Sunday, September 30, 2007


I made myself go up town today and the sun came out. I’ve been crocheting blankets again; started at work the other night, in between calls. It’s time to build up a stock of stuff to sell, I mean I’m supposed to be finishing my website and that’s what’s holding me back, because I haven’t got anything, right here and now, to put up for sale. I’ve got all sorts lying God knows where but can’t get to it at the moment; some is in Spain and some, hopefully, wrapped up tight in the old flat. I saw wool at great prices in a big old department store last week so that was the first stop. Think I’ll get three blankets out of this, and the colours are stunning…have started already and am one ball down – 100gms in a couple of hours.

I’m not a window shopper; I tend to get what I want and scoot off, but I’d brought my notebook and the camera, to people-watch so…I sauntered into the Buchanan Galleries and had a lovely latte in Ben&Jerry’s. There was a group of guys break-dancing for the crowd; nothing spectacular but I had fun. I think it would’ve been more exciting if the music was louder; there was no atmosphere; I suppose the shops might have complained.

I was only out about two hours; that feels like a whole day to me, but it means that I get to do lots of different things. Years ago I might’ve spent it all in one go, my time. I met an old friend in town a few years ago and we spent the whole day in Waterstones on Sauchiehall St, right on to a poetry reading in the evening and were practically shoved out of the shop at closing time, high as kites on caffeine!
Today was good and I was pleased that I didn't waste money; I popped into the Works and almost bought a scrapbook album, but I put it back on the shelf - it'll still be there in a couple of weeks. Then I vered into a pound shop but managed not to NEED anything, and headed off to the subway like a good girl.

When I arrived at the flat there was a handful of people standing outside the building beside an array of bouquets on the ground. I stopped and asked what was happening and they told me that the woman in the fire had just died; one of them was her daughter, she said that they’d switched off the machines this morning. Her mother had never regained consciousness; the smoke had caused too much damage to her brain. I could feel myself tearing up; I’d never met her but I was upset that this woman had died. She was only fifty-five. I was stunned that so much damage could have been done and we had not suffered at all. The people above and below had, to some extent, but the only thing that touched us was/is the smell.

In the ten weeks that I’ve been here I’ve only met people in the lift about four times. I met the neighbour next door yesterday for the first time. I don’t know the name of the woman who died but she has touched me. When I was a child I remember women from the area coming round now and again collecting for the family when someone had died. I said to Musician, ‘I wonder if there’s anyone getting up a collection for her daughter,’ and he looked at me as if I was mad. ‘Don’t get involved,’ he said. And when I thought about it, who would open their doors these days, to strangers asking for money, in an area like this?

As I began my new crochet I listened to the kids in the street, running around, playing some ball game, life going on as normal while the bunches of flowers sit beside the door, and above them the black gaping holes of the windows in the burnt-out flat.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I was thinking about making soup; can you make soup in a microwave? I imagine so, I’ll give it a try, but my lovely vegetable peeler is in the burnt-out flat, so is the blender. When Pete and Joan’s family asked me what I wanted from the house I said I’d like the peeler; I felt it was already mine, and it would always remind me of my time there. I spent eighteen months looking after them – that’s longer than a lot of marriages; mine only lasted three months! The first one that is; by the time I waited for a divorce I’d decided not to go through it again, so when I’d had enough of hubby no.2 it was just a case of saying, ‘Don’t be here when I get back from work!’

I must make Amazon call the housing office and arrange for some kind of removal of our (very smelly) belongings. I’ve already thrown out all the soft stuff that had absorbed the smoke, anything that wasn’t in a bag or drawer. But, she can’t bear the idea of that awful smell coming into her new/temporary flat. She’s got a veranda; I suggested that we stack it out there and gradually get it aired, cleaned or whatever. I’ve got loads of pottery stuff and dishes that would need re-wrapping so I’m saving newspapers. For a while Amazon had convinced herself that she didn’t want anything that was left there but now she realises that she can’t afford to replace everything, that a lot of stuff can be cleaned.

