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Thursday Connectors: New Beginnings And Moving On

By Farzana Hakim

Hi, all. It’s Farzana here with you, for another fantastic Thursday Connectors.

Last week it was my favourite day of the year. Yep, you’ve guessed it right: 14 February. No, not for it being red rose, Valentine’s Day, but for it being my birthday! This year, I was spoiled rotten; not only by my family, but by myself too. I splurged out and completely changed my bedroom décor.

I went all out. And honestly, I didn’t feel one ounce of guilt because I absolutely love the new colour scheme and new bits of furniture and bedding!

My motto this year was ‘out with the old and in with the new’ anyway, so, I’m living up to it quite well.

Oh gosh, who am I kidding here? It’s only been a week since and it hasn’t been easy converting to the new silky, satiny bedsheets at all. I’ve been a Dunelm Mill’s 100% cotton sleeper since forever and the feel of the new fabric isn’t doing all that for my sleep, to be honest. I’m not adjusting too well to the dark navy colour either, having had neutral curtains and bedding for years. The new lampshade is far too bright and my older ones went for ten pounds each on Facebook’s Market Place, so I can’t change my mind and bring them back. The new velvet curtains are fancy and luxurious but I swear I feel like I’m in a hotel room and not in my cosy bedroom any more!

My husband, on the other hand, thinks I’m being silly, as he loves it! It’s more minimalist, that’s why. Gone is my bookshelf and gone is my cluttered make-up and scarf corner. I’ve sent the bookshelf and books and paper and folders to the attic, and the scarves have been reduced greatly in number, while the rest were given to the charity shop. And my make-up is still in a carrier bag in the passage outside my room and I’m thinking where the heck am I supposed to put it!

Am I moaning? I guess I am. But please believe me, I do really like the new décor and the modern, fresh and clean look of my new room. Nevertheless, although it might take some time, I’ll adapt.

On this theme, our Connectors this month are about new beginnings, which can sometimes mean dealing with a loss. I have a wonderful mixture of writing today. Some telling me about loss of pets or loved ones, others telling me about finding new love and some, even,  telling me about hope and letting go.

I hope you enjoy these colourful and sentimental Connectors as much as I did.



First up is a poem from Sebastian Elanko, which I totally loved.

Hi, Sebastian. Let’s connect:

Beginning Of Love

Colourful halo circled around my head,
The nights lengthened like an endless thread.
People noticed the sparkling in my eyes,
I woke up with dreams before sunrise.
The world suddenly became meaningful,
Even droning of the traffic became cheerful.
My restless heart began to beat fast,
Cupid’s arrow had spelled the joyful cast.
Emotions heightened inside me without limit,
Lifted my body and soul high up to the hilt.
Even the thunder became music to my ears,
Thoughts made my eyes fill with joyful tears.
Panic and joy colluded with each other,
Conquered my own kingdom altogether.
It was not long for me to comprehend,
Love had become my best friend.

© Sebastian Elanko, 2024


Secondly, we connect with Rachel Umoh,  a rehabilitation practitioner and mental health advocate. I could relate to her words right away and I’m sure you’ll be gripped too!

Hi, Rachel. Let’s connect:

Love At Second Sight

In this umbrella,
I share my head with his:
I want to talk about this,
listen! you wouldn’t want to miss
the sweet tale of mine and his,
That thing, the tale of a weird kind of feel.

How could I not have felt this way?
At first sight the butterflies didn’t sway,
at the second it was magic all the way,
Love in the unusual way,
That magic, the tale of a weird kind of feel.

It is weird because we didn’t set out straight,
not on the wrong foot rather not with hate,
Ask me, indifference I would say.
I can feel it now, this union should not be delayed,
That union, the tale of a weird kind of feel.

© Rachel Afflong Umoh, 2024

You can connect with Rachel on Instagram: @umoh_rachel and on X: @UmohRachel


Now, our Connectors take on a more sombre note. These come with a trigger warning, as there is mention of loss and bereavement.

First up is Madeleine, whose poem is so sentimental and very personal.


Hi, Madeleine. Let’s connect:

White Shadows

In memory of Shiloh, RIP July 12th, 2020

Go find a white hebe
Hold it close
Stroke it with fingertips
It will feel like my nose.

Next Spring find a catkin
Hold it near
Touch your lips to the furry down
You’ll be nuzzling my ears.
Go catch a white feather
Then let it fly
And as white shadows the green, green grass
You’ll hear my hooves thunder by

Go watch a raindrop
It will reflect your blue eyes
In them you’ll see mine.
Dark rings, azure skies.

I am the cloud that passes
I am the breath that lingers
I am the white shadow
That flits through your mind.
I didn’t leave you behind.

Where I have gone you will come
Where I am now you will be
We’ll rest together, you and I
Under an apple tree.

© Madeleine F White, 2020


Next, we have a heartfelt piece from Claire Buckle, who recently said goodbye to her dog Phoebe and is bravely sharing her memory with us here.

Hi, Claire. Let’s connect:

For Phoebe

This house holds its breath, as though awaiting your return
the back door stays locked, the floor pristine
raindrops on the window mirror my tears
in the garden only shadows move
I yearn for one more day with you and
chase memories of us walking on the beach,
watching you run for the ball and swim.
In these hushed moments I imagine you beside me,
sleeping in your basket as I write.
The rain continues, erasing the prints of your nose on the glass
but nothing will wash away the imprints you have left on my heart.

© Claire Buckle, 2024


And now for some flash fiction. Thomas Nixon has sent in two different stories which reflect on our theme perfectly.

Hi, Thomas. Let’s connect:


I remember when he told me he was set to deploy. He walked up to me and said, “Dad, I’m going,” and I could tell we weren’t talking ‘bout Hawaii.

It wasn’t that long after Owen got shipped back. Louie had just graduated, top of his class.

I was too goddamn proud, I guess. I should’ve told him, “Louie, we need you here. I need you. Your Mom needs you. Our town needs you.”

Instead, I told him to go kick some ass. I told him to make Owen proud.

It’ll always hurt, but at least I know my boys are together now.

© Thomas Nixon, 2024


After The War

We cancelled the festival when the first cross was planted. Fathers, husbands, brothers, all absent with collective reason; both unfair and completely logical. Except for their wives. Their sisters. Their sons and their daughters.

There’ll be no gatherings around the fire tonight; the only hymns will be those sung in solidarity. Prayers reserved for ‘Peace On Earth,’ granted in the cruellest ways imaginable.

While cities across the country celebrate, our towns mourn, not for our known losses, but for our doomed harvests, our empty streets. And for our children, whose sacrifices commence the moment their fathers are surrendered to the Earth.

© Thomas Nixon, 2024


That’s all for February. I hope you enjoyed the Connectors as much as I did. Next month, for Women’s Empowerment Month, I’m doing a menopause special and am looking forward to your submissions. Please send and share with me your experiences and your dilemmas and how you’ve overcome them during this often stressful (and painful) milestone of our lives.

See you again soon!


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All our Connectors this month are about new beginnings, which can sometimes mean dealing with a loss.