The madman came and put his axe to the tree
Hell bent on cutting out its sacred core
Demons gathered to watch the killing spree

The sap rose then on seeing the madman’s glee
The tree stood tall ready to go to war
The madman came and put his axe to the tree

Red berries glistened in its sturdy lee
Mesmerised the madman watched blood pour
Demons gathered to watch the killing spree

The madman believed that he was truly free
In spewing evil opening hell’s door
The madman came and put his axe to the tree

Holy innocence cried to One in Three
Blood and water cleansed the madman’s gore
The madman came and put his axe to the tree
Demons gathered to watch the killing spree


I see the stars in the vast night sky
And wonder what there is beyond
I know I can reach them if I try
Nothing for me now is too high
I cannot let life pass me by
I do not need a magic wand
I see the stars in the vast night sky
And wonder what there is beyond


Today has been a day of flinging bottles! Plastic bottles full of water! I hardly knew I had done it. I think they call it angst lol. I felt a bit better after it and I really recommend it lol. Fortunately I was with someone who understood, and he cleared up the water for me and re- filled the bottle for me! I think I might have said a few choice words – and I can really recommend that too! So all in all, a good day! I am considering doing it all again tomorrow! Oh and one more thing, when I typed the word “Diary” I nearly typed the word “Sighary” though not on purpose, though Imdont think it is a bad word lol

JUST A STORY cont. (Part 2)

Link to Part 1:

The wood pigeons called plaintively from the nearby woods. Kat sat in her bed listening to them. The scenes of seven years ago came back to her, and it was almost as if she was back there. The wood pigeons were calling then, too, only it was mid summer then. Now, it was Spring. The time when new life bursts forth. Kat had just had her seventy third birthday, and she had been thinking back over her life. Inevitably she went back in her thoughts to that day when she so rudely interrupted her mother’s shopping trip. She had spent her life knowing that she was not meant to have been born, and indeed, just seven years ago, that had been made plain once again. On that day too, Kat had been sat, or rather, half lying, in her bed, which at that time was in the living room. She had cancer. She had resisted strongly the idea of having a bed downstairs, but in the end had to give in, to make it easier for her disabled husband to look after her. On this day, her mother and her brother were sitting in chairs, close to each other, in the window. No one was speaking much, but the wood pigeons ons never seemed to stop calling. They had plenty to say.

Kat was overcome by the horrific itch that her cancer had produced, and the pain in her body, and, suddenly she wanted her mother like she had never wanted her before. She held out her arms to her, asking her mother to come to her and hold her, but her mother turned Her head towards her brother, pursing her lips, and then saying “Ugh,” as if Kat was the most repulsive and disgusting thing on this earth. Her brother looked at her mother and smiled and nodded, in agreement.

Kat limply let her arms fall back onto the bed, in utter disbelief that a mother could do this to a daughter who had cancer and was so sick. She knew that her mother had always been cruel and abusive, but this level of cruelty shocked her. The wood pigeons carried on calling, and were all that was to be heard in the heavy silence of the room. Bright as they were, the sound was like a death knell to Kat.


Jim and Sue had always had dogs. Rough collies. Jade came to them as a five month old puppy and she was the liveliest and fastest dog they had ever had. She was also the funniest and the most affectionate.

Jade’s breeder had always SHOWED some of her dogs and Jim and Sue thought they might have a go at it – just for fun. They had never particularly been in the world of showing dogs before and so had to learn all the ropes.

Obedience class was fun. Except that Jade and obedience did not go together at all. However, Jim and Sue persevered. Usually the classes TURNED into a fiasco, with Jade refusing to do what she was told. However, after a few months she began to settle down, and it was decided that the time had come to enter her in a Show.

The annual Show in a small tourist town drew in many people and was famous throughout the county. Everyon and his mate seemed to go there. The dog show was usually very popular, and it was with great excitement, tinged with a rather large wallop of apprehension that Jim and Sue waited for their turn to show Jade. Jade was also rather excited, but without the apprehension! Into the ring Jim went at the appointed time, Jade raring to go. She promptly forgot every bit of training she had ever had, in the joy of the moment. Beetles were her favourite things, and there were, apparently, many of them in the grass. When the Judge came to look at her and feel her frame, Jade showed her no RESPECT whatsoever. She had beetles on her mind!

The whole thing was a disaster, with Jade being virtually thrown out of the show. It was an experience that Jim and Sue were never to repeat.


My Diary Entry for today is not very uplifting!
Sometimes you feel as if everything and everyone is against you. This is how it was for me on Wednesday.

Things had been leading up to this for some time, but I never knew they could get as bad as they did.

My mother’s estate has just been sorted out. It went to Probate as she did not make a Will. Well, that was not eactly true, as she did make ine but did not sign it. So ut was null and void.

Everything became extremely complicated! My mother, in that unsigned Will, that she made up with a solicitor, left her house plus all monies except a little bit, to my sister. My sister knew this.

However, the Law said that everything should go three ways as I have a brother too.

It all got sorted, and my brother gave his share to my siter underva Deed of Variation that we all had to sign. I still got my share, as the Law dictated.

The problem has been that my sister is livid. She rings us up constantly, spewing venim out at us for taking what she saw as her money. She kept going on rabidly about my mother’s wishes and that I should not have got any money.

It went on and on and it was awful, with her ringing our mobiles at 7 in the morning. We had to put up with a tirade each time.

We have now blocked her number, but it has been a terrible time. Such terrible accusations made against us.

I never wanted the money anyway, as my mother was horribly abusive and I wanted nothing to do with the money.

It has just been a horrible few weeks, culminating in this. I have been out of sorts for a while n ow, and my blog has suffered. I hope we can get. A. Bit back to normal now, now that we have blocked her.


