Small Talk


We both throw words on the table
Seemingly meaningless
Reheating recent connection

An almost formed thought
Dances between us
I catch the abstract
Try to reframe it
He nods and in our own way
We both reclaim it

Her eyes don’t match her tone
Not yet
Warm words are offered and she accepts
The gentle heat will make her stronger
Once we’ve heard and held her

“I’m glad”
Sharing photos
Her smile lights her eyes
She shares more small parts
Revealing some of her soul
And we strengthen the collective whole

Her words bounce between us
Gently poking the stronger bonds
Giving permission to be more playful
A reminder that I’m grateful

This small talk
Is bigger than it looks.


It rained for a long time
Just over two years
Then, gradually, it stopped

The rain still comes, sometimes
I’m usually prepared
I see it coming

The puddles though
They appear out of nowhere
And their depth can still take me by surprise.

On writing and coming home

A couple of people mentioned recently that they have not heard anything from me for a while and they wondered whether I was still writing… The answer is an emphatic yes! I have just been writing elsewhere.

Back in January, I talked about my journey from redundancy to self-employment and before that, I talked about being ‘Present’  and how Writing. People. Poetry had gone from being my tagline to being my ‘brand’. Since then, alongside working with my lovely coaching clients, I have completed a few writing projects, updated my own website, and (finally) started a blog there.

Perfection paralysis

In my first blog over on my website, I talked about how trying to write the perfect blog post paralysed me for seven months! It’s only when I dove into that fear and wrote about it that I was able to overcome it and finally get something out there. Here, it’s different. It’s like coming home. This was my first ever blog. I started it to get moving on my journey and although the destination has changed a little (and may well change again), it has certainly done that! I’m not worried about the odd typo as I know it’ll be forgiven. I’m just sharing my thoughts as they come to me (and this post really is a bit of a stream of consciousness) and that’s ok. If I post every week that’s great. If I don’t post for a few months that’s fine too. It’s just where I am on my journey.

Parenting, poetry and coming home

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot more over at my parenting blog, Mothering Mushroom, as being a parent is a big part of my journey at the moment. I’m sure in time I’ll write less there and more here. It is what it is.

I’m rambling…

What’s my point? Well, really, this is a post for those who said they’d missed me (I’m flattered. Thank you). I’m still here. Take a look at my recent blogs and if you like what you read there, sign up for my newsletter (coming soon! I am working on a free gift for everyone who signs up). If you’d prefer to read about parenting and family life, head over to Mothering Mushroom.

If you came/followed me/signed up here for the poetry, here’s a recent poem for you. I will be writing more poetry and short stories as they come to me and this is where I’ll keep them.

Honest Speaks is my first online ‘home’, and although I don’t live here anymore, I’m not ready to leave it yet. So if I don’t see you at any of my other online homes, let’s meet back here again soon.



It looks like it’s snowing outside
Blossom blows past our window
And some people stay indoors, complaining
It’s getting everywhere
It’s really annoying
I sort of agree
But then there’s talk of cutting down trees…
To prevent it happening again
Because we can’t stop the wind

I go out
The tiny petals irritate my eyes and go down my throat, making me cough
But you know what?
Eventually, it dies down
Leaves everything covered in a blanket of blossom
It’s a beautiful mess.

From Circus Support Worker to Thumb Sucking Dentist

If you were here in January, you may remember I blogged about Labour of Love, an artistic project based on the working lives of East Londoners and visitors to the Park. The title above is not a reflection of one person’s working life, but simply the two job titles that stuck with me  once I’d seen them.


One hundred and seventy job titles (click to enlarge)

During her residency in the park, artist Caroline Jupp interviewed 170 people, who all shared their work history with her. These stories were then carefully transcribed by Caroline, who also created a ‘CV’ for each of those who took part. I shared mine in my last post, when I also mentioned one of the histories I’d spotted in Caroline’s shed that had caught my eye was that of someone who had been a Circus Support Worker in the 60s!

From PaperGirl to GolfPlayer via Circus Suuport_HonestSpeaks

Caroline says, “For me, these lists have a certain beauty, like a CV poem”. I agree. This is one of my favourites.

Well, last weekend I was at the celebration event, which marked the end of this project. During the event some of the stories were shared, including a lovely story from a young participant in the project whose job included ‘picking up the socks when Mummy drops them… I’m basically a hoover.’*

My Story_HonestSpeaks Labour of Love book_HonestSpeaks







At the end of the event, everyone received a copy of their own ‘CV’ and transcribed work history, as well as the limited edition booklet in which Caroline shares her thoughts on the project and some snippets of the stories shared with her.

