Thursday, May 31

The (Long) Last Post

The future may, possibly, prove me a liar in my choice of title but right now it feels like this is the last post I ever want to make about this whole childhood abuse thing. I want to finish it, underline it, start on a new page with the date at the top written in freshly sharpened pencil. Proper sharpened, you know, with a stanley knife rather than a little plastic thingy?

This past nine months has seen me defined as a victim within a system and I'm really fucking bored with it so once this ramble is out of my system that's it; I'm reborn, kicking, screaming, unashamedly covered in blood and mucus rather than gurgling and smelling of Johnsons but it's a new start, all the same. Poke your original sin two foot six up your arse cos I never really believed that catholic bollocks anyway.

Wednesday night I got very drunk. Watching the nutters that win [sic] a place on Big Brother will do that to a body. Watching them after a day that included collecting two each of my precious children and nephews from my mother and being drawn in for coffee cos, of course, they're not quite ready yet and anyway, my ex sister-in-law is there with her other chav child that I've never felt the inclination to see despite my mothers insistence that she's just like babygirl at that age but ex sis-in-law would love to see me again and tell me how great my kids are while she jingles her 99 carat Elizabeth Duke on her tattoos, talks about the earthquake and shows off her new football top... well, who could blame me for turning to alcohol after that, I ask you?

My mother put cow juice in my coffee. I don't rememember exactly how many years it's been since I took my coffee white but I do know it's been A FUCKING LOT OF THEM. I managed not to scream that she was a selfish cunt who knowingly sacrificed her female children for her own security, instead calmly relaying the information I had about court times for the following day so she could let bruv know, for practical purposes.

That wasn't even the end of it. After dropping my nephews home, having deep and meaningful 'day before sentencing' conversations with sis and beefy BIL and learning that policewoman was off sick so couldn't attend (but would we call her at home and let her know the outcome please?), I had to go buy a kettle cos my lovely glass designerish effort had died on me the night before and drinking green tea made from a saucepan of water poured through a funnel just wasn't doing it for me.

If I give you nothing else of import, ever, let me give you this. Regular descaling, just say no.

I'm now the proud owner of a Tesco Value kettle that does what it says on the box for a fiver. Ok, maybe proud is stronging it slightly. I mean, obviously I know that there is blood on my hands for buying something that was probably made by someone that lost yet another finger in the dark, damp factory after a 30 hour shift that they earned 20p for. Out, damn spot!

Thursday morning, J day, finally dawns. Copious amounts of green tea from my new kettle rehydrate me slightly. I can't eat though. Ex husband arrives to collect babyboy and babygirl. He's in a different car and seems to want me to be impressed. I surf my wave of incredulity to go outside but all I can offer his expectant look is a rendition of 'Oh Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz'. He didn't take that very well but he did take the kids so I took the chance to have a shower in peace.

As I dressed I thought that I may not want to wear today's outfit again so I chose a skirt that I hate anyway and a cheap enough to be disposable top. I'd already had a conversation with law-trained Peachypants about what to wear; my confusion stemming from not wanting to look too 'together' and thus non-affected in front of the all powerful judge but also needing to feel comfortable and confident enough to get through the day. Clothes may well not maketh the woman but they sure do allude to the mood.

I nipped to town to get my boots re-heeled and talk to a nice old tradesman that knows only what I present at that moment (and buy more cigarettes while he works). (But not from the co-op cos due to total fucking incompetence they've lost / can't be arsed to look in the stock room for my lovely pink umbrella that I left there last week so they'll never see another penny of mine. Hah! Feeeeeel my £4.43 wrath, eco-friendly, idiot employing asshats!)

Blimey, shit and shopping. Welcome to my life! Donations gratefully accepted.

