Pro Procrastination

Procrastination is the thief of time

Edward Young (1683-1765)

Now there’s some words I’ve had levelled at me many times… Ok, so it doesn’t help when people ask me what I’ve been doing all day and I say “nothing…”. I like doing ‘nothing’… Though oddly, as Mr S remarked yesterday, there’s an awful lot of stuff that gets done around our place, things are sorted and happening. It’s a mean feat considering they get done by someone who never appears to be doing anything. I’m the most productive lazy person he’s ever met…

See the thing is when I say ‘nothing’, sometimes it is literally nothing, but often it’s short hand for I’ve been thinking and I’m not yet ready to tell you what it’s about… When procrasinating is theiving your time, that’s because you’re an amateurcrastinator! There’s a lot going on with a PROcrastinator… There may not be obvious outwards signs, but trust me, I’ve been a busy bee… busier than the busy busy people who fill their hours with stuff for the sake of stuff. C’mmon, how can you tell me that being alone with my thoughts is wasting time, when you’re prepared to queue half the day because McD’s has just re-opened…

My doing nothing is…

Though today has also included kicking this bloody wp malarky into touch…

At last! I’ve sussed it! 🙂

It’s been interesting to see that since I bought my blog out of stasis a couple of months ago, I’ve written 50 posts and 35,186 words… I find that kind of funny as each year I decide I’d never be able to write enough to complete a nanowrimo challenge! 😀

Also amusing me is that I’ve had a few people tell me that I should write more. Seriously? I thank them and hold off from saying – No… people should read more… I’ve got pre-lockdown back catalogue of 300+ posts sitting around virtually unread…

Skimming through my stats I found that it’s quite an old post that’s landing lots of hits recently – My Secret Tarot Method for Winning the Lotto!!!

Blimey! and people say I waste MY time 😀

Parking Cars

Today, the weather changed… I love the sun, the relentless sun,not so much, so I felt happy to feel the rain again, to breathe in cooler air, and to set my hair free, instead of having it squished down under my wide brimmed hat that keeps the glare out of my eyes so I can see joggers and cyclists weaving across my path.

I get social distancing… What I don’t get is why people do it across the road instead of along the path… There are a lot of things I don’t get about people’s habits, especially en masse social things… For example, I don’t understand why it is that when you park in an empty carpark, cars come in and park around you instead of spreading out. I could understand it, if I was parked near an entrance that people need to walk into, but I usually park well away. It’s an old habit from loading and unloading kids and pushchairs etc. I’ve never agreed with parent and child parking. OK, I appreciate the wider spaces but the whole next to the door thing, nope, let people who have a harder time walking have those spaces…

I pick up my night-shift guy and he’s not his usual self… He was not his usual self yesterday either as he’s usually talkative but last night he didn’t want to speak beyond the pleasantries of hellos and goodbyes. I knew something was bothering him. I didn’t ask what, as I figure if people want you to know then they’ll tell you in their own time…

This morning he was ready to talk. He told me that he just didn’t feel himself. Via the rear view mirror, minus a deck, I put him through a tarot reading… We peeled apart the words with a series of whys followed by a when. When did this start?

Long story short, I discovered I was sitting with a Singer who has stopped using his voice. A story of a natural talent, almost making a very big break and then feeling a failure after facing a rejection… Someone knowing that where they’re at is not where they want to be, someone feeling that they’ve missed their chances, someone apologising for their gifts… someone telling me they feel too down to use them… I listened to him unpack his thoughts until he said that he just didn’t know what to do with himself… I didn’t say much… I was thinking… Thinking that each thought he unpacked, revealed some kind of box that absorbing other people’s thinking had put him into…

I guess we’ve all done it at some time or another? I know I’ve fell prey to it, more often than I should have… Walking away from something because you’ve been told you’re not good enough, smart enough, tall enough, rich enough, oh the list goes on… Running parallel with the too list… You’re too lazy, too disorganised, too fat, too impatient…

Why do we do this to ourselves? Allow these words to limit us? More so, why do other people feel the need to label, label, label… Why use words as a cosh to suppress others… Ffs! Look what it’s lead to!

