That was then – This is now

Linda, Angie, Paul, and Pete

one had spots and smelly feet

another stuttered all the time

one took up professional crime

Do I know which one, or not

I’ve no idea, ‘cause I forgot

It’s just that they were pals of mine

The details dim, but that is fine

Although the memories fade away

What lingers helps to light my day


Linda, Angie, and Paul do exist, as do I. I have no recollection that any of us had spots, smelly feet, a stutter, or were ne’er do wells. I do know that they were excellent co workers and friends without whom I could not have done my job. There were others, of course, but these three have a particularly special place in my life!

Although it can be very pleasant to look back on our youth in later years it is never a good idea to try to compare one with the other. Times change, circumstances change, and our perceptions change. I like to try to live in, and for, the moment, and to enjoy it, and help others to do so too!

The journey

It really was delightful, travelling alongside my wife and daughter. The sun 

shining brightly, a gentle breeze keeping the temperature just right.


Familiar sights passed us by, dreamlike in the heady scent of May blossom.


The car slowed, turned, and came to rest outside the building adorned with so many flowers.


I’m sure I could see my old friend Chris. It must be years since we last met!

Other familiar faces seemed to fill every corner of the peaceful space.


My favourite music played as we entered, and as everyone left, but me!

Look after each other | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Please click on the link below to see my latest haiku published today.

Friends and family Treat everyone with respect Maintain wellbeing Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs regularly at

Look after each other | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

We are all poets

I remember discussing poetry with a soldier friend in a bar in Germany when we were probably aged 20.  We wouldn’t have been drunk because we could not afford more than a couple of small beers but it was good to get out of the barracks and live a little.

I had recited a poem I’d recently written and he stated that he had never tried to write any poetry, and doubted if he had a poetic bone in his body.  He probably did not put it quite so eloquently! However, I responded, saying that we were all poets, whereupon I encouraged him to come up with a verse.

After a bit of thought he produced:

I have a motorbike which goes well

and a car, but it’s not very good! 

Now, if that isn’t poetry I don’t know what is!

Song Lyric Sunday – 10 January 2021 – Mandolin Wind

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. This week the title of the song must start with M or A.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

First released on the (Sir) Rod Stewart 1971 album Every Picture Tells a Story, Mandolin Wind is a mix of rock music and folk music.  It uses mostly acoustic instruments, with a particularly prominent mandolin part.

The video I’ve chosen is a recording of two very good friends who have known each other from way back and are very comfortable together. They first got together in January 1967 when The Jeff Beck Group was formed and went on to help set up The Faces in 1969. Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood are plainly great mates. They are happy to be together and they enjoy playing music together.

Rod Stewart  has stated that his goal in life is to play ‘Mandolin Wind’ and make it sound like the record. I think this, despite using the banjo in place of the mandolin for parts of the song, is a pretty good effort!

I hope you agree!

Mandolin Wind

Mandolin Wind

Rod Stewart

When the rain came, I thought you’d leave
‘Cause I knew how much you loved the sun
But you chose to stay, stay and keep me warm
Through the darkest nights, I’ve ever known
If the mandolin wind, couldn’t change a thing
Then I know I love ya
Oh the snow fell, without a break
Buffalo died, in the frozen fields you know
Through the coldest winter, in almost fourteen years
I couldn’t believe you kept your smile
Now I can rest assured, knowing that we’ve seen the worst
And I know I love ya
Oh I never was good, with romantic words
So the next few lines, come really hard
Don’t have much, but what I’ve got is yours
Except of course, my steel guitar
Ha, ’cause I know you don’t play
But I’ll teach you one day
Because I love ya

I recall the night, we knelt and prayed
Noticing, your face was thin and pale
I found it hard, to hide my tears
I felt ashamed, I felt I’d let you down
No mandolin wind, couldn’t change a thing
Couldn’t change a thing, no no

Lada-dada, la-da, lada-dada
Lada-dada, da-n-dada

The coldest winter, in almost fourteen years
Could never, never change your mind, yeah
And I love ya
Yes indeed, and I love ya
And I love ya
Lordy I love ya
And I love ya
Lord, I love ya

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Rod Stewart

Mandolin Wind lyrics © Unichappell Music Inc., Stewart Rod

And so you can compare, here is the original recording.

Song Lyric Sunday – 3 January 2021 – PG

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. This week the title of the song must start with P or G.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

Music is a personal choice and, like any form of art, I know that some may not be to everyone’s liking.  The song I’ve chosen this week probably fits that statement more than most. 

“Paranoid Android” is a song by English alternative rock band Radiohead. It was released as the lead single from their album OK Computer in May 1997.  

The song was originally over 14 minutes long but was reduced to just over six minutes.  It has four distinct sections and was written by singer Thom Yorke following an unpleasant experience in a Los Angeles bar during which he was surrounded by strangers who were high on cocaine. 

In particular, Yorke was frightened by a woman who became violent after someone spilled a drink on her.  Yorke characterised the woman as “inhuman” and said “There was a look in this woman’s eyes that I’d never seen before anywhere…. Couldn’t sleep that night because of it.” The woman inspired the line “kicking squealing Gucci little piggy” in the song’s second section. Yorke, referring to the line “With your opinions, which are of no consequence at all”, said that “That’s just a joke.  It’s actually the other way around – it’s actually my opinion that is of no consequence at all.”

The title is taken from Marvin the Paranoid Android from the science fiction series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The original release came in the form of an animated video and this appears at the bottom of the post, but I’m offering a live performance from 1997 on “Later with Jules Holland”, a BBC production that I never miss. I do hope that you enjoy it.

