One day love will cry for you
but love is never lost,
I think of my gran when I read this. I see her in every day, I know what love is because of her and I miss her.
Felicity Fox ©
The Meat Market, the Shack or is it the Ramshack, this Farmyard lives up to its name. In hot pursuit of some dancing, my friends and I, hop, skip and jump a taxi, high on life.
On approach, I did wonder whether this establishment was the right destination for my friends and I. With the multiple police vans parked outside, I knew we were in safe hands.
Gone are the days of free passes, the bouncers we knew no longer work the doors and the PR girls are a clipboard away from the Boardroom.
Queuing isn’t beyond me, in fact this is an excellent vantage point to tell my tale.
The glaringly obvious point is the amount of flesh on display. I often wonder if this is to save hassle at the end of an evening.
Dimples and wrinkles are everywhere to see from the waist down. Streaks and paw prints on the backs of thighs and bottoms can be seen even in a winter’s night, some things don’t change.
And it’s not just the ladies bottoms that are being thrusted in my face. Some snake-hipped youngster mistook me for a pole or a trunk, gyrating his latest dance move on my leg before I shook him off like a dog.
Standing in the Circus, wearing one of those garments, known as a coat, complete with gloves and scarf, well it is December, heels at 5 inches, an LBD, pale skin, tired eyes, and belonging to the Sex in the City generation, I didn’t feel we were complementing our companions in the queue.
Sure enough, one look by the sparrow fart bouncer confirmed this. Each one of my companions, professionals in their own right, were dealt the blow, “Not tonight ladies!”
But I’ve come to do some uninterrupted dancing. When pressed on his decision, he insisted that one of us had had a little too much. Funny that, having arrived at this point, I’d had a little too much too.
Too much flesh, too much tan, too much makeup, I couldn’t agree more, they are too much.
But too much to drink, hardly. Too much or too much clothes?
Whilst law and order and quality control took over the door, the three stooges from Her Majesty’s Service watched idly on. The sparrowfart is judge and jury over fashion, age, too much and too little.
As I spend my life arguing about putting too much in one’s mouth, too much washing, too much to do, I was too tired to argue my way into this barnyard. Disappointed in the lack of dancing, the Sex and the City generation were sent on their way.
What would Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte or Carrie have done? Samantha would have done the doorman; Miranda, sued; Charlotte, cried; and Carrie would have told her story.
Etched in my memory is 13 Lowfield Road.
Too young to understand or judge, writing to you I sent my letters.
Kept in your pocket one after another, and I kept writing.
On the day you died one arrived, but you will never know.
Rolling your ciggies, sitting close, sneaking out of mass for a half.
13 Lowfield Road.
Walking past the letter box, I think of you.
With nowhere to send my letters.
Kind and gentle you were.
Never speaking, always words on a page, and how at ten I never knew.
News of your passing met with tears and misunderstanding.
No more letters would I send.
Sitting on your couch I see you rolling your cigarettes, and a ten-year old
There’s a stale smell of smoke, braces and a stick, but they don’t see you like I do.
13 Lowfield Road, the place I sent my letters.
© Felicity Fox
It’s not the badge that you wear,
Nor the scroll that you hold,
It’s calling him a star,
It’s who you are.
It’s the time that you give,
The love that you bring,
The heart that you show,
The pain that you hide.
It’s every day that you’re there,
It’s his eyes at your name,
It’s the void that you fill,
When I’m not there.
By Felicity Fox
When all the eyes for decades have focused on Mandela, one man’s fight for freedom, it’s no surprise that the stories of others who fought apartheid have been eclipsed.
22 years in prison is the story of Denis Goldberg, one of the seven co-accused who was tried with Mandela in the Rivonia trial in 1964.
The story of the only white and youngest trialist remains relatively untold.
His life and a generation of people were sacrificed in the struggle against apartheid. Segregated, even in prison, Goldberg was sentenced to four life imprisonments at just 31 years old and sent to Pretoria Central Prison. His black co-accused, shipped off to Robben Island. “Being black and involved (in the struggle) meant you had the support of many people and it meant you got to be part of a community. Being white and involved meant being isolated.” 
Goldberg was a white man fighting in a predominately black man’s war, but he wasn’t the only one. He was, however, the only white man who stood with Mandela in the Rivonia trial. Mandela spoke of the struggle of the African people with Goldberg at his side.
Nelson Mandela said: “This is the struggle of the African people, inspired by their own suffering and experience. It is a struggle for the right to live. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunity. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve. But, if needs be, my Lord, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” — 20 April 1964
Goldberg too was prepared to die, but instead he would give his 30s and 40s to the struggle, leaving his wife and two children, who would eventually leave South Africa and be exiled in the UK. Goldberg’s sacrifice. In 1985, he was released and he went on to campaign for human rights and better conditions for the people of his nation.
While, the magnitude of Mandela will live long into the history books, as it should, it is also the stories of Goldberg, and others like him, who fought against apartheid that need to be told. Stories give a window into an apartheid regime that I struggle to comprehend, where a white freedom fighter stood with his black co-accused and change the world.
Denis Goldberg was eighty years old this year and lives in South Africa to this day.
Just 89 days from Georgie boy’s birth and how does she do it, the Daily Mail asks? Well, Rebecca English, I’m going to try to help you with your role as Royal Correspondent, writing for we commoners.
Firstly, in your opening, you pose the rhetorical question that Kate has provided us all with a definitive answer, by snapping back into shape. Would she, wouldn’t she regain her pre-baby shape?
