Tuesday, November 25, 2008


We were rolling along Great Western Road, keeping an eye out for the chairs we’d seen sitting by the roadside on our way out earlier; me and number-one son, Toc-Toc, had gone to pick up a lovely big telly from ZaZa, which sat very nicely in Clio’s boot and would look wonderful in the corner of my living room. So, as I turned from Anniesland Cross I glanced across the road and at the same time we both said,
‘There’s a silver TV stand over there.’

TocToc was out of the car and over the dual carriageway in a flash – I taught him well. As we’d passed through the edge of the city centre we caught sight of a little plastic table and bench, all red and yellow, for a child; it was still there on the way back too and we stopped so he could pick it up. A car full of free stuff just fills my heart with joy!

But the shape of this living room is driving me crazy; I can’t get the furniture to sit right in it at all, and the only whole wall has a radiator in the middle of it! I got TocToc to move the telly into the little nook by the old, previously fireplace wall but I think I’ll have to call him back to move it again – I’ll have one more try tomorrow before I ask him. I enjoyed my day with him; I hardly spend any time with him because he talks like a socially-starved automaton, and he’s a back-seat driver.

Afterwards, he directed me to a country road between Renton and Cardross across a moor, complete with cattle grids, and the views were wonderful. Ben Lomond is topped with snow and what a sight it is. The view of it from my window is obstructed by an ugly block of flats – as I turn into my road, just about thirty yards away, it rears up into the wintry sky like something from a postcard, right in front of me, a mountain all snowy and real almost within grasp of my city-girl eyes. I will take some photos and post them – even the ugly flats.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


The fridge is dead! Well that didn’t last long, did it? I expected longer than a month for my fifteen quid. I had a cup of tea and worried about the food that I’d have to re-home for a while; everything in the freezer was soft already so it must have happened last night or could’ve been days ago for all I notice stuff like that. So, I eventually got up and had a look at the plug, thinking that I’d check the fuse – that’s when I realised that I was holding the microwave plug and that the fridge was unplugged.

Now that’s the kind of thing that happens when the assigned electrical sockets don’t work and you have to move stuff around; the fridge plug was stretched across so that I had to keep pulling plugs out whenever I wanted to use the toaster or microwave… and the washing-machine is sticking out so the plug can reach another socket above the counter. I am a woman in waiting, again; waiting for the workmen to come out and plaster, remove gas pipes sticking out of the living room floor from an old fire, and of course the electrical sockets in the kitchen.

But I do love my new wee flat and I apologise for being absent from this blog for so long. As I moved in, I was furiously writing, keeping up with the National Novel Writing Month, and trying to compile the photo album for my sister-in-law’s friend – I fell behind on the Nano but eventually finished the album. I’ve got into the habit of painting a couple of doors while still in my nightdress – there are a lot of doors, seven of them in the hall and previously painted a very dark pink so now need two coats in order to cover it; that makes fourteen doors, just in the hall! I hate painting doors but I’m a quick worker and am half-way there, thank God.

I’m still moving, still picking up bags from Musician’s flat on my way to work and wondering if I’ll get the bookshelves in the lovely wee car – I got my bed in it! Who would ever have thought that you could get a single bed in a Clio?

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Just a little extract from the novel I'm working on for National Novel-writing Month:


I wish I’d stopped drinking last night when I said I would; working with a hangover would be interminable, especially with Marlow yammering on about the evils of anything other than red wine. Elegance is a bottle of the most expensive red you can afford, according to him. Well, it was beer or nothing last night. I’m fed up being piss-poor.

The shower always made me gasp and moan; the weight of wet hair down my back equalled pure ecstasy. It battered my hangover into submission and I felt more myself as I clambered out of the bath – I’ve never been elegant. An image of Frankie and his pet policeman forced itself into my head; he was driving me mental, this son of Satan – a true teenager, and definitely not my favourite child at the moment. Everyone said he would grow out of it, that he’d be a fine man – yeah right.

My first call was Moaning Millie; she wanted her mother to help her with her new baby – wasn’t that what a mother did? She whined that she was tired and had expected her mother to come clean the house, take over so she could sleep. I didn’t tell her that her mother had probably had enough of her and her sister to last a lifetime and was now in clover with her own little flat and piles of peace, contentment and bloody freedom!

Marlow smirked from his booth. He sat there surrounded by all kinds of balms, stones and healthy spiritual stuff; Dr Witch, I called him – he never moved from his place and we spun around him like the little satellites from his very own solar system.
‘Don’t even think it.’ I said.
‘I would’ve thought you’d have found something more interesting than alcohol by now.’
‘Shut up.’
‘I know what you’re going to say next; It was Jess’ fault. Now isn’t that right?’
‘You said that, not me – and I was not thinking it.’ I couldn’t look at him because he was always right. ‘Bitch.’
‘Patsy you’re a patsy.’
‘Yeah well. Jess is bad; she thinks she’s a terrible mother.’
‘She is.’
‘She is not…and you don’t know her. Well maybe you do, but you weren’t there. It’s too easy for the childless masses to slag single parents off – they haven’t got a clue. We’d be better off in Huxley’s Brave New World; created in test-tubes and grown in jars for nurseries somewhere distant. I don’t think we should be parents at all; we’re all bad, selfish and stupid.’
‘You’re in a lovely mood this hangover, aren’t you?’ he dug into his bag and offered me a French Fancy.

I couldn’t get Frankie out of my mind, wondering if he was smoking wacky-backy or breaking into some empty factory for lead and copper. He was supposed to be in his room studying and watching TV – he was probably talking on my landline but not to mobiles; I’d had them banned, so at least he wasn’t costing me too much money. Bella would keep an eye on him; she was a terrier when she started. That was the only fault with this job; I liked working at night because it stopped me wasting my time in front of the box but it meant that I wasn’t there to supervise my wayward son – but he was sixteen; he should be part-way sensible by now. I prayed he didn’t turn into a Hoodie, and wouldn’t buy him anything with a hood on it – not even a jacket!