Category Archives: story

All the colours of a rainbow.

I cannot remember my hair’s natural colour. Some non descript brown.

My sister eighteen years older than I and a want to be hairdresser cut it permed it platted back combed generally practicing on me and her three girls.

I remember my dad cutting it when I was at junior school with Mam’s pinking shears there is a horendous school photo taken the day after fringe like a ski slope and one pony tail longer than the other. I looked a right state.

The day after my sister came over and cut it short it did look better but I was heart broken I couldn’t tie it up anymore.

That was it I was like her hairdressing dummy she cut it regularly after that perms became fashionable do she practiced that too.

I should say she wasn’t at anytime at college. Then when I was thirteen she asked if I wanted it dyed? Before I knew it my head was over the kitchen sink plastic shower stuck onto the taps Luke warm water dripping down my front.

Then sitting with itchy burning mixture on my head fidgiting and complaining keep still she scalded it’s bleach it’s only been on for ten minutes!

BLEACH!

she babbled how it had to be bleached first before it could be dyed red.

Mam is going to kill me wailed she laughed and pushed my head back over the sink.

Back onto the hard kitchen chair and slopped red coloured dye onto my sore head.

Wrapped it in a kwik save carrier bag and started to warm it with a hair dryer holding dryer with one hand and a fag in the other.

Shouting all the while at the kids running in and out the kitchen and the dog for chasing the cat.

If there is a Hairdressing for dummies manual she hadn’t read it but we we’re in the 1970s.

She washed it off and gave me a cracked bathroom mirror to hold. You know the ones that swivel and make everything look 12 times bigger?

Jesus Mary and Joseph I heard myself say in a whisper.

“I’m dead”

Red it was luminous bright pink.

To make things worse I was wearing orange t shirt.

My sister screwed up her eyes.

It’s not too bad.

She said brushing it as she dryed it.

“Wash it out” I begged.

“Er it’s permanent”

I could feel my heart beating in my head I grabbed my coat as her husband walked in.

“Fucking hell lizard” he laughed “your Mam’s gonna kill you. ”

I banged the door behind me the glass rattled in the door.

I walked across the estate home thinking of a way to get out of my latest mess but apart from leaving home, buying a hat and refusing to remove it the fact was I was dead!

I sneaked in the back door and ran upstairs.

Just as the bathroom door opened and mam stood there in her yellow dressing gown.

We stood on opposite sides of the landing clashing and staring.

What the bloody hells fire have you done she gasped?

It wasn’t me it was my sister I stammered I always stammered when I was nervous which was most of the time.

Get in that bloody bathroom and wash it out!

But it won’t wash out I tried to explain as she clipped me around my head screaming at me and launching a bottle of head and shoulders.

“but Mam” I wailed.

“don’t come down until it’s out!”

Needless to say I was up there awhile

It didn’t come out if anything it seemed to get brighter.

I looked like a match stick!

I was suspended from school and grounded.

But after a week I got to like it.

It was different. Definitely different.

So there it started accidentally my life long love affair with dying my hair.

It’s been punk, red, blue, green, black, blonde purple but never dull!

I’m fifty three now and last week I dyed it brown.

I looked in the mirror and reminded myself of my sister years ago unsure if I liked it I thought I’d leave it for a week or two.

Until my grand daughter arrived.

“Nan” she shreeked what’s happening with your hair?”

You don’t look like you Nan it’s too ….. Normal!

She really didn’t like it and to be fair neither did I.

So few hours later it’s bright pillar box red .

That’s better she said I couldn’t have gone out with you with brown hair.

So I guess why change the habit of a life time.

Rebel grand mother it is.

Last goodbye. (soulmidwife)

Last Goodbye
Cancer was the catalyst that founded our friendship
Without it we wouldn’t have met.
A soul midwife I expected someone nursey maybe serious.
That Joolz is exactly what I didn’t get.
You came into my room like morning sunlight.
Bringing me life’s energy love and fun.
We made plans for things I’d like to do exactly my way.
Talked of my life and all that I’ve done.
I’ve shed a few tears, but we’ve laughed so much.
If it needs saying I know I can say anything to you.
Complete unconditional acceptance it’s not just a ‘job’ to you.
You’ve walked along a path I found scary
Gone before me with what to expect.
Taken worry from myself and my family.
Always treated us with love and respect.
You have a way of just fitting into families.
Into a Joolz shaped space we weren’t aware was there.
To make plans to reassure, take me to magical planes
I’d never even dreamt of before
Now when sleeping I dream of new adventures.
The wonderful places and things I haven’t yet seen.
You’ve given me the courage to go further explore without feeling frightened.
My eternal friend
Soul midwife Earth angel who needs no wings.
I know that as I leave you will be there waving and cheering me on to adventures new.
As you go on in life as a soul midwife to others know I’ll be around to cheer you on too.
Thank you.
Xx Ian.

