20 December, 1926: a good year to be born…..

My father would have been 90 today.  Sadly he died 12 years ago, 20 years after the fateful day he suffered a terrible head injury.  But I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on his life, and more particularly, his birth year.

Throughout the year, certain men and women of distinction have been celebrated for turning 90.  And it dawned on me that my father shared a birth year with some truly amazing people of extraordinary talent. Some are, incredibly, still alive, others not. Continue reading

Telling ‘My Story’ to Alex James of Bereavement UK

BereavementUKLogoA few months ago, I got in touch with the charity Bereavement UK to see if they’d be interested in me writing for them in their magazine.  As it turned out, they no longer produce a magazine but offer a website with a wide range of resources and information for the bereaved or for professionals working with bereaved.  But after reading my post September: Season of Mist and Mellow Sadness, the founder and co-director, Alex James, called me up with a suggestion.  “I’d love you to come and do a podcast for us, to chat about your experience for a series we’re starting called ‘My Story’.”

So, last Tuesday I found myself driving up the A5 to do just that. Continue reading

Now you are ten…..

Now you are 10Our second-born, our only son turned 10 today.  And so I find myself ruminating on a decade of a boy who has brought us deep contentment, laughter, cajoling to eat fruit and the buying of many footballs.  My time-strapped week has meant I had no time to pen a post to him, but then I recalled this post I wrote two years ago for when he turned 8.  I wanted to repost it not just because its a particularly precious post, but because it says much of what I’d say today.

For sure, he may be that bit more street wise and want the latest haircut/gadget/football kit, greeted with varying degrees of ‘Maybe’, ‘No’ and eventually ‘Yes’. He has an increasing eye for hypocrisy or unfairness, pointing out truths about ourselves that are often a little too candid for comfort….. Yet we love this – the fact that he feels safe and free enough to tell us certain truths, holding us to account in the ways that we hold him.  His humour has become drier, often side-splittingly funny, and despite having an ever increasing affection for screens, he still loves nothing better than us reading to him.  Although older and cooler, he still stands on the child side of innocence, and so much of what I said in this post still stands.  Enjoy.

‘You are Eight: a eulogy to my son’

I dreamt last night of you.  A strange and slightly haunting dream that lingers longer than normal. Continue reading

You are Eight – a eulogy to my son

I dreamt last night of you.  A strange and slightly haunting dream that lingers longer than normal. We thought we had lost you in a large, strange hotel.  On finding you, you had transformed into a baby.  I took you in … Continue reading