The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hello again

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


it's been one of those days...

I got up and spent the morning yelling at the kids, who were being particularly difficult today.

headed off to work at 8am, got 5 mins down the road and realised I'd forgotton my pass. Came back, hitting every red light possible, picked up my pass, went back out again. Got 5 mins down the road and my clutch went. Absolutely nothing there - i could change up and down gear with a bit of a bump, but there was no way to start from stationary - and it is rush hour in a town made up of roundabouts! there is lots of stationary......

Nursed the bike back home, again, and dumped the kids off to school then had Aggie drive me in to work. So I got there late, and spent most of the day playing catch up.

The big new scanner started scanning blank pages, so I call out IT to fix it and go and use the old litle scanner, which just refused to scan at all. Another call to IT.

Gave up and went to make a cup of coffee - and the vending machine is confused and won't vend as it can not recognise that I have put a cup in it!

Another call to IT to sort out proxy access to a lawyer who is away for the week. then another because they killed the outlook account of a secretary who left last week, instead of forwarding everything to me. I get the feeling IT don't like me today.....

I decide to try the bus home - at least there is not much of a walk to the bus stop - although I see my bus just go by as I turn the corner to the bus stop. 20 mins later, the next one turns up, and it costs nearly £6 one way!!!! The bus is mostly peopled by a family, who look like they are on thier way back from the hospital. the toddler spends the whole journey babbling at her siblings. Loudly. And the woman next to me waits till I sit down, then puts on her ipod at that particularly annoying volume so as to issue tinny crackles nonstop.

When I make it home, there is nothing to eat (well, nothing I fancy anyway).


I have a black eye. No idea why. it just turned up half way through the day. and it hurts:(

Meh. some days are just not worth getting out of bed for!

Monday, November 16, 2009

What a weekend!

Well, lots has happened!

i got an apology from social services - before I'd even sent the letter of complaint, so I'm slightly mollified.... Still applying for Mstr A's file tho, just to be on the safe side.

We went up to London for my big brother's 40th birthday on Saturday. Nanny A was booked to come & stay with the kids for the weekend, so it was a grown up only do:) Unfortunately, it also coincided with the worst weather of the year - and we pretty much drove right along with it as it moved across the country. ho hum. made the journey not fun - though Aggie drove, which was nice.

My sister from Brighton decided that the best way to come from there to N London was all the round the M25, which meant accross the Dartford bridge - which was, of course, closed, due to high winds, so she barely got there in time, but on the whole the night went pretty well for our family. One argument and two walk-outs - both of whom returned is a good result for my family LoL.

Unfortunately, Aggie went down with the stomach bug the kids have had on the Saturday night, and didn't get to eat anything at the restuarant:( He very kindly gave it to me overnight, so i spent the journey home feeling awful:( by the time I made it home I was shivering uncontrollably and just crawled into bed and stayed there for the rest of the day, so I didn't get to spend much time with the kids:(

Back to work today tho - at least it only lasted 24 hours for all of us. It was weston Carnival tonight, so I took the bike and had the usual race to get home before they closed my road. Made it in time, and took the girls out to see the carnival for half an hour, rather than the whole thing as usual, which made everyone much happier! the girls still got to see it, Mstr A could avoid the loud noise, and I didn't spend 2 hours getting cold and annoyed at all the rude/selfish bastards! And we still had hot chocolate and a late night so the kids were more than happy:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I got home from the waste of time parenting course today (not that the course is a waste of time, just a waste of time for us, as we already do all the techniques suggested!) to find an answerphone message from the duty social worker asking that I call back urgently! Quite worrying - duty SW's are usually only involved in serious & immediately urgent issues, and considering I have been trying for nearly 2 years to get SS to assess Mstr A, me or the family without ever getting a reply out of them, I was obviously a little concerned as to what they wanted so desperately.

I get the woman on the phone & she queries why Mstr A has missed "several" appointments at a place I've never heard of. I ask for more details and get told the name of the centre, what it specialises in, what the appointments were for (blood tests), what the blood tests were for, and how many appointments have been missed. At which point I explain that Mstr A has not recieved any appts, has never had any contact woth that centre, and would not have any reason to attend somewhere of that specialisation, or to have blood tests, and certainly not for that condition! After a bit of arguing, SW agrees to check the details with the centre & get back to me.

5 mins later, she calls back & apologises - the details were all about another child with a similar name

So. Now I have loads of seriously personal info about another child. AND, SS obviously have utterly terrible record keeping procedures. WTF DO they have on Mstr A's file? I ask what details she has on his file. She is very cagey, but it transpires that they certainly do not have all the details they should (no referral from the school for starters, which I KNOW happened over a year ago!)

I have sent a formal comnplaint about the procedures & request for a copy of his file to check details held - but really, you have to wonder WTF is happening in SS nowadays! If I gave any one of those pieces of info to a client about another client I would be immediately sacked and, I expect, sued!

I wonder what sort of response I'll get - and what might be on my SS file now!!!!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I blew out CAB today & went shopping instead:) I really needed to get some maternity clothes for work as it was getting silly, with nothing fitting! Also the kids needed some new school uniform as poor LMB is still in short sleeves (with a jumper) and Mstr A has grown, again! I was going to just pop into town, but Aggie persuaded me to go into the Mall - which ought to have a much bogger choice, and suggested this would be a good time to break the back of the Xmas shopping for the kids without them being around.

