My Lovely Amelia


I like nothing better than taking photographs of my lovely Amelia against some famous landmark: Amelia and The Eiffel Tower; Amelia and Nelson’s Column; Amelia and The Coliseum; Amelia and Edinburgh Castle; Amelia and The Angel of the North; Amelia and The Great Wall of China; Amelia and Ayers Rock; Amelia and The Great Pyramid.   I have them all.

Last week we went to India so I could photograph her with The Taj Mahal in the background.  The Taj Mahal looked  wonderfully grand, touched with pink by the setting sun and framed by majestic palm trees. It brought to mind that wonderful photograph of red-jacketed Princes Di  seated primly on the little wall  in front of the oblongs of water with this magnificent pristine building behind her not quite managing to put her in the shade. People have often remarked when I show them my photographs that my Amelia has a touch of Diana about her, the eyes mainly I think, the way she lowers her gaze at times. She is too beautiful for words.

My photograph of Amelia in front of  the Matterhorn, cheeks aglow with the cold. eyes sparkling, head slightly tilted, is another that people seem to like but my own favourite is of Amelia against the background of The Victoria Falls, not just because I have managed to catch little ribbons of  rainbows in the spray behind her with the water seeming to hang in the air like smoke but mainly because I seem to have finally captured that little smile of hers that I think is every bit as enigmatic and beautiful  as the Mona Lisa’s.

The one Amelia likes best is of her outside Buckingham Palace where the Queen and Prince Philip waited patiently till I had taken the photograph before passing between us.

Life is……

Like an unassembled pack
of Ikea furniture
(but lacking the instruction manual)
life lies ahead of them

Ultava 001

Will he….?
 Will she….?
 Will they…?

Copy of supercouple

So many questions
so many unanswered questions

* * * * * * * * * *

(Yes, he did, establishing his  own chartered accountancy business in Richmond.
No, she didn’t, worked for Bottega Veneta in Milan  instead
Yes, they got married,  but not to each other.)

Time Passes

Time passes.
Ab 9
an anxious woman in white
stands on the river bank waiting
don’t worry about me, she had said cheerily
as they rode off into the sunrise
enjoy yourselves
and they didn’t
and they did

Abb 2

Time passes.
The three horses 
one white
one brown
one chestnut
bring the the three daughters
safely back
to the rock in the river
where the woman in white
is no longer waiting.


Exotic Love

Gthes 6

Since my wife’s return from India, my life has been changed utterly. Even our conversations are totally different. When I say ” How are you this morning? ” Lydia laughs and says,” WHY are you this morning?”

Then there is the chanting and dancing bit. She brought a CD  back with her and seated in what she tells me is the lotus position she chants along with it. The same notes/words over and over – Ka – Ri – Na – Ka – Ri – Na – Ka – Ri – Na – Ka – Ri – Na – Ka Ri – Na – Ka – Ri …..  I occasionally chant along with her so that she doesn’t feel I am being a negative presence although, unlike her, I feel pretty self-conscious about it all. What if one of my clients happens to peek in the window?

Then there is her dance routine. She starts by shaking herself all over and snuffling through her nose then her chanting becomes louder, she leaps about from foot to foot then throwing her arms into the air jumps and lands with a jarring thud on her heels. The heels, she tells me, are the font of sexuality. Then she whirls around and screams and shouts. This, she says, releases and drives out all her false selves, her bad spirits.

The one time I tried to join in, two policemen alerted by neighbours came to the door and refused to go till they saw for themselves that she was alive and unharmed and heard her rather too full explanation of what had been happening. I have a feeling they could hardly wait till they got back to the station to share the joke with the lads.

Obsessive Love

Copy of red dress 1mm

I saw a TV show the other night which promised to transform my life. Dr. Lock, an elderly psychiatrist, revealed the secret of how to get off with women. All women. Any  woman. You just look into her eyes and tell her softly that she’s the most beautiful woman in the room/ country/ world and keep looking into her eyes while listening carefully to her response. And  you keep looking straight into her eyes as you tell her she is the woman you have been searching for all your life and at last you’ve found her.

It’s a form of hypnotism, he explained. The more intelligent the woman, the more responsive she will be.  And if it works for me, it can work for anyone .  It will alter your life forever, believe you me, he promised.

I get enthusiastic about advice like that, I’ve always had this feeling that there’s a great deal of hidden me just waiting to get out if only I can find the key.

At the next party I went up to this girl on her own – not the most beautiful girl in the world but a  great hairstyle,  intelligent looking, nice smile  – and followed Dr. Lock’s instructions to the letter.

It worked like a charm.

