Friday, 16 March 2012


Hiya, How you doing?

 I'm in abit of a lull at the moment.  And it got me thinking what motivates you? us? is it the weather? is it life in general?  is it a news subject - that winds you up? What inspires you? us?

I've cut my hours in order to pursue more of life's pleasures, more of my pleasures should l say. Writing, photography, genealogy, needlework, creativity.  Have l done any of them since reducing my working time..NO not really. Because I've lost something- the something that drives me to do something.  My enthusiasm- l lie- l am enthusiastic about finishing my books, about typing them up and there are currently 3 to type up. One to finish writing- which will then need to be transferred on to an up to date computer in order to edit it properly. I have the ideas in my head to produce Easter boxes for my gorgeous grand girlie's- but l haven't done them!!

We - the family- need to move some time soon to a bigger house for the imminent arrival of Spud, so l need to sort out junk and dump it, recycle it, pack it. Haven't done any of it.

I have half finished tapestry which has been on the go for years!!  I have ideas for making Spud clothes- need to re-do one mitten already!!

But just cant do any of it - and l don't know why.  Could be because recently where l live, we've had the lid pulled down over our town,which is nestled in a vale or bowl as l like to refer to it. Making each day the same dull non descript white colour. Yet on the world wide web people have reported glorious sunny days and spring time heat, even the news reports of temperatures in the 19 area- positively summer temps!! 

Maybe that's it- may be I'm secretly jealous of the sunny days brigade. Maybe l need to be in sunny climes to motivate me. After all the start of British Summer Time begins next weekend on my birthday - yes the clocks of the GMT area will Spring forward an hour to create gloriously long sunny days. And early mornings to die for- that make you glad to be alive- ( total contradiction there)!! .

I mean, l know in life there has to be ups and downs,  likes and dislikes, black and whites, wrongs and rights- life's balances, the ying and yang of life. But why for some of us are the dull bits hard to shift?   Why is it that in life there has to be sour faced people who work in the people industry- like our local council offices. They are there to serve us the council tax paying citizen, we pay their wages at the end of the month.  They in turn provide a service but why not always with a smile. If you have to serve others don't you have to be a people person - who smiles and greets you and thanks you for your custom. Not some sour faced old trout whom you wish you could slap.!!

The prime example of a people person would be a celebrity - I'm going to use Peter Andre as my prime specimen- great looking, great eye candy for us girlies and some guys l guess, - what ever floats your boat- and an all round great person- l think. He meets and greets all those who meet him with a welcoming, willing, smile, kiss and autograph.  Nothing appears to be to much trouble. Ok he's paid mega bucks to do some of this, but in his own time he still makes time for people. Why cant all people in the people industry be like that?

Do we have all these differences and opposites in order to create subjects on which to debate, discuss, chat about, moan about?  Do we have lulls in order to make the highs more exciting, to give us some thing to look forward to,  to make us produce our life's goals- our forward planning, our preparation for the next chapter in our lives.

  ~For me, l guess, may be closing the first of my 50 years is a calm down from last years celebrations.  Or is it the reality that actually life has and is about to begin good and proper now that l am approaching 51. So may be l just have to reach next weekend for this lull to lift, it will after all be the end of the school term for the month long Easter holidays, it will be the start of the British Summer Time, it will be the start of my 51st year of life, it will be the approaching start of 2 weeks of holiday time - no work just paid for pleasure time to do with what l want.

That is WHY!!

Sunday, 11 March 2012


Why don't they listen? Did we listen to what our parents told us? Did we take on the advice they gave us? Was the advice asked for or just told to us?

When l was a teenager l started my teen years in a Berkshire village, Dad was the local Butcher, Mum a primary school teacher.

I was 13-14 and developed a crush on a local lad Steve H "Bruno", medium height, dark hair, gorgeous brown eyes.  There was another lad in the village with the same name Steve H- he had a mop of blond hair- l did not fancy him.

Anyway, at some point, Mum got wind that l liked Bruno, but had heard something in the village involving one of the Steve H's.  One of them had been accused of rape.  I don't know who the victim was, nor if it was fact. I just know that in the ensuing row that followed this nightmare disclosure, l was 'told', l would not be 'allowed' a boyfriend until l was 17- by the mouth in our house - my Mother.

I don't remember, but l was probably distraught and devastated that my 'first love' had been stopped before it had even developed beyond its fantasy, dream stage.

Over the Summer, l think, we then moved to Dorset, where once again the hormones of a young fledgling, teenage girl were re-ignited by Vince W.  Another dark haired handsome lad, whose rich parents lived out of the small town  by the river beach area.  I had competition for Vinces'  affections though, in the form of spiteful, bitch Wendy J.  Wendy went onto bully me quite severely during our brief stay in Dorset- even had my only school fight with her.

I digress - my brother - 2 years my junior, became friendly with a girl and was going to 'go out' with her, which my Mother was OK about!  This obviously riled me and l bought up that l found it unfair that l was 'not allowed' to date until l was 17, yet here we were by brother merely 12 if that, was 'allowed' to go out with some one. How was that fair?  Of course, all knowledge of the ban, had miraculously been forgotten about and denied of its very existence.!!

