Saturday, 26 September 2009


when the kids were little, i did a lot of distracting whenever they were upset or wanted something they weren't allowed... i manipulated their attention so that they were more disposed to do things in a parent led, safe way. i got a lot of good feedback about this when other more experienced parents witnessed me doing it, so i kept doing it. i was after all making it up as i went along, like we all do to a greater or lesser extent.

i was just watching rudy playing with a little toy in my room. engrossed for a minute, it then whizzed under the bed, and his attention then jackknifed onto the subject of what is under my bed- poppy's birthday present. we had a brief conversation about that and secret keeping and reassurances that he too would have another birthday one day, and i instinctively redirected his attention to a book. in the space of a minute, he went from the book, to some makeup brushes, to a bust of the virgin mary (long story), to rubbing this french sort of plush bunny (my daughter's) across his face and naming it linda, to turning the lamp on and off, to pressing his wrists against a mirror, to squirting from a perfume bottle, back to the book, found the toy, dismissed it, to putting an emery board in his mouth, to starting a conversation about transformers whilst running the entirety of his arm up and down my duvet, to running out of the door muttering. as the paediatrician says, he's a busy boy.

might my technique of distraction have something to do with it? or am i making it all about me again?


Friday, 25 September 2009

hmm. well. what would shakira make of this. and indeed, do we care

i don't mention my friends here, because i don't feel it's really my place to. only about two of them know that this blog exists, so were i to be yammering on carrie style about who did what to thingy in whahoojima and why, it would be a little distasteful. i don't talk about my friends behind their backs, and writing about them here definitely counts as "talking".

but it depends, i suppose, upon the parameters, doesn't it. the context. and with that in mind, let's talk about... yeah. vampires.

my friends are, without exception, feisty ladies. they might strike you as the quiet girl, the friendly girl, the married lady, the professional powerhouse, the teen mum, the society grand dame, the butter wouldn't melt martial artist... and to say that we merely have fondness for wine and, like, shoes in common does us disservice. you know how this works. you know who you click with. you know who skitters just outside your circle, those who you talk to every day, maintain a friendly and/or professional rapport with, but you know you could never find yourself saying, to this person, say, in context, the words "anal monkey bartering" at 3am after 23 units of alcohol, a 20 minute giggling fit, 45 minutes of introspective tearfulness and two tubes of chillicheese pringles. you have to go with your gut there.

we're a mixed bunch, but somehow cohesive. i might even go so far as to say that we, each of us, dabble in feminism... but i would probably have to chair a three day summit in order to define where exactly our particular branch of feminism lies, to explore the roots of it. is it nurtured? is it reactionary? why are we waxing? which do we hate more- the patriachy or grazia?

but there seems to be one common chink in the armour of our righteous sense of fairytale averse scepticism, however. and that would be twilight, the perennial guilty secret.

i'm the only one on team jacob. and more anon.


Thursday, 24 September 2009

wha... tha... fa...

obviously i live in the uk and i'm a bit behind and everything, but i feel like i have slipped into a parallel universe.

well, colour me conflicted.


Tuesday, 22 September 2009

:- I

yes, i'm completely rubbish. sorry. but i have an excuse. sort of.

the school where p., and now r., go do this infuriating part time initiation month for the incoming reception class where they go mornings, then afternoons, then mornings and lunch, then lunch and afternoons... after which they are deemed ready to go full time, and you, hopefully, cease to run into yourself coming back down on the way up to school, endlessly trailing the book bags and discarded clothing items of the 5 or so miscellaneous loud and scampering children suddenly in your charge, your 'quirky' children being the relentlessly social creatures that they are. it's a good idea, but like many good ideas entirely a pain. i am currently walking to and fro school 3 times a day. this is kind of fine because the scales and i aren't exactly enamoured of each other at the moment, but that might have something to do with the plain insolence of an inbuilt body fat percentage calculator with the gall to tell me that i'm obese even though my bmi is fine, and normal, thankyou, and no of course this is not actually my cheese, i'm actually holding onto it for a friend?... but kind of not fine because each round trip is about an hour. anyways.

