Mad Men

Watching Mad Men takes me back.  Yes, advertising was really like that once upon a time. Sexism was rampant.  As was sex.

I remember one agency where all the men seemed to be having affairs. And a number of them were at it with one of the secretaries. On the board room table. (Not all at the same time I might add.)

News of this got to the director of the board who sternly said something would be done. Immediately. And it was. He got rid of the board room table.

Making Hate

After making hate

they lay together


thinking lonely thoughts

After the anti-climax


he said, your body is smooth

and smells of summer

She wondered if

he’d be insulted

if she lit a cigarette

After making hate

their bodies all used up

in an orgasm of

frenzied mutual analysis

he said: my wife is expecting me

And then they made love

Making Hate was published in ARK,  the magazine of the Royal College of Art. Its editor was John Hedgecoe.

They also published this poem at the same time:

Cup Final

Tonight was going to be our night

This room was going to be our room

This bed, our bed

Why did you switch the TV on?


© Andrea Neidle. My Life in Poems


The life we knew

This poem is about growing up in the 1950s and 60s. I’m not saying life was better then. Just different. 



Before central heating

Every morning

We got up

And scraped  ice

From the inside

of our bedroom window

It was the life we knew.

 Before hundreds of TV channels

There was one TV channel

Black and white pictures

And a very small screen

No arguments over the remote

There was no remote.

 Before dishwashers

There was endless washing up

But time to talk 

Precious moments

Lost forever.

Before ready meals

microwave food

and TV dinners

There were families

Sitting together round the table


And kids who knew how to

Cook from scratch.

Before showers

And endless hot water

Friday night

Was bath night

I watched my dad shave

While I sat on the loo

It was the life I knew.

Before digital cameras

and dozens of photos

Taken in ten minutes

There was one roll of film

And twelve opportunities

To take one good picture.

Before cordless phones

Mobile phones

Answer phones

And everywhere phones

There was just one phone

And you had to be sitting in the hall

To catch that important call.

Before emailing



And online chat rooms

There was real conversation

With a real person

Eye contact






Before word processing

There was my old faithful

Manual typewriter

Carbon paper


And a bin

full to the brim

with screwed up paper

Before every home had a car

We played in the street

Without fear

Running, chasing

Skipping, racing

We were free

To use our imaginations

We were free.




© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems