Thursday, 23 February 2012


Hi everyone, hope you are all ok. Was given this, l didnt write it and have no idea who did, which is a shame as would love to have acknowledged this lovely  man. But think its lovely so thought l would share it.


When an old man died in the geriatiric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, it was believed that he had nothing left of value.

Later, the nurses found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and shared to every nurse in the hospital.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world is now the author of this now "anonymous" poem winging across the WWW.


What are you thinking....when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, ....not very wise,
Uncertain of habit...with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food .... and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice..."l so wish you'd try!"
Who seems not to notice ....the things that you do.
And forever is losing...a sock or shoe.?

Who, resisting or not... lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding... the long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?   Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, NURSE're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who l l sit here so still
As l do at your l eat at your will
I'm still a small child of 10...with a father and mother
Brothers and sisters... who love one another.

A young boy of 16 ...with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now ...a lover he'll meet
A groom soon at 20 heart gives a leap
Remembering the vows...that l promised to keep.

AT 25 now...l have young of my own
Who need me to guide ....and secure a happy home
A man of young now grown fast
Bound to each other...with ties that should last.

At 40, my young sons...have grown and are gone
But my womans beside see l dont mourn
At 50, once more babies play...round my knee
Again, we know loved one and me.

Dark days are upon wife is now dead
I look at the future...and shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing...young of their own
And l think of the years...and the love that l've known.

I'm now an old man...and nature is cruel
Tis jest to make old age...look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles...grace and vigor depart
Ther is now a stone...where l once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass...a young guy still dwells
And now and battered heart swells
I remember the joys...I remember the pain
And l'm loving and over again.

I think of the years, all too few...gone too fast
And accept the stark fact... that nothing can last
So open your eyes, and see
Not a crabby old man...Look closer...see ME!!


Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul inside...we will all, one day, be there too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They are felt by the heart.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Isn't it strange how things pan out?

Its 1.10am on a morning where l should be sound asleep as l have work in 6 hours time.  I am wide awake with my head full of "stuff"!

Nearly 2 years ago my youngest turned 18 and as the clock struck midnight on the start of a new year, the sense of relief l had was a little over whelming.

Don't get me wrong, l adore and love my 4 children unconditionally, as any Mother does.  But l had through circumstance been a lone parent for much of my babies upbringing.  There had been highs, lows, tears, tantrums, laughter, love and chaos. In a house full of children.  Five differently connected people with five different ways of thinking, 5 different personalities, 5 sets of friends and lifetime goals.  Yet as head of this family l had now come to the near end of my job as a full time 24 hour 365 day Mother. 

My youngest turned 18 and there was just me to think about, be responsible for, there was time for me to think about me! 

There was no more chaos, there was actually a void, an empty nest as it were.  I began to think about my future life, now that l had this sense of relief and freedom.  I thought of how l would re-gain my confidence and "do stuff" that l wanted to do.

Then l felt alone and redundant, suddenly the end of the journey had arrived when l could off load the pressure and the burden of being a lone parent. Of being the only adult in our family house.  I downsized the house, continued to work with no ties or home time commitments.

  Yet 2 years on that is all about to change, big style!   We - yes the royal 'we'  will move back to a bigger house, l will continue to work as one must, but part time this time round, in order to maintain the frugal lifestyle in which l have  chosen to live.  I will however not be the lone adult, but will be joined once more by not one but 2 of my 'babies', grown up ones at that.  And 'we' will raise a new generation together as a united family unit - like the Mediterraneans do - one big happy family once more. 

I am older, wiser, content, frugal, with my whole year completely mapped out, thus starting a whole new chapter of my life.  I am, l can see, not destined to live my life completely alone, yet to be once more or is it continually a Mother and Grand mother.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


Was hoping to have posted this on valentines day but have been a busy girl, doing daughterly duties. A little piece of 'homework' from my creative writing course days, hope you enjoy it.


After checking my reflection once more.  I take a deep breath- a last look around the floral room and open the door.

My life is never going to be the same again.  Happy thoughts are tinged with sadness.

As l reach the top of the stairs my hands begin to sweat.  I can feel my heart pounding. A swarm of butterflies race around the pit of my stomach.  I feel like l am going to faint.  I descend the stairs nervously and enter the living room.  I am met with gasps.

My Mum comes over, tears trickling down her made up cheeks and hugs me.  My Dad also choked holds my hand "You look beautiful".  Al the fuss makes me beam and blush!  My aunt interrupts "the cars are here".  Everyone except Dad and l leave.

