Make yourself a cup of tea and have a read through
a selection of heartwarming, poignant and uplifting short stories with a little explanation of why I wrote them.
Love Never Dies
For Jeroen, Nadia & Fleur
Following the heartbreaking death of my Dad’s friend, Jeroen, who was tragically killed outside his house, just days after the birth of his baby girl. I created this illustration and poem for Jeroen’s wonderful wife and daughter, Nadja and Fleur, for whom, love never dies.
-And with books as my ladder,
my world moved up high-
I was honoured to be let into a fascinating true story of a mother's love overcoming the impossible. While I wasn't able to tell the full story, I was inspired to write this poem. I hope it inspired you to overcome your impossible too.
- An elephant called Arthur
Sat in the middle of the herd
And everybody stared at him
But no one said a word. -
I don’t believe that anyone escapes being made to feel small or unwelcome at some point in their life. For some people it’s a regrettable hair cut that attracts ridicule temporarily, for some, its far more serious. But I believe that for everyone, there is someone out there with ears to match our song.
The Spider and Me
-Be brave, thought the rabbit,
He means you no harm.
Not his big scary eyes,
Or gangly arms-
I actually developed a huge phobia of spiders as a child. I was fine one moment, the next I was being handed a tarantula at London zoo and it flipped a switch for me and from that moment my fear of anything with 8 legs just grew and grew. I learnt over time to make them smaller in my mind. And in the end, I had a spider in my bathroom, who I grew to enjoy having around. I named him Dave.
A bold 2020
- For this little girl
was quite different you see,
she believed in herself
and all she could be -
The irony of the title isn't lost on me. When I wrote this one, full of hope and optimism on New Year's Eve 2019, awaiting the new decade with excitement, I had no idea what the year held in store. I thought about change the title, but in fact, it is perfect. A year full of challenge and adversity, of overcoming hurdles amongst the odds...that is exactly what this poem is about.
Pressure to be magical
-Some days I feel so much pressure
to be magical you know?-
Growing up with social expectations of life achievements that ought to be met at various stages, it can feel lonely when you haven’t hit them and it can feel like everyone around you seems to be nailing this thing called life. But when you chase things just to keep up, you can miss out on the magic along the way.
Just as you are
-No filter could be better
Than the sunlight on your cheeks
The sparkle in your eyes as we
Both face a brand new week-
After a brief spell working in the fitness industry, so often I saw people measure their entire selves via the scales. Comparing before and after photos always bothered me as I wanted the person in the before photo to know that they were infintately loveable just as they were and in equal measure to whoever showed up on the after photo. I always hoped for people to feel this for themselves, as much as for their loved ones.
- But to get to their house
Meant a night in the sky
Which was worth it for cuddles
And slices of pie -
Lockdown 2020 saw so many borders closing and families overseas spent many uncertain days apart, not able to plan a visit to loved ones. For my nephew Josh, this was particularly hard having just spent a magical few weeks with his family in the UK before returning home to Australia.
A Path less travelled
- While I climbed, I told myself
if this feels hard to do,
When I get up to my treehouse
I know I'll love the view-
I had an office job for a year as a new graduate. On paper it was great, but my heart felt caged. My turning point for leaving was getting into a lift where a colleague sighed and said “10 more years”…
"Until what?" I asked?”
“Until I can retire” he replied.
For sure the pension was great in that job. But there was a world outside that building and I didn't want to wait until 65 to see it. Once I had left the building I had some of the best years of my life teaching skiing overseas. Sometimes it’s not easy to follow a path less travelled and it often requires sacrifices in other parts of your life, but when you follow your heart, it’s always a good decision.
Some other things to tell you,
That Mr Bear loves most,
Are Christmas time and snowfall,
And letters in the post
The first story I wrote featuring Mr Bear. This much-loved festive tale will warm your heart at any time of year.
I also made this into an animated film in 2020. If you'd like to know more and watch the film, click here.
So he rustled up breakfast
For his favourite Mouse
Who was still happily snoozing
In their cosy wee house
Cosy up and read all about Mr Bear's day with Mouse and the magical joy of small moments.
They all jumped on and what a ride
The carousel would be.
They flew on magic unicorns
And twirled in cups of tea
Go on a magical adventure with Mr Bear and friends as they venture out of the snowy forest for a day out at the fair.