The Graduate

I have just heard that I passed my final course in my degree in Literature.  This will be another nice bauble in my drawer full of qualifications.  I will not be going to any caremony however.  I have much more pressing things to do.  I don’t really have anyone else to tell so I am sharing it with my blog.  I will have a wee rest before deciding on the way forward from here.

I finally trimmed the hedge in my front garden.  It is not the most fantastic looking hedge but it is trimmed back so my neighbours may give me five minutes peace from the talk about my garden.  In the street I live it is full of lovely gardens cared for by the little retired couples who live there but i’m sorry I have three kids still at home, I am trying to get my house sorted, I work and I have just finished my third degree.  I think something had to give and up until now my garden has been neglected out of necessity.  There is a bus stop right outside my house and I can hear talk and see disparaging faces shaking their heads and discussing my garden.  Well its not going to be looking any better than this until next year. 

I am going to have an early night tonight. 


Monday madness

I spent the first half of the day going to appointments and getting shopping in.  Went to the doctors and had a nice chat and have been signed off work for a couple of weeks.  I did not expect to be quite as emotional as I have been over the last couple of weeks.  I think my body is hopefully getting back to normal now.  I will probably end up in a flood of tears tomorrow for no apparent reason since I seem to think I am getting better.  These hormones like to make a liar of me.

I spent my afternoon watching the olympics and was totally captivated.  It started off with diving – we just missed out on a medal.  Men’s team gymnastics which was a nail biter right to the end.  This was my favourite.  Then also watched the weightlifting which was adorable. All these teeny wee men picking up huge weights.  Then the tv marathon was finished off with swimming.  As much as I hate the politics of the olympics I do actually enjoy seeing people who have trained for years try to best each other.  It has been a good heart-warming day. 

I got a visit from my sister tonght and it was a lovely surprise.  We had a quick wee chat about life and the universe.  It is always very illuminating to chat to her.  I have a couple of hours to myself tomorrow and am looking forward to it.  I have sent away for some writing supplies and hopefully they will come soon.  I am trying to create a dedicated writing space.  I am starting work on the garden tomorrow.  I can’t leave it any longer as it is driving me and my neighbours daft.  It will be good to sit at my table and be inspired by the breadth of birds that come and sit in my garden.  It is a good way to spend a few hours watching life go by and relaxing. 

I still need to get a relaxation plan sorted out.  I am having trouble switching off.  I have started lying in bed in the dark awake for hours just mulling over life and trying to come to some decisions.  I have come to one today but will save the announcement of it till I am ready and know which direction I am taking.  It has come to my attention that certain areas in my life are not conducive to good mental health so I have to take evasive action as soon as possible to rectify this.  On one hand I feel a little better that I now know it is urgent that I get out of this situation but on the other hand it means a whole new regime and changing many things to fit into whichever path my life goes. 

One thing that life as a single parent has taught me is that I cope very well with change.  I am well versed in being able to handle any situation.  I have lived my life in a constant state of flux as long as I can remember.  I just hope that the changes I am about to make will be changes for the better.

Always hopeful



Lazy Sunday

Today is being spent in the house, listening to music, hanging out with the weans, maybe reading a little, eating food that is probably bad for me and generally just being lazy.  I have to try and relax more.  I need to spend time reconnecting with me.  I am enjoying watching morgan still crafting since yesterday.  The activities today include making pom poms and maybe more roses out of felt.  She is totally captivated when she gets  her wee industrious head on.  It keeps her occupied for hours.  I think I need to do an emergency run out for supplies because she is running out of things to make. 

I am watching my wee boy dance around the living room in what he thinks is some martial arts frenzy.  I don’t know whether to sign him up for gymnastics or karate – maybe even contemporary dance cos he is quite graceful when he does it.  I think he wants to be a stunt man when he grows up.  My eldest son is playing computer games with his friend.  He has spent most of the holidays in front of the screen.  Okay the weather has not been fantastic but I think it is about time he peeled his eyes off the screen.

I have still not watched any of the olympics so far.  Usually my eyes would have been glued to the telly but I have not really been spending time with my tv as of late.  I am not doing much of anything these days.  I’m working up some energy to get more walls scraped, sanding down paintwork, papering and general housing upgrade.   I will get more work done when the kids are back at school.  I don’t really have any space or time while they are at home. 

