Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Foca Sunday Omnibus

At 6.10pm I call the Foca's home.
"Who's that?" I say as a male voice answers. In truth I didn't expect that, thought it would be the wife.
"Why is our son still there?"
"I'm running late, we're leaving now."
"Well it's good he's coming back but what time do you expect..."
"I don't know. Why are you calling?"
"Because you..."
He talks over me, I hear "don't call here again" and he hangs up.
Very mature. Very. Prick.
Am tempted to call back but it'll just be more of the same.
So I post the Sunday omnibus now.
No idea what time my son will be back but I can guarantee that if I try and talk to the Foca he will walk away.
In fact, he'll probably drop my son off at the door and make a run for it down the stairs before I have time to answer it.
Quite comical really.
I'm not laughing though, I don't find it funny.

I was meant to be going on a date with MakeHay today but he called this morning to say a pipe burst in his house. He phoned while I was on the heath earlier to say he'd done a diy plumbing job on it and was free to meet me.
Had I known my son wouldn't be back until at least 9pm, I'd have met him for a drink.
Instead here I am at home with a copy of the Mail on Sunday.
It's against my religion to buy the Mail, but there was a free "Soldiers" CD with 5p going to Help for the Heroes.

It could be worse; the Foca could still fancy me.
Perhaps he does
Well you have to wonder why ex's "who have moved on" still like to treat you like shit.

Glad my son is coming home. Late, yes late, he'll be moody in the morning but at least it won't drag on all week.

At least I hope not....
Hoping also that after all that, a "message from the dark side there is" doesn't arrive from the foca saying the boy isn't coming back; trains aren't running or something.

Will there be another "episode" at midnight heralding the Monday soap slot?

I hope not...

Doopee doopee doop doop

A warm coincidence

My mother has just called. She tells me that yesterday she got an overwhelming feeling of anxiety but had no idea where it came from.
So she prayed to her angels, prayed and prayed. Asked that whatever was causing this anxiety could be resolved.
At 9.30 she went to bed. She told me she had a blissful night's sleep, so profound, no worry whatsoever disturbing it.
I laughed: "You know what?" and I told her about last night's trip to the cinema....
"It's probably just a coincidence but quite a freaky one!"

A superstition haiku

Hi Mr magpie
I hope you are well today -
no bad luck I beg!

And where is the email?

No word yet from the Foca about whether my son is back tonight.

I am not going to send a text or phone just now, I will instead trust, yes trust that foca who no longer wants to speak to me, to do what's best for our son and bring him back.

I'm not so good with real life suspense and I do need to go out, take a walk or something, so at 6pm, if there is still no word, I will phone his home number.

If I get to speak to my son I shall pretend that I am not furious.

This is not the omnibus I promised you, merely a trailer....

1,100 profile views?

Shouldn't that be 1001?
I mean, twas only yesterday that I hit the 1000 mark....
See how blogspot makes my mind boggle?
I will speak no more of it!

A trip to the cinema

The door clicked behind me.
"Sssshit," I whispered as I frantically checked my pockets. I didn't care for the futility of such a motion.
I'd left the keys inside. Muppet! Idiot!
Mum downstairs has a spare, thank God for that. I race downstairs and knock on her door.
Silence; not even the familiar, relieving yap of her dog.
Shit. It's saturday night. Shit. Well nothing I can do about it now. Go to the cinema and worry about it later.
My bike! My keys!
I keep my debit card with my Oyster card. Clever mamma, clever muppet.
By the time I reach the bus stop, a hazy plan has formulated. Annie lives close by. I send her text asking what she's doing later, can I stay?
"Oh no! I'm in Manchester," comes the reply.
The bus arrives, I sit upstairs at the front, gaze out of the side window, see if any answers are skipping into view on the pavements below.
Who can I ask?
Issy had phoned earlier, suggested I come out in Brixton with her and a friend. I could stay, she'd said. I want to be close to home, I'd said. This is still my desire. Maybe what I desire should take a back seat tonight.
A school mum? How embarrassing! Mother On Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head wouldn't mind. But oh the shame nonetheless!
I've stayed at Arty's house before, she'll rescue me. No, I can't ask her! Her partner stays at weekends, I can't, I can't!
Is it really such a clever idea to go and watch a film? Isn't it cleverer perhaps to sort out my accommodation for the night?
The bus reaches Cambridge Circus and I alight.
There's a long queue outside the Curzon Soho. I watch trailers of forthcoming films on a screen in the window, try and empty my mind.
Maybe mum downstairs will be back later. Maybe the whole family, teenage kids and dad, just took the dog for a walk.
"What film are you going to see?" I ask the two men behind me once I slide out of view of the screen.
"The Prophet," they answer.
"Oh I was going to go and see that with my friend, but he couldn't make it, so I thought come and watch White Ribbon instead, probably a better one to watch on your own, even though The Prophet is good on your own too but some films are better with friends aren't they?"
They don't seem to mind that I'm figuratively foaming at the mouth and we fall into chat.
"I've locked myself out," I eventually say.
"Oh no!" they laugh. "Don't worry, you'll be alright."
I grin and nod my head furiously. Mad mamma.
"White Ribbon," I say as I reach the ticket desk.
"For how many?" asks the clerk.
"Only one. Has it started?"
"The film doesn't start until 6.30."
"Oh ok cool, I've just missed the trailers."
"£12.95 please."
"What?" I think. Too late to turn back. Though when it comes to the cinema I never turn back. Shocking, always shocking what they charge.

People in the aisles, sitting next to coats.
"Are you on your own?" I say to a man.
"Um, yes," he answers looking at me.
"So can I sit next to you?"
"Oh, oh yes," and he removes his coat from the seat and places it on his knees.
The ads are playing. I haven't missed the trailers!

The film begins, shot in black and white, the tale of mysterious goings on in a German village pre World War 1, narrated by a man looking back on these events.
It begins with the doctor riding home one day when his horse trips over a wire strung between two trees which by the next day, is removed by somebody no-one has seen.
Following this, the farmers wife is killed in an accident in the sawmill and the farmer's son wants revenge.
Meanwhile we've met the pastor, a strict disciplinarian, who canes his errant children and forces them to wear a 'white ribbon', the symbol of innocence and purity, until they are cleansed. Taking any parenting tips from this, I thought, social services would have me locked up in no time. Some of it is funny, but in that unbelievable sense; SO discomforting.
The baron's young son is abducted and beaten, the midwife's down syndrome son, is similarly assaulted and almost blinded.
The children display an interest in all of these crimes but is there more to it than simple curiosity?

The doctor, ending his affair with the midwife, is cruel, though the man next me laughed out loud. The midwife tells us he abuses his daughter; we're presented with this ambiguous horror through the eyes of his young son.
The doctor's daughter explaining death to her younger brother, which reminded me of some of the blogging mums here, is sweet but also shocking; not what you expect.
Haneke, the director, weaves humour through the teacher's relationship with the childminder. There are poignant moments in the film, a relief from all the disquiet. Malice and spite in this outwardly calm society, is always present.
In this 'whodunnit' you never find out who did.

I wished I had gone with somebody so at least I could say "Do you think it was them who did it all?"
"Do you think it was a precursor to what we know of German World War Two history?"
Very unsettling. A slow film, but superb!

I was starving when I came out, but no time for a quick dinner at The Golden Arches. It was 9 o'clock, best I head for the bus stop, best I head for home.
Maybe I could ask the single mother on the floor above me if she'll take me. She might be out though. Not every single mother is like me; some do have access to babysitters.
Maybe the girl who lives on my floor. But she's young, she's childless, saturday evenings are made for her!
I text Steve. He lives up north somewhere doesn't he? He's out with friends but worth a try. He texts back: "Of course you can stay.... It happens to us all." Bless him, it takes the edge off my panic.
I get off the bus and walk through the estate, not thinking of being afraid of the shadows in the dark. My heart is racing; boomboomboomboomboomboomboomboomboom.
As I walk down, the winter trees don't block my view of my tower windows. Mum downstairs lives on the left at the end. I begin to count down. The top flat is dark, below the residents are home. Down I go, down.
Yes! Her light is on!
I call her on the intercom. She lets me into the block. She meets me outside The Toilet on her floor, her slippers on, saturday night in front of the telly attire. She laughs and tells me not to worry as she passes me my spare.
I run up, let myself in, grab my keys, run down, put the spare through her letter box as she instructed me; her dog yap yap yapping away.
I run back in, close the door behind me, put my keys on the hanger. Go into the kitchen and switch the kettle on.
As I lean against the sink, relief washes over me.
Thank you my angels. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

1000 profile views!

Well, well, well, well....

1000 approximate hits on my blog!

I don't know what this means of course. For a very long time it was one hit per post, so I figured it was just me entering the site, then suddenly last year it flew up abit and I was 'ey up? Who's reading this?!"

566 posts and double that in hits.

This week for example, it's been at 970 for aaaaaaaaages, then in one day, up it goes. Is it a blogspot backlog of my own visits to write or just people who descend on the same day or is it a mixture of both?

You know, I hope it isn't a politician or a council worker who's got me book marked. They might be thinking 'let her talk, let her talk, the more she talks, the less we'll help her.'

Perhaps that's just me being a teensy weensy bit paranoid. I spend too much time on my own. Isolation can play havoc with one's thought processes....

I'll tell you what though, I have the British Mummy Bloggers to thank for my progressively chilled out attitude to it all. They've made me less afraid of what I write for some have read my posts and still come back and sometimes comment. Others aren't interested and that's cool too. Stigmum is not everyone's cup of PG.

