Rescue me

Rescue me

Rescue me

Eughhhhhhhh! I hate driving! I hate it!

I have made no secret about my anxiety and panic attacks and how they affect my life. Actually, they had not really affected my life at all of late. Certainly not in the way they used to. But, I still have one thing that fills me with dread that brings back that clammy and ‘whizzy’ feeling which I thought I had said goodbye to long ago: driving to work.

I just cannot shift it at the moment. Not like I can with an ordinary panic attack. I have triggers that I use to eliminate them but, the art of distraction is not so easy to perfect when you are motoring along on the M5 motorway. As much as I have tried to listen to music, I find anything with too much base will set me off. If I have a bottle of water, I will worry that it will run out before my journey has ended and I will be too dependent on that as a solution. Even my long anticipated Rescue Remedy pastilles stayed in my glove box for the first few journeys as I was concerned that the ingredients may cause some adverse reaction, leaving me feeling even worse. Typical! Totally bonkers and irrational arguments for each possible solution but, isn’t this just the nature of Panic Attacks? I still find it so difficult to comprehend that this is my bodies actual way of protecting me as it certainly does not feel like it. The main and very pertinent difference with these panic attacks is that there really is no escape from my car. I am encapsulated inside my own little whizzing ball of anxious anxiety cloud.

Rescue me

My little nurse.

Ironically, on my drive this morning, I thought about exactly what I would write if I wrote a post about my anxieties. This seemed to help me. Suddenly though, something else would creep into my mind; remember the time I fainted after I had a tattoo….. cue; complete and utter panic that I am going to faint because I have thought about fainting. That’s it! I am going to faint! My car will veer into the path of an oncoming lorry and that will be the end of me. All because I did not pull over but, if I pull over, I have given in and will make things so much worse for myself. I absolutely and categorically can never pull over.

Then I start to worry about other things, ie; everything. I wish I had money, I wonder if I could crowdfund my life?  Can I afford to send my daughter to nursery? What can I buy for dinner tonight that is less than the £3.75 in my bank account? Oh my God! I am a failure. I have failed my life…. cue; foggy head, feeling sweaty and just a deep sinking feeling of impending doom in my stomach that lasts for one nano second. Then it is gone! It does not even affect the way that I drive (crap as my other half would say!) I mean, it is not the actual driving capability that worries me. It is the worry that I will get that awful low down dread and I cant do anything. Because I have to keep driving.

Rescue me

My life has been so much more colourful since I faced all my demons.

I have always had a nervous nature. When I was a child I can remember being worried about everything. It wasn’t just the death of my closest relatives that made me the basket case I am today. I was already one! So, I seek some solace in that. The path of serendipity and all that! When I was around 9 or 10, the age my eldest daughter is now, I saw a keyring in Clinton Cards that caused me to worry for months. On the front was a picture of a cartoon frog and each frog on each key ring represented a trait or premonition for each sign of the zodiac. The frog that represented mine had crosses for eyes and a knife in its chest with the title; MOST SCORPIOS ARE MURDERED! Who on earth designed these key rings? (This is my thought now) My thoughts then were, yes! You’ve guessed it! I would be next. A true Scorpio.

I spent weeks even months after, ensuring that whatever happened, I categorically could not listen to the news. It was easy at home as Mum and Dad were working but, In the car, Dad would always have the news on the radio, or so it felt like. So, I had to turn my Sony Walkman up to its maximum and ensure that my Shamen cassette tape (that’s right! I was cool!),  drowned out any news of any possible murders. If I heard about one, that would mean it would happen to me. Ironically, as my life got harder, I became much more rational in my thinking. Probably then, I realised that Life can be an utter bastard to you no matter what you do or what you happen to listen to.

Rescue me

Now I’m much more ‘well rounded’. Well I am in this picture anyway.

So! I shall continue to search for a solution to my ‘motorised mad moments’ in the hope that I can clear this chapter of negativity soon. As I continue to work and know that Nancy is in safe hands, I feel so much better about going , I even enjoy it. I will not be defeated again and nor will I feel so negative. There are plenty of people willing to do that for you and without explanation that its a wonder not all of us are a little bit mental (which of course we totally are).





Mum was 46 when she died. Death carries so much guilt, not for the departed naturally: they don’t give a monkies! But, for all us poor bastards left behind! Life is full of so many ‘Shoulda Woulda Couldas’ no matter what the circumstances were that took them away from you. When my best friend was taken, it was instant. Boom! She was gone. I felt guilty that I was not with her as she had asked me to be (except then I would not actually be writing this) and I feel guilty for that as well. Why was I not in the car? Why was I at home in bed? Although, actually I woke up at the exact time that she left and could not get back to sleep. I have always been a bit strange like that. I get it from my Granddad don’t forget. Anyway, I digress!

