Remembering Shirley a year on…

Shirley Waite

19-4-1953 — 9-11-2018

Alphabet letters scatter themselves across my desk.

I tease words into shape, grow lines in perfect fit to

capture the spaces you left behind. Then rearrange

in a rhythm that remembers places we used to go.

And there you are!

In a Cafe, a book shop, the SJT,

at Woodend and Beach Hut

and a walk by the sea.

But Moira’s Den lies empty –

awaiting our next rehearsal.

Though your perfect prose needed no rehearsing.

I watch as you raise your pen, and, with a look of determination,

search your pages. Crossing out here, changing words there,

swapping sense around, conjuring new ideas.

Then, with the flourishing finish of a magician’s wand, your poem emerges

and the words flow from your lips as you recite the creation.

It becomes a beautiful thing.

I write my own words here and, as I fear,

the tear-stained page starts to rage

at the suddenness of death.

I steal the last line from your poem

to sign off and such

as I whisper to myself:

‘Miss you Qwerty. I love you very much.’

(last line from: ‘Heavenly Scrabble’ by Shirley Waite)

Perfect Sacrifice (INRI)

One hundred hearts made with loving care and sent out to one hundred artists by Untangled Threads.

The one hundred put their heart and soul into creating statements of themselves within their own concept of the WW1 heart-ship. I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination and my vision was far bigger than my ability.

However, I am a Christian and I like to provide sacred spaces for prayer and contemplation. With this in mind, my inspiration – to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of WW1 – was inspired by the analogy of sacrifice that the soldiers made for our freedom and God’s sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ, for the sake of mankind.

The significance of the heart being emptied of its sawdust represents God’s love pouring out for us at the cross of crucifixion (and the blood-shed of the soldiers). The pink scrolls (containing scripture verses) placed in the sawdust around the cross represent hope (God’s promises to mankind).

The miniature booklet that accompanies the work was created using the image from the St John’s Gospel Bible, which each soldier was issued with, to provide them the comfort of God’s promises during the war.

A copy of the prayer/contemplation booklet is free to take home with you from the exhibition and contains the following text:

‘There is no greater love than this; that a man would lay down his life for his friends.’ (paraphrase John 15v3)

A crown of thorns,

a pain-pierced side,

hands and feet impaled;

the blood poured from his body

as his precious love unveiled.

(Julie Fairweather)

‘Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.’ (1 John 4:11-12)

Brothers and Sisters,

when we are stripped of our selves,

of our expectations

and others’ expectations

of what we are or should be,

God’s grace will flow down

into our empty vessels

and fill us with the love He intended

for His purpose. His plan.

Not mine. Not yours.

Then God’s glory will shine from within us

to radiate this love we have received

and Mankind will rejoice in knowing

they are in the presence of love

because love is the essence of us.

(Julie Fairweather)

INRI: The sign used to mock Jesus at his crucifixion “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” would have been written, “Iesus Nazarenes Rex Iudaeorum.” Abbreviated, this phrase results in “INRI.” (John 19:19)

Replica WWI Active Service Saint John’s Gospels available free here.


Plotting Shed Charity Gala Night

in aid of

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Sunday 27th November 2016 at 7.15 pm. Doors 6.30 pm.

A gala charity evening of poetry, story, song and more…

to celebrate the works of the 26 local authors of Plotting Shed

Compèred by Heather Ayckbourn and Felix Hodcroft

More info:


THE PLOTTING SHED                                                  COMPILED AND EDITED BY DAVID B. LEWIS

A glass of wine or soft drink included in the ticket price on arrival and the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The format will be cabaret style seating at tables with candles and nibbles and an informal atmosphere. The book will of course be on sale at the special show price on the night. A promotional film launch will take place in the upstairs foyer area before the main event and will run on a loop on a screen during the interval and after the show.

Ticket price: £10 – Under 15 £5



If you can’t make the evening please consider pledging your support on Kickstarter.

You will be helping local writers and helping the world by spreading Creative Writing to the parts most writers never reach.

All you have to do is pledge £10 plus the p and p fee as stated according to where you are in the world and that’s it until 28th November when, if the fundraiser is successful, Plotting Shed will automatically have the money transferred into its account. You will receive your pledge order asap after that. If the fundraiser is not successful nothing else happens.

Contemplating a Eulogy

Life events have a timely way of usefulness for the occasional ‘read and share’ evenings at Scarborough Writers’ Circle, where I am a member. A recent topic was ‘Famous Last Words’ and I decided to take this performance piece I’d written along with me. If I say so myself, I felt it was much more entertaining when performed for the ear rather than a read through from the page. (I’ll try and pop a sound file on soon for you to judge that for yourself but meanwhile feel free to read out loud this tongue-in-cheek piece yourself.)

Sorry folks this piece of writing has been removed as it has been submitted for publication.

A Clean Sweep

In the dark, dead blackness of the night, the three weird sisters will loom over you – their menacing human forms shift-shaping into familiars until they become the birds caught on the wire. They will hang out your secrets like dirty washing and you will find yourself entwined in the carcasses, pitted black feathers will spit out a stream of accusations at you. Your senses will be tormented and twisted as they are wrapped around the wire in a tight knot. There will be no escape. You will be a lost soul, disintegrating and disregarded – trapped between two worlds. Their world and yours. Without a prayer to soothe the savage beasts. You may dare to ask for hope from the dark, dead blackness of your conscience-cluttered neglect, but there is no silver lining here – there never was. The birds have taken your memories and left them balancing on the wire – tarred with dark feathers from your past – in a reversal of fate, as a final act of atonement.

A Personal Response to Bird on a Wire
current exhibition by mixed media artist Marion Atkinson (Scarborough)

Don’t miss it!

(Title of this Response has been taken from Marion’s Exhibition)

 PS there is a lot of hope portrayed in the exhibition – check out the prayer flags on your way in and out… the three crows with prayers inside their wings. Fabulous!


Waves and Wishes

My thoughts keep me company and comfort me as their sounds echo through the mist. A thick, woollen jumper holds me together as I trudge through the wet sand in fur-lined wellington boots. I’m walking blindfold through fog. I sense the thing I lost long ago calling out to me in the blindness, coming towards me, covered in black shadows. An outstretched hand holds an ancient key, beckoning me. I walk to the water’s edge to meet the stranger, not caring about the potential danger of its secret. The shadows disappear and all that’s left is the vast emptiness that is the sea, calling me to a place that was once my home. But I am deaf to its plea and want to stay here, keeping the secret warm in my memory. So, every night I sit round a blazing fire with my fingerless-gloved hands wrapped around a mug of scalding Yorkshire tea, thinking how quickly I got used to the hard water here. It was too soft where I came from. My skin was so thin then that it hurt when people looked at me. I have new friends now. I can never go back. I’d be an outsider if I turned up uninvited at the place I once called home.

2014-02-25 whitby 9Waves and Wishes Workshop, Scarborough Flare Festival 2014

The Postcard Challenge (post Festival)

It was like whizzing through a whirlwind in a hurricane for me… spinning from event to event… being grounded again when I was placed firmly back in my place at The Postcard Challenge. There I met a novel of people… characters of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, displaying a vivid variety of personalities. I invited and encouraged each one to create a postcard of a moment that had taken their breath away during the festival period.

Attached is my interim report until I present my slide show for you to view… and relive those breathtaking moments…  or for those who were not there, to experience the breathtaking moments for the first time.

with love, Julie

Scarborough Flare Thoughts