Posted in Blog Posts

A Yorkshire Break

My husband and I are just home from a week in Yorkshire with our daughter and our dogs. It was wonderful. We were very lucky with the weather, our accommodation — a converted cowshed dating back to 1653 — was just lovely, and our trip there and back was uneventful: the best kind of journey to have. But it was also a sad trip for me in many ways.

We had arranged for a decorator to paint the entire house while we were away. It was all organised at the last minute so the days before we left were filled with tidying, cleaning, and moving *stuff* to storage instead of packing and looking forward to the trip. I was completely exhausted and in huge amounts of pain before I even began to think about actually doing anything in Yorkshire.

In the past, I would tell my friends who lived nearby my holiday destination when I’d be visiting and hope to see some of them while I was in the area. This time, I kept my trip to myself. My illness seems to have worsened exponentially over the past couple of years. I can no longer make plans with any confidence that I’ll be able to follow through with them. I really had to push myself to get in the car last week and I was done before I really started.

A couple of days in we needed to pick up a few groceries at the supermarket. We drove to Ripon and I went into Sainsbury’s with my daughter while my husband entertained the dogs outside. I didn’t go around the whole supermarket. We had a list and only went to the aisles where the items we needed were. We hadn’t picked up our second item before the pain in my hip and my back, and the exhaustion from this paltry effort, meant I had to let my daughter scoot round while I slowly hirpled out the store.

And that was me. For the rest of the week. I encouraged my family to go out and about, to visit places, go for coffee, and walk the dogs while I stayed in and rested.

I had only recently come to terms with the fact that the old Nettie was dead, along with all her hopes and dreams. I found it freeing. I no longer felt under any pressure to achieve the things that healthy people did and I found new, smaller dreams. Now, it seems that I have to let go of Nettie 2.0 and see what this next iteration is capable of. I am so very sad about that, and just a little bit angry.

But I’ll cope because I always do, eventually.

Incidentally, the house looks lovely and colourful and once the new carpets are fitted at the end of next week and we get all our *stuff* back from storage, I can relax. I hope.

Posted in Poetry

The Magician: an abra-cada-bra poem.

I’ve just joined a local writing group that meets virtually, once a week. The leader suggests a few different prompts for each meeting, one of this week’s being a ‘magical poem’ of three stanzas with the rhyming scheme abra-cada-bra. I do like a challenge so this is my contribution below. Some of you may recognise the inspiration for this poem, the flash fiction I wrote, also called The Magician. You can read that in my collection of short stories available on kindle.

The Magician

I sense the fear
When nights are dark
And listen for the slightest sound.
What do I hear?

A quick footstep
Is coming near.
Her perfume carries on the breeze,
A startled deer.

My instincts spark.
Her hands are bound.
I make the lady disappear.
Posted in Poetry


Mummy, there’s monsters!
They’re under the bed!
They wake up at night and they creep.
Darling, these monsters are all in your head.
Now be a good girl, go to sleep. 

But mummy, those monsters
ARE under the bed.
They have eyes that glow green in the dark.
Those monsters just live in the book that you read.
Go to sleep or tomorrow, no park! 

Oh mummy, I hear them
move under my bed.
They snuffle and whistle and tap.
My baby, that’s just the wind that you hear,
making your checked curtains flap. 

Mummy, I feel them!
They pull at my sheets,
and I wake up shivering and cold.
My love, that’s enough now, I’ve tucked you in tight.
Go to sleep, dear, please do as you’re told. 

They stink, mum! I smell them!
They whiff and they reek.
They smell like old pizza and eggs.
I think that’s the cheese that you ate before bed,
so lie down, love, stop moving your legs. 

But what if they come out
from under my bed,
and gobble me up where I lie?
My love, if they come out from under your bed
                with their glowing green eyes
                and their creeping and snuffling
                and whistling and tapping
                and pulling and reeking –

Why, darling, you surely would die!