In Praise Of Unique

Before there was liberation

There was salutation,



Before there was liberation

There was sadness

Mixed with joy

And some tears.

Before there was liberation

There was angst

Filled with worry,

Too much noise.

Still, with the liberation,

Sadness, tears and worry

Don’t depart

But now they’re voiced.


For my beautiful daughter.

Heart of my life,

One of the seven.

One of the world.


For our children.

All children.

All unique.



Hi Everyone,

The lovely Anne – Marie read one of my poems and asked me if I would like to feature it on here on her blog to which I replied of course I will! It’s a bit funny to me because I actually wrote this piece as an emotional vomit. Yay for expressing rage! Anyway I hope you like it.





Woman of the fire

She stands in the spotlight faint hearted
The saboteur waits in shadows
She sings of truth and beauty
She wants her silenced now
A voice gets reduced
The knife slides in
She stops all
Hums alone
Inhales, exhales
Tests her feet in dance
Weds the heavenly choir
Raises the curtain to love
Remembers the assault of hate
Stays on hold patiently by the fire

“Some women are lost in the fire. Some women are built from it.”

The Ripple Club

There is a world fast awakening to political intrigue,

To the boys in the backroom, the power clubs of greed.

There’s a world beyond Scotland who know and who care

That what’s done in their name is right, just and fair.

There’s a world that I’ve read of in the pages of here,

Shared by citizens of lands and nations held dear.

I’ve read of Canadian, a mayor of shame,

Of senate and congress, American in name.

I’ve read from the pages of patriots wide,

From countries all over, heads hung where once pride.

I’ve read and imbibed all with wonder and awe

That so many are seeing what lies in the raw.

I’ve speculated reasons for going it alone,

The fears and the hopes in this land of my own.

I’ve reflected on words long held dear in my heart,

‘I was not born for one corner of this globe ,

The whole world is my native land’

And realised we, the people, need a fresh start

From those who decree how our story is told,

Inked, printed, pressed, as all stories of old,

Repeated interminably, rehashed as the new,

Emperor’s apparel hailed as if true,

Till child, though small and dismissed as naïve,

Shouts, ‘Naked! Look! Visible! See and believe!’

Far bigger this picture, from nation to world,

I see a new flag, unveiled and unfurled.

Carried by people, the grassroots with aim,

Acting with courage, no longer the lame,

Beginning at home, as all we must try,

Passed one to another, a relay or die

At what passes for policy, legislation corrupt,

It’s the voice of the masses, disgusted, fed up.

Membership of these ‘riot clubs‘, however manifest,

Cannot serve the populace, how could they know what’s best

If blinded by self-interest and lost to cause and reason?

When held to account by Everyman, let no one say, ‘it’s treason’.

It’s the ripples in the waters from the stone that’s cast therein

That make the biggest differences in a world of sink or swim.

I want to be a ripple with the pebble I’ll soon cast,

A vote that makes a difference for a future built to last,

A willingness to face what’s wrong, to look with hope not gloom,

To be the change in stagnant ponds that will let our desert bloom.

Pinky Promise

My 24 year old daughter ended a text conversation by asking, ‘Pinky promise?’

She wanted to be reassured that everything was good at home because of a number of blips that have been going on.

I was able to text back, ‘Pinky promise.x’, with a smile.

It is one form of promise that all my children hold dear to.

And all because we saw it in a movie many years ago. And I can’t remember which one.

The older kids have passed it on to the younger ones and they all take it so sincerely. Me too.



What to buy?

What to cook?

What to eat.?

Necessary food,

A disinterest,

Forcing me to my feet.


Yum, yum, yum,

May I have some?

Yorkshires and that meat.

Not for me,

I’m on a diet,

Can’t add that as a treat.


I’m not hungry quite as yet.

Well, maybe one wee tater.

Leave the rest upon my plate,

I’ll eat it all up later.


I’m vegetarian now.

Well, almost,

Except for spinach, beans and sprouts

And anything that smells like vegetables.

Those are definitely out.


Can I leave this?

I feel quite sick.

Don’t force my stomach, please.

Until an hour or two has passed,

Then I’ll have some toast and cheese.


Little children eat it up.

Bigger ones a pain.

Suck it up, I often say,

I’m not doing this again.


Now, often they will cook their own

And maybe for us all.

I eat the lot, not one complaint.

Just glad it’s not my call.


Restaurants are such a joy.

A waiter and a chef.

Relax, read off your choices.

Plates cleared, there’s nothing left.


I may just start a café

With menus for a choice.

Opening hours and closing ones.

Meals presented with a large invoice.

Benevolent Dictatorship: Deceased

There’s a twelve-man tent in my garden and it’s interfering with one of my washing lines.

Last night, it was erected without my knowledge. I do not know what is going on in my own house. But, apparently, some children are in rebellion.

My house, my rules. Sorry, our house, our rules. Nope, I was right the first time. I like to call it a benevolent dictatorship. A certain amount of freedom, an equal amount of responsibility and ‘do as you’re told when I say’.

It works for me.

And for them, apparently.

Because, I didn’t say they couldn’t put the tent up.

They didn’t ask. But, it goes something like this.

Kid:- Do you think we should maybe air the tent before we go camping?’

Me:- (Not really listening.) Probably.

Kid:- I could do it.

Me:- Mmmmm?

So, that, it would seem constitutes agreement now in my household. No flat out refusal. No affirmative, per se. But, a blank, unconscious ‘Mmmmm?’

A subtle appeal to dad, who does, of course, ask, ‘Did Mum say OK?’

