I mentioned a little while ago that things have not been the most cheerful around here. Well, here a post that is full of happy. As you know, I am away from Stitch Towers visiting my sister. Anyway, in a rare moment of clarity, I booked into a hotel because then I could leave the party when my Parkinsons told me to rather than worry about putting a downer on the evening by hanging around, shaking. So far, so boringly sobering (literally). But then some rays of sunshine shot through:

Happy 1: FABULOUS hotel room…look! My country mouse shoes liked it too.

HAPPY 2: I have finally seen my sister after months and months. It’s been too long. and my lovely goddaughter/niece   And her sister. It’s good to know that I can make playlists with such young cool girls! The photo at the top of my blog post today is my sister’s dog, she is lovely too.

HAPPY 3: and this is the reason for my post’s title… Last night I left the party while it was just getting its second wind and folk were revving up for a fine evening in the garden, sipping fizz and munching on BBQ. It was quite frankly rubbish to have to go but have to go I did. It had been a long day and I had about four hours sleep the night before. So I was sensible and shuffled off.

 I shuffled off to my lovely hotel. Where upon the tiredness hit me like a wall. And, I had to ask for help to get into my room and then I asked whether they did snacks in the room. When they very nicely explained they didn’t I went to say that’s okay and got a little upset. Now, there are people who always get upset when they’re tired and that’s definitely me. I weep when weary, tears when tired. 

The lady helping me was frankly magnificent. She said she would see what she could do and came back with the most fantastic burger and chips I have ever eaten in my life. It was manna from heaven. I sat on my posh sofa, and feasted. Then I slept the sleep of the dead and have just woken up feeling human again.

The lady had seen that there was no way I was going to make it down to the dining room and chose to show me kindness rather than stick to the rules. I have an incredibly hard time accepting help when I struggle. But I am so grateful to her. It is a strange position to be in, feeling grateful for help in doing what most consider to be basic things. It is not, to be honest, a comfortable position. I have a feeling I will however, become used to it over time. That is my challenge.

 However, today, I focus on the kindness. What a nice way to start the day, with a tangible reminder that there are good people out there. And I found one.


Country mouse

to big London. I used to do this Journey at least twice a week a couple of years ago. Then I got Parkinsons. Then I got made redundant (hmmmmm). Then I stopped hanging out on trains and so my blog posts got shorter and more arty. I will leave it to you to decide whether you think the latter is an improvement.  All I know is that I feel very ahem, rustic as I traipse across West to East and back out to sunny Essex. It’s my sister’s 50th birthday party, hence the odessy.

I do however, finally have somewhere urban enough for my new shoes. They scare the field mice back home but the bling just right here . 

Update: I forgot to confess, I love the shoes so much I have actually videoed myself walking in them. Nothing else, just my feet. The Shame.


Baby steps

so, this has been a bit of a miserable blog recently, because let’s face it life can be like that. However, we can also have some frivolous fun. So today is a list of things that have been going on around here for the last few days:

  • Fitbit flex : Now, I am not known for my physical prowess but, I have succumbed and have a fit bit flex. And do you know what? I love it. I’m actually walking and playing my music in my ears as I do it and it’s helping my gait enormously. Great! My gait! And I’m measuring my sleep, which is NOT as boring as it sounds. Honest.
  • Fitbit jewellery : loving the bracelets that Fitbit have launched but not the price tag…£165????? So here’s my alternative…Bezels and Bytes are a start up who seem to be doing well and are offering a stylish, affordable alternative to the fit bit official merchandise. I’ve just ordered my silver basket weave bracelet and will report back…
  • Lip synch battle : I’m planning a LSB party already. Watch this NOW! It’s just genius. If you can get the Anne Hathaway clip you’ll agree ;)
  • Coffee pots : I keep on painting pictures of the one I bought in the thrift store last week. Do you like?
  • Felt and tapestry : this is a work in progress but will I promise be brilliant (I hope) – I will show you when finished but suffice to say I am combining media big time.
  • Up cycling : i’ve been buying furniture again. This time, a beautiful 1950s chest of drawers with a waterfall front. Bargain. Where to put it though.
  • Hair today : i’m dying to show you this but it will take until next week… The Mallen streak  is coming back with a vengeance.

