Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Growing up.....

My baby.......

.....grew up........


got a silver for techniques at the National Kuk Sool Won Championships.  Yeah!

He was very proud, and it was presented in assembly.

And I got a haircut.  I think I like it.  I'm not sure at the moment.

But I'm prouder of the boy.  He was so sick on Tuesday, could barely stand on Wednesday, and won National level silver on the Saturday!  That, my friends, is manning up like an armourer does it.  Takes after his stepfathers....

Monday, November 29, 2010

Writing prompt - I don't remember

I don't remember a time when I couldn't read.  When the black marks on the page meant nothing.  When I couldn't escape from this world to another, full of hope and opportunity and dragons.  When I couldn't find something out by myself, or make something new just by reading the instructions of a recipe.

I don't remember what I did before I had the AC.  What did I do with all that time?  Where did I go?  How was my life anywhere near as good as it was after his birth?  How did I manage without his cuddles, his kisses, his spontaneous I love you's?

I don't remember last Christmas, I don't know where we went or what we did.  I know what I got the AC - it's there in the corner of the room - but I don't remember who we shared Christmas with.  Or New Year.  Or much about last year at all.  I just don't remember.

I don't remember how bad life felt before J.  I refuse to remember how it felt to go to bed on my own, night after night.  I refuse to dwell on the pain, on that first feeling in the morning when there is every chance it is all some horrendous dream and Rich is downstairs asleep on the sofa, and how it felt when the crashing realisation hit me that he wasn't.  I don't remember the pain of I-t-B scattering his ashes somewhere.  Anywhere.  I refuse to live with that pain, and so I *won't* remember.

These days, I don't remember to do the things I've said I will, or to do the ordinary things of life, although that is getting better, slowly.  Life is full of memories, and of not memories.  Of what I choose to remember, of what I choose to forget, of what I forget by myself, of what my brain chooses to forget to spare me the pain.

I look at the sleeping child, and I wonder what he remembers.  What he will remember when he is bigger.

And I remember that today is 500 days since Rich died.

I remember.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


It's early morning ish here, and I definitely feel pensive.  Full of thought.  Full of last year.  Full of inquest hearing. It's Rich's wedding anniversary today as well (I think) and I'm glad he doesn't have to go through another one.  See, there are good things, if I look for them hard enough.  He's spared so much pain now.

I need to shake this feeling and get on.  I have to do the notices for church, and take the stars to church to put up.  And work out how I'm going to put them up, but that's a different story - I'll post a picture from church to show the finished article.

I need to print off some letters at school (must get new wireless printer thingy - maybe web wireless printer thingy!) for DVLA, and Uni Birmingham and people like that.  Point out to DVLA that yes, he's still dead and they can feel free to fine him £80 instead of £40, but he isn't going to pay it and he isn't going to tax the car.  Or the bike.  Mmmm.  They got a piece of my mind when they asked about him taxing the bike.  I had already told them 4 times he was killed on 17/07/09.

Speaking of which, tomorrow is 500 days since he died.  Nobody will know or care except me.  I won't even tell the AC or J, but I'll know.

Maybe that's why I'm pensive.

Who knows.

Right.  Things to do, places to go, stars to hang!

Laters people.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy thanksgiving!

Today we are out for Thanksgiving with some American friends of ours.  It'll be great, like it usually is, although the AC and I have been off school as he has had a tummy bug - he was sick Tuesday but still not allowed back yet.

As always though, I'm caught in a dilemma.  I always sent BG a Thanksgiving card from all of us, just like I always sent her advent calendar and cards.  This year, I have no idea where she is, or what she's doing, or how she is.

Happy Thanksgiving Princess.  We love you.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Tired today and I've slept loads, but the last two nights I've had some very vivid dreams.  Nothing bad, just ones with lots of hard work in them.

I've got to take choir out today, to go and do singing for the elderly at a special lunch in town.  They are nearly ready, but not quite.  Oh well.  They'll be fine.....

