Tag Archive for: barnsley

Lockdown poetry – It has taken a pandemic

BBC Radio Sheffield got in touch to ask if I would write a poem for one of their shows. They were inspired by the Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan who has been appointed Barnsley’s Poet In Lockdown. Barnsley Museums and Hear My Voice Barnsley have been working with Ian who has been sharing his lockdown poetry.

My confidence has taken a knock recently but I wanted to give it a shot. So here is my lockdown poetry named It has taken a pandemic. Enjoy.

Peace and love

Sam xx

Mmmmmm BRAINS… So Bad Ass Zombie!

On Saturday 18th October I fulfilled a dream of mine that was to be a zombie for the day.  For years I have wanted to get the make up and gore on and stumble about as an old school zombie and the lovely folk at Barnsley Hospital Charity made my wish come true.

They held the Zombie Run, a charity fun run where competitors take on a 5K race through the zombie infested Worsbrough Mill in Barnsley in the hope of getting to the end uninfected.  The event is to raise money for the fantastic charity of Barnsley Hospital and is a brilliantly worthy cause.

We arrived on site at 8.30am already dressed in our zombie outfits of choice, my teenage son came with me and together we became the undead.  His chose to be a zombie school boy whilst I decided to go for the clothes I have worn the most over the past year and went for a sleepy zombie in pyjamas.

barnsley zombie run


We then had our make up done by a team of fantastic artists who muddied up our skin with vaseline and cocoa powder, messed our hair by back combing with conditioner and then applied makeup and prosthetic bits of skin, painted our teeth, finished off with a lot of fake blood!


barnsley zombie run


We were given a briefing and then put into position around the course, our section was two abandoned cars and our group were to moan, groan and stagger around the area being as terrifying as we possibly could whilst the runners tackled the obstacle and tried to keep their three ‘lives’ intact (they had belts with velcroed strips on that the zombies could snatch)


barnsley zombie run


It was a lot of fun and the other zombie volunteers were lovely, it was great fun despite the mud, cold and long day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The only problem were there were a lot of school children zombie volunteers who came along after we had been designated our areas, that meant the stretch of track that should have had 10-15 zombies along it, suddenly had around 50.  There were no teachers or adults around who were responsible for the school kids and they refused to listen to me or the other adult volunteers and for me, it ruined the day quite a bit.

barnsley zombie run


I think going forward it would be an idea to ensure under 16s are only allowed to be zombies under the supervision of an adult.  I was really excited about the day but didn’t sign up to try and babysit a load of teenagers who refused to listen… It might be an idea to ask for a donation to be a zombie, I would have happily paid a tenner to be a zombie for the day to raise even more money for the charity and that fee would mean that people who really want to get into the zombie spirit of the day could do so.

barnsley zombie run

I was all meant to be fun, I don’t want to sound like I am a method actor (HA!) but for me I believed the day was meant to be a really fun way to raise money for a good cause.  I thought my role was to be scary, add atmosphere and grab a few tags as and when.

One of the other zombies on our area had gone all out and had ‘intestines’ filled with pink spaghetti attached to his costume, I thought it was hilarious and got a photo of us together.  As I have no large intestine, I thought I would try and nick a bit of his!

barnsley zombie run

All in all it was a great experience, I LOVED getting into zombie character and staggering about groaning and growling.  So much so that I have almost lost my voice!

Would I do it again? Abso-braineating-lutely!


Love Sam x

International Women's day 2014

I was absolutely thrilled and blown away to be invited to be a speaker at Experience Barnsley’s International Women’s Day event on 8th March this year at Barnsley Town Hall.  It is £2.50 a ticket so if anyone fancies coming to hear me talk about bowels, shit and self esteem I would greatly appreciate the support!

international womens day 2014


Along with three other amazing speakers I will be doing a talk about my journey with IBD and how this and my ileostomy affect self esteem and body image.

Dr Lorna Warren is a lecturer at the University of Sheffield and is doing a talk on a project called Look at Me which has worked with women in Sheffield to explore representations of women and ageing in the media and to produce new images to challenge existing stereotypes.  An amazing project that you can see more about here.

Anne Fay is the head of education at Wallace Collection and her talk on The Beau Monde sounds fantastic.

Author and Lecturer Katie Edwards talk on religion and feminism is one Im really looking forward to.

It is an honour to share a stage with these women and though Im frankly terrified I am hoping to deliver a speech that will explain both the physical, emotional and mental affects of illness and surgery on female body image.  Ill be discussing how I dealt with the last ten years of ulcerative colitis and then my operation and how positivity has played a huge role in dealing with the emotional side of living with a stoma.

I talk about poo A LOT on this blog and the thought of talking shit to a room full of people is both amusing and scary.  In September when I lay in HDU at the Northern General in Sheffield covered in tubes, with my arms full of canulas and feeling so weak that I couldn’t lift my head, I never dreamed that six months later I would be standing in Barnsley Town Hall being a speaker for Yorkshire women.

Thanks so much for the support of all you people who regularly read my blog, Facebook and twitter.  Being part of International Women’s Day is an absolute dream come true and I just hope I do you all proud.



Sam x