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January 23, 2020




… and life with all it’s monotony,

and twists & turns, is bliss.

Day’s that start and end, like any other –

what more could one ask than this?




Post tags:

August 29, 2019






The Club we’ve supported

since a child at the knee,

of fathers and grand-dads,

who were so thrilled to be


taking us to our first game,

complete with scarf and bob hat.

‘Up The Shakers’, they chanted,

and we were hooked after that.


A Club to be proud of,

with a pitch like no other –

once likened to the old Wembley,

and Family Stand loved by, each sister & brother.


And the best pies in Lancashire,

sold at Half -Time.

Please God, help save the Club –

to lose it, would be a crime.


The unfairness, the injustice,

that has brought the Club down,

just after promotion – our big chance,

to win more support in the town.


The irony, the sadness,

felt by players, staff and fans,

as a new horizon appeared,

but was snatched from our hands.


Not for the first time,

were our highs met by lows,

and resilience tested,

by the cruelest of blows.


A heart-breaking situation –

please don’t let our Club die?

and become another statistic,

leaving us high and dry.


Another uphill battle,

to now seize control,

doesn’t help our heroes,

who now face the dole.


Our support for Bury Football Club,

can’t be in vain .

After the best season in ages,

Dear Lord – please save Gigg Lane.



written by

Harriet Blackbury.


Post tags:

June 9, 2019



In 72, ‘Family Affair’, on Epic – a US No.1,

for Sly & The Family Stone, made a UK No.15 link.

And in 2002, ‘Family Portrait, on Arista,

reached No.11 for P!nk.


In 87, ‘Running In The Family’, on Polydor,

reached No.6 for Level 42.

And in 92, ‘My Father’s Shoes’, on RCA,

also by Level 42, at No.55, was on view.


In 82, Junior, on Mercury,

peaked at No.7 with ‘Mama Used To Say’.

And in 98, ‘Father’, on Def Jam,

was a Top 10, for LL Cool J.


In 75, ‘Mama Never Told Me’, on Atlantic,

for Sister Sledge (their first UK hit), made No.20.

And in 79, ‘We Are Family’, on Cotillion, 

this time giving Sister Sledge, a No.8 entry.


In 72, ‘Mother And Child Reunion’, on CBS,

for Paul Simon, his first UK hit, at No.5, seen.

And in 85 ‘Brothers In Arms’, on Vertigo,

took Dire Straits up to No.16.


In 80, ‘My Perfect Cousin’, on Sire,

reached No.9 for The Undertones.

And in 85, ‘Look Mama’, on Wea,

was a Top 10, for Howard Jones.


In 84, The Thompson Twins, on Arista,

gave ‘Sister Of Mercy’, a No.11 kiss.

And in 2000, ‘Sister Sister’, on Multiply,

peaked at No.34, for Sister Bliss.


In 70, ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’, on Stateside,

for Three Dog Night – a US No.1 and UK No.3.

And in 71, ‘My Brother Jake’, on Island,

reached No.4, for UK group – Free.


In 95, ‘Father And Son’, on Polydor –

a platinum-seller for Boyzone, made No.2.

And in 2009, Pixie Lott, on Mercury,

had her first No.1 with ‘Mama Do’.


In 71, ‘Cousin Norman’, on Decca,

peaked at No.6 for Marmalade,

And in 72, ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’, on Polydor,

was the third No.1 hit for Slade.


In 84, ‘Mother’s Talk’, on Mercury,

reached No.14 for Tears For Fears.

And in 89, Mike & The Mechanics, on Wea,

had a US No.1 & UK No.2 with ‘The Living Years’.


In 67, ‘Dedicated To The One I Love’, made No.2,

for The Mamas and The Papas, on RCA.

And in 88, ‘Father Figure’, on Epic, gave,

George Michael a US No.1, and a No.11, in the UK.



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October 17, 2018


‘I’ve finally dismantled the Greenhouse,

it was practically falling down,

and so many glass panels were broken,

the frost easily gets in’ Moonhead said with a frown.


‘I saw a ‘good deal’ in the newspaper-

in fact it seemed too good to be true!

and your Mums been at me for ages

as this one spoils the overall view


of the garden, she painstakingly tends to,

planting all my seedlings with care,

and I have some tomato plants waiting,

so I thought, why not, it’ll fit nicely there’.


‘Today is the day of the delivery’

( the space measured precisely, as only Moonhead could)

‘He’s like a kid with a new toy’ Mum commented –

‘I can’t honestly see it being any good’.


‘Every time a van stops, he rushes to the window,

he’s driving me absolutely up the wall’

‘I saw a lovely one at the Garden Centre’

Mum said. –  this one doomed before it’s installed!


It duly arrived an hour later,

as a ‘Flat Pack’,  which he didn’t expect.

And Moonhead spent the rest of the evening

reading instructions on how to erect.


His plans to do it there and then thwarted,

as cold water upon them Mum poured.

‘Tackle it with a clear head in the morning’

she so determinedly implored.


Once up and working it proved quite successful,

though Mum thought it quite hideous to the eye.

but this summer, it would serve a purpose.

Biding her time, was Mum on the sly.


Saving hard, and in search of the right one,

would take her until the end of the year,

but unknown to Mum and our Moonhead,

divine intervention was getting quite near.


