Silent Sunday

Jay




Life As It Is

Every so often, I get out one of the (frillions of) film cameras, and just shoot whatever’s happening. I pay no attention to “getting the set up right”, I don’t faff about with waiting for the right moment (hell, I hardly do that anyway), and I definitely don’t get hung up on what the end result might be.

Sometimes, like I should do more often, I just shoot for fun. Hell, it’s the thinking I have when I do parts of my job. “I’m just shooting for fun. I know I can do this, I don’t need to stress. The couple are having fun, and so am I.”

The funny thing is, those are often the shots I love the most. The ones where I just shoot for the moment, rather than always trying to get it right. Sometimes, life is right without even trying.

The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film The Smalls, Asahi Pentax SP1000, Portra 400, Feb 2014 - UK Film

PS, UK Film Lab, thank you. x

Blognonymous – Anger Management

This post was written anonymously and submitted to Blognonymous for publishing on this blog. Please feel free to leave your help and support should you wish, in comments below. Many thanks.

oOoOoOoOoOo

blognonymous

Anger seeps into every crevice and every corner of our lives. It started with the anger born out of a backdrop of what had been missing from her life for too long. But gradually, the anger changed. It became nastier and harder. And then it reflected back on itself as I began to feel it too. My anger had always been hidden away, saved up until it quite literally burst out of me in a private moment, away from prying eyes. But now, now her anger flew back at her as I threw her words, the frustrations, the hatred back. Like a never-ending game of catch.

But it didn’t stop there. It grew like a monster inside me and the anger manifested elsewhere – the children, the dog, the cat, that idiot in the car in front. No-one was safe from our anger. And then the guilt that followed each outburst gave birth to even more anger at her for making me feel and behave this way. This never-ending circle of negative emotion. The time has come to stop it. To end this here. I make her angry. She makes me angry. It won’t stop while we’re together. And it has to stop. The children deserve so much more than this and as their parent I want to give it to them.

The irony of the anger building inside me as the delays to the ending continue isn’t lost on me. Again, everyone around me is suffering. Me included. I hate myself, I want to hurt myself for hurting them, for hurting her, for failing as a parent, for not protecting them. I want to run away and hide from this forever, to leave all that comes before and that lies ahead to someone else. But this is my reality and only I can make this happen, make this change. I will gather every last ounce of strength I possess and say the words that have to be said. I will change our world and change our future, but it will be better for everyone. I am so scared and so frightened I have to fight the tears that sting at my eyes all day and all night, but I’m doing this for us, for all of us. It may not seem it now, but you will see. In years to come, you will understand. And we will all be happier for it.

Silent Sunday

photo (2)



Herby Balsamic Chicken, Lemon Salt and Rosemary Fries

A few peeps were asking about this “chicken and chips” dinner I did the other day. I don’t do recipes, but thought I’d stick it here for reference. It went something like this:

Chicken thighs, leave the bone in, season with salt, pepper and a liberal sprinkling of herbes de provence. Drizzle generously with Balsamic vinegar (hat tip to Tinuke), and a splash of hemp oil. Use your hands to rub all of that into the chicken.

In a pyrex dish, make a “bed” of FRESH basil leaves. I ripped them straight off the plant, stalks included (didn’t even take the leaves off the stalks). Put the chicken on top, skin side up. Stick in the oven. Ours is fan assisted, and I always whack it up, so it was maybe 200deg for about 30ish mins? I dunno, I never do accuracy when cooking, it’s why I can bake for love nor money.

For the shredded potatoes, take the zest of two lemons, add it to maybe a tbsp salt, and pound the crap out of it with a pestle and mortar. Take 2 large baking potatoes and either do them julienne, or grate them on the greatest grater you have (hat tip to Granddad). Heat oil in deep fat fryer, throw in a small handful of potatoes, add a sprig of fresh rosemary about 40 secs before you take them out. The potatoes will cook FAST, maybe a minute if that. Take them out when they’re golden brown. Sprinkle with your lemon salt and NOM THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of your food.