Many years later when engaged l fell pregnant l was given 3 options- marry, adopt or abort.  I chose to marry, as there was no way l'd even consider the other 2 options.

I married and had another baby, before finally throwing in the towel after 4 years of unhappiness.  But l had taken on board that my Mother had said. I had done what l had been told. I was 21.

My Mother controlled our lives with a rod of iron. Her word was law. We didn't dare question her, argue with her.  We wouldn't dream of answering her back, or swearing at her - god forbid!!  We may have had our own opinions, likes and dislikes- we most certainly did not voice them.  I didn't know how to debate or argue with anyone until I'm guessing l was in my 30's. I didn't know l was allowed to.  If l messed up 'l had made my bed l had to lie in it'.  I had to 'put up and shut up'!  I was a married woman, l had to do my wifely duties- and I'm not talking about 'having to have sex'. I'm on about, it was my 'job' to be the sole home maker, have 'your husbands' dinner on the table, put up with a drunk husband.

When we divorced and l became a lone parent for the first time.  I didn't dare tell 'her' about the advances from delivery men or other unsavoury characters. At the time l was naively flattered by the attention from 'other  men'.  things that happen to single, lonely young mums, who live alone with their father-less children.

Now 30 years on, with a daughter young, unmarried and pregnant, l advice my daughter in order to support her and her predicament.  Its happened, - we deal with it as a family.  We - me - help and advice, to the best of my ability. Not because l want a last stab at being a surrogate mother to her baby, not because l want to control  and tell her what to do.  But because l care, and because I've been there.  I've experienced the highs and lows of being a lone parent, the loneliness, the sleep deprivation, the financial restrictions, the sexual assaults - because that's actually what they were-back then.  I know this all now I'm 50.

But back in the day, back then l did listen and acted on what my Mother said, because 'l had to', because that's what we did 'back then'.  I've learnt the hard way and it wasn't always a good way.  Now I'm genuinely giving advice because l do not want my daughter to have the hard time.  I don't want her to learn the hard way, l would like her to ease into it gently.  To ask for help, to accept help if offered. I would like and believe l am an approachable, easy going Mum, who doesn't command and demand. 

I would never ask for help, and it was rarely offered without conditions.  I never asked because l'd be 'told off' for not doing it right in the first place!!.  I was naive, l didn't know about life and no one told me l had rights.

I , however want happier, easier times for my daughter and her first born.  'She' does not have to be with the father if 'she' does not want to, 'she' does not have to do it all on her own. 

I do 'allow' her, her opinion, l do listen, l do put up with verbal abuse - not willingly l have to say. l do, do alot for her - because somethings are easier done myself - which l know has made her lazy and reliant on me. I have as a caring, Mum sacrificed alot for my children- but that's is what you do when you're a loving Mum isn't it?

So knowing I've been there, done that, got all the t-shirts won't 'she' listen?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

3 WEEKS TODAY................

Well 3 weeks from today l will be 51, so l am officially in the over 50's club- whats changed?  Has anything changed? Do l feel different? Do l think differently?

Alot, yes, no and yes to the above.

Alot has  changed I'm about to be a Nannie for the 4th time, in a year that sees the closure of my Westlife days- as one chapter closes and ends another begins.

I've changed my hours to accommodate my creative needs and to end the physical pain l endured working full time, in a job l wasn't totally appreciated in, with people l didn't totally  get on with.  So no more pain, no more bitch pit, more me, mine and pleasurable pursuits.

I don't  feel any different but l do totally think differently.  Is that the universal over 50's  way of thinking l wonder?   I am more relaxed and blaise about things, l don't worry if things go tits up.  I have always been a realist, an honest person, telling it as it is.  I am, l think,  more diplomatic - again think this is an age thing.

I am definitely calmer than l used to be.  I take my time with everything. It really doesn't matter if everything isn't done, there is always tomorrow, and if there isn't tomorrow then you probably aren't here to know about it - so it doesn't matter.

I think my hankering to go to Tuscany, is the way of life l seek and am now going to be living, relaxed, care free. Creatively fulfilled and content.

Does life begin at 50? do you know, l think it actually does.

Recommended reading "Possum Living How to live without a job and (almost no money) by Dolly Freed

Quote "Its easier to learn to do without some of the things that money can buy.  Than it is to earn the money to buy them".

Why spend 60 years of your life preparing for the last 20!!

Thursday, 1 March 2012


Hi everyone, apologies for neglecting you all. Am afraid am back on abit of a rant.  Have a bee in my bonnet re- local authorities rules and logic or rather lack of logic and common sense.  But they do say that common sense is not actually that common. Certainly here in Somerset this is the case.

The situation to which l refer is this, recently a local lad 22 lived with his Grandparents, worked full time and owns a moped. Said grandparents for some unknown reason threw local 22 year old out of their home- the unknown reason was not drink nor drug related.  Local 22 year old took solice with kind hearted, working friends in another near by town. Kind hearted friends had suffered a catalogue of medical problems, but nevertheless took in local 22 year old, told him to make himself at home.  He stayed 2 months, drank all of their alcohol, ate their food, spread his 'stuff'  everywhere. Did not par-take in many personal hygiene rituals. Paid only £40 contributions.

