Browsing Tag

writing workshop

PLEASE press for change – #blogladesh

Posted on 8th September 2010 in bangladesh/ blogladesh/ children/ poverty/ press for change/ writing workshop

Please click on the image above and add your name to the petition.

For more details, please visit the blogs of the ladies who have been to Bangladesh and who can explain the situation more eloquently than me.

Josie – http://www.sleepisfortheweak.org.uk/2010/09/08/almost-wordless-wednesday-not-fair/

Sian – http://www.mummy-tips.com/

Eva – http://www.nixdminx.com/

One thing, before you go – please click the image. x

D is for… Disgusting

Posted on 20th August 2010 in blogadesh/ disgusting/ tramp/ tsunami/ writing workshop

Writing Workshop Badge

#Writing Workshop.

Prompt 3: Pay attention to a stranger you meet this week or observe, and write about them.

I should point out that I went to town today without having read the #writingworkshop prompts.

I had a hasty lunch today, with my 2 sons. We went into Bakers Oven and I had a chicken roll, some crisps and a diet coke. My 2 boys (who had already had a healthy lunch) were apparently ‘starving’ so they had a sausage roll each.

We sat down in a corner table (I can’t stand having my back to a room, it makes me really uncomfortable) I’d had a quick scan around at the other diners, to  my left there was an older lady with a cup of tea who seemed to be taking in the world. Along from her was a young girl and boy (22ish) with a younger girl (7ish) I paused for a while to think what the relationship might be – sisters and boyfriend? Mum, dad and daughter? Furthest away was a teacher from my children’s last school with a young boy – we discussed the teachers name (I was wrong, the boys were right!). Nearest to us was a hassled looking family, mum in a vest top with bra straps showing, brightly coloured 3/4 trousers (I speculated in an instant on whether or not she was fatter than me – I think she wasn’t…), 2 kids, one who was dancing in the middle of the floor and one who was quietly eating. It flashed through my mind that they should make the girl sit down before my eyes focused on the man sitting in the centre of the room.

He was sitting on his own at a table, he wore a heavy dark coat with a hood that was up. Poking out from under the hood was the peak of a cap. My view of him was completely in profile as he was sitting side on. He had a cup of tea and a fruit scone which was coated in butter and he appeared to have cut it into lots of pieces. When I first noticed him he was licking the knife. Gross, I thought. He was making a really big deal of it and it made me feel a bit sick. I glanced at my boys to see if they’d noticed him but they didn’t seem to have. From their angle they would probably only have seen the back of his head.

I carried on the conversation I was having with my boys, told my youngest that no, we couldn’t go and buy some lego atlantis…. and looked up again, this time the man was sipping the cup of tea, very very slowly, when he had put the cup down he then wiped very slowly at his mouth. It was somehow creepy but I didn’t look away. He cut another bit of the scone and then licked the knife again, I thought it was disgusting – it wasn’t an idle lick of the knife it was a very slow deliberate action and he sat with the knife in his mouth for several long seconds at a time.

We didn’t stay long, I left half my crisps and 3/4 of the bottle of diet coke. We did the other things that we needed to do in town and then walked back along the high street to the car. Half way along the street I spotted the man, he was standing outside the Bakers Oven near a phone booth, still in his heavy black coat with the hood up. He reached into the phone booth and checked the slot for change. I looked at him again and noticed quite how dirty he was, by his feet was a flithy torn rucksack and 4 carrier bags stuffed with full of ‘stuff’.

It dawned on me that he was a rough sleeper. I guess he had somehow got together enough money for that tea and that scone and that the staff at the Bakers Oven were clearly much less judgmental than me and so they’d been kind enough to serve him despite his appearance and let him linger and savour his food. Presumably the reason he was licking that knife with such intent is that he was hungry and he wanted to enjoy every last scrap of his frugal meal.

So, D is for… DISGUSTING. Not him, but me. I hope that he looked at me and thought look at her she shouldn’t be eating those crisps, what is she doing giving those boys sausage rolls for lunch – and how wasteful she is for leaving half of it. But I bet he didn’t, I bet he didn’t even know that we were there because he was too busy enjoying his cup of tea and his fruit scone.

On the radio in the car on the drive home it mentioned people suffering a ‘slow motion tsunami‘. My thoughts turned to the wonderful ladies who are are offering their time to support #Blogadesh and with a touch of well deserved shame I thought about how the man from the cafe or the poor people suffering in Bangldesh and Pakistan would have appreciated the food that I bought and discarded today or the sausage rolls that my boys ‘needed’ even though they’d just eaten.

