Sharing those moments of unexpected, unadulterated joy amongst all the sadness of our current reality.
“A true highlight in an otherwise very bleak year”
Beach Towers by Mary Pickin
Lockdown was scary at first, and lonely; there was just me inside and the killer virus lurking outside.
We were all worried about dying, being pounced upon by some savage thing that cut short our futures, snatched our loved ones away and tore our families apart forever. I lived with that awful tight feeling in my diaphragm every day.
Until one day I noticed on facebook a picture of a pebble tower on Whitley Bay beach; about ten pebbles precariously balanced to form a stack. A little bit of creativity in a world of chaos. The towers were ramshackle; make do, yet rugged and resilient against the wind and the tide.
Gradually more and more people who were out on the beach for exercise added to the height and the number until they became a host and when I made a pilgrimage to see them one drizzly morning my heart leapt in my chest as I saw them in a crowd, just like William and Dorothy did when they crowned the Grasmere hilltop and saw those daffodils. The towers weren’t dancing or fluttering but standing there in raggle taggle resilience, just as fragile in their beauty.
They fair took my breath away; like when I see the first crocus or a blackbird’s egg in spring. Despite the terror of plague and pandemic a fragile, pebbly and romantic resilience remains here on the north east coast by the German ocean.
Hey, what’s that? by Barbara Bone
It was the sound of plop through the letterbox.
I dried my hands in the kitchen
Then I walked to the front door,
Bending to retrieve a long slim cardboard box.
I’ve not ordered anything?
The box said Bloom and Wild?
Flowers, oh how wonderful!
Who are they from?
I tore the box open to find a card.
A present from a niece, Wow!
Thanks filled my brain, my spirits lifted,
How did she know I was in need of an emotional lift?
I tenderly drew the flowers out
Found an appropriate vase and once filled with water,
I gently coaxed the netting off the flower heads.
Colours of lilac , pink and white , with foliage filled the vase.
My mood was ecstatic , colour and floral smells pervaded
My nostrils and eyes . I was grateful for such a lovely gift.
‘We’ll Meet Again’ by Liz Gregson
VE Day 75th Anniversary Celebration
Would you like to raise a toast to celebrate with us.
Friday 8 May 2020 – 5.30pm
Outside your front door/ gate
Looking forward to seeing you.
After over six weeks of lockdown we welcomed an opportunity to see our neighbours. In early May I suggested raising a toast to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day and checked suitable times. I distributed invitations, including the lyrics for Vera Lynn ‘We’ll meet again.’
Our neighbours were keen, apart from one sceptic who was unsure it was a good idea, ‘It might rain’. My response was,’On the other hand, it might not.’ Late on Friday afternoon I looked apprehensively as the sky started to cloud over. I hoped it would stay dry and people would turn out, at least for 5 minutes.
Shortly before 5.30pm people started appearing from their doorways, some with chairs, picnic tables and glasses. Before long we were all outside, including 2 new families who had moved in recently and we had never met. David came wearing an old army hat and offered sandwiches, ‘Spam, some have Branston Pickle in too’; a taste of the 1940s. Mo brought a wonderful Victoria Sponge cake, richer than rationing allowed and worthy of praise from Mary Berry.
We raised a toast to celebrate the anniversary of VE Day and remembered those who made it possible. The sun came out as Vera Lynn was playing from the car; music from the 1940s, suitably fitting to this time in the 21st century.
While keeping their distance apart people smiled and chatted. We were all so pleased to see each other and meet our new neighbours. A brief toast turned into a memorable socially distanced street party.
We all hoped it would not be long before ‘We’ll meet again.’
Lockdown Surprise by Barbara Douglas
It was an adventure, discovering a new walk
It was beautifully quiet, hardly any cars on the road
It was an unprepossessing entrance to a wood
It exploded into a riot of bluebells as far as the eye can see
Accompanied by the glorious scent of wild garlic
And the tip tap of a woodpecker, unseen but not unheard.
Emerging from the wood into a field of bright sunshine
I was greeted by the head of The Angel over the hedge.
My Box by Pat Stott
I was sitting in my garden when a lady in a van
pulled up at my gate and together with a man,
Produced a large box which she put upon my wall,
”A gift from Age UK, I hope you enjoy it all.”
I looked on in amazement as they drove away,
Such a lovely thought, it really made my day.
What could be inside, it was certainly quite heavy,
Perhaps some chocolate, or even, oh joy, a bevy.
The first thing that I saw was a lovely loaf of bread
Some cheese on toast came into my head.
There were some chocolate biscuits and a little box of tea
As my excitement rose, what else could I see.
A carton of soya milk, will make a lovely pud,
Some squeezy tubes of jelly, perhaps I could…
No, better not, but here’s a jar of cherry jam just right for my toast,
Can there be more? I have reached the bottom – almost.
I find some juicy raisins, some popcorn and some crisps,
They look very tasty and I start to lick my lips.
And then I find some chilli nuts, a tingle goes up my spine.
Someone has packed this box for me and it is mine, all mine.
Receiving this box a few weeks into our first lock down came at exactly the right time, I was feeling very low, very alone and frightened about the weeks to come, little did we know it would be more than even months of the same.
It gave me something joyous to share with my whats app friends and still makes me smile in remembering it. A true highlight in an otherwise very bleak year.
Unexpected Joy by Trinity Pupil
I wasn’t able to see friends. I had just got the chance to go out with mates. I was gutted until one day school rang and asked me if I wanted to go back and I said Yes. I was excited to go back and see my mates but there was a catch. I had to stay in KS3 bubble and I wasn’t allowed to go next to KS4.
Joy by Trinity Pupil
I was sitting with my dad
My sister was on her Ipad
It was a very good game
To score was the aim
Isaac Hayden scored
It was one nil on the board
Maximin whipped it in
Dubravka saved everything
Joelinton hit the bar
He didn’t win the war
I was astonished with the win
Chelsea were in the bin