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Friday, 15 November 2013

Britain's Got Talent

D'ya know, there are so many talented people in Britain that when you queue up to audition for that programme on the telly you have to wait forever. Here's Connie twizzling beads as she sat waiting in line for the Manchester auditions of Britain's Got Talent.

 You may be able to tell that Connie is dressed as a hippy from the sixties. In fact she went as a nine year old Janis Joplin and she sang "Piece of My Heart", a tune she'd picked up in our local pub at the open mic. Even once we got past the registration desk, we had to sit around for ages. Luckily there was so much talent in the (crammed) room the size of Belgium  that we were brilliant at  jumping on chairs and waving madly at cameras. Even if it weren't under strict instruction from students with walkie talkies, we'd have done it anyway, because we were having such a fun time. Connie was "made up" when a scouse girlie dance troupe starting busting some moves on the practice stage. There was also this great lad tap dancer and a DJ with a "Doggy Disco" and two cute mutts who attempted to boogie in time with the music. It all helped pass the time and I guess it's no wonder we had to wait bearing in mind Connie's number in the queue....

OK, proud Mum moment here....Connie was super in the audition. She sang her heart out and then took it square on the chin when she was told she hadn't got through. She has a fab voice and she is driven to push herself and apply, off her own back (already), for things like this. She says she's coming back next year with her own troupe of dancers for which she's holding auditions in January.

Janis Joplin, Manchester 2013
Connie singing on You Tube....

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Abandoned

I've always been monumentally disastrous at goodbyes and tonight, for the first time, I think I know why. I've just watched C4's documentary programme "Unreported World". This week it was about a group of mentally ill campaigners - the Colectivo Chuhcanin - in Mexico City who were returning to local psychiatric institutions to report on the appalling conditions there. It was truly shocking; an elderly woman tied to her wheelchair ALL day, vulnerable men raped by other patients and staff who confessed that the mentally ill are not worthy of human rights. In any case, who'd believe them? These people are abandoned in these hell holes for year upon year upon year and some, through tears, were desperately asking to be rescued. The impact this had on the group, who had first hand experience of these conditions, was deeply moving. They were the lucky ones because they were able to leave; their families supported them and they could scrape together enough money for medication. But how could they abandon the others? people just like them. Human beings, just like us.

This is my Mum, Andrea, when she was in her early twenties taken on the roof of the Maudsley, a psychiatric hospital in London. She was recovering from a breakdown, one of several she's had over the past fifty years. Several years after this photo was taken Andrea was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She has made many attempts on her life, and lost a leg in the 1980's following one very near miss. Now at the age of seventy, she manages her life in sheltered housing with some measure of independence, but it's still a daily struggle. The medication is constant and only last year she spent three months in hospital. Apart from when I was very little (and I have no memory of this) I've never lived with Andrea. I have always visited her wherever she is including many psychiatric wards. So between mum and daughter it's been a lifetime of "goodbyes".

How fortunate we are that conditions on our psychiatric wards are, in the main, good. There's no doubt that Mum, particularly in recent years, has had some really positive treatment. It wasn't always like this though and I've said goodbye to her in some pretty grim places. Places where I see she is not respected nor understood. Places where she isn't heard nor encouraged. Places where I know she would rather not be. Sometimes, even when it's not that bad, it kills you to walk away. So I empathise with Colectivo Chuhcan and commend their brilliant cause.

Please watch this film:-
The Abandoned - Unreported World

Please support this campaign:-
Disability Rights International

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Field is Wide Open

 I've been doing a lot of thinking this week...
 And driving in the countryside near Scunthorpe.
 I figured I've taken many twists and turns so far....

Where next?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


I've been having big problems recently leaving my dog and going to work. Look at this photo for example of my little snuggly wuggly munchkin (she's on my lap not on my left shoulder - that's my pet ferret):-

I'm not the only one struggling with parting from the pooch of a morning...


...So, in the interests of mental wellbeing, I've decided to jack in the job and write my kids a permanent sick note off school.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Life On The Open Road

You know how much I love Scunthorpe? I spend every day of my working week here and we get on pretty nicely. But, I have to confess, life has got much more fun since I bought my exit plan:-

Isn't she, or he, lovely....does a Hymer have a gender? I haven't dared look up how old an "H" reg makes it. I just fell for its beige cushioned U-shaped lounge and it's cassette deck complete with an early Scott Walker album (before he went all avant garde). And the guy selling it was so friendly, he even offered to foster some kids, if we bought it. As it turned out he didn't, which was probably for the best, but he knocked off a few hundred quid. And so we drove it away - after a quick jump start - from its depot in Rotherham, ignoring the rattle and the cost at the garage for a dash of diesel. No, we were in love and that included my children who had already christened it with headstands on the bed. Even our dog, Margot, looked excited. You can always tell because she pisses herself; right on the aforementioned beige cushion as it happened on this occasion.

