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

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


Weekly Writing Challenge: Haiku Catchoo Wednesday

Day three of the five day Haiku challenge from Krista at the Daily Post. Here is the photo I used for inspiration.haiku5

Next Generation

Red heart full of seeds

burst spread your bounty and then


There’s still time to join in because you can post five days in one if you like!

Weekly Writing Challenge: Haiku Catchoo

Krista over at The Daily Post says,

‘Your challenge, should you choose to accept it

In the words of Ray Bradbury, “Just write every day of your life…”. Your mission is to write five haikus — one for each of the five days leading up to this Friday when we will choose some entries and feature them on Freshly Pressed.

Of course, you can modify this challenge to suit your needs — you can write two haikus one day and three the next, or five all in one day, or one haiku every day from today through Friday — the choice is entirely up to you. If haikus don’t inspire you, you’re welcome to write a paragraph of prose instead. As always, the challenges are meant to be malleable so that they suit your needs.

While traditional haikus tend to focus on things found in nature — anything goes for this haiku challenge. You can write haikus about your dog, your house, your cat, your great aunt Tilly — anything that captures your muse. The object is to try a new form and put some variety into your writing projects.’

I really like this challenge. As some of you know I regularly write a Lazy Poets Haiku, Tanka or poem on Thursdays and I always use one of my own photos as inspiration. I really am a lazy poet, an undisciplined dabbler, so the Japanese short forms really appeal to me. From now until Friday I will attempt to match a haiku to a photo, here is day one.

haiku 1

Tutu’d white ladies

will you dance in the forest

glowing pas de deux

To join in or read some more polished work,

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

There are some very clever tips at the Daily Post today

Now, I’m sure the geometry was accurate in these three very old cathedrals but sadly craning my neck and holding a camera still and straight has made them look a touch wonky! Here is Gloucester cathedral.


and last, the best of all is Exeter

check out the fan vaulting in my earlier post if you don’t believe me!

As I looked up, Lynne looked down!

And here is a newbie with a lovely quilt!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

This is what they have to say about the challenge this week over at  The Daily Post .

Everyday Life. This challenge is all about people and the things they do every day: working, eating, drinking, chatting, dreaming, walking, exercising, or any of those things we do all the time without really thinking about it. Take a walk around your neighbourhood, or around the streets where you work or study, and take a look at the people you see.You might think that your neighbourhood isn’t very interesting, but imagine that you’re giving a guided tour to someone from the other side of the world—what’s normal for you might be extraordinary to them. 

And this is my entry.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming

This weeks photo challenge over at is dreaming. They suggest a shot with an other worldly sense of escapism created with a long exposure. Mine was only a one second exposure but taken later than the hour before sunset that they suggested, and I have de-saturated it a bit because the street furniture is actually brightly coloured at night. I hope it has an ethereal effect with its ghostly shadows. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

The theme of family was a tough call for me, I came close to choosing a photo of a family I met in Kuala Lumpur. In the end, I decided to go with a very personal one that few people have seen.

I spent a long time trying to find the other half of my family who are scattered around the world.  This is my brother Mitchell (Uzoamaka), the one that took me longest to track down. I knew he was there, in New Jersey, but it took several years of Facebook for him to come out of the woodwork. It took him a while to send me a photo, but now that he has I can see myself looking back at me. We have yet to meet, so I didn’t take this photo, but I hope to change that soon.