Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Spring '73... Settling down

As the weeks passed, Iris and I were managing to spend more and more time together. I would stay overnight Fridays right through to Sunday mornings.
I always finished work a little earlier on Fridays and I would pick Iris up from work and take her shopping. This was a most novel experience for me as normally I hated and detested shopping at any price. However, I found myself going round the shops and markets with her buying such mundane things as bread, milk, vegetables and all manner of meats and groceries. The surprising thing was that I enjoyed it!
I would help her to prepare meals; something I rarely did at home. I would do my share of washing up and other chores. We were acting just like newly-weds and we were so very much in love!
Although we still went out quite a lot to clubs and dances, we began to appreciate a night in together every so often, just watching TV. Other times I would be reading while Iris did some ironing or something. These simple things that I took for granted at home took on a new life with Iris. We just wanted to be together as much and as often as we could.
It was towards the end of March that I wrote what I always considered my best poem. It epitomised the very essence of Iris and my love for her.

To Iris, just for being you…. March 1973

Iris of the laughing eyes
Smiling at me as by her side I stay,
And I recall ‘twas just the other day
I met my Iris of the laughing eyes.
And she looks at me.

Iris of the laughing eyes,
Fragrant as the bloom that bears her name.
Holding her close by the flickering firelight flame,
I see my Iris of the laughing eyes
And she looks at me.

Iris of the loving eyes,
Lying together whilst our arms entwine.
Soft tender kisses as her lips meet mine,
I hold my Iris of the loving eyes.
And she looks at me.

Iris of the tiger eyes,
Pouring fierce kisses on her eager face.
Much closer now, caressing every place,
As I become the lover of those tiger eyes
And she looks at me

Iris of the tender eyes,
Lying beside me; our passion spent and over.
So gentle now, since I became her lover,
And I adore my Iris of the tender eyes
And we look at each other!

If you liked this little effort, please leave a comment!


I was invited to speak at a meeting hosted by the National Front on Sunday. The meeting was well-attended and, as usual, I was warmly received.
I am not a member of the NF but I will normally accept a speaking invitation from any nationalist group. I am considered to be one of the most popular and experienced speakers on the nationalist scene.
It’s a pity that the leadership of the BNP are so bigoted and bloody-minded about my speaking at their meetings, even though I was a founder-member of that party. Probably it's because I don’t share their new-found enthusiasm for multicultural membership!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dinner at the "Pack"

Regular readers of my blog will no doubt be familiar with my favourite pub/restaurant in Derbyshire, The Scotsman’s Pack. It is situated in the village of Hathersage, and the churchyard is supposed to be the final resting place of Little John of Robin Hood legend. There is a chair in the pub reputed to be that of Little John and over the years, I have taken several friends there to dine and sit in the chair. It is a very special place for me as Iris and I spent many happy hours there. These days, only very special friends are invited to dine. The cuisine is one of the finest in Derbyshire and, although rather expensive, is worth every penny.
My wife and I took a couple of close friends there the other evening and we had a most delightful evening. The fox that used to grace the pub many years ago is long dead but it is still there after being stuffed and mounted on a plinth. It was a vixen called Sandy and Iris loved to stroke her.
The last time I was in the Pack was when I took S**** last summer as I recently recorded in a blog.
This time, another attractive young lady sat in the chair to continue the tradition.
Our companions that evening were the local BNP Branch Leader and his very attractive daughter.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening.

I think you will agree that the young lady here who graced Little John's chair is far more attractive than the two ugly blokes pictured above!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Profile of me...

Again, there is a paucity of pics but a couple survived. The one published here was one of Iris’s favourites. She named it “The Playboy of the Western World”!

Some details about me...

Eyes… Hazel
Hair… Darkish (Fair as a child)
Statistics Lumpy!
General description… Bearable!

Favourite place… Rhine valley
Favourite drink… Malt whisky; Calvados
Favourite music… Latin American
Favourite group… Los Paraguayos
Favourite song… Younger than Springtime
Favourite film… To Have And Have Not
Favourite actor… Humphrey Bogart
Favourite actress… Lauren Bacall
Favourite activity… Boating
Favourite pet… Tiffi (A black/white/ginger moggie)
Favourite woman… Iris, of course!

