From the mind of a mild mannered maniac

Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

The Year just passed and the year ahead

Just a few short hours until the dawning of a brand new year, and with a few quiet moments to reflect, I find myself in a contemplative mood. This hasn’t been a banner year for most of us. We have seen and lived through some tumultuous times.

In the past twelve months we have been rocked by natural disasters, devastating wild fires, the side effects of global warming, geo-political upheaval, civil unrest, race riots, mass murder, the passing of some much-loved people etc…

I could expand that list exponentially, but no, those tears have been spilt. I have to try and look forward with hope and perhaps just a tiny pinch of guarded optimism to the future.

German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, probably said it best:

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”

He was right, we can learn from the past and strengthen our resolve to soldier on through adversity. Sometimes that is all you have to cling to.

Not everything was bad about 2017, including, on a personal note, the arrival, not quite a month ago, of a, healthy, beautiful baby boy, my Nephew Jett. He is a true blessing. I hope, and pray that he never bare witness to such a year, but if he does, I know He is surrounded by family and friends who will love him and provide him with all the tools he will need to face the years to come.

And so, with every fiber of my being I close the doors on the year just passed, and greet the New Year with open arms, hopes for brighter days to come, and well wishes to one and all.

Happy new year vector created by Harryarts –

~Cliff 


Winter’s Cheer

imageSwiftly fly the seasons

year upon precious year

first Spring’s rebirth,

Summer’s love

then Fall’s rich palette,

and Winter’s cheer

The season that blends nostalgia with a

twist of mirth and folly.

‘Tis a time for frosted window panes,

for mistletoe and Holly.

Time to gather our loved ones here,

to share our joy with our near and dear!

to celebrate with festive cheer.


Happy holidays, folks, wherever you may be!




Lonely Road

imageDriving late, on a lonely road

Just roaming, lost and weary

I think about us, well, the used-to-be us.

and our new past, so damned dreary!

Landmarks along this grainy lane

Pass by my gaze unbidden

I can’t change the channel, can’t look away

The images won’t stay hidden.

Sign posts scream out silently

Hazzards ahead, don’t go there

I can’t turn back though, I never can.

There’s a new path out of here, somewhere.

But there never is, just our tainted past

and the hurt that won’t ever heal.

So, I’m driving late, on this lonely road,

a ghost behind the wheel.



I just came back from a family birthday party, where the guest of honor did not attend.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea here, I should mention that the Birthday Boy, aka, my Father,was home in bed being nursed back to health, a very good excuse for missing it.

At the outset, mild panic had ensued. The cake had been ordered, a great deal of food and beverages had been laid on and it was far too last-minute for cancellation.

So, we had ourselves a party!

It was strange, though, to cut the cake without candles first being blown out!
Not to mention how odd it seemed, having to explain this phenomenon to each newly arriving invitee.

Before long though the music went on, couples jived merrily across the floor. The party was very soon in fullswing, and the oddness just as quickly disappeared.

I was left wondering, why exactly don’t we have “just because” parties, more often?

I mean, everybody enjoyed drinks, eats, and treats, including a piece or two of the aforementioned cake. We had a unique chance to catch up on the lives of some, seldom-seen, friends and our big beautiful, steadily increasing family.

All in attendance, got to let our hair down, some figuratively others literally. We were able to
de-stress from our hectic week, and enjoy each other’s company.

In other words, even without a guest of honor in attendance, a very grand Birthday party occured!

My, now 76 yr old. Father who really detests celebrating his birthday, these days, and hates music to be played above a whisper, was not as ill as he let on, and is feeling much better for having escaped his own party.

He also got to sleep in all day, which, he says, is much his favourite passtime.

That my friends, after a fashion, is what you might call a rip-roaring success!

Oh, and yes, I even saved him a piece of cake.


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The Diabolical Blog

The blank word processor page, on my laptop’s screen, glared emphatically at me.

“How dare you parade me about in such an undressed way” It seemed to say. ” Come on, Mr. big shot, writer guy, At least cover me up, with a few words!”

l shifted us to a different spot on the couch. The light was better here, and it had a much nicer view of the garden.

