Tag Archives: poverty

Brent Cross Shopping Centre

A concrete tomb smothered in glass

Come buy your wares here

Come push through the vultures for a bargain

Push through the surge of angst and plastic gold

Strangers ram into you spilling coffee on your shoulder

They are shopping here but there’s a rush

A rush to what?

I never knew, because here bargains are few

Screams of children and laughter and loud voices echo through the sarcophagus

Piercing your ear drums as you pass

Fresh dough scenting the air with expensive perfume

Choking on the gilded air

Poor people watch and stare

Buy lollipops from Marks and Spencer’s just to get the bag

So people back on the estate think, they aren’t so poor – the snobs

That’s what it’s like in old Brent Cross

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Push or die?

I will not be participating in Inktober this year due to lack of supplies and lack of money to buy new supplies.

I will not ask for a crowdfund for Inktober, I have had friends online suggest I do this, but I am uncomfortable with that.  Also, I don’t think I’d have the time between now and my deadline to do four hours of artwork per day on top of it all.

I am having a hard time emotionally in the last few weeks, lots of bad news in the family, near and far. 

Really, instead of sticking to my deadline I should take a couple of weeks off everything but housework and child rearing to recuperate; but I set this goal and I won’t forgive myself unless it is accomplished, even if I don’t get an agent like I want to, at least I can say I did try on my set timeframe.

I will miss doing Inktober, I enjoy this event every year and I tend to do my best artwork during those times (autumn theme is the best), but this year I just can’t manage the time to do it.

I am juggling my own mental health problems along with my son’s problems and Paul’s stress about the heat or eat crisis here in the UK as well as general family grief over the diagnosis of cancer of two relations, the death of a cousin and the loss of a child friend who recently broke her back horse-riding and has to live for several months in a hospital fifty miles away and my own yet to be diagnosed neurological issue.

Henry’s issues are existential, he is having gender crisis issues and is suicidal because he wants to be both genders at the same time, but is being severely bullied at school over it as well as his very elaborate fashion tastes, a penchant for pink, faux fur and glitter as well as tailored clothing; it isn’t so bad, but he is being picked on because of his surname and the fact that he speaks excellent King’s English – in other words he is quite posh for the area.

The bullies threw sticks and stones at the house at the start of the year, the police had to deal with it.

It is hard to manage his behaviour at times, because he is constantly punishing himself physically and it is exhausting to constantly be his sentinel to watch him and physically stop him harming himself.  Paul blames Dobby from Harry Potter for him starting this, because before Henry got into Harry Potter, he’d never harm himself.  Although people find Dobby funny, living with a child who is re-enacting what Dobby does is far from humorous, it’s downright blooming scary, especially when the child starts punching himself in the chest during dinner and forgetting he has a knife and fork in his hands!

This is not the reason however, that Paul and Henry often argues with each other over, on the contrary, it’s almost everything, they see eye to eye on very little.

For me it is mostly mental exhaustion, because Henry is particularly challenging lately.  I am also exhausted because I have no social life and the only person I have to talk to is exhausted both physically and mentally to the extent we hardly talk more than twenty minutes per day together alone anymore – Paul.

I haven’t written towards my novel since the 20th September 2022, hopefully by this posts scheduled date I’d have written more towards it, but it is difficult. 

I am trying to keep myself active in some kind of creativity though, mostly poems and scheduling blog posts, reading about how to structure different kinds of poetry and learning about screenwriting, just to keep doing something to keep me sane.

But I have to say, I am struggling to make sense about anything and I am pretty sure in a couple of months’ time, when things have calmed down a bit more and I re-read this month’s posts, I will wonder where the heck my mind was all through these weeks?

A couple of friends of mine have DM me who are already published authors, they believe because of my stressful time and because it is generally a bad time of the year for finding representation, that I should hold off until February – but I am debating this.

You see, I fully want to approach an agent before Christmas, because I’ve planned it for so long.  January I will start my YouTube channel and I will look into affiliate programs and my blog will become more focused too, with photographs of me and my artwork etc.

I am determined that life starts at forty and I am forty on the 3rd October 2022.

Paul is super stressed out by my proclamation of starting a new life in October, because he sees his cup as half empty and doesn’t see how I am able to do all my plans for a new life, when we can’t pay our heating bills and our food budget is going to be halved from next month. Remember I’ve said in the past I don’t go to doctor appointments anymore, because we can’t afford the taxi fare, well, whether I am sick or not from next month or onwards, I can only go now in a life or death situation, meaning I am neglecting myself medically all the more!

It’s that or food, or it used to be like that – now its the doctor, food or heating and we’re choosing food right now, we’ve stocked up on hot water bottles and over the years we’ve bought fleece blankets, thank goodness!

But I say, financially our lives will improve from January, because I am stubborn and I will make something happen, I am not like Paul – I don’t like making do and I don’t like making excuses for being in poverty, I don’t whine and sit back hoping for someone to give me a leg up.

I was bedbound sick for years, but I eventually got a little better and now able to do more around the house – but still not strong enough for my January plans – but still, I am going to force it, because I can’t stand this life!

I refuse to tolerate it any longer!

Paul has convinced himself our relationship is over once I get published, because he doesn’t see why I would want to stick around, it’s almost like he is pushing me away these days.

My choice is to push myself out of the mud no matter what the pain or the embarrassment or commit suicide; one or the other and I chose life!

Happy reading…

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The vulgar subject

People sometimes ask me if I ever became successful, what would I spend my money on? 

I have answers to that, but first I want to ask why do people believe that just because someone has become rich for whatever reason, that for the rest of their lives all they will ever do is try to spend it and that they must and often do so? 

It’s just puzzling, because for me, I have known rock bottom poverty and the idea of squandering money when I get it, is not something that I am comfortable with!  Though saying that, I do resent having money when I know someone else is suffering and I tend to give generously when I do have it – never privately, I do it through charities and campaigns, because I wasn’t always poor you know?

