Transfigures – a beginnings of a story…


She wasn’t alone, they watched over her. They lived in her ceiling


Faith McCord



Sharon – protagonist + ‘sparky’ blonde

The Pig – no one knows from where he harked

Bluebell – haughty + graceful, displaying enormous flowers

Baldus – kind hearted genie with a flatulence problem

Curly – little person, blue-eyed + ginger-curly-locked, the wisest of them all

Doris – likes to organise everybody + everything, and keep her knees from being exposed


The 1980s Artex ceiling of my childhood bedroom. And Clive Barker’s fabulous novel Weaveworld about the inhabitants living in a magical rug.

Words: 1,967


The first time Sharon saw them she thought she was dreaming. They summoned her attention by their chatter which had begun as something amicable about their surprise at finding a pig to a full blown argument about who the pig was going to belong to. Apparently the pig had presented itself the very same day Bluebell had returned to her usual spot, five inches from the eastern window.

Bluebell was a tall slender figure, in long swishing skirts, a low-cut off-the-shoulder top and bountiful bell-shaped flowers in her flowing dark hair. In another world she might have been a Spanish flamenco dancer.

“It’s mine. No doubt about that.” Bluebell insisted pointing at the pig.

The pig simply snorted before returning to the lovely bale of hay that had only just appeared. Only yesterday he was somewhere completely else and now today he was in pastures of undulating Artex. He was going to make the most of it.

“On what grounds…?” Interjected Baldus, the rotund genie who had a wisp of smoke for a backside; a backside that was half inside a genie lamp.

“Well, did it not arrive the same day as I?” Bluebell said smugly.

“But yer was here before, that pig weren’t.” Curly said in his soft voice. Curly, blue-eyed and ginger-curly-locked, was the wisest one of them all, however his modest demeanour and diminutive appearance belied this fact. All too often he was overlooked and overtalked. He was a small person who carried a walking stick and wore sensible practical clothes – suitably rubber-soled shoes that had a good grip on the Artex terrain, linen trousers with handy pockets, a white cotton shirt and a brocade, intricately embroidered waistcoat that brought the whole look nicely together. He also carried, secreted away inside the waistcoat, an especially sharp dagger.

The genie lamp suddenly expanded, width-wise and there was an audible explosion. The full head of ginger curls atop Curly’s head lifted – and straightened – in the ensuring wind. Doris, standing close by, stared at the queer sight quite forgetting to hold on to the lifting skirts of her dress. She was a respectful and outspoken woman on important topics, such as good manners, tidiness and keeping the peace, and she blushed a rosy-red at the exposure of her naked knees (unfortunately, her bloomers with their anglais lace trimmings didn’t reach so low).

“Can’t you fart at the other side of the room?” Doris complained, waving her hands, the blonde hair in her ponytail bobbing along with the rest of her. “That way… by the wardrobe? You’ve left a green smudge on the ceiling.”

Curly nodding, said: “Absolutely should he go there. Or he should not be eating the Artex to begin with. We all know it makes yer flatulent.”

“Flatulence!” Doris echoed, she just couldn’t bear it.

“I wish the genie would go over there by the wardrobe.” Bluebell announced, whose long swishing skirts had only dimpled in the blast. No doubt the voluptuous flowers in her hair masked the stench with their sweet blooming fragrance. She hadn’t needed to wrinkle her nose in the tiniest disgust.

At that point the genie popped entirely out of his genie lamp and disappeared among the 3d twirls and swirls of the ceiling by the wardrobe on the far side of the room. He looked as startled as they felt.

Curly gasped. “The size of that bottom! How could it have ever fitted inside that tiny lamp?”

“Thank goodness for that. Although, wearing underpants is desirable.” Doris sighed, wringing her hands. “I do wish there were no arguments.”

“And I wish that pig…” Began Bluebell who then stopped mid-sentence in alarm.

“What?” Curly said in a soft exasperated tone.

Doris wrung her hands. “Where’s the pig?” She said, her anxious question hanging in the air along with the dissipating remainder of the fart.

The bale of hay was still there albeit reduced roughly by half in volume. A few strands of it were flecked about parts of the ceiling. The pig had made admirably quick work of it.

