Tag Archives: Writing

Found

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The wave of disbelief washed over her once again. She felt her breath catch in her throat, and fought desperately to focus on her surroundings. A lie. The worst kind of truth. She had asked the question. She had not realised the impact of the answer.
It had never been perfect. At best it had been fun, the giddy pleasure of being wanted, desired. She had been lonely, an emptiness carved by loss longing to be filled. Tired of being brave, she had welcomed his apparent strength, and had gradually succumbed to his words, his will. So gradually, she was unaware of her isolation until it had surrounded her completely. Family ignored, friends no longer calling.
“This is your family now,” he told her. “We are all that matter.”
She had begun to melt away, a snapshot blurred by drops of poison. The vibrant hair, the vivid make-up, the laughter, the childish joy, slowly wiped into a muddy sludge.
And with it, the constant accusations of lies. If she spoke, she lied. If she stayed silent, she lied by omission. She felt her grip on reality weakening, began turning ever inward.
Until she found the bag.
At first, she couldn’t make sense of it. She put it back, and left it there for days. Then opened it once more.
And then summoned the courage to ask him.
He told her.
And her world flipped over once more.

Works of Art

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It’s been a long day. One of those days that knocks the wind out of your sails. It started a few weeks ago, really. My Littley (my six foot two, fifteen year old littley) called me up to his bedroom, in a way he hadn’t done since he was a small boy. I ran, the panic in his voice making me think he had fallen, hurt himself. Turned out, he wanted to talk. So I sat on the end of the bed, expecting to hear another overlong description of his new favourite game, or a rant about one of the teachers at school. Instead, he told me he was scared. That he had been seeing things, people, people who weren’t really there, who disappeared as quickly as they had come. He was hearing people call his name, felt he was being watched. And there were voices. Telling him to do things. Silly things, like making people laugh, but if he didn’t do it, the voices became angry.

I listened. I asked him what he wanted to do. Told him that perhaps we needed to talk to someone else, a doctor, someone who might have a better idea of what was going on. He wasn’t sure. So we agreed that if he changed his mind, if he felt worse, then we would go together.

Last week, he asked me to make that appointment. We saw our GP, a lovely man, who also listened, didn’t mock, and said he felt he needed to refer us to someone more specialised. And so today, we saw a psychiatrist. Who has started him on medication, arranged for him to have a CT scan on thursday, and wants a further consultation the same day.

Littley feels better already, for having spoken about these concerns, and for the positive reaction he has received. I feel as if the ground has just been pulled from under me. Angry with myself for being complacent, for being so wrapped up with my own stupid brain blip that I hadn’t realised he was struggling. For thinking that I could sit back, take my eye off the ball for a while. My two older boys are both dyslexic, and I battled fiercely to stop them being written off as slow and lazy. My daughter developed a rare form of epilepsy at the age of eight, and underwent five years of invasive dental surgery to correct her misaligned jaw. We came through all this, and I allowed myself to breath out. Littley appeared to have developed unscathed, and is a high achiever at school, with the world at his fingertips. Now I am worried sick that it might all be snatched away. So once again I am donning my battle armour.

Torn-Apart lifted my soul a little. We are a strange pair, sharing a slightly different view of the world from most. He said that maybe Littley can just see the gap in between. Made me feel more hopeful, somehow. It reminded me of when Littley was much younger, probably not much older than two. He came into the kitchen as I was preparing dinner, and told me his date of birth. It struck me as a very odd thing for such a small child to know, and so I asked if he had been doing a timeline at nursery.

“No, Mummy,” came the reply, “my ghost just told me.”

I had been considering what to post for the Weekly Photo Challenge, the theme of which is Art, and our concept of it. This evening it struck me that my children are my work of art, and nothing else will ever surpass them.

Demons

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The Demons are back. 

They have been quiet for a while, but I know them.

They hide, gathering strength, waiting for that moment when the gap appears, so they can surge through, and take control once more.

Tormenting, twisting their fingers within my brain, whispering their taunts in my ears, goading, until I succumb to their lies, and can no longer hold onto me.

Forcing me down, until they encase me with their writhing bodies, and no matter how loudly I scream, no-one can hear.

And they are clever. So clever.

Because from the outside, the world sees a strong woman.

Not the terrified child, who needs someone to hold her hand, and keep her safe.

And so the battle begins again. 

Round ‘Em Up………Rawhide

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round em up

Two months ago, I started this blog. Two months!! It feels like I have been doing this for years! I had no idea what a blog entailed. My Torn-Apart talked me into taking the first step. Purely on the basis of the *emilys* I had written to him. Started to pester me, in fact. So I did a bit of research, and WordPress was the suggestion that came up again and again.

