Tuesday, 17 May 2011

And the days go on

Hi all

Such lovely weather we are having. Lucky us.

I have been busy this week - collecting free Lego from the Sun newspaper. I am a bit obsessed actually - I love a bargain, and these little sets are so sweet. I hate that particular paper and always leave it in the shop (where I suppose they sell it again). And I am getting worse - I get more than one set each day (I won't say how many) - give two to the boys and keep the rest for party bag gifts, future Christmas stocking fillers and so on. I find it embarrassing to hit the shops every morning to get this Lego - it makes me feel rather mercenary, almost as though I am scrounging in fact, but I can't resist! The offer finishes on Friday and I will be quite glad.

Anyway, I have been getting up early in an effort to make the house run more smoothly - which is working to an extent. Except now I am really tired - a bit unwell with it if I am honest. Nothing that a good night's sleep won't sort - and I am going to take a couple of paracetamol to help, because I have a neck and shoulder pain that otherwise might keep me up.

So without further ado, I bid you all goodnight. More anon. X.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A quiet time

Hi Guys

I carved out a quiet hour and a half for myself this afternoon... Officially speaking, my time is now up. But I have just been inside to turn on the oven and decide what to cook for dinner, so I have decided that entitles me to another ten minutes out here. Just time for a blog post.

When I say 'out here', I should explain that I write in a shed in the garden. I am accessible of course, but sometimes the kids forget that I am here. Not today, unfortunately... Hubby is also around, but his need trumps mine today - he is working on a car, which I am keen for him to finish. So my 'me' time has been interrupted at regular intervals, mostly by Toddler demanding snacks and toilet services, and once by his older brother in a rage because he was sure that Toddler was wearing his Ben 10 slippers (what on earth possessed me to buy them the same slippers? This is going to be the bane of my life). The girls have been no trouble, but that is because they are watching trashy films on a laptop (and making bead necklaces at the same time, which improves the way I feel about the trashy films a bit).

I was a bit baffled to find Blogger inaccessible for most of this week. I wouldn't have been writing anything particularly fascinating here anyway - I have been a bit miserable recently for one reason and another. Nothing major, luckily, but when things don't go my way I do take it rather hard...don't cope well with setbacks.

I was walking along with the dog this afternoon, the usual thoughts running helter skelter through my brain. Must quieten that brain somehow. Or channel it into something useful. I think it is time I set up a proper writing routine and stuck to it - specifying the time of day, the number of hours and so on, as if it was a job.

Because the thought of work is haunting me at the moment - I feel I should get a job, but I am not sure if I could cope with the strictures of one, and also I know if I did find work I would really never have any time to write. I just want to make a living from writing - I want it more desperately as time goes on. So I thought if I act as though I have a job - put in a specified number of hours weekly, at specified times - that might help. I could see the disability benefit as a salary then, instead of feeling guilty about it. Which it is in a way - I am costing the nation a lot less if I stay well, and sometimes it is really not easy to stay well...

Whevs. Onwards and upwards. X.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Apple trees and Sunshine


Today has been a lovely sunny day. I went to the market and bought two apple trees - a cooker and an eater - and planted them. I also walked the dog three times and cycled to my book group and back. I must be super fit.

Unfortunately I don't feel it right this minute - not mentally. Book group always sets off my feelings of inferiority. Damn and blast my inferiority complex. I had a good time really - we laughed a lot (hardly discussed books at all) and I was quite relaxed. I have come a long way since the days when book group started - more than seven years ago - and I used to blush nervously in the corner. However, by the time it finished and I cycled home I managed to convince myself that I had talked far too much and that everyone thought I was strange. Which really doesn't make sense because I am sure they would have realised it before now anyway and they exactly can't chuck me out of book group (ha ha).

But it is not about rationality. Rationality would tell me that I have no idea what anybody actually thinks of me and that it doesn't matter - all that matters is that I am content and able to get on with my daily life, and that I bring up the kids to be strong and happy. But I want to be strong! I hate obsessing about what other people think!

I need a stroke of luck. I need something outside myself to reinforce my opinion of myself - like the agent to want my book. Actually, I probably just need to write - I have been so busy with gardening and dog walking and taking my elder son to drama after school and so on that I have literally not taken a minute to myself all day - not even to open the newspaper that I bought this morning. Writing is my safety valve and the thing I do well. I must do it even if I do nothing else.

About the apple tree. It struck me this evening as I was walking the dog with my younger daughter that all my dreams have come true - or are still coming true. When I was young I wanted a family, specifically to have children of my own. I wanted a piano. And I wanted an apple tree in my garden. I only realised (remembered) all that because I happened to be walking along counting my blessings.

