Friday, June 27, 2008


I couldn't resist this when I found it: I am the bee and Carrie is the scout. See my sting! This was probably around 1985/6 when we spent a lot of time on fancy-dress-pub-crawls for charity; this might even have been the one we did three-legged! It was very difficult going to the toilet tied to someone else and hauling a bucket full of money too! Not to mention drunk.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


My God is the universe and all its mystery; its coincidences, synchronicity and magic – I live for happy accidents. I absolutely do not believe that there is a man up there with a great white beard surrounded by blooming cherubs. So what does God look like to me? A ghost of a smile like the Cheshire Cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland perhaps; or a wisp of a breeze that flips things into movement in my peripheral vision; or an eternal computer that has every permutation programmed into it…and we live in a world where magical realism is alive and very well.

My God provides beautiful scrambled eggs with cheese, directs me in and out of danger to learn lessons; I am capable of enormous feats of strength and courage because I am open to all eventualities. This world has always been cruel and magical; there are just many more instances displayed in an international arena that make us think it’s escalating – we are myriad and dangerous entities with only self-control to guard against the dark side.

My God plays me like the Greek gods in the movies played with their pet mortals, and I am set on a multitude of paths according to my own choices. We all get to choose: left or right; up or down; in or out; on or off. I am observed and judged – the path I need most in certain times will appear before me, but always with a choice.

My God will eventually lay down the knowledge I need to navigate my way to the success I hope for. All those years ago I chose to go to Manchester – I could have picked three other cities. I also chose to have babies and actively set about making it happen. I selected all the paths that have led me here; one day I will spend time imagining the ones I rejected.

My God does not lay a hand on me, either in anger or love; existence does not mean preponderance in menial and domestic notions – I, and I alone am responsible for my emotions and perceptions, without influence. My lethargy is mine; it comes from my experiences and feelings – I own it. I am to blame for not doing what I really want to do, and I am happy to confess. All the while I am in learning mode I move an inch or two in a positive direction.

My God has a thousand possibilities for my future and has put me in control of my destiny – I accept that and hope that the choices I make take me as far as I am allowed, within the confines of this body. My body is nature and therefore deteriorates in time.

My God spreads a wealth across the universe, where possibilities depend upon imagination and creativity – it is ever-expanding into infinity.

My God does not need: worship; gender assignment; race or creed attached; hymns written or sung; churches built and laid with gold; prayers or punishment; marches or pilgrimages; politics or pontificating. All that is assumed is kindness and generosity; is that too much? For many humans it apparently is!

My God does not have apartments in the name of Heaven and Hell; they were invented by us, men, and humans. Heaven and Hell are a control feature for the invented church to have power over the common masses – to frighten the hell out of them! Heaven and Hell are abominations and absolutely do not exist in my universe.

My God knows the way of the world and the limitations of Earth. There is no use in speculation because that’s all it could ever be; the only good outcome of speculation is education and learning. I am ready to accept my place in the way of things and already have an image in my mind of my end here; I see myself flying into the black universe, back to where I belong – home.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Thanks must be paid to ebay seller kodi987 for the beautiful photos below, and above; I will be posting more.  I bought two CDs for 99p each, entitled: 1000 Vintage Photochrom Photographs 1& 2 and they are an astounding collection of views from around the world, possibly taken or inked, over a hundred years ago...and there's more than 1000! I can use them to make cards, for scrapbooking and of course, blogging. Enjoy!


Sunday, June 22, 2008


I’ve just been watching Fight Club again and come to the conclusion that we have to drive into the skid if we ever want to get anywhere. I don’t mean capitulate and fit in with the norm: I think we should run away with the extraordinary. You know the old detective saying, ‘if the only thing left sounds crazy, then that’s probably the truth!’ So, the yellow brick road and the wisdom of the green wizard is the way to go.

Normality has never really existed in my life; I did everything backwards and now I’m coming home to roost, amongst my similar friends – my familiars. One is a witch, one had a sex change including a clitoris on the National Health, and another is a psychic who swallowed Wikipaedia. Walk this way and don’t be afraid.

Fear has no power over me – I swat it like the fly that it is. I made my way to a cemetery 15 years ago, expecting to find a man who had attacked my17yr old son; I was prepared to kill him softly if he wasn’t already dead (from the whack on the head my son had retaliated with) – it was 3am and I was strolling in the moonlight, with the dog while my son (who I’d left behind) babbled his terrible warnings about how dangerous this man was. I told him that Glaswegians run from no-one. The bully had gone; there were a few spots of blood on the pavement. The anti-climax is still with me.

I know I would survive disaster and end up an old warhorse; there would be monuments erected, in time. Quite right too. But I wouldn’t be the one sending soldiers over the top; if anyone had to go I’d be right there with them. Honesty and courage used to be a basic instinct when I was growing up: now it’s missing in action and should be posted MIA all over the bloody place. My son thinks that my kind are mad. When the druggies smashed the windscreen on my car I was out there with a hammer demanding they come out and fight; they thought I was mad too and stayed in their holes.

