Poem – Repair, Reuse and Restore

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Repair, Reuse and Restore (c) Kevin Jones

Repair, Reuse and Restore

When I was young furniture was passed about,

No taking things to the tip so reuse was never in doubt.

At the very worst, if made of wood, the fire could be fed to keep us warm,

A wardrobe could last a couple of nights saving money whilst outside a storm.

Our first little home was all make do and mend,

Free carpet for the stairs meant we did not have to spend.

A cooker and washer both repaired by me,

The list would go on I am sure you could see.

Cars were the same with shiny new shocks,

We had old bangers that got round the block.

But our use was not based on leisure,

It was earning enough money to purchase more “treasure”.

Having a car that was less than ten years old,

With automatic choke so that you can start in the cold.

Is absolutely a joy but somehow the old days I rather miss,

I liked fixing up the car or any household goods it was my “mend it” bliss.

Nowadays folk are after old furniture so that they can recycle it,

A little bit of chalk paint and some waxing too,

All of a sudden you have a product that’s unique through and through.

Some of it is garish, some of it is good it all depends on style and your point of view.

So what we did out of necessity has now become in vogue,

The recycled furniture is established – no longer a fashion rogue.

So give it a go and visit the past,

Repair, recycle and reuse makes something ordinary last.

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6 May 2021. Weather, air pollutant and pollen count for the Hammerwich, Burntwood, Brownhills, Lichfield and Walsall areas.

Data courtesy of Weatherpro 08:01 hours 6 May 2021.

It is brightish start to the day in our area but the air temperature is low at only 3.4c. Thankfully this will rise to a maximum of 10c by mid to late afternoon. The air temperature is still well below what we would expect for this time of year.

The wind will be deriving from the WNW and will be light with the average speed only around 5-6mph. This means that we will be getting almost full value from the air temperature.

Looking forward a little there is nothing on the models to suggest a dramatic change in this pattern.

As the day passes there is the risk of localised rain in our area. Any rain that does fall will be light and short lived.

Today’s air pollutant and pollen count levels are both low.

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Early Morning Haiku – Vigilant. 6 May 2021

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Early Morning Haiku – Vigilant (c) Kevin Jones 2021.


Many had the jab

Seeing Covid on the wane.

Be vigilant again.

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Poem – My “Farm”. 5 May 2021.

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My “Farm” (c) Kevin Jones 2021

My “Farm”

I have a little grow box that I call my farm,

It doesn’t always yield much but it keeps me rather calm.

I go out every night to weed and water it,

Looking at each variety to see what is looking fit.

I am currently growing carrots and leaks alongside mini potatoes in a sack,

Some spring onions, radish, beetroot, lettuce for a quick snack if I am late getting back.

Carrots always do well although not always straight,

You will see some interesting shapes which is really great.

The most productive yield comes the potato crop,

Throw them in a sack with lots of compost filling and wait till the green stalks flop.

Then it is time to dig them out – scores of the little chaps,

Perfect for the salad or adding to a wrap.

Now as you may well guess my “farm” is all a wee bit small,

But it keeps me entertained as it sits against the wall.

The food tastes just great although that may be me being biased,

The one thing that I do know is my pleasure when tending it is at the very highest.

So if you want to grow your own “farm” crop a planter box is good,

Available from all garden centres with the items made of wood.

One thing that I must add that your little “farm” must be crop based and no other kind.

You may find that sheep and cattle on a six by three foot plot can be quite a bind!

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5 May 2021. Weather, air pollutant and pollen count level for the Hammerwich, Burntwood, Brownhills, Lichfield and Walsall areas.

Data courtesy of Weatherpro

As I write this post, at approximately 08:15 hours, bright sunshine is illuminating the village although it is cold outside.

The day will see further bright spells but we will also see some showers enter the area around noon onwards. The further west you are towards Shropshire the earlier the showers will begin.

