Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Angel of the North

10th April 2019

Poem A Day in April -Day 10

Have missed writing a poem a day for April this last week.
Couldn't work out how to get to my blog . I was being asked for a password which I vdidn't remember.
This morning , not sure what happened, but I'm in!

Angel Of The North

Perched on this hill reaching for the sky
Seen for miles around, standing so high,
You are a sign of unity and togetherness
Strong and tall, For mighty Northeast
Yet also,
A beacon of warmth 
Throwing open your arms of welcome.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019


2nd April

A poem a day in April:

Using the promp of asking quRoadtrip


Is that the sun hidden
behind the mist,
As my joy dwells deep within
Shadowed by an endless
"To do" list?
Did we pack jumpers,
It's still "that time" of year,
To warm chilly words
That might escape?
While we bumble along
On this
Roadtrip of life.
Did we include the food,
To nourish and sustain,
To take away the strain,
To keep us fit and strong?
Will we last forever,
Or is that too long?

Monday, April 1, 2019

No Chicken

1st April
Now it begins- napowrimo.
Day 1

No Chicken

You sit on the cold pavement
wrapped in your colourful sleeping bag
trying to keep the cold at bay
this crisp March morning,
next to the steps
that lead to the the doors
 of the small church.
Your hands, knarled and gritted
with the road,
 reach out in hope.
Your eyes find a  corner
of my soul-
"Are you hungry?
Can I get you a sandwich?"
"Yes, thank you..."
Is that an Albanian accent
"What kind would you like?"
I won't make the choice for you.
"Chicken please..."
"No chicken left , what about
 ham and cheese?"
"That's fine, Thank you"
You are polite.
You take my hand.
I wish I could take you home.
I sit with you,
talk for a bit,
then leave to go home to my
centrally heated home.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Three years ago today

11th March 2019

I don't usually share writing from my journals, especially on my blog, which obviously, gets seen by so many people.
But I make an exception today.
Three years ago today a grandson was born - he was neither the first child nor grandchild, but when I heard the news early in the morning I had to go to my journal. Looking back, I'm surprised by the joy of it, considering it was only a month after my mum died.
I copy exactly as I wrote it, unedited, bearing in mind, it's a stream on consciousness.

11th March 2016

Well, what news, there you are , another new addition!
Baby Walker, born 4.25 am this morning. What lovely news.
We will go over later, for a few hours. New life, new hope - that
makes twenty one grandchildren now and what is to be is yet to be revealed.
I just wonder what the family will look like in ten or twenty years time. No doubt there'll
be more grandchildren, but also more great grandchildren.
What a blessing it is, our large family. And each new addition so precious.
Your tiny hands, baby,  that will one day perform that many tasks of life. That cheeky smile that says,
"Heh, it's good to be here with you guys!" Those chubby legs that will eventually get into, goodness knows what, mischief as well as kicking a ball and running with brothers and sisters and cousins.
Who does he look like? Seeing the family genes in each of his delicious expressions.
And don't cry, baby, we're all here for you.
What will you be like? How tall? What will you like to do? What will you be good at? What kind of person will you become?
We love you to bits already, even though we haven't met you yet. Your softness calls to us to hold you close, showing you how the world can be comfortable, safe and kine. You might learn otherwise later.
But for now, for you, the world is wonderful.
And I am your Grams. Hopefully we'll get lots of time together to get to know each other. Hope fully, I'll be blessed with many more years of life, so I'll be able to enjoy you own family, if you have one,  in the future.
I wonder what your brother and sister will make of you. Livi has been looking forward to your coming for such a long time now. She'll be over the moon with you' I'm sure.
And your dad, his heart will melt , he'll fall in love with your obvious likeness to him, part of him. He'll love you with his life.
And of course, your mum will be so happy.
See what joy you bring to the world.  All your aunties and uncles, cousins and other relations there for you, loving you already. You are one lucky little boy. And still no name yet, though it is early days. "Baby Walker" - we laughed at that this morning, at the pun.
As I get older I get more sentimental about our family. It becomes more important and my hope is that I see more of all my children ( those with or those without children ) and all the grandchildren. I'll have to make plans....

Thursday, March 7, 2019

No More Mourning

8th March 2019

Story for Friday Fictioneers

Thank you to CEAyer for the photo.

