I know how you feel when your work is judged

To my students.  I know how you feel when your work is  judged This academic year I’m teaching the new Open University MA in Creative Writing.  I’m also doing some critical reading of the script materials.  And like thousands of other writers, I’m trying to get my own work off the ground.  When I wear … Continue reading I know how you feel when your work is judged

Things not to say to a person with Crohns or colitis

I’ve recently been diagnosed with Crohns.   It’s a new landscape and I’ve a lot to learn.  Like there are side-effects. To Crohns.  Not only do I have a condition – it has sucky side effects too!  Like mouth ulcers.  (A daily mouthwash with Corsodyl seems to help).  And anaemia because Crohns doesn’t make you … Continue reading Things not to say to a person with Crohns or colitis

Remember! Don’t go to bed until you’ve finished going to the toilet

Said my leaflet on Colonoscopy preparation.  Those useful nuggets of information just kept on coming.  I was very grumpy anyway because it was 4pm, the colonoscopy and endoscopy appointment was next day, I was starving and the only thing going into my stomach was two litres of a laxative called Moviprep. I’d bought some concentrated … Continue reading Remember! Don’t go to bed until you’ve finished going to the toilet

Ulcerative Colitis: Crippling pain, bleeding and crap jokes

The pain suddenly morphed into nausea and my mouth soured as I vomited copiously. Odd what goes through you head – I suddenly realised why I dislike those poncy ‘foams’ that are perched onto your food in post restaurants – they reminded me of when you have nothing left in your stomach but are still being sick.

Donald Trump: Are there any shocks left?

Donald Trump flies into Scotland today, his red hatted man of the people posturing at the ready.  He is on a whistlestop tour to open a golf course in Turnberry, henceforth to be known as Trump Turnberry. In 2010, Mr Trump promised the people of Scotland he would ‘build the biggest golf course in the … Continue reading Donald Trump: Are there any shocks left?

That awful moment when you realise you can’t protect your child from pain and failure

The girl comes home from school her lip trembling.  I ask her if she’s ok and she says she’s fine.  We talk about school for a minute, then I repeat my question.  She repeats her answer a little louder and shrugs to her room. The girl is just twelve but has become very private recently.  … Continue reading That awful moment when you realise you can’t protect your child from pain and failure

99% of workplace stress down to worrying about childcare

SAYS WHO?  you might say.  Well says me.  Only three weeks ago I saw one of my work colleagues being ranted at by an ex-student because he wanted a meeting 'NOW' and she politely explained that she couldn't as she had to leave and pick up her child because if she was late she would … Continue reading 99% of workplace stress down to worrying about childcare

Woman reported to police for not being sorry she had an abortion.

One of my earliest memories as a Catholic girl was the bi-yearly visit of The Society of the Protection of the Unborn Child.  In they would bustle, armed with large placards.  I remember mum glaring at me because I pointed to one and said ‘that lady looks like Dick Emery.’  They seemed less concerned with … Continue reading Woman reported to police for not being sorry she had an abortion.