Thursday, 31 December 2009

Ode to a passing year

Tis the end of 2009
Where on blogspot I'd have a whine
Hello and welcome 2010
Lucky blogspot I'll start again

Hang on, not just a new year!
Tis a new decade!
Will our global problems fade?
(or I get laid, my first thought must be said)

The noughties were the best and worst
The "teenies" will we be blessed or cursed?
Cursed or blessed blessed blessed BLESSED blessed PLEASE
blessed blessed blessed blessed blessed blessed blessed
blessed blessed BLESSED

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Can't do something for toffee

If you can't do something for toffee, in my case, write poetry, it means you are incapable of doing something properly or to any kind of standard. (

I think that just about sums me up generally
Can't tidy up for toffee
Can't give up smoking for toffee
Can't stop biting my nails for toffee
Can't motivate myself to think of anymore for toffee

To do something for toffee is quite a skill therefore
I might chew on that in 2010
For toffee is my favourite in the Quality Street tin
I can plunder that for toffee

Monday, 28 December 2009

Back to reality

Christmas Eve I had to bid
Didn't want to but I did
I won't get it that I know
2010 oh here we go

Home to a letter from the Leader's Lady
How I've read it: "Stuff you baby"
They'll give no flat to my little son
They care not for my boy when all's said and done

(Alas I can't write poems for toffee
Or crumpets or for coffee
But not for that I'll choose to stop
Not while I have dear ol' blogspot!

You have been warned, and so have I
Stigmum doesn't give a fly
ing fairy cake)

Heard the one about the three bears - nephew aged 14

The three bears come home from being out.

"Whose been eating my porridge?" booms Daddy Bear
"Whose been eating my porridge?" says Mummy Bear (in nephew's soprano voice)
"Never mind the porridge," squeaks Baby Bear. "Who's stolen the telly?"

(Did you make it up? asked Stigmum laughing. No replied nephew so cannot state the source!)

I need to ask you something - neice aged 12

"I need to ask you something and I want you to be really honest with me. It might be really awkward between us after this but I have to know how you feel.
I have kept it in for a while now but I think it's finally time I be straight up with you and just confront you...

I hope this doesn't ruin the relationship we have, I just need to know and I don't see any other way I can get over this.

It just doesn't seem fair on me if I don't get an answer.

I want you to tell me truthfully no matter how harsh it is. I just want your honest opinion..

Would you choose Wotsits over Skips?"

(Oh ha ha, you got me going! Where did you get it? "It got sent to me by text!" Stigmum likes this from this unknown source, can be used in many future situations so thought she'd post it!)

Entertained by my neice - 25 months

Fader Chismas
Fader Chismas
E got stuck (claps)
E got stuck (claps)
Climin' down de chimney
Climin' down de chimney
What bad luck
What bad luck (ha ha ha ha ha!!)

(Learnt at nursery)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

My son is Home

My parents' place is not my Home
My son is Home
I am my son's Home (when he's not with daddy)
My son is my Home
I am my Home
It's a Mad House

Monday, 21 December 2009

My mindfuck equally speedy response

Dear Quality

Thank you so very much for replying so quickly. It is clear and I will ask [my support worker] about the Active Bidding Scheme. I can only assume my points are too low for this.

Quality, three years ago when I was shortlisted I had less points than I do now, and no doubt people had more points than me who weren't shortlisted. Do you understand? Please tell me if you do.

This is a very confusing system. I see people who are shortlisted with less than me, who have only been waiting since 2009 with more points than me. This confusion plays havoc with my mental health. Next year I begin a two year psychotherapy programme. The council has a letter from an old psychologist saying my son needs his own space from me while I go through all this. The council has a recent letter from my doctor.

I hope my bids are successful and soon. It would be amazing to start 2010 not worrying about housing, in August being terrified about it and starting 2011 still worrying about it. Thanks again for your email.

Kind regards

Sue de Nim

I didn't ask about intentional homeless that the hostel mums told me they experienced because I'm not in a hostel and I have also met a mum who went on holiday to Italy for a week from hers and she was still there when I called her a few months later to tell her what I'd written about her in my dissertation.

Super speedy response to my questions

Clearly I'm having a mindfuck day so it's easier to quote the full letters instead of poring over them and reducing them for you. They might come in useful for me though. It's a way of having it all in one place to help me, if I need help, in the future. If you are 'into' housing, you may find it interesting.

Dear Ms De Nim

I am very sorry to hear that you are feeling vulnerable. However, I understand that you would like further information on the questions you have raised.

1 What does this mean in terms of the council offering us permanent accommodation?

If the Council did offer you accommodation in the private sector, it would only bring our duty to house you to an end if it was (a) on an assured tenancy (which is equivalent to a secure tenancy) or (b) you agreed, formally and in writing, that the offer brought our duty to an end. In practice, Camden is not currently offering accommodation in the private sector on assured tenancies. Consequently, no applicant is required to accept an offer of accommodation in the private sector if they do not want it. Some applicants do accept Qualifying Offers of accommodation, but this is normally when they accept accommodation through our Private Renting Scheme, and increase their housing points as a result.

2 What does this mean in terms of the Choice Based Letting System?

We would expect you to accept a reasonable offer of alternative accommodation, and, if you did not, our duty may cease.

Applicants for permanent accommodation can choose the properties they bid for. This means our housing duty will not cease if you bid successfully for accommodation, but decide, after viewing it, that you do not wish to accept it. The Council has, in the past, discharged its duty when an applicant has viewed a property, formally accepted it, and then, some days later, refused it without a good reason.

We also have an Active Bidding Scheme for applicants in temporary accommodation with points over a certain level. Their Support Worker will support them to bid for 12 months. If they have not made a successful bid after 12 months, the Council will make them an offer of accommodation. If they refuse that offer without good reason, the Council’s duty to house them will cease. Your Support Worker will advise you about the Active Bidding Scheme if you ask them.

3 I have not been shortlisted for any flat since then, three years ago. Why not?

This is simply because other bidders have had higher points. We have advised you that you may increase your points through the Private Renting Scheme.

4 The applicant becomes intentionally homeless from their temporary accommodation; How?
The legal definition of intentional homelessness is where a person becomes homeless as a consequence of something they have deliberately done or failed to do.

For example, if someone is responsible for acts of nuisance to other residents, and is evicted as a result of these, they may be considered intentionally homeless. Or, if someone fails to pay their rent, and is evicted as a result, they may be considered intentionally homeless. If there are any specific cases you have in mind, where you are unclear if it might lead to intentional homelessness, please let me know.

I hope this answers your questions.

Ah, my Keeper has responded

This is very nice of them. Thank you Council. I have of course responded. I started by thanking him for the email. My questions are not italilised and are in bold.

A local authority has duties to homeless people, and these duties are set out in homelessness law (mainly the Housing Act 1996, as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002).

A local authority will sometimes have a duty to provide housing to a homeless family. This duty is often described as ‘the full housing duty’.

When you were evicted from your accommodation with the Church, Camden Council accepted this kind of ‘full’ duty to you and your family.

When it accepts a full housing duty, local authorities must continue to house an applicant until one of the following happens:

1 The applicant obtains a Council or housing association flat through the Council’s housing allocations scheme; or

Obviously, as you know, I would like my son to live in a council flat with me, with a secure tenancy.

2 The applicant obtains an assured tenancy with a private landlord, or an assured shorthold tenancy (through a ‘qualifying offer’) with a private landlord; or
What does this mean in terms of the council offering us permanent accommodation?

3 The applicant refuses a reasonable offer of alternative temporary accommodation, or the applicant refuses a suitable offer of Council or housing association accommodation through the Council’s housing allocations scheme; or
What does this mean in terms of the Choice Based Letting System? Years ago I was shortlisted for two properties. The second time I had the first refusal and although not noted in my notes, cried my eyes out because up three narrow flights and into a narrow flat, I could not get access for my bicycle. My bicycle is a very important part of my life as you know. My son will tag along behind it as soon as I can afford the piece of equipment to allow him to do so. For the time being, he still sits on the back.
I have not been shortlisted for any flat since then, three years ago. Why not?

4 The applicant voluntarily ceases to occupy their temporary accommodation as their principal or only home; or

5 The applicant becomes intentionally homeless from their temporary accommodation; or

6 The applicant cease to be eligible for housing (eligibility relates to immigration status); or

I imagine that each of these categories may raise some questions. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions about any of them.

Apologies for not calling with these questions. My ex has not returned my son as arranged. I feel very vulnerable and do not wish to talk to anyone following my conversation with him.(This is true reader) I do need to know however, to understand, where my son and my lives stand with regard to secure housing.

It is, of course, difficult for me to speak on behalf of Pathmeads, especially as I have not had sight of their full letter.

However, bearing in mind the legal framework summarised above, I assume that Pathmeads intend, in the two statements quoted in your letter, that:

1 If Camden has not offered you alternative temporary accommodation, or you have not yet made a successful bid for accommodation through Home Connections, by the time they have told you they would like you to move from your current temporary accommodation, they may be able to allow you to stay in your accommodation until you are offered alternative temporary accommodation, or until you have made a successful bid (whichever is sooner).

2 If Camden’s duty to accommodate you has ceased, for one of the reasons summarised above, Pathmeads will take the necessary action to regain possession of their accommodation.

I hope these comments do provide you with the clarification you have requested. Please let me know if they do not.

Thank you very much for your seasonal greetings. I wish you the very best for Christmas too

A nice letter, you will avow. The operators of the Hand, like I've said, can be nice but the system just does my head in. The mess in my flat would reflect this for you. I must be happy though. This time last week I thought we were being forcibly evicted today.

