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Thursday 31 December 2015

Final moments

I'm sitting in the bay window looking out to sea. If I travelled in a straight line from this exact point, I would eventually reach the North Pole - no land would get in my way. 
People wrapped up in coats and hats amble along the stretching pier as waves lap gently at the metal pillars down below. 
And there's a chill in the air. 
I watch as seagulls float peacefully on the undulating surface and my mind suddenly jumps to a happy summer’s day in Brighton. 
As I glance back over the 12 months that has brought me friendship, laughter, love and loss, I think about all the little moments that make up a year. 
A couple standing at the end of the pier suddenly catch my eye as one of them leaps playfully into the air. He is captured on camera, and I witness the birth of an image that will last a lifetime.
Salty air rushes through the open window and I'm reminded that life is just a series of moments. There are moments that challenge us, and moments that change us. We laugh, we cry, we give, we grow. 
And as difficult as it may be, sometimes, we just have to follow our hearts and trust that everything happens for a reason. 

I wish you a very happy New Year. May 2016 bring you everything your heart truly desires. 

Thursday 24 December 2015


I was 2 when it last happened.
I might have been cuddling with my mum on the sofa or playing make-believe in my wigwam; laughing, crying or smearing chocolate around my little mouth. I was completely unaware of the celestial show happening just up in the sky. The lifelong scar that now sits on my body was barely a few months old.
38 years later, I am watching the moon rise slowly in the sky. It’s lifting away from the trees and up into the night. It bathes everything it touches in a silvery light. The hedges at the end of the field begin to disappear, and trees transform into gnarly silhouettes.
As we dance and spin through the blackness of space, we find ourselves, once again, next to a Christmas full moon. I sit on the bed looking out of the window with soft beams falling gently on my
face…and I breathe.
There are times in our life when everything is in tune and perfectly aligned - all is well in our wonderful world. Then there are moments when the rug gets pulled from under our feet and we struggle to simply get through the day - we are left disorientated, unable to see beyond the trees.
But it’s all about letting go and believing; having faith that everything will work out in the end. And just like this coming full moon on a Christmas day, some things will only ever happen when the time is right.

On this full moon Christmas Eve, I wish you all the love and happiness in the world. Shine bright.

Sunday 20 December 2015

Somewhere in between the trees

I step out into the cool morning air and pull the door closed gently behind me. I walk down the path and zip up my coat before reaching the gate.
Sunday morning in the city: quiet, damp, peaceful.
There is a still in the air that provides a perfect backdrop to my footsteps on the ground. My neighbours aren’t up yet. It feels as if the flying Parakeets and I are the only ones awake.
I snake my way up towards the common and into the woods. The familiar smell of rich earth and bark hits me, instantly filling my lungs. The ground is soft underfoot. I feel every single muscle in my body relax and release for the first time in ages.
And on I walk, hands in pockets, my mind a million miles away.
Past the tall Oak and just before the tangled blackberry bush, I am lost in my thoughts.
I wonder about where this year has gone. I wonder about my summer of love. And I wonder if letting go will ever get any easier for this amplified heart.
The rain that fell in the early hours of the morning glisten on the branches overhead.
And I’m suddenly struck by how beautiful everything looks. In amongst the weathered trees and fallen leaves, I dare to hope once more.

Sunday 19 July 2015

Sunday silence

Sunday morning, not a cloud in the sky. There's a peacefulness in the air that I've not felt in a while. With only a gentle breeze wafting through the branches, the city is unusually quiet. I am alone but for the bees buzzing from one purple Chive flower to the next. Taking a sip of my freshly brewed coffee, I suddenly notice patches of damp stone on the ground. It must have rained heavily last night. Somewhere lost in a dream, I was oblivious to the cool downpour.
As I look up at the giant tree at the bottom of the garden, I smile at last month’s discovery of Parakeets. Lime green with long elegant tails, I couldn't believe my eyes at first. They seemed strangely out of place. My mind jumps quickly to São Paulo - the crazy, giant city that I called home for a short while.
The sun on my neck feels warm and comforting. The smell of honeysuckle is delicious.
Then there's a loud bang of a door slamming open. A child cries and a mother shouts. A plane’s engines whir overhead and a dog barks in the distance.
My moment of peace vanishes in an instant.
But as the city slowly comes to life all around me, and a butterfly flutters softly past my face, I can't help but feel that everything is exactly as it should be.

Monday 4 May 2015


It was a beautiful spring afternoon when I first spotted them. I wasn't even searching - they just appeared out of nowhere.
Completely smitten, I walked through the doorway and stepped onto the escalator. I watched shoppers glide down in the opposite direction, occasionally making eye contact with me.
I made my way over to the wall and plucked them from the shelf. Sitting down, I took off my well-worn shoes and laced up the new ones.
The second I saw their reflection in the mirror, I knew they were meant for me.
I was crazy in love.
And so, later that evening as a burning sunset surrounded us, we stepped out together for the first time.
We danced, carefree, into the early hours of the morning. We went out for brunch the next day. For a walk in the afternoon. And the cinema that evening. It was perfect.
Until they began to hurt. A lot.
Firm leather had started to rub unforgivingly on my ankle and Achilles heel. Every step was agony. The further I walked, the more uncomfortable they became. The sides continued to dig in cruelly, forgetting all the good times we were having together. The honeymoon was over.
I stoically wore them every day that week. Some days were worse than others.
Meanwhile, all around me, flowers were bursting out of the ground and nests were being built high up in the trees.
And then, one day, I noticed that the pain had completely vanished. There was no longer any rubbing or discomfort. All that remained was the gentle click-clack of soles meeting the pavement – just my handsome new shoes and I under a perfect blue sky.
And in amongst the swirling cherry blossom, I suddenly felt very lucky: Lucky to be healthy, alive, and surrounded by love.

