Frank stared at the body. It was early in the morning. He and Judy always arrived early at the chip shop once a month to give it a deep clean. He had left Judy clearing up the breakfast dishes and he knew she would be arriving shortly. He blinked. Was it really a dead body? Maybe it was just someone who had fallen asleep on the pavement after a night in the pub. He bent down and tried to rouse the man, but there was no rousing him. In a panic Frank felt for a pulse. There wasn’t one. The man was dead as dead could be. Suddenly Frank realised who it was. It was Cedric, the local wanderer. He wandered everywhere. Sometimes he appeared at the chip shop and judy would take pity on him and give him a bag of chips. He always dressed very oddly and today was no exception. He had on a scruffy coat and jacket underneath which was a bright red bow tie. His trousers were worn as were the trainers that he had on his feet. On his head was a green wooly hat. Frank was so shocked that he almost did not know what to do. Then the vet arrived to start work for the day.

“What have we got here?”

“It’s Cedric,” said Frank “he’s dead.”

“Oh my God,” said the vet. “We’d better get the police.” Then he got out his mobile and dialled the number for the police. Frank kept on staring at the body.

“Poor sod,” he said. “He never harmed anybody.” It was obvious that he had been murdered for there were marks around his neck.

Gradually more people appeared and they were all staring at Cedric. Everybody knew Cedric. He was a bit of a celebrity in the town.

Soon a police car arrived with blue flashing lights and its siren going. This was followed by another vehicle. A man in a suit got out and declared,

“I’m a doctor. I have to certify him as dead.”

It didn’t take long.

“Yes, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “He’s dead.” “Looks like he was strangled.”

The next thing they knew was that more vehicles arrived and the area was cordoned off. Everyone stared in silence though there was an occasional exclamation. No one could believe that there had been a murder here, and especially that the victim was Cedric. The police told everyone to move on, and a uniformed officer took Frank into his shop to ask him some questions.

“What time did you find the body?”

“About eight o’clock,” replied Frank. “I’d arrived early as it’s our week for doing a deep clean of the shop.” “I thought he was just asleep after a night in the pub. I didn’t even realise it was Cedric at first. Who’d want to murder him, the poor bugger,” said Frank.

“That’s for us to find out,” replied the officer.



It has been such a shock to me to end up like I have, so young. It has taken some accepting if that is the right word and I do not really think it is for that might denote a submission to it. Submitting is one thing I will never do. I have always been a rebel and always will be. Even as a child I refused to fit into anybody’s boxes. I remember the Queen coming to our town when I was a child. All the school kids were lining the streets waiting for her car to pass. I did not feel excited at all. Who was this made up woman to me anyway? It was really weird. As her car approached I heard all the kids lower down the street cheering wildly and as she approached the spot where I was standing with other kids, I just could not join in. I could not wave my flag and I could not cheer. It was just not me. I felt nothing. I looked down at my shoe instead lol and then looked at the car as it disappeared along the road. I did catch a quick view of the Queen and I have never seen so much make up in all my life. She looked like a plastic doll. She was not real. With her posh clothes and the make up and the big posh black car she was just so unreal. I hated every minute of it. I could not follow the crowd. This continued for the rest of my life. I could never follow the crowd or do what was expected of me. I was a rebel I suppose. In a quiet way though.

I have now had this “thing” visited on me and I cannot conform again. I get mad lol. I refuse to fit anyone’s boxes.

Often I get so mad at my illness and wonder how it came to this. Hell, I never got to climb Helvellyn, though I did climb Scafell Pike. I was going to climb Everest you see.

Sometimes I get very depressed and wonder if my life is still worth living. Each day is such an exhausting struggle but my brain is so fertile and active just as it always was if not more so. I still have a thirst for knowledge and a mind for delving and reseatching and playing with questions. My mind never stops working. I need somewhere to channel it. That is why I write and that is all I can do now. I miss seeing things for seeing things used to spark my brain off. Now I have to rely on my memory and I have found that I cannot conjure up pictures of things. I have forgotten what they look like.

However I am not finished yet. Yes,my body is deteriorating and too fast for me but I really am not finished yet.


I have written about York before but there is so much more to write. It has a very special place in my heart. We used to go there most Saturdays and sit and listen to the Band concerts. The sun always seemd to be shining and being out in the open was wonderful. Of course shoppers were getting on with their business all around us but that made no difference. I learned to love brass bands there.

Always I would go to a particular book shop and would have spent all day there if I could have. It has closed down now but it was a sad day when it finally closed.

You can laugh at me if you like but I had a passion for earrings at that stage and I did not have pierced ears but there was a shop that sold dangly earrings for ears that were not pierced. I think I bought one new pair a week lol.

This city is so special to me as I did my Masters there as I have mentioned before. It was a most fulfilling time of my life. My subject was Theology but people do not realise that that consists of a lot of other subjects too. One that really gelled with me was Women’s Studies. I was introduced to feminism there but I never became a bovver boot feminist. I did find it liberating in many ways though. There was Sociology too and that too caught my imagination.

We had all sorts of people on the two year course. All denominations and none. We had atheists and agnostics too. We all got on amazingly well together. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. Better than church lol. We were all open minded and I lapped it all up.

If I could have done, I would have lived in York. It was such an atmospheric place with its Minster and its buskers etc. And of course the Vikings. There was the Viking Centre there too.

I miss my times in York and a very strange thing happened to me there. My father had had a stoke and was in hospital and was expected to get better. My husband and I had gone to York for the afternoon and we had only just got out of the car and walked a very short way and I felt I just HAD to go home. We went straight up to the hospital and my mother was there and she told us that the doctors had just told her that my father would die. He would not recover. I wonder what prompted me to go home like that. Therre was no warning of this at all.

I often think of York but know I will never go there again now.


I am finding that my external keyboard is not responding properly to me. It is a bluetooth one and it acts strangely at times. I have considered getting an Apple one specially for the iPad but they are expensive and we can’t find many Reviews of them. We don’t want to spend the money and then find out they are no better. Sorry about the poor typing at times.


