Yesterday I shared with you a bit of writing that I did in 2018 about Black Bank, an isolated spot near to the River Trent in Lincolnshire. In that piece, I wrote about Lady, the osprey, and ospreys in general, and the little kingfisher,

We went back to Black Bank yesterday, my health being up to it, and it was a most wonderful experience,though this time I could see nothing at all except the usual grey mist that I have in front of my eyes,

It was a warm Spring day, and though I could see nothing, I had wonderful memories. In a way, that made it a bittersweet experience, but all in all it was a lovely afternoon.

I became very interested in Black Bank a long time ago, for it feels like a very luminal, “thin space” place, and I have been trying to figure out why. Even as a blind person I could feel the atmosphere, and at times I felt as if Icwas way back in the past. I wondered what had happened there. And I wondered why it is called Black Bank. An intriguing name.

We know that the area used often to be under water, as in ancient times the river would cover all the labs around there. Then, eventually, the land was drained by the Dutch, who knew all about doing these things. So, a drainage system put in by the Dutch still serves the area well today, and houses stand on some of the surrounding land now,

Also, this was an area where the vikings were very active, and they would come down the river, and I wondered just what had taken place right there with the Vikings. Certainly a Viking longboat was found on the edge of the river one time. Sadly, it went to Scunthorpe museum and they lost it. Now how can you lose a longboat, I have to ask! But they stated that they did. If anyone finds it could you let us know please.


Looking back over her life of darkness
Questioning where it had all gone wrong
A life wasted not of much use
She grieved for what could have been
Why was she born to die?
A paralysed scream
Stuck in her throat
Too late now
To change
Caressed her
Sore grief shivered
Was this the ending
Planned for her in times past?
Could her soul now find salvation?
A voice pierced this deepest dark
“Look carefully my child
A silver ribbon
Runs through your life
Grasp it tight


In the liquid silver stream of your love
I rest awhile
And feel my body become light
Floating where it will
No fire can put it to rout
Though fierce it tried
Upheld by love’s strong hand
I find my way
To that place where sorrow
Cannot darken my path
Nor tears mark my face
A place of light
Silky smooth
Never ending

SURVIVAL -written in 2018

There were three of us there that day – all living in hope. As I sit here in the same spot today, with my binoculars, that have been redundant for so long now, I live with a wonderful memory. I make a decision. With shaking hands I lift the binoculars to my eyes, feeling that familiar thrill once again. I still have hope. I train them on the water in the dyke at the edge of the fields, and despite my near blindness, with joy and amazement I realise that I can see the ripple of the water, and as I move them so that they are pointed at the fields, I can just see that they are sporting luxuriant early Spring growth of sugar beet and wheat, in a depth of green such as I have never seen before. The winter has been mild, and nature knows it. I, too, know it, and know that there are greater things to come.

I am at Black Bank, an isolated spot out near the road alongside the River Trent, close to East Butterwick. It is so long since I have been here, but I recall that wonderful day in the late summer, just before I received my cancer diagnosis. The fields then were full of ripened golden wheat, reflecting the fullness we were feeling in our hearts. We were watching for ospreys heading South on their long and dangerous journey to warmer climes. Often, they had passed by this spot, and spent a week in the surrounding area, fishing for food in the many angling ponds round about. The day was golden, in more ways than one – the sun shone, the corn glowed, and all seemed right with the world. Little did I know that I was about to embark on my own own most dangerous journey of all.

We were the first to arrive- my husband and I, that is, complete with two dogs – rough collies. We thought we were to be alone. Not many people knew about this spot, and that ospreys could sometimes be seen here at certain times of the year. Suddenly, we heard the sound of an approaching motor bike, and as it pulled up beside us, we knew it to be our friend, Roger, who was well known for his love of raptors.

“Seen anything?” He asked
“Nothing yet,” we replied.
We were prepared to wait all day.

I had become captivated some years ago by Lady, the oldest surviving breeding osprey in the U.K. The species had almost become extinct in our country at one time, but now, through the efforts of many dedicated people, they had been saved. I wondered if ever, on her way from her nest in Scotland to warmer climes, she would pass by this spot. This was her twenty second year of breeding, and each year, in the Spring, everyone waited nervously to see if she would re-appear for another breeding season. She was so old that it always seemed like a miracle now, every time she returned. A miracle of survival. Three years later I would be again nervously waiting, to see if there had been another miracle of survival – my own. As I awaited the news, once again, I watched the webcam in the Scottish glen where Lady had her nest, to see if she returned, hardly daring to believe that she might, but knowing that if she did , I too would survive. She did return, and the very next day I was told that the chemo had worked, amazingly, since my cancer had been so severe and widespread, and advanced, and I had been expected to die.

The three of us kept our binoculars trained on the skies, and the distant hedges. It felt like a sacred spot. We knew that whatever happened, there would be SOMETHING there to see.

When not scanning the skies, we chatted idly. At one point I got the dogs out of the car, and took them for a walk down the tiny narrow lane that we were on. I felt exhausted, and hardly knew how to keep going. Unbeknown to me, the cancer in my body had already taken hold, and I struggled – though I was only sixty three. I put it down to age. The heat overwhelmed me, and I was glad to get back to the car.

