My creativity bug

As a child attending shcool I wrote essays, poetry and other forms of writing rather dutifully, there was no particular love or hate for writing.  The feedback I got from teachers wasn’t exactly encouraging, in comparison I hated maths and loved the bit of chemistry and biology I did and learnt some German which I revelled in for other reasons.  History I found stimulating and absorbing, but the general chore of writing to task was dull.  The end result was that although my spelling was excellent at the time I came out with a D for my GCSE English, which didn’t inspire me to think that I had any talent for writing or any particular spark of creativity.

However strangely as an adult things changed.  I worked as a proof reader for a while and the company I worked for decided to produce a newsletter I felt to write something I wasn’t sure why but went down very well, and it encouraged me to write more.

When my mother was terminally ill I felt inspired to write a story for her which she loved and others who saw I since enjoyed it.  To some degree this blog came  out of all that.

Now one of the creative tasks I found difficult was poetry and song writing, but lately something rather odd has been happening.  I’ve been writing little bits of poetry and possible song writing material, how did that come about.  It all started when I visited a man known for his poetry and I really enjoyed listening to his creativity, really appreciated the depth coming out of him, not long afterwards one of my friends embarked on a creative spurt of song writing, after conversing with her and a couple of other friends words started coming to me inspired by the conversations.

I’ve been wondering why now, some of the stuff coming out is quite emotive and personal which I’ve been surprised by.  I’m  generally not been a big fan of poetry, but what I’m doing now I’m really enjoying it’s stimulating and fun.

I feel as I’m writing I seem to be drawing stuff out of me or attempting to get to the bottom of something, either way the conclusion I’ve come to is that this is exactly it’s purpose to either draw something out or find something deep.  whichever way I’m happy to go with the flow and I feel whilst that inspiration is there to grab it with both hands and run with it.  So I’ll end with a little bit of inspiration.

Now I’m alert to this creativity spurt, I’ve got so much pleasure by this written treasure, I’ll continue to dig deep, for the words which will speak through this season of time, for I don’t want to bypass this gold mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some 70’s reminiscing

Today I’ve been listening to an audiobook called Jubilee by Shelley Harris, part of which is set during the time of the silver jubilee in 1977, it certainly evoked memories for me not just about the jubilee but about my own childhood during the mid 70’s.

After my mum gave birth to me in the early 70’s the family moved to  a Close somewhere in Stafford.  The street was lined with houses that petered off to the left on one side, if I remember correctly.  The unusual thing about that street for me and I’ve not seen it since was the white pavement and road, it wasn’t the usual grey and black of our roads and pavements today, since looking it up on google it looks fairly different now.

On some weekends my sister and I would go to the local fair for a bit, on the Saturday, mornings would be spent watching the tv, various cartoons and perhaps eating some space dust one of the many treats from the local sweet shop.  Either my sister and I or my dad and I would trudge up there, I vaguely remember an incident when my dad and I walked through the subway or tunnel out to where the shops were and two lads on bikes came perilously close to me and my dad telling them off.  Once there I would look wide eyed at all the treats on offer I remember coming away with Spangles I think lime or the cola ones were my favourites at the time.  I think sherbert dips or dib dabs were my other treats from there, for the life of me I can’t remember what else they sold there.  Sometimes on a Saturday my sister and I would go to the local park, I don’t remember much being there at the time apart from a slide and a couple of swings.  I remember us both in not very good moods singing nobody loves me, everybody hates me…  We used to attend a local hairdressers on the same street as the sweet shop, but my mum was not pleased when she felt the hairdresser had ruined my then curly hair as it became all straight.  She then had a lovely hairdresser who would put rollers in my hair with pins in to try and curl it.

Sometimes other children would be round and we used to play in the garage area I think just outside the side door to our house, I had a little orange car that I would drive around or a little  blue and red trycycle.  Outside in our garden in the summer time I would sit with a large yellow bowl of my mums and remove pods from garden peas, which I would find rather therapeutic now.  I remember us having a street race and I either fell off the thing I was riding or was upset because I came last, I certainly had a few bruised knees those days!

I remember a party we had and Rod Stewarts Do you think I’m sexy was playing either from the stereo or the telly.  Some evenings my dad and I would watch Star trek on the telly or one of my favourite programmes at that time Monkey.  Equally I remember Saphire and Steel another great programme.  Unfortunately I was plagued by nightmares as I watched the armchair thriller and some other horror movies as I didn’t always go to bed when I should have done.

I remember my cousin teaching me to read on a magnetic board with magnetic letters and bringing home Peter and Jane books then Janet and John books, followed by Enid Blyton books.  But my favourite reading was the Mr men books, hence the image of the mug my mum bought me, in which I used to drink hot chocolate or Ovaltine.

Our tea or dinner times would include tinned salmon with potato and peas, sometimes my mum would bring something from the bakers who I found out later may have been distant relatives, Victoria sponge, éclairs, meringues.  My mum would sometimes do jelly and ice cream.  I used to have trouble eating, so either my sister would play aeroplanes with me, or my mum would give me a dose of minidex.  I remember the crisps were not in these foil wrapped packets you get now, oh on they were in flimsy bags and not that much choice of flavours then either.

