old people and the words we don’t know

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You’re dripping, miss

Those trousers make your bunda look good

Slay, slag

You’re the coolest kid in the ‘hood.

There is nothing to make you feel old quite like the language you hear teenagers using. It is like a whole new language that doesn’t make sense to anyone over twenty. So when you are nearing forty you have no hope.

I remember when a kid told me I was dripping and I thought I’d spilt something down my top. Apparently it means that I was dressed really nicely – so why couldn’t they just say that.

I try my best to keep up with everything my students say, but I think that I finally have to accept that it has just about run away from me. No matter how hard I work, I’m always going to be wondering what the hell they are talking about.

Much Love

Rachel xx

quiet birthdays and creamy cakes

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When you are eight you dream of mountains

Of presents wrapped in glitzy paper,

A bike with a voluminous bow on the handlebars

And a cake in the shape of Ed the Duck.

When you are eighteen you just wish for booze,

A night on the tiles, with shots and kebabs

And on the the age of twenty eight

Where things are a bit quieter, and you ask

For some sensible clothes for work

And boots and a rain jacket too.

Now I’m heading to forty, just two years to go –

And I think most people have forgotten

But now I take pleasure in the small things,

Some books from the charity shop

And a cake topped with strawberries and cream.

Thirty eight seemed so old, but now

It seems so wonderfully full.

I turned thirty eight today and I knew it was going to be a bit of a wash out because we’re all recovering from COVID and dad’s off on a trip with his friends.

However, I did venture out to the supermarket and so I also hit Matalan and the charity shops to get books and sensible trousers for work.

I had to smile at myself because I felt wonderfully happy and content. When I was drinking, I always wanted fireworks and crazy highs and having a bit of a naff birthday would have resulted in a meltdown where I blamed everyone around me for not loving me enough.

Today, I’m here with a Mug Shot cheesy pasta, Strictly Come Dancing and a strawberries and cream cake from Tesco, and it feels like me cup is half full.

I’m just hoping that when dad arrives tomorrow that he’s going to take me for a cheeky Nandos – then my cup will be overflowing.

Much Love

Rachel xx

getting the ‘rona

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It got me at last

The nastiest bug the world has seen

That’s floored every nation

It’s wiped me out clean

*

It started with lungs

That were screaming with pain

And ended with sick days

That drove me insane.

*

And then there’s my boss

Who demanded I phone her

She was slightly pissed off

At me out with the ‘rona.

*

It finally got me. I have the COVID. I have worked in schools since the very beginning of the pandemic and I haven’t had much more than the odd sniffle. I was even telling people that I thought I must have some mutant gene that meant that I was immune.

But it turns out that I am not.

I’m coming out of it pretty well, so far. My chest is OK but I have struggled with a fever that is making my body temperature do some pretty interesting things.

I just feel really bad about phoning in sick as this is my first month in a new job. I don’t know about other people, but I have a really bad fear of phoning in sick because I seem to have gotten into my head that it means I could get the sack.

I was brave and phoned in to the Business Manager and she was absolutely lovely about it (I only wrote that she was pissed off in my poem because it was the only way I could get ‘rona to rhyme with something).

If anyone else is feeling under the weather, I send you all my love and hugs and socially distanced kisses.

Much Love

Rachel xx

sweet dreams on world dream day

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Float away on a fluffy cloud

With dreams of unicorns

And chocolate fountains

A place like Heaven

That we visit every night

To get away from misery

That chases us through waking days…

Apparently, it’s World Dream Day today. I don’t know about any of you, but I have the wackiest dreams – and I dream EVERY night which can be a little bit exhausting.

I do also have trouble remembering them in their entirety. I find myself getting flashes of them throughout the day as I remember each piece, like it is a giant jigsaw that needs to be put together before the next round of sleep.

I have always wondered whether they do mean anything. I love to think that they are something more than us just processing the days events. I really do hope that actually, they are revealing to us the deepest parts of our psyche, and perhaps shining a light on what may be coming up in our future.

Whatever a dream may be, I do enjoy that feeling of floating away from reality and entering a world that is entirely of my own making.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the solemn bang of the drum

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The solemn bang of the drum

Reverberates through the drooping crowd,

Heads bowed and all in black,

Some crying, others raise their phones

To catch the spectacle for Instagram,

And still the drum beat continues on,

Warning mortals that our death

Is just around the corner too.

There was only really one thing that I could write about today: the funeral. It was a last minute Bank Holiday so that most people could have the time off work to watch the service and the procession.

If there was any doubt that our country can pull off the pomp and ceremony befitting a queen, then today those doubts were laid to rest. It was bloody magnificent.

I have never seen such a large procession and they actually walked a really long way so that lots of people got the chance to see it first hand. And I don’t think there has ever been an event where so many foreign dignitaries were present. It just goes to show what an amazing and well respected lady she was.

It was great to see Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the funeral, and I think everyone was in agreement that they are possibly the best behaved kids on the planet. I do wish that they had brought Prince Louis along as think he would have caused havoc – we always need a bit of comic relief in even the saddest of circumstances.

Watching the Princes William and Harry walking along behind the coffin was quite difficult because it brought back so many memories of that day, 25 years ago, when they walked behind the coffin of their mother.

