A forgotten poem and memories of another life

When my husband announced the other day that he was going to have a sort out my heart sank.  My husband has a habit of not looking properly at what he is chucking out and I always end up going through the recycling bin and saving bits of paperwork.  This time however things have been slightly different.  Amongst the paper debris he found this poem I had written many years ago.  I cringed when he handed it me.  I had forgotten I used to write poetry but as I read it I started to laugh as I recalled the disastrous date that inspired this rhyme.

To give you some background, my husband (then boyfriend) had decided to take me on a ‘romantic’ date to the Black Country.  The Black Country is a part of the Midlands that is named after the black soot that came from the industries that covered the area during the 1800′s.  It is also famous for its ale and meaty pies and many Black Country Tours have sprung up that will take you around the area’s pubs before ending up in a local pie factory, notably Mad O’Rourkes.  These pub crawls became very fashionable in the 1980s and 90s and it was during that time that my boyfriend decided to treat me to a barge cruise through the Black Country.  Unfortunately, as you will read, it wasn’t as romantic as he had hoped.

July the 4th is the time

When  I make up a silly rhyme

To celebrate my first date

To my boyfriend John, a suitable mate!


There’ve been times of fun and distress

And times when we’ve been in a terrible mess

But through it all we have come

To value each other as a chum!


Our ventures have been amazing too

From rambling through mud to holidaying in Looe

But there is one event we both remember

For it occurred one wintry December


A party on a barge it was supposed to be

To eat, drink, dance and be merry

Alas the barge was very poor

With broken lights and a tatty dance floor!


We sat at our table in total gloom

As people whirled around the room

We looked at each other and whispered a thought

A plan to escape is what we sought


Suddenly a shout came from above

“A pub ahead, lets stop guv”

The barge slowed down by the bank

We peered through the window and our hearts sank


From what we could see there was no pub

Just a steep bank of yukky mud

When we asked where we were going

We were told “to the pub where the beer is flowing”


The barge moored, we disembarked

Onto the bank where it was cold and dark

Scrambling through mud and over a fence

I laddered my tights and grazed my legs


We found the pub with some delight

But on entrance, oh what a sight

The only loo door hung ajar

Whilst cross legged people queued by the bar


In desperation we found a phone

And looked for a means of getting back home

No busses were running, nor trains either

So a taxi it would be for a fiver


The cab turned up, we jumped in

Glad to escape the terrible din

Once settled in the leathery seats

We rapidly fell into an exhausted sleep


Our special date was to be a treat

But rapidly proved to be an arduous feat

They say odd dates you always remember

This was certainly true of our date in December


This poem now comes to a happy ending

For it is good wishes and love that I’m sending

To my boyfriend John who will grin and bear

Another silly rhyme that I’m sending this year!


PS: though I initially cringed at finding my old poem, reading it brought back some happy memories.  It felt good to remember our date and to laugh about it together.  It was also good to remember what I was like before becoming a mother; I just can’t believe I had the time to write a silly rhyme.  Perhaps I should take it up again!

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One Response to A forgotten poem and memories of another life

  1. Galina says:

    Thank you for the lovely story and the glimpse of your life before kids. We used to travel quite a bit with my husband in the before kids era, at times when I look back, it feels like it wasn’t me but another person.

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