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Saturday, 16 August 2014


'Only those threatened by their own insecurities are the ones determined not to like you' was said to me yesterday. I am loved. I hope. I believe. I liked hearing it. I understand the thought process but there are a couple of angry faces that I certainly do not deserve so maybe..

It is only the negative, the unkind, that fail to see how easy it is to have a good life. It is the tiniest gesture that brings a smile to a troubled face. Or a moment of thought preventing the feeling of exclusion. Hold my hand. I need your hand. If only to join me.

There is a definite chill in the air. Autumnal. Already. Not even out of August. I miss the smell of the sun on my skin and I crave the sea air. Like a luxury, a treat, a gift to myself. We all need light. We all need air. Real air. Deep breaths.

I was hugged on my birthday. Not incessant squeezes from the girls which I thrive on but a real proper hug. Tight, strong and full of warmth. I cannot remember when someone last hugged me making me feel so completely safe. I want to say it was a decade ago but it's longer. I think I've waited a lifetime for a hug like that. 

If you want something bad enough..

I got married a decade ago today. I think it was today. It could have been tomorrow but it was a Saturday so I think today will do as a memory. I was pregnant with Nell. I was full of hope and life. And fear. I was trying to make a wrong decision right. Or maybe I trying to make a right decision wrong? Naive, scared and full of confusion. Ten years on and I cannot believe how far I've come. Just sitting here in our home with the girls safe and happy. I was married for less than a year. Less than 6 months. I knew but I thought I could fix it. Trouble was it didn't need fixing.

If you want something bad enough..

Friday, 15 August 2014

As lovely as this is

You may just have to give me your hand. I feel so amazingly lucky. I feel so completely safe. I was sitting surrounded by my family, my friends, my future. Everything felt perfect. I had the sun shining on one side, light rain on the other. Chilled pink wine in my glass and white crab on my plate. Smiling, laughing faces. Questioning me with excited eyes and hoping for the right answers. I obliged as much as I could. Fortunately, I have a conveniently short term memory and often it's the smaller details that slip by. Rarely though do I forget the more important ones. However, I seem to be forgotten all the time. I'm relieved that I do. It makes it easier. It was why I spent my birthday with the ones that have never left me. Loyal, true and dependable. From the beginning to the end. From the first cup of tea to the last glass of wine. Not a single negative moment. The rain got heavier but the mood and the spirits lifted.

Yet today, post party, post annual celebration I am completely sad. I miss my mum. I want to tell her in a whispered voice the secrets I have kept just to make her eyes shine and to hear her laugh. She would love it. Especially now. Pretend not to like it all, but she would love the story I have almost got to tell. It's an impossible tale of life. The kind of heart-warming comfort that you sit sucking your thumb to as a child. The hopeful eyes of an innocent child expecting a happy ending. We all wait to have this reality but the reality isn't the same as the story. Until the book is found, opened and read out loud once again.

There's a chapter missing. Maybe a couple actually but the story is still there. Mum would adore it. I can't think of a single person who wouldn't like it to be honest. It's my story to tell. Soon.

The sun is shining, my washing is on the line, my girls are happy and there is a roof on the new kitchen. Even better we have bath with proper taps, a basin and a really lovely loo. I have good friends and I am healthy. I feel like I have been given a chance. I am sitting tight. I will let it unfold and if my memory serves me right, it has potential to have the happy ending. This time when I read aloud the last line will go like this.. And she lived happily ever after.

If only I wasn't so completely sad. As lovely as this is.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Oh you pretty things.

Will you stay in my lovers story? If you stay you won't be sorry.

The sea air on my face, the wind in my hair, holding hands listening to my sony walkman. It was yellow. It was waterproof although why, I have absolutely no idea. If I swam with it, the headphones were not and it was as heavy as a brick. I was 15 years old.

Looking up at him with his highlighted hair, freckles and smiling eyes I felt completely safe. Holding hands, we stood there looking out to sea. It was a time of complete innocence and the unknown was ahead. Is it possible for have a teenage crush on two men? I am torn between undeniable love so deep that when I hear his voice, tears instantly fill my eyes. I crave him, want so much to absorb him into every pore of my being, live and love each second with a feeling so strong that I think I might die without him and then there's my boyfriend. 

At 15 years old, my love for David Bowie was quite over-whelming. 

Changes. Turn and face the strain. Time may change me. 

I look down at the over-sized leather friendship bracelet on my wrist. I will wear it until l see him again. I have promised. I am told that we cannot be together. The decision isn't mine to make. I will live somewhere else. I have no choice. I am not allowed to love him. But I do. Always will.

