Thursday, April 28, 2011

Red White and Blue...

Today we are heading to school wearing red, white and blue in honour of tomorrows festivities.

Tomorrow, instead of watching the wedding, I will be travelling to Devon for Nanna's 90th.  We will be camping. J is not massively happy about 7 hours driving each way (it should only be 5.5, but it's the start of a 4 day Bank Holiday, so *shrug*)  AC is looking forward to camping, and to seeing lots of other people, Nanna is probably looking forward to being 90, I don't know!

I'm feeling a little *blearh* today. It's just tiredness and a general feeling of what am I doing in the world, and it comes and goes.  I know what it is about at this time of year, and I'm kind of ok with that.  I can't change what happened, so I have to just ride the rollercoaster each year.  Interestingly, the coaster starts to flatten out a little more each year, but it's all good because there's usually some other massive bump inserted into the coaster to keep the thing going!

And now it's 7am, and I need to drag the child up from his pit, make sandwiches, fold the clothes in the tumbedrier, and sort the dishwasher.  House doesn't keep it's own self!

See.  *blearh*

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Day back? Countdown begins.....

It sounds really odd to say that on the first day back my children and I started counting down to holidays.  I needed to impress upon them how long we had left, and how much we had to do in that time.  i.e, Not Long and Lots.

But it was good.  Tiring, but good.  Going back in Spetember always exhausts me, and this has been a bit like that I think.  The children were lovely, but noisy, as this particular class are, and they worked reasonably hard, but will work harder today. Oh yes. 

This week is not a seriously difficult week anyway.

Tuesday - Teach in the morning, Prep time in the afternoon (which I actually used for prep!)
Wednesday - Teach in the morning, school talent show in the afternoon.
Thursday - Teach in the morning, swim in the afternoon.

It's amazing though, considering how close I live to school - i.e. I can walk there in 10 minutes if I *don't* hurry - how much has changed without being mentioned.  Like my swiming time. And the talent show times.  And the passcode for the door.  And the registers.  And someone is leaving (not desparately sorry, although I'm trying to be.  She hates the child that she is with, so she's better off doing something else, much better for him) And the topic for next term has changed beyond all recognition from what we originally talked about.

Oh well.

Today we shall work out the costings for the mini wedding reception the children have been asked to organise for Friday.  Apparently the Queen didn't fancy going to the main one and doing the Macarena all night, so her Saturday butler, Ivor Lotowork, was talking to me on Facebook on Sunday (just after the corgi had been sick on the red carpet and the chef had thrown a fit because he can't get enough red jelly for the puddings for Friday) and I volunteered the children to help.  They have a little catalogue, a list of things to order, and they have to work out how much they need to order, and how much that will cost and so on.

Then we shall read some more of our book, "The New Girl" about bullying, and we'll talk about the reasons why people bully, and what we can do about it.

Then we shall make our passports ready to travel around the world and get them stamped.

It's all good!

Reading the book has made me consider my actions though, and how bullying works in the adult world.

The She-Ex is a bully, when it comes to me.  There was something that she wanted (Rich) and she wasn't going to give up hurting me until we had split up and she had got him back.  But I'm an adult, I can control how I feel, and so I could stand up to her.  After the accident, when she wanted a Death Certificate, and was bullying me constantly about it, verbally abusing me, I was less able to control how I felt, and always, always being able to time something nasty for when there was a big event going on.  Like this, just before the inquest.

bg has the blog she will have that
you however are no longer important to her life.
you are just some slag he slept with for four years.
sorry, hate to tell ya that
but you and ian can kiss off

both of you wanting to take the ONLY THING bg has of her father
nuh uh...not happening

At the time I had no idea what she was on about, and it turned out to be the medal, which neither his brother or the She-Ex deserved, in both mine and the RAF's opinion, but next of kin is next of kin, so that's where it went.  But I didn't need verbally abusing on the Thursday before Monday's inquest.  Previously to that, I'd had to have other people filtering my emails from her, because she was so nasty.  Grief is a funny thing....


I need to be sure that the things I say are not verbally abusive.  I know that there were times when I stood up for myself, but I've just looked back and I rarely swore, and only (most humourously) in posts that started with things like "Yes, I'm having a go at you"

Ah well.  She's out of my life now.  Unfortunately, that means BG is as well, and I still love that child, and always will.  She will always be welcome to talk, to stay over, heaven's, she could LIVE here anytime.  Her mother isn't a bad person, just let the bad stuff out in my direction too often, made some bad choices and had to live with some stinking consequences.  I'd be angry if I'd messed up my child's life as well.

In other news, we have our stairs back!  I have freecycled all the rolls of carpet that we had on there, and now 2 children have new bedroom carpet, someone's cabin by the wood has lots of hallway carpet and a Big Rug, and the offcuts have gone as well.  I will get there.  We will have a lovely, lovely house once more.

But now I have to get the child up, make sandwiches, get clothes on, and go to school.  Laters people!

Monday, April 25, 2011

On immigration

No, this is just something I have to get off of my chest.  It was started by St Georges Day, but it's been brewing for a while.

St George's Day celebrates the life/death/patronage of St George.  It's a day to fly the English flag, to be proud of who I am and where I come from.  As Al Murray said "British by birth, English by the grace of God."

I love being English.  I love England.  I love the food, the weather, the landscaping, the way it all changes.  I love the neatness of such a small place where anything over 3 hours away is A Long Way.  I love having one chart show, the Queen, leafy suburbs and rolling countryside (I don't massively love the oilseed rape that is all over the countryside, however!)  I love free healthcare, free education, the Welfare State and the right to vote.  I love the class system, unofficial though it is, and the idea of Old Money and New Money and there always being the ability to change ones class by working hard, but always retaining ones roots.  I love owning my own house, and that being as a given, and houses being made of bricks and mortar, not caravans that don't travel being called houses.  I love the organisation of queuing, the manners of taking turns, and the fastidiousness of the true English gentleman or gentlewoman, who sits at the table to eat, never eats in the street, uses a knife and fork, and always has a clean hankerchief.  I love the religion, and the fact that our differences are seen as eccentricities by both sides, but acceptable in the eyes of God.  I love that the Queen is the Defender of the Faith, that the Royal Air Force, the Army, the Royal Navy, all swear to defend our shores but actually, those hard working lads and lasses will defend anyone, anytime, anywhere, because the English don't like bullies.  I love the inherent Englishness of England and I could go on forever about it.