“Gone.” Bluebell said. “You lot frightened it off.” She said this with a smug grin.

The Artex shifted and sighed and Sharon laughed at the incredulous show, this mini-theatre living in her ceiling. What a strange dream I am having she thought. She turned over in her cosy bed and fell into a deep sleep with a curious smile on her face.

The three characters stared down at the female human’s blissful sleeping form.

“She’s laughing at us!” Doris said, red-cheeked.

“I had no idea she could see us.” Curly said, truly perplexed.

“Well, I’ve got to go and find my pig.” Bluebell announced, beginning her graceful climb over an especially rugged bit of Artex. Quietly, she wished for sensible rubber-soled boots.


Sharon slammed the door behind her. It couldn’t produce a loud dramatic effect to serve her current mood though. Because her father had some years earlier – while still alive and kicking in the most obnoxious sense with his demands of ‘You won’t live under my roof if you…’ etc. etc. – had dampened the thud of the door when closing in its frame with some padded tape. The old man could hear everything. And everything annoyed him. But he was louder than everything. The long, loud running commentaries of TV presenters that irritated him – ‘You say you’re back next week (for the next programme) but you don’t know that! You might be dead!” Etc., etc., etc. ‘That idiot can’t talk, he’s got a lisp! Back in the early days of television the likes of him wouldn’t have a got a look in’ (about a certain presenter on a long running nature programme). Her polite mother would bury herself in a woman’s magazine or pretend to be preoccupied with the wallpaper or ceiling, saying nothing.

So, the door didn’t actually make much of a noise – outside of its muffled thud due to the padded tape of some longevity (Dad would have been pleased he’d got his money’s worth) – although it was quite a rich thudding sound and the air from the hall whooshed into the room and tickled the yucca plant by the window making its leaves flutter in a breathless way.

She didn’t bother closing the floral pink curtains that had seen better days back in 1984. Instead she just flung open the heavy doors of the oak Art Deco wardrobe and began stripping off her clothes. Without a care that Pervy Piddleton next door might be spying at her in her cotton undies through his thin net curtains from the window conveniently opposite.

She’d just come back from work at the local corner shop, where she stocked the shelves and sometimes served behind the counter. She had an astute eye for the various shoplifters so Mr Panjit out of gratitude always gave her regular generous bonuses of out-of-date chocolates and crisps and sometimes some frozen food if it’d been in the shop too long and could be unstuck from the freezer floor. Other than her successful method of detaining and reprimanding spotty boys and girls dressed still in school uniforms, and reclaiming the stolen sweets and two litre bottles of cider, she suspected that Mr Panjit also appreciated her substantial chest. Another reason of his gratitude. There were too many times she caught him wistfully staring at her from the other side of the shop. Usually when he was pretending to fuss over the restocking of the pasta packets that tended to topple over if one didn’t watch themself. One time she actually got caught in the crosshairs of Mr Panjit and Pervy Piddleton – Panjit at the pasta packets, one end of the shop, and Piddleton at the other end of the shop, by the door, pretending to eye up the sugar-free gum (something he never bought) on the counter next to her. Sharon didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or cry. She was aware of not being particularly ‘pretty’ with her teddy-bear figure leaning more towards the ‘over-stuffed’ and her blue eyes that approximated one another too closely. However, she was buxom, blonde and normally sparky, if not sparkly. She’d remind herself that here were two men who’d seen their heydays back in 1963 of The Beetles and basin haircuts, and that they were lonely. And also being men, not very bright in the big-brain department.

“Hello Mr Hiddleton!” She almost shouted and his head creaked into action, following the new direction his wizened eyes were taking through their grubby panes of glass eyewear. He fixed her face with a weak stare. Completely unaware of his indiscretion. “We do have some lovely breasts Mr Panjit just got in.” She said, sparky not sparkly.

“Eh?” He shuffled awkwardly one step backwards.

Mr Panjit beamed from the pasta packet shelf. “Ah yes Mr Hiddleton. Lovely chicken breasts. New in today. On special offer.”

The pasta packets wobbled a little in excited anticipation but didn’t topple over. Mr Panjit removed his arm from the shelf. It had been a close one.

