The Woman whom Fashion Forgot

The clothes she chose said ‘je ne sais quoi’

A woman indifferent to fashion faux pas

No couture by Balmain, not even her bra

The woman whom fashion forgot


Her trews and blouse were lacking in taste

A covering thrown on in indecent haste

Unmindful of bosom, or bottom, or waist

The woman whom fashion forgot


That some were donated, well evidently

With T shirts misshapen and stains plain to see

No-one would pay money to look drab as she

The woman whom fashion forgot


Her ‘friends’ often smirked that she dressed in the dark

A person unnoticed in party or park

Oblivious to censure or catty remark

The woman whom fashion forgot


And yet she succeeded where others had not

Her famed TV series was hot beyond hot

A host of admirers for her primetime spot

‘The Woman whom Fashion Forgot’


The Siding – Part 1

As she scrambled clumsily down the bank, her M&S skirt snagging on the tangle of brambles, she wondered again at the madness of what she was about to attempt. Her sandals slid in the greasy clay underfoot, causing her to veer backwards. Her teeth dug into her bottom lip and she propellered her arms out to steady herself, before arriving precipitously at the wooden door.

The paint was peeling and there was evidence of a rodent gnawing the bottom edge. The hole where the handle had once allowed access enabled Jen to glimpse the dingy interior. She poked her finger into the gap and leant back to tug, expecting great resistance.

Surprisingly, the door gave easily as she pulled, snagging only on the briars that had overgrown the bottom edge. Kicking gingerly with her sandaled feet, Jen cleared an arc, sufficient to allow her to squeeze through, and let out a gasp of satisfaction once she was safely inside.

A sudden rumble made her duck down. The 9.47. She glanced at her watch. She had meticulously studied the timetables this past week and made a log of the different times she needed to be careful. If this was to work at all, it was imperative no-one knew she was there. Driving round the area at odd hous, she had identified a suitable place to leave her car, where it would not cause too much suspicion. She had also tried out a few different routes to the siding, which was on an embankment that backed onto a trading estate. A wall of brambles had rendered the concrete hut near-invisible from any direction.

She had found a couple of access points, just so she could vary it a bit as she came and went. Not that she was planning to move about too much.

She unpacked the rucksack she had brought with her containing essential supplies. Her Pilates mat would suffice as a mattress, its garish pink at odds with stark concrete shell. A couple of litre bottles of water – these would have to be replenished at some point but she had pictured herself topping them up in a local pub toilet if the need arose.

Jen continued her unpacking, hoping that she had all the essentials for her stay. What had she calculated? Well, she had booked a week off work, telling her boss she had a family emergency up in her home town of Stoke. They hadn’t questioned it, knowing that she was an only child and therefore the sole support for her elderly parents. Actually, they were both long dead, but Jen had never shared that with her employers and accountants are remarkably uninterested in the lives of their staff, just as long as they do a good job and enhance the reputation of the firm.

It was much as she expected when she first spied the concrete bunker on her way to London last week. Staring dreamily out of the carriage window, studiously avoiding eye contact with the retirees opposite, who were chattering excitedly about their trip to the Olympics planned for that afternoon, Jen’s eye caught the dilapidated bunker nestled deep into the embankment, almost obscured by bushes.

At what point her idle musings about it being a perfect hideout for a tramp turned into this – what was it? Jen wasn’t exactly sure. In her mind, on that day, it was conceived as more of a social experiment. What if? And here she was. Surveying the detritus of a previous adventure, perhaps by neighbouring teenage gangs – although there had not actually been any neighbourhoods nearby.

Jen had done a recce after her London trip, which had been a perfectly ordinary business meeting – little thinking that she would end up on this hair-brained venture. Was it hair-brained? Let’s see, she thought, as she used a bit of cardboard to scape a clearing in the junk and dust surrounding her sandalled feet.

Rollright Stones

Clouds ascended, tier on tier; the lowest a soft bruise, the highest, a celestial tower, climbing fist over swollen fist to the Heavens.

And all the while the sun, a diamond distilled against a crystal sky, glared as we passed the silent Rollright Stones. Druids in modern garb stood sentinel, faces masked in grateful reverence, hands clenched as if in prayer.

The sun’s corona bathed them in resplendent light. How long they stood, no-one knew. Nor if the Fates’ alignment was in any way altered. But their silent mutterings intoned a warning. Ignore the portents if you dare.


Hope is simmering like a pot to boil

Germinating in new-fertile soil

Now relinquishing the sorrows past

Freed to entertain my dreams at last

Knots unravelling that seemed tight bound

Loosing tentacles that wrapped around

Breaths completed as they ought to be

Unrestricted now to step out free

Recreated from a self dissolved

Starting fresh with all my puzzles solved


The purity, the innocence

The heart in love with love

The world a dazzling playground

A boundless treasure trove

Each day a great adventure

Each day new hugs and smiles

With endless vistas opening

Delights that run for miles

No mistrust and no caution

Expecting only blessing

Where kindliness is pre-ordained

And needs no second-guessing

Our childhood spirits still live on

Though trials may hide their light

But now and then we glimpse the past

Our young selves shining bright


I love the sound of the wind in the trees

As I fill my pot with blackberries

Those shining orbs of purple-black

Their swollen lustre calls me back

To pick and pick beyond my needs

Each straining, laden spikelet pleads

Take more! Take me! How succulent

And so I grab till force is spent

And home return with thorns and scratches

To bake my puddings into batches

And still the topmost branches call

Come back! Come back!

There’s more for all!


It the A-Z of life was a straight trajectory

With no diverging pathways to lure you temptingly

If no damaging dilemmas caused you deep anxiety

And no tantalising temptations convinced you you’d be free

If, encompassed by a bubble you rode harmlessly through life

With no painful piercing problems causing bitterness and strife

Would your strength be an illusion? Would you buckle in the wind?

Would you cringe and cower feebly when by misfortunes pinned?

Oh, I guess we’ll never find the truth, the purpose or the scheme

For sailing smooth from A-Z’s a Walter Mitty dream

Mathern Palace

Take me back to Mathern Palace

Wandering winding, leafy lanes

Brothers. sisters, lambs a-gambolling

Spying birds to guess their names

Oval eggs to warm a cupped palm

Dens in bushes out of sight

Climbing trees to reach the topmost

Scaling walls and taking flight

Plums for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Mushrooms plucked before the dawn

Snorting horses feigned indifference

Long before the day was born

Homeward bound with pockets bursting

Treasures to impress our Mum

Seeds and beads of perspiration

Mindless of the days to come

Take me back to Mathern Palace

Snowdrops pure against the rails

Place of childhood reminiscence

Heaven to fuel a grandma’s tales


You, the Lord, who knows my heart

And all the ‘me’s’ I could have been

You who saw me from the start

Foresaw my life from scene to scene

You who feels the darts of woe

Regrets and pains I can’t control

You who longs to let me know

Your help is there to guard my soul

You who knows the start and end

The reasons why, the ‘what must be’

Hope on which I can depend

Though I may stray, You’ll rescue me

Help me then today to find

The ‘me’ You love beyond my sight

Let me love her, heart and mind

Not weak and judged, but blessed and right