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!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bye bye February, Hello SPRING!

Oh I think it may be soon, Spring, that most wonderful time of year when hopes soar and life begins to seem worth doing again.
I wonder if February is so miserable so that we can truly enjoy when it is over?
We woke up today and saturdays always seem like the longest day to me, if we are trapped inside it can last a fortnight! The sun was shining, oh to wake up to sunshine instead of dark, cold nothingness is exactly what my soul needs.
H is sick, he has been getting more sick all week, I have been telling him to call the Dr since tuesday, he hasn't of course, even though I told him that the chances and sods law mean he will feel like death in saturday and will have to wait til monday to see a Dr, he still didn't call and of course, today he was so sick, his face is flushed, he is hot and weary, aching and looks like poorly. He just wanted to sleep today so I got the boys in the car with Sophie and we went off for the morning, Sophie had to work at 2pm.
It's on days like today that I am so happy to live where we are. I am convinced that this part of the world, down in Devon, is probably the best place to be, I honestly can't think of any place in the world I would rather live.
Here is why....
Look how pretty that is, this is everywhere, I don't have to go further than 1/2 mile before I see this beautiful countryside.

Look! Where else can you go for a short drive and pass vehicles like this and have the driver smile at you as you drive past?

Of course, he may have been smiling at these 3 loons in the back!


And look, hope in the hedgerows, I just love to see Daffodils and primroses as I drive by.


Sunshine and short sleeves, all is well in this world.


A little boy and some spring flowers...heaven.


Clampets in training!


This set of traffic lights have been like this for a few days and it always makes me laugh to see them!


Time for Sophie to go to work.

H was still feeling awful when we got home and slept until 4pm, by the time he got up I felt pretty rough too, I slept until 7.30pm! When I did wake up pretty much all of me was aching and I feel like H looks.... it's never a good thing when both of us are sick at the same time, those little people could take over and anarchy will rule! I hope that it's a quick virus and not something that lasts too long..although H has been down a week already.
Amazing how the sunshine makes it all seem less daunting though. I feel as though I charged my batteries today, to drive with the windows open, to walk without several layers of clothing on, to be able to sit and watch little boys running and climbing. I am so grateful for that reminder today that life is not always going to be grey and weary.
Bye bye February, March we are happy to see you!

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Phew, that was fun wasn't it? That little insight into my cheery disposition, I should probably take a spoonful of sugar ....only that's FATTENING isn't it? Doomed I tell you.
Last evening, I lay down on the sofa to get comfy and watch " Sleepless in Seattle," Love that movie and I had such painful legs and thought it best to face the TV with my mouth shut lest I vent any more of that pent up irritation, I did not pick up the floor full of paper cuttings that Eli and Isaac left behind when they went to bed, I left it there, spread all over the floor sneering at me and I lifted my gaze just high enough to not see THAT but to view lovely Tom Hanks and co in the lovely movie. It worked I thoroughly enjoyed the 12 minutes of the movie that I remember seeing and when I woke up at 1.12am to some infomercial or shopping channel or something I could scarcely believe I had slept so soundly for so long, on the sofa. Everyone was in bed and I decided to join them.
I checked email ( mistake, don't email people when you are half asleep, chances are you will be less tactful than you would like and more honest that you should be!) replied ( sorry!) and went to bed where I slept for another 6 hours.
10 hours sleep.
Wow. That's a really long time and for me it's like a sleep marathon. I have had a crunching headache for over a week and now that it's gone, I can see that the constant squeezing, pounding, throbbing misery might well have been the main cause of my foul temper.
I feel great that I got through the day yesterday without once picking or snacking and that I made really good, filling and wholesome food. Today it will be easier and I am hopeful that my next weigh in will show some progress again.
What I'm trying to say is HOORAY I feel a bit better.
I don't like feeling cross, I really hate feeling negative and I am the first person to jump on anyone for endlessly whining about how hard their lot is.
I'm all for the odd vent, nothing better than the occasional rant to clear the head and soul, it is annoying though when you read a blog and every post is the same, poor me, life is hard, woe is me. I think that's why I haven't been blogging too much because February is the PITS!
I am beyond excited to see March poking it's springlike head around the corner, I walk past my sad looking tubs outside and get a little glimmer of glee to think it is almost time to perk them up, weed them out and watch those little pansy heads start to appear. Any day now I will drive the back roads of Devon and see primroses and daffodils and life will be marvellous again.
Sophie will be in Boston in less than 3 weeks, I am so excited for her and although I would have a lovely time if I were going with her, truth be told I am more thrilled at the knowledge that I don't have to fly than I am envious of the fun she will have.
There was something about Sophie and Cathy together that makes me perfectly happy to take a back seat and just enjoy the fact that they have a relationship that is somehow just meant to be. More than a friendship somehow because of the age difference, Cathy can be to Sophie what I can't and between the two of us, I really think that Sophie has all the guidance and love she can ever need.
Yes, I am more than happy to send her off to Cathy for 20 years...oh I mean 10 days, give her my B of A card and a list for Target and wait for her to come home and make my ears bleed with details of every single fun thing they do together.
New York will never be the same and I am pretty sure that she will remember and retell every experience in minute detail several times when she gets home. Cathy also says she will call me every time they go anywhere which personally, I think is just being mean and rubbing my 'na na na na na you aren't here! 'nose in it! I'll be happy with Face Book pictures and updates and live through both of them.
I am really interested to be told how Sophie is without me around but with Cathy....different I am sure than if she were with her peers but more relaxed ( heaven help us all) than if I were there. I hope she is a little shy, just enough to ......oh forget it, I am just happy that she is going to have a glorious time, doing great things and being safe. Making memories that are hers, that she can share and think about and treasure replace all those horrible ones that are fast becoming things of the past. So exciting. I am thrilled that I can honestly say there isn't a even touch a touch of envy in me when it comes to the friendship Cathy and Sophie have, I am just so happy that it is there.
Daniel is going to New York on monday.... such great kids I have and I am proud to say that I have taught them to do such great things even though I have always been so scared of flying, I have shown them that fighting through the fear is always so worthwhile, that being afraid is not a good reason to not do something. I love that my children are eager to up and go, to experience and enjoy what life has to offer them.
I am sitting here, 10.20am in my PJs, the sun is shining and I am going to get dressed and go somewhere to walk in this lovely weather, not a gentle stroll either, day 2 of making myself move, whether I want to or not because I DO want to feel happier, I want progress and I want to feel a sense of achievement, I do not want to feel like a snarling ogre anymore. It seems it is in my hands.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

That's enough now!

My goodness I have been a bad tempered old cow lately, I say that as though it is all in the past when actually, I am sitting here ready to punch the lights out of the next person to look at me sideways, I am still a bad tempered old cow. About everything.

Like this company...Intek communications, HELLO ANYONE GOOGLING INTEK!!