I digress. Beefy BIL collects me, conversation is stilted until we reach the court and he drives two miles past it looking to park. Luckily, cousin calls to tell of spare spaces within the court grounds so my new heels are saved from a route march. We enter the cafe, sorry, 'public restaurant' to meet Uncle, Auntie and Cousin and immediately hear how Uncle has just come face to face with step-dad whilst purchasing hot beverages. So much for the 'he'll be downstairs in the cells, you can walk around sans worry' stuff that we'd heard from cousins policeman boyfriend. Shit, shit, shit!

Have you ever been to a wedding? Woken with that sense of utter urgency, rushed round like mad getting ready only to arrive, giddily breathless, at a trying too hard to be architecturally worthy municipal building then have to hang around for ages while you sweat all down your finery?

The case was due to be heard at 2pm (having been pushed back from 12.15 already). We know that step-dad had been brought by his boss so Bruv, looking every inch the accused, casually wanders round to find him having also worked for him in the past. On his return we learn that step-dad's brief is caught up in a rape case and, unless that judge releases him for half an hour at 2pm, we'll have to hang around till they can fit us in at four.

I catch myself considering a Daily Mail subscription. Had Bruv not gleaned this information we'd never have known what was happening. One of the many gut-stabbing ironies of this past near year has been that step-dad receives information far faster than we do what with his having consistent, paid for representation and us having the CPS machine working for us.

Two more hours to wait. Two hours of Klix coffee and hard seats and people watching. Juries coming and going, defendants coming and not always going. I counted the charms on the girlfriends bracelets, went on to play spot the prison tattoo, watched people watching me and studiously avoided making eye contact with my mother who stood, red faced and teary eyed the whole time.

We were finally called at 4.10 and the bewigged person talking to Her Honour on our behalf began by asking for time to acquaint himself with certain particulars, i.e. the whole case. After bickering about whether she could hear another case while he caught up it was decided that he could speed read the documents and wing it.

Winging it consisted of reading previously highlighted sections of our statements aloud, summarising our lives according to someone else's values including, of course, the most disgusting details. Details I'd only ever disclosed to my nice policelady and was now hearing in deep barristertone along with eight family members, the accused and the assorted randoms in the public gallery. Sweet. Sis and I grip hands harder to try and stop the shaking, try and stay grounded, block out the craning necks, the nudges and the 'it must be them, poor cows' whispers. He completes his reading aloud exercise by respectfully reminding Her Honour that this was a case where she may make a compensation order alongside any other sentence she feels appropriate and sits down to fiddle with his laptop.

His barrister then did much the opposite of ours. Instead of reading out bits of his statement he turned it around completely. Very slowly, very deliberately, he painted a well researched picture of a man full of remorse who had apportioned absolutely no blame to 'the girls', lived a law-abiding, productive life for years before and after this terrible, dark time 28-30 years ago, adored his wife and family and had lost them just as he should be thinking of retirement and spending more time with them.

This was not the sick, manipulative man known to me or sis, not the arrogant man in his statement who insisted that we initiated these things, not the man who consulted with his solicitor then replied 'no comment' when asked about other children, no; a totally different man. An elderly gentleman who had lived with the Sword of Damocles over his head for many years and had already punished himself far more than the law could for his one and only aberration. A man who the public had no need of protection from, who had rehabilitated himself and could therefore, surely, serve his punishment by way of a community service order and save the public purse the huge cost associated with imprisonment? A man made ill by the protracted proceedings of this case which caused him to have a 1.5 hour journey to work each morning and evening since he had been forced to live with his sister. The sister who had sent in a letter praising his character.

I wonder what he told his sister for her to do that? Certainly it was obvious by the shocked, pale face of his boss that the facts just spelled out were not what he'd been told when he agreed to be designated driver and character witness in person. We listened to him torn between revulsion and loyalty, trying to make sense whilst answering questions of job security (he couldn't say for sure, the other blokes on the firm had reservations and he's only a small business...) and reconciling the man he thought he'd known for forty years with the crimes he'd admitted to.

