Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Listening and soaking up a gorgeous new song, sung and written by the wonderful James Morrison, I wanted to put down my thoughts and feelings inspired and evoked by his words and his music:

Silence of the room
musical sweetness
seeps into my being,
through my ears
reaching my heart
and weakened soul;
Quickening of pulse rate
as crisp, melancholy
electric guitar
and tenderly
plucks and strums
just the right note
at precisely the right time.
Soulful, husky,
rasping voice,
as James sings his
well-written words
in his most
emotional way;
a way
only a sufferer
or victim of heartbreak
could possibly
relate to;
tearing into
a place
away from
and fakers
capable of
bruising my soul
breaking my heart

Friday, 18 March 2011

Japan 2011

One can only imagine the fear those people must have felt when the earth literally moved beneath them for a staggering amount of minutes.  The quake was like no other and the resulting tsunami so powerful it gobbled up anything and everything in its wake.  Japan had been expecting a big earthquake for some years and felt confident that it had taken all necessary precautions to limit the effects and potential damages of such an occurrence.  Japanese children, from an early age are taught how to protect themselves during earthquakes and subsequent earth tremors but nothing was to prepare Japan  for the horrific turn of events in March 2011. 

We all stared at our television screens in horror and disbelief as the full picture emerged.  Japan had not only suffered a massive 9.1 earthquake but its coastal areas were being swallowed up by a subsequent tsunami.  News agencies from around the world hurried to relay the catastrophic events, news channels followed and reported on the unfolding nightmare 24/7. 
When I first saw the footage, some of it live, for a split second I imagined the houses buildings, cars, lorries and boats to be empty.  It was almost as if my brain was not willing to acknowledge the true horrific implications of the images my eyes were sending to it.  Maybe it is because we are so used to seeing live coverage of all sorts of disasters, that we have become insensitized to their reality.  I didn`t see any people being sucked up into the monster wave as it engulfed a thousand buildings, so maybe there weren`t any.  I didn`t see any bodies floating in the murky stream of debris as it snaked its way menacingly through the towns and villages, so maybe there weren`t any.  I didn`t see people drowning in the ferocious waters as they claimed huge areas of Japan`s coastline, so maybe there weren`t any.
The numbers of the fatalities grew surprisingly slowly.  The first report stated just a few deaths, which made the viewing of the disaster easier and less traumatic see.  But as the figures grew significantly higher, I found the footage more and more heartbreaking to watch as it became blatantly obvious there were bodies swept up by the raging sea, there were people drowning in the ferocious waters, there were people, like you and I, caught up in the biggest nightmare of their lives.
Before the death toll reached a thousand we could believe there were no mothers out with their children, no schools full of pupils, no families living normal lives, no workers in offices, no bus drivers or taxi drivers wiped out and swept off the face of the earth by Mother Nature.

Some thoughts and visualisations are too horrific for us to emotionally cope with or recognise, we force them into a deep dark place in our minds and vow never to return to them for they are just too painful to examine and acknowledge.  Although we may want to know the truth, our subconscience forbids us to delve deeper for it.

And then the nuclear bombshell hit.  Reactors had been damaged in the earthquake and the country was now facing a further threat to its people.  A country famed for its superior techniolocal advances was being monumentally deconstructed and demolished by a force greater than itself.  The wrath of Mother Nature was so severe there was no compromise, no technology with which to fight or contain her.  With an act of utter defiance and astromonical power, she unleashed a foreboding and relentless warning to us all.  For it is she who rules the world - not us mere mortals.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Busy Time

It`s been a strange few weeks. 
 I have a thousand and one things going on in my head, but the positive thing is that I have been creative, which is wonderful for me as my creativity is like a valve that needs tweaking occasionally.  Tweaked the right way, it releases built-up tension and restores my equilibrium to manageable levels. 
 I have started a new blog which is dedicated to poetry and verse. Please click on link to see new works. 

Plans are afoot for a house move, not only for myself but for my youngest daughter and her family.  At present she lives five miles from me and we spend a lot of time in each other`s company.  I also look after her 16 month old baby two days a week, with much pleasure.  So we have decided that when we move, her to a bigger family home, me to a less expensive home, that we will remain in close proximity.  Her house went on the market this week and she has her second viewers arriving tomorrow. I, on the other hand, must wait until summer as I am tied into a fixed rate mortgage - boring!

