Retroladytyping …

It couldn’t get any worse, until it did …

How to make a difficult few months even worse:

1. Cancel exams which students have worked towards since they were 5 years old (questionable whether that was necessary, but still …)
2. Decide exam results will depend on teacher assessments and mocks results (not ideal, but still …)
3. Decide to involve something called an algorithm to make sure results reflect earlier results in that school (even less ideal, but still …)

4. On the day those results are issued, still not have an appeals process in place, bearing in mind that Universities had the results last week so they could make arrangements for a FEW WEEKS TIME, (descending into farce now, but still …)

5. The day after that, announce the appeals process, but make it awkward (getting beyond parody now, but still …)

6. Later that day, announce that students can rely on their mock results, with checks that those mocks have been carried out in exam conditions, OR teacher assessments, OR retake exams – a so-called triple lock, (confusing, slightly reassuring maybe, but still … )

7. On a Saturday (see point below regarding access to advice) say that students may rely on their mock results only (confusing … hadn’t they said that before, but still … onwards and upwards  …)

8. Hours after the last announcement, on a day when students have little or no access to advice from their schools, remove the right to rely on mock results (but still – substitute words of your choice)

Before anyone asks what I would have done differently – I’d have let the exams go ahead, with increased social distancing, hand cleansing on entry to exam rooms – not ideal and logistically difficult, but still … If not that, then rely on teacher assessment, with moderation by examiners who would normally mark papers, anonomised as they always are, (not a flippin’ algorithm), again not ideal, but still …

I’d also have prevented newspapers printing headlines such as “Now Choose Your Own Exam Results” as happened on Friday (Daily Mail), but that’s a whole other issue.

They’ve had 5 months to sort this

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Care is (still) not a lifestyle choice

As things stand, if one’s home is worth more than £100,000, it must be sold to fund care when the owner needs care because they have dementia.  £100,000 .  On the face of it, that’s a lot of money to most people.  However, it doesn’t buy much in the way of housing nowadays, does it?  The average 3 bed semi costs more than that.  Actually ANY decent 3 bed semi costs more than that.  The power that be might argue that charges will only be paid on any amount over that value, but how can that be realised without actually selling that home?  .

Additionally, despite that increased ‘allowance’, that charge is  levied for care in that home.  That 15 minute quick call, which achieves almost nothing, is going to have to be paid for by the recipient and/or their family.   So, as well as being charged for having an illness which necessitates living in a Nursing Home, more able, but still needing care, people will be charged for that care in their own home.  This has all been hidden by the provision that, if a spouse is living in that home, the home will not need to be sold, but a charge will be levied when both have either died or both ‘chosen’ to live in a care home.

My parents both had dementia, my mother so severely that she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act for 7 months, with my father remaining at home.  Her care then, which was in an NHS hospital based secure  Unit was funded, but my father was unable to get  funded care at home which met his needs, fifteen minutes once a day not being enough, unsurprisingly.  So, he paid for it privately, and reluctantly.  He was lucky.  He could afford it.  He had worked all his life, never claimed benefits and, while I hesitate to use this argument, had  fought in a bloody War for this country.   Now he needed to get something back and it just wasn’t there.

When he eventually needed to go into a Nursing Home, a charge was levied against their home until we could sell it.  It was a very modest home, worth only £135,000, but was well maintained, well loved and  the source of great pride, that they had ‘something to leave behind.’   Their house was put on the market while the charges against it mounted up  to fund his care, both while in that home and later in the Nursing Home where he ended his days.

He has now died, thankfully never fully understanding how he had been let down by the system.  My mother too has died and was, sadly, too unwell to ever appreciate that her home, and their investment in it,  had been taxed to fund my father’s care, even though, due to the severity of her condition and her family putting up a fight, her care was funded.  A mixed blessing indeed.

