Friday, 26 August 2011

When is it ok to lie?

As long as you are not hurting anyone or doing anything illegal, I think its fine!

Would you Rather lie and make someone happy or tell the truth & hurt them?

What they don't know, will not hurt them.

That said, liers always get found out.

I do not see the harm in telling your friend she looks beautiful in her new dress, what would i gain from telling her she doesn't? Why upset her.

I do not see the harm in bending the truth a little or giving indirect answers, that's technically not lying.

I would lie to save my bacon, ill admit it.

The question is more, when is it not okay to lie?

Its wrong to lie to the police or anyone in authority that could use your lies against you.

Even politicians lie these days...

I would never lie at the cost of anyone Else's or my own happiness & safety.

I feel if you live your life right, you don't have to lie very often anyway.

Don't put yourself into situations were you have secrets.

Its easier not to lie, you don't have to remember what you said.

10 Years ago today...

Its ten years since 8 year old me watched my grandad faid from this life. Laying on his hospital bed, wires all over him, beeping sounds all around the critical care ward. He lost the fight for life on the 25/08/2001 following a fall down the stairs at his nursing home. A inquest lead to a day in court to determine if it was an accident.

As a child i didn't understand my grandad at all. He had dementia and always called me "fatty", aged 8 i didn't understand he was ill, I always thought he was an evil bastard, who couldn't be bothered to remember his grand kids names.
My mother, me and my brother were his only visitors for the last few years of his life.

I always remember the long walk off the main road, past the tennis court id later use with school. To an old Victorian mansion, a lovely big garden stayed untouched and lifeless. Up the 5 steps at the front you were greeted by a white double door, a small hallway and a book all guests must sign on entrance. To the side of the desk were stairs, the same stairs that would later end my grandfathers life. Through the door in front of the desk, you were greeted by the smell of hospital food, medication, old people. To the left lead you to the main office, the living room, the toilet. To the right you would find the main living area, the kitchen/dinner, the TV room/conservatory and the lift.

For the first few years i remember finding grandad swift in the main living area, sitting by a lovely little old lady called Meriel.She never got any visitors and i always wished she was my grandma, she was lovely with silver grey hair, a heat warming smile and a positive out look on each day. I would sit and chat with her, often to avoid the horrid bitterness i received from my grandad, but also because i loved the little lady so much, a feeling that was shared by my mother and brother, we would sneak her in sweets every month, she a diabetic, it was naughty, but it honestly was the only pleasure in the life of a lady who didn't have a life...

In the later years, grandad or swifty as he was to me, as i was never close enough to him to think of him as any thing else, was always found in the little living room. You walked in the door to a room of old decor, a larger window on the far side of the room, opposite was an old Victorian open fire, the type with green tiles around and coal inside it, complete with a bucket and spade for decorative purposes. I never remember it being used for heat reasons.

There was an arch which led to the bathroom i think, but I'm not sure. My grandad had his own room upstairs. Through the door a window faced you, a brown, old wardrobe was filled with a few clothes. A single bed pressed against the wall and a few family photos spread across the walls, along with drawings my brother and me had left him, on one of our visits.

Back in the living room,5 chairs would line up across the right wall, then the arch would break up the line, followed by a step, the fire and a few more chairs up on a raised stage type thing. Swifty was always on the green, old chair nearest the window or some times two chairs up if he fancied a change.

Mum would always walk in first, Me and Ricky would hide behind her in case we got hit or abused. He had the same blank expression each time which turned to confusion when my mother started speaking to him. He would call her Bridget (her sisters name) and look towards us as if we were strangers, to him we were. I was fatty and my brother was "him". He would be told our names over and over, mum even left a photo of me and my brother in his pocket and glasses case, complete with our names and ages, so he could remind himself whenever he liked, to no avail. A photo i later found and put in his coffin.

We would play domino's every single time, suck on mints or worthers, every time without exception. Try and jog his memory, talk about our days at school and generally feel uncomfortable in his presence.

I never new my grandad outside of that care home. The care home was my grandad. I never went to the park with him, shared an ice cream, hugged him, laughed with him. He didn't see me grow or see us as newborns. He didn't share in our excitement or wipe away our tears. We have no mutual memories. He didn't show us affection or acknowledge us as his relatives.

