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On learning to love oneself…

Recently I’ve been doing some work on myself. The kind where you look inside and think ‘Jeez, what a load of shit I’m carrying.’ This process hurts like hell. It’s wicked hard and takes pretty much your whole life to work this crap out.

But I’m slowly getting to a place where I love myself. This is BIG NEWS. A lot of the time I absolutely hate myself. Or HAVE hated myself, I should probably use the past tense as I don’t hate myself quite as much any more.

I’d recommend taking a look inside yourself, but only if you are prepared to face what’s in there. It’s not pretty.

Personally, my heart contains a truckload of wounds on the following topics – self hatred, unworthiness, little-girl-lost-ness, weak, small, uselessness, low self esteem, my body, my role as a wife and mother. The list goes on. And on.

This voice inside me has been chewing my ear off for as long as I can remember. It never lets up, it always has some criticism to offer. Today I have been listening to it, but have somehow managed to detach myself. The voice that once scared me is losing power.

I have realised that, most of the time, what the voice tells me is BULLSHIT. Most of the statements are, at best, only partly true.

It tells me I’m a bad mum – I’m not: My kids are happy and healthy and live with me, it is obviously not that bad.

It tells me I’m a bad wife – I’m not: Yes, sometimes I take my other half for granted and I should show him more respect, be kinder, listen better. But these things don’t make me ‘bad’.

It tells me I’m ugly – in whose opinion though? My body is not perfect, but then, who’s is? This stems from bullying during my childhood. I am not ‘ugly’. And my partner thinks I am beautiful and sexy, surely this is what counts? But then the voice tells me that he’s only saying it so I don’t get hurt. Well, this is a barefaced lie – a voice in MY head can also be the voice which comes out of HIS mouth? Ridiculousness. MY head cannot dictate HIS thoughts. So, I must accept that he thinks these things of me, he gives me no reason to doubt his honesty. Therefore, it must be true – he thinks I am beautiful.

 

 

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Friday Fictioneers – 20/3/2015

photo by Rachel Bjerke

photo by Rachel Bjerke

Cold ash in the grate, Nemain sat and stared.

Vaguely she remembered times past, when the fire raged, the bustle of feast days. Smiling and laughter.

A leaf carpet where once were fresh reeds. Tapestries torn from the walls, burned in that very hearth. Animal carcasses thrown down the well, to poison their water – those left untouched by the slaughter then destined to die slow and painful.

Only 4, she was spirited away, silently.

2 score years later, it crept upon her. Pressing the small blade into her palm she swore vengeance for blood long spilled.

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Business Blog and upcoming eShop

spirits and steel

Hello all you lovely people. Please would you be so kind as to head over to my new site:

http://spiritsandsteeldesignuk.wordpress.com

This is a new business set up and is still under construction. Plans afoot for lots of pretty things for you to wish you had. Perhaps someone you love will purchase a sparkly gift for you – who knows?

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Friday Fictioneers 13/3/2015

photo by Sandra Cook

photo by Sandra Cook

Silvery grass now crisp underfoot in the morning air. Hot clouds of breath from the boy at my side.

With no overcoat, this child, unshod and raggedy, appears a plaything too old, worn, forgotten.

I glance down. Soon, all will be finished.

Walking further, the boy stumbles, his toe hits a rock. I hear the anguish escape his blue lips. He whimpers.

Underneath matted hair, a single tear falls.

We reach the glassy edge of the stream.

He does not struggle as I plunge his head into the frigid water.

His life trickling away in its flow.

It is done.

 

 

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To retrain or not to retrain…..

This is the question I currently face.

I’m stuck in a dead end job where there is absolutely no room for progression unless I relocate. I can’t relocate, I have kids in school, a partner who earns more money than me (he would still earn more than me, even with relocating, so what’s the point), and I’ve done enough moving house for about 5 people.

I’ve moved house 7 times in the past 14 years. I really don’t want to do it again.

So, shall I be a nurse?