My mother, as I said, was severely ill and so her care was funded, after we had argued against the original decision on the grounds that if she was not deserving of full-time continuing health  care,   then how ill did someone need to be before that became the case.   We only found out about CHC funding because I happened to work along the corridor from the local office of the CHC administrators.  How ridiculous is it that we were never told by any of those responsible for her care? Were we ‘lucky’ that her care was funded?  Clearly not.  No-one would choose to see a loved one  in turns distraught or catatonic and needing 24 hour specialist medical care.  We were, however, grateful in a financial way.  That is wrong.  However, if she had been less ill, the cost of her care which amounted to thousands of pounds during the 2 further years she lived, would have had to come out of the value of their home, which they had saved for, worked hard for, and again, never claimed benefits.  Thankfully (and I am aware of the irony of that word) she never knew.

Needing a second home in the form of a Nursing Home is NOT a lifestyle choice.  Dementia and other issues associated with old age are illnesses, in the same way as cancer, heart disease etc are illnesses.  Those living with it, especially in the later, horrible stages, need both health and personal care, the latter being necessary to maintain any semblance of  health, as well as medical care needs.  Both types of  care should therefore be funded under the National Insurance scheme.  That is what insurance is for.  If the risk increases, as it has with an increasingly elderly population and improved diagnosis, the insurance contributions should be increased accordingly.  As with home insurance, if that means subsidising others who need support, then so be it.  That’s democracy and a caring welfare state in action, from the cradle to the grave, even if that grave is later than it was when the welfare state was first set up.

Owning a second home, and being able to spend time in that second home healthily and independently is, however,  a lifestyle choice to many of those who seek to penalise those who need to live in a Care Home.

Part of Boris Johnson’s  election campaign was to cap care costs,  having taken account of the feelings of the electorate.  Now there’s a thing; nothing to do with realising that the electorate aren’t going to take this lying down and she was in danger of losing votes.  We are still waiting Mr Johnson … anyone …

Even if that promise had been kept   my point  is the same. Dementia is an illness like any other illness, and the necessary care shouldn’t be paid for up-front.  National Insurance is just that – insurance.  We hope we won’t need it, but we don’t mind paying (even a bit more) to make sure we are covered.  The NHS was set up to be free at the point of delivery and the Tories are gradually moving away from that, thinking we won’t notice.   We will and we already have.  Don’t take us for granted.

I have heard a Tory spokesman say that  “People should be content if they inherit £100,000.” Well, yes.  Point taken, except that, at the risk of being accused of generalisation, I wonder how many Tory MPs leave or have inherited £100,000 and been content with that.  My parents had three children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  They bought their house (under Mrs Thatcher’s sell-off of council houses scheme – ironically) with the sole aim of having “something to leave you all.”  They took pride in that.

I feel very strongly that NO charge, other than National Insurance which we all pay, should be made on  people who are in need of healthcare, exactly as it says on the NHS website:

“The NHS was created out of the ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth. When it was launched by the then minister of health, Aneurin Bevan, on July 5 1948, it was based on three core principles:

  • that it meet the needs of everyone
  • that it be free at the point of delivery
  • that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay”

Perhaps the powers that seek to be need to re-read that, in case they feel the need to make further changes.  I hope they do, but somehow I doubt it.

There are and will continue to be many, many people in the same situation as my parents.  They will be so ill with dementia, which contrary  IS  very definitely an illness, not just a consequence of old-age, that they need full-time care.  Their dreams of leaving something (more than £100,000 which will be ‘allowed’) to their descendants will be destroyed.  These proposals are no more or less than a tax on dementia.  As a friend commented on my FB page today, we MUST stop it.

As I type, I am aware that there is growing support for a dementia care fund to be set up, with “over 60 MPs” supporting that.  60 out of  650!  That is not good enough.

If you feel the same, please do consider either petitioning your MP, or signing the Alzheimer’s Society petition to stop the differentiation applied to those who have the great misfortune to develop dementia –  links below in bold:

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Missing. Presumed.

Friendship.  Support.  Understanding.  I thought.


