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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Good news!! http://www.thurrockgazette.co.uk/news/11700073.Author_surprised_to_be_rated_Amazon_bestseller/

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Archaeologists....

Hold on! There's a high horse. There! Got it. I've mounted it now. So...archaeologists. What's the deal with them? When I was ten or thereabouts, I remember visiting the British Museum in London ( I think I was always at some place of learning!) and specifically found myself wandering around the Egyptian hall where the mummies are (still) on display. I do well remember how sickened and upset I was that these unfortunate remains of people were not allowed to rest for eternity in the manner of their beliefs.
I have not one single doubt that, if any of those ancient people, when they were alive, had been informed that one day their mortal skeletal remains would have open to the leering gaze of all and sundry, then they would have been utterly horrified. For these people, that society, perhaps more than most, valued the sanity of what to do with the body after death.
Thus, with the indignation and precociousness that comes from being a ten year old (and remember, ten year olds can do anything) I insisted that I spoke to someone in charge and soon, a nice lady appeared and I began my miniature and immature diatribe, which basically consisted of how I believed it was wrong to parade the remains of these people and how they should have been left in peace. I think she was a bit taken aback! Unfortunately, I forget her side of the argument.
Now for a child to have such strong opinions about such a subject is a little surprising in itself but that's not the reason I'm mentioning it today. No, I'm thinking of how two-faced archaeologists are. For, a short while ago, by international agreement, it was agreed not to touch the remains of the Titanic and not to bring up any artefacts from the decaying vessel itself. Why? Because its now recognised as a memorial, a graveyard if you will.
So...can someone please inform me as to the difference between digging up bodies as archaeologists do on a daily basis and, not disturbing other remains? And make it a good argument please because the phrase, 'thin ice' comes to mind. In short, why do we we display some people from the past and not others?
This is a damn fine question and any answer would tell us a great deal about the person (or society) answering it. Think about it. The remains of a Spitfire is discovered in a field...the skeletal remains still in it...we take it out, pin the skeleton together and mount it, still in its original clothes in a local museum where we pay £4 to see it. Is that permissible? Or how about if we find a hundred skeletal remains plus all their original kit of First World War soldiers huddled together in a mass grave. How about shoving all them on display? No? What about recent murder victims? We can all have a good look at those.
So what's the fundamental difference between that and what is still currently going on in museums all over the word?
Distance. That's what is going on. Distance in time and respect for the living. But until we have respect for all those who have passed away, our current level of respect for ourselves will continue to be minimal. And minimal respect will always cause trouble and problems. Talk about learning from the dead eh?
Well, I've been having a time of it recently. I've just been told that I am the 94th 'most read' author on Amazon. And they've sent me a extra big cheque! All due to Miriam I guess. Christmas is coming.
And I've just been told that my portrait, as a transgendered writer, is now hanging in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and is now a part of the museum's permanent collection.
So what with being asked to help on Channel 5's programme on the old Holloway prison and with another theatre production concerning, The Suffragettes, for which I'm attending this coming Saturday and with sales now over six figures things could be moving at last concerning my career. It just took thirty years...and some support from my friends. Keep those early signed copies!
www.mollycutpurse.com

