Tag Archives: family

Femininity in the family

My feminine influences growing up!

I was raised by an unglamorous tom boy, who was never without her pair of jeans, white t-shirts or turtle necks under thick jumpers or oversized blouses, she preferred sandals to heels or trainers and she never wore make up and her hair was always cropped short and her nails were always bitten back and sore looking.

That thankfully, was not my only feminine reference growing up and I yearned for my mother to be more like her sisters or cousins, because the majority of my family oozed femininity – even my mum would say she was the black sheep of her family and to see her amongst her sisters and cousins in photo shoots you’d believe it!

I spent a lot of my childhood being shunted around – again, thankfully!  Because I grew to be influenced by other people about what it means to be a woman rather than taking guidance from my mother, which was practically non-existent!

What did my mother teach me about being a woman?  That women are always burdened upon and are doomed of having a life of sexual harassment and fighting for their rights on a constant basis.  That when you get married you have to train your husband  and she was being serious too!  She really believed these things!

She never wanted me to grow up and have a relationship or have children, but she did tell me if I were inclined to do so that I’d need to get a professional man who doesn’t want children and who is smaller than me and submissive!

Not on your Nellie, that’s not my type at all mum, sorry!

My influences were from women who insisted that just because you are married to a man it doesn’t mean you let yourself go, you know?  You have to keep a certain standard, you have to make an effort or then whose fault is it if they strayed?

Don’t bite your nails dear, put nice things in your hair and if you are not going to bother wearing make up at least make an effort to pinch your cheeks and wear lip gloss instead!

You want a nice man who will look after you, protect you and make you feel loved and safe and you want to be able to support him as much as you can and treat him like a king!

Hearing this being spouted to me at a young age, my mother’s reactions was often covering my ears up and giving short nasty criticisms to whoever was poisoning her daughter to become a man’s slave!

Shame on you!  Shame on the lot of you and to think where women have come from, only for stupid women like you to talk the next generation back a hundred years! 

Don’t you listen to them my girl, they are wrong; you don’t need that, you are better off far away from all of THAT!

That was my influence growing up and I still stick to my aunts and cousins concepts and steer well clear of my mother’s!

On my dad’s side of the family, up until the 90s it was quite common for the older generation to help you look for your husband if they knew you were leaning towards wanting a family at a young age.  My mother hated that about them – my grandmother knew when I was fifteen that I only wanted a career because my mother and big brother expected me to have one of their choosing, not my own.  But ultimately I wanted a large family and work from home either as a writer, designer or childminder. 

When I was seventeen my grandmother had found some nice young gentlemen to set me up with, but my mum got furious about it and it is one of the many reasons why mum decided never to speak to my dad’s mum again.

I had to listen to my mum, though I liked what gran was doing, because it’s been a thing I’ve wanted my whole life – a large traditional family.  Had I of started young, it would have been fun to see how many children I would have had by now!  I know a second cousin who is the baby of 17 and she too had 17 children of her own so large families are not uncommon in my family!

But I am forty now and only with one child and it really has never been my intention to have such a small family, fate was taken out of my hands.

It has left a deep hollow in me; it is something I have never accepted looking back in my life.  I am hugely envious of women who are running alive with kids!

I think I would have been healthier for it too, if I had got my way.  I don’t live for myself, I live for other people and when you have just one child and his father completely takes over and pushes your nose out of the way all the time, it makes you feel unwanted and useless – I think that’s why I got sick.

On my dad’s side of the family, they are feminine too, but they are a different kind of feminine than my mother’s side of the family.

My mother’s side of the family are very glamorous and are often mistaken for rich women.  The kind of women who feel naked without make up, stink of expensive perfume, wearing heels and have three inch long decorated nails with diamante on them.  One or two are unethical fur enthusiasts and all of them spend an hour on their hair a day!

Their focus is mostly to please their man, care for their looks, socialise with friends and then the children come somewhere after all that! 

My dad’s side of the family are the old fashioned but very maternal types.  To the women in that side of the family, it is you feed the man and take care of him when he is sick and support him in most of his endeavours if he is sensible, but outside of this you don’t dare come between a woman and her children!

The children come before everything after the basic care of the husband, the house cleaning is next, self-maintenance and then friends if you have the time – but as long as self-maintenance and friends doesn’t interfere with you becoming a good citizen, volunteering at charities and attending church or entertaining the elderly in nursing homes.

These women dress in simple country clothing, floral dresses with lace and mid shin and tend to wear pearls.

They also have the same ration ratio per family, the man gets the biggest portion, then the kids and the women tend to go hungry if they are poor or have meagre rations in comparison.

This is why almost all the women in that side of the family are gardeners, they grow most of their own food and have a “be prepared” attitude to life, as most of them were girl guides in their past!

They are the women who will eat left over from the day before or make soup from them, unlike my mother’s side of the family who seem to have a phobia of all food once it’s been opened or cooked!

As I was growing up, my mother’s family regarded me as an anomaly, because there I was a mere slip of a girl telling them what they can do to budget their food and how to save money.   Because I had learned it all by staying with my paternal relatives!

My dad’s family also taught things like sewing by hand, basketry and all sorts of things. 

Whereas my mother’s family knit only when they are past 50yrs of age and before then have no idea about darning socks and whatnot.

My family to onlookers would appear to be like Last of the summer wine ladies at tea Vs the Kardashians.  Or putting them as individuals my dad’s family as a whole woman would be Emma Thompson’s Karen from Love Actually vs Elizabeth Taylor.   Whereas my mum is more like Ellen Degeneres!

I like to consider this has made me more like Dolly Parton, well eventually lol!  She is like a good healthy mix of the two!

Anyway, those are my feminine influences according to how I was raised by my family and I have a lot of sprucing up to do, because being sick for so long has made me lazy.  I am looking forward to transitioning back to the old vain me again! 

Thank you for reading!

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Filed under Home and Family, What inspired me?

My quiet dad

Today I am going to talk more about my dad.

My dad has hardly had much of a look in regarding my past, but I thought I should share some things about him, because he wasn’t part of the problem when I was growing up – he was like a cushion to the blow I could have had – if that makes sense at all?

