What’s the best thing about being married?

What’s the best thing about being married?

The license to have sex. No I am joking, also these days nobody needs a license, that was scrapped some sixty to seventy years ago.

So being married isn’t as great as everybody makes out. Some people say the first year is always the hardest, but oddly I don’t agree. My first year of marriage was pretty happy go lucky. Yeah I used to get irritated because my husband would never tell me anything and discuss all his matters with his mother instead of me which would frustrate me to no end, but we worked on that and it all seems okay now. We didn’t have huge spats, he washed dishes and cleaned the house and I cooked meals, he went to work and I worked from home. We moved house twice. We did a bit of travelling and had one pregnancy scare.

I didn’t have any of those agonising worries that lots of other people say they had. We didn’t argue all the time because we were ‘getting used’ to each other.  We just… lived. In fact we lived in close proximity to each other for a very long time, when we spent a little more than a year living in an attic bedroom with one tiny kitchen that wasn’t big enough for both of us, we were literally in each other’s pockets and that didn’t bother either  of us one bit.

In fact when the agent came to show somebody around, the person seeing the place said, “Gosh you live here with your husband!? That’s a test to a relationship if anything is. I’d go mental if I had to live in this tiny place with anybody, least of all my SO.”

I was shocked to hear that, really. When my husband wants some peace and quiet he plugs his earphones in or goes to the gym and when I want some, I go and cook or read or paint or walk or cycle. It also helps that he is at work most days and I am busy with my online business and online university course. Also I guess we are both amicable (mostly) and have learned how to live around each other.

My husband is also very logical and doesn’t let his emotions factor into arguments, which is why I am a blubbering mess and he is a frowning robot when we argue. I think that dynamic works because I am the sort of person who has to let off steam in an angry and upset way, while he needs to retreat into himself and frown at the computer screen for a few hours. Sometimes it’s frustrating but mostly it works and then we eat dinner and watch a movie and it’s all fine.

My husband doesn’t want any kids. He thinks they are messy and loud and blubbery and that they would hinder his freedom. Which is entirely true. That is why I think he wasn’t too happy when I got pregnant, although he was heavily concerned and worried when I miscarried. I also think he was slightly relieved. Who am I kidding. I was slightly relieved. I don’t think either of us are ready to have kids. We both want to do so much more and be so much more before we are limited by having to take care of another vulnerable human being. Also he is worried he will make an awful dad and I know I will be a mean mum.

I love my husband very much and think that I need to step up my game as his wife. For example I have a good body but I don’t make the most of it like I used to before I got married. I guess I figure that I am secure now and don’t always need to make an effort because I know he loves me. However this sort of thinking is wrong and I know that I should make the most of my body while I am young, both for my own sanity and also because I think D would like it very much indeed.

Another example is my hot temper which I tend to unleash on his poor unsuspecting self. He is very good to me and always tries to make me happy and buy me unexpected gifts and push me to be better at everything I do. He is ambitious and hard working and aspirational. So he doesn’t deserve my wrath. Except when he does deserve it, but not that bad, maybe a little toned down.

Dubliners

It has to be coherent.

It has to be relevant.

It has to all tie in together.

It has to convince her that what I have written is an accepted, intellectual and innovative truth.

This essay has to be everything, else I shall be completely miserable all summer, and shan’t enjoy the long heady days in the grass, nor any anticipated travels around this supposedly beautiful country.

And two days later, I have to submit 4000 words of pure literary genius. I have to tame my tutor’s senses and whisk her emotions away in a hurricane of action, my words ceasing to be groups of letters and becoming images floating through her mind. I want her to finish reading, and suddenly slam back down into her chair as reality hits her once more.

But how to do this, while simultaneously analysing James Joyce?

Do tell me, for I am quite lost and bogged down both intellectually and creatively.

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Do You Lie to the Kids?

Sometimes I tell my kids, “If you don’t brush your teeth, you’ll grow a forest of mould in your mouth,”

I joke, I joke. I don’t have kids. But I do take the opportunity to tell other kids this. I used to tell my little brothers all sorts of stories. Once I convinced them, when they were both really little, that the dark blue tile dolphin on the floor of the swimming pool was real. I told them it had been cast away there by a horrible sorcerer, but at night it detaches itself and has a nice swim when nobody is around.

“Don’t step on it, okay? It feels everything.” I said solemnly.

My two little brothers, who were so cute back in the day, scoffed at the story, but I could tell they were spellbound. My youngest brother treaded water like mad when he was anywhere near the dolphin, while I nearly choked on my silent guffaws from the sidelines.