Sunday 15 March 2015


I am too old. I am not cute. I am too short. I’m not successful enough. I don’t have a toned body. My hair is peppered with grey. I am single. I can’t drive.
And I care too much…
With my mind spinning out of control like a defective rocket, I try to control my thoughts - but the more I try, the harder it becomes. And I am suddenly submerged.
I watch as rain starts to fall. The cold drops splash down onto the windowpane, each one leaving a trail behind it like a comet. People outside come and go, scurrying to find shelter from the downpour.
And inside the battle rages on.
Sometimes, we are so hard on ourselves. Our own name-calling can be deeply hurtful. I can’t help but wonder if we were actually told these things by another person, how offended we would be. We wouldn’t accept it from anyone else…so why do we allow it from ourselves?
And then, just when I think that I will never be able to shake this feeling, my phone pings: a text from a friend - her message is simple and loving.
Three words. Twelve letters. One truth:
They circle my mind and slowly filter their way down into my heart.
And I smile.
There are times in our life when the inner voice of doubt gets so loud, we can hear nothing else - the voice that tells us we are not interesting enough, not clever enough, not good-looking enough.
And there will be ups and downs - moments when we think that we will never be enough.
But maybe, just maybe, we are actually better than we ever imagined.

Maybe we were always more than enough!

Saturday 28 February 2015

The music and the moments

A light early morning drizzle comes to rest gently on my face. I close the front door and breathe deeply. Pressing play, my short journey begins. I take the shortcut though the passageway towards the common. ‘No Doubt’ come playing out of my earphones. It seems that lately
 I’ve been listening to this album on a loop. In years to come, I wonder if the memories of now will come flooding back the second I hear these songs again.
An old lady comes shuffling along in the opposite direction. With a half-full shopping bag, she looks up at me. We catch each other’s eye, and for a few seconds we are connected. Her face is gentle and kind. And in our fleeting moment together, we smile. Everything seems to suddenly stop. Then, as she slips out of view, I wonder what she has experienced in life: her hopes, her dreams, her lessons.
I am lost in my thoughts as I continue onwards.
I see the man at the bus stop holding his son’s hand - I think of my dad. I see the lady pushing a newborn baby – I think of my friend. I see the guy who looks like someone I once loved – I wonder where he is now.
Flashes of moments come and go in the drizzle - a Saturday morning stroll through my past.
And as I arrive at the small supermarket, I wonder where my new friend is - the man who sells the Big Issue, with a face that could light up a room, is not there. Maybe I will see him next week.
I suddenly smile thinking about all the people in my life - the people who have been there right from the beginning, and the ones who will be there right at the end.
And then there are those who I have yet to meet…

Saturday 21 February 2015

On Guard

It would definitely shatter a bone, or two. The heavy iron end would smash through anything that got in its way. The protruding spikes were blunt and weighty. A shiver runs down my spine as I picture how many people have been on the receiving end of its deadly blow. 
Next to them sits the beautifully crafted rifles. Delicately decorated in Mother of Pearl and ancient ivory, it is hard to imagine that something so aesthetically pleasing was made to kill.
There are silver daggers, steel swords, and pocketknives, all designed to swipe and chop and slice and stab.
Gazing through the glass case, which protects the protective armour, I admire the craftsmanship of the smooth metallic suit. Every piece hammered and shaped perfectly to fit the contours of a man’s body.
As I continue walking around the armoury room of the Wallace Collection, I am suddenly struck by a thought: for all the ways we protect ourselves in war - the shields, the armour, the heavy weaponry - what about the everyday? How do we protect ourselves against the many other dangers that lie in wait?
There are times in life when I could have done with an emotional coat of armour myself. I would have made use of its thick steel skin as a heavy defense – that way my feelings would never have been hurt, my heart never broken, or my self-confidence severely battered.
Life can be messy and disorientating sometimes. But as long as we love ourselves with all our imperfections, and protect our heart by keeping it open, that might just be all the armour we will ever need.

Saturday 7 February 2015

Been there...

I’ve seen it before. I’ve sat at my desk with a hot ginger tea. I’ve watched the steam swirl up and out of the blue mug. I’ve turned my head to look out of the glass: the same grey sky, the same cold breeze blowing through my open window.
With the same words written on the page of my orange Moleskine, in exactly the same order, with the same blue ink, everything seems to stop.
I’m lost in space, unable to orientate my body.
There’s nothing extraordinary about this moment. It is just a moment - a speck of living.
But I’ve been here before, witnessed everything in minute detail: my steady breath, quickening heartbeat and an energy spinning up my spine.
There’s something unsettling about this flash of déjà vu. And at the same time, quietly reassuring, familiar.
A million possibilities come flying out of this twice-lived moment.
I can’t help but wonder what I would do differently if I knew for sure what was coming around the corner? Would I change my words, my actions, my hopes?
As much as we want everything to be perfect, life is also about making mistakes. Without them, we would never grow. We would never look at ourselves and never find our inner strength. Sometimes we live and learn, sometimes we don’t.
There are mistakes that make us kick ourselves, and mistakes that cause us to cringe.
And then there are those that take us to another place entirely – a place where whatever happens, we know we will always be ok.