I hate you so much right now!!!

A snapshot of emotion, lost in a fleeting glance but no less real than love, compassion, lust or anything else..whether you believe they’re caused by hormonal interaction, electrical impulses or some other fanciful notion emotions rule you!

However in control of them you appear it doesn’t mean you don’t experience them.

For the most part I adore my husband and children, the vast majority of them time we’re a happy family but…

The boys and Em are on the autistic spectrum (Daizy has potential too if I’m honest.) They’re vastly different though in the way they exhibit it.

Contrary to belief this doesn’t mean they lack emotions but they feel and express them differently. Once a melt down is underway there is very little point in attempting to quell the tide of tears, anger, head butting the floor or swearing dependant on which child is involved. It’s all about learning to surf the wave of emotion.

A child or anyone having a meltdown is struggling, in the case of my children it’s often from over stimulation, under stimulation creates it’s own different response. Generally all of them appear to cope with new situations and activities really well, it’s in the quiet time following the event, during the processing of it that situations can become difficult for them and us with the ripple effect.

That said the title of this blog and my first moments of writing weren’t about them at all but as I wrote my thoughts expanded as they do and I went off on a tangent. I was angry at my husband for something trivial and for that second I felt such rage but equally quickly it subsided and here we are.

So if you can take a text message one of two ways, take it the nice way. It’s difficult to interpret the written word or the mood at the time of it’s inception, live positively, spread joy and if you can’t be kind, be quiet, or better still be absent!

Have a great Saturday A x

Out of control again…sugar is a vice!

I was a teenger in the late 80s early 90s, the era of The original “Karate kid and Footloose,” (it must’ve been a good decade for film because they’re remaking them all!) Daryl Hannah was a mermaid long before she was a one eyed assassin. Jane Fonda was “feeling the burn.” Women were tall, lean and willowy. I was a short, plump, muscular girl.

My wonderful mother and her friends were always expressing their desire to lose a few pounds, if not actually on diets; and tanning, not so much my mother who has the palest of skin, freckles and mousy hair like me. (I’ve always hated my freckly arms) but this was the era of the sun tan too, before there was as much knowledge of the different elements of UV and fake tan made you look like an orange Z list reality tv star. Many more people still smoked too probably because of the era before them when all the film stars smoked.

We’ve always been subliminally bombarded with subtle messages, them and us, successful people do this, so we all do this too. Attractive people do that so we all do that, generation after generation far before the deliberate introduction of advertising.

It’s no secret body types come in and out of fashion like hairstyles and clothing, from Rubenesque rolls to Twiggy’s jutting collarbones but when you’re a dumpy prepubescent chubba in the decade that created “The Truffle shuffle” to ridicule a fat kid, your Mother and her friends are always criticising themselves (none of these women possessed an ounce of fat btw!) It’s easy to develop a complex.

This complex didn’t see me eating less however or trying not to eat pound after pound of sugar. I should probably point out I was well fed by my mother, she was born in 1940 and remembered the years of austerity after the war, her Mother was an amazingly adept woman, she kept house, made, bread, clothes, had an allotment where she grew her own vegetables. She never seemed to have a down day. She worked for Channel before she met my grandfather, long before women routinely worked so always had an impeccable sense of style too. Hearing that it’s no wonder my Mother was and is to this day hard on herself, she has a lifelong depressive illness, it must have seemed so much to live up to. The point I am rapidly losing was, she cooked our meals from scratch. My lunch box contained fruit, sesame snacks, ryvita and natural yogurt, not kitkats, coke and crisps like my peers.

Along came “Heroine chic” Kate Moss and her generation of super models gray eyed and gaunt, peering moodily from the pages of every magazine. A horrific incident with a purple velvet dress from Miss Selfridge, I’d seen in Just 17 magazine, I loved it, saved for it and bought it. I still remember the debilitating crushing feeling of self loathing when I looked in the mirror and saw a 5′ 2″ chubby girl looking back at me. The sting of the tears and wave of nausea when I didn’t look like the 6 ft size 8 (4 US) model in the picture. All these things just underpinned my feelings of inadequacy about my looks. I was flat chested, pale skinned with freckles. Short and plump to boot.