So we traipsed into Bristol, and wandered around. I thought BHS would be a good bet for me & for the kids clothes - I often buy stuff from the little local one. But even though it was MUCH bigger, it was mostly full of crap:( No school uniform of any kind in stock, and no maternity section at all. Lots of xmas baubles, but that is not what i wanted! We went into loads of shops, all pretty much unsucessfully - I finally managed to pick up one pair of trousers for me, but no school uniform at all. Even the great big ToysRus didn't have what we wanted to look at for LMD>:(

So after a couple of hours, we gave up and came all the way back to Weston, and went into the local high street. BHS there did have school uniform, but no long sleeved shirts in the right sizes. Found some nice tops for me at atrocious prices, and some atrocious tops at nice prices, so didn't buy any LOL. Checked out a few other shops and decided that it wasn't worth queueing and paying high street prices, when the same was available off Amazon, cheaper and easier.

In the end, we came home, and did pretty much the whole Xmas shop online. sigh. And I managed to order some school uniform for both LMB & Mstr A on the computer.... don't know why I spent all the time and energy wandering around!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Working girl

It was a busy day at work today. Why do lawyers feel the need to turn up with "urgent" and long winded jobs at 3pm rather than giving them to you at 9am so you can time manage properly? Grrrr!

It doesn't help that we've got a snazzy new machine that has taken the place of our printers, scanners and photocopiers. Very clever, and very expensive - which is why the whole department has one new machine, taking the place of numerous old single purpose ones. As it takes longer to do any one of the jobs that the other machines did, there is always a queue to do anything now:( Another great example of a good idea idiotically implemented. Apparently the new machines came out of the review of our services - the one that said we should make more people redundant than we didn't need, and then move people to departments they didn't want to go to, all without consultation....... However, they did implement my idea for saving paper today - I wonder if I'll get another staff suggestion bonus? I feel not, as that concept seems to have disappeared from the intranet site recently:(

I have also finally decided that taking the bike to work is now more difficult than taking the train. Boo. I hate taking the train - it adds an extra 90 mis to my day, and involves sitting around in a station for 20 mins getting cold, then fighting for a seat:( I took the bike yesterday cos it was a short enough day to get back in time for my scan as it was, and thought that was not so bad, but I did it again today, and after a full day's work, I could barely move when I got off the bike:( Back to the train on Friday I suppose. Meh.

Mstr A seems to have finally settled down a bit - after all the screaming recently & the total ban of computers, he decided he wanted to try to be good to win them back:) He was helpful this morning, and good at school, and almost managed not to contradict LMD at all this evening LOL. Which earned him 30 mins on the laptop. Hopefully he'll do the same tomorrow too.

Monday, November 09, 2009

gambling on getting some sleep

I had my 20 week scan today - looks like it will be another boy:)

Feeling really tired now - and fat:( I really do have to go and buy some maternity clothes! But otherwise everything is going fine.

Mstr A and LMD are at loggerheads over everything at the moment - LMD delights in making noises she knows wind Mstr A up, and Mstr A is constantly telling her what to do and how to do/say things>:( I'm seriously considering locking them both at opposite ends of the house all evening! grrrr.

Aggie played a freebie fiver on an online gambling site and made almost £100!!!! He tried to present this to me as a great achievement, but I am not so sure...... Obviously, the money is lovely (not that any of it is in our bank account yet), but I don't like gambling, and don't approve of him spending even more time on the computer! It would have been easier to condemn if he had lost his fiver LOL.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

What a difference a day makes

Amazingly the kids got themselves up, came downstairs, and settled happily in front of the TV without any arguments this morning, so me & Aggie got to stay in bed until 8.30! Luxury!!! And much needed:) So we made it through the day with no shouting. Yay!

So on the whole, it has been a much better day today. Nothing terribly exciting, but an OK day.

I took Mstr A to his swimming lesson - where he managed to not get into any major trouble! Then we got a bit of housework done and braved a visit from friends with an Aspie/ADHD son. Sometimes its good to be reminded how much more difficult kids can be..... ADHD is tough:( It was a constant round of pick up a toy "whats this?" put it down, pick up another toy "what's this?" put it down, snatch another toy off whomever had it, "whats this?" put it down....... add in the inability to comprehend turn taking and a detemination to "keep" everything he touched and he was a challenge even for the usually laid back LMB.

Still, they stayed for a few hours, and he had a good time:) Mstr A found him very difficult and gave up fairly shortly, but LMD and LMB took it in turns to keep him entertained:) His mum relieved him of the toys he tried to take away with him LOL, and it was nice to be able to invite people over to play without having to apologise for Mstr A's behaviour;)

We haven't done any fireworks things this year - LMB is terrified of the bangs:( We did think about taking MStr A off to a local event, but it's absolutely atrocious weather, so I've promised them some sparklers in the garden tomorrow and we're just going to have a quiet night in for once. It's the last "spare" weekend before Christmas i think, so it will be nice....

