These are my musings and observations on my daily life, loves and the laughter that are all a part of my experience of living now in the shires of England.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Dual heritage

When you hear that phrase what image comes to mind?

A light brown child ... right? Why is this?

I spoke to someone last night who claims dual heritage and who also objects to the term being used. He said the reason was that it causes more discrimination for his daughter (who incidentally does fit the image that may have popped into your mind upon hearing that phrase); nevertheless he himself is dual heritage.

His father is Polish and his mother is English. He is what most people would term ‘white’.

What? You many protest. That doesn’t count. If not, why not?

Or are all terms of identity, apart from the term ‘human being’ used to further separated, delineate and decimate social cohesion even further?

Are these girls also to be labelled as more than twins?

Monday, 27 September 2010

Motherhood / hooded mother


It starts a new life

exciting prospects beckon

visions of share laughter

float peacefully with the

scent of love. Always

connected – even when

Apart, the bond is fixed

at conception.

Sunrise brings fresh

opportunities to learn and grow.

Smiles dress them daily

and together they dance through life -

this is what freedom is.

Hooded Mother

It ends her life –

never her choice,

the moment of birth

delivers shackles.

Isolated in her private grief

the numbness invades her marrow.

Thrown daily between stark

awareness and blank existence

she lurches drunkenly

with only solitary fallen comets

to remind her

what freedom was like.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Diary extracts from three years ago

Some people remind you that your story isn’t over.

Some people bring out a side of you that you never knew you had.

Some people surprise you, and once in a while you surprise yourself.

Every relationship is an experiment: you never know what you will get.

Relationships make you domesticated.

All relationships require compromise but you often get more, not less that you expected ... even though a relationship may change, there will always be a connection.

It is not required that you always know why you are here or what you believe in.

Marjorie H Morgan


Thursday, 23 September 2010

How clean is your ... rubbish?

Last night I emptied all the waste paper bins in the house and added them to the black bags full of rubbish to be put out for collection this morning. As I opened the door to put the bags out, along with the plastics and cans for recycling, I looked across the road and saw someone else doing exactly the same thing at the same time.

There we were, existing in our separate worlds, occasionally exchanging greetings when our eyes met in the daytime, yet at this moment we were joined in this banal activity. The bags and boxes were placed with uniform precision along the allotted area of the pavement. The street was full of similar deposits outside the houses of my neighbours. What we didn’t need or want was waiting to be disposed of. We left the rubbish in its designated waiting place knowing that the time for its complete removal would not be long. With the job complete and a glance up and down the street my neighbour and I both turned our backs and closed our doors.

As I am writing this up I can hear the refuse collection truck going up the street: my waste is now gone.

Sometimes we need to de-clutter our lives and throw out the rubbish. But what we must remember is that we must not go back and get it once we have thrown it out. Following the reasoning for discarding it in the first place we have to remember that it is no longer needed in our lives.

Can you imagine the spectacle of running up the road after the refuse collectors and insisting that they stop the truck and let you get in the back to search for your particular rubbish? Mmmm, not a pleasant image.

Yet sometimes, when we have already let things go from our lives, we still try to find a way to retrieve them even though we know that they have gone for good.

What would Kim and Aggie say?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

It made my blood boil.

When something feels right you instinctively know it. When it feels wrong, you know that too. I am getting more adept at listening to my body so I knew something was different a few weeks ago. I listened and watched but I was unable to resolve the problem myself therefore I made an appointment to visit the local GPs surgery. It’s just as well it wasn’t fatal as it took me well over a week to actually get an opening.

My initial thoughts were that it was something to do with my diet and exercise routines.

I am a vegan and I’m happy being a vegan. It really suits me. But there are some drawbacks, as with most choices. Eating out can be a bit of a palaver at times, but I have got the ordering in restaurants down to pat. My friends all know what I can eat as well, so that makes visiting people for food less of a hardship that it used to be. In fact, some friends delight in the opportunity to try new, different recipes. And I love them for it.

I also love cooking for them, and I still enjoy cooking the meat that they like to eat; strange, but true. My food is not necessarily their food. But the right foods are essential for the production of good strong blood. To ensure my own good quality blood I have to take iron tablets occasionally when I become anaemic, and so I also have to have the obligatory blood test to check my haemoglobin levels on a fairly regular basis.

