Disappointment At Bude Pool

Do you visit ‘Splash’ pool in Bude whilst away in North Cornwall or North Devon?

We’ve been going to Splash in Bude for many years. Our reason for travelling the large distance from our town to Bude was the waves at the pool, with the added bonus of the slide too.

Last year we invested in a couple of floaties for my daughter to use whilst the wave machine was on. She loved it, it was also such good exercise to strengthen her core muscles, as she has joint issues with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

We returned this year, a couple of months ago. For a weekend the pool was very quiet. Also, not one floatie was in sight. We were informed that they were now banned due to health and safety. Great!

In all the times I had been there, there had never been a health and safety issue with floaties. The only issues we had were with toddlers walking off with them!

Sadly, we won’t be heading out to Bude as frequently now. It’s a shame as it was by far the best swimming pool this side of Butlins, Minehead. I’m sure the business will suffer as children won’t want to go if they can’t use floaties. My daughter doesn’t want to go now. I think there’s going to be a lot of disappointed holiday makers who visit Splash  this year.

Poem: Compassion

This poem was also written around the time the school SEN team were pushing to get my son to full attendance. It seemed they were unable to see anything from my perspective. They did not seem to believe my son was in pain or had fatigue. They would watch him out of their window during breaks and report back to the consultant that ‘he seemed perfectly fine during break’. The great misconception of having a hidden illness!

Writing this poem helped me to see that my choice of parenting was a good choice. It felt as though there was a tsunami of opposing opinion, trying to force me in a certain direction. Just because a group of people try to push you in any direction does not mean it is the right thing to do for your child or for yourself. I constantly bear the following quote in mind when people try and push myself or any member of my family in any direction, without knowing the full facts behind our decisions:

‘The truth is the truth no matter how many people believe otherwise’.

I believe there are a lot of people who judge others based on their own values and beliefs without trying to put themselves in the place of that person. Unfortunately at the time I didn’t have enough knowledge of Home Education to follow that route. However, on reflection, my son is happy that he remained in school.



Compassion is not a sign of weakness,

It shows inner strength, not meekness,

A sign for others that you really care,

That thier plight and life lessons you truly share,

For what it is, is not a state of mind,

Of being nice and being kind,

It is something in you, the way you feel,

You inwardly experience other’s challenges-

To you they feel real,

Understanding completely, right from your heart,

Because to all things you’re connected-

Of the whole you’re a part,

So when you see others struggle and somewhat fraught,

By sending them love, you give them support,

Always treat others the way you want them to treat you,

Each day do this the best you can do.


This poem is free for personal use. If shared online please link this page.

Please contact me for details on purchasing a licence if you would like to use the poem for commercial use.


Poem: Statistics

I wrote this poem during the time my son’s school attendance was poor due to his undiagnosed Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. We had meetings with the Education Welfare Officer, SEN Head, SEN Teacher, pediatric consultant and School Nurse.

It was such a stressful time. My son’s needs were not fully addressed or dealt with, from the school staff. The Consultant did make points to back some of my choices up. It felt like a massive state bullying campaign to put pressure on me to get my son into school. Having experienced my sons symptoms myself- pain and chronic fatigue-. I knew what he was going through. Unfortunately the ‘team’s’ one and only goal was for full-time attendance.

Having been through this experience with my son is why my husband and I chose to Home Educate my daughter when she had difficulties dealing with the school day due to pain, fatigue and dislocations (aged 11-12). She too has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome- acknowledged by our GP, but not diagnosed by a Geneticist. She saw a Geneticist in Year 4, he said she was too young to diagnose, but to come back if her symptoms get worse. We don’t want to get stuck in the outpatients system, as appointments every 6-12 months are stressful. We know what she has and how to deal with it. She can ask for a diagnosis if she wishes when she is older.



Some days it feels as though all we are is a statistic,

A set of digits, a small part of logistics,

Our individual needs don’t seem to count,

For our needs affect the outcome and damage the amount,

Of the figure given as a reward,

By those in nice suits who sit on the board,

Those who ‘help’ us want to be able

To be Number One in the League Tables,

To reach this goal is immersed through their minds,

 They label and judge and pretend to be kind,

As they prod and they push us to the very edge,

Placing in-between them and us a huge wedge,

Of being best and at the top to some is a passion,

Which becomes the focus and omits compassion,

And those poor souls who sit at the bottom,

Want to move forward, but are stuck and feel rotten,

They only want the things which they need,

This is not selfish and does not come from greed,

To be looked down upon, seen as demanding,

Only comes from lack of understanding,

To move things forward, to make things alright,

Is everybody working together- imagine the sight!

There would be no pointing, judging or blame,

Everyone would feel balance, not in deep shame,

This is an ideal plan, of working together,

If only it could start and last forever!


You are welcome to share this poem- please add a link to the page.

You may use this poem freely for personal use.

Please contact me to purchase a licence for commercial use.


Ben’s 21st Birthday

Next Week Ben Celebrates His 21st Birthday…

… I can’t believe so much time has passed since then. He was born on a Friday at 4.50pm. I actually started to dilate on my birthday, twelve days before, but that stopped. So I had to carry on with everything whilst  being 3cm dilated. At this point Ben was pressing down on my sciatic nerve, giving me shooting pain through my pelvis floor and both thighs. It was very difficult to deal with. At some point I went into the hospital with the pain and I think my intention was to stay there until he was born. Pain was a big challenge for me when I was younger, as I  hadn’t learnt ways of how to manage it. It scared me too. I think I went in on the Tuesday. They broke my waters on Friday, when Ben was 10 days late.

I can’t remember if they broke my waters at 9.30am or 1pm. 9am sounds more likely, I think I was in full labour by 1 or 1.30pm. From having a very slow start, it progressed very quickly once my waters were broken. I was so scared of the pain and with it being my first delivery I had no idea how bad it was going to get. I asked for an epidural, as I’d already had pethidine and the gas and air wasn’t helping as much as it was. The bed was taken down to the delivery room. The wait was so long as the doctor was busy somewhere else. By the time she had the needle in my spine I was ready to push. Due to the epidural it was difficult to push with little feeling of what you are pushing.

After a while pf pushing Ben was becoming distressed. Two doctors arrived, waiting to start a C-Section if needed. I wasn’t told this, they were a couple of metres from the foot of the bed. I feel because of the epidural I was more aware of other things going on around me. When I was in labour with my daughter, (over 8 years later) I didn’t have an epidural, I was completely withdrawn in on my body and what it needed to do (with the help of the midwives talking me through).

Eventually I managed to push enough for the midwife to do an episiotomy. I would rather not have had this done. However, the choice for me between and episiotomy and a C-Section is an easy one.

Ben was delivered safely at 4.50pm, he weighed an ounce under 10lb. He was a very long baby and now stands at 6’2″ (at a guess). I am very lucky to be able to have children, I could not imagine the pain of not being able to. Every single day I am grateful for having my two wonderful children in my life.