Just Us at Christmas

It’s Day 18 of the Blogging University Course – but I feel like it’s been going on forever to be honest!  The task today was to tell a story through a series of anecdotes: short scenes that are variations on the same theme.

This task was a conundrum to me; what could I write about that had a recurring theme? I figured most people will be getting bored with recent blog posts all being about me, so I’ve chosen to write a Christmas poem. It’s not particularly cheerful and the subject matter is rather controversial (in my family at least)!

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Just us lot at Christmas.

Just the way we like it.

Just us and the kids.

Just for today.

Today’s a special day.

 

Just the same this year.

Just like every year.

Just us and the kids.

Just for today.

Today’s a special day.

 

Just us lot at the table.

Just a bit different.

Just us and them and partners too!

Just for today.

Today’s a special day.

 

Just us at the table.

Just different again.

Just us, one kid + partner.

Just for today.

Today’s a special day.

 

Just us at the table.

Just us.

Just us and no one else.

Just not wanted.

Today’s meant to be special.

 

They say today’s special.

Just them and their kids.

Just the way they like it.

We’re just not special enough

for them to spend it with us.

25 Times I Surprised Myself

Not a very catchy title – I admit. For day 2 of the Blogging University Course, I had to write a list. Lists are fun and easy and I can think of so many to write. I enjoyed writing this one and will no doubt write many more in the future. To be honest, I wrote it before receiving the WordPress Instruction email, so I haven’t written any of the suggested lists – oops!

So here are the 25 things I said I would/wouldn’t do but then did the opposite:

1.       I can’t wait to get out of this town with the small-minded people with eyes closed to the big exciting world out there!

a.       I’m in the big city – yeah!

b.       Wow so many people are closed minded and uppity.

a.       I can’t wait to move back home after 10 years away.

b.       I’m so happy to be back where I belong!

  

2.       I’ll never prioritise boys over my friends. Friday is lassies night and that won’t change!

a.       So friends, are you not going out on Friday? What do you mean you’re going out with your boyfriend? What about our pact? (as I think forlornly about all the guys I dumped on Fridays).

b.       Sorry friends. I’m busy on Friday. Going out with my boyfriend. Bye!

 

3.       I won’t ever have fair hair. I’m too dark skinned and would look ridiculous.

a.       I now dye my hair dark ash blonde (still prefer it dark brown though).

 

4.       I love winning the school races. I want to win every single year until I leave!

a.       I can’t be arsed running. It’s too much effort.

 

5.       I cannot run distances – no way.

a.       I just ran 12 miles. I could do a half marathon!

b.       Stops running (lethargy set in and lack of motivation ensued).

 

6.       I will never forgive her for what she’s done. I won’t ever help her when she needs it.

a.       Oh you need help. Can I do anything – anything at all to help?

 

7.       I will never ever, ever, ever smoke – it’s filthy and I’ll die.

a.       What’s that, a bong? For hash? Ok I’ll try it (my rebellious stage).

b.       I prefer joints (too addicted to nicotine).

c.       I will now never ever smoke again (fortunately haven’t done so for years).

  

8.       I’m never drinking again.

a.       Oh look, Cava!

 

9.       Mum, I will not set foot in that shop – it’s so cheap and embarrassing!

a.       Husband, can we stop off in Harrogate? People have money there and I think they’ll have good charity shops.

 

10.   Weekends are for living. Weekends are for partying. I live for the weekend!

a.       I had a great weekend thanks. Had some lovely country walks and stayed in watching movies. So relaxing 🙂

 

11.   When I’m older I’ll have 3 children.

a.       Not ready for children!

b.       Ah, I love my baby. I want more!

c.       No more babies for me.

 

12.   Those parents who buy so many toys for children are just spoiling them (shudder). I will buy minimal wooden toys, books and they can play outside and use their imagination!

a.       Oh look, he’d love this. Yes we have room for more toys!

b.       Oh, he’s getting big. I know – I’ll childmind and then I can fill a whole room with toys – yippee!

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13.   Electronic devices are the work of the devil. Children should not play them as it’ll fry their brain.

a.       You’re bored? Play Minecraft again. It’s like educational Lego!

 

14.   I never want to be that couple in the restaurant who don’t talk (looks over pitying them).

a.       Ah this is nice. Oh look at this email from …. (as we both stare at our phones). We don’t do it often though!

 

15.   I can’t speak in meetings. I’ve no confidence. I cannot present to a crowd.

a.       You are all welcome to come along to my presentation on….

b.       I’ve lost my confidence. I can’t speak in front of a crowd

c.       ?

 

16.   People who talk about their children all the time are mindnumbingly boring.

a.       Yes, and then he sang Ally Bally. Look I recorded it! Yes, he only pood 2 times yesterday!

b.       When people talk about their babies it is quite boring – but I understand.

 

17.   Aurgh there’s a screaming baby! Let’s not sit near them.

a.       There’s a screaming baby. Poor souls. I wonder if I could just go over and help mum with …

 

18.   This semester I’m going to be so organised and study and do my work in plenty of time.

a.       Holy crap, it’s due in tomorrow. I’ll have to do an all-nighter!

b.       This time around I’m going to be so organised and study and do my work in plenty of time.

c.       Holy crap, it’s due in tomorrow. I’ll have to do an all-nighter!

 

19.   I wish people would like me for my mind and not be so shallow.

a.       I wish people would look at me like they used to and not just be interested in my mind (ok, I’m married but a little flirtation is ok. I’m human).

 

20.   I hate bags. Friend, can you carry my purse for me please?

a.       Oh look another nice bag!

b.       What do you mean I have enough? This one is a thing of beauty and I need it.