Thursday, October 31, 2013

When my old granny finally managed to secure a part time job serving in a small local bakery just before the Second World War, never would she have guessed what pain and devastation that happy piece of luck would inflict on her family.
For she was allowed discounted bread, flour and cakes and being the poor family that we were, my mother and father brought what they could in spades never making the connection between their purchases and their continuously sick child, me.
My mother had been prone to bilious attacks all her life and when I was born, I too seemed to inherit the, almost daily round of vomiting and weekly curses of severe migraines like she had although my brother did not.
In addition, after my granny retired, my mother took over from her! If I had known I could have written a book; How to poison your family very cheaply!
It took over forty years to understand why I was always so ill and that time was spent in dealing with migraines so relentless that hardly a single week went by when I was not being physically sick. I investigated my mother’s bad headaches but had no luck in solving why she had them. Even my granny used to get them although, when she was a young woman, the only medication available to her was to place a rag soaked in vinegar on her forehead! To this day I do not know how she managed.
Up to the age of about twelve, my mother used to place one hand over my stomach and her other over my damp forehead while I heaved almost daily into our toilet. They are powerful childhood memories.
Little did she, my grandmother or myself knew that I was wheat intolerant. Yes, that syndrome we hear so much about nowadays. Of course, in the fifties, who would have thought that bread could harm a child, let alone make it so sick as to impair its happiness?
Interestingly though, up to the age of about twelve I used to get mild headaches and I was always vomiting but when puberty arrived, the reverse happened for the vomiting stopped and the headaches became really very unpleasant.
They would always start in the morning and when I awoke, I almost always knew. Unfortunately, over time and in anticipation of them, I became anxious to the point of expecting them and ever so slowly developed the lifelong bad habit of apprehension and tension which added to the symptoms.
They always occurred on the left side and the pattern was always the same. I passed though layers of confusion, slurred speech, visual effects, sickness, back and neck ache and lastly, was left with the pain. Always searing into my eye socket as if a knife was being continuously jabbed into it.
In those early days, the migraines would last for about eight hours but as the decades passed, they extended their visits until, in my thirties, they began to last 18 to 20 hours at a time. In addition, at that time I was beginning to get them about twice a week.
Within my circle of friends, I always seemed to be upsetting people. I would make an arrangement to go somewhere only to let them down on the day because of a headache. Moreover, not the type of headache I could just take two aspirin and forget about either.
Work was a continual problem and I had many jobs. Interestingly, I began to notice that I would always have a migraine on the second day and so could never go into work. It got to the stage where I told the employer that this was going to happen and I was never wrong. Stress you see.
I even planed events around my migraines once I knew their frequency but I was still known for letting people down and I even overheard someone once say “She had been Jeaned again!”
I noticed though that I never suffered two migraines in a row which I found interesting and that they always occurred after taking alcohol so I stopped that pretty soon! My family doctor went through his routines of course but no help was forthcoming and I became used to swallowing pain tablets, never ever imagining that the culprit was mainly the food I was eating.
Slowing down after forty and becoming a little sluggish after a divorce, I found myself slightly increasing in weight (okay, two stone!) and being vain enough to care but still young enough to dare, I joined my local gym.
So, three times a week I pounded away my fat on the treadmill because I had always enjoyed walking and I was advised to do the excise I liked best.
Because I was so out of condition, I was also advised to start slowly but I quickly progressed to a higher speed, greater elevation and spent a longer time on there until, after six months, I could walk for an hour up a pretty steep hill.
In fact, a friend who is good with numbers, once worked it out that each time I used the machine, I walked up the equivalent of Ben Nevis! Whether or not his calculations were true I do not know but it certainly felt like it for I sweated buckets and the weight dropped away.
However, it was only when I started to cut out certain foods that I began to notice my migraines diminishing both in frequency and strength. It was purely accidental actually for I only stopped eating them because I understood bread and cakes were high in calories and saturated fat.
A difficult thing to do by the way for it is known that we often desire that which makes us ill. How about your own food passions? What is it you absolutely adore? That you could not give up? It is not fully recognized that what we love will make us ill but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and a little scientific as well.
Eventually though, the penny dropped as I experimented. I remember once, cooking an enormous Cornish pasty and I used over two pounds of strong flour. The next day, for me, did not exist because I spent it in bed with the help of Diazepam which helped me sleep.
I knew of course from old research that certain things bought on migraines and I already avoided those; alcohol, as mentioned, chocolate, orange juice, cheese and sometimes eggs.
However, what puzzled me was the list was not consistent. Sometimes I could eat an egg or have cheese on toast and the next day I would be fine. Other days, I would abstain from eating any of those things and come down badly. What was going on?
Another ten years passed and more research was committed to my diary. Smoking was given up, a real hardship for two weeks for I had been smoking 40 a day since I had been a teenager but it had to be done and I am better for it. I did it one night and never looked back.
Now I had to add to the mix the question of stress. In short; If I was already stressed and I ate cheese then the chances of getting a migraine would be fairly high. If the stress was high enough I might get a migraine anyway even without the troublesome foods. Another day though, if I were chilled out, eating a little cheese would have no effect.
All this made sense but as I experimented even further, I discovered another part of the puzzle which was, the amount I ate and that was to do with stress again. I could see that each time I ate, my body became stressed because it had work to do, digesting it etc so it stood to reason that the more I ate the more stressed it could become. Nowadays, when I do eat less, my headaches occur with far less intensity.
Have I cracked the problem? Perhaps, if I were prepared to alter my entire lifestyle which it is simply not needed considering the ever weakening effects the migraines have on me nowadays. But if I were twenty again, I would seriously consider a dramatic life change. All those other health benefits are a plus.
Now I walk every day for at least an hour, 365 days a year. I drink water by the pint, several each day. I exercise with a yoga video every morning stretching my muscles, releasing all those toxins and poisons, I learnt to meditate regularly and found inner peace free from anger, repression, guilt and fear.
I have had an estimated five and a half thousand migraines during my lifetime and probably single-handedly supported the British Aspirin industry. I used to dream of my liver exploding from the pressure of digesting them! I would be lying if I told you I am not a sufferer anymore but they hardly bother me when I do get one.
I have rules for the day that go like this; Rest, for nothing matters. Drink water only to give the body some time-out and to wash away the toxins and sleep as much as you can. Walk slowly, talk slowly and love yourself. Tomorrow is another day.


