My shoes

The crunch of the sand beneath my feet

I feel them sink in the soft damp grain, while the salty water sweeps over, and splashes up my calf

The wind blows through my hair and whips it back from my face

I keep walking at steady pace, my mind filled with thoughts…. thoughts of you

I cannot but wonder if all is well, and as i do, i feel my heart swell.

Children playing, digging deep, the roar of laughter, interrupts my thoughts and I want to remain

In this moment, the twilight sky, the salty fresh smell, as my feet continue, leading the way

Pounding and sinking as they go , to somewhere, yet nowhere, this I know

The squawk of the gull, as it swoops then ascends, alone in its quest, it has no friends

Still i continue, my heart beating fast, then suddenly i stop, I’ve arrived at last

Conclusions they come, sometimes good sometimes bad. Nevertheless its an answer whether happy or sad

Wonder i must as I turn around, again my feet, they pound the ground

Go from my head, it no use to me, to wonder and hope of what it could be

Over the dunes, the sun sets bright red

A reminder of words, bygone days, once said

Empty and futile, yet once so sincere

But its only me now, and my shoes that are here

Words they are so easy to string

Along with a kiss, an embrace and a ring

Where are you though. As the waves crash the strand, not here with me holding my hand

Alone I must go and keep moving on

For it’s beauty, it’s life and i know I have won

Sing the song of the sweethearts desire and wrap up the thoughts that once would conspire

Futile and empty, they mean nothing now

I walk and I walk in the crunch of the sand

No man, child or beast to tell or demad

© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


The hum of the engine purring and whirring

People pass by oblivious to me sitting there, waiting.

Spokes on tyres like a kaleidoscope making patterns- seems like an optical illusion

The curve of the bridge, traffic slowing going over, to finally stop at the command of the red light

Life all round, busy moving

A dog and his master walk swiftly in front of my view

A couple, holding hands…. huh Love, hope it lasts

A big jeep comes closer, a tiny woman steps out… dressed like a city girl, no muck about

The shiny motorbike and men clad in leather, they must be hot, it’s balmy weather

Still I wait to make my next move

Take a sigh, a deep breath, close my eyes, eager and ready

No more waiting….. it’s time to go

© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

In my day ….

In my day I got about by walking, mostly.

My school seemed miles away, little legs, little steps. A child of 5 years old, dawdling behind my older brothers, it took an age, but we got there eventually.

I especially liked this time of year with lilac trees in full bloom, the scent of the purple and white, made the journey even more pleasurable.

Not a care in the world as I walked the same path day after day year after year.

The houses, net curtains some gleaming white, others not so sparkling.

The gardens with walls, fences, hedges and open drives.

The weeds, the flowers the rockery, if you were posh and some with broken paths.

‘Hold my hand, we’re crossing the road’ . I do as my brother tells me and feel his grasp as I slip my hand into the safety of his.

We look left and right and left again and safely make it to the other side.

We stop at the shop, a quarter of sherbet in a cone shaped bag. I suck my finger and dip it in. The sweet, crunchy, yet sour too, dissolves on my tongue and I dip again and again, until it’s all gone.

Half an hour or more has passed, were nearly there, I see the gates at last.

Crowds of children heading to school. Cars rushing by and buses too. People walking, some fast some slow. Dogs barking sometimes sirens blaring.

Cracks in the pavement, avoid at all cost. A game or compulsion, not sure at this stage. Counting in my head each step of the way.

Good morning, hello, oops excuse me, move you’re in my way. Expressions and greetings everyday.

Coat on the hanger and head to the hall. Assembly starts for one and all. We start with a prayer and end with one too. The stuff in between is when I think of you.

You, the world, outside of my place, when I’m all grown up and take my place. What will it be, what will I do. My legs will be bigger, my steps will be too.

When I’m older, in that day, I wonder if I’ll wonder what it was like in my day !

Hey You !

You don’t know it yet, but you are in for quite a ride and are going to hit a few bumps but…..


I remember it well and to be honest, I wouldn’t want to be there again, it was an awful place to be, for me personally I mean. You have no choice, you have to go there too and you have to experience it for yourself to know how it will be for you, but let me tell you this. You will survive it, with the right set of skills, support, resources, stamina and true grit, you will get beyond it!

The first thing you will notice when you get there are the changes in your body, hairs sprouting out of places where they have no business being, spots appearing like they are in competition with the chicken pox, not to mention hair as greasy as fried chicken. The real killer, the mood swings. Anything ranging from sweet Shirley Temple to Cruella Deville in 0 to 60 seconds and to add insult to injury you will have no idea of who you are and will irrationally and radically search for your identity. A smooth ride it WILL NOT be. Attitude, Identity theft, extreme expression through clothes, music, rebellious behaviour, dieting, bingeing, smoking, drinking, sex and drugs, all there for the taking and risking. ‘Lead me not into temptation’ not for all of them anyway! It will get messy, it will noisy, it will get confusing, it will get depressing, it will be fun, it will be a complete contradiction and you will think you are IT at some stage and at some stage you will wish you could be a child again, or an adult and want to skip IT. IT is exhausting……. IT is THE TEENAGE YEARS….AHHHHH

Sure, there will be twists and turns, there will be bumps in the road, there will be times of pure exhilaration, there will be LOVE, there will be HEARTACHE, there will be moments of madness and moments of stillness, but you will have to go through it, so that you can come out the other side of it and find out who you are and what you are made of. The skills you will learn will be mind boggling. The skills your parents will learn will be eye opening…. who knew they could be so mean, strict, sarcastic, fierce BRAVE!

