The surgeon told me it’s a tiny little ten minute operation and really I have no need to worry. The risks are minute and the benefits could be dramatic.

Additionally, the procedure itself offers an opportunity for sleep.

So I agreed. Mind, body and soul.

And I signed on the dotted line.

He told me to make an appointment with the anaesthetist.

I visited her on Tuesday and after waiting for a good hour and a half, she trawled through my medical history with me.

“You have quite a lot behind you, haven’t you?”

“You can’t tell by looking at you.”

“Erm… Yes. Thanks.” I’m not sure whether to feel flattered or concerned.

“I need to tell you, you’re high risk. You have asthma. It could lead to complications. You could take an asthma attack during the operation. We will of course treat you for it, if you do. Please sign here to show I’ve warned you of the risks.”

I signed.

The operation is tomorrow.

I am now starting to think I am completely bonkers. I have lived this long with heavy periods. What’s another few years? After all, the menopause can only be just around the corner… And anyway, is bleeding fifteen days a month really so bad?… I guess I’m pretty used to it by now…

I think about the surgeon and his experience and I start to relax again. I think about going for a hot bath and try to remember that I *must shave*.

I prepare the dinner – Cauliflower Surprise – the surprise being that it contains hardly any cauliflower.

I’m on a stuff-as-much-food-in-as-humanly-possible-marathon because as of 24.00 I am no longer allowed to eat.

In celebration (of the marathon, not the operation) I have even bought a chocolate cake.

Between stuffing and cooking, shopping and soothing conversations with friends, the day whizzes by and it’s time to say goodnight to the children.

Aden’s concerned but Akasha sings, “Have fun at the doctors. Have fun everywhere.”

You gotta love ’em.

Wake Up!!!

For Aden, who has trouble with early school starts, (but not at all with early weekend starts or even early holiday starts ;-)):

Wake up!
Wake up!

The alarm bell’s gone

Wake up!
Wake up!

It’s the rise of the sun

Wake up!
Wake up!

It’s time for school

Wake up!
Wake up!

There are things to be done!

Brush your teeth!

Put some clothes on.

Down… stairs
Comb your hair!
Eat… flakes
No not cake!
Shoes lace…

And be off with you
With a kiss
And a hug
And a
‘Please stay safe.’

Uncle John

To My Dearest Uncle John
I’m sad to hear
that you’ve left us
that you’ve gone.

I’m sad
that I won’t
see your face
once again
that I won’t
hear your laugh,
I won’t see your smile
I can’t tell you
I love you
with the love
of a child.
One who adores
those stories of old
to be told and told.

A warm-hearted soul
A cheeky glint in the eye
laughter flows
from someone who knows
how to enjoy life,
a kind, kind man
oozing honesty and goodness
who showed me simply:
What Is Right.

Faye – My Forever Friend

Dear Faye –
I am writing this
For you to see
How rare and special
You are to me.

Dear Faye –
I just want
You to know
The way you are?
I love you so.

Dear Faye –
A friend like you
I have not earned
And I am proud to say
That you picked me.

Dear Faye –
I still remember the day we met.
Do you know
It was twenty-five
Whole years ago?

Dear Faye –
How we laughed
And joked,
Through history lessons
We always spoke.

You taught me of concerts
And guys with long hair.
You were different –
There was always something there.

You wrote out the lyrics
Of that Twisted Sister song
“I believe in you.”
It is one of the nicest things
Anyone has done.

We left school
And went our separate ways,
But a couple of years later
We met, once again.

We both of us had married,
And just coincidentally
Had given birth to daughters,
Aged exactly a month apart.
Who’d have thought?

Dear Faye –
Since then you’ve been my rock,
My cushion,
My light,
My soul.

You know every secret
That I ever could have told.
In you I have a friend
Who is true –
Someone really to behold.

I remember when I moved house
You came and helped me clean,
When I left my man
No doubt your telephone bills were obscene,
When I had no money
You arrived with bags of food,
I found love again
And you loved him too!

We married
You stood by my side
Tears running down your face
Happiness, unable to hide.