This was taken near the Forth Railway Bridge, Edinburgh July 1978

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Profile of Iris

I have been asked why I have never published any photographs of Iris until recently. The simple truth is that most of the pics and poetry were lost shortly after her death when the house was cleared out by her relatives in my absence. I was left with just a few negatives and about a dozen poems that I came across in the debris.
Twenty-five years later, I had the negatives processed but time and bad storage left their mark on the prints. However, I have managed to reproduce a couple for this blog.
Unfortunately, these pics don't do her justice; she was so very attractive!

Some details about Iris…

Eyes… Grey
Hair… Dark, long and curly (later, shorter and curly) Statistics 34 – 24 – 34
Dress size 10
General description… Adorable!

Favourite place… Berwick-on-Tweed
Favourite drink… White wine; Calvados
Favourite music… Latin American
Favourite group… Los Paraguayos
Favourite song… Guantanamera
Favourite film… Singing in the Rain
Favourite actor… Sean Connery
Favourite actress…Ida Lupino (Iris looked very much like her)
Favourite perfume… Ma Griffe
Favourite flowers… Carnations
Favourite activity… Dancing
Favourite pet… Smokie (A pedigree silver tabby)
Favourite man… Me!

The above pics were taken in 1974. Smokie had grown a bit since the last pic of her. Cuddling Smokie was almost as nice as cuddling Iris!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

An apology...

For some strange reason, I can’t upload pics to this blog any more.
I have done this recently but I seem to be unable to put any pics on here right now.
Whether this is a fault at my end or at Blogger, I don’t know but it is most frustrating!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Getting there

For some time now, I’ve been trying to help a young friend with her problems. These are not of her making and recently, I have had some small success in relieving a few of them.
I think I gladdened her heart last night with a little surprise for her and I hope she will feel a whole lot better very soon. It was indeed a pleasure to see her happy and enjoying a relaxing and interesting evening.
We held another dinner party this evening for some friends and once again, the discussions proved to be fruitful and promising. I think that the olive branch I held out to certain people may yet be accepted and we can bury the hatchet once and for all.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Together once more

It was the end of the second week in March when I finally finished my work in Falmouth. I would have to go back there later in the year but for the time being, I was back in my own office once again.
Andrea, my secretary, was almost as glad to see me permanently back as Iris was. She fussed over me for days afterwards! I was pleased to be back; not only because I would no longer be separated from Iris but I’d genuinely missed Andrea’s companionship. There was never anything between us other than the fact we were close friends as well as our “Boss/secretary” relationship, but she made life so much easier for me at work anticipating my every need. I often wondered what I would do if she ever decided to marry again. She was a divorcee with two late teenage children, both of whom were engaged.
I was now in a position to spend even more time with Iris and I was soon staying overnight four days per week; Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays This wasn’t so difficult as I had previously always stayed overnight in hotelswhen out of town on company business. Due to my recent promotion and change of job title, it wasn’t necessary to do this any more. However, my family were used to my being away a lot so there was no problem at that end.
I always, however, saved Sundays for the family; the kids were growing up and had other interests through the week and my wife liked to stay in and watch TV a lot of the time. Sunday was a time for visiting either my wife’s parents or my mother. More of my mother later.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Return to Iris

After the end of February, our relationship took on a more permanent bond. I introduced her to a life she had never known before and, no longer a mouse, she blossomed out into a more sophisticated and desirable woman. I was immensely proud of the admiring glances she received. I gave her confidence in herself and she very quickly adapted to this new life. We were so very, very close.
Iris was now moving in a different circle that hitherto she had never experienced. She became popular with all my friends and colleagues. Very soon, I was spending more than half my time with her; living with her, and we were accepted wherever we went as a couple. We went all over the place, including many holidays to places she had never been. I took immense delight in showing her things new and in telling her about the history of the places we visited. Just being together for a week or a fortnight at a time away from home was total bliss. We went all over the place on our holidays; from Cornwall to Scotland and places in between. We also managed a couple of holidays abroad. In all our eight years together, we hardly ever argued or disagreed and we never once strayed from each other.
An interesting meeting took place one evening in early March 1973, when I was working in one of the clubs. Iris was with me and suddenly gasped out, “I know her!” I had been participating in a “Comedians’ evening” and was working with two others that night. They were both old friends, one of whom was Marti Cane, later to have her own show on TV. Iris went up to her and said “Lynne? Is that you?”
Marti was amazed… She cried out, “Iris!” What transpired was that they had known each other in the care home. Marti, (Lynne) was about six years younger than Iris and remembered her from those days. Iris and Lynne kept in contact with each other for years afterwards.
Unfortunately, Lynne died from cancer in November 1995.