It’s a weird thing about life and me, my relationship with money has always been boom and bust to both extremes.

Now for what I tend to do when I get lucky.  I tend to gift people I haven’t been generous to for a while, such as close friends and family if it is a special occasion and I tend to splash out on a nice group meal either cooked at home or out.

My next tendency is to buy things to improve my pets quality of life and things for my garden; then books in my “to buy list” and then little curios from spirituality shops, like crystals, mythological ornaments, tarot cards and Feng shui specific things.

I reckon if I won the lottery in life or literally win the lottery, my ideas would be to get myself a bigger menagerie of pets (domestic and small farm ones only) and a property with a lot of land so I can practically live outdoors in my edible forest garden, whilst playing with crystals and tarot cards and making miniature worlds with miniaturisation hobbies, I can never afford to get into currently.  I love miniatures!

I am also with Henry in the idea of all these train sets, purely for the joy of making miniature worlds for the trains to go through and little towns scattered here and there – if I had the room and the money! 

I don’t intend to grow up, I am and always will be childish and playful and for me its bills first, then fun then education then I will contemplate other grown up things like clothing and furniture. 

Weirdly enough, clothing is something that is way down on the list, despite my love for fashion!  I love fashion, but only if it’s not too expensive and only if it’s comfortable and I like it – comfort is essential above everything else, I don’t like to suffer whilst looking good!  I do like big brand names like Moschino and Alexander McQueen, but I look at the price tag and I think… well… don’t be stupid, the amount of beautiful giant crystals I could get with that or a lovely playhouse for the rabbit in the garden for the summer, or Henry a lovely trip at Severn Valley and yet another Hornby trainset special edition I could buy instead!

I’ve never understood the people who say enjoy your life, spend 10k on a dress and get yourself a yacht and go on five holidays a year mind-set!   A yacht would be wasted on me as I get home sick after five days away, after two weeks of being away I have more or less rooted myself elsewhere and don’t want to go back.  It’s the gypsy in me; my maternal grandmother was half Romany, hence the love for crystals and tarot –she taught me when I was 7yrs old – they say don’t teach kids that before that age as they are not strong enough to fend off spirits who may try to make changelings out of them!

This is the same grandma who watched horror movies with me and wrestling, as I was growing up – she was a cool gran, but completely and utterly non-domestic, couldn’t cook to save her life, in fact she’d daren’t cook, it was safer not to!  A complete anomaly to her gypsy roots, where every woman polished their brasses daily and knew umpteen recipes off by heart!

But I think the most lavish thing my money would ever be spent on is lots of temporary homes everywhere I am likely to visit regularly, just so I don’t get home sick, if that makes sense? 

The second elaborate thing would be 5k on giant crystals or getting a new pony or a goat, but other than that – I am pretty simple in my hopes and dreams for life.

All I really want is The Garden Of Eden; a lot of love from lots of close relationships, good food, lots of snuggles with animals and wildlife in the garden, freedom to be myself and peace.

Once I have that, I will feel in paradise and I won’t need to die.

I’m a natures child who is very kooky, playful, childish, sensitive, have too much love to give and who needs a garden of organic edible wonder, an animal enthusiast and a tardy creative, because I get side-tracked in my daydreams.  But I am also fierce and passionate and I hate injustice and ignorance and I was the kid who got beaten up because she saved the other ones who weren’t strong enough by taking the blows for them – that’s me, nothing more and nothing less!

Happy reading!

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Price of ink and financial rants

My situation is such that when I write I will print off as I go along, because I don’t trust clouds and data saving technologies, because they have failed me numerous times before.

Recently my finances have become worse and this has affected my novel writing more than anything, now I am able to get back into novel writing since I had Covid, it has meant that because of the decline in my finances I can no longer print the seventy pages a week I used to, I can only afford to print twenty a week at most and one week in the month, nothing at all.

If it is novel writing, I will print it as I go along, because of two reasons – I do not trust data saving technologies and I find it difficult to read and edit from a screen, whether I create a blue background to read from or not.

It’s frustrating because I want to write towards four ideas immediately and I can’t write by hand anymore because my arthritis is getting bad.  Every time I write more than an A4 page of handwriting, my hand swells up to the extent I can’t properly hold the pen anymore and if I ignore it, the cramps come on.

My arthritis has meant I have had to give up my knitting hobby altogether, because not only does it exasperate the arthritis, but it has also reawakened my carpal tunnel problem too!

I miss knitting, because of the style of gloves I used to make for myself and the scarves – because the style and colours I like can’t be bought cheaply, like it can be made!

I don’t have the money to buy a knitting machine or else I would do that, I also liked making toys for children I knew, but now I have been thinking about learning felt crafts or sewing the toys instead – because for some reason or another sewing doesn’t affect me.

At the moment we have a printer that is breaking down, because it appears not to be getting a hundred pages per cartridge anymore and we can’t afford to replace the printer for at least a year.  The cost of the ink is always £15, cheap in comparison, but for us it’s three days meals.  We’re near the brink of needing food bank help again – and no Lee Anderson, I can actually cook thank you very much, in fact I cook most things from scratch and manage left overs very well so there is never food wasted here!

Amongst my cooking skills are homemade pies, cakes, soups, casseroles and pasta dishes, not to mention the fact that I have been fakeaway cooking at least ten years before it became “fashionable”!  But when your colleagues Mr Anderson insist that because I have a bus stop outside my house which is within the walking distance I can do without an asthma attack they cut my mobility money by £100 a month, which meant that I could no longer afford to manage the finances which included getting medical help to try and get me back on my feet (in order to work), because you took the money I needed to travel to the local hospital 20 miles away in another town, which costs me £20 a time and I need treatment around twice a week quite a lot of the time – which meant I had to decide to become anorexic and get treatment, or just give up fighting to get my life back and make sure my family doesn’t starve to death!  Which one would you choose? 

