Category Archives: family

Finding a long lost photo of me with my twin

‘Having a happy month!’ A week on, and I’m still waiting for the online publication of my piece on Jenny’s life in a national newspaper. It’s a mixture of excitement and a little frustration. Meanwhile, providing the photographs set me … Continue reading

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Getting Jenny’s story out there

If at first you don’t succeed… My blog entries this month have been a bit thin on the ground. And that’s not because of laziness or lack of interest, I hasten to point out. I’ve been focussing on writing for … Continue reading

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That painful difference

Twins and disability Yesterday’s Mirror told the story of twins Ava and Louie, born nine weeks premature, who both have cerebral palsy. Ava had surgery which now allows her to walk, and their mum talks of how heart-breaking it is … Continue reading

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Waiting for a miracle?

The strange logic of annual benefit assessments for the disabled The last few days saw the story of a 16-year-old’s brush with the benefits system. Edward Bright, who lost his limbs in early childhood due to meningitis, received a letter … Continue reading

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Philately will get you nowhere

The ‘Spastics Society’ first day covers I recently came across a hoard of 16 charity first day covers dating from the 1970s to the ’90s. If you’ve never heard of these, you might find the idea rather quaint. It’s an … Continue reading

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The midnight knock at the door

How do police break the bad news to bereaved relatives? The 20th anniversary of Jenny’s death is fast approaching. In all those years since 15 October 1996, my opinions about what happened have changed many times: my thoughts on how … Continue reading

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Stop, rewind, replay

The problem of not knowing People who live to tell the story of a traumatic event often describe a curious distortion of time. It is, they say, as if everything slows down, a bit like watching the scene of a … Continue reading

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‘Coming out’ at work about traumatic bereavement

Those awkward water cooler conversations A new year, and back to the office. Spare a thought for newbies getting to know their colleagues. Hopefully 2016 won’t bring many of those awkward moments I think of as ‘coming out’ about bereavement. … Continue reading

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I’ll not be home for Christmas

The empty chair at the dinner table That great pre-Christmas schlep out of London now behind us, I’m happily ensconced in the guest room overlooking the village green. It’s become a new normal – the food, the drink, the family … Continue reading

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Not keeping it on the level

The crazy design of my disabled twin sister’s school Last week in my Huffington Post blog, I wrote a piece bemoaning the lack of a past for my old school, Outwood Grange Comprehensive, near Wakefield. It was as if the … Continue reading

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