•March 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Inhale, exhale, brown meets blue,

You are me, and I am you too.
Meet, greet, open, close, clink, click, clique, grasp, rasp, make, rake, shift, rift. 
…Is it done yet?
Are we there now? 
Can we make it stop? 
I want Out. Off. Away.
Did we forget, misplace, mould, adjust? Move.
We didn’t need it. Need it anyway. A way, a different way,
All the ways that I have found with you. 
You. Inhale, please inhale. Please.

Single Mummy Pigeon Hole:Tight but Superior Squeeze

•September 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Single mums are desperate creatures, spending every waking moment away from their children hunting down an appropriate or not, we’re not fussy- man to raise our children and buy us presents. Then we do it all over again after having more babies, which again we are just dying to do. Our lives are considerably harder than that of a married mother, with a manly capable (or not, they’re not fussy either) man on hand to lift the little sunbeam out of their sights at every available occasion. We do not sleep, because the one available evening that our children visit their other parent, we are squeezing ourselves into our most fancy of fancy mutton outfits and hitting the town, hunting replacement fathers en masse. Ya-huh.

Can I just butt in here and clear a couple of things up? Oh no, I’m not mad, just disappointed. Shame on you! I will shuffle out of my seat at this stage, stand up and announce I am a single mother. I have a child out of wedlock-disgusting, I know- and am raising him without the presence of a man in the house. How very bloody daring of me, courageous! Its not difficult. Try not to scream your single mother pleas at this point, because we all know it would be just as hard with another person around, and even more frustrating to have them niggling about with their interfering ‘I was brought up like….’ speeches. Call me a control freak, but its nice to have a one man (woman) management system to run this ship. The discipline, love, encouragement and all that’s in between is down to me six days of the seven day week. Trips to Daddy’s are like respite for my child after spending the week with Herr Frau over here. Yes yes single mother banshee, there is the whole ‘I’d just like to nip out for a magazine at 6pm without the screaming child on my back’ moment, or my personal favourite, ‘do I have chocolate in the house, because as of 7pm, we’re on lockdown….’. Indeed, a man who be handy for general fetching, babysitting, washing, cleaning and the like, but believe you me, I think the jury is universally out on that one so we’re not missing much.

I get up when I like, except on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when I get rudely awakened by the miniture screams of Meme. I put my dressing gown on, have a cup of tea, and allow my child to run his Thomas train over my breasts like old Tom is actually on a small Himalayan adventure while I spend about twenty minutes searching for a healthy level of consciousness. We spend the entire day in a small tug of war contest, him battling me and vice versa until bedtime arrives and I can make the most of my evening on the sofa, likening the imprisonment to being ‘on tag’. Surprisingly, a heavy ASBO teen and I have very much in common. I get watched by the child-mine, not the teen, keep up- while I wee or shower, and I have now learnt to eat a well balanced evening meal in less than fourty seconds. No one walks through the door at 5pm to scoop the little monster up and take him off my hands for an hour, and instead we muddle through what’s well-known throughout the parenting gang as ‘Witching Hour’ until he finally bites the bullet and realises he is defeated.

I like the lack of man. I am a control freak, so that may have slightly more bearing on that statement, but its nice to do things at our own pace. We do fun stuff, just me and the miniature, with no battle for attention- I am numero uno parent, the cool one, the one in charge, and most importantly, the one who provides the food for the majority of the week, which rates highly in my boy’s eyes. I get guaranteed free time (mostly used to catch up on Sky Plus, paint my nails and keep doctor’s appointments that no child should be present for) every week, which my married parenty friends yearn for and dream of. I even get to shop without a pushchair, and enjoy an evening meal in a, wait for it…. restaurant. That isn’t a Harvester. Ha, high five single mums. I still have fun, and yes yes, occasionally drink- but this is done when I am not in possession of said child, as I have the luxury of drinking a bottle of wine in the house without the dread od a six am wake up call the next morning with cotton wool/cement mixer head. So I shall carry on with the facade that my life is both tough and exhausting to you, when I’m secretly smug about the fact that my next lie in is only 3 days away. Not so shabby after all, eh?

