You really couldn’t make this up

I walked through the gate
there standing before me was a huge 1930s detached three story house.
I’d driven past here hundreds of times and never noticed it.
hiding behind tall fir trees.
it was drizzling rain a dull damp day.
angry clouds above this huge house
I stood beside my friend Chris he looked at me.
looks a bit run down I say choosing my words
old-fashioned rooshed net curtain that haven’t seen a washing machine in a long time adorn the huge windows
I hear my mother saying “they need steeping in some Sally white bleach ‘
your not wrong mam I think.
come on then I say to Chris as we walk past the huge cars on the drive shining and polished complete contrast to the grey and dismal house.
the Adams family comes to mind says Chris as we walk up the stone steps to the first floor front door.

Rocky horror I smile
I ring the bell and we wait.

nice view across the city I say as the door is opened by a well dressed man in a suit

he struggles to open the door pushing boxes to the side of the hallway and beckons us to come in.
I introduce Chris and we take a seat in the waiting room.

Dust in corners of ceiling cracked paint spiders webs and if the windows were cleaned there would be a fabulous view across the city.
the furniture is 1970s g plan in a faded green ancient Wilton carpets thread bare in places tell of better times and I wonder if families stuck within their grief fail to notice the neglect around them as they sit here being advised on their loved ones funeral.

Waiting to pick up ashes or to view a loved one before a funeral.

I’ve worked in many funeral.homes but this is, well run down. shabby and cold. It’s shocking
The man who runs things is lovely a little aloof but I didn’t see this coming.

He asks if there’s anything I need.
No I smile
Okay I’ll go and get her, I’ll put her in the chapel of rest then I’ll come to get you.
off he goes .
I look around.
is there a secret camera I say?
Chris laughs..
we are hear as part of my soul midwife work.
I’m doing the hair and make up of a lady I’ve worked with.
before her family come to view her.
Then next week I’ll do her funeral.
Chris has come to help
for the first time
probably the only time after this.
after few mins he comes back up stairs guides us down stairs to the chapel of rest.
I swear you couldn’t make this up.
It’s under the house next to a garage

Bang bang bang constant hammering of coffins being assembled.
he opens the door creak. musty damp smell
why didn’t I video this …
blare witch goes to funeral home
there before me is a huge room set out with old wooden folding chairs
very dusty chairs
I’m wishing I’d brought a feather duster and some polish it’s set out as a chapel
wow I say.

Chris nudges me
this “could” be fabulous obviously it’s not used now
no says funeral director.
not for years

He smiles shuts the door behind us it’s dark and dismal and I’m reminded of a Steven king film

Here is chapel of rest
a door to the side is opened into what can only described as a large cupboard with a gurney trolly in there body on it looking like it’s been dropped out of a plane and landed very akwardly.
head twisted mouth and eyes open not just cold but bordering frozen.

I look around almost sureal slow motion
now first and foremost I’ve seen alot of corpses in my job
I’m not afraid or shocked I care for the body
when I go to funeral directors they are usually lying with dignity eyes mouth have been closed head straight .
You know what I mean.

Everything okay says funeral director?

There is a arched window behind him covered in dust and spiders webs
it’s winter but the flies are alive one lands on the face of the body

I flick it off
are you going to put a stitch in the mouth I ask?
(usual practice)
Oh no he says I don’t like that..

would you like a tea or coffee?

I’m tempted to ask for a gin I bloody need one

I shake my head
he leaves closing the door and I wonder what the fook is going on.
Chris is standing in the corner with a is this a sick joke look on his face .

I take out my kit and get to work.
talking chatting to my lady as I work.
well I’say to her
ou chose this place I’m betting you”ve never been here before!

Chris come help me hold her mouth closed.
I work gently hair make up fix her body into an acceptable position and close her eyes and mouth.
there is still rope around her feet from when she was brought from the hospital morge

a sticker across her chest her name and date birth.

I flick away flies

There I say as we finish
goodbye my friend

I pray her family don’t come to view in this room
it’s just beyond unbelievable and I’m glad Chris is with me or no one would believe this
we go back up stairs he is sat at an old desk.
where the sink I ask?

sink? He looks puzzled.
Yes I’ve just been handling a body id like to wash my hands.

Chris laughs nervously.
We wash our hands say a polite goodbye tell him I’ll see him to do the funeral.
we get in the car
sit for awhile
seriously that place is beyond I say.
I wonder what I can do
vow to get funeral over with then go back to speak to him
he needs to sort that place out he needs help says Chris.
help…
he needs a mop and bucket and a complete renovation I say.
The funeral went well cars staff everything was good
but behind the scenes there was a completely different story .
I wouldn’t tell the family
what could it achieve?
but I plan to go back and have a chat to see just what the score is there has to be a reason such a beautiful place has fell into such disrepair.

what do you think?

Childhood in the 60s & 70s

.

No mobile phone.

Not even a house phone

Out of bed dressed and rushing out to play.

Leaving house early morning.

Playing around the estate all day.

Didn’t go home if it rained

Sat in bus stop or under the slide in the park.

Pinched turnips from the farmers field to eat.

Trapsing home rotten dirty in the dark.

Building dens, camps and climbing trees.

Riding on bikes giving backies and grazing our knees.