Once upon a time there was a flea called Janice. She was a lovely little flea who was very trusting and simple. She was always a very good little flea, never causing anyone any bother. However, she did have a few bad experiences that in time made her feel very unloved. She was a naturally inquisitive flea and when she became a teenage flea she asked lots and lots of questions. She asked questions about the world, the universe, people, and everything else. She was always a searcher, who always saw the question behind the question. She never stopped searching. At one point in her life whilst she was quite young she though she had found the answer to everything. It was Love. It was a bit foreign to her but she embraced it fully.

When Janice got a bit older there were lots of things that troubled her. Everything was not Love. She seemd to meet a lot of men who did nasty things to her. At first she managed to pass it off and did not let it trouble her too much. She still hung onto the fact that there must be Love somewhere at the heart of the universe.

Janice was a very intelligent individual and she went on to further education after she left school. There were so many things she was interested in. She had a great time finding stuff out. She was a very open minded flea and never believed there was only one path in life. She met many people who had their own axe to grind or their own pet belief and she did not want to be like them. She believed in freedom. Sadly not everyone did though.

In many ways she had a good life and felt very fulfilled most of the time. But then gradually she began to feel very much of an outcast. She had a lot of terrible experiences, particularly with those who purported to love eveybody. She saw signs saying “all Welcome” but she found that this was not true. Some were not welcome. Especially those who did not fit into a box ready prepared for them. Janice would not fit into a box. She also hated some of the things that were happening to her at the hands of other people.

Later in life she discovered that she had believed in a Great lie. She felt empty and betrayed. Life was not worth living and her foundations had been shaken. She got sick of other people having “the answers.” And people with their own biases. People full of hatred too. Judgemental people. She could no longer abide this world. She left it.


Whilst it is acknowledged that our Social Care system is broken, and mending it seems almost impossible, boundaries make a difference. If we lived over the boundary in West Lindsey things might be a bit better. It is a basically rural area with just one small town. It is easier to get help there. I have a friend there who is in her fifties but has Multiple Sclerosis. She has had it since she was nineteen. She lives along but has two Carers with her twenty four seven. She lives in a massive house with seven bedrooms and she used to run it as a Bed and Breakfast hotel. She used to cook breakfast for the guests with the help of her two Carers. She was a business woman and was on loads of committees etc. Social Services help her. I think she contributes some money and they contribute some too. Either way, she is in a wheelchair as is unable to stand, and she drives a big 4×4. She drives it from her wheelchair. You would never dare to put S down as she is a very strong minded individual. She says to me that if she went blind she would top herself. Her house is specially adapted for her and she lives a normal life with the help of her Carers. She talks of going to Switzerlan for assisted suicide when it all gets too much. But she lives a very very full life. She loves her garden which is large and she does her own garden. It is amazing. She is no different to me except that she lives over the bounday in West Linsey. I wish we could move but it is impossible.


It was good that Social Services sent someone to change outr light bulb last night but it was only a one off. It felt like a miracle though. They only did it because it was a health and safety energency as I could not get to the bathroom. It was like heaven though to suddenly get the light. It is a special bulb that gives out a very very bright lightm specially for me, as I am blind.

This does not make any difference regarding them helping us on a daily basis. That will not change. We have not moved up the list or anything. Also they did not come out easily. We had to badger them but then suddenly they agreed. We had been at it all day trying to get someone to come. Finally it happened at three minutes to midnight lol. We played the Rolling Stones song Just Before Midnight after they had gone lol.

We are still left alone to get on with it. But we have a new cleaner. She started yesterday for an hour and a half and she was very good. Very quiet, which suits us as she did not pour all her personal problems out onto us as all the others did. She was efficient and just got on with it. Fingers crossed for this one.

I cannot tell you just what it did for us last night to actually receive some kindness. We have had none of that before and in fact have had rudeness, belligerence, and other things too. It felt like a taste of heaven just to have five minutes of kindness. We had despaired of humankind. Round here people are very hard and we are known as a hard area. No one wants to come here and work here. It used to be such a thriving town with its three steelworks but now, it is rund down and horrible. I pray for a difference for us in the future but I am not holding my breath.


Yippeeeeeee. We have light. They came just before midnight. Two Care Workers arrived and they were LOVELY. Two ladies. They were SO caring and we had a laugh with them. They could not have been kinder. It is the best thing that has happened to us in a long time. I think they must have come from a Care Home as they had uniforms on. It is a long time since we have received any kindness. Whoooohooooo.


I do not understand the world we live in now. The light bulb has gone on our landing and now I cannot manage to get to the bathroom. When the light is working it throws enough light onto the door frame of the bathroom which is painted whit, for me to find my way to and through the door. With the light bulb gone I cannot manage it.

We have rung my brother who refuses. We have rung barious bodies. We have looked for the emergency council number but it seems it does not exist any more. We have rund handymen and none of them will come as it is not a big enough job.

We are desperate and absolutely no one will help us.

We have rung the church we used to go to and they say we are a safeguarding risk and they will not come.

At this moment I am despairing of our world. Absolutely despairing.


Does anyone know the poster who called herself linhahn? Her name was Linda Hahn?

I thought hard before making this post and you will see why. She came a lot to my blog last year and we exchanged a lot of things in a friendly way. She was very sick. Then she stopped coming very suddenly. I thought she must be too sick to come any more. Then a strange thing happened.

She suddenly came into my mind on Feb 3rd. I tried to look at her blog and everything had gone except just one statement but not about her illness. Because of the nature of the statement we looked her up on the interent and found that a Linda Hahn had died in New York on Jan 31st. Her memorial service was to take place on Feb 4th.

How odd that she should have come into my mind after all this time of not really thinking about her and then finding that out. There are very few Linda Hahns and I wondered if it really was her but I think, from the description that it is.

Did anyone else know her? She did not post very often at all. I just she is at peace now if it is her.


Frank’s Plaice sat at the end of a parade of shops on a small housing estate. The parade consisted of a butcher’s, a pharmacy, a small food store, and a veterinary practice. It was in what was termed a “nice” area, surrounded by conservative houses of both the detached and semi detatched variety. Across the road from the fish and chip shop was a school, and it was murder there at school leaving time, which seemed to get earlier and earlier in the afternoon. With cars parked right along the road and even on the footpaths it was impossible to park anywhere and go to any of the shops.

