Welcome to The Soton Spike

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Southampton is a city physically cut in two by the River Itchen. One side is home to the hospital, the university, the city centre, the docks. The other side, the side where I live,  is referred to by some as Spike Island.

Spike Island is a collection of communities that start by the banks of the Itchen, follow the path of Southampton Water, and come to an end when you reach the river Hamble which lies a few miles East of Southampton City Centre.

While all sharing the SO post code, different localities within Spike Island fall within the remits of different councils, diocese, bus companies, school admissions teams. It sometimes feels a little fragmented

But when you live here with your family, it makes a bit more sense.

You know that with the water so close, you are never far away from a picnic and an ice cream.

You are proud of the community initiatives you hear about to protect the greenways, keep the beaches clean, support those who might be needing support.

You are pleased to hear the achievements of local clubs, from The Boatmen, to the men women, and kids sailing boats.

You might love a bit of Lidl but the experience is made all the more pleasurable knowing that you can pop out and pick your own strawberries.

You are thankful for your network of lovely friends who can tell you where the kids’ activities are, and the cafes run by local families who bring you tea and cake while you recover from the school run.

You know, come bed time and the babysitter’s arrival, you can let your hair down in your local pub. And you hope that the pub isn’t going to close down any time soon.

I love where I live. I love all it has to offer me and my family. I love that the more we are able to connect and chat and enjoy where we live online, the more we can enjoy actually connecting and chatting in real life, out and about on Southampton’s Spike Island.

If you live in or around Southampton’s Spike Island, or if you just want to chat about where you live, about your community, about building online connections to improve community and business connections then I will see you over on Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram,

I’ll see you @thesotonspike.

Twitter @thesotonspike Instagram @thesotonspike Facebook The Soton Spike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Poem About Boozing is Now a Song!

A couple of years ago Lords of the Drinks ran a poetry competition. Given that I like a poem, and that my specialist subject is drinking too much, I thought I’d enter.

The poem was penned on Burns night. Here it is

A few months ago, I got an email from the other side of the world. Andrew Beban from Off the Avenue Productions was involved in writing the music for a production called “A Man Walks Into a Bar”.

Could he, he asked, use my poem and turn it into a song to be featured in the production?

Hmmm. Let me think about that.

YES

Continue reading

The Importance of Coffee and Communication in the Development of Young Brains

It’s all about communication isn’t it? Not just how we speak, but how we listen too. With that in mind, it is perhaps best to never hear the newest piece of child development research before sunrise, before coffee, through the medium that is Breakfast TV.

Given the pre-coffee circumstances, my first exposure to Save the Children’s “Lighting Up Young Brains” perhaps wasn’t all it should have been.

Continue reading

Kim Kardashian posted a picture of a really boring bathroom

 

Kim Kardashian took a naked selfie, and yesterday social media couldn’t stop talking about it. However, it wasn’t her nudity that concerned me. It was the beige-ness of her bathroom.

Clearly, I’m not above gawping at nude folk. Clearly I saw a headline that said ‘Someone is totally naked on instagram’ and I thought I’d sneak a peak. And there it was:

Someone naked, looking fabulous, in a really, really boring bathroom. Continue reading

A Recruitment Consultant Tried to Steal My Fish

Give a Mum a fish and you feed her for a day; teach a Mum to fish and you feed her for a lifetime. Or check the freezer. You’ll probably find a fish finger. And a waffle. Mmmm. Waffles.

A recruitment consultant stole my fish. My metaphorical fish that is.

By ‘my fish’  I mean ‘my career’ and boy, it was a big one. However, then along came the kids.

Once I’d become a full time stay at home Mum I misplaced my rod, lost the bait, and requested that all tackle be kept from view.  But I was happy on the break from fishing my career until the phone calls from the recruitment consultant started. Continue reading

Feeling flat: A poem for pancake day

Something I wrote a while back…..seemed a good moment to reshare.

Flipping tossers, eh

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I wrote down everything that came to mind when I thought of pancake day. Turns out I listed the ingredients for both pancakes, and a border-line abusive relationship. Who knew! Enjoy the poem. Enjoy the pancakes. Continue reading

The Facebook Motherhood Challenge Ruined My Life

My family and I went on a day trip. Upon our return home I posted some pictures of my kids on Facebook. I posted a comment about what a lovely day we’d all had. It got a few likes.

Within that post I tagged the other families who had accompanied us on the day trip. I congratulated all of us on what had been a real gem of a day. They posted some photos too.

That’s when the trouble started.

One of our friends, not on the day trip, had stayed at home with her children. She had not had a great day.

After seeing the photos of my children smiling, she phoned a therapist:

“Please help me. Abby Boid had a good day with her children. I had a bad day with mine. I am unable to cope with someone else’s happiness on a day that I was sad. Please ban Facebook. Please ban photos of other people’s children. Please don’t let this become a Motherhood Challenge. Please, God, please why can’t everyone just post pictures of stick men called Bill?”

I don’t know what became of her.  Such was the damage I caused she was unable to face me, or Facebook, ever again.

Another friend, a friend without children, called me.

“YOU. FUCKING. SMUG. BITCH.”, she yelled down the phone. Unable to contain her fury, the call ended as she flung her mobile against the wall.

Shortly afterwards she went on a mad rampage, punching the computer screens of Mothers everywhere. I doubt it ended well.

My Mum then got on Skype.

“Abby love, now I know you don’t like me interfering in your parenting style but our John’s just told me you posted some pictures on Facebook  of the kids looking happy. Is this right? Because if it is right I’ve got to say that me and your Auntie June are bitterly disappointed. I mean, back in the ’60s we fought for our right to go to work and go on the pill and be proud of real achievements. You didn’t see us blathering on about what we’d pushed out of our vaginas that day. Pull your socks up. Get over yourself. Nobody wants to know about your la-di-da days out with your own flesh and blood.”

Such was my family’s shame, they have now severed all contact with me and their grandchildren.

Soon the press picked up the story. Serious people asked serious questions about whether my photos were harmless fun or just plain offensive.

It felt rather like when they discussed whether my breastfeeding was offensive.

Or that time they debated whether my decision to be a stay at home Mum was offensive.

Or whether taking a term time holiday was offensive.

So I thought about all the reactions to those photos I’d posted. Those photos I’d shared on a website designed for sharing things.

I thought if a picture of me and the kids on a good day is the most offensive thing in your life, your life ain’t that bad.

Because surely this is just five pictures of my boys….

 

….while this, for the record, is me being offensive:

 

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Abby Boid is wearing a wedding ring in this photo and would like to apologise in advance to anyone never married, anyone divorced, anyone who has lost their wedding ring, anyone who doesn’t like weddings and anyone who lives near a ring road for the discomfort that seeing this image may cause.