No words.  No answer.









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Tracks of my Years …or Desert Island Discs … or Top Ten Tunes …

The Ken Bruce Preservation Society

I don’t usually join Facebook groups, but as a long-time listener to Radio 2, especially in the mornings, I felt drawn to the Ken Bruce Preservation Society, initially out of curiosity, but then realised I was (albeit virtually) with a group of like-minded music lovers.  I know it’s ‘only’ Radio 2 and so music aficionados may look down on us, but I like it and it takes all sorts …

Some of you will know that part of Ken Bruce’s  Show is the Tracks of my Years segment, when a ‘celebrity’ is asked to pick two tracks each day for five days which are important to them.  In January this year, members of the Ken Bruce Preservation Society (I know … I know … ) FB group were asked to post their own TOMYs on the KBPS Facebook page in an allocated week.  My week was this week – 5th-9th March.    I chose my tracks back in January and, apart from one or few tweaks in the interim,  these are the tracks I chose.   Most of them were obvious choices.  I hope my reasons make that clear.    In future weeks someone else will do the same and I bet I will discover tracks I had forgotten or never knew and now need to know.

As I said I don’t often join Facebook groups, but I am so glad I did in this case.  It meant that I needed to remember, reminisce and decide which are the most significant tracks of my life;   not favourites necessarily,  but those which mean the most.  What follows is exactly as I posted on that FB page this week.

Here goes – My TOMYs

  1. 1962 – Telstar – the Tornados. The height of the space race, exciting times. I have memories of my brother and I playing this on comb and paper (that lip tingle!) and driving our parents bonkers.
  2. 1969 – Sugar Sugar – the Archies.           The first (and probably the last) time I clearly remember feeling ‘cool’ … aged 14, it was my friend’s birthday celebration at the old Silver Blades Ice Rink in Bristol. I was wearing my trendy laced-front jeans, a ‘jaunty’ scarf around my neck, this was playing and I stepped onto the ice with visions of whizzing around and people saying “Who’s that girl?” Didn’t happen quite like that … only one part of me was cool … and wet … and sore.
  3. 1974 – 31st October precisely. Annie’s Song – John Denver. Just had to include this one … my first date with my now husband at a Halloween Party. I didn’t feel well, so we spent most of the time walking around the shops in Clifton, Bristol. He loaned me his jacket to keep warm. We saw the album Back Home Again in a shop window and I said how much I loved this song. The next day I was at home poorly and he snuck over in his lunch hour, leaving the album on my doorstep to cheer me up. Reader I married him.    We happened upon a documentary about John Denver while channel hopping last week – yep, he still does it for me, so much more than the slightly geeky, national-health specs wearing man he’s often portrayed as. I used to belong to a fan club (yes, I know … I know …) where I found out a lot more. Apart from Annie’s Song, I think his best work was in the years just before his untimely death. Makes me wonder how much more there would have been, if only.
  4. 1979 – Bright Eyes, Art Garfunkel – for no other reason than it was around when my elder son was born. Memories of singing it to him in the wee small hours to get him to sleep. It seemed to work … unless he was just giving up in the face of my out of tune warbling. Still love it now … me, not him strangely.
  5. All Things Must Pass, George Harrison. When I was a schoolgirl at the height of the Beatles’ fame, I was one of the few in the class who didn’t have a crush on Paul McCartney. My all-time favourite was, and is, George Harrison, closely followed by Ringo. I’ve chosen this track from his later work because its title sums up how I try (mostly unsuccessfully) to live. “Daylight is good at arriving at the right time …” – I love that. He’s another one, along with John Denver, whose best work I think is his later stuff. I have the album All Things Must Pass and there isn’t one single dud track. Also excellent in the Travelling Wilburys, along with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. This link shows his last live performance. Another one gone too soon, along with all but one of the TW’s.
  6. Tuba Smarties, Sky. This was one of the first LPs I had in the 1970s when I bought a ‘proper’ record player, rather than using my parents’.   I love Sky’s interpretation of classical pieces and their originals.   This is a less well-known track, which is brilliant when seen live. Herbie Flowers on the tuba, walking around the stage and up and down the aisles with bubbles coming out of his tuba at a gig in Poole was priceless and we were there! Always makes me smile. Does anyone know if they still perform? I’d love to see them again.
  7. Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye – Leonard Cohen (originally 1972). I was always aware of Leonard Cohen, but really got to appreciate him about 10 years ago when I heard this track on the radio during a sleepless night. We were lucky enough to see him live twice, once outdoors at Brooklands Race Track when it poured and poured, or, as he said – “It’s a bit fresh.” His performances are totally spellbinding. A complete poet, performer and, I think, musical genius, as well as a thoroughly nice bloke by all accounts. Certainly his respect for his support act and his band was palpable. His death wasn’t unexpected, especially following his letter to his late long-time love Marianne, when he said “I will not be far behind you. Reach out your hand and you will see me.” Wow. Just wow. As with John Denver, I feel his best work was in the last few years before his death, but maybe that’s because I didn’t see him live till then.
  8. If it Be Your Will – The Webb Sisters (introduced by Leonard Cohen). Another Cohen song, which we have seen performed live by the Webb Sisters, part of his supporting singers. Just wonderful. Totally spellbinding and even more so when seen live. On both occasions you could have heard a pin drop in that pause between the last note and the well-deserved applause.  One of the most moving performances I have ever seen and heard, only made more so when Cohen raised his hat in respect as the last few notes died out and said “Sublime.” It was.
  9. Good Riddance – Green Day  This is another track I heard in the wee small hours on Radio 2. It happened to be just before I was leaving a job which I loved, but finding just a little too challenging for comfort. My parents had not long died and I felt I was at a crossroads in my life. After much umming and aahhing I made the decision to leave that job and move on to volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Society, which I still do – very happily. It was customary to make a leaving speech and I was going to bottle out and just say how much I would miss everyone when I heard this. A friend suggested I make it the basis of my speech. I did – basing it around the first few lines, rather than the title ‘Good Riddance!’  “Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road / Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go / So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why / It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time / It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right”.