A note for the reader

I'm sorry for puking on you earlier.
Have a really happy Christmas and a happy New Year
Lots of love
Me and Stigmum

My son and Blogspot

I write when I am on my own.
I write when my son is in school or in bed or at his father's.
I don't want my son to read this and know it is me
I tell him his dad is great you see
I don't tell you that though

I may see you in the New Year
I may see you before
It depends how much time I'm spending
on my own.

You need to get out of your environment said the doctor
Lucky me!
Lucky you!
Lucky Blogspot!

A Stigmum Prayer - a very long post

Yesterday evening after trying to tidy up all day, I took myself to Trafalgar Square to listen to the carol singing. I'd gone with my son last week but hadn't stayed as he and his little friend needed feeding. I imagined him next to me on the 24 bus, taking him with me, in thought.

I was drawn into St Martin's in the Field by beautiful voices singing all our favourite Christmas hymns.

The service was half way through its Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Ah it was the right place to be. The place was packed with people who'd come off the streets. At the end as they handed in their service booklets, I asked if I could keep mine, to read to my son. "I'm his new Sunday School teacher!" I laughed.

I walked over to Trafalgar Square. Mary, Joseph, the Donkey, Shepherds, Kings, they were milling around.

"Is it finished?" I asked a group of men wearing santa hats.

"Yes, but would you like a sweet?" and one produced a box of Quality Street. I took the purple one, for earlier I'd posted on Facebook the most beautiful sunset. "It's like a lollipop! A purply pinky sky descending into a blaze of orange.." He then gave me a toffee, which is actually my favourite!

They were from The Mother Theresa Center. He gave me a little flyer with a medal on it: Mother Teresa and the Miraculous Medal. My own mum had sent me one years ago to a Poste Restante in Cambodia and I'd never received it. Everything else in the package, but not that. I hadn't been upset about it at the time. My mum has her beliefs and I have mine. Now I was reminded of my mother and I smiled, thanking the man very much.

I started chatting to a woman who was holding a collection box. I pulled out change from my purse, not much as I'd pulled some out earlier in St Martin's in the Field.

The choir were singing for Action for Kids; disabled children. Hymns like Oh Come all ye Faithful and songs like Jingle Bells.

There weren't many people unlike a week ago. We all sang along as best we could. My toes were being eaten by the cold and I thought about the street homeless, and how they must be the strongest people in the country, enduring this day in, night out, day in, night out.

9pm it finished; time to go home. I walked up the steps to the National Gallery and saw three police vans and seven police cars. What's going on?

"What's happened?" I asked a policeman.
"We don't know yet."
"Something scary?!" I said, thinking of terrorist attacks.
"The earliest report we've been given is a missing child."
"We're just waiting for more information before we disband and start searching."
"If it were my child I'd be glad to see so many of you here."

Reader, I suddenly hit a MASSIVE downer. My world is never right if my son isn't in it with me. My son is in it though, we will be reunited tonight or tomorrow morning. I'll know as soon as the Foca gets back to me. Ben Needham isn't back though is he, nor Madeleine McCann, nor are thousands of children. This will be a hard Christmas for their parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, neighbours, never mind the child him or herself.

Reader, I felt, I feel, too overwhelmed.

You must post about it.
I don't want to. I've just posted a positive thought. I can't send a frightening one out there.
It's Christmas, lots of people are suffering.
I know but I don't know how to post about it. I'll write about it in my diary.

I wanted to run away from my thoughts. I wanted to write something happy!
Resistance. I've been making Christmas cards all morning with the Camden New Journal's pictures of my son.

Resistance is futile.
This is how I know that me and stigmum are separate people, sometimes. The battles we occasionally have. She hammers away at me.
You experienced this, it touched you, tell it.
I don't want to depress people. I'm always depressing people. I'll write it in my diary.
Many people are depressed, many people also feel strongly for other people.

The Stigmum Prayer. I mentioned it here on blogspot the other day. I can't send a normal prayer prayer, or maybe I couldn't until now - being a non believer of the School I have to educate my son into.

I know what it means now though reader. I know how to articulate what I meant when I said I'd be sending a Stigmum prayer to people less fortunate than me.
A prayer is just a thought.
A prayer doesn't need words.
It is a loaded thought; loaded with Love.
Love gives people strength
I, you, send the thought and hope that it reaches its destination.
It is not wrong to say a prayer for yourself.
I am doing my head in, Stigmum you are doing my head in.
You're just afraid of being judged. Stop being frightened. You are not the only person in the whole wide world who knows what it means to pray. It doesn't make you a member of the "God Squad"
Now say your little prayer for people and don't worry about it.
I do worry about it, Mad World is playing on the telly. It was a Christmas number one in 2003 it says.
There we go, it's a good time to remember that. You can send your prayers and other people can do what they want.
I will be with you when you prepare your son for his First Communion
God help me ha ha ha

Reader, I have just puked on you.

I am an exceptionally lucky person, I will be sending a prayer to all those who aren't this Christmas season.

I hope that child wasn't missing last night. I hope that child was hiding behind a lion.

I wish everybody wealth, health and happiness for 2010.

Right, I had better tidy up, eat something, have a bath, listen to classical music, I don't know, I had better stop thinking. Or maybe start thinking, about something else.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Magical New Year

A couple of months ago my old school friend Georg rang to see how I was.

"What are you doing for New Year?" she asked.
"No plans, you?"
"Dave's working nights so staying in."
"Oh shame, we could come and join you but..."
"I don't think Dave will appreciate the kids running around when he's trying to sleep the next day!"
"No, but listen, I've put two bids on properties in this block. If I get one, you guys come and stay with me! Your kids can go in with my boy, and you with me! Sorted!"
"Oh yeah that would be great, let me know!"

Beneath all the shit, there's a little nugget of gold that one hangs on to; hope.

Two years ago I spent New Year's Eve on my own. Watched Jools Holland's Hootenanny, at midnight kissed my son. It was cool. The next day, New Year's Day, me and my son went for a walk on the Heath. The sky was blue and the sun shining but I felt guilt at the ache in my heart that myself and my son wasn't enough for me. It was odd and it was horrible on such a day as this. Luckily, the feeling only lasted until we got home and I've not felt it since.

Last year I spent New Year's Eve at my parents. Went to bed at 10pm and woke up at 11.58! I lent over and gave my son a kiss. Lunch the next day with him, my parents, sister and brother in law was warm. Nothing and no-one was missing.

"What are you doing for New Year?" asked Em when I went to visit her a few weeks ago.
"Well, if we've moved, then my old school friend is coming to stay!"
"If you haven't?"
"I dunno, stay in, it was ok the last time, like any other night in."
"Well if you don't move and your friend can't stay, come and spend it with us!"
"Yeah. Every year there's a party around someone's house. Last year it was around ours. All the kids are there, your son will have a blast now he knows them all."
"Oh wow! Can I let you know!"
"Yeah, and then the next day we all go and watch the men play football. Come along to that!"
"Yeah! That sounds really good! Cool, thank you!"

I have to make two calls, to two very special women.

I was rather hoping, when I started this blog in January, that I wouldn't have to carry my housing problems into next year, for the 6th year running. Lucky you reader!

I can sing though; Oh Lord will you get me a two bedroom flat and while that's on replay, thank my lucky stars that's not all I'm taking into 2010.

It's just an illusion ooh ooh aah aah!

Yesterday afternoon I returned home from Camden with a few tokens and a bunch of CNJ copies. Outside the block there were maybe a dozen young boys, who disbanded when they saw me. By the front door there were four girls, they too disappeared as I locked Zat to the railings for I was going out in an hour or so.

Oh for fucks sake, they've messed with the lock, was my first thought as I approached the door. The slot where you put in the key was totally skewed, I could not get my key into it. The door opened. Well at least they've totally broken it and I can get back in later, was my second thought.

I went upstairs, had a cup of tea, a couple of slices of toast, a few cigarettes and then it was time to go and meet Steve. We were going to watch a play at the Hampstead Theatre; Darker Shores, a Christmas ghost story set in 1875. Strange goings on at The Sea House in the desolate Sussex coast. (I did think, incase you are wondering, 'sod the money' for twas pricey, but the girls had really baled me out on Friday night, it was another gift from them.)

I went back downstairs. The front door was shut, couldn't be pulled open. It wasn't broken after all.

I go outside. The lock was still damaged. I pointlessly tried the key, no, no chance. Fuck. And it's Saturday. Aaargh, I posted that I did not need a new problem.

In the winter darkness I see three guys. "Do you live here?" I asked. Yes, no, visiting a friend. "The lock's bust, will you be in later tonight so I can buzz you to get in?"

"There are side entrances," one explains. "We can leave it on the latch for you."

The gate accessing the side entrance - which leads to the first floor - is locked. I'd have to climb over it.

"I've got my bike, I don't want to leave it out here all night."

"You could lock it out here, get into the building, then come out from the inside and get it," suggests the boy.

"Oh thank you for your brains. Yes I'll do that."

What a fucking palaver. "I don't blame them, I know they're bored out of their minds, but geez, can't they think of something that isn't going to bugger up everybody else's evening????"

As I cycle to Swiss Cottage I tell myself not to worry. There's nothing I can do about it, I can only hope the boys do leave the side entrances on the latch.

The play, ladies and gents, girls and boys, was brilliant! Third row stalls, we were practically on the stage, which was swirling with mist, eerie, very eerie...

Professor Gabriel Stokes, a scientific historian, enlists the help of an American spiritualist, Tom Beauregard, to get to the bottom of the strange supernatural goings on at The Sea House. It was funny ("Why don't the working classes see ghosts?" asks Stokes. "Because they don't have time!"), the suspense was gripping, I 'jumped' a couple of times.

