Category Archives: Life matters

Everyday inspiration – cup of coffee 

This challenge is to start the blog with” if we were having a cup of coffee right now…”

If we were having a cup of coffee right now it would be a good one. A strong Italian coffee as found all over Sydney. We’d be sitting in the sun Meegs or maybe under a bit of shade looking out at the bright blue sky, savouring the heat. 
If we were having a cup of coffee right now I’d be really happy my friend. It’s been way too long since the last one. We’d be sharing stories, catching up on the little things of life we’ve missed out on, small pleasures and surprises, mishaps and sadnesses. The gentle easy to and fro of long term friends. 

If we were having a cup of coffee right now I’d be reminded of both of our past loves and hurts. The days we spent by the sea in Narabeen taking care of each other and our broken hearts all those years ago. I can’t imagine who else I would have wanted to be with in those days. I’ll be forever grateful. We both emerged and here we are living mostly tear free lives again. 

So if we were having coffee right now I’d be thanking you for always being there for me across the seas. We’d be topping up the many years of our friendship and as we say goodbye we’d already be looking forward to the next time. 

My friend Meegs. 

Always there in my heart 

Everyday inspiration – a letter

Today’s challenge set is a writing a letter – the option chosen is a “letter to a bad habit you have”. 

Dear you

It’s over. You’ve been expecting this letter for a while I know and yes the time has come to part. 

I’ll miss you in a way – we’ve been together so long – but its the best thing for both of us. 

You have to admit you’ve had a good run. In homes and hotels in different parts of the world you’ve made your mark. Pristine empty new apartments or hotel rooms ruined within what seems like minutes – clothes strewn everywhere in your all too familiar way, piles of books and papers emerge like molehills, no surface left uncovered and where do all those toiletries come from? I have to give it to you, you’re consistent and prolific. You’ve had a good run indeed. 

Untidiness my friend it’s time to part. Decluttering it’s the latest thing. Books on Amazon by experts. And you know me so well of course I’ve already bought two of them. 

So yes it’s goodbye. Well not today, and of course tomorrow is out and Monday is a busy day so it’s definitely goodbye very soon. I just wanted to give you a heads up. 



Everyday inspiration -social media 

This WordPress challenge is to choose one of a few tweets and respond.

First world problems is what comes to mind. The Kensington Waitrose shopper distraught when she thought there were no quails eggs left. Being tall I was able to spot a pack way back on the top shelf. No gratitude shown for my assistance in averting her impending catastrophe. She left, quails eggs held aloft triumphantly.

Everyday inspiration – a quote 

Today’s WordPress challenge – find a quote and start writing..

It’s in our hands to make a difference. Every day we have the chance to make or break someone’s day. People we know or strangers.

“What a beautiful colour” I said to a woman on Sunday as I walked to get the paper. Her startled look at being addressed by a stranger quickly transformed into a huge smile. She thanked me and went on her way, smiling.

In the park the next day an American couple waved a £20 note at me and asked for change for the toilet. I didn’t have enough so asked them to check how much it was. 50p which I gave them. “I’m sure you’d do the same for me” I said. The woman paused briefly as if to consider whether she would and then ran off with an air of desperation to the public toilets thanking me profusely as she went. I continued my reading in the weak English sun. A while later the husband came back up to me having found a shop to get some change wanting to repay me. A little thing to help a stranger out, but a contribution to a day for someone else. 

A number of calls to my ageing dad over a day and week just to remind him he’s loved. 

A tweet sent to support a group of grieving parents in their battle with a failing health board chief exec. Too many avoidable deaths. 

At work this week mediating a meeting between two people locked in their view of injustices done and malicious intent. One hour later, smiles, a deeper understanding of another and themselves, the opportunity of building relationships in the future, a sense of being truly heard and an opportunity to really understand another’s world . 

Nelson Mandela was thinking of bigger changes when he said this no doubt and we can look at his life and see how much he sacrificed to make the world a better place, to make a difference. 

For me it means small and big things. Where we can be kind we should be. Where we can help someone out we ought to. Where we can lift someone’s day then it’s the right thing to do. It’s all in our gift. 

Everyday inspiration – an image 

This challenge is to write something based on one of four provided images. I chose this one.

Welcomes and farewells. Tears of joy and sadness. Hugs and handshakes. Journeys starting and ending. Weariness after hours on the move for some and excited anticipation of adventures ahead for others. Suitcases on wheels effortlessly gliding across the concourse. Cumbersome rucksacks remind me of student days, thankfully over.
I love the drama of train stations – early romances, family squabbles, excitement, exhaustion, impatience, tearful farewells, lost tickets, missed trains, connections between strangers, grumpy service staff, hard to follow announcements, bewildered tourists, occasional glimpses of glamour and too much bad coffee.
I love stations.!

I write because …

WordPress challenge – everyday inspiration – I write because…


I write because …

I can

It helps me remember

I love words

I want to get back into my blogging groove after almost a year’s break

It’s a way to connect with others which is great – and enjoyable whether anyone else actually reads or not.

I like to challenge myself

I dream of a published short story one day

I want to …

Awake at night

As someone who normally sleeps so well, being awake for hours in the night is such a curious feeling. Outside I can see no lights on in the apartment buildings down here by the water. People curled up, lying alone or with a partner, snoring or not, dreaming or not, and maybe just a few like me awake.

