Thursday, 21 June 2012

it's oh so quiet

I love my little house.

I've lived here for twelve years, but in the last two have redecorated every room and bought new furniture for them too.
And as much as I love Son I really love it when he goes out, especially at the weekends as he's gone for hours. I get to sit on my £2000 leather sofa and enjoy the nice surroundings and peace and quiet, watch whatever I want on the huge plasma HD TV (which is especially important now that the fucking Euro football is on), eat all the nice stuff in the cupboard without having to share, and sit on the loo without worrying about shutting the door.
And when I go to bed now I get to sleep in my king size leather bed with a thick memory foam mattress. I love that too.

I like my own company, always have.
As much as I can go out and be the person dancing on the table and the loudest one in the room I also like a bit of solitude.

I am naturally quite a messy person, I have always lived in what I described as ordered chaos. Little piles of stuff everywhere, but ask me if I have something you want to borrow and if I have it I can find it. However since finally getting my house how I want it I have been much better. There is no clutter in the lounge, and while the piles of stuff are still here they are in labelled boxes and hidden from sight in cupboards. I've become a little bit OCD about keeping it nice too.

Much to Sons annoyance.
He still tries to invade the back room with piles of stuff. Mostly his art equipment which he doesn't seem capable of keeping in the boxes that I gave him. I can live with that, but it's the ever expanding circle of crap that seems to emulate from whenever he sits playing xbox that really fucking winds me up. Still it's just in the back room, and if I shout loud enough, or he can't find something he knows is in that room, he will sort it out.

However all this peace and quiet and tidyness is about to be royally shattered in just over a week.

A friend and her six year old Son are coming to stay for a few months.

Don't misunderstand me, I am more then happy to have them here, I love them both. But she is just as messy as me, or as I used to be, and there is no such thing as a tidy six year old. They come with toys, dvds, three changes of clothes a day and temper tantrums.
Right now I have a real conflict of emotions about this. On the one hand I'm really looking forward to the company and I know she will help with the cooking (and she's an amazing cook), and we will respect each others privacy. We are very alike in some ways and opposites in others, but as friends we are great at balancing each other. This is the friend I turn to in a crisis. Her little boy absolutely adores Son, he is mixed race too, Son calls him his little brother and he is looking forward to it more then me I think.
But I am just a bit concerned about sharing my space.

I think I may well end up spending a bit more time in my bedroom.
Just as well I have the luxury bed.

For now I am making the most of the next few days.
Son has left this morning for the Isle Of Wight festival, and as he is actually working over there will not be back until Monday. He's a fucking lucky git. Not only does he get to go the festival for free but he gets paid for being there.

The last time I went to the IOW festival was a few years ago now.
Well when I say went I didn't actually get into it.
The fella I was seeing at the time and I did not have tickets, but his best mate was over there and texted us on the Saturday morning to say he knew a way that we could get in without them, and told us where there was a break in the fence. He also said to bring more "supplies".
So - after going "shopping" off we went.
We got to the site and the supposed break in the fence was non-existent. We realised that the mate just wanted more of the supplies and figured that once we got there we would find our own way in. Well ok. I did want to see Snow Patrol. So we spent an hour circling the site as best you can, one side of it is bordered by a river, and it's not exactly in thick countryside, but the only couple of times we came close to finding a way in as soon as we tried a security guard appeared.

We came to the conclusion that even if we got through one layer of barrier and into the camping bit we still might get caught attempting the next bit to get to the arena. And if we got caught with what we had in our pockets we'd get arrested.
Two choices.
Give up and go home.
Do all the 'supplies' and carry on trying.

So anyway. Having consumed the contents of our pockets, which given the quantity didn't take too long to take effect, we realised that we weren't capable of couldn't be bothered to carry on trying to break in. There were a few ticket touts by the main gate so we decided that they would probably think we were so great they'd sell us two for next to nothing.
They just thought we were a couple of lost-its and told us to go away.
But by this point we were so fucking smashed actually having such a good time in our own little word we didn't really care, and once we found a spot where we could hear the music ended up laying on the grass and chatting to all our new best friends outside.

