Thursday, 31 December 2009

And Now its New Year already

Its New Years Eve again ................how did I get here so soon?
I have been off work for a whole week......a whole week I can't believe it. All those plans I had for writing and walking, going into the office for a few hours to get work prepared for the new year. where has the time for all that gone?

Boxing Day I had a few hours of solitude while the offspring were with their other parent. Ideal time to write. I cleared the kitchen did some laundry tried to get some inspiration, resorted to reading my new book of humourous quotes. Nothing! I was just getting my second mince pie of the season when the phone rang......can you pick us up now please.

The rest of the week has been no better. If I wasn't giving ET a lift into work or shopping (yes I have visited asda and sainsburys) I was paying money into the bank (not only mine). Oh I did get myself some new shoes in the M & S sales. Surely you didn't think I would get through the week without some new shoes ..............purple ones to go with all my purple tops. I do like to be colour co-ordinated didn't you know. I have visited my mother several times and done a few errands for her. Including taking her to hospital for her pre op blood test.

Mother did tell me yesterday as I drove her home in her car........you are a good girl doing all this for me. ha ha I do try to be good when I can (I'm not naughty all the time).....I have accepted that I have reached that time in my life when I am still running around after my children but now also my parent (I only have one left). Nobody needs to know of the not so good thoughts I sometimes harbour.

I was just chatting to Forest comparing notes about conversations we have needed to have with our respective eldest child during the festive season. I told him that these are the times I hate being a parent. His reply ..........'these are the times they need us to be parents'. You see this is why I adore Forest not just for his body but he is also great to talk to. Even if he has got wharped ideas at times. Earlier I received a missed call (it rang once) from a very strange number obviously not a British phone number so I googled it. To my suprise I got a result..........a female filipino looking for hotel work. Forest predictably suggested hiring her to earn money for me.

It hasn't all been running around after others I did go out for lunch with Plumber on Tuesday. It was nice to spend a few hours together with no pressure of time or anything else just talking eating and drinking. I amost forgot that I had promised to collect ET from work at 5.30 it was 5.20 when I realised and we were sitting in Plumbers car chatting up on Winchester Hill in the growing dark. We quickly drove off to fetch ET (he only had to wait 10 mins or so). A quick kiss before I ran indoors. I had forgotten what it is like to kiss him. We have agreed not to wait so long before we go out again.

I won't pretend any of us received or gave many presents this year but Christmas day was good and we all appreciated what we did get, but I do want to share one gift with you. It is probably the loveliest gift I have ever been given.



Over the last couple of weeks I have been reminded that I have some wonderful and generous friends too. Which has led me to realise what my New Year resolution must be.

My New Year Resolution is to accept help when it is offered. I did think another resolution might be to actually ask for help but on considering that I realised that to expect that might be asking a little too much.

Here is my favourite photo from Christmas Day. After my mother's first visit to my house in a long time (she can't manage the stairs very easily and our bathroom is upstairs) I took her home we both forgot her basket but our cat Nipper decided to adopt it.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

weather and all that

It is no exaggeration to say that I have never seen anything like it.

Setting out at 6.45 am I slid gingerly along my garden path onto the public footpath. It only took 2 steps to realise I would be better off walking along the crisp frozen grass crunching along until I had to cross the pavement to grab hold of a neighbours garden fence. When the fence ran out I had no choice but to launch myself across the back ice topped tarmac down onto the road to where my car was parked. Slowly making my way around the car with scraper in hand, working to remove the ice from the windows. Icy rain making everything colder and wetter. Driving very very slowly skidding at the bottom of the road we crawled to the main road.

Carefully we made our way into town observing that pedestrians were without exception using the road rather than the paths. By the time I got ET to work we were a little late but at least we arrived in one piece. I was about to return home when I decided to pull over and phone my friend/neighbour/colleague PB to warn her what the roads were like. This was a bit of a mistake as I then couldn't get my car moving at first. However perseverance helped and with in a few minutes I was on my way again.

Calling into the local petrol station I found the forecourt being guarded by a man in a high visibilty coat standing next to a large sign proclaiming 'seriously severe ice'. He told me that they were open but be very careful. After filling up and completing my business I returned home passing PB as she was just leaving. Turning my car around I saw another neighbour (who I worked with a few years ago) with container of salt in her hand. She told me that she couldn't open her garage, as she couldn't stay on her feet. She had fallen and hurt herself already. Parking up I again managed to skate from my car to the pavement grabbing hold of my neighbour's fence I hauled myself along until I reached the grass (still crunchy even though it had been raining for some time by then). Once I reached my path I launched myself across the great devide that was formerly the pavement now an ice rink. Hanging on to the fence post geting a faceful of frozen wet leaves from the shrub that overhangs my side of the fence. (thank heavens I had cut it back about a month or so ago).

I left the house again at 8.40am for an audiology appointment at a local health centre. This time it was light and I could actually see the ice. There was not only ice on the road and footpaths but on the fences everything. Everything that was exposed to the elements was coated in solid ice. Never in my life have I seen so much ice everywhere. Again I crunched my way along the grass then holding onto the fence. Skating to my car I could see the frozen footprints where I had earlier stood to scrap the ice off which had now frozen again. Our road was still very icy but the traffic had by now churned the ice up to frozen slush. Even on the main road traffic was moving very gingerly. I didn't have far to go to reach the health centre. I noticed that the few people who were either brave or stupid enough to venture out were avoiding the paths still. As I attempted to turn into the health centre car park I saw that the gates were closed with a sign saying 'car park closed dangerous ice'.

On the one hand I could see the sense in that but on the other hand it was stupid. Perhaps there would be people falling over in the car park which like everything else was dangerously slippery. But where better to have a fall than in a place where there are doctors and nurses. Instead patients were forced to park across the road where there is a small parade of shops. I parked my car in one of the few remaining bays slid across the road running along the parade. Up onto the ornamental paving hanging onto the metal railings that surround the beds of shrubs that decorate the area. I made my way to the gap that led to the outer pavement lining the main road. At this point I had no choice but to let go and free slide to the edge and step into the road. Luckily there was still not much traffic (a mere fraction of normal) and those cars on the road were moving slowly. Reaching the opposite side of the road I joined about 4 others who were gingerly picking their way from gate to door of the health centre.

Once inside I was suprised to see an old friend working as a receptionist. I waited for heer to finish a protracted telephone call before greeting her. To my utter amazement she told me that she is now a granny (twice over), I assumed that this was from her daughter from her first marriage but no both her sons have become fathers. Her sons were school friends of DC and OJ. In years past there were often weekends when I had one of her boys sleeping over while she had one of mine. (in fact I had not long collected OJ from there when he fell out the window ripping open his armpit, about 9 or 10 yrs ago).

Anyway she made a note that I had arrived although it took her a while to find my name on the list as she was looking for LiR not my real name of Lady. (ok so that is not my real name but you get the idea). I then sat in the waiting room reading my book. Mother phoned me to tell me not to go out because it loks very icy, I shouldn't go to work (I would normally have been at work almost an hour by this time). I had to cut the call short when I was called in by the 'trainee scientist'. It was my time for my early christmas present. The young lady who didn't look much older than DC explained that she felt I would benefit from a different type of aid from the one originally planned for me.

I was hooked up to a computer via various wires connected to a machine that made noises at me. After an age during which she fiddled with her computer whilst I sat staring (as instructed) at the speaker emitting noises that would not be out of place on an episode of Dr who, she was satisfied that she had set the appropriate levels for me. This device I shall be wearing from here on in is a clever little thing. Not only has it been set reasonably quietly to give me a chance to get used to the new sounds I shall be able to hear but it gradually increases the volume over several months until it reaches the optimum volume. But I can adjust the volume according to various situations and it will remember those changes and make those adjustments itself next time I am in a similar setting. Armed with my new 'open fit' hearing aid, spare batteries, tips, tubes and leaflets I was now free to get off to work.

Although it was gone 9.30 by now it was still extremely icy outside. How I managed to stay on my feet I really don't know as my feet did slip countless times on my various trips to and from my car. Anyhow I made it safely back across the two road to my car and set off to work. Once I got back to the main road I was ok but I did still see others struggling. I made it to work without incident unlike many others according to my radio. This being our last day before we broke up for christmas I prayed we would be let off early today (in the hope the roads would have thawed and not refrozen). We were in luck, stock take completed we finished at 3 pm. Armed with my christmas cards a bottle of spiced rum and two bottles of shiraz I bade my colleagues christmas wishes and departed.