So I took a deep breath, signed up, and dived into the Blogosphere! It is the best eyes closed, holding nose, jump I have ever taken! This is an absolute joy! What’s not to love? I get to write, laugh, share, read, investigate, talk, question, interact with the most amazing group of people ever. I have discovered that I really enjoy taking phoneographs, and sharing my thoughts on films and books. That the utterings of my geniuses delight others as well! That I can offload my angst, and other people understand. That I can make people laugh, so they feel better as a result. Which is, for me, the best thing ever. Most special of all, I have connected with the most amazing, talented, inspiring people, from places I could only hope to visit, and we have become friends.

So today’s assignment has been the most difficult. Include at least three other bloggers. Three!! I want to include everyone! I have written lists, categories, themes, inspirations. I have decided to go with those people who have inspired me, and encouraged me, from day one, and who continue to do this daily. But before I start, I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who is following me, and who has taken the time to dip into my madness!! OK, here goes!

Nate, because you made me feel that I could write. And for the amazing stories you weave around the family you have discovered.

Hugh, for facing up to that monster, and beating it to the ground. And for laughing with me!

Pavennah, for enjoying the nonsense that I write. And for being so very honest about your struggles at times.

Indah, for the amazing images and insights into your world and culture. And for sharing the laughter!

NS, for your constant input. And your sharing of your life, and those beautiful children,

Jules. For making me feel funny, and nominating me for a Liebster, which made me feel like an Oscar winner!!

Kat. For being the most amazing Mum ever. For sharing  your story, to make other parents feel they are not alone.

Maria. For liking my photos, and making me want to go straight back out there and shoot some more!

Athena. For being Athena! I adore you!! For your gut wrenching honesty!! And your dog!! And I can make you laugh!

 

Katie. Because Sass and Balderdash inspired me!! And still does!!

 

The amazing youngsters, Laura, Anna, Angelique,Sass, and Romeo! Smart, stylish, stunning ladies!

 

JenK  and Me, for being mums after my own heart!

 

Lucie. A newcomer. Check her out!! She is brilliant. Much belly laughing!! And she has my tattoo habit!!

 

Last, and most certainly not least……..Claudette!! Talented, tough, and as mad as a box of frogs!! My two-headed, Tasmanian, utter nutter!! Who can write. And make beautiful things.

 

The Other Woman (Part 1)

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It suddenly struck me today, as I was having a shower, that I am only ten years younger than my father was when he died. I was playing my number game at the time. Not when my father died, you understand, when I was in the shower. I do maths exercises in my head as I wash, always have, I think it just wakes my brain up. And there it was. I am nearly as old as my father.

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Which is a bit daunting, when your brain has done such a good job of convincing you that you are still a teenager. An illusion aided and abetted by your habit of only looking in a mirror when you don’t have your glasses on, thereby creating a beautiful soft focus effect. And never when you are naked!! Alright, I will concede that I have been aware for a while that my feet have turned into my mother’s. Perhaps not quite as awful, she used to use hers as a threat. As in “If you don’t get that bedroom tidied up, I will put my feet on you!”  We tidied. Those feet were terrifying.

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Barely giving me a chance to absorb this fact, my brain then did one of it’s hyperlinks, and smugly reminded me how old my children are now. My oldest son is on the start of the gentle incline to thirty. My middle son is almost not-teen, and my littley, all six foot two of him, will be able to vote, drink, and marry with my consent in six months. Scary!! But it’s my daughter that I have been thinking about all day. She is only a year younger than I was when I first gave birth. That is quite frankly terrifying.

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I was made to be a boy mum. I can do loud, smelly, bouncy, rough-and-tumbly. With loads of hugs in between. I love rugby,  dammit! But I was overjoyed when darling daughter arrived. And immediately took over! Her father had spent the entire pregnancy impressing upon me how much he wanted a boy, and then promptly fell head over heels the minute he set eyes on her huge blue eyes, and strawberry blonde curls. It was a mutual adoration that continues to this day. As a toddler, she could not understand why I was allowed to share a bed with her Daddy, and if I was presumptuous enough to sit next to him, she would, dependant on her mood, either squeeze between us, or announce, in a lady bountiful manner, “S’okay, I let you.”

baby girl

So here she was, my very own doll, to dress and play with. Except she had very different ideas from a very early age. By the time she was  three, she was dressing herself, and styling her own hair. And staring in disdain at my attempts as her wardrobe mistress! Since she was born four days before my birthday (which has been forgotten ever since) I naively assumed we would be similar in character. I haven’t really believed in astrology since my daily forecast said I was at my sensual peak, when I was almost ten months pregnant, with raging heartburn. But still, I just thought……! Polar opposite is how she turned out. Which means our relationship has been ……. interesting!!