At the 1000 views threshold therefore, I would say that everything's as it should be.

Right, I'm going to switch off the laptop and go and get dressed. The kitchen's nice and tidy, I'll aim to do a little of the living room before I go out.

I'm going to the cinema. Steve's got plans tonight so not going to The Prophet. I'm going to watch White Ribbon on my own. It's a German film. I'll try and write a little review for you, if I can. I'm rubbish at reviews, but blogspot is a kind platform, it lets me practice how to write and doesn't say "you're fired!" when I fail, only how many people are visiting, myself included.

What can I say? Things can only get better? (D:Ream!! - Oh you are a card stiggers, you are a card!)


"Whereas many families on council estates are assumed to be working class, families who find themselves in hostels come from differing backgrounds, are judged on arrival and defined as being poor and subordinate thereafter as Matt was:

"You're stereotyped yeah, especially when you're in the system yeah. When the office worker first saw me she called me a 'yute' boy, a yute boy, a small boy yeah, a boy with a silver spoon in his mouth. She didn't know what I'd been in before. Because I look good they think I've got money yeah. The richest people wear the scruffiest clothes yeah. People are so small minded. Because we live in a hostel we live like a tramp. No-one that lives in a hostel is a tramp."

I was reading parts of my dissertation this morning. This guy was happy to speak to me. He goes on to say:

"The staff don't go on what we tell them, they go on what they see. To our face they say everything's alright yeah, then tell social services because we have a hi-fi, cpu and speaker: "They always put themselves first." Because people in hostels are poor, they're not supposed to have those things. Other people don't have these things but it's not a luxury, it's your entertainment."

Just as I was writing about the CSA, Phil, my lovely book mark follower sent me a text.

"By the way I read your blog. Get the flat super tidy to piss off council and then they can't say anthing about health and safety. hide your laptop and cds and put saver baked beans on the counter...first impressions count... x

I laughed because she's not stupid, she knows how society thinks of us. She knows how acutely we are judged. She knows that I don't quite fit the stereotype. It won't surprise you to know, many families wouldn't talk to me when I did my thesis. Even fewer invited me into their homes.

Next week there's a documentary on Channel 4, Commons in the Tower or something. Politicians are going to trade places with people who live in council estates like mine.

It is my guess that the programme will fuel the existing stereotype. Perhaps not, I've turned down two documentaries.

My blog fuels the sterotype (I smoke, drink, I'm depressed, the lift is a Toilet) and it smashes it (I'm "intelligent", "articulate", I get my full maintenance on top of my income support). I hope that by talking about money, I don't hurt any families, least of all, of course, mine.

Hurt the parents, hurt the child. Every Child Matters yes? Economic wellbeing is one of the five outcomes.

I shouldn't worry, hardly anyone reads this.

Is my child about to be financially penalised?

I've just received a letter from the Child Support Agency, telling me how much the Foca owes me and how, because I'm on income support, I must inform Jobcentre Plus of the amount I receive.

I did this last year, when I got a letter saying I was getting the full amount and I was committing benefit fraud if I did not do this.

It used to be that I'd get £10 of it a week. Getting the whole thing, this last year, as I've said before, has transformed our lives. I've been scared all year it's a mistake. The consequences of that doesn't bear thinking about.

The booklet I received last year is the same I received today:

If you or your partner are claiming income-related benefits (these are Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance and income-related Employment and Support Allowance) or Pension Credit and you are also receiving child maintenance, you may not get your full amount of benefits.

We will aim to transfer the full amount of child maintenance to you within one week of receiving it from the non-resident parent. The parent with care will be allowed to keep the first £20 a week of child maintenance paid, before it is counted as income that will affect their claim for benefits.

My days of £40 a month, from the Foca's £70 weekly payments, I hoped was a thing of the past.

With income support of only £56 a week, raised by child benefit every one gets and child tax credits is not much. If they 'may' reduce the maintenance to £20 a week, we stand to lose £50 a week - the equivalent to my income support.

My God, my bills are so high. More than double that.

Hello poverty and debt, my old friends.

You may think it's right. People working might get less than me, after rent and council tax. Working single mums might get less than me, I don't know. Child tax is replaced by Family Working tax, it all depends on the salary, oh crikey it's so confusing.

Better off on benefits? At the moment, with my housing, I feel so yes.

I can hate the CSA, really I can but you might have got a sense of how the Foca treats me. Without it, I believe he'd use money to bully me. He doesn't like giving me money. I'd be as poor as the mothers who don't have an agreement with the CSA, whose Focas drink the maintenance.

So there, with the CSA, the Jobcentre, the Housing department, I love and hate the State simultaneously. I need them all but it's a difficult relationship.

Oh to be free.

Give me a flat though, then I'll get the job, then I might not be judged so harshly, like all stigmums, when I talk about money.

My stigmatised child is better off than many, or several, I don't know, children. Why don't politicians like that?


"Televisions" can be used "as a pacifier, as a passive source of experience when all else fails."
(Mihaly R Csikszentmihalyi, Eugene Halton. Meaning of things. Domestic symbols and the self)

Friday, 29 January 2010

Self Belief

It's funny (not ha ha) that as I cycled to a Basic Journalism course this morning, I thought I might blog later something about Self Belief.

Me, you see, on a good day I have a little, on a bad day I have none.

My lack of self belief is what got me here, what keeps me here, what keeps me stuck.

I've met people with a ton of self belief. They are all doing very well professionally, voluntary or otherwise. They don't think about it, the one's I know, it's just innate within them. I see myself on paper, my CV specifically, for that is what triggered this thought, and I think I should have loads of self belief.

It's so hard for some of us to believe in ourselves. I don't know, we've been stamped on that bit too hard perhaps.

This thought came to me because I woke up under a cloud, happens, I don't know why and there I was on my way to a Basic Journalism course. I was once a Deputy Editor. More by luck than talent, I always tell myself.

On paper, I shouldn't need to do a Basic Journalism course. I don't want to tell the tutor I've done it all before. She might expect something from me better than I can give.

But that's about self belief isn't it? The lack of it is the greatest obstacle infront of many people's lives.

(Had I not blown out my 'date' tonight, I wouldn't have posted this. Housing and the Foca are the Twin Pointed Fork I always talk about. I'd have done that retrospectively. I felt better after cake you see, cake for Haiti, HAITI, at the school tea this afternoon. Stiggers has posted her soul because she has too much time, even though there is a ton of washing up to do from the baking extravangza last night. The truth is, this is stuff that ordinarily I don't want you to know. I've had a beer, now I'll watch TV. Celebrity Big Brother final! 8 out of 10 Cats! Go to bed stiggers, go to bed.)

Doopee doop the Foca story continues....

Foca ignored me again. "I'll send you an email" he said to the wind as he walked off with our son.

"Your email to the school said Sunday from now on," I called after him.

On he walks, up the steps, disappears.

As she witnesses the exchange Lovely Woman does the Sign of the Cross on her head, heart and shoulders, and says:

"You could see that, you could see that attitude. That wasn't nice darlin', not nice at all."

"Do you think so?" I say. "I'm so glad you've said that, so glad. Thank you."

She walks off to where she's going, I go back inside the block and call The Toilet.

Fuming, I was about to rage on here. There's a bottle of beer in the fridge, drink the nectar. Then I thought no, write that post about the exchange you've just had with the council.

Lovely Woman is called Lovely Woman because she is. It might be the only time I mention her, who knows.

I think she's an ex heroin addict. I say I think because you can tell she was once beautiful but her cheeks have sunk in where her teeth used to be, her eyes are tired, her skin lined from all her history. OK, she told me once. She drinks but then don't we all.

She doesn't live here but she's here a lot because her friend, a fellow addict, lives here, also a lovely man. I can't tell you how old they are. At first I thought maybe 50 or 60 but I now I think late 30's, early 40's. Fuck, maybe she's even younger. I've never asked. She's never asked me how old I am either. We're both 200 I'd say.

Years ago I'd see her sometimes and smile, then one day "hello" turned into "how are you?".

She once told me I was really clever doing a masters. I said there were loads of courses at City Lit she could do, or the Working Men's College. She told me she couldn't read. I told her I did a 'back to work for lone parents' pilot a few years ago. I was sitting next to a young grandmother who couldn't read or write. She had a boyfriend who said that if she did the course, he would leave her.

"Not only was she there at the course," I told her, "but at the end she signed up for another one to learn to read and write. If she can do it, so you can too."

"Oh no darlin', I couldn't do that. "

"You can. It takes courage but you're brave."

"Nah! I'm not!" she laughed.

"You are! In your own time though, believe it in your own time!"

We chat now every time we meet but I never blog about her because I never talk about the people who live here. Very rarely anyway.

What she did for me this afternoon though was very special. Her being there was very lucky for me.

I think I'll have that beer now.

Doopee doop, you'll get the omnibus on Sunday.

Council marginally better than housing association...

Hot on the heels of no access to Pathmead's housing officer, the council's support worker calls. Tis good I still have a relationship with him, even if it is pointless these days. I've arranged with Tory Councillor for a meeting? No, I say, Tory has arranged it with me (I don't have bright ideas like that...) Support worker tells me his manager can sit down with us next week.

I rather hoped for a bit better than that, somebody who actually houses others at their discretion but there you go.

Support Services Manager then rings me. Next Wednesday OK? For me yes. I ask where.

"At your flat?"

"At my flat? I better tidy up then, or maybe not. Last time a manager came into my flat I was told it was a health and safety issue and I was a danger to my son. I was told I wouldn't be rehoused on account of it. Fine we'll do it in my flat."

I email Tory. It might not be Wednesday, he might not be free. We'll see.