Don't use Intek for your mobile phone, unless you like speaking to people who have no idea what they are talking about and you do love to hand over money, every month for absolutely no chance of ever getting any after sales care ..there, that feels better.
Way back in May last year, whilst feeling a little carefree and STUPID, I decided that I would give up my reliable 'pay as you go' phone and be a grown up, get a contract phone.
That was my first mistake, the next one was to take Sophie with me and allow her to bamboozle me into THE most expensive contract they have and the HUGEST mistake of all was to walk into INTEK in our local town, I wonder what INTEK stands for, the choices are many and I could, should I be so driven, spend many an hour thinking of suitable words, 'Idiot' being the first one.
It would appear that to work in our local Intek store one must have few teeth and even fewer brain cells, the few brain cells available are used to get you to sign on that dotted line, preferably for the least suitable, most expensive contract there is and then, sadly you will discover that the only cells left are the ones that enable the young men 'working' in the store to gaze ahead in the most gormless fashion and mumble " Sorry, love, can't 'elp you,"
They have said this to me whenever I have forced myself to be optimistic and tell myself that perhaps TODAY someone will actually open their mouths and move their lips and say something other than " sorry love, can't 'elp you" When my phone went berserk and died I took it in and they shook their heads and said " Sorry love...blah blah" I explained that they had BETTER help me because not only was I paying £40 a month for the stupid contract, I was also paying insurance to cover me for just such an occurrance as this. So they took the back off, put it back on and told me it was as good as new. It did work for a while and then on new years eve, it died completely. So I took it back in and once again they said " Sorry love, can't 'elp you, " and once again I explained that YES THEY COULD AND THEY BETTER HAD!
I told them that I had spoken with T mobile who said to take it in and they could send it off to get fixed or replaced. How hard is that?
Oh WHY didn't I just drive the few miles to the nearest T Mobile shop and let them deal with it, if I ever have any more problems that is what I will do, until May when my contract is up and I am once again going to be a humble pay as you go-er, forever and ever.
So they they gave me back the battery and the sim card, even the back of the phone and told me to write my details down and all would be well, 7-10 days it would be back all working and stuff. They didn't have a phone I could use in the meantime ( despite their website promising this would always be available but they would get one and they would call me when it was here of course they didn't but I found my old one and put my sim in it and have had a half working phone)
2 weeks later " Sorry love, it's not here, can't help you, no idea where it is, try next week"
Every week since they have said the same thing, on week 4 I told them I wanted the number for head office because I was all out of patience and felt sure that perhaps head office should know just how completely useless they were.
Suddenly, after one of the completely gormless shop can't assist you s, argued with me saying that HE never said 7-10 days because phones are NEVER back in 7 -10 days, the manager gave me a number and said he would call and trace my phone. He called me within 5 minutes and said that he had spoken to the workshop and the phone was right there, being worked on and would be back in a day or three.
How helpful I thought, amazing how helpful that was. When a week later, the phone still wasn't back and the staff in store said that probably, I should just give up and PAY FOR A NEW PHONE ( !!!) I called head office, they looked online and said that there was no record anywhere of my phone being sent it, nothing from the workshop, no evidence anywhere that I had ever taken my phone in.
Oh how I hate people lying to me, ask the first one some of the things I did to him because he lied to me, they're impressive.I have been dealing with head office ever since.
7 weeks now isn't it? The thing that has become evident is that head office teach the shop non assistants everything they don't know.They promise to call back ( and don't, except once)
They all say different things.
They are more pleasant to converse with and always at least sound as if they know what they are doing, they just don't actually appear to DO anything. The last I was told was that I was getting a new phone, they didn't have the same one as I used to have but I would get a new phone in a few days, a day or two even.I let them know which phone would be acceptable and that was the last I heard from them.
Until today, 7 weeks and 5 days of waiting, a new phone arrived, at last.
It's a pleasant enough phone and it works, which is as good as I could hope for. Now of course I have to go through the annoyance of learning how to use the blasted thing and handing it to Sophie every 3 minutes saying " Can you do THAT for me? Can you stop it making up totally wrong words when I want to send a text? Can you work out why it says I have no numbers when quite clearly my address book is full?" Etc etc etc.
Oh and of course it is not the phone I asked for nor does it have the specific features I said were necessary but they win, I give up I cannot make one more phone call because my head will explode if anyone from that company calls me 'my love' once more.

More you say?

Well, I have been just about as mad as can be about being fat, whine wail. Too hard too long, too miserable....stuck stuck. I am stuck because I have been faffing about on the edge of doing it properly. Facing facts I am fat, because I have spent years eating badly and moving as little as possible so now I have stopped faffing about, stopped picking and sneaking 'just a little bit' and I am doing it properly. And. It. Hurts. All over again. However it has to be done and the fact that we have had little glimpses of sunshine and some warmer weather has done marvels for the determination.
I slipped back into eating bread, not piles of it, just a subway sandwich here, a tortilla wrap there, always filled with great food, healthy, low fat...but the last 2 weeks proved that for me bread has to be avoided at all costs, it has made me miserable and bloated and now I have to undo that all over again.

Little things really bug me..for instance, if you pop up on my facebook page in a little IM box and YOU say HELLO! to me...if YOU start to chat with ME....don't suddenly bugger off because OOOH look something more interesting! Tell me you have to leave, say goodbye, lie about the pan boiling not let me answer you and then wait ........ and wait.......and wonder if I would appear rude i I just went away and did something else....and wait...and then feel like an idiot because obviously I am so boring to chat to that you just forgot you even starting to chat with me.
That really annoys me ( and Gemma this wasn't you!! When you texted me and said sorry I was surprised because you had said goodbye earlier, you weren't rude!) In fact I am pretty sure that it isn't anyone that reads this blog regularly but if you do and you have done this to me or anyone else.. RUDE YOU!

There now, aren't you glad you popped in? There's more...but I will spare you because I am kind.
Also I have a tiny amount of control and have managed to stop myself really letting rip and baring all .... oh the things I could whine about lately. I wish whining and complaining burned calories, I would need to eat 17 cakes just to stay alive!
Life's a bugger isn't it? If I am ever in charge of a universe I am making bread, chocolate and chips healthy and whining will burn more calories that running and stupid Aerobics and even quite good fun but still hurts and I hate exercise of any kind rowing machines. I am.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I have written 3/4 of a blog post every day and deleted every one because I have nothing to say that is remotely interesting or funny, nothing sad or moving.
Sorry about that.
Or am I?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Keep your words soft and sweet..

What a day.
Do you ever have that feeling, the one where you have done something so awful that your insides feel like they are black? Like your blood has turned to tar and you may never feel light or happy again? I have felt like that too often lately, I have absolutely noticed that the sadness that has shrouded me for so long has gone, mostly I feel as though I am breathing again for the first time in years, big gulping clean breaths.
Now though, there is an enormous rage, such a huge rage that I don't know what to do with it. I have been ignoring it mostly because what else can I do? I have no idea what I am so furious at or about but the more I ignore it, the more it just comes charging out at inopportune moments. Today I thought that probably, I should go and get some help with it because I hated myself today. How can you feel something but act a different way?
I was irritable, I was tired, big deal....H isn't here, which is strange but not awful I think. He is at the temple, which is probably the only place he would ever leave this family to go to, just because he loves it. He will meet his dad but if I suggest he leave to do anything else that he may love, he won't hear of it. Anyway so he isn't here and I am so happy that he is where he is, there's nothing like finding yourself without someone to realise just what you love about them is there?
So, PMT, tired, grumpy, fair enough we can all have off days and I certainly wasn't about to beat myself up about that. The boys were pretty gorgeous, lazy start to the day, they ( and I) took turns on the rowing machine ( that I love, I really love that thing!) and we watched some TV, actually, because I was tired I let them watch Drop Dead Fred, which I had in my mind as a hysterical movie...but is really actually smattered with way too much bad language and inappropriate moments, what a shame because 90% of it IS hysterical and exactly Isaac's kind of funny. I knew that I had to get these little boys outside, the weather is really pretty great for February, they don't have school and little boys NEED outside and running and loudness.
So why then, when I stood up and started to encourage them to get ready did the Devil himself unleash the most sickening tirade? Even as my mouth was yelling and spitting vile temper at these little boys my head was screaming WHAT THE HELL? I was horrified at how mean I was and at the same time it seemed I was powerless to stop.
I wasn't angry at them, I don't know what I was angry at but it just flew out and covered them. It was over so quickly but inside me it felt as though that burst of rage had lasted for hours, the boys were seemingly unaffected, they certainly weren't reserved, or quiet, they didn't miss a beat and continued to be little boys, bickering and whining and where are we going and when will we get there-ing.
I haven't been able to throw that terrible feeling all day, we had fun much fun, I took them ice skating and I don't think I have laughed that hard for months. Even while I was laughing fit to burst my guts, I was thinking about how angry I had felt earlier, for no particular reason.
Sometimes ( not often I am glad to say) I threaten my kids with punishments I have no intention of carrying out, sometimes they are so bizarre that they have to know I don't mean it, they certainly don't ever appear to be afraid of me .
Today ( it's been a day full today I tell you) when we were getting ready to go out, Seth started. It's always Seth, he is one of those children who is never quite happy enough with life, no matter what we do, it is always lacking, it ends too soon, wasn't quite as good as he wanted, he wanted to go to THAT place not THIS place, if he goes on 26 rides, he wanted to go on 29 and why are we so mean that we always have to stop him when he was just about to enjoy himself.
Today we went ice skating and when we were done, they asked if they could go on some of the rides ( that of course we had to walk past to get back to the car) To go on the rides you need tokens, 2 tokens cost £1. In the name of sanity I said they could have 2 tokens each, they had been skating and were going to have dinner afterwards, so they each had a pound and got 2 tokens each. I always have to explain, loudly and clearly and more than once " OK so you know you have 2 tokens each right? That means you can have two rides if they cost 1 token or ONE ride that costs 2 tokens but that's it, when your tokens have gone, we are going to eat"
Isaac already knew he wanted to go on the bumper go karts and he knew that was 1 token, he saw a digger ride that was 1 token, he showed Eli and they went on the digger ride and gave Sophie the other token for the go karts that were way over the park near the car.
Seth used one token on a shooting range, then he joined the boys on the go karts and then it was time to eat.
He whined and he grizzled and he went on and on and on about how mean I was, how stupid it was to take him there and then only let him have 2 stupid tokens. He asked why I always had to choose the least amount to give them, why couldn't they have had 4 tokens or 6 or as many as they liked because it's half term what else are they going to do? I only give them the smallest amount because I am mean and I just want them to see what FUN it is and then STOP THEM HAVING FUN and do I actually plan how to make them this miserable?
I instructed Sophie to ignore him, she gets into it with him and they can argue for HOURS and HOURS and Seth thrives on it, he just loves to fight and whine. I told him he knew what the deal was, I pointed out that Eli and Isaac were happy with their day, that we were now going to eat and no-one was going to discuss this further with him.
Then we walked to the dining area, not responding to his endless whining.
We sat down, it is a food court kind of set up and so I got his food first because he knew what he wanted, pasta and parmesan cheese. I put it in front of him and he was STILL whittering on about the injustice of not having more bloody rides.
( I am so glad I didn't shout, the fact that I didn't yell made what I said seem more menacing though, which makes me cringe)
"Seth" ( I hissed through clenched teeth)
" This is your food, use your mouth to eat it, if you use your mouth to complain even once more, I swear I am going to drag you back to the car by your neck and when we get back to the car I am going to smack your backside until I no longer feel annoyed by you...DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?"
Only then did I notice the family on the next table sitting open mouthed as they tried to comprehend what I had just said to this precious boy, scrawny little 42lb child of mine. ( how can someone so small make someone so much bigger so boiling mad by just talking?!)
They left pretty quickly and I wonder if I am the topic of any message board this evening.... awful mother that I am.
I am so aware of the impact we have on our children as mothers. I have seen what damage can be done when we get it wrong, I am living in terror that I am going to screw these little boys up. The more I worry, the more I get it wrong, the more I get it wrong, the more I want to pull back and stay out of the way, let H be in the fore front, let them grow up with memories of him being there and teaching them, playing with them, walking with them, reading with them. I want to be in the background watching it and not messing it up. I feel like every time I speak I get it wrong.
Shame I can't just keep my mouth shut then isn't it?
Can't think where Seth gets it from.


