A Kiss for my Mother

Giving is the best when it’s for people who never ask for a thing,

A short, sharp intake of breath held for a second, while the realisation of an unexpected act filters through and touches her tender emotions.

Loving eyes twinkle with tears that gently roll down a cheek that has turned so many times over the years.

Perhaps it’s because I stood so close that I did not always see you,

But I see you now.

My one, my only, Mother.

Posted in daughters, Mothers, Mothers Day, one and only, sons | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Amazing Harold Cain

As the door closed on 2014 the door of a new year opened and in walked 2015, full of enthusiasm and hope.

I had made a new years resolution to write more, but 2015 had hardly had time to wipe its feet before tragic events started to appear one after another which stopped me in my tracks and evaporated any thoughts of writing. So why am I writing now I hear you say, well it occurred to me that the best way not to forget people is to tell other people what amazing individuals they were.

I am not going to tell you about the people who have recently left us, there is still too much pain, sadness and empty feeling of loss, now is not the time. I think the best time to write about someone is when you think of them with a smile, that is why I am going to tell you about my Father in Law, Harold Cain.

Harold was of slight build but was in proportion to his hight of 5ft 7ins ( 165cm ), he was a naturally fit man, who during his stint in the army in World War two between fighting in North Africa and Italy,had run for his regiment. His ability to run distance and at pace never left him, this came in handy as he would regularly miss the bus that was due to take him to work. Even when this happened when Harold was in his sixties, he would still set off with the same speed and a spring in his step of a man half his age. He always took the short cut to attempt to catch the bus, three bus stops and a quarter of a mile down the road Harold was there waiting for his bus, he always made it.

When Harold retired, because he had worked for the local bus company for most of his adult life he qualified for a free bus pass, which he and my Mother in Law Lucy made good use of. Things were fine but after a couple of years Lucy started to complain saying that Harold was embarrassing her and after a while she stopped going out with him on her own, we had noticed that he was getting a bit excentric but had thought it was just Harold being a bit qwercy, we now know it was the first signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease, it robs people of their memories and soul. I have the utmost respect and sympathy for the partners, son,daughters and family of Alzheimer’s sufferers because of the love and loyalty they show as they watch their loved ones change and morph into a totally different character.

The story I am about to tell was when Harold had still got most of his faculties, he was at the bit qwercy and eccentric stage of his illness. As a family we had decided to have a day out at Drayton Manor Park, there was Harold, my mother in law Lucy my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and their two children, my wife and our three children and of course myself. All went well, we had arrived late morning, parked in a lovely spot amongst the pine trees, played games with the kids for a while in the meadow then had a most wonderful pick-nick, idyllic. The next phase was to let the kids have the afternoon in the fun park and zoo. Drayton Manor Park at the time had the parkland separated from the fun park and zoo by two lakes and a stream connecting both. Off we went to make our way out of the parkland area and over the stream via the bridge and into the fun park and zoo area, we queued to pay for the wrist bands that allowed the kids to have unlimited goes on the rides, we had everyone supplied with ice creams and lollies and just about to start our assault on the fun park when Harold innocently, and out of the blue then said,

” Could you jump over it Geoff ?”

I had been in the middle of a conversation with John, my brother-in-law, and the question had taken me by surprise. I remember being puzzled and looking at John for a clue as to what Harold was talking about, John looked as bemused as myself, we both turned around to look in the general direction as Harold was gazing. Immediately behind us was a litter bin, about one meter high, I remember turning back to Harold and confidently saying,

” Yeah I could jump that”.

“Could you jump it, John ? ” Harold asked.

“Yes Dad” had been Johns reply.

“Right then” is all Harold said while rocking too and fro on the heels and balls of his feet like an Olympic long jumper, then before John and I could resume our conversation he was off. Harold sped passed us, we turned around expecting to see him attempt to vault the litter bin, but no, he ran straight passed it and then disappeared into the crowd. We had no idea what he was up to but could see the general direction he was heading as the busy crowds of people were being parted like ‘Moses parting the Red Sea’. All of our family, along with all of the people in close proximity to Harold were asking the same thing, what was he doing, then it dawned on us and I remember John and I saying in unison, ” Not the river”.

“He won’t make it it’s too wide”

” What’s he doing now “.

” What’s grandad doing”.

Were comments made by the family as he got closer to his goal. He was out of the crowded Tarmac area now, his cap still firmly on his balding head and he was running on the grassy embankment at full speed like an old fully laden Lancaster bomber, his eyes were firmly fixed on the other side as he launched himself impressively into the air, ” He’s going to make it ” I remember John hopefully exclaiming. There was a moment when I thought, ” Yes he will ” but at that moment, at the zenith of his trajectory, fate took a firm hold of Harold Cain’s braces and gave them a yank, at which point he started his decent into the river. When I say river I mean brook, it was no more than 2.5 meters wide and 30 cm deep but from bank to bank it would have been about 4.5 meters and Harold had landed close to the far side of the brook. He had landed on his feet but then lost his balance and wobbled over and ended up sitting in the middle, a sorry and defeated sight. Harold made his sorry journey back the way he came with people looking on in disbelief as this soggy little man squelched passed them, when he got back to us he was met with a torrent of what and why, I don’t think we ever got an answer, he turned around and went to the gents toilets to dry off. That is where I found him some 30 minutes later drying his socks under the hand dryer, however when he had landed in the shallow stoney brook he damaged his foot which had swollen and had made walking on it impossible. I persuaded him to jump on my back and I carried him back to the car where he stayed until we left later that day.

