1) The state or condition of being preoccupied or engrossed with something.

2) A subject or matter that engrosses someone

Synonyms: concentration, concern, obsession, fixation

“A soul preoccupied with great ideas best performs small duties. – Harriet Martineau

Whatever the day brings, my preoccupation comes with it, running like a trailer through my mind when I should be thinking about other things. But other things don’t make my heart race, or brighten the very sky for me, or make me smile that smile so wide it hurts. My small duties get done, even as the movie behind my eyes plays a scene so touching, or erotic, or ridiculous… and my consciousness is drawn away from the mundane, with a soundtrack all its own.

I’m singing out loud.



What happens on the days when I don’t know if I can do it alone?

What should I do when it’s 3am and the tears won’t stop?

When I close my eyes and all I see is his face, how do I make that go away?

How did I fall into this so quickly?

How do I finish it?

Seeing Stars

Your hand in mine is where it starts,

Waking and dreaming all the same.

Twilight hours in places dark,

With sighs and highs and whispered names.

Caresses that seem too soft to bring

This mounting, urgent appetite,

But every individual touch

And sound and shiver to lust unite.

A wordless lust, evading speech,

Compelling us to joyous peak

And peak anew, each higher still,

Each simple touch and taste unique.

Euphoric fantasy combined

With substance like I’ve never known

To raise us up and hold us there

On breath of whimpers, cries and moans.

Lost in delicious ecstasy,

A paradise, this world just ours,

You take hold of my hand again;

My opened eyes see only stars.


Dreaming Boxes



‘He said I am Pandora’s Box,’ I confide, whilst telling my wife about this man, and she halts in her tracks and looks at me sharply.

‘He said that out loud? Why would he do that?’ She is shaking her head, looking worried now, perhaps frightened. ‘Why would he make that comparison? Death… death and disaster… that is what Pandora released. He’ll be the reason they’re watching you. Stay close by, my love,’ she says, and takes my hand as we find ourselves in a high, tight maze. I look up, and the light is too far, too dim.

‘What about the foreign one?’ she asks, as we run around the twists and turns, searching for an exit, ‘Did he tell you who sent him?’

‘I don’t speak his language,’ I tell her. She laughs, loud and sharp.

‘You speak all of their languages, every single one. How have you forgotten that?’

I don’t know what she means and I am about to ask her when she asks about his gift. ‘It was sleek, long and narrow, made of polished metal. It’s empty; I don’t know what to put inside it,’ I say, remembering the weigh of it in my hands, knowing that I’ve missed the significance here and waiting for her to enlighten me.

‘It was me, he was me, and you didn’t recognise it.’ Her tears flow freely now, and I still don’t understand. ‘You forgot your own language while trying to find his. You lost it.’

She backs away from me, shaking her head. ‘They know now, because of the Pandora Man. They know that you hold all the hope. That is all you left inside. Everything else left, when you opened that box…’


Dreaming of boxes all over again. Any dream analysts want to help?


A New Life

My mind is wandering today. I have some news; my daughter is pregnant and I am going to be a grandmother. I would like to say I am thrilled for her but, since she told me, all I feel is no small amount of dread and worry.

So I need to untangle these thoughts and feelings. Here goes.

I am worried about her degree; she has a year left and a dissertation to write. I appreciate that it won’t necessarily be easy, being pregnant, but it will be so much harder once she has a baby. How will her pregnancy go? Will she be able to keep working? Will she be hit with morning sickness, and a sore back, and all the other things that can come with pregnancy? How will she manage?

I am worried about her relationship. They’ve not been together long, they don’t know each other well… what if it all falls apart? I know how that feels, especially at 20 with hormones all over the place. What if he isn’t the boyfriend and father she wants him to be? What if he lets her down? Is she strong enough to pull herself back together?

She is so far away from us too. 112 miles, to be exact. What about the days when she needs a shoulder, or a hand with cleaning, or just someone to reassure her that everything is okay? What about the times that all she needs is some time out from the little person she is charged with looking after?

