Physiotherapy Has Kept Me Going (even during #lockdown)

Samantha Henthorn Author talks about her experiences of living with MS

Hello everyone!

A while ago, I promised to start talking about my experiences of living with MS. The series of posts was going to be called ‘If You Love It So Much, Why Don’t You Marry It?’ *

However, this post is a positive post about how I have managed to keep going in the 15 years since diagnosis (so I have changed the title for this one).

I have been really lucky during the lockdown because my physiotherapist has adapted and is providing sessions by Skype. You might not think these work as well, but they do! One to one sessions prevent me from moving my limbs incorrectly (which I think can stop the exercise from working and sometimes can lead to aches and pains later). My physiotherapist has brilliant observational skills and can spot a slumped shoulder or a sagging hip – even from behind the screen. Anna has worked on my core, balance and strengthening muscles that (I think) will help me keep on my feet. I can’t tell you what the exercises are – I am writing this post to tell you my experience that physiotherapy has worked for me more than anything else.

Poor motivation has been a real problem for lots of people I know during the lockdown, including me but physiotherapy has kept me going. I have got a few bits and pieces of gym equipment at home because I use the advice I have been given each month and do a bit of physio-designed exercise every morning.

positive pregnant women during exercise with fit ball in gym
Photo by Gustavo Fring on

Look there is a picture of me doing my exercises! (NOT REALLY LOL!)

I haven’t taken any photos obviously during my remote appointments with my physiotherapist, Anna because I am busy paying attention and moving my limbs…


SP Therapy Services, Bury | Physiotherapists - Yell SP Therapy Services in Bury town centre. If you live in the Bury area and have a neurological condition, I think SP Therapy Services can really help you.

I usually attend Hydrotherapy once a week, this has really helped, my physiotherapist put me on to this. I can’t even swim and am not confident in the water but the benefits far outweigh the… I don’t know how to describe it actually – I think I am frightened of letting go of the side and lying on my back. However, lots of people told me that I seemed much better for trying hydrotherapy. And I am actually missing it!

I used to do seated yoga for people with mobility problems that was really good. Obviously, these activities are not on at the moment because of lockdown. Better to be safe.

During the time I have had MS

Strategies to manage the condition have popped up. And, at times I have been asked why I’m not taking CBD oil (because it doesn’t treat the symptoms I have). Or, why I am not following a strict diet… I have nothing against nutrition therapy, good for you if they work. I did try the diet and I felt great for a short period. Then I had several really bad relapses including the one that made me lose my job. That is just what happened to me.

Instead of being told what I should do, I want to ask something:

Are you doing physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is the one thing that has consistently kept me going for the past fifteen years. When I started going to the physiotherapist that I still attend now, I could not bear to lift my head up straight without a sensation of hot pins and needles shooting through my neck. Because my head was permanently slumped to the side, this affected my posture. The knock-on effect of this was a nasty, achy pain just under my left collar bone. Although there is no cure for MS, I have been cured of pain in that specific part of me. But there are always little niggly things that crop up because of my condition. Blurred vision and sensitivity to light can affect my posture because I hide from the light. I am slightly weaker on one arm and one leg. I can’t stand up for long, I feel like I need to lean on something or sit down (urgently). I walk with a stick outside because I feel like I need something to lean on. I feel dizzy in wide-open spaces. Too much distance and I use a scooter. The benefits of physiotherapy are longterm. They are not a quick fix but for me, this works better than anything else.

I don’t mind putting a bit of work in to stay well because:

Before MS, I used to run ten miles per week.

I started running during my late twenties to try and improve my health. I was surprised how well I took to it, although I never saw much of a speed improvement I did feel better after a run. However, I was diagnosed with MS just before my thirtieth birthday and everything changed. I didn’t stop running immediately but I noticed that I didn’t get the ‘good feeling’ after a run anymore. Plus I fell over a few times. Cut my knee and wet myself. When I started to try and find a way to look forwards, I searched for a way that I could physically move – to make myself feel better. Physiotherapy has achieved this for me (even though I am shattered afterwards and have a lie-down!)