One day I will climb a big hill again,”
So said I to my friend in deep longing
As I spoke I did not know where or when
One day there will be a new beginning
Memories sharpen the pain that I feel
I did not expect to be cut down young
The plans I had made i cannot reveal
Nor the facile assumptions oh so wrong
Now the hill I climb is deep in my heart
Struggling to do just the tiniest things
Pushing the light and the darkness apart
Trying so hard to believe I have wings
I fall into the void that’s left behind
My life taken up with the daily grind


It was 4.30. In the afternoon when Kat was born. She hadn’t been wanted in the first place, but now, she had committed the cardinal sin of arriving on the scent just as Lillian was shopping in her favourite store. It was a Monday, and though heavily pregnant, Lillian had been unable to resist the call of the shops having had one full day, a Sunday, without them. Indeed, that was Lillian’s life – scanning the shops for any bargain that was to be had. When a certain percentage was announced as being knocked off all items in store, Lillian was the first to be there. Always, she returned home with goods that she did not really want or need, but her thirst for a bargain had been satisfied. That was how it always was, right the way through her long life. Ninety three years to be exact. But Lillian could never forgive Kat for arriving just when her favourite store had cut fifty percent off everything. Kat had to carry that burden throughout her life. At least, that was what she had thought the burden was for some time, but it transpired that the real burden that she had to carry was being born at all.

When Kat found out about this she began to understand a lot of things that had happened to her in her childhood. Well, kind of. She could never understand the depth of the cruelty that Lillian had meted out to her.

Kat had watched other kids, and seen how their lives were different to hers. They were allowed to play out. They went on family outings. They had birthday parties. But most of all, their mothers hugged and loved them. Oh yes, they told them off every now and then, and sometimes they were grounded for a while, but there was nothing as sinister as Kat had to endure. Kat remembered the day she was held over a fast flowing river, with a stone wall between her and Lillian, who was dangling her with just her hands over the river. Lillian forced Kat to look at the foam below and told her she would soon be in it and that she would die in the water. As Kat heard these words, she felt herself starting to slip from Lillian’s grasp. Terror struck her, but Lilian pulled her back just in time. Kat was shaken, but Lillian then took her to the grass on the bank of the river, and said,

“It’s nice here. Look at this nice grass.” Kat was unable to think that anything was nice at that moment, and knew that she could never feel safe again with Lillian. Kat was three years old.

FOWC. Vacant

Beryl bustled into the room expecting to see him awake and sitting up in bed. She’d rushed to the hospital late that morning, and gone to the restaurant for some lunch before going to see him. Ten dats he’d been there, following a stroke. It had seemed minor enough, but his speech had been taken. Still he had been expected to recover and they had been talking about rehabilitation.

She was shocked by what she found. He was lying there completely still, his eyes open, but not breathing. The nurse was taking his pulse. Motioning Beryl to take his hand, she counted. Then,

“He’s gone,” she said.

Beryl hardly knew what to do with herself. Having moved to the foot of the bed she looked down at him saying,

“I had three children by him.”

The nurse moved out of the room for a few moments, then came back.

“Come along Mrs. hill,” she said. “We’ve got some papers to sign.”

Beryl walked along the corridor with the nurse looking VACANT.


She was not much of a one for showing JOY. It was almost as if something wthin her recoiled at the thoughts of being so expressive. It was the same with everything. She couldn’t show love ether, even to her children. She was once beard to say,

“I wish I could cry but I can’t.” Even THANKS were alien to her.

Towards the end of her life sheeeded a lot of SUPPORT. Eventually confined to bed, the pain still showed in her eyes that she had never been able to express.

She died one dark rainy night, her children all gathered around her. They said their goodbyes, and then suddenly, there it was on her face, after she had stopped breathing – one solitary tear.


As some of you know, yesterday was my birthday! I am not going to tell you how old I was, but think Methuselah lol.

Anyway, it has led me to think quite a lot. So much seems to have happened during the past year, what with the pandemic and lockdowns etc. I know that lockdown has taken its toll on many people. In a way though, not much changed for me, since I am quite isolated anyway. I must admit though, that it would be nice to meet with other people sometimes.

Over the past year my blindness has got much worse until now, I really struggle with my blog, and with interacting with others. Since that happened I seem to have lost contact with a lot of people, for which I am very sad.

I am still working very very hard on my book, and I feel that when it is finished it will find a niche somewhere, opportunities for writing and getting my writing out there keep opening up to me in various ways, for which I am grateful.

My life now is a far cry from what it used to be, and some days it is difficult not to give in to sadness. In my head I am still 18 years old lol.

Seclusion from other people does not really suit me. I have always been a people person – but now, I am having to learn a new way of life. I guess that writing is what sees me through now. It is my lifeblood.

I was so happy yesterday, on my birthday,to receive my copies of the poetry Anthology, “The Sound of Brilliance.” This is a wonderful Anthology produced by Susi Bocks of “I Write Her.” It felt so amazing and wonderful to hold this book in my hands, though I can see none of it. Some of my own poems are featured in there too, but I cannot see or read them!

There are some amazing poets featured in that book, which is available on Amazon. I am sorry but I am no good at doing links now,with my blindness.

There are so many ways in which my blindness hampers my life now. But we get through somehow, though many days I do feel intensely sad. Especially at this most beautiful time of the year. Ah well……we travel on!

I AM A WOOLWORTHS BABY! A Repost from 2019

My Rebblog button won’t work!

Quite a lot of years ago (ahem!) my mother went into labour with me on this date in Woolworths!

A couple of years later I got lost in Woolworths! My mother let go of my hand, and I wandered off (I’m not much different today, always wandering off in my wheelchair at all of four miles an hour !)

Sadly, Woolworths has closed down now. I am not intending to follow them lol

FOWC. Finesse
She wasn’t really made for this kind of thing. Bert often wondered why he had married her. But reallY, he knew why. She was able to satisfy his carnal urges. Burcshe certainly had no FINESSE.

The Works Dinner was a total disaster. All the Managers, including Bert, were sat there at the table, and Betty after tasting the rather dry wine, without any more ado, asked for the sugar bowl to be passed to,whereupon she tipped almost the whole lot intonher glass of wine.

“That’s better,” she was heard to say. Eat cringed. Not for the first time, and probably not for the last!


I am so happy to announce that “The Sound of Brilliance” is now published and available on Amazon in either paper back or e-book form. Susi Bocks of “I Write Ger. The Short of It” has worked so hard to get this book published, and I am SO happy to have had five of my poems published in this Anthology. If you wish to have a copy, you can find it on Amazon.


Babs stood up looking, for her, surprisingly shaky.
“Errm, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news about Adele. Sadly she has died.”

A murmur went around the room.