Because when I had to do the above we had £10 for the week for food and I often had to cancel at last minute the doctors, because I couldn’t afford to get there – because doctors don’t house visit anymore, no matter how poor you are!

Along with this, we’re still not getting a lot of free stuff sending our child to school.  We had to cancel his eleventh birthday last year and all household birthdays and have the crappiest Christmas ever just to save up to get him school uniform for his new secondary school, because you can’t get it free here and there was no way in getting second hand, we checked.  The child gets reprimanded at the school if their uniform is not complete, whether you can prove poverty or not!

We would love to give up the internet in order to get £6 a week more in our pockets to eat better and maybe get some medical attention – but that would mean my son can’t do his homework so losing the internet is not an option for us!  The irony is, they say that they are doing more and more for kids in poverty these days, honestly I don’t see it!  His meals aren’t free at school; it costs him an average of £3.50 a day for a hot meal in winter.

Don’t you dare blame the poor for poor management!

Free schools, meals in schools, the NHS was all originally created for the poorest in the community, but these days the poorest in the community are not reaping the rewards of yesteryear, it basically is slowly turning back to how it used to be.  Everything is slowly privatising again and they think we don’t see it!

I don’t normally turn my posts into political rants, but this Lee Anderson has a lot to learn and remember about the society he is trying to lead!

Funny thing is, despite being bed bound and housebound sick for around twenty weeks of the year, I could work, at the pace I can.  There is some work I could do, but the problem comes with practicality – I’ve tried slogging on looking for a job outside of the house whilst managing my sickness and nobody wants me!  No one wants someone part time three hours three days a week, even on a check out, because I have ailments which embarrass the company!  I have what appears to be a permanent streaming cold!

No one wants to work alongside someone who is sniffling all year around and then needing three weeks off four times a year because she can’t even get to the bathroom she’s so sick!

So I told the benefits OK, there are other things I can do, I can write, I can do art, I can upcycle things to sell, help advise me in how to set up my own business to do that and teach me what I need to know to run a business from home.  They won’t.

But understood only this… you said you can work?  OK we’re taking your ESA away and making you go to job search centres five days a week all year around and if you don’t turn up for three consecutive days because you are sick, we’ll pull your benefits again and it will take six weeks to reapply for benefits again, meanwhile there is no transitioning money…

So, who is going to opt for all their amenities to be switched off and starving your family for six weeks solid?  What sort of incentive is there to actually get your ass off benefits if you are sick?  What kind of incentive do they give the sick to try and work out their own ailments in order not to be a scrounger?

Because seriously, this is how it is here!

So people who call sick people on benefits scroungers, talk to your government about their crackpot schemes, and don’t go attacking us!  It’s not our fault!  Most of us would love to be independent and work and get even £5 extra a week in their pockets, because no one likes going through those humiliating interviews every year!

Paul and I had thought about going to Ireland as they take care of artists and writers on sickness benefits more than they do here in England – but lately we’ve seen the news, there are political issues cropping up – will we be welcomed in Ireland?

I know my great grandfather was Irish (from Roscommon) and I know that genetically I would be accepted with opened arms, but it’s still looking complicated…

I am very frustrated, because there are lots of things I need in order to get myself a job and there is absolutely not help at all and the money is being cut again and again, to the extent, that I haven’t impulse bought a thing since 2017 and I am losing a huge amount of weight, but can’t afford to replace my clothes as the weight falls off and I am looking ridiculous!  I have lost four dress sizes in nearly a year.

Doctor says that they don’t find that a worry because I was so large to begin with.  I was a size 28, I am now nearly a size 20, they won’t worry until I am a size 12 potentially – potentially I might be dead by then, before they investigate why!

They know I have an IBD because of my high markers, but they won’t investigate until I literally start screaming in pain at A&E, seriously, been told that, NHS is so badly stretched financially that they are now only dealing with life threatening conditions as they appear, cancer not one of them, government recently warned the UK that if you get cancer now, you are more or less fucked if you rely on NHS!

Also, I have a new cholesteatoma growing in my left ear, but my ENT specialist said his department is in so much debt right now, he will not deal with it until it is life threatening! I have been through this before when I was a teenager, I really don’t want to go there again, but I have no fucking choice, because he won’t help me! That means, if the worse comes to the worse again, I won’t be able to physically care for myself bathing wise for nearly three years again nor bend down! I will also be 100% deaf!

Anyway, I am going to close this rant up, because people are home now.

Happy reading everyone… if it was that kind of experience, which I doubt. 

P.S sorry for being an Eeyore today!

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New system

All year I had been planning to do NaNoWriMo, the one for July, but that was cancelled due to the loss of my computer desk and sickness, then the one happening tomorrow – but I have changed my mind.

I remember that on two occasions I have participated in NaNoWriMo only to burn out by the twentieth because I felt I wasn’t as good as other writers who had already proclaimed that they have finished their novels and were now in the editing process.  By the way – don’t be perturbed by this, as I eventually learned that a majority of writers, who do this, have had words in progress long before NaNoWriMo even started!

I have a handful of writer friends online who started two weeks ago on their projects and one of them even started in the second week of September!

I find writing hard these days because I am not alone anymore when writing; I have no personal private, quiet space.  I have to write around my family and their noises and demands in very cramped conditions!  My work, both art and writing is spread in many parts of the house, because we lack space and there isn’t much cooperation in helping me get a larger space to put everything into, just so I can work like how I used to.

I am also doing all of this with very bad health, bed bound for at least four or five months of the year, so I don’t even have the comfort of my desk at times!

I used to write thousands of words per day, for my stories, poems, songs and a huge amount of online articles that were published daily on various websites!  There were times that Paul remembered me doing 12k in total in an entire day, he used to laugh and call me his future wife Barbara Cartland!

Regardless of my health, I could still produce that amount of work per day, if I did not constantly have to move around the house getting notes and using things in different locations all the while, whilst fighting to get to the places through mess and dodging fidgeters who are constantly on the move around the house! 

I have copious notes for each project and used to have postcard snippets to help too, but I have no table space to see them all at once, so I have to try and look at things by hand and put them back into places all the time so they are not lost!  This is difficult for another reason too, because I have a badly deformed underperforming left hand!  It is amazing that I am able to type 60 to 80wpm with that disability!

Before I lived in these conditions, I had half an entire room, the size of 10ft by 15ft and an L shaped desk that took up two whole walls.  I could use my swivel chair to slide from side to side and have up to twenty sheets of paper out or one hundred postcards, to constantly view whilst working, as well as having two large corkboards on the wall around me!  With this, I had total privacy and control over all stimuli that surrounded me!

I could still have that here in this house, but there are two rooms that are unused purely because we have a leaking roof and rising damp in them so it is not comfortable nor safe for electrics and paper!

We simply can’t move there is no option but to stay here because the cost of the house in such conditions would mean we would need to move thirty miles or more away from this village and Paul’s family and entirely out of our county, in order to buy a property of a similar size!  Henry has a three hundred year ancestry in this village, he is not eager to break it.

The roof will cost 5k to fix approximately, once it is fixed, I will gain two rooms and one of those rooms could have a C shaped desk set up that is even bigger than my previous set up.  So eventually, I will have what I need again and more.

Instead of doing NaNoWriMo this year, I plan to write differently.  A new way, in my tight noisy space, that will help me get less noise and more words done in a day, rather than sparse times in a month. 

My new plans are to write for ninety minutes before Henry comes home from school and ninety minutes on my laptop in bed when everybody is asleep.

By doing this, I will be producing an average of three to seven thousand words per day as an average, because my average fifteen minute timer says when I have planned words I can produce up to eight hundred words and on a bad day that is unplanned five hundred words. 

At the moment I am able to squeeze in twenty minutes around three times a week without hand notes, in between family quiet time or when Henry is in the bath or whatever.

Given the right environment I was very productive and proactive and very addicted to my work and was never tired nor burned out by it!

Happy reading!

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Mental health update 26th May 2021

The thing about mental illness is that it grabs you and sometimes even the sufferer doesn’t even know why or what caused them to cry at that precise moment.  I have been having times like this a lot over the last few weeks, but in the past couple of days in particular it has been really a big struggle.

For the first time in almost two years the suicidal thoughts have come back, but along with this is a reasoning thought, that if I were to try and commit suicide right now, I am likely to be saved and therefore my life would be worse to live in the aftermath because of whatever damage the attempt may have done to me, I would then have to live with along with everything I am trying to escape from.  I am already under scrutinised watch, because of my past breakdown a few years back, so it is quite probable, that I will be saved – whether I like it or not.

I am in the situation that I know why I feel this way, but I really don’t have anyone to talk to who is not going to be conflictive with me about those matters to talk it through with.  I am too deaf to use a telephone helpline and I don’t really have enough privacy to talk about matters online.  I barely have the privacy to type this here now.

Well, Paul knows how I feel, but he is painfully irritating with his responses and usually end up making me feel worse, he isn’t the sort of person you can rely on for too much emotional bolstering or betterment.  He knows I think this way about him, and yes, it does put a strain on our relationship – especially as I try and tell him that he shouldn’t feel emotionally responsible for me despite this.  But he always proclaims that he does anyway and how could he not? 

He is in denial of his own depression, I know this, because instead of trying to help me see the Brightside of life or help me take my mind off things, he is one of these people who will wallow with me and we both sit there in our pit of despair, talking ever deeper and concentrating ever more on the crap that’s in our lives – that’s not a place of healing.  Alternatively on his more positive days, as he does have them occasionally, he will talk to me about stupid dreams of “if we win the lottery” or “if we built our dream house”, those conversations helps him in his dark times, those dreams, but it just makes me a whole lot worse!  There are times and I am sure he knows it by the looks I give him, that when he talks of me of those big pie in the sky dreams, that I just want to take those dreams he talks about and shove them down his throat.  Because, who wants to be reminded of things that are unreachable when you are in a time of struggle?

My problems are not primarily financial, that is something he can’t get his head around, I think.

My main focus is the lack of love, the lack of attention, friendship and family.  I am also very sick and I am tired of that, I am tired of constant pain, constant illness and no one to sit there and snuggle with me for more than just five minutes a time, because no one has the time.  No one has the time for me.

I talk about this to Paul, but he is so exhausted all of the time and struggling with his own injuries and pain as he is my main carer and Henry’s main carer and the household carer, that when I do talk to him, within twenty minutes he has literally fallen asleep during our conversation and wakes up with a jerk when I probe him about it.

I know I am a selfish cuss, because he struggles to balance everything for me, but he really could help himself a lot more by communicating with people who are willing to help him, but he doesn’t.  He just plods along doing all of this and coping with all of this on his own and I do literally nothing.

He is 27yrs my senior, I am terrified of how I will live if he dies.  That’s how selfish I am.  I do love the fellow, I do, but I am shit scared of what will I do if he goes?

I can’t do a thing for myself these days, on an emotional and mental health level I could barely anyway, but now the body is falling apart, I can barely even cook for myself these days.

We have no one.  We only have two adult nephews who visit once or twice a year and that is all.  We have nobody, not even a reprieve of a friend who’ll come to tea anymore.  Not since I have got too sick to reciprocate and Covid has made socialising with professional’s non-existent now.

I am ultimately desperate for two things, to move out of this house into a house that is not riddled with rising damp and holes in the roof and the ceiling literally falling apart in some rooms and I am desperate for more love and attention, especially long snuggles!

Oh I could add a third, to have a decent allergen free diet on a consistent basis, not having 2 weeks of feast and 2 weeks of famine in every month, which is how we live now.  Well, I say we, Paul and Henry eat properly, I don’t, because I am the one with the intolerances.  Gluten, lactose and occasionally egg, flax, pineapple and a few others; Gluten free foods are fine if they don’t contain flax, but most do.  My body can’t cope with chocolate more than once a week either, or beef and my body can’t cope with a high fat diet, which makes things very difficult on a diet front these days.

When I went through a phase of anorexia as a teenager, I actually ate more then that I do on the famine weeks in the month and that scares Paul, but the doctors don’t batter an eyelid.  I am still overweight you see and I am nearly a woman in her 40s.  They don’t take the food problem seriously – if I had been 8 stone, maybe they would!

Yesterday all I had eaten up until 5:35pm (the time I am writing this post) is 1 slice of gluten toast (because we are struggling with finding decent gluten free locally in the past few weeks) and 3 slices of bacon.  Later I will have a cereal bowl size of tuna pasta with new potatoes and herbs; the pasta is at least gluten free.  Because of the toast today, it will mean tomorrow I will wake up coughing up phlegm for an hour and my asthma and blood pressure will be bad.  But I needed quick food; I was feeling light-headed, shivery and headachy.

The food wasn’t ideal and I feel sick since, but I was hungry.

Anyway, this is just another bad day for me and I needed to get it off my chest.

Maybe tomorrow will be different?

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Money free world

Money’s a problem all over the world

It’s a simple solution and not in a dream world

It used to be reality, for everyone around

But men fell in love with shiny rocks in the ground

It’s a funny old thing, love, but it does astound

We all have to have currency, the shiny tokens of gold

It’s to help everyone, or so I am told

But I just see greed and exploitation

Unfairness and hunger and lots of discrimination

It shouldn’t be like this, in a human world

We are smarter than this, our minds have been swirled

I have heard of a time where everything was free

Money is an illusion, you just can’t see

Warmth, food, water and a place to call home

Are all basic needs which everyone should own

You can’t put a price on good quality of life

So why has humanity invented this strife?

It’s a puzzle, it really is

I hope we’ll soon all work out the quiz

But suffering world over would end in a jiffy

If everyone thought that money was whiffy

Everyone all living a life they deserve

With food, warmth and water, what a learning curve

Imagine how far we could all progress if price wasn’t an issue we always had to address?

Money is a barrier in this modern world

Money needs to go now, a new system should unfurl

A system of voluntary work and good will

A system where people go to work still

But system where freedom is always a choice

A system where people in their lives could rejoice

A system with a world united where barriers should fade

A system where teamwork is always displayed

Yes there will be some who won’t do their share

But society is good at not keeping people there

People are good at motivating the herd

People who are lazy would be considered absurd

Even the sickest has their worth

But whilst there is still money, plenty resent their birth

It is a horrible fact, but it is quite true, whilst money is still around

It’s imprisoning you

Not just you but all of mankind

Money is very, very, unkind

Imagine your life without money there, what would you do?  What would be your cares?

How would you live?  Who would you help?

Please do think about this, it might self help

It will open your mind to what you can become

I wish more people thought that money was dumb

This poem was written quickly, I know it can come across a little uncomprehending but it was written at 5:45am on a cold foggy, frosty January morning and I have a bad chest infection and I tend to think about too many points at once and my brain gets scrambled at the best of times – but this is an important message I think.  One that really should be shouted as loud as climate change awareness, because I think, if money was eliminated and people worked together in teams and progressed without the need of money incentives, things like climate change would reserve rapidly – the cure for cancer found – the ability to terraform Mars would have already been done and so many other things.

I mean come on, think about it – do you really need the incentive of a few shiny coins a month to make you make this world a better place?  Do you really need the incentive of earning little fake tokens of your supposed value in the world in order to give you the life you want and deserve?  It is a belief system that you do need these tokens as an incentive to go to a job you hate, being stuck in situations you hate, that have you enslaved, slavery is never ever truly over, until the fat cats decide to change it.  Though how many fat cats are there in comparison to the slim?  I am talking money here not the supposed “obesity crisis”.  I have always struggled with the concept that I can’t do this, I can’t do that, basic little things that most people in the Western World take for granted, because of lack of money.  I have never ever had the ability to be extravagant – I can tell you what I think the most extravagant thing I have ever done financially has been outside of special occasions – bought, shock and horror a book that cost me £25 that to me is an extravagance!

I have never had the ability to afford to get my hair done at the hairdressers when I became an independent adult, living away from my parents, I cut my hair myself!

There are so many things that would change in my life, if money was removed from the social system.

I have been told several times by many doctors that they can treat my problems, it is easily treatable with basic surgery, however, it is too expensive for a struggling NHS right now, so therefore, until the illness infringes my life to the point it becomes life threatening, they will not help me.  Money, I am afraid to say, does determine how moral and humane a doctor will be and from my experience, it means that money makes them carefree, it makes them monsters; not just them, but everyone, people kill for money for fucks sake!

People need to learn that money is evil.  Yes, money saves lives and all of that too, but that is just an illusion – really many people would never have got to the extent of needing charitable donations if it weren’t for the problem that money exists in their world.  Most people’s relationships are affected by six core things; money tops it the other four things are, lying, political and sport debates, religious differences and general discrimination (racism, disability discriminate, age discrimination, fashion critics etc.) – people argue about those six core things a lot and that usually determines how well you get along with a person or not.  Money being the biggest factor because not only do families argue about the lack of it or the want of it, but people generally avoid creating relationships with new people in case they might become their victim in some way financially.  People become more uptight socially if they are wearing expensive clothing and have the latest mobile, than those who are poorer in the community towards strangers socially approaching them. 

