Photo Journal #8 ~ The Third Space


“You are in that third space…a rugged, private beach where the waves crash, the wind beats and the salt coats your body. It is neither sea nor truly land. You are touching, and being touched by, another world. Your space is sacred and transformative, and you’re exactly where you need to be.” ~ on writing to a friend, grieving her adored dad.


To all those holding the space of transformation ~ be patient.  It’s not just life around you that has changed: you are changing too. Gift yourself the space and time to let it happen. As those waves of deep emotion rise, brace yourself and let them lap against you. Loss and sorrow have the most ferocious bite, but you are slowly being shaped into the person you will become. This is sacred space.

Photo Journal #7 ~ So that was 2015, the year of Connection….



If there was a word for 2015 it was Connection. It was much needed ~ at the beginning of the year I felt creatively depressed and disconnected from like minded creatives.

I had a dormant Instagram account, no blog and I’d started my teaching practice with some groups of incredibly challenging students leading me to think that teaching was going to be another frustrating job for me.

At New Year 2015 I was reading Danielle La Porte’s The Desire Map  and was starting to consider how I wanted to feel in the year ahead. I wanted to feel a connection but it felt painful to recognise that I wanted to feel what wasn’t in my life.

Connection meant I started this blog in March.

Connection meant I took online courses: ‘Blogging from the Heart’, ‘Elevate the Ordinary’ ‘Be Your Own Publisher’, ‘The Inside Story’ and ‘Write Your Freaking Heart Out’ ~ and joined Instagram challenges for August, September and December.

Connection meant going from 60 followers on Instagram to 360. Connection meant six months of joining in with prompts at Poets United.

Connection has meant looking out for like minded people. Connection has sometimes also meant overwhelm as I struggled to find balance.

But choosing Connection as my word for 2015 has meant that my life has changed so that it supports my creativity.  It has even meant outing myself as a writer, when I made a Facebook page for the blog and invited people from my ‘real life’ to read.

I made Connection happen because I dedicated time to it, and made writing and connecting a regular commitment in my life, through blogging and being part of Instagram communities. When I let any of this slip, I just got back on the horse. When it was too hard, I produced something good enough in the moment. I held myself accountable for exercising this creativity by remembering the Connection I wanted to feel when I chose this word at the beginning of this year.

So where am I now, at the end of the year? I’ve got a new teaching placement now that feels like a better fit for me. I’ve written over thirty poems in 2015 and made a commitment to pursue publication in 2016. Instagram continues to stir me, as do the creative Facebook groups I’ve joined, and daily connection feels natural and inspires me. I am happy to say that I feel creatively abundant.

Connection ~ I thank you.


Photo Journal #6: Six self-care love notes from Barcelona

  1. 11888081_10153025290010846_4687024062860825774_nWhat looks dangerous at first can slowly reveal its charm, but the element of danger shouldn’t be forgotten. Sometimes a hard face is needed in the dark street of a strange city. Cocktails with only white rum are a form of wisdom.20883261392_0e9a4eae0d_o
  2. There is very little anxiety in travel when not responsible for a family. What will be, will be. It is possible to remember the frisson of riding around a non-English speaking city alone and be energised.11953233_10153025286550846_8699306821849566297_n
  3. My body clock tick tocks with complete independence and will not bow to mob rule. Three short nights’ sleep will take six days of lie ins, early nights and naps to recover from.
  4. 20892943875_bd6ebfa1b1_oEven if I want to be part of giving my baby sister the best hen party ever, so much of the self cannot be given away without consequence. It is possible to have fun and be ruined at the same time. But do I want to?20270108164_45353ab6ba_o
  5. Tiredness can manifest in physical wounds, especially when not paying attention to the oven shelf. Although entirely accidental, once it’s there the wound will feel necessary. If it refuses to heal in plain sight, it needs covering and time to let the bad stuff out, time to form stronger and yet more tender skin.20270051424_1ae091681f_o
  6. Reflections can take a while to compost down and bloom. There may be no words in Barca. On return there may be one third of an A5 page with two scant columns. Two weeks later, this. Self-care love notes, and the gift of seeing the self clearly, even if just for a moment.11949395_10153025292420846_2105582138670283919_nThank you, Barcelona.

Photo Journal #5: A Week in Perthshire ~ an August Break photo journal

The start of our holiday week was delayed as I found myself laid up for a couple of days with a mystery virus. On Tuesday, we finally managed to get up to Perthshire to visit my inlaws for five days of mountains, charity shop surfing, poetry writing and a bit of contemplation. (There were also many family meals and a ridiculous amount of reading, not captured…)



The script at the bottom of this beautiful window at the church at Balmoral read:

11866398_10152987954025846_2021811915585988833_nAnd then we had a lovely greeting from a show of these lilies on our arrival back home.

Now for a family week at home, before I travel to Barcelona with my sisters for the weekend…

Photo Journal #4: At Haworth

“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”  Jane Eyre ~ Charlotte Brontë

19839841550_3dc07b5cac_o19830342900_9b58510509_o19843696850_3e2cdaca91_o19839905300_dbfb451e67_owords-on-a-journey_20001526706_oYou and me both, Charlotte,

you and me both.