There are openings for support workers at the local PCT, with various hours and they will fund a degree in nursing. So, shall I do it?

My other options are:
– Stay in my part time, boring, unfulfilling retail job.
– Finish my degree in Physics (no prospects, my dream of NASA work is probably not do-able and it costs too much).
– Start a degree in counselling/psychology (which I might not be able to deal with as I have mental issues of my own, and it still costs too much)).
– Do nothing and be a burden on my long suffering boyfriend, whilst becoming old and bitter because I have no vocation.

Answers on a postcard please.

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Honestly, what a ton of shit… a reflection on the media and financial shit-ness

Maybe I just shouldn’t spend so much time on Facebook, but it is annoying the hell out of me. Why, oh why, do they think I want to read pointless news stories about WWE, who’s dating who and who’s marriage it has ruined, Miss fucking Universe?????

Honestly, I just don’t get it. Is it that the world is just so awful that the media think we need to know about this tripe just to draw our attention away from the real issues? Of course they bloody do, we’re not all as thick as they think we are. Or is it that some people really ARE interested in this?! If you are one of these people, please stop reading now, I don’t know why you are bothering to read this post.

Media, just what a load of utter shite. Personally, I want to know about REAL stuff. I understand that these folks want to keep the world informed about what is happening on a global scale, but most of it will not be in any way relevant to my, or indeed your, life. It’s just a waste. I used to buy the papers every Sunday, and it’s just depressing. Oscar Pistorius, Prince George, some footballer or wag is doing the dirty with some movie star. I really don’t care. And you shouldn’t care either.

Oscar Pistorius – I will tread carefully here, I know this may get me in trouble. But, personally, I think he did it on purpose. I don’t see how that night can have gone down the way he said it did. That aside, I don’t think the whole thing warranted the amount of airtime it received. It was all for show, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. He should have been sent down for it for a very long time. The reason he didn’t? a) he’s disabled. b) he’s famous. What was the point of even having a trial, the guy basically got away with it because he cried a bunch of crocodile tears all over the world news. (That is my opinion only, take it as such).

Prince George – he’s a little kid. I don’t care that he will one day be king, I may be dead before that day arrives. I really could not give less of a toss about it. All he is to me is the child of someone i don’t even know. A friend of mine has a son exactly the same age as him, and the coverage of this little boy is akin to TV crews being round at my friends’ house constantly, showing the world that her little boy is doing something that all other toddlers do. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, the only reason the poor kid is on TV is because of his family line. He’s a Prince, so fucking what. I can call myself a prince if I want, it won’t get me on the idiot box.

Footballers/wags – I’m not even going to begin writing about how utterly ear bleedingly boring this subject is.

Things that SHOULD be on the news that normally aren’t:

Animals and plants becoming extinct at alarming rates worldwide – Pandas are everywhere, as are tigers. Pandas are cute, yes, but they don’t want to have babies, just leave them alone. It’s selfish of us, as a species, to keep them alive for our own pleasure because they’re pretty. Sadly, I think their time is done, they know this, we just won’t let them get on with it. Humans interfering again. Tigers on the other hand, just stop fucking chopping them up for medicine. Period. Wolves also. These animals are killed regularly in several parts of America, sometimes as a cull, other times just for fun because a lot of Americans like to go shoot guns at alive stuff and make them not alive. It makes them feel good about themselves. I’d like some wolves to rip your faces off, pretty please. Wolves have been re-introduced in Yosemite and other areas, with HUGE beneficial effects on both flora and fauna – yes, they eat some stuff, but they also promote ecosystem balance. Habitats NEED predators other than humans. So, please, news crews, report on stuff like this.

