When Absent Fathers Die.

Yesterday I should have been celebrating. I published my second book. Emilee. However at 7:20 am, I got a text from my step-sister asking me to call her, telling me it was important. I’m sure I must’ve known what she was going to say, we never speak on the phone, and yet nothing went through my head at the time.


No one wants to hear the words “I’m sorry to have to tell you but …”. 


The majority of us (I believe) spend most of our adult life actively avoiding any thoughts of our parents dying, it being too big an emotional deal for us to cope with. For me, it was the opposite. I’ve spent years imagining how I would react, how I would cope, knowing that the first solid contact I would have, would be because of this. In recent months, my thoughts have crescendoed to the point where it became part of the story I wrote. As the words fell out of my fingers, it wasn’t Emilee who was stood in front of the casket as it disappeared behind the velvet curtain, it was me. It wasn’t her who flashed back to her early childhood, it was me.

And now it’s happened. Did I know? Did I have an inexplicable sense of what was about to take place? Even my dreams about him have escalated in recent times.

The messages of sympathy and condolences have poured in. I should find them comforting but I don’t. I feel guilty. Like a fraud. Because I didn’t go and see my dad. Because I couldn’t get over (or around) the person that he was. … A good person at heart but someone who just wasn’t that great at parenting. Someone who communicated at his best by shouting, and bullying. Someone who liked his whiskey too much even if it meant the rest of his family suffered. The person who gave up trying and let me go.

I’m jealous, of the people who got to see another side to him. A better side.  Was I just not good enough to be allowed that?


This is supposed to be the time when I look back and see our time together through rose-tinted glasses and I can’t! My brain is scrambling to find enough memories to assemble just something that didn’t involve me being screamed at, or being told I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t trying hard enough. I’m glad you found those better times eventually, I just wish …. some of them could have been with me.

I’m feeling everything and nothing, all at the same time, the result is a weird numb paralysis. I don’t know what else to do but write.


I want to go back to being 5 years old and I want you to make it all ok Dad! But you can’t. And now you never will.


I don’t even have any proper photos of him. Nothing tangible to hold, or smell, or feel. It’s almost like you didn’t exist, and you did because there is this massive dark black hole in my heart that I have been trying to fill since the age of 15. And it never goes away.

I really want to run away right now … to anywhere, to everywhere, to nowhere … away from myself.

Maybe I’ll bring you back. I’m a writer. I can create any world I want to. I just would rather not be in the real one right now.  I need someone to stop the ride so I can get off.





My tween is speaking in ‘joined up writing’!

My tween is speaking in ‘joined up writing’!


Hand on heart, I have no sodding clue what my child has said to me since he woke up this morning. Not. A. Clue.

Officially he is still in the Tween-Zone but the teens are approaching quickly, far too quickly, and I can see the changes kicking in as the minute’s tick by. About a year ago the greasy hair arrived. Like some sort of monster from the deep lagoon, it was disgusting! As a former hairdresser, I strode into the situation with confidence that things would soon be under control. There was nothing I hadn’t seen or dealt with during that fifteen year period of my life. I was so confident that I would go so far as to say that I was cocky. It was with my chest  puffed out and a glint in my eye that I doused his head in clarifying shampoo and began to scrub.

Five minutes passed; I was dousing again.

Another five minutes; repeating the process for the third time.

Fifteen minutes later; my former glory had left me and I was rocking in a corner, banging my head on the wall, muttering in tongues ‘It won’t go!It won’t go!’

Eventually, it did go but not until we’d called in the  big boys. Sand-blaster, acid bath, sheep-dip, and so far we’ve managed to keep the  beast tamed and under control.

And then came the spots. Overnight, my beautiful boys’ baby soft skin erupted. I don’t know what was worse; the fact that I was totally unprepared and went into a mini-melt down or the fact that he didn’t care. When I tried to casually introduce an element of skin care to his morning routine, it was brushed aside. Apparently, he’d rather have the spots and the extra five minutes in bed. Maybe, this is simply the difference between girl teens and boy teens? Or  the difference between the (healthier ) state of his self-esteem versus the (unhealthy) state of mine at a similar age. I hope the latter. A few ‘You-Did-Great-Mom Gold Stars’ would be nice at this testing time.