It was the decade after punk where goths came in (in Oxford anyway) I was a didi goth, floaty fringed black tassel skirts, black spikey hair and liquid eye liner, hidden behind a mask of make up and a sullen expression.

Various experiences added to the feelings of negativity towards my body. A local teenage skin head chanting at me, “I’m a goth, I’m a goth, what kind of goth am I? A fat one!”

Goth moved on to faded ripped Levi jeans and brogues with Grolsch bottle tops in homage to ‘Bros’ I’d catch the Oxford Tube by myself and go to American Classics on the King’s Road in London & buy second hand Levis 501s, kept the black hair and make up mask but toned down the kicks and pattern to my liquid eyeliner. And I still gorged my feelings of self loathing with sugar and fat.

My lifelong friends, my mother’s best friends daughters were, of course, tall and willowy too, another incident with rara skirts, my short muscular, corn beef legs compared to their long lean tanned ones were another blow to my confidence.
All these little events plus many more subconscious blows created an insecurity about my body and intrinsically my self worth.   
The value of an individual has no baring on their appearance but society, social media, magazines etc tell another story. They drip feed fat means lazy and ugly while slim is successful and sexy.  I guess at least now muscular is becoming something women can aspire to too, rather than the assumption you’re butch or taking steroids.

Where was I going with all this you may ask?
I’m 47 and fully aware of the value of the soul not the outward appearance. I try not to judge others for theirs, although as a human being have to admit this isn’t always possible. We all judge second by second without necessarily being mindful of it. I’m not in bad physical shape, I’m not a cross fitter but I train regularly and am pretty fit and I’m not usually overweight perhaps a few pounds over what is ideal for optimum health in the winter but this could be the body dysmorphia talking. To quote my mother I look wonderful for “a woman of my age.”

Despite this I’m still unable to separate insecurity about my body image from my emotions. To this day if I’m angry or sad I fight it down with sugar; usually chocolate or gummy sweets. I celebrate with sweet food, reward myself with sugar. Any excuse.

I fight the urge to gorge in secret because of the shame I feel eating something perceived as fattening. I started hiding food, usually in the form of bags of cadbury fun size, after I went interrailing round Europe, mostly Italy with my first serious boyfriend at 17 (before he went off to York University leaving me in Oxford heart broken) He told me if I lost two stone he’s marry me, an off the cuff remark he undoubtedly wouldn’t remember making. I was probably only about 9 stone 10lbs – 10 stone. The relationship died when he went off with a girl he met at freshers week but for me the need to lose 2 stone remained.

I lost the 2 stone and then some, following a pregnancy and subsequent birth of my beloved eldest daughter who’s 27 today, and various means not all of them healthy or sensible to be the subject of another blog but I’m still a slave to sugar, I don’t care if people say it’s not addictive, I’ve given up smoking and various other highly addictive substances (that other blog again) and for me it’s the worst!

Happy Saturday

A x

Waiting for God!!

Yesterday my wonderful neighbour was unwell, he was pooping blood and too embarrassed to talk to me about it, his wife is kind of like my other Mother and he is more like my Father in law.
My husband and he have a very close relationship for men. I don’t mean I think men can’t have close relationships but rather because the nature of those relationships is very different to the ones I have as a woman.

I usually get up at 5.30am to find a little quiet space to myself in a busy house-hold but yesterday I didn’t, I got up put the washing in the dryer at 4.30 went back to bed and wasn’t up until more like 6.15am. As soon as I put the kitchen light on I heard the familiar tap of Cath’s broom on the back door.