I didn't go home I collected a few items from a local store and called round to see my mother and collect the turkey. I was just leaving mother when OJ text me asking for a lift home from his soccer match at 6.30pm. That was an hour away, first I collected ET from work. While were were driving home there were flashes of lightning in the sky among the dark clouds. It was drizzling but nothing worse, the ice had eventually melted whilst I was at work. However when I was driving home with OJ the drizzle had become heavy rain that turned to hail. By the time we were half way home (its about 2 miles) the road appeared to be covered with snow. The hail was so thick everything was now covered in a blanket of white at least an inch deep. Hours later this carpet of white was still there. Adding to the excitement of our short journey was the sudden crash of thunder accompanying the sky splitting lightning.

This is one day I shall remember for the weather for a long time yet. How was your day?

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Difficult decisions

A cold reality has been slowly dawning on me and I don't like it not one bit.

I have been struggling with my finances for years and every now and then I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But right now reality is biting hard as it always does at this time of year. It is hard enough struggling for the rest of the year but the lead up to christmas always makes it worse. The realisation that I can't afford to buy any treats for my boys hurts.

Following the recent episode with my bank account I have found that I am several weeks in arrears with my rent. I am also in arrears with my Council Tax and sewerage rates. Every single month is a struggle. Every month I tell myself that next month will be better.
But I have come to the realisation that I simply do not earn enough to cover all my expenses even though I am very careful to keep spending down to a minimum.

I have a choice, I can change my job for one that pays more. That is not going to be easy besides I am one of the lucky few who has a job that I enjoy, working with people I like. Or I can continue with my current job (I have checked and I am earning the average amount for similar work) but take on a second part time job. I get tired easily so that would put an extra strain on me. But it would get me out of the house meeting other people. I could look for bar work a couple of evenings a week but that isn't going to make up the difference of £600pm between my current income and that of a year ago when I was on higher child tax credit and family allowance. Or as a family friend has suggested, a local coach firm are looking for more drivers particularly women. This would give me more money but would the greater number of hours be too much for me.

I have decided to apply for part time work with the coach company for the moment and see what happens.

Back

Finally I am back

My laptop has been away for repair for 3 days which ended up being a couple of weeks. It is now almost virus free and after having windows reinstalled it is faster and cleaner. I haven't really missed it too much. I have been using JA's old desk top which doesn't let me do much but at least I could check my emails and go onto facebook to get my fix of bejewelled the game I play a lot.

I have recently got back into reading books, something I have not done much of in the last couple of years. I'm averaging one every week at the moment compared with one a year which is what I had been managing before.

I don't have anything exciting to tell you. There have been no dates to tell you about. No great social events to describe. My life has been a tad monotonous in that I go to work then go home.

I did drive upto Gloucestershire with my mother for a short visit to my grandmother a few weekends ago. She will be 91 on 27th December, although she is getting frail she still lives alone in the home she shared with my grandfather before he died at the start of 1994. When I last saw her in April I found it very difficult as she had problems with remembering names not just people but places and things too. Since then she has been assessed and is now on medication which has helped her a great deal, she doesn't get so confused and can now say names (even if she does get her sister and daughter muddled).

This time next week my boys will be home from Uni after their first term away. DC ran out of money a couple of weeks ago but OJ has managed his money much better. On Thursday he is getting the train home and we are going back to his college for awards night where he will be getting an award for his A level Law. Afterwards he will go back to Uni which finishes on friday then I will go up there to collect him and his belongings on Saturday. I can't believe it has been a whole term already, we have hardly had time to miss them as they have both been home a few times.

A couple of weeks ago I had my last oncology check up and have now been discharged after 8 years. I have also had a couple of audiology appointments and on 23rd December I should receive my new digital hearing aid. This is being tailor made to my specific hearing unlike my old hearing aid which just amplifies everything. The result being that I hear every noise around me clearly but still struggle with voices especially those people with low voices.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Back to battle stations

If I knew who to vent my anger at I would give it to them with both barrells. If life wasn't hard enough already.


I have been having that feeling of one step forward two steps back situation again. But I know that in reality it isn't quite that dire its more like 1 step forward 95% of step backwards. So with each step forward there is a small amount of progress even if it isn't as much as I would like.


About 10 days ago I was cleaning up my laptop, I now think maybe a bottle of bleach would have been a safer option but I was trying to be good and treat my laptop with care and attention. Whilst doing this I deleted among other things all my internet history. Good idea I hear you say?

I thought so, got rid of all the crap that had built up. But it also cleared out all my usernames and passwords. Ok not such a bad thing I can easily remedy that. But then I came to log onto my online banking............ah now we have hit a snag..............where the hell is my identity number. Ok that was solved more easily than I thought. Number retrieved, usual login achieved, hmmm there was one payment on there that I was not convinced was mine but I had to rush off to work so would check later.


Later I attempted to login but it wouldn't let me. Thats odd perhaps its something I have done, typed in a wrong digit or something. I tried again but it still didn't work. Next morning same thing. For the rest of the week I was unable to login to my bank, I was also having trouble with my email accounts so perhaps it was my laptop that was the problem. Ok I knew I had enough money to cover any payments that should go out. SF gave me his monthly cash payment so I had money to buy food with. Perhaps if I had tried to use my card before today I would have discovered that it had been blocked. But I didn't try to use it until I tried to buy petrol at a fast track card petrol pump. It declined!! WTF why would it do that? I knew I hadn't made the two largest payment I should have made so the money for those should be in my account still. I drove to cash point (ATM) to check my balance..............where the bloody hell has my money gone?


Once again I have tried to login to my online banking to see whats going on. Still I couldn't login, so I phoned the number given. Why do they have to use these call centres where the staff don't understand me and I don't understand them. I have nothing against the operatives who I am sure work very hard and are quite capable but the language barrier doesn't help it makes me more frustrated! Finally after speaking to two different departments I was transferred back to UK for the Fraud department. After going through all the security questions yet again and answering a few questions about payments I have made it transpires there have been some that I have not made. Consequently my bank card is now cut in half and I have to wait for a new card to arrive in the post. I still can't get onto my bank account to see what payments have been made either legtimately or not. I don't even know if my rent went out on Friday.


I should receive a form to complete and return which will then mean I can get my money back. However I am not overly optimistic. The last time this happened it took a few months. They kept sending me forms that didn't arrive. Then when I did get a form and had it faxed back to them directly from my local branch they didn't receive it. It took many phone calls and written complaints to get my money back. So this time I know what to expect I am prepared to do battle again.


I wish I knew who had done this to me, I would love to have a chance to give them a piece of my mind.


Before when things like this happened to me I would just despair of ever getting through all these struggles. Now I just think it is so unfair that I struggle so hard to get out of debt then something like this happens it makes me angry. I am angry that someone else should put me back into a difficult situation when I have been clawing my way out for so long. How dare anyone do this to me. It is bad enough when my debts are of my own doing (or that of my ex) but some unknown person who knows nothing about me or my circumstances. They know nothing of my struggles, they don't give a damn about me or my children, how bloody dare they do this.


But whatever ..............I know one thing for sure............I won't let them get me down. But if I ever find out who they are they had better watch out!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Desperate for a man ?

Following my last post Queen of Gullible the question of whether I am desperate for a man has been raised.

Now I ask you this................why would I be desperate for a man?

I was married for too many years to want to be married again in a hurry.

One of the reasons I divorced him was so that I could make my own decisions without having to always defer to him first. (not a major reason for divorce but a welcome bonus).

Whilst I was still unhappily married I was scornful of women who had to have a man in their life.

Now here I am giving an impression that I must have a man in my life.

I am not one of those women who can only be happy if there is a man in their life.

I am and have since my divorce been happy with myself, my self confidence has grown immensely. After years of emotional and verbal abuse I had to relearn to love myself. Now I am in a place where I do.

I do not need anyone male or female to make me happy I do that myself. That does not mean that having a man in my life would not add to my happiness, it just isn't the recipe to happiness. I decided several years ago to be happy and I trully believe that we all choose whether to be happy or miserable. I choose to be happy. I do have off days where I am not so happy but they are few and far between.

