Autumn returns

The leaves are turning yellow and orange again. The air feels cooler, and night falls more swiftly. I love Autumn because it is beautiful, but also because it reminds me about the briefness of life.

Summer seemed never-ending, and was it really that hot? But here we are at the start of a new season. And soon it will be winter, with its icy dark days and bleak trees. What could be good about winter, besides the first few hours of snow, and hot chocolate?

I think that without the reminder of our own mortality, life is all too easily taken for granted. Knowing that one day we will die, reminds us to enjoy what little time we have; to make the most of what we’ve been given; to hug our loved ones more tightly.

And after the emptiness of winter, we know that a new life awaits us. We look forward to it. Death and life are opposites, yet like two sides of the same coin. There is no need to fear winter, because one day spring will arrive.

For now, I will breathe in the scent of woodsmoke, delight in the colours, and be grateful that I am here to enjoy another Autumn.

Holiday sketches

We’ve returned from a relaxing holiday at the beach.

Just what we needed after yet another stressful year.

Holiday house.

Every year, I draw a sketch of our holiday house. This one looked out over the sea and had a giant hot-tub.

My favourite thing was playing in rockpools at low tide.

The hunter of the air

His wings stretch far,

Skimming the sun’s rays

As he searches for prey.

Majestically he glides

On currents of warm air,

While those far below

Are transfixed by his stare.

Suddenly, he spots his prey.

Down, down he swoops,

Frighteningly fast,

Lest it make its escape.


It never had a chance

Against a bird of such power.

His food is swallowed whole

In a flurry of feathers and claws.

All beware the hunter of the air.


“Oi! That’s my chip!

Get lost you stupid gull!”


Mr Bumblebee

Look at Mr Bumblebee,
He’s such a handsome fellow.
So proud and smart and stripy:
Ventablack and fire yellow.
A distinctly busy chap,
Always working, never stops.
He has an internal map,
Which means he never gets lost.
See him flying everywhere,
Doing an important job.
Never resting on a chair,
No-one could call him a slob.
With the arrival of spring,
He works overtime all day.
Tirelessly on the wing,
No time to enjoy his pay.
Dear Mr Bumblebee,
You have earned a little rest.
Sit with me and drink honey,
Taste the fruits of your success.
Mr Bumblebee drawing


Sometimes life is just too busy. Now that things are going back to ‘normal’ (although,  in many ways it is never going to be the same again); I have realised just how little time I have to myself. When do I ever get to spend some quiet time away from work, family, chores etc? Not often is the answer.

My poor brain  is struggling a  bit with no longer being a cancer patient and is taking time to adjust. I love being healthy-ish, sociable, able to go out with the kids sans germ fear, but. Who am I? Who is Alex again? I seem to have forgotten.

Many people probably think that everything is fine now. I am over that blip, let’s move on with cheesy smiles. But although I probably look OK (if older), sometimes I am not.  The medication that I will be on for the next few years has some nasty side-effects. All is not well.

I decided to have some much-longed for alone time today. I went for a walk to a local beauty spot. I didn’t need to talk to anyone or worry about the kids. I could listen to the birdsong and enjoy the feel of sunshine (and later,  rain) on my face. It was a beautiful spring morning and much better than staying inside.

I found a sheltered spot near the water’s edge. No-one else was around and I could watch the herons and ducks and listen to the lambs in the nearby field.

I felt so one with nature that I considered taking off my socks and trainers and jumping into the muddy stream, but I couldn’t see the bottom and would then have had to walk home muddy and freezing cold. Maybe  next time.

I am not brave enough to buy a cheap tent, and disappear into the wilderness for a few days, but that does appeal.

When I left my hide, I disturbed some bird-watchers in their natural habitat. They seemed startled to find a female of the species, but managed not to take flight.

It started raining gently, but I loved it. It was just what I needed.

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