About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

A new trauma is as good as a rest

Three weeks ago, I was racked with worry and frustration after a horrible and abusive PIP assessment for my son. I thought it was as well we'd visited Beachy Head the day before it rather than the day after. I was consumed with hatred of the DWP for putting him through torment. 

Then an accident forced a total switch of focus. I learnt that picking blackcurrants can be a surprisingly dangerous pastime, especially if you are very elderly and sitting on a stool on a downhill slope. I learnt that you can still wait four hours for an ambulance even when you are 91 and live a two-minute drive from the hospital. I learnt that eating Marmite doesn't guarantee immunity to mosquito bites after all.  Also, that the chip of ice Graham Greene refers to is still lodged there in my writer's heart.

Above all, I've been reminded, over and over, that the NHS is the most precious thing we own collectively, and that we should take to the streets, if necessary, to ensure its survival. 

My mother has been transferred up north and so my watch is ended ... for now, at least. I've started the long and convoluted process of being made my son's appointee, and we await the PIP decision, ready to fight it if necessary. Meanwhile, there are proofs to check, poems to write, jaunts to be jaunted.


  1. Christine Lindop25 July 2019 at 12:46

    And water not to be drunk. Hey ho. But yes indeed, to the fight.

    1. I've been resting by trying to get myself made my son's appointee. Turns out it's a lot more complicated than the woman at the Job Centre assured me.