I take great store in being independent, managing on my own, being able to do everything a man can do. I have always believed that anything a man can do so can a woman. I do love to be feminine but I am also just as happy to get my hands dirty doing practical stuff. (that doesn't mean I am good at it but then not all men are either). A few years ago I said that there are only two things I need a man for.......putting up wallpaper and sex. So how do I manage .......I don't do wallpaper I paint my walls and for sex well that is easy .............I have Forest for that .....my 'occasional indulgence'.

So why would I want a man in my life........well thats obvious isn't it

To put up shelves and curtain poles, to unblock the toilet ...................to cut the hedge........strip wallpaper, all things that I am capable and do, do myself. But it would be nice to have some help with these things.

To share things with, holding hands walking along the beach, going out for meals or to the theatre/cinema. To go on holiday with.

I have struggled financially through out my life both during and since my marriage. It would be nice to have someone to share the burden with. Someone I can treat sometimes, someone to treat me occasionally.

For 20 years I was starved of affection, this has left me craving affection, it is very difficult for a naturally tactile and affectionate person to live in a world without intimacy.

All of these things are reasons I would like to have a man in my life but even without any of these things I am still happy.

I know that having a man in my life will not make me happy.............anyone who knows me knows that I am happy already.........a man in my life will only enrich the life I already have.

My idea of a perfect relationship is one where you live close to each other but not together. I think adjoining houses with a connecting door that you can lock would be great.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Queen of Gullible

One reason I have not blogged much recently is that most of my blogging has been about my love life, family and work. I try not to blog about work very much but occasionally I just have to or at least mention it in passing.



I decided a while ago that I was going to try to avoid blogging about my love life (or lack of) as writing about it seems to have an adverse effect. That leaves my family, I think I have blogged so much about DC & OJ going off to Uni and ET 's attempt to join the RAF there is little else to write and they deserve a break as do my readers.



Having just said I was trying to avoid it, I am now going to write about my love life. It could be that every man who ever comes near me, reads my blog and as soon as they are mentioned they cut loose. Now I know this is not the case, besides, very few people read my blog these days. I have even been keeping quiet on Face book. But last week I posted on Face book that I have been invited to the England v Australia Rugby International at Twickenham. (I should be on my way there now). Surely the curse wouldn't be activated by such a simple thing as saying I had been invited. I didn't say who had invited me. But obviously the curse even reaches my face book.



Perhaps you would like a little back ground information here. Why am I suddenly blogging about going to Twickenham when clearly I am not. Who was I going to be going with. What is all this nonsense about a curse. Or perhaps you are just wondering if I have finally lost all my marbles (it has been on the cards for 40+ years).



Why the curse?

Back in the early part of the summer out of the blue I saw Oxo again after 2 years. He told me that he had thought we had a good thing going before, when I went off and left him. (I wanted a proper relationship, he didn't). He agreed to try having a relationship even though he feels he isn't good at relationships. A couple of days later I mentioned him to PB (friend/neighbour/colleague) that I was seeing him again. It must have been less than 30 mins later that I received a text from Oxo saying that he was sorry but he would not be in touch again. To say I was shocked would be an understatement, but as shocked as I was, I wasn't upset just bewildered.



Then, there was a new guy in my life fairly quickly after that (I have forgotten what I called him). He tells me that he is a trained councellor, he works with people who are terminally ill. He scolded me about my humour, I thought he was eccentric, but to cut a long story short, after weeks of emails we had a long chat on the phone which resulted in us agreeing to meet for a drink. That mid week drink led to an afternoon/evening the following sunday talking, holding hands and dare I say it, kissing. A few days later an another evening together and promises to go to a party together after my imminent holiday. Before we had met he had got me to open up to him about various issues. The flood gates had opened and I ended up telling him so much more than most people ever know about me. (he said he was honoured that I had told him). I mentioned this promising new man on my blog.



When I returned from my family holiday he didn't go to the party, or answer any of my emails or text messages. Eventually he confessed that he nolonger wanted to see me. He said I had told him too much plus he feels that I have more than my share of health issues!!! He couldn't cope with me being a diabetic, cancer survivor, but the last straw was my headaches (I get fewer now than in previous years). Ok his loss, I was not upset about losing him so soon but it was the way he went about it that got my goat.



But moving on within a week I met Spark, he had not been intended to be a love interest, he was a customer from work. We met for lunch which went too well, he asked to see me again the next evening. After many comments from a colleague at work about the big grin on my face I mentioned to her that I had seen one of our customers. Next day he told me that he didn't want to mess me about, he has a girlfriend and although it may not last he felt guilty about me.



I decided to give dating a break when I got a message out of the blue from a new man from a dating site that I don't set much store by, but have had a profile on for years. The message was different to most.......it was neither a 'hi fancy a chat' or a 'lets have some fun'. Neither of which instill me with much confidence. But this man got my interest, I have to be honest and say that just looking at his photo (which I quite possibly had done several times) I would not have looked any further. I replied by chatting about something on his profile. Soon the messages going back and forth became emails, phone numbers were exchanged (but not used.....that first conversation on the phone is difficult when you both have children who seem to congregate when you want a private conversation). Our emails became a daily ritual. We agreed to meet for a meal 3 weeks down the line. But then we both realised that it would be halloween weekend and he needed to see what his children were doing. (they are younger than mine).The day of our meal was fast approaching and no decision made whether our date would be this coming weekend or the following one (today).


Twickenham

On Friday morning he emailed me. He has tickets for England v Australia @ Twickenham (today) would I like to go with him and have a meal after. Now this is when I wrote my question on Face Book saying that I had been invited should I accept. Of course I did want to go but I had one small reservation in that it would be a very long day to be with someone I had never met, if it turned out that we didn't get on. (thats me trying to be sensible for a change). Before I left work I rushed off a quick reply (I would be out all evening) saying that it sounds good but mentioned my reservation about us not having met. Also would this be as well or instead of our meal the next day. Saturday came and went so did Sunday......nothing. I wrote to him saying that it would have been nice to be told that Saturday was definitely off as I could then ahve made other plans for my evening. It wasn't a nasty email, if anything it was apologetic in case I had missed something and he had already told me. But I have had enough of being treated badly so I was standing up for myself, expressing my right to be treated with respect. Monday and Tuesday came and went, still no word. By wednesday evening I was getting jittery about today. I sent a brief email saying he is obviously busy but could he please tell me what the plan was for today.

It is now Saturday lunch time the match is about to begin and I am still at home not having had a single word from him since he issued the invitation 8 days ago. Now I wonder if it is the curse of having mentioned his invitation even though I didn't mention him. Or is it that he is a jerk just like all the other men who have come and gone in my life. Perhaps he is one of the many 'time wasters' who lurk on dating sites, they like to email and chat but never actually meet. (He wouldn't be the first to make arrangements to meet me but then vanish when the day arrives). During a chat conversation last night I was asked if he is now History. As much as I know you want me to say yes, I can't.


Marles lost?

You see I have done a fair bit of thinking about this. On the face of it, he is just another one who has messed me about and for whatever reason, having reached this far has decided to just cut me off. There is always of course the simple explanation that he has not been near his computer or there is something wrong with it. But I have dismissed that idea for two reasons, he could phone me if that was the case. Plus his business is internet based so he would need his computer for his work......he wouldn't therefore go a whole week without it. So it is obvious isn't it, he has messed me about and now he doesn't want to know.


But maybe it isn't as simple as that, maybe he has a perfectly good explanantion and I will find out what that is when he eventualy gets in touch again. Maybe he is ill, (Swine flu is still rife). I don't know what the explanation is, but I think that if I am patient I will soon find out. You see from what he has told me about himself and his family I don't think he would just stop speaking to me, especially when his last email was to invite me out. Perhaps my email asking for a little respect upset him, I don't think so. It certainly wasn't a spitting my dummy out, type of email and even if it had been, I don't think it would have scared him. From what he has hinted at he has led quite a dare devil life in the past. A few words from me are not going to have him quaking in his boots. Besides I rather think that if he hadn't liked what I had said, he would have told me that, not just gone silent. Unless everything he has told me about himself is a complete and utter lie then I don't think he is the kind of person who would do any of this intentionally. It seem so out of character to me. But then again we all know that I am the queen of gullible.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

To blog or not to blog

I am not sure how much longer I shall continue to blog. In the last year I have seen many of my blogger friends give up blogging. Whilst I am still here I don't blog anything like as much as I have done in the past. Days and sometimes even weeks go by before it even occurs to me to visit blogs. Now that is not how it was, there was a long time when I was visiting blogs several times a day not only to read new posts but to keep up with the comments too.


