Thursday, 30 April 2009

Normal Service Resumed

My blog has had a nasty case of being 'backed up'.

I emailed the lovely violet posy who helped point me in the right direction and suggested it maybe the 'feeds'. Apparently it wasn't getting it's regular dose of five fruit and vegetables a day.

Now, after many proper portions plus some cod liver oil my blogs have shot out one after the other!

I can only apologise for the misbehaviour of my blog as it appears to have a mind of its own.

Amber went off on a school trip for a few days and it has been so quiet! No rows, no arguments, no nothing. It has been a joy to be in the house. Olly has been really happy, relishing in the fact that for the last few days he has been the 'one and only' in the house, and to be honest, at home, he has been an angel.

I did miss Amber, she is my only daughter and the last of my brood, but you do notice certain things when one of them is not around.

So after a blissful few days I picked her up from the school - it was such a joy to see her and she had had a wonderful time doing lots of activities.

Olly and Amber had a nice five minute chat about their recent trips, then all hell broke loose. Amber got into a right mood and lobbed all her dirty, muddy clothes out of the suitcase and onto the floor, spraying mud globules all over the carpet. She then huffed into the lounge, where Olly was playing happily on the computer and decided that she wanted to go on there and started pushing him off. That caused a loud and raucous scene. I then told her to get a shower and hair wash (as she was still covered in mud), that didn't go down well and it took 20 minutes to get her in the shower and another 30 minutes to get her out!

She picked at her dinner and then shouted at her dad and stomped off upstairs closing her bedroom door with such a force that the windows rattled and I jumped out of my skin in fright.

Finally, a bit of peace when she went to bed. However, this morning she took a least an hour and half 'dilly-dallying' getting ready for school. I had already sorted out her school stuff, so all she had to do was get dressed. What was she doing?????

Mmm, my kids seem to have a mind of their own as well as this bloody blog.

I shall endeavour to keep calm and carry on, as Normal Service has Resumed.


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Your Tagged

I've been tagged by the lovely Maternal Tales, so here is my list:

1. What are your current obsessions?
Being cold - Cant bare it. And Oscar, the cat who lives next door. He keeps sneaking in my house and spraying everywhere.

2. Which item of clothes do you wear most often?

3. What's for dinner tonight?
I'm not sure.......maybe Oscar.

4. What's the last thing you bought?
A thai fishcake

5. What are you currently listening to?
Silence. Everyone's either out or in bed. It's dreamy!

6. What are your favourite holiday spots?
Singapore, New York and Antigua.

7. What are you reading now?
The Crucible - by Arthur Miller

8. Use 4 words to describe yourself.
Dont. Have. A. Clue.

9. What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate, dancing and singing - when no-one can hear me as I cant sing a note.

10. Who or what makes you laugh until you're weak?
Bloody good blogs, a good gossip, Olly's retorts and me - trying to squeeze into a size 10 jeans, without a hope in hell.

11. First Spring thing?
Noticing all the cobwebs and dust in my house and thinking, 'I'll clean it next year'.

12. Where are you planning on travelling to next?
Hopefully back to Singapore and Oz in the summer or maybe try Bejing for a change.

13. What was the best thing you ate or drank recently?
A good cuppa

14. When did you last get tipsy?
I dont. It makes me loopy and I get out of control, making me extremely shame-faced in the morning!

15. What is your favourite film?
Blythe Spirit

16. Share a piece of wisdom.
A laugh a day keeps the blues away.

17. What's your favourite song?
Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald

18. If you could change anything in your life so far, what would it be?
To be a natural blonde and save myself a fortune.

The rules are as follows.

I tag you. You answer the questions, replace one question with a question of your choice and then tag 8 people. Simple!
Here's the 8 people I tag.

Motherhood the Final Frontier

Millennium Housewife

Mother of Shrek

Sticky Fingers


And 1 more means four

Crystal Jigsaw

Married with Four

That's it!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Autism - Olly's Tale

To highlight that April is Autism Awareness Month this is Olly's Tale.

Olly was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, 'Asperger's Syndrome' High Functioning, Possible Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Nocturnal Enuresis just before he was nine years old. It had taken 7 1/2 years to get to this conclusion, many assessments, meetings with SENCO's, Councilors, Psychologists, Doctors, just to name a few. Nobody was willing to offer an opinion or any help.

Olly was labelled a 'trouble-maker' from the unbelievable age of 18 months.

He spent three afternoons a week at a local Nursery, (my daughter was almost a year old, so I had two babies under two, plus a teenager), so for a bit of respite, Olly attended the Nursery.

One day we had a call summoning us to an emergency meeting, so we raced down there and was shown a playroom, which they had left exactly as it was, so we could see the damage that our son had done.

Our 18 month old toddler had flung chairs across the room, breaking one of them and his rage was so bad that he had ripped up paper, chucked paint around and made a huge mess on the floor. They had had to isolate him from the rest of the children. I could not believe my eyes nor my ears! How could this tiny little human have created all this chaos?

The Manager asked us to remove Olly from the Nursery. Basically they were expelling him. I received advice from someone who was quite high up in child services who said that the Nursery were not allowed to do that; they were not allowed to just take the 'good' children, especially as we were paying a fortune for the privilege of a place.

After flatly refusing to remove Olly, the Nursery were obligated to bring in a SENCO team that helped and advised them. They put up rotas and charts, not just for Olly, but for all the children, so everyone knew what they were doing and when. This team were on hand for a good year or two, implementing new procedures and advising the Nursery constantly.

Olly can still remember that dreadful day and used to get very upset about it, but I used to say, that it was a good thing it happened because it not only helped him but in the end it did help other children as well.

This kind of disruptive behaviour and the labelling of 'trouble-maker' followed Olly through his school life, until he was diagnosed. The primary school previous to his current one was dreadful, because they really did not have a clue how to handle him. I was being called to this particular school three times a week, every week, to have meetings with the Headmaster, and various SENCO people because they were at a loss as to how to deal with him. He was excluded (suspended) from school on many occasions.

Eventually, we were referred to a Consultant, and after many more assessments we went to meet her and she concluded her diagnosis. Immediately afterwards she got up and rushed off to a meeting leaving Olly and I sitting in the room watching her leave! I called out after her 'Oh, have we finished then?'

Olly was really upset and crying and I was furious with the way it was handled. We both had so many questions. Now we know what it is, what do we do about it? Who is there to speak to? What do we do now?

Somehow or another I managed to get in touch with some experts and put myself on a course so I could understand the 'theory' of autism and the workings of it. It was extremely interesting; the way Olly's mind works, how he thinks, why he reacts as he does, why his speech is as it is and I shall always be grateful to Dr Hayley Pringle - the young slip of a girl, who helped me tremendously during those first few months. She knew the 'theory' inside and out, and passing on her knowledge gave Olly and I a better understanding, and the ability to cope with certain situations much better.

We moved house again and changed Olly's school. His current school is brilliant, very supportive, they implement certain things for him and he feels safe and happy. Nothing is perfect and it still has its moments, but when we all work together; the school, the parents, Olly, the doctors and the professionals it does create an environment that is tolerable for him, and because of this he has been able to excel at most of his subjects.

Because he is high functioning he is academically quite clever, but he just cant understand the world we live in, the way it functions and why everything is so haphazard. There is no logic.

Olly's mind and that of others on the Spectrum work logically - like computers. If you think of how a computer works or shows you data, everything has it's place and it is just where you left it. It has to work in a process. If it is disrupted or moved it doesn't like it and occasionally it breaks down, but when it works it is phenomenally brilliant.

Another way of looking at it is the Autistic Spectrum is rather like a triangular piece of cheese placed on its side. People can be anywhere on this spectrum - at varying degrees - although the underlying line is the same. Hence why there is differing abilities and why each person on the spectrum is different from the next.

You hear so many negative things about Autism, but it brings
wonderful things too.

When Olly gets upset and rages about his 'Arse-burgers' as he calls it, I say to him that it is like a metal sword. One side is dull and murky and things are unclear, but the other side is dazzling bright, it enables you to do things the rest of us only dream about. To see the world differently, to have no fear, to think differently, to be honest, to have incredible ideas, to be creative, unlimited and unique in ones thought processes. Surely being able to look at the world from a different perspective is a much greater gift?

Or would you rather just be a plain metal sword?

There has been much written about famous people who were believed to have been on the Autistic Spectrum, and they are such because of their unique perspective on life or for discovering something the rest of us just couldn't see.

And I for one wouldn't be without it.


Thursday, 23 April 2009

Pushy Parents

My kids interests are mainly in Swimming, Art and Musical Theatre. Now, you would think that the most Pushy Parents would be the well-known stage mothers....Judy Garland having had one of the most pushiest mother's ever and in more recent times Lindsey Lohan and Britney Spears' Mothers. But I'm not so sure now....and what if a Pushy Parent had a combination of interest's for their child? What would that be like?

Olly and Amber have attended Theatrical Schools, since they were 4 and three, part-time. Amber mainly because she loved the clothes the ballerina's wore (!) and Olly, to help with his speech/diction - which it did, and also Drama to get him to empathise with others - which it didn't!

The mothers who attended on Saturday's didn't seem like pushy mums, they were a bit strange now and again - you know, talk to you one week, ignore you the next, but on the whole it was fine.

