It was December 24th. 2012. In my darkness I went I knew not where, in screaming agony, looking for I knew not what. It had been a hell of a year. I was so ill I could hardly drive my car, but in my agony and determination managed to. I had to. I needed to find something.

Having no idea where to drive to, and afraid of driving too far because of my illness, I drove in a haze around my town. As I drove down one particular road, I suddenly saw a light shining from inside a church. The light seemed to draw me. It was just what I needed – light in my darkness.

I parked my car outside the church. I began walking, in a very wobbly fashion, up the long path to the church. I didn’t even know if I would make it O.K. To the church door. I had had nothing to eat for many days because of my illness, which had not yet been diagnosed – except as stress. My body was covered in bleeding spots, I had lost five stones in weight, I had a retching, deep cough and breathing difficulties, and was exceptionally weak.

I had no idea what I would find inside the church if I made it. Obviously something was going on in there, and I hoped that at least someone would talk to me and offer me a friendly hand. I knew that whatever happened, I could not stay for very long. I was too ill.

I made it to the door of the church and was surprised when I got inside to find a lady handing out hymn sheets as people entered.

“What Service is this?” I inquired.

“Christingle,” she replied.

I had never been to a Christingle Service before, so I had no idea what to expect. I asked the lady if there was a priest, or anybody else whom I could talk to. She told me to sit down in a pew and she would find someone.

I sat down in a pew. Soon, a man came to me. He seemed to be a priest, or a Deacon of some kind. I began to sob as he came to me. He told me that a Service was about to begin, but that if I waited until the Service was over, a priest would come to me.

I did not know what to do. My coat was rubbing on my many bleeding spots, and the itch was unbearable. I thought I was going to collapse, I was so ill and weak. I remained seated right the way through. I needed to leave because I was so ill, but my strength had gone. I kept my mind on the fact that soon I would be able to speak to a priest and cry out my agony. The agony that had been building up since Easter, as I had become iller and iller.

The end of the Service came. I sat. Hopefully. No one came to me. Everyone had left the church. Eventually the man came to me and said,

“I am sorry but you will have to leave. The priest has fourteen Services to take over the Christmas period and cannot see you until after Christmas.”

My heart like lead, I made my wobbly way down the path again and got into my car. My darkness was complete.

Not long after that I was diagnosed with advanced cancer and was told that I may die.


I was lying there
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning

Beaten up
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning

I had no food
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning

I had no friends
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning

No family
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning

I was alone
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the mirning

You passed me by
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning

You worshipped God
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning

You sang your hymns
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning

Your eyes were blind
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning

And now i’m dead
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day
On Christmas Day in the morning


I don’t want to be “nice”
I want to be truthful
To tell
The honest story
Complete with shit piles
It exists
Some close their eyes to it
As if it were not there
Cover it in “God”
God will make it alright
If he doesn’t
It is your fault
You refused to accept him
Open your heart
Well, what about the God
Whom you portray
Who doesn’t like
Whose son
Was born
In shit?


Cut off
A blanket black
Bewteen us none can see
A box the walls of a prison
Close in
Alone in the box fear rising
No one to hear a cry
Awareness stings
Of life

The box people
Living lives chattering
Unaware of the person in
The box
Them dying gasping for breath one
Breath but it is too late
A corpse lies dead


I walked with you today among the graves
Who says graves are not beautiful?
In them lie the most noble souls
And rascals too
Each with their own beauty
Underneath our feet the frozen grass
Crackling as we walk
Like the crackling flames of love
Do we ever forget to love
Our hearts dance in the frozen forest
To the tune of the Universe
Lithesome and free
On the dancing breeze
Oh grave
Where is your victory?

Sitting Down to Work Tentside at 4 A.M.

Please read this wonderful poet, Ana, who is homeless and who works from a van. This poem brought tears to my eyes. PLEASE, folks, put your “Likes” on Ana’s blog and not mine. I hope we can give Ana a lift today.

Timeless Classics

(This poem was written three years ago when, to do this work, the poet was forced to live in a tent. It applies just as well this early morning to her life, now in a van.

