(Yes, I'm a smiler... Couldn't do cool and elegant if my life depended on it!)

Hello, I'm Claire and welcome to my new blog :)

I've been pondering this for a while now, and as I tap into the Full Willow Moon energy, and begin my journey through The Artist's Way, I'm gathering writings from my other blogs in this, my new home in Blogland.

The title is quite deliberate...

It's a take on a favourite song from a favourite musician - Joni Mitchell's 'Woman of Heart and Mind' - which reflects a lot of who I am.

Art, in all its forms, is VERY important to me and speaks to the deep parts of me. But also, I'm pretty cerebral and thinking/pondering/deliberating is just what I do...

The months after the stroke (which hit 9 May 2007) were so difficult because I couldn't think straight, I couldn't speak, read or write. I struggled to watch dramas on TV as I couldn't follow what was going on; and I still struggle to read fiction if there's a large cast of characters.

But as I approach the 8-year anniversary of this traumatic event, I truly can only feel joy, hope and gratitude. It could have been SO much worse!! Had the clot been 2 cms to the right, I could have died, or been totally paralyzed and locked-in...
Unable to speak, read, write, sit up, stand, walk...

You get the idea!

Every day IS a gift, even the bad ones, as I'm here to experience them.

44 facts about me
  1. I'm a typical Taurean - stubborn, earthy, love my food :)
  2. I'm diabetic - Type 2 diagnosed 15 years ago
  3. I'm an introverted extrovert - I love people, but I must have regular times of silence and solitude.
  4. I'm a Type 4 on the Enneagram (the Overview is pretty accurate!
  5. love dark chocolate - 70%+ cocoa content.
  6. I'm a life-long learner.
  7. I can't speak any foreign languages, though I studied Latin, Greek and Hebrew.
  8. I wanted to be an academic - I read Theology at Oxford.
  9. I wanted to be a mother more :)
  10. I have 3 children, but Connie died in-utero at 30 weeks.
  11. My maternal grandmother was Irish.
  12. I'm a life-long Liverpool FC supporter, and have a signed photo of Steven Gerrard on the wall (a gift from my Dad several Christmases ago!).
  13. My paternal grandfather was a Scouser.
  14. I'm a devotee of the Bloomsbury Group.
  15. I met my American husband in Kenya.
  16. We celebrated our silver wedding anniversary last April (2014).
  17. I turned 50 the day before!
  18. I collect quotes - mainly about art, literature, culture.
  19. Our house is full of books.
  20. I've broken both kneecaps (separate accidents).
  21. I'm a former Anglican lay minister.
  22. I've always been a lousy baker - much to my mother's dismay.
  23. Our daughter inherited my mother's gifted-baker gene :)
  24. My mother died in 2000 aged 55.
  25. I was a couch potato even before the stroke - never been sporty!
  26. I'm a Strictly Come Dancing fan.
  27. Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons - I endure Summer and Winter.
  28. I have crushes on Simon Baker and Bradley Cooper.
  29. I have a girl-crush on Jennifer Lawrence.
  30. I'd love to have dinner with Grayson Perry :)
  31. I always chew gum after I eat - got to look after my teeth and gums!
  32. I've always been an early-to-bed, early-to-riser - need my 8 hours.
  33. Toast is my favourite clothes label, but I can only afford sale, or second-hand, items :(
  34. I lost my identity when I couldn't read for a year after the stroke.
  35. I have learnt to write, draw, paint with my left hand - I was right-handed...
  36. I don't like vinegar, anchovies, chilli, spicy curry, salad cream.
  37. I'm terrified of spiders.
  38. I'd love to do a parachute jump.
  39. I've never been skiing.
  40. I want to visit Florence.
  41. I'm allergic to Elastoplast.
  42. I could become a dotty cat lady in my dotage.
  43. I am a sensuous person - I delight in my 5 senses and how they help me encounter the physical world, but...
  44. I am a Soul having a human experience in this particular time and place.


  1. Hi Claire! What an amazing woman you are! I love your attitude. : ) We have a lot in common, especially the introvert/extrovert trait and the always smiling trait, I don't think I will ever be able to take a picture where I look elegant and cool. Good luck with your new blog! I'll be following!

    1. So lovely to 'meet' you, Grace! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment here - it means a lot :)

  2. Loving your style, Claire! I have much in common with you too ~ looking forward to getting to know you better over the coming weeks, through your writing! :) (I'm a smiler, too! :))

    1. Thank you so much :) And I'm looking forward to knowing you better too! This is where the internet excels - connecting like-minded Souls...
      Blessings xx

  3. Your beautiful energy shines through with every word Claire! I see a kindred spirit in you, divine feminine sister. I too had a serious health crisis and life or death surgery, which resulted in disability. I'm so pleased that our paths crossed, my soul is rejoicing.

    1. So lovely to 'meet' you too :) I sensed a Kindred Soul when I stumbled upon your blog the other day... Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such lovely comments :)
      Blessings Sister xx

  4. First time to your site. Saw you on Becca's. Quite a list you got going there and I relate to some. I had a stroke this year (atypical) so not as debilitating as yours but went on to have a heart attack and open heart surgery due to endocarditis...a bacteria in the heart valve. The year has been surreal at best but am now retired and gratefully waiting for my third great grandchild. I admire your tenacity to keep going and live life to the fullest.

    1. Bless you Renee for taking time to write here - I often wonder how many folk actually see this page...
      Boy, you've had quite a year! I do hope you are on the road to a full recovery, and that you can enjoy your retirement (my Dad LOVES being retired!). So lovely to 'meet' you :)

  5. Hello Claire, found you via Lesley's W&S. I don't comment often these days but just wanted to say hello and for you to know someone is thinking about you as you travel an uncertain road this Summer. I hope that you soon find a home and adapt to your empty nest. I'm in the UK too, it's an unsettling time after the referendum isn't it? Watching and reading about it only adds to the doom and gloom feeling. I hope we can soon feel confident of our futures on our little island again soon.
    Love, peace and good wishes to you, Jan.

    1. How lovely to 'meet' you, Jan! I tried to find you on WnS, but failed - I'm still trying to find my way around Lesley's haven :)
      Yes, it's a tough time all round at the moment - I avoided social media Thursday/Friday (just too much for me to cope with) - but I've very proud of our kids have both voted. They were part of the vast majority of 18-24 year-olds who voted Remain... they are stunned by the result :/

  6. your words
    how wonderful
    you bless this one
    my children
    son lives in Thailand - 50
    daughter a writer - 45
    daughter a nurse 57
    daughter now paints - 59
    granddaughter teaches in N.Y
    grandson works in Washington, DC
    granddaughter a chef in Nantucket
    2 young granddaughters l0 and 13


Your comments mean a lot. They show I'm not alone. Thank you!