Gillian, who’s she?

Gillian, no that doesn’t fit

But it’s what my mum named me

I like her reason why because she

knew a Gillian with a certain style

to which she aspired

but I know she has her own

which is quite a bit like mine.

Gill, no way that’s me

there were too many Gills by far

for this G to add to the pile

and yet it stuck for a while.

Then along came Mr G

the first to call me Gilly ,

a fit that worked at last

that I began to feel belonged

not one in every road

and even if it rhymes with silly

with Nkeiru added to it

it’s mine and mine alone.


The Daily Post prompt today says

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

I had a bit of fun with this, names are funny things aren’t they? I don’t think I could choose one for myself, I suppose we grow into our names?






Gill, Gilly

Being careful

This week’s photo challenge was created by Michelle W,

— a photo taken with care, a person being careful, or a task or detail requiring care.

My first ‘Careful’ image is of two young people engaged in martial arts. One wrong move and it could be very painful, but this tough cookie knew just what she was doing.

Next we have some delicate work, carried out with skill, spinning wool for Turkish rugs.


And last but not least, my gorgeous Grandson being very careful and totally focussed with last year’s birthday present, his very first guitar!

The challenge is just out so you have a week to join in.

A Golden Age

If you had to live forever, what age would you choose, childhood, adolescence or adulthood, and why? This is the question posed by the Daily Post today.

I’ll start by saying why I wouldn’t want to be an eternal child. I had plenty of fun as a child, simple fun, where I could play for hours sitting in a den under a table, covered in a chenille cloth or eating raw sausage meat when my grandmother made sausage rolls. A wooden box full of buttons was perfect to let my imagination run wild, as I conjured up the garments they had fallen from.

But I also had strange and difficult times as I struggled to know where I belonged. No, belonged is the wrong word, it was more that I was trying to work out how I fitted in, an answer that I didn’t get until I was middle aged.

My teenage years were worse, expected to and indeed wanting to go out and meet the world, I was often fearful and I most definitely did not fit.

But that’s the past. Now my skin fits. It won’t fit for many more years though, in stead it will become looser, as the subcutaneous fat redistributes itself, and I take on the guise of the crone.

So I want to stay where I am right now. I want to keep the strength I have, keep the ailments that come with age at bay. No arthritis, hypertension, high cholesterol, thyroid problems or dementia, because I need time.

I didn’t begin travelling until I was in my forties, I’d always wanted to but hardly dared to dream. I got my hit of exotic destinations watching Michael Palin, everywhere he went, I wanted to go. It wasn’t until I began to break free, that some of those places became reality.

But oh, there are so many places I need to see. Ethiopia, Mali, Uzbekistan, Namibia, Chile, Libya, Israel, Jordan, Greece. There are places that I couldn’t go to at the moment, even if I had the time and money. Pakistan, I’ve always wanted to visit, but I’ve just this evening watched a documentary, about it’s incredible history and culture.

I dream of being able to walk safely around the cities of Nigeria, to travel Ibgo country freely, meeting more of my family there and really understanding the culture. As things stand, it’s doubtful that this could happen in my lifetime. Who knows, give it fifty years and some miracles then, perhaps, it could be possible. So, I need to live forever as I am now, with the wisdom, confidence and experience that I have, and the brakes on the physical deterioration. This is my Golden Age!

I’m adding this comment I found on Facebook this morning. It’s from my lovely extra son, my daughter’s partner Steven, who has hidden talents that I hope he will use one day. Thanks Steve xx

This is a tough question. On first thought it seems easy, however who would truly want to live forever? The fact that we have such a brief sneeze of time to enjoy this crazy, heart aching, beautiful thing called life is what makes it so truly special. We live each day never truly knowing if it is our last, so we grab hold of it, squeeze it for every little drop and savour every morsel. If we live forever then surely part of that essence fades, knowing that we have forever to do the things we want. We lose the sense of urgency, the need, the desire to do today all the things we fear to delay until  tomorrow. The fear of tomorrow makes us live today.

But then I realise that I could spend forever with my beautiful family, watching my daughters play and grow. If only….

The Nereids Zodiac Sign

My brand new zodiac sign would be Nereids, sea goddesses ruled by the tides and moon, therefore a mix of air and water elements. There is to be a full moon around my birthday, and I share the sign with others born three days either side of June 2nd. Nereids like myself have been known to howl at the moon and gather like minded daughters and sisters, crones and virgins to join in the lunar celebrations at the seashore, and the liminal space of the estuary. Nereids are volatile spirits, benign, warm and generous with a bountiful love of human, animal and faerie folk. Harm an innocent though and we will fight tooth, feather and scales to defend the broken ones, often suffering ourselves as a result. Beware triggering our rage.