Does this make me separatist and a racist though? 
Does this make me hate everyone else who isn't English? 
Does this mean that it's ok to be racist towards me because I love my country?

I'd say no.

I know some people who are sepratists, and racists, and hate everyone who isn't like them, and who love their country.  They aren't English.  They are Lativian, Lithuanian, Indian, American, Russian, and a myriad of other people and languages and cultures and religions who are over here because here is jobs, here is free healthcare, council housing, free schooling, acceptance of who they are, what they believe and so on.  Here, we are so accepting, that a massive Mosque can be built and given planning permission where a church was refused.  Here, we give homes to immigrants, and our Armed Forces personel leave the force with nowhere to live.  Here, we provide education and healthcare to immigrants, and the English slip further and further down the queue.  Here, we provide translators for non-English speakers, and our Special Needs children do without.  And yet here, we are called racists, accused of doing something because the other person has a different colour of skin, and yet race goes so much deeper than that.

The She-Ex, for example, is white American, and one of the most racist people I know when it comes to the English.  That's the English for whom her "husband" fought.  The English who are paying her "widow's" pension every month.  The English who offered her somewhere to live so that she could stay here and her half English daughter could get a decent education and see her father.  She is unbelievably racist against the English.

Or a couple of the children I have previously taught, their parents are, to my mind, racist and separatist. After 5 years here, we still had to provide a translator, because they didn't speak English.  Classes, FREE classes, are provided but no.  After 5 years here, the children still told me that their parents hated England, that people picked on them because they were Latvian.  When I investigated, it wasn't the English children, it was the Lithuainian children who were shouting abuse.  When I put it to the head as a racist incident, it wasn't called that, it was called cultural differences.  I put it to you, Dear Reader, that had the aggressor been English, or the victim non-white in skin colour, that would have been called what it was. A racists attack.

So where does that leave us with immigration?  We are losing our inherent cultural identity.  Being English, we are, as a nation, fine with that, apparently.  We aren't rioting in the street like the Arab Nations, or banning clothing like the French, or closing our borders like some of the European countries are considering.  We aren't bombing people like the Irish do (and are trying to start up again, God Bless the minority of Americans for supporting them out of some bizarre genetic nostalgia!)  We aren't devolving like the Scots and Welsh (who the English still support financially)  We are just carrying on, regardless.

We have a few minority groups, such as the British National Party, who the rest of the country disapproves of in a very English way, but we allow them to stand for parliament, and local council and for the country to express it's views through and organised and traditional manner.

And me?

I don't see why I should have to support anyone who won't work, who won't learn the language, who just wants to be here because it's all given to them.  Not those who can't work, (the Englishwoman in me supports the underdog!) but those who won't, whether born here or not.  I don't see why I should have to give resources to those who don't need it, just because they are culturally different, when the indigenous population goes without.

I don't see why I can't say "I'm English, I'm proud, if you don't like the country and the way we live, there's ferries at Dover and aeroplanes all over the country. But if you do decide to stay, speak the language, get a job, contribute to the English community you have chosen to be in.  Be here, but speak English, defend her shores, and don't expect to be given everything just because you have decided to live here."

And if anyone calls me a racist, then that's wrong, because this applies to anyone who won't make the effort, not just to immigrants from a long way abroad.  I like the Australian model of doing things myself!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two lovely days... and some thinking

Yesterday and the day before were lovely days.

Friday afternoon was spent at my sisters, with all of us there, and we chilled and bbq'd and relaxed, and watched the children in a casual kind of way, and H had done an Easter Egg hunt for the children, and R took loads of lovely photos, and it was all good.  Almost all good.

Yesterday was St George's Day, and we went to some friends for a St Georges Day party, which included curry (which has upset the internal workings of my good self!) and it was all good.  Almost all good.

Friday afternoon's Almost all good was a few moments when R and H and the others had a bit of a go at me.  It was all done in love and humour, but for some reason it really upset me this time.  I don't need them to tell me I am disorganised and have a lot of books - I know!  The trouble is that none of them are really Readers.  Readers with a capital R and a slightly untidy house because I had to finish that chapter.  They are all tv people.  I'm not.  And it's ok, we're all different, and I respect their differences, but I did not feel that my differences were respected at all.  The question is, what do I do about it?  I've written a long letter about how I feel, about how proud I am of them and their achievements, and how much I love them the way they are, but do I send it?  Will it create trouble?

Saturday afternoon's Almost All Good was something I must blog up for the BG actually.  The bare bones of it would be that we were at Lee and Lisa's for a St Georges Day party.  IT was full of RAF lads, most of whom were armourers.  We got onto the subject of motorbikes, and chatting about different bikes and of course that led to accidents.  I was saying nothing at this point, just listening as one does, and someone said about an accident that had killed a mate of his back home and how he was a nice lad and it was always those that went. 
This other lad, who I didn't know, piped up, "Yeah, we had that a couple of years ago - Ritchie left RAF M, went to RAF H and was killed on his bike within a few months.  He was a cracking bloke to work with!"  Cue stunned silence and glances my way from about 15 people.  "He was really hardworking," this lad carries on "and such a laugh.  I was gutted when I found out, our whole section was." 

At this point Lisa looks at me, and I'm just smiling, but surprised, and she taps the lad on the leg and says "That's Ritchie Hannis' partner as was."

"Oh right," says this lad, paling slightly, "I'm sorry. Ummm."  "It's alright" says I.  "He was a good laugh and a cracking bloke, and he went in the best way possible."

We chatted a bit and he was a lovely lad, who genuinely liked Rich - he must have done because as far as he was aware, hardly anyone at the party knew Rich, so if he wanted to say anything unkind he would have done!  It was a lovely moment though, to know that someone spoke highly of him without knowing his audience.

