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60 Mothers Say “So Glad They Told Me”

So often parenting is seen as a competitive sport. If there was a Parenting Olympics, the medals would go to those more skilled in: Bitchiness, Giving Useless Advice, Giving Unwanted Advice, Doling Out Put-Downs (Disguised as Super-Helpful Advice, with an extra medal of extremely clever disguises), Showing Other Parents Why You Do It Right and They Do It Wrong, In …

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These Are My Roots

9th Century AD A ship pitches on heavy seas, swinging to avoid rocks. The thunderous rain and wind matches the fury of the ship’s crew. Norse men set upon each other, and one tumbles into the ocean, sinking beneath rolling waves. As the ship lurches forward without him, a wave tosses him upwards, sending him crashing towards land. He grabs …

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Where is Home?

“How long are you home for?” I’ve heard this question many times, every year, sometimes several times a year, for decades. It always causes me to pause, to wonder. I grew up on an island in the far north of the UK. On it, we had the most northerly house, beach and post office. We had long summer days, and …

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The Ugly Ones

He stopped by my desk. I held my breath, and kept my head down. He strode on, and his big black stick thudded onto the desk of in front of me. The girl stood up and muttered. “I don’t know, sir.” She remained standing, stooped over her desk, her legs bent and trembling. The stick thumped onto my desk. I …

The Light in Her Eyes

“You’ll be hoping to have her home for Christmas.” Those words still have the power to bring tears to my eyes, fifteen years on.  In heat of July, a scan suggested our new baby would be a girl. She was due in November, so  my husband booked time off from work with her delivery date in mind. In the grey, …

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Aftermath of the Attack

This is the sixth post in a series about the time when, as a teenager, I was held hostage. If you’ve missed the earlier posts, here they are: How I Got Drawn In,  A Minister’s Son, The Knife, The Rope, and Breaking Free and Breaking Down. Do read them first and then come back!    That night, I couldn’t bear …

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Breaking Free and Breaking Down

This is the fifth post in a series about a time from my teens when I was held hostage. If you’ve missed the first three posts, here they are: How I Got Drawn In,  A Minister’s Son, The Knife and The Rope.  Do read them first and then come back!  It is so dark in this empty street, with deserted …

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The Rope

This is the fourth post in a series about a time from my teens when I was held hostage. If you’ve missed the first three posts, here they are: How I Got Drawn In,  A Minister’s Son and The Knife. Do read them first and then come back!  I was quiet and sensitive as a child. To escape from the world, …

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The Knife

 This post is the third in a series about a dangerous situation from my teens. If you haven’t already done so, I suggest you start by reading the first two posts, How I Got Drawn In   and A Minister’s Son. The knife he is holding is pointed at me. “Don’t try anything,” he says. “This is crazy,” I say, hoping …

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A Minister’s Son

 This post is the second in a series about an incident that happened in my teens. If you haven’t already read it, I suggest you read the first post, How I Got Drawn In  before reading this one. It seems wrong not to trust him. His father is a minister, his older sister is my sister’s friend, and his younger …