The butterflies are partying again, l feel cold and start to shake - nervous energy l guess.  My emotions are confused.  I am happy.  This is what  want to do.  But part of me- the child within wants to stay here.  Within the familiar four walls I've known and loved all my life.  The scents of my family, today mixed with perfume, after-shave and a faint aroma of sherry.  I gaze at the pictures and trinkets that compliment the cupboards and walls.  Remembering the Christmas and Birthdays from where they came.  I smile to myself.  Glance at the orderly positioned sofa and chairs - my mind takes photos while the brass clock reliable as ever ticks melodically from its place on the mantle piece.

I jump and gasp as Dad gently touches my elbow "its time love-we have to go".  Unable to speak our eyes lock.  I smile and nod.  Words are not needed at a moment like this.

I take a deep breath gently exhale and leave the house.  The sun like a huge spotlight illuminates the path to my chariot- a gleaming white limousine decorated with silver and blue ribbons that flutter in the warm breeze.

As Dad takes his seat next to me l take one last look at my child hood home- no longer a little a girl now a grown woman on her wedding day.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Classics.....Uhm may be not!!!

 I promised you all some of my older stories, from way back when- l very obviously had an extremely vivid imagination, influenced by events, news and the interests l had at the time. These couple of articles are ancient,  from a folder titled "1974-1978 Books 1 & 2", l won't bore you with anymore from this era as they all seemed full of doom and gloom, my love of The Osmonds!! The Bay City Rollers!! and Rosetta Stone- who!! and the legendary James Hunt race car champion- showing my age now. Arghh -really!!.

The ones I've chosen are on par with my latest blogs about age and friends- how differently l think now.  And what can only be described as a Zombie story, very odd.  Enjoy, squirm and comment if you want to. And apologies to any one who thinks what the hell is she on, things have gotten better, l think.

FRIENDS- Feb.26th 1974

Friends are people whom you can trust, people to cheer you up, people to tell your secrets to, people who can tell your worries to, people who help you to get out of trouble, people to have fun with, people to repay when they've helped you.  I moved from a friend and l am still friends with her because l write to her.


GRANNIES- MODERN GRANNIES-       22nd Sept. 1975

The make up and wigs,
And platform shoes,
The fashionable dresses and skirts,
Modern grans never admit their ages,
They don't like to be called old,
Teenagers laugh,
If grannies dress up,
To try and be young is their aim,
They never succeed,
'Cos wrinkled faces,
Always give them away,
They use dyes to hide the grey,
But still they get caught.



Hobbling down roads,
And moaning about people,
Especially children who scream,
And shout and make a horrible racket,
Wrinkled faces,
And grey scraggly hair,
Walking sticks and shawls,
Not like modern day grans at all.


THE MISSING CHILD-  27th Nov. 1976

Saturday 4th November, it was sunny but cold and icy.  I was to be sent to my brothers for a week, while mum and dad went to a business holiday in Scotland.

I'm 14 and have never travelled for along distance on my own, what l mean is I've never been to Manchester, stopping and changing trains without mum.

I waved to mum and dad from the train window.  Then l closed the window and turned to make myself comfy, at least until l reached Solihull station, but that was miles away yet.  I sat staring out of the window for about half an hour, then l read a magazine, I'd brought, but l couldn't concentrate, so l looked and checked the list of instructions I'd been given by mum.

I reached Solihull and changed trains, feeling really grown up and confident, that l was travelling on my own for the first time, mu next change would be at Greenwick and that's where the trouble would start.

I changed trains and sat on my own, in a tiny 'cabin' for an hour, then l was accompanied by some old pensioners who l thought were just nice kind people going to town shopping- but no, l was wrong.  For as we passed Levers station we crossed lines and went passed Murley station, which as l'd thought wasn't listed on my instructions.  At first l was worried, then l thought perhaps the routes changed since we last came.  It was only when we passed three more stations  and the old people were glaring at me that l got scared.  I asked the lady opposite if l was on the right route to Manchester North, but she just sat glaring.  In the end l got up to go to the cafeteria to check and the old people started mumbling and growling, they, they startled me at first, then l just ignored them and walked passed towards the door.

As l walked passed the other 'cabins' l noticed no-one was in them, l got to the cafe- no-one, the train was empty except for the old people and myself.  I walked quickly back to the cabin; then l sat panicking.  I asked each of the old people if this was the right route- but nothing, just mumbles, growls and hard glares.  After another quarter of an hour, l grabbed the old lady opposite me by the shoulders and shook her violently shouting at her but nothing. I let her go and screamed "Why don't you speak?" they started mumbling again, and as l turned to sit down l felt two people grab me and drag me backwards, dragging me down the corridor, then one of them gave out a shrill scream and the old people ran at me screaming, glaring, pushing and tearing at me.  I screamed then cried, l was petrified.

