Friday, 29 April 2011

Hope - Do we feel it today?!

This poem by Emily Dickinson, I sourced from Kate Atkinson's book Started Early Took My Dog which I finished reading the other day.

Today watching the Royal Wedding, watching the response of the vast vast crowd, there was a real of sense of hope. I can't explain it, it can dissolve very quickly, though I shall hold it as I make my way down to the pub (not dressed in anything as remotely beautiful as Princess Catherine's dress so shan't win the fancy dress comp I imagine!)

Anyway, I've said here's a poem, so here's a poem (Hope you don't mind Ms Dickinson).

'Hope' is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I've heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet, never, in Extremity
It asked a crumb - of Me

Have a lovely day!

Started Early, Took My Dog

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson, £2.99 with The Times.

I don't actually need an introduction to Kate Atkinson, for she's one of my favourite authors!

Twas a joy to read this one though as I haven't read one of hers for ages! I turn the pages and I smile thinking she's so clever!!

This detective tale wasn't the huge departure from the mum and children books I've read recently that I thought it would be but it served to remind me just how brilliant she is with sensitive matter.

She builds her characters with such wit! This story weaves three tales. Security Chief Tracy Woodhouse buys something one morning, an aging actress with dementia sees something, detective Jackson Brodie acquires something. How these are bought together in such a feast of narrative is something you should experience for yourself!

It's a great Easter read when the news is talking deaths in Syria, Libya, riots in Bristol and your own family is whistling from the various tensions of their own individual lives.

Like I said, Kate Atkinson's really clever!!

Her comic style also reminds me of Smoking Mum's (who I've promised to buy (full price!) the book she's writing when I see it in the bookshop!)

royal Anniversaries

Today, the 29th April 2011, is the third month anniversary of my stopping smoking!!
Oh the country is celebrating, got out the bunting, donning hats and flags at this tremendous event ha ha ha!

I watched it on the telly in my pyjamas, Annie watched it in bed, my neice watched it at home with her mum and my nephew headed down to the Mall with his school mates! Good place to be I reckon!

The marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton, now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was beautiful! The solemnity, the majesty, the hymns! Less of pomp and more of ceremony, I tell ya, my cup of tea tasted good!

Today is a Royal Anniversary for the country, for they did look pretty handsome those two!

Two kisses! Aw thanks!

The 29th of any month is a royal anniversary for me!

Wee hee! We hold what we love in our hearts, ey son?!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Easter Sunday

London comes a visit
I want to drown it
my sis in law cathees* me

(a really stunning day with the little ones - treasure hunts, footie, holding hands, crawling, + yes, I liked church too, brave A, wine wine wine think of beauty,
don't drown)

(Scrawled in Notebook 24 April - *the word was 'catches')

Shouting at my son

I shouldn't have shouted
He twisted his ankle
"It's daddy's fault," he said
for tying his laces too tight
weeks ago
Oh why did I shout
I shouldn't have shouted
It is his dad's fault
Everything's his dad's fault

(Taken from Notebook 23rd April)

Royal Wedding

I should really mention it shouldn't I? The Royal Wedding? Big event like that. All told, I haven't been over excited about it. Infact, I haven't been excited about it at all. All political of course. Thanks to the Tory party, it's got that whiff of "we're all in it together" when erm, we're not.

Still, I do like William, do wish him and Kate all the best and all that, and was prepared to go to Hyde Park or Trafalgar Square or somewhere if my son was with me and he fancied the idea.

He's not going to be though.

Shortly before storming off the last time he dropped our son off four hours late, the Foca mentioned a street party in Brighton and this is where my son has chosen to go.

He leaves this afternoon.

"I don't want to upset you mummy," was all kept saying and I'd reply "you're not, it's great you'll have fun," with big fat tears in my eyes I was careful he shouldn't see. This morning he said: "Sorry if it upsets you mummy but I want to spend halloween with my dad," and I didn't breathe because I wanted to roar.

He's got cousins and brothers with his dad. So what if it makes me sad he doesn't choose to stay with me. Some mothers deny their children access to the fathers altogether and I get that, even if I don't condone it. Access, access, hate access, never liked it, just...

So, my boy hasn't picked to go see the "nothing to do with the Royal Wedding" gig with me. My buddy the Estimator is taking his son, there'll be kids there. Cousins are more fun though aren't they?

Oh well, best mind I don't get too wrecked.. The band's playing in the pub what's offered me a job see...They might retract the offer...

There's a competition for best dressed Wills or Kate.. Telling ya, you can't avoid it.. or maybe you can...

Enjoy the Bank Holiday, whatever your plans!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

I've been offered a job!

This morning
In the coffee shop
Not quite minding my own business
I've been offered a job!
If I want it...
£6 an hour..
Shit money but then good money is no good to me with my overheads
Poverty still knocks
A job!
I've been thinking loads about stopping blogging
It's even upset me a bit
Me and Stiggers thinking by the end of May, tailing it off.
She's still got things to say though, our stiggers, though not sure what.
As for me
I'm going to go and get some advice about this job.
Maybe if I go self employed
I could do that and write too?
Or do that and research too?
Or do that and something else too?
Work from home too?
I don't know
I Don't Know

All I know is that it was kind of the landlady to offer it!

I am too, I said to Neil

London's fine, sunshine most of the time (ahem)
The feeling is laid back (ish)
Oak trees grow and the rents aren't low
But you know I keep thinking about
Making my way aaagh

Well, I'm of Shires born and raised
But nowadays, I'm lost between two shores
London's fine, but it ain't home
Shires are home but it ain't mine no more

I am, I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
I am, I cried
I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can't even say why
Leavin' me lonely still

Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a queen
And then became one
Well, except for the names and a few other changes
If you talk about me, the dream's the same one

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I've tried but it won't let me go
And I'm not a girl who likes to swear (much)
But I've never cared for the sound of being alone

I am, I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
I am, I cried
I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can't even say why

I am, I said
I am, I cried
I am...

