First blog post

This is the post excerpt.


Poetry came into my life only briefly at school but later in life, during times of stress it helped me immensely.  It has certainly got me through many a crisis and helped get things into perspective.



A step back in time.

When I left school, aged 15 (over 50 years ago), I became a typist for the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge and attended evening classes to improve my ‘touch typing’ skills.  From there I moved on to the Prudential Assurance Company and then went on to have my family.  I took on various roles whilst bringing up my children from cleaning to homeworking (making printed circuit boards, switches, wiring) to working in a greengrocer’s store and then, when my youngest was two years old, I began working for the Institute of Education transcribing interviews for a school Accountability Project which was very interesting.  I stayed there for several years until my ‘breakdown’ and the very harrowing break up of my 14-year marriage when a great deal of trauma was to ensue.  I was admitted to Fulbourn Hospital in Cambridge, where I stayed for about 14 months and no one thought I would recover but thankfully for my children, I did!

Unfortunately, more trauma followed when I became addicted to alcohol.  I was lost without my boys as care and control had gone to their father and he  now had a new partner.  I was devastated and did not cope at all well.  That was when alcohol played its part and in 1986 I was admitted to a rehabilitation centre in Hertfordshire.   In 1987 we had a visit from Spelthorne St Mary’s Patron, Princess Diana, which was just before I left to start a new life.  I had the privilege to sit with Princess Diana along with two of the Sisters and have a short chat.  It was a very exciting day and everyone was thrilled to meet her.

It was felt that it would be best for me to move away from Cambridge so I stayed with my mother and step-father in Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk until I acquired a mobile home in Cobolm, Gt. Yarmouth.  I then met my second husband at a club for divorced and separated people.  Not long after we were married two of my boys came to live with us.  My eldest son now had a new family and partner and did not come back to live with me. Further trauma was in store for him and for me!  After losing my mum and a brother in 1995 I was very distressed.  However, the marriage continued until we had moved to Norwich when in 2001 the marriage ended more amicably this time and the main cause was that I had started drinking again.  So, alcohol had a part to play in that break-up.  I remember 9/11/2001 vividly.  It was the day I was on the telephone, arranging to leave my husband, when the news broke that planes had crashed in the World Trade Centre’s twin towers in New York.

On a lighter note for 20 years (or more) I worked for agencies as a temp.  My work finally brought me to Norwich and I have been happy here ever since.  One of my roles was for a restaurant dealing with menus on their website which was great but placing orders for tea, coffee, snacks/meals etc, I am afraid, was not my forte!


Oh dear! What a disaster
More problems you won’t find
Than those that were encountered
When Trish met Nelson Hind!

She started off so brilliantly
She seemed to have such flare
And even had the privilege
To use the bosses chair

She helped out on his laptop
(Now that’s a sight to see!)
And when it came to break time
She got biscuits with her tea

She impressed them with her typing
Her special menus were ‘Supreme’
But when it came to taking orders
She made them want to scream!

She had a lot of work to do
And tried her very best
But the day she missed another order
Really put them to the test!

The orders were a trial for her
And she was in the ‘Soup’
Marie had by now had enough
Trish no longer in the troupe!

No longer part of Nelson Hind
She was a lonely ‘Sole’
She was well and truly ‘battered’
And really in a hole!

She pondered on her plight
But she knew she’d had her ‘chips’
And so the only thing for her
Was to tell them that she quit

She thought of pleading with them
But knew that would be in vane
And after all the problems
They would know she was insane!

So there was nothing left
But to eat ‘humble pie’
Admit it was too much for her
And hold her head up high

Trish June 2001


I then moved on to temp for a further few years but the following verses were whilst I was still working for the restaurant the following incident occurred:

A Day in The Life of Brian

Brian sits at his PC
In the opposite corner to me
Marie and Mark, Liz and Tim
Sat quietly working – then – “what’s that din!?”

An explosive sound from Brian’s Corner
Marie quite shocked
No time to warn her!
Our Brian is in quite a mess

He’s lost his ‘Innocence’
All over the desk!
We never realised it was so hot
And Brian was in a state of shock

But what the others couldn’t see
Was the sticky mess on Brian’s PC
He wiped as much off as he could
But it wasn’t doing any good

He had to get out of this place
And grabbed an empty sandwich case
The bubbling mass he placed inside
And waited for it to subside

Now if you want to avoid the same fate
Don’t let your YOGHURTS GO OUT OF DATE!!!!
(Use before April 2001)

Trish June 2001




The featured picture is my lovely Mum. Anniversary of the death of my mother and also losing one of my brothers.