My flat ey? What have those two men got in store for them I wonder? Somewhere impartial I might be able to keep calm. In this flat, where I'm so used to hearing "prs or hostel for you.." I might find myself spitting kitchen appliances.

Interesting though. Very interesting. I feel bullied and threatened by the alternatives I'm given, as you well know.

What will the Tory say?

I must prepare myself for this. Stiggers me baby, I'll be reading you on Tuesday night, for a little motherboard refresher. I forget so easily, I'm so glad you force me to write.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

I'm not allowed to talk to my housing officer!!!

My housing officer from Pathmeads was supposed to be coming round tomorrow for a 'routine inspection' between 9 and 1. I won't be in so I call him.

Press 1 for repairs, 2 for housing.


Please hold please hold please hold.

"Oh hi, can I speak to Tommy please?"
"Can I ask what it's regarding?"
"He's due to come and see me tomorrow but I won't be in."
"I'm afraid you can't speak directly to your housing officer but I could take the message for you."
"What? I can't speak to him directly?"

It threw me reader, it threw me.

You can end up going round the houses with these people, which is why I didn't bother logging the flood with them yesterday and went directly to the Property Owner, but now I discover you can't have access to your own, personal housing officer if a need arises?

So what is the point of him?


The float caused the flood

Oh it'll be so nice to tell the property owner that yesterday's flood was not my fault!!

The words that passed between me and her and her partner yesterday, glad that's over too.

Her partner said I had to be home at 9.30am for the plumber had another job. I wanted to sit in my son's music class so suggested 10. He got quite frustrated by me and in the end we found a compromise, 9.45.

I slipped out of the funny lesson to be home but the plumber didn't get here until 10.40. I'd already cancelled Bazza's Boot Camp so I was in anyway, but missed the end of the class for no reason.

The float had a crack in it, so filled with water, so it floated no more, but sank. This caused the overflow. The flood caused by the blocked drain.

He replaced both floats, it will be great to tell the property owner that it wasn't necessarily me putting the heating on too high. Grrrr. I set it lower last night, to 20 (usually 25, she tells me to put it at 18). My son woke up this morning and said "mummy I'm cold." Draughty fecking flats I tell you, high is not high enough.

Anyway, the music class was brilliant. They sang a song, then worked on short sounds and long sounds, first by listening to classical music, then, the bit I missed, composing sounds on musical instruments.

Before listening to the classical music the teacher asked:

"Can anyone tell me what happened to Beethoven when he got old?"

Little R shot his hand up. "Yes R?" said the teacher.

"He died."

We four parents burst out laughing but I couldn't control my giggles.

"He became deaf ," said another child.

I was still shaking uncontrollably like my own seven year old self would do so fortunate really there was reason to sneak out.

Mine "is not a mummy blog"

Last week, or was it the week before? I forget, but I met my friend Jo for lunch. Jo is a three day a week working mamma who doesn't live with her foca, even though they are together, so I call her my pseudo single mum friend.

When we sat down to chat she already knew many things about my life because she reads my blog.

She's not a "follower", she, like Phil is a "book marker". To this end, I have no idea who reads my blog or passes by or anything. I got an email from a guy I saw talking but didn't speak to in a pub a few months ago about a Hungarian National Party protest. That was quite surreal, he told me stigmum had come up on a google link. It frightened me at the time - who else finds me? The council? Fingers from that hand I bite? Those with the power to consign my life to hell? I haven't erm, replied to him. Whoops. Or thought about the consequences of the council reading it. Nice.

Jo said that if she didn't know me, she wouldn't read it. She finds it interesting because she knows me, it's a way of catching up with what I'm doing.

"Your blog doesn't really relate to my life," she said. "It's very specific, it's very unique, it's not a 'mummy blog' at all. It's more political."

I think it is a mummy blog and it isn't.

It is because I am, er, a mum.

It isn't because I don't talk about what the other mum's are talking about or maybe I do but not very often at all. I haven't got into a habit of talking about my son, or my family, of other people or events. Jo, for one, would find it useful if I did. There's value in talking about these things, I know because I find other people's blogs valuable.

What's got me, yes, me me me, ME me talking about this? Why, another blogger!

notSupermum's back! She's written a post about losing her blogging mojo! I like notSupermum so I hope it's the post to set her off again!

I told her that losing the blogging mojo is an occupational hazard. It is, it sure is!

Sometimes there are things I want to talk about but because I've written a stream of housing posts, say, I just don't know how. Sitting in the belief that no-one reads me possibly helps me get started again, but then so do other people's comments. I don't know, what drives you?

One thing's for sure though, blogland is a nice place to be. You can talk to yourself, you can talk to other people. You can do what you want!

Right, I'll quickly post something about plumbing.... well, I won't talk about it to Jo when I see her, I can't go boring the girl, but it's about yesterday's flood, which I told you about, whoever you are, so it feel's only right to end that particular story!

(Though I wish I wrote stuff like A Modern Mother did this morning, but given that for whatever reason I can't, I'll just be glad she can! Oh what a wonderful world is the blogosphere!)

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

A call to shove my heart in my throat

Tory councillor has just called me, moments after I sent him an email in response to his own with 'allocation's' case study of mine and my son's situation attached.

"Could you have a look at this and let me know if there is any information that is missing or if anything needs amending?"

Quicker, always, to simply transpose my email:

Hi [councillor],

Thank you first of all for taking my son and myself on board.

What [Allocations] writes is about right.

I say 'about right' because it doesn't mention how I issued a complaint in 2005 about how my points were reduced when I was made homeless. Legally, I was told, this was correct, but morally, ethically, not at all.

I also turned down a property three years ago. I have fallen down the list. No-one will tell me why. I have not been shortlisted for any flat since under this 'choice based letting scheme.'

[Allocations] says I have written to [Permanent]. Indeed. Many times. I've written to her too countless times and also to the quality review team. So too [Labour MPs] Councillor [Libdem and Libdem], [Tory]. None of this has helped my son at all and all of it, yes, has contributed to the downfall of my own mental health as I get knock back after knock back after knock back.

I have even written to the Prime Minister and have asked your party leader and the libdem's party leader to meet me.

I am exhausted but I have a child and so for my child's sake I cannot give up.

Every Child Matters?
So put mine in a hostel?
Move, disrupting his education, into Private Rental, where he risks being evicted again?

All three political parties want me back at work. All three political parties are responsible for the situation my son and I are in.

I am lost for words, but grateful that you said that you would advocate for us. This is more than anyone else has done. I hope you are successful, that my son and I move, yes, but into a permanent, secure and affordable flat. Six years waiting is quite long enough as I watch people get housed who have waited less time than us with more points. Sometimes less time than us with less points.

If I can help you help me and my son let me know but as my support worker says "you've exhausted every avenue and because of the composition of your family, you will be put in a hostel."

[Tory Councillor], even you must feel that that is wrong.

Thanks very much for what you have done so far. I look forward to hearing from you again.
Kind regards

Sue de Nim

The phone rang minutes after I sent it. He doesn't understand, he said. Those in the council tell him everything's wonderful, I tell him everything isn't.

Would I agree to a three way meeting with a senior housing advisor so he can better understand what's going on?


The best way to deal with the sudden onset of puky feeling because everything, everything, the end of all this battle rests on that meeting, is to call Nico Teen (that's if you can't breathe alone) and make yourself a cup of tea with two sugars. Oh go on then, three....

I come to brighten up your day

Is it really necessary I wonder to tell you that the support worker's visit has lit my fuse and I want to internally combust?

He comes as messenger from 'allocations'.

"She," he says, "is still not budging."

"So she's put the letter from the school in the shredder then?"

"I sent it to her on email."

"In the junk pile then." (for flips sake)

I don't have to be out until December, he tells me today. After which, because of my family composition I will be put in a hostel.

Allocations has apparently said, there are others with family compositions greater than mine that have priority and those going through a lease end, like me, are being put into hostels.

One family, he tells, has been put in England's Lane. The mum has one room, her 16 year old son another and her 18 year old daughter another (or the boy's 18 and the girl's 16, it's all got a bit fizzy on my motherboard)

"That's not too bad," I say. "But no doubt they all crowd into her cell at meal times for that's where she cooks."

We lease end families are not emergencies.

But forget about that for a minute.

Every Child Matters yes? Families with multiple children have greater priority than mine, he's been told. So why is it my child matters less than another with a sibling?

Why is it mine (and other children) matter less than those whose parents are together? For it was two parent families that got the flats here if you remember.

The CNJ have printed a story about a pregnant mother of two who has been evicted from her council flat for rent arrears.

She's paid her debt but they won't let her move back in. All her and her children's stuff is still inside. They've been in a "B&B", for a week and all the children have to wear are their school uniforms. They already "waited six years for that house after living in hostels," is quoted the mamma.

Why was she in rent arrears? Well, according to the paper, it "began when she started working as a part-time retail manager and lost her housing benefit."

I went to present our research findings to Camden's Safeguarding Children's board yesterday. I was going to post about it but got side tracked writing about death.

I wish I had this mother's courage to scream out on the pages of the local newspaper. Or go further, pre-election, to the nationals.

I don't know what I think yet though. Or rather I do know what I think, but I don't know how to articulate it. It's so much, you know, so much...

Ironically, the stereo's working again and it's Phil Oakey's "Together in Electric Dreams" - the title, not the lyrics.

Oh my son my sun my son, I just can't make it up.......

Oh not the blooming electricals again...

Listening to my 'Electronic 80's' and stereo cuts out mid song.

Power cut?

Switch on light. It flickers into existence.