My dad was always fighting to get me better things, to get me better socialised, to get me better educated and he was almost always ignored – but my dad did have some small victories now and again in regards to having choices about what happened to his child.

My mum made no secret about why she married my father; she let it be known to both him and I that she married him purely to keep her boys safe in case she died, because she had a health scare about a year before I was born.

Her arrangement was, I shall marry you Tom if you ensure that you will raise my boys as your own if anything happens to me!  He agreed and he would have done so too, however my dad said he was sad he would never have children of his own and he sulked about it for a time – my mum was terrified in having another child because the child she had before me was a breach of which she was more or less forcing herself to have naturally and she suffered for three days in labour until she relented to have a caesarean.

However, she told me she felt sorry for my dad and said that she would give him only one child to seal the deal and he was happy with that!

So I was born before they got married, they married in the January after my birth. 

My dad was a sheet metal worker shortly after this and remained in that job until I was seven years old. Then stuck to his next job until retirement, pun intended a glue factory foreman – where I got my first job as a labeller at the age of 15.

Before he married my mum he was a chicken farmer and a train driver before he went into the army to get a HGV license, but he stayed in the army longer than he had planned.  There is a family rumour that my mum broke my dad’s leg deliberately to prevent him attending his duties in the Falklands, but it was never proven.

My dad was a quiet man, who hardly spoke about himself and so I don’t know much about him in his own words, only the rumours from other relatives who knew him.  He kept himself to himself and often shut himself away to play on consoles in other rooms away from family.

Sometimes dad would cook, but mostly I cooked for the family when mum was on nightshifts from the age of 7yrs onwards, dad was a less fussy eater than mum and would be more adventurous in the food he ate – he would have been a healthier person if mum wasn’t so dominant about the kinds of food she bought.  He had very little say on what happened to the money he bought into the family and he only ever had £25 a week to himself for betting on horses only.  She didn’t like him buy what she called junk to fill the house up with, because my dad was a bit of a retro head.

My dad always wanted to be an entertainer like his sisters, always wanted to do stand-up comedy and play the harmonica in public and create his own funny songs.  He liked making people laugh, but mum told he she wouldn’t let him do that as a side hobby, because he embarrasses her and it’s not fair to her that he should do that!

Mum was always telling him she was embarrassed by him and he just took it on the chin and obeyed, he tolerated it because he loved her.

My dad was a Tommy Cooper lookalike and he had his style of humour and my dad often imitated him a lot at family parties and weddings – in fact he looked so much like him and could remember all his jokes that his sisters tried heavens hard for years to make him be a lookalike act at special events where they honoured Tommy Cooper after he died – but mum simply wouldn’t allow it!

My dad would have been very successful doing that!  Especially as my dad could also do the special magic tricks that Tommy Cooper could too!  My dad was a bit of a magician!

My dad taught me how to act too; he would often play and relive our favourite movies together.  As a child I knew the lines to almost every Laurel and Hardy movie there was, because we played it together the most and also Blackbeard the pirate!  We also liked Norman Wisdom movies, Carry on movies and George Formby!

I don’t remember too much nowadays as it’s been almost twenty years since I saw a Laurel and Hardy movie last, but I do have recollections now and again.

But my dad and I were definitely entertainers for the family at family events, which is why mum started to refuse a lot of the invitations from the age of ten onwards – because we were both embarrassing her, my dad for simply being who he is and me being a fat funny girl who was too highly influenced in naughty humour bought about by my love for the Carry on team and comedians such as Frankie Howard and Julian Clary.

I like saucy and naughty humour, naughty is nice!

My dad paid for a while for me to have singing lessons (opera to be specific) but mum put a stop to it when they decided I had talent and needed to go to talent contests etc. around the country.  Plus she hated the idea of the amount of money she had to lose in order to hone my skills.  When I lost the singing lessons dad fought heavens hard to get me tutored in playing the piano, because of my addiction to my grandmother’s piano whenever we visited!

My dad would not compromise on one thing in his life and that was visiting his side of the family, something my mother really loathed bout him.  She hated every Sunday, because that would be the chosen day each week my dad would take me visiting his side of the family!

She rarely went with us because most of the family were outside of her 3 mile limit and the anxiety of travelling was just too much for her!  My gran lived 25 miles away in Bedfordshire.

Other relatives lived in Berkshire, Luton, Cheshire, Wales, Southend and Canvey Island or West London, far too far for my mum – so she stayed at home most of the time.

My dad and I would often go rowing in the lake at Alexander Palace in the summer with my cousins and have a large picnic, mum hated us doing that because she didn’t like my cousins being called cousins – as despite my mum having a mixed religious and mixed race background herself (third generation), she hated the concept of me calling my mixed race cousins, cousin and was quite racist about it, to the extent my aunt who is very passive was pinned up against the wall by my mother and threatened simply because she felt that she was putting ideas into my head that were against her own!

My dad never tried to control my mum behaviour, never tried to apologise for it or make any comment or even seemed to notice it – sometimes he would sigh and look downwards and wait for her to finish so we can all quietly leave again and hear the rants in the car about how victimised my mother felt for her own actions!

My dad was bullied by my mum and sometimes that did include physically being bullied too, though he’ll deny it, because he loves her.  But I remember lots of times where my mum has slapped him, kicked him, pushed him out of the way, called him names and dragged him physically off somewhere!

I do believe that domestic violence can affect both genders; I have witnessed it growing up!

Whenever my dad was pushed to the limits and he would rarely stand up for himself and say something, mum always won because she would say she is going to leave him right then and there and would often storm out of the house and stay with her friends for the night to try and scare him back into submission.  I remember those times, she would come back in the house with a smile on her face and carry on like nothing happened and dad would be thankful she is back, but she would pretend she wouldn’t know what he was on about!

Even when someone proved to dad my mum was having an affair with a bouncer at a nightclub my dad’s reaction was a shrug and well she comes home to me doesn’t she?  He wouldn’t challenge her on it.

My dad was submissive and unassuming and incredibly patient.