It looked like this:

Herby Balsamic Chicken, Lemon rosemary fries

 

And it tasted freaking amazeballs.

Silent Sunday

Pro Film

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Blognonymous Post – Underage Sex?

This post was written anonymously and submitted to Blognonymous for publishing on this blog. Please feel free to leave your help and support should you wish, in comments below. Many thanks.

oOoOoOoOoOo

blognonymous

Today I found out that my 15 year old son had sex a year ago, so he would have been 14. I’m shocked how upset I am, not at him necessarily, but at the situation.

The thing is, no matter how old your kids are they are still your ‘babies’ and they never seem old enough to be making such grown up decisions. In this case he definitely wasn’t old enough, legally he shouldn’t even be having sex.

I suddenly feel very naive, I didn’t even think he would be masturbating let alone having sex! He still plays with toys and giggles if you say “penis”, how could he have had sex?

You may be wondering how I found out about this. I had a phone call from his head of year at school asking me to go in to discuss an incident, before the meeting I had a discussion with my son about what it was about. It sounded like a disagreement between groups of friends, he told me he wasn’t involved, he had evidence to show he wasn’t involved and I wasn’t overly concerned.

It seems the rumour mills have been working at my teenage son’s school because he told his friend that he’s had sex with the girl. The poor girl has had a year of people approaching her in the corridors asking if it’s true. Then she’s had stupid boys calling her and demanding to know the truth, as if it’s any of their business!

I had suspected that their relationship had gone further, I’m not sure why but I had definite concerns at the time and was glad when they stopped going out. It just seemed a bit serious and full on for 14 year olds. I had asked my son if they’d had sex and he had denied it. He denied it again just before we went into the meeting. Then in the meeting he admitted they had.

I’ve always been open with my son about sex and when you are legally allowed to have it and when you might be emotionally ready. I still feel like I’ve failed him. I am upset that he’s had sex, this entire situation shows that 14 year olds are not emotionally ready for it.

I am disappointed in him for lying to me. I’m disappointed in him for having sex. I’m disappointed in him for telling his friends and putting someone he used to like in such a difficult situation.

I feel sad, disappointed and completely out of my depth. There are some parenting situations when I just feel I don’t know what I’m doing and this is one of them. I worry legally in terms of them having sex, yes it was consensual and they were both 14 but could they be prosecuted? The more I think about it, the worse this situation feels in my head.

I don’t feel like I should punish him for having sex, but I do feel like he needs to know how disappointed I am in him. I feel quite ashamed and embarrassed about the situation which I didn’t expect. All together I am feeling very confused, I thought it might be easier having boys when it came to sex but I do feel there’s an element of his innocence that has gone and it’s a scary thought.

I need to talk to him about it, it’s really not something I want to do but think it is important, I want him to be aware of the responsibility he has as a young man to respect women and to treat them well. This includes not bragging about his sexual exploits. It also includes respecting them enough not to have sex with them before they are legally allowed, listening to them if they say “no”, listening to himself if he’s not feeling ready.

Right now I feel like an utter failure as a mother and raising boys to be good men feels like a monumental task.

Tuesday 3rd Sept. Thursday 20th March.

I wrote this on 3rd September, 2013. Granddad took a turn for the worst, and I jumped in the car, blindly. I didn’t know where I was going. I just drove. Grabbed a notebook, and a pen, and drove. I ended up at St Patrick’s C of E Church, Tanworth Lane. I didn’t know what else to write. I had to write something, It’s my dealing mechanism. Turns out, I don’t deal as well as I thought, but I’m kinda ok.

I will be ok.

Anyway, Granddad, I wrote you this letter.

Granddad

I know you’re going soon and I think that’s a really good idea. You’re very tired, I’ve known for a while, but you’re very stubborn and I know you think you have more to do. Thing is, you’ve done everything, and more. I know you’re worried about the house and the church and Vie, but it’s all okay. those things and people will be fine.