In the early evening of New Years Eve,

we got a frantic phone call from Mum.

‘Thank goodness you haven’t gone out yet –

over here, you had better quickly come.


‘It’s been blowing a gale all day at this end,

and now the snow has fallen too,

and your Dads stuck outside in the blizzard,

holding down the greenhouse with both arms askew!


‘A few minutes ago, he let go – his arms aching

and off it’s footings, in mid air, it flew.

He chased it to the bottom of the garden,

now he’s stood there, not knowing what to do?


‘But you  know how stubborn is Moonhead,

and how he doesn’t like to see waste,

so he’s out there clinging on for dear life,

and of widowhood – I’m sensing a taste’.


‘For crying out loud Mum’ – it’s New Years Eve-

it couldn’t have happened at a worse time’

We’ll buy him a new one in the new year,

as that one’s not worth a dime’.


I put down the phone and related the drama,

to my man waiting, complete with bow-tie.

‘Bloody Norah, this could only happen to Moonhead,

we’d better go and help’ – he said with a sigh’.


Five miles down the road we met the snowdrift,

and battling conditions, began to pray,

before reaching our beloved Moonhead, 

frozen stiff, but laughing, as was his way.












Post tags:

July 29, 2018


Blacked-out squares

in the Battleship game –

a change from Sudoku

and wotsit’s name.


Never a cross word

as general knowledge he knew,

but he needed my help

with a cryptic clue.



Post tags:

July 6, 2018



and there he was, threading his way

through Saturday morning shoppers –

his gait recognizable, so handsome,

so utterly masculine, and yet so lost.

Could he find me in a crowd? 

absolutely not!

So I stand on a discarded bus ticket 

to make myself taller, and wave 

my hand frantically to attract his

attention. Eventually he spots me

and moves to cross over the road.

He smiles as he mounts the pavement.

I return his smile and ask him if he

remembered to get some onions, and he

says I never mentioned any onions to him,

so we cross back over the road, and

go into the greengrocers, and buy

some onions and cherry tomatoes,

and then continue on home to

watch Footy on TV.

What Bliss ! 



Post tags:

March 10, 2018



Each answer snappy

with growling overtones,


that changed the timing

of the household beat,


and constant knotting

of pillowcase strings,


as angry voices rang out

down below.


And unsightly fingernails

chewed to the quick;


the dog seeking refuge

underneath the bed.


And the hell of knowing

worse was yet to come.


The physical sickness

stomach nerves brought forth.


The thumping loud

on table’s hardwood top.


as trembles forcing

a urine flow.


The stress of loyalty

seemingly misplaced;


to want to love,

but feelings not embraced,


for fear of harsh words

after all was done.


No need to have 

it all spelt out,


the pattern so familiar

had become,


the outcome obvious

set in cold cement. –


Grandma’s yearly visit

was now imminent !




And come, she did,

and settled in,


as peace and calm

replaced the din.


The dog so sweetly

by her leg,


wagged it’s tail

and sat to beg,


as the household slowly

did uncoil –


the kettle, the only thing

now on the boil.


She played Board games,

and made us laugh and squeal,


and taught us how

to do cart wheels.


She learned about

the things we do,


and listened to 

our point of view.


Then all too soon

her visit through,


and no-one dead –

we all said ‘phew’.


Now twelve months had we,

with older eyes,


before another

love-torn compromise.





Post tags:

October 8, 2017



Ten years I’ve been without her.

Ten years I have been free.

Still passing her belov’ed Plane tree

that she first pointed out to me.


Ten years of  doing my own thing.

Ten years without reprimand.

Still acting as impulsive as ever,

without being slapped on the hand.


Ten years not hearing ‘I told you so’.

Ten years of missing unconditional trust.

Still re-opening age’d battle scars,

from the times we did combust.


Ten years of heartache and agony.

Ten years it’s taken, til time forgot.

Now at last I’m ready to admit it –

She was right sometimes, but not a lot!


Ten years of thinking it could have been different.

Ten years of knowing it simply could not- 

‘We were too like’ as she said often –

on that, she hit the spot.


Ten years without my sparring partner.

Ten years on freedom’s trail.

Still a decade on I so miss her –

Mother Dear, I’m starting to wail.


Post tags:

April 28, 2017



Why go back and seek out ancestors

when living elders you no longer see?

Why retrace steps into the unknown

searching for a lost family tree?


Where leaves long since perished

and branches strangled by mistletoe,

and what you may find out anyway,

you’d be better off not to know.


Why go back looking for heartache

when living isolation on show?

Why not put right what is possible

before being lowered below.


With leaves that long since perished

and where future generations may tread,

so that what they may just find out

will bring them happiness instead.





Post tags:

February 27, 2017



Don’t let her go to your Ethel’s,

she’ll give her something we can’t give.

She’ll spoil her and make her dissatisfied,

and make her hell on earth to live with.


Don’t let her go to your Ethel’s,

she’ll only get into her mind,

and give her false hope and aspirations,

that when she returns, she won’t leave behind.


Don’t let her go to your Ethel’s,

we’ll bring her up our own way,

scratching each crumb together-

there is nothing more to say.


Don’t let her go to your Ethel’s –

but too late our cry of distress!

She’s already besotted with her thinking,

more so than if we hadn’t cared less!



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