The Curious Incident of the Black Cat on the Windowsill

The Curious Incident of the Black Cat on the Windowsill

This is the story of the little black cat who turned up on my windowsill ❤

Celebrating Two and a Half Years of Business!

Celebrating Two and a Half Years of Business!

It seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way:
– It’s okay to say NO.
– It’s important to create space for self-care and relaxation. 🛀
-I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my life, and yet I don’t notice the time going in. The other day I found myself saying: “Omg, it’s 4pm already!”
– I’ve taken it one month at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time.
– If I feel myself worrying about the future, I bring it back to today. What can I do today? Then do that. Tomorrow will take care of itself. 💗
– I remember at the start thinking, “Let’s see if I can pay myself in the first month.” Now, here we are at 2 and a half years.
– I find myself working on a myriad of different projects and thinking, “Wow! How have I ended up doing this?” I’m challenged to my limits yet finding I can do it, if I take it one step at a time.
I’m very grateful to all the clients I’ve worked with, past and present.
It’s been a roller coaster journey.
Long may it continue! 🥰️

Celebrating Two Years of Business!

Celebrating Two Years of Business!

I’m so grateful for all my wonderful clients, past and present.

I have learned so much during the past two years. Although stressful at times, it’s a joy to work from home; doing what I love whilst listening to podcasts with the cats relaxing next to me.

I’d had the privilege of editing other people’s books, whilst releasing my sixth novel. I’ve also worked for some amazing companies – everything from a modelling agency, to music management, to media, publicity and social marketing agencies.

I’m looking forward to what the future holds, continuing to take it one day at a time.

Thomas Wyatt’s book launch

Thomas Wyatt's book launch

What a special day yesterday! I was so proud to attend Thomas Wyatt’s book launch.

As editor of his book, “The Angels’ Advocate”, it was an absolute honour to attend his launch, interview him and read one of his chapters.

Thomas has been an absolute joy to work with from start to finish. A beautiful person, inside and out.

We had such a lovely interview and I felt so relaxed, thanks to Thomas’ easy-going manner and the comfy big yellow armchair!

HUGE congrats Thomas! You deserve every success xxx

Anything can happen in just one day

Anything can happen in just one day

There’s a wonderful quote by Gayle Forman that goes:-


“We are born in one day,

We die in one day,

We can change in one day,

We can fall in love in one day.

Anything can happen in just one day.”



This is the story of how I got my hearing back in just one day.


Monday 7th March 2022 – It was a Monday morning like any other. I had an appointment at the audiology department of Bangor Community hospital at 3pm.


I was in two minds as to whether to even attend. After all, I’m completely deaf in one ear. When I was first diagnosed at the age of ten, I was told a hearing aid wasn’t an option. To have a hearing aid, there’s needs to be some natural hearing – it’s like turning up the sound on a radio. If there’s no noise at all, there’s no volume to turn up.


The thing is, my “good” ear had been getting worse. Terrible tinnitus which flared up when I was stressed, but was ever constant. A dull, annoying buzzing. Going back to the radio analogy, it was like trying to tune an old-style radio and hearing that constant buzzing noise – when you can’t quite land on a channel.


My GP referred me to hospital. “Maybe they can do something to help the tinnitus.” I doubted it, but I thought there was no harm in trying. After all, I’m in the habit of taking things one day at a time now; learning to just turn up and see where the day takes me.


They started with some tests. I was told to put on some headphones and hold a little device. On the device was a button. Every time I heard a noise, I had to press the button.


All of a sudden, I was transported back to that time in childhood, when I was presented with the red tin can headphones and the drumstick; told to tap the table every time I heard a noise.

The audiologist started clicking buttons on her keyboard. Click, click, click. I presumed each click pre-empted a noise on the headphones. There were many times she clicked and I didn’t hear a single thing.


That must be clicks for the deaf ear, I thought.


Then the tests got harder. I was told to ignore the wind whooshing noises and only listen for the beeps. I had a fair idea I wasn’t going to get an A+ for this test!


At the end, she showed me two graphs – one of the left ear and one of the right –

or as I call it – the “good” ear and the “bad” ear.