To Be Continued ……………….

 

 

Hey Dad, It’s the Barber!!

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We never really got off on the right foot, did we? I should have been the perfect child, the jewel atop your perfect marriage. Except there was no perfect. The marriage existed, and I was the result. At best a rough diamond! Far too similar to you for comfort. My mother was, is, beautiful, Dainty, fragrant beautiful. Always out of your league. So you used brute force to keep her, control her, reduce her to a shadow of the woman you fell in love with. You tried the same process with me. I had your brain, your fierce intelligence. Sadly, your hairy legs, terminal acne, and your forehead, large enough to land small aircraft on easily. And ultimately, your temper.

You chose to make the best of a bad job, and exploit my brain. I won a scholarship to a private school at the age of four. You encouraged them to fast track me, push me forward, basking in the glow of my achievements. I was painfully shy, terrified of you, and you made me take part in speech competitions, music recitals, activities that made me physically sick with nerves, and laughed at my fears. You entered me for yet more scholarship exams, and refused me the opportunity to accept any of them, sending me instead to a huge comprehensive, when I was not even ten years old.

I loved you dearly, tried so hard to please you, and that was my greatest mistake. In this, I mirrored my mother. The more we tried to please you, the more brutal you became.You told me I was all nose and teeth, and that no self respecting man would have anything to do with me.

And then you pushed things too far. I fell totally in love with words, and music, and history and art. You would only accept the sciences as real subjects. Refused to let me follow the path I wanted. So I left school. You didn’t even realise for six months. I became a hairdresser. A bloody excellent hairdresser! One of the best, in fact!! I even ran my own salon. And you told people that asked that I was a barber.

I also fell in love with the most beautiful man. He should have been everything a father would wish for his daughter. Smart, intelligent, caring, well bred. You hated him, and made it your mission to drive him away. Yet welcomed my subsequent partners. When the first one left me, pregnant, you asked how he was coping. Said you wished I had taken my ‘A’ levels. In advanced contraception, perhaps?

The man I married sought to control me, as you had. For too long a time he succeeded. And then, finally, the real me surfaced. Said *&@k you,and clawed her way back! It hasn’t been easy. Still isn’t easy!

But i learned a valuable lesson from you. I learned that control isn’t love. Real love is trusting others to make their own choices. To encourage them to follow their own path, even if you don’t agree. Let them make their mistakes, and learn from them. Make them believe they have wings, and they can fly. My children have the most beautiful wings, and they will soar.

And I am doing what I should always have done. I am writing. I am loving every word that I write. And I am writing for the man I love. The one you thought you had driven away.

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Letters to the Master

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Maintaining any relationship requires a huge amount of commitment, and genuine love for your partner, embracing their faults, and foibles, as well as their more obvious attributes. A long distance relationship becomes more complicated still, for despite the obvious advantages (no dirty underpants, the bed and duvet to yourself for most of the time, no pressure to wax, ownage of the remote control!) there is a need to keep your correspondence fresh. Daily face to face interaction naturally produces conversation, phone calls and emails do not have the same effect. In fact, they can be a minefield of misinterpretation. It is too easy to slip into a half-hearted ‘Love you’ ‘Love you too’, as you both go about your separate lives, in separate countries.

Fortunately, my Long Lost Recently Found Again (so wish that made a decent acronym, sadly LLRFA just looks like a worthy charity) and I, in our previous incarnation, had already experienced the rigours of distance, in pre-internet days. No instant contact then, we relied on the postman, which could sometimes take weeks. For a while, I lived in Scotland, and he would insist on addressing the envelope Scotland, England, which would result in the postie throwing it at the door in disgust, and not posting it!! So both of us recognise the first signs of distance meltdown in each other, and act swiftly to stop it in its tracks.

And then, of course, there is the S word (my apologies to anyone under 25, who is now horrified that ancient people like us even remember what the word means!). That too requires some creativity, and imagination. And this is, in part, what led to the Bob Emilys. And the suggestion, from Him, that I start a blog, based on these imaginary letters from my vibrator. So I have rejigged them slightly, made them more suitable for general consumption. Imagine, if you will, as you read them, that they are spoken in the slightly refined voice of a valet, or butler.

So here it is, my first idea of how my blog would evolve. I hope you enjoy the concept!!