Those who curl their lip to see her pull up have never known what it is to sleep without a bed, eat without a stove, or work to ones capacity without earning enough respect from ones society even to hope for a real home ever again)


Take off your boots so you can sit cross-legged

Put your slippers on over your socks, or you know you’ll be sorry

Pull your gloves all the way up your arms

Pull your sleeves all the way down over them

Do it again until the gloves stay up and the sleeves stay down

Repeat after every half dozen bodily motions

Put both your hoods up

Arrange your…

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There was a time when hills were just hills,
They had no meaning, they just were,
Until the day they became mysterious,
Sometimes dark, sometimes light,
Enticing, entrancing, beckoning,
What wonders did they hide?

Enfolded within them, I wanted to hide,
Be absorbed into those hills,
Their spirit seemed to be beckoning,
From wherever they were,
Within their darkness I knew there was light,
Something so mysterious.

Life to me was mysterious,
So often I’d wanted to hide,
Shrink back from the light,
Now I’d found the hills,
In this new place where we were,
Gently they were beckoning.

Why would they be beckoning?
This to me was mysterious,
Standing where we were,
I no longer wanted to hide,
Someone had given me the hills,
Secreting their everlasting light.

I was now drawn to that light,
As I felt it beckoning,
I knew there was glory in those hills,
A glory so mysterious,
That they never truly could hide,
It fell wherever we were.

And that was where we were,
Enfolded in their light,
Love bade us hide,
It was Love that was beckoning,
It was all so mysterious,
The glory of the hills.

One day I found the hills hiding their light,
I could see from where we were that they were beckoning,
Though it was so mysterious, in their glory I’d hide.


When the going is rough
And the rough is in the going
Take me oh tide
To a better place
But first let me ride the waves
Tread on the stones
That sharpen my wit
And strengthen my resolve
And lead me to calmer shores
Where I can eat and enjoy
The fruits of my labour
Lie in the sun
And savour the delights of heaven


In the distance between us
Lives the story of my life
Could you travel through
To get to me
To have and to hold
And know as we are known
The journey is long
And rubble abounds
In dreams and memories
And the bones are but dust
Yet still I have a face
The eyes are gone
But somewhere or other there is a heart
It’s been a long time
I am far far away


Does anyone else dread Christmas? Already it is being mentioned all over the place and it strikes fear into me, for very good reasons. I try to ignore it for as long as possible, but then it gets thrust down your throat. Christmas is a family time when families get together. We have no family, and, with everything closed down (not that we would go anywhere because of Covid) it feels as if we are in prison. Life for us is very very hard, and to have to be alone at Christmas is terrible.


She was just a TINY puppy. She watched Ned carefully planting bulbs in a POT, then, going up behind him she carefully took the bulbs out and laid them on the drive. Ned turned and saw what she had done. Playfully he turned the HOSE on her. She leapt in joy, trying to catch the water in her mouth.

“What. A wonderful thing it is to have a puppy,” Ned thought.


Last night I saw the sun
And knew that it was calling me
It saw me too
Had been waiting
Knowing that this moment would come
It was destined
Long before time began
Even before the world had been born
This place this time
Before all ages this time was waiting
And one day time shall be no more
All will have passed
Even the sun will have gone
But for this moment
The sun is
And it calls me
To the place that was waiting for me



What is this thing called Time, that I am in?
Does it really go on for ever?
If there is eternity I don’t want it.

Time holds nothing but black……..birds weeping
Out their blackness until it fills
The space that is left

The black space grows, swallows up eternity
I don’t want eternity, not even to live
In this black pool

Black……birds sing
Do they?
Do you hear their song?
Or the cry of their black falling?

Black leaks
Falls into black, take back the night
I don’t want it.



