christopher james

Poems and prattle

Month: December, 2013

Winter fruit

Perhaps it’s the mild winter and lack of frost but I’ve noticed plenty of apples and plums still left on the trees. Walking in North Norfolk on Christmas Eve, we saw these survivors, still clinging onto their branches peering down blithely at the fruit that was already lying rotting on the ground.


The pear tree in the garden three doors down from us, has a single pear still clinging for dear life (most of the others flew off in the November storm). While I’m impressed by the tenacity of these hangers-on, it seems almost criminal that fruit goes left unpicked on the nation’s branches. Britain – pick your fruit!

The Wreath

Up on the hill where the sky was stitched with rain
and the clouds were as big as hands around the Earth,
we opened the gates to the abandoned church.

A padlocked latch, a tower emptied of bells,
inside stood a Christmas congregation of ghosts.
A finger of light, like a candle, shone on the wall.

Outside, our Great Grandfather lay waiting,
his wife at his side; Methodists both, but still,
we left stout at their grave, and chocolates too

and up against the stone, we leaned a wreath,
fifty years since they last hung one on the door,
all the hopes of the world hanging on a rusting nail.


Blog Christmas Special: Do-it-yourself LEGO Star Wars

My six year old son Noah and I are self confessed LEGO and Star Wars addicts. Most Saturday mornings we are to be found in a sea of plastic bricks spread out on a purple blanket making all manner of things while sipping coffee. Like most parents though, I’m terrified of toy shops for the price of the box sets – the LEGO B-Wing Fighter costs £199 for goodness sake. My car only cost a few pounds more. In the spirit of make do and mend therefore, we have attempted to build the whole of the Star Wars universe out of common or garden bricks found in our own LEGO box. So that means recreating Imperial Walkers and X-Wing fighters from bits of Fire Station, castle and snack bars. It’s much cheaper and much more fun. Save yourselves £££ and give it a go!