Thursday, December 14, 2017

Little things my son does still melt my heart.

Today in the stupidly-expensive, pretty things shop he admired an old fashioned dial phone (in red melamine) with a kind of awe.

I love that he gets the beauty of the design of an old phone without ever having used one, without ever knowing that to be a phone-shape.

I miss them. I've been thinking of buying one, actually, as the cordlessless is far better for us.  The only problem is that then I won't be able to have private phone calls on it. Not that I have phone calls often at all, but ... there are still certain subjects that neccessitate a closed door. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I hate my brain part 1,023

I was just slicing a tomato, and started to  cry because I remembered the bit in Harriet the Spy where everything goes wrong and the kids in school steal her tomato sandwhich because they're bullying her because they read her notebook.  She always has one and she's probably on the spectrum, thinking about it now.

I just want to eat a sandwich, brain, just let me do that in peace? 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I have something sweet and fragrant on my fingers, I'm not sure what it is or where it might come from (other than the possibility of maple syrup and fake bacon, though that seems improbable). But it's reminding me of the Christmas that I got a wooden strawberry impregnated with Body Shop strawberry fragrance in my stocking, and my sister carried a giant hardback copy of Anne Rice's The Witching Hour across the Atlantic as her Christmas present to me. And now the memory of that compelling, cloying, strong strawberry smell and the sensuous, evocative descriptions of faded New Orleans grandeur and murderous mystery and magic are forever interlinked. The book reminds me of the strawberry, the idea of the smell reminds me of the book.

It's a really good book. She linked her vampire and witch worlds so well, I feel. Anne Rice was such a part of my childhood. I'm glad I had an older sister, and therefore got to read the vampire novels when I was in my early teens, when their romance was oh, so timely and appreciated.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I'm procastinating so deeply and for such duration that I've reached a whole new dimension of paralysis. I'm wasting my summer worrying over but not doing things I should have done months ago.

I did go swimming with Bodhi yesterday though, and it wasn't so cold and we had fun in the waves.

And we just went and played the kind of tennis children and unsporty fat ladies play, if you can picture that. We met a darling beagle puppy who might have been called Maggie, or Meggie, I couldn't tell because her owners were South African. Or possibly from New Zealand. Derry was significantly under-charmed by the puppy and ignored her existence.

I could go visit my ex colleagues in Tenerife in the Autumn. But I don't know if I want to - my anxiety is telling me things about how it might feel awkward and I'll be in the way and I'll talk too much and they'll wish I wasn't there, and my whole travel anxiety makes going away on my own more of a chore than a delight in the long run. So I kind of want to give up on the idea, but then I really need a holiday and I'd love to eat nice tapas and drink cheap tasty wine and be elsewhere. e

I don't know.

This blog post is brought to you by my attempts to at least do something more worthwhile that looking at facebook and commenting on things no one needs me to comment on for ten hours a day.

Friday, May 12, 2017

I fumble to write. I've been driving round, thinking of things I'd like to say here, and yet never quite making it to the page nonetheless. I miss blogging, but at the same time I don't, as the great apathy that overwhelms any urge I might have blankets me in a depressive certainty that I've nothing to say of import, and no energy to say it. Even though I'm aware there are people who'd be happy to read a post I wrote, I still can't imagine stringing words together worth reading.

Here I am though - it might be good to lump something out, de-clog my brain a bit, that's cluttered like this bursting at the seams little laptop I bought without realising it had no storage space.

I had an observation yesterday, in work - we have one bi-annually, from our director, who's a very unimposing, easy-going woman who's younger than me. She's very beautiful, too, red-haired and vulpine, but I think utterly unaware of how attractive she is. I normally stress about observations, and have anxiety dreams about work, but this year, having had two perfectly good ones, I decided to just ... not. And it went excellently. I'm glad - I frequently feel like an inadequate teacher, even if it's only language teaching I do, rather than secondary school teaching. I'm lazy, I don't make massive efforts. I've been doing this too long and I don't care about it enough any more. But it's good to know I've still got the ability to do it right. And it's good to get some feedback that's positive. The rest of the time it's really just me feeling like a failure and my daughter hating me and the relentless jab of memories and regret. Ha! Yeah, I have my period.

I just finished reading Bodhi the last Harry Potter book. Do you know the Limbo scene in the station where Harry talks to a dead Dumbledore and chooses to go back and keep fighting? And a raw, foetal Vodlemort is lying moaning and mewling in a corner? It struck me that that's where Trump is emotionally - without all the trappings of his inherited money and status, he'd be as effective as a bitter, impotent infant Voldemort, trapped and helpless, of use to no-one. Imagine Trump on survival island.What could he contribute? Could you even eat him?

