Things Changing

Woo look at me blogging while I cook.

 

Well, it’s home made curry, it’s going to take a while. So, have chrome book propped up on the drier- while drier is on. Adds quite the challenge to typing. With NaNo almost over, I am back to the blog. Have had time to think about what I blog. Writing prompts are fun, but they should not be the only thing I do.

 

Thus, you are going to get some me. Not the work me, or the day to day me, but the actual inner me.

 

Inner me is cynical. Inner me swears, a lot. Inner me also cares deeply and can get angry.

 

This week work has dominated my thoughts. Well, I say dominated…. It’s eaten them whole and shat them out in a mental sludge that has kept me awake into the wee small hours. This has probably been the worst week of work in the last five years.

In case you don’t know, I work in education. Some say I am good at it. Devoted even. Me, I don’t have the arrogance to make a bold statement like that. I like being paid, would not do it for free. Yet the epic days I have working with teenagers balances out the bad. There are bad days, sometimes I come home mentally fragmented and needing to be patched up. Other Half has got my six when this happens.

Perhaps I get so tired as it’s an act when I stand in front of a class. IRL I am never that confident and people scare the shit out of me. Part of me still has a respect for authority. I want to believe that those in charge get put there by merit. Stepping into middle management this year has wiped that from my soul. Those in charge take care of themselves and pass blame when things go wrong.

Which is what happened to me this week. It dawned on me slowly, others saw it first. Told me I should be angry, I was not… until I checked my records. Never delete an email children. Looking back over dates and contacts it became clear. I had been fucking shafted and was left to deal with the fallout. My professional integrity has been put on the line because someone is too wrapped up in other things, or too damn lazy to do their job properly.

I don’t like getting angry. No, really, it frightens me. I get flashbacks of angry yelling from growing up and some of the rest of what I saw back then.

Nope, not going into any details. Naming names when people are not in public life is a dick move. I am not a dick. I was, however, tired, angry and upset with little outlet. I put my head down and slogged on. One thing I take pride in- I am a stubborn cow. It did not break me. Oh, I wanted to cry in a corner and gnash teeth, but that would not have done any good. Many hours of extra, panicked work later and I met the deadline. It’s a rushed, poor job, that will reflect badly on me, yet it is done.

So, on Friday I filled out an application form for a new job. I have been playing with this idea for months. Making half-assed comments that I don’t have to be trapped in my current job. Yet it took this week to galvanise me into actual action.

It was rather cathartic on one level, and utterly terrifying on another. I’ve been working in the same place ten years, TEN YEARS. A DECADE! Some of my colleagues have been in the same place their entire career. Rare in this day and age. I was half submitting to the idea that I would be among them. Despite the allure of better salaries and working conditions abroad, my Other Half really does not want to leave Scotland.

I am not a dick and I love him so don’t push the issue. Marriage is about compromise- as I have learnt from fifteen years of it. Back to work- two jobs on my radar, the other side of the country.

Yes, I am scared. I flit between OMG WHAT AM I DOING??? To- FUCKING LET ME LEAVE! AM SICK OF THE FUCKWITS!

 

There will be fuckwits wherever I go, but if I don’t try and leave, how will I know?

 

Oh, trite poetry? I’m such a twat.

 

Curry is almost ready. I am off to cook the rice. Korma, if you must know. Then onwards to marking in front of the TV. Living the dream. It pays the bills-

Who knows this might be the best decision in recent years. Or the worst. Or it might crumble my ego to dust and bend the steel in my spine as I am unwanted elsewhere.

 

That’s life. Time will tell.

 

Signing off for now.
Goodbye friends and strangers.

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Writing prompt- February 15th

Norman Mailer claimed that- “Insomnia is the minds revenge for all the thoughts we forgot to have in the day.” What do you think about when you can’t sleep?

Money… not notes or pound coins but numbers on a screen, representing what I owe and what I need to pay.

Has the direct debit for my phone come off yet? Am I paying off enough on my computer? Has the mortgage been paid yet? I went out for a meal a few weeks ago… that money could have paid extra off on the credit card.

What of the repairs? £10,000 towards fixing the roof. The zeros parade across my mind. Will I ever pay that off? Oh I know I earn enough to make ends meet but with a pay cut looming in the summer my heart sinks. No holiday again this year.

Then children. Are they happy? They seem so… am I too strict with them? I got angry at the 7yo for jumping on his bed… should I have talked to him instead of yelling? He’s already broken a bed he’s just so big… he does not realise he’s not five anymore.

3yo is smarter than I am. Frighteningly so. People will think we are hothousing him. Nothing could be further from the truth. He just picks it up, loves numbers, is already trying to read. Fuck people. Hate most people anyway. Am I stimulating him enough though? Is he bored?

