Loving attentiveness


In the studio. Sun shining. Conversations on the street. Just completed writing a very quick workshop proposal. Need to write more, one for the Hepworth. Don’t forget. If I write things down enough I might actually get around to doing them. The idea is to tick items of the list, normally I am lucky if I achieve just one thing. Headless chicken. I am a headless chicken.

Eating crap. Bread. Gluten. Crisps full of sugar and fat. When it is my period I don’t feel like eating good, I want cheese and chocolate and caffeine. I want all the bad. Fill me with bad.

mlplayground22:09:15 losthairband22:09:15

Sluggishly got out of bed. Naoise still asleep. P downstairs making coffee. Try to raise  Syd, who grunts and groans. Make sandwiches for both boys. Try not to be grumpy with P, its hard, I remind him that I feel grumpy and that sometimes he is too. I am grumpy. Lumpy and Grumpy. Take coffee upstairs, remind Syd again to get up.

Go back downstairs, can’t remember. Oh yes had breakfast with P. Cant remember conversation, not sure I wanted one. Syd comes downstairs he is as grumpy as me. P tells him off about bike tools and equipment being left out. I make Syd breakfast, toast and marmite, and a cup of tea. P goes to work. Syd runs around packing his school stuff into bags. Syd eats half of his breakfast and leaves for school. I grab my hug goodbye.

Back to the attic, dress Naoise in a half sleep, cuddle him back in bed for a snooze, he is still tired and needs sleep. Back to middle floor, have shower. Knock on door of my bedroom where guest is sleeping and get knickers and bra. Say good morning to guest, try to be quick and discrete. Get dressed at the top of the stairs outside Naoise room. I have literally no personal space. I have none.

Try to take Naoise downstairs, but he wants more sleep, so I let him rest some more.

Dry hair. Head upside down.

Back downstairs prepare toothbrush, glass of water, shoes, bag, bowl, mug for milk in place.

Back upstairs, Naoise still wants to sleep more.

Back downstairs make Naoise breakfast, toast, very milky tea.

Bring Naoise downstairs even though he could sleep forever. Sit him up in his sleep in his chair.

Present marmite on toast in front of him. He nibbles one slice. He says he is cold. I wrap the blue fleecy blanket around his shoulders. He hunkers down, sips his milky tea. He is still all sleep and no wake.

He says he does not want to eat toast. I am screaming inside its time we left for school, not time to make a different breakfast. I should have said no, but I don’t like my children going to school on empty stomachs so I fetch him some natural yoghurt in a plastic bowl.

Pause to help studio friend remove clay neck from clay head. 

He eats the first bowl of yoghurt and asks for another. Time. Time. Passes we are late, late, late. But when you are late, late, late you might as well go steady and be really, really, late.

Each task seems huge. As he is eating I try to brush his hair which he hates and so stops eating. I then put on socks. He takes off said socks and shoes as they are uncomfortable. I find different socks and we have success with the shoes. Is this not maddening. How fussy is my son. Or is he just particular. I know little things matter to little people but this does drive me mad.

Coat on and we are off, its gone nine. Oh well. We are well and truly late.

He zooms along the pavement on his scooter, as I try to catch him and provide a safe barrier between him and the cars zooming past on the road. The lolly pop man has gone home. I cross the road with another mum who is as late as I am.

Naoise does his loop around the playground, might as well, a few moments more won’t make a difference. As Naoise places his scooter at the back of the school, little children wave at me as they make their way up the school stairs to assembly. I wave back and smile. Late, late, late.

I ring the bell at reception. I usher Naoise towards a teacher and off load his bags on a teaching assistant. All is well. I apologise for Naoise lateness. Its ok.

threesplayground22:09:15 rocketplaygournd222:09:15

Walk home and breath the blue and feel the heat of the sun.

Wrap up picture in brown paper. Drive to post office to get it weighed. Come home, organise courier. Stress about courier. Check all details are correct. I answer a phone call, its Calderdale Adult College, I can’t do resit GCSE maths all the classes are full, the man says I can do it next year. Next year. Another year to wait. I am trying to increase my employability, a D in Maths is no good, I might retrain as a primary school teacher as I am worried abut my future as an artist. Its not paying the bills and I need to pay the bills. I don’t want to remain stuck.

Receive another call from Todmorden High School requesting that I drop off the medicine that Syd has forgotten. Receive a text from Shade School requesting that I drop off Naoise lunch. Naoise has his lunch, its in his bag. I ring the school and tell them that his lunch is in his bag. AHHHHHHHH is it not surprising that I never get anything done with all these jobs to do and lives to pick up I have no time for my own.

Try to print out labels at Tod library, but its closed. Get cold sore cream from supermarket. I am run down. Too much running around.

I make my own lunch. I leave the house. I drive to Hebden Bridge. I park at the studio, walk to Hebden Bridge library but thats closed too. I send P a message and see if he can print out my labels. I think about how much we need a printer in working order, but nothing is ever that simple, ink costs money and we are out of money this month.

At the studio. I make coffee, and write one art proposal. Its ok. Its ok. Phew. Phew. I tick off some things on the list.

Need to stop writing what I have done.

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