The only problem is that my previously hidden self seems to be horrified by women who are besotted by me. I’ve stopped answering my phone, have left strict instructions  at the office that if anyone called Jennifer tries to contact me to say I have left the company and even now, peeking out through the curtains, I can see her in a doorway across the street, waiting in the wind and the rain, her hair being blown this way and that, trying to light a cigarette with shaking hands.

Selfless Love

LANZA ladyinredside

Priscilla has left me for another woman.  The first woman she left me for was so mean and jealous that after a month she was back, promising she would never leave me again. For a while it was like the early days when we couldn’t do enough for each other, couldn’t get enough of each other. But last week I came into the house to find her with a woman I had never seen before, Rosalia, a Spanish flamenco dancer over here for the Festival, dark  flashing eyes, liquid voice, great cheek bones, skin like ivory. And those hands!
I went to see her dance. She was magic.
My friends are generally full of sympathy and at work my boss put an arm round my shoulder and said, ” Don’t feel bitter. And if you want some time off, just say the word. “
But what is there to feel bitter about? If I were her, I would have left me too for a woman like that.

Thoughtful Love


My girl friend Amelia is that unusual combination, logical and sensitive. For a long time I thought she was the only woman for me. Then I saw her walking hand in hand out of the cinema with the young man who came to fix our television. I kept thinking about it all the time. My work was suffering because of it. I kept  meaning to ask her straight out if she was being unfaithful but didn’t want her to feel I was the heavily jealous type.
But today my boss came up to me and said if I didn’t snap out of it I could start looking for another job.  “Sha
pe  up or ship out ” was what he said. Then I saw them at lunch time having a cappuccino, holding hands over the table.
When I told Amelia that I was having all these problems at work and that I knew she was seeing someone else, she threw her arms around me, tears welling up in her eyes. ” Isn’t it wonderful how everything works out for the best? ” she said. ” I have been meaning for so long to tell you I had fallen out of love with you. I didn’t know how to,  didn’t want to hurt your feelings. But now that you know I’m someone else’s girlfriend, you don’t need to give  
me a second thought. “

Insecure Love

My girlfriend was so beautiful
Copy of supercouple

I was afraid to take her out in case I should lose her to some passing Lothario who would slip her his telephone number scribbled on the back of a $20 bill when I had my back turned or to some smooth talker who would sidle up to her in the restaurant while I had gone to the toilet or to some film producer who just happened to see us passing by and recognised that beauty such as hers was worth its weight in gold and was there for the taking.

Months of what I thought was understanding and contentment passed by and then one day, out of the blue, she said, ” We can’t go on like this. “

” Like what? ” I asked with assumed insousiance though my heart was hammering against my ribs.

” Like this, ” she said, lifting her arm up so quickly that the handcuff bit into my wrist.









” What was Bill’s second name? ” I ask my wife who is trying to replace a light bulb. I am having problems making out a list of people I want to invite to our anniversary party.

 “Here, ” she says  and passes me down the dud light bulb. ” Can you hand me up that 100 watt one? There. On the table. No. Not that one.The 100 watt one. Yes, that one.  Thanks. Bill who?  OOOPS! ” I grab the ladder just in time to stop her and it from collapsing but the light bulb smashes at my feet.

” God, you’re so useless! ” she says, not so much to me but to the world in general.

After the party ( which went very well I thought ) she says, ” You know who didn’t come? That lovely man who saved you from drowning. Bill Watson. We never really thanked him enough. Such a brave thing to do. Why couldn’t he come? “

I tell her he didn’t come because I didn’t send him an invitation because I couldn’t remember his name.

She is outraged.

” He should have let you bloody well drown, ” she says

Poetic Love


Copy of moldau pica bb

Tom’s romantic nature meant that he suffered more than most when a relationship came to an end  but all the same I was shocked and saddened to see him so gaunt and woebegone.

” So. What are you doing with yourself these days? ” I asked him brightly.

He laughed a bitter laugh and spread his arms to emphasize his outcast  state.  ” I wander lonely as a cloud, ” he said.” I look upon myself and curse my fate. “

I put a counselling arm round his shoulder. ” You’ve got to get over Elizabeth sometime, ” I told him. ” I mean she’s married now. You’ve got to let go off  the past, Tom. Live in the present. “

He shook his head. ” Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, ” he said gruffly, ”  or bends with the remover to remove.  It is – ”
” – But she’s pregnant! ” I interrupted. He smiled, a tired little smile in response to my shallowness.

” Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,” he said softly, a quiver in his voice.   

” Listen, is there anything I can do to help? ” I asked, beginning to feel quite depressed myself.

He stood silent for a long time, head bowed and  shoulders slumped, then  straightening up and  looking at me with tears in his eyes, shook his head.

” Pour away the ocean, ” he said bravely,  ” sweep up the wood,  for nothing now can come to any good.