Wednesday, 19 April 2017



Pink campion and bluebell.

Wild cherry blossom, dandelion, daisy and burnt orange roses from a bouquet gift from friends. A bunch of spring from our garden for Robin. I laid them on the red earth of his grave last week.

This morning after the cleaner leaves - leaving the rooms smelling of furniture polish and Flash - and while the man who is clambering on the plastic kitchen roof, banging lead flashing into the brick wall, takes a break, I sit in the old rocking chair in the bedroom alcove. The seat where our pussy cat used to sleep curled into a furry comma. The back of the chair where I used to hang Robin's jogging bottoms, his T-shirt and  jumper after I undressed him so that he could rest in the afternoon, in the evening, at night.

My hands are too cold to hold a pen so I sit in this chair with the sun sliding through the bamboo blinds, my fingers curled round a cup of hot tea, and think about what to write in my last blog. At the end of 7 years tomorrow.

I feel sad about this ending - even though its time is right. Like my life with Robin, it gave me a structure. A scaffolding to hold around me in the darkest days. A place to fan the stuttering flames of any creativity I could muster. I don't know yet what to put in its place - if anything. 

But I do know that  because of the last 7 years I have carved grooves in my bones... writing channels which I will sometimes allow to dry up for a now....but which will always nourish me when I return to them. Which I will  - not sure in what format - drops of poems maybe....a line or two with a photo....something small or light or keep me alive.

However I have no doubt that the single most vital thing that has sustained me, enabled me to keep writing, to keep going, has been the incredible love, kindness, active support, encouragement and high praise of all of you who have read me. My niece who said, begin it, my father who said, you must carry onthis could help other people, my husband who read every word even when he couldn't understand them, my sisters and my brother who have never given up on me, all my big wide family, all my dear friends, old and new, and all of you who have read me and said wonderful things to me, even you who I've never met. 

You have made more difference to me than you can ever guess. Thank you. Bless you. Thank you for blessing my life.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Coming to an end....

Last day in Portugal Friday 31st March. Robin's birthday.

I pick bouganvillia  flowers and daisies and sweet peas growing wild at the edges of the cliff path and find my way

down to this beach, where once we played a game of frisbee. The tide is out this time too,

and I wade out as far as I can beyond the rock pools and throw my bunch of wild flowers into the sea. 

A wave sweeps them up and they are gone in an quick as his last breath. 

Sea anemone waving in the rock pool just near where I threw the flowers.

It was so hot the day before I had to buy a wide brimmed hat.

A pebble I picked up to take back to his grave.

 The last time we were here. He would have been 64.

It was also the day I began a new letting go.... saying goodbye to hurting myself with regrets and recriminations .....unchaining myself from guilt....letting myself remember all the sweetness of Robin and not only the hard and horrible times.

Today I have been clearing out the kitchen. Taking down the framed pictures and the photos on the fridge, putting away the bottles of oil and the knife block and the stacks of bowls on the counter tops.

And painting sample squares of Dulux colour on the walls. In the end I choose one full of light called Dutch Gold - although I'm still not sure it will go with the tiles. But I have run out of time. On Monday the decorators are coming in to clean the walls where the candles made a mess....Robin encouraging me to let go..... and to paint the rest of the kitchen. As the decorator said of the Dutch Gold - it's not a safe colour but good if you want to make a change.  Which I do.

I'm going away for a week tomorrow.  So I won't be blogging.

 And I know this blog is coming to an end soon. It was my sweet niece who encouraged me to start it. I wrote the first one on 20th April 2010. Seven years ago next week.  It was 6 months before I knew about Robin's illness then and it'll be about 6 months now since he died.

 It feels like a natural ending.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Till Today ....I haven't let it sink in.

Till today...

I haven't let it sink in
what it was all about
my two weeks alone
in Portugal.

I found out
it was 
good for my body
all that 
A balm for
my cells.

Not so good 
for the
little soul
shaking inside me.

The one who wants 
a strong
 grown up 
to look after her.
Who doesn't know 
how to be 
when it
doesn't feel 

So maybe it was just too soon
for a wounded heart
to be stranded 
for so long
in a place
so full of 

They say you have to 
feel it 
to heal it.
Well, you have to breathe first
in and out
to know you are alive.

So holding my  breath
for two weeks
not knowing 
it was safe 
I didn't feel
very much
at all.
In the places
that are hurting.

I let my legs take me
into the saltiness
 and the sweetness
of the 
sea air
and breathed that
my blood.

in turn
 is cradling
the soreness
of my heart.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


I'm glad to be home now.