Frantic February, Political Activism and Muffins

As February speeds to its ultimate conclusion I thought it time to reflect on my achievements thus far. The highlight has to be winning the Hallmark #TMantic competition mainly through the sterling efforts of friends and followers who voted for me during a nerve-wracking, rollercoaster week.  Too many people to thank individually but you know who you are.

I also have an entry in a Haiku competition and await the results of a couple of others. February also saw me indulging in a little political activism spurred on by my horror at proposed cuts in Children’s Cardiac Units, respite centres and the potentially dangerous DLA reforms. Sometimes even a career procrastinater like myself can be jolted into action.

I’ve revamped my blog, hosted a guest post, sent out the call offering product reviews and have identified my first subject for my #hometourist season (due out in March). 

On a social level I have hosted a  birthday party for a friend and also a mini reunion with some ex university pals. I even managed to attend a hilarious writers tweetup where the main topic of conversation was muffins. Make of that what you will.  😉

So why do I still feel as though I don’t ‘do’ enough?

I’m guilty of making unfair comparisons between myself and my peers. I read a plethora of excellent stories, poetry and blog posts churned out, seemingly effortlessly, by writers whom I look up to and aspire to be. It is, dare I say, envy and my inner ‘sensible’ self realises that I may have slightly lost the plot (little writer pun there).

No one should ‘aspire’ to be anyone but themselves. Allow yourself to be ‘inspired’ by others but remember that everyone sings their own song, follows their own path and dreams their own dreams. What a terrible world this would be if we were all singing from the same hymn sheet.

I’m reminded of the scene in Life Of  Brian where the crowd repeats the mantra ‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ and that sole voice at the back pipes up ‘I’m not’.

Vive la difference


A Mothers Plea

Monday the 15th of January 2007 is a day that will haunt me forever. This was the day when Nick and I were told that our 3 week old son was almost at the brink of death. This was the day when we were all transported from York to Leeds General Infirmary to face the worst time of our lives. Nothing on earth could have prepared us for the trauma that followed.

Four years later as I sit watching that same little boy tuck into his ice cream my joy is tinged with a great sadness. The Government is proposing to close children’s Cardiac Units such as the one at Leeds General infirmary, to force distraught families and critically ill children to travel further for treatment. They are putting these fragile lives at further risk and cranking up the pressure on their already overstressed parents. Why?

Alex’s heart was ‘broken’. He was lucky to have access, FAST access, to a team of dedicated staff and surgeons who fixed him. So why is the Government trying to ‘fix’ something that isn’t broken?

Look carefully at this picture

What do you see?

I couldn’t look at this picture for a long time but, now that lives are being put at risk, it’s significance hits me.

Longer distances mean longer transfer times and a higher risk that, for some children, will make all the difference between life and death. It doesn’t take a genius to work it out.

This picture is Alex, post-op, hooked in the Special Care Baby Unit and his picture is full of Hope. Because he made it to the hospital in time. Had he not, then this picture would never have existed.

And what Hope is there in a headstone?

read more on Alex’s story here

sign the petition to save children’s Cardiac Surgery here