Drama and confusion

I’m going to try and stay away from the gory and the medical but basically I woke up this morning in a pool of blood. As you can imagine it was a bit of a shock; there is history to this but it’s so complex and also personal, so I’d rather just skim over that, for the sake of my male readers especially.

I rang NHS direct for advice and the advice was to stay in bed, take it easy and drink plenty of fluids, plus very specific advice about how much was too much when it came to losing blood. I’ve followed said advice and am now feeling much better, and the blood has slowed to a sensible amount.

But while I was sleeping this afternoon I dreamed I was looking at birthday cake candles, the kind you put on a cake for a baby. I found one that was shaped like a  letter one and as I was lighting that, I burst into tears. I woke up crying bitterly.

On Thursday, as well as it being a hospital visit to the gynae department, it was also the 2oth birthday of my only child. On my hospital visit, I was asked if I had had all the children I wanted. One of the possible routes to ease some of the problems I have was also something that would also end any thought of future children.

Well, I’m 43, and while I don’t actually want more kids, I also don’t want to make a decision that totally and for all time rules that out. The clock is ticking anyway, and I’d be very surprised if I could ever conceive again. But even so, it’s a question I don’t want to answer and this morning, amid the pain and anxiety, I was also very afraid I might have to answer that question and make a decision.

You see, when I was younger, I did want a big family. At 19, I thought 10 was a nice round number. It’s silly, and I knew it then, and by the time I did have a child I knew how absurd it was. I’m not a motherly sort; I had to do everything by logic and research, trial and error.

There’s a line in a Paul Simon song, Further to fly… “tired as a dream that wants to die”. It sums up how I feel right now. I’m not able to make that sort of decision but I want to be free of the pain and illness too. I don’t want more children and yet I don’t want to rule it out.

I’m so confused. I’ve read a lot from Retired Eagle about the midlife crisis; now obviously his is from a male angle. I’m wondering if my current soul searching is a female equivalent, whether my recent reminder of my reproductive sell-by date is a part of what all of us face at a certain age, but narrowly focussed on the most basic of human drives.

Getting new readers

Just a tip for getting new readers.

go to http://alphainventions.com and enter your blog details there.

This system basically is a browsing site for blogs; I find that some of my regular readers have come from this. People have a peep and some stay and comment.

If you’re finding your stats seem to be very low, and you want to get more coverage, this is a good way to start.

Normal service will be resumed…

…just as soon as I catch up with myself!

I’ve struggled valiantly through the week, despite having the worst cold I have had in years, and got through with applause. When I told my French students on Wednesday that I wouldn’t be with them for the Thursday excursion, they all groaned and then I got a spontaneous round of applause. It wasn’t an easy week. I’m down two and a half senses at least; my sense of taste and smell have left me entirely and my hearing was reduced to very little due to ears blocked up. Since our driver this week spoke no English, I had the amusing challenge of navigating round England in French, harder still because I can’t actually hear myself speak. So God alone knows what my French sounded like! One of the teachers, Virginie, said it was fine and she understood it perfectly, so that’s all right, I guess. I hate navigating anyway. Jose the driver had GPS but it did end up directing him into the carpark of City Hall in Norwich rather than onto the ring road. Obviously a common enough event as the car park chap just waved us back out again without apparent rancour.

So, today I aim to catch up with my chores at home and take it easy if I can. I’m off work next week (no students in the school at all) so I shall try and do some preparation for the teaching the following week as well as for the Taster Day and hopefully the interview.

Oh and as a joyful extra, this weekend we plan to reroof the shed. We were going to paint the hall, landing and stairs, but since the weather is due to be glorious we’ve compromised and decided to go buy paint etc and wait till a wet weekend for that little delight.

I’m praying for a drought…

Woop woop!

Post has just arrived and along with it, a letter from one of the schools I applied for a few weeks ago. I’ve been invited for a taster day, where I can meet relevant staff, watch some lessons and be observed and interrogated for the chance for an actual interview…

I’m going to try and find a suit in the meantime that a) fits, and b) doesn’t make me look like an undertaker’s assistant. And trust that whatever happens is meant to be…

Just too damn tired…

That’s me.

I’m off today, no work. My last assignment with the recent group was yesterday afternoon, and it brought a rather nice week to a pleasant close. I’ve totted up my hours and this week I’ve worked 23 hours. It doesn’t sound a lot; it’s at the top end of what people think of as part time. But I was dead on my feet when I got home last night, as I have been every evening this week and last week.

This morning, I thought I would surely feel a bit better as I’ve got today at home but already (it’s not even 9am yet) I want to go back to bed. The domestic chores are seeming like another mountain to climb and it’s been like this for ever, it seems. I manage to maintain the basics of laundry, cooking, cleaning and so on, but I never want to start to tackle what is loosely termed “home improvements” like painting or decorating. I just cannot face it. I can’t face the disruption or the monumental effort it would take me to start and then complete a project. The house is a mess. I maintain a certain level of mess I can live with but I have a terrible unease if anyone visits because I feel insecure about it.

But I simply have no energy for the kind of thing other people seem to come home from work to get on with, and even enjoy doing. When I get home, I want to eat and turn into a vegetable either in front of the TV or the PC, and then go to bed by about 9pm. Last night I got home about sixish and had a cup of tea and then took the dog out. When I got back, my legs were hurting so much I had trouble getting up the stairs. I cooked dinner for my daughter and had something ready for my husband who got it shortly after nine.

