Tag Archives: parents

Yesterday’s Smile

It was about 10.30pm, and I was on a train and in my third hour of a journey home from London.

Somewhere on the opposite side of the carriage and a couple of seats behind mine were sitting a young mother and her little boy – who was at a guess around two years old.

For most of the journey the pair were babbling away to each other in that way that mothers and toddlers do. Then we reached a station a couple of stops away from my own (and a couple more still away from theirs), and as the train slowed to a halt the boy got ridiculously excited, jumping up and down screaming ‘Are we there are we there are we there? Mummy, are we there???’

No, mummy explained, no we’re not there yet. This is Thorne, we’ve got about 45 minutes to go…

and so (even though I’m pretty sure this kid was far too young to understand ’45 minutes’) he began to cry. Loudly. Wailing and sobbing as if the most tragic thing in the world, ever, had just happened to him.

(At this point the teenage boy sitting in front of and opposite to me, with whom I’d looked up from my book to make brief eye contact, shared a smirk with me before mumbling something which might have been ‘oh god, please no’).

After about 30 seconds of the mournful hysterics the mother put us all out of our misery/mild irritation;

“Oh… Stop Pretending To Cry!”

And so he did. Instantly. And remained silent for the next thirty seconds before starting up all over again.

Maybe you had to be there, but I had to giggle.




Sorry For The Rant, But…

I live directly opposite my village’s primary school.

I have never quite been able to understand why an apparent majority of parents of the young children in the village (and I’m sure the same goes for children attending their local primary schools everywhere) choose to drive said offspring to school when said school cannot possibly more than around a ten-minute walk away.

That’s right, Mums and Dads; I’m suggesting that it would be better for you to (shock, horror) get off your fat lazy arses and walk your young ones to school. Put one foot in front of the other a few times a day. It probably won’t kill you, and it definitely won’t kill the kid(s). And if it is likely to kill you that’s probably in large part due to the fact that it’s been so long since you last did such a thing – which would account for how your lazy ass got so fat. I mean, is there any wonder childhood obesity is a growing problem in this country? By chauffeuring your brats to and from the other end of the same damn road you live on you are encouraging them to be incredibly lazy too.

No you are not pushed for time, and no you will not be late for work; getting up ten minutes earlier to allow for a casual hundred-metre stroll will not kill you any more than will the use of your legs’ full potential.

If your children happen to be older than, say, eight; why can’t they walk to school by themselves or with other children who live nearby? This is a small village and there are plenty of other kids and parents going the same way; nothing terrible will happen to them so long as they possess a shred of common sense and you’ve taught them such essentials as look-both-ways-and-listen-for-traffic-before-crossing-roads, and don’t-talk-to-strangers.

(This is a village. Everyone knows everyone’s business. There basically are no strangers, anyway).

Perhaps your ass isn’t fat and lazy; perhaps you’re one of those who drive your kids to school because you find it difficult to walk in those new Prada heels and that figure-hugging pencil skirt you’re desperate to show off – crowning glory as they are of the ‘yummy mummy’ image you’re trying to project.

Or perhaps you want to show us all how well-off and respectable you are through the medium of that fancy new car you’re driving?

Well I’m sorry, but unfortunately for your maxed-out credit card/chief exec hubby, most of us don’t give two hoots about that stuff either. At least, not beyond wishing you’d move your status symbol from across the bottom of our drive so we can get the youngest members of our own family to their school (six miles away – does not provide a bus service to this locality) on time. And we’d appreciate you doing so without the (excessively-lipsticked) stuck-up-bitch pout, please. Thanks.



Rant Over. Hastily-Carved-Cat-(mini)Pumpkin:


Elfte Dagen

Your Family. 

(^The Parentals)

(^The brothers)

(^The Sister and Me)

(^The Other – Furry – Brothers)

(^My Babies)

Camera dodgers, the lot of ’em.

Apologies for the generally crap quality of pics, too.

(You have NO idea how difficult it is to photograph 2 fishes at once with a phone).




(still haven’t gotten over that album cover either).


I’m Nervous About Writing This,

But I’m going to do it anyway; some fairly strong feelings have been dredged up from the depths of my memory and I don’t want to just let them sink back down, but there’s no question that I can’t write about them where I almost just did.


