The Mummy


Mother’s Day is almost upon us in the UK and I have received this glorious gift from the youngest son! Who knows what Thornton’s thought when they had to create the script??!!

(For those perhaps not au fait with The Mummy films, my youngest doesn’t actually wish me dead!!)

You hold your breath


You hold your breath
As you wait for the line to appear on the stick in your hand

You hold your breath
As the grainy image on the screen reveals the life inside you

You hold your breath
As the midwife searches for that heartbeat that beats within you

You hold your breath
As every muscle in your body works to bring your child to you

You hold your breath
As you feel their body in your arms, their warmth against your skin

You hold your breath
As they smile, stumbling clumsily with their first steps, giggling joyfully

You hold your breath
As they grow their wings, the noise, chaos, screeching and flapping

You hold your breath
As they take off and soar, reaching new heights every day

You hold your breath
As they make their way home, no matter what time of day, girl or boy

You hold your breath
As you check their WhatsApp to see when they were last active

You hold your breath
As the doorbell rings

You hold your breath

BlackBerry Gin and Sausage Rolls


How gloriously delicious does THAT look????!! Okay, I have placed it strategically in front of a light, to let you drown in its Christmassy rubiness!! But I swear it is as seductively enticing in real life!!

So…….take a cheap bottle of gin…chuck it into a kilner jar with a generous handful of blackberries, a cinnamon stick, and half a pound of sugar!

Stick it in a dark cupboard for 4 weeks, shaking daily, for the first week, until the sugar dissolves.

Strain through coffee filters into a sterile bottle, don’t squeeze the fruit, will make it cloudy.

It is utterly delicious, either as a liqueur, or mixed with tonic.

Best drank with the most AMAZING sausage rolls EVER!!

500g of good quality sausage meat

500g of pork mince

1 large potato, finely cubed, and boiled till just soft

1 onion, very finely chopped

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tbsp Brown Sauce

Good glug of soy sauce

Good glug of Worcester sauce


White pepper

Fresh thyme

Fresh parsley

Fresh sage

Mix all the ingredients together. Lay cling film on work surface, place on mixture, form and wrap into sausage shape.

Freeze for 24 hours.

Roll out puff pastry to the width of a pound coin, allowing for ovelap when covering.

Place frozen sausage mix in centre.

Paint edges, and surface of sausage meat, with beaten egg

Roll, tuck, and crimp, eggwash, and cook in oven 220°, for 20 minutes.

Cool slightly, then slice, and consume eagerly!! Delicious!!

Bear hugs and bear rugs and bye bye baby (bear)!!


My youngest son is starting university next week. So the last month has been the familiar frantic rush of making sure your child won’t break their neck the first time they fly!!

Funding organised…tick…just!! More of that in another post!

Accommodation organised…actually quite special, in a converted Edwardian building, with a balcony, and three fabulous flatmates.

Contents of said accommodation organised, not easy from long distance, but boxes landed today, so offspring can prepare food and sleep in comfort!

Weather has been challenging…torrential rain, flash flooding, gale force winds…welcome to the north of England, my child, a far cry from your home of sun and sea.

But all good. I should be relaxed and slightly smug. As I am. Apart from one small glitch.

In anticipation of a colder clime, I bought a jumper. A chenille jumper. I am a sucker for a bit of chenille. That enticing softness, that multifaceted colour, ohhhhhhh!!! I fall for its snuggly sneakiness EVERY time!

And forget the shedding!

Oh maaaaaan the shedding!! Today, Matthew, (for those slightly confused by the Matthew reference, I include this I have been the hairiest of hairy!! Every room I have been in has a trail of black fur. A miasma of charcoal fuzz. And tonight, as I stripped for my bath, I was confronted by this!

Hmmm!! Attractive!!

But hey!! My baby bear has ventured off to find his growl. My job is done. Briefly. For at least three days before a Maaaaaaam message drops in!!

How NOT to do life (and other helpful household tips)



So yeah. That’s me. Looking up in disbelief at that fat little bastard on his cloud, who had already begun his series of unfortunate events (yes, I know, someone already claimed that description, but believe me, there are no lemons or snickets included in this narrative).