I often questioned his reactions and said you are not often happy dad, why stay?  He would make all kinds of excuses, but the one that stood out the most was hearing at the age of nine your dad confessing that if your mother did die of her heart troubles, you’d lose two parents at once, because he told me at the tender age of nine he’d commit suicide if she died.  Which shocked me, because he promised my mum he’d look after her sons if she did!  His reply is, they are adults now Tina, done my bit.  I said to him, well what about me?  I was shocked and hurt to hear him reply, the deal didn’t say anything about me!

I told him, I am your daughter, and surely you’d think about me wouldn’t you? What would happen to me then dad? 

He said I would be alright with my gran!

It was a scary time for me, because this was the time mum left for two weeks to go on  holiday in Great Yarmouth with her sister and friends because of another argument, one of which my dad tried to prepare me to pack to go and live with gran with him.  So suicide was lurking around the house for too long, mum came back, no smiles this time and she was asking if he had packed yet and he said no, but Tina has – then that’s when mum sent me off again to another aunt for a while and the whole time I was scared dad would be dead!

Other than gardening and playing darts with me from time to time, there isn’t really much else to say about my dad, other than his addiction to horse racing and online casinos.

He is a teetotaller, a good honest man who works hard and got obese living with my mum on the diet she provided him and he has very little self-esteem.

He is funny, a good entertainer, but she knocked him off his pedestal as much as she did me.

That’s all there is really to my dad.

He tried hard to get me into clubs and learn things – singing lessons, music lessons, pushing me in my sports, but mum always stopped us.

Dad always wanted to take me on holidays, but mum didn’t like it, didn’t like travelling unless she was with her sister and so we never had a family holiday together ever!  Not once.

I had no birthday parties after the age of 7yrs, nothing special for my landmark birthdays and that hurts when you see your mother go all out on landmark birthdays for your brothers, 16, 18 and 21.  It was always made clear to me, I was not important, I was not really supposed to be part of her family and so I don’t get those things!

That was my life, she lives for her boys, I got the scraps.

My dad never hit me unless he was bullied by her, she would literally lay into him to force him – but outside of her, he never laid a finger on me, even when he was at his most angry! 

Thanks for reading!

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Lost poetry & young love

The world has lost seven new poems in the past two days.

When I write a poem I am in a certain emotional state or a semi-trance and I write them; if I am disturbed sometimes it is OK if it is for a few seconds, but seven poems in the past two days has been interrupted for five minutes or more with much needed emotional feedback which meant the poem was half finished and the flow was gone, so they got deleted. 

I never get the flow back ever again when a poem has been interrupted in its creation, there were times in the past I put the unfinished poems into a folder on my computer and I have tried to get back into that space but it never happens – so poems that are disturbed like that are lost forever, so now I delete them.

Every poem I write always ends up on my blog; this is another reason why my blog has been so quiet.  There is a lot of emotional turmoil going on within the house and people want my response to what’s going on because I am the mother of the house; however, when you are mother of a house where your opinion doesn’t matter, what can I do other than sit there, give whatever emotional support I can, sit and shrug and say – “you know I can’t do anything about love”.

Its hard being a mother to a child and making suggestions for that child when the father has opposing ideas and is very strong-minded and shoots my opinions down like we’re in a war against each other!

It’s even harder when you know your child has come to you to speak to you in private because he doesn’t want his dad to get on his case again for his honest opinion about the situation.  So when he asks you for help, you have no choice but to talk to the father and then realise that the father seeks the child about it and starts the mini wars again. So the child asks for help, you tell them, I need to speak with dad and he asks you not to, or sometimes he says ok, but you know it’s always the same. It’s more difficult than you can know!

It is very difficult knowing too, that when you tell your child you are separating and in a few months’ time will be moving out – that this child choses to stay with the person he rarely goes to for any emotional comfort simply because he wants to stay in this house (which he will inherit as it’s in a trust for him) and to stay in his school with his friends because he doesn’t like the concept of change.

It’s hard because you know in your heart that his emotional declination is almost assured if he stays.

But as stupid and irresponsible as it sounds, my child is thirteen in May and in my opinion I should honour his life decisions whether or not it hurts me – that’s the kind of liberal parenting I do.  It’s all about my child, not me, that’s the way I am.

His father is much more conservative about raising children, education comes before anything – that includes emotions. I often joke that Paul is like a cross between Data and Spock, but in actuality it isn’t funny!

There are times when Henry gets emotional about not being able to do a question in his homework and I swear Paul is struggling to hold back from saying “Being emotional about this question is illogical, you need to do the homework now and do the emotional reflection later.”

It’s Henry’s choice to stay here and I am not going to wrench him away from what he wants, simply because my ego has told me I know better than him.

Maybe I am a bad parent, but for me, I want him to be happy and thrive in a way that doesn’t cause any unnecessary stress for him, also he has a girlfriend, he is dating already and so who can split up young love like that without having some huge pangs of guilt?

Thanks for reading…

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Filed under About my work, Home and Family

Puffin “clown of the sea”

A couple of months ago I have been mentioning how flamingos, ibises and peacocks are being seen almost everywhere I go and how those things signify certain areas of a person’s life – more recently, puffins, raccoons, geese and squirrels are becoming more noticeable.

Puffins signify a new long-term and strong partnership is about to occur, I am finding puffins in the weirdest of places recently and before this time puffins were not something I would regularly come across anywhere – they are relatively unknown creatures really.

It is also quite amusing to note that out of my many tarot decks, the pictures with puffins on very rarely turn up in readings, but they are turning up in almost every reading I am doing with them lately.

I thought nothing of it until I have started to see puffins on TV a lot more in the last few days and then people talking about them on Twitter, so I thought I had better look into what they as a spiritual animal could be trying to relay to me!

Puffins signify new relationships, strong family bonds, new family units, a coming together or a partnership – usually relationships which are very strong and long term or where you would have an intense bond with.

Alternatively puffins can also relate to spiritual or religious faith strengthening or again faithfulness in a relationship that is about to arrive in your life.

The puffin signifies that the person coming into your life will have a strong sense of family and a smashing sense of humour as puffins are known to be clowns of the sea.