The saddest year in my life was 1995 with the loss so suddenly of my mother on March 10th and in December the same year, just after Christmas, my brother left us also.  He could not bear to be without our dear Mum.  The first four verses were written some years ago.  I have added a few more today.

All Alone!

I’m feeling sad
And quite alone
Will I ever have
A happy home?

I’ve made my decision
The time has come
Oh how I wish
I still had my mum!

A mother so wise
And the truest of friends
It is so cruel
That her life had to end

It ended so quickly
In a blink she was gone
Without her I find
It so hard to be strong

But life goes on
A trial a test
I really must try
To do my best

Make the best of a bad thing
This is the way
For new life to begin
A brand-new day…

It’s 23 years since you left us Mum
The saddest day ever
Then on went your son
My brother – no never!

But alas he did go
He had to depart
Because when you left us
It had broken his heart

Time doesn’t totally heal but the pain eases.  However, always at low points in my life the pain returns.  I wonder how things would have been had I still got my mum and my brother.  Mum was always there for all of us and made so many sacrifices as most mums do.  She cared for so many people as well as her family – she was a warden in a sheltered housing complex for her last few years.  She died so quickly after her retirement and it is so very sad that she never had the full and happy retirement which she so deserved.



Dealing with bereavement.

The time is drawing near to the anniversary of my mother’s death on 10th March 1995 and although I think of her often it is far more poignant now.  Mum never had an easy life either and she was the ‘glue’ that kept the family together.  I also lost one of my brothers in December 1995 – he wanted to be with mum.  It was a very traumatic part of my life and took me a long time to come to terms with.  You never get over some of the traumas in life but have to learn to deal with them and carry on.

(In Loving Memory of Peggy Pettengell)

 Many times you helped me through
Only one person stood by – MUM – that was you
The strength you had and faith in me
Helped me come back to reality
Everyone else gave in, said ‘leave her there!’
Relentlessly you showed love and care

I can recall such devotion you gave

With a thankful heart – my life you saved
Illness came in many guises
Love unending you provided
Lasting through to the bitter end 

A MUM who was more than a special friend
Life will never be the same now
We continue but I just don’t know how
A void exists now in my world
You left behind your little girl
Some day we will be reunited 

Lonely hearts have been divided
Our souls will be as one someday
Voids filled – and again we’ll play
Each and everyone together

Years and years of love and pleasure
Over and over I tell myself
Undying love means more than wealth

Trish – 1995


During my breakdown, and long after, Mum was a great support to me, along with my dear Aunt Val who still stays in contact and I am sure it was their support and faith that got me through this traumatic time.  Although I lost care and control of my sons during this breakdown, two of my sons did return to live with me when I married for the second time in 1988.  My other son had a partner and stayed in Cambridge.

It was during my recovery on release from hospital that I turned to drink which had a devastating effect on my life and is covered in my (as yet unpublished) book ‘The Adverse Effects of Alcohol’.  The following verses are an excerpt from the book:

Growing up

Laughter and tears, sadness and joy
Our life drifts along until girl meets boy
Childhood innocence fades away
Slowly, but surely day by day

Mum and Dad – safety – security
When in childhood and in purity
But as the time goes on
Security, safety and purity are gone

We know not what life holds in store
Just as well – else we’d want no more
For some, life goes by without a hitch
For others – it’s a trial – a test of wits

Our lives take many different paths
For some it is an easy task
Of course, I can only speak for me
And of other experiences that I see

I was coping, I thought, for many years
Then came about my biggest fear
A breakdown, no oil to keep me going
I’d run without any without even knowing

I‘d gone on for months without any steam
I couldn’t sleep – so I couldn’t dream
Until into a ‘Twilight World’ I went
All my energies had been spent

But what lead to this state?
Well, of course, many mistakes
Some that I could not control
Lead me to a big black hole

I hope that some will recognise
The feelings that I have inside
But also, I hope these rhymes
Help you cope with troubled times…

Trish – ‘The Adverse Effects of Alcohol’
Unpublished book – written after staying at Spelthorne St Mary in Hertfordshire


My battle with weight and now mobility as well!

Many years ago I took part in the Cambridge Grass Track Car Racing with my first husband and my two brothers.  The photograph shows me at the last time I was slimmer and healthier the next 30 years have taken their toll on me.  After having a nervous breakdown on the breakup of my first marriage and weighing just 6 stone on my return to ‘‘reality” from 14 months in hospital, my weight ballooned and I am now 16 stone!  There has been a lot of trauma in my life and unfortunately, I have let myself ‘go’!!