10.  Meet on the Ledge – Fairport Convention at Cropredy 2017 – their 50th anniversary and party-time. This is always performed at the end of their annual Cropredy Festival and each of their gigs. Iconic. As with Leonard Cohen, I was always aware of Fairport, but it wasn’t until a friend suggested going to one of their gigs around 15 years ago that I really began to appreciate them. Since then I’ve been to more gigs than I can count – the last only a couple of weeks ago in the town where I live. My particular favourite (and middle-aged crush!) is Chris Leslie – multi-talented and multi-skilled, especially on the fiddle, but he also plays guitar, mandolin, banjo and mouth organ and many more, as well as a bit of morris-dancing on the side.  I’ve met him during the interval when he was performing with Feast of Fiddles and we HUGGED! He and his fellow Fairport members are usually around during the intervals – usually in the Bar. Likewise at Cropredy, most of the performers are out and about with the rest of us – just like ‘ordinary people!!’ We’ve been to the Cropredy Festival three times now and will definitely be going again, though not this year., sadly. It is very special and I wish I’d discovered it earlier.

Thanks for reading and/or listening to this lot – there are more, as everyone says, but I think these are the most significant parts of my musical appreciation.   Till next time …  Just realised that quite a few of my TOMYs feature artists who are no longer with us … goes with the territory and my age I suppose!  If anyone would like to have a look, I wrote a couple of blog posts following Leonard Cohen’s death and my Cropredy experiences. Links below:”










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Dear Daily Mail

Reblogging because I am fed up with the Daily Mail’s prejudices against so many things – now those who are unlucky enough to have a depressive illness are in their firing line. Ill-informed is one of the milder responses which come to mind on reading this.


This is a short note to the people who work at the Daily Mail.