Sharon pulled on and climbed into sweatpants and a sweatshirt that said ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’. The room was dimly lit now as it turned to evening. The sun viewed from her window was low on the horizon, a burning orange ball. She was going to put on the kettle and make a big mug of tea to have with the chocolate digestives Mr Panjit had given her, but instead she just sat with a (muffled) thud on the edge of her bed and cried. She thought about her dear departed Mum – Oh God she missed her! And she even spared a thought for her dear departed Dad, the old annoying bugger. Sometimes life just got too much. It was always the same, nothing exciting ever happened. Go to work, come home from work, Sunday to Friday. Every fortnight alternatively tasting biscuits or soft ‘crisps’. Every Saturday a pampering with a face mask and self-painted fingernails and a DVD of some gibberish that would make her momentarily forget where she was in life. She didn’t actually say the L word, but she was. She was lonely at times.

Something like a long, quite audible scratch sounded across the ceiling. It punctuated the tears. She thought it must be a bird, even though birds didn’t really make sounds like that.

She really knew it was something else. But she also knew that if she was to look up, she wouldn’t want to see what it was.

Her hand reached for a tissue from the box of them on her night table. Why she then looked up she couldn’t explain.

The ceiling, the white Artex darker than it should be even in this low-light seemed to not be as flat as it should. Instead, it gently bulged outwards as if pregnant. She stared mesmerised, not able to look away. A slow ripple of something crossed within a three foot square, just off centre, directly above her. She’d once had a friend, a nice woman really – too kind so that people took advantage of her – who’d seen things that weren’t really there. Sharon thought as she usually did, it must be my nerves.


That night she dreamt of a frolicking pig amidst a confetti of hay strands, she heard distant laughter and envisioned a wonderful sight for a weary soul such as herself. In the lush grass atop a steep hill were a pair of boots. They were of red and glossy material with flowing silver laces and steel hobnails that glinted in the moonlight. But best of all they were rubber-soled.



I hope you enjoyed my story. I will be writing more. Just busy finishing up a second ‘paper’ towards the 2nd year of my Psychology with Counselling degree.

Love to all

Faith xo


Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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Scary (Smiling) Stuff – a film review, NO spoilers

John and me sitting in a pumpkin patch… at the cinema.

If you love horror films I can absolutely recommend SMILE if you haven’t already seen it. Director and screenplay writer, Parker Finn, and Sosie Bacon (daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick) plays the therapist protagonist, Rose Cotter, alongside actors Jessie T. Usher who is the superficial fiancé, Trevor, Kyle Gallner the sympathetic ex, Joel, Kal Penn, the concerned friend and superior work colleague, Dr Morgan Desai, and Gillian Zinser as the self-centred sister Holly – among other therein actors.

For those readers who wish to read on, I continue with a more in-depth review, NO SPOILERS!, below –

There is a tortoiseshell (Calico) cat too, as Moustache (uncredited). Does the cat ‘die’? I always wonder about their fate when an animal makes an appearance. Usually, in horror, they do. I don’t know why it worries me because, obviously it’s make-believe, but worry I do. I don’t appreciate animals being deployed for cheap thrills – just kill another human character I say. (Did you know there’s even a website called Does The Dog Die, that lets you know before seeing the film?) O, and if you’d like the answer to that particular question: Does the cat ‘die’?, I’ll answer that at the very bottom of this post in case you’d rather not know 😉

Jack Sochet‘s performance as the wretched mentally ill patient, Carl Renken, incited pity for the character. His character was a stark contrast to the cold and self-absorbed sister Holly who I couldn’t help but dislike – although Holly did have her reasons. Also of merit, was Kyle Gallner’s acting as Rose’s ex – his love for her was tangible in his down-to-earth way. Parker Finn was insightful with character development, and sensitive to the human condition. And he put all that together with a believable demon running the show. According to his IMDB page this appears to be his first full length film.

I don’t think Sosie Bacon’s performance as the traumatised therapist could have been bettered.

John @ the cinema with Steff (Stephanie Faith) to see SMILE, October 2022.