No More Mourning

Out of the hotel window she saw the motorbike. She'd seen it the morning before - a handsome, middle aged, Italian man rode it away, the wind blowing through his dark hair. Feeling guilty for the feelings welling up inside her, Grace thought of her husband who died just months before. She'd nursed him during a long illness.  I'm done with  mourning, she thought.
They'd promised themselves that when they retired they'd spend some time in Florence. Now, with a bravery she didn't know she possesed , she is here alone. Maybe tomorrow she will speak to the mysterious stranger.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


5th Mar 2019

I used to make pancakes one at a time on Shrove Tuesday, while everyone sat and waited.
It took hours and the children would get fidgety while waiting .
It soon became clear I had to think of another way.
So, that's how I came to be cooking 24, 30 + pancakes every Shrove Tuesday after that, till most of the children left home. 
I could then take the warm pancakes, which I'd cooked earlier, to the table and sit with them and chat - much better. 

Pancake Day

I put the baby to sleep.
It's nearly two
No time for a cuppa
I've pancakes to do
Come and help me little man

You still need the stool
you're only three
here beat these eggs
in the flour for me
We'll soon have them in the pan

Let mum have a go
give your arms a break
let's keep it in the bowl
How long will it take 
just a bit of milk fast as we can

Frying pan  is hot
you'll have to go and play
let mum get on
Or we'll take all day 
And we'll not be ready for nan

By half past three
we have twenty four
keeping hot in the oven
should I make more
to feed my hungry clan

crepes royalty-free stock photo

They all rush in just before four, with their nan trailing behind them 
She's picked them up for me today so I could make the pancakes
"Up to the table" - she gives the order, in a very serious tone
The six of them rush to take their seats, no time at all it takes.
They wait for the prayer before they begin and then their nan relates 
the reason we have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday each year 
as with tasty goodness they pile up their plates
Some reach for the lemon and sprinkle spoonfuls of sugar 
Others are interested more in the chocolate, spreading it thickly,
And one prefers the strawberry jam thinly spread over a hot pancake. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Three Years Ago

4th Mar 2019

Three Years Ago

This time three year's ago ( wow! is it really that long)  my Mother had been gone for just four weeks and I was trying to get life back on some sort of even keel. I'd decided to see dad as regularly as I could which, for me, meant more than before. And, although Dad was struggling without mum, he'd got plans to see people and had contacted some of the grandchildren to that end.
I could see a future where we could have precious times together .
These were very hopeful weeks which were to be cut short by his sudden death, just seven weeks after Mum's.
I am sorry we didn't get time .
I am sorry I didn't get all the stories.
I am sorry I didn't know him as well as I might have done.
I am sorry I didn't realise what a good man he was until he was no longer here. And the older I get the more admiration I have for him.
Miss you always Dad .
I have a lot to thank you for.
The best thing of all being my faith, which you passed on to me , probably without even knowing.
I remember being quite small, you banging the table and saying, that what moved you to the Catholic Faith were those words in the Gospel when Jesus says to Peter:
 "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church". That was enough for you for many years. And I always think of it .
It's helped my own prayer many times over the years.
I pray that you and I will get to talk about this again when time, for me, is no more.

Thursday, February 28, 2019


28th Feb 2019

Here's the photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers. 

Photo : Jean L Hays


I hear you first - your familiar song
and my heart begins to soar
I raise my eyes -  there you are
In the tree behind the store.

I stand for a while and watch you
A tear forming on my cheek
For a few brief moments I forget
That the weather is yet so bleak.

Then with joy I remember
That day three years ago
When finally she took her last breath
On that day too, there was snow.

In you flew to the garden
To the tree just outside the room
You gave us a last swansong
As her soul floated up to the moon

Monday, February 11, 2019


11th Feb 2019 

I apologise  for being late with the Friday  Fictioneers 100 hundred word challenge.
Have been busy with family and other writing demands. A magazine has just asked if they can use a piece I wrote on homeschooling as well . Chuffed about that. 
So, I've joined in but... Well. you will see.
But, in my defence, it is exactly 100 words!! 


