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!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

And sometimes, there is sunshine.

Lots and lots of sunshine........


I must have done something so right at some stage.


Boston, are YOU ready for this?

So, Boston it is, for real, in June. I bought my ticket today, I felt a little nervous as I said to the lady in Thompson's travel agency " Yep, go for that one" It does seem an extraordinary thing to do, except life has to be filled with exceptional and extraordinary things or it's not worth doing.
When I made the decision to do this, having told myself that I was not going to allow the fear of all things to paralyse me anymore, I believed that I meant it but thought I would somehow manage to talk myself out of it. Had it not been for 2 of the others girls who will be there, I think I may well have found a reason not to go, they made it impossible for me to back out and here I am, with the actual ticket in my bedside drawer ( but where is my passport? That's a great question, haven't seen that box since we moved, hmmmmm)
Am I still afraid of flying? Oh yes the flight is 7.5 hours long and I have always hit the LET ME OUT I CAN'T DO IT AGAIN moment after 8 hours, I can take the medicine given to me to get me on the plane at Christmas and this time I do not have all the added fears of that holiday ( what if the plane starts to fail and I have to look at 3 little boys and know we are going to crash? Also, what if America doesn't let H come back? ) then, when we are there I won't have to drive to Sacramento to spend time with my Mother in Law, in fact I think there may only be small worries this time.

Things to worry about in Boston;

Will I snore?? Yes, I always snore.

Will I look fat in photographs? Yes, I am fat, how could I look skinny in photographs? However I am sure that in all the pictures I will be laughing and I have yet to see a bad photograph of anyone when they are truly laughing.

Will I pee when I laugh? Why no. I have pelvic floor muscles to brag about, even after 6 children. I shall probably point this out when others, with less impressive bladder holding skills are shamed into depends and hysterical shame.

Will I be able to carry home everything I buy at Target and HERE? Well, I am only there for 4 days, friday I suspect will be spent resting and waiting for others to arrive, then 2 days of shopping and eating and laughing, also sight seeing. Maybe a little bit of shopping on monday before I come home. I think I will manage to keep it down to a level acceptable to the airline I am flying with. If not I will have to make one of the other girls fly back with me to help carry it all.

Are there any other worries? Well, of course, this is me we're talking about but what matters here is that I am going to do it and it is going to wonderful. The thought of this trip has boosted my morale and has changed many things for me. This is a marvellous and exciting thing indeed.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

I am thankful for my ears...ETA new video with my voice in it!

In our class at church, the 3 year olds and I are learning all about the things we have to be grateful for. There is nothing like spending one hour a week talking to 3 year olds about important things.

Have you ever answered that ridiculous question...would you rather lose your sight or your hearing? For goodness sake what kind of question is that anyway? So I always used to say hearing, I used to think I could cope more without my ears than my eyes. The older I get the more I know that isn't so.

I have great hearing, ultra sharp, I can sometimes hear what my kids are doing when they are in another town. I remember once, when I was married to the first one, he was away on exercise and I was at home, with a baby Dan, I was cleaning and out of the blue I had a clear as day picture of the first one, taking a cigarette from the driver of a truck and lighting up. I heard him say that it was good to smoke after so long. Wow.

When he got home a few days later, he was telling me almost all about his trip and I asked him " so, how was that cigarette?" His face was a picture and of course he asked 'what cigarette?' " Well, the one you asked the driver for, you know, in the truck as you were driving on the way up there"

Priceless, he was spooked for weeks over that one but it still didn't stop him from cheating and it certainly didn't stop him from lying when I asked him about his cheating. Anyway, I digress.

My hearing is keen and every day, wherever I go I gain such pleasure from the things I hear. We all love the birdsong and the babbling of a brook, I enjoythose things too but by far my favourite pastime is to listen to people.

Today I was wandering through Trago Mills, a big warehouse kind of place that makes me sweat and talk to myself a lot but the prices are great and when you gotta go, you gotta go. I was passing through the clothes section and heard two old ladies and one of them said " Oooh lovely, all the youngsters wear those these days don't they?"

I love old ladies and I am perfectly fine that I am going to be one, very sooner than I planned.

As I heard that lady say that I laughed to myself because I think that, 'the youngsters' I hold it in, I know it won't be long before those words escape my mouth and I suspect that it will be something regarding music. Like my Nana. How we used to laugh at her and argue when she would click her teeth and tell us that row doesn't even have a story! She would ask what it was about and tell us how in her day music had a story and you listened to it but you youngsters.....

Sophie tries to change channels in my acr, every time she gets in and I feel so cross and smack her hand away. That channel is the best, Palm 105.5. There see? Never in my whole life have I known the actual numbers on the dial. They play MY kind of music and the boys love it too.

On saturday Eli and I went out in the car together and as we were driving home they played a song that has oft raised the roof in our home. I have played it to wake Sophie up ( which guaranteed her awakening because she says it is THE most annoying song in the world) If the boys are ever down in the dumps, we just sing this song and it'll make them hoot with laughter.

They played it because the singers are due in town, there is going to be a week of terribly English things in a nearby town and these people will be there, along with Morris dancers and cream teas. So the song came on and Eli's face lit up, we turned that volume right up and we sang so loud...and the bit in the chorus where they shout " Ow's your father? Alright?" that's the very best bit. That's how people talk down here, heavenly. I never tire of listening to this accent, I never feel weary with the slow and plodding pace of life, the way you can expect to stand in line for a long time in many shops because people know each other and they care and pretty much, at least once a day you will be sure to hear " How's your father? Alright?"

I am so grateful for my ears because if I never got to hear that little boy singing like that, life would be so much poorer.
I love to hear peoples' voices. I love to hear the things people say. Accents give me joy.
Something else I am grateful for this week is that it would seem something is working, my skin is so much better. I have cut out white bread and have started buying a delicious bread made with oats and seeds, it is SO good, I bought some vitamins that work on the immune system, so I am taking that too. I have been sleeping and not beating myself up about it, when I can't stay awake, I go to bed, who cares what time it is? It is working, I still have welts but not everywhere, smaller patches that don't burn through to my soul anymore.

And because I am so kind....a video ( As requested, by little nothings!!) of me, talking, about Snot because I am such a lady.I wanted to catch Setg's delicious old lady giggle, you know that you can guarantee a laugh from a 7 year old if you say snot, right?


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

For my sister, because it could always be worse.

So, bored then with my skin that is just as it is and not going anywhere ( which is good, we need skin, when all else fails it holds us together after all!) I found the lump, the ugly, so ugly and red, bulbous thing up my nose, found so innocently, once found it began to hurt because OUCH I knew it was there and nothing THAT big and ugly could possibly not hurt ( and understand that if it were possible, you know I would take a picture, nose hair and all, this is a worthy of blogging with pictures lump, I kid you not) Watery eyes and itchy nose, I knew I had to get it checked out. Lumps are not good, ones that look like this one really should be seen by someone who knows.
Can you believe the things that can go through your mind in 24 hours when you have an ugly lump somewhere?
Anyway I went to the doctor who, it must be said, was not nearly impressed enough with this lump. Which is not life threatening in anyway ( quite literally this one IS all in my head, right between my eyes!) I have a deviated septum which is horribly inflammed and swollen and the icing on the cake? Cold sores, a veritable bunch, like grapes. I am so grateful that this is up my nose as opposed to all over my face! It is not a pretty sight. Also, itchy up the nose.....very hard not to sit with my finger up there scratching and picking, when the scabs come, I will be unable to resist the urge, beautiful.
So, New York is not happening, oh's BOSTON! Boston in june instead of New York in July, it just seemed a better idea, less intimidating and because several of the girls in the group live in Boston we get guided tours, first hand knowledge on what's best and where everything is.
I am so excited about the trip I almost keep forgetting that H and I have our trip to London first.
Meanwhile, whilst my life is picking up and things of great happiness and excitement are happening, my sister called this evening to tell me how, no matter how dire life may seem, it is always possible to find someone worse of than yourself and in this instance, she is so very right.
I might have a plague of sores up my nose and a swelling the size of my brain...but she, poor thing has been called to serve as a Camp leader person for young women, lovely hormonal teenagers aged 12 - 18, when they go on a church camp, with blow up beds, probably rain and every hissy fit kind of hysterical drama you can imagine ( and quite likely, many we would never be able to imagine)
Maybe it's just my experience with teenage girls has been so nightmarish ( and part of me is shuddering at the idea that all kinds of freaks are going to be sent here via google now having actually typed the words 'teenage girl'.) but the only reason I can think of for any adult being asked to accompany a big group of girls that age, on a camping trip, is as a punishment for some heinous sin committed in the long distant past. I hope I have been good because that penance is one I hope never to have to pay. Ever.
My skin seems not to be improving at all, even though I think I am feeling better ( the sun and fresh spring air always helps, I am part cat, I am sure of it, show me some sunshine and I can feel myself stretching and soaking in every ray) I am more able to motivate myself to clean and organise, heaven.
I am still sleeping in the most extraordinary way, no rhyme or reason to any of it, for instance, this evening because wednesday is NBA ( Not Basketball Again) night, I took myself upstairs at 6.30 for a hot bath and to read my book. I fell asleep and woke up just before 10pm.
The mornings are tough for me because I can't fall asleep until late ( last night was 3am because I was obsessing over the nose lump! ) so it helps that H takes the boys to school so I can go back to bed and sleep. I have decided that I have to stop worrying about doing that, I think that sleeping is helping me feel better, I obviously need to sleep and fretting about whether I am wasting time doesn't do anything constructive. I am getting things done, when everyone else sleeps, I can work without being interrupted, concentrate on what I am doing because there are no other distractions and if this is what works, I'll go with it.
I think, accepting that depression and this skin complaint are just a part of who I am sort of helps and in feeling better, I hope to actually BE better. I am eating good food ( and glory be, that granola? How much hard work is that stuff?) I am peeing with such frequency that I have managed to half decorate the loo, ( how so? I hear you ask!) Because I keep the paint and brushes in there and when everyone is asleep I just paint a bit more, never knew such a tiny room take so long!)
So, tumour like thing is not a tumour, sun has been shining, a trip or two to look forward to and I do not have to take hormonal 12-18 year old female people camping, life is, it must be said, pretty darn good when I think about it.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yes, you are on the spot.