I rolled all of this around my mind… Not sure what to say (after all, he’s not asked for a reading, I’m not sure he knows I am a reader and he’s not aware I’ve slipped into reader type thoughts) until I condensed it down to one sentence. I told him – OK, rejection sucks, I’m not gonna lie, it’s never not gonna suck, but you don’t let it stop you from trying.

I got back to the carpark and I’d been first there this morning, now it had filled… Hmmm… Odd… Next to my car instead of the Focus that used to park next to my old Focus, there’s a Peugeot sat next to my new Peugeot…

This disturbs me… It is the kind of thing that would niggle me on an average day… Like a few weeks back when I turned up in my new hat and noticed that people called it different things, all of which I guess were a kind of reveal of their personality or experiences… The Spanish guy called it a sombreo… That made me smile. I also got called Indiana Karen, Zorro, Cowgirl… A few other ones I’ve forgotten… Oh and Dingo Killer! Wtf? But that’s typical of Mad Uncle F and I guess it’s a change from him referring to me behind my back as ‘that fucking cow’. A few folks have asked me if I know, I laugh and say yes of course I do. I love it! He makes himself look stupider and stupider everytime he says it. Does it bother me? No, it’s a cap that doesn’t fit so I don’t wear it…

But this parking thing today, in current clime… It bothers me. It makes me wonder if people are deeply rooted into clustering alongside people who they think are the same as them… My usual parking neighbour is the other side of the yard… My new neighbour, I don’t even recall seeing that car before. Curious… I don’t like this little carpark microcosm and how it appears to fractal out into the macrocosm of global population…

I start to feel quite depressed… People! Tribes… In or out of a tribe depending on what you’re wrapped in… Whether that be cars, beliefs, gender, wealth, class, etc… skin colour… The ways that people treat other people due to packaging…

I watch the rain run down my windowscreen… Its like all the Gods are weeping at how people messed up this world… I flick on the radio.

A man’s voice… Ah, the rain has come. We need rain, it’s a blessing. All that dust in your garden, the rain will turn the dust to soil… I find myself mentally sitting in Mystereum and hearing the words ‘amend your inner soil’.

Yes, the world has gone mad and we shouldn’t ignore our sadness nor try to rush it or push it away… We need to sit with it and work out what we need to turnover so we can all grow unapologetically into who we are alongside everyone else unapologetic for who they are, without crushing or being crushed…

We shouldn’t be getting bent out of shape by differences… We shouldn’t be grouping ourselves by superficial similarities…

I don’t know what the answer is but I know I’m not yet done thinking about it…

Saddled Up

Yesterday, finally after a week and a half of lockdown related delays, I got to go and collect my new bike.

About a year ago, I was driving… Radio on 12, sun blazing, and me flying through the countryside in the old work car with blacked out windows. I loved that car and the anonymity it gave me. I loved that people treated me with caution, didn’t tailgate me, didn’t toot, did jump in the air if I pulled up alongside them on the pavement… I liked that people were wary… That they didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t like so much getting tailed by police for the first month or so until they recognised me. It was a sweet ride, made sweeter by the possibility that people thought I may be a drug dealer or worse… Now in the new car, the greenhouse on wheels, driving is a different game. It amazes me that people still have it in their heads that women can’t drive… It bores me that behind the wheel and they behind the safety of their windshields, the battle of the sexes rages on as I’m expected to move out of the way to let the proper drivers pass even though I have right of way. They soon back down when I channel my inner dick and stand my ground. But not all men think women are bad drivers… Sometimes they tell me that my driving is pretty good for a girl… OK… I’m exaggerating a little, it’s a minority of men… But they can feel like more! The wiser men say things like – wow! Nice move!