Then the two old people who'd been dragging me flung the carriage door  open turned me towards it, then screamed  "Faster, faster" the rest of them joined in quietly at first then they screamed and l felt their hands let go, l fell on to the track, and felt the track vibrating as l pushed to get up.  I turned and saw a train coming, straight for me, and before l knew it l was laying , pressing myself against the track and the hard rails, but it was the wrong way.  It was to late to move - the pain of the metal wheels grinding through my head, across my body.

Next day in the paper, on television and on radio came the shock report of a train accident.



Saturday, 11 February 2012

50+-I'm Not Old!!!

50+ I'M NOT OLD!!

As an old friend- and by old l mean some one l have known as a friend for a long time - turns 50.  I am reminded that l myself turned this half century milestone just last year.  But l'm not old, l an not even mentally 50.

But physically thats another story, going from crouching on my knees to do something to standing, l have to push myself up to stooping, holding onto heavy objects preferably for leverance!!

I do not have the strength to unscrew jars, use a screwdriver to any benefit. I no longer have the energy to walk fast, nor the stamina to walk for hours on end or other such strenuous activities.  I do not have the patience nor understanding to deal with young children/ teenagers like l did when l raised my own four.

My memory lapses over minor things like thingy bobs name and  did you say tea or coffee, and was that 1 or 2 sugars.  Yet my genealogist brain remembrs my 100 times great grand parents with precision.

But l'm not old.

In fact l was most insulted when l read an email newsletter just the other day (  with 50 tips for the 50+ age group, how to save money, how to get financial help etc as "you are a 50+ person" and then it dawned on me that l - yes me was approaching my 51st birthday- oh buggar so l am a 50+ person.

Its official l am one of the "older generation"- heading towards being an "elderly" citizen and "OAP".!!

That can not be, l am a Westlife fan, l go to their concerts and scream and shout and wave my arms about. I'm not old.

I'm not dignified, conservative and proper.

Uhm- but l am 50+ maybe l'm just in denial, maybe its just the trunk of my body thats 50+, my brains not.  I mean l know "things" are going south but there are older things going north, like my discoloured, swollen ankles, my blue veins like maps travelling up my heavy thighs, up to the over hang that is the southerly part of my 50+ body to the merging breasts, once pert and voluptuous now an extension of the over hung buddha belly of the 50+ body!

The 50+ body even changes colour- from white, natural blonde hair to an old dull grey non descript colour which has to be diguised on a regular basis.  Then- yes theres more- large brown freckles appear over night on your hands known as -age spots!! 

When you're a teenager you have common and garden pussie red zits! - when you're 50+ you get 'age spots' and 'skin tags', that unlike said red inflamed spots, form brown permanent attachments to your hands, face and body.

And of course theres your eyes they get old and need 'help'- glasses and your ears, you dont quite hear those sarcy remarks from teenagers anymore- not that you ever did this of course- you need 'help' with 'hearing aids' which you can use selectively!!

You laugh at the programmes "Grumpy Old Women/ Men"  because actually you can so relate to everything they talk about- its not even taking the mickey - its fact and you 50+ you agree with it all, because thats how you now see life.

But l'm not old- perish the thought..........However  if l can get discount and help to live an easier life because l am 50+ then bring it on. Would be rude to refuse, wouldn't it?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


This is the second instalment in the series of stories l wrote in my earlier days of writing. This piece l rather like, was written to enter into a local paper competition, using about 200 words!!!  Some of you may recognise where it is based. Hope you enjoy it.


A lonely figure watches from the icy shadows, as the town clock strikes midnight.  Church bells ring joyously, wishing all who can hear a Happy New Year.

As revellers sway, laugh and sing their way from the bustling taverns back to their warm homes, Isobel retreats to the safety of the High Street.

A smile briefly crosses her lips, as she encounters a loving couple, oblivious to her presence.  And a single tear trickles down her ashen face, as the memories of days past stir once again.

Isobel had known love, once, when she had lived down the alley that was Hunts Court, where the old lady stood selling apples and nuts as a welcome entrance to a narrow dingy part of town. When the only traffic was horse drawn carts and a King ruled the land.

Now, as one year ends and another begins Isobels ghost wanders sadly down the same alley, past the hidden parade of shops in an endless search for a lost love that is never found.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


As l have decided to enter the world of blogging, l thought l would share with you all, some older pieces of writing. So over the next few days or so you'll be able read some of my earlier compositions. And when l say earlier some seriously older pieces.


