Monday, January 29, 2007

Is this enough?

Dear Dodo,
Thank you for your e-mail. I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.
We regret the unacceptable condition of the child seat you received at the beginning of your rental. It is Alamo's policy to wipe down and check each child seat upon return to the location. I apologize that the defect was overlooked on the last inspection. Please be assured Alamo would never intentionally release an unsafe child seat.
Alamo Rent A Car is committed to providing exceptional service to all ourcustomers. The behavior of the agent you spoke with at our Tallahassee location as you described, is not acceptable to us either. We realize that the conduct of our employees is a reflection on the entire company.Therefore, failure to serve our customers efficiently and courteously willnot be tolerated. We appreciate your bringing this matter to our attention.Please be assured that your comments have been forwarded to the appropriate management for corrective action.
I apologize for the frustration over the experience described in your correspondence. Alamo Rent A Car prides itself on the high level of servicewe provide to our customers. We understand that as a service oriented company, not only do we need to provide a quality product, we also need to be one step ahead of our competition when it comes to customer satisfaction.With this in mind, I have credited the cost of the child seat rental back toyour credit card. Please allow 7-10 business days for the credit of $65.33to post to your account. If we can be of further assistance, please do nothesitate to contact us.
Yours sincerely etc etc etc

Saturday, January 27, 2007


"You've been really nice today, mummy. I'm going to give you a sticker."

Friday, January 26, 2007

It’s not them. It IS me.

Thinking about "
Against Depression"

Often when adventuring around the internet I read things that I can relate to, experiences that I’ve experienced, feelings I’ve felt, fears I share. This is different.

“Every scrap of energy gets diverted to survival. Every fibre twitches: danger – fight or flight? It looks like sloth, but it feels like war.” These are not just experiences I recognise, they could have been written in my own blood.

I wanted to put down a few quick notes fo myself, but I know I’ll be thinking in more details about this for a long time.

“We want to hold on to depression’s associations with creativity and sensitivity.”
Fear of loosing my creativity/identity stands squarely between me and asking for meds. It’s a lie, because when I’m depressed I can’t write. Well. I can write. Pages and pages and pages. Scrawled across any piece of paper I can find. But nothing that anyone else would want to read and certainly nothing that I’m going to get paid for.

“A few months before. . . .I’d said yes to invitations.” The more depressed I am, the less likely I am to say yes to anything. I want to say yes.

“I felt like I would break, but only kind words cracked me.” When I was first together with my partner, I would cry all the time. Helpless and lost. I had no way to process the love I was being shown or that I felt. I didn’t have the tools.

“whatever it is you have to go through until you can be alone again with the voice that can be trusted.” Leaving my child alone for hours on end to amuse herself in an adjacent room on the pretext of chores.

“And the last thing this feels like is an illness. No, this monumental, world swallowing suckage sits outside you: it comes from the project, the job, the love affair, the city, the family, or the decade.” In the last few months/years/minutes I am variously convinced that all those things are to blame. Individually, severally. And in numerous combinations. I’m waiting for those things all to be right so I can feel alive again. So I can wake up rested. It’s a lie. I’m a liar.

Dervala compares becoming well with her recollection of having her sight corrected as a child. She describes how uplifting and exciting it was to regain those lost dimensions.

I have often imagined it as akin to one of those scenes in futuristic cloning movies. The ones where humans are grown in artificial wombs until adulthood. Wired to machines that keep them dumb and sedated, sustaining the minimum requirement of life support. Plumbed in and compliant. Waiting. Not living. Surrounded by murky liquid that gives lie to all I hear and see. Blocking out the light.
I’ve imagined ripping a knife through the rubbery uterus, the colossal waves of fluid crashing to the floor and choking into freedom. Some sort of alchemy that would bequeath my own thoughts to my brain. To pull the angry glob of mucus from my throat and be free to use my own voice. Gasping for clean air, clawing the membrane from my eyes. My heart taking its first independent beats.

Beginning to live in my life.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I found this through a link on Dooce.

It's one of those rare times I don't have to think about passages that I'm reading. Because I am what I'm reading.

I'm going to raise this at my appointment this afternoon.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I came to here via Jenny at mamadrama, and thought I'd throw my door's hat into the ring. As twere. I have a bad relationship with my house. We don't get on. It's pretty mutual. I blame it for a lot of stuff thats going wrong elsewhere in my life. Thought it only fair to let it have its say.