Are they happy? Am I a bad mother?

Husband. Ever shifted to third on the list after the money and the children. Guilt for that… lots of it. Squirming in my chest. It used to be just us. He was always my first consideration. Can’t remember when that changed. Is he healthy? I worry about him through the day and it all piles up and is concentrated as I hear him breathing beside me. His eyes were bad today. Must make sure to lie still so he sleeps properly. His back, he will wake in pain. Must make sure I get him a coffee in the morning to take his meds with.

Is he happy? Is he still happy to be with me? Does he regret moving here? Our way of life? What can I do to make sure he is okay?

Work harder, smile more. 7yo asked if we were poor a few days ago. A 7yo should not ask things like that. Need to devote self to career, even though it eats my time and presses thick black worry down on my mind.

Sometimes I love it, best job. Sometimes I hate it. Blame self for things I can’t control. Make mistakes because my head does not work like others do. Should I get a new job? Would I feel any better? How much money would it cost to move? Can we afford that?

I feel so trapped sometimes… just want my mind to shut down. Computer helps. I don’t have to think of anything else when writing or destroying pixels on a screen. Even in that I don’t have the hand to eye coordination to perform well. Dyslexia makes words come out backwards, clumsy fingers mash keys…

No… I need to sleep

Mind continues to plan for the worst case and dreams are haunted with hungry children and the roof of my flat collapsing.

Grown up?

Grown up stuff-

 

  • I turn 34 in November.
  • I have a mortgage
  • I know how to wallpaper
  • I have two children
  • I have a husband (11 years married in November.)
  • I know LED light bulbs have a 25 year lifespan and are even more efficient than so called energy saving light bulbs.
  • I have two cats both of which have health insurance.
  • I drive and own a sensible family car
  • I like cooking
  • I have a career, which I am apparently good at.

 

This all means I am a grown up, yes?

Funny thing is I don’t FEEL grown up. Body shape and face have changed, true and I am much more wise and cynical than I used to be. I keep waiting to wake up one day and feel like an adult or for someone to say I’m all grown up now, well done. Here is the official badge, this is the secret handshake and your branch of the club meets once a month at the pub down the road.

 

Point is, once you pass 21 there are no more real milestones till you hit 40, technically middle age. That’s two decades of just living with society not really recognising it. A lot happens in those two decades! A lot of people start a family if they don’t already have one, or buy a house or get a good job… soon they build a list like the one above.

 

I remember when I came home with son one. After a difficult pregnancy and a hellish 3 day labour culminating in an emergency caesarean I finally brought my beautiful baby home. Once the well-wishers had left and Hubbie had cleaned up the mess the cat had left on the sofa for us, the panic set in.

There was no immediate transition to motherhood for me. I looked at the baby and wondered when it’s parents were coming back to get it. It couldn’t be mine! I was not responsible enough to have a baby!

Bloody hell, I was the woman who drank herself sober at 19. At that party I ended up getting snogged by the barman and I kneed him in the groin for his trouble. At my 21st birthday pub crawl I drank every drink I was offered, discussed contraception with the taxi driver on the way home then puked all night. Had to go to the doctor in the morning because I had taken the lining off my stomach.

I’m the one who would rush outside when there was a storm and get soaking just to look at it.

I’m the one who did not sleep for three days just to win a bet.

I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO BE A PARENT!

But there he was and we got to know each other. It helped that my Husband went through exactly the same identity crisis. We could panic together.

So, son 2 is currently rolling round the floor attempting to reach the cat so he can chew on it and son 1 is playing games on his Daddy’s tablet in the house I own.

I STILL DON’T FEEL GROWN UP!

 

 

Interested in this I’ve tried to analyse why I feel this way and came up with another list. A ‘reasons why I’m not grown up list.’

  • I sing and dance in the kitchen, cos I can.
  • I’m a geek; I’d rather have a nice piece of hardware than new clothes. In fact I got down to two bra’s last month before admitting I’d have to buy a new one rather than a new PC game.
  • I daydream, chronically.
  • I get scared of my nightmares and sometimes wake up crying.
  • My stuff is MY stuff. No one touches it, it’s MINE!
  • I watch anime
  • I write fanfiction
  • I laugh at pigeons
  • I forget to brush my teeth.
  • I don’t like adults, they scare me. I nod, smile and hope to have a normal conversation without suddenly blurting out something stupid such as knowing the difference between A wings and X wings.
  • When it’s dark and snowing and I’m driving the car I like to pretend I’m travelling at light speed.
  • I don’t care when son 1 gets wet/dirty/ loses clothes.