Yes! Mum was 46 and I was 16. The first thing I remember feeling guilty about, apart from the whole;New Shirt, Pat Butcher incident of course was the day that I was taking the entrance exam to get into secondary school. Mum and I used to  visit a particular pet place and garden centre in these years and I would look at the guniea pigs and she would look at the Dahlias, or some such boring stuff. We would often visit ‘floral related’ places just the two of us. I expect my brother was at home counting and cleaning his Smurf collection. (If you know him, you will know this is not me attempting to be funny). Anyway, I was really nervous about the exam and Mum had promised one of these outings on the way home: with cake and a toy from the gift shop, which was usually a collectable fluffy pencil. I was so excited that I thought about it all the way in the car to my exam. We chatted about what animals we might see today and what cakes would be available. So much so that I forgot all about my Exam and just listened to my Bananarama tape on the car stereo. Mum had removed The Manhatten Transfer just this once as a treat for me!


The obligatory 80’s Frog wellies there!

When we arrived at what would be my new school, I happened to see a girl that was in my current class and I was so relived to see a friendly face. My Mum and hers chatted and they offered me a lift home with them via their house for a milkshake. I felt so grown up coming home with a friend and looked to my Mum for approval. She simply looked back and rather than say, ‘Don’t forget we were going somewhere’, she just said, ‘If you are sure that’s what you want to do’. It was only in the car on the way home that I remembered our planned outing and my stomach dropped. I remember it like it was yesterday. I still can’t believe it went clean out of my mind and yet I think about it now and see it played out so vividly. That was one of those times I would go back to in my time machine (as soon as I finish those plans).

Now! I am no psychologist! Again, if you know me, you may chuckle at that but, now I am a grown Woman I think that is why I was so angry with my Mum for dying and leaving me. If I was angry with her it would be all her fault. It would only be me that people felt sorry for and there was no space for me to feel guilty. I could not possibly feel guilty then for being such an utter bitch! I am not saying this was a character trait. It was all about timing. I was a hormonal teenager and I could be such a cow bag in the last months of my Mum’s life. My parents embarrassed me and they were always unfair to me by not letting me do what I wanted and buy me fags and stuff…(sense the tone) So I would repay them by behaving like the utter toilet water secreted in Satan’s bum hole. At least, I think I was. I feel like I was. When I look back I think I was.

On car journeys I would plug myself into my cassette player and stare out the window. In actual fact I was imaging that I was actually in Bananarama and wearing black tight satin pants, leather bra and a big cross necklace. My performance was always second to none. It wasn’t actually me of course, it was the mythical me: I was 25 and I was gorgeous. Good thing about fantasy, it can take you where you want to go. The years previous had not always been that easy. My Mum didn’t just get Cancer one day and die the next. She fought for 8 years and we watched. The world I escaped to was uncomplicated and made me forget, it was fun and vivacious but, more importantly, absolutely no one was dying or losing their hair.


Mum and Dad (and Teddy)

When it spread to my Mum’s brain, she didn’t go ‘Doolally flip’ as you may expect. In a way, it would have been much easier if she had. She simply started losing the ability to do the most basic things: swallow, smile, talk and lastly of course, breath. She was still in there and that was the hardest part. I know she was there because she wanted an Etch a Sketch type thing to write messages on. Although, now I think to myself, how did she initially ask for the Etch a Sketch type thing because she couldn’t actually talk……Hmmm! But, I digress again!

Actually, I know that my Mum didn’t really think that I was a bitch. One of the last things she wrote was that she knew I would always be ok, that I would have a good life or do my best to make one. Maybe she knew I would always be strong and that I would have to be. I am only that way because of her. I have had and do have a good life. Life is precious and you must enjoy every last bit. I wish mine so far had been a little less painful and I wish that parts of me had not gone missing but, I will always try and show my Mum that she was right in what she said. That I will make it be alright.


Happy and a little bit weird!





Do you ever go for a late evening drive, just because you can and you think it will be a nice idea? Do you chat about your day with your partner and think about all the lovely things you can do on your weekend? Well! I hope you know how bloody lucky you are because I will never see an evening car ride in the same way again. Every single bump in the road and pot hole was jolting my nether regions into my thorax. Every time I would drive past the garden centre after that, I would remember that the last time I saw it flashing by, I felt as if someone was knitting with my uterus! Oh, and don’t forget you need to stop for petrol. ARE YOU BLOODY KIDDING ME! Do I want anything? Yes, I want you to go back in time when you believed you may be making a rush journey to a maternity unit and put some sodding petrol in!!! And breath…..I settled for a Snickers in case you were wondering.

Remember the gush I referred to previously? Well apparently I could not even do that properly and as it was only my hind waters that had dripped out and my labour didn’t seem to be moving all that fast, I would wait to be Induced as planned (behind the four other ladies that had got in before me). I will never forget their faces, it was like that scene in Friends; they wheeled me in, consultant came round and advised me it was a mistake I was here and as part of my waters had broken (24 hours earlier) it was probably not safe to wait. I felt their eyes bore into my very soul as I was wheeled out of that room past all four beds. At least, I would have done if I didn’t feel like the Titanic was making its final sail into port by way of my womb!

