Five Minutes Peace

April 7, 2012 at 6:19 am | Posted in books, Childhood, Children, insomnia, Literature, London | 2 Comments
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Blog, I have neglected you. This ends now. I did do well by you in January, but now you lie abandoned in the great internet orphanage/Battersea Dogs’ Home/some other appalling metaphorical place of forsakenment. (Apologies for the antiquated word: but it is rather fitting considering yesterday’s date).

I woke suddenly this morning about five after having a recurring nightmare (I won’t share details, but it involves murder). Too restless to sleep again, I read some blog posts by this lady and this one too. Both made me realise how much I missed writing up my own adventures.

I’ve not had a laptop for ages since my brother ‘borrowed’ mine (hey, at least my diary is password protected), and although I’m hoping to get one, I rather like this funny little QWERTY IPhone keyboard. Sure, the screen is somewhat ambitiously tiny for my shortsightedness, but that’s part of the fun (or something).

The silence this morning is so delicious. I can hear nothing whatsoever apart from, well, that slight buzz of soundlessness you get when you are somewhere very still. Here comes The Desiderata bit (apologies for the link to THAT website, but it was that or businessballs.com…). So much of our lives are consumed by busyness that sometimes we forget how easy it can be to find quietness in the midst of madness. Get up an hour earlier (not easy when you’re knackered, I know), or take ten minutes out of your lunch break to find peace (not of the inner or world variety, just peace, pure and simple). Where I work in Tenterden, it’s amazing how quickly I can find silence just a few minutes after walking out of my shop, even on the high street. You seem to enter a whole new universe which runs in parallel to the craziness of the usual world. The same thing happened to me a few weeks ago in Richmond: a friend and I were en route to a lovely pub, and the further we walked up the hill, leaving the bustle and Bugaboos of the main town behind, the more the soft sounds of nature descended. You have to walk up this hill at least once in your life: the views are absolutely amazing. Plus perving on the abodes of the rich and famous is such an enriching activity.

There’s something so wonderfully expectant about a Saturday, particularly when it is very early and still (not, I should add, when you are rolling out of bed, dry-tongued and hungover). When I am up very early on my favourite day of the week, I always think back to walking over Kew Bridge as the sun comes up, or of sitting outside Waterstones Thanet as a probational bookseller, and reading the terrible eponymous book.

That’s all for now. Je Reviens, as Rebecca’s boat said. And remember: go placidly, folks…

I don’t half love ’em

February 26, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Childhood, family, love | Leave a comment
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I read a very interesting article in today’s YOU magazine about the rise of the half sibling in Britain. I have written about being a quasi only child before, and have also defended my right only to have one child in a 2010 post. But I have not yet written about my siblings Christopher, Kelly and Jools.

They are half-siblings, of course; though the fact that I only share my mother with Chris and Jools and my father with Kelly has never bothered me. The fact that they are all half-siblings makes it less of an issue, perhaps.

That’s not to say there haven’t been issues. My sister Kelly and my mum had, shall we say, a fraught relationship until a few years ago, and all three of my siblings would probably agree that they envy the stable childhood I experienced. But, until the age of 10 or so, I don’t have many memories of my siblings. In fact, I’m closer in age to my my nephews Michael and Tom than any of them, making them seem more like brothers and Chris, Kelly and Jools more like extra parents, or older friends, depending on where I’m at in my life. Jools and Kelly have certainly always offered great advice, particularly when it comes to parenthood and property, having tackled both of those milestones oh so many years before I did.

So for me, it really doesn’t matter that my siblings are ‘only’ half (please don’t call them step – then you will upset me!). I know plenty of people who are ‘full’ siblings and don’t even talk to each other. Perhaps sharing only one parent helps: being that little bit separate biologically has meant that we get on much better than we might have done.

The lardy cake lover returns…

February 8, 2012 at 11:16 am | Posted in Childhood, film, Television | Leave a comment
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I am ridiculously excited about the new Worzel Gummidge film. It was one of my favourite programmes as a child; it made perfect sense to my developing logic that he should have different heads for different occasions. Aunt Sally remains a classic style icon, I think: although she might want to tone down the blusher.

If you’re reading this, Peter Jackson, I’d like to play Aunt Sally. Cheers, see you in the green room.

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