You know… I think I might waste a few hours wandering around carparks and offering unsolicited guidance to men trying to reverse their cars out of spaces… C’mmon love, kept it coming, left, left, left… When did you ever see that? A woman taking it upon herself to tell a man how to drive his car… Or to have the audacity to get out an iPad and video someone parking in case they crash into your car. Yes, I’ve had some man do that… I played into the game and parallel parked 2cm off the end of his bumper, boxing in him… I was gone before he’d realised he wouldn’t be able to get his car out again until either me or the car the other side of his moved…

That’s the utter joy of being taken for stupid… It takes very little effort to spin things… Surely I didn’t do that intentionally? That would have required skills…

I’ve detoured off here, I was talking about bikes… So, there I was bombing along and I find myself behind a cyclist going at a good lick. I hang back behind him a while and I think back to days when I cycled everywhere… God! I missed cycling! Hmm… I must manifest a bike! I imagined myself tanking along, thinking of all the places I could go and I laughed… I laughed because the cosmos always moves quickly when I do that…

Less than an hour later, Mr S calls me – You’ll never guess what I’ve found abandoned in a hedgerow?

Is it my bike?

What? Your bike? Wait… How did you know it was a bike…

He reports the find and waits due course and the bike that the cosmos put my name on, found its way to me.

Oh! Blimey! Ouch! I didn’t recall cycling being quite so painful. I won’t tell you the name I have the saddle as that’s crude even for me… But that saddle had to go.

New saddle in place and things were better but I’m still cautious as the frame is just a little to high for me… I can ride OK but I’m going to come a cropper if anything sudden and unexpected occurs. All the scars I have on my body, come from flying over handle bars. Only recently has the last bit of grit worked itself free from under my eye, where it had been sat since 1987. Crashing in late teens was not good… The prospect of my much older and heavier self colliding with tarmac makes me a more cautious rider.

I decide that I can’t justify a new bike immediately… But there’s a win win here… Mr S will need a new bike before I destroy this one… So when the time comes, then I’ll pass this on and get myself a better fit.

The time came. I searched new bikes and the seat was my priority… I saw ladies sprung saddle genuine leather and I was sold. It didn’t occur to me that I’d actually bought a proper ladies bike until I went to collect…

Hmmm… That’s dainty! Should I be wearing Laura Ashley floral prints? I got the seat adjusted to the correct height. Butt on seat, my feet could touch the floor! Yes! Significantly reduced odds of unintentional flying experiences. Fantastic! I’d be unstoppable!

With one thing and another I’ve not been in the saddle for just over 6 months. But they say you never forget, so I just leapt on… HOLY CRAP! It veered wildly! It steered like some kind of clown’s vehicle!

I rode home… Slowly… Grasping to find my balance, fighting the urge to clap my knees together? Eh? Oh! No crossbar! I realised I’d never ridden a woman’s bike before, only chunky mountain bikes and my light as a feather fibre alloy framed racer that I could lift with one finger and carry over dunes in the Gower Penninsula…

Bloody hell! I can’t ride a woman’s bike… Oh… Wait… My balance is activating… Ah, OK, let’s go a little quicker… Something’s odd? Ah… I drive too much, I’m reflex checking a rear view mirror that’s not there…

I make it home and dismount. I look for the first time at the handle bars and they’re almost 45° to the front wheel… Oh OK, no wonder it was wiggly… I get them aligned and head out again.

Yes! Yes, this is much better! I feel the springs absorb the bumps in the road. The seat swallows those forces up rather than my wrists that the old bike used to hammer… My back feels good, curved in all the right places… Yes, this is a sweet ride. It’s a bit Enid Blyton as I dream of lashings of ginger beer even though I can’t stand the stuff. This is English Summer on the roll… I’m very happy on my teal mobile…

I thought I’d have to learn to ride all over again but all is good. (Though that’s the last time I’ll trust a man to set up my bike) 🤣

I’m not at war, it’s just prudent to be self-sufficient.

Mindscape Reflections

Oh flippin’ ‘eck! What’s going on with WordPress? I’ve just logged in via laptop this morning to find that I’ve got to learn how to use it all over again. On an average day I’d probably be a bit more frustrated than I’m feeling now… Now, I’m feeling amused as it feels like a punchline to a cosmic joke.

A couple of days ago, I had a, what should have been a zoom but ended up being a messenger, consultation with the truly amazing Kate Choppen. I’ve known Kate a good many years now and every meeting we’ve had has been time well spent. I’ve always been a fan but the fandom upped a notch due to her helping me to be set free of back pain

Kate has quite a bag of tricks up her sleeve… We were supposed to have a session about a week ago, but we knocked it back as neither of us were feeling the vibe… At that time, I kind of knew what I wanted to exlpore but I’d not really nailed down the question… Between original slot and updated slot, the prod I needed came via my spam…

While divergent thinking can help your brain find unexpected relationships, convergent thinking is the process of evaluating and refining your options, to help you select and develop the most promising ones. Both are fundamental to the creative process.