It is always comforting when the midwife who is about to break your waters with what looks like a crochet needle is blonde, about 23 and has a fresh application of lipstick. I felt like Bella Emberg in a Hollyoaks scene. At least, again I would have done if I wasn’t now sitting in a puddle of my own inner juices! In true reality, I could not give a monkies what I looked like; I was too scared to go to the toilet on my own and it was suggested that I should be sitting on some ginormous bouncy ball. Let me tell you, in this case, Weebles wobble and they also fall down! I was too scared to close the toilet door, too scared to sit on the toilet and just generally terrified. The pain was indescribable and to top it all off, I had really needed to go for a poo since watching Countdown earlier on.


I also had not eaten for hours. Thank god I had that Snickers!!

Gas and Air! What a waste of time that was for me. I was adamant I did not want Pethadine because I was uncomfortable with feeling a bit ‘woo!’ I had not drunk for nine months and wanted to be eased into it slowly. At least I had my own room, my own midwife who incidentally was about 12 but, had no qualms in holding a kidney dish under me so that I could try and have that poo I wanted earlier (whilst standing up). Thankfully she had another kidney dish too as the culmination of that damned Snickers and Gas and Air had made me projectile vomit. So here was the 12 year old, juggling with the kidney dishes to assist me in eliminating my bodily waste and the fact I was so overdue and been in labour for so long meant I had a monitor attached to my pregnant belly and was totally restricted in how much I could move around.

4!! 4!! Can you bloody believe it! 48 hours of labour, One trickle of waters, One crappy tens machine which I may as well have just knocked myself out with, waters completely broken by Barbie with the crochet needle, Gas and Air and vomit and I had manage to dilate my cervix to 4 centimetres. And still no poo! I knew exactly what they were going to say and the only thing ringing in my head was the wise words of those ‘Induced’ Mums who were now laughing and waggling their baby established fingers at me. Well! I will do it! Should I have the Pethadine? What else was there? It was only a liquid drip, what possible effect could it have on……Sod this! I’m having the Epidural! The seven minute contraction due to over stimulation was the final straw.

I never made much noise. The 12 year old told me I was doing really well. Not like the woman that had been screaming for 5 hours in the next room but, I had to admit defeat and the moment I knew that epidural was on the way, my whole body breathed a sigh of relief. Again, until God saw fit to send me a 25 year old Anaesthetist named Tom who said I had nice legs. That was probably his Anaesthetist thing, ‘Make the vomit ridden, constipated, Bella Emberg wanabee feel better by commenting on her nice legs’. Worked though. I then forgot that no less than 5 people had examined me and turned me into a human puppet because here was Tom and his enormous needle!

The most difficult part of having a seven minute contraction, closely followed by another is that when someone (even Tom) tells you that it is imperative that you do not move, you want to punch them in the face. I managed to do it though and even though I had no idea what the result would be, all those ideas of the perfect birth and never needing an epidural simply ebbed away as I laid back in my bed in a ball of ecstatically calm relief once I felt that cold liquid drip in. I still knew I had legs, I just wasn’t sure where they were.


How can you remember anything negative when you get to look at this every day.

It is hard to describe the feeling. You have absolutely no pain any more. It is gone just as quickly as it arrives but, when the midwife tells you that you need to push when you feel it tightening, you know when is the right time. By now, I am onto my second Midwife as the other has gone home and probably after about an additional four hours slightly more comfortable than before, my cervix has decided that it shall finally dilate. All I really want to do is go home and climb into my comfy bed and forget this ever happened. Well, to save you being really bored we shall merely jump on two more hours because that is pretty much how long I then pushed for to try and get her out. This was before yet another Gynaecologist came in for the puppet show and proclaimed that, this was not happening! I could have told him that. My daughter had succeeded where I couldn’t and had a poo. In her case, it was a sign that she was struggling too. No forceps, no ventouse, just sign this form in case you die and they wheel you down to theatre like the beginning scenes of casualty. As I lay flat, the only thing I could focus on was the line of lights on the ceiling; Lit up like Blackpool, only far less fun.

It was all very much a haze. My surgeon was actually talking about a dingy that he had just won on Ebay whilst he made the cut. However, I knew this to mean that actually, he had opened me up and found a huge tumour and there was absolutely no point in stitching me back up again. I did say that I was in a haze! They also don’t tell you that you will shake uncontrollably and although you feel no pain, the sensation is of tugging and pulling at your insides and that someone is doing the washing up in your intestines. They also should tell you not to keep focusing on the lights as the large stainless steel ones they use in theatres also act as a mirror and I would rather have been asked if I actually wanted to see my insides. This, coupled with the fact that this whole experience had been so utterly horrendous meant that it was possible for me to actually forget why I had arrived here in the first place. Therefore, when your baby comes out, you have absolutely no idea what this alien could possibly be. There was no instant cuddle and lovely warm feeling: she had to be taken away from me straight away to check that she wasn’t in danger. The fact that I was pushing for so long with her chin going in the opposite direction had no doubt made her a little crabby.