Horror, one of my favourite genres – experienced as movie audience, story reader and writer of – I would surmise must be an especially difficult thing to realise in film. That’s why there’s so many clunkers. There’s too little time to execute the complete story, and too many variables to consider (the right tone to the overall film, casting, characters, locations, situations, pacing or rhythm, lighting, sound, animation, camera angles, post production, makeup and wardrobe, set design, financial means, time constrictions, character and overall story arcs etc). It literally takes hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people to create a movie. Just think about that… isn’t that amazing? All of those skilled and talented people in their areas of expertise contributing to that one film – and hardly anyone of them recognised by us, the audience, outside of the usual directors, producers, actors and perhaps writers.

Too many movies go the cliché route with the cheap usual scares (done to the death) that no longer frighten but bore. SMILE isn’t such a film, although John and I spotted a scene we’d afore watched in TERRIFIED, a most excellent Argentinian film. And we both didn’t appreciate the best bits – as is usual! – being given away too early and for free in the film trailer (please film makers take note).

A note on Spanish dialogued films: Whether made in Spain or Latin America, there’s some really good horror film making in the original Spanish. And, of course, the unique and extremely talented, Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy 1 + 2, Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone etc.! ) is of Mexican origin. I don’t understand Spanish so need the English subtitles, but don’t find that detracts from the story. Please don’t let that prevent you (non-Spanish speakers) from watching and enjoying them. (Most of Guillermo del Toro’s films are in English but his Mexican culture and sensibilities are certainly reflected).

To round-up, SMILE has base notes of a worthwhile horror, with good pacing, realistic characters and a terrifying demon. Top notes of real jump scares. With flavours of THE RING and THE GRUDGE. Best NOT to watch the film trailer before seeing it.


Question: Does the cat ‘die’?

Read below….

Spoiler Answer: Yes. It’s not explicit, though; emotionally rather shocking and terribly sad. I really felt for the poor therapist whose cat it was. This is the boy’s party scene. The ‘killing’ is done behind the scenes (off-camera).


All my posts are copyright protected, belonging to me.

Please do not copy and use as your own. Instead, why not just link back to this post?




Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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Bug Pray Love


John with a little love bug (Philantha, giant dead leaf praying mantis)


Aliens and Rainbows


Editing some photos and accidentally having fun. I blame the 1980s’ music. 😉

I’m sending love + happiness your way! 🙂


Music: 1980s’ OMD and Musical Youth




Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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I will be back soon! :) xo

I will be back soon. Got swotting for an essay deadline! Wish me luck xo



Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in life | 6 Comments

Oscar Dandelion… Doing the Cuteness!

“You taught him that.” They said when he first ever did it.

“No,” I shook my head in amusement. “he’s doing it by himself.”

That first ever day when Oscar decided to do the ‘cuteness’, to stand up on two legs and look especially sweet cute.

Oscar doing the ‘cuteness’



Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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Clock, Wild & Adams Longton 1901-10

‘Swiss made’

Roy hand-painted this Wild & Adams Longton clock 1901-10

I won another antique porcelain clock off an online auction. It wasn’t expensive I suppose due to it not working and the design of it is too floral and intricate (fussy!) for modern taste. But when I saw it I fell for this beast. (Yes, it’s big, about 40cm wide).

hand-painted roses on the Wild & Adams Longton clock

I adore its curves and colours and flowers. Its workings are Swiss made.

Wild & Adams Longton clock 1901-10

Just think how old this clock is… It was produced between 1901 and 1910, that is before the First World War (1914-18). Meaning it’s seen through two world wars and through to the current Internet Age, being at least 112 years old! The old girl was lucky not to be bombed and shattered to tiny pieces during WW2 or deemed too old and ugly and thrown away in a skip from the 1970s when antiques weren’t as appreciated. And now that minimalism is the thing, she is simply too ornate. But not for me.

Wild & Adams Longton clock bathed in warm golden lamp-light, similar to the glow of the candle-light it must have known.