They symbolise the strongest of love and devotion.  Often they symbolise a soul-mate union and people who have come across puffins before meeting their future husband or wife also say that it is as though they’ve always known the person or may have knew them in a previous life.

Puffins also signify a new beginning, usually always positive and happy and a new beginning which will stand the test of time!

An amazing creature with amazing symbolism!

The picture at the top of my post was painted by me few a few years ago and can be found on DeviantArt under my username FFGallery.

Thank for reading!

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Secretly missing myself

If you have been following my blog for a while now it would be no news to you that a major part of my life is about transition; you know already that I have been on a journey of trying to define myself to my own standards and finding my true self whilst escaping the oppressors of my past who suppressed the real me as an individual.

But did you know that there are some things about me that I still regard with shame or view it as mere stupidity? 

As I am advancing in age I am feeling more stupid about wanting certain things for myself, as aren’t I by society’s standards getting a little – well advanced in age for such silly nonsense?

Which such things am I on about exactly?

I am talking a hard swallow right now to admit the truth to you properly, I kind of did it on Twitter on New Year’s Eve but now I am saying it here…

I have never got over a big transition that happened to me as a child, when I was around six years old – literally my whole world and self was turned upside down and I felt I lost my identity in more ways than one!

As you know a large part of my healing is the healing of my inner child and searching really deep in my past and subconscious as to why I have allowed things to control me and dictate to me who I am, rather than being who I really am!

Recently I shared that when I was six years old I was removed from a very large family into isolation and having almost nobody for several years, it got better again around the age of ten to thirteen but mum then removed herself a second time from even more people and then again a third time when I was in my early twenties.

But also at that time, my body changed vastly the child in photographs of 1987 do not reflect the child in the photographs of 1988.  I was very thin and small for my age, I had pure white hair almost like angel hair, in fact I was nicknamed The Angel of Burnt Oak because of the pageant I went into as  my hair was naturally white and unusual, like angel hair!

Then for some reason in just a few short months my hair got darker and darker and became a medium brown, I started to gain weight, I started to become one of the tallest in class and I felt like I had turned into a monster.

My mum also felt that I had turned into something embarrassing too, she was no longer proud of me and she was my biggest bully during that transition and for most of my childhood because of it, because it shocked her as much as it shocked me!

So many major changes really upset me emotionally and I think it scarred me to this day.

A year later I decided to give up my dream of fashion design and being involved in the fashion industry, a dream I had from the age of four, shattered by the age of seven because my mother told me wrongfully that fat girls can’t be models, especially fat brunettes – that I had to face reality and accept that it’s no longer my path, so ashamed of me she stopped the pageants and karaoke contests.

At the age of eight my weight got worse because I was early to start menses and developed breasts quite quickly after that, rare so young but not unheard of said the doctor.  I got worse still when I was ten because I suffered a head injury from my mother which meant my eyesight got damaged as I had astigmatism which nobody knew about and that meant I needed glasses.  You have no idea the trauma that I went through with that one; my mum was already begrudging all my other changes – now this!

I just felt like I got uglier and uglier as I got older, is it any wonder I had a nervous breakdown at the age of twelve when I needed residential psychiatric treatment for a few months and developed both bulimia and anorexia for a while?

Anyway, weight came and went, came and went, like a yo-yo, one year fat, one year thin, it never really stabilised until my mid-twenties, then got worse again around thirty three when I got sick.

So what I am delaying saying is… yes, I am forty now, exactly forty – but I want to be who I feel I should be.  That is a slim, toned woman with my original angel hair.  It’s not bond, people mistake that – it’s white, but it’s the kind of white that looked like it had tinsel in it… if you get me?

Around three years ago I shared these thoughts with Paul, about how I miss that and how I would like to be like that, but it’s stupid to think a woman my age could look like that now and Paul wanted to know why I thought that?

Because it would be like mutton dressed as lamb wouldn’t it?  White hair all of a sudden, dressed in my favourite kind of clothes and colours, sort of Barbiecore, Moschino and a bit kawaii or rainbow Goth – I’d look ridiculous wouldn’t I?  Especially on the days I wake up and feel more masculine like a regency gentleman or a Beau Brummel dandy?

Though I’d admit, slim and white haired dressed up on a dandy day would make me look like a very neat androgynous version of Lucius Malfoy!

The funny thing is, when I realised why I am uncomfortable in my own skin things changed in my body again.  When I admitted I missed the six year old me in looks, I started to get flecks of white in my hair – ok its age, yes I know, I am not stupid – but you have no idea how those little flecks of white made me smile and feel more at home with myself.

What is strange is my appetite has been transitioning back to how I used to be too and I am losing an average of one to three pounds a week ever since. 

The more weight I am losing, the more white that is appearing in my hair, the happier I am getting with myself.

I think I will never be happy with my nose and actual face shape, because I want defined cheekbones and an angular sort of face, that’s not going to happen with an inverted triangle like me… but the rest is going to be OK.

A white haired Jessica Rabbit is probably stretching reality too much, but that’s what I really want to be!  Ha-ha!

Make all the men go loopy with my French and Italian skills too!

But meh, back to reality, I still have fifty pounds to lose and I am only a third white right now.

But yes, I feel stupid and a little embarrassed sharing this with you all… I don’t know why I should feel that way but there you go… I do.

I still haven’t had news about the braces I am supposed to be getting or the extra filling I need for another tooth, our dentist is over-stretched.  I am disappointed as its delaying my goals by several months!  I am embarrassed about the lost front tooth so much so it is making me debate whether I am confident or not to show my face on YouTube after all, it’s noticeable but thankfully it’s only a half gap, not a full one because the tooth was kind of sticky out at an angle before it was removed.  Other than closing the gap, my teeth are quite nice now.

In the past few weeks I have been letting my nails grow again, but I keep accidentally ripping flesh off myself in my sleep and although I love my nail now – I can’t help but think I am one step away from cutting them short again, because I am just so sore right now! 

A home French manicure is my favourite way to have them and having nails means I can effectively play my kalimba again!

So I am trying so hard not to cut them down!

Thanks for reading!