The “good” ear screen was lit up in blue with marks scattered along the graph in a semi-circle. The marks were the points where my ear picked up the beeps.


On to the “bad” ear screen. It was lit up in red with no marks anywhere. Ultimate fail.


Then the audiologist talked to me about the tinnitus, about how to ignore it, etc, all the stuff I’ve heard before.


Just when I thought the appointment was over and it definitely was a waste of time, she piped up:


“There is something we could try.”


Her brainwave followed my musings that my deaf ear and tinnitus often made me feel socially isolated.


There were many times I had been invited out for coffee or dinner with groups and my immediate response was that I didn’t want to go. An evening of straining to hear over background noise, feeling uncomfortable if someone was trying to talk to me on my “bad” side – it all felt too exhausting and overwhelming. I would end up just coming home with a sore head rather than an evening of social relaxation.


“We could try this special hearing aid,” she declared.


Oh yeah? What’s that then? My ears (literally) pricked up.


“It’s a bi-cross hearing aid. There’s a hearing aid on the good side and then there’s a “receiver” on the bad side.


The receiver picks up the sound from the good side and mirrors it.”


What? Really? Sign me up NOW!


“That sounds great!” I said. “I’d love to try that.”


What followed was a bit of technical rigmarole – her fiddling about with her computer and settings, rigging up the hearing aid to suit my ear canal.


Then it was fitted.


I couldn’t believe it. Sitting there listening, everything sounded… SHARPER.




Like putting on a pair of glasses for the first time.


The audiologist went to my “good” side and stood in the corner. She mumbled something. I could hear her.


Then she went to my “bad” side and stood in that corner. Again, she mumbled something.




“I can hear!” I exclaimed.


“I can hear on both sides!”


She smiled. “Oh, that’s great!”


Flabbergasted, I said, “I feel like you’ve just given me a million pounds! I can hear!”

“Aww,” she said, touched by my response. What must it be like to do a routine job that is simply life changing for others?


She carried on, training me how to use my hearing aids, how to clean them, what to do if I need to order new attachments, etc. The whole time, my mind was whirring with:




I can’t believe this has happened today!






Sending me off on my merry way, she asked if I wanted to keep the hearing aids in or put them in the box.


“Oh, I’ll wear them!” I said, thanking her profusely and swinging out of her office with my new ears.


Getting in the passenger seat of the car, my friend was driving me home. Regaling him with my news, he laughed happily.


“That’s amazing!” he said.


He carried on chatting and I realized something. I didn’t have to twist in the seat to hear him. Normally, when someone’s on my “bad” side, I have to turn around to try to catch the sound. Not this time! I sat staring straight ahead, able to pick up every word. I could even hear the rustling noises of his waterproof jacket!


I tried to engage in a bit of chit-chat on the way home, but my mind kept going back to:


“I can’t believe this happened today! I can’t believe I can hear on both sides now!”


Anything can happen in just one day!

Don’t say: “What?” Say: “Pardon?”

Don't say: "What?" Say: "Pardon?"

I was ten years old when I discovered I was deaf in one ear.


You would think it would be easy to discover deafness; perhaps playing Chinese Whispers with siblings and realizing I was rubbish at it. I suppose I was too young for a guy to whisper sweet nothings and not appreciate his compliments. Instead, it was a routine hearing test at school that picked up it.


There we were, told to queue up outside a room, neatly attired in our grey uniforms. Once inside the room, I was asked to sit down at the desk and put on a pair of large, red tin-can headphones. I was also asked to pick up the drumstick that sat on the table.

I guess I must’ve looked pretty cool. Drumstick in hand, headphones on, youngest female drummer about to start gigging!

I sat, and waited. The woman across the desk peered at me over her half-moon spectacles. “Can’t you hear anything?”

I shook my head. “No, nothing.”

She looked at her colleague, a concerned expression written all over her face. I saw her twiddling the buttons on the equipment. “What about now?”

“No, nothing,” I shrugged again. I could tell I was going to flunk this test completely.

She gave me a small, folded piece of paper and asked me to hand it to my teacher.

Being the curious little child that I was, I sneakily opened the paper and read it on my way back to the classroom.

