Greater Expectations

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Someone once said to me, Expect the Unexpected.

It seemed daring at the time so I took it on board.

The only problem was because I expected the Unexpected all the time I wasn’t really surprised when it happened.

It was expected, right?

Life was losing its surprise factor.

I felt heavy as a watermelon.

My counsellor suggested — wait for it — Expect only the Expected.

So I do,

When the Unexpected happens I light up like a lantern

twinkle like a star.

It wasn’t expected, right?

Uncle Bert

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I remember Uncle Bert.

He had had a stroke.

His mouth was always open

Though he never spoke.

 

He sat on his armchair

Alongside Aunty Pat

Who did the speaking for him.

She was good at that.

 

He once looked a film star

A Gable or a Flynn.

And often charmed the ladies

with a rakish grin.

 

But then one day he emptied

and forever after that

Loyal as a labrador

he followed Aunty Pat.

 

 

Mystery on a Bridge

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There was someone on the bridge

Curving high over the dark water

About half way along

Then there wasn’t.

Someone with a mop of ginger hair

an orange top and grey track pants

Standing against the railing

Looking wistfully out.

I looked away when a siren sounded

On the headland then looked back.

No splash.

No disturbance of any kind.

No bright lithe form spearing

Through the water.

No one emerging from either end.

Nothing.

Just someone standing on a bridge

in a forest

Then there wasn’t.

 

The First Word

 

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What’s the first word you’re going to forget? The first word that’s going to slip through the sieve in your brain?

The name of your partner, child, grandson?

With me it was an item of food.

A breakfast food we eat once a week on Wednesday. I knew it began with ‘c’ and that it was a French-sounding word like ‘croutons’ but it wasn’t that.

I could have asked my partner but I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

I did not want to acknowledge that ‘the forgetting’ had begun.

 Then after a week it came to me in a flash, like the click of a thumb. I wrote it down on a pad with a marker pen just in case but I needn’t have bothered.

Now I enjoy my croissants that little bit more.

 

 

 

to Stand Out

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I was reading about Miss Jean Brodie

About her being in her prime

her ‘owning’ the stage

Of the classroom

With the forty girls sitting in rows

Looking and listening

 

& I thought

How much blogging is like this

How each of us

Performs on the platform of the page

Seeking to impress

to stand out

To make our ‘mark’ upon

The rows and rows of readers

 

& how one day

Perhaps

A fellow blogger

Will remember our performances

And memorialize us

As Muriel Spark did Miss Kay

 

 

 

On Reading Jilly Cooper

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I do not much like her novels.

They are crammed with characters like clowns jammed in jalopies.

But I like her epilogues.

They are lean and succinct, sinewy.

A bit like you, Bev says with a chuckle.

I may not have a novel in me but I have a draw full of epilogues.

And when push comes to shove I can pump out prologues at the drop of a hat.

It’s the in-between bits I’m not good at.

I could leave them to someone else.

Jilly Cooper, for instance.