When my old granny finally managed to secure a part time job serving in a small local bakery just before the Second World War, never would she have guessed what pain and devastation that happy piece of luck would inflict on her family.
For she was allowed discounted bread, flour and cakes and being the poor family that we were, my mother and father brought what they could in spades never making the connection between their purchases and their continuously sick child, me.
My mother had been prone to bilious attacks all her life and when I was born, I too seemed to inherit the, almost daily round of vomiting and weekly curses of severe migraines like she had although my brother did not.
In addition, after my granny retired, my mother took over from her! If I had known I could have written a book; How to poison your family very cheaply!
It took over forty years to understand why I was always so ill and that time was spent in dealing with migraines so relentless that hardly a single week went by when I was not being physically sick. I investigated my mother’s bad headaches but had no luck in solving why she had them. Even my granny used to get them although, when she was a young woman, the only medication available to her was to place a rag soaked in vinegar on her forehead! To this day I do not know how she managed.
Up to the age of about twelve, my mother used to place one hand over my stomach and her other over my damp forehead while I heaved almost daily into our toilet. They are powerful childhood memories.
Little did she, my grandmother or myself knew that I was wheat intolerant. Yes, that syndrome we hear so much about nowadays. Of course, in the fifties, who would have thought that bread could harm a child, let alone make it so sick as to impair its happiness?
Interestingly though, up to the age of about twelve I used to get mild headaches and I was always vomiting but when puberty arrived, the reverse happened for the vomiting stopped and the headaches became really very unpleasant.
They would always start in the morning and when I awoke, I almost always knew. Unfortunately, over time and in anticipation of them, I became anxious to the point of expecting them and ever so slowly developed the lifelong bad habit of apprehension and tension which added to the symptoms.
They always occurred on the left side and the pattern was always the same. I passed though layers of confusion, slurred speech, visual effects, sickness, back and neck ache and lastly, was left with the pain. Always searing into my eye socket as if a knife was being continuously jabbed into it.
In those early days, the migraines would last for about eight hours but as the decades passed, they extended their visits until, in my thirties, they began to last 18 to 20 hours at a time. In addition, at that time I was beginning to get them about twice a week.
Within my circle of friends, I always seemed to be upsetting people. I would make an arrangement to go somewhere only to let them down on the day because of a headache. Moreover, not the type of headache I could just take two aspirin and forget about either.
Work was a continual problem and I had many jobs. Interestingly, I began to notice that I would always have a migraine on the second day and so could never go into work. It got to the stage where I told the employer that this was going to happen and I was never wrong. Stress you see.
I even planed events around my migraines once I knew their frequency but I was still known for letting people down and I even overheard someone once say “She had been Jeaned again!”
I noticed though that I never suffered two migraines in a row which I found interesting and that they always occurred after taking alcohol so I stopped that pretty soon! My family doctor went through his routines of course but no help was forthcoming and I became used to swallowing pain tablets, never ever imagining that the culprit was mainly the food I was eating.
Slowing down after forty and becoming a little sluggish after a divorce, I found myself slightly increasing in weight (okay, two stone!) and being vain enough to care but still young enough to dare, I joined my local gym.
So, three times a week I pounded away my fat on the treadmill because I had always enjoyed walking and I was advised to do the excise I liked best.