I cannot find much about the makers, however I found this: Thomas Clarke Wild and Thomas Adams founded the Wild and Adams partnership in (?) in the town of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England. They were known as earthenware manufacturers. On 14th July 1911 as noted in The London Gazette, Adams left the business which Wild took sole charge of, the pottery later becoming a Limited Company in 1923 – Wild & Adams Ltd. I cannot find when their partnership was founded. Credit to

Art Nouveau curves, flowers and fronds

I’ve written this blog post to showcase my new clock to my WordPress friend Ron. Ron collects and restores clocks, you can find his horological WP blog *here*.

And the back of the clock

Thank you for dropping by, I hope you enjoyed viewing my lucky find 🙂

Faith xo

‘Swiss Made’ workings Information about the famous potters of England, including the Adams family



Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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Update (my crazy family + beautiful photos)

purple orchid

Summer/Autumn 2021

I was looking forward to the summer.

big pink parasol
patio flowers in summer bloom

My mum suffered several strokes, beginning with ‘mini’ ones from the spring not long after the CoviD19 vaccines. After the second shot the mini strokes became major ones. She had to stay in the hospital until November. John and I visited 2-4 times a week. It was a long drive and as John doesn’t drive in England and because of my chronic pain problems we couldn’t always visit. It was exhausting both mentally and physically, but strangely, it was a kind of respite too as the mind-games between family members were put to a thankful halt. Yes, I do care for and love my mother – I have saved her life a few times this year! – but she isn’t the easiest person. A dysfunctional family is incredibly hard to fathom and navigate. I know that if I was able-bodied and well again I wouldn’t be here, in this house, not another day.

My periods became incredibly painful due to the vaccine. They were already very painful and heavy, I couldn’t believe they could worsen. I’ve been taking extra (gentle-on-the-stomach) iron supplements.

rainbow through the window and hanging crystal, on blanket and small dog, Oscar

It was a strange time, having to make these decisions on my mother’s behalf, multiple phone calls daily with this specialist and that. I explained I am chronically ill and crippled but I still got the odd judgemental look.

John, despite his usual tendency to let everything fall into my lap, was brilliant.

purple pansies

I started phoning my mother’s friend. We spoke a few times a week with me updating her about Mum’s condition – there were times I thought she wouldn’t last another day. She could barely speak one word let alone a sentence and she kept getting ill from chest infections. This friend is a kind of aunt, knowing me since I was a baby. My mother’s oldest friend when she was 12 and B 11. I offered to drive B to the hospital but her son forbade it: he was afraid she’d catch the deadly Chinese virus.

dark purple clematis

Golden (younger sister) couldn’t contain herself and played games where she tried taking over the care of our mother and leave me completely out in the cold so I had no idea what was going on / and the prior arrangements I’d made (since I live with my mum again) would be messed up causing me more trouble and time. There’d be surprising equipment deliveries, and equipment surplus to our requirements – since I already have some due to my own physical disability. And, Golden, would suddenly stop visiting her and our mother would complain she hadn’t heard from her.

Mum cried and told me she loved me. I asked her why was she so mean to me then? Being narcissistic and far removed from reality she then answered, don’t mind me, I was in a bad mood. I told her I loved her too, but I wouldn’t be able to continue caring for her – as I was with almost all my energy and ability – if she continued to keep me out of the loop (not letting me know what’s going on; and later, if she ever got home again, disappearing from the house and not telling me). Because, how can you, just in a practical sense, properly care for a senior parent who’s ill, if they suddenly disappear from the home? Also, I told her, I’m fed up of the mind games. Maybe I shouldn’t have said these things and bit my tongue, but it has worn me down over the years.

I take the stance of doing the decent thing, of caring for my elderly parent whom I do still love despite all the crappy things she and my father have done to me.

Chester (left) & Twiglet

While we were hospital visiting, my dear dog, Chester successfully had another – long – troublesome cyst removed by the vet.

Winter 2021

I thought life might be easier when she did come home again but both my siblings caused me and my mother problems.

Golden poked about in my food cupboards but disappeared without a hello when I came into view. She arranged home visits from various health professionals when I was already taking care of it. She left a strange answer-phone message – accidentally – verbally running me down to a friend, that I wasn’t doing enough. (Not true, two consecutive days I spent literally wiping clean the walls, doors and door-handles of my mother’s excrement, and then cleaning her bed. With my fractured spine and hip nerve damage that killed me and I spent the 3rd day in bed. I could not expect John to do that, it isn’t his mother). Golden doesn’t clean it but she certainly loves creating it and throwing it about.


