Saturday, December 31, 2011

Making pasta

Sorry, this will again be a photo heavy post.  I need to find out how to make one of those mosaic thingys that so many really talented and creative people use.

My Other Half, the lovely J, bought me a pasta machine for Christmas.  I've always wanted one, and now I have one.  Indeed I do.
A cup of flour.
2 eggs, beaten, and deposited into a well in the middle of the flour.





A mess.  There is some delicate way of doing things that doesn't involve this much mess.  I think it comes with practice.

After 2 minutes kneading.  This now felt solid, and like I could have baked it and used it as dwarf throwing bread.

5 minutes more.  It's coming.  My friend Andy put on FB that it would take more kneading than bread.  I'm glad he did, because I was slightly despairing by this point!

Around 10-15 minutes in, and it is a smooth ball of elasticky dough.  Lovely.  Into the fridge, wrapped in clingfilm, for about as long as it took to make biscuits and clear up a bit. and get the machine out. Umm.  45 minutes?

The machine.

The first dough.  Apparently every time I use it, I will be putting a small piece of dough through to clean it out from the last time it was used.  It must never be washed.  OR fed after midnight.

Wide spaghetti.  Tagliatelli.  I think that's the spelling.

Looks good! So I squished it back together again and put it through the rollers again until it was thin  and......

....put it through the spaghetti cutters.



It is good!


Finished product after 2 minutes in boiling water.
I ate it an enjoyed it, J ate it and enjoyed it, T-Boy was impressed by the machine but didn't eat it.  It took him 2 hours to eat his lunch yesterday, although it was all foods that he likes.  Last night when he started the "I'm full" routine, his dad told him to put it in the kitchen.

We're taking him back today.  I do miss him when he isn't here, and I love having him around, but the tantrums and the food choices (which I firmly believe are deliberate) and the constant defiance are wearing me out.  I'm going to avoid having both boys at the same time for long holidays as much as possible.  They both need individual needs meeting and both struggle with the other one sometimes.  I know all families do.

They are both such strong characters, both with such different flash points, both with such different outlooks on life, and the gap is going to keep growing as they develop so differently.  I have faith in the AC that he will develop more patience and calm with T-Boy, that he will learn to ignore, or forgive T-Boy's behaviours and outbursts.  I can have that faith because I know that J and I, and He-Ex have the same direction for his upbringing.  We want the best for him and from him.  T-Boy is being brought up by his mother, and she is content for him to be a baby for the rest of his life.

It's in all the little things.  He's 10.  He's never wrapped a present, or dried up the dishes, or washed his own hair, until he got to here, where we all help, and where the AC has been in charge of his own hygiene since he was about 6. (Under supervision til he was about 7, but he's more than capable now!)  T-Boy has no responsibilities, and doesn't know how to be responsible.  He's never gone anywhere without his mother, or other significant grown up - not even run on ahead to school and they live 3 minutes walk away from their school!  He's never helped make a cake or a cup of tea.  He's never run his own bath.  He's never brought the milk in, or wiped a kitchen side.

He's done all these things now, and most of them in the last year. But it all gets undone as soon as he goes back to his mother, and gets a virtual nappy put on.

Ah well.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Normal yesterday, work today...

Photos from yesterday.....

I made bread. I nearly always make bread. I have a lovely breadmaker which does all the hard work. I was hoping to investigate recipes for bread this holidays, but no such luck!




Dishwasher of loveliness, which saves me so much time and effort, and whirrs away happily in my kitchen!

New shoes and odd socks.  Always odd socks.  Life is too short to match socks.

New shoes.  I have size 3 feet, (US5) and so it can be tricky to get shoes in the sale.  But these ones I did!  £15! Yay!

My duck feet.  they have to go inside my shoes to try and correct my hip displacement and so that should mean that my cartilage doesn't just tear again.  But I think it's on it's way. 

Last night Sher came round, and I made fajitas and for the first time, I made my own salsa! Hurrah!

This is what I want to play with today, thanks to the lovely J.

However, I'm having several of these.....

And facing this.  I hate being a responsible professional sometimes........

I don't know how the caption thing will work lol!

The Aloha Friday question is "Any blogging goals for 2012?"

The short answer is yes!
The long answer is that I need to blog, I need to get the words out of myself and onto paper.  I'm going to have the camera on me or near me as much as possible, because photo blogging could help me to focus.  I'm going to do meme's like Aloha Friday so that I carry on writing when I'm stuck, because I need the release that writing brings. (Ok, now I sound like a hippy!)  I might every try vlogging!

I just need to find some more meme's (one for each day, and suggestions would be cheerfully recieved) and the button for Aloha Friday.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Photo post!

I just felt like sharing normal life.  I'm going to take pictures of normal life over the next year - I'm kind of looking for a meme if anyone knows of one - but I thought I'd start with today.

Well.  Not today, as obviously today hasn't happened yet.

These are pictures from the last few days.




J's Christmas presents - Mork and Mindy.  He's a salmon boa, she's a pastel boa, and both are adorable!


John Doe, a dot dash California King Python.  He's a bit grumpy, but calms quickly for me.  Doesn't like anyone else though, and this was the first time he'd properly locked on.

The AC getting his Scotty's Little Soldiers present.  It is an amazing charity set up for the children of the fallen by a military widow.  There's a whole back story there as well, but suffice it to say the boy-child was amazed by his present.

This photo shows two things.  One is the traditional (in England) Christmas cake, with nativity.  The other is the gap between the t-shirt of the child and the trousers of the child as yet again he has grown out of clothes.  Currently I keep 3 t-shirts and 3 pairs of trousers (aside from school things) as he is growing so fast that to by more is simply a waste.  And you can see his waist in this picture!  He's also proudly wearing a Royal British Legion wristband.  He has spoken to his teacher, and he puts it on her desk at the start of the day, and gets it at the end.  This enables her to still restrict the use of "shag bands" which are currently all the rage amongst the more sheep-like of the school population.



And the cake.  Oh the cake.  The cake!  It was gorgeous (though I says it as shouldn't) and was dark and moist and dense and much enjoyed.  Admittedly I used ready made marzipan this year, and ready to roll white icing, and I shall never use that ready to roll stuff again.  Bleugh to handle! 


Flyboy.  He's now on helicopters and an indoor plane called a Vapour.  It is a joy to see him learning and focusing.  He looks bulky in this picture.  That may have something to do with the 3 t-shirts and a long sleeved top that he is wearing.  I'm only guessing......

He goes to his fathers today for about a week.  He's back to me on Tuesday night, ready for school to start on Wednesday morning.  I am proud of the fact that his father and I can manage a reasonable relationship, and that I can honestly say I have never stopped his father seeing him.  The AC will come to his own decisions about both of us as he grows, and I would hate to influence that for good or ill when it comes to his father.

So that's a quick trip through the last few days.

More tomorrow - the meme search begins!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Peace and quiet

The boys are downstairs, on the computer games that they bought with their money.  I am up here, on this.

There are several things that come to mind from recent days, but mostly it's something that T-Boy said last night.  We were watching a film, (one where there is a plane crash and it's a prison plane and Tommy Lee Jones is in it, and it might be called U.S. Marshalls, but it might not lol!) and the plane crashes into a river and flips over.  Some of the prisoners cannot escape because they are shackled in to the plane.  There is a shot, where there are drowned prisoners hanging upside down in the water.  T-Boy said something, then added "And all those ones are asleep and not even aware that the plane has crashed!" and laughed at the surprise that those people would get.  We have known for a time that he has no concept of time and how it passes, but now to see and hear that he has no death concept, at 10, is a revelation.

