The Mothership Arrives

By November 16, 2011 Blog

It’s three am. Where am I? Not where I should be.  Not tucked up in bed, snoozing. Not spooning my husband. Or counting sheep. Nope, I’m on the kitchen floor, cleaning under the cooker. This will sound bonkers, until I explain that today, My Mum is Coming. In the last hour I have: 1.re-painted part of the kitchen wall. 2. developed a comprehensive sorting system for my underwear. (Off-white, grey and less grey). 3. raided the fridge. (Less said about this the better, but …Read More

Murder In Conversation

By November 15, 2011 Blog

A few days ago I sat next to a couple I’ve spoken to before.  The gentleman has always been very friendly to me and peppers our conversations with anecdotes and jokes. On this occasion I was working to a deadline, so couldn’t chat.  But as I listened to him berating his wife, I saw an entirely different side of his personality. For almost forty minutes, he ran her down. Criticised her appearance, complained about the coffee she ordered (and brought to him), …Read More

All And Nothing

By November 14, 2011 Blog

What do these words have in common:  ‘Addict’, ‘Obsession’, ‘Poison’, ‘Opium’? They’re all perfumes marketed as lifestyle choices.  But is addiction and self-destruction really so glamorous? And when we know it’s not, why are we still seduced? In her book, ‘Illness as Metaphor’, Susan Sontag talks about  the messages we absorb from our culture.  She argues that our economic system is based on the idea that appetite is supposed to be immoderate – and  depends upon encouraging us to defy limits. At the …Read More

Virtual Reality?

By November 12, 2011 Blog

Last week , I was talking to someone who reads the blog .  ‘I’m not sure how people who don’t know you can get it. What you write is just like who you are.  I read about you and because I know you in person, it makes sense.’ But today I was challenged by a different  friend (yes, I have two!) who asked me this: ‘Why’, he said, ‘do you beat yourself up online?’ I thought about it for a moment. ‘What do you …Read More

Not Pregnant

By November 10, 2011 Blog, identity

But I really want to be. I really, really, really want to be. But I’m not. So there it is. Some days I don’t mind so much.  I think about it a little, but it’s like the background music in the coffee shop.  Unless you stop talking or working, you barely notice. Other days it’s like a pain, or a punch in the stomach.  A  kind-of winded breathlessness.  An internal ache, a sadness that won’t lift. One red line instead …Read More

Hostages to Fortune?

By November 9, 2011 Blog

Whether on the news or in the movies, we’re all familiar with the hostage situation.  The tense face-off between a crazed gunman and a negotiator. A taut interchange, where every word, every nuance buckles under the weight of meaning. Where lives hang in the balance and your reactions dictate life and death. In this situation, how would you cope? Would you stay silent? Follow orders and keep your head down? Or try to take charge? Negotiate, persuade? This is what the SAS …Read More

Sandcastles

By November 8, 2011 Blog

They’re not like us.  The rich, the talented, the beautiful.  They’re sheltered, strong, immune to the doubt and despair that assails the weak.   4 They have no struggles;    their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens;    they are not plagued by human ills. (Psalm 73) Well, amen to that. I’ve been thinking it for years. And close on its heels bark the ‘What If’s’. Not to mention the ‘If Only’s’. What if I could be like X?  If only I had this..or this…or …Read More

Redeeming Our Mondays

By November 7, 2011 Blog

Well, here we are again. Am I alone in feeling like Mondays wear roller-skates?  It’s barely the weekend and then – whoosh! New week.  Sunday might be the technical start, but there’s a psychological shift when the clock tips over into the weekday. Plus, Mondays always seem to throw up new challenges.  Well, I say new, but that’s a complete misnomer.  Is it just me, or do you spend a lot of your life going over old ground?  The same battles, albeit from different angles.  A …Read More

Being Known

By November 6, 2011 Blog, identity

What comes first, the addiction or the depression? The guilt or the grief? Am I ashamed because I self-harm? Or do I self-harm because I’m ashamed? I’m not sure there’s an answer – certainly not a simple one anyway. I wonder if it’s to do with our fear and longing to be known. Psalm 139 says this: You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 …Read More

Words To Die By

By November 4, 2011 Blog

‘Better to burn out than fade away’. I heard this on the radio earlier and thought to myself, ‘What a pile of crap’. Sorry, but it is. As a line on a t-shirt it might look alright, but as a life strategy it stinks. It stinks if you’re comparing yourself to supermum, trying to take your kids to tai chi and maintain your sanity. It stinks if you’re director of the board, siphoning your strength into a company that’ll spit …Read More