So, here's the view from my front door. Tatty huh?
See how on the right is a privet hedge? see how on the left there's a bunch of mangled twigs?
I just popped out the with the secateurs to trim the 'passage' so we didn't get poked in the eye during our comings and goings, and so evil spiders didn't have any extra encouragement to web the divide then perch expectantly at mouth height those mornings I leave for the 5.45 train.
It's no secret that I am unfond of this hedge. While, granted it affords us privacy in our front room without having to resort to windowdressing, it is not the smart, dark green kind of privet enjoyed by my neighbours to either side. it is yellow. more or less yellow. you could stare at it for hours (believe me) and still not be sure of its colour. other than that it has somehow fails to commit itself to hue.
So, I popped out for a five minutes trim, but somehow my brain skipped off to happier pastures. Before I knew it I was left with the skeleton you see before you. classy, huh? (during my boiut of snipping maddness, a new neighbour walked by. it was our first encounter. I have some hedge cutters you'd be welcome to borrow, he ventured. Oh no thanks, I'm fine, strained the crazy lady from amid the pile of crooked broken privet bones. Needless to say I have not seen him since.)
If that white van weren't there you could see the wall of the house diagonally opposite which blew down in the storm yesterday.
Also, you see those two parallel black metal supports? this is an old house with an ironwork canopy over the front door. between those poles are supposed to be decorative twirly bits but the people here before them took them out!!!(there are also the remains of the iron railings buried deep within the privet). We recently had a quote to restore the railing, gate, canopy, to be more in keeping with rest of our side of street (not that we look down on our canopy free neighbours opposite, you understand) but it came to around £2000 (nearly 4,000USD) so our house will continue to be more in keeping with our victorian income rather than our regency architecture.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

OK. so I'm weighing in on the whole Celebrity Big Brother thing.

I never thought I would be in a position to say that Jade Goody could teach me anything,

Jade is a joke. She’s thick. She’s lewd. She represents a whole ‘class’ of people of which I am not a part. She’s beneath me. She’s famous for being beneath us. Those of us that can articulate. That read ‘proper’ newspapers. That only read ‘those’ magazines at the hairdressers. We move in ‘civilised’ circles.

Jade is famous up here because we can look on her down there. Unambiguously. With her little band of chavvette followers, buying her book, dousing themselves in her perfume.

I am prejudiced against her.

We would both be described as having a ‘strong personality.’ Our passions quickly rise to the surface. Except mine stick in my throat more often than not.

This has been a stark example of the difference between how we perceive ourselves, and how we are perceived.

When faced with enough evidence, we must concede; our barometer may be off.

“I don’t know how else to argue,” she sobbed.

She doesn’t have the tools. But she's not alone.

People think I’m aggressive. I think I just want answers. I think it’s good, on occasion, to air the thing that everyone else will only speculate about in corners. If I’m challenged, I want to challenge back, to interrogate the question, lay out the pieces. This, apparently, is aggressive. My hackles rise when I feel someone is making assumptions about me. I want to query the provenance of that assumption. This, apparently, is aggressive.

When my partner tells me I’m difficult to talk to. I’m shocked. My heart aches. Tears well in my throat, in my eyes. I want to know why and how and since when and what do you mean?? I’m told this is aggressive too.

My grandfather told me when I was eight or nine that I should be careful with my gift. I was a socially withdrawn child within my peer group and was subsequently teased.[ I was sufficiently ‘other’ that by the time I was in my teens I warranted full scale bullying.] He cautioned me that I must never retaliate, because I was much stronger than them, because I was perceptive beyond my years, could see into their hearts and actions and could wound them in a way from which they may not recover. That I must not unleash my words.

I think I’ve stuck to that. I don’t say all I could say. Unlike Jade, I don’t shout. I don’t call people names. Words don’t fall uncontrollably from my mouth. I try not to bitch behind people’s backs, although I have made ‘witty’ remarks about someone’s name or demeanour when they were not present. I hold my breath and count to ten. I try to empathise. But empathy, too, can be aggressive; can be resented as an invasion.

