June and new beginnings

May disappeared in a thick mist.  Sunny days came and went, and I preferred when it rained.  I love the sound of heavy droplets incessantly pattering on the tin roof of our building.  Lucky to be on the top floor.  I lit candles, different colours for different purposes, while I sat in my jammies and wrote profile after profile to bring in a little spending money for summer.

The city is still a mess.

bus stop

Now my work is finished, and yesterday I finally found my flow again when I spent the afternoon in Jackson, Mississippi; 4,000 words pouring out of me rekindling memories of guns and swamps and sleazy strip clubs.  Still, I feel weak and shy, a hermit recluse sensitive to the daylight.  But I must come out of my hiding place now.  A long holiday is coming up – a month with various family members – and it excites me as much as scares me.  Better start packing; we’re off tomorrow night.

Last weekend we went to visit our dear friends in Kidderminster.  We went on a steam train along the River Severn and life feels very different up there, among woods and wildflowers.  Perhaps we are beginning to plot our escape.


Read a blog post today.  It was nice, it had the usual message of ‘let things fall apart, that’s how they come together again’ sort of message.  But there was a particular passage that tickled me and I wanted to keep here for a later day.

“I know mountains grow because of their fault lines. I know lakes turn that gorgeous shade of turquoise because of their silt. I know jewels are formed under pressure. I know trees can grow through rocks, and rivers can break canyons …

I know the earth smells fabulous after a hard rain, and I know she breathes. I know out of the destruction of forest fires, new and stronger ecosystems can emerge. I know there is life in the deepest depths of the ocean and her tides can soften stone.” (Jacquelyn Taylor)

It will be good to get away for a while.  I’ll go breathe in the German mountains and swim in the Swedish lakes and completely refresh myself.  I will nurture my relationship with my book, offering it its due time and respect.  I will regain my strength and stop being such a sorry-ass wimp.  Once I accept that I’m a wimp and that’s okay, maybe then I will finally stop being one.  Ain’t that always the way?


Disconnected and alone

I’ve forgotten what this blog was all about.  Finding Fleur – finding that awesome girl who’s hiding on the other side of this neurotic pile of self-obsessions, misinterpretations, desperations, and the pain arising from the opposing forces of people-pleasing compulsions and self-realisation desires.

There’s me.  And there’s Fleur.

“Don’t look down; just cross the bridge
And when you get there, you’ll be glad did
There’s a better life on the other side”

Today is a sunny, beautiful, gorgeous, absolutely summery-flowery-wonderful day outside, yet I am sitting inside ticking off to-do lists (or at least, somehow, trying to), and riding out the inner battles of what must be done, what should be done, what others want to be done, and desperately trying to find that one stream of consciousness that tells me what I actually want, and then feeling guilty for focusing of self-interests. Whereas Fleur would just don a flowery dress and run out into the sunshine and play, embracing everything and everyone, and get her daily dose of healing sunshine, and not give a flying fuck what anyone thinks.

Melody Fletcher says, “Stop comparing yourself to your Higher Self.”  Well, it’s hard, but I’m very grateful for that advice.  Our human selves could never fully live up to the image of our divine selves.  I can seek and apply and integrate aspects of Fleur, but I will never be her.  And I mustn’t let that discourage me.

But for now, I’ll just have a good cry and watch Louise’s cat stomp all over me and not give a fuck (because the only emotion she understands is her own anxiety) and maybe have a soothing drink at antisocial hours.  After all, life is just an illusion, right?



Changes in the skyline

These days are pigeon feeding and weekly planning, health board activities and dodged gym sessions, hoarding then decluttering, filling in holes and drilling new ones and painting over them.  In between, I sit down to try and find the centre of myself, because if I want to be a great writer I must.  There are so many copycats and so few genuine voices.  All my life, I’ve let everyone else’s voice scream so loud in my head that my own is all but silenced.  How can I identify it through the noise?  It changes, too.  Like the seasons or the tides, it’s never consistent, and its fluidity makes it hard to grasp and channel.  Each new impression or suggestion brings a new flow and inevitably changes the direction.

The London skyline has changed so much since I moved here ten years ago.  I remember when the Gherkin (“the dildo” as we knew it back then) was the most prominent building in the City, rising proud and round from a low-rise, unassuming city.  Now it’s been swallowed up by a forest of skinny skyscrapers, and overshadowed by the aggressive Shard which sits on top of the vaults where we once danced from dusk till dawn and caught the bus home in the scarlet light of morning, against the backdrop of Tower Bridge casting its reflection in the choppy waters of the Thames.

But now the vaults are closed and life is something else.  I suppose ten years is a long time.  Ten years ago I was an entirely different person, so it would make sense if the city, too, has changed.  Hopefully when the old makes way for the new we don’t lose too much of who we were.

It’s still cold and grey and I stay in with my DIY and podcasts, and hold out for springtime and new adventures.  “April, come she will…”


January blues


My skin feels raw today, and our dry January is drowned in a glass of whiskey. It soothes my antennae, which every evening feel as though they have been split into a thousand and all streams of input are exaggerated to the point of pain.

A few weeks left at work, then I’ll be free. Free of commuting pressed up against fetid zombies three hours a day. Free of forced company and shallow conversation. Free of mindless toiling and endless longing. Just a few more weeks; a few more pounds in my pocket. Then I will write. Then I will socialise. Then I will tidy and clean and wash and organise. Until then, my boy takes on the evenings’ tasks and cooks me meals and I am so very grateful, because I would have done a terrible job myself.

Fleur feels far away. Later this week I will take my camera and hit the streets of Greenwich and see if maybe I can find her through the viewfinder; capture her on some bright LCD screen.