Friday, November 06, 2009

Long Day

Today has been a long day.

Both Aggie & myself regularly contribute to an online support forum. On Wednesday we found out one of the people on there had died. He and Aggie had very similar conditions and were at similar stages of progression. He was only 44:(

The funeral was today, and was just down the road from us, so we said we would attend on behalf of the forum. I didn't realise how emotionally draining I would find it. I am totally exhausted:(

RIP Andrew. Life is so unfair:(

Thursday, November 05, 2009


OK - I know it's been a while, but I am going to try to get back into blogging:)

Why did it stop? I don't really know, lots of reasons I suppose. There has been a lot going in life recently, but mostly i think I was undergoing a period of psychological readjustment, and sometimes, it is easier not to write all that stuff down until you have worked through it!

So whats occurin' in casa Aginoth? Well, workwise, they FINALLY finished their review. It only took 6 months from announcing there would be redundancies to deciding who would be made redundant! Not a happy 6 months I have to say. I was absolutely convinced that my job would go, and was fully expecting to be out of work by now. In fact, in June I was actively looking for work and attended a couple of interviews. Luckily I came second in both, considering that in July I discovered I was pregnant again - which would make starting a new job rather difficult to say the least! So new babe due at the end of March - I told work the day after they announced the redundancies, which much to my surprise did not include me! However, I was right, last week my job dissappeared and i was given a new placement in a new department. I now officially job-share with someone I have never met, doing a job that I have no interest in. The job I have taken belonged to another secretary who also was not made redundant. She has been doing it for years, but during the re-arrange, she was moved into the empty role in the family department - which I would have loved to take, and she hates! Where is the sense in that?

Anyway, I still have my job, so i am not going to complain....

Mstr A has settled into school really well this year - he likes his teacher, and has kept the same LSA which was really fantastic. He is also now of an age where school is becomming far more about working rather than playing, and he prefers that. There are still problems, and he still needs full time assistance, but he is doing OK. The school has also decided to get him statemented, so that the assistance and funding is guaranteed for the transfer to secondary school the year after next.

LMB has also found school much better this year. this is totally to do with the change in teachers IMO. I think she was just bored last year - all that rubbish about having low self esteem because she did not push forward with what they were doing in class! Total piffle! This years teacher told me that she is one of the most vociferous and interesting contributers. LMB told me "I am the most popular girl in the whole school" a couple of weeks ago. She goes running in each moring, and when I ask how her day was, usually responds with "fabulous"! She has also, finally started to properly sight read. YAY! Actually, she is quite good at reading now, and has started reading books to LMD:)

LMD is as precocious and manipulative as ever, and has totally captivated her teachers! No worries there:)

Aggie has had a really bad time of things this year. After all the hospital stuff, the docs decided he has to stay off all anti-tnf drugs for a full year. I assume they want to be sure he is free of any infections before re-starting (if they do re-start), so he is just on topical lotions and potions for his skin, and nothing for the arthritis:( As the Arthritis was getting worse so rapidly, we didn't realise how much the drugs were helping - since coming offf he has been really bad in all his joints. We had to sell our nice big 4x4 as he could not get in/out any more, but we got an OK car on mobility. I also bought him a mobility scooter last week, so he could "walk" the kids to school again. They are really expensive if you need one that works outside every day!

there's lots of other stuff, but that is probably enough of an update for now. I am going to try to get back into daily blogging and use this as my diary again:) It is nice to look back on.....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Communication, communiction, communication

is what it needs....... And apparently something that is completely lacking in the modern world:(

I checked my bank balance online this morning, as I regularly do. I had an unexpected credit in there! It was only showing up as "direct payment" on the summary, and no details will be available on my main statement for a while - so I decided to call the bank to ask where it ahd come from!

After a thorough search of the website, I finally found the number to call, and got through to the call centre, which my bank guarantees is in the UK somewhere, so spoke to a woman that I could understand perfectly for once! I explained what I wanted, and gave her my bank account details, at which point she told me she wouldn't speak to me as i had a business bank account with the same bank and had to go through them. I tried to explain it was a personal query and she refused to let me speak, talking over me until I asked her not to, at which point she put the phone down on me!!!!!!

Well! I was not impressed with that! I had just asked her not to overspeak me! So I phoned right back and asked to speak to a manager to put a formal compliant in. The manager said that as lazy call centre girl had not yet gone through ID checks with me, she couldn't take the complaint! I asked if the complaint would be logged and she said no, there was no way to do that if the ID checks had not been completed on the computer, and they would always assume their employees innocence if there was not taped evidence. When I pointed out that gave leeway for any staff member to spend as long as they liked swearing or saying whatever they wanted, provided they didn't put the ID details into the compute, the manager just gave a verbal shrug, and said, their staff wouldn't do that! yeah right..... I suggested that perhaps their procedures should be updatyed and could she log a formal complaint about that, and she said no, that was nothinhg to do with her!

At whcih point I said that I would be closing my account. So I am now off to town to do so.......