I have just completed my first session of hydrotherapy and feel like I have run a marathon!  It was very good and I look forward to the next session.  However, I now realise that I was ‘overdoing it’ on my trips to Riverside Leisure Centre for swimming.  I was going for an hour at a time and did far more than we did at the hydro pool today!

I have struggled with my weight for over 30 years now.  I used to be very active attending keep fit, dancing regularly every Saturday night and in the earlier years lots of ‘Disco Dancing’, swimming and badminton.  Alas, everything and slowed right down and I have come to a standstill having a Stenosis Disc in my spine and joint problems plus the nerve damage to my feet caused by Diabetes and muscle pain.  I pushed through the pain for years and when I visited a Chiropractor (not for the first time!) she told me I should have seen her 10 years ago!!  It is going to be tough but I am hoping I can get back to doing at least some of the activities of previous years!

The following verses are again from 2001 when once again I tried to lose weight:


 Decided at last to find a new me
So off to Weight Watchers I went with glee
Many people with the same idea
Resolutions they’ve made for the new year

All us roly-polies have just one quest
To lose all that fat and look our best
We’ve tried it with friends and tried it alone
Only to find we’ve put on one more stone!

But we mean it this time, we will succeed
If all the advice we do heed
I’ve purchased a magazine and some scales
And listened to some winners tales

“Oh yes, it’s easy once you start,
And so much better for your heart!
You’ll find that you won’t feel so sleepy
The first stone you lose will be easy!”

Huh! Who are you kidding my friend
I’ve been going round the bend
Tried and tried – haven’t lost an ounce
The scales keep going up when on them I bounce!

Cup ‘a soup, Ryvita and low-fat spread
Oh I’m going off my head
On the scale I jump
Oh no! I am a larger lump!

Well this is no solution
So Weight Watchers – my New Year resolution
I mean it this time, I will win
I’m also going to the gym

We all jump up when the music begins
Warm up exercises (I could do with a gin!)
There – now I’ve let that slip
“Come on ladies jump and skip”

Well this isn’t too bad yet
But it will get worse I do suspect
“Stretch those arms – straighten those legs”
(Oh I think I need my bed!)

The perspiration begins to flow
But I’ll not let my tiredness show
My legs are aching – I start to frown
“Oh I’ll be glad when we sit down”

“Down on the floor now, ladies please”
Down I go with such ease
But getting up won’t be the same
That can be quite a strain

“Lay down now – get those backs to the floor”
Oh I don’t think I can take any more
“Raise those legs – walk in the air”
What a sight – but who cares

“Now let your legs down slowly”
Careful now – ooh her tights are holey!
She’s obviously been doing this for a while
Never mind – give her a smile

I expect mine will soon be worn in
Ah! – they’ve fallen down – “Anyone got a pin?”
Now up we get – what a strain
“Come on ladies form a chain”

Stretching and bending around the floor
“What’s the time – is there much more?”
The perspiration is getting worse
Oh, this weight is such a curse

Well thank you Weight Watchers and the Gym
I am now starving and ache in every limb!!

Well I don’t this is quite for me
I now do not feel filled with glee!
I will have to think again
This is causing too much pain!

Two of my major problems are insomnia and sleep apnea.  I am now off of the sleeping tablets I have taken for years.  Hopefully, my body will be able to regulate itself more when I increase activity and hopefully lose some weight!  Easier said than done!  However, I intend to give it a really good go this time for the sake of my family and most of all for myself to be able to enjoy life once more.  The restrictions on my mobility now are taking their toll on all aspects of my life.  The battle goes on!




Cambridge – where it all began.

 Cambridge is where I was born – a small village called Girton.  The picture featured is of the River Cam.  We are now far more aware of the damage being done to our planet.  From saving trees to recycling and all the conservation efforts now and being aware of our carbon footprint.  The following verses were written in 2000-2001 (seem to have been a prolific period for my writing).

Beauty Lost Forever?

There was a time so long ago
When trees were lush and green
Flowers bloomed so beautifully
and butterflies were seen

And if you saw – then you would know
We’ve let some of that beauty go
Our world is not so very clean
Too much concrete on the scene?

Can we get it back?
Can new seeds we sow?
Together we can do it
We really have to try

We cannot on the truth sit
Or life and love will die…

We must stand together
To bring us back the beauty
Of those days gone by!