Now local 22 year old has landed well and truly on his feet by moving into a brand spanking new apartment, in a brand spanking new building, situated on a brand spanking new estate. Brand spanking new apartment was provided by local housing association. Local authorities will pay Full Rent and Council Tax and gave local 22 year old a grant to buy brand spanking new equipment  for the brand spanking new apartment. Whats more the local 22 year old is claiming Job seekers Allowance- because he is seeking employment which he gave up only a few months ago!!!! 

When offered help and advice to help him maintain his new lifestyle he turned his nose up, he scoffed at the very idea that others should actually want to help him and share their expertise. The very people, caring hard working, honest people who pay taxes, who in affect are paying for his new FREE lifestyle are themselves being penalised.

The kind hearted friends who have suffered physical pain, and in my mind medical neglect should be compensated for things that were out of their hands.  But they very probably will receive nothing.

The other kind hearted friends have also been sidelined by the authorities. This family is me and mine. And here's where l can not see the logic behind the local council thinking.   I raised my 4 children for 15 years single handedly, yes l was on benefits, but l did work, l did voluntary work, part time work, casual little jobs, then took advantage of the 'system' and went to college to improve my education. I studied and passed qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.  Then l went back to work part time, until all of my children were of an age where l could work full time- this was over 5 years ago.  Finally l was off benefits earning my own money, paying my  own way.  I even downsized my home, when no 3 of 4 moved out.

I downsized because l was rattling  around an empty house, that was costing me money. We - namely youngest of 4- and l were very lucky to get an exchange to a virtually new 2 bed house, which over the course of 2 years saved me £200  on fuel bills alone.  I pay full rent and council tax,  l request very few repairs from local landlord. I maintain the decor and garden. Then just before Christmas no. 3 of 4 came home, having lived away from home for about 3 years, now in severe debt and needing to be supported by her family. Turns out- had we never downsized she'd have returned ages ago.!!! Thus preventing spiral of debts.

We moved things about, packed and stored things in the loft space, juggled a few bits and pieces to willingly accommodate no. 3.  We had no set plan of action and were muddling along nicely, all 3 of us work full time so our newly cramped home has not been a problem. In fact its been quite fun. I even decided as my role of Mother and housekeeper returned to cut back on my working hours in order to have a life of my own. No longer would l have the burden of doing everything on my shoulders.  Then- yes there is more- youngest of 4 announced she was to have a baby!!  Well that's changed things- on top of which she split from the very controlling, father.  Baby was an accident, but is now very much wanted and will be kept and bought up by me Nannie, youngest Mummy and Auntie.  We as a family have pulled together, and turned a negative into a positive. However, out of necessity now, will need to go back to a bigger house in order to keep the family unit united, So that we can all raise Spud in a loving, supportive family.  We have obviously discussed the entire situation and decided that if we all stay together , we will all be able to still work and raise Spud. Thereby maintaining a reasonable lifestyle, that suits all family members. Youngest will not have to claim 100% benefits to live and raise her baby. She will be able to keep her existing job, albeit tweak the hours. She will maintain her independence and identity - so often lost when a woman becomes a Mother.  But, when we notified our landlord of our changing household he advised that the 'authorities' would re-house youngest with baby - on her own, which means they would then have to help her with the rent and council tax etc, they also said that at 'some point' she would 'have' to leave home!!!
Youngest is not ready to leave home, she has never had a baby, anyone having a first time baby struggles. All first time mums need help and support from family, ideally obviously the father would be on tap, but fathers are not always helpful in such situations. These days this is a rare occurrence. We know this.  Hence our thought through plan that 3 related adults would live together, to pay for and raise the baby.
The 'authorities' could even suggest that no 3 of 4  live alone in private rented accommodation as she now has 2 jobs, thus reaccumulating the diminishing debts.  The 'authorities' may even suggest that l be re-housed on my own as a woman over a certain age- l would then need financial help as l now work part time- so then it would be suggested that l return to the full time hard physical work that l would rather not do, as l would actually like to have a life that doesn't consist of just work.  And l would like to be able to physically enjoy some life free from pain caused from working full time!!

Local authorities however, maintain that we as a family unit in a 2 bed, 2 up 2 down house are adequately housed - therefore are in no real need of re-housing as a whole family unit with a baby. WHY  can we 3 working, adults not live together in a  local authority house and  pay full rent etc thereby saving the local authority money.  WHY - do my 'children' have to leave home at some point?  WHAT law says we can not stay together as a family to raise the baby together and pay for it ourselves?  WHY is our solid fool proof plan not acceptable? If we owned our own property no one would bat an eye lid. We could have our entire family live together under one roof like the Mediterraneans do , like the Indians do and no one would question that. We are not asking to scrounge, we are not asking for benefits, we would like to live together without benefits, we would like to pay our way. But that does not appear to be acceptable by the local authorities who are happy to give brand new FREE stuff to local 22 year old who does nothing!!!! WHERE IS THE LOGIC???   Rant over.