Our house, in the middle of love.

Mum and dada have never had much money.

They’re not stupid and could earn proper money I suspect, but they seem to like just getting by.

Mum wouldn’t think of leaving their little terraced house, and if she did move she has always said that she’d like to live in number 47.

Number 47 is just across the street from them, it’s where Mrs Jones lives with her mam.

Number 47 is the same size as mum’s house, the same layout, and if anything it’s a bit more shabby than theirs as there’s no dad to fix up stuff when it needs it.

Why mum aspires to living there, a whole forty feet away from their current front door is that number 47 has a view out the back that stretches for miles down across the hills to Northumberland. That house has a view while no others do for the simple fact that the house that was behind it was demolished after a great big hole appeared in the living room floor.

How funny is that? Not the hole, although that’s funny enough, but the fact that that’s what mum would most like. The interesting thing is to ask her why she’d not live in the street with the demolished house in. She wouldn’t live there because people are strange down there! It’s a whole street away and people there are funny.

Imagine my friends at college who have come to study at Newcastle from Delhi, or South Africa or wherever, and there’s my mum who would move across the street, but not two streets away.

When I was in my teens that attitude used to really annoy me, but now I kind of love them for it.


Musings of a blogger (of sorts)

I quite like writing a blog, but I could never be a blogger.

No matter what rules I set myself I can never seem to create a habit of it.

I’ll set little reminder alarms on my phone, but I just cancel them.

I’ll tell myself I’m going to write something daily. And I don’t.

I promise to write something weekly. But even that doesn’t always happen. More likely is that I’ll write a few posts on different topics at once and then spread them out a bit as if to appease the disappointment I’ll feel one day in the future when I check back over my musings.

I suppose that in actual fact it’s all vanity and so what if I sit down once a month and hammer out a few thousand words. The trouble is that doesn’t feel like the spirit I want to engender.

Anyway, for the rest of April I’ll have something to write about as Shaun and I are off to the far other end of the country, to Cornwall, where apparently we’re going to stay in his uncle’s shed!

I’ve seen pictures, it’s a nice shed, but still, 18 days with fart arse major in a shed could test the strength of our relationship somewhat.

At least it has wi-fi.

Being a boy. Being a man.

I eft home quite young I guess.

I didn’t have to, and father said I would be back in a week. But I think that was his way of ensuring that I wasn’t.

Now I go back home more often and spend more time there, but back then I couldn’t wait to get away from the place.

I wanted to be my own man, not just because I was going to study, it was more about proving something. And I’m bloody glad that I did it, but the funny thing is that “Being a man” bit. I feel less a man at the moment than I have in years.

When I met Kristen last week I was so vulnerable, and she had an amazing way of exposing that vulnerability as a stage in healing it.

She spoke with words that sounded beautiful in her mouth.

IMG_1086She talked with energy and enthusiasm about the way a bit of flooring met a rug, and the old sofa in the hall to the house: here look at this. The funny thing is that I can see it now, but I couldn’t until she pointed it out.

So is being a man the ability to talk artfully to a lovely woman?

Is being a man the need to shout on the terraces when you team is winning, and when it’s losing?

Is it about fighting and drinking?

Or is it about somehow creating your own blend of the above without deliberately being led from one reaction to another, just somehow knowing?

I’d ask my dad. But he’d just tell me to man up!



Dad’s New Door

Where the folks live isn’t a bad area, but it’s a long way from being flash either.

They’re over by the smart Nuffield Hospital in Jesmond, it’s a tight community around there with a lot of people who have been neighbours for years.

Last weekend though there was some trouble down the street and a few people had their doors and windows smashed.

The only time anything like that has happened in the past mother has been in a right state, but actually she was quite calm about it. I think it actually helped them all reconcile with the violence that it was’t targeted at any specific house, it was pretty random.

A few of the neighbours came around to the folks on Sunday morning and we all decided to invest in really secure doors. I was drafted in as the only person they knew with access to the internet to do some research! How funny is that?

Anyway, I found these guys and we plan on getting one of their alarms fitted along with some more secure doors which the same company actually supply.  They look like the most secure out there, yet they still look like the sort of door that they had before. The doors are properly sound and thermally insulated too so the old folk’s home won’t be as draughty as it was before.

I think I was more angry about it than they were. I can imagine a gang of useless kids thinking it’d be great fun to run down the street trying to kick in as many doors as they could before they got chatted off. At least no kid’s going to be kicking the new doors in!

Walking in with my iPad made me like some sort of magician figure! It got me wondering how on earth they cope – but I guess they have the advantage of not being tempted by stuff all the time like I am.

Christmas and stuff.

We were a close family, but probably only because we were poor.

Mum and Dad didn’t have much, and so we spent a lot of time together. It wasn’t like they were super loving parents or anything, but we’d eat together, leaving nothing, we’d watch the telly together because there was only one. All my mates had tellies in their bedrooms, and computer games and stuff, but not me.

Most kids around here would just go and nick what they wanted, but if I did that he would have beaten me for sure. He was strict. Still is strict. When I bashed my finger while we were doing the wardrobe I cursed and immediately I could feel his eyes on me.

“Not in this house sunshine!”

It’s as if he’s some Victorian dictator dad or something, but he’s only 52 now.

But you know what? I don’t resent it. I’m hard enough, I have respect for anyone who works to earn what they have, and while that makes me a bit old fashioned, I don’t care about that.

And then there’s Christmas around the corner.

That’s a strange time. Mum would love me to be there at home.

And if truth be told, I don’t have anywhere else to go. But it feels a bit pathetic. We’ll sit around. Have a few bottles of brown, cliche I know, but that is what dad and I drink when we’re together, football, Christmas, it doesn’t matter. Mum will be tutting at her turkey from the Co-op.

Apparently most people don’t even find the time to have Sunday dinner together these days, I read this article in one of the online pub magazines about it. Hopefully they’ll find the time to make a proper Christmas dinner though. If for no other reason I’ll be driven home by the thought of that amazing meal.

But I guess if it only makes her happier, and means that I get a great dinner, then I’ll be there. And probably I’ll be there next year too.

Is that too sad?

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