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?

Exit right…


I wrote this moving poem, as we have taken receipt of boxes, that we will need to start filling if we are to be ready as hoped.

Exit right….

We’ve always been workers,
Simon and I,
Have never been
Coffee and cake;
We’ve done it ourselves,
In the by and large,
And rarely taken a break.
Embarking now on our
Ninth move in,
The packing skills,
Carton fills out;
I have to say,
At the end of the day,
As we should,
Making good throughout!
We’re planners
With manners,
And wonderfully clean,
I confess, I have stressed
The washing machine,
But we’re fixing the sofa we’re giving away,
And filling the holes
From our pictures’ display.
And all of this given
To people who,
Knocked down the asking price
We were due?
And are leaving us homeless
And put into store
For probably 16 days or more!
As we steam we dream,
Of our new, new build,
With all new appliances,
Wardrobes filled,
And say for the ninth time,
Which fixtures remain?
We’ll bleach down the bathrooms,
And never complain!
We’ve always been busy,
Simon and I,
We’ve not stopped for tea
And toast,
And although we consider,
We’ll finish some time,
It’s the doing we live for
The most!



I have been thinking about what message my poems can give now, and I realise that time does bring acceptance.  In 2005 I was living in Switzerland and I had breast cancer.


I’m on my second pet since chemo,

And the kids have now left home,

But I didn’t change my husband,

So the memory’s not alone.

I’m busy being marvellous,

In a world of cancer care,

And although not so successful,

I believe I’m valued there?

Things moved ahead, in spite,

Of all the little setbacks when,

We didn’t get it right,

And the surgery failed again!

We’re embarking on a downsize,

My third move with just one boob,

More important than the medics now,

A good stop on the tube?

The life I thought would never,

Ever, ever be the same,

Has turned to be everything,

A normal one can claim?

If you want to support the work of Macmillan Cancer Support, you can do so on my JustGiving page,

Macmillan’s ambition is to reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer and to inspire millions of others to do the same.


Slide1I am being told that all these ladies bearing their mastectomy chests are brave?  But I don’t get it?  For sure, inform people about the effects of surgery, but is that brave? Accepting life saving surgery is surely just sensible?  Living with it is inspirational, but being isn’t about courage, well not to me. Courage is laying down your life for another?

Where is the bravity,

In bearing it all?

I just see a cavity,

Into which we fall,

The brash of the victim,

Or physical kicked in?

Is honest exposure,

The lure of the maul?

I know that it is all interpretation, and people don’t mean to cause offence.  I am all for showing the reality of survivorship, just not brave!  Brave is for the glorious dead and we are very much alive!


It is that time of another year…

A tart in the mammogram changing room,

Finds her dignity hard to sustain,

For the hot rushing blush of the single boob hush,

Makes technician avert eyes for shame.

I’ve a PH and D, in destructible me,

And in time honour, graduate acceptance,

No cleavage, no grievage,

Manhandled, unsleeve-age,

We mush up the bits that remain….

Mass detect of me…

Slide1It is the shirt time of year, the season between the summer dress and the polo neck, the autumn of the fashion world. I am an accomplished recover-er, but I can’t lie…

It’s there in the mirror,

Quite plain to see,

A patchwork frontage,

That ravages me.

The flesh that the leeches.

Sucked back to life,

Piqued from the preaches.

Of keen midwife.

Accessorize, dress it up,

Starts the day,

But though out of sight,

It just won’t go away.

Innately repulsing,

The cancer we fear,

Yet the tumour removal,

Is why I am here?

From breast feeding to a thrombosis (the former acute pain and the latter had a better chance of killing me than the cancer) sometimes I need to get it off my chest? LOL, I remember those leeches so well and they saved my front -when will we celebrate?


Slide1Continuing my thoughts about recurrence, I hear many heartfelt stories of fundraising, but am drawn to the success of our 100 marathons in 100 days runner, exceptional?

This is what it seems like to me, getting up and doing it all again and again and again -I realise that surviving cancer once may not be enough any more?


Already achieved,

Could you run it again?

The payback received,

Un-completing the chain,

And more that the physics,

It’s just nervous strain,

The heart of the matter

with Mary Jane…

Once should be enough?

But the now and then…

Is not what they sold us,

It is sadly when,

The lumpy rice pudding

hits the jugular vein;

Your dodging the odds

on an un-fair-grounds train…

I can’t trivialise the fear that must come with a second diagnosis, it is beyond what I expected people to have to go through, but seems to be becoming the new normal?

(With all respect to AA Milne and Rice Pudding)