This fire looks very inviting to me at the moment, stuck as we are, without any heating. It reminds me of camping trips with good friends. Children snuggled up warm in sleeping bags, leaving mums and dads free to relax with wine fueled debate late into the night. But, yes, trust the boiler to die in the coldest month of the year. Mind you, we knew three years ago that we would have to replace it, but thought we'd wait till it actually broke down. Well now it has. We’re cold. Hate the cold.  Sure I've told you that before.

Friday, February 1, 2019


1st Feb 2019

Struggled to write just the 100 words for Friday Fictioneers today. Had to edit from 300 - ish. Hope it still has some sense.
Might still write  a poem with in response to this prompt though.

Wild Place
Rosanna pulled back the canvas.
"Wow, Clare look. The sky - pink, purple, orange, hues of  blue.
And mountains ..."
Her sister looked through the peephole.
"Wow that's amazing. But I won't forget."
"I know. Let dad sleep. We'll make coffee."  Wrapped  in blankets they walked to chairs, left out the night before.
" You know they always planned to come here,  the two of them ."
"Yes, but not with us, Ros.  Dad's just being weird."
"There used to be four chairs," Ros sat down, "lately only  two," she wiped away a tear, "and  now three. We're here because dad needs this."

Friday, January 25, 2019


24th Jan 2019

The Friday Fictioneers Challenge

Once you were loved
someone cared for you 
caressed you
treated you fine
took you on outings 
beautiful lady smooth lines
out for a good time
in your prime
but now
you are alone
on your own
hidden in the forest
tall trees grow up 
 around you 
hem you in 
you are trapped
briars and bracken
poke through the ruins 
of your broken body
your heart
no longer beats 
your paint flakes
your eyes are blinded
the lights gone out
you are old now 
and rusted
you are no use anymore

Words 93

Monday, January 21, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful 21st Jan 2109

21st Jan 2019

Today I'm joining the TTOT - Ten Things of Thankful . If you go to :

you'll find others who are taking up the challenge.

I always find it difficult to get my life back on track in January.
It did occur to me that making resolutions at the beginning of the year is much too difficult , especially when you consider that we are usually tired with having lived through/survived the Christmas season. Now don't get me wrong I do love Christmas, but apart from Church involvement there's lot of socialising  with family and friends and of course, the overeating and drinking too much. And, because, as a family, we keep the twelve days of Christmas, ie 25th Dec- 6th Jan,  we are still celebrating when people are making their new year's resolutions. So, it doesn't quite work.
So my proposal is, let's start our new year at the beginning of February. It makes sense.
So, that's what I'm aiming for this year. It gives me a few more weeks to get myself together and get my head around what I might want to do to make improvements in my life in 2019.

I'm getting distracted. Here's my ten things of thankful :

1. For the daylight which is lengthening as each new dawn. This morning it was getting light at 6.45 where we live and in the afternoon yesterday it was after four before I had to put lights on at home. So, we're getting there. I love the journey into spring . Next month we'll have at least another hour of daylight. And then another two in march . I look forward to that so much.
2. Following on from the last one, I'm thankful for my eyesight that gives me so much pleasure. Even the colours as I look out of my window. The brown of the tress silhouetted against a blue sky, grey shadows of plants and fence on the green grass.   The sun glinting off the glass in my husband's studio. A little robin with his red breast sitting on the fence.
That I can see the smile of my husband and my children and grandchildren.
On my birthday some of them came to visit and what a picture it was see them together around the table - healthy and happy.
3. I'm thankful that I'm fit enough to go for walks - legs still good. And I'm particularly thankful that I did an 11 km walk with my daughter and future daughter in law last Saturday, along the clifftop with the sea a glassy picture to our left ( well, to our right on our way back, obviously) and a beautiful view of Reculver Towers (look it up). It was such a precious time. We talked, laughed and encouraged each other. What happy memories we make

Image may contain: 3 people, including Marian Green, people smiling, people standing, sky, ocean and outdoor