Amber was eventually offered a full-time scholarship and that's where I met some more of the 'full-time' parents, one of them being my friend Bea. Although concerned for their child's education, none seemed to be the pushy type.

To cut a very long and nasty story short, the school went bankrupt, (probably giving away too many scholarships), so we all scattered to the winds and the kids attended another Theatrical School, which my friend Bea recommended and they really enjoy it. A Pushy Parent had not yet reared it's ugly head, (but a few arsehole Dad's have, they seem to get a great kick out of blocking your car in and when asked to move they reply smugly 'I'm just waiting for my daughter, she'll be out in a minute, then I'll move it'! Tossers.

When Amber and I attended the Art Competition, I got yapping to another mother there and I commented on the winner and how I could see why she won. This woman snapped back that she could not see how she could have won as she thought her daughter's picture was much better. Okaaay! (I hadn't met parents from the Art world before, so this was new!).

Swimming is probably the worst I have come across. The kids recently entered into what was supposed to be, a friendly competition between local counties. It was specifically for kids who do not swim competitively and it is really for them to gain experience,

However, helping at poolside, I was shocked by the parents (mainly the Dads I might add). One in particular became so engrossed at encouraging his man-size child, that he was down at the poolside yelling his head off. He had to be sent back to the seats but he was not shame-faced at all. Needless to say his kid won, probably because his kid was the size of my husband. But this world is cut-throat.

Now, Bea had recently contacted me because her daughter loves to swim, so I told her to bring her down to our club so she can get some practise in and improve her skills.

I help at poolside only when my kids swim, so I can keep an eye on Olly, because if the lanes get too crowded, he freaks out and he always has to be in the front, so this way I can advise the coaches and avoid any potentially nasty situations occurring.

Unfortunately, on this particular day, there were a shortage of coaches, so I had to take two lanes with about 14 kids. You need to be organised otherwise the teenage girls start gossiping and they never do anything. So I had two lanes, 14 kids of mixed ages, but roughly the same ability.

About 20 Min's into the session, I heard this yelling from the seats. I look up and it's Bea. She is screaming down from the auditorium telling me to coach her child individually because her strokes were so poor!

I couldn't believe it! Bloody cheek!

So this was the Pushy Parent in the form of my supposed friend Bea!

A stage-mother and swimming mother combined - not a pretty sight and not for the weak-kneed! Ethel Milne (Judy Garland's mother) has a rival.

I gave her the thumbs up, instead of giving her the finger (which I really felt like doing, because she, above all, knows my situation with the swimming and Olly). I helped her daughter as much as I could, but with 14 kids and trying to keep track of them all was a tall order.

Anyway, I saw Bea again this evening as we were dropping our kids off at the Theatrical School and I called her over. (It had been bugging me and I had to sort it out).

I reiterated to her that I am not a trained coach and that my sole purpose for being at the poolside is to help with Olly. I am not trained to coach swimming and the only experience I have is personally and not professionally. If she was not happy that I was helping at this particular session then perhaps she should find another session to attend.

She denied the whole thing and said she just wanted her daughter to kick her legs more! Yeah, and I've just seen a pig fly!

Pushy Parents take all forms, they may be lurking in your be warned is to be they say.


Monday, 20 April 2009

Flowers in My Street

Once a year, Brighton and Hove City Council hold a children's poster competition called Flower's in our Street. Every child in the city can enter by submitting a drawing or painting either via their school or individually.

Amber had half completed a painting that she was going to submit last year, but due to her school closing down (and a very long story), the picture was never completed and subsequently never entered.

I spotted it lying around a couple of months ago and suggested that she finish it off and enter the competition via her current primary school. We had to dig around for the same shiny paints etc, but finally it was finished.

A condition of submitting the drawing is that you do not get it back, because there are so many entries it is just impossible to return. It was such a pretty painting that I wanted to get a photocopy of it before it was submitted, so after a lot of running around to different establishments and outlets, (it was on A3 and not many places have good quality A3 photocopying facilities), I finally managed to get a half decent copy, stuck that on her wall and sent the other one off.

That was the end of that. Forgot about it.

Two weeks ago she had a letter through from Brighton and Hove City Council, (I thought it was over a lost library book and was wondering how much a replacement would be), but it wasn't, it was a letter informing her she had reached the finals in her age category and an invitation for Amber and one parent to attend a presentation at The Grand Hotel in Brighton.

The City Mayor Mr Garry Peltzer-Dunn would present her with a certificate, plus the sponsor (the owner of the Regency Restaurant in Brighton) would present her with a prize.

I could not believe my eyes when I read this. This type of thing does not happen in our family. Life is usually full of misery and woe isn't it?

