Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cup of tea?

This is my massive cup of tea. Massive, I tells ye. Today I raise it to the lovely Rachel, aka BG, in the hope that she had a wonderful Christmas, and that she knows that thousands of miles away, we're thinking of her. A lot. (It's a very big cup of tea!)

Highlights from Christmas? A very, very happy child. His Scotty present was a Kindle Fire HD, and he also had a 'missing the Millies' present of a James Bond Aston Martin. J and I got him a bike and sundry small presents like books and so forth. Both boys had new Scotty tops!

And me? I was shamelessly spoilt by J, with a 3DS XL and a lovely calligraphy set.

J had bits for his plane, which he wanted, and T-boy had a lovely day as well. I'm not going into his presents on here - his mother has some kind of jealousy issue about it all I think. Ah well. She'll get over it. Or not.

Anyway, today is for slobbing out on the sofa. And with my massive cup of tea, I am able to do just that!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

How Scotty's helps the AC
The AC is all over the Scotty's Little Soldier's website.

He's also the official mascot for the world record rugby game!

His Christmas present from Scotty's has arrived - 2 parcels! (Not that he knows about those!)

It's been a wonderful week for him.

Today I get to give a little back. In about an hour I'm starting the first of a long day of bag packing at Sainsbury's, to help raise money for Scotty's. Originally I said 12noon, but when they said they had no-one for earlier, I went with earlier. So I'm tired on the first day of the holidays. So what? I know my daddy is safe at home! I
can phone him, hug him, tell him I love him. I know my man is safe upstairs. I can hug him and tell him I love him.

I'm not waking up to my first Christmas with a desolate child and a ruined life. I've been there, done that, and I'm wearing my hoodie with pride!

Packing bags for 12 hours? Easy as anything, in comparison....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

World's Strongest Man

I'm having one of those days. One of those unsettled, unsure, slightly grieving, slightly miserable, kind of days. And it's ok, and itwillallbefine, and so forth, but it is still there.

It started with David
Bowie, Winter's Tale, and then just lingered all day.

It's ending with World's Strongest Man, something that we used to watch together.

J is out, and went the other way, so I didn't get to wave. Tonight that really bothers me. I remember seeing Rich off, the morning he died. I remember like it was yesterday. I remember the last smile, the last wave, the last rise to settle his leathers, the last sight of him going up and over the bridge.

The next time I saw him, he was cold, laid out in the viewing room, and he was just an empty shell.

Life became like the Atlas stones, each day bigger, heavier, more difficult to manage. But I had the AC, and then lovely J, and now I'm super strong again.

Mostly. Maybe I just have mental cramp today.....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Normal weekend?

I'm not having a normal weekend. Not for me. But it is normal for lots of people. This is not a normal Sunday.

Usually I am working every hour of the weekend. Today, I'm not! I've done some crochet, some non-school-related reading, played with the boys, chilled with the man, and relaxed for the first time in 12 weeks.

I might even have a little nap this afternoon!

But why is this so abnormal? Why is this not my normal? Is it work amounts, or the way I work? I know my work/life balance isn't great.

It bears investigation. I like this normal!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hey Joe, where'd you go?

Joe the cat of much fatness has gone. He went a week ago yesterday. He's the tabby underneath Kevin the Ginger. He was fat, FIV+, slightly obnoxious at times, very loving, and ours.

Rich, Sam and I went and picked him out here, in 2008. You can see from those photos just how big and fat he was!

But this was him 3 weeks ago.

Scrawny. Not happy. Living in a hood because if he didn't then the recurrent skin infection caused him to tear himself to shreds. FIV+ meant he had no immune system. He was fighting with nothing except the antibiotics we gave him, which also gave him diarrhoea. That came with its own issues,
because the cold weather had triggered his arthritis, and he couldn't move quickly.

So I made the phonecall, my sister arranged it all, and J took us down there. He stayed in there with Joe whilst the boy and I waited in the waiting room. AC cried. I cried. Hannah came to get us to come in and see him, and he looked fine, very normal. She'd even arranged him so the worst of his bad patches were covered. She's amazing.

We came home, and Kevin has looked for Joe ever since. Shouting, in his own part Burmese way "Hey Joe, where'd you go?"

Still not regular!

No, not my insides, they are fine. I mean my blogging. I used to blog all the time, incessantly, like I had some kind of literal diarrhoea. (not literal as in actual, but literal as in literary - my insides are fine, like I said!)

It wasn't because I felt what I had to say was more important than what anyone else had to say, merely because I wanted to write. These days I am struggling to find time, energy and inclination, although I'm not short of inspiration! Most of mine comes from school though, and then needs anonymising, and so on. I will make the effort though.

I will

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Poppies are also for you.....

I wrote this the other day, well, you can see which day.  I wrote it because I had to.  It was in me, and it needed out.  It's the first thing I've written in a long while that has stayed with me, and that I am really quite proud of.  In a way, I've got the courage from the Chillpod.  Nothing has to be the way it was.  I don't have to sit on this grief forever.

If you know us, you'll recognise the story.  If you don't know us, then it's for you as well.  For any child whose Daddy or Mummy put on that uniform, and went and did their job, and one day, for whatever reason, just didn't make it home.  The previous post tells you how this is affecting the Adorable Child at the moment, which is also why I've not been on here for a bit.


For Rich.

Poppies are also for you.

You did not die in Flanders fields, nor yet in desert sand.
You did not breathe your last looking at a foreign land.
You were not flown home to me, whilst crowds stood silent by,
And yet for Queen and country, you were prepared to die.

The boy child wears no medal, for that was sent away,
Instead he holds my hand on another Remembrance Day. 
His face looks up towards me, the same question in his eye,
“It isn’t fair” he tells me, “It’s not fair Mummy, why?”

I have no words to answer him, as the bugler starts to play,
And our minds are taken back to another sunny day,
Where the curtains closed around you, with your hat and bayonet proud,
And that same voice said “One more look?” amidst the silent crowd.

A silent crowd stands here again, for the Forces from the past,
For all the Forces that still serve, because still the conflict lasts.
The sea of red grows wider as the poppy wreaths are laid,
 As we remember those who the price of freedom paid.

And we remember those like you, who did not die in glory,
Not for you the heroes death, just an ending to your story.
Just an absence in our lives, an ache that does not leave,
Just the tears rolling down, as once more we grieve.

But tell them all in Heaven’s mess, that we remember still,
That all we do is through their gift, through their strength of will,
That they were not afraid of death, and from danger did not hide,
And that we shall not forget, but remember them with pride.

But also, tell those who just ‘passed on’ that they are heroes too,
Whether old and in their beds, or in accidents like you,
That the loss was just as keen, as they left and went away,
And that the poppies are for them as well, on this Remembrance Day.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Broken - in full view.

My son broke yesterday.

In front of the whole school, in front of the whole assembly, with 300 pairs of eyes watching, he broke big style.

It was my fault, it was life, it was the time of year, it was lots of things.  But the result was that he had to be brought to me at the front of the hall, and I had to take him out, racked with noisy sobs, as the entire hall sat in stunned silence.  Yep.  He was *that* noisy.

We were learning a new hymn.  I do hymn practice, because the music co-ordinator says she can't sing.  It's a confidence thing, she can sing, but I digress.

It's a Remembrance Sunday hymn.  It talks about remembering the soldiers that time has forgotten, but how we must remember.  I don't just teach a hymn, I talk about it, about why they need to learn it, what it means, and so on.

