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Diary Of A Redhead


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I cried the first time I saw this film. And I cry every time I have seen it since. 

Something got me in a still, haunting, beautiful way. I have always had such a kinship with trains. It’s now fitting and full circle that I live so close to one. They represent; escape, peace, solitary thought, lulling, journey. From a cold station into the warmth of a cabin. 

I could watch Spirited Away every week and never get bored of it. It feels like a childhood dream you had once that impacted you in such a deep way that, you randomly remembered it in adulthood, catching your off guard and transporting you back, back into the child that lives within you.


I spent hours and hours as a young teen, riding trains. I never knew where I was going, how I was going to manage, or who I was going to become. I never wanted to get off. I didn’t want to have to step over the drop back onto the platform to face static reality once again. But I knew I had to make a stop.

Part of me will always be running, or riding, or going someplace I know not where. Just because I no longer skip class to train hop alone, doesn’t mean I have stopped travelling, or leaving, or arriving. I hear the hush and rattle of a night train pass and, my heart feels happy and lonely, all at the same time.

I don’t know. What a film.



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My God, I love my babies so much. I love them so much that, they have taken pieces of my heart. I don’t know how it even beats.


My heart is so full, I don’t know how I am supposed to live on. How do I wake up tomorrow? 


Life can be so cruel. Beyond cruel. But it can also be… beyond beautiful. I look at their faces in the dim light falling from projected stars. I see the curves of blonde curls, long lashes resting on rosed cheeks. I realise, this is heaven. I have already experienced heaven. Heaven is to hold them, to take in the smell of their pure, precious skin. To hear them laugh. If I died, I know heaven will be the comfort of this memory, right now, tucking my babies in.


I don’t know how I got so lucky. 




“In my time, too much love, has made me sad for so long.” 

- Roxy Music, ‘Take a Chance With Me’


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If anyone ever reads here - I want to say. 

You may think this journal is all about me. All about how I feel, what I do. Really, it’s all about you.


All I want to do is, ask questions. I want to ask you a question. They don’t even ever have to be answered. To ask, and ask, and ask again. For the sheer joy of asking. 

By seeing you, I hold a mirror to myself.



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When I was pregnant with my second baby, about 8 months after her being born, I started getting random bouts of sciatica - basically some kind of trapped nerve thing going on from the top of my butt right down my left leg. The first time it happened badly it was so painful, my whole leg went weak, and D was away, and I could hardly walk. It was horrible. The kids were full on, needing dinner and playing with and wanted to go out to the park and I could barely think about getting up and walking even across the room. I was 30 and thought, what on earth?! Last week I was at a yoga class bending God knows what and now this?! So painful, like tooth ache shooting pain right down the back of the whole length of my leg. 

I took a pain killer and the day after it had gone. Dull pain and random shoots of it but that was it. It would come back to haunt me every other month or so. I never went to the doctors because when it went, it just went away like magic as if all was healed and I never thought it would come back again.


My Dad had the same symptoms and sciatica pain - the doctor just gave him basically morphine. He said he had to go easy on them and wean himself off when the time came. This I definitely do not want. I don’t want to go down the road of strong prescription pain medication, I know how addictive it can be, and I know how likely I am to be that person who just gets hooked. So no. I’ll have to ride it out.


It’s just, as a Mum, sometimes you can’t help feeling you never get cut much slack, never. D is at work today. The week we moved, I did everything, because he was so busy with work and had to get on. I get it, he wants to make money to keep the house renovations moving. But I had covid and wasn’t feeling too great. I just took aspirin and kept on. Did beach, park, outings, homeschooling, everything still with the kids. The week after, he takes to his bed. It’s like, reading him the last rights. Seriously. Dawn of the dead comes to mind. He couldn’t work, all week he was gone off into a dead sleep or slumped upright in bed in his bath robe. I was running up delivering orange juice and grapes whilst seeing to the kids back and forth. The week before my middle girl had been bad, he’d been away and I’d had a day of genuine worry for her because she was red hot and folded up on the couch or bed and falling asleep whenever I turned to check on her. I just felt so alone and with so much on my hands, and not feeling in full healthy myself. 

I am trying to think, in the 4 years since I had my first, when have I asked D to kind of “give me a sick day” - the answer is, probably three. I have had some moody wobbles after our third bambino was born. He took the reigns a good few times then, I was all over the place for a month or two. I appreciated it. I think that time he took during my own personal crisis dented his business for sure. It’s such a conundrum. It’s so hard having no one else to call on.


If I call my parents, which I can, I have to monitor them. I can’t leave them alone with the kids. This can help if I just want to sit for awhile and watch them play a game or do a puzzle with them, all great. But to take a full day where I am gone? 

I remember when I was pregnant with my second, I must have caught some kind of bug. I just could not keep anything down and I mean anything. My son was about 16 months old. I was throwing up bile after a few hours every 20 minutes. God, I felt like I was dying, I thought, s**t, surely I might be?! I was so dehydrated my eye sockets became sunken. We got half way through the day with me taking moments to violently be sick into sinks and bowls whilst wiping down a high chair or feeding my son his dinner. 1pm and I needed to call someone. My mother in law came and I think she thought I might be faking it. D called me for her and explained, he was again, working away. She came and instantly called him and said, “She’s really sick.” The GP made me up an emergency prescription of these anti-sickness tablets but I think it was past that. So 5pm my neighbour takes me to hospital. I’m sat in the waiting room with a basin being sick into it every half hour. Everyone is looking at me but I am past caring and I give up and let tears stream down my face because I am so fed up, my stomach is in pain from the constant wrenching. I am put on a drip because I am dehydrated. God, that drip was amazing. It made me feel instantly better and SO AWAKE. Suddenly, freshly, alert and rejuvenated. The sickness had started to stop. It was 11pm. I had been texting my mother in law the whole time - where the milk was, to turn his little stars on, how to keep his routine, inbetween the vomiting and wishing death on myself! I was back at midnight and next day, 6am, there I was, back into mother mode, although I felt like I had just been dragged through some kind of beat up trial of will. Let’s just say my son watched a heck of a lot of Thomas The Tank Engine that day.


The tradition of having a great pregnancy and then one crazy deliberating health event kept true.


Second bout of dipped immune system because you’re pregnant illness happened with my third. I think, to be honest, I got covid. And normally it would have been headache and sore throat for me but able to carry on without having to rest up, but because I was so heavily pregnant (8 months), and trying to do everything still, man…I couldn’t get better. I couldn’t turn the corner to start feeling well. And the cough I had just wouldn’t go away, and I felt short of breath. And being so pregnant, you are short of breath anyway, with your baby pushing up your lungs and fighting for space with your organs. I finally went to the doctor after 3 weeks of this and he said it was pneumonia - my right lung was infected, and I got served anti-biotics which I hadn’t had since I was a kid laying on the couch telling my Dad I was too sick for school. 

I just got right before I was due to have my girl - but I wasn’t 100%, I could feel it. The midwife took my blood pressure and asked if I normally had low blood pressure? And I said no, I always had average, straight down the middle blood pressure. And I think I was kind of drained.


But I had my girl without any fuss, fast and efficient and again, the day after, I was back too it with all 3 of them.


I think… I need something that sounds like a Mum Holiday? Have I just invented that? It would be something like, three nights in a hotel. But then, I would feel beyond guilty and worry constantly about what was going on at home.


I’m normally fit as a fiddle, look rosy cheeked and full of health, and have high energy. I don’t have any actual medical complaints - apart from this sciatica nerve getting me now and then. I even hate to admit there might be a niggle. That I “can’t do my job”. 

I guess after 3 years of managing myself, I might have to make the dreaded doctor appointment. Sometimes I think this stuff isn’t helped by my low moods. I don’t know. 

Everyone needs you so badly, you just can’t cut time out. I need to look after my health better. I had grapes sat there on the bath rack this morning while I was taking a dip. I ate 4 then thought, f*** this! Turned to the biscuit tin I had laid on the floor and ate 5 of them instead. Show grapes, that’s what they were.


When we were in the caravan, it happened where the place was so small, that bambino had her crib in the living room. So she would nap there 8am through to 10:30am, and then again 3pm till 4pm, and then her bedtime was 7pm and the whole night I would sneak in to check on her but wouldn’t dare go in any of the times she was asleep, let alone start opening the fridge or getting things or sitting in there. I was eating my last meal 5pm and then not eating anything until about 11am the next day. I was having this 6 hour eating window, and I guess without realising I was fasting the whole other time. I felt amazing for it! I don’t know if it’s a thing, but it felt really good, once the initial hunger was gotten over. I was going to bed earlier. It felt great. Teamed with the days of fresh air outside in the sun. Perfect.


I keep thinking, I need to find a way where D never has to work again. He slaves so I don’t have too, but what if I could do the same for him? Solve all the problems, in a way? I daydream about it. He says the happiest thing for him would be to spend all day with the kids. I dream about throwing a letter at him, making him open it, to see a huge a** bank balance. Then throw a bunch of car keys at him. To gleefully tell him - honey! WE’RE HOOOOOOOOME! 


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So fed up. The feeling started yesterday.


No kitchen, living out of boxes nowhere to put anything, no furniture much to speak of yet. Cistern broke on upstairs loo - I chuck buckets of water down to flush the toilet. Shower started majorly leaking into the room below. We paid a fortune to have it fitted and someone hasn’t done their job. Can’t use the shower. The whole expensive fitting - useless at the moment. Rooms are bare. Place is cold. D is conscious about not turning on the heating yet. Baby teething, struggling to get her to sleep, wakes up more easily. Hoover broke on me. £300 hairdryer I have had for a few years also broke. There is no way I am getting a Dyson replacement. Not that I want one now but, I liked that hair dryer. No curtains on most of the windows - the joiner is unreliable, hardly comes to finish anything off he has started. The garden needs a gate - the iron works are taking too long and D keeps putting it off because it’s expensive. 

Every time I look out into our street I see peoples cleaners dutifully sprucing their homes during the day. I see women going to hair appointments as if no financial crisis is even happening. I see my neighbours luxury car parked across the road! He’s a celebrity. I think, f****r! 