Culture club in Cardiff.

Should have been in Cardiff tonight. At culture club concert. Donna you had rang me in July so bloody exited your life long love affair with boy George at last you would get to see him.

Are you excited? You laughed dancing around my living room.

I’ve booked us a hotel we can make a weekend of it.

Wow bar and Christmas shopping!

I sat there I hadn’t answered the first question syou were so pleased I jokingly groaned you hit me with a pillow.

You positively glowed.

Posh hotel mind you carried on.

On the bay mind. You were in full Nessa flow now sing song Welsh

Remember last year you laughed. It was getting to be a bit of a ritual our Christmas shopping trips combined with your birthday.

Cocktails, dancing in wow bar, Chinese food you laughed and he would let us pay with a debit card insisted on us getting cash from the cash machine .

You sitting beside me now shaking belly laughing.

Ahhhh!! He told me he was keeping my bag until we came back with the money.

Do you remember?

Remember how could I forget, your shoes were in it old shoes you’d bought boots because it had rained and your shoe had split.

He was really rude. So you had marched off back to the hotel .

He can keep my bloody shoes!

The waking the next morning you’d looked at me panda eyed and groaned

Do you think we will be on crime watch?

That’s where we should be now walking back to our hotel.

Or standing looking out over Cardiff bay.

As I came out of spoken word Saturday this afternoon

A white feather caught on my black wrap.

I smiled and thought of you.

But that’s not unusual.

There isn’t a day since you left this earth plane that I haven’t thought of you.

Boy George in Cardiff doesn’t know what he missed.

I do.

I missed you today as everyday.

My random warrior friend.

I hope you were there beside him on stage as he sang.

♥️

Flight & floating mystery

So on my way back to South wales from cannock driving down M6 past Birmingham airport.

Overhead flies a bowing 747 coming in to land.

Now I’ve never been a fan of flying probably as my head can not work out how such a huge lump of metal weighing 439,985 kg loaded with people bags food fuel can FLY. yes I googled it.

It completely spins me out!.

So then Jeff goes on to tell me that equal to approx 8 40 ton lorry’s duct taped together.

How?

Then he says cargo planes carrying tanks ect are even heavier 🙈

My head hurts.

He’s no hysterical laughing.

Is it just me? Does anyone else have a problem with the how is this even possible?

Discounting witchcraft.

One woman on a besom is far more easier to comprehend.

I also had this problem six years ago as we boarded P&O cruise ship the Ventura.

It was a 50th birthday present for jeff.

Now I’ve been over to France when I was 16 on a ferry and to Isle of man and of course I was expecting something a little bigger.

But f@@k me it was huge..

As I stood next to the smiling man who took my car keys at the dock looking up at the huge building like structure. I wanted to get back in my car.

How was That going to float?

Sixteen floors of restaurants dance floors swimming pools and people?

Don’t think about it Jeff says. It just is.

I have a theory.

When I was a kid there was a massive Co op shop in town where at Christmas you could que to see santa.

His elf would seat everyone on a beautiful decorated magical sleigh fairy lights would flash brightly scenery would pass snowy cabins and mountains of the noth pole as the sleigh rocked to and fro.

Exited children would then be shown off the sleigh and now magically they had been transported to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole!

We we’re definitely not in the basement of the local co op in a small northern town.

It was magic.

So maybe Santa’s sleigh builders progressed to building boeing 747 and huge cruise ships.

That has to be a much more understandable explanation.

😉

Belief what is it?

Trying to explain my own understanding of the spirit world to someone else. A hard task

My belief that it really does exist here where we are now. Just a different vibration. Like radio channels.

Communication with spirit is like fine tuning a radio to the channel you want.

