Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Plague pit.

Our house is a plague pit. I started feeling ill on Friday, like I was coming down with a cold. Indeed I was, and have spent the whole time since then fighting it off. I thought I had got it off the kids who both had colds last week, but it appears not. My daughter has now come down with similar symptoms to me, including a high fever. She has been ranting and raving about 'naughty dogs', 'bad chicks' and her bedroom being 'all different colours'. Thank the Lord for Calpol.
It is so depressing, though. Last week I was full of vim and vigour, energetically breezing through a day with the kids and then writing in the evening. Now I can barely drag myself out of bed. My battery has been completely drained. So it's back to the long process of getting myself, and everyone else in the house, better.
On the plus side, I have bought myself a watercolour paints set on Ebay. My friend has one and it is so therapeutic to sit and paint little pictures. Hope I'll have the time and energy to use it..

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Just a taster of things to come?

When we were away at CREA, my parents looked after the kids. One day my Dad collected my oldest daughter from nursery to be told that she had not been behaving very well that morning. She had refused to sit down with the other children when told and she had not listened to instructions from the staff. Her teacher in frustration had announced,
'If you don't do as you're told, I'll have to tell your mummy and daddy that you've been naughty.'
To which my 3 1/2 year old replied, (in best Catherine Tate style)
'Well you can. But you'll have to ring the hotel in Italy.'

She's 3 and a half! I can't wait till she's 15...

Friday, 25 April 2008

Having a moment.

I had a moment the other day. A moment of lust for another man. (sorry, Dave, if you're reading this..) I don't quite know how to descibe it other than a kind of 'technical lust' - it wasn't as though there was any desire to pursue this feeling, and it was more of a surprised reaction that I found this man attractive. He was a lot older than me, probably by 25 or 30 years, and quite overweight with receding hair. Sounds good? No, I didn't think so either, until he took me by the hand to teach me the cha-cha-cha.
Now there is something about a man who can dance. The way he held my hands and guided me was quite exquisite. And the fact that he clearly had absolutely no desire or intentions towards me made the moment all the more sweet.

It was interesting because it makes you question what sexual attractiveness actually is. Regardless of what the glossy magazines spin us, it is not about symmetrical faces, stick thin bodies and designer clothes. It is about an ease and self-possession combined with confidence and personal power. I have been thinking a little about leadership recently, and I have been having thoughts about how sexual attractiveness fits into these models. It is not often discussed as a component, but it seems clear to me that sexual attractiveness is directly intertwined with personal power. (just ask Bill Clinton...)

I'm not sure what the upshot of these thoughts are, but I guess the main thing is that it gives us all hope that we are attractive to other people, regardless of how we look! It has a lot more to do with how we behave - how we interact, how we present ourselves and how we feel inside that matters. Also, it seems to me that if we are confident in ourselves, that confers a personal power upon us that we can then use in our daily lives to communicate with, influence and guide other people.

So thanks to my dance teacher for giving me food for thought (and the cha-cha-cha.)

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Back down to earth...

Finally got back on Monday night from the jamboree known as CREA Conference.(www.creaconference.com) As predicted, the combination of lots of wine, very little time and a dodgy wi-fi connection meant that I didn't blog while I was away...

What to say? For anyone who hasn't experienced CREA, it is very difficult to fully describe. It is basically a bunch of people from around the world (32 countries this year) who are interested in Creativity, in all its facets. They get together in a beautiful part of Italy to talk, learn, feel, refresh and renew themselves outwardly and inwardly.
It is a wonderful cross-cultural experience. Every year I make new friends across the world, and we support, inform and delight each other.

I have just had so much fun this year, and have met the most wonderful people, who filled me with laughter and confidence (thanks particularly JG and JB!). I took my ukelele (thanks Tim for the encouragement!) and had a great time playing and singing. Music was a big part of CREA for me this year. Bomba, the Canadian/Cuban band were there, and they were truly excellent. It made me realise just how much I enjoy music and dancing. A new resolve to get more of that in my life!

CREA is about personal development, amongst other things. I have found out a lot about myself as usual, and have really taken time to step back, think about where I am in my life and what is happening. CREA is a marvellous opportunity to give your soul a spring clean, and there are any number of people willing to help you throw out the old and welcome in the new.

It's just a different world at CREA. Everything seems possible and your vision is expansive. Because you're away from home, it's possible to be who you really are or want to be, without the constraints caused by our normal day to day lives. However, the down side is that coming home after CREA can be a bit of a jolt back into the 'real world', with all its stresses and strains. My mission this year is to find some way to reconcile those two states - to try to take a little bit of CREA into my daily life with me.

