Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ahhh Internet addiction

23

Looking for payday loan?



So very nearly a class full then!!

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Three months and counting

We have been in NZ now for exactly three months. We touched down in Auckland at 6am September 16th and it is now 7pm December 16th.

Such a lot has happened: in short. Two weeks spent living in a tiny apartment in Torbay, dealing with jetlag, ants and house hunting. We thought we had found the perfect place ( a beautiful villa in Deidre Place in Laingholm) but the building report put us off. The next place we liked the building inspector didn't even bother to look at it as he knew the place and said 'walk away!'. Just as well as we have found a slice of heaven. Two weeks ago we moved into a six bedroomed ( room for visitors) brick and tile gem in a place called Parau, close to the kids' school, next to a beach and tennis courts, down a peaceful little road....


So the story so far. We looked at nearly 60 houses, maybe more until we found this one and even then it was fraught with problems. The council here has to agree everything in triplicate before you can even think about changing anything in a house. Think planning permission but for knocking in a nail or straightening a picture. Suffice it to say quite a bit of this house is 'illegal' but when you are in love you overlook such things.



Looking back the first two weeks were very stressful and we tried to do too much, finding houses, cars, our way around. We fell on our feet with regards to accommodation. The house we were warned off is owned by a lovely girl called Rachel and she lives there with her two toddlers, Chloe (1) and Ben ( a very loud 2). she'd bought the house with another couple four months previously but they'd moved out just before the birth of their second child and because their first and Ben didn't get on. They needed some way of covering the mortgage and Rachel suggested that we move in. Although far from ideal, we had a roof over our heads.

I am convinced the house had sick building syndrome. Everyone was ill, including Reuben! It was probably due to damp and to a lack of a good night's sleep!

On the plus side, we found the children a delightful school, Laingholm Primary- The greatest little school in the Universe, run by a head who understands that school should be fun and by an incredibly dedicated staff. Caitlin has the remarkable Miss W ( Wolstenholme) whilst Roo is with the very young Miss Guertz. Both have found their feet quickly- especially Caitlin and both have made some very good friends! I have been doing a bit of relief work there. I'm known as Mrs A and apparantly I'm 'cool!" I think that means a pushover though Room 14, the class from hell, have grown on me over the weeks!



The high spots of our first three months ( I use the term loosely)

The burglary; I met three strapping men coming out of our shared house, with Rachel's tv in the back of their car. I'm not sure what came over me but I tried to block them in the drive with my car but I got myself rather man handled and they managed to push my car out of the way. We reckon they'd only been in the house for five minutes and only took a tv a dvd player and probably one of our ds's ( we may have just misplaced it). The police came, the helicopter came out, the SOCO arrived three days later(!!!!), we all had to be fingerprinted ( in the cells) and I had to look at mug shots. Exciting really but a bit time concuming and no conclusion yet.

New cars! I have a blue RAV4 and Ant has a white Toyota MRS ( old ones but hey). He needed a boy toy for the many miles he was going to be travelling every day.





The thermal pools at Waiwera. Fantastic hot thermal pool resort, just the thing for over coming jetlag, including a pool with a cinema screen. Child Heaven!

Anton starting work; His first day was spent drumming and walking in the bush ( team building) His second day started with a formal Maori ceremony where we passed him over to the care of his workplace. Lots of nose rubbing and Maori chanting. Sadly work hasn't quite lived up to his expectations.

Reuben mastering the monkey bars in the school playground.

Roo never wearing any shoes

Caitlin getting to the final of the school speech competition with an oratory on 'Books'! And the semis of the geeral knowledge when most of the questions were on New Zealand

Both of them being fantastic tennis players, and making huge progress in their tennis lessons!


Guy Fawkes night in the rain



Rotorua; Ant was at a conference so we spent the previous weekend there. Hot springs and geysers in the middle of a city centre park. Phemonenal pools of sulphur, the smell of rotten eggs and one of the best brunches in the world (At the Fat dog cafe).

Going to the Netball world Cup competition at our local stadium, and meeting the English Team and getting C's ball signed.



Kitting out Roo's bedroom for under $150 dollars using Trademe ( like eBay).

Finding furniture from unlikely sources ( garage sales, Sally Army). Caitlin's Mackintosh chair is a major find.

The new spa, trampoline and barbeque...well why else are we here!



Ladies football at Laingholm on Tuesday nights. All that time spent watching John Terry was not in vain.

The container arriving and having all our stuff around us, after three months of living out of suitcases.

Putting up the Christmas tree after spending the day on the beach at Whatipu.


Watching Gok on Friday nights.

Caitlin being addicted to Shortland Street!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Still hanging on at the end of the earth

At last i find almost real broadband in New Zealand, but am too tired to write, Ho hum

Friday, September 14, 2007

Heathrow

It seems like an eternity since I last blogged. So much has happened but then so little that I need or choose to write about. OUr home is in a crate somewhere on a boat. The rest of my life is in 8 suitcases and four pieces of hand luggage somewhere in Heathrow airport. We have one and three quarter hours till we fly out to our new life. The kids have gone in search of food and I am becoming increasingly hot...too young for the menopause surely, especially as the kids want a kiwi brother or sister!

Auckland awaits

Monday, September 03, 2007

An empty house ( almost)

I am very impressed with packers.

Two men ( well a man and a Man U supporter) arrived at 11.30 left at 4.30 and had packed nearly our entire lives into boxes. We still have one bed ( going to the tip) a table and chairs, kettle and toaster, cutlery and our mess! Phew!

We are all feeling a little shell shocked! Roo is very clingy, Caitlin is being a little adult and I have had a little weep whilst writing good luck cards for school.

It feels like quite a relief seeing everything boxed, like we are organised...trouble is there are still cases to sort out. We have five filled and two half filled. In fact one of them is enroute to Oxford with mum in law, what's the betting we forget that one!

We are all exhausted. Chippie and video tonight I think

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Full on.

Since 9.00 this morning we hve been packing, tidying, dismantling, tipping, dumping, dusting, cleaning and more. I am exhausted but there is still so much to do. I'm off to pack my hand luggage just so it is all in one place.

Tra la la

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Heart pounding

We have been out to the Mintfest Art festival tonight, a rather random melange of strret theatre, performance hair dressing and naked frenchmen syphoning red wine through their...

We weren't supposed to be going, still lots to do, but Ant had arranged to see Enda ( who has bought our car). Turns out they weren't in so we wandered aimlessly through Kendal on the off chance. I found the whole thing very frustrating. Today has been fairly aimless indeed. I did get a haircut and some space and C went and bought crocs with Granny, and Roo had a lunch date with mates. I did manage to fill 6 bin bags but even so. There is still so much to do, I can't decide if we should be taking more or less stuff. I have no idea how much sorting I should have done, or how much will just be packed. I have never had my house packed before so I don't know quite what I'm facing.

I am feeling very tense...of course Ant just says my head has gone but then I am feeling very out of control. I just want to escape tonight, to walk out and leave him to it. I am convinced that stuff wil be crated that we need to take with us and we'll end up with eight huge cases full, even with all my throwing out.