Whatever I have been through
You always understand
Now even –
After six years of me living in a foreign land.

Dear Faye –
I am a very lucky person.
I have lots of wonderful friends.
But I want you to be aware,
I am honoured to be considered –
The friend of you.

Loving thy neighbour?

Neighbours can make you
Jump for joy,
Their thoughtfulness
Can lift your heart.
But some can really make you wish
That you lived, in fact
Further apart.

Are your neighbours
The type
(Do tell)
Who bring your washing in?
(Those ones are swell)
Do they take your dustbin out?
Do they notice when your down,
Take your hand and nurse your brow?
Are they there when you turn around,
With needed eggs and sugar too?

Or are they the ones
Who’d keep the cup
That actually belongs to you?


Part 1

No card
No telephone
No ring
No moan,
No one to think of me
I am all alone
Abandoned in the world
To decipher my own fate,
No wise words to guide me,
You will not hold my hand
I know for sure
Me, you do not understand.

I am torn:
I am hurting
That cannot go away
Even though you have decided not to stay.
But occasionally glad.
The lull before the storm?
I cannot say.

You asked me to tell you and I did
What’s wrong with that?

I tried:
I ignored
I accepted
I swallowed hard
I felt anger
And pain
But I said nothing
Until you asked,
I let you be,
I allowed you,
Well it is wrong
You have to see,
But you cannot
For you are you
And I am me.

I’m sure you’re sad
But whose it for?
Is it real?
Or for the onlookers, all?
For the attention?
For the status
Of a victim
Once more…

It’s not all butterflies


Enter the garden at your own risk:
I thought I’d go out to our flowerbed
For a brisk
Pull of weeds.

It’s a tiny space
Maybe two metres square
Of little pretty flowers
But now the weeds, they are there.

A little welcome by our front door,
Doesn’t feel like a welcome home any more.
Invaded by Ivy,Thistle, Black bindweed,
Upon our soil these squatters do feed,
Helped along by Chickweed, Dandelion, Plantago and Speedwell
Our entrance is overtaken, undermined and Hell
I’ve got the job of clearing it,

I traipse outside,
Gloved hands,
Armed with a bucket.
You understand:
For the remains
Of the uninvited guests.
That is my quest.
To tear from the earth
Their very roots
And then bring them to rest.

To start it is a hot, hot day
33 degrees in the shade.
The sun shines steadfast on my back
But determination,
I do not lack.

Straight to the beggars
My rubber gloves go
Only to meet my next fearless foe,
A wasp like creature advances on me.
I can’t say exactly what’s to hand
Being in a foreign land.
But one thing I know
He doesn’t want to go,
Buzzing at my legs
On the attack
All I can do is slap back,
Faster than me
He flits all around
Convinced of the gloves
I stand my ground,
But sure, I’ll be lunch once more
Like the mosquito, before.
Sucking my blood
And leaving a lump
For me to scratch and jump
To the chemist
For medication please,
That wretched pain to ease.

Won is the war with the buzzing beast
Thistles and Speedwell my eyes do feast
Away with you
My grip is tight
I pull
And tug
And heave
And rip.
Then come the ants to do their little bit.
I’ll tell you a fact,
Just between me and you:
I don’t like insects,
No not at all,
I know they’re only tiny
So miniature and small,
But I think, personally
It’s the way they do crawl.
It sends a shiver right up my back
My knees feel wobbly,
My palms are damp,
Thank God, I’ve never been forced to camp!

The ants are there
There’s them and there’s me
Ten thousand to one and they have six feet!
And nausea hits me in the mid day heat.
They run and they run as fast as they can,
I should have really thought about a jar of jam.
Disarm the foot soldiers!
And face those weeds head on
Battle of the ants having been won.

Weakened by the many feet
The suns strong beat
The wasp like fiend,
I was not, shall we say,
Particularly keen.
But come what may the weeds must out
Against all of Mother Natures clout,
I fought with Thistles, prickly thorns
The strong roots of grass
And even when my trusty gloves
Ripped alas
I strived on.
Until the very last weed, my friends
Was gone,
Into the bucket blue
I did not say good-bye to you,
Just took you to your resting place
Far away from my home gates!