My eldest daughter is newly pregnant with her second child, after twelve long years.  This is both exciting and worrying for us as a family, as her first child was born with multiple problems, the main disabilities being PFFD (please google to find out more about this affliction), a hole in her heart and deafness.  She is due to have her first scan on Tuesday which, due to the nature of her previous childbirth experience, has been brought forward.  It`s still very early days and each and every member of the family prays for a happy outcome.  Needless to say, the next eight months are going to be a difficult time for us all, as a family.

My youngest appears to have finally settled in at his new secondary school.  What has however become increasingly clear is that he will never like school, and will try almost anything to fake illness to get the day off.  So far we have had a sore throat, bad leg, head ache, tummy ache, ear ache.....and that was just this week!

Our five month old puppy Hadley, has become a fully-fledged member of our family.  Still not entirely house-trained, and occasionally over-excitable (especially when we have visitors), he has otherwise settled in extremely well and we love him to bits. Puppy Class is a glorious experience each week! Of course, he warranted his very own blog, so here it is:

Last night, after watching an extremely depressing documentary on television focusing on the lives of people living in  the dreadful slums in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, I felt compelled to put my thoughts down in verse.  The documentary deeply upset me mainly because it highlighted the obvious injustice and forgotten suffering of others in our world today.  It made me ask so many unanswered questions about humanity and the gross imbalance in global human suffering. 

"My soul weeps – for it sees such sadness

and sorrow
in the eyes of mothers and children
destined to suffer
because of the place of their birth.
My soul aches – for the pain and anguish
of their daily lives
spent in squalor
while others
in far away lands, thrive.
My soul hurts – for the many children
black-skinned and sullen eyed,
whose mothers must
sacrifice their own pride
in order to provide.
My soul bleeds – with incomprehension
at their integrity and inner strength,
the hopelessness
that only we see
for they are unfortunates
who know no better world
while we live with our luxuries
and pathetic struggles.
My soul screams – at the injustice,
the hardship
these people must endure
in order to survive
short, troubled lives
My soul grieves – for these people
in Kibera
whose struggles we will never comprehend
because we are
- the fortunates."

Twitter still remains a huge and refreshing forum for me.  It`s wonderful to share daily thoughts and events with so many people and to make "Twitter friends".  People who don`t use Twitter as a forum or as a social networking site do not seem to understand it`s merits and purpose, often slating it.  But for me, it is invaluable, inspirational and above all, enjoyable.
Recently, however, I have been unfortunate enough to have experienced negativity and manipulation against me, initiated by someone whom I assumed was a "friend".  A group of ladies, me included, had forged a little group of like-minded, honest and humorous "twitter friends", which was both pleasurable and fun to be a part of.  Over the last few months, certain other women had been surreptitiously trying to infiltrate the group by palling up with us. Of course, we didn`t mind, but the core of the group, I felt, was strong enough to fend off any new pretenders.  We are all women of a certain age who felt comfortable disclosing personal details to each other in emails and DMs, so why change it and include others that would jeopardize our closeness and bonds?
For various reasons, three of our group have been unable to tweet so often recently, leaving mainly myself and one other on the site regularly.  Over a short period of time I had noticed two other ladies becoming increasingly friendly, @YourPollyanna and @TheCheekyMissBsimile literally.  I told her that I thought she was "like a dog with a bone" and she chose to believe I had actually called her a dog! Despite informing her of the fact that I was using a simile and had not called her a dog, she refused to accept it and continued to badger me and generally act like a five year old saying how upset she was.
I`m too old for games and decided it might be best to give her a wide berth.  A few days later TheCheekyMissB  asked me why I was ignoring YourPollyanna.  She said she had just noticed in her timeline that I wasn`t speaking to her. Haa!  It was getting ridiculous, so trying to add humour and wit to defuse the situation, I told her so.  Blocked by the pair of them! Hurrah! I thought.
Then I realised the other person in our group, whom I did think was a "twitter friend" had also blocked me.  Now, this was a different thing.  Friends don`t do that!  I asked her outright why she had done this and she responded by saying she would mail me.  I still have not received the mail, and now do not wish to.  This is no friend of mine!
How sad that someone you once felt was a genuine, like-minded person can drop you like a stone on the words of others.  Loyalty is an important, necessary attribute in friendship and if that is breached, there is no friendship to be shared, and the friendship that once was becomes meaningless.

