Friday, December 1, 2023



I have been stuck in a traffic jam
cars and vans and lorries and bikes
jumbled up unable to make their way
jostling for position for the getaway
nothing progressed at all for months
and all I could do was identify the
that were all the many stresses in my life
not being able to focus on any one of them
compounding the stress and the traffic
Suddenly an acupuncturist or an osteopath,
almost certainly, has shown one vehicle how
to navigate out of the melee and start a
making a space for the next vehicle to
straighten up and leave, like one of those puzzles
with only one space but the corner shape must
and now all the vehicles are moving
each in a separate lane on the motorway
(though the bikes must make their by another
All the types of vehicle are still present
but moving at their own pace
at variable speeds stopping and starting
and I have clarity at last
and I am back in my own body
and in my own head and I have found

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Seeing the Real You at Last

Seeing The Real You At Last
today I have a glimpse of the real you at last
“we know a song about that”
(sorry Bob) in my grief
today you are present in that way
that dead people have
when they have got into your soul
and I comprehend the hugeness of it all
I hear myself reeling off
“my partner died, then Covid struck,
then I broke my shoulder, then …”
as if bereavement was a small thing
(but it is vast)
and at last I allow myself to consider
what my therapist would have asked,
(she, the wise woman who questioned ‘accidents’)
and I see, really see in that
bone-deep, mind-expanding way
that my lack of attention before I tripped,
“doing marvellously” when I had Covid
(the first and second time)
and generally carrying on
yes, stoic(ally), that thing
I never am and wouldn’t do me any good
(and hasn’t)
I carried on stoically,
believing I was still doing really well considering
but putting off the day
pointlessly, painfully, but somehow
always knowing the day would come
when I see the real you at last
(again) and have to grieve




Wednesday, September 6, 2023


This poem is dedicated to all those who grieve, some of whom are not able to speak out about how they feel.  This is for you.


Thin as the best tissue paper

clear, bright colours

salmon, startling red, pink, and white.

The white ones are first -

tiny but perfect circles;

I have never seen geranium petals

attacked like this before.

Late-season butterflies

which always seem so strong

still flutter by early autumn flowers

dodging away at high speed

when I come close;

they have war-wounded wings

with bites taken out.

My Westie thought

he was a mastiff

till he stood on a wasp

amongst windfall pears

and hobbled around

holding his wounded paw aloft,

an uncomprehending puppy again.

All exhibiting their vulnerability

for us to see

and remark on.

Mine is hidden.

We all think I'm a strong person

we all know I am dealing with a lot

we are all impressed with how

I am organising and getting through

my life and its many troubles;

we know it is hard.

But inside I ache

I weep

I grieve

I long

for a comforting cuddle

from my Mum

from my Dad

from my Mike

and actually from anyone

which I'll never have again.

This is my


hitherto unspoken


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Death and Love


Death and Love

waiting for his death
which will be any day now
I have been expecting it
and to feel finally defeated
a sort of
who shouldn’t love again
too many bereavements
finally abandoned
undeserving of love.
I have a sudden insight
I should love more people
not fewer
I should know
and get to know
on my wavelength
the same humour
music food
then when there are other
as there will be
I will still have
people to love
who love me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How does time do that?

How does time do that?  It speeds up as we get older.  Time we're looking forward to seems a long way off and similarly wonderful times all too soon seem in the distant past.  Something we are dreading hurtles towards us and grief lingers for ever. 

For those of my generation, a reminder that the seventies is actually fifty years ago, not thirty.  Yes, I know.

This rather fluid way of regarding time can be helpful when we're recovering from something.  This year I have been continuing to suffer from post-viral fatigue, following a nasty bug in April 2019.  It has come and gone over the three years but I still view this as a single episode.  I've had post-viral fatigue in the past, more than ten years ago, and it went altogether, so I remain hopeful this time.

At the beginning of the year I decided that I was self-sabotaging my health as no sooner did one complaint recede another always took its place.  I decided that 2022 was going to be the year I addressed the problem and took various steps to do so, including visiting a new complementary therapist.  

"My goodness, isn't your hair lovely!" she said.  
Thank you, I'll be here all week.  

