Fam – poem

Are you fam?

Would you know?

Who I am?

DNA will say.

We are in an age

When all alliances

Will go astray.

To find commonality

In humanity

I need to tell you

Hatred

Is distraction man

Love is

Bringing up the rear

No priority

Re-arranged here.

Fin

By Samantha Harris

The Day I Met My Mother. Short real life story.

The Day I Met My Mum. Short real life read.

I was twenty two years old, married but separated and living in Brighton in the south of England when I first had news of my mother.

Maureen my mother lived in Plymouth, Devon, around four hundred miles from me. Even now, thirty years later, writing ‘my mother’ or thinking of her at all is proper alien to me. I am the beginning and the end of my family.

Knowing where you came from is a biological urge, but it is rare to find anyone in the same boat.

I’ve met many people who didn’t understand their fathers and some who didn’t know them at all but never met anyone else given up by their mother when they were one.

I had a friend whose mother left him with an aunt in Jamaica for eight years whilst she came to England to train to become a nurse. He said that when she did return home, she was like a stranger to him and he always had felt some awkwardness towards her but went on to recognise that she did it for him and his siblings.

I didn’t know how I felt about my mother. What did she leave me for? I suppose I should have been angry. But it’s not that easy. How can you feel anything when you don’t have a picture in your mind of who to be angry with? All I had was back handed remarks from my father and snippets of snide information from my step mother. My birth mother was a taboo subject.

If I’m honest, I don’t remember the drive down to Plymouth that weekend. It’s a journey I used to do more often but nowadays I barely remember the way and now would use googlemaps. Back then, I know I was intrigued and very nervous. Meeting my mother and Grandmother, Gwen, for the first time was an unprecedented life situation. A defining moment.

There was much to look forward to. Over the weekend I was due to meet other extended members of my family. I remember being happy. My partner, at the time was a man called Mike, he was an accountant. We thought we were in love. I was working as a model agent and instructor which kept me busy most days and two evenings during the week.

It was a weekend away. We were using his blue Ford Escort 1.4 for the journey. I loved driving his car. I’d never driven anything with less than three previous owners before and the journey down to Devon would have been quick as I always liked to drive fast.

Arriving at the bottom of Gwen’s tower block in Devonport, was unremarkable but forever indentured in my memory. The old worn heavy wooden doors gave way after I pressed the intercom to announce our arrival. The corridors and lift smelled as all council buildings smell; old, pissy with the faint taint of Special Brew. I live in tower block myself now and it is the same.

We arrived on her floor, the thirteenth, and buzz my biological Grandmother’s door. A small dark haired, wrinkled lady opens it and explains straight away that she isn’t my Nan. Her name is Ruby, and she’s Nan’s best friend. For some reason this flummoxed me briefly and Mike takes me arm. He gives me a nod of encouragement and we walked through the dark hall.

As we get to the end of the hall, a green frog, a soft toy security device, sounds out ‘rebbit’- making me jump but we follow Ruby through to where Nan is sat in her lounge.

I hear Nan laugh before I see her. Ruby sits down on the sofa nearest to Nan. My new/old/unknown Grandmother was sat in a chair to the right of me as I came through the door. In front of me were large picture windows looking out over Plymouth Sound. The view was breath-taking.

Photos were on every side and display collections of thimbles were on the walls. Grandmother Gwen’s short white hair stood up on her head above her pale forehead and almost invisible eyebrows. Her white skin was randomly spotted with light brown patches Her strong liquid blue eyes looked into my brown ones. We both had tears running down our faces as I leant down and hugged her for the first time ever, or at least for the first time since I was a tiny baby. She smelt of warm lavender air and talcum powder.

“Oh”, she said, wiping her eyes with a tissue from a box, “you look just like your photo, just like your mother and how I used to before the diabetes got me.” She referred to her huge size.

“Just like my photo?” I asked. I hoped that I didn’t sound as shocked as I was. My mind was swirling. They knew what I looked like. They had photos of me.  How could they know what I looked like when I didn’t know that they existed until a week ago? Had my father stayed in contact? I quickly saw it wasn’t that. New Nan proudly explained that they’d seen me in the local paper. They showed me the cuttings.

I’m glad I was sat down. I took it all in and Ruby made us all a cup of tea.

They all knew about me. They had the freedom to discuss me.

Nan chatted about biological Grandad and how much he’d loved Maureen and would have loved to see me again if he’d lived. I was shown boxes and boxes of photographs. Each one so important but all so overwhelming. I tried to remember all the names and places. What relation someone was to me, but it was too much. I couldn’t take it all in.

At some point I asked whether Maureen, lived nearby and then Nan said she’d call her for me. Then my grandmother picked up the phone and dialled her up on massive buttons. They spoke together on that telephone that was stood on a little wooden table near her floral arm chair. White doilies adorned both. The doilies were matching white cotton with embroidered roses. Nan gestured to me to come and talk. That was the first time I heard my mother’s voice. Stood on the dark reddish, brown, swirly patterned carpet, looking at my Nan’s elderly, eager face with the slimline plastic receiver in my hand held blaring against my ear.

What can I tell you? What did mum sound like? Well, there wasn’t tinkles and sprinkles of magic singing in my ears. Maureen had a heavy Devonshire accent and sounded like any other woman on the phone. She tells me she is at work and will come over when her shift finished.

I sit there for what seemed like an eternity, looking at black and whites, waiting to see what she looks like in real life. That really was the main thing I wanted to see. Shallow really but it’s the truth. I also wanted to know why she’d left me and what she was really like. Was she a tragic alcoholic who needed to party? I wanted to know her more than I felt any anger.

Finally, the door went. Ruby went to answer it. I looked at Mike. He looked back reassuringly. I was thankful he was there, being supportive, quiet and not intrusive.

My mother enters after the ‘rebbit’ followed by Ruby, who went to put the kettle on again.

Maureen stood across the room looking at me apprehensively. She said,

“Do you hate me?”

“No.” I replied. I looked at the woman who was my mother and my face cracked, so much emotional came forth and I cried heavily. I stood up and walked to her. I embraced her and she embraced me. She was smaller, fragile even. I carried on crying as we hugged. My desperate need for her to show me love overrode everything else and I don’t know how long we stood there like that just holding each other. She pulled away first. Telling me I had a sister and brothers. We sat and talked as Ruby served tea and my new Nan supplied biscuits.