The other thing I wanted - always - was to be a writer. And I suppose even that has come true, if I can only sit back and believe it - after all, I am writing now. Surely the act of writing is enough to qualify to be a writer - there is no external test. Furthermore, I have published a book of poems. I have written an entire memoir. I have started lots of novels, and children's books. I have written short stories. I even sometimes put 'writer' on forms if I am asked for my occupation, although I might not exactly believe my own publicity. Perhaps I should.

But there is always this niggling voice telling me that I am worthless. That I have not achieved anything. I am just a housewife, on disaiblity benefits, with the most damning diagnosis of mental illness imaginable. Thak goodness, a lot of the time I can stifle that voice (and don't worry, it is not actually a voice, it is a feeling). In the company of my kids, especially, I can reassure myself that I am worthwhile. Only a decent person could have produced four such perfect and balanced beings.

Anyway, I am not going to blather on any more about this. I will get some sleep and in the morning I will forget about book group and carry on. As I said, I often get like this after book group - I think because all the others seem so professional and capable (all medics or teachers except me). I really want to be a part of that group (obviously I ostensibly am) yet I can't help feeling that I stick out like a sore thumb. And then again part of me doesn't want to be just like them (hard to explain this one, except that something in me prizes individuality and doesn't want to compete in the usual sort of way). I am maybe just not a group person. The most important reason I want to be part of Book Group is for the kids - I like them to think that Mummy has friends, that I am sociable. (I do have plenty of other friends, but this is my only group sort of thing).

Did I just say I was not going to blather on any more? Hmmm. Oh God, I have just remembered that next week is Poetry Group. I haven't been to that one for months. And I really feel that I should. Let hope I cope better. Watch this space. X.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Sunday All Day (except now it's the Evening)


And apologies for the banal post title. The am dram show last night was truly fab - sparkling dialogue and really good acting. So that was nice. I went out again tonight - my girls were singing and I went to listen. Which was also nice, except that it means for two nights now I haven't read the boys their story and sung their bedtime songs. Hubby is more than capable but I like to do it. Never mind.

Today has been a manic chase my tail in circles sort of a day. Went swimming this morning - as much to get the kids clean as anything else. From there went to visit the Oldies (grandparents) just returned from a three month holiday. It doesn't seem to have improved their mood.

Then home for lunch, followed by a quick tidy up in the garden. Toddler was highly excited because I had bought him some new play sand and sorted it out in his sand pit for him. He had a lovely time playing and arguing with Big Brother over it. I then got sidetracked by washing all the buckets and spades and throwing away the ones which had been chewed by the dog (which didn't leave many).

Took the girls to buy some garden stuff, like hanging baskets and new plants from the supermarket. This in a misguided attempt to impress the Oldies with my gardening prowess. So returned home to begin a frenzy of planting strawberries, tomatoes, sweet peppers and so on.

Somehow managed to cook and eat dinner, rushed to take the girls to sing and stayed to watch them, rushed them home....

I wonder why it is that since I resolved to do less (and genuinely intended to carry out my resolution) I have been busier than ever?

Anyway, I intend to look at the memoir tomorrow and start revising it again. I am going to try to do so in a light hearted spirit - see it as play rather than work. Which hopefully will make it read in a lighter manner - part of the problem with it as it goes on is that it weighs the reader down, I think (not surprising given the subject matter, but still). I still haven't heard from the agent, but am taking it that no news is good news...

More anon. X.

Saturday, 7 May 2011


Hi Guys

Been to Legoland with the family today, and it was surprisingly ok. No wasps, because it is so early in the season (LL is usually plagued with them). The queues were not at all bad. And we stayed only five hours (which is plenty long enough).

I do appreciate the opportunities to get out and about that having a family brings. I was talking to a friend about it the other day - that even when it is hard work trailing about with kids and toddlers during the holidays, it is better than the alternative - being stuck in an office all day. Although it is so long since I have set foot in an office that I daresay I might appreciate the relative calm and peace nowadays.

Anyway, on my way out to the theatre (sounds posh, but it is just an am dram performance). A friend is directing and appearing in it though, and I have a feeling it will be a good evening.

Take care, all. I hope your lives are running smoothly. BTW, re the head injury on Thursday - had a headache all day today and started to get worried again. When I got home I dived for the kettle, and only then realised the 'brain damage' headache was actually due to lack of caffiene. Several strong cups of tea later, I am as good as new.


