I have had a week full of duplicated bank transactions, leaking ceilings, insanely high vets bills & other stressy issues. All of which have impacted my creative flow. So, I thought I would treat you to a little of my old poetry.
Regular service will resume soon.
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If you’ve been with me a while you will know that I love original art on my walls. In recent weeks I have hung some magnificent additions.
My living room has gained this beautiful sketch by Robyn Boyle. It’s my nephew and I when he was still tiny. I adore everything about this. It’s so soft and perfectly captures the tenderness I felt. I particularly love that Robyn got the shape of his wee baby skull exactly right. I spent lots of time stroking that tiny head and I love having this permanent reminder.
My sexy self love wall in the bedroom has also welcomed a new portrait. It is of course my fat and lovely self. This digital sketch is by Abbie Illustrates. I’m in love with the chaos & curves of this one.
Last Friday I had a big treat day with two of my niblings and their Mummies. We checked out a new (for us) play place and had a very yummy dinner.
Fun Street was a hit with both little ones. It comprises a soft play, role play (mini hospital, garage, library etc) and a really cool digital play area. The climbing wall seemed to be the big hit of the day, but they loved they whole day.
I wore something comfy and cute in preparation of much carry on. My little ones didn’t disappoint and much sun was had. Auntie ly may have done a little bit of spoiling in the toy section before we sat down a tasty Wagamamas. That’s what Aunties are for!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody. Be you a lover or a hater, I hope you’re having a good day. I’ve always liked it. It’s nice to have day to celebrate love. I mean sure, we should be spreading it all year round. It is still nice to have day dedicated to getting smoochy.
I don’t have one true love this year, but I can still have a little fun with v day. Fun aside, I find this year that I am thinking about someone in particular. Someone I probably ought not to ponder over, but I can’t help myself.
Sometimes you feel a connection to a person even when it makes no sense. You go through the hurt and happy. Back to pain Then more happy. It’s impossible, puzzling & never going to work. You still can’t entirely walk away. Or is this just me?
I’m not sure why easy rarely features in my romantic choices. Perhaps I like a challenge. I do know it’s hard to give up on a person who feels like home.
I have been catching up with And just like that & I’m having a lot of feelings. I know, I know, it’s a tv show. These people aren’t real. Except, they kind of are. A little bit.
S&TC caught me at just the right time. I started watching right before leaving home & starting uni. I continued through 18 to 24, prime discovering yourself, life & love years. I re-watched again & again, Carrie & the gals my trusted companions. It hasn’t all aged well, there’s some really dodgy shit. Plus sometime I don’t even like them; Carrie could be truly toxic things. But, I still love them. There was nothing else talking about the kind of female sexuality I was exploring in the late 90’s. There were little bits of myself & my friends in all of the fab four. I could relate to their sexual & romantic adventures. I knew the unbreakable bond of female friendship. Carrie was a writer with a penchant for the older man for goodness sake. Then of course it was all so much more glamorous than my life. They were running around Manhattan in Manolos, whilst I could barely afford Malboro lights & rent on my dodgy student flats. We were both hiding our broken hearts in a haze of smoke & high heels, though. Fantasy wrapped up in just enough reality to capture my heart.
So, I loved them. I felt like I knew them inside out. Both the characters & the all the fragments of real people I saw in them. I have twenty odd years invested in these tv people. That’s crying on the sofa, drinking cocktails with the girls, hungover Sundays, hours of explaining to stupid boyfriends why Aidan wasn’t right & so much more. I want them to be happy. Real life is perilous on the happy ending front, but when last we saw Carrie & Co is was as close to a fairy tale as you get in NYC.
I awaited this re boot with trepidation. There was never any chance of me not partaking, but I was worried. I feared they’d mess it all up. Successful drama needs conflict and I didn’t want my middle aged babes involved in any of that. They almost killed me with that first episode. I was always rooting for Big, even when he was a total fuckwit. I wanted Carrie & John to grow old together in harmony. Given what we found out about Chris Noth, it’s just as well they killed him off (but I can still mourn the character, right?). We also had Samantha’s absence to deal with. That empty chair at the restaurant. Those flowers at the funeral. It’s heartbreaking. I’m 41 now, I know those female bonds aren’t always so indestructible, but this is fantasy. Samantha would never have had such a silly huff. Two hard blows right from the kick off. The rest are good. I can take it.
Then comes Che and all bets are off. All of sudden I’m supposed to believe that Steve can’t make Miranda cum? The Steve that knew how to get her off from night one? They make him some lame guy who can’t finger his wife. Now Miranda is running off to surprise Che, who will almost certainly be screwing someone else when she gets there. I don’t want this. I want my loyal cynical Miranda with her sweet, loving Steve. I’m taking this betrayal personally.
That’s before I even touch on how they handled Stanford’s exit. Carrie going on dates or that hideous new apartment. Thank god for Charlotte & Harry. I hope. I may be a bit more jaded and lot less likely to fall head over heels, but I can’t take it if all those happily ever afters fall apart. Make believe is supposed to offer some escapism. Will no one think of the ageing romantics?
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Christmas is rushing at us. If you’re like me you’ll be trying to get those presents wrapped, cards out and all the festive food in. Amongst all the busy, busy I’m reminding myself that I’m so lucky that I am in a position to do these things.
It is wonderful to share food & good times with people you care about at Xmas. It is even better to have stage security that allows us to indulge in those things. So, if you can, please consider helping those who do not have that luxury.
