I remember the things I learned watching Grandstand on Saturday afternoons at my Great Grandad’s house like the rules of snooker, darts and horse racing how to pick a winning horse out the newspaper (look at the jockey) sound like Woody the Woodpecker how to use a mangle to dry out clothes still steaming from the old washing machine I found that snuff tobacco was minty and cured a sniffle that I preferred my squash diluted and scotch eggs and ‘black bullets‘ are the food of kings The most important thing he taught me and many others – was kindness.
Although Grandstand Saturdays came to an end I still keep what I learnt sacred in my mind and heart except the food I eat that.
Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. A little letter to my Great Grandad who used to have me round when I was a kid.
We called the travelling funfair “The Shows” the same way our parents did when they arrived in The Wick late summer excitement that smelled of hot sugared doughnuts, flowing diesel and damp trampled grass the air was always a kaleidoscope of flickering lightbulbs and brightly painted plywood shrill screams of exhiliration could be heard over a mile away layered over a techno soundtrack thumping with the pulses of waltzer-spun teens and kids riding the ghost train anticipating the supersoaker squirt on exit sometimes I liked to play the bandits tuppence to ten-pence a go so nothing to lose really the games were good to – one night I hooked six banana-yellow ducks and walked home with six goldfish struggling to hold the punch balloon and pink-pillow candy floss in my other hand it was a great time to be alive amongst crowded smiles and double denim spending my paper round and pocket money like fun was going out of fashion and just the other day I saw an internet flyer “The Shows” are back this year travelling up and down the coast and although I’ll not see them I can taste the air –
the flavour of excitement.
Thanks for taking the time to read my poem and feel free to check out some of my other writing.
As teenagers we swam the river at 4 in the morning the cold pink pre-dawn watched us flail our underage drunken legs unsteady in the calm water feeble attempts to wash away the taint of cheap vodka, value cola and sleeping bag sourness
we were like calves breaking away from the protection of our parents arrogant and unwise to the world we thought we knew best but even the young Shorthorns upstream had more sense than us because they knew better than to bathe in others shit
I don’t know whose idea it was for all of us to jump in fully clothed probably Dave’s – he was partial to a plan – and vomit he was a puppet king of sorts living in the shadow of the castle
we were a sight walking the back lanes to drip dry crumpled kids carrying crumpled tents and crushed up sleeping bags stumbling home without words spoken the only sound heard was the clanging of dragging pegs and poles chittering out a slurred morse code that forces a gang of grins a simple message – ‘Same again next week’.
Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. I love hearing your comments and feedback.