Monthly Archives: October 2012

The C Word

Many people find the word c**t hugely offensive don’t they? So much so I don’t really want to write it without the asterisk so’s not to upset anyone. Why? Alright – it’s a bit crude. I wouldn’t like to be called it. But it doesn’t really mean anything does it? Not really, really mean any thing.

Cancer: Now there is a far more offensive C word. One that has infiltrated my family and thoughts for some time now. One that carries phenomenal meaning.

A frightening word. A hateful disease. A word that doesn’t have to mean a death sentence – but in my experience of it, it always has. A word that will smash your world to pieces at it’s very utterance, however things may turn out in the end.

Mum used to talk about her “battle” with the C word. Using the word “battle” never sat well with me. A “battle” implies a potentially worthy opponent. A nobility even. Swords clashing, mighty tussles, chins held high and weapons aloft. Thoughts strong and suffering short.

“Battle” gives cancer too much credibility.

Cancer sneaks. It is a snivelling cowardly wretch of a disease that has reduced the people I love most in this world to weak, milky-eyed skeletons, and I loath it.

As I type this, a beautiful woman I love with all my heart lies dying. My Mum’s little sister, whom I ran away to live with on a weekly basis as a child because I adored her so much. Who never had children of her own – but who is, to me, like a second Mum, big sister, and best friend all rolled into one.

Who used to make paper frogs and paint my nails with me as a child. Who nursed me through broken hearts and first hangovers as a teen. Who all my male friends fancied the pants off. Who I desperately wanted to be just like for as long as I can remember. Who patiently listened to me weep and wail on the phone over another failed relationship when I had no idea she was in hospital waiting for a mastectomy.

Who is not even 50 years old yet.

I feel so angry with cancer I can barely bring myself to type the word. How dare it. HOW DARE IT TAKE THESE PEOPLE AWAY FROM ME?

I have been advised by her carers that I should enquire about tests to see if I am likely to develop the c word myself.

This terrifies me. Even the slightest thought that the C word may put my Grace through what it has put me through churns me up in a way I find impossible to describe. It has already robbed her of two women that she should grow up knowing. That should – but for this vile disease – be a full and active part of her life.

I would rather be called a c**t a million times over than hear the other C word pass a doctors lips.

I know this is all deeply negative, and I am sorry. I know that cancer can be beaten, and that people go on to live long, fulfilled lives. I know we have to stay as strong and positive as we can when dealing with illness.

I hope with all my heart I have not upset anyone with this extremely personal post. I simply feel like my heart is breaking all over again, and I needed to write. That is all.


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Pass On The Lurve . . .

There’s a linky knocking around at the moment – about real life blogging friends. It came to my attention via the fabulous Tamsyn who blogs as Manic Mum. (If you’ve been living on Mars lately and don’t know about her truly heart wrenching story – please take a minute to look at it and support the Making Waves for Alex campaign.)

But for me there is only one lady I could write about. She is entirely responsible for me getting into blogging, a fabulous writer, a fabulous mother, and  a good friend. (“Good friend” . . . two words that are easy to say, easy to write, and yet it’s so hard to actually find them.)

Susanne, aka Ghostwritermummy and I go back about 15 years. We met at university. We were both strangers to Bolton back then, and out of everyone in our little gang of University misfits, we are two of just three brave girlies to still be here all these years later. My memories of those days are a bit hazy (can’t think why?!) as I’m sure Sue’s will be, and the stories I can recall with any clarity are probably not suitable blog material. A mish-mash of thoughts spring to mind of that era – of bar work, and smoke-filled student houses with no heating and mushrooms growing on the carpet. Of JD and cokes, Stone Roses and Rocky film marathons. Of indie night clubs, playing guitar and drinking till the wee small hours. Of crazy landlords, bizarre friends, parties, and endless cups of tea and rounds of toast.

Of good times.

Although we lost touch for a few years, thanks to the wonder of Facebook, we hooked back up when we had our children, and thank goodness we did.

Far closer now than we ever were at university, I can honestly say, I think I’d feel a little bit lost without Ghostwritermummy in my life. She inspired me to write.

She inspires me to be a better mother.

She has been a genuine help in dealing with the loss of my Mum – always having something to say when those I thought were far closer to me had no words.

Every week, we meet – drink coffee – tear our hair out over the latest toddler troubles – and above all, we laugh.

So there you have it. I’m not happy with this post. I feel somehow that I could have said it all much better, but I shall publish it, and hope that it comes across how much I appreciate and admire all that this  person does/continues to do.

“A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down. ” -Arnold H. Glasgow
P.S If you’re reading this Sue – I’m not GAY or anything!!


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Noisy Marble Pictures.

You will need:

  • An empty tin. Preferably at least side-plate size, but the bigger the better, I say! (If you really don’t have a tin, then an empty plastic tub would do – but it’s not half as noisy)
  • Some marbles. Between 3 and 6 is good.
  • Paper/card in your choice of colour.
  • Poster paints
  • Ear plugs (optional).

And here’s what you do:

  • Draw round the base of your tin on your chosen paper or card.

  • Cut it out a little bit smaller so it fits easily into the bottom of the tin.
  • Encourage your little ones to drop in the marbles one by one. How many can they count?

  • Next, squeeze into the tin a few blobs of poster paint. LESS IS MORE with this. For an average sized biscuits tin, just two or three penny sized blobs is a good amount, and bright contrasting colours work really well.

  • Put the lid on tightly. Now when me and Gibby do this, we do a BIG ol’ countdown! “THREE  . . . TWO . . . ONE . . . SHAKEY SHAKEY SHAKEY!” (WHY didn’t I take a photo of this?! AH well – having too much fun probably.)
  • Let them go wild shaking that tin about and making as much noise with it as they can! They may only be little enough to SHAKEY SHAKEY SHAKEY, or they may want to try swirling the tin in circular movements or swishing it back and forth to see what patterns they can make.
  • The Reveal! Build up the excitement as you “OOoh” and “AAAhhh” lifting the lid and revealing their own special marble picture! Wow!
  • Why not do a few more? (We’ve even done this with PVA glue on black card, then sprinkled glitter all over it.) Or try different card/colour combinations. Shake high, shake low, put some music on and shake your booty whilst you’re at it.

I think the results are pretty funky! They make great backgrounds for a favourite family snap to pin on the wall, or why not string them up and make them into pretty danglers?

Lovely. Let me know how you get on? Till next time . . .


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