After the spots came the B.O. Seriously, we don’t even want to go there. It’s early. Some people are still eating breakfast.

And so, back to this morning, we have finally arrived at the ‘speaking in joined  up writing’ phase. It’s probably pushing the legal boundaries, referring to it as ‘speaking’. It’s a sort of low, continuous noise without a break. Somewhere between the subsonic rumble of an earthquake and the call of a whale in distress. I’m quite in awe. I can only assume that he’s breathing in through his arse because no proper exchange of oxygen appears to be taking place either through his nasal or oral cavity. I have of course checked his vital signs, just  to satisfy myself that what we have got happening is ‘Tween-itus’ and not some kind of nasty bacteria or alien bodily takeover. It’s definitely not bacterial. the alien take over  I’ve not ruled out completely.

The most astounding thing ( to me) about this situation is that he doesn’t seem to realise what he’s doing. The sounds that are coming out of his mouth, to his ears, obviously still sound normal! 

Joint frustrations are mounting!

I think I may go shopping once I’ve finished my coffee, sat here in Nero’s. With all standard methods of communication failing between The Colonel and myself, post-it notes and biro’s are the future. Aside from that, I guess I just have to make sure he is fed and watered at regular intervals until such time that he evolves beyond the grunting stage and rejoins us back in the land of the living.

I don’t know if there is enough cake in the world to get me through this.

Do ‘bass tones’ deminish penis size????

I can’t deny it. Today has taken stress to highs that I haven’t experienced in a lot of years. My eldest, The Captain, has returned to college after two years of home schooling. ‘Normal’ school (at senior level) failed him abysmally. Empty promises of support and understanding (of autism) fell to the floor like autumn leaves. A honeymoon period of two weeks swiftly disintegrated into what was, to put it mildly, a living hell. 

He was effectively punished for being autistic. Any ‘support’ served only one purpose… to get him to fit  their box. Would we ever do this with someone who had diabetes type 1? Would we repremand them for having a hypo? Pressure them into ‘just trying’ stuff in order to wean themselves off their condition? Of course not! Its a fucking ridiculous suggestion. And yet this approach is taken by so many schools across the UK.

He lasted 3 months before I pulled him out. The school mysteriously not being able to find the CCTV that would have shown him being attacked was the final straw after a concentrated catalogue of disasters. And it’s been a good move in many ways on the whole. It turned out the home ed community is massive. HUGE! It’s also diverse. Tolerant. Open minded. Welcoming. 

My son had friends for the first time in his life!

However, despite all the good times we’ve had over the past couple of years, he has been desperate to try a more conventional education again. Even though every bone in my body says “No”, I have to at least allow him to try. Fortunately we have been able to track down a dedicated home-ed geared class. Maximum of 16 students. Tutors that are educated and aware of conditions such as autism. At his assessment I was over the moon to find our efforts across the kitchen table had given him a progression that is almost a year ahead his average peer group; it made all the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile; especially considering that his former school had all but written him off as far as the acquisition of any future qualifications was concerned.

I have everything crossed.

 And so this morning, at 9.10am I dropped him off at central college. I felt so sick. I still do. I’m convinced he will at least die ,if not worse, without me to take care of him … Someone needs to invent elasticated apron strings. I’m not ready for this. Aside all my fears for him, the morning was never going to be one filled with rainbows and unicorns. We have to drive 90 minutes to get him there. There is no other provision any closer. Nada. If we aren’t in the car for just gone 7, we won’t make it. Driving through Nottingham at the best of times is shitty, and at rush hour when you don’t know where the hell you are going, it’s nightmare-level.  Add into that, the google sat-nav bitch ( yes bitch!) sending us on a 10 minute detour to bring us to the same fucking roundabout we’d been 5 yards away from before she flipped; me taking the wrong slip road and landing in the middle of the worst traffic jam in the history of all mankind ( I’m not exaggerating…. It really was that bad…. Infact if anything I’m probably playing it down… I’m still quite stressed… Does it show?); and then we had to sit behind Mr Dickhead  of The Century  for fucking ever, at the traffic lights. There’s something quite sad about middle aged men who drive around in old, badly pimped up VWs with a sound system the same size as a small bungalow stuffed into their boot, thinking they’re cool.

 You fucking aren’t!!!

