Every Precious Dream And Vision Underneath The Stars

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY. For this delightful Sunday, Jim has chosen the theme WHO/WHAT/WHEN/WHERE/WHY/HOW.

amazing.jpgNow when I first saw this theme (almost a month ago, I thought of lots of songs with one of these words in. But I wasn’t satisfied with any of them really. Then I thought of a song that I don’t believe features any of those words…and yet, when I listen to the lyrics, my reaction is “what? who is this song about? when and where did they do all these amazing things? why don’t I know this person? how on earth was it possible to all these things?” Who cares!!! What a song!

with him.jpgI am going to admit, I have loved this song since the first time I heard it, I think a lot do. So, if you are going to listen to this song on this wonderful wonderful Sunday, think of me, exactly where I should be, in Australia, with my gorgeous Goldfinch!  Yes I am with the man who makes my pulse race! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!

Have a wonderful Sunday whatever you are doing, whoever you are with and wherever and however you spend the day. You know where I am and why I am here!!!

I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hands
I had flashes
But you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
While you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

You were there at the turnstiles
With the wind at your heels
You stretched for the stars
And you know how it feels
To reach too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

I was grounded
While you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truths
You cut through lies
I saw the rain-dirty valley
You saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon

I spoke about wings
You just flew
I wondered, I guessed and I tried
You just knew
I sighed
But you swooned
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

With a torch in your pocket
And the wind at your heels
You climbed on the ladder
And you know how it feels
To get too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

Unicorns and cannonballs
Palaces and piers
Trumpets, towers, and tenements
Wide oceans full of tears
Flags, rags, ferry boats
Scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision
Underneath the stars

Yes, you climbed on the ladder
With the wind in your sails
You came like a comet
Blazing your trail
Too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon


Writer: Mike Scott

The Dreaded Lurgy

The morning before I was due to fly out to Australia…I woke up with a touch of the dreaded lurgy. Saw throat…with something lurking within it (I will halt the description right there) and I was coughing and wheezing all morning. So I deluged myself with fluids that day…needing to spend a penny a dozen times or so whilst at work.


Anyway…twenty three hours flying (with a couple of hours lay-by midway) is not the most helpful aide to vanquishing the lurgy. I have felt as if my body was fighting some kind of nastiness ever since. Rest and fluids…and I am taking some vitamins. But these things often just have to run their course. It’s not ruining my holiday!

I just don’t want to get any worse…and I don’t want to make Goldfinch poorly either.

I Wonder Where Pete Is Now

I saw the photo chosen by Fandango for the weekly FANDANGO’S FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE and it reminded me of a man named Pete, who asked me to marry him some years ago…in fact I am almost wondering if it is him!

Andrew Neel@pexels.com

I must admit that Pete is someone that has become a bit vague in my memory after my head injuries. But I will tell you what I remember about him.

hiking together.jpgI know I met him when I was seventeen. I know we have been on lots of holidays together with large groups of friends. For most of that time I was courting Jammy. But I remember from the moment I met Pete being aware that he was good looking. He always had a tan. He loved the outdoors. I remember walking with him and hearing his knowledge of wildlife and rocks and fauna. He always had something interesting to point out.

star gazing.jpgI particularly remember one night, as we were standing outside in a remote area where a group of us were camping, and looking up at the night sky…he put his arms around me, and whispering into my ear, he described the constellations that were adorning the sky. We saw a shooting star. I was excited, I had never seen one before. I was very surprised when Pete very suddenly kissed me quickly on the lips. I was not expecting it. He then said sorry. I said it was ok. I don’t think he understood that I was merely accepting his apology, because he kissed me again and pulled me close. I remember feeling bewildered, my stomach was churning because I did not want this. I remember awkwardly drawing away and saying I was very tired. I think that was the first time I realized he was sweet on me. But I knew loved Jammy. Not long after that Jammy and I started courting.

peteJammy and I courted until I was around twenty-four. In the meantime, I know Pete had a few relationships…well, one serious relationship which ended up in his becoming engaged. However, his girlfriend decided to end the engagement (which I am sure was hard for them both but everyone agreed that it was the right decision) and then there were other girls he liked (always very pretty girls), and those girls were attracted to him…but somehow things just did not work out. He only became more good-looking as he was marching through his thirties. Pete kept moving. He lived for a few months in Germany, a few months in Poland (where he became engaged), a few months in Sweden, a few months in Iceland.

