Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Third Home

I completed my last Community shift today and finished at lunchtime .
The community team have asked me to come back which is flattering and it's nice to think that I have a foot in each camp at the hospice and am popular in both.
It's nice to be liked and in just one year I feel settled and surrounded by nice people who care about me.
I'm lucky.
The hospice is situated a stones throw from Llandudno's West Shore and walking east you cross the peninsula that Llandudno occupies to the East Shore where the hotels and restaurants and promenade are.
It was a nice walk in the hot sun today. I left the hospice, walked past the Loreto convent and across into town. The streets were full of exotic looking orthodox Jewish families who holiday here this time of the year, and everywhere I looked down Abbey road there are family groups dressed in black suits, the men splendid in their big black hats, training tzitzits from their shirts, the women with headscalfs and pushchairs.
Llandudno feels very cosmopolitan in an old fashioned way.

As I passed the town hall a middle aged woman came out and gave me a double look. She smiled and said hello and asked if I was keeping well with a large wide mouthed smile
I had no idea who she was until she gushed on about the dog poem reading that was read by "the actor" ! She was the registrar at my wedding and it was her very first gay wedding and certainly one where love was likened to owning a dog

The poem was written by Taylor Mali and it was read out by one of my best friends John, who IS a bit of an actor!

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!

Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.

Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.

Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

I was surprised she recognised me , but perhaps it was her first gay marriage
I laughed at her remarks about the poem and hid my left hand

I had jobs to do so I didn't stop
I walked to a little gallery on Mostyn Street and collected an original pencil drawing of a Llandudno goat I had reserved.

I fell in love with it when I first saw it

I took the drawing and some sandwiches and fruit down to the beach and sat on the sand to watched the holiday makers . The Jewish men there had taken off their hot black jackets but had kept their hats on. They talked in small serious groups whilst eating ice cream as their children cantered around

And I felt at home, sitting there listening to the screams of the seagulls.
My first home Trelawnyd
My second home Sheffield
My third home Llandudno


  1. If you keep heading west you're likely to wind up in Dublin!

  2. It is nice to feel at home

  3. Yorkshire Liz5:40 pm

    Peace has settled in your heart again.you got there, despite all teams trials and tribulations. I'm raise a corner to to you! See, good guys do sometimes win!

    1. Not passed the winning line just yet

  4. There's a Llandudno Road not far from our flat! I have no idea what the town is like -- well, except what I've learned from your post. Funny you met the registrar! Taylor Mali once came and spoke at the school where I work. I love your goat picture.

    1. Yes, it was thirst time I'd walked passed the town hall in an absolute age too

  5. I've liked Llandudno the few times I've visited. Wife and I both thought how lovely it would be to sit on one of those hotel balconies overlooking the bay drinking gin and tonics.

    1. Yes, several have gone upmarket , not all are the turkey and tinsel brigade

  6. That was a lovely post. Am so glad you are feeling "at home" ~ it's a good place to be. Ro xx

  7. Beautiful... and I'm proud of you (am I allowed to be proud of you?) Anyway, once again, I love your choice in art. I envy you feeling at home in three places. I think I'm home but have never honestly known exactly what that feels like.

    1. Thank you, this moved me unexpectedly ...

  8. Love the goat drawing and love you feeling at home. You so deserve to feel like that. x

  9. did you see any of the goats in the flesh whilst there today?

    1. It was a hot day , but I saw some high up on the orme when I drove into work

  10. and when love dies you can feel the wind blowing through your heart.

  11. I'm unfamiliar with the poem and thank you for sharing. I also like the simplicity of the picture.

    1. I spoke to its artist who loved the fact that the goat picture was going to someone who worked at the hopice

  12. I am glad, and unsurprised, that your work is welcomed and you are liked.

  13. Barbara Anne7:53 pm

    What a thoughtful and thought-provoking post. Love is all around and these days, it often wears a mask. John, you're a marvelous writer as you should know by now.
    It's good your heart feels at home in three places.
    Your new goat drawing is a delight. Enjoy!


  14. What a moving poem I’m glad you could share it with us. There’s certainly plenty of love in your life and your work colleagues have now joined your team. Although your nursing skills would be valued, I would imagine that your ‘people skills’, innate, but honed in the Samaritans, would be of immense value in community nursing..

    What a lovely goat! I hope the menagerie at home welcomes him!

    1. I think the beauty of it lies in its simplicity

  15. Your goat drawing is one I would also choose. I loved the poem but felt sad for you all the same that you felt you had to hide your left hand.

    Jo in Auckland

    1. I still feel ashamed I am divorced

    2. Barbara Anne11:08 pm

      The shame lies elsewhere as it wasn't your choice or your doing. You're the same wonderful person and even better as you've learned to be good to yourself.


    3. no shame in being divorced, john. many of us are and have gone on to a better life. you can too.

  16. It is uncommon, I think, to have more than one place one feels at home. You are lucky.

    The goat picture is just right.

  17. I stayed in Portmadoc/Porthmadog for a while in the early nineteen seventies, and went to Llandudno several times. A nice little town.

  18. loverlly poem, charming goat, and one of those perfect days too.

  19. I can understand a similar feeling I think John-but I'm sure you did everything possible to make your marriage last forever x

  20. The goat . . .
    Pencil, pen and ink, my two favorites.

    Love your “reads “ . . . one of your many gifts.

    And the “reading”, copied, saved . . . true.

    Happy you are so loved in your new community.
    And that you love as well.

  21. Coming and going, eh. Beautiful drawing.

  22. I can understand your love of that drawing; simple, honest, and amusing. I probably would have bought it too.

  23. I'm glad that you are surrounded by nice people John a good place to be.

  24. Many moons ago , we stopped to find a guest house in Llandudno while travelling to my mothers in Anglesea , it being dark we didnt realise that it was a christian guest house , which made little difference to us . However we had to have a twin room because we didnt have our marriage certificate with us , strange strange experience, prayers before breakfast in Welsh , i was 8 months pregnant at the time...lol

  25. Saint Tudno is said to have been one of the seven sons of King Seithenyn, whose legendary kingdom Cantref y Gwaelod in Cardigan Bay was submerged by tidal activity. According to the theory, Tudno studied at St. Dunawd's college in the monastery of Bangor Iscoed, in order to make recompense for the drunken incompetence of his father, which had led to the loss of the kingdom under the waves.

  26. That was kind of you to not let the Registrar see you are no longer married.
    It's nice to meet the artist when buying a piece of their work. I complimented a local artist while buying her first ever watercolour of The Needles using all grey tones and she became very emotional.

    You sound so much happier, well done x

  27. What a happy post!!

    I'm glad you have found a third home in Llandudno, we love walking the dogs on West Shore just a stones throw from the hospice. Mavis loves the freedom of being able to run at the base of the Great Orme and along the headland, while Suky prefers the little French coffee van with it chance of a biscuit.

    That goat sketch is gorgeous, I love the simplicity of it. The ability to capture something so perfectly with just a pencil and few lines is wonderful.

  28. I loved the poem! So well done and apropos to life and love and of course dogs too.

  29. Ah, the poem always inspires happy tears.

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  32. You have settled in well to the new beginnings, YAY!! xoxo


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