Note Number 26… My Husband is A Cyclist…

cyclist copy

My husband is a cyclist and says he’s not obsessed
He doesn’t have just one bike but a couple, more or less
There’s one for the winter with disc brakes and thick tyres
And another for the summer months when, with the effort he perspires
Then of course there is the spinner that he sets up here at home
When the weather is against him and he can’t go out and roam

He’s found himself some special shoes, three pairs of them he’s got
They each fit to different pedals and of those he has a lot
I don’t understand any of it, it’s way beyond my grasp
I only had a bike for shopping, in the dim and distant past
That had simply three gears for helping on the hills
Nowadays, there’s twenty-three, enhanced with little pills

The weight has dropped off by the stone and he’s looking young and fit
And now the lycra’s not so stretched around the lumpy bit
More padding needed round the back and butt cream, liberally spread
When he reaches home after 100k, he sometimes looks half dead
He really loves all three bikes, but not more than he loves me
It’s the Strava App he’s constantly on, that causes jealousy

He uses it for logging all the rides, with hills, and speeds,
His buddies upload comments on their each and every feed
It’s a bit like Facebook for those on bikes, or swimming or a run
They strive to beat their highest goals and say it’s all in fun
But underneath the jolly remarks there lies a green eyed streak
And woe betide the person who makes fun of the Strava geek

So, my husband is a cyclist, he rides the hills and vales
In the rolling Dorset countryside for miles, and miles of trails
I’m not a clinging wife which is probably just as well
And I’m happy to let him pursue whatever rings his bell
As it keeps him out of trouble and gives me quality time
To write a bit of fiction, or complete another rhyme

Ninette Hartley April 2017©

Note Number 14…14th January…a Significant Date…

tosh2

Today, six years ago in 2011 our family dynamics changed forever. We lost Tosh at the age of 27. He was a son, a brother, a boyfriend, a cousin, and an uncle, all our lives were affected in different ways. Every day that goes by I think of him and a couple of months ago I wrote this poem, trying to capture some of the emotions I felt and still feel and I’m sharing it with you on this post.

Tosh

It is not right
It should not be
That he has left, ahead of me.

He was not done
Nor finished all
Before he took that tragic fall

There’ll never be a wedding now
Or children in whose face I catch
Some semblance of the boy I’ve lost
I wish him back no matter cost

I know

It’s better not to think this way
Of things he’ll never do or say
But just recall the good times had
Don’t dwell on minor things of bad

But then, I make him like a saint
This youth who loved to live and paint
On urban trains and midnight walls.
He didn’t heed friends’ warning calls
Or sirens from the boys in blue
He didn’t think their hearts were true

To him there was no wrong in graff
Sprawling images of this and that
Slashing authority’s senseless laws,
Fighting all the small man’s wars
Against the corporation greed
Upon whose profits politicians feed

He left behind some works of art
On streets, at home, and, in my heart
I know it was his destiny
To leave this world ahead of me.

Thomas Hartley November 30th 1983 – January 14th 2011

Note Number 2…Where Did You Get That Hat…?

 

Last night, Saturday 10th September, I attended the Vittles and Verse poetry evening in Lyme Regis. I did read a couple of my own poems and they were well received (I think!) The event is held every month and I’m going to miss a couple while The Man and I travel back to Italia for an autumn visit but I’ll be returning again for another session as soon as I get the chance. There are some amazing poets in Dorset.  I’m talking about the others Not Me!

Being in the poetry mood – I thought I would write Note Number 2 in the theme of rhyming couplets…Well – the Panto Season will soon be upon us!

shop-window

Charity Shop Window – Most of the shop windows in Bridport featured hats on the day.

Bridport Hat Festival Saturday 3rd September 2016

In Bridport one fine Saturday
The residents, their hats display

Of many colours, styles and shapes
It’s lots of fun and jolly japes

Roger Snook from the hat shop in town
Gave a knowledgeable talk at the Rose and Crown
(actually it was The Bull Hotel but that doesn’t rhyme)

He told us stuff about hundreds of hats
So much, that I’ve forgotten the facts

I’ll share some interesting bits with you
If my memory is able to drag up a few
(see further down post)

The Man and I were unprepared for the day
So improvised quickly – let us just say…

I favoured a fascinator with feathers so chic
He bought a luminous chicken – minus the beak

Music and dancing buzzed in the street
The atmosphere was festive ‘twas all such a treat

In Bucky Doo Square as the clock struck one
A group photo is taken – it’s jolly good fun (not)

The rain held off ‘til about half past two
So events ran smoothly – as they usually do

Next year the festival will be with us again
And I’m already designing the hat I’ll wear then!

the-mand-and-me

The Man as a Chicken…me in my Fascinator only Mr Snook said thay were orginally known as a ‘TANTALISER’ which I think sounds far more interesting.

mr-snook-and-hats

Mr Roger Snook with his array of hats…..

Snooks hat shop has been in business in Bridport since 1896 and although the town is known for Rope Making the hat making industry was also significant in the town because they used the flax for weaving them.  Mr Snook wanted to point out however, that the family are not hat makers but hat retailers.  He can pretty well get you any hat that you want, at a price though!
Roger Snook’s other job, apart from running the family shop, is to look after the town clock which he asures us chimes 13 times at midnight every New Year’s Eve. I’ll have to pop along this year and make sure he’s not telling porky pies. The shop holds a large selection Fedoras which I do believe The Man is going to check out as he rather fancied this blue one. Although he might choose the Al Capone style with the rolled edge Hmmm.

Al Capone on the left…blue Fedora on the right

The Panama hat originated from Equador and we were given a demonstation as to how to correctly fold one.  They are rolled up and kept in a tube but should be ‘let out’ at least once a year.  They must ocassionally be hung up in the bathroom whilst a shower is being taken so the steam will help to keep flexibility – don’t let it drop in the bath, this was not recommended.  I’m not sure I have a picture of a Panama hat…what a shame but I think this rather large pink and white ladies hat is an example… (not traditional I know)

pink-screw-up-hat

 

A Few Facts from Mr Snook…

A Deerstalker is also known as a Fore and Aft. (I think this is also the name for an army/navy hat that can be worn either side to side – athwartor fore and aft).
The Fez was banned by the Turkish Government in 1925 as part of modernisation reforms.
The Hat Pin was invented in Gloucester, England.
There are 4 pints in a Ten Gallon Hat…and the name is derived from Route 66 in America because it takes 10 gallons of petrol to get from one petrol station to another on Route 66. (I’m still not sure why they would name the hat after this unless everyone driving  on Routee 66 wore one)
In 1896 Mr Bowler, Lord Cobham’s game keeper invented which hat? You guessed it…the Bowler Hat. Originally from cow hide stretched over a post but devloped from that point.
In 1910 it was the most popluar hat in Bolivia. Sold to the people as a hat which would increase fertility if they wore it.
A Pith Helmet is called thus because it was/is made from reeds. They were orginally white and were dyed using tea to camouflage them in the desert during the Zulu wars.
Poirot is the only person who wears a white bowler hat (is this true? I may have got that wrong).

Lots of pictures of hats now….

 

 

 

And finally….