It is Wednesday night. I'm drinking red wine.
My three children are safely tucked up in bed. Rosie has a pretty pink princess blanket. Alice sleeps with her Frozen-themed quilt. Emily is still sat playing Minecraft on her laptop. My husband is reading his newspaper on the couch beside me.
We have no money. My bank balance is zero. I will repeat that later.
We have a warm home. There are two bathrooms. Three bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a lounge. Gardens - front and back.
We have books and records. We like jazz - we don't watch much TV but we read a lot and appreciate our lives together. We read the news.
There is a dead baby washed up on a beach somewhere. On the internet. Not in our lives.
This baby is wearing little velcro shoes and navy pants. His face is in the sand. He is dead.
I sip my wine.
We play songs on YouTube and watch an episode of Mad Men (second season - we have got through so many episodes - the characterisation is fantastic.)
We work a lot.
I have three jobs, my husband has two. We juggle quite a bit. I am a student as well, and privileged to be one, I know this.
The body imprinted on the sand - the man lifted the body and carried it away. The lifeless body, flopping this way and that.
Our kids are back at school tomorrow. Alice in her new crisp uniform. Emily Year 8 (how did time fly!) with concerns about school lessons, correct shoes and the like.
I drink some more wine, grateful for what we have.
But I don't put a full stop there because this is disgraceful behaviour. Yes, I am grateful for a happy and comparatively rich life, but I am full of anger and fear and hatred. Wealth is the problem of these nations who think that THEY control borders and entry and life. Our bank balance is ZERO because we are wage slaves. We work and we pay and people are facing war and terror and they reach out to US because they are desperate and we turn our backs. Because we are scared, because we are too poor, too scared and too controlled by our own government. Make no mistake, this country is rich.
My house is here.
It is warm, we are fed. We have tap water, we have blankets and even spare "things" that we don't use.
And our bank balance is zero.
So if everyone else could take a look at themselves...and see what it is that they have spare.
Maybe...just maybe we could help. What happened to the good old "whip round" - a couple of quid in the pot. Can't we DO THAT? What is wrong - is there too much red tape, too much bureaucratic nonsense for us to see the woods for the trees??
I see a body, a life...a baby.
Washed up on the shore. And I wish that I could have opened my door and said YES. Come in. Come inside. We don't have much, but what we do have we will share.
Thursday, 3 September 2015
Tuesday, 1 September 2015
As someone over the age of 30, I have accepted the fact that my hair is going grey. Not only grey, but actually a very distinct shade of silver. I have read around and been told to “embrace my grey” – I do like the colour grey and I am not scared of getting old. If my hair greyed at an even pace and distributed itself in a beautiful smattering all over my head then I might be more inclined to leave it there. However, as you are probably aware, the ageing process has no regard for consistency in these matters. Oh no, dear reader. My grey is the odd white wisp, sticking out, almost stunned from my fringe like a startled old fox. My grey is lurking behind my ears underneath the brown tresses, like a snowy underlay, a warning of further frosting.
Not a hat person.
“Just dye it then,” I hear you saying. And of course this is the natural way for me to get rid of this natural grey. And replace it with something less aged. But I hate the hairdressers, they take up my time and my money and I don’t enjoy people messing with my hair, scratching my scalp with their talons filed to a point (since when was that in fashion, anyway??) And so, I have a few options for my poor hair. A few that I have tried and quite possibly failed at. Don’t laugh now…
1) Home Hair Dye
Of course. What is wrong with that? Well, generally it stinks and ruins my bathroom, my sheets and my towels. There was also the swollen eye incident a few weeks ago (the less said about that the better.) Also the colour tends to just land on my hair and look flat. Two dimensional. Like I have been tarred but not feathered. Then the greys start to reappear slowly over the coming days, and I back comb and overcomb and cross-comb to try and cover up this grey matter that grows seemingly like fungus without let up or end.
2) Hair Chalk
You know the kind. All the cool kids are using it. Ones who listen to Justin Bieber and cry about Zayn Malik into their pillows. They dampen their hair and chalk it in five different colours, then hold the hair dryer directly to it to seal in this rainbow colour. I bought Emily some hair chalk under the guise of it being a “crazy teen thing” for her. She never bothered with it and I stole the brown hair chalk.
It does not work on grey hair. Grey hair is strong and wirey. A bit of waxed chalk will not overcome your grey friends, trust me. They will win this battle every time.
Hmm. Tricky. Bet you never thought about that did you. I have on occasion resorted to dabbing some brown eyeshadow on my grey hair. I just use a normal eye make-up brush thingy and dust it on. It doesn’t look dusted on though – it looks painted on... or slapped on, if you will. You end up unintentionally painting it on the skin and so it looks like a brown carpet underneath the grey wire sticking out, electrified by your crazy idea of eye shadow as hair dye.
Oh yes we have all plucked those first few greys haven’t we. We have strangled the greying hair in its cradle before it had a chance to reproduce and populate our ever-ageing heads. Only this doesn’t last does it? A year, maybe. For maybe a year plucking was a great method. Now plucking would result in an almighty patchwork head of hair and no hair. This would not be sensible, nor preferable to letting our grey friends take over.
Not a hat person.
And so, dear reader. For all of these endeavors – it seems I must take myself off to the hairdressers. It is the only way. I am going to ask them not to gently blend away my grey, but to ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK IT. Take down the grey and give me back my head, for I seem to have lost it. Especially when applying glittery brown eyeshadow to my perfectly greying temple-hair....