I’m sorry.




S is for… STORM

Posted on 22nd July 2010 in poetry/ writing workshop

Writing Workshop Badge

So now it’s your turn. What prompt did you choose? 5. Storm


There is a storm coming

Building coils of dread, tighter

I can feel it in every sharp breath

Is it time for fight or flight


There is a storm coming

But will it wash away

Will it cleanse and repair

Or will pain remain


There is a storm coming

The greyness fills me

A leaden weight within

Like spadefuls of cloying wet sand


There is a storm coming

It’s anger is loud, it brings thunder

The greyness wraps me

In a blanket of familiar pain


There’s a storm coming

Do I hide from the dark

Or dance in the streaks of light

How will I know the difference

M is for… My Mistress

Posted on 14th July 2010 in Blog/ friendship/ Twitter/ writing workshop

Writing Workshop Badge

3. Who’s your boss? Who (or what!) is in charge of you and your life?

This is EASY.

Much as I try and deny it, Twitter Is My Mistress. For example, today is my day off work. At work I spend the day in front of an iMac and I beaver away at my desk for hours on end. So, today – on my day off – I have mostly sat at home, in front of an iMac and buggered around on twitter for hours on end.

I did just break momentarily to do the washing up. That would be the washing up that I would have done last night, had I not been on twitter. I did have to go for a blood test this morning which took approximately 1.5hrs (30 mins to walk there, 30 mins to wait, 30 mins to walk back) I spent most of the 1.5hrs wishing I had a phone from which I could tweet….

I blame @MinaCab for this as twas she who introduced me to my mistress. She came to my house, plied me with cake, pulled many things (except the obvious) from her bra and then insisted that I join Twitter. Being a meek, subservient, do-as-I’m-told type of a girl I immediately signed up. And was immediately disappointed. “I don’t get it” I said. @MinaCab then explained the virtues of twitter to me and told me that she went to senior school with Andy Parsons (and did a reasonable Andy Parsons impression it has to be said) yet still the appeal of Twitter eluded me.

Yet it nagged at me. Why didn’t I ‘get it’ I am not especially unintelligent, if other people could ‘get it’ then why couldn’t I?

Every now and then I would throw a tweet into the void. Not a lot happened – to be fair I was only following @MinaCab @PlanetJedward and @StephenFry so it was fairly obvious that my banal tweets weren’t about to set the world on fire.

Then one day I did a #hashtagtweet and got a reply, from a real person, a stranger…. Ooooh this was intriguing. So I looked at the strangers ‘followers’ and added a few of them, and they followed me back. Suddenly my banal tweets started getting responses.

This then trigged a ‘ray of light’ a moment where the earth moved, the stars aligned and the heavens collided (never sure what with) – suddenly I GOT TWITTER. I got it, I understood it, I loved it.

I started following @richardm56 I’m not a daytime TV person so although I knew who he was, I wasn’t a stalker fan, but people said he was Mr Twitter, so I followed. He was funny. He made me laugh, I replied to a couple of his tweets – and he replied! I told him some mad tale about Binky (Richard’s late mail sherpa, long story) asking via the medium of Derek Acorah for him to follow me back – and he did! LOL. Twitter rocks!

I am now ‘friends’ with some amazing people on Twitter. My ‘real life’ friends ‘don’t get it’ and they pull that face at me if I mention it, so I don’t anymore. My husband, tolerant man though he is, is dubious of my twitter relationships.

Without Twitter I would never have spoken to @jakubhlavacek a lovely (but rude) gay guy from the Czech republic. I would never have exchanged, time, cake and publishing with @thecakenest – I would never have started a blog if it were not for the likes of the lovely @porridgebrain @cosmicgirlie @JfB57 @Princess_L_88 @cafebebe @vegemitevix (and too many more to list, sorry). I would never have had extraordinarily bizarre conversations with @PowerFairy my life would not have been enhanced by knowing @DrewParky who to me is a little ray of sunshine. I wouldn’t have seen the smiley face of @Superrealpj I wouldn’t know that sock cats are awesome if it weren’t for @_pussygalore I wouldn’t have received lovely, supportive messages from @busyhobs or have ever known about the Tots100 or @The_MADs if it weren’t for @swhittle. Without twitter I wouldn’t have had a lovely chat with @MyDaddyCooks or have tasted his simnel cakes and brightened Archie’s day with Thomas goodies.