The path that I walk will be one I am pushed down. I wasn't guided, I was shoved. My fate, my future was drawn out for me. I had no choice. I scream protest thinking my heart will break into a thousand pieces and then I stop. I accept. I sigh. I look back but he isn't standing there. Don't you know you're driving your mamas and papas insane? How can you love someone so young? Don't be so absurd. But I did. I do, I pleaded. 
But her Mummy is yelling No. And her Daddy is telling her to go.

As she walks through her sunken dream. She's lived it ten times or more. Save me. 

Oh man, wonder if you'll ever know?

The dawn breaks as I look up from my desk. I am no longer 15 years old. I am an adult. I am the parent. I have two girls who one day will plead with me to let them hold hands with a teenage boy begging me to let them love. I swear as I sit here, I will never deny my girls their truth. Whether I think it's right or wrong, good, bad or ugly I will let them live it out. My path was altered. I believe now that it is righting itself. I have opened myself to letting life back in. The negative left. I shut the door on the angry. I turned away from the toxic. I ignore the silent pleas from the disturbed. I walk forwards with my head up. I breathe, I smile, I drop my shoulders and feel completely safe again. For the first time in over 2 decades. The sky is a silvery blue, the clouds have a touch of pink, the air is cold but not damp. I want to stand with my arms stretched out, head back, eyes closed. I give up. Resign myself to the simple fact, the truth, the reality. You might force a path, you might bend so much you think you will snap, you might squash feelings you deny into a box that isn't quite big enough and you can try so hard to push and shove but when you stop trying, stop forcing and allow life to open up, I believe the answer that you have been questioning forever and ever will appear right in front of you. Just let it be. 

It's so obvious. It's so simple. I wish so much I had saved her. Saved the forceful adult and helped the vulnerable child. I wish I had listened not shouted. Loved softly not urgently. Breathed rather than gasped for air. I was frightened. I was created and then discarded. I was terrified so I went with it. I still love her. I still love David Bowie. I still want to hold hands on the sea wall.

Will you stay in my lovers story? If you stay you won't be sorry. Cos we believe in you. Soon you'll grow so take a chance with a couple of kooks.. 

Just remember lovers never lose. I bought you a pair of shoes..

Will you stay in my lovers story? 

Monday, 11 August 2014

The walk of shame.

"This way please" the nurse asked as I shot out of my seat in the waiting area ironically full of gurgling and squawking babies in line to see the health visitor. 'Don't be ashamed, don't be ashamed, don't be ashamed' my mind chanted silently as my legs moved me towards the chair where I would be questioned undoubtedly. OH GOD, I thought as I walked into the starched, white clinical room.

"Hi!" I sing cheerfully knowing that I am probably in line for a polite bollocking but babble mode has been clicked on accidentally with my arrival and I set forth, "Ooh I remember you" and she looks at me questioning the line of interest, "You helped me with my daughters varucca a while ago although it didn't go away until we went to Ibiza and then I think it only went because she didn't wear any shoes so actually you didn't really help at all"..

"Right" she turns to me with a pen in her hand and her clipboard ready, "I have to ask you some standard questions" I knew immediately I was in for it. BOLLOCKS.

I took a deep breath. Holy Fuck. I should have gone to Boots and paid the astronomical fee for taking responsibility but I couldn't with my daughter in tow, far too embarrassing and inappropriate so I sat back and smiled sweetly. Not like a slut. Not like a whore. Not like a grown up woman with a brain. Cringe.

"When did the incident take place?"
I looked at the clock. Not sure why. The pause was becoming a little too noticeable so I tried, "Yesterday?" and then added, "And the night before" (completely unnecessary in hindsight).
She sighed.

"I meant how many hours ago?" she scolded.
"Oh, in that case, hang on.." I started counting back in hours and got confused and said, "24" and then I have no idea why added, "No actually, that's not right. It was midday yesterday so.."

"I make it 21 then" she stated crossly and then looked at me over her glasses and added, "Daytime?" with a teeny tiny hint of a smile.

I grinned at her and laughed, "I know. Bloody brilliant isn't it? The middle of the day!"

She only half smiled and said, "Yes but you're a 42 year old woman" to which I corrected her saying, "Actually, I'm 43 on thursday. Not a bad birthday present considering" Her smile increased a little more.

"Was it consensuous? I'm sorry to ask but it's standard practise nowadays"

"Hell yeah!" I beamed at her, "100% completely. Absolutely."

She left the room to "go and talk to the doctor" and I sent a message to the person that had created my situation with the incident. I felt like a teenager all over again. Except this time, it had so been worth it.

The nurse handed me the green slip of paper and I thanked her.

"Sorry" I muttered having not received a detention or 100 lines.
"Don't be sorry" she replied, "We all have sex. Except actually not all of us do. Not that I'm bitter or anything" and smiled at me properly as I left.

