To The Power Ten.


Cocobay Antigua W.I

Several years ago I was merrily doing my thing on a beach, enjoying alone time, just messing about in Antigua’s turquoise bejewelled sea when a voice from the ocean yelled, “Come play with us”. My British self thought, “Fuck you, you entitled pricks, I didn’t come with the ticket” but that soon melted when I saw the grinning faces from where that southern US drawl originated. A quiet afternoon on the beach was the start of my friendship with Jim and Tom – fellas, I have typed your names alphabetically, there’s no deeper meaning there.

A whole new world perspective opened up for me that afternoon on the beach and over three short days, which flew past in the blink of an eye, I discovered that in North Carolina there are two people who have hearts bigger than the universe and tongues so acidic that the late Joan Rivers could have been taught a thing or two. Through them I learned of their best friend Judy, who in turn became a long distance friend via Facebook. Jim, Judy and Tom are the very antithesis of everything Trump America stands for; they love without boundaries and shout out proudly against injustice, giving the voiceless a platform and through their various social working and counseling activities ensure their Christian beliefs are not just words muttered in church each Sunday but are a tenet by which they live their lives. Their patience and love is never more evident than when they tolerate my atheist ranting. Despite our differences we share a belief in three essential human truths:

  1. Social Justice for ALL.
  2. Laughter
  3. Bitching. Especially at guys in tiny-winies who really have no place to walk with a swagger – peanut, that’s all I’m saying.

Late last year Judy was diagnosed with cancer. She died yesterday. We’d had conversations on Facebook and naturally I sent the usual trite messages people tend to send others diagnosed with terminal illness. Nothing seems right but we feel the need to say something. Her last message to me was as follows:

 “You bet I will dearest girl. I am def surrounded by the best caregivers. My husband and sisters are incredible and want what I want. When this shit is over I’m coming to see you!!! ”

Cancer however had other ideas about us two meeting in person.

Some people are considerably more than mere flesh, blood and bone; they exude a muchness. Jim, Judy and Tom together were more than just three people they were humans to the power ten, a force. I am damn sure that energy will move on and grow through everyone touched by Judy’s passionate vitality. That to me is the real afterlife.

More power to sassy women and long may we reign. Sleep well lovely woman.


Edit: Something that sprung to mind. I find often that Yorkshire people have a way with words, this grand old chap certainly did.


I Blame Cher.


What is it about postmenopausal divorcees who feel the need to strut their stuff at every single karaoke night? Fill your boots, give it large, get pissed, dance on tables, too fucking right. I’m right there with you sisters, but there is nothing worse than some recently dumped woman wailing her guts out at 2am to Cher or Tina or Gloria Fucking Gaynor. Seriously, get a new soundtrack to your misery.“I Will Survive” right, tell yourself that often enough and people will believe you, and you might even convince yourself. What makes it worse is that one of these wine infused operettas came wafting through my windows yet again sometime in the early hours of the morning from the local meat market on the harbour. At least the bar has equal rights; men and women ply their trade alike, there’s always someone willing to pay the ladies and gentleman of “negotiable affection”.

You know I’m trying to do my bit for the planet; I’m keeping the windows open instead of having the A/C on all night (and before my husband makes a comment, I’m Yorkshire and apparently the definition of Yorkshire meanness is that you take a Scots person and remove all milk of human generosity and sew them up tighter than a gnats arse). So by the time it got to 2am on a humid almost breathless evening and the caterwauling was still invading my dream space, I was ready to shove a cork in someone’s mouth and post the video of whichever pitiful creature was howling to their ex-husband with a note attached saying “Thanks a lot arsehole, now see what you did, I will find you and I will make your life more miserable than the divorce settlement”. As my husband says, “Remind me NEVER to piss you off, you’re evil”.

….And breath. That’s better.

I suppose I’ve been thinking about coping mechanisms. We all have them. Mine’s usually at the bottom of a wine glass, a book, a silent tapestry session, a long walk, writing, music, screaming at the top of my lungs underwater and imagining I’m trapped behind a translucent screen and sanity is on the other side of that wall and all I have to do is scream loud enough and someone will pierce the barrier and I’ll fall through into a world where life makes more sense. I know life doesn’t make sense, that’s what makes it brilliant; its random it’s unfathomable, but every now and then it’s nice to imagine that there’s a place where there’s no drama, no pain, no uncertainty and no fear. I think people who do have religion live in a world like that because they believe their life is pre-destined; their paths are all laid out for a reason and one day they will see their dead loved ones again. I can’t throw myself into that because quite frankly there are some people who are dead that I really do not want to meet again. There are a few dead humans I would like to have one last conversation with if only to tell them they were an irresponsible selfish arsehole. Even then, what purpose would that serve? I should have told them that when they were alive. So if one day I tell you that you’re a diseased rat’s cock, I’m doing it out of kindness so that you don’t go to the grave with any burning ambiguity of how I truly felt.

You’re welcome.