But it's hard for J, in a way, because the event that was Rich's death, is the way that RAF H know me.  I hadn't been over there, we were going to go to Families Day, but I saw them all there, without him, after he had died.  For a lot of them, I am "Ritchie Hannis' fiancee, poor love" first, and "Sarah, J's girlfriend" second.  It's ok though, we deal with it in our own way.  Interestingly, no-one had a good word to say for his Ex, or his brother, and several of the unmarrieds had made sure that their next of kin details were watertight legal.  Mine are now, but it's too late.  I could challenge the situation, but what would it gain?  An upset child, a continuation of the trauma on this side of the Pond, and less of a chance to move on.  So no, she can have his medal (if she even knows where it is, and hasn't sold it or something) and we'll have his love.  Can't buy that...

I did have other news to discuss, about St Georges Day and what it stands for, but this post has Gone On Long Enough.

Laters people!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I'm feeling very lost this morning.

I am a good parent.  I know I am.  My son has had a traumatic life, and we have managed each and every trauma with calmness and love and he is a gentle and loving child with a world war II obsession  who is polite, well mannered and can be taken anywhere. He has his moments - he is a growing boy child after all! but on the whole, he is adorable.

T-Boy is also adorable.  90% of the time.  The rest of the time, I don't know quite what to do with him.  He's challenging 50% of the time.  He is currently unworkable about 5% of the time.  Mainly it's food.  OR attention.  Or lying.  Or all three.

AC laughed at him yesterday when he lost a game.  They do it to each other all the time - that whole pointing "Ha ha!" type thing.  So T-boy grabbed his arm and hurt him.  So AC walked away. (we were at Church Holiday Club!)  So then T-boy comes up to me "AC won't play with me." SO I investigate. 

AC "I laughed at T-Boy because he lost.  He pulled my arm.  I don't want to play with him."
T-Boy "AC laughed at me a lot, a real lot.  I grabbed his arm.  He ran away from me."

Me "AC, it's not kind to laugh when people lose."
AC "but he was boasting that he was the best at it."
Me "Well, that's not kind to boast, but it is still not kind to laugh when other people are upset."
AC "Ok. Sorry."
Me "T-Boy, it's not kind to physically hurt someone."
T-Boy "I didn't even touch him!"
Me "You told me that you did, he told me that you did."
T-Boy "I never, I never touched him!"
Me "You adn he told me that you grabbed his arm and pulled him."
T-Boy "Oh. Yes.  Well I did."
Me "So now you've lied to me as well, and I'm trying to get to the bottom of this."
T-Boy "I didn't lie! I just said I didn't touch him!"
Me "But you did touch him."
T-Boy "Well.  Yes."
Me "So is telling me that you didn't touch him a lie?"
T-Boy "Well.  Yes. *cue noisy tears* I didn't mean to lie.  I didn't mean to lie."
Me "Sit down over there until you calm down enough to talk to me properly." (as recommended by school!)
T-Boy "I don't want to."
Me "Sit over there, or come home with me now.  I'm not having you tantrum here." (Not the best choice of words, probably!)
T-Boy "You always make me sit down when I cry."
Me "Yes I do.  Off you go."

And then we went for lunch at the chippy, and he didn't eat what he ordered, and then we came home because I was too cross to go to the park (and it was very warm for the AC) and he had a lovely afternoon playing here.

And now I have a whole nother day of it.  And J said "We may as well keep him until Monday as he's not back at school."

I obviously agreed.  It's another day in which to work on our relationship.  Just in time for his real mother to wreck it all again.

I just feel lost with him.  I try so hard, and he throws it all back, every time.  He loves his costume, but apparently I hate him because I ALWAYS get upset with him when he won't eat what he's asked for and when he tells me lies.  Well.  yes.  I do.  I'm not seeing that that would be a surprise to anyone here!

I do love him though.  I find it hard to like him sometimes, but only sometimes, but I do love him.

And his costume looks cool.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I have sewn.... And it was gooooooood!

Yesterday I decided to make a costume for T-boy for Saturday's St George's party. I'm very proud of my heritage. As Al Murray would say "British by birth, English by the grace of God!" ;*)

So I bought some material (and a bit extra for a bag!) and set about it. A few hours later, there is a tunic, complete with red cross, "chain mail" effect undershirt and hood, and a belt. Accidentally along the way, I had also made a very small square 'quiltlette' I.e. Not big enough to be a quilt for anything but a dolly!

Sewing felt so good though. I haven't sewn for so long, almost a year, and I just let my fingers get on with it, and they remembered how to thread up the machine, load a bobbin, feed the material through, and so on. It was like a very cool version of auto pilot. Very cool.

I will add in pictures later, but we're at flying.

The rest of the day was lovely as well. Mostly lovely. We went to Holiday Club. We went to the park. We went for lunch at the sit in chippy, and AC and I had fish and chips and T-boy had fish and didn't eat that, but it's ok, it's ok, it's just one of those things. I keep telling myself at and eventually I'll believe it.......

*deep breaths*

Rachel came round after lunch for a bit, and that was nice but very unproductive for me! I have a thousand and one things to do, but as Caroline said, the list just doesn't seem to get any shorter!

Laters my lovelies, I should be working.......

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"I was loving the landing......"

Yesterday I ended the day (almost ended the day!) with one of THOSE discussions.

AS we were on our way to bed, I was asked how much I'd gone done today.  Well, we went to school, sorted out books for T-boy, spent 3 hours at the park, I read a lot, I'd made 5 lunches, dinner for 4, done the washing, etc.  All the stuff Mummy has to do....

Last week I cleared the landing.  I started with the bookshelves and cleared them and then dismantled them.  It looked good up there.  This week, because JB came round for tea, I'd had to "stash and dash" as Flylady calls it, and shove stuff up onto the landing.  "I was loving the landing." says J as we head to bed.  "Not so much now."

Hmmmm.  Half the reason so much stuff is *on* the landing is because JB came round and J's modelling stuff has to go somewhere that *isn't* the dining room table if we want to eat.  I want to eat at the table.  It's much better for chlildren than in front of the tv like an animal. (Occaisional tv dinners are fabulous, don't get me wrong, but not for every day)

The rest of the stuff is there because it goes back in the AC's tiny room.

The thing is, we have a massive room at the front of the house, that goes the width of the house, and it's an Edwardian semi-detatched, so it's fairly large.  Then we have a middlesized room, that is the width of the house, less the landing and the stairs.  Then we have a small room that is built over the kitchen and is little.  A single bed goes along one of the walls, and touches the wall at both ends, that kind of size.  It was ideal when the AC was 3 when we moved in. 