Monday, February 16, 2009


It's just a matter of giving yourself a good talking to.
It seems to have worked. That and getting a rowing machine from freecycle...oh my goodness, I may well have found an exercise I can do that actually works!
Small and sweet, 2 short bursts on the rowing machine and I feel splendidly sore, wobbly legged and tight backed.
My fridge has grapes, melon, salad, water. For dinner we had tortilla wraps with turkey, fresh veggies and some hoisin sauce.....delicious.
I do believe I have managed to boost myself along for another stint of doing myself good.
I am planning major rewards along the way too. I am absolutely going to have a new ring when I have lovely slender fingers again. And...when I am right where I want to be, when I wake up in the morning and can look at myself and feel content....I am going somewhere. You wait and see!
I haven't been there before but I am going when I am all done. Yes I am.
I am reluctant to admit that after going on the rowing machine, I did have a period of feeling I wanted to do more..imagine that. I resisted though because I am sore and I don't want to be so sore tomorrow that I can't use the rower at all.
I have friends coming around tomorrow, we are sure to just have fun and watch a DVD but I suspect we may get the rowing machine out and have stupid competitions to see who can do the most, very funny how you start off thinking how easy it is, then oh, um...bit hard, ouch tough a group of women trying to out do each other should be fun!
I am so relieved that I am somehow sticking with this new life, that all the old miseries are not winning, the pull to sabotage all the good work is weaker than the desire to beat it and be better.
I look at the fact that I have 6 children, 3 still at home and looking at me for an example and I have papers with descriptions of me written on them saying I am blank faced and robotic...if strangers are seeing this kind of thing, what to my children see? What will they remember when they are adults? I do not want them to always remember me struggling, or sad. I have so few pictures of me with my children because I have hated myself for so long. I want to remedy that and I will, I am so determined not to let myself ever be as sad as I was.
The cycle is so terrifying though, feel miserable, eat rubbish, gain weight, loathe myself, eat more, disgust myself, eat more, give in.
If I can just get through each time when I feel so close to slipping backwards, I hope that the times when that awful miserable feeling descend will get fewer and further between. I hope that at some stage, I can leave all those worthless feelings behind me for good. I don't see why that can't happen. For the first time that I can ever remember I feel almost angry, the years that have been wasted on being so sad, the opportunities I have missed because I was afraid or sad or just numb, I don't want to waste anymore time, miss any more chances, enough is enough. I am angry at everything life throws at me that threatens to shove me back into that miserable pit I spent so many years in. I wonder how some people manage to flit through life without really ever having to deal with huge sadness, few trials, little worry. I don't envy those people and actually I can't even say that I would swap places, or not have experienced any of the things I have been through, I am who I am, I am where I am. I would rather not have any more enormous hurdles to cross though ( you know, in case the angels are reading my blog ... I like normal, boring is great....move right along trials and tribulations all.)
They say money is a trial... I will take that one, just to see if I can get through it admirably, I believe I would be kind and generous and am sure I would use it to the good, be wise and entertain strangers. Just saying, you know, in case.
So, I shall continue to talk to myself, keep whining and replying and telling myself how marvellous I am....and it will keep working. It will.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Talkin' the talk!

Here follows a public service announcement, for myself, by myself on behalf of all trying to be healthiers on this planet that find it SO HARD!
I am teetering on the brink, right at the point where, at every other time I have been in the journey I have given in. There is never a day when I wake up and think " That's enough! Stuff my face time, enough of this healthy stuff, time to hate myself again" I just begin to tell myself more and more that 'this little bit won't hurt' or ' oh just once isn't going to ruin it all' or how about ' oh I have been so good, for so long, I deserve a day off ' that's a good one! I've been doing that, feeling bad about it but doing it anyway.
The difference is, this time I know I am doing it and I am hanging on to that fact.
Every day I manage to stop myself more often than I give in, I am eating more than I was when I was gung ho! and look at me! I am eating considerably less than I used to. I have been thinking back to the days when I was really on a self destruct mission and I am so desperate never to go there again. If I can keep going until I reach a weight that feels right, I have it made, the way I am living lately is exactly how I need to live to maintain a good weight, it is not good for living when I need to lose considerably more weight.
I am still almost afraid of losing the weight, I still insist on wearing huge clothes, at least 2 sizes too big, they make me feel safe somehow, I want to work on that and although I have thrown out all the super baggy clothes, I need to wave goodbye to others that I know make me look bigger than I actually am.
In December, Cathy gave me a bracelet that fit exactly around my wrist, it wasn't tight but it fit and it didn't move. It now slips all over the place and hangs down when I put my hand by my side, for some bizarre reason, that almost freaks me out!
I have reached the point, where every other time I have lost weight, I panic and pile it all back on again. This time I know that and am fighting with all I have not to do it.
I wish I knew what it was that switched on and off the 'good to me' button!
I sat down today and thought hard about what I can do, it's not as easy as just telling myself to eat well and think positively, if only it was..... the eating thing is like a compulsion, one only someone with an addiction can relate to. The thing is, I am done with feeling self hatred, I am sick of not liking myself, I am tired of feeling self conscious, of endlessly pulling my shirts down, of checking that my backside is covered, of glimpsing myself in a shop window and just dying a bit.
The picture in my header is a great one but it is really a fluke, the angle was great and somehow I look so much younger and thinner that I really am..but it IS me, it shows me that I could REALLY look like that if I just keep going. I have to keep going. I have to find a way to WANT to keep going.
Today I went on a rampage through the house, I cleaned the fridge, made room for great food, I cleaned cupboards and I planned.
Tomorrow I am going shopping and I am buying good food, plenty of it, fresh food, great food, exciting food.
I have made sugar free jellies, sliced a honeydew melon, the fridge is ready to be filled.
I got a rowing machine from freecycle and can collect tomorrow.
I am going right back to day one, which was hard and am starting again. Day by day, not thinking about how long I have been doing this or how much longer I have to this.
I have set a goal to be at least one size smaller by the time the weather warms up.
One day at a time, one size at a time, one battle at a time but I am not giving in. Not this time.
I know that I want to enjoy the summer, I want to love the heat and the sunshine, enjoy sitting on the beach, I love the summer. I will enjoy it even more if I am not carrying around a ton of fat with sweaty folds!
No matter how scary it is to imagine being thin ( and why IS it scary? What is it that is so frightening about it?) thinking of staying like this is worse, imagining gaining back anything I have already lost is terrifying and depressing beyond words. I really hope it's depressing enough to stop me doing it.
This must be so boring to read but I want it all down here so that when I am done, when I am confident and happy with my ageing, saggy but oh so slim body I can come back and read what a bloody ordeal it all was. It is here to stop me telling people how easy it was and how I just cut down on food and moved more and LOOK AT SKINNY I AM!
Can you be more annoying than that? I hate reading how people lost 100lbs and how EASY it was and how they just cut down and walked up the road sometimes and what d'ya know SKINNY! Liars. Bloody lairs actually. They ALL had to have days when they ranted and whined and cursed the fat gene. Not one of them woke up every morning and clapped their hands because WHOOHOO here we go, another day of watching every morsel that passes their lips, another day of thinking about food and not eating a lot of it.
I like doing this more when the weather is better and there is so much more to do, I don't think about food when I am really busy and engrossed in what I am doing. Once the house is picked up, well there isn't a whole lot else to do is there? No pleasant walks in busy towns or along the beach ( and I find that the older I get, the less I enjoy walking on the beach if my face is being sliced in two by that cutting wind)
I have made the promise that this next week, no matter what the weather, I am taking the boys out EVERY DAY, we will go to a park or the moors, some grassy area, anywhere....we will and we will enjoy it dammit.
Fresh air and busy busy, sitting around and getting more and more uptight about the noise and mess, waiting for summer is not conducive to sticking with the plan.
I think I convinced myself for another day or two.....thank goodness for that, I'm going to bed, I have some fresh air and enthusiastic living to get on with in the morning.