I do remember though that I was told they were going to put something in my bum so that I didn’t need to go to the toilet. Chance would be a fine thing!Fast forward two days later with a line of stitches and a back passage like the M1 on a bank holiday weekend and I don’t think I need to go any further with how that felt. Oh, and having a drain in for two days because the mammoth expulsion task had taken longer than expected, it is a wonder I ever had sex again, let alone that I am now awaiting the imminent birth of my third child. But, you want to know the truth? Yes, you don’t sleep and you feel like the world has turned inside out and upside down and Yes I could actually hardly move for weeks because of what happened but, if I had to put my hand on the Bible right now, I would do it all again in one heartbeat. The eight years I have had with that incredible little girl is enough to make me go through that every month if I had to: and sometimes parenthood feels like that anyway.

Just please do something for me if the opportunity arises? If a woman tells you that they had their baby via C-Section, get that little niggle in your brain that says, ‘Oh, she couldn’t be bothered to have a ‘natural’ birth. Took the easy option’ and proceed to beat it incredibly hard with a mallet.


And pooof she was here…well almost!




The only way I can describe it: imagine that you were stood in a beautiful field, lush and green and full of all the most beautiful flowers that you could ever picture. This would be (in theory) how I perceive my life as I live it day to day. I have two amazing children, a job that I have had for many years, enough decent people in my life, although few, that are worth hanging on to and a Man that I love with all my heart and thank my lucky stars for every day. Then, imagine that further beyond this field and all around is nothing but black and a never ending pit. However happy I continue to be, this will always be the same for me: nothing maudlin or self pitying, it is just a gap that a will never be able to alter.

The problem with hormones (and boy do I have a lot of them at the moment!), is that you realise that you are being totally irrational, yet every action that you take, you can’t control but, quite frankly, you don’t particularly care either. I want to feel wanted and I want to feel special and let’s face it, carrying a child is quite an important job and it can sometimes feel like you are the only one in the world doing it! Its lonely sometimes and I do not have the support network that I wish I did. I have said a thousand times, that I know when I am being particularly horrible but, I just cannot do anything to control it. Nor do I feel it is my fault and boy do I feel I have justification.

Social media causes a lot of issues for me in my current state. Do I want to be reminded of my Man’s exes or past dalliances, most of whom do not have a hair out of place and spend their time doing things which make them look amazing. Does it annoy me when they like every status he posts to a particular social media site apart from when it contains mention of me….ummmmm yes! For however much I try, I shall always be just a little bit normal and just that little bit not attractive enough (if that’s correct grammatical language). I am sure they are all very nice and I have no doubt that they would think that I was an utter cow. Which, at the moment, they would be correct. But, that is how I feel so I am saying it.

Mainly, I think, I just feel sad a lot of the time! I am not so much angry anymore but, think about what I am missing and how I wish things were different. But, they aren’t and no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to change that. But, I have a realisation with it and I accept it: it does not mean I have to like it though and it is because I feel so cheated that my life can sometimes get complicated. I just require extra work, extra love. Now! Any of you that have met my beautiful man will know that he is not the most tactile of human beings to say the least! I am almost positive that currently, living with me is no different to sharing a tent with Sadam Husain at a One Direction concert but, he knows me and I know him! There are occasions when his patience runs thin but, so does mine. He loves me in his own way and I am not expecting a dinner date on a hot air balloon any time soon but, I need a constant drip of love and reassurance: akin to a Tamagotchi I like to think! I will never change but, my capability of love and showing love is as deep as the hole I envisage around me everyday. This is because I have the gift of experience. We all know life is short but, we never embrace this every day. We just get caught up in living.


Reflection. We all feel a little stuck sometimes.

I am lucky enough to have a very good doctor and of late, he has kept me in check. I have been having some problems with my blood pressure in this pregnancy and am having to rest a lot of the time. It is difficult to rest completely  with two children and I do feel this baby taking its toll on my body. After all, I am no ‘Spring Chicken’! (or at least this was suggested to me by a midwife I spoke to at the beginning of my pregnancy) She will go far!! As for avoiding stress: I get stressed if I can only find one of a pair of socks in my daily wash. Apart from recommending compression stockings (which has mortified me beyond belief: coupled with being fat, hormonal and moody, I am hardly feeling like Cindy Crawford as it is), he suggested that I may be suffering with some Depression myself.

Being an A Level Philosophy student, and having a little experience in dealing with Depression, I firmly believe that as I can comprehend that I am not in a Depression then this must surely mean that I don’t have it! I am just sad. I am also just a little more complicated than some. Oh, and my hormones are currently having a party that I did not really want to be invited to. Nor, does anyone that currently has the fortune, or mis, however you look at it, to come into contact with me. But, I continue to be grateful for my life and look forward to my rainbow baby. I wish my Mum and Dad were here to see all of my children and be proud of me. Probably not so much for my attitude today but, that I continue as best I can, without them and I only hope that I could do half as good a job as they did.

