Monthly Archives: August 2019


What does success look like to my son, collecting his A level results on Thursday?

Whatever the result we’re going to be in Croatia, so there’ll be sun and ice cream, maybe a fruit cider if we’re really going for it. Which we will be. Whatever the results. We’re in Croatia because flying the day before results saved me a shed load in air fares, because airlines are wankers and I refuse to be held hostage by school dates and greedy airlines. And we have internet these days so whatever happens we can function in our Airbnb, confirm his uni place or go into clearing. Or not. Whenever I hear this word, I imagine an ancient forest clearing bathed in dappled sunlight where all the students who didn’t get their results gather to forage for alternatives, nuts containing random other lives, like fortune cookies, except nuts. Fortune nuts…

Anyway, the point of this is that I was looking for a pen to write my son a poem this morning (oh god, the shame, I feel for him I do, but I can’t help myself) and I found a photo at the back of the draw (the photo illustrating this post) of him and me the day before he started school in Sept 2006. He looks tiny (he WAS tiny)… and it kind of choked me up a bit and there was a danger of making the poem even more sugary and impossible for him to admit to knowing the person who’d wrote it. But actually what this odd little coincidental find did was to make it impossible for me to write a passable poem at all (everyone’s a winner) … but instead I wanted to just explain in really simple terms what I felt about his results before he gets them. Before we know what they are. Weird to think someone somewhere knows already and it means nothing to them.

So (why does my laptop always show 1% battery just as I get to the point?!) in brief. What I feel is that I don’t care what his results are as long as he believes that the path he takes next is one of an infinite number of walkways/runways/ motorways/farm tracks/B roads (you get the picture) that lead to an infinite number of other tracks that all have the potential to matter to him and those he chooses to keep close to him.

I don’t know what success looks like to my son because he’s his own person and that’s what I want him to remember the most.

From my point of view, the more I waffle on, the more I realize that the main thing about Thursday is that we can stop thinking about Thursday and look forward to the rest of his life beginning on Friday. And that is very exciting.

Anyway – this is the remnants of the poem. Edits welcome.


Five days

Then you’ll know your ‘fate’

Five days

An arbitrary date

Five days

It matters not a jot

The world turns and you can have the lot

Eating ice cream on cobbled streets

You’re any amount of quality blank sheets

180gsm at the very least

Scribble, stare, doodle, released.



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