“I saw someone sitting outside the bungalow all dressed in black, and I wondered who it was,” said Babs. “I went to talk to her and she said she was Brigitte, Adele’s sister. She had come over from France to be at her bedside. But sadly she died just before Brigitte got there.

Another murmur went around the room.

“So now they’re looking for a murderer,” shouted out Harold. “That damned monk. Where the hell has he got to.”

“No, you’re wrong,” Babs said. “Turns out that Brother Gordon was actually Adele’s real brother. When she came to England he followed her, and became a Franciscan monk and lived in the House of Brothers in the town. They’re not too strict an Order and they do various things in the town, like teaching. So he could come and see Adele fairly regularly. But Brigitte didn’t know why he had run away. She’s very worried about him.”

There was now a shocked silence in the room.

“Poor Adele,” Col was heard to say. “We’d better get onto this and see if we can find Brother Gordon. He might be in need of help.”

Mrs. Gill and Dawn looked down, almost in tears.

“Now come on,” said Tina. “I’ll give you both a free hair do tomorrow. We can’t have you getting too down and depressed. About this.

“ No one’s safe any more,” sniffled Mts. Gill. “I don’t know wha,t’s coming to our society.”

“Who’d want to kill an innocent 82 year old French woman in a small town like this? said Rick, shaking his head.

“Druggies?” suggested Babs. “Some came and burgled our house one day. Walked right in in the middle of the afternoon. We were in the garden.”

“Oh, so that’s why your house is lie Fort Knox now,” laughed Harold.

“You shut up,” snapped Babs. It’s no laughing matter. You can’t be too careful.”

“Shame you wasn’t more careful when you started taking everyone’s fence down,” barked Harold.

“Now let’s all calm down,” said Col. “ we don’t want to make matters worse than they already are”.

Babs sat down and stared into her drink. They had never known her this subdued before.

Lily started to muse on all that had happened since they had moved there. This took the biscuit, but she still hadn’t really got over the time they found a kind of “shrine” to Hitler in their loft. They’d had to have a new roof on the house, and one day the roofer called down to her,

“Hey, are you Germans?”

“No,” Lily had replie, “Why?”

“Well there’s like a shrine to Hitler up in your loft.”

“WHAT!” exclaimed Lily. “Joe, come here, quick.”

“You’d better come up here and have a look,” shouted the roofer.

Joe was up there in a trice. He was shocked at what he saw. There were photos of Hitler, along with men in black uniforms, and pictures of queues of people in long lines being herded into buildings. He attempted to pick up the pictures, some of which were pinned to the rafters, but they crumbled in his hands. He was utterly shocked by the fact that these were actual photographs and not pictures from a book or newspaper or magazine.

She turned to Joe and shuddered.

“Do you remember our roofer finding that shrine to Hitler in our loft?”

“Yes,” said Joe. “That was a queer do as well.”

Rick, who had been fairly quiet, suddenly sprang to lffe.

“What’s that?” he inquired.

“Oh well, it was a few months back,” said Joe. “Shook us up a bit at the time. Then Babs told us there had been a German family living there some years ago.

“Crikey,” exclaimed Rick.

Babs overheard what was being said, and chimed in, “Yes, that WAS a queer do as well.” Overcome by everything, she went back to staring into her drink.

Connie suddenly banged from behind the barl

“Come on. Let’s get on. We’ve got a Quiz to get on with.”


Well, when Gemma and Lisa were clearing out our house last Sunday they came across one of my poetry books called “Poems Without Sugar. They started reading it, and became engrossed. Today another lady rang, from the Council (Gemma and Lisa were organised by the Council for us) and she is the one kind of overGemma and Lisa. The lady said they had told her about my poetry,and then she had told her Manager.They were cock a hoop about it, and I have now been asked by the Manager to write some poems for them about COVID and how it has affected us and how we feel about it, plus, they want any poems about my blubdbess and my cancer! WOW! They aware wanting to get them “out there,”=whatever that means. So I am feeling a bit dock a hoop myself now, I do confess to finding COVID a difficult subject to write about however, so we’ll see if I can get inspired or not. What a strange thing to happen from a house clearance!


I suppose that if I had thought too hard about the future, having been given the news that I was going blind, I would have been panic stricken. In fact, I did have the occasional panic attack about it, and I made the decision then, to try to live in the present moment. I would ask myself if I was alright at this moment, and the reply was always in the affirmative, and so all was well, for that time. I could cope. Total blindness seemed a long way off at that point. I decided that whatever happened, I was going to live a normal life. Blindness was not going to stop me doing that. At that stage I was an optimist. Whether I was in denial, or living an illusion, I have no idea, but I guess for all of us, we deal with devastating news in our own way, the best way we can. Life is often a bit like a case of “suck it and see.” We have never been in that particular position before, and we are in uncharted territory. There was certainly no formula that I could follow. Maybe I was living in cloud cuckoo land at first. Who knows. It was not that there were no difficulties. There were. Many of them. But somehow or other, I managed to rise above it. My greatest love was nature, and in particular the birds. Before my cancer diagnosis I had been an avid bird

EXCERPT FROM MY BOOK – Chemotherapy Ward

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I felt myself to be under extreme pressure. The “in” word seemed to be “positive,” and I was exhorted to “fight the battle.” For me, it wasn’t like that, and I couldn’t comply with anybody at all. In fact, I was shit scared. I remember saying to my priest of that time that no one else seemed scared. They all seemed quite relaxed about it and to terms with it. He replied to me that you only see what is on the surface, but underneath, everyone who gets cancer is scared.

I am now going to say things that may well go against the grain. Let’s be clear about it – cancer stinks, and I am going to tell it as it really is or was for me and still is.

There is one particular incident that sticks out in my mind from when I had cancer and it is this – I was laid on my bed in a little cubby hole type room that was part of the Chemotherapy Ward and I heard laughter – the most raucous laughter. The laughter came from one of the other patients who had popped into the Ward to top up her chemotherapy. All the other patients, about twenty in all, were sitting on chairs packed closely together to receive their chemotherapy. I was laid virtually naked on a bed, for I could not bear clothes on my skin. It had been, as I have stated before, badly affected by my cancer. The person laughing was standing up fully clothed, in tight jeans and other fasionable attire. I could not imagine how she could wear such tight clothing when I could bear nothing on my skin.

