A Thursday Observation

Crewe is a horrible town. That is an opinion, not a fact. However, the lady at town hall agreed with me. She was in her 50s and she shook her head sadly and said she didn’t know what had become of this town that she was born and bred in. She now lives in Sandbach, which is a pretty little affluent town about 15 minutes away in the car.

Anyway. I mention that Crewe is awful because I want to set the scene. I usually go for a long walk everyday with my boy in his pram to get some fresh air and to get out of the house. Also to add some routine to my day. A structure, if you will.

I more often than not walk half an hour to Queen’s Park, which is really quite beautiful and makes you forget you’re in Crewe at all. There are swans a-plenty and a flock of geese who live on the lake, along with all the manner of pigeons, seagulls, mallards and coots. There are many pathways and glorious scenes set behind some lovely old Victorian pavilions. The park house is an old Victorian house, for of course, Queen’s Park was opened during the Victorian era, and was a gift from the London and North railway to the townspeople, for if Crewe is anything, it is a famous railway town.

Anyway. Yesterday I decided to go for a shorter walk across some green patches that are usually used for fly-tipping (charming Crewe!), and as I walked along in the freezing cold, I stopped short. For, right before my very eyes, was a pony! A lovely little pony with its fringe in its eyes, just meandering about the green. Such a curious sight!

My boy and I had a one-sided conversation about it all. I say one sided, but as I made some comments and exclamations, and wondered aloud what on earth it could be doing there, he did chime in with some ‘dadada’s and some ‘darrrrd’s (bird) and some ‘das’s (cat). He did a bit of pointing to illustrate his thoughts, and looked at me directly in the eyes to show he concurred. What he concurred with, neither of us shall ever know, of course.

I went on my way, then. No use dithering about in the cold. As I passed another residential area, I stopped short again… for, and I couldn’t believe my eyes, on another, smaller stretch of green.. was another pony! How curious. People seemed to be walking by it as though it were of no consequence. I just don’t understand it! We are in the thick of the residential area, there are no farms within walking distance, it is just so baffling. It reminded me of this area in Casablanca which was newly built, but people who owned donkey-pulled carts would leave their donkeys out on the empty stretches of land for the night. They don’t do things like that here in the UK, but it sure looked like someone was keeping a pony or two on Crewe’s green stretches. 

Whatever it meant, it was certainly better than seeing household rubbish and waste piled up amongst weeds and uncut grass.



One thing my husband likes to say to me about my family is that ‘they always like repeating stories! I’ve heard the same story fifty thousand times and yet they still repeat it! They LOVE repeating stories!’

He says it like it’s a negative thing, and I used to see his point of view and started to think it was negative too. But then I stopped short.


I remember I ENJOYED those repetitive stories.

Mum, tell us about that time Uncle Nigel flooded a hotel party!’, or ‘Mum, tell us again that story about you and Kitty riding your tricycles to the police station when you were three’, or ‘Let’s hear that tale of when Dad broke his back when I was born.’

My mum would tell us all the family stories instead of bedtime stories before we fell asleep. She would tell us of the scrapes she and her cousins got up to when they were younger and turn them into episodes and we would listen avidly, despite knowing what came next. It was her voice and inflections and the way she built the suspense. Her voice rose and fell and lulled us to a space of serene security. If I close my eyes I can still hear how she would tell her stories.

Now we are too old for bedtime stories, she tells us of things her mother used to do and say, and what she saw and did when she was younger. She tells us things she experiences now, turning them into little stories and ‘morals’ and ‘lessons’.  And yes, I may have heard those stories hundreds of times, but before somebody who doesn’t appreciate them pointed out that the repetition is annoying, I never noticed or cared that she was repeating herself.

And I love them! My husband’s family don’t like to tell and re-tell stories like that. They just allude to things but don’t elaborate on them and make them events in and of themselves like my family do. They are more reserved, you see, whereas my family is a little more ‘out there’, letting emotions out as and when they arrive.