Following my annual quest to see my gods who are Westlife- l was struck by the devastation we cause our landscape and surrounding habitat.

Travelling back from Cardiff to Taunton by train during 'the worst storms of the winter', observation passes the time, evidence of thousands of people in new, old, antiquated and historical  houses yet no sign of life as there are no people seen.

The track sides are formed by mile upon mile of over grown brambles, flooded fields, self formed ponds.  An unseen plague of rats must reside in rat luxury amongst debris which is human life- discarded furniture, mounds of wood, rubbish, scrap metal, neglected unused rails- gone are the rolling hills and lush fields of the 'Railway Children' era.  Replaced and buried history.  I have an unachievable urge to clear it all away and cheer the entire length of this journey up.  The odd artistic graffiti wall adds amusement but it is just a disguise for dull surroundings - created by greed and laziness, if its not needed, dump it, disgard it, un-love it.

Only the rats and unseen wildlife profit from our waste.

Fields of sheep, fields of gloom, where mothers produce cuddly cute lambs who will not live to see old age but are destined to end up on our dinner plates- sad, but a necessity, a fact of our lives.

Just an observation.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


I choose to life frugally by choice.  It wasn't always that way or was it. I'm a mother of 4 who has always had to be careful with money, and with 4 children in tow had to be organised. Then gradually as my off spring have grown up, l found life to be easier and easier, because financially l had the freedom following college as a 'mature' student to work for our living. We didn't lose out on luxuries not did l squander money on frivolous things for the children.  My children had special treats for birthdays, Easter and Christmas, with occasional rewards in between.

As they all entered education to the point where they were secure enough for me to work longer hours, thus earning more money we started having more days out. Living at the time next to the local railway station, gave us the door step facility to explore the area around us. So armed with a timetable l would ask the children where they wanted to go, anywhere on the timetable that didn't mean changing trains ie Penzance to London in a straight line. We usually ended up at the seaside, where the rules were - we would have chippy lunch, stay on the beach all day, then an ice cream before heading back home. No other money was spent. Even the rail ticket at the time was discounted as l benefited from the Lone Parent  travel scheme.

My children grew up and started fleeing the nest, yet the household income increased even more, through working more. Until my third child announced suddenly, unexpectedly that she was going to leave the security of home to house share.  Our income dropped a fair bit which was a shock- as l had become quite complacent that all this money was here to be used. I had of course been a stickler for paying bills, rent, heating, electric etc, they had and still are as organised as ever. However, we being just 2 of us now, with animals, were in a position where we could buy new, or very good second hand items, and we enjoyed life.  Before no.3 had left home we even went on our first ever  abroad holiday, 2 weeks in Crete and not just once either - but twice. We loved it.  Then we'd come home with post holiday blues, was life over here so dull, was our lifestyle so different to our Cretan way- yes it was!

The reality is we do not have the weather that Crete has, we do not have the fresh produce that Crete has, we do not have the mentality and relaxed way about us that the Cretans have.  Yet their way of life is extremely frugal and they are extremely happy, as we were when we were there. Was this the start of my frugal way of thinking, were those holidays the seeds in my brain- because we are talking about 6 years ago . Yet it was the events of just 2 years ago that stopped me in my tracks.

My youngest turned 18 and overnight my/ our finances crashed as she officially became an adult so was therefore no longer my responsibility- (these the words of officials!!!)  Oh - Ok ! What to do?, what to think? How to carry on living the complacent way we had . Wasn't going to happen anymore- or was it?

After the initial shock and blind panic of the situation, l became rather flippant about it. Then as l have always done, went to bed on a Sunday and woke up saying this is a new start, a new week so therefore l have to think with refreshed new thoughts. I quickly reverted to my earlier days, when l'd first become a lone parent- the same blind panic had set in then - oh my god l cant raise 4 children on my own.But l did it, it wasn't easy, but l like to think I've successfully raised 4 well balanced, happy children. And  here l was again,  back in a situation thinking -oh my god how are we going to live now.  But calmly  and surely l restored my earlier ways of thinking. Do everything regularly and methodically, be organised - be frugal out of necessity.  And it worked.