I think I have changed in the last few years since I began blogging. whether I realised it or not I used blogging as a kind of validation. friends leaving comments meant that people liked reading what I wrote. That made me feel good inside. But now I don't need other people to make me feel good. I feel more confident more worthy without the validation of others. Therefore I write less frequently, which in turn means that less people bother to read my blog and even fewer bother to leave comments. In the past I would have found this hard, but right now I am feeling good about myself and don't need the validation so much.


However I am glad that I have been blogging for the last 3 or is it 4 years as I have made some good friends and I shall stay in touch with those that I can even without a blog. If I don't have your email address and you would like to stay in touch, if I do give up blogging which is by no means certain at this moment in time please feel free to email me at ladyinred62@hotmail.co.uk.


In the last six months I have been feeling closer to my sons than I had been for a long time. We have always had a close bond but now I feel even closer to them even those who are not here. OJ turned 19 on Thursday and returned home on friday, his first trip home by train. I collected him from the station and we joined my mother and friend at a rotary club evening. My boys have been to several rotary quizzes and murder mystery evenings, this one was 'call my bluff'. The panel were brilliant, the food was provided by a local Spanish Restaurant (selection of tapas which I have never tried before). Next weekend I am being taken to a Spanish restaurant (I am wondering if it will be the same one) by a friend of the restauranteur.


I had been feeling on top of the world on Friday until about mid afternoon when a niggly pain in my temple started. For me this meant that although I enjoyed the evening I had difficulty keeping my concentration (especially as I had my back to the stage and had to turn right round). I found myself people watching whilst I half listened to the hilarious (but seriously delivered) definitions of the strangest of words. Being a rotary evening as I would expect the average age of those in attendance were 20 or 30 years my senior. I did notice though how much these people were all enjoying not only the entertainment and each other's company but the food and drink (there are always copious amounts of wine drunk at these events). I noticed that these men and women, mostly retired professionals know how to enjoy life (many are still children at heart giggling and telling jokes). Their lives are so very different from mine, but it made me realise that growing older doesn't mean we have to stop enjoying life. The pace of life might slow down a little but it doesn't have to stop. I hope that I am enjoying life like they do in 20 years time.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

All change

I had a visit yesterday lunch time from Plumber. I can't remember the last time I saw him (I would have to check back on here to find out). In the mean time he has been in Spain twice (hes been back a week since his last trip) so he is looking rather tanned. He also looked rather shocked but pleased when he saw me.

Did I mention that I had my hair cut two weeks ago and after wearing it in a bob for a few years then letting it grow quite long I have gone back to wearing it short. Very few people (family aside) who I see frequently these days have seen me with short hair before. Somewhere further down my sidebar there is a photo of the new me taken by LV the day after it was cut. (we had been out for lunch in the New Forest). Apparently the new style makes me look younger. One of my friends from my pre marriage life commented on my new picture on face book that I look no different than I did more than 2 years ago............well she can't see the grey hair and wrinkles in that small picture.

My relationship with Plumber has changed in recent months. When it started we agreed to having a casual relationship ........we were not committed to each other and could see others. All very well but he was very jealous if he thought I was seeing anyone else not that I ever talked about it. I knew he really likes me but wasn't prepared to give me any kind of commitment so I felt justified in seeing others without making a thing of it. He used to tell me that he had growing feelings for me.............but that was as far as it goes. Our friendship has grown and I know that I only have to ask and he will do anything for me (if he has time). I know he would be happy to continue to see me on a casual basis although not very often these days, but I ahve made it clear to him that I am nolonger happy with a casual relationship. For me it has to be a committed relationship so I am now looking for a long term relationship again not casual. (although I am not really looking very hard at the moment but just enjoying life as it is).

Life at the moment involves being more into family life. With the two older boys gone (although not for long enough for us to get used to it) the three of us who are left have been spending more time together actually sitting in our livingroom for hours at a time instead of all being in different rooms. This week ET suddenly got in the mood to tidy their bedroom (I had been saying that it was such a mess with clothes all over the floor that I wouldn't go in there). This led to more change. JA has moved into the box room (formerly DC's room). Tv, stereo, and other such things have been moved around and both boys are now quite happy to have a room of their own. With a dozen bin liners lined up in the livingroom full of rubbish/old clothes, this led to a trip to the amenity tip yesterday.

On Thursday evening ET was complaining that the light in his room isn't very bright. (with bunkbeds and a cabin bed in the one room it is a very dark room). He has the brightest (energy saving) light bulb I had, I figured that having an uplighter shade probably doesn't help. The light shade in JA' new room is all bent and scorched so I took the shade from ET's room and put it on JA's room. Now I need to get a new shade for ET , I found that the light fitting is so old that the part the bulb goes into is very brittle and burnt as I was screwing it back on bits were breaking off. After putting JA's shade up I discovered that I couldn't replace the bulb as the metal housing for the bayonet was broken on one side. OK no problem I would get new fittings for both at the weekend.

This is where it is useful to have a Plumber for a friend. Late on Friday night/early saturday morning he came online after a gig. We chatted and I mentioned the light fittings.............in a flash he offered to come over and do them for me and supply the fittings too. (sorry couldn't help myself). Hence he came to see me on a Saturday lunchtime. (he also had a long chat with ET about RAF and Forces life in general ............he was a weapons engineer in Army before becoming a PT instructor).

Finally Student Finance have got their act together. Having applied online for student grants back in April, sending off my documents in May, (receiving them back in July) now in October I received two 'Urgent' emails telling me that I need to send more documents, only they didn't say what. It took several phone calls to find out that they wanted my P60 for 2007/8 but I had sent my P60 for 2008/9. ................It is beyond me why they couldn't have said this on the comp slip that accompanied my documents when they were returned. Why did it take from May until October to tell me they needed a different P60 and even then only after several phone calls from me. DC posted the correct P60 on Monday 12th October on Friday 16th I had two letters addressed to the boys for them to sign and return so that the monay they are getting can be paid. I now have to post OJ's to him so he can sign it and post it again before the threatened postal strike on Thursday/friday. I saw DC for half an hour yesterday so he has done his. I only hope that next year it is all done much quicker.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Who ate all the cheese?

Well it has now been a couple of weeks since our family dynamic changed. Just when the three of us who have been left behind, were beginning to get used to only being three. They returned.


They didn't take turns at coming home ..............no they arrived within minutes of each other. OJ arrived loaded with back pack, wheeled trolley bag and laptop. I barely had time to say hello before I collected DC from the station carrying his one small back pack. I had expected DC to bring home his washing but he didn't. OJ on the other hand brought home not only his laundry to be washed but also some of his crockery to go in the dishwasher. Only my son would do that!!


During the time they have been away we were just starting to get used to having food in the fridge for more than two days. (I'm not saying that either of them eat a lot). The milk lasted all week, we lasted until Thursday before I had to buy more bread. At the time when my sons arrived home we still had more than one carton of orange juice left and 1/3 of the block of cheese that had lasted 2 weeks. The following morning all the juice had gone, only a very small slice of cheese and a small amount of milk remained.


Nobody is owning up but I have my suspicions who ate the cheese.


It was good to see them both and hear how they are getting on in their new lives. It seems that they chat to each other online quite a bit. In fact I only knew that DC was coming home because he told OJ who then told JA (also online).

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Here we go again ........or perhaps not

For a few months I had a fair few dates, mostly with Plumber (hes currently out of the country for the second time in less than a month). But although I was having these dates most of the time I was behaving myself. I know I have at least one reader who keeps trying to read between the lines, thinking there has been more going on than I was telling. But the truth is that although I had some fun with Plumber and even spent a few nights with him, I have had relatively little sex in the last six months. To be honest there has been very little action for the last two years since I had my bust up with Forest. In fact since then I could count my sexual encounters on one hand. Until six months ago that is, but even in the last six months I have only made love 4 times (once with Thomas who will always hold a special place in my heart) and 3 times with Forest.

Forest is the reason that this blog has the address it does, I originally dedicated this blog to him. I adored him, I gave him my heart. But he didn't want it, I was very hurt, but I dusted myself off and got on with life. I vowed that I would never see him again, we did manage to pick up the pieces of our friendship. The subject of sex was avoided for a long time. Even when it did become a topic of discussion, it was only general, never sex between us. Then came the day when that changed, it was just talk, nothing more.

