Anxiety has been gnawing at me lately. It particularly loves the 4 a.m. time slot. Then, like vultures circling above a kill, the anxious thoughts loop around and around and around my mind. I can generally shake them off during the course of the day, but they return before the crack of dawn to wake me up with their intrusive clamouring. Continue reading
‘All the lonely people; Where do they all come from? All the lonely people; Where do they all belong?’ These lyrics are from the 1966 Beatles song Eleanor Rigby, which became known as ‘the lament for the lonely’.
More than fifty years later, loneliness besets our society as never before. Statistics reveal that more and more people consider themselves lonely. One study I came across said that half of Britons over the age of 65 consider their television or pet their main source of company. And loneliness, particularly amongst the elderly, has increased during the corona crisis, as people are forced into isolation. Continue reading
Last week was our final school prize giving. I admit it – I might have wiped away a stray tear or two, especially in the first part of the evening which takes place in the classroom. Here, each child receives a ‘character award’. Being a Christian school, this is an area valued as much—if not more than—the academic side. I like that in a school. A lot.
Then it was into the hall, packed with high school students, teachers and parents, to honour the academic and sports achievements of the learners. And there something remarkable happened. Ashlyn was awarded a silver academics badge and then went on to win two subject trophies (Computer Applications Technology and IT).
My youngest daughter, whose schooling—and childhood—has been marked by a struggle with mental health issues including Asperger’s, anxiety and depression marched onto that stage, beaming proudly. This somewhat belied the ‘humility’ part of her earlier character award, but nobody was holding it against her. Most of the teachers there and many of her peers knew the long journey she’s been on.
Reflecting back on that moment, I realise that what I felt was far more than parental pride. That moment on the stage wasn’t just a great academic achievement. It was a victory. Continue reading
Let me introduce you to another character from Chains of Gwyndorr. She is –without doubt–one of the most interesting and here’s why…
Tessor, wife of Gwyndorr’s Lord Lucian, has been forgotten by the world. She lives in a neglected wing of the large manor house and moves only in the hidden, dusty passages behind the walls, listening to the whispers of its inhabitants. Continue reading