We went out and bought her a nice dress and a pair of little shoes to match. I arranged for Hubby to take care of Olly, however, the day before Hubby got called out to work (typical), but I managed to find day-care for Olly but only until 5.30pm. The presentation was at 4pm, so we could just about squeeze it in provided it didn't go on too long.

We arrive at the Grand and got dressed in their powder rooms, put a bit of make-up on and made our way out into the lobby. Amber looked so smart I was really proud of her. I got chatting to another mother and was mid-gossip saying 'my son Olly wonder's why the Mayor wears so much 'bling'..' when the Mayor himself stood in front of me! As always, when one is caught in the act of misbehaviour a sweet smile and 'Hello, nice to meet you,' is definitely required. Mortifying!

We didn't really know what to expect, I thought there might be about 40 kids or so in the finals but as we made our way into the Albert Room , hanging on the wall were the paintings of the four finalists in each category, so Amber had done really well.

The compare for the afternoon was Neil Pringle from Southern Counties Radio who did a good job steadying our nerves, breaking the ice and livening us up.

They read the finalists out in reverse order, 4th place to 1st. Under 7's, 8-10, 11-16 and 16-18. If I had entered into this kind of competition I would not even have made the finals, so I kept waiting for them to call out her name, but it seemed to take ages, then finally they called her and she had come 2nd place in the 8-10's. Never have so proud. My eyes were welling up. I yelled with delight and leaped up, snapping away with my camera - the pictures are a bit fuzzy, but I got one of her receiving her certificate from the Mayor and the prize from the Regency owner.

Our local paper, The Argus had a photographer present, Darren Cool (yes that is his real name), and he was snapping away, so I hope it will be in the paper soon.

The little girl who came first in Amber's category also won the overall competition and her name and picture will be used in campaigns across Brighton.

All the finalists got their pictures back, so it managed to find it's way home. They also gave the children balloons to take away also, except Amber let hers go and it ended up at the top of a 40ft ceiling, so I had to nick one from a table. We couldn't stay for tea and cake because I had to get back and pick up Olly, but on the way home, Amber threw a right strop because she hadn't come first!

I couldn't believe my ears!

Moaning and crying she was dreadful. I got really cross and stopped the car and said to her 'with an attitude like that you don't deserve to win'.

What is wrong with this girl? Is winning that important?

I had half an hour of being totally euphoric and was then plunged back into the depths of despair.

She has taken her certificate to school to show the class and despite her probable hormonal attitude I am still proud of her and I hope you like her picture.


Wednesday, 15 April 2009


Fat (1):

I have put on half a stone because of all those poxy Easter Eggs!

Fat (2):

Hubby decided to do his impersonation of Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen this evening, complete with cussing and swearing that would put even dear Gordon to shame.

He proceeded to nag me about how many bottles of oil we have in the cupboard. (Not being particularly talented in the kitchen department I have about 4, because I don't know which ones to use for what).

So busy was he, instructing me on what to use what fats for what, the kitchen got really smokey and all the fire alarms went off and he had to retrieve his burnt fish pie. (Ha!).


French ended up going home eventually, once the Embassy had stepped in because she lost her ID card. They got her a one way ticket home. She rang me to say she got home safe.

Swiss came, left for Easter and has now returned. She told us she had been 'galloping about on her horse in the peace of the countryside'. She must sorely miss the peace being in this house. Come to think of it, she does spend most of her time in her room.

Long Tall Trish

I finally managed to speak Trish who went into every gory detail about the birth of her new daughter. Poor thing, in labour for days, then the baby got suck...ugh! Not surprised being 10lb 11oz. Nature so conveniently makes you forget. Still no name.

Auntie Roo

Mother went to see Auntie Roo and she is on the mend - thank heaven. Apparently she can get to the bathroom now using a Zimmer. She is also complaining a lot, mainly about the hospital food and about the woman in the bed opposite who appears to be eating all the hospital food. A good sign I think.


Managed to speak to Lou last night for all of ten minutes and caught up with a bit of gossip from 'The Bush'. The Pig-dog ex has done some dastardly things to her, I promised to keep lips zipped, but one of them is nicking stuff out of her house, so she has had to change the locks. Thank God she also changed her man!


After ten Min's of yapping to Lou, I whizzed the kids down to the swimming pool to take my coaching session, where Amber proceeded to be a pain in the neck again! She didn't listen to anything I said and got all stroppy because she was behind. Session over, everyone seemed OK, then Olly burst into tears in the changing room. I asked him what the matter was, but he refused to tell me, so I let it go.

Out in the car park he threw a massive tantrum, chucking his swimming stuff all over the place. I told him to pick them up and put them in the boot of the car. He hurled it in with such force, a bottle of water splintered and splattered all over the carpet in the boot. I spent the next ten Min's mopping it up with the sleeve of my coat. (I didn't have anything else with me). We finally got home, Amber still in a strop, Olly crying and me giving up.

