Back from 8 nights’ camping in North Devon with the children and Lovely Man and his son. Two tents, five pillows, three bodyboards, umpteen tent pegs. All crammed inside the car, speeding down the M5, eeking out Haribo. How to start a holiday…

Here’s my take on it….


Your knee is in my back.

To move could you just Shift that rucksack

to your right

And then squash down that camping light

A little further…

There…spot on!

All impediments to my view have gone.

We have our bags,

We know the way


I think we could safely say

That every tiny space is filled

With bags or boys

and we are skilled

Enough in packing to achieve

Space for us all…

If we don’t breathe.


So, I am now seven weeks post op and the cast is finally off…it came off just over a week ago and it has been a mixed blessing really. It is way more comfortable to sleep at night now…I just lose my eyes and off I drift. This is luxury in the extreme and I hope I never forget that. But in the day it is still very painful. I have done some snooping and it’s quite normal for swelling etc to be there for up to 6m after the op so I am settling in for a marathon rather than a sprint.

What am I focussing On? Well, this experience has taught me a lot of lessons…and I can summarize them as follows. I will actively appreciate and care for:

  • My friends and family
  • The level of support I have had has been stunning. My loved ones have scooped me up and carried me, sometimes literally, over the last few weeks. I am taking some of them out this evening to try to say thankyou but it will never be commensurate with what I have received from them. Friends are your chosen family, and mine have gone beyond even that in some cases. I am so so lucky.
  • My health
  • Unexpected? Well, my health is what I would politely term as ‘buggered’ what with this foot, the Parkinsons and other lovelies I have yet to discuss with y’all. Don’t worry, I will, but not now. What I mean is I will not ever ever ever take any movement, strength or ability I currently have for granted again. I completely shut down a number of times over the past weeks and it was SCARY. The gratefulness when I felt the energy surging through my body when the painkillers worked or the Parkinsons meds kicked in is almost overwhelming. I pledged to maintain and then improve my health levels. I intend to keep that promise to myself and my loved ones.
  • My independence

  • Well, I had a glimpse of the future, depending on others and the NHS. I didn’t like it. One bit. I will fight and fight hard for independence as long as I can. I am feeling militant.
  • My mental strength
  • I have always known I am stubborn. I have always known that I have been blessed with intelligence too. I had to draw upon these resources big time. When your body is shutting down and you don’t know why it is very easy to panic, I know I did a number of times, but it is also possible to grit your mental teeth and ride the storm. It takes practice, which unfortunately, I had plenty of opportunities for, but it is doable. I meditated myself silly but hey, it worked. I logically reasoned out my predicaments to myself (very frustrating to those who have different problem so,ca g approaches I admit) so that I could face them with reduced fear. I learnt how ideal With bad news, how I react In a crisis, what it is like to draw on others’ strength and trust them.

    And so I sit here and think about the future. I have to plan to achieve and maintain these priorities. And I have to understand myself so as to succeed. Next time we will go into that particular briar patch….


    I have a confession to make, I have another love in my life. I have been working on another venture and this weekend it took flight. I am now the founder of an arts space here in Stitchopolis. Can you believe it??  Check it out here

    Hope you like!

    Get stuck in

    imageI am writing this post sitting in the kitchen. In fact, I’m hiding in the kitchen. Yes, I am supposed to be taking down all the Christmas decorations as it is sixth of January, 12th night. However, I really really can’t be bothered. Is that a bad thing? Obviously, I know the answer to that.

    Anyway, I suppose we should be talking about resolutions. My resolution is unusual for me, in that, I am not going to try and start anything new! That in itself is going to be virtually impossible. Instead, my goal is going to be to consolidate all the changes I made in 2014. And there were a few. So, I need to get myself happy and comfortable with my new role in the house and the family now that I no longer work. I also need to reconcile myself to the care regime I need to keep my health at its best levels. And I need to solidify the foundations I have laid with voluntary work and helping in my sons’ school. And of course, I want to strengthen this blog as it is still so dear to my heart and that means dear readers lots more crafty, poetry,  making and art. And blather. Lots of blather.

    Ive been here for a long time now…the first post was way back in 2010 can you believe? I hope to do a special review for my 5th birthday, just so long as it’s a consolidation of course! Thanks to those of you who bother to click in my direction. May your clicks bring you happiness 🙂

    retrospective I

    Back in January I said I wanted to Take Control this year. I wanted to take my life back and I thought I was going to carry on in a similar manner but on my terms. Then, in June I started to flesh out my goals. And here we are at the end of the year and I’m thinking about how I’ve done. Let’s take it in two parts…Here’s my first 6m in 2014 in pictures to kick off..

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    Now you see me….

    Hey, I’m still here guys, just keeping my head low and focusing on my June goals. For once in my life I’m sticking to my goals and might, might just achieve some of them. Yes, unbelievable but true. The parkinsons seemed to rob me of energy, motivation, call it what you will. Just general ‘oomph’ but I’m trying to keep my balance right and do you know, it’s working! I’m not climbing Ben Nevis quite yet but I’m getting to the end of a day in one piece, which quite frankly, is progress.

    so, the story so far….

    health : I’ve rejoined weight watchers, upped my sleep, reduced my chocolate and started to get in to troll of my medical regime. More later on that one as I have my consultants appt tomorrow.

    wealth : I’m wading thru paperwork and claiming what I’m due. I’ve analysed my expenditure and am working on a budget. I do spend a lot on haberdashery, who knew?(!)

    hearth : decluttering continues. I’ve done four rooms now. Phew.

    heart : in progress but trying to devote more time to family.

    Hope : all about ambitions…I’ve entered the Mslexia completions for poetry and have my fingers crossed. I’ve won a design competition too so I’m pleased with this area in particular.

    helping : all about giving something back, my main contribution is the charity shop donations I’ve made following declutter sessions. This will become a veritable flood as I carry on!


    so, not bad thus far. I feel much happier and energetic. Onwards and upwards eh?

    The road less travelled


    So, part two of my story…I’ve gone and got me a studio and I’ve started reviving my drawing and artistic tendencies after a career of science and financial services. At 18 I chose science, now I’ve gone back and taken the other fork.

    The picture above is my first studio sketch. It was so lovely to be able to sit, undisturbed, and focus. I want to strip back my experiences to date and get back to that 18 year old, just to see if I can really do it. I’m glad I did physics but I always wondered what taking the alternative path would have led me to.

    Shall we see?!

    Control freak

    Well, it’s that time of year….last years motif was Choose Life. This year is all about Taking Control. Let me explain…

    I’ve been buffeted along in 2013 by Changes. This year I am taking back the direction and control and taking more responsibility for a Happy Life. Expect plans and goals and Progress. On your marks, get set…




    Over the last year or so, things have changed a lot as you know. I’ve been made redundant, got a new completely different job, crashed the car,found my inner cyclist, been up and down the road of Parkinson’s and spent lots more time with my boys.Peaks and troughs indeed.

    One of the things I said I would do, was try to have a portfolio career. Well, there have been a few false starts on that particular goal. But, I started doing some numbers yesterday, and it does appear that parts of my portfolio are working out. So, I will continue with that particular approach but I can expect to continue being a wage slave for some time. Not something I was really looking for, but looking at the margins, it is inevitable.

    The Etsy business is starting to find its feet. I have made some sales. I’m getting more profile. It really is a slow burn though. I want to spend some more time marketing on this one. To that end, if anybody is interested, there’s 20% off everything over £50 to 31 October in the shop. A Halloween present 😉