Ant seems to be thinking purely in terms of money; every penny counts. He's ruing my not letting him have a house sale but then I didn't feel we were organised enough. And we still aren't!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Big Brother

So Brian won BB! Richly deserved!

I am really not sure how I am going to cope with the next few weks. There are so many goodbyes to say. I have said so long to some school colleagues/friends and that was hard. What will it be like with my family?

We are getting to the end of the road packing wise but I still can't believe how much stuff there is in our house.

Feeling weepy

p.s. Moji is back off his holiday

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday

V tired tonight. 2 hours of ironing with the US Open. Spent p.m trying to sort out the playroom. Have shredded everything fom the filing cabinet and have cancelled loads of direct debits, storecards and the TV licence.

Successful ebay campaign this week, raised over £50 and still a day to run!

When Oh when will we be ready for this move? We fly out on the 14th, complete on the house on the 7th and pack up on the 3rd.AAAAAAAAAaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhhh!


Am reading excessively to take mind off everything.Just finished Double Fault by Lionel Shriver. I loved the fact that the two main characters were so unlikeable but so well developed. Not sure about the ending, rather abrupt but overall a book I needed to finish.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My moji has disappeared

I think my moji is having a nervous breakdown. He has disappeared for the last few days.

Fraught is a good word; so are stressed, panicky, procrastinating, ill, worried, nervous, anxious, pissed off, responsible, etc etc

I am not sure if I am ill or if I am having an allergic reaction to dust or hayfever; either way I feel awful.

One lesson I have learned is about consumption. We are getting rid of so much stuff that, at some point, we must have felt we needed. It has been so refreshing seeing spaces appearing in our house. They have stopped being holes and are becoming free space. It is cleansing to be able to say 'I don't need this'. I am definitely going to be careful about what I buy in the future. And use freecycle a whole lot more.
We are less concerned about what the house looks like now. It is a complete tip so that is probably adding to the sense of helplessness. No tidying up is being done, so there is no clear tidy free space in which to escape. The front room is full of suitcases, the back room is full of 'god knows what!', the kitchen is a bombsite and the playroom, well, looks the same as it always does just more mess and fewer objects.

Fingers crossed for a good return on eBay

Saturday, August 25, 2007

OMG the flights are booked

We fly out of Heathrow on Friday 14th September 2007, via LAX, landing in Auckland on Sunday morning.

The panic attacks and sleepless nights have started already. I am just glad the World athletics championships are on overnight. Makes it all bearable.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Holes!

There are holes appearing all over our house! There is a computer sized hole, a freezer shaped hole, a wedding dress size hole ( someone got a bargain £1.20!!!!!!!) and now a rat sized hole.
Anton was rather sad to see the dress go! There was a wistful look in his eyes when I took it down to post. Ahhhhh!
I was rather more upset about the rat. No he hasn't died. Yoda has gone to a new home. I emailed Alan, the man who offered to have the boys when he came out of hospital. Turns out he hasn't actually had his op ( too fat and on too many meds) so is living life to the full. He's just got two cats and now a rat. He'd been round a few times, but we were never in.But I'm glad he was so eager to have 'my boy'. His son managed to drop the cage on his way out. Luckily Yoda was in his floodlight box at the time so I only had to sweep sawdust off the floor not bits of rat!
I had a little weep after he left. We used to do my planning together with him on the table. I'm sure he was my inspiration some days. Still, this is better than the alternative!
Retail therapy helped today. Lots of t shirts, a new pair of crocs, and lots of books for the family to share: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Magician's Guild, Trilogy, Just in Case, Wolf Brother and Attica. We have been reading The Talent Thief most nights and really enjoying the closeness, cuddles and indeed the story. I used the vouchers I got from school to buy them as a) books are expensive in NZ so we felt we should stock up and b) it seemed like a good 'family' thing to do! I still have loads of books to read from the last few months so I didn't need any more and it made the kids feel that they had something familiar to look forward to.
We are inches from exchange of contracts, then we can book flights. We are planning to fly via LA as we can take twice as much luggage (46 versus 23kgs). There is hassle with US immigration, unloading cases and reloading again but heck we can take so much more!

Where do I start?

It has been a very strange and eventful few days.
Following my little mood swing, I felt awful. I woke up on Wednesday with distinctly flu like symptoms, so I stayed in bed till lunchtime. Ant took the kids to my mums (to deliver a computer and a freezer) and to play badminton and all I knew was when Roo came to see me and told me he had had lots of biscuits at mums.
Mum appeared about 1.30 to bring me some flowers and to pick up the freezer keys which had ended up in my pocket. Then she dropped the bombshell. She had run over my dad in her car when she was backing it out of the garage to make room for Ant's car and the freezer. Dad landed on the pavement, apparantly having been bumped by the end of the car. I did my best Doctor Who Xmas impression 'WHAT! What? WHat!'. She'd brought him out in the car with her to see me but he stayed in the car, muttering about how she had done it before and how it didn't hurt as much as last time! So not true!

At three o'clock I took Yoda and Bam Bam to the vets. Yoda has a full bill of health, his patchy fur being a natural curse of being a curly rex. Bam Bam, on the other hand, has become bald because, wait for it, he is allergic to fleas inspite of not having any evidence of any and he has a few harvest mites. These are the latest thing in the cat world. So the scrawny thing needed steroids and lots of 'Frontline'. £60 pounds later!!! I have told mum she'll have to have him since no one else will look at a cat with no fur! She is not happy.

So when I rang her to tell her the cat news, she says 'I'm taking your dad to A&E. He is in so much pain and can't walk!" Needless to say, I went over, not thinking for a second about giving my flu to anyone else. It took a good half an hour to get him in the car and then we needed a wheel chair to get him into the hospital. Everyone thought he had broken his hip and mother was wracked with guilt. She felt so responsible, so anxious and so out of control. I needed to be the calm one. Dad was of course out of it. He had no idea what had happened, kept saying 'how long have I had this? It happened last week!".
Luckily the x ray came back very quickly. No bones broken so they couldn't wait to get him out of there. They gave him a zimmer frame and helped us get him into the car and that was it. I am no professional but surely an elderly man who has had a serious fall needs observation, even if he is a pain with Alzheimers! We got him home eventually and two days later he is able to get down stairs and is comfortable. He still has no idea what happened- just as well- and has been hallucinating because of the Codeine he's been taking but at least he is nearly back to NORMAL!!!!!