The final icing on the cake came just last Summer, my youngest and l went on a very, long coach trip up to the far flung edges of Scotland. We stayed with a very wise couple who are my Dads oldest friend and my God mother. They live an extremely happy frugal life in a self built bungalow overlooking the most amazing scenery, they experience on a regular basis extreme weather conditions, their food shop is a 4 hour round trip, they are now elderly yet they still do it. Those few days we had up there, we did not spend a single penny, as my wise old Aunt said "there are no shops dear, there is nothing to spend money on"!!  And we came away totally relaxed, refreshed, with a brain full of wise, brilliant tips on living a frugal life. We did not come home with post holiday blues, like we had from Crete. We did not experience the heat extremes of Crete, we did catch the sun, we had no rain at all - (which is rare up where we were), we came home with enthusiasm and excitement and a renewed sense of well being. We were going to live frugally and be extremely happy. We/ l have embraced this lifestyle so much so that l am about to cut my hours of working for little satisfaction to a life style of living my life my way. I  will write, create, photograph, research enjoy life the frugal way from now on in.

I do not need to be extravagant, l do not need loads of money, l do not need the stress of having lots of any thing taken away. If you don't have it you cant miss it - well actually it means you didn't need it in the first place.  I was meant to go out into town last night on a rare night of extravagance, but due to extreme weather conditions in some parts of the country my companion had to go home, so the night out didn't happen. I did, I'll be honest feel abit cheesed off as l was looking forward to it.  But in the cold light of this morning- actually sunny fresh light- l am more cross about having raised money l would've squandered on a night out where drunken rugby fans would've been rowdy and possibly violent. Now that money can go back in the bank and back to where it should've gone in the first place thereby eliminating the stress of not paying something minor.

What l am trying to say is if being extravagant, and wanton for things we don't 'need', makes you stressed - why do it ? why want it? Why put yourself in a position where you make yourself unhappy.? Being frugal you live life with what you have, you  make your own happiness and the result you become fulfilled and content and its FREE.

Friday, 3 February 2012


As another week draws to an end, and l await the arrival of a friends visit, l am sat pondering- what makes a friend?  what makes that one time stranger now a trusted confidante?  There is that saying "a strange is just a friend you havent met yet". But when does the transition happen? is it immediate or does it take years, time, patience, life time events to develop.

I know hundreds, thousands of people. As a mother of 4 l have over the space of 30 years of parenting met many, many other parents through my 4 children. Some briefly, some angrily -sometimes, some mutually at sports days, school plays, etc.  But were they or are they friends. Some to this day have become trusted friends, as we have shared not just our childrens friendships, but tears, laughter, school time experiences. We have grown together just as our children grew up together, we have joined together as our children celebrated birthdays, weddings, fun times, sad and tragic times together.

We know people with whom we share interests, hobbies, work, play, local amenties, local shops, local routes to work. But are they friends? When do aquaintences, neighbours, work collegues become trusted friends?

I personally, have a handful of really trusted, confidante friends with whom l tell, and share 'everything', who are there for me when ever, who don't judge me, who care for me, who share with me. We have over the months and years cried, laughed, lost and loved. We don't always see each other, we live miles apart from one another, we dont always talk, write or chat to one another, but we are "friends" not acquaintences. We can be relied upon by each other to help, talk, support, console, celebrate, care and love each other.

And we know all this just by looking, saying, writing, chatting, reading each other- we are 'on the same wave length'. The slightest sign and we know what the other is thinking, saying, feeling. How? l don't know. We just know because we are trusted, caring FRIENDS.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Walking to work looking over the distant snow covered hills of Wellington, l was reminded of a visit there a few years ago. I called into a local charity shop not really looking for anything in particular, l came across an antique photo of 2 young children -am guessing victorian- sombre looking, like photos were back then. The photo housed in a gilt edged frame only 4x 4 was selling for a £1. I wondered at the time who they were, but not at the time- enough to buy this cute little piece of history.  To this day l have regretted not buying it, but remember it still.

The tiny photo of history  was bought  back to my  thoughts only a few weeks ago when l came across a genealogy tweet containing a link to a blog titled "A photo worth a thousand words"  by Smadar BelkindGerson in which there was a photo of an elderly couple, turns out they are Smadars' Great Great Grandparents. Smadar in her blogspot the-past-to-the-present, goes onto to tell the fascinating story behind the photo which she now holds in high esteem.

I so regret not having bought that photo l would love to have researched the history of it and the children, who they were, where they came from, what happened to them, instead l will settle for finding out my own families history, with my passion for genealogy. I do have in my family history file a photo of my Great Grandads Brother Thomas James Simmonds - or Thomas J as l like to fondly call him.
Here he is pictured with his wife and children, a hard working, kind looking man. Unlike the mystery photo of the children, l know the history of this family because it is my family. And like Smadar says about her picture, a photo really is worth a 1000 words.