Holding on to life’s roller coaster, keeping my face to the sunshine

Hello and welcome to my About Me page! My name is Gill McCulloch and I appreciate you taking the time to get to know me.

My life in a nutshell — at least I’ll try

I was born at a very early age and lived with my mum, dad and two sisters in a lively seaside town called Brighton on the south coast of England. My parents were kind, hard-working people. I’ll always be grateful for the life lessons they taught me and for their unconditional love and support.

Presented below is a complete list of my work on Medium

Author, Gill McCulloch on the beach in Sooke, BC, Canada against a background of blue sky, ocean and trees. In the foreground are driftwood logs and shrubs.
Gill McCulloch. Photo by Warren McCulloch

I created this index for people who want to read more of my work. Everything is categorized into topics, and I update this page regularly. I appreciate you reading and commenting on my stories, articles and poems.

Story Categories (see full index below)

  • Personal Stories
  • Fiction
  • Humour
  • Poetry
  • Life Learnings, Self Improvement, Inspirational
  • Medical, Health and Safety

Personal Stories

Each Day is a Unique, Never to Be Repeated Kaleidoscope of Experiences, Thoughts and Emotions

Chickenpox at Eighteen Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

What Would You Buy if You Only Had $18.00 for Groceries This Week?

Medical Assistance in Dying Is a Humane Option for…

A laugh, a cry, a smile, a sigh, a crazy mix till the day we die

Wake up! It’s a brand new day and time for another turn of the mysterious and beautiful kaleidoscope of life. We all have a built-in kaleidoscope, and yours is entirely different from mine. I have no idea what you’ll see through your viewfinder today; I hope it’s mostly good stuff. If you’re curious to look through another person’s lens, come on over and take a peek through mine.

One evening after a full day hiking with my husband, it struck me I’d experienced a wide range of feelings during the day. Looking back, I counted at least eleven different sets…


Should I tell my family or not?

When I clicked submit on my computer late one evening, my 3D printer immediately whirred into action. I had no idea that eight hours later, my life would be turned upside down.

My son is a 3D printing expert, and I wanted to have intelligent conversations with him about his work. I don’t have much technical experience, so I decided to learn about 3D printing. I thought the best course of action was to build my own 3D printer and see if I could produce something. Along the way, I’d surely pick up knowledge, skills and technical jargon. …


A poem about anxiety and overwhelm — and a plea to the world

In the waking moments of early morning
Anxiety gathers like a train approaching — barrelling down
Ground shaking, wheels squealing
The air rings with metallic vibrations
I reach to cover my ears but I’m frozen
Forced to listen to the engine’s ominous whine

The train thunders past relentlessly
Air pulsing between loaded carriages
Faces at the windows beseech me with haunted eyes
Arms reaching desperately
Deep inside, I hear the heartbreaking howl
Of a million tortured souls



The crushing weight of humanity’s collective grief
Leaves me drained — flattened — shocked from the…

Time often reveals how personal disasters can lead to life-changing opportunities

When transparent bubbles started popping up on my wrists, I was curious and slightly concerned, but my mother’s crestfallen expression told me I was in trouble.

I was eighteen, and it was a few days before my last A’ level — an exam I had to excel in to have a chance at university admission. I’d been feeling unwell and had put it down to stress and exhaustion from late-night revising — but now I knew the reason. With a grim face, the doctor diagnosed chickenpox.

At first, I had no idea what the consequences of this illness would be…


In troubled times, listen for the ocean

In troubled times
I dream of oceans and silver beaches
Where sapphire waters woosh gently
On cool, rippled sand
And sun-bleached driftwood
Shimmers softly in the warm sunshine

I conjure a magical place
Where seagulls swoop and call in the distance
And rocky headlands brace against crashing waves
Silently observing the mysterious
Deep green ocean

I walk in the wakening day
Feet crunching on thousand-year-old stones
To the smooth, shining sand
Where wavelets play, muscles ease
And tangled thoughts release to the salty breeze

In stillness and solitude
Alone with nature’s beauty
My mind explores fresh tidelines
Gently turning flotsam and jetsam
Expanding along…


I was young once you know!

Lifeguard in red shorts stands watching swimmers in a public outdoor pool.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

“Would the lady in the black sunglasses please move to the right?”

The lifeguard’s voice boomed across the pool on his megaphone. How embarrassing for that person, I thought as I continued a leisurely breaststroke while enjoying the sunshine. In consideration of my fellow pool users, I was swimming directly over the black line on the bottom of the pool as directed by the sign.

I looked around, intending to give the targeted swimmer a sympathetic nod when the lifeguard’s voice boomed once again, this time sounding a little annoyed,

“Would the LADY — in the BLACK sunglasses — PLEASE…

Plus, bonus, step by step, instructions for getting onto an airbed this summer!

Life is full of challenges. I hope the following stories and insights will help you with these three:

  1. Reaching goals quicker.
  2. Stopping arguments.
  3. Getting onto pool inflatables.

Never let a pool inflatable get the better of you

While visiting family at Christmas in Singapore, my dad was having fun attempting but failing to get onto a pool inflatable. First, he tried crawling onto it slowly, pulling the airbed towards him, then placing his knee on the edge and shifting his weight onto it carefully. The bed escaped easily, skimming merrily away across the pool.

Next, he tried holding both ends and wiggling on belly first, inch by inch. The bed…

A poem

Young couple standing on a sandy beach, taking selfies against a sunset background.
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels

From a lakeside blanket,
a baby’s eyes gaze adoringly.
A universe of love, beaming from a tiny soul,
to a mother, who at that moment,
is its whole world.

The mother, oblivious, stares at scrolling pages —
anxiety building.
A first gurgled, “Mama,” slips away on the fresh summer breeze —

In the lake, an otter glides silently through silken water.
Sunlight glistens on sleek, black skin.
A duck corrals her scattered ducklings,
while the blue heron stands,
observing quietly.

Years pass.

From a hospital bed,
a mother’s eyes gaze regretfully.
A universe of love, beaming from a weary soul,
to a…

Gill McCulloch

I write about meaningful experiences, life learnings, medical issues, odd occurrences, fictional imaginings and situations that make me laugh. learnfirstaid.ca

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