Global poverty, the AIDS crisis, other humanitarian disasters – we only ever see the ‘worst’ of these things. The media is biased towards kids being blown up and/or starving, genocide, disease, war. These things are, of course, awful and rightly deserve coverage. But there are many other goings on that are equally newsworthy but are not sensationalist enough to be included in bulletins. Or they are only mentioned in passing. Also, especially with reference to war, pay close attention to whose ‘side’ the media are on. For example, when reporting in Palestine, I notice that many news crews are always posted with Israeli groups. Now, this may be because Hamas or less militant Palestinian groups don’t want the crews with them, or it is a conscious decision on the part of the broadcaster/reporter to be seen from that side of the fence: If I’m with Israelis, the Palestinians are shooting at them, therefore at me, so it makes them look like the baddies, rather than vice versa. This is one war that has no right answer. For whatever reason these conflicts are not reported in a bipartisan fashion, it is shameful. I could go on, but we’ll be here all day.

Further: Things that are happening in our own country that affect us personally. The only time things like this are mentioned is when a politician wants to make themselves look good. At the moment in the UK, we are in the run up to a general election. This means that ALL the political parties are trying to out do each other with policies to help the less well off, there’s a lot of talk about taxes – cuts versus rises – and various other fiscal debates to ensure we don’t slip back into recession. Well, to be honest, I want to know what they’re going to do for me. I mean, personally, me. I have 2 young children. I have a partner who works every hour he can and is constantly tired and grumpy. He worries constantly about our finances and he may make himself ill over it. I have a job myself as well. It is only part time and my employer has recently cut my hours to half as I can’t do the shifts they offered me. This means we will lose money. We already have a shit ton of bills to pay, overpayments – because the UK welfare system is so complicated they give with one hand and take back with the other, neither hand knowing what the other is doing – as well as day to day living costs. Basically, we are almost on the bread line. The fact that my hours are being cut doesn’t make a difference to our welfare payments though because, as a couple, we already earn over a certain threshold. So we’re short a load of money and won’t be getting any extra help. So, George Osborne MP, Rt Hon Chancellor of the Exchequer, what are you going to do for ME?! The budget will mention figures once every 6 months, then everybody forgets about them until the next review and everything is just rehashed, but nothing resolved. Fuck you!

 

On another subject entirely:

It seems I know an inordinate number of cunts. You know how you are guaranteed to know at least one person who is an asshole, bordering on being a cunt. I know only a few of these. More often than not, though, the people I know tend to be out and out cunts. What the hell did I do wrong in past life to deserve this? Probably my political views. Oh well.

 

Banter: because being a cunt needed a new, less offensive, title.

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Life is one long lesson

Well, this is something of a shock. I have learned stuff. Here’s a quick list of the ‘stuff’:

1 – Someone remembers me who I thought never would

2 – My ex is a dad

3 – I need a new job

4 – My daughter has issues

 

Number 2 on this list is kind of irrelevant as I was fairly sure he was a dad already, it just happened that it was confirmed last week. This is not a surprise, but the kid has got a stupid dumb ass name. The poor thing. However, it is very much inkeeping with the father’s inflated sense of importance and general pomposity.

Let’s move along.

I need a new job. My current one, don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty cool. I work somewhere I like. The work is easy. My colleagues are lovely. The hours are good and fit in with my life and my kids’ school life. The pay isn’t great, but then, it is retail – I do not expect a miracle. However, next week we’re meant to be starting a new rota as our delivery schedule has changed. Well, they’ve already postponed it once, so it might not happen at all. This is just one of the many variables that are making it hard to cope with. So they want me to work different hours, OK. But they’ve actually changed my hours so it’s more difficult for me to work now than it was before. So I’m working half my contracted hours and they’re not paying me for the other half as I can’t work the new hours consistently. You ken? They’re not changing my contract, but if I don’t work the second half of my hours for 13 weeks it will become my contract anyway. Following? My boss is leaving at the end of this week and therefore doesn’t give a flying fuck about this. He is an asshole anyway and is basically leaving it for the new manager to sort out, coz he’s nice like that. NOT! What a cunt. So, we come to the rub – I need another job really. I applied for one last week with a company I’ve worked for in the past, doing the exact same job that I did before. Do I get an interview? Do I fuck! Because everything is done online now, not even a former employee can get past the algorithm to sit face to face with someone. And I was fucking good at that job too, they’re missing out. Twats. I’ve got a couple other things I’m looking at, so we’ll have to wait and see. I’d love to work for myself, from home, but that may be a pipe dream. For now I will have to keep all my fingers crossed that they let me be a falconer at the local airfield and shoot guns. Or I’m going to retrain as a counsellor.