I have been mentally preparing myself for starting work.  I have been stuck in my own head for a few days.  I will start sorting them out and getting some sort of writing framework set up.  I need to get some discipline in my life so have to work out a schedule round my existing rota of work, kids and other committments.  The good thing about the kids being back at school is that they are in a routine of getting up early and going to bed early so it means I have lots of time at night to write.  I may just get plans in place and write around the school terms.  It would allow me to spend lots of time with the kids (which we all need) and loads of time writing (which I need like oxygen). 

Heres to having plans.





Me and the kids got a surprise invitation to a festival in glasgow today.  My fabulous sister dragged us out of our dungeon and took us for a road trip.  Stuck in a car with my three kids on the way there was a joy because they all behaved.  They did show off their great sense of humour because the patter was hilarious.  Once there we had to barter for goods – no money was to exchange hands.  We had went with nothing but the lovely lady at the gate gave us a plant to start us off.

Morgan was captivated right from the off at the first stall.  A little sewing haven where they encouraged people to make things out of scrap pieces of fabric.  The woman sat and showed her how to make a lovely brooch out of some felt.  We went to the next stall that was giving out samples of good quality coffee and my thirteen year old son decided today was the day he wanted to try coffee.  He actually enjoyed it and gave his little sister a taste but she almost threw up.  There was also a stall that had a bike that powered a radio and a food blender.  Both my 13 year old and my 8 year old had a go and then got to taste the smoothies they made. 

My daughter than went to a few more stalls and was given brooches, tomato plants, flowers and a nice clasp for her hair all free of charge.  She had a brilliant day and it was fantastic getting to see her have fun, get to do crafts which are her favourite pastime ever and the fact that all my kids tried something new made me feel very happy.  Sometimes kids can take a little persuading but today they were really getting into the vibe of this bartering festival.  I enjoyed my kids seeing that there is value in skills and products you can make instead of the usual money system.  I was proud that my kids all took the initiative and took part. 

I have said it before but this sister that invited me to this day out – she always has some knowledge, or fascinating spectacle to give me.  I have had a good day with the best company, some very needed time away from my house and the ability to watch my kids grow and learn and experience new things.  I cannot thank her enough.  In my life I have learned many things from her.  I have always loved visiting her because she has always had influences from many cultures in her house, she always has the best reading material, she makes me think whenever I am around her and I know she is interested in almost everything as am I.

Today was just what the doctor ordered.  More of the same for tomorrow please.  



I have realised that there are certain things that cheer me up:

1) writing

2) my kids

3) music

4) reading

5) tattoos

6) dancing

7) a night out now and again.

I am in the pursuit of happiness right now. Nothing in my life is making much sense.  I am struggling with my mental health these days.  I want to lie in my bed more.  This is not always cos i’m depressed – mostly because its the only room where I can breathe and think.  I am desperate for a night out, a hug, a conversation of some interest, a spark of life.  I am desperate to not be me just now.  I am feeling the oppression of being a single parent, of being on my own, of being stuck in a rut.  I am fed up of people trying to make me feel bad for the way their lives have turned out.  I can only fix me I cannot fix anyone else.  I am fed up of folk contacting me who have nothing to say, who only want one thing, who never ask ‘how are you?’.  Friendship is a two way thing and today I am not going to keep up a pretence any more with someone who only wants me to bolster them up. 

I have decided that of the things that cheer me up – for this particular occasion a few of these would help.  Ink is the thing that screams out at me the most.  Ink for me to write with and ink for my skin.  I feel good about tattoos – I love watching a picture that means everything to me – appear.  I love having something significant and beautiful to me etched on my skin.  I think necessity is telling me I have to get my tattoo that I have been planning for almost four years. 

Writing – I have been writing more and more these days.  Nothing like a little bit of soul-searching and heart-ache to give me the urge to write.  It has all been personal at the moment but I feel like I have to work through some desperate personal issues before I can move on.  This is a good thing.  I have no real outlet for vocalising my frustrations and my worries so I write them away.  My writing is like an old friend.  I would be completely lost without my journals, my poetry and my rantings. 

The absolute best thing for me at the moment would be dancing.  It has health giving properties, it makes me smile constantly, it makes me happy, it cheers up my kids when I dance with them.  The only problem is dancing is best done in the company of others and I don’t have much company at this time.  I will get some tunes on later and have a boogy by myself.  I am not embarrasssed to do this.  In fact when I am out I tend to dance on my own anyway.  There are only so many folk brave enough to dance with me.

