Sunday, 21 December 2008

Here Comes the Sun

Inward and under
rent asunder
Light is returning
Bringing the morning
New hope, new dreams
Which path to take
Decisions to make
The dark protected us
Mulched us and gave us
Cover and sustenance
Ready for rebirth
Here comes the sun

Happy Solstice!

Monday, 8 December 2008

When the Snowman Brings the snow

I have a million and two things to do- assignments to work on-eek! and it's all snowballing - yes, yes at this time of year as well...sorry it's inexcusable ;-)
So I haven't had time to blog much BUT
I just had to write
This morning
I played Sam Frosty the Snowman by
THE Cocteau Twins
and he Loved it!
And then I found I wish It could be Christmas Every Day by Wizzard
on YouTube
He Loved that as well!
And then something else happened...
I had engaged with Christmas and let it in to my heart
And that is something I haven't done since my Mum died
In face I have hated Christmas since my mum died-seeing it as something to endure
Because how could Christmas be Christmas without my Mum?
But here it is again and now I have my boy to introduce all these wonderful, silly, happy songs, traditions and rituals to.
He met Father Christmas the other day too.
And I shed quite a few tears and decided that I would rather shed a few tears and admit that Christmas is still a time to Bring Good Cheer
Especially to Sam
Because I am his mum
Than try and pretend I was alright but I didn't care about it anymore
Because I do care
And I love Christmas /Yule
I am soooooo soppy

Thursday, 27 November 2008


The rain that had threatened waited til dusk,
When people were scurrying for the train or the bus,
Some of them huddle, some of them shelter,
I jumped through the puddles helter skelter.
Tall buildings sometimes provide some respite,
From the weather’s watery might,
But by now I was skipping through a greener Queens Square,
I loves that city foul weather or fair!

Monday, 24 November 2008


Urgh...aching legs, head, feeling sick, teeth chattering- feet like ice...must be 'flu. I don't have time for this! But now I have given in, taken some paracetamol and made a hot toddy and am off to bed. Want to write but brain is "soggy", as Sam would say. So, reiki and calvados- it's got to be a medicinal winner.

Monday, 17 November 2008


Look up, look down, look all around
Four magpies, then three, then one
On the car
I have gone and come back as three people
Two are fighting
One is holding on
The one is in arbitration with the two
Who is listening?
I hope to find out soon.

Sunday, 9 November 2008


Time to go deep underground and attend to what needs to be done. Time for sleep. Time to grow, time to start again. Time to dream. Time to look at the dark and see what is really there. Stories, fear, love. Unravel and begin fresh. Mulch. Death and decay. Regeneration. Grey matter. Fog, mist, rain, cold. Berries and mud. Compost will fertilise what becomes. Weaving anew. But not yet.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Charlie Parker

I didn't listen to any jazz yesterday so I am making up for it today- but actually is Charlie Parker jazz or bebop or both? I am hopelessly ignorant about all this. But I am on a mission to find out now. I would heartily recommend 'The Essential Charlie Parker' to anyone and everyone. It has kept me company all day and I have been having a great time, despite trying to get my head round critical analysis of 2 pieces of writing for my next creative writing seminar next Friday...not done anything like it for a while so it's been good to dust off my academic head and stick it on, in a slightly Worzel Gummidge kinda fashion. And now I'd better get back to it.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Remember Remember the 5th of November

A moving, powerful, emotional day. Dad took Sam to nursery and while he was out I sat down and watched Obama, "Yes we can". Wow. Look what happened! A miracle.
This week is reading week and I have no lectures today but I do have a pressing engagement with the kitchen. It's time to clean and tidy it properly- with no Sam-juggling. And so my own emotional, moving and powerful day unfolded as I listened to the radio telling the story of the new US President Elect, Barack Obama, from so many different people's and peoples' perspectives.
I started to clean and tidy the kitchen, for the first time proper since my Mum died. Letting go of small and everyday things which still hold her energy. If you grew up with a mum who baked and cooked, who would make pastry and give you a piece to play with while she made a steak and kidney pie or a treacle tart. Or you watched her make a lemon meringue pie, or bake a cake. You argued over whose turn it was to lick the spoon or have 'first dibs' on the bowl with the remains of the cake mix in it. How hard do you think it is then to let go of that old mixer, that spoon and all those tangible objects which bound and bind the story of your family together. Today I made a start. I had my own "Yes I can" moment.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Was a good one.

