An Astronaut Said

an astronaut once said

that if politicians could see

the earth from outer space

they would gasp in wonder

and see themselves futile

dumping of nuclear waste

wars, interventions, non-intervention

the earth was made for people

and filled with good things;

oceans, mountains, trees, flowers

forests, animals large and small

rare and common, fishes

birds and butterflies and bees

lakes and rivers and seas

why do we hate, make war

divide, sanction, abuse, kill

steal, rape, imprison

when we were made to love

and live in peace together

where did all that go

when did it disappear?

Published in The Lark


A glorious day…

The weather today was glorious. I slept late. The effect of being a CO2 retainer. I spent time on my swing seat, lounging in the sun. I watered recently planted plants, as well as my window box and that of my neighbours.

This evening was spent with friends which was very pleasant indeed. Very civilised as my Dad would say. Convivial.

A great day.


An incredibly cruel person comes here…

Someone keeps visiting the same page. They didn’t know I wrote a blog until Malice wrote them a letter. Like the idiots they are they over reacted. They thought they were identifiable.

Far from it. Few people know where I live. And their last name is common. But I was made happy because they could no longer torture me. Something they did deliberately. As well as the other nuisances.



For Mikee Ebbs

One night, unplanned, you moved in
knowing you love a drink, I poured a triple
annoyed at the spontaneous arrival
but happy you wanted to be with me

You cradled me in your embrace, you crooned
I will never let you die alone from your depths
I slept after we made love and you drank more
intimacy was frequent, but in blackout

Morning was strange after sex, you lack technique
after we were in surprised passion, discoveries
you grew lazy, chasing your satisfaction only
but your face, oh, I engraved it on my heart

You don’t recall most of our time together
you love blackout too much, the true you
but true you’s the death of you, you kill yourself
I don’t worry now, I conjure your face still

Published in The Lark


White Flag

So much water from the sky
my flowers are bruised and crushed
flowerbeds are flooded
my tears are disguised
as they mingle

Only the shaking sobs are noticed
convulsing my tiny body which has
withstood too much too soon
the white flag unseen
held tight amidst the downpour

Published in The Lark


How Can I Resent That Which Matured Me?

When I look at a road map of my life, I see a pattern. It is not a pattern like on a rug, which is repeated. It is a pattern of seemingly random decisions. But the thread between is learning.

I was born into a bilingual family, of two countries. My Dad was in the SAS, an elite group of soldiers. I am the second child, and was fortunate that we moved in with my grandparents in Germany soon after my birth.

I was unaware for a long time that my sister had already been destroyed by my narcissistic mother. My Oma and Opa were my primary carers so I thrived, emotionally and physically.

When I was five we went to England with Dad’s posting. I pined for my Oma and Opa and struggled to adjust to my mother.

I did well at school. I was bright. I was athletic. I was pretty. Boys were sweet on me.

I realised after some time that an injury was not recovering. That I was limping. Nothing was found to be wrong. My limp persisted and I began to write with my right hand. I was referred to a psychiatrist.

Two years later I underwent four experimental brain surgeries.. Conscious. I was left with akinetic mutism.

Six years it took me to learn to speak clearly. My vocal chords have never recovered.

My mother refused to support me through college. She did for my sister, who became a nurse.

I took a well paid job and went to college one day a week. That is to say I completed a full college course by attending once a week.

Two years later, I attended a uni which had a very positive ethos. I gained confidence, a sense of identity, some goal in life that was not yet defined. On hearing a certain lecture, I knew my path lay there.

I knew my path lay there

So I moved to Southern California to do my Ph.D. What I learned there is priceless.

Do I resent my mother? Oh yes, I did. But no longer, because I had to detach from her at age 15.

I cannot allow resentment to steal my power. To poison my love. To contaminate my relationships.

I cannot be a good mother if I have resentment.

As for my illness, I resent that people have no idea of the trauma I have gone through. resent that no one knows that I cannot control the volume of my speech; an irritation can at times make my voice rise, depending on other factors. No doctor I meet has ever heard of the disease. I am, as far as I can tell, the only person in the world with this disease and the intervention of brain surgery.

I resent it because I am now suffocating to death. Slowly. But surely. My lungs are impaired. I resent leaving my daughter. I resent not having ensured I have someone to love me until I die.

Unless people read this, they won’t know this. I live outwardly, even though I prefer to introvert. I introvert while planting in and tending my garden. Or while preparing a meal. I read, I watch rugby passionately, I photograph birds, flowers, animals.

My home and garden are my sanctuary, tastefully decorated. I have my loved friends. My Dad died in my arms, my sister too, of sepsis.

Anger, resentments that reside within? No room here.

Published in Know Thyself, Heal Thyself


Pan Fried Mackerel

To me, this is a supper. An evening meal with white wine, a cold beer, or just some cordial. Try to get the mackerel filleted. I clicked on ‘’gutted’’ and my fresh fish had some gnarly bones.

A sea fish, so this needs flavours to counteract the salt in the skin, which will fall off during cooking.

I used lime juice as I had no lemons. I chopped banana shallots, and threw in some oyster mushrooms.

You will need

1 large skillet

Olive oil

Banana shallots (the flavour is nutty and warm

1 14’’ mackerel

Heat the olive oil and add the sliced shallots. They will separate into rings as the cook.

Place the mackerel in the pan. Wait one minute and turn over.

Reduce the heat.

