Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Put your best foot forward.

I don't think it's going to happen. I want it to happen and I dream of it happening and when I sit and psyche myself up I can feel it happening. But it doesn't.
I read and hear about it happening to other people, hoorah, my turn soon.......and as Diana Ross explained so tunefully " but I'm still waiting" ( or did she sing AND I'm still waiting?) Anyhoo....I am just not going to get the fitness bug.
I can pretty much guarantee that you will never log on and click on my blog link to read that I am training for a marathon. I hate it.
I bought the treadmill, I envisioned getting hooked and within days becoming a sweatband wearing, water bottle holding, head up and chest out pounding fitness freak. Not yet anyway, can't see it. I walk past the dining room where that bloody thing sits next to the window ( getting more menacing and bigger every day I swear it) and it sneers at me, calls my name and taunts me
"come on fatso, get your thinning legs on my runner and get them moving girl. Its all very well getting thinner but you have to work it, tone it, help that weight loss along...GET ON ME!!!"
Why I don't just do it in the morning and laugh right back at the thing is beyond me, oh no, too easy, must punish myself all day and walk past it, hissing at it and wishing it away. As soon as I get on it I am SO BORED! I feel on the brink of tantrum, I want to whine and tell it I hate it and I stare at the wall ( because surely, if I am miserable I will get thinner and fitter much quicker, as a reward for being so marvellous and martyr like)
Tonight, I set up my laptop and watched the live stream of Big Brother eviction number 6. It helped so much to see the misery of the evictee, I felt less alone somehow. After all, misery loves company...I wasn't so bored, perhaps I had better plan entertainment for myself every day because otherwise I get so mind numbingly bored I get off after 3 minutes.What doesn't help is clicking on the 'how many calories have I burned?' button, when I am about to die and my face is throbbing, I saved that treat for the moment I can't go on. When you hit it and get ready to see just how thin you must be getting and discover you have burned 14 calories. How unfair is that? you can shovel hundreds of calories in without thinking about it. Piece of cake? 300 calories. 35 seconds. Burn that off? 3 weeks of painful sweating activity. BUM.

I do sort of like, in a masochistic way, the feeling of heat and pounding heart. Only because I know it is working. Or helping, or something. I do enjoy the after feeling of just how marvellous I am, that smug emotion. The rest, well it all seems terribly mean to me. Maybe the enjoyment will come, who knows, I might wake up one day scarcely able to wait to jump on the rolling torture mill. Perhaps that longing to wear lycra and headbands will be mine. I just don't see it somehow.

Swimming, I love it. I can happily breaststroke my way up and down a pool for many a long moment...but to do that means donning a revealing swimsuit made of stretchy material, all made with high cut legs these days it seems.
An overweight mother of 6 with unimpressive stomach muscles doesn't want to pour herself into stretchy and unforgiving bands of material and ripple her wobbly way to the poolside. I know that the idea of making swimsuits so tight and lycra-ish is that it will hold in that belly, hold up those bosoms. The thing is, that would work if they were full length and highnecked, with long sleeves and even feet in them. The problem with it, in practise, is that it squeezes the fat down and OUT of the leg holes ( and if they are high cut legs you're asking for troube with a flabby belly that's housed six children) and up and over the sides, thus making a whole new shape impossible for other unsuspecting public swimmers to avoid looking at. If only I had a pool of my own.
I enjoy the gym type exercises. Perfect when married to the first one, as he was an instructor in the army and we would go to the gym on our own in the evening, nowadays I would need to go and be scrutinised by a fit and probably young athletic type, actually I did that part and had my induction but every one else there was already so thin and beautiful, and did I mention, thin. Not a droplet of sweat in sight and , well, you can imagine.
If only I had my own gym.
I can't walk outside at the moment, I sweat, only my head and face, it's a side effect of my medication and it's not a regular sort of 'hmmm, I'm a bit hot and shiny' type of sweating, it is a 'who in heaven's name turned a tap on?' kind of sweat, with hardly any exersion, I am literally pouring sweat from my head and face. Miserable and embarrassing, the walk to school sees me arrive with absolutely soaking wet hair, plastered to my head and that's so not funny, or ladylike. The treadmill allows me to drip and pour in the privacy of my own home, with fan at my face and window open beside me. I might hate it but it has made exercising at all possible. Damn it.

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Is there an effective exercise that doesn't entail public humiliation, boredom or lycra? Oooh, oooh ---I just thought of one...wonder if H is still awake?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

By HE'S got it!

My Isaac can READ!!!! He's got it, it clicked and he is going to be as quick as the Seth Meister. Isaac always amazes me because he just gets on with it, no talk, no fuss, sits, listens, takes it all in and then DOES it! He has seemed so disinterested in all things literary, he enjoys the odd story and has always been able to hear a story and remember it word for word, I imagined him seeing words and memorising them but he is actually reading them. Sounding them out and in his typical no nonsense, don't make a fuss way, accepts that this is just how it is. Having said that, when I squealed in disbelief when he read the word YOGHURT today he was thrilled, he laughed like a drain and so the game was on, he read more and more words and I had to shriek and say " NO...YOU CAN'T READ you're only 4 years old..STOP READING!" I can't help but think of Eli, who adores books, will he be even quicker? He takes notice of the boys with their homework.....he loves books and will sit with me for hours and read. I love reading, I love it that H has taken to reading too.
Oh, Seth....he has been learning about France at school, H downloaded some progammes for learning French, Seth is hooked, last night he spent an hour 'playing' and can now say the months of the year, count to 10 and name several animals..this evening he sat and watched the whole of Chicken Little in FRENCH! The kid is out of this world. Of course now he says he needs to go to France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Trust him not to be satisfied with the park!!
I am feeling pretty good lately, I can see the future and look forward to it. I can see things in myself that I like. I am proud of many things I have done and am doing. such positivity after so many years of trapped misery is like a whole new life for me. It is still so new and different, that every day is a joy to me.
I have made the decision to go to therapy only once every two weeks now. That is a huge leap for me, knowing that I can go that long without my crutch, without having Jan to lean on and cling to.
I am beginning the end. I can see that at some stage I will be strong enough to step out and just be me. . That's a great feeling

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Brother mine.....