Beautiful, frosty, clear. Stepped out full of purpose, leaving Sam eating Grandad's Shredded Wheat.

I wandered in to the church on the way to the bus stop and lit a candle for my mum. Stopped for a moment. Counted a few blessings and thought a few thoughts.

Then across the road and onto the bus and stuck my head into the morning's edition of Metro. News quiz today in my journalism workshop- must try and soak up information about the news...eek

Off the bus and into Borders to look at the headlines on the national dailies and a quick look at the front pages of the gossip mags. Pick up a half price collection of Paddington picture books for Sam, which I will put away for Christmas. That boy devours books, metaphorically and physically.

Then off to see my homeopath and then uni.

I got to sit in a cafe and drink coffee and read The Independent at lunchtime. Then back into Borders for a browse before my afternoon workshop.

And then later I get home to Sam, who is eating pasta and meatballs and I sing Supercalifragalisticxpalidocious to him and he is trying to do the um-diddle-iddle-iddle-um-diddle-aye bits!

So I had to make a note of my good day.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Writing this Blog

I've been having a think about the entries on this blog because at the moment this is about getting it on the page without much, if any editing and not a lot of proofing, just to put it out there...why? I don't know. I have been looking back at some of the posts so far and I think there is only one that I would leave exactly as it was posted. The rest would be re-written, edited and generally fucked around with before I would be happy with them.

Hey, so that's a good thing, right?

'Cos that means I am stacking up a store of stuff to hack about (maybe) later, or at least draw inspiration from.

One of my journalism lecturers said 'Murder your darlings' in a lecture last week. In other words don't be precious- if you are particularly pleased with something then beware! It might not be all that you think it is. Which is funny because I thought I had been really clever about something I had written the following day in a creative writing seminar, and when I read it out I realised it was a load of old cliched crap.

But also, I don't know if I would have had the guts to do this before. In the last few years I have been challenging my demons and this seems to be part of the deal.

And so, what is written on this blog is about learning to write and about the writing process. Apart from all the random stuff I actually write about.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Thursday is now

all about jazz on my Ipod. I decided this on the way to uni this morning, listening to The Portico Quartet's Knee Deep in The North Sea.


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Utterly Never Mind the B*ll*cks Buttery

What is John Lydon doing advertising CountryLife butter?

Would he say it was a Situationist statement?

Would he say 'I need the money'?

I don't care - he'll end up doing panto in the provinces at this rate...oh hang on a minute, he's already doing that with the Sex Pistols inneee?

Pretty Vacant.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Shooting from the hip

I haven't shot anything from the hip for a while- not on here anyway...


What goes around comes around- well, I've said that one a few zillion times. I even still believe it some of the time. But sometimes what goes around doesn't come around. Sometimes life ain't fair and good things don't always happen to good people. A lot of bad things happen to all sorts of people. And a lot of good things happen to some real rotters. And sometimes God doesn't just give us only as much as we can handle. What about victims of torture, children caught up in war, people in floods and earthquakes or famines who lose their families and loved ones? Is that as much as they can handle? Such is life...HA! There- that's a classic isn't it- it doesn't mean anything really. Wikipedia classifies this little gem as a 'thought terminating cliche'

Can they be avoided? What purpose do they serve? Hmm... It is something I am going to ponder on and come back to. I bet I am guilty as anyone else for using platitudes in my everyday conversation and writing. I am going to try and keep an eye/ear on it.

For more wiki wonder on Platitudes...

Monday, 13 October 2008

Autumn again

Lemon and lime jelly leaves floating off the trees liked unfulfilled promises or scuttling in a sudden breeze rushing to serve some purpose before it is too late. The tree outside the doctors is nearly bare and last week the leaves were the colour of red wine and raspberries falling on a green chenille rug. Now the grass has been run through with a blade for the last time this year, leaving a thick, damp seam of cuttings, smelling damp and sweet and slightly rotten. Over ripe and ready to turn, maggotty apples make the wheels on the buggy spin. Flowers still carry on as if nothing was happening, feigning summer- a rose says " I'm ready for my close up" all Sunset Boulevard style but she is past it and I have passed it by. Complicated season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and a time of reflection of the mainly-done year and endings and beginnings and getting busy and prepared for the season to come. Before we look once again for the sun and all it's promises of another turn on the merrygoround.