No, really, she was brilliant, just what I needed because amongst other things she practises kinesiology and that was the treatment which turned a corner for me more than thirty years ago.  I didn't need many treatments from her and I was well on the way.  

Since then ... well, since then I have continued to explain myself to people as to why I am restricted about how much I can do or when I can do it.  But if I think back to the beginning of the year I am doing so much more than I could then.  I can do more than I was doing three months ago, two months ago.  Of course there are still setbacks but life is so much richer than it was at the beginning of the year.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

New work

 I have updated my website at last.

The composite picture which is on the homepage is not new work, of course, but nevertheless it is a new picture and I hope conveys the several directions in which my work is going.
I have simplified the website greatly to reflect the simpler life I now have; the previous site was written ten years ago and updates were mostly additions rather then reductions.

I do have a mailing list, which these days is by email only.  If you are not on the mailing list and would like to be, please email me and I will add you.  I don't send out mails very often; they are more occasional newsletters, but I do send out to notify you of events such as exhibitions and open studios.  I have been quiet with my work lately, as most of us have with the pandemic, but hope to be a little noisier in future!

I'm taking part in a group exhibition in Lower Slaughter 20th - 26th April so am now busy making some new work.  The updated website was part one of that.  I'll be showing textiles, silver, other jewellery and greetings cards and am now working on new pieces within those categories.  More details will follow, on my website.

In other news, completion on my new house was quicker than expected but the work will take much longer, partly because builders are booked up until next year.  However, the house is still an exciting new project for me.  Planning with the architects, showing friends and relatives round the existing house and getting started on clearing unwanted trees from a boundary wall are the current stages.

I feel energised by needing to make new work to a deadline.  

Saturday, January 1, 2022



My concept of a new year is not "out with the old, in with the new", it's more "build on the valuable old to create anew".  Nothing is wasted, one hopes.  This photograph of new blooms on my white cyclamen is a case in point.  Year after year I've failed to take photos of white flowers which look anything like what one sees.  I have much experience of what doesn't work!  What I had never tried before was allowing the flash to operate if it liked and he presto! that was the answer.

Our bad experiences happened and I don't believe in denying them.  That way they retain their proper place - bad experiences we have to learn to live with.  Burying things really doesn't help us learn anything.  Some experiences take a lot longer than others to learn to live with.

There is much for me to look forward to in 2022 and a great deal of it involves the new.  I have a sense of not just moving forward, but running forward (if only I were capable of running 😉). I hope to move house and as the autumn went on it dawned on me that I am really downsizing quite a bit.  Initially this was rather daunting but having decided to make a start by aiming to fill my grey bin completely every fortnight it has turned into something of a relief and even a pleasure.  By getting rid of stuff I somehow condense what is left so that it generates so many new ideas.

I am no longer a potter.  I don't think I anticipated this, but for the past two years it's been obvious that this is what I want.  I have fired everything, kept most of the last two firings of pots for myself and am selling everything else as usual.  The kit will also be sold, although I will be keeping tools and lustres and a few decorating colours so I can do some handbuilding work if I want.  I look back on my decades of being a potter with great pleasure, it's just that suddenly it was no longer what I wanted to do.  As an artist, I find myself moving into other things - silver jewellery, photography, mixed media work and of course still textiles.  It's a huge step but somehow so very positive.

The last year there have been many changes in my life because of losing both my parents, my entire family unit, within six weeks at the end of 2020.  What I'm experiencing, as well as the loss and change from what was, is those sudden shards of light which are sparks of ideas of new things on the horizon.  They are exciting.  Some of them have become clearer and are now actual plans, others are still waiting to be unpacked.

The new house (still in Stroud, of course) is a plan: we have exchanged contracts and completion is due mid-March.  Then there will be months of development, planning permission, and finally building and rebuilding and alterations.  As time goes on, the plan takes a clearer shape.

Life is good.  There are bad things in it for sure - somewhat ropey health, illness and problems for some of those close to me, the general situation with the pandemic, to mention a few.  But life is good.

Only one question remains - my alter ego has been known as the Purple Potter for decades.  Should I change it for something else?