This is an early shot of Iris taken in April 1973. I had a friend who bred pedigree cats and I got one for Iris. It was a silver tabby and we called her "Smokie".
Iris had just had her hair set, hence the headscarf.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Shadows of an aching past... Pt. 3

The dinner dates went on for a while and on one occasion, I took her to a meeting where I was speaking. Wherever we went, she always looked attractive for me and I bought her jewellery now and again. She liked jade and it looked well on her. The association, however, didn’t last, as later she left to go back to her native city. I learned later that all she had wanted was a series of expensive dinner dates and lavish attention! According to her diary that she left behind when she moved out, she described me as “Good for a freebie meal and drinks but very boring.” I should have listened to those who tried their best to discourage me from the start. I think it was the description of boring that finally made me wake up! I’ve never been called boring before in my life! Then again her life-style was so vastly different from mine and much more shallow.
I don’t suppose I’m the first man to fall for the flattery of a younger woman and I’m sure I won’t be the last but she was the first woman since Iris who had made even the slightest impression on me.

This is a pic of S**** sitting in the famous "Little John's Chair" in the Scotsman's Pack in Hathersage, Derbyshire.
It was our favourite haunt. Legend says that Little John is buried in the nearby church graveyard.
As a matter of fact, I took a very wonderful and special friend there when she was over here from the U.S. a couple of years ago. She also sat in the chair and I know which one I would prefer to see sitting there again!

This is a chapter of my life that I wish had never happened. There are no fond memories here.
I wrote another poem to S**** but I never showed it to her; I have never shown it to anybody. It was very honest but also very personal. It was something I should never have written.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Shadows of an aching past... Pt. 2

The summer of 2005 was one I will not forget in a hurry. Common sense and reason went out of control and I can’t blame anybody but myself.
Subsequent meetings were the same; the weather was always fine and sunny and we started to call it S**** weather. (Name withheld to prevent any embarrassment) We had some great times and I always looked forward to taking her out to various places.
Somewhere along the line, however, things went astray. I was so very much wrapped up in writing the Iris story that for a brief time, I thought that S**** was so involved with her memory that somehow, for an instant, Iris had come back. The fact that she wore a wishbone ring similar to the one I had given Iris triggered it off. I grew a fondness for her that was so very stupid of me.
As I said, I suppose I spoilt her by ensuring that she always drank champagne when we were out dining and in return, I enjoyed her company immensely. It triggered off a desire for me to write a poem to her; something I thought I would never do again. I wrote the following verses to show the changing of the seasons and the hope for a continued friendship. S**** enjoyed the poem and asked me to sign it and have it framed for her, which I did.

To S**** in gratitude for her help when I needed it. September 2005

The summer days are gone,
No more idyllic dreaming in the sun.
No lazy afternoons along with company so fair,
To ease my aching heart and drive away despair.

And when I needed you,
When all around, my dismal troubles grew,
I found in you some cheer; I found some inner glow
That helped me to forget the pain of long ago.

The days grow shorter now,
As leaves begin to fall from off the bough.
No sun now falls upon us as we go to dine,
But we’ll find a pleasant spot to drink the wine.

The winter chill will come,
Yet there is no need to for us to stay at home,
And taverns snug will surely beckon us to share
A glass of wine, a rendezvous somewhere.

Those days were warm and bright,
To us, they gave some measure of delight.
Will next year see us back again once more
To sit in sunny splendour as we did before?