(Neil featuring Stiggers.. Must say Neil, the guy who was you in Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show this Easter, really was you!! Unbelievable, how you materialised!! The rhythm and blues accompanying you, and me too! Wild!)

Annual Rent Increase

The Government announces cuts to housing benefit
so the Housing Association increases the rent

Happy Easter to you too greedy so called "Charity"

(Not in Notebook on 23rd April but massive contributer to my failure to get out of bed in the mornings on such beautiful blue days)

Thieving Electrical Companies

£600 electricity bill
That's not right
Everyone's saying it
except the electrical company
fucking thief.
"Try not to use your dishwasher," says voice on the phone
Don't have one.
"Limit the use of your tumble dryer."
Don't have one.
£200 a month for a two bed flat?
"What can you afford?" they say.
"£40 a week for 12 months?"
Who can afford that?
I have to pay it off.

You know what gets me though
over and above this nasty
It costs 17 pence a day
to lease the meter.
No meter, no electric.
You have to lease it
or go higher rates on prepay
17 pence a day
before you so much as breathe.
Fucking thieves.

(Taken from Notebook 23rd April)

Easter Saturday

Into the blue dawn of birdsong
comes crashing my life
my debt
my loneliness
I've said it
surrounded am I
by beautiful beautiful
My life though
that debt overwhelms
future overwhelming
My life crashes through the blue dawn of birdsong
I must crash through my life
Or be hanged

(Taken from Notebook 23rd April)

Hello Again Stiggers!

Highlight of the Easter Holidays was most definitely a free ticket to a Neil Diamond tribute band!!

Brother of Love! Brian Conley as a High Priest praising Hallelulia to Neil!
"Who's that, I recognise him?" said my niece pointing to one of three men.
"Darren Day, known for being a love rat.." Didn't want to say "shagging a pop star" to a beautiful "boys will defo be after you" thirteen year old.

Song after classic song, central aisle second row until after the interval when luck struck even bigger and there I was with my son in the front row!!

This song I've picked because for the beauty of the weather and the company of kids, it was not an easy Easter break down with my parents. I struggled to leave London behind and only managed the morning we were coming back; yesterday. I didn't miss Stiggers because I had my notebook, thank goodness, but I struggled to get out of bed in the mornings..I'm thinking I have to stop blogging but my goodness I'll miss it.

I need Stiggers when I'm in London, because London is so hard.

Solitary woMan heh heh

(Oh the Foca bought my son back four hours late by the way, didn't return my text for two hours. I had a beautiful time with my boy, who in turn had a beautiful time with his cousins - Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show!)

Thanks Neil Diamond!!

Good to be back Stigs!!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

My son my sun, are you on the way home?

Why did the Foca have to say he'd bring our son back at 5 today?
Five not seven because he's going abroad for work.
The tension in my chest
It doesn't help
I loathe waiting.
I don't usually send a text until my son's an hour late
I must remain calm
Perhaps not read the book I'm currently reading:

Whatever you love
... can be taken away

by Louise Doughty (not free but £2.99 with The Times the other day)

Ooh my, I'm half way through. A divorced mother's daughter has been killed in a hit and run and the back bumph says she takes revenge into her own hands with devastating consequences, but I haven't got to that part yet.

Like Melody Browne, this book goes back and forth, but this time "Before" and "After"
It's disturbing, the death of a child is not something you want to imagine and reading it I still can't, don't want to but the book also works on another level - Laura's relationship with her daughter's father and the subsequent break up of their relationship (I'm back on a "before" chapter so will find out just how)

Her husband has set up home with another woman and they've had a baby. She sees this family play happy families with a boy, her son. This frankness, I feel a pain in that, I'm sure many a single mother would.

There is nothing particularly subtle about the prose but as a thriller it is: it's compelling. We do not get how another married mother in the book deals with her grief, only Laura's assumptions while wrapped in her own. Her perceptions of mother communities are on the nail. How many of us recognise ourselves or people we know?

The Sunday Telegraph describes the book as:
"Like Zoe Heller, Doughy is masterful at combining the texture of ordinary, smugly middle-class contemporary life with the hidden cliff edges of violence and hatred."

Annie, who was here earlier for a cup of tea laughed and said: "It sounds just like your afternoon in the park!"

I'm not sure I would recommend this book, or rather, I'm not sure who I would recommend it to. If you like prose that makes you recoil with its honesty, a story that is psychologically tense, then this one's for you.

Me, I'm going to send myself into a psychological headspin by reading it while waiting for my boy to come home. I'm hoping I'll be able to concentrate. I actually came to blogspot because I'd read the same paragraph about three times as I wondered if the doorbell would ring. Blogspot is better at taking my mind off things.

He will come home.

The Foca hasn't answered my text asking "Are you on your way?" but my son is on his way.

Note to you: Don't read this book if your child has gone away. Read it when your child is with you.

OK? Good! Have a happy evening!

Friday, 15 April 2011

The Truth about Melody Browne - Review

The Truth about Melody Browne - Lisa Jewell (Free with Cosmopolitan which I've erm, yet to read but will!)

I'll tell you what I love about a free book. It can take you completely by surprise! I spied that Cosmopolitan were giving away one of two books this month. This which I am erm, reviewing and another - Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella.

Why I chose Lisa Jewell's book? I couldn't say; I couldn't read the bumph on the back on either of them. Truth or Secret? Maybe the sleeve with it's pastel colours spoke of something light and silly, maybe the other, it's dark purple, dark like my dark blue blog template; don't want dark - it might be light though.... Who knows why we choose what we do sometimes.