The weekend was good.  Kinda.  Away weekends are never going to be easy.  However, next time we have the boys we're going to the Christmas do, so that'll be fun!

And I have to shower, because I smell.  Again, away weekends are not good.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's not you, it's me.

PUDSEY! Hurrah! Children in Need day! YAY!

Just what we need after the emotional ups and downs of last week.  Sher was round last night and it was good.  AC thinks she's lovely, J obviously likes her (she's his friend lol!) and I'm ok with her.  Initially I didn't like her, but I'm trying to put that aside and look for her good qualities. She has them.  I just have to find them and cherish them, more than the fact her language and attitudes are crude.

Maybe I'm a prude.  Maybe that's where the problem is.  Maybe all along, it's been my expectations that have made it difficult with the She Ex, and with the He Ex, and with Sher.  I expect good manners and polite company around children, and acceptance of life, and children first.  Always, always children first.  The selfishness of some parents who are unable to do that, and the concious and subconscious trauma that they put the children through, which has far reaching effects into their futures, well, that attitude just drives me mad.

Yesterday I had three sets of tears, from three different children, about issues which, clearly, I'm not going into on here.  These children are going through hell, and only one of the parents involved actually gives a damn, and I know why, and I applaud her for it.  

I know I've been criticised for the fact that the AC always comes first, always.  Regardless.  I know that we are so blessed that we have J in our lives and that I am incredibly blessed that he and the AC get on so, so well.  He puts the AC first as well, but obviously he has to put T-boy first when we are all together.  He knew I wanted that, and expected that when we were together that's what would happen.  He hasn't let me down like that.

But maybe it's not the right way.  I keep being told "You should put you first"  "Make time for you" "What do *you* want out of life?"  and if I was doing things the right way, then the world wouldn't say that.  But then do I care what the world thinks?  I don't know.  Part of me does - I mean, I'm writing this to try and think it through, and I know that there are people out there who read it and make comments, and so that matters.  Part of me looks at how settled my son is, even through everything, and thinks that I clearly am doing things the right way, that preparing him for change is good, that putting him first matters and improves him.

Oh I don't know. *laughs and shrugs*  In the big scheme of things it doesn't matter I expect.  Maybe I should lower my expectations for the people mentioned above lol!

Maybe I think too much.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Busy busy busy!

Well, the AC and I are starting to come out of the emotional nightmare that was the Remembrance days.  I cannot explain the pain, the need to let it out, the times I found myself balled on a chair, sobbing because my heart was broken.  Perhaps last year was such a numbness, that this year is the feeling of it.  It's fading now again, but that's the way it is.  Time is a great healer......... so they say.

There's a lot more to say about today - Sher is coming over for tea and J is cooking (I'm loving being looked after!) and so life is busy.  Tomorrow we'll be off to go and see T-boy, and AC will come with us, and I'll be looked after at J's mum's house (because she is adorable)

I have a thousand tonnes of work to do, but I'm just taking Uni work with me to there, because I need to get that caught up, although looking at it I know a lot is 'net based, so maybe I won't.

Maybe I'll just take a break this weekend, and work my backside off the following week.

How busy is your world?  I might even find time for a stooge around the net and find out!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just keep on keeping on.

Today, a friend of mine wakes up without her mother.

I got the message last night to ask me to phone my mother, on her behalf, and let her know.  She wants my mother to perform the funeral.  We've known that bit for a couple of weeks, and it was a relief for my friends mother to know that my  mother had said yes, that her Celebration was in safe hands.

Today, another friend of mine buries his grandfather.  His daughter is asleep upstairs, his son and daughter will be coming back to ours for tea tonight.  Again, it was a long and painful illness that left a strong proud man as a gibbering husk.

Today, Wootton Bassett will stand still yet again, as a boy comes home in the flag draped coffin of the military dead.  Another girlfriend will cry, another set of parents and siblings will stand, stiff-lipped.