Thursday, 9 October 2008


The world gets bigger.
The world gets smaller.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

That's it - I'm hooked...

Line and sinker. I am learning. It's changed my world in two weeks so I am starting to understand what used to happen to the students I met in Fine Art when I was the School secretary. It's a journey. Mine will be a different one to most as I am such an old bag (yes, I am!) and have commitments galore. I can't wait to get back to Sam after my day. I miss him so much. But it has been such a relief to have some structured time to write- let alone fill my brain with some new stuff to chew on.
Today I was sat by the river, trying to soak up some sun in a vain attempt to produce some much needed serotonin and across the water I could see two teenage girls being followed by a swan. One of them was fearlessly stretching out a hand to touch it. The colours of today are watery, bright and light. Fainter than spring but reminding me of it I suppose. I drank a black coffee while I sat there, cross legged on the floor by the edge of the water.
It reminded me of my happy days living in Bristol, where I met with a group of friends almost every Friday night at the Arnolfini gallery by the harbourside. We would sit with our legs dangling over the edge by the water and drink pints of lager or cider and catch up on the events of the week and discuss our plans for the weekend.
Today I was reading a set text for one of the creative writing modules I am studying, The Visitor by Maeve Brennan. It is resonating a little too much with me for my liking but I am enjoying it none the less. I just can't stop thinking about my mum.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Automatic writing

Warm buzzing purple. Thirsty, breathless quiet study. Not. Autumn madness madness. Beating at my chest. My morning kiss keeps me going like coffee. About the only thing. Leaves everywhere, leaves falling and floating. Already battling it. What a mess. Pine and black. Time ticking. Shuffle shuffle. Looking back, looking forward. Shuffle shuffle. Pendulum swinging which way now. Relentless and tired. Almost giving up. Almost. Remember the kiss.

Automatic writing

I am going to post under this title anything that is a kind of stream of consciousness. This is something I have done elsewhere and people didn't seem to understand it at all. So I am giving a bit of an explanation here. It might be whatever is running through my head, mixed with where I am and the view, how I got here, what I've eaten and what I've read. Anything. I leave you to deduce something from it or not.

It is freedom from all the rules of writing. Possibly...

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Random Writing for Five Minutes

The other day I had to write a list of things I am an expert on. I found it very difficult. What constitutes expertise? How do you know when you become an expert? I must look it up in the dictionary or something. The good thing was that it made me think about all the things I have particular experience of and in, for good or bad, and also what I have sustained an interest in over the years. Either reading about or practicing/practising or whatever...It's an odd mixture which I may list later in another post.

Some sort of major connection has been forged in Sam's brain in the last couple of days and he is now picking up new words every hour! Today was 'everywhere', 'hiya', 'hello', 'Samuel', 'jumping', and more but also the words he has known for a while and uses regularly are coming into focus. He is pronouncing syllables more clearly and adding t and s where they are needed. It is truly a remarable thing to witness. But I do wish he would stop running off with his drum sticks in his hands, stop putting his hands down the toilet, and stop trying to turn the hot tap on every five minutes. I do not have enough hands/eyes or patience at the moment!

Monday, 29 September 2008


Today we went to the park and I introduced Sam to the art of conker collecting. When I was at primary school the competition to get the first, best, most, shiniest, biggest conkers was fierce. There would usually be someone willing to try and climb up into the horse chestnut trees and knock the conkers down, before they had barely sprouted, and were still encased in their thick, green, spiky cases. Or it would be a case of finding a long, heavy stick to throw up at the tree in the hope it would bring some down.
Today there was a thick carpet of leaves, empty cases and shiny conkers, ready and waiting. With noone else competing we picked up several beauties. Sam seemed to take to the idea of filling up the hood and pockets of the buggy with conkers and went off amongst the avenue of trees picking up and dropping as many as he could hold in two little hands!
Wouldn't it be great if, by the time he is at school, there was a conker revival!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Random Writing for Five Minutes

