Halloween 2020

So. Yeah. As previously discussed, 2020 has pretty much sucked donkey balls.


Suck it with the censorship Facebook 🤬🤬🤬


And the one thing my kiddos really look forward to is Halloween. And, this year? No. Just no.

We could go Trick or Treating, Melrose hasn’t banned it


Which I personally consider batshit but even Salem only cut back rather than completely stopped things…


But that just seems like asking for trouble. We’ve managed to stay safe this far, to the best of our knowledge, so no on ToT.

However we kept Halloween traditional up to a point.

Today we have:

Watched Spooky Movies

  1. Paranorman
  2. The Witches (1990 with Anjelica Hutson not 2020 with Anne Hathaway)
  3. Kiki’s Delivery Service

We thought we had done quite well on TT (as she is a huge Goth – even at age 4!) and has already watched, and loved so many scary films.


No, seriously, Labyrinth and Goosebumps 2 are her current best things ever


But at bedtime she fell asleep then woke up scared of zombies and Bad witches. Damn. Well, it’s a good thing we put The Addams Family off I reckon.

Eaten Holiday Food

Mealtimes were fluid and we just kept food flowing in a mixture of:

  1. Hot Dogs
  2. Popcorn
  3. Smores

As you can see, TT demanded an apple around 4pm so that was good 😂🤣

Worn our costumes

Well the kiddos did at least.

I did mention my daughter was a massive Goth yes? We therefore let her “borrow” some of my makeup:

She felt that purple glittery lipstick and black glittery eyeshadow finished off her “spooky bat” outfit rather well. She was happy, so I didn’t disagree god love her 💜💜💜

  • We have left a bowl of candy out on the front porch, and the kiddos carved pumpkins last weekend.
  • Here is #1 Son drawing his own design:

    Here is TT’s initial design and through to completion:

    And here they both are in pride of place on the front stoop:

    They are still there! I’m genuinely shocked that neither squirrels nor trash pandas have nabbed or destroyed them!

    So, 2020 hasn’t taken everything from us. And we are still here and happy.

    TT has declared that

    This is the best Halloween ever

    So I’ll take that. Right now? I’ll take that.

    Screaming into the void

    That’s what I’m doing right now. Only figuratively at least – to do so literally would risk:

    • Scaring and distracting the kids.
    • Annoying/scaring the neighbors.
    • Terrifying the cat.
    • Perturbing the hus-creature

    None of which options seem like a particularly smart plan.

    Especially annoying the neighbors – since we moved (in May this year) we have some truly wonderful people next door who were:

    • Pleased to see us move in.
    • Made us welcome to the street – on the very day we got the keys in fact.
    • Seem to love the kids – they have a fair number of grandkids so as and when there’s no more goddamn plague maybe there can be some block party type socialization.
    • Have recommended local workmen – one of their grandsons actually cuts our grass every two weeks.
    • Offer advice to us, in a non pushy manner, about things we need to consider/bear in mind when dealing with a 120+ year old home in America.

    No, honestly, as weird as it sounds, we’ve never had to deal with an old house and it’s ‘quirks’ before. Our flat in the U.K. was built in 2006. I”ve lived through some of it growing up, but I’ve never owned it.


    I’m usually pretty gosh-darned good at putting a brave face on things, it’s something of a specialty of mine. But not today. Not right now. Right now I am this close to doing my Lady Macbeth act again.

    We are so close to an election that could break the world into tiny pieces. An election that will materially affect my family and I cannot vote in it.

    Normally I can put a brave face on it, and remind myself that part is (hopefully) only temporary, but as it gets closer I can feel my anxiety spiking. There’s so much unknown and no one really thought The Orange One would win 2016 did they?

    And 2020 is a whole damn mood on its own.

    Today however is a stupidly busy day which probably isn’t helping. Today entails:

    1. Plumbing work – to try and repair major drain issues that mean that we cannot, at the moment flush toilet paper – and haven’t been able to for months – don’t ask. They have to cut a hole in a wall that we didn’t want to use, so that’s another thing to add to the money pit list because it’s in a room that will get a lot of traffic eventually. And the water is switched off so we can’t flush toilets or wash hands (thank the GODS for my hand sanitizers stash)
    2. New freezer being delivered – on the same day as plumbing work. No this was not part of the original plan. But from next week I can finally batch cook and freeze meals for some form of future planning.
    3. It’s snowing. First bloody snow of the season.
    4. It’s bin day and also garden waste collection and the bottom came out of one of the garden waste bags, and the bins aren’t yet collected and did I mention the imminent freezer delivery?

