Sunday, 22 February 2015

Mother Language, Plus One

Loch Venichar, Scotland
    One of the challenges that I've embraced since spending so much time in the Canary Islands, is learning the Spanish language. Not only can I now go about my every day business a lot easier, I can communicate better with old and new friends alike. Although we are all Europeans our cultures/customs are most deifinitely an ocean apart and the mixed history of our countries has impacted our views of life.

El Medano, Canary Islands

    It's been a real eye opening experience for me, learning a new language and from 2018, The ENA - National School of Administration, the school for France's futures leaders is insisting that speaking English as well as their mother language will be an essential. Will this be an essential for all future world leaders? We'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, 19 February 2015


    I'm using this New Year to start a new project and new genre. I've completed plotting, synopsis and 10,000 words so far this week Writing a new genre is a challenge, but the enthusiasm is there and that's what it's all about. For me anyway. Wish me luck!


Monday, 16 February 2015


    Because my parents knew very little about their families, other than those immediate, I traced back my family tree a number of years ago. I don't know what I expected to reveal, however I'm sure their was a little writers licence running wild in my imagination.

    I decided to do all the leg work myself and got a few surprises along the way, especially when I found out my great, great-grandfather was a ventriloquist.

    However, once I thought about it, what had I gained by the exercise? Other than satisfying my curiosity;
knowing my ancestors names and some background didn't actually change who I am today. The people in my life that I can truly call family aren't necessarily all  blood relatives; it's the love that we share that to me makes us family and gives me a sense of belonging.

P.S Afraid there were no pictures of the ventriloquist uncovered in my search!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Love Reveals Itself

It was one of those things that started with a crush.
Nothing in particular I wanted to rush.

On the 14th, there were no cards adorned with cupid.
That kind of thing I thought was stupid.

It was on the realisation that you were now my best friend, lover and soul mate, 
that gave me the clue.
Revealing to me, that I had fallen in love with you.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Zero Tolerance = Every Day


    We know that at present, children in some parts of the world are getting a pretty raw deal. However, there is one threat that girls need to be protected from in every country and that is FGM (Female Genital Mutilation).

    FGM is where partial, or all of the external female genitalia is removed, in most cases by a non-medical practitioner and  in a non-sterile environment. No, there are no sterile instruments, or anaesthetic involved and the scalpels are replaced by scissors, razors and broken glass.

    130 million women and girls have been mutilated in this way, in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle-East, with a further 30 million of under 15 year olds still at risk. In the UK and USA we can't bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn't happen on our soil, because in the UK, 103,000, are known to have undergone FGM; with a further, 20,000, classed as being at risk. In the USA, 1/2 million are also said to be at risk, even although this practise as in the UK, is illegal.

    By 2050 it is estimated that if we do not stamp this barbaric practise out, a further 63 million girls worldwide will have had to go through this ordeal. On the 6th February 2015 it was, International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, but the zero tolerance has to be every day.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

If We Knew Then What We Know Now


    I can't imagine what it would be like not to be able to hear waves washing over the pebbled shore, birds celebrating the dawning of another day with their chorus, all my family and friends voices, or being able to listen to Paola Nutini and Ed Sheeran albums. However there are millions of us worldwide whose hearing is impaired in some way, or another.

    Because I had a family member who suffered from prelingual deafness because of an accident as a young child, the progress being made in proshetic hearing, I find fascinating. With things such as ABI (Auditory Brainstem Implants), or cochlear implants, my uncles life would have been a whole lot different.

    Born in post war years his schooling was limited, due to financial restrictions at that time; even being able to communicate with other members of his family was on occasions rather frustrating for all involved and especially for him.

    He was able to communicate happiness and sadness by facial expressions, but as this disability happened before he had developed any kind of vocabulary,  he spent the whole of his 48 years unable to verbally communicate. Had ABI been available, learning sign language would have been at least within his reach.

    What prompted me to write this post? A video I saw on, of a teenager hearing her fathers voice for the very first time after receiving ABI. A new world awaits her and certainly for others like her. For more information on deafness, or hearing impairment,


Monday, 2 February 2015

Over and Over

The day has begun,

and the bell on the alarm clock has rung.

I rub my eyes and get out of bed.

The reflection I see in the mirror resembles

something more associated with the living dead.

I have to muster every last bit of my bodily power,

to take me into the shower.

As the water trickles over me,

my mind moves forward and all I can think of,

is my breakfast cup of tea.

The day has begun,

and the bell on the alarm has rung.

I rub my eyes and ...................

Happy Groundhog Day!