Those golden days I yearn
To come again and let the memories return.
The happy times; the places where we went to stay,
And where you sat and took my dreary cares away.

Will these days come around?
Will there be simple pleasures to be found?
And will you be there with me to drink champagne?
Will you be there? Will you return again?

(To be concluded)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Shadows of an aching past...Pt 1

I’m taking a break here to set the record straight about a friendship I had with someone in the summer of last year. There have been rumours going round of late that I think I must refute.
I mentioned right at the beginning of writing my blog earlier this year that I had recently been flattered by the attentions of a much younger woman. It was when I was feeling at a low ebb as it was coming up to the 25th anniversary of the death of Iris. This woman came out of the blue and asked me for a date! I had never met her before in my life and we had only chatted over the internet a few times. She was originally from Liverpool and was staying with someone I knew in the city who lived about three miles away from me. We had chatted before when she was in her home town and she was now using her friend’s PC to chat to me now. She said she had been told conflicting stories about me and wanted to see for herself what I was like. I told her I was much older than she was but she still wanted to meet me.
Anyway, I arranged to meet her for what it was worth. I thought it would take my mind off my current problems. What I intended to do was to take her to a local pub, buy her a bar snack and a quick drink and that would have been it. Instead, she came out to me on a beautiful summer’s day looking absolutely stunning. She was wearing a summer outfit consisting of a top and long white flowing skirt and I knew that a local pub was way out of the question. Instead, I took her to one of my favourite haunts in Derbyshire. It was an up-market place noted for its fine cuisine. She had obviously gone to some trouble to look so attractive.
It was only natural that I reciprocated by ordering a first-class meal and a bottle of decent wine and we enjoyed every minute of it. Later, when we went out again, I repeated the performance knowing it gave her so much pleasure. As I said, this was at a time when I was feeling so very low. I began to talk to her about Iris and she seemed to understand my feelings. I said that I was thinking of writing about her and she agreed that it might help to ease the memories a little. I started to write and each time we met, I told her how far I’d got with the tribute I was writing. There I was, in the company of a beautiful girl, feeling sad about someone else and she never once complained! She cheered me up immensely on these occasions and I began to look forward to these meetings.
It was at this stage that I was warned about her by several friends, including her own sister. They urged me to end the association as she always left a trail of disaster in her wake! Of course, I knew better, didn’t I? I carried on meeting the woman to its inevitable conclusion.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

More about me...

In my youth, I had a succession of girl-friends; some serious, some not. I think the longest relationship I had before marriage was one of just over six months. I was moving about a lot in those days and in my late teens and early twenties, I was either at University or in the army. This didn’t give me much of a chance to consolidate a relationship and so I never had an in-depth bond with any of them. I got married at 23 to my dancing partner and settled down to raise a family. Three children in just over four years kept both of us busy looking after them with little chance of a social life. Later, as they grew up, I had a job that took me away for days at a time and I once worked in Germany for a couple of years, only returning home at holiday times. While the salary was good, it did keep me away from home quite a lot but my wife and family were used to my long absences. I must confess here that during my time abroad, there were one or two discreet affairs. They were nothing serious; it was part of the job being away from home!
I returned home in the early part of 1969 and secured a very good position in a nearby town. Once again, I would have to travel around a bit as the company I was working for had several smaller production units scattered about the country.
1970 saw me in a more senior position and my activities were centred mostly around three or four locations from my office. For the first time in years, I was spending more time at home with my family and I rather think we fell into a rut. Not that I didn’t love my wife, I did. However, when I first met Iris in the winter of 1972/3 I realised there was an enormous difference. While I loved my wife, I was in love with Iris and there was a whole wealth of difference there. At 38, I was like a teen-ager again with his first love. I soon discovered it was more than a casual fling; it was a wonderful close relationship that lasted eight years.
Critics may say that I neglected my family; not so. I had never been a pipe and slippers man even before I met Iris so my home life was not really affected so much by our relationship.
I make no excuses for my philandering; it was just the way it happened. I could resist anything but temptation! Then again, after meeting Iris, I never even once dreamt of having an affair with anyone else. That continued for several years even after she had died; nobody else was ever half as appealing.