Today is 1 year and 22 days since Rich died.  1 year and 21 days since I woke up without him for the first time. 1 year and 21 days since the AC slept at someone else's house for the first time.  1 year and 105 days since I stood, stiff-lipped, the AC's small hand in mine, watching as 6 of the truest friends a man could ever have received his flag draped coffin and bore him with pride into his Celebration.

I couldn't imagine being at this point.  I couldn't imagine what I was doing the next day, let alone over a year and 4 months later.  I couldn't imagine what we were eating, let alone the idea of loving and living and working in the way that we are.  I want to reach out to these people, to tell them that they can do this, to tell them to keep on keeping on, that it will happen for them.

There is no point though.  They won't want to hear the platitudes any more than I did.  The mere words that "Time is a great healer" or whatever just made me want to thump someone.

All I wanted, was him to walk in the door.

But I kept on, keeping on, I keep on, keeping on, secure in the knowledge, as these people who start the rest of their lives today are also secure, that the man I love died full of love, that I couldn't have made him happier,  and that, to paraphrase Wu Han, whilst we had many great adventures together, into the great unknown mystery, he went first.

I'm now at the stage where I can thank him for the adventure, and go and have one of my own. It doesn't mean I don't miss him, or cry for him, or want him to walk in - he was my best ever friend as well as my lover after all - but it means I can celebrate his life with love and laughter, and not be a bitter and twisted woman, spending my life trying to cause those around me as much pain as I'm in.  That would be selfish and stupid, and I love him, the AC, J, my parents, my Godchildren, my friends, too much to turn into that.

I choose to *live* my life, because he loves me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Remembrance Sunday

Today was Remembrance Sunday.

Today was painful, fulfilling, challenging, loving, tearful, patriotic, emotional, and more.

Today I remembered so much, that, last year I couldn’t remember.

Today I remembered Rich on the phone to BG just before he left for the Afghan. 

I remember seeing him drive away, and praying so damn hard that he’d come back.

I remember lying to him about how much I’d heard from the She-Ex and how many pictures there were. 

I remember the sound of the air-raid warning when we were on the phone, and how he told me not to worry, but he had to go. 

I remember the hope and numbness of just not thinking about it, when I hadn’t heard for 4 days. 

I remember watching the news at 3am when I couldn’t sleep.

I remember the shock of seeing him home 2 days early. Hearing Caroline shouting my name and me telling her I had to get off the phone.  Thinking I was seeing things.  Just seeing him there in his desert kit.



Today I held the hand of a man I’ll never have to pack for, I’ll never have to watch Sky News for, I’ll never have to deal with a vindictive ex-wife for, I’ll never have to see in danger.  I know there are mere boys out there at the moment.  Selfishly, tonight, I’m glad that none of them are mine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day, 2010

Today we were supposed to be going out to the local War Memorial for the Act of Remembrance.  I was told that my class were not to go, because the weather was too bad.

(Admittedly there were 70mph gusts, and it was raining sideways, but, hey.  Did they not have bad weather in the trenches?)

Instead we watched the service in the hall.  I linked the hall projector into the internet, picked up the British Legion Silence in the Square feed, and watched it.  All 305 children were silent for the 2 minutes. Even the special children.

I wept.

It was the way it was.

And now, I'm exhausted, I'm emotionally drained, I've pretended all day that things are ok.

Tea now.  A large cup, with sugar.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I don't know what to write.

So why am I writing?

I don't know.  Maybe to see what comes out.

I could always winge on about teacher workload.  However, I did no work last night because we went through the kitchen and binned off lots of stuff.  I mean 5 bin bags of stuff.  Lots of baking trays and saucepans went, lots of out of date food - all bought just after the accident and never eaten, lots of the cookery books are in a pile for Freecycling.

By the time J and I are finished, we will have a massive house together.  Unlike Rich, J is not a hoarder.  I am.  This may lead to problems in the future lol, but right now J is freeing me up to get things out of here that deep down I want out of the house, but further up I want to keep in case they are useful one day.