The plan has always been that eventually, AC will go into our room, and we will go into the big room at the front.  Rich and I had planned on turning the little room into a nursery.  I was planning on it being a workspace. J is planning on it being T-boys room.  Regardless of what it eventually *will* become, I have to clear the big room first. 

After the accident (and has anyone else noticed I always call it the accident and rarely, unless I make myself, after Rich died?)  I used to just shove stuff in the big room if I didn't want to think about where it went, if I didn't want to look at it, if...... well, you get the idea.  I abandoned that room to the Fates.  (And the garden.  Ok, pretty much everywhere, but I've reclaimed bits!)

J wants more space.  He sees the biggest problem as the books.  Oh, the books, says he.  You have an iPad now, get them on there!  But they aren't all on there, and whilst I love the iPaddington, as it is referred to in our house, it is not a book.  It is not a C1890 copy of Bunyan's Pilgrims progress, with plates in it.  It is not a complete set of Dickens that Nanna gave me.  To be fair to him, he is not suggesting that I get rid of those.  But I hang on to books.  I covet them and keep them.  Certain ones I reread until the covers fall off, and then I buy newer ones.

However, I see his point and it is well made.

But how am I to do this, and keep the landing clear, and do the myriad of other things that have to be done?  I am back to school in a week, report writing season is just around the corner, I have two children here, one of which isn't always here and so is still settling into the rules here and requires high level maintainance, unlike the AC who can entertain himself and will help most obligingly when asked, and the need to keep downstairs tidy whilst I sort out upstairs.  This isn't a winge, more of a list of practical considerations!

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how I do it, the point is, I have to.  We have to move on, we have to move into that room.  It's a lovely room and will be gorgeous.  I have a list of things to do today, and the Landing is on there.

I'd like for him to be able to say "I *am* loving the landing...."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting to know you MEME

Bod for Tea tagged me in this.  Her answers were very illuminating!  I doubt mine will be so interesting.  AC is going to help I think.  I'll do his in a different colour if he does.

Here goes...

If you could go back in time to relive one moment, what would it be?

AC wants to go back to when he was born.  Then he wouldn't have to go to school.
I'd go back to those times as well.  Specifically, the first time he crawled.  He was 15 months old.  He'd been walking since he was 9 months, but he couldn't crawl.  Then one day at toddler group, he went to go through the tunnel on the floor.  He always struggled with those once he was over a year, becuse he was too tall to just walk through by then.  He dropped to the floor, usually to stand up, turn around and walk off.  But he seemed to think about it, and then just crawled.  It was a very cool moment.

If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?

AC says every time I crash my helicopter (he means me!) he would be able to fix it.
I would change the She-Ex taking the BG away.  I'd give Rich another few years with his daughter.  Even if the end result was the same, I'd do that.

What movie or TV character do you think you resemble most in personality?

AC says "I am most like Keith Lemmon." (WHAT? KEITH LEMMON?)  He says I am the skinny one from Supersize v Superskinny.

I say that I would like to think I am Roberta from the Railway Children.  Jenny Agutter played her in the film.  I'm probably more like Princess Fiona from Shrek. 

Which TV or movie character would you like to be?

AC wants to be David Hasslehoff.
I'd like to be more like Joanna Lumley.  Such elegance and poise and never a mark on her clothes that she looks at and goes "Hmmmm.  What was that?"

If you could push one person in the whole world off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be?

AC says "Mrs Jay, from America's Next Top Model.  He's a man who pretends to be a woman and he's just horrible." N.B. He's horrible generally, not purely because of his choice of attire.
I'd push the Ex's off a cliff.  Onto a floating island that caught them safely, but took them far, far away!

Name one habit you want to change in yourself.

AC says "My mums intestines.  They make her fart.  And anything that makes her fart is not good. I'd change to being able to have a VW camper."

I'd change slothfulness and disorganisation in the evenings.  I need to get more done!

Describe yourself in one word.

AC "Funny"
Me "Optomistic"
Describe the person who named you in this MEME in one word.


Why do you blog? Answer in one sentence.

Because it gets things off my chest in a forum that means I don't have to confront anyone in real life, because it's almost all petty and not worth a proper row.

Name at least 3 people or more to send this MEME, and then inform them.

Hmmmm.  I don't know!

Ex's for a reason.....




Three holes in a row........

Yesterday J and I had our usual T-boy is here and you're stressed because you've just seen his mother argument.  It's never about anything much.  It's just that she's upset him through the fact she exists and is a constant reminder of her unfaithfulness and the way she took his son away to live hundreds of miles away. (Hmmm.  Seeing a pattern here folks?)  Anyway.  Yesterday she surpassed herself.

T-Boy is about a year behind in most of his academic subjects.  That's fine, it's nothing that can't be dealt with with enough work from him and all of us.  J asked his mother to bring his reading book and any homework.  Most of the single mums I know are forever moaning that the father isn't interested in education and so on, so we both thought she'd be fine with this.  Nope.  Just a long round of expletives, in the car park, like a harridan.  Because he asked for the book to read with his son.  In the end I actually spoke up and said "He is a year behind, he needs to read every day."  and told J we would get books from school.

Apparently only she and J are to talk about their son's education, so the ensuing text barrage began.

Here's the thing.

I spent 5 years with Lori as the She-Ex.  She progressively tried to split Rich and I up by being horrendously rude to me, and then getting on the phone to him and "crying" and saying *I'd* upset *her*.  However, Rich was used to her by then, and after a couple of initial discussions where I had to prove to him by looking at the emails, what she'd said, he saw what she was doing, and we used to laugh at it together.  There were times though, when I had to practically pretend I didn't exist, in order for him to get photographs and so on of his daughter.  Now I'm faced with the same thing again.

What gets me is that....... there's not point in this.  The He-Ex, AC's Dad, has a girlfriend.  Her name is N.  Do I pretend she doesn't exist?  He's had about 5 since we split up, and AC has met them all. He is slightly confused as to why Daddy keeps changing them, but I've told him that some relationships just come to an end, and people find other people who make them happy.  I've never pretended any of them don't exist.  They are welcome to come with him to the house to pick AC up or bring him back.  I would help AC make birthday cards etc if that's what he wanted to do.  He's taken cake and so on over to the previous gf house.  N has sent eggs from her chickens back with AC.  I have no jealousy issues.  He left me years ago, for reasons of his own.  It's not N's fault.