And then it was over, she was asking him to stand up. A passing mention of the position of trust that he abused 'along with those two young girls' and a sentence of three years, reduced to two and a half to reflect how long the proceedings had taken and that nothing had been reported twenty years ago. No compensation award as he would be of reduced means and 'money won't make those girls feel any better'. No, but it sure would have made my bank manager smile. There was another delay as they looked up how long he'd have to be on the sex offenders register for (life, for a sentence of 30 months or more) and then he was gone, Her Honour asked that someone let him know he'll only actually serve half that time and called for the next case.

I walked outside, needing air and space and wanting to be away from the crowd of family that had stopped in the corridor for post occasion cliches. Auntie joins me, I ask if sis is ok, she says yes and hugs me (I learn later that cousin expressly warned her not to cry on me). I finish a cigarette and wonder what's keeping them all inside, the histrionic faint perhaps? Weeping, wailing, renting of garments?

His boss exits, Auntie isn't about to let him go without explaining himself and he expresses his shock, how much he feels for the girls etc. I thought I was invisible until he said directly to me 'it's your poor mother you have to look out for now, this should have been sorted out twenty years ago'.

Shaking my head at yet another one falling for her victim act I looked him in the eye and said 'my mother should have sorted this out twenty years ago, it wasn't our place, it was hers'. He put his hands up and said 'ah, I don't know anything about that' as he backed away. My point exactly, idiot.

Then they're all out and asking how I feel and why am I smoking? Before I can speak my mother answers 'she's celebrating' and I make a deal with God that I'll be good forever if he could just, please strike her dumb. We make our way to the car park, I'm hungry, thirsty and emotionally numb. I want to get in the car so I can text the people that I know have been thinking about me today, let them know that I'm ok and what the outcome was, I want to go home and hold my children but my mother is dragging things out, unwilling to let everyone go their separate ways. In the end she realises I'm really not going to go to her so walks over and awkwardly hugs me, muttering 'stay strong, stay strong'.

I walked to the car saying 'yep, cos some cunt has to don't they?'

The guest list

Sis and I decided a while back that she and I would attend court alone. Gain closure the same way we've been through the last thirty years, alone but standing together.

That changed to having her husband come along, to drive and do practical things if we came over all emotional or something. There's no precedent for these occasions so it made sense to plan for anything and he's a nice beefy fella to have around.

Mother doesn't drive, preferring to passive agressively rely on everyone else to ferry her around, what with her fear of public transport and people. Having confirmed that she wasn't going to fall for it, sis then calls my brother to arrange for him to. So now it's me, sis, her hubby, our mother, bruv and bruv's girlfriend (for practical reasons).

Next thing I hear is that Uncle, who introduced him to my mother in the first place and obviously feels completely shitty now he knows, wants to be there; needs closure to a forty year friendship that was built on a horrible lie. Understandable, I guess.
Course, wherever he goes, Auntie goes. That's just how some couples work. Auntie doesn't drive either so cousin is tagging along in case Uncle has a problem with driving home afterward.

What a fucking circus. Far away from the original plan of sis and I standing together to see him brought to justice then going to a quiet pub for a drink and a think. I see no dignity in turning up mob-handed like something out of a soap opera.

Still, I'll be there to make sure everyone feels understood and heard as usual. Though I swear if my mother has a histrionic fainting fit or one person shouts out 'rot in hell, nonce!' I shall start screaming and possibly never stop.

Wednesday, May 30

J minus 1


12.15 tomorrow.

Lots of thoughts, no articulation. I may finish one of my many drafts later. Don't hold your breath though, I may well be too drunk. My heart is in my mouth and I know that brandy will wash it down.


Time has changed to 2pm.

Saturday, May 26

What a peach

Despite the ZZ Top earworm her text gave me, I met up with Peach in the rooftop bar of a lovely club, an hour late and looking less than glam from the journey. Beer appeared before me like magic and the talking commenced. Talking which didn't stop all night and was lubricated by raspberry champagne shots, brandy alexanders, a glass of water (!) and two bottles of champagne.

