Thursday, 31 May 2012

Photos; Silverhip and I

I know I've said this before and will, no doubt, say it again . . . I really must sort my photos out. I had to flick through several hundred pictures to find these. I've probably missed some but that's alright. Along the way I saw many others that I would love to post but they can wait until their part of the story.
So here are a few taken during Silverhip's reign (circa '79 - '82)

On a day visit to London, Carnaby Street to buy some chenille hippy coats with tassels. The monkey's top matches the Peruvian alpaca jumper that Silverhip was wearing . . . Note the brown corduroy jacket ;-) also the tuft where I'd got fed up of trying to grow my fringe out . . . and chopped the middle bit off!

Our Cossack Dnepr 650, sprayed red with white hand-painted coach-lines by Silverhip. The back passenger seat was a good foot above the front seat. There was so much snow that winter, that we were the only vehicle able to leave the village. We would fill the side-car with provisions and the occasional Christmas tree to take back to the villagers.

Ooo ya bugga . . . My Dad's and his Angel's wedding. See my Afghani dress and clogs!? No, that was not the fashion . . . that was just me, I think. Moving swiftly on . . .

One of the city flats that Silverhip made into our home, before we moved to the country. As well as being a very talented musician and silversmith, he was very skilled in renovation of most things and taught me how to re-cane the seats of those chairs, how to decorate, make lampshades, grow plants and forgive people. He taught me how to smile, how to laugh and how to talk. Anyway that's all in the Silverhip posts . . . these are just the pictures. I hope you enjoyed them.

Moving on . . .

Rightio . . . Moving on to happier news.

Hamper G has done her first full week at school, they finish today for the Jubilee Bank Holiday and half term break. They were invited to go to school today wearing Red, White and Blue for their Jubilee party . . . or dressed as royalty. No, not twin sets and pearls. We managed to combine both and went totally over the top. I searched the town yesterday for a tiara and the only one I could find was in Monsoon . . . Quite!  I'll get some pics later.

Talking of photos, I'm going to make an "All things Silverhip and I" post of the old photos I found. I will link to it on the Archive page. I did intend to make one at the time but I'd lost the photos . . . I 've found them now; there are some corkers. O Yes. It was 1979 though so we must make some allowances. Hmmm.

I'm going to put up a music page, where I link to all the tracks I've posted so far and any more that become relevant, or even irrelevant but enjoyable. I'm pretty sure I'll be the only one using this page . . . I've rarely met anyone who totally shares my taste in music.
I've had some new readers here from Morocco, Pakistan and Bangladesh. So hello to all of you and thanks for reading. I wonder what brought you here, I would love to know.

The weather has changed; the Jubilee celebrations are going to be a wash out. Now that is a shame . . . We've had a week (ish) of beautiful sunshine and clear blue skies. If only the sunshine could just last a few more days for the street parties and celebrations . . . Maybe. Maybe the forecasts are wrong. We'll see. I'm seeing grey skies right now.

I'm almost done writing Higgins part three . . . It's been a difficult one that one. Although it only covers a few months of my life, somethings; many things, happened in those few months that I can't write about yet . . . maybe another time. I'll be glad to move onto my years in France . . . returning to Higgins (part four) after six years of, mainly, happiness in France. Not settled happiness though. O No, none of that. I'm only just finding that now! and loving it.

I'm off to fetch the scanner and old photos, bring the washing in; it looks like rain, and have another clean day. Ten more hours, I know I can do it.

Thanks to everyone reading here. Enjoy the old photos and I'll post a picture of Queen Hamper G later on tonight, Geekster permitting.

Just a quickie whilst I'm thinking. I know we count "cleanliness" in days . . . But I didn't use for one day out of seven, I used for one hour out of seven days. There, that ups the percentage of clean time. I like that. That's all folks. Take care and Love to all x

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

At last . . . I've found some time to write. I should be at N/A but Stropster has tonsillitis, he's at his Dads house; he can rest there with no hampering from Hamper G or Geekster, so I can't go out. This is probably just as well as I wasn't exactly in the mood for "Mr -I was-an-arsehole-when-I-was-an-addict-so-you-must-be-one-too". As a matter of fact I'd rehearsed several times this week what I was going to share in that meeting, regarding his opinion on how much verbal abuse I deserve from Stropster. I thought it might be worth sharing with the other folk there, as he always manages to tell me these little snippets of his opinion when no-one else is around or listening . . . I think it's time the rest of the group heard what he has to say to me. Yes, well that can wait until next Wednesday. I won't forget.

Anyway, enough of him . . . I did six days out of seven clean!! Yes, I know seven would be better but . . .  well there is no but.

OK, this is the but . . .

It involved my "mentally unstable hermit neighbour". I can't go into her background here, suffice to say she is estranged from all three of her Sons and Grandchildren. She has pushed them to beyond their limits. The police have been called on many occasions when her Sons have come to visit their father; he's twenty years older than her at 78, not in the best of health and has no choice but to stay. He's a very polite and quiet old boy, I always have a chat with when I see him out and about. I haven't heard from this lady in years but she listens from her garden and bedroom window . . . She heard me with my Brother on Sunday afternoon talking about how well I'd done to get over the post-Wales relapse and be back on track again . . .  And how good it was that Hamper was in school. She's watched my garden improve over the last week . . . heard music being played again . . . even the piano. She's noticed a difference. She also heard two of my children and three of their friends laughing and enjoying the trampoline and pool on Sunday afternoon. She heard us all having a lovely family afternoon.