working on projects.jpgAround a year after I ended the courtship with Jammy, I moved down to the south of England. A few months later, Pete moved into the same village as I was living in. Pete seemed to turn up everywhere I was working and was also at every social gathering I went to. I suspected that there were a few attempting some match-making because we were often invited to dinner parties in the homes of our friends. We frequently were assigned to the same projects and were working together.

listeningI spent time walking with Pete, we ate out together, I helped him smarten up his wardrobe a little. He often spoke about his dreams for the future, his regrets from the past, his personal frustration at the challenges he had to deal with – broken family life (parents and siblings), debt, a cancer scare, not being able to stick to a job, his diagnoses of autism. I was happy to be Pete’s friend. But I was always a bit wary that Pete might want something more. I never forgot how unexpectedly he had kissed me years earlier, so I felt I had to be very guarded and make sure I was not giving any signals of having a romantic interest. But I could tell Pete was becoming more attached to me. I knew there would come a point when something would happen (it always does happen – I don’t really believe in platonic relationships).

unexpected.jpgThen came the unexpected proposal…it was so weird. It was at an inappropriate and inconvenient time. I was in the middle of a appraisal/training session with a director who coordinated much of the voluntary activity I was involved in. This director was a funny chap – he had a very “northern” mentality. His feedback of my work was that I was doing alright. Pete was sitting in on my appraisal by request…he wanted to learn how to conduct appraisals. But I could see Pete twitching. When the director left for a moment to use the bathroom, Pete started to say he was shocked by the lack of enthusiasm of the director about my work. (I couldn’t bear praise, it made me cringe.) Pete basically said that he thought I was wonderful, that I was the inspiration of his life, that I was the most amazing woman he had ever known. that he wanted to be an international volunteer with me as his wife. He blurted it all out and then, as if realizing that he was being a bit unpolished, he dropped onto his knees and asked me to be his wife. Just then the director returned from the bathroom.

left.jpgI felt bad that I never really explained properly to Pete why my answer was no. I don’t know whether explaining my reasons would have made him feel better or worse. He left before I could have another conversation with him. After avoiding me, a couple of weeks later he moved abroad again. I was disappointed because there was so much work to be done in that area and he had been a great help. But if I was going to effect his happiness, I guess it was right that he leave.

Pete and I didn’t really see much of each other again after that. We spoke a few times on the phone. I wanted to be sure he was alright. He always said he was alright. He was as alright as Pete has ever been – a bit of a lost little puppy in some respects, always moving…always losing his wallet, his keys, his job.

The rest of my memories of Pete are vague. I see him in lots of photographs taken with friends. But my memories from my twenties are very jumbled and I find it hard to piece things together. I know Pete used to be part of my life…but I don’t  think I have heard from since I was attacked.




He Is Going To Love Me!!!

Goldfinch is coming to visit again!  Yippee!  Happy times ahead!!!  He is on his way back from the mainland.  I love that he calls Europe the mainland.  Don’t you think that is gorgeous!  It is one of the many things I love about Goldfinch.  In all my life, I have never heard anyone else call Europe the mainland.  He has been to three different European countries over the past few days, so as he has been doing lots of travelling, he may be tired and I intend to use that as an opportunity to spoil him!

I am have been preparing a delishy dishy…yum yum yum!  And for a naughty pudding I am making this fruity-licious showstopper!  (Courtesy of a Waitrose recipe card.)  He is going to love me!!!  Seriously!


It is often said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  How much truth to that saying there is, could be a lively subject for conversation.  Truth be told, not many of my male family members or friends would disagree.

I want to tell you a story about a married couple I met a few years ago.  I have only ever met them once.  Sadly I have forgotten their names completely.  We were guests for dinner at the home of a mutual friend.  I have not forgotten the impression they made on me though, nor the story of how they got together.

They really did seem like best friends.  They were both slightly “quirky”.  They both wore odd socks.  They were both a bit plain physically…I don’t mean that unkindly.  They just were both as normal looking as you can imagine.  Neither would stand out in a crowd.  Both had mousy coloured hair.  Both had plain faces, both wore spectacles that didn’t particularly suit them.  They both had a rather plain style of dress and wooly jumpers with “patterns” – you know the type I mean don’t you!  They looked comfortable rather than stylish.  They both had the same funny mannerisms.  I was thoroughly entertained by them.

