Dear Mum

On Saturday night, you rang me drunk and told me you never wanted to see me again. That I was not welcome in your house and that you would hit me, if you saw me in the house.

This is not the first time you’ve phoned me when you’re drunk to have a go at me. And I know it won’t be the last.

For as long as I can remember you’ve always drank. True, you only do it at night and most of the time, it doesn’t affect your day to day life. You go to work, come home and clean the house, prepare meals, you raised two kids. But every night, you drink.

You can’t handle your drink either. I use to tiptoe around you at night, scared of what mood the alcohol would put you in that night. I will admit you have gotten a lot better with this. It still happens every Christmas, but admittedly Christmas is an emotional time.

I’ve tried to help you for as long as I can remember. I give you money, I buy you things, I moved home after University when all I wanted to do was stay in Chester.

Even now when I live in my own house with Jordan, I keep trying to please you. I pay for your car every month. I give you money knowing I will not see it again. Do you know how many arguments you cause? I’ve had so many people tell me to stop it, but I won’t. I can’t. You’re my mum.

You hold a grudge for a very long time and I wish you could realise that it’s not worth it and use that energy for something good instead.

I know things won’t change. I’ve accepted that but it doesn’t make it any easier. Sometimes I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around you. Like you’re Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

I’ve accepted that we are never going to have the perfect mother daughter relationship. We will never be Lorelai and Rory. I will never confide in you the way a daughter should be able to confide in their mum. I’m scared that I will turn into you and it does put me off having kids. I don’t want them to feel the way I did growing up.

Despite everything you say and do to me, all I want to do is please you. Which is why it hurts so much when you criticise me and nit pick and make me feel like I’m still a child.

I’m not a child and I know what I’m doing.

 

We’re okay again now. Until the next time.

Competitiveness

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always hated competitions.

When I say I hate competitions, I don’t just mean I hated sports day at school (I did though). I have always found that there is always someone better than me. Or someone who knows exactly how to play on my insecurities in order to beat me.

I remember being in primary school and it was sports day. Neither of my parents were there due to work (sadly something that happened a lot). I was doing the bean bag race and I wasn’t very good. The headteacher gave me a card for effort though. I gave this to my team lead and went and hid at the back. My team didn’t win and it stayed that way all through secondary school as well.

The only thing I ever did seem to get is merits for doing well in certain subjects, but as I wasn’t the only one who got these and other people got more than me.  You needed to get six good slips per merit. At one point, I was so embarrassed I wouldn’t even hand my good slips in just to avoid that conversation in front of my entire form. I think this must have cost me a half a dozen merits or so at school.

I was badly bullied at school and as I got older, this bullying just turned into girls bitching about me behind my back. I’m not going to say I haven’t done this myself, but I’m the kind of person you either love or you hate and most people tend to dislike me.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with competitiveness. Well, people always want to be better than you and want to make feel you small. This is something I feel a lot.

I don’t like it when people try and make competitions out of things, because I’m never good enough and people like to gloat. Even if I try, I know it won’t be enough so what’s the point? All that happens, is that I get left feeling deflated.

Competition comes in different forms. People compete over who have the best car, most money, holidays etc. Some people want to show off what they have got to make you feel worse. This is the kind of competitiveness that really stings for me.

Growing up, we didn’t always have a lot. I’m not saying that I went without, because I didn’t. Between my parents and grandparents I was pretty spoilt. But there was a limit to this. We didn’t have fancy holidays abroad and I couldn’t have all the merchandise for all the books, films etc that I was obsessed with.

This made it really hard when you see other people with this stuff. I would have done anything to be able to go to all the concerts I wanted and collect all the merchandise I could.

This still stands today. I can afford to buy a lot more, but bills and stuff still come first. It kills me when I see things on Facebook sometimes. Especially when you feel like they are doing it deliberately to show off.

It makes me want to withdraw and not tell anyone anything. It makes me feel like I’m not good enough.

 

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Last night was the midnight release of the 8th Harry Potter book; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the midnight release at my local Waterstone’s. When the last Harry Potter book came out I was only 15 so wasn’t allowed to attend the midnight release, so you can’t begin to imagine how excited I was to attend this!

I may have got a bit carried away with my fancy dress;

I was lucky enough to win two prizes in pass the parcel at the midnight release as well! Got myself a Hedwig finger puppet and a travelling Harry Potter colouring kit – I love colouring!

The countdown to midnight seemed to go on forever, it felt like we had been waiting for hours and the time had just stopped! Finally though, midnight came;

13879206_10154332136645979_7224817167192591979_n

As soon as I got my book, my boyfriend met me in town and walked me home. It was a case of getting home, getting my Harry Potter Pyjamas on (obviously) and a glass of wine and time to start reading.

I finished the play at 3.30am this morning. Knackered doesn’t even begin to describe how I was, but it was worth it.  I don’t think I can even begin to describe how good it was to be in the Wizarding world again. As if it’s been 9 years since the last book! I didn’t know what to expect with this book but it definitely surpassed anything I could have imagined!