For some reason they seemed to find us highly amusing.

I never did get to see Snow Patrol but I did hear them.

Eventually it started to get a bit cold, and we decided to get the catamaran home. The ex got it into his head that he wanted to have a go at driving it, I remember thinking at the time that this was a brilliant idea. The details of what followed are pretty vague, up until the bit where we were told "I don't know exactly what the deal is with you two but if you don't sit down and behave when we get back to Portsmouth the police will be waiting for you".
We sat down.
And behaved.

It was this one. And it wasn't like we were going to hijack it 
and go to Spain.

The other thing that sticks in my memory about that day is that it was a REALLY good day, I don't know that I would've enjoyed myself more if we had gotten into the festival.

My first experiences of them was a long time ago, when they were small, illegal and run by travellers. Not gypsys, these were so-called New Age Travellers. Those guys could throw a party. They were usually in the middle of the woods somewhere, and nobody charged you for going. Sometimes they would spring up where an environmental protest was happening. The only expense would be if someone - usually a white guy with dreadlocks, a multi-coloured jumper and pupils the size of saucers - came round asking for contributions for petrol for the Genny.

Well you want to dance you need music, and you need power for that so we always chipped in. In those times there weren't many big festivals, and even the ones that were already happening like Glastonbury and Stonehenge were not the huge commercial ventures they've turned into now. The Travellers played a big part in them. They would help set the sites up, and stay after to clear it up and return it to it's natural state.
Even today when it's not a festival site Glastonbury is a working farm. And it's been a very long time since anyone other then the Druids have been allowed right into Stonehenge, and even then it's just for the Solstice.

When the Acid parties and rave culture began in the eighties it too found a place at these little festivals, and that brought in young people that previously had no idea about or interest in them. They were no longer solely the domain of hippies, punks, travellers and other alternative types of people. Suddenly there were thousands instead of hundreds of people attending, and that brought other kinds of attention.
Not all of it good.

And then came the Criminal Justice Act.

Which gave the police the power to break up any illegal gathering. Or decide that any gathering of people with the intention to have a good time was illegal.

Of course that just gave another reason to protest. And where there was a protest there was another party. I remember being at a rave in a big abandoned warehouse, there was more space then people so we were all dancing in a corner and the smoke machines were filling up the empty space around us. When we heard "this is the police, this is the police" we just thought it was part of the music and carried on dancing.
As three times as many coppers as ravers appeared through the haze of the smoke.
It looked kinda surreal. . . but that may've just been the drugs.

The bigger festivals survived, and became big business. New ones began too. Well known promoters took over and with the "proper" kind of management in place, security, planning permission, and expensive tickets they were no longer considered illegal.
I'm not knocking them for doing that. The money they bring in now means that they can get really big stars to headline and there's nowhere else other then a festival where you can go and see so many well known acts (and get to know some less famous ones) in one place.
But I refuse to pay the prices they charge.

And in a way I feel a bit sad that todays youngsters will never get to experience the bit of culture that my generation and those before it did.
We never went to Woodstock, but what we had was a direct result of the legacy it left, and to a lesser degree in the same spirit.

Today it might still be all about the music and the atmosphere for the people who attend, but for the people that run it it's all about the money.

Which leaves me feeling that it's rather ironic that Son is getting paid to be at the Isle of Wight festival, as that started out as Englands equivalent to Woodstock. Jim Morrisons last festival performance with The Doors was there in 1970, the same year Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendix played and when the festival was resurrected in 2006 a statue of Jimi was put up in the gardens of a museum near the site.

Strange to think those people were playing just a few miles from me.
Shame I was eight at the time really. That year I might've bothered to get a ticket.