I walked out of work into a sea mist and a gentle drizzle today and the smell of salt hit me in the face as if I was playing in the waves. Such nostalgia for holidays and swimming and cold and fun in the water. It hasn't rained here in a long time and the earth and trees are throwing out such smells. It's grey but utterly lovely, evocative and sensuous.

I'm so glad it's Friday. I've to drive for hours to return the dog we fostered to the shelter tomorrow - I don't want to but I need rid of her, I can't take it any more. We've done our accidental bit, and I've well and truly learned my lesson. She rolled in horrible poo today on her walk, and I had to drag her into the shower and well and truly traumatise her by washing her. That made me feel bad, but ... roll in shit and pay the price. There was no way to do it gently as I had to just force her to stay there with all my strength. Yeesh. Derry loves the shower. He's a pain in the ass, but we got so lucky with him.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

She's out of practice (she showed me a far better one from some time ago). I know this is just a study of her own sweet hand, but it's hard not to see a fist pump.

Monday, March 27, 2017


My daughter has been an artist since she was very small, and she and her dad would paint in the mornings while I was at work. She would embark on pictures with the utmost confidence - 'I'm going to draw a tiger' - and then she would draw a tiger, and paint it too, and boom: tiger.

A while back she stopped, angrily insisting that she couldn't draw any more, it didn't work, to stop telling her she was good at art because she wasn't anymore, if she ever was. And there was no point practising as much as she'd need to to be good because she wasn't interested anyway.

For those who don't know, she has Asperger's and extreme sensory processing disorder, and is in a very stuck, locked down state - she has had no education for three years now, pretty much, other than what she finds herself. She's been stuck at home for two years, unable to wash or change while her clothes disintegrate on her.

Recently she found some old pictures in notebooks, and started showing them to me. And then she started adding to them; the miracle of Pokemon. It continues, this spark of interest.

This is not quite the gratitude I felt watching her run down a hill with her friend in the sun after two months at home unable to wear clothes several years ago - but it is deep, nonetheless, and layered.

Friday, January 6, 2017

I've been off work, as I may have mentioned, and it's been brilliant. Except I'm doing the staying up half the night and sleeping in thing, which has to stop tonight. Bodhi and his dad are on holiday too, so we've been eating a lot and going to do things. I am a bit scared to look at my bank account, as I won't get paid again til the 23rd.

Yesterday we went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and it was a total joy. A delight. Like drinking pink champagne from a champagne saucer. Everything about it I found utterly lovely.

Today we went to see the Turner watercolours in the National Gallery, as I've never been. They're good, like, but they're not really my thing, to be honest. But we went in to see a European exhibition, and oh, my. There was a Vermeer. Seeing a Vermeer close up is something special. A wonderful, quiet space envelopes you when you see a truly great painting.

There was a Monet too. Monet, Monet.

Google reminds me that it had to be restored, as some *person* (I'm trying to curse less, it's frustrating) 'fell' into it and damaged it and it had to be restored. I don't know how they do it, tbh.

The Goose girl is there too, it's really beautiful. And big.

But, but, oh, the Van Gogh. I'd never even heard of it before. I could have looked at this for days. It's in a really beautiful black frame, but I can't find a good photo of it with it.

The further away you get from it the more detailed it seems. I love it. I would like this in my house, quite a lot.

Oh, and there was, in the corner, a very plain bust onto which was projected a photograph of a face - so you just see the light shining the face onto the blank head. It was remarkable - I've never seen anything like it before. I wanted to see it shining onto the back of Axl's head, so it would look like Voldemort in The Philosopher's Stone, but our messing around with it attracted the attention of another woman, who like me, would have walked past it, and Axl got a bit embarrassed.

We had a burrito too. It was lovely to see Bodhi looking at paintings. A good day. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

happywishes for 2017

I used to be all about the New Year's posts. Mostly because I was sat sadly by myself, I guess, listening to Long December and crying about the State of Things. Now, I confess, I no longer feel that confidence, or hope, that led me to search out pictures of glowing sparkler years or anything pretty or motivating. I no longer feel that I have words to say that mean anything much - I'm very aware that maybe they never did, but it's the attitude change that counts. I used to feel very sure that I knew stuff, and that I needed to communicate it somehow. That that was possible. Now I feel a lot more... I don't even know the word.

I certainly felt very teary last night, as I have done recently, but especially because I saw a picture of Olivia's teacher, who has been dealing with cancer for years now, diagnosed even before Olivia got her Autism diagnosis, I guess, dressed up with her family, but on oxygen in the hospital, and her husband saying it's the last time they'll all send wishes together.