Because I was so out of condition, I was also advised to start slowly but I quickly progressed to a higher speed, greater elevation and spent a longer time on there until, after six months, I could walk for an hour up a pretty steep hill.
In fact, a friend who is good with numbers, once worked it out that each time I used the machine, I walked up the equivalent of Ben Nevis! Whether or not his calculations were true I do not know but it certainly felt like it for I sweated buckets and the weight dropped away.
However, it was only when I started to cut out certain foods that I began to notice my migraines diminishing both in frequency and strength. It was purely accidental actually for I only stopped eating them because I understood bread and cakes were high in calories and saturated fat.
A difficult thing to do by the way for it is known that we often desire that which makes us ill. How about your own food passions? What is it you absolutely adore? That you could not give up? It is not fully recognized that what we love will make us ill but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and a little scientific as well.
Eventually though, the penny dropped as I experimented. I remember once, cooking an enormous Cornish pasty and I used over two pounds of strong flour. The next day, for me, did not exist because I spent it in bed with the help of Diazepam which helped me sleep.
I knew of course from old research that certain things bought on migraines and I already avoided those; alcohol, as mentioned, chocolate, orange juice, cheese and sometimes eggs.
However, what puzzled me was the list was not consistent. Sometimes I could eat an egg or have cheese on toast and the next day I would be fine. Other days, I would abstain from eating any of those things and come down badly. What was going on?
Another ten years passed and more research was committed to my diary. Smoking was given up, a real hardship for two weeks for I had been smoking 40 a day since I had been a teenager but it had to be done and I am better for it. I did it one night and never looked back.
Now I had to add to the mix the question of stress. In short; If I was already stressed and I ate cheese then the chances of getting a migraine would be fairly high. If the stress was high enough I might get a migraine anyway even without the troublesome foods. Another day though, if I were chilled out, eating a little cheese would have no effect.
All this made sense but as I experimented even further, I discovered another part of the puzzle which was, the amount I ate and that was to do with stress again. I could see that each time I ate, my body became stressed because it had work to do, digesting it etc so it stood to reason that the more I ate the more stressed it could become. Nowadays, when I do eat less, my headaches occur with far less intensity.
Have I cracked the problem? Perhaps, if I were prepared to alter my entire lifestyle which it is simply not needed considering the ever weakening effects the migraines have on me nowadays. But if I were twenty again, I would seriously consider a dramatic life change. All those other health benefits are a plus.
Now I walk every day for at least an hour, 365 days a year. I drink water by the pint, several each day. I exercise with a yoga video every morning stretching my muscles, releasing all those toxins and poisons, I learnt to meditate regularly and found inner peace free from anger, repression, guilt and fear.
I have had an estimated five and a half thousand migraines during my lifetime and probably single-handedly supported the British Aspirin industry. I used to dream of my liver exploding from the pressure of digesting them! I would be lying if I told you I am not a sufferer anymore but they hardly bother me when I do get one.
I have rules for the day that go like this; Rest, for nothing matters. Drink water only to give the body some time-out and to wash away the toxins and sleep as much as you can. Walk slowly, talk slowly and love yourself. Tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Almost 50,000 words written on Miriam's Early Years and I've only done thirteen years of her life. I've another nineteen years to go yet!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My unborn