I have now found out where the credit came from - it was from Family Fund. They didn't bother to send me a letter, or email, or phone call to let me know they would be crediting my bank account! In fact, considering I applied in January, and have since called them three times, written three times and emailed five times - and only recieved one letter back form them ever, perhaps I shpouldn't be surprised! As the credit was for an unexpected amount, now I don't know if I am allowed to re-apply next year or not, which is a bit annoying..... but I doubt that I have much hope of getting an answer out of them!

On another note, Mstr A's sports trip was not a great success:( They went to the pool first = Mstr A has never been swimming unaccompanied before, not because his swimming is not good enough, buit a child with no social skills in a crowded public pool is not a good idea! Apparently he got "over-excited" (which I expect means he splashed/shouted/jumped on other kids etc) and was whistled at by the lifeguards a couple of times - which obviously he ignored. A whistle in a swimming pool makes perfect sence to lifeguards (I know - I used to teach them for years), but NOT to an Aspie child. he probably either didn't hear them , or didn't realise it applied to him. Anyway, the lifeguards got annoyed that he ignored them, and eventually threw him out of the pool & he was sent back to school in disgrace:( Fortunately his LSA called the sports centre and explained, and he went back for the afternoon session & did trampolining & badminton, but all in all, not the most sucesful day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back to life, back to reality....

Well, we all went back to our normal lives today - or almost anyway. Work changed their policy saying that unless I was symptomatic I needn't stay away any longer, so i went in today. Which was nice TBH LOL

We sent Mstr A & LMB into school as well - LMB hasn't really been that ill and was happily running around in the rain yesterday, but once she got to school she complianed that she felt sick, so of course, they sent her right home again. Oh well. I guess we'll never convince them to let her back in this week - and school finishes on Friday anyway. her teacher is a bit of a drama queen over any kind of illness anyway. I'm quite looking forward to her getting a new teacher, who will, hopefully, be a bit stricter with the whole class! I was going to send LMD in too, but Aggie decided that it wasn't worth the fight for two days (she breaks up on Thursday) so she gets to stay at home too.......

So poor old Mstr A is the only one in - and his LSA is off sick (although he got another one - I don't know who he stole her from LOL). However, he was awarded the most improved of his class certificate today - and won a trip to the local leisure centre for the whole day tomorrow, so he is delighted. Swimming & trampolining & tennis (hmmmm, he might manage two player games) and field games (not at all sure about that one - but he likes to run around the feild at least!). the award was for improved behaviour and completing work, which I suppose has greatly improved over the past year (this time last year he was suspended.....), but still, in my mind he still has a long way to go. I wonder what criteria the school uses to chose the recipients of the awards - there is only one per class.

I still haven't been made redundant from work - I'm starting to think they're not going to tell us until AFTER the school holidays now grrrr. If they hang on that long I won't want it any more! I'm not sure what Aggie is going to do with the kids for 6 weeks - I'm a bit concerned, judging from the past few days, that he will just leave them to watch TV/play on game boys all day:( I've signed up with Barnados to see if we can get Mstr A on any of their trips & things - there are not many places that can take him now he's getting older:( On the plus side, I've said to CAB that I won't be back until September, so I will have my days off actually with the kids this summer. I've already planned next week - we're off to Paulton Park (fantastic place, especially for youngish kids) and to visit my best man, who after over a decade of trying and some really awful experiences has a new healthy baby boy to coo over:) I haven't seen her for years, so it will be great to catch up.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


well, we were supposed to be at Berkeley Castle Skirmish this weekend. One of the best multi-group re-enactments in the south of the country:( I'm really annoyed we're missing it tbh. Especially as LMB is barely ill and no-one else ahs shown any symptoms (yet).

Of course, it is quite possible she doesn't have swine flu, and is just a bit under the weather with some summer bug! If the media hadn't been making such a fuss about the wholke thing I would have given her some junior paracetemol & sent her to school yesterday - but just in case it is, we are stuck at home..... The other two are not officially banned from school, but parents of siblings are being lynched at the school gates if they take the siblings in, and tbh, the school probably won't mind not having Mstr A there for the last week.....

Still, it has given a chance to get on with some stuff at home. I now have a nice big bath in my garden to soak my willow in, we have rediscovered the lawn underneath all the brambles, and the den has a new chest of drawers to help keep the kids toys tidy (yeah right!). I am going to try and get a load of stuff down to the tip tomorrow - surely that can't count as breaking quarantine?

Little friend from down the road - who obviously comes from a decidedly dodgy family, but is allowed out to play without several weeks worth of organising - came round today to play with the girls. I sent him back to tell his mum we had SF and he reappeared a few seconds later saying mum said it was ok to play anyway:) so the kids had a good few hours out in the garden too, which was great:)

If we are all still symptom free on Monday I will probably call work & see if I can go back. it seems silly to stay off atm.....

Friday, July 17, 2009


LMB has swine flu.

Ho hum.

They're giving her tamiflu, which seems a bit unecessary to me. Aggie gets it too as a precaution. the rest of us just get to sit around at home under quarantine. the kids aren't allowed to go to school, I'm not allowed to go to work (they better pay me, it's not my idea to stay at home!).........

bored already......


Thursday, July 16, 2009

so long, so much, so little

yes, it has been a long time since i posted anything, there has been so much going on and so little time or inclination to explain it.......

