Saturday, May 25, 2013


To quote the popular poem*, 'Sometimes things don't go, after all, from bad to worse'.

Sometimes, after a week of absurdly wintry weather, the sun comes out. Instead of going back into the house to grab a rain coat, you go back in to pick up your sunglasses and ditch your quilted jacket. The sun shines so convincingly that the icecream van makes the trip up from Whitby, to sell 'gothic' (blackcurrant and liquorice) icecream on the cliff top.

Sometimes, after a month of waking constantly during the night for snacky, comforty, unnecessary-but-impossible-to-deny feeds, a baby sleeps for four or five hours on the trot.

Sometimes, after weeks of refusing to take the 9am nap that is the bedrock of a pleasant morning, the baby just shuts her eyes and sleeps for fifty minutes straight without any fuss.

Today was such a day. At first I was lost. What to do with my morning, now I didn't need to spend it pushing Lady P around Saltburn in the grumpy pursuit of sleep (for her) and caffeine (for me)?

The answer was to take my rested self, and my smiling, happy baby, off for a walk on beach and some coffee and cake with my sister and her family. To sit in the sun and watch my nephews play sweet twinny games. And to amble along the cliff top eating a Whitby gothic icecream.

Good times. Long may they last. And, oh yes, may they happen for you.

*Like many people I first saw these lines on the tube, in the Poems on the Underground series. Apparently Sheenagh Pugh 'long ago got sick of it'. It's a solid poem, but perhaps she felt it was cheapened by its popularity - kinda like the way I imagine the way The Lumineers might feel about that Ho Hey song. Anyway, for those who didn't see it on the tube, here it is in full.

Sheenah Pugh (b. 1950)

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you. 

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