My brother’s wife continued to harass us for drug-money although I’d told her on two occasions not to come to the house anymore. My daft mother was in the habit of always handing the money out to them when R (brother’s wife) asked. I told them in a letter that I don’t have the word BANK written across my forehead and when I was an able-bodied well person I used to work – and maybe they could try that?! Also, in that letter, I admonished R for shining torches (flashlights) through our bedroom and living room windows at all hours of the night. But R didn’t intend to stop. Being the Family Scapegoat, R began scapegoating me too, saying I was the cause of all these problems! One day she actually got to my mother and John had to gently take my confused parent by the arm to guide her back into the house. I was enraged when I heard about that. If I’d been there I’d have attacked R with my walking stick! So, I called the police – and I don’t like calling them.

lilac violas

Amazingly, we had a fine officer this time, a real old school type who actually cared. He told them not to come to the house. This was after leaping over the chain-locked gate and unfortunately landing in some prickly brambles before repeatedly shining his torch through their windows. (Not fun having a torch shine through your windows, is it R?). Afterwards, R slashed my car tyre – slashed so it wasn’t inflatable – and we were lucky not to have had a nasty accident. Thereafter, I ordered cameras to put up outside. And audible sensor things to put in the bushes. The receivers, plastic owls with eyes that light up and flash orange as a doorbell sounds – and whilst the nurses/therapists were startled the little dogs love them! The slow pruning of the enormous hedge at the front of the house, which John and I both tackled in the late summer had retained ‘useful’ brambles poking out the one side of it. I deemed it a handy and natural trap to ensnare R who has the habit of wandering about the place late at night, peering in the windows, up to no good. Reading this back has John and me in laughter, it so reads like fiction, but I can honestly tell you I was at breaking point by then.

small pond reflections

I was afraid of further repercussions, vandalism to the house or either car. For three weeks we had no working car or dependable camera that recorded. I was taking anti-anxiety supplements to try calm my frazzled nerves. My chronic migraines became debilitating and further incapacitated me. My mother’s health was rapidly declining, she’d no appetite for food and couldn’t keep any down/in from the vomiting/diarrhoea. I said the symptoms had to be a side effect from one of the medicines – and I was proved right, but it took about a month to sort it out. This was in part due to her inability to make herself understood, as the strokes had affected her speech/thinking and also due to her being prescribed a great number of meds.

Our usually inept doctors were being – guess what? – inept, and had re-prescribed her something she shouldn’t have been on since the hospital had taken her off it. Then there was the problem of the inept doctors not answering their phone calls – because they were afraid of catching the Chinese lurgy down the line – and not prescribing her vital Lantus. Having no car, John had to walk several miles there and back to the doctors and pharmacy and after my mother argued she couldn’t possibly ask Golden’s friend from church to simply collect her meds and deliver them to her – which is something done within ten minutes – she finally agreed to it. I had to write the doctors’ practice a very stern letter saying the medicine was indeed urgent and that I wasn’t happy being hung-up on and then left phoning them for an hour (they repeatedly put the phone down). Thankfully, this hand-delivered letter worked wonders and my mum had her meds by the end of the day. John remembered the healing elixir of Ensure that his grandmother took when poorly and soon my mother’s health improved. So much so that she is again quite difficult to deal with. What have we done?!

I have to add here… I noticed time and time again so many senior stroke sufferers at the stroke unit. They seemed so lonely and bored. Some were far worse off than my parent. The thing is, if a stroke isn’t caught in time, the brain suffers more damage. Urgent, immediate attention is vital at the time of a stroke/suspected stroke. It can make all the difference regarding the outcome for the individual.

pink Thai dragon millipede

I must admit that the most exciting update concerned the arrival of several tiny but leggy beasts. They are pink with bobbing heads and antennae, and have the word ‘dragon’ in their name. These millipedes – the Pink Thai Dragon – are a recent discovery in the bug world, harking from caves in the Thailand region. Indeed, I have a thing for exotic beetles and could self-identify as a six-year-old-boy. Four months and some fish-flakes on, the six mini-beasts have multiplied to at least sixty. I blame it on the red plant lights, it must have made them randy.