My mother has a friend who would tell us all sorts of silly things when we were younger, things that resonated with me as I grew up. Like she would say “if you swallow those watermelon seeds you’ll grow a watermelon tree in your tummy!”

I actively avoided watermelon seeds like the plague for years and years after that, even though I knew no such thing would happen, it was still a little likely right?

When my brother got the chicken pox she said, “You better watch out he doesn’t pop right into a chicken!”

I was terrified. I peeped into his room every morning to make sure the bundle under the covers wasn’t covered in feathers. Cluck cluck cluck.

You would’ve thought that these experiences would teach me not to lie to kids, but I can’t help myself, it’s so funny! Especially when they believe it and in some cases, it makes them behave and brush their teeth.

I think there is a line to be drawn, however, such as with the case of Santa Claus.

But that’s just my opinion. What about you, do you lie to kids?

The Dream Girl

When she looked over the hills, after pounding her way up on her rickety old bike, she dreamed she could fly over the metal mess that was the city, and alight on the greenery in the far distance. The mountains, pale and purple beyond, the hills, rising and falling, awash with green in varying shades. All rising above the scrapyard they like to call the city.

She dreamed she could sail up high and touch the clouds, so vast and fluffy, as they drifted along the vibrantly blue sky.

She dreamed she was a daughter of the wind, with magnificent tresses, her body winding and curving and swirling on the air currents, ducking and diving, so graceful and wild.

She dreamed she was the maiden on the hull of a ship, the front line of the sea path, guiding the crew through mountains of waves, lashings of rain and sea foam, and always wind. Always the wind.

The cold wind on her cheeks, numbing her face. The wind carrying her over the globe, through prairies and mountain ranges, under canopies of birches, vales of violets. Rushing through the furious wall of a waterfall. The hot wind of the desert, filling her eyes with sand, the cold wind come night time, shaking her free of her dust grave, taking her someplace new. Always new. Loud and thunderous, roaring and wailing.

She dreamed of hills and rolling frondescence, and when she grew up she wanted to weld her soul to the raging storm. She wanted to be wild and free, she wanted to bend the trees under her will, she wanted to slam herself into the nature so hard that she became a part of it; wind whipped and ferocious, scraggly and strong, full of vitality and life. She wanted to be the silence on the moors. She wanted to be the sea crashing on the rocks. She wanted to be the stillness of a lake under the twilight sky, stars dotting it’s mirrored surface. She wanted to be the planets as they turned around and around. She wanted to be the sun, and the moon too.

She lay under the skylight, and dreamed the stars were holes in the sky to another, brighter sky, way above.

On Mothers

Mothers are strong creatures. They sustain life within their able bodies for nine months, and then after the trauma of growing a real life baby and birthing it out of them in what is commonly hours and hours of excruciating pain and exhaustion, do they get a holiday?

No, sir, they do not. They immediately launch themselves into a manic system of nurturing, which makes for very comfy times for the newborn baby (who by the way remembers nothing of the pooping and crying and burping and crying and pooping and crying), but horrific times for the mother. Staying up all nights at unheard of hours. Is she partying? Well, she has vomit on her but none of it is alcohol induced. She is rocking and patting and humming and sleepwalking and sometimes, she might be crying.

Her body has just gone through a tremendous change and she is sore and painful and completely, utterly self-less. Nothing she does is for herself. That bath? For her? Gosh no, see how she dips her elbow inside to make sure it’s the perfect temperature? She WISHES somebody would do that for her. No, folks, it’s for the precious little person that she is taking care of now, that is claiming every second of her life. She will gladly jump into a bath of cold water just to get the baby gunk off her. Hell, she is too afraid to poop in case it wakes up and screams its head off.

She is a powerful lady full of love and care and emotions. Sometimes she has other minions who are clinging to her skirts as she attempts to take care of the little creature she has birthed. These other creatures are a little older, but still as demanding.

‘Where’s my breakfast?!’ screams one.

‘Charlie is eating my toes, Mummy!’ shouts another.

‘Muuuuuuum. Tell Peter to get out of my room!’

‘Mother, I can’t wear this it’s stained.’

‘TELL LENORA TO TAKE OFF MY SHOES RIGHT NOW MAMA!!!!!’ (my sister, folks)

A mother is a therapist. She listens to everybody’s problems and helps them come to a solution. A mother is a cook, a cleaner, a nurse. She is exceptionally skilled at hearing noises in the night time, and can wake up at the slightest floorboard creak. She is used to her little ones running up to her to tell her all the gory details of their potty business.

A mother is a selfless being who gives everything she has to her children, only to have them move away from her at some point when they reach adulthood and start fending for themselves. For a lot of mothers, this is a welcome break.