“Rose McClelland is completely deaf in her right ear.”

One tiny little piece of paper, containing such a small amount of words, that would change the trajectory of my life immensely.

I wonder how many sweet nothings I’ve missed out on. There’s nothing worse than, in the midst of a romantic gesture, to have to blurt out, “Sorry, wrong ear, what was that?”


I banjaxed my back on Boxing Day

I banjaxed my back on Boxing Day

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“Ambulance service, is the patient breathing?” 

“Yes, she’s breathing.”  

My sister was standing next to me. She was on her mobile phone making the 999 call. I was lying on the floor, my head on a pillow.


“Yes, she’s awake.”

“It’s my sister.”


By listening to her answers, I could work out what the questions were.


“No, there’s no bleeding.”

“Yes, she’s conscious.”

“It wasn’t a fall, no.”


I was lying there, just listening. I’d been there for well over an hour. It’s odd when you’re lying in that position for so long, unable to move. You start to notice the small details around you. All I could see was my sister. She was standing in front of the heater. She was wearing her work uniform – a Christmassy top and black leggings. She had good legs; very slim and shapely. How odd to notice the most bizarre details in the middle of a 999 call. You expect these things to be all blue flashing lights and mad panic but actually there was a surreal calmness.

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You might be wondering what my accident was. Perhaps some major risky occurrence. An adrenaline-fueled sports activity. A tragic car accident or a spine-chilling slice of the kitchen knife.

No, not quite. It was very simple. I was hoovering.


Who knew that housework could be so dangerous?

I bent down to scoop up some dried cat food with my hand-held hoover and *crack* – my back just went. Something snapped and I keeled over on the floor. My spine just stopped working. As though a short circuit had cut and the power refused to flow.

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I lay there on the ground, thinking that this would surely pass. A little rub of deep heat on the pain might sort it out. But I couldn’t move. I couldn’t straighten my back out and I certainly couldn’t weight bear enough to walk. I could only crawl.


So, there I was, ten o’clock on boxing day morning, crawling on all fours towards my bedroom to retrieve my phone. I waited for a while, hoping that it would pass, but forty minutes later, I still couldn’t move. I couldn’t straighten my back.


My anxious mind started to play tricks with me.

Maybe you’ll be paralysed forever.

Perhaps this is it. Perhaps your time is up.

Oh dear, well you did have good innings.

* I can be a bit of a drama queen, can you tell?


I phoned my sister. Luckily, she is a care assistant. Luckier still, she was at work and sitting next to a nurse. She put the nurse on the phone to me.


“Can you move your toes?”


“Your legs?”


“Your arms?”



Oh good, perhaps I was just a major drama queen after all and this was nothing.


“But you can’t stand up and you can’t weight bear?”


“You’re going to have to phone an ambulance.”


Oh no, really? I didn’t want to waste the ambulance time. And I didn’t want to spend a day in hospital. I had editing to do; work I wanted to get on with.


“Yes, you’re going to have to. They’ll assess you. Can you crawl to the front door to let them in okay?”


What a fabulous boxing day morning. Crawling to the front door to enable access for the paramedics.


No sooner was I off the phone to my sister, than she sent a text two minutes later: I’m on my way up x


Bless her. She was going to clock off work and take the time to drive half an hour up the road to help me.


She arrived in and saw me lying on the floor.


“Awk Rose…” her face was full of sympathy. Immediately she clicked into care assistant mode, putting a pillow under my head and fussing gently around me.


When she got off the 999 call, she said, “Right, a paramedic will be phoning you back soon. They need to determine what kind of chair to carry you out in. And you’re not allowed to eat or drink anything.”


Oh jeepers, I thought. The neighbours will be all agog. A big bulky ambulance rocking up in our quiet cul-de-sac on a lazy Boxing day morning. They’d all assume I was on the drink on Christmas day.


“And I need to put the outside light on for them so they can find us okay.” She was all biz, whizzing around the place, full of life and vitality. She whipped out a piece of paper and a pen. “Now the cats, what food do they need?”

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I relayed all the information. Soots has the tuna in spring water. The tins are in the cupboard next to the fridge. Toots has one of the Whiska pouches.