*I apologise to anyone that is a fan of One Direction or one of my other halves exes (or dalliances) It really is not personal (unless you are both and then I am afraid there is no hope for you)

Ghosts Part 2

Ghosts Part 2

My Dad was always falling out of bed! Sometimes the dog pushed him out and sometimes he simply turned over a little too far in his sleep and…doink! He could just about feel his legs but, he could not weight bare in any way. He could get onto the commode himself and from his wheelchair to the bed was ok but, there was generally a struggle each day. Once, he was so determined to come to the next level of the house and look out of our fire escape window at the gardens next door, that he tried to drag himself up the stairs like a merman. I was fuming with him that day! He got half way up and then slid to the bottom like a sausage. He thought it was hysterical (as he did most things) I, on the other hand was furious with him for taking such a risk to his already crumbled spine: I slammed doors and called him a ‘Bloody, Pissing idiot’! Again, he thought it was hysterical.

When my Dad was in hospital, I had some help to get the downstairs ready for him coming home. We were lucky enough to live in a large town house which used to be flats so everything was pretty much self contained for him. He had a bedroom downstairs next to the living room and a bathroom where I could empty the luminous green wee from his catheter bag.We built slight ramps so he could easily wheel from room to room.The house being so old, there were tiny drops into each downstairs room. Dad could pick up things with his special ‘claw’ which helped him grip and lift things that were slightly out of his reach. Mostly, he would use it to pinch my bottom when I was getting something for him or lifting the cats tail while giggling and singing ‘Pixxxeeelina’. Some utter bastard who drove like a numpty ran over my Pixxee after my Dad had died. I was devastated to lose that connection.

It sounds completely bonkers but, there are nights when I am feeling really sad that I will close my eyes and hold out my open hand, in the anticipation that my Dad would hold it: even if just for a second. Some times I beg him to do it or to come and sit on the end of my bed so that I know he’s there, that he misses me in the way I miss him. That he still thinks of me as I do of him and if he is proud of me at all. In reality, if he did come back to me, he would probably just pinch my bum again with that bloody claw!!

Ghosts Part 2

My heart will always be just a little bit broken.

There were some nights that I would stay away and although I worried about leaving my Dad, I needed a release sometimes. He had nurses come in and help him also. I loved my dad with every single ounce of my being but, sometimes the pressure of looking after him was too much and I needed to escape. I was happy for it to be just the two of us but, it did make me feel very negatively towards a lot of people who I felt had forgotten us. Something I am still working through!

My Dad’s prognosis was very bleak right from the beginning. He was given months because his Cancer was discovered so late and was extremely aggressive.He was a right stubborn old sod and he died almost four years later (even after Merman and slippery sausage incidents) He waited until I was married so he knew I would not be alone and he died five weeks after that.

Ghosts Part 2

My beautiful girl: if not a little bit weird!

Only weeks before, something happened which should have forewarned us. I often wondered if it was a consious forewarning  for my Dad. He would never have dreamed of admitting that to me, never. In the same way he would never admit about the baby in our previous house. But, it has always left me wondering. This is what happened:

I had been away overnight at my in laws and was returning as I usually did if I had stayed out,around late morning.The image of my Dad in his chair is one that I will never forget. He was sat in the living room watching the television and as his head turned to look at me coming in the front door, he turned ashen. My Dad carried a lot of expression in his face but, this day it was one of confusion and terror. There was a split second where I contemplated that the Cancer had spread to his brain and perhaps he had no idea who this intruder was. ‘Shu’?…..’You haven’t just come home?’ ‘You came home last night’. I hadn’t.

My Dad went on to explain that just as he was drifting off to sleep he was aware I was home. He said he had not heard me come in the front door but had seen me furtling around in the landing (I did and still do furtle an awful lot) and had called out to me to see what I was up to. I had walked to the entrance of his bedroom and stood in his doorway for a couple of minutes without speaking and then simply turned around and walked away. Of course, I say me, but it wasn’t me, I was 17 miles away watching trashy TV and no doubt drinking wine. My dad said there was no doubt in his mind that he was seeing a person, a solid entity (what he thought was me) that he had called out and asked me to get him a drink. We made a joke of it of course and japed that it would have been more than a little unsettling if whatever or whoever that was that night had actually brought him a drink.

This has always been a comfort to me, not frightening in any way but it is something I will take with me to my own grave and I will always wonder who exactly it was that came to collect my Dad. Dad didn’t have much time to worry about it as whoever it was accompanied him to the next world shortly after. I hope someone comes for me too when I am ready to go. I will have that drink though: Pinot Grigio naturally!