We did think about food at one point but that got lost when Mr 'Do I look like ITV, dahling?!' and his hanger on gatecrashed our conversation and we pretended we were lesbians. Soon enough they were off with a 'toodles, darlings!', we moved over to the comfy sofas where we stayed and talked ourselves daft and then realised it was very much later than we realised, as it were.

Packing Peachy into a cab I got to the tube and found it closed (12.45 on a friday night in London and you can't get a tube? ffs!) so phoned ex hubby to pick me up and took the opportunity to talk about the kids on the way home.

I woke up with a smile on my face and no hangover, (sorry, babe!). It was a brilliant night, screaming laughter and deep, meaningful stuff blended into one, wonderfully long, meandering conversation. Sarah is really, really lovely and she talks as much as me!

Thanks darling, that was exactly what I needed after this crappy week xx

Thursday, May 24

J minus 7

Judgement day. I should be in court now but it's been adjourned. Again.

Probably for probation reports. I've heard some of their findings already, namely that this man poses a danger to society. A view shared by the investigating officers. What more is there to report?

Nearly a year ago he admitted the 15 counts he was presented with and refused to comment when questioned about others.

Nearly two months ago he pleaded guilty in court.

Yet he's still walking the streets. Not even under bail conditions, these were lifted at the plea hearing. Free, then, to contact me, my sister, to live in his marital home with my mother if he wishes. I think the fear of violence keeps him away. I hope it continues to do so for another week.

My life is a Sun headline.

Wednesday, May 23

J minus 3

Monday my mind thanked me for taking the weekend off but prodded me every now and then to remind me of the recently enforced speed limit. I listened, drove myself carefully, ignored texts from the man I was meant to meet and eat on saturday, planned to teach things that would stretch the students rather than me, gently laughed at myself when my spoken words didn't come out right. It's a pms thing, my hormones go straight to my tongue.

I even asked for help. Yes, me! Ms Inde-fucking-pendent-to-the-death, voiced, out loud, that I wasn't able to juggle all the balls today. Better, I didn't automatically take the shitty end for someone else to do the fun part.

Better yet, when an aggrieved A asked afterward 'So what's given you the arse?', I didn't shrug it off but stated that I didn't have the pigging arse, I was stressed. Added that they were two very different states of mind even if I am a woman.

'Ok, what's stressing you so much?' he sighed. His hands didn't waver from holding the flame to my cigarette but I saw the air quotes anyway. Oh but how I want to kill his beautiful face when he does that.

I didn't, of course.

Instead I took a deep lungful of carcinogens before saying 'I have to go to court on thursday and it's... a bit, unpleasant'

'Shit. What for?' Inquisitive now, suddenly very aware that there are things I've kept from him. He thought he had me, thought he knew all about me. Silly, naive boy-man.

'To see my step-dad go to prison'

'Shit. What for?' (I should probably explain here that I didn't fall for him due to his extensive vocabulary)

He has divorce and contact issues ongoing as well as a driving offence, court is his second home. I see his mind jumping to the obvious (to him) conclusion that I'm being an over-reactive, histrionic adopted-step-daughter worried at losing her parental figure. Rolling my internal eyes I say,

'For fucking about with me and my little sister'

I hear it and feel it's a bit of a cop-out on my part but my mind prods me with that stick again, whispers in my ear that being brave enough to tell doesn't have to mean spelling it out for the hard of thinking.

My mind sounds just like my beautiful sister in full, professional, flight as it says that.

Enough progress for one day. I change the subject, ask after his issues, watch him dive gratefully, big head first into the pool of relief that is talking about himself while I nod and gesticulate as appropriate, smoking my cigarette.

Monday, May 21

Emotional exhaustion

Marathon mind, thinking, talking, feeling, feeding, all of friday. One door closes, two more open, both calling me through to clean the rooms behind them, sort through, throw out what's not wanted, open the envelopes I've avoided, negotiate paying the bills therein.

