Monthly Archives: December 2008

Excellent news

All three babies fit and well 😀

(I am going to bed now. So much for my early night! After sleep punctuated with vivid nightmares last night, I reckon a good night’s sleep is in order, so I think I’d better microwave my penguin and wish you bon nuit!)


I shall try over the next few days to put together a general email to send to anyone who’d like an update on how things are going. If that means you, then just let me know – it’s so much easier than keeping track or feeling I’m moaning on at people who’d rather I just didn’t.

Christmas without my boy was hard, but we managed to enjoy it thoroughly. In some ways it maybe took a stress off, not having two boys vying for attention, but the circumstances of that meant that I’d rather have had the stress, I guess. Eldest son spent most of the Christmas days in bed and watching TV – it’s rather like an ordinary weekend day in the YOI, apart from having Christmas Dinner which he declared as “rather a good dinner, actually”. He had plenty of Christmas cards but sadly didn’t get any of his presents which would seem to have gone astray somehow. I hope they do reach him soon and I don’t have to chase up everything we sent in. He has to wait until Fridays to access his property anyway.

He was clearly low – I’d have been concerned if he hadn’t been – but he rang us each day and chatted gaily about how our Christmas was going, requesting copious photographs which I’m putting in the post today. He’s still on a lower behaviour rung and waiting to be moved back – that was hard, this Christmas, as one of the main privileges which is withdrawn is the right to ring me from his room instead of from the noisy association hall – an experience which I hate as the background noise is very unpleasant with people shouting and kicking their metal doors repeatedly and shouting abuse as they pass. I’d almost rather he didn’t ring, but I long so much to hear his voice. Still, he’s behaving well so he should soon be back to gold – he only lost it for not emptying his waste bin!

Now we live in limbo. Sentencing may well be postponed, but we may not know that until the day. How do you make plans when that’s such a big unknown hanging over the diary? There is some good news, and some bad news, to put in an update email. But thank God (literally, I mean) that this Christmas proved a restful sanctuary when all worries and concerns could be put on one side and we could focus on the truth of what Christmas really means.


The other update, mind, is that through lack of exercise and slightly too many goodies (though I tried to be fairly good), I have returned to my start weight. AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!

No news

Well, loads really, but I am going to bed rather than sharing any with you. If you want any news, you’ll have to make some of your own.

I’m only here while I wait for some Christmas photos to finish printing so I can send them with my next letter to the boy. I want an early night. You don’t want to know why.

You don’t. Honest you don’t.

Well, you asked for it. Suffice to say: 2am last night. Smudgelet and his mother sharing a room, Smudgelet on an upper bunk, mother on a lower one. Smudgelet suddenly declares his intent of going to stick his head down the toilet – gets as far as the top of the ladder – stops – thinks – and fountains projectile vomit over the entire bedroom carpet, fabric computer chair, and mountain of best clothes abandoned on the floor after being taken off at various bedtimes this week. Oh bliss. Oh joy. Yet another tradition kept this Christmas – the Smudgelet regretting eating too much, too quickly, in too excited a state. And what a time to have no washing machine available… damage too extensive to be left until next morning, so I got a few jobs done in addition to carpet scrubbing and hand washing….. then finally settled to sleep about 3.30.

Thank you, my darling.


At last I can give you a glimpse of the WISE gifts I received from forrin lands over the waves.
Thank you, Ferijen, for a lovely surprise.

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008  - the tree



Can you see which of my presents the Smudgelet took an instant liking to and somehow “relocated” to HIS chair?

Christmas Puzzle

Little visitor

And here it is, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Today one of the Pavlets ventured forth from their new nest in the exercise wheel and gave us the opportunity to see him/her properly. S/he explored the cage entirely, having a taste at real food (boiled egg) and a gnaw at an old boot, and a big big stretch. S/he’s tiny, though we reckon s/he still needs to grow into his/her nose as that is really quite disproportionately big, as are his/her legs and feet, tiny though they are. I only hope the other two babies are still alive and kicking as their new nest is less easy to observe than the tunnel and there’s been no glimpse of them at all for a day or two. But this little one graced us with several minutes of his/her presence and that in itself was a real delight.

Baby Pavlet

baby pavlet

Baby Pavlet

Baby Pavlet

Christmas thoughts

I doubt we’ll be on the computer tomorrow, so I take this opportunity to wish you all a really lovely Christmas and to thank you, too, for your amazing support for us through all the traumas (and delights, she says, as she hears frantic squeaking from the far corner of the room!) of this year.