    #1 Son also has his second 2:1 violin lesson in less than an hour, which means his concentration for the rest of the day will be shot and after lunch they are allowed to wear their Halloween costumes which means he will be making Pikachu noises all afternoon.


    Which will almost certainly mean another email from his teacher about lack of paying attention etcetera


    I’m tired. So tired. It’s bone deep at this point.

    On being “Mom”

    Or:

      Mum
      Mama
      Mummy
      Mater
      Mam
      Mommy
      Madre

    Whatever title has been bestowed upon you by your marvellous and beloved offspring? The job is hard. It’s fucking gruelling – and there’s often no respite.

    I don’t know if you might have noticed dear audience, but there’s a freaking pandemic going on out there. And it’s taking so much from us. And the burden of children and child-rearing is, as ever falling on us maternal-type units.


    Disclaimer: I am bloody lucky in my hus-creature and I love him muchly. He has been awesome in this shitty ass time.


    And there’s no answer to it. I’m not going to write about generals. There are a LOT of articles out there at the moment which are saying it so much more eloquently than I feel I can:

    Parenting is a job – in a pandemic it’s impossible

    Death of the Working Mother

    Both of these articles resonate with me so hard. In the first case?

    I’m exhausted. I’m touched out.


    Seriously – it’s worse than when they were newborns and I didn’t think that was possible quite frankly!


    TT is a wreck. She’s always been the most social one of the four of us and lock down and social distancing have destroyed her.

    She gets one dance class a week (today as it happens) and the joy when she realises it’s Wednesday is, quite frankly, heartbreaking. Because it’s her only chance to spend time with any humans outside of our bubble. In a mask. Six feet apart. With no contact. But it’s all that we could do.

    And it will be taken from her soon enough. Make no mistake about that. Cases are spiking everywhere and I hate every single selfish fucker who won’t wear a mask. If I could send them my daughter’s future therapy bills I would.

    We spend a minimum period of two hours every day cuddling on my bed because she just needs that reassurance. It sounds lovely but it’s every day. It’s relentless.

    But that’s not the main point of this post. It’s mainly the second linked article I’m pondering.

    See, a few nights ago #1 Son wombled into my bedroom and asked me:

    Mom, if you could have any career what would it be?

    First off, ouch.

    It’s not the first time either. Over a year ago I was standing in my kitchen doing one of my snow/ice dyeing experiments and #1 Son asked his father what I was doing. When told I was doing a science experiment this was the response:

    Why is mom doing that? She’s just mom.

    I walked away and left daddy to deal with that.

    Way to hit me right between the eyes there son. Because this is a very sore spot for me.

    I am a stay at home parent. It’s not a job I ever envisaged for myself; and, if I’m honest? It’s not the job I wanted.

    Now, do not get me wrong. I adore my kids with every fibre of my being. I went through hell on earth to have them. But I wanted to keep my job. To keep my paycheck. My independence – in so far as that was possible.

    Then we emigrated. And I couldn’t work until I got my work permit. Then #1 Son started school and we realised that, work permit or not, there was no way on Gods Green Earth that I was going to be able to find work whilst dealing with him there.

    Then there was TT. Daycare is ludicrously expensive so I was forced to accept I was stuck until she started Kindergarten at least.

    However that was OK, after all, my skill set is in higher education administration and from The University of Oxford no less. Surely I would be able to find something when the time came? If not Harvard or MIT then at least Tufts or Boston College etc right? After all, University education is a permanent fixture right?!?!?

    Ahem, so sorry.

    Because then the pandemic happened. And it’s clear that Higher Education is going to take a massive hit in the short to medium term. So that’s that for now. And it’s been over three years already. God knows what my skill set is going to look like by the time this situation is under control.

    So for the foreseeable I’m stuck. Completely.

    However hus-creature did put the recent sad into slight perspective.

    The fact that my son asked me if I wanted a career? That means he doesn’t remember when I DID.

    Which means that he only remembers me being around. So no damage of any kind from me missing those formative moments of ages 1-5.

    Some solace perhaps.

    But I do still have a sad.

    Life is complicated isn’t it?

    But I am around. I can help with remote learning. I can comfort my kids and we don’t need me to bring in a paycheck. I’m grateful for that.