I was shown the first photos I’d seen of myself as a baby. I was told my baby history. ‘Mother’ dropped me with my Aunt Chris on my first birthday so I could meet my father (Chris’s brother) and never went back for me. Maureen told me that she’d been breast feeding and they’d had to bind her to stop producing milk for me. She told me that I cried a lot. And that as my cousin was a Downs Syndrome baby.

It was difficult and their household could not cope with all of us. She was suffering with depression and didn’t want to make the journey back across Plymouth to get me. The longer she left it the easier it became then she met another man and got pregnant again. She tells me that it was difficult to love her new child, a son, because she was thinking about me.

We cried all afternoon. I see that she is similar but much smaller than me. The similarity is around the cheekbones and mouth, perhaps in the shape of the eyes. Maureen’s eyes are green so my browns must be from father. But the mannerisms surprised me. We both do similar things with our hands and heads when we talk or at rest. It was rather bizarre to witness. She tells me people call her Mo, but I decided to call her mum.

She invites Mike and I to her flat so that I can meet with one of my brothers and my sister. All fantasy that my mother had given me up to live a better life perished when I saw her flat and how modestly she lived.  My sister and brother were outstanding individuals and clearly close to Mo. We ordered fish and chips from the corner shop for tea.

My brother and sister were both blue eyed blondes so looked nothing like me. They tell me that my other brother, Matthew, is dark. I’ve yet to meet him to this day. In true Devon spirit my mother gives her bed to Mike and me for the night. The next day I meet the rest of my family from Devon and Cornwall and they make me feel welcome. I felt accepted but I didn’t feel like I belonged.

We were all close for a few years, Mum, her family and I, but by 2000 the relationship became sour, estranged and again, she is now unknown to me.

I’m glad that I know where I came from regardless of the fact that I no longer have a relationship with my biological mother and her family. I don’t belong to her tribe but because of her I never really belonged anywhere else.

Thanks for reading.

The End

Family – Poem Study of Family

Mini me
Look after me
Property
For eternity

Little me
Look after me
Money
For perpetuity

Tiny me
Do as
I do
As I’m part of you

Child of mine
Stand to
Hand
Hold the land

Mini me
You and me
Are
Family

Then when time is due

There is only you

End.

By Samantha “unextraordinarybint” Harris
21st October 2019. A harsh study of family.

Simon’s Birthday Message

Happy Birthday mate, I hope you have a fantastic day.

From the time you were little and holding the rabbit you were looking after from school to the time we had our first smoke toke together and every day since, I am your sister and I love you.

As a second time around Dad you must be busy. As you are left literally holding the baby. Having done it once I bet you and baby Oscar and doing great. I expect mum is on hand to help and you ought to be getting lots of support. This is my perception of your life as we have not been in contact for a few years I can not be sure.

As always with sibling birthdays it’s a bit of a jolt. I feel bad that I am not seeing you but also very thankful as a I don’t like leaving the house for absolutely anything. Also very aware that you have gone into hermit mode and are probably, hopefully working away at getting close to the music.

I’ve not seen our mutual parents for decades and that a preferable situation for me. However, recently I stopped the police coming around and questioning them regarding sexual assaults on me as a minor in their care and thought I’d tell you. I’m feeling kind of big about it and not sure exactly why.

Why am I still protecting our parents? Perhaps I could kid myself I’m protecting all of my estranged family. Well I’m not, I’m protecting myself from the whole thing still, all these years later. I thought I was brave but perhaps I’m not.  They were supposed to protect me and care for me but they didn’t.

I thought making the statement to the police would help. It did in some ways but it also opened up a can of worms. Big, fat, ugly, worms that have no where to go other than to dig deep into the human condition swallow what they find and poo it out again.

Why shouldn’t I want them punished and embarrassed at the very least? Do you know why? The answer is bizarrely simple. I needed to tell the truth for me, just for me.

Because I am actually a better person. I’m a better person for not knowing them anymore. I am a better person because I recognise that causing them pain and suffering will not make my pain and suffering go away. I am a better person because I don’t sit here judging them as they do me.

However, I am strong enough to be happy in my life, I will continue to do things which bring about this happiness for me. For no other reason other than it makes me happy. You gave me some help on the guitar when we last met. I think of it often, every time I play Four Non Blondes. You helped me immensely. I wonder if I ever helped you?

As I think about my siblings, some of which I’ve never met, I wonder why people go on about disjointed family life being a modern thing – I’m fifty and my family is completely disjointed and has been all my life.

Family life is an illusion at best and if most people are honest they all have members of their family that are the ‘black sheep’ the ‘bad penny’ and so on.

Family is who you choose to be loyal to. Sometimes that loyalty means you can’t see others very often as your loyalty will be held in question. I will always be loyal to you Bro and you know I am here.

Have a great birthday Simon, I’m thinking of you.

Army Brats

This is a list of the things the army did do for me and feel that these 42 statements are unique to army children. I do moan about certain aspects of my upbringing; however, I got a great education whilst away from Britain. Also, I met some fantastic people, most of whom I am still in contact with.
I was raised knowing we were all different but the same.

I’m glad that my father joined the army and although safeguarding children is an issue which needs addressing, I do feel that army children are stronger than most as they are raised to be capable and grounded.

This was shared on Facebook and I do not know who wrote it. Should anyone know the author I would happily credit them so let them know or me know and I’ll do that.