Ms English, you may find this hard to understand, but is this really front page news and to put a royal on page 3, shame on you. I don’t mean to be rude, and it’s nothing against her for choosing to enter the circus, but really, whatever else has she to do?
With a nanny at home and her husband out of a job, having an extended paternity leave to assess his options while giving out an odd honour or two, there’s plenty of time for yoga. If only those “harassed mothers” as you call them could follow suit, but that’s perhaps stretching things.
Dedicating your prose to a midriff, you go on….
The Royal tummy in “all its svelte glory.”
Really Rebecca, “svelte glory” to describe a tummy? Oh, you make me laugh. “The Royal tummy was on full display in its svelte glory.” How did you even come up with that line? Let’s see, you have a picture of a tummy, a Royal tummy, google descriptive words, and up comes “svelte glory.” Or did you think that one up yourself? Even worse.
“As mothers marvelled”, admire perhaps but “marvelled”? I think you’re over stating again, at the “lithe” figure, in case readers had forgotten what’s been corresponded here; a tummy. The trials and tribulations of the royal dynasty hanging on to the svelte glory of a once commoner’s tummy.
“Wait, pass the ball Vanilla, I imagine her playing with a Vanilla or a Primrose,” I can do poetic license too. Reaching up, co-incidentally in five-inch wedges, as you do, when playing volleyball.
Just 89 days since the birth. She’s inferring 12 weeks to get back to her glory. The numbers, Rebecca, mean a very different thing for many, not counting the pounds in weight.
Statutory maternity, for example, which pays women 90% of their average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks and £136.78 or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks. On £136.78 pounds, isn’t it really amazing that J Brand Jeans are £145, the Ralph Lauren top’s £85, and a Smythe is £369, and the shoes recycled, of course, she’s such a commoner, are “a snip at £245”. So, that’s a mere “snip” of £844. It’s funny because six weeks of statutory maternity after the six first weeks is £820.68. No wonder, we have a deficit.
And if I pitied Rebecca’s article for clutching at straws to describe in 1000 words or more, a Royal glorified tummy, as a Royal glorified Correspondent, her colleague Catherine Ostler got landed with the inner pages of the complete A is for aunties, I is for invite and f is for ‘Fruitcake.’
In a sea of black, black being the colour of fashion and designers, we all sort of look the same. Well, not exactly the same. My daughter’s looking mighty fine, but we’ll come to her a little later. The waiters, the bloggers, the designers, the inbetweeners are head-to-toe in black; it’s sublime.
We’re talking 2014’s Spring/Summer, as the rain bounces off the floor, and in my mind Christmas is a dirty word, but in the language of fashion we’re defying all boundaries and bypassing seasons. As a heads up, it’s going to be bright and bold or is it pastel? Colours, textures, fabrics, cloth, silks, and everything in between next season. It’s Spring, it’s fresh, it’s clean lines and very, very, very exciting.
Excited, I type away, standing upright. It’s a party and I am tweeting furiously, capturing the moment, looking up only to snap and stalk here and there. I am your worst dinner guest, rude, consumed and working on the fine art of balancing an iPhone, a spare iPhone, because for the love of God, if one goes dead, I’m dead, and the iPad. I’m doing exactly what I berate my children for. Like a wasp, I’m also poking it randomly in people’s faces; the silent assassin. People do look at you though, this is true. A quick once over to see if you merit importance and are you worthy of conversation? Who the hell are you? Ahh, the hired help?
Height and stature are problematic as I perched on my tippy-toes looking up at the beautiful. My Taggart voice, ‘there’s been a murder”, assists, when told to move. Engaging in brief conversation, why bother? When the model pauses to say I could be her mother, but I’m not laughing. LFW, more accurately WTF. The fashion industry is tough. And what’s worse, is that I will be seeing my beloved child on the back of buses, billboards, shops, magazines, need I go on. I am a mother of two, not twenty-two, hence I swiftly left London Fashion Week (LFW) as one of fashion’s cast-offs.
Click below to buy this season’s multi-coloured, striped, patterned and sequined pieces, all the designers are wearing it; honest.
As I boarded the train today with a neighbour and colleague, another 9-5 in front of me. Black shoes, black dress, brown bag, I know next month? All adding up to a mortgage and after school care and lots of todos. Talking about some work things, some moaning things, texting, liking; it’s not rude, it’s work, and I drifted in and out of the conversation, mind elsewhere, really anywhere. Stepping off, my companions started to sprint. It’s the morning and I’m still coming to. Had I not been listening when we decided to race? Love races, any kind really, or lets just have a chase, in Central with my equally trapped companions. It’s not just me. There really wasn’t time for thoughts. We are racing down the platform. It’s 8:30 and its a full blown mummy and daddy sports day race. Those two sneaks, but I can still take them. Swinging my bag as a weapon, I began taking bodies, leaping, cutting inside a few suits in a sea of badly cut cloth, swiping a few and running pretty close to the inside on platform 7. The barriers are always a stumbling block but I chose well and I was first, turning in triumph to parade my victory. The neighbours were nowhere to be seen, surely they couldn’t have beaten me. I was practically pushing people on the track, they couldn’t have. Nowhere to be seen, as they were queued in a long line of passengers without a ticket for the new non-workable barriers. So, there wasn’t a race. And we’re going exactly where we were going before, to work, for 8 hours. To pay for the football lessons, the swimming lessons, the shoes, the parties, the presents for the parties, racing to answer the cc’d email that’s blatantly telling on me, and in eight hours I will be racing to make the train to take the wee fella to the football classes I’ve worked to pay for, but there will be no platform races today or any other as I joined the rat race…