it had been for weeks, the flicker of artificial flames on the curved black glass of the fire captivated my gaze hypnotically.
There was a shuffling sound.
“Can you let me outside please, I have to go home now.”
The voice was familiar although I didn’t really know anything about the person that stood leaning on her walking frame next to me.
“Hello, I’m sorry I can’t open the door, it’s not safe to go outside I don’t think.”
“But I’ve had my dinner and now I need to go and get ready for the children to come home from school!” the wobble in her voice gave away the degree of concern that she obviously felt.
“I think they’ll be able to manage, don’t you?” I tried to sound sympathetic but firm.
“But they can’t get in, the house is locked up when I come for my dinner, I said I didn’t want to come today but they insisted, and it was sponge pudding, my favourite.”
A half-smile lit in her eyes.
“Why don’t you pop back and see if there’s some seconds, I bet there’s lots.”
The suggestion was made with good intention but as much for myself as the frequent conversations like this were always difficult.
“Do you run this place? It’s like a prison, all the locked doors, not like my house, I leave my doors open, my husband was the postman, he used to pop in for a cup of tea every day you know,” the light in her stare brightened at the potential memory.
“That’s nice,” I had always found it helped to be pleasant but non-committal in these situations.
“He’s still at the front, getting shot at they tell me I haven’t seen him for so long, could you find out when he’s coming back?”
The question didn’t require an answer.
“Winnie, Winnie dear, shall we go back and finish your lunch?”
The soft lilting tone of the returning uniform which had appeared from somewhere unseen, was meant to calm and reassure, but also be firm.
“Hi Jackie we were just talking about lunch,” I smiled knowingly at the kind face as she raised her eyebrows as a silent comment.
“Don’t think I’m staying all day again, my husband, he’ll be home and the children, what about the children?”
“The children will be fine Winnie, don’t worry about them,”
“But Charlie will want his dinner on the table ready.”
“Charlie’s not here now is he?” Jackie had taken the confused Winnie by the arm and was gently guiding the walking frame towards one of the wide doors leading to the residents living quarters.
“Can I get the door for you?” having already stood up and stepped forward, my finger was outstretched for the keypad while I was trying to remember the code to unlock it.
“Are you coming back for tea young man? My son is looking for someone to play football with afterwards if your mum would let you?”
“He’s got things to do Winnie, let’s just sort you out and find that lunch shall we, you liked the salmon you said?”
There was a pause in the progress and Winnie struggled to lift her head to look in my general direction.
“Are you going to find those socks I lost, someone keep stealing them you know, I can’t find two the same anywhere.”
“OK Winnie,” I leant forward to appear sympathetic, “you go and finish your lunch and I’ll see what I can do.”
The carer mouthed a silent ‘thank you’ and gently urged the hunched figure forward once more. The door whooshed open from the correct code and then clicked closed again behind the two slowly shuffling figures.
The coffee had formed a bit of a skin but was still welcome. The noises around the building started to ramp up as lunch was finally finished in each of the wings and people appeared from doors and corridors for the day to move into its afternoon phase, mostly napping on full stomachs. Jackie re-appeared and we shared another knowing smile.
“You can go through now I would think.”
“Thanks Jackie, I’ll look for those socks on my way shall I?”
© David Rollason
This is a piece that I wrote some time ago now as an insight on depression and near loss
From a Darkness that crowds out all reasonable sight,
you crave just the smallest chink of some life-giving light,
if not to complete you or bolster your sagging resolve,
at least it might warm you and make you involve
yourself into something constructive, definitely far more
than hiding all those festering fears behind your minds triple locked door.
From a Darkness that’s oppressive, empty, so cold and stark,
there has to be a way of re-modelling, your once envied mark,
even with all the troubles past, be they by honest curtailment,
who can live without some degree of comfort and mild entertainment
which once lifted your heart, lifted your mind, lifted your body your soul
and worked out a way of reaching, some more meaningful goal.
From a Darkness where light’s been almost snuffed out,
locked away not by choice, its loss only fuels your nagging doubt,
that were you ever someone who might have had any worth,
any kindness, if ever you did, distinctly now, there’s a deepening dearth.
But if you cut out some of your ‘things’, you could move past all that now,
but it’s still down to a strict society to dictates all your why, when and how.
From a Darkness where light struggles so hard to escape,
no matter how much you play it down, stand it up, or ape
in ways that seem so false, many crude, rude, insincere,
fed only by bravado and bluster but formulated from a very real fear
of the stronger side of your menacing, mangled, inverted mind,
that snuffs out what’s left of the goodness, leaving you blooded and blind.
From a Darkness, light somehow has to come through
to give you a life back with some validation, let you start again, anew,
plumb some depths, be more honest, if only it were for real,
some sort of life might be found, one that might even have an appeal,
or is the old one the better one, personable, at least more congenial
do you go with the safe? the straight? or the lifeless and the menial?
From a Darkness, Light, oh yes they tell you it’s all out there,
but it’ll get no closer if you just sit there, blank faced and stare,
but every effort and really trying finds you empty still firmly chained,
‘cus at the back of mind your inner truth is still intact, if firmly reined
to that cruel course you’ve long chosen, embedded now oh so deep,
it’s the way that you are, every minute, even through sleep.
From a Darkness, points of light still sharp if faint ever so tantalising,
but then they always were, no, your lost, to simple romanticising
of what others all managed, albeit with some pain, only to find,
that nothing matters, it comes as no blow but never good, never kind.
You make it seem that you’re still happy, but knowing that you’ve lost,
doomed to live your own life, cold, alone, and very singularly cursed.
From a Darkness, you sit there in the gloom,
it’s safer for all if you stay away, except for a few to whom,
you make out your coping just fine and in a perverse way you still are,
anyway who really needs things material, you’ve managed thus far.
But there In your darkness you steer away from the light,
at least sane society is saved from your malignancy and blight.
But the darkness still threatens, the lights, they seem to be gone
what’s left for you now, perhaps just the one final act and there, it’s done.
It has been raining all day and curiously a fifty year old memory floats into my mind.
‘It’s Raining, It’s Pouring’,
Oh how this rain and the rhyme are so boring,
‘Not made of sugar,’ my gran used to shout,
‘Go put on a jerkin and get yourself out
in the fresh air all the good air…’
Who were you to worry with nay a care.
She was right of course….
and a wry smile you just manage to force.
Then in the growing puddles you splash
Before back to the warm kitchen you dash
Only to be told, ‘Hold on there sunny’,
and you grin although it’s not really funny
‘Wasn’t my idea was it,’ you manage to moan
as the wetness drips large on freshly cleaned stone
‘I wanted to stay in but someone said….’
But you daren’t finish the comment for fear of an early bed.
Hot buttered crumpets appear as if from nowhere
and near the fireplace you huddle with nay a care,
Gran pats your head gently and quietly chuckles,
‘You’ll be right lad, what’s a few puddles’.
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In the kingdom of life, with the strokes of the brush, the bow and the pen, artists have sowed their hearts to contrive, fields rivalling in beauty the Garden of Eden.
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