I see many posts stating that there is no need for us to feel ‘shame’ or ‘guilt’ about dead children from other countries because we didn’t cause the crisis. You know what? Who cares? 
How far back are you going to go? How many countries who didn’t take them in will you blame first? How about the warmongers in the Middle East? The governments that refused to aid them and sent them and their families on their way?
I say again, who cares? They are suffering, they are struggling, they need help. 

It doesn’t matter whose fault it is.

It doesn’t matter how or why they are here.

It doesn’t matter that we can’t accurately place blame, shame or guilt.

We have the means to help, so we should do so.

We have the means to help. That’s all that matters, here and now.


My friend took me for a walk around New Galloway, and amongst the brambles and cow parsley we found beautiful meadowsweet, also known as mead wort or Queen of the Meadow. Although a useful herb, especially to a home brewer like myself, we didn’t pick any, as the bees were enjoying the flowers too much.

Vice: Depression

No, I don’t mean a vice like smoking, or drinking, although I do succumb to those from time to time. Today’s depression is like an actual vice, the kind you had in wood work class, and my brain is the substitute for the two-by-four.

Gradually someone is winding the handle, bring the jaws of the vice closer together, gripping the tender greyish pink of my poor brain ever tighter. To make room for this, my eyes are starting to bulge out; my sinuses are on fire and throbbing; my ears pop and my own blood pressure and heartbeat are the only things I can hear.

My brain held tight, unable to move; no flashes of inspiration or leaps of fancy. No jumping for joy in these jaws of judgement: judged unworthy, hopeless, helpless, hapless; judged a joke, a waste, a failure…

Yet I know none of it is true. I, the owner of my brain and therefore my destiny, knows I am not a failure. I am, even, marginally successful in my chosen field! I am certainly successful as a mother and as a partner, and have happy people around me to prove it. But these convictions and the reminders thereof do not free me from the vice.

I thought, for the first time today, what it would be like to have someone loosen the vice. I can’t do it myself. I’ve tried. The doctor has tried with tablets; my CBT specialist has tried with words and pamphlets and apps and appealing to my spiritual side. So who turns the vice? Who can unwind this apathy?

I don’t have an answer, not today. Some days, it feels close. Close enough to touch. But not, I fear, today.