I have never had much stamina. I remember growing up I always felt weaker than all the other children in school. PE in the 1980s included ‘picking teams’. I was always picked last.

group of woman playing on green field during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on

I couldn’t catch I couldn’t throw and I wasn’t much better at running. I was a weakling!

Then, during my twenties, I had multiple periods of sick leave from work. I was a staff nurse and then a ward sister. It seemed I picked up every bug going. I cringe now at having to ring in sick. It was embarrassing and eventually, I was asked ‘Is there a problem?’ The only problem was, I think stress was playing a part in my poor health. Nursing can be a great job…

woman throwing confetti
Photo by Joshua Mcknight on

It can also be a physically draining job.

Now I don’t have a job, I was retired on ill-health in 2014. But I have an occupation. Number one is keeping myself as well as possible. I cannot thank my physiotherapist for all the help over all the years.

Number two is writing… I write this blog and I write books. I am an independent author with eight titles available on Amazon. If you want to find out a bit more about that then sign up for my mailing list: or follow this blog!

Thank you for reading this post on my experience of living with MS, I think next time I talk about MS I will talk about why I use a walking stick. Happy reading and stay safe, Samantha xx

*The reason for the title ‘If You Love It So Much, Why don’t You Marry It?’ is I am not keen on being asked questions about MS when I am socialising. It does my head in. You wouldn’t ask someone who’s got asthma if they are still taking their inhalers, would you? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care who knows I’ve got MS and I don’t mind being asked how I am, as you would ask anyone.  BUT stupid questions about ‘How does my scooter fit in my car?’ and ‘Are you on benefits?’ I find intrusive and are not helpful!


I wrote these books

978-1717745552Curmudgeon Avenue Book TWoEdna and Genevieve (1)Add a heading (2)51fgIVSsMiLAdd a heading

Scan_20170731What we did during lockdown (1)

What’s in a (Character) Name? #GuestPost Alex Cavanagh, poet. #FacebookPage

Hello and thank you for joining me for this month’s ‘writerly rambling’ post. IT’S THE MOMENT THE BURY MASSIVE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR -ALEX CAVANAGH. Today, I am honoured to be joined by Alex Cavanagh, poet. He uses his Facebook page words From Within -a page of spontaneous poetry by Alex Cavanagh to showcase his words!

As a huge fan, I asked Alex why all of his poems are untitled – I am interested in titles and being fascinated with naming characters, his lyrical response blew my mind: 

‘That’s my thing’ Alex said. 

Speaking of having your mind blown, here are a few snippets from Alex’s page – do pay him a visit. 

Hidden beneath my beaming smile,
Is sadness and pain once in a while,
My eyes are filled with the light of life,
But I’m hiding something amidst my strife,
The room is filled with family or friends,
But I’m so lonely there’s things I can’t mend,
For the inner demons claw at my soul,
I grasp the grass climb away from the hole,
I’m successful and clever and loved by all,
I’m big and bold but inside I’m small,
I have children, success, and I know who I am,
But occasionally I don’t give a dam,
About life or love or meaningful things,
About whatever this cloudy day will bring,
I slip away from norm and into a pit,
Deep in my head I don’t give a shit,
A darker place with hate, envy and fear,
I don’t want to be there but don’t want to be here,
People around me just smile and walk by,
Inside I cry out for them to come and say hi,
Please take a second for wounds are best bled,
Never judge anyone till you walked a mile in their head.
So look out for people, never be afraid to ask,
Before it’s too late and they lose their grasp.                       (Copyright Alex Cavanagh 2019)


So I whisper in her ear don’t be sad and don’t be down,
For there is nothing more soothing than your lovers sound,
Her woes and troubles seem to fade away,
And from a cloudy start comes a wonderful day,
We get dressed and talk and share a kiss,
These are the moments so easy to miss.