I’ve talked about Social Bite before, but they are an amazing organisation. Buying a homeless person Xmas dinner only costs £5 and can make a huge difference to someone. It feels like an excellent way to have an impact even if you don’t have much to spare.
If you are an animal lover and would like to help provide safe, loving home for farm animals Tribe Sanctuary are amazing. The rescue animals that would otherwise go to slaughter or be put down. They have so much passion for these animals and give them a beautiful life.
Hospices so hard & important work all year round. I can only imagine that it can be more difficult at this time of year. Strathcarron Hospice is a lovely facility that cared for someone in my extended family. They provide essential end of life care and are not government funded. If you could share some Christmas love with them it would go to very good use.
My sister planned a gorgeous trip for my 40th birthday present. Unfortunately Covid put paid to her plans. Last week we were able finally to set off on a different, but equally lovely getaway. It was worth the wait.
She found a swish spa hotel Mull & we embarked upon an island adventure. We spent a little longer than expected in Oban due to a ferry cancellation, but made the most of our time. A stop at the book shop to stock the boy with local themed books followed by a wander around McCaig’s Tower made for a splendid start.
My nephew was very excited to drive onto the big boat. He loved spotting Islands & lighthouses even more. The views from the ferry were beautiful, but the island scenes stole the show. Mull is magical. The autumn foliage gave everything a folklore feel.
The wild sea views from out hotel were even more spectacular. Located right on the ocean shore overlooking the sound, it was perfect. Our suite came with its own hot tub much to the boy’s delight. He adored jumping into the bubbly water in the pouring rain & watching out for lighthouse beacon. We swam everyday after our explorations. Then rounded off the day in soaking in the pitch black.
We spent our days enjoying winding drives amidst stunning scenery. The landscape was so captivating that we had to stop more than once to drink it in. We visited Tobermory (or Balamory to the boy), perused the local crafts in gift shops & baa’d enthusiastically at many sheep.
My clever sister found us the most incredible deserted beach at Calgary Bay. A cove of silver sands & slatey blue sea. Our little beach bum built a sand pirate ship, terrified me with seaweed & had the time of his life. It was one of those completely perfect days that I know I’ll always remember. I sat on the freezing cold sand, listening to the waves with the boy on my knee. I could feel his little heart beating from his toddler exertions and felt wholly happy.
Needless to say we have all fallen in love with Mull.
It’s been another insane blur of year. The pandemic has given me lots of time & motivation to do big picture thinking. There’s been so much talk of the impact on parents & kids. The decisions to be made about keeping children safe, healthy & happy get trickier in times like this. You’re not here. Neither are your siblings. Being forced to stay home alone for extended periods really rams that fact home. I still think about what I would do. How I would make sure my children would be ok. I don’t think that will ever stop. I’ve thought through how I’d handle every stage of your lives; agonised over choices that are entirely theoretical. I can’t help it. I’m always going to be your Mum on the inside.
This year I will be spending your day doing something joyful. It came about purely by chance. Pandemic rescheduling dropped an activity unexpectedly. It feels strange. It’s not a thing I would have planned, but I think it is good. I’m trying to see it as a celebration of you. Of the tiny amount of time we had & all the wonderful that could have been. I know you would have given me so much to rejoice in.
Do you believe in the one? I did. When I was young the idea felt intoxicating. A perfect match. One day I’d wander into the path of my heart’s desire & we’d trip right into love.
I loved all those classic romantic destiny type stories. I still do. Hugh Grant fumbling adoringly & Cary Grant being impossibly charismatic. Real life lacked such charm. I had false starts and wrong turns. The one who wrecked my poor heart. The one I wasn’t ready for, the one who wanted too much and all the ones who were just no good. That thrilling ideal became more complex.
My first big crazy disaster was followed by some close calls. Flirtations & flings. Trigger shy, right? I fell for Mr Big and Mr Darcy, but didn’t do much falling in real life. I skipped, through experiences good & bad. Some were lovely, though didn’t quite fit. Others were terribly misshapen mistakes. Most were relatively easy. Sure there was some hurt, but no devastation. I started to think that old soulmate theory was a ruse. In a world packed with variety perhaps there were multiple probable mates. Many flavour combinations that could work with a little customisation.
Then there was Mr Almost. Nearly all the things I’d always wanted. I think I recognised the difference the moment he entered my life. It wasn’t easy. He was complicated & stubborn & damaged. I am too. It was real, though. He made me feel perfectly at ease & totally alive. I wanted to climb into his brain and study him. I was frustrated, excited, soothed & challenged. I’d have turned myself inside out to make him entirely happy. I couldn’t of course. He couldn’t do it for me either. There are things that can’t bend. And yet, it still felt like fate. The spark never wained.
Grown ups have to do the grown up thing. You accept reality. Move along. There are new people; attention grabbing for a while. Until they pale. Comparison will dull the shine on a new beau. There’s making do, which isn’t as tragic as it sounds. You can have a lot of fun with someone who isn’t your destiny. There’s something to be said for building a life with a person who wants what you want. Happiness probably doesn’t stem from fierce passion. I wish I was the kind of person who could believe that with feeling. That steadier, softer, simpler kind of love is actually really nice. If only I hadn’t felt the wild & raw variant, it might be enough.
So, now I don’t know about one true love. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. There are lots of possible matches for everyone, but we don’t get unlimited chances to find them. What I’ve learnt is while the idea of ‘the one’ is alluring. The reality of ‘the one that got away’ is much more powerful.
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