Cruise liners were parked at sea last year. I could see them from the beach at Scheveningen. And a travel company did send me an offer I could refuse…
It was a different story on 3rd of July 2012, when P&O celebrated its 175-year anniversary: for the first time ever its seven passenger ships were in port together. An ex-P&O friend of mine was there taking pictures. Here is the flotilla leaving Southampton.
The offer of a £150 reduction comes on heavy white paper
SS Zeus floats downstream on the Danube. Elderly passengers, each with their own balcony. A decade on, scale models the colour of gold are on display in suburban charity shops where other old hands fumble, hand over coins with the monarch’s head.
Last year Amanda Steel of Printed Words produced her first charity anthology Words to Remember. It includes fiction, non-fiction and poetry, some of it related to cancer. I was glad to have these two poems accepted for the anthology.
Printed Words has its own Facebook page. Even with the lockdown last year, the anthology has done well, and Amanda was able to make donations to two cancer charities: Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK. Amanda Steel is on https://amandasteelwriter.wordpress.com
Bitterne Park, Southampton
The blackout curtains don’t let the sun through. I wake to the small sounds that come with morning: squirrels jump around the oak tree at the heart of our cul-de-sac. A bus strains up the hill.
At the Triangle, the bank opens and the smiley greengrocer limps his vegetable crates outside. On the river Itchen John strokes his beard, thinks about brewing tea.
It is meant to be an ordinary day. But this month is a long-distance runner, this month is a marathon.
On the other side of the narrow bridge, a woman is taking two large black bags into a charity shop. Suits and shirts, all washed, dry-cleaned, ironed. She had forgotten the silk ties. Now they’re rolled up, placed in a see-through Biza bag that once held duty-free cologne.
Living one day at a time will be like walking through a tunnel, away from being held by memories. The smell of petrol, choking. Cars driving close and fast. The red rear lights in pairs, an illusion of safety and warmth.
Do not turn round now, back towards that day when you viewed daffodils through a thin black veil from a car at walking speed. Decide to live this day. Summer will slowly creep in, its light, colour, the company of bold blue, orange, pink, the grass that will keep growing.