What a joy to discover Melody Browne was a single mother! What rapture to discover this wasn't run of the mill chick-literature. Sure, she meets a guy at the beginning but that's not the story. Oh! I didn't have to feel hopeless about my own love life!

It's a story about identity and what makes up our identity. It's about our subconcious - things that are so deeply hidden we have no idea about them until one day, memory, memories start coming back, and in this tale it's the night she goes on a first date with new bloke and passes out at a hypnotist show he takes her to.

I believe that some memories come back to you when you are ready to deal with them (because that happened to me, has that happened to you?) so I easily identified with Melody Browne, Melody Browne...?

It's a great book, strong pace going back to the past, a return to the present, dealing with heavy, painful issues with a deft and light touch. Jewell made me laugh, Jewell made me cry (Chapter 46 mostly, and then on...)

It's perfect post dental work literature if you're feeling quite down.
It's a perfect holiday read if you want to, well, feel! Feel interested, happy, hopeful..!

I may go and get Sophie Kinsella's out from the library to read while my son's with his dad but then again I might start reading Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty. I may not review it because it wasn't free (mind you £2.99 with The Times today) but it's an emotionally raw one this one I think - "Laura's nine-year old daughter Betty is killed in a hit-and-run incident" says the bumph on the back.

The Truth about Stigmum is well, blimey, I don't know... Best I just go with her flow!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

My son at the Dentists

"Can I come into the room with you mummy?"
"Wait in the waiting room (my son), it won't take long,"
"I want to be with you mummy, I want to stay with you."
"OK, as you like but I don't think you'll enjoy it. It's up to you."

In the end he didn't want to sit in the room. He sat outside it on a step reading Flat Stanley and hugging the Big Chick he'd bought himself with the £6 his Uncle Dave gave him at the weekend for helping him with the tidying up as me and my Cuz put the world to rights over a bottle of wine in her garden.

As I lay on the dentist chair, I didn't have to imagine angels for I knew a little one was right here with me.

Take all you can in with you to a dentists appointment, but try leave behind fear.

My son my sun I thank you.

Tips when undergoing Tooth Extraction post Root Canal Failure

If you work, take the day off.

Two injections and you'll be so numb you won't feel a thing


Stay calm.

Close your eyes

When you hear a crack and the dentist say "I knew this would happen" stay calm.

If you taste your blood, stay calm

When he asks his assistant for the drill, stay calm

If you're not wearing ear plugs listening to heavy metal you may find the noise of your jaw being excavated for safe retrieval of bone somewhat disturbing.

Repeat: EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over until it is all finished and your dentist tells you to "bite down" on a swab.

You'll be given a piece of paper telling you what to do in the event that excessive bleeding occurs. Continue to tell yourself that everything will be alright.

It will tell you to NOT drink Al Cohol for 24 hours and to avoid Nico Teen. The latter is hard, I never could in the past when my wisdom teeth were extracted so I cannot advise I'm afraid. I can think about it now without getting wound up and aggravated. Ah Nico Teen! See?!

The piece of paper tells you to "ideally rest by sitting in a chair". If it is a beautiful warm day and you are fortunate to have an outdoor space, hand your child some chalk and tell him or her to draw on the concrete tiles.

Accept what has happened.

You can always save your anger for another day or, I dunno, blog about it!

Build up your strength.

Be good to yourself

Read some Chick-lit (free in Cosmopolitan!)

Mags don't do Dude-lit do they?

Rinse your mouth out with salty water after every time you eat and keep taking the paracetamol if your jaw hurts two days later.

It's not joyous, have to say but when my son said that "Dentists are hell mummy," I said to him: "No darling, dentists are hellthy."

He knows the meaning of the word, no need to spell it out really

heh heh...

Pre Post Root Canal Tooth Extraction

You may feel devastated that following four root canal appointments, you are going to lose one of your biggest teeth - a fat front molar.

It is natural for your confidence to suffer a blow as you prepare for one of your body's natural defences to be removed.

It's ok to cry

If you can't cry just sit quietly
Cross your legs
breathe in and out.
The tears may come
Let them fall
They may fall and fall
from the depths of who you are come spilling out
You may think you are drowning
but you're not, you're already drowned
Now you are coming up for air.

Confronting the Playground Bully

(Extracted from notebook - Friday 8th April)

Kirsten the Twin
An angel most definitely
Angels surrounding me
Thank you Universe for sending (my son) friends as
I struggle with the fighting within my head.
Where are the mothers?
Oh God. Ugly, Ugly and C's mum
I stay put while (my son) runs off
I have to say something
Words jumble what - not clear headed today
I go over, they don't stand up

At this point my son ran over me to me in tears telling me that Ugly's son had bashed his head against the ground while Ugly watched and said nothing.

Half an hour earlier I had walked across the Heath playing field, told Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head that I'd come to talk to Ugly and would not be staying.

Did you get my email? I asked, calmly
You didn't?
OK, maybe you'll tell me why you went and told tales about my son to the teacher earning him a day's detention
I didn't do that
You didn't do that? You didn't tell some story about my son tipping over your son's chair?
I don't know what you're talking about, shoo, go away, back to where you came from.

I can look ugly people in the eye, though it pains me. I call my son. Eat your lies you Ugly woman.

She tracks back, I won't bore you with the details. She claims she deleted the email I sent her and the Head. "I sent it to [Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head] too." I say.

Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head sticks her hands up as though I am pointing a gun at her: "No, No, I'm not.. I don't want to get involve.."
"Oh don't worry," I say (I'm not going to shoot) "You.." and with my arms I sweep her over to Ugly and say "Fine".

