Noisy Creatures

One of my favourite places to write, other than my art room on a sunny morning, is a local cafe – sitting at the quiet table in the corner, between a small forest of monsterras next to the window. If we go at the right time, it’s the perfect place. Wonderful art on the walls,…

How to get the best from your neurology consultation

Getting correctly diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia is, for many people, a long, painful and frustrating business. Little training is given about it in medical school – my GP told me that he had had perhaps ten minutes teaching on TN in a lecture on neurological conditions back in his first year of training. This isn’t…

First, Joseph

He was Joseph first. Maybe Joe, Joss, Joey? Then Luke. Joseph was locked down in a prison of time and amnesia. A footnote in official certificates. He was uprooted, transplanted. Luke was a shell, a skin other people constructed for him. He was grafted into a white weatherboard house owned by a white weatherboard family,…

Please Don’t Call Us Warriors

When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra Professor Theodore Woodward, University of Maryland School of Medicine Have you ever heard the phrase if you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras? I’ve been thinking about that a bit today. It’s a version of a phrase coined sometime in the 1940s…

Seeing the year out with a poem

8 o’clock. I’m sitting here in my trackies with a cold beer and watching Vikings with my husband while the last of today’s sunshine fades from the sky and the last hours of 2020 dwindle into darkness as the calendar shifts to 2021 and sporadic fireworks begin to crackle. I’d like to see the year…

Finding Poems in Unexpected Places – A Prisoner’s Shirt

Sometimes we have to go searching for ideas when we are writing. Sometimes they just drop into our laps, falling from unexpected places. Like this one – In WW2, Private Stan Herron (1914 – 1967) was captured by the Japanese, and sent to work with other prisoners on the Burmese railway. Prisoners were issued an…

Six Months in Aarhus

This time last year, you wore thin bladesscrewed to the sole of white leather bootsand wobbled close to snow-clad skirtsof a frozen lake. Your tongue still spilled English words skatesicecold The lake remained solid for weeks long after you coaxed your borrowed skates into swooping curves and spiralsto explore further from shore and your tongue…