this was fine, though. this was a letter from the community paediatrician received yesterday cc. just about everybody:

"rudy _____ _______. d.o.b. __/__/04. problems: developmental co-ordination disorder/ communication issues/ attentional difficulties. rudy is a very busy 4 year old boy who seems to have some of those overlapping difficulties that we do see clustering in some children. he is ready for school. he has been seen by (ed psych- he hasn't, swine flu) and by (speech and language). he has certainly had a detailed work up from (occ. therapy, and this is putting it mildly).

having identified these particular problem areas for rudy, i am now going to pull back as we don't wish to medicalize and pre-judge his educational career at school (yay). i am copying this to the doctor who covers (the school), who will, i am sure, wish to discuss rudy with the special educational needs co-ordinator, with mother's permission (i should imagine that that means me). however, i am happy that the appropriate supports are in place to enable rudy to get off to a good start at school.

best wishes, etc. dr. _____ ______ ma phd mrcpch"


and in rudy's homework diary yesterday:

"rudy has settled in well- he is really enjoying the toys and outdoor area. he has come over to work with me willingly (about wall-e)- even if in a bit of a hurry to go back to play! a super start rudy! i look forward to teaching you this year."


....his uniform is already in a woeful state.


Monday, 14 September 2009

whither fierce?

my fashion life is lived vicariously now, totally disconnected from the girl i was in london... that fashion fearless freak frequently accosted by japanese tourists and style photographers, openly discussed on the tube, greeted with a nod of appraisal from soho to selfridges, snarled at by the teenage girl gangs whose trainer choices i adopted and adapted (i see your lily allen and raise you me in 1999), subject to many an eye roll, snigger and frown; noticed.

it's a certain sort of neediness, a certain sort of bravery. on the surface, i didn't care what other people thought, i was fierce. brimming with bravery, bold customisation and ill advised credit purchases; a prada punk. but of course i cared what people thought, deeply. i was interested in provoking a reaction of any sort, like a ten million and three bright young things before and after me. an art director that wanted me to work with him (in some mysterious and unspecified role) once accused me of purposefully channelling the imaginary love child of elizabeth taylor and sid vicious. i was outraged; i was secretly thrilled.

fay weldon wrote "there is nothing more glorious than to be a young girl and there is nothing worse than to have been one." of course i'll always affectionately deny that. i denied it as a young girl when i first read it. being a young girl certainly didn't often feel glorious aside from the anonymous pavement strutting. i'm happier now. but that freedom to wallow in supeficiality, the summoning of the chutzpah, the luxuriating in the reactionary whispers, sauntering past in feigned obliviousness... wasn't exactly wretched. there's been little opportunity for that recently. i still find that my seasonal wish/ must-buy list centres around the fashion forward, a former self. but my choices now, as i slide open the wardrobe door or stand in the cashier queue working out how i'm going to pay the rent after this, always lean towards the safe. i'm almost appalled at how affected i am by that.

boots by stella mccartney. i know.


Sunday, 13 September 2009


when i went to get him on friday, i saw her first. it was a warm, bright day. she was walking in a single file crocodile on the veranda back to her new classroom. i waved. she took a moment, looked around her, and waved back, tentative and somehow sombre. i could hear the singing before i got to the door, familiar from last year. they were all lined up, gazing at their teacher with rapt attention, singing a song together about body parts or automotive components or cakes in a cake shop. they were doing actions. the sun streamed into the room, spotlighting my little boy in the lineup. he was oddly formal in his uniform, arms flailing like wielded flamingoes. he occasionally pushed his fringe out of his eyes, always on the brink of a wide smile, oblivious to me. it look me a second to recognise him. i keep thinking he's in the next room, or the garden. i keep wandering into his bedroom. i keep laughing at myself.

this week's wake up call, and therefore our theme song: