Sheets of rain

7.50am ( sitting under blankets on the sofa)

There are sheets of rain. Heavy rain. Rain that literally drenches. Rain the soaks the valley. Rain that makes everything sodden and muddy and grey and damp.

The washing machine spins the dirty sheets from Naoise bed and beeps at me that it has completed its cycle. Beep, beep, beep.

I attend to the machine. Pull out wet things, put back in the dinosaur motif duvet and the white sheet, select tumble dry cottons, close the door.

Everything is dripping. Damp seeps into the house. Beside the bed where me and Naoise sleep there  is a large patch of black mold. I wipe it clean, but the black patch persists. I know it can’t be good for our lungs but what can I do. The whole of the valley is damp with moisture. The damp seeps into the stone. The damp lingers. When the cold comes the combination of damp and freezing will hurt my bones.

I tidied Naoise bedroom. I picked up plastic piece after plastic piece, ordered and sorted. Penguins from pick up a penguin, monkeys in green, red, orange, blue from the balancing tree game, lego star wars figure, lego weapon, lego brick, a pen, some staples, top trump cards, a book, plastic bands. An amazing jumble of plastic fantastic. I found the floor. The floor covered in dust balls tumbling. I brushed the floor, I wiped the floor. Changed the sheets on the bed.

It is very dull sorting, ordering and cleaning, but the disgusting mess has to be tamed. It is just depressing to leave in squalor.

P’s dad and sister are visiting on Thursday, so by then the whole house needs to be fit for a king to visit. I have my work cut out for me.

Naoise sleeps. P sleeps. Syd is at his dads, he sent me a message, the busking went well, despite the miserable weather he managed to play and make some money. He loves an audience and gratification.

The newspapers and Facebook feeds are full of commentary about the terrorist attacks in France. There are clever thoughtful comments. The best ask for us to pray for humanity. To remember all lives lost in acts of terror where ever in the world those people maybe. What is reported and what is not? What stories are told, what remains untold?

The cars passing on the road whoosh up the wet water as they pass the front of our house.

The washing machine chugs.

I am lost for anything much to say.

Re-think posting my research here, I forget that this document is as much a resource and record for me as well as being for others. When you feel hurt, you don’t want to share you want to hide and hold it all in.



The seven ages of an artist, Laura Cumming, Sunday 15th November, The Guardian

Breast Feeding, Parenting, Mental Health:

Two in five new parents experience mental health issues, poll finds, Haroon Siddique, Tuesday 10th November 2015, The Guardian

Antenatal depression affects men too, Tim Lott, Friday 16th October 2015, The Guardian

I’m not a ‘Nipple Nazi’, I’m a breastfeeding counsellor, Kim Lock, Friday 27th March, 2015, The Guardian

My friend breastfed my baby, Elisa Albert, Saturday 14th March, 2015, The Guardian

Sanchita Islam on mothers and mental health: ‘Women suffer visions in silence’, Mary O’Hara, Tuesday 16th June, 2015, The Guardian

Mothers who breastfeed are 50% less likely to suffer postnatal depression, Charlie Cooper, Wednesday 20th August 2014, The Independent

Teaching Nigel Farage the fine art of breastfeeding, Jonathan Jones, Monday 8th December 2014, The Guardian






Soggy Saturday

10.14 am (at the table in the front room daydreaming out the window)

It is strangely quiet for a Saturday morning, the washing machine is churning its way through yet another pile of washing. Always reliable. Always comforting to hear the cycle. I slipped Naoise snuffly pillow into the wash. He is at the Incredible Edible Young Farmers group, my dear friend took him to squelch in the muck and fun. The sunnily pillow was smelling rancid and the corner that he sticks up his nose had turned to black, it posed a serious health threat to Naoise beautiful fait skin and my nose!

I am horrified by the news. I cry. The news of the Paris terror attacks. What has become of us? All this hate all this war all the blood spilled and lives lost. What for?

We need to care for each OTHER we all need mother love to succeed. We all need understanding and compassion and connection. We all need emotional connection. We don’t need violence and war. We need peace. All the innocent lives lost. All the children born of woman and womankind. Only kindness can prevail. It is so easy to want to react with anger.

I am lost for anything much to say. I slept beyond five which is great, I feel much more relaxed. Syd has gone to his dads for the weekend, and will be busking at the Christmas Markets. I asked that he get his dad to take a photograph for me.

I cleaned and polished his school shoes, they were sodden and covered in mud and grime from walking wet pavements. I like to show Syd love through small acts of maintenance.

I drew pregnant bodies squirting milk into bodies made of towering breast totems. I made drawings that suggested actions and growth and renewal. I actually drew. Leaving the computer at home was a good thing. I got physical work done. I made marks. I rehearsed marks. I decided that the ink and pen drawings are more powerful than the permeant pen drawings. The line is less predictable, and the ink protrudes from the surface. The line has physicality.

The washing machine is reaching its crescendo. I must record and document all my research on the representation of Breastfeeding and the work on Post Natal Depression and Mental health in parents of young children. I don’t have to share everything. I don’t have to put it all here. I can keep things back just for me.

I feel very disappointed after failing to get the  job as Breast Feeding Peer Support Coordinator I want to protect me and my knowledge. I want to curl up in a nest. Hibernate a while.


‘Babies? An impossible dream’: the millennials priced out of parenthood, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, Saturday 14th November, The Guardian