Squeeze 1/4 of a lime over the fish and turn over, Squeeze more lime.

Keep turning, and watch as the flesh turns pale. This is an easy time to cut off the head and tail.

I find that roast asparagus and parsnip go well with this.

Published in Woodworkers of The World Unite


Finding Myself

I live my life outward, a choice, as I prefer introversion. I enjoy being responsive to others and being a supportive friend. I am generous by nature, but cannot meet all I would like.

I give small gifts to children I know, and drop a card in to new neighbours to welcome them.

I work from home, for myself, and for the NHS. I love both, and feel appreciated by my colleagues at the ambulance service.

My way to myself, to self-care, to feed myself, is my early rise each morning to water my window box and my hanging baskets which get the most dry. My garden is my me time. I plant, weed, prune deadhead, and water. In dry days, I spend as much time here as I can, whether tending it or being in my swing bench. I designed my garden to be a haven for wildlife.The smell of earth, the fragrance of flowers. Bees drifting…

My garden brings me back to myself: I can forget how gravely sick I am and just be myself. It is free healing and therapy. It is my place for me, and my daughter, and my friends.

Published in Know Thyself, Heal Thyself


Prince Harry is making a fool of himself. Dodi was not Megan, who has silenced her husband. Oh, that he chose a woman who would imprison him with racism when she has used colourism to her own gain.


My 9 hours in Resus

I was taken to hospital as I could not breathe well. I had two awesome paramedics who treated me like cut glass, but they had to hand me to resus in the ED.

ED is a nightmare for me at the best of times, but resus is a hell all of it’s own. Alarms going off, beeps, loud voices, and cold blooded doctors.

The doctor who saw me did not like that she had not heard of my neuro disease. She did not like that she did not understand it. She only asked closed questions. She seemed to expect my symptoms to fit her, rather than extend her own skills to gain my trust. I told her she was the worst doctor I ever met.

My nurse was gentle and kind. She got a venflom in easily. She did what she needed with skill and kindness. I liked her so much. The night duty nurse was also Italian. I turned my monitor off as the alarm plagued me and I had deconstructed quite early. 1am, I was tranfered to a bed and taken to Majors (trauma).

I got my laptop out and worked. Some for SWAST, and some my own. I got cold, and had another blanket. I remained cold all night, and was kept awake by another patient. I had maybe 2 hours sleep.

I awoke to two other patients who kept me sane. One, Katya, I hope to remain in touch with. Her pain levels humbled me.

My consultant came early for which I am grateful. I declined breathing tests as they are exhausting. I had lunch, given meds and discharged.

So, now I am a carbon dioxide retainer, This means I don’t exhale all the CO2 I make. No wonder my breathing is rubbish. I must go to a distant hospital to be equipped with non invasive oxygen therapy at night. This will improve my daytime breathing,

I am grateful to the nurses, and my consultant and his team.


Love Must Expand To Understand

In life, we meet various people. Some become our friends, some become lovers or life partners. But do we truly understand people who have history to which we cannot relate?

Often we subject people to our half-knowledge, or partial understanding. This is a huge disservice. We need to love enough to learn more. Then, and only then, can we truly understand others. This is the dignity they deserve.

If we are trained as a paramedic or nurse, we tend to expect patients to fall into certain categories. The thing is, people are unique and may have a rare underlying condition that confounds the medical understanding.

So it is if we apply our understanding to others. We only partially understand. Therefore, we are not loving. Our love must expand to explore the other. Listening actively, not asking closed questions, watching closely. All these deepen our understanding.

In my profession, I observe a lot. I think I have always been an observer anyway. Observing informs a lot, but open questions, patience, and a desire to learn are key to loving people better, more fully.

Love bears all things, love is patient, kind,…the greatest of these is love

If we do not have love for others, we are empty. Yes, empty. Look at a baby. It thrives because it is loved and so it loves back. A baby that is never touched will die. Even if it is fed. We need love in order to live.

Those of us who are mothers know our children inside out. It is just that way. There are interferences that can damage this.

We cannot love our children through manuals. We love them by instinct and passed down wisdom. They display their personality as they grow and have the ability to decide and choose.

If we are an addict, we do not understand all addicts. Only the cycle of addiction. If we are artists we do not understand all artists.

So it is with the human condition. We are all human, but we fail to understand each other. It takes love to desire to fully understand.

We have a habit of confusing our half knowledge and partial understanding with actuality. We mistake what we know for the thing itself, or the subject, topic, person.

Our blinding preconceptions limit us to remaining half knowing, half understanding.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

So, to be better humans, better friends, lovers, life partners, professionals, we need to expand our love, our compassion, so that we don’t do disservice to others.

Published in Contemplate


Hospital again…

This morning I went to my hair salon. It started well, but I began to fade. Once out, I felt better and got a few bits of grocery. I went home, ate lunch and responded to emails.

I initiated some work with SWAST. Then I started a bit of gardening. I began to struggle to breathe. I felt concerned. I did not want another crew fixing me short-term. But eventually the inevitable had to be. So I was ”fixed” but then brought to hospital. Five hours later I am still in Resus. I do feel better now.

Arriving here was hell on earth. ED is no place for anyone with a neurological disease. With PTSD it is even worse.

I am so grateful to the paramedics who treated me like crystal, but handed me into hell.

And a doctor from hell too.

Now I am waiting to go to a ward. I am exhausted, hungry and tired.