You'd think this was the end wouldn't you?


During the night Olly was so restless that not only did his duvet come off his bed but the sheets he lies on, pillows and blankets came off. Everything was on the floor including him and he doesn't remember a thing about it or how he came to be there......

It's just another!


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Dead or Alive

I had this thought whilst half-asleep and mid-fantasy;

What would it be like to be able to associate with anyone you really liked or admired. Someone who was rich and/or famous, dead or alive. What would you do? Have a chat, snog someones face off, marry them, ask them a question you've always had a burning desire to ask or just simply hang out with them?

This is my fantasy life:

I would
  • Marry Johnny Depp - because with that beautiful face who wouldn't wake up to that every morning - provided he wore his pirate costume at least once a week.
  • Live next door to Elvis, so I could pop 'round for a cuppa and listen to him 'jam' with his mates and then we could sing a bit of gospel (love it).

  • Have a good chin-wag with the Dali Lama.
  • Brush Albert Einstein's hair.

  • Hang out with Lizzie the First for a while (I admire her greatly, considering she had all those men to boss around - a woman after my own heart!).
  • Pop over to Egypt and talk to Cleopatra about her Needle.

  • Ask Casanova what he really thought of women
  • Snog Barrack Obama. (Well he is the first good-looking president we've had since JFK)

  • Spend at least an hour with Nelson Mandela - what a life! What a man!

  • Ask Bruce Lee to show me the 'one-inch punch'

Whilst I was doing all this I'd get Angie to watch the kids....

What would you do?


Friday, 10 April 2009

Long Tall Trish - A Short Story

Long tall Trish originates from the other side of the world and is a six foot skinny-balinky. No, really, I've seen more meat on a chicken wing, but she is also a great friend of mine.

She's been married for ten years and was trying for a baby for 8 years until she unexpectedly fell pregnant. Over-joyed that she finally became a first-time parent to Rosie at the age of 38, she set about having another one. She was a bit worried because Rosie's birth was not a good one. Trish lost a lot of blood and almost needed a transfusion, while Rosie weighed in at a whopping 10lb!

Barely a year later she was pregnant again (no fertility drugs - just good timing), this time she carried differently and the bump looked smaller. Some peculiar woman from a far and distant land stopped her in the street, pointed at her bump and wailed 'its a boy, its a boy'!

(Yeah, we get a lot of those in Brighton).

Being concerned, because of Rosie's birth weight, Trish constantly asked the midwife what size the baby would be. She committed to 7lb 7oz.

Long Tall Trish gave birth on Wednesday afternoon. The baby was a girl (Little Miss No-name at present).

She weighed an eye-watering 10lb 11oz!

Points to remember:
Take no notice of the size of your 'bump'.
Even if you're skinny as a rake you can still have a gigantic baby.
Don't listen to strange women in the street
Add on 3lbs to what midwives tell you.

Well done Trish! Love you loads. xx

Has anyone out there had similar baby weight or mystic/scan misinterpretations?


Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Two days into the Easter Hols and I look like this.

I was singing with joy this morning as the garage rang and said my car was ready. Hurrah! Hustled the kids into a cab and shot over there only to be rudely awakened from my deliriously happy state by the bill.

It has become a habit, since I was 17 (well, since I had my first child and having therefore been skint for nigh on 23 years now), to check bills thoroughly. Bills for everything. Gas, Leccy, shopping - every single thing.

So when I put the car in the garage I asked for a quote TWICE and both times they gave me the same figure. This is how the conversation went:

Me: What the hell is this?

Man: That's your bill madam.

Me: (indignantly) That's not what was quoted.

Man: Well that's the price.

Me: I suggest you go through it again, because this is not the price that was quoted to me twice over the phone - its THREE HUNDRED POUNDS OVER!

Man: Let me take a look.....

(Lots of fiddling about on the computer and rustling of papers)

Man: Mm, there does seem to be a problem.

Me: You're telling me! I had a verbal agreement on the phone (I watch a lot of Judge Judy) that the Power Steering would cost £*** and the Throttle would cost £*** so how do those figures add up to that?

(I then spotted the pro-former invoice with the verbal costing on it and pulled it out).

Me: Look, this is what I was told - so how do you get that price?

Man: (Shuffling uneasily) I'll just go back and sort this out. It may take some time.

Me: Well, I cant go anywhere can I? You've got my car.

Man: Take a seat and I'll be with you as soon as I can.

Me: (Getting irritated) I came to you because you are supposed to be a reputable company, If I want to get ripped off, I'll go to some tin-pot place down the road!

