Great grandmother Sheila Brennan has been using poetry to express her thoughts about everyday life for many years. Now, she tells Simone O’Kane, she’s published her best verse in a book

AT bedtime when a precious thought enters Sheila Brennan’s head, she quickly jots it down in a notebook that she keeps on her bedside table so that she doesn’t forget what it was in the morning.

The 74-year-old great grandmother has, over many decades, turned these thoughts into poems.

Sheila, from Blackburn, regularly sent in her short poems to the Lancashire Telegraph’s Poet’s Corner and has kept every single cutting from 2002.

And now she has had them all published in a book.

Many Aspects Of Life has over 400 poems celebrating Sheila’s past, dedicated to her family and grandchildren. Her love of nature and animals is also portrayed throughout the book.

“I put the cuttings together for the family,” said Sheila. “It was a great way to have all of the memories together in one place and I wanted something for them to keep for when I am gone.”

When Sheila’s children Janet, 52, and Peter, 49 left home she wanted to focus on writing.

She often spent her afternoons writing letters to the Lancashire Telegraph and in the early nineties she started to write the poems.

Sheila said: “I admire people expressing their emotions and sharing empathy is inspirational. I have lots of albums and pictures for the family to remember us by because it’s amazing how quickly the years pass.

“It’s funny because people don’t write down happenings as much as they used to. They are too busy living their fast paced lives that they forget. Young ‘uns these days probably look at their computers or mobile phones before bed so they don’t even think of picking up a pen and writing down their thoughts or keeping a diary.”

The grandmother-of-two, who lives with her husband Colin, 77, in Mill Hill had Many Aspects of Life printed by Lancashire Printers and is keen to raise money for Guide Dogs UK by selling the books for £5 where all proceeds will go to the charity.

Animal lover Sheila said: “The poems are short and naive and are straight to the point but they all tell a story.

“Some make you cry and some make you laugh but they are all written and based on my thoughts and experiences.”

Humorous poems such as Modern Gadgets, make you chuckle as Sheila shares her experiences of flat pack furniture and the struggles of putting it together. The Old Family Dog is a tear- jerker and a poem that still brings a tear to the former care worker’s eye.

Sheila added: “There are some sad ones, but it’s life. The Old Family Dog gets me every time because it’s about man’s best friend who has been with the family for years and when he dies it’s a sad occasion.

“The poems are fun to read and poetry should be read to this generation more often.

“As a child I remember when my mum was poorly and I couldn’t wait to get home from school and get into her bed. She would read me poetry and it was comforting.

“There’s just something comforting about reading, listening to and writing poetry.”