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Memories of granddad

On Twitter today someone randomly asked that if I were fortunate to have known any of my grandfather’s what is the first thing that I would think of when I think about them!

I wanted to say a lot more than I did, because I doted on my granddad!

So I thought it would be a lovely post to share here and I can get to talk about him in more depths, these memories are happy memories, probably some of the few I had growing up – but there are only two things that I remember which were not so happy and none of them were my grandad’s fault at all!

Up until I was six years old I lived next door to my maternal grandparents, Granddad Leslie and nanny or nonna Dolly! 

Between the age of six and nine I never saw them, not once – because my mum moved us away due to a vicious argument which broke into a physical fight she had about my brother and aunt.  The physical fight was in their living room between my auntie Julie and her, it was quite a scary physical fight I never saw because I was at school at the time and honorary auntie Sheila (which is rumoured to really be a third or fourth cousin to us) had to pick me up from school because mum was in hospital over it. 

Both my mum and my aunt had scarring to their faces over that fight.

Before this fight my grandparents were part of my everyday life, I lived in an area in North London where I had a relative almost on every street and there were at least thirty households related to me within that small square mile, everyone else it seemed was some kind of family friend who looked out for everyone!

My granddad was an avid gardener and was always out in his garden talking to me about the flowers and nature and giving me updates on his breeding hobbies of tropical fishes, budgerigars and love birds!  He loved gardening so much he rented four plots at the local allotments (a gardening community) where he’d grow lots of food to share with the whole family. 

My granddad was a greengrocer once, before he lost his business to thugs and he met my grandmother when he was a farm worker on a farm her parents worked on in Enfield.

Sometimes granddad would pass over step ladders for me to climb up high enough for him to reach me to carry me over into his garden to help him with the fish and the birds – mum knew if she couldn’t find me in the garden that I’d be with him or passed onto Sheila who lived on the other side of my grandparents to play with her daughter who was only a year younger than me!

In my street there were four other households of family and only thirty yards away from the house was a shopping complex of ten stores, which whenever we’d pop round the corner for milk you’d have to anticipate forty five minutes before you got home again because of the amount of people you’d meet and talk to on the way!

I remember sitting in the window waiting for people I knew to walk pass the house and telling mum who was there, especially if mum wanted to talk to someone, she’d rush out immediately and they’d talk.  Most of the time she had hoped my older teenage cousins would be passing so she could bribe them to take me to a park or go swimming with them at the community pool nearby!

All of this ended when I was six, from the time mum moved away from all of that I was in pure isolation and I didn’t cope well at all with that arrangement!

My mum was ostracized by most of our family when the fight happened, but there were still people who spoke to us and visited, but only a small margin from that point onwards!

It’s funny to think that because three households crammed together in a line became the forerunner of huge family Christmases – where everyone visited those three houses and kept swapping and changing dining rooms to socialise with as many people as possible on Christmas day, literally eighteen people per house and then going from that to just me, my parents and brothers and a cousin until I was twenty years old.

You can imagine the culture shock and to be honest… no, I have never recovered from the loss.

When I was nine years old I was thrilled to be back in my grandparents lives again, but I didn’t realise at the time it was only meant to have been temporary because my granddad was diagnosed with lung cancer. 

So I have got the horrible bits out of the way now, now it’s time for me to show you what my granddad was like as a person!

My granddad came from Greenwich and he had a very strong husky East End accent, he was a short stocky and muscular man who was half Jewish and half catholic and had tattoos all the way up both arms!  He had a widow’s peak hairline and silver white hair, when I was little I used to think my granddad looked like a mesh between grandpa Munster and Pop-eye! 

Because my granddad smoked a pipe, had muscles, ate spinach had a rough husky voice, and loads of tatts!

He was the most muscular man in the whole family and quite a formidable character too!

He was a true man’s man but he was a man who was out of his time really, because my nanny Dolly didn’t have a domestic bone in her body – he did all the laundry, all the cleaning and all the cooking!  My granddad always said it isn’t my Nan’s fault, she isn’t lazy cocker, he told me – she has had a hard life with her heart troubles so she got spoilt and I am mostly to fault for that he said.

I remember my granddad having two large 6ft fish tanks in the living room and he put them like an L shape to each other and he placed his armchair in the corner facing the TV directly in the opposite corner of the living room he had so he could watching every wrestling show on Sky TV he could!

I would always sit on his knee watching the TV with him, even when I was as old as ten, even when he was dying, I remember that.  Clung to him for dear life, I loved my granddad!  I couldn’t do that with anyone else, he was the only one who’d let me snuggle with him like that and so it was a novelty I relished every time I visited him!

I remember when we had to go home I was often kicking and screaming as I didn’t want to leave him.

My mum was a J-witness off and on growing up, so I didn’t learn much about the families catholic ways, so granddad always tried to put in lessons every now and again for me and got his rosary out and showed me that we moved the beads in prayer, look see…

I wondered how my granddad kept his faith with the Catholic Church when he experienced so much racism growing up – the nuns at the school he went to often gave him a hard time and caned him regularly because they said he was born in sin because his mother was Jewish! 

Growing up with him telling me things like that and he was making excuses for their behaviour and being generally nice about it all – surprised me.  He told me that it never bothered him you see, because Jesus was a Jew and he thought that those nuns were ridiculous for what they were saying about him.  I told mum what he said and she didn’t receive that very well!

But it always stuck in my mind; Jesus was a Jew… wasn’t he catholic then granddad?  That made him laugh so hard it bought on one of those deep dense and awful coughs of his!

My nan would look over and laugh too and then say “Out of the mouths of babes hey Les”?

My nan was in every way similar to Catherine Tate’s nan depiction, honestly, anyone who knew her said that they were sure that the character was based on her!

It still sticks in my mind today… Jesus was a Jew and it was only recently that I learned not only was he a Jew but he was also a fierce rabbi who tried hard to steer people back into the old faith of Judaism as he felt people were losing their way – food for thought I can tell you!

My granddad was a backstreet wrestler and boxer in his youth to earn extra rations and money for the family, he told me. 