If you’d like to read more stories from the project, head over to the Labour Of Love blog where Caroline continue to add stories from the files.


*I am paraphrasing, so apologies! I just loved the hoover comment!

A Labour of Love

Over Christmas, I spent a fair amount of time with my son at the Olympic Park in Stratford. One day, while my son was sleeping, I came across an unassuming little shed, sat just outside of the Orbit. It was cold and I was curious, so I popped in to see what it was all about. There, I was lucky to catch artist Caroline Jupp, who was in residence from 16 October 2014 to 17 January 2015, working on Labour of Love, a project celebrating the lives of East Londoners and visitors to the park. There were a few ‘CVs’ dotted around the shed, detailing people’s work  past, present and their hopes for the future. One in particular that caught my eye was someone who had a supporting role in the circus in the 60s!

Caroline asked if I would like to take part. At first I felt I didn’t have much of a story but as we got to chatting, I realised I did. When we talked about future aspirations, I realised that I have started to achieve some of my lifelong dreams recently and that in itself was something of a story. So, we sat down and talked about my work history, influences and plans for the future. Once I stopped paying attention to the fact I was being recorded, it was just like chatting to an old friend. Afterwards, Caroline thanked me, said she’d send across the finished piece of work and I promptly forgot about it.

So, when my ‘CV’ popped into my inbox it was a nice surprise! Want to see?


Black text = Past
Red text = Present
Green text = Future

It’s not quite in the right order but I didn’t talk about them in order and sometimes I had more than one of these jobs at the same time!

Caroline has also captured more detail, which she has separated into four sections (a page each): Early Rhymes, Redundancy to Start Up, The Business and Writing and Values.

I was struck by how much we’d covered in a short space of time and, seeing my journey mapped out in this way, how it was further evidence that I’m on the right path with what I’m doing now.

Here are some snapshots of some of my journey:

Early Rhymes

I don’t remember not writing. There were periods when I would spend half the day just speaking in rhyme, which must have been really annoying for my mum! I do write non-rhyming poems now, but generally they do rhyme.

Certainly, I get lots of creativity from her [My Mum] and she fostered that. My sister is a singer/songwriter and my brother is creative too – he’s really funny but always rejects the idea he could be a comedian (it’s not just us who thinks that!). Mum had a fantastic imagination. As far as I know she believed in fairies all her life. She had a lot of pictures of fairies in her house. One night when I was little, I dreamt that fairies had taken me away and then brought me back home and when I woke up there were rose petals in my bed. I mean, my mum must have heard me talking in my sleep and put them there. But I believed for years that the fairies had taken me away for the night.

Redundancy to Start Up

…So then I was a writer and personal coach anyway, but it was more like a hobby. I said to myself, ‘I will be self-employed one day, just need to save some money and just need to do X, Y and Z.’

I needed that push I guess. When I’d decided I just contacted everyone I knew and said, ‘I’m going to do this, really this time!’ That was in August. My sister says it’s the happiest she’s ever seen me. I liked the job I had, but I love what I am doing now.

The Business

There was one line in this section that really struck me because even though I say it all the time, reading it back was a very powerful reminder that this really is heartwork:

Even if I won the lottery, I would still do all this.

If you would like to see Caroline’s response to the project (during which she gathered more than 100 CVs!), you’ll need to wait until 1 March when she will be releasing a limited edition Labour of Love booklet. All the CVs are anonymous, which I feel makes it all the more fascinating! I’ve no idea whether mine will be included but if you want to look for it,  it’s number 125. I share so much here you probably know half of the journey anyway! If you’d like to read more (of the more interesting journeys), Caroline is still sharing snippets of some of stories she has transcribed over on her blog.

Edited 23 Jan 2015 to correct the details of the booklet, which will not contain all of the CVs gathered as previously stated!


I dream of tangerines…

This poem is an old one, shared here especially for Maddy because I promised I would. (If you’re wondering Maddy, it was a while ago. Here, remember…?). This poem was written after a discussion about which orange fruit is the juiciest. It’s NOT a euphemism (the poem, or the conversation), honest.

Image source:

Image source:

I dream of tangerines

I dream of tangerines
Orange juicy fruit, sticky sweet
I like the way the word sounds almost edible

I dream of tangerines
And clementines and mandarins
But tangerines are fatter, juicier…
At least they are in my tangerine dreams.