Wednesday, 20 June 2018


This poem has been published in an anthology by Forward Press. ANIMAL ANTICS 2008 under my former name Potkins.


In memory of Shannon April 11th 2007

I miss your head upon my lap,
I miss your grunts and groans.
I miss your bark, I miss your whine.
Oh, how I miss your doggy moans.

I miss seeing you in the mornings,
I miss your presence in the night.
I miss your little tufts of hair.
I miss you so, it isn't right.

I miss your lovely greeting,
I miss you treading on my feet.
I miss these little things so much
And I miss, watching you eat.

I miss seeing you in the garden,
I miss the way you'd run and play.
I miss you, when I'm home from work.
Oh, how I miss you every day.

Saturday, 16 June 2018


We had a great holiday in Weston -super- Mare. The New Ocean Hotel is very nice, although our room was a tad small and if I was any bigger,  I would have had a job to squeeze past the end of the bed to reach the kettle, in order to make a cuppa!
The meals were really nice, especially the buffet style breakfasts with a good selection of food that you could pick and choose. Many of the staff were eastern europeans, lovely people and very helpful.
Our 2 trips out were lovely as the weather stayed warm, though a bit windy, but often the way in coastal areas.
We had a few hours in Burnham-on -Sea, on Tuesday, quite a quaint place, not too commercialized. A lovely sea front and a selection of gift shops, plus a handy B&M that I couldn't resist visiting. I bought a solar "mooning" gnome, very tasteful!!  It works.
We couldn't leave without indulging in substantial ice creams with added clotted cream - sheer bliss and such a hit to the taste buds.
On the Thursday we went to the UK's smallest city of Wells and visited the beautiful cathedral and although I'm an atheist, I appreciated the gothic architecture, its history and stunning stained glass windows. We had a homemade buttered scone and tea in the cafe. Very nice.
We had an hour or so in Wells, which had to include a quick visit to Ladbrokes - we didn't see a Betfred there. The young lady working in Ladbrokes lived in the village of Street where we were going next and was very informative, as to its charm.
Clark's retail outlet in Street was the highlight of my week and even Paul, who normally hates shopping, had to admit it was nice there. It was built on the site of the old Clark's shoe factory. Loads of great discount outlets, including Gap, French Connection, M&S and many more. Tried a top on in FC, but looked like a whale in it, so went to M&S and bought a lovely royal blue top for £15 and actually got into a 14 as the 16 was voluminous! A complete fluke of course. Paul got some new jogging bottoms.
We had a real Cornish pastie between us,  they were huge, in one of the lovely caf├Ęs. The whole place is beautifully set out with everything to hand - including very clean loos - well worth a visit if you're visiting Somerset ( not just for the loos) though loos are very important to the over 70s!
The Grand Pier in Weston that we visited on Wednesday,  was rather disappointing, as it was full of noisy slot machines and not much else - what a waste of a great space. Hopefully they have  shows there later this month.
We had a go on a machine and put in a couple of quid, not realizing it only spewed out tickets and no cash prizes.
After redeeming them, we got 2 pkts of love hearts and a lolly!!  Big deal.
A redeeming feature was The Tiffany Tearooms at the end of the pier where we had a lovely warm, fresh homemade scone with clotted cream and jam. All  washed down with tea, loose leaf variety, with a strainer - there's posh!
One of the great highlights of our holiday, was that our particular coach party had free drinks every night between 6 and 10 pm. I'm not a big drinker, but got a few bacardi and diet cokes in!  What more could you want on a holiday?
We had entertainment most nights, mostly good, one not so good, but hey, they have to make a living - and we weren't expecting Tom Jones or any other top acts and after a few bevvies, funnily enough, they all sounded great!
Sadly, the five lovely days were soon over and back home again. Here's to the next time...

Sunday, 10 June 2018


  1. When you feel sad and dying inside,...
    those tears of sorrow, you feel you must hide.
  2. But let them flow, in that most private place
    Where no one else sees the stains on your face.
  3. When you think of loved ones who have sadly passed.
    Happy days, that were never to last.
  4. As the years pass by and you slowly progress,
    That aching pain, will hurt a little less.
  5. Cherished memories stay with you for ever.
    The close bond that you had will not sever.
  6. Those precious ties, live on in your heart
    Even death, will not keep you apart.
  7. Enjoy the life, that they'd wish for you.
    Learn from your mistakes, we all make a few!
  8. One life is all we have, I truly believe.
    Live, love and be kind, before we all leave.


Morons who fly-tip.
Taps that drip, drip, drip.

Teenagers who are surly.
My hair, all straight, not curly.