Our top temperature will be around 8-10c but with the wind chill this will feel more like 6-7c. Overnight the minimum temperature will be around 2c which will feel like 0c.

Today’s breeze will derive from the WNW. The average speed will be around 10-12mph.

The air pressure is low but stable which reinforces the suggestion that it will be a day of unsettled weather.

Today’s air pollutant level is low (2/10) and the pollen count is also low. The dominant pollen is tree pollen.

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Early Morning Haiku – Look Up. 5 May 2021.

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Early Morning Haiku – Look Up (c) Kevin Jones 2021

Look up

Look up when walking

Take in the wide vista.

Forward sets the plan.

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Poem – The Shotgun. 4 May 2021.

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The shotgun (c) by Kevin Jones

The Shotgun

Imagine you are a shotgun with a thrill to kill,

Coupled with your friend Mr Bullet you can achieve this at will.

I ask how he feels having such power in his control,

His answer was very simple – I don’t want to kill a soul.

You confuse me as you are designed to kill?

Shotgun retorts, “I don’t kill – the person at the end of the butt does”, he spoke with an icy chill.

“I don’t take aim or pull the trigger to shoot,

I am passive and would rather stay locked up safely in the car boot”.

Ah, I get it, you had no choice in what you are – I quizzically ask,

Correct, my brother’s owner, pre Covid days, was the only person to visit the bank in a mask!

He has heard someone say that “he will soon be caught”.

He makes a lot of threats but so far his killing score is nought.

I struggle with this concept because we all can potentially change,

Why don’t you become a shotgun for use only on a range.

Shotgun thought that this was a great idea so we created a path to facilitate the plan.

He could do no damage then when working with the landowning clan.

So if on a Sunday you hear gunshots firing at whirring clay like discs,

Take a careful look without taking any risk.

You may see our friend, shotgun, shooting down the clays,

No one getting hurt by the the shooters in the bays.

Change is possible whatever your background,

You just need to want change more than your current ground.

Look at every opportunity and keep your hopes on high,

Just like the soaring bullet you can reach up to the sky.

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4 May 2021 weather, pollen and pollutant levels for Hammerwich, Burntwood, Brownhills, Lichfield and Walsall areas.

Data courtesy of Weatherpro

After another damp start to the day. The prospects for the remainder show very few signs of improvement during the daylight hours.

The satellite and radar images are showing large swathes of rain cloud that will pass through our area today and these will bring showers of varied intensity.

It is certainly not a day to leave out the washing! the varied density of the clouds does, however, mean, we will see the odd brighter spell.

The main noticeable feature will be the low air temperature in the NW breeze. The thermometer will see a maximum reading of 6-9c but this will feel more like 4-5c in the wind chill.

The breeze (Beaufort scale 5) will be blowing at an average of around 16mph with gust speeds of 32-35 mph. The breeze will reduce slightly overnight.

The pollutant level is low and the tree pollen count is very low.

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Early morning Haiku – Consider. 4 May 2021.

Early Morning Haiku – Consider (c) Kevin Jones 2021.

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Before speech think.

Before action consider.

Positivity only.

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Poem – Inspirational People – Frank. 3 May 2021.

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Inspirational people – Frank (c) Kevin Jones 2021

Inspirational people – Frank

When I was at the factory a challenge was put before me,

Write a manual and create robust systems to prove our quality.

Now this was a massive task but very much in vogue,

There had been a previous manager but he had done very little – he was a likeable rogue.

Now I needed guidance as this was something entirely new,

Who could I ask for help? I knew of a precious few.

One man that came to mind was already consulting us,

A friendly well versed Quality and Training man who worked without a fuss.

Frank was this man’s name who had helped me in the past,

When I was trying to get training manuals accredited for our apprentice “cast”.

This man had a gentle firmness that helped guide you through,

He made you look at everything by not taking a single view.

“Could it done better could we reduce the number of phases?

All are interactions designed to lead to client praises?”

“Measure what the client needs” he would often say,

“The more you satisfy them the longer they will stay”.