This post could become "War and Peace ' so I'll write part two later!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day Four

So four days after a drinking session, I have this mood swing, so today was the day. My mood hasn't been too outlandish, although I did snap at C when she was desperate for me to play 'Phoenix Wright' at 9 o'clock this morning. I have noticed myself getting very snappy with the kids over those games, as though I feel pressured into doing the problem solving stuff when I am not thinking clearly.
Played tennis with the kids. I can see why C has friendship troubles. If she doesn't get her own way, she mopes. She really didn't like it that for five minutes Ant and I wanted to hit the ball really hard. Arghhhhh!
We did talk about it later, when we had to sit in the cafe before karate. Lost keys- another arggghhhh! We both agreed that we can sort of reinvent ourselves when we move. I explained about saying 'yes' to suggestions rather than 'no'. She feels people regard her as being very clever and she has to live up to it, which is true. She is bright but others can take advantage of that, asking her to do something, like write a play, and then pulling it apart when they don't like it! The NZ curriculum seems to set great store on collaborative learning and practical problem solving so we have talked about compromise, agreeing and then amending ideas. People tend to be willing to adapt an idea rather than being told to change it completely.
I had an hour to myself today, over coffee, so I didn't kill anyone. But I then spent three hours sorting out my desktop computer so that mum can have it. I don't think it's ever worked so well. Amazing what happens when you take off lots of academic software, oh yeah and renewed its virus protect! For some reason she didn't seem overjoyed to hear I was taking it over. Really not sure it was worth the effort, but that's how the mood is!
Felt I had taken on too much ( or rather was the only one to do the stuff) when I was trying to clear up the pooter, cook tea, iron karate suits and sort out appointments for the pets at the vets. Better get them sorted before I go to the doctors obviously!
Anton has bought lots of windsurfing stuff from a guy up on Kendal Green. Should have bid on eBay but did it privately. I reckon he could have got them for £20 but he spent £175. One born every...!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hung over

Made a fatal decision to drink last night. Justine, Tony and the kids came over for a Caitlin organised party. It's just as well she arranged it as we'd never get around to socialising. Everyone seems to be going on holiday this week so we can have time to clear up a bit more. I have filled few more boxes. My sister and god daughters finally came over yesterday and raided the book shelves and pictures. I did get some money out of Jacce for our pharoah picture. I refused to give it her for nothing. I was more than happy for Rachel to have loads of pictures as I know she will appreciate them.

We have all been very tired today, a late night has been had by all. I even slept through the Chelsea Liverpool draw. Had a wonderful time watching the Manchester derby. God old City. And Durham won the one day final. Paul Collingwood should go to the top of the faves list again.

The kids traded in some DS games and bought me 'Phoenix Wright-Ace Attorney'. Good for the little grey cells, though not with a hang over, or when C does bits without me!

Roo has been playing 'age of mythology' and has decided he wants to be a Historian- god help him.

P.S Yoda is looking very sad!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A strange day

Perhaps the death of Grievous set the tone for the day but I have a tremendous sense of a lack of achievement so hopefully writing this will focus my mind.

The kids went to Enda's today with Ant asking me what I planned to do with my day. I had no idea but there was a vague suggestion of organising something. After breakfast I spent time blog hopping but eventually aimed for the playroom, to cuddle Yoda and empty a shelf or two.

I did fill a bin bag and a box for the charity shop but I felt I had made more mess than when I started. I did manage to get my sewing stuff into one place, though not in any order. That will come later. The trouble was I was sorting out the shelves that had teaching stuff on it. Now, admittedly, some of it was very old and outdated but I still felt odd adding stuff to the discard pile. I felt I was resigning myself to a lack of identity. I have no problem with my role as mum but it feels strange to be ridding myself of the trappings of my profession. I don't know whether to keep what seems to be the most important files just in case I need them when/if I choose to teach again or be totally ruthless with myself and assume the NZ system has no need of British resources.

I also managed to get all our NZ documents in one place so that says something!

We took a group trip to see the Simpson movie. It was, as expected, just a longer episode with fewer jokes but the boys ( 8 year olds) loved it.

The rat had a very formal funeral service, once we had got over the trauma of trying to dig a hole big enough to take the box. Roots and rocks made life difficult. We said a few words over the 'site' and Caitlin left a flower to mark the spot.

I also put my wedding dress on eBay. There must be major psychological value in that.

So you see it seems that I have achieved somethings today just lots of little things. My mind seems to be in one of its wandering modes. If I don't focus, or if I try to handle jobs ( like the playroom) with lots of potential, I can get overwhelmed and meltdown. Making sure I only tidied the room for one hour and filled one bag of crap meant I had an end point. But I had to make myself stop. The Simpsons trip helped with that.

Is there a rodent heaven?


Sadly the news early today is of the death of Grievous the Rat. Following about a fortnight of laboured breathing, or possibly overfeeding, he was found lying in the bottom of the cage. At least he wasn't curled up in quite the same way as Lily. That means I can't rib Roo in the same way that I do Caitlin!
The funeral will be held this afternoon, followed by a brief wake ( of Toad in the Hole). I shall spend the day comforting Yoda, and tidying the playroom.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A flirtacious moji, how cute!

Still feeling very tired. Can't put my finger on it though. I am yawning constantly, aching all over and yet my heart is racing. Stress maybe? Can't think what I can be stressed about????

Today was a momentous occasion. The children finally went swimming on their own. OK I had to sit at the side but I did get to sew and I didn't have to get wet. What bliss.

Had a great family game of 'Pass the Pigs', or rather Kasta Gris ( the Swedish version). Roo was a very poor loser. He really can't get the concept of 'luck'!

Caitlin made a fantastic sweet and sour stir fry tonight. Roo, as usual, refused to eat it, even smothered in ketchup.

NZ countdown...we sorted out the dvds and cds and xbox games. The children have yet to work out that these will be going in the container so will be absent for ten weeks or so...tee hee.

We need to sit down and work on our checklist but we have't managed to write one yet. When I ask Ant what he wants to include on this list he says things like 'which clothes we are taking!" Hm the kids and I have already done that! Which furniture we are taking? Well he keeps giving away the stuff I thought we were taking!


We seem to be having a bit of a family threesome going at the mo. Ant does his own thing, usually looking at houses on the internet, whilst we go swimming, play games, and read our latest family book. This week it's the Talent Thief by Alex Williams. It's interesting spotting how my mood affects how I read. Sometimes it is great to have something to concentrate on and other times, like tonight I can hardly get my words out straight. One character grizzled a wrestly bear today. Hm, Spooner reborn!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Has normal transmission resumed?

The moji has had a nervous breakdown; happy, nervous, anxious, angry all from one blog entry!

Having spent a sun filled few days in a field in Oxfordshire, not to mention a slightly alcohol fuelled one, I am slightly exhausted ( is that possible?) and snappy, which is probably why today is the first I've chosen to blog. We have spent the afternoon on the sofa because Caitlin has been having multiple meltdowns and I have not been very sympathetic. Johnny Depp cheered us all up. Anton has taken them to Nanny's and to karate since I feel so awful and really can't face dad today.


Cropredy was great, certainly better than expected. The sun shone for three days, the beer flowed, the kids spent the whole time up in the children's area with the clowns ( who gave me the creeps) and there were loads of papers to read. I didn't get to run along the canal path, since at 8 in the morning it was too hot! It was a good year musically, nearly as good as two years ago. I'm not sure why Jools Holland was playing at a folk festival but the set was excellent. There were lots of young folk acts which Ant loved and as usual Richard Digance was ace. I think I must be getting really old, though he is a throwback to my youth!

There was a different feeling this year. There were twenty thousand people there which led to tailbacks ( a two hour wait to get into the village), longer queues for everything, less space in the camping fields and in the festival field and a certain degree of tension. There seemed to be more groups of people, especially young people, whose main objective was to drink constantly without the laidback attitude that usually accompanies Fairport.

It was different for us too. We had a brand new tent, a 'mansion' in Roo's eyes, complete with a chandelier in the ballroom. Luxury camping for a change! And we were not alone. Al had persuaded her new man to come along. Ant is rather concerned ( too concerned?) that he isn't good enough for her; too grown up, slightly boring, smokes ( C is up in arms). Ant feels she deserves someone fun, who is as passionate as she is! I did have to tell him to tone down the flirting mind you!

Roo was a star of the weekend. He has decided that trying to be a jack of all trades is not his mien. So he WILL be good on the drums and his circus skill will be the 'stick'. The clown who was iteaching the 'stick' gave him so much praise. He was specifically asked to go in the talent show ( and won a snake). C of course was pissed off because she so wanted to go in the show, and did eventually but didn't do well enough in her eyes. It is going to be so hard for her. Roo is a natural, at the things he wants to do, and will outshine her. I wish I knew what to do to help.

On the way home we got caught up in the M40 closure. A motorcyclist was shot dead near leamington Spa and the tailbacks were massive. It took us 7 hours to get home rather than the usual 3 1/2!

New Zealand approaches apace. I picked up the passports yesterday, with the visas stuck in. Nine months of effort and we finally have four blue pieces of paper. We also had the surveyor round, with the vendor who happens to be his brother. They are aiming to complete by the 7th of September which would suit us fine. I had lunch with Susannah yesterday and she pointed out that when she comes back off holiday we could be on our way.

We are trying to stay as calm as possible. I did buy a bottle of champagne ( well Jacob's Creek) hopefully not tempting fate, which was very nice, with strawberries. We have so much to organise, we really need to start list writing. I must look out the immigration guide to find a checklist

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I wonder if a moji can do f**king pissed off!


I will enjoy seeing what the moji does with this.
I have spent much of the day angry, frustrated, pissed off, murderous, stressed. I have slagged off my hubby in front of the kids (which I try not to do), felt guilty about being a bad mother, tried to be a good daughter to both of my parents and I just feel I am failing everybody. Caitlin is very upset about her weight, mum is upset about dad, Roo is exhausted, Anton couldn't get the kids back in time for karate because he was playing Irish music with Enda and then, instead of getting stuff ready for our camping trip he goes out to play tennis and then, at 11.00, asks why everyone else hasn't packed! I am so FUCKING PISSED OFF WITH HIM!!!!!
He has shown no consideration for anyone else today at all. I know he is ill, but well enough to play tennis etc, but there is a limit to my patience and I think I have reached it. It's 1.14 in the morning and I am angrily writing this having just finished the ironing and my packing. He wants to leave at 8 but I need to get my prescription...that was wrong with him too but then he hadn't bothered to tell me what our actual plans were. I only know we are going to see Aileen because I checked his emails. That's also how I know about his flirtatious emails with Al ( another reason why I'm pissed off). I am feeling so lumpy at the moment and this doesn't help.
I think the canal path at Cropredy might just get a bit of a pounding.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I want to be a BEAGLE!!!!!

You Are a Chihuahua Puppy

Small, high strung, and loyal.
You do best in the city with a adults - young kids could crush you!

Really?

Who Should Paint You: Gustav Klimt

Sensual and gorgeous, you would inspire an enchanting portrait..
With just enough classic appeal to be hung in any museum!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunday night


A very boring title but I am in a boring mood. We have just got back from a weekend in Oxford and Hemel with granny and the godparents (competition for the Zimmers perhaps). As usual I found the whole thing a bit stressful. Granny fussed, although I did manage to take the kids to the park on my own, which was lovely. Ivan and Veronica were lovely inspite of his cold. They have offered to come and see us off when we go, which is nice. We went for a lovely walk. Having said that our kids walk well, Roo proceeded to sit down every fifty metres or so. It gained him a new nickname (50m). He then spent the afternoon attacking a punch bag Ivan had at home. I think the godfather was a bit put out that Roo used karate blocks when he was trying to teach him how to box. Ho hum. Roo has spent today flaked out on a sofa or in the car. Poor thing was exhausted.

So we arrived home to a letter from the NZIS stating that in principle we have residency. For some odd reason we have to give them 'accurate details' of our close family and then return our passports to them to get the visas stuck in. Oh and probably pay them even more money! I am kind of surprised that Ant isn't happier, but I guess that as we have no news on the house, he is biding his time. I can't decide whether to get the champagne in or not, tempting fate?

Went to see dad as soon as we got back. He didn't know who I was. Mum asked about the letter ( she's been feeding the pets) and then I had to explain what it meant. Dad cried, as usual, but how do you explain to someone that you are going to live on the other side of the world, when all they know is that they love you?

I think we might be down one rat by tomorrow. Grievous' breathing is laboured. Watch this space.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Carpe diem

Since we lost Vron, it has become more important to 'seize the day'. Everytime I see Mark he says 'make sure you do it, whatever it is because you might not get the chance'. We seem to be doing that a lot lately.

Today we tried paragliding, or rather we tried and I failed. I have to say I much prefer skydiving. There is no time to think when you are charging down a hill, covered in rabbit holes, gorse and thistles, with a heavy pack on your back and a parachute which is trying to rip your back off. Skydiving is so much more intense. There is more of an adrenalin rush and then there is peace.

I did get chance for a short tandem glide because I was the heaviest and Gordi the instructor woudn't risk taking a lighter person in gusty conditions. As it was the ride was short because it suddenly became dangerous when the wind picked up. You know to start worrying when the instructor says ' I'm going to have to concentrate now because...'!


Meanwhile the kids were fantastic. They sat on a gusty mountain ( cumbrian hill) playing together, making up games, practising circus skills, throwing balls for the friendly collie. They didn't moan, gripe, complain or anything. They just waited patiently. I am so proud of them. We took them to the Puzzle museum as a treat. It's such a fabulous place full of holograms, optical illusions and weird stuff. A picture will follow when I have got the lead for Ant's camera.

God I am proud of my children. I've spent so much time with other people's children and my kids are fab! That probably sounds really big headed but they have been so thoughtful, so kind, so beautiful!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday

So spent the night in the basement after watching 'In her Shoes', a good ole girly movie, sewing sky and eventually reading a bit more of 'the Memory Keeper's daughter". I wasn't hyper or spaced I just wanted some space to spread out. I think I wrote that already.

It has generally been a successful day. Met Suze for coffee and a brief shop, took the kids to the library which they accepted without a murmer ( all the more book tokens for me to spend on me then), did the dentists with C ( without tears), played tennis in the park and then went to watch Transformers. What a pile of @$£*! Its target audience must be 8 year old boys coz Roo loved it whilst the rest of us were either bored to tears or suffering from a major migraine as a result of the speed. I really wanted to see all the detail of the transformations but the whole thing went by in a blur. It's rather odd feeling empathy for a robotic car though.

C is starting to be a little cruel to her little brother. May have to watch that. There is a fine line between gentle ribbing and upsetting him. I know she is only trying out a new way of communicating but she doesn't have the panache yet.

Ant is back on his meds again, so is difficult to please. He always wants us to go to the courts to play tennis whilst I want to knock about in the park. It always has to be 'done properly'. I just want the kids to have fun and learn a few skills along the way. Why should we have to drive to have fun? I especially want them to be able to have fun on their own together, without us and how will they practice that if we have to chauffeur them to activities.