I don’t know how far the repairs have gone; I’ve got a feeling that they are waiting for us to remove more stuff. At the moment all of my stuff from the storage cupboard is piled on PowerRanger’s bed. I still don’t know how my albums and photos have fared. Don’t know if they’ve replaced the floors yet or what. My grandson’s room was the only one that wasn’t soaked with the hoses so the floor and electrical stuff in there will be okay. The kitchen was soaked but my blender was in a cupboard. I’m going to call her now. I want home-made soup; I feel winter drawing near.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


This link shows a fire in my building...on my landing! When I came home from work last night I couldn't believe the sight that met me as the lift door opened, and the smell. It was horrifying because of the recent scare we had with Amazon's flat going on fire. I immediately looked towards my son's door and it seemed as I left it. The fire had been on the opposite side, just a few yards away but through the all-important fire-doors; two of them, thank the stars - the thought of going through all that again, with the smoke and water damage.

The CID have been round this morning asking questions and now the fire investigators are here. We've heard that one person who was taken to hospital is in critical condition. Musician has just been across and spoken to a fireman; they're clearing the flat out - it's been completely gutted. He'd been speaking to a woman last night who'd been trapped inside her flat with her son, terrified, not knowing what to do. Musician told me that he'd gone out on to the landing last night because he'd smelled the smoke and was stunned when he was enveloped in it. He said he knocked on his immediate two neighbours' doors and told them that there was a fire, but he couldn't go out into the lift area because of the heat and smoke. He said that when he touched the glass panels at the side of the door he could feel the heat. Now he's beating himself up wondering if he should've done something. I reminded him that he had asthma and that his lungs probably wouldn't have let him get very far.

I'm wondering why fire is in my this a warning to me? I could turn myself into a frazzle analyzing omens or just be ready for anything; or make sure the smoke alarms are working! Actually this one is hanging off the ceiling. Must make him sort that out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Well, I breezed into the new/old job and felt as if I’d come home; there were all these people still there, and they remembered me. I just slotted right in and felt soooo comfortable, it was wonderful…as though my space was waiting for me to come back.

The place has changed some, for the better, so I’m looking forward to stuffing my stuff into my little nook. We used to be able to see around the room from where we sat but now we’re in our own small world, a carved cave of shelves and cupboards, with electric sockets – I could even bring the laptop! But not now; now I need to make Xmas cards. You see, that’s what I like/need in my work; space and time to do my own thing while I’m getting paid to do something else at the same time. When I was looking after my old people I could do all kinds of crafty work or writing; I can do this here while waiting for calls. Last night I had a whole hour between calls at one point.

And from the first call I knew I had made the right move; I loved being back with my tarot cards, reading for someone, discussing problems and advising positive steps to take. I think of myself as a life-counsellor, giving people energy and hopefully the impetus to make changes in their lives. The cards are only a tool to make people talk about and pinpoint their problems. That is the best part of this job but there are those who spoil it and drive you to distraction; that’s why I left six years ago. They are the ones who call every day, every week and obviously don’t listen to the advice they’re given; they ignore what they don’t want to hear. In every industry there are those who make things difficult; in the psychic world there are questions and accusations hurled – not everyone is a charlatan. I know that a lot of poor people spend money they can’t afford trying to glean answers from the cards or the dead, but there are also other outlets that don’t receive the abuse that psychics get, like shopping and sky-tv-till-you-drop. There’s nowt as queer as folk, and you can’t tell them what to do with their money.

The other reason that this all fits in is that there are psychics and tarot in both of the novels I’ve got on the go; I didn’t plan it, it just happened and I hadn’t really noticed – perhaps I see it as just part of reality. And, the beginning I’ve written for Susan Hill’s CW course is going in that direction too. I think I’ve been guided back here for a reason and am where I am supposed to be at this time in my life. I hope that the new piece I’ve begun isn’t another novel; I can’t deal with three at once…I don’t think.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Thought I'd add a touch of spring to our lives seeing as winter is blundering swiftly towards us; it's been raining on and off here for the last couple of days. I took my coat on Saturday and ended up taking it off and having to drag it around town with me - the sun arrived and stayed all day! My other excuse for using images instead of words is that my finger nails are clicking on the keyboard...and I'm in procrastination mode too.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I’m singing Abba’s 'I do I do I do' as I write this. One of the guys from my writing group got married on Tuesday so he brought in a box of favours today, with cake and everything. I chose a CD of the music they had at the ceremony and party; it’s classic cheese, including YMCA, Shania Twain and Amarillo – of course it was a civil partnership. So, a great start to the day; cake and favours of chocolate pretending to be sugared almonds, and now relaxing on my bed with the lovely Shania wailing (with me) ‘From This Moment On’, and twiddling with sunset photos I took from my window the other night…ooooh, and just as I speak there’s another one just beginning. Life is nice tonight.

