New book launch- MERRING or is it MRS GREN?


I have been promising that a new book will come out and tomorrow is the day

1st June 2019

I have been writing this over the last year. after finishing

previous tome

and had the title already worked out prior to writing.

As time goes on I have said the title “out loud” to many puzzled faces.

I am always happy to explain what the title is, how I came up with it and what it means to me.

My title is as you see MERRING or is it MRS GREN?

When I was at school studying for my O’ levels (this dates me) the way I was taught to remember the signs of life/ whether something was living was the mnemonic MERRING, which stands for Movement, Excretion, Respiration, Reproduction, Irritability, Nutrition and Growth.

So for the last 37 years+, I have had those words in my head and can “quote them at will”

When I was having a conversation with my youngest child about MERRING, she looked at me blankly.

When I explained what I meant she informed me that this is now MRS GREN (Irritability is now Sensitivity)

I decided that I liked this conversation as a title and kept it back from last year.

So what does the title mean to me?

Well the title reflects the biological side of me in that I originally studied biology for O and A level, I then went on to train as a General  Nurse and had knowledge of biological processes of health and disease which this sort of fitted into.

As time went on I changed direction and undertook further training to qualify as a mental health nurse.

I then started to think more ‘holistically’ around the subject of health and humanity. There is a maxim that Humankind are biological, sociological, psychological beings. Without one you cannot have the other.

I am no aging hippie!!, but in taking that on board, I have thought widely about these biological words and ‘adapted’ them to their more holistic meanings.  These are a few examples

Movement to me also means a change and we often need to change to survive.

Excretion is also ridding yourself of the mental rubbish which can make your life toxic

Respiration, as well as in its breathing and energy sense also brings in words like inspire which can bring hope and expire which brings ending but chance of a new beginning.

Reproduction can also be thought of in the terms of repeating things but also about being a good or bad copy.

Irritability conjures up thoughts about feelings and reactions to those feelings. Within health and mental health being happy or unhappy are paramount to how you are perceived

Nutrition is about how you nourish the mind as well as the body

Growth is about maturity of thought and involves changes.

The fact that MERRING is now MRS GREN also reminds me that I have to keep up to date!!!!!                     

So what does that mean?

While I was writing my poems my thoughts were on the words and their wider meanings.

I found that I could be literal but also tangential which is very a oxymoron way of thinking.

One of my friends found that MERRING is an Australian aboriginal word for “eyes” so I that reinforced that I should be looking and seeing things in a different way. GREN on the other hand is found in Scandinavian languages and means “branch.” My thoughts were about how branches may start as little twigs and grow bigger until they are part of the bigger tree.

Each branch is independent but dependant on the whole.

I’m not going to analyse MRS!!!

Please buy my book on Amazon- either in paperback or on Kindle.

I hope that you will like it.

I enjoyed writing it and each word means something to me. I’m sure it will for you!!!!!

Author: Joe Campling

Joseph Campling lives in Buckinghamshire, and is married with adult children. He trained as a both a General and Mental Health Nurse in the South East of the United Kingdom in the mid 1980’s and has worked in various roles over the past 30 years. His first authored article in 2007 was jointly written about the need to share positive research based practice amongst care teams locally which was then published in a professional journal. He published “Mild Musings May Mitigate My Mentality” which was his first collection of poems in 2018. He has subsequently published MERRING or is it MRS GREN? Having written sporadically over the years (usually for friends and family) he has been writing more consistently over the past two years and has begun to recite his poetry at various Open Mic nights and Spoken Word events. He is often found ‘scribbling’ and then performing what he has just written. He recently has also been collaborating with a jazz composer by writing lyrics which have been put to music. His interests include watching live music, trying to play the guitar (still project in progress) and quizzing. He also likes to watch TV; mostly factual documentaries, comedy and quiz shows He also needs to read more and swears that he will do so very soon as he has a pile of books to read. He also ‘hangs out’ with members of the local drama club although he has no plans to act but is partial to the odd pint of orange juice and lemonade!! He follows rugby and can sometimes be found cheering his team on (London Irish) whether they win or lose.

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