That was until about six months ago when we began discussing the possibilities of being friends with benefits. Sufficient time had elapsed for my broken heart to be mended, I was able to be dispassionate about it. We tried it once and it was good, very good. We both know how to give each other pleasure and this time I was able to stop my heart from being involved. I think that knowing there is no emotional involvement helped. I am a great believer that sex is better when love is involved, but in this case we like and care about each other and that seems to be enough to enable us to have great sex.

But he has gone and spoilt that. I have been getting random kisses from him by text. Over the weekend we chatted online (twice........very rare to hear from him at all at weekends). I told him about meeting Spark who reminded me how it feels to have butterflies. He told me about his date with a lady who gave him butterflies. Which is why I am suprised that he has been thinking about me. Why, if I had met someone new who gave me butterflies I would be thinking about them not my friend. When I said that I doubt he thinks about me very much he replied 'probably more than you realise'.

I really wish he hadn't said that, because now I keep thinking about him. I don't want to be thinking about him too often. I know that if this continues then the feelings I had for him 2 years ago will start to come back. It was humiliating enough before, it would be doubly humiliating to go there again. I do like him, we have some long conversations about all sorts of things including family things. I know he likes me as a friend (as a friend he sometimes has great sex with). But he doesn't want a relationship so I have to guard my heart from falling for him again. He knows that I won't stop being friends with him for any man but if I become involved with someone then I shall be faithful to him. Our friendship will go back to being non sexual. But at the moment he is filling my thoughts and I wish he wouldn't.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Moving on

It feels as though the whole of the last 14 years have been leading up to this weekend. Since he started school OJ has been destined to go to Uni. DC was not such a certainty but with OJ there was never any question of whether he would go. It was just a question of which one. The last year especially the last 6 months have been getting ready for him going to Uni.



Yesterday was the day, he had booked his moving in slot 1.30 to 3.30pm. we set off at about 11.20am to give us plenty of time. Stopping off at asda near to where I work to pick up a couple of last minute items including some lunch and fill up with petrol. It was just when we were leaving there that OJ realised he had left his phone behind so we went back to get it. (If we had got any further I wouldn't have bothered).



The drive there was fairly uneventful after that.We collected the key and set off to find a place to park near to his residential halls. I didn't think much of it as I was driving up the narrow winding road parking in the warden's spot. No lift at these halls unlike where DC is, luckily it was only one flight of stairs to his room. We unpacked his things before moving my car back to the main car park. It was only when I went to move my car that the realisation hit me that I had to reverse all the way back down this narrow winding road with low walls on either side. Not only that but first I had to negotiate around the estate car that was now parked in the nearest spot to mine at an awkward angle (on a slope that was both vertical and horizontal.........not easy). It must have been painful for any men watching to see my slow progress. I had almost reached the end of the road when the vehicle parked on the side was one obstacle too much for me. I managed to find the only space to turn around using the good old 3 point turn that I have not used for many years.



Having parked in the main car park we walked to the nearby Tesco store which took us about 20 minutes (it will only take him 10 when I''m not with him). I expect my boy will be fine but I do worry about him more than DC. OJ has shared a room with his brothers all his life, now he is on his own, he has more space than ever before. He will find it very quiet (apart from the bell of the nearby cathederal). Today two of his friends from home were moving into nearby halls, so he won't be totally alone.



The view from OJ's new home

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Family steps

It has been a tiring week, a good one but tiring all the same.

Work has continued to be good, I am enjoying my work again just as I used to do.

Preparations for the exodus have been stepped up a gear. (Nagging increased too). DC was quite happy with his idea that he would just load everything into my car as it was, no boxes or bags required!!!!! I had brought some boxes home from work for him to use. I told him that my job was to ensure he had the essentials and be his driver on the day but packing was down to him.

Thursday evening I took him to visit my mum so that he could tell her a bit about his american trip before we went shopping. She presented him with a cheque to keep him going for the first few weeks (student finance is still pending). He insisted that our trip to Asda would be quick as he wanted to visit Charlie. We didn't leave there until 10.15pm and over £100 later with a trolley laden with "essentials" and even some food (cereal, pasta, long life milk etc). He didn't get to see Charlie that night.

On Friday I decided that as two of my boys are over the legal age to drink and I have never bought either of them a drink we would all go out for a drink when I finished work. We drove up onto the hill so that they could see the view over the city as they drank. Would you believe it .....everyone of them had Appletiser!! .....well that was a cheap round for mum. It was interesting though to hear DC and ET giving OJ advice about beer and alcho pop drinks. DC is concerned that OJ will be a wet rag during his Freshers week. Neither of us want him to sit alone in his room while the other students are out enjoying themselves. Later at home DC gave OJ a bottle of beer to try, he wasn't impressed with the taste but did a very good impression of a drunk leaning against the wall. I was struck by how accurate his impression was of how his dad used to be. I had completely forgotten what the staggering had been like. Obviously OJ hadn't forgotten, I was very shocked by this act.

DC and I had agreed that we would leave early on Saturday morning as he didn't have a specific time slot for moving in (unlike OJ), especially as Southampton FC which is just a stones throw from his Halls of residence, were playing at home. However he didn't appear until about 10am and still needed to pack my car. He thought we would need to make two trips but I managed to get it all in. The forecast had been for showers but it was hot and sunny (27 according to my car at one point and 24 for much of the time). Finally he was in his new home with his belongings and I left him at 1.45pm. (during the afternoon I got a series of texts telling me the things he had forgotten but wanted). So that is one son stepping out on his own to begin the next stage in his life. Next week we repeat the process with OJ.

Last weekend ET discovered a function on his mobile phone that allows him to turn his wallpaper into a pedometre. We both have Sony Ericsson phones so he has changed mine too. Each day we have had to compare how many steps each of us has taken during the day. (not so easy for me as most of my clothes are pocket less.) There have been many times I have left my phone on my desk/bed forgetting to carry it with me. Anyway I have made a concerted effort to make sure that each day I reach or exceed the final total of the previous day. Having a job that is desk based doesn't lend itself to a particularly active life. But my determination not to have a bad day has encouraged me to walk more than I would otherwise do (no bad thing). After yesterday with trips to and from my car, a tour of Halls, a trip into town centre with OJ to choose his first pair of glasses, followed by a wander round Asda kept my total for yesterday quite healthy. So today I was trying to figure out how I was going to keep up my record. It occurred to me that I could go for a walk somewhere, but where?

I decided to take the boys on a mystery tour, they wanted to watch the football on tv but came anyway. It was the first time I had been to Winchester Hill in daylight (each time Plumber has taken me there it has been dark). It had been overcast all day but I was convinced it would still be relatively warm. I hadn't banked on the drizzle we were greeted with. Even with the low grey cloud and drizzle we could still see a very long way into the distance towards Southampton. We walked to the iron age fort and back, a good hour plus which gave me not only a healthy total on my pedometre but also a healthy red glow too. I was shattered by the time we arrived back home to the aroma of casserole and baked potatoes almost ready.

During this coming week more steps will be taken by this family, both on our pedometres and as my boys move nearer to their future lives. This time next week OJ will be in his new home and ET will be about to set out on his next adventure.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

A question of wind


I find it incredible in this day and age that this is even an issue.

We all know that our natural sources of power as in fossil fuels are running out. We all know that as humans we need to reduce our carbon footprint if our world is to survive. We should all want to create a better, healthier life for our children and their children and all the other generations to follow.

For centuries we have harnessed water and wind to make life easier. we are used to seeing traditional windmills although these days there are fewer and fewer still in working conditions. I did see a fair few on my holiday in Norfolk.






Now though there are a new kind of windmill .....the Wind turbine there are wind turbine farms, usually situated in remote locations. During the summer there were protests against one such wind farm being set up on the Isle of Wight not far from my home near the Hampshire coast. Local residents on the island were very much against this happening near them. At the same time there were other protests on the island involving a sit in by employees of a company that was about to close which would mean job losses for 600 people on the island. The company produce components for wind turbines. The closure of the company was due to a lack of demand for wind turbines in Northern Europe.

