Saturday, 30 June 2012

Saturday night 22.22

O ya bugger I am exhausted . . . We just got in from the school's Summer fete. I thought we best show our faces and Hamper G had heard there would be a bouncy castle; there was but it wasn't as big as those at the carnival. It passed a few hours that should've been spent cleaning, washing, mowing, blah di blah . . . Tommorow.

Now I've pulled my skeleton out of the cupboard and flicked over it with a duster, I feel ready to continue with my story . . . I understand that it's not lighthearted or comfortable reading but it was a dark time . . . I struggled to balance it; to spare the details yet include some of the events that caused the changes in our relationship. I might flash back in the future to random incidents . . . but for now I'm more than ready for the escape! which is also more tragedy than comedy . . . but I can't re-write the past . . .

Talking of which, I was chatting to Mum the other day about how I (and my elder sister) had zero self-confidence or any sense of worth in my teens and 20's  . . . and 30's, and yet looking back at old photos it's hard to imagine "that girl" in the photos, felt that way in her head . . . She said "You were on cannabis though!" . . . O right, that'd be why then . . . that being a well known side effect of cannabis . . . Not.
In fact, smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol boosted my confidence, gave me the courage to speak, to sing . . . it took away the crippling shyness that made me blush, or sometimes even run from the room, if someone was to ask me a question. Always a sense of being "less than" forged by unfavourable comparisons to other people's children . . . "Why can't you be more like Mrs X's daughter?"  . . . "Why don't you open your mouth when you sing in church like Mr Y's daughter"
Hmmm . . . "because I didn't have Mrs X or Mr Y to build me up, love and nurture me; make me feel worthy of that love and nurturing"
Anyway . . . I allowed her to kid herself that cannabis was to blame for my lack of self-belief . . . I wasn't smoking cannabis at twelve, I was too busy being "loved" by middle age paedo tramps beacuse I was flattered that they would love me. OK, I'll stop there. I'm just saying, I won't re-write the past to please or make it comfortable. It wasn't.

So . . .

I managed to stay clean for seven days this week. I would say WayHay!! but having slipped up on day eight, I've sort of missed the wayhay moment! Some of those days were amazingly easy, there was hardly any battle, just the occasional "NO, I will not even consider it today . . . come back and chat tomorrow, (to self) today is not an option, I am staying clean" . . . the desire had all but gone.
I shared this at N/A on Wednesday . . . It's just as well I had something to share. There were just the three of us; the Chairbloke (tough guy), the woman who has five years clean from drink, downers and speed, and me . . . The Chairbloke opened the meeting; he slumped himself into a chair and growled;
" I don't even fucking wanna be here. But then again I don't want to be at home either. Or anyfuckingwhere else . . . I've had a crap "load of bollox" week, I feel like a bag of shit . . . And don't know why the fuck I'm even here" . . . Nice. (there may have been a few more expletives but you get the gist)
The woman asked him,
"Who are you here for?"
"You lot innit?. . . I aint here for myself am I? I'm all done!" was his reply.
"You might as well go now if that's your attitude" she said . . . But he stayed to huff and puff and eat his way through our readings and shares. Ignorant git.

Hmmmm. Not a good atmosphere for a meeting but we carried on, then finished early. Tough guy did briefly share that he had become cynical at the Buddhist centre three weeks ago, had lost his peace and hadn't faced up to going back. I asked after the meeting if he might go back this Friday, and if so, could I get a lift there with him please? . . . I didn't hear from him on Friday so I will look to see if there is a bus route to this place; I'd love to go, I will find a way. Of course.

I put enough money away in the last two weeks for Geekster to have all new Summer clothes to take to Spain next Monday. He's going with his best friend Marley and family (our next door neighbours).
Stropster had his third driving lesson this afternoon, he was almost satisfied that he'd only stalled twice . . . He said the instructor was more than happy with him . . . but Stropster is not as forgiving (of himself or anyone else . . . yet) as the driving instructor. He's agreed to come to the Doctor with me to be referred for anger management courses . . . nip it in the bud as it were. It could be an age/hormone thing but I'm not prepared to take the risk of thinking it will pass with age . . . in case it doesn't.

Hamper G is now settled in school, only two more weeks and the school closes for the Summer holidays . . . I'm so looking forward to camping in Wales this summer. I've paid extra for the "panoramic view pitch" . . . and borrowed a huge trailer tent with "proper" beds, a good size cooker and sink, electrical hook up for fridge, kettle, toaster, laptop, fairy lights etc etc . . . I really am happy and grateful to be able to do this . . .

 . . . And this. Thanks to everyone reading x

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Higgins and Eliza (part three)

Alicante  June '82.

The heat was the first thing to hit me in Alicante. Breathing in hot air . . . it just felt wrong. I'd been told it would be hot but I didn't expect the air to be hot. I'd never left England before. O well Higgins knew what he was doing; he was in control of the situation, in his element. That was fine by me . . . until I realised his having control was a necessity. He carried on as if he were at home, except in Spanish, of course; very loud Spanish at that. We were tired and hot. Until now, I'd never seen Higgins having to deal with "real life", only lazy evenings. I couldn't see why he was so stressed . . .