She came into my garden on Monday afternoon for a "chat" . . . She said she came "In the name of Jesus" and in the "Spirit of love" . . . Hmmm. I was polite. I was polite for almost an hour as she complained of the dreadful noise on Sunday afternoon.
"Why can't these other children play in their own gardens?" she asked.
"Because most of their parents like to use their gardens to relax on a Sunday afternoon and pretend that they have no children" I said. "But I don't mind my garden being used for the kids to enjoy and have fun . . . It keeps them all happy" I said.

She pretty much repeated the same crap over and over for nigh on forty minutes . . . Eventually she added "Another neighbour has been to see me, to ask me how I put up with the noise"
"Really?" that's strange, no-one ever goes to her house.
"This other neighbour is going to report you to the council and the police"
"O IS SHE?" I said. I was getting a little impatient by now. I have a very long tether.
"That's OK, I'm sure the police will see the funny side of it . . . It'll be the first time they've been called to this address for something SO serious"

She muttered on some more, and some more, now I was getting truly fed up.
"OK, I've listened politely to you for almost an hour now, I have said I will ask the kids to try and contain their excitement. Now you will listen to me! This is the FIRST FULL day my daughter has done at school. This is the FIRST day that I've had SIX hours to myself in FIVE VERY LONG years. You are NOW pissing me off, you are spoiling my peace . . . but you know that. That is why you are here. Would you please leave before I get MORE than pissed off?" My tether was stretched.

She continued "Well, since you ask what this other neighbour said, I will tell you"
"I didn't ask what this other neighbour said . . because there is no other neighbour"

But it was too late, she was not going to stop . . . this is what she had come "In the name of Jesus" to say, and she was not leaving until she had said it . . . Suddenly she was no longer muttering; her voice was clear and loud.

"This other lady said . . . SMACK HEADS like YOU don't care about anyone or anything else but themselves and their SMACK" . . . and then she waited with a questioning smirk.

I got up from where I was trying to pot some more plants in peace . . . I was already in tears. My tether snapped. I shouted, I screamed at her,

"Now get the FUCK out of MY garden before I knock the living shit out of you!"
"I know what you've come to do and it is NOT in the spirit of love"

But no, she wasn't ready to go yet . . . she came towards me, she tried to touch me!! She said . . .
"I didn't say those words, it's the other lady that said them"

"Touch me and I will knock you flat! Leave MY garden now or I will be the one to call the police"

Would she go? No. She was enjoying this. I could hardly breath I was so angry. I don't ever recall during my life feeling so angry. Feeling. Anger. I had to lock myself in the house to get away from her. As I went to close the back door she tried to get in the door behind me!? I kicked it shut on her with all my might and locked it. As I did so I was shaking, sobbing, on my knees . . . I shouted at her between breaths.

"I will lock myself away for five minutes . . . If I come out in five minutes and you are still there, God help you, you better believe I will drag you back to your house"

She went.
I scored and I used.
1-nil to her. Or to the spirit within her. It was not one of love.

I now know, with hindsight, and two days to calm down, that she was jealous of the loving, family fun we were having. She never complained when things were not good. She never complained when Hamper's Dad was arrested here many times or at other "goings on" over the years. She just used to watch from the window, satisfied that she wasn't the only one not at peace.
This was different.

This made me so angry I was sick.

OK, it's over now. It was only one day out of seven . . . But I have to be aware. This is a spiritual battle. Not religious, let's not get mixed up here. Spiritual.

All is well again. I will come back in the morning with lots of happy news, I just thought this was worth mentioning. I've learned from it.

Love and peace to all x

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Mythical Kings and Iguanas . . .

Ok, I'm not here to up-date although I will just quickly say everything is perfect, just as it should be . . . I'm still clean, my nails are still dirty from gardening and it's still warm at past midnight . . . Good grief is that the time. Right I'll get on with what I came here to do.

When I posted my Silverhip 1 & 2 posts on the  Flashes from the archives page I also posted "our tune" as Donovan's Catch the Wind.
When I posted the Higgins posts also on the Flashes from the archives page (number three coming soon), I so wanted to post "our tune" as we listened, relentlessly, to Dory Previn.
Anyway the album was not available on You Tube or anywhere else and I only have it on vinyl, very scratched vinyl at that. So last week I ordered the CD on-line, it arrived and Geekster, bless his little Geekster heart, is gradually putting the album, track by track on You Tube for me . . . for us.
I'll probably put three or four tracks from the album on this blog eventually, with the future Higgins posts, but just for now . . . to catch up as it were and just because I just simply love this song, here's the first one; the one that we always considered to be "our tune" . . . for Eliza and Professor Higgins.
Going Home (Mythical Kings and Iguanas)

Since searching for this on-line, I discovered that Dory Previn died this year on Valentine's Day . . . R.I.P Dory Previn. Thankyou for all of your beautiful lyrics and music, on this album especially x

Ps . . . Sunday morning. I was too tired to add this last night; when I searched for this CD on-line I found this post on a music and arts blog. It's An excellent tribute to Dory, I learned a lot there that I didn't know about her. I will be ordering her autobiographical book, she had a troubled but very interesting life.

