Tuesday, 24 August 2010

It's all about the Legs

...all eight of them that is. Yep, I'm talking about the rather icky subject of spiders...eurgh. I don't like them. No, they have never done anything to me, I am well aware that they are probably far more afraid of me than I am of them....and every other cliche you can come up with. But I still don't like them much. Why anything with a body so small requires eight legs is beyond me. I mean EIGHT?! Why? I also struggle with that bizarre ability they have to lower themselves from the ceiling and seemingly drop in front of you. Gives me the heebie jeebies.

Anyway, up until recently Harry was fine with spiders. He was interested in what they could do, he talked to them....... no problem at all. This was up until about 6 weeks ago when we had a very close call in the bathroom. I had run a bath for Harry and he was playing downstairs. The water and bubbles were rising nicely and so I called him upstairs. He was just getting undressed when I spotted an 'issue'. An issue with eight legs.

'Stop! Don't get in!'
There, sitting on a small red rubber boat was a rather large spider. It looked about as worried as we did, in fairness and if I'd looked close enough it was probably trembling. Now, I wasn't going to pick it up but I didn't really want to drown it either. There was only one way out and that involved opening the window WIDE, scooping the boat and its passenger into a jug and flinging the whole lot out into the garden. So that's what we did. Harry threw some clothes back on and went down to rescue the boat, but then decided he wasn't brave enough to pick it up as he couldn't locate the spider......so the boat stayed in the garden for the next day until we were both sure the leggy creature wasn't still around!

Anyway, since then, Harry won't get in the bath without a grumble. We've had many a night where we've had to do a full bedroom check for spiders before he'd get in bed and go to to sleep. Until I hit upon a way of helping him to deal with this. The spiders started to talk back. He speaks to them and they reply (via yours truly, of course....) It can be a little tedious at times but if it works, then so be it. This has also led to the spiders having names....so yesterday we had Horace in the bathroom and Maurice on the landing....Horace in fact was sitting on the light so we had to be careful not to singe his feet.....

So far today Harry hasn't looked for his spider friends, which is probably just as well....as I went up to bed last night Horace had met Maurice.....and I'm wondering which one ate the other......

Monday, 23 August 2010

Day One of 'The Week Off'...

....has actually been ever so interesting in many, many ways! I'm not going to say much (I'm a spoilsport I know...) but there are things a happening and that can only be a good thing!

So, it's now me and Harry until Friday which is lovely - if slightly scary! I heard my ex heading out the door this morning to catch his flight and as the key turned in the door that was it. I'm in charge. Who? Me? Well, apparently I am big enough to cope so here I am.....

So far so good. I had a Dr's appointment this morning which I duly attended, on time and it wasn't half as bad as I'd feared... phew....I phone on Weds for the results. I picked up Harry from his nan's and we headed over to a local retail park and looked at far too many toys for far too long.

We wolfed down a couple of McFlurries on the way home and then plonked in the house as the rain poured outside...it's hardly stopped all day. I've come to the conclusion that any size house is too small to contain one seven year old and one kitten. At one point I watched Harry slide down the stairs on a bean bag as I removed the cat from the dishwasher....I think that says it all. One thing to add to Harry's twitter site later on too - we had some old gameshow on challenge tv, think it was Jasper Carrott's 'Golden Balls' and the younger of the female contestants was voted off. 'No!' Came the shout, 'I hate it when the good looking ones get voted off.' There are no words.....

So, I've sat here pondering and wondering for much of the day and haven't, so far, managed to complete any of the jobs I've set myself for this week.....but it's only half five....plenty of day left yet! What's that? Do I fancy a brew? Oh go on then.....

Sunday, 22 August 2010

On the subject of regret...

I sat by the bed but couldn’t bring myself to hold her hand. I just looked at it. The ring that I bought her so recently was still resting on her finger, albeit now held in place with some tape. Her body looked so frail and light, she was silent, except for the shallow breaths that came and went. Her eyes were closed. This was my mum, the strong lady who had brought me up, who had worked so hard for me, reduced to this lifeless figure that lay before me. She was dying. I didn’t know how long she had left, no one could tell me, but I had a strong suspicion that this would be the last time I saw her. It was.

That visit to the hospital will always stay as vivid in my mind as it is now. I knew before I even entered the room that it would probably be the last time I would make the journey. I had given it a lot of thought as I didn’t want to regret anything that I did or said. For that matter I didn’t want to regret not saying or doing anything either.

I had received an email from a friend the day before who had lost her mum a few years before. Her advice had been to tell my mum that it was OK for her to go. To give her permission to die. The very thought of speaking those words filled me with fear and dread and yet I felt that it was something I should do. Mum wasn’t coming back, I knew that. There was no way in the world that she was going to recover from the cancer that had eaten her away. I hated seeing her like this. It was time for her to be free from the ugly mass her body had become.

As I sat there, in the chair by her bed, I felt suddenly self conscious. Could there be a more important meeting? It was my last chance to say everything I wanted to. If I said anything wrong or missed anything out I would regret it for the rest of my life. I cried.

Looking back on that day I am relieved to say I do not regret anything. I did tell Mum that it was time for her to go. I told her that we didn’t want to see her in pain anymore and that, whilst we would all miss her, we would be strong and we would be OK. I told her that I loved her and that I would make sure my son knew all about his Granny. He was only 3 and so I knew I would have to help him to remember her.

It is now a little over four years later and I can still look back on that final visit with no regret. I sometimes wish that I could have brought myself to hold Mum’s hand but I know that she wouldn’t have expected me to. It was just something I couldn’t bring myself to do, I think I was afraid of how it would feel.

There are many things that I could regret, many decisions, especially those we made towards the end of her life but I still feel we did the right things and I am forever grateful that I do not question those difficult times.

That’s not to say that there are not things I would have done differently, but they are mainly things from a long time ago. I wish that I had not spent so much time shut upstairs in my room when I lived at home. There were only the two of us and I can clearly remember saying, ‘I’m going upstairs’ and heading up to my bedroom leaving mum alone downstairs most evenings after tea. The stupid thing is that I have no idea what I was doing up there. It was so important that I can’t remember it and yet it was enough to leave my mum alone for. When I think of all the hours we spent apart and yet in the same house I could just kick myself. All the conversations we missed out on and the laughs we could have shared. If I could go back in time I would be sitting there with her every evening. I would just love to sit and watch TV with her now or just sit and chat. I hate that I gave away all that time. Time that now feels so precious to me. I would give almost anything just to be able to spend another 5 minutes by her side.