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Dear Mr Vladlock,
I am writing to let you know how unbearable my life has become since you reappeared in my mistress’s life.
Before you, life was simple. I spent many a lazy day lying in my comfy drawer, occasionally performing my duties when Madam required.
But then you burst back on the scene, and suddenly I am on demand at any hour of the day!! In truth I have taken to hiding, in the hope that she wont find me!! My batteries have taken a battering, and my good vibrations are now shaky trembles!!
And now she berates me for not getting things right!! He does it this way, He is wonderful, why can’t you be more like Him ……blahdiblahdiblah!!!!!!
I fear my life will never be the same!!! I wonder, as you pace about in your purple pants, if you have any thought to the trauma you have caused me!!!
Respectfully yours,
Bob

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Dear Mr Vladlock,
It has been a while since we last corresponded, and as I thought, my life has changed immeasurably since you rediscovered my mistress.
I knew immediately that my days were numbered, and retirement beckoned. Her demeanor at your return, and her constant comparisons of our abilities, always in your favour, reduced my batteries to nought, and my vibration to a mere flicker.
In truth, I could never compete with warlock magic, and the arrival of the wand spelled the end ( see what I did there? SPELLed!! She has taught me well, sir!!)
So here I am in Frimley, in a very comfortable drawer, close to all the amenities, and with opportunities to meet lovely retired ladies called Mavis and Euphemia, and indulge in post-bingo capers.
However, I implore you to cherish my mistress, for within the witch lives an angel with a shining soul. Also be aware, a joy of the erotic that could exhaust a less magical being.
All I ask is that you write occasionally, and assure you that I am willing to return, should you require my services.
Kind regards,
Robert Rabbit (Bob)
p.s. New year wishes to my distant cousin, Mr. Lightyear

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Dear Mr Vladlock, 
May I take this opportunity to thank you for my recall into the witch’s home. My welcome has been gratifying, apart from Leon the cat, who, I fear, may have, at an earlier juncture, misunderstood our conversation about my role regarding serving feline related parts of my Mistress’s anatomy , and seemed to think my role was to supply him with small rodents!! Indeed, he has been quite vociferous about my failings in this area!! 
Your last missive regarding my mistress was most complimentary, although I believe I have heard mention of impossible galaxies too. My error, she has corrected me, it appears I heard the phrase ‘****ing impossible *itch’.
May I just say how honoured I am to be representing your image. Given the detailed and passionate description of your prowess that I have listened to( endlessly) for the past few months, I can only hope that I can rise to the occasion, and stand proud!!! I assure you, I will do my best, as my mistress has promised not to send me back to Frimley, but instead will set me up in a studio apartment on the beach in Marbella. Such a relief, the thought of bingo halls and Euphemia for ever more was quite distressing!!!
My apologies, that was slightly ungallant, but I am sure you can understand!!! The smell of mothballs, and the occasional spiderweb. Awful!!!
It appears I have to step into the hex now, so sadly I must finish this correspondence. 
Best wishes Mr Vladlock,
Kind regards,
Bob
p.s. She does love you so very much

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Dear Mr Vladlock,
Once more, I feel impelled to write to you.
Although initially I had reservations regarding the introduction, at your behest, of the Wand, and indeed feelings of inadequacy, the two of us have forged a close relationship whilst ensconced in our drawer. I have introduced him to the finer things in life, such as opera, and the works of our beloved Bard, William Shakespeare. And he has widened my world with his passion for Lucha Libre!!!!!
I suspect you may not be cognizant with this sport, it is indeed a form of wrestling new to me. He is known as La Varita Nariz Purpura Grande, and has suggested I adopt the name Roberto el Conejo!!
He admits he is in awe of you, Vladrock the Impaler, since despite our combined efforts, my mistress is never happier than when she is with you!!
Indeed, it was quite touching to watch the concern on her face when you were so recently afflicted with the ague!!
I attach an image of myself and my homey ( he assures me this is the correct street talk) on a recent foray into Wrestlemania!!!
Best wishes and kind regards, your mutha (see how I evolve!!)
Robert Rabbit

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Dear Mr Vladlock,
Or as my mistress now assures me I should address you, Mr Vlad Alexander. Which is indeed a  name that sums up both your innate class, and your intriguing otherworldliness!! She has become ensconced in all things literary, and is spending every free minute of her day transcribing memories of her moments with you onto the rival for my attention, the Laptop. The Wand and I have discussed this, and we have come up with the perfect plan to lure her back into the sweet tryst we previously enjoyed. Since only the promise of your touch could distract her, I have fashioned a cunning disguise. I hope meets your approval, kind sir.
Yours always in awe,
Robert Rabbit

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To be continued………………………………………………………………………

 

This is Me

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Hah! This should be easy, but it’s not. I don’t talk about me an awful lot, prefer to skim over that story. But it’s todays challenge, so I shall try.