In everything you do present the best version that you can,

There is no need to be sloppy – “do your best young man”.

A cake should be a wedding cake if nothing else is called for,

Don’t present a rock cake else you will be politely shown the door.

Time went on and I worked day and night to get the system working,

Always having my guiding light available if I needed a push from shirking.

There was little chance of that as I didn’t want to let either of us down,

I was always seeking his praise as he was the top QA man in town.

Eventually assessment day came along and all was closely examined,

We passed with flying colours receiving praise for the system we determined.

The project would not have been completed without the guidance of Frank,

Working alongside him was like having a font of knowledge in the bank.

So Frank I am indebted to you for all did that time,

Your guidance and your methods were simply just sublime.

We went on to enhance our methods and I followed another course,

But the teaching of Frank will always be the bedrock of my Quality Management source.

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May Day Bank Holiday Weather, Pollutant And Pollen Count. 3 May 2021.

Data courtesy of Weatherpro (08:23 hours)

Rather typically for a Bank Holiday Monday I cannot promise you anything good weather wise today unless you like to watch rain falling.!

Some rain has already fallen in the Hammerwich area and the satellite and radar images show that further rain cloud systems will reach our area before 09:00 hours. Some of these early systems are quite light and may simply blow by but, as the day passes, the rain will become more persistent and widespread in our area. Some of the rain this afternoon and during the evening will be moderate to heavy.

As the day passes the air pressure will reduce to below 1000mb.

It will be a breezy day with the S/SSW breeze reaching speeds of 35mph with the average speed around 8mph.

Our top temperature will be around 9c but this will feel more like 7C in the wind chill.

Today’s pollutant and pollen count levels, due to the rain and breeze, are both ranked as low (2/10).

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Early Morning Haiku poem – Morning Breaks. 3 May 2021.

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Early Morning Haiku – Morning Breaks (c) Kevin Jones 2021

Morning Breaks

Morning breaks

A clean slate to start

Achieve your dream.

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Tywyn Webcam 2 May 2021 Approximately 12:15 hours.

To view a live image from the Tywyn webcam click here.

The webcam is showing that the mild weather has delivered a number of visitors to the sea front.

People are taking a walk along the Promenade whilst the sea makes its way to shore.

The sun is shining through a fragmented cloud bed and is bright enough to cast shadows and, all in all, it is a pleasant looking day.

Sadly, this area will be one of the first to receive some early rain tomorrow morning.

Image of Aberdovey earlier in the week (c) Gary Jones 2021.
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Poem – Factory Days. 2 May 2021.

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Factory days a (c) poem by Kevin Jones

Factory Days

In nineteen-eighty my work at The “Tech” reached the end of the show,

When Freddie left, development stopped, it was time for me to go.

I signed up with an agency who found me a role or two,

One was in telecoms the other at a factory that I knew.

The interview at the telecoms business was a strange affair,

I had my foot in plaster and had to keep it in the air!

Whether this made me memorable or the fact I made my way to Brum,

I was offered the job which, after deliberation, I decided to shun.

So off to the factory for the strangest interview,

It didn’t seem at first they knew what they wanted me to do.

After loads of probing and lots of questions I asked,

They wanted a development engineer to put the products to task.

This sounded very interesting and I signed on the dotted line,

I was not increasing my salary much but the development for me was fine.

I started on the last week of April of that particular year,

The very next week the factory was on shutdown – for me a mighty cheer!

The guy I was meant to be working with had found a job of another kind,

I was put in charge so knowledge about electrical testing I had to quickly find.

Off to the library to read up on all I could copy and note down,

I was now confident enough to believe I deserved to wear the white lab gown.

I read every spec from front cover to the back,

Every day uncovering the knowledge that I lacked.

It was now time to begin testing the sample electrical kit,

I have to say I enjoyed this role every little bit.

After time I was consulted and recognised as a reliable man in the team,

Giving my colleagues the evidence needed to win a sale if it fitted in the scheme.