Just around the corner was a church. Not far away was a huge roundabout from which you could get to a large, out of town shopping area and also the motorway which could get you ultimately to anywhere in the country. At the opposite end to the roundabout was a petrol station and if you turned right you found yourself at Atkinson’s Warren which was a kind of nature reserve. It was a good place for dog walking and just for lazing around on the grass in the summer.

Frank and his wife Judy had owned the fish and chip shop for thirty years and had a well established clientele. In the early days they had sold only fish and chips but now they sold almost as much curry as fish and chips. Not to mention fried Mars bars. There was no accounting for taste. Most of the fish and chip shops in the town were owned by a foreign chain and Frank and Judy were about the only private owners of a fish and chip shop. They prided themselves on running an old fashioned establishment, and being friendly to whoever came by. Everyone got a welcome at Frank’s Plaice. That was why it was so strange when a murder occurred. Whoever would want to murder someone in such a “nice” area? No one knew, but there it was. On the second Friday of the New Year a dead body appeared on the pavement just outside the fish and chip shop.


Sheffield was one of those cities that I could never quite get the hang of. It was the trams you see. And the tram lines. Whenever I went to Sheffield it was for the University library. I was in heaven when I was in that library and I always ended up getting out books that were nothing to do with the subject I was doing. The University was a little way out of the city centre, but I always had a yen to drive into the city centre and have a good look around. One day I decided to do just that. But I reckoned without the trams and the tran lines. I knew they were there but I did not know exactly where in the city I was allowed to drive. I was never any good with one way systerms etc. I found myself stuck on the tram lines and unable to get off them. Trams were everywher and taxis and buses and all sorts of things. I had no idea of where I was at all and I could only go where the tram lines took me. I panicked. I was used to driving in cities and it did not phase me. But tram lines did. I ended up suddenly doing a sharp left turn and finding I was going the wrong way down a one way street. I got out of it quick and realised that I was utterly and totally lost. I do not to this day remember how I got home, but I did.

#FOWC – heckle

Derek had always been quite a shy person. He never raised his voice and in fact seemed quite timid. He would never have said boo to the proverbial goose. He often watched television programmes where people got quite worked up and started to HECKLE someone. It quite impressed him. How he would like to be like that. If only he had that kind of courage.

Derek decided that he would start to practise being more like the hecklers. He would stand in front of his bedroom mirror speaking loundly and gesticulating and seeing what he looked like. At first he quite surprised himself. Gradually he got bolder and bolder and soon his face was becoming more and more contorted and his gesticulations more pronounced. He was quite pleased with the result. He had really enjoyed himself. Now to put it into practice in real life. But who to heckle?

One day he was walking down the Hight Street and there was a street preacher. It really roused his anger. How dare anybody try to make him something that he was not. In fact he hated religion of any kind. Soon he found himself in full throttle. He had turned into quite a professional heckler. The problem was that he had a beer can in his hand and, quite overcome by his hatred of preachers and the like, he had thrown the beer can at the preacher. The next thing that he knew was that a policeman was arresting him, and the next thing he was locked up in the local police cells. Scratching his head he wondered how he had managed to become so vociferous and even violent. It seemd so unfair. All the hecklers on the television did not get arrested. However he decided in the end that heckling was not for him.


It had been a good night at the village hall. Everyone was in good spirits as they prepared to welcome in the New Year. There had been a good deal of dancing and the band hired especially for the occasion was unusually good. It seemed that almost the whole village was there. One or two people had become a little drunk and had climbed up on the stage and given a song or two. Everyone was good natured and laughed and clapped.

It was almost midnight and suddenly someone leapt up on the stage and picked up the SAXOPHONE and began playing. Everyone was taken by surprise, especially when they saw who it was. Some gasped as she began to play. She played it like a professional. It was Sister Agnes from the local convent.

:bloody hell,” said Joe. “I never heard a nun do anything like that before.”


I have just been reading about Spring. Indeed I have posted a few poems about Spring myself. As I have said many times before, I am all for honesty and today I found myself grieving. Spring was always my favourite time of year. I loved it and awaited its coming eagerly. The garden always looked so beautiful in Spring. It seems strange to say that at this, my favourite time of year when all is light and joy, I was plunged into the most terrible darkness as I was told that I had a serious cancer. It was the darkest day of my life. And the upshot of it all is that I can no longer see the Spring. Neither can I get out much to feel and touch it and smell it. I find myself grieving today at the same time as feeling joy that the Spring is almost here. Tears.


Oh rowan I cannot see you now
And I am now so far from you
But still you give your message to me
Of things unseen and unknown
Through winter’s cold you stood alone
And now you will be full in bud
You told me that someone had died
Many thousands of miles away
How could you know
How could you tell
But you did and soon I will be there again
As you guard the souls in the churchyard


I discovered the Bar Convent whilst doing my Masters in York. A few of us went for a day there and the nuns were very friendly. They showed us right round the place and then one of them said,

“Would you like to see our hand?”

We wondered what she meant and she explained that they had the hand of Margaret Clitheroe who had hid priests in York but was caught and killed after being tortured. They had one of her hands.

The mind boggled. Would it be pickled or what?

It was in the Chapel and they took us to see it. I looked away. Lol. So my day at the Bar Convnet wasa bit ghoulish lol


I hate pop psychology. I will not give here an account of the rise of it, but it seems to be everywhere now and has been for a long time. I find that it can be quite dangerous and can lead very readily to victim blaming.

The whole premise of pop psychology is that you are doing it wrong if you are suffering or struggling. It promotes ways of dealing with these things and the problem is that if you do not do this, you are not trying, or you are failing or you are to blame in some way.

Pop psychology gives out the message that if you try hard enough everything can be alright. We are encouraged to smile when the more human response is to cry or rage or scream. It attempts to make you push down our normal human responses. This can be exceedingly dangerous. It can also lead to suicide.

During my academic life I have learned a lot and seen a lot and experienced a lot. Personally I will never give in to the demands of pop psychology. It does not make me or other people like me weak, but just the opposite. The world interprets strength in some very strange ways. I cannot accept these ways. I am a strong minded individual and refuse to be as any pop psycholgist wants me to be. Anyone can judge me how they will, but I will say again what I have said before, walk a mile in my shoes before making any assessment or judgement of me. I would dare to say that the ideas of pop psychology are really there to make the proponents of them feel superior or better than those who are suffering or struggling. Nuff said.

