Tag Archives: childhood

Knight in a v.w van.

Save me from the mundane

Pull me back into your world.

Make me feel alive again.

Remind me that I’m your girl.

Burst my irredesent bubble of invisibility.

Wake the passion within me.

Tell me that you still see.

The wild and untamed rebel

The one who stole your heart.

She calls to the world from deep within me.

Finding it hard to play her part.

I know that I have wondered

Far away from your side..

I’ve been lost in barren places

Where my past and demons hide.

Many times you’ve come to my rescue.

Carried my soul back to our door.

Wrapped me in a cocoon of unconditional love

Keet my monsters behind a steel door.

Old trees and water.

With a history spanning a centuary Carr Mill dam has hardly changed at all.
It offered the residents of the estates surrounding it a consistent link generation to generation .
There were of course natural changes. Trees had matured, dirt paths had worn around the edge of the water and been made safe shored up and covered in chippings.

The block of shops and minature railway line built in early 1960s has long since disappeared in it’s place the back of a hotel famous for cheap beer and Sunday lunches.

The boating club and beautiful ninteen arches bridge still stand proudly. Speed boat races on a sunday the familiar wizzing noise of the boats could be heard from my bedroom window Generations of ducks.like generations of the same families breed there and never leave.

But for the most part the Dams gentle evolution had gone unnoticed.
In a sheltered spot on the far end of the Dam where most walkers tend not to bother walking the passage of time has been noticed the least. It’s here should you look you would find an old oak tree growing between a steep enbankment and the Waters edge.
The bottom of this huge tree is hollow an arched almost door shape big enough if you should want to you would fit. Why? It’s a fab place to sit to think, hide or read.. It was a huge tree then when I sat there wondering it’s age as a child and my children sat there too whilst I sat on the bank wondering what it was about this place that seemed to pull me back to visit.

That huge old tree I knew each curve and knot as my children climbed and hid around it I remembered sunny days spent here with a favorite book or sneeking into the farm in the next field to.stroke the old black mare. It was quite a magical place. It was my go to place for decisions I was there the night I decided to move to Wales I haven’t been back there for over seven years now but I’m pretty sure nothing has changed since I lived opposite.

The road down to the the dam is full of pot holes not unlike the canal path I now live on in wales
I’ve always lived by water and woodland and I’m sure it was Carr Mill dam that sparked my passion and love for solitude and nature. My go to tree is now on a canal bank.
One day maybe I’ll go back to the estate and the Dam
If you ever find yourself there before me go sit by the oak tree. Take in the view and the quiet.
sit on the moss by the water you may see a dragonfly or two. Say hi from me

In a flash – I’m back

Sometimes I’m still there.

Suddenly.

Unexpectedly

Without warning.

A smell, a taste, a song.

Catapulted at the speed of light.

Flick of a switch.

A blink of an eye

A tactile cine film begins.

It’s running inside my head in high definition

I’m suspended in time.

Back in time.

A prism of light of dark of terror.

A different dimension a parallel world.

It will always be there never very far away.

Operating on a different frequency

Like an old valve radio slightly out of tune.

Then that something, anything turns the knob,

Adjusts that channel pulls the two dimensions together

Past and present become one

Jolting me back into the nightmare

Silently I’m screaming but I know that no one can hear me.

Invisible

Lunch time you don’t really see me.

Sitting by the huge school bins.

Hiding with my dog.

Hating being in school.

Listening to the dinner ladies

Spouting the same old monologue.

Angry on the inside

Quiet and shy on the out.

Screaming inside my head.

But unable to let it out.

Scared by all the feelings.

Going on inside my head.

Wanting someone to make it better.

Or wishing I was dead.

My escape is drawing, painting and writing.

Imagining a better life

A world were things are wonderful.

With no one to hurt you

Or school bullies and family strife.

A world where lumps in your throat

Don’t block the words you need to say.

Where families love each other.

In a loving normal way.

But drawing painting dreaming.

Are not going to change this world.

So I will keep this label of a rebel trouble making girl.

