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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA


Notes from your foreign correspondent

With the internet why have a foreign correspondent? I’m joking of course but as I live in Halifax; worked for thirty years in Rochdale and originate from the village of Borstal, near Rochester in Kent, the idea of a foreign correspondent isn’t that…..foreign?

The village of Borstal gave its name to the youth custody centres, or Borstals, when the first one was housed in the old Napoleonic Fort Borstal which was guarding the River Medway. The name stuck and I am proud to say I was a Borstal boy for twenty years.

But that is another story, although we are now a global nation because of our technology I have been looking closer to home for ideas to occupy lockdown time, here is a start to what I have found here in Yorkshire.

I’ve enjoyed these links very much

The Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield is showing short recordings about the theatre itself. I loved seeing the machinery that helps transform the seating arrangement of the main theatre, something I had never seen before.

Rochdale Library Service is providing numerous splendid online treats and here in Calderdale, our library service is doing the same. I have learnt about The Chartists and The Midgely Pace Egg Play so far and look forward to more.

The Ilkley Literature Festival has plenty of ideas for writing while we are home bound. I’m loving all three of these sites and I’ve found the recordings are just the right length to take in properly.


Ilkley Literature Festival : (look under the tab New!! Be All Write (at home)

Lawrence Batley Theatre

Calderdale Libraries Local History Tasters

The Colour Of Isolation

A comb-over of bananas sit in the fruit bowl in the kitchen,

Green yellow with a promise of ripening.

Echoing the early yellow that was crocus on the daily walk,

Companions to white and purple cousins that all gave way

To yellow daffodils, that in turn deferred their time to dandelions, then

Pink drifting snow from cherry blossom adorning the park paths

So children can play at weddings.

Bluebells came, thinly in our local park.

Supported by countless shades of green,

Green, to hint at new life.

So many greens, so many lives.

Windows adorned with rainbows,

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain

Rendesivir Options You Grant Blindly In Vain?

The black screen of the laptop

When it brightens to life

Brings contact with family and friends,

Vital links taken for granted

Just a few short weeks back.

Brothers, sisters,

Choirs, choruses,


Attempts at poetry.

The pleasure of a shared pun,

Or a short comment,

“I’m in the pink, no red alert here.”

A rare brattle of rain on the Thursday window

Could trigger the blue of depression

The grey of despair, but

The rattle of pots and pans,

Prompt at 8.00 pm gives a focus

For a moment.

For it is all moments, this time,

This place, this space

Where we exist,

All our thoughts coloured

By Corona Virus

And a comb-over of bananas in the fruit bowl in the kitchen.

© Ray Stearn

2nd May 2020

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