I am actually quite impressed how daintily I am perched on that running board, since dainty is not a word that has EVER been used in the same sentence as my name. At best, lively. At times, unique. Most often, challenging. (Those shoes though!! Clarks or Startrite, love them!)

I recently found a whole FACTORY of photographs of me as a child. My father, for all his foibles, loved a pic, and involved me in the secret arts of developing them, in a dark room at Bristol University. And that unleashed a whole new wave of memories, so I decided I would share them with you all.

And chart my life, properly.

Which won’t be easy.

But mostly, Matthew, it will be fun.

I will leave you with one more photo. Me before me. I love this picture, it is such a snapshot of that time. My mother is the beautiful lady reclined in the background, and I am the bump therein.

Gypsy Lane

Oh!!!! The guy on the right is my Uncle Dave, and he is not naked!! More of that next time.


Tough Day


I know that there are so many people far worse off than me. But tonight I hit the bottom of my sparkle reserve, as I climbed into bed strapped to a monitor, with another machine on the opposite bedside table, and a third implanted in my chest. I cried.


Interesting few years.

Lessons learned.

No matter how much you love, there is no guarantee that love will be returned.

You can work yourself into the ground, the Company will not respect you more, merely expect more.

The capacity to be amazed by your children does not diminish.

Nor does the capacity to be hurt by those you trust most. Including family.

When your arms fall off, putting your pants on is a bastard. Or doing up a bra. And forget make up or hair.

Lack of sunlight and blue sky and sea destroys witches.

As does lack of writing.

I shall prevail.


New Adventure


Three months ago I left the place I have called home for most of my life, to return to the place where I was born. It has been a challenging journey, a scary rollercoaster ride of emotions. I am still in a state of flux, of no fixed abode, adjusting to a way of life almost alien to me. But I have a new job, am making new friends, and tonight I smelt winter on the wind, and gloried in the pleasure of a sky dancing in stars. My life is not perfect, but it is wonderful!! And I am ready to write again!! Happy witch!! Bring on the next chapter!!!

Beware That Damn Pride!!!



Saturday evening, and I was enjoying the heady rush of approval of the photo I had shared with the world in general. Normally my photographs make me look like a lady of the night with a severe drug habit and a glass eye, but this one had somehow made me look relatively attractive, much to my delight. Vanity had consumed me, and I had become ever more delighted with each like on my Facebook page!!! Finally I had decided to tear myself away from the computer screen, and head for bed.

As I did so, I realized that my nightdress was still on the washing line. The rest of the household had retired already, so I crept quietly into the garden in the dark, leaving the light off so not to disturb anyone.

I gathered the clothes hanging there, and, arms full, spun around to head back to the house, blythely unaware that the neighbour’s cat had decided to sit just behind me!! And down I came, in a clumsy tangled heap, unable to save myself because of the clutch of clothing! Had I been slightly more petite, this would simply have resulted in an ungainly fall onto grass, but unfortunately, my extra few inches of what my Nearly Not Teen refers to as my unnatural woman height meant that my face made resounding contact with the concrete of the garden path! My glasses broke on contact, and added to the damage incurred, burying themselves into my eye socket, and my poor nose, which has already suffered four breaks in its half century, experienced its fifth.


I finally managed to untangle myself from the laundry, and struggled to a sitting position, blood pouring from both my nose and a gash on my temple. The neighbour’s cat sashayed casually past, casting me a reflective eyed look of disdain at my clumsy human moves!! Grabbing my nightdress to stem the flow, I clambered to my feet, and tottered unsteadily back to the house.

The vision that greeted me in the mirror was a far cry from the one I had been so smugly proud of earlier! I do comedy bumps, of the Tom & Jerry ilk, which swell with ridiculous speed to gargantuan proportions! My face was completely distorted, and awash with blood, and my left eye had disappeared completely!! Gingerly, I cleaned the wounds, and then grabbed a bag of frozen peas, to press against the affected area, in a vain attempt to reduce the swelling. And thus I spent the night, swapping peas for other suitable vegetables, as each pack defrosted!!


The reaction of the rest of my household, as they emerged the next morning, confirmed my suspicions that my pea-packs had not perfomed any miracles. Finally braving the mirror again, I faced Sylvester Stallone after the final fight in Rocky 2,975!! I hadn’t appreciated that there were that many shades of purple!! My heart sank!!!