The She-Ex had Rich thrown out on trumped up charges of domestic abuse.  He then refused to go back if that was how she was going to be - after all, as he said, who knew what she would claim next?  Some women just aren't cut out to be military wives.  That's ok. None of that was my fault.

T-boy's mother left J because she was having an affair.  Some women aren't cut out to be military wives.  I thought I wasn't, but I was strong enough after all.  However, her affair ended, and now she's moved.  We didn't even know each other when they split up.  None of this is my fault.

So why make it complicated?  Why make it such an issue?  I wanted to say "I'm a teacher. This is my job.  I do this all day. I can help your child catch up.  Do you know how much a weeks private tutition could cost you?  £35 an hour? IF the AC was in this position I would jump at the chance!"

Why do people let their personal feelings get in the way of the best thing for their child?  Children come first.  All the time.  End of.

It is the sheer instransigence of these women that amazes and horrifies me.  I bet if the house was on fire and she was outside with a broken back she wouldn't let me go in and get the child.  Either of them! 

In other news, I have a thousand tonnes of work to do, I have the little toilet to clear, and we might have found a tree surgeon.  Although I still can't spell surgeon first time.  I keep putting a u before the n. 

Next weeks lessons are ready to be planned.  Oh joy lol!
I still have 5 log activities to be done before last Friday. Yes. LAST Friday.
Washing needs catching up on.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


.....the strangest thing happened.

I couldn't stop smiling.  It started around 5pm, and it hasn't stopped since.  This morning, I woke up in J's arms, and I realised what it was.

Yesterday, J went out, I cleaned the child's room, made 2 chocolate cakes, iced and decorated them (sounds good, but I'll put the pictures up of the one I kept - it's not that impressive lol!) did a load of course work, drank tea, watched some of my current wallpaper tv (Kimora, life in the Fab lane) and read a bit and pottered about and so on.

J phoned about 3 to say we were going flying, and he'd pick me up, the planes up, and some tea.  No problems.

We went flying.  I did more work, he flew his Discovery, took off and landed about 20 times because he's practicing for his A certificate, we watched the lads fly the bigger planes, Andy zipped through the air with his little mustang, it was a calm, clear, warm, sunny day, and the world was a good place.

And suddenly I started to smile.

Suddenly, my body clocked ticked through 6pm, when J got here, exactly a year ago.  Suddenly it was EXACTLY a year.  And as the evening progressed I was in the two trouser legs of time again.  Part of me was having pizza with the flying gang, and laughing at Dan's crap jokes, and at Steve's almighty crash (literally folded his model in half!) and part of me was sitting on the sofa, ordering Chinese, laughing, and then suddenly kissing and *ahem*.

It's like an amazing lightness has come over me.  I can no longer say "This time last year I was desolate and alone, this time last year there was no hope."  Because this time last year I wasn't, and there was, and there is.

In fact, this time last year we were headed over to Hunstanton for breakfast.  (No, I had never done that on a first evening seeing a chap either.  I didn't think I was that kind of girl!)

Yesterday I became fuller of love and smiles than I have allowed myself to be for 21 months.  And yes, it is 21 months today since Rich died.  J came over the night before it was 9 months.  12 months later, he's upstairs, dozing on a Sunday morning, whilst I am supposed to be working!

Today I feel like I can take the chance on being happy, as if some kind of weird probationary period is over and it's ok to move on, have a relationship, be outrageously happy, be incredibly loved, be absorbed by the us-ness-of-us without it being some kind of betrayal of Rich and how we felt about each other.

Today, is officially, the first day of the rest of my life.  And it's going to be a good one!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A fussy eating stressed letter to T-Boy

I stole the idea from Oooh Baby and I'll be adding it into the Fussy Eaters Club for April.

Dear T-Boy,

Yes, I know that isn't your name, but it is on here.

It's about the eating thing.  You're nine now.  Ten in September.  You are a lovely child.  You make rubbish choices sometimes, but we all do that, and you are trying not to tantrum.  Sometimes I wish you would try harder.  But this letter isn't about that, it's about food.

I love your Daddy.  I love you.  But having you to stay for a week stresses me out like you wouldn't believe.

The list of food you think you will eat is so short.

Sausages (which is all you would eat, given half a chance)
Chicken nuggets
Roast chicken
plain pasta
raw carrots
white bread
chocolate cake


I think that's it.

It's only been in the last months of Daddy and I being together that you will have a sausage *in* the bread.  Until then, you wouldn't do that.  You are malnourished and clearly struggle in the bowel department.  You are either hyper or understimulated, depending on what you have eaten.  You refuse, cry, shout, stomp if I try and get you to eat something else, but the majority of times, if I really force the issue, you like it, and we have it again, and again, and then suddenly you don't like it any more.  You won't eat it.  You make yourself gag and then you get sent out and then another meal time is a war zone and not the pleasant family experience that it is when you aren't here.  That's not true.  Not the pleasant family experience it is when I give you exactly what you want.  Which is sausages, bread and butter, and raw carrots.

You're missing so much good stuff though.  And I know that it's a choice.  Do you know how I know?   Here's the thing.  If I offer you new food, you won't even try it.  You push it away, fold your arms, shut your mouth and refuse to even look at it.  If I offer you sweets you've never had before, they are straight in your mouth.  So I know it's not a fear of new stuff type thing.  It's a choice.

It goes along with the attention seeking thing you're doing at school.  The one where you cry for an hour straight, and bang your head on the tables, and then look to see if anyone saw.  That's what your teachers say you do, not me, although you do it here as well.  And then it'll stop if it looks like you might be getting your own way.  Stop like a tap being turned off.  But this letter isn't about that, it's about food.

Because I can't do this much longer.  Obviously, I will do it, because that's the way parenting is, even when it's step parenting, but I feel like I really, really can't do this much longer.  It's hard on Daddy, because he sees you ill and constipated because you won't eat enough fibre, and he sees me unhappy when you won't eat what is cooked, and I don't have the energy to cook two separate meals every day - I don't agree with it.  It's hard on the AC, because he eats everything, all the time, even new stuff, even tries it when he knows he doesn't like it, and never gets a well done from anyone except me, and yet you get a well done for clearing your plate like a normal child would, when it's something that you like.  Sausages.  It's hard on us as a family - we can't go out to eat because you'll tantrum if you can't get what you want.  When the AC got his blue belt, we couldn't celebrate in the way we usually would, because of your eating habits.