I felt like a queen sitting high high up above the M1 in my passenger seat complete with arm rests and swivel settings. It mattered not that the window whistled, the light bulb fell from its shade landing on my head, and Pete could see absolutely nothing whatsoever at roundabouts due to it being a left-hand drive. Like the inexplicable love I feel for a mini wire-haired dachshund with a weak bladder, I felt it too for this cranky old campervan. Our family was complete. And when I first saw a fellow van driver do the "motorhome salute" I was honestly beside myself. Did that really happen - was I in a new club now? Again and again as we cruised at 55 miles per hour on the slow lane of the motorway, we were greeted with our new salute. You can only imagine the ecstasy and the flail of the forearm when we passed a fellow Hymer. Life cannot get any better than this.

On the journey home, we drew up plans; one weekend North Yorkshire, next the Lincolnshire Wolds. Next spring Brighton, next summer Edinburgh and France. Hell, at this rate, I was heading for Berlin and on to Nizhny Novgorod.

We got as far as Wetwang. It was wet in Wetwang. It turned out that that rattle was the fan belt which slowly fell apart to the point where we completely lost all power. Pete rooted around in the engine and returned with a few bits and pieces, the likes of which we didn't recognise. Whatever their original purpose, they now appeared post-prime. Even the guy who showed up from the AA struggled to ascertain what they were. He was a great guy though. he fiddled about in the pouring rain, with both he and Pete rocking us in the campervan up and down so they could get a screw loose (I kid you not). As we waited, Frank and Connie got to draw in felt tip all over my face, then steal my money from my purse holding me to ransom because I had "ruined their adventure". Meanwhile Margot looked excited (you know how you can tell).

Here's Frank with MY ten pound note caressed in the arm of his blue dalek. In the end we compromised on a fiver each and a camp-out when we got home on the living room sofas pushed together. We know how to live reader! And we did get home....eventually. The AA guy worked his magic, fixed everything at no extra cost, parts and all, and waved us off. So we didn't make it to Flamingo Land, nor the campsite near Pickering that had come at great recommendation. But truth is, the weather was shite, we'd left the bacardi behind and Strictly Come Dancing was about to start. I guess in some of those posh super-whizzy motorhomes you get all the mod cons like tellies and drinks cabinets and cd players and operating fan belts and windows that shut and light fittings that stay fixed with children who sit quietly playing ludo and dogs that sleep in baskets and pee in pots. But where would be the fun in that??

I LOVE my Hymer with all it's quirks. Whatever that AA guy did the engine sounds so good I reckon we really could go all the way now. So if you ever happen to be driving through Scunthorpe on a Friday after work and you spot us - Scott Walker blaring out as we give you a club salute - then give us a toot, we may just be making the break for Nizhny.

Connie, Margot and Pete - October 2013

Saturday, 12 October 2013

School Hours Breakdown

I could really relate to Gary Numan's "confessions" about depression and parenting. It feels so wrong to bring the two together because, for me, becoming a mum was the best thing that could happen. But Christ, did it do my nut in.

What I find interesting about Numan's story is that depression was something both he and his wife endured. This made it ten times worse because, at a time when the pressure's on simply to meet the basic needs of young children, neither could be there for each other emotionally. 

Again, I can relate to this. Both Pete and I struggled with our moods, especially in the early years of parenting. This was not merely the effect of exhaustion, lack of "us time", career stagnation mixed with an extra glass of wine (or two) to cope; although this clearly didn't help. No reader, it was much deeper than that.

Pete and I at one point or another, along the incredible journey of becoming "Mum and Dad" to our gorgeous pair, hit complete and utter rock bottom. To even catch the eye of one another during this darkness was like a glimpse in the mirror; the naked truth of how one felt, reflected in the other. It makes you run a mile. Needless to say, we were hardly a support for each other and that made it so much worse. At times you even wonder if you'll make it through together; it certainly tested us.

