Toad Love

20.42 (awake since 6am)

Albeit the building work going on next door home is peaceful. Naoise relaxing watching Clone Wars whilst I type. I should be getting him into bed. On bed is good enough for me. Its been a long and busy day.

Everyaday is a busy day when you have children to look after. Busy is good. I like busy. No time to think is helpful. I think too much. Analysis the minutiae. If you keep moving keep onwards pushing forward there is no time to reflect no time to be sad or paranoid or self obsessed.

The two month cough

You are number 17 in the que please hold the line and your call will be answered As predicted making an appointment took a lot of phone holding and morning task juggling, but bingo I got a time slot and with the super duper female doctor. In a small town everyone knows your business. I bumped into many I knew at the surgery. I chatted with a woman that I hadn’t spoken to since playgroup days. She is very softly spoken. I get distracted and have to check with the receptionists that I haven’t missed my call.

The doctor is kind and efficient, I blow into tubes and have my chest listened too and answer questions about allergies and hay fever and asthma none of which I have ever suffered from. I leave with a prescription for an asthma inhaler and a visit to get my chest x-rayed upstairs.

I make use of the free instant coffee. I am not waiting a moment when I am called in. I take the paper coffee cup with me, I need the caffeine. I feel a little concerned about the chest x-ray. Just procedure. Just a precaution, but I won’t relax properly till I get the results. I am ushered into a tiny cell of a room, with one door in and one door out, an institutional robe rests on a shiny plastic blue chair. I am instructed to remove all my top garments and to put on the robe. I can hear someone else in the room having an x-ray, then it is my turn and the door magically opens. A very young nurse checks my name and date of birth and places me in a strange and uncomfortable position against the metal plates. She asks me to relax and breath in when she says. Its not at all relaxing none of it not the position or the breathing.

I am so sick of this cough. I am so bored of it. Cough medicine and pain killers do not work. I imagine that living in a damp place by a river in a damp house and running on damp hills has been no good for my lungs. Perhaps I just need a rest. Its no fun coughing and weeing simultaneously, but rather a good trick!

I wish me and Naoise were watching something that we both enjoyed, this is a bit sad, him staring at one screen me at another.

Got up


Get dressed

Breakfast disaster do not want to talk about depression, pharmaceuticals and GCSE options first thing.

Make packed lunch

Clear up after them

Pour more coffee

Wash up

Get Naoise dressed

Naoise gets back in bed

I make him raspberry porridge

Get Naoise downstairs

Milk drunk, porridge eaten.

Run to school, slightly late.

Cant be bothered with this list dull dull dull filling screens with meaningless nothing words.

Studio via riding bike along tow path and avoiding human and dog obstacles on way. Geese are all on their nests and very protective and aggressive. Spotted first clutches of ducks. Very sweet. Very tiny and fluffy and darting. Ducks are awfully neglectful mothers, most of  the ducklings will perish. Geese on the other hand are superior parents, dotting, attentive, always present.

At the Studio make some drawings. Tentative work, its been too long without pencil in hand. Marks are shaky and haphazard but I manage the beginnings of something that is ok. I am pleased that I have made a start, no more procrastination. Action. Action. Draw. Draw. Draw. I draw because I am.


Its an interesting process drawing from my own body. Watching, observing trying to draw what I see not what I think I see. A need and desire to put theory into practice. I cannot run a life class and teach without making and creating. Feel greatly relieved and relaxed sharpening pencils, smudging charcoal, looking and looking and not questioning. I play music. Its the best most relaxing thing.


Speed back home along canal. Its up hill on the way back. I had meant to photograph the dead duck that I spotted but I forget and the moment has passed. Instead I encounter two toads making love. The smaller female clinging tight to her man toad. I steal their intimate moments. I am glad that I saw them, that I did’nt squish them under my bike tires. Leaving them I warn other cyclists of their location and tell them to take care of the toads.

Just back in time. Just. I collect Syd from school in the car. Drop him back at home. Syd is excited he is off to The Trades Club tonight to see the Palma Violets, Patrick is taking him and his friend.

I hang out in the playground. Naoise and his friend play with sticks in the willow scrub and swing on the ropes. Hang on branches. We eventually get home at five, and I spend the evening stopping conflict between my Syd and Naoise. I am rather glad when its just me and Naoise, and its too too late now so I need to end this and try not to be such a neglectful parent.




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