Old weathered hands and treadle sewing machine


Old Weathered Hands.
I think its human nature when we lose someone we love our greatest fear is forgetting the simple things about them.
The sound of their voice, their smell, precious memories.
However in reality I’ve discovered as I have grown older I’ve remember more not less.
Lizzie my Nan I remember her long thin silver hair.
Gold heavy creole earrings weighing down her tiny earlobes, her faded blue apron my little Nanny.
Little but loud, northern salt of the earth she always said it exactly as it was.
Most of all I remember her smile.
How she would pretend to be annoyed when I’d shout Nanny at the top of my voice through the letterbox at all hours of the day and night. Her house was my sanctuary the smell of furniture polish and hotpot.
I’d watch her as I held up the flap of the letterbox as she hurried down the hall exclaiming ‘Jesus, Mary and bloody Joseph, I hear you calling in my bloody sleep! I’m changing my bloody name to Rumplestitskin!
I remember her baking cheese onion and bacon pies on tin plates and egg custard tarts on a Sunday.
She would send me to the outdoor at the flying horse pub with a empty jug to have filled with stout old tea towel to cover the jug. Id try to walk back without spilling it sneaking a mouthful as I walked.
Our trips round to the shops she would carefully apply her tangerine lipstick and tie her checked hair scarf the we would call into the bookies for her each way bet then the butchers for bacon ribs and the paper shop for twenty John player specials.
Bingo was on a Friday night down in the church hall park street in fingerpost
Me and my cousins Gary and Phillip on one side of the table nan and her friend Lizzie Ducker on the other.
She would give me a card to mark.
‘Nudge me if your sweating’.. she would say.
I’d be terrified!
Smokey church hall jesus on his cross watching the bingo. Womens eyes fixed on bingo tickets biros moving quickly scribbling out numbers.
‘House’! Someone would shout and there would be a sigh from everyone else.
Walking home we would call in the chippy bag of salty chips in yesterday’s newspaper between us.
Then home tired ready for bed my cousins in back bedroom, I would be snuggled up warm in Nanny’s bed beside her. The weight of old blankets and coats with silk lining to keep us warm.
I still have a piece of that overcoat lining.
Silhouette of leaded windows on the wall beside the bed reflected from the old street light on the peeling blue flowered wallpaper.
Sometimes I’d go to bed before Nanny. Lying there listening in the dark whilst she stayed up late to sew on her old Jones treadle sewing machine.
The sound of that treadle was magical as she worked to make me dresses it often lulled me to sleep.
The simple things. Her old biscuit boxes one full of photos. The other full of buttons both full of stories.
Stories of her family friends the man across the street who had got stuck in a tin bath.
A big faded button from a coat she had worn that my grandfather had bought her she held it in her hand like a diamond eyes closed smile on her face transported back to him.
Photos of child she had raised and loved as her own as well as her own three sons.
Photos of my grandfather who I knew from her story telling not from memory as he’d died when I was too young to remember.
She taught me many things my Nan, pastry making, sewing, names of plants herbs, that when I got nettled there would be a dock leaf to fix the sting not far from the nettle. To star gaze fortune tell and to always bide time never to act on temper.
How to win at cards although I never managed to win her once.
I remember combing her hair and sitting running my finger along the back of her brown weathered hand, tracing the blue veins of her old working hands grafters hands.
As I sit her now holding my granddaughters hands looking at my own hand in hers it is brown weathered blue veins meander and they tell my story.
Beautiful childen Tamika Tiger and Emilia Willow I wonder what your memories of me your Nanny will be?
I hope you will remember my old weathered hands and how much you made me smile.

Just an hour late

Twenty two years since my mam died. I was 31 I had three young children youngest one Mike was five

I had arranged to go down to see Mam after school to see if she felt up to going to spiritualist church there was a medium she had hoped to see but I’d been busy digging up hedges in our front garden all day. So I thought I’d go back finish cleaning the mess I’d made up then go down to Mam with the kids washed clean ready for church.

