Festive thoughts on loss and hope

Today is my mum’s birthday, she would have been 69, just one year younger than her mum is celebrating in this photo.

My mum didn’t make it, she died in April 2014 just three weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer at the age of 66. Too young.

Her brother Steven, at the centre back of this photo, died earlier this year. Where once there were six, only four remain.


My mum (second from the left) and her brothers and sisters with their mum on her 70th

“Everyone can master a grief but he that has it.”

–William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

A guest post on Richard III’s finger (by Wednesday):

Love this!


For anyone wondering whether Richard could have still formed his
letters if he’d lost digits or tips of fingers, let us begin with what
is required to write with a quill.

This video:


features a Japanese calligrapher who, from about 1:00 minute to 3:00
minutes, is writing in Gothic Litera Bastarda with a quill. (You won’t
see feathers; she’s shaved them off because they only get in the way
— except in Hollywood, where the feathers are used to say, “This Is A
Period Movie Because We Have Goose Feathers On Our Quills Okay Thx
YMMV.” You may be able to hear the squeak of the quill against the

Gothic Litera Bastarda is a category of the Gothic script hand (a
“hand” is the basic shape of the letters) which was used in multiple
regions of Europe and Britain for 200 years. There are as many
regional variations…

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This is mostly going to be a blog full of beautiful images and words from poets and artists who inspire me. There may occasionally be music and excerpts from novels which do the same and very rarely some original work.

I have no intentions of becoming popular and will probably have periods where I forget to come here at all, but it’s nice to have a space to allocate thoughts and emotions to.

Poetry and Prose