Daily Life, Poem

Loved You, Lost You

An all-consuming sadness, hovers daily at my door,

Watching, waiting, wondering; will I bow to it once more?

Emotions in a turmoil, surely time enough has passed,

Grief has no agenda; will it end or will it longer last?


I raise the phone to speak to you, as so many times before,

Then realise with such sorrow, its something I can do no more,

I wonder, when the last we spoke, during that final call,

Did you sense it, did you know, that no more words we’d share at all?


I see your face before me, it’s there most every day,

For you are staring back at me, from the mirror as I gaze,

It’s oft been said we look alike, from childhood to the end,

I fought it fiercely many years, your youthful looks became my friend.


Through all your pain and suffering, I thought I was prepared,

But as your beating heart lost pace, I felt so fearful, frightened, scared.

Around me they’re gently hovering, so many words unsaid,

I yearn a sense of closure, to calm this chaos in my head.


I’d ask just one more time again, to hold your withered hand,

But one would turn to more, I know, to say goodbye I’d not withstand,

Acceptance, wrap me in your warmth, I hope it’s one day soon,

I know you’re out there, watching me, among the stars beneath the moon.



A little about me and mine

My name is Julie and I am a ‘minimally published’ writer. I have had a few short stories published in magazines, an article, a handful of letters with and without silly photos and my most recent achievement was an ‘out of my comfort zone’ alien story. My alien story was part of an assignment for a Creative Writing course I have just completed and, having been advised by my tutor, who is an established crime novelist, to submit it, I was overjoyed to have it included in a Fantasy Short Story Anthology. It might be small but it’s MY small. While I appear in several anthologies, my desire is to write and publish a novel.

I planned this blog to start pushing my name ‘out there’ while I work on what I hope will be a published novel one day. I figured it would be a good way to share some of my short stories and poems as well as writing reports and articles about dancing with Ceroc.

Clive, my wonderful husband and friend, and I love to dance. Aside from family, dancing is our greatest pleasure. We started learning not long after we moved in together and have never looked back.  Clive also loves to fly kites and, while I am happy to watch and occasionally fetch and carry those that don’t launch successfully, I like to spend my spare time writing or reading, when we are not dancing of course. Fitting those interests in around our expanding family means life is never dull and almost always busy.

With a few subjects to write about, I felt I should put a little order into my blog as it was beginning to stray into the realms of posting about anything and everything when I felt like it, with no real  logical flow. So, I have decided upon a loose plan in which I can cover numerous niches without straying too far.

I have a page for posting my fiction in the form of short stories and poems. There is also a page dedicated to my love of Ceroc and all things dancing, while my blog will be reserved for my life and thoughts, family and friends and largely for you, the reader (and I sincerely hope, follower) to get to know the person beyond the page.

I plan to post at least one poem per week, one short story per month and I always do a write-up of Ceroc (dancing) events that we attend. I will post one or two of those each month and, who knows, I may one day inspire a reader to take up dancing. I will also post one or two general blog posts per month and I will post a monthly summary with links to the past month’s pages. Woohoo! I have a very loose version of a plan!

Thank you for visiting and I look forward to hearing from you.

Julie, aka Storytelling Dancer



Close Your Eyes

Close your eyes, yes, shut them tight,
Let good thoughts wander in,
For when you think of times with me,
The good times are where you should begin.
Don’t dwell on loss or sadness,
Push sorry thoughts away,
Ponder, still, the happy times,
When we had fun, could laugh and play.
The time to grieve will come to pass,
The time for feeling blue,
Don’t let it overtake your world,
Remember, I am still with you.
Feel me in your heart and soul,
Feel me by your side,
Wherever you may wander,
My love for you will be your guide.


By Your Side

Don’t feel your life is over,
I am merely out of sight,
Don’t give up life, for time is short,
I’ve just wished you ‘goodnight’.

Our time on Earth together,
Such wondrous days we shared,
But now you cannot see me,
Your heart and soul feel bared.

