Life’s great healers… Or how we can take inspiration from all around us

Sometimes you speak to someone who casts your life achievements into stark relief.

In a way, that’s why we get into journalism – so that we’re able to shine a light on these lives and reflect the amazing effort of human endeavour to our readers.

Anne Watts was just one such person. A nurse who has travelled all over the world, she has anneworked in the Yukon, Vietnam, the Middle East and more.

She has nursed soldiers who were dying and children who had lost limbs, and for her it was all her duty to do so.

The idea of travelling the world has a sheen of glamour to it, but hearing Anne talk of her patients like ‘the little 10-year-old girl who’d lost her legs and her family in Vietnam’ shows, to me, an almost superhuman dedication to the preservation of others.

On one level, I know I will never be able to give as much as Anne has to the world – I will never have the skills nor the attitude to care for and medically treat people in agony and desperation like she has seen.

But I truly hope that just writing about her exploits and revealing them to a wider audience will help inspire others one day to follow in her brave and determined footsteps.

Read the piece here


Walk this way… Or the weatherman who walks and talks for Wales

I’ve previously mentioned on this blog the unique celebrities who pop up in various parts of the UK.

Thanks to skipping from one part of the UK to the next in my adult life, I can happily say, ‘Fred, there’s no bread’ and ‘Gonnae no dae that’ where it will be recognised.

But it wasn’t until moving to Wales that I understood the power of an enthusiastically-delivered ‘shwmae’.

PIC CREDIT: Media Wales

Courtesy of Derek Brockway – weatherman, presenter and much-loved personality in these parts – it’s almost a national catchphrase, simply meaning ‘hello’.

I spoke to him for a piece on his book, Great Welsh Walks, and it was very entertaining hearing his stories of wandering the Welsh countryside.

One of the most endearing details is that Derek often finds himself meeting people who recognise him on his walks, but for the Weatherman Walking it’s all part of the exploration.

“I forget where I’ve been, I’ve done so many of these walks,” he laughs. “But it’s important to me that people get out and explore.”

Almost enough to inspire me to get my boots on and start stomping through the countryside. Wonder if I’ll bump into Derek up Pen y Fan. I’ve got my ‘shwmae’ all ready…

Read the piece here