Oh, and I think I've managed to change the settings of comments so anyone can leave one without all that hassle.

I got a new job; going back to the psychic world of tarot reading. I start on Tuesday so will be spending the next few days pouring over my books to refresh my memory. And the only job application I haven’t missed the deadline for is that of the lollipop lady; my colleagues from the call centre job voted and said that they want me to do that anyway, so it’s kind of serendipitous that I’d missed all the others. It’s only temporary, till Xmas I think so it would be an interesting experience…maybe a little wet, but I quite fancy it for a laugh. God, my life is just a barrel of laughs – I’d be dead by now if it wasn’t.

I picked up my ordered books at the library; The Hours, The Awakening and The Quiet American so am looking forward to browsing. I’ve just finished reading Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad; and I didn’t love it. It was okay, but it didn’t evoke any laughter or tears – maybe a little smile, once; but it’s only small and I read it in a couple of days.

Actually, the next few weeks is looking good, and I’m going to give myself a right good talking-to….oops, I’ve gone off, singing along with The Hucklebuck’…a little bit of that …a little bit of this….’

I went off a little while ago with, ‘you spin me right round baby right round like a record baby right round…’ I LOVE THAT! Not sure if I can remember who sang it.

I am loving all this forum stuff with Susan Hill’s writing course but it’s all just more procrastination for me. But then it’s all about writing and literature so it’s allowed, but I really need to take myself in hand. I should announce a deadline; that usually works for me. A map would be better. I’ve found a nice big table for my room so maybe I’ll work on a plan. When I hear of all those writers who sit down at a certain time and make themselves stay in the chair till they write something I want to do that; I want a more ordered life – things would move on if I was more regular in my habits…but people wouldn’t recognise me, I might disappear. Maybe I like being a whacko.

Also today, I discovered that some of my writing group have been hiding the fact that they belong to a craft group! I NEED to join; I’m only ever happy if I’m spread farther than cheap margarine.
Doing the Time Warp now.....

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Amazon was over here today, checking out my little space in the minefield that is Musician’s flat. She was impressed enough to suggest more visits; the space Musician inhabits, ie, living-room, is a maze of wires – a bit like a spider’s web, where he sits in the middle and spins his music, moving bits of something here, there and everywhere. She never comes here – and that hurts his feelings; he’s the sensitive middle child, and gets upset when she tells him his place is bogging. So now she knows that some kind of clean has entered the building she’ll pop over now and again. I usually have to walk the several streets it is to her flat, so I’m happy; now I can continue my layabout life and if she needs me she can come here.

The stress and depression is still hanging over her; she had the follow-up doctor’s visit this afternoon and he made slight changes to the meds she’d been given a few weeks ago. I reminded her that these are only temporary measures until she can get back into a better sleeping pattern and relax into the pressures of the custody battle. She still hasn’t been back to the burnt-out flat; we need to get our stuff out of there so the workmen can repair it – she can’t bring herself to face it again, yet.

I’m glad I’m old and have dropped my passion off along the way; I wouldn’t want to have to go through all that LIFE again – relationships and children and money and all that STUFF. I don’t really worry about money, even now, because I am only me, with no dependants. My children are dealing with their lives and there’s not a lot I can do to help except support them (and drag them to the doctor now and again) and dish out advice. I brought them up to be individuals: not just my children; but it is painful to watch them suffer all these slings and arrows.