#SoCS SATURDAY – Perfection

I hate the word perfection as I know that I can never be perfect and I also know that many people strive for perfection. I was never a perfectionsit although I think that in that I was a great disappointment to my mother and my grandmother. Now, my grandmother, she was a perfectionist at least she expected perfection from everybody. I could never measure up. To be honest I think that being a perfectionist must be like having a millstone around your neck. Never being able to rest. Always thinking you could have done better. Feeling inadequate. Now that really sucks. I’d rather have chaos than everything perfect. And anyway if you have everything perfect you only mess it up immediately. So it is not perfect for long. I have to say that I love chaos. Messy chaos. It makes me feel at home. And home is where I want to be.


“Least said the better,” saod Frank. He and Cecil stood staring down at fifteen sacks of potatoes, ten bags of carrots, a pumpkin or two, nine cauliflowers, two bags of onions and few flowers to boot.

“How the hell am I going to get that lot home?” Said Frank

“Dunno” said Cecil, scratching his head. “You really went a bit mad bidding on all that harvest produce.”


Liza and Joe watched the ship VANISH as it sailed into the distance. Only a few short hours ago Ben had stood in Liza’s mother’s kitchen chain smoking. Shaking, he had informed everyone that he was leaving the country that afternoon. He was going to the docks and would take a ferry to a new life on the Continent. Leaving his brief case with Liza’s mother he asked her to look after it for him. He gave strict instructions that no one should go to the docks to see him off. This was it. He wanted to cut it right there and then. People were after him and he had to disappear. He was innocent of everything but there were those who wanted to get him and many had threatened him. There was nothing he could do. This was the only way.

Liza and joe could not leave it at that. They would not go to the docks but gthey would go and sit on the sand dunes and watch for the ship passing by. As the ship came into view Liza began waving. She knew he would not even know they were there, but in her heart she wished him luck. They were never to hear from him again.


I was thinking only yesterday of how now, I can do nothing on my own. From being a very independent and active person with lots of friends and a full life, I have gone to being totally dependent on someone else. It is hard to put this into words and possibly it is unimaginable if you have not experienced it. I do not think I could have imagined it fully before it happened to me. It has grown on me. When I first went into remission from the cancer I was not too bad. I could walk with two canes. Sometimes iI could walk with only one cane. I could do most things for myself. Then after a while things started going wrong. The cancer had gone but the drugs had done their worst. Some of the drugs that I was given can start having bad side effects even years after being given. It is then progressive. It is very frightening for you have no idea where it will end. I hate being independent. I hate veing seen in a wheelchair. I hate it all. But there is nothing I can do about it. I feel as if I do not live in the world any more but only in the space in my mind. My world has no point of contact with the worlds of other people. It is the loneliest place I have ever been. Often I feel like a freak.

Throughout all this I have been determined but determination can only go so far. Some people have said that they find ne inspiring. Others run away from me. If anything about me or my life is found to be inspiring, it makes me feel that life is still worthwhile. There are temptations. There are bound to be. Sometimes I feel dead inside. Yet my mind is fertile and active most of the time. I am still the same person inside as I always was. I am still 18 years old in my head. I am not old. It is so hard to be stripped like this. I long to reach out and touch somebody. I long for somebody to reach out and touch me. I feel worlds apart from everyone else. I long to be in the same world as other people. I lonng for someone to talk to me. I can go a whole fortnight without speaking to anyone. My husband has lost his speech and can only string a few words together. He does get to speak in a limited way to other people though. He can see and he can drive and he can cook. He is able to look after himself. If I died he could still be ok but if he died I could not manage and I would be very frightened. It is such a lonely place to be. This night is so long

What is real

To find what is real
Thrown aside like a dirty old rag
By those I trusted
Those with pearly white teeth
Speaking words of love
From a God made in their own image
Worshipping themselves
Like narcissists
Oh how spotless they thought they were
How smooth
What silky words they spoke
Caressing me
Playing their mind games
But these were whitewashed walls
Tombs reaching out with creepy fingers
Drawing me into their living death
Oh those pearly white teeth
And the smiles that filled their whole faces
Like a snarl
On disguise
Once you touched me
Now you never will again


The other week someone said to me that they liked me in all my guises. I guess I knew what he meant. Ssometimes I am not sure which guise is the one that is me the most. I have come to the conclusion that ALL the guises are the real me. Each one is me and is not mutually exclusive to the others. It does not mean that I am false but that many things are integrated into my personality. Maybe I can say that some days I want to wear all black and on another day i might want to wear a variety of bright colours. I guess we are all a bit like this. Wouldn’t it be boring if we were not.


Kim woke the next day feeling rather dazed. Where to start? Her first concern was to look after Ron. She longed to hold him but she could not. He did not seem to want that anyway. She could not understand why they could not just hug each other and celebrate the fact that despite everything they were now back in a house of their own again. All they had to do was make a new life. Ron would improve and soon he would be walking again albeit with crutches. It would not be like this for ever. They had got through bad times before and they would get through this one. She longed for some kind of support from Ron even if it was only the holding of her hand. But Ron seemed almost not to notice her. Feeling empty and alone inside Kim got on with trying to sort things out. It was a mammoth task though and she had no idea how she could do it without help. But there was no help to be had. To add to her problems it was a Bank Holiday weekend and no one would be back at work until the Tuesday. It was only Saturday now. Everything was up to her to do. She was afraid to go out and leave Ron for any length of time.