Granny has been waiting a long time for you and I know she has lots of things to tell you. She’s been watching for ages, though I didn’t know at first. She’s been following the rest of us while you were busy; she knew you wouldn’t have the time for it all, so she has everything you need to know.

I’m not scared of you leaving. I’ve been ready for a while. More ready than you, and maybe more than the rest of our family! Granny will tell you about that too; she’s seen me learn new things, but she knows I don’t understand my gifts yet.

You knew about my gifts too, but perhaps your positioning meant you were slightly blinded – but that’s ok! I sure don’t resent you. I just hope you understand, and don’t think any less of me.

Selfishly, I need you to tell Granny I said “hi”, and also “thank you”. I know she looked after me and my gift(s)(?), and filled me with knowledge I wouldn’t understand until nearly 30 years later. So much to figure out! But she did good, tell her, and that I do look forward to speaking to her in another form, in another life.

If you can, please reach out to mom. She won’t feel you for a while, because she’s in trauma, but I know she’ll be in more pain than the others, and she won’t handle it well. However, I don’t want you to worry about her, she will be fine.

I’m not sure why you brought me here, to this church; I guess it could have been another church. Maybe it was everything about it? The bells, the countryside, the building the English heritage; were you looking to go back one last time? If so, I understand. I hope I chose the right church for you, I think it was a joint effort between us.

I’m really glad you got to meet us all; Noah and Isaac miss you. I am sorry I wasn’t quite the granddaughter I should have been. I know I messed up a few times, but I hope you can understand, or at least forgive me.

When Granny left, she stayed around for a long time, Will you do the same? Hopefully I won’t be too scared this time, and will be able to embrace you a little more.

Oh, and before I forget, please tell her I said sorry for spilling the milk, and thanks for soothing me. It really helped, because you both knew how horrified I was even though I was so young.

Do you remember your house in London, and how I phoned you there every day? To this day, I still don’t even know what station, road, area, location or any of it, but there are elements of that house which are clear as day to me. I wish I could have spent more time there, perhaps I would have a better understanding.

I know you’re on a lot of medications right now, but it’s time to let that go, okay? It’s not the way you wanted to go, I know that. But seriously, things are the best they could be now. Of course, if you can HAPPILY wait for the children, then please do hang on. But you know your time is soon.

I never told you this, but I was always really proud to be your granddaughter. You’ve done some amazing things for the communities and being recognised in your communities was always gave me an incredible sense of pride. Even when I didn’t fully understand, I knew you were doing Great Things.

By the way, “This is grater”? Favourite joke ever.

Even though Dave and I are to part ways in terms of marriage, I am still so glad you were able to give us your blessing in Jamaica. Most would feel sad and bitter, in light of horrible/sad circumstances. But as you (and Granny) knew, I live a life with no regrets.

Do you remember when you would belch and pass wind with almost brute force? And we’d all be giggling and you would blame it on The Good Food? You have a long line of a family tree who will almost honour that. Crazy but very true.

I hope you find peace, Granddad. You’ve been in so much pain for so long. I felt pathetic when I gave you my crutches, at mom’s house. But it was all I could do.

I’m not scared of you dying, Granddad. I’m not scared at all. I’m scared of you hanging on and being in more pain than is necessary, or than you deserve.

You have lived a life so many people fail to even see. You always had your eyes open. I’ve been trying to do the same, though it’s turning out very differently to you. You’re an inspiration, though, and I appreciate that.

I think you’re waiting, but I’m not sure what for. Not sure, just yet. You’re not scared, either. I know that because you have faith. And it’s strong, too! And that’s great. But now you’re here, don’t forget it, ok?

I know the others will want to say goodbye, but I don’t know how long that will take. For your sake, I hope it’s not too long, because your bags are packed .

Look at this – it’s like I’m trying to shove you out the door! I’m not, but you know that already.