All of which hurts. All of which makes me side with my late grandmas theory of him being an old drunk with no emotions. But my grandma was also very bitter and divorcing him didn't help her views on him improve. I suppose he did teach me to be strong, to understand that some people in life, no matter how much you wish they would, will not be nice to you.

My mother remembers him differently. She remembers going to church every Sunday after her parents divorced, He was Irish and divorce was unheard of, so my grandma kept up appearances for the kids sake. They had 5 children together, wile my grandad was well off for the time, he spent all his money on drink and left my gran to raise my mother and siblings on next to nothing. My grandad was an alcoholic of no fixed abode, spending later years crashed at my mum and dads before i came along, before being moved to the nursing home. My mother remembers a funny, sly man. Once refusing to show the police what was in his pocket, they brought him back to my parents home, explained they needed to see what was in his pockets to be sure it wasn't illegal. She opened his jacket and found a bag of apples there. He had led the police on to save his apples. They all found the funny side of it, thankfully!

I no little about his childhood, other than he is one of 13 brothers and sisters. He has a twin sister, also Bridget and they were raised on a farm in Ireland. He lost a few siblings as babies, but the rest remained in Ireland, with one of his brothers later moving to London. We keep in touch with 2 of his siblings. One of them coming to his brothers, ex wives funeral the other week.

My grandad to me as a little girl, was a scary, complicated man. I always wanted him to know who i was, not to even love me, but just to know my name. It was a tricky concept as a child that somebody couldn't understand who i was. I drew pretty pictures and left him school photographs, why didn't he remember me? Another thing i found hard was the nastiness, I'm sure that not every person with memory loss, calls there grandchild "fatty". That's nothing to do with memory, that's hatred.

I remember the long walk into hospital with my mother that day. Id lost my other grandad just weeks before and was now walking down to potentially lose the other. Through the card operated door i was met by my uncle, aunt, cousin along with her mother & father. I remember not seeing my cousin in years and sat talking to her briefly about my 8 year old life, before being taken across the ward by my mother and her brother.

At that moment i had visions of my life 50 years down the line, walking with my brother to see my dieing dad, not a nice thought.

The white curtains hung floor to ceiling, suspended by metal bars around his bed. He had a yellow neck brace on that forced his, now purple cheeks, up and made them puffy. The nurse kept sucking Flem off his chest via a tube stuck down his throat. He was lifeless, he couldn't talk, move, eat.. i doubt he could even hear. He has massive head injuries.

I remember hearing my mother say how weird a fall could land him in the state, but years of alcohol abuse couldn't even get him to the doctors!
Staring at my now defenceless, vulnerable grandfather,I could see how little, lonely and ill he was. All my past anger, upset and doubts washed away like waves on a stormy beach.

It didn't matter about the past, who i new, what parts i didn't know. What id seen, what i hadn't seen... I was just glad id stuck with it, carried on seeing him even when my dad didn't want me too. He was an evil person, a drunk, ill, silly man but i only know that because i went to see him week after week. When it was raining, when i was hungry, when i was upset or missing other fun things that i had the option to be doing, i was there with him, getting to know the him i knew. It may not have been a nice him, but it was all i knew of him and never getting the chance to meet my dads mother made me determined to see him till the end, to have some memories, all be it not very nice ones, even at the cost of my own sanity.

They turned off the machines, my uncle cried for the first time in his life.
My mum took on the roll of funeral arranger. Stress in itself. My grandad owned part of the farm he grew up on in Ireland. It had to be sold to his sister, his share of the money divided by 5 kids and the rest used for the funeral. The funeral was partly state funded. All i remember is sitting in the church, looking at the cross and crying. I also clearly remember the whole family standing around the grave as his coffin was lowered to the ground, in the Irish part of the cemetery. His favourite shoes, along with flowers were thrown in on top of the coffin.
In the ten years that have followed, iv come to turns with the man i knew, i understand he was ill. Iv learned to live with that and also learned more about the real him before illness took over.

We visit his grave every 6 months, birthdays and special occasions. We decorate it with flowers and plaques and i reflect on the man who wasn't, the man who was and what he meant to me. My grandad.

May he continue to for many more years to come.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Mum, Dad, Nottingham and Me.

Written for the daily post:
Have you been to where your parents were born? What was it like? If you haven’t been, describe how you imagine it to be.

