Monday, 30 September 2013


1. Money or property bequeathed to another by will.
2. Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past

Possibly one of the reason’s I have been feeling wobbly lately is that I have just paid for a new audio visual system to be installed at church.

It’s not the sudden large withdrawal of funds from my savings account that have made my steps falter but the fact that this gift is my way of expressing Andrew’s legacy for the church he loved.

Andrew always believed that the church shouldn’t have to put up with second best and to that end he liked to give gifts of practical equipment rather than money. That way he knew that his hard earned cash was being spent on something he considered essential rather than added to a communal pot and frittered away on something he deemed less important!

Over the years we have added things to the media desk, usually unseen by most of the congregation but that was the way Andrew liked to do things, the least fuss the better.

Updating the media provision has been a long process, as with anything in the Church of England there are several hoops to be jumped through especially with regards to positioning a projector in an old building.

I first muted the idea in early 2011 and like so many steps along this journey of grief my thoughts and feelings have progressed through a range of emotions along the way.

I am a very different person to Andrew, I probably like to make too much of a show of things and put on a performance but as time has slowly passed I am just happy that the work is finally completed. 

There have been a few kind comments at my generosity and there has been some positive feedback from those who have noticed an improvement in sound and vision.

Whereas once I would have been stamping my feet demanding recognition, inwardly at least, now this is enough.

For a while I struggled with the idea of adding a plaque to the desk to show its pedigree. But the church doesn’t need another brass plate to be polished with Andrew’s name on. He would have hated the idea anyway.

Instead I am just going to make a sign and laminate it...

“Aborigines and jet engines”

One of Andrew Nicholson’s favourite sayings,
It means

Please don’t touch what you don’t understand!

Over time the sign may get lost but by then the fancy state of the art equipment will most likely be out of date and need replacing once again.

Andrew’s true legacy is so much more than a few new boxes of tricks and tidied cable (actually I am convinced we need to leave a few bits of straggly tangled wire lying around just for good measure!)

Meanwhile my mum has just finished her own family heirloom. A patchwork quilt we started over thirty years ago.

It has been a labour of love stitched by my mum, my grandad (who died over 20 years ago) and me. Each piece of fabric tells a story. Scraps left over from a skirt, a top, that pair of shorts I made when I was 16 that one day I will get back into – hahaha.

Most people will admire it, in the same way the new media desk will receive oohs and ahhs but the real legacy is something far more personal. 

It is all about creating something new from the love and memories left behind, a reminder for those of us involved that someone very special had a part to play in our lives and they will never be forgotten, while at the same time still moving forward.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Everyone needs a bit of glitter...

We are entering that half of the year that I dread. You will have already seen from my recent blog posts that I am feeling a little low of late.

I made a pledge in the summer months to CHOOSE to be joyful but it is getting harder and harder.

Happy sunny Sarah is fading faster than my suntan – what suntan? Well the watch strap mark that indicates I have changed colour from very white to healthy looking! 

Some people suffer from the change in weather; the lack of sunshine seriously affects their mood.

For me it is far more than just that, the darker days arrive just as my thoughts turn to events in November 2010 – has it really been three years ago since my best friend was here to hold my hand and calm my fears?

I used to believe I was the strong one between us but this is the time of the year when I feel most broken and empty.

This is when I need a bit of sparkle and glitter in my life…

…so thank goodness Strictly Come Dancing is back on TV tonight.

I confess I wasn’t overly struck on this year’s list of celebrities when they were first announced. There was no one who stood out and made me go WOW!

Not like when Harry Judd was in the line-up – but that’s a whole other story – read it here

“Maybe I just won’t bother this year!” 

After all it takes a huge commitment watching the show every Saturday night and that’s before you start caring about the contestants and actually voting for your favourite!

But suddenly I’ve got all excited. All the dancers are featured on the cover of the Radio Times, while my Twitter and Facebook feeds have just a sprinkling of glitter running through them.

I really NEED this glamour and glitz, I NEED something to keep away the blues and greys of my everyday life.

my very own "sort of" glitterball!
And just in case one day I do become a famous writer and they ask me on the show, I shall be practicing my dance steps in my new kitchen – well the new lights sparkle almost as brightly as a glitterball!