And yet the irony; these lovely little things bringing so much pleasure and fun into our worlds. Our determination to capture it, to run with it and to do our damdest to keep things stable and secure for them; for us. Our recoveries were slow, they needed to be. Sometimes we still struggle but, equally, we've moved on, together. We've changed so much around us and yet, within our family bubble, so much remains. The bonds are strong and we keep playing.

Gary Numan's story

Back in the early days - leaving home!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Max Likes To Relax....

So Tinie Tempah say's he's never been to Scunthorpe eh? Well more fool him! Check out these "sick" rappers from Brumby Juniors in the town centre. Filmed and produced by Pete.

Rappers from Brumby Juniors (click here to listen)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Dasein: being there

I LOVE poetry. I love it because it's the part of my life where I can completely focus on the moment and absorb myself in a passion which fires my mind. It takes me to places I've never been before. As for performance, well it's the icing on the cake; the dream come true; the dog's bollocks.

It's got to a point, for the time being at least, where I'm writing on instinct. For me, it's like letting the thoughts hit the page without first grasping them on a conscious level. I find this really creative because it means I am free and so anything can happen. And so it does; particularly now Pete has joined me with the music.

"Dasein" is a poem we collaborated on and we love performing to ourselves in our little back room in North Lincolnshire when the children are in bed. I sometimes even stick on my one-legged costume for maximum effect.

Whatever turns you on....

New E.P. coming soon!

Sunday, 15 September 2013


This weekend I went to a "Fun Day" in Scunthorpe for foster carers, adopters and their children. It was held in the grounds of a grand Victorian children's home, the only remaining residential home for children in care in the North Lincolnshire area. In a few weeks time it too will close its doors and the handful of children left will move to a smaller purpose-built home.

I took the opportunity to wander around the vacant rooms, the beautiful afternoon sunshine streaming through sash windows overlooking ancients trees and grassland. In vast rooms stood rickety old chairs, a random "Dora the Explorer" plastic keyboard and line upon line of empty filing cabinets; care children come with endless paperwork.

I thought of the hope in those rooms, the dreams and the broken promises of children young and old who'd passed through these doors. Did they ever return to their families or find new ones to go to where they grew to feel safe and secure? Outside I saw some lovely outcomes; children who had been adopted jumping on a bouncy castle laughing with delight; their parents watching on proud and happy. But what about the ones who were left behind?

In my support work with teenagers leaving the care system I've seen this side; the children for whom it didn't work out. Many have experienced trauma, neglect and abuse in their childhoods and so their needs often become complex and their behaviour is challenging. Perhaps they never got the chance to be adopted or foster care didn't work out for them? They just kept moving from place to place chased by the ghosts of their past. Now adults, they don't know what it is to settle; they can't stop because to stop is to think and to think is to hurt.

These young people have had a profound effect on me. Many don't know what it feels like to have some kind of bond with their Mum; perhaps the most fundamental instinct of all? I can empathise with them a bit because, when I was growing up, I didn't live with my Mum. I did see her on a regular basis but it's only in recent years that I feel we've truly connected. It was with this mix of emotions that I sat down at the piano and wrote this...

"Once" by Ruth E Dixon (click to listen)

My Mum

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Stuff Wot I Did This Summer; in no particular order...

I queued up for the David Bowie Exhibition at the V&A and GOT IN!   

I listened to King Krule's new album, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, and read some good books including "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I'm currently reading Julian Cope's biography - what a nutter.

I was gobsmacked on the Hull to Rotterdam ferry when I actually understood someone ask me in german where the lift was coz they wanted to get to Deck 9. Unfortunately I hadn't got a clue where it was.

We continued to forget our dog's addiction to shoe-chewing. This resulted in several trips to "Wynsors World Of Shoes" to purchase replacements. 

I gave up my current role and will soon begin a new job in the Fostering and Adoption Team. I had a lovely leaving do at a pub in Scunthorpe where we ate pie, chips and gravy.

Frank introduced me to lots of naughtily funny stuff on You Tube including "Smack Cam" and It Wasn't Me.

We attempted to play "proper" family games like Scrabble but time seemed to stand so still, we lost the will to live. So we returned to our silly made up games instead; "Lava" being a new one this summer.

I turned 40 and celebrated with a cocktail or two in my back garden whilst dancing the night away. The kids thundered down a huge bouncy slide so they were well happy.

Frank and Connie realised that "Scunthorpe" was written on their passports as their place of birth. When Pete started apologising to them they asked what the problem was? God love them.