Soon, Sunday came and it was her brother’s usual routine to take her mother out on a Sunday morning. Kim begged them to come and help her. Very reluctantly they came for an hour but then left her on her own again. It was then that catastrophe struck. The wheel fell off the new wheelchair and Ron could not get to the toilet. They both panicked. What were they to do now? There was no way in which Kim could carry Ron and she could not find anything large enough for Ron to pass water into. Feeling completely overwhelmed she rang the emergency Social Services number but was told that they could not help. Kim refused to take no for an answer however and she continued to ring them. In the end they contacted a local Nursing Home and one of the assistants delivered to them a urine bottle. The real answer was to get the wheel fixed back onto the wheelchair but nothing could be done about that until the Tuesday. Then on the Tuesday another catastrophe occurred. Ron’s wound began leaking and something needed doing immediately. Ron rang the local hospital and they refused to do anything, saying that Kim would have to take him back to Stockport where the original surgery was done. There was no way in which she could get Ron into the car much less go on a six hour round trip. Kim and Ron were frantic by now. One of the problems was that the hospital refused to do anything because Ron was not registered with a G.P. In the town. As it had been a Bank Holiday weekend neither of them had registered. Kim rang round every doctor’s practice in the town but was told the same by each one. Ron had to present himself in person in order to register. There was no way in which he could do that and even though she explained their plight no doctor’s practice would allow her to pick up the forms for Ron to fill in at home. Only this would enable Ron to get help from the hospital. In the middle of all this chaos the wheelchair shop had to be contacted to repair the wheelchair as an emergency.

By now Ron’s wound was exuding bright lime green fluid through the bandages. Then suddenly Kim thought of a doctor’s practice that she had forgotten about and to her great relief they agreed to allow her to pick up some forms for Ron. She would be eternally grateful to this practice. By that evening Kim had had it. As she lay on the bare mattress of the bed on her own she let the tears flow. When would this nightmare end?



In Leek I sat drinking coffee in a coffee shop with a purse thief. It happened like this. I used to frequent a forum on the internet and this lady discovered that we lived fairly near to each other. She suggested a meeting. I agreed and thought it would be really nice to meet. We met in the coffee shop and had a great time chatting together. Then, at the end she announced,

:oh by the way I used to steal purses.”

My mouth dropped open. She had seemed so nice. In the past she had been arrested by the police many times for stealing purses. Not only that, but she had been someone who would take Communion from the church to people in their homes.

“I felt like a little priest,” she said.

My mind boggled. Needless to say I checked to see if I still had my purse.



Tall hedges lined the long narrow lane,
Beneath them, flowers, and deadly nightshade,
Beyond them lush green fields where cattle grazed,
I imagined them to be horses,
On their backs I could ride, gallop
Through my world of childhood dreams

Many were my childhood dreams,
I dreamt them as I walked down the lane,
I’d race in a race, at the gallop,
Never mind the deadly nightshade,
I’d turn the cattle into horses,
Train them in the field where they grazed

At night I’d walk where the cattle grazed,
Lost for the moment in my dreams,
With the wave of a wand they could be horses,
The other side of the hedge was the lane
And I had to remember the deadly nightshade
As I heard the horses gallop

I’d never before made a horse gallop,
Though often in other dreams I’d grazed,
I was drawn one day to the deadly nightshade,
Now it had invaded my dreams,
I knew there was danger in the lane ,
I forgot the galloping horses

I’d always been fascinated by horses,
But never taken one at the gallop,
Now I was fascinated by the lane,
As this night the cattle grazed,
Soon I’d be in the land of dreams,
Where I could approach the deadly nightshade

“Don’t go near the deadly nightshade,”
My grandmother said as I dreamt of horses,
But she could not get into my dreams,
Where I’d taken horses at the gallop,
On the deadly nightshade I grazed,
Grandma found me dead in the lane


She heard the CRUNCH of footsteps on the drive outside. There had been snow earlier in the night. The drive was long and wide and whoever was walking there had walked a long way. Sister Hilary froze. Who could it be at this time of the night? The convent was silent as all the other sisters were in bed, which was where Sister Hilary should have been too, as they all had to be up at 5 a.m for Matins. But Sister Hilary could not sleep. Some strange things had been happening at the convent and there was an air of fear about the place. Some of the sisters had received strange notes that could be interpreted as threatening. But who would want to murder a whole load of nuns? The footsteps got nearer to the door of the convent. Sister Hilary gasped. What was about to become of her?


This morning I awoke from a horrible dream. I still cannot shake it off. I do believe it reflects the state we are in and what has happened to us in being completely alone and frankly, frightened.

I dreamed that I was in a little bed in a tiny room. At the side of me was a CD player which for some reason my husband was fiddling with.

Suddenly, someone or rather two people entered the room and sat down on two hard chairs along the wall opposite to the bed. They were close to me though, as the room was tiny. I recognised the two people as my Auntie who was called Rosemary and her daugeter my cousin Catherine. Both of them are dead now. Catherine died of a very rare cancer some years ago and Rosemary died a year or so ago. They sat there silent. They would not speak to me. I apologised that I was not able to go to my own funeral that day which was what they were meant to be doing ie going to my funeral. I told them that I was not well enough to go to my own funeral. I was so apologetic. They did not speak. I wanted them to speak and accept me and not reject me. Of course my whole family has rejected me and the grief of that is still strong in me. Then Rosemary stood up and went over to a little television in a corner of the room. She put a DVD into it and Catherine suddenly came and sat down on the floor by my bed. Catherine did not look like Catherine though. She was a little scrap of a thing all thin and pale and very sickly. She started to talk but she could not talk. She talked gobbledy gook like a baby almost. She was way gone. I looked her in the eye and I said,

“I love you Catherine.” We never ever say those words in our family and especially not to relatives that are not close family such as mother, father, brother or sister. Catherine did not respond as I do not think she could. I looked straight into her eyes and repeated it and I hugged her.

After that Rosemary returned to her seat but was distant and would not talk to me and she looked like she was going to go. I pleaded with her to stay. I wanted her to stay and accept me and talk to me. But as I was not going to be going to my own funeral because I was too ill to go, that was all she had come for so she might as well go. I woke up at that point feeling terrible. I felt as if I was not in this world and I wondered if they had visited me from the dead. I then wondered if they had come from the other world because I am going to die now. Of course my life is always in the balance and more so just this past two weeks.

I must say that this dream terrified me and I am trying to shake it off.


Kim stood looking at the front door of the house, mobile phone in one hand and a wheelchair in the other. The removal men were still sat in the removal van and, through their open window Kim could hear them grumbling. They were desperate to get home that night and they could see that possibility quickly disappearing. Kim put the key into the front door and heaved a sigh of relief. At last, she was in their new home. A smell hit her as she entered the hall, but she told herself that this would disappear as she left windows and doors open to air the house. Preparing to ring Ron in the hospital to tell him that he could inform the hospital staff the there was now a wheelchair waiting for him, she had no idea of the chaos that was about to ensue. All that she could think of was getting Ron home. She had been separated from him at a critical time when they should have been together, and all she wanted was to see him and have him safe again. Ron was hoping that an old work mate would go to the hospital and pick him up and bring him to the new house but it was a three hour trip. He was a good mate though and Ron thought that he would be able to persuade him.