I also regret not helping more around the house. I suppose I was a typical teenager, every household job was a chore. I should have done more and not dragged my feet so much - stopped moaning and just got on with it. I feel this clearly now that I have my own house to run. If only I’d learned more from her. Mum loved to clean and have everything sparkly and clear. It seemed effortless to her. Home always had a wonderful atmosphere, it was cosy, warm and safe. I never realised how much hard work it took to create this feeling. I think I must have assumed it was just ‘there’. As I try to recreate it now for my own child, I know just how much it takes and I will be forever amazed that Mum managed it so well considering everything else that was going on in her life.

I could also have learnt a lot from my mum about cooking, another thing I regret every time I switch the oven on! I was just not that interested in baking and cooking as a teenager. It was another thing that Mum loved to do and so I left her to it. The food she made was always delicious. Quite frequently now I will remember one of the dishes she used to prepare and wish I could remember what it was called or how to make it. But it’s too late now. I never asked when I could have done. I will always regret that.

This amazing lady was bringing me up alone, struggling in so many ways, and working full time. I only wish I had the insight back then that I have now, all these years later. I just hope I didn’t make things any harder. At the time I was just a child, in so many ways removed from the reality of life. Still living in some idealistic bubble surrounded by my own agonies and importance. Looking back now, I want to pop that bubble. I want to shout at myself to realise what was right under my nose and to care for it and nurture it. I had the most fantastic mum in the world and I took her for granted. That hurts.

I can almost hear my mum’s voice as I write this piece saying that she wouldn’t have changed a thing. That’s Mum all over. She was a giver and, in the end, she gave everything. My job now is to take all that she gave to me and to pass it on. The unlimited love that she showed to me I must now share with my son and, eventually, any children that he has. This motherly love still shines from within me, everyday, even though my mum is no longer here. She lives on in the way that I live my life.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

The University Issue

Now it's not like me really to spit the dummy out on this blog. It's not really what I set it up for, more a light hearted banter about all things parenty really....but today I'm making an exception as I have things I need to get off my chest....

This week, of course, has seen the annual A level results released. And, for a welcome change, the headlines haven't been screaming of how the results are better than last year, the year before that, the year before that and the last 22,456 years too, no doubt. But the alternative headlines I have actually find even more difficult to comprehend.......

'At least 200,000 students who have applied to University will not get in'

Erm, OK. Is it just me who doesn't see a problem with this? At what point is everyone who applies to University SUPPOSED to get in? It's supposed to be competitive......not a given that if you fancy having a go at higher education, then why not?

I was taught to look at courses from age 15 or so, decide what I wanted to do...make sure I chose the right subjects from GCSE level and then work bloody hard to make sure I got onto the course I wanted.... I honestly don't think I ever assumed I would go, I had to work for it. And I didn't just want to go to University for the sake of going....I wanted that course, that subject because I felt a real love and interest in my subject....and that was why I worked hard enough to ensure that I got onto my first choice. If I hadn't, yes there were fall back options but I would have been devastated. And so I worked. Hard. And I got through. But I was fully aware that if I hadn't worked I wouldn't have gone. End of.

It, quite frankly, dumbfounds me that it can be seen as a 'given' that if you apply for university you will get a place.....to my mind it should be over subscribed, that's what pushes you to work. It's like applying for a job, many applicants - ONE job. That's how it works, it's how it should work in my mind. Because that's what makes people really question what it is that they want to do. Without wanting to sound like a snob, though no real apologies if I do, university is not for everyone and it worries me that it is pushed down children's throats as if it is the only way forward. It isn't and in pushing so much we are increasing the numbers of students applying for second or third rate courses and, as a result, devaluing the worth of every degree and person who holds one. We are also costing the country nationally and as individual families a whole lot of money. And for what? To me, it just isn't the way forward. Let's stop force feeding university to people who, given a free choice, would rather do something else. Let people really find their own vocation, their own interests and their own strengths then give them support to use them and develop them for the good of the country and themselves and their families. Yes, we do need academics, of course we do, but we need a lot more to keep the country ticking over too.

OK rant over.....

Friday, 20 August 2010

Is this really the time?

Harry. Again. That boy, honestly! He comes out with the most weird and wonderful questions and statements. Things that you think you know but then suddenly find you can't explain? Do you know what I mean? If you're on Twitter I have set up an account to record them, you can follow @whatharrysaid

Take this week. It was Wednesday. It was 6:15pm, we had just finished eating....


I take a deep breath.....there's a question coming and it could be on any subject, be about anybody (doesn't matter if I know them or not).....it really could be anything.

'Yes, Harry.'
'How did the first man or lady get on the Earth.'

Initially I think I had a little sigh of relief, then the bottom fell out when I opened my mouth and realised I didn't know where to start. It was Wednesday tea time. What a time to ask a question like that....

Anyway, I switched into 'repsonsible Mummy mode' and realised I should be happy that I have an inquisitive, intelligent son (though I may still have been grumbling slightly internally). I took a deep breath and explained that scientists believe in a process called evolution and I took him through some of the basics of evolving from apes, using tools, changing shape etc etc Then I explained that people who believe in the Bible believe that God made man and I told him the story of Adam and Eve. 'How did they get those names?' Erm, I still have no idea? Anyone know that? I said God must have chosen them and told someone....or something like that.

Anyway, he listened intently seeming to take it all in. I asked if he understood. He nodded. I relaxed. I put the kettle on.

Ten minutes later.....

'Yes, Harry?'
'So people who believe in the Bible think that Adam and Eve were the first people to evolve from apes?'

I'll start again.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

4 years...but who's counting?

Well, me actually. Today is four years since I lost my mum to cancer. And it's probably the first anniversary on which I have actually functioned. I feel OK. Have I had a cry? Yes, of course I have. Have I held Harry that bit closer for just that bit longer - you bet I have and there will be times later on I'm sure when the tears will fall again, but I'm OK.

