Band of Mothers: the true meaning of Mother’s Day

When I was a child, I loved Mother’s Day.  More specifically, I loved Blue Peter and never more so than when the presenters uttered the magical words “Mums leave the room” before they unveiled this year’s craft creation.  I’m actually rubbish at crafts, so my Mum would feign delight at the latest wrapping paper, matchboxContinue reading “Band of Mothers: the true meaning of Mother’s Day”

The Little Tin Soldier With Only One Leg

One of Fred’s favourite songs that I sang to him when he was small was The Little Tin Soldier.  Originally by Donavan, it was a song my brother had sung to me when I was similarly small, so I know all the words. The story, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story,, is about aContinue reading “The Little Tin Soldier With Only One Leg”

World Book Day and the stories we leave behind

I always loved World Book Day, although I pretended I hated it.  I bristled at the expectation and I think at one point argued that it was a construct of the patriarchy.  However, I was dedicated.  My rules were strict, no film characters allowed.  If it was a film then the book had to have come first. 

Getting away with it

There is a character in LA Confidential called Rolo Tomasi.  One of my favourite books, a nice counterbalance to Daphne Du Maurier, it’s a brutal crime story of police and political corruption, and a triumph of the broken and flawed over the venal.  It’s very much a tale for our age. Rolo Tomasi doesn’t exist.Continue reading “Getting away with it”

Feathers

I couldn’t find a feather, there’s never one when you need one. You can’t plan these things, or know where to look. They are not like conkers or pine cones. Feathers find you, carried on the breeze in search of a new home. People tell me that they are messages from the other side, sentContinue reading “Feathers”

Anything but cancer – would you know what to look for in your child?

As a mother, I maintained a high level of alert for my children, ever watchful for signs of impending disaster.  With Fred there was an extra level of peril because, like a velociraptor, he was always testing the fences looking for weak points.  Like that time he got up early and made a den byContinue reading “Anything but cancer – would you know what to look for in your child?”

Oven Gloves – Advice for the newly bereaved and those who love them

It has been one year and two months since Fred died, and it is my second #NationalBereavedParentsDay.  That seems an extraordinary thing to write,  but there it is.  In that time, I have relied on the strength and grace of those that were bereaved before me, and have seen others follow.  I have also seenContinue reading “Oven Gloves – Advice for the newly bereaved and those who love them”

Looking for a better way to get up out of bed: The Great North Run

I’m running the Great North Run. It’s 13 bloody miles! That is considerably further than I’ve ever run before and considerably further than I can run at the moment. The past few years have not been kind to my body. Actually the months of sitting in hospitals weren’t too bad – I got my stepsContinue reading “Looking for a better way to get up out of bed: The Great North Run”