    But COVID needs to fuck off. Because it’s still a lot. And some days it’s too fucking much. And I’m tired. So tired.

    Baby Loss Awareness Week

    I have seen mention that yesterday, October 15 – Baby Loss Awareness Day – also covers infertility.

    With that in mind, I have my own story to share.


    I will preface it with that I know I am lucky. I was only ever almost the 1/4.

    I’m often blasé about my infertility and my struggles with it, because I know I’m lucky.

    #1 Son was conceived in a normal time frame, and we didn’t KNOW how impossible he should have been.

    TT? We knew – and it was hell. Hell just knowing that what we were putting ourselves through was likely pointless, but that we had to jump through the hoops to get the IVF referal.

    The months of trying that followed, that weren’t straightforward because of my surgery. The tears, the stress, the guilt – because I HAD one child, surely he should be enough? Knowing in my heart that he wasn’t. That he needed a sibling and that I needed to have a second baby.

    Then that positive test. Then the hope and fear that came with it. But then to be sternly told that with my issues the likelihood of ectopic pregnancy was very high, so any pain, any bleeding I MUST go direct to A&E – do not pass “Go”. Do not collect $200.

    I remember that day so clearly. I remember the pub lunch the office had gone to that day (because I was SO glad I’d stuffed myself 😂🤣); Returning to the office, going to the toilet (it was 4pm) and seeing blood. I went stone cold.

    I remember how supportive my awesome boss was – he took one look at my face and asked if I needed to leave. I could barely nod, and he just told me to get gone – that he would handle everything.

    I remember calling the hus-creature and sobbing to him. I remember the kindness of another colleague who took me for a cuppa and let me weep whilst waiting for him to collect #1 Son from nursery and come get me.

    I remember reaming a random cold caller who had DARED to call me “about the car accident you had”


    I didn’t pass my driving test until TT was 8 months old.


    I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I do remember screaming (whilst on a public high street – which as a Brit is a huge nono) that I was in the middle of a potential miscarriage and waiting for a call from my doctor and she was tying up my phone line. I DO however remember her terrified apology. And to this day I hope I made her think and reassess her career choices.

    I’ll never forget rushing to A&E, 7 weeks pregnant with my girl. Terrified I was going to lose her. Knowing that if I did? There wasn’t going to be another baby.

    I had to break the news to both sets of parents that yes, I was pregnant with the much longed-for second child but possibly for not much longer and could they please come get my eldest from the hospital so that he was safe and away from it all.

    A night of nil-by-mouth and such kind (but silent) nurses. But nobody explained why. Nobody talked to me. Nobody could handle my fear, my panic or my pre-grief.

    Because they knew. They had seen my notes. They knew what this meant. That I was almost certainly going to need emergency surgery so not even a cup of tea.

    But I was one of the lucky ones. The following morning I had an emergency scan, saw a heartbeat and cried tears of joy. I remember the technician commenting that it was so rare for them to see happy tears. I got a week’s sick note and I rested. Oh god did I rest.

    I got the fairy tale. I often talk to women with endometriosis and tell them my story because I want them to know that the miracles DO happen.

    But so often they don’t. To this day I don’t know why I was so lucky.

    Infertility is hard. So hard.

    Baby loss is worse.

    So I lit a candle for everyone who needs one. And I hope that I haven’t caused pain in this; I simply feel that I do have a story to tell.

    I’m back. No clever titles today

    2020 has sucked. Totally sucked. I’ve started and deleted so many posts and haven’t had the strength to continue.

    It’s August. It’s Back To School time. And I’m not planning. I’m waiting to see if the school supplied that I pre-ordered (and paid for) to be sent to school will be returned to me or if I have to buy more.

    There should have been “then and now” versions of these:

    #1 Son should be smashing Third Grade in person in less baggy clothes
    I ought to be both celebrating and terrified that this is my last year at home with TT before Kindergarten

    Couple this with the article that Facebook news just shared with me (and that I cannot seem to share) that over 74,000 infections have occurred within children across the country (USA) in the last two weeks since certain states continued the stupid plan of reopening everything because it’s all fine?

    Literal footage of the American politicians right now

    This, this right here, is why I am NOT sending #1 Son back to in person schooling before there is a safe vaccine.

    I abhor every policy – both school AND employer – that is forcing both teachers AND parents to do what we KNOW is unsafe and LETHAL in the pursuit of the mighty dollar/pound/rouble.