(Argghhhhh! Cover your ears whilst I cuss out wp! This joke is wearing a little thin now…)

So my focus for the session was that I was more than OK on the divergent front… To complete the D. O. I would need to get convergent. I needed to learn how to write again… (hahaha wordpress!)

Kate asked me if I wanted to try creating a Mindscape… I don’t need asking twice, so we cracked on. An hour later, I’d unleashed in my head a couple of new members of staff to work with me and I’d got a map… In my head, a vision of what my writing space looked like. The idea, I think, I’m not the expert, so you’d probably be better off asking Kate, is that you create this space in your head and your subconscious already knows what you need to do and so those thoughts turn into actions and you create what it is that you want to create… At the end of the exercise, before coming back into the room, it was suggested that in my hands, I had lots of gifts that I could place around my map… Kate asked me what I had in my hands, I told her that I’d already flung the gifts unexamined to scatter across the mindscape and that they’d reveal themselves and what they were for, as and when the time was right…

Time! Oh! Time! Yesterday was the last day of May and I realised that I was rapidly heading into the June 1st. start date that I’d given myself for starting the formal writing up of the D.O. I looked over to my desk that had been set up with good intentions and which was clear a week ago… Ooops… Things were gathering… things that had escaped from my pirate’s chest, things that were new arrivals… lots of things piling up, ready for my next project with C.

Will I ever turn this D.O. to DONE?!

Oh! Some post had come! In the piles, there was a new frame… O.K. let’s get Freyr in place…

Freyr by Emily Carding

I looked him in the eye and he started back at me… What are you doing? Why are you worrying about your desk right now, when you need to empty your car out ready to trade in, in the morning? Sort your Focus out!

I’m a lot less argumentative these days, so in the midnight hours, I emptied out the old banger… Giving my hands a final sweep around, I found this…

Oh! My Acorn! I’d found it in a park some time ago… It looked very bright, much brighter than the rest and I decided that it belonged to me… Why had I kept that? It was because when I picked it up, it reminded me of something I’d written…

Whatever stage of our cycle we are in or whatever form we take, in the whole of creation every living thing starts as just one single cell… so whatever we are capable of becoming is contained within us at genesis… Karen Sealey

It was good to see my old friend… I rolled it around in my hand and then wondered what had happened to the cup that it used to sit in? Oh, yes… the acorn had shrank a little and the cup had become lose and fallen off…I’d thrown it under the contorted Hazel in my front garden, saying – there you go fairies! Have a new hat!

Fairies like to 6 of Pentacles reciprocate, they’d spoken to me in dreams… Gather 9 nuts from beneath the tree and source a salmon… The nuts were easy… the salmon took a little longer… Once gathered they showed me symbols to burn (though I’m guessing they didn’t intend me to also brand the end of one of my fingers in the process… but you never know…)

I’d half forgotten about my Salmon of Wisdom Oracle… I dug it out… I played around and took lots of photos… I remembered my cloth was glow in the dark, so of course… a few more photos… The image took me back to my Mindscape. During the session, I kept making reference to something that looked like a air hockey puck… shiny and slippy… Ah… my scrying mirror… Maybe that would be coming in useful sometime soon…

Realising that I was now a couple of hours into 1st June and probably not going to get a lot of sleep… I reined in. I didn’t want to fail before I started with my new focus writing… Ok… let’s pop down some kind of quick skeleton. I remebered that I had at some point created an online notebook… I searched and found it and there was a photo of each of the 22 cards. Alongside each, 3 runes laid down… I wrote key words for each set. Ok, so if nothing else gets done today, then at last I have a tentative 1st draft in place or as placeholder.

