Fiction Fragment: Best Laid Plans

I’m sitting in a coffee place, and this little fragment that may end up in the book came tumbling out:

I phoned Kay to see how she was getting on with the grimoires, and to let her know we were going to try our luck at the house. As ever she was the voice of reason and pointed out it was “the middle of the bloody night,” and asked “what part of Powers of Darkness is failing to register” in my plans.

If you ever wonder why I love that woman, I give you Exhibit A in her continuing struggle to get in my way of becoming a horror story case study.

Little Lifts

Earlier this year I purchased a Buddybox from the Blurt Foundation as something to lift both Lady M and my spirits. It was a one-off, and I’m still undecided about subscribing for regular deliveries. They’re nice, a bit of fun, and yet there’s still that debate about whether a regular expenditure on them is something I can afford or justify.

At the same time I signed up for self-care tips and a bit of marketing – and this has turned out to be regular emails that challenge the worries and dark thoughts. I don’t read them all – sometimes I don’t even notice them in my inbox – but every now and then something nags me to take a look.

It’s a simple enough concept, and yet it’s surprisingly affecting and effective. A simple message with my name inserted in it shouldn’t make me pause, but it does, because it is unconditionally positive.

Today’s was about compliments and gifts, and daring to accept them without trying to qualify or downplay them. For many this won’t be particularly groundbreaking advice – and if you’re one of them then that’s actually great to hear. The rest of you – of us – are nodding, and cringing slightly already.

The paragraph that spoke to me particularly today was this:

DEPRESSION IS LYING TO YOU. The good stuff? It’s for you, just as much as everyone else. It’s not limited It’s not conditional You don’t have to *earn it*

Whatever depression keeps trying to say Whatever low self-worth is making you feel.

The good stuff is for you, too.

And I needed to hear that this morning. So thank you Blurt, and I’m sharing it because I think at least one person here needs to read it too.

Adopted For The Weekend

We had Lady M’s neice and nephew to stay over this weekend – just in time for all the rain. It’s the first time that this has happened despite talking about it for ages. The kiddos live with their other aunt, because Reasons, and we all live busy lives so the stars haven’t aligned until now.

They’re wonderful kids – eight and nine, and face the world together even while asserting themselves with each other in a beautifully complex dynamic that sometimes feels like a dance, and sometimes like a shoving match.

We took them to Legoland, and out to see the deer in Bushy Park, and played a variety of games round the table – and while there was no homework or daily life complications to deal with, it was still full of the non-stop details of living with small people:

Has everyone eaten? Have we cut off the sugar intake in time? Is everyone having enough to drink? Does the toilet need a surreptitious flush and clean? Provision of non-disclosure clothing to change into after a day in the rain; and no one drowning in the bath? Check! Oh, and the need for night-lights and a proper bedtime routine too – I remember all this from when the Charleesi was young.

Suddenly realising that all the fairy tales in your house are translations of the original Grimm and Andersen versions means a sudden casting around for anything suitable as a substitute, and was an interesting moment.

One young person seems wired for waking with the dawn, the other not so much. Even with all the walking we’ve done, I don’t remember physically aching like this for ages.

Lady M was shattered by the end of it: “I kept worrying about them, all the time!” I had to break it to her that this is normal – and that even now the Charleesi is an adult and about to fly off to university, I still do that every day. Furthermore, both my parents have confided that they still do about me and my siblings too – welcome to parenting Lady M (even if it is just for the weekend)