Rap "music" and hip hop
It just gets me in a strop.

Golf, cricket and football.
I admit I hate them all.

Slender girls who stuff their faces.
Old men wearing gaudy braces.

Pigeon droppings everywhere.
Litter louts who do not care.

That strange person on the bus.
Public toilets that won't flush.

Cold callers on your 'phone.
Junk mail offering a loan.

That toothpaste top left off
and the irritating cough.

Drivers, blinding with headlights.
Thuggish yobbos picking fights.

Two lottery numbers on each line.
Healthy folk who whinge and whine.

Dog owners who don't "scoop"
when their pooches do a "poop"

Poetry that's twee.
Could apply to me!

Sunday, 3 June 2018


When you feel sad and dying inside,
those tears of sorrow, you try to hide.

Let them flow in that private place
Where no one else can see your face.

Thinking of loved ones who have sadly passed
and happy days that weren't to last.

As the years pass by and you progress
That aching pain, will hurt a little less.

Cherished memories will stay for ever.
The close bond you had will not sever.

Those precious ties, live on in your heart
You will never feel apart.

Enjoy the life, they'd wish for you.
Learn from mistakes, we all make a few!

One life is all you have, I truly believe.
Live, love, try to be kind, before you leave.

Ann Wilson 3rd June 2018.

Saturday, 26 May 2018



  It was a lovely summer’s day and Shannon, the cross-breed dog was relaxing in her garden. She had picked a shady spot under the cherry tree and was just dozing off, dreaming of chasing cats and other canine pursuits, when she heard an almighty commotion further down the garden.

She leaped to her feet and rushed to investigate and saw fur flying everywhere and much hissing and spitting going on. It was two cats fighting and Shannon noticed that one was tiny and only had three legs. The other was a huge black and white brute.

“What a bully!” she thought and started barking furiously.

Shannon had never seen a cat fight before and felt rather sorry for the three-legged cat, so she rushed forward very bravely, snarling and bearing her teeth. The cowardly black and white cat ran off straight away, but the three-legged cat stood rooted to the spot, back arched and spitting at Shannon, its green eyes wide with fear and mistrust.

“Well, that’s gratitude for you, I must say!” said Shannon. “I wasn’t going to hurt you”

“I’m sorry, thanks for saving me from Jasper” replied the bedraggled cat, who was still trembling like a jelly, from his ordeal. “But most dogs chase cats, don’t they?”

“Maybe” said Shannon. “But I’m not most dogs” she added, a little hypocritically, considering all the cats she had chased , in the not so distant past!

“I haven’t chased - I mean I haven’t seen you before, have I ?” asked Shannon.

“No, I only moved in next door to you a couple of days ago and my humans have only just let me out” explained the little grey cat, who was feeling much bolder now. “What’s your name?”

“Shannon” said the heroic dog, who was wagging her tail in a friendly fashion now. “I’m named after a river, you know” she added, knowledgeably.

“Yes, I know” replied the cat. “It’s in Ireland”

Shannon was amazed, as up till now she had thought that cats were rather stupid creatures and didn’t know much at all; she knew they could run of course and had to concede they were good at it!

“What are you called then?” she asked.

“Smokey” he replied.

“Not terribly original, is it?” said Shannon, with more than a hint of sarcasm.

“Well, it’s because I’m grey and smoke is grey, you know” replied Smokey, who had picked up on the sarcastic vibes and was quite amused by Shannon’s slightly superior tones. “I didn’t choose my name any more than you did”

“True” conceded Shannon. “Err, do you mind me asking why you’ve only got three legs?” She was certain most cats had four and thought it strange.

“Not at all” replied Smokey, cheerfully. “I was shot at by a horrible boy with an air rifle and my leg was too badly damaged to save, but I can manage very well on three” and he did a little pirouette to prove it!

“Very impressive” said Shannon. “I’m sorry you lost your leg though”

She was shocked at the cruelty of some humans and was glad of her kind ones, who had rescued her from a horrible place, some years earlier. She still remembered the man hitting her on the nose with a stick when she barked and shuddered at the memory.

Suddenly, they heard a human voice calling from the house next door.

“Come on Smokey, puss, puss, come and get your dinner, kitty, kitty!”

“Can you hear that?” said Smokey “It’s so embarrassing the way they talk to me, anyone would think I’m a baby”

“Know exactly what you mean” agreed Shannon, nodding her head. “My humans call me by so many names, I forget who I am sometimes, but I know they love me, so I don’t mind”

“Yes, they mean well, don’t they?” said Smokey.