Three hours later we were still dragging our suitcases around the cheap pensions of Alicante. Everywhere was completo; it was the eve of some music fiesta. When wasn't it? Higgins was irritable; he'd peaked at ten O'clock that morning on the train down to London. A bottle of  Courvoisier and a dictaphone had kept him and a few other passengers amused; mostly him. Acting out some kind of interview with me, or rather without me. I was way too shy and embarrassed to play the part. Some parts I could play, some parts were easier than others. And I wasn't on the Brandy. Yet.

I sat with the luggage whilst he went off alone to find somewhere for us to stay. I wasn't bothered . . . I didn't know any fear, I just sat and waited . . . I was intrigued to see somewhere so un-English. I was fascinated by the language, their clothes, every little difference. Darker skin contrasted with light green and blue eyes, colourful clothes, warm smiles and a warm breeze, just what I needed. I'd never fitted in England, maybe I would fit in here . . .
We finally crashed in some grotty pension with huge windows and a big bed. Across the courtyard, a classical pianist played for hours on end. I wasn't to know how much I would come to love, and then dread that music.  . . . A soundtrack to this room.

Higgins had a contact in Alicante, I never got to meet this contact but within a few days of us arriving, a few meetings and I dare say a few bottles of  Brandy with this "buffoon" they had fallen out. I suspect that it was a control issue  . . .
"Don't worry Twiddle, I have a plan . . . We don't need his vulgar hotel and contacts . . . His so called protection . . . The man is a no more than a crook, a fat crook. A simpleton."
Maybe it was a money issue. Money and control. Power.
Higgins did have a plan. Why should we pay a middle man, he could soon find contacts . . . keep it simple.


Higgins would disappear most afternoons, searching for property for "The Old Thing" . . . That was all good with me, I enjoyed sunbathing on our balcony, sometimes going down to the beach where I gradually sidled along into the company of a group of Gitanes. They gathered there every day underneath a huge canvas, supported at each corner by a long pole. Perhaps they lived there. To say they played guitars and sang would just not cover it. They put their entire bodies and souls into every single sound. Music came from everywhere; hands, fingers, feet and souls. . . This was special. Raw and special. I just listened. I sort of wished I had my bodhran with me, but I wouldn't have played it anyway. I suddenly missed Silverhip. I recognised the music from somewhere . . . I trusted these people.

We would meet at one of our favourite restaurants every evening and the game would begin. It wasn't difficult to find someone out there looking for "fun" . . . Expensive fun. Simple. There were the odd occasions when it worked out just fine . . . for me. Just wrong enough. Most of the "just fines" were one-off tourists, heading back home in a few days. The "just fines" did nothing at all for Higgins. Vile mediocrity. Naturally, Higgins selected the regular contacts, who could come back, who excelled on the casting couch . . . There was a common theme. Sadism. Abuse. Fun and games indeed. O, I soon learned how to act . . . role play was high on Higgins' agenda. All sorts of twisted, weird and varied role play. Always involving a degree of pain.

On and on went the "fun" night after night. Only ever one person per night, that could range from half an hour to two hours. I decided I did like wine after all, white wine, maybe I would have liked any wine. I even began to enjoy a swig of Brandy at bed time, sleep time.
I did wonder where all of this was going . . . I knew that it wasn't about the money for sure. Yes, certain scenarios assured that we were both sexually satisfied; let's remember he was forty nine and impotent, I was nineteen and bonkers. He enjoyed the psychology of controlling sex and pain; the madness of the obedience. The high of the power. There was much more to this than I could fathom. I never did see where the fun was in it . . . Fun? That had always been the wrong word for me. I associated fun with laughter. Shit, I thought Silverhip was mad when he laughed once during sex. . . . I didn't mix sex and laughter. To me sex needed to be a dark place. The pleasure was always in the wrong of it. If the sex wasn't tinged with some kind of weirdness, there was no pleasure. Simple. The more wrong, the more pleasure. Surely that must mean the darker it became, the better it would get. This had nothing to do with fun, I couldn't see or hear anyone laughing. Not in our room anyway.

There was always laughter and music outside. Spanish food. Spanish music and dancing. Spanish rhythm and Spanish eyes. Flamenco and wine. Music fiestas, dancing, parades and the bullfights with trumpets. The ritual and the music of the bullfight, the passion and the glory. Then the celebrating, eating and drinking and drinking some more. Cold fresh white wine, mussels and garlic. Our ritual, our fight. Enticing with the cape . . . dancing and prancing like the matador, twisting and turning . . .  maiming with the picadors lance . . . taking away their strength. Taking control. The raw wailing, the stamping and banging, castanets . . . And then back to the pianist, sometimes playing beautiful music and sometimes racing and crashing relentlessly through complex scales. O God.