People also judge you by your supposed wealth or lack of wealth.  I have been in situations of worse poverty than I have now and the general public; do treat you differently, either with sympathy or with contempt, especially if you are known to be unemployed due to chronic illness.  I have also been in a situation where I have been considered quite wealthy (though the money was never mine, I was dependent upon someone for a time) and again, society treated me differently.  I became more human the more I showed to others that I might actually be better off than them and I have had friends who are super rich or of celebrity status tell me that it gets worse the more you have, you become almost godlike and infallible and this particular person who told me this said that she hated it, because she just wanted to be recognised as plain old normal Sue; she adored me because I never treated her or anyone else any differently to anyone else.  I won’t tell you her whole name because I don’t like name dropping.  But I will say she is a very respected and talented British celebrity. 

Going back to complaining about the doctors again; When I have been too sick to dress properly or fuss over my hair, I get treated like a piece of fermented meat in which the doctor is even reluctant to physically examine.  I am clean, but I wear a baggy grey jumper and black leggings those days with trainers and my hair is in a messy bun. 

I go back to the same doctor a few months later after coming from a funeral in a dress suit with the same messy bun might I add and they treated me as though I had a brain and they spent ten more minutes with me than usual and examined me thoroughly.  Why the snobbery?  Same patient, same doctor, different clothes and class appearance!

I am going to number and list everything I can’t have because of my financial situation – then I am going to number and list what I would do and have in a world without money.

  1. I can’t have an operation to remove unusually large adenoids which makes me long-term unable to breathe through my nose and smell, it also causes severe post nasal drip and breathing problems, it affects my voice and larynx and I get throat infections 8 times a year and living with constantly ear infections due to Eustachian tube blockages purely because of the adenoids. Because of this, I have severe insomnia and hypersomnia, depends on how much my body will let me sleep before I literally wake choking on the entire gunk in my body, this has gone on nearly eight years now.  One of the biggest factors of why I cannot work, because it affects my breathing, my voice and my hearing levels.  I also live with vertigo because of sinus and ear pressure and almost constant sinus migraines.  Because of the amount of antibiotics I need, I have been developing antibiotic resistance and my digestive system is collapsing as it is affecting my gut flora.  As an added bonus because of my health problems, I am self-conscious going out, because I have been accused of infecting everyone, because I come across as having perpetual flu like symptoms, cough and cold.  It is especially difficult to go out since this new Chinese virus is going around.
  2. I can’t have an operation to stretch my tendons in my left hand which renders three of my fingers almost immobile due to how tight they are, despite how twisted my fingers are that when I fall down I am constantly at risk of breaking my hand.
  3. I can’t afford to get rid of old furniture and broken televisions, computers, cookers and washing machines via a skip, so have to store them in a corner in the garden and I hate that, because I am extremely house proud and as far as the neighbours are concerned by our back garden, we must be pack rats in the house, the nasty hoarding sort – but we’re not. We don’t have a car or anyone who has a car who would be willing to help for a day.
  4. I can’t afford to get my son to socialise outside of school, because I can’t buy him the rugby kit he wants and I can’t afford the membership for the marathon club. Though there is light at the end of the tunnel for his marathon club, Henry has been seen doing so well at free running events around town that we have been told as soon as he is 10yrs old (which is May 2020) he will be eligible for sponsoring and free membership!
  5. I can’t have a balanced diet which meets my needs; even the food bank struggles with someone like me – gluten and lactose intolerant with a few other allergies thrown in like certain herbs and fruit allergies. At least once a week I have to consider eating something I am intolerant to, because our budget can’t stretch for the whole week.  It’s either that or having an entire day of just meat and potatoes with hardly any or no veg and maybe some sauce.  When money was better 2yrs ago I was having an 80% paleo diet and my health bloomed, I had more good days than not.  But when the government cut that evil thing – money, I had to cut the food and my body isn’t responding well to that.
  6. I can’t afford a fish tank and supplies, a dog or some chickens.
  7. I can’t afford certain gardening tools and supplies which will help me grow more food.
  8. I can’t afford to get a gardener to help me when I am on a run of bad health. I regularly get bed bound sick where I can’t do anything for 6 to 8 weeks at a time, by that time, my garden is ruined when I get back to it, by aggressive bindweed.  The bindweed in my garden are triffids – I was ill for 9 weeks last summer and it managed to pull down and break an entire 7ft cherry tree I had put in.
  9. My husband knows I need to get out more and see the doctor a lot more than I do, but I don’t go to see him more than once a month (though it is essential) because it costs us £12 a time in transport. Therefore, we can’t afford a car and we can’t afford to pay for me to go out, so unless I can walk somewhere, I can’t go out, so I am even more isolated now.  I am also not eligible for a disability scooter for free, because my problems are not mobile, it is mostly breathing problems due to enlarged adenoids so they don’t take that seriously at all mobility.
  10. I am struggling to be able to pay for the amount of tissues and symptom relief things I need. Such as throat lozenges, vic rub, Vaseline, sanitary towels because my coughing fits have weakened my bladder severely.
  11. I have lost a lot of weight since becoming very ill, losing weight because coughing fits have made me become involuntarily bulimic and with the lack of affordable food I can eat which fits into my dietary needs, it is hard. I have lost nearly 50 pounds in the past four months and I can’t afford to get smaller clothes, so I am wearing clothes that are ridiculously big on me.  I know there is gumtree and all of that, but really it is hard to travel to pick things up and the women getting rid of their clothes don’t like the idea of a man (my husband) picking it up for me without me present, tried.
  12. I need a wig because my trichotillomania has got worse, but I have to make do without one and tolerate the whispers behind my back when out.
  13. My bed is broken and needs to be replaced because the frame broke when Henry jumped and pulled on it last summer. I can’t afford it, so we are literally trying to hold it all together with planks of wood and gorilla tape.
  14. We’ve lived with a leaky roof in our biggest bedroom for eight years now, we can’t have the roof fixed that would be 4k, heavy rains with a northerly wind causes havoc. Also our utility room roof has caved in too.
  15. Our toilet is coming away at the wall, again we’ve had to resort to gorilla tape and sealant to try and make do until we can afford to replace that too.
  16. Henry needs new clothes too, he is growing fast, but he has my problem at the moment too – having to wear clothes too big, because he is wearing his father’s hand me downs to keep him warm this winter. Thankfully Paul is a stick and is the smallest man’s size in clothing and doubly thankful that Henry is taller than most for his age. 
  17. Our sofa is broken and that needs replacing, we don’t sit downstairs anymore because of it. Also because it is winter and we had our gas fire taken out and gas supply to the fireplace removed because it was unsafe four years ago, so we have no heating in the living room except for an electric fan heater and we can’t afford to use that more than an hour a day.  We put it on whilst we eat our dinner, we don’t eat dinner in the dining room anymore because that is even colder than the living room.
  18. I can’t afford my psoriasis shampoo and wash, so have to tolerate discomfort as the NHS has refused to prescribe me again for more, told me to buy it for myself if I need it. Also they don’t fix hearing aids in our hospital anymore; I have to go to boots, so I have a malfunctioned hearing aid now, which means I am completely deaf a lot of the time. 