Schlaf gut

every night, when I put my boys to bed, I say “Schlaf gut”. Every night, when I say that, I think of when I was young in school in Germany and I used to say it to myself.. There are so many things that when you don’t want to remember them you just block out of your mind but then you can’t explain why phrases stick in your memory and are important to you beyond words. “Schlaf gut” is one of those phrases to me. I don’t remember my mum ever saying it to me. Don’t get me wrong, she was brilliant, I had a happy childhood, but I don’t remember her ever saying that to me. So why do I say to my boys? Who knows? Anyway, it doesn’t matter, the important thing is that I do say it to them.




today is the last day of national poetry writing month. So I thought I would think about my blog – poetry has become part of my blog and hopefully, it will continue. Just don’t boo me off the stage quite yet! And no, I’m not being paid, this is purely my opinions. 

Stats are numbers that dare not speak their name
They’re hidden by most bloggers, 
perhaps they’re ashamed?
Perhaps they don’t want to show how many likes
They received last week
(unless there’s a spike)
Then it’s megaphones out, and taking a bow,
Show off your huge following :
Monetise now! 
Well here are my stats, 
You can see I have peaked
Want to peek, have a look, wonder why my clicks dropped?
I can tell you exactly why views all but stopped:
I stopped using mumsnet,
 i never went back When they were invaded and security cracked.
But mumsnet is friendly, a source of succour
I can’t write it off, can’t show it the door. 
So this is an ode, a tribute, a plea
I may be erratic but say honestly
If you want the numbers, ascending on up
You’ll be well advised to login to the club.



i have an allotment! I have no time, been confined to the house due to exhaustion, am drowning in clutter…all logic says I should hand it back BUT when did I ever do logic, sensible and planned?! Never. Yes, that’s right. So, I will slowly tame my plot, grow some serious veg and then, get this, I will COOK it. I’m rediscovering cooking nice food again…want to see? Here’s a couple,of snaps…


berry cakes for a post school snack


loving chorizo

And I am painting veg too…here’s this week’s piece, acrylics on canvas. 

  So busy, but in a good way. Love to everyone reading this. Thanks guys.  


I see the Finishing tape

its almost the end:

The end of the month.

The end of the (rhyming) line.

The coda,

Full stop. 

Start again. 

One more time.

I’ve been quite hermetic,

I’ve not written much.

But I’m happy I’ve written what’s right.

And I’ve put myself into my words, spilt my blood,

Vented spleen, cried some tears, late at night. 

April is a new start, an opening door.

But come May, I won’t close my poem book, no.

Three years I’ve been doing this,

I’m frankly amazed,

But I’m thankful, I’m grateful

Why go?



I’m clawing my life back. Slowly, slowly. Not tipping over every time I stand up. All good. And some developments…technology upgrade being the first part. I now have a 128gb iPhone 6…the keyboard works! It sends texts! I can save 1,000’s of pictures! I have a cool phone sock! Yessss!

My second bit of news…I’m off to NYC in July for 6 nights with a friend. Yay! I’m pinning ideas and locations already. Deposit paid. Passport found. Dreams forming. 

Finally, I’m sketching away and loving it. Here’s some for you to have a look at. I hope you like. 

Life is a bit better. Yes.



Wake up : fall asleep

You guys know I have Parkinson’s, don’t you?! Well, I tend to act as if I don’t have what I believe is considered to be quite a serious condition. I’ve never really allowed myself to be stopped or slowed down too much. In fact I take on lots of projects and ideas just to push the Parkinson’s away as much as I can…don’t want to be defined by this thing after all. But the last few days have stopped me in my tracks quite literally. Reader, I have crashed and burned big time. Complete exhaustion, incapable of standing up, an afternoon in A&E and lots and lots of help from lovely friends and family. A real wake up call. I’m going to have to get sensible, stitch style, natch. But where to start….

Here’s my new regime, god help me.

go to bed at a decent hour: that’s before midnight at least. I have been going to sleep around 1am recently, not good. Not good at all. I hate missing out on ‘stuff’ tho, and sleep is so boring, esp when the mends mean I don’t even get to dream.

Pare down my commitments, radically : from now on its family, house, art and allotment (yes, allotment!!!!) expect a post on this development soon…thrilled about getting the plot at last.

Get healthy : I know, there’s no cure. But I can help myself by losing weight and doing exercises. I’ll try not to bore you.

And that’s it. No rocket science. No elaborate plans. Just common sense. Sigh. image