"Oh and Happy Birthday!" she added.

"Thank you very much" I replied and skipped out.

It's going to be best birthday yet. I just know it.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Where is the Love?

You think you are sitting up? You're not. Straighten your spine. Pull the crown of your head with an imaginary piece of tight cotton to the sky. Drop your shoulders. Close your eyes just for a second. Or two. Be quiet. Be still. Don't bite your teeth together. And take a deep breath. Through your nose. 

That's all it takes. Sometimes. The world will never stop turning. Life continues even when we don't. We are all entitled to pause but ironically, we run out of time.

So much going on. Everywhere not just under my feet. Friends sweetly calling in but only with a small time slot to share the love to what then turns out to be disappointed faces of my girls. They love being loved. We all love being loved. Stay a wee while longer. Don't always rush on, rush off, rush away. 

Walls came tumbling down when we 'lived' in Spain recently. We have come home to chaos but only on the outside. It's crazy and messy and truthfully? I like it. I am so happy that I am living in the midst of what most see as horror but I see as joy. I can cope with the lack of bath, basin and (like a spoilt brat) upstairs loo. People have far less, expect and need nothing. I have taken my shoes off in my time to walk barefoot through over-flowing sewerage to wee into a hole. Africa not here. On water, not on land but I have done it. So to have no deep waters to sink into is no hardship. I am being offered baths by people I never expected to show kindness yet not from those with several. Always surprising when you put yourself out and beyond for someone in tears yet they walk past dangling a spare set of keys. I'm clean though. I've done nothing to make myself dirty.

I came home to flowers. I opened the door to a home that I barely recognised but that felt like mine. The familiar. It's such a luxury and when you find something like feels like home, something you know, someone familiar- it's a rare thing indeed. How many times have I squashed myself into a box that I almost fitted into but like the ugly sister with so many pairs of ill-fitting shoes, I didn't. You cannot make the shoes fit. Take the shoes off and keep walking. We might trip up, fall flat on our faces or into a few potholes as we stride on but unless you keep walking, how can you learn? Giving ourselves a chance. Living. Really living a life.

The sun is shining, the drill, the hammers and the cement mixer are all still silent. I have less than minutes of real peace before the chaos, construction and improvements begin again so because I am happy and because it is Friday and because in less than 48 hours I have a feeling that someone might (just might) kiss me, I am giving you this link. I run to it normally. But Just for Today, I am going to sit and stay still.

Monday, 4 August 2014

The drive.

So I get into the car having seen the wave and the sad smile. I am hopeful. Like I said, the door was left open. There is a possibility ahead.

Avenue of tall trees to either side of me as I put my foot down. I insist on immediate. I push harder for speed. I need to get there quicker. The wind in my hair, the sun on my face and the opportunity is on my horizon. I head there hoping that when I arrive, I will be met by mutual acceptance.

But when I do, he is not standing where I had expected him to be. His look is awkward and apologetic. I see he is on the wrong side of the path under an oak tree. He's with a woman with long, dark hair. I walk towards the opening. I am handed an envelope by the girl in uniform and take it, confused. She smiles sweetly at me handing me a glass of champagne and I move on through the crowd. I pause, look around me, sip the bubbles and open the envelope.

I am sorry I couldn't meet you. Enjoy the champagne Beautiful X

Friday, 1 August 2014

This time tomorrow..

All being well we, my family of three, will be home again where we belong. For now. I am longing to see our home, feel the cooler air on my face and with luck, wear my slipper boots with my nightie. I am beyond excited to see the dogs. The cats too. But most of all, I simply want to see my girls asleep with their heads on their pillows back in their nests safe and sound. 

I don't feel rested enough which I know sounds absurd but with relatively late nights and dawn here at 6.30am, I have been getting up to appreciate the silence only interrupted by the chorus of dogs and birdsong. It is beautiful here. Peaceful, calm and full of love. Or maybe that's our life as I allow it. Maybe it could be perfect at home too. Immediately I would have to not look in one direction to not get agitated but that's possible. Since being here, if I hadn't opened my eyes I wouldn't have seen half of what I've seen. It's too easy to not notice. Then someone smiles at you, raises their hand, offers you a drink and all possibilities are open. If you want them to be. Anything is possible. Anywhere can be a destination. Everyone can do something whether they think it or not, you just have to try.

My girls have made me a card completely unexpectedly and unprompted thanking me for this holiday and all the others I have taken them on too. I think they're words were:

Darling Mummy,
You are the best mother ever. Thank you for bringing us here and for taking us on so many holidays.
We love you, Love Nell and Mary

That'll do me.