Other opportunities came my way that took me away from the “test”,

But of all the jobs I have had in my life that was simply the best.

My next port of call was quality – a manual and system needed from blank,

This is when I met another of my Inspirations in life – a wonderful guy named Frank.

I will tell you about Frank in a later rhyme but, one thing is certain, I owe him a lot,

He taught me certain values that I still use and have not forgot.

More promotions came my way when new managers came to run the ship,

I was put in to trouble shoot any department suffering malaise or dip.

This gave me great experience and a time to learn some more,

So off to the Open University studying business and law.

For a time I made it to the very top but that was not to last,

When the owner wanted to sell up I, with a partner, made our bid real fast.

The sale did not go through but we were not to be put off by this unfortunate time,

With My Business Partner we set up our own business – now nineteen years on the right line.

The moral of this tale is to work hard and never say no,

To any opportunity your employer wants you to have a go.

Opportunities arise from the most unexpected source,

Your employment journey will never be a simple straightforward course.

Accept all opportunities and never burn a bridge,

Face up to the challenge delivered with belief and steely courage.

Don’t be frightened to consult and ask all for their points of view,

Remember the lad in the test was consulted with when he was brand new?

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2 May 2021. Weather, air pollutant and pollen count report for Hammerwich, Burntwood, Brownhills, Lichfield and Walsall areas.

Data 08:15 hours courtesy of Weatherpro

If you are planning any outdoor activities this Bank Holiday weekend then today will be far more “user friendly” than tomorrow.

Today we will see long dry and often bright spells with just the occasional risk of rain. The first real risk of rain is around 11:15 hours.

This system is, however, small and could simply blow by. I would rate the risk of some rain this a.m at 30%. The risk of some rain in our area anytime today is 45%.

Our top temperature will be around 10-13c which is a little milder (marginally) than of late. The long term top temperature in our area for this time of year is 15c.

The significant difference is that the average minimum temperature is around 6-7c yet we are still seeing early morning grass frost.

Today’s breeze will be deriving from the W-WNW. The average wind speed will be 4-5mph.

The air pollutant level is overall low and the tree pollen is moderate. The significant contributor to the tree pollen count being the birch tree.

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Poem – Imagine Dancing Chairs. 1 May 2021.

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Imagine – Dancing chairs a (c) poem by Kevin Jones 2021.

Imagine – Dancing Chairs

Imagine being a red plastic chair in a medical waiting room,

You seem to be most popular as you stand proudly in the gloom.

Next to you is your cousin who is coloured green,

It is the oddest row of chairs you will have ever seen.

Every colour available was purchased on a deal,

Although we look a miss-match the price was quite a steal.

The equivalent of five pounds for each of us multicoloured chairs,

Looking at competitor catalogues there is no one that can compare.

When the lights get put on we shine like a shooting star,

We are the most colourful waiting room in the UK by far.

Now our function is for patients to sit and wait for their jab,

Properly socially distanced like waiting for a cab.

At regular intervals Sarah comes and cleans us all,

She makes sure every inch of us is clean – no omissions allowed at all.

We are cleaned with special chemicals to kill any viral or bacterial form,

Every patient given the chance to return to a life more “norm”.

At night when everyone one has gone home we gather round and chat,

We repeat the stories patients told about Alice and her cat.

Sometimes if we can hear music we may play musical chairs,

We laugh and dance all the time as if we have no cares.

The next day we like to see the quizzical faces of the staff when they arrive,

They are sure that the colours are in different places – the chairs must be alive!

But you and I know what really made the moves,

It was when the multi-coloured chairs got in the dancing groove!

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1 May 2021. Weather report for the Hammerwich, Burntwood, Brownhills, Lichfield and Walsall areas.

Data courtesy of Weatherpro

After the early drizzle it is going to be a cloudy start to the day but the radar and satellite images suggest that the risk of further rain this a.m is only around 15%.