Lost in Translation, and Pretty Much Any Coherent Train of Thought

•September 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It seems I lost the ability to be seated and write for a while. I believe it was mainly because of an overwhelming pressure to find a niche, a target, a focus for my writing as apparently to set up and run a blog, there has to be consistency. Telling my brain to run on a consistent level is like breaking the news to the Pope that he’ll be met off his Ryanair flight by Dave’s assistant shortly, and that he’s got an en suite at Heathrow’s finest Travelodge. It has all the well-meaning intent of top-notch forward thinking, but quite frankly, it ain’t gonna happen. And so, instead of traumatising my little pea with expectations that break both its spirit and limited capability, I will make it shake on just one small statement of agreement; I will write. That way, I’m not building it up to immense disappointment, or the fear of facing an audience to only be exposed for the crock of shit that it really is, the little bastard. I digress; I will write. Once a month, about whatever topic is meandering about in the fog of my skull, so that the forecast clears up a bit at the very least, and there’s room to rabbit on about something completely different.

Which brings me, rather leisurely I know, to writing as you speak. I write as I think- if I had to write in a professional capacity, I would be absolutely fiddly-diddling-fuckity useless. The mood takes me about once a month- or if something/someone’s pissed me right off (I either tap it out angrily, or knock them clean out, and the first is always the more humane option of course)- and when I do write, there is very little thought, plan or purpose to it. A little like doing a relatively large and intimidating crossword, in German or other such European illegible language, in that I have a good idea what the aim is- write shit, get to end, which varies on location- but have absolutely no clue on how I get there. So I set off on my proverbial wander like a blindfolded Jibber Jabber and see where I end up. 365 baby steps on…….. So essentially, to earn money, I basically have to await the day when talking a bunch of crap is in Vogue. An array of Politicians, Britney Spears and my personal Favourite Brooke Shields (Quote, ‘Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life’ Unquote. It’s unbeatable) have already achieved, so I live in hope.In addition, I completely freak out at the idea of having to read back over this little pile of nonsense. I have yet to read back anything on this page without squinting through the eyes of fear, the rose-tint eyelashes giving a good pep talk of ‘sure Kat, brilliant Kat, don’t change a thing Kat, just keep FUCKING SCROLLING KAT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD KAT OR YOU’LL NEVER WORK UP THE BOTTLE TO POST THESE BAG OF BULLPOO KAT and so onwards.

Which then, led me to ponder the concept of typing as you speak. I know full well I don’t sound anywhere near as pretentious/lofty/annoyingly aloof if you speak to me in person; hell, I’d be a social leper and almost definitely be pushed to the desperation of supermarket check-outs for my daily dose of interaction. So then how is it, that the lower you slip down the social ladder of despair that is the British Class System, the cooler it is to tappity tap as though you’re reading a book out loud. Bad enough that we are now meant to comprehend ‘Safe Dere Blud, U iz ly propa mashed up, U be geddin a ride get meh?’ (‘evening there fella, you look a bit worse for wear, want me to get a taxi for you? Splendid.’) if its blurted out in the street, but now it seems we are writing in the same manner?

Now, can I actually argue that this is out of line. Its an oldie but a goodie-  language changes over time, words change their meaning, Michael Jackson took on Bad as his own and your Nan still goes a bit vacant if anything depicted as bad isn’t actually bad but in fact good, the poor dear- AND, literature has in all honesty always adopted this method of evolution. Go rocking back to the good old days of Chaucer and his merry fellow yokel, and what do we have but entire plays of phonetically constructed script. Instead of holding it up for a load of illiterate bumpkins with a couple of ciders under their belt, we’re studying in Universities and marvelling at its cryptic and historical nature-ooooooh, we’re so intellectual and all that jazz. We’re reading stuff with ‘e’ on the end of every word, we must be so ever so mighty clever. Edmund Spenser used to draw a small frustrated tear to my eye with ‘ His carkasse tumbling on the threshold, sent// His groning soule vnto her place of punishment.’ As a serious OCD sufferer and correct spelling extraordinaire, it pains me to read anything that doesn’t look quite proper. Again, bit of a tangent, but the point-there is one- is that surely ‘safe’, ‘ bless’, ‘cuff me’ and all these other magical words categorised onto Urban Dictionary must have a place somewhere? The whole point of language is that its infinate, and universal. There are no boundaries, restrictions, and there is nothing that can’t be defined into a series of words, either sourced from an original definition or created in that moment to provide definition for something yet to be presented with a meaning. I didn’t think this would be the babbling conclusion that I would reach, from feeling rather strongly about retaining literature and the history of the Queen’s English, to throwing around a phonetic street-talk flag for essentially the entirety of NDubz and co, but I hold my hands up. How can you draw a line on something that has no end? In a hundred years, this could be completely unreadable. Know what made my mind up? Urban Dictonary making a terrifyingly accurate definition to my inane and pointless word- vomit. ‘Academic Bulimia’. I like to at least retain the disillusioned concept of ‘Academic’ in that some of the words are not only funny, but clever and long too. You get me..

