Unfortunately, I had to unpalatable joy of staring into the abyss of Hell!!! And; have only just started to make my way back from there.
As you know I have a daughter who we call Kitten here. We are very close, but like a lot of Mother/Daughter relationships it was rocky for a while during the teen age years. However Kitten as grown into a wonderful young woman and I am immensely proud of her. She is my sun, my moon, my north, my south.
OK Kitten hasn't changed the World or solved world poverty, but while her accomplishments in life have not been world changing, she has never-the-less grown into the kind of woman that I always wanted her to be. She's kind, feisty, funny, loyal and a wonderful to spend time with or have on your side. She's just lovely.
Just when I thought I could take my eye off the ball, her world came tumbling around her. Crashing down and levelling her.
You see Kitten had been seeing a young man called Graham. They'd been together for 4yrs and while I admit that they had, had their ups and downs they were making good head way. I adored him and being me told him how it was when he needed it. We were good friends. I found him inspiring, courageous, hard working, well just great really.
Last year Graham started planning a trip to Indian. The kids had split up for a while and Graham felt that he had lost his way a bit. So to try and sort himself out he had decided to travel. The kids got back together and decided that he would go along with his plans to travel.
February rolled round. Passport done. Ticket booked. Visa's obtained. Injections had. The time ticked by, the kids fought, they were on, they were off, back on again. It became impossible to keep track of them.
We saw little of Graham. Kitten doesn't live at home, so most of their shenanigans were kept away from us and at their own flat. I spoke to Graham from time to time and kept in contact with him via Facebook and phone.
Then the day he was to leave arrived. He came to see us all at the new family house and we were delighted to see him. So full of energy and vitality. Graham hugged you like your life depended on it and it was so very good to see him. He was so excited and chatted on and on non stop. He filled the house with life as only he could and in his own way. Graham had lived with us all in the past, at our old house. Before he and Kitten moved to their own place. You always knew when he was in the house. There was a vibration of energy all the way through it.
He and I had a private chat and he said he would be coming home to my Kitten and that he wanted to settle down and stop "dicking around" as he put it; get married and have babies. I'd always known there was a deep love between them. They had been through a lot together and grown with each other. The last split had shown them that and I really believed they were meant for each other and would make it. They were back together and planning for the future. It was obvious to all that they were serious now and that a shift had occurred between them.
Graham went away a few days later and all went well. He and his friend Luke got to Mumbai safely. Made a few friends and had a great time. They decided to go to Goa for a few days.
On March 3rd, I got a call from Kitten, she was screaming and screaming and screaming!!! I couldn't calm her down, couldn't get her to hear me. I couldn't get her to stop screaming. Then she went silent. It was the most eerie of silences.
"Kitten, it's mum. Talk to me baby!" Silence..... "Please talk to me baby?" Silence..... "Tell mummy what's wrong baby girl, I'm here".....
Silence total and utter silence. I have never felt more hopeless, helpless and useless in my whole life. Then I heard gentle sobs. I waited.....
"Mum, he's dead.....he's dead Mum" "Whose dead baby?"
Silence.........then a small tiny whisper of a voice, barely recognisable as my daughter's.
"Graham mum, Graham's dead!!!!"
Every thing after that was a blur, a dizzying, terrifying blur. I remembering phoning Edward, Graham's brother as I knew him and had his number. Oh God! No! it was true, He filled me in on the details. We chatted a bit about what was going to happen next and I said how sorry I was, that I would get there as soon as and that I had to get to Kitten. I phoned Francis (still with an i). They were friends and it shocked him to his core. He said he was on his way home, would meet me at Kitten's. I phoned Frankie, my long term foster daughter and Kitten's best friend, she was in shock, would leave now and meet me at Kitten's. Next came the boy's. How would they take it. Callum just couldn't take it in, it was impossible, I was lying to him. Ashley, poor Ashley, he'd not had a good relationship with Graham. They'd had a bad row about Kitten. Guilt hit him bad. I don't remember getting dressed. I don't remember the drive to Kitten's. I do however remember the frail. tiny, pale, trembling little girl who open the door of my daughter's flat. Was this really my little hell-cat who stood there before me.
