Chitty Chitty Bang Bang awakens the child……………………….


Written by Ian Fleming (widely known for James bond!), this film starring Dick Van Dyke came out in 1968 and my brother took me to the cinema in Tooting when it was first released – I was 7; it was also the year my beloved grandfather died and I think that’s why I loved Lionel Jeffries who played the grandfather in the film – although not a bit like my Grandad who was an old army man (my bulrush).

Anyway, the film and the music turn me into that little 7 year old again and I love it. Marty Whelan on Lyric FM in the morning often plays a song from it and my other favourite The Jungle Book and there I am in the kitchen eating breakfast, getting lunches ready and dancing around the kitchen.

Triggers, that’s what they are. Triggers which bring back great memories, the same way smells can do. The things memories are made of, and fortunately in this instance good memories. I love memories and the feelings they evoke, the wonderful thing is we have the power to control our memories and the feelings which are aroused as a result if we change the way we look at the events and memories but that’s for a whole different article.


So Chitty, Chitty. Bang, Bang……I visited Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria about 10 years ago which was the home of Mad King Ludwig and it is amazing. I think he would be delighted to know that the castle in the film and the Disney castle were both based on his castle, however when we visited it was the world cup in Germany and the place was full of mad football fans all sporting their colours including mexicans sporting massive sombreros – but the atmosphere was great.

So as usual I digress and wander but that’s what I love about memories they take you to everywhere and nowhere all at once. So….

“Oh you Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we love you……..”


Mont Ventoux – The Bald Mountain


Mont Ventoux is like a beacon in this area of France and is known, loved or hated by the thousands of cyclists who attempt to conquer it’s heights on a daily basis. There have been many who never saw the top, the struggle too great. It is a beautiful and cruel mountain and I’m always drawn to it like a ‘bee to honey’ but I’m a walker not a cyclist and I don’t have that need to kill myself in the attempt to tame it. I just love to be one with it. These are my musings………………………..

You stand proud like a sentry

Constant as time

The Bald Mountain;

A homing point on the horizon

You come alive when the sun hits you,

Your white top shining like icing on a cake

Your slopes turning black as the light changes.

To conquer you is the aim of many

Though I just love to be there

Among your trees or sitting on your limestone

Seeing what you see.

Petrach described his ascent and the view he saw

From the Rhone to the bay of Marseille.

It is still the same

With sleepy Sault and Aurel to the east.

“Giant of Provence” you are beautiful, mesmerising and cruel.

Your winds so strong they threaten stability – they are invigorating.

You draw people from near and far.

You stand alone, apart from your brothers and sisters – yet they claim you.

You are a beast, a “Beast of Provence”,

You are Ventoux.

From a selection of original poetry “Musings in Provence 2013

The Vineyard Snail


They appeared in the distance coming down the track

Carrying large trays.

Disappearing one by one into the vines as if never there.

The heat of the day still an hour away,

but the sky and light as if.

The only close observers sitting on the plants in ones or hundreds,

Totally still, unalert; having moved there at some hour, together or alone.

Hanging precariously here and there; on top, below, between

Small white shells with a single eye staring but not seeing.

The workers leave as quietly as they came,

Re-appeariing along the track, bunches of grapes picked and carried in the trays.

Still the observers remain until the heavy rains which fall wash them off,

And leave them waiting to begin their climb again.

From a collection of original poetry “Musings in Provence” Sept 2013