Creative roots

These posts explore family and personal history and how this contributes to our creativity.  To read the full post click on the title link.

Roots of creativity

001I would love to imagine that somewhere in my history there are ancestors who have woven strings of creativity and sent them down the centuries, ready for me to catch a thread and make something new from it.

This post explores the way creativity may be passed down from our ancestors.

A quiet man

006My Dad died in the second year of the twenty-first century, but in many ways he was a man of a much older generation.  He lived to see computers, mobile phones and digital TV, yet his first job was driving a horse and cart. 

This post is a memoir of my Dad.

Painting in colour

????????When my mother was dying, I began to paint, but only in shades of black and white.  I’d barely picked up a pencil since I was a teenager, but one morning, in the middle of her illness, after another late night dash because she was confused from all the pills, I went to work, sat at my desk, started crying and couldn’t stop.  I didn’t return for four months.

This post remembers the years I cared for my terminally ill mother and the impact this had on my creativity.

My father’s box

Creative memoriesWhen my father died, I kept the wooden box in which he had stored his tools.  Dad worked as a plasterer, so the box is scarred and coated in plaster dust.  But to me, this box reminds me of all that I learned from him about earning a living. 

This guest post on the Holistic Wayfarer’s blog explores the values I learned from my father in relation to money and work.

The girl I was

057She offered me distant cities, food that I had never tasted and the echo of words in alien tongues, but I chose terraced streets, white satin and packed lunches.  I see her still, shivering in a print dress, the lake reflected in her eyes.  ‘I could be your muse,’ she said, as I snapped the sketch book shut, capturing forever the hope and challenge in her face.’ 

This post is about remembering the child you were and using her for inspiration.

The essence of a house

Old houses are filled with stories.  We live in them knowing that others, long dead, have lived here before us.  We may never know exactly who they were, what their lives were like, how they lived and died.  But we know that their history has soaked into the walls, their voices have filled the rooms, their journeys have helped the house become what it is today

This post is about the history of my house and the impact our homes have on us.

On the edge of the tide

There is a place on the coast, a place that is almost forgotten.  It lies in the shadow of the promenade and you might never notice it was there.  The zig-zag of steps leading down to it is unobtrusive and ends abruptly on the rocks.  You might wonder why there is a staircase here at all.  

This post is about memories of the abandoned lidos that lie along the coast.


Last night I dreamt of my father.  I sat beside his old armchair as he stroked my hair to comfort me.  I don’t know why he felt the need to give me solace, but I was content to stay there for the longest time.  I was both outside of the dream watching, and inside the dream feeling the touch of his hand.  I lost my dad fifteen years ago and I rarely dream about him, so when I do, it’s a bittersweet treat.

This post is about the spaces that people leave behind them when they are gone.


For as many years as I remember, Dad was never with us to celebrate the turn of the year.  Before midnight, he would be banished from the house, to stand vigil outside the front door. Just after twelve, there would be a knock and we would welcome him in, bearing a lump of coal. 

This post is about traditions of first footing on New Year’s Eve in north east England.


2 thoughts on “Creative roots

I love comments, please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.