Today I am making a concerted effort though not to dwell on the end of Mum's life. It's been hard to not focus on those difficult memories, after all they were traumatic and more recent than some others. But today I am trying hard to concentrate on Mum's life, not her death. She was so much fun and we used to have some really goofy times together, laughing until we cried half the time. I'm a lot like her and I'm glad of it.

I have some fantastic memories to get lost in and today is the perfect day to do just that. To allow myself to fall back into those thoughts, like sinking back into the comfiest armchair you can imagine and just remember...let the memories come flooding back. And there is more to that than you realise as in doing so I am brought back to myself, if that makes sense....reminded of who I am, where I come from...that essence inside of me that has always been there but has, at times, been buried over the years.

Today is a time to reach inside, to find that essence, that crystal and to give it a good polish. To admire its shine and its colours and to wear it proudly. This is me. And that is, in no small way, thanks to the wonderful person I am always proud to call 'Mum'.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Reading Lists

I must first of all say a huge 'Thank you' for so much positive feedback and positive comments from my last post. I've been overwhelmed by the responses which came mainly in the form of direct messages on twitter, on facebook and to my email. I appreciate them all so very much - from the bottom of my heart, 'Thank You.'

And so, how was the actual appointment? Well it was fine. The Dr I saw was lovely, very easy to speak to and we went through a lot of things, albeit rather vaguely for now. I go back to see her again later in August and we talk about what happens next - it appears to be yet ANOTHER waiting list. This does raise questions.....as much as I may laugh about it sometimes. I first went to see my GP with the symptoms in January and now, here we are, almost in August and I'm about to be put on another waiting list. Thankfully I am coping, and I'm dealing with my symptoms fairly well for the most part but if I wasn't then what would have happened? I have jokingly said to friends, 'It's a good job I'm not suicidal eh?' But it's not really funny is it? Because some people are. Then what?

On a brighter note I'm looking forward to my psychic development course tonight - though it's the last one! How did that happen? I'm surging forward with my distance readings and did two last night. I'm hoping to get another couple in tonight if I can. I really love doing them and I only hope that my readings are accurate and provide people with as much joy and inspiration as I feel when I do them. I had to laugh last night as Harry burst into the room as I was doing a reading. He looked at the table, with the cards laid out with a puzzled look on his face. He doesn't like to not understand...and the best way he could think of phrasing the question... 'So what kind of this is this?' Where do I even start? lol

Right, time to put the kettle on I think.

Love and Light


Tuesday, 27 July 2010

On the table

Tonight isn't easy. In fact, it's far from it. You may remember earlier in the year I ended up taking 6 weeks off work on Dr's orders and was, eventually, diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Well, although I have now been back at work full time for a number of months of course the symptoms of this diagnosis have not gone away - there is no magic cure. I have been learning to deal with them, controlling them where I can and simply accepting them when I can't. It's been a steep learning curve but bit by bit I have put the issues back into the box they fell out of and managed to get on with my life, albeit knowing that at some point I would have to face the demons that are lurking in my head.

Tomorrow is the next stage of facing them. It is still seen by many as a taboo subject. Why would I want to talk about mental issues in my blog? It's fairly simple. Because, to me, talking about these things is important. It's a step to facing them and from stopping them controlling me by my fear of them. I also feel it is about time that this taboo idea was stamped out. So many people deal with mental health issues at some point in their lives and those very issues are compounded by the fact they are emabarrassed and feel unable to talk about their problems. It doesn't help anyone. I'm not saying we need to obsess about these things, that's not healthy either but we do need an open forum where the information people need is readily and easily available.

So, tomorrow I have an appointment. With a clinical psychologist. Am I embarrassed by that? No, I'm not. Am I nervous about it? Yes, very much so. I am going to have to face, head on, things that I have hidden for a very long time. And yet, through all the fear and panic of tomorrow there is also, on some level, a sense of looking forward to it. Some of these issues have been holding me back for a very long time and I'm looking forward to laying everything out on the table and holding my hands up and asking for help. I'm not good at asking for help, but tomorrow I will and I'm looking forward to moving onwards and upwards. It won't be an easy journey but I'll get there - just you watch me.

Sunderland International Airshow

Wow - what a wonderful weekend we had in Sunderland. Harry and I headed up on Friday evening on the fairly lengthy drive but the anticipation of the airshow made for a journey filled with giggles and goofy behaviour.....

We arrived at the Roker Hotel, checked in and managed to fit in a quick pizza before settling down in our room with a sea view to watch the opening of the International Airshow. There were three planes in the launch and Harry and I watched spellbound as they flew at speed over the beach. These displays were followed by a fantastic fireworks display and we watched as we cuddled up on the window seat in our pyjamas and sipped hot chocolate.

Both days of the airshow were fantastic. I was working on both mornings as we did an outside broadcast from the decking outside the hotel. The terrace was heaving and the atmosphere just fantastic. The planes and pilots all put on a stunning show and HMS Westminster provided a great backdrop too. The weather stayed fine and warm which really helped! In the afternoons Harry and I went exploring and had lots of fun playing in various planes and helicopters and he loved the huge inflatable assault course too.

The real highlight of the weekend though was something totally unexpected. On the Saturday evening we got talking to some of the pilots, they were Royal Navy helicopter pilots and as I chatted to one he asked how Harry was enjoying it. I explained that he has wanted to fly since he was 3 or 4 and this pilot, James, called him over. He explained to Harry that when he had been 7 he had met a pilot who had given him a squadron badge - it had kept him motivated and inspired throughout his training. Now that he had his own badge, he was going to continue the tradition and he gave one of his own badges to Harry. It's a beautiful embroidered badge from 846 squadron and I don't think Harry has let go of it yet - I hope it continues to be as important to him. It's a lovely memory to have and it was made all the more special because James found it just as emotional too. I really hope this badge can be as inspirational to Harry as he grows and continues in his studies - maybe one day he can carry on the tradition himself.

These pilots were also performing in the display on the Sunday and promised Harry that as they flew towards the hotel they would dip the nose on the helicopter and flash the lights for him - and they did. Of course the emotion is intensified when you remember that these men will be back out in Afghanistan in September.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend and one we'll remember for a long time to come.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Boats, Planes and Toads....

Good grief, nearly three weeks have passed almost since my last blog. I just don't seem to get time to sit and type these days, which isn't so good for someone who is aiming to at least keep up with the writing. After all, it's only just over a year since I stopped writing full time! What a change. I put a lot of it down to my iPhone! I no longer have to switch my laptop on to check on Facebook or Twitter, I can check my email on my phone in fact do pretty much whatever I need - so the computer is sitting here redundant! But I must change that....I do miss my writing and I really need to find a way for it to fit in with the 4:30am alarm calls!

So what's been happening......well, lots I suppose..... Harry has now broken up for the Summer holidays.....amazingly he will be in the juniors when he goes back, how the heck did that happen then? He's loving the time off so far and I'm really looking forward to the week off I have with him in August.

Work wise, well it's all happening. Last weekend I spent in Hull working with BBC Radio Humberside on the Clipper event. It was a fantastic day, just great to see so many people out to welcome the boats back and the atmosphere was really something. On the Sunday, Harry and I went toad spotting - yes, you read it correctly. There are toads all over Hull city centre at the moment to commemorate the 25 years since the death of poet Philip Larkin. Harry loves them, we've found 12 so far and will be doing more toad spotting very soon!

This coming weekend I'm up in Sunderland covering the air show for 103.4 Sun FM. Please do pop over and say Hello if you're up there, we'll be outside the Roker Hotel on both Saturday and Sunday. It should be a really good weekend - let's hope for some lovely weather to top it off.

If you are on Facebook, my friend Paul has been ever so kind and set up a little page for me, which you can find by searching for 'Jayne's Giggles'. I'm really flattered and would hope that we can have some fun on there so if you fancy it then please do search and join!
One final thing, I'm coming to the end of my psychic development course now, I will write a more detailed blog on that at some point - it's been AMAZING. As I practice I am offering to do some free distance readings. If you would be interested then please either drop me an email or contact me via Facebook or Twitter.

Think that's it for now - MUST NOT let another three weeks creep past. I'll be sure to take some good photos of the planes this weekend!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Tattoos and Eclipses.

That demon black hole of mine caused me a few issues this last week but as of Thursday lunchtime something shifted the energy and I've been feeling a whole lot better. A lot of people have been feeling similar over the last 7 days or so and I don't think it's a coincidence that there has been a lunar eclipse and full moon to contend with. I have always been very sensitive to the full moon, it often brings a clearing and cleansing phase which can be hell to get through but leaves me feeling all the better for it once I have pushed through to the other side. I can't tell you what a relief it is to finally have met other people who experience the same things!

So, as of Thursday, things have picked up again. Well hurrah for that! You may remember months ago that I had a lot of time off work and was diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)...well, from first going to my GP in january I have just received notice of an appointment with a clincal psychologist.....(only a screening appointment, mind!). It's opened up the box a little again as I now have a date and time that I have to face some difficult things again but I won't be backing out. It's something that I need to do and I WILL deal with all this and face it head on.

Yesterday I had a lovely day. Spent the morning with Harry playing and just generally being goofy (we're good at that!) then in the afternoon I headed into Chester and got my new tattoo. It's a sun and Harry's name at the top of my back. He really is my little ray of sunshine so it's something I love having with me all the time. Thankfully he loves it too. I'd spoken to him about it first so he knew I was having it done. At one point he was coming with me....until I mentioned the needle......then he changed his mind, or he'd 'shout at the man to STOP IT!'...probably for the best I went alone eh? lol

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Race for Life

We did it - in the Bridlington sun, Lara and I made our way around the 5K course in about 40 minutes and I'm so proud of the £270 we have raised so far for Cancer Research UK. Obviously, it's a charity that is very close to my heart and I only hope that they can find a way forward so that fewer people have to suffer at the hands of this horrible disease.

The day wasn't as difficult to get through as I thought it may be, the anticipation was worse.....I started tearing up in the car as we approached Sewerby Hall, seeing more and more people dressed in pink and wearing the back signs telling tales of those they had lost and of those people who are currently suffering. I had a little cry as my friend Becky pinned my back sign to my shirt but I held my head up and looked to the sky, a sheet of blue - just beautiful and that was enough to get me through the moment. My message was simple - I was taking part for My Mum.

Of course with thousands of people attending these events, it stands to reason that you can't park particularly close to the starting line - or finishing line for that matter! I know how far away we had to park - it was just past the 2K post on the course! So, we trundled 2K to the field and I joined the other runners.... I found Lara who was doing the race with me and we were straight away interviewed by Andy Comfort as he was presenting his Sunday Brunch programme live on BBC Radio Humberside. He asked Lara about her (lack of!) preparation and we had a giggle but he was more serious with me and asked about my reasons for taking part. I was pleased I could talk about my mum without losing any clarity....that's a huge difference from even a few months ago really. So, warm up done we met a few of the listeners and friends who had come along to support us... One of them being Pabs, whose name you may see popping up on my blog comments from time to time :-) It was lovely to finally put a face to the name after all this time and I hope we can meet up for a chat and a brew before too long!

So, it was time to set off.....we headed for the the joggers flag as we hoped to jog a bit and run a bit....which we did. The heat did make things slightly more difficult and tiring but I learnt a very useful lesson - it's impossible to run down hill in a breeze wearing bunny ears. So now you know!

I had my mobile phone going with some music to keep us going along the way too, though with my phone on my arm in an armband it wasn't so easy to control which song was coming next....this meant we had some rather questionable soundtracks choices....including Sunday Bloody Sunday from U2 and Therapy?s Screamager....oh and the Nolans twice! I know. What can I say? I have eclectic music tastes!

The finishing line in sight we managed to run the last part of the course and we were given our medals. After posing for a few photos we collapsed under a tree.....my head was pounding and I could have drunk a swimming pool! I wish we had more time to catch up with people afterwards but it wasn't to be and we had another 2K to walk back to the car, of course!

Next stop Bridlington for some chips and then back to Hull to watch the England Germany game in the pub...least said about that 90 minutes the better eh?