As the afternoon, and the sun, began to die on us we realised that we probably were not going to see an osprey THAT day. As we were thinking about packing up and going home, suddenly, to the left of us, there was a dart of colour. Electric blue, and a kingfisher landed on a branch. Such a tiny bird – so different to the osprey – but just as thrilling. I had never seen a kingfisher close to, and my heart danced and sang as I beheld this wonderful sight. Its wings did not throb and beat powerfully like those of the osprey, and it did not soar high in the sky, but this tiny thing had a power all of its own. At that moment I felt I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life before. I was reminded of how, some years earlier, the kingfisher had proved itself to be a survivor too. It had been a long, hard winter, and the ponds had all completely frozen. So many birds had perished, and, as we shared our grief with the Park Ranger, suddenly, he exclaimed,
“Look at THAT.”
He pointed towards the bird table that was positioned just outside the Centre. We looked, but by that time it had gone. A lone kingfisher eating BREAD. We had thought that all the kingfishers would have perished, along with so many other species, as they only eat fish. But this lone kingfisher had found a way to survive – by changing its way of eating! On that day, I learnt that sometimes, in order to survive, we have to change our way of doing things, and do something almost unheard of. Surviving is not always easy because we have to be open to doing the unthinkable. But deep inside us, we all have a well, from which we can drink, and we have no idea that it is such a deep well until we are in dire difficulty, and as we attempt to drink from it, we find how deep it is.


It’s strange how exciting bed can be! Everything seems to happen on my bed. The whole world is here. It’s a good job that the whole world can’t see anything though. At present I have on my bed, three woodwind instruments, a plate with some leftover cheese sauce on it on a tray. A box that had chocolates in that is now empty, a box of paper handkerchieves, a few assorted styluses for my iPad, buried somewhere in the folds of the duvet, a book that. I can’t read because I am blind, a sock, (yes just one) and God knows what else. Well, I suspect thsat if He exists He knows! Which is more than I do!

In fact, I don’t think I know anything nowadays. Except that it can be quite exciting on my bed especially when the dog jumps on it and I am asleep and suddenly and woken up by this great big huge black bull. Her name of course is Hope, and a jolly good name too.

I said it was exciting on my bed but now I’m not so sure because as I have been trying to describe it I have realised that it is really rather boring. So I will leave it here for now and hope that something more exciting happens tomorrow!


She felt quite SMUG. It was EVENING, and soon he would be making his usual midnight visit to Amelia, his curate. She was a very unusual person, with her rather attractive auburn locks. Somehow or other she managed to control everyone around her whilst appearing as innocent as a lamb. Well, that is,if lambs can really be seen as innocent. Lambs can often be seen climbing on the backs of their mothers, and that was exactly what she did to him – only he was not her mother. James was quite pleased to have her in his parish. She had come, from America, to REPLACE Henry, the previous curate,whom, quite frankly, was nothing but a bore, and quite useless with it.

James was only too ready to be taken in by her. Nut Sandra, his wife, wasn’t. No longer was she going to stand for these regular midnight visits. Amelia was good at putting on a show of helplessness, but in fact she knew exactly what she was doing. And so did Sandra.

And so it was that there she stood, one night, night, by the riverside path listening for his footsteps. Suddenly, there he was, and just as suddenly, he felt a shove on his chest. Surprised, he lost his balance and toppled over into the water.



I wake every morning with a terrible feeling in my stomach. I wake to the remembrance that I am blind. I see the light coming through the window, but nothing else. The light does not illuminate anything for me. I know that this is how it is going to be for the rest of the day – and for every day from here on in. I tussle with a sense almost of disbelief and then a painful resignation to the fact. There is nothing I can do. The day stretches out in front of me. What can I do with all those hours ahead of me in which I see only a grey mist obliterating everything for me?

As I sit up in bed I am painfully aware that no one can understand my plight. That I am alone. People have expectations of me or their own ideas of what this might be like. They have their own ideas of how I should feel or tackle this. But no one can contemplate the utter blackness that I feel inside. The depression. The hopelessness. The despair. And in a way neither can I. I think that maybe it could be different. But it can’t. I am bewildered. Confused. I keep blinking, thinking that if I blink enough, I will start to see something. But I don’t.

It is a Spring day. A beautiful Spring day, of which I will see nothing. My husband tells me that the trees are all in blossom, sportng different beautiful shades – red, pink, yellow, white. The daffodils are blooming. The forsythia at our front door is am amazing bright yellow. The willow teee in our garden is coming into leaf. It is my favourite time of year – and I can see nothing of it. The only colour I can see is grey.

I experience a sudden stab of deep sadness, along with a deep aching and longing. I keep my feelings under wraps. I have cried. Oh yes I have cried. Many many tears. But to what avail? Nothing will change, and you can’t cry for ever, I am required to “accept it,” to “come to terns with it.” Whatever do those things mean anyway? Whatever they mean, I know that I fall far short of the mark.

I think back to that beautiful Spring day eight years ago – a day just like this – when all this began. On that day too, the trees were blossoming and sporting the most beautiful colours. Flowers were blooming on the roadside and in people’s gardens, and everything was coming to life again after the long hard winter. Yet this was the day on which I was told that I may be dying. A dark, dark day. A day in which in what felt like a dingy hospital room with the blinds pulled down so that the warm sun could not get to me. At that point I did not know that in fact I would survive the cancer that was raging like wildfire in my body, but that my days would become for ever grey. I did not envisage what I have got now.

For most blind people, there is a way of living. A way of being. Many were born blind, or went blind when they were very young. They have grown up being blind. Some have been to Blind Schools. They have learned how to live blind, in a largely sighted world. They appear to be happy. They can do the things that I cannot do. And I guess that most people see this and think that it is the same for all blind people. They manage somehow, and therefore I should too. This in itself becomes a pressure to me. As I think of it my anger rises within me, along with my sense of hopelessness. Maybe I can never be accepted n this world, as I am. I will have to change. Hide my pain, cease varying. Smile for the camera of the world. But inside, I rebel against this. Can only be me. And yet, I feel the needbto hide the real me. The Lorraine who grieves. The Lorraine who hurts. Slowly, slowly, as each day goes by, I withdraw more and more into myself. Into my world of isolation. A world that no he else can reach into, and nor would they want to. Real life awaits them and they leave me behind. And so I lie on my bed, staring into the grey mist, feeling empty. Feeling paralysed.

