Friday 28 February 2014

Bear is tested

Apparently some of the kids in his class, including him, are doing some tests early.  This is a bit vague.  The reason it is a bit vague is because that's about all the information I have.  According to bear there had been tests.  According to the absolutely lovely teaching assistant it was to do with around the top third doing some tests early, and bear was fine.  Bear was very blase about the whole thing.  I hope it lasts.

On the other hand uncle has not been assessed because a panel thought he didn't need residential care.  All the healthcare professionals at the health care meeting thought he needed residential care so this came as a bit of a surprise to me.  It also seems the the funding would be capped at a lot lower rate than Leeds.  It looks like he will have to stay in Wrexham, at least until I can find well paid work.  Then bear will suffer as his mother won't be at home for him if he is poorly or hurt.  I feel a bit desperate.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Day Continues Odd

I just had a call to say that the delivery driver had just handed a parcel to my mother.  She passed away in 2003.  I was a bit stumped.  It was actually a delivery to a friend whose mother was able to take in the package. 

And I posted on a forum without thinking about the local funeral parlour having MacMillan Cancer Care coffee mornings and chatting to them if they were on a cigarette break.  I didn't realise how deeply ironic this was until it was pointed out.

I think I will sit quietly for a while until my Morrisons delivery comes.  The delivery charge was £1, the savings were sensible, last time the quality was exceptional and I have had an email and a txt telling me the name of the driver and that there were no substitutions.   

I think I love Morrisons.

Determined to be cheerful

I'm not doing a very good job of being cheerful at the moment.  To be honest, a full day yesterday trying to track everything down was a bit grim.  So today I am going to try and keep focusing on the positive.

One positive that I am very grateful for is our warm house.  We have the heating on a thermostat and a timer, so that the heating is on only when the temperature on the landing goes below 19C and at certain times of the day when the whole house is being used, like first thing in the morning and early evening.  The rest of the time we just heat a room.  Sometimes I don't need to do that, even in winter, if it is sunny.  That is the advantage of a south facing, back to back terrace with double glazing.  The house warms up quickly and cools down slowly.  If you add in the effect of the Lakeland heated airer, we do pretty well.

This meant that when I got up with bear at 2am this morning the landing was a comfortable 18.5C and I could give him cuddles without shivering.

I have also noticed some holes near me.  I am a bit concerned as there is a lot about sink holes in the news and these are only a few yards from my home.  They are tiny, but they are new.

 Sorry about the weird layout, I may have to fiddle with the settings again.

They are honestly very small, but also very new.  I shall keep an eye out.  

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Frustrating Day

I started ringing who I needed to at 9.30am and I got the last call back at 3.05pm as I was heading out of the door to pick up bear.

I don't feel I got much further forward, except I have the name of someone who explicitly stated that they would refuse to fund uncle outside their authority.  They're not supposed to do that. Also the main people we need to speak to are off for the next two weeks.  I was missing evil cat by the end because her swear word vocabulary would have been very useful.  To be fair, once I got through to the right people they were lovely.  The hospital switchboard put me through to their hospice twice.  It didn't help.  They asked me a lot of things in Welsh, and it put me at a disadvantage.

Also uncle told me that he wanted a flat with a garden.  My instinctive reaction was unprintable.  They have pushed him according to a number of different notes to go to sheltered housing.  He couldn't cope with sheltered housing.  The discharge meeting was clear he needed residential.  From what I have heard it has not stopped them describing the new build sheltered flats in glowing terms to uncle.  Of course, with it being uncle it could all be a figment of his imagination.  Or he could enjoy my consternation.

All things considered, I am very grateful that father bought me so much Cointreau.  He is not well.  Bear is also under the weather.  I may add some Cointreau to the next order.!

I was talking about my conversation with uncle on the phone with my brother.  I was trying to work out where uncle was mentally as he is an Olympic standard wind up merchant but he has also been completely confused.  
"He was on about a little brother for bear." I told my brother wearily.  "He was quite insistent."
Bear was in the room and turned around with a pleased and expectant expression.  I told him firmly, "No!"

I am getting close to fifty, there are going to be no siblings.  Bear will have to make do with a puppy.  

Monday 24 February 2014

Pottering on

Bear was the prow in Noah's Ark in the Sunday School play.  It was fun, chaotic, and DH was at his acerbic best with the sotto voce comments.  The organ plays pre-recorded music and the selection for the play and hymns was more random than normal, no-one cued their lines properly and the kids were wonderful

Bear is having a bad time with his cough.  I am a bit worried, to be honest, although he seems to be getting better.  He is just under the weather.  I daren't keep him off school and on consideration I am not sure that the three days at martial arts was a good idea.  Bear loved it, however, so I suppose that is something.

Still chasing round about uncle.  I managed to get to speak to him on the phone this afternoon and he sounded about ten years older than when I spoke to him last week.  He wasn't really with it and doing his best to be annoying to get a reaction.  It isn't a good combination.  When he is away with the fairies and being annoying I am tempted to tell the fairies to keep him.

Saturday 22 February 2014

Bear is happy

Bear has saved up his pocket money, with a little help from father, and has finally got the pennies together to get the gun he has wanted for ages - at least three months anyway.  It is the Nerf Deploy (details here if you are interested) and it is apparently amazing.

It has taken his mind off the terrible injustice that he is suffering.  We have refused to buy him the Lego Movie Video game.  This is quite deliberate on our part, as DH and I both are well aware that waiting even a few months will bring the price down significantly and I am not sure that bear will actually play it.  As an over indulgent parent I could live with buying a game that he wouldn't play if it was significantly reduced.  However I couldn't live with paying £25 plus for something that will just be an icon on his desktop.

I am taking bear to a rehearsal later tonight.  He is in a play in church, apparently banging drums.  I will carry the chairs around, probably just one at a time but it will at least be exercise.

They have refused to review uncle's funding because he would be moving from Wales to England.  They haven't even referred him to the unit that checks he gets all his benefit entitlements.  Because he gets quite a good pension he wouldn't need a large top up, but they are not even considering it.  My brother is calling Age Concern on Monday to try and find out if we can challenge it, and I will be checking with the home that we found here and the local social workers.  So I am happy to listen to bear's monologues and demonstrations because then I am not worrying.  Next week I will have to start looking for work that will not only cover childcare but also give some wiggle room to help with uncle's care fees.  There is still the bright side.  It will be very healthy to get out and about.  

Friday 21 February 2014

A long few days

Bear has put his books into alphabetical order.  I have sat on my hands not to rearrange the one or two that aren't quite perfect but he has done a really good job (better than many offices I've worked in) and it is very impressive.  However he is loathe to part with a single one of them, even the basic board books or the filled up colouring and puzzle books.  We also had a bit of a time with a model of a T Rex that father gave bear last summer.  There wasn't a lot of instructions, so bear instructed me to finish it off.

Morrisons delivered for the first time yesterday.  I love Morrisons, they have wonderful stuff, it is all fresh and it is an Ocado type service with all the stuff in date order and sorted into colour coded bags.  I love it!  The big problem is that they have a minimum order of £40 and with the market delivered stuff I struggle to reach that if there isn't a deal on whisky.  However they do have slots at £1 at the right times, so it may be worth having a fortnightly or less supermarket delivery.

I am not very awake.  DH was chatting last night so didn't get to bed until after midnight, and bear woke me up at 6.06am (that's six minutes past six in the morning).  He woke me up because he had seen the moon.  I agreed it looked nice and told him that I would be down at 6.30am.  Bear came up to check on me at 6.27am...

I was still awake enough to notice the fungus on the tree after dropping bear off at his Martial Arts Holiday Camp.  To me it looked like the tree stump was frilled with lace.  It's amazing what you see if you keep your eyes open.  This was on the edge of a grotty trading estate where the Martial Arts Academy is based, it really is a bit grimy and full of wire netting and cracked concrete.

