Summer smile

It is the end of August
My holiday’s almost done
But it’s airshow day, the sun is out
So I’m back at one-oh-one
It’s windy here, the sea is green
The tide is coming in
There’s sun glare on the water
And the waves make quite a din
The beach hut needs a lick of paint
But that can wait a while
For today is one for aeroplanes
And my end of summer smile



Cutting it

To London us two to see some Matisse
Cutouts at the old power station
There’s a warmth in the air which bodes quite well
As we don’t want precipitation
We’re on a Super-Off-Peak so we have time to kill
Such is the pleasure of summer
A walk on the South Bank next to the Thames
And maybe a Wagamama’s


The Gatehouse

Hidden in the woods of Stopham House
The abandoned gatehouse hides
Its ruined gables slowly rot
With its collapsing sides

It’s yellowed stone, forgotten now
The overgrowth has swallowed
And saplings now all round about
Plant roots to quietly follow

Sad testament to Norman days
The Barttelot family lines
At Stopeham once resided
Back in Domesday times


Stopham is a hamlet in the district of Chichester, West Sussex, UK. The Domesday book of 1066 records a manor at Stopham or Stopeham. This has been in the hands of the Barttelot family since the Norman Conquest. They are now Baronets. Little is recorded of when the gatehouse was built or when it fell to ruins.

Lavender Surprise

Late summer lavender
Outside in sun
Pleasant surprise
As season is done
Second crop had
So far this year
More lovely stuff
To bring good cheer


Stopham Bridge

The White Hart’s closed at Stopham Bridge
And no-one’s serving there
We were looking forward to that pint
And some wholesome country fayre
No matter though, the bridge remains
As always, ‘cross the Arun
A protected ancient monument now
A little sad, bereft and barren
Once a thoroughfare for all
On the Petworth Road Turnpike
Its transepts now reserved for tourists
Taking Selfies and suchlike.



Life is full of wondrous things
Some of which we’ve found
From the tideline on the beach
Or just lying on the ground
Some of which we’ve made ourselves
Like the paintings on the wall
Or the sculptures in the garden
On the shelf and in the hall
Some of which we’ve written
In poems, verse and rhyme
Capturing a moment to
Remain with us through time
But our favourite at present is
The disc that Sal has made from glass
Catching light there in our window
And admired by all who pass.



Bank Holiday

It’s Bank Holiday Monday
And it’s raining outside
But that was the forecast
So we’re not that surprised
Having said that, it’s August
And it should still be hot
So it’s somewhat annoying
To find that it’s not
We’re toasty inside though
With slippers and tea
And chocolate biscuits
And old films on TV
Perhaps come the morrow
The sun will be back
And we can get this summer
Back on its track.


Jimmy Sproggit’s rocket

Jimmy Sproggit built a rocket from a cardboard box
Found it lurking near some dustbins over by the locks

Dragged it home all on his own although it was a big one
Ignored his Mum who smacked his bum for being late and then some

Upset his Dad and made him mad for rummaging through his desk
Found the tape but made his mistake when Dad caught him on the steps

By now his bum had grown quite numb from the hands that had been smacking
But knew the pain was worth the gain and all that awful whacking

Cut some slats and made some flaps for the Photon engine’s intake
Made a door down near the floor with a handle stuck with Dads’ tape

Put his pillow in the middle and knew that he was ready
“…four, three, two, one…Oh no! Oh bum!…” Almost forgot his Teddy

Blast off then oh my, t’was grand as Jimmy he went soaring
And his Mother’s shouts from downstairs abouts he was tactfully ignoring

Up there a whoosh down here a swoosh, the rocket it was working
But what a shame to see again the person who was lurking

Behind the door, could he ignore another verbal warning?
Oh yes he could, you knew he would (Isn’t that appalling?)

“Jimmy Sproggit, just you stop it” Yelled his furious Mother
“It’s time for bed…” Oh no! Oh smeg! An asteroid belt…Oh brother!

“Look out below!” (His Mum you know was falling and a-sprawling)
As Jimmy steered and, as he feared warned Mum below by calling

Then with a flurry and a scurry Jimmy pressed the button
And the box went bang with such a clang that Mum fell on her bottom!

Thought of trouble as from the rubble Jimmy struggled blindly
But saw beneath, oh what relief instead of anger, Mum was smiling

So off to bed to rest his head and dream of the new morning
When his box would be – well wait and see ‘cos that’s another story.


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Two circles

Today we got back out there
Out on Sussex hill
And though the skies were heavy
It was largely sunny still
A return to the two circles
Round the back of Findon Gorse
Following the South Days Way
To Chanctonbury of course
Then, touching on the Monarch’s Way
With to our left the spreading Weald
We wound up back at Cissbury
Through August’s golden fields


The ‘Two Circles’ is a 12-mile circular walk in Sussex starting and finishing on the Bostel Road just north of Sompting village. The trail takes in the two ancient hill forts of Cissbury and Chanctonbury Rings using parts of both the Monarch’s and the South Downs Way. Of all the walks my brother (Dave) and I do, this is our favourite.


The garden’s looking lovely
We have oodles of new space
All the overgrowth’s been burnt away
And we’ve tidied up the place
We get evening sunshine up to seven
The grass is thick and green
It’s looking quite the best we think
That we have ever seen


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