I have now been at uni for a week. Joined lots of societies-I might even make it to the wine Society events ;-). I've been to all my classes, checked out the academic skills centre and got some books out of the library...all very organised and efficient and very different from my last freshers' week experience! But no socialising and little opportunity to talk to any of my fellow students so far. Time for that later I am sure.
Sam has been called 'wonderful, gorgeous, excellent, happy and confident' at nursery! He seems to be taking it all in his stride but I am going to take it one day at a time and see how he is in the next few weeks. I have been calling them a couple of times during the day and then trying to be brave afterwards when all I want to do is cry. It is very weird. This is the most time I have spent away from him in 16 months.
Someone said I look like a writer yesterday-heheh! Not sure what that means but I am taking it as a compliment...I think.
After 5 years my favourite jeans, bought from DNA on Park Street in Bristol, have finally given up the ghost. So I went and bought myself a pair of pegs today- not worn pegs since the 80s but I think they will turn into my favourite new trousers!
This is more than ten minutes so now I shall stop.
The next three years is going to be mind-expanding and life-changing.
Bring. It. On.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Autumn Equinox

Picked up a couple of beautiful conkers this morning after dropping Sam off at nursery for the first time (apart from a couple of settling in sessions). I wandered down into town and then got a bus to uni. Now I am a student. New beginnings. The trees are throwing down their seeds and leaves. Harvest time and also a glimpse of the season to come.

As long as he is ok I will be ok.

I feel very blessed today to have this opportunity.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Random Writing for Five minutes

I have five minutes to write and then I must stop so this is going to be posted exactly as I write it as I have no time to tart around with it afterwards and I am interested to see what I write!

I am on the brink of some big changes. Sam and I have been rolling along in our Babyworld bubble for 16 months now and it all changes from tomorrow. Because tomorrow I start university. A BA in Creative writing and journalism. For three years! Which means Sam will be at nursery for some of the week. Tonight I am trying to get myself organised for tomorrow- Freshers week...weird to be going to university as a student when my last job was at a university and I am used to being on 'the other side'!

In the last week I have learned that I have changed more than I thought. My priorities and interests are very different but also strangely the same in many ways. I just want to get on with it and get right into it. It's time for a change and I can't wait! I am very very excited.

And that is where I stop.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

I am just relieved...

That I have managed to actually post something!

I have spent this evening

...twisting myself up in knots, sat at this damned computer with a million things to say and unable to say them... so I just had to write something!
It is certainly NOT writers' block- more like self-censorship.
Which I am not keen on.
But which seems to happen a lot with me.
Believe it or not.
This may be something I need to explore.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


I just visited the My Space page of Pantaleimon as I do every now and then. I recommend you to do the same! This is what I wrote there:

I spent this morning chasing my son across the park. He is 15 months old and just running with pure abandon. Unless he sees a particularly interesting stick or leaf or dandelion. The park was empty and feeling slightly 'end of summer' with leaves falling and dull grey sky. But it was beautiful and magical and when I heard Tall Trees just now I thought about it all over again. He loves trees. I love your

And I do love it. It never disappoints and always makes me feel better- even if I'm feeling good to start with!

I must make time to listen to some more.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Shooting From the Hip August 24th 2008

Shooting from the Hip suddenly popped into my head as I thought I would write a bit. So it seems like a good catch-all for any kind of ramble or venting of spleen (I am prone to both...) and may become a regular section of this blog.

Feeling very tired this sunday night. The end of August is fast approaching and the season seems to be on the turn. We just got back from Normandy and although it was rainy and damp there some of the time it seems to be colder and more autumnal already back in Blighty.

Current thoughts about clothes: the leather jacket is apparently 'back' but according to Jess Cartner Morley in the Guardian the look to channel is the Fonz and if you wore one in the 80's, when it was apparently last fashionable, you musn't wear it with baggy blue jeans as you surely did then ( I didn't-it was drainpipes-as skinnies were then called) but must wear skinnies. And you musn't look as if you had been wearing it all this time and fashion has come round again on the off-chance...oh what a faux pas that would be...
I love clothes; always have; love fashion; love shopping for clothes, putting them together; trend spotting and being fashion forward and all that jazz but really- the Fonz!?? I loved Fonzy when I was 8 but surely we can do a bit better than the Fonz? Is that where we have got with the leather jacket? Has it really become a Saturday teatime/fishfingers and chips/comfy-telly-before-bath-and-bed item of clothing? Going to get a leather jacket- a biker jacket, used to be a Big Deal- rite of passage type stuff! Punk Rock n Roll. Two of mine are in my wardrobe: one languishing at the back, covered in various bits of good and bad band artwork- very much of its' time. Late eighties/early nineties. The other I still wear occasionally. Probably always will.
I have been VERY bad and bought some boots that I couldn't really justify, apart from that I had a big clear out of my shoes and have marked up at least ten pairs for charity. The new ones are bright blue flat ankle boots and tie round the front. From Office. Again. Gawd they are gorgeous and impractical. I think the impracticability of them was a big part of their glamour. They are wearable and comfortable cos they are flat but not on any mammoth buggy-pushing walks. Hence their charm. I wear sensible shoes too much now... time for some footwear frippery (but not flippery...sorry)

I have passed my curfew so am now off to bed for a long overdue early night. Motherhood has finally instilled some sensible living habits into me- and although I am constantly worn out , running around after my ever-ready, excited and inquisitive little boy, I am probably healthier than I have been in years and more comfortable in my skin (more about that another time). Hoorah for that!
The holiday in France was fab. The first one for Sam and for me as a mum- and so a very different holiday experience but brilliant. But I now need to recover from it!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

It's great when you're Straight8...Yeah! (ad)venture back into creativity now that I am a mum mum mum

Part One

So my wonderful friend Mel announces she wants to make a film on Super duper 8 and enter it into the Straight8 film comp This is around Christmas 2007 and the deadline is March 2008. Did I want to be involved? You betcha sweet bippy I did! I was gagging to do something creative as was wibbling new, and newly single, mum of seven month old bouncing, big and beautiful boy and needed to put my head somewhere other than the puree-encrusted Annabel Karmel recipe book! So my job was to think of a story and the brief was horror/film noir with a transformation scene using animation, to be shot in black and white. Hmm I thought for the next couple of weeks while Mel was away diving in Mexico…Hmm….

I had hmmed enough to go and buy the Dummies Guide to Filmmaking and have a few quick peeks at it in between feeding, mopping, changing, cooing, hugging, playing, walking, shopping, tidying up and swabbing the decks etc ad infinitum…which was enough to make me think about locations. I thought of setting the story in Richmond Park at a crossroads, possibly at sunrise, using the light to indicate the transformation, maybe a jogger would be the main protagonist. I wasn't sure about it though. Mel came back and I was still sitting about like a tit in a trance (metaphorically speaking- of course I wasn't really! I was on 24/7 mum-duty to my 'yes-I-can-walk-round-the-furniture-now-on-my-own-honest-mum' son) not having done the job I was meant to do- but I needed a Eureka! moment and it was coming…

One day there was a knock at the door as I was trying to get my son off to sleep. He was just nodding off (after a concerted effort on my part) so I wasn't 'best pleased' to be disturbed. There was an old lady at the door, wearing a large headscarf and raincoat, with a dark and weathered face, carrying a bag. She told me in a broad Cornish accent that she was a bona fide Romany Gypsy and would I be interested in buying some lace from her. I said no a bit too firmly, at which point she looked quite disappointed but politely said Thank you and went on her way.

This was at about ten or eleven o'clock in the morning. At the time my nipper could still be persuaded via quite a lot of rocking to sleep in his bouncy chair-bit of an effort but the pay-off was worth it! With el Nip finally asleep for a precious half hour/hour, if I was lucky, I went to have a bath and as I lay there I felt bad about being rude to the gypsy. I should have spoken to her about being Romany- how interesting would that be?! D'oh! Then it occurred to me that a gypsy would be perfect as a character for the film. Eureka…!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Lucy Leaps!

To spring or bound upward from or as if from the ground; jump: leaped over the wall; salmon leaping upriver.
To move quickly or abruptly from one condition or subject to another: always leaping to conclusions.
To act impulsively: leaped at the opportunity to travel.