Monthly Archives: September 2009

I’ve done it!

Good grief, I think I’m in shock.

I’ve drawn some money out of my savings account and paid up for a year’s membership at the local leisure centre. Actually it covers three local centres, all equidistant from my new home, and allows me to swim, use the gym, and go to any of their classes for free. But boy, was it expensive.

It was not easy to explain to the Smudgelet the reason why parting with huge quantities of money will prove a necessary motivator to exercise. The thing is, the pool and the gym here are extortionately expensive in comparison to the Isle of Wight. So when a spare hour is floating around and I think to myself “I wonder whether to go for a swim” or “I wonder whether to pop into the gym for half an hour” (as often happens, of course 😉 ) I then think “What? Pay nearly £7 to spend half an hour torturing myself??? You must be kidding. I can’t afford that!” and sit down in front of the telly with a box of biscuits and a cup of coffee at less than half the price. I only need to go three times a fortnight for the annual fee to be worthwhile so now I will think “Goodness, I’ve paid all that money out already, so I’m not going to spend extra on biscuits, coffee and electricity when I could be getting my money’s worth at the gym instead”.

They were very good. I had to pay by the end of September to get their special offer, but they’ve frozen the start date until the end of next week to give my eyes time to settle more and give me chance to get back into the routine of work. Also, whenever I go on holiday for a week or if work commitments look like preventing me from going at all during a week, I can ring up and freeze my membership and have those weeks added on at the end. Impressive, that.

Meanwhile back at the camp, my head’s hurting far less, but the eyes are still squiffy. And as if that weren’t enough, I’ve had a pain in the neck all day. A twelve-year-old pain in the neck. Yes, he’s been off school sick today – a bang on the head at the weekend while canoeing has left him with a sore head which woke me twice in the night last night. He’s even voluntarily gone to bed half an hour ago, although I have my suspicions that that is a sympathy-seeking ploy to counter my determination to send him to school tomorrow.

Two for the price of one

Well, I am sorry for my long absence – life’s been throwing me plenty to take up my attention just lately, both good and bad alike. Eldest son continues to make his presence felt in quite tangible ways and my hair is becoming visibly greyer, but life in my new home is good and the new job pure delight. Hard work, but delight! And as for the Smudgelet’s social life, well, it has to be seen to be believed. He’s at a water sports day today, out in a beautiful stretch of the Thames, next weekend he’s out doing pottery, the weekend after he’s off to camp yet again. And if you watch the Lord Mayor’s Show on your telly in November, you may even catch a glimpse of him in the parade!!! (Spot the proud mummy!). We’ve been busy doing lots, too.

Trouble is, I’m not sure whether it’s the stress of life or whether there’s another cause, but I’m signed off work again this week with a perpetual headache. It’s been mild and it’s been intense – fortunately today it’s mild. I decided a trip to the lovely lovely doctor was in order on Thursday. She examined me thoroughly and asked whether it was affecting my vision. I said that it was slightly – that things just didn’t look right, but I couldn’t say quite how… certainly not tunnel or double vision, nor even blurred as such, just not right. So she tested it. “No, that’s fine…. no, that’s fine…. no that’s… er.. OH!”

Double vision it is – and quite considerably so, on one side of my head. Not good. Combined with the other symptoms, not good. She did urgent blood tests which fortunately came back, while not clear, not bad enough for me to need emergency treatment, but she’s sending me to a neurologist urgently to investigate what’s going on inside my head. (Rude comments will be treated with the contempt they deserve ;o) ) Meanwhile I have some mega painkillers – which I’m not taking yet as the headache’s not bad at all at present – I have been signed off for a week, I am advised that driving would be remarkably foolish and not a little irresponsible, and I am seriously limiting my computer time. I’m even being really good and using my glasses for any close work, especially reading, which is proving the only way to have a fighting chance of keeping the letters still! (Good job I can touch type or you wouldn’t be reading this at all). Personally I’m fairly certain it’s stress, but it’s good to know that they’re leaving no stone unturned, especially as my sister’s friend has just lost the sight in one eye completely through the same thing that I am being tested for as hers was diagnosed too late.

In other news, I have some photos to bore you with, but unfortunately the battery on my camera has died so you won’t be able to see them until my salary goes into my account and I can buy a new battery! But the ones from the Smudgelet’s little camera are on my flickr account, if you want to go and look. Nothing very thrilling, I’m afraid. No wonder he’s hoping for a “proper” camera for Christmas!

Amazing Grace

I’ve been feeling quite low this last few days. Missing my son, if the truth be known, and also tired, so tired, of the heavy decisions I keep facing and the sense of desolation which occasionally flows over me when I think of the difficulties yet to be faced. One trigger was my counselling session last Friday which I went to feeling bright and cheerful, having enjoyed a lovely holiday and having achieved loads in the flat, and came from feeling tearful and depressed. (Not sure that I will be too upset when my counselling sessions come to an end!) This was partly due to the realisation that my son has been gone a year tomorrow.

Today was a much bigger trigger, though. The Smudgelet has a friend staying and today I took them for the long-promised return visit to Legoland. Last time we went was such fun. Last time we went, I had my eldest son with me and for the first time he provided some really good almost-adult company. He and I like the same sort of rides and share a similar sense of humour and it was such fun to be there, the four of us, and be able to split into various arrangements of two and two. This time, though, I was there with two twelve-year-olds and no almost-adult. It was obvious that the two boys really wanted a taste of freedom, a chance to go where they wanted without an adult minder tagging along and cramping their style. “If we split up, mum, it’ll mean you can do what you want without having to hang around waiting for us all the time. We could just arrange a time and place to meet up later.” And of course, that was what I wanted for them. But it was such a lonely experience and the tears were hard to suppress. I felt no interest in going on a ride alone, and even the fantastic models in mini-world were uninspiring when there was nobody to say “Oh, look!” to, especially as I’d seen them before. I’m glad I had a voucher for one free entry to the park or I’d have seriously resented the £37 entry fee I paid to go in as I eventually gave up and took my book and a cup of coffee to the carpark and sat in the car for five and a half hours.


my depression now is lifted and I feel renewed. I slept a while in the car, which did me good, and I also finished my book which also did me good (as I find it hard to finish books at the moment). But best of all was something I saw through the window of the car, totally unexpected.

If you have read my blog before, you’ll know that there’s been a consistent reassurance every time I’ve been at my lowest. And today it was there again. A rainbow. A perfect rainbow spanning the sky. God’s promise: “It’ll be alright. Trust me”. And an accompanying feeling of peace. The sense of bereavement is still strong – there’d be something wrong with me if it weren’t – but I know that God is there alongside me and will carry me through, and even at my loneliest, I am never alone.