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Showing posts from March, 2012

Acknowledging Anger

Another memoir about the event that transformed my life - the death of my young husband after just one year of marriage.


Henry died on February 24th 1990 and I was catapulted into a very strange world. Back then, we weren’t at war with anyone in particular so there weren’t pictures of young widows on the news and there were only four TV channels with no reality TV. Yes, people were still being widowed all the time but it was a lot less publicised and it had never actually happened in my circle. Friends and family didn’t know what to do with me which was hardly surprising because I didn’t know what to do with myself. I lived in the media world, where people often didn’t see each other for six months to a year, so many of my former colleagues didn’t even know I’d got married, let alone that Henry was dead. So I’d get people saying, ‘Wow! You look terrific! You’ve lost so much weight. What’s your secret?’ Those who did know said, ‘Don’t you think you’re wearing too much black?’ Or: ‘I don’t t…

The bad news

I think most of us experience a strange, surreal feeling when we hear terrible news. It’s like when people say ‘Where were you when President Kennedy got shot?’ Or ‘Where were you when you heard about 9/11?’ Everyone remembers because the hugeness of the event blazed a tear in their psyche. You stand numb, disbelieving, with the whole world that was in full working order just one minute before, destroyed. I was at home; in the living room in my terraced house in Birmingham. A part of me seemed to be outside myself looking inwards; a second me was inside and screaming and the final piece of me was saying, ‘Well of course. Why wouldn’t this happen to you?’ I think all of us have got them: the watcher, the victim, the critic — and many more personalities besides. They shape our lives without our even noticing them, creating, destroying and fouling up. For most of my life I have been at war with myself through those characters. Even now, some of them only have an uneasy accord but they don’…

Henry Barley

Henry married me because of a hedgehog. I married him because of Steve Winwood. I had long been cunning in my resistance to marriage, while believing all along that I wanted it.  With middle-class angst, too much puppy fat and enough training in not showing off to make me dull as ditchwater, I believed no one worth having would want me. I didn’t realise that my strategy of falling in love only with those who were unavailable was also an effective defence. I can’t say the men I languished over were commitment-phobes; most of them were seriously committed — committed that is to steam engines, amateur dramatics, their own reflection or their wife. And yet, one day, at the age of 32, I found myself in the far reaches of China, being proposed to by an ordinary, unassuming, perfectly pleasant grey-haired man, nine years my senior, whom I’d met just seven days before. He had never even kissed me and I’d not looked at him twice (apart from asking him to lend me the money to buy a hedgehog). …

Returning to a Life of Miracles.

I began this blog several years ago to write stories of my life of miracles. Over time it got diverted into writing articles on prosperity consciousness but, this year, I'm being brave.  I'm going to return to writing stories of my life.


Even more, I'm writing my memoir of a Life of Miracles.


I told one of my best friends this, yesterday, and she said, 'Why?' She genuinely couldn't see the point.


Ten years ago my (now ex) agent said, 'Nobody wants to hear about you dear.'


Well, it doesn't matter if they don't want to hear, because I have a voice and I've realised that I want to speak. We all have a voice and we all have a right to speak. It is in the speaking that the power resides and it is in the overcoming what they think that we can begin to thrive.


I want to talk about being engaged at 32 and widowed at 33. I want to talk about having a life-changing encounter with a giant barracuda. I want to talk about riding on the back of a Bengal tiger.…