I reach my hand out to the chest at the side of my bed. I am feeling for the cold drink that is there. Lemonade. I drink a lot of that nowadays. It has to be ice cold, and fizzy. The flat stuff will not do. It cannot pass muster. No, it has to be fizzy, so that I can actually FEEL it. I have to have that sensation in my mouth and throat – a sensation of aliveness. For in fact I have little or no sensation in my hands. And that goes for my face, legs and feet too. But with no real sensation in my hands, and no eyesight, Imknock my drink onto the floor. The carpet at the side of my bed is soaked yet again. I am past crying about it. What is the point? But the crying is still deep within me. Just as it is when I look at the light coming through the window and know that I will see nothing of this day.

I remember, way back at the beginning, when I had just gone into remission from the cancer, seeing a blind Gospel singer on the television. She was playing the piano in a most amazing way, and singing in that incredible way that only accomplished Gospel singers have. To this day I do not understand what happened, but something inside me said,

“You are going to be blind, but you will be able to show My glory within it.” I have no idea to this day where that voice or that knowledge came from. Yes, my sight was definitely not what it used to be, but certainly no one had any idea that I was going blind. The haematologist said that the drugs I had been given could make your eyesight deteriorate a little, but that I just needed some new glasss. He told me to see an optician. I was comforted by that, and thought no more of it. However, when the optician finally saw me I knew, deep inside me that something was wrong. And I had had those words come to me whilst watching the blind Gospel singer. Despite that though, I felt a kind of dread. It was proved to be well founded.

My sight has only gone gradually. At first I viewed it as a challenge. Ina way I relished the idea of meeting that challenge, and did not become depressed or distressed. My distress was more at the way in which people treated me. Being unable to see them, I failed to respond to them when they waved and smiled at me. I became known as standoffish and snobbish. In fact, those things were said to my face one day. I was arracked verbally for my misdoings! I realised then that being blind was no picnic, and thar relationships with people were going to be affected. On many occasions sat around a table with people who knew I was playing blind, and not one of them addressed me by name so that I knew they were talking to me, in fact, actually they avoided talking to me. Their lives were so different to mine that what indeed could they talk to me about anyway. I was by this time in a wheelchair as well, unable to live. I must have seemed like something from outer space to those people.


Jemima looked up at the cupboard. Should she do it or shouldn’t she? How would it turn out? Would it be EFFECTIVE?

BEFORE stretching out her hand to take the bottle off the shelf she considered these questions. But she knew that if she waited much LONGER it wood be virtually useless. It gad been in the cupboard for ten years, since Jimmy had been born in fact.

In the end, she just had to do it. Slowly and with a trembling hand she took the bottle off the shelf.

Sent from my iPad


We never know what someone else is going through Much can be hidden behind smiles. Yet many are wounded in one way or another. And so to stretch out our hands to one anther is to share love and compassion. So that is why I wrote this little poem.

Out of the darkness
I stretch out my hand to you
For all are wounded


The darkness flows into our mortal lives,
Unasked for, unexpected, sure it comes,
For the most part every one of us strives
To dispel that which now before us looms,
But as it beckons we must enter in,
Embracing it, not fighting its advent,
Fighting it will never help us to win
The fruits that grow within what has been sent,
Within the darkness gems are to be found,
And soon we will discover our true self,
To the things that hold us we will not be bound,
In letting go we find a greater wealth,
Only the darkness can deliver us
And make us free without incurring loss


It’s been a strange day! Hubby fell out of his wheelchair today whilst trying to pick up a banana from the kitchen floor. Hey ho!

After the last episode he knew that he needed at least two big men to get him up. So the fire brigade and the ambulance people were duly rung. It ended up that he was on the cold hard floor for three hours!

In the end I told him to shuffle his backside up the hall to the bottom of the stairs and try to lift himself up with his arms into the bottom step, then the second step, then the third step, until he could stand.

Well, at first he didn’t want to do it, but later decided to give it a try. It worked!

Still no ambulancemen though. Fortunately he was not injured. The dog pj cheddar the banana and emptied a rubbish bag all over the floor. Hubby really must learn to put the damned brake on his wheelchair when trying to retrieve a banana!


Moving across the lake a shadow
Gliding slowly to its rest
The still silent air a blanket
Wrapping us in eternity
I watch the shadow become a part
Of that eternal night

It come to rest when the day turns to night
The moon luminates the shadow
Of one that is now of time a part
But soon will come to rest
Waiting for eternity
Held within the blanket

In childhood days I knew the blanket
That held me safe at night
I knew not of eternity
But lived within the shadow
Of a life which never let me rest
Of sorrow I knew a part

Now in time I know I must part
From childish dreams the warming blanket
And find a place that gives me rest
In the darkness of the night
As i watch the moving shadow
I hear the call of eternity

I know now of eternity
This night I feel a part
Of the Source which brings rest to the shadow
Warming it like a blanket
Keeping it safe through the darkening night
Allowing it to rest

One day I too will find my rest
Safe within eternity
Having gone through the darkest night
Sorrow played its part
I think of childhood’s warming blanket
As I behold the shadow

I watch the shadow and see eternity
Though now in part as I come to rest
It’s blanket warms me in darkest night


Turning screwed
Up words that chill
The soul crazy words
Twisting raw emotions
Grinding you into the ground
Nauseated you lie there retch
Expelling the venom from your heart
You sleep fitfully


More and more each day I am finding it difficult to write and post. I have no intentions of giving up but sm exploring different ways of doing it without sight. I find myself getting very exhausted with it. Like most people who go blind when they could once see, I have found that any friends I had have fallen away. I find myself in a very lonely place. To lose my ability to write would finish me off, so for this reason, I WILL find a way through this.

