Helping at Home

Helping when I was a kid (and I’m talking about from under the age of 10) involved setting/clearing the table after meals, washing up, doing some hoovering/sweeping, the odd bit of polishing with Pledge and helping out in the garden with a bit of weeding.

I cooked my first three course meal at the age of 8:

Tomato soup (tinned)R

Roast chicken, roast potatoes and vegetables

Fruit salad (tinned)

I did it all on my own, as evidenced by my use of the limescale-lined saucepan that my Mother used to use to boil hankies and dishcloths, to heat through the tomato soup – obviously I didn’t know that was what she used it for and at least it was very, very clean!



Full Moon tonight

Energy fills the room

Through the wall of windows


Firelight in the burner

Figures, creatures, elementals

Flowing through the wood


Deep speech tumbles

From our lips

Without interruption





Three Cakes and a Wedding Anniversary

Friday and Saturday were a hectic whirl of cake-making, first aiding and party-attending.

On Thursday I began preparing to make my first rich fruit cake of the year (also my first Christmas present of 2017!) by weighing out dried fruits, glace cherries and mixed peels before combining them with brandy and leaving to soak overnight.

Friday morning found me preparing a deep, heavy duty cake tin with double layers of  buttered greaseproof paper and wrapped in a double thickness of brown paper tied with string, ready to receive the cake mix.  Next I sifted the flour and assorted spices from a height (as instructed by Delia) into a bowl where I had already creamed butter and sugar together, before beating in eggs. Finally, I folded treacle, orange and lemon zests and chopped, flaked almonds into the concoction before gently stirring in the nearly 3lb of fruit and then spooned it all into the prepared tin and then into the oven to cook for 4-5 hours.

I spent some time fine-tuning my plans for the next two cakes which I was to take along to a friends Silver Wedding Anniversary celebration the next day.

I decided upon a gluten free, dairy free Vanilla and Blueberry Sponge with a fresh blueberry and dairy free vanilla icing filling and a gluten free Chocolate Orange Sponge with a marmelade filling (I used my homemade Seville Orange Whisky marmelade) and a dairy free chocolate icing topping with mini chocolate orange wedges arranged around the edge (these weren’t dairy free).

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bake these sponges on Friday afternoon so Saturday morning found me organising the kitchen in a military fashion, having all necessary ingredients and equipment out before starting.

This worked very well, especially with the help of my wonderful husband, who took charge of washing up to keep me supplied with clean bowls, etc.

I was starting to think that we would make it along to the celebration mass (something I was looking forward to as I have never attended a Roman Catholic service before) when our visitor from Germany suddenly had a fall in the garden and twisted her ankle. We weren’t completely sure that it wasn’t broken, so we both helped her into the house and helped her settle in a chair and elevate her leg on a stool before applying arnica cream and then ice (well, an old bag of frozen veg wrapped in a towel!) and fetching pain relief.

I contacted our friends to tell them that we wouldn’t be at the Mass and I went to finish the cakes.

My husband kindly volunteered to look after our guest so that I and our children to go to the party, which we duly did after a change of clothes.

How to survive in intersectional feminist spaces 101

Interesting, useful, educational.


I wrote this for a specific group, but I’ve been asked to share it. A lot of folks are just waking up to activism and are heading into intersectional feminist spaces with some trepidation. Hopefully this can help keep you on track. I’ve already been reminded that I missed code-switching, appropriation (which is a whole post, frankly, but TL;dr if a living group exists that can be mocked for the thing you think is cool and that you want to do, don’t), and a few other things. I’ll try to pick those up at a later date, but in the meantime this primer will help you get your feet wet without making a damn fool of yourself. Much. It’s all lessons I learned the hard way, so do better than me and remember we’re all works in progress.)

Hey, crew. If this isn’t your first exposure to intersectional feminism you…

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Dylan Seabridge Child Practice Review July 2016


Dylan Seabridge died in Pembrokeshire age 8 in December  2011. At an inquest in January 2015 the cause of death was found to be scurvy. The Seabridge family  had lived in Pembrokeshire since 2001.  

The Concise Child Practice Review  into Dylan’s death was published on July 8th 2016. (These replaced Serious Case Reviews in Wales a few years ago) Quotes  from the Review appear below  underlined in italics.

The Review makes it clear that the family was not “hidden” but that information was not evaluated  appropriately and was not shared with the relevant professionals. The Review also finds that procedures were followed.

“in following the correct procedures there was nothing any individual agency or practitioner could have done differently to avoid this outcome”  because “vulnerable adults were not routinely seen in relation to their role as parents.”

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My Birthday Pledge – To spend the next year working for free for Society

Really awesome intentions.

It's All Good Radio Show

Compassion Quote

I can’t put my finger on exactly when it happened but something awoke inside me to say, “I want to work for Society.”

And the idea won’t let me go.  I have to find a way.

Spiritual practices call this wanting to “serve”.  There is definitely an element to that in how I feel, but on a more basic level – I see such need all around me and I can’t bear to see people suffer.

What stops me from doing this?  Nothing.  Apart from not knowing how I will pay my rent and electricity, food and travel costs.

And that distraction of earning money dispels expansion.  Not just my expansion, but the expansion of so many people I have yet to meet but could help if I’m free of my own need to earn money.

For the past two years I’ve worked in the community as an independent career and employment coach…

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It’s Only Words: On trolls, free speech, and the last few days.


Before you read this I should clarify that I am not back on my Twitter account. My blog and Instagram accounts both automatically link to it and publish new posts, so this may publish on my account but I am not going to access it to delete it, because I have deleted the app and do not want to go into my account, and apologise for any confusion.

Dear readers,

I have always tried to strike a balance between keeping you all updated with any major twists and turns in my frankly unusual life, without bombarding you with so much extraneous detail that the recipes get buried beneath an amateur imitation of a weekly glossy magazine. So, while there may not be red screaming circles of shame around my dark baggy eyes or shock horror headlines at being caught without any makeup on, I do feel I owe it to…

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