I sent the email to you as Chair of the Governers, up to you what company you keep. The things you want to say, but don't, perhaps because your head is actually in your mouth, left lower jaw to be precise.

"I don't want you to say anthing about my son," I say to Ugly. Hang on, that's not what I rehearsed -
"I'll say whatever I like!" she retorts.
"Well that makes you a child abuser," I spit.
She reels. And so she should Ugly, Ugly bitch.

"You owe my son an apology. Apologise to my son."
"I'm sorry your mother made you listen to this,"
"No," I say to her, "You know what about."
I don't hear what she doesn't say.

I apologise to Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head telling her it's as I said, I don't want to sit with them, I want to be on my own this afternoon and go back to my patch of grass the other side of the field.

I see Gardening Mum arrive. Both Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head (I really must find another name for her) and Ugly stand up to talk to her. I find this funny.

Next I look up and they are all sitting together in a big group, my son still playing with his (best)friends and me apart until my son comes over saying he's thirsty and so I get up to go buy him water from the Shack.

This is where I met Kirsten, who bought a pack of six ice lollies for a pound and did I want one.
No, I said, but I know some kids who might!

This forces me to approach the big group. (Not much longer now, I'll finish in a minute)

Imagine you are there. Not one of the three Year 3 mothers, but one of the other ones, Reception perhaps or Year 1.

You see the Queen of Tarts going up to the mothers in her year. You hear her say hello to Gardening Mum. You watch her being snubbed. You see her standing there: "Hello Gardening." This mother is forced to turn round. She answers the Queen of Tarts questions about the Easter holidays in short sentences, doesn't return questions, just turns back to Ugly (the three had been talking to one another)

One of you say to the Queen of Tarts that you'll take the last Strawberry Split lolly after all. You both laugh, filling the kids with sugar! Last day of term an' all!

Meanwhile, Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head has stood up to go and watch the boys play football. Gardening Mum and Ugly resume whatever chat.

Is that why you and your friends all leave as the Queen of Tarts, resplendent in sloppy jeans and a pale blue Top Shop shirt steps round you in her heavy biker boots this hot afternoon to go and throw the ice lolly box in the bin ?(M&S don't you know! There isn't one in the vicinity! Believe me when I say Kirsten was an angel in human form)

Is that why you quietly grab your buggies and go? I'm sure I would feel discomforted by what I was witnessing too.

You might want to know that Gardening became more animated towards Queen of Tarts after that. Asked her plans for the holidays. Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head said something, I couldn't tell you what.

I walked back to a spot under an Oak tree, took out a book and a notebook, and began to write the poem (?) that my weeping son came and interrupted. He begged me to go and talk to Ugly again but I told him to leave it, go get his stuff by the goal posts and we'd go. I felt guilt the next day. Next time I'll defend him all the way and God willing I won't have been to the dentist that day like every single flipping time I've had a chance to say something to that Ugly Ugliness since her tale telling to the teacher.

Make of this post what you will. I didn't want to write it, some people aren't worth the time or effort, but Stiggers has told me to today, while my boy is at a Kung Fu workshop. Maybe there's a grown up playground bully in your child's school, who knows..

That night I was invited to a birthday party. Mary and Hannah. In my local pub, kids invited.

Not all middle class mothers are Twits, even fewer are Ugly Twits.

I can a be a twit, but with a small t - huge differences in definition, ey Dahl?

Friday, 8 April 2011

The park in Posh Street

(Extracted from notebook, earlier today)

In the park on Posh Street where we lived six years ago.

Where my son learnt to play football thanks to the boys who lived next door
Raced around the periphery path on his Red Tricycle, little legs round and round = zooom!

Sitting on the grass with me gobbling up a picnic!

Turning so he could kick my bottom when I swung him on the swing
Gales of laughter!
Other childrens' now..

Up and down the slide over and over "catch me mummy! Catch me!"
Making friends with the neighbours on the Street; little friends for him.

How I wished on that path, in that playground, on that grass, on this bench that we could come back here
Please World

I am back here, remembering
but who knows the future

"No wonder it took you so long to resolve your housing"

Master at Zen Boot Camp was pushing us all yesterday.

We were an odd number and Mistress La Francaise came up to me and said "Shall we be partners?" Oh yes!!

Mistress Psychic stared at the Master: "Do I have to go with you?" You're Fearless now Psychic!

I was relieved it wasn't me.

"Come on Fist of the Northern Star," said the Master as I struggled with the backwards kick.

I wanted to tell him my temporary filling had come out the night before and that I had a hole in my tooth which was distracting me but I thought NAH, don't say that, just do your best.

It was when we were punching and kicking the punch bags. I usually love this but I had no, I don't know, strength.

I thought the Master had called Time so I stopped and he looked at me and said (well shouted, big hall, far away) something "..wonder..long..resolve..housing."

My eyes pricked. My fists did not clench. Mistress Mountain told me later what he said because it was niggling me.

I found myself though and I punched holding those weights and I lifted that pole up to my shoulder with no help.

The other Mistresses helped me remember the defence techniques when we later reviewed all those.



"We worked on mental strength today," said the Master at the end. "I know we did alot of physical strength but I'm going to keep doing mental strength exercies with you because it's important."

I want to sink into my dark dark hole.

Next week, while the gum is healing and I feel the gap in my mouth, I will want to sink into my dark dark hole. I am frightened I will sink into my dark dark hole.

My son my sun my son I can't.

I want to say for my sake too but I don't feel it right now.

But you, if ever you feel yourself sinking into your dark dark hole






Look after your teeth child

Look after your teeth child.

My mamma said that to me but I didn't listen

Did you?

Will I listen now?

