First blog post

I’ve spent the last two years writing, partly as a means of coping with life (I have PTSD and a few skeletons in my closet that I’ll come to at later dates). But in writing to cope, I have found the thing I was born to do. That’s a bold statement, I know. But it’s true. Days that I don’t write, I feel twitchy and unsettled. Writing is a drug. Only, not a dangerous one. It’s my lifeblood. And so, I want to share it with you.


Welcome to my first official blog. I thought I’d start with a little background information into me. As a child, I wrote stories all of the time. I was an only child with a passion for Enid Blyton, so most of those stories were boarding school related. All of them were about friendship and adventures.

As I got to my teen years, the only things I wrote were angsty-type poems: the kind a lot of teenagers wrote and still write today. I then got a BA Hons degree in Literary Studies, graduating age 21. Somehow, I then worked in the insurance industry for the next thirteen years (I know. I can only apologise. Please don’t judge me on that!).

When my Mum became completely bed-bound in 2010, I gave up work to become her sole carer. I spent her last precious two and a half years looking after her and learning that she was the strongest person I ever knew, or am ever likely to. I miss her every day, and her death influenced my writing greatly.

Which leads me to this blog. I’ve spent the last two years writing, partly as a means of coping with life (I have PTSD and a few skeletons in my closet that I’ll come to at later dates). But in writing to cope, I have found the thing I was born to do. That’s a bold statement, I know. But it’s true. Days that I don’t write, I feel twitchy and unsettled. Writing is a drug. Only, not a dangerous one. It’s my lifeblood. And so, I want to share it with you.

I hope you like it.

Magic Carpet Ride

This is something I wrote about someone who is the star sign Pisces, incorporating the following Piscean traits: big heart, kind, compassionate, extremely positive, intuitive, follow instincts, dreamers, escapists, enigmatic, get lost in own imagination, emotional, spiritual, romantic, artistic, creative.




Magic Carpet Ride

Matthew sat cross legged under the old oak tree. His hands, placed palms up on his thighs, he breathed slowly. A hush came over him, and the whole world disappeared.

As his lungs became cleansed with the clean, fresh air he was breathing, a warmth spread through his body. He cleared his mind of all the stresses of teaching his Year 10 Art class that afternoon. Sarah Baker’s catfight with Polly James faded into insignificance, and his heart became filled with love.

“Hey, Matt, I thought I’d find you out here.”

Rosie. The girl who made his skin tingle in anticipation of being touched by her. Opening his eyes, he brought himself back to the present. “Hey, you.” A smile spread across his face. “You’re looking beautiful.”

Watching her face colour as she dipped her head towards the floor made him need to kiss her. Grabbing her hand, he pulled her down and pressed his lips to hers. A corkscrew of electricity wound its way through his core. Pulling back, he caressed her face. “I mean it, you know. You are beautiful.”

This time, she kissed him, and a forcefield of static buzzed around them. It signalled the course of true love between soulmates, and, in that moment, Matthew knew they would be together forever.

When Rosie pulled away, she leant back against the rough bark of the oak. She sighed and picked a blade of grass,

“What’s up?” Matthew always knew when people had things on their minds. His mum told him he possessed a sixth sense. It was what led him to his spiritual path. Knowing that he could intuit things that others wouldn’t begin to see, he had to share his gift with the world. As for the non believers, they were the ones missing out. And so today, he knew Rosie was unhappy. Although, admittedly, anyone could have picked up on this one.

Rosie swallowed and opened her mouth to speak. But her breathing was shallow, and her words wouldn’t come.

Taking her hand and kissing the back of it, Matthew turned his whole body to face her. “Hey, this is me you’re with here. You can tell me anything.” He continued holding her hand.

“I hate my job. No, I hate my boss, and I can’t do my job.” As she sobbed, she stared back toward the house.

Edging close enough for their hips to touch, he draped his arm around her shoulders and squeezed, then kissed the top of her head. “Damian. I should have guessed he was responsible. What’s he done now?”

