Dead of night

3.22 am ( sitting on the sofa)

Coat on its cold down here. Sleep broken by Syd sounding distressed in his sleep. He went to the toilet. My head hurts, too many different kinds of drink at the solstice party. Note to sleep must drink more adams ale than alcohol.


Silent road. Silent washing machine. Silent night. All is calm all is bright, around yon Virgin mother and child. Tis the season to be jolly, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la,

We drew pictures of ourselves and we all wrote letters to santa asking for our hearts desire.

Syd was suspicious of my family portrait drawing exercise…..we are only doing this so you can use it in your art project. 

……….my friend’s fridge magnet spoke truisms if we desire nothing then we free our minds……………

Me and P went for a walk in the woods with the truculent elderly dog. The sky was aqua marine. The red of the sun reflected in the windows of Ted Hughes home. Naoise played with my friends children .

When we got back to her house, the children made lots of noise on guitars and drums and electric piano.

The drop in party between a fixed time frame is a great model for socialising. I want to do this too. A really cool party was on my santa list.

We watched a cute animation about a business man teaching a blue baby bird to fly and then an episode of The Mighty Boosh. Naoise liked it.

P does not finish work until Wednesday, so I have the children on my own for a few days.

The house is looking cleaner for my efforts. Writing this had become a dissertation. Too much analyses. Too much word typing and not enough looking up from the screen. N hasn’t been asking for the iPad as much since I made an effort to do more with him. Engage him.


This art project has not always been a friend. At times it has become monster. A nasty mirror of my mind. A place to spill. Its sometimes best not to cross boundaries between public and private. Perhaps boundaries are very important. What happens when we try to dissolve them ? Do you feel uncomfortable?

I am glad that I don’t have to wake the children to rush them to school in the morning. I am glad that the school gates remain locked. It is the boundaries time.

Its too warm. Its too warm. Winter is snow. Winter is snow. Winter is cold. Winter is ice. Winter is putting on coats and hats and glove and scarves. Winter is bleak not warm.

All the lines of stuffed santa and snowmen and excess. Consumerism is not christmas. Peace and love and kindness to all mankind is Christmas.

I miss mum and dad, and my sisters and brother. I miss being together. I don’t like this fragmentation. This un-togetherness. What is Christmas? All the ghosts of the past Chrismas. I remember the sad year my Grannie died. My heart broken mother weeping. My mother lying in bed inconsolably sad. I always remember this. We need to cherish each day, each time spent with each other. Christmas expects idealism, the virgin, the child.

The mother wrapping parcels, keeping house, negotiating conflict, keeping togetherness.

I love my family, my two boys and my man. We are family. We are family. Its not perfect, its far from it. There is bickering and raised voices and the attempt at calm. There is competition between children and children winding each other up and competing for our attentions.

It is blissful when it works. When we sit on the sofa watching TV together, walk together, laugh together, draw together……..but tother does not always work. The house holds us close. We live in a sliver of a home. One room and kitchen downstairs. There is not much space to escape.

S spent the day asking with a friend. When I get back from the party, I see a pale teenager. I see a teenager that looks stressed with bags under his eyes. He push, push pushes me. I don’t give up. I don’t give up.

The children do help with the house work. N hoovers the rug. S reluctantly dries up dishes, ever so slowly, ever so slowly.

Remain calm. Diffuse conflict. Be consistent. Listen. Empathy. Structure. Boundaries. Love. Cuddles. Love. Play. Listen. Laugh. Encourage. Give voice to others. Provide a place.

Its later. Its later this morning. I need to go back to bed. Back to bed.

Try to engage the children in the last days of this project……what do they want this space to be?  How do we represent us? How to make this less threatening? Collaboration. Collaboration. How to collaborate with my family? Not me and them. US. How to make US work together? How to encourage us to work together? Do they want to play? Would they rather I just downed the writing and the art and just was with them in the now? Is the art worth it? Is it better just to be. To be.

(inage: all the family portraits). …….

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