And you see T-boy, it's got to stop.  I don't know what to do about it, but I'll find a way.  I am more stubborn than your stomach, but I'm tired of the restrictions you and your stomach place on the rest of us.  The way your stomach controls the entire house somedays.  Not this week.  IT's not happening.

I've talked to you, we've looked at what different food groups do and how you need them, and we've allowed you to chose a menu that had different things on it, and you still wouldn't eat them.

So I don't know.

Just got to see how the week goes I think.

But I do love you.


p.s.  That was very cathartic.

So I've been up for an hour and......

.... I'm still not dressed.  Or showered.  Or any thing except here.

I can't find the list I saved of people in my blogher blog circle, although I know the fabulous Bod for Tea is on there, and no doubt she has a list somewhere.  She seems a very organised person.  Unlike moi.

The big computer is refusing to boot up.  This means I have lost access to all school stuff because I hadn't yet transferred it to the school laptop because I .........  haven't really.  No excuse.  More importantly, I have lost access to all my photographs.  Everything from since 2005.  I will get them back, I just can't get to them now.

I have to sort the AC's room today.  The experiment is over, he's not ready for complete control over his dominion, and so I will sort it today.  That and apparently T-Boy is coming on Monday.  I tried explaining to J how I feel about that, that I want him to come, that I love him being around, but that his temper tantrums and the fact he doesn't like me or respect me until a few days into the week makes me tired and apprehensive.  I think he's starting to get it.  The thing is, I can't hide anything on this face (and still the She-Ex claims we had an affair whilst she was still here lol!) and so he knows something is up.


And in other news.

Today is a year since J phoned me at 5ish to ask if he could come over.  He's never really gone back since.  And yes, a year ago tomorrow was 9 months since Rich died, and it was so significant because I lost our last baby just after his Celebrations, and I had a vague hope in the back of my mind - what if it was twins, and that was only one, and the other one is a hidden baby like my cousins, and what if.... well, you get the idea.
Anyway.  April 2010 is a remarkable month to read all in one go, because of the way that the desolation turns to hope.  Neither of us was expecting to ever feel this way, let alone be living together a year later.  There were times when we felt bad for our happiness - after all, without someone dying, and AC being left bereft, we wouldn't be this happy.  But then I remember that Rich always said he would be dead by 34, and he was.  Always.  From the day I met him.  Weird, but true.

SO anyway.  A year. *smiling*

Loving Rich's work with this one.  He always said he would never leave us alone.  We thought he'd be living here with us for a lifetime, but no.  But he and God, they kept their promises.  We are not alone, and the fatherless and the widow have been upheld.  Can't ask for more than that really.....

Today I must do college work, find the floor in the Adorable-but-messy Child's room, ice a cake with someone elses 6 year old, ice a cake for us, make tea, and generally be relaxed and chilled.  I have to!

With any luck, I'm also going to cut out some squares for a very simple quilt, in heavy material, for flying and going out and picnics and so on.  But if not, there's always next week!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Standing up for blogging

No really, I am. The iPad is in the kitchen, on the microwave because it is also being my radio.(absolute 80's, for anyone who wants to know!)

It's also BG's birthday today. I am banned from sending her anything. Sam and I have been neatly whitewashed out of her life because her mother is afraid of what I will say to her. So I'm going to start updating the blog that we shared with her about our lives. I'm going to start updating it with memories of her father, of how we got together, of what I saw here England life was like, of how her mother was and why she never saw her Daddy again after she was taken away to live in the States. I will never stop loving her, never take her picture from the fridge, never delete the ones we have of her, and I will always think of her as part of our family. Why should her mothers fear stop her having memories of her father from the person he considered to know him better than anyone ever had? From the person that he credited with saving his life after the She-Ex broke her promise and took BG to another continent, refusing to let him see her, refusing to send him photographs, letting them both down by "losing" the calling card on a regular basis? They might have his Afghanistan medal (though if her housekeeping is the same I doubt she knows where it is!) but we had his heart and his love and his presence. We wrote to him whilst he was away. We mourned him. Although his brother stole his ashes away (breaking a promise as well) we still Celebrated his life in our own way. Her mother wouldn't even let her come to that, and only sent a message at the last minute.

And yet I am the evil one...

I know one thing though.

When her mother wasn't home she said she loved me. She would never, ever say it when the She-Ex was home.

I think that tells us all we need to know....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ripping off the family.

At the weekend we went to Hatton Country World.

The children really enjoyed it, J had a good time, there were sheep to feed and pigs and lambs and a tractor ride and so on.

I enjoyed it, except for one thing.

The cost.

Adults £10.95
children £12.95

So for all four of us, there wasn't much change from £50. Add to that the outrageous cost of the food (£3.95 for 1 sausage, half scoop peas, half scoop carrots and 15 chips) and it was an expensive day out. But a good one.

However, this means that one good day out like this will prevent us having more good days out later, because we just can't afford it.

When will these companies get off with ripping off the family? This attitude means that in the end, the companies will lose out as more and more families tighten their belts. Is it really their faults though? Are they just passing on the costs from the insurance that is required now that the blame culture is so firmly entrenched in British lives? Is it the cost of fuel? Or food? Or whatever, that means they have to charge £13 for anyone over 2?

We won't be going back. And my lesson is learned. I'll be looking for more vouchers on the net before we go anywhere again.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Apparently, my network is not ready for online posting from my iPhone. *sigh*


I, however, am perfectly ready.

And now I'm sitting here, looking at the screen with so much to write I don't know where to begin!

How about the ongoing DVLA saga? How about starting with that?

A little background for my newest readers......

17July09 He died on his bike. He was riding safely, the bike was the best kept they'd seen in a while, there were no idiots around him, but he came off and died. The Police informed the coroner, and DVLA.

AUG 09 I inform DVLA of his death, and ask about what happens with the 2 RangeRovers, 1 Discovery, that are here. (the Landy was mine). They inform me that all is under control, they need a copy of the Death Certificate, but agree to wait until Dec 09 when the inquest has happen as I have no certificate until then. They grasp this quite quickly, unlike The She-ex.