I alternated from thinker pose to keyboard drummer and then finally to gazing vacantly out the window.

The whole time, that lousy, blank screen, with its annoyingly bouncy cursor was just taunting me.

“Let me be,” I cried! Can’t you see that I’m deep in thought? That I am mere moments away from manuscript magnificence here?”

Oh, but my wiley, old computer knew me better than that. Knew my faults, foibles and silly games, better than I knew them, myself.

Even now, as I stared distractedly at the empty page, the pointer was prancing around the bleak, blankness pointing out my pathetic lack of production.

My mind wandered and drifted around for thirty minutes, or more, never once landing on a decent story idea.

From across the room my session timer buzzed and I walked over to shut it off.

I don’t know if I half expected a magic writing genie, or wizard to have had it’s way with my keyboard, in my absence. Perhaps I had convinced myself that I had actually been creative, for a time.

You need to remember, just this, my mind was already, off, taking a vacation in Club Med, at this point. These things happen, I mean, after all, even the humble shoemaker had his elves, right?

I stared at my screen in dumb-struck, disbelief.

“No, no,” I cried! “This simply cannot be!”
The blank, screen loomed over me.
Where were my prolific, prose, my sparkling sentence structures, my pithy rejoinders?

A strangely sardonic, sonic, note unlike any other, errupted from the depths of my tortured diaphragm. It reverberated round and around, then like a tempest in a teapot, soared skyward.

The diabolical Block had struck again!


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Question :
“When did you realize you were an adult?”

Should I go with the pat answer here?
You know the one.
Adulthood arrived on the day I reached physical maturity etc…Does anyone really buy that malarky? Good I didn’t think so.
Teen boys are adults in much the same way that youth is often wasted on the young.

In typical male fashion, I dreamed about being a fully fledged  wage earner, of buying my first car, of getting my own place. I was a freckly teenager, and owning stuff seemed to be what adult life was souly about.

The powerful allure of childhood playthings, and goofing off was still foremost in my mind. Just like Peter Pan, I thought I would never have to truly grow up.

I was very interested in meeting girls and going steady, but the very thought of settling down and plotting a life course for myself? Well that idea was just so abstract and out of reach.

After dealing with the nine-to-five workforce drudgery for a while, it suddenly dawned on me that this grown up bit was not a whole lot of fun. Instead, I decided to expand my horizons, and find a way to increase my toy buying potential. But still, no adult-like intentions for this kid.

I suppose I was midway through my twenties when the word responsibility finally came home to roost. It suddenly occured to me that kids and teenagers were calling me Sir or Mr. Lewis. Mr. Lewis was my Dad’s and My Grandpas name that wasn’t me yet, was it?!


So the years have heaped up on top of each other, one by blessed one. I was twenty, then thirty then forty.

Now, as a nifty-fifty year old, you would think I could gaze back through that looking glass of time, and in, best houdini style, pinpoint the exact moment when adulthood actually arrived.

When the tweens, the teens, and the carefree, wild-oat twenties and thirty’s had made way for maturity and grown-up reasoning.
I guess it had to have happened at some point, right? Maybe, but for the life of me I can’t say when.

At times I still feel very much like that six-year old raggamuffin who’s whole aim in life was to bury as many Hot Wheels cars in the sandpit as was humanly possible.

Could the fact that I don’t have a definitive answer to this question, mean that adulthood hasn’t caught up to me yet ????


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Curves Photo Challenge

image When I stare at all the wavy lines, curlicues and the nooks, crannies and spaces in between in the design of this old piece of paisley fabric. My imagination takes flight. It makes me wonder if the designer felt the same way. For instance, did he or she intend these to be a pair of fish or dolphins suspended in crystal against a field of tangerine rinds?image Was this intended to be squid tentacles erupting from a bed of kelp, hilighted against a sea of twinkling stars? image Oh look, the cross section of an elephants trunk reaching out to pluck the strings of a rainbow! image This fabric has been around since I was a very young child, and I’ve been fascinated by its intricate design, ever since I can remember. The amazing thing about it though, for me anyway, is that every time I look, I see something new.

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