 

There is more but that is just a sample of my inadequacy for adulthood.

I recently realised my perception of what being grown up means is based on my parents, specifically my Mother.

Let’s take my last point about clothing and children. I had ‘play clothes’ and woe betide me if I played in anything else or got other clothes dirty. I would hide wet clothes rather than let my Mother find them. (Girls did not go swimming in the river at 12!) Of course she would find them months later, mouldy and ruined and I would be in worse trouble.

It was damn hard keeping clean on a sodding farm!

Don’t get me wrong, I get on well with my Mum but I am very much not her. Parenting has taught me this, though I knew it before.

I remember her dragging me by the hand into clothes shops in my early teens. I needed a short black dress, it was the fashion. I felt so bloody uncomfortable in that thing, like the whole town could see my nickers. I wanted my jeans back!

My Mother was very much working class but seemed to want me to be more. A natural reaction, what parent would not want better for their children? She had no qualifications and had ‘cleaned every bog in the town,’ as she put it. She encouraged me at school even though she knew I found it hard. She pushed for my Dyslexia diagnosis even though it was not a recognised condition at the time. She also tried to mould me into what she saw a young woman should be. It was everything I was not. I moaned about it at first but did not actually kick against her until I hit my late teens. After I left home for university I could fully embrace my geeky unfashionable me and forgot all about the ‘Lady’ my Mum wanted me to be, much to her despair. This pretty much led to all the nonsense I wrote about a few paragraphs ago. Thanks to a good dose of her common sense however I did not do anything too stupid…

I guess I have to find my own way of grown upness that suits me and not base my perception on my Mother.

That said; I still find myself using her turn of phrase with my children.

“You hit Mummy your hand will drop off!”

“Because I said so!”

“Get in the bathroom and brush your teeth you little tyke!”

“There is nothing wrong with you, stop crying and get on with it!”

“My kitchen my rules!”

“FAMILY HUG!!!!!”

“TICKLE TORTURE!”

 

Not so different then… They say all women eventually turn into their mothers. I say they got it wrong. I’d like to think I’m keeping some of the best bits and will enforce my own individual parental irritations on my children.

They will probably wind up being brand obsessed vegetarian conservatives. *shudder*

As Philip Larkin said-

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

  They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you

 

Nailed it Mr Larkin.

Holiday- Argyll Forest

So, no writing of late as I was on holiday, for the first time in two years! I might be a professional but if you work in the public sector the pay is not great, enough to keep my family though. We are a bit unusual as I work full time and my Husband is a stay at home Dad. Well, unusual on our little island anyway. Hubbie has had to face a bit of  gender discrimination but has handled it well (i.e. venting at me and twitter rather than the idiots who make thoughtless comments.)

Have been caught up in gaming too. Area X (indi title) and Guild Wars 2. Will review them both next week 😉

Also, Korean drama has once again sucked me in. Damn why is there nothing like this on Brit TV? Anyway Faith was one of the BEST things I have seen for a while. As long as you approach this stuff as a live action anime it’s all good. Again, will get round to a review on that one.

So, we went on holiday two hours up the road on the mainland, so still in Scotland.

Home for a week would be a static caravan on an Estate in the middle of the Argyll forest.

Husband was dubious. Being 6’7” he was sure he would have to spend all his time indoors hunching. I reassured him that he would fit.

So we got to the Estate and were greeted with this.

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IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! We live on the coast so a beach holiday would have been a bit like being at home. Mountains and forests however are a bit different and much more like where I grew up. The place was also exceptionally family orientated, which is what we needed.

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Play parks and open spaces everywhere.

The caravan I knew would be fine, but exceeded my expectations.

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Note very tall man could lie down on the sofa. The kitchen had a fan gas oven and was better than the kitchen at home!

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The estate was vast. Many a walk was taken with son 1 to burn his energy off. Everyone was friendly and total strangers stopped to chat to us.

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It was nice just to let our 3 year old run his legs off. He could not wait to go out every morning. Even the lure of the massive TV in the caravan could not compete. He gets plenty of outdoor time at home but we don’t have a garden and everything is, well, smaller… being an island and all.

The weather was dry mostly, but I had THE YELLOW COAT OF DOOM! I bought a proper breathable raincoat last month. My old one fell apart a few years ago and I’ve been making do with cheap shower proof things that just can’t stand up to the Scottish weather. My YELLOW COAT OF DOOM is obnoxious yellow, rainproof, windproof and warm but breathable so I can wear it in the summer and not sweat to death. Husband hates it, he thinks it’s ugly. It’s not meant to be bloody fashionable! Anyway I love it so I wear it.

