Humanity

Respecting: a Lesson in Generosity

A glorious May in a Northern city. Being out in the empty streets at 9 o’clock in the evening was strangely soothing; people had gone home from their offices, the shops were closed and the large, black buildings had heaved a sigh and settled down for the night. I...

Retrospectively thankful for the kindness of strangers

The migraine had started the day before the flight. Anxiety, fear, another strange city, another few days of second guessing, trying not to fall foul of the quixotic, moody boss who had to be kept happy or nobody’s life was worth living. Was it really any wonder this...

Reinforcing the power of humanity

“And what skill will you be teaching?” “Guitar,” came the reply. “Great!” My enthusiasm was somewhat fake. In my experience the few surgeons who tried to teach guitar in five minutes, failed miserably. Depending on your experiences of guitars – or surgeons I will...

Remembering my Grandparents.

Grandparents. I used to worry I would be sacked over mine. For many years I had seven of them, and was terrified some of them would die at once and my employers would claim I was making up their funerals to get out of work. Most grown adults have no more than four and...
Relishing unusual connections

Relishing unusual connections

So here I sit, morning coffee in hand, sun streaming through my east facing bedroom window, and I am transported. Uplifted, taken delicately by the hand to another place, where there is no nastiness, no anger, no sorrow. Just kindness, connection. I can see the hills...

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Resisting the propoganda

Resisting the propoganda

After 16 hours and a short flight down to Gatwick, we finally took off for our destination, at one o’clock in the morning. As the cabin lights dimmed and the plane left the runway, there was a civilised cheer from the passengers. A last-minute invitation, to join our...

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Redefining the hero narrative

Redefining the hero narrative

  “Show me your teeth!”       It was not a request, but an order.       Standing very close, in front of me, so that I could see his nasal hair, and feel his breath upon my face, this tall, well built, strange man issued his order...

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Reviewing the year with Harry Potter

Reviewing the year with Harry Potter

An annual Christmas tradition in our family is watching the Harry Potter films in the week leading up to the big day. It is now seven years since we visited the studios where for three hours I totally lost myself in another world. Transported out of my own reality for...

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Recalling genuine kindness

Recalling genuine kindness

“Do you mind if I sit here?” I looked up and saw a woman in her late 40s carrying a tray of lunch. Yes, I wanted to say. Yes, I do mind. Actually. I chose to sit here, away from everyone else, at the furthest corner of the room, on a table on my own for a reason. “Of...

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Remembering what we believe in

Remembering what we believe in

"Assumptions!" declared a voice. I looked up to find a tall man in a cassock and dog collar, clutching a bible to his breast. “It’s all about assumptions,” he repeated, looking triumphant. Assumptions, I wondered. Was that a book of the bible I had somehow missed in...

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Revolutionary: Spaces for Listening

Revolutionary: Spaces for Listening

What do you gift yourself when you have everything you can buy and are unable to have what you really want, for your birthday? I was supposed to be working abroad, in my favourite country with my favourite colleagues and when that was cancelled due to Covid, my team...

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Remembering that kindness works both ways

Remembering that kindness works both ways

When my husband was called up urgently in the evening by a consultant haematologist to come into the acute assessment unit at the local hospital, on the same day as he had had a routine blood test at the GP practice, this was never going to be ‘normal’. My husband...

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