Verity Red’s story continues in May, with lots of love and laughter, anger and uncertainty, and more laughter – as she copes with her day-to-day life.

Her scarecrow hair grows scarier, the cracks in her leaky-cauldron-memory grow wider, Ben’s waistline becomes trimmer, and Minty branches out.

Verity enjoys many adventures in her ever colourful imagination, often with some help from jigsaw puzzles depicting scenes abroad. But it’s not long before she is full with excitement, making plans for a real life fairytale adventure…

Scroll down for extracts and illustrations…

Wednesday 7th May

2.34 p.m. Resting under a blanket of warm cats, I slowly close my puzzle-weary eyes……. and I’m there……… in the puzzle………… at the table by the open window……… beautifully set with roses and fruit………… about to enjoy the bread, cheese and wine……….. but first…… drinking in the view……….. as the curtains flutter in the warm Parisian breeze………. I can hear romantic accordion music, the melody carried on the breeze across the street from one of the cafés…….. the little French birdies seem to twitter along……….. there’s a fabulous, fresh fragrance of fruit and flowers from the market stall nearby. Parfait.

Friday 9th May

3.17 p.m. It’s so important to have something to look forward to.

3.18 p.m. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to leave your bed.

3.19 p.m. Although from experience, I know there are many things you can look forward to, when you can’t leave your bed. Letters, e-mails, or a text message from friends or family…. Something you’ve ordered from a catalogue, a new catalogue to peruse, or a weekly magazine….. Eviction night on Big Brother. Placing a vote yourself, by phone, for the housemate you want to be evicted – the perfect phone call for a person with M.E. because you don’t have to speak, just press a number on your phone, and a nice person with a friendly voice tells you who you’ve voted for…… Part two of a really good drama or the next episode of Coronation Street. A sense of achievement when you complete a word search, a poem, or a jigsaw puzzle…. A bath or shower, when you have the energy.

Wednesday 28th May

4.00 p.m. Lying in a deep warm bath, under a mountain of lavender scented bubbles. Deep in thought.

4.01 p.m. Serious deep thought.

4.02 p.m. I really can’t take any more insulting treatment from the medical profession. I really wish my dear old doctor hadn’t retired. I really need to see an alternative-medicine-person. Someone that will treat me with respect and understanding. And I know just the person. I really hope he’s still practising.

4.05 p.m. It’s I-don’t-know-how-many-years since I last saw him for osteopathy. Well over twenty. He may be working at another clinic now. Or has retired. Or died. Or the clinic is now a veterinary surgery. I heard from a friend (who used to attend the clinic) several years ago, that he (the osteopath) had started doing only two days at the clinic and works abroad a lot. France I think. Maybe he works in France now. I will consult the Yellow Pages to see if the clinic is still there. If it is, I will give them a ring.

Friday 30th May

1.46 p.m. I’m relieved the bands performing at the Faerie Festival will be playing in a tent. And I have the perfect warm jacket to wear for a woodland theme – quilted embroidered cotton and velvet patchwork in softshades of sage, walnut, ivy, olive, tobacco, chestnut, teal, plain chocolate, and coffee. I’ve had the jacket for about twenty-two years, so the embroidery is looking a little tatty. No, very tatty. I really should do some repair work, but if I leave the jacket as it is, it’ll look like I’ve been wandering through a forest, catching the material on twigs.

1.47 p.m. The long cotton fairy frock (with spaghetti straps) I’ve chosen to wear is old too, almost as old as the jacket – the material, soft shades of green and blue, with a cosmic design. It will be warm enough if I wear a thick, fern green, long sleeve top underneath. The hem is coming down in places and needs sewing up. But (like the jacket) if I leave it, it will look like I’ve caught the dress on undergrowth as I wander through the forest.

1.48 p.m.Those are the two best excuses I’ve ever had for not doing any needlework. I’m so pleased, I’m almost moved to write poetry.

1.50 p.m. Sipping de-caf coffee, I start to feel inspired.

No needlework

For tired hand

I’m off to fly

To fairyland

1.56 p.m. Finishing my coffee, I’m full of inspiration.

No hunting

For cotton

And thread

I’m off

To lie down

On my bed