How the story ends…
A Busker’s Love Song
Pink-glazed clouds hoist frayed sails
over pilgrims, tourists, ghosts; they flock
around a busker as he folds his wings, frail
golden sheen and half the feathers lost
like his ragged repute. Some idle thoughts
burst into mind and soul as he admires how
a lonesome painter’s brush slipped across
indigo canvass of the unsuspecting sky.
Half-torn hat in his hand declares
whether to cry or commend this day.
White Lady struts through town and a fan
of yellowed papers saves the busker’s face.
A pirouette later she sweeps his dreams,
his breath, a kiss into drifts. His faith
in providence gives him daily strength
when his heart lies in the gutter.
He whistles when stifling day of May
and a bitter song cling by his side;
he follows starry signs and secretly prays
for the Underdog pub to show him the way
to ease this pain. Behind a wall of noise
five jesters take shots of his rusty stubble.
A trumpet’s cry tears the air above all those
who gather around legend turned to rubble.
A pack of jolly gods cheer as White Lady turns
towards our hero; her dress, his leg, her feet
his chest explodes with thousand fireworks
as his and hers, his and hers lips meet.
Ladies and gentlemen look at them how
they sing of pinkish clouds and the lush
lapis lazulis of the unsuspecting sky
coloured by a painter’s shaky brush.
So here is my writing update for the last couple of weeks – linking with Stephanie and her Writing Warriors updates here.
- my ego suffered terribly after a few rejections of my poems last month – I know … I know – this is the way life goes but it made me question my writing skills/talent..or face lack thereof. Anyway, I am back, writing and poeting and I am determined to learn from my rejections. Lesson number one – do not send out your work too soon. Hold off if you can and review, review, get a second opinion, forget about the poem for a few weeks and then cut, cut, cut and review again!
- I have drafted another poem as a result of my writing prompts- this time a Culinary Poem – this is how it starts:
Lament Home, London 2010
For the mothers left behind with their backs curved,
new moons of boiled potatoes upturned.
For the empty plates, laid out in the usual place.
(it is still work in progress so I am not disclosing more 😉
So dear readers, off to scribble some more verse and see you soon!
And the moral from this story is – yes, you will not always hear that you are the next Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes but pick yourself up, write a poem about it (I did … it contains a lot of swearing – Sweary Poetry Therapy is very effective!) and move on.
For the love of poetry, keep writing!
The day starts as usual, the alarm goes off too late, the Twins decide to eat cornflakes only if soaked in orange juice and Annie desperately tries to find one piece of clothing that does not have a banana smeared on it. The house feels freezing, the temperatures must have dropped overnight and Annie turns up the heating before she has to rescue Twin A from the recycling box.
Twin A is trapped strapped in the car seat, Twin B is chasing the cat. The cat jumps up onto the roof of the car, Twin B throws himself on the ground and Annie swiftly shoves him into the car. Now that both twins are wailing and the cat has walked away, tail up high, with smug expression on its face, Annie wishes for a moment she could swap lives with the family feline and she starts the engine. ‘Mummy, I hate you.’
With the Twins delivered to nursery, banana wiped off her skirt and the traffic moving an inch per hour, Annie turns down the heating in the car and slaps her forehead. Not again! She forgot to switch the heating off at home. Again! Now the cat will enjoy a day in the tropics. Annie imagines a polar bear pointing at a crumbling iceberg and growling to its cubs, ‘It’s all her fault.’, then she thinks about her energy bills for the last quarter and starts wailing herself.
Red in the face and only slightly out of breath Annie settles behind her desk. The to-do-list for today is 10 miles long and she still feels bad about forgetting the heating. The homeless polar bears. And not brushing the Twins’ teeth. Nor her own for that matter.
Eureka! Annie checks her phone and remembers that yesterday a friendly engineer installed the Hive. It took about an hour to set everything up and now she can control her heating and hot water from her phone. It still takes some getting used to and remembering so she quickly adjusts the temperature on the phone and starts ticking off her tasks for the day.