I can remember my old bedroom like it was yesterday. Actually, in truth, it was bloomin hideous. I had cream wallpaper but it was covered in brown and yellow flowers so actually it just looked brown. Half the wall was covered in a wood panel which had been painted white and I had a poster of Patrick Swayze which surreptitiously moved from the wall to the door, depending on how I was feeling at the time and how easy it made it to kiss him. He always kissed me back. Good old Patrick!


Of course Dirty Dancing was my favourite but he wasn’t too bad in this either!

Because our house was above the cafe then, the bedrooms at the very top were all attic rooms with the sloped celings. I would spend hours looking out my window. You had a birds eye view of our garden below. It was a large garden.My Mum was mad about flowers and gardening (hence my name) and she would potter outside for hours on end. She always made my dad build her things and when he had to build her a pond, there was almost a divorce thats for sure! I would sit out with her into the evening somedays,on my swing and making up songs.

My bed was in the corner of the room and I was incredibly scared of the dark. So I would sleep with the light on every night. Not a side light: a full light. I say I slept in there but until I was about 11 I had a tendency to creep into bed with my Mum and Dad. I could not understand their constant frustration as I only wanted to be close to them. However, now as I have my own children, the thought of my daughter still coming into bed in years to come fills me with dread. My whole future sex life eradicated until she was old enough to leave home. No doubt I would become one of those frustrated retirees who goes to yoga and looks at their Vagina in a hand mirror.

If I had the gift of fortune telling or hindsight though, I would have got into my Dad’s hospital bed and proclaimed that I would never leave until he left me. I would hold him for as long as I could, for every second that remained and he would know I was there, holding tight. In actual fact he would have probably thought I was the milkman as he was definately a little less lucid towards the end.

Anyway, one night when I was asleep in my own room, I was woken up with a start. It took a little while to register what exactly the sound was but, in the corner of my room I could hear a baby crying. It was so loud that I was sure my Mum and Dad would burst in at any time. I told myself it was a cat outside and merely took myself into my Mum and Dads bed. I would hear that baby cry once a month, always in the same place and always really loud. There was a particular night that I was already in my Mum and Dads bed and the crying woke me up from the other room. It woke my Dad up too because he sat up and looked around the room in a daze. I know for sure that he heard it. When I asked him the next day he denied all knowledge but what person in their right mind would confirm to their eight year old daughter that they had also heard the phantom infant in her room?


One of our Sundays out. Pretty sure this was Cricket St Thomas.

I was scared of that house. Even when we moved into our own official proper house next door and we used the old place for storage, I would rarely go in.If I did, I would run up the stairs and run out again, always feeling like someone was hot on my heels. I still have nightmare about it to this day and I often wonder if that baby was trying to tell me something.

When my Dad was well into his final months, I had decided to practice Reiki so that I would have a hobby to give me a break. My Reiki teacher was lovely and we would spend a lot of time on other spiritual subjects such as Tarot and past lives. We were talking about spirit guides one evening: not something that I really agree with and purely because if it were true, mine should have been sacked years ago! My teacher was convinced that I had a male sibling who was always around me but, it had only ever been my brother and I and I had confirmed with my Nanny that Mum had never lost any children.

When we first moved into our house, our actual house next to the cafe which my Mum had her ‘eye on’ for years, it was great fun. Effectively we had two houses and I would play in the new house all on my own for whole days on end. I would cook with the pots and pans and lone bottle of white wine vinegar that was left in the cupboard by our original neighbours. My Dad would tell everyone that listened that when he was decorating the front room he had removed seven layers of wall paper and on the last layer he found a newspaper cutting from the wedding of Queen Victoria’s son (or daughter, I can’t quite remember) It wasn’t until I was in my late teens that my Dad told me that all the time he had been decorating, he was aware of a figure stood behind him. It was even more surprising because my Dad was never really like that. He was very much straight forward and he certainly was never superstitious. That was surprising based on his parents background too. That house was everything to me though, I loved it and it loved me back (as any house could and showed itself to do so!) There were often times that I would hear someone walking around outside my room when everyone was in bed but, it never bothered me. I never saw anything and we always discussed that whoever or whatever was there was willing to live with us too. My Dad was adamant he had seen a dog running around too and this was before he was on large doses of morphine. Just two weeks before he died, something quite incredible happened (that will be continued)

One of the last things I cleared from that front room when my Dad had gone was our long mahogany dresser. The things I found in there meant what was thought to be a quick job took hours.I sat there on my own and took everything out of those drawers, one thing at a time. I found old dog pedigrees from when my Mum and Dad went to dog training classes (with dogs of course!) and I found umpteen letters and cards that me and my brother had made for them over the years. I even found a dried up old condom which was more than perturbing.