Time stood still for so very long...... Days I have forgotten and time I have lost, but worse than Graham's death at 23yrs is the loss of my daughter. For she is lost.
We all lost Graham that day and a light went out forever that will never be replaced. He was a unique and wonderful human being. You don't meet many like him in your life time. I am proud to say, that for awhile he shone brightly in our lives and we are all the better for knowing him.
When the day of his funeral came around it fell on 25th March. It was a glorious day. Bright, beautiful warm sun greeted us all that morning. Very unseasonal weather for England. It felt as if the sun had come out to welcome Graham home. He adored the sunshine.
No one, especially a Mother should ever have to dress her daughter for a funeral. Kitten was just numb, now deeply lost and distressed. But so very, very silent. Even when she did talk she was so quiet, it was barely a whisper.
The funeral was beautiful, if you can say that about a 23yr old man's funeral. So many people turned out for him. It was so heartening to see. Afterwards we went to a hotel where his family had invited everyone and we all cried, talked about Graham and laugh at some of his mad antics.
As you know it doesn't end with the funeral and the days that followed were some of the worst of my life. I honestly don't know what kept my girl upright and what got her through those early days.
Everybody lost Graham that day, but I lost him and my Kitten. Kitten's not the same any more and although it is 6months since he passed there has been a marked change in her. The devastation of his loss has been all the more harder for her because she feels they wasted so much time. Dicking around as Graham would say. I can't lie to her and tell her that time is a healer and that things will get better. Instead I told her the truth, (as I see it)....time doesn't heal you, it just teaches you how to live with the pain and loss. That eventually she will feel able to cope with her life again and to take her time.
It is devastating to watch some one you love so very much, struggling to come to terms with some thing you have no power to change and can barely understand yourself, it's so wrong to have to young people die. It's like a crime against nature and time. There is a long way to go yet and no end in sight. There are now however small glimmers of hope.
Kitten knows I'll be there. I already have been. And; I'm going nowhere fast.
It's changed me, made me think deeper. My own Mother use to say "Life isn't a dress rehearsal." I have never been afraid of dying, only of leaving those behind I love the most. Just when they need you the most, you can't be there. Now I am terrified of death and my own demise....I have seen the pain and destruction it leaves those you love the most in. However, I have realised that the time you have now is it, so you better dang well make the most of it, work out your priorities and make sure those you love...KNOW YOU LOVED THEM.
Much Love Lia xXx
(sorry if this is a bit sad and gloomy. But that's the way things have been. There have been a few other things that happened, happy things, but that's for another day)
How have you all been, well I hope. I will come and visit you all soon I promise. I've been a little busy, as you know we moved house and after having such hateful neighbours it has been a joy to move somewhere where there is still a community that want to be nice, get to know you and help each other.
Two doors down from us, is an elderly couple called Jean and David. Jean is 76 and David is 84, now I know it isn't polite to discuss people's age and I would normally refrain from doing so, especially where a lady is concerned, but I do have my reasons for this so please bear with my tardiness over this.
They are a wonderful couple and have in fact been together longer than I have been on the Planet. Just to balance things I am 48. They have lived two doors down from us for 34yrs and are well known in the area.
I first met Jean when we moved in and although it was September, it was still rather warm. Now I'm not sure if I have told you this, but we actually live above the shops in the High Street. This means that we have a little patio out the front of the flat like a roof garden (which is a two story flat, go figure) and in order to get to our flats we have to climb a lot of stairs and go along a walk-way. This means that we are very sheltered and it's a bit of a sun trap and we met Jean one day on the walk-way.
To me it was obvious that she was either suffering from alzheimer's or dementia but then I had come across it before, as I use to do voluntary work in an old folks home, where they specialised in alzheimer patients. Anyway we as a family went on to make friends with them both and it turns out that while Jean normally likes nobody she has taken a liking to me that David and Jean's sister say they have never seen before.