Physically we are fleet as shoals of little silver fish, swirling in the shallows , where the sunlight shimmers. Because of our love of water and air, we can be prone to weakness of our feet, and they need much attention to keep them healthy. Both our hands and eyes are very expressive and full of emotion.

At times we become too grounded for our nature and that is when we become greedy, often devouring great quantities of things that are unsuitable and over processed. This slows us down, makes us sluggish and confuses our airways, causing asthma like symptoms . We can be opinionated, overbearing, and frequently become grumpy old women, with a flip side that never grows up.

Could you possibly be a Nereid? If this sounds like you, there is a fair chance that someone got your birthdate wrong. Maybe you could describe your own custom zodiac sign?


I created this post in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Custom Zodiac

Sleep, no, dreams, yes

Sleep? Very funny. I have a bad case of sleep envy. Is it only the young that can lie down and fall asleep at the lowering of an eyelash? I certainly can’t remember lying awake for hours in my youth can you? I can’t remember turning from my right side to my back to my left side and repeating the whole cycle for hours either. I can’t remember ‘killing’ pillows and having to buy new ones every few months, because the weight and swivel of my head leaves an unfillable crater in them, whether they cost £3 in the bargain shops or £30 in John Lewis.

Dreams were rare in my childhood. There was a nightmare that had a couple of times, self-inflicted I believe, and about rats. I used to play near the panny you see, a tunnel built to channel the North Brook under the road, for about a mile near where I lived. It was a sort of dare game, the place was mucky, wet as brooks are and as dark as tunnels under the road are bound to be. There were also eels in the water, so the choice was wading through it with them swimming over your toes, or trying to walk on the narrow edge where inevitably rats were scurrying over your feet. I’ve been rat phobic ever since and these images often come to me when I’m on the sleep threshold.

When I eventually get to sleep these days, my dreams are more sophisticated. I had a spell where I had very lucid dreams, like the one about the mansion. I’d be strolling through an endless set of rooms, each more grand, exciting and vibrant than the last. Very ornate, elegant and full of important paintings, sculpture and literature and I was always on the top floor of the mansion. So, as I understand it, dreams about the top floors of buildings are about the psyche, the fascinating stuff of our minds, what’s in our head space. I’ve often wondered what this dream says about me.

Another very powerful dream that’s stayed with me, was in a very definite place, at the top of the hill on the Moretonhampstead road, after you drive over the first cattle grid on Dartmoor. A deep valley is on the right and in my dream it was on fire. I want to get my family to safety in our tiny 2CV, but I know it’s futile because it’s more than just a fire. I hold my children in my arms and wait the end of the world.

My eyes are sleepy now. I might take my book to bed, but it’s rather good and will keep me awake. I need a boring one instead. I hope that you sleep well and wake refreshed.

I’ve written this in response to the Daily Post today, by Michelle W.

Full Tanka Day One

Ben Huberman at the WordPress Daily Post says,

What’s better than a perfect bite? Two perfect bites.

If haiku is the sashimi of poetry, tanka is its heartier hand roll cousin.

Traditional tanka contain five lines instead of haiku’s three, and 31 syllables instead of 17. The structure is that of a haiku followed by two additional lines of seven syllables each: 5-7-5-7-7. (Many contemporary poets take liberties with the specifics, and you can, too.)

So as I post a haiku or a tanka (if I’m not too lazy) every Thursday, I thought I’d have a try at a whole weeks worth for the Weekly Writing Challenge.
I plan to use a season of flowers as my theme, one for each month from March to September.

White magnolia

chic supermodel of spring

delicate petals

such effortless elegance

gracing gardens of England


The Daily Prompt: Seven Wonders

I haven’t tried the Daily Prompt at WordPress before, but somehow today it touched me, so I’m having a try. Michelle W. says . . .

Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SEVEN.’

I decided to haiku, here are my attempts.


By seeking inside

first nurture and love yourself

then love you will attract


Bursting from my skin

searing, I must be alive

all consuming pain


Tiniest new growth

changing each new day

girl child brings me joy


Stillness of the dawn

a golden hour full of peace

before the world awakes


Never far away

somewhere someone nears death

may it be timely


No more oppression

human struggle for an end

eternal freedom


Open wide your heart

abundance is yours, accept

always be thankful

See more over at

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up Again

Sara Rosso has chosen Up this week. I knew this was familiar and sure enough some of us have been UP before. Here is mine from 2011 I still love my laughing Arabian!
To join in this time go to and add your entry.
This time I’ll show you one just snapped at the park.

Further from home, the tower in Kuala Lumpur


and one to make you rush! If they rang you had to get up really quickly!

2013 Apr 06_4064

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

If I had my choice I would only have one season – summer, like Cat Bird in Oman has! Having said that, it’s December and we have only had two or three frosts so far. Cheri Lucas at The Daily Post has asked us to share a picture that means changing season to us, but I couldn’t think how so I’m posting all four seasons.