In other news last Sunday was Fathers day in the UK.
I checked my facebook and saw this. . .

From the fan page of the man who was shot by his father.

Now that's ironic.

Monday, 11 June 2012

first love

Apparently nobody forgets their first love.

Especially if he happens to be prince.

I remember mine all too well.
I was fifteen, he was eighteen, his name was Duncan and he had a motorbike. Not a silly 50cc bike wannabe like all the other boys I knew, his was a 350cc Suzuki. The fact that I remember that detail makes me wonder now how much of the initial attraction was about him or the size of his engine.

Although he wasn't the first boy I called my boyfriend he was the first proper one. The others had just been part of the crowd of friends, and we only saw each other when the crowd was together. But this one and I went on dates, and because he was that bit older we went to night clubs and pubs.
He even bought me a ring. Nothing fancy, it was just a cheap eternity ring, but he wanted me to wear it on THAT finger.
I've still got that ring.

All my friends were impressed and a bit jealous, my Mum liked him - and she never liked any of my friends, male or female, my younger sister liked him (she told me years later that she had a crush on him too), even my fucking cat liked him and would jump on his lap whenever he came round.
In fact I had a picture of him taken at Christmas sat by our tree with the cat on his lap.

I guess you're wondering if I lost my virginity to him too ? Well no, I didn't. I had thrown that away before I met him to a fella who didn't even take his boots off because I thought my friends had "done it". Although the only thing I learnt from that experience was that my friends were lying and sex was really not worth all the fuss people made about it. So I lied to the boy and said I was a virgin and was then too scared to "do it" with him in case he realised. And anyway I had no desire to repeat that ten seconds of grunting followed by a day of not being able to sit down without flinching.
So my first love remained innocent.
Sort of.

We were together for about eight months, a long term relationship at that age. It was me that ended it, I really don't remember any specifics other then I got bored because he wanted me to be with him and not go out and see my mates. He would say, whenever I suggested going to see them, that hanging around with the crowd was childish so I guess what really happened was the difference in our ages became apparent.
Or so I thought.

Fifteen years later. . . .

My Mum was having a clear out and gave a box of old photographs to my sister to sort out, some were coming to me and some were going to my Dad. The picture of the boy with our cat by the Christmas tree was amongst them. My sister had them in piles on her coffee table when our friend Leanne paid her a visit.
Naturally she started looking through the pictures, no doubt laughing at the ones of my sister and I when we were little.
Then she said. . . .
"Why have you got a picture of my Duncan?"
My sister said that I had gone out with him too, and asked Leanne (who is a year younger then me) when she went out with him, thinking it was probably after. But no.

Not at all. AT THE SAME TIME AS ME !!!
My first love was a two-timing motherfucking lying cheating cunt.

The picture was dated so it was easy to work out. He was with Leanne for about a year and for the middle of that was with me too, we sat down soon after and double checked. Funny too, although we (obviously) did not know each other at that time we knew loads of the same people when we finally figured it out.
I guess we were kept apart.

Move on another ten years and my sister is getting married. Her husband had invited some of his friends from work and their respective partners.
So there I am at the reception getting some food from the buffet and a voice from behind me says . . .
"Hello Jane"
Guess who ? Well no prizes. Duncan.
Leanne had yet to arrive, she was coming after work to the evening do. But I called her and told her who was there, and later on after she arrived we cornered him.
Ah Karma. Sometimes I love you.

And sometimes I wonder about the twists and turns my life has taken, and what if I had taken a different route, or made a different choice. My relationship with Sons father lasted nine years, by far and away the longest I have spent with anyone. Before I met him I had an on and off thing with a guy who was in our Navy, he was not based in this town, but whenever he was visiting he would come and find me. We had a real click between us. Then one day he told me that he was due for a promotion which meant that he could change ships and he was hoping to get on one that was based here. He wanted to know if I would consider us being more then just occasional fuck buddies if he did. I liked him, a lot, but I was 20 and I liked my freedom too so I said I'd think about it.