Every little boy should have one of these big brothers.


my little boys have 2 that love them and play with them...lucky boys, lucky me.

Seth is saying " be careful of the delicates!""

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The boys brain amazes me.

Seth's that is. He's a mini H, a walking encyclopedia. Impressive when H spouts some bizarre piece of information that has been hidden until needed but when a 5 year old does it....mindblowing!
H and I were talking tonight about grandpa, who at last is talking about retiring. He said tonight that he wants to retire and see Europe.
" Hey," said Seth ( the eavesdropper) "Ittakes 6 hours to get to France on the ferry, he should do that and then go to Germany and Italy too" HE then went on to talk about the chunnel, flying and the hovercraft as alternative ways to get to France. How does such a little head hold such information, as well as the veriatble zoologist catalogue that is held in there. At 3 he came to us puzzled and said " I've been thinking, a chameleon really should be in the primate family because it has thumbs"

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I used to worry that he would be a freaky anorak wearing boy as he grew up but already he is so funny, such fun to be around and is touchingly in love with soft toys ( although he checks to see if they have been made so that they are anatomically correct and if a stuffed Labrador has the wrong kind of ears for example he won't go near it!!)HE joins in with his friends games more now and is as up for a lavatorial conversation and farting noises as any 5 year old boy.
He can now read anything you put in front of him, still totally disinterested in stories, unless they are read to him, loves reference books, animal encyclopedias and the guiness book of records. He loves to whip through puzzle books and writing exercises and draws beautifully.

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His mouth is too old for his body too...he is a master at answering back and there are times the thought of him being a teenage makes my blood run cold. He is definately Howard's son and they can oft be found discussing photocynthesis and such topics.
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I feel an outsider many days and am glad I have my equally bright but less judgemental Isaac, who loves me even if I am a bit dim and of course Elijah Henry, my one out of 6 totally 2 year old with no bizarre tendancies, no special needs and a glorious goofy grin, who won't give up his nappies for all the bribes in Britain and says they are nice and warm and LEAVE IT ON....he doesn't want to wee in the toilet or on a potty, he likes his nappies. Thankyou.
Life is good , it takes 6 hours to get to France unless we get on a hovercraft which only takes about 45 minutes and I gave THAT piece of information out because I have done it,been on it.... ha......beat that brainy boy!

And a P.S....I took this today, look at how tall the Jordan boy is! I'm impressed that he always remembers to duck when he walks through this doorway!!

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Nearly half way!

OK, am on dial up while we wait for a new router for the wireless, have had to do a new ticker.....somewhere along the line I must have screwed up, I put in what I was, what I am now ( 3lb weightloss at yesterdays weigh in) and look.....

Nearly half way there and an extra 3 lbs down somewhere. I am SO HAPPY!
Still feeling really upbeat about doing this and can actually visualise going the whole way, being slim, wearing regular non fat clothes. OH MY GOODNESS!
It is beginning to be noticeable, I can feel the difference. I like it.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Not much of a post today, I sat to write and guess what? The power went out. Right at the beginning of big brother. BIG BROTHER!! I love BB. I feel I should apologise for that, I feel a little shame at admitting it. There isn't a single redeeming quality to this show, but there we are. I love it. H hates it, he can't even stay in the same room when it is on. I even have the live stream so I can watch when the less addicted can't. I have yet to see anything worth having live stream for- but I do feel a bit superior knowing I have it, even though the novelty has worn off and I don't actually use it anymore.
And the electricity went out, no blog and no BB.
I ran to the fuse box, no tripped switches, it wasn't us, not our fault, there was nothing I could do. Hmmmmmm. ARGH! What would we do, no power, No TV, No internet.
Yeegads, don't say we'd have to...what? Talk to each other? Read a book? TALK TO EACH OTHER?!!!!
We are pathetic. H, Jordan and I, we were like fishes out of water, mouths opening and nothing coming out, startled looks and panic ridden brows. What to do? WHAT TO DO???
Thank heavens the power came back on relatively quickly, I had my book at my side and was about to read, in the evening light, sitting up. I read lying in my side, in my bed, I'm not sure I CAN read a book sitting up, in the front room. Phew-thankfully I didn't have to find out. H was safe, his I.Pod works at any time, he got comfy in bed and was set to watch a movie, ( he'll be OK if the world starts to end won't he? no playing monopoly by candle light for him,) ugh, I am so ill prepared for emergency. I have food and candles and sleeping bags and tents but heavens above, I don't have the important things like an IPod filled with movies and music. Must get organised, there could be a dire emergency at any time and I will be hopelessly up a creek without an Ipod.
TV back on, comfy couch, ready to watch anything that came on and ....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ fell asleep. 1.15 I woke up and hey, I am actually still tired so I am going to bed. Clean bed with crisp ironed pillow cases, smelling fresh, sheets all tight and crumple free. Glorious. That's worth waking up for that is. Night night.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The next stage.

So, here I am, another session or 2 of therapy done and some progress being made. I'm glad I go to see Jan, although I can see that things are changing, I can't always see that they are better. Jan explains how they ARE better and how things are progressing. I am pretty sure that the hidden stuff is out. The demons have been exposed and the secrets shared.
Now what?
Now it seems that the reactions are here. The nervous ticks, the headaches, the insomnia,the dizzy spells and the RAGE. Oh the ANGER. I am so ANGRY! What at? I hear you ask. H mainly. He is here and he is solid and so far he is taking it. Everything is somehow his fault. Jan also helps me to see that actually it isn't, his fault. It is just that he is the first person I can rail at and he still be here, still calm and still very H. Slap the man someone. On the back probably.
Go out, I say, leave me he does, how dare he? Doesn't he know I need him?
Don't go upstairs, stay with me, so he does..idiot, can't he tell I need my space?
Help me out, I'm tired...he does it all, damn him....does he think I can't do anything right?
I need me time, go out alone....he stays home....pig! doesn't he want to go anywhere with me?
The good Lord knew what he was doing when he sent me to H and H to me....beng married is very hard work. SO much simpler to be alone and not have to worry about making things right, or caring, or loving.