EPILOGUE: Having read back I am aware of the use of the word 'always'. This could be a sign of a meltdown to come. I do tend to have global thoughts adn I have tried very hard to not use that word too many times. I have said before there is a kernal of truth in the midst of the global statement...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

POTFEST





We went to PotFest at Hutton in the Forest today. It's a big event about pottery ( what else?) with lots of potters exhibiting and selling stuff, from vases to tiles, from mugs to garden sculptures. I took the kids last year to the cattle market in Penrith but this was a much better venue, a huge house and gardens and weather to match.

We bought some green stoneware mugs and bowls from my favourite pot man Nick Williams and some very colourful mugs from the brightest stall in the whole place.

It's a really inspiring event. I come home and just want to create something, paint something, sculpt something, sew something. Today I ironed something! Ah well!

I am going to continue with my latest sampler for the boys.

I really want to see if my moji really reflects my mood. He said I was happy earlier when I wasn't but, give him his due, he did change his opinion!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

There's one born...

Not having a great time lately. Ant is back on the antibiotics and is soo irritating. He spends every spare minute on the top floor playing the tin whistle and the bodhrum. Caitlin is overtired from a sleepover, Reuben's glued to his DS and the mother in law is up. Delightful though she is, I find it very stressful having her around. She questions everything, why are we leaving stuff behind when we move, why do we don't we sell things on eBay more...hum, can't lift our telly let alone sell it! she is very well meaning but just gets on my nerves.
I have sold a few things on eBay this week. I can't believe a toy snowman sold for £18, major profit as it was a present.



Still feeling very frustrated about everything, we have had a surveyor round but the sale seems to be taking so long. No sign of the visas yet, no plans for the summer, bar from Cropredy ( four days in a wet field- good beer though). I just can't seem to get the rest of the family motivated. I fancied a trip to the local art gallery to do some sketching with the kids only they couldn't be bothered so Ant and I went for a whole half an hour. I didn't rate the watercolours ( Ruskin and Turner) but the modern stuff was excellent. It was a showcase of Abbott Hall's whole catalogue, including Freud, Bridget Riley, Auerbach, Rigo, Spencer and Hockney.

I've started some new sewing projects to try and get my oomph back ( oh god just seen the cricket scores!) A wedding and two baby welcomers should keep me occupied. I'm trying to decide whether I should go to bed or sew all night. I am desperate for some space but Caitlin needs mega attention and if you so much as hesitate she flies off the rails. I don't want to go to bed because I could do with lots of space just to spread out. I know it's mostly stress but it doesn't help to know that. My skin had deteriorated dramatically, which doesn't exactly help my mood, and as for eating...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tee hee

We won a runner's up prize for our HP costumes. Can't wait to see what we've won!

P.S. We won a copy of 'A guide to Wizards of the World ' by Merlin ( who else?)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A sense of foreboding

Everything seems to be going too well. We have a sale on the house, the visas are due any minute, the last carboot sale got rid of a decent amount of stuff, ebay is going well and yet...

I feel awful. I did think Ihad my 'stress stomach' ache but the usual pain killers are useless and my back is killing me. It must be anxiety but this time there is little I can do about it. Wea re just playing a waiting game and hoping that we won't be hit by the same flooding as the rest of the country. Our river isn't even looking the least bit high (famous last words).

The kids had a sporty day yesterday. We played tennis for an hour and a half. Roo has a fearsome forehand and Caitlin gets the most amazing angles. A few more years and they WILL wipe the floor with uncle Paul! Then Ant took them to the driving range for their first go at golf. They thoroughly enjoyed it. I sloped into town for a coffee. I enjoyed that too. C and I spent the afternoon on the sofa. She never sleeps during the day so we must have worn her out. They then needed to go to Karate for an hour. I think the poor things will need a rest tomorrow ( and the dentists!) We are making a concerted effort with C's weight at the mo. She admits to being a secret eater, which is why i never let her out of my sight. We are eating much more healthily though I spotted a major increase in her milk intake yesterday. Need to watch that one.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Divination rules!

Then, with a bright white flash and a crack, a crystal ball fell on top of his head and he crumpled to the floor and did not move.

"I have more!" shrieked Professor Trelawny from over the banisters, "more for any who want them! Here-"

And with a movement like a tennis serve, she heaved another enormous crystal sphere from her bag, waved her wand through the air, and caused the ball to speed across the hall and smash through a window.

Harry Potter



Started queuing at 22.40
Bought two books at 00.18.
Started reading at 00.45.
Slept 03.00 till 07.00
Finished book at 12.18.

Cried 3 times,
Cheered twice...good ole Neville!



A good editor would have cut most of the middle 200 pages but I wouldn't have missed the annual thrill!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Life on Mars


God do I still feel shit! I spent the morning on the sofa with 'Life on Mars' though I only saw about one out of three episodes as I fell asleep.
Ant was in a foul mood; we had a silent coffee this morning and he is showing no interest in the move, which is driving me up the wall!
Went to see Shrek with the kids after school; not as good as the earlier ones but a nice way to spend a hour or so.
So now I have to sort out their scrapbooks to take to school so their friends can sign them. A late night beckons!

End of term illness strikes

I have felt shit for two days now, I reckon it's the end of term illness that has been delayed by a week! Everything aches and I feel like death ( not literally of course).
As far as Ant is concerned it's just my head that's gone. As always! I am not allowed to be ill.
C performed well at the talent show, although the sound was a little dodgy!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Poetry 2


Deep within that hollow stare,
of our presence they're unaware.
A special life that's fading away,
in spite of things we try to convey.

Memories locked up in their mind,
and there it's kept all confined.
The good times spent long ago,
with all their love they did bestow.

For these moments will live forever,
and our pride in them will endeavor.
Seeing them lying there we know why,
Alzheimer's is called the long good-bye.

Family

Spent the day sewing in C's class, making hand and finger puppets and generally making a nuisance of myself. A.M. they had the lovely Mrs Klijn who was fab and enthusiastic; PM we had the usual teacher who certainly doesn't come across as enthusiastic. Hey ho! One TA and I shared our opinions on C's nemesis...and I thought it was just me who thought she was a cow!

Mum has had a tough time lately. Dad has deteriorated again. He was horrible to her and she nearly walked out. A tearful conversation to me and a call from Anton got her through the night and she managed to get Dad to go to Benson Green for the day. She desperately needed a break from him.

Nearly the whole family went out for dinner tonight, just to Wetherspoons, who coped marvellously with 16 of us. Mum figured that it might be the last time that we could all get together, only Ange was missing, before we wander off or before Dad finally pops his clogs. It was a really nice occasion. The nephews are all so grown up, C loved being with the big girls (21 and 19) and Roo was just Roo! It really cheered Dad up to see us all together. He was quite tearful again and needed many reminders about who we all were. But it was worth it to see Mum happy! She will probably bear the brunt tomorrow but I can take C over to lessen the burden.







We finally heard from the NZIS. My medical has been cleared ( Thank god!) and the rough timescale is now 4 weeks, so mid August when we shall hopefully have a sold house and a blue sticker in our passports. Bring it on!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Poetry One



A blade of grass
by Brian Patten

You ask for a poem.
I offer you a blade of grass.
You say it is not good enough.
You ask for a poem.