I had a rummage on Google, and the nearest I found was the Trametes versicolor, I found a linky here, but to be honest, I am not entirely convinced and I would never trust a mushroom on the strength of google.  Apart from anything else, all the bits I found were in North America or in Italian.  I will keep an eye out for anything like it, though, as it just looks so unusual.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

And another thing

This is the reason that it is hard to climb in and out of the study window.  The bottom shoebox sized window is the dining room window which doesn't open, the window around eight feet above the ground is the study on the alleged ground floor.  The bottom half of the study window doesn't open either.

I don't normally worry about climbing in and out of windows, but something interesting has happened to the lock on the front door.  It will lock fine, but once it is open you can't get the key out of the lock.  I am waiting to see if other people can use their key or whether it is a locksmith time.  At least the door is happy being locked and I don't have to worry about leaving it unlocked with only the locked inner door and alarm on.  It's not exactly Fort Knox here, but we stay safe.

btw those are the two fruit trees that father doesn't think are too close to the house.  I know the local kids are going to steal the fruit.  Their parents will be knocking on the door complaining after they've eaten the damsons.  Father is also responsible for painting the wall red.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Spending again

Today has been a spend day.  I have placed an online order with Morrisons for the first time.  I am not entirely sure about this.  It took a bit of time to work out where I wanted to go and what I wanted to get.  The minimum order is £40, and I'm trying to bring my supermarket order down.  I wonder if it will beat Tesco, as they have £1 delivery slots at particular times although those get booked up early.  I checked this because I also put in a Tesco order.  Tesco are doing a particularly reasonable deal on Famous Grouse and 7up.  They also do tubs of Smash which Morrisons don't currently carry.  So I am getting a delivery from Tesco of three bottles of whisky, five bottles of lemonade and a tub of instant mash potato.  I'm going to get a look again.  The Morrisons order is a bit more balanced but not particularly extravagant.

I am not sure whether I am being duped by the supermarkets or not.  The Morrisons order is around £42 with savings of around £17 with multi buy savings and offers.  Not only is Tesco doing a very reasonable offer on the whiskey and lemonade but I had a code for £4 and something off.  However I know that a lot of offers are artificial and that my market delivery is much better value.
Despite being out yesterday I spent very little, even in the cafe on the way home from Martial Arts.  Bear did manage to get me into Poundland but I insisted he paid for the cheap and nasty toy guns.  I am not entirely sure about the guns.  Then again, I'm not sure bear is either.  He loves getting guns and pretending to fire them and talks endlessly about nerf guns.  However while he is happily shooting, he doesn't seem to be actually shooting at anything.  I suspect bear loves guns and shooting but doesn't like the violence.  He's not very martial at Martial Arts either, he enjoys the fitness.  I go with the flow.

Bear has insisted that he sorts out his books today.  What he actually means is that he has pulled vast numbers of books off his shelves and then supervised me.  I will reluctantly forego a visit to Roundhay tomorrow and have promised to sort things out for him.  The books are in a corner so there isn't much room.

I need to work out how to convince bear to get rid of the full puzzle/colouring books.   I could just throw them out, but I don't think that will help the problem.  I don't want to create a hoarder that is motivated by being unable to hold on to things that are important to him when he was a child.  On the other hand he hasn't touched some of these things for years!  

Negotiations continue.

Monday 17 February 2014

Waiting for Bear

Bear is in Martial Arts holiday camp.  I am not entirely sure about it as this morning the adult to child ratio looked a bit thin, but bear is fine.  He has given me clear instructions about his lunch box and what should be in it, double checked that I had followed instructions, and I left him looking very enthusiastic.

The bus that takes us to the Martial Arts place goes on to Roundhay Park so I wandered up to there.  I planned a day there walking but the phone ran out of charge and I had no way of telling the time to pick up bear so I am home and about to set off again to pick up bear.