Now maybe I am the only one who can see the irony of this. However the Islanders are not the only people who do not want these great white structures blotting their landscape. As the months have marched slowly by in recent years I have heard of a fair few protests by residents refusing to allow a wind farm to be built near them. Maybe if the Islanders and others like them were not standing in the way of progress, then there would have been no need for the company to close and those 600 people would still have jobs (something to hold onto in this current climate).

Personally I think they should be considering the bigger picture and what these turbines mean to our future as oppossed to what future our children and grandchildren will have without them.

Whilst in Norfolk not only did we see far more of the traditional windmills than we normally see these days but there were also clusters of turbines in remote fields plus others dotted around standing alone. It was quite an unexpected view on our boat trip to see two traditional windmills seemingly next to each other although actually on opposite banks of the broad, then in the distance a solitary turbine appearing to stand between the two older structures.

The place where we were staying has a wind turbine farm just a little way out to sea. Far from being put off by the sight of these majestic towers I found them fascinating. I do not understand what all the protests are about. There are far worse things we can live near such as the electricity pylons that stretch across our countryside buzzing away day and night. If we went back in history to the days when windmills were first constructed we would probably find that they were considered to be unsightly and unwanted. Now we find them quaintly magical. Perhaps in years to come we will forget how ugly some people find the turbines. My son has just returned from his 28 days travelling across US and he tells me that these Wind Farms can be see all over the place.



I would like to say that if such a farm were to be situated near to my home I wouldn't bat an eyelid but somehow I doubt that would be true .......perhaps the novelty would wear thin after a while but I think I would be fascinated by them for quite some time.




If such a wind farm were proposed in your local area would you welcome or reject it. If this has already happened did you protest or welcome the progress for our future?

Saturday, 12 September 2009

wooohooo

The sun is shining and I feel good


I had a lovely evening last night with a friend (ok he did spoil it a bit at the end by telling me he he really wants me always has). He knows I will only ever be his friend, someone he can talk to. He is one of these people who everyone else turns to with their problems, I am the one he can turn to ocassionally when there is nobody else.


I am in a good mood, things with the butterfly man have been put to rest. We can be friends, we both know there is a spark there but it isn't going to be lit. Instead we will work together to do more business, it makes more sense, the more business he gives me the better prices I can give him, both businesses benefit.


DC arrived home from his travels yesterday. He has lots of tales to tell, he says his trip was amazing. After being away for 28 days we will just about get used to him being back when he will be gone again. I can't believe that this time next week I will be taking him to Uni.


All this is good but the icing on the cake has to be the letter I just got from my MP. He enclosed a letter from Rt Hon Stephen Timm MP.


"In this case HMRC failed their responsibilities and LIR has at all times provided the correct information regarding her income and circumstances. She therefore met her responsibilities and I am pleased to say that HMRC have reviewed this case and have written off the overpayments. all her acounts are now balanced with no overpayments. .................They have therefore now repaid the incorrectly recovered amount of ****** . HMRC confirm that no further recoveries are being made from LIR's award."


They have also apologised for sending me both incorrect and confusing information and apologise for any worry and distress their mistakes have caused.


I am so glad that they had made me so angry that I wrote to my MP about this. If I had just accepted that I owed them money and must pay it back, I would still be paying them a lot of money I can't afford to lose. .............................Go me ..................I got something right for once in my life

Friday, 11 September 2009

How can it be right when its wrong?

He smokes, not heavily (upto about 15 per day) but it is still smoking.

He drinks, but not when hes driving, but he still likes a lot of beer.

He isn't available, he wasn't happy before we met but he is still with someone

So why is it that he is in my head so much, so quickly

Why is it that I never noticed that although I really liked some of the men I have been seeing in the last 9 months, they didn't make me feel butterflies when I thought about them. It is only now that he gives me butterflies that I realise they had been missing.

He writes poetry , has already made up a verse on the spot for me.

He opens doors and pulls out seats

He strokes my arm while I drive, but concerned that he might distract me.

He makes me feel so special

He has put a huge smile on my face.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A good day gets better

Today has been a good day.

It started out a bit damp, a little drizzle with a promise of more. It didn't bother me as I already knew it was going to be a good day. Or perhaps I should say that I had high hopes for a good day.

By the time I reached the office the clouds had parted and the sun was trying to show itself.


As soon as I walked into the office I knew it was going to be not only a good day but a good week with more to follow. I do feel sorry that she was now facing that awful situation, would now become one of the growing number of unemployed. But for those of us left behind you could almost feel the collective sigh of relief as everyone realised that the desk opposite mine was vacant. The personal objects nolonger there, a presence almost forgotten already. My suspicions of last night confirmed. My last dream before waking had been this but my fear had been that I was wrong.


Eleven months ago she had come to work with me, for the first couple of weeks we thought it would work out well, but it wasn't long before we knew otherwise. I was dumbfounded that even the simplest of things seemed to be beyond her comprehension. But it was thought that with time she would eventually get to grips with what she was doing. But six months on I was cringing at some of the things I would hear her telling our customers on the phone. Her moods were incredible, she has so many chips on her shoulder it was unbelievable, but occassionally she would snap out of them and become friendly for a few days. Our work load has deminished in recent months leaving her sitting twiddling her thumbs or surfing the net. Whilst I had enough initiative to keep myself busy working on projects to improve customer accounts.


Now I won't have as much time to work on my own projects but those of us left behind can cope with the work load as it is. In a much improved cheerful atmosphere (I also get to have my lunch earlier).


Talking of lunch................ whilst my computer was warming up I sent a text naming a pub and the time frame I could be there. Minutes later my phone rang unexpectedly, the venue and time quickly agreed. For the rest of the morning I happily got stuck into my work, cheerily greeting phone calls from customers in my usual manner. Then at 12.30 I left the building and drove the mile or so to the pub. I had never been there before, neither had I met him before. I had no idea what to expect. I saw his vehicle straight away and parked up next to him in the now hot sunhine. He bought our drinks (both on diet coke) which we took out into the garden to sit in the shade of a cherry tree. We chatted amiably about work and about ourselves. A quick sandwich to keep the hunger pangs at bay. All too soon it was time for me to return to work. As we stood beside my car he kissed me goodbye which took me by suprise, but not as much as the next kiss or the one after that. I liked this but mindful of the time protested that I really should go. He didn't want to stop kissing me. He asked to see me again, I passed him the envelope from my passenger seat.


A couple of text during the afternoon confirmed that we had both enjoyed our lunch. I am hoping that he will find more products in the catalogue I had given him that he could use for his business, I have already increased the lines of products he buys but would just love to get more. Days like today are why I love my job so much, but I did find it difficult to keep my concentration for the rest of the day. Not that I will be letting him know that. He is after all a customer (one who wanted to meet his favourite sales lady, to meet the woman with the lovely voice). .....................this sounds familiar

Monday, 7 September 2009

Time flying by

It only seems like 5 minutes since I was trooping around checking out Universities with OJ.



Now all of a sudden it is almost time for him to go.


In 12 days DC moves into halls at Southampton (he will have been home from his trip for just one week). 7 days later OJ will be moving into halls at Guildford (he has booked his moving in slot 13.30 - 15.30)

This evening we have had a taste of what life will be like. DC is still away, OJ has gone out with friends and ET has been out since lunch time with his new g/f. All evening JA has been saying hello to me. He has gone to bed early because he is bored. He could have made the most of having the TV, PC and PS3 all to himself but it isn't the same without his brothers to argue over them with.


I can't believe it is already more than a week since we got back from our lovely holiday. Tonight I finished resizing my many photos.









Early morning on the deserted beach
swans at Potter Heigham where we eventually had a boat trip on the Broads.

I heard today that following another visit to see her consultant this morning it has been agreed that my mother will be having another operation on her knee..............I hope that after this one she will at last be able to walk again. The pain and inability to walk much have really aged my mother during the last few years. She is 66 going on 75.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Being a mother is the best and hardest job there is


I have just returned from one of the best holidays I have had. Sharing a 2 bedroom caravan with my crippled mother and 3 of my 4 teenage sons. The site was very small approx 40 caravans on a tiny plot meant that there was very little room to swing a cat (if we had taken one) either inside or outside the caravan. Our caravan was no more than 70 feet from the beach. (allowing for 2 x 20ft caravans plus space between). Immidiately in front of the front row of caravans there was a low wall seperating the beach from the caravan site. The sand was gloriously soft and felt lovely under foot, there were a few reed covered dunes then more soft sand before a band of pebbles between the soft sand and the water's edge. I spent a lot of time walking, sitting and photographing that beach (Caister on Sea). My sons played games and buried each other many times.