The way they communicated was gorgeous to watch.  They had merged into a single entity I felt.  One starting a sentence and the other finishing it.  One starting a story and the other taking over and then passing different parts of the tale back and forth to each other.  Their continual glances and smiles to each other.  The nudges and winks they shared.  They had been married for seven years.  She seemed quite young to me.  They confirmed she was eighteen years of age when they married.  As is often the case with an obviously happily married couple, someone in our dinner party asked the question, “How did you two meet?”

Allow me to relate what I can remember as they told their tale in tandem.

He was living all the way down south in Penzance…right down at the tip of the toe of England.  She was living way up in the north, near Inverness, almost as far away as you can get from where he was.  He went on holiday to stay with a friend he used to work with…that friend was living in Scotland.  His ex-workmate was a friend of Little Miss Inverness’ brother.  Her brother invited his friend and Mr Penzance to their family home for dinner with their family.

Little Miss Inverness was not with her family for dinner that night.  She had arranged to go out with one of her own friends.  They were going out to the cinema to watch a film and then she would sleep at her friend’s house.  So she missed him completely.

The following day was a Saturday.  Little Miss Inverness came home and went up to her room with her bag.  Then she came down the stairs of the family home and low and behold, there he was – Mr Penzance!  She had no idea who he was.  She told us that the moment she laid eyes on him she just knew she was going to marry him.

Mr Penzance explained to us all that the night before when he had been there for dinner with her family he had forgotten something…I can’t remember now whether it was his wallet, or phone, or his jacket.  But whatever he had forgotten had caused him to return the following day.  He was sitting on a sofa in their living room waiting for her brother.

So they met, they chatted.  Nothing happened.  He want home to Cornwall.  He did not think of her.  She thought of him though.  But she did not do anything about it.

A year later, Mr Penzance moved to Inverness.  He moved because he had been offered great job and his ex-workmate said he could share his accommodation, that it would be a help actually to have someone to share the rent with.  He certainly did not move to Scotland on account of the brief meeting he had with Little Miss Inverness.

Well, as soon as she found out that he was living in Inverness, she wasted no time.  She said she did everything she could to make it clear she liked him.  She frequently made sure he was invited round for dinner with her family.  She would dress up and wear make-up. She would douse herself with perfume and spend hours on her hair.  She bought him gifts, she wrote him cards, she knitted a scarf for him, she baked cakes and shortbread and brownies and gave them to him.  She said she was unashamedly determined to catch his eye.  She did everything she could to win him.  He was very pleased with all of the gifts he received and always thanked her for these kind acts…and yet he did not seem to be responding.  He did show any signs of having more than a usual friendliness towards her.  There was no sign of any romantic feelings developing.  He never asked her out.

Eventually, someone had a word with him.  I cannot remember now who it was.  It might have been her Dad, it might have been the the flatmate he was sharing the rent with. Someone spoke to Mr Penzance and asked him what he was going to do about Little Miss Inverness.  He said he was rather confused.  He had not thought of her at all romantically.  Neither was he thinking of anyone else romantically at the time.  He was just kind of floating along.  He felt as if he was still settling in to life in Scotland.  Mr Penzance told us that he had really just thought she was a nice girl and her family were also kind and hospitable.  He was grateful for all the help after moving across the country and being so far away from his own family.

It was a surprise to be told that he could not let her go on giving him all these delicious bakes and other tokens of her affection without responding in some way.  If he felt he could not return the interest she was expressing in him, he should let her know in a kind way, so that she did not feel too much disappointment after all of the gestures she had extended to him.  Or, if there was a possibility that he might be able to develop a fondness for her, well, he should take some action.

Mr Penzance told us he felt like a bit of an idiot now that what was glaringly obvious to everyone else was pointed out to him.  It made him feel he ought to pull his socks up a bit.  So, he spoke to her Dad and cautiously mentioned that he thought perhaps Little Miss Inverness might be sweet on him.  Her father laughed heartily confirming that Mr Penzance was all that his daughter seemed to think and talk about these days.  Her father indicated that it would be fine for Mr Penzance to ask his daughter out.

So, he asked her out.  Where did they go on their first “date”?  They went to the cinema to see a film.  I might be wrong but I think it was the film “Chicken Run”.  How romantic!  “I don’t want to be a pie, I don’t like gravy!”