I have not written anything more to my book lately, but have changed my tactics. I have also changed the thrust of the book, given my new circumstances and experiences. In fact, thinking about it, I might write a new chapter today uust on that. I want to be as honest as possible in this book, and not conform to anybody’s ideas of whatit ought to be or what it ought to be like. Lately, I have been trying to do something with it that is not possible but thatxwill stop now. I need anew direction.

I will post bits of it still. But theycwill be very honest bits. I hope, still inspiring, but very realistic.

I can only be me, and you cannot fit a square peg intoca round hole as they say!

Life has been a terrible struggle just lately, and in many ways I am still trying to fine meaning in it. Well, I guess that what I mean is, MY meaning in it. Not someone else’s.

So watch out for a bit more of the book. I am on a strange journey right now. I think I just got on a different bus lol.


It didn’t get very much sleep
It came off best in a cat street fight
When they all ended up in a heap
It strutted around the streets so proud
Singing a song in its head
It thought it was riding on a cloud
Forgetting to go to bed
The streets were deserted, everyone was scared
Knowing that he was the king
But a brave little mouse came and at the cat stared
Then sweetly began to sing
The cat stood stock still at this very strange sight
Mesmerised by the sweet song
It didn’t realise it was getting light
It had been there all night long
The mouse skipped away at the break of dawn
Leaving the cat entranced
All the other cats came and they skipped on the lawn
And everyone started to dance
The brave little mouse had won the war
Now the cats could all live in peace
Never had this been done before
Now the cats don’t fight in the streets.

A LIMINAL PLACE – Wildsworth

Yesterday we went and sat by the river at a tiny village called Wildsworth. I have written about this place before, but yesterday it was differentl. I could no longer see the tree house in the field by which we parked, and in fact I could not see the field either! I could not see the Celtic Cross on the War Memorial, that actually only has three names in it. But this is a luminal place. One of those thin spaces where time does not seem to matter and you feel yourself to be transcending time and place. It can feel as if you are in another world, and indeed, that was what I felt yesterday. The sun was shining rather weakly, but that is just how I like it, although there were a few people walking up on the floodbank, the place still felt isolated. There was a kind of silence, and yet the silence was so full of so much. I could see ancient boats going down the river. I could hear the wailing of a woman as she discovered that her child had wandered into the river and drowned. I could see people wending their way to the Reading Room which still actually exists though it is no longer a Reading Room. I could see and hear the fervent preacher who had come from Wesley country across the river, putpirtedly to convert what he termed “the heathen.” And I knew that these were some of my ancestors.

For a time yesterday I was transported. It was as if a veil had been lifted, and I could see into places that you normally can’t see into.

Gradually the light started fading, and a cock started crowing. We j ew it was time to leave. But it will be there another day.


I heard today the cockerel crow
Reminding me of childhood days
The sound so clear it pierced my heart
The taste in my mouth was bittersweet
Time has passed eternity calls
My time will come to leave this earth

Cold lie the bodies in the earth
Up in the tree I see a crow
Black as the night death often calls
My mind recalls much better days
Though time for me is bittersweet
An ache lives in my heart

Back on the farm I left my heart
My spirit in the earth
Memories are bittersweet
Though black may be the crow
Shortened are my earthly days
Soon the Grim Reaper calls

The wind sighs soft my spirit calls
A note sounds in my heart
I search the sky for sunny days
I scrabble in the earth
The branch it bears the weight of the crow
It’s life so bittersweet

Does a child know bittersweet
Or know when eternity calls
Does it know the caw of the crow
Or the piercing of the heart
Does it scrabble in the earth
Or feel the weight of days

A child counts not the sunny days
Nor tastes the bittersweet
It sees the flowers spring from the earth
And hears the wind that calls
A child is rooted in its heart
Sees not the black of the crow

Today I hear the note of the crow
I know there’ll be better days
A song begins to form in my heart
At times so bittersweet
I know this day that nature calls
I rest upon the earth

The earth laid dark for many days
The sound of the crow was bittersweet
I heard soft calls within my heart


I sit one day looking at the fields,
A flash of colour takes my eye,
It darts so fast across the water,
I am mesmerised by such deep, rich colour,
It lands quite suddenly on a branch,
A beautiful tiny kingfisher.

For the very first time I see the kingfisher,
In a dyke surrounding the fields,
So close it sits on the swaying branch,
I see it clearly in my eye,
I am entranced by its wonderful colour,
Gently flows the water.

It sits looking at the moving water,
Containing fish for the kingfisher,
How amazing is its colour,
Matching the green of the fields,
Showing up on the grey-brown branch,
I can hardly move my eye.

I see it fluttering in my eye,
It starts to dart across the water,
Flying off the swaying branch,
This beautiful little kingfisher,
The wind blows gently on the fields,
The grass a shimmering green in colour.

I become aware of deeper colour,
Wherever I cast my eye,
Whether it be on the sky or on the water,
On the wild flowers in the fields,
Or on the little kingfisher,
That fluttered off the grey-brown branch.