Be gone, they think, and leave me finally to do what I have been wanting to do for eighteen years! To sit back and have a cup of tea without any interruptions!

But that doesn’t stop them from worrying about whether or not Peter has had dinner and why Jane is looking so pale.

Mothers are powerful because they have magical ears that can pick out exactly what their baby’s cry means, the silence that means a toddler is behind the door with his fist inside the sugar bowl, and who is in the kitchen by the way they open a fridge.

‘GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN,’ the mother roars, aware she sounds just like her own mother.

They are strong because they put everybody’s emotions before theirs, and carry their troubles along with their own. They cater to everybody’s needs, at the detriment of their own.

They are forgiving because no matter how many times you have transgressed the limits, they will still love you and make sure you have a nice hot meal when you come home late from university, shattered.

My mother lost her mother five years ago. Sometimes my mother wants a mother to get warmth and comfort from. I heard her say to her friend once, ‘It’s just hard, you know, a mother is the centre of your world.’ Sometimes I say, “I’ll be your mother, mama,” because if I didn’t have my mother I would be lost, so lost. I want to make her feel better. It’s nowhere NEAR the same, of course. She bats me away and tells me not to be so ridiculous when I try to give her a motherly hug. Sometimes my mother will get a faraway look in her eyes and when she thinks nobody is looking, a great sadness will come over her face. I know, then, that she is thinking of her mother and it breaks my heart because she is my mother, and I never want her to be sad. When my mother used to cry, I would cry too, because her pain is my pain. And I am not always the nicest daughter to her, and I am so sorry for that, so I am actually going to pause this post and go call her.

Mothers are special folks. Not everybody gets along with their mothers. Some mothers are different from other mothers. They come in all shapes and sizes. But if you have a mother, and if you love your mother, then this is a post that commemorates her along with all the other hardworking mums out there. May they be blessed and happy and healthy, and may they find peace and happiness in their children and families.

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Shriya Das

 

Tea Rooms

Went to Mrs Bridge’s Tea Rooms with the MIL and the M and the H (mother in law, mother, husband). It’s a small tea room (established in 1723!) which retains its historical decor, and sits in the picturesque corner of Leicester’s town centre called ‘The Lanes’, in which you can find a myriad of little independently owned stores and unique cafes. It’s the perfect, idyllic stroll on a Sunday afternoon, and just what you’d expect in a small English town.

If you ever come to Leicester, don’t miss out on The Lanes. Leicester is not just chain stores, you know. There are a lot of beautiful old buildings and alleyways to wander along.

We had dessert, despite the hole in my tooth, on some beautiful wooden chairs. The atmosphere was vintage and dainty. There were china tea cups and original fireplaces. The windows were single glazed, and the view outside was of the white and ebony Edwardian roofs, pretty shop signs and blue sky.

We had a scintillating chat about rats and lawyers and the weather and our families, and it was just peaceful. Like a break from everything. I really enjoyed myself. I think the mums did too. There is a little courtyard outside where you can sit and eat with the sky as your roof, but it was too cold for that this time.

It was a quaint experience, and one which I am eager to repeat on another empty Sunday.. The mums were pleased, I think, to get away from ‘the kids’. They both have a bunch of kids, and some still at school, so I am sure it was a much needed break.

So that is what I did today.

How was your weekend?

Two Cold Uncles Knitting to the Beat

Hello everybody!

I was sitting in the library today, trying so hard to conjure up an idea for a short story. I have a hand in on the 17th of March; I have nothing to write about!

Anyway so something inspired me to get on to google and type in ‘story idea’. A website called ‘Plot Generator‘ came up and I thought, holy moly, have I just stumbled upon a goldmine?!

Turns out I did. A hilarious gold mine. I filled in some boxes with keywords and names, and it generated a little story for me. It had me laughing so much I had to get up and take a breather.

Have a look, if you’re interested!

 

Two Cold Uncles Knitting to the Beat

Twig Blackadder was thinking about Emilia Blake again. Emilia was a kind angel with handsome hair and slim lips.

Twig  walked over to the window and reflected on his pretty surroundings. He had always hated peaceful Lancing with its slobbering, strong seaside. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel sad.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the a kind figure of Emilia Blake.

Twig gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He was a stubborn, wilful, coffee drinker with built hair and brunette lips. His friends saw him as a modern, magnificent monster. Once, he had even made a cup of tea for a villainous grandma.

But not even a stubborn person who had once made a cup of tea for a villainous grandma, was prepared for what Emilia had in store today.

