The following lines came to me (partially, anyway) yesterday in church. Those of you who notice the first line(and the title) is in homage to Jenny Joseph’s wonderful poem, give yourselves a gold star. This one is for Mark,who asked for something lighter after the somewhat grim offering yesterday. I was wearing more purple than the Bishop yesterday, and it sort of sparked some thoughts. Enjoy, I’m off to Marks and Spencer’s.



When I am bold I shall wear purple

With red satin undies that nobody sees

but make me feel a million dollars

in an inexplicable, sensual way

I shall say what I mean when I speak

and mean what I say, whatever the cost

I shall not waver in my conviction

that I have a right to be here

I shall leave my face unpainted if I want

And not feel bound by convention or habit

To alter my appearance in the slightest

If that is not how I wish to look.

I will wear flatties even if the style gurus say “No!”

because as a work in progress,

I am a being of perpetual motion

and no one can really run in heels.

I will try new things when I find them

even if they make me sick for a week

I will not follow the herd, but

I may accompany then sometimes

For observation and learning

because, you know, sometimes,

it’s nice to be part of a group.

But sometimes, I am far from bold

and I seek to hide my colours amid the beige

and wear underwear the colour of old gum

and say nothing when I should say everything,

shudder at the thought of trying something new

and hide from those who may need me

because to be bold is also to be a target

and a soul gets tired of being hunted.

So I will start small and work towards

an everyday boldness that becomes

a solid purple beacon of light

By buying those red satin undies

for those days when I need to be bold

and daring, from the inside out.



New Shoes

I have proved beyond any reasonable doubt today that I am female to the core. I am not sure if any of you had doubts about it but I sometimes do. Not the whole gender dysmorphia thing but more a kind of existential nagging worry that somehow I don’t quite measure up as a woman.

You’ll have guessed from the title what has cleared my mind of such doubts. I got new shoes. After all the doom and gloom of the last few days, a parcel arrived filled with such perfection I cannot begin to get over it. For Christmas I was given some money that I earmarked for something a bit nice and different and last summer I found a stall on a craft market in Cambridge that made shoes. I tried a pair on that were lovely but I didn’t have the money then so I took a leaflet and in April I made contact asking about what colours she might use etc. Well after much to-ing and fro-ing(and one false start) my shoes have just arrived and I am delighted. They are the shiny purple of blackcurrants dusted with icing sugar and they are a perfect fit. I have trouble uploading photos here or I’d show you all; plus my camera is in my workbag, locked in a classroom!

Anyway, if you go to www.pilgrimshoes.co.uk you can see examples of her work and very nice it is to. If you thought handmade shoes were a luxury you can’t really afford, well, mine cost about the same as a similar pair from Clarke’s.

My problem now is NOT ordering another six pairs in every colour I can think of. I’m considering turquoise right now…or maybe bubble gum pink.

There, I said it proved it, that I’m a woman. If you have a look at the site, it’ll also tell you I’m a sensible woman who wants shoes that feel good and I can walk in, but the day I start going on about Jimmy Choo’s and high heels is the day you know my body has been invaded by an alien entity. The last time I tried to walk in high heels I fell over.

but….NEW SHOES….*goes off squeaking*