15th March

Since writing this post I have become the victim of nastiness on Twitter.  I have discovered that both YourPollyanna and TheCheekyMissB have been accusing me of bullying them.  They have even brought my daughter into the equation although she rarely goes on Twitter and has never spoken to them or about them before.  There behaviour has been deplorable and potentially damaging to both myself and my daughter.  Once I had unfollowed the pair, I had never mentioned their names again in a derogatory way on Twitter and expected the same respect from them.  Sadly this has not been the case and now the situation has got completely out of hand because a certain bluejag has taken it on himself to join forces with them, despite the fact that he has always pledged loyalty to me in the past, especially when he has (frequently) fallen out with other tweeters and I have backed him up believing him to be a genuinely caring man.  The reason why I believe him to be behind the nasty remarks he has made on my blog posts and some of my websites is because of the viciousness and terminology he uses.  Since our little spat on Twitter, when he verbally attacked me for "butting in" on one of his conversations, he has systematically accused me of being a vindictive bully with "no life".  Friends of his have jumped on the band wagon and also spouted nastiness at both myself and my daughter. 
The final straw for me was when I saw what he had written on my blog.  He has absolutely no integrity and respect for anyone and deserves to be named and shamed. 

Here is an email sent to me earlier today.







---This email was sent from a form on your SnapPages website

Now see what @bluejag writes about me on Twitter 24hrs after blocking me:
 "I'm great - just find it sad that certain people have bullied on here and then whined to my followers that I have been nasty2 them"

"The best way to deal with bullies with low self esteem and sad lives is to ignore them. Don't let ANY inadequate upset you on twitter."

"Oh honey water off a ducks back to me but two of my female friends have been bullied by a saddo"

"When you come on twitter it is bittersweet. You find amazing friends but you also see the sad no life vindictive side of people. Very sad"

"Always love it when people behave like vindictive bullies on twitter and then go whining to their followers that they have been wronged".

"@TheCheekyMissB Haaaa! Yes they have enough shit to put up with! Best to just laugh at saddos like that. They just lead bitter lives. X"

"@TheCheekyMissB There's a few people off here I'd like to send to Japan! x"
"@YourPollyanna @TheCheekyMissB @Melanie_Cooper @syjohngibbons Polly don't have a break from twitter if you do then that bitch has won. Xx"

and this from a man who professes to hating bullies?! No wonder he hides his face!

Update on *Twitter`s Nastiest*

I continue to use Twitter and for the best part enjoy it immensely.   I have not had the misfortune to have to communicate with the above mentioned, which is a great relief not only for me, but for my darling daughter who now frequents the social network and had to witness me being verbally abused and threatened by Blue Jag and his side-kicks. On my timeline alone he had managed to terrorise, abuse and threaten many people who felt alone and helpless to do anything other than leave Twitter.  Then, out of the blue, someone came on Twitter saying they wanted to get as much information as possible about Blue jag as he planned to expose him.  Over the following few weeks more and more victims raised their arms and admitted to being cyber bullied by him.  It was amazing and incredibly comforting to realise that we actually had a guardian angel on Twitter who was willing to speak openly about the abuse and nastiness of Blue jag.  It soon became apparent that all victims suffered the same fate when targeted.  There did not have to be a particular reason for being ostracized but the subsequent treatment would follow the same pattern.  He would state that he did not agree with something that was said and tell the person that he was about to block them.  This action made it impossible for the victim to respond.  Bluejag would then spend the next few days systematically insulting, bullying and threatening his victim openly on his timeline.  Some of his devoted followers would then join in, some even DMing the targeted.  Victims that were foolish enough to have given him their phone numbers would then be subjected to nasty and abusive texts.  All victims were his friends and any personal details openly ridiculed by Bluejag and friends.
The worst thing was the amount of young women (17yrs and older), who were confessing to having been duped and manipuated by him into having sexual cyber relations with him.  More than one had left Twitter and come back using a different user name to avoid having any further communications with him.  To this day, I have people DMing me asking me to rekindle friendships with people who took his side and cursed and called me hateful names purely because he told them to.  I do not have room in my life for such weak people.
I felt real pity for the young girls involved as they were not aware that the man hiding behind the faceless avatar was in fact a short, rotund, balding fifty year old who had no life other than Twitter.  Our guardian angel opened an account purely for Bluejag`s victims (44 at last count) over the course of two days.  It was horrifying to hear some of the stories that were told about the abuse this man gave out to perfectly nice people, some who will be scarred for a long time.  Even more worrying as far as I am concerned is the fact that he has come back on Twitter using the name @maplestead4 and still has some of the same followers!  If I was following someone of his calibre who I found out was acting in the same way as Bluejag, my hand would be on the "block" button before the end of the first sentence.  What is wrong with these people? 