Their answer, a version of, ‘Mmmmm.’

So, last night, my three youngest, 6,11,15 and several friends of my 15year old, camped out in the garden while I crept upstairs and gladdened my heart with a King-sized bed and my duvet, remembering soon that I will be there and calling it fun.

The back door was left open all night to allow for toilet breaks in the midst of their midnight feast. My kitchen was pretty much wrecked this morning, apologies abounding from every quarter.

They cleared it up. But they had an agenda. They’re doing it all again tonight.

I have a feeling that my benevolent dictatorship days are fast disappearing beyond the horizon.

Maybe I’m mellowing, thinking, ‘Aw, who gives a shit? The kids are having a laugh.’

Thank God, I’ve got great neighbours.

What’s In A Name?

A name, just a name,

A fortune of note,

A mark on a page

A registrar wrote.

A name, just a name

Beyond reason or birth,

Testing your fortune,

Your fate and your worth.

A name that’s so plain,

Like a John or a Jane,

Deep roots in the soil,

Does ambition wane?

Aspiring parents

Of babies new born

Choose a handle for life

Sometimes, out of the norm.

Is one name suggestive

Of life on the rise?

Another evocative

Of just live and survive?


I’ve kindled and googled.

I’ve blogged till I’m oodled.

My brain is a sea of sun.

I’ve washed and I’ve hung.

My day’s work all done,

So now the real fun has begun.

I’m paddling without wellies.

Making ice-cream and jellies.

And tickling my kids so they laugh.

With all this here sunshine

And paddling pool

There’s really no need for their bath.

When play is exhausted

And children all posted

And tucked up in bed for the night.

Dear hubby and I will

Savour the calm

And enjoy such blissful delight.

Three Funerals and an Afternoon Tea

That’s probably not going to make a great title for a film. There wouldn’t be too many laughs in it either.

This week past I attended the funeral Mass of a young man. Fifty-five is young when you’re fifty-two.

In the last year, this is the third death of someone young that I’ve known.

I wasn’t close to any of them but they had each come into my life at different points. They were each local, they were each about the same age. They each died alone. Completely alone.

They had loving family. Families who cared about them and wanted to help them. They were each beyond reach of help.

Two died alone at home. One ensured he would be found. They died, directly or indirectly, by their own hand. Their choices and circumstances led them to an early death.

Their families grieve the loss of one they could not help, despite love reaching out to do so.

Such a waste.

One I will remember by a piece of his art that hangs on my living-room wall.

Another, I will remember each day I pass her house.

The last I will remember from a dance as a teen.

I knew them all in better days, in a carefree past.

Whatever troubles life brought to them, they were too much.

And the afternoon tea?

Well, today, my husband and I went for a champagne afternoon tea that had been purchased last year for our silver wedding anniversary as one of the gifts from our seven gorgeous kids. The other gifts were enjoyed almost immediately. This voucher has lain for nearly a year, almost on the point of expiry. Finding the time to use it always just out of reach.

We made time today to use it. For a few hours we had time for just the two of us. We reminisced, we laughed. We talked about our children – that’s inevitable. We made a few plans. Some may happen. Some may not.

Our weeks unfold, one upon the other. There are glad days and gladder days. There are sad days and sadder ones still.

We live, we work, we love. We reach out to each other, as a couple, as a family.

Sometimes, that is enough.

And, sometimes, it is not.

Reaching out to Mum

Right. This is just getting ridiculous.

Let me state quite clearly…….. I did not come onto this site to be everyone’s mum.


Got that?

I am not your mum.

I love you.

I care about you.

I want you to happy.

I want you to be comfortable in your own soul.

I hurt if you hurt.

I feel what you feel.

I want to soothe your ailments.

Does that make me your Mum?

No. It makes me human.

Your mum is already out there..

Maybe she needs you to reach out to her?

I don’t know.

I really, really don’t know.

No kidding.


If your mum, for whatever reason (And it better be a really good reason. Don’t give me any crap about how hard she is on you, or how she makes you do chores. Sob. Sob.), really is not there for you then, OK, I give in.

I don’t seriously need any more children. Really, I don’t. Although a gorgeous little baby would not be unwelcome. (Don’t go there. You’re too old. Stop it. Be a granny. Eventually.)

I hurt.

I mean. I really hurt.

I cannot bear the pain that children experience, without wanting, in some way, to alleviate it.

But. I am not your Mum. She is out there. Somewhere. Probably wondering about you.

Reach out.

Too often the child is forced to be the adult. But, sometimes, it is worth it.

Reach out.

In my belief, it is a rare woman who is not moved by their own child.

I qualify.

It is a rare parent who is not moved by their own child.

I either have been very lucky or very blessed to have the love of a good man. (And I use ‘good’ selectively).

So many hurts. So much suffering.

Seriously, I did not enrol to embrace what I encounter daily.




I will never turn my back on a soul that is suffering.

Please, I beg you, find another way. A better way.

Leave me out of this equation if you can.




If you exhaust all, and I mean all, avenues for comfort and understanding, I will not turn my back on you.

I made  that promise to myself a long time ago.

And it holds good.

Seriously, I did not come here for this.

I do not want this.

I want to explore me. Not you. Not you and your problems.

But, I promise you, if you have exhausted all avenues before you, I will not ignore you.

Please try, on your own terms, first.


We are all souls looking to be understood.

And everything I said I qualify with the right you have to seek help where you can find it. And the duty I have to provide it where I can.

First, turn to mum.

If that fails, I humbly ask you to accept that I will stand in her stead until she is in a position to hold you and comfort you as all mothers should.x