Well what I can remember of the jubilee was us having a party at some neighbours house where there were many children and adults, I think I sat at the top of the table.  I think triangular party hats were worn and the plates were union jack plates.  party blowers and balloons were the things of partys in those days, the balloons weren’t as fancy as they are now, but yes definitely some pops and fizzy pop too.  I tended to drink lemonade in those days.  At the time of the party our family had not long come back from abroad, so I think that jubilee party was in the August, as I was going to be starting boarding school in the September.  I don’t think I wore red white and blue though. .

70’s music always reminds me of warm summers, I vaguely remember standing outside the front of our house hearing I’m not in Love by 10c blaring from the lounge or kitchen, the charts I would record on the stereo on a Sunday on tape, which used to be recorded on my dads open university tapes which he would get very cross about if he discovered I’d used them whoops.  I would often tape myself singing or doing things, play with cars or my weebles or read some of my sisters Jackie comics even though I was not the right age to read them I had the reading ability to read them.  I remember reading Jane Eyre which I found rather chilling at the time, I don’t think it was quite the adult version though.  My particular children’s’ comic was called Twinkle which I loved.

What is my most abiding memory of the 70’s though well something I alluded to earlier, I suppose for me it will always be the music, from the bad soul album being continuously played on my parents stereo, to the gentle tones of Demis Roussos, played on my little tape recorder to help me sleep at night. Music got me through anything and everything. the other abiding memory is the fact we weren’t always in the UK, but I may write about that another time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why it still hurts and what changed

As I write this in just a few hours it will be mothers day.  For me on two counts it’s not as I’m neither a mother or have a mother.  So it will just be an ordinary day apart from the clocks going forward as I live in the UK. I lost my mother in 2012 from a short battle with cancer.   You certainly do change when you lose a mother, it’s hard to put a finger on how that change impacts you or always put into words how it  affects you, but as far as is possible or reasonable or printable I will try to share how it has changed me and why it still hurts when we are now in 2017.

From discussions I’ve had with others and through observation the impact  a parent’s death has on a person is profound.  When my mum’s father died she went to pieces, her was her soulmate, there was always a pervading sense of sadness around home I often think that was why, I don’t think my mum ever got over losing her father and it was rather poignant she died at the same age as her father did and on the same weekend.  I’ve heard say married couples when one of their parent’s dies how it impacts them and thus their spouse and sometimes ends their marriage or contributes to it.

I remember reading an article about grief of a mother in an online Oprah Winfrey magazine.  It summed up well how it impacted me.  The strange thing from the article I had read and  certainly became true for me was the new sense of freedom I felt, no more nagging and worrying from my mother, I didn’t have her looking over my shoulder every time I did something or travel somewhere.  I definitely felt guilty about being happy about having those shackles lifted off me, but that was my ultimate vulnerability that I didn’t realise at the time as unfortunately it did make me a bit reckless, but freedom can do that to you when boundaries have been removed and I learnt the hard way that I needed that stabilizing influence of my mother that I actually really still needed. It was certainly right that I had the freedom but I also needed the stability which is something I lost and I actually had not necessarily valued.

One of the incidents that struck me was when following my mum’s coffin up the church I knew at that point things had changed family order wise, I felt older and more responsible.  There was a lighter moment at my mum’s internment when I attempted to get over some snow only to discover that I’d climbed a tombstone instead to the helpless laughter of my nieces.

I had to adapt to going to various shops on my own that used to going to with my mother, my mum used to help me shop for clothes now I couldn’t rely on my mum to give an honest opinion about what suited me the best or what really looked terrible on me, now, I now have to just try and judge for myself feeling my way through and hoping that I may have made a good choice but I still don’t always feel that confident that that I’ve made the right choice as my mum’s choices were excellent.

My mum’s standards were high and my ability to wash, iron and cook to her standards are nothing compared to hers, and she would assist regularly with ironing, but now she is not around so I have to hope for the best when I iron it’s not a disaster.

The two things I miss most of all are my mum’s attention to detail and her sense of intuition which I didn’t always appreciate, she was always thoughtful, if I was staying over night she would set my breakfast out  before I came down (if I had to be up early), everything was set out she knew what I liked with little I had to do to put my breakfast together, I liked hot chocolate in the morning at the time, and that would be in the mug ready for me to just pour the water in for example with me not having to go hunting for the hot choc container.  She was even like that when she was ill, which obviously  I didn’t expect from her at all.

But the thing I miss most of all about my mum and why it hurts so, is that I could trust her, not in the sense of being a confidante as she wasn’t a friend, but it was in the sense I could trust her regarding me, she always had the right motives concerning me, I knew she would do me no harm.  If she did give me advice it was always with my best interests  at heart, no guile no deceit just pure love.  Of course I trust people but not in the way I could trust my mother.  It has made me more cautious, and yes this is what hurts the most.

At the same time I’m grateful that a support network materialised through one thing or another which has helped me come to terms with her loss, but yes it’s changed me and yes it still hurts.  I wish a happy mothers day to those reading this, but my thoughts are with those who have no mother or are not mothers themselves.  So to those who still have mothers or have children don’t take either for granted you don’t know if it’s the last shopping trip or outing you will be on or the last bunch of flowers you can buy your mother, or toys you can buy your child embrace and enjoy every moment you spend with your child.  If you can please spare a thought for those of us who can’t enjoy doing what your doing, and if any of us look sad or far away, don’t think we don’t want you to enjoy this special day just know for us it just still hurts.