My dad was born at home in a street situated in Sherwood, Nottingham. After spending his early years in the house, he moved 5 houses down when he was joined by 4 siblings, for space reasons.

He moved away when he come of age and lived in 10 houses and flats. When his dad, my grandad passed away, He inherited his house. My dad aged 34 returned to the house he grew up in, the street he was born on, along with me, My mum and my brother.

When asked if i have been to my fathers place of birth, the answer is Yes, I live there myself, now.

Its a normal street, on an ex council estate. The house he was born in (5 doors up) was brought by a family with young daughters, when i first moved onto the street, aged 4, i befriended the girls and had the chance to view the house in which my father was born and spent his early days. I'm afraid i don't recall what it was like, But the house in which i now live (were my dad moved to, 5 doors down, aged 5) is pretty much the same layout, but bigger.

A set of stairs to the right of the door lead upstairs to two rooms and a bathroom, so my dad recalls. A hallway leads to a living room and a kitchen and a small back garden can be seen from many windows around the house. My dad moved to the house we now live in, when his siblings were born, a much bigger, 3 bed roomed house.

I find it funny that my dad was literally born on this street, in his mothers bedroom on April 7Th. He grew up there, moved house but still remained on the same street. Then to return many years later with his kids. We have now lived here 14 years. My dad has lived on this street 38 years in total. My dad is determined for his death certificate NOT to have the same destination as his birth. He intends to move and die in Spain once he retires.

My mothers place of birth i am unsure about, I am unaware of weather she was born at home, at hospital or other. All i no is she was born in the Meadows area of Nottingham, She was also one of 5 children and had a much poorer upbringing than my dad. She moved to Clifton for 5 years before returning to the meadows into a new estate. She then lived there till she was 18 when she moved out, met my dad and after 10 moves, ended up here, on the street my dad was born.

My mum and dad share the same area of birth as me and my brother. We were both born at the QMC in Nottingham and have lived here all our lives, so far!

Nottingham is not a very exciting place to describe, lack of info of my mothers birth means i am out of words for now.

Were ever we started off, we have never strayed out of Nottingham and after all is said & done, Its not such a bad place to be...

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

10 reasons im glad I'm done with school - writting workshop

1) I'm not a morning person। i do not miss the early starts. the cold winter mornings at the bus stop or the long walk home on a dark day.

2)i do not miss the fights it caused between my mum and me. i dropped out of school at 14 and got home schooled by the council after a long battle. i got there in the end and gained 6 gcse's but it was at the cost of my relationship with my mother. its at an all time low after years of ups and downs.

3) I'm so glad to be rid of the idiots that filled the classes। the show offs with combs stuck in the hair. the vain kids who spent there days looking in the mirror. the nerds. the bully's who didn't give in till there victim cried. the hostile atmosphere that greeted you day after day like a lingering bad smell.

4) i don't miss the lifeless uninspiring school building. i changed school building half way through as our year group relocated. we went from a brand new million pound new build, high tech academy, the first to be visited by the prime minister Mr. tony Blair. to a run down, up to nothing, dull, dirty, dark pit. chewing gum stuck everywhere. litter filled the playground. smoke and drug fums floated around. it was a very big change, one that didn't help keep me interested in school.

5) the staff। wile at the end of my time at djanogly there was some outstanding staff members helping me, there was no such luck for the first 3 years. teachers were over worked with class rooms full to capacity. they were treated like crap. i remember at least 5 staff members quiting there job because kids had bullied there looks or teased there teaching ability. kids ran wild and disturbed learning constantly. staff had no control and no authority. they were tired, had no lesson plans. they had lack of motivation that rubbed off on the kids. they had no reason to be good teachers or any fight left in them to do good for these kids. they were run down, fed up and had no support from the head. a complete sham if your trying to actually learn something in there company.

6)i do not miss school or there way of making you feel worthless. every time there was a school trip to Paris, a camping holiday, free sports pass, a chance to meet tony Blair etc. the same kids got it time and time again. it was either the show off group who had good grades, spoke poshly and were top of the class in dance and drama. they were chosen so they could showcase how good the school must be if we have such fantastic kids like them representing it. the other kids who always got them opportunity's were the kids who had English as there second language, they were sent to show how multi cultural we were and how well kids can do when they arrive here, if only they come to djanogly! wile this was very good for the party involved and gained us lots of publicity and sponsorship, it left the other "normal" kids, who had a Nottingham accent, were average at sport and wernt set for bucket loads of qualifications€€, feeling Rather worthless. we never had the chance to shine, which in turn made us engage less, concentrate less and take up a 'fuck it' attitude. which made the posh-good-at-everything kids and the djanogly-success-stories even better in the head teachers eyes, so they get even more treats and special treatment!