My granddad and I had a very similar life to each other in some ways – both of us were into combat sports, both of us were stocky in comparison to the others in the family though only 5ft 4, both of us were deaf due to the same condition (mastoiditis) and both of us were discriminated against for our mixed religious heritage and deafness and both of us loved our gardens!

Granddad was the only person I strongly connected to in most things in the family.

He would often sing to me all kinds of traditional London songs, some for kids and others not!  Bouncing me on his knee and he always greeted me as “Cocker” whenever I visited him – “alright cocker”?  He’d ask as I walked into the room!

Cocker means many number of things to an East Ender – mostly “Mate” or “little cocky one” or “fellow cockney” or something you called your descendants, usually aimed at personal favourites rather than generic – well in my family it was!

He would regularly give me cash in hand money to go the local shops with so he could have private chats with my parents, knowing I’d be gone for up to an hour because the family and extended family would watch out if a kid was going to the shops alone!  There were lots of eyes in those streets and you always felt safe as you knew almost everybody down there!

There was one particular shop I used to love going to a lot and it was a health and safety nightmare for how the candies were stacked in piles around the whole store, but it was a great store with every kind of candy you can think of, chocolates, crisps, sodas and ice-creams – it was called Lucky Sweets and was run by a really lovely and elderly Hindu lady.

My granddad would often talk about the wrestlers on TV and we are related to a wrestler who now has a wrestling family and that was my granddad’s pride and joy in pointing that out to me!

My granddad often bought dinner from the fish and chips shop as well when I visited him; it was always cheaper than it should be because there were rumours that the owner was a distant cousin from our Greek roots as we also have Greek in us.  In fact our Italian relatives from Naples are mostly Greco-Italians they say, but we have had family in Naples since 305BC on both sides of my family actually.

But I do know when I was growing up and visiting my nan a lot when granddad died, that the local teenagers who were not associated with my family in anyway were really nasty to me in the school I went to purely because of the knocked off price of our fish and chips dinner because of family discounts.

My granddad gifted me his budgerigars every couple of years and one of them I loved so much lasted for nearly three years called Bobby.  The other, funnily enough was called Henry.

But when I talk about Henry on my blog, be sure to know it is my son I am on about and not some record breaking old budgerigar – lol!

He is also the reason why I love tropical fish keeping, because to me a house isn’t a home without a tropical fish tank and a dog.  I don’t have a fish tank here… tell a lie… I do… but there is nothing in it because Paul won’t help me set it up.

I always felt safe with my granddad because nobody messed with my granddad and I could tell him anything my mum did to me and knew he would be the retribution she’d get!

When he died she got more cocky about things and wielded it like a power.

I moved in with my grandparents when I was ten years old, for a few months whilst granddad was dying of cancer, until his death.  Then my nan was required to come and stay with us whenever she felt lonely, which was about four times a week until she was hospitalised and died fourteen years later.

When I got the flu when we lived with him, granddad wanted to know how mum took care of me when I was at home and had the flu in the past and I was brutally honest with him about it.  He was not happy and he rang his bell which always sent mum into a panic running into the room to him.  He said, cocker over there isn’t well; she needs a drink of water, not Lucozade!  She went and made a drink, he then rang the bell again and told her that I was hungry and not to just pass me candies but to get some chicken soup into me!  She got angry at this point, but he kept ringing the bell for me and made sure I was cared for properly and not dumped with bags of candies and bottles of Lucozade and left for hours on end like normal!

He defended me even though he hardly had the breath to do it; he had a mischievous nature which I adored!

He got told off really bad by my nan when he used blackmail on my mum by switching his own oxygen off to cause a panic and stir when mum tried to tell him off!  As he did it he winked at me but it really scared me to see that!

I had a nightmare the day before granddad died, I woke up knowing that that day would be his last – even though the doctor said he would have four months at least before that stage came, I was right.

He died three days shy of his birthday and it was supposed to have been a huge family reunion party too – the party still happened but it was more morose than it should have been!

My granddad would be 100yrs old on August 15th of this year.

Thanks for reading!

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Our ancestors are having tea!

So, you know I am spiritual right?  Well recently there has been some new spirits visiting me and they are visiting me because they are the ancestors of someone who is coming into my life and they have told me that they are determined to adopt me into their family!

So whether this person who is coming into my life knows they are doing this or not, I haven’t a clue – probably not, but his family seems determined to have me in the family! 

I have been meditating and speaking with my ancestors a lot recently too, because they have made their presence known to me and they have also told me that his ancestors are getting to know them too – like they are bonding because they believe things are imminent! 

So they are basically having tea and talks about us together! Apparently we have a similar life where we are multi-faith people, half Jewish and could turn back to the old family way together, which is exciting for them! Especially my granny Annie (great great grandmother), who was the last proper Jew in my family before Great Granny Rose married a catholic and gave birth to my maternal grandfather!

I still haven’t a clue what’s going on and the dreams are getting stronger with this guy now! 

These new spirits are very nice and friendly, there is a lot of feminine energy there and there is a woman in particular who is making it her mission to help me develop my psychic skills even stronger, which is why I seem to have developed a seemingly new and all absorbing hobby of tarot reading – it’s not a new hobby, I am just learning new ways in reading that I never knew before thanks to this lady! 

This lady has a very Eastern European accent; she has beautiful black wavy hair and a strong face, almost square shaped and long eyelashes.  Despite having an Eastern European accent, she dresses in very Middle Eastern or perhaps Indian style clothing, or at least they look almost like saris to me.  I quizzed her about it and she says she is part Iranian but many generations ago that probably the guy who is interested in me doesn’t even know he has Iranian in him!

I know the person who is coming into my life reads my blog – they’ve told me he does, recently a conversation with the ancestors have told me that they love reading me so much that they are addicted to my writings and learning anything they can about me.

They have also said he is excited to see my larger works as he has a lot of faith in my creativity and would like to eventually be a part of my life and brainstorm with me! 

Their situation is a difficult one and they are having a hard time transitioning into my life like they would like, for them, everything has to be perfect.

From what I understand from my conversation with the ancestors, their ancestors have been frequently communicating with my ancestors too as they are convinced we will be joining families quite soon!  So our ancestors are making themselves comfortable with each other it seems, in fact sometimes in my dreams I have had dreams of your ancestors moving in with mine and we are unpacking lots of boxes and making room for people! 