Are we in agreement?
42 signs you were a Military child …..
1. People ask you where you’re from and you don’t even try to explain as you’re not entirely sure!
2. Your Doctor, Dentist and Chaplin wore combat boots.
3. You’ve taken a few flights that involved sitting in jump seats, wearing your winter jacket the entire flight and taken off and landing at military airports.
4. You’ve eaten more than one posh Christmas meal in the “mess” and been told to be on your best behaviour – to then watch the adults get hopelessly drunk and misbehave.
5. You always have emergency rations “MRE’S” around the house and can make a meal out of anything tinned.
6. You’ve never had to explain to your Military friends that you just found out you’re moving … again!
7. You’re the most efficient packer you know and now enjoy it.
8. You’ve known from a young age Life is not always easy or fair, but your job is to make the most of it and smile regardless.
9. You are tough, adaptable and good at making friends.
10. You wouldn’t trade your childhood and upbringing for anything in the world.
11. You know you shouldn’t, but you judge people who don’t know the phonetic alphabet.
12. Turning up 10 minutes early for an appointment means you’re late.
13. You were soooo proud you had a British military ID.
14. Anyone older than you is Sir or Mam, “No exceptions”
15. Your chores were mandatory and were always inspected military style.
16. You are born with an immediate respect for anyone in uniform.
17. Santa always turned up in a military helicopter to the Mess and wore combat boots and DPM trousers underneath his red jacket.
18. You were never alone, and even when you were, you were always fairly content and happy.
19. You’ve stood for the National Anthem in a movie theatre.
20. You have an instant connection with other brats no matter what sex or age.
21. You have friends all over the world.
22. You can “go with the flow” better than your civilian counterpart, even if you’re not comfy, you always fit in and hold yourself well in any group.
23. No one or nothing was scarier than your father’s commanding officer.
24. You’ve not got the toys you grew up with and can’t remember where they went.
25. You never ever questioned your lifestyle, things were just as they were and it was accepted, now you look back in affectionate amazement.
26. You know it’s really 1700hrs not 5pm.
27. You get excited when you meet someone who has been to the same base or country as you and have an instant bond and shed loads to talk about.
28. Going back to your own country was a complete cultural shock.
29. You never thought it was weird that you grew up inside a armed guarded cage, you just knew you were safe.
30. Your only source of communication with your Dad when he was away were “blueys”.
31. In school, you had fire drills, but you also had nuclear war drill and prepared for terrorist attacks.
32. You put German curry sauce on everything and love trying new foods and flavours.
33. You feel somewhat sorry for civilian children and feel like they have missed out.
34. Having the amount of different schools attended as you did is a kind of badge of honour but you can’t remember more than two teachers names, what school they taught you in or what year!
35. You’ve worn military green thermal socks that doubled up every Christmas as your Christmas stocking.
36. You’ve looked under your car for bombs or devices, also had your school bus searched twice a day by armed soldiers considered normal.
37. You never bothered to memorize your home telephone number, it changed too frequently.
38. You refer to non-school clothes as “civvies.”
39. It wasn’t alarming or nothing new to see guys jump out of airplanes or dangle from speeding helicopters.
40. You can’t keep track of how many houses you’ve lived in but can remember the view from your bedroom windows.
41. You are probably one of a few people that have actually fully read this whole post and liked and shared it.
42. You can’t stop finding reasons why being a Military brat is great.

Thank you for reading.

Dear Daddy. Soldier Protector of Whom?

I am the product of your first marriage. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Occasionally I feel like I ought to know you. Even cold fish such as ourselves have feelings rise up from time to time. 

They come to light at certain times of the year. Those seasonable times when families get together, share meals and moments of happiness, even joy. It has recently been Easter. It’s been an awakening for me. Now I know where to sow my seeds for my growth.

Some parts of me want to know you. They are the hopeful, optimistic parts which reside in the lighter shades of my heart. Memories seen on television of families sat around the table laughing. The gold glinting on the table decorations reflecting in the eyes of the smiling, loving faces.

I wonder what plans you have made for this year’s festivities. I can’t help it. I know I shouldn’t. It almost seems that at some level in my consciousness I actually believe that you and I are in contact. That I didn’t pick up the phone from my father telling me not to contact my family again.

And yet, as heartless as that call was, I am still astounded that my father had called me that day. He had never called me before. The call had given me a little burst of joy. I hadn’t heard his voice for decades. I’d forgotten it. I don’t have a bank of conversations stored in my memory from my upbringing. I have three and they are all disturbing.

I would like to say a few things to you now. I’m ready. I understand what happened and have found peace with it all. Now you need to deal with it.

It wasn’t my fault that your first wife, my real mother, left me with you. She couldn’t cope with me. You had left her, moved on with your new wife and your new, lovely little ready made daughter.

You must have known almost immediately that she didn’t like me. You spent the next eleven years dealing with the fallout. I can not remember you trying to help me.  

It wasn’t my fault that I got sexually assaulted in the woods by a stranger. I was eight. It was not my fault I was sexually abused whilst we were living in Germany. I was eleven.

It was also not my fault that I grew to look just like your first wife. I could see how hard it was for you to look at me. You have never told me that you love me. You have never told me that I was pretty. I watched you tell those things to my sister who wasn’t even yours. You broke my heart every day that I lived under your roof.

My new sister was told that you were her father and that you had different names because it was before you were married to her mum. A great little story for her. There was no sugar coating for me. I was told my mother didn’t want me. I was told to be grateful. Other children were told my mother didn’t want me.

Do you realise that your strategy to ignore me throughout my childhood is the reason I was vulnerable to being abused? Father’s should be supported of their daughter now I know that you are getting elderly. You may have heard that I have made a statement to the police regarding the sexual assaults on me as a child.

It is hard to carry on caring or protecting a family that gave up on me over thirty years ago. The army has some explaining to do regarding it’s safeguarding of children it transports around the world and within families of serving members. It is not enough to just look after the officer’s children. All children deserve to feel safe.

It’s been nearly a month since I reported what happened to me. Devon and Cornwall police and Hertfordshire police are moving slowly – but it is happening. I don’t apologise Daddy as I don’t think you care so I suspect it won’t touch you. Shame you couldn’t protect your daughter the way you helped protect your country.

Daddy, you told me at a young age, that there are nasty people and nice people. You told me I was a nasty person. So now, forty years later I prove you wrong. I was never a a nasty girl Dad. I was eight years old. How can an eight year old know???

It was you, Daddy. You were the one who had the responsibility of my care, of my well being. It was you that let me down. I am not nasty. I am a good, decent human, one who has been through one hell of a lot. More than you could have coped with.

I am a star and I am proud of where I am today. I got where I am today in spite of you not because of you. I’m only just starting my journey with truth on my side. I ride alone as usual with no support on my road but truth is a powerful partner and I don’t feel lonely anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Little World of Mine – England

BBC Bias Media Representation and Coverage – Rich People Are Doing My Nut In
By Samantha Harris, formerly Spetch, formerly Tucker born of Rogers

I recently made myself sit through one of the most cringe worthy shows ever screened. First, I thought it was some sort of satire but apparently it was serious.

During this program a BBC presenter had four other grown men carry him and his wheelchair up a rickety wooden staircase. It had proper regal tones. Apart from the obvious fact that everyone was pretty scared. But the BBC are good at lauding it over the poor folk.

