Sunday, 28 March 2010

Two things I love, unashamedly.

I love films. I don't like my kids to watch too much telly, but when they ask to watch a DVD I find it difficult to say no at times, because I want to watch as well. I think I'm a bit more naive about films than most people. I'm not very good at reading them or analysing them. I just take them as they are, and either like them, or don't. I was never very good at my Media Studies A-Level - I always became too attached to characters or stories to view them objectively. I could never break a film down into its component parts and analyse them separately - and that's not what we're supposed to do with them, is it? Aren't we just supposed to watch them and enjoy them? Noomski watches even more films than I do, and he's very often known to say '... that was the best film I have EVER seen'. He's said it many times, and it raises an amused smile from Kev and I whenever he says it. But Noomski and I are the same in that way. We LOVE a film when we're watching it, in a way that's still very childlike I think. I can't speak for Noomski here, but when I'm watching a film I truly do believe that what I'm watching is truth, playing out before my very eyes. I have been given the gift of a teleportation machine, and have been transported in a sort of glass elevator, to a time/place/planet where something strange and unusual, or just lovely, is taking place, and I am able to watch it in intimate detail without the characters knowing that I'm there. I'm not ashamed to love big blockbusters. Avatar was just beautiful. I was stunned, and was in love with Sam Worthington for quite some time after I'd seen that film (I did see it three times!). Last night Kev and I saw Alice in Wonderland, and it was excellent. Kev was able to criticise a couple of things, that I just didn't see. I'm so naive! But I'm glad about that. I like that I just don't see bad points in a film like the critics do. I'd never be any good as a film maker, because I'd just be constantly blown away by the wonder of it all, especially with today's technology. Did anyone see the amazing camera that James Cameron invented for Avatar? He was able to point this camera anywhere on the blue screen set and the actors were able to see, on a little screen, what the background was, and what they looked like in their blue skins. Astounding! It allowed the actors to visualise more clearly what they were working with, and what they should be imagining. That was probably of the utmost importance on a film like Avatar because the setting was really one of the characters, and not just an afterthought that was added when the filming was all done.
Anyway, I digress somewhat! Films are one of my biggest vices, and I have absolutely no qualms about watching some of my favourites over and over again. I take full advantage of my children's inability to argue when they are properly poorly, and I will usually put one of my favourite films on for us to watch when we're all snuggled up on the couch with fevers. That might be anything Jane Austeny, or something of an eighties or nineties romantic comedy, or something cheesy like Karate Kid! I love a lot of films that many people wouldn't admit to owning, too many to list. But our rather large DVD collection is not hidden, it's proudly displayed for all who visit to see :) If we had vast amounts of time at our disposal I would probably watch many more films than I do, but at times I do feel guilty for watching them and feel that I should be doing something more productive. But then relaxing is productive as well isn't it? Of course.

The other thing I love, is ... being away from my children :) Oh yes. I love it. I was thinking about it last night, because the boys were sleeping over at my mum's. We will be collecting them a bit later on. But I don't ever feel guilty for being happy to be away from them. Of course, I'm not a completely cold and heartless mother! I'm as happy to see them again after they've been off with someone else, as I am to say goodbye to them. But there's something very precious to me about time alone - quiet time, time to not be needed, time to think in silence, time to leave the house without having to put lots of coats and shoes on little people, time to jump in the car and just set off without having to strap little ones in, time to take my time eating a meal or drinking a cup of tea without being interrupted to mop up spills or pour extra juice, time to work on my writing, time to be. It's just blissful to be on my own, and is one of my favourite things in the world. I try to steal bits of time to myself as often as possible - and it's important to be able to do this, because it's so restorative. I have Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings alone, when James and Matthew are at nursery, and Thomas is at school of course. I write in those mornings, and it's as though, even though I'm very busy and am never just relaxing (and absolutely NEVER do housework in that time - what a waste that would be!!!), I'm recharging, and I'm being allowed to be me. I'm very, very lucky to have that time, I know. But I have to make the most of it, because in two and a bit years, when Matthew goes to school, it's very likely that I will have to go back to work (or Uni, if midwifery is the way!) - hardly anyone makes a living at writing, so I have to expect that I won't.
I went away for a weekend last November, to visit my beloved University town of Aberystwyth. I went with my friend Eleri, who had 'studied' Drama with me. We had a beautiful weekend of reminiscences. We spent two days walking around the town, taking photos and just remembering. It was sad, but lovely. But I barely thought about my children for the whole three days! Of course, I talked about them - Eleri was interested and asked lots about them. But it never occurred to me to spend any time missing them, or dwelling on thoughts of them. I was in Aberystwyth to remember the time I had ten years ago - it was a weekend about the me that I was when I was 19/20/21/22.
I'm going to Barbados for Noomski and Jessica's wedding in October - Kev and the boys are not going because we can't afford for us all to go. Will I miss my boys? Well, I will miss them in the sense that I will think of them fondly while I'm away, he he! But I will not spend time under a palm tree crying and pining! I will be enjoying my time, and making the most of being afforded the most excellent opportunity of being Linda, not Mummy for a week!
And the year after I may well go on a writing retreat for a week - same goes for that. (Kev's allowed a week off if he wants one, any time: he just hasn't requested one yet!) I will enoy myself immensely and not feel guilty for abandoning my children at all. I'm proud to be selfish - no-one's going to offer me precious time alone, so I have to ask for it. I do believe it's allowed, for mums to enjoy being without their children, and to admit that they'd like to be away from them from time to time. Yes, I know that I signed up for a life of being constantly needed and bombarded with questions - and I do LOVE it (of course, being with my children is another thing that I do love very much - but I think that goes without saying), but it doesn't have to be the only thing I do. I'm not just a 'Primary Carer', I'm many, many other things as well. I just can't properly describe how lovely it is right now not to have to make breakfast for three messy little boys - it's just divine. Mmm, simple pleasures, eh? :)


  1. You should write a book about mumming, cos you are an a excellent mummy and you just prove that being a mummy isnt all encompassing and you dont need to lose your indentity either XXXX

  2. You know that too though, don't you? That's why you've taken the brave, brave decision to do something fulfilling and important for yourself. You are an excellent mummy too - and you should give yourself more credit lady :)

    It's sometimes hard to work out who you are though, isn't it? I'm sure there are loads of mums who would like to find their own identity, but they don't know what it looks like!