Nick Griffin: Local Drunk with a Knitting Needle and a Plug Socket

•February 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Sssshh…. don’t tell him, but has anyone noticed Nick Griffin’s handy land-in-the-lap position yet? No, because we’ve all been way too busy setting him up on Question Time and reporting each and every movement of the BNP party and its dubious funding to actually sit up and notice what the hell is going on here-

So, you’re Nick Griffin. You’re born in Barnet-which on its own is pretty unfortunate- and after moving to the thriving buzz that is Suffolk, you decide to throw in the towel to any sort of social existence and join the National Front. Hell, what’s a boy to do- you’re pretty beefy and never picked at football, your Mum and Dad are so heavily into politics as a pastime and there’s only three channels on terrestrial television. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same…

Fast forward through a whole load of riots, protests, idiotic speeches and somewhere in all of that, a marriage and four children, and the spotlight’s on you. However, I’m not terribly sure you realise that the society in which you live has adjusted to such an extent that you don’t actually need to try so hard after all…

My point? I’m getting to it, promise. The BNP’s target market, and England’s increasingly disappointing population are by my observation, one and the same. Nick Griffin, imbecile he may be, but an imbecile with a loaded gun all the same. I shall elaborate, in a rather long-winded manner- promising that it will entertain along its ambling journey..

The shrinking upper-middle class of Britain- pleased t’meet you, Katherine Howard- have several opinions, obstructions, and deliberations about the state of our country. As you sit down of an evening with friends over a reasonably priced Merlot and talk about the fact you shop at Sainsbury’s in order to elevate your somewhat middling status in society, you all have the same pets hates. The recurring one being the individuals that we find ourselves surrounded by, who we are terribly sure did not exist some ten, or even twenty years ago. Yes ladies and gents, we bring you the Chav. A species that was to begin with, simply ‘Council-House and Violent’, this group of the true treasures of society have now stretched to the homophobic, racist, dispassionate, scrounging, unmotivated, ignorant, poorly educated (I’m going to keep going, generalisation is therapeutic), straightforward, opinionated and all round destructive. Please stay with me, there’s a point in here somewhere. Oh yes, that’s it- score! Thinks Griffin. What kind of people so we need on board the BNP Fun Bus? Well, they can’t be too liberal, caring, passionate, intelligent or educated. Oh! And the must think ill of absolutely everybody that’s responsible for their mediocre existence and the fact that its all so unfair and its really anyone’s fault but their own…. oh no! Hang on! (I hear the Chav screach). That’s it- I don’t work because the immigrants have my jobs, and I listen to my music on my mobile phone on the top of the bus because the gays make me, and I drink Red Stripe at Ten AM on a Tuesday because the Islamic people let it go to waste….

Digression again. But you see? Nick Griffin has found his Goldmine target audience, and anyone is yet to spot the big red flashing ‘Warning’ sign of what this could mean. You see, while we’re all so busy tap-tap-tapping away at our keyboards, writing articles about how ludicrous the BNP’s policies are, and wittering away about who on this God given earth would support such audacious statements, we’ve forgotten something. Those people that don’t really know what a computer is- ‘I’ve got in-a-net on ma phone tho, nuff goin’ on’, and aren’t really into catching up on current affairs except when they’ve turned over for Jezza Kyle early and the News is still wrapping up- those people are You-Tubing Nick Griffin to see what all the fuss is about.

My point- told you I’d get there in the end- is that what many of us have failed to notice, Griffin- or Hitler, post lobotomy and after a few jars- included, is that while many of us guffaw at what kind of people would be backing such a party in the first place, the very people that are openly supportive of so many of the BNP’s primary arguments are 90% of the people you see and deal with every day. Griffin has picked a prime target market for his zany new product, and by using the funding from the more wealthy, educated and therefore understandably ashamed individuals that secretly take a BNP slant on the world, he can then scoop up the dregs along the way, in a Pied Piper fashion. Just think fatter, with a suit from Burton, and rather a lot of perspiration from the nerves/ exercise.

In essence, I’m just giving you a little heads up here. because knowledgable I may be, but controller of the Chavs? I’ve yet to crack that one.

