#atinylife your annual reminder

Dear tinylifers,

This is your annual reminder to make time for yourself over Christmas.

It is a great time of year (for many, not for everyone) to see friends and family, buy thoughtful gifts, decorate your house top to toe in tinsel or greenery: wrap, post, socialise, and eat, eat, eat.

It is a great time to stretch yourself to breaking and end up exhausted.

If you can, plan some days that are empty. Or some hours. Or some minutes. Force yourself to sit down. Or go to sleep. Or breathe.

It is OK to not have a wonderful time every moment of every day over Christmas. It is OK if your children do not have a wonderful time every moment of their school holiday. You get to be a person too.

tiny love

Stay tiny!

tinylife will return on 12th January.

#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.

 

#tinylife September weekend

September WeekendWe used to start our Christmas shopping

on the September long weekend we get here.

 

Until the year we stood at the mirror in the hall

and I said ‘they could share a room, anyway.’

Until the year the midwives had said ‘a line is a line is a line,’

then the bleeding started.

Until the year we had been a tiny little bit pregnant

so we went to Holy Island

now we weren’t pregnant at all, you took the toddler for a walk

so I could sit on a dune and cry.

 

Until the year we were pregnant again by October.

 

Every September weekend, I remember

the tiny little bit of pregnant I was,

over that long weekend: the anniversary of you,

you tiny little bit that never came to anything.

We never start our Christmas shopping in September.

#atinylife Listen Softly Gifford!

My favourite thing about 2019 so far is being a fancy Poet-in-Residence.Listen Softly

And, as poet-in-residence of Lanterne Rouge, I would like to invite you all to a night of spoken word, tea, coffee and cake on Saturday 18th May, 7:30pm at the Lanterne Rouge, Gifford. The folks over at Listen Softly have very kindly lent me their brand, and a co-host for the evening, and Cameron has very kindly lent me his café!

We’ll be hearing from young and old(er) poets ranging from 11 years old to 85. Claire Askew, Mary Johnston, Hannah McCooke and Nicki Birrell. There are also three open mic spots: sign up on the night to be in with a chance of reading yourself!

It would be amazing to get a good turnout, so please share this with any friends that might like to come along. See you there?

#atinylife andanotherthing…

You know when you think you just have a bit of a weird habit and then, 40 years later, you find out it’s a recognised syndrome?

Just me?

I’m not going to talk about it in detail, but if you want to look it up, it’s called excoriation disorder. And I’ve not been diagnosed with it officially, it would be classed as ‘mild’ I think. There’s a test to do with ‘interfering with your daily life,’ and I don’t think I’m there, most days (thank goodness!).Who Knew

What’s interesting is to observe my reaction to this new knowledge. I’ve been under a bit of stress these last few months and I’m adding in these behaviours as evidence of how I’ve been feeling. I’m using some of the advice online to manage the symptoms. But they haven’t stopped.

Knowledge is not always power.

#atinylife the greatest of these is

I may speak in the tongues of yoga and of cycling for miles, but if I still love food, I will become neither svelte nor sinuous. And if I have fast days, or avoid dairy or meat, or if I have all faith, and chunter on about my heart health and how weight is just a number, but still love food, I am not, and will never be thin. If I give away all my Dairy Milks, and hand over my cola bottles, I may kid myself on I’m being ‘good,’ but if I still love food, I gain, um, everything …the greatest of these is

 

Food is patient; food is kind; food does not insist on its own way; it is not as irritable or resentful as I am about societal beauty standards; it rejoices in my ‘wrong’doings.

It rejoices … in my fat rolls.

#atinylife car scraper

Scraping the car in the morning, I was reminded of how much it reminds me of sitting in the freezing cold watching my Dad do the same thing.

car scraperHow pleasing it was to watch him methodically remove the sugary coating from the windows so we could see out again, the fan blowing so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves think.

Now I have to sort my own car out.

But: I have a car.

I live somewhere with crisp frosty mornings, beautiful clear skies.

I got a new scraper the other day and it’s a good one.

I have my fans going full blast so when I’m ready to drive the car won’t be as cold.

I have excellent, thick waterproof gloves.

And unlike my youngest, I can reach the middle of the windscreen.

 

Just a tinylife job that brings joy!