Eva Talks About...

Knife Culture…©️

…is prevalent in today’s society, mainly within the youth—in fact it’s become a standard way of life for thousands of kids to carry knives/machetes or other weapons with the intention to protect themselves, to cause pain or worse and more often than not, to kill. These occurrences are so frequent that the media doesn’t even report it…or at the very most it’ll be reported on local news. My eldest was living in a part of London where violence is prominent and yet there were pockets of the neighbourhood that were quiet residential areas and nice folk live—diamonds in the ghettos of London that are sold to the bourgeoisie as areas for the trendy that are within a twenty minute door-to-door commute on the underground.

My eldest lived in a great, uber-modern apartment and loved it for the convenience and diversity. One day, we were chatting on the phone as she made her usual walk to the station and had been redirected because of police cordoning-off the street that was now in the undesirable part of said district…a hundred metres away from her home. There had been another fatality; yet it had gone un-reported on national media. Another life taken. Have we become so accustomed to this senseless violence that, although we feel sad we shrug our shoulders and mutter our thoughts and despair of how society has failed, behind the safety of our little bubbles and have almost become resigned to there being yet another killing. Another number to add for data analytics?

People blame it on video-games, a lack of a father-figure/discipline and lack of motivation to succeed. The kids are bored and therefore join gangs where an initiation is required—and guess what’s usually involved? Stabbing someone, a civilian or a member of another gang, to prove themselves. We, are pack-animals by nature, it’s our primal instinct to be part of a group and work together, to hunt and return with a reward for our efforts but somehow working together has evolved to violence and fatalities. Without sounding like an old biddy, back in my day, you moved in gangs and hung out—not all of us had family stability but walking with knives wasn’t even a factor in growing up in teen-adulthood. Where has it gone wrong? Has society indoctrinated the kids to the point where violence/being a ”G” is glorified? To be feared is a symbol of how far up the echelon of respect you are? A sign of personal success?

Before my daughter moved out of the area she lived in, the last straw was when we were driving through Tottenham and a gang of boys were chasing another boy who had consequently fallen into the rear-side eof our car, and my son came face-to-face with the boy who was literally running for his life. The look of fear in his eyes are etched in my boy’s memory for good. The gang-leader had pulled out a huge machete from the leg of his joggers (naive me now knows why these hood-rats wear them now) and continued the chase. The police and choppeers had arrived promptly, but to this day, I don’t know if the lad—and he was a lad, no more than fifteen-years-old survived, managed to escape or died. It was that night that I begged my daughter and son-in-law to get out of London, particularly these volatile areas. I was scared for them and my unborn grandchild—it only takes them to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

They’re kids. Angry kids and yet, they fear for their life when faced with losing it…and after witnessing it myself, I was affected by it for weeks after, because although they want to be accepted in a pack, they are scared of the grim reality of being stabbed. Since when has carrying steel become part of every day life? It saddens me, it really does. Taking a life is instant reaction to ”beef” if something is not to their liking or they have to show solidarity and therefore take a life before theirs is—but it doesn’t end there does it? A life for a life is their mantra, so this perpetuates into a long-running dispute which won’t stop until they grow up and out of this—if they’re lucky.

I felt compelled to write this because my heart is heavy. News of a lad who was a good friend of one of my kids had his life snuffed out as a result of knife crime. It has shocked us all and more than anything, my heart is broken for everyone who loves him. You see, for all the terrible acts that are happening, they’re young. They’re friends to their peers outside of whatever else they do, they are a brother, son, cousin and grandson. They are kids who have lost their way and somehow have become embroiled in this life because it’s cool to be feared and seen as a main “G”.

We as a family made the decision to move away from the county lines area we were living because trouble was coming in from London. The kids have a great lifestyle and we have no fear every time they go out.We have been teased about the area for being “dead” but, we’d rather our kids live their lives rather than be “dead”.

Take care,

Eva x ©️

Eva Talks About...

New Term, New Starts…

So, my life has changed in the last few weeks…in fact, for all of our family. We have welcomed a beautiful baby girl who has, by all intents and purposes rocked our world. Becoming a grandmother at fifty-one has been an experience, a feeling, that even as a writer, I find it difficult to put into words. When you become a parent, you’re in awe of the tiny poop making machine cradled in your arms and now I’m in awe of the baby I brought into this world who has now brought a life in of her own. My baby girl has had a baby girl.

I haven’t held a newborn in fourteen years, and admittedly, as my daughter passed her baby to me, I was overwhelmed at how tiny this brand new milk-drunk miracle that she and her other-half have created. I knew from that moment on, life would never be the same again. We have become grandparents and are besotted. Just as when you become a parent and your instinct is to protect your child, history has come full circle and this time, it’s our grandchild. We feel the need to love, guide and protect her. Our granddaughter is a brand new human being and it’s our job to support the new parents in every way from here on in, give and take some spoiling and acclimatisation to the chaos and craziness that is her family. Just like becoming a parent is a privilege and a blessing, so is becoming a grandparent, and I for one, take this role very seriously.

In all of this, August has most definitely been a time for new starts and new experiences. As the adage goes, “when one door closes, another one opens”. My middle child is embarking on a new chapter in her education. After spending most of her summer working to earn her own dough, she has been exposed to the grim reality of human nature; for all the wonderful people she’s served at the hotel she’s employed at, she’s also come across total ass-hats…mostly females. Sadly, or maybe it’s not, depends on how you see it (me, I see it as a plus) she’s realised that not all women are as supportive as these motivational memes that flood the internet, drone on about…not all women will fix your crown if it slips. No, sireeee. They’d sooner stamp on it. As a result, these experiences have been a good lesson to prepare for her next stage of life. This summer I’ve seen my daughter transition from a school kid to a young woman who earns her own money and quite frankly has her shit together. College life awaits, as do new adventures with fabulous likeminded friends.

My boy is now turning into a young man; this summer he has grown in stature and this was tested at a time where daughter number two who towered over him is now just below his maximum height and strength. She tried to push him. he barely moved. Since that day, all pushing and shoving has ceased. His voice has also broken…that was weird when I first heard it. It still is. I hear a guy talking and I’m wondering who’s in the house. Oh, oh yeah, just my son growing into a young man. Whaaaa!? Now he’s embarking on the final two years of school life. Ever seen Harry Enfield’s Kevin and Perry? This is life chez Lauder. It’s a barrage of huffing out lots of hot air through flared nostrils, gasps of frustration and arm flapping…and that’s just me. I joke. It’s a tumultuous combination of hormonal teens and mother.

This summer has proven to be memorable in so many ways, and in all honesty, I can’t wait for the next couple of months….oh, and I’m about to publish my second book and the third is well under way, which I’m having a lot of fun with. Life is good, when you go with the flow.

Take care, Eva x