Daily Prompt: Volume

The first thing that came to mind when I saw today’s Daily Prompt word of ‘Volume‘ was this old acid house track from 1987 called ‘Pump Up The Volume’ created by a one-off collaboration of British artists and released under the name M|A|R|R|S…

Acid house is not exactly a favourite style of music for me but crazily this addictive track has somehow become stuck in my head ever since. Amazing to think it’s going to be 30 years old this year… 🙂

Thirty-Five Years Ago…

Thirty-five years ago today I first got married, aged 18, a scarily young bride who was in retrospect far more in love with the idea of being in love than with her 21-year-old groom. We were totally unsuited to each other, and should never in a million years have got hitched, but at that time in the world we lived in getting married was just what people did. Sadly, one way or another the reality of that unfortunate legal liaison was for me a thoroughly rude awakening to the best and worst of adult life to the point that five years, three children and one near-fatal overdose later I left him, never to return.

It may seem odd still to mark the anniversary of such an unhappy marriage after all this time, especially as I’m now very happily married to someone else – to my best friend, in fact – but how can I not remember such an important anniversary when the most tumultuous experiences I’ve ever had in my life were condensed into the relatively short space of time when my first husband and I were legally joined together. Giving birth to my three beautiful babies, being zonked out on valium for nigh on two years and then the devastating nuclear fallout of trying to kill myself has inevitably left its mark – how could I ever forget?

Confusingly I can’t find it in my heart to regret a toxic relationship that ultimately created life – well, three lives – during that same period of time it almost destroyed my own. Each year that passes takes me further away from those darker memories, and although the old hurts may be long healed the scars still remain. And divorce may have given me my legal freedom, but genetically the ghost of him lives on in my much-loved children and grandchildren, and like it or not in them we stay in part forever shackled together.

So I always consider the anniversary of that first wedding each year in my own way, depending on how I’m feeling on the day. This year I’m feeling quiet and thoughtful, eternally glad still to be here on this earth and still to have a good relationship with my children in spite of all our ups and downs and familial difficulties over their formative years. I love them all as fiercely and passionately as ever, and find I cannot simply erase the memory of their father from my new-and-improved life narrative just because it may suit me to do so, and as a result I still regard the continuing recognition of my first marriage as a relevant part of their birthright…



Daily Prompt: And Finally…

TV News, when I was younger, was something you only ever received in tightly-scheduled one-hour fixed slots at lunchtime, tea-time, and bed-time. And the news was… well… the news, not some 24-hour lifestyle-magazine conveyor-belt consisting of a continuous series of soundbites, suppositions and pseudo-scoops interspersed with the odd snippet of actual, factual information.

In the old days it seems to me that headline items were chosen with care and filler items added or discarded as necessary; prurient points took precedence and everything else followed in descending order afterwards. Basically all the fancy fluff and guff we have to wade through to find the bare bones of the story these days was missing. News was a serious business, delivered in a serious manner – well, mostly.

I have many fond memories of the final item of the Ten O’Clock News every night – the lovely Trevor Macdonald with his ‘And finally…’ story right at the end, usually something light-hearted or amusing or just plain silly to report to lift our spirits from all the inevitable doom and gloom of global daily disaster that we had been informed of over the preceding fifty-something minutes.

But nowadays it feels like the opposite occurs – we have multiple so-called ‘news’ channels streaming non-stop light-hearted nothingness all day with any news of real worth being slotted in randomly around the rest. God, I’m such a grumpy old woman these days, I seem to be turning into a real dinosaur, truly out of place in the modern world! 🙂

Daily Prompt: Final


Songs from the Past: Gina G – Just a Little Bit

This week Hugh is focusing on the Eurovision Song Contest for his weekly series of Songs from the Past. Although personally I’m really not a great Eurovision fan, I could hardly pass up the opportunity to join in with such a challenging theme – so here goes!

This particular 1996 Eurovision Contest entry for the UK (sung by Australian singer Gina G) remains forever etched in my memory, as at that point my two teenage daughters attended regular dance classes (both ballet and tap) and had worked out a dance routine which they practiced religiously – always to the music at full blast, of course, so one way or another I heard it such a lot that year! Do I like it? Well, I suppose I have to say… Ooh, aah, just a little bit… 🙂

Oh, and apparently the song came 8th in the contest, held that year in Oslo – not too bad a result! 🙂

Daily Prompt: Apprentice

The art of housewifery was learned, for me, from childhood onwards through an old-fashioned apprenticeship served at the knees of the closest adult women in my life; in particular my mother, my aunts, and my two beloved grandmothers.

I listened, I watched, I helped, I copied, and finally over the years I developed my own style of cooking, baking, cleaning, and home-making in general; a personal blend of the best of all, adapted and updated as necessary to suit my own familial needs and circumstances. It may have been a time when societal expectation meant that men went out to work and women kept the home-fires burning, but those traditional skills have proved invaluable nonetheless.

It is an inheritance I am forever grateful for, an oh-so-familiar ritual of home-making I have hopefully passed on in a similar simple fashion to my own children, both son and daughters. And in time, with luck my beautiful grandchildren too will find the same solace in absorbing those same familiar tasks by a kind of cultural osmosis, as already they watch and learn in their turn, the next generation of apprentices in the making…

Daily Prompt: Apprentice

Songs from the Past: Neil Diamond – Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon

This week’s Song from the Past from me is Neil Diamond’s ‘Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon’ from 1967 just because I absolutely love it ❤

However Urge Overkill recorded a cover version that was used in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 movie ‘Pulp Fiction’, and I think maybe I like this version even more – but perhaps because that’s because I really loved the movie, and the association is so strong

Either way, it’s a great song… 🙂

Disloyal Daughter?

Sink or Swim…

What hurtful daughter writes such damning words?

Disloyalty grips tight as guilt unfolds

For years my childhood fears remained unheard

Confused unworthy failings stayed untold

Unquestioning complicity required

I grew up thinking I was all to blame

My fault I wasn’t someone more desired

My female gender always cause for shame…

But now my scapegoat days are gone for good

No longer will I carry all that weight

Two generations further than it should

I leave my parents’ needs to their own fate –

Disloyalty cuts both ways, don’t you think?

It’s time I learn to swim before I sink…

I’m not generally keen on automatically blaming the parents for all the faults of the child, but I’m finally having to acknowledge that however disloyal it may feel and however much guilt it generates within me, I have to accept that some of the continued attitudes and actions of my parents have inevitably caused me (and do still cause me) psychological distress.

Years of therapy for depression, studying Psychology as part of my degree, and the experience of being a flawed parent and grandparent myself have all contributed to the growing realisation that perhaps I was not, after all, the reason for any discord within my family, but rather it may be that particular issues within certain individuals in my family have in fact helped cause the discord in me.

It’s actually quite a liberating realisation, even at the age of 53, and writing (and sharing) these poems about how it feels is really helping me process the emotional turmoil I’m experiencing at the moment. So please bear with me through the introspective doom and the gloom, and hopefully normal service will resume shortly 🙂

Songs from the Past: Alanis Morissette – Ironic

Even though technically there was nothing ironic in the examples Alanis Morissette sang about in her 1996 hit ‘Ironic’, I absolutely loved it, and still do! And I also love the tongue-in-cheek update she sang 20 years later with James Cordon… I’m still smiling and singing along with it even now… such great fun, just love the new lyrics 🙂

The original version…

And the updated version…

Why don’t you join me in joining in with Hugh’s ongoing series of posts ’51 Songs from the Past in 51 Weeks’ and share some of your favourite musical memories too – go on, you know you want to! 🙂