Kim found that the wheelchair would go through the doorways in the new house so that was one worry less. However, it was obvious that the removal men did not care at all where they placed the boxes and they placed many of them in the garage. Kim was powerless to stop them and all the men were interested in was getting home. The kitchen was soon filled floor to ceiling with boxes such that Kim could not even get to the kitchen sink. It was impossible even to get a drink of cold water and she was parched. The bathroom was full as well and Kim could have cried, so thirsty was she. The men were brutish in their demeanours and she did not want an argument with them. She had had enough and she just wanted rid of them. She needed time and space to herself. Maybe her brother would come and help her to sort the boxes out. She would be alright. But she was hungry too and there was no food. She had intended getting fish and chips but there was not a fish and chip shop close by. Soon, Ron would be home, all being well, and then things would all be alright. They would get through somehow. Fortunately there was dog food in her car and she was able to feed the dogs even if she could not feed herself. The dogs seemed happy enough, exploring their new home. They were not dogs to be phased.

As Kim waited for Ron to be brought home, she knew deep within herself that they would be alright. They would cope, together. At nine o’ clock Ron arrived home, in his mate John’s car. Then the problems began. John was not a small man but somehow or other he had to get Ron up the two steps and in through the front door. Ron never had been able to put weight onto his left leg and had always relied on his right leg, but this was the one that he had injured and he could not put weight on that now. Unable to put weight on either leg it seemed an impossible task to get him into the house. However John took much of Ron’s weight and eventually got him in. Kim had never been more relieved in her life. She had her Ron back again. It seemed an age since she had heard that sickening thud in the kitchen back at the old house. But he was home now. It was all that she had wanted. Seeing the way in which the removal men had piled the boxes up in the kitchen John took down the top box and then apologised that he could not stay and do more, for he was two hours away from home and it was already very late. He did clear a way through to the kitchen sink however. At least Kim could get to water now. Her whole body ached and all she wanted was her bed. Ron would have to sleep in the recliner chair that John had deposited him in. He was very quiet and not at all how she had expected him to be. She was almost too tired to care now, however. Sleep. That was what she needed.

Kim wended her weary way up the stairs knowing that there was no bedding, and so she laid on the bare mattress. She had no idea how they were going to get the house sorted out now, and she was facing being the sole Carer of Ron who now could not walk at all. The experience had changed him. He was taciturn and there seemed to be little connection between them. Still, in a couple of days things might have changed.



I posted a poem by Philip Larkin earlier. I do not remember exactly when I became aware of him and his poetry but he lived latterly in the city of Hull, which is just over the river from us. The poem that first got my attention had the words in it

:they fuck you up your mum and dad”

And that really took my attention, and I thought that if a poet could write such words he was worth reading. I loved that poem and could relate to it so well.

Philip Larkin did not seek fame at all and in fact liked to keep a low profile almost to the point of being secretive. He wrote about the situations that affect people in life rawly and honestly. To me, he was a brilliant poet. What also impressed me about him though was that he truly did not seek fame and recognition. He speant his life working as a librarian in various University libraries. Hull was the last one he worked in and he lived in Hull for a good many years. There is a statue of him in Hull and he is now greatly acclaimed in that city.



Once I am sure there’s nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence,
Move forward, run my hand around the font.
From where I stand, the roof looks almost new-
Cleaned or restored? Someone would know: I don’t.
Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
“Here endeth” much more loudly than I’d meant.
The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,
Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.

Yet stop I did: in fact I often do,
And always end much at a loss like this,
Wondering what to look for; wondering, too,
When churches fall completely out of use
What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep
A few cathedrals chronically on show,
Their parchment, plate, and pyx in locked cases,
And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep.
Shall we avoid them as unlucky places?

Or, after dark, will dubious women come
To make their children touch a particular stone;
Pick simples for a cancer; or on some
Advised night see walking a dead one?
Power of some sort or other will go on
In games, in riddles, seemingly at random;
But superstition, like belief, must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,

A shape less recognizable each week,
A purpose more obscure. I wonder who
Will be the last, the very last, to seek
This place for what it was; one of the crew
That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were?
Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique,
Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff
Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh?
Or will he be my representative,

Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt
Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground
Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
So long and equably what since is found
Only in separation – marriage, and birth,
And death, and thoughts of these – for whom was built
This special shell? For, though I’ve no idea
What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth,
It pleases me to stand in silence here;

A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognised, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.

© Philip Larkin


I turn to you my trusty friend
For there is no one else
On you I can make marks
That say whatever they will
Between paper and pen are secrets
That no one else can hear
Words that dare not be said
But what is a piece of paper
That does not speak back
Echoing words
Can kill


I wish to write to a or some newspapers regarding how on many occasions people seeking social care are unable to get it but then are blamed by various bodies or individuals for their failure to find such care. I am wondering which newspapers are the best ones to write to. I am not a very active political animal, and do not care which side of the political fence various newspapers sit as I just want to get my own view and my own experience as well as the experiences of others out there.

I once quoted the words, “the pen is mightier than the sword,” and I have not got a sword anyway but I do have a pen, or at least an iPad and keyboard. I can write. I am not one to normally do this or even think of it but I have been incensed today and am fed up with how people are so often treated. I feel fired up to write not an angry letter but one that is balanced and that presents the problem clearly.

While people are still committing suicide because of failures on the social care system and because of victim blamin and apathy I HAVE to do something even if only writing letters. I do not wish to write just to my MP as this does not reach a wide audience. Can anyone add their ten pennyworth and suggest which newspapers might be the best ones to write to? Thanks in advance.
Ps I am in the UK


I want to write about this because I have seen it in operation in all kinds of situations. To me, it seems that there is a tendency very often to blame someone if they do not come up with the goods of whatever seems to be needed. It seems to me that people so often have their own agendas and that if you do not fit their boxes then you are to blame.