It explains how he can be so unaffected by the films he has seen in the past - Final Destination and all those types.  It explains why he doesn't understand when the AC cries for Rich, as he does every now and again.  It explains why he doesn't worry about people - in his world, nothing bad happens.  There is no future to consider.

Part of me despairs of him ever growing up enough to be a big boy.  Already the AC is his match for height almost, and certainly above him academically and emotionally, for all that he is 21 months the younger. The AC has resigned himself to the fact that life is different when T-Boy is here, less free, less independent, because whereas the AC thought he would be getting a bigger brother to lean on a bit, he has what is effectively a younger one, who needs protecting.

On the other hand, part of me envies the T-Boy for the innocence that he has in this regard because I would give the world for the AC not to understand death in the way that he does.  Yes, it's made him stronger, and independent and his own person, but at the same time, I would almost wish for the unsullied eyes of my child on his 6th birthday, before it all went so badly wrong. 


His eyes are deeper now, are clouded at times with remembered despair.  One of my favourite photos of him shows this so perfectly.  Although even this photo is 2 summers old now.

No time for maudling thoughts now though.  I have things to do, places to go, people to see - and a kitchen to clean lol!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas was lovely.
The children loved their presents (3DS each) and the AC was especially made up by his Scotty's Little Soldiers present, which turned out to be a TV/DVD combo for his room.  He knows he's so lucky, and is so grateful.

We came back last night, and T-Boy was sick on the way back in the car, all chocolate from the amount of rubbish he'd eaten at his mothers.  I don't know what to do about his eating this week, whether just to leave it, or not.  I might.  He might just have sausages all week lol, and we'll eat properly.  But then that is just reinforcing that if he makes a stupid massive fuss then he can have what he likes.  On the other hand, why should I bust my backside to help him when his own mother isn't bothered and doesn anything for a quiet life?

I'm hoping that we hear from the pension people this week as well, about what is happening and whether the AC is entitled to anything or not.  It's not about the money, it's about him being accepted as part of Rich's life.  The She-Ex has got everything else financial - except the bills lol!  I-t-B took the ashes and I don't know where they went to.  We have the memories, and Thetford, and the joy of being properly loved by him.  As accounts are levelled, we have the best bits lol!

Anyway, I'd better start the daily battle that is breakfast.  AC can't stop eating at the moment - growing boy!  T-Boy won't eat - and isn't growing.  AC is almost taller than him.  I want to help him so badly, but I just can't.  Maybe I shouldn't.  Maybe I just need to let him carry on and get ill from malnutrition.

Could you though?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The AC is playing World of Warcraft. It's something he and Rich used to do together. I'm icing the cake. We haven't decorated this year because we're going to be away and the world was a busy place and we just never did lol, but we will next year. Yesterday Joe dropped his Scotty's present down to the house, and the AC's Scotty's hoodie. He had to have the 9-11yrs one, at 8, lol, but it looks fine and suits him. As he said he's proud to be a member of SLS, although, like all the others, he wishes he wasn't. SLS is amazing, and has been such a support for the AC. And now to the cake! Millions of things to do lol!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Solstice

Today is the solstice.

Or yesterday.

I think it depends what you think.  Anyway, it was today for us.

Carefully, I did nothing, except write on his FB wall. 

Nothing except suddenly hear J telling people at his work how careful and thrifty and fabulous I am in the kitchen.  About how the custard and cake I had taken to his work woul dbe the first thing he's had out of a tin in months.  About how good my cooking is.

It was so.... affirming, I suppose.  I love that he respects what I do, and loves me.

I'm so lucky I can be in this place again in my life, differently, but with a wonderful man who cherishes me.

I still cry, randomly, for the life I should have had, for the children I should have had, for the relationship with BG that I should have had.  I know I won't hear anything about the advent calendar I sent this year.  (If I knew it was getting there then I'd put something in it for her to buy herself a present, I have no idea what a 9 year old girl wants lol!)

The AC is checking the curtains every 5 minutes to see if J is home.  This is a really random post.  I can't get my feelings onto paper at the moment.  It's like a physical blockage in my arms or something, like I'm choking in my nerves.

Well, now I sound like a fruit loop.

More sleep is probably in order, and maybe some relaxing!  I'll try again later.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When will I learn?

There are several things that I need to learn.

1) Just because it has been 9 months since knee surgery does not mean that I can run on this leg, nor yet walk quickly for the nearly-2-miles that is is from town to here.  Do not try it.

2) Just because it has been 2 years and 5 months since Rich died, does not mean that the computers in the world have caught up yet.  Do not be surprised by random letters demanding payment. Do not be surprised when it hurts to see his name in print.  Still.

3) Just because you know the house always looks worse before it looks better does not mean that you should allow it to look worse, on the grounds that eventually it will look better.  Do not expect improvements unless you get off your bottom and do something about it.

4) Do not think that you can eat a Burger King meal as well as chilli cheese bites and get away with it.  You will feel nauseous.  You cannot eat that amount.  That is why the AC always eats your chips.  And most of your burger.  He has hollow legs.

So now I'm sitting here, feeling a little sick, with a sore knee, but with almost all of the Christmas shopping done.  HURRAH!

Flying tonight, then bed, then Thursday will bring Rachel, and Friday will bring the AC's Scottys Little Soldiers present! Woooooooooo!  He is very excited (but Evil Mummy says he cannot open it until Christmas Day).  He will, however, be getting his Scotty jumper tomorrow. 

He's also playing WoW again.  This is a big step.....  I'll write more about the AC's progress through grief another time.  It needs writing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Knock, knock

So I'm walking back into my blog, listening to how my footsteps sound on the dusty floor.  I've always thought my blog had a wooden floor, and then a big rug in front of a fireplace, with some squishy comfy chairs.  The chairs have been dustsheeted in my absence, by the blog fairies, so that I can just walk back in, pull off the sheeting, and sit down.  I kneel in front of the fireplace and methodically arrange the newspaper, then the sticks, then the coals, in the same way that my granfather taught me so long ago.

So long ago.

It feels strange to be back here, and to know that I'm having to make an effort to be here.  I've retreated so far into my own self in the last few weeks that reaching out seems like an anathema to all that I am.  But I cannot shrink any further - without imploding into some kind of white dwarf star and having more mass than size.  So instead I have to reach out, spread outwards again.

What have I done since October 10th?

Stuff.  Nothing major.  There's still stuff coming for Rich.  I've dealt with DVLA again, with the Child Tax people, with a few more debt collector notices.  I've dealt with it, because I'm tired of it, and clearly no one else is dealing with it, so I'd better.

School is school.  I'm going on a course every Tuesday for 6 weeks.  It'll be good.  If it's not good, then I'll drag the good bits out of it. Choir have been fantastic, and it's been noticed that they have improved drastically since I've been involved.  It's quite soul-nourishing in many ways.

Home is lovely.  We're doing really well with lots of things.  J and I are in the front bedroom now, and although it needs wallpaper and so on, lets not be picky lol!  I'll be moving the AC's room into the middle room, and his room will become the reptile room.

Oh yes.  We've now got 6 snakes, from the original 3, and they are all gorgeous.  I bought J a pair for Christmas, baby boa's all of of 8 inches long, one salmon, one pastel, and they are stunning and friendly.  Both are now properly eating, which is good.

Now though, now I'm tired, and so it is time for me to sit in the warm leather chair, gaze into the wood fire, and drink tea, whilst thinking my own thoughts.

Itwillallbefine.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend blues

I've worked through the weekend again, marking and planning and so on.  The problem is that we were away, which means I was doing it without the internet which makes things twice as hard. T-boy is becomming more and more miserable and this weekend was just not in a happy place at all.  Hopefully we'll go to the meeting and we'll find out what's been going on at school that is making him so negative about it.  This weekend, even his grandmother said he was moaning and complaining more than she had ever known.