But then this BBC presenter just had to go a step further and some.The interviews with the children were strong. You could say it was emotional – yes, those kids were bloody scared.

The fearless BBC were talking to them – in the open – with loads of soldiers around you. They probably even asked them their names in front of the man with guns. They had guns. It is likely those children know very well what those guns do and yet the BBC ask them to risk their security this way??? Why???There was militia at both ends of the street.

Many of these people have been told, by the fashionablefaithgroups and other dubious groups, that invalid people are devils… that disabled people sap good people energy and load of other rubbish – so yes, they were defo scared. They are scared of vampires – it is the era of misinformation.

Perhaps the BBC presenters could work on a more humble attitude to those less fortunate and not wave their bloody degrees and righteousness upon too many poor people – it can feel a little queezy. I did think that from my cosy flat in London.

I expect being able to research is probably a necessity if you are going to go into journalism but not if you work for the BBC. It seems many of the programs are not well researched and do not represent who they are broadcasting to.

Your willingness to show animals is distress is also rather worrying. The dinosaurs really don’t need grown men sitting on female alligators – in the name of some weird fashionablefaithgroups so called science program to show TRex had a strong bite.

This sort of thing is distressing to watch and unnecessary – I can assure you of that it also send out the wrong message was so unnecessary. Thankfully science has come a lot way since that sort of thing. It has become more humane and kind.

Very fed up of paying the BBC to abuse me. The licence is expensive. In the UK we have to pay. By court order if we and refuse we get fined. It is a must do thing. I do not support the BBC. I do not like their politics.

I then made myself sit through a misleading program on how black nurses saved the nhs what sort of racist reporting is this? This is against equality laws – and even if you were allowed to say it, which you are not, it isn’t even true. How can anyone save anything which was only just made…?

The BBC need to start getting responsible with their broadcasting. Just what is their agenda?

I am a woman in a wheelchair, screwed by the NHS and I would like something which reflects who I am and the wonderful life I had led rather than the dribble you keep churning out. I would be a wonderful study of just how bias the BBC is as I drove my car to Israel in the 1990s.

From Brighton I drove my car through Europe to the middle east.

I would love to see things which reflect my life and culture. Fed up of the BBC being racist and lying about our countries history. Fed up of the BBC following other countries interests and lying about ours.

Sort it out. You ruined my childhood with your disgusting broadcasting – and now I will give you my point of view. I watched the program called Rainbow in the 1970s. I got a beating for repeating some of the things you broadcast.

I also read some pretty strange books at a young age – Shakespeare and Steven King, both authors the British elite are determined to shove on us – it’s weird stuff and it’s underage and it should not be happening.

The BBC have a responsibility to be responsible. You have our money. You have the nations souls so you have control. Please play nice.
Innocence should be protected not worshipped or hurt.
Friends in the right places re funding
Friends in the right places re housing
Friends in the right places re medical treatment

The programs this evening were so ill informed that BBC is painful to watch but you make me pay for a licence or go to jail, I have no option but to see what you are trying to brainwash UK with.

So now we know – No more dribble – proper telly please – and stop editing things weird, leave women and children alone. Stop trying to push fashionable faith agenda – we don’t need it, we are just normal folk.

Crafting Pagan Style

The Bridget Cross

 

The intricately woven straw decoration that brighten churches throughout Britain at the time of Harvest Festival have their origins not in the christian religion but in the beliefs and the ideas stretching aback into prehistory.

The celebration of the harvest is steeped in legend and mythology, and centres around the story of Ceres the Earth Mother, goddess of all that grows out of the earth.

This is based on the theory that women once had complete control over production of food and distribution of services and supplies. As this legend is the same in every country around the globe it is probably more than a theory.

In 1973 in England is was still the custom in some areas of Britain for farmers to leave a row of wheat standing in the fields at the end of the harvest in the belief that bad luck will befall them if it is cut. The legend is that Ceres hides in the corn and to avenge what happened to her.

In some parts of England at least until 1900 as sheaf of corn would be left in the fields, and while it stood there no one was allowed to go into the field. When the sheaf was taken out, women and children were allowed to enter and glean through the stubble.

In another part of the country the last row of corn used to be beat down to the ground by the reapers who shouted, ‘There she is! Hit her.” And, “Knock her to the ground” – also “Don’t let her get away” – basically attempt to make the female creative energy from the remaining corn go back to the earth so the field would be abundant the following year.

 

 

Crafting Pagan Style

The Bridget Cross

The intricately woven straw decoration that brighten churches throughout Britain at the time of Harvest Festival have their origins not in the christian religion but in the beliefs and the ideas stretching aback into prehistory.

The celebration of the harvest is steeped in legend and mythology, and centres around the story of Ceres the Earth Mother, goddess of all that grows out of the earth.

This is based on the theory that women once had complete control over production of food and distribution of services and supplies. As this legend is the same in every country around the globe it is probably more than a theory.

In 1973 in England is was still the custom in some areas of Britain for farmers to leave a row of wheat standing in the fields at the end of the harvest in the belief that bad luck will befall them if it is cut. The legend is that Ceres hides in the corn and to avenge what happened to her.

In some parts of England at least until 1900 as sheaf of corn would be left in the fields, and while it stood there no one was allowed to go into the field. When the sheaf was taken out, women and children were allowed to enter and glean through the stubble.

In another part of the country the last row of corn used to be beat down to the ground by the reapers who shouted, ‘There she is! Hit her.” And, “Knock her to the ground” – also “Don’t let her get away” – basically attempt to make the female creative energy from the remaining corn go back to the earth so the field would be abundant the following year.

It should be noted this book was produced by the AA. It goes on to say many divisive things in amongst normal things so kids don’t realise – or parents.

I’m Not Laughing Doc

Disgust and Division in The UK – Classifying People Aryan is Offensive.

It seems that our government has given reason a holiday. Richard Harrington may have resigned his parliamentary position he is still our head of County. I have some questions for him. What is he going to do about the discrimination in Hertfordshire towards disabled people, women and people who are not members of a fashionable faith?

For centuries people have picked on the outsider, the one that was different. One could be classed as different for all sorts of reasons. For instance, I am just a soldier’s daughter with no debate skills or further education other than electrical and science college. My writing and speach aren’t great. I also am estranged from my parents for more than thirty years. So I’m different.