The last bush was really stubborn, so I tied a rope onto the back of my car and tried to yank it out but as I’m doing it I can hear my mam tutting at me.

‘You should have been a bloody lad’ she says.

I laugh stop the car dragging the hedge behind.

Odd? She’s not there.

I get out to untie the rope I’m covered in soil and leaves as I get up Mams best friend Francis is pulling up in her car.

I know instantly. ‘Mam she’s gone’. Francis is sitting in the passenger seat her husband is driving tears roll down her cheeks she doesn’t answer she doesn’t have to.

‘Without me there’ I shout voice shaking.

I tell the kids to go inside no one speaks.

I ask a neighbour to babysit. It’s a weird feeling, Shock, sort of like being underwater and everything seems to slow down.

Suddenly it’s like your whole world is in a bubble,surreal.

I get into Francis car she holds my hand.

‘It was your dad’ she’s saying. I flush hot, my head feels like its going to explode.

I don’t cry.

Francis talks on the drive over to Mams, only the other side of the village but I’m impatient to get there.

‘Get your mams trolley’ Francis insists she keeps saying it.

‘She told me to tell you if anything happens get the trolley’.

I still don’t speak.

I walk through the corridors in the sheltered housing into the flat.

There is blood on her carpet. ‘Bicarb’ I hear mam say tutting again. ‘Bicarb will get it out’.

Dad is sitting smoking a roll up in the kitchen.

I stand and look at him.

I don’t know for how long.

Francis pulls at my arm. ‘Get the trolley.’

‘For fucks sake’ I hear myself say. ‘Okay. Okay I’ll get it.’

I look around pictures of my children hang on the walls, Mams cardigan where she had left it on her favourite chair.

Without looking I know there will be a blue inhaler in the pocket and a packet of tissues and a lipstick of bloody awful tangerine she insisted ordering monthly from Avon.

I pick it up and hold it to my face and breath in I can smell her perfume.

I put it over the bloody trolley.

‘Where is she?’ I ask. My voice sounds different. Like its external.

‘I told her she’d go out of here in a bloody box’ Dad says. I want to kill him.

I close my eyes. Slowly breathe in.

‘At the hospital’ says Francis.

‘Come on Joolz you need to identify her.’

We leave the flat and head for the hospital. I’m numb.

How do my legs still know how to walk?

Why are clocks still ticking?

Why is the world still turning? MY MAM IS DEAD.

We get to Whiston Hospital sit in waiting room Francis is smoothing creases that aren’t there from her skirt. I read the information on the wall bereavement support. Victim support. We wait for the police.

A tall young police officer and a smaller female officer walk in I can hear Mam again. telling me ‘Police men are getting bloody younger and look at the state of you she saying you need a good bloody wash. Full of soil!’

‘Are you ready’ the lady police officer asksshe’s got a stain on her jacket and I wonder what it is?

I nod. My mouth has gone dry. I can’t speak.

I’m not ready I will never be ready that big black lump is in my throat. I’m so afraid. It can’t be her not my little Mam and I’m praying this is all a bad dream.

They take me in.

She’s on a metal trolley

She will be cold on there I think.

Her hair is stuck with blood. Drying blood.

I want to fix it.

Her hands are covered she’s not wearing her glasses I put my hands on her face. ‘Oh Mam’ I say

The policewoman puts his hand on my shoulder.

I shrug her off.

I pull the sheet back lift up her left hand. Middle nail cracked it always grown like that.

I hear mam beside me telling me the story of how her sister Eliza trapped it in the front door in Brown street. Where she lived as a childI’ve heard this story a million times but I smile and listen again

‘I know mam’ I hear myself say.

She looks so small. ‘I’m so sorry I was late Mam I was pulling up the hedge in the front you hated those hedges didn’t you. Couldn’t get the last one up. I was coming to fetch you with the kids I’ve made your favourite for tea and Michaels got a new reading book.’

‘That medium is on later at church the one you wanted to see.’ Im almost begging.

My little mam. Doesn’t answer. It really is her. How can I possibly leave her here on her own?