The meter's fizzing, like two live fuses are touching one another.

Have I started something?

Let me try another cd.

Nirvana's Unplugged in London

Oh stiggers you are so drole

What a farce....

A knock on my door and it's the caretaker. Not the Good Caretaker, he doesn't work here anymore. The privatisation of caretaking in the borough took care of that.

This nice caretaker sees that the ground floor flood is borne from my overflow and the drain is about as effectual as trying to pass concrete through a sieve.

He turns the tap off on my boiler to try and stem the flow.

Mr Grey appears, relieved that the flooding is caused by me. "I thought it was coming from the roof. I thought "oh no, the tank's burst."

Now that would be funny, er, I'm joking.

I'm chatting to these two when the owner of the property calls. She's had a call from the council who have told her they've knocked on my door and I'm not answering.


Another man wearing a sweater with 'Camden' on it appears. He calls the repair team. I interrupt telling him I've already done that, they're coming in 'less than two hours'. He asks me for the log number I was given and things flow somewhat more smoothly following this and in no time, another man comes to unblock the drain.

That drain is a disaster in this 'falls below the minimum standard' block (as said by Tory councillor at last week's meeting) so let's hope my boiler doesn't overflow again....

In between these times my support worker has come, making me angry and my landlady has called on and off and on and off and on and off.

Her plumber can come tomorrow morning at 9.30. I told her I wouldn't be in until 1 (sitting in on my son's class music lesson you see, followed by Bazza's Boot Camp).

"There's something at my son's school," I said, knowing that she would think an exercise class the biggest self indulgence.

"Well you'll just have to decide what's more important."

"You always say that, make me choose between my son and plumbing problems" (Little did she know she was getting my own riled over chat with housing support worker over spill).

Sometimes her partner calls and tell's me "that's life" to miss things, like erm, just now.

Council, Housing Association (no point calling them this morning), Owner. Council, Housing Association, Owner.

It is a farce of course, though makes me think I should perhaps do a course on 'writing for comedy'.

For never mind you, I need entertaining...

I'm flooding Papier Mache Towers

As I type, the overspill from my boiler is gushing out water on to the balcony.

The drain on our balcony, quite unhelpfully, is blocked, but then what do you expect in a Papier Mache Tower?

The water has swirled round, dangerously and perilously close to The Toilet shaft and is raining down on all the other floors below. I shouldn't say this but it's quite a beautiful waterfall, the droplets twinkling as they catch the light of this day.

I called the owner of the property as soon as I noticed, which was 8.30 am as I nipped out for my morning cigarette.

As soon as I'd done the school run I put an urgent call into the council. As I waited in the queue system, the landlady called me back, telling me to turn down my heating. I couldn't; I can't walk around with my landline, I don't want to lose connection with the council.

Had a beginning of an argy bargy with her as she said my heating was on too high. I told her these are draughty flats, 'too high' isn't high enough, but I have it on a timer, it's never on for long.

After what felt like AGES, I got through to the council's repairs division and have logged the blocked drain.

"I've put a call through with our contractors, Camden's Building Maintenance. Someone will come in the next two hours."

"Two hours?! They need to come now! What if it goes down the lift shaft, what if it hits electricals, it's already out of control!"

I spoke to the owner of the flat, and her plumber may come tonight. Tonight?

To think she only had the boiler and immersion replaced last month.

It's still gushing out, an hour and a half later, like the pressure of cold water tap when you're running a bath. Oh Lord.......

It'll be all my fault. All my fault. All of it; the overspill, the blocked drain, the flooded Tower.

What can you do ey? Except perhaps blog about it....

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

How did you get to sleep when you were little mummy?

Rosie Scribble has written a really good post about her daughter asking whether she will die.

I commented on her blog because my son has asked me the same question. It's funny to talk about on other people's blogs what I don't talk about on my own. It's nice that others talk about what I don't.

Why don't I? I dunno really.

I've told my son yes he'll die and so will I one day and hopefully it will happen in the natural order of things and I'll go first. From there we have had quite a few conversations about it. Hard ones, it's a scary concept. With him I use old toys he was gutted to lose; Quack Quack and Cordy Mouse. I say they're together now. When I go, I will always be in his heart. My mum and dad will be in mine and so on.

Fortunately the conversation doesn't crop up too often. Fear of death is, well, put it this way, as an adult, I'm trying to learn not to be scared of it. Not so much my own, but other peoples, his. (Fuck I posted on terrorist attacks and Haiti yesterday - our children are growing up in very difficult times)

Work in progress, shall we say. Chewing the cud with my son is no bad thing, I hope.

This morning though, I think I've totally fucked him up... Posting on Rosie's blog, whose daughter is going through what my son is going through, has well, woken me up to this fact.

He's not settling to sleep very easily. This is not uncommon.

In the past I've said to use the opportunity to dream nice things; fun with me, his dad, his cousins, pretty flowers, no not power rangers, running streams, nature.

This has moved on to telling him to listen to his breathing, for this is what I do.

This morning he asked me what I used to do when I was a child. He caught me by surprise. We were outside The Toilet, on our way to school.

Now I, I'm not sure why, but I would pretend that I was in a coma, seriously ill in hospital and about to die. I'd lie there stock still and imagine my parents at my bedside.

I wondered for a minute whether I should tell my son this or make something up.

An alternative wasn't presenting itself.

"I was a bit older than you and I'd pretend I was in a coma, in hospital, not very well and I could hear grandmere chatting to me."


That's the thing with my son. When I give him an answer he is happy with, he says "oh" and leaves it at that. Things like sex, he comes back to it. Same with death.

My son doesn't know what a coma is.

He may ask me tonight as he lies in bed.

It may herald another conversation about death.

I think I may say, regarding the whole sleeping thing: "You just have to find anything that works for you. Breathing works for me."

Death... My dad used to say it was like those hours between falling asleep and waking up when you're fast asleep and know nothing. Nothing. Time means nothing. I quite like this personally, that it's like sleep with no dreams or nightmares, but I think I'll perfect my delivery of it before I tell my boy. May even wait a few years.

(Must very quickly tell you there is a stunning sunset outside my window. A kind of mauve graduating to a deep pink into a paint brushed orange. Really stunning. A bigger tower than my own is to the far left, so silhouetted against the whole sky are the tops of winter branches.)

A soap opera by any other name

The Foca came to take our son swimming last night. He'd sent no text saying he would so I wasn't sure he'd come. He has forgotten in the past, but I no longer send reminding texts.

So yes good!

Not a word to me when he picked up the boy.

At 7.30, as the strains of Coronation Street were filling the air, my son came home.

Usually the Foca's at the door, but last night he'd gone straight out to The Toilet.

I went out. "So is our son coming back on Sunday then this weekend?"

This weekend has remained quite ambiguous because we'd agreed a Monday return for it in mediation but he'd emailed saying Sunday 'for the next few terms'.

"I'm not talking to you," he said. "I'll send you an email."

"You can say now whether our son's coming back this Sunday."

He pressed the button and the Toilet door closed.

"Let's not drag this on," he'd said in the email. The school hasn't responded to the last email. This has clearly riled him.

If he'd got what he wanted through the mediation, he'd tell me to 'get over it' if I got stroppy. But no, instead, he behaves like a prick.

You'll get the next installment to this drawn out story when I receive his next email. Be thankful, as I am, that the saga isn't played four times a week with an omnibus edition on Sunday.

Or maybe it is.

I should think of a theme tune.

Monday, 25 January 2010

How I wish I was funny...!

Thank goodness for other people's blogs, namely right now, The Cigarette Diaries! This smoking mamma has a gift for hoofing me out of a black spot and making me laugh, today by recounting her experience invigillating exams. Thanks Jen!

I'd like to thank every one else whose blogs I visit and comment on.

Breaths of fresh air are few and far between here. Stiggers would love to be a laugh a minute but alas, she is what she is.

Whatever that is

Why worry about things.....

Last night I was drafting a poster for the fundraising tea we're going to have at my son's school on Friday for the victims of the Haiti earthquake disaster when a film came on the telly.

Why oh why I picked Right at Your Door, on BBC 1, about a man who seals himself into his house after a chemical attack in Los Angeles just before his wife returns home, over Five Minutes of Heaven, on BBC 2- a fact based Irish drama about a 19 year old Catholic killed by a 17 year old member of the Ulster Volunteer Force I do not know and will not question now.

All I do know is that I've felt... I've felt...erm, I've felt, well I've felt all day.

Right at Your Door was described as a 'thriller'. I can't say I felt any sense of urgency watching it, but bloody hell, the ending... why did it keep me awake half the night, make me feel isolated all day?

The dusty landscape of the film reminded me of the ashen landscape I imagined while reading The Road. The toxins are airborne and spread, spread, spread. One can imagine London being engulfed in a nanosecond, Essex, Middlesex, Kent and Surrey in two nanoseconds, all from the same bomb.

I'm currently reading Iain Banks' Transition about suicide terrorism, global financial meltdown, and the all powerful organisation that presides over it all: the Concern (a christmas gift from my brother in law. I always read a gift though I'm no stranger to Banks' fiction).

These two books would be enough to get me into a post film tailspin but no, I bought the Sunday Telegraph (free dvd of A Place in the Sun) which reported the rise of the female suicide bomber who doesn't look Arab (reminds me of The Battle of Algiers - 1966 film) and is being primed to take us all out, and another article on the imminent threat of "a new 7/7" as more British muslims are being radicalised as terrorist techniques become more sophisticated.

There was little about the looting in Haiti, but I got that in the televised news.