There are other examples like, most people come from where they currently live. Those that move into a new area are different. Or a family who has five sons suddenly has a daughter, she’s different. Sometimes a baby is born with a different body or a strange set of features again that baby is different.

It could be a religious difference, like catholics are very different from pagans, hindi is different to christianity and then there is judaism and islam. Guess what? They are all different. They are all faith groups and we have managed to get along for a couple of hundred years at least.

Or so I thought. In England there has been tolerance and our culture has grown from it. I am proud to be British like many others who live in this country. As Brits we have stood against intolerance and attempted to stop injustices as a nation of people – what our government does is another matter and we are often dragged along with an aggressive option for untransparent reasons.

As a nation we have often had to force the hand of our sovereign and our government to do the right thing many times over the centuries of faith rule – as in all countries.  As nations we forced our governments to end slavery – although many aspect of faith groups felt it was still necessary and Africa demanded to still be allowed to trade.

Most of the faith groups worship innocence and pagans worship life as it actually is.

I have been discriminated against without realising it was happening. My right as a child to be protected, my right as a woman to education, then as a mother demanding education and care for my children, my right to healthcare and now, as a citizen.

My duty has always been to love and protect. Most girls are brought up in this theme. I have made mistakes – I arranged to pick a fellow student up on the way to Barnet College. Then I drove right past him, down Western Ave and up Woodgreen Highroad, back in 1994.

I’ve witnessed casual racism from every single nation. On building sites and within the army people celebrate their differences. Sometimes it’s harmful but if there is love between those throwing racial abuse it’s just different and often funny.

Being laughed at when you are loved by those laughing at you is a joy. It’s one of life’s little blessings that comes with being loved. You can’t just rib anyone though – it must be someone that you feel love for – otherwise it’s bullying. Forcing someone to laugh at others who are different and don’t know you is bullying.

You’d think that people would be able to recognise bullying, seems like it would be obvious. But they don’t always, it can sneak up on you. I think that bullying comes around when humans are disgusted by other humans.

It’s so easy to make humans be disgusted at others. I see it all the time as a disabled person. The nose crinkles up and the eyes narrow. Judgement. Most faiths warn of the judgement. In paganism there is a tarot card called the judgement. Tarot is ancient. Different faiths have attributed different meanings but essentially it is whether you judge yourself as a good soul.

In paganism we have a meditation called The Mirror Meditation. It means you look in the mirror. If you are interested, I can tell you how to ensure results but I will give you the key points. By staring in the mirror at your own eyes you will see into your soul.

Are you a kind person? Do you treat people as you would like to be treated? Or do you treat people as you’ve been told they should be treated? You will have completed the meditation when you can hold your own gaze through the past lives of yourself that you will see.

Division between people and non-acceptance of freedoms was something of the past in my living memory, it is currently 2019, yet here we are again. Today I got classified as Aryan in a UK hospital. This is something very new for me. I took a photo of the form because I still can’t quite believe it.

When I get back home, I searched through my gallery pics and bring the photo up on my phone, it still feels unreal. I looked up what this new classification means on the internet because all I can think of is nazis. I ask other people and they agree, that’s all they can think of too. It is an offensive term.

Apparently, according to wiki it means I come from Iran. However, I’m a Devonshire lass. I come from where ‘my lover’ is a greeting and is said to strangers and most people love a drop of cider. The land of cream teas and Cornish ice-cream. I love Devon and Cornwall, I only had to leave because I’m different.

As a coincidence they are also redeveloping Devonport, in Plymouth where I was born. Station Road in 1969 to a Welsh father and English mother. One of my grandads was the ferryman. All of my family have piecing blue eyes and blond hair except my mother, she has green. I have brown eyes and dark hair.

I am now fifty years old, to be told that I am not caucasian anymore is somewhat of a shock. Why such a category of aryan? Why not celtic British, welsh British or even ‘dark English’ which is what my Israeli friend once described me as. It seems that ‘Aryan’ is the term and I am told it is lawful. The word itself currently disgusts me and that is what worries me.

I have a black British consultant, an Indian hindi nurse and a Jewish receptionist all working in Watford General Hospital along with the muslim and christian folk at my local GP surgery.

I’ve always had doctors which looked different than me. The best doctor I ever had was a Chinese doctor down in Brighton in 1989-1992. I miss her. Dr Chung listened and she had knowledge and could get me help. She was never dismissive. She would swab my butt if it was necessary, she wouldn’t have thought it was inappropriate. I suspect MRSA would not be in her clinic.

There was a Chinese woman with her sick mother when I was at Watford General today, she was distraughtly waving her form, trying to get some help and being told to wait. She was why I was drawn to looking at the paper I was holding to arrange my next appointment after having had my appointment already. I would never have noticed it if it wasn’t for that lady and her mum.

Over the last twenty years or so our country’s freedoms have been removed. I know that I have been systematically bullied because of my lack of a fashionable growing faith. Being part of the world of woods, wildlife and folk tunes isn’t enough to be safe.

Filling out social housing forms has made me see that things are not as they were and worse still, what they were was an illusion. I’ve read all TRDC reports on equality since 2012. They are available for download from their site. They are not offering services across the seven protected groups. They are cherry picking who they provide good service to.

Forms need to be filled out for you to sign when you have a flat audit. The staff member explained that they had to make sure I wasn’t subletting the flat. They check the flat and ask for ID – I’m thankful for these checks.

The WCHT staff wanted to ensure I had everything I needed as she was also my equality services provider. I’ve been here almost a year, so I asked for a tenancy agreement so I would know if I was breaking it. I asked if they wanted to see all my occupational therapist reports and medical letters as I retched and I apologised for the smell. They both looked around the flat. They seemed unaware of any of my details or previous complaints.

Form filling – boring but forms give clues as to where funding is allocated. In Watford Community Housing Trust forms flat audit forms there was no box under religion for pagans. No pagan box to tick. This means pagans are not counted. No pagans in Britain is not possible. Pagans built Stone Henge and have been protecting this land and its occupants for thousands of years.

The woman doing the audit asked me if she could put pagan down under christian and I almost died on the spot. I thought of all the witches burning at the stake across the globe. I thought about the fat dripping down the side of Spitafield Market walls in London from the human burnings. I may love all that Jesus represented but I am not a christian.