Right, it's another sunny day; I'm off to do the gardening! here's to another clean and busy day, love to all x

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Grateful Friday on Saturday . . .

Best news of the day . . . I got through another day Clean.

Second best news  . . I weighed in today at 66kg. I had stabilised at 68kg for a while. Since last Friday I've lost two kilos. One kilo in sweat, one in tears.  I was right pleased with myself and risked trying on an old pair of well loved, lightweight summer jeans, that hadn't fitted for two years . . . Yay!  . . . On they slid! I'm glad I kept them. I'm glad I kept all sorts of things that I almost threw away when I was listening to those voices telling me "you'll never get in that again!". I went through all my "too small" clothes and felt as though I'd just been shopping . . . Then I did go and buy two new vests, which combined with tanned arms, show an awful lot of scarring (self-harm not injecting). I didn't give two hoots, I felt almost slim and tanned and clean and proud! and happy!

O Wow, maybe this should've been second best news . . . After Hamper G had skipped to school smiling, she was called out in assembly (in front of the whole school) to be awarded a certificate; for "an enthusiastic start to her schooling" . . . The teacher said she looked a little confused to begin with (I would imagine so), then spurred on by the applause began to relax and stood there "reading" her certificate and grinning like the cat that got the cream. Guess what? . . . I cried ;-). It must have been very overwhelming for her. As I collected her at 1.15 she said "Mum, I love school now and I mean it this time". This is high on my gratitude list.

I have some money in the bank, not a great deal, but enough spare after the bills etc, to go on-line tomorrow and order some sheet music for the piano, I'm grateful for that. And some "Hi-tops" for Geekster, he's grateful for that. I'm grateful that he's grateful.

I'm so grateful for the bloke who was mowing next door's front garden this evening and decided to cross the path and mow mine too . . . that might be just what I need to kick start me onto the gardening . . . tomorrow?  Maybe.

Hey, I'm grateful that I can "un-set" the alarm right now; tomorrow being Saturday. O yes. I'm sure I could go on  and on with this but I'll stop here and have an early ish night. I want to wake up feeling good and I will. I'll be grateful for that too.

Last, but by no means least, I'm massively grateful to you, my friends, who make me laugh and cry, make me think and write and make me so thankful that I even started this blogging journey.
And then, of course, it's thanks to all of your encouragement, understanding and just being here that I've carried on with this journey and come this far.

So . . . Just a huge whacking great ginormous thanks to everyone reading these words.

Saturday; I thought I'd posted this last night, I hadn't. It's 10.45 am, I'm on my first coffee. Geekster had a friend stay for the night, then a few more came round at 9 this morning. Hamper G joined them upstairs, leaving me to sleep ;-) It's sunny and hot again and there's a lot of gardening to do . . . I'm grateful I've got a garden, and the sun, and a fresh pineapple for breakfast and . . and  . . .

A quick ps . . . As this seems to go so well with this Sunny Saturday . . .

Friday, 25 May 2012

Buckets of sweat, buckets of tears . . .

I saw my drugs worker this afernoon and I'm beginning to trust her. I realised today that she's genuinely willing and possibly able to help me. This a first for me with a drugs worker. Usually they prescribe your meds, do urine tests and threaten to stop your script if you can't produce a clean sample. Yeah, that's helpful. I've only had this new worker for a few months and she actually wants to uncover the reasons for this behaviour. She wants to help me.
My half an hour appointment ran into an hour with buckets of tears; another first for me, in front of anyone other than a partner. We proper dragged some stuff out from under that rug and examined it closely.
At the end of the hour, as I was leaving, she said "I'll come out for a fag with you, I think I need one after that . . . I do care you know". . . and would you believe it, she had tears in her eyes. We talked some more outside. The first thing she suggested I do, other than stay clean for today, is to write a letter to my Dad, no matter whether I send it or not. It would possibly be easier to write if I imagine I'm not going to send it. But I will take her advice, for sure, and write the letter.

Other good news came half way through our prison visit on Monday. The guard stopped at our table and said "Come on then, off we go, you've got twenty minutes" I looked at LQ (Hamper G's dad) with some concern . . .??
"C'mon he said, go get my crutches from the desk"
We were then escorted out into a courtyard, where the sun was just breaking through the clouds. There was a park . . . O wow, with a slide and climbing frame and a few other play areas.
I'd read about this park on the prison website, but knowing that a prisoner has to be on "enhanced" to receive such privileges  . . . and knowing LQ has been on "basic" (ie no privileges) for two years, this would mean two promotions; once to "standard", then to "enhanced". I thought there was no chance of this ever happening. I never mentioned the park to Hamper G.
I didn't cry at the time, but fuck, I've cried since. I've cried a lot today. I can't believe he would ever tow the line to such an extent to get twenty minutes on the park with his daughter. He must have been so excited and yet he didn't even mention it. He is not one for towing any kind of line, especially where screws are concerned. But he did, what a week.

Hamper G stayed at school for lunch today. I picked her up at 1.15pm rather than 12.00pm. One of the teachers/helpers said that Hamper is secretly beginning to enjoy being there. She has the impression that Hamper G is weighing up every person and situation in her own time, then gradually, and only when she feels safe, she is joining in. That sounds about right, I was reassured just to know that this helper had taken the time to think about how Hamper's mind was working. Good. There were only a couple of tears this morning, a major improvement. A much better start to the day.

The sun has shone relentlessly since the visit to the prison park. It is so so hot. I've not yet got back into the swing of my workout and weights as I'm still getting used to walking four or five miles a day. I've stuck to my healthy eating plan though, I'll weigh in tomorrow  . . . I must have lost two kilos in sweat alone, and then all those tears. I'll try and make myself do some skipping, weights and work out tomorrow. I was feeling the benefit from it . . . and I will again.

So all in all, I reckon I have much to be grateful for here. The main thing being that I got through today clean. I'm sure this all sounds a bit familiar and possibly rather boring . . . but to me it's quite exciting. With each slip I learn something new. With each new thing I learn, my hope is renewed, my outlook brightened. I'm sure I can find less dangerous ways of learning, but a lot was revealed from this latest relapse.

Well, it's almost midnight and I have another full and busy day tomorrow. Six hours of hamster  house cleaning for starters.
I'm thankful you good folk are still reading here, still encouraging me and supporting me. I really am, I hope you know that.

Goodnight, sleep well x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Cunning whispers.

Ok so I get what it's doing now . . . I see the plan. It thrives best in isolation, obviously. A lot of this might sound obvious, so I won't keep saying obviously, because it's obviously NOT obvious to me. I've written that word so many times now that it looks wrong. I digress.

Cunning is it's way, and I sometimes consider myself quite clever . . . Not so. Not that clever.
Am I impressed by it's cleverness? Maybe, I most probably would be if a person were so  . . . Cunning?
I don't know.

I will sneak in so softly and light of finger, that you won't notice me.
And you will listen to my soft whisper without being aware of having heard me.

And I will show you those people who know you are bad, because you are bad . . . you know that.
I know that, I'm your friend. I can say these things and you will listen.
And when you're hurting, which you will,
I will take away that pain. Yes, take it away because I love you, you see, you fool.

I love you so much that I can say these things and you will listen.
You will only ever need me.
You will only ever want me.

So I got pulled back down there for a while. I simply don't know how. Such is it's sleight of hand.

Against all odds and, more so, against my own will, I forced myself to N/A tonight, after ignoring the phone calls and texts. I did answer one text, to say I wouldn't be there . . . I'm too tired. I'm glad I went. I listened and heard. I listened to other people who were aware of this cunning, of this "I will tell you what a heap of shit you are, then make you feel better; I will make you feel ill , then make you feel better" trickery. And somehow they had pulled away. For real. For good. One bloke had just done 60 days. He was happy.

I wasn't happy. I was as irritated and hot and sweating and bothered as I could possibly be, I so nearly walked out. People were constantly crunching biscuits, reading with their mouths full! Sharing through mouthfuls of chocolate and coffee . . . I mean, surely eat before you come if you're hungry. And if you're not, then don't eat. Why even have two tins of biscuits/chocolates on the table? Yes. That's how I felt. Fucking chocolate addicts, grabbing "mmmmm" ing. Scoffing. Laughing!? For fucks sake. Are we here to eat and laugh? Is that it? I might as well just leave. Do they know how much this irritates me? (at the best of times)  . . . Are they doing this on purpose? Don't they want me to listen?   . . . Who's they?

Ah . . .  Now we're talking. So listen. So I did.
I'd forgotten I had to fight this battle. Possibly because I didn't have to fight it in Wales; it just wasn't an option. Maybe that's another reason I was so content there. I let down my guard, I came back . . . . and Whhhack!

So, I'm ready for battle again.
It's gone midnight. So, Just for today . . . with a God who I don't understand, but I do trust, on my side.

Thanks for being here.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Goodnight Robin Gibb x

This really is just a quickie.

So sad to hear that Robin Gibb died today at 62 . . . He hadn't been well for a while. He was always my favourite "Bee Gee", I'm not sure why, possibly because the others had perfect teeth and hair; he had buck teeth and was slightly scruffy . . . They are/were all extremely talented writers, musicians and singers but I always liked his voice especially.

There are way too many songs to choose from. This one is very special to me and will appear as the soundtrack to a part of "my story" circa '89 (a long way to go yet).

Today was good, prison was good, everything was good . . . but I'm too tired to write just now. It's been seventeen hours pretty much non-stop. Non-stop good though . . . So that's good. What more can I say. Goodnight x

Beautiful Robin, Rest in peace x

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Yay!! some holiday pics

Hamster paws! 
I have a spare hour (whoopee) so I will get some holiday pics over here. I'll do a few now and maybe some more another day. I won't spend too long any time trying to set them out in order or writing comments with them as they are mostly self-explanatory . . . Apart from that thing on my Brother's head; It's a cushion from the car, filled with tiny plastic pellets, which he managed to mould to the shape of his head . . . and then wear.

Conway harbour

A friend came to visit us for the first night, hence the extra tent and car
This little tent on the left is my "weekend tent". Bro and wife are taking the photo from the camper-van.

Looking out towards Llandudno

At the top of the "hill" behind the field we're camped in.

From the top of the hill, looking down on the village where my Dad lives, Penmaemawr.

My "hand-knitted" jumper (lol)

Brave Hamper G and Bro

And Bernie ;-)

The Chef

Our rope swing

I don't usually wear  my Pj's with a jumper (hand-knitted), or look this bossy! Really ;-)

Bro's & wife's camper van and awning (posh folk)

Not enough wind (in Wales!?) and the farmer's house.

Looking towards the campsite from the beach

Bernie flicking his ears back and posing

Looking over to Anglesey, home of "Prince William and Kate"

Ok, as I'm sure you can imagine, with such beautiful scenery and a new camera to play with there are many more pictures but these show what we love about camping there. The field, the beach, the sea, the food, the campervan . . . all of it. Just relaxing in our old clothes and boots, with cushions on our heads . . . not caring what anyone thinks ;-)
I hope you enjoyed it . . . I did. My hour is up . . . Bro just texted to say I can go up for coffee now as they've had Hamper G for a while; to take her out as a reward  for going to school.
I'll be back later, I'm feeling a bit happier . . . Thanks for all your kind comments this morning. I cried . .  then I laughed. I'm blessed to have you friends . . . and camping trips to Wales with my family . . . and lots more stuff  x

Saturday, 19 May 2012

. . . or not settling in?

OK, so the weekend is here . . . It's half way gone really and have I settled back in? Well, no, not really. I might appear to have settled but I dont feel at ease. If I didn't have so many responsibilities (kids and their Dads, schools and jobs) I would honestly up and leave. I would go to North Wales for several reasons; the main one being to be near my Dad for however long he has left and to give his wife some help. But I can't, I just can't and that is that.

I did something today that I haven't done for about seven or eight years . . . I played the piano. I set about learning Songbird. This will give me a lot of pleasure; both learning the piece and eventually being able to sit back and watch my fingers do the intricate dance that I've taught them. It always amazes me when I get to the point of just playing without thinking . . . it's almost as if they're not my hands. I can then put my soul and emotion into playing. That's where all the pleasure is. Sometimes it's too much to take and I lose the plot and the music. Anyway, I'm not there yet, I'm still on the intro.

Geekster went up to Bro's house this morning to put the photos an a memory stick for me so I'll post some up after this. Looking at them just made me want to be there even more. I really am having trouble settling this week. Hamper G did her four mornings at school, she missed me a lot and cried some days, it's just something that has to be done . . . do other people find all this stuff easy? Should it all be such a struggle. I know the teachers and other mothers are judging me, I'm not paranoid or stupid. Who do they think they are to judge, it has upset me some this week. These people know nothing about me, other than the rumours; most of which are true. But I am more than that "smack head" . . . how dare they. This makes me cry. Yeah, really. This is not self-pity. This is being hurt by the attitude of these self-righteous "We've got it all O so right" blinkered fools. I don't want to be here in this town where you're judged by your car, clothes and what your husband does. I can't fit here and have no wish to. I want the mountains, the sea, my Dad, vast empty beaches, simple folk who appreciate nature and couldn't give a fuck if you wear the same hand knitted jumper for a week and have earth under your nails from gardening. I feel sad. I don't mind feeling alone but I don't want to feel sad. I suppose as I can't change the circumstances at the moment . . . I best just pray for some serenity to accept them.

OK, lets be positive here . . . we're off to prison on Monday. Ha! No, come on, it might be a great day, who knows?  . . . Not I, that's for sure.

Well as I'm so full of misery, I'll go and find some holiday photos, maybe some music. Something. Anything . . . I might have to do a WaW post, lift up that dusty, old proverbial rug and drag some crap out into the light where it belongs. So much stuff.

I honestly didn't set out to be such a downer . . . Sorry, but I have to be true. It's early enough to get an early night, maybe that'll help.

Thanks for reading and not judging me. It really does mean a lot to me, this week more than ever. I hope all is well in your part of the world. Much love to all.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Settling in . . .

Where to start, I really don't know. I think I'll save the camping post until I have the photos on-line. We all used my Brother's new camera so I have to wait for him, or more likely his wife, to send me the pics.  I will just say it was freakishly good weather for North Wales. Three days of sunshine with one session of heavy wind and rain during the night on Sunday. Yes, I'll do a holiday post when the photos come through.
We were back quite late last night but I sat up till one am to catch up on all your posts, I didn't get time to comment and was a little too tired and irritable anyway.

For most of my life, visits to North Wales have been over-shadowed by too many bad memories. In the last year I've felt much more at peace with it all and can now appreciate the beauty of the place. It really does take some beating and I think coming home to this town with neither sea or mountains got me down a bit. Also seeing my Dad in the latter stages of Parkinson's disease is very sad. Heart-breaking. They've prescribed him more drugs to calm his anxiety attacks and he is very quiet and lost. He is frail, incontinent and in a wheelchair. It's hard to see the strong man I knew as Dad in this way. I gave him a hug as we left and told him properly that I loved him, he cried like a small boy. His wife is an angel. She is only fifty-six, he is eighty-six. She has loved him since she was twenty-one, truly loved him. He is her first love and might even be her last. Who knows.

Stropster has been signed off work onto the pittance that is "sick pay" due to a hernia, he is just a tad more stroppy than his usual stroppy self . . . He's bored at home, without money, having to rest . . . . O dear, just when I thought I would get some time at home, alone, in peace. My Brother said we should be grateful for our trials as well as our blessings. I said nothing for now. I'll keep that one up my sleeve for another day.

Hamper G started school this morning, just mornings for the first week . . . . she loves it! How good is that? I was worried when I went to collect her at lunch time that I might find a tear stained little face but there was no need, she was fine. More than fine, she was excited about it all and looking forward to going back tomorrow. It's a huge relief that she settled in so quickly.

I had some very strange dreams last night but I won't go into all that just now. I think once I've completed Higgins part three and moved on to France part one (Lost in Nice) those dreams will stop. They'll no doubt be replaced by others but a change of "scenery" will be more than welcome.

I'll get back into my fitness routine this week with an extra four mile daily walk thrown in. I pretty much stuck to my eating plan whilst we were away but I didn't do my daily work out or weights . . . I'll allow myself a week to catch up, then weigh-in and up-date.

It's past midnight and I need to be up at seven, so I better get to bed. I've been very tired and a bit flat since we got back, I reckon I'll be settled in by the weekend and find my enthusiasm again for my Springtime purge!

Meantime, I hope you're all doing well in whatever you want to be doing. I'm looking forward to getting back into the rhythm of it all. Sweet dreams and thoughts to all. Thanks, as always, for reading.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I did  it . . . I turned the house upside down and shook it, yesterday. I then spent twelve hours solid making a temporary bedroom for me and Hamper G downstairs. I cleared Geekster's room for him so he has his own space back. This is all in preparation for me to start decorating. Yes, this is it.

Whilst shaking the house about, I found a box that I thought I'd lost, of some very old photos . . .  Yay! I'll get the scanner out later, for a laugh!

The school have just phoned to offer Hamper G place. It's not our catchment school but it looks like I have no choice in this. Let's be positive, walking four miles a day will do me good. Hmmmm . . . we'll see about that in January . . . Hey, maybe I'll be jogging there by January, Hamper G can ride her bicycle, or scooter to keep up with me.

It's all happening. I don't want to speak too soon, but I definitely feel as though I've left the gear behind . . . well and truly behind.

I'm off to North Wales on Friday with my Brother, his wife, Hamper G and Geekster . . . Only for three nights camping to look after my Dad so his wife can go to her Dad's one hundredth Birthday. One Hundred, imagine that and he still flies out to Florida to "Evangelise". I hope the rain stops for a few days.

I've been spending some time writing my "story" . . . I will say this much, nothing is being added and nothing taken away. It's not all comfortable, I'm neither ashamed or proud. It is what it is, my life.

I didn't get time to comment on any blogs yesterday, but I did read them all when I finally settled down last night. I'm going to miss you all whilst I'm away. Really, yes.

OK, so much to get through again today . . . Off to buy Hamper's uniform and shoes, PE kit, bookbag etc. And party-proof the house as Stropster will be here alone for the weekend. Or not alone.

Thanks to you all for reading and being a part of this journey. Enjoy your day or night.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Professor Higgins (part two)

So it was back to the City for me. I soon found a ground floor bed-sit to rent. There was a single bed, a kitchen sink unit, a table top cooker, a sofa and a wardrobe. There must have been a shared bathroom somewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember ever using it. Or the cooker. Or sofa. I set my old record player next to the bed with my stack of vinyl and spliff bowl, I was home.

It was the spring of 1982, I was nineteen and remember how I felt walking through the city to work in the mornings. I felt free. Excited to be living alone. Relieved at finally leaving Silverhip. I'd tried for two and half years to be good. Most of the time, I'd tried. I would never be the type of girl who was suited to him and I was pleased I'd finally admitted that. Not half as pleased as his Father was.

I bought some bronze court shoes, bleached drainpipe jeans and a green cropped jacket with three quarter length sleeves. I decided I did like huge silver loop earrings and heels and lipstick and all manner of things that Silverhip and his friends considered tacky. Well fuck you lot in your desert boots and flares with your old man beards and corduroy jackets. It made me smile to think they might drive past and not recognise me. I liked the sound of those heels on the pavement and how they made me walk tall.

Higgins would drive over most evenings.  I only had to call him from work just as I was leaving and by the time I was half way along my home street, the sound of the Triumph Spitfire engine catching up with me would make my heart race and my hips swing. There was no way he would drive past and not recognise me. That made me smile too.

I'd never heard the word alcoholic. I knew some folk drank and others didn't. I knew some folk drank more than others. Too much. I didn't know about any sort of addiction. I'd taken every drug on offer in Oxford, where after realising my aunty's house was not the place to be, I'd latched on to a much older group of hippies. I joined in with their LSD trips, their magic mushroom tea parties, their trips to Stonehenge and Glastonbury in the summer of '79 where I discovered the delights of dancing wild and free to Steve Hillage, Gong and Roy Harper. I smoked endless chillums, bongs and pipes with them. I knew some of them injected some sort of drug but I couldn't imagine why. I couldn't fathom how anything could take you further away from reality than LSD, whether it was a on a square piece of paper, in a pill, a pipe, or a needle. And of course, I never asked. I just took whatever I was offered like a grateful stray cat, I was never offered a needle. I thought they did it all for fun. I had no idea anyone needed to do it. Least of all me.

So I thought nothing of Higgins drinking a bottle of wine or two during his nightly visits. I smoked my joints and he would have the odd toke. He drank his wine and I would have the odd swig. He had so many stories to tell. Of course he did, he was forty nine . . . and I was nineteen. He'd travelled the world and knew famous people. I'd never heard of most of these people, which both irritated and intrigued him. Where had I been for nineteen years. Where indeed? He'd been very close to fame himself in the early sixties, but the death of the General, had left him with way too much money. He needed drink more than money, or fame.

I wasn't aware, at this point, of him being wealthy. Of course I knew his family were, but he didn't appear to be part of his family and it was of no interest to me. Maybe he wanted to be sure that I wanted him, not his money. For richer or poorer. Or maybe not.

"Twiddlestick, let's go to Spain. I have to find a property there for "The Old Thing" (his Mother) . . . We could live there some of the time . . . and travel some of the time. O come on Twiddle, let's leave this ghastly grey island and find some sun . . . find some fun!"

"What would we do there? What about work . . . money? The language? How would we live?"
"You are funny Eliza with your worried little face . . . Come here, let me tell you sweetness that there are far better ways of making money than sitting in that God forsaken office of yours for eight hours a day"
"Really, without speaking the language?" For some reason this made him roar with laughter.
"O Eliza!" tears streaming down his face by now, ever the thespian. I had no idea what was so funny but I was stoned so I laughed along, mainly at his eyebrows, until he composed himself.
"Dearest Twiddle you're nineteen, you're desirable and you're a raving nymphomaniac, I'm forty-nine, nigh on bloody impotent, but not without my needs . . . 
Well, yes that hadn't escaped me.  He was certainly lacking in that area. I'd imagined it was down to being upper class, public school and all that. Hidden tendencies. I had no idea it might be to do with alcohol. Who knows, whatever the cause, it didn't bother me in the slightest. He could satisfy my mind. He knew where I was coming from and where I needed to go. And he could take me right there, anytime and every time. I'd never found this much pleasure before and I wasn't about to let it go. We needed each other.
He poured another one, I rolled another one.

"I have many connections. Beautiful Spanish Toreros" he said, a little too longingly. Yes, of course he was on his feet by now, extending his imaginary cape, head held high and tilted in true matador style, shuffling backwards. Damn sofa. My turn to laugh.

"Little one, these men have women falling at their feet. They are Spanish legends. They are proud men and lead very private lives . . . They pay high for discretion"  he then said something salacious in Spanish which I didn't understand but I got the gist.

"The universal language d'amour, ma petite, you are fluent in that . . . O yes"
"Tell me you will put in a passport application, tomorrow! . . . We'll go for a week, just a holiday, See what you think of Espana. You will love it. The Flamenco, the heat, the passion . . . Either way I have to go as "The old thing" is intent on buying an apartment there . . . You must come Eliza. Heaven forbid that I leave you here alone, to your own devices"

"Twi-ddle-stick, hmmm?" A little more wine and persuasion followed. A little more proof that we could not be without each other.

"How do I apply for a passport?"
"O Eliza, we will have such fun, really . . .  We will"


R.E.M. Find the river

Geekster finally showed me how to put my laptop through my stereo speakers . . . O Wow!
Needless to say, I'm raking through my music memories. So much beautiful music, each song precious. O well, loads of work to do . . . I'l be back later.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Sunshine Superman

What can I say.

Yeah, yeah, yeah , You can just sit there thinking on your velvet throne . . . about all the rainbows you can have for your own.
Donovan is my Superman.

More goofiness

Hey this is a first, it's early morning and it's peaceful. The boys have gone to work and school and Hamper G is still asleep. Bliss. It's raining. Cosy.

A quick update on my visit to the surgeon. He was a lovely man, who was prepared to sit and listen to my concerns, the results of my research  and my reasons for changing my mind. He didn't rush me. I told him about my radical change of life style and that I was worried that this was too much, too soon. I don't want to wake up from surgery with a poor denture, not to mention a change of mouth shape, and become so depressed that I relapse. He understood this fear. He is writing back to my dentist regarding a partial top denture (rather than a full one) with a view to keeping some of my remaining top teeth. This might only last for six or seven years, but maybe I will feel more ready by then. Maybe.

I think my dentist originally recommended this course of action as I'd told him I was extremely nervous in "the chair" and I was still using at the time. However nervous I am in treatment, I am prepared to go through with it to keep my remaining six top teeth. I might have to go into private treatment with a special "phobia dentist" for the repair work. Whatever it takes I will do. I have a "goofy profile"  and I know a full denture will change this . . . the changes in the past six months of my life are all for the better. I am not ready to take such a huge risk. I'm scared it might set me back. I will of course keep you updated on this. This might seem a tad vain for someone who has spent the last six years with some front teeth missing  . . . But I look in the mirror a bit more these days and smile a lot more. I care more about me. I think he understood.

I took various photos today on youcam to record my profile for future reference. I haven't bothered too much about anonymity so far . . . So here's the goofiness that I'm so attached to ;-)
My dad had this prominent top lip until they fitted him with dentures, also at forty nine, then it kind of flattened down to a more normal vertical (more of a parallel to the forehead than an almost parallel to the nose, which it is at present). I'm a portrait artist and a little obsessed with angles of facial features. They matter. To me.

I do realise this is not exactly interesting but it's a huge part of my journey. I have so much I want to write, so much past and present. I could honestly sit here all day . . . I want to finish my "Professor Higgins" part two, it's a biggy that one. We were both slightly deranged in our own right, but together . . . well.

OK, I'm gonna have my bowl of sawdust, work out, do my weights and stay clean. Some of the lads from the city N/A came over to our local N/A this Wednesday. There were ten of us instead of four. I heard some very encouraging stories, bless their hearts. Bless all our hearts today eh.
Thanks, as always for being here. Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Timbrels, Prophecies and Demons

I've not been able to catch up on blogs tonight as my scrollery thingamy is on super slow reaction for some reason, so it would've taken hours . . . I hope it gets better.

Last night I spent some time writing my "fixing the body" page . . . It will progress along with me, there are a few more things to be added, but I'm happy with it for now. It's not exactly an interesting page to "read", unless you would like to see how I intend to lose weight and get fitter . . . but we all know how that's done. No big mystery there. It's really for me to keep track of my progress, motivate and focus myself to make more progress and improve my self-discipline. So far it's working. O yes!

I went along to a city N/A on Sunday . . . Sometimes it seems like such a weird concept and experience, other times it seems like the most normal thing to be doing; which is down to my mood change, not the meetings.

I actually wish they didn't call it a meeting. That word has such "O Blimey, No!" connotations for me. My sister, Bluebell, reads this blog, she will know that feeling. Our childhood was a never ending stream of meetings . . . Sunday meetings, Bible meetings, Healing meetings, Prayer meetings, Mid-week meetings, Home-group meetings. I kid you not.
It was one thing when our parents were "Salvationists" in the Salvation Army which meant going twice on a Sunday, then twice again mid-week for "Timbrels" (tambourine group) and Singing Company rehearsals. But, we should've counted our blessings . . . When our parents left the SA to be Evangelists . . .  part of a large group of Evangelists, who had no "meeting place" . . . Yep, you guessed it, our house became the "meeting place" and boy did they like to "meet". At first I remember thinking, well at least we won't all be in uniform in public on a Sunday, little did I know what "The Charismatic Movement" Circa 1970 entailed.

They didn't sing hymns, they sang choruses . . .  small verses of eight or ten lines, with quite simple lyrics. Come back Charles Wesley.  One night Bluebell and I lay in bed listening, not that we had any choice, and counted them singing the same chorus 54 times! They played guitars, some danced like raving loonies whilst others floated about serenely (there's another word), they brought bongos, bashed tambourines, they had healing sessions where alleged demons were released (into our front room), exorcisms. They sang and howled prophecies in "tongues" No, I really am not joking here. They worked themselves up into frenzies of hysteria. All this in our two downstairs rooms, which had been knocked into one room. Yeah, no wonder.
And they hugged. A lot.
When my parents eventually split up, I was Thirteen I moved away with my Dad and younger Brother who was five, to live in a huge 10 bedroomed house in North Wales, full of this behaviour. 24/7. Lived there. They were all ex-somethings. Ex-addicts, ex-convicts, ex-paedos, ex-nut jobs who had been healed by the Lord and had their demons cast out by the elders  . . . O, that's OK then. Safe.

Consequently, I have a learnt aversion to "meetings, hugs and serenity". I might need to give a bit on this one.

I didn't intend to write about this, I was going to write about "Mr tooth surgeon's" assessment yesterday, but that can wait. It's been a long day.

In any case the Sunday night city N/A gathering was good. As we, yes that's me and Mr hard-core tough guy who gave me a lift there, pulled up in the car, they were mostly smoking outside; if I didn't know where we were, I would've said they were all waiting to score. But they weren't. It was all hugs (mostly the easy half-arsed sort of hugs - although one was a bit enthusiastic) and welcomes. All blokes, about fifteen of them. A very interesting gathering. A warm, friendly bunch of folk. Hey some with even less teeth than me ;-)

So my feet have gone wrinkled in a bowl of hot cold water here . . . Time to dry them and get some good sleep. Good sleep. Good dreams and all that. Waking up happy. Ready for life. Good stuff.
Thanks to everyone here and there.