Poems from Riversdale Cottage.
Causing pain and confusion
But thinking things can always be the same
is sadly, pure delusion.
As nature shows,
our world is ever-changing.
Each new day starts afresh.
Our environment ever-rearranging.
Whilst life goes on,
death can impact too,
throwing turmoil into daily life.
Emotions over-taking you.
We have to bend and adapt to life's changes,
acknowledging when they're gone.
Some things just have to be accepted
it's no good holding on.
Change can be simple;
a chance to modify.
Or it can be traumatic;
a fact I can't deny.
Embracing change can be tough
but therapeutic sometimes as well.
Allowing time to revaluate.
Appreciating things that compel.
We have to accept life's rich tapestry
with its ups and its downs.
Absorbing it's changing patterns.
Creating smiles as well as frowns.
But feeling you have to make changes
just for changes sake.
Be careful, my dear friend
for that could be a big mistake!
Illustrations by: Paul Swailes
OUR VILLAGE'S RESOURCES
afford to be complacent you know
Or our special places will surely go.
We already seem to have lost the pub;
A place that once was, a central hub.
The church, the school, both serve our community.
Supporting one's faith and education; bringing unity.
More of our facilities will be lost forever
unless we work hard and pull together.
Bills are rising it costs a lot
but we need to hold onto what we've got.
Coffee afternoons and quiz nights in the Manor Hall
Go some way but don't pay it all.
It's a large building to maintain and heat.
Rising costs we all need to beat.
And while we're at it don't forget the community shop.
I would hate to see that be given the chop.
We assume it'll be there forever and a day
but we can't assume that, whatever you say.
The shop needs our support our custom too.
There's something we could, easily try to do.
If each week, every villager spent, at least one pound
the difference it would make could be profound.
I would encourage you to give it a try.
There's so many goodies you could choose to buy.
Don't forget the post office that needs our business as well
[I'm on a roll here as you can surely tell! ]
I think you've got the picture; you know what you need to do.
Hopefully this poem is speaking to each one of you.
Let it be known that Berrynarbor is a community who pull together,
Supporting our facilities so they're not lost forever.
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
SOUTH WEST BLOOD BIKES
On Easter Sunday, Pam Robinson, from Riversdale Cottage, Sterridge Valley, and her family and friends, proudly presented SW Blood Bikes with a brand, new motorbike at Hele Bay.
Huge thanks to all who contributed to Nigel's memorial fund and to the Berry Blue Boobs' New Year's Day sponsored swim. You made this possible.
Check out their website to learn more about the amazing work SW Blood Bikes do.
Today is going to be a good day.
"Are you sure of that?" I hear you say
Well put it this way I will do my best
"I know you will, I expect nothing less."
It's not the same without you here
"I know it's different but you have nothing to fear
I am with you every day
Walking beside you every step of the way. "
I want to see you, hold your hand
"But you can on our stretch of land.
Look at the steps I struggled to make
The mossy grass I toiled to rake.
I uncovered the water trickling down the hill
I see our boy drinks from it still.
The outdoor kitchen I created especially for you.
And the roof over the hot tub I built that too.
Those rhododendrons we planted together
They will grow strong and go on forever.
The veggie plot I created with love.
I will watch you plant from up above.
Sow me sunflowers that will grow so high
Perhaps I will touch them here in the sky
It's your turn now to do what you can
Come on you're as good as any man! "
With you beside me I will do my best
"I wouldn't expect any less"
There's such a lot that I can do
And I'll do it knowing this time it's for you.
BERRY BLUE BOOBS
New Year's Day the start of the new year
What can we do that will raise a cheer?
Something wild to shock everyone.
Something different, something fun.
Let's swim in the sea and raise a penny or two
That's something different, we girls could do.
You never know it might be something we like
And money raised can go toward a South West Blood Bike.
We donned our fancy dress and drove to Hele Bay.
Crazy young ladies, I hear you all say.
The Berry Blue Boobs was the name of our team.
Five nervous ladies the likes you've never seen.
But we were determined to do this thing right
We were prepared, against our nerves we would fight.
Holding hands, we ran into the sea
Never realising just how cold it would be.
We raced into the sea with all of the crowd
Determined to make our families proud.
We battled the waves not making a fuss
Everyone was cheering, encouraging each one of us.
And when we had finished and were back on dry land
Warming our bodies, brushing off the sand.
We were thrilled with our achievement of what we had done.
What a way to start the year, what a way to have fun.
After the event we were delighted with all the support.
We got far more money than we would ever have thought.
£700 was the total amount that we raised.
When we told South West Blood Bikes, they were truly amazed.
So next New Year's Day you know what you can do
Dig out a swimsuit and you can come too.
Berry Blue Boobs will be out there once again.
With a bigger group of ladies, all a little insane!
