11 Years

From today on I’ve lived more of my life without my dad than with him.

I can’t say that out loud, but I felt the need to mark it somehow. Eleven years has felt like a lifetime, I’ve become who I am without my dad, I don’t know who I’d be with him in my life.

Instead there’s just this hole, this hole that I have this relationship with but am always wondering about. The whole which I hate and wish it wasn’t there, yet I don’t know who I am without it.

Eleven years old and facing his death, knowing that my parents can just go, like that. That’s shaped everything onwards.

Each anniversary is different, but this one has had the longest lead up, the realisation that its been longer without than with crept up on me and firmly attached itself. Waiting for today to arrive.

Everything’s so different now, yet I can remember that night like it was yesterday. I know how to live with it, stay with it and feel it, but its never the same.

I’ll go on living with it, this relationship with this missing piece. Who knows where it’ll go with me?


My place

At 21 I feel very much in search of my own place. Life as a student is like living in a venn diagram: you exist in two different places, almost simultaneously yet the places shape you automatically.

My place at home is with my mum, in my childhood bed, the house I grew up in and the town I know so well. The more I’m away from this place, the more it feels mine. Its not somewhere that feels like forever, but that doesn’t stop it feeling like home, intrinsicly a part of me everywhere I go.

My place as a student has changed. First it was in Lincoln. It took 3 years for me to find my place there, my place came with the people I met. I only found my place when I found my faith and when a network of friends developed around. It was never permenant, only mine for three years, but it’s the place of so many people I’ve loved and its always in my heart.

My place as a masters student is in development. I feel more at home in this place than ever before, in my corner of the country yet still so new. For the first time in this place I’ve found a church that fits, feels like home and I can settle into. This place is bringing huge challenges, highs and lows shared with new people who are becoming a part of me. This place has two years to be adopted within me, then I may move on.

I have a vision of my place in the future: close and far at the same time. Somewhere that I can settle, make my own over the years. My place will be linked to so many other people’s places, found through this. My place may change a few times, maybe more, maybe I’ll get so used to change, I’ll no longer recognise myself. I trust that I will be shown my place at just the right time.

Inspired by : Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place

Dear Carlisle


You’re a quiet little city,
That seems to be my thing now.
You’re full of history and nature,
New meets old can be confusing.
You have the cold and the rain,
Northern landmarks you’ve made sure I know.
You don’t have a very exciting town centre,
I sometimes want to get away to the big city shopping.
Most of the people I live with hate it here,
Small city life kind of suits me.

You came alive today,
Full of friendly faces and welcoming smiles,
I was serving to help make you beautiful,
Finding the smiles and the fun on a cold winter day.

You’re not the best,
But I’d say I’ve found a home serving with Vineyard to see you smile.


Here are my deepest thoughts,
The ones reserved only for me.

Here are my fears, my worries,
No one else really gets to see.

Here is what I feel, how I really think,
The words pour out when I need it.

Here are the parts of me I wish people knew,
They’re also the parts I refuse to show.

A Poem of Praise

I know not what is ahead,
I walk towards your plan,
Light the path in front, I pray.

Wondering not wandering,
For you have gone before,
My heart looks for you.

Creeping all around me,
Your love seeps on through,
Though I feel so lonely,
Your provision never fails.

Even in the darkness,
When I feel lost and unknown,
You pull me closer day by day.

I’ve never needed more,
You give me food and shelter,
Connections you are forming,
I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Mind My Eczema

“The most important thing is to moisturise”

If only she knew,
That I moisturise,
Every day,
Every hour.

If only she knew,
That my hands decided they didn’t like this moisturiser,
Or that one,
Maybe this one,
But not in that form.

If only she knew,
The emotions every time I’m given a new cream,
The hope,
Maybe this one will be the miracle,
The fear,
What if it causes more problems?
The lack of a stable treatment I’ve faced for years.

If only she knew,
That my hands slide off everything,
My grip is non-existent,
The thick ointment is the only one that works,
Only it doesn’t work for function.

If only she knew,
How much I hate being like this,
The embarrassment of it,
The insecurity,
Wishing for normality.

If only she knew,
That the ‘experts’ don’t help,
Just tell me I have to live with it,
Shrug it off like its nothing,
As if I’m not the expert of my own body.

If only she knew just how hard it is living with eczema,
Maybe then she wouldn’t of had a crying mess in her office.
A 5 minute blood test turned a 50 minute discussion.

If only they knew,
That having eczema isn’t just dry skin,
Its cuts appearing when I think I’ve got it cracked,
Its never knowing if something new is going to help,
Or send me into another cycle of itchiness and discomfort.

If only I knew how to accept this,
Adaptation and acceptance,
The advice I’d give anyone else,
I just can’t seem to find it for myself.


Yesterday I realised how far I’ve come,
From the brokenhearted girl who cried so often,
To the person starting this new adventure with no fear.

Yesterday I realised that things have changed,
So much in the opposite of my once upon a time wishes,
Shape shifting into a new person,
New dreams,
New possibilities.

Yesterday I realised that the breakthrough  wasn’t sudden,
The breakthrough was laughter,
Building up until it overcame the tears,
The breakthrough was time,
Building a new life from scratch.

Sometimes breakthroughs happen so slowly that you don’t know its happening.

Daily Prompt: Breakthrough

In the water


I look towards the water,
My destination clear,
Edging towards the moment,
The plan goes on from here.

Its so big and scary,
The unknown ahead of me,
I can see the surface,
The specifics not so clear.

I have to move towards it,
Suddenly I’m in,
No safety of a life jacket,
A new adventure to begin.


Now I’m here its better,
Less variables uncontrolled,
Still I’m in the process,
Of making it my own.

Swimming is exhausting,
Treading water is a chore,
I have to keep on going,
Until I reach the shore.

Painting with light

It started with darkness.
Don’t get me wrong, I was pretty comfortable,
When I was there it didn’t feel huge,
Looking back I see that it was.

I made a choice.
A step into a room,
Leading to a step into a building,
Leading to a slow chain of decisions,
An invitation for the light to come in.

It happened slowly,
Slowly but surely a masterpiece began,
Light pushed some darkness away,
The creator took over.

He’s working on his painting,
Crafting the light in just the right places at just the right times,

I’m learning to surrender comfort for love,
A work in progress can be just as beautiful as the finished product.