I wanted to clean the rooms in my real house, music up loud, mind on mute. Control my environment with steaming soapy water and a damp cloth, go on to the garden that's grown so much already.

Then, plans for the weekend, physical outings. Emotions not invited. Uncontrolled sex on saturday, controlled violence on sunday. Get my house in order, get out there, get busy. Business as usual, nothing to see here. Thursday? Cross that bridge when I come to it, far more important things to do before then.

Mind clears its throat. Quietly, passive aggressively sucks the manic energy from my body, pushes me to my chair, closes my eyes, slows my heartbeat. I'm not going to have a big breakdown, mind says, but I must insist that you stop bodybusying for a while and pay me some attention. I worked really hard yesterday containing everything, can't remember the last time I had a day off actually. I'd quite like for you to take some care, do something creative maybe, but do it quietly and don't worry that the place is a bit messy.

Do that for me, mind says, and I'll help you get through next week. I'll even allow you to do one physical thing each day until judgement day if it helps. But I won't be ignored anymore.

And I understand what it means.

Wordpress hates me

Any comment I make on wordpress blogs disappears recently.

I'm not happy about being here with the spam.

It smells. Nigerians keep trying to sell me viagra and pass on stock market tips with weird titles. Anglers keep trying to pinch bits off me to use as bait.

If you have a wordpress blog and you've not had any inanity from me of late, please rescue me. It's dark in here.

Ten queue mush lee.

Sunday, May 20

Ooh, that's a big blogger you have there!

Timbo and Furtive have come over all Davina and Dermot, Big Blogger 2007 is going to be bigger and, er, bloggier than ever before!

Anyone that's been out for a quick sherbert with me will know I'm the shy and retiring type so I can't think what came over me when I nominated myself (oh, and promised to get drunk and jump in the pool topless on the first night). Anyway, get over there! I've made it easy, even if you're ratarsed! Boost my nominations then press Ctrl&D to keep up with the voting fun.

You know you want to. You also know I'll whinge summink alarming if you don't...

Big Blogger 2007

Thursday, May 17

New musical obsession

James Hunter. I think I'm a little bit in love with this man. I found him quite by accident so we're obviously fated.

Friday, May 11

Perceptions of a peadophile

There are lots of people inside me with something to say right now.* My writers voice is fighting to be heard over the silent but insistent sobbing of my inner child and the roaring, righteous anger of my big sister/parental persona. I need to turn my mental madness into verbal vomit so you'll just have to pick the sweetcorn out on your own.

I think when I realised I had an audience I forgot that a bit, wrote for the reader rather than for me. Which, don't get me wrong, was good; I love writing for an audience, I like feedback saying I've made people laugh or remember or feel better or think or cringe. It just wasn't always what I needed and I realise now that I've gone onto my standard class clown, people-pleasing mode at the expense of expressing my dark side, a cost that my various inner people aren't willing to cough up at this moment in time. Tight bastards.

Anyway, you've been warned.

Impact statement signed, I read the statement that step-dad gave to the police. The first thing that struck me was how I heard it in my head. The policewoman's lines, transcribed verbatim from the tapes as per, very clearly processed in her voice with all her particular intonations, emphases and pauses. His words though, heard silently. No voice auto-attached itself to the words as they hit the back of my eyeballs, no accent, no timbre, not even a monotone. Just black type, white page, aural nothingness.

I feel this is more than reticence of the retina. Have the years of estrangement made me forget his voice? Maybe reading his version took me back to that place, those incidents. All carried out in oppressive, urgent, I'm not sure why I just know none of us must speak, suffocating, silence. Perhaps that's why my mind never shuts up now. Silence is icky even when peace is what I so desperately need.

The next hit, the justifications. I actually laughed out loud reading it. Apologised to policewoman for such an inappropriate reaction. It's a good job he pleaded guilty, a jury of normal people would have ripped him to shreds, it's classic paedophiliac thinking process. You see, my sis and I, at the ages of 4 and 6, well, we came on to him. Fucking pair of Lolita's we were!

