Christmas Poem

I received a card from Horace’s infant school head teacher. It was to Horace really but it was addressed to us all so I took the liberty of opening it.

There was the usual greeting and also a lovely poem, unsigned. It moved me to tears and I wondered if the lady in question had written it.

Of course she had not but I came upon this, interesting, correspondence about it Michael Boyde Clark decided to remove the poem from his blog, but I will write it here as it is such a wonderful sentiment.

It seems attributable to Helen Steiner Rice but if you know differently then I am sure you will let me know:



Helen Steiner Rice 1949

I have a list of folks I know all written in a book;
And every year at Christmas time I go and take a look.
And that is when I realize that these names are just a part;
Not of the book they’re written in, but of my very heart.

For each name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime,
And in that meeting, they’ve become the Rhythm of the Rhyme.
And while it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really feel I am composed of each remembered name.

And while you may not be aware of any special link,
Just meeting you has shaped my life more than you can think.
For once you’ve met somebody, the years cannot erase,
The memories of a pleasant word or of a friendly face.

So never think my Christmas card is just a mere routine,
Of names upon a Christmas list forgotten in between,
For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,
It’s because you’re on that list of folks I am indebted to.

For you are but a total of the many one’s I’ve met,
And happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget.

And whether I have known you for many years or few,
In some way, you had a part in shaping things I do.
So every year when Christmas comes, I realise anew,
The biggest gift that life can give is meeting folk like you.

And may the spirit of Christmas that forever and ever endures,
Leave it’s richest blessings, in the heart of you and yours.

Satay Sauce

You can tell Christmas is coming; recipes arriving thick and fast.

This one is an old favourite. I usually serve it with home made satay sticks (cocktail sized), at parties but this time I have bought some ready made.


5 0z salted peanuts

1 – 2 cloves garlic

half an onion, chopped

1.5 tsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

quarter cup chicken stock







Blend all the ingredients together until it is to your preferred texture. If it seems a bit wet, add more nuts, if too dry, add more stock.


The fantastic thing about having a terrible memory, apart from the fact that it complements my terrible eyesight, terrible hips and terrible grumpiness, is the opportunity it offers for re-enjoyment.

I am part of a book group, and we are trying to read different ‘genres’. Now I’m not sure what genre Terry Pratchett falls into, indeed I think he might be offended to be put into a genre at all. However, into a genre he must have fallen or he would not have managed to get published. I will call the genre Fantasy Fiction, but it could equally be Satire or comedy.

Henny Ow, I suggested one of his books to the group and we decided to read the first Discworld novel, ‘The colour of Magic’. It has been sitting on my bedside table for ages waiting to come to the top of the list, and I needed some light relief from the latest offering from Joanna Trollop, which had left me less than stimulated. I picked it up and idly read his description of himself “writing is the most fun anyone can have by themselves.” And then the Prologue, which quickly had me chortling away at his Big Bang theory – I’ll leave it to you to read, ‘twould be a shame to spoil it, or the sales of the eminent Mr Pratchett.

I felt very cheered, until I realised I had read it before and not remembered one word, not even with the benefit of hindsight.

It does open up a huge and very cheap opportunity for re-reading our entire library. I don’t know how many books it contains but it represents two people’s lifetimes of reading (at a rate I at least, can no longer sustain given the reponsibilities of parenthood and wifedom).

Watch this space for more reviews of very old novels!