So, my learning from CREA is all about integration - how to get the things into life that I want and how to live with the things that I can't control, how to live in the now!

Wish me luck...

Friday, 11 April 2008


I'm so glad I went to meditation on Wednesday. If I hadn't, I might have quite possibly killed my two children today...! I contented myself with howling like a banshee at them when the incessant fighting became intolerable. Meditation? I need a large vodka, I think. A friend of mine announced she is pregnant with her third child. I'm pleased for her, obviously, but it made me think. I just don't know how I feel about a third one. On the one hand, I've always liked the idea of a bigger family, but then there's all the practicalities, including, would I just completely lose my mind with three of them? Would I notice the difference? I don't know, it's a tough one. It's the thought of the sleepless nights again that gets me in a cold sweat, but I know when I hold my friend's newborn, I'll be...aahhh....well maybe....
I'm off to Italy with my husband on Monday. He's teaching at a creativity conference. Check out the link www.creaconference.com
It should be great - I went last year and had a ball. Will try and post from there, but the wine is free, so don't expect anything too coherent.
Signing out for now.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Feeling chilled!

Had a good day today. Went to a new meditation class. It is good in that it involves physical stretching and activity as well as quiet sitting. I felt quite energised when I came out, and my body certainly feels looser than it did this afternoon! I have quite a good response to my 'playground' email - see yesterday's post! The council replied saying they are going to sort out the problems, so watch this space...
We spoke a bit about being 'in flow' this evening at the meditation, which is something which has come up a few times recently in conversation with different people. I think it is this state of mindfulness, of being 'in the moment' that I am searching for. It is so elusive though, and sometimes the harder you try, the further away it seems; like a mirage in the desert! It is great though when you momentarily experience it - everything seems so easy and natural! But then the door closes again and you're back to chipping away at it all. Ho hum. Hopefully the meditation will help. Off for a hot bath and bed now.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Getting in a strop!

I took my little boy to the park this morning and found that it had been vandalised yet again. So it made me really angry, not only at the vandals, but at the Council, as they are so slow to repair anything that goes wrong. They put in a zip wire and someone nicked the pulley bit off it and now you can't use it, and it's been like that for months. So, what do I do? Of course I come home and fire off a flamer of an email to the Parks Service at the Council, and just for the hell of it I copy in the local newspaper and the local Green Party rep. And now I've just had an email from the paper saying they want to run a story on it...
Why don't I keep my mouth shut, ever?! Although, I suppose it's a good thing. Just a bit embarassing... Well watch this space. Possibly for a link to the Courier and a photo of me next to a broken slide looking 'disgruntled'....

Sunday, 6 April 2008


Just got back from a lovely weekend in London, catching up with friends I haven't seen in a long while. We set the world to rights over good food and drink, and re-established those ties that keep us in touch in spite of the crazy speed of our lives. And I woke up this morning to a snowfall and a silence never heard in London. This was my first weekend away without my husband and children in a very long time, and I freely admit that I relished every second! It was made all the more enjoyable by the knowledge that I would soon be returning to the loving arms of my family. This was an opportunity to enjoy a little quiet, read and think (on my journey) and also have a great laugh with my friends. What more therapy could anyone need?! Have been working on my next assessment for my OU course, which is due to be handed in next week, before I go to Italy. I will post it here also. It has been difficult to write as it is based on truth and is very close to my heart. So, a challenge, all in all. Roll on Monday...

Friday, 4 April 2008

This isn't quite an April Fool's Day blog, but nearly. See, I've even missed that deadline... I'm not entirely sure quite what I'm doing here, so if any poor unfortunate is reading this - sorry. I think I want to start blogging as a way of talking about my life in general, but also to talk about the writing process I am going through and post some of my efforts on my page. You will have to bear with me, as this is a voyage of discovery and no doubt will be a steep learning curve.
I have been studying the Creative Writing Course with the Open University this year. I started it as a way of carving out time for myself to write in. Having two children under three and being a full-time mum, there isn't a lot of time for writing, but gradually I am learning to make the time for myself. As Charles Buxton said,
'You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it'
It's a tough lesson, but one well worth learning, I think. It is really hard at times, and I suffer with every mother's chronic complaint of guilt. I think guilt was invented for mothers...
Anyway, i'm working towards balance in all things, even if I frequently fall over. The floor is a patient teacher.
So, this is the place where you will hear all about what I am thinking, and not necesarily about how many loads of washing I have done that day, or how much crayon I have washed off the bedroom wall. I don't know, maybe the washing and the crayon would be more interesting, we shall see... Signing off for now.