Maybe it's me.

Maybe I am the problem.  Deep down, I know that I'm not, but as far as he is concerned, I am.  His mother is prepared to let him do what he wants, eat what he wants, be what he wants.  If that involves spending all day in front of the tv and the computer games, and eating crap, then so be it.  At least he's quiet, as far as she's concerned.  I don't know. 

I know we went for a walk yesterday, much against his wants, and he monked and moaned all the way around, and then told his grandmother I'd been annoying him.

I probably do.  I mean, I expect him to have manners, speak politely and like the 10 year old he is, to eat what is on his plate without a fuss, and to join in with the family.  The AC has had enough at the moment, and doesn't want to engage with T-Boy if all he is seeing is T-Boy being horrible to everyone that AC loves.  I can't blame him, although I do tell him off when he is not polite to T-Boy, because we have to lead by example.

T-Boy just doesn't seem to care though.  I know he's had a different upbringing, and a different work ethic installed, and a different life to the AC, but he just doesn't care.

I'm praying.  I'm praying a lot.  We worked so hard over the holidays, and he got so much better, and how he's gone backwards and it feels like we have to start all over again.  He's coming for half term, which I am glad about, because it's more chances to get some decent food into him, teach him how to live life like a human being, and not like an ego-centric baby, and to help him grow some more.

I;ve arranged for the AC to go away from the Wednesday.  Technically that could be seen as me putting the T-Boy before the AC, but I know that the AC will be happy to spend time with his father and it will reduce the tension in the house if he spends time away from the T-Boy.  AC will just blow at some point, and whilst I couldn't blame him - T-Boy is deliberately annoying at times - I want to avoid it as it doesn't show T-Boy how to be a better person.

It could be worse.  It has been worse. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Again with the hiatus.....

And it's again with the break.

I don't understand my relationship with the blogging world at the moment.  I am connecting more with real life I suppose, and the awareness of who I am, of what I want, of where I see myself in 5 years, all of that is changing.

The rug-pulling post is, I suppose, my starting point.  That change in who I am, of a mother of many-who-are-small-and-growing to a mother of one-who-is-big-nearly has rocked my world in a massive way.  In many ways, it is distressing and emotionally traumatic to think that that side of my life is over, and that those dreams are gone.  It is almost like a bereavement, of a grieving for those who I never knew.

In other ways, it is almost liberating to have a blankness where those dreams were, to now think "What shall I put there?"  Almost like when we were little and grownups said "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and we didn't know what to answer because the world was the mollusc of our choice - we weren't even resticted to oysters!

So I'm typing in my kitchen, listening to the dishwasher, and to BBC iplayer, and to the washing machine, and I'm thinking "Who am I?  Who do I want to be?  Where do I want to go? What do I want to do?"

Anything.
Everything.

Except work in the sewers.  I've never wanted to do that.  Too much underground.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sinking into a quiet place.

I've been in, and am in, and will be in for a while, one of those spaces.

The quiet ones where I'm gently pottering along and everything makes sense and life is made to be good, and I quietly suceed at things, and emotionally I am waiting to see what will happen, and on the outside I am serene.  Serene and calm.  Serene and calm and under control.

Again it is September.  We are heading to the second birthday with noone to celebrate it for.  We are heading to the 6th anniversary of the BG being taken away in the way that she was, deliberately from her father and so that she never saw him again.  Obviously the She-Ex had no reason to believe that Rich would die, but she made no effort for the BG to come here, was very discouraging about us going there, (and I firmly believe that the person who removes the child for their own selfish reason has the moral responsibility to enable the relationship between the child and the abandoned parent to continue to be important. Rich and I, and now J and I, have always worked to make sure that the AC has a good relationship with his father, no matter what his father wants lol!

Oh.

Looks like I'm still bitter about the theft of his relationship with his daughter.  Oh well.  I'm sure she'll think I should have got over it by now.

Work.

LAters.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's a rug pulling kind of day.

Rug pulling.

As in, out from under my feet.

Yesterday I made a joking remark to J about children, only to end up with, after a few moments, the most unequivocal "We are not having children!" that I have ever had.

I cried.  I bawled my eyes out.  This is the second most painful thing that has ever happened in my life.

The worst bit, is that I know he's right.

I want to have more children.  I'd have a houseful.
He wants to be able to do the things he wants to do, without anything tying him down and getting in the way, we can't afford the childcare, and certainly can't afford for me not to work, and we have two sons between us.

So if at any point my emotions would like to get in touch with reality, that would be great.  If not, well, buy shares in Kleenex people, because I'll be going through a lot of it.......

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's not all about you.......

Now this is a potentially offensive post to those of an American nature, and I'm sorry if it is, but it's also my blog and how I feel.......

*hug* to all of you.  (No, that's not the offensive bit!)

Yesterday was, all over the tv and the radio and the papers and the country, a 10 year memorial for 9/11.

Face book was full of reminding people to remember, or pointing out that this person or that person hadn't forgotten.

Remembering 9/11 is a good thing.  Remembering people who died, realising the horror of their last moments, is a good thing.  Especially, to my mind, paying tribute to those on the plane that downed itself.  That group of people prodded buttock.

But what happened to America that day was a wake up call that she as a country wasn't impervious to terrorism.

Britain, specifically England, had known this for years.  25 years of what we gently and with typical English understatement, called "The Troubles".

1974 was when the first bomb that killed and injured people went off.
The last was in 2001.

In between times were the atrocities at Omagh, at Deal, at Eniskillen, at Newry, and so many other places.  In between times were pipe bombs, knee cappings, intimidation, and terror.

Now, I am not comparing the deaths of 11 at Eniskillen with the deaths of 2606 at the Twin Towers, nor the 125 at the less remembered Pentagon, but over the 25 years 3466 people were killed in "The Troubles."

I'm not saying that it was worse for us.  It just.... was.  It was what it was.

But how many of those deaths can be laid at American feet? (Yes, this is the potentially offensive bit.  I'm sorry, but it's true.)

Fundraisers for NORAID, for the American Ireland Fund, even down to hat passers in bars across the country raised massive amounts of money for Sein Fein, who *are* the IRA.  Those Americans with a fondness for The Old Country, with a need to go Back To Their Roots, are just as responsible as those who raise money for the Taliban.  Clinton's decision to get politically involved had more to do with reaching the the Irish-loving voters in his own country than with a need for peace in beleaguered Belfast.

The 2711 deaths in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom began, are a sign that because it was America that was attacked, we all got together to address the Taliban threat.  But when England was under threat, for 25 years, we were told, by the Americans, that we should give in to them, and our attackers were supported by them.  Yesterday, Obama said, in the midst of an excellent speech, that the past 10 years had shown that America does not give in to fear.  And yet American expected, wanted, and fundraised for Britain to do just that thing.

Now, the world is a different place then to now.  I'm not sure, I don't know if the IRA fundraisers still operate to such a level, although I know that America's political emphasis has, of necessity, shifted away from us and is on their own problems.

I do know that I joined the silences yesterday, that I remembered the dead, and also those injured who live with their memories daily, and those children who, like the AC, had a daddy or stepdaddy or mummy or step mummy who went to work like they always did, and never came home.  I do know that without 9/11, my life would have been very, very different, and one day I'll explain why.

But yesterday was also caused a change in attitude for America, about them taking terrorism seriously, and for me, whilst I thoroughly despise anyone who uses the innocent to prove their own point, that has to be seen as a good thing.

*hug*

Please don't be too offended.

Friday, September 9, 2011

And we're up!