    This virus doesn’t care about the economy.

    This virus doesn’t care about the education of our children. This virus just “wants” to survive.

    To do this it will continue to spread and kill.

    Stop this madness now. Help teachers educate REMOTELY. Allow working parents (especially mothers because I’m sorry but facts is facts – this most often falls to us) to spend enough time away from their “desks” to help their kids learn.

    None of us went into Parenthood expecting a global pandemic and we have been LET DOWN.

    The government have proved – time and time again – that they don’t care about their people at an individual level. On BOTH sides of the Atlantic. If we had locked down TRULY at the start of this for 2-4 weeks back in MARCH we would have contained this. Look at New Zealand if you don’t believe me.

    Therefore, while I have you here. USA friends – VOTE.

    Vote like your lives depend on it. Because they DO. If the Orange One gets a second term? America is fucked. No ifs ands or buts.

    It’s not even about Republican versus Democrat any more. I’m no more enthused about the choice there than a lot of us (I wanted Warren) BUT I truly believe that Trump will kill us all to stay out of prison. I don’t want to die. I don’t want my husband, kids or friends to die either.

    So. Keep your kids out of in person school if you can and VOTE.

    If you don’t vote. Trump wins. Every single vote counts.

    And UK friends? Keep strong. We will get through this. But REMEMBER. Remember Boris and how he defended Cummings rather than the people. How he stood in an EMPTY school and declared it “safe”.

    How the pubs and restaurants are worth protecting but masks in schools is too hot button to make mandatory.

    They don’t care about us as people. We are numbers on a page and we are expendable. The great God Economy is worth more than Grandma. We needed leadership in this crisis. We didn’t get it. It’s going to get worse.

    Stay safe. Demand change. VOTE.

    And remember:

    THE PANDEMIC ISN’T OVER JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE OVER IT

    WEAR THE DAMN MASKS

    Christmas Eve (and Eve-Eve) 2019

    Well it’s here again. Five days ahead of TT’s birthday and the tree is up, presents are under it and both children are sleeping.

    So we seem have some traditions forming now. The first is that we go for a nice meal on Christmas Eve-Eve (yesterday). One friend informed me I ought to call it Christmas Adam. I’m tempted. But another friend (who is Danish) informed me that in Denmark it is actually known as Little Christmas Eve.

    I love both of these ideas. Tune in next Christmas to find out which I go for.

    We went to Buffalo Wild Wings last year. This year we went to Bertucci’s – a lovely Italian chain.


    Olive Garden is vile – we don’t go there


    And I have my own tradition now:

    The kids ate well and I’m off the dairy-free bandwagon. My mental health has been in the toilet this whole month and I cracked like an egg.

    But I feel so much better mentally, if not physically necessarily.

    And so to today.

    We went to the Flaming Grill and Buffet in Malden today for lunch. It’s a Japanese-Chinese-American fusion buffet. It was a resounding success.

    My plate:

    The hus-creature’s:

    TT’s:

    #1 Son’s:

    All completely different. And everyone ate and ate well.

    A resounding success. We will go back there again.

    Then we spent the rest of the day at home. Yes, the kids got progressively more and more excited, but not wired.

    I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.

    Here is what we left out for Santa:


    The apple is for the reindeer – the hus-creature has researched this and apparently reindeer farmers genuinely give people apples to feed to them as treats.


    The kiddos went happily to bed and tomorrow will be awesome. Food is planned. Drink is planned. The hus-creature and I will be a team cooking and hopefully the kiddos will be distracted with new things.

    And I think they might just have been on the Nice List:

    We can confirm that Santa does indeed appreciate macarons and Japanese whiskey.

    Goodnight all. See you on the other side ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    On rights

    Human rights.

    We are all human beings. We all deserve to be considered equal.

    In recent years a number of events have occurred that are working towards this as a goal.

    • Marriage Rights for same-sex couples
    • Reproductive Rights

    Just for the record, in case there was any doubt, I am firmly, pro-choice and pro same-sex marriage. Oh and also pro same-sex couples being able to adopt (and foster, but I think that might be a little easier)

    Overall I am significantly privileged in my day to day life. I’m:

    1. Straight
    2. Cis
    3. Female
    4. White

    Oh yes, racism rears it’s head because our recent green card experience was SO DIFFERENT to that of a colleague of the hus-creature who just so happened to not be white.