I have to say that I adore Jean, she is lost in her own bubble and you only get the occasional glimpse of the woman she must have been. It's sad really , as up until she was 71 Jean worked and ran a very, very busy estate agents. In fact the very people we rent off of. Small world or what. Once she retired; Jean just seemed to have slipped away as David once put it.
I think Jean sees me as a kindred spirit and although she is locked away from the real world it doesn't make her silly. I make her laugh and when she is babbling away about nothing on this Earth I act as if she is telling me the most interesting or funny story. My love of History, especially social history is coming in very handy.
David himself is a remarkable man and it amazes me how he gets on with it all. Cooking , cleaning although David will tell you that he's not that good at the cleaning side of it all.. Basically he does everything for Jean and I do mean everything. There must be times when he is down or when it all gets too much for him, but you never see it.
Since Jean is very happy with me on Thursday evenings I look after Jean so that David can go out to a club where there are other people who have partners with alzheimer's, it's only for 3hours, but David gets a lot out of it and I enjoy my time with Jean.
Last week however David hurt himself rather badly and as a result had to go into hospital for surgery and myself and "E" (my sister) decided with David that instead of Jean going into a care home for the week that we would take care of Jean. Jean has been into care before and came out in a terrible state, so he was reluctant to put her back into care for such a short period.
Oh my gosh!!! We knew it would be hard but this has to be one of the hardest things I have ever done before. I have never shied away from hard work before, but this was something else. I have no idea how David copes 24/7 with Jean. There was 2 of us and we are half his age. Jean lead us on a merry dance the likes of which I have never been on before.
I have to say that it has to be pure love and devotion that must get him through the week. There was times when we were climbing the walls. I have to take my hat off to David and to anyone who takes care of a loved one with this condition.
For her part Jean is very happy. Locked away in her own little world. She dances and sings, sometimes she cries. But mostly she is just repeating things or saying things over and over and over. She's a lovely lady and I think the world of her, but I hope that I never have to look after her for that amount of time again.
As for David, well he is doing really well, but then he was in excellent health, so it is to be expected that he would recover quickly. And of course we continue to help as much as we can.
On another note I would like to ask all of you to take a look at the plight of this woman. HERE
Now I'm not saying that she did the right thing; however I do believe that the punishment should match the crime. Really what was her crime, the fact that she wanted to do better and have better for her children...oh me! oh my! if that were the case, the prisons around the World would be full to bursting. How many of you could say that you might not actually be in one? lol.
I would if I could sign it, however you can only do it if you have ZIP CODE, which is like the British postcode for America and I so obviously don't have one of them. If you have American followers on your blog would you be so kind as to just do as I have done and pass it on. In fact I actually got this from one of my American friends.
Like I said, I don't think what she did was right, but there is nothing I wouldn't have done or would not do for the futures of my children. And I really get why she did it. I just really feel that this is too harsh, considering she just wanted the best for her children.
I guess I should confess that when we moved house there was the possibility of Ashley having to move schools. As he was in his last couple of years there we kept quiet about it. Lucky we knew the people who had moved into our old house (I'm not talking about the house we just sold but the one before that) and they kept our secret. Now fast forward to Callum going to secondary school (high school) and the choices in our area were bad. Callum is a bright boy and deserves the best, by then we were firm friends with the people in our old house and when the latter came to say did I want him to go to his brothers old school or a different one, I didn't hesitate and the people in our old house backed me up. We got him into the school waited a until he was at exam stage and then said we were moving to our last house and that we were worried about his education and moving him at that stage...the school let him stay as they have to have 5% of kids out of the catchment area. As you know Callum did well and yes I did wrong. But seriously I'd set myself on fire if I thought it would be good for his future. The only way for kids from poor families to improve thier lives is through education and Callum is now headed for University, so I while I was wrong, I know I did the best for my boy.
