10 February 2018

A better night – F woke briefly at 03:30 and everyone slept in until 07:10. Lovely ?

I’ve not had any meat for two weeks and all we have left in the house now is three tins of tuna.

I’m working on a set of veggie meals the kids will enjoy before I think about reducing dairy. Today I made (all vegan) tofu chicken nuggets.

The fried coating on these was amazing. The tofu inside was… well, tofu I guess. The kids ate half of what I served (6 large each) and didn’t complain. I’m definitely making them again. I adpated the recipe from the here one at Under A Lemon Tree and I used buckwheat flour instead of oats.

The weather here is appalling and the kids are now on half term so I don’t know what we’re going to fill next week with.

7 February 2018

Mixed night last night. I thought L was asleep, but after I turned lights out he came in at around 21:00 just as I was dropping off. Then again at 21:15, so I let him get in with me to fall asleep. I then carried my very heavy and lanky eight year old back to his own bed at 21:30. So much for my super early night.

F cried in the early hours as her nose was blocked. I was tired when I woke up, but my mood today has been so much improved – I no longer feel like I have a horrible blackness hanging over me.

Even C crying all the way home from school because he didn’t want risotto for dinner couldn’t phase me. I just gave him a big kiss and said I was sorry he didn’t like what I was planning.

In between playing feed the teddies and hand puppets with F today I sorted through the last of the cupboard stuff. Oh it’s so lovely now it’s done:

The rest of the house is a mess, but I’ll work my way around to that.

On my computer yesterday I found a backup of my first ever blog from 2005, on a very early version of WordPress. I had a read through some of the entries and my whole writing style was so different. I had a ton of energy and I seemed so much lighter. Isn’t it amazing how our attitude and outlook can morph over time? When did I become so serious, so maudlin, so worn-down and worn-out? I am going to see if I can import them – in fact I’m thinking of importing everything – 13 years of ad hoc writing about life.

Hoping for a good night tonight, as always. I really think that if I can get the sleep sorted, everything else will be so much easier.

6 February 2018

Last night was pretty good!

Everyone was asleep by 20:30 for starters. F had a massive screaming cry at around 9pm, which I think was because she did a big wee and she is a bit sore down below. After changing her and getting her back down she slept until 06:30, yay!

I woke at 01:30 briefly, but otherwise had a good night.

I saw Mum today and we went to the chemist and got me some hair dye. My grey is going wild. I’ve gotten to the point where my self-consciousness over the wiry grey hairs amid my normal very dark brown hair has tipped the balance over my dislike of chemicals and the annoyance of having to dye it. When I get time to actually do something with the little box I will post pics.

Kids all asleep by 20:15 (so early!), so another early night for me ?

5 February 2018

Last night was better. I woke at 00:30 and 01:30, restless, but F slept through aside from some mumbling and yawning at around 05:30.

I cleared out more stuff in the cupboard today. Most of the things I don’t use that I find hard to part with are sentimental. I had this old scrabble set in there. It used to belong to my parents and I’ve carted it around for decades. The box long ago disintegrated so I kept it in another box, along with the original box lid (missing the sides), because that had the official instructions printed on the back. The tiles were all in an ancient co-op plastic bag. There were four wooden tile stands.

We never play scrabble. But I always pass over this boxed up ancient game when I clear things out.

Today I took it down from the shelf and thought to myself,

I’ll put it in the loft.

However, once I was done with the shelves I was sorting out, and I’d cleared all the other things away, I hesitated. Why was I putting it in the loft? Was I ever likely to play it? What was the real reason I was keeping it?

I searched inside myself and looked for the honest answer. I was keeping it because I was sentimentally attached to it.

I opened out the box and knew deep down that there was no reason for me to keep it any longer. I lifted the ancient box lid out, with its coffee-coloured and stained inside that must have once been white, and I held it up to my face. It smelled like home.

That’s why I was keeping it.

The home that fell apart when I was in my early teens. It came from before then. From the days of security and fun and wonder and childhood. The delicate, dusty scent contained fragments from my old bedroom – long forgotten moisturisers and the dry rustle of childhood books. It reminded me of both my Mum and my Dad, and of our house where I grew up, sold when I was 16 as my parents divorced.

I sat there and cried and cried over a fucking 63 year old scrabble set (the date on the inside of the box was 1955). And I knew that what I felt was a longing for that feeling of home, of old things of my Dad’s and the distracted busy-ness of my Mum. And I also felt a great sorrow inside that my parents were not more affectionate towards me when I was a child. I found my comfort in the physical home I lived in, not the flesh of the people that brought me into the world. I knew the walls, the cupboards, every corner, intimately. It was my sanctuary. My parents loved me dearly, I do understand that now. But they were not good at showing it. They were distracted with their own problems, their own difficult lives, difficult upbringings.

As a child, when I was sad, I sobbed on my bed, not in their arms. When I played, I sat alone on the floor, not on their laps. When I was happy I smiled and watched the world outside my window, I didn’t share it with them. I was dismissed, too often. So my love of that scrabble set is a tender affection for the home I grew up in. It was a part of it that I brought with me when I left.

Buddha says that attachment will only bring dukkha (suffering), and suffering was exactly what I felt every time I looked at that old game. Emotional suffering.

I did the quirky Marie Kondo thing of thanking it for being a part of my life, and then I let it go.

And I knew I had done the right thing, because as long as we hang onto the past, we can never be fully present in the gift of life that we have today.

4 February 2018

Just when you think things are looking up, last night F woke at:


Crying rather than the howling screaming she usually does, but still horribly disruptive.

She was up for the day at 6:30am and both of us felt rotten. She was grisly and miserable. I was tired and depressed. She has a cold and last night it was a blocked-up nose that was stopping her sleeping well. I felt so down this morning, wondering when this cycle of illness and bad sleep is ever going to end. However, the husband took the kids out to see some planes at a war museum and I did a week’s worth of meal planning and an online shop order. Then I did two loads of washing and cleaned out the linen cupboard, setting aside a big bag of stuff to put in textile recycling.

There is nothing┬álike a good sort out to lift my spirits. The more functional and essential my possessions, the happier I am. My love of minimalism is still strong and it’s something I’ve really neglected since F was born. I find modern life and all its trappings and choices so overwhelming. I crave simplicity and order, and it’s a hard thing to balance in today’s world, especially with young children.

Is it odd that paring down the bed linen to 2 or 3 matching sets per bed and folding all the towels in neat piles by size makes me so happy? I keep looking in the cupboard, just because it looks so lovely.

Tonight I’m in bed before 9pm and all the children are asleep (even L, which is unusual). Here’s hoping for a decent night.

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