Monday 30 January 2023

I Defiantly See Wrinkles as Evidence of Shared Joy.

I never expected to be stood here today. Deep inside, I think I believed Granny would live forever. Of course, it would be unfair to wish immortality on another person, but Granny wasn’t just any other person: she was a force of life, an avatar of kindness, love and compassion. Cultures around the world have concepts of deities of life and as far as I can find, none take the form of an elderly lady, yet what greater celebration of the glory of life is there than the elderly matriarch with the family she loves?

I felt her love wrapped tight around me as she held me close when homesickness had induced a meltdown in me (I was 4 and staying away from home for the first time and Grandad had given me Ribena in the wrong cup and the world ended – and instead of being cross or impatient, she wrapped my in herself until I was ok again). I taste it every time I drink sweet, weak, milky tea – the cure she gave me for the shock of falling in an icy puddle. I watched it flowing from her, filling the room, the house, the whole world as she held my son for the first time, gazed at his little baby face. Her great-grandchild, and far from her first but still given that same awe-filled adoration as if he were her only child, a glowing protection he will carry with him always, even if he doesn’t know it.

She taught me a lot about how to move through a world that can feel unbearably hard at times. I remember her telling me you grow into the face you deserve: if you face the world with a smile, your face will reflect that. It is a hard lesson, but I think of it whenever I find myself struggling through a hard time. I remember that Granny, too, faced difficulties, faced incredibly painful things, and that she did so with love. I remind myself I want to earn my wrinkles, my kind face, and so I set myself to finding the small, shared joys. Whenever I think of her, I think of the smiles drawn deep into her face.


A pale pink rose

I read this at my Granny's funeral. I waited outside with a few other family as the hearse came round. Pink roses were strewn over the wicker coffin - beautiful and just right, yet how could my kind, vibrant Granny be in there? She was carried in, and we followed. 

I don't have words for the ceremony, but hearing how full her life was, and seeing people nod to my words has helped start me healing.

My husband and son didn't come to the ceremony, but instead spent time with my cousins' wives and children. They joined us at the pub after, the kids running around at everyone's feet, laughing and playing. The older generations, we talked and ate and reminisced - and smiled at the children.

The flowers were brought over, with the thought everyone could take some home. Pink roses, to match her favourite plant in her garden. The children used them as wands, casting silly spells on us all. Full of joy and life, like Granny. She'd have loved that.


A middle aged woman looks at a male kestrel standing on her gloved hand

And elderly woman in a red top stands in a kitchen, a triumphant pose with arms raised and a joyful smile

An elderly woman starts to climb a large tree, two grandsons watching (day before her 90th birthday)

Monday 16 January 2023


It feels strange to write here, like I have to pretend I'm not in mourning when I am, or like I have to pretend I'm so deep in mourning that nothing else exists.

And neither's true. Both are true. It's never as simple as black and white; when we think that way, we don't just miss the shades of grey, but a full spectrum of colour.

Going through this bereavement with an understanding that I am autistic and have ADHD helps me understand a lot more about how I have handled (and not handled) grief in the past. It's still a tangled mess in my head; I might find the words one day but at the moment I'm still getting the sense and shape of it.

And this isn't where I wanted to go with my writing here today.

I've been rediscovering my tactile creative side: Ziggy (who now prefers Zigzag as a nickname. He says Zigzag is his Blood Bowl name, and his real name has been relegated to his "other name") let me play with his air-dry clay and I can see that becoming a real hyperfixation if I let it. It was pleasurable to mold the clay, and the ways it shaped surprised me. Waiting for our projects to dry so we can decorate them.

The anthology I'm published in is out in paperback here. I don't get royalties or commission or anything, but I am excited to share it.

What did I want to talk about today? I want to share my joy in the Exalted I'm playing in. I'm back in Second Age Exalted as envisiged by Rich, playing Taji alongside Bells as her twin brother, Kito. I love the relationship between the twins - I really enjoy having a close relationship with another PC. And there's wonderful relationships with the NPC's too, and they are different for each twin. Kito is terrified of Taji's lunar mate, for instance, yet Taji is utterly and deeply in love with him. She knows he's dangerous, but sees him as guardian rather than threat. Then there's the Emissary, a character from the meta but taken into his own by our GM, a friend and mentor - even a father figure - for the twins, supporting them individually as well as guiding them together. I really enjoy the depth of character Rich has created for each of the major NPC's, whether entirely his creation, or inspired by characters named in the book. The love, the fear, the laughter. It's an important part of TTRPG campaigns for me: it's the relationships that keep bringing me back.

I want to offer that to my Hunter group, help them build the bonds between the PC's and give them friendships, meaningful relationships outside as well. I want to give them the ties to make them fight harder...

I'm not sure how to do this, and I won't know what I need to learn until I've tried.

First session hopefully in Feb. Got to confirm and finalise a date.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Ru Rainbow

My Granny died on New Year's Eve. I have so much I want to say, but right now the grief is too huge so all I can manage is a photo.

An elderly lady smiles at a baby. Her face is wrinkled with love.