Thirsk Yarnbombers Poppies for the Fallen


The Thirsk Yarnbombers have organised the knitting of poppies to decorate their church for Armistice and Remembrance. They put the knitting pattern online and received enough to make a river of over 40,000 poppies: Click Here to see

Edinburgh Surprise by Avital Raz

Avital Raz - making people feel uncomfortable since 1995.
Avital Raz – making people feel uncomfortable since 1995.

Music Monday is part of my new series where I put in a link to a piece of  music that leaves me thinking.

“The Edinburgh Surprise(contains nudity and harsh language)

Also known as “Fucked in the arse for Peace” (Listen to the last part of the tape and you’ll know why).

Single from album The Believer by Avital Raz Featuring Pete Harvey. I had never heard of Avital Raz until she visited Southampton and performed at the Art House Café. Think of a modern-day female version of Leonard Cohen.

Link to Track:


Poetry from found print: Go middle-class – learn to clean

Another Poem reworked from found trivia print

Go middle-class – learn to clean

Girls are taught to use a dustpan. 1933
Girls are taught to use a dustpan. 1933

Ultimate middle-class Monday

scurry out door early

do pre-cleaning-lady-clean-up

into coffee shop

shame over lattes

not mopping kitchen floor

since help alone

some domestic

driven by under-pay

to do chores




Moan about precious category

respect mollycoddled generation

dirty dishcloth

never to build

never to clean

don’t want to know

don’t pack the end

never do something arduous


How was the gym?

And Tinder?

Squeeze it too

Uber instant social media

makes cleaner only cleaner

the dust demanding



This wages to Landlords

Spending disposable predecessors.

Time is money

Life’s too short to spend it cleaning bathtub



Poem reworked from:”i” newspaper article: “How I got over middle-class guilt and learned to love my cleaner”.  April 2016

© Southampton Old Lady

Talent is talent

Teatro Cervantes de Malaga, Spain. Here for Donizetti's opera Elisir D'Amore © Southampton Old Lady
Teatro Cervantes de Malaga, Spain. Here for Donizetti’s opera Elisir D’Amore © Southampton Old Lady


Talent is talent whatever form it takes, I often tell people.

I am often met with surprise at my eclectic taste in art and music. How can I like classical artists such as Velasquez and also like Banksy?

How can I go and listen to a Mozart opera then go and listen to Johnny Rotten at a punk rock concert (they want to add “at your age”). In fact it was Public Image Limited (PIL)John Lydon (Rotten’s real name) moved on from punk in the 80s.

I tell them things like: “John Lydon uses his voice like an instrument which is what an opera singer does” (or a beat box singer for that matter) and that Mozart was a punk in his day who happened to be a creative genius.

My friend who is an opera singer is married to a lead singer in a rock band. They sent me this YouTube clip of Cristina Ramos, a contestant in Spain’s Got Talent 2016 who can sing a beautiful aria just well as a heavy rock number. It really is worth watching until the end…

Cristina Ramos on Spain's Got Talent 2016
Cristina Ramos on Spain’s Got Talent 2016

Poetry from found print 3

Third in my series of poetry re-worked from found print trivia

Aute-Out from Metro January 2016 © Southampton Old Lady
Aute-Out from Metro January 2016 © Southampton Old Lady

In Sociation

choose self-adjusting bangles

future of hi-tech fashion

never comfortable

increasingly transformed into world trackers

tech-infused hook-ups

strutting Machina

smarts on your wrist,

innovative ways

sensors track your emotions

keep out

personal space fashion

never how?

re-worked from  Metro 4th March 2016, pg 35

Poetry from Found Print 1

First in my new series of poetry re-worked from found print trivia

From Cosmopolitan January 2016, pg 43 © Southampton Old Lady
From Cosmopolitan January 2016, pg 43 © Southampton Old Lady

Brit 20 Left Centre

All Lie

Our half is other half

transitioned experiences with me in age,

moments finding

connection my same

with everyone

how that mature grown-up loves

young cheesy energy

Even crazy house thought funny

When was getting normal thing

she supports fashion

show messages like mine.

Mo Tan 3

Poetry From Found Print 2

2nd in my series of re-worked poetry from found print trivia

From Cosmopolitan January 2016, pg 95 © Southampton Old Lady
From Cosmopolitan January 2016, pg 95 © Southampton Old Lady


At lights

distance blink artfully –

while help her target

exactly right pace.

Power, strength,

essential corporate development

her hectic motivation to stress,

focused tricky start alone:

successful executives and Management Women

awards – discovered cracked

reasons enhanced and uplift creativity.


Want Motion

Striking Research 9%

more boost oxygen of grey-matter areas

way explains social innovation

Good Women practice outcome

and the close visualise treadmill of Human

can-do fuels goals

making improvements

committing time.

Mo Tan 95

Tattooed porcelain dolls – Jessica Harrison






Tattooed porcelain dolls by Jessica Harrison. 

British artist Jessica Harrison sources traditional ceramic figurines and gives them a new lease of life with delicate, hand-painted tattoos. I have been meaning to focus on a series of artists that exhibited at Dismaland Arts Festival in Weston-Super Mare in 2015 – Harrison is the first artist in this series.

See her facebook for more information.
PHOTO CREDITS: Southampton Old Lady

Harp Song of the Dane Women

By Rudyard Kipling


WHAT is a woman that you forsake her, 
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre. 
To go with the old grey Widow-maker? 

She has no house to lay a guest in
But one chill bed for all to rest in, 
That the pale suns and the stray bergs nest in. 

She has no strong white arms to fold you, 
But the ten-times-fingering weed to hold you 
Out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you. 

Yet, when the signs of summer thicken, 
And the ice breaks, and the birch-buds quicken, 
Yearly you turn from our side, and sicken— 

Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters. 
You steal away to the lapping waters, 
And look at your ship in her winter-quarters. 

You forget our mirth, and talk at the tables, 
The kine in the shed and the horse in the stables 
To pitch her sides and go over her cables. 

Then you drive out where the storm-clouds swallow, 
And the sound of your oar-blades, falling hollow, 
Is all we have left through the months to follow. 

Ah, what is Woman that you forsake her, 
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre, 
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?


Rudyard Kipling, a renowned English poet brought up in India. He is more famous these days for writing The Jungle Book, but extracts from his powerful poems are often quoted and he has inspired many writers.

This poem was first published in Puck of Pook’s Hill in 1906. It has always stuck in my memory, perhaps because I was brought up in Southampton, England, where a community where fathers (and in my case my mother) would go to sea for long periods. There are often reports of shipwrecks and drownings. I snapped this photo yesterday of a very grey sea and recalled the “old grey Widow-maker”.