We hold hands and walk down the road of life,
Trusting each other and sharing the strife,
We make love and a family and somewhere to rest,
And we grow this and shape this and expect nothing less,
A bond that comes from the beginning of time,
A old deep feeling that’s yours and mine,
For nearly all people this is their wish,
These are the moments so easy to miss,

So don’t waste a minute of this wonderful gift,
And whenever life gets hard there’s always a lift,
From your lover or brother or sister or friend,
And whatever the problem share it and mend,
Take your time and invest in the people you love,
Don’t get pushed down, embrace them and together rise above,
For days are sometimes dark but the light will shine through,
Love you fellow humans and in turn they will love you,

Copyright Alex Cavanagh 2019


Such is the day with no start and no end..
A day born from nothing
spent with a friend…
A day with no wind when the trees have no whisper…
A day spent with parents, brother and sister..
A day on your own with the wind in your hair..
A day of joy and love, life take me there.

Copyright Alex Cavanagh 2019.

I’m drowning amongst the memes and the trash,
Not surfing any more just navigating #,
What is real, what is contrived,
What isn’t true and what’s been derived,
Who are the rich and who is deprived,

Is it clickbait or lose weight or PPI,
Is it missing cat on the island of Skye,
How many likes did my lunch get,
Checking frantically not eaten it yet,
I’ve tagged myself and nobody cares,
I’m sure they’re active but no ones aware,
That even though I’m here with my wife,
I need everybody to follow my life,
For if I’m not noticed and fall down the list,
Whilst I’m here living do I really exist,

So I refresh the page about ten times a min,
Looking for something to please my within,
Hoping that people are following me,
And that all my friends and family can see,
That my days are filled with laughter and fun,
Whist wearing gym clothes but never a run,

There’s a message in here, but I don’t know what,
I’m here for is likes , but not trending hot,
I’m pissed off with the world but that’s all I’ll say,
You’ll have to DM me it’s the only way,
Then I’ll tell you my story without glamour and
And you can meet the real me without all the shit !!

copyright Alex Cavanagh 2019.

There you have it! Titles are not always needed (despite my thoughts in previous posts). I do think that novels need titles though – otherwise we would get awfully mixed up! I expect you’ll want to read more of Alex’s poems, don’t forget to click the link in pink above and follow his page! (All words shared with permission). I recently attended Alex’s in-laws’ birthday party, Alex spent all of four minutes writing a poem which he performed on stage there and then. Looking forward to future spoken-word appearances by Alex

See you same time next month for an illustrated bee story and a special Scottish treat – Happy reading, Samantha xx




The Harold and Edith Adventures are on NetGalley during December!

Book two of the Curmudgeon Avenue series ‘The Harold and Edith Adventures’ is on NetGalley during December. Or you can get it here

Curmudgeon Avenue is about a Victorian house in Whitefield, Manchester that does not like it’s new owners. By book two, love is in the air between Harold and Edith, Edith’s sister Edna is missing, presumed living in France, and Ricky Ricketts is continuing his entanglement with on/off devotee, Wantha. Things take a turn for the worse, when a tall, dark and smartly dressed man starts prowling around the street.

A fun filled comedy drama that will lift your mood and make you smile!

Happy reading, Samantha


The Harold and Edith Adventure. Curmudgeon Avenue Book Two, an uplifting read!

When Harold and Edith left Curmudgeon Avenue that morning to go food shopping, Edith’s round dinner plate face was full of love and admiration for Harold and the day was the same colour as the sky; white, bright soft and fluffy.

Available here

Available hereharold and edith 17th sep 300

Free Chapter of The Harold and Edith Adventures (Curmudgeon Avenue Book Two) – out soon!

DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAILA few hours later, they rolled into the campsite ‘Filey Sunny Farm’ someone had vandalised the sign and it now read ‘Filey Funny Farm’. It was filled mostly with caravans. Harold had bought the tent, he had seen it advertised on a card in the window of the corner shop. Mrs Ali had been very helpful. Being naturally nosy she was able to tell Harold that the tent had come from a ‘Very nice family’ it was going to be a special treat for Edith. The tent was like a big orange monster. Harold spread it out on the grass, Edith had to stand on it whilst Harold messed about with all the bits and pieces. The orange monster did not come with instructions, or an inner lining. The front of it had plastic see through windows. Harold and Edith could see out, and everyone could see in. To make matters worse, when Harold got the blow up mattress out of the car his face changed ‘Blast’ he said.
‘What’s up Harold? Come and sit on the deck chair and have a lemonade’ Edith was getting into the swing of it, she had her plastic sunglasses on. Harold did sit on the deckchair whilst he blew up the mattress. He was blue in the face. It did not take long however, because he had accidently brought the SINGLE blow up mattress.
Due to the pheasant incident, the loss of the anorak. The orange monster and the single blow up mattress. Harold had no choice but to take Edith out for a romantic evening meal. The local pub had a ‘buy one get one free’ offer on. If you wanted to take advantage of this, you had to order off a special menu. Edith did not mind though, Harold was taking her out on a date. She wore the bias cut silk floral dress, Harold’s anniversary present to her. Harold had his camping gear on, anorak and trousers and many zips. They sat in the back room of the pub. Babycham Barbara was a distant memory. There was not even a mention of a ‘how to become famous’ idea. Edith looked at Harold, they were married now and should have no secrets. No Clandestine ambitions hidden away under the stairs. It was going dark outside the barmaid came over lighting tea lights on the surrounding tables. Edith went for it and shared her secret ambition with Harold.
‘It’s not just our Edna that can draw you know. I have ideas of my own, Harold about how I can get into painting. I could paint the favourite part of a children’s book, you know for expectant mothers. Then the baby can have this hanging in their nursery.. with their mum’s favourite picture from her favourite book. You know, for the baby!’ Edith’s shoulders lifted in pride. There was a long, pompous pause. Edith worried she had said too many words for one sentence. Harold’s head started to wobble slowly, he was not saying anything. Edith went on to explain further.
‘I had a painting of a Chinese dragon on my bedroom wall when I was a little girl. I wouldn’t have had as many nightmares if it was a painting of Cinderella, or something’ Edith’s fingers played with her collarbone ‘That’s what gave me the idea’
‘You won’t be able to do that Edith, no! You’ll get done for copyright law’ Harold took a gulp from his pint glass ‘No no Edith, you can forget that one’.There you go again, Harold, pissing on Edith’s chips.
Edith, whilst finding Harold’s knowledge rather stifling stroked the side of her neck. ‘Oh’ she said ‘Well perhaps I will write off to some of those TV shows, and see if I can’t win me some money!’ Edith sipped her wine defiantly, she had not bargained that her painting venture was foolish. Harold’s head was wobbling out of control, he sniffed and swallowed.
‘Ha! No more wine for you Edith!’ Harold snatched Edith’s glass away from her and put it to the other side of him on the table ‘I don’t know what’s got into you!’ Harold was laughing out loud, laughing at Edith. Who was now deflated on the pub chair next to him.
‘Well, thank goodness I married you, Harold’ Edith said ‘I’d make a show of myself without you, stopping me from doing things’
The waitress, lighting a tea-light on the next table nearly burnt herself, because she was listening in to the way the two newlyweds were bickering like an old married couple. With it being the hottest summer on record, Britain was due a storm. Humidity wanted rain to shake things up a bit, sure enough, when Harold and Edith were ready to leave the pub, the heavens opened and the clouds burst. Edith was wet through, right to her floral knickers. Fortunately they had no trouble finding the tent. Moonlight and neighbouring caravan lights enabled them to manage the tent zip. Once inside the tent, they had the difficult task of unpeeling their rain soaked clothes, whilst trying not to get the bedding wet. Harold turned on the torch, this was the same torch belonging to Curmudgeon Avenue that he had swiped from the under-stairs cupboard. It would not turn off. Harold fiddled about with it, and it started flashing. It still would not switch off! Harold and Edith spent the first night of their honeymoon squashed on to the single blow up mattress, next to a pile of wet clothes waiting for the flashing torch to run out of batteries, in full view of their campsite neighbours on account of the transparent tent panels. At least neither of them were in the mood… Harold suggested sleeping ‘top to tail’ this was a difficult decision for Edith. Harold’s breath? Or Harold’s feet in her face? I should imagine they will probably be home before the week was out.
