the pe lesson outside my window, may thirteenth

blue athletic field
Photo by Mateusz Dach on

I hear the teenage girls screeching

And the thwack of the ball hitting the bat,

The team cheers as she scores a rounder,

Firing up my projector and wishing

For a sunshiney afternoon on the field,

Fresh cut grass and sunglasses on

As the boys play dodgeball and someone screams

So angry that another boy cheated,

My books go out onto plastic top desks

Print out materials flutter to the floor

Catching the light and the cries of gulls,

I wish that I could be out there too

As I stack up the novels and dream

Of netball or running or a swimming pool hour

I listen intently to the PE class sounds

Outside my window on May the thirteenth.

theme park on a windy day

brown and red lighted carousel
Photo by Brett Sayles on

The people huddle underneath the arches of

Arcades and KFCs, full to bursting

As the wind and rain drives through.

Theme park staff in posh blue coats,

Hoods up and heads lowered, point towards

The rides that still are open even though

The riders close their eyes and scream

In pain as raindrops pelt their faces

Leaving cheeks so red they glow,

And clothes soaked through, queues

For the great big dryers, that give us half a chance

Of getting dry, comfortable,

The chance of leaving with no flu.

At lunch time we all sit in silence,

Eating burgers that were warm, twenty minutes back,

Now they’re cold and limp, sad,

A bit like us.

It reaches four and people start to turn,

Giving up on old ideas of fun, of smiles

Of staying warm. Better to just quit,

Slouching out to car parks emptying at speed.

We sit inside, heaters blasting, windows steaming,

Trying hard to find the will

To make that drive back home.

is there a book that was written about me?

pile of assorted title book lot selective focus photographt
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

There is a writer somewhere near

That heard my story on a silent wave

That wafted through a window gaping wide

And whispered neatly in his ear.

My story did inspire his hands

That tapped away at clicking keys

And came together bound in leather

Into books that sat on shelves

And made the people laugh and cry,

To feel my human soul just sigh.

I sometimes feel like books were written for me and then less frequently there are occasions when the book seems to be written about me. I’m reading one of those at the moment, and I feel like it’s the sign of a good book; when the words speak to you on such a level that you really believe your story entered the writer’s psyche.

I wonder if the writer does sit at their desk and there is some magical spirit like substance that permeates their room, giving them an idea that is so close to your own story that you have to pause while reading the words, just to catch your breath.

I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert a couple of years ago and she talked about writing a story that didn’t work out for her. And the day she decided to give up the story, she visited her friend, Ann Patchett. She hugged her friend and sat having a lovely coffee with her, never mentioning the story that she had decided was a failure.

A couple of months later she spoke to Ann again and Ann told her that since their last meeting she had been writing a story and she described the exact plot that Elizabeth had been working on. It was as though the idea had just bounced from one writer to the other.

So, if these creative ideas do just bounce around the atmosphere, surely our own life stories are out there to be grabbed and written down? To me, that’s quite an incredible thought.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the hairdresser

She twisted hair around her brush

And held the dryer high.

Heat that burned my scalp

And my tortured face.

Colour rose up to my cheeks

As she stared back through the mirror,

Knowing truth I’d never told before.

Why do we tell the girl

In the salon, only eighteen years of age

So many secrets that we hold

Tightly in our palms?

The roughness of the brush through knots,

It matches just how tough he was

With me when he left for work today.

I gently touch the purple skin

That bloomed like viscous roses.

Maybe I should not have told

But hairdressers always seem to have that way.


there’s always a glimmer

of hope in every day,

even when the world tells you

that you need to be slimmer,

your light needs to be a bit dimmer,

need to be a goddamn winner.

I can’t be half these things,

but I know for sure

that there’s always gonna be a glimmer

of hope.

We’re going through a bit of a rocky patch at the moment and it’s all doom and gloom every time we switch on the TV. It’s enough to put anyone in a dark place because it’s downright scary.

But, we have to remember that in any bad situation there will always be a glimmer of hope. There will always be some good news somewhere, or something to make you smile. And we need to hang onto this tightly.

I interviewed for a new job on Thursday and they rang me back within a couple of hours and offered me the role. It was so exciting and it offered me that little bit of hope. I hope that there are some good things that are going on for you to help you through these tough times.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Want to be successful? Then be a bitch…. (plus a bonus poem)

Or that might be what it feels like sometimes, doesn’t it? If you’re a quiet and sensitive person. If you’re living your life in a way that involves not stomping all over people’s hopes, dreams and self confidence, it can sometimes feel like you are not deserving of success and happiness.

I was in the grips of alcohol addiction when I first watched The Devil Wears Prada. I was therefore craving money and attention and general adoration from everyone around me and so there was something about this movie that just resonated with me and everything that I wanted. I looked at Meryl Streep’s character like she was some sort of goddess; the epitome of what I wanted to be. She was rich and successful and everybody worshipped the ground that she walked on.

I also didn’t seem to be aware that the reason these people all bowed down to her like she was a goddess was because they were actually terrified of her. The respect people had for her was born out of fear and it’s not like anyone would ever want to go out to the pub with her after work. She wasn’t loved like a friend or a mother figure. And people only wanted to impress her so that they didn’t get stomped on, or because they wanted to impress her to advance their own careers.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where Meryl’s character was a jolly and rotund woman who dished out hugs and invited people into her office for cups of tea when they were stressed? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could celebrate kindness rather than fear? Is that even possible or would society fall to pieces if we took away those ball breakers who ‘make things happen’?

I would love to see that happen and I hope that my little online community and friend group can help to make this a reality. I don’t see why empathy and kindness can’t win the day and I would love to hear people’s thoughts and ideas on whether this could be encouraged. Because now that I am free from my addiction and not so focused on power and money I realise the level of misery that ball breakers can inflict is high and unnecessary! Why spread all that pain when it’s not needed?

So let’s all pull together and try to help the nice ones rise to the top. And here are a couple of tips for being kind in the work place (or anywhere else in the world):

  1. Try not to get on other people’s wick,

Because it just makes you look like quite the little dick.

2. If you have nothing nice to say,

Just save it for another bloody day.

3. If something said, hits a little nerve,

Don’t hate back, but smother it with lurve.

4. Rise above the gossip and the hate,

It’s not worth it, don’t take the fucking bait!

5. And lift the the nice ones way up high,

Because manners, empathy and love are never things that you can buy.