Jan is doing something with me that is called visualisation. Very hippy and at first I thought I might be 13 and snigger. I gave it a go, you get to shut your eyes, in the day, in a quiet room. I didn't fall asleep, I went where she sent me and I liked it...we have done it again and she is teaching me to go there when I feel the rage. When I feel sad, when I remember bad things. Wanna come with me? just this once? It's my place you see, the good thing about it is that no-one can get there unless I take them. My place. Safe and inpenetrable by anythingbad or dark.

The place is somewhere only I can go. I can take you there but can't tell you how to get there. I can take you by starting at the entrance and walking you there......through a small thicket and over a wooden barrier, small steps and down the other side. Over head the sun is high and scorching hot but where I am is shaded and cool, The many tall trees block the heat and make the air clear and fresh-it smells of summer. Grassy. Silent, apart from the breeze in the trees. Not even a bird.
The path is clear and I can hear, but not see, a stream. Cool water.Clear fast running, shallow water.
The walk is cleansing and uplifting, overwhelming is the feeling if absolute safety. No-one can get in here, it is entirely my land. Only good things here, in a world so filled with fear and trepidation can you begin to imagine the gift of such security and peace?
As we walk slowly, the water is closer, I can hear it and now smell it, fresh and inviting, around this corner there is a clearing, a small pebbley beach with shallow water and smooth, water worn rocks. No people, not a soul but me..and today, you. We can sit on a flat rock and lean against a warm and sloping sand dune, nothing to hear but the water. Far away from the rest of the world, no danger or expectations, no noise here and no time. No thoughts of things to do or people to care for. WArmer here, but still a cool breeze.
I can stay here as long as I need, I can visit as often as I like.
When I am here, I breathe slowly, no hyperventilating, no rapid heart beats, no pulsing eyelids. Just peace.

Amazing that we have the abilty to choose where our minds take us. We are able to stop the fearful thoughts and replace them with safe ones. Such an obvious and natural idea, I wonder why we never think of doing that? I wonder why it takes a therapist to tell me something so simple? I hope that I can remember at the right time.....sometimes the sad thoughts, the horrific memories just slap themselves in while we aren't ready for them. Sometimes life itself is such that we can't sit and think of peaceful clearings. ( like this afternoon, 3 little boys, at the park all wanting different, and impossible, experiences....this means 3 little boys ALL screaming for the very thing they need, yep, just the time to slope off to an imaginary escape place!!)

I thought I would be better by now, imagined that I would declare the demons and be rid of them. the whole process is so slow, like the weight loss. In order for it to be forever, I have to do it the right way. Small and steady, slow but sure.
Patience has never been my thing. I think I am learning about it, maybe even getting some.
I hope this angry phase is over soon, I told a complete stranger to shut up on saturday, satisfying but perhaps not necessary. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Monday, June 19, 2006

They probably should be models....

Because let's face it, they just love the camera, don't they? I can just see them in catalogues and on billboards....

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they are just so sweet and innocent looking...
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So natural and unposed....

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I give up, the only pictures I can get of these little buggers without the faces are ones when they are asleep!!!!

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but goodness, they are so cute!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The greatest thing.....

"The greatest thing a father can do for his children, is to love their mother."

If I had a better memory I could tell you who said that, but I forget. It doesn't matter really does it? who said it I mean, it's what was said that is important. Even though I have no idea who said it, I do remember that my dad always did it. He wasn't gushy, we've been over that many times before, but he loved her. None of his children ever wondered, none of us had the slightest doubt. None of ever cowered while having to listen to horrifying arguments, of shook with fear at the sight of him with his hand raised. As I grew older I heard friends at school talk about their fathers and it was hard to take in or accept that this was how some of them had to live their lives.

" Hear ye, children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give unto you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
for I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom, get understanding; forget it not: neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
Wisdom is the principle thing: therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding."
( Proverbs 4:1-7)

How great are those words of a Father to his son, to look after and love his mother? telling him that he should love her and look after her and she would look after him.
I know there are many people who don't believe in the bible, but if you read it it is impossible to deny that in there are so many things that can do us only good, if we follow and imply them into our lives.

My dad taught us so many things as we grew up, he taught us by just doing it, by letting us see what he did, what he believed. If he told us to do something, it was because he believed it was right and good and we could be sure that he did it, or didn't do it. He taaght us that drinking wasn't a great idea, that alcohol really served no purpose and that fun was to be had without it. I never saw him drink a drop of alcohol.
He never lost his temper unless he saw any of us disrespect our mum. I never heard him swear, never heard him speak to her in any way other than with respect and honour, he expected the same from us.

I really miss him. I'm sad that he's not here this year to eat strawberry shortbread and be all blustery about having cards. What is here though is the lifetime of love and integrity that he gave us. I know how lucky I am to have had 43 years of such a lovely dad. So much security and such huge memories.

Somehow, since he died, I love my mum even more. Who'd have thought that possible? At church today the doors were open because it was hot, as we were singing I looked out of the door and saw my mum walk in, she was a bit late and I saw her walk up the corridor towards the Primary room where she teaches the littlest people. I felt such a rush of love for her because she hasn't given in and she hasn't stopped doing all the good things. No excuses for not loving other people and looking after them. Somehow it looks as though she has a protective barrier around her and I wonder if that is my dad.How can it be that after 49 years she would be without his love or his protection. I dont think she is. I'm sure he isn't too far away.

No matter how hard I try or how long I live, I will never be as good as my parents. I am blessed beyond words by having been born to them.
Happy Fathers day my dad,

I am listening to mum, I am loving her and am praying that she will be happy. I hope she keeps me!!
Thankyou for being who you were, for loving our mum and for teaching us so well. I miss you. I love you, Helen.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Seth is home, asleep in his own bed, in his horrible Woody suit. He had a blast and midnight feasts, he stayed up most of the night and woke up horriblt early and was grumpy all day. Perfect sleepover. I made it through too. Hooray!