Aggie's op was sucessful, but then they found another abscess and he needed another op:( The doctors decided that the infections were due to the anti-TNF drugs he has been taking so obviously took him off them. he was in hospital for almost a month in the end. Once he recovered from the ops they started topical treatment for his psoriasis which did bring it down a bit, but as he is not on any drugs to keep it that way, it all came right back as soon as he was discharged:(

Unfortunately, we can now see how much the drugs were helping mask the arthritis as he has been in a lot of pain and having lots of difficulty doing even the simplest tasks. He saw his new Rheumatology consultant yesterday and was told there was no way he was going back on the drug he was on before - they may look at a different one in another few months, when he has been totally drug free for 6 months...... He has been prescribed a standard arthritis drug for now, but even if it does work, it won't be for several weeks, and won't affect his psoriasis at all:(

Mstr A has been difficult recently too. It is the end of term, so the curriculum is all messed up and he doesn't really like all the things that other kids think is fun! With Aggie in pain and Mstr A developing tourettes-type yelling, the boys have been at loggerheads even more than usual...

Work-wise, things are so-so. They are still "going through" the redundancy process. Apparently they are now going to tell us who will be redundant at the end of this month. I am still assuming I am top of the redundancy list;) If not, I am not sure how we are going to get through the summer holidays. It is harder to find places/things for Mstr A to do now he is older. they expect a higher level of independance which he just doesn't have. Unless I can go with him to whatever I make him do, he can't do anything (although his idea of heaven would be to spend the whole six weeks playing on the computer!).

On the plus side, we have made it back to re-enactment (at least the local events) and I have taken up a new craft: basket weaving, which is something I can actually do, and has an end product! LMB has FINALLY learned to read properly, and can be settled down with a book of her own at night time, and LMD is desperate to start school in September and can be disciplined with the threat that she won't be allowed to start if xxx LOL

We finally heard back from CAMHS, who are sending us off on a parenting course in September:) I am not sure how much use it will be for Mstr A, as these courses tend to talk about how to empathise with your child and how to encourage them to eempathise with you. Uh huh, but he is autistic. empathy is pretty much beyond him, and we will never truely understand how he sees the world! Still, professional advice is never to be sneezed at, and I am sure some of it will be useful for him and for the girls. Hopefully it might reduce some of the male dominance fights that are happening with depressing regularity.

I have taken some time off the CAB - I said I will go back in September. The thought of the holidays is stressful enough without leaving Aggie & the kids alone for an extra day each week.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

hospital update

phew, it's been an exhausting time here!

Aggie started his psoriasis treatement in hospital, and it seemed to be working really well, when he started showing signs of a major infection. his tempreture was a bit up when he went in, but we thought it was just the inability of his skin to do it's job properly - after all, he was laready on antibiotics before starting any P treatment! But as the pain got worse, the doctors came & had a look & decided that he had a major muscle infection. They stuck him on loads of anti-biotics, upped his painkillers to serious doses of morphine & decided surgery was the only way to go - the abcess was too big to deal with in any other way.

He was supposed to go down to theatre last thing yesterday, but some idiot probably crashed their car or something & he was bumped down to first thing this morning. As he was all attached to drips, nil by mouth & full of morphine, they couldn't do any P treatment for the past couple of days! fortunately, the op seems to have gone well, and he came round pretty quickly for him, so now they are talking about restarting the coal tar treatment for his P in another couple of days.

but overall, the whole thing has been more stressful & will take longer than anticipated. Ho hum.

The kids are coping quite well - Mstr A is a bit volatile, but fortunately the school is being very good with him. LMB is more emotional than normal, but doesn't seem to be worried at all - she happily accepts that the doctors will make daddy better. LMD thinks the whole thing has been done just to give her a bit more status in her class & superiority over her friends!!!

I've not been getting on with very much really. I am terrible at living alone - very unmotivated *sigh*. Must try to do more.....

Monday, April 27, 2009

hmmm, well, it's been a long time since I posted - mostly because I haven't had a moment to mhyself really, and also because I haven't felt much like writing down whats been going on here.....

Aggie's psoriasis flare just got worse & worse, until on Tuesday it covered up enough of his skin that it changed and became Psoriatic Exfoliative Erythroderma . So on Wednesday we spent the morning up at A&E, where he was immediately admitted into hospital. Unfortunately, because it needs a specialist derm bed, and we do not have a derm ward in Weston, that means he is in Bristol - which is about an hour's drive away. Visiting hours are 2-3 (kids are at school until 3.10) and 7-8 (kids go to bed at 7pm), so not very helpful!

Of course, with Aggie in hospital, I am stuck for childcare.... I leave for work at 8am & don't get back until gone 6pm, and school is 9am-3.10. even with breakfast club & after school club I was pushing it for the older two, and LMD's nursery does not have spare places for her to attend all day anyway. Plus it closes early on Friday's! and would cost a fortune.

I did get last week sorted by paying professionals & calling in favours, and the weekend by cancelling some things and getting Nanny A to stay overnight to do the 6am start I had on Sunday morning!!! But now I have taken some unpaid leave from work - it would just be too stressful to try to organise it otherwise.

