<a href=””>Frail</a&gt;

“Frailty, thy name is woman”

Shakespeare, or rather Hamlet, lamenting the fact that his mother had married his uncle very soon after his father’s death. Today I think we’d call  Gertrude treacherous and wicked rather than frail. To me the term “frail” conjures up a person  man or woman, who is physically weak,  probably elderly and easily swayed by a stronger personality.

The term that goes most often with “frail” is “old lady”.  A doddery old woman tottering along with the help of a stick, speaking in a low croaky voice and generally overlooked and disregarded by those around her.

I’ve dealt with this situation in several pieces of fiction I’ve written where an old lady is being bossed about (usually by her daughter}. This “frail” character develops unsuspected strength and ingenuity when dealing with an unforeseen problem. The chararacter of the little old lady with  hidden depths is, I think, sadly overlooked in popular fiction.

Nowadays we have become used to strong women in postions of authority, Margaret Thatcher, for instance, and of course our new Prime Minister.  By no stretch of the imagination could either of these women be described as “frail”.


















Coin From 2010

“Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?”

What was I doing in 2010? I had to look it up and found that a number of interesting, exciting, satisfying and unpleasant things happened that year.

A poetic image of a poet
A poetic image of a poet

2010 was definitely a good year for my writing. I published a short book of poems called “A Poet Needs a Bicycle”, QQ Press printed a limited edition of 50 copies and while I didn’t make my fortune I wasn’t left with heaps of unsaleable books cluttering up the spare room.

I also had my first real success as a playwright. My play “Estella” won a competition called “Grand Words” run by the Grand Theatre Blackpool. So I am now a dramatist as well as a poet and to cap it all I got a trophy to keep on my bookcase and a cash prize.

What else happened? We had a day in Edinburgh looking at recumbent bikes and trikes and riding them in a park in the centre of Edinburgh. My first ride on the Kettwiesel recumbent trike which has now become so much part of my life I can;t imagine being without it.

I suppose I should mention the less pleasant aspects of 2010: I went to visit a friend in a nursing home and walking back to the bus stop tripped and fell cutting my face and breaking my left wrist. I can’t even claim the pavement was uneven – it was all down to my clumsiness.

All in all 2010 was an eventful year and I can’t believe all these things happened half a decade ago – they all feel far more recent.