Than your own breath
Is the comfort you seek
In Love do we have our being
Though pain
Our spirits, we reach out and touch
That which is deep within
And find that Love

Dark nights
Of weeping leave
Us weak, our hearts open,
In our weakness we find our true strength
In love
That will never let us go, holds
Us safely in strong arms
Absorbing tears
That fall

You will find rest,
Deep peace beyond measure
It is not far away, but here,
Your heart
Knows it,
Go inside your heart, dear child, lay
Your head down on Love’s breast,
Cry your tears and be soothed,
Trust in this Love,
So deep



I look and see the Church clock stopped
And wonder if my time will end
How many years from my life are lopped
I look and see the Church clock stopped
How many aeons has it dropped
How many lives have had to bend
I look and see the Church clock stopped
And wonder if my time will end


Perhaps one night you will come to me
Like the rustling in the willow tree
Your footsteps gentle in moon’s soft rays
My eyes meeting yours in longing gaze

Perchance this time will soon come to be
When both our hearts can be set free
I hear the words that my heart now says
Perhaps one night you will come

I wait in silence my mind in a daze
In these green fields where cows do graze
Where summer flowers my eyes can see
While the willow weeps for you and me
In sadness my heart cries out and prays
Perhaps one night you will come


You tell me of your light
Though the darkened window chills my soul
And as you speak I know
That you know not the depths
That darknes just is
And is not light
And you stand
Arms outstretched
To pull me into your light
And out of the divine
The sacred dark
For pain is sacred
Though we do not know it
Why don’t you
Come into my divine darkness
Instead of trying to pull me
Into your light


Sometimes it is best to leave

The chains that lock up freedom

Though said to be for our protection

Blind eyes see through the deception

As the light shines

Into the darkness of evil

Presented by another name

Our souls were not meant to be chained

Nor our heart’s love

Freedom awaits us in diverse places

Where the sky meets the earth

And we dwell in the place of liminality

Where the veil is rent in two

Breaking the chains of earth


I, on the hill waiting for you
You, on the hill, waiting there too
How many years have passed since I left
At our sad parting I felt so bereft
So many things have we both been through

Tears fall gently in morning dew
Is there a storm beginning to brew
Now come together the warp and the weft
I, on the hill

Oh such a puzzle there is no clue
As to why we parted when skies were blue
Oh how tragic this terrible theft
Of Love that was born in a rock’s hard cleft
Now there is silence, a waiting it’s true
I, on the hill


I can do what I like
Wear red and orange and yellow and purple
All at once
With odd socks
And a strange hat
I can wear sandals and socks
Oh how crass
I can wear a chick dress
On a good day
Blue nail varnish
With orange trousers
Oh yes
Yes I can
I’ve had cancer
And I’m still alive


I wrote and posted this at the height of the pabdemic, but I feel so strongly that the message is still the same

When the fear goes and peace descends
When life gets too much and everything ends
When your life has gone and you breathe no more
When the Grim Reaper has pushed on your door
All that remains is love

When you’ve tried so hard to live out your life
When you know that you sit on the edge of a knife
When all around you are having their fun
But you know full well that your life is done
All that remains is love

When none understood you and you were alone
When you searched and searched to find your home
When lIfe let you down and God disappeared
And everything hit you and all that you feared
All that remains is love

When you tried to show that love is so real
When no one believed you for they couldn’t feel
When the love in your heart came through all the dark
When your life became hell with suffering so stark
All that remains is love

I loved you my friends though you didn’t know
Convention made blocks and that love couldn’t flow
And then a pandemic said we couldn’t touch
And oh how the pain became far too much
All that remains is love

Fandango’s Flashback Friday – Cancer and Daisy Chains

I’ve never been good at being brave
And here I was
About to fail
At cancer
I heard the words but I didn’t
“You have cancer
You may die,”
Well that was a bang on the head
For a day filled with pink blossom
But he ignored the pink blossom on the trees
And talked about daisy chains
“It’s like a daisy chain,” he said
“It goes from lymph node to lymph node”
And instantly
I was back at my grandparents’ farm again
Just a little girl in a green field
Making a pretty daisy chain
But this daisy chain was not pretty
Oh no
It held me in a vice
From which there was no escape
And here I was, trapped,
Trapped in cancer
I used to be able to run
But there was no running now
And the daisy chain could not be broken
Except, possibly,
By the horror of chemo
No hair chemo
Not that I was bothered about hair
I never liked mine anyway
“It might be nice to be bald,” I thought
But in order to get bald
I had to have a bag
Well, many of them
Over time
Bags filled with poison
“We get you better in here”
One nurse said
But better was far from my mind
I was still stuck on daisy chains
And pretty white and yellow flowers
Entwined around my lymph nodes
And what are lymph nodes anyway?
I never saw one
But I had to have one taken out
For a biopsy
Wedge shaped it was, they said,
“I’m going to pinch one of your lymph nodes,”
The surgeon said
“But your chest is full of tumours
Not sure the air can get round them”
My mind boggled
Just a narrow tunnel
Through which air was passing
No wonder I hooted like an express train
Going through a tunnel
When I breathed
But those daisies
I hung onto those daisies
Maybe one day they would be pretty