It didn’t occur to me it was early when I opened the door. She was standing in the drizzle the other side of the fence. Pete had been unwell since 3am, she’d waited for one of us to get up to see if Chris would run him to A & E. As I said, he didn’t really want to talk to me so I got Chris up it was about 6.20am. Pete had called Drs on Call, after about half an hour the on call Dr rang him back and told him to go to his GP at 9am. He couldn’t drive and was in excruciating pain, he was also loosing blood; concerned at the level of pain and blood loss assuming the GP would have just sent him to A&E Chris drove him in.
After a long wait he saw the registrar and was released with antibiotics. Having not eaten most of his symptoms had subsided.
When he got home he ate half a banana and took an antibiotic because it was suggested not to take  them on an empty sromach. 
Within half an hour he was in excruciating pain and passing an egg cup of blood every time he went to the loo, which was every 15 mins or so (sorry tmi!) This time he called an ambulance thinking it would be quicker than going back through triage, 3 hours later a 1 man crewed ambulance turned up to take him back to hospital about 7.15pm. Ambulances were queuing outside the hospital, waiting to allow patients in because they were so busy and there were no beds! Eventually he was seen still losing blood, barely checked over, he was told to continue with the antibiotics and released, they told him to “find his own way home” It was 10.30 pm 14 miles from home in a rural community, the last bus is at 7.20pm his wife doesn’t drive, a 73 year old man..
I was really shocked, not at the treatment he received from a medical standpoint we’re very fortunate in the UK to have a free health service, I’ve said before they do an incredible job with the limited funds available in this time of austerity with an ever growing population but wow an elderly man having to find his way 14 miles home at night while bleeding and in pain!

This experience shocked me, except for the autistic spectrum thing, asthma,eczema and Lewis’s allergy to eggs, we’re very seldom unwell. Our experience of Hospital is generally an accident usually involving my husband something like arch eye or a screw driver in the hand (he’s a mechanic, enough said!) Or Lewis’s regular appointments with the allergy specialist.

Recalling the experience and my feelings about it to my sister in law, she was completely underwhelmed.. she works in a care home for the elderly, apparently this is quite normal, they frequently refuse to take their elderly residents at all and equally often having been taken away by ambulance following a fall or whatever, they are returned for the staff to deal with.
It seems the elderly are deemed less important, their ailments less readily treated. The majority in care home have ‘Do not resuscitate’ orders on them, the label speaks for itself.
More and more people are reaching greater ages than ever due to better medicine,nutrition,housing,sanitation etc.

With an ever aging population where will the resources come from to look after them/us when we get there?
It’s frightening to see the treatment of the elderly here in the UK, I can’t speak for other countries but imagine they’re not so different in the 1st world at least!
It seems over a certain age, once you’ve served your purpose, out lived your usefulness, you really are waiting for God!
#waitingforgod #middle-aged  #life #aging

“The devil’s in the detail!” Not in my life he’s not!!!

There’s a whole different person in my corner!

#Godsquad #whatif #life #middle-aged

Call him/her what you like, add or take away what you need but even Jesus said “if you don’t believe in me believe in the one who sent me!” (Or words to that effect!)

My mother is a Christian (other religions are available.) She had an epiphany at about 14 and has tried to live her life by that moral compass ever since; she’s 79 this year! This seems a very advanced age written down, she really doesn’t come across like an elderly lady as her chronological age would suggest.

When I say she has tried to live her life this way she really has. She doesn’t go to church on Sunday dressed to the nines pious or entitled like she believes she’s one of God’s chosen but rather she tries to emulate the teachings of Jesus, whether you believe he was the son of God, a prophet or a work of fiction. The teachings of Jesus have endured over the centuries. Most people would agree they are a good set of values to emulate.

I’m not saying she’s never judged another person, made a hurtful remark or any other negative human traits but she has always tried to love her God with all her heart and love her neighbour as herself..if she can or could ever help someone in need she would endeavour to be a help or support them. If she is wronged, however hurt, she has turned the other cheek.

