On football . .

From 1972 – 1982, during a golden decade of my youth, Ipswich Town Football Club were in the top league of English and Welsh Football.  We came 2nd twice, 3rd thrice, 4th twice, 6th twice and 12th once (’78 when they were too busy winning the FA Cup).  The team rocked Europe during this period too, finally winning the UEFA Cup in ’81.  Is it any wonder, as an adult, that I’m frustrated by their lack of success since (aside from an astonishing 5th and a brief return to European competition in 2001).

Now in the second league, it’s New Year’s Day and we’re looking stronger than we have in years.  6th in the table, we’re actually in the play-off zone.  For the first time in many years, at such an early point in the season, I’m confident we won’t be involved in a relegation struggle.  Hopefully we can only get stronger.

Sports teams aren’t like partners; you don’t fall in and out of love with them.  You can’t easily move on to a new one, and divorce is rare.  People have their heart in their local childhood team, regardless of success.  It’s a love we carry all our lives. We deserve our own medal.

Go Town!

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Coupe de Ville

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The car speeds along the freeway.  Chuck’s Coupe DeVille is modern, comfortable and clean.  Mom would approve.  Heck, she did approve.  Least I think she did. 

The look of horror on Chuck’s face when he pulled up this morning, Mom waiting silently right there with me.  She walked to the car to meet him but he was up and out before she reached the kerb, offering his hand and smiling gently, warmly down at her.  Mom blushed, I never would have believed it if I hadn’t been there myself.

To her credit she recovered quickly, re-fixed her stern face, checked him out slowly from the brylcremed hairs on his perfect head to his highly polished shoes.  And then, to my embarrassment, she gave the DeVille a slow walk-round.  She kicked a tire I tell you, and even leant inside for a peek.  Then she turned on her heel and headed for the front door . . “Back by eight or there’ll be trouble”, delivered over her shoulder  –  to me?  No, more likely to Chuck.

To his credit Chuck had lost the grin the moment Mom disengaged from him and he hadn’t dropped character ‘til we were out of sight of the house, laughing so uncontrollably I had to steady the wheel myself and calm him down by lighting a Strike for him.

The warm summer air is a delight, and to be in a DeVille with the roof down, wind in my hair, and him, Chuck Ledger, captain of the baseball team for Pete’s sake!  Chuck Ledger by my side.  I want this night to last forever.

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Starling Lady

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Starling Lady

I think the birds will miss her most

Singing as she pulled the weeds

Disturbing insects, snails and seeds

A patient robin on a mossy post

 

The village whispered her name

Teabags used and used again ‘til they were stale

Fag butts smoked to the nail

Bones and feathers the only waste from game

 

Missing her family, she gave them gifts

Homemade woollens, wine and pie

For occasions . .  or just for dropping by

Her birthday a date they often missed

 

She passed in her garden on a warm autumn day

The starlings scattered as they carried her away.

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The stuff kids say (part two).

So I’m outside my local Coop, having a crafty tin, when this 11-12yo lad walks up to me, calls me “mate”, offers me a quid and asks whether I’ll pop inside and buy him some Rizlas. I can “keep the change”. My surprised, if natural, response was ” . . er, NO!”
 
I have to be fair and admit that I had a tobacco and later alcohol habit from an early age myself, only one of those demons thoroughly slain. But the encounter left me begging a few questions: Was he a police plant (there was a police motor parked up further along) and have I just saved myself a fine? Or had he spotted my crafty tin and, in spite of my shaven face and work tie, identified with me as a fellow citizen of society’s shady underbelly and therefore naturally expected ‘cooperation at the Coop’. And how did he know that my financial state was so interesting that I could have used that ‘change’.   Makes you think doesn’t it.
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The stuff kids say.

Overheard outside my local Co-op. A pair of single-digit-aged children – their exact words (I was so impressed I noted it):
 
“Don’t you think it’s annoying that, just because you’re kids, adults think it’s alright to cut in front of you in the shops.”
 
Quality.
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The unkindest defence cut of all.

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This poem has been credited to a number of people including Pam Ayres. It was in fact written by M.Sig P. I. Fisher [known as Ian or Paddy among other things] during his time at RAF Wyton. Since retiring from the RAF he has made a name for himself as a poet using the pen name Peter Wyton.  The poem captures thoughts on defence cuts past, with many of the RAF stations listed now distant memories.  There are several versions of the poem around online, but I understand that this is the definitive version.  It is posted here in good faith for your enjoyment.  The photo is my own.
See http://www.myspace.com/peterwytonpoet (http://www.myspace.com/peterwytonpoet)

THE UNKINDEST DEFENCE CUT OF ALL

I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
I’ve an office in MOD
and a copy of Queens Regulations
which only apply to me.
I can post myself to Leuchars
and detach me from there to Kinloss,
or send me on courses to Innsworth,
then cancel the lot – I’m the boss.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
but the great Parliamentary brains
neglected, when cancelling people,
to sell off the Stations and planes.
The result is, my inventory bulges
with KD and camp-stools and Quarters,
plus a signed book of speeches by Trenchard
which I keep to impress the reporters.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
I suppose you imagine it’s great
to be master of all you survey, but
I tell you it’s difficult, mate.
I inspected three units last Thursday,
As C-in-C ( Acting ) of Strike,
then I swept half the runway at Laarbruch
and repaired Saxa Vord’s station bike.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
it’s not doing a lot for my health.
Unit sports days are frankly exhausting
when the Victor Ludorum’s oneself.
On guest nights the Mess is so lonely,
there are times when I wish I was able
to pass the port to the chap next to me,
without seeing it fall off the table.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
my wife says I’m never at home,
when I’m not flying Hercs, I’m at Manston,
laying gallons and gallons of foam,
or I’m in my Marine Craft off Plymouth,
shooting flares at the crowds on the Ho,
or I’m Orderly Corporal at Luqa.
It’s an interesting life, but all go.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force.
I’m ADC to the Queen,
I’m Duty Clerk at St. Mawgan,
I’m the RAF rugby team.
Tomorrow I’m painting a guardroom
and air-testing numerous planes.
The day after that I’m for London,
to preach at St. Clement Danes.

I’m the last man left in the Air force
and I’m due to go out before long.
There’s been no talk of any replacement
and I won’t even let [I]me sign on.
I hope to enjoy my retirement.
I’ve put up a fairly good show,
and I won’t cut myself off entirely.
There are always reunions, you know.

© Peter Wyton

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Who do you write for?

I posted this comment in response to the same title question at Damyanti’s excellent blog http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com/

“I’m not really a writer, but I have had the odd feature and article published in a local magazine.  I have written a couple of technical manuals too. 

I generally write for fun, because I enjoy it.  Sometimes that writing can be confusing and even a little alarming, but I get it if nobody else does. 

I have a very persistent and loud internal monologue that sometimes takes on a character of its own and comes up with all sorts of ideas.  Those can be some of the most interesting and amusing things that I put to paper, and later finish out properly on a keyboard.”

I could/should have added that I write a lot of  ‘advice’  pieces, for fun and for friends.  It’s often the researching of the subject, and the planning of the piece that’s the most fun for me  –  all done on paper in longhand.  Typing it up on my laptop is a satisfying conclusion to that.

So . . who do you write for?

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