I want to be kind to everyone
For that is right you see.

So I say to myself, remember this,
Kindness begins with me.
( primary song)

I think, that on the whole, I have pretty much everything I need and almost everything I want. I am lucky to be able to say that there have been very few times in my life that I have felt deprived. Ask my mum if she thinks that is true and she will choke, on thin air, because when I was 9 or 10 I felt deprived, with friends who had maybe one sibling, who had a bedroom to themselves and clothes, lots of clothes that big sisters had never worn, if they grew, they would be taken shopping and bought outfits, several outfits. That just didn't happen in our family and I decided that I must be adopted, that me REAL parents would never allow me to be seen in public dresses as I was, in trousers that had divorced my ankles and married my knees. One year, my dad and I swear this is true, when I had complained about my shoes being tight and old and so very UGLY, got a stanley knife and he sliced off the toes, he was so proud because now look, SANDALS! Ta-Da!!
It's quite touching when we look at old pictures of ourselves, seeing how poor we looked, because back in the day, most people looked the same, we had sunday clothes and party clothes but for everyday, you just wore what was clean, it didn't have to match, more often than not they were hand made and usually they had been worn by at least 2 or 3 other kids, it didn't matter. I don't think I was ever bullied because I didn't have the latest fashion ( although I was bullied for being just me, horrible Bronwyn sharp nails) Anyway I went through a phase of thinking it mattered and wishing I could go shopping and buy several outfits. When I was 15 I started working and then I had all the money I needed to buy what I pleased, so then I knew that my parents were my real parents and all was well.
I have oft whittered on about my desire for a newer car, one that smells lovely and hardly makes a noise, now I have my freecycle one that costs threepence a week to run, I am more content, no matter.
I have longed for a house, no a home, that was mine.....I don't think I will ever have that, I can live with that because I can have a home wherever I am. I can make a home wherever I am.
I am not good when I don't have enough money to do what I need to do, so I make sure I do have enough money and H and I are very good at making what we have stretch and streeeeetttttcccch.
So, no real complaints and aside from the odd whiny day when we wish we had some better 'stuff' for the best part, we are content.
My mum has always taught us that we should share what we have and shut up about it.
If you have, you give and you tell not what you did or why you did it.
Let not your left hand know what the right is doing.
If you tell and blag, you're wasting your time doing the good deed, your generosity means nothing.
Just lately, I have been on the receiving end of such enormous generosity I have been left speechless and humble.
When we planned our holiday to America and then everything went pear shaped, a friend made sure that we knew, if we needed her, she would help and I knew that all I had to do was ask and she would keep her promise, I will remember her for that.
Recently, yet again I have been floored by yet more kindness, more generosity and such love given with no strings, no desire for fanfare or glory, just sweetness and friendship. I am so glad that I have my friends, I hope they know that whatever I have, be it my time or my experience in all things bizarre, it is theirs. Always.
I have put you on the spot, you people who deserve to be there, I won't mention your names but you know I mean you. Thank you, even if you told me not to say thank you, I will. Because I am so grateful and so humbled that I have such friends, real friends when so many people don't have that blessing.
Just look out New York, cause we're all coming together and you just won't know what hit you ( although you might just hear us, quite clearly!!)


Monday, March 24, 2008

Who nose?

I am going to reveal things in this post that I never imagined I would tell a soul, here goes.
There are many advantages to getting older, I am more comfy in my skin ( perhaps because it is so much looser than it used to be) I care not about having to dye my greying hair. I don't worry too much about wrinkles, wearing elasticated waists is my right, I have earned that right by living 45 years and having 6 children.
When I was 30 and Daniel ran headfirst into me and laughed saying " Haha! That was as good as a bouncy castle!!" I was a little sad, now? Being squishy and comfy for little people is what it's all about.
I grunt when I bend over, I huff when I get up, I look at shoes and my first thought is "oooh, they look comfy" and I don't care. Marvellous.
I cannot though, no matter what, come to terms with the hair situation. Thin hair where I want it to be thick and lustrous, tick and course where I want it not to be at all, ever. What is happening to me? Sweet tweezers, I could spend all day plucking hairs and would never be done with it. Waxing doesn't work ( except I didn't try a professional waxing because that would mean walking into a beauty salon and saying " Hello, could you rip my beard out please?" and I'm not ready for that. ) Anyway, I have discovered that if I use a high beam LED torch and sit with tweezers, I see hairs that in the normal light of day I can't see.....I sit and shine that light and every time I GASP! WTH????? I do this very often, almost obsessively because I don't want a beard on my double chin. This evening, after my bath I sat on the edge of the bed and began the process ( Hell's teeth where the hell did THAT one come from? ARGH! Look that one is at least a foot long, how did I not see that yesterday?? Etc. Etc.)
So, pluck, exclaim, mumble, weep, pluck....and then, who knows why, perhaps I wasn't depressed enough, I wondered if I have extra hairy nostrils ( is this personal enough yet? TMI? Well, there you go, don't say you weren't warned) I do have sort of hairy nostrils but the hair is well enough contained and I have a bit of a cold so there is no way I am plucking nostril hair.....but hang on....WHAT?? What in the world? I have the most enormous fleshy sort of swelling up my left nostril. I promise you I wan't being completely revolting and trying to see if I have brains up my nose or anything, just a flash of light up there to see if I have a forest of ugly black hair that I should do something about, this swelling is HUGE..and really fleshy and tumoury looking.
There, I said it. Tumour.
I don't think I am a hypochonriac as a rule, unless googling Lupus and knowing I have it, when all I have is a massive case of in the headitis.
So, you know I googled ' nasal cancer' and tumours up nostril, pictures. Hmmm, no picture but SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS! Blocked nose I HAVE THAT! OH NO CAN'T BREATH OUT OF MY LEFT NOSTRIL! May have watering eyes YES! YES that one time when I fell asleep on the sofa, when I woke up my eyes were REALLY watering!
I must say, here and now that laughing at my predicament is not kind.
I am on the threshold of exciting things, LONDON with my H and NO KIDS!
NEW YORK with girls and no kids OR husbands and much laughing and ......can I still travel if I have to have half my head taken off to rid myself of the tumour? I wonder if I might get a nicer nose if they have to remove this fat old thing I've had so long.
Then I sit and tell myself how stupid all this is and STOP! know, this is what happens, people just tell their doctor they have this little thing and WHAM!
Have you got swellings up your nose? When you get a cold does your nasal passage get all red and fleshy looking? Have ANY of you ever shone a bright light up your nose and seen a huge fleshy lumpy thing that look SO wrong?
Until I saw that lump it didn't hurt ( but now? OUCH, is so sore and I can feel it and it maybe growing as I type!) My nose is running yet blocked ( but have a cold, with sneezing and more sneezing)
I am going to have to stop googling health things, stick with 'Where to stay in New York!' and 'Where to eat in New York' and 'vacation rentals in NEW YORK!' actually, while I'm here, my tracker tells me that quite a few people read from the New York area, when you've finished shining flashlights up your nostrils, would you mind telling my friends and I if you know a great place to stay, there will be quite a few of us, could be 7, maybe 12...could be even more. We need somewhere we can afford, where we can all stay and mingle, meet up and laugh, easy access to all places fun. Any tips would be wonderful, it looks like the trip is going to at the end of June rather than July.
The trip has had a marvellous effect on me, in that I have managed to stop eating junk, I would love to lose a chin and some flabby belly before I fly to the big apple so I am trying to eat some small ones, in place of CAKE and BREAD and FAT! It feels pretty good but to may shame I am always so horrified by how often I catch myself going to snack and graze, stuff and munch.
I also get cross with myself when I realise just how much I adore good food, for lunch I had the juiciest tuna steak, heavenly.....why do I not do this always? Tsk Tsk.
This is the time, everyone in bed, peace and quiet, good telly, this is when I do my worst eating ( the very worst time to do it!) crisps, cereal, toast, cookies, whatever I can get my pudgy hands on, I'll eat it.
Tonight I had oatmeal with my medicine, not a bit hungry, I'm told it takes 3 weeks to get into a good habit, that seems a long time doesn't it? At least with the 2 trips looming I have something to aim for.
The boys are back at school tomorrow, it has been a very long weekend, so cold that none of us could bear to go out for any length of time but they have been so cooped up and although we had many crafty things to do, they got bored with them and had to do the jumping and shouting and fighting.....this afternoon we did have a blissful moment or 3 where they had piles of books and actually read them with great joy and shared stories ( or facts because we read encyclopedias in this house of Aspergers and fact finders!)