Hello Lovelies, I hope you are all well. xXx Still got horrid "boy-germs", family are loving it as I am either asleep or when awake my throat is so sore that I can't talk. So I am reduced to writing notes. The boys are taking the mickey out of me royally, but pay back is gonna be hard on them Mwhahahahaha!!!
See the picture above, well keep it to yourselves as this is very hush hush and your the only people I can tell...don't trust real friends not to drop me in it lol. Well on the 19th of May 2011, Francis ( you know him with the i) and I will have been together for 10 years. I thought it would be really nice to mark this event in our lives together so have booked us into THIS lovely place and booked the beach house for 5days.
I found it while looking for places in England to hunt for sea-glass and at the time thought how lovely it would be to go there. However I am a greedy girl and didn't want to stay for one or two nights and then the idea struck me that it would be a lovely place to spend a few days for our 10th anniversary.
So today I booked it, but we are not to tell him with an i. I have even managed to get him to take the day off work. That proved a little harder to do, as our day is on a Thursday. But I whined like a big baby and said that I would have thought that having the day off to mark 10 yrs would have been as important to him and that was that, got my own way haha. I am pure evil at times, that or I just know how to work him......I am a puppet master!!!!!!!
Of course what else he doesn't know is that, I phoned our contractor and told him about it all and that I wanted to book him off for 6days. Lucky for me that the guy is a sucker for the Ladies and an old romantic...that and he knows me very well and is aware of the fact that I can if I want make his life a misery.....but I prefer that he is an old romantic, but then I would wouldn't I..
So Him with an i, will be treated to a nice breakfast in bed and then I am going to tell him that I am taking him somewhere nice for lunch. I do of course realise that once we leave the confines of the M25..you know that car-park that surrounds London, that the transport department like to call a motorway. He will become aware that all is not as it should be.
By then it will be too late and he will have been snared in my oh so clever and devilishly cunning plan, that and I'm going to lock the doors and drive at break-neck speed until London is so far away that it is a dot on the horizon. It only 4hrs and 50 minutes, he should stop screaming after about 2hrs.
I now have months of teasing him to look forward to. I have told him that he is not to plan anything at all for our 10th as it is my turn anyway. We try to take turns at organising something and it so happens that it's my turn.
So we have to keep very quiet about this and not tell Him with an i.
I hope you are all well. Been a bit busy this last week. Although to be honest I can't quite remember everything I got up to. Just normal humdrum boring everyday life stuff. All except for the "boy germs" that Callum feels the need to share with me. So I am a little under the weather and sleeping a lot. My mum use to say that there would be plenty of time to sleep when she was dead. Would appear that I might live for a very long time, if I'm sleeping like the dead while I am still alive.
I am holding my breath right now for one of my favourite icons. Mr Nelson Mandela. I expect you have heard that he is in hospital ill. The news is that he has a collapsed lung. So while I couldn't exactly say that I am a girl driven to prays, I am in my own way praying that he will get better.
At 92 you could say that he has had a good innings and yes I guess to a certain extend he has. That is until you remember that he spent 27yrs in jail. I'm not going to get into some sort of political row about Mr Mandela, after all some one once said that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. The line between the two is very thin at times. A lot has been said about his past, but well that's just it, it's the past.
If you have never read his books I strongly suggest that you do. They are brilliant, illuminating and inspirational.
Anyway, I am wishing him well and sending out my own little prayers for him to what ever God wants to listen.
Today's post is just for you. For being such a lovely Lady, my friend and just because you are you. And; I am still flatly refusing to believe you are the age you admit to. No one as vibrant as you should be defined by numbers, it's simply rude!!!!!!
I do hope that the Butler is looking after you. Yeah I know that he is Gerard Butler, but he owed me a couple of favours and I called them in. I mean after all what girl wants one of those stuffy old fashion types of butlers, when you could have Gerard for a few hours!!!!
