19 Mar 2012

Outstanding

Just a wee boasting and a bragging for this blog. And a picture of cakes.

I just had my routine OTL (Observation of Teaching and Learning) for the internal standards review at the WEA (Workers Educational Association) where I teach creative writing and poetry.

I scored Grade 1, outstanding. I worked hard preparing for it and enjoyed gliding serenely through the OTL process.


The following photo has nothing to with anything except happiness. And I really did make them all myself, although not to celebrate this particular occasion.

15 Mar 2012

In Memory

(The following is a poem written in memory of my lovely friend Catherine Pink (nee Rogers) and whom I first met when we were 10 years old. I read it at her funeral recently.)

For Catherine - and for all of us


Just because your best friend’s gone

it doesn’t mean she’s really, really, gone.


It’s just like when, the first time you hear a new song

and it’s something great -

it resonates, switches awake, vibrates,

tunes in to your own soul,

leaps up a dance to your inner base beat,

sweetens the air that you breathe, reaching soul deep:


and something, in you, changes.

And the song ends but its influence remains,

and we are never the same again.


Just because your sister has gone,

it doesn’t mean she won’t still there in a long walk over

the moor, or the seashore, and that still lights memories inner eye

with sunrise - sunset - sunshine – skylines,

shaping the soulscape of who we have each become

in her fine company: and with whom we could so easily belong.


Just because your ally, your pal, your wife, your chum,

your beloved-companion-confidante, your daughter, your mum

my schoolfriend - the one who listened as deeply as she spoke,

and who broke our hearts with her parting -

has gone -


it doesn’t mean that the spark of her wit,

not one wicked guffaw

not one belly deep bellow of it

will ever leave us -

nor the wise advice that she spoke to the rise of a slowly boiling kettle.


Nor the mettle of her! Nor her easy propensity to bliss.

Nor her ease with the abstract, or ridiculousness,

nor the sense of her own sense of justice

has gone -


because – just because –

Catherine knew how to live her life in tune

with those who loved her.


And somewhere in the shape of the ache for her,

her song plays, still resonates,

and we are never without her music -

no: never. We are never, the same again.





Catherine Pink, 1962 - 2012