One afternoon I smoked some spliff and drank some wine with the Gitanes and began to relax. I decided to go for a swim, I'd been sunbathing earlier on our balcony and had my bikini on, although I wore a tunic type thing over it on the beach . .  . In my excitement, at the thought of enjoying something as normal as a dip in the sea, (some fun) I totally forgot myself . . . I stood up and took off the tunic with my back to the group . . . I didn't understand much Spanish at the time, but the gasps of disbelief made me wonder what on earth they had seen . . . I turned round to see what they were "Iy  Iy Iying" about. "Que es eso?" . One of them said, striking an imaginery whip and gesturing me to turn around again. Shit. Bollox. Whippings. O My God . . . How had I forgotten? I pulled the tunic back over my head, collected my pack of Fortunas and walked away feeling naked . . . I didn't go to that part of the beach again.

I got sick in the August. I had sun-stroke and the fun stopped . . . I was in total darkness, blind and deaf. All I could hear was a loud ringing in my ears.  I didn't know about sunstroke . . .  enough people had warned me to keep out of the afternoon sun, to heed the siesta, but I didn't know this would happen. I was dehydrated, delirious . . . Everywhere was pitch black. Where was Higgins? I felt my way along the wall from the bathroom to the bed, over and over through the night. Spewing and pouring with sweat. Shivering and shaking. Calling out yet not hearing my own calls, like some kind of waking nightmare. He just wasn't there. I never knew where he went, I didn't usually care either  . . . but this wasn't usually, This was the absolute unknown. I sat all night on the tiles and the loo waiting for the ringing sound to stop . . .  listening out for something familiar, straining my eyes into the darkness to find something. Eventually the sun came up and I finally saw a flicker of light. A glimmer of hope. I was angry . . . How could he leave me in such a state? Why would he want to leave me so unwell and confused . . . Did he not care? Did he not love me? Had something happened to him?

The next morning he was back . . . something had changed for us both. I questioned him for the first time ever, and was worried by his reaction; not worried enough to stop the questioning. Something was going on and I wanted to know what. I'm sure I would have accepted whatever was . . . I was dumb like that. But he wouldn't tell me when I asked, he made it clear that I wasn't to ask questions. How bad could it be? The more he refused to talk, the more I needed to know. I couldn't even come up with a suggestion to test him. To taunt him. Shit, he knew I was tolerant, I wouldn't  be shocked, would I?. . . whatever was it?  He was distracted, losing his charm and his temper. I was focused, finding my voice and my feet . . . I persisted.
"Where have you been going? Why were you away all night? you knew I was ill . . . Why? Where? Who?" . . . Whack . . . and I was on the floor, pitch black all around me again and a ringing in my ears. It wasn't sunstroke.

He said he needed to fly back to England for a few days. Something to do with trust funds and power of bloody attorney. Scottish law and all that. That's all it ever was, or was it? Estate agents and lawyers  . . . I went down to the beach the evening before he was due to go to England. It felt like the end of something. Everything. I felt sad and alone. Totally alone here in this town, this country, this world.   . . . I started talking to a couple of English guys, they were teachers, well, one taught English at a school in Nice . . . The other gave private English lessons to students in Nice. They asked me what I was doing here . . . "dont ask" I joked. I laughed.
"O well . . . if ever you're in Nice or passing through, the old part of Nice "Le Vieux Nice" . . . Rue de Jesus, 7 . . . call in on us!"
"Yeah, I might; I mean, Yeah, I will" . . . even as I said these words, I was making plans. I knew I wouldn't forget that address; I took it as a good omen. I'd never heard of Nice but I was sure I could get there. Well, sort of sure, not that sure really. I knew if I could get away from here, the rest was easy, I could go to the ends of the earth. Could I? I didn't even think about what I was going to do in Nice. Did it matter, really?  No.

I never had any money of my own . . . Hell, I didn't even have a purse. According to Higgins the money "we" made kept us in this hotel and fine restaurants . . . fine Brandy more like. Maybe it did, I really didn't care for money. I never had. I carried my cigarettes around with me. I had a couple of souvenirs from england; a brass candle holder that Silverhip had made for me and a silver cross that he had made too. I had three or four rara dresses that we'd bought in Spain, none of which were "running away" clothes. Higgins dealt with all the money of course; anything to keep the peace, to give him control. I didn't mind . . . Until now. I wouldn't need much money, I mean I wasn't planning on trying to fly to this Nice place . . . There was no sea between me and Nice, I'd found out that much. There was a border and I would need my passport . . . where was it? I would need a bit of money and I could only think of one way to get that. Of course, I would have to be alone this time . . . and it would have to be a total stranger, but it would be the last time.

OK, I would wait until Higgins was on the plane to England the next evening . . . then I would go to the Plaza where the other "Senoritas" paraded. Just the once, surely that would be OK.


Thursday, 21 June 2012

And now for something completely different . . .

Wednesday night.

OK, now I have to think of something. I always write the title after the post, always. Not tonight though, I just thought it was time for something different and as I've still not finished the next installation of the Archives . . . I wish I had more time to write . . I thought maybe I could write something different. Like what?

