Monthly Archives: October 2013

Family Portrait

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We were supposed to have one en masse at the weekend but rain stopped play, a big photo of our three generations. It is going to happen but not until the spring.

So I decided to write one in the meantime 😀

I am very fortunate indeed to have a wonderful big family, and we are all very close, geographically as well as emotionally. We all live within a five minute walk of each other.

My Mum is the backbone of us all, a matriarch in the grand tradition. She is warm and clever and the one we all run to with our woes. She is the Queen of Entertaining, hosting huge and varied parties for all occasions. Always there for a forgotten item, whether it’s a safety pin or a last minute ingredient for dinner. Much put upon but always appreciated, although we don’t remember to tell her often enough.

Mum is also the one who kicks my arse when I’m being a knob. She is one of two people who can cut me to the quick with well intentioned criticism. She thinks I’m a lazy arse (she’s not wrong) but she is also good at telling me I could do better. I have her to thank for my can-do attitude because I have been raised by a woman who can do anything, and she doesn’t tolerate defeatism.

She is the most wonderful Nanny to the Chums and all their cousins. Patient with them in a way I can’t be, and generous to the point of spoiling them . She is an absolute gem and I wouldn’t have her any other way except when she tells me off and I revert to a sullen sixteen year old.

My Daddy is the greatest. I also don’t tell him often enough. He is a fantastic Dad and a wonderful Grandad and does lots of lovely kind things for us without hesitating. Yesterday he had the Chums while they were off school (and an extra one who turned up!) and made bangers and s’mores in the garden. In the evening, the Boy dissolved into floods of tears because he’d left his charger there. So Dad came round with it at 8pm. Actually he returned my phone the same way on Sunday (we must stop leaving all our stuff up there). He looked after the Littlest Chum today as well, who ran rings round him until they wore each other out.

He makes things. Complicated things out of bits of rope. Also any crafty type homework the Chums have, we can rely on Grandad to step in and help out. I remember being distraught as a child that I didn’t have a Red Nose for chuffing Red Nose day. I woke up in the morning to find he’d made me a papier mache one, and painted it. Those are the memories that make a childhood special.

He might be a bit grumpy sometimes but we all know it’s just a front ’cause he’s a proper softie really. He’s a Dad in a million and we all love him to bits, and so do the various honorary Grandkids him and Mum take under their wing.

My sisters. My middle sister is the only other person who can cut me, she is the Empress Royal of the backhanded compliment, it’s a marvellous skill to have. We HATED each other as children, we were too close in age and too different to understand each other. That relationship changed as we got older and we had to agree with all the annoying well-meaning grown ups who used to crow ‘you’ll be best friends when you’re older’… I admire her like no one else, she is clever and driven and sensible in a way I’ll never be. She’s also very funny and can be surprisingly kind. She’s a velvet fist in an iron glove. I’d love to be more like her but I’m too comfortable being me to make the effort 😀

Her husband is lovely. He’s slotted into our family in such a way that I don’t ever remember him not being around. He is one of the most generous and loyal people I’ve ever met and I know that he will always look after my sister, and the rest of us. They are amazing parents to their two gorgeous daughters, and I am proud of them all every single day.

My baby sister is somehow all grown up and has a baby AND one on the way. I have no idea how that happened, because in my head she will always be about fifteen. She is little and beautiful and sweet and comes across as innocent and naive, but she is also one the strongest people I know and she is well on the way to becoming a matriarch in her own right. I am lucky enough to have her as a Childminder for the Littlest Chum once a week and she is amazing at it. I absolutely adore her, and she is so different again from us older two that it always makes me smile, we are like the triple goddess (except I dont’ want to be the crone, okay?), three aspects of one unit.

Her husband is ALSO lovely. We have all picked great men to marry (well, I had a false start but even so). Aren’t we all clever? He’s a work-hard/play-hard, down to earth family man. We all love him, and it’s so wonderful to watch them grow into their little family.

My little brother. He so YOUNG! He was born in the NINETIES ffs. He’s such a dude. We have fabulous debates and arguments about all sorts of shit because we are both really good at picking a side and sticking to it, even if we aren’t that invested. He’s worldly and intelligent beyond his years (that’ll be my input, I reckon) and even though he towers over me at six foot something-or-other he will always, always be my baby brother and I would walk over fire for him.

For any of them actually.

So there we go. My slightly gushy and probably cringy (they may yet shoot me for it) Family Portrait. I count my blessings for them every day, even when they annoy me (often) or infuriate me. They truly are a great bunch of humans, and together we make up a slightly insane but generally awesome family who will bend over backwards for each other, be there for the lovebombs AND the shitbombs, sometimes (rarely these days) have epic, earth shattering rows but ultimately will always have each other.

Ain’t life grand?

I’m going to write the shit out of it

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I woke up with it on my brain again, you know.  I am really, seriously, not coping with this THING taking up all my headspace.

So as per the title.

I was asleep. Cosy and curled up on the sofa, waiting for Rob to come home. I woke to a tongue and a heaviness and breath that was confusing and strange. I thought it was Rob, because who else would it be? I’ve left Rob in the pub chatting up some bird. Awake properly, knees drawn to my chest. Your tits are great, can I touch them? What? No. Hah not even Rob gets to lately, they are all for the baby. Can I get you a drink? <keep it normal, keep it safe> What’s the point if you’re not going to get naked? I move. To the kitchen. Stand in the doorway. He leans over me. I move again, outside. Have a fag. That’s safe. Please leave. Or stay? Rob will be home. Go to bed, he said. I’ll let myself out. What? No, you go and then I’ll go to bed. Hand on thigh. I move, again. He’s there. He leaves. I lock the door. And break.