Inside I thank God for that grey-brown branch,
My life now is full of deeper colour,
Brought into being by the kingfisher,
On which I feasted my eye,
As I look at the colours in the field,
I thank God for the moving water.

The sun shines on the water enhancing dancing colour ,
Even the brown-grey branch, that draws my eye,
Catching the shimmering green of the field, reflected in kingfishers wing.


In 2019 my mother died intestate, yesterday I suddenly received a phone call from my brother to say that in the next few days all will be wound up. This means that my sister will be living in my mother’s house, as she has been since my mother died. My sister had a flat, but sold it.

It feels very strange, as my sister will not let us into the house at all, and my last memory is of the night my mother died, in the front room there, in an NHS bed. Then of her being carried out by the undertaker covered in a black sheet. It was awful.

My memories kip I’ve with me, and now, my family will be rent asunder as we all go our separate ways. It is the end of an era.


Having had a bad day yesterday, when I did no writing at all, I am trying to catch up with myself and with my blog today. I hope my plans will work out. I want to do some more of my book but we will see what happens.

Yesterday my husband had problems with his blood sugars as they suddenly went very low and he was in danger of having a hypoglycaemic attack which can be dangerous. He attempted to put his Bloodsugars up by eating crackers. And they went up for a short time but then they came down again very quickly. It became very dangerous and he went muzzy in the head. With myself being blind there was nothing I could do to help. So he ate a tin of fruit and some biscuits and fortunately his Bloodsugars came back up and stayed up. The problem with that was that they were then went very high and he ended up needing the bathroom rather a lot. This exhausted him and he was unable to look after me so we were in a pickle.

I became very worried about the whole situation as I myself was not feeling at all well yesterday either. This morning we have made some plans to knock a wall down between our front bedroom and the little bedroom which is also at the front. We have a new stairlift coming in three weeks time which is curved and will go round onto the landing. This will eliminate my husband having to get up the last two steps from the half landing and this will eliminate his falling which he has done quite often. Knocking the two bedrooms together will make a load of difference to us as we can rearrange things in order for me to have a wheelchair upstairs as well. At the moment there is only room upstairs for one wheelchair and that means only my husband can have one. But I also need one now so we have devised this plan which will make a lot of difference and a lot more space. We will take the doors off as we can’t widen them but at least taking the doors off will make a little bit more space for a wheelchair to go through.

As social services have refused steadfastly to help us (we have tried on numerous occasions to get them to help and have given up now) we feel that making alterations to the house will enable us to be independent. I don’t know if any of you who live in the UK have had parsley box meals, which do not need to be stored in the freezer. They sound quite good so we are trying some. They have had very good reviews but if any of you have had them I would be glad if you could let me know what they were like.

We have realised that we have to devise our own methods of surviving, which takes money and effort, but there are ways, as we have thought of a way of financing it.

So as you can see we have been very busy both being ill, and then trying to solve a few problems. I am hoping also still to be able to solve my problems of being able to write on my iPad. We are trying different applications to see if they will work. I know that if I had to give up writing it would be like giving up my whole essence. I could not bear to think of that. So very soon you will be seeing some more extracts from my book. I hope you will enjoy them


In the grey mist light may pierce your soul
Though every turn seem dark and hope be gone
Back clouds may hover deafening thunder roll

Unceasing pain may rage and take its toll
Your mind may often tell you “It is done”
In the grey mist light may pierce your soul

In dark nights angry beasts may seem to prowl
It seems to you that peace cannot be won
Black clouds may hover threatening thunder roll

In life there seems to be no fair but foul
Deadly arrows fly your mind to stun
In the grey mist light may pierce your soul

All is not lost so now make love your goal
Let light invade your heart darkness shun
Black clouds may hover threatening thunder roll

Light always comes at dawn no darkness stole
The love that waits in patience like the sun
In the grey mist light may pierce your soul
Black clouds may hover threatening thunder roll


e spent today attempting still to write. I ended up twice accidentally deleting long pieces that I had written. It was hair tearing out time!

I also got loads of emails that were returned to me as I got the address wrong on them – through blindness! I have resent them. Hope I got it right this time.

It has been a very exhausting day, I practised on my Bluetooth keyboard this afternoon. I have a problem getting it connected to my iPad as I can’t see to do it myself nor feel with my hands, and have to wait for hubby to connect it for me, for three days he would not do it, but today he did. Result – I can type as fast on it as I used to touch type. And that is very fast, however, getting my hands in exactly the right position is hard because I cannot feel the keys so I am having to guess where they are. But….BINGO, I have typed a few paragraphs perfectly. It is a good job that I learned to touch type years ago. It has stood me in good stead now. I am by no means perfect at it, but it is looking hopeful now.

I will be writing more of my book soon. I will post extracts as and when. I am so glad for all your comments so Thankyou.


Tend not to the darkness within your soul,
Except in as much to know that it is light,
Do not let this darkness take you from your goal

It seems that oh so many afflictions roll,
Descend on you, pleasures take their flight,
Tend not to the darkness within your soul

Darkest nights that assail you take their toll,
The pain you know so well begins to bite,
Do not let this darkness take you from your goal

Do not see the part, but know the whole,
That even darkness to your God is bright,
Tend not to the darkness within your soul

Within this state the dark your pleasures stole,
Never had you been in such a plight,
Do not let this darkness take you from your goal

Soon will come a time that ends your toil,
The prize you aimed for then will be in sight,
Tend not to the darkness within your soul
Do not let this darkness take you from your goa

THE CONSENT FORM (repost as my reboot button does not work)

