Snake girl contortionist.
Picture source: 'found on the Internet'.
I find I'm in a funny position at the moment. When I think back there were funnier, more delightful, positions to be in, but those positions have nothing in common with the position I'm in now. They had to do with sex, and boyfriends, and ambition. All glamour and seediness; if we combined the words in Brangelina fashion, it'd be Glaminess, or Seedmour.
When I was in my twenties seedmour was my big thing, but I've changed - and I'm only 32, I'm not old, other people are old - during the seedmour years I was battling against things; being poor was the big one, but on reflection life was exciting; who knew when we'd get out of there?
We're in a spell now which feels 'poor' but not as poor as I was back then.
This morning I went to the place where my sister works and I read out Chapter 9 from my book, the bit where we are getting ready for Christmas and I don't have enough money to buy a Christmas tree, or presents for anyone, and we're living in a council house, and I'm desperate for change.
We're not living in the council house anymore, we're renting a nice terraced house, on a nice street, in a leafy district in the North of England, and there's a cottage-style garden with vegetables growing at the end of it. My neighbour plays the accordion in the afternoons, I hear her through the walls and it's like living on a cobbled street in a pastoral era. Quite delightful.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I'm heading in a direction, so follow me if you can.
And things, life, got sorted out. I quit with the romances that weren't going anywhere (such a boring thing to do), I moved to London, lived with loads of other single parents, (crazy), dated an academic (I will never do that again), got a job with a publishing company (hard) moved back.
Now Jack, who was so excited with every little suggestion at ordinary fun, is 12, and he doesn't need me as much anymore. I find myself working still, but waiting for him to come home, when the real work will begin. When I can fuss around him.
Once upon a time, Friday night was bounce on the settee night, and it worked a treat, we had fun. Now if we bounced on the settee together we'd look ridiculous.
All at once my job as mother is more important than it ever was; guidance being my sole pursuit in our house; but the contact hours are fewer. He listens to my nagging and then heads to the bedroom.
It feels like I should be out doing things I enjoy, for me. But I've lost the swing of it a little (drinking in bars doesn't count).
And this is why; I went from teenager to student to mother in a bolt.
It feels like I've never not been a mother.
So when it comes to spending time on myself, I don't know what to do...