I’m currently in the process of filling out an application, for the second time round, to TeachFirst. In a nutshell, this is a scheme which aims to address educational disadvantage in the UK by recruiting high-calibre university graduates and fast-tracking them into teaching jobs in schools ‘facing challenging circumstances’. My immediate reaction to every question in the initial ‘values questionnaire’ part of the application process has been ‘waaaah I can’t do that. I can’t do that either…oh god, or that…’

This may be partly due to how rubbish I feel today, physically and in every other way. I don’t know. I’m sleep-deprived and… And. But I’m also going to make a wild and highly topical accusation as to where some of my lack of self-confidence (which I feel grating on me in every little thing I ever do in my day-to-day life, and have recently been feeling I may be reaching some kind of breaking point with) may have stemmed from.

I had a teacher, for years 5 and 6 of primary school, who hated me for no apparent reason. I highly doubt that she’ll ever read this, but I’m a tiny bit afraid that through some weird twist of fate she might; if she were to stumble across this blog somehow, she’d recognise me. I guess if you’re reading this, Ms. Wicked Witch… Hello.  : )

So. I wonder how it’s possible to hate a 9-year-old. I never misbehaved or got into any kind of trouble at school; I don’t mean to sound big-headed, but I was usually top of the class in just about everything. Sure, I probably cost the school a pretty penny in sticking plasters for my daily grazed knees and elbows, and sure I had far too many nosebleeds and those are gross, but other than that I don’t think I can really have caused anybody any harm back then. I was the kind of kid who had all the good ideas but obligingly let her friends claim them as their own, until she learned to keep quiet and be more selective about who she shared her thoughts with. (Not a lot has changed there, except that ‘obligingly’ has become passive-aggressively).

So, one week into belonging to the Wicked Witch’s class I got the telling-off of a lifetime. (Only one other telling off from my lifetime stands out in my memory so clearly, and I’m not even sure if that one was real or just a dream). It happened to me and my best friend, B, as we were leaving school at the end of the day. You see, at ‘playtime’ that morning, a silly little argument had broken out between us and two other girls from our friendship group, over who was ‘it’ in a game of tag or something daft like that. The other two had gone straight away to complain to Ms. Wicked Witch that B and I were being nasty to them. We and They spent the rest of the day not talking to each other, and probably doing a fair amount of being nasty about one another behind one another’s backs. Anyway, at the end of the day, B and I were going to walk home together. We got almost out of the door when I realised I’d left something behind, so I went back to the classroom to get it and she waited for me in the corridor. As I left the classroom, Ms. Witch and one of the girls from the other camp were talking in the open area outside. Head down, I walked on past, round to the corridor to where B was waiting for me. Before we managed to get out of the building for the second time, it was;


(er – Home, Miss?)


When I say massive rant, I mean I have never really been so shell-shocked in my whole life. One thing I always have been, I suppose, is difficult to shock. But on this occasion, a) we weren’t listening in to anyone’s conversation and anyway, if your conversation is so private why have it in a corridor, and b) the way she yelled at us, anyone would think that instead of just being one half of a silly playground argument, the pair of us had been setting fire to puppies or something. We both went home in tears, and both our mothers stormed straight over to school to find out what the hell this was all about. My mum was told that not only had I been incredibly nasty to those two girls that day, but also that I was the ‘ringleader of a gang of kids who bullied and tormented the younger children on the playground on a daily basis’. Oh, and that one of the friends from the other camp, who I also considered a best friend, ‘would do anything I told her to’ and if I said jump she’d say how high.

Even with an adult perspective on the matter, I’m pretty sure no word of that was true. If I say jump, (and to be fair, I’d be more likely to say ‘don’t you think jumping could be a good idea, maybe?’) most people say no Steph, I’d rather just sit here, and I say ok then, sitting’s cool too, I guess. Anyway, I think mum believed her at first, but then thought about it and changed her mind. Either way, I went to bed in something of a state that night, and didn’t feel much better in the morning. I got to school at the same time as B the next day, and we walked into the building together. Ms. Witch appeared, all feigned sweetness and light, came up to us – “Hi S, Hi B!!!” – pinched my cheeks and attempted to hug us both. Of course we were having none of that.

