Whenever you use the phrase ‘Day 1 (or 2, or 17)’ you say the whole sentence in a North East accent like the Big Brother voiceover guy.
If anyone uses the word ‘unprecedented,’ you get a point.
Remembering to remind children to wash hands is the world’s hardest thing to memorise. Even if, like me, you know whole musicals/films/poems off by heart.
There are MANY temptations to become a competitive parent (again). RESIST! We’re all doing our best. And my best bears an uncanny resemblance to your worst, in case you needed to hear that today.
You lose all fear of becoming tech savvy. Yes, Mum, I’m looking at you! And I can, because you have finally sorted out Skype.
There is a mental list of ‘folk you must remember to check in on.’ This list changes every day.
I spent a bit of time thinking about what to write today. And I still don’t know what to say.
But it seemed important to say something.
It’s a bit weird for me, because although I don’t usually stop seeing everyone or have my kids at home full-time, in many ways I’ve lived a tinylife for a while now. My thoughts are with those who live with less privilege than I do.
Also, I find the world much easier to understand when no one is expected to show up, be unstressed, suffer in silence, or operate in ‘normal’ human ways. So I’m feeling remarkably well in my mental health. My anxiety isn’t based in reality.
I hope you are all OK out there. If anyone wants to get in touch, my Twitter DMs are open, or you can comment below.
Because we are moving house soon, I want to take this opportunity to write a love letter to my GP.
No, not that kind of love letter.
I am still very much married to Mr HB, thank you.
My GP is amazing. We have navigated some tricky times together – always together, he doesn’t tell me what to do – with my family’s care. He knew *zero* about trans kids but is 100% supportive.
I suffer from migraines (or bad headaches, if yours are worse than mine) , and recently I over-medicated with the one medicine that used to work. We found an alternative.
And he is always there to help with my very poor mental health, my all new asthma, my dodgy hip, the list goes on and on…
The guy is a hero. Just wanted to go on record with that.
Since my residency at Lanterne Rouge ended, I hadn’t been back to the coffee shop. ‘I’m so busy!’ I told myself.
I was scared that it might feel different. Less mine, somehow. That I wouldn’t be a VIPoet anymore.
At the time of writing, I am back. It’s just the same. Although there are some very lovely new sugar bowls! The box where folk could ask for book recommendations has been replaced by a Cyclist Café of the Year award. There’s a collecting tin where I used to put my poem of the month.
And the best bit is the welcome. It always has been, here. I still feel like a VIP – everyone who comes to this wee coffee shop in this wee part of the world is welcomed, made to feel important and special.
Because we all are.
Did I tell you I’d been to the doctor about night sweats?
I was absolutely sure it was early onset menopause. ‘It’s the StReSs!’ I said to my GP. He sent bloods off for testing and apart from the traumatic experience of the surgery calling me on a Thursday morning and taking A LONG TIME to tell me I was basically fine, with slightly low iron levels, all was well. No menopause. Phew.
So, this is the bit where I admit to wasting NHS time. I am so sorry, NHS, I know how busy you are.
It was my new blanket. It’s not breathable. I realised when I took it to bed again after leaving it in the living room for a week or so.
I get night sweats when I wrap myself in its huge beautiful soft greyness.
Mr HB and I went for a walk the other day, and for once he wanted to talk about my writing (this never happens). It turns out he wanted to check whether I still wanted to be a writer. ‘It doesn’t seem to make you happy. At all,’ he said.
I was a bit shocked! But then I remembered. His perception is based on me whining: another rejection, another novel that will have to go in a drawer because it doesn’t quite work, another opportunity that went to someone else, another year with not much or no money.
So I reminded him that I don’t do this for money (just as well!). And I told him that, contrary to appearances, I love to write. It keeps me sane. That feeling, when I get into flow and an hour goes by …
It is not the right time of year for having the children at home. With Valentines smack in the middle, I predict the divorce rate will rise…
Instead of braving a range of elements: rain, wind, snow … we set up pillow forts and hid under blankets with our devices. I worked out I could watch Netflix on the laptop with my headphones – score! The kids morphed wing chairs into gamer chairs by moving them in front of the TV, and built more forts, this time in the Minecraft ether.
We’re economising due to the impending house move, so we treated ourselves to Morrison’s make your own pizza instead of takeaway, Next in Fashion with the curtains closed instead of the cinema.
Valentines worked out OK for me: Mr HB was off to Aldi. I received a bunch of reluctant roses.