So, croak. What's that all about? Well, its about the darned throat. That is STILL sore and hoarse. I sound a bit sexy, or sick. Depends what mood I'm in. Croak.
This has been going on since March. When my dad was dying. When I stopped myself crying (which was all the time) I would get this sore throat and the croaking hoarse voice. Bizarre. But then I cried, a lot, all the time. Still sore though and still croaking. So?!?!?
Anti-biotics, worked while I was taking them but as soon as I stopped, it came back again. The Dr says that if this is still going on at the end of next week he wants to do blood tests. It's been sore and croaky and blistered and swollen since MARCH, why wait another week?
I've read some books that say this is all to do with holding in things I don't want to say. If that's the case I must be holding something back that even I don't know about because I have spilled every secret and misery making sad thing I can think of. I've walked the walk and definately talked the talk.....I would scream if I had any kind of voice that would sound satisfying! Hardly worth it for a croak is it?

I am sure that a great holiday would cure all, we're going away in 8 weeks. I am excited. I don't think the holiday we are going on is going to be the kind I need....that would be a break away on my own, or with H, sleeping and being quiet and not having any deadlines or stresses. The one we are oing on is an 8 hour drive away, is in a place filled with noise and fun and busy busy BUSY. It will be good though. It will also be with the 3 bouncy loud people. Making memories, the very best kind.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Don't like it, not one bit.

Seth is on a sleepover. A SLEEPOVER! He is 5.....I cant stand it. I knew he would want to come home and would never stay. At 9.30pm I called and he was so excited and so I took over his blanket and pillow. And his nunny because he might be big enough for a sleepover but he isn't too big for a nunny.
I am all of a quandry about sleepovers. I didnt let the others do them until they were very big, but they were a special case and my head made me so extra careful. With these boys I know I have to allow them to have the fun but when is it OK? What do you do to make sure you aren't leaving them with people who might harm them? I just have to go with my instincts.
I was so proud of him for having such fun and EATING THE FOOD! He was just having a blast.
Please let him keep having fun and be safe and let the night go fast so I can see he is safe.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Another day in paradise.

I adore the summer. Sweating aside, I wake up and see sunshine streming though the windows and I am immediately cheery.No matter what the troubles, they are halved when the sun shines. I love everything about it, the smell in the air is heavenly. the sights and sounds are fabulous.
Yesterday, we went to check into the preschool for Eli, the baby, he is starting prechool in September, Nursery in January, school the following January. Time flies. This little man is such a joy and somehow his life is flying even faster than the others, is it because he is my last? Who knows, I just know that I am going to squeeze every baby moment I can. His body is almost all boy, not baby now. Just his legs have a vestige of baby left, one little crease on his thigh that makes his little legs still look babyish. I want to eat him at least 53 times a day.
The sunshine makes it so much easier to makes some memories with him before the time comes to hand him over to other people to teach and start him on his journey to learning and school life.
He was so excited about preschool, he ran in and was jumping with excitement, he sat right down with the other children and then came to me and said " I want you to go aray" ARGH!! What a difference for me, mother of 5 other children who have all done the leg hanging, breath holding don't leave me thing. Not this boy, this is the 'go aray' boy.
When we set out for a day together last week, his little voice came from the back of the car. "Iss duss you a me, YOU A ME mummy?"
What a treat, how huge is it to have such devotion, such delight at the idea of being alone for a day? It is enormously fulfilling, this part of being a parent, it's too easy to miss it. In the everyday madness of trying to keep it all together we can forget that right before our eyes these little people are changing and needing different things. I love being able to enjoy these times.
I am so glad I have been able to be at home with my children as they grow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A whole year!!

I am so excited. I have been 44 for ages,wishing I wasn't so old but getting ready to be 45. Next month. Very soon. Oh sweet joy, tonight I realised that I am only 43, a mere baby, spring chicken. I shall be 44 on my birthday which always goes by unremembered, so I might not even be 44 then. I might just be 43 another year because I missed this year.
I expect when I am very old I will know how old I am.
When you are 4, you know it and you tell everyone, you are proud of how old you are and it matters.
When you are 93 it suddenly becomes important again and it starts to be mentioned at every opportunity.
" would you like a cup of tea ?"
" Yes please dear because I am 93 you know."
When you are 43 or 44 it is so insignificant that you even forget yourself.
All our birthdays are in July and August, except for Sophie's, which is typical because she has always been one to be different, hers is in march.
In July we have me 24th, Elijah 26th, Jordan 29th.
August is H. 9th, Isaac 10th, Seth 22nd and Dan 25th. These months pass in a blur of cake and wrapping paper. By September, when school starts again, we are ready, we are partied out and for me, at least, it would appear that I erase it all from my mind, even the number.
I feel younger today, well I am younger aren't I? This morning I was 44, looking 45 in the eye and now FORTY THREE, how cool is that?
Are you impressed with how easily I am pleased? How simple it is to lift me up and cheer me? I like it that such small things thrill me so.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just call me Rose.

'Cause I might do some rambling.

I had to post some more pictures of the Dan boy with the little ones. Just look at how they gaze at him!! I'm sure it has nothing to do with him taking them out and buying remote control cars and planes and then spending hours playing with them outside. It is sweet to the soul to see my children be like this together.

He's gone home now and left behind a general feeling of happiness that he was here. It was particualry good for me to see him this time. The therapy I have been having has made me see so many things more clearly, Dan is OK, he isn't damaged or sad or troubed by the events of his childhood. He is a joy to be around but he isn't perfect. He is human, he swears too much, he is still painfully untidy ( one of these days I will turn up unexpected at his flat and see if his own home is still immaculate or if it was knowing I was coming to visit that made him pull out all the stops!!)He is still very, very nice. Great that everyone is so pleased to see him and enjoys having him around.

Next subject please......