I do hope you like the flowers, but come on girl get your glad rags on.
Knowing how much you enjoy a sweeping staircase I ordered this one in especially for you. Only you are allowed to sweep up and down it all night long if you want. But do be careful if you decide to slide down the rail. Oh it's okay to do it as Gerard will catch you at the bottom. Promise. Now that's going to be irresistible now isn't it...........go on I dare you!!!!!
As you are such a popular girl I had an enormous table laid out for you on the beach, (I know you love to be outdoors) so that every body you know can join you on this your special day.
These guys will cook anything your little heart desires. You name it and they can make it for you. Oh the joys of the blogsphere where all your dreams can come true.
In the meantime Gerard will be happy to open your champagne, only the best pink champagne for you my darling and while you sip away on it, you can also read The Times with the headlines for the day you were born.
I baked you a cake, well because it simply wouldn't be a birthday without a cake don't you know. And; as I am still not believing your age I decided to put roses on it instead of candles. I do seem to remember Shakespeare saying "A rose by any other name is still a candle".......lol
When the party is over I hope you will enjoy sleeping in this lovely room with it's wonderful French feel to it and I hope you have the sweetest dreams
To help you relax I have told Gerard that he must draw you a bath, in order for you to completely relax.......because......
Tomorrow you are off to this delightful retreat by a lake with a boat as I know you like to go out on lakes and fish lol. Well if nothing else it might help the juices to flow so that you can carry on with your creative writings.
Have a wonderful day Shaddy and you know that if I could really do this for you I would.
Hello Lovelies, Hope your all well today. It's been a good day here in my mad hormonal life.
Kitten (Patricia) as I said before (I think) has been out of work for a few months now and has been fairly fed-up with it all. She started a course on Monday set up by the job-centre and something to do with the Government. By yesterday at at2:30 I received a text saying "Woohoo I've got a JOB! X" (she always puts a kiss at the end of a text). It's such good news for her.
Okay, so it's not a great job and under normal circumstances she wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. But as she put it, it's better have a job and work, then look for a job while she has a job. Kitten will be working in a warehouse distributing luxury fashion goods. In many ways it's up her street as she is young and funky and has expensive tastes. It will be starting at the bottom but the chances to rise in the company are good.
We had a small nightmare today mind you, as Kitten has to have safety boots with steel toe caps. However as I have said before, she is tiny and that includes her feet. Despite the fact that women do work in industries that require safety boots it's like trying to find Unicorn teeth. She was meant to start on Monday, but having spoken to the woman running her course and being so upbeat about the job, the woman phoned the company this morning and then got a reply saying that they would like Kitten to start tomorrow (Thursday) at 7am. Not a problem........much.
I spent ages on the computer and the phone trying to find these boots. We got them, however they were on the other side of London. Any one whose ever tried to get to the other side will tell you what a nightmare it is. Even using public transport it can take two hours. We didn't have 2hrs. The shops we needed to go to close at 4pm, they keep construction industry hours. They tend to open at 6:30/7am and close at 4pm.
The nearest person was Francis(with an i), he was 13miles from the store, took him 2 and half hours to get there. Luckily I had phoned ahead and sorted most of it out and left my phone number. They were kind enough to phone me at closing time to find out if Francis (with an i) was just about to walk through the door, they knew they were important to us. As it was I had just spoken to him and knew he was struggling. I explained where he was and they said he was so near someone would wait at the shop for him. He got there at 5pm and they were true to their word.
Next came the trip home....nightmare for him. as he never got back until 7:45pm. He had ,had to head out to the most famous car park in the whole Universe or to give it it's real name the M25, the motorway that circles London. I managed with traffic updates to get him home another way. Luckily Kitten rather likes her boots and his favourite football team won tonight, but I don't think he liked the 6hrs driving around and through London.