Upshot of this is 3 yo and I went out all weathers.

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The landscape can be dark and brooding in bad weather but it’s still beautiful. I think and worth braving the rain for. Besides we had some good days, enough to have a BBQ!

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Sirloin steak on the BBQ. NOM! As long as it is not over cooked it’s lovely.

Ventured out of the estate mid-week when the weather really was miserable. Went by the ‘rest and be thankful’ that is a tiny square of land that is flat next to one of the most treacherous roads in Scotland. It’s always closing due to the landslides when it’s wet… yes I did know this before I set off. There is no way round this road if you wanted to head towards the central belt (mid Scotland). Well not entirely true, you could do an extra 150 miles and go north of it then back south again.

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3yo did not like the weather.

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So all this effort was to get to the Loch Lomond sealife centre. We thought 3yo would love it, as it turns out he loved it for 20 minutes then wanted ice-cream. Fickle wee thing!

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Guitar sharks are creepy (top pic) and Asian otters are tiny and cute!

Being on holiday with a new-born is an odd experience. No restful nights. He still needed his 3 overnight feeds and at times did not want to sleep at night. 3yo wants to be on the go all day and were are on holiday and don’t want to waste time indoors. It’s not easy to handle all this away from home but we managed. We needed a day to catch up on sleep mid-week and Husbands epilepsy played up due to the lack of sleep. This did sour things a bit as I was worried about him and he was worried her was ruining the holiday. 3yo set us straight and said he was having ‘good days.’

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Managed to take 3yo for longer and longer walks during the week. Our record was nearly 4km. Many a puddle was splashed in and we saw sheep! Real sheep! Much excitement from 3yo, but not from Mummy.

Mummy grew up on a hill farm. Mountain sheep with lambs and an excited 3yo are not a good combo. However, I managed to explain to him how to behave and if he listened to me we might even get close enough to have a peep at the babies.

It was odd how the old farming instincts kicked back in and how just through changing our body language the sheep went from startled and aggressive to passive and calm. 3yo was enchanted and wanted to take one home. Mummy said the day she could have a mini pig he could have a lamb….

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So a lovely week despite the trials. Will probably be going back for another visit. In fact Hubbie and I were eyeing up holiday home prices before we left. Can’t afford one but you never know when you might win the lottery or something… I live in hope. My maternity leave is going to put me 3 grand in debt as it is! Such is the joy of having children. They better pick me a bloody palatial nursing home when I go demented!

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Random Post

So it’s been a settled week. Two months and a bit into my maternity leave and I am getting used to this double parenting thing. I was fine with having a 3-year-old and the house ticked over just fine in a nice even routine.

Son two has shattered this.

Example, was up from 4.30am to 6.30 am this morning because son two refused to go back to sleep after his early feed. Son 1 decided this would be a fine time to get up as Mummy and the baby was up. Thus he needed a nap after lunch today and this has thrown him off his bed time routine.

Still, I am adapting. It was not this hard last time round I am sure

Up side, writing! Got the best part of 7000 words done this week 😉

 

Thinking back to the heady days where my enthusiasm would pull me through entire nights of writing… I am kind of jealous of my younger self for having the time and energy to write 10000 words in 2 days. The creative juices are flowing again however and I’m slowly starting to gain confidence again.

Other things that have caught my attention this week.

  • Baby has started smiling and burbling at me. SO CUTE!!! Makes up for the sleep shattering 4am parties.
  • Father’s day is this Sunday. First time round that son 1 has had a say in what to get Daddy.
  • Rose perfume. I bought a small bottle of Jo Malone perfume. Pure red rose scent. It’s divine! Really takes me back to growing up in Wales. We had a huge rambling rose in our garden that was bright yellow and smelt amazing. My Gran killed it by pruning it too hard. She thought she was a fantastic gardener, the garden disagreed.
  • Lana Del Rey. I have like some of the tracks I have heard of hers over the last year but her contribution to the Great Gatsby soundtrack has ear wormed me. I cannot stop listening to Young and beautiful! I even wrote an entire scene with this track on constant repeat. Her voice blended into my head and it set the perfect tone for what I was writing. She is also stunningly beautiful. If I swung that way she would so be my type 😉 Also it’s not often that the lyrics of a song strike me. Lana’s songs are more like poetry set to music. Makes a nice contrast to the vacuous pop I also indulge in. Dark velvety chocolate for the ears.
  • GOING ON HOLIDAY! For the first time in 2 years. Alright it’s to a forest one and a half hours up the road but it’s still away.
  • Thinking of doing camp nanowrimo next month. Not sure if I can commit to it but it might be just what I need to get my novel finished. Laz’s idea (best pal) she says we could share a cabin 😉 We may kill each other.
  • Guild Wars 2. Have 3 characters on the go now. Am enjoying it but again have limited time to commit so not joined a guild or anything, just dipped in when I can. Laz may be hopelessly addicted and that’s my fault. I dragged her into it!

