Friday, 18 July 2014

Morris Dancing with a Tea Towel

I've spoken before about my motivational woes. The Guilt that I seem to be achieving nothing and doing even less. Never is this worse than during the summer holidays. 

Smudge is an early riser and as she gets older and less likely to burn down the house making toast, has been really enjoying getting the downstairs to herself of a morning. Who am I to grumble about a child who wants me to stay in bed?

So staying in bed I have been. I'm usually awake and reading, one ear cocked for the first bleep of the smoke alarm. But I'm not putting my feet on the floor until after 9 most mornings. By the time that I've showered, dressed, tidied the crumb explosions, made and drunk coffee, bullied smudge into proper clothes 'yes we have to wear knickers every day in the summer holidays too' and walked the dog it's lunchtime.

I'm spending my days glancing at the clock marvelling that it can't be that time already. I'm constantly playing catch up. Something will always drop off the end of the never-ending to do list and normally it's my writing.

Tonight I'm going to be brave and set the alarm for 6 and smudge will just have to make toast for 2 tomorrow morning. At least I'll be closer to the smoke alarm for my morris dancing with the tea towel duties.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Life feels like someone has hit the pause button. As a family we're biding our time as we wait for Social Work to find us a second child. A sibling for smudge. Much wanted by us but desperately wished for by her.

But wait is all we can do.

The bedroom is as ready as we can make it, without knowing their age.

Smudge has been included and kept informed throughout the process. More time has been spent reigning her in and managing her expectations than seeking her involvement. There was never any need for us to find out if this was what she wanted. This is the child who wrote to Santa asking for a baby sister!

I left work when we adopted smudge. She still needs the reassurance of it being me who drops her off and picks her up from school. So there is no worry about me having to give months of notice to my employer.

So why are we still waiting 7 months after the panel approved us as adoptive parents?

What is taking Social Work so long?

How much longer?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Lucky 13

Yesterday was my 13th wedding anniversary.  Oops, our 13th wedding anniversary. Definitely one of those must remember g things. 

It all only seems like last week. Not just the wedding, the whole marriage. How can it be 13 years? But look, we haven't changed a bit. Well if the lighting is really complimentary and you ignore the fact that my hair has miraculously turned blonde.

The best bit about celebrating our anniversaries is looking back and trying to decipher why we work. We have nothing in common. No seriously nothing! 

G is sporty and active,  it's clear I'm part sloth. I'm a bookworm, g very rarely reads. He is an incredibly fussy eater, I'm a foodie. I'm a night owl, g's a morning person. He's a saver, I'm a scatter cash. I could continue.

It doesn't matter. We might never agree on a mutually acceptable breakfast or bedtime but we work. He is the yang to my yin and I'm looking forward to continuing the search for something we have in common. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Guilt

I've been reading up a storm the last couple of days and am just a little proud of my progress. As I headed through to the kitchen to tidy up before bed I was for once not beating myself up. G is on backshift and instead of my usual brain dead evening in front of mindless TV I read a book. And not just any book. A classic. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Even typing Steinbeck makes me feel good. Admittedly, it isn't a very long book but nonetheless an improvement on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In the kitchen I was pottering; washing the dishes, listening to Today in Parliament, treating devil puss to milk and trying to decide what to read next. By the time I switched off the light I was no longer proud of myself. The Guilt had returned. As a self confessed procrastinator I am familiar with that small nagging voice asking me when exactly I plan to get started with whatever I'm putting off. The Guilt is not that friendly voice.

The Guilt is mean. Harsh, cutting and horribly astute. Tonight Guilt started when looking at the mess of the kitchen windowsill. The problem with the Guilt is that it doesn't stop with a gentle reminder to clear off, wipe down and tidy up my greenhouse/gallery/dumping ground of a kitchen windowsill. No the Guilt continues to remind me that I didn't hang the washing out or hoover or mop or do any of the other mundane but essential jobs that I had mentally listed for today.

But still the Guilt keeps on at me. If I haven't been bothering to tidy or clean the house I should have at least been doing something productive. A glance at the kitchen calendar notifies the Guilt that my plans to menu plan and online shop have also come to naught - thanks Steinbeck!

I try to defend myself. I was reading, it's really important to read if I want my writing to sing. Stephen King told me. The Guilt laughs. "Write? When did you last pick up a pen?"

Well you know what Guilt you're right. I am a lousy housewife and proud that my life is too interesting to care about a pristine show-home. But I care about writing. I delayed my plans for bed and wrote. Now I'm off to make a to do list for tomorrow.

I'm fed up having to listen to your nagging so it looks like I might have to get organised, a little more productive and make you shut the hell up.