After the carrots and the hot water

After the miracle of the carrots Mr. Peopleilode still got a bit miserable because he was never happy unless he was miserable. He was miserable because Tescos did not have golden russet or pink lady apples, and that was what the doctor had prescribed. He had make do with Braebourn apples. He was not very used to making do with things he was not used to but Mrs. Peopleilode told him not to be so silly, and an apple was an apple was an apple. And anyway he should have been grateful about the carrots and the hot water.

Another thing that Mr. Peopleilode was fed up about was the bed. He couldn’t change it, and Mrs. Peopleilode kept throwing things like gravy all over it because she was blind and he forced her to have her dinner on the bed.

But then they managed to get two new cleaners called Anne and Fran. They were dead good cleaners, and they agreed to change the bed. Mr. Peopleilode had bought new duvet covers with zips right round so you didn’t have to crawl into them and get lost in them and have to shout for help. Anne and Fran ooohed and aaaahed at these duvet covers, especially as they were covered in strawberries. They said that the strawberries would go with Mr. Peoplilodes’ apples. They changed the bed and then went downstairs to Mrs. Peoplilode oooohing and aaaahing and lost in wonder at these brilliant duvet covers, and they told Mrs. Peoplilode to put her sunglasses on before going up there because the strawberries glowed in the dark. But Mrs. Peoplilode said it didn’t matter because she was blind anyway so it wouldn’t bother her.

Then Anne and Fran went into the kirchen to clear up the mess that Mr. Peopleilode had made with the minced beef and carrots, but it was all alright because there was plenty of hot water that Anne and Fran said was heavenly to put their hands in. Not like the lukewarm water that they got at some places. But then Mr. Peopleilode said that he was probably going to get a dishwasher because Mrs. Peopleilodes’ friend Kevin had one, and that was a really good idea. But just as they were talking about where they could put a dishwasher a HUGE, MASSIVE spider ran out from under the corner cupboard and there was PANDEMONIUM. Anne screamed and Fran screamed and Mr. Peopleilode screamed louder than ANYBODY because he had always been terrified of spiders and Mrs, Peopleilode always had to rescue him and catch the spider. And everyone came running out of the kitchen dead quick, and Mr. Peopleilode wheeled himself out of the kitched dead quick and got stuck in the kitchen door because his wheelchair was dead wide.

Everybody stood or sat in the hall wondering what to do and Mrs. Peopleilode could not rescue them anyway because she couldn’t see any more. But she thought them very silly anyway, being frightened of a little spider, but they all argued with her and said it was HUGE.

Anyway in the end Fran got her courage up and went back in the kitchen to catch the spider but it was a little bugger and kept running away from her underneath the cupboards. But eventually she caught it and took it outside and set it free. The spider looked pregnant she said because it was so big and fat so they decided to call it Maeve.

But when Anne and Fran found out about Tescos and the carrots they felt really sad because they knew all about men and minced beef. And they gave Mrs. Peoplelilode their mobile numbers and said that they would get the shopping that Tescos did not deliver. And that made Mrs. Peopleilodes’ day, and she oooohed and she aaahed and said how good God was because he had provided carrots and hot water, and now shoppers as well to make up for Tescos. And everyone was dead happy too because everything had gone well, and what was more, Mrs. Peopleilode could go to bed covered in strawberries. What a good God they did have indeed.


