For the birds…

I have had a headache for most of this day. I am having trouble sleeping and some decided to visit me late the other evening and as a result I only got three hours sleep at the most. Lat night I didn’t sleep well as usual, so I just went out briefly to get a tiny pot of paint and fresh air.

Coming back, my neighbours’ gates were open and I saw their vine had been brutally cut back. I am so angry! It’s nesting time! That vine is cover to some many birds and many nests get built there every spring. I feel violated in my own person! The joy I take in watching those birds, because they come into my garden to feed and get water. I am growing honeysuckle, clematis and jasmine but they are not yet mature enough to provide cover. I’ve bought a rambling rose to keep a wretched cat away. In the meantime, I’ve laid holly branches to stop the cat coming in and it’s working.

Why do people not realise that we live on this planet to tend it, not destroy it? Aren’t we experiencing enough extraordinary weather events, without destroying the natural habitats in our stewardship? Governments are destroying vast ecosystems with their decisions on insecticides and palm oil etc, but we can choose to make the space that is ours a kind place. I get angry when people turn their front gardens into car parks, and I was devastated when I had to gravel over my flowerbed because I could not manage it. But I have compensated by planting trees, and making a patio pot garden. I now have a plethora of plants beginning to blossom and thrive. I have plants waiting to be planted… I love gardening, seeing bees buzzing around, birds nesting and teaching their young to fly.

Some neighbours across the road must have been told to stop feeding seagulls after a pair nested on the roof last year. It was a nightmare. No one could go in my garden without a broom to ward them off. We were attacked repeatedly. I was terrified my dog would be bitten. And of course, the garden birds were frightened. This year I have heard more birdsong than any other year I have lived here. It’s so nourishing to the soul, so life affirming, and make tending my garden even more pleasurable. Matthew and Chrisii have been helping sometimes, especially with putting up trellises. They are friends I made in the dark, dark time after my sister and dog died. When I was so bereft, and more so because a vicar I’d known for 20 years interfered with her death and broke all trust between us, so that was another loss. So many losses last autumn, friends messing on the internet with my confidences so trust broken, bitchy texts from my former neighbour who went on to lie to the police, the council and my lover about me. I made a mistake, my friend made it worse and my apology was rejected. But I am grateful for the real friends who have come into my life.

They are like a garden too. They need tending and they give a lot back.


I really am a terrible blogger!

I tried to copy and paste my previous entry, which had not published… It kept giving me a block error notice, so I gave up. Now I see it had copied after all.

And to think I used to be an editor……!!!!!



I wrote this on the 21 March, but it did not publish…

Today it is two years since Dad died in my arms. It was in the very beginning of the morning after his birthday. I am in tears, perhaps for the first time since he died.

I cried many times before his death: in fear of losing him, mourning for the protraction of his illness, that I could no longer care for him at home, or that a visit had passed without him saying my name. He always knew me, the recognition never left his eyes, nor the twinkle of mischief in his humour.

I miss my Dad now, as a grown woman with a young adult daughter, more than I ever did when I was young. Young and travelling. Living abroad, working abroad. My time as a cook in Barcelona, in a conflict in the North of Ireland, tavelling the length and breadth of Sweden, driving a train over the Arctic…uni and working with recovering addicts in Southern California.

We take our loved ones for granted, when we need to be conveying our love, gratitude and appreciation for them. I missed my Dad so very much during my long spells in hospitals. I longed for him when I was terrified in operating theatres alone with strangers. And I long for him now, when I am alone because a wonderful man walked out of my life, and my daughter can never visit enough, or when my mind is filled with my soppy, happy dog who loved me without ceasing, gave me unconditional affection, playfulness, and whose death I cannot speak about. I need his comfort for death of Pamela, my sister, taken so suddenly by sepsis.

I yearn for the smell of my Dad’s neck, when he would carry me from bed to sofa, sofa to bed, a mixture of Condor tabacco, his aftershave and his skin. In those moments I never felt so safe. my Dad’s arms and neck, the beating of his heart, gave me safety.

y is two years since Dad died in my arms. It was in the very beginning of the morning after his birthday. I am in tears, maybe for the first time since he died. I cried many times before, in fear of losing him, in mourning for his protracted illness, that I could not have him at my home, that a visit had passed without him saying my name. He always knew me, that recognition never left his eyes, nor that twinkle of mischievous humour.
I miss my Dad now, as a grown woman with a young adult daughter, more than I ever did when I was young and travelling, living abroad, on holiday or whatever. We take our loved ones for granted, when we should be conveying our love, gratitude and appreciation. I missed my Dad very much when I was in hospital for such long spells. I longed for him when I was alone on the operating table, four times, terrified. And I long for him now, when I am broken hearted because of a wonderful man who walked in and out of my life, when I am longing for my daughter who has left home, or when my mind is filled with my happy, playful dog who gave me affection unconditionally and died too soon. And my older sister, taken suddenly by sepsis.
I long for the scent of my Dad’s neck, when he would carry me from bed to sofa and sofa to bed. A blend of Condor tabacco, his aftershave, and skin. I never felt so safe. My Dad made me safe.20You, Maggie Dumville, Micheál Ó Coinn and 17 others


Some light along my way

When I had the diagnosis for my lungs, around two and a half years ago now, I didn’t think I would be alive today. I didn’t know what to expect at all. But because I woke one morning feeling fine and by four pm was gasping to get air into my lungs, I thought it would be sooner rather than later.

I’ve had so many ambulance visits that I’ve lost count. They have all been to nebulise my lungs. I now call nebulisers my cocaine, as I come to life and feel so great afterwards. Apart from the trembling and a headache of sorts.

In the week after Christmas I started reducing two wardrobes into one, ridding myself of clothes I no longer wear or will never wear. It felt great, but I exhausted myself and stopped before the final bits were done. It’s a source of mild frustration, as I’m terrified of feeling so exhausted again. I have achieved other great changes in my home, but with less effort. It feels good.

I haven’t needed a paramedic since the 09 01 19, when I was nebulised and given steroids. Eight tablets each morning for five days. I’ve only used my inhaler a few times since, it’s amazing.

So now we are in March. No ambulance for two months. It lovely but strange, but I’m so grateful.


Poem published by Ariel Chart



March 01, 2019

Experimental Me

Experimental Me

My body tells its tale
with scars, bumps and twists
but no one dreams the dread
my mind journeyed through

One must know the language
my body yelling out loud
it’s found in open brain ops,
intensive care, IV’s and fear

Experimental they said
Not terrifying, painful, dark
my mind and frame have bent
the iron pipes of sanity

Chrissie Morris Brady

Chrissie now lives on the south coast of England. She has travelled widely and gained her degree in Psychology at USC, and worked in the recovery from addiction for several years in Southern California. She has written poetry since she was a teenager, and now has been published by Plum Tree Books, Brian Wrixon publishing, Dead Snakes, Dissident Voice, Scarlet Review, WISH Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic and other publications, including several anthologies

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