Monday, 26 December 2011

Just a track which sums up this vile story and this  example of consumerism gone mad so few words:

 "buy more" "Consume" "be happy"

I hope you all had a great Christmas. Feel free to ask me things (anything you want to know)

My next blog post will be answers.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

One Hundredth Post

I have been here, loitering. I have written, and quickly scrapped countless posts. I have re-visited older posts, an end-of-year evaluation, I suppose.

I was driving home from a retail park earlier, the road by-passes a village and you get the feeling you're driving through a groove carved out from the earth with a giant pointed stick, mountains all around. Neil Young came on the radio, I'm not a huge fan, but his nasal tones remind me of childhood. Staying up late on a weekend; my uncle's 'fragrant' roll-up cigarettes competing with everyone else's, pints of cider and lager dotted around, the musky perfume 'Tweed' by Yardley filling the bathroom, loud laughter. I'll have a small cup of Strongbow with a splash of Ribena please, and dream about being grown-up.
An intensely luminous rainbow shot out from the trees and over the mountain - it's beginning and end apparent but not obvious. The birds' silent flight makes it's own music by igniting rhythms and bass-lines lying dormant in your brain.
A balloon filled with helium bobs around in the back of the car, like a third passenger nodding to the music, what a noble gas.
I'm regularly reminded that the connections you make with people through sharing your life on here are not purely superficial.
My coat came from Sheffield, from a lady I've never met, I have never heard her voice, but I know her. I read her blog posts and everything about her is familiar. Someone giving me a coat and knowing it would fit and I'd love it - must be a friend? My ring came from London, a lady I've never met, my earrings from Stockport, a lady I've never met.
I laughed really rudely and loudly last night at the corner shop. A local lady with mild learning difficulties and a dearth of endearing characteristics was there furiously scratching lottery cards. Pink nightdress with a cow on the front, gaping pink fleece dressing gown and emerald green peep-toe shoes, eight cans of John Smiths on the counter awaiting payment. The new shop owner wore stonewashed jeans with a razor-sharp crease ironed into the front, and a baseball style jacket with denim body and baggy jersey sleeves, his shirt was a purple, mustard and teal abstract affair - like many of the eighties prints; a smudged chalk effect. My attire didn't disappoint either. Exercise leggings, cheap ribbed t-shirt, my son's hoodie, and running shoes. "Look at us, all dressed up and nowhere to go!" I quipped.
Tumbleweed blew past as I waited for a raucous response to my joke, a few customers shot me a filthy look.
I went out last Saturday with the gang featured in this post. Festivities, I embraced them - whatever they are. I even wore a party hat. My default 'pissed' behaviour came out of hiding. I was presented with endless glasses of water and ordered to drink them. I harassed the two very young barmen, I'm barely getting away with this now, lord help me when I'm a pensioner. I'm bound to be still at it.
I decorated the tree with the boys, ensuring that essential foul-mood which is unique to mothers of young children reared it's head. Usually when cooking, splashing boiling gravy, dropping pans and saying SHHHITTT! It was lovely.
I sat and watched the Christmas concert, kids can't sing nicely to save their lives, and I can't sit there without thinking what the REAL story was with that star, child-mother, 3 blokes and a barn. Terrible mum.

I bought a present following a recommendation on Jem's blog, I sent my charity-swap parcel off (more from the coat, swap etc. another time). I made Christmas cards, I DO try.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas.
What is your wish for next year?  Mine is for peace.

2012 is going to be a year of change, I don't know what I'll be doing this time next year, but I will definitely share it with you all. You're all wonderful, I mean it.


Lucy x


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Christmas rant/Shopping rant (yes, misery rules)

It would take so long to comment on all the posts I have either missed this week, or have only briefly glanced at on a tiny screen. This makes me feel like I'm not playing by the rules.. Sorry folks. Will try to remedy this very soon.