The only reason we are all staring at you is to try and get your attention so you might notice that your base is on so full that you are making are sodding gums bleed you stupid twat!!! I can only presume that loud bass at that level, in those circumstances, is the poor mans penis-envy.

<And breathe>

It was a special moment. Autistic child already having a melt down because of traffic/ lateness/ new college/ life/ fucking everything…. And then we got to add Mr Dicksplash and His Amazing Bass into the equation.

He finishes at 2.30 this afternoon. I’m not leaving the area; just in case. So I’m sat here, comfort eating, in a little arty cafe place. Its not lunch time yet and I’m already one slice of carrot cake, on slice of lemon drizzle and one lemon-posset in ( except it’s not proper lemon posset… And that’s pissed me off too!)

So apologies for the ranting and raving today. And also the typos. And the swearing. Fury-typing is incredibly difficult on a telephone screen. No one ever got promoted to key-board warrior via the front of a LG Curve or what ever the hell it is I’ve got these days. 

And just for the record… ‘British government’, you are fucking failing autistic kids all over this country. By the thousands. The Conservatives, Labour and that crock of shit we had in the middle. Totally failing them!! 

Okay… Can someone bring me more pudding…. I need more pudding…. 

An SOS To All The Boy Mommas’.

An SOS To All The Boy Mommas’.

Saturday was bathroom cleaning day. 

giphy (16)

I honestly do not know where I went wrong.

<swigs wine>

How is it even possible to leave a bathroom in that state?

<swigs more wine >

I couldn’t get pee in those places if my life depended on it!

<grabs bottle>

giphy (15)

Between you and I, I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up. They are 12& 13 now. That means I’ve got *counts on fingers* at least six more years of this.

<Begins to sob>

I mean, I go over and over with them about wiping the seat, (and around the seat … and down on the floor behind the seat … and under the hinges of the seat….) putting empty loo rolls in the bin. I point out the toothpaste, smeared and dried across the mirror and the glass shelf . The ‘gifts’ they leave floating. The dirty boxer shorts left on the floor along with other unmentionables that I am yet to identify (and quite frankly, would most probably need therapy if I did find out).

What the hell do they do in there!? Do they turn feral? Or into the exorcist? 

How hard can it be? Walk in, take a pee (directly into the loo). Flush toilet. Wash hands. Leave Room. It’s not rocket science. 

Are the towels really so heavy that they can’t physically pick them up post-shower?

And what gives with the conversion? Where my bathroom floor is converted into a paddling pool at least once day? I monitor my water meter … I don’t even know how they make that amount of water go that far. You’d think if nothing else it would wash away the grime. But no. Witchcraft is the only reasonable explanation.

I’m struggling to hang in there at a once-a-week deep clean. It really needs more. I’m not sure I have the inner strength to do it. Someone give me reassurance before I lose the will to live.

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I’m thinking of setting up a crowd-fund campaign to pay for a cleaner, to come in on a sodding hourly basis. Some jobs should be left to those that know what they are doing.



Stranger off the street.

Just anyone except me.

Single Mom Discovers New ‘Strongest Substance Known to Man’.


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Up until today, according to Our Lord God The Google and Michio Kaku, the strongest substance known to man was something called Graphene. In the description is says

“Think of like Saran Wrap made out of one-molecule-thick carbon atoms.  That graphene is so strong in principle you can take an elephant, put the elephant on a pencil, suspend the pencil on graphene and graphene will not break.  That is how strong it is.  It is the strongest material known to science at the present time.”

Now I’m not a woman of science. Nor am I one to blow my own trumpet in particular, however, I think on this occasion I would be excused a moment or two in the limelight. And I think the scientific community would excuse my temporary big headedness when I declare, with confidence, that Graphene bloody well isn’t the strongest substance known to man. It is, in fact, what ever the hell is on the inside of the three-week old bowl that I found in my son’s bedroom today. The ‘what ever the hell it is’ that he ( of course) denied all knowledge of.

<Cue innocent and mildly surprised look from tween>

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As well as it’s apparent strength, one has to assume that there is some kind of quantum physics / molecular fusion that has  gone on because quite frankly that is the only explanation to how, what used to be #Kellogs #CrunchyNutCornflakes, could have become quite so well attatched to my porcelain.