Up out of bed.
Up and in a lovely mood about my lovely class.
Up in weight to 11st4 (154lbs) and I'm not letting that get to me lol!
Up in love and joy and happiness and so forth!
Up in my organisational skills and the idea of "just getting it done"

Mood is, for me, a matter of determining my own attitude. I decide, because what I decide influences 1 small person on the way to school, (2 after we pick up his friend on the way) 28ish small people all day at school, and a world around me.

(yes, I do know how arrogant and selfcentrered that sounds, but if I smile at someone and get a smile back it just might brighten a day for someone more than me snarling because I'm in a bad mood!)

But these days I have work to do in the mornings. *yawn* and I love it.


- Posted using BlogPress from my fabulous iPad

Monday, September 5, 2011

*poke*

New interface.  Hmmmm

And back to school today.  I'll tell you about it later.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Struggling.....

Ok, I'll 'fess up.

I'm struggling with a lot of things in my life at the moment.  None of them are massive, just irritating.  Just things I should be able to do, and I'm not.  Or things I am always doing and noone else is and that's not fair.

That kind of feeling.

Winge, moan, I'm-a-martyr type stuff.

So.

I've been successfully using the Home Routines App, and I'm adding Habit Hacker to it, because we all know I need to be told to do stuff or I don't do it lol! Or rather, I need to be reminded to do it, or I forget.

I'm going to formally assign jobs to J and the AC as well.  We all make the mess.  We can all clean it up. (Hey, you have to believe in something right......)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm a good girl

I've been into school and done a couple of hours work.
I've eaten a salad, some low fat yoghurt, and some low fat Rich Tea biscuits.

And now I need a sleep.

A sleep.

Mmmm.

Sleeeeeeeeeep.

Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1 down.

And yes, before anyone says anything, I know that 1lb weight loss is hardly anything in 3 days, but it's a significant start for me.

Part of me is sad today.

I know that the holidays are on their way over, because it's after Ru's birthday, and so I'm starting to get up at a proper time and do things that I have to do in the right time for a working week.  Already the washing machine and dryer are on.  I have to get a new tube for the strip light in the kitchen today, and then I could do other things early as well!  I know it's partly so dark in there because apparently summer is over today and we are into thunderstorms.  I like them.....

I also got a bargain yesterday - large chickens £2.50 each.  If I'd have had the freezer space then I would have bought a lot more.  Yesterday we had chicken breast, mashed potato and peas.  I'm on a bit of a mission to see how far I can use these chickens, with them as the only major protein in a meal.  Today, with the left over roast bird, I intend to strip the bird, and then use the cold meat for sandwiches, chicken and mushroom pie, (freezer) and chicken and bacon pasta sauce (freezer).  I'll also roast the other bird, (Or see if I can fit it into my slow cooker) and then strip that one when it is cold, boil all the bones for stock and make soup for the freezer as well.  I've got sausages for tea tonight, because I think J might get fed up with a diet of pure chicken!  I might do chicken salad for tea though, and sausages tomorrow.  Who knows!

The AC is still away, and was very excited last night to hear that J has got his 'A' certificate, which means he can now teach the AC to fly planes, and means that the AC has now inherited the Discovery.  We've also decided to get the AC a new bike from the tax money, when he gets back, so he has the end of the summer to enjoy it.  I need to get him fitted for a new helmet as well.

Later we're going up to the concert, and then just mooching about I think.  I'll be cleaning through briefly before I do anything else though, and then that's another day of the holidays gone!  Time to think about work really......

I've been thinking about starting a teaching blog, but I need to think about the anonymity aspects.

In much more serious mood, there's talk now that Red Four was killed by a bird strike, and that he could have ejected but chose to stay in the plane and keep it up as long as he could to miss the houses.

None of these RAF boys are just a monkey in a suit, as some would tell their children.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

8lbs to start with.

Hmmm.

The Physioterrorist was right.

I've let myself go whilst the knee has been unusable.

I am currently about  160lbs or 11st 6.  This is heading into lardsville for someone who is only 5ft3 tall.   Or me.

I am not happy with this.  I am not.  I went up to a size 16 once, and lost 2 stone all when Si moved out.  I lost another stone and a bit more when Rich died, and went down to just over 10 stone.  Now, according to the BMI chart things, I should be more like 8 st 9, which is 118lbs.

Yeah.

That means I'm looking at a weight loss of around 42lbs.  That's about 3 stone.  3 STONE?

I was 8 st 6 once, when I was 21, and a student, and I didn't like it.  I was very bony and uncomfortable, so I'm not aiming to go down to that.

I know where a lot of it has come from, and it's snacking.  I never used to snack, and now I do.  I snack on crap as well.  I need to cut out the snacking. I have a lot of empty calories in my diet - sugar in tea etc.  I'm already on decaffeinated tea, accidentally, and I'm going to aim for less tea all over, more water/juice and no sugar in my tea.  I suppose what I'm looking for is a lifestyle change, as opposed to a diet, if that makes sense.  Initially, I'm aiming for 8lbs.  I'm keeping my targets low and achievable.  I'm using the Wii mostly - Wii Fit, and My Shape.

This isn't out of vanity, although I never, ever want to get to the 225lbs that the She-Ex was, and I hope she's slimmed that down for her and BG's sake, it's because I need my joints to work and be supple and carry on working.  They are in a rubbish state, and I need to keep them as good as possible - I have a son who needs me to be fit and strong and healthy.  I've struggled with back and joint pain all of my life, and the idea of it getting worse is just .................. well, it isn't going to happen nicely, so I'm not going to let it take me easily.  I was told at 21 I'd be in a wheelchair by 30 and never have children.  I have a gorgeous son, and I'm 36 and not in a chair and I'm not going in one any time soon.  Don't worry, nobody has said I will, but I've lived with that prognosis for 15 years, and it's always in the back of my mind.  The Grace of God has got me this far, and I'm not giving up on my joints now.

I'm just not.

I'm

Just

Not.

If you feel led to pray, then please do.




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Busy doing nothing!

Well, not nothing.  I'm rarely doing totally nothing.

Today we had to wait in until the Fed-Ex parcel came with the watch that J is having from the TaxManMoney. Only it came at 8am, which left the rest of the day free!

AC and I have pinned the snakes and ladders onto the snakes and ladders board quilt top, and the intention now is to baste them on, then machine stitch them with a zigzag stich once I've practised a bit!

I realised today just how many of Rich's pairs of jeans were in the cupboard, waiting to go into another denim quilt.  I'll do it, one of these days, and keep it safe for BG.

She must have gone back to school in the last few days.  I hope it's all going well, that she got moved up properly, and that she's happy.

Anyway, before I get maudlin, I feel a cup of tea, a small snoozette, and then I'll clean the kitchen, sort out some more quilting materials, and be a happy bunny.

Laters people.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Good Stuff.

There has also been a lot of Good Stuff over the last 3 weeks as well. 

Little Good Stuff includes T-Boy eating a variety of foods for the first time, some glorious weather, friends who Help You Out, and so on.

Big Good Stuff includes the fabulous wedding of my fabulous friend, the lovely making of lovely stuff, and The Surprise.

The Surprise came at the end of last week.

I was opening the post, as one does, and found one from the Taxman.  It was thick and had 4 pages of writing and numbers in it that meant Not a Fat Lot.  However the last page, at the bottom, had "Repayment - £2880.72"  Well, my heart sank like a stone.  Where are we going to find almost 3 grand?

I opened the next envelope without thinking or looking and took out the contents - a single sheet of paper.  "Dear So-and-So, I am pleased to confirm that according to our calculations you have overpaid your taxes for the years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 and enclose a cheque for £2880.72"

And there was a cheque, made payable to me, for that amount!

Can I get a whoop whoop?