My nights are often grey but it didn't help it being a bleak, foggy, cold January day. I usually ignore the sky on such days, but it hung over me today like a course blanket. The only way to deal with it is to write, right, write.

So this is it:
Terrible natural disasters are happening around us. Haiti had no control over its fate. The people there are desperately hungry, are thirsty, are in need of urgent medical attention. The UK doesn't sit on a tectonic plate. We are very lucky. We get storms though, floods.

Terrible man made carnage awaits us. I, for one, know I have no control over how, where, or when it will happen.

I could get very depressed about all this. I could become very, very afraid but of course, as I sit in my tower, I think why worry about what I can't control?

You know me, I worry about fecking everything, well, housing. This is so big though, so huge, that I apologise sincerely for posting about it.

I will not worry about Mother Nature and fundamentalist person. There is no point.

But if there's a moral to that film that if you didn't watch it last night, I wouldn't recommend it, it is that in the event of a chemical attack, stay outside.

There, I've ruined it for you, told you the end. Of the film.


I'll think sunshine,
on a cloudy day
When it's cold outside
I have my life today
I guess some might say
What can make me feel this way
My boy (my boy, my boy)
Thinkin' about my boy (The Temptations, featuring stigmum)

I always say a little prayer for my son
Forever, forever, he'll stay in my heart
and I will love him
Forever, forever we never will part
Oh how I love him
Together together, that's how it must be
To live without him
is inconceivable to me (Aretha Franklin slightly tweaked by stiggers)

Labelling labels

I thought I'd make a label
for my poetry
I'm not quite sure it cuts it
but that doesn't bother me

I have added a little question mark
so you know that I do not
know every rule of poetry
I don't care I like to jot!

(There's so much tidying to do today
but I'll get labelling old 'poems' out of the way!)

Friday, 22 January 2010

Single mother haiku

Mothers on their own
are often stereotyped
by society

A Springtime Haiku Trio

Beautiful blossoms
in springtime they wake the eye
and then they are gone

You gawp in wonder
pink buds that soaked your senses
welcoming summer

A pretty season
if I remember it well
it has been so long

(This has made me laugh
playing with a haiku rhyme
my very first time!)

A "popular" man on the dating site wrote of his ideal woman: "I'd like to do to you what the spring does to the cherry trees" (Neruda) "... I thought I'd put down some poetry (women love that)"

I sent him a message saying:

The Spring gives us beautiful blossoms
You gawp in wonder
and then they're gone
but a beautiful start to the summer
if we get one this year that is
(and no, that's not a poem. I'm quite rubbish at writing poetry... not a reason not to try though!)

He replied saying that was like a haiku only with too many syllables.
You've given me a challenge I said, I've never written a haiku before, I'll try and write you one!

I sent my trio (written super fast so don't judge it) and do you know reader, he's not read it! No! Over a week it's been and he's visited the site every day I have!

Can't weep over a cyber petal who's not interested but given I learnt something new from our brief exchange, I thought I'd post it!

All I want....

To clear the cobwebs of access posting, I took a wander through other blogs. A Mothers Ramblings has written a post of all the things she'd like. It's quite a list! No surprise really that I find myself reading it thinking 'ooh, I would like all of those things too!'

My situation though, popped a song into my head! Me and stiggers love music, so thanks rambling mamma! Dream a little dream.... (no, that's not the song, not yet at any rate)

All I want is a house somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air,
With lots of rooms to share.
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?

Yummy food fa me an my boy to eat.
Cooked by a chef so it's no mean feat.
Warm face, warm 'ands, warm feet.
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?

Oh, so loverly sittin' absobloominlutely still.
I would never budge 'till spring
Crept over the windowsill.

Both their 'eads restin' on my knee,
Warm an' tender while we watch TV,
Life takes good care of me.
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?
Loverly, loverly, loverly, loverly.

(Eliza Doolittle featuring Stiggers - a Fair Lady herself ahem)

Let's not drag it on....

My goodness I was pissed off last night. How is it the Foca can drive me mad in less than 0 to 60 seconds???? Answer me that ey, answer me that.

Yesterday afternoon, as promised, the Deputy sent me and the Foca an email saying what our son had told his class teacher and school mentor about how he felt about term time access. Our son told these members of staff that he wished to come back on Sundays, the reasons why, the reasons his own.

I hit "reply all" on the email, said that I too would prefer a Sunday return, thanked the school for acting as mediator and mentioned how grateful I am that there are staff there who my son can talk to impartially about anything that may be troubling him. "Send".

Into my inbox came the Foca's response. OK, what does this say? This is what it said:

Hi All,

I don't think we should drag this out for any longer.
I'll bring [our son] back on Sunday evenings for the next few terms - we can revisit this again at that point.

Thank you for all your help in looking after [his] best interests.

During our conversation you commented on the high level of anxiety that [our son] displays.I know various suggestions were made as to possible causes for this - but I would like to ask you what you believe to be the cause(s)?
And what we might all do to help lessen any stress [he] is suffering?



The rage. 0 to 60 I tell you. Hiding this from my son involved putting the stereo on really loudly and dancing with him, Duckie and Tigger.

I was angry and I was embarrassed. This week alone I emailed the Deputy saying the Tory wanted an email from the Head. I didn't like to do this because the Deputy has just written a fecking letter, that should be enough for the goddamn state to listen.

Do I wait for her to respond to this? I still couldn't shake it off at bath time. RRAAGH. No, I thought, don't drag it on, deal with it now. So at 8pm, I sent this:

Deputy, I apologise for including you in this email, but I have to.

Foca, You are right, I don't think we should drag this out for any longer. [Our son] will be very happy to learn he'll be back on Sunday's during term time. I don't think we should revisit this again unless I move to Brighton. This is not likely.

By asking the school questions about [our son's] anxieties, you are dragging it on. There are 400 children in the school. [The Deputy's] first port of call would be a child's teacher for any individual problems that might arise. We were fortunate enough to see [X] [our son's] teacher, on Monday, who told us both how well he was doing, academically and socially. I was relieved by what I heard. I would have hoped you would be too. During school time, she is the person best placed to know him.

Children spend only 20% of their time in school. This I learnt at a seminar on Tuesday on how to equip (teenage) children for real life, not a figure I plucked from mid air. Given that [our son] spends the majority of his time with me, I am the one who is best placed to answer questions about things that may make him feel anxious, may make him feel happy.

Recents events between us have made him feel anxious, your move and the subsequent argument over term time access. In the past, things that have made him anxious, I have told you about. Whether that was his problems in reception while I was doing my masters, how he felt about you having a second child, you getting married. I let you know when he's not having a good time. [Our son] is very open with me.

Anything you want to know about [our son], I can and am happy to tell you. Whether you choose to listen to what I have to say is up to you. It would make things easier, admittedly.

You have my other email address if you want to carry on this conversation, but let's stop now. What we might do to lessen [our son's] "suffering" is to learn how to communicate with one another. I know it's hard but that is not the school's concern, not unless it spills into that 20% of the time that [our son] is with them.

The school may or may not answer your email. If they do, let that be the end of it. If they do not, let this be the end of it. Thanks

Mother of Child ('moca' doesn't have the same ring to it as 'foca'. Mocha is a type of coffee, with added cocoa, milk and sugar, makes me think of that little rhyme: what are little girl's made of....)

After I sent this email, where I certainly did omit to mention 'my own personal housing stress' I came to blogspot and wrote about Bazza's Boot Camp - "Don't think about it!!" I then fell asleep on the sofa as the credits rang on Question Time, woke up at midnight, hung the laundry (yeah hey! I remembered!) and got to bed at 1.45.

Let's not drag this on. If the school replies I will not tell you because I've said my peace. I just hope the Foca's heard it...

Annoyingly though, the wider tale is not over which is why it's nice to read other people's blogs and know that I am not alone with foca/access problems.

Thankyou blogland!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Don't think about it!!

Today in Boot Camp we began learning about a process that in Tai Chi is called The Seven Steps.
Today in Boot Camp, we learnt how to walk.
Going forward; quite straightforward
Going backward; quite straightforward.

Then we had to bring our arms and hands into the process.

Going forward; left leg, right arm. How hard can it be? Quite actually!
"Don't think!" I heard the master shout.
Oh my mental motherboard...

We had to pair up. I was with Mistress Mountain who's bloody good at all this stuff.

We face each other and walk. Seven steps forward, seven steps back, seven steps forward, seven steps back. I got this eventually.

Then the master told us the arm and hand movements for going backwards. One palm faces in, the other palm faces out, and it's to block the arm of your partner coming forward, as you walk the seven steps in tandem with one another.

I was shit. I forgot my left and right, was going in the opposite direction to Mistress Mountain, I wasn't getting it together at all!

"Stop!" shouts the Master. "It's like a dance. Can't you dance?" and he grabs a mistress and he demonstrates how you don't ballroom and how you do.

I think of that new telly programme I don't watch: So You Think You Can Dance?

Er, no. But I'm learning how to at Boot Camp!

News from the Tory councillor

Got an email from Mr Tory last night. Sent me the email he sent allocations asking for mine and my son's case study.

Please see below the enquiry I have initiated on your behalf. It takes 10 working days to get a response, which I will then send to you for review, to make sure that all the information I have received is correct.

I know what the response will be and any avid followers will know too. Not enough points, we'll put her in temporary accommodation.

But then he put:

I will then begin to advocate on your behalf very strongly.

I hope he does and I hope it works. That is all I can say on the matter this evening (apart from it's Thursday, bidding day, and I bid on a block on a small estate. Someone was shot on his the other night. I can hope I get this flat, however this pointless hope may be, and I can also hope that it's not an estate familiar to lots of crime. That's possibly my biggest fear about moving, that we move somewhere more dangerous than here)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A job hunting experiment?