Two years someone said to me that Christmas was the worst possible time for my dad to die. But what better time? The message of Christmas is that God loved us far too much to allow death to be the end. The promise of eternal life is never stronger than at Christmas or at Easter. If that baby hadn’t been born in Bethlehem, then there’d have been more need to mourn the loss of my Dad.

That hope and promise is just as important to me today. The birth of Christ was a clear signal from God that we are not alone, even in our darkest hour. That He loves and cares so much for us that He was willing to take on tremendous suffering in order to bring us into the light.

Though not a Catholic, I think often of Mary at Christmas – in fact, ever since taking on the role of Mary for the nativity play on Ship of Fools I’ve felt a strong empathy. When you adopt a child, you’re told that it’s not going to be easy, that there’ll be heartache and trauma – Mary knew that too when she accepted God’s will for her, and more so by far than what we’re going through. It’s a scary thing to say to God “I trust you. I will do what you ask of me”. Yet Mary did it, and at such an early age too. A single mother for a time, too.

The worries of tomorrow will wait until the time is right, and I have to trust that God will be there by my side every step of the way as I make decisions and wait for decisions to be made which will affect my life and the lives of those I love. But for the moment there is only one thing of importance. The birth of a Saviour.


I have given in and kept the camera. I know I am actually in the right, and the company in the wrong, but when it boils down to it, it’s a camera that takes photographs and I do actually need one for Christmas. I have enough other battles to fight, I reckon. And it is a rather nice shade of purple!

The Smudgelet’s pre-emptive strike on his Christmas presents means that he will actually have far fewer this year as his main ones have “gone back to the shop” (in other words, hidden away for a surprise later in the year when he’s shown he deserves them). I’ve also given up on trying to get the house neat and tidy for Christmas. Clean will simply have to do. At least we’ve got some decorations up. The arrival of a friend needing a place to drink coffee and talk yesterday sealed the fate of the housework – I’d lost interest anyway and my back was aching. But we’re not planning to celebrate the state of the house, after all. And the rest of Christmas is going to be a treat.

Our Christmas visitor is bringing the DVD of MammaMia for us to sing along to with gusto, and I have it on good authority that Santa is bringing some good games and DVDs (although where he’s put the DVD of Prince Caspian that he had planned to bring for the Smudgelet, goodness only knows!). I’ve even remembered to get the turkey out of the freezer in good time to allow it to defrost – a minor miracle in itself! The babies are growing and very very vocal, singing along to the Christmas carol CDs I reckon. And the diet is out of the window for a day or two (especially as the friend who visited brought home made caramel shortbread as a Christmas gift!)

A discovery or two or possibly even three

Just as backbreaking, time consuming and frustrating as untangling the Christmas lights which you put away in a hurry last year is the challenge of untangling the snowballs that hang across the doorway.

Transferring the SD card from one camera to another to facilitate the importing of photographs is a stupid move which you may live to regret.

The last glimpse into the Pavlova cage seemed to reveal slightly too many small fuzzy bodies to be only two babies, but mum spotted what I was trying to do and moved too fast for us to be sure….. but could there be three?

An apology

If you haven’t received a Christmas card from me, it may be because I don’t have your address (Jack the lass, I realise I’ve lost yours!); it may be because I don’t really know you well enough; or it may very possibly be that yours is with the pile of unfinished Christmas cards sat in my drawer waiting for me to remember at the right time that I haven’t finished writing them yet.

I was feeling bad about it until I realised that anyone who resented me not sending them a card this year probably wasn’t someone I should feel bad about not sending one to. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t wish I’d been more organised. I think getting the first and second batches sent out so quickly meant that my mind settled itself to that job being complete.

I am a bit fed up this evening to discover that my back has given up the ghost. Well, not quite, but it’s seriously achy and uncomfortable. I knew I should have got a bit more ahead of the game with the cleaning and putting the decorations up. Still, with Smudgelet out of the way tomorrow for most of the morning (he’s going to the cinema with friends and then out to lunch at Macdonalds) , I should be able to have a better go at things tomorrow and at least find a bed for our visitor to sleep in! 😀

I lost the card that my uncle had sent for Eldest son today. I eventually found it…. I had hung it up on the card holder with ours – it must have been the very first one I put up seeing as it was the very last one left when I took them all down again in search for it. It may arrive a little late, but it’s the thought that counts, and I really love my uncle for sending him a card. He’s never met him, and hasn’t even seen me for years.

Lovely day today – made all the better by a 70% improvement in the Smudgelet’s attitude (probably the result of a serious warning from Honorary Auntie M) – I will post photos when I can find the lead for the Smudgelet’s camera.