Man: (Getting shirty) We are not a tin-pot place Madam, mistakes do happen.

Me: Well, I cant pay for it. I can only pay what I was quoted and I've had to scrape about for that as it is!


After thirty minutes of hanging around and a lot of popping into the back office, he conceded that the bill was wrong, however I did have to pay an extra fifty quid - for diagnostics! I just wanted my car back.

After that episode we then had to traipse around a very busy ASDA. My poor friend Lou called a bit distressed, so with one hand on the mobile, the other trying to push a loaded up trolley that wont go forward and Olly was clinging to my arm. While I am so distracted, Amber is secretly loading crap into my trolley. (Sweets, cakes, nail polish etc) and Olly decides to unscrew some the jars on the shelves to sniff the contents.

Somehow Amber's foot got caught under the wheel of the trolley, so she ended up in floods of tears, told Lou I would call her back.

Finally got to the check out. 'What is all this stuff? Who put all these sweets in here? Amber?' I discard the stuff and tell Amber off.

At last we get home. Had to help Olly with his homework on the computer and whilst I was distracted again, Amber mumbled something.

Five minutes later, I put the kettle on to make a cup of tea. Where is Amber? I call for her, no reply. Look all over the house - not there. Go outside the front door and yell 'AMBER?' No reply. Go into the street and scream 'AMBER?'

I spot her riding her bike up the road. Call her back and have a go at her for going out without telling me. She protested that she did tell me, quietly!

Ten minutes later, Olly is still on the computer, but Amber has disappeared again! I find her in my bedroom scoffing her hidden Easter Eggs. I ban her from my bedroom and tell her she will not get anymore Easter Eggs.

I am exhausted by now.

Twenty minutes later, I find Amber washing the windows indoors with all my dishcloths, water spilled all over the floor and the kitchen a complete wreck. I sit down and cry.

I had to take the swimming lesson this evening with 11 people. Amber fiddled about with her goggles for a good 15 Min's before getting in the pool, she then moaned that she was in the same lane as Olly, then started to cry because she wasn't keeping up with the rest of the group. She wasn't keeping up with the rest of the group because she had wasted 15 Min's messing about with her goggles!

I never did call Lou back.

Now I know what those old sayings mean:

'You'll put me in an early grave!'
You'll be the death of me, you carry on!'

It worries me that it is only two days into the Easter Holidays and already I've been getting heart palpitations, had two panic attacks and keep getting this real pain in the neck.........

Yet another Toad of a Day......I feel glum!


Monday, 6 April 2009

Bare Essentials

Good Heavens! Where have I been living? On a planet far, far away.

Being a mere fledgling in this blogging lark, I had a minute or two free yesterday and decided to surf the net and read some blogs. I happened to stumble upon Belle de Jour, (and no, I wasn't typing in 'sex'). Having led a somewhat sheltered literary life, I read some of the earlier posts and it knocked my socks off!

Come to think of it, I remember seeing Billie Piper in something similar fairly recently, but having neither the time nor the energy to concentrate on what is on telly, I never watched it. Now I know they are one in the same! (Yeah, it takes me a while to register....I didn't know about Blogging until 2 months ago. Stop laughing).

In other 'Bare Essential' news, I barely have any food in my cupboard because my car is out of action, so I cant get to the supermarket to do a 'shop'. I can only get a handful of essentials because I cant carry anymore and being without a car is driving me nuts!

The car is stuck at the garage, where they lost it, then they found it again! Apparently some bloke had taken it out for a 'test drive'. A likely story. He's probably nipped out in it to get a loaf or they're all out joy-riding in their customers cars, racing around the forecourt. I know what those blokes get up to, I've seen the tyre marks.

I bet Belle or Billie don't have to 'bus' it around Brighton with a couple of moaning kids, dragging Tesco shopping bags around, feeling like some old bag lady. Lucky things.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back

Going through some old diary, I found this piece which I wrote 8 years ago. I thought it might be nice to share...!

Sunday March 25th 2001

6.30am Jolted awake from a lovely sleep by two toddlers arguing and fighting over toys in their bedroom. Banged on wall and yelled for them to go back to 'keep it down!'

7.30am Bashing of solid objects on paper-thin walls and awoke abruptly from snoozing to my daughter’s piercing screeches. Got up and strode purposely to their bedroom and shouted ‘Be quiet'!

8.00am Could stand arguments no longer and decided to get up and them breakfast. Meanwhile Hubby was pushing up the Z’s in our bedroom. Wearily pulled out clothes for kids to wear from their chest of drawers and struggled downstairs with clothes, a toddler in my arms and toddler a in hand. Flung clothes in lounge and took the kids into the kitchen and gave them breakfast.

