Soft, Rippling Water

Mallard

Soft, rippling water

Mallard meditates, calmly

Keeps a watchful eye

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Holding On

Ivy Rough Terrain

With the pressure cracks appearing
Where the stress is brought to bear
As the heat begins increasing
And there’s tension in the air

The expansion joints are suff’ring
And decisions must be made
Do we need to start explaining
Why we aren’t prepared to trade

Are there insults in our future?
Or will difficulties rise?
No, we will remain united
I can see it in your eyes

So we sit in meditation
On the troubles we’ve been through
And despite the opposition
We know what we have to do

It may be that this decision
Isn’t one we want to make
But we’ll act with dedication
And we will not ever flake

And with all our good intentions
We are standing proud and tall
We are standing here for justice
Knowing truth will conquer all

No Photos, Please–We’re Paranoid

You may have noticed that although I often speak about my children and grandchildren, I never include photos of identifiable people. I believe that most people protect their credit card details better than they protect their children!

After school, yesterday, my wife and I took two of our grandchildren to the park. They were enjoying themselves on the various swings and slides, and then they both went to sit in this egg-shaped spinner. It looked really sweet, so I got out my camera.

As I was lining up the photo, a park keeper stopped alongside and said, “You’re not allowed to use that here.”

For a moment, I wondered who he was speaking to. Then I realised it was me.

“What?”

“The camera – You’re not allowed to use it here.”

Now, after 9/11 I was doing a photography course and I encountered a number of security guards who thought they were doing their job by stopping people taking photos in public places. So I looked into the rules and, yes, photos are allowed in public places.

This particular park, of course, is not a public place. It belongs to a local former mansion now turned into a museum.

“So where’s the sign?” I asked, not realising that I was right next to one! Yes. Embarrassing!

He started to explain, but I cut him short.

“It’s okay. I know the reason.”

“It’s not about you,” he said, “It’s to protect your grandchildren.”

“I know,” I said, and I put my camera back in its bag as he walked away.

This is not paranoia. As it happens, I agree with the rule. I think all children’s play areas should ban photographs. There are too many people out there willing to take, and sell, photos of children for obscene purposes.

So, yes. I complied. I took no photos. Because I know that in giving up that right, I am protecting, not only my own grandchildren, but children everywhere.