A couple of personal facts by way of introduction:

For more than twenty-five years, I have served as an officer with the Metropolitan Police. And I am incredibly proud of that fact. It has been – and it remains – my duty and my joy.

For the past four years and eight months, I have taken anti-depressant medication at the start of every day. And I am not remotely ashamed of that fact. It’s a part of who I am.

I don’t read your newspaper, but it’s been difficult to avoid your front pages in recent days. It’s apparent that you don’t think much of people like me: people who stand on thin blue lines; people who might need a helping hand to get through the day.

So I wanted to say a handful of things by…

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An updated version of my account of the Bath Memory Walk last year …


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Alice reads and writes and reads and writes … and reviews.

Alice reads and writes and reads and writes … and reviews.“Look at this Miss.  I’ve decided to read the Diary of Ann Frank and then translate it into French, ” said as she produced a notebook filled with very small, neat handwriting.

That was my introduction to the reading, writing, reading and writing person, that is my friend, Alice.  As we got to know each other better, I realised that this was her life.  Alice just loves reading.  Even more than that, she loves to share her love of reading with others.  To that end she  launched herself into the world of blogging, mostly about books – really her blogs are about her life and thoughts, but, being Alice, that means books:  books she has read, books she would like to read and now, books she would like others to read. Alice is a very giving person.  She is not one to shut herself away with a book and keep it all to herself.

So, Alice blogs, about books.  She started by focussing on Young Adult fiction, but being Alice, she reads anything and wanted to share her eclectic tastes with others.  To that end she has just started to read and write about the Classics.  The Classics – those words are guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of anyone who remembers being compelled to study them for GCSE’s (‘O’ levels in my day) and ‘A’ levels.  The in-depth study and note-taking required can kill any book stone dead.  I know it did for me.  I just wanted to read the bloomin’ things.  I wish I’d known Alice then.  She would have awakened my inner blogger.  As it is, I’ve set her the task of reading “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and letting me know what she thinks.  I may even dig it out of the box of school books mouldering away in my attic and revisit it.  If anyone can persuade me to do that, Alice can.

Reading, of whatever genre, is a wonderful thing.  Sharing that love and awakening, or re-awakening, an interest in an undiscovered genre is even more wonderful, and I think Alice will find it rewarding to know that others share her love.  Classics have become classics for a reason.  They are (generally, unless Alice disagrees and she may well do) well-written, so are worth re-reading when that reading is done purely for pleasure rather than because it’s on an exam board set-list.  I know that Alice will welcome discussion about her thoughts and opinions – even differing opinions, so please do check out her blog.



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Taking a break …

… from  “The Facebook News Feed… oh that black hole of endless EVERYTHING”

Just recently I found myself becoming increasingly stressed without any reasonable cause.  Nothing much had changed.  Spring had sprung.  There were holidays and breaks to look forward to.  No pressure of work.  No pressure of any kind that I could see, and yet, and yet … something was happening.  My eyes felt as if I needed to take them out and rinse them under the tap, my back ached, my head ached, but mostly I was worried about a ‘something’ which I couldn’t quantify or  describe.   There was always a feeling of ‘something’ being wrong, ‘something’ which needed to be checked – just in case.

Wandering in a sleepy daze downstairs every morning, I caught my hand going out to that switch in the hall.  That one.  The one which triggers a flashing green light.  The box of connectivity.    I wasn’t switching it on with any real purpose in mind – no imminent need to email, shop or check the news or the weather.  As I opened up the laptop, I realised I was automatically moving the mouse to Facebook.  Why?

Why indeed?  Because I wanted to check if anything was happening.  Of course something was happening.  Something always is.  I can honestly say that I do know, in real life, most of my Facebook friends,  we have a common interest, or a shared educational or employment history.  Yes, I’m justifying myself.  But I felt I needed to check on their doings before I’d even staggered into the kitchen to put the kettle on for a caffeine hit, as well as frequent checks throughout the day.    Did I really need to  keep checking, googling and clicking on links until I developed a crick in my neck, followed by a headache, then a stress-inducing worry session brought about by information overload?  I did.  After all ‘something’ may have happened overnight, or may happen just as I log off … and I wouldn’t know about it. 