The laughter pierced me. How could anybody laugh like that? This was a cancer ward for God’s sake! It seemed so incongruous to me, in my highly anxious state. People DIED from this!

In the background a radio station was playing – the Presenter speaking cheerfully. Music was playing, and all the nurses who were delivering chemotherapy to people were wiggling their bottoms in time to the music. The atmosphere in the ward was laid back . But none of the patients were talking to each other. Some talked to the nurses when it was their turn to be attended to – pumps being adjusted, observations being made and various other things.

My brain could not take all of this in. How could people laugh? How could they be so laid back?

I felt like the proverbial fish out of water. I was not like this. I could not be lighthearted. I was terrified. This was the worst thing ever to have happened to me. And I was no stranger to serious illness, having had advanced T.B. in my late twenties. Half the time I did not know what was happening to me- or what the nurses were doing. No one had primed me. No one had told me anything about chemotherapy. The ward was full of strange noises, and I had no idea of what was happening. Everything sounded urgent and terrifying. At one point a nurse passed by carrying a container full of vomit and the smell filled the ward. Yet still, the nurses moved to the music wiggling their bottoms.

Before I went for chemotherapy I had no idea at all that it was to be delivered in a set of five bags. It was both a surprise and a shock to me. First one bag was attached to me then about half to three quarters of an hour later another one. And so it would go on. It took about four hours altogether – if all went well which it usually didn’t. But at no stage did anyone explain anything to me. I had no idea why my machine beeped at certain points – it terrified me – I thought something life threatening was happening, all it meant was that the bag had delivered all its contents into my vein and needed changing. But I did not know that. I thought that something was wrong and that I was dying.

The world of cancer and chemotherapy was a shock to me. Most of the time the equipment either didn’t work, or went on a Go Slow, probably because it was past its Use By date. Often, equipment was not even available, because the hospital did not have enough money to keep its stocks topped up. So nurses had to compromise, and patients suffered. On one occasion the hospital pharmacy did not deliver patients’ chemotherapy drugs on time – they were six hours late, because a piece of equipment had broken down in the pharmacy. At that point, because they were not needed to deliver the drugs into the patients’ veins, they retreated into the Staff Room and left the patients to fend for themselves. For me, this was disastrous, for, whilst everyone else was able to walk to the toilet, I was not able to, and I was unable to get the attention of a nurse so that my needs could be attended to.

The whole atmosphere in the chemotherapy ward was not at all what I had expected it to be. As patients, we had to watch out for ourselves. For instance, one of my chemotherapy drugs had to be stored in the refrigerator, but in order for it to be delivered into my vein, it had to be taken out of the refrigerator and left to stand and warm up for at least an hour. Often, the nurse dealing with me did not know this, and I had to tell her. Then, because we often had Agency Nurses, they did not know where things were and we, the patients, had to tell them. On one occasion, an Agency Nurse who had just worked an eight hour night shift, was my nurse for the day, and she fell asleep in the chair at the side of my bed whilst she should have been watching the progress of the machine delivering my chemotherapy. I had to wake her up. She then proceeded to spill some of the drug onto my skin, and so I was covered on my arm with a highly toxic drug.

I found it extremely hard to get over the lax atmosphere in the chemotherapy ward, and I dreaded going. On one occasion the nurse decided to close the doors to my little cubby hole, and she left me without a button to press if I needed anyone. I was unable to get anyone’s attention when I needed to have a commode. In addition my water had been taken away from me.

I do not know, to this day, how any of us survived the chemotherapy ward – and yet we did. It was not a comfortable or a reassuring place to be.

To be continued.


Sometimes “Goodbyes” can go on for a long time, and sometimes they catch us unawares. It doesn’t have to be “Goodbyes” to people either.

We have been having a very busy and interesting time! We have employed a team of people (well, two to be exact) to clear out our house so that we can actually walk (well, wheel,) through the house. The team consists of Gemma and Lisa, two wonderful ladies, who are finally sorting us out.

When we first moved to this house in 2009 we had a terrible move. We moved from Derbyshre to Lincolnshire, and the removal firm turned out to be terrible. They promised so much, but delivered so little, and caused havoc for us. Hubby was unexpectedly in hospital on the day of the move, having fallen at the old house two days before the move, and snapped his foot off. I moved on my own. But he was over 100 miles away! Despite the boxes having the room into which they were to go, written on them, they put lots of them into the garage, without me knowing

The removal men took advantage of the situation, since I had to be on the phone to the hospital a lot, and piled boxes high up to the ceiling in the kitchen also, so that I could not even get to the kitchen sink.

We never got sorted out from that, as we had nothing but illness, disability thrown onto us, and various other things. My cancer and resulting blindness was one of them. Plus me landing up in a wheelchair too, alongside hubby, and often still too ill to get out of bed.
Then we got the pandemic! Now that REALLY messed our lives up. We were scared to have people in the house, and both of us were shielded anyway, which basically meant we were alone. We even stopped my sister coming in to clean for us as she tended to get everywhere and we had no idea what she might be carrying.

The upshot was that hubby was unable to cope. He hoarded stuff too! Things ended up in a terrible mess so that every surfece and every floor was FULL! It was horrendous, and with me being blind too, and in drastically declining health, life was impossible.

Finally we contacted Social Services in despair one day, just about the house (they had refused us any other help about four times already) and they did put us in touch with Gemma and Lisa, who work for themselves.

Gemma and Lisa are absolute treasures. They have been going through our house, getting rid of stuff, taking it to the tip, getting people to take unwanted furniture away, etc. They are giving the house a deep clean too. Things had got worse and worse throughout the pandemic so you can imagine the state things were in.

Once all this is done, Gemma is going to come regularly – twice a week – to clean for us.

You will not be able to imagine just HOW MUCH of a relief all this is! To be clean again!

But just before the pandemic (well, towards the end of 2019] my mum died. It was surprising just how much of her was still in this house. On Sunday Gemma found a bag of cushions and wanted to know what to do with them. Not being able to see, I had to have her describe them to me. Two of them ere particularly poignant ones for me, as my mum had bought them for me. I had to let them go but as I cannot see things anyway I would never have seen them again.

It has been like that with a lot of things. Sunday was a very practical but very emotional day as I said “Goodbye” to so much – people, places, bits of myself and what I used to be. I used to be a lecturer and researcher and I LOVED the cut and thrust of the academic world, harsh though it could be at times. All those egos! Lol.