It gets me very time!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Well.. that's off on a tangent!

So tomorrow is the day for lovers. Good luck to them I say.
There is something so troubling about February 14th, being told that THIS is the day you will be showered with tokens of adoration. Gah.
As a teenager it was painful. That terrible feeling of anticipation, wondering if there is anyone secretly pining for me, longing for this day to unveil his adoration.
Not even once.
In England, valentines day is for lovers, it has nothing to do with children and hoorah for that! Kids have their days and parties and fun this and gifts that, Valentines day is for lovers to reveal their inner most feelings, to surprise fancies and declare undying love.
I would go to school and see anonymous cards being flashed about and all the squealing and wondering who this can be from ( and now I am old and cynical I suspect more than half were sent from parents to avoid all the wailing about how NO-BODY LOVES ME!!!!!! )
I have been married twice and still, somehow managed to miss out on the whole Valentine's day worshipping.
There have been times when I wanted the fuss, where I would think that just this one day would it hurt to pretend at least? Not so much anymore.
I see that H is not romantic, his first one tells me he used to be but I suspect that any show of adoration there will almost certainly have been more for a quiet life or because he was told what to do and when ( although telling H to do something or even hinting at it will almost certainly ensure he does entirely the opposite, maybe he was more malleable when he was young and more interested in the physical rewards for superficial fripperies. ) Lately, I suspect he is quite deeply depressed and even if, as he is sure to have been aware of the plethora of hearts and flowers everywhere we turn, given that he scarcely leaves the house unless it is to walk the boys to school, or go to church maybe he hasn't even seen any of it, if he has I don't suppose he cares much.
I am worried about him because I have never seen him so withdrawn or miserable. He is switched off pretty much all day every day and once the boys have gone to bed he plugs his earphones in and watches whatever he watches on his laptop. H doesn't do talking, asking him if there is anything I Can do will push him further into himself, pushing the matter will cause nothing but anger. All I can do for now, is to let him know I see what is happening and tell him that he should do something about it.
He isn't sleeping at night and is awake usually from 1am until 4, 5 or 6......he looks terrible, grey and pale, disinterested and bored. Depressed in a nutshell. Homesick for sure. I know how he feels, it is quite the most terrible feeling to be so far from home and not know when or if you will ever go back, I understand that, I really do....the difference is, here we are safe, we have a home, we are secure and have health care and a future. In L.A we had nothing but grandpa's house and a ton of fear.
H is 50 in August, I want very much to be able to get him back to L.A for his birthday, he would love it, he needs something lovely to look forward to, he is such a family man he wouldn't want to go alone, if I ask him if he would like to go and visit with his dad he asks why I would want him to go without us and asks if I don't want the boys to go too..yes I do, I really want ALL of us to go, who wouldn't want 3 weeks in California in the sun? Ohhhhhhh but 11 hours on the plane and all that scrimping and saving and penny pinching and no you can't /we can't-ing.
I have mentioned it to him and just tested the waters and he lit up and then crumpled and said
"yeah, that's a thought huh? But we shouldn't get too excited too early in case we can't do it"
Which really, doesn't that make you want to sell your everything just to make it happen? Anyone need some half burned Christmas candles and gazillion go-go crazy bones? ( yes, I would sell those because for heavens sake how many times do I have to pick those damned things up?)

The thing I first fell head over heels with was H's smile.


He has the best smile, it never fails to stop me in my tracks, when H finds something amusing, I find it amusing because his whole face lights up, I will watch re-runs of 'The Royle Family' over and over because he finds it so hysterically funny, even having seen every episode a dozen times or more ( and so do I, there is one episode where Nana farts that makes me cry til I almost fart myself) There was a never before seen episode on at Christmas and I thought the pair of us would die laughing.
I miss his smile. I see it sometimes but it is fleeting and doesn't quite touch his eyes these days.
Darn February! The man need sunshine even more than I do and that's a real huge lot I tell you!
Oh how I love the sun.

So, Valentines day...did anyone ever tell you that I can wander off a subject a bit sometimes? Who cares if I get flowers or chocolates ( please, no chocolates this whole discipline thing is tough enough with the cold and let me eat comfort foods and lovely stodgy stuff) You can keep all the fluff and the fuss, a face splitting smile from H will do for me.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why yes, THAT kind of mother!

Today has been a huge day. HUGE. It didn't start out that way at all. I woke up with that glorious feeling of having absolutely nothing planned at all. Nothing. I love that, the thought of a day of being at home, lazing around, pottering and doing whatever I choose.
That lasted 'til 7.45am... whoot! Isaac had toothache, again. He gets toothache and then it goes and then it comes back and the spaces in between have been getting shorter and shorter, today I knew we couldn't ignore it and so when he went to school I called the dentist and they said I could bring him in at 10am. That caused immediate problems, no notice things with Isaac, are traumatic for Isaac ( and therefore, for me!) I called the school and explained and they were great, they went right to his classroom and told him that he was going to get his tooth fixed and gave him an hour or so to think about it and prepare himself.
When I went to get him, at 9.45 he said " Great, so we'll be back here by 10.15, yes?" Well, no, they said that maybe we could be there for anything up to 2 this piece of news he lost the plot, big ploppy tears and sobbing about missing playtime and then his day would be all out of whack and he has to be in school, its thursday!
I took an iPod ( because I am so clever and organised!) and he didn't want it, he didn't want to read or listen or draw or do anything except wait for the dentist and tell me how many people were waiting and ask me how long THAT would take and what time he would get back to school.
Then he asked for the iPod ( thank goodness, chill Isaac!) because he wanted to see the time and give me reports " 10.12am....... Playtime is at 10.30"
Marvel of marvels at 10.14 am we were called in and I held my breath because sometimes he will not open his mouth, he will clamp his hand over those lips and he isn't letting go for anything, not nobody.
Not today, he sat in the chair and the dentist looked into his wide open mouth....and she told us that he had a huge abscess that oozed when she touched it, she said it was under his tooth and that he must have been in horrible pain. She told Isaac that she had to drill and fix it and was that OK?


He sat, with his mouth wide open and he let her drill, scrape, clean, rinse, fill and poke..with NO ANAESTHETIC! None, not even numbing gel. His only help was the immovable stare in my direction.....this look....


