so this is christmas….

christmas tree with baubles
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And what have you done,

Another year over

And a new one just begun.

Sorry for a bit of plagiarism there, but I kind of feel that those lines sum up the feelings there are at this time of year. I have had some epic years and some that have been absolute shit shows; but now is always the time to relect.

And I don’t know about everyone else, but it makes me feel really emotional.

There are normally lots of recaps of the year on TV too and you can’t help but remember that moment in time through rose tinted glasses. In England we have had the football, Emma in the tennis and the Olympics. We also had the final of Strictly Come Dancing last night and that ended in many tears.

However your year has panned out there will be some amazing things that have happened. You’ve probably forgotten about them because it’s so much easier to cling onto the bad bits. Spend some time remembering those good bits and use them to stay hopeful.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the haunted house

photo of grey colored house during daytime
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The garden calls me from the world I know,

Grave stones poking through the grass

Like rotten teeth in swollen gums, I wonder

What lies below, what else could push their way

Upwards, to grab at ankles as I pass.

Once at the door we’re always greeted by

A man unusually tall, stooping and groaning

Holding candles sagging in the night.

Pictures change to gruesome sights, as we walk

Towards the cars that drift through halls

Like silent hands that hold us safe.

We swoop through ballroom scenes with ghostly girls

Held in arms of ghoulish men and someone sat

At organ keys, playing something tabgo-like.

And into basements we will travel, where the dead

Were buried (maybe not quite dead when trapped

Inside the nailed up coffin box. Now they play

With people as the venture in, jigging to

A song we cannot hear with earthly ears.

And when the journey ends we jump back on

To terra firma with the help of girls

Dressed in high neck shirts and full length skirts,

Out into a bright lit day, so at odds

With the darkness we have come to know and love,

Blinking in a gift shop full of branded mugs

And T-shirts printed with the living dead.

We part with too much hard earned cash before

We head off to Space Mountain for

Another ride, another thrill, another world

To make us scream with pure delight.

they’re just so flipping deep

How is it that an eleven year old

Can make you stop within your tracks

With something so profound

Your breath, it catches in your chest?

They somehow know the words to fill

An awkward silence, or just how

To accurately put love into few words,

Like they’ve boiled it down

Until the essence is rolling off their tongues.

Incredible really, that a child so young

Can understand the things us grownups

Grapple with so hard, struggling to voice

The turbulence of this life…

a joyful moment at 2:23pm

It was 2:23pm on a Friday afternoon,

With the Year 10 girls, drifting away,

Their left over laughter lingering on

And a few quiet moments before the Year 7s

Bowl down the corridor in bold anticipation,

Dreaming of poems with delectable rhymes

And books by Roald Dahl, with tongue twisting names.

But in those short minutes with nothing to do,

The teachers all sink into swivelling chairs,

Digging out chocolate and bottles of pop

To keep ourselves ticking for one hour more.

Closing my eyes at 2:23, with just one more lesson,

I feel that the world has paused in its spin,

With the light flitting in through the blinds still not fixed,

I wish that this droplet of perfection in time

Could freeze into ice and hold shape forever.

Those moments exist, dotted throughout,

So open your eyes and look for the sun.

the little black book

black pencil on white paper
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She could take down the town

With the names in that book,

Those names up in lights

Who’ve so much to lose.

But what makes her write

Those names and those numbers

That could shine a bright light

On all that is wrong

With the world that we know.

I’m watching the Ruby Wax programme and in it she returns to all of her most famous interviews from the 90’s. I felt particularly drawn to the interview she did with Heidi Fleiss who I had never actually heard of before.

She was a madame who hooked up the richest and most powerful men with the most beautiful women, for who knows what.

It interested me because they referred to her little black book that could have brought down the town. It was interesting because she was due to go to prison for what she was doing, and when I look at the world today, I wonder if anything would have played out differently now?

I wonder if the #metoo movement would have protected her and uncovered the men? And I wonder what made her get into that business? Was the power and money, really worth it? And would it be worth it now? I wonder what I would do with a little black book that had all that power?