I cried a lot of tears. You say “Goodbye” to so much of yourself when you become sick and disabled and when you lose your sight too. You have to try and re-create yourself in a new and much reduced way. The emotional impact of this can be enormous. There are days when the “Goodbyes” are so strong that you feel overwhelmed. Fortunately I have found one very good and new friend who simply holds me and lets me cry, or even on occasions almost SCREAM it all out. I owe so much to him. He happens to be a priest, but he likes me to think of him as a friend. He is the best friend I ever had.

I do not know what I think and feel about faith or God any more. Sometimes this creeps into my writing. I think we can be almost brainwashed in our younger years, but yet I do think we all have a well deep within us from which we can drink when we need to, and we may think the well has dried up, but then it kind of springs up again. Quite unexpectedly very often. Some might call that God, but I don’t know. Some might call it our real selves. It might just be a spark. I honestly do not know. I would ove to hear youe own experiences if you have any, of this well. Or just your thoughts.

And are we just dust in the end or what?

I wrestle with these things, and I think my book will show some of that.

I would be really interested to hear your views.


Sitting outside in the dark
Under the willow tree
I hide a million woes
I need to go
But where?
Suddenly my heart has broken
Like a carrier bag
Spilling all its contents
No words could explain
The mess on the lawn
Nor can it
Be scooped up
I sit here
Torn open
A stitch in tine saves nine
They say
There was no stitch
And a cat has nine lives
But I am not a cat
And so I sit


Lily and Joe had not been to many Quiz Nights before, and Lily wondered just what the attraction was. Rick had managed to whet her appetite however – though not for the food that went with it! The thoughts of all those rats hiding in the drain that ran at the side of the pub made her cringe – though according to Babs she knew some of them personally!

As Lily and Joe entered the pub, people were beginning to gather. Not knowing anyone all that well, they did not quite know where to sit – but then Lily spied Rick, and made a beeline for him. Though he could be touchy, and lovedhe Beatles, whom Lily hated, they did at least have bird watching in common. And writing poetry!

“Mind if we sit with you?” asked Lily.

“Not at all,” replied Rick. “Glad you could make it. We’ll make up a team.”

Everyone fell silent for a moment, not quite knowing what to say. Then Lily piped up,

“Seen any good birds larely?”

That got Rick going!

“Yeah. I saw a goshawk the other day,” replied Rick, and then he proceeded with a long, and much blown up story, Lily suspected, about seeing the only goshawk that had ever been seen in the area. He recounted the story of how nobody would believe him, and how hard done by he felt about this. Lily and Joe gave each other a quick glance, knowing that they mustn’t say anything to Rick that might make him go off on one. They didn’t want to ruin the evening right at the start!

“Well I’m sure you know what you’re talking about,” said Lily, attempting to flatrer him concerning his knowledge about birds, especially those of the rare variety.

“We might get some questions on the Beatles,” suggested Joe. “And that would put us in good stead for winning, with your knowledge, Rick,” once again trying to smooth down Rick’s permanently ruffled feathers.

No one knew quite what chip Rick had on his shoulder, but he was always taking the huff and going off in a mood. And this wasn’t the night for upsetting him, especially as Col was sitting next to them with The Brothers. Always ready to enter into the fight for a just cause, who knows what they might have done if Rick had allowed his permamently ruffled feathers to get the better of him and started spouting about the injustice of everything!

Lily’s eyes suddenly alighted on Babs, sitting a few tables away with Tim and her daughter Michelle who worked for a Travel Company and got to travel round the world sampling different holidays. Lily and Joe didn’t know Michelle very well, except through Babs’s constant chatter about her, regaling them with tales of the phenomenally high temperatures she was enjoying in some exotic part of the world. For once though, Babs was looking strangely downcast. It was obvious that she was not quite herself, and her saucercer eyes had dwindled to being tiny coffee cup sized saucer eyes.

“Wonder what’s up with her,” Joe remarked.

“Oh I don’t know,” said Lily. “ Probably Tim left a leaf on the pavement when he was sweeping up.”

“Yeah, probably,” replied Joe. “I wouldn’t like to have to live his life. Never a moment’s peace.”

But Lily kept glancing at Babs, feeling quite worried about her. Something wasn’t quite right, and Lily felt decidedly apprehensive.

“Ooh look. There’s Harold and a couple of his cronies,” said Lily suddenly, her mind being taken off Babs and whatever had befallen her.

“Good job he’s a couple of tables away from Babs,” said Joe.

“Yes,” said Lily. “Especially with Babs in the mood she seems to be in.

Lily looked at Babs again, and wondered. She had never seen Babs quite like this before.

Suddenly, Rick, who had been akmost asleep, having worked three long nights in a row as a Security Guard, came to life again. rambling on about the Beatles.

“Can’t say they’re my favourites,” said Lily. “I’m more of a Rolling Stones fan myself.”

Rick started to bristle , and Lily realised she had said something wrong. Col and The Brothers shifted in their sears, and held themselves in readiness to sort any trouble out.

“Aww come on Rick. Live and let live,” said Joe. “Let’s not spoil the evening.” Rick looked a bit shamefaced and began to settle down a bit.

The place was really starting to fill up now. Connie, the landlady came round to each table placing condiments on them ready for the food that was to follow the Quiz.

“We don’t want any food thanks,” Lily said, when she got to their table. “ We hear you’ve got a bit of a problem with rats. Some of them turned up in our garden the other week.”

“Oh dear,” said Connie. “Well everythingis under control now, I can assure you.”

“Thanks but I’dcstill rather give it a miss if you don’t mind.”

Connie shrugged her shoulders. Abd then left them alone.

Shortly after that Lily notuced that Mrs. Gill had turned up, along with Dawn from down the road, and Tina who owned the hairdressers shop next door to Mr. Singh. Dawn suffered badly from depression, and Tina had been known to give her a free hair do to try and cheer her up a bit. Lily stood up and waved at rs. Gill, and Mrs. Gill waved back.

“She’s having a late night out,” said Joe.