One of my sisters-in-law is struggling with her son; it’s a real bitch of a fight where she’s trying to hold on to him, keep control and he’s choking-to-death. There’s nothing anyone can do and it’s heart-breaking to watch; the pain they’re causing each other is awful. He’s 22 and should have left home by now but was so comfortable, even in the confines of his prison. I should try and talk to her; point out that when parents get to where she is they often behave worse than the child ever did and move everything to enormous proportions. Of course he’s not a child now but she is absolutely blind to that fact; she continually brings up all her hard work in taking care of him, which included paying his phone bills and buying him anything he thinks he wants/wanted. He doesn’t want to hurt her but won’t or hasn’t been able to cut himself off even though he hates living there. She won’t listen to anything anyone has to say anyway, so there’s no point – we’ll have to wait till the end of the play to see what happens.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well, I think I’m finally falling apart; I was at the hospital yesterday morning, at the face clinic and I am suffering from DMT which means, Dysfunctional Mandibular something. She said that my jaw might not return to the way it was; I should get my mouth open wider than it is now, but don’t think I’ll be facing a future that includes Big Macs. They had to take impressions of my teeth to make me some kind of shield that I’ll need to wear at night to gently relax the tissues in my jaw area. Apparently, I’ve been overworking my poor old jaw, because I have to chew on one side – there being no teeth on the bottom of the other side! Long and convoluted, I know, but let this be a warning to those of you out there chewing on one side…GIVE IT A REST!

The making of the impressions was pretty hysterical, considering I can only open my mouth about half-an-inch! It was painful, still is. I hardly slept last night, kept waking up with acid in my throat, having to sleep sitting up and coughing it away. My body is fast approaching ancient; I can see myself being fed through a tube – that’ll keep the acid-reflux at bay. I shudder to think what it’ll be next. Last night was my own fault; I had cake about ten o’clock. I need taking in hand – I still haven’t had a vegetable since I left Devon! I blame it all on Musician – if he had a cooker and a fridge I’d be able to cook proper food. He did have a fridge, I bought it for him, but he blew it up a couple of months ago; cleaning the icebox with a knife’ll do it every time. He is definitely not mine, this changeling.

I find myself disappearing into the land-of-lie-about-all-day; I’ve watched several movies today and my excuse is that I was tired after last night. Tomorrow, I will go to the library; I will go buy the house-warming present for my brother-in-law; I’ll have lunch with Morag; and I’ll walk instead of taking a taxi. I didn’t do any writing today but I did last night, and am half-way through ‘End of The Affair’. Feeling old and decrepit but still optimistic.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Yesterday, a dull Saturday morning in Glasgow, Govan rang to the sounds of 24 orange bands parading through the streets; I could imagine all the pillows over hung-over heads – I mean it was 11am for God’sake! My head was clear and zinging with caffeine. It took them almost half-an-hour to pass. What I like about high-rise-living is the view and the muted street noise; not that muted really; we’re only eight flights up. I stood at the window and watched as they drearily marched through the grey day…and there might have been a little rain in the wind.

My mind flipped back to my youth, when I played a drum in a marching band. My family were a mixed bunch of Catholics and Protestants, and when I joined the band my mother went mad, ‘Wait till your granny hears about this,’ she said. My granny loved it! I used to pop in to see her after practice on a Sunday and she’d get me to ‘give her a tune’ on my drum.

Drums feature several times in my life; when I came back to Glasgow, after living in Newcastle for 15yrs, I joined a drumming band in Barrhead called ‘Wummen Drummen’. I absolutely loved it; it’s hard to describe what it feels like to be part of that huge beat and rhythm. Even now when I hear drums in the street I come to a standstill…I have to find them through the crowds and stay for at least part of the performance – this drives my family and friends insane; they’ve been hurrying me away from things like this most of my life, and I suppose I was such a people-pleaser that I’ve always let them. I should have made them sit with me sometimes rather than me always having to move on to the next thing with them – there never seemed to be any time in any of their lives to just stop and listen, to pay attention to what was going on around them. In my life as a young mother my children were always hurrying me out of bookshops and charity shops. Now that I’m free, I can sit where I please as long as I want, but sometimes it’s a lonely life.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I did get some answers on my question about the novella, and have come to the conclusion that it is really more related to the short story than the novel. I thought I should read more so asked if anyone knew any off hand and got two so far which I'll try to get from the library today. My local writing group meet there so it's all quite handy. I've been popping in on this group for the past year, whenever I was in Glasgow, and it never occurred to me to actually join the library. It wasn't till I wanted a Grahame Green book for Susan's writing group that I thought of it! They didn't have one of his books on the premises - it's a deprived area, but I would have thought he'd be there.

