Monday, 19 March 2018

Round 12.


There’s a guy – I can’t remember his name right now, let’s call him Fred; his real name will come to me whilst I write.

We worked together at the factory before the management and economies decided to lay off more than half the staff, I’m not sure if Fred survived the cut; he was a specialist – an expert in super conductors or coolants or something, but he was old enough to take an early retirement and the offer would have been attractive.

I was employed elsewhere so it mattered less.

Apart from super-somethings Fred loved all things Scottish – he was planning a visit that summer with his wife – and so we were talking about Mike Leigh’s film The Angel Share.

And that took us on to golf.

Fred asked me if I knew the origin of the word.




So Fred told me, that above the club entrance at St Andrew’s there is a sign that says Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden.

“Are you sure?”


Fred is French.

Driving home I wondered about this, something didn’t ring true. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that if there was a club-house there must have already been a game.

Maybe it had something to do with Fred being French and me thinking that I – an Englishman – should know more about my own language than a Frenchman.

By the way  - another Frenchman whose name I can’t remember – told me he had learnt some new vocabulary.

“Oh yes, what is it?”


Ho ho ho.

Christmas has of course slipped past, the New Year has installed and I’m driving around thinking about the past and the future.

And I’m thinking about belief and ……

Little kids believe in Father Christmas.

They believe in Fairies.

Elves too maybe.



All these things exist.

How does it happen?

Are they born with these beliefs?

Sometimes maybe – but a lot of is down to stories.

The stories we tell.

And the stories we write.

These stories are like this because the writers want the world to be like this.

So they create one.

And other people agree.

They live the story too and the story becomes real.

…..Something like this.

It’s exhausting.

When I got home after working with Fred, whose name I still haven’t remembered, I was exhausted, 
it had been a long day.

But before I lay down to sleep I did a bit of research on golf.

A couple of weeks after I met Fred again.

“Hey, you remember that story you told me about golf?”

“Fred smiled.

“Yes, I do.”

We had been looking at short form answers.

“Well, I did some research and it seems that the story is completely untrue.”.

His eyes twinkled.

“Yes, but it’s a good story.”

Sorry, I still can’t remember his name.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Round 11.


River rush, early sunrise catches an edge of snow on the highest ridge.
Ice, moss, steam.
Hot spring.

A robin and the echoes of last night’s million stars.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Round 10

(missing from ALL early editions - sorry, the Ed.)

You probably haven’t realised – in which case you are really lucky that I am here to point it out – that if you type/paste the words ‘best thing on this blog’ into the search function over there on the left, you will get taken to what I can only imagine is a total random selection of previous postings here on Bitsnbobs.

The blog with a past.

A past that the editorial staff occasionally look back into.

Yes the blog has an editorial staff too.

It also has a waste paper basket, three cats and a cricket ball - but that’s another story.

Which we will come to quite soon.

It starts here; last year a few nearest and dearests asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I answered – in all seriousness – a cricket ball.

There were three nearest and dearests involved.

They were NOT the cats.

Though my cats are near, and certainly dear.

And talking of cats – where I live, here, they sell a packet of cat granules that claims to possibly contain a JUMBO granule that if I find will win me 10, 000 euro.

I could do with 10, 000 euro.

So over the last 20 years or so I have spent about 10, 000 euro buying the stuff and hoping to find the JUMBO granule.

I haven’t.

I am assuming that JUMBO means so jumbo that a cat won’t eat it by mistake when I’m not looking.

Because sometimes they get to the packet before I do.

And they wouldn’t mention it.

We don’t communicate in that way.


So they don’t ask me what I want for Christmas and I don’t tell them.

Anyway – to recap – three nearest and dearest asked.

And i told them.

How many Cricket Balls do you think I received?

Correct – none.

So I went to London.

Not specifically for this, but to watch my daughter graduate.

And I ended up in Portobello market.

Not, I should add, because she graduated in the market – though that would have saved me a few bob*.

*Bob – old money. Five shillings.

The university CHARGED parents – who had hocked live and soul to help their children go to the place – to watch the ceremony.

Luckily I was able to organise the trip to coincide with a free Friday – the best day in the market, so, one day, I ended up alone in the market.

With a few left over bob in my pocket.

By the way – I had a friend, since lost touch with – called Bob.

Nothing to do with shillings.

He played cricket.

Anyway – in the market – Portobello – Friday – I saw a cricket ball sitting on a stall that was selling vintage cigarette cards, original vinyl and circus posters.

Portobello Market is good for this.

And cricket balls.

“How much do you want for the cricket ball?.”

“I was thinking of five pounds.”

“I was thinking of three.”


The market is good for this too.

Another year I anticipated that a nearest and dearest, only one, would ask me what I wanted for Christmas so I posted this.

A few weeks later she told me that she had read this.

You will, if you followed those two links, realise that ‘posted this’ and ‘had read this’ are the same place.

So she read that.

(that = posted this+this)

She said that she liked this/posted this/that, and I thought  - good.

She knows what I want for Christmas.

A few weeks later after this/that/posted this, she asked;

“What would you like for Christmas?”

“I thought you read this/that/posted this?”

“I did.”


I’m off to Portobello Market.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Round 9.


(missing from some earlier editions - the ed)

This road is long, longer than any he’s driven recently and darker – it’s already night, everyone is asleep and he’s thinking of her.


She comes with the night, when the missing is strongest.

The bright light of day will distract him, but tonight the quarter moon hangs in the west over his shoulder.

He knows she can see it, that if she stands outside and stands in her courtyard and looks up she will see it too.

Perhaps she sees the other side, it would explain a lot.

As he drives, the moon is slowly sinking; this just makes everything more intense.

Soon she will be asleep but he must drive on.

Questions; unanswered but unasked as well.

They have no place, except maybe in that sinking moon.

There will be calm with the dawn, but the moon will rise again.

The next time it will be fuller.

But that is a long time hence.

The night is long.

Time is long.

This road is long.

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