Me - "Why do we need to learn this one?"
Child - "Because it's nearly Poppy Day." (Someone from my class last year!)
Me - "What date do we remember?
Child - "11th November." (Also someone from my class last year!)
Me - "And what do we call that date?"
Child - "Remembrance Day."
Me - "Not quite, Remembrance Sunday is the closest Sunday to this day."
AC - "I've got another date."
Me  - "Ok, what's that?"
AC - "2009"
Me - "Yes.  I know. Umm.  Ok, who has heard of the word 'Armistice?"
(Anyone who has ever been in my class and ahs a brain puts a hand up.)
Me - "Ok, what's that?"

Then a heart rending sob, and a voice from the back somewhere. "Miss, Miss,  {AC} needs you.

So I took him out, I took him to his teacher, I didn't keep him with me, although I wanted to.  He has to learn to deal with the creeping up and the leaping out on you that grief does.

But again, I want to find that aunt of Rich's, and his brother, who said that how he and AC felt about each other didn't matter, and say "LOOK! LOOK!  Look at his tear stained face over 3 years on, and honestly tell me that it didn't matter."  It's not about the money, the rights, the name, it's about the love.

I was going to write a much more positive post today, about the Scotty ball at the weekend, but right now, I'm not.

Laters people.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Needing to write....

.... but feeling choked.

I feel like I almost can't get the words out through my fingers because there is something constricting them.  Partly it's time.  Partly it's emotion.  Partly it's the needs of real life that pull me away from on-line life.


Yesterday was Rich's birthday.

It was a long, hard day, again.  I keep thinking that this will get easier - that's the plan isn't it?  Time being a great healer and all that?  But not right now.  This year it hurts again, but I'm better at not crying.

I've just looked back at this blog from the year he had his accident. (See me avoiding saying he died?  Yeah.  I'm still not good at that bit lol!)  He was so happy on his birthday in 2008.  I was so happy.  We were planning a family, looking for a bigger house, waiting for the She-Ex to do the divorce thing, looking forward to having a future together.  And then I miscarried, and we chose to stay here, and the She-Ex didn't want to do the divorce thing because she didn't want us to be married because she thought she was hurting us that way, and then he died.  The irony is that BG would be so much better off now if she had have done the divorce, by almost half a million pounds.  She hurt her own daughter in the end.

There's parts of the blog that deal with I-t-B taking the ashes and doing whatever he did with them.  I have been contacted by 2sqn about a fundraiser that they are doing for Scotty's, and when I said what Scotty's had done for the AC, that they had given him somewhere to belong after he had lost the RAF, and after such nasty things were said by Rich's family, and after even the last of Rich we had was stolen away from us, they were appalled.  Couldn't believe anyone would be so intentionally cruel to a small bereaved child.  Well, they were.  Was it intentional?  Only they, and God, and Rich know that.

There's a lot of the blog that is hard to read, that talks about the AC's pain and how he struggled with it all.  He did.  There's no way around that, he did.  And now he doesn't struggle so much, and he loves Rich and he loves J and he loves his Daddy, and he loves BG and he's ok with T-Boy.  Now he is a child that goes everywhere we go, and is a very capable conversationalist, and an enjoyable dinner companion.

We've come a long way.  But it still hurts, and I think it always will.  It's just not fair, but itwillallbefine.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to school....

Back to school today.

I've taken a long break from this blog, whilst I thought through a few things, and whilst I got on with a few things, and whilst I worked through a few things.

It's been a hard summer in many ways, and a fabulous summer in others, and when I'm ready I'll write about it because that's what I do.  I write about things.  That's one of the things I've discovered over the last few weeks.  I need to write.

I've started a few things, just to get them out of my system before I write what I want to write.  Quite how I'm going to do it, I'm not sure, but I am going to.

So this is somewhat of an introductory post again, as I get back into blogging.  I'm going to be looking for prompts as well, so let me know if you see anything cool!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Slimpod is working

MAY 24th Slimpod stats. (all numbers are inches)

waist 31
stomach 40
each thigh 25
hips 43

4th August

waist 30
each thigh  24
hips 41

Now even I, tired as I am, can see that that is a fairly substantial difference in what will be 6 weeks tomorrow.

I'm noticing differences in my and my attitude to food as well - I eat when I want to, I'm rarely hungry, I can eat what I like (different to me thinking "Oh, I ought to eat this or that, instead of this.") I am more body confident, and I'm generally happier.  I walked from home to the shop which is around a mile and a half in 20 minutes on Thursday, and did it twice yesterday (complicated and dull story)  Worryingly, I then thought, how fast could I do it if I ran? but I slapped that question right down lol!  Knees come first!

I thought I had to fill in a sheet every week, but so far I've only had one, so I've kept an evernote notebook.

In other news, J and I have a secret.  No, I'm not pregnant, it's not that kind of secret, but we have made ourselves happy with something!  I can't say anything until next Sunday when we pick up T-Boy for 3 weeks, but I'm a Very Happy Bunny, and so is he.

The Adorable Child is now fully confident on his roller blades that I bought him 2 weeks ago, and whilst he admits that they make his leg muscles hurt if he does it for too long, he also believes that this will strengthen his leg muscles and he will be stronger for it.  True.

And yesterday was 3 years since we Celebrated Rich's life.  Today is a painful day, as it is the day of one of the greatest betrayals of my life.  Ever.  Today I woke up, expecting to go and get Rich's ashes with I-t-B, his brother, and when I phoned to find out what time we were going, I found that he had already been and got them and was already back at his with them.  I had to tell the AC that we wouldn't be going, that there would be no private goodbye, that I-t-B had lied to us.  Later in the month, he scattered them - somewhere. He sent me a picture of the place he says he put them, but do I believe him?  I want to, I want to restore my faith in him, but can I?  Not really.  He lied about so many things in the end, about helping sort out Rich's estate (I did it all in the end) about what financial help he would give us (turned out to be nothing - all words, but hurrah for the RAF who did everything that they could!) about what the AC and I could have of his belongings, tried to stop me walking behind the coffin of my own fiancé, (Warrant Officer wasn't having it and neither were the boys, apparently they would have waited for AC and I to be there!) did stop me putting flowers on his coffin, (but not as successfully as he thought!) denied Rich's faith, denied our love for him, denied the AC's right to grieve for him, and then stole the last moments we could have had with him away.  I-t-B then went on holiday, and left Rich in an empty flat.

It's the first time I've written it like that, and there are other things to say, but I want to stay factual, and those are all facts.  I've tried to forgive so many times, and apparently I'm not there yet.  I won't bad-mouth him to anyone else, because I'm sure he made the decisions he made because he was hurting too, and because he was angry with Rich.  I've even defended him to the AC, which was very hard.  I just wish things had been different.

I'd better go and make a cup of tea.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hiatus again?

I haven't written in here for a while again.

It's not that I have nothing to say - nor that I don't think too many people read this - nor that I am not feeling anything at the moment - it's more that I am feeling so much that I don't know how to word it in a way that other people will understand.

It is the holidays.  The AC and I have done Not A Lot.  In fact, if I look at the holidays I've had since I went back to teaching, they have pretty much all been occupied.

2005 - before I started teaching - the summer of He-Ex terrible behaviour, the summer of Rich and I's friendship, the summer of the She-Ex taking BG away, the summer of such intense emotions from and for everyone.  I started work in the November, having moved into this town to a horrible little rented place.
2006 - the summer of moving here and the nastiest of the emails from Abroad.
2007 - the summer of the kitchen here
2008 - the summer of Rich being away in Afghanistan, and then home :-)
2009 - the summer of his death
2010 - the summer of cleaning J's house for him to move.
2011 - the summer of cleaning upstairs here - and yes, it took a summer.  I had done nothing since Rich died.  That summer I cleaned upstairs, had our room carpeted, moved bedrooms around and so on.  We moved the rooms around downstairs, recarpeted, and had the first 3 week session with T-Boy.
2012 - this summer.

This summer I have nothing particular to do.  I have the garden to clear, but that needs a strimmer (or napalm) and will get done when the weather is clearer.  I have 3 weeks with T-Boy coming up, but I believe that will be fine and will go well.  I have faith.  I have support.

Hopefully though, this summer will be the summer of the camper van.  We have received one of our payments from Rich's pensions, and the other lump sum is on it's way.  My monthly payment will continue ad infinitum.  I've also secured a payment from the PPI scandal that has been going on, and that was over £3500, so it is all adding up towards our camper.  We even think we've found one.  She'd be perfect for what we want.

Who knows what this summer will bring.  I know it will bring sewing though!

There is always sewing!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Confused. Hurting. Numb. And so on.

Before I start this, I want the world to be clear that I love J.  That the things he does make me smile, that the way he is with the AC makes me warm and fuzzy and be a very happy bunny.

Having said that, as we approach the dates we approach, I'm hurting and crying and I want Rich just to walk in the door.  I want to be putting the AC to bed, and hear the kettle go on, and know that he's popped in for a brew.  I'd take that.  My lovelife is with J now, but I miss my friend in ways I cannot describe.  I want to feel his arms around me on the sofa as I'm leaning up against his long legs.  I want him to tell me that the coffee fairies have been, or that there's a hole in the cup.  I want so much.

I will never have any of that again.

Some days I'm ok with that.  Tonight, I'm not.  I love J, I miss Rich.  Does that mean I don't love J enough? No.  It means I love him differently to Rich, in the same way I love Rich differently to the He-Ex, and to Steve, and to Rob, and to Pete, and to Andy, and so on.  I loved them all in so many different ways.

But tonight, it hurts.  Tonight I am not brave, I am not coping, I am not the resiliant single mother that the world perceives me as.  Tonight I am confused and hurting.  There is only one person I know who would know how I feel, and I can't lay this on her, because she is only a week ahead of me in all of this.  That wouldn't be fair to her, although it does show me that this is normal, whatever the hell that means in this world.


LAst week of school.
5 more get ups until the holidays.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Lying to your children.

The post today is inspired by a linky from Ninja Killer Cat in which she talks about lying to your children, and is looking for posts about whether we should or shouldn't.

I've never been happy with that.  I've allowed the AC to enjoy Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy and so on as part of his cultural heritage.  I've actively encouraged his belief in Father Christmas et al in the year after Rich died, because my little had had such a massive shock to his world, that he needed something to believe in.

I think Rich's death was the most complicated to negotiate in terms of lying to my boy.

On the day of the accident, I had to tell him Rich had died.  Because we didn't have all of the details, (and as it turned out, my interpretation of events was the right one) I had to tell him something.  He was 6 years 1 month old, and he understood Rich coming off his bike, but he wouldn't have understood how that killed him, so I told him that a car went over Rich and he died.  It turned out not to be quite a lie, but at the time it was all I had in my still-in-shock brain.

In the days after the accident, I told him that Rich's brother was going to sort everything out, and that we didn't need to worry.  That turned out to be a lie, although initially it wasn't a deliberate one.  As time went on, I wanted the AC to believe and trust the brother, even though I was having my doubts.  As it was, I was right.

Obviously, the most common lie was the "Mummy is fine darling, just having a moment."  which was code for "Actually, I miss him so bad my heart feels like it is going to explode out of me, but you still need things doing, so lets slap on a game face and go do stuff!"

I try not to lie to the child.  He is 9 now, and big and strong and braver than most, and has been through more than most, and survived with a smile.  I don't tell him "later" or "we'll see." if the real answer is no.  He understands about mortgages and bills and earning money and not having it for nice things sometimes.  Do I think he knows too much?  Perhaps.  Can I take it away? No.  Would I if I could?  I don't know.  It's made him who he is today.  Would I rather have lied, and said Rich will be back soon, just to delay the moment of breaking his heart?  No.  It had to be done.

Sometimes, perhaps, there are lies that need to be told, like Father Christmas, but mostly, the truth is like the sun - you can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away.  (Elvis said that!)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Work is work, home is home!

It's been a week or so since I've written on here, and it's been a busy week.  This time of year is always full of reports and doing of things that Must Be Done, and on top of that I've had 3 late meetings this week.

Monday's was the one that really narked me off though.  I provide my children with a website from which they can collect homework, email each other, communicate with me, collect extra information and so on.  I run it in my own time, and I make sure that it is secure.  I have had comments from parents about how they as parents want to know more about it, don't know enough, want to know how they can help their child, don't want their child using the internet, and so on.  My response to this was to run 3 meetings.

2.15-3.15 (So they could come to school, go through it all, and then collect children.
3.30-4.30 (So they could finish work, collect children, then go through it all, then go home)
6.00-7.00 (So they could finish work, grab a quick bite, come to the meeting, with or without a child, option being that both parents/partners are home so one can come and one can babysit)

These meetings were held at parents request for more information.

Attendance was as follows.

2.15-3.15 - 0
3.30-4.30 - 0
6.00-7.00 - 2 sets. (mother and grandfather from one family, father and daughter from another family)

So I finished Monday thinking why do I bother?  Parental involvement is all very well when they want to moan about what we don't provide, but when we do provide it, in our own time, then they don't want to know anyway!  I sent out letters, and reminder slips, so it's not as if they didn't know about it being on.  The two sets who did come really enjoyed it and said they got a lot out of it.  The Boss came in for half of it and found it really interesting.  But no doubt next week I will get a parents saying he hasn't done his homework because she didn't understand what he was on about.

Yesterday's late meeting also annoys me, but not because I had it, just because of why I had to have it.  All TA's now are expected to get NVQ L2.  Fine!  No problem with that - but does it have to involve so much Excel work when they will NEVER use that level of work with a child?  I had a TA in tears yesterday because she doesn't want to fail and let people down.

Tonight is my favourite meeting though.  Tonight is the feeder school new parent's meeting.  They come to us at Y3 from a local infant school, and we provide a meeting, 2 mornings of transition, a whole day of transition, and opportunity for parents to talk to us at any time.  It's always interesting to meet the parents, hopefully meet the children for the first time and so on. This year we have 7 coming, so we'll see how many turn up to the meeting.  I suspect all of them will! (I hope so, anyway)

And it's been SATs this week - and regular readers will know my opinion on those lol!

Anyway, more work to do - the SIP is coming to watch me teach on Friday week.  He's like an area chap who comes in to help schools from a county level.  He's coming to me because I went on that long course in January time.  It's all good.

So that's work, being work.

Home is home! (When I'm there to see it!)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Best..... weekend...... EVER!!!!

Ok, well, maybe not the absolute best, because Caroline's wedding is up there, and when the AC was born is up there, but this is one of the Best Weekend's Ever!


What a jolly good question! (As you can tell from my style of writing, I'm in an offensively good mood!)

A clue.....

Another clue!


Ok.  We have spent the last couple of days with.......  MARIGOLD!

Before anyone gets too excited, she's not ours, she's on hire from in Warwick, and she is ours until Monday lunchtime.  Yesterday we drove her back from Warwick to Lynn.  She did very well!  J had to get used to a complete lack of powered anything (i.e. when you put the screen washer on, the lights dimmed!) and a gearbox that was like stirring soup and guessing, but that is nothing against bounce, that is just what a 1976 original T2 is like.

But she is gorgeous, so we took her to Lifestyles which is an event at Hunstanton.  She drove like a dream.  She's got a T25 engine in her as opposed to her original, but she is lovely!

Obviously J had to clean her - she was at a show after all!

She shone in the sun when she was done.  We went over her with Fast Glass and she was shiny shiny shiny!

We spent the day chilling out, watching the events at Lifestyles, eating sandwiches, wandering around the place, and definately, just enjoying being together.

We left, and then went over to my sisters, and had a brew and a chat.  It was, all in all, a very fabulous day.

Aside from the MASSIVE sunburn which I have on my back because I wore a dress for the first time in a long time.  I don't know if I've lost inches, and I know I've missed a couple of days listening to the Slimpod, but I am easily influenced lol, so I think it is working.  I do know that I am eating less often, and that when I do eat (which I do, don't get me wrong lol!) I don't want as much.  I'm not eating for the sake of eating.  I'm not finishing food just because it is there.  I'm also finding that I remember most of the bits that affect me.

Like I say, it's a gorgeous day, with a gorgous van, and a gorgeous life!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Quiet Saturday? Finally.....

After the rushing around of the last few weeks, and the rushing around that will come in the next few weeks, this weekend is an oasis in the middle of chaos.

I've got plenty of work to do, of course, I always have lol, but I'm planning on doing it slowly and chilling my way through it.  All I have to do is "get on with what comes next in my day"  That's it.  Just do the next thing. (Thanks Trevor)

I tweeted with the Thinking Slimmer people yesterday, about an electronic version of their handbook.  Anyone who knows me will know that I am not a paper person.  I am just not.  I will lose it, crumple it, forget where it is, put it in a lovely folder and lose the folder, and so on.  I need an electronic thing.  Even I can't lose the entire internet.

I've made myself an evernote folder to start with, but to make sure I am accountable, I'm also going to put the targets on here.

1) I want to wear my black size 10 jeans comfortably.  Right now I can't get them past my hips.  If I get chance, I intend to take a photo to increase my awareness of how I'm doing.
2) I want to not rely on sugar to get through my day.  This is a change in attitude, in awareness of what I'm eating.  I've fallen into the working mother trap of grabbing stuff when I can, then doing a full meal in the evening for everyone, tasting whilst I do it (it's a necessity for a good meal!) and then eating too big a portion, then snacking in the evening.
3) I want to wear a summer dress and not look like material stretched over treetrunks.  I'm 37, I'm not in bad shape, but I am heading out of shape and I will not let that happen.  I won't.  My son is not having a fat mummy at sports day, or someone who can't play with him, or someone his friends laugh about.  No way.

It wants a time, I want to do this by the start of August.  Or be really on the way.  I want to feel like I can run on the beach with my boy without Jodrell Bank phoning up to say that I'm upsetting the telescope settings.  (Once again, I appreciate that I am not mega-massive, but since I've had my knee done I find it hard to run, and when I do, it's less of a run and more of a lumber.)

I also need to record 3 things I have noticed.

To be fair, the first day I didn't notice very much, because I had a busting headache.

1) I'm choosing to drink water - but I don't remember making that choice.
2) I'm eating sweets whilst the lads are flying, but less than usual, and I can hear Trevor telling me it's my choice. 
3) I've just realised I didn't eat my chocolate treat yesterday morning, but I did have a healthier snack at break time.

Yesterday I ate.....

2 slices toast with mashed banana on top - and I've just realised I didn't put sugar in.

oatcakes and honey (graze box)
Garden of England (graze box)

cheese and potato pie and salad

bag of bacon crisps

lamb rogan josh and rice, 1/2 naan bread, 1/2 popadum. - and I didn't eat all of it.

So there we go!

I've listened today, and we'll see how it goes.  I only get quiet time in the mornings, so that's when I listen.  I need to listen to the Chillpod as well, so I'll see when I can get that in.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hiatus? and Slimpod

There's been a bloggy break for a couple of weeks, mainly due to the burglary at the shop and working every minute God sends to get things back on track.

In the last week or so, I've been listening to an audio download from thinkingslimmer.  The relax one, lovingly called by the compant a "Chillpod".  Partly, I downloaded this one because it was free, and partly because I can feel my stress levels rising as we get to the anniversary again.  I thought it was just me last year, and I don't really remember the year before that as the first year, but apparently not.  I also don't think it's all the anniversary, I think it has a lot to do with work levels in teaching at this time of year, with the way that life in general is going, with report writing, and so on.  Anyway, the net result is that I am Not A Happy Bunny as we change seasons. 

I was sceptical.  I'll grant that.  However, this is me, with my hat covered in salt and red sauce.  Somehow, I find it is helping, and that I am calmer.  Yesterday I missed a day, and I noticed it.

So yesterday I downloaded the next step.  The Drop 2 Jeans sizes slimpod.  Before anyone goes off on one that I am not fat, I completely agree with you.  I'm not.  This is me, without body dysmorphia or whatever they call it when you think you are a heifer and you aren't.  I am, however, still struggling with my knee.  It's been over a year.  The weight that I put on when I was heading towards the surgery and couldn't walk properly, added to the weight that I put on after the surgery, when I grumpily tried to go through getting better, is all adding up to the fact that I am getting bigger.

I refuse to get to a size 16 again.  I just won't.  Whilst I know that a lot of it isn't my fault, that a person *has* to eat something when they are recuperating or immobile, I'm faily sure that *something* doesn't involve whole packets of biscuits!

Then I got talking on twitter to @TheMoiderer , who is an utterly top bird, and she was saying how good it was and how it worked for her, and so I took a wander through her blog and was convinced that there could be hope!  I don't have time to diet and think about food and so on all the day.  I also don't want it all to go and then come back with all it's friends.  That happens.

Hence the Slimpod. Will it work? I don't know - but then I was sceptical about the Chillpod, and that appears to be working.

It advises not weighing (which is good as my scales are broken) and measuring instead. 

waist 31
stomach 40
each thigh 25
hips 43

My bust is around 36/38, depending on time of the month, and the stomach can expand to overfill a size14 when that happens as well!

The slimpod people don't know I've written this, so they aren't influencing me in any way, although I am following them on Twitter and they seem nice folk! (I will tell them I've written this though - I don't want to talk about them behind their backs!)

IN other news, I have started report writing.  Deep joy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I am a pensioner (and so is the AC)

It is true.

After almost 3 years, several letters, quite a lot of hoop jumping,  and finding documentation to prove what I say is true, the AC and I are going to be in reciept of a pension from Rich's old work.  It's not the RAF dependants pension, but the point is that it doesn't have to be.  The She-Ex has that, and I hope she uses it well for BG's future.

This has never been about the amount for me, (although it is nothing to be sneezed at!) but about the principle.  The intention that Rich's family, and Lori herself, seemed to have, that the AC and I can be whitewashed out of his life like we were never there, like he didn't love us and like we didn't love him, has been defied.  Rich's aunt actually said that the way Rich and the AC felt about each other wasn't important, that the BG was the blood daughter and the only one who mattered - and that was less than a fortnight after his death!

This was about someone, anyone, appreciating what we all meant to each other.  This was about the fact he had two children that he supported, two that he cared about and cherished and loved and protected.

It's all good people.  It's all good.

And it's back dated, which means we've been looking at things

like this.......... and this

or even along these lines.....

(photo from

Watch this space.......  camper van here we come!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Changing Habits

I've just been reading a most excellent book that I got as a prize from a Twitter competition.

Power of Habit Amazon link here
Power of Habit Website link here
Lovely people at Windmill Books who ran the competition and posted me a book that HAS changed my thinking and could consider themselves to be the way that God is answering a prayer of mine link here. (They have an excellent rang of books and reviews and are on twitter.  Follow these people.)

It does exactly what it says on the tin.  It looks at habits and what we do and why we do it.  It looks at how to change what we do, and what happens when we do, right from a neurological level up to practical effects in our life.  It looks at what we have to change, and how what we have to change isn't always what we think we have to change.

It does it so well, I'm thinking about getting the e-book after payday.  It actually makes sense.  I'm going to start small, and I'm going to make changes.

One of them is not spending so much time on the computer first thing in the morning.

My habit is to leave the house late and grumpy.
My change will be to turn this off by 0700.
My reward will be to have a more cheerful journey to school with the boy, with time to chat.


Monday, May 7, 2012

In the middle of the night.....

It is Stupid O'Clock.

I'm up because J is at work because the shop has been done over.  Massive of stuff has been taken apparently.

We've spent the weekend at an airshow, and it's been fabulous, but so Very Tiring!  The kids had a great time, we had a great time, we loaded and unloaded boxes and boxes of models and props and the kind of stuff that you take to a Large Model Show when you are a shop.

Friday we were up and back to get T-Boy.  Home about 9.  Bed by 12pm because the snakes needed feeding and that takes a couple of hours.

Saturday we were an hour and a half away from home at the show by 8am.  We went to bed around 1030pm after the lads had gone back to the shop (hour each way) and got more kits. (and KFC, for which I love them and forgave them everything!)

Sunday we were up at 7 after spending the night on a deflated air mattress which was Not Comfortable, to spend the day at the show doing stuff and watching some amazing flying displays, including the half scale tiger moth.

Starting packing up the show around 5.  Drove back.  Unloaded the vans.  Came home.  Bed around 11.  Up at 2.30am when the alarm system phoned to say it was being burgled.  J went, phoned me to confirm, and I phoned police etc.

The lads are there now.
I'm home now.
I can't be there, because the children are here.
I know the police are there.

I know I'll be tired tomorrow and that I should be in bed now because the children will be up tomorrow, but I can't.  I can't go to bed without knowing that everyone is ok.  So I'm up, watching Discovery Shed's Auction King's, which is the same kind of thing as every other kind of reality show, and then Dinner PArty Wars, which will probably be utter pants.

On the other hand, I feel like part of the shop team, and I'm treated as such.  I might not get paid in cash ever, and I wouldn't expect to, because I don't know enough about what I'm doing, but I love being there, I can shift boxes, make tea, do computery stuff, and basically do everything I can to help out.  That's what you do for family.  I'm worried, like it's family, because they are.

I should use the time to be working or something, but I am Too Tired. (I know, because I'm using Too Many Capital Letters!)

Speak to you laters peoples!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A week already? And ICT.

Apparently it's been a week since I last wrote on here.

Sometimes that happens in my life though, and life has been so hectic recently.  Most of it is work related with the new Virtual Learning Environment going live to my class this week, and then email having gone live last week, and just STUFF! lol!  The result so far is that the children love it, the boss thinks I've done a great job, and we'll wait and see what the parents think.


Do we need Virtual Learning Environments?

Do parents want children checking the website and looking to see what is on it?  Am I sloggin my guts out for no good reason?  Should children be let to be children, and he home/school divide remain?

As a teacher, and an ICT specialist, I think that the VLE is great.  Love it lots.  Work on it loads.  And so on.

As a parent, it's good to be able to see what my son has to do.

But as a teacher, it's another pull on my time.

As a parent, I also want my son to relax and be an 8 year old boy, as well as a student.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

100 Word Challenge wk 39

The 100wordchallengeforgrouwnups week 39 is up.  It made me think about my after school times...

The prompt was ….I’m exhausted. Shut the door behind you….

Here's mine, check out some other peoples as well!

It’s 3:15 my poppets.  Home time! Got everything? Good.

Jason, you’re back.  What do you need?  Your reading book is in the yellow box.  Yes, good night.

Ryan? No, your lunchbox was left in the playground.  Try looking in lost property. Yes, off you go.

Mrs Newson.  She’s come out with nits?  She came in with nits Mrs Newson, and now we all have them.  Off you go.

Antonia. Now what? You can’t find your Moshi Monster.  Why was it even in school?  No, toys are not show and tell.  Look in the morning.  Off you go!

I am exhausted.  Shut the door behind you…

Yes, headteacher?

Marmite and tea and chocolate

Given the title, Dear Reader, I could forgive you for thinking this post was a self indulgent one about the things I really like.

To some extent it is.  But one of those things is Evil Personified. (We think)

I am a simple person.  I have simple tastes and simple needs.  However, even I was astonished by the simplicity of what made me happy over the last few days.  Marmite on toast, and hot sweet tea.  I've had the mother, father, and grandparents of all headaches over the last couple of days.  Can't eat, can't sleep, can't stand, but obviously have to teach and go to work lol!

But the joy of toast and marmite has transcended all things, in terms of being able to eat and drink.

I am, however, shattered from the waves of pain.  I have not really had one as bad as this before, and it has come in waves and gone in waves, and returned with it's mates, and so on.  It exists on one side of my head, right hand side, in and behind the eyeball and ear and neck.

We think it might be chocolate related - I had some *good* chocolate the other day, and it came on about 20 mins afterwards.  It had finally gone last night, and my boy shared his Easter egg with us, and BAM it was back.  We'll see.

Anyone else have anything along these lines?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beautiful Sunday

It is a gorgeous day here in L.  We're away at J's parents so that he can see T-Boy for the weekend.  Next week we'll be here for a wedding, but without the boys.  The week after we'll be back to get the boys, then go to Norfolk for a couple of show days, then bring T-Boy back here.  That's going to be a lot of miles in the next few weeks.

However, and in other news, this weekend with T-Boy seems to be going quite well.  He has been affectionate without being in trouble first, and has not been as winge-ful as he can be. I know we haven't had lunch yet, but I'm feeling optomistic towards that at the moment as well!  It's beef, which he has learnt to eat at our house, and veggies, and yorkshires. Should be all good.

Times like this, I almost think that we can get through this stage of his development, and that everything will turn out ok.  I almost don't want to type that though, as usually when I do something happens that means he has a major strop, and it's all not-good again.

Ah well.

Work calls. (and then swimming! YAY!)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Curiously calm

I am, curiously calm this morning.  I've been awake since around 3, reading since around 3.30, and got up around 5.  I might do Tesco this morning, I might not.

Yesterday was a good day.  The children worked hard, I worked hard, the world worked hard and it spun and nothing changed, but today I feel like everything did.

I have been reaching for an understanding of something in the last few days, and it has been something that I have not been able to even say what I am reaching for, or trying to understand, but it is coming to clarity.

I didn't talk to C4News man in the end.  I worked out what he wanted, and it wasn't who I am.  I made my views clearer, and he said we weren't what he was looking for.  I wasn't surprised.  He says he intends to be in touch to talk about my particular situation.  That's up to him.

He wanted me to be negative about Rich's death, to see his time in Afghanistan as a waste of the time we could have had together.  He wanted me to be angry, and hurting and bitter towards the RAF and the MoD and to talk about how terribly the child and I had been treated.

Rich's death was, if it had to happen, a death that occurred in the best way possible.  It was quick, he did not suffer, and the details of his death that only I, and J, and the police know, are for us to know. But they bring me joy from the sadness.

His time in Afghanistan was what it was.  It changed him as a person, it made him more than he was before, it calmed him and inspired him, showed him what he had thought his purpose was, and whether that was a good thing is for he and I to know.  But to have the chance to find himself in the way that he did, was an amazing thing.  He obtained the clarity that he wanted in his thinking.  He was away from the pain of the She-Ex and her random behaviours, shielded from them by me and by distance, and doing a job he believed in.  He knew why he was there, and he did it, and he did it well.  Whether I believe in the political reasons for the Forces being there, is something I will honestly admit that I don't always understand.  I believe in those individuals though, and I believe in our Armed Forces, and I will not put them down for the sake of some journalists predetermined point of view.

The RAF, and the MoD did not treat us badly.  They treated us within the constraints of the law.  They surrounded us with love and affection and support.  They accepted our place in Rich's life in all the ways that they were allowed to, and in many ways that they weren't allowed to.  They bent rules and looked for loopholes and did everything they could.  More than the outcome, it was the fact that they tried that mattered.  This massive institution of warfare knew that he had fallen, knew that there was a grieving child and girlfriend, and it cared.  It paid lip service to the "family", and some of the private conversations that are for me to cherish and know are proof positive of that, but it cared for us.

And from all of this maelstrom comes J and I.  Over the last few days there has been an article in the British press about Army wives finding love again after bereavement  The headline was "Can we forgive Army Wives for finding true love again?"  I'm going to write a longer post on this another day, soon, but the sheer nerve of the writer to not even try and understand the effort that goes into loving again, stunned me, and made me appreciate J even more.

Today however, there is a distinct calm about the way I feel.  I feel as though my path has been winding for a long time, and now is set and whilst there is nothing I can do about it, there is nothing I *want* to do about it.  God holds me in his hand, and I trust Him in a way that I haven't for a while.  There's a post in there as well, I know.

So this got long.  Sorry.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Scotty's and proud


My Scotty's post from a bit back is on the charity round up page.  HURRAH!

I was also on the phone to a chap from Channel4 news last night, wanting to talk about the "children of the fallen".  I don't want to go into too much detail about what he is doing, but we're meeting today I think, or having a longer phone call, depending on where he is, to talk more.

I have to make him see.  I have to make him understand that I wouldn't have stopped Rich going to Afghanistan again, I didn't stop him going twice, and I would have waved him off again, and again, and again.  I would have sent more parcels, more e-blueys, more photo's, more phonecalls.  I would have written about life in here, and not told Rich the downsides to anything going on because they don't need to hear it.  I have to make this journalist see that we were and still are and always will be so very proud of him for the choices that he made, and that we would always have supported him.

I have to make him see that it isn't just the loss of the person, but the loss of the way of life, of the place, of the people and the whole institution.  I have to make him see that we would do it all again tomorrow, back from 2005, we'd do every day the same way, including him going, and coming back, and going, and coming back, and waiting for the dates when he was going again, and then finding out he would never go anywhere again, or come home.  We'd do it again because we are a service family, and we were all in, even though only one of us got an MoD payslip.

It's all good. Itwillallbefine because I won't have it any other way.

We are a Scotty family, and proud of it, proud of everything it stands for, that Rich represented, that the Armed Forces in this country represents.

And in other news, the AC (and the rest of us!) all have new Scotty mugs, and they are fabulous!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

End of the Holidays.

This week has been long and difficult in many places.  T-Boy has not been easy, 1000 days since Rich died was definitely not easy, moving bedroom was a long way from easy.  BG's birthday was yesterday, and just about put the tin lid on things.

I sent her an e-card - I don't have an address to send her a proper card or a present or something like that.  Part of me doesn't expect it will be opened.  Part of me doesn't expect she will even know it was there.  A bigger part of me hopes it will be, and hopes her mother is generous enough to her father's memory to acknowledge that we exist.  Part of me is just sad that in losing Rich we lost BG as well.

Maybe one day we'll see her or hear from her again.  I'll give her the box of stuff we have for her, and talk to her about it all, go through it all.

I just hope she knows we are always going to be here for her, whenever she needs us or wants to know what happened to her father.

In other news, I'm working on a Sunday morning again.  Yay.  Then we'll be taking T-Boy back to his mothers, and collecting the AC, and that will be the holidays over.  We achieved a lot though this holidays, hard though they were.

That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

1000 days

A thousand days have passed since I had the news that Rich had died.

A thousand days ago, I woke up and I remembered the news the Police had brought the day before.

A thousand days where I have thought about him every day, missed him, loved him.

A thousand days where my child has, at some point every day, had that lost look in his eyes.  It comes less often now, and for a shorter time, and that is what having intervention at the right time can do for a child.

In a way, I can't get my head around it all still.  There are moments where I expect him to walk in the door, to drop his bag in the middle of the floor for me to fall over.  There are moments when I expect to hear his voice telling me that the coffee fairies have been, or that there is a hole in his cup, or that he is the worlds best taste tester.

Weirdly these days, I expect him to be a part of the life I have with J though.  Not to replace J, nothing could do that, but to be here.  We all still talk about him a lot, he's been on all our minds whilst I've been moving the bedrooms because he built that bed for the AC, and part of my mind can still see him doing that, still hear him chuntering on to the AC about it.  He is a part of our every day lives and I have to say how much I love J for accepting that, and helping AC talk about it and cry if he wants to and all that kind of thing.  He supports us both in so many ways.

Has time been a great healer?  In lots of physical ways, yes. 1000 days ago, and for some time afterwards, I wasn't eating, I wasn't sleeping, I cried a lot, I was exhausted, I couldn't cope with simple tasks. These days I am doing all those things. (I'm still exhausted and should probably speak to the doc about that, but hey, that's working/teaching motherhood for you!)

In lots of mental ways, I'd have to say yes.  I can think beyond the next two minutes.  I am not in fear of what the next police car in my layby will be.  I don't have to have my son within sight perpetually incase something happens to him.  I am able to section that part of my life off, gift wrap it with happy memories, and then open a new section where I can love again, (and I do!) and live again and trust again and risk again.

Yesterday was tricky in some ways, because I had to face the fact that it was 1000 days since he kissed me goodbye.  I had my FB friends, and my twitter peeps, (@Madyline) and real life people, and I got through.  I didn't tell the AC because he doesn't need to remember the focus being on the numbers, on the death, he needs to focus on the memories, when he remembers it needs to be in a good way, and he does.

1000 days.

It's a long time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Another early morning

I've been awake since 4 this morning.  It has to do with bad dreams (not mine) the way they were dealt with, and a general frustration of just not being able to do a damn thing right.


On the other hand.

I am up early, watching some daft programme about swordfishing, and waiting for BBC Breakfast to start.  I'll catch the news and weather, and then move on with the rest of my day.

The rest of my day will involve preparing for tomorrow, (printing some stuff off basically) and continuing with the AC's room.  Yesterday I managed to take the bed apart, move the bed to the other room and reassemble the bed.  T-Boy was amazed when I said I was going to do this.  "But Daddy isn't home!"  Yes, well, some of us don't need a man to do our work for us thanks T-Boy.  Yesterday he learnt how to use an allan key, some of the many uses of WD-40, and how a lubricant works on screws that have been wedged in for a long time.

It was not without incident.  I gave him breakfast, (dry cornflakes, at his request) and he kept dropping them on the floor and sofa.  I moved him to the table, he refused to eat them.  I turned the timer over, and he got on with it.  The timer ran out, he refused to eat, and sulked some more.  I turned the timer over, he got on with it.

Then he calmed down.  He was lovely.  He helped upstairs, chatting away like anyone else would. He fetched and carried when he was asked to, for about 30 mins, then went off on a massive tantrum about me asking where he had put something.  Then he was sorry, and helped, then went off on a massive tantrum because I'd asked him not to roll his eyes when I was speaking to him.  Then I said we were going to take Daddy his lunch, and he cried for 30 minutes because I was going to tell Daddy what he had been up to.  We started to walk down to Daddy, and he was lovely.  Chatty, interested, telling my about some film he'd seen, we got down to Daddy, we got back, (still lovely!) I made him lunch, he refused to eat it until I threatened to make spaghetti bolognaise with tomatoes in it for his tea, and then he ate 2 massive wraps with no more fuss.

Sue came round to help because she was bored, and he was lovely all afternoon, really on best behaviour, which was so much nicer than the morning.  We worked like navvies all afternoon and got most of it done, the bed back together, and it just leaves me a bit of sorting out today to do.

I also want to get these dogs sewn up today.  I'll take T-Boy into town to do a few things and get some kapok to stuff the dogs with and so on.

I also want to make pasta and bread and cake today (carb rich diet lol!)

There's about a million things I need to do, but I'm going to have to take it slowly - I'm knackered!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just a cup of tea

I am back to drinking tea again after a long Lenten period without it.  The last section was the worst.  Joyously though, I seem to have broken my sugar addiction in tea and I am happily drinking it without 2-3sugars.

2 sugars is 23 calories.
2 sugars x 7 cups (minimum) = 23 x 7 = 161 calories, daily.
161 calories x 47 days = 7567 calories.

7567 calories = 2lbs of fat.

Except it wasn't about that.  As a by product I am slimmer in the waist (it would take a miracle to shrink this backside!) and I am more lively, less prone to needing to sleep in the afternoon/early evening and so on.  As a byproduct.

So what was it about?  After all, it's just a cup of tea.

I haven't regularly attended church in about a year.  In fact, a year last month, when I had my arthroscopy last year.  I don't know why I haven't been.  Some of it is to do with being away every other weekend.

A lot of it is to do with struggling with my faith after the aftermath of Rich's accident.

In a way, I could deal with his death, I could manage to assimilate that, and see the rightness of the ending of his physical pain, his mental pain, and love the idea of him being with God. The powerlessness of his brother taking his ashes, or the She-Ex refusing to tell me anything about the BG unless she wanted something, or the complete lack of contact from his family, just made me despair.  How could God want us just whitewashed from his life, like the AC and I never existed?

The continuing fallout and stress caused by things like DVLA, like the banks, like Dairy Crest bills from when he was living with the She-Ex (seriously?  £450 to Dairy Crest?  HOW do you do that?) led me to question my view on the world.  His family were family for the good bits, for the showy bits, but wanted nothing to do with the actual hard work of him being dead.  His brother's big words of "let me know what he owes and I'll sort it out" turned out to be smoke and mirrors, which was the same with most of what he said.  But I dealt with it, occasionally *still* deal with it, and am proud of the fact that I have managed without them, thus proving everything Rich said to be true, and validating why I'd never met them in all the time we were together.

The ongoing pain of realising that he and I would never have children together, that I would never have more children with anyone, that the AC is the sole child of my flesh, is difficult in the extreme.  It isn't just that I wanted a big family, or that it was a dream for both of us, that we valued each others parenting styles and skills, that we loved each other, it is deeper than that.  It is part of who I am, and my ability to get pregnant, but inability to carry past 6-8 weeks makes me feel as though I am less of a person.  After all, as I have said before, 15 year olds on a council estate can do this, why can't I?  Am I that much of a bad mother that God's choice is for me not to?  Or is it that He knows something I don't? (Obvious, but true lol!)  Was it better for Rich and I to lose those we started, than to raise 2 grieving children?

The continuing, but changing, pain of living with his loss, and living with the child who knew him and loved him and was bereft by his death, of answering the questions, of holding the sobbing body, of coping with the outlet of emotion and reassuring him in all the ways I can, is exhausting.  Trying to find ways to talk him through what happened, at his own pace, without badmouthing Rich's brother or the She-Ex can be a task of diplomacy in itself. (My opinions are mine, and expressed on here for my own sanity.  He doesn't need to hear them, he can make his own mind up later on.)

There are other reasons, better reasons.  Sometimes I miss communal worship, the feeling of being all in one thought.  Other times, I am glad to be in a field, watching the lads fly planes, and glorying in God's creation without the walls of Church.  I am glad to be in the open.

My non-attendance at Church doesn't mean that I don't believe.  I could no more stop believing in God than I could fly under my own power.  I am open in my prayers to Him, guilty of not spending enough time with Him, know I don't read His Word as much as I should, and need to get better at all of those things.  I have spent a long time being unhappy with Him, not trusting as I should.  I struggled to see the bigger picture - of how the pain my son and I were going through, caused by his death and the aftermath, made sense in the plan.

I am slowly coming towards an acceptance, but not an understanding.  OR rather, an understanding that it is ok not to understand, it is better just to accept, and appreciate what is here, rather than picking old wounds. After all, picking causes scars, not smooth healing. (All our mothers said things along those lines)  Whether this will lead me back to church, or to a more insular faith for a while, I don't know.

So, for me, every time I wanted a brew and didn't, it made me think of God, and what He was prepared to do for me.  It made me aware that I had made a promise to God, and that I should keep that promise.  And that He has made me promises, and kept some and others are not "not-kept" but more "yet to come to fruition".  It has been a physical reminder of my faith.

It's just a cup of tea, but it is so much more.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fussy wating and easy roast.

Well, I've been awake since 3am.  It's now 6am.  I gave up attempting to sleep at around 4.30, and came downstairs, redrew the template for the dogs I need to make so they are bigger, and then cut out and stitched one.  (pics later)

I cleaned the kitchen right hand side, and when the dishwasher completes I'll clean the dishwasher left hand side.

I watched Maury and decided that my life was Not That Bad. (although I make be awake really early, I'm not 250lbs and don't know who the father of my baby is, although this girl was 1,000,000% sure that it was this man.  And it wasn't.  OR his mate.  And why is she saying 1,000,000%?  There are only 100%.  What are American schools teaching these children?)

Now I'm blogging a little, reading a little, sewing a little, and watching Rick Stein's Spain.

Yesterday went fine.  J was firm with T-Boy about eating.  I backed him up.  T-Boy ate.  Simple.  He did mess about for a while with his ham sandwich.  He ate one half, then said he didn't like the other half, and coughed and tried to be sick, so I said "Fine, then that's you done til tea time."  Then he said he would eat it, so I said he had 5 minutes. 

Him : "WHAT?!?!? So I'm getting timed to eat my food now?!?!?!"

Me : Yes.  Over an hour for one half of a sandwich is ridiculous.  You have five minutes.

As he knew that there was chocolate cake at the flying field (where we were having our sandwiches) he got on with it, but he'd messed about so long that all the cake was gone! 

J did well in the competition, he doesn't like doing them, but he joins in with good humour.

Oh, and I did slow roasted beef for tea.  You've never had anything so easy, so nice, and so cheap for a roast.  It was 1.4kg of beef brisket.  I seared it in the frying pan, lobbed it into a deep roasting pan with a lid, made thin gravy with the juices from the frying pan, and threw that in on top.  It went in the oven for 3 hours at 140deg, then I turned it off (leaving it in) and went flying.  We were back 4 hours later, and about an hour after that I sliced some thin slices from it, made gravy and dropped the slices in for a moment, then served it with roast potatoes, carrots and broccoli.  Unless you are T-Boy, in which case he had cold beef, bread and butter, and a MASSIVE mound of carrots and broccoli, which he ate all of.

This is a marked difference to Saturday night, when he asked for sausages, peas, carrots and rice.  I made it, all mixed it in like a stir-fry (as that's what he wanted) and he refused to eat anything except the sausages.

We'll see how today goes.  But not yet.....  Everyone else is still asleep!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Saturday

It is Easter Saturday. (I know.  Did the title give it away?)

T-Boy is here, collected yesterday.  He and J have spent most of the day on the sofa watching films.  Currently it's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, with Gene Wilder.  The proper version. 

So far, he's had a bowl of cornflakes, and 2 sets of bacon sandwiches.  The same bacon sandwiches he wouldn't eat last time.  It's almost tea time however.  So far, none of the options I have presented are acceptable.  I have to find a way to feed him.  The main issue is that he doesn't eat anything he doesn't want to eat.  I know that most of us don't do that, but most of us have a wider range of foods that we will eat. 

Also, the biggest of the issues that I have is that he won't eat potatoes, in any form. Won't.  Not can't.  There's no allergy, nothing like that.  I suspect it is a sensory issue, but then there are lots of things he won't eat that aren't sensory, but there are things he will eat that should be a sensory issue if that is the thing that is stopping him eating.

Did that last sentence make sense?  I shouldn't think so. 

So shall I do pork chops and pasta?  Roast chicken and rice?  Why not?  It's only convention, after all!

I've spent the afternoon doing Clicker5 grids for my SEN and EAL children.  Yes, it's the holidays.  Yes, teachers get all these long and fantastic holidays.  Yes, I'm working in my holiday.  AGAIN!  Clicker 5 is brilliant, but it is something I am out of practice with and I am determined to get in practice with it again.

And now I'm stopping because my tapping is stopping them enjoying the film.

Ah well!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Samantha Brick - what now?

The original article about Samantha Brick, by Samantha Brick.
The follow up article about Samantha Brick, by Samantha Brick
The Independant makes a point about female jealousy by LauraJo Davies
The Vice editorial which is as much of a joke as I thought the original article was.
An excellent blog post by SAHDandproud about a real person he knew like Samantha, and how that went.
Where does all this leave us?

I am 37, reasonably sized (UK 12-14) and when asked the question "Am I pretty?" my 8 yr old son replied "Weeeelllllll - you can be!" My other half thinks I'm beautiful (he's supposed to!) and my children in school think I'm lovely and nice, (They are also supposed to!)

Do I get given champagne on airlines? No.
Do I get jealous of other women?  No.
Have I had women be jealous of me? Yes.

*Disclaimer* She was in the middle of a marital break up and was jealous of everything.  She was not in a good mental place and resented the fact that her husband, my best friend, talked to me when he wouldn't talk to her.  She wouldn't understand that it was mostly about how to get them back together, or that I orchestrated the buying of the nice things treats that he got her.  She was jealous of how her daughter behaved herself when she was at my house - once a teacher, always a teacher lol!  But moving on.

I'm not overly intelligent - I have a Bachelors Degree in Education with Honours and QTS.  I have to have that to do my job.  I worked hard for it and it is mine!

I am good a lots of things, but not brilliant at any.  I can bake, sew, cook, clean, homemake in general.  I can teach your child to read, give it the confidence to write, and tell you if it is on the Autistic Spectrum.  Oh, and help it if it is.  Mostly.  I can read stories with funny voices.  I can write stories with funny voices.  I can not draw pictures of anything, except Mondrian.

However, I have also been very, very lucky in life.  Those of you who know the backstory may now be going "No, he DIED! This is not lucky!"  You are right.  This is not lucky.  The fact it was quick and painless for him and over without a coma and life supprt, that was lucky.  The fact he was RAF and they loved the boy and I, and took care of us, that was lucky. 

The fact that I have always had a man in my life unless I didn't want one, is also down to luck, cake, and listening to them.  Since I was 17, the longest I have been single for was the 9 months after Rich died.  We had no intention of getting together, and in fact if you'd have asked me 5 minutes before J came over "Are you ready for a relationship?" I'd have said no.  But he came over and the rest is history.  Real rising from the ashes history, leading up to a happy ever after.  Well, a girl can dream.

So should I write a post about how fabulous I am and how men always want me?  Should I bang on about all you need to do is X/Y/Z and you too can have wonderful men in your lives?  Should I moan about how terrible it is to always have men falling at my feet and wanting to be in my life?  Or should I just accept that this is *my* life, and it runs the way *my* life is supposed to, and all is well in my world.  I have tried hard to get where we are today, and it is hard earned.  Your life is yours.  You make your decisions and I make mine.  Am I jealous of anyone for that? No.

Because I know something about poor Samantha Brick.  One day she will wake up to being old, greyhaired, and alone.  There's no mention of children for this pretty woman, and perhaps her narcissistic exterior hides a broken heart for an inablity to procreate.  I know that I am not universally loved, but I'm not universally hated like her.  I might not be gorgeous, but I know what I am, which she doesn't seem to.  I accept myself the way I am, which she clearly cannot.  She is miserable in her percieved beauty (she's not my type, so I couldn't comment!)

For me the bottom line (cute or not) is that there are more important things to worry about than who is talking about me, or why, or what their agenda might be.  Samantha Brick may have had a genuine grievance, and whether it was due to the Daily Mail, to an unfortunate writing style, or to just being so far up her own backside she can't type properly, it came across badly.  Very badly.  About as badly as it could have come across.  Her reaction to it today, which smacks of "Ha, I was right, you all hate me because I am gorgeous!" makes it harder to make allowances for her.  Today makes her look really delusional, really on the way to some kind of breakdown.  Alternatively, it makes her look like she would sell her soul and morals for press coverage.  Neither of those is attractive.

My suggestion? Do some voluntary work, be with people for whom the last thing on their minds is what they look like, be with people who are real victims, not the percieved victim she believes she is.  Look into the eyes of a bereaved child.  Help a victim of domestic abuse clean up for the thousanth time whilst her children cry because they are hungry.  Tell an Althzimers sufferer who you are for the 50th time in a hour, without getting frustrated.  Work with a child with special needs.  Talk to his parents and tell them he will never be like the other children and watch their faces fall as the hope goes.  Get over yourself, and if you can't, at least learn modesty.  Then you'll be liked or disliked for who you are and the things you do, not just the way you look.