A girl has to dream!

Now excuse me while I go and find my sparkliest dress to wear!

Thursday, 26 September 2013


We have two ancient apple trees in our garden. The first couple of years we lived here there were a few apples on them but not really enough to even make a pie.

We had some other trees removed in the garden and decided to get the apple trees pruned at them same time.

For many years nothing happened at all.

Then Andrew died.

Another couple of years passed and I devised my garden plan. Phase two, when I decided to take the house off the market, was to plant some new fruit trees. It was a hopeful plan for the future.

The new fruit trees were going near the old apple trees so my gardener suggested planting a clematis at the base of one of the old trees to bring a bit of life and colour to that spot in the garden. We had lots of climbing plants at our old house, they grow fast and furious once established and I loved the idea of growing something familiar with old treasured memories.

tangled and unexciting!
However I guess the clematis is still too young it hasn’t flowered or even grown much at all this year; it still looks straggly and undernourished.

But up in the top branches something very strange has happened.

It started when I spied some blossom, just on one side of the tree while the rest has remained stubbornly bare.

The blossom fell and apples started to grow in its place.

sparse branches but much fruit!
 Now I have branches of abundant fruit although they are just out of reach, even with a ladder.

There’s an obvious analogy I can draw from these dead branches springing suddenly to life. They are a reminder that it is never too late and life can surprise you with wonders at any time. I know I should be joyful.

However today, for so many tiny reasons, I feel just like the clematis at the bottom, the plant that was supposed to shine and make a difference but has ended up looking just like all the other weeds in my overgrown garden, neglected and unloved!

I just wish I could shake off this overwhelmingly despondent feeling – it might just create enough of a tremor to make the apples fall from the tree and remind me I really do have many things to be grateful for!

Monday, 23 September 2013

#VisDare 38 - The Chase

A chance tweet from Angela today got me looking at this week's #VisDare challenge.

"Could do with writing something - I'm not getting much else done - you've got me thinking now but no promises!"  I quickly tweeted back to her.

Anyway I opened up a word document and came up with this...

The Chase

His brother was always just out of reach, never quite close enough to catch up to. A seven minute head start made all the difference to their otherwise identical beginning.

It was like swimming against the tide. Every word of praise heaped on his twin turned into a wave pounding against him, throwing him further adrift. Each accolade lifted his brother higher while it crashed around his ears leaving him washed up in the wake.

That is until he decided to break free and walk his own path, one that took him out of his brother’s shadow.

No one seemed to understand at first, why he didn’t settle like his brother; the house, the career, the wife and inevitably the kids that followed.

When everyone else had given up hope, written him off as the black sheep of the family he finally found someone worth chasing and never looked back.

150 words

Friday, 20 September 2013

A prayer for the wobbly hearted

Yesterday I wrote a prayer and I decided to share it because this is how I’ve been feeling recently, slightly out of sorts and unbalanced.

Oldest son has moved on to the next stage of life - A levels, he's growing in independence yet he still needs me. Meanwhile youngest son will be choosing options this year. Things are changing for them while I seem to be stuck in a deep rut going nowhere!
I’ve been spending too much time on things I shouldn’t be, worrying about stuff that’s unimportant in the grand scheme of life, shutting the door on the issues I can't face and neglecting the one relationship that should mean the most – the relationship between me and my heavenly father.

God I know we’ve not spent much time together recently

Well at least I’ve not found time for you

I know you’ve been speaking to me

You’ve presented me with the gift of rainbow, a glint of sunshine, a beautiful flower

“Yes” I say with indifference as I wave you on your way

And carry on with my own schemes

But I know the absence of you in my days is what’s making my life off balance

I wobble and fall over and cry

And part of me wants to just wallow in my misery

“Nobody cares” I wail as I press the self-destruct button and bite my nails, all the while hiding under a baggy jumper

But that’s so untrue

I have so many friends and they love me, they really do

Even the ones that have seen me at almost my very worst!

If even they forgive me the odd bad mood and sharp word how much more will you always be there?

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry” I whisper as I climb up on your knee

Tears run down my face

“I’ve made a mess AGAIN!”

Let me rest here a while

Let me sleep in your loving arms

And when I wake be the centre of my day…