Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Postnatal Nightstand

This is the nightstand of a woman who gave birth to her sixth child eight weeks ago. The breast pads are a giveaway. 

It's my nightstand. 

Look at that dust, it's disgusting. And why on earth is there half a rotten carrot decaying on there? I'll tell you why. My oldest son came upstairs eating it a week ago, put it down and forgot about it. I saw him put it there but I've done nothing about moving it. In the morning I'm getting the baby fed and changed and myself ready. In the evening I'm feeding the baby, then stripping off my day clothes, chucking them on the chair and flopping in to bed. I rarely come into the bedroom during the day so the carrot is still there. It might still be there when the baby is six months old. I can't make any promises.   It's not that I don't like a clean bedroom, I do. It's just that I don't want to put my precious baby down and start cleaning. Look at all that dust!!! I should dust, I really should. But if I dust for five minutes my baby will have grown some more and and I'll have missed it. Blink and you miss it. Dust and you miss it. 

The breast pads ought to go in the bin too. Now that is beyond lazy. 

We are living in clutter. I am in danger of appearing on Hoarders Anonymous. But who can lug boxes to the charity shop on one arm while the baby is in the other? If we could halve our possessions I think we would all be happier. I would certainly have a clearer head I know that. But I'm torn between my desire to declutter and my determination not to miss a second of my beautiful baby's development. He is a Virgo though, so I'd better get the place organised for him. Apparently Virgos hate mess! 

Sunday, August 09, 2015

(Poem) The Woods at Cobbes Meadow (Chartham, Kent) - The stress busting power of nature.

Today I am,
a tightly coiled spring,
the stress of the week,
about to ping.

A fortunate turn,
means a walk in the woods,
with my little dog,
ever faithful and good.

She's glad to see me,
after a week away,
hopefull I'll be,
in the mood to play.

I enter the canopy,
wound up tight.
Relieved to find,
not a person in sight.

My mind still racing,
with all things unsaid.
At times this week,
I had wished I was dead.

But with each tree that calls,
for a hand on its bark,
and each gentle whistle,
of the woodland lark,

I feel the release,
of another tight knot.
My shoulders drop earthward,
my secrets unlock.

The path forms a circle,
a symbol of life.
The death of my tension.
The birth of surprise.

When the fog in my mind,
lifts and lets in the light.
I can see through the trees,
and I feel rare delight.

I stand for a moment,
and absorb the peace,
whilst the dappled sun rays,
fall at my feet.

It's time to go home,
though I wish I could stay.
But I'll return to these woods.
They soothe my troubles away.

Danielle Hemmings. Written - 03/06/2015


(Poem) To the young man in the hospital cafe with his ill mother.

I couldn't help but notice the two of you.
She, with her pink flower embellished turban.
An attempt to decorate her chemo-induced balding head.
You, bringing a tray of coffees out to the garden table.
I want to come up to you and hold your shoulders,
and look you in the eyes,
and say,
she might die from this.
Are you prepared?
But I know you can't be.
You think she will survive.
She has told you she will beat it,
and you believe her.
She's your mum.
She's your world.
You see no other outcome.
I was once you.
My Dad told me he would survive.
He promised, if he did die, he would be a guardian angel watching over me.
I didn't believe he would go.
I was young like you.
I thought my Dad would live forever.
I see your face and I want to hug you.
I hope you have good friends and a close family.
You will need them around you.
I hope your mum survives.

Danielle Hemmings

Thursday, July 30, 2015

(Poem) My Son Rohan

My son Rohan
likes climbing trees
and eating peas
not catching bees

My son Rohan
likes eating cakes
and eating grapes
not wearing capes

My son Rohan
once went to France
and did a dance
in just his pants

My son Rohan
likes to run
in the sun
he's lots of fun

(Poem) My Iron

My iron has many uses
though rarely the pressing of clothes
often it's just a decoration
or bashing a burglar on the nose

It can make quite a good book end
when placed on the window sill
beoming even more attractive
when covered with decorative frill

I once put it down as a doorstop
But people tripped over the cord
I was tempted to fix it with scissors
then I spotted my decorative sword

In a moment of relative madness
I swung the blade down to the floor
I totally missed the iron
and took a chunk out of the door

So the iron now sits in a rack
upon the kitchen wall
waiting for some smart occasion
like a wedding, a funeral or ball

Then out cometh the super smart clothing
the suits, the dresses and such
and we'll wait 'till the very last minute
to iron it all in a rush

So for now I'll just use my iron
as a hook for my pans and pots
I expect I'll forget where I put it

and buy another

Saturday, June 06, 2015

My first published poem. Circa 1991. Aged 18.

I found this gathering dust on my bookshelf. Patricia included my poem about her horse in the book. 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Women of Ireland "Mná na hÉireann"

I've had this tune in my head since I got back from Ireland. It's like a haunting ear worm.

This fella plays it beautifully on the Irish whistle. (I have tried to recreate it on mine. It sounds wonderful.. ahem)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Would you let your Primary School Kids browse YouTube?

This is a pressing question right now what with the Christmas explosion of iPads and smartphones. Huge numbers of people have instant access to the internet and who doesn't let their kid play Angry Birds on their phone to keep them quiet once in a while?  The birds are harmless enough but there's some scary shit on YouTube. One of my boys came home from a friends house recently having been browsing on his friend's Dad's iPad and he couldn't get to sleep because he was thinking about Evil Elmo! Grandparents all over the country have got themselves all technologically equipped with their new gadgets but haven't got a clue about the perils of Two Girls One Cup (don't even think about googling that one!).  The 6 o'clock news is bad enough for gore, but the possibilities for our babies innocence to be forever tarnished at the glowing face of Apple are endless.  Something needs to be done. We need an emergency health warning put out with all new tablets and smartphones that reads "Do Not Let Your Child Loose on YouTube".  You wouldn't let them out to the local S&M club on a Saturday night would you? Giving a child an iPad and saying "there you go little Jimmy, play with that for an hour or two" could quite easily introduce him to much worse.

Unscrupulous YouTube users have been known to upload porn and name it after children's cartoons just to be 'funny'. Anyone can upload anything to YouTube. You can report stuff that you think is offensive but if your child has already seen it it's too late, the damage is done.

I love YouTube. You can find some great stuff on there. Just please, please tell everyone you know (especially Grandparents) not to let kids browse it!  There will be plenty of time for them to hunt out the sickest videos when they get to secondary school.

As a final note, I'll leave you in the twisted hands of Evil Elmo.  Sleep tight.

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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Grandad Welsh's Yorkshire Parkin, Cinder Toffee and Brittle Treacle Toffee

In honour of Bonfire Night I thought I would share my Grandad Don Welsh's recipes, written by his own hand.  There is Cinder Toffee, Brittle Treacle Toffee and good old Yorkshire Parkin.

I am about to have a go at the Parkin and will let you all know how it turns out.  Here are the recipes in case you want to have a go yourself.

Well it's out of the oven and smells delicious! It has sunk slightly in the middle so I reckon I need a bit more practice (which I'm sure DadAmongstMen won't mind!)  I'm sure it'll taste good, even if we have to eat it with a spoon.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011