Listen now

Look after your teeth
Look after your bones
Look after your skin
Look after your flesh
Look after your mind
Look after your soul
Look after your Self

Losing a tooth next Tuesday

My son's got to come with me while I get my tooth extracted next Tuesday because the Easter holidays start today.

Unless I can find childcare.

Take my child all day so I can sleep after?

No,he'll wait in the surgery waiting room unless he wants to come in with me.
No baby no..

I will have to be brave
I don't want to be brave
I want to cry

Will he take on board what's happening? That mummy didn't look after her teeth very well. One of them needs to be pulled out.

"The other's are all strong aren't they?" the receptionist asked me earlier when I voiced some fears about this being the beginning of the end, (I'm on the cusp of a decade change - not a good moment, or is it?)

"Yes I think so. I hope so."

I hope so

Look after your teeth child.

NHS vs Private Dentists

My molar is fractured.

After all that root canal work the tooth has to come out.

I didn't look after myself properly - things are falling apart.

"You must have bitten on something," said the dentist.

The tooth was so weak after all those appointments.

He tried to save it. He really did try to save it.

"A waste of my time," he was not happy today. A reward for a dentist completing root canal work is saving the tooth. "We could have done an extraction at the beginning. Many dentists won't do root canal work under the NHS."

So Costly (the first dentist of my emergency appointment told me immediately the tooth would have to go. My dentist didn't, he told me it could be saved)

In our mini tussle of who's been more hurt by this event, he acquiesed that I "bore the brunt of it". I'm sorry dentist that my root canal was a waste of your time, I truly am, but I've lost a tooth now. There'll a big fuck off gap where a molar's meant to be.

How much is a restoration? How much is a white one? On so many symbolic levels I want a white one for this. Pretend that my tooth is still there so I don't get afraid of losing the others. I judge myself so harshly too. Years of being judged by others, isn't it time I let it go? Let myself go?

If I go privately (installments?) and have a white restoration, my dentist will do the work.

So redundant the question I asked myself as I tearfully left the surgery:

If I'd gone private, would this have happened?

There you have the answer.

Pirate of all Seas

In a few hours I shall return home a Pirate of Two Seas!

Not simply the Pirate of One!

It is the last dentist appointment regarding my root canalled molar.

They are putting half a crown on it.

Sadly, because I don't have Half a Crown in the financial sense, it shall be Gold.

Funny isn't it? The aesthetically pleasing White porceline crown costs in the region of £300 when Gold is better and more long lasting (bling!)

I must not lament that I shall never advertise toothpaste. I must be grateful only that NHS dentistry still exists in London, by the skin of its teeth (ha ha) for sure, but nonetheless, our children's teeth don't need to rot as happens in other parts of the country.

I shall come back to charter the choppy waters of Blogspot, sail out of my cave towards other islands to see who lives there, and of course, occasionally, anchor off with my face towards the light of the sky

(not forgetting sun protection factor - one may have yellow stained gnashers as befits a pirate but one can still look after themselves, no?!)

Politics is deteriorating my language - f%*king f*^k f^*k

I didn't fall asleep watching Question Time last night but spent much of the programme shouting 'oh fuck off' at the television. No, not the television, get a really bad picture on the television even when the aerial's in prime position. I was saying "Oh fuck off" to my laptop (courtesy of Iplayer, thank you BBC).

The cut in corporation tax wasn't mentioned once.

Just the need to wipe out the deficit the last government left behind.

I'm sick of fucking hearing it.

Blue, Yellow and Red, on these cuts, seems to me they're all on the same fucking hymn sheet just trilling different fucking harmonies.

I'm sick of fucking hearing BOLLOCKS.

On Wednesday, I returned from a lovely morning distributing flyers for Zen Boot Camp and a coffee with a friend and a restful read of my book in the sunshine but picked up a copy of the Evening Standard when I did so.

"Worse off Wednesday" - Cuts Cuts Cuts. Slash Cut Families First

Couples with children will see their net income fall by £3,865
Lone parents will lose £2,142 a year

"Treasury minister Danny Alexander piinned blame for the economic crisis on Labour and insisted the cuts and tax hikes were fair. He said "We had a cataclysmic economic problem left by the previous government, with a huge budget deficit..." (p2, 6 April)

Oh fuck off, I'm fucking sick of fucking hearing it.

And then I read, to my own "OH FUCK OFF" crescendo:

"A treasury source said of the IFS report (that said "London is particularly hard hit by cuts to housing benefits"): "Do you think it's fair for a family to receive over £400 a week in housing benefit?"

Do you think it's fair? Do you?

Do you think it's fair that 1000's of families and individuals are going to be evicted and there are no fucking affordable homes to pour them into?

Do you think that's fair? Do you????

Right, enough f ing and blinding from me for one day.

Top tip over the Easter holldays, do not read or watch any media, any political media whatsover, not if you don't want to fucking swear infront of the children. Try and leave it all behind, enjoy the sunshine..

I will leave the subect with this pie chart though. You need to see it. You need to see how unfair this coalition is being. How this deficit doesn't have to be pared down simply by screwing the taxpayer.

And a bonus for you, I'm not sure Benefit Scrounger swears. There is objectivity in what she writes. It's very good:

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Let me rain on your parade this sunny day!

You can count on me!! A beautiful blue sunny day and I'm going to rain on it!

Today my victim was a french woman in the coffee shop who looked very glam in her bling stilletto's.

She was chatting to an older woman and I assumed they were friends but she was very friendly to everyone who walked in. (I was reading the Manager's folder about an NPL course he's doing, that's how I know, because it was distracting, but not in a bad way)

Then the Estimator came in and we're like, buddies, and he came to sit by me. A laugh and a joke about his not sharing a ham and aubergine meal he made his family on Tuesday and then the French woman joined the conversation, saying it was a great little coffee shop where strangers talk to each other.