Chicken Run

So that was the start of their courting days…and it was not many months before a wedding was planned.   Little Miss Inverness became Mrs Penzance.  Cute hey!

By the time I met them at the dinner our friend hosted that evening, they had lived a few years in Scotland and a few years in Cornwall.  Now they were in London and they loved it.  I was sorry I didn’t cross paths with them again.  I often asked my friend about them and she said they were still very happy in London.

Well, every couple has their own story…that was their tale…and I found it charming!

There are so many sources of advice which would tell you never to do what she did!  I have friends who have analysed all of the glossy magazines and websites on how to make a man fall for you…I am sure they would be horrified if they heard that she contradicted all of the tips from these sources.   Her attempts to win his heart were juxtaposed to all of the advice published on catching his eye.  Love it!  (Apologies for another desperate attempt to be in one of the last Daily Prompt line-ups!)

But for Little Miss Inverness, it was the obvious thing to do…to leave him in absolutely no doubt how she felt.

I am going to make sure my Goldfinch is in absolutely no doubt how much I adore him!  He is a prime specimen of a man, he has a wonderful heart, and he also he has a stomach that loves my cooking and baking…I am going to head for his heart by going straight for his stomach!  Unashamedly in love!!


Storm’s Rollin’ In

I know I have kind of missed the boat on this prompt, because Teresa (The Haunted Wordsmith) is no longer hosting these writing prompts. But I started this and I don’t like to start a post without finishing it.

Prompt A (elemental challenge): threatening

Prompt B (sentence starter): “Someone is angry–very angry.”

Prompt C (photo):

Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

I mentioned in a post a few of days ago, that this week it is four years since I was attacked. I also mentioned that I have been able to deal with that more successfully than I have with what preceded it. I used an expression that I have been thinking about:

“Four years ago this week it all happened. It was as if a monster – and I don’t mean either Jack or the man who attacked me – launched an intense assault at me, and decided to pick up my life and break it into pieces.”

sinkingIt did feel rather like an intense storm threatening to destroy me. It was one furious wave after another crashing over me. I felt as if I had an enemy who wanted to see me sink beneath the waves and be nothing but a wreck. It was as if someone was angry–very angry, with me. I thought I was tough. I have been through all sorts of experiences that were hard and pulled through just fine. But being the subject of vicious gossip and slander for such a long time wore me down.

Just when I thought I was conquering and my head was above water, something would trigger a new onslaught. Jack and I would turn up at the same party…before I reached home there were photographs of me and comments about me that had spread across London and across the country. I would have phone-calls, text messages and e-mails from friends asking me what was going on. I always tried to dampen down the attention that was coming my way because of Jack, telling people it was all nonsense.

joggingThere were many twists and turns to the saga. For most of the time the rumours concentrated on Jack and me. But then when they started to focus on the relationship I had with a married man – well, there was no relationship. We went to the same running club, but I worked with his wife. Rumours were being spread that there was something going on between this married man and I. It became crystal clear in my mind that the rumours originated with Jack because I remember Jack driving past when I was running alongside this particular man.

directorsThat was a line crossed. It was no longer just Jack and me. He had dragged a happily married couple into our dilemma. The stress got to my workmate first. After she screamed at me in a very busy part of a public building we worked within, the directors of the charity we worked for called me into the office. They wanted to know what was going on. They were aware of some of the talk about Jack and I. A year before, they had already helped me move out of the flat I shared with Jack, in an effort to stem the gossip.

They appealed to me to sort things out with Jack as they did not want the situation between he and I to spill over and ruin the camaraderie between volunteers. I tried to speak to Jack, I really did. He was being a donkey. He was intensely hostile towards me at this late stage.

party2I have often wondered what exactly it was that finally broke me. I was already crumbly and fragile after enduring so much nonsense for so long. But I have often wondered what was it that pushed me into going to the park on my own. I know I saw him several times a day for those last few days…and always was the recipient of his cold glares. But was that all? I was tired those last few days. A lot was happening. The huge party I helped to set up…only getting back home after three o’clock in the morning that night and having to be up early the next day for a full day.