Ways to avoid Twitter Nasties

1.    Never ever give out your phone/mobile number to anyone.

2.    Be wary of people who do not use their own face as an avatar.

3.    Remember people can pretend to be anyone online.

4.    If someone abuses you online, speak out about it, there may be others in your situation.

5.    Do not give in to threats of any kind.

6.   Inform the police if all else fails. 

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

What a load of poo !!

As I went to put my coat on to leave my daughter`s house this afternoon, she came towards me, "Here Mum, take these magazines, I`ve finished with them".  I glanced down at them now in my hand, and saw Josie and JJ`s faces grinning inanely at me from the cover of "OK!" magazine.  They were being photographed in a fake travellers` wedding setting complete with horses, caravans and a bright pink meringue wedding dress.  As if being severely  electrocuted, I dropped the offending magazine to the floor, proclaiming, "I would rather walk blindfolded four miles up the M25 in hobnail boots, than read that rubbish"!  I did however agree to take the other two magazines she proffered as she seemed somewhat offended by my reaction to her generosity.

Tonight in my bath relaxing, I decided to learn just what these magazines offer as a means of educating us in the subject of celebrity and entertainment.  Looking at the "New!" magazine before me, the first thing I notice is the amazing reduction in price from a whopping 95p to a lesser dent in the purse of 45p.  "Wow! That`s some kind of bargain", I said to myself as I sunk under the Raddox bubbles in my steaming bath.  Four seperate photos of the socially inept couples that are Pete/Elen/Jordan/Alex grace the front page - Greattt! Oh and another of dear Alex fills most of page 2!!
Four pages are then filled with photographs of celebs dressed up to the nines in their designer frocks on the red carpet at a recent awards show, most of them looking radiant, whilst someone at the magazine who obviously knows a huge amount about fashion and fashion faux pas, shows their opinion of the outfits by using thumbs up and thumbs down graphics.  That kept my attention for a full twenty seconds, before I moved on to learn about ......Jordan and Alex (two more pages worth) and Pete and Elen not being able to keep their hands off each other (one page worth).
Moving on..........Ah! Now we have the nation`s favourite ice skating nightmare that goes by the name of Kerry going on about her love for a secret man by the name of Kevin. Apparently they met at a bootcamp, where they kissed but not in a passionate way.  Stone the Crows!!  Kerry and Kevin!! Sounds about right to me! 
 Another classy lady who I like to call Cheryl the Peryl, for obvious reasons, appears next on page 18 in a slinky little backless black number in a bid to show off her exciting new tattoo.  Lovely Cheryl - sure it will look gorgeous when you are eighty-five and about to have a hip replacement operation.  I can just see the nurses, "just turn onto your tummy please Mrs Cole while I administer the morphine.  Christ! What the hell is that?" "Have your grandchildren been going mad with the felt tips?"
Aww! At last a breath of fresh air as Myleene Class appears on page 20 wearing a beautiful lemon dress which hangs elegantly over her pregnant tum. Lovely!
Skipping and skimming over Chantelle`s proclaimations, Ulrika`s skinny but ill story and Simon trying to convince us of his love for his fiance with the name nobody this side of Asia can pronounce, my eyes fall upon a sad pic squeezed into the bottom corner of the page of poor Gail Porter breaking down as her alopecia returns and once again she must face the world with none of her own hair.
A few pages along brings forth the words and wisdom of Amy Childs "This week I have used six pairs of fake eyelashes, but I do wear two at a time!", who for reasons best known to those in charge of this wonderful example of a British magazine, now has her own column.  Incredible, when one considers her only claim to fame is having enormous fake boobs and the vocabulary and intelligence of an average three year old.  
On to.."Hot or Not?" - God! I think I`m beginning to lose the will to live!  Who cares?
No, it`s no good, I am really not interested in Chloe Madeley telling me she`d love to have a nose job!  If I had her nose I would too!  Oh, but wait! "I`d absolutely love a nose job, but I`d absolutely never do it.  It`s just not in my nature!"  What??
Jeff Brazier`s new secret girlfriend, Sarah Harding drunk as a skunk again, Kayla looking for Mr Wright after eating unthinkables in the jungle............ That`s it!! 
 This sodden mag is going where it belongs!  On the bottom of the hamster cage or better still, wrapping up Hadley the puppy`s  poo!!