I scrolled up and down…Wait a minute? What was that? I scrolled back… a link with the heading ‘Useful resources???’. Hmmm? That doesn’t belong here… let’s have a closer look… I laughed out loud… Back in October, I’d spent an hour each day, working with runes and by the end of the month had come up with a novel way of reading… but it would need quite a bit of background research for me to flesh it out to be usable by anyone else… I knew exactly what I wanted to research but couldn’t find any books on the subject for love nor money…. The ‘Useful resources???’ that’s what I’d hidden for myself, two years before I knew what I’d want them for…

I skimmed through the link… Instantly, I saw a very easy and obvious way to complete the idea in the bag… It had been on hold as the other ways of doing it that I’d considered were too lenghty… too much work… potentially a deck of 216 cards… Bloody Norah! The D.O. 22 started 2014… 216 cards working at that pace… I’m not sure I’m going to live that long… My new idea… oh yes, no need to draw any cards… a system to play, I just need to write up the scenes and I’m willing to bet that if I get my head down, then I can knock that out within a month…

But… What’s in the bag, can stay in the bag for now…

For now… I need to get a lid on the box and shift D.O. to DONE! so it can fly the nest…

(Oh and update my wp skills… I’ve previewed this post and it looks like crap! It’s wonky… but hey… I’ve got bigger fish to fry… I’ll mistress this all in good time! )

Grannies & Eggs

I came across this weeks ago and I’m just randomly finding myself still laughing at it…

I guess it just has always amused me when self appointed experts don’t realise they’re in the same room as actual experts…

I’ve not trawled the rest of the thread but I’m guessing Stephen King was classy enough to not flounce and ask “Don’t you know who I am?”

“Don’t you know who I am?” That’s always a classic! Something I especially enjoyed in old casino days…

20+ years on and I still laugh with old croupier pals about a 3rd rate Musician who somehow managed to strike his 15 minutes of fame and tried to squeeze the most out of it by parading himself waiting to be recognised… I’m assuming he never made that much money as he never put any across the table… But maybe the strutting rather than the gambling was his sole game… I don’t know… I’m not a mind reader and we never had a conversation.

Thing is, if you’re going to ask that question then you’d better hope you’re not a dick… But then I guess this is a Shrodinger’s Twat scenario because as soon as you do ask that question, you’ve exposed yourself fully as a first class plonker…

The 3rd rate musician pulled the stunt on a very tired receptionist… Who flatly told him “No, show your ID or leave”. He went further and pushed her until she voiced over the tannoy “There’s a man on reception who doesn’t know who he is… Is his carer here?”

Then you get the famous by proxy finger clickers… I recall a pushy man demanding to jump the queue… “Serve me now!”

“Pardon? Serve me now, what?”

“Serve me now. Don’t you know who I am?”

“No and no…”

“But I’m (insert name of famous football player)’s brother-in-law”.

“Oh! OK… Wait your turn, I don’t know who he is either…”

I think I just find it generally funny when people assume knowledge or they assume what other people’s knowledge is… Or they assume other people’s views, experiences, attitudes, mindset, etc. etc.

Yesterday, I’m in the car with two anti-science people talking behind me… I’m a Science head, that was my formal education and so my ears always prick up at any mention of science…

The conversation babbled on and became more and more apparent that between the two of them, there had been no study of Science further than skimming conspiracy theories and believing Facebook memes…

I let them talk..

It went into the evils of big pharma and then I had to stiffle laughter as they went into antivaxer mode… It’s all poison except for the ones you need to take to travel to foreign countries… Ah OK, you’re not going to comply unless you want to fly… You could lie and fly… You gotta love flexi principles… But hmmm… I stayed silent. It wasn’t my conversation and nobody asked my opinion…

It went on to childbirth and I quietly shook my head… Demonising medicine… All medicine, as though it’s a black and white issue…

“What do you think Karen?”

(OK, now admittedly, I am kind of biased about this, what with being both a product of a Caesarian birth and Rhesus negative.)

“Oh, yeah, absolutely, remove all medicine from childbirth. Let’s get back to the good old days…”

“Exactly! The good old days!”

“Oh yes… Those were the days. The days when there were needless numbers of women and babies dying… Yes, let’s bring that back and clear out the shallow end of the gene pool. The world is way overpopulated anyway…”

Silence… Followed by a gulp…

“Errr… OK Karen… I guess that’s one way of looking at it…”

“I guess… I guess you didn’t expect that from a hippy?”