There is a watering can chained to a tree in Roundhay Park.  It has been chained since Christmas.

It isn't a good photo, but I assure you that in the centre of the picture is a watering can chained to a tree and next to a small beck.  I can imagine werewolves and vampires and all sorts, but I cannot come up with a good reason to chain a watering can to a tree.  However I do know that there is nothing quite like people and truth is usually a lot stranger than fiction as a piece of fiction has to make sense.

Bear next goes on Wednesday, so I will see what other pictures I can take there.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Safety First

DH has been putting safeguarding software on bear's computer.  There isn't a huge hurry, as bear is completely caught up with Stampy Longnose, a completely child friendly minecraft player.  I watch bear's activities over his shoulder, and while Stampy Longnose isn't exactly my cup of tea, it is so harmless that it makes me feel an evil witch for watching Doctor Who.

Bear not only is fairly safe online (for now - I am watching), he came to church with me this morning, and was been lovely.  It is a Methodist Church, and I was raised Church of England and DH and I were talking about taking bear to Leeds Minster (formerly Leeds Parish Church) for Choral Evensong.  It is really old fashioned and while not exactly High Church, it is very stately.  I used to love Evensong there.

DH has been feeling a bit fed up so he thought it would be nice to take bear to the service at the Minster.  He went online to check if the times for Evensong had changed.  The computer wouldn't let him.  Apparently parental controls forbid religious sites.

I am not sure that I would be comfortable with bear going on some of the less well trodden religious paths, but it does seem a little extreme, especially as Leeds Minster is so middle of the road it could wear white lines.  It is also linked with the Leeds College of Music and it has all the old anthems and choruses.

I have an uneasy feeling that this could go wrong, especially as bear has an early start tomorrow.  On the other hand, it is magical and DH definitely needs a treat.  Hopefully it will encourage bear to sleep tonight, as well.

Image copyright David Dixon

Saturday 15 February 2014

Grumbling along

Bear is feeling poorly.  This is solely due to him downing a hot chocolate in one.  I should know better by to give him milky drinks.  He is okay if he sips them, but he never does!  I thought his stomach would be well lined as he had demanded a bacon and egg butty for lunch after popcorn at the cinema with DH and a MacDonalds breakfast (I much prefer their Saturday visits to the Vegan Cafe).

I have dosed him with kaolin and now all I can do is wait for the effects to hopefully subside.

I am feeling a bit low.  There are issues for uncle's funding, none of which have yet been explained to us.  I am a bit worried.  I've been thinking and thinking about it all.  There is no way that uncle could be here.  There is no way he could manage to get to the bathroom - there are steps all over.  He would effectively be stuck in one room with a commode.  All the healthcare professionals recommended residential care.  He can't afford it.  If there is no funding, we are stuck.

Friday 14 February 2014

There is always a Bright Side

At the moment, if I was a cat my ears would be on backwards.  I feel grumpy, fed up and low.  I have absolutely no idea why, either.  It is very frustrating.

There are lots of good things going on.  Father has just come back from the hospital after having an op as a day patient and he is fine.  He looks shattered, and he is starving, but he has had his op, which apparently was long overdue, and at least that is over.  He is supposed to rest for the next 24 hours.  The rest will almost certainly involve whisky.  Fortunately Liverpool FC are not playing for another 48 hours, so that is okay.

Bear is growing like a weed, thank goodness.  The coat that I bought on Boxing Day for him to grow into is no longer hanging in the wardrobe.  He wore it to school today as I noticed the coat I bought for him Boxing Day 2012 was suddenly a lot nearer his waist.  They don't seem to do longer coats and in this weather I think a short jacket is no good.  We aren't badly hit here, and it could be worse, but it is still wet, cold and windy.  If we have a late spring again he may well get his wear out of it.  Thank goodness I didn't pay full price for it.

