Category Archives: Fun

The girl, the dog, and the moon

I can’t believe I haven’t written about this before. I have a daughter. A wonderful, clever, funny, beautiful daughter. When she was two she was bitten by a dog (our dog, and probably mostly our fault, but I still don’t want to talk about it, thanks.). She has been left with permanent scars on her face, but no worse, and thanks to some impromptu puppy therapy, no scars on her heart either. In fact, since she was about four she has been begging us to get her a dog. Begging! As parents, let me tell you that the scars left on our hearts, our conscience, our confidence, were huge. So we got her stuffed toy dogs, and hoped she’d grow out of it. Yeah right. When she was eight she was going to the library and getting out as many books about dogs, and how to look after your dog, as she could carry. When she was ten she decided she wanted to be a vet, and work for a dog rescue charity. When she was eleven, she started dragging me out to a local animal shelter so we could walk their dogs. And when she was twelve, we gave in. We got that girl a dog.
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For Better Or Wurst

Life has been a bit of a drama recently, and I’ve not really talked to many people about it, so I thought I would write a few things down for your delectation and delight.  I suspect you may read this post with the same horrified fascination with which the Romans used to watch the latest Lions vs. Christians Smackdown, but maybe you’ll enjoy it and get some good thought-food out of it.

I’ll give you some bullet points as a primer, then some more detail.  Are you ready? You don’t have to take notes, it’s OK.

  • Came out as queer
  • Partner retaliated by also coming out as queer (but not as queer as me, ha. I win)
  • Decide to open our marriage to waifs and strays
  • Spend so much time talking and loving and talking we end up with serious sleep deprivation
  • Invoices go unpaid so we have to raid savings to cover bills
  • Have to cancel planned festival holiday because we now have no money
  • Black depression and bitter disappointment in one party, and not just from the holiday cancellation
  • Other party cancels fun plans to look after aforementioned party
  • Shower breaks, but too soon after other major plumbing work to comfortably ask landlord to fix it
  • Shit just goes wrong, OK?
  • Shit goes right, depression banished, invoices start getting paid
  • One party has massive meltdown as relief sets in
  • Open relationship going even better than expected
Mellorware teapot

You can take a tea break now, if you like.

So, early in April, I came to the scary realisation that I am bisexual.  I’m not a teenager, just starting to explore my emotions, and worrying what my parents might think, I am a grown woman, emotionally mature (quiet, you), married for nearly 15 years, thinking Why Now? and WTF? and worrying what my children might think.

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Our future in their hands

So, I took Boy Wonder to an IDAHOT celebration today, and we picked up this:

image

He studied it a bit, then tugged on my sleeve and said Mum, this isn’t right – look, they’ve got blue for boys and pink for girls. Isn’t that a bit sexist?

That’s right ladies and gentlemen (and everyone in between!), my nine year old is criticising LGBT literature for gender stereotyping.  Watch this boy, he will go far!


Out

And if you wondered what prompted that last post, here you go.

Yes I am

Married, mid-thirties, two kids – I’m sure you can see why I was a bit thrown. But hey, it’s all good now.

That’s all, must dash – Life beckons 😀

 


A Most Delicious, Gluten-and-dairy-free, Chocolate Cake

[Insert long boring preamble here]  Various circumstances have come together and inspired me to, finally, share something people have been begging me (begging me) to share for a very long time: my very special chocolate cake recipe.  I only make this cake for birthdays and special occasions, and the best bit about it is it is both gluten and dairy free, so can be eaten by many people who would otherwise be left chewing sadly on a dry flapjack.  This recipe is not entirely my own – all the best recipes are shared and adapted, after all – it was given to me many years ago by a professional cake maker called Grace, who in turn adapted it from somewhere else. I have since added my own variations, but we still call it Grace’s Chocolate Cake in this house. As you are not in this house, you can call it what you like.

This is a great cake for birthdays, as it comes out fairly flat, so is easy to decorate.
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Nice day for a white wedding

Fourteen years ago today, I got married in possibly the most traditional style I can think of. White dress, chauffer-driven car, suits, full Catholic mass, taking my husband’s name, big flowers, buffet in a sports hall, you name it. The groom even had a hangover from his previous night’s stag do, that’s how traditional we were. The only thing that was slightly non-mainstream was the team of belled and ribboned morris dancers who gave us a guard of honour as we left the church. I didn’t have the first idea about organising a wedding, so fell back on what little I knew about “how you ought to do it”.  I didn’t want to rock any boats.  Ah well.

IMAG1259-1

Fourteen years ago I was a very different person to the one I am today. Today’s me would probably get married in the woods, or on the moors, with no car, no suits, no formality, probably no shoes, and definitely no church. My partner and I have already changed our surnames back to my maiden name, so any funny looks or mutterings about ‘weird hippies’ would pass us by. We would be surrounded by friends and family who actually know us (as opposed to ‘so-and-so’s great aunt’s sister would be *really* upset if she wasn’t invited’), and love us for who we are. Most of whom (this still knocks me back a bit) we didn’t even know fourteen years ago. We’d keep the morris dancers though, and probably add some rapper dancers too (mind you, a rapper guard of honour would be a very squished affair).

But anyway, today marks fourteen years of being “properly” married to my best friend. If we’ve changed in those years, we’ve changed together. And I hope we continue to do so.

[Maya Angelou]

[Maya Angelou]


How very uncivilised

Uncivilisation. A weekend of exploring “cultural engagement which is rooted in place, time and nature”. A weekend of people, music, story, song, fire and playfulness. A weekend where I learned so damn much about the world around me, and about myself. And apart from the bit about “I can’t use Google-maps on my phone to navigate my way out of a paper bag” (sorry Jon – it was an adventure!), I liked what I learned!

I was there primarily to share my experiences of The Telling, and encourage others to make a new home for Uncivilisation in the places and communities where they are. And also to build a tree for a midnight Dark Mountain ritual – where a woven willow tree, decorated with dreams and thoughts from whoever wanted to contribute, would be ceremonially burned, to symbolise, I dunno… something. Something unsettling (would you set fire to a tree?), to shake people from their comfort, and release the wild, and the dreams.

[Photo: Bridget McKenzie]

[Photo: Bridget McKenzie]

In honesty though, I can’t really tell you much about what Uncivilisation 2013 was like, because I missed most of it, but I can tell you that “missing most of it” didn’t really matter. Continue reading