Brain fog: things I’ll be grateful for thereafter.

Sometimes, brains get foggy and it is tricky to remember that we will be grateful for stuff when the fog lifts.


Things for which I know I will soon be grateful, when the brain fog lifts:

  • work
  • kiddo
  • friends
  • close family
  • an ugly car that runs
  • house
  • endurance
  • choices
  • faith in the future
  • contentment in the present
  • the rule of law
  • neighbours
  • post
  • laughter
  • bad jokes
  • gerberas

For a tough chick, I cry too much.

I cry happy tears, sad tears, frustrated tears, joyful tears, empathetic tears, even though I am a tough son of a gun. What gives?

I consider myself to be a rufty-tufty kind of woman, one who can adapt to changes and roll with whatever is happening.  I consider myself tough, although “rufty-tufty” might belie that a little.  I consider myself to be empathetic, pragmatic, competent, emotionally independent with a little help, grateful for my friends, humorous and I mostly enjoy life regardless of some of the challenges that living in this time and this place presents to us.

But I cry, often. Not pretty, dab at the corner of the eye tears. 

We are talking about ugly tears, unpretty, undignified tears and a Rudolph red nose and quite frankly it is a tad embarrassing. I can feel it about to happen, my heart/emotions will be nudged, my eyes will prickle and my throat closes and I think “oh no, not again, not here, oh… there we go” and nothing I have thought of can retrieve the situation once the process has started.

I cry at photo’s in the newspaper, there was a photo of a old, grey haired firefighter with his face contorted and crying at a 9/11 memorial and I totally lost the plot because I felt of his grief.

I cry at a fragment in a song, when it suddenly echoes my hopes or trials for a fraction of a minute.

I cry at a hope of something in the future, mostly to do with hopes for my child.

I cry at TV shows or news reports sometimes, not at the blatant “send us your money” reports, but sometimes at the response of a nearby person who intervened to make something better.

I cry at the Humans Of New York series, particularly the teachers who are making a difference.

I cry at TED talks, mostly the school principals who announce on the PA “if nobody told you today that you are loved, we love you”.

I cry in disappointment.

I cry, and pretty much lose the plot, when I hear kids singing in Church.

I cry at the idea of crying.

It wasn’t always this way, I had it under control for years and was able to function without this embarrassing affliction. But, I was numb, stoic, trying to keep it all together and I don’t know which way of being I prefer, then or now.

I am mainstream, not a new age hippy, and the word “feelings” to me is quite a bit of a swear word and a cop out.  Yet it “feels” like I am feeling too much.  Sundays are my worst day – when I step in the chapel during particularly trying times it feels like the only place in the world where I don’t have to emotionally fight.  Sometimes the tears there are because I received a longed for answer or because I get the sense of eternal allies for the briefest of moments and I don’t feel alone for that moment.

I am hoping that this intensity will calm down after a period and that I’ll learn and adjust to feeling these emotions.  It’s a little like taking the perforated lid off of a microwavable meal when it has just dinged, that first blast of steam that risks the old fingers for a moment.  I am hoping that admitting I have a problem might be the first step in overcoming this affliction.  Here’s to hoping, eh.


Donald Trump says poor people are losers.

Poor people are losers. Women are gagging for it.
Nobody does it better than The Donald. Unless, you’re a single mum in England doing a sterling job of not making half the world hate you and the other half pity you.


I am struggling with the zeitgeist doing the rounds right now that poor people are losers. I have found myself feeling bad, embarrassed, ashamed, a loser. Mr Donald Trump had me, against my better judgement, second guessing all my choices and feeling bad.

I have never been $7Billion in debt.

I have never blatantly lied to everyone within the sound of my voice.

I have never (knock on wood) been unable to provide a stable home for me and my people, yet I have experienced a period of feeling stupid.

I could give a timeline on why the choices made were correct and the best option at the time. I could give a breakdown on how I am in the first generation in my family who had some choice available to them.

I could point out that statistically, the worlds entrepreneurs are lucky to have people to bail them out and pay the rent and groceries while they get going.

I could explain how I am teaching the next generation to make more profitable choices at an earlier age.

I could give a breakdown how building a secure future costs £GBP now.

I am tired of explaining myself and I still feel stupid.

What I do have going for me is a work ethic to be admired, a devotion to strength and honesty and kindness, a responsibility to provide for my people, a serious but amused personality and a long term view of the big picture.

It is difficult to withstand the onslaught of unkind words from the media and raised eyebrows from people face to face who just don’t get that you cannot buy that widget to fix the thingybob because it’s not in the budget this month, it is difficult to keep the big picture in mind, and it is difficult getting up every day and performing in a job that I do well but might not be my eternal passion.

But difficulty is my fodder, it holds no fear, I’ll overcome this period and I’ll have great stories after the fact.  I just have to keep the faith in the mean time.

Success to me is no debt, savings in the bank and an income sufficient to have some fun without worrying about offsetting against the grocery budget.

I have a 6 year plan, and we may get there sooner rather than later or it may take a little longer than anticipated but I know my destination and have a roadmap.

