Credit Where Credit’s Due

Posted by on Oct 17, 2015 in Single Parent Stuff, The Every Day | 0 comments

      Excuse me while I clear my throat because it’s so long since I used my voice around here. Partly because I have been busy with and knackered by work and partly because – ahem (there I go again with the throat-clearing) I passed thirty many years ago so feel a bit weird / fraudulent writing a blog called My Shitty Twenties. I also feel like I had said all I had to say about single parenthood. Turns out I...

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Report Day

Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 in The Every Day | 5 comments

He comes out of school squinting beneath the rim of his battered sun hat, his cheeks touched by lunchtime sun. His white polo shirt looks like it’s been used to wipe the floor, a job it is destined for after today. “I’ve got my report,” he says, holding up his book bag. “Oh, no,” I say, stuffing the bag in my bike basket, “we’d better sit down.” This summer will be imprinted boldly in his...

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Neon Green

Posted by on Apr 22, 2013 in The Every Day | 2 comments

I bought Tom a new bike for his birthday. It was orange, because that’s his favourite colour. It took me ages to find one in his size that was also orange. It came and I hid it under my bed for a week until the night before his birthday, when I pulled it out and tried to assemble it and realised that I couldn’t screw on the effin left pedal or even get close to attaching the front wheel. I cried and had what may or may not have been...

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When Writing’s Frightening

Posted by on Dec 30, 2012 in The Every Day | 11 comments

Writing a book when you have a job and a child is hard. My job comes first. It has to: I am the breadwinner and I’m lucky enough to have a job that uses words and my creativity. This is great, but it means there are no long days to sit at my desk writing. I read articles of writers’ tips and they talk about writing eight or more hours per day and it just isn’t possible when you have got to go to work. And if your job involves...

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Boxing Day

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in The Every Day | 0 comments

It’s Boxing Day. Day of the bloody boxes. Tom got a lot of boxes for Christmas: a chocolate lolly-making kit, 3D puzzles, Scrabble and Don’t Laugh. Don’t Laugh is a board game involving crap jokes and a microphone that farts. It’s hilarious, if you’re six. Tom is six and he looks like a cute thug with his new gummy gap at the front (he got fed up of people asking him to sing that song after about two...

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Getting Into Stretch Marks

Posted by on Dec 16, 2012 in The Every Day | 2 comments

I’ve never written about stretch marks before, probably because it was the one thing I hadn’t managed to sort out. Nappies and potties: far more manageable than I imagined. Brilliant little boy: sorted. Forging a career: done. Providing a roof over our heads and lots of happy memories: yep. Not detesting the sight of my own torso: still on the to-do list. For years. It seems vain and trivial to go on about aesthetics. But, unless...

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Let’s Just Do It

Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in The Every Day | 4 comments

What's that saying? It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. I don't think it counts in the case of a single parent. I always think it must be easier to be alone from day one than to know what it's like to have someone else around and then for them to be gone.

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Chill Factor. E.

Posted by on Nov 4, 2012 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

It’s one of the biggest mysteries in Manchester: Just what is the little e on the end of  Chill Factore for? Tom and I wonder this every time we go past the massive building next to the motorway. Are they trying to say “Chill Factory”? Is it some sort of a mathematical formula? Is it silent? So preoccupied was I with the errant vowel that I never really thought about what happened inside. As far as I was concerned, Chill...

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Tea and Empathy

Posted by on Oct 30, 2012 in The Every Day | 2 comments

As well as spending the week off doing fun stuff like art, parks and sliding through snow, it’s a good chance to sort out house the house. While I painted Frankenstein’s head, cleaned the kitchen and cooked a proper tea (chilli), Tom did a very good job of filling a charity sack with toys he no longer plays with (he put Buzz Lightyear in there – I thought he’d be around for… years.) “I’d give this...

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