Genuinely, huge thanks for your support from
Tee, Michelle, Pam, Jenny and Terri
Enjoying old traditions, snubbing fancy new trends.
Christmas cards on the mantelpiece, no e-cards for me.
Nativity on the window-sill and carols around the tree.
Forget rubbish TV, films on repeat
Traditional games, time together with lots of special treats.
Christmas is a time, when we appreciate what's gone before.
Family traditions, who could want for more?
It's the simple things that make this time a truly special one.
Time altogether having good old family fun.
But if you're feeling low, or on your own for any particular reason.
Reach out and talk to someone during, what maybe, a particularly challenging season.
Don't sit alone at home, there may be others that feel the same.
Make your feelings known, together let's ease the pain.
Here's to a special Christmas for all,
enjoying whatever you like to do
A warm and happy celebration is what I wish for you.
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
As October nights draw in,
Reach for the firelighters; seek warmth from within.
Close the curtains; snuggle in for the night
As the owls hoot and the merlins take flight.
The trees undress each and every day.
Ever-changing colours, their limbs bow and sway.
Until a colourful carpet lies on the lawn.
Rich golden hues our gardens adorn.
The hedgehogs adore it, the squirrels too
Foraging around, so much to do.
There's food to be stored, time cannot wait
Now is the time to prepare to hibernate.
Stay warm and safe in each of your homes
Villagers of Berrynarbor, you are never alone.
Outside nature is slowly changing its face
Enhancing our enjoyment of this very special place.
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
THE MANOR HALL
The Manor Hall in Berrynarbor is used by young and old
It stands proud in the heart of the village, a special sight to behold.
It's the place that hosts many activities, each and every day.
The place to learn new skills, socialise or simply come to play.
The children at Pre-school enjoy their regular sessions.
Learning through play is the key to all their lessons.
Teenagers and adults enjoy table tennis on a Friday night.
The Wine Club enjoy their tastings; wines, bold and heavy, others fruity and light.
Committees meet regularly in the Manor Hall
Planning events like 'Soup and Pud' and even a special ball.
The Upholstery Club, Spinners and Artists too,
Photographers and Berry in Bloom to name but a few.
Badminton Club use it, their fitness to maintain.
And Beaford Arts sometimes come to entertain.
The men's institute play snooker and enjoy meeting upstairs.
It's the place the village host fashion shows and Christmas fayres.
Here's hoping that things return to normal soon
And all the exciting activities will be able to fully resume.
The Manor Hall is special I am sure you will agree.
A place to support the whole community - that means you and me.
The 22nd August is the Manor Halls Summer Fete
Put it in your diary; mark it a special date.
We hope you will join us, come and see the stalls,
Buy raffle tickets, drink some Pimm's, there's something there for all.
Illustrated by: Peter Rothwell
What makes a village a special place?
Is it simply pretty houses that we call our base?
Is it the gardens that come to life each and every spring,
With the beautiful flowers and colours they bring?
Is it the church at the centre of it all?
The community shop, pub, or the manor hall?
Or is it the people, like you and me
Who ensure it's special for all to see?
A real mix of folk, young and old;
True Devonians and 'Blow-ins,' or so I am told.
Wherever we hail from Berrynarbor is now our home.
Around it's pretty roads we all like to roam.
We may be a mixture, who've come from lots of different places
Different backgrounds, different races.
But we all love this village, this very special place,
And are really very proud to call it our base.
The end is in sight or so we've been told.
Soon friends and families, we can hug and hold.
As the vaccine is rolled out and we each take our turn
What are the things you look forward to, what do you yearn?
A drink in the pub without a substantial meal.
Getting together with friends- meeting for real.
Being allowed to have a party inside or out.
Holidaying again, getting out and about.
Browsing in shops; being able to wander.
Being able to touch goods, take time and ponder.
These are my thoughts what about yours?
For some it may simply be going outdoors.
For others it may take time to feel 'normal' again
Continued anxiety some may not feign.
Whatever your thoughts, as isolation comes to an end
Let's continue to support each other, neighbours and friends.
Oh, there's just one last point I should like to make
Keep supporting our Village Shop for goodness' sake.
Karen, Annie and Susan have been amazing throughout.
Our ability to get supplies, thanks to them, was never in doubt.
Thank you for staying open and being there, each and every day.
Ok. Now on the subject of Covid 19, I have nothing more to say!
Illustrations by: Paul Swailes
Stealing our freedom, causing quite a fright.
Sneaking into our home; an unwelcome guest.
A horrible virus, an evil pest.
Why had it chosen our house? Why us?
We're not the sort to make a big fuss.
But this thing was debilitating, it knocked us for six.
No medicine could cure it; nothing would fix.
We had to let it pass, take one day at a time.
Rest and pray that soon we'd feel fine.
Trust that our exhaustion would soon pass away
That our bodies would fight it and face a new day.