I say this blade of grass will do.
It has dressed itself in frost,
It is more immediate
Than any image of my making.

You say it is not a poem,
It is a blade of grass and grass
Is not quite good enough.
I offer you a blade of grass.

You are indignant.
You say it is too easy to offer grass.
It is absurd.
Anyone can offer a blade of grass.

You ask for a poem.
And so I write you a tragedy about
How a blade of grass
Becomes more and more difficult to offer,

And about how as you grow older
A blade of grass
Becomes more difficult to accept.

Friday, July 13, 2007

How good is an achievement?

Only as good as you feel it is?

What do you do when your children both come home with glowing reports? Praise them of course!

But what do you do when your two children bring home said glowing reports and one of them has level 4 in Maths, Reading and Writing whilst the other has level 3b in writing, 4A in reading and 4b in Maths? Priase them on being well ahead of the average for the SATS but remind them that these levels only apply to single tests on a specific day, not how intelligent, smart, thoughtful, caring they are the rest of the time!

My dilemma is this Caitlin scored really well, has a perfect report but she got the 3b in her writing and Reuben got a 4. At year three they don't demarcate the level 4s into abc because frankly they don't expect year three to get level 4.

So Caitlin bursts into tears and is wandering around as though she has just failed everything, whilst Roo is just playing on his ds as though nothing has happened. Yes he's proud of himself but that's enough for him. He doesn't need a big deal made of it.

CAitlin has also got through to the final of the talent contest, playing 'Wonderful tonight' as a duet with Beth on the clarinet. Of course now her confidence has gone through the floor so she will expect to fail at that too!

Hmm I remember my dad saying something similar when I got my degree result ( not exactly a fail but felt it at the time) and then having to go and give a Rotary speech. But hey, I gave the speech and a damn fine one it was too! Red rag and bull spring to mind.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rollercoaster Day

Yet more ups and downs. Have to confess I have been less than consistent with my meds this week. It's an end of term thing. Back on the straight and narrow today...in other words I have got my new prescription, have felt shit, spaced, lonely, annoyed and incredibly tired, but it is now 12.50am the ironing is done and I am sorely tempted to go and clear out my wardrobe.

This really is the usual end of term reaction. The problem this year is that I haven't actually had any time to go through the low phase because I have had stuff to do and have had no time on my own. That's one of the weird things. I feel really lonely at the moment inspite of never being on my own or able to make my own decisions about what to do. Ant said i looked like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders this morning but I so couldn't talk to him. How do you put it into words? Even he is starting to sound concerned about the application, though.

Kids had their sports day today. C's house , Blencathra, won. I don't quite understand why Roo isn't in the same house. Neil and I agreed that our sports day was superb by comparison. I appreciate we have fewer children but the whole thing works like clockwork, the children organise themselves, and as for the results, well the spreadsheets are fantastic! Smug, smug, smug! Anton told me off for saying 'we do a good sports day'. I have started saying 'they'.

Did all the ironing today, just so I can start sorting out what we're taking. Sure fire sign I am getting back to normal.

Next crisis will be my weight again. One problem, with being at home when Ant is, is that we go out for breakfast every day. Bad move but it will stop when the kids are on hols. They are such a good incentive.

At 1.00 I think I need to call it a day. Spare room again I think (or basement..there's a better reading light down there)
Had better add that y head is suddenly strting to race. My forehead is feeling tight and movement is rather more jerky. My jaw has clamped too, sign of things to come? Better go to bed , NOW

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Joining bandwagons






I know, I know, these are all over the internet right now but it had to be done. I wanted to be fatter and dumpier but C wouldn't let me!

Sort of finished at school again today. That's to say went in, did my paperwork ( about 10 months earlier than I usually do), picked up some stuff, dropped off a big box of books for the library ( from my kids) and tried not to make too much mess (some hope). It felt very odd and rather final. I have no desire to go in again. Jane is already backing the boards and making the place her own, though Sara may have something to say about that!
It is interesting how different people react to my junk. Sharon instantly reached for her purse when I gave her some picture books for Adam, whilst others just went 'Thanks' and buggered off. Not that I am bothered by selling stuff, I just think it's interesting.

Ant is not well again but we still managed an hour's run around with the kids in the park. I have promised them relatively undivided attention and this way we get fresh air and fun too. Tomorrow is Sport's Day and Roo's swimming so they'll get their exercise that way.

Dad was better this evening. He still gets confused and thinks we are living in NZ but he always manages to remember Anton , even when Ant is at home. Mum looked a bit stressed but at least she has had some 'her-time' this week.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Ups and Downs



Woke up snapping apparantly! I felt Ant was snapping too but as ever it was my fault. We went for a walk on the Scar, starting in brilliant sunshine and ending up drenched in ice cold rain. Managed to have a cuddle at the bandstand but by then I needed it. Ant had a go at me for snapping and I felt he was saying that I was responsible for all my actions and that he didn't need to help the situation with my moods. He does seem to be rather selfish at times. He hadn't mentioned to my mum the possibility of her picking the kids up if we went paragliding, which I felt was a matter of respect. Given what is going on in her life I feel we can't take her for granted.

Managed to get myself sorted ( had a good cry, pointed out how helpless I feel, how I am convinced that NZ will reject me coz of my condition).

Had a lovely lunch at the Wheatsheaf, felt slightly underdressed (shorts and muddy legs) but enjoyed the hotpot.

Other achievements:
Posted on freecycle, got rid of one bed, plastic drawers, shelf, a few albums and a guitar (and not for free either); nearly got rid of the boys too but the chap was having a heart op and had no one else to look after them whilst he is in hospital-ho hum!
Played in the park for a hour with the kids and some other youngsters who got stuck in when we played pig in the middle.
Sorted a box of books for school.

Didn't manage to even start the ironing. Ah well

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy birthday Boo

Reuben's eighth birthday came and went. Caitlin brought him breakfast in bed, or should that read breakfast on bed, crumbs and spills everwhere! He opened pressies in ten seconds flat, almost totally technological- DS and games, tamagotchi, cubes. The only books he got were ones he's already got so a return to Amazon beckons.

First car boot sale was an experience. The number of people haggling over 20p was astounding. Ant reckons we made about £100, not bad for aday when there were 4 carboots in Kendal alone. I still have a car full of rubbish, I mean wonderful opportunities for rehoming. I took Roo home after an hour coz he was so hyper.

Slept through the Grand Prix, sad Lewis Hamilton didn't win at Silverstone. Managed to miss the tennis too. Went to a BBQ at Claire's and relied on Ant's phone for updates. Turns out it was the match of the tournament/year/century. Hey ho better watch the highlights.

Kurt rang from the States. He is such a gem of a godfather, always remembers the kids' birthdays.

Also got news from the States that Josh and David's 'babies' have arrived, prem twins of a surrogate mum. Only in my life could this be normal. I don't mean anything by that, just try explaining some of my friends to my mother ( actually she is far more understanding than that but you get the idea)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Another thing!