Christmas gifts 2021

The most serious undertaking this winter has been the decision to begin studying again. This time I’m tackling it from another angle, psychology with counselling. This part-time home study university degree will enable me to become a psychologist. However, to become a psychologist who is a licensed therapist will take further learning. I aim to set up on my own as an art therapist. I want to help others. I don’t want to study psychopaths or criminology, I’ve dealt with more than enough toxic people within my own family. I will give it my best and if I don’t succeed, I don’t. But at my age, this is my last chance of trying this.

The most crazy thing to happen was when my mother got it into her head she was going to drive her car again. Golden had put it into her head that she was thoroughly capable of getting behind the wheel! Golden obviously missed her free taxi rides. This happened on a Saturday. Two days after a specialist explained to her that no, she couldn’t think about driving yet; there had to be a test with another specialist first, to determine whether she could, but it wasn’t likely… What began as a fairly relaxing morning for me went quickly haywire: she was telling me she was driving and going out with Golden to meet her grandson (Golden doesn’t have children, this is the adult child who was taken off my brother; he rebelled and leads a normal life). She was very difficult to deal with, she was verbally angry and rude with me and John had to hide the car keys. On the phone, Golden was quite stoned and quite chilled, and quite surprised that our mother wasn’t permitted to drive due to the brain damage. I phoned the stroke team and the helpful receptionist said I needed to hide the keys because she could have obviously endangered not only her own life, but other people’s too.

B’s matchbox gift I decoupaged

Christmas Eve arrived and my mother instructed me to keep out of the way as Golden and her Weasel were visiting Christmas morning. Weasel who threatened to punch me, all those years ago, before his friend finally did attack me summer 2020. Of course I was angry and objected about this. This is my home too, and I’m the only one of her three children who has really taken care of her. I don’t deserve to be segregated and treated this way. John wasn’t too happy either. So the two of us with our six dogs celebrated the earlier part of the day upstairs while my mother waited alone for her visit. Golden finally arrived, by herself, several hours later and late, about two in the afternoon. I would say that’s the most absurd part of my update. I really cannot go on much longer like this. It’s utter madness.


The following posts will include about an antique clock and a vintage beauty book written by Anita Colby, an Old Hollywood model and actress, fashion and beauty consultant, and inventor.

young chilli plant I grew from seed


Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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At Death’s Door but the Games Go On…

You may wish to skip this post which talks of

abuse/scapegoating and a life update.

Nothing violent or fatal tho’!


John said he’ll get her to take me to your house.

I most probably saved my mother’s life two nights ago.

Between six in the evevning till one the next morning I called the emergency services three times. Explaining at length exactly what happened to six people at varying times, saying the same thing over and over many times. No, she never behaved this way when her insulin levels fell because she’s either not injecting or not bothered to eat. I believe she’s having a stroke.

Her face went slack. She talked in a bizarre way. Slow, dead-slow, so low it sounded inhuman. The words non-sensical. Steadied herself on my side-table. Awkwardly moved about the room while saying nothing is wrong, I just have to eat. I followed her out of the room, down the hall and into the kitchen. She was in the kitchen, confused, not sure what to do.

Meanwhile the ambulance is on the way because the minute she took this turn I called to John to phone them. It frightened me, I wasn’t taking any chances.

I knew that a stroke affects one side of the face but her whole face went slack. She drooled from one corner of her mouth. I just thought, forget the one-side-of-the-face droop, she looks like she’s having a stroke.

The first responder – living just a few streets away – was here in just five minutes. I wanted to believe he’ll take care of things, make her feel right again. His manner was friendly and reassuring. He measured her diabetes. It was ten. By this time she’d been fed by John and myself a sliced-cheese sandwich and two marshmallows; but had only managed to digest half a marshmallow and half the sandwich. She appeared in a better state, talking more normally and less confused.