The illusions were just fantastic. From the apple, which is 'real', disappearing. The table rising from the floor and shaking, quivering along the stage, an empty chalk board suddenly having the names upon it of those who have died. The real and the imagined clashing all the time.

The bed though. As water showered under the frame, a body just appeared in the thin mattress, taking form under the dry sheets until a man sat up and got out, soaking wet. How did that happen?

At the end, the Professor, the Spiritualist, the housekeeper and the maid took their bows to rapturous applause.

"Where's the guy Steve? Is that part of it as well? Did we imagine that? Did that happen?"

Oooooh! We went and had a beer afterwards!

Home, oh the palaver awaits. I'll just check the door so I can get pissed off and that energy will help me over the railings to the side entrance which hopefully, will be on the latch.

Eh? There was nothing wrong with the lock. There it was, untouched, untampered with, glistening under the sky. In the still, still midnight, not a soul who could tell me I didn't imagine it earlier.

The key went in, turned and out of the cold and into the building, walked me with Zat, just like that! (Tommy Cooper)

Was it just an illusion ooh ooh ooh ooh aaaah aaaaah? Illusion... (Imagination)


Saturday, 19 December 2009

Father Christmas/Santa Claus

My brother popped round this morning, bless, bless, bless him for I didn't think he would, to collect my bag of Christmas presents.

Argos and Waterstones opened its doors to Santa yesterday afternoon, after I had met Milly who wasn't at home, but in Camden, Christmas shopping.

We went into the Crown and Goose and had a glass of mulled wine!

Last night I met the girls at Gilgamesh. We ate, we drank, we danced and they, special, special friends that they are, covered the cost of all my drinks. "Karma," they said. "One day you'll be able to pay us back!"

For anyone who tells me they don't believe in Father Christmas or tells me I am lying to my son by telling him that he exists, I say "Bah Humbug! Father Christmas takes many forms!"

I hope you have a lovely Christmas. I have to go now, I want to buy a small token for my mum, my dad, my sister, my brothers, my nephews and nieces.

I could just make them a card; the Camden New Journal published pictures of local primary school nativities. My son is in amongst them! My photos of him as Joseph taken with the throwaway camera came out rubbish. The CNJ is free!! I can grab a few copies, cut him out and get creative!

Thank you CNJ!

No Christmas in a hostel - the fear and relief explained

I'm hoping the tremors from last week's psychological earthquake will stop now, or at least that I stop writing about it. Fear is a very powerful emotion. Relief is very powerful too.

I am spending Christmas with my parents; "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum". It will be extraordinarily special.
My mum is still cruising around with her Zimmer, picking up speed she tells me. I ask after my dad and she says he's doing well, though my sister called saying "Oh Sue he's really losing it, it's really hard to have a conversation with him now." Special. Christmas will be special.

A week ago today, I told you I couldn't spill my fear on these pages. My fear was real, not unfounded.

On Monday, at the Homeless Person's Unit, the recovering alcholic mum of three told me she had once left her hostel room for four days and when she returned was told her contract with that room had ended. The inference being obviously, that she had somewhere to go. Voluntarily homeless but with two children, she was placed in another hostel.

I believed her because it's not the first time I've heard of this.

Five years ago, the worker at the drop in where I took my then two year old, told me she'd vacated her hostel room to give birth, spent the following two days at her mother's place and when she returned found all her belongings in a black carrier bag in the basement. Her stereo was gone. She had no alternative but to go back to her mother, where she remained 'homeless at home' until she was eventually permanently housed two years later.

Like I've told you, I tend to be afraid of what I know.

If my son and I were in a hostel from Monday, then what to do about Christmas with my parents? If I go, when I come back, the council will say I've made myself voluntarily homeless and I will have nowhere to go. I felt sick with fear. I could not spill it on these pages incase it happened. Even now, I'm not so pleased I'm posting it and would have preferred to write it after Christmas (which is why I haven't started a new paragraph because I don't want a new problem. It's a brutal system we 'statutory homeless' are caught in).

I adore Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee but living with them is not an option. This does not mean I do not love them, I do. For a start, I don't have a driver's licence and I need one of those to live with them. When the local shop closed its doors forever, the bus service was discontinued.

I have a letter saying I do not have to leave this property, not next week, not in the near future. I have a witness that I've been told the Bailiff order won't be enforced until August (you were with me journo, you were with me when they called, I hope I don't have to call you)

I will paper over this post with another. As with blogspot as with life, what is past is past.

"You need to think positive thoughts," said the doc. "You need to get out of your environment, do you have somewhere to go for Christmas?"

I am spending Christmas with my family. I am spending Christmas with my son AND I am spending Christmas with my parents, sister and brothers (must not argue; Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee don't like it and it's not fair on them).

I am extraordinarily lucky. I thank God. I will say a little stigmum prayer on Christmas Day for those who aren't extraordinarily lucky.

To everybody, I toast your wealth, health and happiness for the future, with my cup of tea.

Access at Christmas

My son has always been happy to see his dad and always happy to see me on his return whenever he goes away. I've never had to deal with the heart wrenching pain that many children of separated parents feel and parents forced to deal with. Not so yesterday afternoon. The tears; the tears that would not, could not, stop from falling.

"I don't want to go mummeeeeeee, don't make me gohhh. I want to stay with youuuuu, you're the bestest, the specialist, the kindest, don't make me gohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

"It's only for a few days sweetie, you'll be back soon, you'll have a great time, you'll see."

"I haaaaate my daddeeeeeeee."

"You don't mean that, he loves you."

"I hate Ssssss, he's so annoyinnnng"

"Yeah, well, brothers can be. It'll be alright, I promise."

"Don't make me gohhh, don't maaaake me gohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

"What's wrong with 'im?" says the Foca when he eventually turns up.

"He's just exhausted."


"Because it's the end of term? It's been a big day? He's been freezing cold all week because the heating's been on the blink? He's shattered."

"Don't make me gohhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

"Why don't you want to come?" asks the Foca.

"I hate Ssssss, he's soo annnoyinnnnnng."

"No he's not, he's really excited about seeing you."

Oh I could go on, as I heard him wailing all the way down the road, his little self surrendering to the dragging hand of his tall father, but I won't.

I'm lucky; my son will be spending Christmas Day with me. Boxing Day he will go with his dad. Me and his dad row about it every year and I know I should do the alternate thing. A zillion mothers I do not know have to do it, like my nephew and niece's mum who has done it for ten years. T's mum's foca moved to Australia, she doesn't have to do it. Same with my son's class teacher, her foca moved to Australia too (coincidentally!)

For me access is a nasty, painful business, even though in between Christmas, Easter and my son's birthday I have gotten 'used' to it.

The children, our children, they have to deal with so much.

Children, children, you are amazing.

Friday, 18 December 2009


Milly called me yesterday suggesting a cuppa tea round her place this morning. I will text her in a minute.
Have just received a text from Hus, saying she's really excited about tonight. I forgot all about tonight. Her text says we're going to Gilgamesh. Tis a nice place, I must forget that it's a bit pricey for my pocket. I thought Anne had suggested the 90's disco that's a fiver to get into. That would've been good. Bop away to "I get knocked down, but I get back up again, you're never gonna keep me down! I get knocked down, but I get up again...." (Chumbawumba)

Right, I must breathe. I do not want to spoil my time with these laydees. They will listen to me, but I do not want to listen to myself.

I don't wanna
Talk about it
How this crap breaks my heart
I can stay here just a little bit longer
While I stay here will They listen to my heart, whoa, my heart?

(Stiggers with Rod Stewart. 'They' are the Council, but you got that)

Explain this to me oh Council my keeper

This is the email I have just sent Quality, Allocations and Permanent. I may give the Housing Association a rest today. I'm a bit tired, ya know....

Dear Quality, Allocations, Permanent,

Yesterday I received a letter from Pathmeads telling me that by now I should have received a copy of the Order for Possession and that it does not mean I have to physically leave this property on that day or that a Court Bailiff will be calling on Monday to evict me and my son. Fortunately I discovered this on Monday when the owner of the property intervened on my behalf after Pathmeads told me they couldn't find anything about this rupture to my tenancy 'on the system'.

They have told me that if I do not understand anything in the letter they have sent me, to telephone my Housing Officer. On Monday I was told he may be on leave, but what I do not understand relates to the Council, so they may well direct me back to you anyway.

This is what I have trouble understanding:

'Where the Local Authority who referred you to us has not yet made arrangements for alternative temporary or permanent accommodation for you, we may be able to delay its right to possession of the property from you until an offer of accommodation has been made.' I will call them and ask them to explain this to me but you also may be able to explain this to me.

'We will however take steps to enforce our right to possession of the property where we are notified by the Local Authority that it has discharged any housing duty owed to you or has decided that it does not owe any duty to you.' This, I do not understand. I do not understand at all.

How does the Council discharge any housing duty owed to me and my son? Under what circumstances?
How does the Council decide that it does not owe any duty to us?

I know it is Christmas so I apologise for sending this to you today. If you could just send me an email saying the Council will answer these questions as soon as possible, I would be grateful.

I do wish you all a Happy Christmas. I can't tell you the relief that my son and I won't be spending it in a hostel.

Kind regards,

Sue de Nim

Now I will breathe. With the help of Nico Teen naturally.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Grrr I Don't Understand

Apologies in advance, I don't know how long I'll keep you here. I've just received a letter from the housing association and I'm going to quote it, so you can think 'oh stigmum you're so thick'...

Dear Ms De Nim
You should by now have received a copy of the Order for Possession made in the Central London County Court on 07 December 2009. (Did you know before me????)

Although the order provides a date for possession, this does not mean that you will have to physically vacate the property on that date, or that a court bailiff will be calling on that date to evict you. It does however mean that your tenancy is at an end, and that after that date we can take steps to enforce our right to possession, which means you would have to move out of the property.