The male, 'bad', copper asked him if he seriously believed that two children of that age really could, independently and separately, make overtly sexual advances to a man in his thirties, cos he didn't think so. The arrogance of 'I'm afraid it doesn't matter what you think' needed no voice to convey the venom he spat out with the words.

There are episodes he's mixed up, said it was sis when my recall tells me it was me and vice versa. I feel strangely offended that I meant that little to him. Feeling offended at that makes me want to vomit. I hate that it opposes his manipulative 'it was only because I loved you so much' bullshit, drip fed to me for years afterwards in order to ensure my silence, my toeing the family line, my non-rocking of boats. I hate that feeling either offended or manipulated are my only choices. Acknowledge, own, move on. Two down, one to go. Next.

People that meet me socially wouldn't guess it but I have an invisibility problem. I went for an appointment with my therapist once and stood in the waiting room for 35 minutes beyond my scheduled time because I'd not seen her emerge from the room to tell me her previous client had left. When she eventually found me she said she'd looked for me three times, knowing I was never late. I'd been standing right there, she simply hadn't seen me. I'm invisible, easy to overlook or ignore according to your needs. She took it to supervision then we explored it, decided this was obviously something I learned in order to avoid more abuse. Stimuli -> response. Box -> ticked. Therapist -> exonerated.


Reading his perception now I see my invisibility was a condition I got from from birth and he confirmed by being so obviously 'in love' with sis that I was nothing more than similar neck down and malleable neck up. A second class gift, he didn't even have to work to make me serve in silence for I was born good. My mother tells proudly of the good baby I was - the subtext being how, amongst her life of violence and abuse, I was the one thing that didn't control her. Later in life, like, at four or five, I figured that out for myself. I innately knew not to do or say anything that would induce the tears or sighs of depression from my victimised mother. By the time she married him I was 6 years old and compliance personified.

Sis and I have always argued that the other had it worse. Till now I truly believed that she had it worse because, as the mother figure, I should have protected her. I read his words and yes, it's sick that he thought of her as some kind of ex-lover tormenting him with her 'new' man when she was 16 and again with the man she went on to marry. I laugh when I see his total recall of the the money he paid for her son to have some educational tests done privately.

He remembers a sum of £268 but the fact that it was seven year old me he abused during a particular incident isn't worth mentally tagging. What he did is recalled perfectly, who he did it to doesn't deserve memory space.

Ok, sis; you're right. I can finally see that what he did to me was worse. Worse because he used the overly compliant child that I was, not only for his own ends but as second best and made no secret of it. Worse because he used my previous emotional manipulations against me and that led to so many years of self loathing that there have been countless long nights in the last three decades that I wished he'd just killed me rather than leave me feeling like this for the rest of my life.

*I started this post on the 11th April, a whole month ago. I come back to look at the draft every few days, feeling full of bravery and good intentions but then balk, flit off somewhere more comfortable. Somewhere I can be funny or caustic or advisory, someone else's comment box, somewhere I could wear my mask in safety. My eternal thanks go to Peach for the post that forced my inertia to remove its clown make-up, get on its bike and try to complete this phase in my recovery. I owe you a pint, Peachypants.

Monday, May 7

Artful dodger

Babyboy is an aspie type, somewhere on the autism spectrum that my particular health authority refuse to quantify because it would cost money in the education sector. It's ok, middy; I'm not drunk enough to go all ranty and political tonight, this is just a scene setting paragraph to explain why this is so special to me.

Aspies/autistics don't deal with personal contact in the way most of us do so, when babyboy establishes a new routine that involves snuggling with me I take it as a major blessing. We used to sit and watch casualty on the sofa together but that's died out as he's got older. He'll be a teen in a few weeks, I'd resigned myself to losing that last physical link we had and researched other ways to keep close to him without freaking him out.

