Monday, March 5, 2018

After The Anaesthetic

I'm alive! Goodness, that was nasty, but six weeks on I have body and soul together and I'm surging ahead into 2018.
Meet Monty Bear, my little comforter in between the pain killers and sleep.

Well, I survived the anaesthetic, and I'm not going to go into the grizzly details of my operation, or the wretchedness of the month of February. Suffice it to say, the Doctors and nurses of Barnsley hospital were wonderful, my home carer (being David) was a saint, my family were there when I needed them, and Monty Bear was a comfort to me during my regression into a childlike state, while I switched off to allow my body to heal.

So, here we are into March. The 'Beast from the East' Siberian weather of the past week has moved on leaving patches of frozen snow here and there, but the garden is green again, and the streets are clear of any trace of slush. 

Birdwell Feb2018
What a good job I didn't have to go out in that awful weather, but now I'm well on the mend it's full steam ahead with a mission to get battle fit for the long walks that we are planning. First we shall complete the Barnsley Boundary Walk, only about 3 legs of that walk left, then we shall be heading to the coast for a bit of coast walking. It's all in the spirit of having fun. And in that same spirit David and I have booked a coach trip to Whitby. 

Yes, there's nothing like a near death experience for bringing to the fore the necessity for having fun. In this our 50th year of marriage, we shall be having plenty of just that. So watch this space for details of our adventures, oh, they won't be taking us to the Seychelles, or China, or the Bahamas, but   I promise we shall still be having a load of fun. 

In my quest for better health I have perfected the art of making cake without butter or margarine, that is without fat.
This is my recipe: 100 gram dark brown sugar,
2 mashed bananas, 1 small carton Alpro yoghurt, 1 egg (beat all that together) Add 200 gram gluten free S R flour, 1 teaspoon ginger, pinch salt. (Beat all the ingredients together and pour the batter into a loaf tin). Bake for approx 35/40 mins Fan 175.

Give it a go. Add your own spice. I sometimes put in dried dates soaked in water. It is also possible to use apple sauce instead of bananas. 

So, dear reader, join me in a year of fun from here on in. Talk again soon.

Love and hugs,
Jane x

Sunday, January 21, 2018

From the wonderful, wintery, wonderland of Birdwell! Yes, it's Jane Poppins enjoying the Yorkshire air.
I'm heading for morning coffee/tea in my new shed
We haven't quite got round to furnishing it yet, but so long as I get a desk and chair, I'll be happy. This picture was taken a couple of days ago when the shed was built by Garden Shed UK. Well done lads! You did good!

It's a few weeks since I last blogged, sorry about that, but I've had a few health problems. To cut a long story short, I am booked in to have my gall bladder removed this Saturday, in Barnsley Hospital. Of course I'm not overjoyed about having surgery, but I am so glad the doctors have found out what has been causing all my pain and sickness. I will be happy to get shut, and get on with my life. The results of my ultrasound scan said, "gall bladder packed with calculi," so, goodbye stones.
I certainly have things to look forward to, (apart from being able to function better), there is my lovely new shed to paint, inside and out, I want to create a peaceful writing space and artwork area, there is Valentino to practice, then there is the garden to sort out with David ready for our anniversary celebration in the summer. It will be our 50th Wedding Anniversary on August 3rd, so I think a bottle of bubbly is on the cards.
Meantime, I continue to write poetry in the hope that practice makes perfect. Talking of poetry, the Barnsley poet, Jethro, is compiling a CD of Barnsley Voices, and he paid me a visit to record on of my poems. (Watch this space). He's such a lovely guy, and energy to spare for the poetry scene. 
I'm going to miss my trip to Kent this month, but hey, it's cold outside. I'm optimistic about February, and of course the approaching spring.

So, keep warm, dear reader, and I'll talk to you on the other side of the anaesthetic.
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Saturday, November 25, 2017

I Keep Boris Johnson in the Fridge, and other new poems.

Today I've been to the Poetry Society Stanza meeting in Sheffield. It is held in the Library, and we get together with other poets to put our work forward for comment, and possible improvement. As there is a Harry Potter exhibition on at the moment, we were asked to contribute something on that theme. This is my effort, if you pass by the Library pop in, you may see my poem on display. Obviously, it is written from the point of view of a man. It's not all about me, you know. 

