Search This Blog

Sunday, 31 August 2014

News From Bromham - Dateline Sunday 30th August 2014

Bulletin From Bromham: Dateline – Sunday 30th August 2014

Here is our weekly round-up of events from Bromham:

1.       After 35 years since her last appearance, Katy “Piglet” Bush made her long-anticipated entrance on to the stage in the back bar of The Wounded Ferret to an ecstatic audience of nearly seven people.  Tickets for the little-sought-after gig were snapped up in under seventeen weeks.  One fan, who wished not to be named, had made an emotional journey all the way from Potterne to see the singer.  When questioned closely he admitted that he had not wanted to come at all, but his dad had asked him to turn up to find out if this was the same girl with whom he had once had a knee-trembler with round the back of the barn many years ago.

2.       Following the national celebrity trend sweeping the country, Benny Dogleash, irascible manager of Bromham Casuals, yesterday reluctantly accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Unfortunately, no-one had told the players, led by inconsistent striker Dwayne Mooney, that the ice cubes needed to be taken out of their plastic packets first.  Mr Dogleash suffered multiple abrasions and bruising to his head and, whilst still unconscious, was rushed to Bromham General Hospital’s A&E Unit, where he was forced to wait for several hours to see a doctor.  The waiting area had been packed with several people who had badly injured themselves whilst trying to commit suicide following bouts of depression, after learning that in the past six months, no-one had nominated them for the Ice Bucket Challenge.

3.       For details of these and all other Bromham stories, don’t forget to listen to local radio station Carrot FM.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Saturday, 30 August 2014

When All Is Said & Done

When All Is Said And Done  (in praise of the lesser-spotted cliché)

When all is said and done you know,
You need to make your point in a rush.
You can’t go all around of the houses,
And you mustn’t beat about the bush.

You’ve got to think outside the box:
I can almost hear your heart sinking.
Then you’ve got to cut to the chase,
And do some blue-sky thinking.

On the other hand, and if I were you,
I’m not sure how you feel,
But if you’re going to let sleeping dogs lie,
You’re going to need nerves of steel.

The truth of the matter is, of course,
That you can have too much of a good thing,
And we know that it won’t truly be over
Until we hear that fat lady sing.

Between you and I, pound to a penny,
If you were to remain in this garret,
You wouldn’t be over the moon,
But surely as sick as a parrot.

You’d be between a rock & a hard place,
As the words you needed to form.
The writing would be on the wall:
A case of any port in a storm.

We can’t throw out the baby with the bath-water:
The buck stops here, I think,
For you can surely lead a horse to water,
But you know you can’t force him to drink.

Let’s run the flag up the flagpole,
To see who salutes, if they’re able.
For to be honest with you,
I’d like to lay my cards on the table.

In the good old days, this was just the tip of the iceberg,
But you know that I won’t grovel,
For when you’ve got your back to wall,
You have to call a spade a bloody shovel.

Now I’ve opened up this whole can of worms,
The whole thing’s a bit of a drag.
For to coin an expression,
I’ve let this cat out of the bag.

For a platitude or an obvious remark
Played such a strong role in my youth,
And now at the drop of a hat,
A cliché’s become the moment of truth.
I can’t stay in cloud cuckoo land,
And I really know that I oughter.
I should try & bury this hatchet,
For blood is thicker than water.

For these pearls of wisdom have become run of the mill:
I must bite the bullet: that’s fine,
For if I’m to bring home the bacon,
I’ve got to get to the bottom line.

And now, at the end of the day,
I hope that you’ll find my poem witty.
If that’s not the terrier’s testicles -
Well – don’t that take the McVitie!!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Friday, 29 August 2014

A New Folk Song For Modern England (based on an old Wiltshire goat-nadgering ballad). It shows that country pursuits may leave a lot to be desired.

As I walked out one May morning,
My fortune for to seek,
My way was suddenly blocked,
By a Tesco trolley blocking the creek.

I started to push on with my quest,
And tried to cross over using a log,
But the wood was all slippery,
And quickly I fell into the bog.

I came out smelling of diesel & worse,
My clothes all muddy & rank.
I was all soaking & smelly,
As I slowly crawled up the bank.

I carried on with my walk, ever bold,
Hoping a young maiden to sight,
But I’d got twigs in my hair:
And I must have looked quite a fright.

I then came out of those sylvan woods,
Leaving behind my rural bower,
But soon the day turned out nasty,
With gentle rain, later turning to showers.