How are we to live in this increasingly wicked world? By standing up and getting as bold as them; the muggers, rapists, murderers, robbers and violent cowards all have one thing in common – dishonesty; they think they’re hard, but they’re in denial. In Fight Club they’re looking for a way out and start beating themselves to a pulp; there is an energy and honesty there and courage to face pain and the unknown. The scary part is the success of madness, but someone has to push to create change, and often madness is very well disguised.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Sylvia and I had a great night in on Sunday; we spent four hours rabbitting on about our school-days and old friends, family and God-knows-what-else. The only strange thing about it (to some people) is that I was in Glasgow, and she, in the vicinity of Chesterfield. Boy, can we talk on the phone; we had toilet and coffee breaks, and she had a bottle of wine and probably about a thousand fags – we broke off before the call reached the hour limits so it cost nothing. The sensible, older woman – that’s us. Yeah right!

In my hermit stage I spend an awwwwwwwful lot of time watching TV. I was conscious the whole time that I was missing my CSIs – isn’t that terrible? I think that this is my worst anti-social period to date. I enjoy being with my friends, talking and relaxing, laughing, looking at the phenomena of fashion on the high street; I love to hear about people I used to know, finding out where they went and what happened to them, but – I seem to be addicted to drama on the box. I don’t watch soaps or reality programmes or most of the fashionable sit-coms or comedies – DRAMA is the thing. I am losing my will to live.

It’s time to turn the telly off and read, and write, and craft, and think, and LEAVE THE HOUSE! Time to go out among the great washed and unwashed, fashionable and downright real people, in the streets, through the parks and art galleries, over bridges with stops for photo-shoots - to listen and learn. I say this from my comfortable position in my bed, with the lovely laptop upon my knee, and all kinds of refreshments at my right hand – even a cat within stroking distance.

This room, prison and necessary evil has everything I need within easy reach, for instance, upon my table: TV with video & DVD player; slow cooker; little grill; kettle; phone x2; coffee & Earl Grey; water; Slimfast; (milk & butter that needs to go back in the fridge – what an effort) bread; scissors and accumulated letters – it’s a big table. There’s also a baking-cooling tray that the laptop sits on. Why do I need anything from the outside world? I can be perfectly sociable from here. Just remembering an EM Forster short story called, I think, The Machine Stops, where life is reduced to an existence in a tiny room. What’s wrong with that?

I’ve been to the doctor and asked for help to lose weight before I kill myself with type 2 diabetes or something and he suggested a SPORT’S CENTRE!!!! My God, the very idea of it! But I suppose I have to force these things on myself; it’s an awful imposition on my horizontally-creative lifestyle, and I resent the time it will take – maybe I should create a whole new character to experience these vile activities…yes, I’ll give her a name and let her get on with it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


My grandmother dreamed of a sailor at the bottom of her bed - he never spoke. She looked forward to his beaming smile during the long sleepless nights, alone in a city centre flat - a daughter for every day of the week to ration sleeping pills and Codeine. She sang about sin and spat at Ian Paisley on TV.

Her grave is a mile from my bed, but she won’t leave me alone. I hear her singing in our spare room flinging up cold cotton sheets, calling for drains to be bleached, complaining about the men on my walls. 'Valentino!’ she’d sigh. ’Now, there was a man.’ She wore black and red to his funeral.  

Religion was an extension of her old age pension. Nuns followed her home. She begged from priests, and charmed local bobbies in the middle of the night, wrapped up tight in flannelette and tweed wandering Glasgow Cross, searching for a sister lost in time.

When she died, my mother found money taped to the wall behind the Pope, enough for a hundred fish-suppers in front of Late Call and a blazing gas fire to tartan her shins.

My grandmother is a frail fairytale, missing from my mirror. I didn’t know her face would disappear - I was young, couldn’t see past my own fifteen years. I remember her buttery hair, tidy, with natural oils, scraped back, pony-tailed. How will I know who I am? There are no pictures, only vague memories, fleeting.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I’ve just found myself getting quite upset at the death of a fellow granny-blogger; I hadn’t been in there for ages and how strange to click over there today to find that she’d died yesterday morning. Funny how you become attached to people through writing; it seems to be an instant connection that blasts away the rubble so that the friendship and bond is almost immediately grasped. I haven’t been back to read as much as I planned but I will. I now have two links to travelling bloggers: Maya’s Granny and Julia Darling.

This reinforces the importance of blogs to me; the family of a blogger will always have an amazing chunk of their loved-one’s spirit; their opinions, ideas, character and personality will shine out so that generations can meet and know who they were. I often wish I had something like it of my parents; they really were strangers to me – I only saw what they wanted to show me…which is what my children experience from me.

Children are always so involved in their own angst and plans for their future and present that the question of who their parents are doesn’t arise until death intervenes. The idea that these blogs will be part of family trees and social history is quite mind-blowing.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Next stop is Kilpatrick; it lives under the bridge, huddled and flat beside the river. The next stop Anywhere, anytime; next stop Heartbreak etc, next stop Childhood and my ball stuck behind the railings and I’m going to be late and The Granny will kill me! Change conductors at Dalmuir – scary.

