By Stewart Burton

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

I feel like I’m waiting for a knock at the door or a phone call to say it’s happening, people are fighting back. I think some would agree there’s been a feeling, an aura of change for a good few years now, almost revolutionary.

And I’m not talking through violence, we’ve seen enough videos of little old Beryl from Slough having her new hip dislodged by the Met police to know that’s not the way. …

Should I justify myself?

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Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking how I must seem to strangers who read my writing. A mother who smokes weed to self medicate. A woman who has had abortions. A foul mouthed rager. A poverty stricken whiner. All these things go through my head at night after I’ve tucked my son in. Do I come across as highly unlikeable? Horrid even?

I imagine a mob outside my door threatening to take my boy away because I’m clearly an unfit, angry mother, if you go by the writing I share.

It’s not like I share any of the good stuff in my life…

The real experience of relying on government handouts.

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Anh-Nguyen — Unsplash

2nd November 2020

Just been reading a story on the local online news about a single mother with three kids who are living in poverty. Someone has set up a ‘Go Fund Me’ page for her and thousands of pounds have been donated. The comments section is horrendous though, the worst part is other ‘working’ women pulling her to bits. Her weed habit has been brought up — like that means she’s living the life and spending all her money on that. …

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Alireza Zarafshani — Unsplash

In bed last night I thought how my hair and clothes must have reeked of weed on the school run. I also smelt of patchouli oil and sage from cleansing the house. What a combination!

I was hyper-aware of myself on that walk to school — rushing to get there on time, still looking glazed, my pilot jacket on, hair blowing all over— do I look eccentric? Odd? Mental? A hobo?


I can never know what everyone around me thinks so fuck that, stay in the zone, don’t think, be the sky.

The walk home is fine and I…

Welcome to my life…

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R* cried all the way to school with a bad tummy. I took him anyway as he’s been crying wolf alot lately — but I felt guilty because I’d been stressed with him and sweary.

When I phoned half an hour later he had settled and was fine. I felt glad he was there rather than being around me in my miserable state.

Went to pick up my prescription — not there. Go to doctors to ask them about it, 'Computers are down - nothing we can do today.'

Thats five days without Lexapro. 'Will you be okay?' She says…

And I don’t need your approval.

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Authors Notebook.

*Caution. Swearing*

My procrastination with writing was an issue I could no longer deny.

Even after some mild success on a local platform and money coming in from Medium, I still found myself taking a whole month to write one article. I’d get lost in notetaking and distracted with things I usually hate doing — scrubbing the oven with a toothbrush for instance.

This would all be fine if I was rich, but I’m a single-parent on the bread line. …

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Flowers from my son — my image.

Yesterday all the UK newspapers had the same front-page picture — a mobile phone with the NHS ‘track and trace’ app on it. What about people who don’t have a mobile phone? or don’t use the internet? Do they just get excluded from society? Because apparently— no app, no entry.

It’s like the public toilets I went to in the Lakes District a few months ago, 40p to open the door, but it was only accepting contactless card payments. I didn’t have a card, should I piss in the car park? Luckily my friend had a card, but still. What…

Two days ago I checked my bank balance, it showed 95p.

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

With ten days to go before any more money was due in I felt suddenly terrified. My son was off school with a bad tummy, I had a cold. The heating was on as it was freezing and stormy outside. We still had £7 on the electricity meter and food in the cupboards, but this would last for two days maximum.

I took a deep breath and applied online for a community loan — basically the loan shop for all the people who can’t get normal loans due to a bad, or non-existent credit rating. Pretty sharpish I got an…

Three recent events that remind me of my duty to those still in poverty.

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Image by Alfred Quartey / Unsplash

I decided to stop writing about poverty last year when my frenzy of research drove me to hopelessness and despair. I’d amassed pages of quotes from books and newspaper clippings and a deep rage burned within.

I imagined publishing all I’d learned, giving the ‘poor people’ intelligent and fact-based ammunition to use to start a revolution. I wanted to start my own underground publication as a platform for the ‘underclass’ — those who are reliant on government support because they are raising children alone or are mentally or physically incapacitated and are unable to join the mainstream rat race without…

Dealing with envy directed at your good fortune is not easy, especially when those same people saw you at rock bottom.

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Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

It’s not the first time she’s said it.

My great-auntie had come to visit my flat in the little seaside town I live in and glanced around my room with a look of envy. …

Kerry Kore

An English woman living in a seaside town - or on a cliff edge, depending on how you look at it.

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