"Zer is a bilingual school zat is opening up verry soon, you will get lots of paarents, 700 children!" she said to Manager, me and Estimator. "It will change the whole arrea, brring wealsy French peepul 'ere. I 'ope not snubs. I am not a snub."

I couldn't help myself.

"Yes, wonderful in one sense but an influx of wealthy people coming to the area will drive the rents up so the poor will be pushed out."

"Oh I don't know about zat, I don't sink so," she continued and I said "Yes!" and spoke about the planned regeneration in the area, Papier Mache Tower and all that being knocked down. Families rehoused but where? Children pulled out of schools...

"No," she said. "Ze council will not let that 'appen. Zey will re'ouse them zer and in ze new, better council flats. It's such a good opportunity for zem." She then told me that she lived in a council flat with her son, waited four years for it after he was born in 2001. A good opportunity for her; good.

"Alot has changed since then..."

"Anyway," she said, "zis new school will bring positive change to the aarea. Zer is only the lycee in Kensington, where my son goes, so it will be great to 'ave a new one 'ere. And bilingual! Better! New business will come, it is a perfect time for zat, it will bring jubs.."

"Bring high rents to flats people can't afford to live in!" I tell you, I can't help myself sometimes! "And since yesterday, yesterday, there have been cuts to housing benefit so these people are going to lose their homes. What you're talking about is the gloss and yes, it's great but I see the other side of that gloss.. " We chat about the cuts to housing benefit, the shortage of council flats and then I told her my story.

Oh I had to. I would love to carry the argument about other people but it's easier to place myself as one of the victims I'm talking about. People don't expect it, I don't think I look the "type". Whatever the "type" looks like in societies Sun and Mail fed assumptions.

She was suprised to hear I had a child, (really?!) that I'd been waiting eight years, I knew people on her estate (the "posh" one my old neighbour moved into!) She said flats were becoming available there (rengeneration!), that I should tell the council I'm paranoid and depressed so they'll rehouse me quicker (I laughed: "It didn't work!)

I had to run for my Boot Camp class. "Oh yes, oh yes, I 'ave to go too," - relief in her eyes.

Estimator and Manager were outide in the sunshine and laughed, making some comment that the woman didn't expect me to come along and well, rain on her parade.

"Oh it's the Tory view isn't it," I spat, right rankled though not at her, at at, everything! "I'm gonna go.." and I double punched the air, laughed at their laugh and sped off on Zat Bike, into the warmth and sun, my "Women's Self Defence" T-shirt in full view of the whizzing cars.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Should I go in for the MADs award?

I heard about the MADs awards last year.. an event celebrating Mum And Dad bloggers.

I'm thinking, for a laugh, shall I enter myself this year?! It's sponsored by Parentdish and each category is sponsored by someone else and there are prizes!

I'm not sure what category I fall into because I'm not quite sure what kind of blogger I am. Do you know what kind of blogger you are? If so you could enter yourself (if you are a blogger reading this that is)!

The fifteen categories are:

MAD Blogger of the Year 2011
Most MAD Femily Life Blog
Best MAD Craft blog
Best MAD Blog for Family Fun
Best Pregnancy Blog
Best MAD Food Blogger
Most Innovative MAD Blog
Most Inspiring MAD Blogger
Best New MAD Blog
Best MAD Blog Photography
Best Pre-School Fun MAD Blog
Best MAD Small Business Blog
MAD Blog Post of the Year
Best MAD Baby Blog

Are you one of those? At a stretch, have I written a MAD blog post? Am I inspiring? Or not yet? Am I most innovative with my dark background and pictureless face and messed up songs and poetry? and ranting and oh I Don't Know? Quite a few tips there if ever I wanted to write a different blog. I could learn how to make things and then enter for Craft!

With so few followers, well, I stand little to no chance, but is that a reason not to enter?
Is depression a reason to continue turning away from things like this?
Is my anonymity something I should guard? Or am I still the Paranoia Queen and to raise my name is to advent my beheading?

It is quite a mad thing for us to do, in the literal sense not the acronym one heh heh!
Shall we sleep on it stigs?

For now let's see if we can link the badge to send a reader to the website and if it works we can put one up saying "Nominate me!" tomorrow!

MAD Blog Awards 2011

Room - the book - the mind

I rarely find the time for reading fiction. It's a real shame because I love what's out there.

I rarely find the time because I blog. I am forever thinking either what I'm going to write or how I'm going to write which interupts my mind space for reading/course hunting/job searching.. I wish blogging was my proper paid a squillion a post job because it feels like a job.

Anyway, I say this because I have found time to read Room by Emma Donoghue!

I haven't finished it yet. Got way into it last night (tears fell). This morning, I would have ordinarily come home to write but Mistress Ha Ha texted me at the crack of dawn asking me if I'd accompany her around all cafe's in the vicinity to place postcards about Zen Boot Camp.

What a beautiful day! We finished up at the Heath, where we had a coffee and chatted - she's a stigmum like me, frightened about what the new welfare rules are going to mean for her and her two daughters. When she left, the sky was still so blue, the breeze so warm, that I climbed up to an oak tree and sat and read my book.

Read it. My friend Jo recommended it to me, said she wasn't sure whether I'd like it. I won't tell you the plot but I will tell you that it's beautiful and hard but also compelling and rich.

This story of a mother and son is told through the eyes of the five year old child.

It has resonated quite powerfully with me. I have felt guilt and I have felt love as though this five year old, was my five year old.

Ma's Gone - I was gone alot - Mute Mother
Shhh, I'm thinking -

"Mummy, I am sorry for making a fight with you,
Lots of love
Son xxx"

This is from my child, yesterday, a drawing of a butterfly on the other side. A fight because he wanted to wear the new Red Converse his daddy gave him to school and I said 'no'. After the card I still said 'no' but hugged him and said I was sorry too. He's worn them today (not because of the book I have to say, but because there was no quick change Kung Fu and because it was so sunny, not raining).