The fact that christians like to cover up like the muslims is also not so pagan. Many more thoughts came to my mind but I stayed calm and polite.  I told her to draw a box. Then I asked her to write pagan next to it. Then I asked her to tick it and I know I used the word please. I have to say, that although ill-informed they were both very nice.

Funding from councils is allocated out to services and benefits depending on the community which responds to feedback forms. These forms are supposed to be anonymous but in Hertfordshire County Council they are not. Especially in Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council.

If you are not happy with a service or group provision this council will increase the advertising budget for that service. The advertising budget is then allocated out to the different services and provision groups. Feedback is collected to ensure that protected groups are being protected, such as old people or disabled.

However, if the service or group provision is not on the page it cannot be ticked. Provision can’t be measured or any advertising budget increased because no feedback forms will be sent out to a service which doesn’t exist.

Advice on the new homes being built and who is allowed to buy and what help financial help is available is also allocated by the council authority. The advice is given to social housing tenants by it’s authority and as such who they invite to buy is supposed to be heavily regulated to ensure they follow equality laws.

Three Rivers District Council, Watford Borough Council and Hertsmere Council have all been made aware of the discrimination and breaks from procedure but have told me I do not have an argument. The UN law doesn’t count here they tell me. Well, until we actually leave Europe, YES IT DOES.

So it seems unlikely pagans are to be offered any advice on how to buy the lovely new homes which are being built in their communities. Watford locals are attempting to hold on in the midst of these ‘redevelopments’ with no literature to aid them or any idea of where to get help.

Pagans are a huge group of people. Not only are there a huge group of folk here in UK, but all over the world. China, for instance, is mainly pagan as it doesn’t financially support faith groups. Disabled people do not want to be disabled. Also, not all of us have always been disabled. I have every right to claim benefits and feel the judgements of disgust should be stopped.

Money has been spent on making us feel disgusted with all sorts of things, disgusted with benefit claimers and homeless people, disgusted by drug use, disgust at young girls that have been groomed from such an early age they don’t know the father’s names to their children, disgusted at people who hurt animals, disgust at how others live, disgust at adults in nappies, disgusted by witchcraft – which is just mirrors and spells.

Pagans are classed as devils by faith groups – they are hunted and killed. Blasted in the media as baby killers and bad people. Jesus had a saying apparently, I suspect it may have been an old pagan saying from the times, he tried to stop a woman from being stoned to death, he said, “He without sin should cast the first stone.”

Now we are classed as aryan, people will think we deserve it when we get stabbed…is that why a boy can be hammered to death after being chased by groups of men, hunted across Watford until he and his friends are finally trapped in by the gangs in a subway. The police only managing to arrest one and not gathering information or evidence correctly, the one they jailed getting just four years, out in two. The local newspaper naming the informant but not the men arrested?

Aryan. The term disgusts us. It’s hard to believe but it’s actually true. They thought we would be out of Europe by now and wouldn’t need to clean up but their arrogance has shown through their mistakes. I think their biggest mistake was thinking people don’t care. Not even bothering to check for spellings on their dummy websites or checking with a lawyer before writing letters claiming legal knowledge.

Some of these faith group fund guzzlers have resigned over the last few months. In Hertfordshire and across England they can be seen running, some back to the states. They realised it all might come out, they realised we may stay in Europe because people are beginning to see all the cheating things done to swing the vote. They realised that someone had been reading their reports.

Forms are just great, things like ‘Head of the Household’ is a telling term. It means housing associations can put the one person down as the main tenant – even if a couple joined the housing list together. If then that person finds themselves out on the street it is their own fault for not staying with hand that feeds them.

These things are illegal but since the referendum these injustices have run rampant. No one is checking that policy is correctly implemented. No authority in the County cares when disability laws are broken. No one cares when an organisation breaks from the equality policy – because they think it won’t matter.

No one checking policy is because they are busy. Busy checking their image in the mirror. I know of working families waiting for housing for years. None are offered new housing to buy although they meet the criteria. They were placed into social rental units instead. This takes up the social housing for those waiting and then councils move who they want to into the built to buy flats.

It seems faith plays a part in whom can be offered help to buy these lovely new homes which our swallowing up the little green spaces, the few we have left on council estates.

The word pagan has been associated with disgusting things of late. If I were to say the same of another religion, I should be prosecuted for breaking equality laws. However I must stress this – I don’t feel like saying nasty things to other people. Other people do not disgust me. We are all different. I just wish I didn’t disgust them so much.

Groups of people hating on each other isn’t nice. I look in the mirror. I look at my soul. I know the bad things within me. I do not judge the things in you. I just ask that you do not call me an aryan and ask that you revert Hertfordshire County Council back to how it was. We are still in Europe you are breaking the law of equality which the UK signed up to. Why would you do that to me?

Samantha Harris.

April Fool’s Day 2019

April’s Fool Day 2019 is going to be a celebration in my home.

This pagan throwback hasn’t disappeared just yet. The 1st of April is the time of year when we play jokes on others. Oh and how much do we need to laugh? We have always known laughter is great for us and that being happy is good for our health and the usual blah.

Laughter is an emotion I can get behind. Laughter is how we deal with our issues and the best way to deal with trauma once recovery has set its course in the right direction.

How healthy would our countries be if we measured wealth in happiness rather than currency?

In the past, newspapers ran the best April Fools Day stories. People believed that spaghetti grew on trees just for a moment before they realised it was not true – they were usually given a clue within the text that they were being ‘had over’.

The history of April Fool’s Day is more than Quite Interesting. It started a very long time. It has to be one the oldest traditions in our country funnily enough maybe in the world. Current search engine results will tell us it comes from when they changed the calendars, around 1752.

Proper ancient. Before then we celebrated Christmas in March.

Practical jokers would still bring around presents apparently and people would say ‘you fool, it’s not Christmas we just celebrated Christmas,’ or something like that. But that isn’t the whole story.

April Fool’s Day is heavily linked with the abduction of a daughter of a Goddess. The daughter of Agriculture. It is also linked to Pluto, Ceres and a load of other very important pre Christian, pre Islamic, pre Judaic, pre Hindi gods and goddesses.

So it is now known to us pagans as a celebration of fruitless journeys as well as fruitful. The Fool is an interesting icon. One not to be ignored. For instance, it is a powerful Tarot Card and also in popular culture it survives, with the amount of comedy on the googlebox, this much is fact.