And just to make things a little bit more dificult, I have sprained my ankle:(

still, some good news - the Family Fund people have finally got back to us, and will help us get the garden a bit more Mstr A friendly:) so I'm getting quotes in this week. And Aggie is doing really well in hospital and is looking much better already:)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

change of plans

It was too wet for Glastonbury today, so we went off to @Bristol instead. I think perhaps Mstr A has had too much "input" this week, as he was atrociously behaved:( actually they were all pretty horrible, so we came home early. But we did did get an annual pass, so we can go back again another time....

Aggie's psoriasis & Arthritis are really bad at them moment. He's had a massive flare over the past couple of weeks, and is really suffering:( looking at mobility scooters again.... we waiting on an appointment with the new consultant at the hospital, and expect he will get put on yet another brfand of expensive drug. Hopefully without an inpatient stay first, but I am not so sure.

It's Pesach today, and as my aunt was thoughtful enough to send a load of PAssover books to the kids this year, I have promised to do a seder supper tonight. I am sure it won't be nearly as exiting as they think it is going to be *grin*. But then we can go straight onto Easter on Friday, and get it all out of the way ready for re-enactment on Saturday. Might not be camping over tho - Aggie really needs a bath at least 2x a day at the momet, so tents and wet fields may not be the best idea. We will see.......

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This week

is the school holidays.

We had a lovely weekend doing family things, traipsing round castles and pic-nic'ing in the park:) Monday & Tuesday our wonderful help did all day and looked after bthe girls, one day at the park and the other taking them swimming, leaving Aggie to do some bonding and boy things with Mstr A, which worked out well.

Today has been a getting things done day:) Everyone has had hair cuts, been to the dentist, I've caught up on some paperwork etc.

oh yes, and we took delivery of our new dishwasher. The old one just wasn't cleaning stuff any more, despite all sorts of maintenance and attempts at sorting it ourselves. It was only when I sat and thought about it and realised that it was 8 years old, and had been used at least once a day every day, that I decided it deserved retirement:) Hopefully the new one will do as well!

Tonight I will mostly be trying to sew all the clothes ready for the re-enactment at the weekend. The first one of the season and always a big one. Looking forward to a nice warm sunny DRY season this year......

Tomorrow we're off to Glastonbury for some more family fun - looking at bold stuff, and maybe catch another museum LOL.....

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Did you ever think you'd see the day

finally, the US is looking at it's place in the world from an educated (and not just academically) pair of eyes!


Saturday, March 14, 2009


Apparently, according to the BBC's take on this story, Atheists are calling for 'debaptism" to make it a matter of public record that they are no longer "members" of the church.


I'm pretty sure my name is down on many membership lists of organisations I am no longer a member of, or even interested in, or indeed, able or eleigible to attend any longer! I do not feel the need to ensure that each and every one of them specifies that I have left.

I always worry about atheists who feel the need to prove how much they disbelieve. Like love and hate, this is just two sides of the same coin. It takes a lot of time, effort & emotion to disbelieve in such a strident way - time effort and emotion that we do not put into our disbelief of Zeus or the sock monster or American redneck obsessed aliens. Personally, I think about my childhood religious education pretty much as often as I think about the "gang" I was in when I was in primary school - which is to say never unloess someone brings it up in conversaation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rosy cheeked spring

All the daffodils have come out along the roadsides - the ride to work is so much nicer now I'm not freezing and it's daylight there AND back:) Biking is not so much fun in the winter.

I like spring - all the joys of and all that. Life is feeling good at the moment. Our cleaner/helper is fantastic - she works really hard and gets loads clean, plus walks LMD to school at lunchtime so Aggie gets to walk them all in the morning - which is good for him and them, although he still tends to collect them in the car. If the weather warms up just a little bit, she can have a bit of a go at the garden too:)

We've booked and paid for our anniversary trip to Rome this May - interest rates are still stupidly low, so we are reaping the benefits of having a high mortgage and no other credit:) My new dining table is due to arrive on Thursday - and we'll all be able to sit together as a family again for meals (we squeeze in at the moment, but it's not very suitable tbh) and the kids will have a decent place to do their craft activities.

And although my work is going to be shedding jobs soon, it probably won't be too many, and may not be me. But if it is, at least I get the summer holidays off:) I sent in my updated CV today though - it can't hurt;-)

LMD has gone and got herself slapped cheek syndrome - she doesn't seem at all bothered, but is pretty much covered in a really red rash. Lucky it is still cold enough to cover up really - she just looks very rosy cheeked:0 Her school is being eminently sensible about it and she was still allowed to attend today! yay!

We've got another evening out tomorrow. We've actually organised it this time and we're off to see Watchmen. Oooh the excitement:) But going out is not staying in. Life is good....

Friday, March 06, 2009

Roll with it

Just yesterday I was thinking that life is feeling pretty good again in most ways.

Today I went into work and within an hour had recieved a firm-wide email telling us that (despite their assurances to the contrary just a couple of months ago) we were feeling the bite of the economic downturn, and a "strategic review" of staffing was underway.

