The first run of autumn

10.51 am


Wake up 6am. Woke up throughout the night with by Naoise long toe nails scratching against my leg. At 6.30am Syds alarm sounds, he has to be off early today as he is going on a rewards trip to Alton Towers and has to be at his school by eight. The night of restless sleep was partly down to me knowing I had to make sure that he got up this morning.

<Sip coffee, sound of washing machine and birds in the yard, a sunny day>

Wash up dishes from the night before including a saucepan full of horrid grease, least its only oil from frying vegetarian sausages. Make tea for me and Syd. Get breakfast for me and Syd, he can do it himself but I like to make sure he eats plenty first thing. I hate for him to leave the house without a proper breakfast.


Get Naoise out of bed, he has had an accident in the night so he needs a shower. Put Naoise in shower. Collect clean laundry from downstairs, sort out clean laundry on bed. Sort it out into piles belonging to my people. Neat piles of satisfaction. I like making piles but I hate putting away. Collect all dirty crockery from upstairs. Get Naoise out of the shower.

We both dry our hair on the bed and then Naoise applies hair gel and hair spray to try and style his fair and fine locks. Its very funny watching him looking in the mirror and how he mirrors his brothers behaviour. Naoise talks to me about his sore knee sustained through a football injury at school, about how his girlfriends looked after him. He talked about doing a rare save, one of his best friends had been admiring his skills, I could see that this pleased him. He came home yesterday with a sticker on his top saying that he had done excellent work. He seems to be loving school. I know its early days but its good that things seem positive and easy.


Syd is pleased with his time table and the opportunity to use the music room facilities three times a week. I am so pleased he took the music option, hopefully it will bring him joy and help him to manage the academic subjects. He also has the history teacher he wanted, so some good within the in-between.

It was a nightmare getting Naoise out of the house this morning. At the last moment in the middle of eating his cornflakes he became obsessed with having to take a packet of tissues to school rather than folded toilet paper. Oh how I screamed inside with frustration, especially as it was quarter to nine and we should have been left the house for school and he was sitting on the top bunk refusing to go to school unless I drove to the local shop and bought him a pack of tissues. The call to his dad did not help at all. He was all for refusing. Over tissues. He does have a runny nose. He is so particular in character. I felt controlled by his demands for tissues. I felt my anxiety rising, I tried to remain calm. I eventually got him to go to school, but only because I found a half used packet on his bedroom floor. It was a relief of a find.

I scrambled to put his shoes on his feet as he ate his cornflakes. We zoomed down the road. I ran he scootered. He did a circle of the playground, then waited for his friend ben, then stalled the process of going to school further by messing about with the arrangements of scooters in the scooter park. His friends gave up waiting for him. Today I was pleased to be kissing him goodbye. I hate it when he gets so particular about little things. Lastly he complained that I had placed his tissue packet into his coat pocket instead of his trouser pocket. Oh me oh my, when eventually he did get into the front door of school I raised my arms in the air in jubilation. Thank goodness for school. It is my saving grace, my sanity.


Today I went for a run. I thought that I had forgotten how to run. Its been so long since I have been able to break free. I went for one run with P in cornwall but that was over six weeks ago. I walk up the Pexwwod Road, I need to ease myself in. I can’t start with a sharp incline. I have to wake up to the day. I see blackberries, honey suckle, rose hips, the shadow of foxgloves, tall, brown, dying, stalks, I see how the summer clings to the beginning of autumn. I see fat lambs in fields now separated from their mothers. I see mothers without their lambs, they have stopped calling for their lost babies now and they eat. The sheep have been shawn of their wool.

I walk and then when I meet the ridge I run. I run in-between the thistles and the sheep shit and the sheep. I run slowly down the hill to the stile. I am running. I am running. I can do it. I can do it. I run past the field where I shared a picnic with my friend and her children and played pretend dinosaurs. It was warm that day, I remembered feeling the heat of the sun on my face. I remembered feeling happy spending time with her and the children. The dreamy days of summer that last for ever, that we wish to come and then wish to be over so we can all return to our routines and work.


My back aches from the run, but I don’t mind feeling sore from activity. My head feels so much better when I can run and exercise. I hate to be slow. I am lumpy and bumpy and a little over weight after the summer I ate too many ice creams and things with sugar. I am trying to be struck but its boring to do without cake and chocolate and treats. I put most weight on at the weekends, maybe I should go t-total for a while, see how awake I become without the comfort of drink.

Back home I am pleased that the bin men haven’t come to collect the recycling.

Sort and put out recycling. Empty washing machine. Sort out two loads of washing. Load first wash of soiled pants into machine, add extra powder and stain removing agent. Wash up dishes after breakfast.

The washing machine is working its way though the pants.

Outside the colours of autumn, pink, brown, purple of heather, yellowing leaves, some already fallen. Clouds shifting across the hill. Syd has made up a lovely new song, he was playing it to me this morning ” money don’t bring you good” can’t remember the second line but I like it a lot. He is a deep thinking sensitive boy, such good company, never a boring day with him.

The buzzer on the oven clock sounds. I will enjoy collecting Naoise from school today and having time to play after school. I am glad that it is the weekend. I am glad that the weekend will begin and end. I am glad that our time as a family is dictated by times together and times apart, we appreciate each other more that way and I keep hold of my sanity.


Laurie Anderson: Capitalism is a disaster for human relations, The Guardian, 10th September, 2015

We walk together: A Syrian family’s journey to the heart of Europe,¬†Video by John Domokos, The Guardian, 10th September 2015


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