The rain hammered like thinking parrot, making Twig bittersweet. Twig  grabbed an ethereal key that had been strewn nearby; he massaged it with his fingers.

As Twig stepped outside and Emilia came closer, he could see the slobbering glint in her eye.

Emilia gazed with the affection of 4480 selfish amused ant. She said, in hushed tones, “I love you and I want closure.”

Twig  looked back, even more bittersweet and still fingering the ethereal key. “Emilia, I’ve always loved you,” he replied.

They looked at each other with nostalgic feelings, like two glorious, giant goldfish sobbing at a very considerate holiday, which had piano music playing in the background and two cold uncles knitting to the beat.

Twig  studied Emilia’s handsome hair and slim lips. Eventually, he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” began Twig in apologetic tones, “but I don’t feel the same way, and I never will. I just don’t love you Emilia.”

Emilia looked happy, her emotions raw like an old, open old shoes.

Twig could actually hear Emilia’s emotions shatter into 8876 pieces. Then the kind angel hurried away into the distance.

Not even a cup of coffee would calm Twig’s nerves tonight.

THE END

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They even generated a cover for me!

First World Problems

“I’m coolldd!” my sister chattered after a shower, as she walked into the bedroom we used to share, a towel draped around her shoulders and reaching her wet knees.

She carried on complaining as she got into her clothes, her movements rickety and exaggerated.

I rolled my eyes.

“First world problems” I murmured.

She didn’t like that.

“Ok but it’s a genuine problem” she argued, “and so what if I’m not starving to death, I’m cold and I’m allowed to express it!”

“So get into bed then,” I said meanly, “other people can’t just get into their nice comfy beds with clean sheets and get warm, but you can!”

“I don’t want to get into bed.”

“Then stop complaining.”

 

We carried on like this (as we do), back and forth, back and forth. It wasn’t serious. It was lighthearted with an underlay of years of sisterly resentment.

Later on, after I’d scrubbed a few things and my sister ceremoniously broomed the kitchen floor, she was sitting on her bed and me on mine.

“I have the worst headache,” I told her.

“First world problems.” she was quick to say, folding her legs and scrolling down her phone. She glanced smugly up at me, as I got up to go to the bathroom.

“I know, right?” I said, “Thank goodness that’s the heaviest of my problems today.”

“At least you have a head!” she called out, as I shut the bathroom door.

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Dear March

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Throwback to when my marriage was good and I lived in the countryside.

I’ve always loved March

Not only because I was born in this month

(although, you know, that’s a big reason)

Nor because March is fairer than May

(which it is. IT IS. ok?)

Nor because it is a beautiful word.

March

MARCH.

How pretty is that?

But no, not because of its pretty name.

But for the blooming thoughts

That winter is beginning to fade

Early signs of spring are showing

blossoms on trees

daffodils

pale green buds on ebony branches

are opening their baby faces to the sky.

The world is waking up.

Things are happening.

March is the fringe of change.

Sometimes

Life is full of chaos.

Things don’t go right.

People shout, and slam doors

Because they don’t want to hear the truth

Families argue

Spouses become distant,

Fear settles in your heart

You feel lost,

Alone

Scared

Worried.

Maybe you deal with all that by sleeping all day.

Ignoring people.

Escaping conflict by jumping from one house to the other.

Banging your head on the steering wheel as tears stream down your face.

I don’t know what to do.

I just don’t know.

And at the moment, I really don’t want to fix anything.

This March,

I don’t want to be twenty two.

I want to crawl back through the tunnel of time.

And be seven again.

Racing down hills

Snuggling into beautiful stories

loving

learning

No heartbreak

Not yet.

I Want to be Thin

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And it’s on my mind everyday.

Sometimes I get upset about it, and that makes me go for an ASDA smart price chocolate bar in D’s snack drawer. Sometimes it doesn’t stop at just one smart price chocolate bar. Sometimes it’s two or three plus a mini Kit Kat and a mug of coffee…. with sugar!

But I want to be thin.

I want to be slender and graceful and flowy like those 1920s women in their straight dresses.

I want to have thin arms, and thighs that look smooth and tight and shapely beneath my clothes.

I don’t want my extra bits.

So I try to cycle them away.

I gym them away.

They do like to persevere. An odd pokey bit here, a spillage over my jeans, thighs that are a little too large for my fancy, squidgy bits under my arms..

Maybe it’s not healthy to obsess about it like I do. In fact it definitely probably isn’t. But the way I see it is like this: Never settle for anything less than perfection.

My body is not perfection. And I have no excuses, other than laziness and one too many chocolate bars. Also lack of will power.

So, I won’t. Settle. For anything less than perfection in my eyes.

 

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