Sunday, March 6, 2011

Yellow Brick Road


It wont lead you Over the Rainbow,
Or even to Munchkin Land,
But just to the local Swimming Pool,
Blue sea and golden sand.
But it's a magic pathway
For all who care to climb
This Yellow Brick Road in Newcastle
When summer's at its prime.

SMOG 1950

In my recollection
It was much worse than this!
I don't recall its coming.
One moment the air was clear;
The next we were enveloped
In a sticky yellow blanket!
Black. Yellow. And sticky.
Why yellow?
They said it was sulphur,
It certainly smelt like it!
It certainly tasted like it!
Clean Air was a long way off.
I have several clear memories
Of that unusual event;
The Great Smog of 1950.
I remember going to a dance
At the Kensington Town Hall.
Males and females sat
At opposite sides of the ballroom.
The 'ladies' waited to be 'asked.'
Only, on this occasion,
(And we were inside a building, remember!)
There was fog drifting between us.
I can smell it now,
I can taste it now.
And I can see it clouding the electric lights!
I can also remember trying to find my way home.
I couldn't even find the kerb!
I had to feel with my toes
For the edge of the pavement!
And great black bodies kept looming up
Right in front of me!
'I couldn't see my hand before my face'!
Not just a glib saying,
But a reality!
I recall hearing about the sheep.
There was an Agricultural Show
In progress.
Thousands of sheep died!
Finally, I remember the aftermath.
How the smell and taste lingered for weeks.
How all ones clothes were
Tinged with a yellowish grey.
How the 'fog' hung around in ones nose and ears
'For ever'.
It was a curse.
Yet it was a blessing.
After that, London became


We enjoyed a very pleasant social event yesterday. Our friend Gwenda's daughter invited us to the launch of her first novel, 'Beyond Fear'.

It was very well attended and lots of our friends were there.

Malcolm managed to get himself in the picture of the author and her husband!

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