I used to work in Action Learning where I learned about the power of open questions. So it suddenly came to be that instead of walking around feeling dissatisfied, it would be a good idea to ask what is wrong.

1. Separation – the distance between myself and my husband is not working well for us. There is the pressure to find a new home which merely replaces the search that went before. Currently, we are all about what needs sorting and not about enjoying and relating to each other. This leads to tension inevitably which upsets both of us.

Action point – secure a new home soon.

2. Lack of friends – this is a big one for me. The truth is that when you spend your days at home, making friends is not going to happen except online. I think initial answers to getting out may involve volunteering and/or study. Where that takes place should follow on from where we find a new home.

Action point – stop accepting a lack of friends as my lot in life and start doing something about it.

3. Self-image – I am fat and frumpy. This is not good physically but also drags me down mentally on bleaker days. I know how to lose weight and I can do that. I actually believed they might have cut me out of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards television coverage for being too ugly. That is very flawed thinking and in fact I did appear. I saw myself as perhaps others do and liked my new hair do and colour and my sensitive face. Someone told me I had very lovely skin this week and I was ridiculously thrilled with that. Perhaps I should start pointing out my good bits instead of bad bits.

Action point – commence a healthy eating and fitness plan. Accentuate the positive.

4. Making a difference in the world – I have always wanted to do this. I feel I need a new cause to get my teeth into. Charity, politics, something.

Action pint – investigate who or what could make use of my skills

5. Turn back to life

I came across a sympathy card amongst mum and dad’s things. Perhaps since Mum made that telephone call 5 years ago, I have been guilty of turning away from life a bit/a lot. Perhaps I found this card or it was left for me at just the right time. I find it a very powerful message and just need to work out the full meaning. How can I comfort hearts and what are those dear unfinished tasks?

Action point – turn back to life. Carry on the legacy of Mum and Dad.


It’s April Fool’s Day and I think I might be the fool.

I say this as I seem not to understand what is going on in this world right now.

Today, we are encouraged to eat 7 portions of fruit and vegetables per day so that we can all live longer. This is only a few minutes after we were told fruit is dangerous because of the sugar content. What is this obsession with living longer anyway? Our society is not currently equipped to deal in a way that meets the economic and social needs of an ageing population. Yet here we are are carrying out research studies into how to ensure we all live to the age of 200. If we do who is going to pay for us and who is going to care for us?

Then on social media and television programmes, women are making a big deal about not wearing make-up as if it is some brave feat. I do it all the time. I must be due a Pride of Britain Award any day based just on this fact. I won’t make myself popular by saying it but it worries me that some women seem quite so terrified at the idea of being seen in public as they really are. Who has given them that message? Whose purposes does it serve? By the way, I am no way saying it is not great to do things to raise money for charity but I just wonder on this particular campaign what it says about womankind.

The parenting police tell us every day how we are doing it all wrong giving conflicting guidance so we are guilt-ridden which I actually can’t think is good for our children. My parents smoking in the car was the very thing that turned me off trying cigarettes. Fattening goods and salt played a huge part in family food when I was a kid yet my parents both lived into their eighties. Guess what? We even had meals on our laps most of the time in front of the telly and yet we managed family conversation. Again, I am not saying smoking in cars is good – I am merely saying that life pans out and eventually ends whatever the research studies say.

It’s true I am an April Fool and actually if the world keeps going weird on me, I don’t want to live to 200 anyway.

A charmer of sorts

Of no interest initially

A birthday peck on the cheek

And then he bought a raffle ticket

Which made me look at him in a different way

And he won

So we went on a weekend break

After a coffee date

That I still don’t know why I agreed to

Ignoring those who said he was sinister

And then the big secret

That shall not be named

And then finding a birth certificate

For his birthdate but not his name

A worry

Pretend it is not so

He says all the right things

And a gun – what is that about?

All explained

And I always was naive




Being let down

Bashed in the nose


Or was it?

Princess. Babe. Confusing romance.

The runaway

The theft

The anguish

The desperation

The following

The infidelity

The wake-up call

The end

If you think the Widower could not happen to you

Be afraid, be very afraid.


My mum’s mum Sally Ann.

My mum Irene.

Dad’s mum Harriet.

Numbers of children – 7, 3 and 1

Numbers of grandchildren – 15, 3 and 3

One of these mums brought up her child whilst caring for her disabled mother.

One of these mums experienced extreme domestic violence.

Two of these mums struggled with depression.

All of these mums experienced poverty and discrimination.

Two of these mums did not get on very well.

Two of these mums were brilliant bakers.

All of these mums went on to see a little of the world.

And on Mothers’ Day, well you could say life is a beach.

Look into those eyes and seize the day. I will if you will.

We met when I was in my teens.

At first I enjoyed having you around thinking having you as a friend proved I was intelligent and interesting.

At college, you would wear me out sometimes and I would take to my bed for a full day.

That used to worry my other friends but I knew you and I understood each other and had our own business to attend to.

As life has gone on, you dip in and out.

You tend to turn up unexpectedly and sometimes I am not ready for you.

You got in the way a bit when I had a baby.

I think I am guilty of putting you first sometimes.

The truth is when you around, I find you irresistible.

At such times, I don’t really want to be with anyone else.

Your words are more cruel now.

You tell me just how fat and ugly I am.

When I explain my hopes for the future, you say I am deluding myself.

Even when I say to leave me alone, you keep catching up with me and telling me that nobody else wants me.

I have online friends now who tell me I am OK.

Some even use words like intelligent, funny and interesting.

They send me virtual hugs in times of crisis.

You say they would recoil if they met me in real life.

And I wonder if you don’t feel the way they seem to why you want to be my friend at all.