So, this week I went to the doctors to get the answers I didn’t know. And, to my amusement, he told me that he didn’t know either. Nevertheless my amiable Dr. B suggested that I take a few more blood tests to check levels of various things in my body. The nurse, who took the four vials of blood, gave me a concerned look as the first lot of blood left my arm.

It was frothing in the tube.

I asked her why it did that. Hesitatingly she read my face again, then answered, “I guess you must be a bit anxious,” she said, “because your blood is pumping really fast and hitting the bottom of the tube at speed that’s why it looks like that.”

“You noticed,” I responded with my usual dry humour.

I personally think that knowing that Dr B didn’t have any answers to help me right then, and the fact I had to wait, yet again, for another battery of test results, just made my blood boil... and my eyes weep.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


They say (you know who they are – they always have something to say on every matter!) that if you have a guilty conscience then you can’t sleep at night. I sleep very well I’m glad to say. So on this point I have a tendency to agree with them.

I remember one occasion when I’d just decided to separate from my ex-partner, I had, of course, been thinking about it for some time. It was far from a rash decision. Anyway, that day I spoke those final words than broke our world into detached parts and then, after a long discussion and many tears, I went to bed. And slept - soundly.

The next morning, my now ex-partner, looked at me with amazement – and a touch of disbelief - and asked how it was possible for me to have an apparently undisturbed sleep all night. I simply believe it was because I was at peace with my decision and my conscience was clear.

Nowadays I still sleep very well, however, there are some nights when I do not want to go to bed. Don’t get me wrong, I love to sleep but often I’m not ready for bed. So I do other things to exhaust myself before I retire. On the whole they work a treat. I find that if I am awake alone then a good book is often the best way to move me from the desire to be awake to the need to be asleep.

Once exhausted I sink into the warmth of my bed and within seconds of settling down I am asleep. Bliss.

It doesn’t matter how late I go to sleep but once I connect with the pillow I am in total comfort with a peace and security that I can rest with a clear mind.


Friday, 17 September 2010

Guardian of the Times?

Last weekend I was unable to get either the Saturday Guardian or the Sunday Observer. So I did something unusual: I bought the Sunday Times.

Despite (you can guess how this will end from the first word of this sentence) the pleasure of Dame Maggie Smith, Julia Roberts and a fascinating analysis of Lady Gaga, I felt ill at ease within those pages.

Maybe it was the acerbic wit of AA Gill that finally put the nail in the coffin of the reading experience but I know that in the future I’d rather go without a weekend paper than sink to the depths of The Times. The whole tone of those volumes was bitter and a space that this Guardian reader should never venture into again.

It feels a bit like leaving Radio 4 for Radio 1: it’s just wrong. It doesn’t work. It can never feel comfortable.

I feel sullied.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Puppet gifts

Have you ever received a conditional gift?

If you do get a “gift” that is conditional is it really a gift at all?

I have been repeatedly faced with this conundrum in recent months. Does that make me fortunate or not? The jury is still out on that one ...

The part about actually receiving a gift is great. It is a blessing to be considered as a recipient of any kindness. It is a blessing to be considered with kindness.

Now that that fact is out of the way, let’s get to the bare bones of a conditional gift.

They take me out of my comfort zone.

I have said that I would rather do without something than receive it from somebody who gives it with conditions attached.

It’s almost like being stabbed with a velvet-handled knife: the wound will be the same – only the stabber with have more comfort delivering the blow. It is not soft but firm it is just painful; there is no pleasure in the gift. Like the iron fist in the velvet glove the impression is one of kindness and gentleness yet the reality is of firm control.

I received a gift but when I got it I was not overjoyed because I knew the character of the giver. Within days the truth of the gift was revealed. I was welcomed to the gift but ... it was mine on the understanding that I only used it for certain things and not for other things. The caution was bad enough but to add insult to injury I was actually given a list of things that I COULD NOT use it for.

I concluded that I was being strait-jacketed rather than released to enjoy my gift. I knew it was suspicious when it was offered to me, and I was right to trust my instincts.

It will be returned.

When you give a gift you should release it so the recipient can enjoy it, totally.

It is a real blessing to give without conditions.

No strings attached.

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