DEC 09. I send them a DC, and as far as I am concerned the job is done. I have been informed by his brother and the She-ex that I am not the next of kin, and certain devious acts have been performed that show exactly why he had nothing to do with either of them any more.

Mar 10. I start getting reminders, addressed to him, to tax the cars. I phone DVLA after each one to let them know the situation. I am not next of kin. I provide the She-Ex's details.

AUG 10 I start getting debt collection letters threatening him with all sorts of strife and court and bailiffs and so on. I am not next of kin. I provide the She-Ex's details.

NOV 10 I start getting letters again, addressed to him, He still hasn't taxed the cars. I phone DVLA and inform them that he is still dead.

JAN 11 I start another round of letters from debt collectors. He still hasn't taxed the cars. I phone them and inform them that he is still dead.

FEB\MAR 11 through a series of phone calls I establish the cause of the problem. DVLA know that he is dead as far as the bike is concerned. However, DVLAs computer is 3 chips short of a motherboard, and cannot understand that if he is dead for one vehicle, he's dead for all of them. No, really, he is. I send another copy of the DC to them, listing reg numbers, descriptions, etc of cars.

17th MAR 11 I receive a letter, stating that it has all been sorted out, and that I am not responsible for anything. 20 months TO THE DAY that he died.

8th April 11 - as in Friday. I get a letter from a debt collection agency, addressed to him. He is still a bad bad boy. He still hasn't paid the car tax. I lose the plot, phone the debt collection agency, tell them hes still dead, they all but accuse me of lying, I tell them to stick it, take us to court, I'll be there, with the newspapers, to show how they are treating a grieving family, and the She-ex can pay the court costs if we lose - she's next of kin, after all!

I phone DVLA, sobbing, to beg them to sort this out and make it stop. DVLA promise to do so, and to write to me to tell me that it has been done.

We go away, as we do, every other Friday, for the weekend. We come back to an apology and expression of condolences letter from DVLA. Addressed to me, as Mrs his-surname. I'm not her. She ran away to the States 4 years before he died, preventing Rich and his daughter from ever seeing each other again, and is now enjoying playing the grieving Forces widow, with the pension and so on, because she refused to divorce him.

J has gone ballistic and has written to our MP!

And so the DVLA saga continues!

- Posted using BlogPress from my fabulous iPad

Location:My network isn't ready! (and DVLA saga continues)

Friday, April 8, 2011

No blog since Tuesday? Really?

I was sure I blogged Wednesday, but clearly I didn't.

In face Wednesday went to the wall because J and I walked the Adorable Child up to school, and then I was asked to go to the staffroom, and they had flowers for me! How sweet is that! Seriously, it's two weeks for keyhole surgery, but I was quite chuffed. We saw lots of children (yes, it's a school!) we saw several parents that wanted a quick word, and j was getting a little irritated, so Rachel shouted to see if we wanted a lift home to give me a reason to go. Teaching is a vocation, it's a way of life. I hold these childrens hearts and futures in my hands for a year, and I consider myself to be in Loco Parentis. This needs a post of its own.

So Rachel came round and we did nothing all day. Oh, we went to Tesco. We were almost out of teabags! Rachel went into work at 1200, and was back here at 1330, then took the children to KSW at 1600. She's done so much running around for us whilst I've been off my feet.

Thursday started at 0320,with the dreaded call of "Muuuuuummmmmyyyyy." and the gurgling noise. I got in there to find that he was being sick. I love my son. His bed has at least 3 duvets and 4 blankets on it. It usually has at least 10-15 books underneath these various layers, a bit like mining for gold. It has a few cuddly toys on it. I'll be honest - some of the dread of him being sick comes from the washing that could ensue.

I had to wash the sheet.

That was it.

He had shoved everything else away from him with his feet, so that it wasn't near him, and chosen to be sick on his own leg rather than everything else.

I love him lol!

So I showered him, stripped his bed, put it in the washing machine and we curled up on the sofa, on the jeans blanket, and he went to sleep. HE went to sleep. I didn't.......

Obviously he's not allowed back to school for 48 hours, although there has been no reoccurrence of the events. I phoned school to say he could go back, he was clearly fine, but rules are rules lol! His holidays started early!

So yesterday we had the Being Ill rules whilst it was school time, (mummy tv, if any, nothing exciting to eat, no big toys out, quiet time every hour) and then I relaxed them once it was clear he was fine and just not allowed back.

Today we need to go back to town, up to the solicitor to drop some paperwork off, pack for Leamington and go.

Oh, and two weeks after the op, exactly, I can now get my toes on my nose again. Flexibility is back. Walking is tricky in places, but hey - who cares! It'll come. I keep holding tha lads at Headly Court in my heart and mind. I'll get better. They'll just learn to survive differently. They are brave strong souls who put it all on the line. I had keyhole surgery for a torn cartilage. Perspective is a good thing lol!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So much to blog about!

There is so much that I want to write about at the moment.  There might be several posts in the draft today and then I'll adapt them and put them up a bit at a time.

I am still incensed/confused/patronised by Girls N Dubz. (I am probably incenzed/confuzed/patronized by it actually...)
I watched a programme about Tony Martin last night and the attitude of the police really wound me up.
I've done a lot of thinking about BG recently, and I need to get that on screen as it heads towards her birthday.
I want to write about all my fellow April comment ring bloggers.
I want to write about why we blog, and why sometimes people stop bothering (as opposed to making a deliberate choice!)
So much to write about!

I also hav e 8 short assignments to do, an essay to write by Friday week, the house to clean through and hoover, town to visit (tho that might wait because it's wet!) and the general washing type stuff to do.


In celebration.

In joy and rapture.

I announce that.........


My dad brought it over yesterday and installed it for us.  At times I slipped into that place I have referred to as the Other Trouser Leg of Time, and I could see Rich installing the original with Lee, and tlaking about how high to have it so it covered him as well, and why we didn't have one with a pole and so on. And christening the shower.  *giggle* 

Yesterday, walking back from the nurse appointment, I started telling God outloud some of the things I was thankful for right that second.  The weather, the nurse, the fact my dressing wasn't stuck to my leg.  Increased mobility. The NHS and not having to pay directly for healthcare.  Little paths by rivers that feel like the country even though they are the middle of the town.  That Rich died. That daffodils are SO yellow. *insert sound of screeching brakes*  Go back one.  Before the daffodils (which were VERY yellow).

