Down Memory Lane…

A couple of self-indulgent ‘nostalgia’ poems. Ahhh, them’s were the days…

Christmas ’68

When Clive came home it was like the second coming.
It made Christmas official in a way
that paper chains and piled presents could not;
intrinsic as the queens speech,
Eric and Ern,
and me and Robert fighting in the hallway.

Sobranie-Cocktail-CigaretteAfter dinner the smells of turkey, cinnamon and sage
displaced by heavier scents:
slim panatela, Sobranie cocktail and –
sweet as incense –
Clive’s Disque Bleu overriding them all.
Pull-my-finger jokes, the scramble for chairs,
glasses filled with pomagne and light ale.

And me and Robert fighting in the hallway.


Broken Biscuits

We’d get sent to the shop for broken biscuits:

Custard creams, bourbon, ginger snaps and thins.
You never knew what you would get

But my favourites were thins.

broken-biscuitsThey arrived at the shop in great big boxes
A liner inside the size of a bin bag,
Brimming with bits and mis-shapes.
Mr Wilson would load the scales with the two-pound weight
Scoop biscuits into the brass bowl at the other end.

‘Watch his fingers,’ mum would say,
‘I’m not paying for his bloody fingers!’

‘There’s no thins,’ I said,
‘It’s all nice and digestives and rich tea,
Where are the thins?’
‘There aren’t any,’ he said,
‘That’s the trouble with broken biscuits – it’s a lucky dip.’
‘Well can you break me some?’ I said,
fruit saladAnd he laughed, even though it was a very old joke,
And gave me a Fruit Salad and a Black Jack for free,
Which was almost as good
As thins.



12 thoughts on “Down Memory Lane…”

    1. We’ve a few around my place – trying to be mini-supermarkets but still carrying jars of traditional sweets along the back wall for kids from the local primary school with tuck money 🙂 Sadly, more and more opting for bloody awful bags of Haribo than sherbert pips and Kola Kubes etc, but… …

      Thanks for comment 🙂

  1. Beautifully evocative, like I’m there. Sitting here indulging in my own corner shop and Christmas memories now. 🙂

  2. I like the way these poems are like tiny stories or slices of life. Very evocative. Are thins ginger?

    1. Nooooo! Definitely not ginger! I’m not averse to a bit of ginger – love it, in fact – but the thins I’m talking about were very sweet and crunchy. If being posh they were called ‘langues de chat’ (cats’ tongues), I think, but as we only ever got them in Christmas variety tins or from the broken bin we had no idea they had a proper name – they were just ‘thins’ ‘cos they were thinner than all the others. If you dunked them they could only handle about a millisecond, but they were divine (dahling) in milky coffee. ‘Slices of life’ – yep, that’s about the best I can hope for with my poems. I can’t really do all that deep, multilayered crammed-to-the-gills-with-metaphor stuff… I like to think my poems are in the spirit, if not the form, of Haiku, celebrating the small but significant moments that stay with us – the whole being bigger than the sum of the parts. Thanks for comment 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂 ‘My nan sending us’ makes me feel old! That said, I’m the youngest of seven and there’s 20yrs between me and the eldest, so my mum would technically have been ‘granny’ age at the time…

  3. Both great poems 🙂 I loved them both for different reasons. It is all nostalgia for me today (which is what tomorrows poem from me will be). The broken biscuits remind me of a corner shop near our house when we were little. Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought 🙂

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