A word from Mum

A message from Mother Earth. Quite frankly, children, I am appalled at your behaviour. I want you all to pack up your toys and go straight to your rooms. You can come back out when you can play nicely together. Don’t give me any back-chat or, so help me, you’ll really be in for it when your father gets home.

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Handicapped?

When I was still in primary school (grade school for my American friends) my father had resigned from his job. They were promoting younger men above him and he’d finally had enough. He was without work for, I think, about a year and in those days without the dole  we did it tough. It must have been incredibly stressful for my parents with four young daughters to provide for. I know they sold most of their “treasures” and we ate a lot of spinach and rhubarb because they were the most successful plants in the garden. I can also remember trips into the hills to find mushrooms and blackberries. I thought of those trips as a fun outing but now I realise they were a bit more significant. Eventually Dad was given a job by an old friend (now long...

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Suicide isn’t painless

‘Cause suicide is painless. It brings on many changes. And I can take or leave it if I please.’ J. Mandel, “Suicide is Painless: theme for TV show, MASH. I wasn’t going to jump on the Robin Williams’ bandwagon but then I figured, why not? Like millions of other people, I felt as though I knew the man. I saw him first as Mork, the lovely, whimsical alien. Then, over the years there were his many wonderful movies: Mrs Doubtfire; Dead Poets Society;  Good Will Hunting; Jumanji; Hook; Bi-Centennial Man; Good Morning Vietnam; Patch Adams; Aladdin and The Birdcage. And they’re just the ones I’ve seen. Then there were his numerous appearances on television, many of which you can re-watch on YouTube. I particularly loved an...

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Be of good cheer

I’m sitting here staring at the computer screen, trying to think of something “light” to write about…or something “inspirational”…or “encouraging”… Oh, you know what I mean. I tell myself that as an author I should be writing something “literary”: a review, perhaps, or the latest news about my book (talking with a publisher about getting into print) or, at the least, something artistic. However, my mind keeps going to dark places. I keep thinking of ISIS beheading people, including children (children!), simply because they’d rather not convert to Islam, thanks all the same. I think of the small group of Yazidi hiding out on top of a mountain dying of starvation and dehydration rather...

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Dwarves are real

I remember, quite clearly, the day I knew that magic, fairy tales and fairy creatures were real. I was 5 years old and my mother took me to see a stage production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It must have been a birthday present (my birthday is at the end of November) as there was a distinct “Christmassy” feel to the production. It was colourful, fun and exciting, but quite “normal” as far as I could tell, until that moment. First, we heard them singing off-stage: Hi ho! Hi ho!… And then, onto the stage marched a line of dwarves: real, in-the-flesh-not-men-on-their-knees, dwarves! DWARVES! It was a life-changing moment. I figured that if dwarves were real – they actually existed – then so must giants (they do),...

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