“Yes, jt’ll probably do her a power of good,” said Lily. “I understand she’s never really got over her husband dying. He was a tad religious by all accounts. Wenl regularly to Mass at the Catholic church. Mind you, some say he did it to get away from her a bit. She was so fussy and he couldn’t get a minute’s rest. She always had him doing jobs.”

“Well he’s certainly got his rest now,” said Joe. “He probably died of exhaustion.”

Suddenly, Connie was banging loudly from behind the bar, to get everyone’s attention. Rick, who had fallen into a deep sleep, woke up with a start and an exclamation.

“Can we all just be quiet for a moment or two please. Babs has an annuncement to make.”


“Whatt do you make of it all?” Lily asked Joe that night.

“I don’t know,” replied Joe. There certainly are some strange characters round here. “

“I wonder if it’s all true about Adele,” said Lily. “All that stuff about the Moulin Rouge and all that. And how did she meet that monk in the first place? “

“Yes,” said Joe. “I wonder what Babs says about US?”
“Oh, pobably that we come from gypsies or something. And that we used to live in a gypsy caravan,” said Lily.

Lily and Joe started to laugh.

“Maybe we should egg her on a bit,” said Joe.

“I don’t think she needs much of that,” said Lily. “Hey, I went to see Mrs. Gill today. Wondered if she had heard about anything. She had a thing or two to tell me about Babs and Tim. She’s not a bad old stick. She invited me into the house and it’s so spick and span you could eat off the floor almost. She’s really fussy.”

“Better keep her away from our house then,” said Joe.
“Do you fancy going to Qiz Night at the pub tomorrow?” asked Lily. “You never know what we migh find out there. I saw Rick the other day. You know, the one who goes bird watching. He goes to Quiz Night.”

“Oh, does he live round here then?” inquired Joe.

“Yes, he lives up near the butchers on the estate. He was right surprised to see me. We had a good natter. Really upset he was. He’d had a row in the bird hide. He reckoned someone attacked him verbally for pinching his place inside the bird hide.”

“Oh he would get upset,” remarkes Joe. “He’s a very sensitive soul underneath all that bluster.”

“I know,” said Lily. “Did you know he writes poetry, and plays the piane? Beatles songs usually. There’s nothing he doesn’t know about the. Beatles. But he composes his own songs too. Usually about lost love.”

“Does he still put photos of himself on Facebook?” asked Joe.

“Oh I don’t know,” replied Lily. “I don’t go on there any more. It’s boring. I know Rick fancied himself a bit though, and hoped he would get some female interested in him. He gets the huff a bit too easy though. You only have to say one word to him and he’s off.”

We’d better watch it if we go to Quiz Night then,” said Joe.

“Yeah. I’m not having anything to eat though Joe. I’m a bit worried about them rats. “

“It’s terrible about Adele thoh,” said Joe.

“It is,” said Lily. “Just sometimes she would be sitting outside in the sun when I went past her house on the way to the butchers. She always spoke to me real nice. I liked her from what I knew of her. She always smiled at me. Seems she was a bit of a dark horse though. I wonder if she was religious, having that monk go so often.”

“You never know,” replied Joe. Some people in France are very religious. Though I wouldn’t think the Moulin Rouge and religion would go together.”

“Oh I don’t know,” said Lily. “Maybe she had a few Confessions to make,” said Lily, laughing.

“Or maybe he was a rogue monk,” said Joe. I wonder where hevis anyway? And why did he run away?”

“Well whatever, I hope Adele recovers,” said Lily. “I heard she was beaten pretty badly. If she doesn’t recover it will be a hunt for a murderer.”

“So sad,” said Joe, shaking his head.

“Did you know there had been a murder up Brant Avenue once before?” said Lily.

“No,” said Joe.

“Yes, Mum told me about it, but she couldn’t remember the details. Said she’d never go to live down there after that.”

“It certainly makes for a very interesting life though,” said Joe. “It’s better than telly anyway. I wonder what Babs and Harold are going to get up to next?”


The thing about busy roads is that people don’t get to know their neighbours across the road. That was not true, however, of Babs and Adele. Babs seemed to know everything about Adele. Including that she had had quite a penchant for a monk from the local House of Brothers. According to Babs, the monk used to visit her often. There had always been a sense of mystery about Adele, but one always had the sense that at one time her life had been quite colourful. Coming from the South of France, she moved, with her parents, to Paris as a child, and eventually, it was rumoured, she danced at the Moulin Rouge Night Club as an exotic dancer. Nowadays, however, it was very rare to see her outdoors. So when the men in hazmat suits were seen going into her bungalow, everyone in the area was agog. The next day it became all the talk at the local corner shop owned by Mr. Singh. Babs, of course, was in the centre of it. Closely followed by Harold, her other neighbour and arch enemy. Not that Harold had wanted to be Vabs’s arch enemy, but Babs, in her inimitable way, deemed him to be so. It had all started with a large cabbage that Harold threw at Babs one day when they were having one of their usual rows. Harold was quite good with cabbages, and this one was large and rotund. It was also quite heavy, and when it landed on Babs’s arm she certainly knew about it. But between them, Babs and Harold co Utd have told you everything that was going on. But the men in hazmat suits were a mystery.

“Whatever’s happened, I hope it wasn’t anything to do with one of our fish cakes,” said Col, Mr. Singh’s son.

“That last loaf of bread we had from you was a bit mouldy though,” piped up Harold, with a twinkle in his eye.

Babs’s eyes went as big as saucers again. Missing the twinkle in Harold’s eye, she foresaw a bit of a fight starting. Col was well known for saying he would set the Brothers on people. Always in a righteous cause, however. Lily looked down at the newspapers, trying to keep out of it, but keeping her ears open.

Later that day it was discovered that Adele had been badly beaten, and that the police were looking for a Brother Gordon. He seemed to have absconded from the House of Brothers, and could be found nowhere. A News item appeared on the television, appealing to the public to come forward if they had seen or heard anything unusual.

“ I always thought that monk didn’t seem quite right, “ said Babs to Lily. Lily made nothing of it, since nothing ever seemed quite right to Babs. She was always on the war path about something. Even leaves blowing along the pavement in autumn. They should not have been there in her view, and poor Tim had to sweep up every one meticulously. Secretly, however, Lily was quite intrigued.