Halfway through, two stinky bottoms had to be changed and still hadn’t had cup of tea, been for a wee or cleaned teeth.Getting fed up now, both kids moaning and winging so started yelling. This alerts Hubby who manages to crawl out of bed and stick kettle on. He takes over the kids and I go upstairs for long awaited wee and finally clean teeth.

Get dressed for work. Come downstairs and dress kids, must make sandwiches for work – phone rings. It is teenage son reminding me the clocks have gone forward and I should have been at the childminders 20 mins ago to drop kids off!

Get into panic and start running around like a madwoman, shoving toys and spare clothes into four small holdalls, as have currently mislaid large rucksack. Get kids coats and shoes and dash out of front door. (Managed to sip tea while legging it to the car – the sandwiches had no chance!)

Drive kids to childminder's, drop them off with their half a ton of baggage and zoom off to work. Arrive 10 mins late. The Manager, Kirsty, was in a vile mood as only one other girl had turned up on time. The shop was teeming with customers looking for holidays. The shop quietens down at 1230 so decide to eat and have a long awaited ciggie. 20 mins later back on shop floor. Busy all day with buggering time wasters and no bloody bookings.

Finally finished work and trudge back to car to pick up kids from Childminder's, handing over thirty quid in the meantime. Have lost teenage son, he has gone out with his mate Bill, don’t know where he is.

Take toddlers home and prepare oven ready meatballs with spaghetti. Amber is very tired and cold so put warmer clothes on her and wrapped her up in thick blanket. Changed Olly's clothes and threw out torn trousers. Dinner finally ready but still no sign of teenage son Liam or Hubby. (Where the hell is Hubby?)

Got distracted trying to watch Antiques Road show amid ‘Mummy Poo’ ‘Mummy Robin Hood finish’. Vegetables burnt and meatballs dried and too hard. Fling dinner on plates and slap plates on table.

Halfway through Amber almost poo’s knickers so just putting her on the potty when the phone rings; It's Bill's mum. She doesn’t know where the boys are. Said I would call her back and hung up. Sorted out Amber who was still trying to do a poo. Ring Liam on mobile; he is on the bus. Rang Bill's mum back and said boys were on their way home.

Finally get to taste revolting dinner. Liam comes home and wants dinner, told him to make his own as it is now in the bin.

Toddlers moaning and fighting. Changed them into their PJ’ so they are ready for bed. Still moaning 10 mins later. Finally too stressed to care. Bung kids in bed. Amber screams a piercing, ear splitting, indignant screech about going to bed.

Hubby comes in and goes straight to bed as he is tired from a day working!

Encounter teenage son in kitchen making huge mess and demand a card. Do not get one so go in lounge and sob. Teenage son hovers in doorway and squeaks goodnight and bolts noisily up the stairs and wakes up toddlers who scream and cry and moan.

Go into kitchen which is a total wreck. Scream upstairs for teenager to come down and clear up mess as I am not a slave. He denies all knowledge of mess and then receives a right mouthful from a very distraught, strained, overworked and undervalued mother – who is still sobbing.

Teenage son eventually clears up mess while toddlers still howl. Distraught mother trys to calm them down, which has no effect. Then grab car keys and drove off into the night.

I drove to an expensive hotel on Brighton seafront and booked myself into a lovely sea view room. I turned off the mobile, rang down for room service and ordered a fabulous dinner with a side order of Vodka. I then proceeded to ring my friends from the Hotel room and have a good chat with them. All of which I charged to Hubby's Credit Card. By the next morning I had ten messages on the mobile and Hubby was frantic with worry. I told him that if I ever had a day like that again I would not come back - and so far he has pulled his weight. By the way, Sunday 25th March 2001 was Mother's Day.


Friday, 3 April 2009

It's All Relative

On Thursday 2nd April I should have been doing my bit for Autism Awareness Day, but got side-tracked by other urgent family duties.

I had to drive with Mother to the Ends of the Earth in Essex (2 1/2 hr drive from Brighton) for Father's Care Assessment. I am trying to get him moved to Brighton so I can see him more regularly and keep a better eye on him. Unfortunately the Social Worker (who looked all of about 15) and the current carer have decided that it would be in his best interests to keep him where he is. I do agree with them for his mental health, but the drive is completely gruelling. 5 hours in total. You also have to be of a robust mental nature to see your Dad is this condition as it is always very upsetting so when you have to drive that long, you feel on the brink of collapse.

During the Assessment we asked Father if he was happy at the placement.

Father: I could be happier.
Social Worker: What would make you happier?
Father: I could be happier if I had a Porsche!

Carer: The owner has a Porsche
Mother: I bet he has....