I’ll always be here with you,
Feel me in your heart,
I’ll always be right by your side,
I never will depart.

I’ll wander here beside you,
As long as you will need,
The comfort from my loving heart,
My presence you will heed.

So when your grieving’s over,
When you feel less sorrow,
Remember I am always with you,
This day, and all tomorrows.

Writer's Blog

Enochlophobia (fear of crowds)?

I haven’t posted for some time but I am back! You know how sometimes life takes over and then you get all out of rhythm, with seemingly no way back in? Well, yes or no, that’s kind of been me for the past few months.

My new line manager at work thought it would be a good idea if I took a course. I think she was trying to steer me towards a better future rather than telling me my management skills were severely lacking, but she suggested I did a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management. Granted, she started her adult education route on the same course but there is still a nagging doubt that she questions my abilities. Enough of the self-doubt, I have sometimes motored and sometimes meandered through the various assignments and all have now been submitted. I have had a couple if referrals back and a couple of passes so there is still a way to go, but I am on the home straight. One thing is certain, I feel too old for it!

Now, how have you all been coping with the crisis? The buzzwords ‘Coronavirus’, and ‘Covid-19’, along with ‘social distancing’ and ‘furlough’ are at the forefront of the majority. All words and phrases which we had either never heard of, or put into context in quite the way they have been used in recent months.

If nothing else, we all now have a shared conversational subject. A shared understanding, on some level, of the pain and suffering of our fellow man.

Which leads me onto today’s question. How do you all feel about crowded places, right now? Do you sidestep into busy traffic to avoid oncoming pedestrians who are seemingly intent on breaking through the suggested 1- or 2- metre barrier you have invisibly formed around yourself?

I, for one, get nervous when I see groups of more than a handful of people together. I quietly tut and shake my head in the assumption that they are breaking all the social distancing rules. I roll my eyes at their close proximity to one another, certain they are not a part of a wider social bubble, knowing that, even if they are, they should still be practising safe distancing. I have become judge and jury over what constitutes one hundred or two hundred centimetres.

I am wide-eyed with disbelief when I hear tales of families getting together, knowing their kids are all a hair’s breadth away from the next child’s head – and don’t get me started on headlice! That’s a whole other story!

Working in a school, I can’t quite believe that we will soon be subjected to the masses returning. I fully understand that they need to return. The children need each other and they need to learn. I fear their complacence. While much emphasis is being put on pupil and teacher safety, I wonder if anyone considers those of us who support them all? Those who may not be considered at risk but who have worked throughout lockdown, keeping systems running smoothly, feeling safe and secure in our little bubbles of office spaces, safe in the knowledge that those spaces will not be encroached upon, thus widening the risks. I hope they have thought of us.

Let me know how you are feeling? Do you feel safe? Scared? Complacent? Unconcerned?

As I said, I have been otherwise engaged for a while but I am back.

Please, if you can, share my blog as I will be updating it with my musings…but you might be surprised to learn there will be no dancing tales for a while yet.

Its good to be back!

Daily Life, Writer's Blog

Opening up old wounds…

I received a letter in the post this morning from the Child Support Agency. Nothing strange there you may think, but my children are now in their late twenties.

My ex-husband was an alcoholic bully, even tempered and ok when he was sober but nasty and aggressive when he had sunk a few pints. We eventually divorced after one too many bruises and discoveries of him urinating in our six year old daughter’s wardrobe (for example) as she slept.

He was given numerous chances to change. When he was sober I begged him to get help, to save our marriage for the sake of our three beautiful children. Of course, I never broached the subject if a beer had passed his lips. Oh no. I kept quiet and as far out of the way as possible at those times.

The divorce was a bit of a farce. He would not allow me a divorce unless I admitted to being the guilty one. I took another on the chin, and stated I wanted the divorce and he was not at fault. He was more concerned at what outsiders may think than trying to save what could have been a good marriage. He fought hard when it came down to it. Not for custody of his children, but for material items such as the new Dyson we had recently purchased. His priorities were all materialistic. His children didn’t matter.