I pushed on through the country,
And down to the meadow that day,
For I fancied myself dancing,
All among the new-mown hay.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived:
I suppose it was my bad fate.
Instead of the green meadow,
I found a new-built housing estate.

I looked to the woods where I used to wander.
Fences and barbed wire now blocked the way,
And the foot-path was well diverted,
Away from where we used to go play.

I determined not to give in so easy,
And across the valley I attempted to gaze,
But I couldn’t see nothing out there,
Due to all the pollution and haze.

But finally I spied a pretty fair maid,
A-wandering alone on the moor,
And bounding right up to her,
I said I’d walk her back to her door.

“Nay, lad” the maid said unto me.
“It’s not going home that I’m wanting to go.
I’m running away, and I’m starving.
But you can buy me a MacDonalds, though.”
I said I hoped we could lie down in the meadow,
For it was a great day to go courtin’.
She told me to get lost and scram,
And with me she wouldn’t be sportin’.

She said she was allergic to rape-seed,
And other farm pesticides:
It was sprayed all over the place,
And I looked such a mess, besides.

We couldn’t walk no farther that way,
We’d have to take different directions.
The fields were all fenced off now,
Due to Health & Safety restrictions.

In the end I gave up on my conquest,
For the day had turned out to be crap
It may be the early bird catches the worm
But the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap!

This folk-song lark’s not all it’s cracked up to be;
My nerves are all knotted & frayed.
Whatever the merits of Olde England,
There must be easier ways to get laid.

 Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Thursday, 28 August 2014



Unknown where it comes from
Unbidden, worm-weaving
Inside hidden potential
Tendrils snaking into the crevices
Invading cells
And filling holes we did not even know we had
Casting a lifeline to the drowning
Helping the hopeless
Distracting the deluded
Succouring the simple-minded
With the power of anecdote
The personal testimonial
And imbuing simple correlations
Between unrelated phenomena
With the power of mystery and magic
Quasi-scientific language
Image and advertising
Belying of belief
Trading on trust
And the gap of gullibility

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Autumn Light

Autumn Light

And now we lose the light
The chill of shorter days
Shivering through the cobwebs
Soggy silver hunting nets
Strewn dewy amongst the weeds
And mouldering auburn leaf-fall
The occasional flash of gold or red
Between the darker shades
The grim-hued palette of the tired ground
As it awaits the swirling fogs
That will soon embrace it
And bring the freezing kiss of Winter

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Beetroot & Goat's Cheese Gratin



·         500g beetroots, scrubbed, topped & tailed
·         100-150g goat’s cheese (or other soft cheese)
·         1 tblsp horseradish sauce
·         150ml cream, crème fraiche or yoghurt
·         3 tblsp fresh breadcrumbs (optional)
·         3 tblsp freshly-grated parmesan


1.       Preheat oven to 200C (fan 185C)
2.       Boil the beetroots for 10-15 minutes until tender, but still retaining some bite
3.       Drain and plunge into cold water for a few minutes
4.       When cool enough to handle, slip off any remaining beetroot skin and cut into thick slices
5.       Grease a shallow baking dish with a little butter
6.       Slice the goat’s cheese into small slices
7.       Arrange the beetroot & cheese slices in alternating layers in the greased dish
8.       In another small bowl, mix the horseradish with the cream.  Add salt & pepper
9.       Pour over the beetroot & cheese
10.    Put a layer of breadcrumbs (if using) & grated parmesan over the top of the dish
11.    Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling

What else you need to know:

1.       Serve with a green salad and some thick wholemeal bread to mop up the juices
2.       Ideal on its own as a snack meal, or makes an impressive side dish with red meats

Sunday, 24 August 2014

News From Bromham - Dateline Sunday 23rd August 2014

Bulletin From Bromham: Dateline – Sunday 23rd August

Here is our weekly round-up of events from Bromham:

1.       In the border regions of the village an outbreak of the deadly Carrot Fly disease has broken out.  Quarantine sheds have been declared and dedicated medical assistance has been tractored in to the area in an attempt to stop it spreading.  Several delivery companies have now withdrawn services in that area altogether.  All parsnips, beetroots and other root crops are being routinely screened, and so far no-one in the village has contracted the disease.  There is no known cure and Wiltshire Health Office (WHO) have declared a local emergency.

