Mid-October Blues

When the fallen leaves remind you that Summer’s gone
And the days are getting short and the nights are getting long

That’s the time to think about where you’re going to
That’s the time to think about what you want to do

The winter is coming, and with it a pause
There’ll be time to consider, to smooth out your flaws

You’ll be ready in no time, to get on with your life
For now, take it easy, enjoy the long nights

NOTES: This is off-the-cuff on a slightly drunken Saturday night, so will more than likely be deleted in the morning

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potpotmush

An accidental recipe

cut potatoes and sweet potatoes into chip shapes and deep fry in plenty of oil until soft but not crisp – add some half chopped chestnut mushrooms

wait until it’s obvious that the ‘chips’ are not going to get crusty but are in imminent danger of collapsing into mush

scoop the potpotmush into a frying pan and shallow fry to attempt to make at least some of it crispy

Bloody gorgeous it is and goes well with vegan burgers and green salad

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Happy New You

Something I wrote ten years ago on January 3rd 2006 – nothing changes?

January Tree

January Tree

I’ve just realised it happens every year. Usually it gets overwhelmed by Christmas, or it’s just forgotten, smothered by January frost and burnt away by the low winter sun and the urgent need to get on with it.

But this year the restart was delayed by illness and crushing indecision.

Lost in the dark again. A couple more days lolling around in dressing gowns, still too much left over food in the cupboards to merit a serious expedition to the large world of other people out there.

There’s a decline that begins the day the clocks go back – late October. The world gets more claustrophobic every day, the darkness comes and it stays.

At first I think I can beat it – keep busy, have a book launch, start worrying about Christmas, the essential festival of light and unfettered stuffing; like a willing goose, turn yourself into pate. Swill it down with ferments of fruit and grain, buy presents. Can’t afford it? What the hell, max the plastic.

Then – the day – the darkest day and the day filled with the most light and the most abandon – no buses to catch or cars to drive, no limits, no mercy to your lives.

Loved ones come and go, bins overflow. ‘Thank God it’s all over.’

All over.
All over.

Crisp New Year
except it’s not
it’s wet and not cold enough
and the places you’ve been
stay with you
and make you cough and moan

Get a grip on yourself
Get a grip

So you do
and you notice
the nights lightening
the days’ cool sun returning
– reviving.

And you return
You are you again
but you are a different you
an evolved through pain
and darkness you

A new you

A happy new you

But then again

Everything changes
it’s always the same,
it all rearranges
no-one’s to blame

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The Magic Christmas Tree

magic-rubbish-tree-of-riversideNeville Street, Riverside, Cardiff

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His Name Was Sal

 A newer version of this story is now available on my newer website

Click here for His Name Was Sal on derekwynfordjones.com

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The True Meaning of Christmas

Christmas is snow and feasting and fire and preserves. Christmas is calm and peaceful. Christmas is generous and spiritual. Christmas is short cold days and long colder nights – it is the darkest time of the year when life retreats to its lair and prays for its own renewal. The festival of Christmas sits like a light at the centre of each year’s tunnel drawing us towards it, injecting us with hope and ejecting us into a brighter future. In the Northern half of the world, Christmas is as essential to our psychological well-being as water is to our physical.

Photo: A Christmas Tree by Rhian Jones

Sadly, Christmas has been hijacked and harnessed by the dolts that profit from our human innocence and gullibility. They present us with beads of paste and glue – fake glitter that dilutes the true light and costs us our breath. We are herded through lanes edged with bulging shelves laden with colourful consumables designed to imitate the love and light our psyches crave in the darkness of midwinter. Cleverly, the Christian establishment has also hitched itself to the festivities and imposed its fable, to complete the duality that keeps us enthralled.

Christmas is neither the celebration of the birth of a man in some past land, nor the gluttonous gorging from the toxic mound of phony food. The true meaning of Christmas is in its light. It is the annual counterpoint to midsummer, when the sun’s light is at its most abundant, for Christmas is full of light too – the light that we carry inside. We bring it with us into the darkest time of the year and we express it in our fire and frolics. We don’t need churches or shopping malls, we just need ourselves – the bringers of light.

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