“Nothing new. Only undermined every sale I made, then told me I have to see an Occupational Therapist to assess my abilities, since I had six weeks off sick with glandular fever. He hates me, Matt. He thinks I’m rubbish at my job.” She let out a wail of unhappiness and Matthew hugged her tight.

“The guy is an ass. You should quit. You don’t have to put up with that kind of crap.”

Shaking off his arm, she rounded on him. “And what would I do, exactly? I’m trained for nothing. And, can you imagine the kind of reference he would give me?”

“Hey, it’s okay. I was thinking about the book you never have time to write. You could do that. I’m making enough money teaching to take care of us. We have some saved away. We’d be fine. And you could become a world-famous writer and we could travel the world, promoting it.” His blue eyes sparkled as he spoke, but Rosie just shook her head.

“I can’t quit my job to write a book I don’t even know if I can write. It’s too risky.”

“Okay. Well, oh yes, even better. We’ll both quit, and we could travel to remote areas of Africa or, like, the Himalayas, or somewhere, and we could teach them. We wouldn’t need money. We could volunteer with charities. Oh, that would be so good. Wouldn’t it?”

He looked at her as a lone tear drifted down her cheek. Using his thumb, he wiped it away. It hurt his heart to see the love of his life this unhappy. He kissed the spot where the tear had been. “Sorry, I got a little carried away, didn’t I?”

With a laugh, she smiled at him. “Yes, just a little. But you’re right about one thing: I do need to find a new job.”

“And I’ll help you. We’ll get you away from that nasty piece of work that calls himself a boss. I won’t let him hurt you again. I promise.”

“I know,” she said as she started to stand.

Holding onto her hand, he pulled her back down. “Don’t go inside just yet. Sit here with me on my magic carpet, and I’ll take us on a ride of your choice.”

After tapping his arm playfully, she said, “Okay. The Maldives, please. Expensive and showy, but I need some white sands and sun.”

As he began to describe the scenery in the countries they floated over, he could sense Rosie’s shoulders relaxing and her hurt melting away.

Hobby Horse




Hobby Horse

Her baby face fills with
dark blue eyes sparkling,
newly grown teeth
poking through her smile;
delicate, blonde tendrils
dancing around her ears
as she rides her horse
that was once upon a time
just a broom.

Salt water stings my
cracked lips;
memory so raw
it bites into my flesh
and holds me captive.

I can smell the coconut
in her hair
and hear her
as she jumps imaginary fences …

Why can’t I touch her?

Life: the saga that
lasted too long;
trapping her in sorrow,
leaving scar tissue
so delicate it
in the sunlight.

These, her final thoughts,
are all that remain
of my baby—
these words and the
photograph atop the mantel
of my daughter
riding her horse.


chocolate fudge cake2


Ed’s car is in the garage already. That means I’ll have to be quiet. I prise open our front door and hold my breath, listening for an indication of his whereabouts. I take off my shoes and creep along the hardwood floor. No sign of him downstairs, so I take the risk. I have no choice. It’s calling me. I open the pink cardboard box, and the intoxicating, sweet scent fills my world. The first bite of crumbly, chocolatey heaven-sent cake explodes in my mouth. “Nicki,” I suddenly hear, “What happened to the diet?”


  • This is my attempt to write micro fiction. It’s 95 words long. So much harder to write than you would think.


I’ve come to realise that free verse, dark poetry is my go-to place when things are tough. I’ve written a lot of poetry over the last couple of weeks, and it’s been dark. I first noticed myself retreating to this place of creativity when I was a teenager. It was the first time I really began writing. And I did it because I was desperately unhappy, and I needed an outlet.

Over the years, it’s always worked out this way. Free verse just seems to flow more—well—freely when I’m depressed.