My inner child stamps her foot and screams at me that loving, non-sexualised physical contact was sorely missing for her and is absolutely neccessary for shedloads of reasons. I hug and kiss No 1 Son and babygirl every day to make inner child feel better but I sense that babyboy is not comfortable with it even though he needs it so I rein in the touchy-feely parent I've become and wait for him to come to me.

I came back from a - very rare - whole night away from my children and slipped back into normal, albeit hungover, mode. As dinner comes to an end I feel my hand being led to the sofa and sit where I'm directed as babyboy takes a place beside me. I tuck my legs under myself as is my wont, he settles into a place very close to me. I stroke his face the way I know he can cope with and, not that he'd admit it, enjoys. I feel something soft and stroky on my ankle and think "Yes!' This is progress, this is him trying to return physical contact to make someone else feel good. Finally, he's showing that he can empathise!"

Er, no. He was being artistic with a permanent marker. Comme ci.

It's still there right now. Slightly faded from exfoliator scrubbing and many applications of waterproof mascara remover but there, all the same.

Sunday, May 6

Blah Blogblast

I'm so dehydrated that I haven't peed all day despite litres of water and green tea. I think my liver has fallen out. Random memories before I crash and get some much needed kip. Not in order.

Princess telling Vi when I pulled up in the car 'I thought the A Team had turned up!'

Kitchen sink confessions. Beer.

The Angie and Princess mutual appreciation society (don't forget to mail me about your mate)

Geminis are fabulous. All four of us.

Brandy and coke.

Me calling that poor bloke 'simple' all night.

And singing 'Daniel my brother, you are older than me' to another. At least three times.

The stripy jumper shop.

Large vodka's with red bull.

The woman in the loos throwing her arms about telling me and Princess that our conversation was sooo exciting.

Putting coke in the brandy bottle and drinking straight from that cos I couldn't be arsed looking for a glass.

Crip's intense eyes when I did his reading. And really wishing I wasn't so pissed so I could have done a better job for him.

Builders bum (Middy, you're naughty!)

Straddling Princess while I was talking at Joie.

Pineapple lumps - ewww!

Throwing a chair at a 'boy'. That one was early on!

Doing politics with Middy before realising that Vi wasn't coming back and the sun was up.

Texting fwengey then having no signal for ages.

Flowers in my cleavage, then hair. Then Princess's, then pretty much everyone's. Hair, I mean.

Comparing tattoos with, er, some bloke (I've forgotten his name again, Vi!)

Making simple give me 50p for the ciggie machine.

Princess getting a hairband given to her from behind the bar. By a bloke.

Singing. Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby! Ride on time. And others. Loud and badly.

Leaving my boots in the bath.

Giggling at 6' Middy trying to climb into the top bunk.

Waking up with my lenses stuck to my eyes and still feeling very, very drunk.

Scaring a small boy then calling him the wrong name.

One drunk photo and two drunk videos helped me to recover some memories but I still have large chunks missing! Will try and post the vids tomorrow.

24 hours only... Too late!

Vi, Blah didn't dissappoint, baby!

Saturday, May 5

Jober as a sudge

And that's all I have to say on the matter.

Oh, wait. You really are my beshtest friend.

Yeah, you.

Whatever your name is.

Shit, come to think of it, what's my name?

Thursday, May 3

Gardening ghosts

Both gardens are a mess, untouched for nigh on two years; since Joseph, in fact. I've tried before. The flymo fell to bits when I tried to use it, the strimmer needed it's strim manually resetting every ten-twenty seconds. Really. I timed it to distract myself from wanting to cry.

I don't cry, I do. Tears are of no practical use so they can fuck right fucking off cos, me? I'm busy dealing with things, get outta my way.

Symmetrical pots and baskets of colour now frame the new front door, the borders weeded so the bluebells can thrive, babygirl's sunflower seedlings can grow and absolute order can be displayed to anyone that passes a glance on their way to somewhere more important.

