Ready Or Not…

Noo YoikO to the M to the G.

We are getting ready for New York. Manhattan. A Times Square hotel. Bonkers.

A year ago, it seemed a suitable use of my paltry tribunal payout (minus legal fees). Nothing could make up for the year of bullying and intimidation I went through, but this would surely make amends to The Teenager – ‘…, (sniff) just give me a minute……(wail)…..(meh)….’ He put up with a lot.

So here we are. I have two suitcases wide open. In mine – pyjamas, earplugs, moisturiser, face pack, shower gel, trainers, pen, notebook, clothes (natch), headphones, challenging novel, bubble bath, wet wipes, more wet wipes, NY guide book….

In The Teenager’s – shampoo, Lynx, SPACE for Tootsie Rolls he plans on buying and selling at school for a premium.

It’s weird. I spent a very happy six months living in New York. I was young and daft. A mere 19 years old.  And now I’m taking my son there. Strange. I lived next door to a Snapples sales-man in the west village. But that was 20 years ago. It’s all changed.

What will he make of it? Could be interesting…

How will I fare with MS and Manhattan? Should I sit in a cafe and wave The Teenager off? He goes to London every month, so it’s not that different?

Will he be inspired, as I was? Will he see the similarity between the Glasgow grid system and Manhattan?

Who knows. But what I do know is his must-do list:

  • Tootsie Rolls
  • American t-shirts
  • A hot dog from a hot dog vendor
  • A taxi
  • A fire escape
  • Steam rising from the metro (underground?)
  • McDonalds
  • Taco Bell
  • Wendy’s

Wish me luck…


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I Only Went and Did It…

Starving WriterI can’t keep away, can I?

I’ve missed blogging and frequently find myself composing random blog posts in my head, so here I am again. I feel like one of the Rolling Stones on their endless comeback tours, although I’d be tucked up in bed by 9pm with my earplugs in.

Anyway, much excitement chez moi. I applied for the MA in creative writing and, um, I was offered a place in September. Eeek.

To pay for it, I may need to find a suitably grotty garret and eat marked-down bread every day (baked beans would blow the budget), huddled in moth-ridden blankets – but I feel that will only add to my new persona as ‘A Writer’.

In other developments:

  • The Teenager complained his human rights had been violated by my recent refusal to buy him a Domino’s pizza and a large bottle of Fanta. You can imagine how that conversation went.
  • I have started a ‘notebook where I jot down words I don’t know the meaning of’ in preparation for my course. An expository prologue would denote that this is a Byzantine, Sisyphean task.
  • Strangely, I developed tennis elbow last week without picking up a tennis racket since 1984.
  • I cut my own hair in a moment of frustration. Not to be recommended, although I’m pleasantly surprised at the outcome (after several angsty days). Plus I’ll save a fortune on hair masks, intensive moisturisers, olive oil, eggs, etc…
  • The cat continues to bring little field mice into the house and drop them at my feet then bowing and stepping back with an innocent grin before pointing to her food bowl. Must remember to wear socks or slippers in the morning. Mice entrails feel a bit squishy underfoot at 6am.
  • The Teenager has lodged an official complaint. I must not, under any circumstances, feed him any of the following: leeks, tomatoes, onions, spring onions, blue cheese of any description, chili flakes, tarragon, mustard, garlic or enchilladas. I have been encouraged to buy food only at shops full of freezers. Anything with chips apparently. And gravy.

Apart from that, life continues as normal. The Teenager is due back in two hours after a long weekend in London. We are off to New York on Wednesday – making good use of my tiny tribunal payout. Yup, The Teenager is coming to Manhattan. Watch this space, it should be a blast…

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Wow. You guys are INCREDIBLE.

So many lovely messages and emails.

you decideI miss you guys and you’ve certainly got me thinking. I too miss blogging about me and The Teenager. Believe me, he’s not getting any easier:

‘You DON’T understand me.’

HOW can I function on any less than five yoghurts a day? And FYI I don’t like prune’

‘WHY is there no junk food in the fridge? What’s with the green stuff?’

Anyway, I have been inspired by you to apply for a Creative Writing MA. No, really. Me, who said they would never, not never take another exam not never again.

And here’s the crux. Should I learn the saxaphone or take the MA? You decide…..


Cxxx (Christopher, otherwise known as the Insanely Stroppy Teenager)

And Dora (mouse-killer extraordinaire) X


That’s All Folks

that's all!Well, that’s me, wrapping up the blog.

I’ve been writing since just after my diagnosis, through the legal case at work and throughout coming to terms with MS and all it entails.

Without your support and feedback, this blog would not have happened.  A huge thank you to you all for reading and commenting.

What a journey! We had fun. We laughed and cried. The Teenager grew up (and then some).

All that is left to say is Thank You. XXX

Energy Overkill

exhaustedI seem to be in a remission of sorts.

Saying that, I still trip over my feet, the cat, cobwebs, etc. I still lurch in the shower, find shampoo bottles impossible to squeeze and hold onto walls in my house whilst pinballing round corners.

But – I have energy. Energy! An odd, highly intoxicating concept.

And typically for me, I am exploiting it to the max -who knows how long it will last? I could be unplugged within the next hour, tomorrow, next week, so boy, am I going to make the most of it.

The downside is, I crash and burn any time between 7 and 10pm, woken from my gentle slumbers on the sofa by The Teenager turning the light on in the fridge, ferreting around for stray yoghurts that escaped his first food-finding mission.

And when I say crash and burn, I mean it quite literally. I can be absorbed in a book, a TV programme, my diary and suddenly I feel my eyelids growing heavier, shutting up shop for the day. Just when I think, ‘must stand up, must move away from the sofa, now, this minute’, blam. Sudden oblivion.

I am heading for a fall, stumbling on the knife-edge. Something’s got to give, I just don’t know when. I’m a gambler. I make pacts with MS, who has never been the fairest of players. Why am I doing this? I have been swept along by The Energy, but it has to be repaid in some form.

I make mistakes. I think I can do more than I should. Which is why my right arm is bandaged up and I have sprained my ankle. I am covered in bruises from moving quicker than I really should. I’m hobbling around, mentally exhausted but still physically moving on.

I reconcile this danger with the sheer pleasure of being released from the daily grind of MS. Or have I just got used to it? Thinking about it, even though I believe I have energy now, it’s nothing compared to how I used to feel, pre-MS.

Inwardly, I am tired. Externally, I am pushing myself far too far. When will I crash? Probably sooner than later.

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