I managed to speak to uncle earlier.  He sounded less with-it than 'normal' but he knew he is moving to be near me.  He is under the impression it will be tomorrow.  I am under the impression it is more likely to be March as they are sorting out funding.

So it's all good.  Except I feel like a cat with it's battle ears on and can't seem to snap out of it.  It's time to curl up and read until I battle the elements to collect bear.

Thursday 13 February 2014

Fluent in Bear

I'm not fluent in bear.  Sometimes he leaves me completely baffled.  He told me that he was doing a class Assembly (with the rest of the class) on the Criminal War.  So I asked a bit further.  Yes, it was the Criminal War when Loris went in and found the hospital all dirty.

The light dawned.  They are doing the Crimea War and Florence Nightingale.  I'm looking forward to hearing all about it.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

The Parcel has Landed!

20kgs of knitted rags have just arrived.  This means 35 separate knitted garments, one odd looking red lurex blouse, a single woollen glove with a diamonte on the back and a sort of tweed cape type thing.  There is also a very peculiar maroon jumper with a fur collar.  On first sight a lot of them look too good to unravel, so some may be passed to jumble, to friends, re-used here or I may try my luck re-selling on ebay.  However I know the maroon jumper with the fur collar has a hole in an awkward place, so I suspect with closer inspection most of them will unravel and stuff cushions.  My ironing board has also arrived, so that is my afternoon and evening booked up.

I feel incredibly lucky.  We are due to catch perhaps the edge of the heavy winds and have escaped the worst of the flooding.  My heart goes out to those affected by the weather.  It must be awful feeling so much at the mercy of the elements.

I need to get a move on if the place is going to be in any way fit for visitors after half term.  However first I need to work out where I can put these so that DH won't accidentally throw them out.  

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Another Day Much the Same

I have had an email telling me that 20kg of knitted clothing fit for rags is due to be delivered today.  There has been no sign.  Nor has my ironing board appeared.  At least my fruit and veg turned up.

To be fair, bear has had his martial arts today.  They could have sneaked in during the forty minutes I was out of the house, but there is no card.

Less than a month ago bear was begging and pleading to avoid martial arts.  Now he insists on going despite being loaded up with cough mixture, antibiotics and calpol.  He had a good lesson as well.

Please let my ironing board arrive tomorrow or I will need to iron on the table.  I loathe doing that.  However that is when bear runs out of shirts, although father and dh should be able to last until the weekend.

Bear and one of his pals were walking to martial arts and coolly informed me and the pal's mum that they were all having tea at my house.  Me and the pal's mother (who is lovely, we have some good natters) presented a united front.  It has been postponed.  I am going to have to tidy up - and I am going to have to do that over half term.  This may be a challenge as seven year olds can have a wide range when it comes to playing.  I think it is an excellent chance for me to clean up.

Also I have just posted some valentines cards for father.  Apparently he has handed others out.  I am saying nothing!

Monday 10 February 2014

So far so good

I'm about to pick up bear from school.  I had to call in and give him his antibiotics at lunchtime but he was looking okay, though full of cold and coughs.  Father is very poorly with a bad stomach, which is ironic considering where he is having surgery on Friday.  DH is still hounded at work and I am building up to phoning uncle.  It is no wonder I randomly order 20kg of knitted items to unravel from ebay.  I'm just glad it was so inexpensive.

If anyone is following the Steve Adderson story, the latest installment is here.  I am having a few problems with that.  I need to do some serious thinking about what I am writing.  However I am convinced that writing is the only thing keeping me afloat at the moment, so I am making the effort.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Ebay is not my friend

20kg of knitted clothes fit for rags are headed my way.

Yes, I could do with them to stuff my cushions.  There is nothing quite like the springy firmness of unravelled machine knitted garments.  But not now!

Mind you, I could settle down and catch up with all the craft stuff while waiting for the amazing disappearing parcel.