Following yesterday's seminar on the need for social as well as academic skills, I'm rather tempted to send out my CV with just my 'basic' qualification on it. Given that I took O'Levels and not GCSE's (apart from maths, which I had to retake and retake) they will know immediately that I am not a spring chicken, more an autumn peasant, I mean pheasant.

Wow, take eight years away. How do I fill these years actually spent studying for exams (ahem)?
Embellish the jobs I did, I guess. Pretend I did them for longer. There are rather alot of them so it would be good to give them an airing. They never make it onto the required two pages of the curriculum vitae these days.

Now let's see; washer upper in a pub, manufacturer and seller of handmade chocolates, service staff in a self service restaurant, ride operator in an amusement park, cleaner, bar staff, dinner lady, waitress, factory worker, data inputter, telemarketer, telesales, cleaner again (France, that should earn something no?) boat stewardess, call centre operative, teacher, hostess, oh my goodness, forgot - sales assistant, cashier, I'm getting quite depressed now, I don't want to do these jobs again (although teacher... hmm). Luckily I can chuck in some journo stuff. I was so glad when I finally got to that, an end to all those means I thought....

I could expand the time I spent abroad. Pretend I went for that job in Tahiti. Oh silly me that I didn't - I came home to get a 'career' ha ha.

I can squeeze eight years out of that can't I? I'll go for social research jobs obviously. Aim high. I think my experiences lend themselves very well to that; Perhaps I should give myself a chance and aim for some type of voluntary thing, an internship. For motherhood of course, I've been doing that for years, but that's not seen as a proper job. I've been out of work, 'unemployed', for a rather long time. Employers find that off putting.

Yes, I know I'll have to embellish the truth, but it's an experiment remember. How much does a degree matter? In recent years I've had rejections if I'm lucky. Usually they don't get back in touch at all. Such is life but you may know this life, it's not uncommon.

Shall I?

I'm tempted.

I might just re-write the CV and see. But then again, I'm scared of going back to work. Scared I'll miss my son's plays, fun runs, sport days, concerts, class teas, half term, my easter, summer, christmas holiday access with him, he won't like any of that at all either. Bazza's boot camp - that does me so much good....

I'm so extraordinarily good at thinking my way out of good ideas.

Should our kids go to university?

I attended an interesting seminar yesterday on new ways to educate our children.

It was hosted by Relate. Yes! The relationships people!

It was called Built to Last: Equipping Children for Real Life.

Too many children, it was argued, are under-educated and over examined. A focus on academics and target testing, has left young people totally unprepared for the world of work. Many are unmotivated, lack self discipline and have little emotional resilience.

An answer is to teach children life skills, or "soft skills". Social mobility is easier with these skills, not just a good handle of English and Maths. Integrate academic and personal development and the child will reap the results. In Finland they've been doing it for years, getting great results.

I had just come from sitting in on half an hour of my son's literacy lesson. All the parents were invited. It was a fun class looking at noun plurals. That's the thing, in my son's school, they do teach the children academics they need to know. They also go off curriculum and teach things that are fun to know. They also have those pshe classes or whatever they're called to teach them 'social intelligence' and 'emotional resilience'.

Parents evening on Monday, his teacher told me he was doing very well at the academic stuff. I was more interested in his social development. "He's kind," she said. "Very helpful and supportive of other pupils. He has a good friendship base." Good to hear, my little baby was isolating himself a year ago. The school's done great work on his 'soft skills' while continuing to challenge his 'hard' academic ones.

My hope is that he can go to a secondary like this.

Schools get only 20% of our children's time. The panel were saying that there is currently a failure to deal with what children get from their 'informal' curriculum. Television predominantly - the X Factor and the National Lottery play high on their expectations of a financially positive future. Programmes such as Waterloo Road has broken barriers between teacher and pupil, the latter now seeing teachers as "real people with real lives". (At my son's school the children call the teachers by their first name. My friends with kids in school think this is really wierd and doesn't foster respect, but I've found the opposite)

It was mentioned that embedding social skills doesn't deteriorate academic training. A shame the example given here was a boy's boarding school. The private sector of course, has much smaller classes. At boarding schools the kids don't go home at 3.30. It's harder to play truant; you need to runaway, like my fellow kicked out chum did.

Relate, the relationship people, are entering schools now. They see problems kids have at home, with a parent, a step parent. "They are often ill-equipped for the world of work. Too many people lack relationships of value in their lives."

They believe schools should turn out "relational competence" in kids. "The key skill by those who do succeed is relatedness. One good relationship can act as a catalyst for opportunity."

There was a fear from some listening that by putting 'soft skills' high on the agenda, schools in the sector would turn their backs on academics.

What was agreed is that success is not based on social background. Yes, I would, um, agree with that, public school dropout that I am...

"Qualifications will be essential," said a panellist, "but show us what you've done." Anyone seeking a job in a creative sector would need a portfolio. Show articles they'd written, videos they'd shot etc. "Basic qualifications are an underpinning and needs a broader experience on top."

I wanted to know what a 'basic qualification' was these days. I wanted to ask if all kids should go to university. Now that so many go, what employer is going to take notice of a CV that doesn't have that 'basic' qualification on it followed by all the rest; the volunteering, the 'work experience', the 'internships' - all the things you do for free.

I was too shy to raise my arm. I thought the question might be a bit silly compared to everyone elses.

The foca didn't go to uni and his life is way way way more successful than mine with my two degrees. We were last century kids though. As the land lies now, I'll tell my son I'll support his choices. Things may be very different in a decade.

It was a great seminar, interesting, loads of examples of educational programmes being tried out in this country and America. What will get rolled out nationally so all kids can benefit?

Can the UK, currently bottom of a Unicef report on children's wellbeing, churn out a nation of self motivated, self disciplined, socially intelligent. responsible children?

What do you think?

(I was going to post about this last night, while it was all fresh, but housing reared it's ugly head. Forgive me if it comes across all garbled)

Still the fool for the state? A song

Boom bo boom Boom bo boom

Just why I stay around
When all I find is a heartache
I believe your every word
Didn't know the hurt and pain that you'd make

But why does it take so long
Alas, now I've seen the light
My heart wants to say

No more the fool
Who waits around
Waitin' for you to bring me down
Those days are going now (oh I wish...)

I spend the nights
Layin' awake
Cryin' and waitin' for the day to break
That dreadful sound as my dreams fall and hit the ground
While I wait around
I feel a fool

You don't think I'll break
You might be wrong
I can see what's goin' on
Yes I know
Here I am I'm alive
And you'll see I'll survive
My child needs you

I don't want to be the one who comes a runnin'
It ain't like it used to be
Why won't you now run to me

No more the fool
Who waits around
Waiting for you to bring me down
I want those days gone now...

No more the nights
Layin' awake
Cryin' and waitin' for the dawn to break
That dreadful sound as my dreams fall and hit the ground
While I wait around
I feel a fool

All the days I wait for you to call
I wait for a sign that you will house us
But it's so clear
You don't care at all

Nooooooooooooooo mooooooooooooore the foooooooool
No more the fool
Who waits around No more the fool
No more the clown No more the fool

No more the sight
No more the sound
And hit the ground
I feeeel a fool

No more the fool
Who waits around
Waiting for you to bring me down
Why can't you house us now?

No more those nights
Laying awake
Cryin' and waitin' for the day to break
Those dreadful sounds as my dreams fall and hit the ground
While I wait around
I'm not a fool
No nooooooooo a fool

(Elkie Brooks featuring Stigmum. Thanks goes to Familyaffairs mum for making me think of this tune this morning. The original is very good if pain relates to a real person, not a real system )

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Residents meeting with Tory in situ

I wasn't going to go. I never post about it when I do because I can never remember the interesting things... like cash we have to spend in order to be given cash, though not cash to repair The Toilet (my word for the lifts if you remember...)

Today the meeting was about Regeneration Plans. Why should this interest me? Me and my boy are being evicted. Made the whole experience surreal though.

"This is your home," said the councillor, "Your community, you care what happens here, you want decent homes."

First off the crowd! Usually there's only half a dozen of us, including my son, sat around a table. The last two meetings have been about buying plants to make the Tower look pretty. Today's chat wouldn't be about that, I figured upon entering.

There were at least two dozen people, more. Rows of seats all taken and a row of people standing at the back. Yep, all tenants who are not only scared that their homes will be knocked down, in the name of 'regeneration', but to complain about their flats.

"The windows!" chorused quite a few. Metal, single glazed things that have never been replaced, despite the old man next to me having written complaint after complaint letter since 2001.

"Heating!" With draughts from the crappy windows coming through it hardly matters if the heating's on, but one mum, from a papier mache round the corner, was saying that she and her six year old had to sleep downstairs in the living room because upstairs was sub freezing - -2 degrees indoors when the snow fell down.

Much talk of the Decent Homes Standard and how to raise the cash for it; sell offs, rechannelling rental income ("I pay rent to live in a shit home") and regeneration. "Our windows!" they chorused again. (I've got cellophane stuffed down my windows, my ma did it years ago when she visited because the whistling wind through it was so loud we couldn't hear one another speak.)

The Tory councillor fielded all this with "I can't talk about anything before I was elected" and "This is the beginning of a consultation programme..." He couldn't tell us whether the block would be knocked down or not. Take it from me, he said, "Nothing will happen on this estate that you don't want to happen. We'll take the majority view."