Which is sort of touching but that drill sound? That makes me want to stick my fingers in my ears and squeeze my eyes tight shut but he is looking at me, mummy is here and if I look at her she will make sure this is OK. Can I say often enough how much I adore this child of mine?
When she was done ( remarkably quickly because when the patient just sits and doesn't blink, flinch, cry, complain, well how long does it take?) he jumped up and said " 10.28, 2 minutes, QUICK!" I signed papers and we took them to the front desk, and we were supposed to wait for a follow up appointment..but this sweet boy was so frantic and so jiggy that I said I would call and set up the appointment because if ever a boy deserved to call the shots it was this one, at this time.
We drove the 2 minutes to school and ...what? No-one in the playground, what is happening? Are we early, late? What? Where is playtime?
We walked through the doors and he was off, through the double doors to his classroom....I signed him back in and was chatting with Donna and he came back, a flood of tears, fat old heartbreaking tears and he shoved his head into my side and whispered " Oh I missed it!" He is so beautiful and he is so delicious that the office staff shot up, they declared that this can't be right and they were going to SEE where playtime had gone!
2 minutes later Donna was back and hoorah ..assembly had run overtime, all was well, if he went into the hall he could see the last of assembly and then PLAYTIME. Oh but this is all too much and to ask Isaac to walk into an assembly hall, to risk having people turn around and Look at him....he just couldn't do it. I calmed him down and told him that I would sit with him in reception until assembly was over and then he could go out to play.
We decided that we would creep to his classroom, very quietly past the hall and put his bag and lunch box back where they belong and come back to reception to wait for playtime ( which was LATE! Who is running this shambles anyway?!)
Just as we reached his classroom that we thought would be deserted, out came the classroom assistant who was thrilled to see Isaac and in that undeniably teacherish way said " ISAAC! Splendid, just in time for the last bit of assembly..come on then!" and she grabbed his hand and off they went, with his precious face turned towards me and those fat tears streaming down his face because THIS IS NOT THE PLAN!!!! SAVE MEEEEEEEEEEE!
I nearly became THAT kind of mother. The mother of a precious snowflake and GET YOUR HANDS OFF HIM LADY! But I didn't.
I just muttered " oh that's horrible.....oh dear...." to Donna and left, gulping and thinking how really he should just stay at home with me because dammit, life is so hard sometimes and every single day he has to force himself to fight against the longing to just. not. do. it.
I stayed busy all day because he is my heart, this boy.
It wasn't over yet...he was invited to a party, a real big boys party in a city away from our town, in someone else's car, with people and NOT ME.
He was excited because it was at the bowling alley and this boy has been desperate to go bowling for weeks now.
He was terrified because he would have to
a) get changed. This is a huge thing for Isaac, we cleared the panic by deciding that he would take a favourite jacket in his backpack and after school he would take off his sweatshirt and wear the jacket and he would look good and be comfortable.
b) talk to people.
c) Eat
d) Go in a car with someone else's mummy but not his.
e) not be able to tell anyone what time it was and how long they had to get home!

I was pretty sure that he would balk at the last minute. I met him at school with Oliver's gift and card and some jazzy new shoes I knew he would adore. He grabbed the shoes and put them on, with his jacket and gave me his sweatshirt and then he ran towards Oliver, someone tried to grab the giftbag and he very clearly and loudly said "HEY! It's for Oliver not you!!" I watched him laugh with the 4 boys that were going bowling and give Oliver his gift ( another first, he has always refused to give gifts, he hands them to us and says " you give it, tell them it's from me")
Olivers' mum arrived and he left with her! Without batting an eye! He didn't even turn around to see if I was weeping or anything!
That's when I almost became THAT kind of mother, the kind that runs after her precious and tells them that maybe mummy should come too because he may NEED me, what if he NEEEEEDS me and I'm not there and he can't speak?
But I didn't. I came home and I waited for FOUR HOURS and he came home and said THANKYOU to Olivers mum, he did he said thankyou and he never does, not until he is sure they can't hear him, he stares at me and wills me to say it for him.
Oh my Isaac. You are beginning to not need me.
The trouble is, I still need you to need me, because I am THAT kind of mother.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm so glad I'm not stupid.

I have had so many experiences, extraordinary ones, that I sometimes forget some of them, even though they may be so incredible that for many people they would be THE topic of conversation, THE dinner party tale, for me some of them have slithered so far back in the realms of 'I'll think about that later' that I only remember them when something triggers a memory.
I have had surgery, major surgery twice, both operations have resulted in massive complications, abscesses, open wounds, gaping, weeping holes and so many minor surgeries that I forget the number.
When Sophie was born, immediately she was born, I was stricken with the most excruciating pain I have ever known. In fact it began when I had Jordan and I remember crawling on his bedroom floor, when he was a few weeks old, feeling sure that whatever this pain was, it was killing me. It was horrific. Under my right ribs, in between my shoulder blades and it came in waves, like contractions, without the sweet baby at the end. Eventually it was decided that it was a gall bladder full of stones and surgery was the answer.
Suddenly the pain went....completely, how bizarre! Actually I was pregnant with Sophie and for the whole pregnancy I didn't have that pain once, hoorah!
SO when she was born it slammed back without warning and it didn't give me a break, it was so bad! The doctor came out to my house every night and injected me with Morphine, sweet, sweet friend for 10 weeks.
I had the operation and came home, I went to have the stitches out 10 days later and we lived a miles or 3 from the Drs, the first one borrowed a car and dropped me at the Drs and said he would be back in 10 minutes. 2 hours later there was no sign of him so I tried ( and failed ) to walk home. A neighbour rescued me and took me home, the first one turned up another 2 hours later, seems the girlfriend I didn't know about yet was more important than me. Oh well.
I asked him if he would change the bedding for me, I had been in that bed for days and I hate stale bedding, I longed for fresh sheets and lovely clean pillowcases.
He said no.
So, I did it myself.
Now, when I had my gall bladder out there wasn't the option of keyhole surgery, I got me a 10 inch wound from my ribs in the right to the other side of my body. Ouch.
I changed the sheets, I changed the pillow cases and then I changed the duvet cover I picked it up to 'shake' the duvet down, I felt my insides 'pop' Uh oh.....the wound was closed and I climbed into bed, wept about how sad and uncared for the first one had made me feel and then I slept.
I woke at 10.30 that night and I felt ill, really really ill and when I looked at my poor wound, it was vivid red, swollen to the size of a grapefruit on the right side and it was very, very hot.
I called the first one and eventually he agreed to call the doctor even though it was a terrible inconvenience to him. ( shame)
The result was a very fast ambulance ride to the hospital and an operation, just after midnight, with NO anaesthetic. I had a nurse hold my feet, another one hold my shoulders and a doctor open the wound, scrape it out, pack it with 2 metres of gauze and someone stroking my face and telling me I was brave. I hummed really loudly as he did what he did because I truly felt that if I was quiet, I would die. Such was the pain and the fear.
I went home the next morning, with a hole that was 4 inches long and 10 cms deep ( how weird that it was inches long and cms deep! Funny the things that stick in your mind) It stayed open for 5 months, wept for 5 months and healed one week after I moved away from the first one and back to my family. Funny that.
In those months, the first one left, the boys were abducted, I moved house, gave Sophie to my mum for 5 months, got her back, cried more than any human being should ever cry and I learned a lot.
When Sophie was 3 or 4, I had a breast reduction, glorious wonderful reduction. Bye bye 38GG /HH boobs, hello little tiny ski slope bosoms, how I love you.
I came home from that operation and Dan came home, the kids had stayed with family and friends and Dan missed me, he was my shadow and always felt he should look after me so he came home so he could look after me, bless his heart, he was 8..what could he do?
My family all turned up, with friends and they brought a boob cake and drinks, they celebrated my beautiful new bazookers with me and all the while, I sat thinking how sick I felt, how hot and shaky and please go home people, I don't want a party!
Everyone went home, I put Dan to bed and I went to the I sat down my left boob exploded...quickly followed by the right one. Through the layers of padding and elastoplast came more ooze and pus and blood than a boob should ever admit to. Oh dear.
Back to the hospital I went, and this time, thankfully under anaesthesia, the wounds were reopened, packed and left open.
There followed days or having 2 mini surgeries everyday, I became really great at the whole morphine, gas and air and getting through that torture every day. I learned exactly when it was OK for the Dr to start cutting and scraping, the nurses would fight for the chance to assist because, apparently, I was better than a circus act, when I hit a certain point, where I had the gas and air just right and the morphine had kicked in, I would raise my hand ( the sign for Dr
Mc Scrapeitout to begin) and then, I am told, I would start laughing, a loud, infectious, belly rocking guffaw that would last as long as I had that mask in my grip and the mouthpiece in between my teeth. They could do what the liked and I laughed, they cut and poked, packed and irrigated and I would laugh.
All the Drs and every one of the nurses knew that I knew what I was doing, they waited for that hand in the air before they began and I almost looked forward to our twice daily drug induced raves.
One day, a week after the wounds had popped, I was told that the dressing would be changed by the registrar because the consultant was on his way and he wanted to see the wound, check it's progress.
When the time came, they pulled the curtains around the bed ( rather than wheel me to the treatment room) the registrar came and he gave me a shot of morphine....I told him that I needed 10 minutes for that to start working, he said we didn't have 10 minutes. The nurse brought the canister of gas and air and explained that I was a pro, that all he had to do was watch my hand, when I lifted it, he could begin and all would be well, in fact I even heard her say " you'll enjoy it..she is extremely funny, it's the highlight of our day"
He replied that HE was the expert and HE knew what he was doing and didn't need anyone to show him how to do it, or tell him when to do it. I heard all this because the silver film hadn't descended yet, I was still very awake, I was breathing and gulping and was round about the stage where I felt sick and was totally aware of what was happening but not able to make any sense.
And then he began.
Dear Lord and that was what I prayed for 40 minutes, while I gasped for breath, trying to gulp enough of that magical gas to take this pain away. I SCREAMED at the top of my lungs...and I am told what came out was a pathetic whimper and the occasional " oh dear God" I felt sure I was kicking out and trying to punch that sadistic barsteward. I felt every single second of red hot agony as he stuck scalpels in my poor wounds, the terror was indescribable and it seemed as though it would never end. Suddenly, just as the pain was so intense I prayed to die, I was somewhere else. I was at the beach and it was so peaceful, I rode waves, I went out on the wave and came back on the wave, I took such deep breaths of cool air and I was so relieve to be away from that pain but what was that noise? Who IS that screaming? Who is shattering this blissful silence...someone shut her UP!
It was over, at last, someone took the mouthpiece away and whispered ( I am so sorry, he wouldn't listen) I came out of the fog to see that smarmy faced git of a man, I grabbed his arm and hissed with every ounce of menace I could manage " you hurt ever touch me again and I will hurt you back...don't you ever come near me again!"
When the curtains opened I saw the other 3 women in my little room of 4 beds, wiping tears away and taking deep breaths. They said they could hear my pathetic whimpers and hear that man telling me to be quiet and let him get on with his work. I told them I had been screaming and swearing at him, that I thought I Was punching him and kicking him, the nurse said I hadn't moved but the whimpering was heart rending and everyone knew that he was hurting because he had literally ripped the wound open with his hands and dug around with his fingers and then the scalpel.
It is his luck I suppose that everything that was going on at the time took precedence over suing his mean self for everything I could take. I was so beaten down by the first one at the time, who had spent 3 years by this time telling me I deserved everything I got and was wasting my time because no amount of surgery was ever going to make me worth looking at...I was rotten to the core, how's a bit of plastic surgery going to help that? I believed him then and the fact that everything had gone so horribly wrong proved it..didn't it?
Of all the things I have learned in my life, learning that he is a stupid, nothing of a man who will die stupid, is the best thing ever.
I learned, though it took me years, that he is so insignificant as to not make a mark on anything or anyone no matter how he tries, everything he does fizzles out, everything he tries leaves him feeling dissatisfied. He has 4 children and none of them have an ounce of respect for him. He still has nothing, still enjoys the fruits of other's labours, is still searching frantically for what I have had all along.
I learned all that one night, I woke up, who knows why and one thing after another came back to me, every mean thing he ever did, every twisted thing he ever said I remembered and after every recollection, I puked the misery away. All those things I had listened to, believed, felt, cried over came back in that one night and I have never vomited so much in one day in my life....and when I was done. I was done.
I woke up the next day feeling the way I do now. With a complete and utter surety that it is HE who has the problems and that everything he had done and said was an effort to make himself feel better, bigger, more important.
How sad that there are people in this life that never learn that the only way to feel good, is to BE good, the only way to feel important is to do important things, the only way to be truly happy is to make others happy, to love and serve each other. Do unto others etc etc.
I am so glad I'm not stupid.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Leaps and bounds and the odd creep backwards.

I am in awe of Isaac lately, he is becoming such a real person, the man he will be.
I watch him and how hard he works to be in the world when it would be so easy to opt out. Speaking, outside the home is so hard for him, at times impossible and there are still so many occasions when my heart leaps for him and because of him.
He is happy when he knows exactly what is happening, he is obsessed with time, to the minute, he watches the clock and explains what is happening and when it should happen, he will point out that Sophie's clock is one minute behind the front room clock, so if he is in there ( and he loves being in there, if she is working late he shuts himself in and curls up in her bed and watches cartoons) he makes sure we know that at 8.01pm he will come out because that is really 8.00pm and that is bedtime.
If we go out in the evening, as we did last week, he will tell us the time, every half hour or so and worry about what time we will go home, it isn't fun for him to stay out late, he frets and becomes agitated until we explain when we will be going home, when we get home he has to be able to relax before he goes to bed, he can't walk in and go to his room, that would be horrible for him.
Every evening he will say, before he goes to bed " uniform on my bed and lunch in the fridge please" just because he feels better if he reminds me that this makes his life happy!
On friday he came out of school and told me that he was going to Oliver's party. On Saturday, at the bowling alley. The problem was he didn't have an invite but he was so insistent, so sure that Oliver said he was going and I had to take him.
Of course we didn't go because I had no invite, we knew not where or when or how...he was so cross and naturally it was me ruining his whole life because he longs to go bowling.
Today, as he ran out of his classroom a lady came up to me and explained that she was Oliver's mum, Liz, that Oliver was having a party and would love Isaac to come. Isaac's face lit up and then Liz asked him what he would like to eat at the party, she said there was a choice of pizza, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, sausage with chips. Isaac stared at me with his huge eyes and willed me to answer for him, I could see he was desperate to answer and his sweet mouth just would not open. I explained to Liz that Isaac sometimes has trouble speaking to people and asked if she would mind if he told me and I would tell her, of course she said she didn't mind at all and so I looked at Isaac and asked him what he would choose. Normally he will put his mouth next to my ear and whisper so quietly that even I can't hear, today he looked at me and said, very clearly, " All of it!"
The plan is that he leave school with Liz and Oliver after school on thursday and then they will drop him off after the party. He has never, EVER gone home with anyone after school, he has never gone to a party without my having to go along and talk for him. He is ( right now) completely unworried, he says he will go and will speak to Liz and Oliver. I will wait and see.
It's bitter sweet to see how he copes with every day life, I am so proud of him and I understand him, he can be so infuriating and touching. He is the kindest boy and such friends with Elijah, every day he watches out for Eli, every day he runs out of his class and straight over to Eli's class, he finds Eli and pats his head, puts his arm around him and asks how his day was and is he is happy. Then Seth comes out and he and Isaac fight all the way home!
I am so proud of the way he struggles against all the things that are hard for him, so endlessly touched by how desperately he still needs us close by to support him as he tries to speak, as he needs his worries explained. There is nothing I would change about this boy.


And also....I am pretty sure he couldn't be more beautiful, could he?



Sunday, February 08, 2009

Is it nearly spring?

What a day, a really, really loooooooong day. A sluggish and miserable, bad tempered day.
I have no idea why the day was so horrible, other than it started with Seth and his sunday sickness, every single week he tells us how ill he is, how bad he feels, how hot his head is and every week we ignore him or tut tut about how its Sunday and he always feels ill on Sunday, this week though his little lymphangeomic eye was indeed swollen, proving that he wasn't faking it today.
I was already dressed in my new one size smaller skirt and my 2 size smaller shirt, had my make up on and was ready for church. Oh well, never mind.
Also, I had one of those dreams that feel so real, that leave you feeling worn out and all out of sorts. I dreamt that I was pregnant, bad enough at 46, amazing that for me, that could ever be a nightmare but I can honestly say that whilst I can imagine worse news, that would send me over the edge of reason. Add to that the fact that bizarrely I appeared to ( in my dream!) have had a fling with a weedy 17 year old, pasty skin and nondescript looks. Oh my heavens, that dream was so fraught, I had to wait until the baby was born to see whether it would have pale skin and blue eyes or have the same colouring as the boys and H. I have felt all miserable and bad all day after that dream!
Yesterday the paperwork came for the next tribunal type day at the benefits agency, the one where I plan to just tell them to keep the damn money, that making myself better and being able to plan without thinking how bad it will look if it appears that I am behaving happily! Anyway, in there is a copy of the last meeting, where Dr nothing wrong with her describes me. Remember how last year I was unkempt and depressed looking? This year I have a mask like expression... which actually may well be true, as soon as I saw it was him that was to interview me, I gave up, I didn't answer him properly and I felt myself staring ahead and thinking about what to cook for dinner.
Last week I was talking to someone from church, I was saying how, lovely though our ward is, glorious though the people are, I don't feel as if I belong, I go and I sit and I can pretty much guarantee that if I sit on my own, in a pew...I will stay alone the whole time. I will go and sit with someone and they don't look horrified or move but nobody ever chooses to sit next to me.
He didn't bat an eyelid and said " well I expect they are afraid of you, do you think they are scared of you?" WHAT? What's to be scared of? I am NICE I tell you. NICE and unscary and SIT NEXT TO ME YOU WIMPS!
Here I am, thinking that actually I am doing all right, I am cheering up, making myself get out there and do things and all the bloody while everyone is looking at mask face scary lady who must be avoided.
Ever think it's all too hard to bother with?
I couldn't be bothered today, can't be bothered to dish up that soup, already made and wholesome, ate a roast pork and pickle sandwich ( with bread....what? Who said bread makes me irritable? SHUT UP!) Meh...dinner? For everyone? A whole family that like different things? Oh tired, is too much trouble......Mac and cheese, EVERYONE likes Mac and cheese. So Mac and cheese it was, even for me. Oh my poor stomach, it just can't take that kind of stodge anymore, but I showed it who is boss and I ATE IT! I showed it what for and so stodgy and sick and weary and heavy and GRUMPY! So I ate some chocolate to lighten things up, which meant that all bets were off and if the kids left anything alone for more than 3 seconds I hoovered it up, even though it was making me ill and more and more CROSS!
I am losing weight, who knows how much in numbers, but I am thinner on my arms and face and legs, the middle bit is still as big as ever it seems, I look like an olive on a cocktail stick...I feel bloated and did I mention GRUMPY?
I had all kinds of tests the week before last, cultures and swabs, poking and prodding and all came back fine but still my poor insides are all out of sync , I feel uncomfortable and sluggish and well, GRUMPY.
It's the time of year I know, everyone is miserable and waiting for spring, Sophie and I were out on wednesday and the sun shone and suddenly it felt as though there was hope. Happy things to come. Oh if only it would just get here already. I want the hope and happiness. NOW dammit. I really feel as if I can't do this any more, drag myself through this miserable bloody winter, day after day or greyness and cold, wet and miserable. I can feel the desire to just hole up, eat mashed potato, stew and dumplings, cakes and hot chocolate and watch movies, until april, when it may or not be sunny and fresh.
I bought a 'walk away the pounds' DVD, lovely Lorraine Kelly, I even bought the resistance bands to help me, no jumping about, just walking and stretching and do-able things for a creaky old mare like me, I put it in today, to see what was expected of me and I sat and said" Oh shut up" and hit eject. I am a delight to be around, even I want to get away from me. Is it nearly spring?


