Mars Bar Breakfast

16:10pm (On the train back from Manchester)

Train etiquette. I have forgotten about this, about how to navigate the adult world. It is black. Stare at screens. Excuse me. Gates. Barriers. Ticket. Check.

I got caught between the bus doors as I was jumping off to avoid the que of traffic caused by road works and the tory party conference at the Midland Hotel. Why oh why did they have their conference in Manchester? To rub our noises in it? Why did they bring their nasty ideas to my home city? Least we protested. Least we showed our dissent. The people of the north are beautiful and outspoken and we don’t like our visitors. The blue go home today, after racist words, after cruel policies with no thought to the poor, the vulnerable or the disenfranchised.

I hate this government and we are only at the start, the monopoly game has just begun. Life under the conservatives is uncertain. I just saw a post on my Facebook wall a picture of potatoes at a food bank, that was all there was, just potatoes. This is all wrong and cruel and sickening and I am left with an image of Van Gogh’s The Potatoe Eaters in my mind.

Make up. Coats. iPads.

My friend is looking after Naoise. She collected him from school. I need to get back for my friend and collect Naoise from her so that she can get out, and do what she needs to get done. I was glad to leave the conference. There is only so much listening that can be done. It was good to be a listener without the pressure to talk and partake.

Striped shirt. Gold jewellery. Head phones. Adults not communicating just commuting. Zoning out. Black leather bags.

A little girl with a doll dangling from her hand is waiting with her mum on the platform. A teddy bear rucksack on her back.

Whistle blows. Sounds the trains movement.

The little girl dances around the lamp post. She must be about four.

Tower buildings. Regeneration. Flats named after the suffragists. Sylvia, Emmeline, Crystabell.

Social housing. North Manchester.

Buddleia. Willow. Silver birch. Nature clinging to the edges of the wild but the rails.

Razor wire.

A burnt out car.

Beer Barrels

Overhead Electric Wires

There was no time to capture the rocket on the playground tarmac. There was no time to think today.

I ate a mars bar for breakfast. I shouldn’t have stayed up till midnight staring at screens, and waiting for P to finish work. Work. Work Work. Work does not make you free.I ate a mars bar breakfast because it felt naughty and I found it easier to pass over 65p rather than £1.35 for the more healthy alternative minuscule flapjack. The flapjack possibly does contain as much sugar and fat as the mars bar. Who cares. I am in adult space and in adult space I feel like a child again, and the kids cannot see that mum is rebelling.

P is always at work. Coding. Burning his eyes out. He could right a year long blog Dads stories, it would be good to have his perspective. Dependency on one income is not good for me or P.

This is the adult world. The paid worker. The commuter. Speeding. Trying not to touch another human. Constantly at work even when on the train.

No sunlight all grey.

Syd sends me a text asking when I will be home. He is not used to being at home alone after school  . I was a latch door kid. I was able to survive on toast and tea and tv company. I liked the freedom of the house to myself. It was lonely though. Having brothers and sisters did not make up for my parents not being around. I would have loved to have come home to mum.

I need to remember how privileged I am. I have been lucky to have been at home to welcome my children, but it is not sustainable for our family to survive on one income alone. We have somehow survived but the tipping point has been tipping for too long. Under this government we will have no choice but to work harder than ever and see our children less.


Exhibition seeks to open debate on childbirth, Dani Garavelli, Saturday 3rd October, The Scotsman

Chantal Akerman, pioneering Belgian film director and theorist, dies aged 65, Catherine Shoard, Tuesday 6th October, The Guardian


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