Winding down after exams…with Keats

I am mindful that my blog has been neglected I have had reason to rant…but I confess I too have been winding down after exam invigilating, supporting students through the exam period and being a mature student. Though I still have an exam to do!! However, I have not been lazing around and have enjoyed a few cultural experiences alongside the usual challenges of my counselling and freelance work.

Last weekend I attended an event organised by the Redbourn Museum where we were fortunate to be visited by Professor Nicholas Roe from St Andrews University a historian and writer specialising in Keats one of the greats.  We were treated to a great talk and I managed to purchase and have signed his latest book on John Keats. This followed an interesting evening of poetry and wine in the museum gardens where various poetry lovers read from their favourite books; I chose Rupert Brookes, a few Haiku gems and one or too old favourites.

I had forgotten just how much poetry had featured in my own life and reflected on happy memories of reading from my mother’s poetry books as a small child. Writing poetry, indeed any writing is always therapeutic and it can be fun don’t forget even if you just write it for your own private reasons. However, don’t be shy try and get it published you may surprise yourself.

Normal daily blogging will resume now and for those students awaiting exam results try not to get too stressed enjoy your break you have earned it and I wish you all well with your results and chosen career paths. I will be writing about how choices change in the forthcoming weeks…and sometimes unexpectedly for the better.



Something to offer

In my time of working with students of all ages and counselling I am constantly reminded that we are of course all different but we all have something good to offer. As students are put under pressure not just by their schools but often parents too I try to re-adjust the balance whenever I get an opportunity to say that we cannot all be academics or A* students but please do not write us off!

Similarly a fellow life coach and I acknowledge on a regular basis that anyone who is dyslexic is not ‘stupid’ as previously labelled as this challenge is in no way an indication of a person’s level of intelligence.  Personally speaking I really enjoy the challenge of helping those who are considered ‘different’ by society and often unkindly judged and misunderstood.

I was encourged as a child to ‘not mock the afflicted’ that may be considered now as non pc but the message behind came from my mentor and one who accepted and saw the good in everyone. If you look for the good in somebody you will find it…some hide it better than others of course. Remember what some perceive as being naughty is infact somebody with a brilliant mind who may be bored and/or has a personal challenge they may be in fear of revealing.

If you come across say somebody with a speech issue such as stammering, be patient, be kind and try to avoid finishing their sentences or words it just makes them more anxious. Bear in mind they may be recovering from a stroke and re-learning to speak all over again.

Let’s celebrate who we are and be more accepting of others around us.

In Support of Mr Men Books

Regular followers will know I keep out of many topical discussions but today… Watching GMTV I felt compelled to respond to the crazy suggestion that the funny Mr Men books are sexist and damaging to girls!! What??!!**

The idea to suggest such editions as ‘Little Miss Chatterbox’ are demeaning to girls is complete nonsense. My daughter was bought that book and being a chatterbox was part of her charm and her social skills from an earlier age have been second to none and an asset.

To attack my own personal favourite ‘Mr Tickle’ with an inuendo he was a sex predator even more ridiculous. For me he was, and always will be, the ideal man as he could lie in bed and reach downstairs for the chocolate biscuits. I still stay clear of ‘Mr Grumpy’ haha

Obviously, whilst I am support of women being encouraged to be confident it is a statistical fact, and sadly so, that we have more to be worried about the mental issues, and lack of confidence in young men with rise in depression and male suicides.

I will end my rant with a memory of a great ex-boyfriend who loved women but used to remind me that more often than not Walt Disney’s baddie was a woman! Though the more modern Disney films have great role models for girls…‘let it go’.

Allow children to be children for heaven’s sake!

Beautiful cat..’Keep Scratching’

Just returned from a trip to the vets with our amazing cat Lenny. Poor lad such a beautiful furry boy… just a domestic long haired but convinced he is a posh cat  – when he is not thinking he is a dog! Cat’s are so switched on they see that cat box and suddenly become as strong as a lion as one tries to wrestle them in.

