Heart Attack

Heart Attack

It was an unexpected outcome of a short break in North Wales and as I sat in a chair next to his bed,  through the early hours of the morning after the night before with a range of monitors beeping and an oxygen mask hissing, I reflected on the fact that three years before we had been in another hospital following a road traffic accident. Why there should be such unpleasant symmetry to this particular time of the year, I have no idea? I can draw comfort from the fact that we survived, and we know we can recover. After all we’ve done it before!

My own heart reflected on the 24 hours that followed.


I could have been left alone in this world

Clothes in the wardrobe

Shoes by the door

Your glasses in haste, strewn on the floor.

Unasked questions sitting in rows

Waiting with no one there to pose.

Plans from the evening hang, like balloons, in the air.

Yet, a hole in my heart, raw and laid bare.


Left over

Shaved chest hairs on white bed linen.

Plastic covers from sensor pads on the floor.

Unused painkillers on a mat by the bed.

Your toothbrush loaded and ready from the night before.


Last night, we stood and watched kayakers dance in the wild, froth river.

Today, on the bridge alone I shiver.

This energetic stream now restrained.

Its arteries of life constrained.









Is Nothing Certain?

When first heard the rain is but a whisper upon the ground.

A faltering patter, uncertain and unsure “Can I fall here?”

But with the conspiracy of clouds, the rain changes its sound.

“I am here and you cannot turn me away!’

A crashing, hissing, drumming intensity of desire

To wash, drench and move forcefully aside,

For a clear pallet appears for something new to aspire.


Views from a Hammock

Some days are hammock days

And need companionship with a river.

Discreet, still and journeyed

Wise enough to hold a complexity of thoughts


Some days are hammock days

And need a vast expanse of blue

Strewn with shades of white clouds

Light enough to hold a wealth of imaginings


Some days are hammock days

And need a different vision

Underneath, sideways and slightly skewed

Brave enough to hold a disturbance of perspective.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about choosing my focus. I have, and continue to, come to the realisation that it is my choice as to how I view the situations and circumstances of my life. I then related my experiences to my recent attempts at learning the art of sailing. Life has become quite challenging at the moment. There are increasing and unexpected gusts. They seem to be arriving with increasing regularity and we are faced with making a significant course alternation.

Both of us have always been fit, healthy and active, but in these last few years that has begun to change. We have faced physical injuries and overcome them. Hitting a coach head on, was not our best move and slipping of the fourth step on the stairs to fracture my ankle a year later, was not particularly clever either. However, we healed, bones mended and we worked on strengthening the weaknesses.

However, now the storm of long-term illness has arrived. Its debilitating, energy snapping, strength removing fog has descended and we cannot see the course ahead. Hospital appointments dominate life at the moment with no answers to questions, forth coming. What exactly is this? Is it curable? How long will it take? What is the long-term prognosis? The silence is deafening.

So for me these days are hammock days. I need a different view.



An Ode to a Supermarket – Booths 

Oh Booths my heart stirs and an urgent bidding calls,

To enliven my senses with local produce, fair

Sumptuously your cheeses my eye enthrals

Home baked bread a captivating snare.

A rich tapestry of colour: fruit and veg diverse.

For you, oh Booths, have so many charms!

I return to be teased by rare chutneys and local game

Your reward card is held close within my purse

And branded canvas bag laid across my arms

My loyalty is yours no other supermarket may claim.

I am due to return home to Lancashire soon, to visit my long missed love – Booths Supermarket, oh and see my Mum! 

Choosing my Focus

The clock is ticking, 

The day is clicking

Relentlessly on and on.

The heart is shaking

And love lies breaking

Always something left undone.

The mind is racing,

A long list you are facing 

No time to waste, now move along!


The bee about his business, no need to rush.

The wind in the trees, no need to fuss.

The sweet peas greet with a wink and a nod. 

A cup of tea is just the job.

Tender kisses arrive on the phone,

A small reminder you are not alone. 


I have been reading a book by Brenè Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. 

To say it made me think, is an understatement, particularly when I got to the section on scarcity. I am often afraid to lose what I most love and totally hate that there are no guarantees.

I started to learn to sail a dingy recently. The first weekend was a challenge. If truth be told, all the lessons were a challenge. I’ve already talked about my experiences of learning to sail in the blog post Sailing-the science of not hitting things. Dingy sailing was my desire to get to grips with the wind; to know how to respond to it better. Well that first weekend, the wind rather got to grips with me!! It was gusty and unpredictable. A lot like life.

On reflection, I realised how much my sailing experience was/is a metaphor for the life choices I make.

First: I can sit in the boat fearful of every squall, tension ripping though my body wondering what disaster will befall. Beating myself up when it all goes wrong.

Or: I can learn to respond, drop the sail if the wind is too strong, change tack to get where I am going, even if I appear to be heading away from the destination and accept sometimes I will fall in.

I wrote the poem in response to a choice. I can choose to think life is a disaster, or I can choose to focus differently. I can choose to live thinking life it is unfulfilled, or to decide that it is gloriously sufficient. My decision, and a bit like my dingy sailing, I need a lot of practise!!








Some days

Some Days

My day

Is glorious

With apple pie,

Fluffy, white clouds

A gleam in my eye.

My day

Is restful,

With toast and tea,

Calling, young robin

A book on my knee.

My day

Is pale grey,

With leftover swede,

Heavy, mud footpath,

A mind full of need.

My day

Is wild storms.

No desire to take part

Fierce, swirling tree tops

Torrential, rain in my heart.

Shall we play a game? if you had to describe your best or your worst days, or even your fine its ok days, what type of food would they be?



Good Sir, Shall We Dance?


This poem is one I posted last year, but I feel the need to dance with the trees once again and remind myself of the simplicity of life. The title image was taken on one of my favourite walks back home in Lancashire. I’d park my car just south of Newton, then follow a path that took me over the River Hodder and up onto Hodder Bank Fell. On the other side of the Fell, I’d meet up with the river again and follow it into Whitewell. From there I’d circle Birkett Fell and head back to Newton, where I started. A lovely walk in the Forest of Bowland. This tree did indeed dance with the wind, responding to whichever way the breeze would blow. It did not seem to mind the variability. I ruefully reflect  upon my experiences over the last few weeks and have to conclude that I am less flexible. I will need to ponder some more and perhaps write what I have learned, but for now it is time to dance!

Good Sir, shall we dance?

I said with a glance.

In the shade of that age-old tree.

His big strong arms

And his genuine charms,

Held a power for all comers to see.

His canopy wide,

Yet deep roots, he did hide,

As we obey the etiquette of ancient court

We swayed with the breeze

With consummate ease

Our romance, though gentle, was fraught

I return now and then,

To that pale woodland glen,

To gaze on my love come to naught.