Update- me

OK so first day back at the coal face today after 6 weeks. It’s like I never left. Feel overall positive about the year ahead however. I think this will be a good academic year!


I do like my job, despite the long hours and stress of term time it is interesting. It never goes stale. I like what I teach and the pupils are always teaching me something new. Yes there are bad days and behaviour issues etc but what school does not have those? I am a little worried by the swing towards everyone having something wrong with them. Child a little slow to retain information, has to be dyslexia! Not fitting in with peers, Socially mal-adjusted, must intervene! Pupil does not like eating nuts, might be allergic!

I am not asking for a return of the days where learning difficulties or health issues were ignored. Many pupils need swift diagnosis and support.

As a dyslexic myself and a teacher I think I have a unique perspective and I believe things have gone too far.

People learn at different speeds and that is fine. Some pupils will never be popular, others will always be eccentric there is nothing wrong with this! These pupils don’t need a label. Also I feel labels can be counter productive. Some use it as an excuse. I don’t understand! I’m learing impaired!

My usual response to such comments is not pretty.

I had to fight for every grade I got with no support until the age of 18. I was diagnosed at 15 but there were no educational support structures in place for people like me at that time. Every exam was a battle of will on my part and I had a few good teachers that would not give up on me as well as good friends who would explain things to me and help me. Where does this attitude come from that if you have a label you are excused from even trying? That it excuses you from using your brain? Makes me so angry! yes I am bias I know, but sod it my blood boils when I hear crap like that.

 

Anyway enough vague rants about work. I can’t be specific about anything, nature of the job and all that but I do like to rant about it from time to time. It’s a large part of my life. Still I like to be careful too. I know my pupils have photos of me on their Facebook accounts but I never post anything like that online, even if it is part of my contract and common sense blah blah… people do daft stuff. I was reminded again yesterday about online conduct becoming of a teacher. In other words another idiot got disciplined for tweeting about pupils. Used names apparently.

So this holiday was a bit of a let down. Yes teachers get long hols etc but my summer was pants. I spent most of it either decorating, demolishing or repairing… (house renovations still continue.) Was also stuck for 10 days or so when son got chicken pox and right after that I wound up with an ear infection. Ear is still blocked and it’s driving me nuts!

 

Looking forward to october! Will definitely try to have a proper holiday then. Besides, when the weather in Scotland is like this….

Lovely day at local beach.

 

Who needs to leave home?

 

Might have time to work on Indebted soon but Winterwolves are releasing an expansion to Loren so I will prob be doing that all weekend. Oh, and marking, can’t forget that. No free weekends for the next few months. *shrug* I’m used to it.

Update- Me

YAY something from me personally! Shocking, I know. OK so I am on holiday and I have been writing. As readers of Indebted will know I am close to wrapping it up. 2 or 3 chapters and we are done. Another big chunk of my Fanfiction commitment dealt with. Now as far as Indebted goes I have something to tell you. It’s not the end of the story. It is AN end but it’s not THE end. If I wrote what I planned out 5 years ago I’d write another novel. As I am writing my own novel right now that is not feasible so I’m contenting myself to wrapping up my fanfictions and concentrating on my own work.

I highly doubt you will ever see me in print as I am writing purely to please myself but you never know… Anyway the novel stands at 10,000 words so far and probably falls into the category of post-apocalyptic fantasy. I’m trying to build a world that I find interesting. This is not an action story even though that seems to be a staple of the genre. The odd bit of violence will occur but it is in the background. My protagonist can’t even read never mind fight… the majority of the story is intrigue and politics. Not everyone’s cup of tea granted especially when I chuck in assassinations and demons 😉

Anyway, trying to unwind is proving difficult. Work seems to be haunting me still even though I’m half way through my second week of holiday. The family are well, though I’m finding it difficult to get used to husbands/sons social circle. I am far from a people person and simply do not seem to have much in common with other mothers.  They are normally nattering about fashion, shoes and how rotten men are. I think I might get infected with the cliché at any moment! I usually fix a grin on my face and did not speak unless spoken to. Nattering with hubbie has helped me put things in perspective. I think I worry about this fitting in thing too much. I’m strange; I accept that but don’t want to give my brand of crazy to my son…

Bah, people suck! Or is it just me? This is like high school all over again! Screw it. I’m me and I’m not going to apologise for it.