( phew, much ado was made about how Mels baby is like that 30 weeker....yet no mention was made of how it got in there, maybe he already read up on it!



They aren't bad little gits really but they are very loud. They are also horribly messy, they shed muck, where Eli is, there mess is also. Where Seth is there will be stink. They're cute though, aren't they?
Hey, just had a thought, wonder if that encyclopedia has anything on tumours up the nose?

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

WEll, who DOES bring the Easter goodies?

So, the boys woke up to their easter baskets, SUCH excitement, rifling though Isaac held up a little toy and said "25p??? Look! 25p, somebody bought this didn't they? Didn't they? I think the Easter bunny did NOT bring us this stuff, somebody BOUGHT it didn't they? Yes, somebody bought it, I think, probably, it was God." Said Isaac.

I like Easter, I love what it means, what it's reason for being is, the hopefullness of it all, the new beginnings. I just like Easter.
H and I did the baskets last night, he started the tradition, before H it was all just chocolate, he began the baskets when the boys were very little and naturally, my interfering and controlling nature wanted in on and it and the need to tell/ show him how I would do it became all too much for me, I had to be in on it and so now, I do the girls ( Sophie, Mel and Leah)


and he does the boys.


Then we have a whole day of complete madness as chocolate and sugar overtakes all things sensible. Eating as much as at Christmas and bedtime is always so welcome.
It was an alright kind of day......Thankyou God. For everything, not just the baskets.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Random gloriousness.

Because these things make my heart sing...

I miss these tiny little people....they grew up too quickly.

The oldest one, with the youngest one.

Just the way these big kids love the little ones is wonderful to me.

Elijah, minutes old

Needs no description! Just joy.

More joy!

Being catalogue posers....


Yes, well...they had fun at least!


Thankyou, makers of Gas drops, I love you.

Jordan's and Elijah's shoes.

You can't beat a good book when you're away on holiday.


And one with me in, blimey!


My dad's hand and my hand.....I miss my dad.

This could go on for a long time.....maybe I will continue another day!


Friday, March 21, 2008

So, I have decided.

Many things, as my head clears and the fog lifts, as I begin to remember what living means, rather than getting up, breathing and going back to bed.
I am beginning to think that I have choices, I can't choose whether I am depressed or not, that is beyond me and as old as I am I see that when it slams, it slams. What I do have control of is what I do with all the time when I am not in the very depths but am ticking along. I am afraid, of so many things, most things, ridiculous things. For the past 5 years I have allowed that fear to suffocate me. When I lived in America, I was afraid most of the time, in a constant state of worry but I did things, I carried on, I worked through it, I managed. When I came home, now I look back it was like walking back into your house after the worst day at school. When the bullies had had a day filled with making your life sheer hell and then it's 4 o'clock and you walk in the door, throw down your back pack ( or briefcase in my siatuation, being at grammar school and all) and your insides thump in relief that you did it, got through another day, all is well.
Coming back to England was like that, thankyou Lord for getting me home. Thump.
Then 5 months waiting for H to get his immigration passed OK and there he was, here he is. Thump.
Now I am here, in this house that wraps itself around me, even with it's grey trim ( who paints their trim grey? WHO?) and it's hokey old lady carpets that always look pretty good and I ( because I am splendid and quite prone to uneccessary cleaning, ha ha!) decide that I will vacuum anyway because that is a good home makery thing to do. One of these days, if I can work out how to do it, I will tape the noise when I vacuum, even though it doesn't need it.
It is fantastic, all that gravelly crunchy sound, all the cracks and crackles as the unseen on this carpet crap gets sucked up. With 3 little boys, these ugly carpets are the absolute genius of home and garden ( that is one and the same, inside because little boys never take off their shoes, let's just walk it right on in people!)
In this home that is always warm and welcoming to me, I had a marvellous, but frightening slump, a period of almost comatose sleeping, that actually still could be possible I think. I still go to bed very late but when I do go to bed, I am totally unaware of anything, all night. I woke up today at 9.30, yeehaw.
Now I am beginning to wake up, I have decided that while this great period lasts I am going to push myself to the limits. Whether I am afraid or not, I am going to do things.
My dad was afriad of so many things, he missed so many great chances because of those 'what if's' and 'yeah well's. I am 45, I can't waste anymore life hiding from everything that worries me.
Because I do not do things by half, I am going to New York.
Yes. New York, New York, so good they named it twice.
I am going to fly to New York and spend a few days with some women I have never met in person. I know them well and we all have many things in common and when I have battled the crippling fear of flying, when I am there, we will have such fun that I will remember it in my dotage, every detail. I know I will stand and look up at all those big buildings and then point at the yellow cabs! LOOK YELLOW CABS, I've seen those on telly!
I asked Seth if New York has a basketball team ( Nicks, *sigh* of course, he did stop himself adding 'idiot' or 'duh' but I heard it in his mind, I think he wonders on a daily basis how I made it this far with such limited knowledge on such important matters.) he would like a Nicks kit, Isaac just wants stuff and Elijah, sparkles and pretty things. Of course.
16 weeks today until I go, long enough to save and prepare. I want to lose weight and I think that will happen anyway. I have noticed through the years that when I am very low, my body siezes up, every thing comes to a grinding halt. I get fatter, faster. When I come out of it, the added weight comes off, because I don't need to graze all day, I don't want to eat until I feel sick, I eat breakfast and about 2pm will realise I haven't eaten since. I can feel everything inside me waking up, I think my metabolism hibernates in winter, like a bear I force myself to eat and eat and build reserves...then along comes spring and off we go, happy time again!
I have discovered ( not by accident I have been experimenting) that white bread makes my skin welt up and itch with a fierceness that scares me, even one slice will make me develop weals and bumps, that really helps, I cannot eat white bread anymore, I love wholemeal but it doesn't at all have the ability to call my name, I can eat 2 slices of a great granary loaf and am done, finished, white bread screams at me to KEEP EATING and MORE !
I think I am going to try cutting out white rice ( easy peasy, that stuff is just blah to me) and pasta ( not so easy, I love that stuff) I bought some vitamins that are specifically for the immune system, I am going to try everything to get my poor body feeling better and working better.
Wish me luck, the older I get the harder it all is.
I shall be helped in my quest by the thought that in July, in New York ( did I mention that I am going to NEW YORK?!?) there will be many cameras and many pictures will be taken and it is bad enough that I just cannot smile or look natural, without looking tripply chinned and idiotic, be gone you jowelly, chinny, fat face. 16 weeks, that should be long enough to lose that fat bit under my chin, trouble is I am pretty sure that the fat is stopping the wrinkles, cakes are very helpful in the battle against wrinkles, see a wrinkle, eat a few cakes... GONE!
I am a little afraid of what might happen if I lose weight, could it be that by July, I have lost weight but will need to buy sunbstantial under garments of the very tight and restrictive kind, shall I have to pour my wobbly excess skin into knickers that start at my ankles and end under my eyebrows? That could be hot in the summer time NY style. Perhaps I shall be able to wear nice cotton trousers and just tuck the loose skin into a pair of socks. All these possibilites.
These are all marvellous things to be thinking of, so much nicer than the stuff that has been gnawing away at my brain for the past several months.
I am not desperate to lose weight because I think anyone coming to the meet up will think badly of me for being fat, that shows how confidant I am that these women are real friends, I know that I won't notice how anyone looks, apart from whether they look happy or not. I don't care who is thin, fat, well dressed, wearing sweats. I know they don't give it a thought either. I want to lose wieght because I want to get every single joyous moment out of the trip and if I am fat and hot and uncomfortable, I will be cross with myself for not doing everything I can to make the most of this opportunity.
I think time will fly, in the next few weeks we have our London trip and then the long awaited for, might be called Joshua grandbaby will much to look forward to right now. Life is very good and the best thing is that I can SEE it is good.
I can see H again. For all this long time I have been so shut inside my own miserable self that H has been unseen really, just here, being H and being taken for granted ( and enjoying every moment of being left alone and not spoken to much!) I can see him again and he just is glorious. He was so sent to me, I would never have looked at him or thought of him on my own.....he is nothing at all like anyone I have ever been out with or loved before.
He has the quietest most delicious sense of humour, he is one of those people who sit and let the world happen, he takes it all in and remembers it all, when you least expect it, he will say something, in his quiet, undemanding voice and a few seconds later, it will sink in what he said and it never fails to make me just choke with laughter.
He is painfully shy and just lately I catch him, though can't let him know....being just so wonderful with the boys, I have seen him dance and heard him sing ( although he really can't sing at all well!) If he knew, for second that I was witness to these moments of sheer bliss, he would stop doing it.
Isaac, my music loving boy, has leapt another hurdle.
I have never, properly, heard him sing. He loves listening to music, he moves with music, he mimes to music and apart from one time when I heard him whispering some songs for a school assembly, while he lay in bed, I haven't heard him ever sing. Yesterday he was singing...really singing, Cotton Eyed Joe of all things, using H's iPod he was watching it over and over again on You Tube......I asked him to sing it to me and he did....looked right at me and sang it, so sweetly. Pushing my luck, I asked if I could video him singing, he said YES! Right away I filmed him and to my dismay I saw that I had held the camera sideways! You just know that he refused a second try. I have him 'singing', on tape. He even looks at me while he is singing, the taped version is nowhere near as confident as the time he sang for me without the camera but it is so sweet and priceless to me.

