Gift: A Son's Story (The Night Before)

After mum passed away, my brother and I had a small disagreement. Mum had always said "I'll leave this bungalow only when they carry me out in a wooden box!" I thought, then, that it was only right that she should spend her final night before the funeral there. He disagreed, and said it was better that she should stay in the Chapel of Rest, which was just along the road. He said "She's gone now. It's no longer her home." He thought it was morbid. Finally, though, he relented - after I'd persuaded him that it was a tradition in so many cultures. Also, I said, people could call and pay their last respects if they so wished. So, the night before, the coffin was brought into her lounge, and I returned to be there with it. With her. (Image: mine)

Sunny Day Out In Oxford Part Two

Next we were taken further on up the tower where more narrow steps led to this one prison cell which left me very sad indeed. Our guide told us that...

Sunny Day Out In Oxford Part One

Dear diary... eager as I am to complete my bucket list of things to do, my partner was surprised when I declared that a trip to Oxford Castle Dungeon...


get the love she needed from my daddy who only came home by and by? The War they say and why he could only stay awhile. Too young to understand and...


Memories of Troy and Ancient Greece, World War 1, and speculations about nearby Albania, from Corfu. A Beautiful Palace on top of a mountain overlooking Corfu Town.

Gift: A Son's Story (More Signs)

After mum passed away, I needed all the reassurances I could get. I'd already had some encouraging 'signs'. But on the day I went (with my brother) to register her death, I got some more. It doesn't matter if they were pure coincidences. At times like that, we cling onto whatever helps. And I'm sure they weren't pure coincidences... (my own photo)

Gift: A Son's Story (Push)

Just before my mother reached the final stage of her illness, she was still living independently in the council bungalow she'd had for almost 25 years. But a few years earlier - as a precaution - she'd registered for a flat at a nearby sheltered accommodation complex in case the bungalow ever became too much. In the interim, though, she'd made her mind up. She wanted to stay put. 'I'm not leaving here,' she said to me one day 'until I'm carried out in a box!' I supported her in this. My brother wasn't so sure. His wife and her daughter, my step-niece, began to exert some pressure. There were already tensions between us. His wife and I had never gotten on. They seemed to go against anything I liked or wanted. At last, an opportunity arose to bring the matter to a head...

Her Red Shopping Bag

She was adamant: if they wouldn’t let her hold her red shopping bag, she was not having her photograph taken. The bag held her treasure: her well-...


a deck of cards and one spilled onto the floor it landed with a smack reminding us of a child we knew who lived for a while in such a sad life –...

Are We Going To See Corfu?

There are more beaches to sit on, 2 fortresses, parks and museums, and that’s just in Corfu Town. The buses are usable but confusing. They seem to go...