Victorian beach holiday

Ladies shade themselves with parasols,

Lace and silk to filter sun

In starlight bursts upon their china skin,

The children queue for the thrilling drop

Of the helter skelter ride,

And fluffy clouds of candy floss,

Cling to sticky fingers that

Pull at whisps and coat their mouths

With sugar flares, before they swim,

The sparkles on the rhythmic waves

Lapping at their tiny toes.

These are days that live forever

In the silver sheen of film,

That captured such a perfect time.

the little bar in majorca

people dancing inside building
Photo by MaurĂ­cio Mascaro on

The DJ comes on at ten

As seventeen year old girls totter in

On six inch heels, in boob tubes

And skirts that parents would shake their heads at.

He only plays songs that get them dancing

While clutching their Bacardi Breezers

And singing their hearts out,

Eyeing up boys who will buy them shots

And share fishbowls of something blue.

The barman throws bottles of vodka,

Winking at the boys as they move in for the kiss,

They don’t know each other’s names

But there’s a chance they’ll end up in his bed,

With her sneaking out with those heels in her hand,

The sun rising hot, as she walks back in shame

But they’ll all be back the following night

Picking up others after too many Schnapps.

the school production

group of people sitting on chair on stage
Photo by cottonbro on

Polka dot skirts ruffle in wings

As twenty Year 7’s excitedly group

Waiting to skip on and smile at parents,

Hair backcombed, and adorned with ribbons,

Wishing they had lines, but that day will come,

When they’re the oldest and the main parts are theirs,

The Sandy’s and Danny’s are just out of reach,

The beautiful solos bringing tears to the eyes

Of an audience brittle with pride for their kids.

As the orchestra hit the final note

And the leading lady kisses her man,

The lights will dip for the final time

And everyone rises to excitable feet,

Encore! Encore! They all did so well,

Say teachers who secretly wipe away tears.

I went to watch our school’s summer production last night and all I can say is Oh My God! It was absolutely amazing and the work that must have gone into making it that good must be immense.

If you couldn’t tell from the poem, the production was Grease and our Year 10’s were playing the main parts. That means that these kids are only fifteen and they were performing in a way that would impress West End casting directors (if I may say so myself).

I often go off on huge rants about how bad behaviour is and how little respect kids have and how their attitudes can leave a lot to be desired. And I know when I say these things, I’m only focusing on the half that couldn’t care less.

Today I want to shout about the ones that do give a damn, because they deserve some attention and they give me so much hope for the future. And I want to say how proud I am of the students who took part – several of the English teachers were crying, it was so brilliant.

The standing ovation was enough to set me off. Well done to those that take part (and to the music and drama departments that put in some serious hours to pull these events off). You are all bloody amazing and I wish that I had even a smidgen of your talent.

Much Love

Rachel xx

love on the television

red flower photography
Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on

kissing underneath the mounted cameras

stolen glances, little laughs

in places where you can’t be seen

and then the tantalizing lure

of making love in private rooms

filled with bubbles and the petals of

a hundred roses bought for you

but always there, aware

that parents are at home, watching

cringing at your fumbled moves.

Love Island is back! And I love it so much. But I now have a son that is only two years younger than some of the contestants on the show, and it makes me wonder how it must feel to be the parent of one of those islanders.

There comes a point when you must just have to turn off. I don’t know if I could even watch my child flirting, never mind kissing, and don’t even get me started on having sex.

So many islanders get drunk on champagne, have the hideaway to themselves and end up going the whole way and it’s like they forget that the cameras are even there. I’ve never really considered this before now and I think it might be because I can relate, having an older teen of my own.

Good luck to all the parents of this year’s contestants. I hope that you don’t embarrass too easily and I hope that you don’t have to watch anything too uncomfortable. And remember that there have been several successful marriages out of the show so you might have a really happy ending.

Much Love

Rachel xx

out on the pier

people inside building
Photo by Mikechie Esparagoza on

Windswept with the sea salt air

The taste of vinegar lingering on our tongues

As we stroll along the creaking wooden boards

Arm in arm, passing zingy arcade games

And little cars on rails that pull the children in

With pound coin tokens from the booth

The cafe offers little warmth, but coffee

Draws us in and carrot cake or scones and jam

Watching woven waves come crashing in

Wondering where that charcoal ocean ends.

I have a real love of piers and every time I go to the seaside I insist on taking a walk down the pier. You just can’t beat the two pence tipping point machines, and the excitement you feel when twenty coins tumble into the tray at once.

I particularly enjoy piers on days when the weather is a bit rubbish. A couple of years ago, I went to Bournemouth in February and we took a walk down to the pier. We stood on the edge and watched the brave surfers who were covered in wetsuits, gloves and boots to keep them warm in the freezing water.

There is just something magical about not being able to see where the grey sea meets the sky, and hearing the waves crashing against the metal structure.

And of course, sitting on a bench, all wrapped up against the cold and eating fish and chips straight from the paper wrapper is just the best way to end the day.

Much Love

Rachel xx