My daughter, Connie, got all trendy. Meanwhile I refused to have head shots taken of me (on account of my age)....

....unless I wore dark glasses. I'm not saying I'm vain (much); it's just that being 40 takes some getting used to - not helped by the fact that Frank and Connie now genuinely think I'm "soooo old".

I spent a lot of time waiting for children (refer to above) as they played. It's a Mum thing. I'm probably thinking here:- "When can I get back to my Julian Cope book and his next crazy LSD-fuelled gig?".

I learned that Julian Cope invented a game called "Sock" whilst touring America. It involved putting a sock on your head then climbing out of the van window (whilst the van is in motion); hauling yourself over the roof and arriving back through the opposite window. As I say, nutter.

Pete and I wrote a couple of new poems with music and promised we'd come up with a third before school starts. We have but hours left.

I got my eyebrows tinted by, it turns out, "the trainee" and she left the dye on too long. Ginger hair and black eyebrows is some look I can tell you.

We visited the lovely Dutch university town of "Leiden". Unfortunately we couldn't carry the street art home; much as we tried.

Finally, I discovered that it's not always black and white:- I've previously been firmly in the Anti-Camping camp. The reason being that Camping and Vaginas Do Not Blend. However, there is a middle ground:- the wonderful world of Glamping!
Summer 2013:- DONE

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Coz Scunthorpe's Where It's At

My family and I have spent a lovely Sunday afternoon in Scunthorpe town centre at the "Big Sky Festival". It's a celebration of the arts and creative talent in North Lincolnshire and included graffiti artists, singers, dancers, silk printers, musicians, and jewellery makers. It took place at the Baths Hall which was said to be John Peel's favourite venue. These days the recently rebuilt theatre attracts the likes of Psychic Sally, Paul Daniels and Jimmy Carr (yawn) at £25 a ticket. Nice therefore to have local talent for local people and all for free. There was even no charge for this face painting which Connie thought was the best she'd ever had done.
Pete and I did a little poetry cabaret performance in the foyer which, I have to confess, wasn't our finest hour. Spoken word hasn't quite arrived in Scunthorpe yet. It's not like we confused the audience, well, what audience there was. It was actually a little amusing that the majority were suddenly absorbed in their mobile phones, the remainder appearing half dead or bored senseless. Still, onwards we plough! A few showed up for my poetry workshop afterwards which was both a surprise and a delight.

I recorded a poem last year on the main stage at the Baths Hall, the staff there were incredibly accommodating. It's called "My Microphone, My Rules" and goes a little something... this

Thursday, 11 July 2013


Adjective: No longer needed or useful; superfluous
Synonyms: unnecessary - needless - excessive - spare

This is what redundancy looks like.  It's black and white isn't it? You're either in or you're out, useful or a spare part, needed or superfluous to requirements.
Pete says it feels scary and unstable. But he also says it's a relief. A relief perhaps to be free of a job that had a serious impact on his mental health. Four months on he's only just starting to feel more like himself again. But now he must deal with the insecurity of not knowing what to do next, the fear that what happened before will be repeated; the crisis of identity - "how can I be of value and what can I do?" he wonders. There's also the panic of the economic reality and a serious lack of employment opportunity, particularly around here. For now Pete clings to our pet dog, Margot.
I'm with Pete on this because I know a bit about what it's like. I took redundancy last year from my journalism job in Hull. They bought me a mug when I left which was handy because when you're redundant you drink lots of tea. It was my choice to go but it was still a leap of faith into the unknown. There was no master plan I just knew I had to make the move because the job made me feel empty inside and it was also affecting my mental health. My psychotherapist described me as a square peg in a round hole. Therapy got me to a place where I could face up to me and find the strength to let go of the "false self"; the me that, up until then, had always just gone through the motions. I'd always wanted to work with vulnerable children and I'm really lucky that I do that now. If I'm frank though, it's a big pay cut and whilst it's never about the money, we have two children to support. It scares me sometimes.
Pete always jokes that he has those kind of hands that look like they've never done an honest day's work in their life. They're big and soft and they spend hours playing the piano these days. Sometimes when the children are at school we make up things together; I write the words and he composes the music. Then we perform it in our back room. It's the first time in sixteen years of marriage that we've collaborated creatively. All that passion, all that drive, all that time and it's only now we are in sync. If we hadn't become "unnecessary" or "needless" we might never have found this way of communicating that strikes at the heart of who we are. We might never have given ourselves the time and space to explore. Creativity requires a step into the unknown.