They have been there, seen it, done it, got the T Shirt. They rocked it. It was better in their day, simpler, kinder, cooler. The trouble now is, while they are battling with you and your tantrums, and your mood swings and your cheek and your pushing and prodding of their boundaries, they are most probably fighting their own battle and their own identity crises. The MENOPAUSE, (male and female). The changes in their body, the sweats, the forgetfulness – “sorry, who are you” they ask ” I have no idea” you reply. Mum’s boobs begin to droop causing her distress. Dads boobs begin to develop in a cruel twist to make mum feel less distressed. Muscle turns to flab and dad’s six pack inflates so he resembles buddha and mum has an uncanny resemblance to the michelin man.

While you are on the crest of the wave splishing and splashing and tumbling and flying to a newer fitter more confident version of you, they are well and truly slam dunked into the ocean of ‘What the hell is going on’. The dawning of realisation that ‘youth’ is soon to be leaving you and ‘youthfulness’ has well and truly over spilleth from them and they are heading towards a newer disturbing version of them!

So, hey you, be kind, be good, be healthy and wise, gather those skills, they are worth more than any money buys.

Be kind to your daughters, sons, mum’s and dad’s. The changes you’re all facing, is just a fad.

A phase, a lapse of time in space, try get through it, with dignity and grace. But if you can’t, that’s OK too, after all, it’s just the rebel in you!

© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

The power

The power of love will always endure…. a power trip, leads to nowhere at all….

There’s beauty in strength for it binds together

Can fight any storm and unsettled weather

A snake in the grass, may work it’s way in

Constrict and contort, a smile, false, manipulating.

When power is on the wrong side of love

It’s empty, it’s cold, in the heart thereof

It just fills a gap and fuels the fire

Cos control and power are the only desire

It cannot heal an open wound

But sink you further into the muddy ground

Open your heart, let real love inside

That’s where the power should truly reside……

© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Two sides ?

Never judge a book by it’s cover is what they say and there are always two sides to a story, right? Or is it that it only begins with two sides ?


‘You don’t look old enough’ is generally what people say when I tell them I have 4 grand children.  People are kind or say what they think you would like to hear.  We do it all the time, it just trips off the tongue, usually to make the receiver feel good, flattered and the giver feel appreciated, liked.  Sometimes, its just true!

I am certainly not too young to be a grandmother, being a 53 year old, but I do try to keep myself looking as well as possible.  I was married at 23 and had my first child at 24.  That was considerably old, if you compare it to when my own mother got married or indeed my grand mother.  In their day, 18 was a general ‘good age’ to be married by,  and have a baby within the first year.

These days lots of women are having careers before marriage and babies and lots are having babies from age 18, but without the marriage part.  My eldest was almost 19 having her first, not far off my mother’s age, when she had her first.  My mother was married, my daughter was not.  My daughter since married her childhood sweetheart and went on to have two further children with him and they are happy……. most of the time.

Can we be happy all of the time?  I think not.  I am married to my second husband for  23 years, love him dearly but at times could  quite happily commit murder.  We have, however, endured our ups and downs, swam rivers, climbed mountains and gotten over every bump in the road to arrive at a happy place together having raised our children.

Why couldn’t I have ‘endured’  my first marriage too? Met him aged 21, married him at 23, baby at 24, separated at 26.  We didn’t even get to a 7  year itch stage.  We had a grand total of 5 years, and did it all the right way round…. Met, bought house, got married, had baby and it all went wrong and no, no one else was involved, we just grew apart.  There was no real good cop bad cop, it just wasn’t ‘right’ and I guess I knew it never would be, so it was best all round, to walk away.

He will have his side, I will have my side, but then my daughter will have her side.  There can not be just two sides, can there?   What we do, as adults, will of course impact on the child, right?  It has to, it can’t but not impact, one way or another.  It will however, be up to the adults on whether that will be a good or bad impact, or a somewhere in between.

With all the best intentions in the world, there were times it was difficult.  Some of the times it was amicable, others, it was a battle of the wills.  I tried to never let it get in the way of her relationship with her father, no matter what I thought about him.  I always encouraged her to have a good relationship with him.     He loved her, as I did,  and she loved him and she loved me.  She was entitled to that.  I reasoned I wished her to grow up with two happy parents living apart, rather than two miserable parents living together.

