Living with loss.

It has been a very complex holiday period. We are packing up to move back to England in the New Year and whilst it is a period of reflection on what was and has been, and there is excitement at the prospect of what might now be in our future, the overall prevailing theme has actually been of loss.

It is hard to really describe what happens when you experience sudden and unexpected loss especially when it seems “unfair” not that any death is really fair. The truth is for those whom are closest and suffering the most, things will never really be the same and no amount of platitudes and musings will make it any easier. My heart goes out to Rosie who at the tender age of 17 must now find her own path through life without a mother to share her journey and all I know is that you never really get over losing your mum.

When our children were small it seemed so easy to be able to make things “better”, a sticking plaster for a grazed knee, a promise of a trip to the zoo, pancakes and ice-cream for dinner or a story about a skin horse who was so loved his hair was rubbed off and he became real.

I guess some of the loss is about the loss of being able to protect our children and make everything alright. Rosie must face the world without a mother’s love and I must leave my Ellen behind to make her own footsteps for her future.

Goodnight Katherine and God Bless. May all our children walk forward with courage and lead brave and worthy lives.


Benevolence. All that is good

It is the time of year where we put aside differences

Share olive branches and give forgiveness

As we recognise that human spirit is often all we have left to celebrate

In a world which sometimes seems to breed hate.

Bjorn asked us to reflect on a complex year where many have been stretched and shattered, and the pieces of peace seem broken beyond repair and then there is the despair as the void fills with the thoughts and prophecies of the great hereafter.

The paradox- we don’t know what we don’t know and yet this might just be as good as it gets.

I learned late in life that my time is the one thing that I can give that can be of use and beneficial. It is something that is extremely precious and therefore I try to choose to use it wisely, and be it for netball coaching or having tea and conversation with good friends it can and does truly make a difference. It isn’t about the quantity or the number of moments but about their meaningfulness.

When we give our time with love to another to focus on their story and their need we truly honour their spirit. It is irrelevant if their journey has been more complex or blessed or held more tragedy or good fortune. What is relevant is the state of their suffering or well-being at that one moment in time and what you did to honour it.

In my life I am blessed I have family and friends to share my journey, food in my cupboard and enough to nourish anyone who needed to knock on my door and ask for sustenance. I have the ability to work for a living, have made the most of my opportunities to be educated and empowered and hope that I have the wisdom to know that if this moment is the point in my life where “this is as good as it gets,” that I savoured it for what it was and accepted the joys and sadness for the experiences that they were.

If you ever get an opportunity to help heal the soul of another take it with both hands and know that somewhere there is someone who would do the same for you. With love at Christmas-time.

d’VerseOpen link night#186


Going out to dinner

Romantic you and me

I forgot my wallet

Hurry let us flee.


Image- Wikimedia- Portpatrick- Photographer Arnold Price.

Sorry it probably isn’t the slightest bit poetic. We accidentally did this not once but twice in the same pub/restaurant…

It was New Year’s Eve and a group of us would brave the weather to travel to a tiny place called Portpatrick to experience a real Hogmany. We would arrive and were usually relatively “not sober” by dinner time and wandered around the few pubs and eating establishments rather merrily……my husband and I always ate our evening meal in the same hilltop restaurant on NYE, the first year we accidentally left without paying drunken and happy beneath the stars- we went back and paid later in the stay. The second year we were jovially recounting our tale-drunk as skunks in the harbourside bar when we suddenly realised we had done it again. We did return to pay the next day.


For Ellen


Grief rolls over me

In huge tumultuous waves

leaving you behind


This time of year it always feels like the end of something and the start of something new. Even though we are in summer it is the end of the school year. It is always a time of reflection and it has also been a time of leaving for our family. I left my parents behind in Jan 2006, my last living visual memory of my mother was seeing her crying in the rear view mirror as we drove away to our new life here in New Zealand. It was only supposed to be a see you later, but it was a goodnight.

This year I am returning to spend time with my family and I have to say goodbye to some colleagues and friends after a very complex 11 years and it is very very difficult, they have walked beside me when I needed them. However the most difficult thing I have to do is to leave my eldest daughter here, and I sincerely hope for both of us it is simply a see you later and not to all a goodnight. This might not have been how the prompt was intended to be interpreted but it is what it spoke to me.

Haibun Monday: And to all a goodnight

Imaginary Elfin



She’s my secondborn

Cherubic smile, big blue eyes

Churlish Elfin charm

Nymph divine hides within her

Magical mystic manner


Alison Jean Hankinson.

This is my contribution for imaginary. My elfin child who has always been able to mix the imaginary world with the real world.


This is her in a film made recently:

Grace’s Award winning film