Saturday, February 07, 2009

For Cathy, because she told me to. ( and because I adore her)

There once was a lady called Cathy,
Well, her name is quite different, for real.
She appeared on a dreary old weekday
Online and she made us all squeal.

She resides in New England, in Boston,
Which is too far from me, it is true.
So I get on a plane and go see her
She is worth it, she is, I tell you.


I have rarely, if ever, encountered
A soul so completely divine,
She's a friend to so many people
I am endlessly happy she's mine.

You have to be careful with Cathy
( With a C, not a K, not sure why)
Because when you are talking with Cathy
it is certain your pants won't stay dry.

I had, I am proud to say clearly
A quite indestructable floor
Not the one that you walk on, you silly
The one that is pelvic ..well, no more!

She has ruined my ace reputation,
She has taken away my grand prize,
When I see her or talk to this woman,
I leak water..and not from my eyes.

I am quite sure she knows that she does it,
She has made it her project, her goal,
To make all and each of us piddle
If we don't, then her day isn't whole.


She will make us all laugh and then chuckle,
She will keep going on, til she'll see
That we all cross our legs and bend over
To try really hard not to pee.


It is useless to try, we've discovered
When our Cathy is one of your friends,
We have all given up and invested
In shares.. and bought bulk in Depends!


When you think you can't possibly laugh more
No matter how hard that you try,
She will go and do something so touching
That you blubber and sniffle and cry.

She sends flowers when life is a bugger,
She will text you at just the right time,
She will send you balloons or a cook book
She will give you her very last dime.

If she hadn't the means to send presents,
If she had not a penny to spare,
If she lived in a box by the freeway
She would give you her jacket to wear.

I'm not sure when I first noticed my Cathy,
I forget when she entered my world,
I know without doubt that the day was
The one when my sadness unfurled.

I had sadness that ate at my being,
It was scrunched up inside me for years,
She grabbed hold of that feeling and crushed it,
With a heart full of laughter and tears.

It's a small price to pay for her friendship,
I accept it and give grateful thanks,
For the fact that a day never passes
That she won't make me pee in my pants.


So my dearest friend Cathy O'Grady,
This ditty's for you, just from me.
I just wanted to say a big Thankyou
For the times you have forced me to pee.


Friday, February 06, 2009

It's tough, this blogging lark when nothing is happening, plodding along from day to day just waking up and breathing and going to bed and waking up ....all perfectly respectable but blogworthy? Not at all.
If I go back and read my old blog posts, the ones I think are the best are the angst filled ones, it would seem I am at my best when I am experiencing the worst. I am funniest ( I think) when I am saddest, so when I am all fine and dandy, I am neither funny nor a good it's all good news then, the blog is as dull as dish water, all must be well in the house of Helen.

It is too, well indeed.

I think it may be my age. 46. Neither here nor there is it really? Youth is a distant memory and not particularly one that is worth dredging up if I'm honest.
Young womanhood....oh what hard work that was, all that drama and fretting over whether I was clever enough, or sexy enough or desirable enough ( no, no and no) Everything, in my 20s was so black and white and desperate, so important and urgent. Exhausting.
Old age will bring it's challenges, incontinence not one of them I fervently hope, I do find myself htinking of getting old and thinking of how I hope things will be. I used to dream of having a good sized home that my children would feel was home, somewhere to come back to that holds years of memories and comfort for them, that dream is fading and lately I find myself imagining more down to earth and probable dreams. I fancy a little mobile home, a static caravan complete with little shed for gardening implements.
Right now though, 46..what am I? I am just ...this.

'This' is OK. I'll take it, even if it means blogging is close to impossible!


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Foot stamping tantrums.

Last evening, when the boys had gone to bed, when I was toasty and warm in my jama's, when the snow was falling and settling and it was so cold. I looked at H and said " We'll keep the boys home tomorrow, that hill will be so slippery, it was almost impossible to get up it tonight. So we'll stay home and have a cosy day"
And he looked back at me and nodded. He's a great nodder. Lovely.
This morning, when I came down at 10 to 6, Isaac was fully dressed, ready to go to school ( as always) I told him that we were staying home and you'd have thought I had given him the world, he put his PJs back on, wrapped up in a blanket and decided what he was going to do and watch and play on his unexpected day off.
7am H came down and Isaac told him we were staying home and H was immediately put out.. he said that no, we weren't staying home, it was a NORMAL day...everything is the SAME, a regular day, get dressed...SCHOOL!
Oh no you don't matey.
I like to think that I am patient with all the eccentricities that surround me, I do not, as a rule speak to H in any way other than a polite and respectful way. It's hard at times but I truly enjoy the courteous way we treat each other, the consideration and good manners, I like that we don't fart in front of each other. The one thing that will guarantee that being thrown to the wolves is if I feel that he ( or anyone else) is treating me like an idiot. What I decide for this family is as important as what he says. Oh yes it is. If I say we are staying home ( because we discussed it, didn't we? You nodded DIDN'T you??) then do not, once I have stated that this is the plan, begin to huff and puff and exert your authority and make me out to be a lunatic for suggesting such an outlandish and inexcusable nonsense.
I actually stamped my feet, I slammed doors, I called him names, told the boys that he who must be obeyed had spoken and I was powerless to persuade him that staying home was a good idea.
I then made it clear that I would not be leaving the house AT ALL, until every sign of snow was gone, if he thought school was a great idea, then he could walk them there, walk back to collect them and walk them home and good luck with the hills smartarse.
He kept telling me he wouldn't be walking any hills......he would go the 'other way' Look where we live...

That's if you turn right out of the front door...and if you turn left....


