Off to camp for a birthday

The list was ticked, 

Item by item

Clothes were folded neatly

Toiletries and medicines laid out to bare

Black texta came out squeaking

With a name to write here and there

Everything placed gently, 

One by one into the bag

A restless evening of anxiety

"What have I forgotten to put in?"

Early waking, excitement, 

Noise, jumping around

Bag zipped, lunch packed, teeth brushed

Nothing to do.

While he is not watching

Birthday wishes are quietly slipped in

Words from all of us

We'll miss you this year

We love you, our oldest boy

We hope you have fun

One little butterscotch 

Slipped into the envelope

This is just for you 

To suck on and remember 

The sweetness of our love

Happy Birthday Frank

The Revenge.. Coconut Jam Slice

This is my response to the writing exercise, writing about an act of crime, revenge or deceit.  I found it really hard to think of one to start, and then suddenly, it just all came out.  So, here it is!

“Ya Mum has a big fat bum”
James held his eyes firm to the book.  If he didn’t move his eyes, he couldn’t hear them.  He really hated these dickheads.  They were at it again. 
He knew the drill. ‘Don’t retaliate, ignore, turn the other cheek, la, la, la,’ but really, this just sucked. 
It was time to do something about it.  It had been going on for years now.  That bloody cackling laughter of that shithead Steve.  Poncy Steve.  Steve the Jock.  Surfy Steve.  Steve, always good at everything, Steve. 
James lived next door to Steve and was exactly 2 hours and 3 minutes younger than Steve, but it you looked at the two of them, you wouldn’t know it.  James was a whole head and shoulder shorter than him.  His legs and arms were like toothpicks. 
Steve’s favourite games over the last 12 years of his life had been to have fun having a laugh at James and seeing if he could make him cry.  It didn’t help that their mums were the best of friends. 
‘Steve, here’s something my mum made.’
James pushed the coconut jam slice over.  It was kind of squashed up in the cling wrap.
‘What’s wrong with it?’ Steve sneered.  His mates, the Klingons, laughed.
‘Nothin’, she just wanted to you ‘ave it.’ James replied. 
James waited to see if he would open it and eat it or pass it over to his right hand man, Pete.  Pete the loyal, always there, silent and strong, ready to carry out Steve’s orders at any time. 
‘Please eat the slice’, James prayed.
Steve looked at James steely and undid the cling wrap, then stuffed the whole thing in his gob.
James’ heart was pounding and he thought he was going to piss himself.  His heart was beating in his throat now.  He thought he might stop breathing.  There was no room for breath to get through.
‘What the hell do ya want, loser?’ then Steve suddenly grabbed his throat and his stomach all at once and collapsed onto the ground.  He was mouthing something, but no words were coming out.  Pete and the other loonies were crowding in around The Big Guy. 
James slipped away with his skinny legs shaking to find another hidey hole in the playground and waited for the siren.

Writing Exercise..Time for Revenge

This is a fun exercise that we did in our writing group on Wednesday and is especially good if you are not normally writing in the crime genre, as it pushes the boundaries.

Think about a character (it could be you) and write about an act of crime, revenge or deceit.

Explore and have fun with it.

If you can't think of anything to start with, write down a list of possibilities, and brainstorm the idea. It is not about solving or resolving everything.

It is an exercise in imagination or possibilities.

Leave a comment with a link to your blog or website if you would like others to read your story and so I can have a trawl through!

Happy imagining!


Look what I got this morning!

My Coffee!, originally uploaded by megs threads.
Matt is getting good on the coffee! The love is flowing...

Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty Book Review

A gripping and devasting story of tragic grief & pain.  This book had me crying openly on the train.   The rawness that Louise was able to capture of Laura's painful journey through the years, climaxing at the moment of her daughter's accident was deep and heartfelt.  The pain of the the bitter icy cold that Eastley, where it was set, seemed to offer, with the winds that were sharp and cold was a good reflection of what Laura was going through with the sudden and tragic loss of her daughter, Betty.

It was an interesting effect jumping 'before' and 'after' throughout the story, allowing me, the reader, to slowly get a clearer insight into the whole picture through all of the windows of Laura's life and the relationships around her.  Louise leads the reader into the circumstances around the accident slowly, allowing the reader to fully understand the depth of pain that a mother feels at the loss of a child.

Whilst we are seeing it all through Laura's eyes, we gain more & more understanding of the situation and circumstances leading up to it and how each of the characters interrelate with each other and her and the tragic moment.