Without Twitter I would never have started coffeegate…

I have lovely conversations with lots of wonderful people, including: @LivingwithKids @kateab @PaulaMaher @MissMarch1130 @1chicmama @hooker1uk @Caroljs @MeTheManAndBaby @Jon_Stead @cassiemwilliams @becaboop @KayAndHerBoys @SheilaW10 @The_Moiderer @Nudieprincess @bumblingtweets @ocean_design @christinemosler @gillyjamjar @utterlyscrummy @lbyrne74 @himupnorth @Debbie_Ireland @Delakobic @PeterWanless @SingleMummyUK @mediocre_mum @thekidscoach @TheJellyMonster @peabee72 @Henrys_Mummy @Metajugglamum @realityrose @Barb1963 @teamvaughan @newdaynewlesson @salamicat @nicolalalalala @ShortyMcStompy @balloonbaboon @blottedcopybook @benspex @mummylimited @chrisandharvey @freyerj @justinheron @tradingnothing @Rosa_lingerie

I’ve dropped phones down toilets with @SweetPeaParties. I love the gentle humour of @PippaD and everytime I read her name the song by BabyD pops into my head! I respect @Andy_Golding, I experienced a military clean up from @RAFairman, laughed at the IT Crowd with @kookoocachu @daddacool and @tattooed_mummy. I’m grateful for techy advice from @spences10. I laugh every time I see the name @AhcomeonnowTed. Quite early on in my twitter life, I was inspired by @Angiebabes999. I got trust from @SingleDadsDiary I got to do a guest blog for @SmittnbyBritain and I read STOP ME by the brilliant @Bookwalter

I LOVE the secret postclub, thank you @notefromlapland

I enjoy the humour of @GPforhire and @5tevenw

I am quite honoured to get the occasional reply from the lovely, talented and fairly easy on the eye ;o) @DhruvBaker1

And although I expect none of you will have noticed, I am reasonably fond of a nice guy called Bob @OnlyDads

My thoughts have #hashtags in them, as do things I put in texts and on facebook.

If I haven’t named you, please please don’t be offended. I follow 693 people – and I follow you all for a reason – it just simply wasn’t possible to list all 693 of you here (I did try, but I am very lazy) so if I follow you, I twitter-love you ok? Actually – if I’ve inadvertently missed you off, tweet me and let me know and I will add you :o)

So in answer to prompt 3 of @porridgebrain’s writing workshop: 3. Who’s your boss? Who (or what!) is in charge of you and your life? My one and only answer is TWITTER!

S is for… Sensory Overload

Posted on 9th June 2010 in Blog/ cats/ writing workshop

For prompt 4 of porridge’s writing workshop.

I shouldn’t be here

Would he find out?

I’d promised ‘never again’

Could he find out?

It was so beautiful to look at

I’m just looking, looking can’t hurt can it?

My heart contracted

I looked around, had anyone noticed?

My eyes widened

There was no one here to see

My fingers reached out

Could I? Should I?

I could feel my pulse

Was this love?

I wanted it

Was it lust?

I wanted to touch it

I shouldn’t

I needed it

I know it’s irrational, but I DO NEED IT

I needed to feel it

Just for minute

I needed to hold it

Oh how much I needed to hold it

I tentatively extended a hand

It looked up at me

My fingers brushed it

Oh so soft, so so soft

Our eyes connected

Such intense blue eyes

It blinked at me and I melted

Had anything ever looked so cute?

I guiltily snatched it up

Had anyone seen? I didn’t care

I held it close

Just for minute

I smelt it and buried my face in it’s soft fur

Now I know I love it

It purred

It loves me too!

The object(s) of my desire can be seen here
Any of them obviously, but from a pure ‘kitten porn’ point of view it would have to be the little black one on the left hand side near the bottom or the oh so beautiful little grey bundle about half way down! Forgive me, I have never hidden my love of cats!

V is for… Volunteer

Posted on 2nd May 2010 in Blog/ cats/ child/ divorce/ self esteem/ writing workshop

Am a bit late with my entry for Josie’s Writing Workshop. Like most people (have been reading through the entries!) I have gone for ‘5. Pick an emotion that best represents your state of mind right now and write creatively on that theme.’

The emotion that represents my state of mind is ‘meh’, yes yes, meh is definitely an actual emotion – don’t bother checking the dictionary, it’s there ok!