“I need a walk,” she said, vehemently.  The problem was, she couldn’t – walk that is.  Her cancer had put her in a wheelchair and made her blind. She craved the fresh air and independence. Suddenly she decided that was it – she was having this no more.  She got hold of her wheelchair arm, and falteringly took one step.


Yesterday I returned to my special place, where Inhad tried to walk Rhea other day. This time I went up the path in my wheelchair, as, if I managed to get to where Ivwanted to be – the door of the little church – I wanted to sit for a while as I used to do. The peace round that side of the church is incredible, and in fact, there is what S called a Quiet Garden there. Only it isn’t really a garden. It is a little wild, and there is a seat there beyond the trees from which you can see way into the distance. Way into the beyond, maybe.

I am not able to get there as it is over some rough ground where there are lots of beautiful trees. However, Ivdonlove to just sit on the path and enjoy the peace’s. No one usually disturbs me as not many people go there anyway.

Yesterday I landed in the mud! Although blind, if the sun shines in my eyes, I am in trouble! It was shining yesterday! I could not tell where I was at all, and, as Ivwas trying to round the corner of the building, My wheelchair (a powered one) suddenly came to a stop! It was also grinding, rather. I had no idea what had happened but my wheelchair just would not ove!

My husband was waiting in the car, and I yelled at the top of my voice. It took a while for him to her me. I wondered how long I was going to be stuck there!

In the end, did manage to make him hear me, and he came and pulled me out. I had accidentally gone onto the grass which was rather muddy – and got stuck!

Still, I heard some good birdsong whilst I was stuck in the mud!


It was way back in 2014 that I had the first signs of something being wrong with my eyes. In the greyness of what had now become my life, it was just one more affliction to endure. I was just over halfway through my chemotherapy treatment, and so weak that in between chemotherapy sessions I was bedfast. At times I was unable even to lift a fork or a spoon to my mouth. At that time life was grim. In fact at times I was barely alive in any real sense of the word. I was just about surviving, reacting only to strong stimuli for much of the time.

In the middle of this grim greyness, I had been becoming aware that the faces of the nurses on the chemotherapy ward were becoming blurred, but, having so much else to worry about, I could not think about it too much. If I thought at all I just thought that I would need new glasses if I ever got to the end of this nightmare. I could not contemplate it beng anything serious. As time went on, however, I was struggling a little bit more with my eyes, and one day, as I was leaving the hospital after a chemotherapy session, I failed to recognise one of the nurses whom I knew well.

“Hi Lorraine,” she shouted to me, as my brother and I waited in the corridor for the lift to take us to the ground floor. I was so exhausted that I could hardly sit up in my wheelchair, and all I wanted to do was get home and back into my bed.

“Who is it?” I asked, in a rather shaky voice.

“It’s Mandy,” she replied in a bewildered tone.

“Oh, hi,” I just managed to reply. As we waited for the lift, however, I felt the first pangs of anxiety. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I recognise people any more?

Despite my anxiety, as my eyes began to get worse, the haematologist simply said that I would need stronger lenses in my glasses at the end of my treatment. In fact, unbeknown to us, the cocktail of strong drugs that I was receiving fortnightly, was known to cause eye problems. We were never informed about this. In time, we were to discover that the treatment that saved my life also made me go blind.


I was fed up with being serious so I started this story.mmto be continued each day.

“Oooh, look at that,” Babs exclaimed, eyes as big as saucers.

Across the busy road was a bungalow, and three men in hazmet suits were entering it. Lily looked, and though her curiosity was roused, she was a little more laid back than Babs. She and Babs knew each other well, for they were next door neighbours. Babs and Tim had moved up north from London many years ago, followed by their whole extended family, as living was much cheaper here than in London, and they could actually afford to buy a house. But Babs always seemed to be in the centre of something. Usually a row with some neighbour. Indeed, Lily and Joe had had their times with her. One time, two rats appeared on Lily and Joe’s patio, looking as if they owned the place. Lily was of course non too happy, and was even less happy when Babs looked at her with those saucer eyes and said,

“Yes. You’d better get Pest Control in TODAY. They’re YOUR rats.” Well Lily failed to see how they could be her own personal rats, but she put off her Adult Class at the local College for that morning, though inwardly she was seething. Why should she have to put HER class off that she so enjoyed each week! It turned out just as Lily had expected. The rats were from the drain that ran at the side of the hotel just a few yards up from their row of houses.

And then there was the time that Lily andJoe returned home early from a camping trip, only to find Babs and Tim tearing down their fence in the back garden. They had arrived home late at night, and had not noticed anything until the next morning. Lily was in the bath at the moment when Joe discovered what was happening. He yelled at Lily in the bath in anger, telling her what was happening. Babs and Tim were out there unashamedly attacking their fence. Lily, completely naked, and with wet hair flying everywhere, ran to the landing window and leaned out screeching at Babs and Tim,

“What the hell do you think you’re doing with our fence? I’ll get my solicitor onto you.”

“It’s rotten. Look,” yelled back Tim.

“I don’t care. You get your hands off my fence,” shrieked Lily.

Lily could hardly contain herself, and started off down the stairs.

“Hey, you can’t go out like that. You’ve got no clothes on. You’ll get arrested.”

“It’s them that need arresting,” screamed Lily. “They’ve no right to touch our fence.”

Joe ran after Lily, got hold of her, and pushed her back up the stairs.

“Get some clothes on,” he said. “I’ll get some breakfast going. I’ll sort it out later with them.”

Lily was feeling quite hungry, so she acquiesced.

“As long as you go and knock their blocks off later on,” Lily said.

So when it came to men in hazmet suits going into the bungalow across the road, Lily was kind of used to things like this by now. Still, she did think it a bit queer, and she told Joe about it that night.


A poem that I wrote in 2017 that reminds me of being able to see. One of my favourite poems

By the river the willow stood
Weeping for all that was lost that was good
Bowed down with grief sore tears did fall
How could she bear this bitter gall
It seemed her name was written in blood

Her life was gone however could
She carry now her cross of wood
With every step she took a fall
By the river

But light would come, the green tree would
Bear again the bright Spring’s bud
Hear once more the sweet birds call
Hope spread its strong wings over all
There never would be old deadwood
By the river


She wasn’t very DIGNIFIED. But she was Jose’s best friend. The two of them had met at a Philosophy class. Jose and Muriel that is. They hit it off immediately. Jose had the same surname as the Scottish island that Muriel came from, and Muriel had a daughter named Jose too. So all in all it was decided that they definitely should be friends. The only problem was, Muriel was slightly mad. Mad being the operative word.

