All the faces, all the voices blur…

28 03 2014

I’m a huge Cure fan.

As a wee young thing, I was so in love with Robert Smith that I dyed my hair black (and also part of the bathroom carpet) and had a collection of suitably-Smithish clothes. I was in the Official Fan Club, and still wear the enamel badge with pride. I collected every snippet of information about The Cure and Mr Smith that I could find – and back in those days, they were proper snippets. Snippets that had to be snipped out of music mags because in those days there was no such thing as the internet. I knew all the words to all the songs. I spent hours in my bedroom with its red light bulb, playing Cure albums on my dodgy old record player (or if I couldn’t afford the album yet, playing cassettes that I’d recorded from borrowed records by positioning a little tape recorder carefully between the speakers for optimum sound quality). I perfected the art of singing in his voice (well, I thought i did!), and could do every little squeak and oooh and ow and knew all the really quiet almost-hidden words that most people didn’t notice. I was once mortally wounded by a silly girl at school who rubbished the lyrics to “In between days”. I’ve seen them live loads of times, the last time being a few years back at Wembley, when I dyed my hair black again, spiked it up, donned Smith-ish garb, then sang and cried and screamed my way through the gig, totally oblivious to the shame of my other half and his mate who I’d practically forgotten were sitting next to me.

One of my favourite Cure songs is “Charlotte Sometimes”. It was a while before I discovered that there was also a book called Charlotte Sometimes, and as soon as I could I hit the local library to search for it. I found a copy, and can still remember the shiver of delightful spookyness I felt when I read the first line of the book and it was the same as the first line of the song! And it didn’t end there, lots of lines kept popping up that were in the song too…

Anyway, back to the point of this post.

A few years ago, I stumbled across Penelope Farmer’s blog, and in doing so came across a couple of posts she’d written about “Charlotte Sometimes” and The Cure. I was reminded of them today after my auto-pilot reply to a Tweet:


So I thought I’d share them with you here. Part 2 brings a tear to my eye – and probably will to anyone who’s as big a fan of Mr Smith as I am. It’s a lovely, lovely story – enjoy!

Penelope Farmer on The Cure – Part 1

Penelope Farmer on The Cure – Part 2

Now go away and PLAY THE CURE!


On frosty starts and birdie-socks

24 03 2014


Oooooh, wasn’t it chilly this morning? A frost-scraper of a morning for those of you that drive, and a finger-freezer of a morning for those that travel by other means and forgot their gloves.

A little frosty-morning rhyme snuck into my head as I was walking to the station:

It’s frosty out this morning
I feel my fingers freeze
The birds are going bonkers
As they flit about the trees.

A little later, after a particularly violent sneeze, I amended it:

It’s frosty out this morning
So cold it makes me sneeze
The noisy nose explosion
Scares the birdies from the trees.

Or maybe it was a second verse?

Anyway, I was delighted when my pals on Facebook replied to my efforts with little rhymes of their own – isn’t it lovely how the Rhyming Bug can wiggle its way into other people heads, and make them rhyme too?

I had to share this one with you, penned by my friend Jon – it’s soooo sweet, and really made me smile!

The frost is on the branches,
The snowdrops and the rose,
We need to knit some tiny socks
To warm the birdies’ toes.

How cute is that?! So cute it prompted a wobbly little finger-doodle on my phone on the train once my fingers had thawed out:


Cheers for planting the image in my head Mr Jordan!

Happy World Poetry Day 2014!

21 03 2014

Happy World Poetry Day one and all!

Blimey, it’s been a while since I posted – doesn’t time fly?!

In honour of World Poetry Day I decided to do one of my Crazy Rhymey Challenges. I was given a veritable feast of words from the good folks of Twitter:

@M_Z_Harrison Crepuscular
@modflowers Plinth
@Mr_Pie Meander
@Mr_Pie Slither (rather weirdly, two people sent in “meander” so one sent another word, then t’other sent another too which fitted in with the emerging theme so I just had to use it!)
@mooseandmouse Excruciating
@ADsaxist Harpsichord
@kaye_sedgwick Soporific
@cathy_maclennan Sliver
@PermaPaula Discombobulated

And this is the resulting rhyme. Oh, if you’d like to know where the lizard’s name came from, have a read of this – What else could I have possibly called him?! 🙂

Graham Steals The Show

The sun was slowly setting
As the moon began to rise,
And in the jungle, on a leaf
A lizard yawned and sighed.

The lizard’s name was Graham,
And you’d see him every eve
Doing push-ups and contortions
That were quite hard to believe.

This wasn’t out of choice –
You see, poor Graham was crepuscular
(And ‘though he hated excercise
It made him very muscular.)

But in his heart of hearts
He felt so lonely and ignored –
For no-one new his talent
On the humble harpsichord.

At twilight every evening
In the jungle concert hall,
All kinds of creatures gathered
To perform and give their all.

And poor old Graham, on his twig
A-stretching and vibrating,
Had to miss the concerts –
Which he found excruciating.

One evening as he exercised
Upon his leafy plinth,
A monkey, swinging from a branch,
Fell off dropped his synth.

It crashed upon the ground
With a distressing little clatter,
And monkey howled in sorrow
As he watched his keyboard shatter.

“Oh woe is me!” poor monkey cried,
“Oh most unhappy day!
My instrument’s quite ruined,
Now I have nothing to play!”

Then Graham had a massive thought
That set him all a-quiver
Dare he? Should he? Would it work?
There was a chance – a sliver!

He cleared his throat politely
And addressed the monkey thus:
“Dear monkey, I can help you out –
But only after dusk,”

“I have a lovely harpischord
And borrow it you may,
And in return, I wondered
If you’d kindly let me play?”

The monkey leapt for joy
And cried “Oh, wond’rous salamander*!
I’ll wait until you’re finished,
Then we’ll to the show meander!”

So monkey watched in awe
As Graham twisted and gyrated –
The lizard’s dextrous antics
Left him discombobulated.

And as the twilight ended
Graham off his leaf did slither,
And hand in hand they set off
To the concert, with his zither.**

The monkey’s band had gone down well,
The concert hall was packed;
Then Graham stepped up to the stage –
He was the final act.

He felt a little nervous
But as soon as he began
He lost himself in music
As along the keys he ran.

And after he had finished
Came a stunned and silent pause –
Then the concert hall exploded
With loud cheering and applause!

Some thought those dulcit tones
Would prove a little soporific
But Graham made the harpsichord
Sound totally terrific!

These days in the jungle
It’s a very well known fact
That Graham and his harpsichord
Is THE BEST final act!

Ta daaaaa! Hope you liked it, and big thanks to everyone that joined in the challenge by tweeting me random words!

Oh, and if you’d like to read the rhyme I wrote for last year’s World Poetry Day, it’s here… 🙂

* Graham was a little hurt at being called a salamander when he was quite obviously a lizard, but he decided to let it pass.

** I know. I know, okay? Yes, I know there’s a big difference between a harpsichord and a zither, but I liked the rhyme. So there. 🙂