In the meantime I met Sons father at a weekly club night, he was also a very casual thing at first as he lived in the next town, but boy oh boy did we click and after a couple of months he asked me the same question as the other fella.

It was a bit like this.

I guess I thought that I had reached a stage in life where it might actually be quite nice to have a proper boyfriend, and I hadn't exactly forgotten about the Navy fella but he wasn't around and out of sight out of mind. So this night I went to the club night to meet up with the sperm donor-to-be, and I was sat there with my friends waiting for him to arrive and watching the door.
He walked in. Followed by the Navy fella.
I had the length of time it took them to walk to where I was sitting to make a choice.

The rest, as they say, is history.
I don't regret anything, and as an indirect result of that choice I have Son, but sometimes I do wonder. . .

For the longest time I had thought my Dad was my Mums first love. Well her only love, she was from an era where people got married young and saved themselves until they did. My parents split up when I was about 14, not that that was any kind of a shock, they must of been happy at first but all I ever remember them doing was either arguing or ignoring each other.

But my Mum considered her broken marriage to be a source of shame and didn't really have anyone to talk to about it apart from me. We kind of got into the pattern of me coming in from seeing my friends, her making us a cup of tea, and then moaning about my Dad. I didn't really want to hear it. I loved my Dad even if she didn't, in fact if I'd been given the choice I would've lived with him but in those days that just didn't happen.
Sometimes I'd come in and say I was tired even if I wasn't just so I could go straight to bed.

Then one night I came in and someone, I don't remember who, but most likely one of the neighbours as she really didn't have any other friends, had called round and Mum had drunk a couple of glasses of wine.

There are a few traits I've inherited from my Mum.
One of them being a very low tolerance for alcohol.
So by the time I arrived home that particular night she was more then a little tipsy, and in a better mood then usual, so I sat down for a chat. And she told me a story that I only ever heard that one time.

A couple of years before she met my Dad she had met a Dutch sailor who was based here for a while and they had fallen in love. But the Dutchman had told her that although he wanted to marry her he wanted to make something of himself first and so he was going back to Holland. He had promised her he would be back and asked her to wait for him.
In those days very few people had telephones and I guess international mail was probably slow and unreliable, either way she did not hear from him.

By the time my Dad came along she had given up on the Dutchman, she was 19 and still single in an era when most women were married with a couple of children by that age, and worried about being "left on the shelf". She married my Dad within three months of starting to date him.

Whilst she was on her honeymoon the Dutchman turned up at my Nans house looking for her.

And I bet there were times when she wondered just like I do. . .

Amongst the stuff we found after she died and we sorted out her house was a pile of very old pictures. Last week I got them out to look through as I bought some new picture frames and wanted to make some collages.
I had forgotten about the story of the Dutchman but then I found this, a little postcard addressed to Mum in her maiden name and sent to my Nans house.

I guess I finally met the Dutchman who in another life might've been my Dad.

I also found me, as a baby. Proof that I was cute once.

And this is my Mum. Not sure how old she is here but I'm guessing early twenties.
You can see where I get my beauty from.

Strange that we have that little bit of a mirror in the 
history of our lives.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

birthday boy

I mentioned in the last post about my current lack of sleep, right about now I'd bite my arm off for one uninterrupted night of solid kip. Fat chance.

Between the mentalpause causing me to break out in a sweat at any given moment, noisy students who live in the house opposite, the cats - who are not helping at all, and Son coming in the worse for wear at 2am, I have bags under my eyes that could carry a weeks shopping.

As long as they're Gucci bags I'm not really that bothered.