The next morning, the rain had stopped and sure enough, the sun was drying the nylon fabric of the orange monster. The sky was blue. It was about 5.30am. Edith skipped off to the shower cubicles. Harold did not need to walk to the facilities, he had used a plastic carrier bag instead of the toilet. ‘Don’t tell Edith!’ he chuckled to himself, when he tied up the most disgusting poo bag known to man… ‘Flippin’ ‘eck! How big’s your dog?!’ Someone said, when Harold put it in the bin, he turned away without answering, disgusting AND rude, well done Harold. When Edith returned she was dressed in her hot pink hot pants. Harold was now sat in one of the deck chairs. ‘Blimey!’ he said winking at Edith. She’s a bit past towelling knickers he thought to himself. Harold fiddled about with the camping stove. Eventually he managed to get one single flame. ‘Ow!’ Harold jumped back in his deckchair. ‘We’re cooking on gas now, Edith! You leave it to Harold!’ The flame reminded Edith of the Bunsen burners in the science class at school. A girl in the year before her, Dorothy Hillcock had badly singed her hair, just on one side. The sight of flame coloured hair, the smell of singed human, had haunted the chemistry master for years. He was very strict after that incident, Edith remained fearful of anything that involved flames. Therefore for the duration of the camping honeymoon, Edith could only have a cup of tea when Harold wanted to make her one. This was not very often, but thank goodness for Harold protecting her from the dangerous camping stove. Edith made herself busy by hanging the previous night’s damp clothes on a makeshift washing line strung between the car and the tent, as all good camping holiday makers know how. Harold’s socks, however, were not only damp with rain.
A few hours into the morning, people started to come out of their caravans to the smell of bacon, and the sound of wood pigeons and children screaming at each other. The couple in the campervan opposite were the last to surface. A smell more from  Ricky Ricketts’ world than Harold and Edith’s permeated the surrounding area, along with the sound of heavy metal music. A slim woman who appeared twenty years younger than the man playfully poked him out of the way and skipped off to the shower block. This was all under the watchful eye of the deck chaired Harold and Edith. The man nodded over in their direction. ‘Mornin.’ Edith mouthed a ‘Hello’ she waved, and whispered to Harold ‘What did he say?’The man popped inside his vanand turned his speaker down. Harold had already shook out yesterday’s newspaper and was holding it in front of his face. Edith had forgotten her book, and had nothing to do but people watch. She could not think of anything to say to the man, who was wearing a faded muscle vest with a skull and crossbones printed on it. Edith was finding the silence difficult. Fortunately the woman returned from the shower block. She was wearing a denim skirt, a cowboy hat and had a tattoo of flowers and butterflies that climbed from her big toe, up her foot, around her knee and disappeared under her skirt. All under the watchful eye of Edith’s plastic sunglasses, and, underneath Harold’s newspaper that he now raised higher than his head. He flicked the left corner of the paper to get Edith’s attention, he whispered ‘People shouldn’t wear cowboy hats, not unless they’re a bloody cowboy!’
The caravan couple could be heard sharing their merriment, apparently Bill had forgotten to remind Denise to wear her wellington boots to the shower block. And as a result her feet were all muddy, even though she had just had a shower… ‘Amateurs!’ Harold huffed.
‘Well, they don’t look like amateurs, Harold, look at the size of their campervan!’
After half an hour of boredom, Harold decided to treat Edith to a walk along the front. They had an ice-cream cone each. Then it happened. A passing seagull took a shine to Edith’s 99 cone and tried to swipe it from her hand. Harold, being Harold scooped Edith’s ice-cream away, eating both their cones in one mouthful. Then, it what appeared to be revenge, the seagull made a mess on Edith’s blouse. Harold spat on a tissue and tried to wipe it off, but it was no good. Edith’s blouse was ruined, just like her wedding dress had been after the champagne flute incident.
‘Muck for luck’ the woman in the souvenir shop said. As Edith tried on a replacement tourist t-shirt. Harold had said exactly the same thing. Edith did not feel lucky however, Harold had forgotten his wallet. So Edith had to pay for everything. Harold said it ‘made no difference because they were married now’, what have you done Edith! She hoped they would be home before the week was out. On the way back to their tent, Edith popped to the toilets. She bumped into the campervan woman, Denise.
‘Oh hiya! I hope we weren’t making too much noise for you last night!’ The woman was drying her hands on about twenty paper towels ‘I think it’s my Bill going deaf in his old age’ Denise winked at Edith, and for her the conversation was over. She was simply passing pleasantries. But for Edith, who liked to talk, this was an open invitation to chat.