Forgive me if I interpreted this as hot air whistling through my window. Not that I should care, it won't affect me...(though will that be the choice for the others though.... live with your crappy windows, your non existent heating, your faulty electricals or lose your home?)

He spoke about how the council want to take estates and squeeze value from them (hmm, I didn't catch how they might do that, I'm not sure he said). Sort out the problems within them. Problems, not of windows or heating, but of other problems that come from living on estates: "Health issues, unemployment, teenage pregnancies. Camden is one of the top four deprived wards in the country."

Fuck, and there's me wanting a council flat to live in with my boy and estates are all there is to bid on. Words fail me.

"Any questions?" asked Mr Grey. My hand shot up.

"Do you agree with sell offs to fund this decent homes work?" The answer was a diluted yes. A difficult choice, it's not many properties...blah blah blah.

"Do you agree with what these policies are doing to that little boy behind you?" He glanced behind him at my superstar drawing at a table (the only child there) and circumvented the answer, he was still on the decent homes thing.

"He is being evicted this year and the council want to put him in a hostel. Do you think that is a decent home for a child?"

I got quite excited as he said there was a policy now in place "not to keep families in hostel accommodation for more than....."

More than????????

"Two years."


He said we would get housed. "When," I subconciously spat, "before you knock this block down or after?"

"You haven't been listening to a word I've said," he said.

"Yes I have." But then another tenant took that lead to rant against the razing to the ground of newly refurbished health centres and the like, of money spent literally being flushed down a drain. My head was feeling quite an awful pressure though and I could only hear snaps of this conversation.

A passionate crowd. In this sense it was good. They were angry they hadn't been invited to a consultation about their homes for "12 years!", "up until now!" The Tory councillor lives nearby where someone was shot yesterday. He's no stranger to the problems, he was saying.

We're being evicted we're being evicted we're being evicted. My son my sun my son. Thank you lady who took my lead.

I knew I hadn't approached it all very well, got a bit "passionate" myself, so it was with a difficult heart that I asked him if he could help us, afterwards, when he was giving people his card.

He said he would. Said he'd talk to the council, send me their response. "Everybody I've asked for help has done that." Told me to get my son's Head to email him. I said the Deputy had recently written a letter. He said he'd try and get us on the exceptions panel. "They've turned us away three times," I said.
"We'll see what response I get from the council and then I'll become an advocate for you."

Oh reader, forgive me if this no longer excites me, if I'm not filled with heart pounding hope.

Labour MP tried to help.
Libdem councillor said he would.
So did other Libdem people.
No joy, no joy, no joy.
Well you know, I'm still blogging about it after all.
Can a Tory make it happen?

On the cover of Private Eye, there's a picture of his Leader holding a baby. "I'll get us out of this mess" says Cameron. "You must think I was born yesterday," says the babe.

Has the Leader heard of my request to meet him? Did this councillor get wind?

Right now I am hoping this is the end, my beautiful friend, the end. (Yep, The Doors)

I did thank the councillor. Yep, even with a muddled motherboard, I didn't forget my manners.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Singles Ceilidh - a night out!

On Saturday evening I went to a singles ceilidh with Annie and her friends.

Have you ever been to a ceilidh? It's a fun, rumbunctious, footstomping fab night out.

A singles ceilidh? Surreal!

The penny dropped once we were inside. Men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes which was great as I did feel I might be too old for all this!

"Annie?" I said, as we sat in the bar sharing a bottle of wine. "Everybody here is single!"

Usually, on a night out, this is not the assumption you make. You assume that the good looking ones, at any rate, are spoken for.

"They all know that we're single too!" said Annie.

So I put the frighteners on her: "All the guys might be single dads!"

What a fun night! Unwilling to sit out on the side lines, I scanned the dancefloor for anyone to dance with. Of course, with some dances, you wind up with someone totally different at the end.

I danced with a man so strong, that when he spun me round, my feet left the floor. I found that very sexy, very sexy indeed!

Being a smoker had its advantages too! Outside I met the organisers of "Single in London". "Why are you single?!" I asked the two gentlemen. "It's a great idea to do this," I continued. "Some people might otherwise be too shy."

Two guys had come on their own. Not sure I'd be brave enough to do that!

Afterwards, me, Annie and her three friends went to The Grand Union on Camden Road. Two of the bar staff were leaving and we were invited to the lock-in party.

Crikey, how many free shots did we down?!

I crashed at Annie's house, the two of us still as single as we were at the beginning of the evening. But hey, the two of us are online dating! I was way too hungover yesterday though, to plunder the site!

What a great weekend!

Up in the Air a romcom?

On Saturday, my beautiful friend Phil invited me to the cinema to see "Up in the Air"
I knew nothing about this film but Phil said it was a romcom. In the early stages of online dating, why not?

I have since seen a trailer of it on the telly. In all honesty I would not be tempted to go and see it on the back of this, despite it starring the truly delectably scrumptious George Clooney.

Mr Clooney plays smooth operator Ryan Bingham, whose job it is is to travel around corporate America firing people on behalf of managers who don't want to do it themselves. He loves his job, as he whizzes past long queues and through check-ins collecting the ultimate reward: air mile points. He has a side line in motivational speaking, where he tries to sell the idea of 'emptying your backpack' for a life of greater liberation. He has no wife, children, an empty flat, scant relationships with siblings; he likes this, it suits him down to the ground.

In an airport lounge he meets Alex (Vera Farmiga), a woman not unlike himself, into casual, commitment free sex.

Enter Natalie (Anna Kendrick), a young whizz kid in his company who has the great idea of sacking people via video link.

Seeing the life he loves so well about to be threatened, Ryan takes Natalie on the road with him, to show her what it's all about. This journey forces him to re-examine his life.

The film is romantic, the film is funny. Is it a romcom? I know the answer to this now, but go and watch it yourself. Just don't go on your own though - it's better to talk about what you've experienced than it is to think about it!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Online dating when you're depressed

It is possibly not the best idea to sign to up to a dating site when one's life is a mess.

Firstly of course, you may not want a relationship. Such are the priorities in your life, you may have neither the time, nor the resources.

You may meet a person and they in turn may think you want rescuing, are too needy, and run a mile.

You may meet a person and they in turn do not mind that your life is a mess. You in turn, run a mile.

This is my experience anyway.

The first time, in 2006, I wrote "I am not looking for anyone or anything." If I can find this old profile, I'll go into 'edit' and put it all in for you.

My profiles then became more quirky. In 2007 I wrote:

Love, that many splendoured thing, has eluded me in cyberspace but it's alright for I'm happy talking, you know happy talk. However, I know that somewhere over the rainbow I have all my life to live, I have all my love to give, but what do I want, do I really really want?
Friendship and knee trembling passion. Are you man enough? Boy I'll be a woman soon.

I changed it again in 2008, I have changed it again now.

I will not transpose this profile just yet. I will see who I attract. As above, so far when I contact someone, they do not reply!

This is ok. This is the point. Many of us are frightened of a real relationship. Real relationships are hard and many of us have got hurt.

It is my last foray into online dating. I have bought myself a month's subscription. I still like to believe in fate and destiny, would you believe. I might not meet the man for me for some time.

Very little is stable in my life, you know that. I am seeking stability for my son. After this, I will seek stability for myself. Probably starting with a job, but that's different to starting with a home.

These cyber males do not know that but they will discover it. Some might stay, others will definitely go. I'll don't know what I'll do with those who wish to stay.

I do not think I will post about the dates I go on. But I will post what I get from them. I will post what I might learn.

That's the thing with online dating. It's a fantastic opportunity to learn something about yourself. It can prepare you for the risks involved of true self discovery - with someone real.

I find that quite scary. Do you find it scary too?

Friday, 15 January 2010

A turd in the lift

Yesterday the big lift was working (for once) but not a soul would go in it because sitting there, right in the centre, was a large poo.

"Is it a dog's?" I queried to others waiting for the little lift.

"I don't know," was the reply.

Being a curious kind of girl, I peered into the lift for a closer inspection.

A dark brown, nutty log. Not a dog's poo. A human one.

I have to raise my son here. It one thing asking people to clean up after their dogs but you do not expect people to defecate in small enclosed spaces that are not a toilet. We are not in China. (I have been, I can say things like that) I'm glad my boy wasn't with me at the time, he'd have found it funny.

The stool was no longer in the lift just now when I got back from the shops, but the lift still stinks. Then again, the lift always flipping stinks, of urine mostly.

Given that I live in Papier Mache Towers, I shall, from now on, call the lifts The Toilet. I don't talk about The Toilet much now my bike's got a shed and I don't have to carry it down the stairs, but should I allude to it, like I did this morning when I told of my social worker getting into the lift, it'll now be a sentence like "She got into The Toilet and left."

I'm labelling it under 'crime', because it is one.

My camera's been fixed!!

Wow, so fast!

DHL came round at 6.30pm on Tuesday night when I had already given up hope and was feeling cross that I'd have to wait all day Wednesday.

A knock on the door this afternoon and it's Friendly Postman with a package for me.

"Is it my camera?! I hope so I hope so!"

They've replaced the circuit board. It works! But how I wish wish wish my son were here so I could get snap happy with him.

He's in my life, he's back on Sunday. He's in my life he's in my life.

I shall write about poo. My son has not grown out of talking about poo, so I shall do that (or rather you have just read a post about poo). Shame there is no photo of it but in the future there might be.

Suicide dreams and social workers

I haven't had suicidal thoughts for a few years now, not since the serious contemplation when a powercut alerted me to the presence of my son, sat at the table behind me.

I went to bed last night, late, having tried to distract my weighty mind with trash tv. I kissed my sleeping boy and got under the covers, said a little prayer of thanks like I usually do and settled.

