Monthly Archives: February 2011


The pigs have made a veritable pig’s ear of the orchard and meadow.  It is thick mud and most unpleasant; particularly if you are a chicken or a duck (the geese seem less perturbed by the mire).  Bella and Bessie have been temporarily moved to indoor accommodation pending their relocation (I hope) to a new home north of the Border.  In the meantime a big clear out was required in the poultry house.  Mucking out is not easy when there are two porcine helpers rooting through the muck pile so we took the opportunity, whilst they are reclining in straw bales in the old stables to  give the hen house a good going over.  I am soaked, I am covered in mud and I hate to think what I smell like – but I do like a good fresh hen house, and I think the hens like it too:)



Everyone likes praise.  Even the smallest pat on the back can give you the lift you need to ovecome the biggest hurdle.  Today when I emptied the post box there was a big white envelope.  Ah ha, I thought I know what that is, it’s my assignment back from the proofreading course I’ve been doing.  So, safe in the knowledge that I knew what it was and fearful of the grading I put it at the back of the pile and started with the water bill which I felt would be more manageable first thing on a Saturday morning.

There is, however, only so much procrastination a girl can do (even me, the procrastination queen) so I opened it and it wasn’t my assignment at all it was a story I had submitted to the annual Mslexia short story competition.  I had opted for a professional critique as well and now I knew what it was I was truly fearful. 

Since writing that story I have written several more short stories, which I thought were considerably better, I have also ploughed on to the tune of over 50,000 words on a novel.  I began to read the critique with a heavy heart.  But it was good, it was very good, she thought a publisher might  be interested in a collection of stories along the same lines.  In short, she did not think I was utter rubbish.

That made me very, very happy.


I am a little bit deaf. Actually I am a lot deaf, as in one ear is merely there for decorative effect and for hanging earrings from.  However, as the other one works reasonably okay I probably count as a little bit deaf.  Nonetheless, in order to make the decorative ear work for its living it also sports a rather smart NHS hearing aid as well as pearl earrings.

Today I was called into audiology to have a check on the new deaf aid.  Our local hospital is wonderful, it is small and looked down upon by the two hospitals at either end of the county but I would rather be treated there than the other two any day; the staff are friendly, helpful, kind and downright fantastic and the lovely Jason put a huge smile on my face today.  I have massive problems trying to change the tube on the deaf aid.  I can never get it in the right place and I end up with the said aid flopping around like a flag at half mast, which not only looks ridiculous but is a tad uncomfortable as well and it doesn’t work very well which rather defeats the point of the thing in the first place.    Jason put a new tube on for me and after several goes said that it was a funny shaped mould  (that would be because I have not only a non working ear but apparently a funny shaped one too!) and it was indeed jolly difficult to get the new tube in.  He told me I wasn’t a numpty for my previous failures, he was helpful, he was cheerful, he was chatty and he had time for me.

Three cheers for Jason and everyone else who takes the time for  the people they pass the day with.  It makes the world of difference and is why I love my local hospital and why I drove home today with a big smile on my face.


Does this really need an explanation as to why it makes me happy?  One husband, three beautiful daughters and three (relatively) well behaved dogs.  The cobwebs are gone and  I can see hope back on the horizon again 🙂


I’ve been a bit low on hope recently.  I don’t mean that I am expecting the world to come to a sudden and gruesome end, but more of a rather flat feeling.  I’m sure I’m not the only person who can feel that way, and in the current economic and social climate I am sure that there are many more than before.  Flicking through my old photos I came across this one.  I took it in December 2009 when I took part in a march on Parliament prior to the Copenhagen Summit.  As it happened there was no miracle at Copenhagen, far from it, it was in fact little short of a failure.  But perhaps we were imagining and expecting the wrong miracle – for the whole point of a miracle is that it is something you cannot comprehend until it has happened.  At Cancun the following year an agreement was reached, not a binding treaty but far more than had been expected after the dismal result from Copenhagen.

So today when I finished writing my morning pages and realised I still felt rather flat I looked at this photograph again and  then printed it and stuck it on my fridge.  For I can imagine and I can expect and perhaps something I could never have comprehended will happen, maybe not to me but enough to make me appreciate that there is always hope.


“I waited for the Lord” by Mendelssohn is a beautiful duet.  It is even more beautiful when it is your child, or in my case, children singing it.  The runners are also choristers at Durham Cathedral and this evening, together, they sang the duet at Evensong.  I am surprised bits of me were not found scattered liberally around the Cathedral I was so proud and so happy I am sure I ought to have burst.

Children can bring tears of frustration, sadness, anger and joy.  Today they gave me immense joy.  It doesn’t have to be a big thing, sometimes it is the note in a childish scrawl that says “sorry” or “I love you”.  Sometimes it is an unasked for cup of tea when I am tired.  Now they are older and more fashion conscious joy can easily be given with a compliment on my outfit by the ever rigorous fashion police!  I wish I could package up all these moments and take them out again when I feel low for that would be the cure for even the blackest day.


Today I will be going to a thanksgiving service following the funeral of an amazing woman.  When I was thinking about her and what I wanted to write in my letter to her husband I realised that in every image and every memory I conjured up of her she was smiling.  She radiated happiness, she was a pleasure to be with and genuinely lit up a room whenever she entered.

Today I am thankful for her life and all that she brought to everyone who knew her.  But I am also thankful for my own life and all I have.  I want for nothing, indeed there are things I would like and do not have, but I do not need them.  I have more than I could ever need and more than I could dream of.  I have a wonderful family that I cherish dearly, friends who care about me and I for them.  I am well fed and clothed and healthy.  I live in a house I love with enough resources to enable me to live a lifestyle I enjoy.  I have a faith which strengthens me, supports me, consoles me and excites me and gives me hope.  What more could I ask for?  Nothing.  Today I am happy to be alive and to be me.