Lets hope her job goes well!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also today I cooked a big pan of Carrot and butternut soup for my freezer and a massive pan of of spaghetti bolognese. After feeding the boys the spag bol, Kitten took off with 4boxes of spag bol and 4 tubs of soup. Now I'm going to have to cook it all over again, still at lest she will eat well, so that's one less thing to worry about. Now all I got to do is get her up at 5:30 am for her new job as she is worried she won't get up. I have also just noticed that it is now Thursday lol..
Beginning to think that the hunt for Unicorn teeth might be a tad easier.
Just a quick one today as you know from my last post that I headed off down The Thames River today to go sea-glass and sea-Pottery collecting, got some lovely stuff but you'll have to hold on until tomorrow to see it as it needs a scrub, in order to look it's best for you all. Now don't go getting impatient even the worlds top models like to look their best for their photo's.
Instead and because I had to get up so early, so as to get where I needed to be for low tide I thought I would share with you my own recipe for Carrot and butternut Squash Soup.
This is a wonderful warming soup, just what you need after a morning on a freezing cold Thames River. Was really mad at myself this morning as I forgot my camera and the mist was beautiful; along with the wading birds and the river it's self, it was really magic there today.
1 large onion.
1 1/2 lb of carrots sliced............. I don't peel carrots I just wash them.
1 butternut squash..... peeled, reseeded and chopped. (my one weighted about 3lb)
2 to 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed.
1 1/2 pints of stock, Chicken or vegetable. (I use knorr chicken stock cubes because they don't have chemicals in them that effect my fibro, so they are very good.)
Nutmeg, sage and thyme, to your taste. Alternatives are chillies, curry powder, cumin and coriander.
Salt and black pepper to taste. (I always use sea salt for health)
Using a large pan , as this makes heaps. Heat a little oil in the pan, over a medium heat. Add the onion and gently fry them until they are soft and translucent. Add the sliced carrot and mix well. Once mixed with the onions and half of the stock. Bring up to a gentle boil and let it boil for about 5minutes. After 5mins add the butternut squash and the remaining stock. Add the garlic, adding the garlic at this stage will give it a nice gentle garlic flavour. Add the nutmeg, sage and thyme. I think this is better if I leave you to work the amount out for your own tastes, as we all differ. Also because you may be using different herbs and spices to me. I try to use fresh herbs wherever I can. But dried will do the job. Add the salt and pepper to your requirements. Bring back up to a gentle boil, then turn it down in order to simmer the soup and slam the lid on, leave it for about 20 to 30 minutes. To see if it is ready.....push the point of a knife into a slice of carrot and squash to see if they are cooked through.
Using a stick hand blender, blend the soup until completely smooth with no big lumps. Now is the time to adjust any seasoning, spices or herbs that you have used. Also check that it is of the consistency you like, if not either add more stock or water. Bring the heat back up and serve.
You can serve it with a dollop of crème fraiche, natural greek yoghurt, or be naughty and use cream. I often serve it with home made cheese scones or some nice crusty grannery bread.
This is a great soup for any of you who are on a diet or health concious as it is low in fats, but high in vitamins and fibre.
Why the title of this post 1 Carrots... this started as a carrot soup years ago and one day I threw in a squash that needed using and the rest is history, but the kids still call it carrot soup. 2 Camera...note to self..TRY TAKING OUT THE HOUSE SOMETIMES D'UH 3 Common sense, remember camera and Wellington boots. The Thames River is very muddy and my hiking boots are now a total mess.
As some of you know I'm a little bit obsessed with sea-glass and recently discovered that there is a growing market for sea-pottery, as sea-glass is running out. Mind you that does greatly depend on who you are talking to, as I have no worries finding it and I think it's a case of word of mouth. I'm going to go off to Cornwall camping this Spring, as I have found out about a couple of really good beaches where you can find good quality sea-glass. I would tell you about them but I am sworn to hold the secret till my death or old age which ever comes first. Mind you there's no guarantee that I won't get dementia and blurt it out.
