The birthday of a missed friend….

Today is the birthday of Aine MacAoda, my poet friend who passed away last August. Seeing the reminder, made me sad and reminded me of how much she meant to me.

We were bonded by the Omagh bombing and the birth of my daughter. My daughter and I are having a difference of opinion, and I feel distressed that we cannot get to common ground.

It all swirls together and becomes an emotional mess. I must act with compassion which is not always what people think it is. Compassion is doing the right thing. Not pandering and becoming a doormat to be walked on. Compassion is solving the problem for someone, at times it can be confrontational.

Even so, I am distressed and must look for joy in this day.


I don’t have a temperature, it’s more sinister…

Having been concerned about a temperature over the last few days, I realise I was mistaken.

Last night when I went to bed, my skin was cool and normal. It dawned on me that the heat and perspiration I’ve been experiencing is my neurological disease reacting to my central heating.

My heating is as low as possible and not on all the time. I experience a ‘prickly heat’ type of reaction. It is my neurological disease response.

This is a new development; other symptoms are apparent too. I have a hard time with my left hand.

I have been trying to help my daughter find a house to buy. If she wants to stay in Oxford, it makes sense to to buy here and let it out, as prices are much higher in Oxford. I am also longlisting property nearer to Oxford.

I can’t wait to be with her at Christmas, it’s my birthday too. I have missed her so much. She will visit more frequently in the new year when more people have had the vaccine. One third of her time away has been in lockdown.

I really hope we don’t see a spike in Covid-19 after Christmas. It will ruin the roll-out of the vaccine.

Near to Christmas is the only time I miss having a partner. I miss picking out gifts for a man, choosing some clothing that really suits them, and something fun for both of us.

Being single is greatly underated, and I think some polyamorous people are happier than couples.

I’m glad my daughter is single after far too long, and can enjoy it. She needs lots of dates, to make up for her teenage years.


Poem published…


Steely sky seeps soft snowflakes
gathering like a gown on green grass
untouched, virgin, bright white

Animal paw prints appear, pathway
across, birds beaks seek suet balls
birdsong greets our ears, joyful

Late sunrise darkens days, waking hard
early sunset evenings are warmed
by flickering flames of hearth fires

Church bells ring out to greet the morn
the day Christ was born, everyone celebrates
first day of longer light, day of my birth

Published by Poetry Bar

They forgot to let me know. I wrote it because my birthday is so lost in Christmas. I wish my parents had chosen a day in the summer to celebrate my birthday.


The close of my birthday, and more writing news…

Well, Christmas and my birthday are done for a year, though I celebrate the twelve days of Christmas. I used to do this by giving my daughter small gifts each day of the twelve days. I felt it was less anti-climatic.

I hope all of you have enjoyed the festivities of your faith.

A number of years ago, I posted some of my essays on It was just a place I could keep them, and a number of people read them. A month or so ago, a poet acquaintance mentioned that she was posting on Medium and invited people to follow her. I checked out again and found there was a greater diversity of subjects. I made public my essays and have put a few more there.

To my amazement, a couple of my essays have been listed as ‘Recommended Reading’. I can scarcely believe this. And some of my responses to other’s essays have been well received.

I can barely take this in. Yes, I have Ph.d, but I got it a long time ago. But people are interested in my views.

I’m really sorry that I haven’t visited as many blogs as I normally do in the last couple of weeks. I have been writing essays and Christmas shopping, and getting pneumonia.


Another day…

Today has been sunny and cold. Yesterday we had torrential rain and gales. Tomorrow is a full moon.

In fourteen days time we will have two more minutes of light. That is why it was chosen to celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus. It is also my birthday, and since my family stopped returning to Germany for Christmas, I so disliked my birthday until I learned this fact.

That we get two more minutes of light on my birthday makes me feel so much better about a birthday that gets lost in the Christmas celebrations. In Germany, gifts are exchanged on the 24th so my birthday was separate.

I have identified the pain in my shoulder. When I type I rest my arm on cushion, and the pain is like a repetitive strain injury, but in my shoulder. Now that it’s getting better, I can feel the muscles in my shoulder moving. Fortunately, I now only use my laptop for emails, as it is still not working. Everything else I do is on my phone.

So I can reduce the amount of emailing I do, well not really, but I can make more phone calls in reply to emails, unless I want a record of what is said.

I had intended to go to support a friend who had entered a poetry slam competition, last night. The weather was so bad that I could not go without getting drenched. This morning I asked her how it went, and she said she felt it was a popularity competition, more than a slam competition. This is exactly what I had feared. And my friend doesn’t speak with glottal stops, or ain’t and bruvver. and other slang associated with it. I do enjoy slam poetry and know a few people who do it very well. I just tend to think one is good at one type of poetry or another. One day, though, I will write a slam poem just for the exercise. It’s good for writers to move out of their comfort zone. Hang on, writers don’t have comfort zones. We are on the outside looking in.

So, in this darkness of winter, while the sun sets in almost the exact place that it rises, I shall enjoy my sleep at night, and look forward to less pain in my shoulder.


Today in brief…

Today was my daughter’s 21st birthday. I gave her some very simple silver jewelry, a collar made in one piece of silver which comes to a point about 3.5inches below her neck, and a matching cuff bracelet that can be gently squeezed to fit her slender wrist.

We are going for a meal somewhere tomorrow.

On Saturday I received notification that one of my poems has been accepted by the Alzheimer’s Society for their anthology Memories. I am thrilled about this as this awful disease has touched my life. My Dad had it and I used to care for him.

This is a message from an editing suite that I use, and I’m always pleased that I employ more unique words than 97% of other users.
  AUGUST 05 – AUGUST 11   Your Weekly Writing Update  You chose such great words last week that you set new personal records in both vocabulary and productivity! Way to boost your skills! Keep up the great work. 

My daughter, with one of her close friends who she met at dance class when she was seven.



I happen to know of someone who isn’t respected or appreciated. It is said of him, ‘It doesn’t matter. It’s his money’ ‘He’s a complete idiot.’ I was really shocked. To have a difficult time in a relationship is one thing, to let others know there is no respect, no regard, no appreciation is quite another.

I am recovering from the side effects of the ‘magic’ pill that so helped my breathing. My skin has cleared up, I no longer feel depressed or anxious, I am sleeping well and able to rise early. I no longer feel nervous about going somewhere on my own. This is good!

I feel good again. I feel content. I am going to celebrate my daughter’s twenty first birthday with her tonight. I bought her main present a long while ago, and yesterday I got her a mug which says Flawless, a big scented candle which was on sale, an eco bamboo cup with a lid which will fit into her cup holder in her Audi, a bar of chocolate wrapped in pink saying To Someone Special, and a small teddy holding a 21 sign. And a helium balloon.

So no one tell her until she gets here please!

I love buying my daughter gifts. It’s one of the ways both she and I receive love. Both my daughter and I respond to touch and acts of kindness. There are five ways that people perceive love. I can’t remember all of them just now, but we all feel love in those different ways.

Last Tuesday I went to Bournemouth for an open mic poetry evening. I felt ok but I knew my breathing would more problematic for recording, which a poet friend in California had requested. I had reason to go to Bournemouth yesterday and today I feel just slightly achey. In fact I’m desperate for a nap.

I sure wish people would leave comments…