I forgot- we got our passports back with a note saying that everything on our residency application looked fine, apart from my medical which has been referred to a consultant. When we went for the medical, the doctor did a very cursory interview with me about my bipolar and, with my psych's report, concluded that I wouldn't be a drain on the NZ health service so I passed. Looks like they just want to be sure and will probably contact Dr S again.

I am nervous that my condition could be a sticking point or indeed a reason for being rejected. I have thought it might be from the very beginning but the Teachers' council seems to think it will be OK and are prepared to register me.

That's not enough to stop the sleepless night's however. We should hear in the next week.

First day of the adventure?

So we finally have an offer on the house. I'd like to say I am relieved but no one seems terribly excited. Too many pitfalls ahead!

We have spent the day trying to declutter the house. I say trying, the kids have filled a box each of absolute necessities and a much smaller box of 'getting rid ofs'! We are doing our first car boot sale tomorrow ( if Ant manages to get up at 7 that is) so our front room is full of bizarre items, from folding chairs to Star wars videos, a saxophone to a lifetime of LPs. The ebay box is getting fuller too. Next question, what do I do with my wedding dress? Can't ebay, so may have to be charity shop. No real point keeping it!.

Finally got round to the 'leaving school' celebration. Got my nose pierced again. I had to take my old stud out when I joined Elleray and kept forgetting to put it back in when I wasn't teaching so it healed up. Now it's back in. I hadn't realised how much I've missed it. I guess the rebel in me quite likes it. Rather than just having my little tattoo, hidden away most of the time, now I have a slightly more public decoration. The girls at school are really quite surprised by the whole thing. They know me as something of a maverick but are not sure about this! We're going to a barbecue tomorrow so it'll get its first public outing then, since I only had a stick on at the last party!

It's Roo's birthday tomorrow too, so we are going to be very busy. Normally whoevers birthday it is gets to decide how we spend the whole day , but Roo is getting no say in the matter. He's having his party next weekend so maybe we'll call next Sunday his day.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

D DAY

My last teaching day was fun...that's to say we partied all day. Sara and I ran a pirate party with lots of raucous games and then Amelia had organised a class party. The children arranged everything, bringing in sweets, cakes, chocolate, drink and more cake. They each gave a little speech. Amelia's was fabulous, thanking everyone for coming and helping her to organise the whole thing. Quite the little hostess!

I haven't been emotional which I am quite surprised about. Certain moments have touched my heart; Georgie crying when her House rewarded her efforts as their House Captain with a beautiful card; Megan's superb Acrostic Poem; the bread roll from Maddy and Lissy. I had to expain the process of rocks becoming soil to the whole of the school using a bread roll with a face drawn on it...you had to be there!

Prize Day was much better than I expected. I may not like the fact that the children didn't get to sit with their parents but the format was much better than usual. The Chair of Governors wasn't there, which always helps. His place was taken by Christine Snaith, who truly loves the school. The guest speaker, Stuart Boreham, was pretty good and brought a teddy with him, which always helps. The teddy has rowed across the Atlantic with him!

Ben did OK too, but then he does when he has a list to follow. He gave his speech and gave the prizes at the same time which worked very well. I got five mentions during the whole event, as Year three teacher, as ICT coordinator, as the awardee of my new prize ( for creative thinking ), during Isaac's reply to the keynote speech ( because of his trip to NZ) and then at the end, I was given my 'stannite badge'. I was rather taken aback. Stannites are the old boys and girls, not usually teachers. I was dead touched. I bet it has something to do with Christine!

I got lots of hugs from children, Candice cried again, and many parents came to say thank you. I had a lovely card from Jack's mum. I do need to send some notes to my class. They have made this last year so much better than it could have been. They really are a gorgeous group of children.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Tee hee, finishing day approaches!

I am so proud of myself!

The nauseating head rather rudely asked for my reports this morning. I told him he could have them at the end of the day. This apparantly wasn't good enough. He had wanted them on Friday ( which was news to me!) and demanded them before the end of the day! I told him he could have them when they were finished! Twice. He sloped off! YES! I think the phrase is F**K OFF!

He did get them at the end of the day, minus the Art reports which Sara and I hadn't got our heads together about! I dare say he won't be happy but sod him!

Caitlin's flowers have gone down a storm. B said she felt energised by them. Caitlin's hyperness obviously rubbed off. Only trouble is she needs to make loads more!

Your Hidden Talent

You have the natural talent of rocking the boat, thwarting the system.
And while this may not seem big, it can be.
It's people like you who serve as the catalysts to major cultural changes.
You're just a bit behind the scenes, so no one really notices.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Frustration


Today has been very frustrating. My head is still in the midst of a stupor. I have felt incredibly tense and in need of oxygen. I can't stop yawning and I am sure that it is because my body needs reenergising. If I was feeling happier, I'd go for a run but I am too frightened of collapsing.

Yesterday I was noise intolerant yet today I needed to thrash so electric guitar and 'stairway to heaven'. I have taught myself the melody to Hallelujah but I can't get to grips with the chords. I'll get Stuart to tab them. It will be good to have an incentive to practice broken chords. I haven't managed to master them yet.

Spent the afternoon praying for tennis and editing children's videos. ICT club have not exactly excelled themselves this year but then they are a lot younger than normal ( no year sixes this year). still the 'spy pigs' have worked well nd now that they have a soundtrack ( James Bond and Kool and the Gang) it feels much more professional.

Family have been frustrating too. Ant has gone on and on and on and on about the house today. I know I am not in the right mood to deal with decisions but I had to keep reminding him. The Danish lady has come back with another message...when the results of the survey on her house are back she will offer. Fingers crossed.

Ant wanted to book a holiday for when the kids break up but he'd forgotten we have sent the passports to the Immigration office. He's trying to make plans to keep himself focussed, like going paragliding or doing a spot of decorating but frankly he's not well enough ( new antibiotics) and hasn't the motivation.

C is still suffering. Everyday she comes out of school complaining about someone or other, usually the teacher, and gets miffy when we suggest that she needs to deal with it! She is very clingy, something I could do without, and needs lots of reassurance. She's been really good at thinking her way through things, finding something to take her mind off her troubles, but she's refusing to consider anything at the moment. Making the flowers helped but she won't try on her own and I am still trying to finish up my work.

I need a good scream, a good rage, a release of tension.

Dad went to his 'coffee morning' today. Seems he enjoyed himself, lots of ladies to pay him attention. Mum brought him over on the way home but he didn't know where he was or who we were. It's quite sweet really, like dealing with a child discovering things for the first time.

I edited the video of the year one talent show today. I was going to delete the end, where Neil does the thanks but decided to watch it first. Glad I did as Veronica was on it, enjoying every moment. I still can't believe she's gone. She was such an integral part of Elleray and gave her all for us ( quite literally) It was lovely that Mark could come on Friday but you could see how much he felt that she should be there. I was talking to Heidi today aout her father in law who has cancer too and has gone downhill in exactly the way Vron did. 15 days is no time at all to say goodbye.

I have retired to our room to update this, to get away from Harry Potter on the wii and to avoid C's tantrum. I feel guilty but I know that they can all have my undivided attention in a few short days. I just need to keep myself calm and safe for now.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Thought so

You Are 84% Tortured Genius

You totally fit the profile of a tortured genius. You're uniquely brilliant - and completely misunderstood.
Not like you really want anyone to understand you anyway. You're pretty happy being an island.