If I want advice, I will ask for it. I will ask my mum or my doctor, perhaps a friend or health visitor. I have been known to ask my Bishop what I should do or say or how I should act.
I have never written to an agony Aunt. Why would I ask a stranger who doesn't know me what I should do in any situation? The same goes for my blog.
I write some of what I feel. Sometimes I am flippant. Occassionally I am morose, miserable, depressing. Often I am funny, sarcastic, irreverant.
It's my blog and I'll write what like and I'll keep to myself what I choose to keep to myself.
I don't need people I don't know telling me what mistakes I am making. Shut up. Go away.
I don't want to know , quite frankly, if you don't like me or disagree with me. Don't leave your anonymous comments, tell me your name and why you think you know better than me. ( If you must, can't promise I will give a monkey's nipple, but hey, tell me if you think it will make a difference.It will make a difference if you have more children than me, with a bigger age spread,who have the same special needs as mine,if you have been a single parent for 10 years and if you now have a husband like mine and live the same life as me but have done everything right and made no mistakes, in that case don't leave a comment, move in and show me how you do it, please.)Just because you read my blog doesn't for a moment mean you know the ins and outs of my whole life, truy it doesn't.
Advice is good, by all means say something like " Hey Helen, have you thought about........" Or " I wonder if ....might be a good idea"
For heavens sake don't leave a comment that reads like a holier than thou, what do you expect because you are stupid, kind of deal. All that does is annoy me and I don't need annoying. I have toddlers who have tantrums, 4 year olds who have clothing issues, 5 year olds who think they are 19, teenagers who think they are adults, a husband who likes his underwear folded a certain way and who doesn't like Big Brother. I have chocolate that I can't eat. I am annoyed enough. My blog is my escape. GO AWAY unless you think I am completely fantastic. Thankyou.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Things that make me happy.....

Getting a call from Dan.
Dan saying that he would maybe come and visit.
Dan walking in the door 20 seconds after he called.
Watching Dan and Seth together.

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Pictures of little boys, with sun kissed faces and smart haircuts, looking too divine for words and also a picture with Me sitting with them and not hating it.( the picture that is)

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And these people.....
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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Mama used to say......

When we were growing up my mum always said "don't do anything you wouldn't want me to see" there was also an unspoken rule that should be do something that she found out about, well then we had to face whatever came our way.
Pretty good rule from a parents point of view. If you have children that care what you think, or even think about what you think, I suspect that would make you a very happy parent, a safe and trusting parent.
I think my parents were safe and trusting of me, I remember when I was 20, in fact it was my 20th birthday and my beloved had returned from the Falklands war and he loved me and I adored him and well, I was going to give my virtuous self to him, I certainly was. Yes, indeedy.
We met up with my mum and dad for an hour or two and spent a lovely sunny afternoon on the barbican, as we left, to find his new car, the pink Capri that was bought with his money from fighting the war and was his pride and joy, as we left,to go back to the empty house that I lived in as a nanny, my mum, God love her, said " Bye bye, Happy birthday Helen, be good"
Why? WHY did she say that? 2 words that threw cold water on my determination to be as one with the dark haired navy man, hero of my heart. I swear her face was right in between us that whole day, and Gary drove off into the sunset leaving my honour behind, with a frustrated, but obedient, me.
I didn't do anything I wouldn't want her to see.
I don't think my children hold me in the same kind of regard, that sort of revered saintly honour, that we held our mother, still hold her actually, although she knows we have sex now because we have children that give the game away. she is lucky though, because she can tell herself that we conceived them very properly and without enjoyment or nudity and stuff.
Actually, why do I say I don't think they revere me the same way. I KNOW they dont. They love me and respect me in a sort of 'todays teenager' kind of way. You know that " bless her she's a bit dim and doesn't understand anything but we love her anyway", kind of way.
Jordan loves me. He is my friend and is respectful of my feelings. He always comes to find me when he gets home and shares with me the thingshe thinks I should know about his day. Made up sometimes, to cover over the things I shouldn't know about his day because he is a bit naughty, I think. Law abiding, but far from goody goody this boy of mine. Apt to drop his trousers in public a little too often I'm told. that sort of high jinx. He gets it from his father.

I don't sleep well, in fact I sleep very badly and very little, so when J gets home from work, or a nightclub, he comes to find me, in the sitting room and he chats for a while and then goes to his room to fall asleep watching his DVD player which is always still booming when we wake up in the morning, so I turn it off.
Last night, I heard him come home about 2am and I waited for him to come and say goodnight. He didn't. I heard him go upstairs and come down, I heard him shut his door. Oh well, I thought..never mind.
Then my paranoid voice began. "what if that WASN'T Jordan? What if it is a burglar, what if somene just came and took one of my babies, what if a weirdo is walking around my house?"
30 minutes of working myself into a frenzy ( turns out I wasn't the ony one) and I knew that I wouldn't relax until I had seen for myself that it was Jordan and not a hooded intruder. I walked through the kitchen and got to Jordan's room, knocked ( because I am a good and thoughtful mother, respect privacy and all that) saw the light under the door and thought " oh,it's OK he's home,I shall go in and say goodnight"
That,people, is the moment when someone hit the go slow button. I opened the door and dear life, why did I do it? Why didn't my arms fall off? Why couldn't my legs have twitched so violently that they spasmed me in the opposite direction?
I felt as though my eyeballs would melt, my brain froze and my heart flip flopped until it was in my very dry mouth, because there, in front of me, in the harsh light of the 4 spots he has, was my naked son, with someone underneath him.And they weren't playing tiddley winks.
" Oh.OH. sorry" Door slam.
I swore a bit then,( you know, whispered shit shit shit, for what felt like 3 hours but was actually about 20 seconds, while I wondered to do. WHAT DO YOU DO???? Couldn't just creep away, I knew he was even more horrified than me because I saw his face as well as his bum.
I have relived that moment and have replayed that picture in my invaded head all day. I want it to go- and in it's place for there to be pictures of little lambs frolicking in a field, not my son frolicking bollock naked in MY HOUSE.
Here's where I almost take my hat of to the youth of today because, truly, they are so hard faced and so bloody sure that they are entitled to do exactly as they please that any shred of moral fibre or shame has vanished. Jordan wanted to talk last night, got as far as to tell me that he is nearly 19 and old enough to get the picture.
Now, if ( and this is so hypothetical as to be almost impossible for me to imagine) IF I had been in this position, if someone's parent had walked in on me at such a moment, I would have jumped up and been out of that house in 20 seconds. I would have been so consumed with shame that I would never have been able to return, ever. If it had been MY parent, well.......oh I am in a cold sweat at the very idea.
Jordan was embarrassed and maybe he is MORE embarrassed today, who knows? the girl? Sophie's friend? She stayed the night, in Jordan's room, even after I told her not to, she was comatose on his floor when I had to go through to get to the car ( and can you imagine how LOUDLY I knocked and how LONG I waited before I went in???) her clothes were not on her, they were on the floor as well, but a long way away from her body.
Now I have to decide what to do, I can see the very funny side of this and the warped side of me wants to make him cringe for weeks. I also feel such a sense of outrage at the brazen lack any sign that he cares about what I think. He knows what I expect in this house, yet still he has yet again done exactly as he pleases. This is not a loved girlfriend, she is his sister's friend and has been the brunt of many a joke.( she is almost as tall as Jordan and every bit as skinny, if I think about it, they were a veritable fire hazard with those gangly thin lmbs and the friction and all, oh no, please stop me picturing it, PLEASE.) She, I am told, can't remember if anything happened last night. I shall be able to fill her in on the details when I see her.
Why don't these young people care about themselves more? Where did they learn that such a powerful thing as sex is worth nothing? that their bodies are of so little value that they can give it away without even really being aware of what they are doing? That they are of such little worth that they are afraid to say no?
And how did it happen IN MY HOUSE?? ACK ACK ACK!!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday night.