I simply don’t know how I’m going to cope in July and August when I need to work seven days a week while the work is there, to cover for the winter months when there is no work at all. Added to this, the new regime dictates I have to produce a detailed lesson plan for every lesson I teach. This means a good half an hour to an hour every evening to prepare. When I do excursions at the weekends, I’m often not home till 9.30pm. If I don’t produce plans to the standard asked for, I’ll get asked (read: ordered) to do them again. I get the same rate as I got last year even though I’m being asked to do more.

I don’t understand how people manage to work full time, keep up with the domestic chores as well as home improvements, and all the rest of the things other people seem to do. I’m starting to feel like an inferior human being because I just can’t do it. I make excuses for myself all the time but in the end, I just fail to keep up.

Persona (non grata est)

Forgive the little pun above; I couldn’t resist!

I’ve been thinking lately in a very unfocussed way about the persona, that mask we wear. I don’t fully understand the “proper” concept, of the Persona, or the ramifications in Jungian psychology, so those of you who do, please bear with me and accept this as my ramblings to get to grips with my own understanding of who I am beneath the mask.

The title is also untrue; the persona is not just welcome, it’s essential. It’s about how we function as individuals in society, by concealing our full selves. Usually people are unaware that the self the world sees is not their true self, but I’ve become acutely and uncomfortably aware that what the world sees is a much nicer being that the real me underneath.

I don’t consciously choose to project anything. But the words that others use in describing me have begun to disturb me somewhat. I don’t find I am happy to have people think of me as, “tough” or “strong” or “sweet”, and I really don’t know why. My husband tells me I project an image of someone who can cope with anything life throws at me, and be unfazed entirely by it. I suspect this one bothers me the most because it is not true. I can’t cope with a lot of things. Oh I deal with it, sure, but then, when no one is watching, I go home and crumble into a million pieces. I absorb the blows but I don’t heal from them.

I’ve begun to really wonder who this “I” is that is writing here.

Other people hold a mirror up to us, but it’s like the mirrors that you have at funfairs, that distort reality. And even a true mirror everything is transposed to the other way round.

The most terrifying maze I have ever been in was a mirror maze, at Wookey Hole in Somerset. Every way I turned I was faced with an image of myself coming the other way; the only way to escape the maze was to head for a space that didn’t contain a self-image. I emerged, not far short of a panic attack, gasping for air and reality.

I’m beginning to fear that the way to true self understanding is to head for the gaps where no self-image appears and find myself outside the maze, lying in the sun on the warm grass.

Stalking and Twitter

I’m in a bit of a twitter…

My Twitter account says I have 7 followers. But only 6 appear on my list of followers. I haven’t received an email saying So-and-so is now following you.

What worries me(I’m in one of my mildly paranoid phases; I use the term very loosely) is whether it is possible to follow someone and NOT show up: ie stalking.

I’m not really stalk-worthy, to be honest. I’m not very exciting or interesting, which makes it all the more worrying that someone might actually be following me unseen. I have a modicum of understanding of someone stalking the rich, famous or beautiful but I’m none of these.

If anyone knows the answer to this question, I’d very much appreciate it. I’ve contacted Twitter with a request but it may take a while to resolve and if it goes on too long I will either a) forget it entirely or b) start watching out for a little red dot….

Edited at 11.05am

Well, phewee!!

The email had obviously been delayed. The new follower is some random girl whose interests are mainly shopping and hanging with the girls, and I have no clue why she wants to follow me…so I blocked her. I’m sorry, she might be a worthy person but I am not happy to be added like that without so much as a direct message introducing herself.

I guess I’m a tad old fashioned like that!

The Bird Dream again

I had a late night last night waiting up for my husband to get back from Brussels; he’d set off before midnight on Thursday night and had endured the journey from hell, so I wanted to be sure he was home safe before I went to bed. This meant that we could sleep in this morning, no alarms, and I often find that the dreams I have on this sort of morning are both memorable and interesting.

I dreamed I had found two injured birds and had one in each hand. I have quite small hands and though neither bird was big, it was hard to hold them without crushing them. Each had a duff wing, but as I held one, I realised it was getting better, so I allowed my hand to open. I expected the bird would either fall to the ground and still be unable to fly, or for it to fly away completely. It did neither. It fluttered a short distance away and then it came back to perch on my shoulder. I don’t know what happened to the second bird as I woke up then.

Now given what is happening in the waking world for me, I can only take this as a very positive dream.

A small frenzy of haikus

The other day I had time to kill while waiting for students and having written my very first haiku ever(posted over at cafe crem) I sat on a bench in the town centre and wrote a few more…


Sunshine, no showers

Sandals, trainers, flip-flops

High heels or flat sole?



Sun on chilled skin

Breeze tangles my wild hair

I wait in street



Sore feet, blistered toes

Too tight trainers, my bad!

Putting feet up soon



Present for my mum

New sketchbook for me, yippee!

Shopping now over with


# 5

I sit writing stuff

Killing time, I wait to live

When will life begin?



White clouds, blue sky too

Sheep on azure field grazing

Watch out all below!

Summer Came Quickly

Summer came quickly


Summer came quickly this year,

Scarce a breath between

Daffodils and blooming may;

Blackthorn and whitethorn

Overlapped in flowering bliss.

Leaf buds unfurled so fast

I could not map their progress,

Leaping from tight knots

To silken green in moments.

The general rumble of rooks

Minding their business in treetops

Passed to the chaotic conversation

Of growing families in days.

The scent of new-mown grass

Hangs on the evening air

Like celestial incense burned

To honour the return of the Sun.

Summer came so quickly

Now I must mourn the Spring.