18 lawyers were made redundant today, and support staff will be reviewed and redundancies, if necessary, will happen probably in July.

I am not overly optimistic about keeping my job - they say they will look at skill sets & requirements etc, but it seems fairly obvious to me that PT central staff will be the first to go, regardless of how wonderful we are (or otherwise).

Still, I'm actually not that concerned. If I keep the job, that will be great, if I lose it, at least I'll have the summer holidays off:) And I can certainly keep myself busy!! And I've been made redundant before, something else will come up. It's not as though this is my dream career-making job.

Although I think perhaps this is an opportune time to send in an updated CV and remind them of all those wonderful skills I do have:)

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Time is fleeting

Wow, almost a week since I last posted - so much to do, so little time to do it:)

I had my 1st review at CAB last week - they keep regular tabs on us newbies, and I still have various bits of paperwork & training to complete along the next few months while I move from new to experienced advisor. It all went well. No problems from my PoV or theirs. I only seem to get through 4-5 clients a day, and others seem to manage more, but then again, I do get through 4-5, and write them up, so it's not terrible.

I also, finally, managed to write my first essay for my course this year. I have already decided to postpone it a bit & take the exams in October rather than June, but still, I need to get on with it. Now I do not need to spend all Thursday morning cleaning the house I am hoping to use that time to get on with studying.

We went up to the re-enactment market in Warwickshire yesterday to mooch around, but didn't really need too much stuff - Aggie picked up a couple of small badges to copy while doing his new trade of metal casting, and I bought a straw hat in the optimistic hope that I will need to shade my head from the sun at some point this summer....... But we have finally reached the point where we have most of what we need! Yay. I'm also not too far behind with the sewing this year - with two children & one adult fully kitted out, and only a couple more dresses to make to get everyone totally sorted (Aggie calls his a cote, but it's still a dress LOL). I even managed to sell on a few bit of old stuff. Hurrah. Mstr A is going to try being an apprentice this year, rather than a page, so will be around the living history traders rather than fighting with the soldiers - probably better all round we think!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reality sucks

Aggie had his regular physio appointment today. They decided that his left ankle and hip have got quite a lot worse, and L1-L5 vertebrae are showing more damage too. Instead of going back every six months, he will be having weekly appointments for a while. They have to teach him how to walk symmetrically again, as he is currently putting pressure on his back and the muscles are in spasm - which is why he has been so restless at night - so hopefully I'll be able to get a good nights sleep again soon;-) Fortunately there doesn't seem to be any further damage to his upper back/neck, but thats not a lot of consolation really:( I hate it when he sees the physio - it always makes me have to face reality again. I'm quite good at ignoring reality most of the time:)

Mstr A was in trouble at school again today - the first day back after half term, and he was sent to the head teacher already:( The problem is that once he gets an idea into his mind, it is impossible to persuade him to even consider that it might be wrong - or to accept that he can agree to differ with someone. He will stick to his guns however much trouble it gets him into. I'm not sure what I can do about nthat, or where to turn for advice! After such a good play day during half term, I was working hard at convincing myself that he was managing other people better - but I think it was just that friend L is VERY good with Mstr A, and laid back about being told everything, plus they were doing a rule bound activity where the rules were fixed, so Mstr A couldn't get them wrong!

Reality sucks. I'm going back into my fantasy world:(

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Moving along

It's been half term this week just gone. Not a particularly busy holiday, but a school holiday nonetheless!

I worked on Monday, and Aggie took Mstr A off to see the colour therapy optician person. She did loads if tests with various things, and ended up agreeing that Mstr A would benefit from blue tints on his glasses - apparently it made a big difference to his reading accuracy! Of course, this means that we have to get him a new pair of glasses (but fortunately they will mostly be covered by the NHS as "reading" glasses), then pay £70 to get them tinted. lets hope he looks after them well!

Then on Tuesday, I took the day off as Mstr A had his first physiotherapy appointment. It all went well, and didn't even hurt him much:) The physio agreed he is particularly stiff for a child, and said that he had a general weakness in his thighs which might be where the gait is cvoming from, but didn't think there was any real cause for concern. So I will try to get him to do more leg work - he loves cycling in the summer, and I promised to try to find a trampolining club for him too. he likes the trampoline, but finds it difficult to think up what to do on the one in the garden, although I am not sure how well he will cope with the discipline of a club. Perhaps he'll do a term or so, and then just practise some routines if I give them to him:)

We had booked a play date on Wednesday, so i took the day off from the CAB as Aggie was a bit concerned about having 5 kids to watch over all day. Fortunately we had invited a brother & sister from school who match up with Mstr A & LMB ages. They arrived at 9am, and the boys immediately went on the Wii while all three girls trotted outside to play in the garden. Apart from when I called them in for food, none of the children were seen again! The boys swapped from the Wii to the DS to the N64, and the girls swapped from the swings, to the trampoline to the playhouse. When mum came to collect at 4pm, neither of them wanted to go home as they hadn't played enough! So that was great, and very easy - next time Aggie can do it on his own:)

Thursday was a family day - we went over to Nanny A's and briefly met up with cousins girl K & boy K - again successfully managing to play together with no tears or blood.... And all the kids played with Nanny A's puppy - LMD even allowed it to climb up on her and lick her face which is amazing considering a few weeks ago she screamed and clambered vertically up my leg if she saw any animal within 50m of her!

