I’ve never enjoyed Winter. The long dark nights, days without sunshine, frozen fingers. Weeks of rain, rows of barren trees, and squelchy, dirty mud everywhere. When I developed Pulmonary Hypertension, my dislike of it intensified. The cold stole my breath and left me gasping whenever I left the house. Even donning thermals, with the heating … More Wintering

Making It To Midnight

The champagne was poured, the buffet mostly devoured, ‘Articulate’ pushed to the side. As the London fireworks whirled and whizzed and burst and boomed on our tv screen, we stopped singing Auld Lang Syne and joined together in one long Conga. Turning my oxygen machine up to maximum, I joined the line, as it snaked … More Making It To Midnight

When No Breath Comes

It was November 2006, and I was twenty-five. For the past few years, I’d been getting increasingly breathless whenever I exercised. Repeated doctor visits kept assuring me I was just unfit. I went to the gym, hiked, played badminton- I was even the Physical Education leader at my school. But, I trusted my GP. So … More When No Breath Comes

Twenty Years Later

I met my husband at York university. Phil was a Mathematics undergraduate; I was studying Psychology. He loved real ale in ye olde pubs; my nights out involved Taboo & lemonade, and dancing to ‘Steps’ in York’s clubs. He was quiet and shy; whilst I would always spot friends to chat to as I walked … More Twenty Years Later

100 Things I’ve Loved About Charlton

Soaring red kites circling the house. Screeching. “Hello beautiful”. Counting parachutists as they emerge from the clouds. Confidently recognizing which seedlings in the garden are weeds. Striking up conversation with every dog walker. And stroking every dog. Watching first hand the farming circle of life: from newborns to on our plate. Feeling like you’re in … More 100 Things I’ve Loved About Charlton

Third Time Lucky

It was a trip three years in the waiting. We booked the family holiday back in 2019. When Covid hadn’t yet started its deadly rampage, when ‘social distancing’ was unheard of, and when you could cough in public without causing alarm. With homes miles apart, my Mum and siblings and I were looking forward to … More Third Time Lucky

I Caught Covid

It was a typical Sunday morning. The radio was playing love songs, Kepler was chewing his toy squirrel, and the Covid tests were brewing on the side. As I served up the runny egg soldiers, I glanced across at them. Over the past eighteen months, we’ve stuck many swabs down our throat and up our … More I Caught Covid

Happy Anniversary Lungs!

Nine years ago -this week- I collapsed whilst getting ready for work. Overnight my life changed. Completely and totally. Previously a busy and active primary school teacher, now I struggled to breathe and move and live. And no one knew why. For six difficult and exhausting months, I battled to subsist with my unfamiliar disabilities … More Happy Anniversary Lungs!

Look For The Helpers

Back in March, when the coronavirus was claiming its first lives in our country, when supermarket shelves lay empty as folks greedily stockpiled, when sanitizer and masks were hoarded by those not on the front line; I worried for our country. Worried we were losing our humanity, our kindness, our compassion. There was a time … More Look For The Helpers