We did a lot of driving around the broads (I did the driving everyone else just watched the ever changing scenery). We planned a trip on a paddle steamer from Hickling, had a scrumptious meal while we waited for our trip, then I got stung by a wasp on the underside of my arm (excruciating pain). In a way it was a good thing that at the last minute two coaches turned up and took all the places on the boat so we couldn't go. It would have meant a further 1.5 hrs before I could get to the anti histamin cream and tablets.

We drove passed the RAF Base ET would be going to for his training (only to find when we returned home that he is now going to a different base). A visit to the zoo involved hiring a wheelchair for me to push my mother around in (a glimps of the future perhaps). We finally managed to get a boat trip on Friday from Potter Heigham luckily it was a covered boat as we were hit by a storm during the ride. (We had been so lucky with the weather until then).

I thoroughly enjoyed everything (apart from the wasp sting) but what really made the holiday so good was just being totally relaxed and enjoying being with my sons (mother too but more especially my boys). It was really good to see them enjoying themselves and enjoying being together (not always on the computer/games console). I had many many cuddles with both ET and JA, not so much OJ (being nearly 19 hes far too grown up to have cuddles with his mummy).

It was very important to me that we had this holiday together. I very much doubt that it will ever happen again. Next year even if I have two of them I doubt I would have all three together again for a holiday. All our lives will have changed in the next 12 months. My one regret about this holiday is that DC was not with us but he has already branched out by going to USA with his friends. We have had sporadic contact with him as they progress from west to east coast (last we heard they were in Denver).

Now we are back home, back to realilty. There was a letter waiting for ET his pre joining course has been brought forward to 28th Sept. He has his train tickets, all he has to do is get a train to London Waterloo, find his way to London Liverpool Street then get a train to Bury St Edmunds. He has a choice of two trains to BSE one arrives at 18.32 the other at 20.50 (transport will collect him and others at 21.00) so he is faced with a choice, wait around for 2.5 hrs or get the later train with the risk his train could be late. Now I have no worries about him getting to or from London on his own it is the bit in the middle that is causing the crisis (mainly my mother in a panic). He has only ever been to London a couple of times and never alone. (mother is convinced he will be mugged). I now have a list of items he will need to have with him for these 4 days. I have just managed to get him some high leg black boots (no steel toe caps) with heel and ankle support from ebay. (hopefully he can get them broken in by the time he goes).

The month of September is looming up in front of me with all these changes and arrangements that need to be organised. I can see that come October I shall be exhausted. Between now and 4th (3rd really) I have to make sure JA has everything he needs for the new school year, I had asked their father to do this for him, he hasn't...........as usual it is left to me. JA already has the biggest feet in the family (I only hope he doesn't keep growing too much). DC who returns from his trip on 11th will no doubt sleep for a couple of days while I try to get him organised for his move into University Halls on 19th. Whilst all this is happening I am trying to organise OJ ready for his move into Halls on 26th follwed by ET's adventure on 28th. (working full time all this time).

I have always believed that I am not the kind of mother who wraps her children in cotton wool. I have always given my children freedom (within reason and safety). I believe that although I have never had any control over my children I have managed to instill good manners and morals into them. I am often praised for how well spoken and behaved bright young men they are. However during this time of preparation it has hit me that I have not done such a great job. During our holiday we encouraged them to cook and clean etc (not out of laziness but for their own preparation to look after themelves). They can all cook (meaning heat up) food. But they cannot do the simplest of tasks without contantly asking how/where/when. Perhaps it is a boy thing they don't seem to be able to work things out or read instructions they have to be told step by step what to do.

I have always seen my boys as bright capable lads, now I see boys who have been molly coddled by their mother for far too long. Where I tried not to nag them too much, they don't seem able to think for themselves. Now I am worried that I have created mummies boys who might not manage without their mother telling them what to do every step of the way. I am not saying that I always do everything for them (I definitely don't) but I have always been there telling them what to do. If not in person then on the phone.

I don't know all the answers I don't always know what they need to do especially now that they are entering worlds that I have never been a part of. The rest of this year is going to be hard for them and for me, while they settle into their new lives and JA and I are left at home wondering why it is so quiet, worrying about our boys. I know they will each manage (they won't have a choice in that). Having two boys leaving the nest within a week of each other will be hard on us. Then if ET gets through his course (I have every confidence he will) then it won't be long before he joins the RAF properly and he will be gone too.

I love all my boys without exception, I couldn't possibly choose a favourite as they are all so different (my favourite is usually the one I am with at the time). I would never want to have not had any of them but I am not sure if I would ever want to go through motherhood again. When we are young we are warned that parenthood is not easy, there are no hard and fast rules but you never really understand just how hard it is being a mother until you have been through all the stages of your child's growing up (and I have been lucky to have an easy time of all my son's teen years).

Sunday, 30 August 2009

is it morning already






I have only been awake for 20 minutes, I can't believe I slept until 10am but I do think I deserved a lie in this morning. I have driven hundreds of miles in the last week, much of it in either slow traffic or on narrow winding country lanes. Although we took 2 cars to Norfolk we only used one during the week and I did 99% of the driving. Mother drove back from petrol station and took herself on a short drive with her camera on Thursday (practice for the long drive home on Saturday).






All week I was waking up between 6 and 6.30am (to glorious blue sky every day except one) yesterday I was busy packing by 6.30 and on my knees cleaning the floor by 8am (the carpet cleaner didn't work so I had to use a small 'soft' hand brush ~ not easy). Having left at 9am we finally arrived home at 3pm. I was hoping to have a sleep for an hour before preparing for a night out with my friends from work.






My car had been unpacked, the mouldy food left in the fridge thrown out and I was preparing to rest when I realised I couldn't find the hand bag I had used all week. I knew it was the last thing I had picked up along with my book (yes I actually read a book ~ first in ages) and keys. I had handed it to one of my sons when I got into the car. Now they all denied having it, I turned out all the remaining bits still in the back of it..............nothing just their rubbish. Eventually ?i found it ............pushed right under the passenger seat.






Time for my rest now while I contemplated what to wear for the party. I had invited Dylan but hadn't had a chance to tell him where or when so I tried calling him, his phone is switched off, switch on laptop and email him. My phone rings but it is my mum, she had passed a car like mine with an Rescue van on the motorway so she was checking that we had got home. (she had wanted to take her time driving home). She was out by our garages so I collected the few things that were in her car.






Now I can rest ..............I was just getting settled when mum rang again. Her foot had seized up as she drove away, she had managed to get herself parked up at our local shops so I had to walk up there and drive her home (keeping her car here over night). By the time I had unloaded her and her luggage, nipped to shops for food, I had one hour to bath, eat and dress ready to go out. It was when I had run the bath while my food was cooking and I was ironing my red skirt that I discovered we had no gas. My bath was freezing cold!!






JA went over the road to get some gas so I could finally have a warm bath, I was just about ready in time phew that took some doing but I hadn't had my sleep. So by the time I got home having had 4 drinks I was somewhat tired. I was nicely merry but not drunk as my boys were saying.......huh what do they know. So I have slept in this morning............now I have to tackle the washing and shopping. But first here are a couple of the many photos I took on our lovely holiday. Boys having fun on the sandy beach just yards from our caravan.
Meercat at Banham zoo
Paddle steamer on the broads at Hinkling

Saturday, 22 August 2009

vacation

off to sunny Norfolk for a week

Friday, 21 August 2009

Perfect 10

First things first............for those of you not on my face book .............important announcement.
A level result were out yesterday. But before the results were given to the students they were able to go online and find out whether they have got into the University of their choice. 6.50am OJ discovered that both his chosen Universities were offering him a place. So although I was waiting for it I still jumped when my phone buzzed to let me know I had a text.
Applied Maths A,
Further Maths A,
Law A
ICT B (A for his coursework though)
So all the hard work has paid off but now the harder work begins. He has accepted the place at University of Surrey (Guildford). With the results he got he will get an automatic scholarship of £4000 but not until March 2010.
Obviously his mother is extremely proud of her son.