As I cleared the very last thing from the musty wood and moved the dresser away from the wall, a brown envelope that had been wedged in the back of the drawyer fell to the floor. In that envelope I found my Mum’s NHS card and our baby bracelets. Most bizarrely, the envelope also contained my Mum’s two maternity cards from her pregnancies with my brother and I. It wasn’t very interesting, mostly her weight and sugar levels etc.. However on her maternity card when pregnant with me there was a prominent section which stated in scrawly handwriting….’One previous full term pregnancy and one miscarriage at 11 weeks before this pregnancy’……………………




‘This is my first piece of fiction I have written. It is not the beginning of a novel, just simply a piece of writing to see if it is even worth me going down the fiction route. It just so happens, that I am going to use any audience to gauge whether or not I really should ‘give up the day job!’ Just to be clear to my actual real life boss who I have worked for for many years, I do actually still want to work. That was merely an expression. So here goes:’

Gianni was handsome, not in the traditional sense but, in a self confident way. His line of work meant that he carried with him an ‘edge’ that most women found attractive. His dark complexion and olive skin gave him the look of a roman god, which technically, to him anyway, he was. His tailored suits and crisp white shirts left just enough darkened skin available to his admirers and his expensive watches often glistened and caught the attention of some very attractive ‘magpies’. The occasional flecks of grey in both his hair and stubble gave a weathered look and an explanation of the things he had seen during his some 27 years in a slightly ashen existence. A want for the best and most beautiful things meant that he was constantly in a bubble of euphoria, a self obsessed shallow life that gave pleasure for now but, was soon to come crashing down.

This was the day, the day that had started like any other. The day which he had woken up a wise man and upon ending he will be a broken one. The day where he was feared and admired at the same time. Where the only worry he had was that he did his job and kept his other family happy, cleaned up his mess and turned off his emotions because being a wise man, that was what you did. This is the day that he had irradiated his own flesh and blood. The day to begin all future days: the day he had killed his own sister.

There were times, particularly as the sun was sneaking down behind the clouds, that the shine on the sea looked like a flowing bed of diamonds. To him, anyway. If it really had been diamonds, he would never have found himself in this situation. Not just the situation, but the feeling deep inside him which would not go away. It resided at the bottom of his stomach like a layer of thick tar, so thick he could almost feel it and nothing he ever did could make it go away. Even the warm meditteranean sun on his face on an evening like this would not soften it.

Gianni was used to the black, his whole world was dark but, he had never known any different. From the moment he could walk he always knew the type of life he would lead. If he had lead any other, he would not be complete. He was important. He made things clean, made the bad go away and he delivered justice in a way that most people would only dream of. It was only after the events of today that that dark which previously built him up and protected him like an iron cloak had started to envelop him. The once strength he felt had become his very own black hole, pulling him further and further into it, the black tar seeping out from the inside.

Instead of the breeze and smell of the warm sun on the bark of the olive trees, Gianni found this smell like no other. He could taste it and he could feel it, it was cold. Although it was the middle of the afternoon in the most beautiful place on earth, his eyes burned with the flouresant light and the once warm free sandal bound feet were encased in crunchy blue material: man made material that made him feel like he did not exist below the ankle.He didn’t exist anymore anyway.

Why had he never thought or felt this place before: he had sent many people there, too many to count. But, his thoughts of them had ended just as soon as his eradication was complete. As soon as he had cleaned them from the dirt in which they came. A dirt that his world had created, but the dirt in which he lived. It had been easier not to comprehend that this other world existed. This world was fake, it was cold and it was sterile but, before it had never cared for anything that had any importance to him. Omertà didn’t matter here: the man in the white, hiding half of his face did not care who he touched. It was only now, in this instance that Gianni had to accept it as part of his new life. His old life, he could never go back to, he would never see in the same way. Somewhere which he had never comprehended for 27 years would now, never leave him.

Knives were an addition of power, they carried fear and they were easily gotten rid off. The beautiful warm sea which looked like diamonds sometimes and carried with it happy memories of children and sand castles was also a friend to death. The blood which once pumped through veins and carried with it feelings of love and feelings of contentment, could be washed away by this giant as if it never was, as if it never mattered.The sea was his collaborator, his playground of forget and yet now, in this cold unforgiving room, it was a distant memory to him. His whole way of life was a distant memory.

The day had started like any other. She was supposed to be somewhere else, living her life as she always did: living without knowing what he was but being proud of him anyway. In an instant, the two worlds which completed his life had merged into one and only the black remained. Those that had feared him, those that he had eradicated, that loving ‘family’ that he had felt a part of forever had been for nothing. He was on the outside looking in. He had become those that he once towered over, weak and vulnerable and most importantly: repentant.

Gianni saw the knife on the side. Had it touched her. Had she felt it. The power in which it had held for him since he was a child had dissipated into nothing but fear. Had part of her been left on its cold steel, only to be wiped away as if she never mattered either. He wanted to take all of her home, not leave one part of her behind. He wanted her complete and as she was. How could his life before betray him like this. Perhaps the ghosts had led him here. He would walk amongst those ghosts now like only an outline. The outline of a person that his shallow life had once made him anyway.