The First Responder was confused: I don’t know if it’s the diabetes (2) or a stroke. Before they left he decided it was the diabetes. Hypoglycaemia = is when the blood glucose level (or sugar) is too low, below 4 nmol/l. (Hers was a 10). It was decided she’d stay home – that’s what she answered she wanted! – instead of being taken to the hospital. Them saying she isn’t alone (as John and I live with her). I wasn’t aware of these numbers until the 1 a.m. Paramedic informed me! He was not happy they got it wrong and wasted seven hours.

The first three responders left about 7 p.m. About an hour after they arrived. The First Responder went home, the other two remained for a while in the ambulance parked outside. John heated up Mum’s shepherd’s pie which she didn’t relish eating. It was like she forgot how to chew, the food just went round and round, then she’d sort of half-swallow. Bits landed on the floor. I’d have to frequently wipe the drool from that same side of her face. Her voice had also reverted to that strange slurring as earlier. Worried, believing she was indeed stroking, I ventured outside on the dark road to see if the ambulance was still there. It was.

They came back in. Did another diabetes check. Called it a hypo. And left fifteen minutes later.

But I’d never seen her like this before when she’d had a hypo. I’d told the responders this over and over.

John and I eventually ate our dinner, watched some of the 1980’s Sherlock Holmes (with Jeremy Brett) and my mother fell asleep in her reclining chair at 10 p.m.

A little after midnight we wanted to go to bed ourselves but I felt extremely uneasy about leaving her. At 1 a.m. She awoke and her confused/slurred speech had worsened. Not only that but ONE side of her face – the same side as the one in which she was drooling had drooped. We phoned for the ambulance again.

I was exhausted from the stress and my fractured spine felt like it was on fire. I could barely move. I could barely talk. I’d kept it together, nice and cool six hours ago but now I was unable to. I was so relieved to have John’s help because I couldn’t have managed otherwise – with NO help from either sibling.

For goodness sake she was telling me to go to bed at 1 a.m.! I said are you aware of your strange speech? Yes, she answered. Are you aware of how confused you are? Yes, I can feel it in my head. STROKE.

I believe she’d had at least TWO STROKES that night. At least two, maybe three because of her face drastically drooping one side. Finally, that last responder KNEW what he was doing. I was staggered. The other, earlier responders were (two) middle-aged men who’d been in the job some while. How can they carelessly forget the significance of the hypo-numbers? 4 is dangerous. Not 10.

Both glyco and stroke symptons are similar. And this they knew. But a hypo is not 10.

The 1 a.m. Responder gave her aspirin which thins the blood as it was clotting and to prevent further clots. Then they took her off in the ambulance. Due to the Covid we weren’t permitted to visit her the next morning. I cried, it was awful. I didn’t know if I was going to see her again. And, I selfishly complained to John – Where are MY happy memories of the times with my mother? (A parent who doesn’t wish to know their adult child any more and spends time with only the Golden One). At the opened door of the ambulance, where I saw her lying on the gurney, I told her I love her and I told her that all her children love her.


The next morning the ambulance people brought her back. There was only aspirin as medicene. The day after she had an appointment at the hospital and John and I had to cram into my small car. Golden doesn’t drive and my brother is lost to the world. John came along because I can’t manage without him, physically. I’m unable to wheel her round the hospital when I need wheels myself!

I waited in the car two hours and tried to sleep. My spine has been highly inflammed since the incident. They scanned her brain again and gave her some other medicine (I might add its name here later). Finally she’s getting the care she needs.

She thanked the both of us for all the help but I said we only did what we had to.


The games go on.

John said he’ll get her to take me to your house.

Today, the day after the hospital appointment, on the phone with the Golden Daughter I am only referred to as she and her. I don’t warrant my own name, some kind of twisted rules don’t permit my mother to utter my name. A lab animal comes to mind because they’re designated numbers instead of names. This is simply a process deployed to emotionally distance the scientist from the creature, whose role is solely as an object to be used in tests. Giving that lab animal a name would be detrimental to getting the job done.



Excellent blog on Scapegoating

Emotional Abuse, the basics

My favourite YouTube psychologist

Diabetes guide


Take good care of You. xo




Copyright Faith McCord 2021

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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Have a Beautiful Weekend

Spring is on the way… 🙂



Take good care of You. xo




Copyright Faith McCord 2021

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in Art, life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments