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.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Another early morning....

It's my half term. I have spent 4 days clearing The Pit, as I have come to call that room. It is lovely now, and I can see how much more lovely it will be. I'm not sure how hot it will be, as a room, but it is big, and it is bright. It is wasted as a bedroom.

The last four days have been very cathartic, and brought me to several realisations. Clearing it, making it ready for the plans that J and I have for it, means letting go of the dreams that Rich and I had for it. That's a good thing. I am in danger, in places in my life, of having a Mrs Haversham type moment, and that room was my formal dining room, of which I had great expectations.....

I am physically, and emotionally, very tired, and low on moral, but high on success. It's a heady mix!

And so to work. I have a terms worth of work to plan, and a set of reports to write. And we're away for the weekend.

Cup of tea, I think! Aways a good place to start.....

Thursday, June 2, 2011


This was written on 31/5/11

And then I cried and didn't post it.  So now I am.


I found Rich's dogtags today.  Both sets.  I want to send BG one set, and keep a set for the AC, because that seems fair to me.  I have no idea where she is now though, so I'll hang on to them until one day.

Looking at the two sets though, they make me proud.  They make me feel honoured to have been part of his life.  They make me feel proud of the fact that he served, and that we served behind him, supported him, gave him a safe place to return to, made his life easier, not harder.  They remind me of every parcel, every email, every phone call, every msn, everything that we did to encourage him whilst he was away.  I looked in his gorilla box today.  A box that, last time we looked at it, he had just come back from the 'Stan.  But I looked, and it still smelled of him, and still had his books in, and had every e-bluey, every card, every note, that I had ever sent him.  Everything.  He threw nothing away.

He has two sets because he finally persuaded the MOD to recognise his faith, as a practising druid.  I backed him up all the way to get it done, and I always tried to support him in his faith.  Just because it was different to mine doesn't make it wrong.  There are no definites when it comes to God.  He's not a tame lion.......

I've found photos of BG as a little one, of her just before she was taken away to the States, I suppose they are her passport ones, and one of the She-Ex as a youngster, with her mother.  When she was younger, and less bitter, less hatefilled, she was a pretty girl.  And she's younger than me, but last time I saw a picture of her, she looked older.

I've kept them all anyway, to go in her box.  One day she'll get it.  I've had no contact from anyone there, so *shrug* I guess they don't want anything of his and they want to forget he ever existed, unless there is money involved.  But I've found some other cool stuff today that I hadn't forgotten, but didn't remember, like his armourers coin, and little bits of things like that.  The AC is most impressed.

And more photos of him.  And us.