Past world of light
Hello new world of dark
Where do I find the light in you?
Deep in
My heart
The light still shines, twinkling, winking
For still there is laughter
Still I can dance
I remember
All the joys I have known
Memories that gyrate and sway
Yet sweet
I live in a world of contrasts
Today I laugh and cry
And dream my dreams

suddenly stopped smiling. again. PLEASE PUT YOUR LIKES ON ANA’S BLOG. she is a disabled homeless poet.

Timeless Classics


i took the trouble
to complement you
on your beautiful

with which you have favored me
for weeks now
at every meeting
in the store
in which you work

you avoid my glance

let’s see…
why has it happened
this time?

employer disapproval?

personal disapproval?

did i voice an opinion
in this free country?

what was the last one?

oh, yes,
I remember:

so, is it you
who lets your man beat on you,
or your boss
who makes it a habit
to do so himself at home?

if it were possible
to live without shopping altogether
i would leave the merchants
of Arcata, CA
in their own



Among us, poets are not paid. The poet/editor of this website, being physically disabled, lives at a fraction of her nation’s poverty level. Become a patron of the fine arts at:

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Once upon a time there lived some hapless peoplilodes. Everything was always going wrong for them. It wasn’t for want of trying that everything went wrong for them. No, they tried really really hard. Every day they got more and more exhausted, and cried and cried. Nothing could ever go right again, they thought. Thier health suffered, and everythiing suffered. And Mr. Peopililode got into a real mess and his digestive system really suffered. And he had to have a telephone conversation with Dr. Obu. And Dr. Obu prescribed apples. Especially golden russets and pink lady ones and he said that he would see Mr. Peoplilode in the fruit aisle at Tescos. He said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that if Mr. Peoplilode ate an apple a day, then he wouldn’t have to see people like him, Dr. Obu. And just for a little while Mr. Peoplilode laughed, and Dr. Obu laughed, and Mrs. Peoplilode laughed her socks off too. But then she lost her socks and had to order some more from Tescos. But Tescos deliveries didn’t always deliver, so Mrs. Peoplilode had to go without socks and her feet got cold. It was awful because the central heating in the house got busted, and both Mr. And Mrs. Peoplilode got real cold. Especially Mrs. Peoplilodes’ feet. And they were fed up. What was even worse, the hot water got busted too, and they could not wash up their dinner pots.

Tescos deliveries never worked for them. That was another thing that kept going wrong. They could never get the shopping that they needed. Even milk, they could not get sometimes. And tins of beans, and bread, and frozen peas. All sorts of things they could not get.

One day, Tescos did not deliver carrots. So Mr.and Mrs. Peoplilode were carrotless, and they wanted minced beef for dinner because they could make that last two days. But Mr. Peoplilode started crying and tearing his hair out. He wanted his minced beef but there were no carrots. And Mrs. Peoplilode said never mind, they would have fish and peas. But Tescos had not delivered frozen peas either. So they were in a bit of a pickle. And they had no cheese either! So now they were cold, without socks, without hot water, and without dinner. Mr. Peoplilode cried and cried and tore his hair out and went bald and Mrs. Peoplilide said never mind because that meant that Tescos would not have to deliver shampoo any more, which they rarely did anyway. She said she would buy him a hat, if she could get one, that was.

Mr. Peopilode got to the end of his tether. And Mrs. Peopleilode looked for a hat on Amazon to try and calm him down. But she couldn’t find one that could be delivered in less than two weeks. So Mr. Peoplilode had a cold head and Mrs. Peoplilode had cold feet.

It was not a happy household. And the dog was not happy either because Tescos had not delivered her meaty treats.

Then, just when all seemed lost, and they had nothing for dinner, Mr. Peopleilode suddenly found THREE carrots. Beautiful bright orange ones without black in the middle. He was so surprised. They seemed to appear from nowhere. He ooohed and he aahed and wished he had not torn his hair out because his head was so cold. But he could now make minced beef.

Mrs. Peopleilode was dead happy because Mr. Peoplilode might be in a better mood now.

They ate their minced beef and they ooohed and they aaahed as they did so because it was lovely. And there was some left for tomorrow too.

But then Mr. Peopleilode had no hot water to wash the pots up in and he went back to being miserable and wanting to tear his hair out again but he had none left to tear out.