4. I'm thankful for the enjoyment of good books and that I belong to a book group that pushes me to try things that otherwise I might not. We've just read THUG ( The Hate You Give) by Angie Thomas. Unexpectedly I enjoyed it. Not something I'd pick up for myself. Before that I'd read and enjoyed The Tattooer  of Auschwitz, which I thoroughly recommend.
5. Only at number five? Here we go then. I'm thankful that we have enough to eat, especially when I think that so many don't have much even in this country.  Food banks don't seem to touch the  tip of the iceberg. I would hate to think that anybody didn't have enough to eat.
6. And, along the same lines, I'm so thankful that we have a house (home) to live in. This time of year is deadly for the homeless, literally. Many die from being out in these cold months. But it's not just have a home, it's being able to afford to put the heating on , at least for a little while in during the winter. And those who need it most, namely the elderly, who spend the majority of their time indoors, are the ones sometimes, who are least able to afford  to keep warm.
7. Only three more to go. Number seven , but actually first on my list, because it is just me. I'm so thankful for my faith. And for God who believes in me. Something a friend said comes to mind. Her son said I'm not going to pray, I don't believe in your God anymore, it's all rubbish. She turned to him and said, well, that's ok, because God still believes in you. Magic...
8. I am thankful for my parents and my grandparents who have gone before me. They have made me who I am . Some very special people there
9. I ma thankful for birdsong . I can hear it as I sit here writing and it cheers my spirit no end.
10.And I am hugely thankful for people creating blog posts like this one - TTOT - that I can get involved with and that wakes up my little grey cells.

So, thank you everyone. I can't wait to see all your posts and see what you are all thankful for.

Friday, January 18, 2019


18th Jan 2019
It's Friday Fictioneers again . Not sure what to make of the photo prompt.


She'd only dozed off for a few minutes, surely. She looked at her phone - 16.03. Where were the boys? It was too quiet. Rising from the sofa, heart pounding she surveyed the scene, where an hour and a half ago they'd been constructing junk models. She stepped on the beginnings of a robot, and next to it a castle in the making. Tape creatively decorated the door - a map, maybe?  But where were they. She ran up the stairs two at a time. There on her bed she found two little boys,  taped together and fast asleep. And breathing peacefully.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Well Blessed

16th Jan 2019

Well Blessed - My Birthday

ImageYesterday was my birthday. I didn't realise the number I'd reached was a significant number.
So I was taken by surprise at the amount of attention it ( I ) was given.
From the first moment, when my thoughtful husband gave me my card and then a present. It's not something we normally do, giving each other presents, unless it's a special birthday, so I was delighted to get this unexpected gift - a small, portable, old- fashioned radio which I've been wanting for sometime. So useful, in the house, for taking with me to whichever room I'm in and also just right for taking with us on our jaunts in the camper. It's beautiful and a bit retro - I love it.

I did make myself a tasty breakfast. Quite often don't have breakfast , or maybe just a bowl of porridge, because, well, you know it's "good for you". I very rarely have anything cooked ( yes, I know technically,  porridge is cooked, but it sort of doesn't count) and I'd never had this  before although I'd wanted to try it for a some time:
Baked egg and avocado - delicious
 Image result for pictures of baked egg and avocado

Then the joy, walking into my writing group and being sung to by my lovely writer friends. If it wasn't for Facebook that probably wouldn't of happened. And it was a great session too.
After stretching my mind for a bit with character study,  home to pick more cards up from the mat . So many cards... and such a lot of well wishing.  I was a little overwhelmed .
In the afternoon a visit form a dear friend with flowers, chocolates, another card and stories ( that's the best bit).                                                                                                      

Eight grandchildren for lunch with their two mums . And again more cards homemade this time- love the homemade ones- and cake and the children brought a little game that we could all play with. Proper party style.

Then in the evening a visit from two sons - hugs and stories to share. And also during the evening,  phone calls from those other children who, with living further away didn't get to see me.

And finally a gorgeous Indian meal with a beautiful daughter. She helped us make wise choices  from the take away menu, which turned out to be just right. Oh, and with the meal a glass ( or was it two) of red ..
But it's not the things I got, which is neither her nor there - I'm not materialistic at all - it's the fact that people, especially my wonderful family think of me. I feel so appreciated.

I am truly well blessed . Don't know how come I deserve so much love.  xxx

Friday, January 11, 2019


12th Jan

I happen to love cats, always have. Trouble is, in my adult life I developed an allergy to them and being  in a house where cats live for more than half an hour will bring on an asthma attack, which is a pity as a lot of my friends have cats. 
We had a very intelligent cat called Tiggy when I was a child and how we came by him is a bit like the story below.