Under the terms of the lease between the owner of the property and us, we need to obtain a Possession Order to ensure that we can give the property back with vacant possession at the end of our lease (yes this I knew, but there's another lease with the council , that it's not renewing with you)

Where the Local Authority who referred you to us has not yet made arrangements for alternative temporary or permanent accommodation for you, we may be able to delay its right to possession of the property from you until an offer of (I fucking hope permanent) accommodation has been made.

(The Council too wants the property back from me. Am I understanding this right? Durr. I guess that's right, it placed me here, it is not renewing it's lease ("It's not your home, it's somewhere you rent" said the Leader of the Council Lady implying a thousand things) son, my sun, my son...)

This I DO NOT UNDERSTAND (the bits in bold that is):
We will however take steps to enforce our right to possession of the property where we are notified by the Local Authority that it has discharged any housing duty owed to you or has decided that it does not owe any duty to you

(I don't get this bold bit, don't get this at all. How do they discharge a duty? By not housing me? When does it not owe any duty to me? In both cases forcing me into the private sector? Or when they find out I'm blogging and they want to 'teach me a lesson' - never bite the Hand, even if it's for good intentions? The Council tell me I'm "intelligent" and "articulate" like they know me or something. Are the answers obvious?)

In these or similar cases circumstances, we will take action to ensure that you leave the property and will ask a Court Bailiff to evict you. You will be informed of the eviction date.

If you do not understand anything in this letter (hmm) or any of the documents you receive from the Court, please telephone your Housing Officer (didn't you tell me he was on leave?)... if you have any queries.

My doctor told me I was "stuck in a rut of negativity" today and had to start thinking positively.

I have to call these people tomorrow. I don't want to do this. I want to 'let go' of my housing worries. The housing association is likely to tell me to contact the council over my queries with them. I don't want to do this either. I felt its hard edge on Monday.

Yours sincerely and a very Happy Christmas
Court Liaison Officer

Ok ok, they didn't say Happy Christmas. That was Stigmum. I'm feeling like I can't breathe.

Visit to the doctor no 5

Oh I can't forget this feeling
Of those bids as I was leaving
But I guess that's just the way
The story goes
I try to smile but in my eyes
My sorrow shows
“Yes it shows”

“You must forget it all tomorrow
When you think of all your sorrow
It’s not good for you
So you must let it go”

But now it's only fair
That I should let you know
What you already know

I can't live
If living is with this shi i i it
I can't live
I can't give anymore
I can't live
If living is with this shi i i it
I can't give
I can't live anymore

Well I can’t forget this evening
All this shite I’m crap at leaving
But I guess that's just the way
The story goes

“You’re always sad but in your eyes
Let good thoughts show
Good thoughts sho o ow”

I can't LIVE
If living is with this shi i it
I can't live
I can't give any more

“You’ll live
I sent the Hand your medic form"

I might live
I’ll try to worry no mooooooooooooooooreohhhhhhhhhh
Living now with this shit

(Stigmum playing doctor and patient with Harry Nilsson's version of this tune)

Bidding, the imperceptable earthquake

Week in, week out, week in, week out, week in, week out we bid. We have long given up hoping so it's a depressing activity. A booming trade for the pharmaceutical industry, what can I say?

Ah, what I've bid on this week. Luckily, there are a couple of properties there.

First floor of a block on a 'large estate', walking distance from son's school. Zat oh Zat oh where will you go? Don't think about it: £88.35p a week rent.

Second floor of a conversion, a short bike ride from son's school. Zat oh Zat where will you go? And there's no bath, only a shower. There's full central heating though and on a day like this, full central heating is just what a person needs. £97.20 for this one.

Current position on list:

Block: 25/74
Conversion: 20/70

You see, abandon all hope all ye who enter.

It's all bollocks though. You're not telling me, that when I was shortlisted three years ago with less points than I have now, that there weren't people back then with more points than me who weren't shortlisted.

Must dash to my doctor's appointment. Pete the Plumber's just got here too. Great timing!

"Get over it"

You've heard the phrase "Get over it!" You may have been dumped, you may be suffering a bereavement, I dunno, there are tons of things we human beings have to 'get over'. For the good of our friends, families, colleagues, we have to 'get over it' pretty damn quickly.

Some are very good at this. I am not one of those.

This does not make me a "victim."

My recent housing experience was a psychological earthquake for me, 9 on my Richter scale. I do not know when its tremors will stop or when a mini magnitude 3 earthquake will rupture my day (tis Thursday though, bidding day, so it does happen weekly).

I am not alone in enduring these seismic waves. 18000 people are waiting for a council flat in this borough.

We are all fecking 'victims'.

So just like this is my home but it's not, I am a victim but I'm not.

You might be a victim but you're not.


The plumber's coming!!!

The plumber has just called. He will try to be here by 11.30.

We are promised warmth!

We can have a bath!

I can do the washing up!

I can do the bleedin' laundry!

Oh! To have our heating and hot water back! Oh!

Still timed though, it costs as you know.

Lucky in many ways that I am a stigmum; this "is not my home" so the owner of the flat is carrying the cost of Senor Plumber.

Tis that game you see, the Council doesn't want to carry any costs, probably why they are auctioning off all the council properties, so that the private sector carries us and of course, you, monsieur and mademoiselle taxpayer, end up paying our rent because it's so high, high, high. Well, you know, you are possibly on a meagre salary yourself....

It's ssstilll ccccoldd

"It's gone" I said to you yesterday. But that was only the bile stuck in my throat from Monday's round with the council and housing association. What's not gone, is my problem with the heating.

The plumbers came, oh they did come, two of them. "Ribbit ribbit ribbit" went the new doorbell. It was 8.30 and I was just putting my son to bed with a hot water bottle. "Oh this is lovely mummy, thank you."

I don't know how long they stayed. I fell asleep watching the Royal Variety Show, huddled in a ball on the sofa, my scarf wrapped around my ears. Male voices were calling me, I couldn't find them. They swirled in the darkness but where where were they coming from? Panic siezed my heart and slowly I realised they, the plumbers, were calling me, it wasn't a dream.

"There are too many problems with the boiler. The pipes are blocked, water can't get through. The engine packed out on you, the immersion has collapsed. We will come back tomorrow."

"Mummy, I'm cold. My body is cold," said my son this morning.
Fortunately, ffffortunately, Juggling Mum had lent us a convector heater last night. I'd put it in the bedroom. "Switch it on," I instructed my hot water bottle boy. Chill winds replaced his presence in the bed.

So yeah, now I must wait. I must put all the dirty laundry in a black bag and put it in the bedroom so the plumber can work. Put my son's Ikea fabric "wardrobe" in there too. Clear the corridor basically.

I have a doctor's appointment at 1. I'm missing Bazza's Boot Camp. I'd be no good today anyway after using all my defence against Monday's thrashing by the System.

The Master would let me meditate. That would be nice; in that environment with my uniform on.

Ha ha ha! Stigmum's singing!

Risin' up back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance now I'm back on my feet
Just a mum with the will to survive
So many times it happens too fast
I trade my passion for glory
Don't lose my grip on the dreams of the past
I must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger
It's the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rivals
And the last known survivor
Stalks her prey in the night
And she's watching us all
With the eye
Of the tiger!

(I tell Stigmum that the fight is not thrilling, I'm not back on my feet and she says "I know but Survivor's song is a good one.")

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Blogging, in a nutshell.

Bloody hell! A few hours ago I post 'nutshells in a nutshell'

I didn't expect to write so many nutshells. I certainly didn't plan to, I certainly didn't plan that many. Oh well, that's Stigmum for you.

I can't even say that read backwards, 'against' blogspot, from bottom to top, you get a consecutive story of all of Monday's events. It's all a bit higgledy piggeldy, as fragmented really as my own motherboard. A stream of consciousness, told almost unconsciously. So I will not edit unless I decide to make up a label called 'nutshells' which I don't plan to at the moment.

It's gone. There is more to the story but there always is more. I'm sure Stigmum will make me tell whatever she wants to tell when she's good and ready.

For now though, we are 'up to speed' in blogland. I can start thinking about Christmas. We don't have to move! We don't have to move!! We are not forced to spend Christmas in a hostel! We are sooooo lucky!! I can start thinking about tidying up. Ironically that's what my son and I were doing when the possession order came on Saturday. He'd put old toys he doesn't want into a bag to give kids in hospital.

I can pop out to the shops and buy some tea and also some bread to make a sandwich because I only had a plum for breakfast and I'm quite hungry now.

It's REALLY REALLY snowing now! From indoors it's REALLY quite beautiful from up here in my Tower. It's as cold inside as outside so walking in it shouldn't be a problem, only I'll wear gloves outside; gloves aren't really conducive to tapping on a computer.

I'm glad I posted all this. I don't know what it means for me but hey, what's done is done.
The plumber will (hopefully) come at 9pm tonight and life will (hopefully) get back onto an even keel. I might even get some sleep, though I may have to wait for that, I never do know.

Thank you blogspot, in a nutshell, I'm really, rather glad I've got you!

Me, in a nutshell

I know it is very dangerous to bite the hands that feed you.

I also know that the bodies that operate the hands that feed me are ordinary people.
Stigmum rages against a machine and the risk of course, is that if the housing division reads any of this, it may never house me at all. The greatest risk of all, is that my son continues to live with a woman, who for reasons untold and unknown, desperately wants security for him, for herself.

I cannot help myself from writing about it because I know that although I'm not the whole population angry at this machine, I am nonetheless not unique and parents, not only parents, but parents, want the same for their children.