Just don't look round the back. You really don't want to see what's hidden behind the locked gate. Sorry. I'm trying.

Round the back, amongst other things, the window fitters left the old glazing units blocking the path. I moved them to somewhere less troublesome. Still inconvenient but not so glaringly obvious. They were incredibly heavy, it took an age, I was aching and bruised but satisfied. I don't have to leave shit where other people dump it, I can shift it to where it doesn't bother me as much. I love my independent streak. It's what I do.

Such a strong need to be strong. Weakness is a luxury for people with no-one else to look after.

That was the start of six (as yet, this is far from over) days of hard labour, punctuated only by my need for green tea and my children's need for me. I figure why the mo won't fly, realise a new mower isn't much more than the cost of getting it fixed. No waiting time either and I really do need it right now, while the time is right, while I'm right. Purchase it and some new strim, I'll freecycle the old one, ease my landfill conscience if not my overdraft.

I fucking hate when I can define problems but not fix them. I spit my most evil, venomous bile at the false hope, kill it stone dead for it's nasty tormenting. It stops me wanting to cry at it. I don't want to rely on anyone else to fix my breakdowns. I can't trust 'other people' for fucks sake! They say things like '3 weeks wait' and 'sentencing adjourned' and 'minimum charge' and they don't even look at you properly while they say it. Cunts. They can all just piss the piss off, pissily. I'll RTFM and DIY, so pissing there.

Finally, strim. Mow. A high cut so as not to leave it weakened and overexposed.

My emotions want to rip everything out, violently, mercilessly. Instant gratification? Shit, yeah! Bring it on! My intelligence and knowledge restrain me yet again. Remind me that's not the way to long term, low maintenance growth, whisper to me of babies and bathwater. Pull me back into line, push me back onto my knees.

I get to the borders, crawl into the darkness to clear out the undergrowth. Rotting leaves, shells of (now homeless?) snails, weeds, dead wood, all kinds of ick painstakingly cut, pulled or dug out. Nettles that sting my arms and legs growing through brambles with thorns that make my hands bleed even with protective gloves on, the crap fights for its place, it won't come quietly into the rubbish bag.

I'm being so careful and going so slowly but it fucking hurts and stings at every turn and I've started so I can't just leave it. No going back, just an aching back and inching, no, millimetreing forward.

Dig out the dandelion roots from the grass, tidy the edges. Not that it makes the bare patch in the centre look any better, sitting there like a fucking great huge scar where the children's pool was left too long. I've still not decided whether to reseed it or just cover it up with something else. A trampoline, maybe? The kids would like that.

But you can only cover up for so long and even when you do the scar is still there, it's just hidden from those who don't know where to look. And you know how you secretly resent those blinkered, shallow people that can only see surfaces.

I find hidden treasure. The white climbing rose I planted has survived, beyond the love affair I was in at the time. I tie it back, train it up the fence it's now big enough to reach, wanting it to show it's true beauty. Get pricked by thorns again. I sigh, resigned, continue to do what's best for it despite the constant sharp pains and blood.

So beautiful yet so vicious, all I'm trying to do is give you boundaries that will help you grow. I shall call you by my sister's name.

There is honeysuckle everywhere, I gently untangle it from the dead stalks before banishing them, discover the ends are over the fence, in the neighbours garden.

Of course it's made its way out. Why would anything so pretty want to stay in this place of loveless neglect given a growing tip and a choice? The roots may be forced to stay but the head isn't.

That thought stays with me as I rein in the jasmine that waterfalls over the opposite fence and fix it back where I want it, where it can lift me with it's fragrance.

Looking round, exhausted, I note the last few things to be cleared out and allow myself to feel proud of the work I've done. Then wonder what the fuck to do with all this clear space now I've created it. So much work still to do.

I thought it would be over by now. Exorcism is a slow process. I appear to be getting there, I'm just not sure where 'there' is.