The Godmutha

The Godmutha

Even now, I have days where in a split second, I will think of calling my Dad and asking him a question (usually about something totally useless) I would call him a lot. When we first moved to the house next door to the Café, I would call him with my breakfast order and he would bring it in to me. As a child, I would wake him up in the night for a drink and he would always happily oblige, sometimes even going into the café to get me a frothy glass of milk. Just to confirm again, the Café was next door! Spoilt wasn’t I?

I didn’t even really consider how he went above and beyond without a grumble but, yet, now in the position of having two young children, I appreciate it even more. Particularly because there are days when I am ready to tear my hair out and I wish I had my Dad to make me feel better by getting me a glass of milk.
Why is it that as soon as you go into a supermarket, your once well behaved child will turn into Chucky on a bad day and with an irritable bladder, coupled with an endless rendition of, ‘can I have this’ and ‘I’ve always wanted one of these’, even if said thing is a turnip as you couldn’t possibly leave a shop without furnishing them with something.

This is how my Dad always was, nothing was too much trouble and that is why I wish I could still bug him on a daily basis with pointless questions and useless requests. We reversed our roles at the end of his life after I became his legs and yet I still don’t think that I did him any justice in comparison to how he had cared for me. I wish I could have given him back just even an amoeba sized amount in return so he could feel just how grateful I was and just how lucky I felt.

When my brother and I were little, we spent a lot of time on our own due to the sheer amount of time that our parents worked in the Café. I got used to my own company in summer holidays and filled most of my time with learning all the words to pivotal musicals and patching up Barbie’s after the terrible accidents they suffered on a regular basis. That pink camper van must have seen more cliff dives than Red Bull. I remember when one lost an eye. It was a painstaking operation to return her from the brink of a terrible fate. Thankfully, I was an expert optical surgeon and she pulled through.

We never missed out though. We would go to Torquay every Sunday and Exeter every Thursday afternoon (when they shut the Café half day) I have so many happy memories of our days out, obviously excluding the Texas Homecare incident and the time I nearly amputated my Brother’s finger with the car cigarette lighter. But, I never felt alone. Not like I have done in later life when I have been unhappy in my personal life. I don’t really like to be alone now that I am so happy because I worry that it won’t end (the being alone), that I may be alone again through no choice of my own. I never chose to be strong, I had to be. That was very lonely though.

The Godmutha

Sybil was good company. Especially with Deely Boppers naturally!

I never really called my Mum. Mainly because there were no mobile phones then and I never really went anywhere without her. I went to Italy when I was 14 with one of my best friends and I can remember standing in the shower whilst I was there and ‘crying my eyes out’ because I missed my Mum so much. I will never forget how I felt when I was able to come home to her. Actually, when I came home I was horrible to her as she had redecorated my entire bedroom on the proviso that it was much more grown up! My lovely reassuring pink ‘Snatch’ bedroom accessories had been replaced with black, turquoise and yellow with a simple cat silhouette on my grown up duvet. Any child in the 90’s will remember the Snatch phenomenon, a duvet set that appeared like a big brown dog was in the bed with you…genius.
Ironically, I did really grow up on that Italy trip but, I was so happy to come home to my Mum. She was right though, the new version was much more grown up and I did thank her for it as soon as I had stopped being a horrid brat!

My Mum had a best friend from her teens and beyond.She was always a constant in my life when I was growing up and she still is now. She is pretty much the only constant that has remained with me from the day I was born to the (cough cough) 34 year old I am now.My Godmother Ro is amazing. Quite confusingly, she is actually called Caroline but, I call her Ro. Ro and Mo it was in their younger days and my Mum and her were most excellent friends throughout the years. She is my Godmother and subsequently, she is now my daughters Godmother too. I knew that she would remain in my daughters life in the same way and this is exactly what I wanted. So often we have Godparents that are merely that in name and quite honestly, I have always thought, what is the point in that?

When I was young, my Godmother would always send me little parcels containing pretty tins and heart shaped bath pearls with added glitter. Can you still get bath pearls? Anyway, she still sends me little parcels and thoughtful letters now but, most importantly, she is there for me in a massive way. You know sometimes you can have a friend whom you don’t talk to for a while and yet when you do talk to them, you feel like you never had any time apart? Well, that is how we are and that is how her and my Mum were. Bearing in mind that she is still in Wiltshire and we are now Devonians. My Mum loved her wholeheartedly and so do I.

The Godmutha

This photo is one of my most treasured possessions.

I love the fact that she knew my Mum and was there for her too in the same way. Judging from my Mum’s photos and naughty stories, they also had a bloody good laugh! Well, she is a laugh and in the most excellent way, she is utterly and fabulously bonkers. Everyone needs a bit of bonkers in their life and I certainly want her to know how grateful I am to her for adding a little bonkers into mine and most importantly leaving a window open to the memory of my wonderful, beautiful and massively missed Mum.

The Godmutha

I had this amazing card last week 🙂