Gotta go now but I might be back.

I'm back. Had a fabulous morning with the Ibrox Writers up in the library; a wealth of great writing appeared, and I got help with three little poems I'd dragged out of a dark cupboard - by the end of today I might be able to move them to the Done folder. I'll give them a few weeks there before sending them out to earn their keep.

Picked up the Grahame Greene I'd ordered, End of The Affair, and am very impressed with the first chapter. I did as Susan suggested and read it slowly, going back over the first page a couple of times, asking myself if I knew what he had done there and how he did it. Very clever the way he kept the focus and kept us waiting to find out what we wanted to know from the first sentence.

by the way...I might not have mentioned that I'm participating in Susan Hill's writing course.

I had to put in an order for the two novellas I wanted; this is a pretty small library; but I only waited a couple of days for the Grahame Greene. The up-side is, they have a lot of computers. I had to take a disc with me today so I could print something; I need ink for BOTH my printers, and now I'm not earning at present, I can't afford to spend money on ink. When I went into town yesterday I had to chuck myself on the bus home quickly before I could spend anything. I can't get past Waterstone's, WHSmith or pound shops.

One of the writers in my group reminded me that she'd like to look at the old novel that I've shelved; she's really good at picking out rogue elements in a piece of writing and I had asked her to be my first reader a while ago. She's not best pleased that I'm not working on this, but as I tried to explain my reasons to her, I began to understand myself, what is going on here - she thinks that my art is mirroring my life in that I'm all over the place. It felt good to work this out. I said that at the moment I feel, if I can sort out the structure of the Bluebeard novel and park myself at chapter four, then I can go back and do the same for the other...then perhaps work on them in tandem. I really don't think I'm ever going to be able to stay on one thing at a time. But that's alright, as long as I can concentrate on what I'm working on at the time. I suppose one of them will eventually take the lead. Nothing is ever plain sailing in my life.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I was so impressed with myself yesterday; I wrote a whole piece, edited and polished it to what I hope is publishable standard, then emailed it to The Guardian. It's in letter form, an 800wd first person account for their Saturday supplement family page. So my fingers will be well-crossed until I hear from them. I also got around 500wds on the novel; a good day, for me.

Even today, I'm still on that roll; got another few hundred words on the novel using the same exercise we worked up together in my flash group - everyone who used it has come up with something great. I'm a seriously happy scribbler tonight, though annoyed about something else; I asked a question in a thread, in a writing forum, if anyone knew the difference between a novella and a novel, forby the size. There was only one answer, which didn't make me any the wiser. I'd just finished reading a fabulous novella by Susan Hill called 'The Albatross', and was so impressed with it; how tight the focus and the writing was, how it grabbed me and wouldn't let go - still won't. I suppose the best person to ask will be Susan but she'll be really busy right now with the writing course. I'll ask her later. I really wanted to know how the structure differs from a novel - maybe I should read more of them and find out for myself.

A serious money day today; had to visit the cheque-cashers for a pay-day-advance so I could put the cash in the bank to cover my loan repayment. Poverty here I come, back on that roundabout again. But I am working towards a new job so hopefully I'll be earning by the end of next week.

On a lighter note, all the lovely Asda shopping was delivered this morning. Isn't it wonderful to wake up at 10am and answer the door to bags of groceries that you didn't have to get yourself!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


My local writing group organised a day of workshops last Saturday. I had the greatest day; just being in a workshop, talking and writing is better than the best carrot cake you can imagine; better than whole bottles of Tia Maria, Drambui or 12yr old whisky! And a free lunch to boot. I felt sorry for some of the group who had to look after tables of books, hand-crafted cards and the tombola; some of them were bored out of their pencil cases. I was in my element; the tutor on my workshop was an American poet called Gerry Stewart…and she got a lot of work out of me. I left the table with a whole poem and the makings of another two on the same theme; which was living with my son, right now, this minute. This is the rough poem:


Wires beating rhythms up walls, throbbing
Natalie Imbrulgia into speakers
out of tweakers – woofers.

Middle Child undivides my attention.
He’s cooking scrambled egg with cheese –
the maturity blares around my tongue.