I know what the problem is though peoples.  I miss BG.  I miss her being on the edge of our thoughts all the time, I miss chatting about her phonecalls with Rich, I miss the pictures that we had, (she's still on our fridge!) I miss her.  I should be helping Rich think about her Christmas box now, I should have her on my Advent Calendar list.  She is special and precious and to lose her as well was a second bereavement.

I know there is the future.  There is the "one day" when I shall be able to tell her about her Daddy, show her where we Celebrated him and (for us)scattered his ashes, I-t-b has denied him a proper grave marker, but I know what I know.  There is the "one day" when I'll explain why I was told to get out of her life, to put my side of the relationship I had with her father, to put his side of the relationship he had with her, and with her mother.

But *today*, right now, I just hope and pray she is safe and happy and growing up to be tall, strong and honest, like him.  That she is open with her feelings, feels secure and understood, is getting on well at school, for all she's a grade behind she just needed love and support and constructive help, that she's coping in the area, and that she is gorgeous and happy.

I will never stop thinking about her and loving her, and we were more than just what her mother said.

You and Sam, no longer have any reason to be in contact with her.

Step families, don't count.

ANd that's all you ever were to her.

She will be told you and Richard were planning on taking her away from me.

That you two were planning on filing her head full of tons of lies about me.

She will be told all of that.

So while you are having fun planning and living your life.

Remember that.

all you two ever did was hurt her.

The AC still thinks of her as a stepsister, and counts her in his prayers when he does them.  But I look at the vitriol that is here, and I don't miss that.  I miss Lori when she was being nice and friendly and chatty and sending photos and so on, but I don't miss the anger and hatred.  I hope she's happier now, and more relaxed and hopefully has a new job that she loves, and is in a new relationship with someone who makes her feel special, like Rich and now J make me feel special.  I doubt she'd believe me if she read this, but that's what I hope for her.

So I did have something to write after all.  I'll leave the heading as it is though.  Time for a shower.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The first day of the rest of HIS life!

Retirement sounds a lot like sleeping.  That’s what I have to say about that lol!

Some of us are not retired, don’t feel very well, are fed up of moaning about the world, and have decided that we are part of the solution, as opposed to being part of the problem for the last few weeks.


is part of what I have been reading and sharing this morning with the Uni group.  I’ve used it in conjunction with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for the basis for my teaching for a long time, but I’m sharing today.

It explains a lot, to me, about why children who are on the autistic continuum find it so hard to learn – literally,their brain shuts down level by level until they cannot physically learn.

(I’m using My Blog to write and post this from the new Windows update I had, but I’m not sure I’m loving it that much……)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cats are fabulous

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

And the answers are....

Work Life balance.

This is grim at the moment and heavily work orientated.  However, I have assigned specific times to work, and I'm doing those.  And extra.  Yes, I know, what's the point if I'm going to do extra?  Well, because the children need it.  and children always, ALWAYS come first.

Why we *don't* do Hallowe'en.

See previous post.

Changes in our lives.

J is on his last week of work, and he is then officially retired.  He's not that much older than Rich was, but it's a time of life that we are looking forward to.  Unless you have been the wife at home whilst the man is away being shot at, you cannot understand.  I thought I could prior to Rich going to the Afghan, but I couldn't.  Not until he was actually there.  It was an experience we had to go though twice and would have gone through a lot more, were it not for the accident, but, well.  Eternal rest grant unto him Oh Lord, as a beloved friend prayed for him yesterday.

The Adorable Childs behaviour (n.b. this is good!)