That Rich died.


I am thankful for the fact he died.

I am.  I actually came to this conclusion a while ago, and I've broached it on here and I've talked about it with Mum, but the certainty that this is how I felt really hit me yesterday.  Three things brought it on, all, strangely for me, TV related.

One was Louis Theroux with America's Most Hated Family, about Westbrough Baptist Church.  Now I disagree fundamentally with the vast majority of their interpretation of the Bible, but one thing that was said was that we should rejoice in all of God's work.  Hmmmm.

And then the other programme was Lewis, the next generation of Inspector Morse, and a fabulous programme.  There was a girl on the programme in a coma.  She had been that way for 6 years.

Finally, it's been Emmerdale.  There's a character in there who had a road accident and is paralysed from the neck down.  He can turn his head, and that's it.  That was Rich's best hope after his neck broke.  Best.  More likely would have been Persistent Vegetative State, if he had recovered from the coma.

I can't imagine him like that.  This way, he died.  He had a glorious Celebration *not* a funeral.  We all have great memories of him as a tall, strong, brave armourer (unless you're the She-Ex, who only ever thinks about the bad stuff.  Or the BG who wasn't allowed to know him really) We know him as a loyal friend, a wonderful father, an amazing partner and a joyful part of our lives.  He died at the top of his game.

He's not still in the hospital 2 years later.  He's not just lying there immobile.  He's not angry, bitter and depressed about going from saving the world to not being able to wipe his own backside. He's gloriously with God, or he's reincarnated into someone else, carrying on his work.  Or something else.  Just depends what you think really.

Anyway, this all got a bit random.

Monday, April 4, 2011

It was a good weekend!

Mobility has returned, somewhat, and this meant that the GTI Spring Festival at Santa Pod was much more enjoyable than it could have been. Aside from She of Terminal Rudeness, who was terminally rude. I'll put the detils in later as part of a separate post, because it sums up What Is Wrong In Britain Today. And so on.

GTI SF was good though, although we didn't get to see Fireforce burn down the track, and apparently it was a lot quieter than usual.

There was a Devon Bay camper for sale though. £8700. As we walked towards her, she looked good. Tintop (no pop top) cream over pale coffee/beige, empi5 wheels, the works. She was an early Bay (wrap around bumper, crescent moon vents,) and a lovely looking interior.

And then we got closer, both back quarteers had gone and been filled prior to painting. There were bubbles of rust in all the usual places, although they had either been painted over or had come up after the paint job. Then J put himself on the floor and the underneath was rotten as a pear. That vehicle needed about £4000 of strip, parts, welding, respray.

Oh well. The right one is out there for us.

The AC came back from Mothering Sunday with his father to bring me a signed copy of Alan Coxons new book, and had shaken his hand and so on. His father hadnt thought about card or anything, but well, that's ok. J was happy to have sorted it out, had the AC been here with us this weekend. He wanted to be here with us this weekend, but well, divorce is a bitch sometimes my child. He's getting to the age where I would be prepared to let him choose where he wants to be if there is something going on on the weekend that he isn't with a particular parent, but I can't see his father going for that.

And finally.

I smell.

Oh, I do. There is only so much a girl can do with a strip wash every day when she's only washed her hair ONCE in the last 10 days, and not had a shower or bath or anything remotely involving lots of hot water and soap and shampoo and conditioner and body butter and NICE THINGS.

I am as hairy as a Yeti, and I smell like a swamp.

Ok, so both of those things are exaggerations, because I would never let myself go to that extent. I always manage to do *something* because the stench of body odour is just not what is needed. I know of someone who didn't get kept on after her probationary period because she smelled so strongly.

That's an extreme case though, and I hope it was a wake up call for her to pay some attention to herself and get it together.

Ok, I've got to get on, and do stuff, because so far today I already have to:-

Tax the car
Do some college work
Plan an essay
Write part of the essay
Plan work for school
Do something more in the kitchen
Get the snake food out
Food shopping

Oh yes.

And rest.......

Laters people.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Out of the house!

I actually went out of the house yesterday.

Shock! Horror!

We went up to the solicitors, and that went really well. Obviously I can't talk about it on here, but she is going to be in for a big surprise. Part of me says it's unkind to go after her in this way, because she's now a single mother, like I was. On the other hand, she hurt so many people, and lied so much, that in a way, it's like a toddler - if you don't tell them they are wrong, and if there are no consequences to their wrong behaviour, then they won't learn.


We then went up to town, and had a quick look in the new Primark - which will be lovely I'm sure once they get sorted out a bit. They've wanted into this town for ages apparently, and it's put new jobs out there for mothers from school, so I'm all for it, plus I'll be able to get school trousers for the AC that actually fit!

I'm feeling more confident in my body structure as well, so I'm looking at some of the things they have and thinking, yeah, for show season, I would love to wear that - get out of the sleeping bag, pull on undies, leggings, shortie dress, and go! I have good legs (they aren't great legs, but come on, I'm 36!) and leggings suit them. Some big boots, and a fat jumper or hoodie, and I'd be rocking it as a older camper van mum!

Oh the camper?

We are so nearly there with owning the camper. We need to get the solicitor stuff sorted out, but even if we don't, we've almost saved enough to do it a anyway.

This is such a rambling post.

Oh yes - Ruby. I've only seen the advert, but seriously "I never realised I'd put on 60lbs?". I've out on 10lbs since my leg has reduced me to a shuffle not a proper walk, and I can feel it everywhere! It's coming off just as soon as I can move properly. I won't diet or exercise it off, it'll just happen because I'll eat less crap because I won't be glued to the sofa, and I'll be able to move with the kids again.

Now having read this, it's a really narcissistic post! Everyone gets a little self centred now and again, and when the AC is at the He-Ex's for the weekend, I get like that a little. I miss him, and whilst I enjoy the time that J and I have as just us, I miss him.

That's all good though, because on Sunday he'll be home. I should be working, but I might see what I can make twitter do, and currently, it's nothing. Grrrrrrr!