Surprising isn’t it?  This is England.  This is the 21st century.  Bet you didn’t know people like me still live like that?  The funniest thing is, I am one of the better off ones – one of the least poor, there are others worse than me, I have known them.  If you think my situation is shocking, honestly, you are a very sheltered person who needs to get to know others outside of your social circle a bit better.  I have known people so poor, that despite sugar tax, it is cheaper for them to get more calories into their child with a packet of haribo sweets than to cook them a veggie dinner.   I am not that poor yet and thankfully Henry has manageable allergies.  My Henry does however, live on sausages, mash, cucumber, carrots and baked beans more often than I would like, but that is the cheapest food I can get him that he is guaranteed to eat in full.  Some of the nation’s poorest can’t even afford to give their kids beans on toast, so I really can’t moan that much I suppose!

I am not poor enough in the eyes of the government to need charity help or help from the council, because we own our home outright and therefore we must fix things ourselves.  We’ve been told that if things are so bad, why not sell up and rent?  Because our money will only last five years, I would lose benefits and security in one fair swoop and we have no means to pay the rent, it’s unlikely that I will ever get well enough to have a proper job and Paul retires in three years.

In a world of no money my life would be bearable, it would be happier, it would be easier and our needs would be met; because people are more humane to those in need when they are equal to them.

Here is my no money list.

  1. Even though I am sick, in a world of no money I would have to contribute to society like everyone else.  But society would be more understanding that not everyone can cope with long hours and hard labour.  I would help places grow food or advise people on gardening for food, even on my sickest days I could sit on the internet on live chat, helping some gardening in need with various issues.
  2. I can help the world with aesthetics, by giving people my artwork to decorate their homes with, giving people my poetry and stories in books for them to enjoy. I could even get a group of actors together and we can make plays and movies based on my ideas.
  3. I would go to a workshop on my good days and help teach people how to make preserves, jams, chutneys, allergy free cakes and breads.
  4. I could do motivational talks.
  5. I can help sew and repair local peoples clothing from home, if they deliver.
  6. I can teach people about which flowers are edible, to help broaden peoples diet.
  7. I can do the occasional arts and craft workshop to help people recycle and upcycle things.
  8. I can help people learn French.
  9. I am a good massager and manicurist.
  10. I am very good with people who are suicidal or going through a dark time. I have had several people say that if it weren’t for me they wouldn’t be around anymore.  I have often thought about becoming a therapist, but in the last five years it is debatable whether or not I will be a hearing person in the future or not.  In fact, I have been told to prepare myself for becoming profoundly deaf to becoming totally deaf with a deaf dog support.  So I gave up my course as soon as I heard this.
  11. All my household problems would be solved, no dangerous stuff, more respect from neighbours and warm living room that is comfortable.
  12. I would be able to live the diet that is optimal for me as an individual.
  13. My operations would have been done before my health got this far and I would probably be able to do more things than what I listed above.
  14. We would have an electric car.
  15. We would have a dog, a full fish tank and some chickens in the garden.
  16. We would have tools for the garden and help in the garden.
  17. I would be able to wear appropriate clothes and so would Henry.
  18. We would have a safe bed.
  19. I would probably need to apply for a house extension so I could have an extra room to use as a library.
  20. I would be able to get out more.
  21. I would shave my hair off entirely and get a wig, so I learn to stop pulling.
  22. I’d go to the cinema once a week.
  23. We’d go for a pub family meal on Sundays like we used to.
  24. I’d take Henry to the big televised rugby matches.
  25. I’d adopt four kids and concentrate on getting my body healthier, rather than push my body to get that second child I want.
  26. We’d go out on a big family day out once a month at least – a zoo, a museum, a steam train ride, a bowling day out etc.
  27. Because a world without money would be more cooperative and free, I would be free to lend my services to certain people. I would be able to assist the local elderly, cook for them, visit them to keep them socialising, take them out, play games with the playful ones, and do the same for the severely disabled. 

It is all just hearsay I know.  I am down to earth enough to realise that I may still be struggling day to day with my own needs, like I am today.  But even in a world of no money, I could manage to help society from home, in my bed with online talks.  I could go out for one half day a week doing any of those things above and still be a worthy member of society who does her bit.  Basically, I would have a better life than I do now.  But because of my current needs, ESA will not tolerate someone who can do half a day of something, without pulling the carpet from under them and saying “well in that case you can work, we will take your money from you henceforth”.  They don’t care that my illness is such that I can go out for one half day a week, but I will be bedbound for four days after it and so therefore will not function around my own home – that to them, doesn’t matter.  What matters is getting me off benefits at any cost!