You see, on Friday, I am meeting up with Torn-Apart. Which is hard enough to envisage,although he assures me I am being silly!! But I am also meeting his best friend for the first time, and quite what he will make of some-one who looks like a professional kick-boxer, I dread to think!! I have toyed with the idea of sunglasses, but as I don’t have any prescription ones, it would probably only lead to another fall! So I have developed another cunning plan!! I am becoming a pirate!! I shall make me an ornate patch, and dress in a goth pirate Johnny Depp/ Helena Bonham-Carter fashion, all floaty stuff, and brocade jackets and boots!! What do you think? Reckon I can work that look?!!


In the mean-time, I am going to keep a daily photo diary of my eye, to see how many different shades of purple through green/grey/yellow my skin can produce!! So for those of a squeamish or delicate disposition, look away now!! This is day one and two!!

And Back In The Room……….



The Witch is back!! New adventure has begun, and I am riding the crest of that wave!! Scary, but of the sort that makes you want to shout at the top of your lungs from sheer exhilaration!! Returning on a permanent basis  to my home country is quite odd, it is a place in which I am an intimate stranger. Everything is familiar, and yet very new. I am like a small child in a toy shop, running from one display to another, unable to believe the choices laid out in front of me!! 

Shopping, which I normally hate with a vengeance, is suddenly hugely enjoyable. The array of products available, the speed at which they are obtainable, the special offers that  abound, to entice you in, all of these are quite magical to someone whose shopping experience has been limited to a single street. Even the much maligned postal system here is meteorically fast in comparison to that which I have been accustomed. No more five week waits for an item ordered online! No more trawling through pages of order forms, only to be told that the company doesn’t deliver to your country! Broadband that works. Constantly! And doesn’t require that you go make dinner whilst you wait for a page to load! Amazing!


I know the novelty will all wear off at some point, probabbly in the depths of winter, when my feet are blocks of ice, and the public transport has ground to a halt. But for now, I am relishing every moment!! Even the weather has conspired to make my transition easier, with glorious sunshine, and endless opportunities for drinks in the garden, surrounded by the most glorious array of flowers and fruit. And grass!! I hadn’t realised how much I have missed grass. The feel of it under my bare feet!! Wonderful!!

Best part of all? Free phone calls as part of the deal with my mobile supplier!! For someone who talks even in her sleep, that is the most wonderful gift ever!!! Torn-apart and I are like a pair of teenagers, spending hours talking utter nonsense to each other, just because we can!! The sort of conversations where, if asked, you couldn’t actually say what you had been talking about.


So in all the excitement I have sadly neglected my writing!! That little scribe voice hasbeen becoming steadily more persistent, and it has finally won, I am back at the keyboard again. More irreverance, madness, random photos, and occasional attempts at grown-up writing, with an odd poem thrown in!! I missed you all, and can’t wait to catch up on everything, and everyone!!

Oh, just one more thing!! A new photo!! Having lived for so long in a country where the sunrise and sunset times remain pretty constant all year round, my body doesn’t quite understand that daylight does not necessarily mean morning as we know it!! So I find myself wide awake at silly o’clock, while the rest of the household sleeps! This morning, I decided to mess around with my webcam, and of the 16,537 photos that I took, I found one that didn’t make me look like a convict, or a cabbage patch doll!! I duly posted it on facebook, and it has been met with universal approval!! Which is wonderful since I wasn’t wearing make-up, and hadn’t brushed my hair!! I think I shall adopt this approach for all further photographs!! And just for the record, it was a strappless top!!


Good to be back!!!




The wave of disbelief washed over her once again. She felt her breath catch in her throat, and fought desperately to focus on her surroundings. A lie. The worst kind of truth. She had asked the question. She had not realised the impact of the answer.
It had never been perfect. At best it had been fun, the giddy pleasure of being wanted, desired. She had been lonely, an emptiness carved by loss longing to be filled. Tired of being brave, she had welcomed his apparent strength, and had gradually succumbed to his words, his will. So gradually, she was unaware of her isolation until it had surrounded her completely. Family ignored, friends no longer calling.
“This is your family now,” he told her. “We are all that matter.”
She had begun to melt away, a snapshot blurred by drops of poison. The vibrant hair, the vivid make-up, the laughter, the childish joy, slowly wiped into a muddy sludge.
And with it, the constant accusations of lies. If she spoke, she lied. If she stayed silent, she lied by omission. She felt her grip on reality weakening, began turning ever inward.
Until she found the bag.
At first, she couldn’t make sense of it. She put it back, and left it there for days. Then opened it once more.
And then summoned the courage to ask him.
He told her.
And her world flipped over once more.

25 Songs 25 Days #25 A Song You Could Listen To All Day And Never Tire Of



Nearly Witches- Panic At The Disco

I adore this!! It is mad and totally over the top, perfect for me!! And I have an insane urge to dance the Argentinian Tango whilst it plays!! And frequently do!! Hey!! It has Witch in the title. What more can I say!!


25 Songs 25 Days #24 A Song You Have Danced To With Your Best Friend



Ultravox – Vienna

Aaah the Eighties!! Aaah the make-up!! Aaah Vienna!! Like what I did there!! This was possibly the best track never to make number one!! But boy was it difficult to dance to!! Picture if you will a dance floor filled with painted mannequins, all starey distant eyed and sucked in cheeks. Swaying ever so slightly. Until the middle bars, when the track suddenly sped up, and no-one quite got the moves right, and everyone did a sort of embarrassed jiggle!! Hilarious!!! My Best Friend and I included!!


The Character Beneath



shopThe store I worked for underwent an overhaul a few years ago. Having sat comfortably on her stoical British bottom for slightly too long, she had realised that the young pretenders had been quietly taking over the high street as she dozed. She was dragged back to her feet, dusted down, and buffed and polished to within an inch of her life. New work practices were devised by earnest young executives sitting in air-conditioned ivory towers, far away from the mêlée of the shop floor. Monday morning meetings became an endless list of new rules and regulations, to be rolled out across the shop floor by myself and other equally fraught, and, at times, incredulous floor managers.

These actions were understandable, all businesses need to move forward. But one factor hadn’t been taken into consideration. And that was those staff members of a certain age, who had grown up with the comfortable slipper feel of their workplace, and weren’t impressed by the sudden switch to blood red stilettos!

My food department became the proverbial rug, under which these blots on the new sleek appearance were swept. I didn’t mind. Because I ended up with some of the most glorious characters I have ever worked alongside!

Merci was a tiny pixie of a woman, eyes dancing with mischief, a deep voice rubbed raw by years of smoking. She played the dizzy card to great effect, but was in fact possessed of a rapier sharp mind, and outrageous wit. Her sparse blonde hair was the bain of her life, and barely a week passed where she wasn’t trying some bizarre treatment in the hope of suddenly developing a flowing mane. One memorable month she gamely massaged snail slime into her scalp, despite the merciless teasing she received. Her personal life was marked with tragedy, but she was the consummate professional, and it was never mentioned at work. Most glorious of all was her frequent habit of using entirely the wrong word, with hilarious results. My favourite was one very busy afternoon, the two of us manning the tills, with a queue that snaked across the floor. A tourist asked her if everyone in Gibraltar spoke Spanish and English.

“Oh, yes,” came the reply. “In Gibraltar, we are all bisexual!”

And then there was Jane. Almost a caricature of an English shop assistant, lank hair held back from her face by two grips, shirt always pulled and gaping across her chest. Slightly stooped, sensible shoes, short socks, vaguely crumpled. No matter how busy we were, she moved at Jane speed, a slow careful crawl, with a slightly nasal voice that matched perfectly her pace. Apparently always in a semi-comatose state, she in fact did not miss a thing, and managed her section with frightening efficiency. A keen sense of the ridiculous hid beneath her surface, and would bubble up in unexpected moments. What fascinated me most about her was her true love story, which she told me one quiet afternoon. Forced into a loveless marriage at sixteen, with a small child, she had met the love of her life when she was eighteen. She was on a rare night out with her younger sister, and saw him from across the dance floor. He asked her to dance, and one week later, she moved in with him, and never left. When she told me of the moment she knew he was the one, it brought tears to my eyes.

“He asked me to dance, and took my hand, and I knew at that moment that I never wanted him to let it go again.”