Spirit do the hard work we open up and invite them

No it’s not faith it’s a definite. I know without doubt. I suppose so much so that I have never really contemplated not ‘knowing’.

Although I didn’t have the best childhood I had the best Grand mother.

I can trace my acceptance and knowing, seeing, spirit to her. If you’ve always known something it’s normal I guess.

Well normal to you anyway

Death was never something to be feared.

Although religion was part of it for my Nan and my Mam both active spiritualists I went because they went, not because I wanted to. Thursday clairvoyance and divine service and healing on a Sunday. Charles Street spiritualist church a tiny church compared to some the organ a gift from sir Thomas beacham covered one wall.

The church stood at the top of a street of terraced houses in St Helens. The house next door ajoined after service it was used for healing and gathering of anyone needing a chat over tea and Buscuits or shelter from the cold northern weather until the bus arrived. Visiting mediums no pomp or robes just the same as you or I, mam or Nan

Yes we sat in circles in church or some folk ran closed circles in houses

People died services would be a life celebration in the small packed out church. I carried my Mam’s coffin in there 1997 a warm.day in May.

My children beside me.

Although I missed her physical presence her car boot sale finds watching the soaps with her I knew she was okay and life went on.

Her empty seat beside her best friend Dot in church wAs the saddest part they were like sisters and I remember wondering why Dot was so upset now that Mam was on the spirit plane?

It was another vibration but here around us I knew she was still about .

I had three young children to keep me busy a single mom with a barbers shop to run.

I moved away my belief was never dependant on a church I still worked with healing, tarot followed the moon and found my own way.

If I ever went back to my hometown or to Southport I’d attend church it seemed to have shrunk but it’s seats remained full.

I lost more relatives and good friends they say as you get older you attend more funerals than weddings. How true that is.

I work as as soulmidwife and funeral Celebrant so that’s a given.

I can honestly say I accept and respect other religions whatever gets us through.

But as I started by saying I’ve never had to explain my unwavering belief.

Until now.

My daughter in law to be. Mother of my grand daughter has recently lost her mother.

My best friend and she is desperate for ‘evidence of spirit.

Now I’ve had conversations about what I believe before.

I’ve done readings.

Received messages during a healing but this is so different.

I’ve known her since she was 13 she wouldn’t mind me saying she was a bit of a wild child. I loved her from the day we met.

No interest in anything spiritual.

Her mother and her were so close .

I know too much to give a reading.

And oddly or not this is the first death I’ve struggled with.

I miss her too beyond words could describe. So now as I remember Mam’s best friend Dots tears as she sat beside Mam’s empty seat in church.

It’s a lesson I’m sure it is.

Everything I’ve always known still stands firmly .

My daughter in law is the age I was when I lost my mother.

Maybe things were different because although Mam and me were very different people we both held the same belief?

She died in tragic circumstances but I remember thinking she would rather be where she now is.

It’s a fragile thing life I think.the only answers I have are to be the best that we can in the time that we have.

She rang me my daughter in law last night to share memories of her mother.

She said ‘ I can’t imagine not seeing her again for so long ‘

So I think.its that concept of ‘time’

Hours, days, years…. A life time..

Spirit don’t have it.. ‘time’ that is.. only we do on this earthly plane..

They are free

They are here they never left.

Just as my grand mother promised.

I needed you Donna to remind me and show your daughter the way.

Canalside flood South Wales U.K 2018 storm Callum

So for those of you who don’t know our area I know that’s most of you. We live in a small village in South Wales called Aberdulais.

Our street is on bank of the Tenant Canal a row of terrace cottages which were built for tin plate workers in 1800 stone built two up two down.

Behind the cottages is a disused collery train track, then wait for it the neath canal.

The river Neath then runs across the top of our street. Then higher up the river is a junction where two Rivers meet.

Bridges, arches and aquaducts add to the landscape of this liminal place that we call home.

I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

It’s a special place canalside walks ducks, geese and most importantly an amazing community. We are a true melting pot eclectic in every way.

Call me an eternal optimist but I really do believe that most people are inherently good. Canalside has proven that again this week our community pulled together and got on with it.

I cooked for everyone, my hubby Jeff my son Mike and the men dug trenches to drain water we baled with buckets as the water ran into the back doors of the cottages and out of the front.

My next door but one neighbor had only moved here in April his house was one of the worsed hit. .