In the space of 30 seconds I had gone from despair at the idea of paying back 3 grand, to elation at the idea that they were paying it to me!  Needless to say I phoned J, and sent him a picture of the cheque, and he is over the moon.  We have decided that there are a few things we would like to get - he would like a new watch (it arrives on Friday!), the AC needs a new bike, and me? 

Um.  Well. 

Actually, there's not a lot I would like.

As a joke, I showed him a picture of the new Bernina sewing machine, and he was amazed at the price - he thought I was joking when I said I could chop both of my machines in, use all the money, and still have to put more to it!

I need a hoop for quilting with.  But that's about it I think!

Don't worry, I'm thinking about it.

Yesterday though, the AC and I stayed in ALLLLLLLL day and did next to Not a Fat Lot.  I finished the background of the snakes and ladders project I'm on now, and then he watched and I slept through Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  He would like to go and see The Zookeeper today, but we'll see.

I'll let you knoe, Dear Reader.  And it is nice to be back.

Monday, August 15, 2011

If you can't say anything nice.......

....... say nothing at all.

That's what my mother taught me.

I've tried to stick to it.  Sometimes I forget - the She-Ex is a prime reason why I forget sometimes, and oh my word have I struggled with that since I found something in her email folder to me. (Yes, my email sorts into folders when something comes in.  No, I don't check all of them all the time. Yes, I should.)  That's for another day though.

We've had T-Boy here for 3 weeks.
 We took him back yesterday, and it wasn't until I woke up this morning that I realised just how much stress he was putting on me, on us.  It sounds so mean, so nasty to say something like that about a child who isn't 10 for another month, but he was.

In the last 3 weeks, he has been snuggly, he has been polite, he has been quiet, he has been a good boy.
In the last 3 weeks he has screamed, shouted, refused to eat, refused to go out, refused to come in, refused to go to the park, refused to have a bath, refused to have a shower, refused, refused, refused.  The AC ended up wanting to hit him because he was being so rude to me. (He didn't, btw)  He has turned down food that he has previously eaten and enjoyed.  He has played up in front of my parents, in front of my brother and his family, in town - he had an actual tantrum in town.  A proper shouting at me, kicking things, crying tantrum.  We get them every day, but always at home, and almost always as a reaction to something I have said or done, but this was a proper tantrum in town.  Needless to say he didn't get his own way and we had a horrible rest of the day until J came home, when suddenly T-Boy was all sweetness and light.

To be completely fair to J, he always, always backs me up.  These days.  He didn't used to, and that was ok, because he was hardly seeing his own child (stupid selfish ex-wives again!) and he wanted that child to have a nice time whilst he was with us, and J was tired after a long, long day at a work he didn't enjoy, and didn't want to have to come home to a battlefield.  This time, he has backed me up and it has made a major difference.  It will continue to make a huge difference.  T-Boy is horrible to me because I am firm with him, unlike his mother, and I am thinking about the bigger picture - what kind of adult will he be if he doesn't stand on his own two feet now?  Things he has done for the first time with me include drying up, running his own bath, and having a job to do every day.  These things aren't his fault, it's his upbringing, specifically, his mother!

When T-Boy is lovely, he is loveable, and likeable, and fun to be around.  When he is feeling unhappy, and attentionseeking, and determined to be the one in charge, he is still loveable, but he is not likeable.  I explained this to him - I love you, but right now I don't like the things you are doing - and sometimes he understood, and sometimes he didn't.  So we ended up with a sticker chart.  At nearly 10. It mostly worked, although I had to fix it to make sure he needed to eat dinner at Grandma's to get the last sticker and so get the prize.  AC has one as well, and is loving it.  He hasn't had a sticker chart since he was 3.

But AC and I now get a few days together, and then he goes off with his Dad for 5 days, and then we get a few more days together, and then he goes off with his Dad for 5 days and we go back to school.  The lions share of the holidays has gone.

Today we plan on not doing a fat lot.
Tomorrow we might go to concert in town and do lunch somewhere.

And tomorrow I shall tell you of the Good News that we had this week.  I'm leaving it out of this post, because this post is almost just moaning, and I'll put the good stuff separate.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Waiting.... waiting......

I'm waiting.

For the Gasman.

I'm not supposed to even make a cup of tea.  I think I will though - it's been an ongoing problem, so I think a cup of tea will be fine.  OF course, if I blow the whole house up, I'll be irritated - I have just cleaned the bathroom!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sleeepy!

And it's entirely my own fault!

I stayed up last night watching "Ghosts on the Underground" on Discovery or History or some such channel.  I didn't realise it was on +1, so I thought I was going to bed at midnight, and actually I was going to bed at 1 am!  Then I was up at 5am because T-Boy had a nightmare and was in our bed, which meant J had rolled over onto me, which meant I was squished into the wall, which meant I woke up!

We are midway through the three week session now, and I don't know if things are getting easier or not.  So,e days they are, some days they aren't.

Right now though, the boys are playing nicely, we've been to Tesco and back already (before it gets too hot!) and I'm relaxing on the sofa before doing something complicated.

Like basting a quilt.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Not been so well then?

I had put the lack of attention to this blog down to a number of things.

End of term.
Busy.
Rich's anniversary.
T-Boy visiting.

You know the kind of thing.

And then I was thinking about how I've been feeling.  Miserable.  Sick.  Headaches like you wouldn't believe, where I can't move my head or even look at anything.  I've put on almost a stone, because I'm always hungry, but eating rubbish.  I did some digging.

Last time I went to the doc, about 4 weeks ago, give or take, I went to get my usual prescription of Marvelon, as my birth control of choice.  The computer said to give me Gedarel instead.  It's cheaper.  So I obligingly got it, and took it, and all was well, but these are listed side effects from it.  I phoned the nurse today to say "look, these are the things that are happening, what's going on?" and I was given a prescription for Marvelon quicker than I could blink!

We'll see what happens, and I'm starting the Marvelon tomorrow, but after 5 days off of it, I have to say, it's good to feel almost like my own self again!

You and I, we have a lot to catch up on!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Last Day of Term

Today is the last day of term.

The weather is dry, sunny, and warm.

The view from the back window is the same as two years ago, the same as last year.

The world is a very different place.  The world then was warm and loving.  The world last year was painful and confusing but hopeful.  The world this year is hopeful and although it needs bread because I forgot to pick some up (and I may use wraps instead) it is now a place where I can look forward, and not backwards.

This summer I shall mostly be sewing.

No, really!

Everyone else can get knotted for a few days/weeks/monthandahalf because, dammit, look at this.......

2011 - is now, and I am going to sew.
2010 - spent the summer cleaning J's house.  Long days, stepchild who disliked me, and so on.
2009 - no idea how I spent the summer, unless I read this, which makes me cry.  Not a good summer!
2008 - my sister got married - weirdly absorbing a lot of summer lol!
2007 - decorating here, renovating kitchen, and so on.
2006 - moving in here, cleaning old place, cleaning here, basic decorating,
2005 - Summer of AC's dad leaving.
2004 - Summer of moving to Marham from Benson
2003 - Summer of  newborn baby!

So yes, indeed, I will be sewing! (and baking, and doing laundry and so on!)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Extended break!

It looks like the break carried on lol!

It wasn't intentional, it was just that the end of school got me.  The 2 year anniversary got me.  Life has got me.  Netmums slightly got me.  Britmums got me.  AC got me.

You all know how it goes - most of the people who read this are working mothers.  Some work in a job, some work in the home, some have no official job but have small children at home, some have none of those things but no time to sit down anyway!

I promise, normal service, or whatever passe for it around here, will be on again soon.  End of term tomorrow.....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

BG's blog

I wrote on BG's blog last night.  I'd done her an e-card, for Independence Day, like I always have done, and on the 4th I sat and looked at it thinking "Do I send it?  If I do, will it spoil her day, rather than add to it? Will it spoil it because she will be reminded of her Daddy, or because her mother will go ballistic at the sending of it?"

