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March 14, 2021



‘I’m a ‘Youth Dew’ girl,

she would always insist to me.


I told her that I found it

a little over-powering,

and that maybe she

should use a tad less.


I would sneeze as soon as

she clambered into my car.

We would give each other

that same knowing look.


Her first words always the same:

‘You’re flaming crackers, and you

can turn that racket off the radio too –

lets talk instead’.


That’s how it was, mile after mile.

She talked and talked. I listened 

and occasionally butted in.

I’d heard every word many times.


She loved dogs and trees,

and ten people and me,

but the rest of the universe

could all ‘sod off’.


In an attempt to suppress

another imminent sneeze,

I would mischievously press

the passenger window switch,


and her window would come

flying down, letting in some

lovely, cool clear air, and scaring

her witless, in the process.


‘Put this window back up,

you damned idiot’, she would

demand, closing her eyes and

shaking her head in dismay.


Oh. what I would give to

smell the perfume on her today!


Now, more than a decade on,

I occasionally catch the aroma

of Youth Dew on someone that

I pass in the street. and choking back

tears, face all the comeuppance

I deserve.


Sorry for being such a bitch Mum

Love you tons.


written by Harriet Blackbury

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July 13, 2020




‘She’s gone to Curlybobs for a blow-up’

Grandad said, when I rang today.

So I said that I’d call her back later.

Well, really – what more could I say?




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Some may think her a silly fool,

but she gave as good as she got.

His aggression she took as an outlet,

when with others, he was losing the plot.


She soaked up all his frustration,

as his world began to crash.

Standing steadfast by his side,

as his empire turned to ash.


In times of unbearable agony,

when life was full of despair.

She took the flack, and bathed his wounds,

and saw him through the nightmare.


What else can one do when a loved one,

without warning falls by the way.

Somehow an inner strength kicks in,

and the level – headed one saves the day.


Tied together in what one signs up to –

a partnership, a union – call it what you may.

With patience and trust and understanding,

tomorrow will be a brighter day.


and if love be the basis of everything,

sometimes, better to stay than just walk away. 





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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?




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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.


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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.












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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.



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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 ! 



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May 26, 2018


She made Eccles Cakes

and Maids of Honour,

and spiced Tray Bakes

when the mood was upon her


She made Bakewell Tarts

and Coconut Squares,

and Vanilla Slices

and Gingerbread Men in pairs.


She made Custard Pies

and Raspberry Buns,

and Chocolate Fondants

that gave us the ‘runs’.


She made fruity Simnels

and Wedding Cakes,

and Lemon Shortbreads

and Food for Funeral Wakes.


She made Brandy Snaps

and Treacle Toffee,

and Banana Bread

long before Banoffee.


She made Fairy Cakes

with a cherry glaze,

and Christmas Puddings

that she set ablaze.


She made Currant Cakes

out of pastry waste,

and hot Easter Bunnies

topped with Almond paste.


She made Coffee Meringues

and the best Parkin in town –

as a top class Confectioner,

she was renown.


All this, she did alone,

as well as serving in her shop.

It doesn’t seem humanly possible,

but back then, work didn’t stop.




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