As a child I believed in God out of fear, I was too scared not to… Fear it might be true and if I didn’t believe he’d smite me or some other notion. I’ve no idea why, how or even when it changed but now I realise the opposite is true. I believe in God and fear the occasional “sinful” doubt, what if I’m wrong? I fear it’s not true!

At the risk of having my house fire bombed by fanatics of any/all denominations, I believe the basic teachings of the Old Testament (the foundation of both Judaism and Christianity) and the Qur’an are fundamentally the same, many people are surprised just how much Jesus appears in the Qur’an, he is holy in Islam too but as a prophet not the messiah.

I’m unashamedly a scientist too, admittedly of sport science not anything evolutionary but I’m also one of many “Christian’s” who happily live in synergy with the 2 identities.

I imagine if an original addition of the Bible turned up (I do know it’s not possible, it being a collection of letters, religious texts over centuries etc before anyone pipes up but bare with me!) It would be quite different to the one we read in English today.

Generation by generation like Chinese whispers, each wronged nation under the phaeros or whatever dynamic adding its 2 pence from their perspective. Later on whoever was in power be it Rome (Henry the eighth onward in the UK) twisting it to their end to control the masses or simply by translating it from language to language.

Even the Qur’an translates differently if the punctuation is changed.

BUT..The basic principles remain, hope springs eternal, faith is the peace in my soul, the positive mind set in my bad day, the absolute trust everything is as it should be and all is well!

All religions have their fanatics, but no religion preaches violence or hatred

Peace to you all whatever your beliefs

A xx

Good grief!

Well my crazy beautiful bi-polar daughter is home after a nine year absense and an epic journey to Oxford and back in a day, only 460 miles but it seems a very long way when the first and last hour are silly little roads peppered with hold ups from tractors to Sunday drivers and you live in the UK which is a small island in the great scheme of things.

Despite intending to write a daily blog I haven’t managed it at all since she got here until today I’m not sure I did the day I went up to collect them either, hope it’s not an omen but she is all consuming aha!

Life has been a bit hectic with the private let for Ce’Nedra and the kids falling through which necessitated in finding somewhere for them to stay, pretty darn quickly, she’s still in a very short let because I’m lucky enough to have fabulous people in my life who were able to lend her an empty holiday let..

The children start school tomorrow in the same school they were in when they came to stay with me when their Mother was in hospital, which will be nice as 2 of my children attend the same school and probably more importantly they have friends there. Javiah my grandson did not want to move to Wales but he’ll be fine now he is here. Ce’Nedra needs to be home with the support so many young mothers take for granted.

I hadn’t realised until it had gone perhaps because it’s always been there but I was anxious, somewhere on a molecular level, even while thinking I was zen like after a yoga session. It was there like a back ground hum. All the time she was away 9 years of worry about my child and her off spring out there in the world.

Maybe that’s why I’m very calm at the prospect of their homelessness, unashamedly God squad if not affiliated with a specific religion, I believe in Science too but can happy merge the 2 either way I know it will work out, things always do. She’s home now and although there’s yet more people jostling for my attention a balance will be found and we’ll find a new normal.

I refuse to be mum’s taxi but because I pass the door on the school run I’ll pick the children up for school and it’s a good excuse to go to the nearest reasonable sized town to shop for the things we can’t get in our rural community shopping once a week…oh and there’s the 2 weekly access visits 200 mile round trip for Shiloh to see her father but other than that 😂 🤔 ok so may be just a bit like Mum’s taxi, I think the anxiety might be creeping back in…

I’m at the same time excited and fearful, excited because for the first time ever all my biological off spring are within a 5mile radius I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing my grand children grow up and coffee with my adult daughter/friend. Fearful because the nature of her illness means she can be very dependant. I’m a people pleaser but I’m already time poor it’s taken me years to find time for me, to not feel selfish to go for a run or just binge watch Doctor Who…anyway only time will tell, I’m a glass half full kind of gal so watch this space. Happy Sunday A x

#life #middle-age #bi-polar #brightfuture fully

So much for a Daily dose of me ha..