Jose quickly became Muriel’s TRANSPORT. Not that Jose minded really. She quite enjoyed her jaunts with Muriel, despite the madness.

One day, they were going down the ROAD together, Jose singing a humorous song, and they stopped in a lonely wooded area, jose thought that they might go for a walk together. Suddenly, Muriel announced,

“I committed murder once you know.”

“I committed murder once you know.”

Jose stiffened. Was she really hearing this right? But before she had much time to think, Muriel had


Sitting under the rowan tree
I know this place is hallowed
I hear feet walking,
Bells tolling,
Souls weep into
People chattering
I hear steps that are light
Steps that are heavy
Steps that are gay
Steps laden with sorrow,
I sit in the dark
I sit in the light
With the sun, the moon, the stars,
In the rain
In the heat
In the wind
My soul aching, laughing, singing, sighing, striving,
With those who have gone before,
And somehow all is sacred,
All is held in the seamless robe of time become eternity,
And I know
Without a doubt
That this place is hallowed
I sit on hallowed ground

FOWC. Tobacco

I can see him now, sitting there in his corner by the fire in the range. Every now and then he would fill his old pipe with tobacco, sucking on the pipe as he did so.

They were magic, those evenings at the farm. Grandfather never spoke, but grandmother would play a game with me, thinking up words. And apples – there would always be apples. The “cherry” apples were the best ones, according to my grandmother – and everyone else for that matter. Nut I preferred the go,den russets, hard and sharp in taste.


Damn it!

Myvdictation software picks my words up all wrong very often. And also the damned auto correct decides to play havoc quite regularly. Not being able to see, I don’t know it had done it!

Apologies if I say the wrong thing or it is non understandable. I sometimes dont know how the auto correct translates things into what it does. Grrrrrrrr!


I opened the car window and turned my eyes towards the path up to the little church that had come to mean so much to me. All that I could see in front of me was a tckite mist. The rustic wooden gate that opened onto the path was completely obliterated by the white mist. In fact, I could see nothing at all. Just a few months ago I had been able to see both the gates and the path, though they were very blurred. I felt a physical pain go through me as I realised that this was it. I was blind.

I had known for a few years that I was going blind, and everything happened gradually. Bit by bit things disappeared, and it felt like a long process of saying “Goodbye” to everything that I knew. More and more I was becoming separated from the world that everyone else inhabited and I was living in a world of my own where only the senses of hearing, taste and smell were left. Both sight and touch had gone.

As I looked at the white mist, I determined that, whatever the obstacles, I would make my way up that path somehow. Added to all the other difficulties I was also mostly wheelchair bound, though I could walk a short distance with my walking frame. I had to decide whether to try and walk up the path with my walking frame or whether to ask my husband to get my power chair out for me. Being fiercely independent, I opted for the walking frame. Not that independence figured much in my life but inside me I had an independent spirit. Inside me I was going to fly.

I grasped onto the walking frame, and began to move slowly and painfully forwards. Soon I came to the wooden gate, and took my hand off the walking frame. Reaching up to the top of the gate I attempted to find the latch in porder to open the gate. I scrabbled around for quite a time until I heard the latch going up. Wobbling precariously around, since I had no balance either, I began pulling the gate open with one hand, moving my frame backwards with the other hand at the same time. Eventually I got the gate completely open and was able to walk very slowly up the path. Unable to have a blind cane, because I was holding onto the walking frame, I had little idea of exactly where the grass was. I felt decidedly disorientated, but the wind was blowing gloriously in my face, and, cold as it was, I felt exhilarated. I stopped, just enjoying the feel of the wind, but I did not know whether I could make it right up the path and to the door of the church or not. It was many months since I had done this, and now, my eyesight was completely gone. I knew that if I did make it to the door of the church I would not be able to go inside as the door would be locked, but I would have felt a great sense of achievement, and I could have thought back to those days when life was much simpler. Gradually, as my sight had gone, I had lost every scrap of independence that I had had. The whitish grey mist was now a part of my life, and I had to try and make the best of it. This represented my effort to do just that. However, upon getting about halfway up the path I felt too nervous to go any further. Having no balance I was afraid of falling, and being completely unable to see the path ahead, I felt slightly dizzy. Reluctantly I decidedo turn around and go back to the car.

As I sat in the car I suddenly became overwhelmed by grief. Over recent weeks and days I had lost so much. Things that were precious to me. Things that I valued. No longer was I able to see them, and now, it seemed as if I had lost this very special place too. Even if I had been able to make it to the door of the church I would not have been able to see anythng. I had sat many times at the door of the church looking at the trees and seeing the sunlight playing a game as it shone onto the grass through the branches. Now, I realised, that would no longer be possible. Neither would I ever be able to go inside the church again, and look around me, soaking up the atmosphere. To lose this place felt almost like losing my very soul. All my grief became pivoted upon this one most precious place.

Going blind is like living in a different world, and there are no road maps in this world, and no one to teach you how to live in this world. The final stage in going blind is a total shock to the system, even when it is known that this is going to happen. It is possible to imagine what going blind might be like, but the shock and confusion is no less real when it finally happens. For me, there had always been a determination to overcome it, but during the last few weeks before this event I had been becoming more and more distressed as I attempted to find ways of keeping my life together. The frustration that I often felt led me to despair. I seemed to go from one extreme to another in my emotions. I felt as if I was swinging crazily in the air. There were things that I desperately wanted to do with my life, but could not see a way through to doing them as a blind person. As I sat there in the car I began to cry bitterly. How could I live my life now? The seeming impossibility of everything overwhelmed me. As my husband started up the car and began to drive slowly away, down the narrow road and through the poplar trees, I said a mental “Goodbye” to the place, or at least to the place as I had known it. Would I ever come back here again and find the peace and joy that I had found before? Despite the anguish that I felt within,I knew with a certainty that yes, I would, but it would be very different. I would be a changed person. But the peace and joy would still be there to be found, just as it always had been. It was and always had been a place of light, despite the darkness within the church, and despite my own darkness, both physical, mental and spiritual,I would find my light here once again.