CASH IS SPENT, advert on billboard. What do people do in Singer? Next stop Drumry, and the sun also shines. I’m going straight to work, so I’ll have time to dally on Paisley Rd West, have coffee in Subway, might even buy a sandwich for dinner later. Must get wool for the sunset.

The city is approaching and I remember the photo I took of a rain-splashed bench, all dazzling with colours flashing off the prisms as the sun glared. I do believe in faeries. Westerton brings me nearer to Partick and a subway to Subway. I need an iPod.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Tilly and I spent the afternoon at ZaZa’s yesterday: sandwiches, cakes, shortbread and more cakes – all home-made, for breakfast, lunch and I took some away for dinner at work. Howzat for bad habits? Then I began today with two of her rolls and am planning the last of the shortbread for lunch, in a minute! Just as well I’m arranging to begin a new life next week, isn’t it?

We had a great time talking nonsense; of course funerals came up, and the outfits we would wear, and what would or should happen to our bodies. ZaZa said that we should send her ashes off in a little boat onto Loch Lomond, on fire, while we sway and dance to the music she’s chosen - she made us listen to it and Tilly and I had a few practice hand and arm movements, while describing the trailing black lace of our gothic sleeves. I offered to create the little boat and Tilly, of course, will do the herbs and spells.

So there we sat all afternoon, stuffing ourselves…oooh, did I mention the merangues? FAB. And all with French cafe music in the background; there was also a touch of Russian as ZaZa showed us her Russian fox-fur hat. She paraded around, wearing it and a machine-washable afghan coat but wouldn’t allow me to photograph her because she wasn’t made-up. Life doesn’t get much better than this; I’m so glad I came back from my travels.

I can't believe I've managed to do this! How great is this? I have impressed even me.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Mrs A, Mrs B and Mr C, you won’t remember me, and you’re probably dead by now anyway, but I must inform you that you were in the wrong business; there was no love of children in the ranting and terrifying tirades that you poured over our little primary heads. Somewhere in your lives you all took a wrong turn or were following a path that you should never have been on. I see you raising your hand with a ‘but’, but the fact is you are three out of perhaps six or seven teachers. You are the only stars of this show – none of the others left a mark either physical or mental on me; they are invisible. Almost fifty years ago, Mrs A, you made me stand in the corner of a cold cloakroom, alone, for swapping my blue pencil with the red one given to the boy behind me. I was four years old and you were my first experience of the education establishment; you certainly left an impression on me.

When I was seven, you, Mrs B, dragged me up the dining hall backwards by the ponytail, because I had done something awful, diabolical even; I licked mince gravy off my knife. I was a quiet and tender little thing and you were the monster from the black lagoon. There was no comparison in my reading matter; I don’t remember vile creatures in Enid Blyton tales. While I was asking my mother to serve me and my friends ginger beer and sandwiches at the bottom of the garden, you were the reality that was breaking into my life. Home and literature was a haven from the only school bullies I knew– the kind that didn’t need to wait at the gates; they got you in public, these 007s with a licence to maim.

I haven’t forgotten you Mr C, or the first time I felt your leather strap slap up my tiny wrists; I might’ve been eight or nine, and my crime was eating a banana in the lines. I’d probably been so busy playing that I’d forgotten to eat it at the correct time. You ordered me to come to your classroom which was full of eleven-plus students, all sniggering at me standing there, waiting for my punishment, aware of all my flaws. I had to be brave, ignore them and pay attention to your swaggering thick belt; I stood and took the two great whacks while trying to control my face. I didn’t cry; I stared wide as you verbally justified the beating and sent me back to my own class. I had that few minutes to get myself in order to face my friends, to pretend that it was nothing, that I was tough and cool before cool meant cool.

And then there was the day you belted the whole class, Mr C; I had finally reached the top, was a member of the eleven-plus, and looking forward to leaving for secondary school. We were usually quiet and studious, in your presence – there was no other way to be, and live. It began to snow, huge, soft flakes, and we stood up to see it. Of course you thundered that we should sit down, and we did at first, but when the blizzard really began to swirl we rose up again and were deaf to your threats; it was exciting. You must’ve thrown an enormous tantrum, I don’t quite remember that part but suddenly you had the whole class in a curve around the room, about thirty of us. You calmly walked along the line and belted every one, except for the class favourite who was crying, you told her to sit down; she was the fairy from the top of the tree. We were belting material; she was far too fragile for real life.

The three of you sent me out into the world with a hatred of teachers; a dislike of loud voices and discord – to this day I still have a little of the people-pleaser in me. When my first child was starting school, I walked the corridors, listening for raised voices, for the teachers who couldn’t command respect by just being kind and working at interesting lesson plans. I hope your kind are dead and gone; there is more pain in mental torture than physical – in life I learned to fight back with my tongue rather than my fists…so I did learn something from you after all, but should I thank you for that? Is it you I should thank for my cynicism, my quick wit and acid tongue? You battered a good Scottish education into the bones of me and I do thank you for that – perhaps the madness in your methods was thumped into you.