Good morning! I’ve been at my Chromebook since 8:15 am. The kids have had Easter eggs for breakfast, the eldest is packing to go away with school for a few days and no one, NO ONE can find any Selotape in the house for Logan’s rocket. It’s been a ride.
Amongst all the chaos I’ve managed to write around 3,000 words. I’m trying to focus on smaller submissions to bring my publications CV up to date a little. However, creativity on demand is hard going. I had no idea there were so many phenomenal independent magazines, journals and periodicals in the UK alone. This afternoon looks like research (reading), fresh air and more chocolate.
In other news, I’m worried about Will Smith. I don’t condone violence and he had no right to slap Chris Rock at the Oscars. It was a dumb move which shrouded his much-deserved Oscar win with a monumental shadow.
The conversation around comedians and where to draw the line in terms of personal attacks is also an interesting one. I’ve been reading Will’s recent autobiography and put it down again twice as his insistence on reiterating his struggle with cowardice towards his father caught me off guard. Reading about it felt like it concluded every paragraph in the book. I suppose the reader gets a sense that power and ego has been a struggle his whole life.
The Red Table Talk between Will and Jada, to me felt completely unnecessary and potentially signalled the start of Will’s unravelling. Recently Jada posted a short video of Will being pissed off that she had just started filming him while asking for help with their marriage to some guru dude – again, to what end?
I’m likely talking out of my arse because who really knows what goes on behind closed doors and backstage? I’d just be gutted that a brilliant actor might throw in the towel.
How are you spending Bank Holiday Monday? Probably not worrying about Will.
It’s #WorldPoetryDay and who doesn’t love an opportunity to pour their heart out on the page?
I Cannot Sit
Soaring, I love you and want to consume your every fibre, soak it up like sun rays on Sundays on the water front. Swallows darting overhead, carefree and playful.
Rock bottom it’ll never last, two worlds collide but the gravitational pull loses momentum and we drift apart on different trajectories, narrated by that professor off the telly.
Opportunities rise like Spring flowers through the dirt. A sense of worth and renewed vigour to achieve and thrive. Feeling good, confident, ready.
The cracks appear and they’re not filled with roses but sharp stabbing pains of self doubt and anxiety. What do I contribute? Why does it even matter?
My legacy grows, fed on knowledge from the four corners of the earth, pixelated, vibrant, loud. Morning, noon and night, plugged in, switched on.
As it’s eyes turn square and it no longer responds to human touch, I dream a preview of the 2D future to come. What use are hands if all we grasp is a cold, plastic controller and not each other?
I instil love, compassion and creativity yet do not practise what I preach. Empty words, spoken with tenacity and vibrancy, but mean nothing. Sure, yes, of course. Nothing.
I have performed miracles. I have changed, adapted and shifted to accommodate life, death and everything in between. I have lived.
The shell and the burden I carry is scarred and heavy. Scrawled with my stories and minute details, my contours, shapes and angles are not what I see in the mirror. I see hurried conversations, chances missed and regrets.
I am a legacy. Repeating history, following suit. If three is the magic number, I want 4. If 4, then I want five.
It is time to sit. To take a seat and bathe in all that went before me. It will suffocate and choke. It will pour deep into my lungs and draw every last breath from my chest.
If I hold on, just hold on, grip the seat, I will make it to the shore and I will sit and look out at a new horizon, full of promise, integrity and meaning.
‘Washed up’ they’ll say. Cleansed, I will correct them.
New Year was truly lovely, but saying goodbye to 2020 has taken an extra 72 hours.
I celebrated New Years Eve with my boyfriend, lots of lovely food, cocktails delivered from a fab local bar and a kick ass playlist. We counted down on the door step, in the rain watching the neighbours firework display across the road. We clinked glasses, kissed, took some pics and went inside to resume kicking/heading balloons around and drinking champagne. It was perfect.
Waking up 6 or so hours later, it didn’t feel like a fresh start. It felt like Friday. A normal, run of the mill day in tier 3. We cleaned up. Okay, he cleaned up. We went for a wander along the waterfront and did some laundry. He napped. The whole weekend has felt much the same. We watched films, cooked, cleaned up, went for walks and covid tests, showered, etc. All very samey.
It’s now Sunday, and tomorrow feels like a brand new start. What is it about Mondays? The kids are home. Work emails have restarted, I’ve considered ironing some uniforms, although no one knows what will happen in terms of schools re-opening. Does anyone believe anything the government say anymore?
I’m ready for 2021. I’m excited. Nervous, but overall excited. I feel like I need to write. There are words and ideas swirling around in my brain, desperate for a creative outlet. A portion of this has been spent creating shorthand and portfolio study aids for my students during the festive break. Transcribing football press conferences, Oscar winners speeches and celeb interviews certainly breaks up the more traditional ‘ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to this council meeting’ openers!
The prospect of travel, new career opportunities and a little personal growth is keeping my spirits up. My boyfriend and I had booked to go to Rome when lockdown 1 began. Travel plans grounded, we managed 4 fantastic days away in Scotland in the summer instead. This year I’m hoping I’ll finally get to see Thomas Keats’ final resting place, as well as the ancient architecture and delicious Italian cuisine!
Work wise – things are mega busy this month. My first cohort of journalism students sit their final exams in late January and fly the nest! It’s foot firmly on the gas until then, however, post 22nd January, I’ve no idea what will be. Will there be bank hours available? Will I be out of the job? Who knows? I am loving teaching but I understand that education isn’t an option for as many people, given the year we’ve had, and so application numbers will be down. Gulp.
I have kept my hand in. I was published with Explore Liverpool last month. Fellow Evertonian and all round fundraising legend, Phill Hayward has embarked on a year long challenge to support Wirral Mind. Naturally I want Phill to get as much support and donations as possible so we organised an interview and hey presto! You can read his story here.
New Year Resolutions never work out for me. I lack discipline. It’s something that holds me back from achieving my ill thought out goals, and by January 3rd, I’m usually done. This time I haven’t set any goals, until January 3rd, so I’m already winning, right?
Inspired by the one and only Dawn O’Porter – whose excellent list of 2021 to-do’s had me nodding and smiling in agreement, this is where I’m going to be in December 2021.
1 – Yes! It’s a massive cliche, but I will be lighter, fitter and healthier. You can’t outrun/cycle a bad diet and being hot at 40 is rapidly approaching! Body overhaul time.
2 – Sleep more. I love my bed and this one sounds pretty easy, but in order to get more than 5 hours, I must be more organised. Double whammy. Sleep app redownloaded!
3 – Read more books. Another double bubble here, because in order to turn more pages, I simply have to put my damn phone down. I have no less than 14 books to read and it’s only January!
4 – Stop swearing. I would fit right in on any turn of the century docklands with my overuse of the f-word and co. It’s unbecoming and I will instead expand my vocabulary to be more ‘Susie Dent’.
5 – Write a book. I’ve been threatening this for years. I’ve attempted it a few times and lost confidence. Published in 2021 sounds good.
6 – Clean and wear my glasses regularly. It’s not rocket science. I can’t see. Don’t know why I make it so difficult for myself.
7 – Learn to play Z Cars on the piano.
8 – DON’T dye my hair. I have been going steadily silver for about 10 years. In August 2020 I decided to stop dying my hair. This is the longest I’ve ever gone and I currently have about 3 inches of white/silver hair. I’ve come this far. 2021 will not break my resolve!
So that’s it. Come December 2021 I will be a fit and healthy, white haired, well read, well rested, published piano playing author with clean lenses. Who’s with me?