All in all I really enjoyed it, and I'm sure we'll do it again next year. It was a really lovely atmosphere and though I was worried about holding it together, on the day it was actually fine. I'm proud of myself on all counts and I know mum was shining down on me as brightly as the sun was :-)

Monday, 21 June 2010

Sports Day Shenanigans

Today was sports day at Harry's school and yes, he was fully recovered and able to take part, thank goodness! The sun was shining and so as the year 1 and 2 children paraded out to take their seats there was an equally long parade of parents heading towards them all carrying suncream and hats.....me being me hadn't thought that far ahead and had to borrow some cream from another mum (ssshhhhh......don't want everyone knowing!)

All the children did ever so well, bless them. Little legs carrying little bodies as fast as they could, the determination on their faces as they pushed themselves (maybe the England football team could learn a lesson or two here...?) There was one incident of a little lad falling at the end of the sprinting race and landing on his head, cue a few tears and there were a few trip ups here and there but nothing that couldn't be sorted with a quick pat on the head.

The egg and spoon race seems to have been replaced by the ball and spoon race, heaven only knows why...some bizarre rule that I can't work out.....are not allowed to be egg-ist anymore? Thing is, eggs don't roll....balls do.... so as they fell off the spoons, which they frequently did, even more chaos was caused as they rolled into the other childrens' paths.

The bean bag on the head race is another old favourite too, Harry struggles with this, his hair is very soft and silky and not conducive to holding a bean bag, I couldn't help giggle when I overheard one of the dads saying he'd have to talk tactics to his daughter for next year and tell her to pick the bag with the least beans so it stays still more easily......honestly, does it really matter??!!

The obstacle course was nothing short of hilarious.....they had to run, go through a hoop, hop for a bit, run with a ball on a bat thing and then do the whole thing again back to the start.....could any of them work out when to run and when to hop? Could they hell as like....they were trying to hop over the hurdles, hop while carrying the ball..... and then running on the flat bit on which they were supposed to hop. All this while the teachers are shouting at them to hop, in Welsh of course.....'Hopio!'...... It was very funny to watch.

So all in all a good day was had. Harry did well, but then I would say that I suppose, I'm ever so slightly biased :) It was also good to know that there was no repeat of a particularly bad memory I have from one of my primary school sports days....We were doing the wheelbarrow race. I was on my hands and my best friend, Hazel was holding my legs. Everyone else had finished and we were last on the course, all eyes on us.....when Hazel stood on my wraparound PE skirt and it fell off. Devastated? Trust me, it doesn't even start to cover it........ literally!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Ups and Downs

What a couple of days.....don't you just hate it when the littlies are ill? You just feel so damn useless and helpless as much as anything else. Harry came down with the mother of all tummy bugs on Weds night....I was up with him every hour from half midnight til half six in the morning.....*yawn* though bless him, he coped ever so well. Thursday should have been their school trip but it turns out TWELVE children in his year group were off on the same day with the same sickness bug so the decision was taken to postpone the trip....at least he hasn't missed it. Anyway, long story short he finally started to return to his normal, chaotic, hyper, noisy self this afternoon and, as I type this, he is by my side playing on the Wii....it's nice to have my bestest little buddy back :-)

I still managed to go to my psychic development course last night as H was able to stay home with Daddy. I just have so much fun on that course. Last night was the first of our two on clairvoyance and I just felt so open and one with everything we were doing. One of the other girls on the course did a 3 card spread for me which was spot on, she did a great job and I did a 3 card spread for someone else too, who equally seemed very happy and told me my reading made a lot of sense to him. I just love doing it and would really enjoy getting back into it all again as much as I can and as my confidence increases :-)

Today, spent most of the day Harry sitting, did manage a brief jog in the park, race for life is just over a week away and we have now raised £270 which I am over the moon about. This weekend is all about me and my little chappy - really looking forward to it.

Love and light xxxx

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The hole vs the whole

Good grief, has it really been a whole week since I last blogged? I suppose it must be.

Harry's audition went well. I was so proud of him, he sang loudly and clearly and was interviewed twice too, not sure if he's through to the next round but of course it doesn't really matter. He had fun and boosted his confidence which is the whole point.

I'm having a bit of a blah day today, struggling a bit to keep myself grounded, no matter what I try to do. I really feel I am moving along my spiritual path at quite a rate in some ways and yet in other ways I seem stubbornly stuck. I am accepting of this situation, as much as I can be and I do trust that the universe will support me through the process of growing and opening but that doesn't mean to say that some days it's just bloody hard going.

I have done a lot of clearing from my life in this last twelve months, I regret none of it and I have gained in so many ways. What it has brought to the fore, however, is that there is a huge great big ruddy hole within myself that I have the tendency to try to fill with a never ending conveyor belt of fads and obsessions, be they plans, treatments, hobbies or even people. This is a bad thing. It doesn't work and inevitably leaves me feeling even more empty as each passing phase comes to its end. I need to find a way of filling this hole with me, a way of making the hole whole as it were.

I suppose at least I am aware of the situation now.....it means I spend a lot of time sitting on the edge of the abyss staring down into it, desperately fighting against my instinct to fill it up again quickly. Thing is, when I fill it, it's like pouring water into a hole in the sand, the water leaks out through the bottom and before you know it the hole is empty again. I need to find more sand to fill the hole with. Sand that will stay put.

Ah well, there's my musings for tonight. I'm just going to write my psychic development journal and then 10 minutes meditation before sleep.....love and light xx

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

On a small person (that's not me!)

Thank you so much for the lovely comments on my blog, I'm still not back online and blogging daily but I'm hoping to work back up to that eventually.

Things are still rather hectic, chaotic and ever so slightly crazy here at the moment - nothing new there then eh? I seem to be having to plan every minute to make sure that I get everything covered and sorted out....even as I type this I've remembered that I've not got my bag packed to go to the gym straight from work tomorrow as I won't have time to come back for it...aarrgggh....I hope I remember in the morning!

Tomorrow, my little darling has decided to audition for his school version of Britain's Got Talent. I have NO idea what has brought this on. At Christmas he was appalled at the thought of getting up on stage and speaking in front of an audience and now he has chosen to sing, alone. I'm half expecting him to change his mind when the reality sets in, but for now we await with baited breath. Has he practised? No. He's sung along in the car but if I so much as glance at him out of the corner of my eye then he stops singing abruptly and glares back....tomorrow could be.....interesting.

