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Falling Out With Fall

“I always think that when the bairns go back to school, that’s the summer over.” His tone was wistful, sad. I understood. I felt the same way. Dad and I were fastening corn stacks, or more likely he was fastening them and I was holding them for him. I never learned; he knew it by heart. I miss my father …

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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 …

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, …

The amazing, healing power of holding

The lift doors lurched open and I stumbled out. The posters on the board opposite were different to those I’d seen last time. That meant I was on the wrong floor. I pressed the lift button again, and waited. It wasn’t fear I felt. Something more than fear made my legs feel shaky, my throat sore, my stomach in knots. …

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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 …