I believe that this is rampant. I think some have called it blaming the victim. It happens a lot when someone is raped and there are many other situations like that.

To go through something terrible and then to have extra guilt put onto you is soul destroying. We have grappled with this as well, concerning our attempts to get halp from Social Services. We have been trying for about four years now and some people have become very angry with us because we have not been successful. It seems that they feel we are not trying hard enough or that we are to blame in some way for the situation. To feel so low because you cannot get the help you need when it is desperately needed and then to have guilt added onto that is almost unbearable.

I do not believe we are the only ones in this situation and that others find themselves being blamed too.

This morning I have had someone say to me that he does not understand the reasons for our failure to get help. I feel as though I have to justify myself all the time. In this instance I did explain all that we had done, but still the person would not bend. No reason that I gave was enough. I guessed that he felt we had not tried hard enough. This is so cruel because it is extra pain added onto the pain you already have.

I know that this happens in other situations too. People say things like “why cannot she………….” Or Why cannot he………….

I wonder what is behind this victim blaming? All I know is that it is cruel. Thank goodness I can look at this objectively.


I am hoping to go out today. It will be the first time since my escapade at the hospital the other week. I have to say that I am scared, as it involves walking in total blackness down the very narrow ramp outside our front door to get to the car. It terrifies me. It is not exactly even, and I have to rely on my husband shouting out to me to move to the left or the right. I cannot get my wheelchair down there so I have to walk and I wobble. It is really scary but I have no one to help me. I fear becoming totally housebound. It is really scary. We are not going anywhere special but I really do want to find a way of still getting to the car. It is not parked too far away from the house but it is just that damned ramp. No one has any ideas what we can do with the ramp. Wish me luck lol


And now the rowan is in bud again
Beneath the church tower
Announcing that nothing ever dies
But simply changes form
Matter is neither created nor destroyed
We are told
They did not say it cannot be transformed
Even the dust on the ground
Can take on a new form
Can beauty come from ashes
And can mourning be turned into dancing
And is there always a song
In a major or a minor key
Joy and sorrow
Holding hands
Part of the whole
And those who lie beneath the church tower
In ancient graves
Never destroyed
Though time recreates them
The mystic rowan tree
Knows all
And speaks to us of eternity


As Kim drove along the motorway she felt as if she was in a bad dream. Nothing felt real, and yet it was real. Too real. The thoughts of what was to be her life now made her baulk. Back at the house which she had just left, everything was the worst mess she had ever known. She was used to moving house and normally everything was organised and in order and always she had left things clean and decent for the next person moving in. But this time it was chaos. There was water all over the kitchen floor that had come from the fridge as it had defrosted. The tiles had started lifting in the kitchen near to the fridge. There was still food in the cupboards and she had not cleaned the kitchen sink or the draining board. There were pots all over the kitchen waiting to be packed. She had had to leave the large bag of dog food in the kitchen, having scooped some of it out to put into a plastic bag to keep the dogs going for a couple of days. The dogs had not eaten properly in the chaos and had left their dinners half eaten, and, unable to get to the kitchen sink to wash their dishes, she had packed the dishes with food still in them into plastic bags. Somehow or other she had managed to salvage what she needed for the night at her mother’s from the chaos, but her car was in a terrible mess and totally disorganised. Kim felt that she could not survive this, but she knew she had to. All that she could think of now was her dogs. Would they be ok? All she wanted to do was cuddle them, but she had to get on and get to her mother’s. And that was the one place she did not want to go. Her mother had abused her horrifically during her lifetime and Kim did not want to be trapped for the night in her mother’s house. She knew it would be terrible, and it was. She kept herself going by thinking that the next day she would be in her own house and she could start trying to get things ship shape again. There would be some semblance of order when Ron came to the new house from the hospital. She had no idea when that would be, but she longed to have him there right now. He should be at her side now, not stuck in some hospital bed with bandages on his leg and foot. She felt for him. He would be out of his mind with worry. But his job was to recover. Without knowing it, this was to be more of a turning point in their lives than they had anticipated as this was to be the point at which Ron was put into a wheelchair for life.

On the morning of the move, Kim had to go to the solicitors to pick up the keys for the new house. She could hardly wait. However, unbeknown to her, there had been a hold up. The monies had not been exchanged properly and she could not pick the keys up. She was on the phone to the solicitors most of the morning but nothing was happening. She drove to the new house as the removal men would be arriving soon, but they would not be able to get into the house. By midday everyone apart from Ron was at the house. Kim could only go into the drive of the house, and the removal men were sat in their van getting angrier and angrier. Kim was having to placate them. She found herself on the phone to the solicitors and the hospital all at the same time, and Ron was telling her that they were going to discharge him but that they insisted that there must be a wheelchair waiting for him at the new house. Kim now had another job. How could she purchase a wheelchair whilst she was on the phone to the solicitors and trying to get the removal underway. She was beginning to panic but Ron found a shop in the town that sold wheelchairs and told her to ring them up and ask them to deliver a new wheelchair to the house. Still, they were stuck outside the house, unable to get in, and when Kim rang the wheelchair shop the man was very helpful but said he needed to know how wide the doorways were in the house. Kim of course could not tell him. In the end he agreed to deliver to her the narrowest wheelchair that they had. So there was Kim standing in the driveway of the new house with a wheelchair and three fuming removal men sitting in a van. In time, however, the solicitors informed her that she could go to their offices and pick the keys up.



He began to GLARE at her. She had never seen him look at her like this before. It was only six weeks since their wedding. The works. A nice dress. A lovely Reception at her parents’ home. A honeymoon in London albeit it short. She could feel something in his glare. It was not normal. Then he grabbed her and flung her to the floor. He began to hit her. In that moment she died inside. In that moment she became as nothing. That was what he had intended to do. To make her as nothing. He raised himself above her. He stood there and did long, slow, repulsive spits on her face, calling her names.

Afterwards Susie did not know what had hit her. This was her new, lovely kind husband. Now he was a monster. She no longer knew him.


You never knew where you end and I begin
Everything was one to you
You stole my soul, I could not win.

I was possessed, only a thing,
The hate within me grew,
You never knew where you end and I begin

I had to take it all on the chin
It was a witches brew
You stole my soul, I could not win.