How about the Solstice . . . of  '79

I was sixteen, fresh from the cave, when I first heard the word Solstice, I hadn't a clue what it meant and didn't care enough to ask. I'd latched onto a bunch of hippies much older than me; they were off to celebrate this Solstice thing, they asked me if I wanted to go with them to Stonehenge, I had nothing else to do, or say, so I said "OK then" . . . I had no idea where or what Stonehenge was. That didn't worry me. Staying in Oxford without these people worried me . . . So I went. It's not as if they looked after me or anything like that, I just felt safe around them. I gradually moved myself into their squat with my one indian cotton smock that had lasted me throughout my entire pregnancy. I wasn't concerned with clothes, I certainly never thought I could love a peice of clothing . . .  until one of the women at the squat gave me a bag of clothes that no longer fitted her. I thought she was old; she was possibly mid thirties. Sally. In amongst Sally's authentic 60's clothes was a simple, light purple tunic. It was velvet; proper old cotton velvet. Velvet so smooth it looked like silk, moved like water and felt like a catkin to stroke. It reached almost to my knees, I fell in love with it's colour and softness, I wore it everyday. I did sometimes worry what would happen when it wore out.

I sat in the front of the van, rolling conical spliffs, the way I'd been shown; first mixing the tobacco and red leb thoroughly in the mixing bowl, carefully glueing the rizlas together, taking pride in my job. It was my job. A few spliffs later we joined some kind of queue . . . Some kind of queue; truck loads of hippies, old buses full of colour and music. Many just walking towards what looked like an ancient campsite. A community where I would feel totally at home. At peace.

It smelt divine . . . all woodsmoke and warm flapjack, how weed used to smell and lentil daal and patchouli . . . let's not forget the patchouli. They allocated me a corner and a blanket in a big tent . . . canvas, I can smell that too. Warm canvas, musty from storage, but safe. I stayed there for a while.

I never had money and I never seemed to need any. I didn't drink or smoke cigarettes. I could live on three bags of chips with saiusage a week, I suppose I "found" odd coins for food.

I moved to the doorway of the tent and sat watching folk walking by, dancing by . . . I was transfixed. I wanted to stay here, live here. I wondered how long we might be here for. I didn't ask  . . . I knew it could never be long enough. I found my way closer to the stage to listen to some guy playing the guitar; Roy Harper. Again, I was transfixed. Hypnotised. It was beyond anything I'd ever heard. I'm not sure why I accepted the tab of acid that was offered to me, I probably didn't know what to say, so I said yes. I didn't hope it would improve anything; everything was perfect as it was. I think I just didn't think.

Some other guy was on stage now; Steve Hillage* . . . No music yet, as such, just sounds. These sounds seemed to be coming from within me. If they weren't coming from within, they were surely settling within me. The first wave gently picked me up and for what seemed like ten minutes (?) I was no longer a person. I was a ball of something, about a foot and half above the ground. I was sitting on the grass, so roughly chest height . . . soul height. I say a ball of "something" as I didn't know what it was; energy, music, light . . . me. Everything that I was, plus all that I could hear and feel was in, and of, this ball. I was just being this ball and that was it. That was me. I was neither trying to be, or not to be. I just was.

Occasionally, maybe only during the first hour? ten minutes? four hours . . . who knows? but in the early stages of the trip, I would "sink" gently back into being the more "normal" me, in human form, for a few minutes. Like an interval between waves; just as there are intervals between waves. The first few times, I panicked slightly; wondering where "I" (my body) went when I became the ball? Somehow I knew this was just the start and realised that I had no control whatsoever over these "waves" . . .  and must not, at any time, start to think I could steer this. I must go with it and not try to get back until I landed naturally. I knew there was no turning back now.

After a while the intervals faded and I just was the ball, within this ball was the "music" I could hear, although it didn't feel like hearing the music; it was more like being the music.Tasting the music. Zing was the noise that I thought I was, but not a ziiingy zing; not like you'd imagine a zing to be. Not zesty. Not in an onomatopoeic kind of way. Just a constant slow and low zing . . . zing  . . . zing. Amazing.

The final landing was at sunrise, roughly six hours later and it was all beautiful. The sky. The field. That was all of it. I lay in the grass for the whole day . . . unaware of any standing stones, or any Solstice, or any Stonehenge, whatever that was.

I was only aware of the magical aromas, all mingled with, and carried along by, woodsmoke . . .  And the gentle strumming and picking of hundreds of silvery strings . . . And a brand new part of me, the part that was left when the rest disappeared. Hmmm. Zing.

Happy Solstice x

* OK,  just for the record this is the second half of the track that Steve Hillage was playing when I first started riding those waves . . . Just as I left the shore.
Lunar Musick Suite. Part two

Monday, 18 June 2012

Stropster's 17th . . . and Seven pups!

Well, what a week . . . What a day even! (I started writing this on Saturday)
Stropster's 17th birthday (yesterday) was perfect. He had his first driving lesson, came home buzzing, spent some time with me playing his new guitar, then went off to party with his mates. Wonderful.

Our Prison visit went well. I was so tired from travelling by the time we arrived that I didn't have much energy for small talk . . . It didn't matter, we had our 20 minutes on the prison park then hamper G and her Dad spent two hours together colouring pictures and cuddling. A good "Father's Day" visit.