‘OOh I like your tattoos’ Edith lied, she was now following Denise out of the prefabricated bathroom ‘Aren’t you worried you’ll look silly in your old age though?’
Denise raised an eyebrow, and looked Edith up and down. To her Edith was the silly looking one in her plastic sunglasses, hot pink hot pants and Filey t-shirt. Denise smiled underneath her cowboy hat.
‘Well, a lot of people have tattoos nowadays. And anyway, I’ll probably be wearing long trousers when I’m older’ Denise had made Edith glance down at her own cerise coloured shorts.
When the two women reached their respective locations they found Harold and Bill bonding over Harold’s Bunsen burner stove. Harold was treating Bill to an unnecessary lecture in camping snobbery. Bill winked at Denise.
‘I’ve invited Harold and his missus to us tonight for a barbeque’ Bill said to Denise ‘You don’t mind do you love?’
‘No I suppose that’s ok’ Edith answered. Bill was not asking Edith, and shared a secret laugh with Denise. Harold gave Edith his smug ‘free food’ eyebrow wiggle face. ‘Oh Harold! Where are your socks?’ Edith berated ‘Oh, he does make a show of me sometimes!’ Edith turned to Denise, in a weird kind of ‘we girls must stick together against our smelly footed menfolk’ kind of way. Denise didn’t know what to do with this information, she knew that ‘anything goes in Filey’ but this bloke Harold’s feet stunk! There was only one thing for it, ‘Well, we might as well start now, nothing better than a drink in the afternoon, eh?’ Denise nudged Edith. She cracked open a can of cider and poured some in a plastic tumbler for Edith, drinking the rest straight out of the can in two gulps herself, you can hardly blame her, with all that foot odour about. Speaking of which, a long-haired dachshund was zooming towards Harold’s feet as fast as its little legs could carry it, followed by its Jack Russell friend, who appeared to be aiming straight for Edith’s makeshift washing line. ‘BISCUIT! BISCUIT!’ A teenage girl was shouting at both dogs, but it was too late, they ignored her and before Harold could protect himself, the dachshund was licking Harold’s feet (and sniffing his crotch), and the Jack Russell had pulled both of his socks from the washing line. ‘Hey!’ Harold jumped up, knocking cans of beer over whilst Edith fussed around trying to retrieve the smelly socks. But there was no escape, Harold fell over and both dogs were licking his feet as though their life depended on it. Bill and Denise sat their calmly, as the teenage girl caught up with the scene, her dad was not far behind. ‘Are both your dogs called biscuit then?’ Bill said to the out of breath man – teenage girl had joined in with Harold, Edith and the dogs. ‘No, but they re-call to ‘biscuit’, usually, unless something really pungent catches their nose’
‘Pardon?’ Said Harold, returning to his original deckchair, with one dog in-situ on his left foot, and one hole filled sock in his hand. ‘Please call your dog off, sir!’
Denise and Bill were laughing their heads off.
‘Come here girl, what’s your problem mate, they weren’t doing any harm!’ Out of breath man said.
‘I’m sorry, I just had a bad experience with a dog once, ended up getting me the sack, it did!’
‘Well, where’s your dog?’
‘We haven’t got a dog’
‘Are you sure, I saw you putting that massive poo-bag in the dog bin this morning’
Bill and Denise’s heads were rotating back and forth like tennis spectators, ending in Harold’s direction, who could do nothing but ignore this accusation of massive poo-bag dumping. Those poor dog lovers would always have the memory of their two adored pooches licking Harold’s smelly feet in Filey.
The rest of that afternoon and following evening could have been named ‘When Harold and Edith got stoned’ but they had no idea what happened to them for the next few hours. Bill and Denise certainly knew how to loosen people up. With their heavy metal music, their caravan barbeque. Their endless supply of warm cider and conversation. Before Harold and Edith knew it, they were sampling Bill’s ‘funny fags’
‘Just a little bit’ Denise persuaded ‘You might as well, you’re on your honeymoon!’
‘Don’t mind if I do!’ said Edith who thought she could get away with anything in Filey ‘Smells just like my son and his girlfriend!’ And not wanting to be out done by his bride, Harold also accepted the hospitality. Harold and Edith could not remember much about the next few hours. Edith was telling Denise about her paintings for nursery’s idea. Denise thought it was brilliant, and that Edith should do it immediately. Edith made Denise promise not to tell anyone in case they stole the idea. Harold was telling Bill about the Road kill incident. Harold became great friends with Bill very quickly that afternoon. They spoke about miscarriages of justice, unlawful dismissal, and black pudding throwing competitions. Between them, Harold and Bill had some great ideas on ‘how to become famous’ Harold should have written them down at the time. The following morning, it was Bill and Denise’s time to go home. With foggy heads, Harold and Edith waved them off. Phone numbers and promises to visit had been exchanged.
Harold and Edith never saw Bill and Denise again.


