Month: July 2014

Summer

Today was the first day of T’s summer holiday, so we hit the beach. I have a secret rule of making the first and last days of the summer holidays particularly special – a sleight of hand by which I hope they will remember their summers as being good ones, magical ones even, as summers should be. And it was a good day. An amazingly good day considering I took three children to the beach alone for the first time. I grew up in the Midlands, hours from the nearest sea (Weston-super-Mare where, famously, the tidal range is so great that the low tide mark is a mile from the sea front), so the idea of going to the beach for the day is still novel to me and we still have many beaches to check out. This is Lepe Country Park and you can see the Isle of Wight across the Solent. T gives it ten out of ten. If I were making an album of memories, I would slip today – three swim-suited …

Nourishment

It was mid-October and her breasts were leaking and they were hard as rocks and her nipples hurt; one of them was cracked and bleeding…Helen unbuttoned her blouse and Gabrielle latched on fast and her other nipple squirted fine threads of milk all over the kitchen table…Gabrielle snuffled in and sucked hard and the other breast was dripping fast and there was a drop of blood, bright red, on her other nipple and it slipped down her breast. from February by Lisa Moore Milk seeped into Kate’s clothes and sweetened and soured her chest and the cleft between her breasts every time she heard her baby cry, as soon as he cried. Milk wet her shirt when she sat own alone near her bedroom window and saw the exposed brown grass in the yard, rents in the snow, when she read some item in the newspaper about a child falling out a window, or saw a commercial for long-distance dialing on television…Her breasts let down and her uterus cramped sharply, turning like a small animal …

We love: Jack and the Flumflum Tree & The Paper Dolls

You can’t catch us. Oh no no no! We’re holding hands and we won’t let go. We’re Ticky and Tacky and Jackie the Backie And Jim with two noses and Jo with the bow! from ‘The Paper Dolls’ by Julia Donaldson I know you don’t need me to tell you about Julia Donaldson. But this week is all about keeping things simple. Calm thoughts, calm words, even if there are two boys thundering round and round me shrieking with laughter. That’s the intention anyway. (I realised, hours later, that the tea I threw into the supermarket trolley this morning is called ‘Zen Again’. I am a marketing person’s dream.) I’m trying to fit in lots of snuggling and reading with my boys before the summer holidays start and my attention is divided into three. (Or three million, depending how you look at it.) So, here they are: two instant Julia Donaldson hits from last week’s library trip. I have a mixed history with Julia Donaldson. There are many of her books that I could read …

Things I Don’t Want To Know

  Now that we were mothers we were all shadows of our former selves, chased by the women we used to be before we had children. We didn’t really know what to do with her, this fierce, independent young woman who followed us about, shouting and pointing the finger while we wheeled our buggies in the English rain. We tried to answer her back but we did not have the language to explain that we were not women who had merely ‘acquired’ some children – we had metamorphosed  (new heavy bodies, milk in our breasts, hormonally-programmed to run to our babies when they cried) in to someone we did not entirely understand. Things I Don’t Want To Know, Deborah Levy We’re speeding now, towards the summer holidays. Two weeks and two days to go. And yet, there’s so much to be fitted in. Sports day, the school summer fair, the Moose’s visits to T’s school which he will start in September. Play dates and picnics and holiday preparations. It’s all fun, but it has the …