She’s a character, my girl. She likes to be in the very centre of everything. How will she adjust to being second in line, in the scheme of things? How will it make her feel, to have to always put another first?

How is she really feeling right now? I remember being told I was pregnant with her, and being utterly terrified… Terrified because life as I knew it was over… Terrified that I would never be able to to this job justice, and it was going to be the most important job I ever did.

And now I see what needs to happen, because that job is one that is never over. It doesn’t matter what I worry about; of course I will worry, she is still my baby, after all. What matters is that I can help her with her worries. I can remind her, on the days that she is worrying, that she is strong and beautiful and capable. I can remind her of the mountains we’ve climbed right to  the very top. I can assure her that the worries she has are nothing next to the joys and the rewards of being a parent and that, yes, she will tear her hair out at times, but one look at the face of that child will make every tear and every frustration worth it.

And, my beautiful girl, you will never be alone. Every second that you need me, I will have your back. I will laugh and cry with you… I will help you stand tall when you think you can’t, because I know what you are capable of, even if you don’t. I will hold your hand, and your child, and I will love you both so unconditionally.

Congratulations, my little girl, you are very lucky… now you will have your own little wonder, in exactly the way I have you x x x x x x


Boy Meets Girl


There’s a new girl on the scene, she’s a sweet one… She’s stolen the heart of my 17-year-old. Catching up over Netflix and milkshakes (but not for her – lactose intolerant), talking about anime (not a clue, I just listened) and watching him look at her made me feel like I was intruding upon something very important. How sweet it is, watching my boy so enamoured with this lovely young lady!

She seems to be a shy girl, lacking confidence, and I watch him ensuring that she has a place in our conversation, looking out for her, paving her way. He squeezes her hand and she blushes so red that I can almost feel the heat from the other side of the room… I leave them alone for a while, listening to their laughter and chatter from another room.

Later on, I take her home. After dropping her off safely, I talk to my boy as we drive back home.

“If she wants to stay over sometime, I have no problem with that, but she will need to sleep in the other room,” I say, and he nods his head.

“Thanks, Mum,” he says, “It might be easier than getting her home if we stay up late.”

I am aware of the conversation I ought to have next, and I have no wish to embarrass him, but I am his Mum.

“I know you won’t want to talk about it, but I do need to say that, if you are considering taking the next step with your young lady, please be the sensible lad I know you are. Remember that you can talk to me, and if there is anything you need, you must let me know,” I manage to get out before he turns his face away. He nods his head, and clears his throat, then starts to cough. For a second, I think I have embarrassed him too much, but then I realise he is trying not to laugh at me.

“I have a question…” he says, grinning at me, “You just said that she can stay over in the spare room, but now you’re saying that I might want to sleep with her… How is that going to work??”

I explain that, as a parent, I would not have wanted my 16-year-old daughter staying in some boy’s bed whilst out of my house, but that I am not daft enough to think that it would mean they never had the opportunity, if they wanted it (I HAVE been a teenager, you know).

“I would just rather know that you are both safe and secure than close my eyes to it and pretend it couldn’t happen. I just want to make sure that you know you can ask me for things, if you need to.”

At this, my boy cracks up. “Things?? What things do you mean?” he laughs, clearly loving the pained expression on my face, and barely able to contain his glee.

“While we’re on the subject, Mum… since you brought it up… are we going to have the whole birds and the bees talk? Will you tell me how everything works?” he asks, almost crying with laughter. So funny, my boy…

“And since she lives with her Dad, shall I tell her she can come to talk to you about it too, if she wants? She might really want to talk it over with someone sensible! Please let me tell her she can,” he laughs, until I think he may actually choke.

He’s lovely, my boy, but he can be a little git when he wants to be!

I’m Glad

Over and over I think to myself, ‘It’s not the same without you. Life is so much emptier .’ So many times I’ve missed you, wished for your presence, longed to have what I had before.

But, until now, I’ve never considered how glad I am that you don’t see me now. I am relieved that I haven’t had the chance to let you down. I am so grateful that you haven’t watched me drown.

In your head, I hope I am still someone else. But you have no idea how much that thought depresses me.