I’ve always perceived myself to be a person of immensely contrasting characteristics. I’m chatty and sociable, but also thoroughly enjoy my own company. I’m active and often full of energy, but also a sucker for a lazy day. I have many interests and hobbies to keep me occupied – and am notorious for finding entertainment in the most unlikely places – but I can also get bored quicker than a toddler with a new toy.
This poem is one I have written for and dedicated to my grandmothers Margaret Thompson and Brenda Lancashire. The love and care they showed towards my grandads Douglas Thompson and Keith Lancashire, despite the awful effects of Alzheimer’s they saw in return, was remarkable – even on the hardest days imaginable, they were true to the vows they had made. I love, admire and respect you both more than you’ll ever know.
Loss is a soul-shaking sensation. And coping is its unpredictable cousin. The two often travel inseparably, one looming in the shadow of the other – an all-consuming barrier on your path – making it near impossible to predict how they’ll manifest themselves within you when they strike, or which direction they’ll shoot you off in as a result.
When I go on nights out, I hide a pair of flip flops in a bush outside the club. There, I said it. I’m pathetic with heels, and I can’t afford to spend a fortune riding round in taxis every night. So, when I’m ready to leave, I simply retrieve my flats from their hiding place and begin my comfortable journey home. It’s not cool, and to most people it’s probably quite strange (especially those who’ve witnessed it). But it’s me, it’s my choice and it’s my life, and if there’s one thing I’ll never be caught apologising for – it’s that.
They’ve grabbed my bum, my breasts and even reached a hand up the front of my dress while brushing past me in a crowd. They’ve made me feel trapped, scared and miserable, and they’ve turned many a fun night out into a living nightmare. Like many women, I’m not only accustomed to ‘casual groping’ from men I don’t know in nightclubs – I actually expect it. Continue reading
Every single day is full of choices. Should I wear this outfit, or this one? What should I cook for dinner tonight? Who should I call about this issue? What do I want to watch on TV? We make them spontaneously, unconsciously, sometimes even carelessly. These small and seemingly insignificant decisions make up our day-to-day lives and yet, on so many occasions, we barely even give them a second thought.
A university student. An avid athlete. And now the latest member of her family to be diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, a decade after it first struck them. Ellis Kerton shares her story of her battle to keep the ‘Hope in Huntington’s’.
Having a child with a medical condition can be challenging for any parent, especially if it has a considerable impact on their life. But one mum is pulling out all the stops to make sure her son’s happiness isn’t limited just because his eyesight is. Here’s their story.