7)of course there was embarrassing part in infants school when your big brother comes over for a school photograph, that's something i do not miss! i have constant reminders dotted around the parents house in the form of pretty framed photos in year order!

8)oh it just wouldn't be right to do a school related list and not mention homework! i hated the stuff, we hardly got any in secondary school but in infants we were given it daily. my dad would try and look interested even though he didn't no the answers either. my mum would encourage me but only so the teachers didn't complain. my brother was always so much smarter than me and finished his in 30seconds flat, much to my ever increasing frustration. id hand it in the next morning and hardly ever got any feedback, why bother?

9) dinner times-oh boy! my mother was a dinner lady at my school and wile it was sometimes cool, it was mainly highly embarrassing to see my mum referee my friends during a fight or shout at someone. she also cared for and administered medication to a few children. kids had chants for her. staff loved her. before long€, i was no longer Jenna, but "Mrs.wrights daughter" instead. also it meant i couldn't have much time off as my mum had to go into work and they could spot if she was lien about me being ill a mile off, they would send homework home with her for me to do, on my over exaggerated death bed!

10) routine i hated. I'm not a routine type of a girl. I'm random and a free spirit. i do what i like and when. the 9-3:30 5 day week bored me to sleep. id look out of the windows and dream of home time. Sundays were spoilt by the prospect of another week at school. Fridays were like xmas day, having 2 whole days off to play and be a child, that for me is what childhood is about. not so much desks and pencils, more toys and laughter!

written for mammas losing it writting prompts

Trying to think of nothing.

You forget your thinking, you forget your mind is working. When asked to stop the incredible organ from doing its natural job, you realise how much it does do and how impossible it is to stop it. Pretty much a catch 22.

I have nothing on my mind, which is actually a thought in itself.
You can never fully clear your head from visions and thoughts in one given time.
I can close my eyes and see black, see nothing... But i can't stop thinking of everything.

Being asked to think of nothing, In the instant I first close my eyes, I erase my mind of the previous thoughts of the stressful day ahead.
it goes black and dark & my head starts to whirl.
My brain slows down to an almost stop and i feel my whole body tense as i focus hard on seeing and thinking of emptiness.
The word nothing spins around bashing from one side of my brain to another, in big bold letters on a white background.
Trying to convince myself that i in fact am thinking about nothing at all and my thoughts have stopped for that short 3 minute break, But in fact my brain is more alive than ever.
The ticking of the clock rings in my ear.
The sunlight try's to break through my eyes lashes and the birds song outside flows through the open window and floods my ears.
A dog barks in the distance and all too soon my blank, spacious, empty mind is filled with many thought provoking things.

Its hard to think of nothing, in a world full of everything.
Its not all of nothing, its all about nothing.
I cant think nothing, i think OF nothing...

Written for the daily post

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Follow, lead or neither?

I like to follow, i admit its a weakness of mine.
For me, to follow is failing before trying. I hate the thought of failing, i hate the thought of being unsuccessful or leading others into failure.

To submit yourself to follow in someone Else's shadow without giving yourself the opportunity to shine, is a great shame.

I'm a people pleaser, it gives me greater pleasure to see somebody else succeed in there leadership, than succeed in leadership myself.

I let others make the choices and i rarely speak up to object. I prefere to sit back and follow, relax and be unpresured. I like to observe the failings of the leaders and learn from them, rarther than make my own leadership mistakes and learn that way. This isn't how id like to be, I love to be that confident leader, Who stands up for who they are, what they believe and have self confidence to get all their followers safely to the destination of there vision.

To lead takes guts, you need to be confident and 'in the know'. Wile i hate bossy, authority figures, I feel we all need a little bit of fire in our belly's, a little bit of 'get up and go', a little bit of leadership inside us to get anywhere in life. Something i lack. Wile I'm a follower and never will be a leader...
What makes you incapable of being the leader? Why write yourself off before trying. Speak up and be heard. Lead and be followed!

Follow the leader, leader, leader!

Written for the daily post.