So I didn't.

But I wrote on her blog, so that she knew I was thinking about her.  She isn't reading it, I know, but it's still there.

In other news, it is new intake parents evening tonight.  There are 4 new children coming to the school from the local infants, and I am having all of them, and therefore I am doing the parents evening.  It'll be lovely, because it always is, and because the new parents have chosen to come to here.  However, it'll be late, and so I'm doing sausage casserole.  Nummy!

I'm not feeling great at the moment though.  I've had a change of pill (unrequested, and courtesy of the NHS budget system!) and I'm feeling vaguely rubbish.  This is a bad thing as I have a student who is in to learn from me about teaching! Work to do now then.....

*hug*

Just wanted to fling a hug out there to all you lovely peoples!

*hug*

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"We were on a BREAK!"

Not J and I, the blog and I.

We've been on a break since last week, and it's been ok.  I haven't been to any other blogs, I haven't read anywhere, I haven't written anywhere, I haven't even looked at anyone else's profile.  I may have looked at a couple of blog posts via email, but that doesn't count - we were on a break!

And then last night J read the blog.  Lots of it.  Not all of it, but lots of it.  I don't have a problem with that.   There is nothing on here that I am ashamed of, nothing I feel I need to defend, nothing that is a lie.  She-Ex has said that she will show the BG the blog one day and show her what I am like.  I told her that was fine, there is nothing here I wouldn't stand behind, and nothing I wouldn't happily talk to the BG about.  It wasn't me who cheated on my man, in any way.  It wasn't me who neglected the marriage. It wasn't me who neglected the house or the child. It wasn't me who ran away.  Rich and I did nothing wrong except be together.

I'll stand by that.

I'll stand by J and I as well.  We might have been surprised to be together, we might not have been expecting it, we might have a complicated life at times, but it is a good life and it is full to the brim of love and respect and care and appreciation and fun. (And phwoar-ness, but it's a family blog people!)  We talked afterwards, about how neither of us had ever expected to love again, and not as much as this, and not in this way.

Weirdly, I am claiming to be a very lucky girl.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Today it hurts

Today I am missing him so hard.

Last night I cried.  I looked at photos that a mate had put up on FB, of us all at Uni, in the days when I was going to marry Steve and live happily ever after.  I realised I had told Rich about these photos, but that my copy had gone astray, and so he had never seen them.  Suddenly I was overwhelmed with all the things I'll never see him see.  Most days I believe that he sees what he wants to see.  Too many things happen that are "co-incidence" for him not to be around.  But this ache to tell him something we'd laughed about, to hear him laugh when he looked at them, to hear him tell me I hadn't changed, suddenly got me last night, and I cried.  It's that best friend part of him that I miss.

And partly I cried because I loved the fact that J laughed, that he asked how old I was in these photos, that he told me I was sitting on the laps of lots of different lads (I hated the chairs in the Wall Hall Bar, and never sat on one if it could be avoided - and I also love hugs!)

Ah well.

Laters.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

work, work, work

Work.

It's the cause of a lack of blogging, a lack of lie-ins (not that I believe in them anyway!) a lack of rest, a lack of time, a lack of cuddles and a lack of baking.

But!

It is the cause of my own home, providing for my family, enjoying my children, the chance to do cool stuff, being financially secure and solid things like that.

I know pride is a sin, is what comes before a fall, and so forth.  I know that hard work is it's own reward though. I look around me and I can see it.  I am not a miserable bitter woman who is trapped by the past, nor am I a depressed single mother on benefits with no qualifications and no job and no way to get either.

I am, however, a tired woman who needs to do more work.

Laters people.

Laters.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Parade Day

Today was Parade Day.

Oh, it has an official title, but the children and I love it as Parade Day.  We've been there every year for 5 years, both as a RAF WAG, then with Rich away, then as a bereaved fiancee, then as a RAF WAG again, and this year as the girlfriend of a retired RAF lad.  I will always go.  The children will always come with me.

We used to be the only school there.  Last year there was us, and another school.  This year there were three schools.  Well.  I say there were three schools.  There was also rain.  Because there was rain, one of the schools, with bigger children than ours, were ushered off inside somewhere.  Hah.  They missed the flypast.  Only 4 of mine missed the flypast, because they didn't have coats OR jumpers.  Really?  Who on earth sends their child to school on any day in what the She-Ex used to call "drippy old England" without at least a pacamac? Especially with the weather we have had recently?  Really? 

Anyway, the rain came just as the lads had formed up.  We put coats on and carried on clapping and cheering.  Then we saw the front line of the rain come surging across the market place where the lads were stood, without moving.  Did we run?  Nope.  I told the children to brace themselves and stand firm.  When the RAF ran, we would!  It was over in under a minute and the blazing sun was out again.  We took coats off, and watched the RAF lads steam gently as their wool jackets began to dry.  They paraded, we clapped and cheered, and the world was a good place.

We walked back, and on the way we were stopped by the Radio people, who were chatty, and the children were chatty, and then by a lovely chap in uniform.  He thanked the children for coming and was lovely with them.  As we walked up, we asked an SAC and it turned out to be a very high up chap.  I won't put it on here, clearly, but it was fantastic and the children were very impressed.  They want to write to him.  Poor chap...... :-)  He asked why we were there and the children had all the right responses, and then he asked about the rain, and was told by the children "Greyfriars don't run until the RAF do!"  which made him laugh!

We came back to school and played and had lunch and talked about why we go and what it means.

They will always go.  It's not just about the Parade and the band and so on.  It's about being there to show we support them, and we love them for who they are and what they do and why they do it.

In my not-so-humble-opinion, if a person can't be bothered to go to Parade, they shouldn't be in Englnad.  After all, if you can't stand behind our Forces, feel free to stand in front........

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm crying.

It's a tough week this week.

It was Armed Forces Flag-Raising yesterday, and it's Parade on Wednesday.  It's SATs week.  It's Sports Day. It was Fathers Day.  It's a million things.   It's everything.

So it's also 5.30, and I've emailed Nikki from Scotty's Little Soldiers, and I've cried whilst I emailed her, because it's lots of things for her as well.  Lee died the week before Rich, and it's coming up to anniversary for her and her children, just as it is for AC and BG and I.

I have to man up and get on with it.  No-one else is going to support my family except J and I, and I'll be blowed if I'll let the government do it whilst I'm a functioning human being!

So to cheer me up, I've got several episodes of Texas Cheerleaders to marvel at the skills of the cheerleaders, and the insane attitudes of the mothers "We have to hope that someone gets hurt so that my daughter can get her spot."  Woah!  How does THAT work!

Vicarious living?  I think so.......

See.  Laughing at mad Americans.  (Not the sane ones, they're ok, just the ones who are on reality tv!)  That's what a girl needs to make her smile.

Honest.

See the smile.

:-)

Solid as a rock that smile....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day

It's Fathers Day in the UK, and it's the weekend that we are with Caroline and Danny and the girls to have the AC measured for his suit.  That job has been done, so we went strawberry picking!
And eating.  There was a bit of eating, it has to be said.


The AC found the peas patch.  He loves veg!


But he picked strawberries because he's a good lad.  He's picked them for J's mother.


The result!

I love this picture of us.  He's struggling today with the whole Fathers Day thing.  I don't blame him, I think it's only reasonable, and I am struggling some days as well. 

We'll have to head for home soon - we'll have to drop T-Boy on the way - but it's all good and there's a simple matter of a roast chicken lunch first.... what do you think is for pudding?

Friday, June 17, 2011

I love nonuniform days.

I am going to school in jeans! Love it!

