Thoughts From The Care Home

As I begin this chronicle I’ve just returned into my mothers care home room after vacating it while nurses undertook the matriarch’s personal care. While standing out in the corridor, adjacent to Maggie’s chamber, Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s emotive hymn Pie Jesu played out from a neighbouring resident’s room. The refrain’s celestial nature, incorporating prayers to a…

Return For The Mac

This morning it was great to be back on the metaphorical saddle of the metaphorical horse called Collecting For MacMillan. It’s been eighteen long months since GJ Strachan’s last experienced the vim boost borne from undertaking voluntary work, and I’ve missed it enormously. COVID blocking off another uplifting avenue to further mess with my strained…

The King’s Spirit

Today marks the second anniversary of my dad’s passing. Twenty four months during which I learned for the first time in half century on this screwed up planet what loss truly meant. A valuable lesson formed from consequential emotions evoked at the realisation I’d never again being able to share the company of a dearly…

In The Pink

Sitting in a South Leeds shopping centre café, the inaugural paragraphs of this monologue are being written during a thirty minutes period I’ve to kill while waiting to start a stint of voluntary work for a national cancer charity. My medio iced Americano staring back at me, I panoramically scour the tables of this multinational…

Giving Up The Seat I’ve Been Saving

On Sunday morning, arriving downstairs post-reveille to the sight of my mother baking momentarily regressed me back to my boyhood. The pouring of Kellogs’ cereal into a yellow Tupperware bowl, which we’d had since the late 1960’s, in association with mater’s mixing bowl magic transporting me back to my Gateshead childhood. Up to her elbows…

Might Seem Crazy What I’m ‘Bout To Say!

On Saturday afternoon, as one of the acts performing at Garforth’s G-Fest music event, I was part of an ensemble singing choral versions of popular contemporary refrains Headlining the community stage, we (Garforth Community Choir) played a 15 minute set incorporating the songs You Gotta Be, Happy, Shackles, Is This Love, Lovely Day. Our audience…

Roll Up!….. Roll Up!

Tomorrow I’ll be part of a voluntary team running a tombola stall at Rothwell Carnival, aiming to raise funds towards the provision of Marie Curie end of life nursing. Sitting here putting pen to paper I’m currently surrounded by carrier bags full of the prizes magnanimously donated by family and friends in support of tomorrow’s…

What’s It Like?

Occasionally I’m asked about what it’s like aboard the emotionally fraught rollercoaster ride which manifests from my spouses incurable cancer diagnosis. My inquisitors, individuals who’ve not previous shared this venture along a metaphorical cobbled path while in possession of nitroglycerin. People seeking to understand what’s it’s like existing with a clan member who in their…

Thank You Very Much

This morning I accompanied Karen to an oncologist appointment for the results of her recent CT Scan. Occasions like this are always tense times; the seemingly endless build up to acquire news of how her multiple tumours are behaving. Unlike reality show contestants awaiting results, our news is important – Literally a matter of life…