I cover her up. The police woman holds me up. ‘Come on’ she says ‘they will look after her.’

I don’t remember walking back to the car or the drive home.

We sit outside Francis tells me there was a massive row dad was drunk again. She sighs ‘He was always drunk’ I sob.

Mam had said he couldn’t make any more home brew in the flat he was repeating everything she said. Mimicking her

Shooting at her with a toy gun that made a noise.

She was on her nebuliser.

Struggling to breathe

She stood up told him to get out was going to ring me. She didn’t get to the phone.

She has massive heart attack hit her head on coffee table

He might as well have had a real gun.

‘Take me to the flat’ I finally said.

‘You’ve got the trolley Francis said don’t go back ‘she sounded scared.

I ring our Michaels dad Mike.

‘Come and get me I’m at the hospital’

Ten mins later Mams trolley in the boot of Mikes car andI’m going back to the sheltered housing.

‘What the fuck happened?’ Mike asks. I tell him. He doesn’t speak.

‘What are you going to do?’

‘I don’t know.’ I answer. ‘But I’m not scared of him anymore I’m furious.’

We walk down the corridor I count our footsteps. I hear my mam.

‘Go home Julie to the kids’ she says.

‘I will in a minute I say out loud,’ Fab I think I’m talking to my bloody self.

I walk into the flat we’ve been gone two hours tops.

Dad is in the bedroom Mams single bed tipped up on its end drawers tipped everywhere clothes strewn everywhere. I stand looking at him.

There’s a banging noise in my head. It’s my heart.

He’s opening boxes looking in pockets of coats.

There is a new toaster and a kettle still in boxes she was planning to leave him.

It’s as though I’m not here I think.‘Can he see me’?

Mikes got hold of my arm.

Dad looks up.

‘Where is it?’ he shouts at me.

I don’t answer or move I stand in the bedroom doorway.

‘Sovereign rings, money, rings jewellery bank books.?’

‘I don’t know I say?’ And I really don’t.

‘She’s dead Mams dead.’ I shout.

He walks over to me.

‘WHERE IS IT ALL?’ he booms.

I feel the spit and beer breath hit my face.

I don’t move or step back he’s furious.

‘TELL ME NOW.’

He lifts his hand as he’s done so many times.

I still don’t move.

Everything slows down.

Mike jumps between us.

Grabs dads big arm and says

‘You’re never going to put your hand on her again.’

I’m stunned!

I look at dad he suddenly doesn’t look as big or scary.

‘Don’t ever, come near me again’ I hear myself say.

I’m picking up mams best jumper.

I pick up a bag put her clothes and shoes in.

Dad looks confused.

I start to take my children’s photos off the wall.

‘What are you doing?’ he shouts.

‘I’m taking back what’s mine.’

‘You don’t get to look at my kids again.’

‘Do not come to the funeral she didn’t want you there.’

Are you happy now you killed her?

I wish she’d have just left you years ago we’d have all been better off you murdering drunken bastard.’

I hear mam laugh.

He sits down hard on the floor.

‘I’m going to a solicitor ‘he shouts ‘I want what’s mine.’

I look at him lean forward and say quietly almost a whisper.

‘I want my mam my kids want their Nan.’

Mike puts his hand on my arm ‘Come on Joolz he’s not worth it.’

He takes mams clothes I carry the photos and we leave.

Francis is getting out of the car it’s a warm evening and Mam should be getting in my car with me now.

She hugs me.

Don’t forget her trolley.

I won’t.

Raven.

A new generation

Come with me on a journey back in time, To a northern rural village the year is 1969. It’s a bright and beautiful summers day.

I shall tell you the story as it was told to me by Lilly

She was seventeen years old. She loved the beautiful meadow and sitting on the banks of the stream dangling her feet into the water I guess I’m a bit of a loner She would say she but she didn’t mind her own company and loved being outdoors wondering through woodlands never caught her with shoes on her feet. Barefoot wind in her hair that was Lilly.