“Sit up,” she said
It was an order
But how could I?
There I was, laid on the sofa
Studying the ceiling had become my chief occupation
My body so weak I could hardly sit up
But she insisted
“Sit up,”
“Have you been constipated?” she had asked
As she examined my lower abdomen
“No, exactly the opposite,” I had said
My antennae were wobbling about
Thinking they had detected something
What had she felt in my abdomen?
If I was honest
My abdomen had not been quite right
Not for some time
But I didn’t want to think about that
“Sit up,” she commanded
What did she want me to sit up for?
I obeyed
And immediately fell into
The hugest retching coughing fit ever
“You’ve got a cough,” she said
“Great observation,” I thought
“It’s O.K.” I said
It’s nothing”
“It’s quite a deep one,” she said
With a look of concern
I continued to cough and retch
She continued to be concerned
“You smell nice,” I said to her
“What have you got on?”
“I have no idea what I have got on,” she said
Her clothes were beautiful
She kept covering up her long black hair
Then the covering slipped revealing her flowing hair again
She was close to me
Very close
I felt her anxiety and worry
It closed around me, suffocating almost
“You need to go to the hospital,” she said
My mind was in denial
“It’s just a cough,” I said
She felt the lumps around my neck again
“You need these lumps looking at
It’s probably only an infection
We need to get you the right antibiotics”
I relaxed, laid back and studied the ceiling again
The embossed pattern on the sofa made my skin itch again
My spots were oozing blood
“Just an allergy,” I said
But inside I knew something serious was going on
I pushed the thought away
“I’ll make an urgent referral,” she said
Now I really WAS worried
Inside my mind I wasn’t going
It was just an allergy
She left
I studied the ceiling again
Not much had changed
It was still the same
Same colour
Same cracks
I began to writhe in agony
My skin was itching, crawling, on fire
“Quick, get water,” I said to my husband
“Put it on my skin “
He did
But my skin was alive
Leading a life of its own
I hadn’t signed the consent form
And neither did I sign the consent form for cancer
But I had it


I wrote this poem, that I just posted, in 2017. I knew then, that I was going blind. Now, I am blindl. Over even just the past week the blindness has become almost a complete blackness.

When I wrote the poem, Ivwas exploring not just physical darkness, but mental and spiritual darkness too. For going physically blind brings with it emotional, mental and spiritual suffering too. At that time, Ibknew that many people fear the darkness. Most people prefer to be in the light. But Ivwas beginning a new journey IN the darkness whether I lied it or not. Strangely, at first, I was kind of excited about this new challenge. What could I do with it?

At that point it had not affected my life too deeply, as I could still see just a LITTLE bit. Began, however, to explore the positive side of the darkness, especially from the spiritual angle. I had heard of “The Dark Night of the Soul”/though I had never read it. I wanted desperately to read t now. Just from my own inner seeking, I had come to the conclusion that in a way, there was much of good to be found in the darkness, and I wrote that the darkness “glowed.”

I then began reading “Dark Night of the Soul,” which was actually written by a monk in the 1600s. He had actually been imprisoned in a tiny room that he could hardly stand up in by his own Order for attempting to reform its. He was given only bread and water. But one of the guards smuggled some writing materials to him, and it was then that he wrote the most beautiful poem about going into the dark night.

I took great comfort from this poem, and for a long time went on a beautiful. Journey into the darkness. It was not a journey without suffering, pain, and problems however. But spiritually speaking, I felt had found wonderful gems in this dark night of mine.

That was then. I wrote poems such as the last one that I just posted, and talked about not fearing the dark nightl. Now, I feel d iffy rentlyl. I fear it very much. I am d.struggling with it. As my ab ility to physically write disappears I find myself becoming more and more afraid. I struggle with becoming blind and although I am doing my best to overcome all the problems I wake every morning in fear. The poem that I wrote in 2017 seems irrelevant now, and yet spiritually speaking, maybe it is not. But I am still trying to find a way through, and often not doing too well. I don’t care what is taken from me. They can take what they like, but if my ability to write is taken from me, then my very lifeblood will have gone. I am still trying to find ways through.


Do not fear the dark night
Nor run fast from its embrace
Seeking only to be in the light

In the darkness we gain clear sight
Here is where we find pure grace
Do not fear the dark night

Often in the darkness we fight
Looking for the smallest trace
Seeking only to be in the light

In the depths we find the height
Of joy and wonder in sacred space
Do not fear the dark night

The dark is luminous, oh so bright
Never could we find a better place
Seeking only to be in the light

My friend, do not be filled with fright,
Here is where you come to see God’s face
Do not fear the dark night
Seeking only to be in the light

EXCERPT FROM MY BOOK AGIN (corrected from earlier)

It was at my grandparents’ farm that I learned what love was. At that time I would not have called it love as the word “love” was never mentioned, and it was only later in time that I realised that that was what it was. It was there, however, that I knew safety and security, and many of the things that go to make up love. My grandparents were not demonstrative and there were no such things as cuddles and hugs. Love was shown in a very practical and unemotional way, but it was nevertheless there. I loved to go there, and experience the joys that were to be found there. Each night my grandmother and I would walk down the long lane to the main road, clasping glass bottles with little plastic blue milk checks in them for the milkman in the mornng. I would be gazing upwards into the vastness of the night sky, and looking in wonder at the thousands of stars twinkling down at me. My grandmother would bring me down to earth barking out at me,

“Watch where you’re going.” Quickly followed by “You’ll come to grief.” I had no idea of what grief was, but from the tone of her voice I knew it was not a very nice place.