2.       Fears are growing in the face of many recent vegetable extremist incidents. Kohlrabi “jihadists” have declared war on peaceful arable and vegetable farmers in the area, demanding that all fields be given over immediately to the cultivation of one particular strain of Kohlrabi, or face having their young crops brutally uprooted. Bromham Parish Council has passed various resolutions on the subject, but seems powerless to act in the face of such radical extremism.

3.       For details of these and all other Bromham stories, don’t forget to listen to local radio station Carrot FM.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Saturday, 23 August 2014

A Corner Turned

A Corner Turned

And now the thing is done -
The post that seemed so far away
That never would be reached
Has become a milestone passed along the way
Already long behind me
Fading into hazy distance
A cross-ways of sorts
A turning-point achieved

Breath exhaled and a sigh released
Then confident strides along
A new and different path
As it stretches out ahead
The course a changed one
The direction of travel
Along a new trajectory
Perhaps towards the same horizon

 Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Friday, 22 August 2014



It’s not a matter of consent
or permission to invade
to come within the confines of my body
nor the medical necessity of timely intervention
but the very intrusion itself
and the cutting of skin and tissue
the breach of orifice
entrance by main force
breaking from without to within
external to internal
the subtle insertion of pipes and wires
the transgression of needles and probes
the incursion of cameras and computers
to break into the inner cavities
among the blood and nerves and organs
that pump away unseen
to effect the running repairs
to keep me alive for another day
to give me the breath to complain bitterly
of the pain of violation

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Application For The Post Of Spook

Application For The Post of Spook

Dear Sirs, or To Whom It May Concern,

                                I notice with interest that Her Majesty’s Government has recently been implicated in allegations that members of GCHQ may be eaves-dropping on the Internet traffic of UK citizens (and others) in the continuing struggle to combat International Terrorism in all its forms.  I am reassured by the words of Mr William Hague, Foreign Secretary that those citizens with nothing to hide have nothing to fear.  I wish to state, here and now, that I have nothing to hide.

However, I am concerned to understand that there cannot possibly be enough people available to carry out this detailed level of bugging, I mean monitoring. Clearly we need sufficient personnel to tap the phones, listen to conversations, hack into email and social media, and read the private messages of all its citizens in order to provide a fully-comprehensive coverage of all potential threats.

It goes without saying that I wish to support any measures which our valiant and glorious British Government sees fit to take in preserving our freedoms in this country, although I would not wish you to think that I am one of those swivel-eyed right-wing loonies that one hears so much about. As a matter of fact, I gave up my memberships of both the EDL and the Klu Klux Klan many months ago, as I did not have time for all the dressing up and for attending rallies.  Accordingly I am now a free agent, I have a lot of time on my hands, and I would consequently like to apply for a post as a Spook.  I am sure that you probably do not refer to your operatives as Spooks – probably Operatives or Agents, but I’m sure you understand exactly what I mean.

Obviously, I would expect to start at the bottom of the career ladder as a Trainee or Junior Spook, before rising (through hard work and diligent application) up to the levels of Spook, Senior Spook or even Head of Spooks.  I don’t know what this is called.  If the Head of MI5 is referred to as “M”, I assume that Head of Spooks would be simply “S”, but I am happy to go with whatever code-word you think is appropriate. I would also like to enrol in the Civil Service Pension Scheme before it finally closes.

My qualifications for the post, I think you’ll agree, are both impressive and comprehensive.  Obviously, through reading my emails and listening to my phone calls, you will already be familiar with what they are, but I thought it might be useful to summarise them here, to save you the trouble of having to do deep data-mining on your database, and combing back through my records.

1.       Firstly, I am very patriotic. I like the Union Jack, and do not study my finger nails when the National Anthem is played. I know nearly all the words to the first verse, but could easily pick up the rest if this is deemed important.  I am very fond of the Queen and the Royal Family, and have a large collection of stamps and bank-notes with her picture on them.
2.       Secondly I have a comprehensive selection of I-Spy books, some of which date back to the early sixties.
3.       I still have my special pen loaded with lemon-juice ink so that I can do secret writing, and I have been studying the book “The Dummies Guide to Writing in Code”.
4.       I have my own computer, so I can easily work from home.  This will save the cost of providing me with a Spook’s desk in GCHQ.  I can attend any meetings required via Skype, although I could turn the web-cam off to provide additional anonymity.
5.       I am familiar with email, Facebook and the Internet, which I could use for spying on others.  In fact I have already come across quite a lot of useful stuff that I think you might be interested in.  For example, using Google, I have managed to Google the little-known fact that Google are not paying much by way of UK taxes.  Who knew?
6.       Language skills: I could almost be described as tri-lingual. I did French to A-level standard at school, and still remember quite a lot of German from my GCSEs.  I’d like to claim Latin too, but I have forgotten quite a lot of that.  Besides, I don’t expect that many of The Taliban or Al-Queda do their terrorism in Latin. Or do they?  Perhaps you know something I don’t?  But I’m sure this would be covered in the recruitment briefing.
7.       I have no moral qualms about spying on friends and allies.  You should hear what some of them say about you guys behind your backs.  Unless you already know of course?  Mum’s the word!