The AC is now cooking independently! Ok, it's just small things like buns and cakes, but it's independent,  He's only 7, I think he's doing ok, lol!  He loves and lives with all his heart and will not be sad for long, although he cried last night at Monsters Inc when we watched it for the first time.  He tells J he loves him every day, at least twice, and is looking forward to J picking him up from school when he's finished work.  And I've had several people tell me recently how lovely he is - strangers as well as friends - that he has lovely manners and attitude and is interesting to talk to, and other nice things.  He is a child of the village, in that he has been raised by me, by his father to some extent, by Rich to a much greater extent, now by J, and he's coming through ok.  Just goes to show that proper preparation for events, proper understanding and talking and acceptance of another persons feelings, does that person a lot of good in the long run.  He could have been a demanding brat by now, and he's gorgeous.

Why isn't blog in the list of words recognised by the dictionary on a blogging website?

Still no answer to this one.

Or blogging.

Or this one.


Mmmmm.  Soup!  I'm after one of those Cuisinaire soup maker whatsits, because I love soup.  To come home, cold and shivery, and to be able to put hot homeade soup on the table for the boys in under 15 minutes (it was frozen!) is one of the delights of my life.

Why ASD is now ASC and how that affects children.

This needs a long answer really, but in the UK, (and I'd be interested in the US perspective) Autistic Spectrum Disorder is now Autistic Spectrum Condition, as there is nothing *wrong* with these children.  Also, we have to refer to a continuum, as opposed to a spectrum.

So those are the short answers.  And I must shake my tail and get moving to the shower.

LAters peoples.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm boring..... Or why I don't do Hallowe'en

Now, this here post is written partly to explain to Hyacynth why I don't do it, and partly to get things on paper.  I find that it clarifies the mind!

I don't do Hallowe'en.  I don't do trick or treating, dressing up as personifications of evil, encouraging children to scare anyone, spiders, devils, ghosts, ghouls, or things that go bump in the night. (well, I do do those, but not on a family blog...... ;-)  )


Well, because in all essence, it's a Pagan festival.  Now before anyone gets on their high horses, I don't do it because of love, and of respect for that festival, out of what it means to true Pagans (as opposed to "Sabrina witches", who play at it to impress others, as Rich always described the She-Ex) This festival, in it's original form, belongs to a faith that I have no part in.  I always enabled Rich to celebrate it, we always had anything he needed in the house, and he appreciated the understanding I had of his faith, and showed his appreciation by understanding my Christian faith.


Well, because trick or treating is a modern, American, dressed up in cuteness, version of begging with threats.  We spend all year saying "Don't speak to strangers, work hard for what you want, stay away from horrible things and don't be mean to other folks."  Until 31st October, and then we say "Throw out the rules!  Knock on the doors of strangers, beg for sweets, dress as something to scare other people, and if you don't get what you want then damage their property - it's fun!"


Well, because I believe that nothing in life is intrinsically evil.  Not spiders, not cobwebs, not worms, not ....... well, just not.  Do I believe that nothing in death is intrinsically evil?  Well, I'm not so sure about that.  I do believe that there are evil forces in the world, and that they are encouraged by this activity, by this doorway into our world that we open for them every year on this date.  I do believe in the Devil, incredibly unPC-Christian that I am.  I do believe that he wants more power in the world.  One of the best books for explaining this is a non-Christian book, a fiction book by Neil Gaiman, called "Good Omens".  It's also one of the funniest things I have ever, ever read, and should be read by everyone.

Mostly though, I don't do Hallowe'en, because it isn't mine to do.  I don't do Eid Al-Fitur, I don't do Hannukah or Sukkot, I don't do Kathina Day, or Diwali, or anything like that.  They are not mine to do.  I don't believe in what they are worshipping.

So there we go!  I know a lot of Christians do do Hallowe'en, and do it in the Pagan sense as opposed to the All Hallows Eve sense of it, and that's up to them.

As for me and my house.....


Laters people...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Things I want to blog about sometime!

Work Life balance.
Why we *don't* do Hallowe'en.
Changes in our lives.
The Adorable Childs behaviour (n.b. this is good!)
Why isn't blog in the list of words recognised by the dictionary on a blogging website?
Or blogging.
Why ASD is now ASC and how that affects children.

But now.....