Monday, 6 June 2016

elderflowers and knickers

Several people have told me that I should write more, and try and go back to blogging. So here I am. The trouble is, I don't know what to write about, in a general sense.

My life isn't the comedy of Polish Lodgers and eccentric parents that is was ten years ago. I'm not really living the bucolic idyll we started out with when we moved to mid-Wales from Merseyside. There has been so much I couldn't or wasn't able to write about in the last few years - B's parents gave us so much grief about me even mentioning them that I started self-editing. B and I went through a very rocky patch that was too painful and personal to put out there for public consumption. The children are getting older and their personal privacy is something that needs to be taken in to consideration. I don't want to spend my writing time whining on about how tough N's got it, anyway; although it feels that I'm doing that, sometimes.

This morning, B and I toddled down to Exeter for cake with some friends. It was lovely, very nice to get out and laugh at morbid jokes, convenient to drop my shoes off to be mended and N's iPad to be looked at - it turns out that they're not robust enough to have an eighty-five kilo wheelchair driven over them without screen damage.

On the way, whilst B drove, I made a couple of phone-calls - time in the car not wasted and all that.

I triggered N's quarterly incontinence pad order - so bulky now that she's in small adult size that they no longer fit in the cupboard and have to be stacked on the floor of her room. Then I called the Somerset Waste Partnership, to organise for her used pads to be collected weekly and incinerated, rather than put in to the domestic bin and collected fortnightly.

Somerset County Council stopped including adult incontinence pads in their weekly Clinical Waste Collection nine months ago. So they have to go in the 'domestic waste' that is collected fortnightly and goes to landfill rather than being incinerated, unless there is blood in them, ie, unless a person is menstruating.

Do you know how much two weeks worth of shitty pads smell in this hot weather? No? Stand outside our gate on a Tuesday morning before the bin men get here and you'll find out. They have graciously allowed us another bin, though, so the local wildlife will stop ripping the bags open and strewing everything about.

This is all over Somerset. The health implications of all these pads hanging about for two weeks and then going to landfill is disgusting. Austerity in action. Yay, you go, Tories! Back to the Dark Ages, with piles of shit hanging about in the streets.

To cap it all, the first chap I spoke to on the phone objected to the fact that I used the word 'shitty' in my description of the waste. I find this absolutely hilarious. Surely that's the least of the things your customers are trying to get you to collect if you are working for the Clinical Waste Services?

I don't want to write about stuff that makes me angry all the time, or emphasise how I feel as if I am banging my head against the brick wall of laughably named 'support services' all the time. I don't want to rant about how futile and stupid and nit-picking and downright *exhausting* it all is. I don't want to be a campaigner. I want to be a mum. With friends that I meet for coffee and cake under relatively normal circumstances without scheduling in a mini-battle on the phone first. And children I take to the cinema or to poke things in rivers with sticks. And a husband who I actually spend time with without feeling like we're both wearing heavy wool uniforms and moving bits around on a big table at Duxford whilst talking to David Niven in crackly yet wistful voices.

I want to write about things growing - plants, animals, children, relationships. I want to write about things that make me laugh, not cry. I want to write time-travelling gay romance. I want to write about the mystery of odd socks and why the children are obsessed with the filters on my Snapchat account. I want to write about sun and rain and snow and the smell of grass when I walk on it in bare feet and whether I'm going to bother to make elderflower wine this year. I don't want to write about anger and frustration and grief.

I want to write about life, not death and I am scared that I've lost the knack.