Mum. You are awesome.
I don’t mean in the throwaway ‘awesome’ sense. I mean you fill me with awe.
Mum: you are the braver than anyone else I know. You smashed stained glass ceilings. You taught yourself how to fund-raise, and then raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the deprived community you were called to serve.
Mum: you are strong. You lived and thrived even though your heart had been broken and your existence changed in every conceivable way over two chaotic years.
Mum: you taught me self-confidence, despite having none of your own. The only limits you put on me were ‘no limits.’ You refused to teach me the skills that girls ‘need.’ I still can’t sew or arrange flowers!
And when I broke, you took me to your new homes until I could fly again.
Angela Leadsom’s use of the word ‘exposed’ in relation to lessons about LGBT people was not OK.
However, she didn’t say (as has been reported) LGBT students represent a contagion. She was glad her own children had been expected to accept the rainbow families at their primary school.
She still wasn’t right, though. Parents can’t be allowed to withdraw their kids from any of these lessons.
She also missed a golden opportunity to explain what school-based sex ed is actually like. All lessons are age appropriate. They teach children to respect different types of families: they’re not supplying Cosmo-style sex tips.
Lessons that celebrate diversity? Every child needs those.
For older teenagers though, imagine if there were proper queer sex ed lessons. Or even just ones which taught about female pleasure. Chance would be a fine thing!
Our wee one has been getting himself into huge rages over not very much recently, and doesn’t seem to be able to get himself back out of them easily either.
Being a hippy-mental-health-awareness mum, I’ve been trying to get him to talk about his feelings more. I’m sure you can imagine how impressed he was to hear that anger was a secondary emotion…suffice it to say, that approach did not work well.
C W Wallace wrote ‘to them, everything is the big stuff.’ So we talk about the book he’s reading, or his thoughts on the Lego Movie 2, or how annoying the chapter breaks are in The Magician’s Nephew (for ‘annoying,’ read ‘well-placed’). He’s still easily upset, but I’m hoping that keeping our communication open means he knows I’m there for the little stuff. And the big stuff too.
Let’s talk about things we don’t do. Not things we don’t want to do – let’s not talk about those, though if we contemplate the whys and why-nots we might surprise ourselves and change our minds. I must make a note to contemplate these things more. I make a lot of mental notes to do things, but they remain undone.
It’s not laziness. I’ve devoted myself to enough impossible projects enough times to know that. It’s not that there isn’t time, because we all know that the less time we have, the more we get done, and anyway, if I am abundant in anything, that thing is hours in the day.
Could it be that we’ve subconsciously Marie Kondoed some things out of our lives because they’re bad for the soul? And if so, does that mean no more ironing, ever?
I’ve managed to snag myself a slot at the new(est?) spoken word night in Edinburgh, on Thursday (21st March 2019), at the fabulous Golden Hare Books in Stockbridge.
Also on the bill are Leyla Josephine, Dean Rhetoric and Chris McQueer. So to say I’m in good company is a bit of an understatement!
I hadn’t been to a live poetry event until maybe three, four years ago… they are now one of my favourite things. I’d love to know which nights you go to, how you feel about live poetry. Let me know in the comments.
Anyway, for Listen, Softly, we’ve all been asked to recommend a book as part of the evening, there’s a raffle, there’s open mic slots available, I’m reading, did I mention that Golden Hare Books is the most gorgeous bookshop? Maybe see you there, too!
It’s raining again, and can I just say I’m relieved?
That week of February this year when it was ‘only a jumper and not even a scarf’ warm was so much creepier than the week last year of ‘snow, all schools closed, no bread left in the shop, icicles a metre long’ WHICH WAS THE SAME WEEK OF THE YEAR I MIGHT ADD.
Since Saturday we’ve returned to stinging rain and wind chill of minus 7, what I have come to expect in the first week of March.
When I do drag myself out for a healthy walk, I’m all too happy warm up in a bath. I’m lucky to get to do that. Nothing like coming home, running a bath of clean, warm water, sinking into bubbles and covering the pages of my new book with wet fingerprints.
The dog’s not well. And having a sick animal is a proper pain in the particulars, for various reasons.
The first thing is that when she’s floppy and listless and won’t eat and you don’t know what’s wrong, and, you know, she’s quite old… well, it’s something you can do without. Secondly, when the vet reassures you that she’s not dying and then the treatment begins, you have to administer medicine and change dressings. It’s you she’s always trusted never to harm her, but it hurts sometimes and she just wants to be left alone. You can see in her eyes that she doesn’t understand, and you can’t explain. That. That’s the worst part, probably.
Also, you have to stay by her side and nurse her, 24/7, for a while. Which, when you think about it, isn’t such a bad thing.
You know when you think you just have a bit of a weird habit and then, 40 years later, you find out it’s a recognised syndrome?
I’m not going to talk about it in detail, but if you want to look it up, it’s called excoriation disorder. And I’ve not been diagnosed with it officially, it would be classed as ‘mild’ I think. There’s a test to do with ‘interfering with your daily life,’ and I don’t think I’m there, most days (thank goodness!).
What’s interesting is to observe my reaction to this new knowledge. I’ve been under a bit of stress these last few months and I’m adding in these behaviours as evidence of how I’ve been feeling. I’m using some of the advice online to manage the symptoms. But they haven’t stopped.
Knowledge is not always power.