We sorted a few other things out, such as having no reports from the previous review etc and as I was leaving, the carer said to me;

Carer: Do you want some money?
Me: (Puzzled) What money?
Carer: Money for expenses...
Me: Expenses? What you mean? To come and see Father?
Carer: Yes.
Me: No. I don't want any money. He is my Dad, why do I want to take money from him?

She just shrugged.

Mother said that I should put in a claim, because 'it will only line their pockets otherwise'.

Now, I have had this before from a solicitor, to claim money. Unbeknown to this lot, I oversee what the solicitor dishes out and what the care home takes. I keep in touch with the courts and request statements from time to time, just so no-one is on the fiddle. It makes me really angry when people love to spend other's money, especially vulnerable adults. At least I can use my skills in accountancy to help him this way. I would rather be pot less and homeless before I took a penny from that man.

We whizzed Father out to lunch at McDonald's. He was most indignant.

Father: (Moaning) I didn't get all dressed up just to go to bloody McDonald's.
Me: Have a ciggy and stop moaning. We have to go and see Auntie now.

We bid a hasty retreat from Father's and drove at break-neck speed to see Auntie Roo. Mother had had a phone call the night before saying she was very ill in hospital. Mother then rang the hospital in the morning and they had said she had had a comfortable night. So we decided to see Father first, sort him out, then drive the 40 or so minutes to the Hospital. Back to my childhood stomping ground. It had changed beyond recognition.

We found Auntie Roo (she is 83) in a terrible state. She could not eat or drink anything and was vomiting all the time. Her little 90 year old mate (Eliza) was looking after her. I kept having flashbacks that it was my Nan in hospital (Auntie Roo is her sister) and I even said 'hello Nan, how are you?' My Nan died 23 years ago!

I did think that this was the end, having seen it many times before, but on closer inspection, she still had the colour in her face. We sorted out her saline drip which was twisted so none of the solution was going into her, once it went in, she then began to quip - which is typical of her.

'See that patient over there, all she does is eat'.
'Dont ask that Nurse, she is fat and lazy'

You cant tell an 83 year old off for being rude, however, that is a spark of life.

Mother took Eliza off to get a drink and I stayed with Auntie Roo. I noticed her tongue was really red, very swollen and flaky on the top. She was also burning up. I don't know much about nursing, but having looked after 3 kids for 23 years, to me this woman was literally 'dying of thirst'! I legged it out to a very busy nursing station and asked Matron for some sponge swabs, told her we needed another Saline Solution, as Auntie's bag was finished. I then filled a cup with very cold water, grabbed some tissues and made a cold compress for her head and began swabbing her mouth and face with the water. I got her to drink tiny bits of water, which she vomited a bit, but then managed to keep down. When Mother and Eliza got back, I told them to carry on with this whilst I went to find out what was happening to this Saline Solution. I reminded the Nurse again. 'Yup, be with you soon', she said.

Four hours later, Eliza had gone home and Mother and I were still trying to rehydrate Auntie. Her tongue had gone down slightly, but we still didn't know what was wrong with her. Mother grabbed some notes that were on a table and looked through them whilst I kept look out. (They don't keep them on the end of the beds anymore). Mother found the notes, but it still didn't say what the problem was. Still no sodding Saline Solution. I got really angry and stormed out to find a Nurse. There should have been 3 Nurses, but I only saw one. I grabbed one girl, who protested loudly that she was still only training and hadn't passed her qualifications - I said to her 'that's close enough, you must help'. She could only offer advice regarding the equipment that was being used.

I then took a stroll around the wards (heaps of them) - there was only one Matron, ONE nurse and a few Auxiliary nurses that do not nurse. What their purpose is I'm not sure. The workload is too much to bare for these staff; even if you were some Profit who could work miracles, you would have your hands full, let alone being merely human.

All the other patients had eaten and drunk and yet my Auntie had received no attention whatsoever and could still hardly drink. I was really blowing a gasket by this time. We refused to leave as visiting ended until she was fixed up with a Saline solution. After much ado, the Saline Solution finally came. FOUR flipping hours late! It took 30 seconds to hook up.

My Auntie is in hospital because she is ill and needs nursing, not neglecting. Is this the difference between life and death? Is this why so many of our older folk pass away in hospitals because they have been neglected?

We made sure she was comfortable for the night and then we left. On the way out, we checked the records for next of kin - there were none, so I put Mother's name down and my name down. As I was doing this I noticed on there what the cause was; Gastric-Enteritis. Why couldn't they have told us that? It is on these bloody notes yet no-one told us.

I kid you not about the incompetence of the NHS. If it was their flipping relative they would be in a private ward and they would be up and about within hours - but what do we matter, we are merely the majority of the tax-payers whose relatives suffer at the hands of these fools who claim expenses for videos. I only hope they will be prodded in Hell with a red-hot poker for all eternity.

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