You just can't beat it sometimes, being able to stop up late and chill out!

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Memories are made of the simplest things, the boys are really up on what day it is and every friday morning they are excited about being able to stay up late.....funny thing is, they all fall asleep as early as ever!! Especially sweet Isaac who can't keep his eyes open after 8pm to save his life!! Eli is always the last to go to the picture he is faking a sleepy face!!
The best part of tonight was dragging out the big bag of Action man stuff that has been in Christmas when they haven't seen it for months.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Life in the fast lane.....

Hurry, hurry, hurry......Life here in Devon is one mad rush, the traffic, well it's a cow.

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On foot is MUCH better....

We always seem to have to stop for something though....

Then it's off we go again, hurry, hurry, hurry.....

Lovely isn't it??

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

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Look at this boy, in shorts, for school. Ok so he isn't quite posing in front of a fetching background, he is jumping on Elijah's unmade bed......this though, is the best picture. I had to take quite a this one.....

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But he is glorious and he LIKES shorts now, these are made from his old school trousers, they have a flip ( clip) and they don't flap ( ?!?!?)and they make him happy and feel safe.
I adore this little boy.
Which is good, because that gets me through the obsessions, it doesn't help me understand why, even when he is so thirsty he has run out of sweat, he STILL has to have the right cup, but it helps me understand that it matters to him. It defiantely helps me find the fact that he is unable to return reading books endearing, he chooses new ones and puts them in his book bag but he can't let go of the old ones...his book bag weighs 300lbs.
As he conquers one ostacle, a new one arrives, if a new one doesn't arrive one of his other fears gets stronger.
We have times where it's almost possible to forget he has any problems at all, those are the good times, when we have become so used to his eccentricities and fears, his obsessions and rituals that we no longer notice them. It doesn't last though and soon enough something comes along to remind us that this is a boy out there in a class, and world, of his own.
He seems to be having trouble hearing, ,he was sick last week and had ear ache but wouldn't let the doctor look in his ears. I spoke to his teacher today to see if they had noticed his 'deafness'. I wonder if I will ever accept, or not be stunned when I am met with the reactions I face. She looked at me with a suprised look said that no they hadn't but.....well, it's not as if he actually responds to us is it? I forget that he is SO different at school, he gains confidence and begins to open up, then there is a break at school. The system here is such that every 6 weeks there is a break at school.
The year starts in September, mid october there is half term for a week, then 6 weeks later it is Christmas, feb a week for half term, then easter, a week in May then in July 6 weeks summer break and the year begins again.
Every time he goes back after a break he goes backwards again. No speaking.
I don't feel sad for him so much, as frustrated. He is so bright and he has been diagnosed with selective mutism. I know he is happier when he is able to let that sweet little lispy voice heard...I am thrilled when I hear he has been speaking and making himself heard...then I just crumple when an innocent question leads to finding out that he is back to square one and silent again. One step forward, half a mile back.
But look at him. Is this boy happy? That's what matters....all is well.

Shame on you England.

I REALLY wish we had these in England, I need one, NEED one, like little boys need sling shots and marbles, teenage girls need inappropriate clothes, men need gadgets. I NEEEEEEEED a safari wagon. The other one, the toddler wagon is more practical and folds and stuff and I would love that one- but the safari wagon....I NEED it.

England doesn't do many things, it doesn't do refills on soda. It doesn't do food halls or soft pretzels.
It has never done drive through movies or July 4th. It doesn't do thanksgiving. It tries to do Halloween but I wish it wouldn't because it it pales into nothingness compared to the extravaganza of the U.S.A.
It doesn't do 12 lane freeways ( hooray!) or drive through banking ( hooray again)actually it doesn't do drive through anything except MacDonalds.
It doesn't do yellow school buses, graduation ceremonies or proms.

I can forgive England for all this, after all it does do national health care and DOESN'T do bills for being sick.
I just can't forgive it for not doing Step 2 safari wagons. Why would England suppose that we wouldn't need a wagon to pull our babies in?
Why would it imagine we can go through life without sitting our little boys in one of these and walking to the park with drinks in the little drinks holder and smiling boys waving out of the side ? Why would it dare to imagine that I, because I am English, wouldn't walk tall and show off and yell, by my very demeanor, that I am the proud owner of this wagon and yes, I made those divine and beautiful little people riding in such luxury inside? That I don't deserve to walk along nodding from side to side at passers by who would stop in admiration at such a wagon with such children inside?
Shame on you, England for this omission.
Hang your head in shame, Toys R us, for not importing these wagons ( or even just one, for ME, which would be even better because then I could be not only proud, but smug, in a " Yes, isn't it the grandest wagon ever and guess what, you can't have one, because it is THE ONLY ONE IN ENGLAND! It is mine and you won't be able to get one because England doesn't do wagons, didn't you know? Sorry." sort of way, that would be very unchristian and all but I would later repent and give it to another mummy with sweet children when mine outgrew it and then I would still get to heaven anyway.)
I accept that I can't have a shiny new car with seats that don't smell of old milkshake but my heart won't ever accept that I can't have one of these. Never.