alone.jpgI remember feeling incredibly isolated all of a sudden. The people I would normally talk to just were not there. Marta was on holiday. Another good friend who was one of the directors who had been helping me was also on holiday. Another of the directors who had been helping me was ill. I sent a text message to his wife explaining I was desperate to talk. She had changed her number and not told me. My sister Milly was in Africa. I did not want to worry my parents, there was nothing they could do. I just felt so alone.

in studio.jpgIt was my birthday. I floated through that day. It was not even real. I was with friends. I was numb. I could not enjoy anything. I just wanted to escape. I did not want to have this enemy, this man whom I loved so much, making my life miserable. I had a television appearance, another morning where I had to wake up very early. I remember looking at the camera and the whole situation feeling surreal. People spoke words to me…I could not take anything in at that stage. I was out with friends in a restaurant, there were maybe thirty of us. I had not wanted to go, now I was there, I wanted to leave, but I stayed, I wanted to go, but I didn’t know where to go, I no longer wanted to go home, because Jack was there living on the floor above me, sleeping in a bed just a few metres away from mine. I could still hear him singing in the shower every morning. I had stopped singing a long time ago.

parkIt seemed so natural you know to walk in the direction of the park – The Heath. It seemed like a safe place. Waking up in an ambulance told me that it had not been a safe place.

You may have heard the expression that a person may feel as if they are “drowning in despair”. I know it might sound very dramatic, but I think I was back then, four years ago. It is an awful coincidence that when I was weakest and exhausted, a man, a complete stranger found me alone, and overpowered me, and inflicted so many blows to my head that I have been told, he probably thought I was dead.

yet we go on.jpgAnd yet, we go on. For we are strong. We survive the storm. We try to repair the damage. We hope for clearer skies and calmer waters, so that we can at long last unfurl the sails, and let life fill us with desire and excitement to continue our voyage.

We are only dust…and yet there is this deep flame within that tells us these storms were never what our Creator intended…and they will pass. The burning longing for peace and security and life without end at last!

Splish Splash – My First French Lesson

splish splash2

The first French I ever learnt was the following expression “Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi”. I learnt it at a very tender age. It means “I don’t know why”. It was the main line in the chorus of a song from Kylie Minogue. This is a song I never ever hear! Don’t laugh at me! This was the music of my very little girldom.

I still know this song off by heart – and yes it is one of my shower songs!!! Don’t tell Goldfinch – he would be so embarrassed.

“Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi” – Kylie Minogue!!!

Thinking, Believing, Speaking And Doing

dinner chat.jpgI love chatting with people, especially the chance to have a deep conversation about each other’s deeply held views, beliefs and hopes. I have worked with thousands of people from various backgrounds and have loved the conversations we have shared. Dinner-parties are always lively with earnest opinions being volleyed around the dinner-table.

I love thought-provoking questions. Interesting questions indeed for this week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD, hosted by the wonderful sparksfromacombustiblemind:



Are you more a thinker or a doer? (credit to Cyranny of Cyranny’s Cove for this one)

Ooooh – I don’t know anymore! I have been a doer, since I was sixteen. Before that I was probably more of a thinker, because when you are a kiddo, there seems to be less opportunity to be a doer. But even when I became a doer, I was always a bit of a thinker too. Since I was attacked, I have been less of a doer, I have had to make more time for rest, and I try not to think too much about what can overwhelm me. I try to distract my thinking from anything that would weigh me down. I am going to confuse myself with this question!

besties.jpgI think Marta, one of my flatmates and best friends, made a fairly accurate observation, although she did not perhaps use the most flattering term. One day we were having coffee break within the infirmary with our managers, and Marta announced (I cannot remember how the conversation had been developing): “MELODY IS THE PERFECT NUMBER TWO!” After a few chuckles…Marta defended her statement. She was trying to say that I am a very supportive person and friend. She was right. I have always needed a leader, someone who will come up with ideas, make decisions and make rules. Then I do the “doing”, I work hard to make it happen, I help their ideas come to fruition and make their decisions successful. On my own, I don’t really have a lot of natural initiative. I depend on my life experience and all the things I have learnt from the thousands of people I have worked with.

Why is beauty associated with mortality?

lady of shalottAll that is coming into my head is the woeful Lady Of Shalott!

I have to admit, I did not realize that it was. Am I reading the question correctly? Do some associate beauty with increased mortality? I am a bit confuzzled.

Maybe I should wait and see how some other bloggers answer this question before I start fudging my answer.

If everyone spoke their mind (told the literal truth), would this world be a better place?