Many traditional celebrations happen around now all over the globe – it’s Spring. It’s the natural time to celebrate motherhood and creation – but also a very busy time as it is birthing season.

Famous jokes for April Fool’s day seem to have dwindled of late but how nice would it be to wake up tomorrow morning and to be told that the last two years were actually a joke.

That it was now over. We were never coming out of Europe anyway and the powers who have been fighting over this little country of ours would just disappear.

We could all sit around and have such a good laugh at that. For me that would be the best April Fool’s Day ever.

Sofa So Long — unextraordinarybint

A seagull pecked at the open stitch on my arm. The remnants of a meal left by Izzy’s new baby. The bird gobbled down the last piece of the frayed fabric and flew into the horizon. The dump was busy. The large machines working to break down the rubbish. They worked methodically. The skips came […]

via Sofa So Long — unextraordinarybint

Sofa, So Good, So Long (Short Story)

A seagull pecked at the open stitch on my arm, remnants of a meal left by baby. The bird gobbled down the last piece of the frayed fabric and flew into the horizon. The dump was busy. The large machines working to break down the rubbish. They worked methodically. The skips came in at one end of the yard. They were turned out into a huge pile and then the machines would gather around the edges and eat.


The scene is very different to how I’ve spent most of my life. I’ve never been so wet. The glue between my joints so soft. My struts and bindings loose. I remember when I was as hard as rock. My springs taught and strong. The fabric, stretched across me, was deep grey; Teflon coated with fire resistance. Back then, my stylish beading hid every stitch I had.


I remember the smell on the shop floor. It was a clean but somehow dusty smell. The gleaming windows smelled strong, like vinegar. Also, I remember the odours of the different families trailing past, children crying, children laughing. Their parents clutching their tiny hands. My springs enjoying the feeling of the little feet jumping on me. The parents scolding them.


Mr and Mrs Gold came in one spring day. They had money from their wedding day and were expecting their first child. When they saw me, they looked at each other. They came over and sat on me. As they touched hands the joy which swept through me was intense. I understood my purpose was to serve these human beings. Then, just like all the other couples, they got up and walked away.


I sensed them talking with the man who walked around with the clip board. He and I had a strange relationship. He didn’t sit on me. He would come up to me and push on my pillows. Then he would write something on his clip board. It was a while before Mr and Mrs Gold left the store. They all shook hands, then he put a large white board on me. No one else sat on me for the rest of the day.


The following morning, three women turned up with a large trolley and bundles of cardboard. They were laughing and joking between them until the man with the clip board shouted. They picked up a large plastic roll and wrapped me from my wooden, cubed feet up and over my back and around my cushions. They then pulled me up onto trolley and wheeled me off the shop floor.


A massive truck backed up to the warehouse loading bay and I was slid, ungraciously onto it. The man with clip board gave the truck driver a nod and took the trolley away. He looked at me when he pulled down the door until I was out of sight. I heard him lock the door and I grew a little anxious in the dark. I’d been in his sunny showroom for all my life and, to me, he was the most consistent human being I had known.


My fear at being bundled off the dirty truck and manhandled through a doorway, which was seemingly too small, was soon forgotten. It was the home of Mr and Mrs Gold. This was my family. They had chosen me. At full price too. Their home smelled like vanilla and roses.


Not like the smell of the decreasing pile of garbage I was currently part of. The seagull was back at me. Tugging at something buried deep in my back. Squawking loudly, it attracted four others. They hungrily tore me open. I felt the half-eaten biscuit, still partly in foil, jerked out from between my springs.

Remembering the intense feeling of devotion I felt as baby was sitting on me watching Peppa Pig. She’d felt so safe, so secure that she dropped her biscuit. So sure, that I would I look after it for her.


The gulls fought over their prize. Squabbling in the sky. Teasing me with their cries. As if I wasn’t aware of where I was. The machines are getting closer. Beneath my left leg is nothing but air. I am hanging on. I can see men with white hats pointing at me.

This was the last place I can stand. Soon I would tumble down the pile and be pulled apart by the metal mouthed monsters. I defy gravity and hang there, just for a moment longer. A shopping trolley is stuck into my bowels. It matters not to me. It allows me to view the world in one glorious flash as I fall.


By Samantha Harris

Open Letter To My Step Nana

 So who is it that is filtering your letters? Is it your solicitor son? Is it your daughter, my step-mother? If they feel that not telling me where you are and how you are doing is the right thing to do then they seriously need to look at their moral compasses. However, I accept that they feel that you need protecting from me for some reason.
I recently heard you had dementia and that they have moved you to a home. This explains why you didn’ t respond to my last letters. Nana, I’m so sorry I had to remove myself from my upbringing in such a way that the distance was always necessary. Between distance and poverty my visits were few and far between but the love you showed me grew in force and lives in my genes today.
I’m not interested in money. You and I spoke about it when I was a little girl. See I’m not the biological grand daughter. Not being my Mum’s daughter made it easier to understand why she treated me the way she did. You made me see that in a forgiving way.
So when the rest of my siblings got an early inheritance twenty years ago (yes I know) I didn’t say a word to anyone about it. Nor did I feel any differently about you because you still took the time to know me and be concerned about my life and then my children.
Family estrangement being like a piece of catgut string which has been stretched to atomic dimensions. It’s lines of attraction become so thin it’s impossible to see the connection but the pull is still there. Contary to how they, my parents, sign the seasonal cards I’ve not spoken to either of them for decades.
I recognised that it is a good thing Mum did for me. Introducing me to and allowing me to know her fantastic mum. Strong, beautiful and independent. You lost Granddad early on and never remarried. Never even had another love interest.You then worked through to retirement. Successfully buying your home and securing your future and helping to secure your childrens’. A perfect role model.
As a child, I remember running across the road for you to get your fags. No 6. Blue and white packet. I remember walking into the smoky, sicky, woody, alchoholly, smelly, Falstaff pub to get those cigarettes like it was yesterday. Doesn’t feel like it was over forty years ago.
You were made to stop smoking years ago but it still defines you. I expect that you have your face on too. You taught me about beauty. You taught me that people like to be able to view something pretty.
Your protection of me during Mum’s rages will never be forgotten. I can still feel the relief. The safety of being around someone who didn’t hate me. I have missed the loving feeling and your brutal honesty. I loved feeling I had someone on my side.
Nana you would love my Grand daughter. She makes my heart happy. She is delightful with gorgeous green, shining eyes and a gorgeous smile that shows the world the love she is shown daily. Izzy brings me such happiness that sometimes I really feel like I’m going to burst. Often I’m wiping tears of happiness just watching her.
Strong willed with fine, curly hair and a very generous nature. They’ve called her Isabella but I call her Izzy. Izzy and I are real pals. Partners in crime. Her mother, my daughter, looks on at our antics with a beautiful smile of grace and love. The madonna for sure. I am blessed in many ways. I’m now able to be the great Grandma you and Nanny showed me to be.
Thank you. I was and always will be grateful x

Don’t Lie

The slap hit her, skin and air sounding, Sam flinched as the pain travelled across her face.