 

21.   Tonight I’m going to bed at 10.30pm and will get a good nights sleep. I’m changing my ways!

a.       (At 12.30am) Wow Ann Atkin from England has a lot of gnomes and pixies – 2,042 to be exact!

 

22.   I hate going out to work in an office. Got to put make-up and wear heels and stuff.

a.       Ah, I can wear running trousers and hoodies – how refreshing!

b.       Oh, how I’d love to get dressed up with make-up and heels on a school day!

 

23.   I will never stay in a caravan. If I do then I‘m probably dead inside. It’s hotels all the way for me!

a.       Hotels are no fun with a child. I have to watch the telly with subtitles and we can’t speak to each other.

b.       I know, let’s stay in a caravan. It’ll be perfect!

 

24.   I am going to be a writer when I grow up. Maybe a journalist! I’ll be famous!

a.       I don’t know how most journalists sleep at night. I can’t write. I’m too working class.

b.       I write every day! I don’t want to be famous.

 

25.   I need my friends. I need my boyfriend (now husband). I love company all of the time.

a.       I need some time to myself. I like my own company.

 

I have written 2 lists previously:

50 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Being a Mum (But It’s Maybe Best I Didn’t)

20 Free (Or Cheap) Outdoor Things To Do With The Kids This Summer

We Should Talk About Ann

It’s day 9 of the Introduction to Poetry Course and the subject is the apostrophe. This is a poem addressed to another person or object. It doesn’t have to be addressing the person throughout the whole poem, and I’ve decided just to address the people at the end.  It’s been a push to get this in. I’m running around trying to make Halloween Decorations and outfits and planning for a party of 110 on Saturday. Ok, it’s for around 25 – but that’s a lot!

In between making spiders and sewing denims into Marty McFly puffer vests; my mum came for a visit. Her blood pressure is high. She feels sad for my great aunt who has no one to care for her, but she’s being landed on my mum. I remember my mother telling me that she never had spare time when myself and brother were young because she was caring for older relatives. She’s in her late 60’s and feels like it’s happening again.  Although upset for my great aunt who will be left with no one else for months; my mum feels her health is suffering and she’s angry at my aunts sons expecting her to do it. My aunt also told them that my mother will be her carer!

Here is a poem I wrote after our conversation.  It includes apostrophe at the end.  It’s not particularly sophisticated or clever. I wrote it in between a depressed mum visit and frantic Halloween planning! I’m worried about my frail great Aunt and my mum though. My mother says “Don’t be kind. People take kindness for stupidity.” She has the kindest heart of anyone I know and yet she’s jaded and resentful. She also said that the problem is that people live too long these days. It’s an awful thing to say and I think she’s referring to the 4 sons who find their mother too big of a burden.

It’s changed days though. Families are scattered and not living close like before. People ARE living longer and usually when they need the care, it’s when the child may have grandchildren of their own and they might not be feeling as sprightly themselves. 60’s is a tough time!

I put her in a shower,

strip the filthy bed.

Ann’s forgotten how to cook,

She’s all mixed in the head.

 

3 sons in Australia

4th is on his way.

He forgot to pack his mum –

but has to go and play.

 

I re-cleaned filthy dishes,

got Ann’s shopping in.

Scrubbed her soiled knickers

took out bursting bin.

 

No one bothers coming –

I’m the only one who can.

I nursed Ann’s dying mother

This never was my plan.

 

Orphaned as a baby

Ann’s mum cared for me.

As she aged, the roles reversed –

was no longer care-free.

 

Ann had 5 siblings –

they had no time for mum.

Now history ‘s repeating –

look what Ann’s become.

 

I’m getting older

blood pressure in the sky.

I’m stuck here washing knickers

and I wonder why?

Why am I expected

to have these working hands?

I served my shift at caring –

when the turn was Anns!

You men are like your mother,

Ignoring those in need.

But you’ve got me, the soft touch

to tend to every need!

 

 

The Last Act

 

I’m an actor on the stage,

aren’t we all?

Playing our role in life –

awaiting the next curtain call.

 

Navigating different landscapes,

we adapt to the set.

Might sound melodramatic –

but my acting days under threat.

 

Pain inside is worse now,

the location’s in my lung.

Tragedy wasn’t my genre –

there are stories left unsung.

 

I was meant to see my daughter wed

and eat her wedding cake.

My grandson’s still so little,

I’ll not see him graduate.

 

But what’s the point in being gloomy?

I’m here to entertain.

It’s important to enjoy life;

I’ll just keep singing in the rain.

 

You see life is a stage set

and I’m nearing the last act.

‘Til then I’ll go on inspiring,

I’ve an audience to attract!

 

In response to the daily word prompt cake

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Too Much Thigh – Part 1

I saw you dancing at the weekend,

a crowd of men had gathered round.

Is there any need for sexy dancing?

They’ll think a tramp is what they’ve found.

 

Your leather skirts are getting shorter,

as the years are passing by.

You’re quite an age now aren’t you?

Perhaps too old for all that thigh?

 

You always did get much attention,

you had the body (I had the brain).

You work hard to make it perfect,

but it’s not held in the same.

 

Drinking has replaced your confidence.

There are worry lines and doubt.

Your complexions’ getting weathered,

and there’s sadness in your thinning pout.

 

I know you mean well by bringing me,

to this club to have some fun.

You’re being young and with the ‘in’ crowd.

But it’s obvious

you’re my mum.

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 In response to the word prompt ‘obvious

There’s more! Please see – Too Much Thigh Part 2

If you like this, you might like my other creative writing posts