It is conceivable that I have slipped into schizophrenia. Either that or the blog has taken an unholy grip on my subconscious. Then again, Jesus could be speaking to me, although I have always supposed that as a good Catholic girl, if anyone celestial wanted a word, it would be Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
Many sinister tales surround the one true faith and I am not talking the Da Vinci code. Catholic children know that English Protestants stole all the best churches, leaving the faithful with red brick sheds and quite a good legal case if we ever went to court with it. They know that there was a time when masses were said in fear behind locked wooden doors and that the Tudor air hung heavy with the smell of spilt papist blood. All this by the way, seems like yesterday to some catholics. They are also told of the many apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to good children. When, year after year, she does not come, you ask yourself "Why not?" I had the same questions when I was little and my favorite nun, with her severe habit and grandma face, told her pupils how God had looked around and found the best, purest, girl he could and chosen her to bear the Son of God. The other children at their wooden desks, murmured their freckled approval of divine good taste. I thought: "Pshaw. That Mary. What did she have that I don't."
Maybe Mary overheard that remark. Maybe that is why she never came knocking. But even if it is not her, I am definitely hearing voices and I cannot think that is ever a good thing. Look where it got Joan of Ark. Nowhere you would want to be. Apart from heaven I suppose but I am not convinced being burnt alive is a price worth paying, even for heaven.
A narrator has moved into my head. This morning we had breakfast with friends back at the city farm again ( did I mention how much I love life on the farm?) The voice said: "This morning I had breakfast with friends at the city farm..." and here I am writing it.
I picked up a magazine while I was there (as you do at the farm). It was full of suggestions of what you could do and where you could go if you had young children in London. In it, was an advertisement offering "life coaching for children". I nudged my husband's arm and pointed to it.
"Look. If we lived in London, the children could have life coaching," I said.
He looked at me. "Alternatively, we could just let them grow up."
He bent his head back over his breakfast and forked up some baked beans and a sliver of crisped bacon.
"The blog thing then. How's it going?"
I cut and buttered a finger of toast for the baby.
"Good, a nice lady in Syracuse has read it."
"Excellent," he said, chewing. "Syracuse, eh?"
Life coaching for the kids ?
What fucking planet are you on ?
You've gone totally global, you know. A good friend of mine in Texas found you via Andrew Sullivan and told more of us about your blog. I love it! :)
Dear Wife in the North
As a Northumbrian with many a silky (Ghost) ancestor lurking in the hedgerows from centuries past may I offer a few comments on your life in this county.
1. Firstly, a blog might satisfy your boredom and "newsroom" skills but Northumberland has a network of gossips and snoops that has been fine tuned over the centuries from the days of border warfare when 16th century nuns used to spy on locals looking for Scottish infiltrators. I reckon its only a matter of time before someone works out your identity and arent you worried the claarts might hit the fan.
2. Locals, are like most locals in old traditional places like cornwall etc. and will smile to you face and be really friendly but 5 paces after doffing their cap out of earshot they will slagging you off something rotten, even if you have the persona of Mother Theresa, it'll either be your trying to hard to be the country lady and they'll be laughing at your harris tweeds, or the complete opposite and they'll be digusted at your townnieness as your mobile rang when they were speaking. There is now WINNING. There are some crashing snobs in Northumberland.
3. If you are bored already do not expect this to improve. The first year or so in a new place should feel like a holiay, but your already moaning, in fact it sounds like you were dragged backwards up the A1 screaming and kicking. The play at Alnwick Playhouse will always seem provincial in fact make that primeaval compared to the glitzy west end. I lived in London for a couple of years and the North eAST is SOOOOOO Boring in comparison. Not that I like London, but you cant call it boring..... however, empty beaches in winter might sound nice but are immensly boring. Boring with a capital B!!!
4. I read you have bought 2 houses and smaked them into 1, this 2for1 approach to housebuying will not endear you to young local first time buyers priced out of the market by incomers and 2nd home owners, i'd keep that one secret.
5. I think its off making snidy comments about local conservative attitudes, positively imperial in a sort of new multi culti way. If these are so disspleasing why move to the area, are you on a mission to convert the heathens into happy clappy guardian eating, muesli munching liberals...if so best of luck, more chance of hell freezin over.
6. Its interesting you just put a "pin in a map" and moved to Northumberland, are things getting so overcrowded and miserable down in the south east that hoardes of people are just putting pins in maps and hoping for the best?? Its fascinating, all those property programmes where "right on" londoners who for 30 years have been cheer leaders or mass immigration into eNGLAND ARE now to be seen inspecting bolt holes in Croatia, derelict winestores in Corfu, crumbling chapels in Iona or musty farms in the Pyrenees anywhere just anywhere quiet with chickens to escape the Frankenstein AKA modern London they helped to create and screamed Racist at anyone who objected. Such is their secret terror, moving a few miles to suburb is not safe enough, no they need to head to the hills!!! Of course when they get to their new Shang ri las , they still arent happy and like to look down on the quaint monocultural locals.
7. Best of luck and happiness in the county of Northumberland, but it sounds like its might be to remote, old fashioned and stale for you, a county like Cheshire sounds much more suitable for your requirements ie. rural but with sexy WAG type villages like Cheadle Hulme and Wimslow with Chester and Manchester close by and closer to london.