Am feeling ‘meh’ because sometimes I just don’t feel that I give enough.

I’ve always said that if I ‘won the lottery’ I would:

a) buy my dad a house with a big garden

b) put ‘a chunk’ of money in the bank for my children

c) buy colchester cat rescue

d) buy myself a house

e) do volunteer work for charities

But then it occurred to me that I could actually do volunteer work without having won the lottery. Ok, so I don’t have the time or money to devote my life to it, and I can’t change the world even a teeny bit but I could do something.

So, for the past 6  months I have been a volunteer for a charity called Cat Chat. Now, in my head this should involve baskets of kittens – each of a different colour, but sadly it doesn’t :(

It does, however, involve lots of pictures of cats which is nearly as good! What I do for them at the moment is make their quarterly newsletter, which helps to spread the word about their good work and lets people know about rehoming success stories, as well as highlighting those poor kitties who just can’t seem to find a home. If you do happen to be looking for a feline family member their rehoming pages are a good place to start.

If I ever did win the lottery and could afford devote more time to volunteer work I’m not sure what I’d chose to do. I’d like to help poorly children, or children affected by sadness whatever the cause. Having experienced the shock of having my world turned upside down – I’d like to help support women who find themselves in a scary world after a partner has left them. Today, after reading the article about single dads in Stella magazine, I’d have to say that I’d also like to help men who find themselves in that situation too. I wish I had the brains or the cash to help find a cure for cancer. I wish I could stop bullying. I wish I could cure depression. I wish the world would share it’s money so that we don’t need action aid, or water aid, or even band aid! I wish I could make paedophiles – JUST BLOODY STOP IT. But in the meantime, I’ll settle for cats cats and more cats!

And squash the feeling of ‘meh’ as best I can.

R is for… Random Acts of Kindness – Pay It Forward

Posted on 22nd April 2010 in adultery/ benefits/ child/ counselling/ Cry/ debt/ divorce/ guarantor/ house/ self esteem/ son/ writing workshop

R is for… Random Acts of Kindness – Pay It Forward

I looked at the lovely Josie’s Writing Workshop prompts again this week and thought – nah there is nothing there I can write anything about… Kept looking back and running through the list and kept coming up with the same answer – nope nothing there for me. But it was obviously still in my thoughts, as when I was getting dressed this morning a random act of kindness came to mind.

So. R is for… Random Acts of Kindness – Pay It Forward

If you’ve read A is for… And Then He Left Me you will know that in 2004 I was left in a bit of a bastard situation.

During that time although I experienced some incredibly low points I also experienced some amazing acts of random kindness that served as a lesson to me that I will never forget. That lesson being – pay it forward.

As mentioned in A is for… And Then He Left Me I was bailed out of having to move my children to another town to live in a B&B by a ‘friend’ who stood guarantor for me on a rental agreement. What I didn’t say was that this person, who we shall call W, had only known me for 2 weeks when they did it. I never once asked them to do it, in fact I seem to recall that I refused point blank, but W insisted. The letting agency initially turned them down because they had only known me for 2 weeks but, undeterred, W somehow magically sorted it out and my tenancy was approved.

It isn’t normally in my nature to accept things off people, especially people that I hardly know, however there was no financial risk to W (unless I missed payments which I knew that I wouldn’t) and I really had no other option so I begrudgingly accepted this kind and generous offer.

The generosity didn’t stop there though, after learning that my ex-husband wasn’t contributing financially, W then bought my 2 boys ALL their school uniform for the new September term – including PE kit, pencil cases, lunch boxes, shoes and winter coats! PLUS new Star Wars duvets sets and PJs. (And a mysterious deposit of cash – although W denied any involvement in this….)

This is where it got a bit tricky for me and my morals as suddenly money was actually involved. W had bought things and I had no money with which to pay W back. When I, repeatedly, raised this as an objection W’s one and only answer was always: “Pay it forward – if at some point in the future you are ever in a position to help someone who genuinely needs help, you can pay me back by helping them.”

I know this post probably sounds a little unbelievable, but I assure you it is completely true. There were absolutely no strings. I only ever knew W for a short period of time but they made a huge difference to my self-esteem and my belief in human nature and the kindness of strangers.

W used to say that it was redressing the balance, just ‘righting a wrong’, ie my ex-husband had wronged me and W was putting it right. I thank you W from the bottom of my heart.

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