Thursday, 15 September 2011


Being 'grounded' was never really a punishment doled out to me. I learned all about being grounded once I became a mother.
I missed my freedom sorely, going to the shop for milk was now an activity requiring planning. I missed the continuation of my former life. I had started to become more self-assured and then I met someone hell-bent on beating me down.
I'd allowed all this to happen, it had unfolded slowly like a good story. The story ended badly, but self pity was not an option. I had made this uncomfortable, messy bed, I was tired - had to lie in it.
The days were long, I read crap books, listened to crap music and endured 'the soaps'.  How did I end up with someone who watched 'the soaps'. No offence, soap fans, its just that I was told The League of Gentlemen was sick "turn it off" whilst abortions, domestic violence, criminality, adultery and divorce were being peddled as entertainment night after night.
Alternative futures were imagined, day after day. My existing friends no longer fitted in, I had aged. My new 'friends' were nice, but not able to help fill the void within.
My imagined friends liked to sit, chat and eat. No subjects were taboo, or off-limit. My imagined friends lived all over the place. No embarrassing rugby and dragon related patriotism.
My imagined friends had style, a unique, confident edge. Dinner parties left me feeling exhilarated, refreshed, learned.
My imagined friends inspired me, listened at the right time, advised at the right time, and made me smile at the right time.
I'm lying in bed with a feverish, sick, coughing, clammy 4 year old. My phone is linking me to another place, previously undiscovered.
I am still 'grounded'.
BUT, I found those friends, who were in my head. You lot.
Thank-you. Please come to dinner soon.


  1. Hello:
    Having avoided parenthood, we can only guess at, imagine, and sympathise with the trials and tribulations of being a mother and responsible for, day in and day out, a four year old. But, and we are certain of this, that the joys to be had do outweigh the disadvantages [at least on a good day] and you have years of untold pleasure to look forward to.

    Strangely, only this week we wondered how we should feel had we had children who would now, of course, be grown up.

  2. Mmm. I'm not a soap fan either - depressing stuff - actually it riles me enormously and I prefer to leave the room than endure it. Not a fan either of men who browbeat their partners into changing their tastes. Had a husband like that. I wonder what he's doing now - it's been 20 years since I last had news of him. Hope he's learned to bite his tongue and be more tolerant.

    Motherhood is so hard, so draining and so unbelievably delicious too. All at the same time. I empathise with what you have experienced and are going through now. Being 'grounded' was probably the hardest part.

  3. The feeling is mutual Lucy, my life feels much richer since I discovered blogs like yours and Steerforth's. I have friends with whom I have a lot in common, but we are spread out around the country, and further. We only get together extremely infrequently.

    The horror of the 'soaps' is, thankfully, one that we don't have in our household. I know dozens of people that love them though, I think it's the characters rather than the events they like, it must be. If it was up to me, I would ban them. And how can League of Gentleman be sick?! Papa Lazarou shouting 'You're My WIFE now!!" was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Glad you are out of that one!

    Reading blogs and comments on phones is something I do increasingly. Odd to think of how the connection works, via an electronic signal that has travelled through all that cable, to the wi-fi hub, then to the handset lying on a drawer.

  4. I used to be a fan of soaps up to a point. Then I usually lost interest. Now I'm not a fan of soaps at all and never watch them. I do like to relax to Midsomer Murders though when I get in from work, cuppa in hand.

    The blogosphere, indeed the internet is a wonderful marvellous invention that has brought people together who would never ever have met without it. I am so thankful I live in the internet age and am able to take advantage of 'meeting' so many amazing, interesting, creative people.

  5. Aw Lucy! It's true, new friends, but a different connection..... an internet one! Hope the little's one illness passes quickly. Thanks so much for your messages of support, much appreciated. Can you email your address for a postcard? xxxxx

  6. Oh Lucy, if I could come for dinner I would. I know exactly what you're saying. Except for the husband bit (mine is really rather nice) I have lost myself a bit since I had kids too...sometimes I wonder what happened to the slightly crazy girl I was and who is the boring sensible nag who has replaced her...don't watch tick there...I seem to watch less and less telly each year.
    Must write you that letter x

  7. Oh Lucy, you are such an intelligent and astute woman.
    After briefly living with a man my complete opposite even after nigh on 20 years I still rejoice in the fact Jon and I share a common loathing of soaps, chart music and town centre nightclubs.
    hope your little 'un feels better soon. You are more than welcome to join us for dinner any time you like, or share a virtual bottle of wine whilst reading our favourite blogs. x

  8. The bag is yours Lucy. Email me your address and I'll mail it to you. xx

  9. So sorry to hear of the young chap’s illness. It’s upsetting when they’re not themselves. We just had the three year-old twins visiting for two weeks, one was ill for a day, and that was enough for me as a grandma - from the point of view of seeing them distressed I mean.