Supplies from dear friends, showing loving care
Homemade soup, bread and other great fayre.
FaceTime with family and friends from afar
No trips to the pubs or outings in the car.
Staying inside until the torment had ended.
Fighting exhaustion, until our bodies had mended.
Slowly, slowly we started to heal
Each day a little better we started to feel.
And now that the evil has truly past
We can go out again, enjoy walks at last.
Breathe deeply, take in fresh air
Enjoy the elements; the wind in our hair.
This virus is deadly, a frightening force
What can we do but let it take its course
Hopefully its impact will soon start to wane
and we can enjoy life together, once again.
Illustration by: Peter Rothwell
CHRISTMAS 2020 Pam Robinson
to decorate our homes this Christmas time
give a thought to the strange year that has been
for the things we have heard but may not have seen.
Think of others' families I beg you please,
whose lives have been torn with this dreadful disease.
Whilst we have scorned our politicians for the rules
they have made
appreciate the new waters they have had to wade.
None of us saw this coming a year ago.
None of us appreciated the way things would go.
We each may have our own point of view
of the way to handle it, the things we should do.
The people on the streets, your sister, your brother.
Communities, pulling together has become the new norm.
Supporting each other to weather this storm.
Let's continue next year, realising other people matter.
Caring for society and our world - our new mantra.
The true meaning of Christmas can then come to the fore.
The gifts of tolerance, love and community will mean
so much more.
Let's make this year, our best Christmas yet.
After a year that none of us will ever forget.
Over the months it's further nurtured
A stalk appears and climbs up high
Tall and graceful reaching for the sky
Each day it continues to grow
Until one day its flower starts to show.
The biggest thing I have ever seen
With its golden head and stalk so green.
Standing proud, golden and glowing
For a while I wonder if it'll ever stop growing.
It makes me smile each time I sit down
Laughing in the wind with its golden crown.
Neighbours smile too as they go past
How long will it grace us, how long will it last?
From a tiny seed to a giant on the hill
Even now you have gone I remember you still.
Illustrated by: Judie Weedon
They arrived in a steady stream
Our sense of security now a dream
One or two at first
Then a steady convoy at its worst.
Fear and anxiety come with them
Spread of the virus we wish to stem.
And yet for some this is their second home
Weeks cooped up - why shouldn't they now roam?
Our businesses need the income
Boris says it's ok, so why should we stop them?
Whilst our safety and security we wish to maintain
Things really cannot stay the same.
Life goes on in a new kind of normal
But there are rules to uphold; keep things formal.
However we feel about the grockles' arrival
Let's respect each other and support our survival.
Whilst there are many more people in the village and around
Remember the rules, stay safe and sound.
We all have our different points of view
But let's be tolerant, and continue to support each other too.
last few weeks have challenged, communities far and wide
Causing folk to come together, put differences aside.
Our own community has been no different from all of the rest.
This COVID-19 pandemic has put us to the test.
How has Berrynarbor managed throughout these troubled times?
Let me try and sum it up by reporting it in rhyme.
Once we'd overcome the need to query who was staying where?
Concentrated on love and kindness; showing that we care.
Neighbours helping neighbours; collecting prescriptions too.
Baking cakes, showing kindness, doing whatever we needed to do.
Our pub jumped into action, providing a new service straight away.
Meals on wheels delivered to our door; roasts on each Sunday.
Our local shop has been amazing, delivering groceries to our door.
A beacon in the community, standing at the core.
A team of special people have kept things going throughout.
Their hard work and resilience was never in any doubt.
Whilst Tesco's shelves were empty, our shop had all we need.
From loo paper and flour, to fresh veg and meat to feed.
On Thursday nights we'd come together, cheering, banging pans.
Celebrating front line workers; the NHS's biggest fans.
All across the village we'd stand and make a noise.
Families on the door step; husbands and wives, girls and boys.
People standing together shouting really loud.
Showing our appreciation and making the workers feel quite proud.
Our little village has certainly shown it has a great big heart.
A community coming together, with residents playing their part.
Hopefully we will come through this: our efforts not in vain.
Survivors moving forward, but will life ever be quite the same?
When this is all over let's not forget the joy of walking the extra mile
Or the friendly greetings we offer with each and every smile.
Let's continue to buy local; appreciate our shop and pub
Visit the church and community hall; enjoy the village hub.
Try not to become too busy, rushing about in labour.
Enjoy time together. Continue to love your neighbour.
Let's have fun together again, meeting face-to face
and realise, Berrynarbor, our village, is a truly special place.
FOR OLD TIME'S SAKE
For old time's sake
Don't let our enmity live.
For old time's sake
Say you 'forget and forgive'.
Life's too short to quarrel
Hearts too precious to break.
Shake hands and let us be friends
For old time's sake.