"Don't ask again. I've said no and that's that."
Well, the three sister's didn't want it to be no and even though dad had been so adamant, they found themselves in the pet shop staring at the little kittens as they did every afternoon on the way home from school.
Soon they would be ready to leave the pet shop and  all but one had a new  home to go to . The girl's spent a long time watching them feeding and playing with their mum, all the time getting  to know their different characters and falling  in love with the each one, but especially the sweet little tabby who was still waiting for someone to come and claim him. In a few days he and the others would be eight weeks old and he'd be left behind when his brothers and sisters went to their new families.
Short-coated Gray Cat
"I've got enough money, shall we just buy him," Susan, eleven and the eldest, picked little kitty up in her arms, held him to her breast and stroked him lovingly.
"We can't'll kill us," Barbara, nine,  spoke in a higher pitch then normal, while Lucy, eight nodded her head in excitement while jumping from one foot to the other.
"But he won't find out," replied Susan, "I've got a plan." She bent,  kissed the kitten on his nose and like talking to a baby she said,  "I've got a little plan haven't I?"
"What is it, tell us?" Barbara was all ears. Maybe there was a chance, she thought, maybe they could keep him.
"Well, you know dad's garage is full of stuff and he hardly ever goes in it?"
"Yeh, so?"
"He could live in there. We could go feed him everyday,  make a little home for him, you know, with blankets and things." She'd been trying to think of a way and she was pretty sure that this scheme would work , but Barbara was still unsure.
"What if dad finds him?" Out of the three sisters she was the most fearful of her father.
"He won't. We'll have to be extra careful though. Like, we'll have to sneak out when they are busy or wait till Dad goes to collect Mum from work. We can do it." She put the kitten back and looked pleadingly at her sisters. For although she'd made her mind up to get him , she needed them on her side if the plan was going to work.
"Yes, yes... let's... go on ..." Lucy couldn't stop herself from bouncing up and down.
They had to run home, which wasn't easy with the carrier with the kitten inside.  Susan hadn't bargained on all the questions she would be asked about their ability to care for him.
By the time they'd  finished making Tiggy, for that was the name they gave him, comfortable in a dark corner of the garage behind some boxes of old books and some electrical equipment, there was only a few minutes to spare before their father walked in. Susan got him his cup of tea as usual and he suspected nothing. When he went out to pick up their mother, they scoured the fridge for suitable tidbits for their new guest.
But, of course this situation couldn't last forever and one evening about two months later, after Susan had fed and watered Tiggy her mum went into the garden with rubbish for the bins. It was Lucy's job, but she was feeling unwell that day.
"Where is that meowing coming from?" She walked towards the garage. The sister's heard her and readied themselves for the outburst.
"And what have we here? " She held Tiggy awkwardly by the scruff of his neck, like he was vermin.
 "What's the meaning of this?" she demanded, holding the poor kitten, squealing and kicking, at arms length.
"Mum, we've been looking after him. We got him from the pet shop, he's.."
"I don't care! He's got to go back . He's not staying here!"
Just then dad walked in.
" Mags, what's all the fuss? What..." he spotted the kitten in mum's hand. "Where did that come from?"
"You may well ask," mum nodded towards the guilty parties, "found him in the garage . The girls had him hidden behind your old books. Don't know what they were thinking,"  then stepping closer to them and shouting, "what were you thinking??"
"Dad, we can look after him, please, please...  can we keep him... please??" Susan put her hands together like in prayer. The others kept quiet.
"No!. Now we said no. You disregarded your mother and I and went behind our backs.  I'm not happy with you. Go to your rooms." He took Tiggy from mum and sat on the sofa stroking him. "Tomorrow he goes back.
"But dad, please..." Susan used her most pleading voice.
They all marched upstairs. They all cried for a lot of the night. Susan slept in her sisters room squeezed in beside Lucy.
In the morning they woke early . They hadn't slept much and their eyes were red and sore.
Between them they wrote a letter to their dad, with the hope that this might change his mind. It was their last hope.
When they heard him in the kitchen they crept downstairs to give him the letter.
"Ahh girls. Right, sit yourself down there."
"Dad, we.." Susan handed him the letter but he just put in on the table.
"Be quiet now and let me speak." He sat across from them and folded his arms in his serious pose. They knew that he meant business.
"Your mother and I talked a lot last night about what you'd done.."
"Stop interrupting me. We are not happy that you were deceitful, but you have shown love for the little kitten and you've looked after him well , we can see that. So, as long as you take full responsibility for him, he can stay."
There was lots of hugs and thank yous as three little girls jumped all over their dad and promised that he wouldn't be sorry.
"If he interferes with me at all, he'll have to go," mum's voice was soft . "He can have a place in the corner of the kitchen. How long did you think you'd be able to keep him locked up in the garage, for goodness sake?"
Tiggy became a part of the family after that and when the girls grew up and left home, he was still there to keep mum and dad company and although mum wouldn't admit it,  she was his favourite person, the one who's lap he would sit on and purr contentedly.

