A Walk On North Hill – a poem by Melody – inspired by life in Exmoor National Park

Its raining again,
Hey ho, yet away we go.
The dog’s so happy,
How can I say no?

Life’s little pleasures,
So humble and few,
A walk on the Hill is the least I can do.

Off we go to taste the days delights,
Nature is calling,
For us to explore,
To discover nature’s law.

The birds are happy,
Singing through the rain,
The chorus of many,
High on the terrain.

Rain pours down,
I delight as I splutter
Rain in my eyes,
I run for cover.

So cosy and secure,
Under a great large oak.
Acting as my glorious cloak.

So clean and sparking
Some squirrels abound
Swiftly they jump,
So light on the ground.

They gather their bounty,
Hiding it away, secretly,
For a winters day.

Natures a delight,
This is plain to see,
Especially with my little friends,
Surrounding me,

The dog is gone!
I worry for the farmers gun!

Holes galore,
Fences to clamber,
Naughty dog,
Yet how she loves to scramble.

Here she comes wagging her tail,
Smiling away,
To my laughing dismay.

Where have you been,
I wonder with glee,
Glad to have her back again,
With me.

Home bound sweetie,
Time for a rest!
A stick lands at my feet,
What energy what zest.

I feel so alive
How lucky I feel,
How honoured,
How new.

The rain seemed to clean me too.

[Image: North Hill Through The Cow Field seascape painting in oil on canvas]

A Morning Walk – a poem by Melody

Happy Walk - landscape painting in oil on canvas

Whence I came apron a grove,
Upon a halting light,
The sun did nestle, hallowing,
A tender dove in flight.

The blessed dew,
By the breath of dawn.
Daisies mirroring,
The sunlight born.

Trees and trunks murmur,
Poppies sway,
Blackbirds and Finches chatter,
Worms contentedly play.

A spontaneous flow of nature,
Softens my eye,
And I understand,
Gods reason

The Hurricane of 1987 – a poem by Melody

The wind cavorts dangerously
Uprooting trees and rocking me,
Tearing relentlessly

The birds are hiding,
High in their trees,
Heads bent as if in prayer,
‘’Please save me”.

Beauty is moved by breezes and bees,
This disrupts even the seas.

So fierce and wronged,
Revenge maybe?
The anger awes and reminds me.
How dangerous
The accosting wind can be.

A Windy Day - landscape painting in oil on canvas
A Windy Day – landscape painting in oil on canvas

Home – a poem by Melody

The journey seems endless,
I feel groggy and tired,
Wilting away with all the miles.

My sleepy eyes recover,
I fix my gaze,
Twinkling stars beacon,
Lights overhead blaze.

I’m nearly home now,
Majestic and calm,
The church is alight, a beacon,
Guiding me into the night.

Visitors and its children alike,
Rest is a promise one can surely rely,
A magnetism draws me,
The warmth prevails,
Invisible rays guide me
To my port,
Curing my ails.

Here the abundance of nature reigns,
Life’s fuel
Is a gift,
To enjoy.

Home for a while,
To rest and be free,
Here is my anchor
Greeting me.

This poem-records the view of St Michaels Church which is on North Hill where we lived in Minehead and is depicted below in Melody’s painting, the church is the blue building in the centre of the hill . Melody has several stories of the church, one is of using the powerful floodlights to roast apples.

North Hill Minehead - landscape painting in oil on canvas
North Hill Minehead – landscape painting in oil on canvas

St Dunstan’s choristers with wartime songs part 2- Melody

More songs by these blind war veterans are available at the bottom of this page.

During the early 1980’s  while  working  at St Dunstan’s Ovingdean I wrote this poem.

St Dunstan’s is a Joy,
Heaven sent, to be sure,
A helping hand to secure.

The stories are many,
Their pain very real,
Yet shining with intensity,
Is their courage,
Their Zeal.

Some days may seem bleak,
This is surely so,
Their eyes see a distant life,
Of long ago.

They feel old limbs,
Once fresh and young,
While agile minds,
See humour carrying them along.

Their brave fight-the battle is won.

During my time at St Dunstan’s I was deeply moved by the bravery of those I cared for.  Every day was a challenge yet humour really did carry them along.

One memory I’ll share today was my dancing lessons with Elmer Richards..

Elmer was blinded in the First World War, he had, I remember really soft hands and a beautiful almost porcelain  complexion, with a warm  gentle humorous face.  Elmer liked to dance at the tea dances held in the afternoons.   I’d never learnt to Waltz so watched on.