Whatever Jade felt she saw in Shilpa Shetty that made her behave in such an appalling way, made her look for ‘evidence’ to support her feelings in the most minor and petty details, led her to talk about her victim incessantly to those impressionable enough to listen - this is a woman who is only now beginning to grasp the disjunction between what she feels she’s doing and saying, and how that communication is received by others.

And I’m no better equipped.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I wish I could be sand, mummy.
Why's that?
Then I could be at the beach all the time.

Friday, January 19, 2007



WITH EXTRA ADDED EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I normally start work on a friday at 1.15pm. P and I usually go into town for a little ladies time, then we have lunch, then I drop her at preschool by 1 ish. I ususally then telecon into breakfast meetings happening in the US. It's a pretty good system. This morning I got a message asking if I could make a telecon at 7.30 am eastern time, and becasue of every thing going on at the moment, and because of beign paranoid about getting RIF'd on account of being the only part timer and living so far away and the appearance that can give of being inflexible, I said "sure, ok, no problem". We had just been, she and I, to visit a big girl school, which she'd really enjoyed and had asked lots of questions (even though she won't be going to school til sept 08)(do you hcave computers? do you have a trampoline? do you have books with numbers in? do you have chairs? why is there no top A note on your glockenspiel?) (i love it when she makes people's eyebrows disappear over the tops of their heads) and wanted to chat about it. I phoned the preschool to see if she could come in early, they said ok, but they hadn't cooked enough lunch to include her, so I'd have to feed her first. absolutely fine. so, we're sitting in the coffee shop, from where I'm making the calls and drinking tea and P is chatting to the coffee house guy about why he doesn't have any blueberry muffins today and could she maybe come in the kitchen and help him and that he would need eggs and flour and milk and blueberries and did he have any blueberries because if not she could go get some from the big shop but if they didn't have any blueberries in the big shop maybe they could make raspberry muffins instead because she likes raspberries and they usually have raspberris in the big shop, and I'm loving this because I love how she's such an independent person with her own relationships and her own tastes and the way she sets about problem solving and wanting to help, and I'm feeling bad that I have to take her to nursery early, but console myself with the thought that at least her favourite staff combo will be in charge this afternoon. So, the plan was that after drink and cake we would go to primark (v cheap shop that anyone interested in brands and labels chokes at the thought of entering) to choose some new tights because her favourite pink tights now seem to have the crotch permanently around her ankles. great, so we can pop get the tights, stop and get her some lunch then on to preschool.

now, backtrack a little, she has an intolerance to cow dairy, it exacerbates her asthma, so we have to be pretty restricted on her intake (she has goats milk for cereal, drinking etc). yesterday she asked if we could have mac and cheese for lunch, and since I wanted some too (and can't stand taste of goat milk) and because she hadn't had any dairy for a few days, i made one with a little cow milk, some creme fraiche and some cheese.
Needless to say she woke at 6.30 this morning coughing and with a chest full of slime. great. have poisoned child. deliberately poisoned child because was too lazy to make two separate dishes or to use my imagination to think of somethin else she'd like for lunch.
so anyway, we're in the coffee shop and she starts to cough, whioch leads to coughing and wheezing, which leads to throwing up copiously down her pinafore, tights, shoes (suede, naturally)(please don't think I would normally buy suede shoes for a 3 year old,t hey were in the sale, seriously reduced). I take her and clean her up, but instead of going homeshe insists on finishing her juice and croissant and insists she still wants to go to get tights. So, we rush to primark, rush to another errand i'd forgeotten about, rush to a cafe to get her a sandwich - where seh wants to spend ages choosignn just the right combination of bread and chicken and olives and mayo. which we then don't have time for her to eat more than a quarter of before I realise that time is running out on me. I get up to go pay while she's still eating, and my chair falls backward (had left heavy bag on back of it) into the lap of an older lady sitting at the table behind. i apologise profusely. she apparently has heard me apologising to p for rushing her and explaining about my meeting.
loud voice of lady "it's such a shame that mothers these days can't seemt o put their children first"
voice of me "well, if you can think of another way that i can earn x0,000k for a 25 hour week, leaving me, nine weeks out of ten, to spend 5 straight days out of 7 with my child, then I'm all ears, otherwise can you keep your foul judgmental mouth pursed up tight!"
not my finest hour. in front of my baby.
we don't havethe stroller with us, because we hardly use it anymore, so i rushed her little legs, still in the wiped up sicky tights and shoes (i'd bought new tights, and a pair of track pants for her to change into at primark) out of there. her clutching remains of sandwich in little bag. crying becasue i'd shouted at the lady. it's a good half mile to the nursery, i half carried half ran ehr there, she fell down, but wouldn't let me look at it. she's wheezing away because she could really do with having a sit down and a toke on her inhaler (which is at school) I rush her there, dump her off, rush home, pee, call the guy at 6 minutes passed the appointed time . . .
and he tells me he now has to go. could i call him on monday.
what. am. I. doing?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ahhhhh. You know that whispering that happens? The whispering in huddles, corners, around water coolers. The whispering that stops when the lift doors open? The whispering that you try not to get paranoid about. That special kind of whispering that happens when there’s uncertainty and people are dividing into camps. The whispering that continues between two of your colleagues, even though there’s no one else on the entire floor except you?
I think a choice I made is coming back to bite me on the arse. A few months ago my job changed. I had the option to change boss. I chose to change because the alternative person had skills I wanted to learn and a working manner closer to my own. Stupid me. Now my boss has been restructured away, and my original boss, the one who was so professional about my switching before that she has barely spoken to me since, is in charge of deciding which of the rest of us gets to stay, and what we do if we do.
Am trying to rise above it. But it ain’t easy.

