celebrating and creating our own LGBTQ+ history in honour of Sheila McWattie

Archive for February, 2019

day twenty one


Home is where ancient aunts do crosswords and tell stories of alien world with polo ponies and flying fish, where Meccano is on the floor, and John Peel is on the radio; the Aunt is gone but the crosswords and the music linger on.

Home is where the hills are round and green, clotted with sheep, where you can see the watertower from the top and from that same old walk over the railway bridge with Grandad; the Grandad is gone but sometimes the driver still toots as the train goes under.

Home is when you pass the sign “West Sussex” and punch the air after 7 hours gnashing your teeth on the motorways, when Angus the Satnav voice says 20 minutes to go and Mum has already boiled the kettle twice. Where you are always welcome and always loved. Where you are always a child.

Home is here, now, where I am grown up. My own house, full of stained glass and found objects, craft experiments and junk. My own shed. A place of steeper hills, decorated with horses, old waggonways, an angel. The sea, endlessly sandy and fringed with not-quite-islands. Where I hope one day to have “my own seat” in the local pub, where my neighbour works. A community. Who don’t care who or what, only if you help with gritting the steep end of the lane.

Home is family. The family we build piece by piece, carefully, like Meccano. Brothers who become neighbours. Lovers who become sisters, acquaintances who become best friends. Friends ­- who know us as we are and who follow us when we explore who we might be, holding the torch. Ladies of a certain age who socialise at lunchtime, go for nice walks then go home and take our bras off – just because we can. Who still debate politics, discuss Shakespeare, giggle over love affairs and the prospect of retirement; who struggle to make art. Who still march, but sometimes with a trekking pole. Who might sometimes go clubbing, but are home in time to watch Vera on catch-up.

Home is a snail shell I carry around, full of fragments; fragrant with memories; light enough to wear everyday. An identity- that survives different towns, villages, careers, fads, friendships, lovers, samba bands and girlie gangs – enriched and expanded by them all. A beautiful patchwork; a steampunk, Faberge caddisfly case. A place of safety. A place of strength. A place to start from.




Fin McMorran

Eighton Banks 2019



day twenty

Chore Wars


Whose chore

Who wants more

Who ate

Who cooked

Who sat and looked

Who will not do it no matter what

Who likes to martyr most

Who can’t ask for help

Who hates saying please

Who cheats

Who breezes

Who snakes and teases

Who wins

Who passenger cruises

Who ultimately loses?




by Jane Campbell who is a 54yrs old dyke and is proud to live off grid in a handmade home in rural West Wales UK.



day nineteen

Early morning at my sea side home


The rooks are awake and alert before first light busy refurbishing their homes from last year and the year before that. There is a sense of urgency now which has superseded last month’s languid cawing, it is the need for a rough and ragged nest in which to hatch their young. Much arguing and squabbling ensues over who’s nest is whose early on, but now the furore has died down and the birds are more settled with eggs cooking and young growing.

Sometimes I can hear the sea from the safety of my bed, when the tide is in, the waves splash and crash against the cliff face, other times the sea is dead calm like today with barely a ripple across the water. Through the apple tree that sits below my balcony not yet in leaf I see boats of different kinds; a yacht with a single white sail tacking against the feeble wind, a smack chasing mackerel painted red and yellow stands out against the deep blue of the dawn sky.

Nothing disturbs the morning except the sound of birdsong, though by nine o clock the tourists will be arriving in cars with suitcases strapped to roofracks and caravans in tow. Others will have booked one of the many holiday homes that stand empty for six months of the year only to rise from their winter death to welcome city dwellers seeking the wilds of West Wales and the micro climate of Cardigan Bay. Here Dylan Thomas found the characters for Under Milkwood living in the multi coloured terraces that rise diagonally from the sea to the land or sitting on the harbour watching the world go by and the fishing boats land their catch before the days of the Dolphin trips.

Two months I’ve lived here and am loving my wooden home perched high above the sea. It was cold at first, bone cold as NNWesterlys buffeted the boards and the wind chimes rang like church bells. Many nights (and days too) were spent in bed with the electric blanket on reading to pass the time and wearing two fleeces and a hoody to fend off hyperthermia. My breath I noted was a stream of fog but outside my window the late winter sun held the promise of warmth given time.

I have been so very privileged to live here where sky, sea, and hills meet in celebration; Wales is not the land of my birth but it is the place my soul can call home…..


Kate Field, 65

West Wales

day eighteen



Hiya how are you doin?

I’m ok..getting a bit colder tho isn’t it?

Yes you’ll need a hat on

Well I’ve got my scarf on!

Where you off to..town?

No I’m going to London..I’m in the Oral history Society

They record people’s stories.

Well I could tell you a few stories, the stuff I’ve seen!

Yeah me an all! We could tell you a few stories..



Janet Jones (age 54) Halifax


day seventeen






Conker trees and lambs’ tails innit


A broken home


A stable home

With solid wooden beams


Stunning sunsets beat Thornton Heath

Pet ponies and large geese

fantastic nest of a bed

snuggy snuggy snug.





A collaboration between friends over Sunday lunch:

Carter Carter, Annie, Cindie, Louise, Fay, Jen and Fiona


day sixteen

Sometimes my home is a precarious place,

An uncertain structure,

Crumbling and creaking at every stormy hit.


this home of mine endures


Sometimes my home is magnificent

and makes me proud.

It cushions me against onslaught and hurt.


this home of mine evolves.


My home is a sanctuary

Always open to others,

Despite every failure it has never failed.


This home of mine is steadfast


This home is my body

My temple

This home is my heart.



Megan Williams (age 64) Wales




day fifteen


The front door slams shut

and the warmth of the heat flushes his cheeks.

The wine sloshes into the glass.


The purr of the zip sliding closed as the breeze is temporarily blocked.

Still too cold to take off his hat.

A tug of the ring pull to open the can.

The covers flap and shuffle in the wind.

He draws them over his rough stubble on his cold and weary body.

He reaches for another can.

Our ‘homes’ are so different but are we?





Anne Lamb (51) Palm Bay