Open Age Creative Writing Blog



I Prescribe TV


I Prescribe TV

If you want to see a doctor – simply turn on the TV

For every other programme’s medical, I guarantee.

We’ve Doctors, Medics, House, ER and also Holby City,

Embarassing Bodies, A & E, and also Casualty.

There’s Doctor Hilary, Doctor Chris, and Doctor Pixie too,

Steer clear of Gillian McKeith – obsessed with number two!

There’s Doctor Phibes, who loved his spouse, and Docs Evil, and No,

The soaps have medicine in them too, though not in every show.

Sherlock had Doctor Watson, who was always at his side,

And Doctor Henry Jekyll, who turned into Edward Hyde.

A TV diagnosis is the fastest you can get,

Even on a Zoo Visit, you are sure to see a Vet.

Of course my favourite medic has a surgery that’s blue.

I wish he was my GP – well – who else but Doctor Who!

© Pandora Varrakalion

The World Is My Oyster by Francis (Tut) Florent

The world is your oyster still life

Today we are very happy to share this lovely patriotic poem written by one of our creative writing members at Open Age. Francis Florent has written many wonderful stories and poems over the past 90 years: from children’s stories for his grandchildren to crime, mystery and adventure stories…

“The world is my oyster” ’tis often said

Our beloved country is its precious pearl.

Where Queen Elizabeth reigns supreme

Her loyal subjects all agree

This pearl is priceless no flaw to see

Great Britain is great and I love thee.

© Francis (Tut) Florent

Befrienders by Francis (Tut) Florent


Today I had the great pleasure of meeting a true gentleman called Francis (Tut) Florent, who is 90 years old, and lives in the City of Westminster. I discovered that he has a treasure-trove of stories and prose that he has written over the years, including highly imaginative adventure stories which he wrote for his grandchildren, and some beautifully written poems. He told me that most of his inspiration came from his beloved late wife Anne who also used to write poetry.

Francis will be sharing some of his work on WordWise and welcomes any feedback. Thank you Francis for showing us your work with Open Age and WordWise and of course the wider world! I’m certain that your writings will delight many younger (and older!) readers – plus those age groups in between…

Here is a poem that Francis wrote very recently about ‘Befrienders’

Befriender Group it humbles me to know,

Of people who wish to give their time and love

To the lonely and less fortunate in our society

So worth while to see a smile when your befriender

comes to tea

To know the gossip may be also fun for your friend

Lots of love to befrienders everywhere

© Francis (Tut) Florent

A Day in the Life – Creative Writing Inspiration


Here’s an inspiring photography project on Feature Shoot about A Day in the Life of single elderly women in New York City, USA.

In Life Ever After photographer Patrícia Monteiro shows how four women in their 80s and 90s, living alone, live life to the full: soaking up the art, culture, social activities and life in this buzzing city.

“In these four women, the photographer found fiercely independent souls, constantly evolving and engaged with the goings on around them. Despite physical difficulties—Rita, for instance, has a few disabilities—each pursues her interests with as much fervor as ever.”

“At this age, the women have seen the deaths of lifelong friends and companions, but they have learned to cope with loss. Their late husbands are abiding fixtures in their lives, and Sonia still wears her wedding band. Rita got giddy reminiscing on her boyfriend, Molly shared relationship advice. At one time, they all had careers. A few of them shared photographs from their pasts, although nostalgia was sometimes tinged with heartache. For the most part, explains the photographer, the women didn’t dwell on or concern themselves with thoughts of their mortality, focusing their attentions instead on the joys of the day-to-day.”

Today’s Creative Writing Exercise: A Day in the Life..

Write about a day in your own life, or in the life of a neighbour, or a friend… It can be fictional or biographical, a short story or poem – let your imagination decide! But use Patricia Monteiro’s inspiring photography project as a springboard to get your creative ideas flowing!

You can see more of Monteiro’s photography here:

10 Great Christmas Poems

Here are some festive poems to give you ideas and inspiration for some poetry writing over the Christmas period!

Interesting Literature

Stuck for a bit of festive-themed poetry this Christmas? Let us help. Here are our 10 quick recommendations. These are, we reckon, 10 of the greatest poems for Christmas. They’re all quite short and make for ideal festive reading, so we’ve provided links to each of the poems, too.