We would have attempted the elephant experiment as described by Google however, in the absence of an elephant, we only had Fetish-Dog and she refused to co-operate. She also chewed up most of the pencils we own, many weeks ago. Instead, we devised our own tests. Despite putting it through many process in the ‘Anna J Domestic Laboratory’, including sand blasting, acid erosion, small nucleur bomb, hammer and chisel, swearing at it very loudly etc. I have been unable to break it down either physically or emotionally. Sadly, it appears to have had the reverse effect on me and I’ve now reached Pinot Grigio point of desperation.

I’m praying there will be no regeneration or breeding from what ever it is during the night, but in all honesty, things aren’t looking great. Next stop is NASA Research Dept … followed by Argos. To buy some new bowls.

I’m Declaring Today, International PJ Day



Today is officially a PJ Day, and, I’m officially making it international so it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, I’ve gotcha back.
Following The Captain’s Nothing Day, yesterday, unsurprisingly, I now need to recharge. I think I’m a fairly typical female when I say that I really don’t function well on not enough sleep and too much daily demand. What usually starts out as a ‘bit of a low mood’ when I wake, speedily runs towards the grand finishing line of ‘Holy mother of all the gods, the sky has fallen down on my life and everything is such a mess’.
If I don’t listen to my body and my energy levels,by tea time I’m entering myself into every ‘worst mother /ugliest woman/ terrrible’est ( yes I made that word up) friend competition’ that I can find; secure in the knowledge that I absolutely will win them all. These days are known in the (female) trade as Fat & Ugly Days, and as I’ve already mentioned, generally pop up when we are tired, or due on (when we aren’t living through a ‘Clumsy Day’ or ‘I’m Just Gonna Cry and Eat Chocolate Day’).
So for today, I’m taking a breather. The kids will have to survive on pasta. The clothes washing will have to wait so we may be wearing dressing gowns and flip-flops tomorrow. The dishes will have to wait, and yes I’m prepared for the fact that we could realistically end up eating out of Tupperware pots and drinking from a measuring jug by this afternoon. And in the absence of having a special someone to hand me a glass of wine and tell me that everything is going to be okay, I shall probably pour myself one; and everything will be okay.

Happy International PJ Day people.


Disclaimer: This post does not restrict me to only one PJ Day a year

Autistic Melt Downs & Poo In Bushes.

A day of rest(ish) today so The Captain can defrag and reset his brain; and his momma can avoid a nervous breakdown. In the absence of drinking wine ( me, not him. Obvs. I’ve just gone off it.) I’m having to resort to that horrible thing called ‘Sensible Behaviour and Planning Ahead’.

Yesterday he had a full on day at a Home-Ed gathering. Managed to fleece *cough* I mean sell, some more home made bracelets to his friends (I don’t know how he does it …. He is the Del Trotter of the autistic world! Sadly whilst he may of almost made his first million, he also spent his first million. On ‘sweetie cones’. From the stall across the way. Who, if my maths is correct, should be off purchasing their first Rolls Royce this morning. Paying for it all in (The Captains) 20 pence pieces. However, concerns about rotten teeth, obesity and a future life of ‘general adult ill health for my kids’ aside, it was a good day.

He made his own bracelets to sell on his stall. Set up and managed his own little pitch. Worked the cash box ( sneaky maths practice). And only had a melt down and screamed at his brother to ‘Fuck Off!!’, at the top of his voice, in front of everyone, a couple of times. The first of those situations was diffused when one of his friends fell in some poo in the bushes. The other was dealt with in his usual way – he sat with a crochet blanket over his head. 

Parents of autistic kids will know exactly what I’m describing. When your child needs to cut out some of the ‘white noise’ being taken in by the recievers. Blankets over heads ( or hoods). Ear defenders over ears. It works. If you let them get on with it.

I’ve all but given up trying to explain to onlookers. And as he gets older, there will be more of those. Onlookers. What is cute and quirky on a young child ( to the untrained eye), becomes weird, when its an adult doing it. The Captain is 13. And would easily pass for 16 physically. His time left in that childhood zone is diminishing. Quickly.

It frightens me when I think about how he will cope in the adult world. And how the adult world will cope with him. But for now…. We just focus on the days.  Yesterday was a good day. 

And today, God-Willing, will be too.