Our families are different and that is ok. But I have realised a very important fact. And that is that stories are very important to me. I myself repeat stories often, I catch myself doing it, and my husband rolling his eyes at me, but I can’t help it. I like doing it. I think I am doing it more for myself than for those listening to me. Also there are those who like my stories too!

I elaborate on them and add flourishes and, like my parents, I do the voices and gestures and act it out.

Maybe my son will appreciate my stories and will be a storyteller too, but he may also find the stories annoying and resort to retelling experiences with a wry smile and not do the accents. Either way. It is ok. We are who we are and we are born of the stories that shaped us.

Also, whether you tell stories with a flourish or not, you will still tell stories. Stories are just the narratives of our lives, and we choose how to tell them, be it with flamboyancy or reserved calm.


A drag and a haul

Folks, sometimes you gotta drag yourself up and haul yourself to each of your jobs, one by one.

That is what I have to do this evening. Drag myself up and put some rice on, haul myself over to the bathroom to run a warm bath for a wriggly little baby, while scooping him off the bathroom floor numerous times and setting him firmly outside on the carpet. Oh no here he comes again, little hands smacking the floor in his excited haste to crawl into the bathroom. That boy loves bathrooms. He loves baths too.

Heave myself off this couch and glance at the stack of dishes in the sink. No way they are getting washed tonight. I am just about done. That bath will knock me out, then it will be getting boy into his pyjamas… mission impossible. He wriggles away and crawls off with a bare bottom, so fast, laughing at my futile attempts to drag him back to be changed. Then it will be reading so many books before bed, boy turning the pages faster than I can read them, because that’s the fun thing to do now.

Then it will be milk time, and then hopefully.. HOPEFULLY… he will turn on to his stomach and splay his arms about, wriggle a bit to get comfy, and slowly fall into slumber.

I say hopefully because last night slumber did not arrive for the fella. It choo chooed into the station, for sure. But boy did not get on that slumber train. He tossed and turned and eventually, frustrated and tuckered out, he cried. For hours and hours. Until 1:45am. YES I counted.

So hopefully tonight my dragging and hauling will yield me some dead time on the sofa before I crawl into bed.


What We Attract

Interestingly, the world still appears to be falling apart in 2020. Nothing has changed. Everybody is still carrying on. Keeping on keeping on.

Do you think these days will be read about in history books? Will my grandkids ask me what I was doing when Brexit happened?

Yes dear, I was eating my crumpets and having my tea and planning to add toilet roll to next week’s shopping list. I expect when Germany went down in WWII people were cooking dinner and serving up rationed potatoes, just like any other day.

People just keep on keeping on, because, honestly, what else is there to do?

Other than be informed and try to help as much as one can by spreading awareness and donations and showing love. It’s easy to show love when love abounds, and hard to show love when all you see is moody hatred.

I live in Crewe, as I have said a million times, and more often than not, in this awful town, I experience negativity. There is a lot of poverty and uncouthness here, so when I am greeted nicely or experience something good from someone, I am genuinely surprised.

I think you also attract what you put out. I generally go about my day very negatively. Stressed and frustrated and expecting people to swear at me. The other day at the post office, I had a mountain of parcels to post and my boy began to cry in his pram as I was halfway through dealing with the cashier. The queue behind me grew longer and heavier and more impatient, the air became muggy and hot and I was sweltering under my coat and imagined my son must also be doing the same which is why he was fussing. He began to bawl loudly and the cashier next to mine said to the customer behind me, ‘If we could get that young man to SHUT UP, I could help you better’.

Folks, I was mortified and ashamed and stressed and upset. I was doing my best to finish my business quickly and hush my son simultaneously, and a bit of empathy would have meant the world. In that moment the heat of shame and anger crept around my face and as soon as I snatched my receipt I stormed out, muttering about how I despise Crewe and every single filthy, uncouth, ill-mannered, insensitive, horrible chav in this depressing grey shitty town.


I felt ashamed afterwards for saying those things because it made me no better than they were.

Do we really attract what we put out?