A week without wine? Feel the ridges in the brickwork, the mortar, run your fingers over the sculpted contours of plaster by the fireplace.

The tide has turned and is rising, fingering rock pools, lifting seaweed, animating crabs.

Groynes made of quarter ton rocks hold back a swathe of shingle. Today the tiny waves benign, the sea a different animal to the one awakened in the storm. The tide turns again, the sun, covered by cloud, goes out with the sea…



Last week I wrote of the Green Man. There’s a book I must read: Paul Shephard’s 1982 Nature and Madness.

I heard once, (from a seminar delegate from Eli Lilly who make the stuff – the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of psychiatric medicines, global sales of 4.7billion dollars in 2008 for Zyprexa alone) that the properties of the antipsychotic drug, olanzapine, were discovered by accident, when researching female incontinence! This was weird, particularly since I’d been leading the seminar on stress, of all things, having not long started taking the drug.


Saturday Review

Every Saturday I read the Guardian’s Review section and invariably I’m daunted by all those articulate, published authors, surely I should be inspired! If only I could find some form of words to truly express my silence. Breathe through all the different kinds of silences.

I’m reminded of a quote from Clive James in the magazine ‘…the way every poem still needs all the world.’



A delightful trip to see the Big Friendly Giant with our nieces. Absolutely fantastic – how delightful! – Dad would’ve loved it! A superb story and so beautifully recreated…snozcumbers! And (spoiler alert) to enter Buckingham Palace and accidentally knock down the Louis XIV chandelier – priceless!



I went to hospital to reassure the doctor, she’d said sebaceous cyst but wasn’t sure of her diagnosis…on the way, it was a long wait while traffic passed by teaching me patience…then I was caught up in a slow procession of cars, as if it were my own funeral – teaching me to think of fundamentals, of all that is important in life – peace, fairness, love. And of course, beer!


Hypochondriac that I am, I was surprised to discover, through ultrasound, that the two pea-sized lumps in my chest and abdomen are apparently a common or garden variety of lipoma, benign tumours of fatty tissue. I had been a little concerned. Although rarely they can turn malignant, hey ho!

It won’t be long now, naturally, a limited number of breaths left to find my true integrity.

In a leafy, sun-dappled country lane, signs of beasts that have passed by – horseshoe metal skids on tarmac, tracing a silver skin.



See Fast Train Approaching… and Voices: mental health survivors, carers, therapist, family and friends


Blog – Friday 12th August 2016