Monday, 29 December 2008

Lost in the depths of leftovers, an extra layer round my waist and an overriding need to make each day special for the children. As each day passes the crackling excitement of Christmas chips at the edges just a little more, so that even today's trip to the panto did not reach quite the expected height on the ho ho ho'meter - probably because I refused to buy a flashing, strobe, glowing plastic thing to swing around and agitate the epileptic among the audience.

I can no longer force my youngest to behave well with the threat of Father Christmas watching him, so have to employ the more traditional raised eyebrows and the, obviously, very rarely used raised voice. Which means we are slipping out of that lovely protective Christmas bubble that made the days so special, and back into ordinary life which means washing, cleaning, shopping and writing...Well, this is a start. My computer taunts me to get going on my story plan and required 30 pages before the start of term, but my mind is as empty as the kids stockings before they FINALLY went to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Please do send me ideas, if you have a great one but can't be bothered to write it....

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Very dangerous to post after night of too much wine, but celebration in itself as spent in the company of people I would choose to be with. Actually quite an achievement after 18 months in the wilderness that is Cornwall. Finished first part of MA - race to finish line, obviously, otherwise what's the point? Feel slightly detached and not exactly of this world...all normal then.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

A surreal day. Big plans to write a novel in the morning. Big plans to write a TV script in the afternoon. Home to real life. Feed kids. Take one to ballet. Nip to Sainsbury's. Back to full on house. Bedtime routine x 4. All quiet now to write - except it's tomorrow. Time ran out...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Blogging. The whole blasted concept of blogging is still one I am struggling with. I have spent the best part of a week clearing up after one end or another of my various children's anatomy, added my own to the mix yesterday and I am thinking in those quiet moments - this will be good for my blog! Why? No-one reads it and the few that do - me - knows what's going on anyway! Is it helping anyone? Do please comment (note to self).

I have to do this, it's part of my course - practice writing every day, they said. I would like to practice not writing. I used to go running, have fun with my kids, do stuff - now I sit here eating the kids' fizzy sugary snakes while I write, or worry what to write.

I'm not really complaining. I will be bereft when the course finishes - maybe I will become a true blogger then as no one will be reading my work but I can kid myself a whole secret cyber world is hanging off my every cleverly constructed sentence. Wondering whether I am going to use a Latin or an Olde Worlde Englishe rooted verb.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Missed first and only session of college. Trials of sick children - it must have been all that advent calendar chocolate. My five year old is fascinated by his vomit but says he'd like it to stop now. So would I, but I rather think it will make its way through the other 3 children then me - naturally, this is the short run up to handing in my portfolio of work for my first term. Husband away for a week, work staring at me like an unclimbable mountain, and kids start to vomit - of course it's all going to go tits up...

Monday, 1 December 2008

Worry of the weekend for a five year old boy: will there be enough time on Monday morning to open the Advent calendar AND go to school. Thankfully, we managed to do both. My worry of the weekend: same five year old who moved from London to Cornwall 16 months ago told me his brother was being nah-stee to him. You have to read that with a slow Cornish drawl to appreciate it.

As well as attempting to be a maturing student bringing up 4 kids on a tight budget, we are, all of us, adjusting to our new life in Cornwall. Despite almost the entire Cornish population's dim view of our former home, we had a good time there. Admittedly we lived in leafy part of town; we were minutes by train to Victoria or London Bridge yet lived in an area surrounded by playing fields. We had no complaints about our life, the children had a healthy mix of friends from different backgrounds and cultures. We walked to the local school, enjoyed being part of the community local to us and relished the variety that London offered. We could be in town within minutes and spent many happy Sundays on the South Bank. The boys loved the trains and the girls liked to watch the people, and go to Wagamamas. We would often go to the Tate Modern - the boys spent many happy half hours rolling down the entrance to the turbine room. We would walk along the wobbly bridge to St Pauls and either do the circuit back across Tower Bridge or catch a train from Blackfriars.

Leaving our friends was the hardest part. I had my babies there and we went through a lot together. We are making new friends but in the early months I would see people and think for a second they were old friends, until I realised they just looked like them. Now I see people and recognise them as friends, which makes me feel more at home here. We've all found that - we miss people, but we  have found people. The children are so much more resilient than their parents and have slipped into Cornish life easily, worryingly so! I'm not sure I am ready to embrace the accent quite yet.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

What happened to weekends?

Once upon a time, a weekend was time to catch up with my family, lazy lie-ins or at least not a dash to the door with children, book-bags, packed lunches and unbrushed teeth. Now weekends are filled with - yep, be there in a minute; I just need to write this; just five more minutes; please, just leave me; sorry, sorry; it's just a year.

But, secretly, I love it. I have spent the weekend researching land girls in Cornwall for a story idea, writing about an old lady who doesn't know she has died and another lady who killed her husband with fry-ups! Children? We made a fire, they ate, they played together and no one shouted too  loudly. Husband? He's here the kitchen, with the kids, doing all the things I used to do. It's only for a year!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Thoughts so far, six weeks into MA on professional writing

Why, aged 40 something, with four young children, a husband who is freelance and works overseas intermittently, in fact works intermittently, why would I want to do this? Because I always believed I could write, at least more creatively and engagingly than a persuasive letter to the council or a plea to have car parking ticket revoked (unsuccessfully, as it happens).

Fear and thoughts of what do you think you are doing ringing in my ears hindered the run up to the course. Burying myself frantically in displacement activity - decorating my daughter's bedroom, decorating the hall, in fact decorating anything except the parts of my brain I should be decorating with absorbing thoughts on the theory of writing. My biggest fear? Being found out.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

First posting - may as well get on with it. Sat in room full of screens waiting to be shown how to create a blog.....Watch this space to see if I learn anything.