My house is waiting.
For the silence that descends. Like golden syrup, like the homemade quilted blanket heavy with blue flowers,
the silence of no other people.
For the mythical day when everything is either on a shelf, in a drawer, or nestled in a cupboard.
For the pears to ripen and fall, ripen and fall.
For the cat to complete his rotation of sleeping places: bed upstairs, bed downstairs, sofa, office chair, other office chair, bench in the kitchen, camouflaged against a black coat on the floor.
For someone to either read all of the books, or put all of the books in the goddam charity shop.
For the sun to warm the mossy patches outside the front door:
the ones the sun never reaches.
For two children watching a red moon in their pyjamas, shivering in the dark.
As I scuttle off for the summer months, I just wanted to say some ‘thank yous.’
Thanks for sticking with me.
Thanks for telling me you read tinylife every week.
Thanks for the likes and comments: here, on Facebook, on Twitter.
Thanks for letting me whine, ramble, rant, figure things out as I go along, say very little, say far too much, say things in a roundabout way, say things in a direct way, say things with brutal honesty, and talk on a range of disparate subjects.
Thanks for putting up with my God-awful drawing skills.
Particular thanks to Cheryl for not being cross when I forgot (again!) to post her guest posts.
Thanks to Cheryl for her guest posts.
Thank you for supporting my writing, my poetry, my novels, and my creative life.
tinylife will be back in September.
And we’re back.
We were only gone for three days, but the place has changed in that time – don’t ask me how. The furniture is the same, the rooms haven’t morphed into something other than what they were, and our pets are as healthy and happy as we left them – possibly more so, because our house sitters were wonderful and I suspect they’ve been spoilt.
Maybe that’s where the difference lies. Our lovely friends had left by the time we got home, leaving cleanliness, order, and the sense of their recent presence as parting gifts. I imagine that somehow their routines have infused the fabric of the place too, because – and this always happens when I leave and come back again – I’ve forgotten how things are done round here. I shall have to re-learn. It’ll take at least three days.
I have wonderful friends. And family. I’m lucky.
But the bar can always be raised, right? Right? We all went to a friend’s house the other day. Regular readers will know about my ongoing (whining about) mental health problems. It had been one of those weeks.
What is the best thing to do to help a friend who is struggling? I am rubbish at helping other people with their mental health – I know what it feels like, not how to help.
But this friend, she knew. She didn’t ask anything of me, not even my company. I was tucked up on a day bed, in their spare room, with my youngest, and a computer playing Spiderman and the Spiderverse. I had a power nap and managed to keep up with the story.
It was the best visit ever. Thanks guys!
Oh it must be Spring. I’m busy!
I like to be busy, but not as much as the average … person? Person in the UK? Person of my generation? ‘Busy’ doesn’t take long to develop into ‘stressed,’ and ‘stressed’ has developed into psychosis – only twice, and a long time ago now, but… I don’t have the option to push myself like other people.
What has been particularly wonderful about this year, as opposed to other Springs, when I was busy with the kids, or busy with work, or busy writing things no one was interested in, is that this year I’m busy with paid, creative work. Sometimes. Other paid work has to fit around the writing, not the other way round.
Meanwhile, the children have to fit around creativity AND paid work, and are no doubt feeling very hard done by!
My favourite bit of parenting is when the kids are getting along. I am delighted to report that, at the time of writing, and for the last week or so, they have been best pals!
Of course this means no one ever goes to sleep…
‘Carry on time’ is the perfect compromise between ‘your parents need some child-free time in the evenings’ and ‘but we’re not tiiiiiiiired.’ Sometimes it ends in tears (or punches), but it’s only when they’re really quiet I have to go and see what they’re up to.
It is a pleasure, getting to know these little people, watching them getting to know each other. It is even more pleasurable doing this from the sofa, watching Netflix with the cat. It’s not just the convenience, though, honest! Without my input, their relationship has the chance to grow.
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.