Thursday, 27 October 2016

Here & NOW is not your final destination

When I sit in the library now reading and working, it takes me back to the time when I was doing my A Levels and caught the bus to Leeds City library every Saturday morning and spent the day amongst the books, newspapers and lots of interesting people. I realise now that was probably driving me towards my destiny in writing and learning. It’s funny how certain smells, noises and environments trigger memories you have suppressed yet were probably fundamental turning points in your life. I admit though, by the time I sat my A Levels I was totally dejected and demoralised – having no support around me at all.

As you get older, you realise you don’t need to support to drive you forward. Don’t get me wrong, I think we all need that reassurance of someone backing you but its not the be all and end all to you achieving your personal goals. It has taken most of my life to understand that not everyone wishes you success, even the ones to closest to you although I think some do wish you success so long as you are not more successful than they are! I should have listened to other people and especially one person. When I see again I will tell him, he was right! He was also right that I should have been a researcher too!

Ultimately I believe the anxiety caused by being surrounded by such negativity (you get 99% on a test and no congratulations, just what happened to the other 1%! It may be a joke to the person saying it but to a young child, it’s a self-doubting catalyst or the time I was selected for junior masterchef but missed the deadline because of my asking for help was ignored) was the driving force behind my determination to prove people so very wrong. More so, to prove my inner doubt wrong.

Over the years, it has become more of a nod of the head, confirmation I was right about where my anxieties came from, right that people who love you don’t bring you down and right that, whilst I want everyone to succeed in their own unique way, others don’t share my spirit. People are mean – some out of their own characteristics, others out of sheer ignorance. Nevertheless, you do have choices – you put up with it or you speak out and take action. For years, I didn’t speak about it. The only time it became a major issue was when I could see my children were being treated the same way. Then it became A MAJOR ISSUE.

Today, I am a better person for all the S*** I have been put through. I am still working through the process of laying the demons to rest and it will take some time but I take comfort in the fact I know what the game was, I have exposed the game and my children aren’t pawns in that game. I still have a way to go but I’m finally on MY PATH, MY WAY and no one can stop me now.


I’m probably stating the blooming obvious, but Masters study is tough! It’s such a balancing act between reading too far and not reading enough. I start with one article and three hours later I am off on a tangent and found something totally unrelated but equally as fascinating. I’ve handed in my first piece of work. I was stressing it would not be good enough – yes, I reprimanded myself as six weeks in and I expect to write a complete Master piece – haha pun not intended.


I am still writing the Nanny and love the new direction I am taking it in. I am also formulating a plan for a new idea I have. Streetwise is still out in the market place and believe me, if I am successful I am sure you will all, in every corner of the earth, hear me cheer – possibly Richter scale magnitude!! I keep reminding myself – everything comes to those who wait.

I, Daniel Blake

If you have not seen or heard of this…. PLEASE, PLEASE see it. This is the latest film from the amazing Ken Loach.  Wes and I went to see and I sobbed my heart out. When you have lost your job through illness (like me), when you have paid tax and national insurance all your life before that illness (like me) to then find there is no safety net for you, you begin to realise how close you have become to losing everything and worse – losing everything for you children. Meniere’s hit me like a ton of bricks; the NHS didn’t help as it took 3 years to diagnose then I don’t claim employment support because the stress brings on Meniere’s and Meniere’s stops me from working. Instead, I had to declare myself self-employed and we have been destitute, living very basic lives. This film really hit home for me. Poor Wes had to listen to me blub all the way home about how tough it has been for me as a single Mum and hiding all this anxiety away from him and his brother, whilst still trying to focus on finding a way forward.

I cried too because it made me realise that, in spite of every odd being stacked against us, we have survived and come through the worst of it. I have managed to bring up two fabulous boys single-handedly and still remain optimistic enough to pursue a better world for us. I also realise not all people can do what I have done and that is why they need people, like me, to speak out and make a difference.

I paid into a system on the basis it would be a safety net if things went wrong. When they did go wrong, unforeseen, the safety net was not there. The hoops were to jump through but someone, the Tories, had taken the net away.  Honestly, I can’t recommend this film enough. Only heartless people would be critical. 2016 UK is the only place you can be punished for surviving a heart attack!! I find it really hard to believe, in the age of technology and connectivity, a system can not be implemented where the Consultant/Doctor confirms the diagnosis electronically which automatically triggers the financial assistance for the individuals. This would cut out some fraud too!

The fascinating part of all was Wes and I picked up on the way the hypocrisy of capitalism and idealism of the right wing is depicted so well. The part where Daniel is waiting for his appointment and stands outside an opulent jewellers and the sale of the designer trainers. Whether it was intentional or not, Ken Loach is a genius.

Wherever you are now, whatever position you are – it is not your final destination. I’m here to listen if you need help. Don’t suffer in silence. Sometimes all you need is someone to point to the door where a new world awaits.

This weekend is Halloween. This year I am truly blessed that I am spending it being pampered by a lovely, caring friend. Whatever you are doing – please don’t dress as a clown! Have a fabulous weekend. I can’t believe half term is almost over. Next holiday – Christmassss!!

Much love

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