Dead Umbrellas


You can sense
the annoyance of the owner
when you stumble upon a dead umbrella
unceremoniously discarded
where it failed to do its job


Red and white

Unwieldy things designed to embarrass
by blowing inside out
poking folk in the eye
dripping drops all over the shop


Blue and white

You won’t catch me with one
I’d rather get wet!







Lowther Pavilion – Lytham


Lowther Pavilion is perfectly situated in the glorious Lowther Gardens. There’s all sorts on offer for all ages at the theatre, in the gardens, and a popular café serving scrumptious goodies.  Cross the road and you’re on the promenade looking at Southport on the opposite side of the Ribble estuary.


Southport across the Ribble Estuary

Lowther Pavilion’s varied programme includes drama, comedy, musicals – something for everyone.  Voodoo Room was a great gig on 3 Feb.

Not a tribute band but three accomplished musicians playing their heroes’ music; Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream.

Pete Orr (guitar/vocals), John Tonks (drums/vocals) and Andy Tolman (bass/vocals) have an impressive back catalogue as individuals.  Put them together and you’ve got Voodoo Room, a trio showing a genuine, authentic appreciation of music from back in the day.  No posturing and not a prima donna in sight.  Just three genial guys enjoying a banter between themselves and with the audience.

Familiar tracks from Hendrix and Cream albums went down a storm. Cream’s Disraeli Gears, released in 1967, is fifty years old.  A large proportion of the audience very likely bought it first time round!

Each bandmate had a solo slot to showcase their expertise, ably rewarded by whoops and whistles from the crowd.  They did a two hour stint with just a fifteen minute interlude.

“There’s so much material we could do a four-hour set – but you’d need to phone the ambulance!” joked John the drummer.

Voodoo Room enjoyed every note they played.  So did everyone in the room.




Edinburgh’s natural beauty


With so much on offer it’s almost impossible to decide what to see and do on a first visit to Edinburgh. Natural beauty on the doorstep won the day.


Cramond Island and causeway

Day 1 – a 6 mile walk to Musselburgh along the John Muir Way. Sadly, not the prettiest part of the trail winding through housing estates strewn with litter. John Muir would not be a happy man. Musselburgh, with its pretty harbour, shone in the sun. A solitary Little Auk teased, ducking and diving below the waves. No chance of a snapshot! Bus back to town, hunkered down in The Inn on the Mile, happy to rest weary legs and watch snowflakes flutter outside.


Day 2 – bus to Cramond.  Cramond Island, sitting in the Firth of Forth, accessed by a causeway at low tide. Didn’t make it as the tide was on the turn, rushing in at a rate of knots.  Wild and windy, perfect conditions for kite-boarders, dog-walkers and those not fazed by the weather.  Off the beaten track back in Edinburgh, the Devil’s Advocate beckoned.  A quirky pub set in a Victorian pump house.  Perfect!


Day 3 – Arthur’s Seat. In the heart of Edinburgh the famous dormant volcano in Holyrood Park rises just over 800 feet. A spectacular panorama is the reward for the hike to the top. Back in town a mooch along the Royal Mile, a beer or two in the Greyfriars Inn and an entertaining hour watching weird goings-on outside. Poor Greyfriar’s Bobby!  His little nose has to be replaced on a regular basis because of all the tourist touches!


Arthur’s Seat


View on way down

The castle dominates a city rich in history. Museums, galleries, theatres, and grand buildings rise from cobbled streets. Narrow ginnels hide secret places. Plenty to explore another time.


Edinburgh old and new