Now we are rehearsing for our first studio session. Pete's even taught me a couple of chords because he's always reckoned I'd look good with a guitar. I'm not so sure but I certainly love the theatre of it; and we've agreed he'll play it for the actual recording session! We'll be putting five or six of our musical poems down "on tape" with a view to handing out CD's when, and if, we get gigs. Performing makes us feel alive. It motivates us to know that things can feel right, life can make sense and everyone has their place in the world.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Gaffer me up Gaffer!

Happy Friday to you! Are you watching the tennis? I'm getting a little excited that Andy Murray might do it this year. The way he fought back from that handsome Frenchman was simply "amazing". And then yesterday that charming German player Lisicki, unrelenting in her lengthy ball battle against that glorious Pole who was strapped up to her armpits in gaffer tape. There's a lot of body tape; particularly around the thighs, going on at Wimbledon this year isn't there? There's a club in Scunthorpe where dancers rock a similar fashion - without the tennis skirts - but it's usually only on Friday nights after 12pm.

My son and I have spent the past couple of evenings in the park "playing tennis". I use "quotation marks" because it's more a case of whacking a ball around a slab of concrete then anything resembling a professional sport. We're not spoilt for choice when it comes to tennis courts up our end and my son doesn't play tennis at all at school. I'm a bit sad about that because it's a sport I've always loved and played a lot as a child. As I grew up there was always talk that, in order to rear tennis champions of the future, more needed to be done to support the game in schools and local communities. What's it like where you are? Of course "we" (Scotland) has managed to rear an absolute dime in the form of Andy Murray but then the secret of his success was that he buggered off abroad as soon as he could in order to get some decent tennis training.

Anyway, good luck to Andy for today, I'll be watching and I look forward to the various facial expressions of his girlfriend that will no doubt make front page news in the tabloids tomorrow. Poor thing! It's funny isn't it what one perceives as newsworthy and how the "fame game" works. There cannot be anyone less fame grabbing than Andy Murray; a man who courts the media surely less than any other tennis player in history. I admire him for that; it's his talent that does the talking.

Conversely dears, my alter ego demands attention! My husband, Pete, and I  have a little cottage industry in musical performance poetry and film. It's going so well we might be able to buy a tin of spam with our earnings soon. We're both slightly longer in the tooth these days, so we can't afford to mess around. Fame does so often seem to be the domain of the young and beautiful doesn't it? So we've conducted various experiments to try and break the mold; with limited success to date it has to be said.

Our most recent attempt sees me (held together by gaffer tape) in half-a-skintight-onesie. Well, if you're going to be a Scunthorpe Housewife, you may as well do it with panache. Have a lovely weekend dears and to view, please click on the link below...

Because every housewife needs to wear gold lyrca once in a while...

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Didn't We Have A Lovely Time The Day We Went To....

...Cleethorpes! A sea-side town in North East Lincolnshire that is to the people of Scunthorpe what Aldeburgh is to Londoners. Only Cleethorpes is stuck in a bygone era. Many of the businesses are locally run; passed down through the generations. And it you fancy partaking in a bit of bingo your choice of winnings include a bag of sugar and a packet of toilet rolls.
 My son had his school trip there and I went along for the ride under strict instructions not to embarrass him. Moi? I was put in charge of a group of six ten years and sent off into the coastal wilderness a mile or two along from the main promenade. There we were let loose to record wildlife, find shells and draw animals we spotted which included a dead crab. There's always a dead crab; and somebody always has to pick it up and fling it by a claw. 

The children's favourite beach game turned out to be "bury your pencil" and some wonderfully elaborate castle constructions were molded with their said pencil planted deep within. Luckily they were reunited with them in time to complete the necessary Key Stage 2 paperwork before a lunch of sausage and chips.

After lunch we headed towards the pier and played "catch" with a tennis ball. Then some of the children buried Joe in a massive hole which he really enjoyed. I don't believe you're truly a child until you've been buried up to your neck in sand. It reminded me of when I was little on a family holiday in Northern Ireland way back in the 1970's. Here I am with my older sister:-

Well after all that playing us grown ups were pretty whacked, but the children could have gone on for hours. As we walked back up the beach, our mouths watered at the smell of fresh doughnuts, a bag of which unfortunately didn't come included in the school trip price. There was just time for a quick municipal toilet dash before heading home. Some of the boys got into a bit of trouble for having a screaming competition inside a cubicle. I pretended to look cross at them but there is something about echoy down-at-heel brick buildings which make the acoustics irresistible. Back on the coach I snoozed to the dulcet tones of "Top Gear" fanatic, Tom, reeling off the type and model of every car we passed on the M180. All in all a marvellous adventure and Cleethorpes with all it's tradition and simple pleasures comes highly recommended!