Sunday, 20 February 2011


February blusters in with icy winds
that bite and chill us to the bone
Spiteful in its intensity
ferocious with its strength
and ability to
sting us with its savagery
and persistence.

The cold wind has no prejudice
or favouritism;
it chills one and all
big or small
saving no-one from its
ice cold heart.

The ill wind brings no peace
no comfort
strips bare our defences
strangles us with icy fingers
until we can bare no more
and seek warmth
in shelter.

Written by JsJ Creations

Thursday, 27 January 2011


January arrives
and coats us,
like a heavy snowfall,
 with a blanket of depression and trepidation
that we must push aside
or trudge through
 by any means possible;
Like a suffocating smog
 it clouds our aspirations and resolutions,
strangely reminding us of our mortality and self-worth.
Fond moments of previous years
 often surface as we evaluate
and vow to change things
 we are unhappy with.
Will it be this year that our life improves
or will we feel the same
and live the same existence for another year?
Each morning`s darkness weighs heavily on us
 as we
reluctantly force ourselves from our warm duvets
into the chilled home
 that only last night toasted us
like marshmallows on a roaring open fire.
Hoping the day ahead brings warmth and contentment,
thoughts of stark reality creep forever forward
reminding us,
 with the click of the light switch,
of our true existence.
Shortened dark days,
characterizing the season,
so grey, without real light,
failing to lift us,
 inspire or motivate us in any way
strangely and significantly
 seem to last forever,
day after day, day after day,
 and still no sun to lighten our hearts,
To give us hope,
 to make us want to reach for the curtains
to want to see what the world has in store for us.
To inspire us
and help us see and feel that there is a future;
that our lives will not always be so cheerless and clouded. 

Monday, 24 January 2011

"Goodbye Mum" x

A friend commissioned me to pen a poem symbolising her devastating sorrow and distress at losing her beloved mother.  I had witnessed their closeness for several years and thought deeply about how my friend must be feeling at such a sad time in her life.  Metaphorically I put myself in her place and wrote as if she were my mother and it was my heart that was swollen with overwhelming sorrow.

I want to hold somebody`s hand, someone I knew so well
I want to feel her next to me, her closeness and her smell
I want to laugh and joke with her, to hear her voice once more
I want her to know I love her and need her even more.
I want to celebrate her life, enjoy each memory
Praise her for her strength in life, for taking care of me
For loving my three children, for giving life to me
I want to feel her warmth again, her endless energy.
I want to share her laughter the way we used to do
To joke and have more happy times – to whisper "I love you"
I want to tell my mother how proud I`ll always feel
That she gave us such memories and love that was so real.
I want to be my mother`s child – to hold her close to me
To kiss her cheek so tenderly, the way she did with me
I`m so proud to be her daughter – I hope she was of me

"Goodbye" Dear Mum – I Love You
with me you`ll always be.