Monthly Archives: May 2015

Another Sunday evening, I know that I’ve been meaning to find a place that I don’t feel alone.

People talk frequently about that Sunday night sinking feeling, school/work tomorrow, the end of time to yourself to do fun things like see friends and lie in bed. The mild panic when you know that you haven’t left enough time to do your homework for school or work and the tinge of resentfulness that reality must impinge so soon.

I understand those feelings, I had them when I was at school and uni and for lots of the jobs I’ve had. Mainly because I hadn’t done my homework and I wasn’t too fond of my job. However, now I really like Monday’s, they are my favourite day of the week, work is always busy so it goes quickly and I enjoy my job and my colleagues so going into work never feels like a chore. Don’t get me wrong, when that alarm goes off I reset ALOT and wish I could stay in bed, I’m not entirely mental!

My ‘Sunday feeling’ has always arrived as dusk falls on the late summer evenings, on any day of the week, including Friday!! it makes me entirely and inexplicably maudlin and I just don’t know why. I spent a lot of my youth thinking that everyone else was having the best time ever at weekends and in the evenings, going to all those parties(what parties?) that I hadn’t been invited to, I always believed that the ‘fun’ was happening somewhere else to someone else, then as I got older I imagined all those ‘fun’ people now gathered for big raucous Sunday roasts in gastropubs, drinking red wine and reading the papers together. I know that does happen as I have actually attended a few. But I have forever felt a little on the outside of these social calendar things, no idea why. Probably because I never got invited to all the ‘fun’.

I know some of this stems back to to my childhood (excuse my while I just hop onto the Doctors couch). I would have sleep overs at schools friends houses, their nice big houses with their nice big families and their parents who were still married and then I’d get the tube home to the tiny basement flat where me and my mum lived, in a slightly salubrious part of West London. Ironically enough it is now virtually impossible to buy  property where I was brought up unless you are exceptionally well off, who knew Portobello Road would become so popular??

I often walked home from the station at dusk past the gorgeous big houses in Elgin Crescent and Blenheim Crescent where they rarely pulled their curtains across and I could see families watching TV, having supper and interacting in lovely kitchens that took up their whole basement, all bathed in a lovely lamplight glow. Richard Curtis had nothing on my halcyon view of how families in Notting Hill lived. I bet they had carpets and central heating and everything!

I know things are never what they appear to be, those families I watched in their basement kitchens weren’t always happy, and I have no issues regarding how I was brought up, I think my mum did a sterling job but its human nature to covet things. I now own a nice house of my very own and I have nice things, and I know other people aren’t having all the ‘fun’ with out me but I still get that maudlin feeling at dusk and I accept it is probably because the end of the day can often seem like an ending of something more significant, a time to consider  and reflect if we have done all the things we should have or could have during that day, and in the light of such an assessment I rarely feel like I am winning. The summer evenings draw in slowly meaning that that period of self assessment is prolonged, maybe thats why it feels so much more pronounced in the summer?

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Follow your bliss

‘If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.’ Joseph Campbell.

I think this phrase just about sums up all that is good in life. Being told to follow your bliss is just lovely. I truly believe that despite the tumultuous 5 years I have had that I am finally, through accident and design, following my bliss. I feel that I am living the kind of life I have always wanted, I feel satisfied and fulfilled in most aspects, my child, my work, my extra curricular activities. I am being challenged and pushed but not in a way that leaves me feeling wrung out and stressed, instead in a way that makes me question things and be proactive. Now I may be feeling this way because the sun in shining and to me that does makes the most enormous difference. I was in a funk for the last four months of last year because of the continuously grey over cast days but today feels hopeful, I feel that I am on the right track, living a life I always wanted. Not in a day dreamy, one handsome husband, a lovely big house and a collection of Mulberry bags sort of way, I’m not talking about aspiring, I am just being and living and it just feels right. I may feel different tomorrow, I may feel different in an hour but right now, in this moment, I am following my bliss and it feels great.

Just call me Doctor.

I love academia, I love books and libraries and lectures, always have. I did my first degree at the University of Liverpool, a BA(Hons) in Classical Studies, but I wasn’t a massive fan of being there. Liverpool is a fantastic city but I was shy, I was lonely and I couldn’t focus. I didn’t have that ‘amazing time’ that everyone else talks about, I didn’t make lots of friends but I stuck it out. I was also in a very unpleasant and unhealthy relationship for a lot of my time at uni which left its mark on me, in some instances, literally. In my first year I didn’t do much and got rather ordinary grades but then I worked my ass off for the final two and got a 2:2, I was pleased with that.

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Then I got full funding to do a Masters, I didn’t know anyone else doing post grad study and I remained shy so I retreated into my books, spending hours translating great swathes of Virgil from Latin to English and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I came out of that with a Masters in Classics, with specific reference to Latin and Ancient Greek and a dissertation on Infanticide in 5th Century BC Greek Tragedy – stop yawning, its fascinating stuff.

After that I had no idea what to do so I came home to London and ended up running clubs and bars for 6 years then one morning I thought ‘ooo, I’m a bit bored, I should take a class in something interesting’. I watched Legally Blond and thought yes, that looks fab, and so I did a Law Conversion Degree part time over two years (honestly, that bit about Legally Blonde is true), then a two year part time Legal Practice Course to be a Solicitor, then the required two year training contract which I was super lucky to get as each training contract has on average 100 applicants! Then I qualified as a bright new shiny Criminal Defence Solicitor and I loved it, even the prison visits. But the government decimated legal aid, the on call at nights and weekends wasn’t conducive to baby rearing so off I went to do a pseudo legal job relating to employment law which is what I do now and I am very satisfied. But I haven’t been resting on my laurels, I have been working on a research proposal for the last 18 months and finally it has come to pass, I have been offered a place at Oxford Brookes University to do my PhD!!!! Yeah. I shall still work full time and do the PhD part time, I start in January and its going to be brilliant.

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The topic isn’t to everyone’s taste, Why Parents Murder Their Children, but it happens, we can’t ignore it and I think is a worthwhile study.And I’ll also get to do all the important school stuff like buying stationary and pens and making homework lists.

On a more serious note, I am nervous about taking such a vast project on but I am excited, I’ve wanted to do this for a very long time and finally my dream is actually coming true. It’ll be a learning curve, full time work, commute, single mum and PhD but it will all so be worth it, especially when I make everyone call me Doctor.