Trish – September 2001


Treasure the Moment 

The taste of fresh rain falling
The smell of morning dew
The sight of a bright landscape
Let’s enjoy the view

The trees out in the distance
Filled with an autumn glow
All too soon they will be covered
With the first few flakes of snow

The sun glints through the branches
And a bird is flying by
Soaring beautifully, gracefully
In the morning sky

The grass is lush and green
A few flowers still in bloom
Let’s enjoy the colours
Of mother natures room

A room sometimes neglected
A room sometimes abused
Let’s treasure mother nature
Not let it be confused

Confused by human beings
Who are really not aware
Of their wonderful surroundings
And really do not care

Cherish mother nature
Listen to the pleas
Of disappearing butterflies
Birds and lonely bees

Listen to the wind
Capture the sound
Because there will just be silence
When there is barren ground!

Trish – 2000-2001



Tears more tears
Years more years
I could drown in
All my fears

The sea of dreams
The lake of tears
The river of life
Takes years and years

Years to meander to its end
And on its way

Trish  – October 2000

Many poems were written by me during this period in my life – some will appear later I expect but some are far too lengthy!  After this time I divorced my second husband.  Unfortunately, as referred to in my first blog, alcohol played a part in this separation.  One day I might just be able to publish my book about my stay at Spelthorne St Mary in Hertfordshire – (‘The Adverse Effects of Alcohol’).  It may be that I am just not cut out to be in a relationship.  I still support my sons as much as possible but need to find my way in life now.  My middle son has learning difficulties and we have had many adventures moving around Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Norfolk!  Hopefully, we are both settled now and he has more support from other services.



A treasured memory of years gone by.

Oh, those days, with no responsibility, care-free, lovely days out to the seaside!  We had some great days out then.  Now that I live in Norwich it is great to go to Thorpe and always look for the seat that mum sat on – knitting – she was always knitting and she was very good at it too.  This was also where my brothers first started fishing.


Mother sat there knitting
By the riverside
We always stopped at Thorpe
When we went out for a drive

A drive down to the seaside
It really was a treat
And Mum would sit and knit
On that wooden seat

The seat down by the river
That I now live nearby
And when I see your picture
I breathe a heavy sigh

How I wish you were still here
To see the riverside
To see your wonderful grandchildren
And your grandson’s lovely bride

You left us all too quickly
In the blink of an eye
But I still have the memories
Of all those days gone by

We’d sit upon the beach
Shelling our hard-boiled eggs
And have a flask of tea
Before we bared our legs

Tuck our dress up for a paddle
Search for cockles and for crabs
Have a ride upon a donkey
Before we packed our bags

Then home again full of cheer
And stop at Thorpe for a nice cold beer!

Trish – 2001


I came to Norwich because of my work at Norwich Union and spent many a lunch time in the old bus station café – people watching.


At the bus station café
Many people call
Just who called in today?

The lady in the corner
Looks to me
As if she is a Secretary

Keeper of secrets old and new
Who does she look like to you?

The man in the cap
“A very nice chap”
A gentleman farmer maybe?

But what do YOU think…?
That’s what he looks like to me

Then there’s the Mum
With shopping galore
Her son’s come to meet her
Now she has more

More bags to carry
One, two, three…
A ‘MUM’ that’s who she looks like to me!

There’s a little old lady
“Don’t go so quick! – Take it easy my dear
Do use your stick!”
A granny – popped in for a cup of tea
That’s who she looks like to me!

Five girlie students
Future ‘go getters’
Out on a spree…
‘Girl Power’ groups they
Look like to me

The man at the back
In his ‘tatty’ rain Mac
Worked all his life
For his children and wife

Home every night
In time for tea…
A worker he looks like to me!

Two couples come in
Two old and two young
The old are quite serious
The young have some fun

The old couple worry
The young laugh, care‑free
Two couples in love they look like to me!

Then there’s the bloke
In his smart dark grey suit
An up and coming ‘exec’
Or on a sales recruit

He looks at his papers
Orders a roll and some tea
An ‘entrepreneur’ he looks like to me

I look at the pictures
I could sit and watch people
For hours and hours
Imagine their lives
And why they are here

Not all come for buses
That is quite clear

Some come in for a ‘fag’ and a chat
Like the worker I see
In his ‘tatty’ rain Mac

Then there’s the musicians
Who stand in the queue
Guitars in their hands
It’s clear what they do

Dark glasses hide eyes
People frightened to smile
Nobody dare say ‘how do you do?’
Nobody dare look – well would you?