It's almost impossible to believe that he couldn't speak just 2 years ago, then he would/could only speak to us, now he can talk pretty much at school, he still has trouble talking outside if anyone not in the immediate family is present.
He is beginning to be more able to enjoy things more, he joins in a little more at school but is still obviously happier in solitary pursuits.
Beautiful boy.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


How do people manage without friends I wonder? H doesn't really have friends, well he actually doesn't have friends. He did have great friends as he grew up, he still is fond of those people he just doesn't need to have friends the way I do.
I am a loyal and unfickle person. When I like you, I like you. It might take a while for me to like you but once I do, it's almost impossible to stop me liking you.
I even have fond feelings for the first one. I loved him, it went terribly wrong and he has proven to be a huge disappointment to me and my children, but still, there's a little bit of me that finds him endearing, enough that my littlest finger nail could be painted with it but not much more.
I remember my very first friend in my world, Judith F. We loved each other when we were 7, we lived a few doors away from each other and had to spend every waking moment together and at weekends we stayed at each others' homes. I felt a bit posh when I stayed at her house because at her house, her mum made us breakfast and we just sat there and ate buttered toast, by the fire. In our house you got your own breakfast for heavens sake.....Judith F had bright red hot pants with a butterfly on one leg and her mum bought all her shoes from the Co-op because you got green shield stamps. Judith was the only girl with 2 brothers who were SO OLD and one was in the merchant navy and the other was in the army, the brother in the army was killed by the I.R.A.
Judith's mum never got over that, well you wouldn't would you.
I am like Judith's mum because I would look at her and think that she was more like a Nana than a mum because she had these grown up, hugely tall men kids that would laugh at her if she scolded them. I wonder if my little boys friends look at us the way I looked at Judith's mum.
When I was 10 we moved away and I never saw Judith again but if I saw her now I would still love her and ask how her how she managed without me, I didn't manage without Judith very well for quite a long time.
After Judith, when we moved, Teresa was my friend and her mum used to work full time and had a boyfriend called Norman, I couldn't imagine that, a mum with a boyfriend for heavens sake, that's why, when the first one left me I didn't date or see anyone or even look up if a man was within 30 ft of me because I hated the thought of my kids having a mum with a boyfriend, it just isn't on is it? I met H online and then married him. Very good, avoided the whole 'my mum's got a boyfriend' thing.
Norman tried to teach Theresa and I how to french kiss when we were 10.
OH MY GOOD GRIEF! I ran away and always asked if Norman was in before I would go into her house after that. They moved away and I never knew where they went.
I wonder if Norman taught Theresa anything else, now I am grown up and know about creeps like that I should rather like to meet up with Norman and teach him a thing or two, with a mallet and some rusty nails.
Janet H was my really very best friend when I went to grammar school, her whole bedroom ( that she had all to herself!!) was bright orange. Almost fluorescent orange, with nylon sheets and bedspread and if you sat on Janet 's bed, you slid off, quite quickly.
When I was nursing, Mandy and Julia were my friends. Mandy was a bit wicked and terribly worldly wise ( such a tart Mandy!) Julia was so painfully sensible she made me brain ache. She saved and studied and planned and she so stuck to her plans. We shared a flat, Julia, Mandy and I.
We lived above a spinster whose name began with M, why can't I remember her name? Mildred,
Muriel, Mavis, Mathilda, none of those but it began with M and she lived with her spaniel and memories of days that went before. We pitied Miss M, wondering how she could bear such a lonely existence but now I look back and think she may have been quite happy.
I am still friends with Mandy, who is still friends with Julia. I have always been friends with Mandy and never lost touch, somehow I did lose touch with Julia who has MS and lives with great dignity and strength, so Mandy tells me. I wonder if Julia looks back to when she was fit and well and wishes she hadn't planned and saved and been so sensible back in the day.
There have been many other friends along the way , you'd all die of boredom if I listed every one, but there have been so many people who mattered, who made their mark and who, even with my fluffy brain, I remember.
When I married the first one and we lived the army life, I made a friend that in a rare way for military life, is still my friend, I lost touch with her for too many years and no matter what I tried I couldn't find her. Until this week, thankyou Facebook. I searched for Julie's daughter, having not seen her since she was 2 years old, now 22...there she was, with that same face I adored when it was like a tiny pixie face, with an upturned nose and her bright eyes, dark shiny hair. I sent a message and I got one back saying that she was indeed THE Alex, she gave me her mum's phone numbers and her email address, I couldn't get the email addie to work so, braver than brave ( could she hear how fat I am now?) I called her, after so many many years, as soon as I said "Hello, is that Julie? " and she said " Oh my........" It was as though we had been living next door forever. Some people just do that to you don't they? We did the whistley laugh thing as we remembered times past, she hasn't changed and I saw that I am still me too, no matter what has passed in all those years, I am still me.
Marilyn was a life saver when I lived at grandpa's house, she moved in next door right before I moved away but even in that short time, we knew we were friends and I know I will always be friends with her, the older you get, the more precious your friends are and you don't let them go. Not if you are wise.
In more recent years a new trend has begun, people are making friends without ever meeting. Imagine that. People are meeting through their computers and somehow, in the most extraordinary way, forget that they haven't met and just throw themselves whole heartedly into the most rewarding and lifelong friendships.
I have done that. Through this blog and a website called Babyzone, I have made the most incredible friends, I forget that I haven't met them and when I remember it couldn't matter less.
You have to be careful online because there are some truly weird people out there. Bad people and mad people.
A while ago I was almost taken in, I gave out more information that was wise and ignoring that little voice that kept telling me to hold back, to not believe this time, I got careless. Eventually the little voice won and I spoke my mind, let the doubts free and hell's fury was unleashed for a while. I learned my lesson and won't be ignoring instincts again in a hurry.
I have some real life friends right here where I live, I'm not going to name them because they know who they are and they know I love them. They take me as I am, happy, sad, forgetful, excited, no matter, they are my real friends.
I have some truly wonderful friends online too, so many but a few are particularly special, it is looking as though, at last, we can meet up in the summer. For real. I am almost giddy with the idea. We laugh so much online, we email and send messages and we go to BZ way too often, we know more about each other and our lives, we have spoken on the phone and I am completely sure that when we meet ( In New York of all places!) it will be as though we have known each other forever and there will be such laughter and tears that we will remember it forever.
I'm not always convinced that progress is always a good thing, technology has spoiled so many things, taken away many freedoms from us and our children ( darn play stations and Cell phones, where are all the kids playing hopscotch and building dens?) but the computer? I really believe it has given many people lives beyond their own front doors.
So many people who in real life are shy, or afraid can go anywhere in the world and meet people.
They say money makes the world go 'round, well I'm sure that it helps, we would be stuck without it and I am always miserable when I am lacking it, but it's love ( here we go, cheese alert!) that makes the world go 'round and friendship, to me is what makes my life worth living.
I truly believe that I am blessed with the friends that I have had, the ones I still have and even the ones I will have. Thankyou.