There is a time to speak and a time to keep quiet!

diplmatic do.jpgI have to admit…as someone who has been trained to behave as a princess and to always converse with great diplomacy and tact, to reign in one’s thoughts and tongue when dealing with the most absurd, preposterous and pompous of characters, the temptation to speak one’s mind is something rather to eschew.

Rarely does an audience truly wish for anything but praise, pacification and platitudes, it would be unforgivable to speak one’s mind without invitation, and even upon receiving such, care should be taken so as not to be belligerent. I have been at many functions, ceremonies, events acting in a role in which I had to greet and converse with some quite ridiculous folk, but I had to conduct myself with the utmost grace. Speaking my mind would have been unpardonable…but now I can write about those experiences under the anonymity that this blog allows me.

In addition, it is prudent to remember that someone might speak the truth to the very best of their understanding and still be wildly mistaken. So speaking one’s mind is not generally the wise and beneficial course. This is one of the reasons why we ought not to be hasty with our words. We should remember that our view is limited and our understanding is often incomplete and imperfect. And it would be an extremely rare circumstance that one should feel that “telling the truth” is vindication  for being cruel!

gracious speech.jpgPersonally, I think if everyone went around speaking their mind, a lot of damage may be caused. But humility, modesty and a spirit of kindness and mildness should mark our words. This is likely to earn respect from others. We all have our moments when we lose balance and blurt out what we are thinking and feeling. But on the whole, diplomacy, tact, grace and eloquence are very beautiful characters of speech that I am attracted to. Why would you want to have a conversation with somebody who is brutal with their words? It can feel as if they are punching you! It is a beautiful art to adorn one’s speech in such a manner that people take delight in listening to your words, even your candidness.

family talk.jpgOf course in a more familiar setting, amongst family and close friends,  honest conversations are of course healthy and one may choose to be more frank and open with one’s views and opinions than in the general public domain.

However, there are some occasions…when urgency takes priority. If someone is clearly heading for harm, one ought to get to the point. There are some occasions when it is clear that graciousness is not appropriate. Those times, it may be incumbent to be direct and not to mince any of your words. Or if somebody is behaving in a threatening manner, we should not shy away from making it clear that we are on guard.

Can religious beliefs affect scientific thinking?

science and religion.jpgErm…where do I begin?

I don’t think I can really do this question justice right now because I am working on my tablet in a cafe. But essentially religious truth and scientific truth ought to harmonize. If they don’t, there is a problem. It is foolish to be dogmatic and unreasonable about such questions as how did life begin? Is there a Creator who cares about us? What hope is there for the future?

galileo.jpgThat problem could be a limited or mistaken understanding or an arrogant presumption and haughty bias. For example…Galileo and Copernicus were met with utter ignorance and arrogant stupidity. I still believe that certain religious fundamentalists do great harm in some of their claims. They go beyond the word of God and state things that are not balanced and are not scriptural. They make themselves look unreasonable and belligerent. In the same way, any scientist who is dogmatic and rules out the possibility of an intelligent designer and Creator is questionable.

Attitude of Gratitude

If you’d like to, share some gratitude in photo, written form or song:

Well…it certainly was not the summer of ’69 (even my parents were kiddos back then!), but I chose this song because it captures the spirit of having a blast with someone who makes life shine and sparkle! I am so grateful to Goldfinch for making me feel this way:


A Day That Demanded All I Had

There were eight months which were probably the most intense of all my working life. October 2012 – May 2013. They were tough! I was working in an infirmary caring for patients with terminal illness. I helped to train a team of volunteers.

We were caring for Abigail, a wonderful woman who was almost one hundred years of age and had been affected by Alzheimer’s disease for the previous ten years. She was a very special lady. The whole care team were absolutely devoted to her, but especially the most experienced of our carers (Penny – who everyone called “Matron”) I must write about both Abigail and Penny.

In October 2012 Abigail started to deteriorate rapidly. The number of patients had doubled in the past few weeks and I was having to train new carers to use equipment they had never seen before. We needed everyone to do extra hours to help with the round the clock support needed. I was with Abigail when she took her last breath.