But then he went up to the central heating boiler and turned a switch and a bit later on he realised that there was hot water! WOW. First carrots, and now hot water! Mr. and Mrs. Peoplilodes could hardly believe their good fortune. They went to bed happy, and when they woke up in rhe morning Mr. Peopleilode went downstairs to make a drink, and there were two more carrots waiting for him. He could hardly believe it. He went up to tell Mrs. Peopleilode and she jumpised out of bed nearly, with excitement, and said,

“It must be GOD. HE did it.”

And Mr. Peopleilode went with that one, and said that the house would become known as a house of miracles and people would come from far and wide to get what they wanted. It would become a place of pilgrimage, and then all the people who came would realise just how disabled Mr. and Mrs. Peopleilode were, and they would get together in groups and start to help them.

And everyone would then worship God for ever, and future generations would tell the story of the carrots and the hot water, and be lost in wonder. And they would say,

“What an awesome God we have.”

And so all ended well in the end.

Seek, rest, be

Emerging From The Dark Night

Seek the light within you

Even in the darkness follow the hurting place

And if these demons call to you

Ask then what they want

You can receive the answers

If you open your heart

And trust the truth of wisdom


Often the outside world

Lies to us

When it teaches us to look else where for love

Never the less

It becomes harder to rest

When we cannot be

And accept

All dimensions of ourselves

But somewhere deep inside of you

Is a place to be free

Where you can breathe

And there is also

An infinite supply of love there

It is your source

Try to remember

Where best to seek

The truth is there is a light

Shinning still

Deep inside of you

So learn to be at peace

With everything you can bear to face

After the storm has passed

Clearing the wreckage

Opening your…

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See now, the grey turn to silver
Threads in dark winter’s night,
The promise of golden days ahead
When summer’s sun my soul will warm

Threads in dark winter’s night
Paint a picture in the trees
When summer’s sun my soul will warm
The picture will come to life

Paint a picture in the trees
Though winter’s cold my soul does chill
The picture will come to life
As the earth moves round to face the sun

Though winter’s cold my soul does chill
Soon the thickening ice will melt
As the earth moves round to face the sun
The picture becomes complete

Soon the thickening ice will melt
And I will dance in summer’s sun
The picture becoming complete
As grey turns to silver then to gold

DIARY ENTRY Does anyone know anything about flippers?

We’ve had a bit of bother with water. Like, it was all over the bathroom floor, having crept there from out of the airing cupboard! This was in the middle of Thursday night.

We have just had a new gas boiler installed, and nothing has been right since! The boiler itself is fine, but everything else isn’t. We started to get a constant drip of water just outside the kitchen door, going onto the ramp down onto the drive from the kitchen. The dog loved it. Her own personal shower!

Well, by Friday morning we were going under. Well, nearly!

The boiler man cometh, but I had already told the person who is coming to see me today to bring a swimming cozzy and flippers. He agreed to do so. By the evening though, I was emailing him to tell him to bring a wet suit, snorkel, and Handel’s Water Music.

All the towels and bedding in the airing cupboard were sodden, and the boiler man who cameth said he would take them home to wash for us as the water was filthy and had fibre glass in it. He has an Industrial Washing Machine at home.

Eventually, by evening, he had discovered what the problem was, and fixed it.

We now have working central heating and a sulking dog who has lost her own personal shower. It was a funny old day yesterday!


When the morning curls around you
The day presents its possibilities
Though there may seem to be few

Like a soft pillow it welcomes you
Turning dreams into reality
Every thought made new

Skies filled with silver earth with gold
Rubies in autumn’s berries
Sheltered from the cold

Oh Mystical Rose you guard my way
On sorrow’s lonely path
Be my companion today


Just lately I have been thinking a lot about my grandparents’ farm. A few times, I have been and sat at the lane end, in the dark, remembering. It occurred to me, as I began to write down more memories that I had never really looked very closely at my step grandfather. My mother’s real father died of a brain tumour when she was 15 months old. My grandmother then went with my mother to be a live in housekeeper at a farm that was nearby. She ended up marrying the farmer who was a bachelor and 20 years older than her.