There I have managed to lift my spirits just by blogging about things that cheer me up.  I hope it lasts.


Olympic Friday

Well its here – the olympic ceremony is tonight.  I have always found the olympics interesting.  I love seeing people compete, take part, push themselves to the limit, drive themselves on and spend time in the company of people from various countries, cultures and walks of life.  I have always since I was a child been interested in the athletics, the gymnastics and the general positivity of the olympics. 

This year however things are different.  They are taking place in the country joined on to mine so they are as close as they will ever probably be.  They are heralded as a great thing for Britain.  The truth is they will make little or no difference to normal English folk never mind us Scots north of the border.  The only people making anything out of this are the government and the companies allowed to destroy this fantastic institution with their adverts and their propaganda.  Well that is my rant over. 

I have spent the day hobbling around since my trampolining enjoyment yesterday. I may have damaged my foot but will give it a couple of days and see if it gets any better.  I also managed to get some of the school shopping done today.  One kid down two more to go. I got the easy one out of the way first – its the two wee ones that are really challenging.

I am feeling better mentally but I have so many decisions needing made that I cannot properly make choices.  I need to separate everything but so many things depend on the outcome of another decision so it is really confusing.  I am considering getting another job, but where and doing what? Do I need to do another course to get one of those jobs? Do I want to move somewhere else if a job turns up that I want and actually manage to get? Do I want to move me and my kids away somewhere – where we know no-one (probably).  I think my brain is screaming for a completely new start but where and doing what? 

Would that be classed as running away from things? Or carving out a life for myself in a place with less baggage on my doorstep?  The only reason worth staying here is that my oldest son has a friend and enjoys school.  My two youngest have no real attachments yet so would be okay with a move.  I have a couple of friends here but none that I socialise with on a regular basis.  I know they are on the end of a phone for me anytime but proper physical friendship – face to face – share everything with – this is sadly lacking in my life.

I think living where I do and having the job I do and being as lonely as I am makes this house a physical entity that drags me down.  The narrow mindedness of this town makes me feel like I am buried alive.  It may just be how I feel today but I do think that something seriously has to change.  The thing that needs to change might be me.  Aaaarrrggggghhhh its so confusing.  If anyone has any definitive answers for me then please feel free to leave me a comment.


Start as you mean to go on.

I woke up this morning and went for a good brisk walk with my dog.  We ventured as far as the graveyard where my dad’s ashes were buried, it was a lovely warm day and the walk there was very pleasant and warm.  I walked up the steps to where his grave is and at first glance of the headstone tears welled up and I thought aw dad.  I have not been there in such a long time.  The headstone needs a little attention and it could do with a little sprucing up.  The graveyard is really peaceful and good for reflection but the benches that used to be quite close to his grave were not there anymore.  I had hoped to have a little half hours meditation/contemplation sitting on one of those benches to sit and watch the world go by.  

Instead I decided to walk around the new local high school which was muddy and busy with joggers, dog walkers and workers not doing very much.  All this walking was done whilst listening to my ipod very loud.  I must have gotten quite a few odd looks because I am sure for most of the walk I was singing at the top of my voice.  I then walked round part of the town and through the remnants of the old local high school which was totally deserted.  My journey ended with the walk down the spine road and back home where my dog was quite happy for a wee rest under the table in the shade.  Two and a half hours of pure bliss with the thoughts in my head, some good music and a wee singalong. 

Once home I had my breakfast and decided to trim my hedge.  I searched high and low for my shears but could not find them.  I was really mad about this because trimming the hedge outside my garden is not for the fainthearted and it takes me a good week to work up the energy, strength and will to get this job done.  I have still not found the shears so no hedge was trimmed.  I eventually just put on a pair of gloves and started ripping up loads of weeds.  After about an hour of doing this I sat on the trampoline for a little break. 

I realised today there is more than a little bit of the big kid in me because I got up and started jumping like my life depended on it.  It was quite liberating.  The only down side is that I live on a road that is pretty jampacked with traffic at any time of day.  I was spared some funny looks by the giant hedge that did not get trimmed back but I got a few comments and laughs from other passers by.  I didn’t care if anyone thought this forty year old woman bouncing on a kids trampoline was not exactly what they wanted to see on their day off but I was having a fair old time to myself.  The post man had a fair old chuckle to himself as he delivered my mail. 