Then my good friend Catrina came back from Africa with some puzzling symptoms. Less than two months later I was with Catrina as she was taking her last breaths. What a special woman Catrina was! One of my inspirations and role-models:

Catrina And Catbells

The morning she died, my manager had received a call to say that not one of the eight male carers I had trained for the past three months was available to assist Arnold, a ninety year old gentleman with Parkinsons disease. So I had to go straight from Katrina to assist Arnold. I was exhausted after being awake all night. But you just had to carry on. There was not time to grieve.

ill.jpgPenny, our most experienced carer had come down with a cold just after Abigail’s death, so she had not been involved with Catrina’s care. We were all concentrating on Catrina so much, none of us had stopped to think about how many days of work Penny had missed. Penny had been sending us text messages to encourage us, because she knew we were in a very demanding situation and that emotions were wrought.

When we lost Catrina, we finally realized something was seriously wrong with Penny. On the day of Catrina’s funeral, our manager had to carry Penny down the stairs from her bedroom and took her in his car straight to hospital. Three months later, we were all around Penny’s hospital bed while she was taking her last breaths. After two hours sleep I had to be be at work ready to help our other patients in the infirmary.

goodbyes at hospital.jpgI think the day of Penny’s death was perhaps the longest of my life. I had been with Penny for around twelve hours and had alerted the team that I really thought this was it. You can tell. Her breathing had changed. There was that smell. If you are unfamiliar with being with someone when they slip away, you might find it hard to imagine (you may not want to imagine) but I had seen it before and I was sure she was going. Marta, Suzie and others close to Penny, made the journey into the hospital so that they could say goodbye to Penny.

marta.jpgAt around midnight, we had to have a difficult conversation. Penny was still breathing. There was a crowd of us in her room, and most of us had to be up at the crack of dawn to start caring for the other patients we had in our infirmary. Marta was going to be on the late shift the next day. Marta had been devoted to Penny especially since she realized she was ill. We tore ourselves away from the bed and left Penny with Marta and a lifelong friend who had come down from Scotland to be with her. We all knew it was the right thing to do, Penny would have insisted on it, but it was very hard to leave her.

Suzie and I reached our flat after one o’clock in the morning. Penny stopped breathing a couple of hours later and Marta sent us a text message to say that Penny had gone to sleep. Suzie and I had harldy slept a wink but at five o’clock we had to start getting ready to be on the early shift at work. Suzie chose to stay in the main infirmary dining room with most of the residents of the infirmary and the night carers.

helping arnoldI had to go to be with Arnold and his wife. Arnold was especially disorientated in the morning and often had physical challenges. His wife found it very difficult and on entering their room, normally for the first half an hour Arnold’s wife would be offloading all of her stresses to is as we tried to help Arnold. I was not in the mood that morning I have to admit. Before she could wear me down any further, I mentioned to her that Penny had passed away. She was genuinely sad. She loved Penny. The two of us sat on the sofa holding hands and Arnold slept quietly. Then when Arnold woke up I started helping him.

nursesI had to work all day. There were initially some hugs and tears together. But there was also a lot of upset because some of the infirmary team had clashed with Penny and were not as close to her. I think they felt a little guilt, I don’t know. But now they seemed to be a bit brutal about the loss of Penny.  Some of the carers were upset that they had not been able to get to hospital to say goodbye. They seemed annoyed with me for not sending individual text messages to everyone of them. I had texted our infirmary managers and Marta and Suzie because they were my flatmates and had worked with Penny for years. There was a lot of work to do, and I had the feeling that noone was going to let us grieve that day.

lucia.jpgI remember having to go down to the main kitchen with another carer, Lucia, who had been very close to Penny. (There were five of us who were known as Penny’s girls: Lucia, Milagros, Marta, Suzie and me.) Lucia and I were greeted by the boys in the kitchen with joking and teasing. We were not in the mood! They asked us: “what was the matter? why were we so glum?” One of the boys even asked “has someone died or something?” Lucia’s eyes filled with tears. I was shocked. I quietly explained that Penny had died during the night. The boys reaction was “who was Penny? was she one of the older ladies in the infirmary?” I was really shocked. Until just two months before, Penny had regularly gone down to the kitchen to obtain the food for the infirmary lunch just as Lucia and I were doing. In fact Penny had been doing that as part of her assignment as a full-time volunteer in the infirmary for over thirty years.

