The sun came out and
we were allowed to have people over in the garden and
they could be from another local authority area and
I made gluten free vegan brownies and
the kids played with nerf guns and
I hate toy guns and
I didn’t care and
I made tea and
Mr HB made coffee and
we bitched about stuff and
we did the crossword together and
we laughed and
we looked at the tadpoles and
the tadpoles are getting bigger and
they are moving around more too and
kids all played really well together and
later on we went down to the river and
it is really beautiful here and
today it is cloudy again and
I feel tired but it’s the good sort of tired and
I am so lucky to have had such a lovely day.
What is so holy about the blood from a womb?
And am I then, a non-woman, an un-woman? For tabletting these days away with modern medicine we are meant to feel guilty about, because Christianity, because feminized fish?
Because I wear my hair short, never wear a dress flowing red or black, because I do not limit women to cis white sock robots, because I include my trans sisters and my enby siblings, because the patriarchy is delighted when we police each other’s clotted tampons.
When we accidently leave out those who have had hysterectomies over hysteria of a battered woman who needs a shelter, who was never a man in the first place.
All humans bleed. Some more than your soaked gusset, your baby-home-nest clear out. Your curse does not give you the right to cast legislation over others.
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow…
My sister Becky quoted this line (on Zoom, of course. Where else do we talk these days?) as ‘very Christmas 2020.’
Some of us muddled-through before this year: I myself started muddling-through around 2004.
The festive season can become rigid: we always go to this house, we always eat this meal with these people, we watch this film, listen to this music. I’m so sorry if your set pieces are not possible this year.
Maybe we can use this time to think about our Christmas days. Perhaps we’ll go back to our set pieces next year, joyfully. Perhaps we’ll make new traditions that serve us better.
Meanwhile, as an official muddle-representative, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all new muddlers, est. 2020.
tinylife will be back on 17 January.
Back to normal.
Back to normal by the Spring, they’re saying.
And most of me is delighted,
don’t get me wrong,
I’m in no rush to succumb to a deadly virus,
or bury a loved one,
and I miss the few friends I have left,
and I want to eat cake at Naked Bakery
and wander around Edinburgh again
and visit my sisters
(so I can argue with them face to face instead of online)
and talk to poets
and listen to their poems.
But I’m also thinking
‘what do I want to keep
of this not-normal?’
This slowing-down, even further,
staying in touch only with those that matter,
making things accessible to those who are always home,
no duty events
sloughing off those expectations
– it’s time we visited, we haven’t been for ages –
being home, Saturday, Sunday.
Disclaimer 1: I’m not a keyworker, so this may grate if you are.
Disclaimer 2: I love my huge crazy family.
This Easter none of the family met irl. Like many people, we took to Zoom to play games (well, actually, mostly to play Werewolves of Millers Hollow), so there was at least a chance of the cousins joining us.
The benefits of meeting this way!
The mute function. With my lot, the host’s ability to mute everyone except one person is ground-breaking.
Seeing everyone for an hour or so, instead of a weekend in one house. There is a running joke in our family that the first five minutes of any family visit are the best.
Getting to chat to the tweens/teenagers. Usually they are off with their cousins, and quite right too.
I miss the hugs, but my kids don’t!
You’re one of five girls!
That must have been quite the queue for the bathroom,
do you all get on,
who is the funny one?
A lot of bitching, I bet,
stealing make up, swapping clothes:
how did your dad cope?
Who has the most money,
are you jealous of the one who is the most successful, professionally
who is the favourite?
Not all girls spend hours in the bathroom.
Not all girls hate each other.
Not all girls are funny (but yes, we all claim to be the funny one).
Not all girls bitch about each other.
Not all girls steal make up and clothes.
Not all dads need a son to complete themselves.
Not all girls equate money with success.
Not all girls fail to be proud of their siblings’ achievements –
and we all agree on the favourite.