If like me you are a real cat lover (crazy cat woman) you may enjoy my anthology of cat poetry on Kindle books available from Amazon @ £3.50:

Keep scratching‘ is published and written under my pen name Evelyn King with purrfect cover illustration by Paul Manning


All grown up..tubbies

It is Friday so a less serious blog. I understand that today the Telly Tubbies are twenty! Wow where did that time go to? The baby featured in the sun image is now at university as are most of the avid fans of those early showings.

It was part of the early morning routine getting my daughter ready with the Telly Tubbies song playing in the background. Her dad used to make her tubby toast and for ages the vacuum cleaner was known as the noo noo!

In years to come there will be a similar generation raised on Peppa Pig I guess! The merchandising always brings in a small fortune to said programmes as relatives rush to by the latest product. We all fall for it…my great niece is coming for a visit tomorrow bound to be something piggy in the playbag!

So to all you Dipsy, tinkywinky, lala and po fans doing so well at university being a tubby fan didn’t do you any harm after all!


Grief Encounter

Children’s grief awareness is something I like to support. Grief Encounter an amazing support charity were featured on TV today. I met the founder members at a bereavement conference many years ago and salute the work and what they have achieved to date.

If you have children who are going through bereavement please do not let them struggle, seek support and counselling there is help and advice available and as I have said before there are many great books which can help explain in appropriate language how to deal with their feelings.

Keeping their loved one’s memory alive is imperative as opposed to avoiding talking about their lost relative.  The process for everybody is different and if, as a parent you are dealing with your own grief as well as comforting a child it is not easy.

Bereavement -supporting children

The bereavement journey is indeed a difficult one and never more so than for children. Death of a close relative may come at an early age and before a child has yet learned the adult vocabulary with which to express how they are feeling.

I am advised it is Grief Awareness Month for Children and my advice is not to struggle ensure you get help for yourself and your children. There are also excellent books available to help children understand in an age appropriate way. One of my favourites being ‘Badger’s Parting Gifts.’

I have a project of my own A Ragdoll for Nanny’ which I am hoping to use to help a bereavement charity at some stage.  Having lost a parent at an early age and helped my own daughter with loss of grandparents very young I can speak from personal experience.

I always advise parents to let their children’s school know what is happening to gain as much support as possible. For children at senior school please look at my piece on Innovate My School’s website.

Pet bereavement

I was pleased to see the subject of pet bereavement being discussed on daytime TV yesterday. Often people forget how attached pet owners are to their beloved pooch or moggy.

Speaking as a parent often through keeping a pet a child learns about responsibility and their first encounter with grief may indeed be through the loss of a pet hamster.

I think the mistake parents often make is in trying to protect their children’s emotions they invent strange stories as to where the deceased animal has gone to, and even replace a goldfish with another pretending it is the same one.

We cannot run from death and the earlier a child understands about loss but in a controlled way the better. There is no right age to accept or a right way of breaking bad news we just have to do the best we can.

However, there are of course great books available pitched age appropriate which can help with the loss of grandparent say. If you feel you need outside help do not feel embarrassed to ask as often you may be going through the same emotions yourself and a bereavement counsellor can help make the journey easier for both you and your child.

Children’s projects -bereavement

I am always telling friends and clients how delays in life and business happen for a reason! However it doesn’t stop me being disappointed from time to time when my own projects take longer than I envisaged whatever the good reason!

Like most writers I have to pitch to agents and publishers; the weeks turn into months and before one realises your dream project is still in manuscript form rather than a beautiful book. But don’t dishearten.

My projects are ‘my babies’ and I love to see them grow and blossom. One particular project very dear to me was written to help younger children with bereavement. It is a true, yet emotive story based on my own daughter’s experience when my mother was dying of cancer.

I have been in communication the past year with a national bereavement charity and really hope this project will soon be off the ground and raising funds and awareness.

So today’s message is keep at it – Continual to chase your dreams you might catch one.