So, with that said, here is today’s offering:




secrets transmitted through
morse code in static;




insanity seeds sprout shoots,
instil doubts, and
that toothless, old man
with brandy-breath—
morphs into eggshells and

fragments of memories—
sharp, vicious—
shatter, then dissolve;
taking with them what’s left of my




there are moments within these
stills of life that
p  a  u  s  e
long enough
for me to catch their truth …

how do i change this cassette which
l o o p s
my brain’s membrane?
how do i
the voice who torments me?

fatigue violates my bones;
tearing down walls of ligaments and muscles,
draining blood.

i’m barely here

my fingernails are
starting to ache and
letting go
would be





the ledge

The Ledge

the ledge

at night, he crawls through the
crack in the curtains;
false teeth snarling,
rotten gravestones covered in scum,
. . . which one is for me?
i cocoon myself in the
puppy-dog covers
(all that’s left of my youth)
a tremor in my little finger
the only tell of my
f e a r
eyes scrunched up,
years of training bid me,
don’t look . . .
cognac and old spice,
which have no right to
linger on a young girl’s skin,
flip my stomach and
heat rushes my cheeks
as i swallow the bitter
in my throat.

when i wake,
frigid night air dimples my skin,
strong hands grip my arms
and the voice that speaks my name
has that
sexy American twang
i peek at my husband
whose animated eyebrows
dance on his
crimson face,
and like a far-off view
through someone else’s binoculars
the room comes into focus;
i’m an adult
i’m safe
except for the window ledge and
open window
over which i hover.

i step down,
into his arms
and weep.

United No More

This is an editorial I wrote last year. I was given the subject of unity and how this works in the 21st century. These are my thoughts. Just my own thoughts. You don’t have to agree.




United No More

When did the world become such an uncaring place? Has it really changed so much?

It saddens me I when hear the hate rhetoric that is not only spewed from the misguided masses, but now it is part of our politicians’ manifestos. The frightening thing is that we are listening to them. We believe that refusing to admit all refugees who have nowhere to live, other than in the middle of a war zone or under the canvas of a makeshift tent that has been cobbled together to provide the minimum protection, will save us all from certain terrorism. We believe that taking away benefits from the most vulnerable in society, simply because their illness is mental, therefore not visible, will make the hardworking among us richer and happier. Because, after all, the mentally ill are simply scroungers who could work if they really wanted to. My mind is blown by this kind of thinking.

I don’t understand when or why everyone became so selfish. There was a time, and it wasn’t so long ago, that we felt united. People helped one another. People cared about one another. This is no longer the case. Yes, there are people who will always be there for you: your family and friends. But, in general, we are in this for ourselves. It is true that everybody has a “Just Giving” page nowadays. We have to be seen to care. In reality, though, ask those fundraisers to house a refugee family, or to donate their own money to buy a family living in poverty one hot meal every week, and we are in a totally different situation.

Unity is a concept belonging to the past. The end began with BREXIT. I hang my head when I think about what this country started with that vote. What is so bad about being united, standing together? Why do we think that standing alone is a stronger, safer place to be? Alienating some of our closest allies seems like a terrible idea to me. We are a tiny island. It won’t be long before Scotland breaks away from the rest of the UK. Wales and Northern Ireland, I am sure, will follow shortly thereafter. It’s okay, though, because we are English, and we will be looking after ourselves. I shake my head and sigh.

I am discussing the UK because I am British. But this feeling of unease and dislike for our neighbours is a worldwide phenomenon. Leaders with all the morals of a preying mantis have been elected (and self-appointed) the world over. The tectonic plates of unrest are rubbing and shooting off sparks in all directions. There is only a certain amount of time before the world will shake so hard we all fall into the cracks. Unless we change.

Why not love people who look a little different from us, people who hold different beliefs? What is wrong with acceptance, rather than opposition? I appreciate this is the real world, and my ideas are somewhat fantasist. But wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we could all make a change? I know it won’t happen. The world will be nuked beyond belief before we make friends with our foes. That, apparently, is preferable. I don’t understand it. I wish I could change it.