I wish I'd written down all the things my son said, my son says. Children think so logically. They live much more in the present moment than we adults do.

Has it resonated with me to the degree it has because I am a single mother with a son too? Does it resonate with married mothers? With mothers with several children? Do fathers feel it? Lone ones with a son or daughter, married ones, ones with several?

I haven't finished the book. One last "chapter" to go.

It's a stigmum recommendation

(and gets labelled under Book Review even though Book Review is for free books I get not books I bought like this one (though it was reduced!))

Comfort and Stress eating

New House Rules

No cakes in the flat unless I make them myself
No biscuits unless I make them myself
No purchases of multi bag of crisps (esp Mini Cheddars)
No bottle of beer while cooking the evening meal (new habit this one)

Yesterday I posted "Sugar Sugar!" and for the first time in my blogging history labelled it under "Diet".

This label no longer exists. For yesterday evening, I purchased Apple Crumble and Custard when there were enough yoghurts left for our pudding.

The word "Diet" encourages me, not simply to eat, but to stuff myself.

It cannot exist in my vocabulary and must not exist on my blog, or I might become obbessed about my weight and I've never been obsessed about my weight but am in danger of becoming obsessed because my Cream jeans don't fit anymore.

Will my summer dresses be too tight too?

The perk of my extra weight gain, I'll be honest, is that I am no longer flat chested (not even the internet sold my size..High Stress Diets, honestly, take all the best curves first)

The point of this post? To high-light the beauty of blogging - that one can edit! Because.... I'm going to go into Sugar Sugar and change one of the labels to.. to what? Maybe Comfort/Stress... food? It would imply I'm going eat. Might also imply I write alot about what my son and I eat and I don't.

Comfort/'s not a bad word really is it.. I don't want it to become an issue though

How about Nutrition? Yeah! Maybe Nutrition! It might start me thinking about Nutrients

Ah, you know what, I may just change it to YoYo diets.. I don't diet, like I told you but I do swing.. binge/starve/binge/starve and that must stop (though a little starvation before the summer....? Need some High Stress! Not bad High Stress though, housing related eviction High Stress. Maybe brilliant new opportunity High Stress!

You know even more what? I think this post might just end the discussion and the posts, but maybe not ey, let's keep it open!

Right stigs, we got to find all old posts relating to food, and add a label.. what''ve we agreed? Yoyo diets! Are we sure?

Reader, I've taken you through a stream of conciousness.I usually think before I write not write what I am thinking. I could edit it, but I'm not going to. I just want to say, I don't "starve" myself when I'm in some kind of acute mode. I simply forget to eat when my son's not with me, but we've always eaten together so in very low times, I've had the same portion size as him. No wonder the weight dropped off!

Hmmm, Cream jeans, can I get you to fit again?

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Sugar Sugar...!

I have given up crisps and biscuits for Lent and you know, it's going really well! Yeah, I get the odd craving for Mini Cheddars, Squares, regular Cheese and Onion but I let the feeling pass!

Yes, I let the feeling pass


Exceedingly moorish ones where after the first two I can't taste the flavour anymore so why do I pop the other four into my mouth in speedy succession
Oozy jam ones. I buy two, one for me and one for my son but eat mine on the quiet then eat his telling him I bought him crisps instead (which I gaze at lovingly now he likes my favourite flavours)
Oh that feeling when you eat and eat and can't stop and your heart is beating mad mad madly and your brow begins to sweat... oh yeah

I'm not comfort eating, apparently. According to James Duigan (Elle Super Model Super Bod Macpherson's personal trainer don't you know!) I am stress eating.
Do you stress eat? Fun isn't it! Perhaps not... Perhaps so! Perhaps not...

James has a Clean & Lean Diet that incorporates an 8 minute workout. I've never gone on a diet, diets have just gone on me (the High Stress one, not bad if you want to drop a dress size...)

James says if you don't think you can stay off alcohol for two weeks the book's not for you... oh

Al Cohol... Budvar! Sugar sugar! Al Cohol.. My candy boy!
Chewy sweets OH...

Oh Nico Teen, I am so over you

but my Cream jeans don't fit anymore...

Ooh, jobs for all the unwanted?!!

You must know by now how cynical I am about the government contracting private providers to cream a tidy little profit off the backs of the nation's unwanted (well, just glide down the "work" label if you don't..)

Well, I just popped into Guardian online for the day's news and Polly Toynbee has spelt out our worst fears. The biggest private providers have won contracts, despite missing targets the last time round (though making handsome handsome profits!)

It makes grim reading because you know the Tory machine couldn't give a flying fairy cake, indeed encourages these "enterprises", especially if they operate at the cost of everyone else but Toynbee tells it so well I post the link for your delectation!
(Be warned, when I read it my chest tightened, bang bang, goes the ribcage, can't breathe...can't breathe... but it might not have the same effect on you!)

"It's time these welfare scroungers stopped sponging off the state.I don't mean the poor and sick, I mean Deloitte, Serco, and the rest of their kind." A person comments after my own heart!

Who wants the over 50's?

Who wants to employ the over 50's? No-one it would seem, judging by last night's episode of Panorama.

According to Fiona Phillips, 400,000 over 50's are looking for work, competiting with hundreds and thousands of young people and soon to be more hundreds and thousands of those between those two age groups.

A glut of unemployment. But the over 50's have tons of experience don't they? Coo, the amount of jobs young people are turned down for because they don't have any...

No matter it seems. If there's money in any given pot, it can be used to train the young people.