I hear another voice very quietly mumbling… Hmmm… She’s in a weird mood today…

“Hey Karen? How are you feeling today?”

“Good! Very good, never better 😁”

I see puzzled faces in the rear view mirror… I smile at them and think to myself… Thoughts and feelings… Feelings and thoughts… There is a difference…

Opinions and facts… Don’t get me started! I’m keeping schtum on that one…

There’s victories & there’s Victories.

One way or another it’s been an emotional week… You could say it’s been like Springtime English weather, where you get all the seasons in one day. You could, except it been  unseasonably relentless with sunshine since lockdown began. Not that I’m complaining, especially as it comes after a solid 6 months of grey and rain…

Driving home this morning, I congratulated myself on not punching someone in the face yesterday, but decided actually that’s not much of a celebration as I don’t punch people anyway… I do have flamethrower fantasies where I blast their heads off… I had the fantasy yesterday and it was flitting and brief rather than roaring for days… Was that a victory? Nah… Not really, more a side effect of age and knowing there are more pleasurable ways to burn energy…

It occurred to me that during the last couple of days, there were some real victories…

An air punch victory with a small v – Yay! The end of June last year, I retired the old Toyota and picked up a Focus. Reluctantly using my credit card as it would be cheaper to buy a banger than repair the aging gas guzzling leviathan… Clearing the card was easy as the savings in fuel, tax, insurance, meant that the new to me car paid for itself. I also made a promise to myself to stash cash and trade up again a year on. Wednesday, I secured my upgrade to be collected on Monday. Two weeks ahead of target and payment in cash… No credit, no loan… Sealey hard earned cash… Yup! A small v victory.

Why a small v? I think small v victories are the obvious ones… The mundane ones, where really, you just need to set your priorities, get your shit together and stick to the plan you made. You take control and it’s not that open to outside influences fucking you over.

The big V victories, they’re the silent battles that most people don’t see…

My big V victory… Sitting on a video call with my sister and laughing together for a couple of hours.

Yes, I know… That hardly sounds like a Victory to most people but for us it was monumental.

We were raised in a family where there was not much fun in the dysfunctional. The sort of family that until you’re out of it, you don’t really grasp just how fucked up it is…

10+ years on after making the break, there are still the odd days that flag up just how insidious the damage was… Weird anxieties that come out of nowhere when you least expect it… Wondering why you feel so stressed by tiny day to day activities that shouldn’t raise an eyebrow or second thought. For example, a couple of months into my driving job, I spent about a week tying myself into knots… The car needed valeting. It’s part of my job to take it in. How simple a task is that? The problem? I had to ask my manager for cash to pay the valet. Why couldn’t I bring myself to do that? It didn’t make sense. Eventually, after what felt like forever but was probably around 5 days, I tenuosly made the phone call. I couldn’t understand it, my boss is sound as a pound… She answered – yeah, yeah, yeah mate, just grab some out of petty cash and drop back a receipt.

I put down the phone and let out a huge lungful of breath… Head back, shoulders dropped… Tensions fled as I realised I’d been bracing myself for an argument that if looked at logically, was never going to happen…

Oh… OK… A childhood legacy had been lurking in the shadows…

Conversations with my sister… I’ve never fallen out with my sister, though we go long times without speaking as we lead very seperate lives… Seperate lives started early on, even when living in the same house, our circles of friends did not overlap… Looking back, I see now that this was a survival tactic… Seperate worlds meant that we couldn’t be cross examined by the mother… The mother always trying to set us one against the other…

Yet, when shit hits the fan, the two of us are always there for each other. I guess that’s the thing with siblings, you don’t have to explain the back stories or try to justify and make sense of what happened… They’re there and in your corner, no questions asked…