As they were discussing the more noble aspects of the human race, a very loud male voice, bellowed down the garden. “ Come on in, Shanny-pan, dinner’s ready. Stop teasing that poor little pussy-cat, you naughty girl, come on in now, Shanny!”

“See what I mean!” said Shannon and they both started to laugh.

“We’d better go in” said Smokey. “Otherwise, they might sulk! It’s good though, that we’ve both got such good homes and that we’re neighbours. Shall I see you in your garden tomorrow?”

“Of course” said Shannon “and don’t forget to let me know if that big black and white cat, Jasper, ever bothers you again”

She hadn’t planned to give up chasing cats entirely!


This is the first of four short stories for children, featuring a lovely dog we had who sadly died in 2007.

Shannon was half German Shepherd and half black Labrador, though she looked more German Shepherd than anything else, apart from her floppy ears, but had the good nature and gentleness that most Labrador dogs have.

One evening, Shannon was running around the borders of her large garden. She did this ritual most days, to see if any cats were hiding in the hedges, as she often chased them to keep them “on their toes!” She never actually caught one though; they were much too fast!

That evening, Shannon noticed something small, rustling in the bushes towards the end of the garden. She nosed towards it and heard a whimper and weird snuffling sounds. Her tail was wagging furiously with excitement at the find!

“Please don’t hurt me” squeaked a tiny creature.

“I wasn’t going to” replied Shannon, calmly. “But who and what are you?”

“My name is Harry and I’m a hedgehog” replied the nervous, soft-prickled little fellow.

“What are you doing here?” asked Shannon, who had never seen a hedgehog before.

“Well” explained Harry “I’ve lost my parents; they went off to see if there was any left-over cat food, outside your neighbour’s back door and told me to wait here, but it’s been ages now”

At this point poor Harry started to blubber “Anyway, who are you?” he snuffled, his little piggy-eyes red with crying.

“My name is Shannon and I’m a cross-breed” replied Shannon, proudly wagging her long bushy tail.

“You look perfectly happy to me” observed the little hedgehog, tearfully.

“No silly!” laughed Shannon “It doesn’t mean I’m angry or cross, it just means I’m a mixed breed dog”

“Oh, I see' murmured Harry, cheering up a little, though he didn’t really understand, as he was much too young. He hadn’t seen a dog before and this creature was enormous, had huge sharp teeth and a strange swishing tail.

“Which neighbours did your parents visit?' asked Shannon. “Left or right side of my house, as they both have cats?”

“The ones on the left, I think” sighed Harry, who was feeling quite exhausted by now. “They have three cats and a very fancy cat-flap, you know"

Shannon liked the idea of a fancy cat-flap and wondered if they made fancy dog-flaps, big enough for her to get through. Must ask my humans about that, she thought, but just then Harry started to whimper again.

“Don’t worry” she said “I’ll give you a lift”

With that, she picked a trembling Harry up in her soft, gentle mouth and carried him all the way to the gate near the house. Then she put Harry down very slowly and carefully.

“Hurray, I can see them!” yelled Harry excitedly, miraculously revived all of a sudden!

“Hey! Mr and Mrs Hedgehog” shouted Shannon, “I’ve got your son here. You really should take more care of him, you know. He’s still only a baby'

“Oh no I’m not!” retorted Harry, indignantly. 'I’m three weeks old now and anyway, I’m a hog-let, not a baby!”

“Thank goodness, you’re OK son!' roared Harry Hedgehog Senior, who had a very loud booming voice - for a hedgehog.

Harry junior started to cry again. “There, there,” cooed Harry’s mother, soothingly. “But I did tell you to wait for us under the bushes, that we wouldn’t be long and we’d bring you back a tasty morsel or two”

“I’m sorry Mum” sniffed Harry. “This kind cross-breed dog, helped me find you and Dad”

“Cross-breed, cross-breed!” exclaimed Mr and Mrs Hedgehog, in unison. “What’s a cross-breed? - it looks cheerful enough to us; why is it so cross?”

Shannon sighed wearily, having to explain again to Harry’s parents, what a cross-breed was!

“Well, anyhow, thanks for looking after him” they said 'But it would have been best to leave him where he was, as we always know where to find him then”

“OK” replied Shannon, good natured as always. “I was glad to help”

“Thanks” squeaked Harry. “I hope I’ll see you again soon, Shannon”

“Me too” said Shannon, “Cheerio Harry, see you soon”

“Make sure you have a good bath and a flea spraying!” chortled Harry’s Mum and Dad.

“Why’s that?” asked Shannon, looking rather puzzled.

“Because we’re full of fleas, you know!' laughed Harry and his parents.

'Oh wonderful” groaned Shannon, having a jolly good scratch!