Thomas Hardy, ‘The Oxen’. Written in 1915 during WWI, this poem shows a yearning for childhood beliefs which the adult speaker can no longer hold. In other words, it highlights the yearn to believe, even – or perhaps especially – when we know that we cannot bring ourselves to entertain such beliefs. (Hardy had lost his religious faith early in life.) A fine analysis of the poem can be found here and you can read ‘The Oxen’ here.

John Betjeman, ‘Christmas’.This poem forms an intriguing pair with Hardy’s ‘The Oxen’, but where Hardy longed IL - Christmas 1to believe but could not…

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Interview with an Author – Mike Loveday

In 2012 author Mike Loveday was interviewed by Kingston Publishing – Mike is not only a talented writer but a brilliant tutor that we are lucky to have working at Open Age!


Mike started teaching with us in March 2013, and now runs the following classes –

  • Creative Writing for Carers every other Wednesday in St. John’s Wood as part of Time for Me
  • Literature Class at New Horizons in Chelsea on Tuesday afternoons, introducing the lives and works of great writers
  • Life Stories at New Horizons in Chelsea on Thursday mornings, writing stories about your own life experiences
  • Creative Writing telephone group for the housebound – the group aims to be a fun and stimulating way to work with words, writing stories (fact or fiction) and playing word games

If you’d like to find out more about Open Age Creative Writing Classes (for residents of Westminster, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham) or if you know anybody who is housebound or can’t always get out due to poor health etc. then contact Hester Jones on: 0208 962 5584

We also offer other creative writing classes at Earl’s Court Centre for Health & Wellbeing run by our other brilliant tutor Robert Silver and in 2015 a new course run by Hester Jones called Craft Your Lifestory will start at Olive House in Hammersmith & Fulham – which will also incorporate craft to create a book.


A Red World! A poem by Dee Hindin

A big thank you to Dee Hindin for sharing her wonderful, inspiring poem about a red world! I started to see life differently after hearing Dee recite this piece!

A Red World!


Red, Red, Red are the buses that stretch end to end

On the street known as Oxford, in London’s West End

Red are the apples, ‘tho different in tone

As are the grapes and the big red plums

That are sold on the barrows, at this and that turn.


Red is the jacket the girl wears with aplomb,

And red are the shoes upon which she dashes along.

Mail boxes are red, some large and some small

And another for franked mail, standing quite tall.


Red are the stop lites that never stop blinking

Before crossing the street, is it safe? You are thinking’


Red are the small flashing lites, standing like sentinels

Round unfinished buildings, and red are the stands

That warn of holes in the road, down which you look

And wonder. What is it they’re doing, if anything at all!


Red are the flowers on the lampposts tall,

Making pretty the road, along which you stroll.


Red are the sweaters swaying in the breeze on the stall

In the market, where one is a bargain, buy two, get one free!

The rest twist sensuously as if asking

Buy me, buy me, please, please


Everywhere the red cross flag fluttering in the breeze,

Stuck on cars, on doors and in windows, to.

St George for England, once that’s what was said

Now it’s for a ball into net by fair means or foul!


Flowers nodding and dipping on a stall

Peonies, poppies. Geraniums bright,

Red ones in pots, they catch the eye.

Sold! Wrapped in gay paper, red spots on white.


The Red sign that says “zollo”, what was that

Over a store? It had red windows as well.

Is it a sale? If so, what’s for sale?

The customers appear to be predominately male!


A red telephone box! My! That now is rare,

Once you could see one from miles away.

Red was the carpet covering the hotel floor

Trampled by feet rushing out the swing door.


The red of the sun as it sets in the sky,

Turning different shades as it sinks lower and lower,

Reflected in windows and everything shiny.

It’s a red, red world in which we are so tiny.


The red of the overheads just before they flare,

The red of her mouth, in the doorway over there.

The red of her nails, blood red are her toes.

The color of my world, as the daylite goes.

© Dee Hindin

Writing Tip: 5 Tips For Writing Your Best Nature Poems

Here’s an inpsiring Writing Tip from Creative Talents Unleashed about Nature Poetry – to help reawaken your senses and stimulate your your next creative poem about nature…!

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