You get that ..and then you will have to go down the hill next street over to get anywhere. There is no avoiding hills, but he insisted, he was fine, the boys would be fine......and so off they went.
I should add that my boys will not wear coats, at all, ever. They wear hoodies. It was SO painfully cold, the cold we have here in the UK is a hurting cold. I have lived in Utah, that cold is nothing like this cold. This is a painful, wet cold, not that lovely brisk sharp cold of Utah. I can do that cold.
I layered those boys up with scarves and 2 hoodies, hats and no gloves because again, they hate gloves ( and so do I, the very feel of them makes me feel iffy!) I sent them to school and I cleaned with the vigour only a women in a rage can manage. We had a house inspection today and although H had done a great job vacuuming and tidying ( sort of ) yesterday it certainly needed all those female touches, and my goodness this house was polished, shined, cleared, thrown, scrubbed and hammered in the 90 minutes it took H to deliver the little layer boys to school ( oh how I wanted to watch their slithery journey but not enough to go with them and risk measuring my length along the pavement.)
When H returned, he asked if we needed anything from the shops and off he went again, risking life and limb not to mention dignity and returned again with packed lunch goodies and oranges. ( you know for the COLD lunch for the boys to take to school to eat at the COLD lunch time on this COLD day because they weren't staying home in the WARM!)
H was very gentle and understanding to my thorough opposition to this insulting weather, which immediately annoys me more because I wanted to hate him ALL DAY thank you...I explained that had he said, last night, during our discussion, something along the lines of " well, shall we decide in the morning about school because I don't mind walking them and I'm sure it'll be fine" I wouldn't have been in the least bit put out today, I wouldn't have mentioned staying home to Isaac, who is so like me and loves to be warm and happy and dry, it was having to see him completely thrown out of sync, dressed and undressed, ready for school, now staying home then get dressed and go to school and DEAR LIFE what is a boy supposed to think now? That made me so cross and indignant.
H swore up and down that we hadn't mentioned the weather last night and he was sure he hadn't heard me suggest staying home and it is impossible to stay mad at him because it is my dad all over again, I am endlessly surprised at how like my dad he is. Incredible that despite an ocean between us, totally different lives we somehow met to discover that he more like my dad than anyone I have ever met. I loved my dad, we had such a lovely bond, he and I had a different relationship to that of my siblings, mum said from the very beginning it was as though I was his, more his than anyone else.
Who'd have thought I would marry someone so like him.
The snow, incidentally was all gone by 6pm...just the way I like it! I do not like snow, at all, any part of it. Snow in England is particularly annoying as we are so unprepared for it, so hopeless when it is here. I went shopping this evening and it can snow all it likes now because we are stocked up and ready ( which means that it won't snow, it rained a lot this evening and washed all that confounded white stuff away, hooray!)
I love being warm, I never take for granted the fact that we are warm, cosy in our home. I love that my car has such great heating and we feel toasty and warm even when out in horrible weather.
Is it nearly spring yet?

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Probably, the most fun we have ever had.

Oh I had such fun yesterday, my niece, Gemma got some tickets to' Britain's got talent' in Wales and she, Sophie, Mel and I went to see the show.
Gemma drove because I am such a ninny when it comes to finding new places and Wales, as we all know is a whole other country, I have found it often and driven past that "Welcome to Wales sign" when I am trying to find Bath, which is in England and not in Wales at all, but I was pretty sure that if I had wanted to find Wales, we would have landed up in Scotland and it was a treat for someone else to drive me for a change.


Gemma's car is the same of mine which gave me a sense of all will be well also so I had no worries about going in her car and not being in control, which is usually my favourite thing in the world.
I drove the boys to school and tried really hard not to hear people talking about snow storms and extreme weather warnings because SIMON COWELL! ANT and DEC! FUN! Snow, shcmow, this is England and Wales and we don't get snow, we get a little fluff every 15 years that looks pathetic and never sticks to the ground, no English snow was going to make us give up seats for one of the best shows in the country!
Off we set....Brrrrr, cold but no snow.....of course. Actually it IS cold, brrrrrrrrr.....Gemm, it's cold! "Yeah, stupid heater is broken ( whack whack) yep, broken, never mind, car works....
Turns out Gemma is almost exactly like me when it comes to driving, she is so scared of driving to places she doesn't know and worrying about if she will find somewhere to park or get lost and be forever driving in circles asking where she is and will she EVER GET HOME?!
Gemma's nerves make her need to pee and so we stopped to wee and also to watch various eyes pop out of heads as Sophie walked past different young men as they ate burgers and drank tea. It's almost a game and I think it's very funny unless the man in question is in his 50s and slimy looking, it then becomes a game of keeping mother from punching slimy old man and nagging Sophie to cover up and hide some skin and IT'S SNOWING FOR HEAVENS SAKE, you'll CATCH YOUR DEATH!

( I love this picture because we are all in it but I look like an old biddy with a lally bag, albeit a very posh Coach Lally bag!)

Actually, apart from the bizarre quirk that Gemma's car has of disliking travelling at 60 miles an hour, when it makes a worrying grinding noise as though she is driving in 2nd gear and maybe she change that or something, we arrived in Wales without a hitch. We found Cardiff ( or Gemma did) found a parking spot ( £12 !!! Good heavens Simon Cowell, for no-one else would we pay £12 to park!) and even found the theatre easily.


There didn't appear to be too much of a queue either which was miraculous, only an hour or so to wait and no queue? Miraculous indeed, also incorrect because as we walked to the back of the queue it kept moving and getting further and further away from the entrance. No matter we were THERE and had TICKETS and this was SO EXCITING!
Shame then that we had nothing to eat and daren't leave the line for fear of never getting in. Mel mumbled about how THIS is where you need a man with a tray of sandwiches and before we blinked, there he WAS! A man with a tray of hot bacon and sausage baps! MMMMMMM, delicious and so welcome.

And Mel is not going to share any of hers!

We did mention how a man with hot chocolate would be more than welcome but to no avail.

Even being in that line was fun. Mel was so excited and said over and over again how much she hoped there would be cameras and if there were, she was going to WAVE at them and get their attention, she was going to be on TV and she wanted CAMERAS! Where are the CAMERAS?
Eventually she started to say " a camera is coming! It IS, look's COMING a camera is really coming!!! LOOK!
"A camera, a CAMERA! Look it's COMING!"
"Mel what are you saying?"
"I said a CAMERA IS COMING Oh my gosh...a CAMERA I am going to be on it, on TV!!!!!"
"WHERE?" said I and looked up and there it was no more than 3 inches from my face! I bet I looked heavenly at that distance, what a shot! Where is Mel? Her chance for fame!!!
ON THE GROUND! Really, she was on the pavement, curled up with her hands over her head!
"what are you DOING? "
"It was so close, I didn't want to be THAT close!"
For heavens sake, she laughed til she cried.....after she got up off the dirty cold ground that is.


It was cold and we stamped our feet to keep them warm, it did stay dry though which is a blessing, rain would have been miserable and the snow was light and pretty and a novelty...proper British snow. We took pictures of the crowd,


Of ourselves...

Let me tell you, that picture there is my favourite, from now on EVERY picture I ever take of me is going to be from that angle....look how there is no double chin! Look how youthful I look...why did I not know of this trick before? I love that picture, it is now on every profile and signature I own online...look at ME...I am 15! Hoorah!
I will not be posting any of the ones we took from below, where we are all looking DOWN on the camera..although I am sure the others will post them on Face book, mean minxes.


Warm those hands Mel ( and look at Gemma...she is more like me and has standards and is a good girl....a little disturbed by Mel warming her hands on Sophie's bosoomers!)

pictures of the queue behind us...


And being bored and pretending to be a pantomime donkey...


And cameras filming us...

And before it, we were in the theatre, The new Theatre, Cardiff, and it was warm and toasty and so unbelievably exciting!


We were like kids in a candy shop, the STAGE and the BUZZERS and the NAMES IN LIGHTS! Just like on TV! but we are really HERE!




And then the show began..we were allowed to take pictures of the judges and Ant and Dec, then we had to turn off cameras while the show was being filmed.


Judges at the table with buzzers that were so LOUD.

Ant and Dec who are very beautiful but SMALL, very little indeed.

The show was fabulous, great acts, terrible acts, enthralling acts. The best parts were the inbetween the acts where they had the funniest man I have ever heard, he was great and really had us all roaring with laughter and shocked at how rude he was about the bad acts!
The best part for me, was watching Sophie. This is the kind of fun she should be having, I wanted to watch HER ( and I did) I wanted to make her whole life feel this way, to see her laughing and having such real fun, safe fun. I took picture after picture of her laughing and I watched her every minute because this is how I love to see her.




We were in the theatre for 4 hours, every minute was fun. We watched the filming of ' Britains got more talent' which is an after show programme shown on ITV 2 when the main show has ended. It is hosted by Stephen Mulhern and is as much fun as the main show. We saw him in a box just above us and watched him as he watched the show. When the show was over we got told off for taking pictures while he was still filming, when he was done he called over and waved and let us take pictures, so I called up and asked if Sophie could have her picture taken with him. Bless his heart he said he would come and meet us and we took a picture, no-one else was allowed to pose with him as he had to carry on with his work.....what a treat for Gemma, Sophie and Mel!


Hearing Sophie and Mel thank us over and over again, watching them laughing and dancing, seeing then have such real good fun was so touching to me, I was quite teary coming home because they kept saying how this was something they would remember forever and how this was probably the best fun they had ever had.
It really snowed as we drove home and Gemma did such a great job, she got us home safely and all was well until we got had snowed so much and was so icy that the car wouldn't make it up out hill, no gritters on the smaller roads, so Sophie and I walked up the hill, somehow! What a funny end to the day, slithering up such a steep hill and sliding back down every now and then.
A lovely, precious day of memories and laughter and I can hardly bear to wait until April when the show airs and we can sit and say " we saw that! Oh she was terrible, oh she was SO funny!"
Glorious times.

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