So many questions…

Much Love

Rachel xx

The tv shopping channel

They sell a load of crap, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves,

And yet we sit there late at night before the sleeping pills

Kick in and send us into sweet oblivion,

That time when minds are racing with the worries of tomorrow;

What the boss will moan about, and what the gossips say

Around the watercooler, with their furrowed brows,

Angry at the world for no reason I can see.

And so we sit at midnight watching QVC or Ideal Home

Or yet another channel selling diamond rings and pots and pans,

Then Skechers in five colours with culottes and kaftans,

Rubbish really, but I watch because it is hypnotic to the senses

With those voices smoother than those silky sheets they sell

At 1:26am, when all the world’s asleep,

But us, the anxious and the ill will doze until the sun will rise

And suave presenters come and go, they are my friends

Who keep me company when madness grips my soul.

The KIDs’ party at the soft play centre

The screams can be heard from the car park,

Piercing like someone’s being murdered,

Brutally, but it’s just kids having fun, apparently.

And then they charge us five pounds

To sit at tables, sticky with the residue

Of sweets and coke that sends them to the moon.

The sound is all consuming, cacophonous

As toddlers bump their heads and bigger kids

Run riot, not caring who they knock

With arms spread wide and socks all grey

From dust that gathers in the garish tunnels,

Never cleaned since opening in 1999.

We order food and sausages that swim in oil

Arrive on plastic plates with pictures of those dinosaurs

That kids all seem to love, but then there comes the cake

With sparklers pushed in sugary sponge,

A health and safety risk, among so many others.

Leaving feels like coming up for air,

The wall of sound fading as we skip away

With wailing children on our arms,

We promise we’ll be back one day very soon.

Home

black handled key on key hole
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I need this space like fucking air,

My carpet stained with a gravy splodge

From a roasted chicken dinner with a friend,

And that blackened circle on the counter top;

That place where I burnt the plastic with a pan.

The front door that doesn’t work all that well,

It opens if I ram my shoulder up against it when

I’m coming in, laden with two shopping bags,

(I can only buy two bags worth at a time because

There’s only space for that, in my tiny cupboard,

Fridge and freezer), so just forget a weekly shop.

But this shitty little place, it’s mine;

And coming back from days away, is kinda like resurfacing,

Taking one deep breath, luxuriously.

I need this space to live, to walk the world,

Knowing that I have this little slice of worlds

Carved up by men much richer than I’ll ever be.

But I own this, and for this I am glad.

I’m back from holiday and I feel like I’ve just sunk into the softest bed. This place I call home, is my safe space and it’s only when you are away for a little while that you realise just how much you need that space.

As you may know, my parents are divorcing at the moment and my dad phoned to ask if I want to club together and buy a place with him and his part of the divorce settlement. My heart sank. I don’t want to hurt him but I also want to keep this little slice of the world that is my own.

I’ve worked so hard over the past four years to get sober, stand on my own two feet and get a job that I’m really proud of, and moving back in with my dad will take so much of that away from me. I wish I was tougher and could just tell him that I want to stay in my own little space. This really sucks, but it’s made me realise just how much I need this place.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Under the bridge

What has happened here, under this bridge?

Who has been driven down to the river,

Under the M56, that runs through to Manchester?

What drove them down there to that ugly grey world,

Cement blocks for chairs and graffiti to view

While they share stolen kisses and shoot up their drugs.

Why did that happen to her and not me?

And what fatal flaws has this place sometimes seen?

He’s full of useless information

gravid yellow jacket wasp closeup photography
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What do they teach them at that school?

His granddad ask, sipping at his beer.

It’s the internet, I say, picking at the crisps,

Packet splayed open on the sun warmed bench.

The internet? he muses and I nod.

YouTube videos and Reddit or that Buzzfeed site,

It teaches them what frequency a wasp will hum

And just how many golf balls can be made each year,

But how to roast a chicken or to paint a wall,

There’s one whole generation that doesn’t have a clue.