As the afternoon passes the risk of rain will reduce further as the cloud bed begins to fragment a little.

Our top temperature will be around 9-11c and overnight it is possible that we will wake up to some grass frost. The low will be around 2-5c.

Whilst the wind speed will be light it will reduce the “feel” of the temperature by around 1.5c.

Today’s breeze will derive from a NNE-NW arc with the average speed around 5-8mph.

The air pollutant level is ranked as low with the tree pollen count as moderate.

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Poem – Inspiring people. 30 April 2021.

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Inspiring people – Fred (c) Kevin Jones 2021.

Inspiring People – Fred

Through life you meet some people that can move you one step on,

My contact with many is now long gone.

Top name on my list is, Fred, the boss at my first professional call,

Fools he gave short thrift to – he really despised them all.

However, If you tried to retain what he was prepared to teach,

Then basic mechanical engineering was never out of reach.

He showed me how to use a lathe and how to weld, grind and mill,

Making or repairing parts became all part of the daily thrill.

Practical electrical skills came via Fred’s assistant – Roy,

Working with this giant ginger bearded man really was a joy.

Soon we were building new teaching spaces across the whole Tech site,

We worked well as a team often installing new devices that used a thing called “bytes”.

Great patience was shown, by Roy, to the young and eager me,

A new workshop or laboratory fitted out by us – oh, such pleasure and glee.

Fred was very strict if you stepped out of line,

But rules were in place that we understood just fine.

Fred retired when he was only seventy eight,

A great loss to us all but serving him had been great.

A finer start to work life I could not have ever wished for,

Sadly, Fred passed away not long after he last walked through the workshop door.

I hope when Fred looks down whilst checking the Pearly Gate,

That he set me off on my initial career helping to seal my career fate.

But later on others became my guiding star,

Twists and turns on my career road trip like driving down a “B” road in a vintage car.

I will introduce a few other “inspirers” to you in future times,

Remembering these are the people with instruction methods sublime.

Each one moving me a step further on without any fear,

Never thinking that knowledge was to be kept within their own protected sphere.

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30 April 2021 weather, air pollutant and pollen count for Hammerwich, Burntwood, Brownhills, Lichfield and Walsall areas.

Data courtesy of Weatherpro

It is a noticeably chilly start but still partially bright in our area. The further South to travel into Birmingham and Solihull the more likely it is you will come across some precipitation.

For us there is a 30% risk of rain in our area during the day but, in the main, it will be overcast with some cloud fragmentation allowing brighter spells to develop.

The maximum air temperature will be around 9-11c which is 5-6c degrees lower than average for this time of year. The wind chill will make the “feel” of the air temperature around 2c lower than the actual thermometer reading.

Today’s breeze will be deriving from the NNW/NNE and the average wind speed will be around 5mph.

The air pollutant level is low and the tree pollen count is low. Grass and weed / flower pollen is low.

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Poem – Change. 29 April 2021.

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Change. A (c) poem by Kevin Jones.


Life introduces many changes during your life,

One such time is, for example, when you take a wife.

The dynamics change between a couple,

When ordinary tasks are now multiple.

All of a sudden there could be grass to mow,

In your new little house with a garden to sow.

Then there are household domestic chores,

Shared out evenly no longer just yours.

But marriage is only one change in your time,

Money may be scarce that used to buy wine.

You entered the marriage for the long term gain,

Sharing a life should not be a pain.

What about work now that’s full of change,

New products or services to add to the range.

If you don’t innovate you are going nowhere,

Other than backwards as competitors will care.

Self development needs to be high on the list,

An opportunity to learn should never be missed.

Develop yourself and learn everyday,

Not everything has to be linked to your pay.

Changes to methods by which we live,

Should shorten the time to the task we give.

Gaining more time to do as you choose,

Should be the aim of all change otherwise you just lose.

So my message is simply consider all change,

See if it fits into your criteria and range.

If it does adopt it with glee,

You have just released more time to be free.

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