Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Sproglet can now lift Sproglette from her cot. So the mornings are no longer filled with her wailing cries from down the hall. Instead the two of them toddle in and say 'Morning Mummy!' to wake me from my much loved slumber. Then we have a group hug and head downstairs for bagels and smoothies and whatever I can manage to force down their gullets. They have become buddies, partners in crime - and Sproglette loves Sproglet more than anyone. Before I had no 2 kid someone told me that the relationship your kids develop is such a joy to behold - and they weren't wrong.

Me and Sproglette are having a ball together at the mo. Well apart from running out of nappies today and having to use the old 'swim nappy' trick. But a poo in a swim nappy? The WORST THING. Memo to self - NEVER FORGET NAPPIES. EVER.

Life is flying by in a haze. I read back on some blog posts when I was working full time and realised what a frazzled old mess I was at times. So I may have no cash, and most of my life is spent wiping something or other - a surface, a bottom, a nose - but I'm pretty damn happy. I've got a little bit of worky stuff going on to keep my old grey matter ticking over, have sorted some creche time at £4 a time (hurrah - cheap childcare - holy grail) for the Diva (Sproglette) and am getting some lovely time with the bairns. Sproglet will be 6 this year. More Sprog than let these days. Where does the time go?

Last week a friend told me she would never be able to have kids. I won't go into details because that isn't for me to talk about - but safe to say, we both cried. I just felt so sad for her that this life choice had been taken away. I felt it most acutely because so much of my life is wrapped up in my children - and the thought of not having them... She said that although she was never sure that she wanted kids (but more yes than no) that as soon as something is taken away from you, you just want it all the more. Adoption may not be possible either. A woman so amazing with kids - always has been - in some sad irony, will never have her own. Words failed me, because no matter all I could say about travelling and having time to yourself and life being rich with possibilities for other things - she knew that for me, the greatest thing I have ever done in my life, is have my kids.

I know many women who wanted two babies and only manged to have one; many folk who miscarried and then went on to have healthy children; people who got pregnant accidentally and had the babies; people who have had abortions and then had children; people who couldn't conceive and used ivf; people who couldn't have kids biologically and adopted; people who had children and left them - but they all got to mother. Im not saying that any tragedy is worse than the other - I think everything is relative - but losing the choice of whether or not to have a child is so unfair.

Every day when I hear the pitter patter down the hall, when I shove off my eye mask thing and bleary eyed stare at my wakers - I am so damn grateful for them. I kiss their heads and lift myself from my cocooned bed - and slump down the stairs trying to focus on breakfast. And Sproglet says he doesn't like pancakes any more and Sproglette screams for the drink Sproglet has opened and through it all I feel utterly blessed.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Gossip Girl

We all love a bit of tittle tattle don't we? A harmless sport where we dissect and judge other folks' lives, speculate about circumstances and dish the dirt that we know, or heard about from a friend of a friend of a friend. I am as guilty as the next person of joining in and adding my tuppence worth. When I was a teenager my next door neighbour and I called good gossip 'juicy tomatoes' and would often phone each other whispering excitedly about some nugget of juiciness that we would be spilling later.

Poisonous, vacuous and often tinged with bitterness and jealousy - no gossip is as innocent as it appears to be. At the heart of gossip is darkness. A need for people to accept us and our tales, agree and conspire with us - so we all feel so much better about others misfortunes. Whoever gossips about anything GOOD? Anything sincere?

So, I plan to forsake it. I won't be saying a single bad thing about anyone for the forseeable - won't make presumptions, won't delight in other's woes, won't judge, won't 'confide' or share or even discuss others in any way that could be deemed mean. Too often I am sure that I am fodder for other's gossip - which is half the reason I write this blog - by doing so I am owning everything that happens to me - by sharing it - it aint gossip because I CHOOSE to tell it. Or if it is used as gossip - well it can't wound me or effect me in any way. I think often the worst gossipers are those we think are closest to us... we think they care when really their interest is to gain some more info for tomorrow's gossip session. I don't think men gossip do they? They are too interested in the football scores/a new car/news...

Anyway - I am abstaining. Gossip girl, no longer.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Justice, finally.

The year has already started well. Finally, after campaigning for justice for 19 years - longer than her son even lived - Doreen Lawrence watched today as Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted for the brutal racist murder of her son Stephen in 1993.

We all know the case, we all remember when it happened. I was a student in London at the time and was sickened by the callous way Stephen's killers knifed him at a bus stop in Eltham. Stephen didn't provoke the gang - he hadn't been drinking - he didn't even speak to them - he never got a chance. They saw him and they pounced. 5 or more of them - plunging a knife into his body twice - severing axillary arteries. Stephen's friend Duwayne Brooks began running, and shouted for Stephen to run to escape with him, but Stephen collapsed and bled to death on the cold wet street. He was only 18. He was only a year and a bit younger than me. His life so full of potential was tragically struck down. His killers were even younger than him. What motivates a group of young men to perform such evil? Undercover footage of their racist rants is possibly one of the most shocking videos I have ever seen. Who raises their children to be this way?

The police's failings in the case are legendary - not least failing to assist Stephen when they arrived on scene - questioning Brooks instead - as if he was a criminal. The attempts to put the 5 murderers behind bars came and went - all buried in 'lack of evidence' and idenification evidence being classed as 'unreliable.'

With new scientific evidence - a fleck of blood found on Dobson's jacket that was Stephen's and some fibres from Stephen's clothes were found on Norris's jeans -
they were brought to trial and finally convicted. Dobson will serve a minimum of 15 years and Norris 14 at the very least - one hopes it will end up being far more. And what of the other three murderers - Jamie and Neil Acourt and Luke Knight, at large? The Scotland Yard commissioner today said that 'they should not rest easily in their beds.' I really pray that somehow there is fresh evidence - something new comes to light and these three get a similar punishment.

Stephen Lawrence left a legacy. In light of the blatant racism on behalf of the police and how they conducted their investigations into his murder -(taking 2 weeks to even arrest the suspects despite having been directed towards them) which were identified in excruciating detail by Sir William Macpherson's inquiry report in 1999, Police operate now in an entirely different way (or at least one would hope they do). Racial aggreviation is now seen as a crime in itself. The ripples of the report were felt across government, the judiciary, the National Health Service and schools. So much has changed since Stepehn's death - perhaps folk would say not enough... His Mother's courage is awe inspiring. Her eloquence, poise, dignity and determination are an example to us all. A Mother's love knows no bounds - and she proved this. I hope today brought them some peace - although as she said, her son is dead so how can she celebrate?

Maybe when all 5 are behind bars she will have some closure. Please let that happen soon.