I fully intended to blog the entirety of 2019. My whole 48th year on the planet (I was 47 New years eve!) in a vague attempt to embrace having that birthday because I had always loathed sharing what I considered to be my day with everyone else on the planet.
I should probably point out this was an echo of emotion from the day at about 7 my parents held a New year eve party and kept sending me back to bed. Subconsciously I think it’s also to do with my shocking memory. I’ve never been a diary writer as some people are, but lately I realise how poor my memory is for events and things, and until jogged hard by someone else’s memory of an event in which I was a participant I seldom remember, quite often I don’t actually remember then either but nod and smile at what I hope are the right places. I’m told this is due to everything from the menopause to being busy and even, “we’re like computers with a finite memory, so the unimportant data like what you ate in the 3rd year at lunch disappears” a viewpoint I’m pretty sure is factual. I’m all for insignificant data leaving but the significant stuff is going too, though oddly not visual data like where everyone in the house hold keeps the XYZ they’re looking for!

In any event daily blogging lasted all of 8 days in 2019, I did sign up to word press a little earlier 17 days ago to be exact but just to see if writing flowed like it did when I was younger. Often I read something I consider to be very insightful in my Facebook memories and am convinced I am getting significantly less intelligent.

Maybe this will document my demise but at least I will know what I’ve been up to and heaven forbid anything should happen to me, My children can read and see who I was and what I was about.

Morbid? meh..my father died when I was 6, I know I said my parents had a New Years eve party when I was about 7 but in truth I may have been 4 or 5 I can’t remember if my father was there or not. In some fleeting glances he was, in other not. I would love to have known him. I imagine it’s because I didn’t have one that I feel it’s important to know one’s father. I’m not suggesting rapists have rights over children conceived in that manner, an actual situation here in the UK on at least 1 occasion (I kid you not!)

I think it may also be why I stayed so much longer in relationships that were clearly not working when there were children involved and always strove for there to be a relationship between father and child. I didn’t want my children to have that void.

There’s so much I don’t know about where I came from, I’m not even sure why it matters if it’s a recent thing or if it’s always been there. Have I built the idea of having a father in to something much more relevant than it is? I’ll never know. I know there are bad Dad’s who do unspeakably cruel things to their children. I’ve seen enough snippets of The Jeremy Kyle show when Chris is off work to know that an absent father to idolise is far better than a poor one.

There’s a yerning for knowledge on a genetic level too. Who donated my other chromosomes?! I know my mother as well as anyone can have an insight in to a person they have always known but in truth I don’t know all that much about her either.

A lot of what we “know” of a person remains like the echo of emotion about my birthday as a child. I am a very different person to the one I was even a few years ago, we evolve and grow dependant on our experiences and relationships. I have not lived in close proximity to my mother in over 30 years. Although I love her and she loves me we don’t have the intimacy, dependency or need to connect daily I see others have with theirs. I’m not sure if this is because I like being alone or because a life long depressive illness has meant every few years she really doesn’t want to know me or anyone at all for 5 months. I question if this is why I’m self sufficient, if there was a time I had to find my own feet because it’s hard to be dependant on someone who’s not available. In any event I don’t remember so it hasn’t been a scaring life experience.

Anyway my blogging lasted 8 days of 2019 and then on Tuesday I went to collect my crazy beautiful bi-polar daughter from Oxford, I drove the 450 mile round trip back home to Pembrokeshire in a day so as not to disrupt the life of my family here too much. My wonderful friend Jane who will never know what she means to me or how grateful I am to have her in my life, lent me her car for the third time in 6 months. My husband is a mechanic so obviously my car is the last one to get looked at but the one he is the most critical of.

In my pre Chris days I would have just driven it there and thought nothing of it and it would probably have made it but…
So Jane lent me her tiny little car I pootled up the M4 squashed Ce’Nedra and the 2 small folk in the car with as many boxes and bags as we could accommodate and drove home.

