First days of the dreaded dark months.

7.59am (sat on the sofa under blankets)

Its foggy outside. There are cars passing on the main road. The washing machine is silent. I put on a wash around six when I got up for a glass of water and I fed it dirty clothes then. Its still. Its done its job. Its having a rest.

I went back for an hour or so. I am struggling to adjust to the clock changes, my body wants to wake up to the old time.

The front room is full of halloween clutter, a bag of dressing up clothes, a cyberman mask. The front room definitely needs de-cluttering it resembles more of a garage than a living space. Its a dumping ground for bags and coats and muddy shoes. The front door opens in on it.

I am dreaming up a day to celebrate this project. A listening day. I want to read extracts from each of the ten months. I want to read to people one to one. Get some feedback from them. I want it to be a time that I can read back, reflect and move forward. Get feedback from the listeners about how to make this project participatory. I have my own ideas but they are fixed, its good to keep things fluid. Find the unexpected.

I left a warm bed and a small boy. P tucked him in with me last night after we returned from the halloween party. I had wanted to sleep alone, it wasn’t worth making a fuss late at night though. I enjoy cuddling my little boy. I know he will grow quickly and then one day he won’t want me to cuddle him at all. He will want to push me away, laugh and ridicule me, question my authority, look at me with disgust. However understanding and kind and gentle I try to be he will challenge.

Its good having a small boy and a teenage boy. This age gap gives me some perspective. I know that my days of cuddles, and play and gifts from the playground are limited. I know that this is the golden time. These primary years are all fun. All together.

I still can’t bear to throw away the two last nappies that live in the bathroom cupboard. Naoise and his friend still like to dress up and pretend to be babies, they would miss them too if I threw them out. They will of cause one day be unable to put them on.

The cot in our bedroom is dismantled but still awaits a listing on eBay. I am so terribly slow at getting stuff out of the house. I hold on. I need to let go of these relics of early motherhood.

The half term holiday has passed too quickly. I have enjoyed the slow of the day. Not having to do the school run. Not having to keep to a schedule.

We all walked out together on the hills yesterday. Up, up and up and along the high ridge above Walsden. The path made of stone. The pack horse path. We saw strange ectoplasmic fungus, some donkeys and horses. No other people. Just us. Its good just to walk, all of us together. Its hard to find together time now that Syd is a teenager he just wants to be with his friends and if he isn’t with his friends he is counting down the hours and minutes till he can hang with them.

The fog is beginning to lift, I can see across the road, up the hill. I can see the leaves drooping, struggling to hang on. I can’t see the top of the hill that is still cloaked in the blanket of fog.

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My head is fog. A foggy hangover of too much cider drunk. Halloween evening began with a can of cider at the working mans club. A can of cider drunk outside watching the children in their costumes run from street to street knocking at doors and asking for sweets. It was a good evening. Our gang of mums dressed as witches and vampires with knives sticking through heads and children as skeletons, monsters, ghouls, and nasties went home with bucket loads of sugar and even coins from a kind mans jar.

Research

I didn’t think it was much fun at the time but now I miss my children’s early years, Liz Frazer, Saturday 31st October 2015,

Germaine Greer: still fiery, still outspoken: the feminist lioness, Sunday 1st November 2015, Geraldine Bedell, The Guardian

What ancient Egypt tells us about a world without religious conflict, Ahdaf Soueif, Friday 30th October, The Guardian

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