These words are the property of clever people. I'm just trying to put them in order.

Month: March, 2014

A word or two for Mother’s Day.

This is going to be a culmination of things floating around in my head today. But bear with me and it will become clear.

Just over a year ago I downloaded Bon Iver’s wonderful self-titled album to listen to on the journey to Pais Vasco with the Spanish family who I was living with at the time. During the time I lived with them, the mother both helped and taught me a lot about life during my stay in Catalonia so I want to thank her here (thank you).

If you haven’t heard it, this album takes the beautiful harmonies typical of the band and mixes brass and slide guitar to create a dreamlike soundtrack to any backdrop. It has serenaded me on train journeys from Mataro to El Masnou, and from the depths of Barcelona to Barceloneta on my way to San Juan, it has been there accompanying me and providing a delicate wonderscape to melt my thoughts together.

So thank you Bon Iver for creating this magical album.

And thank you to Bon Iver’s Mum’s, too.

At this point it’s easy to start thinking about what people would thank your mother for bringing into this world but I don’t think you need to ask yourself that really. That’s for other people to decide and there will be many answers for each and every one of you.

So there I was in Bilbao for the day, I had not wanted to go as my sister was heavily pregnant and I wanted to be near my laptop so that my family could contact me if anything happened. In the end, this wasn’t possible so my mum took the email of the Father in the Spanish family. This was the only method of communication.

We sat drinking coffee and Jose checked his phone as he had done almost constantly for my benefit during our time in the Basque Country. And he said ’email, Mum de Sam’ and handed me the phone. It said my sister had gone into labour and so for the rest of the day, as I looked around the city, I pictured my new nephews running around the streets of Bilbao and me teaching them the bits of Spanish that I knew.

In the car on the way home, my thoughts were with my sister and the two boys being brought into the world. Two young minds with the possibility to do anything, make people laugh and cry or anything else they wanted and I wrote my thoughts into a note on my phone. I hoped for a happy world for them to be brought into, one where they would not carry the worries of war and they would not have to see their fellow human beings suffer without food or sleep on the street. They have provided me a hopeful pair of eyes. A reason to look for solutions to problems and try to make the world a little better.

As I lay in my bed that night, I resisted dreaming for as long as possible in the hope that somehow I would telepathically know what was happening with my sister. I hoped for her safety and the safe arrival of her two boys.

Eventually, I fell asleep.

‘and at once I knew, I was not magnificent.’

I woke up an uncle.

Congratulations to my sister, who is a brilliant Mother.

Now, when people post pictures of sprogs on Facebook and other websites normally they look like gremlins. Lovely gremlins, but gremlins nonetheless. However, when my sister does it, they are smiling little chaps who always look as happy as Larry after three beroccas. They are brilliant too.

Today is Mother’s Day. El dia de la Madre.

On this day every year I realise that I am one of the luckiest chaps. As not only do I have a wonderful mother who always supports me and listens to my nonsensical rumblings but I also have a lovely step-mum, Karen who is yet another massive support and the makers of me three amazing, funny and cheeky brothers. Her family including her mother, Chris, have always been fantastic to me and I cannot be thankful enough for that. As well as this, I have a fantastic Grandma who is without a doubt one of the most interesting, funny and clever people I have ever known. She has a brilliant sense of humor and an overwhelmingly loving heart.

All of these wonderful ladies have brought brilliant people into this world and each of them is a brilliant person themself. So let’s all raise a glass to the mums who are with us and those who have been. Where would we be without Einstein’s mum?

The wonderful thing about life is what you create can never be uncreated so make something magnificent. Whether it is a memory, a song or a person. Once something is made, it cannot be unmade. So make it happen.

Cheers mums!!!!!


The homework jar.

The jar sat next to the computer on my desk. It was wrapped in foil and could have been there to strengthen the wifi for all they knew.

It wasn’t though. It was honey.

But it wasn’t just honey. It used to be one of my students.

I told them, if you don’t do your homework then we’re going to have problems.

This student had been turned into honey. Life was sweet but the student was bitter.

Upon finding out about my unco-operative student, my boss had phoned his friends who were obviously bees. Then they had come and turned the student into honey.

If you don’t do your homework then you’re going to have big problems. I told them again.

If you’re fond of lemons.

If you’re fond of lemons,
And eat them every day.
You should try an orange
And cry out ‘hip, hooray’

For oranges are juicy
Just like our sour friend
But different to lemons
As they have no pointed ends.

If you’re fond of lemons a
And eat them all the time
You should write a poem
And make sure that it rhymes.

Because of it doesn’t
Oh the trouble you’ll get in!
You think the poems ended
But then it will be begin.

If you’re fond of lemons
And eat them every day
You should try and orange
And cry out ‘hip, hooray!’

I will get to work

I will get to work
And I’ll get there on time
Some days there’s time for coffee
On others, I cut it too fine

Today I need a coffee
And maybe even some toast
So I’ll walk in my pyjamas
To the cafe I like the most.

I pay a couple of euros
And my friend will join me
I read the Spanish paper
And wonder what these words mean.

This is every morning,
This is my routine
I find it quite relaxing
While I’m still rising from my dreams.

So I will get to work today,
And I’ll get there in good time
Because I need a coffee
If I want to make words sound the same.

How lucky am I !

How lucky am I
A man, I can’t fly
If one thing’s for sure,
It’s that one day I’ll die.

How lucky am I?
With this air that I breathe
I sleep in a bed
And don’t need to thieve

How lucky am I?
With the friends that I know
The smiles that I’ve met
Always make my own grow.
The clowns, the teachers
And each one still learning
We all become candles
But never stop burning.

How lucky am I?
This life that I live
What others don’t have
I will try to give.

A whole world of people
With beating hearts
There’s no need to fight
You don’t have to start.

Each time you feel yourself in a slump
Think of the people who make you jump
Wave your hands in the air
And dance a great jig
Because life can be tough
But it’s yours to be lived.

If I were the king.

If I were the king
I’d make all the people smile
If they’re feeling lousy
I’d line the streets with tea
In just five minutes,
All problems will finish
And it’s absolutely free!

If I were the king,
I’d make sure we all have beds
As the concrete street’s no place to sleep
And rest your chilly head.

If I were the king
I’d make handshakes obsolete
Instead, we’d hug like bugs in rugs
With everyone we meet.

If I were the king,
I’d live a life that’s fair,
I’d have the same things as everyone else,
And not even a fancy chair.

If I were the king,
You’d already have a smile
What changes would you like to make?
Just sit and think a while.

Venetia has a name

Venetia has a name
It’s not a name that rhymes

Venetia has a name
And she forgets it sometimes

When she does we play a game.

Venetia has a cardigan
It’s not a cardigan that rhymes

Venetia has a cardigan
It is so white it blinds

Venetia mixes colours
In the same wash as whites

Venetia wants the cardigan
To stop being so bright

It’s brighter than me,
And maybe her as well

And when it’s clean
It doesn’t smell.

Venetia has a tidy room,
She sweeps it with a tiny broom

My room’s a mess,
But I don’t stress
Because Venetia has it worse.

Her shower overflows
So the shower goes


And if you think that’s bad,
You should see her wash her hair

It’s a pickle she lives with
And her face is brave, but these things just aren’t fair.

Venetia saves the planet
The shower makes it so

Because un Eco friendly showers
Never overflow.

The plug goes glugalug glug
and away the water goes!

So you might have a cardigan
You might even have a name

But Venetia has forgotten hers
So we’re going to play our game.

Pancakes in the rain

‘Let’s do something different,
Let’s have a bit of fun,
We’ll go outside
When there’s no sun
And have a barbecue.’

‘Have you gone mad?’
We asked my friend
But he said that he hadn’t
His actions told us otherwise
And then we became saddened.

‘It’s Tuesday the fourth.
Let’s get fatter!’
Exclaimed my friend,
Whilst making batter.
And he put it on the flames.

Of course it burned,
A burny toast,
Remained among the ash.
Our friend had gone insane.

By all means do things different
Even be quite strange
But beware of the tale
And miserable fail
Of my friend’s pancakes in the rain.

Clippety clippety clop

Clippety clippety clop
Flippety flippety flop
Limericks rhyme
And have five lines
Chippety choopety chop