So what.

Yesterday I found myself massively over-reacting to a minor mishap in the real world (don’t ask – to do with misunderstandings and the expectation that the person closest to me can actually read my mind and knows what I am really saying … yes, that kind of misunderstanding, probably familiar to most long-married people.)

On reflection, when I had calmed down, I realised that what I was feeling  was brain overload.  I felt teary, tired, emotional and mentally exhausted for no good reason.  On reflection I realised that this kind of thing had been happening far too frequently lately. I’d been blaming others, the weather, being busy, the political situation – anything really.     I then found this website:

Please read it.  It is very enlightening.  There is so much information out there, most of which we don’t need or want to know.  It’s an endless pit of ‘stuff’ which I fell into every day and was in danger of becoming suffocated by.

That website describes Facebook as “a black hole of ENDLESS EVERYTHING” – yes, that’s exactly right.  Of course, Facebook has its positive uses:  keeping in touch with past friends whose paths have taken them to far-flung places, discussion groups with like-minded people, photographs – especially of weddings and new babies.  Using the Chat facility to arrange reunions, sharing news of personal events. Who can complain about those?

However, it’s the other side of those positives which I think had been  affecting me – the constant need to check ‘just-in-case’ somewhere within that endless everything there was that vital something which I really, really needed to know.  If that wasn’t to be the case, then I would share something about my own life – most of it just trivia to pour into that black hole of endless everything.

The truth is that everyone who might need to share something with me which I really, really needed to know, has my phone number, email, address or all three.  Similarly, if I need to tell someone about my day, I can telephone them, see them, or even … don’t tell them, because they don’t really need to know.  I don’t live on a remote island away from human contact.  My automatic reaching out to that box of connectivity in the hallway and the automatic moving of the mouse to the Facebook icon needed to stop.  So it did … yesterday.  I am taking a break.  Time will tell for how long.

What shall I do instead?  Well, I plan to take more time to do real things properly, even if those real things are routine or I could drink my coffee while it’s hot,  rather than letting it get cold while I am in the virtual world.  That’s about it:  just taking time.

Of course, it  may be that Facebook isn’t the reason why I’ve been so stressed.   It may be “others, the weather, being busy, the political situation.”  Time will tell.

At the moment, I am sorely tempted to just take a quick peek.  Shall I?  I may be missing out on something vital;  I may need to react to something I read;  I may need to get involved in a discussion or, more likely, it will be just information to pour into my overloaded brain.  So, I won’t.  I think.  Maybe.


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“Sumer is icumen in …”

No that’s not a misspelling.   It’s from a song written in the 13th Century in, according to Wikipaedia, Wessex medieval English.  Apparently it’s a song which can go on and on and on … for an indeterminate length of time …

This post is born out of a feeling of being all ‘Brexited out’ and wondering if it is permissible to just let things happen around us for a while, instead of endlessly checking up on them to see how they are going.

I’ve chosen the song link, because it’s one that we used to sing at Primary School and it always comes to mind at this time of year.

It’s the first proper post I’ve done for quite a while, apart from a couple of failed attempts and a few which probably weren’t posting, being a litany of whines about my failure to write anything worth opening up the laptop for.  So … what triggered this and why today?

The answer is, in some respects, mundane, boring and unremarkable.  Spring, that’s all.  Today for the first time this year, I took my coffee outside and just observed, listened and absorbed what was happening in our quiet little part of the earth.  Nothing much was apparent – the distant whine of a strimmer, the flapping of washing, the slam of the postman’s van door nearby.  That’s all.  But … it’s spring.