With the Twins in bed and the other half ordering pizzas, Annie relaxes in a bubble bath. It feels amazing to come to a cosy home and have the hot water ready for the Twins’ daily soak. No more stomping around the arctic rooms and waiting forever for the rooms to warm up. No more rocketing bills. All thanks to Hive.
P.S. Now she only needs an efficient control system for her memory… but that is a completely different story.
The useful stuff:
- total cost of Hive Active Heating™ is £199
- you get a state of the art wireless thermostat, receiver and hub
- you can enjoy a free app and online dashboard to remotely control your heating and hot water via phone, tablet and laptop
- all installed by a British Gas engineer (installation is worth £80)
- no need to switch the energy supplier as it works work with your existing heating system = no hassle
- no more heating an empty house could save you up to £150 a year on energy bills
- it comes with a nifty Frost Protection feature that automatically activates when the temperature dips below 5°C so it helps protect your pipes from freezing
- it is good for the environment, polar bears, your energy bills and bees
A wee note… I received payment for writing about Hive, however, I think that it is a great invention.
Lovely Stephanie from Beautiful Misbehaviour has published an interview with me. She writes a wonderful blog that focuses on creativity and motherhood so if you have not read it before you are missing out!
A warning – I may be revealing some dark writing secrets 🙂
A couple of weeks ago I announced that my wee e-book would be out soon and so here it is:
My pregnancy and motherhood diary written as letters and poems because there is nothing more beautiful than:
- the art of writing letters. Not emails or tweets or text messages but filling a plain sheet of paper with scribbles and doodles and whatever else you may want to put in a letter.
- poetry– poems often stay with me for a very long time after I have read them and words and images haunt me like friendly ghosts.
In Letters to Peanut I wanted to catch the emotions that come with first discovering that you are going to become a parent in nine months and then with grappling with sleepless nights, leaking bras and the first twelve months of being a mother (as well as the occasional panicked feeling of ‘Is this for real? I’m actually allowed to be responsible for another human being?)
But it is not all panic! There are times of immense joy that I would love to share with you. The first scan, steps and that first time Peanut made it clear that a chip off the floor was a delicacy worth three Michelin stars unlike anything I cooked.
Here is one of my favourite haiku poems from the book. I wrote it during long and sleepless nights when the whole world seemed to be fast asleep apart from me, Peanut and a curious fox:
together we learn
the night language of foxes
And for the book romantics out there – print copies will be available in a couple of weeks (formatting takes a bit longer).
This is my very special and magic moment – introducing Letters to Peanut to you and it is FREE for you to download until Saturday 9 November!
I will also be sharing my experience of self-publishing over the next few months so watch this space.
P.S. I would love to also thank everyone for the amazing support so far. And a big hug to Helen Braid – a very talented and patient cover designer.
Here is how it started…
One day you will ask me what you were like as a baby and whether you have always hated broccoli. And if it is not you who asks this, it may be your psychoanalyst.
I will not always have the answers you want. You know the score, too little sleep and too much gin have done some damage to your mother’s already distressed brain cells so I have scribbled down all my memories of you in the first year of your life.
This is the story of your beginning.
And here is a sneak preview of the cover designed by Helen Braid:
I did it – took the plunge and typed up all my poems and letters written first to the ‘bump’ and then to the newborn Peanut.
Letters to Peanut will be available on Amazon very soon.
So watch this space!
Inspired by my early childhood memories. Imagine being backstage behind the Iron Curtain where a certain product is a treasured commodity.
…the queue was so long…
A man picks his nose. Two women peel and share hard-boiled eggs and bread. 1..2..3 poppies on the two identical scarves they wear.
Two men exchange punches and Kurwas.
“Jumping the queue. Doesn’t fear God.”
“They used to hang rats like him.”
A few applaud. The Queue sways forward. Someone faints. The Queue marches over the body.
Front of the Queue – a victorious yelp and scurrying steps.
“New delivery next month.”
The Queue was so long it twisted three times around the block.
The lucky ones wear necklaces of toilet rolls.
The rest of us start to crumple old papers.
An inspiring idea from Julia’s Place . It is simple. Write a piece in 100 words based on the prompt she posts every week. So here we go…
… as the line was crossed…
“300 stair steps” I sighed. Not again.
Singing to my bum’s wobble, my thighs’ jiggle and my stomach’s waggle.
100 steps. “Getting closer”
Sweaty vapours are drowning me in toxic fog. Last night’s tikka and garlic bread. I know, I know… X thinks I’m odd but I like it. “Curry on.”
My toes are bleeding.
A glimpse of the yellow line marking the last step. Hope. “Help”
0 steps left
Made it. As the line was crossed, I felt my pocket. The keys. In the car. Have to go back.
Bloody lifts. Always broken.
A year ago I started writing a novel.
It was on the top of my List of Things I Want to Achieve in Life at Some Point Before I Die (And Before the Baby Arrives). This goal was not to become a famous author or to get published (although, I wouldn’t mind either, ehm…ehm). It was to overcome my fears of inadequacy and to stick to my guns.
Sometimes the writing was all tears, sweat and toil and sometimes the words were pouring out of my soul straight onto the pages. Even when I only scrawled a sentence or two I was excited to see my first great novel grow alongside Peanut inside me. Often I was typing to the rhythm of him punching my ribs and he still is fascinated by the sound of me hammering the keyboard.
Pregnancy was a very happy time and a very scary time. There were days when I was mourning my soon to be lost complete freedom to do whatever I want and whenever I want. I convinced myself that I was no good mother material, mainly because I had always been dodging other people’s sprogs. At the same time I could not wait to meet this little person who loved to jiggle and wiggle (but why always at five in the morning?).
The days went by, I grew bigger and more ball-shaped and more pages filled with my “nonsense”. I can’t sew. I can’t knit. I can browse the Internet for deals on baby paraphernalia (psst, and I’m good at it). So I did that for months. I liked getting lost while following the myriad of old railway paths around the old harbour in Newhaven and whispering to Peanut about Sartre and superiority of Ben &Jerry’s ice cream over any other ice cream in the world.
Then one Saturday, BlueBeretDad raced the car through the sleepy streets of Edinburgh and around 4am we entered the birth centre as two only to twelve hours later leave it as three.
The plot’s twists and turns intertwined with my own upheavals. Everything was new, a big question mark hanging over our heads, more often than not with no answer to follow. After having read countless baby books, BlueBeretDad and I went for the “make it up as you go along” parenting approach. It has been working for us just fine. Phew.
Maybe it was the sleep deprivation and exhaustion or maybe a natural turn of events, but I dropped my writing. Just like that. The more Peanut grew and surprised us with new skills (Look, he can touch his foot) the less I had and wanted to say. I felt as if all the words I had in me had been consumed by motherhood.
Somehow, with Peanut becoming more independent (as in causing mischief when no one is looking) and me becoming a more relaxed parent, the door to my inner writer’s room unsealed. I started by undusting my notebook and writing an odd word here and there. Then I kicked off with scribbling down a few poems (bad ones I ‘m afraid) and odd paragraphs of peculiar thoughts whenever I found a minute or two. I stopped watching TV (still make an excuse for some car crash telly when my brain cells crave mindless entertainment) and went back to basics. Writing. Not judging. Letting stories happen. And this is how, ten months after Peanut joined the BlueBeretFamily, this blog was born. I would not be here typing this tale down for you without my wee boy. I would not have it any other way.
My novel is still waiting for that last chapter.
My fingertips are still itchy.
Happy First (soon to come) Birthday Peanut.
We love you very much.