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Reasons to be cheerful, part 1.

Today, I woke up and didn't mind. What an enormous leap into the real world of living again.
I am astounded that this whole while, living in such a deep and overwhelming sadness, I had no idea. I suppose it goes to show that I don't know everything, which is bizarre because, well.....I was so sure I did know everything, the least you could expect me to know is how I am feeling. Not so. I have been aware that I was unhappy, damn this and bloody that and for heavens sake stupid houses and smells and landlady and cars and everything. I had no idea that I have been as depressed as all that.
I am incredibly judgemental of depressed people, am one to think ( though never say outloud)
" pull yourself together!" I don't mean that in a way that implies depressed people should just cheer up because that isn't possible, if you're sad, you're sad, a chemical imbalance will throw the whole world out of sinc and you have to get help to get well. What I mean is, that because in all my years of depression and as much as I hate to admit it, I am chronically depressed, in the years and years of being swallowed whole by that blanket of hopelessness, I have never succumbed to the sit and stare deal, no sitting in a corner with greasy hair and blank expressions for me, oh no....we must appear to be normal and coping. People must be fed and houses must be cleaned, we must be dressed and washed, ironed and perfectly turned out ( will I ever get over that Dr calling me 'unkempt? No, I think not)
We must keep going and get on, stiff upper lip and all that is great and British.
Until this time.
This time I couldn't even tell myself to pull it together. I couldn't see what was happening, I saw the physical ailments and clung to them, knew that this is it...a REAL illness, look at poor me, you can SEE I am sick and ill and that illness made me so tired, so tired.
Cook? Nope, not for months. Frozen everything, let me open a packet and throw it in and put it on plates and pretend.
Clean? Ack, pick that up and put it back down there, hmmmm, what should I do with that mess? Walk away from it. Leave it for later, tomorrow, next week, someone else, never.
Shop? Well yes because it has to be done but walking up and down aisles and seeing what we need but, oh ...I can't pick it up, or carry it or buy it because then I will have to put it away and cook it and oh! look! PIZZA in a BOX....frozen vegetables, ready made mashed potatoes, tinned soup, get it.
Sleep? Oh yes. In the day better than at night. Then I would wake up and a half a day has gone, which would make me cry because this is my life and where is it going ?
My little boys? I adore them and at times I have glimpsed through the fog the joy that they bring, mostly though the noise, every noise has been so jarring, so painful and insulting, I longed to escape the noise and the mess that just keeps coming with these boys.

Today I woke up and ...... I didn't mind and the noise didn't hurt, I didn't have to talk myself down the stairs and reassure myself that in just one hour the boys would be in school and then I could sleep again and turn off again.
I spoke to the boys without thinking about it, without being so careful to say the right things, without having to shut my stupid mouth because the wrong things were coming out and the misery was showing.
I didn't feel anger, at all, not once.
I saw H take Seth and Isaac to school and Eli and I went to the doctors, he had an ear ache and needed to get that checked, we went and bought a magazine and a comic and we chatted. I enjoyed being with him, for real, not pretend.
When he went to school I went shopping and I bought real food, aubergines, onions, minced beef, red peppers.
I came home and went to the kitchen, I turned on some great music ( Bread ) and as I cooked I sang along.
While I sang and cooked, H came out and said
" Hey, who's that out here singing? Is that you? You didn't go and get all cheerful on me now did ya?"
Nearly a year this man has lived with me as an unrecognisable fruit loop, without the fruit and not much of a loop. Just a grey blob. Not a word, not once has he said a thing out of line, never tutted or sighed, I think if I try hard I can remember once when he said "NO" a bit sharply when I suggested Pizza for dinner ( again) so he got whatever he did want because sod you then......get it yourself.
He has quietly just done what I didn't. He has filled the gaps with the boys, he has turned back the covers on the bed so that I know that getting back in is OK.
He has crossed the t's and dotted the i's. He has shopped, cleaned, cleared, fetched and carried and the only reward he looks for is that I get better. I saw this man's face change when he saw me cooking and heard me singing.
He is everything I would never dreamed of looking for.
I went out with my sister today, for lunch. We drove out to the moors and ate in a beautiful country pub, olde worlde with its roaring fires and beamed ceilings, old uneven walls and shiny. polished old tables.
It had writing on the walls
" In this spot in 1777, absolutely nothing happened."
It's the small things that amuse me so.
I actually saw the beauty of where we went instead of having to concentrate on not crying, or keeping breathing. Most people hyperventilate when they panic. I stop breathing, even when I don't feel like I am panicking. I hold my breath and have to actually tell myself to breathe, it won't hurt, must breathe and keep breathing and walk and remember which way so I can get back again.
Being depressed is such hard work, when you see a depressed person, really depressed, and you see that absolute stillness, it's a like deep water, still on the outside and underneath, you've got a raging whirlpool. The brain of a person locked in that level of misery and fear is never still, everything is so minutely thought about and rethought about and worried about, the what if's to life are exhausting.
I have no idea what has triggered the end of this bout of extreme depression, except the tribunal, I think moving into this house allowed me to sleep and begin to heal, being told that it is acceptable to feel the way I feel, that being me is alright and I am not an inconvenience to society or the world, or my family. That was a good thing for my fuzzled head to know and understand.
Those little things, like Elijah, who came out to me while I was preparing a salad ( to go with the mousaka, that I MADE, from scratch, this morning, so was all ready when dinner time came around) Eli was crying " Betoz no-body don't want to be my bess friend and no-body don't want to let me do suffin and now I don't have anyfinn to do, wiv no-body. At all. Anywhere."
Instead of telling him to go and whine somewhere else because I am doing dinner and please don't whine all the time, my ears are about to bleed where's daddy????
I told him that I would be his best friend and if he stood on that chair he could chop some cucumber because we love that and boys can be so helpful can't they? To see that little face turn from such dejected nobody loves me face to shiny eyed happy, that makes me feel heartbroken for all the chances I have missed in the last year, it also makes me incredibly joyful because I am not about to miss any more.
So many things to pray for, sometimes I forget to pray because, well where to start?
I think all I need pray for, after the many thanks have been given, is just that I can keep feeling alive again. That I can recognise the signs if I ever begin to slide back down again, I don't ever want to feel that way, ever.
There have been times when I wished that I was in a 'normal' marriage, me here and H there, bringing in the bacon, more and more I can see that we need what we have. I can't imagine how life would be without H here for me, and me here for him.
Let the world be whatever it may be, our world though, seems pretty alright as it is. Thankyouverymuch.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I say!

