Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A new year, a new blog

As 2013 starts I am moving to a new blog at


This blog will remain here for now, but at some time in the future I may remove it to preserve the privacy of my family, as it has documented what has been an eventful six year period for all of us.

I hope you will follow me to my new blog and I look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 encapsulated

Season's Greetings to you all.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A confession

You've probably been wondering where I was. In fact for much of this year I've been wondering where I am too. I've been lost.

It has been a difficult year. On the positive side, Son 1 did exceptionally well at college and is now at his first choice university. On the negative side Son 2 regressed into increasingly difficult behaviour. His anxiety increased and his mood darkened. We still don't know whether home or school was the cause, but I suspect both. Without wanting to go into too much detail, I became a victim of abuse.

I was lucky that Son 2 currently has an excellent social worker who responded very quickly, but he and I were badly let down by another professional who was supposed to be helping with his behaviour. The crisis escalated to the point where we had no choice but to let social services accomodate him in order to safeguard me, as a physically vulnerable adult myself.

The wonderful social worker swung into action again and just a couple of weeks later Son 2 was able to move from respite care into a specialist residential placement which will hopefully be his long term home. It means that he has left school a year earlier than planned, but he can get consistent care and regular psychology input at the home as well as learning life skills and trying new activities. It is a lovely, newly renovated building and he was the second resident into this brand new service. He seems very happy and settled there and it is very much what we'd have been wanting for him next year anyway.

Of course you don't stop being a carer just because someone no longer lives under the same roof. Son 2 now lives 50 miles away from us but we visit when we can and I am in regular contact with his carers by phone. I organise his finances, liaise with his social worker and attend meetings about his placement. He is still very much part of our family, even though, like his brother, he has reached the age to leave home.

The events of this year have left me shaken and for a while I understood exactly how women who victims of any sort of abuse feel. My health is currently suffering and I have not been able to write creatively since the start of the year. I'd had lots of plans for the next year, to bring me to the place I wanted to be when both boys had left home. The timetable has been thrown into disarray, but I shall still go ahead.

But that brings me to the future of this blog. It's been a record of my sons and my writing. The boys are now both independent adults and it is no longer appropriate to write much about them. The creative writing has temporarily stalled. This is the 700th post on this blog but it could be one of the last.

I'm planning a new writing and creativity related blog to accompany what I hope will be my future life path. I'll be sure to let you know when that is up and running and I hope you'll follow me there. In the meantime thanks for reading about my journey so far and bear with me while I reinvent myself.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

London 2012

On 6th July 2005 I attended a yoga class and then did my weekly food shop as usual. After loading the car I turned the ignition key and the radio came on, just as the announcement was being made about the location of the 2012 Olympics. I held my breath and stayed listening in the car park until it was announced that London, my adopted home town, had won.

Fast forward 24 hours and the city was reeling from the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings. The gloss had been taken off the previous day's announcement and from then on in the Olympics has seemed low key and, in the current financial climate, an expense and inconvenience Londoners could do without. There no longer seemed to be any excitement and we didn't even bother to apply for any tickets. It was only last week that I realised exactly how close the Olympic Park is to where we bought our first home 25 years ago.

But over the last weeks, with the torch procession, everything seems to have slowly changed. Son 1 saw the torch in Maidenhead a couple of weeks ago, as he knows one of the torch bearers there. Three days ago it passed just a mile from our house and he saw it again. I would have loved to observe this once in a lifetime event but am not strong enough to stand for ages, especially in the recent heat.

Yesterday the building excitement culminated in a magnificent opening ceremony. It was quirky and very British, packed full of so many historical and cultural references that I think it would take many reruns on iPlayer to pick them all up. It portrayed Great Britain in all its tolerant, multicultural glory, even including a tasteful tribute to the dead. And who could fail to love the parachuting Queen and Mr Bean in Chariots of Fire? Or the unique cauldron?

I wonder what the rest of the world made of Danny Boyle's spectacular love letter to his country. I hope they liked it as much as we did.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

100 RPM

I have a tiny flash fiction in this book, published today. 100 RPM is a collection of stories inspired by music found on YouTube, each story being 100 words or less.

The anthology, to benefit the charity One in Four, was edited by Caroline Smailes, who explains here how she went about publishing it as a Kindle ebook. I'm proud to be included with so many brilliant writers and look forward to discovering the work of those I don't yet know.

My own story, number 48, is called Barricades. It might not surprise you to learn that it was inspired by a famous Spandau Ballet song.

100 RPM is currently very cheap on Amazon and all profits will go to help survivors of sexual abuse. What's not to like?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another legend gone

The last few months have been full of nostalgia.

There have been numerous television programmes about the 1970's, the decade in which I was a teenager. I'm currently watching 56 Up, the latest instalment of a series which which has followed a group of people from the age of seven. Although the participants are a few years older than me, the film clips are so very familiar, making me wonder if I ever looked and sounded like that too. The answer is, I think, yes. I can't help comparing how different we were back in the 70s to teens of today.

Then there has been the demise this year of three mighty pop legends of the 70s and early 80s, which has led me to rediscover their music on YouTube.

RIP Robin Gibb.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Death of a disco queen

It's always sad when you hear of the passing of a music legend, whose songs formed part of the soundtrack of your life as you were growing up. Today is no exception, with the news that Donna Summer has died of cancer. Perhaps her most famous song was Love To Love You Baby, but I've always loved this Jimmy Webb classic, so what better way to remember Donna?