Friday, 25 June 2010


I’ve been meaning to, wishing to write a new entry to this blog, but work and exhaustion thereof have given me such little time of late.

Strange perhaps, but it was also because I’d had no free space in which to indulge in my passion for music, to write about that. Then suddenly I came to this realization (obvious, though I had been blind to it) that just because my last three entries were album reviews, it did not mean that was what my blog had to now be about. In fact Giles, your blog can be about ANYTHING. That was the whole point behind calling it ‘Giles World’.

I noted various things.

1) I’d got myself caught in yet another form of the insidious writer’s block.

2) I’d been hyperfocusing, as is my wont (I’ll go into explaining this on another occasion).

3) Individual freedom in thought comes with a simple gear shift.

So, after saying to myself this blog would never be a place for my free-flow rambling, I’m now going to allow it to be, in part at least, just that, even if it serves nobody but me. I just need to write. What I write is less important, although I realize it may also be of less interest. However, in order to keep some semblance of check, I shall attempt to keep these posts on the leash as best I can.

Last night I was on the tube (thankfully not a daily occurrence) when I saw one of those ‘Poems On The Underground’.

“Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer utters itself.”

The simple beauty and truth of this struck a chord. I’m not a prolific reader of poetry, though perhaps I’ve recently been re-tuned onto that frequency by my friend Trojan. (He’s like a ray of cyber-sunshine, check him out at: )

Anyway, I share this poem with you now:


Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child’s name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio’s prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

Carol Ann Duffy

This litany flows, and perhaps only baffles a little on the last line with those unfamiliar words. Well, these are areas of sea from the shipping forecast issued by the Meteorological Service, broadcast by BBC Radio Four; for some, a very soothing late-night audio version of hot milk.

This poem is now with me, hence I give it to you.

Sometimes they last, sometimes they fade, but such moments like this are, as and when they come, little epiphanies, if we so choose to see them. I certainly ‘heard my youth in the distant Latin chanting of a train’. Those dreams, those hopes and ambitions; individual as they are to each of us; we need not have them clatter further away down the track. Perhaps all we need is a signal change.

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