I am saying, in a world of no money, I can volunteer to be present outside of the home every 4 to 7days, if society tolerates someone who has a permanent streaming nose and allergies when she does it – I often feel that people recoil from me a lot when I am out about and this leads to me thinking things such as “Well why not just euthanize me now, then?”.

I burden too many people with my presence, they make it all too obvious and people who work in benefits don’t help matters!

Money is evil, it makes us heartless.

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Filed under About Me

Worrying about probably nonsense!

Other than the time back in 2003 I have never approached a publisher or an author’s agent, nor have I ever entered any kind of creative competition, whether it be for art or writing; I have never joined a writers circle either.  I have never had any real formal education on writing and not much schooling throughout my childhood.  Everything about me and my creativity is 100% self-taught and badly taught too in my opinion!

I have no idea where all these punctuation marks really should be, I have no idea about my grammar or where a paragraph should start and end, really it is all either dumb luck or a right mess, I don’t know which it is.

I don’t have much confidence in the idea of becoming a successful writer, I have said before and it is very true, I am scared that I will let people down a lot because of my health issues.  In my personal life, I let people down almost all the time.  I am afraid that I will have people wanting to publish my work but will have second thoughts about it because the writer will be a no show for at least 50% of the promotions, book signings and interviews.  In my personal life my health is so bad that a simple two hour shopping spree can set me physically back by three days.  I have more than one auto-immunity problem working against me.

I know in my heart of hearts it is unrealistic for me to have what many people would call a “real job”, writing is a real job if you get published isn’t it?  Despite publishers and agents alike stating they are working towards having more underrepresented writers, how ready are they for those who are bed bound for 10 – 16 weeks of the year?  How patient would they be in dealing with such a writer who is also deaf, too deaf to use a phone and relies heavily on face to face lip-reading, text messages or a representative to take telephone calls?

This is what holds me back in approaching publishers.  My own realism. 

I really don’t want to be told “you have a lot of talent but you are not working hard enough to promote yourself or take yourself seriously, it is a shame you are so sick, you could have gone far”.  This has happened before to me, not in the writing industry, but other forms of work, which is why I rely on benefits.

Is this something I should even put in my covering letter to an agent?  I mean, come on, if it really is like any other job, then who the blazes would ever look at my work twice if they knew that I am that sick most of the time?

Am I being too defeatist as well as a pragmatist, maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel – who knows?  Maybe there is an agent out there who can push someone like me into the limelight and support me in spite of the health problems?

I am writing this for two reasons today.  One is the fact that there has been quite a few people contacting me in the past five years in my email and on private messages on twitter and other social media, who support my work with all their heart and has asked me to send them some of the work and I have not done this.  Many have become active cheerleaders in trying to get me to write regularly and to state how my poetry amongst other things has helped them and other people through hard times in their lives.  The thing is I am too polite to verbally let people down and I don’t like dragging up my health as an excuse all the time, even though that is the primary thing.    So I let it all slide.  I don’t want to do this, I really don’t.  I really want my books out there, I really want people to enjoy my worlds, because I have put my heart and soul into my worlds for a very long time, in some of the series I have written, two decades of blood, sweat and tears have gone into them!  I need to see my characters come to life through actors and actresses on the television as this is the main motivation for me writing.  I have always written the things I have because I have always wanted to see them on TV.  They are things I want to watch.  I am a huge supporter for acting and have always wanted to get into theatre and television myself, as a writer/screenwriter and eventually producer and I know with my health problems that may never happen.  When I was younger I loved going to the drama classes during lunch break and playing with my friends various roles.  I love playing and I believe acting is the only way an adult can still play pretend with their peers and not be considered insane or childish.  The course I was doing back then was after I had a breakdown, my mother was really worried about me so signed me up for a general vocational skills course to boost what she thought was my confidence.  It wasn’t a confidence issue I had, it was severe depression due to something that had happened to me which was nasty and as usual swept under the carpet by her and never spoken about to the family.

When I went to those drama classes, my creativity ran riot.  I became a writer for short plays that we would do at the college together, I also wrote rap songs for my beat boxing friends and joined what was known as a rock choir with my gothic friends, I was a Goth back then too.

I find it really easy to write songs and poetry, it comes very quickly to me and this amazed my friends in the creative scene.  I would literally sit on the table with my legs up, write on my knees a song of any subject they chose and give it to them to sing within ten minutes max, never revised either.  I do this with all poetry even now.  It comes and in a few minutes it is posted or printed and ignored.

If I had someone tell me that I am now a full time poet, I would freak out about the ink and paper I would use daily, because I literally could throw out 5 to 10 poems an hour.

Similar things happening too since I took up my recorder practise; I can play by ear and I have composed several tunes since first starting out.  I can compose a new tune in around 90 minutes and lyrics to go with that within 10 minutes.  I am learning well in how to read and write the recorder music now.  It’s winter now and my chest is playing up, so it’s likely the recorder is going to be put away until April now, which is a shame.

The second reason I posted this, is that I am considering entering a writing competition for the first time in my life.  The Writing Magazine (which I am subscribed to) has a competition which has sparked six story ideas in my head – however, I can only afford one entry.  The competitions requires an opening line which is this “They weren’t like me”, closing date February 15th 2020.  It is a subscriber’s only competition. 

I am running short of money and I hope there is enough ink in the printer, as it is unlikely I can afford more ink before Christmas.  I know me, the story I will choose will be done and dusted within a weekend, then it will rest a week, then I will redo it and it will be sent a month in advance.

Thousands of people will be entering this contest so I know that my chances are slim, but though I am a pragmatist I am also an optimist and I have as good a chance as anyone.  But what I want to know is… is this the sort of thing I put into a writer’s CV when approaching an agent?  If I win, I mean?

Anyway, just some food for thought!

Merry Christmas everybody if I don’t post again beforehand!

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Filed under About my work

The leak

It’s raining outside and wet

But I am inside and wet too

The roof is leaking

What shall I do?

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Filed under poetry