    Now I’m never going to say that being a woman is easy, it’s bloody not. I’ve had enough grief and heartache simply having my medical issues taken seriously.

    Now just for a second could we imagine that I was not cis?


    Cis, for people who may not be aware, is the term used to describe those of us as individuals who identify with our gender assigned to us at birth.


    In my case to not be cis would mean that I identified as male in a female body.

    I just cannot imagine dealing with endometriosis and also knowing I was in the wrong body.

    But people do. There are people who are born assigned male who know they are female, and vice versa.

    And for this to be corrected in whatever manner the individual wants (and it doesn’t always mean surgery ok?) they need support. They need to have the right to seek the treatment they need.

    Did you know that one of the treatments for endometriosis is the same medication that is often prescribed for transitioning individuals? I didn’t. Until I was prescribed it. Because it shuts down your ovaries. Yes, I was on a puberty blocker. Amongst other things – it also treats both aggressive breast cancer and prostate cancer.

    I know? Who knew right? Bloody wonder drug it is. And also costs thousands of dollars per shot out here. But that’s a separate rant for another blog post.

    Did that change my sexual orientation? No.

    Did that change my gender identity? No.

    Oh and yes, I was also prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) because I still needed the hormones that my body wasn’t making at the time.


    And yes, I’m still on them now


    Did that change my sexual orientation? No.

    Did that change my gender identity? No.

    I was still female. Still a woman. And recognised as such. Which put me in an interesting position of privilege.

    But why am I musing on this today? Because today, one of my (previously) favourite authors – JK Rowling – has confirmed that she is a TERF.

    What is a TERF? That would be a Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.

    She believes that you can only be a woman if you were born biologically one. Likewise you can only be a man if you are born biologically one. Whatever “biologically” actually means. DNA testing has shown that there’s much more complexity to things than simple XY and XX meaning Male and Female respectively.

    No. Science has proven this to not be true. And regardless – if it doesn’t affect you why does it matter?

    By this I mean – you don’t have to experience something to agree with it.

    Likewise just because it would never be a thing you would do, doesn’t mean you have to vilify it.

    I am comfortable in my skin, in the gender I was assigned at my birth. I did not choose this. It’s the way I am wired. The way my brain works. I am lucky.

    There are individuals for whom that is not the case. And they are human. They deserve rights. They deserve the same rights as everyone else. They deserve to be able to receive the medical care they need (whether self funded or otherwise) to be well. To be safe. In whatever format that takes for them. They deserve not to be persecuted for their existence.

    And for those thinking “but what about bathrooms” and similar things can I ask you something? Do you have gendered bathrooms in your house? Do your neighbours? No. Because that’s insane. Transgender individuals are no more likely to assault another person than any other group. Could it happen? Of course, but not simply because they are transgender.

    That would be because they are a bad person. Which has nothing to do with gender identity or sexual preference.

    I do understand that it’s difficult. That there’s a sensitivity to it but with the bathroom part that’s easy – gender neutral bathrooms with locking cubicles. That way no one sees what’s in your pants. Gyms etc? Gender-neutral lockable cubicles for changing in. That way no one sees what is in your pants. No one has a urinal in their bathroom do they? They aren’t a requirement. I mean, I have no idea if they are more comfortable than peeing standing up, what with not having the prerequisite equipment, but men poop too. And to quote South Park:

    You don’t take a dookie in the urinal

    My gym has three lockable areas to change. Two of them have a shower. It’s never been an issue – never been too full to not change.

    Hell even the building TT’s dance class is held has gender neutral toilets on every floor. And yes, it makes me happy to see it. Because that’s the minimum needed to make so many people feel safe.

    So I’ve made a slightly early New Year’s Resolution.

    In 2020, I intend to go to Pride. I’m going to go, and I am going to offer “Mom Hugs” to any LGBTQ+ person who needs or wants them.

    This world is getting scarier by the day and if I can help in any small way I will. People shouldn’t be living in fear because of who they are.

    Because let’s face it, why the hell would anyone choose to live their lives in fear? If being gay was a choice, I don’t believe anyone would choose to put themselves in the harms way that it currently is. And it shouldn’t be.

    Love is love. Gay, straight, bi, ace, black, white or other. Life is life.

    As ever I’m sure I haven’t expressed myself the way I intended to, but I hope at least I’ve made sense.