Time sings here and my hands are soft
from squeezing T-shirts in his long bath.
He has nothing, and he shares it all with me.

I get high as a kite at writing sessions, especially if I come away with lots of work. I’ll let all this stew now in my notebook and see what happens. I usually can’t write about the present; I find myself waiting years to tell a story or use my life and experiences – that’s probably why most of my writing is about death and sex! Except this.

She talked about using themed verbs in our writing; I’d forgotten that my son was a musician so have just added those above on the day – I’ll need to work on them and find out more about tweakers and woofers so I can use them intelligently. Maybe I’ll interview him, yeah, that would be fun; I’m sure he’ll manage to slip a black hole in there somewhere – the thought of inviting him to SPEAK is terrifying.

Monday, September 10, 2007


My excuse for not writing in here last week is….my nails were too long. I can’t bear the feel and sound of fingernails clicking on the keys, sometimes slipping from one to another and just generally making a mess of everything. So, I soaked some washing in the bath, squeezed and swirled till the said nails were pliable then I cut them all off. Now I’m whizzing around the keyboard like a wild thing, loose and fancy free…and unemployed. I’ve now got five application forms to fill out; will force myself into it tonight, when my bum is numb from sitting here surfing.

I had a few lovely drinks with Herman Saturday night; we got to sit out in the garden with our little tubs of melon (reduced), glass of wine and enjoy the strange and wonderful feeling of Glasgow sunshine. He’s house-sitting out in the burbs north of the city; quiet and lush grass under my bare feet. And the luxury of a huge telly to ignore while we babble on about god-knows-what, and my future, both work and medical; I’m still locked up – nothing wider than a finger can get between these teeth.

I spoke to a doctor from the face clinic on the phone the other morning, and told him how worried I was about being lock-jawed for three weeks, and whether I’ll stay like this forever, and is it wise to leave me until my appointment on the 17th. He said I’ll be okay. I’m just wondering how they’re going to get my jaw going again after all this time. I told him that I was thinking that my jaw might just fuse and never move again. I think he thought I was mad, but I had the impression that he was about fifteen and had mistaken me for his old granny, and was therefore invisible.

So, I had to drink white wine; I didn’t want a repeat of the last red wine episode with the projectile vomiting – I would’ve drowned. And, I had to get on a train and travel by myself to get home so didn’t want to end up toooooo pissed. So there was me, standing at the train station and admiring my sobriety and the fact that I’d only drunk one bottle when Herman disabused me of that; he just hadn’t brought the bottles into the living room. Well I was pretty well-oiled, but got home safely, and am still alive.

We met about eight years ago when we were working in the psychic centre. One of us had the bright idea that I go back there to work, for now. I think it was me; I was worried about my poor old references having to be bothered again for all these jobs I’m going to be applying for; I won’t need one there. So, I called them this morning…and they remembered me. There’s probably going to be an opening in a couple of weeks and in the meantime I can refresh my skills with the lovely tarot cards. I think this is all a great idea because there’s a lot of psychic and pagan stuff in the novel; it’ll be good for me to be steeped in it all again. I’ve spent most of this morning studying and playing with some of my cards. I’ve got three packs here but no books; the books are all packed away somewhere and I know that some of them GOT IT in the fire. But I’ve got stuff in the laptop, enough for now. One of the packs hasn’t been used but the book is still somewhere in the box; it’s called The Greenwood Tarot – some amazing images, but different from most other tarot so I’ll need to find the book. My other two are old favourites; The Shakespeare Tarot and the Native American Deck. I’m really looking forward to doing this. Wonder if the place has changed much.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I've been sitting here all morning, surfing: not writing, and watching Topcat chase two huge flies around the room. She caught one between her paws on the window ledge, and her whole body froze; she raised one paw a fraction and peeked at her prey, then she ate it.