8. I live in Newcastle at the moment, im 30 but I find it Boring, its a great place to visit a perfectly formed medium sized city, but it is Boring, a lot of Geordies think being honest about the place is a type of heresy, but it is BORING,especially compared to London, in fact one of the big problems with Newcastle is that it attracts southerners who are substandard to succeed in the big smoke, so they get power trips by getting jobs here and impose stupid things on the place like the Winterval....yawn, hundreds of thousands on pink illuminated metro ...dire. Basically, Your missing the Vavavoom of a big city, the interesting sights and sounds the sweet smell of success and money, you've swapped it for the sweet smell of horse shi* and honey.
So bored housewife im hoping to move somewhere hot and exciting, if your a yASMIN lE BON LOOKALIKE fancy joining me and leaving your husband to rot in rothbury!!!
However if you have the face like the back of a bus to Berwick then enjoy your stay in stannington. ;0)
LOL! Not that I write anywhere near as well as you, but I know what you mean about the voices!
I've added your blog to my bloglines subscription and look forward to reading more!
Life coaching for children? Oh dear, England is becoming more and more American! Would you really want life coaching for your children, or is it just that you want the option?
Love your blog, I'll be back!
A reasonably nice feller in Van Nuys is reading your blog as well -- in fact, I read parts of it aloud at work on Friday, to General Hilarity (he tried to invade Northumberland, but turned back at Hadrian's Wall). I've driven through Northumberland twice, making the Whitby to Edinburgh scenic run, and thought "Pretty country, eh? Like to live here wouldn't you, eh?" Now I'll get the straight skinny from WITN. Thanks.
That would make two people from Syracuse, assuming that's the one in New York.
Like others who have commented, I linked to your blog via "blog god "Andrew Sullivan, and I love it! I've recommended it to a number of people. In fact, I may be developing blog envy.
...and, like you, I am a wife who left a job I loved to accompany my husband. But his work took him not to the country life but to the south of France. It wasn't my idea, but it is warmer than Minnesota. No bears. No growling in the darkness....but French people speaking French very quickly. And me, speaking French very badly and very slowly. Really, not speaking French at all.
And last night I had a nightmare about Christian crusaders breaking down the door to our apartment building and clattering on the stairs. It was probably just the college students returning late and loud again, but in my dream I was trying to figure out where I could hide. This is not a dream I have ever had before.
In any case, I started a blog to let my family in the US share our life here vicariously, and I want to observe that whatever disease is affecting you seems to be affecting me as well. I take a photograph and hear a voice commenting on what it is seeing, and then I find myself writing those very words. And as I write those words I am thinking ahead to other potential blog entries...
First, Cell phone technology created the people who talked to themselves as they walked down the street. I would cross the street to stay clear of any other crazy behavior. Then I became one of them. Now this. It's the schizophernization of modern life.
And even as I write this, the voice has suggested that I ought to write about your blog in my blog... perhaps I will write how your blog is another voice giving me ideas to write about in my blog.
btw, I'm signing in as anonymous, because Google, in its wisdom, knows that I am in France and, ever helpful, has given me the interface commentary in French. hmmm. I can figure out what it means to "choisir une identite" but I don't know what selecting google/blogger or autre will mean. In fact, I wonder what "apercu" and "publier commentaire" mean. Private vs Public?
afterword...so now I have learned that "publier" means publish and "aprecu" is preview. That's useful to know. God. Bears would be easier.
But this WOULD make a good blog entry, heh.
I found you thru A Tykes Progress (St. Jude)
I've quite enjoyed your blog.
You have a very unique voice...and very funny.
I'll be back to check in on you...just to make sure that you haven't fallen comatose from the bordom...not that I could really do anything about that....but I would want to see. LOL
I disagree about the first year of a new place being the best. Even if you've moved to the new place for entirely positive reasons--a new job that pays more, an exciting new relationship--getting adjusted is hard. As you mention, you've left behind not only your friends and, perhaps, family, but also your hairdresser, mechanic, therapist, favorite restaurants, and all manner of other things.
It takes a while to find what there is to appreciate about the new place, to find the people who will be your new friends, and so on. It can happen. Not to sound too much like Pollyanna, but be open. Good things may come from places (and people) you wouldn't have expected.
'As you mention, you've left behind not only your friends and, perhaps, family, but also your hairdresser, mechanic, therapist, favorite restaurants, and all manner of other things.'
Yes, that finding a new therapist thing is such a problem...Bloody Americans..and they wonder why the world hates them so much.
I'm a resident of Colorado, USA, and I know what you mean about blogging eating your life. So many times each day, something happens that triggers a half-written blog post in my brain. Often, I'm so busy living that I don't jot them down, but just as often they end up in my blog. I, too, found your blog via Andrew Sullivan. It was the Northumberland reference that made me read it since my great-great-grandfather was born in Northumberland in 1838, emigrating to the U.S. for the California Gold Rush in 1849. Of course, I'll keep reading it no matter where you live because you write so well.
Re life coaching, I do not really want life coaching for the kids. Not really.
Re anonymous's points about Northumberland. Ofcourse I am worried, I hope noone will find out I am writing this.
I know it is difficult to get accepted. I also know there is supposed to be a county set up here but I haven't come across it so that is OK.
Thanks for the run-away offer, but I think I would slow you down.
re the bloggeur in France. send your link in, love to read you.
Jude: hope granddaddy found the gold.
It is interesting how open you are to Life Coaching. I hope you will still go for it despite skepticism.
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