The day before yesterday and today I've read PoPW and the first chapter really gets me every time. It's about changing me, and about saying "I'm the stubborn one, the inflexible one, I nag, he gets defensive, I am resentful, he stays away from me." that kind of thing. I don't nag about doing things, but I can get very stressy, especially at this time of year.

The second chapter is about his job, and about appreciating just how hard he works. I know I do more hours than him, and we have totally different kinds of jobs, but I need to respect his work more.

I'm about to look for today. I love kindle on iPad......

In other news we had the CSA letter through to say that what he will belaying is significantly less. Good, he's earning significantly less, thats logical to us! Whether Herself will see it the same way, I don't know. I don't much bother either. The AC's father pays such a small contribution towards the AC, that some months I forget it is there. But if he is happy for another man to raise and support his child, then that's up to him. Rich did it, and J is doing it, and the AC loves them both.

It's also 700 days, or 100 weeks or 23 months today. No matter how small I try to make the number, its still massive. We were so happy. J and I are happy now, don't get me wrong, but damn damn damn I miss my best friend. I could bawl for England right now. I won't - I have too much to do and I shall stiffen the upper lip and man up and get on. But right now..... Argh. No point in this.

Also in other news - it's non uniform today and I can wear jeans. Did I mention that?

But my best other news?

WE'RE GOING TO CAROLINES! Just for e weekend and to get the AC measured, but hurrah! This weekend, I need to see her. She's amazing.

Laters people. I need to go and PUT MY JEANS ON! Did I mention I can wear jeans to school today?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A change in perspective.

I'm currently undergoing a bit of a change in perspective at the moment.  I need to.

I've realised that, since Rich died, I have become harder, more independent that I need to be, reluctant to accept help for anything, because who knows when that help will be gone and it'll be just me again.  That kind of attitude.  It's not the best attitude.  I am proud of the way that we didn't fall apart irreparably.  I am proud of the fact that I single parent-ed with the best of them and my son didn't suffer for that, and his behaviour and his academic achievement and his attitude were none the worse for what happened.  I am proud of the fact that I dusted us down, and I paid the bills, and I managed my life and my wages without having to go to the government.  I'm proud of the fact that I didn't become an emotional cripple and I accepted the love that was offered by J.

But that pride is my problem.  I am proud of those things because *I* did them.  I need to humble myself, and accept help when it is offered, and be calmer in my soul.  Because pride in those things comes at a price.

So I'm reading The Power of a Praying Wife, and I'm reading the first chapter over again, and thinking about me and changing me to make all of our lives better.  I need to shed my old hard skin, and loosen up, loving more, listening more, talking less, grumbling less.  Singing more.......

I'm also reading 31 Days to clean, which is also a faith based book, and looks at the Martha and Mary approach to cleaning and why we clean.  I don't need help with the cleaning bit - I can clean lol - just the organisation of stuff bit.  I've picked up some useful tips, and again, they are all about perspective.

Right.

Busy day today lol.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flying again!

We went flying again last night.  I love flying.  I'm not a stick jockey at the moment, not on outdoor planes, but I will be as soon as reports are finished.  I miss flying my heli, although I am the first to say that I am RUBBISH at doing it lol!  AC is excellent and champing at the bit to fly big planes.  He has to wait until J has his 'A' certificate so that he can buddy lead him.  Buddy leads are great because they connect two transmitters and the experienced pilot can allow the trainee to fly, but as soon as the finger comes off the button then the experienced pilot has the controls and can take the plane over safely.  He loves his Ember though, and enjoyed his minium, but he wants to fly 50's.  They are bigger than he is.......

And it's early.  It's now 5.27 and I've been up for an hour.  The question is, am I up because my head aches, or does my head ache because I'm up?  Answers on a postcard?  I have a long day of teaching ahead of me, a lot to get done, and I fell like stuff on a stick.  And not the good stuff neither.  I'm planning a day of tight focused work, and then if I start to crumble this afternoon, if the headache comes back then, I know that the children have their tasks.  It's all good.

I will make it all good.

I'm also reading 31 days to clean, redownloading Power of a Praying Wife, just trying to get me head together, my quiet space time together, just get focused really.  End of term is coming.  The end of the academic year, and the anniversary of Rich's death.  But for me, it's not about dates, but markers. That's the two year marker.  Yes, the 17th of July matters, it will always matter, but for me it's every end of term, and especially the end of the summer term last year.  It just hit me like a smack in the face at 1115 last summer term and I had to leave the room and fall apart quietly for a few moments.  I remember the fear that swept over me, the pain and understanding what the word anguish meant.  Will it happen again?  I don't know.  Will I be prepared for it? Yes.  Will preparing for it make it happen? I don't know.  I don't know.

I will make it all good.  Rich and I used to say "It will all be fine".  I look at the boys flying last night, and how much they love each other, and how much they love me and I love them, and how much love there is all over this house and support, and I know it will all be fine.  Whatever the end of this year brings.....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Headache from you-know-where..... Not just because he's eight!

So far this has lasted since Sunday, so I'm trying to reduces my computer time and see if that helps.

Something has to.

Aside from that it's been an ok week. The competition was cancelled on Sunday, so we stayed here and worked. As we were up at 0130am finishing off prep for it, I was not impressed lol!

In the good news so far this week though, the AC has been selected to represent school again in a sport competition on Wednesday. I'm not a pushy parent, although I am proud of him. Id never be a Texas cheerleader mom, but I won't stand in his way just because I'm not hugely sporty. In fact I'm really proud of him for being able to achieve in this way. He's also been told about an international competition for his KSW, but I'm not sure if he's invited to participate or watch. Either way, he's a good lad for staying focused on something like this at his age, and keeping his school work up together. Mind you, he needs reminding to bring things home on a regular basis, but now he's eight, I'm trying to instill in him that this is his responsibility, not mine as much any more.

It's hard going at times, but I know it's for the best for him. I won't have him grow up as some namby pamby baby whose mother is packing his bag for him at 10! Or leaving instructions for how to microwave a jacket potato at 38. And yes, I stopped seeing Mr Potato just after that point.

Anyway, the point is that the way I treat my child now shapes the adult who he'll be in the future. And I have a responsibility to do it right!

Which is why he got an Early Doors bedtime the night before last. He forgot a whole lot of stuff at school. He was told off for saying "Oh, you're being a bugger!" in the playground. I came down on him because I don't want him to think that kind of behaviour is acceptable! I know he was tired on Friday and off with his daddy. I know he was only playing around in the playground. He's not a baby now though, and I was *never* one of those mothers who thought kids swearing was cute.

Right. I have to get my act together. I might be helping with KS1 sports day today. Or I'll be working on reports. Or something. Lol!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dulce Et Decorum Est....

Two days ago was the 29th anniversary of the blowing up of the Sir Galahad and the Sir Tristram in the Falklands Conflict.  The children and I talked about it, because we look at "This Day in History" on the BBC website.  We talked about the burning ships, I told them Simon Weston's story and we looked at pictures of how this handsome lad.......

Simon Weston

became this terribly burned man..........

Simon Weston

became this survivor.........


working hard to make the lives of current soldiers better.

These, I told my children, these are the faces of war.  This is what war does.  Simon Weston was a Falklands face, this lad is an Afghanistan face, but they all did it because it was the right thing to do.   We talked about how Prince Andrew was flying one of the helicopters that helped blow the lifeboats away from the burning ships.  We talked about what it means to depend on your mates, to trust and hope and pray that it all turns out ok.  I talked about Rich being away, and what that felt like.

