Monthly Archives: February 2004

Holding tight

…while he starts to let go.

My eldest has mastered the art of bottling up his feelings, memories, anger and sorrow at his start in life. He’s let nobody in, not even himself. It’s a big scary world in there, buried away in the depths of his heart, and it feels a bit of a Pandora’s box – he’s afraid of what he might release if he acknowledges it at all.

But today the counselling has found a tiny crack in the big brick wall he’s built around his real self and he’s started to let us in. Thank you God for the healing tears which finally broke this evening, for the incredible strength I felt inside which enabled me to take his burden and enfold him with love and security, for the many people I know support him and me with their prayers. Thank you for the counsellor who’s so skillfully guiding him into this dark area in a way that makes him feel secure, and for my counsellor who has such amazing insight into my situation and whose listening enables me to acknowledge my strength and find ways to support my weaknesses. And thank you for these wonderful boys who have dealt with such a terrible beginning with such bravery and have retained a marvellous sensitivity and loving nature despite it all.

Cold Turkey

My computer has blown up.


What am I to do? The computer fixer can’t come until Monday. That’s a whole weekend.

A whole weekend!

Woe is me.

Still, we’ve got snow. Enought for a proper snowball fight with the kids this morning, and enough for Smudgelet to make his first ever snow angel. Hard to resist the temptation to make a mummy-sized one too. Charlie cat got the last laugh, though, leaping onto the garage roof to create an avalanche just as I went past. I’d swear he did it on purpose!

Bad news is that I have slipped up. I forgot to take the boys for their check-up at the dentist and apparently they have taken them off their list. This would not be disasterous except that there are no NHS dentists on the Island to be found for love nor money. We would have to register with one in Portsmouth or else bite the bullet, so to speak, and pay to go private. I decided I might as well devote the money to suffering in luxury and join the local private dentist. Mmmmm. Not looking forward to THAT.

This is costing me money. Thank heavens for the school laptop being here for when I get itchy fingers, but it’s maddening to pay extra for the dial-up connection when I am paying for broadband on my dead computer. How on earth could it have burnt out so soon? (*innocent whistling and nonchalent gazing round the room*) . Perhaps I’d better turn off and go and collect Smudgelet from football before this one blows up too.

Deep and crisp and even

Guess what! It’s snowing!

And what’s more, it’s sticking. We were supposed to be going for Smudgelet’s swimming lesson tonight. He and I lay on the sofa snoozing gently until it was time to go and I whispered to him “Let’s just stay here” and he said “Yes, let’s.” We got up, wrapped ourselves in coats and hats and set out, only to discover the road had disappeared in a blanket of white. Suddenly he discovered the attraction of just going to sleep had disappeared – he wanted to go swimming, and even more, he wanted to go out and play in the snow! Well, he got one wish granted, if only for a short time.

Oh drat – they might not be at school tomorrow.

Now I’m for it!

When I left my sister’s on Sunday, it was under stern admonition that I wasn’t under any circumstances to let Dad think his birthday present from her was actually from me, just because I’d transported it there for her. The present in question is a rather gorgeous patio pot full of spring flowers of every colour of the rainbow.

I was going to tell him, honestly I was! I tiptoed round this morning and put it on his patio so it’d be there first thing when he opened the curtains. I was planning to give him her card first when he opened his presents, but he decided to save the grand present opening session till this evening so he’d have more time with the boys… and I .. er… forgot about M’s card. So while I was here saving the world, she rings him to say happy birthday and he tells her about the lovely patio pot I bought him!!! Ooooops!

Mummy, you’re wrong!

I know you think you know what I was supposed to do on my homework, but you’re wrong. My teacher wrote the instructions on the sheet. I read what it said. You’re wrong. It says “Choose a country other than the UK to find out about. Write the name of the country you chose. What is the capital city of your country and how do people say hello there?” Well, that’s easy. I put that I chose Germany and that the capital city of my country is London and we just say “hello” in my country.


Escape to the country

It’s not always an advantage when your big sisters act like your mother, but sometimes it has its benefits. It’s rather nice being pampered by mine – especially when she hatches a plot with my sons to let me have a proper lie in by bringing me breakfast in bed on a tray, complete with tiny vase of hand-picked flowers. I rather like that.