From then on I was convinced she hated me. She could be bitingly sarcastic, and it always got to me. She gave me one of the smallest parts in the Christmas play even though both my singing and speaking were better than the girl’s (one of the other two from earlier) who got the part (and didn’t end up singing the intended solo, solo). One time she told me to ‘Get a Life’ when I got excessively distressed over my computer having crashed. She wrote on my final school report that I needed to ‘broaden my friendship horizons’ which of course I read as ‘you have no friends’. One time she told me that there was no such thing as centrifugal force, I was making up words and called me a ‘total oddball’ when I went and pointed it out to her in the dictionary and turned out to be right. ( I remembered it from the Year 2 trip to the toy museum. Seriously, Google it. It was a little merry-go-round type thing with chairs that swing outwards when it spins).

I’m not sure if ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ applies when you’re nine, but I suspect not. Or, at least, it depends on how sensitive the nine-year-old is. Either way, in her position I would not have favourites, and I would not have un-favourites. I would definitely never, ever use sarcasm on a child. And even if some scumbag-from-across-the-road’s kid was proving herself ever-so-slightly smarter than my own son, I would not take it as my mission to undermine her fragile self-assurance at every opportunity.

I’m getting a Life. No thanks to you, Ms.

And if I couldn’t act then, I’m learning to do it now in order to come across as someone who believes in herself – a necessary illusion for getting to where I want to be, even though I’m not so sure that I really believe anything, or of where exactly it is that I want to be.

Perhaps I was arrogant and did need bringing down a peg or two. Perhaps I wasn’t quite the amazing singer or the fast runner I thought I was; perhaps I was a little too proud of my top of the class status and my grazed knees.

But… I was Nine. Y’know?


Guess Who’s Back

(back again,

Stephy’s back,

tell a friend…)

Yeah. Hi.

To start on a positive note and because it’s Fathers’ Day, I’ll begin with that bit about how I love my Daddy.

(Oh the 90s. I think he’s still got that jumper…)


Then I suppose I’d better mention that I went to Georgioupolis, Crete, for a week. With two of the girls I live with and the lovely KP who I do not live with.

(I won’t be living with any of these people as of Thursday. Mixed feelings there, but I suspect that it’s not them, it’s me).

A week of Sun, Sea, Sand and all The Rest.

(don’t get me wrong though; a total of 4 alcoholic beverages were consumed by yours truly throughout the whole week. ‘The Rest’ is probably not what you think).

I’m still finding myself at a total loss as to what to write every time I sit down and try to write something, and I’m also still averse to being too negative up in here, so I’m afraid ^that’s all you get to know for now. Perhaps I’ll elaborate later.

I’m not really happy to be home (maybe because I’m not Home, yet); I liked being away from (most of) the stuff that was grinding me down.  So, although it’s all wrong,

(I did enjoy myself, don’t get me wrong. Don’t get me wrong, DON’T GET ME WRONG)

I just kinda want to run to the Middle of Somewhere (which to anyone else would be considered the middle of nowhere) and scream.

Instead, my plans for today are to buy shoes and maybe a dress to go with them – one that actually suits me, if such a thing exists – and pack up my life ready for the next stage. And go out, with everyone who’s still around, wearing said shoes and dress like they’re gonna save my life or something stupid.

Dieu: Je voudrais être quelqu’un d’autre, maintenant, s’il vous te plaît.



Yes, there’s blonde underneath this;

Specifically that shade which tends to be universally and charmingly referred to within literature as ‘dirty blonde’

(and is never the colour of the heroine’s hair. Exciting people can’t have  ‘flowing mousey brown locks’, can they? People with mousey brown/dirty blonde hair are the plain and homely loyal friends to the heroes/heroines, the ones who get walked all over or killed or are sad but nobody knows/cares all that much).

Anyway. All I can say is,

Sorr-yyy that I want my goldfishies to have plenty of swimming space in their new tank. *pout*

(‘swimming space’ = complete with demonstratory spacious swimming motions).


(…and I wonder why nobody ever seems to take me seriously. I will move mountains some day goddammit. Even if they are mountains made of plasticine or something).

Hanging out with my ma brings out the worst best in me sometimes.

Happy whatever-fricken’-day-it-even-is-now


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