Baby Clique: Childhood Spoiler Warning, Your Child WILL be one of These

•January 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

You’ve watched Mean Girls right? Oh, you’re male/not completely tragic? Apologies. Let me enlighten you with the whole peer group scenario. Well, in fact let your children’s nursery school do it for you- if there isn’t one of each of these in there somewhere (yes, including your own precious delightful bundle of trouble) then I’ll eat a well-chosen selection of Peter Andre’s Von Dutches. Urgh…

The Snotty Kid- Any other endearing aspect of this child had faded out of the memory of any child or adult that encounters him, because he has an endless snail trail sitting on his top lip. Only his parents can physically bear to be even remotely near to his face for fear that if they get slimed, it will be for all eternity because the thing NEVER DISAPPEARS. Like, how much are baby wipes? Is the Credit Crunch so bad?

The Clingy Kid- The child that cannot leg go. Literally. When not pressed up against the window, attempting to wail through the glass at a rapidly accelerating parental car, the child seems to be surgically attached to whoever is within grabbing reach. If this appears to be no one, then he could possibly morph into…

The Crying Kid- The child that does nothing but cry. You give him toys, he cries. You put him down, he cries. You pick him up, he cries.  You sing to distract from the crying, he pauses for a moment, considering the concept of actually enjoying his life, and then cries. you get the picture.

The Eager-to-Please Kid- The child that secretly everyone wants to stamp on a little bit. The one that is always at the front when everything gets handed out. The child that talks about himself every minute of every hour of every day about how great he is. The child that obviously has the most time-efficient parents, who have decided not to teach him anything except about how fantastic he is.

The Ginger Kid- Come on, you know no matter what he does, or how intelligent or funny he is, that will always be his alias, along with…

The Fat Kid- You say you love them no matter what, but its every parent’s worst nightmare before all the obvious stuff. Anyone watch XXL Generation on Channel Four? Don’t tell me you didn’t sit there the whole time watching that woman say it wasn’t her food that made her child fat, after watching them eat chips like Little and Large on a Seafront Pier. Not even the Seagull got a look in!

The Wierd Kid- My personal favourite, and one I would happily choose for my own after he has shown classic signs. The kid that rejects all usual toys for a kitchen utensil. The child that dismisses the entire room to go laugh at a wall. The child that repeatedly crawls into himself in the mirror, thinking it’s a game of head butt. The child that sings to a table.  I wish I has even elaborated on that one, sadly it requires no embellishment!

Resolution Smesolution… Top Resolutions not to Bother Attempting

•January 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Why do we insist on traditionally setting ourselves up for failure after the happiest holiday of the year? We’re overcome with an insane level of sugar rush, all new presents are played with, broken and put in a bottom drawer when they feel sufficiently ‘not new’ anymore, and we’ve cleared every cupboard of food. So now, in the most boring month of the calendar, we’d like to stretch both our depression and tolerance to a whole new level by setting ourselves tasks we cannot achieve. Score.

Smoking. You will not quit smoking. You’ve been saying this for the last nine years, which is way before all the NHS assistance, dirty photographs that you ponder over while you’re stood outside in the cold like a leper, forced away from the rest of society because you stink like a public house from the nineties. So now you say? When you’ve got five weeks til pay-day, little to no motivation to wade through snow to the gym to give your healthy kick-start an extra heart attack, and smoking is the one little pleasure that remains? Good luck with that.

Save money. You have just blown in excess of two months’ wages on presents for people who you’re not overly keen on, woken up with a filthy hangover for the last fifteen days straight and have already worked out that not only is it going to take you til the 2020’s to pay back your credit card, but that you cannot quit smoking. Where exactly is this extra money coming from again?

Eating Healthy. So this year we have Paul McKenna telling us to eat with our eyes shut-like that would go down well in any self-respecting restaurant, you big freak- and you still have 12 selection boxes and a Fox’s Luxury Biscuit pack in the larder. You know you’ll have to throw that lot away to not fail immediately?

Do More Exercise. With the eternal cold awaiting Aslan’s revival, the very concept of walking anywhere being a hazy, distant memory from your childhood walks to school, and the last time you recognised a squash racquet being when you used it in replacement of a broken gardening tool as it was within easy reach, I can’t see it myself. When you eventually muster up the courage to put on the lycra and get to the gym to join, battle your way past the lean keen selling machine who talks you into a 12 month membership, and suffered the shame of communal changing, it’s that busy where everyone else has joined you on the brain storm that your first thirty minutes are spent hanging about looking cool whilst you wait for an available treadmill. Genius.