The breeze was warm and gently swaying the willow tree on the opposite bank of the stream it’s was late afternoon but the sun was still up there shining brightly and the sky was cloudless and blue.

I’d been been sitting watching the water running over the smooth pebbles she told me The water seemed to glisten and shine in the sunlight the reflection of the willow stretches across to me I was thinking of Alice stepping through the looking glass into a magical land. You know somewhere better than here? I know I’m a day dreamer she continued but then something caught her eye.

Who’s that? There across she caught her breath rubbed her eyes was it heat shimmer from the water?

there watching her beside the willow tree was something at first glance she couldn’t quite make sense of

She rubbed her eyes and squinted. Then rubbed them again. A being a tall almost bird like being or was it?

Sparkling almost iridescent skin, crystal like. Shimmering like the stream running over the pebbles.

Perhaps I’m seeing things she thought.

It seemed to fade in and out of focus, blend in and out of the surroundings almost camouflaged.

Much taller than Lilly longer arms and fingers, it has wings on her back that seamed to retract she was very beautiful.

Lilly stood up slowly then bravely began to paddle across towards the willow tree.

It didn’t move tilted it’s head slightly watching her approach almost curiously

‘Who are you?’ she asked..? Climbing onto the bank beside her.

The being reached out and placed her fingers on Lilly’s forehead. There was a static like buzz.

Standing together barefoot on that grassy bank

Visions started to flood between them like a fibre optic connection.

Lilly gasped as she saw seven tiny stars a small consolation light years away beautiful star people peaceful tribes healers teachers, landscapes of purple topped mountains, waterfalls lush green valleys huge yew like trees and an aray of beautiful amimals

Lilly sighed and whispered Koraki that’s your name?.

The beautiful being nodded and smiled their energy arced together. Her eyes where the most beautiful shade of green like purest Jade. Lilly felt absence of peace and safety she had never known.

Why are you here Lilly thought. Koraki answered her question yet no words were spoken between them

She was a traveller fearless explorer a bringer of light collecting samples of plants and herbs she had been to earth many times it was not unlike her own planet but our species caused her tribe sadness our primitive behaviour humans killing each other and destroying the planet they live on.

She and others like her had also come here to to plant seeds of hope and enlightenment to help awaken humans to enlighten them to heal and save their beautiful mother planet. A new generation of star children.

As the sun began to set darkness fell.

a huge dark moon in an ink black sky and the stars twinkled like diamonds and Koraki iridescent crystalline skin.

She pointed up to the sky to a small cluster of stars barely visible.

That’s home that where you came from? Asked Lilly.

She sighed, ‘Can I come with you?’

Koraki gently touched her forehead again.

‘No spaceships, these beautiful beings travelled through consciousness in the blink of an eye at the speed of light. Like beautiful iridescent white Ravens

‘She then showed Lilly a vision of herself holding a baby girl a star seed.

‘My child? a star child asked Lilly but how.

They stood opposite each other Koraki held up the palms of her hands the palms seemed to pulse and swirl spiral iridescent pure white shining light.

Lilly held up her hands much smaller against Koraki a ball of lights around them glowed she had never felt such love and hope. Their two worlds where connected the joining of two tribes.

Lilly told me she had slept peacefully on that warm summer’s night under the willow tree by the stream.

She was woken by the warmth of the sun and the babbling of the stream a Raven cawed above her and she thought she heard Koraki whisper she would protect her child and she would indeed see her again.

The following spring the baby girl Koraki had gifted her was born seed of the star people.

Outside the window a raven cawed as my mother Lilly gently cradled my in her arms.

She never lost her love for the outdoors and walking barefoot with the wind in her hair.

She passed all that on to me

She told me stories of Alice through the looking glass but this one of Koraki and my star tribe is my favourite

‘I’m a mountain wondering lover of stories Ravens and all things magical I’m a soul midwife and healer

On a summers day you’ll find me with a book sitting under the willow tree feet dangling in the stream

On a dark moon you will find me barefoot on the mountain crossroads looking up to a tiny constellation of stars

Home.