I think I'm going to the burntout flat with Amazon today. I've been too busy with the job to go there and didn't realise that she was in such a state because everything had just folded on top of her. She didn't tell me anything and I was getting annoyed, thinking that she was just being lazy, and that she had fallen out with me - she wouldn't answer her phone. When she finally did pick-up she couldn't speak for crying. This was last Thursday; I asked to leave work and turned up at her flat in a taxi only minutes after talking to her. I'd tried to get her to go to the doctor and she finally got me off the phone by agreeing to go after she freshened herself up. I knew she wouldn't. I made her take a bath and dragged her there in a taxi, and went in with her to make sure she told the doctor about all the symptoms she'd been experiencing. She's all twitches; almost like someone with tourettes syndrome - except for the swearing.

The doctor says it's probably stress, related to the custody battle and the fire; and the good thing about that is that there will be a definite end to these problems. So she gave Amazon something to take before bed that will relax her and help her sleeping patterns, and hopefully the nightmares will go too. It's agonising to watch your daughter go through this kind of pain; I'm trying to keep it together so I will be a good support but it's so hard when my face wants to collapse into my throat. And of course there is the guilt because I returned to Glasgow to help her and ended up focused on myself and a new job; this working life will kill me. Maybe I need a nice man to look after me so I can give more time to my children. But when would I have time for him, or me? And when will my children not need me? When I'm dead is the answer to that.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I managed to stay in the job for one and a half hours this morning, then I sloped off for my tea-break and kept right on walking...around the corner to Cafe Nero, stopping off on the way to buy a job paper. I just couldn't bear it for a minute longer; that lonlieness in a room full of people, all connected and talking into the ether - none of them speaking to each other. When I think of my days with my old people, even the thought of constant BBC1 is appealing; numb-bum syndrome is looking very attractive.

I've called several job options and asked for application forms to be sent out, including one for a part-time lollipop lady! That's a nice sociable job, isn't it? I want to talk to real people, bump shoulders and swap stories. I also called the WEA; I worked for them years ago, tutoring all kinds of stuff, but this time I'll restrict it to only those I love; creative writing and scrapbooking. I know that I hate teaching, but I can handle those - they are the only subjects that make me high as a seagull on the wind.

Perhaps I can make myself do a bit of writing on the novel - no excuses now that time is no object. I really think I will end up back in carework, though one of the jobs I will be applying for is a housekeeper in a temporary house for relatives of cancer patients in hospital.

Monday, September 03, 2007


I was soooooo bored today, doing the first ten-hour shift, my first day of real work. It's not as sociable as I thought it would be; I was a little lonely. Though mostly, I was on the phone, slaving my brains out trying to solve problems without asking for tooooo much help. So really, there was only a few minutes now and again when the phone didn't ring and I could swing around in my chair, looking out of the window. And poor old Billy-bob wanted a window but he's stuck way inside the room, in a different team on his lonesome. I never got to speak to him because he's on an earlier shift. A very flat day all round.

I kept picturing myself leaving and not coming back, but I can't afford to walk out on a well-paid job before I have another one in place; and I can't just leave just because I'm bored. So, I'll be there tomorrow, for another ten-hour shift, counting the pounds in the pay-packet - admiring the lovely figures on my payslip.

Must speak to someone tomorrow about going part-time before I do something stupid.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


I'm feeling a whole lot better about the job now; I had the fantastic idea to ask if I could go part-time, so it doesn't look so daunting. If I'm knackered just working 4 weeks 9-5, what would I be like ploughing through ten hour shifts? When I first looked at the rota these huge shifts seemed to be across five days but it's only 9-5 Saturday and 10-2 on Sunday. Hopefully I'll only have to do this one week; am sending up little prayers for part-time status. I won't have a life otherwise; won't have time to write, to finish the novels, play with my arty-farty stuff. I look at the pile of scrapbooking goodies I haven't had time to even open and wish I was ten years older and retired!

We all went for a drink in town last night; first time I've been in a pub for a couple of years, I think. Back to lovely pints of beer; went down a treat but I was kind of nervous of getting seriously pissed and being sick - never a good idea when you have lockjaw. I hadn't been in the Horseshoe Bar in an age, but I'd never been upstairs in the karioke lounge. It was amazing. Our two young men got up to sing and were fabulous; Billy-bob was brilliant at 'Bed of Roses' and got a standing ovation, which we started. A great night out to seal our new friendships.

I haven't had the energy to do anything here all week, even to put down the stuff that happened with Amazon on Thursday...I'll get to it later tonight, maybe.