I just. I don’t know. Worse things have happened, you know? But this. This. I’m so ANGRY. No, that’s not it, really. I’m scared. He broke me. My home, my haven, my nice life, he kind of smashed through it. I vomit, often. I dream. I shake and for fuck’s sake, I cry. Too much energy expended on this shit. I am done with it.

So. I’ve written the shit out of it. I’m putting it in a box. I cannot, actually, have this thing crowding up my head any more. I am exhausted from it, and it wasn’t even anything really bad? He touched my boy, at a thing, adjusted his scarf. I wanted to rip his fucking face off. Dirty, nasty, entitled creature. But we have to live here, you know? So mostly I’ve buried it, I’ve gone through the proper channels and been vilified for it. I’ve talked it out, drunk it out, cried it out. And it’s still there. So I’ve written the shit out of it. Lets see if it helps.

Stuff I have enjoyed lately. Mostly on the telly.

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Smash. Have you seen it? It’s like Glee, but for grown ups. It’s SO much fun. And if, like me, you have a penchant for warbling along with stuff, it’ll be right up your Broadway. Gorgeous songs, beautiful people. It’s utter bobbins, story wise, obviously. But who cares when it’s this much fun?

I am also adoring Double Your House For Half Your Money. I have lots of lovely ideas for m’house from it but mostly I just watch it for the completely mentalski ideas that I am SURE are planted by the producers, and the Beeny’s rictus grin when confronted with them. She is all kinds of fab. Did you see her prog about her crumbling pile? No, not Embarrassing Bodies <hur hur>. The one where she was rebuilding her country manse. I liked her and her hordes of children. Good stuff.

What else? Oh god we watched The Masters Of Sex. Coincidentally we watched it after the new True Blood we’d skyplussed. My goodness. I felt quite sexed out after all that. I’ll have to watch it next week though, that and TB. Just to see how the story develops, you understand, not for prurient reasons. Oh, and I have discovered that Alexander Skarsgard does it for me even in full on nerd.

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Ahem.

Anyway. Other stuff? I don’t watch half as much telly as I used to, time was I would put the babies to bed and have at least an hour to catch up on last night’s tv. Working out of the house full time has put the kibosh on that. Still, mustn’t grumble as I do rather love being all power suit worky pants as opposed to slobby Mumdrum, these days. The novelty hasn’t worn off yet 😀

Oh! Mount Pleasant. This little gem is underappreciated I think. Really wonderfully drawn couples and ‘real’ people (well, mostly) in a Manchester suburb. It’s on Sky1, do try to catch it. We’re on about season three, I think. It’s really heartwarming/wrenching stuff at times but really undemanding and easy to watch. It’s the most soap like thing I’m into, lately.

So that’s what I am mostly watching. Oh gads, apart from 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. I think it’s finished now but fuckeroo I was HOWLING at that every week. Whoever came up with that genius idea needs a knighthood RIGHT NOW. Well played, Channel Four, well played.

Right, Smash is on in ten and I have fizzy wine in the fridge for the enjoyment of. Laters homies xx

Brickbats and Bouquets

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she called them that

and it stuck in my head

so I’ve danced through my life like a demented ballerina, courting the bouquets and the brickbats both

chiseled and marked and moulded and shaped by the impact from each

pirouetting around my stage

stumbling, straightening, sliding again

wearing my insults and applause like trophies

losing myself

All change, please!

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Hello all of you!

I have decided to dust off the ol’ blog and do a bit of catching up with you all. It’s all been such a big change since last time we spoke.

I am no longer childminding, I’ve been in my new job for about six weeks and I am having such a great time. Being able to put my Mum hat aside for eight and a half hours a day has made me much happier. We are on a learning curve with the house and childcare and things, but we are getting there. The Rock God is now cooking all our meals and I have relinquished control of the house, it hasn’t yet fallen down around our ears so it’s all good. His hours at work are changing next week so he will be home in time for school pick up, this should make his role a bit easier as for the last few weeks he’s been rushing from pillar to post. He’s been getting home, picking them up from two different CMs, straight home for tea, out to cubs etc. While I swan in at 6pm to my dinner on the table.

The Littlest Chum (who has just turned two) is having a wonderful time at his Childminder’s, he is a proper little person these days with an ever growing vocabulary and a healthy train obsession. The Boy is now eleven, and in his final year of primary. We have been to visit his secondary school and sent all his forms back and I’m trying not to cry when I think of my baby being nearly-almost-a-teenage boy. The Pie is growing up fast as well, she is nine, and now has pierced ears and dyed hair (well, the ends) and she is a fair bit calmer lately.

So generally, life is wonderful. All the pillars are in place now: relationship, job, family, friends, money etc. I’m very blessed. But this year has been quite hard, with some outside stressors that I’ve found tough. Starting with the thing that happened last summer, really, it’s been a bit of a pile-on of shit and drama at times. And I can’t be doing with all that.

Something fairly big was that we went to court to gain residency of the older Chums, and Parental Responsibility of them for the Rock God. It was quite a harrowing (and expensive) process but we did gain everything we needed and we no longer have that spectre hanging over us. It needed to be done (we’d put it off long enough!) and I’m glad we did but blimey I’m glad we don’t have to go through it again. It also left us a bit poor, which was stressful in itself.

I’ve had a few knocks and things I’ve found tricky in the past year or so, to be honest, but it’s not really my style to be down for long. I do think I have the best friends in the world, I don’t see ANY of them enough as life and in some cases geography gets in the way. But they all know who they are, and I would be a wet mess without them all. I am not unscathed by all my various setbacks, as some of you know, and I think it’s about time I did something about my internal stuff that doesn’t involve a bottle of wine. I think that now my external life is all sorted in all areas, I need to address my mental well being a bit before I hit the self destruct button. Time to stop pasting on a smile and saying it’ll all be fiiiine, maybe?

xx