Staying at my mates house she had a massive cat that made me sneeze

Playing kerby in the street with a football we had found.

Hiding from my drunken Dad

In school always being the class clown

Jumping on the milk float

Hiding out in the church hall.

Sharing sherbet dips

And sweets from the half penny tray.

Camping out in crank cavern caves

Star gazing building dens in tall stacks of hay

Building dams in woodland streams at the Dam across the way

telling ghost stories and lighting fires

Sharing bags of chips

Making rope swings sitting in old car tyres

Wagging school and breaking rules

Just council estate scallywag we were never in the cool

Crowd just

Northern kids

Fresh air good fun

Good times we made we didn’t buy

Our childhood was free making memories the sun

Witching hour writer

So tired it’s 2.28am.

I’ve crawled into bed

That place where my brain rebels

Insomnia fairy and writing muse lurk in the shadows of my room.

Hello it shouts as my head greets the softness of my pillow.

It shouts don’t forget tomorrow you need to buy cat food.

Shhhhh! Stop im shattered

It’s like having a hyperactive child who has an obsessive need to tell me random things in the early hours of the morning.

Or discover a line of a poem I’ve been baking in my head.

Oh and you need to ring the g.p before 8am

So if you hurry you may just get five hours sleep.

It’s raining.

Have you locked the car?

You forgot to bake banana bread

Did you wrap the crystals up ready to post tomorrow?

Has the dog had her spot on flea treatment this month.

Shall we go out for Christmas lunch or stay home?

What time are trago mills open until on a week day.

Who played the detective in all that remains ?

What that on BBC or Channel 4 ?

I concentrate on my breathing

Mindfully imagining a beautiful beach and the sound of the waves on the shore.

Have you switched the washing machine off?

I open my eyes

The Pendle witch peers at me from her broom stick on the ceiling

I think I see her smirk.

She knows my nightly dilemma

I reach for my pad and pen

Put on the salt lamp and write.

The glow from my window

By the canal I wonder how many other witching hour writers are out there?

Out of bed pen in hand woken or kept from sleep

Scribing tales poems blogs.

Until the writing blurs ideas quieten

Sleep finds us.

Crystals.

If you have facebook please check out our page Ravens Healing crystals.All funds made go to our cancer retreat providing free breaks, therapies and soul midwife services Thank you in advance

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=105947760881251&id=100878728054821&sfnsn=scwspmo

http://www.ravensretreat.wales

Sat chatting around my kitchen table
A throw away comment from a friend
she or I had commented on the amount of certificates and qualifications we both have.
in different therapies and healing modalities.
I’d been thinking of doing yet another course.
I do like to learn and be busy.
yes she smiled we do it to be good enough, to be worthwhile.
She said it in such an accepting way.
such a thoughtful look on her face.
I smiled
I did not answer
her simple comment
was a huge realisation I felt the truth of it spear me in my soul.

As I breathed in a simple truth
I have stepped away from the college brochure.

No man’s land

motorway services
melting pots
of busy people
stopping to pee or eat.
fast food at high prices
that pulsing sound of air con
fruit machines and cash machines
electric car chargers and shiny steel escalators
ever flushing toilets
expressionless attendants
mobile phone chargers
communal eating areas.
no one looks at anyone else.
staring at phones
eating alone.
back through the glass door
hurrying back home
from this always open oasis
this no man’s land
doors always open
each new day is the same as the one before .

Random girl.

My random girl you are everywhere.Reminders that you’ve left this earthly plane.The cranes on the marina I smile as I hear you sayI hate those cranes why are they pointing this way.I miss you random girl.I drive past Sainsbury’s memories flash like cine filmI hear you beside meI’ll be sitting by the window hurry up I’ve got you a cup of teaI smile to myselfSimple but still .I miss youSinging badly in the carStick throwing for honey never went farWind street the scene of many mad nights out.Transparent vodka as you danced aboutChickoland and queing for taxis in the cold night airOr summer nights sat on huge picnic tables with nutty Russians your favourite cocktail.Pink blaring you knew every word.If someone said three years from now you’d be long gone..I miss youRandom text messages.Can you guess what letter it begins with.Long black hair cheeky smile.Knob was a term of endearment.I miss youThe days of champers and the king’s on the high streetFoam party’s at H2OLong beach walks.Flip flop shoppingDog walkingPainted toe nailsI miss youRandom facts like you loved coffee in take away cups.Drawing in the sand.Walking barefoot on the bay.Writing out names watching the sea wash them away.I miss youSitting on the wall at Barry eating chips.Remos at sunset collecting shellsSand in my car.Pebbles in the glove boxBreakfast at vees cafe.I miss youWatching full moons riseWishing the world would go away.Holidays in the sunWalking on different beaches.Singing and having funDid I say I miss you?Memories of songsWind in our hair boat trips on open seas.Sam Smith sang black and goldYou lay with your head upon my kneeWarm sun kissed skinTime flew by days turned into yearsChildren grew families intertwinedWe were going to be nannies togetherHow could fate be so unkind.Although we knew that time together was running out fast.We packed in so many memories I replay them each day that goes past.I speak of you oftenI talk to you stillI loved you my random girl and know I always will ❤️I miss youI miss meI miss usIf someone said three years from now you’d be long gone..Who knew