Cleethorpes Pier

Monday, 1 July 2013

Happy Birthday to Us!

Hello loves and Happy Happy 1st Birthday to us! Or, to be more specific, the service in Scunthorpe which supports children leaving the care system. It started up a year ago today and we help teenagers who have been fostered, or have lived in children's homes or who are homeless, try to start leading independent lives. We may help them move to supported lodgings, which is a bit like temporary foster care in a family home but with more independence. Or they may move to a flat of their own which we provide them with. Then we try to support them with things like budgeting, shopping, going to college, emotional wellbeing and stuff like that. That's the theory in any case; it doesn't always work out like that.

Children in care tend to be more vulnerable than the average kid and, when you think about it, it's no wonder. Often they have come from neglected or abusive backgrounds and the trauma they suffer can be really really difficult for them to overcome; especially if they don't get the right input. What they really need is extra love, encouragement and support. This is especially important when it comes to leaving care and making that delicate transition to adulthood. It's not an easy time for any of us. I remember what I was like back then dears; it wasn't pretty.

On the surface you see some young people launching out into the world prematurely with mental health problems, anger issues, addictions, chaotic lifestyles, and criminal records. Scratch underneath though and what you get is spark, talent, humour, fun, intelligence and kindness. Yes that's right, kindness. Don't you find it's those who endure sadness and loss in their lives who often emerge with the greatest empathy and kindness? I see this in the wonderful teenagers I work with and I learn from them.

Around the country there are similar services to our one in Scunthorpe. In recent years local authorities by law have had to provide care leavers with this extra support, and rightly so. And whilst we try, we're not always getting it right. An After Care Report commissioned by  The Who Cares? Trust discovers that nearly half of young people feel the help they got to prepare for independence when leaving care wasn't good enough.

There are almost 65,000 looked after children in England and, at any one time, around 9,000 aged 16 or over are leaving the care system. I'm thinking of them today, on our birthday. I hope with continued support and understanding they can get a fair chance to lead happy, stable lives.

It's a big world out there....

Saturday, 29 June 2013

D'you wanna be in my gang?

Hello! What a lovely summer's day it's been. Did I tell you the sun always shines in Scunthorpe? What we lack in culture we make up for in ultraviolet light. My daughter's friend stayed over last night. She's called Tanya and, like Connie, they are both eight years old. This morning they dashed into my bedroom to show me Tanya's new favourite song:-
La La La by Naughty Boy
I really like the story in the pop video. Does one still call it a  "pop video"? Anyway, we all felt for the boy because it's like he's done nothing wrong but his parents are having a right go at him for no reason. As he escapes and heads for the desert he comes across other misfits like him. They soon join him and, together, they find safety. Tanya said she feels like that boy sometimes in the playground at school when she's alone and nobody will play with her. I said that must be hard and sometimes even grown ups can feel like that too; playground politics carries on long after school's out. We all agreed that it's OK to be different and we can play our own games together instead. Then Tanya asked for some chalk and set to work on our patio:-

She invented this game called "Target". What you do is you stand in a box and throw a tennis ball into a circle chalked on the wall. If it lands inside the circle then you score ten points. Once you get twenty points you stand in the next box, further away, and so on until you win. I was rubbish at it but my son, Frank, was good.

You can't really see but Frank is wearing a "South Park" tie that his Dad got for his birthday; but he gave it to Frank coz Frank loves the programme so much. Frank is ten years old. There are lots of TV programmes "unsuitable" for kids that kids love aren't there? Well, after a morning of "Target", we were quite worn out so the girls had to eat lots of chocolate to recover. Now my husband, Pete, is walking the dog and he's just phoned to tell me we've been invited to a barbecue and there is a hot tub there. I must confess I feel a little middle class. Is this really the Scunthorpe way? I may need to bring my tennis ball and chalk just to "keep it real".

Monday, 24 June 2013

Coming soon....

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She's nearly finished bleaching the bog and Jeremy Kyle is about to start:- The Real Housewife of Scunthorpe....coming soon!