I could carry on writing about the play for hours, but there is people who still haven’t read it so I will be nice and keep quiet for the time being!

For all those people who haven’t got their copy yet, what are you waiting for? It’s been a long 9 years and it’s time to get lost in the world of Harry Potter again.

13873212_10154332138860979_2974813467992015776_n

Fact of the day: 27th October

On this day in 1401 Catherine of Valois (d. 1437) was born.

Catherine of Valois was the youngest daughter of King Charles VI of France and his wife Isabeau of Bavaria. She was born at the Hôtel Saint-Pol (a royal palace in Paris) on 27 October 1401.

Early on, there had been a discussion of marrying her to the Prince of Wales, son of Henry IV of England, but the king died before negotiations could begin.

In 1414, his successor, Henry V, re-opened discussion of the match, along with a large dowry and acknowledgement of his right to the throne of France.

Henry V went to war with France, and even after the great English victory at Agincourt, plans for the marriage continued. Catherine was said to be very attractive and when Henry finally met her at Meulan, he became enamoured. In May 1420, a peace treaty was made between England and France, and Charles acknowledged Henry of England as his heir.

Catherine and Henry were married at the Parish Church of St John or at Troyes Cathedral on 2 June 1420. Catherine went to England with her new husband and was crowned queen in Westminster Abbey on 23 February 1421. In June 1421, Henry returned to France to continue his military campaigns.

By this time, Catherine was several months pregnant and gave birth to a son named Henry on 6 December 1421 at Windsor. Her husband never saw their child. During the siege of Meaux, he became sick with dysentery and died on 31 August 1422, just before his 36th birthday.

Catherine was not quite 21 and was left a queen dowager. Charles VI died a couple of months after Henry V, making the young Henry VI king of England and English-occupied northern France. Catherine doted on her son during his early childhood.

Catherine lived in the king’s household, presumably so she could care for her young son, but the arrangement also enabled the councillors to watch over the queen dowager herself. Nevertheless, Catherine entered into a sexual relationship with Welshman Owen Tudor, who, in 1421, in France, had been in the service of Henry V’s steward Sir Walter Hungerford.

Tudor was most likely appointed keeper of Catherine’s household or wardrobe. The relationship began when Catherine lived at Windsor Castle, and she became pregnant with their first child there.

From the relationship of Owen Tudor and Queen Catherine descended Henry VII of England and the Tudor Dynasty. Tudor historians asserted that Owen and Catherine had been married, for their lawful marriage was a vital link in the argument for the legitimacy of the Tudor dynasty.

Fact of the day: 25th October

On this day in 1154 Henry II became King of England.

Henry II ruled as Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Nantes, King of England (1154–89) and Lord of Ireland; at various times, he also controlled Wales, Scotland and Brittany.

Henry was the son of Geoffrey of Anjou and Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England. He became actively involved by the age of 14 in his mother’s efforts to claim the throne of England, then occupied by Stephen of Blois, and was made Duke of Normandy at 17.

He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards married Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had recently been annulled. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry’s military expedition to England in 1153: Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen’s death a year later.

Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his royal grandfather, Henry I. During the early years of the younger Henry’s reign he restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou, Maine and Touraine.

Henry’s desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. This controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket’s death in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a “cold war” over several decades.

Henry expanded his empire, often at Louis’ expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse; despite numerous peace conferences and treaties no lasting agreement was reached. By 1172, he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France, an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.

Fact of the day: 24th October

On this day in 1648 The Peace of Westphalia was signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years’ War.

The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the independence of the Dutch Republic.

The Peace of Westphalia treaties involved the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand III, of the House of Habsburg; the Kingdom of Spain; the Kingdom of France; the Swedish Empire; the Dutch Republic; the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire; and sovereigns of the free imperial cities. It can be denoted by two major events.

The signing of the Peace of Münster between the Dutch Republic and the Kingdom of Spain on 30 January 1648, officially ratified in Münster on 15 May 1648.

The signing of two complementary treaties on 24 October 1648, namely:

The Treaty of Münster (Instrumentum Pacis Monasteriensis, IPM), concerning the Holy Roman Emperor and France and their respective allies.

The Treaty of Osnabrück (Instrumentum Pacis Osnabrugensis, IPO), concerning the Holy Roman Empire, the Kingdom of France, Sweden and their respective allies.

The treaties did not restore peace throughout Europe, but they did create a basis for national self-determination.

The treaties resulted from the big diplomatic congress, thereby initiating a new system of political order in central Europe, later called Westphalian sovereignty, based upon the concept of co-existing sovereign states. Inter-state aggression was to be held in check by a balance of power.

A prejudice was established against interference in another nation’s domestic affairs. As European influence spread across the globe, these Westaphalian principles, especially the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order.