Our door will welcome you, friends
Once more
With pretty flowers
silent feet
The ants, aplenty,
I can not delete…


I ask you if you want today
A second healthy
“No!” you say
I’m shocked,
Is that really my son I heard?
Are you sick?
Is something wrong?
You turned down food?
And a favourite one!

“Why not?”
I ask, full of endeavour
To seek an answer
On your displeasure.
But what comes next
I could not have guessed,
Had I a month of guesses to invest:

“I’m trying to be annoying!”
“I think I’ve been too good the last few days!”
You see a chance to mend your ways….

And here I have a lot of points
To tell to you,
So you’ll understand
What annoying is
My good man.

The other day you calmly said:
“No homework mum, my maths is done!
I finished it in school today
I can now go safely out to play.”
On careful inspection
I did discover
Each sum written out
And nothing other.
Not one single addition
Had been completed,
Stay seated!
Answers Please.
Where is your pen?
Oh God, you’ve gone and lost it again!

You take your bike out of the shed
But leave the helmet off your head
You left the house with it attached
Your safety and my nerves intact,
But then you fling it on the ground
While you cycle all around.

You have a bath
And soak the room
All over your clothes are strewn,
The walls are wet
The floor is swamped
And my nice bubble bath is gone.
You leave the bathroom all de-stressed,
While I am left to clean up the mess.

I send you to bed
And say, “Lights out!”
Then half an hour later,
While tidying up
I find you looking
At a ‘good’ book.
You’re not in pyjamas,
Your teeth are unbrushed,
I have to stand over you
‘Til you do what you must.

So, you see my son,
It’s plainly clear
You know how to set me a challenge
My dear.
Not eating strawberries
Is not annoying,
Because you see
My little one
Even more strawberries are left for me!

Ms Requirement

Ms Requirement needs today
A big fat lunch
A sofa lay.
Ms Requirement will her homework do
Once she has kicked off her remaining shoe,
Where it will land
Nobody knows
It doesn’t matter
She needs no clothes,
She plans to flop in a nice cold bath
Out of the heat
Do you fancy that?

Ms Requirement is home from school
Forgot her house keys
As is the rule.
But Mama is here
And will come open the door
Ms Requirement needs know no more.

Ms Requirement is kind and good
But says sometimes more than one possibly should.

Ms Requirement has disappeared
Off with a book
Her poor mother fears,
Alone again to make the lunch
Which Ms Requirement will happily crunch.

Ms Requirement, when she’s off to bed
Should really sleep
But will chat instead!
Then in the morning when school is on
May well sleep in
And need a lift from Mum.

Ms Requirement could forget her head
She’d loose it in someone else’s shed.
All she’d say is
“Oops, what have I done?
I’ll have to call my dear old Mum!”

Hot, hot, hot, six years today

I am, to be honest in awe of you
Of everything you say and do.
Six years of marriage
And I love you more
Than I ever thought to be possible.

I know this is public
That every one can see,
But the rest of your present dear,
is just between you and me. 😉
You saw it this morning
You’ll see it tonight
I just hope your sore muscles can deal with your plight!

Eight years we have been together
Six years since we said our forevers.

Through all of these years you have been there for me
And I want to shout out my gratefulness, for your generosity:

Thanks for not exploding with the night-time clicking.
Thanks for always listening –
Even when I’m whingeing.
Thanks for holding me when I’m sad
Thanks for rejoicing with me when I’m glad.
Ta for dealing with the doctors a-many
The hospitals, the waiting rooms, the dread
You’ve truly supported me. It must be said!

Thanks for trusting me.
Thanks for your belief.
Thanks for being honest
And fair and strong
And there
Every day
All day long.

Thank you for your patience, my sweet
Thank you for your bedroom expertise 😉
Thank you for your laughter
Free and deep.
But most of all
Thank you, dear husband, for marrying me!