I cleaned all the hamsters cages/tanks today. Gledwood definitely has three pups, "his" eldest daughter Serena, from last year's litter, also has three pups; they're almost the same size as Gledwood's three but possibly a week younger, So there are *six pups in that cage along with the two mothers . . . I found the father "Faith" (sneaky blighter) and moved him out to live with his Brothers from last year's litter (Billy, Paddy and Frank). He wasn't over the moon about leaving but Hey ho, he seems to have settled in OK.  I've kept the cage with the pups next to me; they come out to play at night . . . I have my camera ready but will try to resist posting too many.

I will post a couple of Stropster though for his Birthday. He wouldn't want me to put recent photos of him on here, so I'll dig out some old timers . . . He was a beautiful baby . . . He still is!

Stropster's first few days  . . . I kept falling asleep and having weird dreams . . . Yes, whilst feeding Stropster, I'd suddenly wake up and wonder if I'd dropped him. There was morphine in that drip for post-op pain (caesarean). I had to wait until the little plastic bubble filled up, maybe once every couple of hours, then push a button to self-administer the "pain-killer" . . . I had no idea this had anything to do with Heroin. Back then.

 Rocking the pram on the tow path whilst lying on top of the boat . . . Stropster's tiny cabin in the boat, you can just about see him in there.

His "driving" seat at the back of the boat next to Captain Sparrow . . .

 Sitting on top of the boat

A few years later . . . Stropster was an easy happy boy. He loved all food, cars and playing in rivers. He still does. He was always laughing, smiling or gooning around. Not much has changed there either . . . apart from the odd hormonal outburst . . . But we're all entitled to those ;-)


I know this is a lot of photos, there were so many to choose from and he only very reluctantly gave me permission to post a couple of when he was a baby (!) . . . I won't get away with this again, so I thought I best make the most of the opportunity.

I have my camera ready with the cage at the side of my bed as Gledwood has requested some more photos of his hamster family . . . They hide all day but they'll all be scuttling about soon.

 * I've since found another single pup of maybe three days old. I didn't see him on Saturday . . . Bizarre. I'll try and get a photo, he's a strange looking thing. Usually at that age they stay in the nest/ bedroom but he comes out and wanders around the cage with the older pups. I don't think his eyes are even open!

Comfortably Sad

Stevie Nicks -  Beauty and the Beast

You're not a stranger to me,
And you, well you're something to see.
You don't even know how to please.
You say a lot but you're unaware how to leave.

My darling lives in a world that is not mine.
An old child, misunderstood. Out of time.
Timeless is the creature who is wise
And timeless is the prisoner in disguise.

Who is the beauty, who the beast?
Would you die of grieving when I leave?
Two children, too blind to see . . .
I would fall in your shadow, I believe.

My love is a man who's not been tamed.
My love lives in a world of false pleasure and pain.
We come from different worlds; we are the same.

I never doubted your beauty, I've changed.
I never doubted your beauty, I've changed.

Who is the beauty?
Where is my beast?
There is no beauty without my beast.
Who is the beauty; who the beast.

For Hamper G's Dad on Fathers Day much love from . . . The Daddio

He's counting the remainder of his sentence in months now, rather than years and months . . . Counting the months to freedom. Freedom from one prison . . . back to the life sentence.Will he ever be free? I know he dreams of freedom; of running over hills and mountains, laughing in deerskin breeches or maybe they are actual deer's hind legs . . . he's never sure and always says he'll look properly next time. It's a recurring dream. He's nearly died so many times; I can only assume God wants him alive. Alive and living. All these lives that could be lived, that should be lived and loved. Why does hindsight come too late . . . I have no problem thinking what I might say on the brink of death . . . All these years. What I might do if I could have them again. Live life next time. I know what I'd say so why can't I feel what I'd feel. Feel that desperation to have another chance. Starting now. This is it . . . this is the another chance. Now and here. Why can't I grasp this. I'm stood on the brink of life, almost ready . . . but frightened to take the chance. To risk choosing life !? . . . If I wasn't me, I would shake myself, proper and slap myself . . . "Wake up" I'd shout "And feel it ALL. NOW!! . . . Before it's too late" But I am me so I won't.

I'm thinking aloud here really. I don't know where I'm going, other than to bed I suppose.
Monday tomorrow and all that jazz . . That's OK, I need a bit of jazz. Jazz is distracting. I've been solid busy all weekend yet somehow I've still been locked in my thoughts. Busy but sad and pensive.

I must say I'm not used to feeling sad. It's weird to feel like this and not be able to reason with it. To know and deal with the cause . . . It's just a very general sadness. Not depression. Not fear or anxiety. Not even tearful. So why sad?
I'd quite like to sit here and write for a while but I know I need to sleep soon to wake up . . . happy? No, to wake up not too tired. I might wake up happy, that would be a surprise. I'm sort of settling into this sad thing; getting comfortable.

