Monday, December 20, 2004


Who's in charge in our house?

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Binge drunk

So yesterday was the most popular day for work Christmas events and police and hospitals were reported to be gearing up for trouble. Sitting on the bus on the way to the company lunch, my boss and I chatted idly about this, little suspecting that both of us would, at different points in the evening, be staggering homeward binge drunk.

Waking up this morning to find my hair spiked with beer and my clothes in a trail to the bed I didn't feel particularly happy to be part of a great English tradition.

Things rapidly got worse as A began Stage 2 of the marathon 'condiment cook in' - this year's home-made Christmas gifts. Turned out there is nothing quite like the smell of simmering cider vinegar for keeping me at retch-point. It's similar to very bad sock smell. For the first ten minutes that I was aware of it, I checked the laundry basket and cupboards for rogue washing and even toyed with the idea that the cat had concealed another rat in the room somewhere. No, just festive fare in preparation.

Thus began a day of lying immobile watching West Wing and whining. Terrible thing to be deprived of the right to deserve sympathy when feeling poorly.

Poor old me.

Still, M is out buying fish and chips and I think that'll be just the right amount of fatty, salty food to buck me up no end. Perhaps I shouldn't have said yes to salt and vinegar though.

Monday, December 13, 2004



Every now and again, things get so bad that there is nowhere else to go and, finally, something happens about the anxiety. Awake until 3am, tears at work. That's the point. It's then that I should be thinking about 'barefoot earlier' and what the point of it is. What really is important?

A takes the brunt so often. He may unsympathetically snooze like a baby through the night, but it doesn't mean he isn't affected. The stress spreads and puts pressure where it isn't needed.

Last night we squabbled about Christmas. Christmas excites me (not sure which of J's 'ch' people that makes me). Time with W, time with M and D, T and A. A chance for A to get to know them properly and them him, Christmas shopping in York, Christmas Eve in pubs with memories wondering who from school we'll bump into, Fewston resevoir, chance of snow. It's everything that matters and this year for the first time I get to share it. That matters more than anything.

A cares about his family so much. It's one of the (many) things that I love about him. What was even better about this Christmas was that we got to spend time there too.

So how did we manage to squabble about it? Who knows, but enough is enough. Some things are more important.

Red wine next

Then bed, early

Saturday, December 11, 2004



It's been a particularly sleepless week. It goes in cycles. There are just some nights when my brain won't shut down. It's like those frustrating times when you forget you've left your PC set to restart rather than shut down when you're in a rush to leave the office... over and over again. Sylvia Plath described it a bit more elegantly.

Things that don't help

Things that help

Thursday, December 09, 2004


23 years on

Harriet the Spy caused me great trouble as a 10 year old. Harriet leaves school each day and, on the way home, spies on her neighbours and writes down all her thoughts in a notebook. Of course, her notebook is found, her clever comments are not seen in that light by her friends and family, she is banned from writing and retires to bed in misery.

It's fairly clear what the moral of the story is. So, in the absence of entertaining or eccentric neighbours, I found a notebook and got stuck into my family.

You know those moments from childhood that are so memorable they are still there as visual images 23 years later? That row with my mother was one of them.

So I'll be steering clear of personal comments this time. At the very least, I won't be calling my mother a "silly cow" (I said I wasn't clever).


If I had my life to live over

by Nadine Stair

I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more real troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had it to do over again I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.


Naming a blog

It turned out to be just as hard as I expected. Since I was trying to come up with a name the day after a particularly rapid moodswing, rollercoaster sprang to mind. But rollercoaster is a bipolar lesbian it turns out. I suppose so. She has also given up writing her blog, which is more than can be said for yoyo who never really started. yoyoyo had got as far as "yo listen up mother" and then, "this is a test". yoyoyoyo's comment on the world was, "ack, work, work, work!". At this point, my frustration outweighed my desire to find out the longest string of yos that was already registered.

After a few other lame ideas, I wondered whether it wouldn't be better to name a blog for where I'd like to be rather than where I am. Which is when If I had my life to live over came to mind. It's inspired me for years. I just need to read it more often, I think.

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