I actually, out loud, in public, said that today, I said " I say, well done!" Which is quaint in a black and white movie, a bit stupid in the middle of Asda.
I went to hand in a prescription, it was nearly 7pm and I felt that they were about to close, so when I asked what time they shut and the pharmacist said "midnight tonight" I was so excited and impressed I said that, quite loudly.
I think I think about this blog too much, I try and write in as English and correct manner and so at times I probably sound a bit posher than I do in real life ( although I must say my mum always insisted we speak nicely and one employer I had said very often that I would be at home in any circumstance and wouldn't shame myself in front of the queen, so there)
I find I have been particularly grumpy about my skin this week, when the doctor told me that it was all in my head, that I have become so good at ignoring any sad feelings and pushing away any worries that the stress and anxiety have just pushed their way through my skin as if to say " LOOK! All is NOT well, she won't twitch and tear her hair out or run naked through the outdoor market on a wednesday, so we will make sure the world knows she is actually quite mad and STRIPE!" Well when she said that, I felt so sure that I would be able to say " be gone" and it would...and I did and it hasn't.
I feel better though, that's a good thing. I am laughing more, very good thing, want to get out and do more, marvellous thing, was sunny today, glorious thing.
I became a car body work mending person today. Lovely freecycle car that costs threepence ha'penny to run, all black and shiny mysteriously developed scratchy type stripes down it's side, imagine that! In sympathy for me perhaps, to make me feel less self conscious? Or, could be where it took me a while to learn the width of the car vs the width of tiny parking space outside new house? Ouch.
Well, on monday ( which was yesterday but seems so long ago already) I bought some nifty yet inexpensive car seat covers to cover the very ugly, worn and stained ( not by me or mine) seats that make me cringe, oh how splendid shiny car looks, shame about stripy scratches, what to do. Well I want to Halfords and bought a little sanding block and some shiny gloss black spray paint and VOILA, lovely unstriped car, looks all new and loved again. Also bought a cup holder. I think I shall not call the queen my cousin because, car is a bit unembarrassing ( apart from the one bit of dash board that was unstuck and curly, so H screwed bloody great screws in it to keep it down, am so common and lower class ) I almost don't mind getting in it now. It smells of vanilla and shiny now, instead of old people and dust. I love having a radio, find myself enjoying the chat rather than the music which reminds me of my age and impending grandmotherhood, if there is an unusual rattle or grinding noise, I simply turn up the radio, problem solved, I knew I should have bought a radio for the crapheap Previa, would have saved a fortune in repairs, I heard every sound in that old jalloppy and would insist in getting it mended. How foolish I was back in the day.
I am liking Facebook more and more, H was feverishly working on something last night, leaned over his laptop and brow furrowed in concentration
"What you doing over there? " I asked
" Hmmmmm, I just know Alma the younger had a brother, I'm trying to locate him"
"FACEBOOK!" I told him " you can find any bugger on that thing, it's fabulous!"
That got a grin, even from H, he muttered something about what would happen to the universe should he ever stoop to setting up such a thing, I replied that I certainly wouldn't want to be around in the event because really, H and Facebook?
However, facebook has found me a very best friend from years and years ago, really, I was young and thought I was fat then, positively anorexic in comparison to the size of me now, oh to have that body back!
I have moved so often that we just lost touch, she and I were such friends and when the first one left she was one of the first people I called. She used to make me laugh when others would fail, anyway, last night I searched for her daughter ( after trying to find her unsuccessfully) and found a beautiful girl, right name and although she is ( of course) 19 years older, she looked so familiar, so I sent a message and glory be, it's her. I have a phone number and will call tomorrow ( I tried to email but it just kept coming back, don't you hate that? Now I will have to call a hope she can't hear how fat and old I am!) So facebook and I are friends for life. I still don't really understand it and before I worked out how to stop the plethora of emails telling me I had another post on my wall, I thought it would drive me round the bend and back. How many times can you get the same video clip, the same not very funny joke that you must pass on or accept dire consequences, before you start tearing your hair out and longing for the days of writing a letter and having to wait 2 weeks before you got a reply?
Seth has chosen his career, he says he is going to be a P.E teacher, which I can really quite imagine, we were talking and I told him some of the things he will need to know to teach sports etc, I am going to sit and watch to see is he starts looking up anatomy and nutrition etc. I can just picture him starting college having already memorised everything he needs to know!
We were in the car talking about this new ambition and Eli piped up
"Yeth! And when I drow up I will be a dirl, and wear a stirt and be called Gabriella!"
Seth told him that he was a boy, that's that, he will be a boy now and when he grows up he can't be a girl because he is a boy. A boy.
"Well, I will duss change my mind. Nat's O-tay, I am a boy now and when I drow up I will change my mind and be a dirl. Shut up Seff."
Oh dear.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Come out,come out, wherever you are!

I have gone completely blank. I hit 'new post' with such enthusiasm because YEAY that's a good post, let's get that one out.....gone, forgot in the 2,9 seconds it took to show me the lovely blank square that was to be filled with such interesting and exciting things from my head.
I do want to remind people that this is my blog, my head, my thoughts, my feelings and there is a good chance that at some stage you may read something you don't like. I might say something that you disagree with, even hurts your feelings, I'm sorry if I ever do that, the thing is that the blog is my therapy, my counselling, my place. Whether my thoughts are correct or not is of no matter to me, at the time. It's what's on my mind, so it's right.
I wrote what I feel and sometimes that is controversial and contrary.
I say again that should you read my blog and find something that offends you, you can just not read it. Forget you ever read it, delete the link. Just as I don't expect anyone that reads this to fix me, help me, save me, I don't expect anyone to ask me to change my thoughts or my memories.
I say this just because of google tracker really.
I say that only because in checking my google tracker, I see that many more people in the UK are reading my blog, which is marvellous, I have no idea who they are, though I do know where they are and a lot of people live close to you know me?
That freaks me out a little bit but not enough to stop writing. I haven't ( yet) changed how I write or what I write because I might walk into town and people who know my every thought can see me ( argh, actually that IS a freaky thought, wish I hadn't thought it!) The day I have to stop myself writing what I think, is the day I just stop writing, it would be a waste of time and far too miserable to censor myself.
I saw yesterday that 1547 people had read my blog in 10 days, wow that's a huge lot...maybe I should do the ad thing and get rich and buy a house and go to blogher and stuff ( no, lets not go to blogher and have to talk to people and fly on planes, let's not do that.)
The U.S.A still has the biggest audience ( is that correct or should it be I have the biggest audience in the U.S.A?) Canada second but the UK is fast catching up, exciting...I used to feel sort of lonely over here and now look, the locals are catching up. Hoorah, good old England.
I thought I knew who read my blog over here but that was in the days when google would say 3 people in the UK
Now look
PPPPTTTTTTHHHHH had to delete that section as it took you to my google page which told you where I am and all my darkest secrets....oh dear!

Itdid show 45 visits from my home town....FORTY FIVE! Is that one person who likes me a lot or a whole bunch of different people? Could be 4.5 people a day. Could be 1 person trying to see if I am in and online writing drivel , who could tell me of course, hit that comment button and say " It's me! Lets do lunch!"
I'd kind of like to know who is in Wheathampstead, my uncle lives there but I can't imagine he reads this blog, or where he would have got the link from. I feel iffy about family reading this at all. I like family to know what I tell them.....Leah reads and sometimes 2 of my other sisters if I make them, by sending the link because I want them to see a particular post but they don't read regularly as far as I know.
My niece Gemma used to read it but that's it as far as I know. Intriguing.
Key words used to google that have people sent here....
Pooh and wee. Charming, I am sure I have written about pooh and wee, how sad that someone is out there looking up pooh and wee!
Bulky womb. Well, I probably do since you ask, can't remember writing about it but there you go!
How do you get impetigo? Did I even know how to spell that? When did I write about it? Beats me. Don't pick it though, even I know not to pick impetigo, that stuff spreads like wildfire and is very ugly. I can do without some of that thanks anyway.
Definition of bliss, how marvellous is that, someone wanted to know the definition of bliss an dthey got sent HERE, how disappointed they must have been!
A tale of two titties. I say no more.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

And no, I did not take pictures.

