Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Above picture taken on Sunday during an eventful walk at Carn Brae. Yes we got lost. No surprise there. But at least I wasn't map reading.

And on to other matters. Yesterday I got the following email:-

Dear Sue,

I am delighted to tell you that you have made the top 20 list of Novelicious Undiscovered 2012. The full list can be found at

We will be showcasing each of the entries through out May ready for the public vote at the start of June. You are more than welcome to tweet, facebook and encourage people to vote for you, but we will not accept repeat voting and will have a system in place to prevent this.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions, and WELL DONE!

WELL! As one of my best mates is about to depart for a while, this is good news indeed. So please have a look and vote for FOUR LEFT FEET by Sue Jackson.

I’m also hoping to go on a trip to Scilly – I’ve just written a piece on the Scillonian’s 35th anniversary so have a trip for 2 (well, 3 with Moll) so we’re hoping to head off end of this week. Though given the forecast, this could be a bumpy ride!

And nearer to home, Mum is going to be in a nursing home for a while but has started reading again which is good news. Given her state of mind, she wants cheerful books to read. I’ve ordered some Mary Wesley which she’s read already but always stand re-reading. Anyone got any ideas for other uplifting but interesting novels?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Clever Women?

As it's a rainy, windy day, here's a picture of the gatehouse at Lanhydrock - in summer climes.

I was talking to a friend I haven’t seen for ages last night, and asked about her love life. “I haven’t had a man around for a while,” she said. “I’ve come to the conclusion that men don’t like clever women.”

She is clever, and has a fairly public job, so I can see why some men might not like it if she’s having to do lots of public engagements.

That got me thinking, as a friend described me as clever the other night. I’d always thought of clever people as being very well educated and knowledgeable (neither of which I am), so I did a quick check. According to the dictionary, clever is defined as “mentally bright; having sharp or quick intelligence; able.” So perhaps I am a bit.

But that got me thinking – Pip wasn’t intimidated by bright women as he liked a challenge. In fact, the worst thing he could say about someone was, “she’s not very bright”.

So I asked my other friend how he felt about clever women. “I love them,” he said. “I’m sparked off by clever minds. I like independent women, those I can discuss things with, women who think outside the box.”

I asked him why he thought some men didn’t like bright women. “I think because a lot of men aren’t very clever,” was his surprising reply.

Judging by my male friends, I’ve noticed that those men who feel comfortable with women and are secure enough in their own abilities, don’t feel threatened by able women.

But of course it’s never as simple as that. What do you think?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

More Ups and Downs

Another one of Marazion, because it was such perfect weather....

Last Easter was, despite having good friends around, utterly horrendous. Not that Pip and I ever celebrated – in fact I would get frustrated with him for not wanting to go out for the day, but it was nice to have someone to get cross with. If you get my drift.

I was unprepared, last Easter, for the effect of a long weekend. Loneliness and grief descended like a thick fog bank and, despite wonderful friends around me, I spent much of last Easter unable to function. Wishing that there was a government health warning about bank holidays for the vulnerable.

Although this year we are all worried about poor Mum, at least she is now in a nursing home and being well looked after. We are taking it one step at a time but it looks like she may need looking after for a long while. We’ll know more at the end of this week, when I’m going up to see her. It’s a very difficult time, but my brothers have been great, and whereas when Pip was so ill it was just me trying to deal with it, now it makes a terrific difference having siblings to help. It’s also brought us a lot closer.

But this Easter was great. I was taken out and fed and watered. I went to two gigs, two car boots, walks and to see a variety of friends. On Sunday we also went to the Roseland and the Victory pub in St Mawes and had a really lovely day out despite both being somewhat knackered.

Of course there were the Easter Disasters - a friend round the corner managed to get a socking splinter in his hand which has now meant going to Treliske to have it Dug Out (it is huge). Then Howard (who still hasn’t finished painting the flat but may, one day) bent down to pat next door’s dog who bit him on the hand, going right through Howard’s thumbnail. He stood on the doorstep, dripping blood, so I rushed him in and patched him up. Men, eh?

My weekend was full of lovely friends, good music and fun. A welcome interlude in a somewhat stressful time. But life always has its ups and downs, doesn’t it? It’s a question of enjoying the good times, savouring them and holding onto the images for when the bad times come. While the good times may not last, it's encouraging to know that the bad ones don't either.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The good days - and the bad

It’s always difficult coming back to work after a holiday, but life has been somewhat of a rollercoaster since then. To start with, the weather was so wonderful last Wednesday that a friend and I decided to go down to Rosudgeon car boot sale. So we set off on a perfect morning with the sun beating down on us like a blessing, got to Rosudgeon to find that the car boot doesn’t start until after Easter. Still, it was so lovely we headed off to Marazion and spent an hour on the beach with Mollie - as you can see above, she had a great time.

From there we went to Penzance for food, then Rinsey Cove for a sunbathe and paddle – sunbathing – in March! A quick trip to the Blue Anchor in Helston, then back home as I was going to meet a dear friend who’s just come back from New Zealand. A perfect day…..

Then, checking my phone, I found a message from one of my brothers to say Mum had had a fall so he and his wife were going down on Wednesday instead of Thursday to see her. The next day he rang to say Mum had fallen in the night and smacked her head on a dresser, had to be taken to hospital. There they found she was severely dehydrated and her sodium and potassium levels had gone haywire leaving her very confused.

To cut a long story short, she’s still there. Luckily she has agreed to go to a nursing home for recuperation, but the phone has been hot between me and my brothers and a poor confused and paranoid Mum.

On Monday, as my brother had returned home we had a phone call to say she’d just dislocated her hip, which would postpone her discharge. I felt I should belt up and see her, and a dear friend offered to come with me. She took one look at me as I arrived at her place. “I’ll drive,” she said. And dear of her, she did. So I was able to spend a couple of hours with Mum and we drove back that evening, feeling decidedly shaken and jetlagged, but glad that I’d seen her.

Life was beginning to feel like the nightmare it had been when Pip was so very ill. Panic fluttered inside me like a trapped bird, and I felt as if someone was trampling on my guts with heavy black boots, dragging me down this long dark familiar tunnel.

Thankfully it seems Mum is recovering well and I’ve just had a call to say she’s being discharged to the nursing home this afternoon. As my Dad died when I was in my twenties, I never had to deal with him getting old. I have a feeling this road with Mum could be a long, difficult and painful one for all of us.