Ups and downs

This week I was travelling to teach basic patchwork skills and whilst the class was small (only three attended) I think it went well. Two other people had also come along but left after pointing out that they knew everything about sewing and had made everything I showed them years ago, even though one of the designs is my own creation lol

I just laughed at the time but their attitude was hurtful. Still, the rest of the class went well I think. Each of the three who attended will have finished a cushion by the time they have the second class done next week. So I felt a small measure of achievement that I was able to do the class. Yes I was disappointed that there weren’t more there. I mean, I spent a whole evening preparing kits for the number of people I had been told to expect. But C’est la vie, as they say. Nothing ever goes exactly according to plan.

On a happier note I, and my partner, performed at a charity event today and sang seven songs, two originals and five traditional/folk. Better yet, a friend videoed five of them and we have been delighted by the responses we have received. It was such a lovely day with a wonderful atmosphere and totally lifted the spirits. Which was something I really needed this week, having been very depressed anyway.

It just highlighted the ups and downs of life in general. I had such high expectations of the patchwork class which fell flat, although I still enjoyed working with those who were there. And I was so apprehensive about singing but it went brilliantly. Okay a few wee timings were off but overall very good. I’m glad to have done both things this week. They teach different lessons and give different perspectives and sure, isn’t that what life is all about?

The Black Dog

Depression is deep today my friend. You are a definite shade of black today and your thoughts turn decidedly grim. Sitting out in nature, you don’t hear the birds, the insects the sounds of spring. You don’t smell the new growth in the buds and leaves and flowers. You don’t feel the warmth of a beautiful sunny day as hands rummage in the clay. You don’t see the beauty all around. All you notice is that I could finish everything here, now and then its all done, forever and always.

I cannot let you win, you know that. Guilt, remorse, shame and pain are my companions with you. For over thirty years we have been adversaries and I think I know you well. But that knife cuts both ways does it not and today you know I feel weak. Still, I cannot let you win, I must not. I have my love, my duty, my bills to pay. I have family who would not understand and why should you inflict yourself on them. They’ve done nothing to deserve you. Or me, for that matter. We are both an affliction but whereas I can try to do some small good, you cannot. There is no goodness in you at all.

My poems I write to excise you. The words trap you in layers of meaning. And I can continue the fight. And so, black dog or no, I will continue yet awhile until all is ready for me to go.

I am Me

Scribbles from me to you

I am the incubator that preserved my life
I am my father’s hand holding me up to the camera
I am the girl who went before me, whose name I was given
I am the dart stuck in my mother’s hand
I am the swallowing sea defeated three times.

I am the curlews singing among the bog cotton
I am the sun shining on sweating backs
I am the sound of wet turf slapping into waiting arms
I am the ant hills found no matter how long is spent avoiding them
I am the stars seen lying back on the mudguard of a tractor

I am the scrabbling in hard frozen soil for food and pay
I am the water sloshing from bucket to freezing legs on the uphill walk
I am the turf smoke curling blue around the room
I am the tilley lamp and the davy lamp burning…

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20 books I have read & reread


  1. Creek Mary’s Blood by Dee Brown
  2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. The Ship Who Searched by Anne McCaffrey
  4. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  5. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
  6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  7. St Agnes Stand by Thomas Eidson
  8. The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
  9. Wild Swans by Jung Chang
  10. The Pride of Chanur by C.J. Cherryh
  11. The Redemption of Althalus by David & Leigh Eddings
  12. The Straw Men by Michael Marshall
  13. We Can Remember It For You Wholesale  by Philip K. Dick
  14. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
  15. Ash by Mary Gentle
  16. The Black Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey
  17. Centennial by James A. Michener
  18. The Deed of Paksennarion by Elizabeth Moon
  19. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
  20. The Source by James A. Michener