Do we listen to our children or do we just think we do?

A few months back on a regular Tuesday morning, I was busy working from home on my computer. A familiar routine for so many of us these days.

It was around 9am and my son, of 23, was about to leave the house to go to work. He sometimes interrupts me when I am giving a class online, to say goodbye, with a wave unless it is something important. This particular morning, however, he had brought me a treat! He took out a few cakes from a…


A long, long time ago, when I moved to Portugal, I found an old Gideon’s Bible that I had been given in school. It was in a box that mum had left in her caravan. I could hardly believe that it had come all the way from England. I had been asking myself a lot of questions about life at the time, and I was now rather intrigued that I had found this bible at this particular time. So I thought I would give it a whirl.

I started with the Evangelists and then I went back to the beginning…


Friday 10th July

Jerry woke me early and helped me get all my stuff together to take me to the airport. He was very efficient.

So this was the day, the day we would be leaving this strange country? Nothing felt real anymore, it was like I was in a dream. I almost felt like nothing could touch me at this point, that nothing could break me any further. I got up and I didn’t even get a shower. Jerry was taking the lead, as I was on autopilot and went wherever he suggested. …


A picture my son took when he was in Morocco — he edited the sky behind. :)

Thursday 9th of July

The next day I went through the same ritual.

Hotel. No ticket.

It was unbelievable! I called the Embassy — they didn’t really have an answer but they informed me that they were in contact with the hospital that Ray was in. They confirmed what the doctor had said about Ray having a nervous breakdown too, I wasn’t too sure it was a breakdown. What I never knew at the time was that nobody had contacted my family. …


Tuesday 7th of July

I went alone by bus to Agadir the next day and got a taxi from the bus station to the hotel. I went to the reception desk and told them that I was waiting for a call from the embassy at 9 a.m.. They didn’t mind me waiting there.
I am not sure what time I arrived and have no idea how long I waited, but eventually the phone rang and I jumped up and answered it.

“Hello?”

“Hello? Amanda?”

“Yes!”

“We contacted Ray’s parents and they have arranged to buy his plane ticket to get…


I don’t know how long I had been asleep, it didn’t feel like long at all.

As I woke, I realised that something was terribly wrong. Ray held my shoulder and was shaking it quite violently.

“I know you are not asleep,” he hissed.

I had been, and quite nicely too, and now I was awake and I had to get my wits about me, quickly by the looks of it.

“You had your eyes open, I have been watching you. You just want to go off with Jerry, you were waiting for me to go to sleep.”

I understood…


The following is based on a true story about a journey I took with my boyfriend. We traveled through Morocco in the 80s and it didn’t quite go as planned.

Paradise Valley

The next morning there was complete bedlam in the house; we had been woken up very early by the racket from the new tenants. When I went to the bathroom, I had to duck under a makeshift clothesline full of clothes that wasn’t there the night before and dodge a couple of children that were headed straight for me. They ran up and down the hall screeching with delight —…


The following is based on a true story about a journey I took with my boyfriend. We traveled through Morocco in the 80s and it didn’t quite go as planned.

Paradise Valley. From left to right: Me, Jeane and John

The ambulance arrived at the hospital. Ray actually looked concerned now, more so than before. Maybe it was just the hospital itself which concerned him. It was dirty. The room near us, just off the corridor, was full of bathtubs. Dirty ones, with no curtains around them. It was totally surreal. There were even toilets in the same room! …


The following is based on a true story about a journey I took with my boyfriend. We traveled through Morocco in the 80s and it didn’t quite go as planned.

Ray — deep in thought

When we got back home, we spoke to the landlord and managed to get Nigel a room in the same house as us, right next door in fact. A couple turned up who had been on the same flight as Nigel and they also got a room there. Ann and Barry, they were both training to be nurses.

This was almost beginning to pan out as we had hoped. …

Amanda Gleaves

Artist, Portuguese teacher, Singer / Songwriter, Writer and Philosopher…kinda…

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