Oh hey, I have a cheeky favour to ask; if Granny is there, and you see her, and talk to her, can you please ask her about Noah? I don’t want to make colossal mistakes with him, as I think he’s going to go down the same difficult path. I want to help him, you know? There’s a reason I didn’t connect with him, and I am starting to understand why, but I can’t let it overrule everything.

I hope this doesn’t sound awkward, but if it turns out you hang on for much longer, then I will most likely try to contact you again. I think I’ve already said everything, but you’re quite difficult to sense these days.

So anyway, I love you and I will miss you, and I hope I did you proud. I can’t wait to see you again one day, in whatever life that may be. You will be strong again, and very safe, wherever you go, and I’m glad for that.

And seriously, stay in touch, okay?

Love you Granddad.

Jay (Janet aka Jennifer)
xxx

PS I’m going to hang around until you’re ready to go, ok? So if you’re ever lonely, I’m here if I can connect. x

As ever, I underestimated you, Granddad. Stubborn, AND strong. I hope I can take just a fraction of what you had to give. The phone call from my mom this evening, at just after 8:30, to tell me you had finally let go an hour ago, was the most surreal conversation ever. I’m not gonna lie, somewhere, a part of me was laughing because I thought she was joking. Sickest joke anyone could make, but hey! We know that’s how my mind works.

Coping mechanism.

I’ve cried an awful lot this week, Granddad, feeling your internal pain. WAS it you I could feel? I did wonder. I’ve cried more than I could normally cope with, accompanied with all the wrong thoughts. “Time to go. Just go. It’s easier. Less pain. Time to go.” I always worried whether the morphine was enough for you, whether you could still feel anything, whether you were numb. Mom says you stopped all movement a few days ago, and that’s ok. It’s good to rest, you know? It’s always good.

You always knew what was good.

I just want to say, Granddad, you should know that, I always thought you were the greatest man that ever lived. There are, I think, only 3 people in the world whom I’ve loved as much as you, and only one of them is left. That scares me, a bit. Sorry if that’s a bit selfish.

I hope it’s not; I hope you understand.

I’ve prepped for this day for a long time, but it’s still not real. I thought I was ready. I kind of was, but it’s still never real until it happens, right?

I’m going to miss you. I can’t really see what I’m typing because my eyes are super puffy swollen with tears. But the thing is, you already know what I want to say. It’s all in the letter.

I hope you heard it.

I hope you felt it.

I hope you take it with you.

I love you, you incredible person.

xx

Dear Wednesday (And most of this week)

You know when all you want is the the last best friend you lost to cancer?

Well don’t then go and read an old blog post about how awesome he was, and how much you miss him, and for the LOVE OF GOD do not get tangled in CancerSelfieGate on Facebook because no one is allowed to have an opinion. Also, buy some cake.

You know when you feel your phone vibrating in your bag, and choose to ignore it?

Well think twice when you feel that vibrating, but have your phone in your hand, and realise the vibrating is NOT coming from your bag, but is in fact the rubbish fly on your jeans slowly opening, which you come to realise when you feel a breeze on your crotch. Also, seriously, bin the fucking jeans.

You know when you spend a week crying non-stop because shitty old demons are haunting you good and fucking proper?

Well you should take a look at all the work you’ve done so far, and stop beating yourself up, because you’re not really that bad a person and let’s face it, you’ve worked almost round the clock for the last 6 years. Also other people beat you up enough as it is, don’t add to that yourself.

You know when you feel like the loneliest person in the world?

Well, it’s time to make it a priority to get out in the world and fuck the internet, because humans were made to look each other in the eye, to hear another person’s voice, and feel warmth when they are near you. Also, stop being such a fucking wimp and message the people you want to message and go out for a drink already.

 

Dear Wednesday,

Screw you. Please do F.R.O.D.O.

Chilly, exhausted, weak and scared,

Me.

Silent Sunday

Leah

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