It’s a still quiet time. No seagulls to be heard. No wind so no clanging of the bits at the top of the boat masts. If I were a boating person I’d know the name but I’m not so I don’t. Not Saturday night so no drunken farewells at this street corner. All quiet.

Thoughts whirring. It’s been such a full on few weeks with Dad being ill and yesterday another hospital admission after 8 hours of tests and waiting. I hated to leave him there but know he’s in good hands.

The last few weeks have had worry and stress and lots of moments of love and tenderness. I am so blessed to have him in my life and have treasured this time we have had even though no-one would have wanted things to be how they have been. Happy and healthy and getting on with life is how things were just before Christmas- finding a way of living after the death of my mum, his wife of 60 years, earlier in the year. He was really getting into his stride again. This health crisis feels so unexpected.

It’s times like these that help us really feel what’s important and who’s there for us, who steps forward for us and who doesn’t. Family not always being how you think they will be. And just needing to keep letting go of feelings that come with that to keep focussed on what really matters.

Being there for Dad is what matters – being there for him just as he has been for us all over so many years and in so many ways. For me it’s so simple. For my lovely sister Sally too.

And so here I lie awake, imagining he may well be too in his hospital ward of 6 with beeping machines and lights and the sounds of others and I send love to him. Soon enough it will be time to be up and about and visiting to find out how things are. More tests, more questions that sound similar to the ones the previous person has just asked. But through all the waiting and the repetition of information giving, the care and attention of staff has shone through – care assistants, nurses and consultants. All being how you’d want them to be with someone you love. I’m so grateful for that. So soon enough that will all start up again for me.

For now it’s lying on a too soft mattress in my father’s flat by the water listening to the quiet and thinking there’s nowhere I’d rather be.

New year

Wishing all my fellow bloggers around the world happy healthy lives in 2015. Blogging was something I started in January 2014 as a New Year’s resolution with the Zero to Hero Challenge and it’s been quite a ride.

I’ve read inspiring, challenging, annoying, interesting, thought provoking, sad and funny posts. Thanks to all.

I’ve been inspired by the all the photography blogs and loved to see people’s contributions to various photo challenges. So creative.

I’ve shared thoughts, feelings and ideas over the year – blogging saw me through the painful loss of my mother and I so appreciated the kind support of people in the blogging community. Empathy abounded.

And mostly I’ve loved participating in the photo challenges – reading the theme of the week and either taking shots to fit the theme or trawling back in my folders.

Blogging has become a part of my life in 2014 and I look forward to much more in the year ahead. Thank you for the part you play in that.

Here’s to us!

This is how I want my 2015 to be:


Sad news

I learned recently of the very sudden unexpected death of a former work colleague’s husband, a man full of life and vigour. Early 50s and he and his wife, my friend, were just embarking on the children grown up and away, next phase of their lives. A new home, a full new life ahead of them both. And now suddenly not. A new life ahead for her and not one she would have ever imagined.

My heart goes out to her on the eve of the funeral, saying farewell to someone she saw herself having so many years ahead with. A space now in her life, huge, gaping. I feel for her pain tomorrow and the days, weeks and months ahead and for her two children. We’re never old enough to lose a parent.

To lose someone at this time of year where every magazine, radio or tv show are in full festivity mode is even tougher. Though always unbearable whatever time of year.

I held my partner tight when I heard the news. Who knows how long we have but I am reminded to savour each moment as if it could be our last, to make it a good contributing loving life full of everyday kindnesses and generosity to each other. To never regret last words being harsh or things left unsaid. To have love be what we remember most.

A reflective time

Christmas approaches. Wild purchasing everywhere. Shops competing with bigger and bigger discounts and price matching. Harassed looking parents with bulging supermarket trolleys and reluctant children in tow. A sense of desperation almost in the air. Will we get it all done in time?

So there’s all of that. And there’s also all around me people talking fondly of family time over Christmas, the board games dusted down from the year before, giggling at the stories that get remembered every Christmas, watching favourite old movies and laughing or shedding a tear in the same places. Lovely to hear people at work talking about this time with young families or the first Christmas their grown up children will be coming home for the celebrations.

Others are planning to help out at the various homeless charities to make a contribution. While others again just ignoring the whole thing.

For us it’s part of a family coming together to make this as good a first Christmas after my mother’s death as we can for our father. Going somewhere different, a country cottage, board games, Christmas pudding, a decorated tree and a visit to the nearby church for some. The first of a new way to celebrate Christmas and be a family.

Mum never was a great fan of Christmas though she liked having her family about her. I remember her making mince pies while listening to Kings College Cambridge choirs singing carols on the radio. The aroma soon filling the house. The first bite while one was still warm. Unforgettable. I can almost smell and taste it now.

We will remember her this first Christmas without her and think of others who will be missing people they love too. It’s a tough time for many. And as Dad lights the indoor fireworks, an old indulgence of his, we’ll remember mum’s disgust at the annual smelly event and her loud sighed “Oh Timothy… Must you?” .

We’ll be looking back fondly and missing mum. Yet we will also be building our new way of spending Christmas, different bits of the family, new memories, new stories with our father. Precious times.

Wishing you all well over this holiday time whatever it means for you.