In the kids room, their large bay window is leaking when the rain is extreme. Useless window fitters and roofers come and fob us off and nothing gets fixed. Nothing is happening fast. Money money money.

I just got to thinking bitterly - money solves almost anything. You struggle with time for children? Just buzz the Nanny and she changes them and gets them up whilst you catch that extra hour in bed. You heat your home, unthinking, lights on for ambience everywhere, no stress. You fall into legal troubles? You just call up the best lawyer you need for that field. Or buy your way out. You get sick? You can pay for the most advanced, private, specialist treatments no one else can afford to get their poor humble hands on. Like my neighbour, you’re having a baby? Don’t like the idea of pushing your little apple out? Just pay for someone to lie you down and pop it outta ya! Only £20,00 and a bit. But it’s okay. Saves you pushing. Laundry and house getting on top of you? Just call your cleaner. Sick of cooking? Just ask the chef. Children falling behind on schooling? Send for the tutor or enrol in a top, private school. Only £25,000 every quarter - cheap by half! Oh yes. They can sort your head out in that fancy therapists chair who went to Oxford and wrote his own papers. It’s okay ma’am, we have it covered. The most comfortable cars, the most beautiful clothes, the best of everything.


People complain. But I have a sneaking feeling - money is freedom, money is choice. We understand it can’t guarantee you happiness, we are no fools. But we know it can happily enable the environment for it. Or at least relieve the burden of the rest of it.


I look to our wealthy friends and I always think - God, your problems seem so small. Everything is done and dusted for you with your personal assistants and your butler and your maids. How on earth could you be discontent? 

I am, at the core of it, disappointed I don’t have to drive or talent to give this to myself. What I consider to be some kind of solution to most of life’s problems. 

There are pros and cons to everyone’s time here, be it rich or poor. But the rich seem to have it easy in so many other aspects of life. To never have to worry about money again, is such a divine weight to be lifted. To have an endless power to help others, yourself - to influence or not. To do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it. 

I am off on a bitter fantasy. This struggling and cutting back is no fun. I hate things right now. I hate myself for not being able to make them better. I am still beyond irritated at D.


I feel like everything is so horribly out of my control at the moment. I want control. I need to be able to take hold of something and feel like I am improving. 

I can feel my temper quickening and my mood - darker.


I hate these times. This feeling of “descending” mentally. I think I am going into a depression again. I feel like I could happily sleep for a week and not see a soul.


There is nothing noble about making do and scraping by. Not for me, anyway.


D said coldly too me, “Well you should have married a millionaire shouldn’t you.” 

I thought, you don’t get it. I should be the millionaire. I fell short of all my personal expectations. I am lazy, flawed, weak and mortal. Just like everyone else.





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Also, so nothing is left unscathed - I have a bone to pick with Mr “I have another house in Monaco and I wanna kit it out with loads of your THINGS” want to spend £50,000 software firm Monaco b*****d! Well then! Do it! C’mon!


It’s not a rare thing for someone to spend big, or to have people call up and put you onto their interior designer (insufferable). But honestly, the universe is cruel. D told me about it and his hopes are never up because out of 10 people who say they are going to buy this and that 8 of them actually don’t. Nothing new. But I was already mentally decorating and buying my kitchen before the fact. 

How dare he.


And not a word since. Tumble weed two weeks in. I hope he chokes on the chlorine in his POOL!



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The joiner turns up after weeks of no show. 

I spent my days feeling like Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill…


Subtract the name BILL for JOHN and you have my feel on the whole thing. Where’s my plane journey and my red pen? Y’know what I mean? 

So he’s there, hammering and sawing and I start chatting with him and his face looks up at me and he says, “Are you feisty? Gingers are supposed to be feisty.”


I laugh, all coy, “Me! Me? Am I feisty? Ha ha ha! D! D!” I’m half calling into the next room from the hall. “Am I feisty! Am I? Ha ha! Nooo, not really.”


A dead pan, instant reply comes through from the next room.


”She’s feisty.”


I laugh. John the joiner is laughing. “Okay okay well, I wish he meant in the GOOD OTHER way!”



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I got a sudden urge to play this on the sound system as loud as I could stand it. I could hear it echo through the whole house. All the landings, the high ceilings, filled with love sick violin. The whole thing engulfed me, washed over me. For a second in the universe, my soul had a song.

All is well, even though tears of remorse and recognition came to my eyes. I can suddenly see the beauty in everything all over again.


Why do I have to have the darkest of nights to see the day? 


“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

― Oscar Wilde




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I need a healthy outlet.


I’ve got too much energy; and I’m too tired, all at the same time.



Wow, I got a major touch of the feels then. 

But I’m sorry. Dear house, dear life - you don’t have me just yet. I’m not all beaten. I woke up this morning, and something had changed.


Time to kick this house into shape. I said what I wanted; and I said what I was gonna deliver. Let’s get this thing shipped.


No one has ever forgotten me. I can’t operate through this life unnoticed. 

I’m here, and I’m doing it my way.


Get on, or get off.



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