Verity Red feels she has suddenly aged – and wonders why?

What is in the large unexpected parcel?
Is her next appointment going to be another disaster?

Why does she text Ben to say she has been a naughty girl?

What happened at the seaside?

Why is Verity outside a stranger’s house, peering through the window?

What happens next?

Scroll down for extracts and illustrations…

Monday 9th June

ME: He, he. I had a touching moment at the Faerie Festival.

BEN: That’s nice.

ME: Yes, it was in the music tent when you’d gone to get some drinks. The band had just finished a song and I was clapping. Well, you know it’s hard for me to clap, so I was just gently patting my hands together, wanting to look like I was showing my appreciation.

BEN: Yeah.

ME: I was wearing velvety gloves, and the man sitting next to me noticed. He laughed, mockingly, and said I wasn’t going to make much noise wearing those gloves. And do you know what I did?

BEN: Amaze me.

ME: I actually replied. Instead of sitting quietly feeling embarrassed, and wishing a sink hole would open up in front of me, and I could disappear into it. I actually replied, for the first time in the millions of years that I’ve had M.E.

BEN: I am amazed. It must have felt good.

ME: It did. I think the fairy mead gave me courage and energy. I wasn’t a snail, retreating into my shell of self-protection.

BEN: You stuck your neck out and pointed your horns at him.


BEN: What did you say?

ME: I can’t remember exactly. I just told him why it was impossible for me to clap, even if I wasn’t wearing gloves. Then I thought I sounded a little sharp, so I apologised.

BEN: You apologised! What are you like (rolling eyes).

ME: Do you know what he said?

BEN: I’m all ears dear.

Wednesday 11th June

4.27 p.m. The bright smiling sunshine, beams warmly at me as I leave the surgery. I feel light as a primrose fairy. A fairy who has been treated for wing-flop, and can feel her energy returning. Her damp, heavy wings are crisp and dry and ready to fly. It feels wingfully wonderfully wondrous to be alive.

I want to BURST into song (Julie Andrews style) about my wings being alive with the sound of music, and write poetry – all at once.

4.28 p.m. As we head laughingly towards our car (parked just down the road), there’s a refreshing gust of wind, followed by tapping noises all around us on the path. Then something falls on my head, startling me. Pennies from heaven? A little bird? No, it’s a pine cone.

Monday 16th June

6.25 a.m. Lying awake in bed.

6.26 a.m. Listening to birdsong.

6.27 a.m. Thinking nothing much.

6.30 a.m. Feel a poem coming on.


I’m doing nothing much

I’m thinking nothing much

I’m hoping nothing much

And wishing nothing much

I’m moving nothing much

I’m improving nothing much

I’ll say nothing much

It’ll come out double Dutch

So I’ll explain nothing much

Or complain nothing much

Revealing nothing much

Or concealing nothing much

I’ll peruse nothing much

And choose nothing much

I’ll lose nothing much

And snooze nothing much

I’m planning nothing much

I’m scanning nothing much

Though I must write that letter

Nice to keep in touch

Friday 20th June

ME: I can’t believe how absent-minded I’ve become!

BEN: I know dear. I found an empty soup carton in the washing machine.

ME: There was an article about absent-mindedness in one of my M.E. mags. It was quite funny. A woman found a packet of smelly sausages in her shopping bag, and her purse was in the fridge. Another woman’s husband asked her why her bra was in the bread bin. The mag asked people to write in with their stories of absent-mindedness.

BEN: You’ll have to start making a list.

ME: I will! I recently found myself trying to turn the brightness of the sunshine down, with the TV remote control. And on the same day, I tried to turn down the sound of noisy children outside, at going-hometime, with the remote. And sometimes, I attempt to change TV channels with my mobile phone.

BEN: Do you try to text me with the remote?

ME: I have done (guilty-smiling-face).

BEN: I’ve seen you trying to change channels with the remote on your little TV, but can’t because one of the cats is sitting in front of it.

ME: It’s weird. I just forget for a moment, that the remote won’t work through lovely, warm cat body. Always makes me laugh.

BEN: I’m sure Cleo and Purrdi find it amusing too dear.