So close to the edge last night,

I’m still suffering from vertigo.

Amazing how little neurons in your mind,

Can persuade you that everything

you have ever done…

Has been trite.

It tells you in snivelling stuttering words,

That your children were let down by you,

That your love amounts to a death sentence,

That you have nothing further to offer the world,

And you don’t believe it!

But you do in the underworld

of your sub-conscience…

In those dark recesses

you keep locked up.

So secret is the desire to believe,

That all is pointless,

That you can hear it whispered,

Even through the praise.

I know this bedfellow,

we’ve tangled many times,

but I do not lose faith,

because I have known love,

and nothing is better than that!

Dale M 2021


Whilst wrapping baby Phoenix’s presents, I was overcome with tears, the big sobbing type, which rack through your whole body and soul. I wasn’t crying for me, strangely I was crying for Marie, for the fact that she was missing out on all this stuff. Our Granddaughter growing up… I thought that she would be so much better at this than I am.

She would delight in the fact that Phoenix is so much her own person, full of character and bolshy attitude… Just like her Mom and very much like her Nanny Marie. I miss enjoying the fact that she was enjoying her granddaughter so much.

It’s a strange feeling to be upset for someone else missing out on life… But she missed so much. She never got to have our children, but she got to parent vicariously through me.

Seems there is always some new way to be broken by life.

Oh well. I paint on a smile and try to enjoy tomorrow with my little one.

Dale M


Three years ago today, I drove down to Poole with my son Nathan, on a mercy dash to pick up my daughter and all her belongings, so that she could have her baby, Phoenix in the bosom of her family. She was 32 week into her pregnancy and she was having major problems… She was bleeding and there was a real fear that all was not well.

We loaded up her lifetime’s belonging into the back of my van, and dashed back up the m40 motorway. At Oxford she was clearly in some discomfort. She went into the toilets and I filled the tank. She came back ashen-faced and announced that she thought her waters had broke. What shall we do she asked. Well, I said, you have two options, We can go to hospital here in Oxford and you can spend the next however long here in the prenatal unit, miles away from anyone who knows you, or you could sit tight for two hours, get back to Crewe, where your mom can take you straight to hospital, and Nath and I can offload your belongings at home. If you think you can hold it together for two hours, that is your best option…

WE did the second option and though it was very touch and go for a couple of weeks, with Phoenix in an incubator and spending one awful day on a respirator, but we made it through to the other side. Luckily, I worked n Leighton Hospital so I was able to be there at least twice a day for Amy. I’d bring her in a Bacon sandwich every morning, and I was able to bond with my granddaughter. God alone knows what would have happened had we chosen to go straight to Oxford General. She would have been stuck a 100 miles away from her family, with none of us able to visit her except on weekends.

It may seem that my idea to travel back home in the circumstances was reckless, but I did what I believed was the right thing. It was another three days until Phoenix was induced, so by delaying taking Amy to hospital by two hours was neither here no there in the long run, but imagine how awful it would have been for her if she’d had to endure two weeks of purgatory with Phoenix stuck in an incubator, on her own…

I think I did the best I could for my Daughter, but I was filled with dread at the time when Phoenix was put on a respirator, as I read the prognosis on the internet and it said 50/50. I thought I had doomed my little Phoenix because I selfishly wanted them close to me and her family.

She is a joy now and none the worse for her frightening beginnings.

Dale M