Monday, June 05, 2006


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She's getting more lovely every day. Thank goodness.
This, of all my children is my challenge. I am convinced that Sophie has been sent to test me, in patience, compassion, restraint, in all things hard to learn, hold onto and deserve.
I think the one thing that has kept me from giving up is a surity that for some reason this girl HAS to be feisty. At some time in her life I think she is going to need every ounce of the fight that she was born with. From day one she has been headstrong, so sure that she knows everything and should be heard. the problem is, in being so forceful, so loud, so in your face and combative....she pushes people away.
She has been the biggest challenge I have ever faced as a parent. She was knocked sideways at 5 by epilepsy, along with that came a personality and behaviour that made me understand why throughout the bible, epilepsy was viewed as being obsessed with spirits...and not good ones. OH MY GOODNESS! She jumped out of windows, she ran into roads, she spat, kicked, bit, headbutted, ran away, screamed, fought and she didn't sleep. She makes up for that now.
She went from being far above average at school to being almost un-testable.
At 9 she outgrew the seizures. The behaviour, oh lucky us, stayed.
12 years of rollercoaster, breath holding, hair raising, heart breaking seat of your pants and day by day praying and hoping.
She is seemingly unable to grasp the concept of time and place. Embarrassment is alien to her ( unless I go into a charity shop when she is within 100 yards, she will shrivel and cringe at the very idea) I would be unable to count the times I have had that cold sweat, slow motion oh dear Lord please don't let her open her mouth PLEASE SEND ANGELS TO STILL HER MOUTH!!! Because I have been blessed with an abilty to read her mind and know what she is about to say ( or do) and wouldn't you know...she's never let me down!
I havae always known that THIS chid would always go her own way, I have been here to steer, guide, nag, explain, teach, weep and pray that she will choose the right way, because short of breaking her legs and her spirit there has never been a way to make this child submit.
So far, so good. She is very open about the things she does do, and she is unrepentant, if she does it, it is because she thinks it's OK.If she doesn't do it, she tells me. Thankyou Lord.
I am most in love with this girl when she allows that tiny bit of vulnerability to show and lately, she trusts me to share with me when she isn't feeling on top of the world. I am watching the woman unfold. Still feisty, still loud, but learning, at last ( and sort of slowly) that you are more likely to get what you want if you are pleasant.
She has some awesome qualities that are showing more and more. She is generous to a fault. She earns a relatively small amount of money by staying in school and her part time job, when she is paid she spends money on the boys and me and anyone else she loves. If she borrows money she pays it back immediately, without ever being asked.
She has been the most understanding about my sorrow in losing my dad....which is strange as she has never had a dad worth calling by that name.
She is buying her own clothes and toiletries and that means that she is more careful with the things she owns.
I am beginning to breathe, I am thrilled to be able to enjoy this girl of mine. My only girl. There are still many moments that she has me beside myself with rage, she has the ability to cause chaos in seconds.
A year ago I couldn't imagine we would ever be where we are now, it was hard for me to look at her without feeling sad, or angry. Incredible that we have longer periods of enjoying each other than butting heads and fighting.
I think 12 years is long enough. It must be time for some good times with my beautiful girl.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Ever felt this way?

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I did, I loved the same man for 18 years without him ever actually being 'mine' Maybe that's WHY I loved him for so long. He got to be the perfect man. No laundry, no temper tantrums or sulking, no money worries, no hassles. Just first love, just impossible love and then just safe love. I met him once after 18 years of him having been the holder of my heart and........nothing. I looked and saw.....a man, just a normal, oveweight, greying man who was just someone I had loved.
I think that was the day my life began again.
I felt more free and more able to be myself than ever before. To understand that no-one but ME had the abiity to make me happy. To truly know that I held my destiny in my own hands was liberating and enlightening and I drove away from that meeting in a miserable car park with my future before me.

I wonder where he is now, if he is happy, if life has given him the things he hoped for. I don't miss him anymore though, I don't need him. I don't love him. I wonder actually, if I ever did or if it was just a dream.

Real love is about all the true stuff, the every day monotony and stresses that you get through and then you stop to breathe and look up and see the person you're doing it all with, with bags under his eyes from being up since 5am with the early rising boy,with a dinosaur in his pyjama pocket and laughing for the 212th time at an ancient 'Alf' video because Seth thinks it's hysterical.

When we were away, we went to a carboot sale, we found it and if it wasn't being held in the very car park I'd had that meeting in. Those glorious feelings came right back, I was taken back all those years to that day when my life became my own again. I enjoyed the feelings all over again and felt great that I could see all I had achieved in those years. There is still so much to do and see and enjoy, it never hurts us to be reminded what we have and grasp the chance to make the most of it.
So,look out world, here I come....just as soon as I can walk without falling into a wall.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Halfway up the stairs......

Is the stair where I sit,
There isn't any other stair quite like it
It's not at the bottom
It's not at the top
But this is the stair where I always stop.