I realise that this Application Letter must be treated with the utmost security, and would not expect you to reply using electronic methods, which might be intercepted (ha ha!).  Accordingly, please leave a coded signal under the big stone near the Bus Stop on Parker Street.  No-one would dream of looking there.  It can be our secret. If you leave a set of car-keys for my company car there by next Tuesday, I will know that I have been successful, and we need never tell anyone.

For security purposes, once you have read this letter, please destroy it by eating it.  No-one need ever know.

Keep up the good work.

Yours sincerely…………Andy Fawthrop.

 Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Fruit Clafouti

Recipe for: (FRUIT) CLAFOUTI


·         Fresh fruit – cherries, plums, damsons, pears washed/ stoned/ cut up
·         Dash of sloe gin or brandy or fruit liqueur
·         4 eggs
·         170g/ 6oz caster sugar
·         ½ tsp vanilla essence
·         1 heaped tblsp plain flour
·         125 – 250 ml double or whipping cream
·         Butter (to grease dish)
·         Sprinkle of Demerara sugar
·         Sprinkle of icing sugar


1.       Prepare the fruit.  Add a little Demerara sugar & a dash of liqueur.  Leave to macerate for a couple of hours
2.       Grease a deep flan dish with a little butter & sprinkle with Demerara
3.       Heat the oven to 180C/ 170C fan
4.       In a separate bowl, gently beat together the eggs and sugar
5.       Add the vanilla essence and the flour.  Beat to incorporate
6.       Gradually add the cream, beating gently to form a thin batter
7.       Add a little of the macerated fruit liqueur & mix well
8.       Take the prepared fruit & arrange carefully, cut side up, in the buttered dish, to form a complete layer
9.       Gently pour over the prepared batter, ensuring that it spreads evenly throughout the dish
10.    Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the batter has risen, browning at the edges and just set in the middle
11.    Remove from the oven & allow to cool slightly.  The risen batter will collapse a little
12.    When just warm, sprinkle with icing sugar & serve

What else you need to know:

1.       This is meant to be served warm (rather than hot).  You can make it ahead of time & allow to cool.  Just before serving, warm briefly again in the oven.
2.       Serve with cream or ice-cream.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014



He sits there in the corner all alone,
Absorbed in reading the latest text,
The most amazing fun he ever has,
Almost better than even having sex.

He can’t hear what I’m saying – he’s too far gone:
His social manners are quite uncouth.
His dearest object is his smart-phone,
His only worries are wi-fi and Blue-tooth.

He always likes to be connected:
To be abandoned would cause a frown,
So he texts and tweets and emails,
In case he misses what’s going down.

He’s got all the very latest gadgets -
Wireless hardware, and some software apps.
There’s nothing he can’t find out, or look up -
In his world, there aren’t too many gaps.

He aims to be online completely wireless,
Accessing his friends and data on the move,
Reporting on his every whereabout,
To let them know he’s in the groove.

You could be talking and he wouldn’t hear you,
He’s engrossed in looking at Facebook -
It’s as if he’s not really with you,
Just as if he couldn’t give a fuck.

His skin has assumed a ghostly pallor,
And his finger-nails are turning green.
Unearthly shadows flick across his face,
Reflected from his i-Phone’s tiny screen.

His brow is furrowed in concentration,
As he reads what’s recently occurred,
Crouched over the device within his hands,
And his fast-texting thumbs are blurred.

He’s terrified he might lose his signal,
Or his life as a connected man,
The phone he’s clutching, and frequently touching,
Just two seconds is his attention span.

Each incoming message holds promise,
Of some earthly contact electronic:
As if it’s asserted that he’s not been deserted,
Though his responses are mostly moronic.
His hearing has almost deserted him,
His eyes are hooded, his jaw it hangs slack.
He’s not really with us here in the room,
As he sits there emailing at the back.