I want my own home.
I want to win the lottery so I don't have to ask the State to give me one and can buy my own home so that my son always has security and I have no mortgage and thus no rent to pay.
I want to earn a squillion pounds Pro Rata so I don't have to depend on winning the lottery to provide this basic foundation for my child, for myself.
In short I guess you could say, in a nutshell, I want to be free.

My son, in a nutshell

I go to pick up my son from school. I'd told him I might not be there, the mentors had said they would hang on to him while I went to sort out our lives.

"We're not moving anywhere!" I say as I see him.

His face beams. I can't remember what he said. Sometimes I find his beauty overwhelming.

"He was very frightened earlier today," says the classroom assistant.

"Oh god, it's so hard to hide things from them when you live so close together."

"Mummy, mummy, look what I made!"

It's a piece of green card and in a cut on the top, slots a self portrait he's drawn with an open mouthed incredibly toothy grin. On the card he has written:

"My hair is brown, my eyes are brown and I Love playing on my psp. My name is x. I like laughing alot."

I love his laugh. His laugh can have me laughing when I don't even know what it's about. I can't describe it for you, but Dickens can describe Scrooge's nephew, and I must quote him so you get an idea of why I love my son's laugh so much. It is the same:

"'Ha, ha!' laughed Scrooge's nephew. 'Ha, ha, ha!'
If you should happen, by any unlikely chance, to know a man more blessed in a laugh than Scrooge's nephew (my son), all I can say is, I should like to know him too. Introduce him to me, and I'll cultivate his acquaintance.
It is a fair, even handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. When Scrooge's nephew (my son) laughed in this way... - (in my son's case like a song) - Scrooge's niece, by marriage (me, my son's mother) laughed as heartily as he (well, mine is a silent side splitting laugh). And their (my son's) assembled friends, being not a bit behind, roared out lustily.
'Ha, ha! Ha, ha, ha, ha!'" (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, interrupted of course, by Stiggers)

I am one very blessed woman to have been given my boy, that's all I can say about my son, in a nutshell.

The Press, in a nutshell

I am afraid of the press. Yep. Wouldn't you know it, I was a journalist once and I am afraid of the press.

I tend to be afraid of what I know. I know too much about people's experiences with housing, so being in this housing situation myself frightens the fecking life out of me.

On Monday I was possessed. I was possessed by something, I have decided I was possessed by Stigmum. She who is braver than me, she who couldn't give a flying fairy cake about anything, she who I sometimes have trouble controlling. I had to follow her on Monday, she wanted to go to the press, so to the press we went.

I was there too though. We were 'in it together' so to speak.

I went to the CNJ, the local rag and I asked to speak to the journo I've met before, three or four times, sometimes coincidentally. He I bcc'd the email to the Party Leaders for my charity walk donations.

"I thought it might be you," he said when he came downstairs.

Looking at the word "Anger" on a copy of the paper sitting on the reception desk, I ask him if I can speak to him off the record. He goes to lead me upstairs. "Can we go out?" I ask. "Where noone can hear me?"

There's a coffee shop next door, but I've just come from Cafe Nero. I want to go to the World's End. I feel my world is ending.

"I have a beautiful story for you," I say. "It's curious but even when one is in the eye of a storm, one can still be objective."

I want to buy him a drink but my fingers don't pull out the fiver from my pocket, just a pound and 21 pence but he's already said he'll cover it but I'm like "No me, I've dragged you out."

I have a pint of water. Water water water for my thirst. He buys his own non alcoholic beverage.

He twigs that I'm the phantom letter writer. We laugh about it. Well, it is quite funny.

I tell him that I, me, just me, I have to protect my son. Above all else, I have to protect my son.

You could call it fate, you can call it whatever you like, but as we're sitting there talking, the housing association phones. I can stay where I am, I don't have to move yet.

Relief, for me. I cannot describe the relief. Not relief that he has no story, for he does, he knows who I am now. No, relief that I can deliver the good news to my son that we won't have to move next week.

I tell him that I will write about it, of course I will, but I don't know how. I can't write like a journalist anymore, I can't write like an academic. When Stigmum writes, she cannot be constrained. As you know, if you follow, she has me at my laptop however fucking tired I am if there's something she wants to say.

It was nice talking as one journalist to another. But then I'm not a journalist am I? I'm a single mother on benefits wanting a council flat.

It was nice talking as one writer to another.

I mustn't worry, I am after all, a paid up member of the School of Doris.

A cup of tea, in a nutshell

I want a cup of tea. I have no teabags. I do not want Lemon and Ginger. I do not want Green. I want Builders with two spoons of sugar to help the medicine go down.

In a high octane flurry I go into the kitchen and rather desperately, as though my life depends on it, search frantically. Isn't there a bag ANYWHERE?

What's this? I didn't know I had this! "Tea bag selection"! Oooooh!

I open it, all fingers and thumbs. Earl Grey! Darjeeling! Where's English Breakfast? I want English Breakfast! English Breakfast reminds me of a funny story.

Years and years and years ago, I worked in a self service restaurant. On this particular day, myself and a girl called Maria were working on the 'drinks' counter. She on hot, me on soft.

A man asks her what teas she has. She tells him.

"What does English Breakfast Tea taste like?" he enquired with a very posh voice.

"Eggs, bacon, sausage, what d'ya fink?" she replied deadpan.

An old memory but one that still makes me laugh.

Yes, here it is! A cup of tea saves the day!

My support worker, in a nutshell

I would not want his job. Ever. (Note I do not say I never want his job for I find the old adage 'never say never' to be a true one and what you 'never' want to happen often does. However to upturn what I have just written I have been known to say on occasion: I never want to win the lottery, but then the whole Law of Attraction fucks that up so no wonder I haven't won yet)

He had to speak to me on Monday. Just like I am a conduit for Stigmum, he is a conduit for his managers. I cannot shoot the messenger. I do not want to. Still, the messenger reminded me of what I did not want reminded, because he had no choice and taught me a thing or two that I didn't know before.

When deciding what to do with individual families they look at the "bedroom category and the family composition."

I already know this, I wrote a dissertation after all. You can find this out by going on line and reading the 'allocations' manual.

My son is entitled to his own bedroom. Has been for years. So when my support worker tells me that his managers say that because of my family composition a hostel is "suitable" you might understand why I get a teensy weensy bit angry.

On Monday, he had to deliver the bad news of my impending eviction that luckily isn't going to happen.

The law advice I was given told me to ask the council to place me in a higher priority banding now I had notice of possession. On my mobile I begged my support worker to do this now.

"Priority banding doesn't work like that," he said. "There is no priority bandings for tenancy ends of temporary accommodation."

I went mad; no point in getting angry, not his fault.

Then he said: "There's no going around it now. You've exhausted every avenue. Unfortunately that is the conclusion now."

"No it isn't!" I screamed, calmly. "I haven't been down the avenue of the PRESS!"
"Are you going to do that?" he asked.
"Why not? I've gone to the prime minister, the party leaders, but I haven't gone there. WHY NOT?"

Ohhhhhhhhhh. Years ago when the church evicted me, I was told by my MP "The press won't help you."

They might, I'd thought but did I really want to see my son's beautiful face plastered on the front page of the Mirror? NO.

I don't want the press to help me. I was a journalist once. I DO NOT WANT to be a story.

Monday I was mad though. Or was Stigmum mad? I'd asked her to stay with me after all. I'd asked her to give me strength. I'd been strong, I'd kept my cool with all the conversations I'd had. I hadn't dissolved into tears.

I run into my stigmum friend outside Cafe Nero and I tell her "I'm going to the press. Fuck it, I don't CARE."

The Leader of the Council, in a nutshell

The Leader of the Council wasn't in the Town Hall on Monday his PA told me so I was put through to the woman I spoke to a couple of weeks ago. The Leader of the Council's Lady, for blogging purposes.

She did say, in our final conversation on Monday morning, that she would look into mine and my son's case again. I hope she does.

People can be very nice in the council, you can have decent conversations. I know, I've had plenty, with her included.

She's the one who told me to note down who I spoke to at the HPU and I suddenly felt I had licence in that (personally) awful place to write everything down as it was spoken to me without looking like I would be using it later. I hope this admission doesn't make it difficult for people in the future.

The Leader of the Council can't help, but I knew that was coming, I told you in my 'letting go' post a couple of weeks ago.

People can though say things, speak truths, that in their simplicity, can come as a real blow to someone like me.

"The lease is up, you have to move," she'd said.
"But it's my home and it's Christmas week."
"It's not your home, it's somewhere you rent."
Slap. "It is my home!"

I bump into a stigmum friend outside Cafe Nero and she says: "She's right you know."
The owner of the flat said: "It is your home."

I, I, I wrote a 10,000 word dissertation on families in hostels asking them all "Home Sweet HOME?"

It is my home. I know it's not my home. I want a Home. I WANT. Aaaaaaaaaaaargh I don't want to go maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

The HPU, in a nutshell

Going there, on my own, without a social worker this time, was well, fucking scary, that's why I asked Stigmum to stay with me.

Cutting this story, right down, I eventually found its new premises.

"It's hell in here isn't it?" said a young mum who came in while I was sitting in the slimmed down waiting room. Her story, fucking hell. I didn't ask her if I could tell it but seven years, three children; these stories fuel my own fear. I took her number, I should text her. I will do when I finish posting all this.

In short my visit to "Hell on Earth" was a wasted journey for me. (As I write this I look out of the window and it's snowing! I told you it was ccccccccccold!)

Anyway, the council told me they would arrange for me to speak to a housing officer next year and I thought "I want to talk to one NOW."

When the woman (very nice) discovered I hadn't come off the streets, or swooped in from the private sector or any other avenue, but discovered instead I was on the council's very own homeless register she said:

"Really you should have a support worker."

"Oh I do, but unfortunately he can't do anything to help us."