Last night was a fine example of things conspiring against me.
I was so exhausted that I went to bed at 10 and fell asleep pretty much straight away. I know this because when the drunk wombfruit returned in the early hours and slammed the door it woke me up.
Great. Thanks.
Then he decided to have a bath, so was running up and down the stairs, never mind that my bedroom is next to the bathroom. And once I was awake I could hear the noisy cunts over the road, gonna be time to have a word with them soon I think. I shut my window, and once Son was out of the bath thought that was it and I could attempt to get back to dreaming about winning the lottery.
But no.
I woke up in a sweat before I'd even properly gotten to sleep. Not because of the mentalpause, oh no, I had a cat sleeping across the top of my head. And he had the cheek to miaow at me when I shoved him off, then, as he was getting tucked up against my legs decided to do that claw massage thing. Grrrr. But he settled down, and to be honest I quite like the way this one loves to snuggle up to me, so I let him stay and got myself comfortable.
I had just about nodded off again when I hear a scream from downstairs and then,
"MUM, MUM !!!" *thunders up the stairs*
"Mum !! You're not gonna like it but you have to come and deal with this. . ."

So obviously there's a spider.
I happen to think that I did a great job raising Son. And all my friends agree, one actually said to me that because of how he has turned out if she ever needed advice about raising her kids it would be my advice she would ask for. There's no better compliment then that really.

But there is one thing I got VERY wrong.
Kids learn by what they see, and what he saw, and therefore learnt, is that when confronted by a spider you are supposed to go "ARGGGGGGHHHH" and run away screaming.
If only I had thought about that a bit better, and not made him as afraid of them as I am I might now have a Son who could deal with them for me. (Or chased me with them. Every cloud ).
But I didn't.
In fact it's usually me (with the aid of my "bug catcher" - eBay it, it's saved my life more then once), who ends up disposing of them. I don't kill them but I'm not letting one stay in my house, it's not like they pay rent or help out with the bills. No, they have to go.

The Bug Catcher.
Best five quid I ever spent.

So I get my tired, exhausted self out of bed and go downstairs.
"Where is it. . . ?"
"Over there, under the lamp"

And this is what I found.

It seems one of the cats found a new playmate and decided to bring him home.
I left him there and went back to bed. Frogs don't scare me.
The cat that was on my bed is the one that brings things home so I knew he didn't want to kill it. He often brings in whatever he's been playing with outside - just that's usually a bit of a twig or a leaf. And the way the frog was laying under the lamp it was obviously enjoying the heat as it made no attempt to move when I went near it to take the picture.

And as tired as I am I still found it hilarious that a (almost) grown man got completely freaked out by one.

Tomorrow (well today now) is Sons birthday, if I'd known how he felt I would've got him a box of frogs. I wasn't sure what to get him this year anyway, moneys a bit tight at the moment and although I know there are some things he'd like I can't really afford to spend much. So I looked online to see if I could find a bargain and I think he's going to be pretty made up when he sees that I have managed to get him everything on his wish list.

A Lap Top. 

An Ipad. 

A New Mobile. 

A Flat Screen TV for his bedroom.

Some Weed.

I got lucky and found this in the garden, and as that didn't cost me anything with the 
money I saved I got him a car.

I think he's going to be very happy when he wakes up tomorrow and opens his presents.

But seriously I'm not that much of a skinflint. I did go to the shop and buy him a proper card, unfortunately it's not actually a birthday card.

Wanna see ?

That is the actual card. And inside I've wrote "Because I can dream . . . ps I was going to put some money in this card but I forgot to go the cashpoint so IOU £1.50".
It's ok - he will find it funny, and he loves kittens.
But just in case that doesn't put a birthday smile on his face then I have scanned some baby pictures ready to post where all his friends can see them. . .

Embarrassing Mum ? Who me ? Never.
And anyway his birthday is as much of a celebration for me as it is him. Although his being 26 is gonna make it even harder for me to convince younger men people that I'm 25.

Especially with the sacks under my eyes, never mind the Gucci bag I think I'll get some Gucci shades.

And just in case you're wondering the frog appeared again this evening and we returned him to the garden.