Yes he’s got to be Mister Connected -
His concentration must be concerted,
But one of these days, he’s gonna look up,
And find himself totally deserted!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Monday, 18 August 2014



Admire the blank and empty canvas
Upon which delicate brush-strokes have been drawn
As if to create a pretty picture, an illusion

There, across her angled shoulders
A golden sash, lightly drawn
An elegant sweep of colour
Upon the whiteness of her milky flesh

There, around her neck
A delicate filigree thread
Suspends a single diamond
Upon the gossamer muslin
Above her gently-rising breast

There, along her naked arms
A rack of gilded circlets
Clicking, singing, cymbal-shimmering
Resonating to the movement of her body

There, on her slim and elegant fingers
Twine twisted delicate rings
Topaz-red in silvered settings
Jewelled in harmony
With her carmined nails

There, on her perfect pallid face
Along the nape and cheekbone
Lie invisible, tiny blonde hairs
And from the faintest pinkness
Of shapely ear-lobes
Hang heavy hoops of gold

There, up to the very edges of her pretty mouth
Runs the lip-gloss painted line
A precise and perfect butterfly
Beneath the pertness of her nose
Sporting its tiny jewelled stud

And there, across her sculpted face
Sits her calm and cool expression
That speaks so little of the effort
That it took to look so natural

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Sunday, 17 August 2014

News From Bromham - Dateline Sunday 17th August 2014

Bulletin From Bromham: Dateline – Sunday 17th August

Here is our weekly round-up of events from Bromham:

1.       The Bromham Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) were posted this week outside the stately home of reclusive pop star Riff Pilchard, whose celebrity status has done little or nothing to enhance the reputation of the village, especially since he made those dreadful records in the 1960s & 1970s.  Police searched the house, following a tip-off from a member of the public, but so far all that has been found is a cache of tasteless publicity shots for a 1978 calendar, and a large number of offensive images (believed to be of Mr Pilchard himself).  Police officers who attended the scene are being given psychological counselling.

2.       A convoy of three tractors which set off from Bromham a week ago have reached the disputed border with Seend.  Authorities in the breakaway province are refusing to allow them passage, claiming that they may be carrying carrots and other root vegetables which might give succour to the insurgents in the village.  Bromham Parish Council, who despatched the convoy, dismissed such claims, saying that the tractors were merely bringing humanitarian aid in the form of cabbages.

3.       For details of these and all other Bromham stories, don’t forget to listen to local radio station Carrot FM.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Red Onion Marmalade



  • 3 tblsp light olive oil
  • 700g red onions, very finely sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 150ml sherry vinegar
  • 250ml full-bodied red wine
  • 2 tblsp fresh raw beetroot juice or grenadine

  1. heat the oil in a heavy pan, adding onions, salt, pepper & sugar.  Stir to mix
  2. cover & cook on low heat, until mixture has produced some liquid
  3. uncover & cook on gentle heat, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes, until the onions are completely soft (but don’t allow to brown)
  4. add the vinegar, wine & beetroot juice & cook on higher heat for 30 minutes until thickened a little
  5. remove from heat & pot into warm sterilised jars.  Cool completely before sealing & labelling.
 What else you need to know:

  1. the key to this is long, slow, gentle cooking.  The onions should have a completely soft, silky texture
  2. improves with age as it matures
  3. great with cheese, pates & terrines, cold meats & roasts

Friday, 15 August 2014

Ravished By The Storm

Ravished By The Storm

He could not have meant it
There must have been some mistake
When the newsreader
Went over to the special correspondent
The local man upon the ground
In some distant disaster zone
Whose first language was not English
And told us firmly
Across the breaking signal
That the storm had ravished the land
And it left me with a strange impression
Of a cyclone that had crept up unawares
Taken its victim by surprise
Lifted the petticoats of the land
And, despite the screams of protest
The frantic efforts to prevent it
The turning away of its face
Had forced itself upon the villages
Scratching and tearing
Bearing down its great strength
Ravaging without mercy
A relentless rapine
Until it had finally spent itself
Leaving behind a broken spirit
Before it blew away
In weakened state
To build and re-gather
And terrorise another place

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Thursday, 14 August 2014

What Lies Beyond

What Lies Beyond

It used to be the main entrance
An imposing cathedral space
Stone and glass and grand dimension
An echoing Victorian portal
Giving admittance to the wards beyond
The smell of death and strong carbolic

