Thursday, August 30, 2012

Broadway Baby

So in 2013 I will achieve one of my lifelong dreams of performing on Broadway (ahem, 42nd Street to be precise!) at the ripe old age of 34. I'm on a one-way ticket to the 40s and the only way to cope with that thought is to embrace it fully and whole-heartedly. On July 4th 2010 I wrote an entry in my Penzu journal (free online journal) that read:

Before I'm 40 I want to...
Marry M
Have a baby
Be in a feature film
Be on TV
Have lived in the USA
Own at least one house
Become a vocal coach
Learn to use a sewing machine
Learn an instrument
Write a book/play
Become a good knitter
Not be in debt
Go around the world

And how many of those things have I actually managed to achieve? Well unless you count a Birds Eye advert that was on screen for 2 weeks as "Be on TV", exactly zero. Funnily enough though that doesn't worry me. After all, I left "Be on Broadway" off the list as it felt too far-fetched (like "Not be in debt" wasn't?) - and look at me now! I figure I still have 6 years to go and I'm confident I will achieve at least one (well I'm still with M and I really hope he doesn't wait till I'm 41). So here is my official revised list as at 30 August 2012:

Before I'm 40 I want to...
Have accepted that there are no limitations, that an age is not a deadline, and that to be good knitter you have to practice (for the record I have recently purchased, with all good intentions,  the fabric and fleece interfacing required to make a knitting needle case with my new and untouched (gift from ex in 2005) sewing machine)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


Dear Sisters,

It has been a looooooong time and in fact we really should update the blog details to read women in their mid to late 30s! So why am I here? Well, I have a story I wanted to share and I couldn't think of a better place to share it, especially as it begins with Sister Louise...

I visited Sister Louise in the country recently (I am still a Sister in the City) and we had a day out to a local craft centre with her two young children and we sat and ate ice creams in the sunshine next to the duck pond. Her little boy was fascinated by the small fluffy white duck feathers lying all around and started to collect them so he could make a collage of a duck when he got home. I offered to store them in my handbag and he happily went back and forth filling up my bag.

At the end of the day, I'm afraid we all forgot about them and I made my way back to the City with a heavy heart where my career seemed to have reached a dead end and I was contemplating giving up my passion in pursuit of financial security. The ceaseless rain had not been helping my mood. A couple of days later whilst feeling particularly miserable, I took out my diary, opened it, and out flew a tiny white feather which danced in front of my for a while before settling on the ground. After a moment's puzzlement the fog cleared and I was suddenly transported back to that sunny day spent with my beautiful friend and her children and my spirits lifted immediately. I couldn't bear to leave the feather so I popped it back in my bag.

Over the next few weeks it seemed that every time I needed a boost a white feather would appear just when I needed it to. Eventually, of course, the feathers disappeared but whenever I open my bag I remember how I felt when I saw them and I feel grateful and blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life.

Sister Louise has a lot going on in her life right now and I thought about sending her some feathers in the post but then I remembered how those feathers came in to my life in the first place - handpicked by her little blond-haired boy - so I think I'll leave the task to him. They say that white feathers are the calling cards of Angels, and that's definitely how I came by mine.

Sister Thelma

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Baby in the City!

My son was born on February 1oth 2009, weighing 6lb 10oz. Mum, dad and baby are well and happy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Having It All

This morning I woke up and burst into tears. The reason being, that no sooner had the snooze alarm gone off, my boyfriend was brusquely calling “morning” in my ear - waking me up abruptly and depriving me of my last ten minutes sleep. This wouldn’t usually make me cry of course, but at the moment I’m a tightly wound coil. The last few days could be likened to tobogganing down a black run. Never sure when you’re going to land or whether it will be smoothly or in an undignified heap. There is no rest after dark either - my dreams are full of work. Last night for example I was trapped in a lift and screaming “will you c***s get me out of here” to no one in particular. Oh yes, my job is not without stress. But then there are the perks I thought, as I stumbled into the sun on Chiswick pier, temporarily de-stressed by the warming effects of a good white wine and a hearty meal and talking advertising b*llocks to other people equally as inebriated and passionate in their subject. We took a chartered boat back to festival pier, one of the survivors from Dunkirk and I had to admit to myself that whilst I am not sure I have the emotional stability to deal with such a life in the long run, part of me really, really needs the buzz.

But can I have it all? I think I’ve fallen for someone recently. Indeed for the first time in three years I’ve made it past six months. But my relationship is not without conditions. Of which the main one is that the mother of any children he might have, will be healthy. Which means eating the right food (no inevitable on the run snacking or skipping meals that my sort of job encourages), exercise (difficult when one is tied to their laptop for 12 hours a day) not getting stressed… Failure to achieve these conditions now, even before we have had children causes arguments. So in order to prove that I can do it all, at 8:30pm on Monday night when I finished work, I changed into my gym kit, got off the tube half way home and ran the rest of the way back to my boyfriend’s house in Putney.

I am intelligent enough to realise that this level of strain on my body is not maintainable. I also realise that some would say that it is none of my boyfriends business how I choose to plan my days. But in so many ways, I agree with him. I want the Georgian house, and the three children and… well, we’re still fighting over whether we have a dog or a cat but you get the picture. And I realise that my earning capacity is unlikely to match his for some years. I also want a huge say in the first few years of my children’s life and that would simply not be possible alongside my job.