His question of the week came last night as I tried to relax with a coffee after dinner:

Yes Darling....
If you had a helicopter and stopped the propellors but spun the fuselage would it stay in the air?

Erm, I'll leave you with that.....answers on a postcard?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Writing Forwards...

I wonder, can I still call myself a writer when I don't actually seem to write any more? I've not touched a short story for months and my novel is still, STILL stuck at 8967 words, see I don't even have to look that up any more, I just know it. Sad.

This last 12 months have probably given me more material to work with than any other period in my life but I think maybe I'm just still too far inside it all to actually work with it at the moment. Luckily, I have kept journals for some of the time and, difficult though they will be to read back, I know the intensity of the feelings will be etched on those pages for all time.

I'm currently researching retreats, with the idea of taking 5 days or so to myself later in the year. I'm thinking maybe October as I find that to be an inspirational time of year anyway. I'm not sure where I will go, I am open to all possibilities and trust that the right place will be brought to me at the right time. I am looking forward to it already though.....just me and my laptop, a notebook, a pen and a kettle - what more can a girl need?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Perils of Broadcasting on Autopilot.

Work, although I always pay attention to detail and like to get it right, can often be done on autopilot.....and by that I don't mean that I don't think about what I'm doing, I do, but I do sometimes go into some kind of altered broadcasting state.....if that makes any sense? I'm guessing most people do. For example, you're always careful to pour boiling water from the kettle into the cup safely, though you may be chatting at the same time.....

Well, today I gave myself a mortifying reminder of why I should try NOT to go into this autopilot state.....a reminder that will no doubt haunt me for weeks to come, knowing my colleagues it will probably follow me for months if not years..... I messed up. On BBC Radio Leeds. Just before the 1 o clock news. Sorry Radio Leeds......I really do know that British Airways aren't still be affected by resurfacing work. Really, I do. Sorry. And to make it worse it was a timed bulletin and I didn't have even a second to correct myself. Ooops. Did I mention I was sorry? I'll go and hide now.........oh dear!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

I don't think he gets it.....

My darling little boy, that is... Now, to me, he is wondderfully bright, articulate and clever but I may just be a little biased. On Friday they did a sponsored walk from school to the local country park, thankfully it was a beautiful day. But on Thursday night I may just have heard him utter the words, 'But why walk? Why can't we just get a coach?'. I'm thinking he may have missed the point?

On a similar note, it wasn't so long ago I spent a rather frustrating hour trying to explain the election to him. I felt I should try, my degree after all is in politics, I should be able to descirbe the basics without too much trouble. Wrong. It's impossible. He's 7. And as much as he did fairly well at understanding the actual concepts, the jargon and terminology just gets impossible. I mean, you can't explain anything without having to explain what you've just attempted TO explain.....candidates, parties (no, no cake or party bags), constituencies, Prime minister, councils, Goverment, House of Commons (no, not that kind of house), Downing St (er, yes that is a kind of house), House of Lords (no, that isn't...) it just goes on and on. Eventually his eyes had glazed over and my head was overflowing so I gave up. At which point he said he thought he got it. But he'd still just vote for his favourite colour, blue. I give up!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Catching up on the last 4 months......

It's been four months since I last posted, wow and what a four months it has been. Thank you to those who have been in touch and commented....that means a lot to me, I'm sorry if I've not shown my gratitude enough. I really do appreciate and feel your support.

So, how are things? .....well, I'm getting there. I'm now back in work after taking 7 or so weeks off at the Dr's advice. I think it did me a lot of good, gave me the space and the time to react to what I was trying to deal with. But now I'm back, that's helping me too. I'm very lucky to work with an inspirational group of people who are there to help and support me when I need them too and make me laugh constantly - they are worth their weight in gold!

I'm amazingly STILL awaiting my first counselling appointment....shocking I know.... I've seen an initial counsellor who has diagnosed me with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).....she has referred me onto a psychotherapist....and I'm still waiting. I'm coping a whole lot better than I was, thankfully, but it does make me feel for those who struggle for long periods of time, those who maybe don't have the support that I do.

As for other parts of my life, Harry is getting bigger and bigger...he's 7 now... not my 'little' boy anymore, although in many ways he always will be of course. My separation from my husband is a lot more accepted and stable for the most part. We are all in the same house still at the moment, that won't work long term but for now it's OK. I have a broadened my horizons in terms of work colleagues and new groups of friends and I have points in time now where I really love my life. They come and go, but just to have them feels good......it's a long way from where I was last time I blogged! Life's on the up - hurrah for that :)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Dark clouds and silver linings

I haven't blogged for so long, and even writing this now I'm not convinced I'm going to post it. Thing is that I'm struggling at the moment and I believe that many people have been down in this dark hole. And yet, despite the numbers of people who suffer through it, depression is still very much a taboo subject. I feel as if I have a dark cloud over my head as I type this, who wants to read about depression? Well, maybe someone does. Maybe, just maybe, it will help someone to know that they are not alone and not going insane.
I have been here before, I know the symptoms and I know I will survive. I will get there. Sometimes, it's only minute by minute but I will push through. I have knowledge of the causes of my feelings and, as I have mentioned before, I am awaiting counselling to help me with some of those issues. Maybe it will help me to share those here sometime, I don't know. Maybe some subjects are too much for a blog, I don't know.

So that's what's on my mind. I'm sorry if I have offended anyone or put a dark cloud on anyone's day but if I may have helped one person to see a glimpse of a silver lining then it's worth it in my opinion.

Friday, 22 January 2010

So far, so good....

I'm managing to keep my more positive frame of mind, for now at least, which is great. It's a big help as I actually now feel I can cope with whatever the next few months may bring my way. I know the counselling I am going to undergo is going to be intense, but I also know it's the right thing to do and that I WILL get through....a few days ago I wasn't even sure I had the strength to start. I am still getting flashbacks and nightmares but I'm managing them better, maybe I'm getting sadly used to them, who knows, but the space I have at the moment is really helping me to feel I have the room to react however I feel I need to. It's invaluable. I'm back at the Dr on Tues so we'll see what happens there. I have a feeling another week off will make all the difference now I'm just starting to feel better, but I'll take her advice.