I still don't really get the point of pets tho - I'm glad the kids are not scared of animals so much now, but why have them in your house? Smelly, expensive and dirty whotsits imo:) We even managed to get rid of our fish recently - freecycling them & their tank to a very grateful family. So now we are again animal free at home.

I went to work again yesterday - they were pissy enough about me taking Tuesday off! Aggie took the kids to the cinema to see Madagascar 2, and I'm sure bought them tons of sugary rubbish, yet when I came home in the evening & asked what they had done, they told me "nothing", and that they "never" do anything nice! KIDS!!!

Today Aggie is beingt he dutiful son again and sorting out IT issues for his dad, so I'm taking them bowling & to the playground. It's a terrible life being a child!

But best of all, our new cleaner started this week! My house looks all funny - you can see the carpets, and the floors aren't sticky:) (OK, it wasn't often that bad......), and smells of polish and bleach! She works really hard and has got loads done in her couple of hours! I still feel a bit guilty about having a cleaner, but it is keeping two people in jobs (me & her) so I can feel that I am doing my bit to help the recession:~) And it does mean I no longer have any excuse not to get on with all my stuff - I am going to really crack on with my studies now, which have been totally neglected recently, and also try to catch up on a load of first aid stuff that I am behind with.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Book List

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien +
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling +
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee +
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell +
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman +
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott *
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy *
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller *
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien +
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger *
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens *
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy*
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams +
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky*
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy *
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens*
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini *
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres *
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden *
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne +
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell +
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown *
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez*
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving*
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins*
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery *
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy *
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan *
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel *
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons*
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth*
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon*
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon *
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez*
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov*
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt*
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold *
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy*
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding*
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie*
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker +
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson +
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath *
77 Swallow and Amazons - Arthur Ransome +
78 Germinal - Emile Zola*
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray*
80 Possession - AS Byatt*
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell*
83 The Colour Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro*
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert *
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry*
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom*
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks*
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole*
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute*
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas *
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo +

Only 6?! I don't consider myself particularly well-read. I just don't have the time right now. But 6!!!!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

My magic eyes

remember last time I went to the opticians? He told me I was "special" as my eyes had completely healed from the laser surgery I had years ago:)

Well, I went back to the opticians today - a different one from last time, and he told me that I had "lovely" eyes. Of course, from an opticians point of view that meant that I had good strong veins at the back of my eye, crystal clear lenses and a fluid pressure of 14, which is, apparently, just right! But more interestingly my astigmatism has improved somewhat over the past year or so! So I am one of the few people whose eyes get better as they get older and spend more time on the computer! Weird huh?!

Also talking about eyes, Mstr A is off to try colour therapy on Monday. That's the thing when they give people tinted glasses and it magically cures various things. Of course, only some things, and only some people, but..... When my kids can swim two full lengths of the pool without stopping, I let them have goggles. Mstr A got there a while ago, and said that he can see much better through his blue goggles than without them or even with his glasses. So we looked into it, and there is some evidence it MIGHT help some people with some autistic spectrum disorders. there are not many qualified colour therapy optomitrists in the UK, but fortunately one of them is just a few miles away, and for £28 for the appointment, what can it hurt?

Although we might be going back to her in the not too distant future, as apparently the school are getting LMB checked out for dyslexia, or similar. I'm not convinced myself - whereas I knew Mstr A had issues long before anyone else would admit it (or do anything about it), I don't get that feeling with LMB. She does still write a number of letters and numbers back to front (but she is only 5!), and she is not the most literate of 5 year olds (but she is only 5!), but she can read, and she can spell words out, recognise letters, numbers, shapes, use a computer....... Still, I'm not going to stop them testing her - even if all it does is stop them telling me how she doesn't have much self confidence! What they mean is she doesn't push herself forwards all the time, she doesn't insist on being the one picked first/most, and doesn't vie for attention all the time. But that doesn't mean she lacks self confidence - she happily chats to everyone she meets, she tries new things without batting an eyelid, and goes to new places and makes new friends easily. She agrees with me that she is big, clever, beautiful and brilliant at everything she tries:) she happily shows her friends (and others) how to do things, and regularly performs her "shows" and concert for lucky members of the family! I'm at a bit of a loss as to what else I can do to encourage her self confidence! Or how to explain tot he school that she does have it!

I don't think we'll have the same problem with LMD - she can't bear to let anyone else speak/do anything/get attention if she is there:) She soooooo wants to be at school - she insists on wearing school uniform every now and then to go to nursery. It does look extraordinarily cute:) But I'm sure she's planning just to sneak next door into the reception class when no-one is looking! Although in fact, she's more concerned about trying new things than LMB is - she worries that she won't be able to do it properly! But I don't think the teachers will be telling me she lacks self confidence!

It's half term next week, so it's going to be a busy week. Hopefully the weather will stay dry - it's a shame the snow didn't turn up a couple of weeks later really.

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