I’m at the same time excited and fearful, excited because for the first time ever all my biological off spring are within a 5mile radius I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing my grand children grow up and coffee with my adult daughter/friend. Fearful because the nature of her illness means she can be very dependant. I’m a people pleaser but I’m already time poor it has taken me years to find time for me, to not feel selfish to go for a run or just binge watch Doctor Who…anyway only time will tell, I’m a glass half full kind of gal so watch this space. Happy Sunday A x
#life #middle-age #bi-polar #brightfuture

We really don’t know how lucky we are!

I say we but can really only speak from the perspective of a woman in her late forties (suffering from lack of sleep with all that time to think) living in the UK.

People often generalise but even those forward thinking individuals trying hard to see life from the viewpoint of another (I’m sure we all like to think we fall in to that category!) can only guess at best at the thought processes of anyone else or the life that has brought them about. The way one sees oneself or anyone else lives only in our mind, no two people will view you in the same way even if their opinions are similar . It’s like taste or colour, how do I know the way I see blue isn’t yellow to you or the flavour of coffee isn’t stilton (uch!)

It’s funny because on the one hand we are all unique, no two people are truly the same, even identical twins are never identical, as a rule you can tell them apart. I’ve never understood this by the way so if someone can explain I would be grateful. I’ve given it thought, position in the womb may account for subtle pressure differences meaning microscopic differences in body/facial contours, sleeping position allowing for gravity to cause subtle changes but really why? Why aren’t genetically identical people identical? I find so much else fascinating about the twin thing I’m off topic ha! No change there.

So we are all unique beings and as so view the world differently; even if these differences are subtle. Individually we are viewed differently by others. To someone out there you are one of the most wonderful people to walk the planet, to another the villain of the piece but they are both right. There is no one singular truth, two opposing viewpoints can be argued and can both be right and that is both epic and the problem in all things from Brexit to Gazza! Yet despite being unique however wise and alternative we believe we are, how different we feel to the masses. There are umpteen people who have had the self same thoughts and opinions before us.

Ok so we don’t know how lucky we are in the UK. I mentioned my daughter (27) and family were meant to be moving 250 miles from England to Wales next weekend but the house fell through. They’d already given notice on their current place and panic ensued. We found suitable accomodation to rent through an agency but for one reason and another were unable to jump through enough hoops to act as guarantors despite being able to find bond, rent in advance and all the random agency fees. Yet more panic but then, reality check!!

We live in the UK, despite Brexit and all the other things people are wailing and moaning about. We have social housing, yes it’s stretched, it’s a disgrace in a county as wealthy as the UK we have people living on the streets! But Ce’Nedra and the family won’t have to live in a tent, they will have a roof, heat, running water etc! These are privileges denied to so much of the world. Worst case they will sleep in our living room and we will put their things in storage until we can find an alternative. The children already have school places, free schooling for all; amazing concept. We have a welfare state, yes it’s changing, it is harder to manipulate the system in the hope that people will choose to better their own lives, either through education or vocational training schemes and ultimately work and not see it as an easy option. I DO NOT agree with all parts of the reforms, the elderly, people with disabilities, bedroom tax and so on but still it exists, help is there, it’s hard to imagine what life would be like if it did not. We have a national health service, free medical care for all, it is not failing us, it is being failed and the staff are doing miraculous things with limited resources!

Life is a lottery, so much is the luck of the draw. It was dumb luck I was born in the UK, my children were born in the UK, we are fortunate! To look down on another person because luck placed them somewhere else is lunacy. Dumb luck shouldn’t make us elitist. There is a them and us in all things from race to religion, even on a microscopic level in teams and places of work etc. I understand the desire to fit in, to want to belong but that should not mean we are opposed those that are different. I am so very grateful God blessed me with this life, with it’s tiny troubles and massive advantages!

Have a great week A x