It has been a long weekend. A very, very long weekend, filled with rain and little boys who say things like " but I really need to JUMP. Can I please jump, high as I can? "
We have abandoned the rules about time on the laptop, we have allowed games and endless TV, anything just ANYTHING to keep them amused because the rain...oh the rain, the wind and more rain.
Sidenote...the wind, has not only been the weather type wind, these boys, dear heaven...must be the limitless snacks because how can such small people smell so horribly, horribly bad?
Anyway, at last, dinner time.....they chose Simpsons pasta shapes, fun, that'll keep them happy for at least 12 minutes and then it'll be only 3 hours until bedtime, this is GREAT!
Cooked and served, on the table with the jar of parmesan cheese, because pasta and grandpa cheese ( so called because grandpa sends it, it comes on a plane and is unavailable here) well food for the gods.
Ahhh, peace, 2 adults in the quiet front room with 3 little boys eating their favourite food.
"Mum! Eli is playing with the grandpa cheese"
( oh for pete's sake leave me alone for 3 minutes, shall ignore tattle tales and enjoy peace)
"MUM! You should SEE IT!"
Huff. Hrumph. mutter.
There was not a surface uncovered by parmesan cheese. every picture, shelf, book, window sill, every chair, ornament covered, he must have filled his sweaty little fists with handfuls of it and FLUNG it asunder.
I picked up pictures, cleaned them, wiped the shelf, put back the picture and MORE CHEESE it was inside the picture frames.
I sent them up to their rooms because, well I was more than cross, so cross I couldn't even lose my temper and that's when I know I have to be careful.
I told them that when they were undressed, sitting in their beds I would listen to who did what. I knew that someone had warned us what the gitlet was doing and I knew I had to be fair but right then I really just wanted to throw their cheese covered bodies out of the window ( which is ground level and leads to the basketball hoop, so sending them to bed hurt much more as it happens.
I cleaned as well as I could but suspect we will be finding parmesan cheese in cervices for many a long day.
I made Seth vacuum and he did a remarkably good job, me thinks that can be his job for a while.
I spoke to Isaac and it was him that warned us of the wrong doings of his youngest brother. I spoke to the sinner himself and he said that there was just too much grandpa cheese in his bowl and he had to 'frow it out a bit' he was very unhappy upstairs on his own for a while, not sure that he is terribly sorry though.
" Elijah, why did you do that with the grandpa cheese?"
" Um, toz there was duss too much in my bowl"
"but why did you throw it all over the room like that...all over the room, everywhere?"
"Um, duss toz I had to det it out of my bowl, duss way too much in there"
They are in bed, I am rejoicing and waching a lovely film on TV about Jesus. I think that almost makes up for being trapped inside for 48 hours with these grotballs.

Oh, I had a lovely moment of seeing that H is, after all human. This is a great thing. Sometimes it is so hard to live with someone who appears to have it all so under control.
We have been squirreling away some easter things, I do baskets for Sophie ( and this year, Mel) H does the boys. I bought some boxes of Celebrations, delicious. One for Soph, one for Mel. Yesterday I bought a few more little bits and when I went to put them with the rest of the chocolate *GASP* what in the world?? BOTH boxes open, one totally empty the other one half empty. Who could DO this? Not H, he hates damn chocolate, tis for weak people and of no nutritional value. Isaac and Eli wouldn't be able to reach, Seth maybe could but he would much rather have crisps or flapjacks ( ha! I wanted a flapjack yesterday and asked Seth to go and get me a cat flap! Am quite mad.) Must have been Sophie when she was here colouring her hair.....shall be a detective and trace the wrappers. Hmmm some in our bin, some in the bathroom, yes must be Sophie.
When H came home from town I said " H, I know this is a ridiculous question, am almost embarrassed to put it to you but you didn't eat any of those chocolates from on top of the wardrobe did you?"
"Hmmm, well you see, perhaps...errr, can you believe this weather?"
The boys were jubilant
"DAD! you ate the CHOCOLATE ..what chocolate, where is there chocolate? Can we have some chocolate?"
How splendid, he is human and likes damn chocolate and I like him, the world is a beautiful place, covered in parmesan cheese and no chocolate.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Do you gaze at your bald head?

This is my absolutely favourite song in the world. Isaac has it in the iPod and every day when I am in the kitchen and it plays, no matter what mood I am in, it cracks me up, we completely lose it.Every time.
I looked it up on You tube because I wanted it here, to share... and then I learned the full story.
I just love the laughing and assumed it was over that background singer who is warbling so beautifully. It turns out that she didn't help matters but initially he started to laugh when a man, in the front row, lost his wig/toupee...which is why he sang " do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair?" Then he just lost it. He had the most glorious and infectious laugh didn't he?
I am beginning to love Elvis as much as Isaac does.

Enjoy.....laughter is the best medicine isn't it?

Talking of laughter..this was our morning. This is the email I sent to the secretary at Isaac and Seth's school ( she is a friend so I won't appear totally insane, I kne she would love it!)

Dear Donna, this is just so that you people, safely tucked in the office at school, coming up with great ideas like non-uniform day and sports relief day and then doing them ON THE SAME DAY will have some idea what it can be like for some people, like me, with children like mine. 2 of them.

Today is non-uniform day at school. FUN! Or is it? What...not wear my uniform that is school wear, that I wear every day and feels safe and happy?? Truly? Oh..argh....OK then if it's what we must do but I must wear THESE clothes, only THESE clothes, these clothes are OK to wear to school ( do you really know for sure I don't wear my uniform, can I wear it anyway, who said it would be fun NOT to wear it.....argh OK but THESE clothes!)'s the kicker, it is Sports relief day too.
For sports relief we must bring clean clothes because when we run around the field to raise cash for ...for who? Who are we raising money for?
Who cares just get your darn clothes ready...we may get muddy so we need extra clothes for running in. ( and for heavens sake don't mention taking 2 spare carrier bags to put shoes and clothes in if they get muddy, 2 bags? Way too confusing)
Isaac is purple with the worry of it all, he has got changed so many times already.. NON uniform day THESE clothes, oh NO Sports relief THESE clothes...but it's non uniform day all day THESE clothes and then THESE clothes for the run....but if I wear THESE running clothes and then they get muddy I can just put THESE clothes on, .... but I need THESE clothes for assembly because assembly isn't anything to do with sports relief is it? What if I am wearing my sports relief clothes and we have assembly WHAT THEN?? THE SKY WILL FALL IN THAT'S WHAT!!! The earth will simply stop being.
I am gritting my teeth and saying stupid things like " It's all fine Isaac, you can CHOOSE what to wear but just do it already and enjoy it, it is FUN!!!"
Then we have Seth, Mr must have everything perfect.
" Is it Sports relief or non -uniform day? WHICH ???"
How can it be? They are 2 different things they need their own day, show me the letter, we had TWO letters, it can't be all on one day....what should I do? What should I do? I think you are wrong, I should wear my uniform and take running clothes because TWO DIFFERENT THINGS ON ONE DAY? I think it can't happen.. which is it? Which day is it?
I know, it's Mummy loves Elijah best day, Elijah who just got dressed and said " Cool, I luv neeze cloves, diss shirt looks like a dress, don't tuck it in. I want to wear a dress." Because he may be a flippin' great flossy but he is not autistic and it is FUN!
Love Helen who is going back to bed for a well deserved rest.

She replied to say she was showing the head master, actions must be taken to protect parents such as me!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Out of the fog.

Today I did 2 things that just last week were so beyond me you may as well have asked me to fly, without a plane or even wings.
I washed my kitchen floor, actually moving things and sweeping and spraying and mopping, even drying and looking in happy wonderment because CLEAN and smelling of cleanness. Even better I did not need to sleep for 3 hours afterwards because, well i just washed the bloody floor what's the big deal?
I have been so much more depressed than I ever imagined.
Also, get this. I made with THREE little boys, chocolate nests with shredded wheat and melted chocolate and smarties eggs. Not only did I do that but we all had FUN. I did not shout or feel that my brain was effervescent and hurting, I had no thoughts of opening a window and jumping out of it. I didn't care that shredded wheat was crumbled over the floor and table, chocolate can spread SO far when 3 little boys have a bowl each and a spoon each and fingers each....didn't mind at all ( did have to stop Isaac licking the eggs before he stuck them in the nests, these are for school tomorrow, 'tis the Easter fayre hoorah!)
Also ( another also, this is simply splendid is it not?) Mel is having a shower on saturday, her friends are throwing it, I won't be going because it is all teenage girls and noise and I am allergic to teenage girls and the noise they make and I want to hold onto the thought that Mel is one in a million and grown up for her age, if I have to sit in a room with many squeaky girls all saying HOW CUTE! and AWWWWW Bless every 3 seconds I might lose the will to live and I am doing so well this week. They really don't want me there either so we're all cool.
I am going to throw a family shower for her in a week or 3 and then I shall have all MY age people there and grandmas, we shall all eat a lot and say 'Awwww Bless' but in a marvellous way, not a teenage getting on my nerves way.
But, but, because he is my grandbaby and I want to be involved and in there etc. I made a diaper cake, we don't do those here, if we did, they would be a nappy cake I suppose but we don't do them here, until today, I wanted to see if I could and I did.
It was a fiddley old job though, blimey. I am pleased enough with it and Mel loves it, it was raining so hard that I hated to have to go out again, I wished I had had more 'bits' to put on it, a little teddy and some more dummies ( paci's) even some wipes maybe. Anyway here it is......I want to make more and think they will get better, it was fun!


