I no longer push the pram

7:10 am

Light a candle. Light a candle in my heart. A morbid week in the news, perhaps it is always so, a violent world. All the sleepers sleep. It is Sunday and it is quiet, with only an occasional car passing on the road. The gas fire on and sitting in my onesy. It was snug snug snug in bed, Naoise so warm and cuddly, hard to leave the nest of duvets and bodily heat.


I no longer push the pram. The black pram which is the same age as Sydney resides in the cellar. It occasionally is bought out for a shopping trip into Tod. Naoise can walk there but he struggles with the return mile. Is this blog relevant now that my children are older. I read Lena’s blog Friday records. Its full of the intensity of caring for a baby. I remember, I remember. I cannot go back though. I wished I had recorded it in such vivid records as hers. Is it relevant to write about my maternal experiences now that my children are older ? Its not as intense. I am not with a child all the time, caring all the time. I walk out alone. I am so enjoying the aloneness. It is what I felt starved of when I was caring for Naoise at home everyday. Each day slipping one into the next.

All this walking out up the hill. Trying to loose weight, the weight of mother love. The weight of cake consumed in comfort.


My period has started. It has started with a fine trickle, I await the gush. My back was sore with it. Yesterday I felt snappy and impatient. Sydney was full of lots of “oh my gods”, teenage angst and I was all grumpy with my period starting. I loose all my patience. They are always shocked. All my men and boys. I hate being the only woman in a house of men. My cat used to provide some female company, but now she is a box of ashes sitting on the book shelf. I like that she still lives in the house even as dust and ashes. I’d like to make her a cat shaped urn to rest in. The cat shape urn joins a long to do list.


I found a home movie of Syd as a four year old dancing naked in my high heel shoes; “who are you pretending to be ? ”  I asked him ” oh, Helen”, he replied. The movie is so so sweet. He taps with the heels on the floor, shuffles around, delights in the shoes. I guess I am being sentimental. Sentimental about time past. I would have liked to have shared this film, but I do think of Syd, I don’t think he would thank me for sharing naked films of him here. Some things have to remain private.

I’ve rejected Sylvia again, the next entry isn’t until 20th January. She can wait. I should find some words by Anne Sexton. I should find some other words.

My head feels a blank. It is still dark outside and the street lights are on.

Naoise had his crystal confiscated by a dinner lady on Friday. He had liked to keep the crystal in his coat pocket and play with it at break times. I guess everything is too dangerous these days. Once as a child I took a magnifying glass into school and delighted in burning grass and leaves with the power of the sun. No one ever noticed. Naoise was so concerned that he wouldn’t be reunited with his crystal, I tell him it will be ok, we will get it back on Monday.

I want to take a picture of him with two crystals held up against his eyes. I want to do this too. I will get Patrick to help. Patrick is a good accomplice. Yesterday whilst out walking he took photographs for me. I wanted him to be in the picture too but he didn’t want that. I am not sure he totally approves of all this recording. He likes his privacy. Thats ok, my main focus I guess is how I view life, how I look out onto it, within it. He is so much a part of it though. He is good at looking after children, and I am clear that I want to acknowledge his part in things, in our family life. Are you reading this Patrick ? What do you think ? What do you think of what I say ?

A blank. Its getting lighter now. I pour some tea and sip it but it is cold and horrid and stewed. It was our last tea bag, so its coffee from now on.

Maybe there isn’t much to say today. Maybe I am stuck. There is no child at my breast. There is no child in a pram. There are only sleepers as I write. Perhaps I should have stayed asleep, dreaming, something there in my dreams worth writing about. The sky lightening is a prussian blue. Now I remember I was going to write about my parents. My parents in Scotland. In their remote house on the bog on the north coast, they are still without electricity. Still plunged into dark and without a cup of tea. All the food in the freezer defrosted and wasted. They go to bed early, have baths to keep warm. I ring them twice a day. They have now been without power since Thursday. Since the storm. The wind must have howled. Howled around their cottage. It knocked down the wall in the garden. A wild and angry and powerful wind. I think of how they have missed all the horrid news, that is good. I think of them eating sandwiches and sitting around candles, of doing nothing and waiting. It is good to wait, to be patient. I am not always patient. Being without electricity must be no fun at all, not after two days. There is nothing that I can do to help but check in on them. Far to far away.

Yesterday, after watching how to Train a Dragon Two, Naoise decided to draw marks on my legs, as I got ready for bed. The marks were  meant to be like those of that the  old lady made on the forehead of the main boy character in the film, when he became the leader, when he became the leader of the tribe, when his dad died. Am I a leader Naoise ? Am I the leader of your tribe ? I crawl to bed with smudgy black marks adorning my legs.


The buzzer hasn’t sounded but I don’t want to share anymore.








  • Louise Clarke

    Love this Helen, my Greg sees the other side we are a house with ome man and three females, even the dog is female. It would be lovely to do a collaboration from both perspectives

  • Eti Wade

    I just love reading your stories, Helen, they seem so simple and straightforward and in fact they are but the issues are so weighty and complex, they are so relevant to my life and therefore I read in total absorption and find pleasure in so many things you mention. Thanks for doing this.
    The only thing is that I feel your sadness and I hope it doesn’t last for too long, I’m sure it wont. I feel this way sometimes and then it’s gone and I’m full of new energy, ideas and drive. I suppose what I so can’t do is create in that state. I think this makes what you are doing even more important. Big hug. Eti

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *