#atinylife february broken

February breakIt 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.

#atinylife one of five

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?

one of five

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.

 

 

#atinylife Open Viewings

Yet again I have confirmed my status as a bit of an oddball.

This time it’s the over our house, which you will know is currently on the market unless you have been hiding under a rock or muted me online until today.

We’re supposed to hate house viewings, right? All that tidying so that complete strangers can come and examine our property and ask awkward questions about the neighbours. open viewing

Well, I love them. The house has never looked so good. We have a total system (and a list, of course!) for the tidying. And I adore taking folk over the house – I’d forgotten I can be charming, or at least friendly – showing them all the great things we put into it to make it home.

It feels like saying, over and over, ‘this is our house. Isn’t it lovely?’

#atinylife hoovering²

I always dreaded selling a house for the same reason I imagine everyone does – keeping the damn place clean and tidy.

But it has been a source of gratitude in more ways than one. I like having a house worthy of the phrase ‘spick and span.’ Well, I do now, after the first few days of not being able to find anything because everything had been put away! I like not nagging the kids to clean up their own rooms

hoovering(because I hate the idea of raising lazy kids)

and just doing it myself, with headphones and podcasts on.

Also, I have lived without this level of cleanliness for over ten years, and not died of dysentery. I  have no intention of living in a sterile, empty house once we move to the new place. Sorry Mr HB!

#atinylife Listen Softly²

Listen S Feature SetI’m back at Listen Softly Edinburgh on Thursday 16th January.

Not as an open mic guest.

Not as a new voice.

Not as a co-host.

As a FEATURE PERFORMER!

For those who aren’t obsessed with spoken-word, a feature performance is the sort of thing you can put on your CV – it puts your name on the listing with, other, frankly, much more successful (and indeed intimidating) poets and writers.

I get to prepare six whole poems to read – not two, or one long one. I’m even able to include a short work which I’ve not read before. I’ll also be reading a new version of my most successful poem to date, Cauterise, which was short listed for an international award last year.

If you’re in the area, it would be great to see you. Tickets are available from this link.

#atinylife tiny update

Delighted to announce that Lanterne Rouge: The Last is now available online!

The fabulous people at St Columba’s Hospice have added the anthology to their web store.

Lanterne Rouge: The Last is a collection of twenty poems on the theme of ‘the last.’ There are poems by Claire Askew, Catherine Simpson and Nadine Aisha Jassat, as well as two budding poets from the local Primary School.worldwide

All profits from the sale of the book – which is all money it makes from now on – will go direct to the Hospice, who provide free palliative care across Edinburgh and East Lothian. Thank you, again, to my Kickstarter supporters who made this possible. If you hadn’t paid the poets and the print fees, none of this would exist.

You can still buy books direct from me, or from the Lanterne Rouge Cafe, Gifford.

#atinylife The Last

This is one of those weeks where 140 words won’t be enough.

I launched my first anthology this week: edited and printed in East Lothian, part of my residency of Lanterne Rouge, cycling cafe of the year UK(!) in Gifford, East Lothian.

The book has twenty poems, some from East Lothian, some from further afield.Lanterne Rouge The Last All proceeds from sales go to St Columba’s Hospice.

It was printed with excellence (a five star service) by East Lothian Council’s print unit. Wendy Neill is amazing!

We hosted a daytime and an evening event on launch day. Both were packed.

Many, many people told me how well I had done.

I am not used to hearing that.

There are copies of the book available at the cafe. I am working on getting them online so people further afield can purchase one. Watch this space!