After the big bust up in the family, where I ejected the mother out of my life and the rest of the family followed suit, it slowly became apparent how dense the web of secrets and lies had been wove… In some ways, that didn’t surprise me as much as you’d think it would… There were some absolute whoppers that came to light…She’d made a fine art of the divide and conquer game… Somehow I’d kind of managed to stay neutral to a lot of the waring between my sister and two step sisters, that had sprung out of the wellspring of matriarchal machinations… Maybe because a lot happened during an intense period of my life where births and deaths came round too quickly to keep pace… I was too bloody tired to play into things… I know I’d said more than once that I was aware that shit was happening, but you’re all adults, I’ve got my own little family to worry about, so regards to the big family, just call me ‘Switzerland’. But post split and more and more revealed each day… It was hard to stay detached… I wry laughed as it became very clear that we’d been set against each other to cover up a trail of extra marital affairs… Kind of amazing to discover that you’ve been used as a regular alibi by someone you rarely see… The revelations kind of sucked but didn’t hurt as much as realising that you’d been played into distrusting and entertaining doubts where none should have been…

The four girls all talking between each other… With no puppet master stringing us up…

Conversations at first felt like weights lifted but then things became too painful… My sister although 2 years younger, is the one with the vivid memory… The one with blow by blow recall… The one whose words would conjure up images and memories of stuff that made me pause… Stare off into space… Question what I was seeing in my mind… It’s kind of familiar? But like some half remembered dream or some almost forgotten snippet of overheard conversation you weren’t supposed to hear…

She’d fill in more details… Then plink! Fuck! Yes, you’re right… That did happen… I’d be able to see myself right there in the scene… Recalling what I’d been wearing, remembering sights and smells… Re-feeling knots in stomach and nauseating sensations of dread…

It became that the whole of our conversations were consumed by the bad memories, the grieving for what could have been or should have been… The things we’d not had but felt the loss of… It became all too painful and again we both went out our seperate ways… To process at our own paces…

This week talking, we stumble into the mother issue. I felt indifferent in a good way. Nothing triggered and poked raw… I laughed ‘Oh boy! We really got the short straw! It’s so good to have metaphorically killed her off!’

My sister said in hushed voice… Oh… Get this… You won’t believe what my girls do to me! If we’re going through town, they’ll nudge me and say ‘look! There’s Mary!’

I was puzzled. How do they even know what she looks like? I’m not sure I’d even recognise her now. How can they possibly remember her?

Oh! They have no idea what she looks like, they just know it presses my buttons and makes me leap and hide behind clothes rails!

Seriously?

Yes! Seriously! Her name makes me leap!

What? Worse than spiders?

Yup!

I tested it out… Look! Spider! She leapt! Hey! Mary! She leapt and squealed ‘Stop it you fucker!’

We talked our way through other things… She asked me how I now managed to find humour in our rearing… I told her… Writing… Crayons… Screaming in fields… Many lucky finds in friends I’ve met… But mostly in piecing together the D. O.

The D.O.? What’s the D. O.?She asked…

I told her… It’s the cards I’ve been drawing, the Discarded Oracle…

Her eyes creased in smiles and twinkled… It spread across her face… That’s the thing with siblings, you don’t have to explain your punchlines…

So my big V victory… Half a century to arrive at a place where I can sit and chat shit with my sister like we’re just a couple of normal people having fun.

Does He Exist?

The Lesser Spotted Mr S

One of the things or is it two of the things? Hmmm… Let’s go with something. Something I’ve noticed during lockdown is that people use phones less and ask questions more. I guess phones are pretty dull when everybody’s plans for the weekend are ‘staying in’. That’s not a lot of planning going on and people sit more in the here and now and take conversations where they find them…

The Glaxay has been a goldmine of entertainment for me. I’ve always had a knack or maybe it’s just a natural effect… Something about my aura? that makes people spill their secrets to me… I’ve heard all kinds of stories over the last few weeks as word got out that what’s said in the car stays in the car. Though the last week or so, the tables have been turned and I’m the one on the receiving end of questions, mostly wanting to know what my other half is like.

OK, it’s not exactly like I hide Mr S away. I often speak about him, write about him and even on occasion mine his quirks for material for stand up routines. He takes it all in good humour. He’s never been to see me on stage. I banned him! I’ve always spoken in uninhibited ways to him but there’s something about speaking that way in front of a crowd who think you’ve invented stories that’s a bit distracting/odd should the plot device be seated in the front row. I’ve always ran material past him and he never censors me. I asked him one time if he minded being the butt of my jokes. He laughed and told me that I never made him the butt, I always made myself the butt and him the cool one.

