Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kill me now.


So anyway. We were in the pub today, which is normal for a Saturday. We take the papers and eat pub food and drink beer and banter with the bar staff and it's all good.

Except today.

Today, there's a new girl behind the bar. She's funny, and a little bit odd, and we like her. On talking, we establish that she's eighteen. Eighteen.

The conversation swung around to festivals. She went to Eastern Haze last year. I went to Glastonbury* once. We are off to Beautiful Days for our honeymoon this year.

Wow, she said. Do you have any kids?

Um, yes. I have one...

Oh, that's so cool. I wish you were my parents.


Thanks for that. Thanks for the realisation that I am old enough to have an eighteen year old child. Thanks for relegating me to the ranks of oh-but-you're-cool-even-though-you're-old. I mean, I'm flattered and all, but really? I could have done without it.

I suppose my enthusiastic double-thumbs-up when Girls Aloud came on the jukebox didn't help. Much.


* Please don't call it "Glasto". Please? It makes me want to kill you. Or myself. Neither of which is good, or healthy. You know?

Sunday, March 23, 2008


So, getting older. Mmm.

To summarise:

I have a horrid eye infection. My left eyelid is red and swollen and itchy and I look like a victim of domestic abuse/Heather Mills in Paul McCartney's dreams. It is rubbish. I have to put antibiotic ointment on it every two hours and my eye is so fat that my eyelashes keep leaving smears all over the inside of the lenses of my glasses. I make Olive from On the Buses look like Elle Macpherson.

I have a crap knee. I saw the surgeon last Tuesday and he thinks I have a loose fragment of something-or-other in my knee joint. I win an arthroscopy. On April 23rd. So all I have to do between now and then is give up smoking, not fall over pissed any more and try not to think about anaesthetics/blood clots/infections/earth being invaded by giant bitey squids.

I am fat. I am getting married on August 9th and have already bought my wedding dress. The more I think about how I need to lose half a stone in time for the wedding the more tortillas and garlic dip I eat. This scares me. I do not want to be the girl who gets married in jeans and a baggy t-shirt because my lack of self-control in the presence of cold sausages has rendered me totally unable to squeeze into my wedding dress. I wonder if there are bathing machines available on e-Bay, and whether the pink Cadillac we have booked as the wedding car would be able to tow one to the registrar's office. I don't think it is viable. Which worries me, so I eat toast and marmite. Which really helps.

Oh yes. I'm quite the prize.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Today is my birthday.

Thirty-five had fucking well better be the new twenty-five or there's going to be trouble.

That is all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Overheard on the Tube..

"You know that band? The ones what do the running and that, the dancing on the running machines? What they called again?"


"Oh, yeah, Marilyn Manson, innit. They stab themselves in the eye and that."


Friday, March 07, 2008

Keep it Fluffy

I really, really shouldn’t listen to the Levellers on the way to work.

We’re off to that fancy London tomorrow for Beautiful Nights – somehow I have got very old indeed and the Levellers have been together for *cough*twentyyears*cough*. So Saturday night will find me and the Other Half bouncing around Brixton Academy in the company of people who smell of patchouli and weed. Bliss.


I listened to “Levellers” on the way in this morning.


When I arrived at the office, my boss started on about his carbon footprint and how it was up to the man in the street to save the planet. I don’t quite know what happened next, but I opened my mouth and the words “Now, I’m all about the earth and the planet and all that….” fell out, followed by a ten minute rant about the government and the environmental smokescreen they’re throwing up to hide all that other bad shit they’re sneaking about with, and about Iraq and America and (randomly) Seaworld and then I got onto Darfur and Zimbabwe and how it’s all about the oil, yeah, they’re just fucking us all over for all they’re worth and making the most of it before the oil runs out, yeah? And then all I wanted to do was shout “Smash the State!!” and go on a demo and drink cider and stick it to The Man.

Good lord.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


So. Mother's Day.

It's been a year since I spoke to my own mother. I still don't know how I feel about it - not really. It's a pretty mixed bag, emotion-wise. I am happier - that much is indisputably the case. I don't spend my time dreading the next phone call, the next visit, the next endless, poor-me monologue. I don't miss the pretence of it all being alright, when all I ever really wanted to do was ask her why? Why did she do that to us? Not just me, all of us. Her own three children, and my stepsister.

I don't know if it's the meds, or the growing-up, or the poisoned gift of last year's breakdown (a gift because it's allowed me to really think about myself for the first time in my life - who I really am, not who I tell the world this person is), but I'm starting to get a bit of a handle on the mother thing.

Having spent my entire life being the counsellor/barmaid/emotional punchbag for my mother's fractured idea of parenting, all I ever dreamed of was being free of her. When I was younger, I found this extremely hard to reconcile with the absolute longing I felt - longing to be normal, to be loved, to be a child - able to depend on her rather than her depending on me. I've struggled with that for a very long time. Having taken the decision to rid myself of her once and for all, things took a little while to settle down on Planet Surly. For years, I'd been self-destructing. I hid my distress and my pain and my worries from everybody because I've never been able to accept that I might have a voice worth hearing. I had all sorts of unsuitable outlets for how I was feeling. Nothing we need to talk about here though. Not yet, maybe not ever.


Since last August's meltdown, some clarity is beginning to creep in. I had only seen as far ahead as cutting my mother off. I hadn't considered at all the possiblity that I would need to mourn her. I carried on regardless, brave-facing for all I was worth. Everything was fine. Really. Until it wasn't.

I'm beginning to realise that I have every right to feel like this. I didn't ask for any of the shit I've had in my life. I didn't ask to be born to a woman who is so devoid of empathy that I'm pretty sure there's a diagnosable disorder in there somewhere. I have every right to sit here, on Mother's Day, and weep for the life I should have had.

I wonder if she had any cards today? Somehow, I think not. I don't think that makes me pleased, exactly. But as I look at my own daughter, I can see that it's no more than she deserved.

I don't miss my mother. I just miss having a mother.

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