We're on the brink of another weekend, of course, and we have nothing planned at all! Bliss. I think tonight we may go for a meal of some description, don't know where yet, but that will be nice. Harry will need some cheering up - he's in punishment club in school this afternoon! His own fault, entirely! He's his own worst enemy, honestly! He got a 'red card' on Tuesday I think it was...... he's been told I don't know how many times to get off the ice at the edge of the yard...will he? No. So he gets a yellow 'warning' card for that.......one more wrong step at this point and it's the red card, red box and punishment club.... so what does he do? Say Sorry when asked why he did it? Oh no, he says he did because he WANTED to go in the yellow box!?! I ask you! Well, his teacher decides that's cheeky to the extreme and he goes straight into the red box! When I asked him why he said that he 'couldn't think of anything else to say'!!!! Honestly! I've told him, next time he can't think of anything else to say - just button it! Don't say anything!!! Or, sorry would have been a good bet! You have to giggle though!

Well have a good weekend all :)

Thursday, 21 January 2010

One Step at a Time

What a difference a day can make. I'm feeling a lot more human and a lot more positive today. I've had a couple of 'down hours' but on the whole I'm feeling better. Which I'm very relieved about, I was starting to worry about myself. Don't get me wrong, on this road there are going to be some difficult turns up ahead and some steep hills and troughs too, but with days like these mixed in, I'll be able to cope.

Had a lovely day yesterday. Met up with my best friend in the world and feel connected again......that feeling is so precious and that connection so vital. The light switch is back on again, and that means the world to me, I only wish I could figure out how to switch it on myself! Also spent some time up at the cemetary and put the flowers I bought on mum's birthday last Weds on her grave. I'm glad they're there now, they look lovely and cheerful, she'd like that. I spent some time browsing around the shops and enjoyed that too - big change from Monday when I spent all that time looking but not seeing anything.

So there we go. Today, Harry has a playdate after school at the house so I'll be cleaning up a little this afternoon. I'm taking it easily still, if I feel like a cry, then I have one. I'm still getting the nightmares too so if I feel like a nap, I have one. I'm so grateful for this space to sort myself out and for those very special people who are helping me to take one step forward at a time. I am forever indebted to you all :)

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Nearly Hump Day!

Tuesday again.....it's an odd day of the week isn't it? Monday is SO yesterday but you're not quite at Wednesday, the magic hump day....you've climbed to the top of the hill and can now coast down to the weekend. Anyway, since it's 22:55 I'm nearly in hump mode :) Not that the days mean so much as I have been signed off work for another week. Saw the Dr this afternoon and I have to go back to see her again in another week. More time to react to the situation in which I find myself and more time to look after myself....I'm not very good at that. Is anyone?

You know I'm very frustrated with myself in terms of my new years' resolutions! I've not done anything! Hardly any work on my novel at all - it hasn't grown by a single word, although I've tinkered around with it a little. I've not even looked at my short stories and I've not sent anything off to anywhere.... I don't know what my excuse is even now. I must sort that out.

Another resolution was to try my hand at a bit of art, the drawing kind.... I am not any good at all, believe me, but I do find it quite therapeutic. My Grandad was an artist. I never met him, he was actually buried on the day I was born (odd day for my poor Dad eh?!) but when I was younger I would get these urges to draw things, often at night, and they turned out fairly well. Any other time, I couldn't draw for toffee. I've always believed it was Grandad coming to visit me. I have no idea where those drawings are now. I'm sure I wouldn't have thrown the A4 pads out, but I don't know what happened to them. Anyway, I'm going to have another go. I bought some pencils and sketch pads earlier this week so I've got no excuse for not doing that now either....not even got them out of the bag yet!

Tomorrow, I am looking forward to. I'm heading up north to get a few things done. I may have a bit of a browse round the Trafford Centre (no money so won't be buying a thing!), then I'm heading up to the cemetary since we were snowed in when it would have been Mum's birthday last week, then heading over to see a very special person and then staying with my cousins over night (cue the chippy tea and a bottle of cider). I'm looking forward to the whole trip, it will be just what I need I think. In my current state of mind I'm convinced that nothing will go to plan but, what was my other resolution? To be more positive! So I'll have a go. It WILL be fine, it WILL....no, really....I'm sure it will :)

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Cul-de-sac Sunday

There were two choices today.....not blog, or write a grumpy, depressing one. Since this post has arrived, I've decided on the second option. Apologies for that.

Life, at the moment, isn't easy. At all. I'm not going to go into details but I'm going through some emotional issues, some of which have resurfaced after years of convincing me they'd gone. They haven't and so I have now made the brave move to tackle them head on. It's scary, especially on top of everything else going on at the moment. That does mean the next few months, at least, are going to be rather like a roller coaster.

What I always find difficult to is that when you are dealing with emotional problems, there are also real life problems too. If only you could pause the world so that you could just deal with the inside issues for a while, then hit play again when you were ready. But you can't, no matter how much you may want to. The two play against each other, jarring and causing no end of added friction. And when you think you may have found a way forward in one world, it doesn't fit in the other. This has been my finding today, having decided upon a course of action that seemed to show a light forward, reality has rendered it impossible and dumped more dirt on top of the path just for good measure. Now it's certainly a cul-de-sac, for the time being at least.

So life isn't easy, that's not really news to any of us is it? A friend told me of a saying she had seen outside a church the other day 'Calm waters do not make a good sailor' - no, maybe not. But I've never been that into sailing.....give me the calm waters, I'll go for a swim!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Decisions, decisions

It's a wind and curving path isn't it, this walkway of life? You never quite know what is coming next....and maybe that is for the best. It would be rather dull if knew what was around the next corner I suppose. When I went to visit the Dr on Tuesday I didn't expect to be signed off work. But I was. And here I am. At least for one week, quite probably longer...... It's a strange position to be in but I'm embracing it at much as I can, resting, relaxing and allowing myself the space I haven't had.

Space and time can be dangerous things when you have them thrust upon you, I find. If I plan a week off then I have some ideas how to fill my time, things I would like to do and look forward to.....at the moment, I'm still in my pyjamas, can't decide if i want a shower or a bath or neither. There's so much snow outside that going anywhere, even for a walk is almost impossible.

