Advice Safe

cropped-20180606_161942-2.jpgOne day you will die, accept this fact and live

I have felt a little odd lately, emotionally silly,  full of self pity.  I guess the word I would use is maudlin.  I haven’t written, which is always alarming.  I have been pushing words around my screen like cold brussel sprouts, unable and unwilling to finish a dozen pieces now sitting in my draft folder. Wondering, like a spoiled child, if writing a blog was worth the effort.  I have had terrible nightmares which have woken me up with a beating heart and the need to search their meaning in obscure dream books.

 I have wondered about the world without me in it, a future without my husband by my side.  I have looked at my naked body after a shower and considered how long it will continue to work.  I have worried about my final years, my children, my extended family.

 I was told about a young boy, my son’s age, who has just died from a heart attack.  I could not think properly about anything else for the rest of the day. Continue reading “Advice Safe”

Campfire Story

cropped-img_20180424_102931.jpgPassport Blues

I’m busy, I’m always busy.  I am not sure what life would look like if I wasn’t.  The spaces between sometimes allow for a moment of stillness.  I write of course, but writing mops up the dark voids of sleeplessness, so not sure that counts as stopping.  I lurch manically from one thing to another, sometimes one begins before the other ends.  It’s exhausting to watch,  people say,  but my White Rabbit habit is hard to break; my watch is heavy and ticking.  I brush my teeth and scoop my hair up infront of a mirror but generally, do not spend much time looking at myself.

The traffic on my way home from work makes me stretch my fingers away from the wheel with irritation.  I hit the buttons on the radio to escape the adverts, and think about the millions of things I have to do. I think about the walk on the beach with my dog and unconsciously look to the sky for clouds.

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Advice Safe

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Ankylosing Spondylitis – just keep moving.

I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, it is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory rheumatic disease.  It’s shit, it’s painful, it affects the bones in my spine, particularly the ones at the bottom, the sacroiliac joints.   The disease causes continuous inflammation of the soft tissues around my bones and over time, the inflammation causes the bones to fuse together causing stiffness and rigidity. The process is horrifically painful. I am not special, it affects approximately .5% of the population.  It is a very odd disease to have, more common than leukemia, muscular dystrophy or cystic fibrosis, yet less known.

Ankylosing Spondylitis has quietly stolen part of my life, I do not talk about it too much as nobody knows what Ankylosing Spondylitis is.  Lower back pain is as common as the cold, so meh, it’s not exciting enough to warrant a conversation.  The symptoms and their severity vary from person to person.

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Advice Safe

cropped-pregnancy-test.jpgOut of the Blue

My daughter pushed her way into my world.  I had not decided to have her, but she was ready, and so she came.  I leant against the cool plastic of the public toilet and looked again at the blue mark telling me she was on her way. I called my mum, told her that I was pregnant and wailed that my life was over.

I sobbed and asked  ‘what am I going to do?’  She laughed and said, ‘have a baby,’

Thankfully my boyfriend and I had decided that our infatuation was more than we had intended. At the looming reality of being separated by passport status, we had decided to commit and get married. It was not a romantic proposal, I’m still waiting, rather a reaction from two people who had found the fairytale but needed to fight for the Happy Ever After. We had planned to travel the world for a bit, I think we were going to drop in America somewhere and make our way from there or was it Canada? I can’t remember much about our plans, they were vague, exciting and free.  I do remember I had given in my notice to work and having a baby was not on the itinerary.cropped-30516035_1613639245358059_3609926824106131456_o.jpg

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Campfire story

cropped-20180401_150935-2.jpgOMG I am in Paris

I have just woken up and automatically reach for my phone. I search in the dark, something falls to the ground and fills the room with its annoyance at being disturbed. No phone.  My brain catches up, this isn’t your bedroom, you are in Paris, it reminds me with a sigh, I told you last night. 

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OMG I am in Paris, yes I remember looking up and seeing wrought iron balconies bursting with flowers as I left the Metro.

I remember, get out of bed and stumble around the room, banging my legs, tripping, arms outstretched. I do not know this space so slow down and feel for the walls. I now know where my phone is, I remember telling my husband to plug it in, to recharge.  It is by the coffee machine, I watched him do it before I fell back to a jet-lagged sleep on a turquoise bedspread. My stomach full of red wine, pasta, truffle, pizza, meringue cheese, cream, sponge, cocktails, I had been greedy, I am in Paris and could not decide on just one thing. Continue reading “Campfire story”

Advice Safe

cropped-drift-wood-3.jpgIs lying to your children OK?

I overheard a mother telling her young child, who was having a tantrum, that she was going to leave the store and that the manager would put her in a room on her own.  Now no judging here, I have made plenty of ………….or else statements, it did, however, make me think about how we routinely lie to our children.

What about the small lies we tell as a tool to make children comply.  Is it OK?  Don’t lie! or your nose will grow, finish your crusts they make your hair curly, don’t pick your nose or your brains will fall out. I’m going to find a policeman, Santa is watching you, you better be good.  Are we taking the easy road on a very hard journey?   Is telling a child they must not eat cake before bedtime as it will give them nightmares better than saying, No it is unhealthy? There’s even a term for the white lie approach, it’s called Pinocchio Parenting.

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But if we lie to our children, won’t they think lying is OK??
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Pro chef – Kitchen tips

cropped-p1130373-2.jpgOne Day Children you might thank me!!

I quite often do things in the kitchen without thought, because it was part of my training, so am often surprised when someone watching comments, ‘that’s a good idea’ or asks ‘why do you do that?’  I thought I might jot these things down, bring them home and leave them here. You never know, one day children you might need to know how to julienne a mango or make a choux pastry swan.  These impromptu tips will appear as I fill a page in my notebook.

how to clean mushrooms

Do not wash button mushrooms,  wipe them with a damp kitchen towel.  Continue reading “Pro chef – Kitchen tips”

Advice Safe

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Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

My husband is a New Zealander.  The Kiwis love their land, like the Irish, they almost always return to their birthplace, if they ever leave in the first place.  I am English and proud of my heritage, I love my people more than my land.  It is a subtle difference.

My son is travelling back to London, then on to Paris to compete under the silver fern in a black singlet.  He was born in the UK.

Being British means different things to different people, I think it is these millions of bits of different, that creates the pattern of my country. Personally, I love my Queen, our shared rich and violent history, the grey manic cities and public transport of home.  I love the rolling green hills, beautiful autumn changes, seaside towns filled with ice cream, fish and chips and rolled up trousers.  I love the pomp and ceremony, the stiff upper lip and diversity of the people and the central heating.

My son does not remember most of theses things.

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