Louise gives each of the characters great depth.   She explores Laura's ex-husband David and the pain and love that was still there, and his new partner Chloe, and all of her issues that came with her and the relationship of being the new partner as well as their young boy, Harry and her over-controlling mother.  Louise explores what the effect of the tragic circumstances on top of separation has on the younger child, Rees, who comes across as a little neglected, watching his mother going through an incredibly difficult time and needing just a normal life.  Whilst Laura's relationship with the father, Mr A, of the driver of car who killed her daughter seems inappropriate, it does explore the issue of what really is appropriate in grief?  When pushed to the extremity of pain and loss, what does one do, and how does one go on?.

Louise Doughty gives a measured approach to her story by letting out little by little, and recalling detail, which in some circumstances may seem tedious, in this, proved to work wonderfully.  The ending was perhaps a little neat..

A tragic story told in an empathetic way.

Unfortunately I read this just two weeks before an incredibly similar tragic accident in my community (just around the corner) which immediately put me in the Laura's head, probably giving me a greater understanding of what the mother may have been going through (thank you Louise), however, it did send me into the depths of grief and made me cling to my kids with love and tenderness.  A book of pain and grief.

Write on Wednesday...Blank Piece of Paper

A blank piece of paper is merely thoughts in waiting

Write On Wednesdays

I am playing along with Write on Wednesday, and this week, the exercise is "A Great One Liner"

Pop over to Ink Paper Pen for links to other Great One Liners

Gearing up for School Camp as an Allergy Sufferer

All of the dressings and bandages hanging up to dry

My big guy is a great kid and on the whole, he doesn't complain too much (other than jobs, homework, the usual nearly 12 year old kinda stuff).  He and I both know that there are a lot of other kids out there who have a whole bunch of things that are actually really hard to deal with.   We know that because we have had to spent a lot of our years popping into have his regular checkups, fine tunings if you like, over the last 10 years at the Royal Children's Hospital.  He sufferers from asthma, eczema (it has taken me 10 years to learn how to spell that word) and rhinitis, and his youngest brother suffers, to a milder degree, the same as well as food anaphylaxis.

For my 3 guys, though, life goes on, they still have to muck in, run around, eat stuff, fight, get into trouble and just generally behave like normal kids, and we are just a normal family probably, except for odd the ventolin inhalers and epipens hanging around and multiple tubes of cream, oil and ointment in the bathroom.

Anyway, I do tend to get a little fatigued with it all occasionally (I wonder if there is such a condition as an "Allergy-Mum-Fatigue"...if so, I may have caught it).  So when it came to bedtime last night, and he told me 'His Worries' (which seems to be a nightly routine at the moment, after bedtime....), which were about going to camp next week with his skin being out of control, I had a sudden onset of Chronic-Allergy-Mum-Fatigue and was waning between exhaustion and screaming at the same time.  After recovering, I then proceeded to oint (is there such a word), cream and dress his itchy patches and explained that I-was-in-charge-from-here-until-camp-so-listen-to-me-or ... but I couldn't think of what to say after or as I had calmed down by then and realised that by now I had already missed so much of "The September Issue" that it didn't matter anyway.

So from here until camp next week, it is my rules (which means I will be spending 3 times a day treating his skin so that he will have gorgeous skin that women would kill for...maybe I should do mine as well...) and then he will be able to play in the sea to his hearts content on camp, and I will mop up the mess after camp again and before the holiday camp that he is signed up for.  *sigh*

The things no-one told me before I became a mother.  Luckily I adore my boys!

My Shadow, my unwelcome friend.

Half of my head is a shadow.  I sit still, trying to feel a part of the conversation.   Laughter does not come, words do not flow.  A smile, a half arsed, fake, hard work smile is all I can manage.

I know that I would be best placed being elsewhere, anywhere, it wouldn't matter where, but there is nowhere to go.  I am it.  I am mum and I am on duty.  I need to listen.  This is the third day now of my head in this state and this is all I know.

I have lived like this for years.  I don't even know when exactly it began; when asked, I say, "12", to pull a number out of the hat.

I massage the lump of muscle at my jaw.

I do know that by 16, my father was terribly concerned about the amount of pain killers I was taking, so I know that it had built up before then.

My 10 year old talks loudly, my 8 year old drops something.  I snap, "MY HEAD!"

They know.  Sweet boys.  They have lived with it since birth.  I don't retreat too often as I would not have a life. I just let the pain come with me, my shadow, my unwelcome friend.  The one I didn't ask to come along.

"Mum, don't you have book club tonight?" my 11 year old asks.  My sadness that I can't shake my pain away, again.  This will be the third one I have missed this year.