She was writing everything down dutifully.


“Right,” she nodded, all breezy. I could see why she’s a care assistant. There was no moping about here. No anxiety or fear. She brought a whiff of energetic vibrancy with her, dispelling any despondency or depression.


I heard the kettle being switched on. “Are you making yourself a cuppa?” I called. “There’s some chocolate in the cupboard if you want some.”

“No,” she said sheepishly. “I noticed you had some dishes so I’m just going to give those a wee wash.”

Bless. That was the second job I was going to do this morning. After the hoovering.


I continued to lie there, listening to her bustling around in the kitchen, washing the dishes, feeding the cats, chatting to Toots and Soots as she worked.


When she sorted the cats and the dishes and the lights for the paramedics, she was back at the heater, nursing a coffee in her hand. Her phone rang. It was the paramedics phoning back. A guy called Stephen. She passed the phone down to me.


“Hello Stephen,” I said, lying on the pillow. This wasn’t the kind of pillow-talk I expected on boxing day morning.


Stephen sounded very pleasant. He asked me another heap of questions. I think he was trying to determine if I’d had a stroke or if I was lying in a pool of blood.

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“Hmm, okay, we have two options,” he surmised, after he finished the questioning. “We can either give you gas and air and carry you out on a stretcher. Or we can phone the out-of-hours doctor and get him to give you an emergency prescription. Sounds like your back has gone into spasm and you’re going to need something to relax that.”


“What do you think is best?” I asked. Clearly, I’d lost the use of my decision-making skills as well as my back.


“I think the doctor’s prescription would be best. No point carting you into hospital if you can be comfortable at home. If you had been on your own, obviously we would have sent the ambulance out. But as your sister is able to drive and get the prescription for you, you might as well stay put.”


He was on loudspeaker and my sister could hear all this. Ruth was nodding eagerly; she was happy to do the drive to Forestside to get the script.

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“I’m just worried about you lying on the floor so long,” Stephen added. “Do you think you’ll be able to crawl on to your bed or get a bit more comfortable?”

“Yes, I’ll do that,” I replied.

When I got off the phone, Ruth helped me on to my bed. It was well seeing she’s a care assistant. Her handling and moving training came in to play. She had one arm under my armpit and another under my leg. She was manoeuvring me onto my bed and I couldn’t help but giggle. I felt about ninety-one. She started giggling too and then she let out a snort.

“You snorted!” I laughed, nose-diving onto my bed in a fit of giggles.

She pulled my duvet up around me and tucked me in.

“Jeepers, whatever they’re paying you, it’s not enough,” I told her, gratefully.

Then she was away off to get my prescription but not before she phoned my family to tell them the news.


“Get Voltorol!” my dad advised.

“You poor love!” my mum soothed.


Ruth returned shortly with the prescription and checked if I needed anything else. She brought me a glass of water with a straw and my chocolate stash.


And that was her. Away back to work again to carry on with her shift until eight o’clock that night.


I lay cosied up in bed, making calls and talking to friends about what happened.


What had happened exactly?

Well, I had to think about how I had been treating my back. My poor posture. Sitting on the bed with pillows propped up behind me; too much pressure being placed on my lower back.

I had to start thinking about solutions. Natural remedies that wouldn’t involve addictive medication.

The more I talked about it with friends, the more I learned about solutions.

Voltorol, Tiger balm, Ibuprofen, a tens machine, walking, yoga.

It’s about two weeks now since the accident. My back is much better. I can bend over and everything! I’ve even been out walking and I’ve managed to hoover the apartment successfully.

If I think back to that boxing day morning, my body told me it was about to seize up. I felt stiff and sore and thought briefly to myself that I could do with some yoga or gentle stretching.

That one quick movement was too much and my back just went into spasm. Too much lying around on Christmas day and not enough moving.

I listened to my body and I responded. I’ve been treating it with tiger balm and gentle walks. Every day I wear my tens machine which is basically a gentle massage on my back, neck or shoulders. 

Apparently, you can even fix the pads to your abdomen and let it massage your abs into a six pack. You know what they say, every cloud has a silver lining!