Welcome! You have found the home of 'Being Me', Fran Hill's blog. If you like what you read, you will enjoy my new book 'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' published by SPCK Publishing. My website is at www.franhill.co.uk. Come and visit for more Fran info!
Reasons why I may take the long route to work tomorrow
So, I was walking to school, trogging along the path in my frumpy middle-aged way, loaded down with a rucksack full of marking, planning and a Very Big Packed Lunch sheaf of report-writing, and feeling as supple and flexible as a recent corpse. What's more, it was windy, and that all added to my struggle.
And, as I lolloped down the path, who should I see ahead of me, actually ON my path and blocking my way?
Well, imagine two of these.....
.... wearing some of this ....
... only in pink ...
and you'll have an accurate picture of the two size-0 women, hermetically sealed in Lycra, who were doing early morning exercises in the park, bending and stretching themselves into such impossible positions that I actually wondered if they were melting.
Well, I thought, as I approached them. Any minute now they, as youthful and fit and flexible as they are and I aren't, will move aside and let me pass so that I don't have to change course and struggle up onto the grass verge just to get past them.
But no. They carried on doing their impressions of elastic bands while I walked past, huffing and puffing under the weight of my sandwiches marking, and trying not to think, as I passed them, that juxtaposition of this kind did me no favours at all when I am walking to work and needing to Feel Good in order to face the day ahead. Is this, I thought, how hippos feel when walking past the flamingo enclosure?
I got into school and it all became so much worse. A caretaker said to me as I walked down the corridor, 'Still windy out there, then?' 'Yes, yes,' I said, conversationally, thinking how nice it was to chat to someone about the weather. Then I passed a mirror and saw the state of my hair.
All this, before 8am. Is it a cruel world, or is it a cruel world?
It's nearly a month since Christmas and I still have my pile of books and notebooks from friends and family on a chair by the sofa. I can't bring myself to put them all away. There's no reason why I should. No one's dared to move the pile so that they can sit sat on the chair for a while anyway. But these are lovely presents: novels, books of poetry, books about poetry, delicious notebooks .... what's not to like? I haven't always received such pleasing gifts. I was married in April 1982. At the end of that month, I turned 20. Yes, a young bride, and one who wasn't so delighted with her birthday present from her new husband. 'I've bought you an ironing board cover, too,' he said, looking pleased. 'It's the right size. I've checked.' And indeed he had. It was prettier than the plain blue one on this picture: flowery and cheerful. He had tried. Nevertheless, we had words. I was compassionate, don't worry. I was his first
My try-to-get-fitter walk in the fields today was a silent one. I usually listen to the radio through earphones but have lost one of the soft earbuds and nothing spoils a walk more than having hard plastic nudging up against your fragile tympanic membrane. The BBC's 'Woman's Hour' is a brilliant programme but loyalty has limits. It was disconcerting, walking in silence. Listening to radio distracts from the disturbing reality that my legs are propelling me in forward motion because, if I think too hard about this, I frighten myself. Today, while walking, I had to listen to my own thoughts. And now I've listened to my own thoughts, I remember why I like radio better. The inside of my head is like a wastepaper basket. Be grateful that I only offer you a brief excerpt. Oh, look, that bird is - / Where did I put that mark scheme. I'll need it for - / My shoes are getting muddier./ Maybe mash with the fish tonight / really muddy / The trees are definitely more
Ben Cottam (@TheCottam) posted this statement on Twitter today: 'When you're growing up, no one ever tells you how much of your adult life will be spent pushing tumbling Tupperware into cupboards.' I know, right? Why does no one say? And what else does no one tell you about adult life, particularly later adult life? I have made a list. 1. That one day you will say, 'They'll freeze, dressed like that,' and 'Let's go home. It's nearly 10pm,' and think nothing of it. 2. That a summer will come when you will start the days dressed in cardigan and socks and only take them off when it's warm enough to leave the kitchen door open. 3. That police officers, teachers and nurses, rather than getting older, get younger, birthday by birthday, and that one day you will be burgled and then visited by a seven year old with a notebook and a helmet. 4. That the music in pubs and clubs becomes louder, brasher and more sweary, year on year, so that