Sunday 31 January 2016


11pm. Guildford, England.

The in-crowd gather in York Road
like exotic moths beneath a street lamp,
in flared denims slashed at the knees
and ridiculously high platform shoes...then they
wander off in a fog of cigarette smoke
until they come to Clive's place.
Each carries a passport of dope
or toxic booze.
Discordant guitar music
and crazy drum beats
throb through every brick
of three storeys, attic and basement.
Red light bulbs cast
an eerie glow onto the stairs,
where two entwined bodies
grunt and squeal,
one hand gripping the banister,
Someone yells from the depths,
"Anyone got a syringe?"
as they continue searching
for Clive.
They finally unearth him in his bedroom.
Highly animated, he is entertaining
a group of art students
from the purple stage
of his king sized circular bed.
He is expounding the rudiments
of medieval architecture
in his Stockholm accent,
his extremely long blonde dreadlocks
half-obscuring finely chiseled features.
His yellow, black and white
harlequin print jacket
dazzles in the light of
a myriad of altar candles.
He abruptly stops mid-sentence, yawns,
strips naked and climbs into bed
between red satin sheets,
pulling his chosen concubine
for the night in with him.
"Would you be an angel," he whispers
to an obviously disappointed girl
in harem style trousers
and heavily beaded corset top,
"and go fix all these up with a drink?
And please close the door on your way out -
that lousy band
is fucking with my head!"

Saturday 23 January 2016


It is beautiful here today at Tintagel:
the sun is shining, there is a gentle breeze;
the tide is out, the beach is sandy
and children's excited laughter fills the air.
I have come here with someone who makes me smile.
He is interesting, funny, and is never condescending
when he pays me compliments. He holds my hand
and gazes so tenderly into my eyes,
while gently guiding me through the rocky dampness of Merlin's Cave,
as far as the deserted beach beyond.
He is a gentle man and a sensitive one - exactly the kind
I've always believed I needed, one who readily understands
my every unspoken need and fulfils my every whim.
It is late afternoon and we've shared a perfect day - except
I've hated every moment...
because he isn't you.

Saturday 16 January 2016


This part of Glasgow is characterised by it's abandoned and shuttered shopfronts
into whose doorways we duck to avoid the gangs of youths. In the square
a lone busker, mentally on another planet, strums on his guitar out of tune;
and on a vandalised bench sits Tommy, who a decade ago
was in our class at school: the boy with learning difficulties, upon whom
the teachers soon gave up. Now, he sells poppies each November on a street corner.

Later, at the local pub's closing time,
there is the usual fracas - a loud explosion of violence
that spews out onto a back street where a young couple are snogging against a wall,
their faces hidden beneath hoodies. We quickly move on, in case they recognise us.
Midnight finds us sitting at a table in the seedy nightclub,
where doll-like women are dancing in cages

and the men are moving from table to table on the make.
One leans forward to stroke my face, his breath reeking of whisky.
I feel my space being invaded. Nevertheless, I can't suppress a mocking giggle -
he is so drunk it's funny. Clearly angered, he grabs me by the hair
and hisses through clenched teeth, "You'll pay for that, BITCH!" - a threat I know you'll avenge.
But for now we swiftly leave. Experience has taught us how to survive

these mean streets where we were born and most likely will never leave.
We re-cross the square, dodging the broken bottles, takeaway wrappers and fresh vomit.
It is deserted now - apart from a junkie out cold on the bench, syringe still in his arm.
A lone pedestrian Police Officer gives us a wide berth,
his eyes betraying sheer inner terror. We part ways.
You go to buy a gun from an acquaintance. I go home to bed.

Don't worry, guys...a purely fictional piece! ;)

Monday 11 January 2016


Hi everyone,

First of all, I'd like to thank you all for your continuing support throughout this difficult period in my life. I'm not sure I would have survived it without you. You have all be my rocks...truly.

As you know, Austin was admitted to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London on 4th November, for an aortic valve replacement, via open heart surgery.
Well, the operation was a success, but then a short while later he suffered a massive bleed and had to be opened up again to rectify that.
Unfortunately, he contracted a lung infection a day later and his condition deteriorated rapidly. He suffered a collapsed lung, followed by pneumonia, and was in a coma in intensive care.
The doctors informed me that they were unable to find a cure for the infection as they had no idea which strain of bacteria was responsible, and the broad spectrum antibiotic he was being given was proving ineffective. They said I should prepare myself for the worst outcome.

Throughout those hours and days, my son and I could only sit by his bedside, talk to him and wait, while the doctors drained huge amounts of fluid and blood from his lungs and chest cavity...and the microbiologists tried hard to grow a culture that would provide a cure for this particular infection.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, they eventually managed to pinpoint the cause. It was an extremely rare strain of bacteria, and they had no idea where it had originated from.
But at least there was finally a cure.

What should have been a seven to ten day stay in hospital had stretched into a month's stay, so after the first three weeks my son and I had to return home and leave Austin there (the cost of the accommodation had just about bankrupted us, and Ayrton had to return to work!).
Leaving him there alone was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But I did arrange for the hospital chaplain to visit him in my stead, so at least he wouldn't be the only patient without any visitors throughout the following if you ever read this, Mari...thank you so, so much, I am totally indebted to you.:)

Austin is back home with us now and is recovering, albeit very slowly. He has lost a huge amount of weight, and most of his muscle tissue. He has been left extremely weak, with virtually no sense of taste or smell and his appetite is very poor...but hey, he is still with us. And that was the very best present we could ever have hoped for!
He has to attend the rehabilitation centre twice weekly for the next year.
Yes, it is going to be a long haul. But at least now we are filled with hope for a future together.:)

I do intend to return to blogging now, but it may not be as frequently as it was before as there is still a lot to do here.
I really hope you will be patient with me. I have missed you all so much and will visit as often as I possibly can.

Thank you again for all your support and kind wishes.
I genuinely appreciate them all...I couldn't have survived this without my dear Blogger friends...:)

Happy New Year! xoxoxo

ps/  Just wanted to share with you the other good news...I became a grandma on 1st January! Baby Jonie is so beautiful...and I am so, so proud! :)))