Vicki and Dai are a young couple who both work hard for what they have they have two small childen their house was ruined Vicki’s beloved piano laying on their sofa in an effort to save it as water and sewage ran through their home.

We have our house and also own the Retreat no 28. It’s a community interest company. Everything I do benefits the community providing restbite breaks for cancer patients therapies & workshops we run on a shoe string the water ran it the Retreat too

So here we are no one complaining just encouraging each other helping and supporting where the council, environment agency and welsh water let us all down.

Now I’m not political at all. .but three years ago envoroment agency and council did a dummy run in the street with flood gates showing us what would happen if there was ever a flood threat.

Gates were fitted sand bags brought I for one felt reassured there won’t not be a repeat of 1995 disaster.

BUT…..

Yesterday there was.

The rain started Friday early hours. storm Callum was approaching Wales.

Whilst at our son’s wedding reception in Swansea we received a call to say come home the street is being evacuated. The river had risen so much it was flowing over the top of the aquaduct and the canal was fit to burst.

We rushed home expecting agencies who were issuing the warning to bring us promised flood gates and sand bags..

They didn’t arrive 7am sat morning when most houses were already baling water a small council flat back arrived issued us all with two sand bags each..

Yes two which they placed at the front doors the door where the water was escaping. The water was entering the back.

The council Professed to know nothing about gates.

A few hours later water rose through the drains toilets sinks spewed sewage mixed with rain water .

Fire brigade arrived and scratched their heads where could they pump it too?

They left. Local councilor came to the British legion at top of street dressed in Wellingtons. Had she come to bale water.

Afraid not she too left.

The only one that stayed was the rain.

From 8am until late last night we worked as a community together I’m so proud to live here.

T.v crews came people stood on the bridge to watch.

Eventually the rain stopped people’s flooring furniture possessions now litter the canal path houses are ruined

Most of us have no flood insurance why. We can’t afford it.

So is anyone to blame ?

Well this afternoon Welsh waters clean up team arrived (who knew they had one)

We told them what had happened.

Can’t have been the drains they said

But it came through the toilet sinks baths manhole covers.

Not our fault they said.

We live on a flood plane shouldn’t we have bigger drains?

Or storm drains I asked.

No idea came the reply.

So as grateful as I am for my wonderful friends here where we live we are getting there the clean up is in full swing.

Things could have been much easier.

So environment agency where are our gates? And where you joking with your two sand bags? Wonder if we had a M P living here would we have had more.

One of my amazing friends Becky drove over from Lougher to bring us floodsax amazing gel filled bags that works much better than sand. Much easier to deliver but cost more .

So I guess no one want to take ANY responsibility for the way we a small street families with small children, babies and elderly where ignored offered evacuation but precious little else.

Don’t tell us it wasnt the drains houses now small of human excrement.

Families need new carpets new furniture dehumidifiers, the list goes on.

But we will get there we have no choice this is our home. This is our family and we will fix it.

Hekate my strength.

hekate 1

Mother Hekate,

Give me the strength I need.
Dark mother goddess of the underworld mountain wondering queen of witches.

Hekate frequenter of graveyards crossroads and liminal spaces keeper of the keys.

Psychopomp guide of souls take my loved ones hand.

Protect her with your hounds

Wrap your saffron cloak around her shelter her.

Goddess of the places betwixt and between places where I find comfort places I belong safe places.

Under the avenues of Yews I hear your voice in the breeze as I wonder amongst the solitude of the tombstones and the trees you are there beside me your saffron cloak billowing in the breeze.

Along narrow dirt paths of our beautiful mountain I see your beauty in trickling streams in budding shoots, rotting tree stumps decaying flesh picked by the crows and Ravens.

Reminders of the infinite circles of life and death.

I stand by your cross road next to the rushing terrifying power of the river I am reminded of a women’s strength.

Of the strength within me. Passion I bide my time and hold my words.

I am reminded that I am part of you and you of me.

I leave offerings of honey and eggs I light incense in your honour.

Thank you as always you are there when I need strength and wisdom.

I stand alone and watch the smoke trace its way above me above us towards the stars into the universe.

Essence of miracles home to the light divine, source of all.

I hold onto your mother as you lift high your torch unlock the mysteries that guide me through the shadows.

Back to myself the universe never ending unconditional love to you.

Mother you guide us home.

Bless me mother for I am your child.