The line between life and death was thin
This was what you put me through
You never knew where you end and I begin

I knew for years the dreadful sting
Of being crushed, the day I’d rue
You stole my soul I could not win

But now I know what grief you bring
I need to make my life anew
You never knew where you end and I begin
You stole my soul I could not win.


One day the light will dawn again
When worlds have met and choirs have sung
My soul aches now in all its pain

The clouds have gathered so much rain
And now obliterate the sun
One day the light will dawn again

So oft I’ve shrunk away in shame
When smiles some days refused to come
My soul aches now in all its pain

Sometimes I feel there’s nought to gain
So many battles I have won
One day the light will dawn again

So few have walked this rough terrain
So dry the heart and mouth and tongue
My soul aches now in all its pain

Seeds upon the ground have lain
Of hope from pain and sadness wrung
My soul aches now in all its pain
One day the light will dawn again


My soul drinks of the chalice of Nature
Eats at the table of the Universe
Drinks of the fountain springing from the hard rock
The fountain of life
The living water
In the dry places
The places of suffering
I go to those places in my mind
Thirsty I drink
And I am refreshed
With the fountain
I dance
And sing a song of love
For even in the desert
Love cannot be quenched


There is a very beautiful place not very far from here. It is called Far Ings Nature Reserve. It lies alongside the south bank of the River Humber. We found it by accident one day after we moved back to my home county in May 2009. It consists of lots of ponds or lakes and there are bird hides at various points within the Reserve. From within these bird hides it is possible to see all kinds of birds, particularly water birds. Like the herons. Also the rare bitterns that boom. We used to sit oveerlooking the lake and just ahead of us was a point where the herons used to stand for hours fishing. I thought they were the most beautiful things that I had ever seen. There they would stand perfectly still on one leg looking down at the water, then suddenly they would dive into the water with their beaks and come up again with a fish. Until that moment they were statuesque. We could sit for hours watching the heron. Words could not describe the beauty of that place. Often I would get my two dogs out of the car and take a long walk along the river bank and in the bushes and hedgerows along the way were all sorts of birds. At one point we had to pass under the great Humber Bridge and it felt so eerie walking underneath it listening to the roar of the traffic passing over the briedge. Beyond that was Chowder Ness where the tidal river came right up to the wall at the edge of the bank. It was only a low wall and there was a bit of a drop down into the water or onto the beach when the tide was not in. All sorts of birds could be seen at the water’s edge when the tide was out, but when the tide was in you could hear it crashing onto the wall. There was another big pond there too and we saw all kinds of birds there. There were often the most beautiful sunsets there, and one evening four herons came flying past just above the river. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.

Those things I will never see again, and that fills me with great sadness. I long to go and feel the wind on my face and hear the waves crashing again but the track down to Chowder Ness is now too rough to travel down in our car. It seems so long ago now.


This is a re-post

So long
I accepted
“This is God’s will for you,”
Accepted all that came to me,
Saw stars
In mud,
Trying so hard to see the light
In darkest of places,
Now, the Springtime
Has gone
I don’t
See stars, or Spring,
I see as I throw food
All over like a baby, bib
Round neck,
But a monster that would take my
Personhood away, plunge
Me into hell,
I fought
I beat
The cancer, blind
From the “cure” I lost all,
Skin unfeeling from drugs I took,
Legs gone,
Life gone,
I live a blind death every day,
Disconnected from all
Alone, in hell,


From our childhood
To look for God without
A Being perhaps beyond the stars
Bigger than the Universe itself
A Power
That will grant all our wishes and desires
A miracle worker
One who must be appeased
The all seeing One
The One who looks into our soul
And so
We both embrace
And shrink away
We hope for a Saviour
A Rescuer
A Granter of Wishes
Like pulling a rabbit out of a hat
Gasps of joy
Gasps of wonder
And then……………….

Nothing fits any more
We enter a darkness
A deep deep darkness
Deeper than the ocean
Something hits us
And then again
And again and again
We ask where this God is
We search
We groan
We cry out
We agonise
He is not there
All that we find is our own darkness
And then the only place to go
Is into our own darkness
And there we find treasure
That we never knew existed
There we find a divine light
Deep within our own souls
Within and not without
And that light makes us grow
And brings us back to life
Go bwithin
And find treasures

STEPHEN (from my book “abducted”)

Stephen started as the phone on his desk rang. Answering he heard a young sounding voice asking if she could possibly come to see him. Her name was Ella and her father had recently died and she wanted to talk to him about the grief. Stephen’s heart fluttered as he played with the idea of another young woman coming to see him. He loved to see people with difficulties as he could spin it out a bit and enjoy himself with them. Just lately there had been a dearth of young women wanting to see him and he was feeling desperate. He needed the excitement of a new encounter. So this phone call was a very welcome one.

“Can you come down to the vicarage on Wednesday evening, around 7 pm?”

“Yes,”replied ella.

Stephen was nearing retirement and he was bored. Bored with being a vicar. Bored with being respectable. Not that he had been particularly respectable but he had managed to hide what he had been doing. He liked to walk near to the edge but had still managed to become a Canon. But he wanted to go out with a bang. He loved experimenting to see what he could do with people, and he had always wanted to be able to replace one reality with another. He had read about this in German philosophy and wondered if indeed it was possible. Now was his chance to find out. A young woman in grief. He should be able to manage something with her. The grief stricken ones were the easiest. Their minds were pliable and open due to their suffering. He relished the prospect of meeting Ella. The only problem was that she was coming with her husband. Well, he could soon get rid of him. He had his methods.

Stephen’s wife Sophia was in the kitchen clearing up after breakfast. The same old things. The same old routine. He was bored with her though she was a good wife. There was no denying that. Cooking, cleaning and doing his washing and ironing were her forte. All she had ever wanted to be was a housewife, despite a good education at Oxford. Languages. That was what she had done. After University she had become a German teacher but she hated it. She had met Stephen at Oxford and when he showed interest in her and told her that he was going to be a vicar she thought she could do no better than that. And so the two of them married but soon Sophia started suffering with depression. Stephen often boasted that in those early days he had been the one to help her the most with her depression. But now he was bored. Very bored.