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Ode to E2

Oh E2,
How I hated you;
With your grit
And your grime,
Bins dripping with slime;
Cat-sized rats,
Patrolling the flats;
Shit littering the park,
A no-go after dark;
Kids dropping
the c-bomb on buses,
Ferocious and precocious,
A litany of cusses;
The doctors, oh my
Where do I begin?
A 5 week wait,
Pass me the gin;
Don’t get me started
On her next door,
Our neighbour always wanting more,
At 4 or 5 or 6 in the morning
All night parties with no warning;
But you store some dear friends,
Ladies like me,
Who got up the duff
With one or two under 3;
Now I’m in TN13,
Where the air is fresh
And the streets are clean;
It’s baby friendly
Toddler groups galore,
Dare I say it,
It’s a bit of a bore;
I miss Friday lunchtime,
Spent in the pub
With a bottle of wine,
And our kids on the floor;
I don’t think
In the burbs
I’ll be doing that anymore.


Oh E2

I’m a bit mean to E2, our old post code in East London, in this one which is silly because I absolutely bloody love it.

I owe it an apology poem soon.

I was starting to tire of it though before we left last summer.  The constant noise of traffic and sirens, the over-loaded local doctors surgery, the busy buses which I could never get on (only two pushchairs at once, those are the rules). These things that I hadn’t noticed so much before seemed all the worse once there were four of us squeezed into our little flat over-looking Regent’s Canal.

I could go on about all the things about the area I love, which far outnumber my gripes above, but I’ll save that for my apology poem.

Friends Rock

Instead, I’ll leave you with a morning which I often think about. It was my husband’s first day back at work after his paternity leave following the birth of our second son, Arthur. I was absolutely terrified.

I had decided that whatever happened, I had to make it out the flat that morning to my local children’s centre Meath Gardens (which is absolutely amazing and should be replicated throughout the country, my nearest one now is not a patch on it).

Artie was sick as I was trying to leave; in his carrier all down my top, so I had to change every layer of my clothing and all of his – twice.

I arrived at the children’s centre very late and close to tears. I was two weeks post-section, everything was hurting and I could still smell sick (it was probably in my hair).

As I walked in friends radiated towards me; by chance three of my local mum friends were there.

One recalls me walking in and just wailing “it’s soooooo hard!”, voice breaking, eyes wet.

While she talked me down from the cliff (multi-tasking with her own two children), another gave me a little parcel of home-made ginger biscuits she had made me, while my other friend took charge looking out for not-yet-two Dylan and playing with him.

At the end of the session when Dylan was refusing to leave and my stitches were twinging one of those mums, who already had her son on her hip (and an older son in nursery), said “come on Dylan” scooping him up in her free hand onto her other hip and strode out the room carrying them both to our pushchairs outside. She was like a Mum-Warrior (a year on and I can now also do the Two-Son-Mum-Scoop).

I will always remember those acts of kindness from my E2 Mums.

Friends rock.

Leaving our first family home ❤️🏡

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