We were introduced to four over 50's in the programme. One woman was tearful as she said she'd never understood how important the status of a job was until she went from being an education advisor going into schools, to losing that job and becoming a supply teacher. I only wrote about work defining us today! I thought, as I watched her. It doesn't, it shouldn't. The problem with supply teaching, I'm guessing, is there's no consistency to it, no fixed contract. How many over 50's want one of those? How many under 50's? Stable employment...

Mr Digby, crikey, his advice to them? Emigrate! Oh, we don't need you anymore, go away! I told a worker at the jobcentre I wanted to "leave" but she misunderstood my suicide talk and said "oh no, don't go, we need workers like you to stay in the country" It was nice of her to say ("it's economically unviable for you to work," said my future boss when my company thrust me upon him all those post pregnancy years ago..)

Move, be mobile around Britain, he said..ok, where is there a glut of jobs and little competition for them? (That's not a factory line.. oh there I go.. fussy fussy..)

Work for free...I have to say, he did look uncomfortable saying that to inviduals who are his peers. YOu wouldn't like to work for free would you Digby? No. We can all understand that.

CEO's go from earning 88 times that of the average worker to 100 times that of the average worker!! Whoppee if you're a CEO!

The Minister for Employment said loads of jobs would be coming through the private sector soon. Oh they always say that. Private company will be paid to take you on so really encouraged to keep the conveyor belt of potential staff moving,in order to generate more cash for itself!!! No, he didn't say that...even if it is the truth..

For all my cynisism, it was a great report. I didn't need to watch it although blogging about it gives the issue abit more exposure I guess.

I wonder who did watch it. I wonder if those four people found paid employment off the back of the episode. It didn't say on the credits at the end but maybe they have by now?

"Of course there'll be winners and losers" - a coalition member said flippantly on Newsnight last year talking about work. I hope they can see, can really see the situations that so many thousands of people are stuck in and their lives are not some flipping game.

Winner or loser - Encourage society to define that person as one or the other by their job? Is that what you do?


Monday, 4 April 2011

I am Fist of the Northern Star

The Master told us to pick names for ourselves at Boot Camp last week.
I couldn't think of one for myself
So he called me Star
then Northern Star because it shines brighter (he said)
Then, because I was making erm, jokes, that he couldn't quite see my brilliance with the Roundhouse kicks and Backwards Kicks because it was a foggy day (too much wine while at the Mayor's Parlour the night before) he changed it to
Fist of the Northern Star
Fist of the Northern Star!
Power to me!
Good ey?

Mistress Physic is Fearless
Mistress Ha Ha was Iron Maiden (which suited very much have to say) but changed to Bamboo
Mistress Dancer is Rock
Mistress Mountain is the funniest though. She picked a name for herself; Swaying Skirts but through out the training the Master kept calling her Loincloth and everytime he did so I couldn't stop laughing

Definitions ey? Sometimes they can be quite, quite empowering

Believe in what empowers you.

Right, I'm off to grab some lunch..!

We are defined by work we do, not who we are

I caught the last part of the BBC's British at Work, presented by Kirsty Young. I can't help, having told you about Annie's job loss and her boss saying it's "an employers market" two things Ms Young informed me of:

In 1995, a company CEO earnt 44 times that of the average British worker.
Today, a CEO earns 88 times more.
88 times more


She also concludes that work used to be something we did and now it identifies who we are.

If that is true, that is the very deep malaise in our society.

When I was a deputy editor, my job certainly defined me but I hated that it did. Strangers were certainly more impressed and interested in me than they had been when I was working in a call centre but I wasn't any different as a person. I have to admit though, I got used to it, it felt good to be positively looked upon because I was a such and such and had the added bonus of enjoying the such and suchness that I did.

I had a shuddering crisis of identity when I became a mother and lost my journalism job.

Who the fuck was I?

Now, to you, to society, I am a single mother on benefits, a scrounger, a parasite.

I still don't know who I am, but I'm now happier for that, for I am only who I am, nothing else.

My job, whatever my job may be, will never define me. It can't. It can only depress me, if it's not right for who I am, whoever that might be.

Only others will judge me by my job. They can't help it, can they?

Prime Minister/Parking Attendent

same same but different?

Sanctioning "scroungers" for target practice

It could have been an April Fool's joke really, the Guardian article on April 1st (I would've linked it on the day but my son had a flying virus that kept him off school)telling the unemployed they would be beaten with an iron rod, in a welfare game of Hit the Target.

A jobcentre whistleblower has told how they have to sanction three benefit claimants a week - whereby their benefits are stopped for six months. This could be because they fail to find work or they are a few minutes late to an appointment. Dyslexic people have found themselves sanctioned after being given written application forms to fill in.

"[Now] your office can shine through one of two targets," says the Whistleblower. "You can either shine through getting people into work, but that's really difficult. Or you can stop their money, and that's really easy."

Asked why jobcentre workers don't quit, the whistleblower says because they are afraid to lose their jobs and become the very people they are sanctioning.

Did you ever read The Reader (Der Voleser) or watch the film of the same book (directed by Stephen Daldry)about a woman who worked for the Nazi's? An incredibly powerful story of a moment in history.

There is something profoundly unsettling about what is happening now, here, in the UK. Profoundly unsettling and wrong.

On a lighter note, did you know that 0.6% of the UK population are millionaires?
Did you know that 80% of them work in the cabinet?
A Facebook pal told me that, though I knew 23 out of 29 cabinet members are sitting comfortably on their riches.

Ooh yes.. The coalition can afford not to touch the Iron Rod they instruct Members of the Population to batter other less fortunate Members of the Population with.

Hurrah for fairness and social justice! (Ok, it's not April Fool's anymore - who's laughing?)