#atinylife privilege

As a woman with mental health issues, and the parent of an enby kid, I’m often aware of other people’s male-cis-het-ableist privilege.

Today, however, I have the most privilege I’ve ever felt in my life.

  • I am in an air bnb (financially secure enough for this, and multiple trips to Tesco for cashews and vegan chocolate)
  • for two nights (not in a nine-five with four weeks of holiday a year)
  • my children being looked after by their dad (co-parenting: surely the ultimate privilege?)
  • writing (able to pursue this un-lucrative work for many years now)
  • listening to music and podcasts (having decided I can afford Spotify: currently on free trial)
  • and reading (only one was free from the library).

This is heaven.privilege

This. An accident of birth, and race,  cisgendered heterosexual marriage, and secure family that led me to this point.

#atinylife Autumn Song

Autumn SongAutumn: I wake before the sun rises.

Warm myself on a cup of tea,

the feeling of my hands across the keyboard,

the central heating’s clicks and taps.

The sun’s light pierces clouds ruffled

on the horizon,

reminding me it’s still here

even at this turn of the year.

Rising into the sky, all blue and white

and blue and white

and falling leaves. Rain comes on

from nowhere, and I shut the window tight,

watch the leaves, pushed off

by the wind to fall with the raindrops,

to end up slicked, shining on the concrete.

By teatime, the sun is gone again.

Pink clouds wrestle with the oranges,

the yellows, the browns of the trees.

Red berries are picked out

in the evening light. Drops rest on the branches,

 

the rooks fly over like factory workers, heading for home.

 

#atinylife yeah whatevs

My oldest drew me this picture and challenged me to write a blog to go with it. Here goes!

When I think about becoming what society calls beautiful, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about becoming what society calls financially successful, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about not ever buying anything that is remotely close to the latest fashion, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about having a fancy holiday in the sun every summeryeah whatevs, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about other people’s religion, ritual or practices, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about how other people choose to parent, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about other people’s taste in music, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about what pre-teens say about almost everything, I think: it’s usually ‘yeah, whatevs.’

 

#tinylife write like a grrrl

For the last six weeks, I’ve been escaping from the teatime/bedtime routine and driving myself into Edinburgh.

I’ve been learning how to build a character, a setting, dialogue, and how to put these elements together into a short story, all under the magnificent captaincy of Dr Claire Askew.

WLAG

But by far the best part has been meeting the rest of the group. My WLAG colleagues. Writing with them, sharing with them. We have already started championing each other’s work and projects – a meet up is planned at my next spoken word gig! I can’t wait to see what each of them go on to do next. I’m looking forward to saying ‘yes, we did Write Like a Grrrl together.’ 

Writers work alone. But we need that community, too. That encouragement. The busy silence of a roomful of writers, writing.

#atinylife middle age

I have always told my kids that I’m built for comfort, not for speed, but it seems to become truer the longer I live. ‘Asthma often comes on in middle age,’ says the nurse. Ouch, I think. But he’s got a point.

middle age

I’d been cycling three times a week and doing yoga most days, and I’d wondered why I still couldn’t climb the stairs without getting out of breath. At least that mystery was solved.

A few weeks later, and I’m at the GP with the huge list of THINGS I tend to have to talk about these days. One of which was my hip. ‘It’s been a bit sore,’ I said, ‘but it’s OK if I stretch it out.’

 

Yeah, I’m not a doctor. I have ligament damage and/or bursitis and I’m not to do yoga for a month.

#atinylife naturepoet

Yesterday, I tried to write a nature poem.

Walked into the reality – the grime of outside. Cold shot-blasting my forehead, my fingers.

And yes, the long-tailed tit looked at me, all chipmunk-cute face and feathered arrow tail feathers.

And yes, there were green carpets just waiting for the bluebells.

And yes, the deer picked around the edge of distant fields.

And yes, the buzzard rose in a majesty of idle flapping.

But it all reminded me of the mess of the world: sporadic starlings strung across the telegraph lines, not enough for a murmuration.

nature poet

 

The crow scolding the buzzard, haranguing it to stay away from her eggs.

Acres of wire and concrete, even here, in this ‘wilderness.’

Snow on the distant hills – a winter coming ever closer.

 

And I thought, ‘maybe I should take “nature writer” out of my bio.’

 

#atinylife stye

The wee one came downstairs looking like he’d been punched in the eye, and I would usually blame his older sibling – of course! – but a) they haven’t quite graduated to actual punching yet, and b) I’d seen it before so I knew…

it was a stye.

I know he would’ve been capable of going to school. It isn’t even impacting on his vision (he is playing Minecraft next to me as I type). But he was so sad when he woke up, and school finishes at lunchtime on Fridays. It might be a stress thing, he’s had an eventful couple of weeks at a new school. Or not.

Am I a lax parent?stye

Oh, probably.

I’m getting a bit bored of judging myself, to be honest. He’ll be fine, and I doubt it’ll impact on his overall education. He’s only 9!