Thursday, January 10, 2019


10th Jan 2019

I have just found Friday Fictioneers. The idea on this site is to write a story in exactly one hundred words. There is a prompt to get you started.
So, I thought I'd have a go.


"What about this one Grams?"
"Wow, love that. Put it here, in the bag."
Chrissie runs on the beach, looks for more shells, forgetting,
 for the moment, to be sad.
The waves rush in. And within me an ocean rises up to meet them.
I wipe tears from my eyes.
Musn't let her see me cry. She's only three and the enormity of what's
 happened washes over her.
For just these moments she is free.
She run's towards me.
"Gram's, I'm so cold. Can we go home?"
I pick her up, hold her close, burying  my face in her coat.
And wonder, Can we?


10th Jan 2019

Just a few words to match my mood this morning:

There is so much dark

Dark in the sky,
Dark in my mind
Dark in my soul
Dark in through the windows, through all windows

Dark back through years
Dark behind all the tears
Dark whilst standing in the sun
Dark whilst having so much fun

Where is the light to see by
Where is the light to show the way
Where is the light to reveal the joy
Hidden deep and locked away

He is the light, he helps us see
He is the light, he shows the way
He is the light , he reveals the joy
He can no longer be hidden away

Move dear soul so you can see
Move dear heart to find the way
Move dear child, reveal the joy
Move, hide no more, come into the day

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


8th Jan 2019

Well, Christmas is over and the decorations - tree , cards, wall hangings have been taken down. All gone except for the crib. The crib will stay until 2nd Feb.


The Feast of the Epiphany 6th January- we were at our daughter's - was a wonderful  celebration .
Mass first thing, coffee and biscuits in the hall after, where Peter and I had a strange conversation with an interesting  chap we hadn't met before who is a musician, who converted to Catholicism eight years ago. He told us his conversion story which started way back in an evangelical upbringing. He spent many years searching for the more authenticity,  moving from one domination to the next, until he ended up in the Catholic church, which he now says is his home.
"What can I do to help, " I take my coat off and follow  my daughter into the kitchen, where she is already surrounded by bowls, mixers, weighing scales and everything needed to make cheesecake.
" Could you take that bowl there. There's red onions and tomatoes in the fridge . You can slice them all up and put them in there." And so I did, adding some balsamic viniger to taste.
After that we spent about three hours getting the food ready for the party later. For most of that time I kept my head down and washed up , and washed up , keeping the area clean so Em and some of the girls could just get on.
In between times different children came in and helped themselves to something to eat, after all it would be a long time till the party.
The long table is decorated with a Christmas table cloth and candles with a place even for the baby Jesus. It looks just perfect.
We take a moment to have a coffee, but not for long as the first visitor arrives and now the table in the kitchen is strewn with everything needed to make beautiful kings crowns, with glittery jewels to stick on .
They are dressed in kings robes to play their role . Happy children.
Finally everyone is here and I am swaddled in the comfortable chatter and buzz that is my lovely family - children, grandchildren, niece, great niece and nephew, and sister-in-law. We drink what looks like pink champagne and catch up on stories. A blessed time, which passes all too quickly.
The food ?- amazing , of course. But the company is the main thing.
When people start to leave I get sad.
Later hubby and I take ourselves out to our camper, which is parked up on the drive and go to bed. We are both emotional and teary eyed at what a great family we have.