“Mind that pothole,” she would say, grasping my hand firmly and pulling me closer to her. I was not, however, to be deterred, and in my curiosity I asked her where God was. It seemed to me that there were so many stars up there that there could hardly be room for God, and although I was only three years old, the one thing I knew about God was that He was big. I have no idea where I had heard about God, as it certainly wasn’t from my grandparents. However, my mind was fully taken up with finding out where God was. I decided that He must be somewhere behind the stars. My grandmother declared that she did not know where He was, but that He must be up there somewhere. As we continued on down the lane, she held onto my tiny hand firmly, and I felt the strength of her habd holding mine. It was a wonderful feeling, and I felt what I was later to find out was a strong sense of love for my grandmother.

Her love showed itself in other ways too, though. Always the questioner, I never let up on asking questions, and she never tired of the continual onslaught. Never did I see irritation in her voice, or see it in her face. In fact, she was always very interested in my questions. Not only that but she was quite playful, if in a rather understated way, too. On an autumn night we would sit by the fire in the range, and she would peel an apple that had been picked in the orchard, and she would give me a piece of apple peel that I threw over my shoulder so that it landed on the floor behind me. We would look to see what letter of the alphabet it formed, and that would be the beginning of the name of the person I would marry.

Many times I would sleep in the big feather bed with my grandmother. She always claimed that she did not sleep very well, and so we devised a game whereby we counted sheep, and announced to each other when we reached the hundred mark, then the two hundred mark, and so on. My grandmother did fall asleep, but I, excited by the game, did not want to fall asleep, and nudged my grandmother awake excitedly at the five hundred mark. She woke up, and in a bleary eyed fashion showed some excitement about my having reached the five hundred mark. She showed no anger or impatience at all.

I loved my nights sleeping in the big bed with her, and would wake up singing every morning.

Just as I learned love here, I also learned about darker things – like death. Here, I had my first introduction to death. It had never occurred to me that we could possibly cease to exist. In my mind, we lived for ever. One day one of the farm animals died, and my Uncle was leaning against the huge sideboard in the big farmhouse kitchen, talking about the animal that had died.

“What does died mean?” I asked. It seemed to be something not very nice, for everyone was somber. It was explained to me that to die was to be no more. To cease to exist. It was a concept that was quite hard for me to get hold of, and I asked if people died too. I was told that they did, and I sat in shock for a while. I suddenly realised that at some point my grandparents and my parents were going to die one day, but not only that, I was going to die too. A darkness came over me, creeping across my childhood innocence. Nothing could ever be the same now. Sensing my distress, my grandmother told me that I need not worry about it now, for this was something that was going to happen way into the future. I tried to dismiss thoughts of death from my mind, but it was difficult. It was not long after that, however, that Joey, my budgie died. He lived in a cage in what we called the middle room of the farmhouse. He was a beautiful blue and white bird, and one morning I went in to greet him as up, and to my horror, found him lying motionless on the floor of his cage. I let out a piercing scream, and my grandmother came rushing in to me. She explained that he had died. I could not get over it, and moped around for days.

And then there were the mice. Always, it seemed, I would hear my grandmother saying, “We’ve got a mouse again.” Then would come the ritual of setting a trap. Sometimes it would only be a matter of hours before we heard the trap go off, and we knew that the mouse was dead. Sometimes as well, one of the many cats would die, and so gradually, I became no stranger to death.

I was to learn, here, that life was not all joy and light. There could be dark times too. Life on a farm has many ups and downs, and is not always idyllic. Yet always, it was to this place that I wanted to return when I was living back with my parents. If life on the farm had its dark times, life with my parents had much darker times. The farm felt safe and secure to me, whilst life with my parents did not. Here, my spirit was broken on many occasions, and I turned into a very anxious child. There was much fighting going on between my parents, and we were constantly having to move. The places we moved to were not very pleasant, and certainly not suitable for a child. My mother would get jobs looking after sick old ladies, who always died in the end. So if I was no stranger to death at the farm, even more so now, did death become my companion. I remember one day returning to what passed as home, and I found my mother and various other people in the hall in a very somber and strained state. My mother pointed to the door of the room where the old lady had resided in her bed, and said to me,

“Don’t go in there.” I wondered why I could not go into the room, and what was happening. It turned out that one of the people in the hall was a doctor, and he had just certified the old lady as dead.


Today I have spent all of my time attempting to write my book. It has become most difficult and frustrating, and I have ended up with a mammoth headache. I cannot seem to find a good way in which to do it. Dream Writer is very difficult for a blind person to use because you cannot see the cursor. Word is terrible also, for a blind person, for all different kinds of reasons.

I haven’t had the chance yet to practise on my Bluetooth keyboard because it requires my husband to connect it to my iPad for me as I cannot see the bit that I need to be able to see in order to connect it. My husband has enough on his plate anyway, looking after the house and me, so I cannot put an extra burden onto him.

It has, all in all, been such a frustrating day. So frustrating in fact that I have eaten a full box of Quality Street chocolates.

I think I am going to go out tomorrow. Fed up with being in. Diary, I am all over the place today. My emotions are all over the place, going from absolutely euphoric to absolute despair!


Take my hand and hear the birdsong,
Smell with me the forest pine,
Feel with me the dew of the morning.

Hear the beat of the bird’s wings flying,
Raise your face up to the moonshine,
Take my hand and hear the birdsong.

Hear the fountain burbling, gurgling,
Taste the taste of wine so fine,
Feel with me the dew of the morning.

Feel the trunk of the old tree leaning,
Touch its bark from ancient time,
Take my hand and hear the birdsong.

Though without sight the world is teeming,
Unable to walk pure joy is mine
Take my hand and hear the birdsong,
Feel with me the dew of the morning.


