Red Lips

I am challenging myself to write a post every single day in May, to kickstart my writing again. I will be following some prompt words that I ‘stole’ from somebody on instagram. Here is my fourth post.

My to-do list is huge. There are so many things on it that get pushed and pushed and pushed back until they are curled and blackened and covered in layers of wanting to be clean.

Other things take precedence.

Bottoms must be wiped. I know, such a charming topic. Clothes to be changed, cries to be soothed, cuddles to be given and soft chunky little bodies to be fed and bathed and rocked gently to sleep.

Lullabies to be sung.

Baby clothes to be washed.

The floors can wait, my hair needs care, nails are bitten down to stumps and polish dries in glass bottles as the dust settles on their lids.

Lips are cracked.

I wore a red dress at my wedding party. After the white one. An A-line princess neck dress, embroidered bodice, tulle under a skirt that flared out just enough to be elegant. Not too much. A red dress and red lipstick, sultry and deep and when I look at photos of myself I do not recognise that carefree girl.

I want a baby, I told my husband, I have so much love inside me and it wants to come out.

Give it to me, instead, he told me. And I did, of course. Red lips and high heels and night dates and spotlights and kisses in the moonlight, in the heat of the sun. Kisses before and after work. Sleepy ones and excited ones and ones that are routine, barely noticed and vaguely appreciated.

And red lips. Perpetually. The soft click of a good quality lid, the deft twist and the scarlet balm smeared on two lips in a matter of seconds, turned up hair and a pretty dress. So much love to give, galavanting from place to place. Work to home and travelling here and there in between.

Evenings enjoyed. Nights slept in full. Mornings together, just the two of us. So much love to give. So much given. Eyes meeting and smiles amid hours of companionable silence.

I don’t wear lipstick anymore. Ever. Barely. Silence is fleeting, moments together are snatched. Cuddles involve tiny arms and legs, and two large heads cooing over a small one.

I don’t have red lips. But I still do have so much love to give.


A Scattering of Thoughts

“Oh, you’re wearing a lot of makeup!” My mother squints at me in the dim light of her bedroom.

“I’ve been here for three hours how did you not notice?”

“I didn’t really look at your face,” was her nonchalant reply.

Well, that’s my mother. I do love her, despite our differences. She is a good mother, never mind she doesn’t like to give out hugs. She sacrifices a lot for us kids, and we don’t half treat her as well as she deserves. She comes from good mothering stock, that’s for sure. Her mother was wonderful. One of the best women I know. In fact, I will go so far as to say my grandmother is the best woman I have ever come across, and our family feels her loss very sorely. I mean, right now I could do with a soft warm hug that smells faintly of herbs. I used to play with my Nan’s hands; her skin was paper thin and so so warm and soft, her fingers swelled at the joints with arthritis, poor thing, but she would knit away everyday. I learnt how to do a braid on my Nan’s hair. Long and silver and silky smooth, although thin because she was on blood thinning medication and that made her lose a lot of hair. She smelt wonderful and warm and like motherly love. Do you know that smell?

Anyway. My mum’s going away for two weeks and she is stopping in Turkey for a flight change and I am scared and worried and anxious for her. I do hope she will be okay. She kept saying things like ‘I’ll leave all my bank details, and if anything happens you have to take my death certificate to the town hall and get a probate.’

I don’t want her bank details, I just want her. Oh dear.

Also yes I am wearing lots of makeup. It’s the end of the week. Tomorrow is bank holiday! I am wearing several layers including primer, foundation, concealer, bronzer, highlight, blush, setting powder, eyeliner, three coats of mascara and a lime-crime velvetine in Riot.

I feel very glamorous, even though my hair is a bush and you can see my scalp very clearly. I shall just muss it about and hide it and carry on with my work.

Ta-ra folks!

In Which I Discuss Some Homey Things

So I have a bad disease called haemorrhoids. I know, TMA much? But anyways, it coincides with this month’s period, the first one after the miscarriage, so it’s pretty tough going. I only told you all this because you will get a sense of how disgustingly crappy I feel today. I am in so much pain, but have ploughed on through a 3000 word assignment on eighteenth century European literary attitudes towards colonialism and slavery presented by our very own Aphra Behn, about whom I am beginning to have very mixed feelings.

I am inclined to dislike her. She appears to be very pretentious and what really irks me is the fact that in order to make a black slave ‘appealing’ to her audience, she has to European-ise him by giving him a Roman nose and making sure he was well equipped with knowledge of European culture, as though it were so superior that not to know of it would render one completely barbarous.

Which in fact it did.

So don’t get your hopes up.

I was quite frankly appalled.

I suppose it isn’t really her fault, since she is catering to her readers, so really, I should have said the only way the English society at the time would sympathise with a black SLAVE is if he looked a bit like an Englishman and possibly shared his values.


Also, did you know that the Liverpool port grew exponentially because of the slave trade? Appalling. I had no idea. All this time I was yelling at America but really it was us Brits just as much as them. I am so un-iformed.

ANYWAY. Back to today. So I ploughed on through thinking, aaaah, well I don’t gotta cook today since the old husband is going to a meal with some work friends. Only he then called to tell me he wasn’t.

“Aw man. Well I didn’t cook anything,” said I, chewing my ratty, unwashed hair as I spoke into my mobile.

“It’s ok. I’ll cook something.” he said.

I snorted into the phone.

Psh, yeah right. D cannot cook a meal to save his life. His idea of a tuna sandwich is dunking a tin of tuna onto some bread. Which quite frankly is disgusting, believe me, I’ve had it.

Anyway. We live and work in the middle of nowhere so the idea of a takeaway is ridiculous since the nearest place is a thirty minute drive away.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So I cooked spinach and rice and then sat back with a cup of tea and decided to have a hair wash and straighten my hair and maybe put some makeup on and frankly, after a painkiller, I feel much much better.

Nothing like a little spruce up and a dash of mascara to make you feel better about life in general.

A bitta maquillage, so to speak.

Also D is eating the rice and spinach and he said he was very grateful and didn’t expect me to do it and why did I, and then he admitted that he probably wouldn’t have cooked anything and just had some cereal instead.

Which isn’t the worst thing to do but well, it’s nice to come home after a long day to have a hot meal ready. God knows I love that feeling. Crashing in late after uni to find my mum had a hot plate of something homey on the table for me.

Anyway. Happy Thursday folks.