I don't feel remotely creative today and am not drawn to writing at the moment. The way I feel I would probably kill my characters off or have a bomb land on the village....not the way I envisaged the plot going, to be honest. I can only assume that this weird headplace in which I find myself is actually doing me some good and that the Dr knows this is what I need.

I have so many decisions and ideas going round my head but I have no idea which ones, if any, are worth following up...and they are all life changing. At which point do I act and for how long do I sit here and see if they go away? Hasn't anyone written a manual for life yet?

Friday, 8 January 2010

Facebook is for Life, Not just for Christmas.....

...or for any other short period in life! Or so it would seem.

Like many I sometimes question the amount of time I spend on Facebook. When I open my laptop I automatically go straight to Facebook. I don't know when or how this started happening but last week I decided enough was enough! There is more to life - there is a whole real world out here. And why I speak to people on Facebook when I can just speak to them in work....well, quite frankly, it baffles me!

And so, last Monday evening, I thought I'd do something about it. I was adamant. I was reclaiming my laptop. It's for my writing, first and foremost, not for social networking (and certainly not for social stalking!). And so, I made the big gesture. I hit the 'deactivate' button. There is no delete button, of course. Ever. Once you're signed up, you're there for life!

So there I was. Ever so proud. I was deactivated. I had disappeared from the Facebook alternative universe....my life was my own again. Wasn't it? Quick answer? No.

Next, the emails started......why had I deleted people from my friends on Facebook? I hadn't, of course, but this is how it appeared to my friends who had searched for me. I then had to send emails a plenty explaining that I hadn't deleted them, I had just deactivated my account and was spending some time away from Facebook. Next came more emails....was I OK? I'd been very quiet on Facebook recently..... more replies...., yes I'm fine thank you...and I'm just taking a break....etc etc ... By this point the texts had also started...... and replying to everything was actually taking more time than if I'd just stayed as I was!

And so, this morning, I reactivated my account...and updated my status to say that I haven't deleted anyone but am having a break from Facebook. What happens? People start replying to it...and asking questions....and writing on my wall! My conclusion? It is impossible to take a break from Facebook..........when you are lucky enough to have lots of wonderful friends who look out for you and miss you when you're not there. But, be warned....Facebook at your own risk - there is no way out!!!!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Tales of the White Stuff

Wow. What a day. As I sit here the snowing is falling gently outside onto the garden, which already looks as if it has been layed with cotton wool. It looks beautiful....until you have to go out in it of course!

This morning I had a bit of a shock as there was no snow at home. None. Not a flake and there wasn't even any ice. I thought how nice it was to be that little bit warmer, left my gloves at home and settled into the car for the hour journey into work. Imagine the shock when, all at once, I found myself driving through heavy falling snow. Scary doesn't quite cover it! Within a few minutes I was through it and thought it was just a freak snow shower......until, another few minutes down the motorway, it started again! And got heavier. And stuck. Until there was only one lane of the motorway that was open. I knew then it was going to be a busy day.

And it was. I parked the car and trudged into the office, only to find out that I could probably have parked in the car park underneath! Of course this is where my job is one of the most frustrating in the world.........when it snows we are busy! You will have heard travel reports on the radio when it snows...they are long! Road closures, accidents, abandoned vehicles, cancelled trains.....you name it. But of course, this means we have to get into work....and can everyone get into work in that much snow? No. Of course not. So on our busiest days....we have fewest staff! It's just the way it goes, and it made for a very busy shift today! I haven't eaten anything properly yet! The way it's looking now, I don't think I will be able to get into work tomorrow.......it looks like the road out of the estate to the main road is blocked! Oh deary dear....and to think, now I know I could park in the car park! Typical!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Warm and cosy

Heee, this is the life. I'm sitting on the sofa in my pyjamas and dressing gown...with a large warm fleece over my legs (let's not mention the fact it's green with Ben 10 on it!), with the fire roaring away in front of me and a mixture of Enigma and Goldfrapp on Spotify. Fabulous!

I've had a fairly good day on the whole, although a visit to my mum's grave was a very emotional one. Still, I think that does me good. It grounds me. Reminds me of who I am. It's easy to forget sometimes as I get so wound up in things that are going on around me these days. There's no point, I can't control them. I need to concentrate on me.

So, that's what I've done. I've written my blog for the weightwatchers website today (I'm amazed to only have gained half a pound over Christmas!) so that is now sent and I have also spent some time working on my novel too. I would have liked to have spent longer really but Harry wanted me to watch 'How it's Made - Super Cars' with him......so the laptop went into hibernate but at least I know how to make a crash test dummy and that there's a 3 year wait for a Ferrari spaghetti (or whatever it was called!).

Tomorrow - BIG CLEAN DAY and I have to take all the Christmas decorations down....see, the four trees don't seem like a good idea now do they? Whatever possessed me??????

Friday, 1 January 2010

In awe of words

They're great aren't they? Words? I know since a lot of people who read this blog are fellow writers that you will probably agree but I've been thinking about them a lot today. You see, maybe I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I've rediscovered the humble wordsearch....you know the ones, a list of words to find in a grid of letters? I used to do them as a child with my Grandma and Auntie Ivy (wonderful memories) and so when I had a long train journey ahead of me a couple of weeks ago I thought I'd relive my youth and buy a book of them from the newsagent on the station platform.

As it happened I didn't open it all the way there. It snowed and the scenery was far too beautiful to miss out on on (as was the rather good looking chap who sat opposite me!) and so the book remained closed. However, I now have it by my bed (the book that is, not the handsome young man!)and have taken to doing at least one puzzle every night before I go to sleep. I wish I'd done it years ago. It's so relaxing and has really opened my eyes to the 'world of words' again. It's so easy to take them forgranted.

I don't know about you but I can't just get into bed and sleep....I could once but I think there is too much going around my head at the moment. It doesn't switch off that easily and words really are the way of quietening it down and focusing on something.....on slowing down and relaxing. Most nights this involves a mixture of a wordsearch and then a chapter of whichever book I am reading. It works a treat. But I now find myself in pure wonderment of words.....aren't they fantabulous?!