The group obviously get on tremendously well, having met at school. I love how they almost show disinterest in sections where they are not actively playing, yet they remain professional throughout. Jonathan Greenwood, the very talented lead guitarist who has written several film scores, wanders off to the back to play keyboards. His brother, Colin, beavers away, almost unnoticed, playing bass, with Philip Selway, equally busy, playing the drums. Edward O’Brien on the left, meanwhile sorts out a minor technical problem at 2.37(not shown here but, believe me, it happened),  then takes a well-earned rest at 3.30 before taking over the refrain “Rain Down” from Thom Yorke at 5.00. So brilliantly done that you never even noticed it!

You may have surmised that I’ve watched this particular recording a few times.  I have, and I love it.  I hope that you do too!

Paranoid Android


Please could you stop the noise?
I’m trying to get some rest

From all the unborn chicken
Voices in my head

What’s there?
(I may be paranoid, but not an android)
What’s there?
(I may be paranoid, but not an android)

When I am king
You will be first against the wall

With your opinion
Which is of no consequence at all

What’s there?
(I may be paranoid, but no android)
What’s there?
(I may be paranoid, but no android)

Ambition makes you look pretty ugly
Kicking and squealing Gucci little piggy

You don’t remember, you don’t remember
Why don’t you remember my name?
Off with his head, man
Off with his head, man
Why don’t you remember my name?
I guess he does

Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
From a great height
From a great height
Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
From a great height
From a great height
Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
That’s it, sir
You’re leaving
The crackle of pigskin
The dust and the screaming
The yuppies networking
The panic, the vomit
The panic, the vomit
God loves his children
God loves his children, yeah

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Greenwood Colin Charles / Greenwood Jonathan Richard Guy / O Brien Edward John / Selway Philip James / Yorke Thomas Edward

Paranoid Android lyrics © Warner/chappell Music Ltd

Original MTV animated video release

The Last Remembrance

Chris decided long ago that he could no longer endure the Ceremony of Remembrance parades and services.  It was too much for him.  He knew that he would break down and weep copious tears, sobbing at all of the memories that he could not set aside.  He could never forget!

Instead, each year, he went on his normal morning walk and found a quiet spot, apart from all human presence, and there he would remember his friends, and his enemies.  Not all had died young, not all had died in battle.  Some had not died, at least not straight away.

He remembered two young men.  They had all just returned to camp after manoeuvres and were told they could not go home until all the vehicles had been cleaned and put away.  One young man was newly married with a two week old baby.  He persuaded his friend to take him home in his car.  It wouldn’t take long, and they could be back before anybody noticed they were missing.  The car was sporty, high powered, and had a roll bar fitted.  The young driver entered a bend far too fast, lost control, and rolled the car.  It hit a tree.  The roll bar saved the life of the driver but decapitated the young father.

He remembered two young Corporals, erecting an aerial mast on top of a vehicle in Germany, right underneath a very high voltage cable.  One walked away with very serious burns, the other had horrendous burns and lost a leg and large portions of muscle mass.  Chris had the job of taking inventory of the burned vehicle and its contents and then visiting the worst injured once he left hospital to tell him that he no longer had a job but there was good news, his promotion to Sergeant had come through!

He remembered a young man who shot himself in the chest but survived, only to shoot himself in the head once he was back at work.

He remembered running for his life, literally, when it seemed that everyone wanted him dead, when all around him were falling, screaming, dying.  He would not forget!

He stood as usual, at 11am, at attention, alone.  He remembered.  How could he do anything else?

After two minutes of silence, of remembering, of trying to forget, he saluted, fell, and joined his comrades!

Rapid rhyme #33/ Melissa the mouse

I talk to them, they talk to me

in easy stages one two three

First greet them with a bright “Good Day”

and ask them if they’ve time to stay

Then if they have, ask how they are

and have they had to travel far

Are they alone or with their spouse

Do they live in a hole or house

It’s truly magic, meeting friends

the joys of walking show no ends


Some of you may know that I go for a walk most days.  I talk to the trees and anything else I encounter along the way.  In these days of Covid I have changed my route and now I mostly go through fields, woodland, along the river and canal.  I stay away from roads and people as much as possible!

Today I had a real bonus meeting and conversation.  Apart from the cattle, horses, swans, spiders, grasshoppers, and birds, that is.

I quite often come across a dead mouse, or vole, and that’s what I saw this morning, and then……she moved.  It was a teeny tiny mouse, and her name was Melissa.  I know that for a fact because she told me.  You may think me a little potty, nuts, crazy, or whatever.  I don’t care.

I asked Melissa if I could take a few photographs to remember her by, and she agreed.  In fact she was quite happy and so that her friends on Mousebook could see what a big girl she is she asked if I could put a Pound coin alongside her to compare with. A pound coin is 23.43mm diameter.  That is 0.922 inches in old money!

Melissa was exploring her neighbourhood for the first time but couldn’t remember how old she was.   Baby mice grow up very quickly.  After just six days, they have fur and can move and squeak.  After 18 days, they are ready to leave the nest.  Female mice can start having babies when they are just six weeks old.  They can produce 10 litters every year, with up to 12 babies in each litter.

She soon went back to the nest which was accessed by a small hole in the ground.  Another of her siblings popped his head out to say a quick hello but disappeared and didn’t want his photograph taken.

Seriously though, folks, isn’t she gorgeous.  So much so that I am not sharing her space with any other friends I met today.

Sunday sayings #33

I happened across this from two years ago and thought it was appropriate to reblog during this very strange lockdown time. May you all have ‘NICE THUNKS’

Peter's pondering

positiveNice thunks

Think a thunk of niceness

smile and have a laugh

take a nice long shower

or soak and have a bath

eat your favourite chocolate

drink your favourite tipple

treat yourself to cream cake

or double raspberry ripple

whatever takes your fancy

take it to extreme

and share it with your favourite mate

if only in a dream.

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