Einstein on my mind


This quote has been on my mind for the past few weeks. I’ve used in a workshop and I using it in a document I am writing, but it means more than just a catch phrase to me.

I have been wondering if I am just doing the same thing again and again and hoping for different results. Well, last week I was exhausted and I decided to stop being driven by my alarm. I got up when I woke up! It wasn’t a great success as I missed one appointment and even though they say sleep is great for losing weight I haven’t moved the dial on the scales, but I do feel better in myself.

My energy returned on Sunday. It was like a light switch turning on, so I set out to make some changes to a room. Now I have a minor injury from an over exuberant Sunday of dismantling and  moving furniture around at home.  I love the changes I made which now make me smile every time I enter.

So whilst I am still doing much of what I have always done, slowly, I am challenging myself to change the ‘same old’.

And, I am finally writing, so that’s different to what I usually do which is just to think about writing!

Take it Literally

I can’t do it.
I won’t do it.
You can’t make me do it.
I don’t even know why you would try.
I am not naturally given to it. 

I normally make my mind up and I stick with my view.
When it comes to Boris I am firmly a NO.
When it comes to Jameela I am firmly a YES.
Brexit NO.
Remain YES.
I pretend I can do it because I  want to fit in. 

I have to listen to people I love and respect say things I can’t support and I wish I could pretend. But instead I close my ears and I still won’t do it. 

‘Poverty does not exist in the UK’ so says Philip Hammond: NO, I can’t do it!

I know that sometimes I have ambivalent feelings about benefits, benefit claimants and the like but I firmly believe that poverty does exist and that it is worse now than it was a few years ago. Again, I can’t do it and I won’t do it!

The NHS is shite….. NO, not for that. I firmly believe the opposite so the conversation ends. 

We shouldn’t complain about the heat because it’s so rare. We should enjoy it. Don’t complain. Ahhmmm, let me think for a moment, NO i still can’t do it! I will complain. I don’t like the heat, its very UnBritish and totally fucking UnIrish. We love the cold, the train, jumpers, fires, and the rest of winter trappings. 

So, what will it take to make me ‘sit on the fence?’  

The Scar –  a short story

I hate scars!

I have a scar, it’s never seen and it’s the only thing that remains of my 7 year old self having a major accident. When I say accident, think of a small child walking into the road only to be knocked down by a lorry. The neighbours told me, much later, that I had bounced down the road. Lucky I  guess! Who knows what would have happened if the wheels had trampled over even the smallest part of me.

Mum wore a pink dressing gown with nothing underneath, that’s why she was standing by the door rather than beside us on the pavement. Apparently she ran down the road screaming with the gown flapping, everyone could see her naked body. People tell me she was beautiful. 

The driver stepped down from his lorry and ran back to see a small thing, me,  lying in the road. My navy blue uniform wrapped around my body, my knees grazed but my face covered in blood. He cried, my mother screamed at him. He had been speeding. She had been standing on the doorstep shouting instructions to us. She told us to cross. I was an obedient child so I crossed. She screamed for me to turn back to the pavement. It came too late I was in his pathway and I was frozen. When he saw me he tried to stop but it was too late. 

My little brother started to follow me into the road,  mum screamed and he jumped back to the pavement.  He was standing on the pavement looking at the commotion.  He was crying, fearful that he had done something wrong, nobody comforted him. 

I am not sure where this story is going, as I said I hate scars but I have one and it’s never changed in size or shape and only once in a while do I notice or think of it. Perhaps I will look a little later and try to remember how I felt as a child going to school with a scar!

The Third Age

  1. Turning 60 is a joy
  2. Turning 60 is a terror
  3. Hurrah I get a bus pass
  4. and, I get free prescriptions
  5. My hair turns grey
  6. Lines appear around my mouth, eyes, arms…
  7. One more ripple of fat
  8. Fungal infections – no one warned me about fungal infections
  9. I feel sleepy
  10. I want to watch even more Murder she Wrote
  11. I go to the gym because I am terrified not to
  12. I don’t care if I fart in public
  13. I get scared about retiring
  14. I can’t drink much anymore
  15. I can’t eat anything anymore
  16. I have lots of energy in the morning
  17. I am wiped out in the evening
  18. I want to read more
  19. TV is no longer fun, interesting or engaging – except for Columbo or MsW
  20. I get scared when I think about the future
  21. I get even more scared when I think about the past
  22. I have moments where I wish I could do it all again
  23. I have moments when I wish Dignitas was allowed in the UK
  24. I fear that I may not see some people again
  25. I don’t have the energy to go see them
  26. I want to write but I hear my internal critic saying ‘its too late’
  27. I wonder if its too late to have an affair
  28. I wonder if my husband wonders if its too late to have an affair
  29. I am scared that my husband will go first
  30. I am scared that I will go first
  31. I wonder if there is a God
  32. I hope there is a God
  33. I wonder who to leave my money to
  34. What should I do with my jewellery, home, stuff
  35. Will the executors of my will read my diaries?
  36. Will they laugh or will they be angry?
  37. Will they find me in bed dead?
  38. Will I ever have fun again?
  39. Will I ever dance until midnight or later again?
  40. Will I have fun again
  41. I love my friends and I want to keep everything just as it is right now
  42. I want to write a book or three
  43. I want to write articles and have them published
  44. I want to make beautiful quilts and things out of fabric, paper and stuff
  45. I want colour in my home, clothes and life
  46. I want to see as much theatre as possible
  47. I want to be a good friend, wife, sister, aunt and great aunt
  48. I wish my nieces and nephews were more engaged in my life
  49. I am scared they don’t care about us
  50. I am scared that maybe I don’t care about them as I used to
  51. I wonder if I will ever see the Falkland Islands again
  52. I will make sure I see some of my friends from the Falklands again
  53. I wonder if I will travel to some of the places that inspire me and I’ve never visited
  54. I would like to be slim – just for a day
  55. Not giving a fuck about the small things is easier
  56. Caring and doing something about the big things really matters
  57. Having friends in our lives who really care about us is the only gift we need
  58. I am surprised how easily I slip into the role of carer
  59. I am more surprised by how easily my lovely, kind, beautiful husband allows it
  60. Maybe I think too much!Is 60 end of something or is it just the beginning? 