    I will end this post by saying, if this is something that you personally disagree with. That’s fine. You do you boo. But do not legislate against other human beings simply because they differ from you. As long as it doesn’t harm anyone, agree to disagree and move on.

    And vaccinate your dang kids people. That does cause harm.

    Oh and here’s some reading material:

    Love Lives Here

    Yes, You Are Trans Enough

    Oh and while I’m on this train. The Earth isn’t flat.

    The aftermath

    I’m saddened. Sickened. Heartbroken.

    Due to the time zone differences I watched it unfold. I couldn’t even get drunk – my system rejected the buzz, so I stopped.

    This morning my social media feed is full of my friends who are feeling the full gamut of emotions:

    • Fear
    • Despair
    • Terror
    • Shame
    • Anger
    • Pain
    • Resignation
    • Confusion

    There have even been a few quiet celebrations – and I don’t blame those people.

    Where my fury lands is on those who are gloating in the face of pain and fear.

    Because for so many of my friends that is what the next 5+ years represents. They are not upper class. They don’t have savings. They’ve had to use services that are being cut. They have mental health needs. They have children with special needs like I do.

    I might live across the pond now, but my heart is still with them.

    But I say this now. Great Britain is no longer “home”. It is where I was born. Where I was raised. The values I believe in, tolerance, respect, inclusivity, caring for your neighbour? No longer exist for me there.

    The USA doesn’t feel like home yet either. So for now I remain rootless. I will continue to build a life for the kiddos and we will probably be fine.

    I wish and hope with all my heart that those I love overseas are too.

    To Scotland I say:

    I’ve changed my mind. Should you manage independence in the face of almost certain opposition from Westminster I stand behind you.

    To NI I say:

    I’m sorry. I hope and pray that The Good Friday Agreement holds. I stand behind you.

    To everyone else reading this I say (quoting from a friend who I’m not sure reads this blog, but if you do I hope you know who you are- you summed it up so much more eloquently than I ever could):

    I work with people of all political backgrounds, belief, and upbringing. It IS possible to find common ground and work to represent everybody without compromising your own principles. What you do have to compromise are dogmatic absolutes. You will sit down and work with the MP you’d never vote for- and make positive change. You will advocate for the poorest, most disadvantaged in spaces they are never considered- and make positive change. You can lift up the voices whose principles harmonise with your own. You can create real, lasting, positive change.

    It will not happen from behind tribal lines.

    Things can change without compromising your core values.

    Everyone cares about something.

    The last 6 years have been an education for me. Everyone cares about something. Find that, make it your common ground. Forget tribal lines. Think human.

    On that note, Christmas is just around the corner. If you can, think of your neighbours. Your town. People struggling. Donate something to a food bank. Give a gift to a child in poverty. Invite someone you know is struggling to Christmas dinner.

    Do something kind.

    And keep doing it. Especially as the weather bites down.

    Because, there but for the grace of The Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, go us all.

    I leave you with this year’s Christmas photo of the kiddos. Because right now I need their simple belief in the goodness of the world. You’ll probably see this again, as I’m attempting to catch up on everything that has happened since late August!

    I’m not political…

    A very long ranty post is incoming. All views are my own. There may be facts obscured by emotions but today I am feeling all the feelings and I need to vent.

    Politics.

    I didn’t study it, I know very little about it. I can be gullible and credulous and I’m easily led. And I’ve been silent on this blog for way too long again generally.

    But today is important.

    Today: Thursday December 12th 2019 Britain has a choice to make. Between another five years of Tory rule under the floppy-haired, fridge-hiding* Bojo.


    Incidentally does anyone else remember the outcry on GBBO a year or so back when Noel Fielding, a comedian hid in a fridge one episode to try and provide some tension relief? People were outraged at his apparent immaturity.

    Now our PRIME MINISTER does it, live on tv, and nothing, nada. Tumbleweeds.


    Or literally anyone else.

    Now, anyone who knows me well in real life knows how I feel about Magic Grandpa. Oh sorry, I mean Jeremy Corbyn.

    I used to truly believe in him. That first election after he took over the Labour Party? He swayed my allegiance from Lib Dem. He did. And I was actually okay with accepting my defection.

    I had never planned to leave yellow. I had read a study that said all voters, sometime past the age of 30, decide that since they are no longer students (since apparently only students vote for the Liberal Democrat’s 🙄🙄🙄🙄) they need to decide upon their final party and make the permanent switch to either blue or red.