copyright Samantha Henthorn 2018

Chapter from the forthcoming Harold and Edith Adventures (Curmudgeon Avenue Book two).DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL

Book one ‘Curmudgeon Avenue: The Terraced House Diaries’ available Here


Publication Day! Curmudgeon Avenue (The Terraced House Diaries : Book One)

On the day this all started, the sky was full of August apologies for a summer undelivered.

DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAILWell, you are all probably sick of the sight of me harping on about my book ‘Curmudgeon Avenue’ It’s out today and is desperately seeking readers.

Synopsis: On the day this all started, the sky was full of August apologies for a summer undelivered. When a four storey Victorian house in Whitefield takes a disliking to its new owners, it starts narrating a diary about the intertwined lives of sisters Edna and Edith. They could not be more different if they tried. Edith cannot help bumping into ex partners of Edna’s. First there was Maurice, you will not believe what happened with him, then when Edith is heartbroken and vulnerable she meets the notable Harold. But things change again when Madame Genevieve Dubois appears on the scene.

Curmudgeon Avenue is available via the following places Amazon 99p  Also available in US .com also paperback. £4

Kobo (free)

Barnes and Noble (free)

BookFunnel (free)

It will also be on NetGalley for one month – August.

I promise that book two of the Curmudgeon Avenue series ‘The Harold and Edith Adventures’ is also almost ready, so there will not be too long to wait for the next one. This WordPress blog is the official headquarters of Curmudgeon Avenue, where all news of future publications will be posted.

Happy reading everyone Samantha. 🙂

Manchester Kiss


Manchester Kiss



May thirteenth, 1976, the Free Trade Hall up town. The night my parents met… nine months later, I was born! How cool am I? Conceived at a KISS concert!

Tonight, KISS are back in Manchester again. I’ve been checking and re-checking my ticket in its paper sleeve from Rip-Off-Line, like when you go on holiday and you keep checking your passport. Cost a fortune… It cost my parents two quid to see them back in the day. I’d better check my ticket again. I say ticket, it was originally tickets plural, but Maxine, my so-called best friend ruined my fortieth earlier this year. We were meant to be going out round what is left of the metal scene, where Rockworld used to be, wearing fancy dress as KISS. Maxine ruined it. She turned up at mine in a dress from Debenhams. Said she was worried that people might see pictures of her on Facebook. What did she think was gonna happen? I was already Kissed-up, of course, wearing a fake leather from Primarni. I’ve avoided looking at social media since my birthday because of Maxine and her Debenhams dress. I’d better check my ticket again.