I then lay on the trampoline enjoying the heat and just hanging out.  My friend came by with lunch and I had a nice chat with her.  It was a day filled with indulgencies and fun.  I walked to get my kids who turned back into their usual fighting selves within ten minutes of me picking them up.  What a joy.  They are now firmly deposited in front of the tv playing their xbox.  I have a busy day tomorrow so I need to get them up early.  I am tired just thinking about tomorrow.  Or maybe it is just the fallout from my walk, my gardening, my trampolining and my busy day. 

School clothes shopping starts tomorrow.  Not my favourite pastime but I am hoping to do it in some short bursts.  Make everything more mangeable.



Sun is shining


I have just woken up to the most glorious day of sunshine.  My kids however have been that acclimatised to the rain and dreary weather that they are sitting captivated by the light coming from my tv set.  I will give them lunch then get them all out in the sunshine.  If they can’t find something to do then I will find them something to do.  I still remember my dad and mum offering us nice chores to do if we moaned about being shoved out in the sunshine.

I have a lot of things to do today.  I have my fantastic daughter coming to take my two youngest kids to her house to stay for the night.  I have some gardening to get started.  I have some writing to trawl through.  I am going back to the beginning – starting from scratch – reading over all my old poems, stories and thoughts I have jotted down over the last few years then I am going to get writing. I am also going out for dinner with some friends and family because my niece turned 18 today.

If nothing good has come out of the last couple of months at least it has given me lots of inspiration for stories and other projects.  I have been compiling thoughts, feelings, gossip being distributed about me and other such fantastic untruths lately and it will be fun to turn it into something productive, therapeutic, funny and just let rip with the anger.  I would like to see what happens with that – where it all takes me.  I have been soaking up experiences, people I meet and have interactions with, places I go, conversations I have and examining the complications of small town life.

I may have been brought up here and lived in this area for all of my life but I am glad to say that my intelligence, my sense of humour, my outlook on life transends way beyond the confines of small town living.  I accept that we are all defined by our upbringing and experiences but I am proud of myself for wanting to live outside those boundaries.  A respectable life does not have to be forged from ticking boxes that society deems important such as:

1) meeting a nice guy

2) settling down (getting married)

3) have 2.5 kids

4) own your own house

5) live your life in cycle of competition with your neighbours -my house is bigger than your house, my holiday cost more than your holiday, my kids are more popular than your kids, my life is happier than your life and so on and so forth.

6) work in a job that gives you no satisfaction but rakes in the money.

I am really proud to say that I do not own my house, I do not feel like your life has any essential value so I will not be competing with you.  I have never been married but shock horror I have five kids.  I have never aimed for a life set out by society.  I have brains, I have a lot of love to share with the people who are important to me.  My kids are clean, happy, independant, clever, funny, talented, gorgeous but I don’t need to shout that from the rafters to know that I am a good parent.  I have a job that allows me to feed, clothe and see my kids more often than not.  My job does not define who I am, I take no status from it whatsoever.  I am constantly indulging in my favourtie pastime of learning, I have an abundance of love, music, stimulation and support in my life and everyday holds the promise of something exciting, new, beautiful and fantastic.

I am looking forward to the future.



Who would have thought it?

Today I got up with a black cloud over my head.  I have been seeing no silver lining to anything at the moment.  I have been carrying round the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I seemed to have lost any lust for life really. Over the course of today though something changed.  I was lying on my bed reading and listening to very loud music and something just clicked into place in my head.

I thought what the hell am I doing?  I think the music I was listening to just hit a nerve.  I got up and started tidying my immediate surroundings and thought why am I letting the situation get the better of me.  I have five kids who mean the world to me.  I have two grandchildren that I totally adore.  I am interested in everything, I have a thirst for knowledge and need to get my head back into some research or learning.  I know what I am meant to do now.  I need to just get on with it and stop procrastinating.

I have spent years putting off what I really want to do.  Today I will actually start doing that.  I am going to get all my notepads, all  my writing gear and get on it.  I have a couple more days off work – I have time to turn this situation around.  Time to write my way out of my depression and time to get mentally well again.  I just want to say thank you to those people who have called, written to me, sent me music and just been there for me in my emotional time of need.

I am forever thankful for your support, your help and your love.