It should have wept at my funeral
It could have been anything it liked
It may have made me a grandmother
It may have been pale or rosy or dark,
comfortable and perhaps sang like a bird.
Or maybe serious and childless
with a passion for cats,

I wonder what grace it might have developed?
Scars, broken bones, broken hearts.
Would it had swum, rode a bike, took exams
Been beautiful or manly?
How can I speak of a life never born
expectant, important and sad?
My one small child, never delivered, never made.
I've so many questions for you.

I don't understand why I think of it all the time.
Probably for I have no family.
It came and grew to an inch before lost,
I was never to know its fancies.
I see it each day, on a street, in a face.
made real by a baby which grew,
and didn't suffer the fate it had
of being washed down a loo.

The mystery is you tried to be here.
Your absence made me feel like death.
Snatched away in an accident,
through a feeling I will never understand.
You had no name at the time and still have none now,
or sex or hair or eyes,
yet you were as human to me
as your mother was.

By now, you should have been many years old,
Scoffing and maybe ashamed of your parent.
But I would have kept a warm bedroom for you,
Washed your clothes and fed your cat.
I'd carry your photo in my purse.
And these words would not be written,
The day you fell away from me,
The day I died a little.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wicca? Huh!

Well I must say that I don’t think much of the East End branch of the Wicca society because they’re not the most friendly of folk. Thank goodness the full moon is over because that’s the last time I invite them over to celebrate the new Luna month.
I thought they might welcome a new member which is what I was hoping to become but not any more. They moaned about the height of my front door for a start saying that it was in the wrong feng shue position. They told me my front door should be at the side. Silly buggers!
Then they said I had provided the wrong sort of cakes and that I should have used solar salt instead of sea salt when making them. As if it really mattered. One tall lady with a huge wart, insisted that I let her, equally warty, cat roam around freely and you know what I’m like on pets.
But in the interest of friendship, I said it was okay and the blasted black thing spent most of the evening rubbing itself up and down my legs. Now today, I’ve got these warty blemishes that show through my tights. When I went out last night, it looked like I had several small thin hamsters attached to my legs under my tights. I looked stupid.
There was Mr. Glass, their leader and a wizard in his own right who was alright but he insisted that he bring his own incense along and because he worked for the company that made it, he also got free samples so he wasn’t sparse about shedding it around if you get my meaning. Well, they had only been here half an hour and my poor old front room looked like Whitechaple on a Saturday night in 1888. I couldn’t see anything and the amount of times I banged my shins on my blessed computer table, well, I lost count. But so much so that when I checked my E Mail later on, after they had gone and I had had the windows open for an hour (which caused all that wind and rain to pour in the room by the way) I saw there was still incense smoke in my Mac!! And there still is. I’m looking at it now. And oh God! The smell.
He said it was made from Egyptian cat poo and I believe him!. And now it's everywhere. Can’t get rid of the stuff. They said the place is now purified and I believe that as well for what poor fool would breath this, let alone live among it! You wouldn’t get a bacteria living here now.
They brought a sack full of toads of course but didn’t bother taking all of them home. And as I when to sleep I kept hearing them croaking and barking and jumping in and out of the toilet. I had dreams of South America all night long.
They insisted that they did a little circle which I thought was going to be alright at first but when they took my round table out of the room and replaced it with a pile of sticks and lit it, I began to have serious second doubts. Then they all went ‘sky-clad’ (being naked) and started to chant and run around in a circle. Seeing 13 old people’s bits flying about didn’t do me any favours I can tell you. I’m going to have nightmares to come in the coming months.
What she must have thought upstairs I don’t know as we all shouted “UMPY-UMPY” louder and louder, faster and faster until we all collapsed naked in a heap, not being able to see anything because of the smoke. I thought I had taken hold of the master’s wooden rod with the ruby tip until I realised I hadn’t. Thank goodness he never minded.
So, never again. Take it from me. You stick with the old Christianity. Its safer for the hearth and home.
A very exhausted, smoky, flea-ridden, wet Molly

