Category Archives: Charity Reading

Group Poem by Northwich Stroke Club 2017




KPA Workshop


After Thomas Hardy

This is the weather my friends like, and so do I:
Sunny days with a breeze but warm enough for breakfast outdoors
Birds singing with the promise of a good day ahead
And the scents of herbs and hedge parsley float everywhere
Washing dries quickly on the line, and it’s good to spend time outside
In the garden or walking through fields or climbing in Snowdonia
With the wind in our faces and unusual places
But rain is good too: it waters the soil; it’s good for the complexion,
as my grandmother used to say; and when it hits the conservatory hard
and we are warm and dry inside, and the garden gets a good soak;
rainy walks in wellies with wet dogs and the rain on faces.
At sundown clouds in the sky are outlined in red and gold.
In winter, frosty mornings smell sharp, remind of schooldays.
The virgin snow makes everywhere pristine, at night it’s a mirror.
Snow brings back memories of sledging and throwing snowballs,
frost on the inside of windows, or outdoors, crisp grass and lacy trees,
the beauty of a frozen spider-web, delicate like crochet.
It isn’t Christmas unless there is a roaring fire to warm us.

This is the weather my friends dislike, and so I:
When it’s too hot for walking or cycling, and even to sleep at night;
a constant fight against dehydration, and with perspiration.
Rain and wind combining together, when storms destroy trees
that have lived for centuries, and we are indoors worrying about damage.
Thunder and lightning can be terrifying as they rumble and light up the sky.
Winter weather causes my hands to be cold, and paths to be slippy;
I shun the dark rainy days when the sun hides and night comes too early.

Every season brings weathers we like.

Group poem: Northwich Stroke Club 4 July 2017
Workshop and reading by Angela Topping


Northwich Stroke club meets regularly at Brio leisure centre and organises speakers and outings for people who have had strokes. Partners are welcome.

Angela Topping is available for themed readings with optional workshops for local charities, for a small fee.











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Happiness Is… ( a group poem, Heathbrook Independent Living Facility)

spending time with my grandchildren, Alex, Michael, Lewis and Amy
a good cup of tea with one sugar in my favourite mug
a tasty turkey salad and a nice pudding, out with my family
playing games and having fun with family and friends
pride in my family, to see all they have achieved
people telling stories, playing music and parties with friends
listening to Frank Sinatra and Gracie Fields on CDs
remembering my wife, Judith and knowing I am soon to be a great-granddad
singing along to Dreamboats and Petticoats
Happiness if treasured memories of happy times and loved ones.

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Christmas Reading at Crossways

I enjoy doing the occasional reading for The Stroke Club so this year I have branched out and put together an event for Crossways, a residential home for elderly people who cannot look after themselves.

This is the first time I have sung in public accompanied by my husband on the piano, but I know that a few Christmas songs and carols would brek up the readings and be fun for the residents. They particularly enjiyed the readings about Christmas past, such as extracts from John Clare and Charles Dickens.

As part of the event, they wrote some lines for a group poem in the interval. Here is the group poem.

Christmas Is

The children’s smiles when opening their presents

A nice happy crowd who enjoy their food

All the lovely presents of chocolate

The shimmering tree

A good piece of pork on the table

Sitting and listening to Christmas songs

Having a glass of red wine

Remembering all the Christmas trips from school days

Christmas is a time to be happy and joyful.

(Group poem written by the residents and staff at Crossways, Lostock)

And a Christmas thought from Thelma

Christmas is a time for families when we all meet together to sing songs of praise and to honour the birth of Jesus.  We must all be grateful for everything we receive, be nice to our family and friends. We must think of everyone and about all the poor animals who need our help, especially at Christmas time when so many are cruelly abandoned.


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Filed under Charity Reading, Everything else, John Clare