Sunday, 23 March 2014


 When those random acts of life cast you adrift; making you doubt all that was once so familiar ; causing grief and uncertainty; it is then you have the choice to do nothing, curling in corners like a wounded cur; howling to the moon at the injustices of that fickle friend Fate .... or to look past the anger and hurt  to truly see what has evolved from the darkest of times.  
It is the balancing that accompanies a stumble and fall which needs to be held onto; not the factors of the fall itself. 
As the Dalai Lama once said
"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe."
It is hard. I admit to howling at the moon, often; in that futile way small children do in a fit of pique at not being given their own way.
 Yet following on from recent events, the value of true friendships and the kindness of all around us have served to show that the Universe still has balance; and we mere mortals simply need to adjust in order to rebalance ourselves within it.

Monday, 17 March 2014


The scream of a vixen woke me,disoriented, from exhausted sleep; moonshine through slatted blinds casting a cool glow upon familiar quilt on unfamiliar bed. A door left ajar carrying the sound of my son's soft breathing from the darkened room beyond.
Ten days and three bedrooms on from the fire that began this nomadic existence, still we live out of suitcases; the kindness and generosity of friends circling round us like a protective shield.
'That which does not kill you makes you stronger;' but for all that, I miss the simple things; clothes uncreased by suitcase folds, my own bed with warm cat curled into my side...
.....yet still we wait; longing to go home once more.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Things that go bump in the night

Waking up in early hours from deep dreams, I thought I heard the heavy fall of footsteps on the scaffolding.  Mouth dry and heart thudding, I realised this was no night terror, but something far worse. A bitter smell of burning rubber, and thick oily smoke forced its way through the cracks and crevices of the walls, causing chests to tighten and breathing to become shallow. Blue lights flashing  through windows and  the deep throbbing pulse of mighty engines, dragged us from our beds; scrabbling for thick jumpers and slippers before descending to the front door.
Out in the cold night air, billows of smoke and muffled explosions were coming from the parking garage beneath our feet; beneath the very foundations of our homes. Neighbours, pale-faced with exhaustion gathered round,waiting for the fire crews to emerge from the smoking depths to explain what had happened; what we should do.
Gas pipes copper melting with blue flame, metal twisted , molten plastic ;all moulding into warped and ashen skeletons impossible to recognise as their former selves. The acrid smell of charring clung to buildings and nostrils. Fire out, the damage was devastating. All essential services rendered useless. Cold homes, empty taps, gas capped , no water......
So now we the nomads seek shelter; our lives bundled into a series of bags; relying upon the gentle kindness of family and friends, until the cold empty houses become homes once more.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Snake song

We perform the slow ballet of hunter and prey, my python and I; she with head tucked into knotted coils, in tongue tasting,slow watching anticipation; and I with mouse on tweezers, defrosted, fluffed up and warm to touch.
It is a precarious pasodouble this dance of ours; the mouse my marionette and I the puppeteer as I coax her out of her tight coiled ball towards my proffered titbit.
I sway the mouse gently to and fro, intoxicating her with its scent, mesmerising her with the twitching tail. Silently she slips her coils, effortlessly smooth gliding over rock and branch to stretch towards my offering. Her head draws back, I hold my breath; but she feigns nonchalance and switches back on herself, retreating to the sanctuary of the log.
Now comes the end game. I still my puppet and wait. With lightning precision, she darts out, jaws unhinged, her powerful fangs enveloping her prey. I watch as she stops, allowing it to dangle whilst she rearranges coils, to manoeuvre it with optimum precision into swallowing position.
She is a dainty eater, slowly ingesting fur and tail, until all that remains is a small bulge in her mid drift, and a satisfied air of contentment.