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Sunday, 27 August 2017 11:51

My Gran's Jam Sandwiches

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We were given the instruction to write a piece for The Guardian's 'We Like To Eat' feature. So I have done this piece about my gran's jam sandwiches. Feedback appreciated. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

We Like To Eat: My Gran's Jam Sandwiches

2 slices of white bread (per person)
Strawberry jam (Preferably homemade)

Butter one side of each slice of white bread. Spread one buttered side with strawberry jam. Place other buttered side face-down onto jam to create sandwich. Cut into squares and serve with either tea or orange squash.

When I think of my gran's house, my overwhelming feeling is one of happiness. She lived with my grandad (who we called Granf) in an end-of-terrace council house in Bower Hinton, Somerset. It was a place where even my dad seemed to relax - spinning me around as we danced to old Rock n Roll 45s on my gran's multi-stack record player.

Granf, though, was a serious man who took no messing. He liked nothing better than to smoke his pipe, watch the horses on the telly, and fuss over his fat Jack Russell terrier, Sindy, who he would often feed his cups of tea to from his saucer.

By contrast, my gran was a jolly woman, quite mischievous, with white curly hair and "plump" (I once made the mistake of asking her why she was so fat, to which she immediately replied, "I'm not fat. I'm plump". Lesson learned). On many levels, she was the embodiment of Terry Pratchett's Nanny Ogg - except my gran's cooking was far less 'experimental', sticking to the traditional meat and two veg variety.
The exception was Sunday teatime which, unlike every other meal which we had to sit at the table to eat, we could eat on our laps. Sunday tea at my gran's house consisted of sandwiches made with the leftover meat from the Sunday roast (and, sometimes, also tinned ham), jam sandwiches, homemade buns, and either a homemade jam sponge or boiled fruitcake. This was all served with cups of tea for the grown-ups and tupperware beakers of orange squash for us kids. 

When I became a grown-up myself, I often tried to recreate my gran's strawberry jam sandwiches but could never get it quite right. As she had died of Cancer, she was no longer around to ask. So this lead to some experimenting in the kitchen. Thinking it was the jam, I piled it higher and higher trying to recapture the jamminess of them. It never worked. Then, one day, I had a brainwave - instead of buttering just the one slice, I buttered both slices. Eureka! I had managed to recreate my gran's jam sandwiches. It wasn't the jam, after all. It was the butter!

Friday, 25 August 2017 13:02


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We had our first session   with Sarah, with the main incentive being trying to discover our own voices.  We used vernacular words and phrases that we've all used before to get a wide spectrum of ideas.  I've got Irish blood running through my veins, so I should have a rich tapestry of phrases tucked away in the ol' grey matter.

One word that always comes to mind for me, meaning a" fool" or  " waste of space" is GOBSHITE.  There was never any malace in the word and was more a term of endearment than anything else.

When I was a small kid and fell over grazing a knee or God forbid spilling a bit of that Irish blood on the pavement, when a grown up looked at the wound and realised the extent of the exaggeration, they would say....."LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM"...  "HE FELL OVER A MATCHSTICK AND A FLY KICKED HIM"... I know, its confusing to say the least. and still struggle to get my head around it.

I think you get a sense of your own voice too by reading a lot, stuff you like and also dislike to give a broad spectrum.
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 19:27

A Quick Fix

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This evening I had a go at mind-mapping what I wanted to write - the first time I've used that technique to write, well, anything really (I think)! Then from that I just wrote a whole bunch of phrases to try and capture succinctly what I was writing about without editing it. Then I worked it up into this poem - the longest poem I have ever written! I'm more than a little chuffed with it and will definitely give the mind-mapping technique another go. Feedback appreciated. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
A Quick Fix

The call came
I answer it
She utters the password

The black hole opens
I fall in
The sofa breaks my fall.

Death waits in the kitchen
I pass it by, reluctantly.
I am driving a car
Tears roll down my face
I long for wipers
I am a driving hazard
I long to be a romantic ending 
The band plays on
I am neither sexy nor a boy
Not anymore.
I walk the same path
Enter the same door
Meet the same receptionist 
The last seven weeks or more.
She ushers me away
I am in the Harley-Steet-harking waiting room
No expense spared
None the less
A scene of devastation 
My senses in chaos
Leather and furniture polish 
Cold walls and roaring fire
This is the Country Life
Full of nonsensical words 
An over-familiar tone
Spilling over
With hope and aspiration 
I am an alien.
She offers the doctor
For what use?
For whose need?
I ache
Longing for the return
Should never have left
What value has life?
My heart needs fixing
This instant
I know just the man 
Always dependable 
He's not here for me
I am here for him.
My mind steps forward 
I retreat into past light
Sunlit days on the grass
We hold hands again
I need not let go this time
Prise his fingers from mine.
The black hole nears
I feel it's suck.
She returns with the brew
The gesture is concern
The moment is normal 
As before, the world still turns 
I am horrified 
The audacity of it!
'Stop The World I Want To Get Off'

The music has stopped
Words sheared of their tune

The tea is warm and sweet
Reminders of him
A porcelain cup and a corpse
The unfairness of the exchange 
"What is your returns policy?"
The walls receive my pleas
I still wait for an answer
There is none.
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 13:23

New Begining

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Hi everyone,its me Rodrick on writing to work course.This is the begining of new chapter in my writing carreer.
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 13:20


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ive got a bike with a baby seat, i push my pedals with my size 6 feet,  wriiting a rhyme with a bouncing beat....i really dont like computers but guess i just have to do it. 
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 13:21

Just a good learner

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Or so they told me at school...

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 13:21

First Post

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Hello there this is my first upload on a wbsite ever!
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 13:04

new post

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hello this is class of 17 writing on the wall
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 13:04

new post

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hello this is class of 17 writing on the wall
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 13:04

new post

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hello this is class of 17 writing on the wall
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