The ever lovely Kate on Thin Ice has tagged me in this Questions and Answers meme. The idea is you answer the questions and then make a set of your own questions to ask another set of bloggers.
I like the idea of this a lot and appreciate the tag – as I’ve said before I love answering questions, despite my struggles with committing to a definitive answer – it justifies all that childhood imaginary interview make-believe.
1. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about mums’ lives today, what would it be and why?
I keep coming back to this one. Many things spring to mind. When I was working full-time – affordable, decent childcare and genuinely flexible working practices would have made an enormous difference to our lives. I feel that wishing for this is starting at the wrong end as it were.
As a feminist I’d say equality for all would lead naturally to these changes. Reflecting on the standardised equality message of feminism I can’t help feel we’ve gone astray. I don’t want a mealy-mouthed homogenous version of equality that requires us all to conform to a prescriptive identity. I want our differences to be respected and valued. I want to be valued as an individual. I want us all, regardless of our chromosomes to be valued and equally able to access education, good healthcare and opportunities. I want more talking and less war. In short – I’d like a star trek future.
I think what would change most mums’ lives is the kind of world they want for their children to live in. As usual I think the practical key to these kind of changes is education of oustanding quality available to all. Which makes the current governments approach to education and initiatives like the surestart programme so truly heart breaking.
*steps down from soapbox, shuffles feet, coughs apologetically*
2. How many hours or minutes of housework do you do per day?
Ha! This is like one of those trick questions like – how often do you change your sheets? – where you are allowed to admit it probably isn’t weekly but saying, ‘when someones sick on them’ will cross the invisible line. I often find in groups that it’s hard not to try to stick to the middle of the pack. Surely it’s a pack biological-urge throwback? To conform is to belong to a community. Whatever the uniform is, it has to fit.
Some days I do not do a spot more than is needed to feed us and get us through the day. My most vigorous days of housework come just before an event – where OTHER people will enter the house.
I’m aware that my standard of cleanliness and tidiness don’t match other people’s. I also know that regular tasks like making sure the washing up is kept on top of make life more pleasant. That when the house is tidy, hoovered and at its lowest clutter point I feel more serene and ready to do stuff.
I have systems that work well – places where library books are kept to avoid hysterical last-minute searching. Pots of pens by Z’s homework folders. An art cupboard so stuff can be found quickly. Tubs for clean clothes/dirty clothes.
But it really doesn’t bother me if I haven’t hoovered for a week and fluff is building up in the corners. If the washing up needs doing after tea but I’d rather sit and play a game before bedtime then finish the book I can’t put down . The washing up can wait for the morning – although it’s nicer to come down and do sandwiches and breakfast in an uncluttered kitchen it’s hardly the end of the world if the dishes are still on the side. On wednesdays I sit and chat to my parents for the hour they have before they leave instead of clearing the table. I do not own an iron.
I remember going to an antenatal class when I was pregnant with Zeph and the midwife lecturing everyone on the importance of letting things go a little when the baby came. About making time to nap by not hoovering everyday and thinking – hoovering EVERY day?
Counter intuitively – when I’m feeling really low I tend to clean more. It comes from a fear of slipping into the very deep depression I was in before when I had no idea how bad the state of my house was. I have a web of safeguards that I put into place that include housework. Of course that was before having kids, now a certain level of efficiency has to be reached to ensure hot meals, clean uniforms, lunch boxes etc.
Also I freely admit there’s something dangerously addictive to the cycle of dreadful mess then pleasing harmony. At least it really shows when I finally clean…
3. If you could change careers, what would you change to?
I don’t have a career. I spend quite a lot of time thinking about stuff and trying to mend my fractured self and change the world. I work in jobs, that have not much to do with who I am, to pay for my living. I sell things I make. I usually really enjoy whatever work I do although it is rarely paid well.
I am not the work I do.
4. What is your favourite cocktail?
I miss drinking. I think my favourite cocktail is icy cold and in a BEAUTIFUL glass – maybe a really thick heavy glass tumbler with lots of ice and fruit and a swirled glass swizzle stick. I’m drinking it outside under a summers starlit night with good friends and there’s a happy cheerful buzz of conversation all around us. It’s good to be cool after a long hot day and maybe my skin is stiff with seasalt and sand. It could be a mojito – or a gin and tonic – or, last summer, I had a lovely bramble vodka drink at a pop up bar in multistorey car park.
I think the essence of a good cocktail is that you didn’t make it yourself. I can’t trusted with bottles of spirit actually in the house anyway.
5. What is your claim to fame?
Infamy more like. I was a child A.
6. What is the quirkiest object in your home?
7. Charity Shop Or Designer Boutique?
I suppose it depends. I am a charity shop queen and recycling, thrift and preloved run through me like letters in rock but I love the exciting uniqueness of good design. Craftsmanship and beautiful functionality make my heart sing.
8. How many hours of the day are you away from your own house?
Depends. I do have an unfortunate tendency to reclusiveness. If it gets to the point where I can’t get across the step then that impacts badly on the kids so I usually try to force myself out at least once a day. School helps with that – and most days Ida go and do something in the mornings after we’ve dropped Z off. We’re pretty good at hanging out at free places, easier in the summer but still perfectly achievable in the cold.
9. What is your guilty pleasure?
Not leaving the house… PJ’s all day and a pile of books – chocolate digestives and bananas to eat. Oranges in bed. Long train journeys completely alone. Books about wizard detectives and werewolves. Procrastination. Embellishing my own hide.
10. Retro or Modern?
Bread or water?
11. What is the one challenge you are most proud of overcoming?
Crossing the step every day. Believing the best of people.
Phew! If you’ve made it to this point well done!
Here are the rules.
You must post these rules.
Each person must post 11 things about herself on their blog.
Answer the questions the “tagger” listed for you in her post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
Choose 11 people to tag and link to them in the post.
Let each blogger know that you have tagged them.
I think question are much harder than answers… Also I am rubbish – RUBBISH at tagging so I’m going with some questions and if you feel the urge to answer them please consider yourself tagged – you are indutibly IT.
1) What was your last random act of kindness?
2) What do you always put off until tomorrow?
3) If you were buying yourself a bunch of flowers what kind would they be?
4) Imagine Mr Cameron popped round and said you could allocate the excess 10 billion the goverment have just stumbled across – where would you spend it?
5) Cinema or theatre?
6) If you could go back and change one thing, would you? What is it?
7) If you’re opening a tin for comfort food what would you choose?
8) Baking heatwave or snow?
9) What was the last book you read or film you saw that left a lasting impression?
10) Coffee or Tea?….or gin?