Right… I remember going to Wembley in 1988 with my Dad, I was only eleven. He pretended he’d lost my ticket and I’d have to wait outside until the show was over. Just before I started crying (and streaking my face paint) he pulled my ticket out of his stonewashed jeans pocket! I cried anyway. It was mint. Gene Simmons was breathing fire and everything! My Dad was always doing things like that, sort of letting me know that the world isn’t safe, but he’d be there to protect me. We only saw each other at weekends, him and Mum split up, I think because she stopped being a metaller and started listening to Duran Duran.

At the last minute, I decide against the studded leather codpiece. I check my ticket again and set off. I get on the tram I’m all spandex and platform boots. A woman dressed as a man wearing makeup. OK, I admit it, I’ve set off really early to hang around and see if I can meet KISS. The tram is packed, there is nowhere to sit down. Everyone looks at me, in broad daylight, wearing black leather bat wings. Strangely, no one is talking, the tram is usually really noisy. I clearly hear an office worker whispering to her mate “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!” They both laugh and I know they’re talking about me. I wish Dad was here, I wish I hadn’t gone around telling everyone I was Starchild’s  offspring because my Mum was a groupie. I didn’t mean it, I was just a teenager, I’d upset him just before it happened; The bomb going off near Manchester Arndale in 1996. It claimed no victims, on the day, but I think that’s what killed him. He was a security guard and had a massive heart attack soon after. I blame the bomb. I can’t bear to watch the news since. I found out at his funeral he’d bought us tickets to go to Donnington, KISS were headlining.  I wish Dad was here. I get off the tram at Victoria and walk to the Arena. My platforms catch on the metal grills on the floor. I wonder which entrance they’ll be going in at? Where are the tour buses? Then I see it. The whole area is cordoned off with police tape.

“Whoa, stop young man!” A policeman is waving his arms. Is he talking to me?

“I’ve got tickets… to see KISS!” I cry.

He hears my voice and realises I’m a woman.

“Sorry, love, you can’t come any further, it’s all shut here still because of the bomb last week, Take That cancelled too you know, didn’t you see it on the news?”

No, I avoid the news.

I turn around and head back for the tram. I sit down and look at the internet on my phone for the first time in months. I learn all about the devastating incident that happened in Manchester last week, at a concert filled with kids… kids just like me going to Wembley with my Dad. Then, I see a message about cancellations and ticket refunds.  There is a message from KISS that reads something like ‘We are heartbroken, a cancelled rock show seems of little consequence’. They are right… How could I be so insensitive? Wrapped up in my own safe little heavy metal world? I feel so selfish but sorry for myself, and realise I’m in tears. When I get back on the tram, I am joined by some daytime drinkers on their way home. The noise has returned, but I don’t feel like talking after what I’ve just read. A bloke about my age wearing a Happy Mondays T-shirt breaks away from his mates and sits next to me.

“You ok, love?” He says, taking a sip of his can of beer. I say nothing. “Sorry, it’s just that you look sad, I thought I’d better say hello, make sure you’re alright”

“Yes, I’m… I’m sorry” I don’t know what to say. The bloke shouts to one of his mates, who turns out to be his brother.

“Brother! Bruv! Got another can in your pocket? This lady…” He gives me a sideways glance as if to check I’m female… “She needs cheering up!”

One of them shouts over, pulling the sign of the horns “Aww it got cancelled didn’t it?”  like we’ve got something in common. They all come and pile on the seats around me. They’ve been to a tribute do for the victims. I feel even more guilty now. The first bloke puts his arm around me, my hair gets tangled in my studded jacket.

“Don’t worry, we’ll cheer you up. We’re from Manchester, and this is what we do, innit?”

He starts singing, and they all join in. It was a cover version, but I’ll allow it because KISS made it famous.

‘God gave rock n roll to you, gave rock n roll to you, put it in the sou-oul of everyone!’

Samantha Henthorn copyright 2018.

(A short story written in memory of last year’s events with the spirit of Manchester)