I would have written this pot last night but I was out with Dylan. Sitting outside a bar overlooking a Marina close to the city. I had under estimated how cool it would be near the water so we moved inside the bar to a leather sofa for our second round of drinks. We chatted about all manner of things including this video which he hadn't expected me to know. Before we knew it the bar was empty of other customers (or at least the downstairs bar......there wa still noise emanating from the upper bar). It was 11.30pm already ........where does the time go?

We walked back to my car holding hands, a few kisses and cuddles before I drove away (no need to read between the lines, it was only a kiss and cuddle).

Monday, 17 August 2009

An Item

I was due to see Echo again on either 6th or 13th August but I wasn't sure if this was what I wanted. I do like him, he is a quiet and gentle man. But I wasn't sure if I wanted the kind of relationship where I would only see him occassionally and could only contact him by email. I decided that this was not a life I wanted so I emailed him to call an end to it. He was very gracious about it.


Last week I had two very different dates with two very different men. Tuesday was fish and chips eaten from the paper in a park half watching a cricket match as we chatted in the evening sun. Romantic? perhap it would have been with a different companion. don't get me wrong Wilf was well mannered, polite but spineless. He hasn't met anyone for years and was far too deferential for my liking. He kept telling me that I was in charge, all decisions were mine.


Next day it was a drink in a local pub with Dylan. We just sat talking for 3 hours until we were thrown out. Standing beside my car he hugged me and gave me a few kisses, nothing passionate but nice all the same. Being hugged by Dylan felt good. Later that night he emailed me saying that I am fabulous. (a few bonus points for that ;-D ). Next day he phoned me and during our chat suggested a walk along the beach on Sunday afternoon.


Sunday lunchtime I set out to meet Dylan at the agreed place 1pm beside the pyramids. But to my horror it was so jammed packed all long the seafront not a single space to park. Having circled the car park a few times I tried to phone Dylan, no answer. So I set off along the seafront away from the city until I found some spaces. Parking up I phoned Dylan again, still no answer, I text him to let him know where I was. Finally at 1.30 he called me he had driven home to pick up his phone!! Eventually just before 2pm we met up and began walking. Stopping briefly to buy drinks the wind whipping my hair around my face. Spotting an unoccupied bench we sat to consume our drinks. We chatted easily as we watched the world go by, both on the beach and far out to sea. Neither of us noticing how much time had passed until we realised it was 5pm already oooopps we both had parking tickets!! With Dylan leading the way I follwed him back towards the city and dinner at Pizza Hut.


Again we had to search for parking places. These found we walked hand in hand to the restaurant. After eating and paying the bill we continued chatting. When sometime later the waiter came over to ask if we were ok I thought he was going to ask us to leave but instead we were offered more drinks on the house. He asked if we were just out for a meal and a chat.


'we just got married'


'really, oh congratulations, really? you just got married, great'


'yes, show him your ring'


I flap my ringless hand in front of him


'we couldn't afford a ring'


'give her a ring from Haribo'


lol


His face had been a picture before he realised it was a joke. By the time we left it was 8.30 and I was getting weary after a long day. I believe we are now officially an item, he has already had heated exchanges with another woman after he let her know he had 'met someone'.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

We just got married

Thats what he told the waiter at Pizza Hut. Poor lad even believed him at first

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Early morning start

It was only 5.15am when he shook me awake. I had insisted that he say goodbye before he went, I wanted to be awake when he left. It isn't that I am worried, I believe they will be safe and have a brilliant time. He will return with lots of tales to tell. It isn't that it would be the first time he has gone away. He has been going away without his mum for the last 10 years, first on tours with his football club then later with his band. But this time it is different, he will be in USA for 28 days just him and 2 mates. Although I have seen photos of them and their names have been mentioned many times over recent years I don't actually know either of them . When he returns he will only be here for a week before hes off again on his next big adventure. This time it will be 3 years of University. I know he will only be about 12 miles away but he won't be living at home, he will be back for visits but I don't expect them to be either frequent or long. So apart from that one week in September I feel that my blue eyed boy has left home. He has suddenly grown up, by Christmas I expect he will have changed a great deal.


Today I am not at work, I was supposed to be having a day out with Plumber, but at 7am this morning he told me that he can't make it. So I have spent my morning tracking the status of DC's flight to San Francisco, they became airborn at 11.44 not bad for an 11.30am flight. I have also been studying their very detailed schedule for the next 28 days. among other places they will be visiting San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Grand Canyon, Denver, Hot Springs, Chicago and Niagara Falls finally ending their trip in New York City. He has promised me that they won't do anything silly that will get them into trouble during their trip. This is where they will be staying for the next few nights.
I have had a couple of dates in the last few days which I will tell you about shortly. I was going to write about them now but I have to go out on family errands.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Togetherness

Saturday afternoon and everyone was at home. None of us had any plans to go out. Bolonese was simmering one of the working hot plates. I am trying to be more active by going for walks, and of course taking my camera phone with me. I need to get some photos of all my boys together, a rare occurrence these days. I don't like posed photos so what better than a family outing.
Duck watching


Waiting for mum to cross the stepping stones

Watching




Tranquil


Friday, 7 August 2009

Sometimes

Sometimes it feels as though I must have been very wicked in a previous life to have such bad luck in this one.


On Tuesday I had a phone call at work to say that the internet at home wasn't working. Our connection was not even showing on the list of available networks. It had been getting steadily worse for sometime dropping in and out of connection. I had promised that I would call our internet provider on Thursday (I had booked the day off on Thursday). But now I had no choice.


When I got home from work I prepared the evening meal (corned beef hash) before making the call to talktalk. Following the instructions from the operative I reconnected to the internet. So that was another problem solved. Time to finish cooking the dinner, I put a tray of chips in the oven for ET.


Next thing I know ET is telling me we have got a power cut, but the lights were still on. I climbed into the cupboard under the stairs where the fuse box lives along with the gas and electricity meters. The trip switch was down and wouldn't stay up. I phoned LV for advice. We worked out that it was the cooker that had blown the circuit. By switching off the cooker at the wall I was able to switch the rest of the circuit back on. It was lucky that most of the dinner was already cooked. This was one of those moment when I wonder why me? Just how bad was I in a previous life.


On wednesday I was alright as I was going out for dinner with Plumber. I was wracking my brains trying to figure out what my boys could have for their dinner. We decided on some frozen meals that I usually oven cook but that can be done in the microwave. However it turns out that after I had gone out they decided to walk to the local chip shop, stopping on the way to buy a pizza to go with their chips. It wasn't until they returned home that they realised that they couldn't cook the pizza!


During our meal at a newly refurbished and reopened (after a year) pub beside a river in an area renown for its watercress beds, I explained to plumber what had happened with my cooker. I am hoping that it might be a simple inexpensive job that he can do for me, but then I am still waiting for him to fix my shower for me (2 months after he said he would). If I could afford it I would get someone else to do it for me.


The setting for our meal was lovely, the pub is very spacious but each area is very intimate and interesting. The food was delicious although the menu was very limited ie 4 starters and 4 main courses. I would say that this place is well worth a visit if you are in the area. It was the first time I had been there but I gather from friends that it was very popular years ago but it went downhill and had a bad reputation for several years. Hopefully now that it is under new management it will become popular again.


Thursday morning I was woken by a tremendous crash of thunder and heavy rain so that was the end of my hopes for a warm sunny day off. I had a headache all morning which tablets didn't touch. In the afternoon I went shopping for microwavable food then called round to see my mother. By then it was raining steadily with no sign of letting up, but at least my headache was easing. Mother was excited because she had something for me, a free gift that had arrived with some stationary she had ordered. She opened the parcel and handed me a flat oblong box. Inside this box was stainless steel precision scales, (I had been talking about getting some digital scales) but these are not designed for the purpose I had in mind. There were more for weighing letters and parcels than people. Only my mother could have made such a mistake bless her.


I ended my day off by driving 34 miles to visit Forest. As always we had a very relaxing time kissing, making love and chatting. We discussed the problems I am having with my cooker and my shower. He suggested that I should switch the cooker on at the wall while the cooker is completely turned off, then one at a time turn each part on to see which parts of the cooker if any worked without tripping the fuse again. He also suggested that the solution to my problems with my shower could be a magnetic descaler on the in pipe. I now know that my oven and one hot plate still work. But since then the microwave has begun sparking and flashing so I wont let anyone use that! Luckily I was chatting to a friend about this and he has very kindly bought me a new microwave oven. It is things like that which remind me I am lucky to have such lovely friends.