A Childhood Memory

The mental health writing group I’m part of gave the prompt to write about a childhood memory. I tried to keep it happy. It was hard.




Should be simple, right? But, as of right now, I have no idea what I’m going to write about. I’m hoping something will come to me as I type. You see, this prompt (or, a similar one, at least) came up a couple of months ago in something else, and I discovered I don’t have memories from childhood. Except for the nightmares I have pretty much every night and the flashbacks every day. But I’m not going to write about any of those. I want to write about something normal.

And so, I struggle. It’s the strangest thing. I try to think about my childhood, and it’s like the part of my brain which holds the files for that part of my life is locked. Or, maybe it’s been thrown away. I’m not sure.

Okay. I’ve made myself a coffee and had a hard think about this, and I have something. Something that, actually, makes me really happy when I think about it.

I know I’ve mentioned a few times how important music and dance was to my Dad’s family. They were all singers and dancers, and I inherited the love for both. Today, music is the thing that links me back to Dad the most strongly. It’s the thing that can break me, but it’s also the thing that makes me feel loved.

So, this isn’t one specific memory of one specific event. Every Saturday night, we used to go visit my Auntie Beryl; Mum’s favourite sister. The car journey was about twenty-five minutes, and those whole twenty-five minutes were always packed with song and laughter and happiness. Dad usually let me choose the cassette tape (yes, I’m that old!) to play. Now, this is where I hold my hands up and say, “My taste in music is not cool. My taste in music is eclectic.” I guess, at the age when I used to go to Auntie Beryl’s with Mum and Dad (once I was thirteen, I opted to stay home alone and invite friends over) a lot of my musical taste was based on Dad’s tastes. I have to admit, I still like that music. I’m talking music from the 60’s, 70’s, country music. There were two cassettes I chose most often: one was a Beatles compilation and the other was a 60s compilation. On the Beatles album, ‘Eleanor Rigby’ was mine and Dad’s favourite. We always (and I mean every time we listened) discussed how sad the song is. It felt like it was really important. It connected Dad and me with a fine lasso. The song from the 60’s album that caught me was ‘Those Were The Days’ by Mary Hopkin. Again, we discussed the meaning every week. Dad would talk about how I should’t waste my youth because it would be gone far too quickly, and you can never get it back. He always had this wistfulness in his voice. It’s weird how I understood that; even when I was only, like, six or seven. I already felt like I’d wasted too much time feeling unhappy, and I was terrified that life would only get worse from there. I feel so sad when I hear that song today because my youth has gone. I did waste it.

Ahh, nuts! I meant to keep it happy. Despite what I’ve written above, we did sing along to all the cool songs. Like ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia.’ That was one of our favourites. I still love it today. Those car journeys were special, bonding time. What I wouldn’t give to be in the car, singing along to Johnny Cash and Dusty Springfield.

Right, now I’ve started to write about a memory, I’m going to continue. Once we got to Auntie Beryl’s, I always had a great time. Mostly, because I was away from home, and away from my grandfather and my bedroom. My two cousins, who are both older than me, used to play with me. They had a huge garden with lots of places to hide and build dens. I loved going there. But the crowning glory for me was the dart board they had in their hallway. I loved playing darts every week. I don’t know why because it’s not exactly an exciting game, but I always looked forward to it. And then, there was the ice cream. Every week, Auntie Beryl gave us a Pzazz ice cream. I don’t think they sell them any more, but they were delicious.

On the way home, Dad would start by singing his own, local songs that he and his family used to sing in pubs and clubs. They were, mostly, really depressing, and I remember feeling sad when he sang them. But they were beautiful, too, and his voice was rich and lovely. He sang some funny, slightly rude, songs too, and I remember Mum tapping his arm more than once and telling him to stop.

It may not sound like much, but these moments are among the happiest of my life. Yeah. So, there is my memory.