She Put A Spell On Me - Jane Sharp

The minute I saw the black cat, I knew.
I didn’t want to let on I’d clocked it,
so I feigned coolness, talked about the weather,
strange words tripped off my tongue.
latine loqui coactus sum.
The cat grew monkey bits,
a probiscus nose – Nasal Larvatus,
a long tail – Macaca Fascicularis,
and it’s claws began to morph into fingers.
I turned the conversation to philosophy,
‘You strike me as a very deep person’ I said.
Apparet te habere ingenium profundum.
I knew I was talking her language. And I could.
It didn’t go down well. The cat arched its back
like a medieval bridge, the Pont de Diavolo, hissed,
in cantatorum tuorum vehementem. Spells.
She must have sensed my fear, my battle with reality,
but she ignored it, handed me another cocktail,
saying, ‘Drink this.’ I knew I shouldn’t have, but I did. 
When I looked again, the cat was a tiger.
Et vidi cum Tigride Catus.
O Harrius Potter, ubi eras quando opus vestrum?
(Where were you when I needed you?)

Last week David and I did an Owl Walk with Steven Ely (brilliant poet) round Elsecar. We had a guided tour of the Newcomen Beam Engine and a night walk around the village. I fancy my ancestors may have been looking on, as I can go back four generations in Elsecar with my Royston blood.
 The next day, taking advantage of the bright Autumn weather, we headed for Birdwell woods and Rockley Iron Works. The colours were wonderful. There were lots of  ambers, reds, crisp golden browns and marmalade tinted leaves to crunch underfoot. And we were able to hike up a good appetite for lunch at the Cock Inn, before going home.

I also attended a poetry workshop which was about political poetry and how nursery rhymes are often based on politics, e.g. The Grand Old Duke of York, or Humpty Dumpty. It was a good chance to get together with other poets from the area, and hear their work. These is my 'political' poems, just to show I wasn't idle at the workshop.

Once Defrosted Use Within 24 Hours -  Jane Sharp


I keep Boris Johnson in my freezer
just on the chance I need a blond geezer
who, like a packet of deep frozen peas
survives quite well at minus two degrees

It’s a wibbly, wobbly packet, but then
he’s noted for being one of those men
who can be shaky, in fact, unstable
sure enough when defrosted he’s able

to cause chaos, mayhem, turmoil, it’s like
watching a whirlwind whip snow off a pike
Sometimes, however he’s just the right bloke
to serve at a party, crack a good joke


I keep Boris Johnson in my freezer,
along with Chris Grayling, and Theresa.
They came in a packet of frozen MPs
I bought, to de-swell my arthritic knees.

Some say, deep-frozen are better than fresh,
and, if you can find them, back-benchers are best,
but even though my MPs ’re high profile
they’re about as sweet as a crocodile.

They’re a moribund bunch, a misshaped mix,
effective enough for a short sharp fix,
but I doubt even these stonyfaced MPs
will ever relieve my arthritic knees.

However, I’ll keep them in my freezer -
Bumbling Boris, Cross Chris and Theresa,
their packet is near to its sell by date,
and I’ll throw it out soon, at any rate.

Next time I’ll buy Birds Eye frozen peas,
go au naturelle, take vitamin Bs,
fill up the freezer with iced G & Ts,
and forget all about my arthritic knees.

Close Encounter at the Ritz – Jane Sharp

Mary Jane went to the Ritz
For supper with her daughter,
When old Wino showed his bits
She said: ‘you shouldn’t ‘ave aught – t’.
Wino! Wino! We know you,
We know what you are after,
Mend your ways you fat gnu
Or be prepared for slaughter.’

Well, I had lots of fun writing those. I hope you had fun reading them.

We are on the run up to Christmas, and I have written a little verse for my cards. All in all it has been quite a productive week. I'm going to relax now with a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones before bed-y-bies. 

I hope your weekend is going as week as mine, and that the sun shines on us all tomorrow.
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Tears From The Sun - The Story