    I can’t stand soaps generally speaking; whenever I catch a glimpse of one they seem to be shouting at each other and pointing fingers. Try watching just a few minutes with the sound turned down; the body language is all aggression and ‘in yer face’. No wonder so many children mimick it.

    I agree with you and Genius Loci, when I see you name or Steerforth’s in my reading list I know I’m in for a good read. There are others as well whose comments add so much to the efforts we make, (no-one likes to think they are talking to themselves) and who if you met in the real world you just know you’d hit it off with. So, thanks for the dinner invitation - I’ll toast you with a glass of red tonight.

  10. Jane and Lance - yes, the joys outweigh the stress considerably (most of the time). I find myself doing the opposite to you, wondering what I'd be doing had I not become a mum. I'd like to think I'd be filling my life with culture, travel and adventure. I'd probably be propping bar up though!

    Wendz - if 20 years haven't changed him, then he's a lost cause! My ex is now a largely changed, though I have witnessed his fiancé of 9 years in floods of tears on several occasions. It's a shame, she's very nice.

    Ben - Luckily I'm now holed up with a fellow soap hater - Rob is very happy to have escaped his 'soap hell' background. Papa Lazarou was the real name of the League of Gentlemen's landlord, apparently he used to call Steve 'Dave' all the time and say "this is turning into a saga now Dave". I loved the show.

    Sarah - yes, being introduced to people of all ages and backgrounds is something that is much easer to do 'virtually' and I'm very grateful for it.

    Kylie - can't wait for the letter - I hope you find the time to compose it! I'm glad so many are joining me on shunning the soaps.

    Vix - you have a REAL life, so don't need to view soaps and live through them. I'd be so nosey if I came to yours for dinner - but I know I'd be in for fantastic food, music and fun.

    Little Nell - enjoy your wine, off limits for me at the moment, gin and slimline tonic instead. Your tapas menu would be my choice for dinner, the photos had me drooling.

    I wonder if you'd all expect me to be quite animated and chatty if we met? I can be very quiet and aloof initially, while I take everything in.

  11. Almost no soaps here :) the dinner conversations will be great so. Who's hosting? Hope the sickness has worn off now xx

  12. It's very nice post, it's a pleasure going through your house,
    if you like poetry, I invite you to my blog.
    happy weekend.

  13. Cheers! I'm raising my glass now. Perhaps in a few years, we'll have some sort of holographic video-conferencing where we can all sit around a table and have that dinner party where we don't talking about rugby, football, double-glazing or Eastenders, but exchange witty repartee and talk about our hopes and fears.

    In the meantime, three cheers for blogging. I have 'met' some wonderful people through it and never ceased to be amazed by the kindness of strangers.

  14. Looking for Blue Sky - I love to host, prefer it to being waited on. I flap behind the scenes, but appear cool, calm and collected to my guests! I beat myself up for hours afterwards though about the small things that went wrong, like not putting enough butter out for the bread.

    Ricardo - I much preferred reading your poetry in Spanish, once translated of course (I don't speak a word). Your language lends itself well to the drama and passion of romantic poetry. Thanks for visiting here and commenting.

    Steerforth - I shouldn't have said "no subject would be off limits" because, of course, several would be.
    I once invited our neighbours over, (when with ex) she was South African, he was Greek. They brought his brother and mother with them. It was Christmas Eve. The conversation took a controversial turn - I remember "Mary was a whore" being one of the sentences uttered.
    Later in the evening, an argument took place between the brothers, as it was in Greek I thought they were just getting animated.
    Iannis threw his brother through the kitchen window, it turns out the "Mary was a whore" comment had riled him.
    We returned from my parents' house Christmas night, to see Iannis - cigarette in mouth, fixing a new pane of glass. He didn't utter a word.

  15. Thank the Lord, I don't watch soaps anymore. Annoyingly, though, I've found my 10 year old daughter watching "Hollyoaks" on occasion. Aaargh!

    Here's hoping your 4 year old is feeling better and that you're having a good weekend.

