Morning glory…

Last Friday I had a planning meeting for radiotherapy, and a walk across London on a sunny day.  The cancer centre at Guy’s is clean and efficient; the staff are very young, but kind and clear.  They want to know what happened in Zurich in 2005, I’m not sure we will ever know, yet the tattoos are apparently mostly still quite visible -they draw new markers to be sure.  I email the old University hospital, my oncologist email bounces back -it was long long ago!

So I lie down, on my back, with my arms above my head, proving I can hold my breath for 30 seconds, whilst that machine spins.

What is this


Brave new world?

Sun streaming in,

My limbs



I shut my eyes

To pray,

An electric

Pause in,

My working day.

I’m posed

And pinned,

And breathing hollow,

They go outside,

Where I won’t


These silent rays,

Could give me


It’s all the odds

we have

She says.

Moving on…

I wrote this in the spring, when they took my mother into respite care; we though she would never come back. It is a big step, when your mum leaves your dad after they have been married over 60 years; he couldn’t look after her, she couldn’t look after him.

She quietly took the bag of toiletries I quickly picked up from Boots, the small case of clothes, I packed.  No fuss, no worries about possession or what would be useful, the goal was not to leave a noticeable gap, not to ask for help, not to be a hindrance.  If I hadn’t invested so much in trying to make her happy I might not have felt so bereft.

No shouting out, 

no screaming scenes.  

I gave her soap,

and moisture


A weekend case,

her worldly all,

No custody;

No overhaul.

As moving on,

Each day arrives,

Away from us,

she casually thrives.

I’m not her mother,

She’s not mine now;

She’s free, and frail,

And faint


And now, she is stronger, we hope she will come home for Christmas.  It has been a year of surprises that we are now able to appreciate again.

Then we were two…

Our younger daughter moved out on Friday, in the most permanent way, every thing has gone.  I have moved my desk into her room and the evening wear into her wardrobe, she had a very sunny view over south London and I shall wallow there.  I have chosen a couple of pictures for the windowsill and brought through the poinsettia, trying to convince it that we are already in Mexico?

My desk at your window,

In charge of the town,

I feel like a visitor,

Your aura surrounds.

Across many hard days,

We talked

To this view,

The dreams of your future,

And what I should do.

Now sunshine between us,

We still share a sky,

Both working away,

Though London divides.

I’ll pop on the kettle,

Hope you too have tea,

And text you advice,

On life now you’re free…

Hands, face, space…

We have all grown accustomed to change now, and developed our ability to plan not to plan.

I think we are all 

expecting things

to lock down more


we know the score; 

I’m making sure 

we have a store

of cleaning stuff,

there is

no fuss.

Apparently the sales

of flowers

are down;

I’d like to find a barrow

and buy a bunch,

and have

a vase upon

the table.


the lights

along the Thames

are switching on,

it won’t be long,

until the winter

settles in,

this time.

An air…


Cranes and trains

and leaky drains,

And dusty paws

and cracked gas mains,

This is the London

Dog and I,

Partake in

under foggy sky.

When in the morning

Ellen too,

The dawning gets up

to pursue,

We chatter,

clatter up the stairs,

And catch

the Thames geese


From night to day,

the gift of time,

The Tate lit up,

no Big Ben chimes,

I breathe the breath

that feeds the day,

And box the

laughing night


Ode to Covid -19


I’m not alone,

I’m shut up tight,

with a man, and a dog,

and a lawyer bright.

We plan our meals,

and walks, despite

My lack of

ordered apetite.

As April calls,

I’m still at sea,



We’ve all become


And virtually,

Virally erudite.

Our evenings,

Counting in the dead,

My days of

digital overheads;

The aim to keep us safe and well;

This glorious,

Global citadel.

Macmillan nurses, doctors and health professionals will continue to support people living with cancer whilst doing all they can to help alleviate the immense strain put on the NHS by coronavirus. Please donate today to help make sure we can keep delivering all our critical services.

Lambeth Bridge

An homage to Penny Lane, enjoy every sunbeam!

By Lambeth Bridge there is a man selling the big issues,

And in his rucksack is a block to black his shoes,

And the residents of Pimlico mews,

Buy his weekly news.

On the corner is a tower built on a drainage main,

It’s full of fundraisers who want make a pitch,

There’s a lot of things we’re trying to fix,

Next to MI6.

SE1 is in my fears and my devise,

Met’ beneath the true suburban skies

I sit, and meanwhile back…

By Lambeth Bridge there is a councillor on his daily run,

And over forty years it’s what he’s always done,

And the Spaniel walkers go and come,

In the morning sun.

SE1 is in the years and my surprise,

A tide of fish and finger pies

In summer, meanwhile back…

Beside the fire station’s a boat that you can dine upon,

And in the fun weather Embankment’s standing sites,

And the ambulances passing lights,

Bright up party nights.,

By Lambeth Bridge there’re fancy geese that tourist photos make

A pretty lady heads to work within the Tate,

Some days we know she’s late,

She’s our paintings mate.

SE1 is in my fears and my devise,

Met’ beneath the true suburban skies

I sit, and meanwhile back…

Lambeth Bridge!

Washed clean…


I’ve been doing a creative writing course and thinking about senses. I remember when I convinced the doctors to remove the breast implant (mastectomy) that was killing me softly -that day, I washed my hair. I normally bath, but on days when I shower I always remember, 14 years ago now!

She stands in the shower,
Remembers, skin tingling,
A post operative hour,
Through the stitched scars
still lingering.
The implant removed,
from the one it abused.

Now perfumed and bare,
With soap in her hair,
She is singing her heart out,
And dousing the scared.


Letting go…

We have accepted an offer on the French house, on the back of moving out of the Twickenham. So family homes in two countries become a three bedroom flat on the South Bank.  It is exciting, we are excited, a little scared about what we need to clear out, I am resolved, there will be a lot of loss, but hopefully we can bring the fairy Lego  and the fruit chandeliers home?

I’m moving the chandelier,

(Ornamental non function),

Eight boxes of books,

And clothes with some gumption,

But losing two sofas,

Has been quite a junction,

I’m keeping myself in a box.

We’re starting again,

All shiny and bright,

Throwing out all the things,

We used for the fight,

But not the prosthesis,

It wouldn’t seem right?

I’m keeping myself in a box.

Two parts of a life,

Over half of my own,

I’d have journeyed with less,

If only I’d known,

Ten bedrooms with daughters,

Will soon become three,

Three kitchens to one,

Two gardens to none,

Fairy Lego outgrown

And careers well begun,

I’m keeping myself in a box.

The table we sat at,

When everyone came,

The large sun umbrella,

Kept in from the rain,

The bedknobs bed bedstead,

To leave such a shame,

I’m keeping myself in a box.

It has been an experience I wouldn’t have missed, but I don’t feel I’m going to be missing out? Onwards here, there is work to be done and I want to enjoy every moment!

It will be the stages of life I cannot pack or sell –but we are well now!

Moving on…


A photo of the square on the early morning walk, this is an image I have lived and loved, it has been a good time.  I came here five years after chemo and it has been literally my reconstruction.

Funny how things get compartmentalised, into context?

Moving on..

One week

And all of this

Will be the past.

We start again,

And all the things

That didn’t last,

Are staying;

In before we moved

From Twickenham.

They now remain

Eternal unimproved,

The memory


No longer

Just off Richmond Lock,

To Lambeth now.

The giddy heights

That will become,

New sleepless nights,

With people we have

Not yet met,

Lost, found,


Left behind,

And gone ahead?