Today, I noticed that there are buds on a shrub which I thought was dead, so stuck into the earth in a corner, mostly because MrP said it ‘might’ do something.      I can’t even remember what type of shrub it is, just that it has survived being torn up to make way for a rockery, seemingly giving up on life.  It was stronger than it looked though.  While we were busy with other things, it was quietly getting on with what it needed to do to show itself, renewed, today.   In a couple of weeks, who knows what it will look like, but it will stay, because, along with me taking my coffee outside for the first time this year, it symbolises spring, hope, strength (having survived being unceremoniously wrenched up and narrowly escaping the garden waste bin) and optimism.

There are enormous changes going on elsewhere at present.  The EU, or our role in it, is being diminished – no scrub that, it’s actually being dumped by us, like I nearly dumped that shrub.  Who knows what will happen, certainly not those who profess to do so.  Uncertainty is the feeling of choice, at least it is for me.  I didn’t want to leave the EU.  I still think the referendum shouldn’t have happened, as we weren’t given an informed analysis of possible consequences.  We still haven’t been and that’s worrying.  Not knowing, due largely,  I feel,  to the mis-mash of media comments and opinions,  is the worst feeling.  I googled “What happens now that article 50 has been signed?”  and the answer seems to be that the BBC anyway, who are supposed to  “inform, educate and entertain” us,   don’t really know, because it’s never happened before.  Fair enough.  So what do we do in the meantime?  Do we worry?

It is reassuring, among all that change, that some things can carry on – on the surface unimportant maybe.  Those few buds on a seemingly dead shrub don’t mean much really.  I know that.  However, to me, in the middle of very worrying times, they show that nature continues to do what it does best, carry on regardless of what is happening.  I don’t remember what that shrub used to look like;  I don’t really remember the days before we joined what was then the Common Market.

Perhaps then I need to do the same as that shrub,  instead of metaphorically digging things up to take a look at how they are doing.  Just sit back, take my coffee outside every now and then, take a deep breath and realise that everything is all right really.  Is that burying my hand in the sand?  Probably, but I’m sick and tired of trying to understand what may or may not happen.  I’m going to sit back and let it all take care of itself for a while, till I decide to take another look.


As I said, this is my first proper post for a while.  I’m going to post it now, without repeatedly amending it and see what happens.  Please be gentle with me.  I may blossom forth at some future point.


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Writer’s block?


This is my third attempt in as many days to write something – anything, which is worth the effort of doing so and, more importantly, worth reading.  But I can’t.  I just can’t.  Several compositions have been attempted.   I’ve taken advice to just sit and write, something – anything, but it doesn’t happen.  Actually it does, but it’s just an outpouring of thoughts in no cohesive order,  grammatically ok, but just plain boring …

What has happened?  I used to find it easy to pour my thoughts out via a keyboard.  It was my way of ordering confusion in an increasingly confused world.  I used to wake in the wee small hours full of ideas and find it easy then, with no distractions, to translate those thoughts into some sort of writing.  No more.  When I wake up in the wee small hours now, I just want to go back to sleep.  My brain switches off.

So much has happened lately:  the terrorist attack in Westminster being the latest.  A few months ago I would have had thoughts and opinions, which I would have written about.  I tried.  I tried several times.  I read other, professional writers, thoughts and opinions.  There were many of those yesterday.  Some I agree with; some I didn’t.  None penetrated my brain enough to produce anything of my own.

A friend, and fellow blogger, yesterday wrote a piece which contained the word ‘happenstance’.  I love that word.  That’s it, I thought.  I’ll write about that word, why I like it, with some examples.  I even woke in the wee small hours thinking of it.  Yes, it’s happened.  I can write again!  Job done.  It didn’t happen.  Well, it did, but it was just a lot of waffle.  Not worth the effort and certainly not worth reading.

This used to be easy.  Any thoughts?  Anyone else experienced this?  Will it go?  Should I keep trying and become increasingly frustrated?  Should I give up, realise I overstretched myself thinking I could do writing thing?  Or what?