Tuesday, 31 December 2013


A suspiciously small, strangely familiar firefighter
Too much of 2013 has been spent fighting fires.

It started with strength-sapping sleepless nights and bouts of the jitters for my daughter that left her behaving oddly, distant, not being herself. It was only after months of worry, and a series of medical investigations, that we finally got her back. She was diagnosed with a mood disorder, and miraculously restored to her old self through mild medication. There are days when I can almost hear the crackle of the flames and wonder if the fire is going to break out again, but her tablets are currently doing a damn fine job of damping down the danger, without dousing her own spark.

In all honesty, much of the flame-stomping has occured off-blog. I’ve only recently briefly mentioned the terrible, accelerating, diminishment of my mother-in-law, whose memory is being slowly unravelled by dementia. At the beginning of the year she used to read this blog; now she can’t remember how to turn on her computer. The safety net we provide is sagging, alarmingly, a bit like the rest of me, and we’re about to get some outside help (for the safety net, not my saggy bits, oh, let’s move on, shall we?).

The tail end of the year has seen the fires spread, violently, terrifyingly, to my dad. Hospitalised for weeks with a sudden, serious brain illness, he’s finally came home, just before Christmas. He’s there, but not there, and I just want him back for me, for his grandchildren, and for my brave, frightened mum.


Christ, I can't end there. This is turning out to be more depressing than Jools Hollands’ Hootenanny, and no-one deserves that. What I need to do is have a good long look back over my blog, and remind myself of all the good stuff that went on in 2013. A sunny holiday, school shows, parties, new friends, old friends, music, laughs, fun.

And anyway, my husband’s not working tonight. What the hell, if I light up a couple of flaming sambucas and stick some rousingly arousing music on the turntable, we might see the New Year in with a bang. 

Song is Agnes Obel - Fuel To Fire. I'd like to point out this is not rousingly arousing. It's just kind of beautiful and contemplative and also, handily, has 'fire' in the title. I would have put Aretha Franklin's Dr Feelgood here if we're talking sexy music, but I've already posted it on this blog. Probably more than once.


  1. Some years are just a whole lot crappier than others-blame it on the number and fingers crossed for a better 2014. Enjoy your sambocuas and definetly start the new year with a bang!!

  2. So sorry about your parents; it's a tough transition for them both, not to mention for you too. There have been some good times in 2013, I've read them on your blog! Let's hope 2014 has no fires...

  3. know all about the sleepless nights /not eating/anxiousness/bordering on psychosis....i wouldn't have believed it if i'd not experienced it.Not interested in food?!! not sleepy ,when she can kip for England?!! it's more common with maternal disomy,and a 10mg citalopram night and morning sorts the problem-brought our daughter back to us.(and i hate pills)

    Jeez, woman, haven't you got enough to do? I'm presuming you haven't any siblings, but i feel for you and your folks.it's difficult enough when you have grown ,capable children, to care for parents as well.you must be bloody well -organised,and have lots of energy.you have my empathy and respect.but you already have the most important,useful attribute-a damn fine sense of humour.
    X Beth