music credits are now included in the closing credits of each episode—all tracks are courtesy of Youtube’s Music Library, free to download and use without copyright restrictions or royalties unless otherwise stated, except original music, written and performed by Leah, the author’s daughter.

once again, heartfelt thanks to all the artists who so generously make their work available to us poor producers. Me2mama would be very much diminished without your talents. All hail to you all and Youtube too…


the orchid on the windowsill of mum's room in the care home
"...bags are packed and I'm ready to go..." name the tune and the artist?

photos were taken on the day, just as the live action was recorded on the day. For the techies out there, here’s a little shot of the zoom H2n that does all the audio heavy lifting…fine technology indeed


poppy fields on the banks of...
the vidourle - sun ice cold water...
the summer dress...
the village, and...
the sea, the sea...





Music credits: Title music is by Wes Hutchinson, with incidental music by Kevin Macleod, Jon Sayles and E Jammy Jams, Long Note Two by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100176Artist: http://incompetech.com/

‘Fings ain’t wot they used to be’.

Lionel Bart, writer and composer, he of Oliver! fame, who took so much LSD and was in such debt he sold the rights of the hit musical to Max Bygraves for £350 who re-sold them shortly after for £250,000…Bart died in relative poverty, despite his genius. 

‘Everything is but for a day, both that which remembers and that which is remembered.’

Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome and philosopher, played by another marvellously bad boy, Richard Harris, in Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator, a thoughtful stoic, disappointed by his son Commodus, (who thought himself a god), and doomed to spend his entire life making war.

‘The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet.’

Cyril Connelly, critic and author of Enemies of Promise, a three-part account of why he failed to become a great writer; dissecting your own failures is never an easy task. I know from experience.

‘Mais où sont les nieges d’antan?’

(But where are the snows of yesteryear?)

 François Villon, fifteenth century poet, thief, brawler and all round bad boy who, five hundred years after his presumed death in a dungeon, was cited as an inspiration by Bob Dylan, quoted by Truman Capote and Hunter S Thompson and deliberately misquoted by Joseph Heller in Catch-22

…that’s men for you, always with the regret thing…but what about women? There’s certainly a poetic spin to the material gathered from these writers…

‘Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after. Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting, like the underlinen of a family of fourteen on a line in a gale of wind.’

Virginia Woolf, Orlando

‘If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.’

JANE AUSTEN, Mansfield Park

‘Always take responsibility for your past. It is your only collateral in life. Unless you despise yourself now, you cannot despise yourself then. Everything you did is a part of the process that brought you here. All your past is as alive and real as your so-called ‘present.’

Janet Morris, author and advisor on ‘non-lethal weapons’ to the US government…now that’d make a change from drone strikes…

This beautiful portrait is by the photographer Dominique Nabokob, famous for her 'portraits' of the inner sanctums of cultural figures...read more about her and her work by clicking on Zadie's image...copyright Dominique Nabokob

‘If someone asked her just then what memory was, what the purest definition of memory was, she would say this: the street you were on when you first jumped in a pile of dead leaves. She was walking it right now. With every fresh crunch came the memory of previous crunches. She was permeated by familiar smells: wet woodchip and gravel around the base of the tree, newly laid turd underneath the cover of soggy leaves. She was moved by these sensations.’

Zadie Smith, White Teeth 

…you didn’t really expect me to resist did you?




…well, I didn’t, couldn’t, though like many people, I personally prefer piaf’s real theme, la vie en rose, but isn’t this scratchy recording rather wonderful? 



Music credits: Title music is by Wes Hutchinson, with incidental music by Aakash Gandhi, Kevin Macleod and Josh Lippi and the Overtimers.  

Healing by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Long Stroll by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

and for both…


click through on the image above to find some easily digestible information on the reality of care for carers

Check out this Guardian piece on cities that want to be age-friendly and what designers and architects are starting to think about for the future…if we have the vision, we can build the reality, all it takes is the will…


…and lest we forget, 42% of carers in the UK are male…surprised..?

Zara thinks it’s rare, but not so much according to the figures…that’s three million men

cutting the mustard, day in, day out, just like the 58% of carers who are women…and whilst we’re doling out stats… 

…376,000 carers in the UK are young folk between 16 and 25

The Amazing Village in the Netherlands


Music credits: Title music is by Wes Hutchinson, with incidental music by Audionautix and Kevin Macleod.

Percy French’s Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff is performed by Leah, the author’s daughter. Written in 1912, French died in 1920, thus I believe the song to be free of copyright restrictions after best endeavours.

Minor With Cricket by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Long Note Two by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100176

Artist: http://incompetech.com/

…there might have been a good reason why I decided that putting the photographs into a cheesy film strip background was a good idea for the Celebration of Life invitation cards.

However, you live and learn, and the photos themselves are none the less for being seen together like this, telling, as they kind of do, the complex story of a life…

Please note Rupert the Bear, centre top…rather fetching?

…here we are, green strip, sweaty after what I choose to remember as a victory, me dead centre, standing, together with the Beahan twins, Kevin and Kenny, their older brother Stephen, Chris McCormack and…well, maybe Huey Stonehill…memory, memory…circa 1968/70

…and the photographer? I’m sure I recognise that distinctive shadow…Dad?

My father, aged around eighteen, at the piano with another of my cousins…I’m guessing this photo was taken in Limerick at my father’s brother’s home, some time in the mid nineteen-fifties 


Music credits: Title music is by Wes Hutchinson, spoken contribution by Leah

Here's an extract from Nicci's book, printed in The Guardian

click on the logo to learn more about nicci gerrard and julia jones’ ‘john’s campaign’, encouraging institutions to welcome and involve carers alongside patients