Excuse the run on sentence. My life is like a run on sentence I can't pull together and control either...

It's not death I'm scared of so much as grief, I think. Death is a natural, inevitable thing. The ripples of grief spill out into the world - I never managed to deal with it, to be honest, and it's left me in fear of the next time. And then I feel it for everyone else, too. This year of loss of greats has been tough.

I want to wish improvement, and happiness and sustainable energy to the world for next year, but there's so much war, and Trump and Trump-voter mentality. There's all the people sneering at those who claim to be vaccine injured, and ignoring their identical stories and heaping shame on them. There's my daughter who is being taught by the internet that feminism and political correctness are the root of all fun-spoiling and her father who agrees with her. There's my own personal whirlpool of self-doubt and my daughter's situation that's ongoing and pushes me further down the funnel each time I let my thoughts rest on it, and how I'm still not finding the solutions needed in a burst of brave resilience and parental heroism.

I've lost  friend I thought would always be a friend, and along with all of the other people and family member it highlights how well I'm not doing. But I'm not sure I have the energy to be more upset about it, or feel like I can fix it.

So what will 2017 bring? How to invite good change in?

I don't know, but I do know that I wish good things, good health, firm relationships that bring strength and peace to you all. Resilience and self-belief. Laughter and love and the bravery to fight back against all the wrongness.

Monday, December 19, 2016

christmas week

I breakfasted on coffee and a Guinness chocolate cupcake. With Bailey's frosting. Best cupcake recipe *ever*. It's insanely nice. Breakfast of champions, needless to say. Try 'em. In all truth, I make amazing, rich, delicious cupcakes, and these are the best of all.

I'm on holiday for the first time in a year and a half. It's great. I feel an immense relief.

Elizabeth wrote about being a witness to the Syrian murder. I don't know what to do with myself about them. The horrors of the world and the prospect of the horrors of the future and my anxieties about the things that are wrong in my life overwhelm me and make me cry ten times a day at the moment. I am very raw. I'm not sure what to do about any of it. I don't know how to make myself better, or get my daughter better or save all the children dying in the streets of Aleppo, or hold their grieving parents. Why do I feel the need? I envy people who don't feel it. I do, so.
My friend told me yesterday that her brother has been talking to  her of suicide again. And she thinks that's ok. She's sanguine about it, she doesn't feel unfairly manipulated or affected. Damn.

I went to my work Christmas party the other night, in a beautiful hotel. There were drinks and dinner and dancing and people who on the whole, I like a lot. I felt lucky. And oh, readers, I bought a ridiculously sparkly silver dress, and new tights with a control top, and I wore my knee boots and painted my nails dark wine red with sparkly tips. And it all came together and I felt ok, and everyone was very sweet about me as I usually look like a frumpy lumpy woman ten years older than my age. A colleague who is not the best with social...ness, and is a bit of a grumpy, old before his time 80s style Socialist, who I haven't seen in ages came in and the first thing he said to me was a  very kind 'You look great in that dress. It's brilliant. If I was a woman, that is the sort of dress I'd wear.' Excuse the run on sentence but I'm trying to fit it all in. I was extremely touched by his enthusiasm. The truth was, we all looked great and some people there were breakthtakingly stunning in their finery, dancing to cheesy 80s hits.

Here is a pic of my nail varnish.Oops, one nail fell off and I redid it in gold.

And I'm going out tomorrow morning for Christmas coffees and now they're gold and sparkly.

Why am I showing you pictures of my chubby little baby hands in such an uncharacteristic way, you ask? Well, it's because for 95% of my life I've been a person with ragged, bitten nails I was ashamed of, and I seem to have managed to stop that. And they're all grown and smooth and adult looking and I've found this polish called Little Ondine that is water based, virtually smell free and peel off that I adore. It peels off a little bit earlier than I want it to, but other than that, it's fabulous and I'm so excited by having sparkly nails. I like it so much I asked them to let me be an 'ambassador', so if you every fancy ordering some, use the code AJM10 for 10% off. But be warned, while it covers beautifully and dries in a flash, it does peel off soon and isn't tolerant of water. On the plus side, it's pretty easy to apply, easier than standard polish and you can fix it quickly and change it when you want. You can check out and Apologies for the ad and the nails, but I'm just so happy to be full of love for my nails rather than full of shame, it's a very nice feeling. 

Up, down, up, down. The roller coaster of desperate-sad/normal/happy I go through each hour is tiring. But you take the good bits as they fall. 

Cupcakes, nail varnish and La Nausée is what I have for you today. You're welcome.