Thoughts x 1000...

posted on: Thursday, 24 March 2016

Hi. Long time no see. Been busy.

I should send that line as explanation to everyone I know, as at the moment I am a blur in everyone's rear view mirror. It's not been all bad - we went away for a few days to Miami, which was a hell of a long way to go for such a short time, but, well anyway, long story, it was a thing with my husband's work. We flew on my birthday, which was strange; nothing like being suspended over the Atlantic for nine hours on your 42nd birthday and feeling rather conflicted about leaving your kids at home. Yes, I did. Of course, they were fine.

On the flight a woman got so drunk that she fell over, virtually in to my lap, hit her head and had a nosebleed all over her beautiful white silk pussy bow blouse (who wears white silk on a flight? It's cotton all the way for me). It was one of those bizarre surreal moments when someones vulnerability is laid bare and I kinda wanted to look away but in the closed quarters of the fuselage that wasn't possible. Then, when we landed and checked into a hotel in South Beach, we went out with some of my husband's colleagues to a gay bar where transvestites performed. It was wild and memorable and funny and you know when you see someones vulnerability laid bare and there's no need to look away because they have grace (even though they're non-standard) and you get the feeling that they are all good? That. It was very cool way to spend my (jet-lagged) birthday. The rest of the time there we hunkered down on the beach like the sun-starved Brits we are and I marvelled again at the palm trees and the sand and the clear turquoise water. I told my long-suffering husband that I love Florida more than anywhere else.

Then home, then I had college for a few days. I have the book to finish and the weight of that eventuality is heavy right now. I am not working at a steady rate, there is so much else going on in my mind.

Times are tough with the teenage thing. I won't go into detail as honestly in the world of blogging, I think I am most definitely at a point where I have to respect my daughter's privacy. This is interesting to me as I apply this logic in the knowledge that she has a completely different perspective of privacy to my entire generation. Just last week I had to tell her to take something inappropriate down from Facebook. And it's not like I haven't given her that message before, I feel like I have been saying it ad nauseum since she was 12.

Anyway - this parenting gig, it's tricky. As I told my sister in law on Mothers Day (when I was the war-weary mother of a teen and she still has cute, blonde, cuddly little ones who go to bed at 7pm) that if this were a job, I'd be wanting to quit. I feel like I have written that before here - maybe in the last post - if so, I am sorry. See the title of this post - a gazillion thoughts, not enough time to process them.

It's the whirl of the end of term and my kids break up today. We are going skiing tomorrow.

On other less personal insights:

I follow, on recommendation from my daughter a variety of instagram feeds, for fullness and perspective - but these (here and here) are troubling me. It is no wonder young people have a completely warped view of life/relationships/body image if this is in their world. I am all for free speech and for expressing yourself but simply put: no one's life is like that. It's like perfection with a soft porn focus.

Can I just also say, whilst on this topic, that I spent about an hour in 'Victoria's Secret' the other day (pretending we were in an American mall but in fact it was dreary, grey Southampton!) and felt like the perfect images of the 'angels' on the wall were affecting my self esteem! WTF? These women are otherworldly. Impossibly perfect. I know I have had my time; hey, I am 42, but seriously, I would hate to work in that place. That way madness lies. Nice bras though. Never seen so many bras. And all with inch-thick bullet proof padding. Hmmm. Don't get me started on feminism today...

Do I sound grumpy?!

On a good note, my son faced his fears and went on a residential trip with his school that has been worrying him for six months. Lovely to pick him afterwards and my God I missed him.

My hair had gone inadvertently blonde. I am OK with this.

My daughter wrote an essay on modern marriage in Philosophy and got an 'A'. Discuss.

Watching the new series of 'Girls'. Wooaahh. It's pushing the boundaries.

My house is not yet finished, but getting there. One day it will all be done. Repeat.

I have been thinking about blogging and this place. I have been writing here for a long time and when I look back I see there are times I have written a lot and then less so. I always have it in my head as something I should do, and when I don't do it, I feel I have let you all down. But then I think back to how blogging used to be and how many people commented and read along and made friends and how now, there is so much less of that. I accept that fact and can see the trajectory of blogging alongside other media like instagram and pinterest which have taken the place of blogging. As time has gone on our attention span has diminished and so I wonder whether anyone actually reads blogs anymore? There is clearly a need to evolve and to play the game differently. I wonder whether I am too busy to play the game anymore? I figure I will pop up here when I can and if anyone is still left, I'll say 'hi'.

So 'hi!'.

History and now...

posted on: Thursday, 10 March 2016

Historically, when things have gone quiet on the blog, it has been because life has overtaken me and I can't find the right words here to share it. I quite like to write 'historically' as I like that this blog has existed for over six years and is a little testament to my time. I don't know what I shall do with it when and if I become a 'proper' writer; does one keep a blog of frippery like this, then?

Anyway, life has indeed overtaken me and that is why there have been no words here for some weeks. This is partly because I am finishing the book - I've been working hard on it and on my college submissions and honestly, when you are on a daily word count, the prospect of writing more words can seem daunting. Plus my keyboard had orange juice spilt on it and the 'space' button won't push down. This means the flow of sentence comes out on the screen as onelongwordthatnoonecanread. Annoying.

The other element is that my home life has been tricky - and not altogether in a good way. Life with the teenager has become fraught again, as it is oft to do, as no one has a modern teenager daughter and comes out unscathed. Incidentally an article I wrote on teenagers has been published in an anthology of mother's stories and it can be seen here: The Mother Book.

This is all rather exciting, in as much as I liked getting the book in the post and seeing my name in there - page 174 if you're interested. I noted that the article - which I wrote over a year ago - resembles precisely how I feel right now, almost to the letter. Overwhelmed and trying to keep to basics and to make sure I am in fact being a good, fair parent when honestly, if motherhood were a job, I'd be thinking of asking for a Sabbatical right now. I always found in the past that Sabbaticals were quite effective, not least for showing you what life is like without that bloody hard work that is making you feel exhausted.

So I am doing the hard work and what can I say? It's hard. And I am on my own a lot as my husband has been either away or afflicted with the worst case of man flu I have known in him in a decade. Thankfully, we are going to have a few days away together this weekend - when incidentally I am turning 42! Gosh. That crept up.

And in amongst all this there is still the everyday, dog to walk, food to buy, meals to cook, book to write. I am hanging on. I have always felt that I wish I was one of those real trooper women, you know the kind who roll with anything and everything and never get defeated? I am defeated and I recognise in myself this fact. This is what 42 years of enlightenment does to you. You see when you are beat.

And still I tell myself, almost hourly: let it go. Just let it go, Lou.

By the way updates on the no shop shop: I did it for a month and then I caved. I have a black tie event and needed a dress, and then shoes. Oh and a top. But no more than that and I start again with a fresh month. The no shop shop for March.

The house, which is currently ratting to the sound of carpenters downstairs who are building us a study, is still not finished. I am weary of the half-done and long to empty the remaining boxes of stuff that have now gathered dust for nearly a year. But the good part is that the parts that are finished, I love. I do maintain that walking into a room that you love lifts the soul. At least for me it does.

The winter drudges on and I am tired of the grey days and the layers of clothes. Nothing new there then.

I hope that things will level out soon and that I will get better at riding out the tough times. But in the meantime, I hope you're all well and I'll be around soon.