They have suggested that I should let you know now, that there is no fear of rejection because you and I are perfect for each other – we balance each other out, we are exactly what each other needs and we have similar pasts to each other, though one is more extreme than the other.

You are trying to keep me off guard by being elusive with your description, so I was warned you are trying to trick me so I won’t instantly realise who you are!  Because you’re shy! 

They also wanted me to state that I am not naturally an introvert, I am not someone who enjoys too much solitude but I am someone who is very prone to anxiety, such as nervous stomach – lol – but that’s purely because I have never been one who can tolerate too many surprises.  I was warned you are an impulsive person and so anxiety will perhaps be part of my life!

You see, they felt I needed to share that because you’ve voiced these concerns with them! 

But you shouldn’t worry, about the fact I won’t socialise – you shouldn’t worry about the fact I don’t want children, because I do!  There is only one thing that which worries me though, for some reason or another my ancestors say that I will travel a lot with you… that does worry me because I am not used to that kind of life.  I also don’t have a passport!  I have also been warned I will be physically exhausted for a while too, because you are a person who is constantly on their feet and I will have to be the same until I am used to it as apparently you will want to drag me everywhere with you! 

Also, don’t worry about being too suffocating with me – to be perfectly honest I’ve been so starved of love and attention for so long I think I need it!

I am not a demanding person either, I am quite easy-going and happy go lucky, I am not as gloomy as you seem to think I am… I am a playful and tender, understanding and I communicate a lot with people in my life, in fact people struggle to shut me up!

I annoy Paul with my constant questions about his opinion on anything and everything – he isn’t a very social person and I find it hard that he isn’t as talkative as I am and my family.

I can literally talk about anything in a very prolonged way if there is nothing else to talk about, so I never run out of things to say!

When I am nervous I tend to talk like my words are trying to catch a train and that can give some people a headache, I am terrible around introverts because I think I just make them feel tense!

When I find other people who are similar to me, introverts of society tend to keep away, lol!   As we tend to become fast talking foreigners for them!  Well this is how Paul describes me whenever I talk to my friend from the village Dee, she’s totally like me!

I am also very observant and I will break my observances at random into the conversation and most people miss the things I have seen and get confused because they are always slow to actually follow my finger at what I just pointed at!

So yeah… that’s me…

Oh and they wanted me to share that your hunches about certain people are totally right!

Also, they say you are not as shallow as I fear you might be… because in my dream time I am quite aware you are a bit of a… you are a vain person… but your ancestors say that you are vain but not shallow!

Hope they’re right!

Because this stresses me out!  I was planning to reach my goal weight by July/September and they keep telling me, well he will be here before then sweetie!

Also please stop giving people a hard time just because you are anxious about approaching me, the ancestors have said you are starting to get out of character a bit with your behaviour.  Calm down!

Relax, take a deep breath… I am not a bitch monster sweetie!

Oh and I have to let you know that I am definitely quite a passive person who goes with the flow and the only time I don’t go with the flow and become turbulent is if I think the person I love isn’t looking after themselves properly, then the maternal instinct of mine kicks in like a super mum and kicks your ass into gear!

You will eat properly, you will be healthy, you will eat this soup when you have a cold or this curry because I love you and you are not allowed to be ill!

That’s totally me!

Just don’t say no to me when I care!

You can say no to me any other time, other than when I am looking out for you!  LOL

You are going to be loved so there!

I have also been stressed out by how childish and wacky I am –as this guy seems quite a serious person sometimes in my dreams.  But apparently, no, he will thrive on it!

I hope so!

Just needed to get this out there, as the ancestors say he needs the boost, he needs these fears allayed!

No rejection here – passive, calm, communicative, playful, childish and don’t intend to grow up or old, creative, friendly, social, air-headed but also slightly nerdy (as in likes comics, Terry Pratchett and other fandoms) has a wacky sense of glamour and fashion!  But bohemian, nature’s child and dungaree wearer in casuals!  Always had a goal of 5 children and a hobby farm or a homestead kind of life whilst being an artist and writer!  I love animals and wildlife and nature – I am environmentally conscious and spiritual and believe in the powers of crystals!  I am also inclined in the future to return to my ancestral root of Judaism, I was never baptised and I have strong leanings there even if I don’t know much. 

My only negatives are, I don’t have any wanderlust, I easily get anxious stomach, I am deaf, weak immune system, can be a clingy attention seeker and quite submissive even to the wrong people sometimes, unless there is a very strong dominant character in my life who is protective enough to make me steer clear of others that way!  I talk too much about everything and I hate gossip and normal small talk!  I also hate being alone and doing anything at all alone!  In fact I clam up when I am alone, even in my own home – I do better in small groups of familiar people or crowds!  I am happiest when around a dog, if alone.

So there you go… me in a nutshell.

So… stop being like me… anxious…

Or we won’t get anywhere!

LOL

Thanks for reading!

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Loneliness

Disappointment, I’m used to that

I don’t ask for much, but it seems like I ask for the world

A hot dinner eaten cold, sitting alone at a table because you no longer form part of this little unit anymore

They are making it blatantly obvious you aren’t wanted

Being consulted about nothing, only little shots here and there for an update, if I’m lucky

Conversation is too difficult for them, they don’t even try anymore

Yawn, looking forlorn, worn and tired of hearing you, even if you are friendly and chipper!