Where have I been? Everywhere and nowhere.  Trying to be a good PTA* member, failing to be a good PTA member. Trying to be more of a disciplinarian with the boys, failing to be anything but 'soft as shite'. Trying to be more domesticated, less of a lazy dreamer...failing.
Trying, trying, trying to be the type of person who talks about Christmas with enthusiasm FAILING.

I like seeing children smile, who doesn't? That doesn't mean I have to like Christmas. Remember that line as I won't be dwelling on the happy kids side of it again. i hope it goes without saying that my boys like Christmas.

I don't dislike Christmas, I even end up getting into the spirit by about the 22nd.
I like the school concert, but it doesn't make me cry. I'm a bit hard in the 'kids making me cry' department after looking after a girl until her death, who was smashed against a wall by her step father as a baby. She died blind, deaf, epileptic and happy 5 years later. I was 20 and one of my favourite pictures is of me holding her.

I like the Salvation Army band playing in town. I like watching people try to carry  something bigger than them home from town in the heavy rain, face like thunder, full of White Lightening. I like getting  a card addressed To no 17, from no 26. I am having great difficulty adding to this list.

I've been doing a bit of amateur psychology, trying to work out why I can't work up much enthusiasm for special occasions. I conclude; it's spontaneity I thrive on.

I've never liked wearing a watch. I have a reliable body clock, and am punctual. If I'm going out for the day, finding out the train times doesn't come into it. I'll turn up, and a train will arrive on the platform soon after.

Nights out, impromptu - great. Meticulously planned, deposit-paid, "I'm wearing this dress and these shoes" - boring.

Dinner - thrown together by instinct and with little thought - delicious. Military precision dining - no thanks.

Shopping for gifts - awful. Seeing something and thinking "she'd LOVE that" when it's nowhere near her birthday or Christmas - memorable (no, not 'priceless).

My pet hates; plastic toys, gift sets, waste wrapping paper, sickly cheap processed food, warm wines and spirits, grudges, general 'waste', insincerity, ungratefulness, token/thoughtless gifts, vile greetings cards, terrible music, hidden pain, debt, overly wound-up kids (Santa won't come), harassed staff, angry shoppers, grumpy postal staff...

I went to Cardiff with my 12 year old on Wednesday, he's itching to boost his social status with some over-priced leisure wear.

Hollister has arrived in Cardiff, everything about this had escaped my attention. On the train, talk of the queues to get into Hollister was to be heard from every angle. I didn't know what the fuss was about (still don't).

FORTY-FIVE minutes of queuing to get into a shop? No, I didn't do it. Great marketing, but why are adults sucked in? Fair enough the teens, but why would anyone find a shop reeking of artificial flowers, and staffed by underweight pre-pubescent looking androgynous types, an experience worth buying into?

The queue for the shop snaked all around this balustrade:

On to 'Cult' a shop stocking endless racks of overpriced hoodies and t-shirts emblazoned with 'Super-Dry'. I remember the Super-Dry collection about 10 years ago seeming like butch wear for ladies, and camp wear for gents (sorry to generalise).

Now, the Super-Dry jacket and hoodie are a sure way to prove you're a valid member of society. Huge queues in the store, identikit staff, stressed parents and grandparents.
I'm so out of touch with shopping. I think £10 is a fortune to spend on an a garment. Fifty quid for a zip-up hoodie? No  joke.

I did succumb though, I remember a brief period of wanting to fit in. Followed closely by a period of wanting to look totally unique, all second-hand or customised clothes from the age of 14 to the present day. I looked a total idiot most of the time, but the courage I had then, I miss. If my son wants to be a clone, he can be one. That's what he wants for Christmas.

On the way back, I stopped at just one charity shop, it was painful walking past the next 3. "Mum, you are the only one out of all my friends' mothers who dresses like an old lady". I bought a naff jumper, I will model it soon. It IS an old lady jumper - shame on me. My poor, embarrassed boy.

The guy who served me was pleasant, natural and funny, unlike the other shops. I spent £6 on a  jumper and trousers. Spontaneity ruled. For me.

Tell me what I'm missing.

Merry Bloody Christmas!

* PTA = parent/teacher association