And if you did – what would you see?
And what would you really think of me?

Trish – 2001




Distant Memories and Remember the 60s!

After entering my first poem – “Screaming” which was published after entering a competition for “Women’s Words” I subscribed to Poetry Now and had quite a few poems published.  I also entered the “Spotlight on Poets” – alas I was not accepted. The next few poems are from that period in my life.  I thank my granddaughter, Paula, immensely for reviving my interest – her daughter, Lola, (my great granddaughter) is a budding poet too!

Distant Memories

Now and then I must confess
I do remember that Lulu dress!
My first wages blown
On Lulu dresses of my very own

A time of happiness for me
Because of responsibility I was free
Full of love and hopes and dreams
Not worries and woes and Pension schemes!

Many regrets and errors made
Wrong roads taken in the game I played
The game of life can be so cruel
With tragedies and mistakes as fuel

A fuel that’s burned for far to long
“If you survive it makes you strong”
Maturity brings wisdom shows the error of our ways
And yes the mistakes of earlier days

From Lulu dresses to a family – sons for me – one, two, three
Then divorce – again I am free!
But the wisdom I have gained now has come to late
For I did make so many mistakes

Now there is time to reflect
And life is filled with regret
We do what we think right at the time
How I wish those dresses were still mine!

Trish – August 2001


Remember the Sixties?

The Swinging Sixties – did they swing?
Or was it all corruption and sin?
Let’s take a look and see
What I’ve stored in my memory…

Skinny rib jumpers, pin stripe suits
Hot pants and those ‘kinky’ boots!
‘Wow!’ we really looked so great
Reefer jacket on – we’ve got a date

The boy from the Co-op in his Parka coat
In the shop doorway having a smoke
Off to the fair in bell-bottom jeans
Frayed of course and buttons on seams

Off to the skating rink three times a week
The boys just swept me off my feet
Roller skating – speeding is great
(I want to be last on the chain, so I’ll wait)

Then we’d time it to let go
This ‘Fab’ don’t want to be slow
Speeding off the end of the line
We really did have a great time

Off on Saturday to the Record shop
This was everyone’s favourite spot
Outside Boots and Millers too
Boys in Green Parkas and girls in Reefers of blue

Mods and Rockers take over Flower Power
The bells of love and peace had their ‘happy hour’
Scooter boys off to the coast
Rockers on bikes with their chains did boast

Chrome on scooters – Vespas and Lambrettas
Black silk scarves and polo neck sweaters
Fur on aerials and mirrors galore
Painted side panels, seat covers and more

Big black motor bikes, studs and chains
Skin heads and rockers come to stake their claim
Fighting all over coastal towns and cities
This was the outcome – mores the pity

Banners waving ‘Ban the Bomb’
‘Eve of Destruction’ Barry McGuire’s song
Jonathan King has ‘Gone to the Moon’
And Lulu ‘Shouts’ her favourite tune

Dave Clarke Five and the Honeycombs
Up the ‘Top Twenty’ “Don’t be late home”
Every Friday Dad said this to us
And every Friday we’d miss the damn bus!

Late again ‘I’m grounded’ ‘So am I’
No more Top Twenty Club we’d cry
But of course, we went again
Oh! – It will never be the same

Evenings spent in the Coffee Bar
‘Espresso’ the frothiest by far
Ciggy machines – half a crown for ten
Gosh we will never see that again!

Sundays off to the swimming pool
A swim – Oh no don’t be a fool
This was just the ‘In crowd’s’ space
No Rockers here – they’re out of place

This was the mods favourite scene
All hanging around in Levi jeans
In the bath you had to get
Wearing jeans – yes get them wet

Then they would fit so tight
Gosh will they be dry for tonight?

Sundays in summer to the Mill Pond
Laying about in the hot sun
The Kinks are playing on the radio
This is the favourite spot you know

Jumping in the Mill Pond – fully clothed
The ‘in’ thing to do so let’s go
Mick and the Stones going strong
‘She Loves You’ the Beatles Number One!

Whatever happened to ‘Op Art?’
Ready Steady Go and our favourite chart
Well they pop up now and then
The circles coming around again

Otis Reading another favourite of mine
Soul was great around that time
Some favourite songs now get the chop
When I hear a remix, I want it to stop

Originals for me are the best
Do you remember those stringy vests?
Memories – well what a store
And of course, there are many more

Nostalgia – a trip down memory lane
No – things will never be the same
Maturity now – time to relax
And enjoy the memories as we look back.

 Trish – October 2001