Well, today anyway! I took the family out first thing and was happy to do it, I was even happier to get home and crumple in a heap, for about 27 seconds until my bowels made me move. Fast. They kept me moving for many hours. Poor me.
Not content with a head that weighs about 83lbs, sitting on a lumppy neck, a head that seems to have taken on a mind of it's own, the ears are itching and so the head keeps doing a great impression of a crazy person with a bad case of Tourettes thrown in. Like a dog with water in its ears. That's very unkind to my poor neck. But forget the neck throat, ears and head......what about the bowels? Fear not, no details, suffice to say that it was more than I could manage to keep going back to bed and sitting on the lav wasn't an option. Awwwww, nice stairs, comfyish stair where I can lean against a wall. I brought my book which seemed like a great idea and H kept the loud and bouncy people downstairs.
The bigger people though, the teenage ones, those people who are more convinced than a toddler that actually, the world DOES revolve around them and they ARE the most important and beautiful being alive ( fun when you have 2 of them in one house)they were free to roam the house. Sophie has been house sitting for a friends family while they are away. She was going to have fun and love it and be in charge and everything. She has had some fun and sort of enjoyed it but the week is almost over and for heavens sake, don't I understand that it's HARD looking after 2 dogs and a house and cooking for herself and cleaning UP?!?!? So she popped in, to share herself with us and make our day happier because we would be able to see that ife is hard for her and we have it SOOOOO easy.
" Mum? MUM?!?! Can you please drive me back to Emma's PLEASE?" ( its .75 of a mile, downhill)
" Burp....probably not Shophie betoth my head ith thort of heavy and look I jutht thtopped puking and I am in by pyjamath and it'th 4 o'clock....burp"
" But PLEASE! you can get dressed and it won't take you long........."
Actions often speak louder than words and with a regular person, the sight of me heaving AND trying to run with my buttocks clenched...never mind that pitiful sort of dread laden whine that comes with the knowledge that either your blistered throat or your very sore bottom is about to be put through the wringer again.Well, that would stop a regular person in his/her tracks, they might even feel a pang of some selfless emotion and scuttle away. Not Sophie.
" well, thankYOU, I'll just walk then and ........." I was upstairs again locked in the toilet and she was gone when I came out.
Jordan was different, he noticed that sitting on the stairs was a little unusual and asked if I was OK, I almost told him, but I like to encourage feelings of empathy and rewarded him for his thoughtfulness by smiling with my lips clamped shut so I didn't burp at him, or puke.
Lets forward an hour to the telephone ringing.
" Hello?"
"Hi mum, it's Jordan"
" Hello my boy" ( croaked, I tell you that to keep you feeling you are on my side)
" Hey mum? " ( oh, the ?....makes you know what's coming doesn't it?)
" I need you to do me a REALLY big favour"
"Hey, Jord, I'm puking, my head hurts, if I can do you a favour sitting on the stairs or the toilet, I'm up for it, otherwise, you're out of luck, burp"
"well, actually, I only need my England shirt, I REALLY need it, now, at work, can you bring it?"
I imagine he managed without. I'm sure he was just fine.

I'm fine now, with my hot blackcurrant, ginger and honey drink, my warm lavender neck thing, peace and quiet and some toast that is still in my body, 3 hours after I ate it. Medicines are working to make my throat have a space big enough to breathe through ( phew, that's a relief) and my head is even sitting upright on my neck. I have the sitting room to myself ( see? Not on the stairs, things are really looking up!!)I even feel a bit hungry but I think I'll stick with that, it's the safe option!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Oooooooh couldn't you just eat 'em on a biscuit?

Little boys legs, that is. Summer and shorts and little legs, all brown and scuffy , the bruises sort of make them even more delicious looking.
Yes, my friends, we have HAD SOME SUNSHINE!! In fact we are told we can expect some more...Yippee-ey-ay.
H has taken the boys to gramma's park,2 days running, it's not gramma's of course, but its so near to her house that we lay claim to it. It has a great paddling pool and those boys are in seventh heaven. My Isaac wore shorts, brave boy, all that air and stuff hitting his legs and shorts tickling his thighs, he did wear his black socks and school shoes with them of course, Rome wasn't built in a day and for heavens sake, if he has worn SANDALS or NO socks,or even sandals AND no socks, well, who knows what could have happened. Phew, he saved the way the world turns by sticking with what is safe, my Isaac, my hero. ( and H my even braver hero, who doesn't bat an eyelid at walking down the street with him, who never suggests that maybe, just maybe white socks would look good? But H wears socks with his sandals so maybe that explains a lot.)
I went to the doctors today while they were out, yesterday looking good, today.....sheesh, sight for sore eyes and no mistake, swollen throat, swollen tongue even a swollen neck and face...beautiful and very grumpy making. Great for the diet though, it took me 30 minutes to drink half a slimfast!
Weird voice with a fat tongue...of course I have not an iota of authority with the gitlets...I mean to say, would you come running if a someone were to croak "OK, I thed tum here wite now! NOW! Excyooth me, are you lithenin? "I'm not sure what has caused it, the boys have had a similar kinf of virus, without the swelling, I bought an 'all night' nasal spray and really hope that it's a reaction to that, it burnt like billy-oh, so that's in the bin and please PLEASE may the tongue get better.
I had Jordan take a full length picture today, I am even smiling, in a slightly mad sort of way. I'm not posting it though...not until I don't look like it anymore! I am going to be excited for the day when I can do a Julie, and post before and after pictures and feel the THRILL that she SO must feel to have done so completely brilliantly. Julie, you are an inspiration to so many of us, you are a star!!!!
I am going now, to wrap myself in a lavender neck warmin gthingy, drink some lemon, honey and ginger, lie on my squashy sofa with my snuggly blanket and watch a funny DVD. In peace and quiet, and I am not going to do sit ups or leg raises. Oh no I'm not.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Heaven forbid I should just smile or something!!

I had my hair cut, in a posh place, they know what they are doing and I think that I need someone who knows what they are doing, it makes me feel very good to have soft, straight hair that sort of flip flops and feels fabulous. It scares me a bit that I spend this money on me, but it is the ONLY money I spend on me and it's 4 times a year. Worth it, I am worth it....I am SO worth it. ( see? I can do it, tell myself I am worth it) Where's the mirror? I have LOVELY hair, all soft and beautifully cut and I took the pictures myself, does the wild stare look suit me? It's meant to be a sexy look,unfortunately, it actually turned out a bit mad and psychotic, it's as near as I can manage!!My sisters look at the camera and smile and they look happy and normal and nice, mum and I get a frozen fear look and appear a bit scarey. Never mind, I have nice hair, shiny hair, straight hair ( with the help of GHD straighteners and some snazzy lotions and sprays)
I quite like my eyes when they have make up on, ( it's hard isn't it, this complimenting oneself, I think I have run out now, 2 out of 3 ain't bad)