This was going to be one of four short "Musical dedication plus a few Happy Fathers Day words of kindness" to each of the four fathers in my life; mine and the three Dads . . . But I got distracted and now it's too late. Not that they read here . . . I can do it late. Who's gonna know. But not tonight, I'm tired. Once again, I'm not going back to read over this; just a quick spellcheck and that'll do.

And then Goodnight to anyone reading this. Thanks for reading. Writing is definitely helping me to think further, to try and work through feelings and resolve issues. I know some folk say they would still write if there were no readers, but I wouldn't . Well I don't think I would . . . But anyway, I'm really pleased you're here reading and I do mean, thank you. You are appreciated. Really. I'm gone . . .

Ps . . . It's past 2am and I only just noticed there are comments on my last post (Save the night) . . . I will reply to them (of course) tomorrow. Thanks again x

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Save the night

O boy . . . I was writing a post to celebrate Stropster's seventeen years and other things . . . then I decided to add a few photos to the post, of Stropster's early life . . . I started to look for the photos.

So many true loves and smiles. I suddenly felt so alone. Ouch. This is unexpected and uncomfortable. I think I'll go to sleep and hope it's a fleeting . . . ? I don't know, a fleeting something, brought on by photographic memories. It's certainly a first . . . Shit maybe I was just too numb before. Sometimes I get scared by all the feelings I will feel when it all wears off. Sometimes I wonder . . .

It's late. It's not like me to feel sad. It's like my soul is crying. I'm not, but I could be if I'm not careful.
I'll come back in the morning and scan those photos in and then post the thing I was writing earlier before this happened.

I don't want to cry, I know it's OK to cry and might even be more than OK . . . Might even do me some good. But truth be told, I don't want to cry . . . Not tonight. I wouldn't usually mind but I suddenly feel alone; I don't want to cry and feel alone . Fuck, this is not like me. I'm tempted to delete this . . . but I wont because it's new. I suspect it could be a new part of me, I could be wrong; it may well be a one off, but I doubt it. It's caught me by surprise that's for sure.

All that love. Given and taken. Discovered and discarded. Treasured and trashed. I'm off to sleep. All those hopes of forever. Promises I couldn't keep.

. . . If I, if I have been unkind; I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue; I hope that you know, it was never to you.
Like a baby stillborn, like a beast with his horn; I have torn everyone who reached out to me.
But I swear by this song and by all that I have done wrong; I will make it all up to thee.

Bird a on a wire Leonard Cohen.

Save the Night . . . Melanie.

Save the night, if I could find a feeling I could save the light
that lit our nights before,
before we knew the reason saving nights were for.
Save the light, the light that made us sure
we'd never find that light at any other door.

 . . . Sometimes I'll slip away; I'll pretend life and dream that I can save the day.

Right, I really am off to bed now; having listened to some, what might well be considered "depressing", music has cheered me up no end. No, really it has. In fact I'm not even gonna scroll up to check what I've written;  I'll want to delete it, immediately. I'll be like shit, who was that, what was all that about?

So . . . That was last night.

Today is a new day. I'll scan in the photos and do the Stropster (belated) Birthday post. First I have to do some cleaning, washing, cooking . . . Happy Father's Day to all you Fathers, take it easy ;-)

Monday, 11 June 2012

Itty, Bitty and all good gifts.

OK, I literally have an hour to spare as I need to get to bed by eleven.

The final half term of this school year began today and we had a few tears . . . quite a lot of tears really. The teacher had said this might happen and it was gut-wrenching to prise her fingers from around my thumb and walk away . . . but I had no choice. When I went to pick her up at 3.15 she was happy and skipping; she told me "I threw my tear tissue in the bin after you had gone Mummy" . . . Later, she remembered "We said the Serenity prayer in assembly this morning"!! I wasn't aware that she knew what the Serenity prayer was. She certainly did, she also knew it was something that I said. Amazing.

Gledwood and her daughter, Faith (the father!?) have two pups, we've called them Itty and Bitty; taken from  Elsie's comment "How itty bitty" to the first photos of the pups. I couldn't resist just getting a few last shots of them together this evening while they're still pups . . . and before the camera novelty wears off.

Stropster will be Seventeen on Friday, my Brother and Mother have booked him a block of driving lessons, his first one being at 8.15  on Friday morning. He can't wait to have his driving license. I'm giving him money for clothes  . . . but having watched him practise "Redemption Song" all week on an old 3/4 size classical, nylon string guitar which quite frankly sounds awful; I thought how good it would be if we found a semi-acoustic, second hand folk guitar for his birthday . . . . we did! It's perfect. It's all black, it's semi acoustic and it has a beautiful "silvery" sound. I can't remember what make it is, it's hiding at Bro's house, but I know he will love it. A total surprise.

We have a prison visit booked for Thursday, I'm hoping it will be dry enough to enjoy another visit to the prison park. I heard on the news this evening that this rain is set to last for a month! A month!? It has caused some horrendous floods and there are many more flood warnings in place for tonight.