I remember one day while walking along the promenade from The Brighton Pier to Ovingdean, a walk Elmer liked to do whenever he could.  Elmer decided to teach me to dance, there and then –   he couldn’t see the folk watching as they passed by. I remember laughing as he took hold of me and swirled me into a waltz. Elmer taught me, one two three, one two three, back, to one side then forward, something like that.

Elmer Richards St Dunstans warblind veteran with Melody
Elmer Richards St Dunstans warblind veteran with Melody

On most of our walks along the prom  Elmer  would dance.  I expect people got used to seeing a man with a white stick and hat swirling around a young lady. I remember the day I danced at my first tea dance, in my uniform.  One St Dunstener I remember remarked,” where did you learn to dance? your quite good”.

Elmer also taught me to play bowls which he loved, a great way to spend a rainy day. I remember he brought me a pair of white Daps  in Woolworths. as I’d  said in passing that the walking was wearing out my shoes. Elmer had never heard plimsoles called  Daps. It’s a Somerset saying!

Elmer  loved it when I told him how smart he looked in his  white bowls uniform which he wore for his matches.  Dear Elmer, what a lovely old  friend he was.

>If you would like to donate to St Dunstan’s please follow this link to – Blind Veterans UK where you will find a DONATE  button at the top of the page.

St Dunstan’s choristers with wartime songs – Melody

One of my most treasured possessions is a tape made for me by my dear friend Harry Wheeler with his friends  35 years ago while working at St Dunstan’s – now Blind Veterans uk.  Harry served in the First World War he loved to sing to me and tell me tales of his time in the trenches.

If you would like to donate to St Dunstan’s please follow this link to – Blind Veterans UK where you will find a DONATE  button at the top of the page.

To commemorate 100 years since peace was proclaimed, it seems the right time to share  these songs to honour his and other precious friends service.  I  hope through my memoirs  with St Dunstan’s will also  give  the opportunity for donations.

When I was twenty two my mother, Marie lead a team of 25  looking after the day to day care of the residents of Pearson House.  At the time I was a beauty consultant for Mary Quant, however, in my spare time I enjoyed spending time with the blind folk.  When a full time position came up I applied,  it seems I was  the youngest care assistant ever to be employed.

Being a care assistant  was the best experience of my life, I loved  the first and Second World War veterans, and the young soldiers blinded more recently, their brave humour was always inspirational.

On my first day I was asked for the Braille mirror!!  I was told to go to the information desk to ask for it.. Laughter rang all  around at my  naivety … My first day also involved talking to a blind young soldier.  A face grey and  blue from gunpowder, and wounds where his eyes had been. I think he liked having me to talk to as he was only 19. When I escorted him out to Brighton Pier I remember describing some pretty lace, he brought his Mum a hanky and kindly gave me one too.  I also remember how fiercely he clutched my arm as I walked.  Harry a First World War veteran and other veterans would walk confidently simply holding my elbow gently.

Harry Wheeler, and the other older veterans would  help the newly blind with humour and gentleness. The men all held my hand I remember, for comfort.

I’ve many stories I should love to share to accompany these songs, 55 in total but not all here at this time, starting with songs from the Boer War through the First World War and up to The Second World War

I will be eternally grateful to the men and women who gave me so much for our freedom.

My Sketch of a Rose – Melody

My  sketch of a Rose…

In the same way as I would paint, these words tumble  out, they appear and  they create.

Words within my humble vocabulary reflect my delight in Roses. I have chosen to keep the work as it was created, unedited and raw, yet real.

Romance - floral of a rose in oil on canvas
Romance – floral of a rose in oil on canvas


Roses Roses.. Translucent petals celebrate life, truth, and all that is beautiful in the world.

Delicate perfume, delicate stance, strong, yet gentle, every woman’s dream.

Summer has no shadows when smelling a rose,

Sunshine and glory, reward my eyes, my heart and soul.


My desired beauty, everything female perhaps.

Life is in the Rose,

Memories, sunshine and prose.

Exquisite liquid joy.

Smelling deep explodes my brain, my senses and my humanity.

My heaven will smell and feel like Roses, my garden, my paradise.

Roses, smell sweeter within a memory,

a moment of love a moment of sunshine.

Roses remember love, they compel  to love.

Roses crafted in Eden, present at the first wedding.

Purity lingers through the fall,

Purity is given to all.

My Roses, a promise of heaven,

Quickening a dull day,

Roses promise love, an eternal display.

My Roses have a life,

A journey like mine, they lie still at times waiting waiting.

I’m waiting, listening, as all smells sound,

They sound as church bells, rivers and sea,

Roses were made for me.

Birthday Bouquet - painting of vibrant bouquet of flowers in oil on canvas
Birthday Bouquet – painting of vibrant bouquet of flowers in oil on canvas