One day I’ll be able to kit out my house with nice new furniture, perhaps even furniture that goes well together, I’ll be able to book a holiday to somewhere I fancy going rather than the cheapest option in a non war torn region, I’ll be able to help those coming through a similar path to ours.

I can see the day in my mind, and I have an amazing track record of making the impossible come true.  Watch this slow-motion space.


Pollyanna’s Daughter is nearly 16.

The kid, Missy, is due to turn 16 years old and it is an exciting time. Adulthood looms tasting as sweet as a French pastry and as sour as a lemon… big changes ahead and a glance back at how we got here so far.


My daughter is about to turn 16 years old and I couldn’t be more excited for her.  She is a great kid, headstrong, compassionate, determined, funny as the day is long and has a lot of ambition.

She came in to the world in a bumpy fashion. I was told that without intervention it would be unlikely that I would fall pregnant.  Within 6 months we found out she was on the way.  It was a difficult pregnancy with scares and pre-eclampsia and 9 months of all day sickness and acid reflux.  I should have seen these constant concerns as an omen of things to come!

We didn’t find out the gender ahead of time, I was sure I was carrying a boy.  When she was born and the nurse declared “It’s a Girl!!!” I asked them to check again I was so sure I had been right.

Turning 16 in educational terms this means that she is in an important year of exams which prove whether she is bright or not, allowing her access to her preferred careers, and also choosing subjects to study to a higher level in the next two years which we call GCSE’s and A-Levels respectively.  She is finding the seriousness and future consequences are weighing heavily on her mind, much of our conversations revolve around how she is feeling and what she is thinking she might chose so far and which school to attend. “I am just a little Bean, they can’t ask me to make these choices so young!”

Also on the romance front, Mormon children can date, if they choose to, from the age of 16 onwards, so she has the possibility of future romances on the horizon. However, she thinks Michelle Obama’s talk to a girls school in London to be completely on point, that no boy at this age is important enough to detract from your studies, that the right boy will respect you and support your decisions (Yay!). I am delighted that she is not yet boy-mad.

So while she frets a little about the enormity of adulthood looming before her, I will continue to make birthday plans which involve a longed for day trip, a shopping spree, cake and candles…. After all, we cannot have her growing up too fast.


Being skint was temporary (thankfully)

It is better to be short of cash than short of character


Yesterday I wrote about how having just over £2.00 is ok if everything is covered and if you don’t measure your worth against a temporary number in the banking system.

I am pleased to say that yesterday was the final day of a two week skint period, and we are back in the black as of this morning.

Hunkering down to ride out the difficulty, covering the basics, still seeing friends, not hermiting or withdrawing, making the best of what you have, cooking from storage items, eating simply, choosing to face it all, switching off lights not in use, knowing that you are a very talented individual who has chosen this path for a better future, keeping a realistic but positive perspective, driving slower and smoother to conserve fuel all help.

If I had been ignorant or dismissive and refused to face the inevitable and went ahead anyway, well, good luck to me.  Continue reading “Being skint was temporary (thankfully)”


3 years, 36 months, lots of days

At the time of writing, it was the 3 year anniversary of when the spouse became actively violent (rather than just brooding and menacing) and all bets were off from that point forth. Here’s a review of some of the edited thoughts on that matter.



3 years ago today was ‘the incident’ (at time of writing this entry), an act of violence. Happy Anniversary!

I used to wonder why someone would so such a brutal thing, were they emotionally scarred in childhood, is it soldier PTSD? but now I just don’t care about their opinion or their feelings or their motivation. They were intelligent enough to make sure they managed their behaviour in front of others for years, only rarely slipping up, they knew what was happening was unacceptable so no sob story justifies their intent to cause harm and dominate.

Thanks to the wonderful people at Women’s Aid (, I graduated from a course of study called The Freedom Programme which teaches about how to spot the early signs of baddie-dom and how it is never too early and almost never too late to make the right decisions for your health and happiness. They taught us the root causes, societal tolerance of crummy behaviour for a quiet life, they looked at the myriad of ways that people become ensnared in awful situations. One of the tutor ladies was happily married to a lovely fella and one was happily single so were a walking advertisement of authentic living. Continue reading “3 years, 36 months, lots of days”


Net worth and perspective.

when you are skint or short of funds, how do you keep a healthy sense of self?


Have you ever been down to your last £2.76 in the bank?

If it were me, I’d be grateful that

  • we have enough simple food storage to see us to payday. (
  • the bills are covered completely.
  • it is +£2.76 and not -£2.76.
  • there’s a couple of quid in the purse.
  • the car has a full tank of petrol.
  • the laundry is done because we’ve just run out of laundry detergent.
  • the knowledge that this is temporary.
  • the belief that net worth does not define my value as a person.
  • the belief this is all for the greater good while we fight the good fight.
  • the knowledge that things are this way because of what we are building.
  • that in years to come we’d have some great stories and perspective.
  • that our head is above water because we swim so damn good.
  • that hopefully things will never be this lean again.
  • that we still have a “laugh at the Universe” attitude. So what you’re skint, so what!

You know, if it were me, which it isn’t.