It’s been a while since I’ve done stand up. It was something I needed to do but it wasn’t really my thing. There’s too much hanging around in the wings… But I guess I decided I was done with it when the stage fright vanished pretty quickly and without adrenalin, it’s tiring to force your energy into sparkle mode… It became too much like hard work! I only stay in jobs where I feel like I’m being paid to play.

The comic in me lives on and now and then behind the wheel, I’ll slide into sit down comedy… It might be triggered by a random passerby which causes me to spurl into observations and imaginings of what’s going on in their world… Or often it will be a retelling of some silly conversation between myself and Mr S.

But, anyway, there’s been lots of questions about Mr S…

Was it love at first sight?

1st sight? YES! 2nd sight… Hell no! 3rd sight… OK, yes, 1st instinct was right.

Is he nice?

I guess? Sometimes? Mostly…

What’s he like?

Ale & Cunt! (one of those is a lie but everytime I get asked what’s he like, it reminds me of the punchline to a joke he told me 30 years ago).

You’ve been with him 30 years? Aren’t you bored with him?

No

Do you still have sex?

Yes

How often?

More than you!

Good sex?

Yes! Who tolerates 30 years of bad sex? What kind of perverse self harm is that?

Does he exist?

What? You think he’s a fabrication of my imagination?

Could be? You do have a vivid ways of inventing stories…

Hey! I’m lazy! I don’t make stories up! I write them down!

So he does exist?

I guess? I’ve got 4 kids and I’m not an amoeba… So… Yeah… He must do, I guess…

He’s got a beard? Did he have that when you met him?

Yes

Did you like it?

Not particularly at first…

So it grew on you?

No, it grew on him. Though I must confess that I do appreciate the goodness of always having somewhere warm to sit…

Does he make lots of money?

Not tons but enough

Are you just in it for the sex?

Hmmm… No… He cooks! And cleans… And the kids are quite fond of him… He’s the best Domestic Goddess in the house.

I don’t know what all the fascination is with him… I guess because they never see him but they hear me cracking funny about him.

I said to a couple of girls the other day – oh blimey! Mr S came downstairs the other day and as soon as I saw him, I said oh love! You need to get tested for covid, you’re showing symptoms! He said – what? What do mean woman? I feel fine! What symptoms? I said – you’ve lost your sense of taste! He cocked his head to one side and eyed me quizzically – My sense of taste? My taste is fine! Oh! I said – Really? So why are you dressed like that?

The girls agreed I was a bully and sent out waves of sympathy for the existence unconfirmed but long suffering Mr S…

I agreed, I was indeed a bully but told them he was in fact more than a good match for me.

Really? Have you got evidence? I just smiled… We’d come to the end of the trip… Evidence would be for another day…

The next trip I have with them, we’re chitter chattering away and I start laughing. One of them says – Oh God! Here she goes. The other says – C’mmon what’s tickling you?

OK! You know what my poor old husband said to me the other day? No of course you don’t! He’s a bugger! I was talking about some of the horror stories I’ve heard about old age and he said to me…

Sit down Karen, we need to have a very serious talk. This is important, I need to make my wishes known to you whislt I still have my faculties. I’ve been thinking long and hard about this and I’ve come to a difficult decision. There’s something I want you to do for me.

If I ever end up in that state, where I’ve lost my marbles and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m rolling my own faeces into small balls and start offering it to you by asking if you want some Maltesers… If I ever get to that point, where my mind has gone… Or my bowels or bladder… If I’m shuffling around in soggy pads, drooling and wailing… I want you to do something for me. Are you listening? You and me, we’ve been through so much over the years and I’ve put you through many things… If I end up like this, I don’t think it’s fair to make you watch me suffer anymore… Please Karen I don’t want you to see this… Promise me! Promise me this! If any of that happens. don’t nurse me, don’t watch me… Promise you’ll do one last thing?

OK Marko, what is it?

Promise me you’ll kill yourself!

The girls revoked my bully status and agreed he’s more than a match for me! I’ve always claimed that he’s the funnier of the two of us 🤣 That Mr S is mostly harmless but he’s certainly not unarmed.