Funerals always bring back memories of the people we miss and I’m sure there will be people out there who are feeling a bit low this evening so I hope you all keep safe and eat lots of chocolate.

Much Love

Rachel xx

those sad songs on the radio

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Sad songs on the radio

Pulling at my bouyant mood

With heavy lyrics and a melody

That pierces hearts

And makes us feel

On such a low uneven keel

Crying far too hard to drive

And feeling pains

The truth that we are here, alive.

I’m a driver who goes into my own head when I’m on the road. I think that a lot of people do this because everyone talks about driving home and not remembering half the journey as they had zoned out.

But this means that I can also go to a somewhat blue place and this is never helped by the choice of song on the radio. Most of the time you get a bit of a mix, but when someone famous dies, the DJs seem to go crazy with the power ballads.

Today, a quick trip to Tesco almost ended in tears while listening to Radio 2. I remembered almost every heartbreak I have endured as the DJ maxed out on Whitney and Adele. I had to come home and put on the early Britney bangers to sort myself out.

Much Love

Rachel xx

we actually had to talk to each other

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The little box that sits in the hall

By the telephone, innocuous and silent,

Constant and loving, always there.

And then one day, it begins to flash

An angry red, spreading its evil

Through a house once filled with lovely wifi.

Now it’s gone and the family crumbles

As we drift like zombies, through quiet rooms –

The unimaginable has happened, the internet’s down

And talking to each other

Is the only thing left to do.

I am joking, obviously. The internet went down and we did end up talking to each other. But it was really pleasant and it was nice to sit with Noah and spend a few hours in his company. He even came food shopping with me, which is a very rare event.

It’s amazing how a night with no wifi can change the way we all behave. I do enjoy having the internet and the ability to connect with people all over the world, but sometimes I think it would be so much nicer to go back to a time before we were ruled by it.

At least I could have some help carrying the shopping, if nothing else.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the vigil that got me

Watching the Queen’s children standing vigil around her coffin this evening was probably the first time that I felt truly touched and emotional since the news on Thursday.

I’ve obviously felt sad, but I really felt that human connection as I watched the four of them standing silently as the general public continued to file into the chapel.

I remember when my nan died, my aunt was so overcome that she literally threw herself on the coffin and began sobbing. Watching the sadness on Charles’ face just brought all those memories back to the surface.

People have been commenting on how ‘rude’ he was when he signed the papers in the throne room on Saturday, but I think that we were all forgetting the most important factor in all of this – he may be the King of England, but he has just lost his mum and that is crushing.

I felt a tear or two escaping as I sat and watched for those ten minutes. Moments like that are normally very personal and private and those poor people have had to play this all out very publicly.

I just hope that in between all of the many public engagements that they all need to attend, that they can grasp those few moments of quiet reflection so that they can recharge.

Much Love

Rachel xx

i felt like she needed a hug

I do apologise for all of the royal commentary at the moment, but over here we are having wall to wall coverage so it feels as though it’s the only thing anyone is talking about.

And I’m even more sorry to harp on about the ‘Fab Four’ of William, Catherine, Harry and Meghan because I know that it’s a story people can get slightly fed up with. Even I am starting to feel tired of reading the bitching that goes on between the people who support either side.

I actually love them all equally. I think that at all four of them have met different struggles along their journeys – struggles us mortals can’t really comprehend. Perhaps some have made some mistakes along the way, but that is what is both beautiful and messy about being human.

The moment yesterday, that caught my attention the most, was the moment when a fourteen year old local girl asked Meghan if she could hug her. When she was later interviewed by the media she said that she did it because she wanted Meghan to know that she was welcome here, after everything that she has been through.

I can only imagine the fear that Meghan must have felt yesterday and I think she’s really brave for stepping out in front of a media that has been really nasty to her. And I’m sure that if she heard what that girl said, it would have helped her feel loved.

It was interesting to look at the photo of the hug and see just how tightly Meghan was holding onto the girl. She needed that hug, and I’m glad that a little angel was put in the crowd to give her what she needed.

Much Love

Rachel xx

we do funny things in grief

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Some of the analysis of today’s events has been quite interesting to read. There are obviously so many people ready to jump to conclusions and read into just the smallest of words or mannerisms.

This can be problematic because the people that we are watching closely – the royals – are grieving for a mother and grandmother. And none of us ever act normally when we are gripped by grief.

Today, Kate and William invited Harry and Megan to come on the walkabout outside Windsor Castle and the whole world seemed to have an opinionon everything they saw.

I read anger into almost anything, probably because of a strict upbringing; if I did even the smallest thing wrong my mother would fly off the handle. I am aware that I am overly sensitive on this front, and very often, I am way off the mark and the person who scowled at me was just squinting in the sun.

But I couldn’t help but notice the distance between Kate and William as they walked down the driveway. I hope that my damaged little brain is just overreacting again, because I idolise Kate and William.

Grief does funny things to the way we behave, and perhaps Kate just powers through the sadness, and that’s how she copes. My dad is the most unemotional person in the world and when his dad passed away it hit him so hard that he couldn’t work for six moths. The reaction was totally unexpected, but what can be expected when you’ve lost somebody you’ve known forever?

I hope that they are all OK and my thoughts and prayers are with the whole family.

Much Love

Rachel xx