Writing is a source of joy and frustration.

I started to write when I was 9 or 10 years old, in a shed, on thin paper. The paper was brought home from my fathers office, it was normally used for copies of typed letters. It felt like toilet paper often found in public toilets at the time. Some people will know what I am referring to.

I wrote songs. They were never good songs, but they were my songs.

Stories have always been a part of my life.  In Ireland, no family event is complete without a good story. On Saturday evening I heard a story about my grandfather, it was pretty far fetched, but it was true. I guess that’s why we have the saying ‘truth is stranger than fiction.’banshee

My father used to tell a riveting story about a Banshee visiting just before my grandmother died. He really believed he’d heard her. I loved to hear the story, as told by him or others. Stories were repeated, expanded, or reshaped on each telling.

When I was working in leadership development, many stories were told. My friend and colleague is a great story teller and he can hold the attention of a group with a short story, fable or Haiku.

The simplest incident can create the opportunity for a story.   Yesterday, two dogs fighting on the beach, was a trigger for a family feud and resolution.  A beautifully scented rose bush makes me think about love lost and then rekindled.

My life is richer because of the stories people tell me, the stories I read, or the stories I write.

Don’t hesitate to share your stories with me. For anyone interested in writing stories this link will take you to a story writing blog which offers great tips.



Things sometimes feel complicated

I get scared by the media telling me that as a fat woman I will die. Although scared, it seems that maybe I am not scared enough!

I am scared of reports that say; people who lose a lot of weight put themselves at risk of early death. Apparently, losing weight can be bad for you, yes really! Then there are the significant numbers of people ill as a result of a crash diet! I know quite a few people who wish they’d never heard of The …… (you name it) diet.


Add to this the fucked up mix of nutritional advice  on offer from health professionals which goes something like this: low GI but don’t eat bread, pasta, rice; low fat but not low fat spread, or yogurt because of the added sugar; no cakes, biscuits, alcohol, chocolate or anything else with sugar, which is fair enough; protein is good for you but too much of it kills you. The result is that when I sit in a restaurant I look for the healthiest thing to eat, I check out the salads and find one that doesn’t have loads of nuts, oil, mayonnaise and order. You know the story!

I feel good for a moment, then the gremlin in my head wonders if the staff will wash the salad well enough. Whatever that means!

At times like that, I have been known to change my order to deep fried fish! The rationale? Bacteria would have to work hard to survive the fat frier!

complex food

I know its a bit fucked up but its just some of what goes on in my mind.

I hope that one day I will be happy with myself! And who knows, maybe that day is today!


The Ferret – a short story

‘Come on Sam, hurry up or we won’t get lunch.’  

I march out of the school gates towards the station and after about 50 yards I turn left into Greenway Road. Sam is following but she is a good bit behind me. I am wearing my navy blue skirt which I hitch up above me knees. My white socks are pushed down into my shoes and I have my best brogues on. There’s not much I can do to the shirt, to make it look better I remove my tie and open the first three buttons. When Sam catches up, she makes me stop so she can roll down her socks and hitch her skirt. Its a uniform we wish we could wear everyday but the nuns do not approve of knees and ankles. With our ties in our pocket and our arms linked we walk quickly towards home. Mum is making us a chicken pie.

We turn into Resway Drive and a man walks towards us. I can’t quite make out the features on his face so I give him the once over and I notice a large bulge in his trousers. Maybe it’s his wallet! As he walks towards us, I notice a weird grin crawling across his face. 

As he gets closer, the bulge in his trousers grows larger and travels down his trouser leg. I wonder if there is a ferret in his trousers; I saw something like that once on Opportunity Knocks.  He is so close now, I can see that it’s not moving like an animal it’s like a long frenchstick that goes from his bum to his knee. I am tempted to reach out and touch it, but instead, I look away. 

Sam screams with laughter and we run to the end of the road.  

‘What was that?” I ask Sam. 

‘I think it’s his penis!’ She nearly passes out from laughing.