On the 20th June, we shall go across to the Gardens, and see the flag raised for Armed Forces Day, and we shall stand and show our respect.  On 22nd June, we shall walk up to town and watch the RAF Parade, and applaud these men and women who are so brave, who joined up knowing we were in a long and drawn out conflict in Afghanistan.  I have told the children that anyone who we think, as a class, might find it hard to make the right choices, will be asked to remain behind.  They'll have nice things to do, because it isn't a punishment, it's an acceptance of differences, but I told my class to look at Simon Weston's face, and understand why we were doing this.

If they were bigger, we could have read Wilfred Owen's amazing poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" which is a gloriously descriptive way of looking at the frontline war in the trenches.  If they were bigger, we'd watch the end of Blackadder IV.

But they aren't.  They are 7/8/9 year old children, and now they know why we go and why we will always go, and why, when they are bigger, they should go on their own, why we have 2 minutes silence and how that will never be enough.

If we forget the lessons of the past, we are doomed to repeat them.  I can't remember who said that, but they are right.  We owe, and we must not forget.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Another Friday.

Some people love Fridays.

I used to love Fridays.  Lazy weekends with Rich and the AC, fish and chips for tea, and gentleness.
Then I went off them a bit.  AC started sleeping over at his fathers on a Friday night.  But Rich and I would have good nights in.
Then I hated them.  Every Friday was another week without Rich here.  Every one was another weekend that I was alone when he should have been here.

These days, actually, I could almost like them again.  The current swimming set up means that we do art for 2 hours in the middle of the day, with plenty of music, we do library, and Show and Tell, and all the nice things that teachers get to do.

They start a weekend that goes one of two ways - either up the road to Leamington, or not.  If it's not, then it's a weekend where we are AC-less, but where we get to go flying, do school work, bake, tidy, love, be together.  I value my weekends in a way I didn't before the accident.

This weekend we are AC-less again, and there is a thousand tonnes of work to do tomorrow on reports and so forth, and there is a combat competition on Sunday, weather permitting.

It will all be fine.  I was promised it would be, and I refuse to believe that it won't be.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sleeping on the sofa

I have come downstairs this morning at 5.15 am.  I did the things I usually do, and went into the front room to find the AC asleep on the sofa.  He had come down after me (the benefits of him having a laminate floor over the kitchen are that I know every move he makes lol!) and clearly wasn't awake when he did!

He is beautiful, my son.  Last night his father dropped him off at flying, and the world was good, and AC was amazing, and J and he loved each other, and I loved them both, and the planes flew well, and there weren't any serious crashes and the world was indeed a good and happy place.

This morning he will spend most of it at The Walks, for town sports trials, and he may get through and he may not.  He's a good runner, and a very fit and healthy child now.
8 years ago he was a bundle of black hair and hunger.
7 years ago he was a bundle of blond hair and dairy intolerance that we had just got the hang of.
6 years ago he was living through a break up.
5 years ago he was learning to love Rich.
4 years ago he was moving house.
3 years ago he was drawing pictures, taking photos, sending letters to Rich as he served in Afghanistan.
2 years ago he was just living and loving, waiting for the weekends to have days out as a family.
1 year ago he was grieving, and loving, and trying not to be what he called "a person who lets their anger out of their insides when it isn't anyone elses fault."
This year he smiles like it comes naturally, but won't talk about Father's Day.  At all.




Today, he snores on my sofa, for no apparent reason, other than he can.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

From my ivory tower?

I'm watching Maury.

I'm waiting for BBC News to start and I don't like the morning programme that's on before it, so I'm watching Maury.  It's the usual mix of shmaltz and DNA testing.  Usually, there's a shouty chap saying he's not the father, and a shouty momma saying that he is.  The DNA goes about 50/50.

There's a girl on there, Georgetta, who is testing the 13th candidate for her daughters father.  13th.  That's a ten and a three, for anyone who thinks I've mistyped. She has had 12 shouty "I am not the father of that trailer trash ho's baby." type fathers.  However all the time, and for the last 5 years, there has been this chap at the weekends, and his nice girlfriend, who has looked after the child, bought her what she needs and so on.  They love the baby, well, the 5 year old, and they want to be a part of her life, even if they are proven not to be the father.

It's a refreshing change on this show.  Not that I watch it a lot mind you.  There's less shouting, less swearing, less name calling.  Just a couple of people wanting to know what is going on.

And it's a no.  The search goes on.

That means the next chap is number 15.  What kind of disturbed woman drops her drawers for 15 men in the space of (let's be generous) a month?  Assuming that 15 is the number and it's not chap number 20/25/30 that makes the grade.

I've always enjoyed sex.  I prefer love making, and there's nothing that beats a morning quickie, but in general, sex is good.  I've been with gentle, loving, caring men, who loved me, and whom I loved.  I've never done the one night stand, the who are you in the morning, the drunk with a stranger thing.  I've had several long term relationships, and that's where my sex has come from.  I could tell you who the fathers of all of my pregnancies have been, exactly.  The father of my boy is the worst of the bunch for a relationship, but he is a great father if you are a boy child.  These days.

But just because I've been a serial monogamist, doesn't mean that I've had boring sex for 15 years.  Just because someone has been with their husband for ever doesn't mean that they are having boring sex.  It means that they are having a serious relationship that they value themselves and their man in.  (Or their woman, I suppose.  I don't really roll that way, so I don't know!)  I don't believe in affairs, although I've been accused of several, and always by people who had, it turned out, been cheating in the relationship that they were having.

So is this Georgette just trailer trash?  I have no idea.  I don't know where she lives.  Or how.  I do know that she has 3 children with 3 different fathers, and 2 have no idea who their fathers are.  Is everyone who lives in a trailer trashy?  I don't know.  I don't know why someone would choose to live in a caravan, and I know that BG did for a couple of years until they got a proper house.  Is she a different person now that she lives in a house?  Nope.  She's still a child.  Her upbringing is determined by more factors than where she lives.

In an idea world, I would have been with Steve, Husband number 1, for all of our lives.  But for reasons not said here yet, we didn't.  I rebounded to AC's Dad.  He left me, and Rich and I got together and had the best times of our lives.  He died, but didn't leave me alone, just as he promised, and there is J.  All lovely men.  All with amazing characteristics.  3 of the 4 were fabulous in the bedroom department.  1 was less interesting, but that was ok (and it's not J!)

But 14+ in a month?  There's a word for that kind of girl.  And it's unfortunately not a nice one.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Walking to school

The blogging carnival is all about Keeping Fit with our children.

I don't *do* anything.  Not on purpose.  We don't exercise, we don't go to kiddie gym, we don't *do* anything specifically.

However, and this is the important thing for me,  we walk to school.

It's 10 minutes if we walk.
It's 8 minutes if we get on with it.
It's 15 - 20 if we go the long way.
It's 35mins in deep snow.  And no, the snow wasn't that deep, but it was empty and begging for a 7 year old snow angel.  Or 9.  And maybe a couple of 36year old snow angels as well.

The walking to school gives us much needed time when all there is to do, is walk and talk, keeping us fit in body, and mind and relationship.  We were walking when he told me he was afraid of the dark.  We were walking when I told him his stepfather had been killed in an accident.  We were walking when he told me he wanted to be a pilot, an armourer, a model shop worker.  We were walking when I told him Space Boy Sam stories, and when we played the sewer game.  One day I refused to "jump down the sewer" and sneak to school, and instead we ducked around the Street Lights of Doom.  We play all kinds of games - if you were a millionaire, what would you buy?  If you could go anywhere what would you do'?  Who is that person and what is their house like?  We tell stories, hopes and dreams, fears and failures, joys and sorrows, in a way that we can't always do when we are looking at each other or when there are other things for us both to be doing, mummy things like cleaning, AC things like playing and homework.

We walk.  We walk to town, we walk to school, we walk to Tesco, we walk and we talk.

Keeping fit in body, and in mind, and relationship.  And as a bonus, it's free!