The worst thing I could ever have said to him was that I was taking her away, to live, in another country.  I knew it would cut him in pieces as it would me if the shoe was on the other foot.    I cried at the thoughts of telling him, knowing how he would feel.  When I actually told him, I cried even more, after he had left my house.  She was 7 years old.  She wanted to ‘move’.  Did she know her mind well enough to know this, you might ask.  I asked myself the same question over and over again.

Of course, he took me to Court to try to stop it, as I knew he would and of course I couldn’t blame him. I would  have done the same if it were the other way round.    The funny thing about that was when I first ‘thought’ about moving to Ireland, I didn’t actually think I would, but because it was a thought,  I felt he ought to know.

Things of course turned fairly nasty, he was understandably upset, hurt and bitter.  I knew and understood that, but that all had an impact on our child and for the first time we found ourselves needing the courts to  ‘intervene’ .  I wanted to have the ‘choice’ to go back to my family in Ireland if I so chose in the future, even if it meant taking my child away from her father, as she too had expressed a wish live in Ireland.

She was 8 and a half when we moved and right up to the day of moving I asked her if she wanted to stay in the UK, so she could see her dad, as always,  I would unpack all the boxes and we would stay.   She said she loved him but wanted to move.

She is 29 now and though it was a very difficult time for her father, and of course I did feel a certain amount of guilt, I knew ultimately,  it was the right thing to do for us as a family.  What further made my mind up to actually move, was the amount of conflict between us that was generated from my first telling him of the ‘thought’ to go to finally being granted consent to go.    I was not trying to stop their relationship, indeed I still encouraged it and did so from the time we came,  in that she saw her father for half of all the holidays, and he could come see her whenever he wished,and ring her whenever he wished, which he did on a daily basis.

The distance between us turned out to be a good thing because the impact on our child was a positive one, in that she did not have to be caught between any crossfire.  She has loved living in Ireland and has had a nice life here.  She has continued to love her father and has never regretted moving here.    We will never know how things would have been had we stayed in the UK, but for our family, this had a positive impact.

The thing is with separation and family break down, even with the best will in the world, it is a very difficult road to navigate and know if you  are doing the right thing.  A child, however, must always be at the center of the situation.  If one or both of the  parents cannot reasonably  agree then of course, the courts will have to decide and in the meantime be very mindful of any impact and upset you are putting on the child in the middle of it all.

A story to tell……

Every picture tells a story. Every moment is a snapshot in time, whether it be good, bad or indifferent. Some days seem to go on forever and other days just fly by. There are just not enough hours in the day or the hours drag on FOREVER ! Some days you may wish you don’t want to have another. Other days you may eantcto live forever and there are the days inbetween where you feel blessed to have another day to start again.

Looking at other people’s days, lives, experiences may somehow have an impact on how you feel about your own life. Some people seem to have tragic, chaotic, lonely lives. Some have happy fulfilled and contented lives and the rest are somewhere inbetween.

But is life static? Will it ever change. Will the bad life ever turn good. Will the good life ever turn bad. Will this snapshot in time be a Happy or sad moment in time?

People experience many highs and lows all the time. It’s like a rollercoaster. It’s like a spectrum and we pass from one end to the other at different speeds and paces. How we react and respond is down to our personality, our resilience, our coping mechanisms.

How we interact with others allows us to laugh, cry, scream, shout, be quiet or silent. It allows us to look in the window of their life and their personality and their coping mechanisms and resillience and it allows them to see ours. It allows us to share, to learn, to walk away, to love, to sympathise and empathise, to advice and to listen, with our hearts and our ears.

We are not defined by experiences but we are shaped by them and we learn from them. We grow and develop from our mistakes and that gives us strength, even when it doesn’t feel that way.

It’s about recognising that this moment in time is just that, a moment, and whether happy, sad, difficult, easy or somewhere inbetween, it will inevitably change. For it to change, something has to happen, something has to be different. Whether it is us doing something different or something in our circumstances changing, making it different, it is up to us how we react and respond to it…… that is our choice and in making that choice we will be affected one way or another. It is ultimately our responsibilty to effect a change in order to be the happiest version of ourselves that we can be or hope to be.

We can chose this as many times as we like because for as long as we are living and breathing, we can chose which way we want to go. It may not be easy or it may be the simplest step you will ever take, but remember, all it takes is the first step.

I wrote a story about a time in my life, it was a snapshot of my life, a time during my teenage years, that for me, was very difficult due to circumstances beyond my control. I responded to it in the only way I could, by facing the challenges head on, by rebelling somewhat in order to stand up for myself and by planning my great escape to the life I really wanted, when the time was right.

Of course everyone has a story to tell and since my teenage years I’ve had plenty more challenges to face, as we all do. That is the key, face them, deal with them and move on from them.. keep moving forward, keep learning, keep growing, learn from the good and the bad. Accept that some things are just the way they are. Accept you can’t change everything but strive to be the best version of you that you can be.

Write your story, it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, if it’s written well or not, it only matters that it is your story, your snapshot, and it does not have to define you now or your future self …