I had some extremely vivid realistic dreams last night. I kept on waking up to have a little re-cap of events, then returning to the same dream again. It was almost like a psychic connection with someone. I also had a very clear vision of a girl jumping from a bridge . . . It was disturbing; as she jumped I felt someone tap me on the shoulder from behind. Bizarre.

OK, twenty minutes left to post the last few photos. It's going to be a busy week. A good week . . . Another clean week. I'm starting aqua-aerobics on Wednesday . . . well, I'll try it. If it's not strenuous enough, I'll just swim instead . . . if it's too strenuous, I'll just swim instead.

Last week I had a leaflet through the door advertising yoga and meditation sessions at a nearby Buddhist centre; I did consider it but they were quite expensive  . . . The next day, tough guy at N/A offered to take a few of us there on Fridays. The sessions are free to us addicts . . . How good is that. It has to be worth a try.

Rightio, photos and bed! goodnight all and thanks, as always, for being here x

See how they've changed colour from gingery to grey/gingery in two days?

Yeah right, you get the picture, I know. Itty and Bitty eventually became so relaxed and warm and comfortable in Hamper G's paws that they fell asleep . . . She wanted to take them to bed with her. We compromised with their cage next to her bed . . . Ahhhh

Smile! "Click" . . . O wait, I mean now! Smile! "Click"

I need to get used to this camera/phone thing . . . This one of Hamper G is one of fifteen pictures of her in the tea-cups, the other fourteen being the back of her head, the back of someone elses head or just a blurred head. It seems when I click to take a picture, it takes a couple of seconds to get it. Hmmmm. Well you can just imagine the carnival floats at the beginning of the day! really not worth seeing; I mean the photos, not the floats . . . They were all very good, but whizzing past, too close, too noisy and I was confused. By the time we got to the fairground I was almost getting the hang of it . . .

Almost . . . Once again, this is one of many; many pictures of the chair swings with NO Hamper G! At least she's on this one. These kids are from the Dickens float . . . We are slightly behind the times here, but not that far.

Geekster decided to join the queue of five year olds to get his face painted . . . He really don't give a damn that tiger. And why should he. It's a strange age, thirteen (for a lad I might add) they are hitting puberty but can also be very childlike. I mean, I know they are children, of course, but sometimes he seems so grown up . . .
Hamper G obeying orders. Having held everyone up on her first descent of the Helter Skelter by holding onto the sides, and hotching her way down . . . The man in charge told her to keep her hands on her knees for her second descent . . . And she Did! All the way. I think she may have kept her eyes on them all the way down to make sure they stayed there . . . She was obviously just as surprised at herself as I was! I think her right hand might even be pinching her knee to check she's not dreaming.

This is Geekster's best friend, our next door neighbour, Marley. They've  been friends since they were three years old. He is so kind to Hamper G and went on all the rides with her. She loves him. We all love him. Geekster's Dad always takes them both when he goes to France. This year Geekster is going to Spain with Marley and his family.
It's half past midnight and they're all at school or work tomorrow . . . And they are all relying on me to get them up, and ready and on their way. So, I'm on my way now, to bed. I'll finish off and post in the morning. O sod finishing off, I'll just post now . . . there might be some more tomorrow from today's "picnic in the park" complete with the town's brass band! So much excitement, I'm utterly exhausted . . . Goodnight and thanks for being here x

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Because I said I would

This really is just a quickie.
It's carnival weekend here so we've been out all day and evening having fun! there are some more events tomorrow if we can bear the excitement. I'll post photos and an up-date tomorrow. I will just say, all is well and good.

After posting the photos of Hamper G yesterday, Gledwood requested some hamster shots; he too, used to keep dwarf Roborovskis. I promised him I would put a few on here today, I  haven't forgotten. So, between getting Hamper G settled down, sending Geekster off to his Dad's for Saturday night and 20 zillion other things, I thought I best take a couple of hamster pics before transferring all of today's photos onto the laptop. As they were promised to Gledwood I decided to take the photos of our "Gledwood" hamster. She, yes she, was asleep so I rattled her cage, she shares her cage with two of her daughters (?) from last year's litter . . . They came sniffing out of their bedroom to see what was going on  . . . followed by these little blighters . . . Cute, yes . . But totally unexpected! Ahh well, I'll think about it all tomorrow . . . Enjoy and goodnight to all . . . Congratulations Gledwood, again!

Friday, 8 June 2012

I, yes I, have the technology!

YEAH!! . . . Now here's some more good news. I can, finally, independently take my own photos and transfer them from camera to Blog all by myself! Yes, I do realise, to most people, this is quite the norm . . . but I'm not.

The other day I saw an old phone in the drawer that the kids had found a couple of  years ago. It was blocked (properly blocked, not un-blockeable by the market man for a tena) but within the phone is an 8.1 mega pixel Sony cyber-shot camera . . . They told me the battery was no good (not chargeable) and we had no charger anyway. Yes, I think they told me all this before; every time I came across the phone and asked why I couldn't use it for a camera . . . BUT this time I was going to do something about it . . . E-Bay. One new battery, one charger, one USB lead ordered, paid for . . . And delivered this morning!

Now the best bit . . . before Geekster was even out of bed this morning, I took a few trial shots and saved them right here on my laptop! I will prove it in a minute . . . I am so damn pleased with myself.

I also ordered a beautiful Nepalese bracelet on E-Bay, then realised when I went to check on it's whereabouts yesterday . . . that it was travelling here from China; I might have to wait a while for that.

I've learnt some more about the cunning, baffling ways of addiction. I'll try and post later as I need to eat now and get on with the day. I've missed my walking this week, the kids are off school for half term and it has rained all week. Geekster has asked me to teach him how to play the piano; he did learn the violin for a year so has a head start being able to read music. Meanwhile Stropster is still persevering with Redemption song on the guitar . . . All good stuff. Excellent. I intend to stay clean just for today . . . I'll be back later x

Hamper G's hair had almost grown long enough to tie in a top knot  (after she'd cut it from waist length to ear length) . . . Until Monday when she found the nail scissors in the bathroom and chopped out the middle of her fringe . . . Seems it must be genetic  . . . As is looking either serious or dopey ;-) . . . In a beautiful way of course.

Love to all, have a good day x

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Half way to . . . Paradise? or redemption.

When I started this Blog I was sixteen months away from my 50th Birthday; it seemed like far enough away, at the time, for some sort of target date . . . Now it's eight months away. The target is half the distance away. Question is, do I feel that I've made half the amount of changes I intended . . .  Putting it another way . . . If as many changes were to occur in the second eight months as those that have occured in the first eight months, would I be satisfied? Hmmm. Well, No . . .  OK, Yes and No . . . OK, No.  Alright, I'm not sure. Let's see.

Weight wise, yes I would be happy. Five kilos have gone, another five would be just fine; another ten would be twice as fine but five would get me to target. I'm still only eating the foods on my list, with one treat a week. This week I got a meringue nest, filled it with chopped strawberries and cherries and covered it in whipped cream. I could eat one now. Or two.

Gear wise, it's hard to say really. Yes, there has been progress. Back at the beginning of this Blog, I couldn't bear the thought of one day without using gear. . . now I can go for 5 or 6 days. It seems I have to learn to deal with the bigger "trials and tribulations" that inevitably come my way, being a single parent of three kids (with as many different Dads as Anon is want to remind me), without running back to my comfort blanket . . . Grow up? Maybe. So yes, another eight months might get me there. I am trying, some days harder than others, some days I don't even have to try. I'll keep going back to N/A as I can see it works for some. I've booked Stropster in for "Hamper-sitting" tomorrow so I can make it to this week's gathering; AKA eat all you can, as loudly as you can, in one and a half hours.

Health wise. Tonnes better. I can breath, I can walk four miles a day, I can skip (jump rope) three hundred+ a day, lift weights and do sit ups again. I'm still working on the press ups  . . . well no, I'm not really but I will be. I will be able to do them by the time I'm 50. Won't I.

The garden has improved, the house not so much but Hamper G has only been in school for three weeks (and now it's half term) so during the next eight months with Hamper in school, I think the decorating could begin.

I've started playing the piano again, I will draw again. I have my first half-portrait lined up.
I guess I'm saying hoping the next eight months will be more productive than the first eight months, as I now have Hamper G in school, have improved health and have finally started the ball rolling in the right direction. Like the first half was preparation or something. Something.

I've written, deleted, re-written, and now have four drafts of Professor Higgins part three. Too much detail just sounds terribly sordid, too little doesn't capture the atmosphere . . .  I might just fast forward to my escape and then flash back later. I suppose having never spoken about "those days", other than with Higgins, it's a tricky one. I don't want to get all hung up on it, as there are so many "eras" that I do want to write about. We'll see.

So, on reflection, I'd say I'm in a better place than I was last October and by my reckoning, progressing this way for the next eight months could lead me to the results that I set out to achieve. Of course, we never know what's round the corner. The best laid plans and all that . . . Full moons and all that . . . Now, this was a surprise; a nice surprise.
Stropster came home early this evening having spent a few nights at his Dad's house (keep up Anon, there are 720 Dads! one in prison, two in heaven) . . . he was carrying a guitar, said his Dad had been teaching him some chords and a few tunes . . .  said his Dad told him that I'd taught him how to play . .  . and that I was pretty good. And could I teach him some redemption song?  . . And how come he didn't know that I played so well . . .  How come? I'd forgotten, that's how. Not forgotten how to play, I was straight to it; even Hamper G listened and she never shuts up . . .  I'd forgotten that I knew how to play. Yeah well that just about fucking sums it up, doesn't it?

I'd forgotten that I knew how to play. And I'm not just talking guitar here, but you knew that. We had a good three hours with me showing him some redemption and, more importantly, him showing me some redemption. Yeah Man.
It's the best evening that I've had with Stropster in years. Totally unexpected and amazing.
I  have to be up at seven am, as Stropster is back to work tomorrow. Imagine if I missed the alarm, perish the thought . . . I'm off to bed. Goodnight and thanks for eight months of progress. If you weren't reading, I doubt it would have happened. It would not have happened.