Monthly Archives: August 2011



My handbag is huge. It is heavy. It is mandatory.

I carry emotional baggage too- we all do.

I wonder, if we could physically see the baggage we (and others) carried, would that change how we felt about them? Would it change how we acted? Would we judge? Or would we be more willing to seek therapeutic ways to jettison it? Or would we be proud of it- Those with the most being respected and revered as emotional elders, the baggage as battle scars?

What baggage do we all carry round? What goes everywhere with us?

Here is my baggage.

Contents of my handbag:

Fifteen hair grips (black)
Bunch of paper receipts
Vanity bag containing: make up brush, Nivea lip balm, paracetamol, maybelline translucent pressed face powder, clinique lipstick: new york red, chanel lip liner: red
Four fisher-price peek-a-blocks containing: smiley oyster, broccoli, boat, sandwich
One doll: Baby Alive!
Purse, multi-coloured leather
Two bottles of buxton water
One tommee tipee sippy cup, blue
Book: Maisy at Christmas!
Five lists: to do (24/07) to do (30/08), Ikea (measurements), Asda, Daisy’s birthday
Dreams bed guarantee for Original bedstead company Carrie bed (glossy ivory),
Blackberry mobile phone,
Husbands joint account debit card
Husbands cheque book
1 pair QVC diamonique earrings
3 Plum organic baby puree sachets: two spinach and basil, one raspberry and apple,
One snack box containing breadsticks,
Mr. Cloth (daisys special blanket comforter)
1 pack Huggies baby wipes
2 pampers baby dry nappies, size 4+,
1 Garmin sat nav (lent by jenny) and charger
Driving glasses
Book: Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis by Wendy Cope
87p loose change

Contents of my Emotional Handbag:

Evidence of a heart once broken, now healed
A fear of maths lessons
Shame at being slow to learn to drive – passed 3rd time
Troubled relationship with father
The question: Am I a good mother?
Fatness vs. Love of cake
Debt from carefree years of full time work and ensuing self-hatred
Occasional depression and
panic attacks
Increasing invisibility: age and motherhood is weaker currency in this world than tits and youth

Which weighs more? Weigh your baggage: I dare you.



Today I am angry. I am in a pissy, pissy mood. The reason? As I said to Paul:

‘How can it be? How CAN it be that we are both very, very tired… And we have worked hard and solidly for 3 weeks on the house, renovating, clearing, selling, organising.. And the house is still FULL OF SHIT? The surfaces are cluttered with STUFF. Fucking hell!
.. I come back.. And things are STILL SHITTY.’

I then proceed to stomp about the house and clear, bin, clean. Still pissy, muttering like lady macbeth. “Dusty. So fucking dusty. We do hoover so why is it so DIRTY? The bathroom floor. Look at the state… Etc, etc.”

The only answer are black binbags, huge, big, solid rolls of them and a ruthless attitude. The little red car is now full to the brim- a tip job. Then I go and spend £6 on a car wash and 15mins on a vacuum scraping out my blue car. Still muttering, still fuming. Its only when the nozzle (zoom, CRASH, squirt sshhhhh) starts dispensing the hot wax do I come down from the rafters, calm again.

I hate stuff. That is unequivocally the worst thing about having children- the mountains of shitty STUFF. It would be unfair to say its all hers, its not – it is the time you have (it shrinks) vs. the stuff there is… Equation for MESS (m)
If s represents STUFF, and t TIME, and D the daisy factor I think it would look something like this:

M= t<s x {d}

Why I love him.


Today I did a pregnancy test. Not pregnant. It would not have been a planned pregnancy, borne of a lovely hour in a luxury spa in the south of france; what’s more our baby is only just 9 months. The struggle would have been unimaginable. But, when I told him that I had an inkling I was, he said ‘golly love, what an adventure that would be’ and I loved him more, if possible. It prompted me to want to write, to record the reasons why I love my love.

Who knows what makes you love someone. Who knows if its chemical, or circumstantial. I do know that when I first laid eyes on him, I felt an atavistic pull, a jolt, sending me from one state of being to another.

My fascination started so softly, with me watching him pull on the marlboro with his full, expressive lips. Not my type, and me already so heartbroken from three years of love-hurt, I suppose I was acting on instinct. I had to spend more time with him, to be near to him, to breathe him in.

He took my poor, sick heart and fed it with a diet of doing exactly what he said he would do, being where he said you would, ringing me, texting me, making my aneamic heart fat with trust and faith again.

He has never let me down. Ever.

His hands, oh his arms, his soft smooth curls, his eyes that wrinkle in the corners. His big soft lips and raspberry tongue.

His battered converse shoes, his old leather jacket which was sewn when god was a lad, his hat which he wore with no vanity- but to keep him dry. I would go to the bookshop where he worked and hang out in the right sections, and he would come past tugging a trundle of books. With his sleeves rolled up. And I would just be so glad to breathe him in, my air.

And as I revealed more of myself he loved more of me and I learned to love myself again. That I could be wholly myself, not all bad, not all good, and be LOVED for it, was, well, a revelation.

He doesn’t drink hot drinks. He loves my cooking. He wears clothes so well- but they are always soft- navy trousers, corduroy, jersey tops and heavy cottons. He is not, and never has been showy. He is strong, like a solid mountain but he is so loving and joyful. He is not spiky. He is not a pushover. He is a socialist, like me. He was privately educated, unlike me. We are equally qualified. He is amazingly intelligent. I can ask him anything and he almost always knows the answer.

He is my baby’s daddy. They share a rare love. She knows why I love him. And so do I. And now, so do you.

ruminations in purple


Today was a tough day, a really long car journey and a sat nav that made me cry. Daisy is nine months today, and from now on she will have been OUT for longer than she was IN. She’s pointing and exclaiming now, ah! Ba! And that special screech reserved only for when she sees winston the kitty.

These weeks have been tough for us, returning from france to find things were not as we wanted and it has taken so much time and effort to make them right. We tried to sleep train daisy (I’m sorry dais and I won’t do it again) only to discover that we would rather co-sleep, that we are the type of parents that think that’s ok, better, valuable. We have ordered a superking-size bed.

Its difficult to pin down, that feeling I keep having, but I can only describe it as an emergence- I feel that I have emerged from a fog. Who knows if the fog was my depression (that old chestnut) or some sort of post partum whimsy that has finally cleared, exacerbated by tiredness.

You see, its autumn soon, which is traditionally my time for rebirth, having got the dreaded august out of the way. I can’t help but remember those september days in york, and picking the colouring plane leaves that scuttered at my feet. We have come so far since then, my love and I. There are things that we’ve lost since those days- but so much has replaced them… And my ruminations in purple mean little compared to the solid, indomitable little girl sleeping next to me now.

Planning daisys birthday now, she will be one soon, and today, for the first time, I closed my eyes and smiled at the memory, and the anticipation of a long, warm, dark night of sleep swimming with my baby. I wake to find her snuggled in to me like a bean in a pod, and I cherish, treasure the moments I am awake listening to her soft, sure, whistling breaths.

Happy autumn to you, my daughter.