Monday, 7 September 2020

And I Thought...


Wallingford Bridge

And I  thought I`d take a wander, along the River Thames Pathway...

To absorb all the natural beauty I might encounter this glorious Summers' day.

So many Ducks, Swans, Geese and Coots all at their respective play,

Whilst the always and ever-protecting Willows, soporifically sway.

And I thought I`d then meander through, the ancient Castle Grounds,

Where King William's once mighty fort dominated all around,

Whilst Anglo-Saxon Earthworks remind us of past Warriors so brave,

They, whom sent those pesky Vikings packing, lest they'd face an early grave!

And I thought I`d then ponder over Wallingford's illustrious past:

The Romans. Saxons, even Vikings and of course, the Royal Mint,

Whose coinage bore the Portcullis and the Monarch's head of the day

Portraying the towns importance in such a highly positive way.

And I thought I should remember then, the English Revolutionary times,

Of Cromwell's thuggish Army and their many, many crimes,

For, in fear this Royalist town might rise up once again, they pulverised and pounded all that was around,

The Castle and many Churches razed, smashed into the ground.

St Peter's Church which was badly damaged by Cromwell.

And I thought next time I wander, along the River Thames Pathway

I`d repeat much of this routeway but adding other aspects to my day.

To learn more of our towns great history and natural beauty too

And, if I continue then so to do, then all will be, just as I thought....

Wallingford on Thames - A tribute.


Chris Green 

Besparmak Media Services

Friday, 4 September 2020

Oxfordshire MIND - In Tributum


Oxfordshire MIND


On the 13th April 2018, I was diagnosed with the following Mental Health related condition: Recurrent depressive disorder with prominent anxiety with some features of PTSD. Subsequently, this was reassessed as Depression with severe Anxiety with PTSD symptoms. It was a relief to finally receive this assessment for I had been struggling for a very considerable period of time culminating in a suicide attempt on September 13th, 2010. 

During 2017, I underwent major Orthopaedic Surgery (twice) to receive a total hip joint replacement, work had ended as a result and other than SSP, my income had gone. I was served with a notice to leave where I had lived since 2015 and I had nowhere to go at all and so I dug my heels in and hung things out. In the end and just after my 60th Birthday in November 2018, on December 4th, I vacated and entered technical homelessness although in reality, I was accommodated at a local Inn thanks to my friendship with the family who run the establishment. I was on a short thread however, for the Inn required all their rooms over the Christmas period. Respite might be little more than breathing space…time.

Fortune was to  smile though, for the Psychiatrist who had assessed me, one Dr Hammond, put me in touch with the Adult Mental Health Team in Oxfordshire and in short-order, they directed me to engage with the Oxfordshire MIND charity and following an interview I was contacted by telephone to say that I had been accepted and duly I moved in to the “Goldrose” Project in Goldsmiths Lane in Wallingford on December 21st 2018. What an early Christmas present this truly was! Quite apart from removing me from the fear of homelessness, I was enabled to return to, and reside within the town of my birth and Secondary education and in fact, some 43 years after first leaving home to begin my career in Civil Engineering which has taken me all over the United Kingdom and very extensively overseas too. Now, in September 2020 I am leaving “Goldrose” and moving just two miles away for that which should be my final ever such unrooting and, as such, my circle is completed.

Aided by my intimate knowledge of Wallingford, I settled quickly into “Goldrose” and, whilst I had to get used to the unfamiliar routine of sharing with two other residents, something that did occasionally give rise to relatively brief discomfort, nevertheless in general, cordiality was obtained and perhaps my culinary abilities were a useful asset in achieving such cordiality for at least the majority of the time.

We were blessed with having a nice little garden area but one that had been largely untended and, during 2019 and with support from MIND, we got into reasonable shape and during this year (2020) a lovely ornamental feature has developed including the growth, development and blossoming of Sunflowers from seed. Before I leave, I will be planting some Holly Hocks in both residences of “Goldrose” to add further peace-provoking colour to the residential environment.

My residency at Goldrose was  (and remains to be for all residents thereof) a temporary housing solution and so earlier this year, I engaged with SOHA (South Oxfordshire Housing Association) but of course the COVID problem somewhat intervened and delayed my moving-on options. I applied for a number of suitable properties and thankfully, I was finally accepted for a delightful property in Brightwell cum Sotwell and, aided as always by MIND, personal friends and SOHA, as I compose this article I am pretty much moved in.

Therefore as the Sunsets upon my stay here at “Goldrose” so the Sunflowers that I grew from seed are beginning to Rise and Shine and, from a personal perspective this natural aspect not only glows upon my final move onwards but also highlights my gratitude to Oxfordshire MIND, SOHA, the AMHT and my General Practioner, Dr Simon Pettitt.

May the Peace and Blessings of God Almighty be upon all who may view this article and all the residents of MIND wheresoever dispersed around the County of Oxfordshire.


Chris Green 

Beşparmak Media Services 





Saturday, 20 June 2020

In Past Times

In Past Times
This portrait, which depicts me was created  by one Mrs Edna G Simpson in 1969.

And all were gathered, hale and hearty
For the occasion of our sons 10th birthday party
Grand it was to be, for my wife had decreed,
Accordingly, we were tasked to prepare the great ‘feed’
With all haste and fervour, expectations to exceed
Fever pitched yet gleeful, we carried out the deed
Of sweeping and cleaning, painting and preening
Arranging, decorating, garish, un-seeming
All undertaken to sate a boy’s day-dreaming.

Yes, grand it had to be, for my wife had so decreed,
No stone to be unturned for the eldest of her breed!
And all was to be held in the sumptuous Great Hall.
Six decades on, still I see it all.
All the young wolf cubs and school chums, football team too;
Uproarious laughter, such a hullabaloo,
So many games and activities, like chimps in the zoo,
Climbing & hiding, riding and running through
Every room, every corridor, cubby nook and cranny-
The only one not laughing was our children’s nanny!

And so it arrived, that momentous of days,
Preparations completed in all manner of ways.
Last minute details checked and re-checked,
Family and helpers looking rather hen pecked
“Make sure that cake’s properly decorated...”
Shouts my wife, as she fussed and orated
Instructions ticked off, orders primly narrated
Yours truly in the wrong and oft-times berated
“Hands off those mince pies or you’ll go to your shed!”
Eldest son was shining; completely elated.

Three O’ clock sharp and the doors open wide,
Weary mother ushering, glowing with pride;
Tumultuous the boys all crowd inside
And gasp with delight at the treasures they find:
Cakes, sweets and sandwiches of every kind,
Dandelion and burdock, cold fizzy pop,
Boys busy feet scurry ,clippity clop
On highly polished wooden floor boards (that no longer shine)
Seeking out all those delights of the culinary kind.

Brightly coloured parcels all tied up with fancy strings;
Lights, sparklers and crackers and all manner of things,
And Oh, the laughter, how they laughed at their play!
I remember one little chap, had something of a mishap
And was distraught at the sight of his broken favourite toy
But tears of anguish were quickly extinguished
As a parent’s skilful deft fingers restored his joy
Then at last the lights are dulled, all that boyish noise is lulled
With due flourish and fan-fare, not a moment too late,
Hoorah for the arrival of James’s Birthday cake!

Lovingly hand-made in the shape of a train
Of the type the Great Western Railway gained fame.
Up went the boy’s cheers, the noise rose again
And with a hip-hip hooray and the birthday refrain
I stride forward and, without further ado, take
James’s hand and guide him, ten candles to light
Tears well in my eyes, his shine with delight
Then with a huff and a puff and a ‘one-two-three’
The ten lit candles are extinguished with glee
Cake then sliced up, of course there was none remaining for me!

Then at 6PM, the old clock chimed the party’s end
Countless excited but tired little boys home to send.
Clutching party bags in the one hand, coat & cap in the other,
Out into the night into arms of waiting mother,
“Thank you for having him” “Ah he was no bother”
“See you tomorrow James, we had so much fun!”
James’s doe-like eyes elevated to mine and glum
Said”...seems it was over directly it had begun”
“But thanks Mum, Thank you Dad it really was the best of fun”

On then with pyjamas and off to bed
And after another of my stories, he lays down his head,
Off to the land of endless happy dreams
Where hills are great mountains, yet vast oceans mere streams.
At last with the other two similarly despatched
No doubt their own future plans to be hatched
Then mother and father in the lounge are united
Their young son’s birthday wish, fully requited.
The next day of course brought ever more cleaning
Performed, perhaps less enthusiastically, if you follow my meaning.

Sixty summer or more onwards and in the dusk of my days
My memories, now misty support me in some ways
I think of how things were in happier times
Yet ever wistful as the old clock chimes:
Grand and Great-Grandchildren have held me in thrall
Countless weddings, births & christenings, I’ve been to them all
But of all the events I remember most clearly and dearly...was
When all were gathered, hale and hearty
For the occasion of our sons 10th birthday party
And grand it was indeed...for my late wife had so decreed.

Christopher J Green 2011

**  Footnote:

This piece was written entirely from my imagination some Nine years ago and one day, I committed it to paper. It has featured in my Website since 2013. It is written in a  'John Betjeman ' style and would be delivered in a voice of a similar tenor to his own. I resonate with this piece having attended such parties at the Rothwell family, in Halfpenny Lane, Moulsford 50+ years ago. Memories...

Chris Green.