I need to calm down.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ungroomed child, grainy phonecam pic, AWESOME T SHIRT

Friday, January 12, 2007

Little is the Light

Has anyone seen my sense of perspective?
I'm sure I left it around here somewhere. Those of you with brains which cannot be relied upon to get their chemistry right - have you learned how to tell when you're desperate because of something in your brain or desperate because of something in your heart?
And i know it's not as binary as that. I know that the heart can fool the brain and vice versa.
But I feel I have been so deeply unhappy for such an endless time.
Often I'll say it's this house that's dishonest and fragmented, bullied into a shape not it's own.
Often I'll say it's this town that's not my own.
Sometimes I wonder if it's all the travelling I do each week back to London for work. That the reason I'm unhappy here is that I've never really moved here. That I've kept one foot, leg, lung, heart behind.
Lately. Secretly. In a tiny place at the pit of my stomach. I fear I don't love him.
All the candles got blown out.
One by one.
In increments sometimes subtle, sometimes devastating.We can't light candles with a new house. Or a new baby. We can't light candles with pledges and promises. Not even with the best of endeavors. I know it doesn't need to start as a fire, but I can't even reassure myself that I want to look for a glow in the embers.
I don't know how to tell the difference here between the sadness that's real and the sadness that I manufacture.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

So sooooooo far away.
These wind resistent shells are for Nonlineargirl

That's the Indian Pass house, the little blue one behind the dunes She didn't even wait to look inside

The little green strip on the horizon is St Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge (the tyre tracks are from a couple of fishermen and the few locals who use golf carts to visit their neighbours)

These little chaps were everywhere - making me wish I had a better camera

Wearing a hat she can almost pronounce


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Beautiful Secluded Gulf Coast Holiday Idyll
Man Walking Away From Me

So much going on right now. And so much to do amid the goings on, that there's no space to see whether the doing should pause and consider the goings. Else, when all's done, where will we be?

Friday, January 05, 2007

I'm no expert, but if I were selling a house like this

I would not use this

and this

As the only two other pictures on the brochure.

And I like novelty teapots as much as the next person.

Truth is that this house needs rewiring reheating reroofing recellaring and redesigning to return it to anything remotely like its former resplendence ( i don't care if it's not a real word). And it's in an area described by local authorities as 'disadvantaged', which means that schools and other services are poor. This house is a mess inside. it has been turned into flats and back into a house twice. There are doors in funny places, the downstairs is a warren of kitchens and toilets. It feels a tenth the size it looks from the outside.

This goes someway to exaplining the agents choice of pictures. But. Still. Really!

Knock Knock!!!!
Hey! You there! You with the daycare - I've lost your email address so I can't fill your inbox with pleas for admission.

Am pawing pathetically at your door, don't you hear the whining?

Do I need a four hour tantrum to get some attention?

(Hope you stop by and see this.)

(Hope whatever precipitated this move hasn't had too many repercussions)

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