We’ve had a fantastic few days away and I feel quite….. exhausted! Refreshed too, of course, but that brisk Peak-district breeze definitely whisks a few cobwebs away. And to think that hiring bikes for the boys and going on a gentle two-mile walk along the High Peak Trail to a local pub seemed such a gentle and enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. It would have helped if we had seen the weather forecast warning of Arctic conditions! But still, the scenery was beautiful and the company couldn’t have been better and we didn’t complain. We couldn’t complain…… our teeth were chattering too much!

Smudgelet managed not to cause any major catastrophe with his bike, and my sister M and I were able to have a really good long talk about Dad. She managed to persuade me that it’d be a potential nightmare if Dad were to come and live with us. Unfortunately neither of us was able to come up with a less nightmarish scenario, so we’re still at square one…. just slightly more windswept!

At this point I would like to express my utter admiration and adoration for my brother-in-law who willingly, and without any form of blackmailing or bribery from myself or my sister, offered to babysit the boys so we could go to the theatre to see a play which he really wanted to see too, and then took them off for the afternoon the following afternoon too so that we could do the shops! P, you’re an angel and I love you for ever! 😀

The play was excellent – highly recommended as long as you’re not averse to strong language! (Gosh, is Miss Staid and Respectable really recommending a play that’s full of foul language and crudity? Wonders never cease!) Four Nights in Naresborough. One of the best plays I’ve see in ages, and especially atmospheric where it was performed in the round. I’d happily go and see it again. My sister, of course, has the excuse – she can take my heroic brother-in-law to see it.

Of course, I would much rather have gone “mountain climbing” with the children than spent Saturday in Buxton doing the shops with my sister and drinking copious cups of coffee by a roaring log fire… but we have to make these sacrifices so that the boys can experience a bit of male bonding! We departed at high speed, having left my b-i-l with strict instructions about coats remaining fastened, gloves not being lost, sweets not being eaten too close to tea time, and with his pockets full of plasters for when Smudgelet fell over. b-i-l looked a little pale as we disappeared up the drive, leaving him with two highly excited mountaineers.

We returned to be met by sheepish expressions and three males saying “You’d better tell mummy what happened” “No, you’d better tell her”… Yes, they’d called in at the play area on the way home, Tiddles had gone on a swinging thing which was too small for him, had wrapped the chains round his wrists and swung….. and promptly sprained his wrist and b-i-l was in the middle of doing first aid (and probably hoping I’d be cross enough to say I’d never trust him with them again! ) The sprain was terribly painful – as we noticed when he was tickling his brother and later when he was playing top trumps) – and he moaned excrutiatingly when asked to help wash up or get ready for bed. He was, however, delighted to be allowed to wear a sling. As I fastened his coat over his poorly arm I had a distinct sense of deja vu. Amazingly, Smudgelet had done nothing more serious than graze his knee and, miracle of miracles, hadn’t even mentioned it to Uncle P.

While in Buxton we bought Calendar Girls for Dad’s birthday next week. I think it’s the act of devoted daughters to check the suitability of a film before giving it to their father, don’t you? And M and I are very devoted daughters!

So, all in all a lovely long weekend away. When’s the next one?

We’re off

Well, the tap can refuse to give water all it likes, we won’t be here to complain about it.
I’ll phone rent-a-brute when we get back, but for now we’re off to the Midlands galavanting!
Sadly the hamster in my brother-in-law’s old computer has fallen off its treadmill and died, so I won’t be able to get online until I get home, but then I am going to be sociable anyway….. aren’t I? Oh, and to use their hot water.

Be good while I’m gone! 😀


Made my decision.

Jumped in the bath. Jumped out again pretty quick as the water was still boiling hot. Dressed and raced off to collect the Smudgelet at 12.

Came home, had bath, tried tap again – no good.

Offered to make lunch for my dad….. at his house. Can’t let him know about the tap or he’ll want to fix it.

Went to B&Q and bought said wrench. It’s a rather brutal looking thing but the man in the shop assured me it’d do the trick.

It didn’t.


I have run myself a nice deep bath – with a clear conscience as I had to empty the hot water tank in order to mend the tap. Now, having taken the top off the tap, I have discovered I need a new tool to actually unscrew the brass fitting which appears rather worn. So…. if I have the bath, I won’t have time to go to B&Q and buy the tool, especially as the bath’s too hot at the moment and there’s no cold water to cool it. If I go to B&Q to buy the tool, the bath water will go cold before I get back. If I have the bath then leave going to B&Q until later today, I will have to turn the water back on for a cup of coffee and to wash hands and food at lunchtime and the tank will fill again.

I have sufficient water in the kettle for one cup of coffee. I think I’ll drink it now while I ponder this one…..