But to give it up? Oh I wouldn’t miss the stress… but the buzz? So it seems I have to make a decision because I’m really not sure that having it all is possible.

Monday, April 14, 2008

So Many Are Born Average

So many people in this life are average. And yet I still manage to naively thrust greatness upon people before they've shown me that they are worthy of such belief. I am let down time and time and time again.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


August 2007

Sometimes I wonder whether KP ever thinks of me. I mean he must do sometimes? Just like I did a moment ago, when I saw “Staying Alive – real poems for real times” on the table. He bought it for me. I think I’d read about it in the Sunday Times and he sent off for it and proudly presented it to me. He knew he’d “done good”, even though he didn’t understand the impulse to read such matter. He was like that. He aimed to please. The first weekend he came down to stay with me, by the time I’d showered, he’d moved the kitchen table outside into the Springtime sun complete with tulips in a vase and two lots of scrambled eggs and tea. So I’m trying to think what he might still have as a reminder of me. He won’t look at the photo albums of course, they are probably gathering dust in a white drawer in the spare bedroom of his parents house. But he loved two photos that I framed of him and a close friend chatting at dusk in the Bejan sea. I’m sure he’ll still have those and he won’t think of me every time he looks at them…but maybe sometimes, he will.

I try not to think like this any more. But this has been prompted by something else. My first love…the one with whom I listened to Chopin when falling asleep. Our relationship was never easy. We’re too similar, too complex, too in tune with each other. We fought. Vicious attacks taking chunks out of eachother; if I swiped he would swipe harder until we were both a sodden, bloody, mess. But we did love eachother, possibly more than either of us will ever love anyone. But it was painful, all four years of it. And being back in touch and older and wiser, we still have to fight this urge to swipe at eachother. He’s sent me an email. We must decide if we want to be together, to get married, to live happily ever after. Except he knows as I do, that happily ever after would be hard work for us. It could be brilliant, a relationship whereby you are so in tune, you know the other’s thoughts at a precise moment in time. We know why the other swipes, we understand eachother’s reactions, to everything… pretty much… so if we understand, can we learn to behave differently? “Tell me when you have felt most loved by me” he says in his email. This is difficult, because I know he loves me, more than anyone ever has. But I can’t remember a time when that physically manifested itself without any pain. Maybe it’s just too long ago. I remember one time coiled in a ball on his lap after we had split up but were still living together. He was chatting to our flatmate, I was zoned out in my own little world, loved by his long arms wrapped around me and sad because I knew I wanted him to leave nonetheless. Every holiday, every night out… I remember the love but I remember the fights spoiling it time after time after time. And whilst trying to remember when I felt most loved, my mind wondered to KP, and the scrambled eggs. A simple gesture, probably not given with half as much love but certainly given without any pain. And of course it was simpler, because KP didn’t feel any pain, that’s why he didn’t understand me and why my first love does.

But I guess, I want love without pain. I want simplicity. I want scrambled eggs in springtime sunshine and I don’t want rainy clouds destroying it half way through.

The question I can’t answer is “are my first love and I capable of achieving this together?”

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I'm finding it hard to write at the moment. I'm overprotective of my new, three month relationship. It's special, I want it just for me and I don't want to share us.

But I wrote this back in July about My First Love and thought I would share this instead. There is a part two... which I will share in a few days.

July 2007
The fact is I do love him; I always have done and probably always will. I wouldn’t have stomped over old ground by catching the train to Manchester to chat over tea with his mum in the kitchen and remark on how big his little sister has grown if I didn’t. But confused by my motives for coming, he used the open space on the drive to the lakes to question my purpose. And before I could answer, he told me that all he had said last year about how he could definitely envisage having children with me and only me, was no longer true. He was back to not wanting them, he wasn’t ready to marry and he had gotten to a place whereby he saw me as a friend and that was the only reason he could have me to stay with him. I nodded, slightly winded and considered whether I could get him to do a detour to Lancaster station to drop me on the route home. We sat in silence most of the way to Morecombe, which was long enough for him to realise that I was hurt and to start back peddling. He didn’t mean to be harsh, it had taken him five years to get over me and he had only just managed it last year. He viewed me as I had viewed him the year previously, when he had journeyed to see me - driving to London to tell me that he could live without me but his soul couldn’t. He laughed when I reminded him of this speech, “no wonder you ran a mile” he proclaimed. “No, I said, that wasn’t it, I was just getting over somebody else”. We ignored our confusion for the rest of the weekend, we re-visited our caravan tucked away in Ambleside, we ate Tapas in Windermere, which was the place where we sat by the water’s edge six or seven years ago and let the gulls jump for bread. We walked down the pier at Morecombe, his new home and stopped for tea. His choice of home, did not startle me, it made perfect sense. It was how I had envisaged it, knowing him so well. I had been slightly bemused by the cries of “Morecombe is such a dump…you’ll hate it” from my friends but I knew him well enough to know that while he can live in shabbiness, there has to be beauty. And there is beauty in Morecombe, miles and miles of blue sky, it’s a panoramic place, known for its healing properties. The green, calming influence of the lakes on the other side of the bay tells you that you are a million miles from London. And it’s a place of regeneration, half of Morecombe is currently held up by scaffolding, splints repairing the broken bones of the old buildings. There will be a day of glory when the old Art Deco Hotel finally resurfaces and becomes a central point in this slightly shabby but special seaside town. But whether our love can be regenerated, that I don’t know.