Get a new Hobby. I’m sorry, did you suddenly come across extra hours in excess to the twenty-four hours that we already piddle down the drain? When you’re done with loafing, catching up on every episode of every season of everything ever that means you can keep up to date with peer conversation, Facebook stalked to your own personal satisfaction and read my blog, let me know how you’re getting along with that little glimmer of aspiration.

Get a New Job. Now this, is relatively easy, if your indication was not to get a new job that would be significantly better than your current one. Hell, if the rule were simpler I’d sign you up for Maccy’s now and prove myself wrong. We are in a recession. Your job is hellish yes, but so is everyone else’s because companies have learnt that they don’t actually need to treat their staff well to keep them, they have mortgages and will work for a pittance and suffer the emotional abuse as an added bonus. And stop watching Learndirect adverts, those people don’t exist, you think learning how to type quicker will land you the dream occupation? You’re from the internet generation, you already type quicker than Elaine, 46 from Hull.

Never one to wish to dwell on such pessimism, I offer you the alternative. Make a resolution that’s either so utterly mundane that you couldn’t not keep it, like ‘I will keep breathing.’ Alternatively, choose something that was meant to happen anyway, ‘I will shop at Tesco.’ My own personal favourite, and a little more off-the-wall, invent a resolution that you already do anyway, instant success. ‘I will be mean to everyone, unless I feel like not being mean that day’. Why set yourself up to feel even more miserable than you already are, by adding failure to your many flaws?

'I will mostly catch you this year, instead of injuring myself for humour'

Functioning without the Tweet: remember BT- Before Twitter?

•November 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, Hi-Five…. and so on and so forth. Social networking has replaced any call for an old fashioned knees-up between friends unless it’s absolutely necessary, and I can’t remember at what stage this switchover happened. You are no longer required to chat with people on the phone or any other such traditional, dated device- you already know everything that’s going on thanks to the marvel of the world-wide web. Charlotte had Chilli for tea, and is going to vote Jedward. Lisa is mega miffed with David, and is take a saucepan to his head. Right after she lets us know all about it via her status, of course. Your friends know about any ailments (status updates), any new men on the scene (a relationship status that changes more times than pants), your latest wardrobe acquirements (Felicity has tagged 74 photos of you in the album ‘S**t-faced, Autumn 2009) and for any information required beyond that, there is of course Facebook stalking. I caught up with a friend last night on the phone, who I haven’t seen for a couple of weeks. She asked accusingly, ‘did you get a new dress?’ after seeing photos of me out on saturday night arrive on ‘The Book’ for all to view. When I stated that I had in fact purchased a new skirt the week before, she retorted, ‘looks like a dress.’ and nothing more. Apparently living our lives through the internet means we are no longer required to flatter, or converse traditionally…

We have elevated ourselves to mock celeb status. We can no longer wear the same outfit to events, for fear of being ‘tagged’ on two separate occasions in the same clothes. We rate our popularity based on how many people we can say we brushed past one in the street (which clearly justifies a friend request), and how many comments we can get on our dry witty status updates about today’s current affairs. When I say current affairs, I extend the term to its loosest form and refer to Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity get Me Out of Here, Strictly Come Dancing, and any other Z List Career Revamp Show on terrestrial television. For all you Americans, boy you don’t know what you’re missing. Simon Cowell is just the tip of the iceberg…

I digress. Social Networking has meant that along with aiding us through life with online food shopping, AQA text service (to save us thinking and wearing ourselves out) , and pre grated cheese, we are no longer required to make any effort with our nearest and dearest. You already know whats happening, why on earth would you need to meet up for drinks or dinner? You don’t have time to have mutual hobbies, you’re far too busy sitting in your house at the PC clicking refresh to see what’s going to happen next… The only time you will venture out of the house is to go out- armed with camera so that the photos can go straight onto your profile ASAP, LOL- or possibly on holiday, because your vacation must must MUST outdo Tim’s ‘Antigua 09’ snaps. Lots of outstretched arms in the corner of the photo, as you catch a shot of yourself on the balcony. In fact, 99% of the photos are just you in various summer outfits, to ensure you get maximum usage (and coverage) of your newly purchased summer wardrobe. This would not have been possible pre Twit!

Now I should lay off a bit, Facebook has been responsible for some very serious events. marriage, divorce, dismissal, only last week Rodney Bradford escaped a prison sentence due to his alibi courtesy of ‘The Book’. Wow! Now Facebook can actually replace a living human being accounting for your whereabouts. In fact, I no longer need all my mates after all. I’m much too busy living my virtual life to bother with this old fashioned real-life life….