Next!

My baby girl. My sweet, gorgeous, smarter-than-the-average-bear baby girl. She has issues. In the process of looking for jobs and stuff to do with counselling I came upon some articles about children and their reaction to traumatic events. We already think she might have some sort of ‘ism’ and I think she suffers Attachment Disorder as well. It’s not really bad, but she does show a lot of the symptoms. Just after her 2nd birthday, in the space of 3 months, her father died, I had a baby and we moved house. That is just TOO much shit for a 2 year old to deal with. I was a total wreck and, in hindsight, emotionally unavailable to her for a long time, when she needed me most. I carry a huge amount of guilt with me about this. I feel I should have done better by her. She deserved more than what she got. But the past is the past, and it’s all water. I can’t take it back – the way I was, the things I did, or didn’t do. It tears my heart up to think that this happened to her. I often used to think I was the one who suffered because of what happened, but I forget about her. She was only tiny and she had to cope with all that. She must have felt so alone, scared, abandoned even. No wonder she does strange things now. I let her down. I know a lot of it was out of my control, but I still feel I let her down then. She is now 7 and still suffers the consequences of those months. My precious, beautiful, brave girl – I will make it up to you.

Let’s end on a positive note shall we?

There is a guy I first knew over 15 years ago. I fancied him like crazy. I didn’t think he felt the same so nothing ever came of it. We went our separate ways. I got married not long after that and he was in a band and toured for several years. I lived in the same town for all that time, whilst he travelled the world. Shit happened in my life, and shit happened in his life. Between us we’ve seen pretty much every awful thing you can imagine, been through hell – bones and hearts broken, drug addiction, abuse, death. We never spoke in all those years. Then, 5 years ago, we got back in touch. I forget why, some random reason, probably Facebook related. I was widowed by this time, he was living back in the UK. We talked a lot and discovered that we had felt the same when we were teenagers. I’d wanted him, he’d wanted me too. Why had we never taken the next logical step and been a couple? It obviously wasn’t the right time then, maybe it was now. We were both damaged by life, battered, been brought to our knees by circumstance. Now that all of that was over, maybe we could….. We met up. Once. It was great. We chatted, the sun shone. We walked through a park, messed about on the swings and shit, smoked cigarettes. That feeling was still there, we both knew. As it grew time for me to leave him, I felt I might not get another shot so I ran, jumped and wrapped my legs around him, kissed him. (Yes, dear reader, I really did do this). Briefly, one fleeting kiss. And then he was gone. We parted and then lost touch again. SHIT! He started seeing a girl I vaguely knew, I started seeing someone. Life got in the way – again.images

Fast forward to this past week. In a weird Facebook way, we found each other again. Hurrah! He’s with someone else now, who makes him happy, I’m glad. And you know what, reader? He remembers that one kiss. His memory is shot to shit, and mine is pretty bad too, but he remembers me, he remembers he wanted me and he remembers that single, momentary kiss. I’ll be honest, I did almost make eye water. This has got to be the most amazing thing anyone has ever said to me. My track record with men is pretty horrendous – I have been called most derogatory terms you can think of and am generally labelled a freak or psycho – and they don’t ever remember me, not even the ones who I’ve slept with would remember me. But this guy, this schoolgirl crush, can remember this one thing despite having only seen me once in 15 years. I felt so special, that I was one of the things his head chose to store in its memory box.

He will always hold a special place in my heart. He will also forever be the one that got away.

 

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New Year, New Reading List, kinda…..

http://wp.me/p3Q5KN-1V

This was the post I wrote about a year ago. Guess what? I’ve read NONE of these books in the last 12 months. How SHIT is that?