    Putting aside the sheer childishness and naivety of that statement – there are how many other parties these days? It offended me to think that it was expected of me. I may have blindly clung on to yellow more than I should because of it.

    Then Magic Grandpa appeared. He seemed strong, he seemed determined. To this political neophyte he seemed to have an impressive background and didn’t just blithely lick the boot** and ask for more..


    ** I’m looking at YOU right now BBC. Don’t think we don’t see the criminal behaviour of the last few days. Just because nothing will fucking come of it doesn’t mean we don’t see it


    So I voted Labour. And watched. And hoped. And became slowly disillusioned.

    The lack of leadership over Brexit. The refusal to actually be an Opposition Party. Refusing to admit what he believed about it – well that last one would have been difficult for him given how much he and Labour have been crucified in the media.

    I have however made a key mistake over the last 4 years. I believed it was all about Brexit. It’s not.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong. I hate it. I will stand here until the end of time and shout:

    I HATE BREXIT I BELIEVE IT IS BAD AND WRONG AND SHOULD BE STOPPED

    Hell, it is why we emigrated!!!!

    I still firmly believe that Labour should have been anti Brexit. But that’s not the important thing anymore.

    Because while I have been blinded by Brexit, other, equally hideous things have been happening.

    Cuts to services, vital services:

    • Schools
    • NHS
    • Local (non Tory) councils.
    • Benefits for our poorest and most vulnerable

    Scandals:

    • Windrush
    • Grenfell

    Food bank use has skyrocketed. People have died and are dying.

    These happened under Tory rule. They’ve happened because of Tory rule. And if they get in for another term? Another full five years? Britain is going to be a mini America.

    You don’t want that

    I have bloody decent health insurance and we still see bills. Horrific ones. Terrifying ones. We will stay here because it’s proven to be better for the kids, but I’m still praying that America sorts it’s shit out before the kids age out of daddy’s coverage.

    There’s so little social care here. It’s awful if you’re not comfy. And that’s the point. The whole point of this rant.

    I’m alright Jack

    Well bully for you Chad. What about Tracey down the street? You know, the nice woman with two kids and a husband who was made redundant because his job was shifted overseas because of Brexit? And now he can’t find work because he’s “too old”. Who now has to scrimp and save and worries for her house? She can’t afford childcare because it’s more than her house payment. (And that I know for a fact).

    Or Jean-Luc who came here to study, made a life for himself, married and had children? Who now fears that they will be ripped away from the only home they’ve ever known? Who can’t “go back to where they came from” because they came from here.

    Or Georgina? Child free by choice, single, and scared that changes are coming that will tear her world apart?

    Or David? Unable to work because he has cancer but is constantly told he’s “healthy enough to work”? When he’s having chemotherapy that makes him violently ill. When he can’t walk more than 10 paces, but because he can do THAT he’s obviously well enough and should just “stop scrounging?”

    Or Deborah – suffering from mental health issues and there’s no support. She can’t get a diagnosis let alone treatment because no one believes her and the services aren’t there.

    Or Sam – somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum quietly attempting to live their life without offending anyone by daring to exist. Who just wants a “normal life” without hatred and fear.

    Or any of the thousands of people who currently can’t get their medication. Or can’t get their kids seen.

    Kids like our son who need extra support at school but can’t get it because funding has been slashed?

    That’s what this government has done. And that’s why we’ve voted. I still believe deep down in my soul that Corbyn’s stand on Brexit is wrong. But it’s not just about that anymore. It’s about pulling Britain back to being somewhere decent and safe.

    Remember 2012? Remember the Olympics? That Opening Ceremony? That was the last time I felt truly proud to be British.

    How did we go from 2012 to 2016? From inclusivity and pride to Brexit and thuggery?

    Please, today, let’s go back to 2012. Let’s be what we were. Not Colonial India but open arms.

    I voted for Magic Grandpa. Despite my personal feelings and apparent political leanings:

    I sucked it up and voted Labour. Because I believe that they will help the most people. Brexit or no Brexit, they will do the most good for the most people. People who are not me. People I left behind. People I love.

    So today. Vote. And honestly? If you still believe the Conservatives are best for Britain? Vote for them too. If they win, let them win because they got the votes. Don’t let them win because:

    My vote doesn’t count

    It does. Remember, if you didn’t vote then complaining when things go to shit for you or your loved ones won’t cut any ice.