At that point it was hard to see how there could be life beyond that, but I knew that there must be. I would gradually regain my strength and be able to walk again. I could not see into the future, and know that seven years later I would be completely blind and largely wheelchair bound. I had visions of doing all sorts of things once my strength returned. In fact I was determined to do all sorts of things once my strength returned.

Gradually, I becam able to eat a little more, though many things that I used to like I could no longer eat. I felt such a sense of relief that my chemotherapy sessions were over, and I hoped with all my heart that there would not be any need for any more. It had been a long, hard slog, and all that I wanted to do now was get better.

Thus it was that just before I was due to see the haematologist to hear my fate, I found myself on a journey that I never thought I would go on again. I had no idea whether I would make it to the place I was heading for or not – a place that had receded to the back of my mind throughout my cancer ordeal. It was a tiny little church called St. Edith’s, located in a small hamlet in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside. It had been a very special place to me in the past, and now, finally, it had entered my thoughts again. I desperately wanted to go there, but did not know if I was up to the journey. I don’t think I could really believe that I might make it, and I don’t think I could believe I had done it when I did make it.

It felt so strange going down the long, narrow, unclassified road that led to the tiny stone built church. It had a kind of dream like quality to it. I had been bed bound for eight months, never going anywhere apart from to my chemotherapy sessions, and that one trip to the store with my mother and my husband. As we drew up outside the church and parked at the end of the long path that led up to the door of the church, I gasped. I had made it. It was with a sense of wonder that I beheld that beautiful little church that had been so special to me in the past. I almost felt a stranger to it and it to me. I had been through so much since last I had been there. I was a changed person. I could never be the same again. Yet here it was, the little church that was still the same. It had never changed. But the path had. It had been concreted over and levelled. It was almost as if it had readied itself for my coming. The path used to be very uneven, and almost nothing but a dirt track. But now, it would be easy for me to traverse, though I was not to do it that day. My heart was full of joy, however, to discover that the path was now so level and so safe for me. I could not help but rejoice. We were to discover that the path had only been levelled the day before our arrival.


So much talk
My ears ring as your words clash
Am I really not my self?
I look down
And see that I am still here
Dressed in the same skin
But skin deep is not okay
There has to be more
Or so you say
Maybe I don’t want you to see beyond my skin
For your eyes would not see the same as mine
But who cares?
What we see is what we see
Or not
I learned fast
It is what the heart sees that matters
Only my heart knows the truth
While you say “What is truth?”


I have, over the last few days been reading a book by someone who suffered from leukaemia. I was very interested to read her story which consists of her time during treatment and her time post treatment. She charts everything that happened to her in great detail. It does not make for a pleasant read really, but she writes of her feelings too during this time. She then describes her life once her treatment has ended and how she has to forge a completely new self. She cannot go back to that self that she was. She finds it very difficult living once again in the land of the healthy. It is hard for her to adapt and she realises that this has to be the birth of a new self for her. She attempts to find what this new self must be.

I found this book extremely painful to read, as it put me back in touch with what I would far rather forget. I realised as I read of her struggles post treatment that I myself have often pushed down my true and real feelings in order not to be isolated from other people. However the book has indeed put me back in touch with my real feelings. Often they are deeply painful ones, but in a way that is not a bad thing. What I do find difficult is that my life is now completely curtailed and I spend much of each day in bed due to physical pain and various other things. I realise with sadness and grief how limited my life has become and with little opportunity for a new self to be born. I suppose that writing my book is one way of allowing a new self to be born for I would never in the past have felt confident enough to write a full book.

However, for me, each single movement however small can exhaust me and often it will mean that I have to lie back on my pillow for some time to get over it. Sometimes I am able, with great difficulty to get dressed, go downstairs, make my way to the car, and go out for a drive.

I am writing these things in my diary entry because I am seeking honestly away for my new self to be born. What might that self look like? How will it be? How can this happen within the confines of my own illness and declining health?

That is the journey that I am on at this moment, and it takes all my energy travelling on it. I am happy that at least I can still for the moment, write. I think that without that I would go under completely so I am very grateful that I still have this ability.


Shave off the years that held your heart in fear,
Start now at this new place, shorn
Vulnerable, exposed, but free.

For so long now your life was ruled, your ear
Heard only guttural sounds, desolate, forlorn,
Shave off the years that held your heart in fear.

In vulnerability find love’s meaning dear,
It is for this that you were born,
Vulnerable, exposed, but free.

Take the risk, your liberation ynow is near,
Your fear has always been your thorn,
Shave off the years that held your heart in fear.

Grasp, in your nakedness, this void, and steer
Your life to pastures new and warm,
Vulnerable, exposed, but free.

Learn the truth, wipe every tear
Precipitated by the storm,
Shave off the years that held you in your fear,
Vulnerable, exposed, but free


I have been very busy writing my book and it seems that at the moment ideas are just flying and flying in. I am getting them down as quickly as possible and so far I have done seven chapters. I have been reading another book by someone who had leukaemia and the book brought back so many memories for me. In some ways that was good and in others it wasn’t as it was rather painful. I have not finished reading the book yet so I do not know how it ends.

Apart from that we had some tall double gates fitted at the side of our house just before Christmas and although the workmen seemed really really good the gates will not stay closed and they blow open when it is windy. this is really difficult as we have a dog and the gates are there to keep the dog in. Fortunately we have a back garden with patio doors opening onto it so she uses those doors now but unfortunately it rather dirties is the dining room carpet LOL.

I am feeling really tired at the moment as I have been writing all day. I think I might take a bit of a break tomorrow.