Now modern made-over
With sensitive deployment
Of smart synthetic surfaces
Creating a contemporary feel
Pastelled walls of recent artwork
Imposing copper sculptures
Conversation pieces within the information hub
A crowded hubbub of comings and goings
Busy, active people thronging
The global-branded café outlet
Seeking soothing lattes and mochas
Or a convenient power point
To recharge their mobile devices
To draw some sustenance
To catch the wandering wifi signal
And connect wirelessly
Jacking in to the web

Or gently cruise the shopping mall
The range of vending opportunities
Of outsourced concessions
The thrum of retail activity
Bees within a busy hive
A brightly down-lit arcaded atrium
An open meeting-space
With colour-coded signage
In a font of retro-vibe lower case
Indicating the way out
That leads from Waiting
Into the hospital itself

Where poorly people lie bed-ridden
Hooked to monitors and machines
Jacked into tubes and treatments
Losing their vital steady signal
Absorbing drips and drugs
And leaking body fluids
Seeking diagnosis of condition
And prognosis of their future
And amid the wounds, illness and injury
There is tension and anxiety
And a rarely-distant fear
Of suffering and dying

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Wednesday, 13 August 2014



Because now that I know
…I wish that I didn’t
                …a rabbit that’s out of the hat
Because I keep thinking about it
…dreams of engulfment
…nightmares too bad to bear
Because when I wake up it should just go away
                …dissolve like the rest of my night terrors
…into great gulps of relief
…but this time it doesn’t
Because this time it’s true
…and I can’t the thing shake it off
                …stuck to me limpet-like
Because there’s no easy solution
…no simple way out
                                …nor way to avoid it
Because there’s no amount of money
…that could be scraped together
…that would pay this thing off
Because it doesn’t take bribes
                …no price of my ransom
…nor even listen to reason
Because it’s unfeeling
…it doesn’t know what it’s doing
…nor realise what it’s doing to my life
Because my peace of mind is failing
…because this is it
…because this time it’s real
…because it’s so frightening
That’s why I’m shouting
…calling out in my sleep
…because I’m afraid

 Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

It's My Party

It’s My Party…

It’s not seemly to be selfish, to keep it to oneself
Hiding it from others, to be so possessive, and not to share
But this quite different
In this case, it’s mine, not yours
And clearly belongs only to me
It’s personal and private
The thing that’s growing inside is for me to suffer and endure
To conduct my own campaign of warfare against it
And to battle bravely against what ails me

I appreciate your interest
Your sympathy, your empathy
And all the feelings you have for my sorry situation
How you’d like to take over
To make me feel better
To nurse me back to health
To smother me with love
To overwhelm me with information
And the brave tales of others who have battled and won
But you can’t fight by proxy
You’re stepping on my toes
Encroaching onto my patch
Muscling in on my action
Pushing me out of the picture
And invading my territory

Can’t you see?
I went to a lot of trouble
Spent a lot of my lifetime
To catch this bloody disease
And develop this deadly condition
Growing these mutant cells
That threaten to spread over the rest of my innards
It was me that gave birth to this monster
It’s my bloody baby, so let me look after it
I must be the one to nurture it, and feel it grow
Till it’s fully formed and large enough
That I can finally stick the knife in
Cut it right away
And kill the damned cuckoo

Don’t deny me this one thing that’s mine
The anger that’s driving me
Till the fight-back begins -
It’s one of the few pleasures I’m likely to get

 Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014

Monday, 11 August 2014



It’s not disappointment
Nor confusion, nor frustration
The feelings you seem to think I’m having
Your training tells you I’ll be shocked
Surprised and overwhelmed
By information overload
Unable to take it in
As though it’s far too much
But that’s not it at all

No - I fully understand
I’m simply focused on your voice
The reassuring practiced tone
There’s no beating about the bush
No use of euphemisms
But the bare and brutal truth
Your honesty in coming straight to the point
Leaving no room for any doubt

But after that it’s very different
A sudden closing darkness
On the periphery of vision
A caving-in of walls
A falling, breaking sky
And a hard shattering of light
Brilliant glittering crystals
And cracking blood-red beads
Shimmering sparkles
Cascading to the floor
Where they settle
Puddling in pools around my feet

And then a quietness
An emptying of sound
Except the echoing noise
That is the droning of your voice
Still talking options and decisions
Through the shit-storm
That fills me up
Quivering and shaking
A rising gorge
A boiling up of anger
A towering rage
Cowering under the enormity
Of the scale of this miserable betrayal
The depth of disappointment
That my own body should dare to let me down
And fail to go the distance

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2014