She finally gets through to him and asks "What are you going to do to assist her?"

I hear the woman say "she will be offered temporary accommodation" and feel my bile rise, my bile that has to be kept under control.

"I want to get angry," I say.

"Some people do and it can work," she says.

Rrrrraaagghh why can't I make it work for my son???????????????????

In a nutshell, if you are statutory homeless you are already in the Bowels of Hell so there really is no need to go to the Gates of Hell.

I'm glad I didn't know this, I'm glad I went. Next August I will go again if my support worker is still not allowed to help me. Pointless, I know it's fucking pointless, but you, if you're still around reading this, will know just how fucked up this system is.

It's a Never Ending fucking Story isn't it Limahl only Stigmum's lyrics would be a bit different to yours.

My landlady, in a nutshell

Technically, she is not my landlady. She is the owner of the flat. She bought it with me sitting in it a couple of years ago. She took over the lease with my real Landlord. This also ends next August.

She didn't 'choose' me. I have had a million landlords and landladies. So far, other than, with hindsight, the Church, she is the best I've had. I couldn't hand on heart say I've been her best tenant though; I am a bit messy.

On Monday she called the housing association after my own distress call to her.

She told me she got angry with them:

"You treat people like cattle with no consideration for their feelings," she reiterated to me. "You have a duty of care and you should make sure they are properly informed."

I remember now, my housing officer did tell me to 'ignore' the letters. I don't fecking know, these 'letters' are like Medecine Balls to me. I didn't see it coming and it whacked me in the head.

A war of words ensued apparantly with the woman saying 'it wasn't me', it 'isn't personal' and I laughed (is it a laugh or a cackle when something isn't funny?) and mentioned 'The Godfather'.

"She was very wooly with me at first," continued the flat owner. "Until I said 'It's a very cruel thing to do on the 21st of December. It's very biblical. Do you want us to go to the National Press? Then she sharpened up."

I thanked her. She's not young, the owner of the flat; she was in hospital on Sunday night with heart problems.

I had to text her later to say I'd forgotten to mention my heating was on the blink. (I did mention it at the Homeless Person's Unit and the woman there did say she'd note it down but I'm very used to hearing now that it's the housing association's responsibility not the council's. I forgot to mention it to the housing association so used am I to hearing it's the owner of the flat's responsibility.... round and round I go...)

She bought me round a heater yesterday but it didn't work. It may have blown the adapter. The plumber is coming at 9pm tonight. One she trusts, one who's cheap.

"9 pm?" said Artistic mum.
"Oh it's ok, if it was up to the housing association, nothing would happen for weeks."

One more thing about the owner of the flat. She understands my need for a bigger place. She understands my son's needs for his own room. I wouldn't mind having her as a landlady but then I think about the high rents in the private sector and look back towards the Council.

"Shall I call them on your behalf?" she said on Monday.
"OK, yeah, that would be really nice of you. Thanks."

The housing association, in a nutshell

Thirty leases between the housing association and the council, which has placed us families in its care, are ending in the next year, I discovered this earlier this year.

On Monday, sitting in Cafe Nero, I phone my Landlord.

In a nutshell, I'm told that it knows nothing about my impending eviction. "It's not on the system."

I ask if I can speak to my housing officer. I'm told he might be on annual leave. Lucky him!

I ask if I can speak to someone else and the woman says they'll get back to me.

"When?" I ask.
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
"It says I have to be out of my flat next Monday. It's important. Can someone call me today?"
"I'm sorry, I'll find out for you. I don't know."

I phone the owner of my flat, who has a lease agreement with them, to ask her for a stay of execution. She says she'll call them.

I get a call from the housing association when I'm drinking a pint of water in the "World's End." She tells me the owner of the flat called.

"Don't worry, it's nothing to worry about, it's just a possession order... You don't have to leave unless we enforce the bailiff's order."

I ask her when when when. Next August. I feel my whole body relax. I feel my head expand and let in air.

"I have to ask, did you do this on purpose? Getting these orders out in time for Christmas?"

"We applied in October, it can take eight weeks," she replied. "We don't know. It's up to the court. We can't really guess when the order comes through. We have to do this."

Why is it, with these big organisations, it is always someone else's fault?

The council, in a nutshell

Putting the council in a nutshell is very hard because its housing system is possibly the harshest part of it.

I am inside this system yet not inside this system.

I do not know what it would be like to be inside. I tell myself it will be secure and affordable, hopefully warm.

Outside the inside but inside the outside feels like I'm being grinded between two slabs which slowly rotate in opposite directions.

"We are not people in this machine, we are numbers," I'd told the Leader of the Council's Lady when she told me they couldn't intervene in individual cases. "We are just a number, with no feelings, no history, no nothing."

The housing system, in my mind, is about number crunching. I certainly felt crushed on Monday.

Children don't have a number. Like Jill Tweedie, I want to eat my child.

"Do you think this system is fair? Do you think this system is just?"

I forced the Leader of the Council's Lady to answer me. She admitted it wasn't, which was a huge relief. She said it needed changing.

There was no time to ask her: "How?"

I guess that can wait for another day.

Nutshells, in a nutshell

I intended to write all these nutshells last night having quickly scripted drafts with a knackered mind in the cccccold afternnnnoon.

Stigmum and I battled. I wanted to cry I so didn't want to do this. "Get it over with, get it over with." "It's so cold, I'm so tired." "Do it in your sleep, you've done it before."

Fate intervened. I run into Lucky going to collect my boy from after school club, I tell her the landlady's lent me a heater but it doesn't work. "Ask the school if they've got one," she says. "Good idea! I never thought of that!"

It was late at the school. A heater that had been there "15 minutes ago" had gone. While they told me to wait, they would find one, Artistic mum came to collect her boys, and to cut a story short, suggested we stay at hers; it was warm, there was hot water.

I thought of the bbbbitttter cccccold, grateful I wasn't a ppppensioner and anyway, she saved my sorry arse.

I went to sleep on her sofa at 8.45.

"What shall we talk about mummy?!" said my excited son, whose tooth had fallen out that day.

"Nothing, it's time to sleep!"

I woke up in the dead of night. It said midnight on my phone. On and off for hours, Stigmum sang with Harry Nilsson, in her own way as usual:

Everybody's talkin' at me
I can't hear a word they're sayin'
Only the echoes of my mind

I wanna be where the sun keeps shinin'
Thru the pourin' rain
Where the weather suits my soul

I was extremely grateful that it was warm, that I wasn't in my "it's not your home, it's somewhere you rent." I was grateful I could stop the cacaphony in mind by being the 'tooth fairy'.

So yeah, the nutshells you've just read (or are reading as you follow me write ha ha ha!) are just my notes of this recent experience, not of a wider picture. I've not taken pains over it, I have no energy, it's taken pain from me.

As with blogspot, what is past is past. If I don't edit, which I don't want to, I can always post a change of mind later.

Right stiggers, here fecking goes, let's get it over with.....

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Relief Dreams

I went to bed telling myself we were safe. Safe, safe, don't worry. Christmas, you can get on with Christmas now....sleep sweet sweet sleep, sleep!

Shadows of conversations whip through the darkness.

"Your lease is up, you have to move," says the Leader of the Council's Lady.
"It's my home, and it's Christmas!"
"It's not your home, it's somewhere you rent."
"It is my home!"
It's not your home it's not your home it's not your home

In swoops the support worker: "They'll put you in the hostel, it's decided on your bedroom category and family composition."
"Stop saying that to me!"
Family composition family composition family composition ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaa!

"I can't see anything on the system about an eviction order," says the Housing Association.
"What? You've sent me three notices!"
"No, there's nothing there."
Nothing there nothing there nothing there nothing there

"Put me in a priority banding!" I plead support worker.
"It doesn't work like that, no priority bandings for tenancy ends of temporary accommodation."
"What! That's ridiculous!"
No priority no priority no priority no priority for YOU
"No going around it now. You've exhausted every avenue. Unfortunately that is the conclusion now."
No going around it now not now no going around it now that's the conclusion conclusion conclusion

Conclusion conclusion conclusion

Conclusion conclusion that's not your home no priority for you no going around it now no going around it no going around it no going around it now and off I disappear "WANTING" in a straight jacket.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Monday night and Tuesday morning

Yyyyyey! Sssssooo rrrrreLIEVED! Dddddoonn'ttt hhhaavve tto mmmooove. Ffffffuck ittt's sssooo cccccold. Llllettt mmme ttttry tttto wwwritte ssssomethhhing. Bbig ssstory, bbbbbig sssstory. Nnnot the sssame as Mmmy Wwweekend. Hhhhhow? Ssssso ttttired, tttooo ttttired. Tttttooo cccccccccccold. Bbbbbbbed.

Relief dreams chase me through the night.

The alarm finally goes. My son and I bound together in a huddle of warmth. Ccccold out tttthere.

Nico Teen? Where are you Nico Teen? I can't find you Nico Teen. Where did I put you last night Nico Teen? I can't remember so tired I was so tired.

Landlady phones. Plumber coming tomorrow night. Tomorrow night? She says she'll come round with a heater. She's nice my landlady. I'm lucky.

Stop looking for Nico Teen. Eat. Toast and marmite. Force it down. Good opportunity to give up smoking. I want to give up. Nico Teen. WHERE ARE YOU?

My son finds Nico Teen in the bathroom. I'm so sorry I smoke. I will give up I promise.

Late for school. Go for a shot I tell myself, try to write something. Fag first. Oh oh oh fag first.

"Hi!" I say to E's mum as she walks towards me. "You ok?"

"Not bad, how are you?"

"Knackered. I got a possession order on Saturday saying I had to be out of my flat by next Monday."

"Fucks sake, they do anyfing don't they?"