That day was hard because the five of us girls, Penny’s girls, were heart-broken. But that particular day was long and cold and hard. And strangely even some of those who had worked with Penny seemed to be saying to us “life goes on”, just a few hours after we had lost our wonderful friend. You know all of those awful phrases that you are never ever supposed to say to someone who is grieving…we heard all of them that day and for the next few days. It was sickening.

It marked the end of an era in many ways. I can’t explain all of the changes after we lost Penny right now; there were many changes. But fortunately, the directors of the charities we worked for had taken an interest in us, and saw that we were under intense emotional pressure and physical demands. So they tried to lighten the load for us, by diversifying our assignment and bringing more carers into the infirmary for us to train.

Aaaaaaaah! Those were some of the most demanding and heart-breaking months of my working life. Long hours, sleepless nights, repressing our grief, and of course none of us were being paid a penny for our work. For a while I felt as if we were expected to work like machines and not to allow any emotions to slow us down. There was always work to do, always other people to help. I did feel I was stretched almost to breaking point. I think that day when we had just lost our beloved Penny was probably the longest day of my life. Somehow, the heart of the infirmary had grown cold and stopped beating. It was not the same after losing Penny and we all knew it. The warm family environment that Penny had established disintegrated somewhat. We were glad of being sent on other assignments, but often we were working on our own in isolated locations…and that was a stark contrast to having close colleagues who were like family.

Just after we lost Penny, Jack moved into the flat I was living in and started to play strange games with me. Maybe if I had not been so exhausted emotionally I would have been able to cope better with Jack.


Bee Mine! Bee My Little Baby!

This is actually one of my favourite posts! I wrote it at the start of last summer (we had an amazing summer in England in 2018), when I remember realizing that for the first time in years I was head over heels in love and so happy!

If anyone of you has had the glorious experience of bee-ing in love…not with someone who does not even know your name (that is not such a great kind of lovestruck-ness), but bee-ing in love with someone who seems to love spending time with you, loves holding your hand, and even loves your cooking!!! Woo wooh!!! Then you know the elation that bee-ing in love can bring.


It is the weekend…and over here in little olde England…once again the sun is shining…and we are shamelessly out there getting ourselves sun-burnt! The sky is blue as you like, the flowers are still blooming and the bees are buzzing away – intoxicated by sweet nectar.

As am I! Intoxicated…by my loved one – my lovely Goldfinch…who is here with me! We have great plans for another perfect day together…so this will not be a long post today.

For any readers who as yet have not had a taste of this kind of love…do not despair! When I have more time, I will tell you the story of how unexpected it was to meet Goldfinch…a very random meeting with a complete stranger that worked out wonderfully. A lovely life lesson is that you truly never know who is around the corner…the most important thing is to work on you first. Bee happy!!! Bee a beautiful person on the inside!!! Bee someone who is enjoyable to spend time with. Bee ready for a really nice person to come along and see inside you something very attractive.


This is the apron I wear when I bake in case you were wondering!

Goldfinch would not have picked me out of a line-up of lovely ladies for either my chubby face, my clumpy feet, or wobbly tummy. I know that what Goldfinch found attractive was just what he is supposed to see…all those lessons in life, the lessons in love…the lessons that mum and dad taught me…they have made me into a person that is attractive to my wonderful Goldfinch.

It just makes me love him even more. To bee loved by a man who loves you for all of the right reasons is bee-yond beautiful!!!

If you have loved like this and have lost…then I am deeply compassionate towards you. Sadly in the world we live in today, something exquisitely lovely can quickly vanish beyond our grasp to cling to. I know that soon I will lose my loved one…my Goldfinch.  He will soon go home. I will have lost someone who is stirring in me deep happiness. At that time,I will probably post a lot of laments to love lost on this blog site…so be warned…come August October December…you might want to avoid my posts!!!

But for me that is tomorrow…and now is today.  I am sure you would not bee-grudge me making the most of today. Life has taught me that you really should make the most of today!

Whatever you do this wonderful weekend…I hope that you can make the most of the precious gift of life…don’t bee sad. Bee ready for anything but bee wise. Bee adventurous and bee brave. Bee kind and bee a lovely person to everyone you meet. Bee thoughtful and bee interested in other people. Bee happy and bee beautiful on the inside.

Who knows who will bee buzzing around outside? Bee ready for them.

Two Bees

Please forgive me if I don’t read your posts today…you know why…bee happy for me!



Linked to this are the posts: Buttery Toasted Teacake and Perfect Day