Tag Archives: hope


Pain dissembles every aspect of life, of living.
It eats away at who you are, devours independence yet leaves you isolated, despite every firm resolve not to let it.
Pain is the four letter word I hate most. A source of rage, of indiscriminate actions.
Pain negates life. It culls the heart, smears the spirit, wounds resolve.
Life is lived differently when you endure constant pain. Pain drains hope, it makes you feel hollow, unworthy.
It is ten years since an injury caused my right hip to seize-up. Gradually inflexibility became disability.
But on 29th May I had a new ‘bionic’ hip installed. Today I can stand tall again.
This is the beginning of a new chapter of my life. The act of being ME changes.

Meeting friends I never knew I had.

Meeting friends I never knew I had.



Filed under Changes, courage, endurance, fulfilment, hope

Not Writing

I’m writing. I write most days but rarely aim to publish. And it seems to me that’s the problem. I love to write but I baulk at publishing, going public. It’s like exposing your soul, I think. But that’s the point surely, writing must be read. And I agree, but not by someone else, it’s mine, secret and safe. Except I’ve recently lost my work-in-progress notebook, worse I think I left it in a hotel in Kelso…someone, a complete stranger, could be rifling through my notes right at this moment and thinking…well I hate to wonder what they might think.

It seems to me there are many reasons why people write. I’m the worst kind, the writer who locks herself away and reels off page after page of passionate prose, and edits it down to a sentence next day. I’m constantly appraising my work, destroying one set of words and replacing them with another. That’s the trouble with word processors, it’s the literary equivalent of a chalk board, but I do scribble copious notes in my notebooks and, truth be told, that’s where the bones of my stories are placed.

Now anyone looking at my desk at this very moment might think I’m in complete and utter meltdown. Although a larger than average desk (it came from a public library) very little green leather surface can be seen because it’s littered with notebooks. But each of these hand-written tomes are used for a different purpose – I keep notes about the craft of writing in one (all the tips ever received from other writers and writing workshops) which obviously I need to check regularly. The second contains source materials and references to facts, so when necessary (and more than once a day) I can find my original sources of research. And then there’s the largest (and the only one with scribblings on every page) which contains the very first outline of my pending novel, except this recently flowed into a second volume, now inconveniently missing.

I’m reminded of a handbag for all the wrong reasons. What handbag? The one in which poor Earnest was deposited when his nurse misplaced him for her novel. That poor woman went unpublished. Perhaps Oscar Wilde was right; women haven’t the temperament to write novels and remain sane.

This one’s dedicated to you Scott, wherever you might be.

Mess or management?

Mess or management?


Filed under ambition, Books, completion, editing, Entertainment, fulfilment, Writing


ImageOne of the things that strikes me about the USA is how graciously they celebrate success at every level. Going into the foyer of Ellenton Ice Arena (where my son and his partner currently train) the first thing you see is a huge banner strung across the wall with the names of club skaters listed alongside their achievements. At the other end of the foyer there is a smaller notice board which contains photographs of club members, coaches and auxiliaries in action during the year with written articles on recent events. Inspirational and interesting reading for an outsider like me. In contrast I went to Dumfries Ice Bowl last Friday and the club notice board was devoid of anything except a bland list of officials. Yet both their synchro skating teams medaled at the recent British Championships – at the very least I’d expect to see photographs of the successful teams.


Success is very much a state of mind. But during his recent lecture to students at Harvard University Sir Alex Ferguson put his success down to sunshine. Being that Manchester isn’t noted for its Mediterranean climate the manager of the most successful football team on the planet arranges for his players to soak up the rays artificially. So while my lucky son reaps the bonus of blue Florida skies I am morose at the prospect of yet another wet and windy day in grey old England. And don’t let anyone say the lack of bright sunny days doesn’t have a huge bearing on how much we enjoy life. Up here in northern England we’ve suffered so much wet weather in 2012 we are in danger of becoming Eeyores with perpetually gloomy outlooks.


Well, just for once, the sun actually took a peep at Cumbria this morning, so before it changed its mind we wrapped ourselves in warm clothes and applied wellies, sat the grandsons in ‘big red’ (neither possesses the attitude for a pushchair) and set off ‘round the block’ for our first outing outside all holiday. Yes we were windswept and weather beaten but judging by the bevy of neighbours encountered along the way we were not alone in seeking sunshine.


So back to where I began, with resolutions. The New Year kind I gave up on years ago, no point in starting February with regrets, but I’ll work hard on my optimism and try to celebrate and encourage more, and criticise and condemn less. Obviously that will require a good dose of sunshine so I’ll have to seek out the sun. We can make 2013 wonderful.


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