( I redid it..added a few more bits, like it much more now!)


Three things in one day and not even a nap! Miraculous. I had no idea that the whole tribunal thing was weighing so heavily on my mind. I am so relieved that it is over. I still have the welts but I am ignoring them because stupid things, they are in my head, my head shall refuse to acknowledge them, they shall disappear without further ado, any day. My head is ignoring them but my scratching fingers are not, some things just have to be scratched and the scratching is painful in a good way, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I am watching a documentary on teenage mothers, while they give birth. It is meant to be hard hitting but it is actually very, very funny! Apart from the mothers who are watching their children give birth, the faces are saying it all. It is making me very happy that I am too old to have anymore babies, being a grandma is so much more refined. I very much enjoy making diaper cakes and dropping things off, with no heartburn or endless peeing.
Actually I am feeling sleepy and ready to curl up and get cosy on the sofa and watch these girls having babies and then sighing and feeling all smug because I am all done.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Take a bow internets.

Today was a good day. Whenever I get to write that I am both thrilled and sad, thrilled because hey a GOOD DAY! Who wouldn't be thrilled? Sad because....well it being a good day is rare enough that I make a big deal of it.
Today was a good one, it began with hearing Elijah shout into the kitchen " Be back in a minute Elvith!" Who wouldn't think that was a great way to start the day? He was singing, with the aid of a whisk and Elvis on the iPod, playing very loudly through the speakers, and he had to pee, not wanting Elvis to be offended or get bored and leave, he made sure to let him know that he would be right back. The fact that I get to hear these things every day is music enough to my ears.
Today was tribunal day. The day I thought I get to have my say, let the government know that despite the insignificant little man from way back in August saying that I was not depressed or anxious and that I was perfectly capable of holding down a full time job, I am in actual fact useless. What a bizarre experience. Who, in their right mind wants to prove to strangers that they are useless? I didn't want to do it, I would have given my right arm ( or at least H's right arm, I rather like mine) to have avoided today. I had to do it though, when your life is such that many choices are taken from you, when every day normal activities are a challenge, when joy and peace of mind are things that frighten you because you just don't know how to hold onto them, when memories just won't leave you alone, even when they are unwelcome and painful, well when this is your life, you can't allow people with no clue to poo poo it all and flick you away as though you are nothing more than flotsam.
I needed to have my say. I had to set the record straight even though I felt so tiny and so unimportant, so helpless and sure that against something so huge as the government, I stood very little chance. I had no choice but to clear state my case.
H said he was coming with me, so that I wasn't alone, he came with me because he knows that trying to find strange places makes me sick and panic. I was so pleased he was coming because that meant that (because the RAC route planner that I had checked 74 times told me my destination was 16.4 miles away) I would need to allow just an hour ( and 10 minutes because I told H my appointment was at 11, when it was 11.10 because an extra 10 minutes never hurts does it) to get lost, find myself and get there on time, if I had gone on my own I would have allowed 2 hours for that 16 miles trip.
We did get lost, which was in a painful way a good thing, Uh Oh....missed the turning ACK look am heading towards TAUNTON on the M5!! Wrong way Wrong way....what to do????? Itchy welts and more itchy welts and how splendid, look how terrible I look! Then HA! H is with me, is almost funny, can find my way back and get there and not be late but ouch itchy itchy.
We did get there and had 30 minutes to spare, I sat with H for a while and then he waited in the car and listened to his iPod, I never want him to come in with me, just to be nearby.
While I waited inside, the clerk explained to me that I would be seeing a lawyer and a doctor, completely independent of the benefits system, who would question me and allow me to do what I had come for and state my case. She said that they would listen to me, then they would make a decision straight away.
When it was my turn to go in I felt so much more ill than I had imagined I would, this suddenly mattered so much and after 6 months of this stretching on and on, of doctors appointments and letters, of form filling and phone calls, after all that time of being spoken to as though I am the lowest of the low, well I was overwhelmed by the fact that this was it, it was almost over.
I didn't have a plan, at all, I just wanted to explain what my life is like.
As soon as I sat behind that enormous and intimidating desk, opposite the handsome and distinguished looking lawyer and the female, efficient looking doctor I could feel that maybe I wasn't going to be as controlled and impressive as I had imagined.
They asked questions and I answered them, so far, so good. Then they began to ask probing questions, those ones that can't be answered with a yes or a no or a simple reply. They began to ask about how I feel, rather than what I am able to do. I tried so hard to answer and that blasted lump thing happened, when you open your mouth to say something and the lump sticks in your throat, the pain starts to squeeze and damn it if nothing but a squeak comes out, I did what I haven't done for a long time, since those painful days of therapy when I had to put my fingers onto my lips and squeeze, hard, to stop that pain getting out.
They let me get my act together and then they managed to guess what I couldn't say. The doctor asked me if speaking on the phone was hard for me, when I told her that it was if I knew the people, but strangers were OK, she nodded and the lawyer looked up and said " did I hear you say that speaking to people you know is MORE difficult? Why would that be?"
I explained that my every day is pretty much filled with making sure that no-one around me sees what they had just seen " I can't let my family or friends see that what you just saw, is how I feel inside, every day, all the time. If I let them see they feel that they have to help me, fix it, make it better and they can't, then they feel bad and I feel guilt on top of everything else. I have to act as though I am alright, they can see me lose my temper, they can watch me yell or do nothing but they can't see what you just saw, so I avoid talking to them, problem solved."
Now, this is where you all get to take a bow. They asked me why I don't sleep, what it was that keeps me awake until 3am and wakes me up at 6.30am. I explained that while everyone is awake, I am working at the keeping it together thing, I am holding it in, being what people need me to be ( although increasingly less effectively as time goes on) I said that I feel as though I am holding my breath until everyone goes to bed, if H stays up later than 10.30 I feel unreasonably angry because when everyone goes to bed, that's when I get to breathe.
I told them that what that other doctor wrote regarding the internet made me furious, he wrote 11 times " likes to surf the internet for 2 hours every evening" After I explained why I go on the internet he just wrote that.
"Do you like the internet?"
" I LOVE the internet"
"What do you do on the internet"
" I.WRITE.MY.BLOG" I actually said it like that, not yelling but I leaned forward and I looked them right in the face and I said it with such pride. The lawyer said "Ah!" as if he knew and the doctor said
"Does that help you?"
"It is absolutely the only thing that has saved my mind, it is the single thing that stops me giving in. It has saved my life"
"Hmmm, how so?"
"Well, I can be who I am , I can tell it like it is and people read it, they don't have to fix it or mend me, I don't feel I have dumped my pain on anyone that is going to be burdened by it. By being able to do that every evening I get the strength to get through the next day. "
"Is that a good time for you?"
"Is it your most favourite time?"
"Do you like being alone?"
"yes, I like my husband being nearby but I like it best when we don't talk, when nothing is expected of me."
They asked more questions and I cried some more, I stopped crying again and I answered everything honestly.
I was told to go outside and wait for a while and they would call me back in when they had made a decision. Which took 3 minutes, they looked at me and said
"Well, we have made a decision and have decided that we will allow your appeal, we are convinced that you meet the secretary of states guidelines set out to determine whether people are entitled to incapacity benefit, you do meet all the requirements, the original decision was wrong, you will be refunded all the benefits that have been withheld since august last year"
I went with the clerk and filled in a form or two, I saw, on the side copies of the decisions to other appeals seen that day....."appeal denied"....she gave me a copy of the decision and said that it would be couriered to the appropriate people that day, she said that I didn't have to do anything, they would make a payment for all the benefits withheld over the last 6+ months.
The money is great, the fact that we will have that money every week is going to make all the difference in the world, the back pay will be a sweet sweet thing, the greatest part of the day though was actually being listened to and believed, when they said that the original decision was wrong they gave me back my self respect which has been missing for 6 months ( and a bit ) I walked out of there with a weight off my shoulders.
The most incredible part is that when I checked dates, I saw that this whole skin thing...the welts and the swelling and the all began the day after I had the letter saying that my benefit was being stopped, we had just moved into the stinking hated house, I was miserable to be in a hovel with no idea how we would afford to pay to live there and then the letter to say we would have even less money. The next day began the physical misery, I put it all down the that house, when all along it was misery and fear combined, living in a horrible scary house and having to scrimp and save and scrape together to pay for the misery of doing so.
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the skin clears up. Wouldn't that be amazing?
Today was a great day....... I reckon even Elvis would agree.

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