I didn’t even finish the one that I was actually reading when I wrote the fucking list. Shameful.

To be fair, I did have surgery in early September, (fear not readers, I am not dying) so the last 4 months of 2014 were a bit shit and I didn’t want to do very much. But what the HELL was I doing for the other 8 months? Seriously?!

So, the list remains. It has now grown somewhat…. Let’s hope nothing else ridiculous happens, eh?

Onward!

 

NB: If you have any suggestions, related to titles shown, or just random literature, feel free to post a comment about it. Just so, you know, the list can become impossible 😀 ……

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Another very British morning….

This week in Blighty, we have mostly been experiencing this kind of weather:

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We are used to this and treat it much as we would an elderly relative who doesn’t really remember what’s going on any more.

However, it is soon to be Halloween and Bonfire Night – when we want to light huge outdoor fires and play with explosives. Not so much fun in a late autumn downpour. This year, the kids will not be trick or treating because they are holding a ‘Spooktacular’ in the local woods, which is all rather lovely and ever so British. Generally, if you can’t have an event in your home, garden or hired venue, you migrate to the nearest woodland area, it seems to be tradition. Also, it is free. We Brits LOVE free shit.

This is fine if you live, as I do, in a rural area with lots of farmland close to hand, not so great if you live in the Big Smoke. I don’t think Her Madge would be too happy about you setting Guy Fawkes alight on her front lawn.

So, this ‘Spooktacular’ involves the obligatory pyre, pumpkins, mulled wine and cider, games for the little ones, fancy dress etc.

I REALLY hope it doesn’t fucking rain.

One thing you can always count on with British weather, though, is the fact it can change without any notice whatsoever. Today it is rainy and windy, after 1pm today, it may be glorious sunshine and the beach will be crowded with surfer dudes and barbecues. This is how we live – fly by the seat of our pants – with regards to meteorological happenings.

For example: In many countries it is possible to plan a barbecue, outdoor party, al fresco buffet etc at least 2 weeks in advance. You’ve seen the weather forecast and, as today’s weather is good, you know that in a couple of weeks it will be much the same. You don’t need to check BBC online for advance warnings of storm surges.

Not so if you are in the UK.

If the weather is good today, then it is guaranteed to be good for THAT DAY ONLY. Therefore, if you want to have one of these aforementioned soirees you must go to the supermarket and buy EVERYTHING you could possibly need IMMEDIATELY and invite everyone you know over RIGHT AWAY. You will, of course, find some kind of shelter to erect in the garden because, well, you just never know. You rush home, assume battle stations and dust off the barbecue grill – let’s face it, the last time it saw action was over 4 months ago when there was a time frame of 7 hours to get as hammered as possible. People start to arrive too early because they know the window of opportunity closes ridiculously fast. They bring all the remaining food from the previous (probably washed out) dinner. Every available person is put to work to prepare the area and you put on the oven inside, just in case. Alcohol flows freely.

Before long your house is full, your garden is full, the barbecue is smoking but still not hot enough to cook on and you feel a spot of rain.

Bollocks.

The garden is quickly rearranged so that the covering is nearer to the grill, trying your best not to smother it completely and smoke everyone in the vicinity. You place it closer to the door of your home too. This is precarious, one inch too close and the house will be full of acrid plumes. Yet still you soldier on. People start laughing and joking – what else can you do when you are British? Some of your guests tut, but nobody outright cusses – we all know the score. Hastily the food is placed on the fire and the smell begins to rise. The delicious, mouthwatering scent of flame grilled, charred sausages and chicken wings.

Smiles appear all round, the atmosphere becomes jolly. Despite the increasing frequency of the raindrops, buns are sliced, onions browned, the mustard and ketchup applied lavishly. Someone is bound to burn themselves with the tongs, that’s a given, but we just don’t care. This feast must be completed no matter the cost.

Then a child starts to sob. And your mother in law chows down on a still bloody drumstick.

Party over, dude.