"Don't lie to me. Tell me what that face is for" Sue repeated.

Sam tried really hard not to cry.  Soon she was disappointed in herself as she could feel the tears, stinging, as they slid down her cheeks. Her brown eyes darted from side to side. She tried desperately to gauge what Sue wanted to hear. She knew she needed to do better. Come up with something that was reasonable.

Although only eleven years old Sam had learnt to try and circumnavigate her step mother's temper with humility and flattery.

When Sam spoke she remembered to raise her head, she hated looking into her step mother's eyes but she risked getting another slap if she spoke whilst looking away.

"I'm just missing home." She said. " It's been such a nice weekend. I hate boarding school. It's horrible being away from you. I'm sorry I had that face on."

Her voice was shaky but she felt the words had been delivered with enough honesty to be believed. In reality, Edinburgh school was the only safe environment she knew, the weekend trips home were emotional torture often accompanied by violence. Sam concentrated her efforts on staring at the tiny red veins running along the surface of the whites, on Sue's watery eyes.

"Oh well, that is good. It's good that you know, that you are better off with us." Sue paused briefly, before handing her step daughter a killer emotional blow.

"So, you wouldn't be interested in your biological mother? I'm not saying she wants to see you. She hasn't bothered with you for all of your life so why would she contact you now? I'm just asking, if she did happen to come along how would you feel about it?"

Sam looked away from Sue. Had her step mother just mentioned her real mother? Sam fantasied about her real mother secretly. Usually a taboo subject, there were so many questions she wanted to ask.

The resemblance between Sam's sister, Lisa and step mother was very strong. Their friends and neighbours always commented how much they were alike. Sam longed to know if somewhere in the world there was someone who looked like her.

However, Sam's flattery had triggered something in Sue's memory and unguarded, said "I remember Lisa's father begging me to marry him."

Wow thought Sam as she continued to keep her face downwards as her step mom told her about her sister's heritage.

"Nana and I had a huge row when I fell pregnant. Nana threw me out on the street as I didn't want to marry the father. He begged me. I said no. I knew he wasn't the right daddy for my Lisa. Things were different back then. I was expected to marry him."

Sue was most certainly proud of herself, but Sam, after mention of her real mum, was only half listening. And although the words coming out of her step mother's mouth would be remembered forever, Sam was incapable of full comprehension at that moment. So, she responded where she should, her head spinning, attempting to adjust to the deluge of information she was receiving. Sue continued, totally unaware her step-daughter was in shock at the confessional boast.

"When I met your Father that was real, you know?" Nodding at Sam, who smiling through tears, was still sitting, listening from the floor, concentrating her facial expression into one her tormentor would like, and nodded back.

"Your Dad didn't have that choice with you. He had to take you because there was no one else. He chose to love Lisa and take her on as his own. He's a good man. Lisa doesn't need to know. It's good you know how lucky you are. If I catch you pulling faces at me again I will tell your father. And Samantha, don't lie."

Putting your money where your mouth is.

Well I finally did it. I almost forgot that I had done it, Whilst transferring savings to cover an Iceland shop I saw “wordpress” £36 and then I remembered that I had bought a blog space. It was not a quick decision, buying the blog, I’d been thinking about it for ages as I find it easy to type.

That is many thanks to Mrs Summerbee from  Durrington Comprehensive School and two years of typing lessons. I do love handwriting but let’s face it we are all getting older and anything easier physically works for me. And although pens are great these days I still cannot help myself from pressing too hard on the page and ending with familiar throbbing hands.

I have, for the last thirty-five years kept a diary, a journal. Mainly as a release of emotions that I had no one to share with in life. My journal was a way of offloading all the horrible thoughts in my head that I could not convey to anyone else. Sometimes it would be pages of moaning about pain, physical pain, sometimes it was about my emotional pain over parents, family or friends.

My journal was accepting of me. I needed that. I still do. Not so much now that I have a faithful and generous lover. One can never underestimate the effect of being alone can have on ones mental health. Remember that one when telling your friends that they are better off on their own.  Having someone who wants you in their life is one of the best feelings in the world.

My mother had left me as a one year old child with my Aunt and never came back for me. My father, having remarried, came to get me to live with him and his new wife and her little girl. I spent the next thirteen years being their eldest daughter.  As an adult I learnt to fake confidence to get on in society but would still run to my diary to write my deepest secrets and thoughts.

One of the few regrets I have in my life is the destruction of several years of diaries when I married my first husband. One of those ‘new beginnings’ situations. Throwing the history to the fire to start afresh, as if that history didn’t happen. I regret it as it did happen and now I don’t remember it all. None of it. I just have the feelings of the memories which are bad. They are dark feelings. However, I know for a fact, during those years there had been good times. I like to write an upbeat account of my day if possible. Now I regret not being able to look back on the years up to twenty one years old. Thankfully, as I said, I have few regrets.

My written entries in my journals have become few and far between the last five years or so.  This partly because of health but mainly the realization that I will die one day and someone will have to decide what to do with all my diaries. I looked into it and discovered that people are able to leave their diaries to the The Great Diary Project so that is what I will do with my written ones and well this digital version, who knows, maybe I will just disappear into oblivion lost in the digital world. Does it matter to me? I don’t really know.

Why do I still want to write a diary? No one has seen them to date. I have spent so much of my life trying to fit in and be normal that it is maybe time to explore the extraordinary life I have really lived. I do have a unique perspective. I left home at 17 years old and have managed to survive in the world without any family support. I’m 48 years old now, I think. I accidentally celebrated my 42nd birthday twice and as a consequence am now quite confused about how old I am.

Whatever, I have paid my money so I have to do it now. I have started my blog. Forgive me.