Beneath the covers


Woke up early 5.30am, painful and heavy period,slept heavy. Each day preceding the next seems much the same, ground hog day. The periods are always heavy, I hate them. They don’t make me feel cleansed or in touch with my femininity or anything positive, they are an inconvenience to endure, I look forward to them ending.

Lots of cars on the road, its Monday, back to the normal rush of a routine. I am sitting in bed. Sitting upright, its a nice slow awakening. I wake and I start thinking of words moving across this screen, so no point in resting might as well type them. Twenty minutes set on my phone stop clock, this should be enough, just enough. Its Monday, and the children will be grumpy about getting up and going to school.


I still cannot settle them to sleep early at night. Things need to be better, a better routine. I will buy lavender to dose Naoise bed time bath, he was high as a kite the last. Crakers and cheese and frothy milk and book after book. He snuggles in close with my arm around his little body to finally settle. Syd and him are playing a game of competing for my attentions. It must be frustrating being the elder, having to wait, if only I could get Naoise to sleep earlier, 10pm is just far far far too late for a five year old. Because the children won’t go to bed at the right time, there is no “adult time’. Patrick is good at staying up late, I am not, so usually I say goodnight to him as I put the kids to bed, we don’t get much time together, there are few adult talks at evening time.

The Pexwood Road is long and windy and steep. It is my new workout, I need a hill. Walking it, I think of a film I want to make, based on a film I made of Syd when he was 17 months old. Syd is pushing a toy pram with a dolly in it, bare feet, the summer time, he is pushing the pram outside the front of my house in Prestwich. He finds a slopped path and pushes the pram away from his body, and the pram rolls back towards him, he holds the pram handles and repeats the same action. I could do this, dressed in black with my empty black pram. I’ll show the original footage to Patrick, he can be the camera man.


Walking up the Pexwood Road, I stop to film the black clothes pegs swinging in the wind. I did this the day before and the same cat came to rub its friendly body against my leg. I bend down and stroke it. I hope that the person whose line this is does’nt question me about why I am filming their pegs. It feels very slightly intrusive, but then they are just a line of pegs clipped, I am not doing any harm.

Prior to walking back downhill, I stop on the brow of the hill, by the road that runs back away from me, by the mobile phone mast. I stop and I look into my phone as if a mirror and I film, I stand for just one minute. I will repeat this action until it makes no more sense to do it. A minute feels like a long time.

I can here Syd’s alarm sounding. Its really irritating, he must be awake, he will waken the whole house soon. Patrick is up there hugging Naoise in bed. Oh Syd wake up, wake up, how can you dream through that din. Last night Syd dreamt that we were out on a cliff watching orcas in the sea, but someone was attacked and eaten by one of the orca’s. Syd hardly ever shares his dream stories with me, I hope he shares more. I will record any dreams that I have. Ah at last I hear some movement and the din resides.

A train passes. My mobile phone has disappeared beneath the covers so I have no idea how much more writing is required, this is probably enough. What else is there to say ?  Is there anything else important to mention ?


At the Hepworth Naoise carved a chunk of soap based on a drawing he had made of a Hepworth sculpture. I sat with him and a group of children. He loves art. He loves making and exploring new materials. The chunk that he was working on fell into two pieces, I worried that this might stop his flow, but despite the cruel comments from the other children, he continued, he just worked with what he had and enjoyed.


Me and Patrick take it in turns to look at the exhibition. Syd is moody and grumpy and dismissive and critical and opinionated about everything that he see’s, much to my annoyance and to the amusement of the gallery staff. There is one thing he does enjoy a screen print by Paolozzi. He recounts a story about his dad. My dad knew Paolozzi didn’t he mum, he ate chips with him in a cafe, he went to his funeral.

The mobile phone sounds its alarm.

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