Friday, 6 May 2011

Watch The Clock


Just had a weird flashback when I wrote the title to this post. I remembered how time seemed to slow almost to a stop and then start to race when I was ill - as though it was out of control. I suppose this is the same in ordinary life, maybe it is just that everything seems more heightened when you are unwell.

Anyway, I have half an hour before I have to pick up Toddler from play school. We took the day off yesterday - I took him to a theme park, and we had a great time. But now I could really do with a little time to myself. However, there was an event at my older son's school this morning which I had to attend, and now the morning is almost done... Oh well. Next week I will have three 'normal' weeks - as in, no bank holidays - before half term, so hopefully I will get into a little more of a routine again.

This post is not flowing properly, partly because I am watching the time. I find I need time to write - I write fast, but I am always aware that when I am in 'the zone' time passes without my knowledge, and I can't let that happen when I have a child to collect so soon.

Got my bicycle out this morning. It was fun! I fell over at the theme park yesterday and bashed my head (I know, the kids are supposed to do stuff like that) and I blacked out for a second. I am fine now, but for the rest of the day and evening yesterday I was out of sorts. I had a headache, and a vague suspicion that I might go to sleep and have a brain haemorrage and never wake up. Paranoid? Moi?

Anyway, now I am full of the joys because of the contrast with how I felt last night. So that is good. Better go now, anyhow. More soon. x

PS Haven't been back to the NHS site yet, will let you know when I post again there. If I do use it, I want to do so in a structured way, with the hope that my posts will be informative and useful for those trying to recover from mental health problems.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Is that the Date already?

Hi again

Just don't know where the days go...

Been busy with Little Daughter's birthday, and with...chores, mostly. Been doing a bit more writing (hurrah) and generally feeling more cheerful (double hurrah). Walking the dog every day eats up some time (in a wholly positive way).

Today, I took Toddler on a bus ride, just for fun. It was an absolute riot - he was on top form, commenting on every aspect of the journey. Like this, 'The traffic light is on red. When it goes orange you have to jump up and down on the spot. And when it goes green, you GO!' (Shouted at full volume, and with maximum impact, as only Toddler knows how).

He conversed with all the other passengers, at length. He was immensely excited about the branches bumping on the top of the bus. He took in every single thing that we passed, and counted them all (and made them all matter). I love him so much!

I am seriously thinking of taking the same bus journey with him every week. I have not smiled so much for as long as I can remember. I felt a bit bereft without my car, but it was so definitely worth it...

Hubby has put up a new washing line for me in the garden. I only asked him for the last four years. I feel that there is nothing left to wish for... Actually, that is the opposite of true. I have become alarmingly avaricious recently - well, not in a grasping way, but whenever I pass big or lovely houses for sale (which I seem to do constantly at the moment) I keep wanting them... I have become covetous. Is it very wrong? It is very pointless, that is for sure - unless the agent gets in touch in the extremely near future and announces that he has secured me an amazing deal after the most incredible bidding war for the rights to my book...It is very pointless, that is for sure.

Anyway, forget all that. I will sign off now by counting my blessings. A home, four kids, a hubby, a dog, a garden, a life... Not been sectioned for eleven years now, and counting....

Over and out. x.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Sunday all day

Hi Guys

Been breaking my back with the housework this morning. The place was looking like a pigsty and we have family coming over later to celebrate one of the kids' birthdays. So I have sorted the washing, hoovered, scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom, etc etc... Yikes, just realised I forgot to sort out the porch. Anyway, my back really does hurt now, but at least the house looks respectable.

Am feeling more positive in myself today, although the library did not have any of the books I asked for yesterday and did not hold out much hope on the usefulness of ordering them - apparently the budget cuts mean that most requests are being turned down. Never mind. I can look on Amazon later...

On the bright side, our old garden furniture sold on eBay for almost a hundred pounds - result! Just hope the buyer doesn't turn up and refuse to take it away on the grounds that it should really have gone to the tip... Actually it's not all that bad, it is a functioning table and chair set, just ten years old and I was sick of the sight of it. The new set is mint (sad use of word that should be confined to teenagers, sorry). I never thought I would get enthusiastic about garden furniture - and now I have set my sights on a new kitchen table. I think life as I have grown to know it may be over, since I seem to have morphed into a tedious housewife-type person.

Came up with an idea for a new book yesterday. Hurrah! Now I just have to get on and write it. Oh yes, and finish the old one (again). No word from the agent, but in case he does want to see the rest I really want to pummel it into shape. Sorry again, seem to be writing the same old same old...

More soon. X.