I remember him as a very taciturn man, and I was slightly afraid of him. I don’t know why because he was always simply quiet and never at all threatening. I think his quietness scared me a little bit.

I knew very little about his background however. I knew certain things but not the full picture. However since beginning to think a little more about him I have done some research and discovered that his own father died when he was a baby. I am sure that this made him very sympathetic to my grandmother’s position. In fact, he wanted to give my mother his name so that she did not have a different name to her brothers and sisters. My grandmother however refused his offer as she wanted the name of her first husband still to be alive. He was her first love and she cried for him for many years after his death, even whilst she was married to her new husband.

My step grandfather used to be a silversmith, but for some reason decided to emigrate to Canada where he went logging. Last night I was thrilled to discover that he actually went to Canada in 1901 one on the liner the Tunisia. I found the exact date of his leaving Liverpool and the exact date almost 1 month later in Montréal in Québec.

I was intrigued and wanted to know what kind of life these immigrants had in Canada upon their arrival there.

I discovered that upon disembarking from the ship they had to stand in what was described as “a very long line of humanity.” They had to have medical checks before anything else happened.

Eventually it seems, he would have gone to a logging camp. He would have been either in a tent or in some wooden structure where they all slept. I don’t know if anyone who reads my blog from Canada can tell me any more about any of this. All I know is that he was logging for a while, but then he bought a ranch in Argentina where he raised beef cattle. 14 years after leaving England he returned, and bought the farm where my mother grew up.

I discovered a few more fascinating facts but I was particularly interested in him emigrating to Canada and I would love to be able to find out more about that and what life was really like for the loggers.

My mother’s story is in many ways are very sad one although it cannot ever account for her treatment of me.

It is surprising what we find out about our ancestors and our pasts if we start to look back. I must admit that last night I felt really thrilled to find out about my step grandfather.

#FOWC Dirty

He picked up the knife and twisted it around in his hands lovingly. He had waited a long time for this day. Now, things were just right. He had made sure that they were. Nothing could possibly go wrong now. It was a beautiful day. He had listened to the weather forecast to make sure that nothing could spoil his plans. Yes, everything was perfect. Soon, she would be dead. Then, suddenly, he saw a tiny spot on the knife. It was DIRTY. It was no good. He shook his head in horror. Now, all his plans were ruined. It had to be a clean murder. He threw down the knufe in disgust. It would have to be another day now.


So many so young

Without freedom or choices

Ordinary lads

When the summons came

They left home and family

For bloody war fields

Not knowing their fate

They packed up for the journey

Many to their deaths

And those that came back

Were changed for ever and so

Too should we be changed

#FOWC Stoic

She’d always been STOiC. In a way she’d never had a choice. She’d always been hit for crying, even as a small child. And illness – it could not even be contemplated.

She got the mumps once. Her mother went out and locked her in the flat telling her not to touch anything. She did though. She went to the sideboard where her medicine was. Some lovely syrup in a beautiful lime green colour. It tasted so good. Sweet and syruppy just like syrup should. She put the bottle back carefully in the sideboard so that her mother would never know what she had done. Suddenly feeling frightened she looked at the clock. She had just learned to tell the time. She watched the hands of the clock go round. Ine hour. Two hours. She went to the door and twisted and turned the knob frantically, she could not get out. When would her mother be back? She began to cry. Crying wasn’t allowed though, but did it matter because her mother had left her and wasn’t coming back. She thought of the rest of the medicine in the sideboard.

Just then, she heard a key in the lock and her mother opened the door and walked in. Jen’s heart began to slow down again. She began to relax. The door was open. She was no longer locked in. She could breathe again.

Later in life, when she was told she had cancer and informed that it may well kill her, she did not cry. In fact she never cried. She faced the treatment stoically, just s she had always lived her life. One day in the chemo ward she heard someone laughing. A patient, it seemed incongruous, but she wondered at it, and soon she decided that she would laugh too. The cancer didn’t like it. And it buggered off. I mean, who likes being laughed at?

It returned though, to try again. And Jen remained as Stoic as ever.