Friday, January 13, 2012

Grandmother

Despite the pretty decor, the flowers, the family photos, some still, some ever changing and rotated by an eframe, and all of them witness to past happy major family events, where the subjects perpetually beamed at the observer, the room where my grandmother was to spend the last months of her long and productive life had to be likened to a prison cell. One could not escape the similarity, not matter how hard one tried. There were no bars on the window but the length and width and height of it gave it away. As did the lock on the door.
A faint odour of urine, like a strong brown colour, assailed me as I entered but it was so negligible that it was forgotten straight away. Nan did not know I was visiting and it would not have made the slightest difference to the situation if she had. She did not hear me knock on the standard thick fire door and did not notice my entrance either.
She was slouched on the corner of her single bed, her eyes closed, thin creased neck bent forward, her clothes clean if not pressed, her thin grey hair awry slightly, her treasured battered brown and cream handbag, clutched unconsciously in a fist. I called her title louder, noticing her hearing aid and both sets of false teeth on the bed side cabinet despite it being mid afternoon. I frowned at this. Nothing. Only when I was three feet away, did she visibly jump to become immediately annoyed. Which itself was soon replaced by confusion as she wiped the sleep from her eyes before focusing on her intruder.
She referred to me as nurse and, as I sat on a single hard-backed chair, I explained that I was her granddaughter, 'Little Bobby' I empathised until, there it was, at last, some semblance of the beautiful and no nonsense woman I had known in my young life. The woman who had been so particular about the condition of the backs of her chair legs and how they were not to be scuffed, the angel who fed me bacon and mashed potato every Saturday afternoon as my mother had offloaded me to give her some respite for one afternoon a week, the laughing and gorgeous woman whose presence in her old kitchen she undoubtedly dominated.
However, there was no domination now. Not in her last place of residence. At that moment, feeble in mind, tired, weary, battered and withdrawn, she looked at me disinterestedly through pale blue eyes as that momentary flash of who she once was, disappeared back into the choppy sea of confused consciousness that was now her only world. I spoke again of the past, touched her hand as if to press home the memories I was trying to evoke but this ploy only worked for a limited number of seconds before she, every time, sank back into her confused mutterings about how little money she had and shockingly, mentioning what bastards and fuckers they were to do that to her. Even holding up her empty purse for me to see how wicked everyone was that they had stolen her money. If it had not been so tragic, it would have been amusing. No other emotion or reaction would have sufficed.
She referred to me as a nurse again and reached across to her bedside cabinet and retrieved a twin-headed razor from a white china mug adorned with a colourful print of flowers before gently proceeding to stroke it dryly across her chin. And I could hear the rasp of the stubble.This was a bizarre experience and in that long second, I became confused as to how the young and delicate flower of her species, as I had remembered her in the few monochromatic photographs which existed, taken long before I was thought of, could have changed into the shameless woman who now sat before me.
What sequence of events could have taken place which would culminate in this once proud individual, a woman who had once occupied a high position in the Ministry Of Defence, to unblushingly scrap a razor across her chin in front of, to her confused perception, a complete stranger? What power in all the world could have so altered her perception, her sense of dignity, her perspicacity, her...nobleness to this extent? What could have brought her to this?
The urine odour returned quite suddenly and I heard an unwelcome noise. A slight hiss. It was time for me to leave, to fetch a carer and then to examine my own life with the assistance of a cigarette and a few tears in the car park with the horror that, at that moment, I could well be looking at my own future, perhaps some forty years hence. Yes, at that moment, I would never undertake any cosmetic hair removing work in front of anyone and that includes my husband. Had granny once felt the same? In her young and smooth days? I touched her marbled hands again briefly and offered my good-byes. I did not kiss her and she only offered me a look devoid of feeling, as if my beloved grandmother had already departed, leaving just this animated shell. "Good-bye nurse", she mumbled. Two months later, my mother blasted me with the news that she had died.