Wednesday, 19 January 2011


My son has been asked to read up on his current affairs for an interview for his next school. His father has suggested he reads the newspapers and watches the news because the headline stuff would be the sort of thing he would be asked about.

My son tells me watching the news on TV everything is either extremely depressing or stupid. And confusing. There is nothing positive. No light hearted happy ever after 'and finally' any more at the end of the news reports. It's all misery or snipe TV and journalism, nothing is fair, everything reported to provoke envy, fear or rage. Watching daytime TV this morning he saw a gay couple talking about adopting children. He didn't ask me if this was normal or natural or un PC or PC to say it was normal or natural and I felt if I turned it over he would ask more questions. I have my own views, but don't know if I'd be a bad mother telling him what they are. They gay couple were on between the news that Katie Price and Alex whatever his name is had split up due to irreconcilable bank accounts and the annoying disruption in Tunisia which was causing British tourists a whole lot of bother. If they had been any other nationality we would not have heard about it. And then there was a bit about Posh Spice possibly having a girl. It's the plastic toy of journalism you get in your box of Weetabix in the morning. Throwaway and useless.

Hey, but there's after school, after homework. He can watch the six oclock news. Six oclock news, less bling, but more about bonuses, (cut to bankers looking smug, suited, drinking champagne, throwing £10 notes out of window during riot last year etc etc, Bob Diamond said we should all stop this witch hunt on city traders who are nice people really, honest, and even if they're not, they give the country a lot of money and we would be bankrupt without them so put up or shut up blah blah blah) NHS cuts (nurses and doctors looking tired, harassed, people looking sick and dying, put up or shut up blah blah blah), overall impression - the poor getting so much poorer and suffering and the rich getting so much richer and not caring (Tom's words, not mine).

So we turned to the newspaper. Inflation rising, headline 'toxic year ahead', Olympic stadium biggest white elephant in history, Barclays misleading older customers, fast food nation embracing greed, boy crying on front page at the funeral of his brother who had saved him from the floods. A thirty something year old man being attacked on the underground, people watching on. No one helped. An item on the journalists winning awards for their journalism. Another on actors winning awards on their acting. Another on David Dimbleby not winning the right to commentate on Wills and Kate's Royal wedding (although I understand that one). Media writing about media reporting on media, and media's interpretation on media. Item on David Dimbleby being snubbed for not anchoring royal wedding of Kate and Wills although I completely understand that one. More depressing, more stupid. I change papers.

Monday, 3 January 2011


This year is going to be a roller coaster. I can feel it already as though I'm at the beginning of a ride that I know will go on for quite some time.    I feel instinctively I should rest but am restless when I do. Antici....pation is such a funny thing, isnt it?   I spent Christmas in two different worlds - bubbles if you like.   A lot of those I know live in bubbles all of their own making. Romanticising situations which if they ever stepped out if it and popped their own illusion, they would find intolerable, untenable.    But if the bubbles are short lived, and you see and appreciate them for what they are, temporary highs, they're fine.   For Christmas I was in Portugal which was lovely and warm at a lovely hotel staffed by what I would call contented people.  The staff stay there for on average more than 18 years which is longer than most marriages these days.     Although I missed my son, I knew he was happy and that's what's important.   I was by the sea and walked along the beach on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as I did as a child when I had all the family around me.   Inspirational places beaches out of season.

With my lover I smile and walk
in echoes of shallow shadow footprints
in search Of fragile shells
I stoop to collect feathers thrown by angels
And stand to find myself alone on the beach
Staring at the sea reflecting my whispered emotion
Breathing them in and breathing them out
Not absorbing as trees do,
but sharing like a knowing teacher
much stronger than myself.
Grey sparkling light of dusk hides my tears
and the waves crash loud awakening me
To the answer to why I love to stand and watch the sea
When sad and lonely
It draws me up and it makes me stand to attention
Even when in day s gone by half blind in drunken despair
I found my way to the beach and stood as I do now.
And I let the waves flow through and around me
All questions to my answers and
All answers to my questions are in nature
And I always find my peace
on the beach
At dusk

There were bubbles at New Year as well.    New Year was a fancy dress party in a village hall and a barn theme on 'around the world'. All those who attended had travelled far and wide to exotic places and ended up in Hertfordshire.   I had the choice of dressing as a slutty French maid or a slutty Indian squaw.   I chose the maid as I couldn't find my axe and head gear, but could the feather duster.   They party like it's 1999 in Hertfordshire.   Or 1979.   I handed round jelly sweets and pringles. They're very fun loving people but I've yet to think of a poem.