Monthly Archives: June 2016

a scare, a prison and a confession


My sister was admitted unexpectedly into hospital yesterday. She is poorly but this was totally unrelated. It was a shock to get the text. And it totally freaked me out. My brother passed away at Christmas and I had spent over 20 years regularly visiting him at this hospital, usually for months at a time. I didn’t want to go back there. I didn’t want to go in to ‘crisis’ mode. I could never escape the reality of my brother’s mortality- yesterday I had to face my sisters mortality… and I’m not ready for it.

I felt so intensely alone.

I didn’t tell anyone, because I didn’t really have anything to say. I didn’t want her illness to become all about me. I didn’t want people to think I was hijacking her crisis. So I didn’t say anything and subsequently

I felt so intensely alone.

I didn’t feel able to say to anyone that I couldn’t face that drive again. I couldn’t face finding the sneaky parking space that you only really know if you’ve spent years trying to finding parking spaces. I didn’t want to go back to the A&E where I’ve spent so many evenings. I didn’t want to see the porters who believe I work there as they see me so often. And it all sounds so ridiculously melodramatic. So I didn’t say anything and

I felt so intensely alone.

It’s been horrible. She looked much better today thankfully. I don’t feel much better. I didn’t know how to reach out and ask for help. I didn’t know how to share what was going on and I feel really sad that I put myself in an awful prison. I feel so sad that my sister was so poorly, and I feel so sad that I feel so alone.

Writing a blog  post is a poor substitution for relationship but at least the tears are flowing instead of that awful frozen place I was in. So thats a start.

Thanks for listening.



The Power of the Pups


The London Underground is well known for the fact that people don’t speak to each other… even eye contact is a bit risqué! Last week George and Mildred came on the tube with me. They are allowed, so I wasn’t hiding them, but they were lying low in their bag as the experience was quite noisy for them. But at one point they popped up to say hello. The coach ignited. The other commuters melted over them. People got up from their seats to stroke them… people spoke to me, asking questions, but then I noticed that conversations started up with people sitting next door to each other. The Pups had melted a few hearts. It was lovely.

I find it joyful when the Pups bring people closer to me and closer to each other. With my preIMG_1495.JPGvious dog, I had to avoid people! (for their own safety usually). But the pups are bringing people in to my life. I just hope I can find enough room in my heart!

Thanks for listening.

fatness, fitness and fibroids


As a teenager I remember being repulsed by the size of my mum’s tummy. To my younger self it seemed like she had rolls of fat just hanging off her. It was something that repulsed me at the time and when I think of it now, it still does.

I’m sorry. I know it’s judgemental and disrespectful to my mum. But it was my reality.

A few months ago. I looked at my body in the mirror and I saw my mum looking back at me. And it rocked me. I was, that fat, middle aged woman standing in front of me. It really shocked me. Not because I hadn’t realised I was fat. But because I saw her. I didn’t like it. And I didn’t like feeling replaced at my body. (I find my face repulsive, so actually I manage life very well not looking at my face) but I don’t remember feeling that about my body before.

So, I’ve got to do something about it. And only I can. I can remain the same- or I can change. I read a Facebook quote which paraphrased went something like, the difference in my body next week will be decided by the decisions I make in the next 7 days. I can do nothing and get bigger. Or I can make small decisions that improve my life.

One of the most freeing things about my recovery, is that I have choices. Instead of things being ‘done’ to me, I can choose. I can be as busy as I like. I can be as fit as I like. I can choose. And I can now choose to do things that better me, improve my life, help me.

I was anorexic for about 3 years after my second bout of plastic surgery when I was 16. It wasn’t that I ever thought I was fat (I wasn’t) but I felt that I didn’t deserve to eat. I was such a horrible person that I didn’t deserve food. The lengths I went to punish myself are a bit shocking to reflect upon to be honest. My swing towards overweightness started after I was on huge doses of steroids for long periods of time to manage ulcerative colitis. The weight piled on. I have lost weight once, but I just lost the weight without loving my body and as soon as the diet finished the weight went back on. I hadn’t changed how I felt about myself or how I felt about food.

The other complication with my tummy area is that I have 2 large fibroids. One is the size of a 5 month foetus (yes, gross!) I also have one higher up that literally looks like a mushroom sticking out from under the skin. But these have been my excuses. It is unlikely that I will get a flat stomach because of them, but actually they are no excuse for just not caring about my body.

The other issue is that I also have a large vertical scar that is virtually the length of my torso. Even with big Bridget Jones knickers on, the scar sticks out over the top of them! But nevertheless I am going to wear a bikini on holiday this year. Men who have open heart surgery wear their scars with pride… so I will join them!

So what I am going to do about it. In a nut shell, a lot! but also a little! Its slowly slowly wins the race. Small choices, that added together make a big change. Bit by bit. No fads. Just rock solid perseverance. I’ve exercised 4 times a week for the past 7 weeks, I’m trying to make a treat a treat (not an entitlement). I’m thinking about what my body needs. I’m visualizing looking in the mirror and smiling! I’m dreaming feeling well, having more energy. Because just maybe, I deserve that as much as anyone else does.

Thanks for listening.

original frustration


I have been thinking about this for months. I’ve written this blog post in my head a number of times. It’s now time to give form to it.

I am fortunate to possess many ‘skills’. I can play the piano and other instruments. I can knit, stitch and crochet. I can sew. I can bake. I can write fairly eloquently. I can ‘do’ lots of things… but one thing plagues me…

I can’t create. 

By this I mean, I can follow instructions, copy patterns, record events… but I can’t make up my own recipes, compose my own songs, write my own novel. And it frustrates me!!!!  I feel like I have nothing original in me. And worse than that I don’t really know what to do about it!

I met someone over the weekend who has an amazing idea and has written children’s books. Original. Belongs to him. Not already out there. And I could feel the creative envy in me!

My friend Daniel, is a wonderful cook and baker- but he freestyles. Will put flavours together…goes off piste… I follow the instructions to the letter. My friend Clarissa is a sewing freestyler… she doesn’t follow patterns she sees where the process takes her. Hear me correctly,I’m not comparing myself to them or thinking I’m not original, I know my own value… but I want to cultivate the original.

IUnknown.jpeg want to write my own songs, instead of playing others…

I want to bake cakes that I can say I made that up (or even adapted)

I want to write a novel (have not got any ideas whatsoever).

I find the thought of creating the original really daunting. I dissect novels and wonder howimages.jpeg on earth did people even think such things. I hear people say they’ve got a story inside them… I haven’t! I look at works of art and am in awe of how this thing came in to being. I just don’t believe I’ve got anything original in me to come out. But when I say that, I think, that can’t be true. There is no reason why I can’t. I’ve just got to work out how!




I’ve just got to work out how!