I remember my mother in law, Lucy, being so upset saying that Harold had ruined a lovely day out, in fact the day has become a part of our family folk law and a day that we can all vividly recall, now will a smile. Harold was an amazing, resilient and courageous man who fought to keep his sanity until the very end, I miss him and will always remember him with great affection.

Posted in Dads, days out, Family, Father and Son Relationship, Good Times, grandparents, happiness, happy days, Life Experiences, Mental Health, parents | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Troubled Mind

Standing jangled on a cliff,

Can I fly, shall I try,

I think I can, I think I can.

A tipping point, no turning back now,

Can I fly,

I think I can, I think I can.

Plummeting like a stone yet somehow floating in slow motion,

What a ludicrous notion that I should survive and stay quite alive.

Yet here I am racing to the ground,

Can I fly, I hope I can.

Fool, too late, as exhilaration turns to panic,

Like Captain Smith on the doomed Titanic,

I am going down.

Hoping to awake from a dream, a piercing light screws up my eyes,

What will be my big surprise,

Is it morning or heaven ?

Posted in Dreams, Falling, Flying, My Poetry, suicide, troubled mind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wave Goodbye to Love

How can this hand that placed a pagan band wave goodbye again,

The actors face smiles to hide the pain,

Hoping that like the moon, you will shine on me again.

Soft gentle light,

As I stare into the night,

Wormhole take me to your side,

On the aether let me ride,

I need your gravity as the Earth needs the Moon,

Please make it soon,

Aching, yearning, passion burning,

Let me plunge my bucket into your well,

To quench this fire that burns like hell,

Or watch me wither and watch me cry,

Without your love I will truly die.

Geoff Higgins 2015

Posted in gravity, hell, Love, pain, passion, Yearning | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Think bubble.

Invisible words of what should be said,

Or then again, no.

A careless word is as lethal as a snipers bullet.

Silence is sometime a better option.

Tortured words are teased out for their own gain.

To inflict pain.

To incite trouble.

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Oh the joy of Christmas, or is it ?

For most of us Christmas is an expensive and frantic time sorting out things to buy and things to eat, we nearly always buy too much of both but it doesn’t stop us from doing the same thing year after year. Then, there is the Christmas card list, who sent us a card last year, who did we send a card to and not get one in return, who have we dropped from the list and who must we add to it?

  I use the term ‘we’ very loosely, it’s more a ‘Royal We’  as it’s my wife or as I like to call her at this time of year my little ‘Director of Christmas Operations’  who sets out the strategies  for the Christmas campaign like a Roman General. I am sure that my experiences are not unique as I know that my friends go through the same rituals with their wives as I do each year, and as I do, secretly love it. I also know that without women at Christmas the Christmas Card industry would grind to a halt and that there would also be no big bonanza time for retail at the end of each year.

I also know that without women at Christmas there would be a lot less love in the world, less joy, less happiness, less reconciliation, less bridge building and less togetherness because it’s women who are the glue that holds a family together. The efforts, the thoughtfulness, the attention to detail that my wife puts into making our Christmas experience extra special makes us want to replicate it time and again.This then becomes tradition and is passed on to our children who then take it on and add their own twist to the festive season, and so Christmas celebration evolves.

 With a lot of planning, ingenuity and energy from my wife and a little help from myself we plan to have a very merry Christmas, I hope that yours lives up to the billing and exceeds your expectations. Happy Christmas.

Posted in Christmas, Family, Holiday season, Tradition, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Make Cider not War

It’s that time of year again when apple trees full of ripe fruit start shedding their load. I have an apple tree at the top of my garden and this year has been a particularly productive harvest, so I set myself the task of making cider. I am at the stage of the cider making process where the brown murky liquid is fermenting out, hopefully my labour will not be in vain and it will produce something drinkable.

The whole process is quite labour intensive and you need a lot of fruit to produce a few gallons of the stuff, my wife mocks me and tells me that after all my time and effort it won’t be drinkable and I will end up throwing it down the drain, we’ll see. While I was mashing the apples to a pulp and extracting the juice I was constantly harassed by squadrons of wasps, now I have to be very careful around wasps as if I get stung I react badly and require medical attention but I never let that panic me and I never relay that to my grandchildren. However, my grandson Dan has got himself into a bit of a flap about wasps after being stung earlier this year, so much so that anything that vaguely represents a wasp he immediately wants to squish it, I suppose he is remembering the pain of his last experience and wants to get his retaliation in first.

It strikes me that most conflicts follow this same trend, individuals, organizations, governments and countries are all guilty of squishing something just because it looks or sounds a threat. Most conflicts end up with the leaders sitting around a table and sorting out a peace plan, wouldn’t it be better doing that before a conflict started and not after a lot of pain and misery. It’s time to throw away our weapons before we all get squished. It’s a lot more fun making and drinking cider.


Posted in Britian/England/United Kingdom, Father and Son Relationship, grandchildren | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment