Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Do you ever get the feeling that you don’t belong? That you don’t fit in? That no one around would give a shit, or even notice, if you weren’t there anymore? It’s shit. When the people around are your own children: how is it right to feel like they wouldn’t care if I wasn’t here?

I’m well aware that my feelings are founded on nothing more than my own insecurities and fears, but I don't think I can change any of that.

What I can do though is try.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Why do I feel so shit at the minute? And no, it's not just 'post-holiday' blues: the anticipation of the holiday just put a thin veil over my emotions in the run up to it. I'd been feeling like crap for a while. No motivation. No sense of self-worth. I don't even know why I'm bothering to write any of this down. It's not helping in any way.

It's so hard to not let how I'm feeling affect the kids in any way. I have no urge to socialize at the minute but don't want them to miss out on seeing their friends. 'Urge' was the wrong word there - it's more that the idea of trying to put on a 'happy face' in front of other people just seems too hard: bad enough twice a day for the school run.

Trying to keep busy to stop myself thinking too much: this week I've decorated Sophie's room, caught up on all the holiday (and previous) ironing, blitzed the living room and kitchen, and wasted far too many hours in front of the computer playing minesweeper. I can't go to bed until I'm exhausted as there's nothing I hate more than laying awake in bed with shit going through my head.

It's alright though, I'm not going to run out of things to do for a while. Next plan (already begun) is to pull down all the cupboards in the office, saw them up to make shelves/units etc and convert the room into a playroom for the kids. Fingers crossed it keeps me going a while as I don't see this cloud lifting any time soon.

Monday, 24 May 2010

It's been a while since I last wrote anything here: so much has happened in the mean time but not a lot has changed... New month (almost finished), new school term for Sophie, new government (I'm not even going to get into how I feel about that, I'd be here all night)...

Two more OU assignments have been due in; I did well in one and didn't bother with the other... That earned me a rather stern look from my mother, but I've never been one for putting any more effort into my work than I needed to (unless it was something I was really interested in), so it shouldn't really have come as a surprise to her. Maybe that was part of the problem, perhaps she thought I'd grown up since school... It doesn't matter anyway, my overall continuous assessment score is enough to pass the course - as long as I get 40% in the exam. Still got a while to revise for that: 14th June, that's weeks away right?

I've had at three nights out since I last wrote. Three, is that right? Sounds rather excessive for me... I went out for my birthday; drank too much, made some rather weird comments (including somehow comparing baby feet to sharks teeth - not quite sure how, I might have to find out how that worked...) good night out though. Then I had free tickets to a recording of Would I Lie To You: I was really looking forward to that but we didn't make it to the studio on time. Ended up going to see Iron Man II at the cinema instead - definitely not a wasted evening. Most recently, I went to see Lee Mack live in Hammersmith. I love that man. Brilliant birthday present from Brendan, even if he hasn't paid me back for the tickets yet ;)

The kids are continuing to grow up far too quickly. I won't complain though, this age is just brilliant. Despite all the strops, tantrums, answering back etc! Besides, now they're bigger I've actually managed to plan a holiday. Chalet just outside Cardiff for 7 days, in less than 4 weeks. I can't wait. I'm not wishing the time away though, got my OU exam 5 days beforehand... That sounds pretty close; maybe I should start thinking about revising...

Just to put a dampener on things (his timing is impeccable as always) Scott's been back in touch about the kids. He "would like 2 be apart off both there lives" - how come it's the grammar that grates more than anything else? I could easily agree to him being "apart" from their lives, that's easy. Can I, with a clear conscience, assume that's what he really meant? Damned Facebook. It makes it too easy for people best forgotten to make themselves remembered. I've always said I would never stop him seeing the kids though, and I won't go back on that. But if he's serious, he needs to get in touch with the CSA first...

With that slightly sour note, I'm going to leave this for now. I'll no doubt be back again in a month or so... For now, I have half a can of Fosters (my second of the night) waiting for me, and I think I can hear my bed calling. It's hard to tell from down here...

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Well, so far April is definitely better than March. Mainly due to the fact that I haven't had a message from Scott this month, but also I've eaten copious amounts of chocolate so there's a party going on in my body at the minute. I'll get back into my healthy(ish) eating and regular exercise routine soon. Might leave it until after my birthday, though that's still a couple of weeks away so seems a bit on the lazy side...

New 'Doctor Who' absolutely rocks. In true obsessive fan-girl fashion I've watched yesterday's episode three times already. The third one doesn't really count though as that was the kids' wanting to see it, I just happened to not feel the need to do any housework while it was on. Matt was brilliant; such an expressive face and seems more alien than the last two incarnations. Moffatt's writing was as good as I expected, fantastic lines throughout the episode. I particularly loved: "You're scottish - fry something". Looks set to be a great series. Both Sophie and James are now saying 'Doctor Eleven' is their favourite doc; I'm still a Tennant girl.

New series of 'Ashes to Ashes' off to a flying start too and 'Outnumbered' and 'Waterloo Road' both return this week. I'll now be watching over 5 hours of TV a week (with QI and 'Flash Forward') - that's rather excessive for me! When am I going to have time to write? I've just paid ₤8 to enter a 'first chapter' writing competition that closes in July. The idea being that as I've paid I might put some effort in. ₤8 is already seeming like it is not a lot though, I can see myself still not bothering. Not the right attitude though. Positive thinking.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Dear dickhead

For the last couple of weeks I've been thinking how best to reply to the messages I received from my ex and his sister at the beginning of the month. Just ignoring them seems a bit defeatist. To me, that seems like it would give off the wrong impression. By leaving it this long to reply though might it look like I've over thought any reply I may send? It is too easy to allow myself to over think it. The thing is, I don't actually give a shit what either of them think so why does it matter if I even reply? In the future, Sophie and James will undoubtedly ask questions about that side of the family, and I want to be able to tell them the truth so I don't want to be the bad guy in all this.

This is the original message I received from Scott (literally copied and pasted from Facebook so you can see how much effort he didn't put in):

hi...alison! long time since we ave spoke....i did look 4 u on facebook and other sites but cudnt find u! u changed ur number + i have no address 4 u and kids! good 2 c u all look well in the photo! james looks identical 2 me when i was little, also i see sophie's face is alot better now. thats good 2 c. i do think of sophie and james all the time! u may not believe that, but its true. could u please contact me back? give my love 2 the kids please! thankyou

My ideal reply:
Dear Dickhead,
I know you looked for me previously on Facebook: I used to have a functioning profile tracker so I had seen that you'd been nosing where you're not wanted. You're perhaps not as thick as I remember though as you did at least block me from your profile which subsequently prevented me from blocking you. So there you go, in the first line of text you've bothered to write to me in nearly two years you're lying already. Not a great start is it?
As far as the fact that you have no number or address for me and the kids goes, when I moved last I made sure to pass my mum's address on to your sister, so any cards or presents (unlikely, I know) that any of your family wished to send to Sophie and James would reach them. I am perfectly entitled to keep my own privacy and not pass on my home address or new phone number.
I am going to ignore your comments regarding how the children are looking, along with the statement "i do think of Sophie and James all the time"; otherwise the screen would soon fill up with phrases like "none of your business", "total bollocks" and "how you can even...".

Passing on "love" to my children from someone who is basically a total stranger to them seems rather inappropriate, so I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request.

What I'll probably send:
I'm not sure what sort of response you're actually expecting after that message. I'm contacting you back but believe I am justified in being guarded about information regarding the children. They are both happy and healthy: that's probably more information than you deserve.
(Hang on that's starting to revert to the "what I'd like to say" version - this is harder than I thought.)

I'm going to have a rethink.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

18 days to go...

March can't be over soon enough for me this year. It started off crap, got progressively better, then reverted to shit again. And it's not even (quite) halfway through yet. I suppose that means that there's still time for another turn-around, but I won't hold my breath. April might not be any better; of course it won't, a new month doesn't effect anything relevant; but I'm already associating March 2010 with a lot of bad things - I'll just be glad when it's over.

Anyway, I'm not going to go into much detail as it won't achieve anything; but I've had another unwanted message on Facebook - this time from a pre-children ex who I broke off contact with last summer after finding out he was a pathological liar. I've had to let down Sarah by saying I can't be her Maid of Honour (that's killing me inside); and in the process of making that decision I actually had a really brief moment where I wished I didn't have children. It passed in less than a second but the guilt I felt for even allowing the thought to enter my mind is horrific.

Speaking of children, I've had to have a 'conversation' with Sophie this evening. Two incidents (neither major) of biting in one day, when there's been no problem for months (and probably less than half a dozen previous occurrences in her life). We had a long chat about the difference between being cheeky and being naughty and she was able to give me many examples of each (although her imagination when it came to naughty things is now worrying me slightly). Hoping that's the end of it, at least for the foreseeable future.

That'll do for now: time for a can of Fosters, a Johnny Depp movie and my huge pile of ironing.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Assignment complete!

Having left it until the last minute (again), I'm sitting up late putting the finishing touches to an OU assignment. It's done, well as much as it will be, I'm basically just doing the final run-through checking grammar etc.

This afternoon I was convinced that my fridge was well stocked with Red Bull, in which case I would have drunk a couple of cans when I first sat down, filling me up with enough caffeine to get me through the evening. However, upon opening the fridge I discovered two rather lonely looking cans. Like a fool, I decided to wait and only drink one when my eyes began to droop - which happened about half an hour ago. Not wanting to make a lonely can even more lonesome, I drank both. My tiredness coupled with the caffeine boost has led to me sat here now with slightly shaking hands, a strange buzzing in my ears and a strong desire to eat something unhealthy. OK, to be fair that desire is quite often present, but it makes me feel better to blame the current situation.

Anyway, it's been an interesting couple of weeks. I'm still trying to process some of the things that have happened and decide what to do. On the 1st March I got a message on Facebook from my ex who I haven't heard from in nearly 2 years. Two days later I got a message from his sister, a complete coincidence if I were to believe what she said. It's just really frustrating. The thing that winds me up the most is that I let myself get wound up by it all. At the end of most relationships both parties can go their separate ways and never have to speak again. That'd be lovely. But there's kids involved, and Sophie's at the age now when she's noticing that other children have daddies and she doesn't. It's not exactly bothering her, but she's gonna start asking questions soon. I have no idea what I'm going to say. I'll have to reply to both messages at some point soon. Just haven't quite figured out what I'm going to write.

On a completely different note, I got a message from Jamie Archer on MySpace on the 2nd. That put those other messages to the back of my mind. It made my week if I'm honest. In a really sad pathetic way, getting a message from someone I've never met managed to overpower the shit that I had been feeling.

What else? Oh yea, I'm (hopefully) going to be Maid of Honour at Sarah's wedding! A maid - me? Honour? The title certainly doesn't suit me, but it's all very exciting. I just hope I can get the kids used to the idea of me going away for a couple of days. Otherwise my mum's said she won't be happy to look after them (which is fair enough, they are a bit of a handful - to say the least - when they're not happy) so I'll either not be able to go, or I'll have to find a way of taking them with me... To the Lake District. Of all the places to get married they had to pick somewhere that's 4 hours away by train! It's beautiful though.

I've just submitted the assignment. I'm not happy with it really, it's slightly short of the word count and I didn't use enough references but it'll do. Should get me a better mark than the previous one anyway! Now to run a bath, try to feel tired again and (hopefully) get some sleep!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

I haven't found myself writing much recently. Not that I haven't had the time, I've been neglecting everything else I should be doing in the evenings. My kitchen needs cleaning, my ironing pile has fallen over and I think my Open University books are still in the bag I took them to the last tutorial in. I haven't even been watching much television. So what have I been doing with my time?

Well, for a start there seems to be a lot less of it than there used to be. Sophie's not going to bed now until half seven most evenings, so by the time I've had something to eat and a bath it's gone eight. If I do some exercising (and this is hapening very rarely at the minute - but I do have an excuse) that's at least half eight. Now, six months ago I was staying awake unitl around half two, getting up at half six and everything was fine. Now I find myself falling asleep around nowish and struggling to get up before seven. What is wrong with me?

Nothing, I assume. My body is probably reclaiming its lost hours. I'm still capable of surviving on minimal sleep (I did it a few weeks ago to get my last assignment finished) but only as a one-off, not four or five nights in a row like I had been.

I've been in pain. Nothing major, just a lot of discomfort really. Something happened to my left shoulder (I'm blaming James as I always carry him in my left arm and he's not exactly light) - I couldn't sit comfortably, sleep properly, use my rowing machine... See, I said I had an excuse. All right so I'm ok now and there wasn't anything stopping me using my exercise bike.

I've been reading: quite a lot actually. Most recent two books are "Blind Faith" by Ben Elton and "The Liar" by Stephen Fry. Both brilliantly funny and highly recommended. I don't understand how either stayed on my bookshelf for so long without being read.

Other than that, there's not much to tell. I've had a few evenings out: one was a cinema trip (
Sherlock Holmes - loved it), one was bowling with Pete (I'm even more terrible now than I ever was) and the other wasn't really an evening at all, more an afternoon that ran on a bit (but I was still home by 8). That was Sarah's engagement celebration. A wonderful afternoon, met some lovely people; not least of all her fiance, Stuart. That's a "Happily Ever After" waiting to happen if ever I saw one.

Anyway, just because I haven't been writing doesn't mean I haven't been imagining. The book's progressed more in my mind in the last week than it has done in the last four months. I've also been wrining down some of the bedtime stories I've been telling to Sophie. I thought she might like to read them when she's older. They'll be of little interest to anyone else but I'll publish one on my writing blog anyway, just so it looks like I'm doing something. Quick link here. (Kik-Kik is Sophie's favourite bear, floppy dog is James's favourite soft toy.)

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Last year I had the ridiculous idea that if I blogged about my writing it might actually help motivate me. Instead, the blog became something else to neglect and feel the occasional pang of guilt about. Midway through December I decided I was going to start over: a fresh start for the blog, for my writing, and for my general health (a basic ‘eat less crap; exercise more’ plan). Knowing my past record though, I’ve waited a while so my brain doesn’t register the whole thing as a New Year’s Resolution and give up at the first sign of a struggle. I’m even writing this on a Tuesday so there’s not even a ‘beginning of the week’ feel to any of it.

Anyway, this ‘new’ blog is basically just the old one with all last year’s moaning at my lack of motivation posts deleted. Best forgotten about. I’m not setting myself any targets, for any of my ‘resolutions’ (shhh – don’t say that word!). That might change later down the line; for now I want the whole thing to be relaxed and natural. I want to be able to sit online for an evening chatting on Facebook without worrying that I intended to write so many words that night. I’m bound to forget about the blog for a few weeks (or just have nothing to say – my life’s pretty monotonous a lot of the time). And I’m definitely not likely to stick to a diet and exercise regime – I love my chocolate-filled lazy evenings too much for that!

I will be posting my writing here as and when I feel something is ready (and worth reading). So far I’ve put up the only (in my opinion) decent short story that I have written in the last six months, Free-Fall: a 500-word quick-read. That and the prologue for ‘The Book’. It’s the only part I’m happy with at the minute, and that is liable to change at any time (so if it disappears you know why!).

That’s enough writing for this evening. Got a horrible earache and I’m sure there’s something on TV to keep me busy for the rest of the evening. I’ll be back: not sure when but hopefully this year I might get somewhere with at least one of my goals.