Today's head is off the line. Not surprising really but unfortunate nevertheless.

Yesterday I had to deal with Caitlin's head too. Having told the new psych that we were moving and wouldn't be seeing him again, and that C was dealing well with her head, she had her first all nighter. Trouble was she was at Nanny's, I'd left for work before she got up and she needed her mum. She phoned us at 1am and again at 3am in tears because she couldn't sleep. It's a normal part of being bipolar and you learn to live with it, but it's still difficult when it's your kids going through it.

Subsequently, we went to get them both early yesterday morning and I spent the day with her, shopping for Roo's birthday and then curled up on the sofa watching Labyrinth, and finally making flower brooches for leaving pressies whilst watching Doctor Who. She needed support and comfort and a focus but it was a struggle for me. She managed to get some sleep last night, though I stayed up late working on the photos for prize day and avoiding going to bed.

We went over to Maria and Enda's for lunch. We've finally got them to send their kids to Elleray, to get Helena away from the bullies at her school. Enda will be a fab Elleray dad. He is so honest and will tell it like it is! This time he said he loved the school, it felt like being part of a family, everyone was happy, interested, accommodating. Everyone, except the head! Enda said he felt very uncomfortable with all the pie in the sky aspirations and felt that our Head didn't know anything about the school. Good to get a parent's eye view. He's right. Ben is going about changing things without actually knowing what works, or how Elleray works. That is really disappointing!

I had to come away from lunch because the atmosphere was so tense. I think Enda was gloating coz he's got his way about the kids going to private school and Maria was feeling murderous!

My class are web stars. I got an idea from French Toast Girl about being phantom chalkers and tried it out with my class. I've sent her the photos and she's posted them on her website. So we are famous.

WWW.FRENCHTOASTGIRL.COM




Saturday, June 30, 2007

Absent friends




The end of term is always busy and this year is no different, but for some good reasons.

Last night I was treated to my leaving do. It was supposed to be a BIG secret. I knew it was happening but I didn't know what the event was going to be. I was chauffeur driven to Wendy's house to change in to the obligatory posh frock, then driven by a black tied gentleman ( thanks Bob) to a hotel in Windermere for a drink, then onto the jetty where a Lake cruiser was bedecked w ith pictures of kiwis! The team enjoyed a three hour cruise around the Lake, complete with dinner, drinks, chocolate cake, balloons, oh and Alex's chest. It was commented that I usually have the low cut tops on, but only at work! I couldn't compete with her.






The whole evening was lovely! The right people were there ( and the senior senior management but they were very quiet). Even my darling Stuart came over for drinks, though I think he was at his least comfortable. Us IT geeks have to stick together though , and the gift from him and Richard was beautiful.

I only gave a little speech, focussing on friendship, teamwork, family and joy, but I think I got my point across, and didn't cry.


I will post more when I have a minute. I have thank you cards and presents to sort out!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Found it!

Charles Hazlewood Radio Two 22.00 20th June

TRACK: Hallelujah
COMPOSER: Leonard Cohen
ARTIST: Iestyn Davies / Charles Hazlewood

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pay it forward

This email reply says what this post needs to.

Hey honey,

Something is conspiring against me today. I have tried three times to write this email. The first version was brilliant, witty, incisive and so blisteringly well written it was worthy of a Booker Prize. It was lost somewhere in the ether, when my session on AOL expired. This will give you some idea of how long it took to write.

I resolved to use Word, only for a fatal error to occur.


Third time lucky.


As you probably have gathered, I don’t tend to do things by halves, so when you reminded me of my blogging past, it was only a matter of time before I started again. And then of course it would become an obsession, not to mention a perfect means of procrastination. I have lost hours recently, not posting, but following links from my favourite blogs, to their favourites and so on. And don’t get me started on Blogthings!

I had forgotten just why I started the site in the first place. It has been really cathartic this last fortnight and for that I must thank you. The first few posts this time were obviously more of a conversation, or at very least an attempted explanation of some of the stuff my addled brain could not voice when I saw you ( and a good excuse to look at some of my photos again). But having the chance to write, reflect and sometimes resolve many of my issues, and vent my frustrations and angst, in a personal, if not particularly private, way, has been a revelation.

In some ways it worried me to know that someone was reading this stuff but frankly, I don’t think it’s affecting what I write. Maybe it’s making me more honest about what I post ( about most things) because I don’t want to lie to myself or anyone else.

Hearing that song must be a coincidence. I’m sure it wasn’t the Jeff Buckley version; I have that on the So Real album. This was on a programme about castratos and falsettos on radio 2 and was sung purely in falsetto. It was so haunting I nearly had to stop the car. I’ll have to do a search for it on the net. I love Grace too. I remember you mentioning it. It is stunning and I love the guitar rhythm in it. I’m going to get my guitar teacher to tab out some of the chords for me.

I promise you did and said nothing that I need to remind you of last weekend, although I might just remind you of the text you sent me, since I do feel the same way, if not more so!

Last night’s anxiety hasn’t yet lifted. I have struggled through school today, but everyone else feels the same. I hugged one colleague because she looked so upset (and coz I felt so bad) and she then paid it forward. I think that hug went right around the school by lunchtime. Luckily my class figured out quite quickly that I was not to be messed with today, though the senior management were not so sympathetic.

I am sure there is more I need to say but as I don’t have your email in front of me I shall call it a day before I lose this version. I may post this on th eblog as it seems to say what I need to post today too.


Thank you for reminding me that I do matter, occasionally!

Love you loads

Jo

P.S. The trick with Blogthings is to refresh the page if you get a result you don’t like. Some of them, like the artwork, don’t change, but others do. The superheroine just struck a chord, especially given Roo’s new haircut. We are going for an even shorter style next!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Feeling shite!

I was in Asda's this evening with C on the first karate run, when I suddenly felt my head go.I haven't had such a weird turn in a long time. I've been taking my meds, haven't drunk anything for months ( apart from a week and a half ago) and have been feeling pretty stable. I am proud of my self for being aware that something was happening but I am so sorry that other people had to deal with me. I've snapped at Caitlin for slurping her coke too loudly, and had to pretend to my dad that everything was OK.

I feel so weak, shaky, incapable of anything. Maybe I am physiologically ill but knowing me I doubt it. My heart is pounding; it almost feels like a panic attack in the making. I'm hoping that writing this will give me something to focus on, to prevent a full scale meltdown. Anton will, of course, say that this always happens when he's away. Certainly on Mondays I tend to be more unsettled if he's working away, but then I have usually spent a day pottering aimlessly. This time, it's different. I have the sort of tunnel vision I have experienced in the past, and all my relaxation techniques are failing to deal with the palpitations.

The kids have been so good. I told Roo I was wobbling and might not appreciate his fidgetting and he just got the magnetix out and built quietly. Caitlin has offered me a coffee and then taken her brother off to bed. God I love them . I feel so guilty for being such a mess. I do sometimes feel they would do better without me, but then who would C turn to when her head goes off the lines?

This was supposed to help me focus. I just feel more of a failure now. I'll find a picture and head off to bed. Maybe an early (ish) night will allow me to recover.