Monday, July 31, 2006

she sighs like Twig the wonderkid

Brick! Brick! You have to see Brick!

That's all, folks.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

the revolution will not be televised

I think this blog will die. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe sometime next week, or next year. I'm not entirely finished here, but essentially I believe it's dying in it's current form. The urge to speak of where the electrician is or what I bought for lunch left some time ago, and the desire to hang out my emotional washing in public was not long behind. After that I'm not entirely sure what's left. Probably some drawings, a few photographs, and a story or two about school when the urge to stand on a soapbox overtakes. Perhaps some of the other things I have recently been writing. If I'm honest I believe that it might just be time to switch off the computer, walk away, and concentrate on doing something other than procrastinating via the internet for a change. This may of course be a function of being on holiday and having an unusual energy surplus. A triumph of hope over experience.

Having said that, I'm pretty confident that the announcement of this blog's expected demise will be followed by a lengthy spate of posted shopping lists and open crying; but there you are. I never promised I wouldn't be contrary. Contrary is something I do really rather well.

See you tomorrow, then?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

sun is in the sky o why o why

Freeeeee.... freee at last!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

the working folly

A nice cup of tea.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

where the rain gets in

Every time I try to write this post I sound like a misery (probably because it's a post about being miserable), so I have decided to cut to the chase and post the happy ending instead. Sod it, I know the back-story.

I bought a plug, and it cheered me up. No end. How silly; and how magnificent.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

act your age not your shoe size

I reach out and catch Joseph's hand as he storms past me on his way out of the classroom. He's storming pretty slowly, and wants to be caught. He yields immediately, leaning backwards towards me until he's actually sitting on my knee. 'What's the matter with him?' I ask his Teaching Assistant. 'He wants to play with the pencils but the other children need to use them', she says.

'Are you ticklish?' I mutter conspiratorially in his ear, deciding to try the distraction route. 'Oh, he's very ticklish' smiles the TA, and I try a gentle exploratory tickle. I am now probably breaking at least three laws, but Joseph's face is no longer turned pointedly away from me, and his face has broken into a smile. 'If you play with the pencils when other people need them' I whisper 'I'll tell Mrs Minty to tickle you'. That's probably four laws, but Joseph is now chuckling. He slides off my lap and walks back to his seat, disarmed for at least the next five minutes.

When we get to the end of the day, I stop Ronan as he is leaving the classroom. 'You've behaved brilliantly today', I praise, mindful of last week's five-day report. 'Well done, I'm really proud of you'. I am all over-the-top soupy primary school teacher, but I am genuinely pleased that the day has passed without incident. His arms snake around my waist and as he squeezes me he rests his head on my shoulder. It's been a while since anyone touched me, and nowadays it is always a surprise which jolts me, in this case into completely forgetting my professionalism.
'Ahh, that's nice' I say, patting him on the shoulder. Wrong move.

Before I know it, his arms have slipped up and around my neck, and to my horror I look down and see his nine year old moon face tilted up towards mine: eyes closed, lips puckered. He's forgotten himself, too.

'Er, no. Ronan', I say quickly, shrugging him off. 'I don't do kissing.'

He trots out of the classroom, happy and oblivious. I rush to the staffroom to pass on the latest Ronanism, and to recover from my narrow escape.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

go ahead with your own life, leave me alone

I have to write a short biography, for something I have stumbled into almost accidentally.

None of the following will do, however they will do very nicely for putting off writing the damn thing.

'Cheerful One never wrote anything before in her life but is shit hot at deciphering the phonetic spellings of seven-year-olds and telling them how to use full stops. She is definitely going to join the circus any moment now, but first needs to organise a new car as hers is broken'.

'Cheerful One has been writing this and that since she was sort of sevenish but never really noticed because she was too busy colouring inside the lines and dreaming about Getting Out. She has become rather good at Getting Out, though she doesn't really know what to do with the Out. Now that she is grown up she occasionlly allows her felt pen to slip. Not often, though.'

'Cheerful One woke this morning in the middle of an unpleasant dream about trying to buy sandwiches in her home town of Totnes, with the soundtrack of 'My Life' by Billy Joel still playing in her head. She worries about her subconscious and in particular it's dodgy choice in tunes'.

'Cheerful One lives in South East London and is suddenly very much more interested in gardening and printmaking than writing anything else. She is definitely an interloper and expects someone to point this out at any moment so would rather leave first, thankyouverymuch'.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

notes for the newly single #429

When you become newly single and suddenly every penny counts, do not get rid of your RAC/AA/other cover, as it will be worth its weight in gold about once every 6 months when you do DUMB ASS THINGS like forget that apart from petrol, oil and servicing, cars need water. Water! From a tap!

RAC men are gods I tell you, especially as they are clearly trained not to laugh at the DUMB ASS WOMAN who forgot to check the water.

[Let it be noted in the record that I didn't cry. I might have momentarily contemplated crying but I didn't do it. This is a definite step forward.]

Monday, July 10, 2006

yes, it's f*cking political

Overtired, over emotional, over-involved.

It must be nearly the end of term.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

mi casa es sou casa

My parents sit on my sofa, flicking through the newspaper and eating crisps. I sit in the chair opposite inhaling a gin and tonic and wondering aloud how I managed to survive 18 years submerged in the conversational ping-pong of family life. Every decision run through three (or four) people: mis-heard, debated, re-hashed, re-run. Life is so much more simple when one only has to argue with oneself.

Mum: "Here's that Tom-Tom..."
Dad: "What's that?"
Mum: "The expensive one, that he had."
Dad: "Nat Sav?"
Me: "Sat Nav...."

Pinteresque pause

Mum: "Satsuma."

They've gone now. It's very quiet.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

take me back to dear old blighty

I am standing with a friend in one of those tatty four-sided seafront shelters where the glass is broken and the once eau-de-nil metal uprights are streaked with orange rust stains. I'm bending down to retrieve my camera, which for some reason I have left in amongst the litter under the wooden seat.

As I stand up a crowd of badly permed, chain-smoking Chinese women carrying cups of milky tea crowd in around me. They have identical smoke-stained teeth, floral blouses, and navy-blue cardigans. Some are wearing large dark glasses. They blow smoke at me through their noses and cackle amongst themselves, pushing their cups towards me.

There are days when I am grateful for the call of the alarm clock.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

if you've got lemons

We interrupt this programme to bring you a refreshing drink.

You will need:

1 lemon
lots of ice
a big glass

Half fill the glass with ice. Squueze the lemon into it. Top up with water, add at least two teaspoonfuls of sugar and stir vigorously, though not as vigorously as I did because ice on the kitchen floor is a nuisance. As is sugary lemon juice.

Drink, make the lemon juice face and add some more sugar. Drink more. When you've drunk half top the glass up with water again.

Man, it's delicious, and perfect in hot weather. Probably a mistake if you have an ulcer, though.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

after the ball is over

I take my leave, offering a genuinely thumping headache as the excuse, when in reality I suddenly and desperately want to be away and alone; slide myself into the back of a leather-seated Italian taxi (in Kent?), and relax into my immediate future: home, the sofa, a cold beer.

The driver doesn't talk to me, thank goodness. We slip along in the twilight through Sidcup and the back streets of Welling towards my house - streets I have never seen, whole worlds I have never visited before, only moments away from the one I have been living in all this time. All of those people. What are their lives like?

I think about all the little worlds running alongside mine, occasionally overlapping - circus performers, dancers, printmakers, writers, teachers, friends. Millions of little worlds.