I meet a really nice man digging a big hole down by the tide lines of a beach who was doing what they call "bottling". It's a bit of an odd thing to do, but you can dig up bottles and all sorts of ceramics dating back to the 16Th century. There are places along the Thames River were there are heaps and heaps of this stuff just buried a few feet down ready for the taking.
Basically what happened was that for hundreds of years London's rubbish was taken down the Thames and dumped along the shores further down. Now people go along and dig it up and I have also found some great bits that have simply washed up on the shore. I go mostly for the sea-glass as you can imagine not all bottles, glass and ceramics survived intact and often after a storm or a big dig you get a lot washed up. Which is good for me as I can add to the collection. The banks of the Thames River are very muddy and I don't do mud, unless I am camping in Wales lol.
Back to the man in the hole...anyway he told me about a really quite and remote beach a long way down the Thames River that is very remote and quiet. So following his advice I went in search of it, after that is swearing in blood to never tell publicly where it is or how I found it. I did indeed find it, wasn't easy but I eventually did, Aided and abetted by my sister "E" who seems to be totally dyslexic when it comes to reading a map or directions. At one point she had it upside down...no wonder I went around in circles for 2hrs.
We got lost....a lot,..... a hell of a lot. However some times getting lost isn't actually getting lost, it's just life redirecting you to a place you would never have thought of going to. As was the case when in December 2010, we set out to find this secret beach. Instead we found a place that is so utterly charming and beautiful.
We took these photos while there and I will tell you more about it in another post soon.
We did eventually find the beach and I am off down there tomorrow, as we have had some storms of late and there will be a fair amount washed up on the beach if I am lucky.
I know, I know, it's been a long time and you properly have forgotten me or felt abandoned by me. What can I say, sorry just won't cover it and filling you in on ALL the details will only send you to sleep. Obviously if you are having trouble sleeping just drop me an e-mail and I will give you the full unabashed edition.
I want to tell you what has happened, however the family are finally getting back to normal and I have no real desire to rock a leaky boat having spent a lot of time and energy plugging the bloody holes.
So in order to protect the innocent and some of the not so innocent I will give you the shortened and some what sanitised version of events.
In the true award ceremony style and IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER the awards go to......
My eldest son ASHLEY, for finally getting off weed.
Yes! I know you didn't know he was even on it, but hey it's not really something you shout about, OK well at lest I don't. Ashley was never really badly behaved on it or gave me any trouble. He just had a flipping chimney placed in his head and buried himself in his room and forgot about life, friends, family, everything. Did I try to get him off it before? YES! Did I talk to him seriously about it? YES I did! I could have thrown him out the house, but felt that would make things worse for him and could lead to other more serious stuff. I keep him close and kept trying to help him off of it. But like all addicts you can't help them until they are ready and my son wasn't ready. I played the long wait game. I think I won!!! I always felt we'd get there in the end; when he and I had a huge fight, something that really never happens between us and he got very nasty with me it scared the life out of him. Ashley gave up over night, literally overnight. He asked me to take all of it away. He's had a huge up hill struggle, but he's getting there now and has even taken up jogging and weights to help him. Slowly he is coming back to normal.
I am immensely proud of him and admire him greatly for how he has achieve this huge turn around in his life. It great to have him back, he's just wonderful and a shining star.
Next award to the hated neighbours. For being total.....i can't type the word it's to rude, but it starts with a c...! Who made life so utterly and unbearably difficult. They upped the nightmare. I didn't think they could get any worse, but was clearly just deluding myself. I can't go into details for legal reasons...never thought I would hear myself say that!!! Suffice as to say when I can talk you will know. PROMISE.
The next award goes to PATRICIA, the beautiful daughter, who left home last year....
Strange award I know. You see she has left and come back before, however Patricia got her own flat from the council and that means she won't ever be coming home to live again. This sent me into a funny little spiral. Stupidly I felt abandoned, finished with, not needed, useless, worthless and completely bereft. Silly really because I still have the boys at home. But for some reason her leaving meant all of the above and more.
However she sensed this..bless her and she has made lots of effort to include me in her life and the plans for her flat and future. We have been designing her flat and saving money and are about to start decorating it in the next couple of weeks, photo's to follow.
Patricia and I are in fact closer than ever and she is still the constant joy in my life.
The next award goes to CALLUM, for being so completely amazing.
He's come along way, has done very well at college despite the chaos around him. He is now applying to 5 universities and is expected to get into 3 of them. Callum has done all of this with very little financial support from me or the state recently I found out that he could have got a grant for college and would have been getting it from 16, but he decided that he wanted to do it for himself and by himself. He's amazing. He has also made a few short films and was chosen to make some video's for an up and coming band. He has shown a lot of love and affection for his siblings and been very understanding of Ashley's struggle.
For doing well at college in all the chaos, doing it by himself, and for just being amazing he deserves my uttermost respect, (some kids would use that as an excuse to not get up and on with it all).
The next award goes jointly to FIBROMYALGIA, DEPRESSION, HOSPITAL & WEIGHT GAIN.
Fibromyalgia..for just being a pain all over, for getting the better of me, just when I was doing so well. For forcing me to be bed bound for weeks on end. Depression..for setting in along with the fibro' and taking over my life by becoming close best friends with the fibro' making everything worse; just when I truly didn't need it to. Took me a very long time to work out what had gone wrong and blamed myself for it all. Turns out they are evil twins who like to tag team....buy I know who they are now and how they operate. I will win. Hospital....for while eventually taking care of me and the nurses were great. However they didn't listen and this made it worse. Weight Gain..for making me put on weight due to fibro', depression & hospital...a nightmare. I went from 12st 5lbs to 13st 7lbs, really annoyed and it didn't help that the hospital gave me meds that meant I was bound to put on weight, which depressed me more and made fibro' worse.
The next award goes to MOVING HOUSE & CHRISTMAS.
For Moving house....now your all thinking that must have been stressful, funnily enough it turned out to be a relief. I have no idea why I resisted it for so long. Did we sell the house, no we simply gave it back to the mortgage company. Is that a collective in take of breath I hear!!!! I know you think I am mad, but as many of you know I don't do anything that involves the family without due care and consideration. After a long drawn out battle with myself it made sense. You see we were lease holders and as such had no say in what was going on around us. When the council wanted to do improvements to the area they sent those of us who had been smart enough to buy, (so we thought) a huge massive bill for the works. My bill would have ruined us, with no way ever of getting out of that house and away from the hated neighbours, who had not brought. This meant that for the rest of my life I would be paying for them to be made snug and comfortable, so they weren't going to leave. It put me in a position I didn't want. I came to an agreement with the mortgage company and moved on. We did well and have since heard from the good neighbours that their bill has now doubled.....I have no regrets. The new flat is great and rented, the maintenance is the landlords headache and I like that. If I don't like the neighbours I can move..... Also it is helping me to get better again, which I would put above owning my own house any day.
For Christmas...just because while we were in some ways not able to celebrate it the way we had in the past; it reminded us of who we all were and what we had all been thorough and how we had stuck it out together. Patricia stay here at the new place, it was quiet and just us and I think we really needed that. New Year was just as good.
The final award goes to FRANCIS..(with an i)... for being my hero.
When I was faced with some real life changing decisions Francis (with an i) was calm and clear. When I argued with myself about the house and my failure to get things right he stood steadfast by my side and listen to me go over and over and over it all. Finally telling me that I hadn't been a failure that in fact I had managed single handily to hold a family together, go to work, run a home and keep it. That what was happening was beyond my remit, but that my response to it was and that he had every faith I would do what was right for us all.
For reassuring me, being there, having the wisdom to know I am a nut job with a heart and loving me anyway, he has my undying adoration and love.
Well I think that covers it all as briefly as I can and I feel like I have blown away the cobwebs, time to let the butterflies out now........
Oh yeah and one for ALL of you....... just for putting up with me....I have missed you all.