Being Safe

My son is rolling cars smack into the skirting boards to see which one is faster, my daughter is upstairs reading her Twilight books, my husband is at work and Charlie, who recently had to have major surgery after an accident on the park, is happily chewing a ham bone in his bed. This is ok, this is safe, ordinary and good. This week, there have been several incidents of a man, in a balaclava and with a dog, trying to pick up girls, 10-13 year olds, in my local area where my daughter plays out. It has meant that we’ve had to cut short her independence and make sure she is with someone all the time, not going anywhere on her own and has had me so stressed. It has been a black cloud. A badness, a darkness, blotting out the good, the longer days and the intermittent sunshine.

I have been low. I’m accepting of it, it had to happen, and I’m getting by. I’m tired, so tired. I’ve been thinking about a book launch but have yet to find anywhere for free and feeling as I do I don’t feel optimistic about it. I feel like it’ll be a miracle if people show up and that in the state I’m in I wouldn’t be able to give a reading. I feel like people attending for me wouldn’t really want to be there. That it will be a charade. That I will be disappointing. Etc. etc. I need this to lift.

This week I made this recipe for a curry, it’s very delicious and I thought I would share it. I’m not very into food when I’m low but this was enjoyable to make and yummy to eat:

One onion, chopped

Two cloves garlic, chopped or pressed

One two inch piece of root ginger, grated

Two teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar

One teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed

One teaspoon black onion seeds, crushed

Quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper

One teaspoon tumeric

salt and black pepper

One lime, squeezed

Chicken, fish like cod, monkfish, snapper or extra veg


red pepper

One tin chopped tomatoes

One tin coconut milk

Saute the onion and garlic in some oil

Add veg, and meat, fish or extra veg

fry gently

add all the spices, fry for a couple of minutes

then add the lime juice,

then the tomatoes, coconut milk

simmer for twenty minutes

Serve with rice, chapatti’s, or naan bread, will easily serve 4-5

Tonight I’m going to watch Human Planet on catch up, it’s an amazing series, BBC one. It’s well worth watching, documentaries about communities and people all over the world, how they go about hunting and making the most of their environment and things. Then at the end they show a bit about how they made the documentary and the trials the cameramen have been through. Essential viewing, I say. This week I’m watching the director’s cut of Cinema Paradiso, reading Emily Critchley’s Love/All that/&OK, and listening to Low- we have tickets to see them in May, cannot wait. Been listening to the new Radiohead album on Spinner, not really catching yet.

I can’t concentrate on what is happening around me, I’m preoccupied, faltering. I’m waiting for something to happen, to release me from this stupor, this stasis. I can’t construct anything coherent. I wrote a story last week, which ran into 3,000 words, way too long, and seemed to start up and stop about three times before I wrote the last line and gave in. I need to pare down, to focus.

I feel safe, but maybe safe isn’t enough, maybe I need some risk, some stress, some friction, some fear, to act. To get out of this mood, this hell. I’m in hiding. I don’t like it any other way. I like to be anonymous, aloof, not ‘there.’ When I think about the launch I can’t abide the thought of being the centre of attention for however short a time, I have never in my life wanted to stand in front of people and talk or perform anything, I have always dreaded the spotlight being on me. I feel uncomfortable even admitting that I am this shy. But I am. And I’m a bit lost at the moment. I am waiting for inspiration and waiting for a clue.

Ok, it’s ‘mum, what’s an anenome?’ time here.

Thankyou for taking the time to read, it’s really appreciated…



3 thoughts on “Being Safe

  1. Curry recipe looks great – we do something similar (but lazier) for chicken or chick peas – will try it! It’s rotten when you’re worried about your kids in the neighbourhood, but you’re doing the right thing, and hopefully this particular ‘cloud’ will pass soon. It’s as I’ve had to explain to our kids over the years when they’ve been angling for more freedom: ‘you aren’t the problem – it’s some of the other people out there.’

    Given you’re low at the moment it’s great you’ve finished a story even if you’re not yet happy with it. If you’re in ‘cocoon-mode’ it’s not surprising the idea of launching a book fills you with dread. Maybe you should fix a date for it even without a venue in place – there will probably be weeks more fatigue and denial but eventually you’ll find a way outside yourself to make it happen.

    And when it does happen, those who are attending ‘for you’ will want to be there because they love you.

  2. Thankyou both for getting in touch and being supportive, it means a great deal to me. It’s a good idea J to set a date and work towards it, I am giving up on thinking anything for a couple of days, I will make a deal with myself to think about it properly soon enough, just feel like the next few days are going to be hard for me. It is sooo good of you to take the time to comment on my blog, lovely as ever to hear from you. xxxxx

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