    You’ve got a voice. Use it.

    If I can do it from here? You can go to your local polling station.

    I will admit that the hus-creature and I paid a ridiculous sum of money to ensure our votes were received in time, but that is because this election is important.

    It’s going to make or break us.

    Please let it make us.

    Last Day of Summer 2019

    Tomorrow (well today really) my boy starts Second Grade.

    I am nervous.

    You see there was a chance that he would have been reassigned his Homeroom teacher from last year. Except we found out on August 15th that he hadn’t.

    Not only that, but the friend he had specifically been partnered with last year has been given that teacher again, so they have been split up.

    So allow me to summarise. The kid who doesn’t deal well with change (understatement of the freaking millennium there) has had everything that he was used to ripped away from him.

    I. Am. Not. Happy.

    Not one iota. I actually sent an email to the Principal a few days ago outlining my concerns. I received back a reasonably long reply but it mostly just amounted to a hand flap and an “it’s fine”.

    Well. Ok that’s the way they want it, fine. I hadn’t ever told #1 Son that it was a possibility (I’m not so green as I am cabbage looking) so he’s not disappointed. He also seems to already know his new teacher and seemed pleased to have her, so that’s a relief.

    She has brown hair.

    She is a girl.

    It’s something I guess? 🤣😂

    So I’m trepidatious but hopeful. Hopeful that he will prove my fears groundless. But if he doesn’t? If there is backsliding? Oh you best believe that Mama Dinosaur will be coming out all teeth and claws.


    Seriously the T-Rex from Jurassic Park: Lost World will have nothing on me


    And the reason I’m still up at almost 2am? I was sewing a name label in his denim jacket. Yes, I was.

    See I ran out of spoons again today and did another “Stop, Drop and Nap” at about 5pm so I’m wired.

    Which segues me in neatly to my one week post-surgery check update

    Overall I was doing pretty well but then I accidentally overdid it somehow on Saturday and paid the price on Sunday – and I crashed out completely whilst feeling exhausted and nauseous, much to the chagrin of TT.

    #1 Son had a pool party that day too, and I was determined he was going to go goddammit. However I couldn’t take him for many obvious reasons:

    • Not allowed to get incisions submerged.
    • Not allowed to drive (not that I can out here yet)
    • Still fucking exhausted.
    • Would probably drown.

    But the hus-creature did not want to leave me on my own with TT. So we arranged for the eldest daughter of the lovely lady who picks #1 Son up from school to come sit with her and me for those couple of hours. TT was in heaven 🤣😂

    The boys had fun, though it was an outdoor pool so the water was cold.

    There was also a playground where he chilled out when swimming got a bit much:

    So that was my weekend.

    So I had my one-week follow up today and as the doctor was running over an hour late I spent that time sitting in typical doctor’s office chairs which completely did me in – I’m not supposed to sit completely upright for extended periods of time right now 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

    It did go reasonably well though. I’ve had both sets of stitches removed; we’ve gone through the packet of photos I was given immediately post-surgery.

    I found them deeply fascinating surprisingly; and actually understood a fair amount of what I was looking at. It wasn’t just personal viscera.


    It did remind me of what happens when you trim the fat off of raw chicken before you cook it though 🤣😂


    They also included some incidental shots of my “very healthy” appendix and liver which is always good to know 🤣😂

    I have to see him again in two weeks and am to gradually increase everything activity-wise up to approximately 50% of normal in that fortnight. I’m still not allowed to lift heavy things.

    So I can go up to school with #1 Son tomorrow so that’s a relief. To him as well as me – though the sweetheart would never have asked me.

    So the doctor says it’s okay for you to come mom? That’s good. You have to do what the doctor says you know – the doctor knows best

    I don’t mind admitting that my heart swelled and broke simultaneously there. He’s so so special my lad.

    I’ve already decided that I will not be going up to knitting tomorrow, as I can’t face walking that far, or sitting in a hard backed chair for two hours; or to have my nails done on Sunday – that’s an even longer walk, plus two trains and I just cannot justify that. I’ll provisionally rebook for the following Sunday – lord knows that my amazing Matthew will understand.

    Goodnight dear audience, I ought to try and get some sleep tonight. Of course I know already that going up to school tomorrow is going to wipe me out.

    I don’t care. My boy deserves this. I am going.

    He asks for so little, I’m bloody doing it. For him.