I am old. At least I would be, had not my beautiful daughter arrived four days after my 30th, thus wiping my birthday from any calendar for ever more. I have four children, three boys, and the aforementioned girl. They are all young adults, super bright, fiercely opinionated, completely focussed, (perhaps not the youngest, he is still more focussed on his computer games), and they now gang together to tease me mercilessly.They are the funniest people I have ever had the priveledge to meet.

I am an incurable romantic, who fell deeply in love at fourteen years old, and felt my heart break when we parted six years later. My subsequent life has been spent waiting for him to find me once more. I have been married once, an experience I never want to repeat. Despite outward appearances, (loud hair, loud jewellery, loud laugh) I have virtually no self-confidence, or self belief. I have found myself in a series of awful jobs over the years, initiated by my uncontrollable urge to drop out of school, just to infuriate my father.

I had the most virulent pink hair in the early eighties, I pierced my own ears, and I had my first tattoo in my forties. I hate poor spelling, people who spit in the street, and bullies. I live in a women’s refuge, and yet people assume that my life is all gin & tonic and cucumber sandwiches because I speak nicely. I have a scruffy, smelly, stupid rescue dog that I adore, and a beautiful street cat that adopted me, and has a fetish for destroying kitchen paper.

And it never, ever occurred to me to write a blog, or anything else for that matter, until last year.

I turned fifty. My brain exploded. And HE found me. Suddenly, my life was flipped over. When your brain does one, it is the scariest feeling in the world. I found myself suddenly totally out of control. And then he reappeared. And pulled me back. And talked, hugged, kissed, laughed, and made me shine again. We wrote endless emails, about anything and everything, from what had happened before, to what we longed for, and what made us laugh, head back, fullbellied laughs. And I devised a character, and wrote imaginary letters, silly, mad, bizarre stories. And he said “Write.” And now I am.

I have no definite direction at the moment, I just let the words flow as if I were talking to him. In a years time, I want to have that focus, rein and train my imagination. I love writing, I feel guilty if I miss a day. I want to produce something more tangible than just a few sentences here and there. And I am old enough to feel thrilled at the prospect of having the opportunity of being in contact with people all over the world. And share ideas, and stories, and laughter. And if I find myself in contact with a few others who say ‘Sod you, life, bring it on!!’, it will be worth it just for that!

This writing lark!!

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I have come late to this writing lark, despite numerous suggestions from friends, family, and former teachers that this is where my talent lies. Which rather deflates the talents I think I have displayed in my working life to date. Some also indicated I should be on the stage, including one well meaning aunt, who described my face as an actress’s face, better seen in motion, totally destroying the small glimpse of confidence I had at the time!!. However, it has been at the urging of someone who has recently reappeared, someone who exploded into my life over thirty five years ago, that I have decided to take the first steps into the magical world of words.
I saw him for the first time when I was fourteen years old, and unlike the fairy tales, did not lose my heart, but handed it over willingly. I knew, in that instant, that I would never feel the same way again. He was my first lover, and I adored him. But life is a bitch. I had six years, moments of insurmountable pleasure, moments of heartbreaking pain. And then I lost him, despite my best efforts to hold him close. it broke my heart.
Six months ago, with two failed relationships, and four children to add to my C.V., he contacted me. Life is still a bitch, no fairy tale ending in sight, but over one thousand emails later, he has persuaded me to write the novel within me.
Write about what you know. Isn’t that the advice you are given? So I opted to write my story. Not all doom and gloom, or teenage angst, there are moments of glorious madness to be told. My children are beautiful, fiercely bright, and wickedly funny. What I wasn’t prepared for though, was the way writing about your life flays you alive. All the wounds you have licked, until they feel healed, are suddenly raw again. Memories you have suppressed, because they were too painful, suddenly surface again. When you re-look at situations you thought you handled perfectly, you squirm in horror. And there is way too much sobbing involved!! Piggy eyed, snotty nosed, give me a glass of wine sobbing!
I shall persevere, however. For those teachers, and friends, and family. And for him. Because ours may not be the perfect love story, but it will be the best damn story you have ever read!

Welcome to my world!

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This is my first attempt at a blog, at writing in public. It will be a mixture of anecdotes from my life in general, my children, my work, and my long distance love life. I am a middle aged single mother, with a healthy brood of super bright young adults, who are all deliciously daft, in a job I loathe, permanently penniless, yet always unfailingly optimistic. I hope I can make you laugh with me, and enjoy the madness of my life!!