"So yesterday I find out exactly what the council would've done with us. I ring the housing association who issued the order and they say they can't see anything on the system.."


"I know, bloody unbelievable isn't it? So I ring my landlady to ask for a stay of execution and she says she'll ring the housing association and tells them to phone me."

"And what did they say?"

"Don't worry! It's nothing to worry about, it's just a procedure! I don't have to go until they issue the Bailiff's order."

"When's that?"

"August. I'll go through this again next August but at least it won't be Christmas but how are you?"

"Christmas yeah, they like to frow fings at Christmas but I might have a case against the council with my housing."

"Yeah? Oh great."

"Yeah. I've got 366 points now."

"Oh wow, how did you get that?"

"I've been really ill and I fink they're beginnin' to realise that although my problem's somefing else, housing's playing a massive part."

"Tell me about it," I laugh in the shivering cold. "I'm writing stuff about me yeah but can I throw what's happening to you in there? I need a fake name for you though. What fake name do you want?"

"Call me Lucky!" she says and we both giggle.

"You sure?"

"Yeah! I was in fuckin' court last week."

"What??? Why???"

"Yeah, because of me bein' ill and all the Baby P stuff, they've put a supervision order on E."

"You're joking... Have you got a social worker?"

"Oh yeah, I've got one and E's got one so she's alright but me...."

"I bet you can't erm, you know, erm, tell her off!"

"No way! I don't know what her social worker's sayin' to her on the quiet when they're togever but the stuff she's comin' out wiv, I can't say anyfin' to her. If I say "don't do whatever" she's like "you're so unfair, I hate you, I'm calling the police!"

"It beggars bloody belief doesn't it..."

"On top of that yeah, a girl in my counsellin' group committed suicide last week."


"It all got too much for her."

"Was she a mum?"

"No but it doesn't matter does it.. she was a nice girl too, I'm still in shock and I have to be all happy happy 'oh it's Christmas isn't it exciting' so E doesn't feel it an' get affected."

I laugh at this. "I bought my son a Christmas CD for 3 quid on Sunday and was playing all this tinny music really loudly so he wouldn't guess how frightened I was."

"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow on our cardboard box!" she sings.

"Ha ha ha, tis the season ey, tis the season! Listen good luck, I'm going to go in there for a coffee and write all this shit down."

"Yeah, I've got to go too."

"Look after yourself Lucky!"

"Yeah, you too."

Lucky mamma is on the transfer register. She moved into a permanent one bed flat. Often it's nigh on impossible for mums who have moved into one bed council flats to move into a two bed. They need to be dragged off in a straight jacket first and even then it's tough.

This image chased me, the mamma in a temporary flat, in my dream last night. From the Christmas Carol film clearly. The girl "WANT" clinging to the legs of the giant ghost grows into a woman swirling around scrooge. "Aren't there any workhouses," she cackles before being encased in a straight jacket and pulled away into the distance.

You might understand why I might have cried in that bit of the film.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

14 days notice? No, not that 'lucky'

The penny dropped today. You get told you'll get 14 days notice, but you don't. That would give 10 working days to talk to the council.

Day 1 was Tuesday. This is when the letter was sent. No phone call, no warning.

I have but five days to talk to the council over the future of my son.

They are going to see us as an 'emergency'. This despite the fact that I have been writing to them since before January, when I chose to blog it all for you. This despite the fact that I have written to them a great deal since September when I got the first notice. So too the Prime Minister, so too my MP, so too Local Authority leaders. Oh you know, it's all here.

The housing association, a registered charity, is evicting us Christmas week and the Council will say we're an 'emergency'. I sent them an email yesterday: "Have I been lied to? You told me August."

Politicians wax lyrical about the Protection of Children. This is Cruelty to Children.

My son and I are mere pawns in their blame games of greed.

I am freezing despite wearing a multitude of layers. I don't know if it's because the heating's on the blink, or whether it's that old foe, Fear.

I can't spill my fear on here. I mustn't. I have to focus.

My son needs me to focus.

My son my Sun my Son

Stigmum I love you but I don't think even you can help me now. Stay with me though; tomorrow is my third visit to the Homeless Person's Unit since my son was born. It's Heaven for some people; it's Hell on Earth for me.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Too many ironies

A Christmas Carol is a very good film. "Too wordy" I heard someone say the other day, but it's a wordy book. It's not sad but will you cry like I did?

Carols at Trafalgar Square. The tree is beautiful, really so very beautiful. 80 years old my son told me. His teacher told him. Lots of protest groups there. The choir was introduced by "The London City Mission" which works with homeless people. Invited the crowd for tea, coffee, mince pies and mulled wine! I wanted to go....

Jab was with me with little T. Said she'd join us at the film at the (excellent, amateur) pantomime last night. I heard about Trafalgar on Heart FM this morning, before the postman came (we've used a toy my son won at the Winter Fair as our new doorbell!).

After "Silent Night" Jab said the kids needed feeding. I didn't want to leave but not for her, my son would have gone hungry. Sing, sing a song....Hark the Herald Angels Sing, anything, anything, please.....

I drank wine like water. I'm so thirsty, so so thirsty.

I can't spill my fear on here. I can't. I have to focus.

My little boy is sleeping now. He caught me crying earlier and cried too seeing me crying. "Oh don't cry sweetie. Mummy crying is good! Better than being angry at the water bottle isn't it, better than being angry at the rice and lentils? It's just a letter."

He's very frightened. Have I frightened him? I tell him there's "nothing to be afraid of", "everything's fine". Mummy will "sort it". You have to lie when you are a parent. (I don't like that bit of it to be honest with you.)

I can't spill my fear on here. I can't. I have to focus.

I'd wish you merry Christmas, but it's not really until the week after next so I'll save it. But if I forget... Merry Christmas!

Mother and Child evicted Christmas Week

Order for possession
(accelerated procedure)
(assured shorthold tenancy)

sitting at CENTRAL LONDON County Court, Civil Justice Centre, 13-14 Park Crescent, London, W1N 1HT

read the written evidence of the claimant

and the court orders that

1. The defendant give the claimant possession of x Papier Mache Towers, London, NW on or before 21 December 2009.

2. The defendant pay the claimant's costs of £150.00 on or before 21 December 2009.

Note: This order was made without a hearing. Within 14 days of its being served, either party may apply for it to be set aside or varied.

To the defendant
The court has ordered you to leave the premises by the date stated in paragraph 1 above. (If notice is attached of a hearing to consider your request to remain longer, the date you must leave may be varied at the hearing.)
If you do not leave by hte date fixed by the court, the claimant can ask the court, without a further hearing, to authorise a bailiff to evict you.

Payments should be made to the claimant, not to the court. If you need more information about making payments, you should contact the claimant.

If you do not pay the money owed when it is due and the claimant takes steps to enforce payment, the order will be registered in the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines. This may make it difficult for you to get credit. Further information about registration is available in a leaflet which you can get from any court office.

I have received this just now, just as my son asks me if he can play on his psp after a lovely morning together. A fortunate coincidence.

Mute Mother. I turned around in circles before going to have a cigarette. I am psychotically calm. I don't want to talk to anyone, I can't. Lucky I have blogspot so I can talk to myself.

It is Saturday. I cannot do anything until Monday.

August promised the Council.

Do I have to pay that money?

I have to phone the 'Claimant', the 'Council' and the landlady.

I have not done my Christmas shopping.

14 days? It's not 14 days until the 21st.

Thank GOD my son is here.

I have promised him A Christmas Carol at the Camden Odeon. I will miss it, my mind will be working overtime, but he will not. I've promised him carol singing in Trafalgar Square afterwards. I'm frightened I 'won't be there' to enjoy it with him.

I feel sick and I feel the tears coming. My son mustn't see this. I must log out and go and sit in the bathroom. Let the tears fall. Don't let him see.

I guess that it's in telling this that the emotions have been released which only tears can articulate.

It's good to cry they say.

Thank you blogspot.

Friday, 11 December 2009


Mothers and fathers, men and women, if you do not go already, I advise you to go to martial art self defence classes no matter what your age, shape or fitness. It is good for you.

Yesterday we started the class with a run. Once more, a double expresso and two cigarettes are not ideal before such a thing, but no matter, your fitness will improve.

I struggled with the run, my breathing was laboured and raspy. I returned to the hall out. of. breath.

"Right, grab a kicking shield," said the Master.

"Aren't we stretching first?" I pleaded.

The slowest in the group, I had to partner with someone who already had a shield. Mistress Psychic had one which was lucky as she is the same size as me and I remember when she used to be not so good, which isn't the case now.

It was murder; twenty rounds of forward pushing kicks with both legs, so 40 roundhouse, 40 forward to the 'groin', and 40 knee kicks. Change partners. Thank God. But you need strength for this too though not powerful lungs.

The class took on a different routine today. He told us, in pairs, to grab a punch bag. Mistress Psychic and I stayed together.

The punching bags are big, about a metre long, and fat, and heavy. I LOVE the PUNCHING bags. The punching ball tends to whack me in the head. I haven't figured how to avoid that yet.

We did different sequences. First; left foot forward, left punch, right hook, remember to pivot on the right foot.

"You're angry about something!" says Mistress Psychic, who's 'holding' the bag which I'm driving all my fury into.

"The Foca DID THIS. The council's DOING THAT."

Go on, CHANNEL that anger, SPEND it on something that can TAKE it and won't LAND YOU in ANY.... TROUBLE.

At each bag (there are five) we did a different technique, the Master demonstrating them clearly first. Forgive me if I do not know what all the punches are called.

Left punch, right hook, left punch to the 'ribs', then a new one; a punch 'up' with the right glove, first to 'ribs' then to 'face'.

"Imagine it's a shovel," says the Master. "You are shovelling. Down and up."

"I like that imagery," says Mistress Leader, so called because she 'leads' in the Master's absence.
"The shovel, boxing for gardeners!"

So you see mums and dads, guys and girls, this works for everyone.

I've read in the papers recently of men who have killed the women who dumped them. One, in an arson attack, killed the three year old neice of the woman who spurned him.

I do not know what to think when I hear such things. I do not know what to say. I do know however that MARTIAL ARTS is WORKing FOR ME.

Push away with both hands.


The school will mediate!

My appointment with the Deputy Head this morning. I'm exhausted, what with the Boot Camp/Joseph experience yesterday so no fury when I talk about the Foca!

I tell her that the Foca says he is not bringing my son back on Sunday's anymore, that he wants to discuss this and that I do not want to discuss anything with him alone. I've seen posters outside the after school club saying the school can refer parents to support services. I need support!

The Foca will not listen, I tell her. This week alone my son has missed a swimming lesson because he was so tired on Monday. There were tantrums in the morning and tears in the afternoon on Tuesday, tears at after school club on Wednesday because he hurt his hand and then wasn't able to join the other kids to play Dodge Ball because there were already too many. I saved the day saying "We're late for Beavers!" where a child crashed into him accidently leaving a big bump on his head. Yesterday he was whiny, today was the first day that things are back to normal.

She told me my son was late to school on Monday and the Foca was 40 minutes late for a pre-arranged meeting with my son's class teacher.

"Do you think anyone can sit in with me?" I asked. "It's not that I can't talk to him, it's just that six years on, I know him very well and I want someone there. My son has a better chance of being heard."

"Well, we're not qualified to mediate, " she says which I understand. "But if you want me to sit in, I will."

"Will you? That would be great. I've received an email from him which I haven't opened. Can I tell him that you'll do that?"

"Yes, we have our reservations too."

"Thanks, thanks alot!"

"We have to look out for our little Joseph don't we!" she says smiling and I turn into a gooey loved up mamma right there in front of her!

I go to the coffee shop for a shot. I must open that email today. I must ignore what it says. I get home and BREATHE two fags worth and go to the toilet three times.

Thank goodness I didn't read it on Sunday. He tells me I've ignored all his points, blathers on about the Sunday journey being unfair on our son, two days of 'mild tiredness a month' being a 'small price' and the laughable comment: "I do not want you to come to Brighton."

I hit reply.

Re-read my email, I did not ignore your points.

In your text message you said we should meet to discuss this. I do not wish to meet you on my own, for you ignore everything I say.

Our son missed swimming on Monday because he was so tired. There have been tears and accidents all week due to tiredness.

I have spoken to his school. They have their own reservations. They said they would be happy to sit in with us as we discuss this. We must arrange a time as soon as possible.

In the future, if you could send any emails to me to my [other] account. I use that account for work related issues.

As I pop into my inbox to transpose my response to you, there is another waiting from him. Let's see if he has cc'd my other account shall we? Let's see what he says. (Nico Teen, I don't need you right now... Ok then, let me roll you up....)

Here is his email. I can't be bothered to transpose main points. Apologies for incredibly long post:

I am surprised that it has taken a week for (our son) to recover from getting out of bed exactly the same time as usual.

And therefore, I am extremely concerned that you being unfair to (our son) by manipulating him into believing that he is being treated in anyway differently from millions of children the world over who have to travel much much further to school by public transport everyday.

(Our son) is a healthy kid with bucket loads of energy - what you are claiming just does not seem plausible.

The next Monday l bring (our son) up to school and I'll also take him swimming at the end of the day so I can determine for myself his ability to cope.

(Our son) needs to spend time with his extended family. That is a very important part of his development. Especially as you mentioned that you are estranged from your own siblings and so (our son) does get to see those cousins as much as he would like.

Please arrange the school mediated conversation for after (our son) and my next Monday morning journey.

He has cc'd my other account. I am not going to reply to him (back and forth back and forth back and forth). I am going to phone the school, ask the deputy head if I can cc her and go from there.

I am annoyed about this. I wanted to post something about PUNCHING bags.

Are you as lucky as me? Is your child in a fantastic school? If you are going through what I am, I hope so, for your sake.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Beyond proud! I could burst!!

I walk out of the regular side entrance of my son's school and am walking down the road towards the Heath on my way to Bazza's Boot Camp, when I see his classroom assistant coming up the road in the opposite direction, looking over peoples faces clearly in some kind of panic.

"Hiya," I say being friendly about to ask if she's looking for someone.
"Oh I'm so glad I've caught you, I thought you'd gone!"
"Who me?" I say looking around, wondering, well wondering...
"Your son's playing Joseph in the Nativity this afternoon!"
"My son? Really? No! Really, oh my God!!" I feel my whole face wake up! My eyes ping open, my mouth breaks into the biggest smile!
"Yes! Joseph's called in sick so your son's been pulled in at the last minute so come along at 2 and bring a camera!"
"Oh my God that's brilliant! Oooooooh! Yes, I will, I will! I'll buy a throwaway one...Oh that's so great!" And I bounce up the road, smiling my head off singing Go Go Go Joseph even though that's not the production!

Yesterday, chatting to T's mum, she tells me her daughter's playing Mary. "Is she? That's great!" I'd said. "My son's in the choir I think. It's next Thursday isn't it?"
"No! It's tomorrow!"
"Oh God really? Shit, thanks for telling me!"

To tell you I did not expect this is the understatement of the entire year. Last Christmas he was Angel Gabriel. He was beautiful in his big wings, absolutely beautiful! Can't get better than this I'd thought! Some mums said they hoped their son's would be shepherds or kings this year, but my son had had his moment. I didn't hope for anything.

When he told me he was in the choir and was disappointed because his best buddies, A and K, were shepherds, I reminded him he had been Angel Gabriel and told him the choir was 'cool'. Then quite literally forgot about everything until T's mum's reminder.

Oh my God!! Joseph!!

I got there early hoping to sit in the front. Parents were there already, but they hadn't finished setting out the chairs closest to the stage!! I was like a little mad thing, still flying high: "I want to sit in the front, I want to sit in the front!"

The music teacher asked that the front centre aisle seat be reserved for him. "Can I sit next to you?! Can I 'save it' for you?!"

Someone said: "You can be teacher's pet!" and I laughed. "Yes!" I'd be just about anything for a front row seat with my son playing Joseph! Last year I thought I'd got there early but many, many had got there earlier. I had a good view, but today I wanted no obstruction! I really hoped for that!

My son's class walked in, there he was in his little costume of green and brown cloth! His teacher spied me and said that A had gotten a high temperature, so they'd asked L who didn't want to do it, so they asked my boy who'd said yes but not to expect anything as he'd only had today to learn his lines! Expect anything? Expect anything???!!!!

He was amazing! They were all amazing! But oh, seeing him there on the stage, with 'Mary' looking angelic in blue when her mother would describe her as anything but, and his little friend G dressed up as a donkey, I felt really quite choked and kept giggling so thank goodness it was a funny show.

They don't do the 'traditional' nativity at my son's school with old favourites like 'Little Donkey' and 'Oh Christmas Tree' which in Reception I'd briefly thought was a bit of a shame (oh our own pasts hey?) They do a modern take on the traditional theme and it's always a blast.

Today's Nativity was called "Are we there yet?" The kids deliver comic lines and it's full of great foot tapping songs!

So many of his classmates up there putting in sterling performances. I was overwhelmed! I was mesmerised! My eye constantly drawn back to that beautiful, beautiful boy, walking, or standing, or sitting with his Mary and their Donkey!

Five years ago, when the Church evicted us, I sent Frank Dobson letters asking for help. "We are not the Madonna and Child my son and I," I'd written. "We're being asked to leave our Inn the week before Christmas...I have no Joseph to carry my fear. "

I remembered this today. I still have no "Joseph" but I have my son and he's been carrying me for six years, little does he know it, keeping my head above the water, making me laugh whenever I've felt or I'm feeling down.

I could not have asked, I could not have prayed for my son to be Joseph. Not once did it ever cross my mind.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for him!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Making Hay

So MakeHay kindly bought me a subscription to a dating site I used to be a member of last year and never deleted my profile from.

I had three days to make hay! Three days to seek and send messages to a thousand men in the hope that one, just one might be my Knight in No Armour. Did I do this? No.

MakeHay might be my Knight in No Armour!

I do not know.

I will never know.


Because I have just realised the subscription ran out yesterday. That's three days isn't it? Since Saturday? Or did it run out on Monday?

The opportunity to plunder cyberspace for Gold, gone!

I'm not going to resubscribe... Are you joking?!!!! It's some random fluke I had this subscription in the first place!

No, I'm going delete myself.

This makes me rather sad. I have to say goodbye to my username.

She was quite good fun. I mean she is quite good fun, she's not dead yet.

Do I keep her out there if she isn't going to look?

Damn, I've gone and given myself a real dilemma now!

Bloomin' blogspot!

I've just noticed that 'My Weekend' is not in chronological order after the big attempt to do that the other night. Up until 4am I was and still wasn't finished!

Maybe it's because on Monday night I quickly saved some 'titles' so that the beginning of the weekend wouldn't run into 'Tuesday' and worked as blogspot likes it. I wanted it all on one day.
Ah blogspot doesn't like it does it?! Try and tell a story in order of events? No! If that's what you want, shove it in the same post!

I was going to do a "Contents Page", but that would spoil what is already not very good. I've thought about editing some bits, cos there are spelling mistakes 'n' all, but hey, my life isn't perfect, so let art mirror it!

So, if you can be bothered to read it through it'll be all higgledy piggledy. It was only an experiment after all!

As with blogspot as is life (but not mine clearly), what is past is past.