    Oh and someone above mentioned a virtual dinner party. What fun that would be! xx

  16. Blogs on a phone? Ooh you don't know you're born. When I 'ad my two there was nothing to do of an evening except knitting, and when they 'ad a fever we'd to crack the ice on the well and wrap 'em in a potato sack...etc etc.

    I too am glad to have my virtual friends, whether they are a harassed and dreaming mother of boys like you and I, or a funky 20-something Californian, a larger than life eccentric from NZ, or one of the many others who've made me feel less alone. I have many good friends in the real world, but seem to be waiting for my path to reconverge with theirs. They're either childfree - or only now having the tiny babies. I dream of dinner parties, but know they stress me out massively if I have to host. Sadly I seem to be at my best when drinking others' wine...

  17. Oh I'd love to come to dinner ;o)

    Totally agree about being grounded by motherhood, thus why I started my blog after being housebound on may an occasion duing my maternity leave and having being shunned by my "good time friends" as I was no longer able to drop everything and head out for a random night of madness and fun. Blogging came at the right time for me and I now feel so connected to so many people, it been a joy "meeting" everyone.

    Hope your little one is better.

    Scarlett x

  18. Loo - Hollyoaks is the WORST, but we'll forgive the young 'uns!
    I loved your comments on the previous post about the interesting houses and people you encountered - great dinner party tales.

    Lakota - as you can imagine, becoming a mother at 21 meant I quickly got detached from my high-flying friends who did the Uni - travelling - London thing. I have 3 good friends, only 1 of which has children.
    The childless ones are always telling me off for putting the family first, I tell them that comment will come back to haunt them one day!

    Scarlett - it's very difficult when you're seen by friends as the life and soul of the party - then your priorities change. You said before that you got all the adventure out of your system before having a baby. I was still desperate to have fun, and felt torn.
    I'll probably be one of those women out on the town in their 50's, spilling out of a low cut top and pinching young men's bums - trying to re-live my youth!

    My boy is better, thanks everyone. I'm poorly now though, and feeling very sorry for myself because I feel like filling up on comfort food, but I'm still on my diet!

  19. Diets are extremely over-rated. I have eaten my bodyweight in unsuccessful coffee cookies today (new recipe which I read wrongly and buggered up totally, but cooked anyway). Get better soon xx

  20. i loved your post.x
    i think it's wrong to diet when you are poorly - you need comfort foods and you need them now!x

  21. hahaha - love your vision of being a good time girl in your 50's, i totally plan to grow old disgracefully ;o) Glad little one is better and hoping you get better soon too. Scarlett x

  22. It does get a little better with time - so much so we decided to do it all again!

    I told someone the other day that I only had six true friends (people I could call up at three in the morning to recue me from a car stuck in a snow drift), and afterwards I couldn't even count those. We lead such insular lives. But then I thought of all the people I've met through writing and blogging - the people who write to me out of nowhere - the bloggers I've met up with too. We make connections on our blogs and I'm convinced that's because if you write truly it revelas a lot more than polite conversations in the pub or schoolyard - and as for soaps, don't get me started...

  23. Awww I hope blogging is a good venue for you to feel "ungrounded". =)

  24. I have lived a thousand lives before this one and none as rich or rewarding as the one I wake to everyday. This year has been the best and the most difficult. I love the women (all of you) blogging has connected me too. We can share our thoughts, feelings, happiness and gloom and give each other BIG virtual hug. I say we grab a few bottles of wine and head over to Vix's for an evening of God knows what....but it will be FUN!!!!

  25. I've only just found my way to your blog, and this post rang so true with me; I'm also a full time mum (of a one year old), and at 22 it's very hard to watch friends finishing uni, going on holiday etc, while you're struggling to get out of the house for even an hour without spending the previous night planning how you'll get through it! And their expectations that you can just drop everything are so frustrating!
    But like Scarlett said, discovering the blogging community takes away a little of the loneliness which can bite so hard when you're home alone.

    And soaps are pretty much THE reason why we don't have a TV.

  26. What a lovely, honest, imaginitive blog you have. I once wrote a poem about the 'friends in my head.' I believe the people you need will find you.
    Soaps. A waste of a perfectly good life.
    I think I would just like people to chat to that I have something in common with. xxx

  27. The League of Gentlemen was comedy gold. Not too far removed from somewhere I used to live though, when you walk into a pub and EVERYONE stares at you because you are a STRANGER. x


Sorry I am having to filter comments at the moment