In the darkness hung a noose, suspended in mid air, alert and waiting. Shall I kill myself? I can. I want this life to be over. I stepped over and placed my head in the loop, my chin resting on the course rope.

I was at the point of fastening it around my neck with my free hands when I saw my son, sitting cross legged to the left of me, not staring up at me but into the empty space before him.

I took my head out of the noose and that's all that I remember.

I woke up this morning and thought I can't even kill myself in a dream. I had to pack my son's bag for the sleepover with his dad. I didn't want to do this. I asked my son to help me because it is good he is going; he needs space away from me just for a day or so while I find myself again in order to be the person he deserves to have.

I'd arranged to meet the school student social worker this morning. That's lucky. I'd tidied up for her on Tuesday, while waiting for DHL. The Twin Pointed Fork of Council and Foca, Wednesday and Thursday though and the place is a mess again.

She didn't mind.

We talked for ages, about the Foca, about the Council, about God too funnily enough.

"You need to forgive the Foca," she said.
"I can't, I've tried."
"You need to forgive yourself," she said.
"I've tried, I can't."
"If you can learn to forgive, all your power will come back to you."
"Forgiveness," she repeated as she got into the lift. "That's all you have to remember today, forgiveness."

I have to take the laundry out of the machine. I forgot about it last night, switched the machine off this morning.

Start the day hanging out the clean washing. One step at a time, one foot infront of the other.

I am not in Haiti. My heart goes out to these people. I have food to eat, water to drink and yes, a roof over my head, but being as I am in one of the richest cities in the world, one that hasn't suffered a natural disaster, not the kind of roof yet that I desire for my child.

Forgiveness, forgiving, why is it so fecking hard?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Forced to compromise

I could not look him in the eyes. God, do I hate him that much?

Luckily the Deputy was there and I thanked her afterwards. The conversation without her would have gone on and on; there would have been blood.

The Deputy took the lead saying my son's teacher's point of view, so far. The Foca spoke loads, too much. I sat there, fury eating away at me at what I considered to be a whole heap of bullshit.

For example, he tried to say it took him four hours on a Sunday to get to London by rail. It might do, but do not say that you leave at midday when he gets back to me at 7. That is not four hours, not by anybody's amazing mathematical calculations.

He said that on a given Monday he wakes my son up at 7 and has him out the door at 20 past. I dunno, wake up the child, get them dressed, get them eating and finishing breakfast, then coats on and out the door all in 20 minutes? Tell me fellow parent readers, can your kids do that? I didn't know my son could...

I was asked to compromise, try the Monday bring back once.

I looked, I sounded very uncompromising indeed. "NO."

I reminded the Foca, with the deputy listening, that I'd already been forced to compromise twice already. That twice he'd bought him back on a Monday without my consent. Twice I'd had to deal with the fallout of my son. Twice was quite enough.

"Bring him back later on a Sunday," I compromised, so late could at least be agreed.

Try a Monday morning once, was asked of me.

We could have sat there for fucking hours but the conversation had to fucking end, for my sake, I hate sitting in the same space as that man.

This weekend my son is coming back on Sunday. I said not this weekend, I was in no mood to prepare my son for it. The following weekend he'll come back on the Monday.

The school will monitor him. Then guess what? It's half term, he'll be coming back later then anyway. So I'll be asked to try it again, 'once'.

I might be an uncompromising old cow. But the Foca is a selfish bastard.

My son's with him now, that's why you're getting the bile. Yesterday I'd told my son to decide whether he wanted to go for tea with his dad or home with me. "I want to go for tea with both of you mummy." I told my son that that wouldn't happen, it couldn't happen.

I reminded the Foca of this, for I've told him before. I told him in front of the Deputy that he wasn't my friend, I wouldn't pretend he was even for our son's sake. I told him not to encourage our son to hope for little family get togethers.

I could have gone on, explained why, but the school deputy was the mediator, not a family therapist.

The Foca knows exactly why but doesn't want to 'know' or be reminded. I asked him for an apology years ago, but he said he had nothing to apologise for. Fine, but don't ask me to be your friend.

We all have to face what arseholes we are or were at some point, it's our only hope for personal redemption. It might not be very pleasant, it might absolutely stink, but it's the only way up, the only way out, the only way forward.

The Foca doesn't want to be my friend, not really; he'd rather pretend (infront of other people). I don't care if this makes him a bigger person than me.

Meanwhile, I can acknowledge that it would be nice to be friends with my son's father but can also accept that I don't have to be if I don't want to be. Not even for my son's sake.

My son my sun I'm sorry.

Doing what must be done

Two things I didn't want to do this morning:
Go to Bazza's Boot Camp
Meet the Foca

I woke up with a familiar pukey pukey feeling you see. I had this Tuesday morning when I was due to meet the social worker, but I kept telling myself then, that she was affiliated to the school and the school is on my son's side.

I could just stay home, perhaps plunder the dating site (yes! I subscribed! For a month! Not best climate must be said to go lookin' for lurve but I'll post about that later)

I went to Boot Camp. It was fairly punishing (fairly!), it was a good laugh. There were plenty of mental strengthening exercises. Be it holding the pads up for an age while your partner punched them for three minutes (I visualised a jungle when I was punching but could think of nothing when holding up the pads for my partner, aaargh my arms ached), be it focussing so as not to get punched in the 'punch punch duck punch duck stand back punch' sequences (I am so unutterably crap at that)

I'm glad I went.

Now I must face the Foca. I do not want to do this, that is why I have dragged in the school. In a cafe, just the two of us, it would be a metaphorical boxing match. The horror, particularly for a pacifist like me. Because the fight is about my son, I have asked the school to act as umpire.

I'm not glad I'm going, but I am glad I set it up for my son. The sooner we clear up term time access without my having to resort to nasty things like denying access or accessing lawyers, the better.

Fuck I hate battles. I HATE them, I HATE them, I HAAAATE them.

Best breathe. Breathe Breathe Breathe....

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


My son entered a competition for Horrid Henry goodies yesterday. Deadline is tomorrow. He's desperate to win so I hope he does.

I've stopped entering competitions. Such is my powerful desire to move, my hope that every Thursday I'll be shortlisted for a flat, I have this (stupid) fear that should I win, I will have moved and as such won't receive said prize.

A few years ago I won a dvd player and a nintendo. A few years ago I had no idea I might actually win something. But now with impending eviction.....

I dream....

When we move, finally, permanently, I'll enter all competitions. I'll be able to, I'll know we are at our new address until kingdom comes.

I'll also have to. I'll need to kit out my kitchen (no more plastic plates!), my living room (curtains, cushions, a real makeover!), never mind get my son a new bed. New bedcovers would be nice, photo frames, a new tv oh and a new dvd player because the one we won has just died on us.

Oh I dream....

That my son wins his Horrid Henry stuff. I'll keep hopes immediate for the minute (apart from the home sweet home one which is always there, every minute of every hour of every month of every year of every decade....)

It's all bloody semantics....

Crushed by semantics indeed.
The support worker's just been round hasn't he?

"They won't budge... they won't budge... they won't budge..." I'm bloody bored of hearing it.
He said I should do the PRS which "will help your mental health."
"How do you know?" I answered. "PRS and Temporary accommodation is the same thing, it's just all semantics so statistics can be manipulated by those above."

I got angry, of course I did, but didn't unleash the fury, he's only a messenger after all.

Same old, same old: "This is about my son. Last year people walked into 2009 with no housing problem and walked out of it with no housing problem as they were housed in between. Me and my son however, walked into 2006,7,8,9 and now 2010 with the same flipping problem. Why?"

Why is a rhetorical question though, or so I'm beginning to think.

In the same sentence I get 'don't think about other people' and 'there are other people'.

Immigration reared its ugly head. "I know what I know because I've SEEN," I say. "The Sun loves to tell the story, I'm sure they'd love a story about my son. A bit of balance you know. A pity I won't let it be told."

I gave him the letter the school wrote on my son's behalf. I did give it to the council before Christmas but it probably went straight into a shredder because support worker hadn't seen it.

"Is he doing well at school," he asked. "Is he falling behind?"

"If my son is doing well it is testament to the school not the council. The council is all too happy to see him fall behind."

"What kind of job do you want?" he asked, changing the subject.

"Something in social research," I answered.

Well all that I know, all that I damn well KNOW.

Will the Party Leaders meet me? Will the Party Leaders help? Do the Party Leaders care?

I'd like to KNOW THAT

Who knows, it might be in your interests too

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


"Mummy? What does honestly mean?"
"It means that you tell the truth."
"No, not onestly, I know what onestly means! Honestly! What does Honestly mean?"
"Oh ha ha!" and I try to think of a word with the same beginning
Then give up
"Oh ha ha ha!" I carry on but a bit more flatly because there must be a word, must be...
Honestly I struggled with this one
I mean onestly I do

Waiting for DHL

My camera is still in its DHL Express bag awaiting collection
I waited for DHL last Thursday. They didn't come.
I waited for DHL on Friday. They didn't come.
They've said they'll come today. I hope they come.
Boy's in after school club so I have five hours to play with.
What shall I do?
There is plenty to do.
Tidy up
Wash up
Do the laundry
Clear out some clutter
Buy a subscription to an online dating site
Wash up
Tidy up
Have headache
May buy subscription
They're offering a discount...
I could play with my profile
Change it
Tell my reality
Throw in a fairytale
See what I get
Launch myself into the decade
Then say bye to Cyberspace
and see who I see who sees me
here on the ground.

Hmmm, tis an idea...