Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Bank Holidays- an official day off from paid, from routine duties and chores. A day for families to spend quality time together in leisurely pursuits.

The official definition:- { a public holiday in the UK, commonwealth countries, other European countries like Switzerland. Before 1834 the Bank of England observed 33 Saints / religious days. From 1834 this was cut down to 4. Until 1871 when a Liberal politician introduced the Bank Holiday Act under which it was declared that no person is compelled to make payment nor act if he is not compelled to do so. Although today, 2014, there is no automatic right to time off paid or in lieu. Even though most banks and places of employment grant the time off.}

For me a 50+ divorced, separated, single, ex- mother of 4, grandmother of 4 - l say ex-mother as my off spring are all grown and have fled the nest.  For me Bank Holidays mean silent, solitude, where l see no-one, speak to no-one, go no where- (usually due to lack of funds and transport).

A time to become an unwashed, unkempt, recluse in my secure box which also becomes an un-cleaned hovel.

There is a sense of freedom and rebellion in being able, in this day and age, to remain in the same clothes- usually pyjamas for more than one day. Don't get me wrong, l do wash my face, clean my teeth and brush my unwashed, greasy hair every morning, but l don't change my clothes- none of them. Why?

Because l don't have to, because l don't want to, because l don't need to and because l can't be bothered!  What's the point in creating unnecessary work and laundry.

Being a bank holiday recluse is kind of fun, it is lonely not speaking to anyone but  with the wonders of technology a recluse can "chat on line" to an array of people in a variety of locations and indeed countries. I have a virtual friend whom I've "chatted" to for years in Australia, we've never met but know each other well.

Bank holidays are for me days to spend continual time on one hobby/ activity without interruption, without clock watching, without the routine of having to make, lunch, tea, supper. Yes being a bank holiday recluse means l eat, drink, clean and wash when l want- if l want!  I can use a different plate and the same cup everyday at every meal without 'having to' wash up. The floors can remain littered with crumbs, craft debris and rubbish- at the moment the kitchen and hallway are covered in talcum powder which was liberally spread to stop the invasion of ants l had the other day. And as l have 3 cats and a dog, there are now white foot prints everywhere as well.

As a bank holiday recluse its okay because no one will know, no one will see. The front door remains fully locked and door curtain remains closed- shutting out the outside world.

Tomorrow - normal life returns, routine, clock watching, paid employment, engagement in speech, physical contact with people l know and don't know. My silent solitude will end. I will thoroughly clean and restore my home, l will thoroughly bathe and restore me. I will re-join civilisation and real life until the next Bank Holiday.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


I am quietly amused that my bi-annual clear out of seasonal clothes has caused such interest.
Spring and Autumn see's me drag my giant suitcase from its hibernation place, in my spare wardrobe, in the spare room, onto the spare bed. Where upon it is duely opened revealing each seasons clothes- spring/ summer autumn/ winter. Clothes l've owned and worn or not as the case maybe for Summer clothes, many times over many years.
Each time, each item is duely examined and re-hung to be re-worn for yet another relevant month of the year. Each item is checked for size, style and like-ability. Yet as l get older each item is also catergorised into "Can l get away with wearing that....'at my age'"!!!
And as a result l have this season discarded a few items that l either have never worn, or have worn many times but can no longer get away with wearing 'at my age'.
And l discovered the new trendy ability to sell for profit online across the country my discarded items of clothing.
One such item is as l write being fought over by several people in a cyber battle for the ultimate jumble sale prize. Very much l hasten to add to my ever increasing amusement.
Even non wearable items have actually sold to anonymous buyers into cyber space. Something l have found totally amazing, quite amusing and addictively exciting.   I 'post' the relevant obligatory photo of my junk online with a description and any price l choose plus post & packaging costs and watch regularly as strangers with strange nicknames haggle and bid for my old stuff.
The excitement l get when l see some one 'bid' on my items is unexplainably weird. The 'buzz' l get, not only because l obviously make free money from old stuff, but the exhilaration that a stranger has noticed my once loved or unloved stuff and wants to give me money in exchange is great fun.
When did we become obsessed with making easy money from rubbish, or even just gaining 'new' stuff for free, recycling, upcycling, foraging, free cycling. Have we always been people who want something for nothing, people in search of bargins at any price, to the amusement  and joy of others.
Where did the saying come from...One mans junk is anothers mans treasure? for me its more like One womans discarded stuff is my new found pleasure.
                                          THANKYOU xx

Saturday, 3 May 2014


Isn't it funny how the things you dread doing are the most enjoyable!  I have just spent the morning gushing to prospective parents with bottomless money pits that educating their off spring at my place of work is a good idea. But would l do it?

Am l a hypocrite for doing so?  I totally get why - if you're child is exceptionally gifted in a certain subject and you have the monetary ability to send them to a school that nurtures that capability, why you would do it. 

However, l firmly believe if you have children then 'you' bring them up to the best of your ability. 'You' teach them the difference between right and wrong, 'You' teach them manners, how to speak, how to read, how to do the basics in life. Preferably before they join the education system, where they if they attend state schools, will learn a whole lot more than the 3r's.  And not all good things either.

My 4 children were all educated in the Hard School of Knocks - which specialises in life skills. They can obviously all read, write, do basic maths but non were academic geniuses, anymore than l was/ am.  Doesn't mean we aren't educated because we all were/ are. We've all learned the hard way in life, which personally l don't think is a bad thing.  My children can all run houses, raise children, work and have a life. But they don't have that expensive piece of paper that says they went to the 'bestest school ever'.

And they certainly wouldn't - even if l had had the money to do it, have gone 'away' to school. If they had been gifted with a passion for a subject and l'd had the money to spend on nurturing that gift, then yes l would have paid to encourage that skill. But l would not have paid to send my child away for the privilege.

Over the years there were probably times when l would have gladly given my children away!!!......briefly. (Jokes).  But hand on heart l would not 'pay' extortinate amounts of money for my children to board, to live away from 'home', to be raised by 'others' in a non one to one environment. Yes they learn to be independent children, they learn to travel across the world - unaccompanied, they learn a higher standard of basic education, but they aren't all happy. They learn to cope in institutional enviroments.  Do they learn to have fun, make mud pies, have carpet picnics, have welly walks, learn how to live in the real world...no! They don't.

Many then leave one institution to join the next one, where they can learn how to drink continually, party, and build up mass debts - University. Then if they survive are let free as 'adults' to go and live in the world, or better still run the world!!!  And we all know the mess that's in.

So am l right in encouraging those interesting people l met today, and indeed over the past few years of  Open Day Meets & Greets to spend their endless amounts of money to off load their children to be educated where l work.  Or should l be saying "What are you thinking sending your little bundles of joy" to us. Educate them by all means, encourage that future Prime Minister!! but have them at home, living with you, being loved by you. The cost of that PRICELESS.