He had always frightened me just a little as a violent drunk but, when I found rented accommodation for myself and my little ones, he took to sitting outside in his car and simply watching the house late at night. I was always on the alert for a knock at the door which often never came. He just watched, waiting for who knows what.

Eventually, he asked if he could see the children and, when he secured himself a flat around the corner, requested they stay the night with him. He promised he wouldn’t have a drink when they were with him and I was happy for them to see him. They needed their father and maybe the time had come for him to take responsibility.

After a few months of weekend visits, my daughter told me she wanted to stay at home with me. She was eight years old and clearly upset. She cried lots and I told her she didn’t have to visit that week. My sons both went happily on their way and my daughter stayed with me.

A few weeks passed and one of my sons also said he didn’t want to visit and my daughter was still adamant she wanted to stay home. So, he took one of our sons and the other two remained behind with me. Within two hours he was back at my door with a sobbing little boy who didn’t want to stay with him on his own. This went on for a few weeks until none of the children wanted to go with him and they didn’t even want to talk to him at the door.

I didn’t quiz them too hard as I didn’t want to upset them but eventually, one morning at breakfast my daughter asked me why Daddy slept so much. Probing further, she had woken up in the night to find him as good as comatose (she couldnt wake him up and she was scared) and there were lots of cans on the floor. He was drunk when she had woken up from a bad dream and he had not been lucid enough to comfort her. This prompted stories from my boys who told me their daddy wouldn’t play with them when they visited him. He sat in front of the TV while they were in their rooms with some toys. They all sounded so sad when they relayed this to me.

Time passed, and the CSA became involved. I was awarded a small sum of money each week to help with raising my three children. I had a part time job which fit around their school but it didn’t pay much.

The child support money never came. He never paid me one penny and eventually he lost his job for being drunk at the wheel the morning after. As a financial consultant he had no means of travelling for work when they took away his drivers license. The debt, his debt, built up and the years passed by. I supported my children with part time work and benefits until they were old enough for me to take a full time job.

I received a letter from the CSA every month and then every six months to say that, even though he owed me well over £6000, he was not working and they had awarded me £0.00 for each child. The £6000 would have been helpful, of course, but I managed as best I could.

My parents and sometimes his parents, helped with clothes and little food parcels and gave the children pocket money but it felt wrong that he didn’t want to help support his children at all. The children received a birthday card from him each year with a few pounds inside but the handwriting was his mother’s. By this stage the children had not seen him for a few years and, as they grew up, the situation never changed. I suggested supervised visits but he was not interested and, in the end, aware that he was still a drunk, I gave up trying.

At the age of fifty he died as a result of his excessive drinking and the children’s feelings were really put to the test. There had always been the chance that he would fight to see them and seek help for his alcoholism but now there was no chance and they had never even known him. It was sad for those reasons and I felt so badly for them as they didn’t really know what or how to feel.

In the meantime we later discovered that his brother had ‘helped’ him to rewrite his will leaving his life insurance and any monies to his own daughter, my niece, and nothing to my children. He had always promised me, even calling my parents drunkenly one Christmas day to reiterate the fact, that there were a few thousand pounds for them when he died to make up for not being there when he was alive. It was unbelievable that he had changed his will in this way and his own children, whom he had abandoned and not supported over the years, were left with nothing.

So, today, as I opened the letter from the child support agency, I held my breath as I read the words that they had reviewed my case. Certain that there would be a few thousand pounds to share between my children now they had recovered what was rightly theirs, I read on.

The CSA were informing me not that they had recovered the money owed but that they were, after all these years, writing off my unpaid child maintenance as my ex husband had passed away.

Letting go of my held breath, I sighed, resigned to the fact that, even after death, he had been able to deal one more kick in the teeth to his children and that hurts way more than any of his physical violence ever could.