Rachel’s final blog for 2017

rachelcullenwrites

SOUND THE CLAXON! STOP THE PRESS! ALERT THE NEIGHBOURS! It’s finally happened. I wriggle myself around, piss on a stick, and there it is: a double line flashing before my eyes. Me and the attractive, mysterious bull elephant are EXPECTING!

IMG_0736 IT’S A BULL!!!

In writing terms, this means that the once unknown, faceless gatekeeper to my literary dreams who expressed an early interest in my submission… loves it. SHE LOVES IT! She believes in my story, and – guess what – she has invited me to travel down to the posh publishing house in a swanky part of London town to MEET HER! OH. MY. GOD.What will I do? What will I say? What will she be like? Will she like me? More importantly, will she like my bull elephant, when she meets him in person? I just don’t know.

It feels like being invited for a personal meeting…

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Gallery  —  Posted: December 31, 2017 in Uncategorized


Rachel continues her blog about the birth of her forthcoming book

rachelcullenwrites

It’s a Tuesday morning in early March 2016. I’ve just come off the treadmill at the gym, as I need to keep even the smallest amount of headspace from my attractive bull elephant other half. It was very intense at the beginning of our courtship, but this relationship needs to be sustainable – we’re both in it for the long-haul – and so normality resumes as best it can.

I stroll back to the changing room with the slightest whiff of smugness, having ticked off my dreaded speed session. Phew! Thank God that’s over. Job done. I reach for my IPhone from inside the locker, and without thinking, I click on the ‘mail’ icon in the bottom right hand corner. I find myself doing this on average ten times every fifteen minutes over any 23-hour period (I leave one hour for uninterrupted sleep), just to see how the universe is…

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Gallery  —  Posted: December 17, 2017 in Uncategorized


Rachel Cullen writes about writing!

rachelcullenwrites

It’s almost here. It’s booting me on the insides making my ribs ache, and the acid reflux is now so bad I’ve started adding Gaviscon Extra Strength to my tea instead of milk. I can’t sleep in any other position than on my side, propped up at a 45-degree angle with an expensive tubular pillow wedged between my crotch.

I am about to give birth to an elephant. The due date is 11th January, 2018. 

It all started back in April 2015, when a rather fetching bull elephant caught my eye across a crowded room. In writing terms then, this is where it all began. Lying in the bath the day before the London Marathon 2015, I began to write about how I was feeling. And I began to wonder… what if? Those two simple words: What if? What if I could tell my story… by writing…

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Gallery  —  Posted: December 9, 2017 in Uncategorized


Rachel Cullen blogs a bit about cycling across Costa Rica!!

rachelcullenwrites

This feels weird. I can’t blog about this one. It’s too big, and too good. Like glimmering nuggets of pure comedy gold sifted from tonnes of dust and rubble… and I’m so sorry about that. I feel like I’m letting my eight fans down, and short-changing you few, special people of possibly the blog of the century, but I am under strict instructions. It breaks my heart not to share what I’ve already written about this epic adventure with you, but you’ll thank me in the long-run.

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So, we cycled 480km across Costa Rica. It almost broke us, and it brought me to my knees (literally, it did) from start to finish. As I sit here on our comfortable sofa with a cold beer to my right and the wounds beginning to heal on my ribboned flesh, I have a king-size bed waiting for me to sink into upstairs, and…

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Gallery  —  Posted: November 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

Sunday Poem – Kate Fox

Posted: October 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

Kim Moore’s latest post

Kim Moore

It has been a strange week for me – the #metoo hashtag on social media has made me sad and angry and hopeful in an exhausting cycle..  Amongst all of this, I’ve had to get on with doing stuff as well of course.  I had a meeting with my  PhD supervisors about the next stage of the PhD, the RD2 form.  I’d sent them some writing, which was far too personal to use, but I wanted to try and get straight in my head what I’m trying to do with the PhD.  I’ve got to make it much more ‘academic’, less personal etc etc.  I’ve had a go this week and have almost finished the ‘Abstract’ part of the RD2, in what I hope is a more academic voice.  It feels like putting on another head.  I wonder if everybody feels like this or if it’s just me.

I’ve also started…

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It’s the anxiety that kills you
Strangles you alive
Forcing even the bacteria
From the bowels of your stomach
So you have nothing left
Not even a bacteria
To settle the nerves
Raising from the
Depths of your stomach
So you feel nothing
See nothing, hear nothing
Life becomes a blur
As you shake powered
By nervous energy
The foundations of your
House begin to move
Cracks appear in the
Road outside as
Your shaking threatens
Global peace, Trump and Kim
Blame each other for
Launching a nuclear missile
And just when you
Cannot take any more
It stops
Your mind and body
Cannot take anymore
Exhausted by anxiety
They give up the fight
You feel relaxed
So you see what you’ve missed
Texts, calls, emails, bills
Appointments, deadlines
Everybody wants you
Everybody wants something from you

Breaking the chain

Posted: October 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

A powerful story from David Riley

Site Title

With Mental health awareness week coming up, i wanted to share my struggle with depression and suicide and hopefully be able to help people on the way. By sharing my journey with you, i hope that along the way it will help break down the stigma attached to mental health issues and finally allow people to talk about this hidden issue.

when i was a young lad, i thought my life was the best with perfect parents, i thought i was the luckiest lad alive. To be honest the first few years of my life was, my relationship with my mum was i loved her to bits and we would do lots of wonderful things together. My dad though things started deteriorating a bit, we where starting to get a bit distanced from each other, arguments where happening between my dad and mum. He was going out more and more…

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Birthday reflections…

Posted: September 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

The only pleasure in life is cheating death one more time in the knowledge that this time you have escaped death’s dark clutches, but in the knowledge that one day it will find you and catch you and take you away from everything you know and love…

Realising how lucky you are

Posted: September 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Today started off as one of those days when it seems hard work just to do the basics but you still do them because you have to. You feel like you’re going through the motions and you wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing and if it’s worth it. I felt like that today with my Masters. More interviews to transcribe and then analyse and make sense of. Yeah sometimes research can get on top of you and you wonder if it’s worth it. And then you go to the monthly autism meeting you help out at and see people who have got problems far worse than you have and they’re just coping the best they can. Life hasn’t dealt them the best hand but they’re playing it the best they can. Someone comes up to you and talks about the hopes and dreams they had and how they were crushed despite their best efforts and whilst time has passed you can see it still really hurts them. It hurts them because they know and you do too that they are better than what has become of them and they can achieve so much more with the right care and support. Yet the institutions that should have provided the care and support have failed them and dumped them at the road side, left to crawl back onto the kerb, find their pavement and do their best to get back on the path of life. Your research impacts directly on their personal experience, your research is about people like them and institutions like the ones they have come into contact with and given them a bad experience. This makes you wake up and realise that the research you are doing can have a real impact on peoples lives and institutions and change them for the better. This is research that is important to society, to have people are perceived and how people are given a chance in society to prove themselves and show society just what they are capable of. You realise that your research could change peoples lives and make people happy. You realise that despite how you feel you have to carry on and do your best if not for yourself for others less fortunate than you.

Alive with running

Posted: September 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

I’m tired writing this but it’s a good tired. It’s tired that comes from having made progress with my Masters and having had a very good run. Felt fast, powerful and strong especially on the hills. Got some nice fastest times on some sections too. I felt good today. I felt alive again.