Good to know they find you so boring, good to know they are there to comfort you and it is good to know they aren’t spreading their toxicity to the child you share

Sarcasm comes easy these days

Teamwork is dead and gone

But I am told I am wrong, it’s not like that, I am just tired and I think I have a chill

But it’s been like that for weeks

Merry Christmas is just an ordinary day

Nothing changes, most things forgotten like candy canes, pigs in blankets, meat in the stuffing and old family rituals

Nobody cares anymore

Nothing is important

Everyone has given up

But I still try to keep things normal until I leave

But nobody else wants to

Yet I am not leaving because I want to, I am leaving because I am unwanted

Though he learned his mistake when my replacement turned out to be a fake

Hastiness is punishing him still

I have months of a life like this before I can go

Lots of the old shit I have to clean up before I can be free from this toxic environment

I can’t just up and leave, I have things to do first – pay the debts I suffered due to broken promises

Trying to keep this family together, warm, cool, clothed all on credit

I have to work on my health too, get myself fit for the only work I can do which will guarantee payment for me – trolley dolly; I am too deaf for telephone work now and too stupid for other things

This is why I am trying to let my creativity and daydreams pay my way through life soon

I never wanted to be alone

Never

But life is making me walk the lonely path

Doing everything alone

Like Rambo a lone soldier, battling the world against the odds and never getting love or comfort

That is too much to ask for it seems

Though don’t pity me, I suppose my lack of tolerance for the past is punishing me somehow

They were tests I failed and this is the booby prize for not living up to lower standards

I should have tolerated the abuse, at least I wouldn’t be alone

At least I could feign some kind of happy families now and again

Instead of living in a cesspit of toxicity and loneliness, with bitter people who don’t even try

Should have tolerated being their money pig and Tina the tea maker

Do this and that and cry yourself to sleep at night because you can’t get away and you can’t choose to be yourself, be an individual, that’s not allowed

But hey, go and cry with the people we let you talk to from time to time, they might cuddle you if you are lucky and they are sucker enough

Those times were better than now and it is a horrifying revelation

Things were fine before I got sick

I did it all

Living with an overprotective father figure who wouldn’t let me try and fight my ailments by allowing me to continue running the family

Go back to bed – slow down – go to sleep – just stop…

Stop…

So I stopped… for years I got worse

I tried every now and again to do things but it was always the same pattern

Slow down…. Go to bed… go to sleep… just stop…

Is there any wonder I wanted to stop completely?

I snuck exercises in when he wasn’t looking and was out of the house

Convinced I could turn things around and guess what?

I could

Just a little, but that little was a lot!

The resentment for my successes were in his eyes but not on his tongue

Feigning pride for me, but he looked hurt I was trying

Looked hurt that he might not be needed anymore

And in less than three months of my change, he was looking for someone new

But still he says… I don’t want to get rid of you

Ah but he did when he thought Emmie was real

That’s the deal

And it hurts still…

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Quiet festive greetings

I am going to be doing short posts between now and the 2nd January, sorry about that.

Have a lovely Christmas everyone or Hanukkah or both, if you are like me and raised in a multi-faith family – though I’ve never experienced a proper Hanukkah, only had some food from relatives occasionally from the occasion. Because mum shyed away from it a lot.

I think the most memorable food I remember getting from a Jewish relative this time of year was salted potato skins made very crispy, loved them! Also butter cookies with apple, pear and fig chutney, which seems to be a family staple on that side too for both occasions as well as copious amounts of toffee!

Thank for reading and have fun!

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Pure apathy

Sometimes it is hard for me to knuckle down and do anything, especially when there is a lot of emotional upsets going on in my life and it doubles up in being difficult to do anything, even for pleasure when I become sicker too.

We lost a relative a few weeks back, that hit the whole household hard and then Henry was diagnosed with autism, that was OK, things have improved a little with his behaviour – but there are other issues going on which has meant writing anything outside of the blog has been difficult for me.

It’s not that I don’t want to, but I am easily consumed by negativity and it can fully take up my head space.

I am now worried about a friend who is badly sick in ICU.

I have done better this week than I have since September towards my AD project though, I admit that just under 2500 words isn’t anything to brag about during that time, but it has been the best that I could do under the circumstances.

I am trying to get myself back into the flow of things again; however, a lot of things in my ordinary day to day life has just literally stopped, not just the novel writing!

I haven’t kept up much with my Italian lessons and I haven’t been reading very much either.  Though saying that, I am slowly getting back into the flow of it again since the 8th of December!

Slowly is the key word here.

I’m not very well right now, writing this to you all – I have very bad bronchitis and a throat infection and I keep going hot and cold, my glands are swollen too – not a good sign for me, especially as I am getting the rosiness in my face again… the rosiness which may be the lupus rash – but doctors decline to diagnose that with me or have me tested for it, but Paul is convinced it’s lupus.

I don’t really know why since September my whole life seems to have been put on hold.  I have had emotional setbacks before but still managed to keep my writing, gaming, reading, researching, learning habits alive despite it.  But it’s affected everything – I don’t watch TV much anymore, no YouTube, no magazine reading, no book reading, no research, not gaming as much as I used to and barely writing – also my language lessons have almost stopped completely too; my appetite is non-existant, my insomnia has increased hugely and I am finding it hard to maintain the will to talk to Paul anymore. 

In fact I have to force myself to, it’s like I have gone beyond depression… if you can understand me?

I am struggling to even maintain the will-power to keep my blog alive, which is one of the reasons why I deliberately spent £18 of my £25 this week purely on a business subscription to keep it alive – as I felt I was losing interest even in this.

Did it to encourage me to do something, not to waste the money.

It’s like all I want to do is shut myself away in my room alone and stare into nothingness all the while, whilst being occasionally disturbed by pretty pictures of my tarot card collection (I have 18 decks) which I obsessively look at and seeing a weirdly large amount of spirits more than usual.  Remember, I am clairvoyant, but there is a strange vast activity of visitors lately.

All I seem to want to do is stare at pretty pictures and be alone – which is strange as I hate being alone… I hate the quiet…  I hate being alone… I hate being unproductive… I hate feeling lazy and useless… yet, I have become all that since September and I honestly don’t know why!

I have gone into extreme apathy and I have discussed this with Paul, but all he does is nod and agree, yes indeed I have become quite apathetic – but he does nothing to help me resolve it and after such conversations with him, I feel like why did I waste energy sharing my thoughts and feelings with him?  Then I feel worse, tired and I have a nap.

I told him in the hope he’d do or say something to awaken me from this state, but I didn’t get that response.  Just a nod and agreement and confirmation of what I said and that’s that. 

Maybe it’s just me… but I feel alone in trying to help myself out of it… really alone and I am not sure I can do it alone anymore…

Thanks for reading…

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