On Thursday I was actually out of the house.  Apart from school runs this is practically unheard of.  I had a great time, but I missed a parcel.  I went through the automated checklist to get it re-directed on Friday.

Friday I was ironing (you wouldn't believe how much there is in backlog, even after everything).  Father was checking out of the window, I had carefully not put the dishwasher or washing machine on so I could hear the door and I was keeping an eye out of the window while wondering when I would ever get to the bottom of the ironing pile.  I was halfway through a shirt when the phone went letting me know that bear had been sick at school.  I shot out and only when I had bear safely home and filled with baby nurofen and kaolin did I look at the 'sorry you were out' card that had been sneaked into my letter box while there were two adults watching out for a parcel.

I had to do some really expensive phoning to sort out the delivery.  Apparently it was someone new to the route, as every other driver knows that you sometimes have to hammer the door or ring the bell and that anything can always be left next door.  So tomorrow I will be sitting and staring out of the window, just in case.  They have my phone number, instructions to ring the bell, to ask next door and up until now they had a great track record.  However I am taking no risks.

Today when I was failing to buy the ironing board from Matalan I found out that my lovely next door neighbour had offered to take the parcel in, but the delivery man had said he would drop it back.  Then he didn't.  This didn't help.

I got an okay deal on the knitted rags, and I haven't been able to pick much up from the local jumble sales (partly because I never seem to be able to get to them).  But not now.

Done it again

It isn't the iron I've broken this time, it's the ironing board.  Somewhere something is chuckling every time I consider laundry.  I leant over it in the same way I had done a hundred times and it just sort of sagged, like a well dunked biscuit.  I can't get it higher than around knee height now and I have a lot to do.  Last week I washed twenty shirts, quite apart from my backlog.  I was halfway through ironing one when I got the call that bear had been sick at school and never got back to it.  I have just got drenched going to Matalan to find they had none in stock.

I have enough to just about tide me over, with a little help from a towel on a table, until ebay (my friend) hopefully delivers by Wednesday.

I'm not sure I am safe to put a load of washing on, as the washer has been looking a bit limp for the last few months.  I think I will risk it as I only have cleaning cloths to wash through.  Please let me not have to replace that as well!

Saturday 8 February 2014

Another Weekend

Bear was sent home from school after being sick.  He then started complaining about his ear hurting.  I scrounged an appointment from a very sympathetic doctor's receptionist and bear now is on antibiotics with an ear infection and a very snotty nose.

I am running a temperature and have a sore throat and bear was awake at 4.30am this morning.  I probably won't be posting much this weekend.

I now need to try and work out what to do for lunch.  It is looking remarkably like tinned soup.

Friday 7 February 2014

Bear o'clock

I am not a morning person.  I am really not a 4.45am person.  To me, that is the middle of the night.  So I wasn't entirely with it when I staggered down to bear who was upset because he had had a nightmare.  I gave him cuddles, crawled under the covers with him, but he was wide awake and full of energy.  In the end I reluctantly said he could go downstairs, but I was not coming down for a while.  Then I crawled back to my pit.

At 5.30am I felt like a terrible mother when bear came howling upstairs.  I felt like a neglectful mother when I found he had got a bowl from the drainer, a mini box of cereal from the cupboard and milk from the fridge and made himself breakfast.  I felt less impressed when I found that he was devastated because he had knocked over the cereal, all over the computer desk and all over the thick blanket he had snuggled into.  The thick blanket that can't be left covered in milk, won't tumble dry and the weather forecast is for lots and lots of rain.  I felt miffed that the howls of dismay at 5.30am were not because of the havoc but because they were the last mini pack of rice snaps and they were his favourite!  I'll remind him that they are his favourite next time he refuses to eat them because he wants cornflakes.

Hopefully he will sleep tonight.  I am confident I will.

Thursday 6 February 2014

A Nice Change

I went out!  I actually went out and met a friend!  I never do this.

There are a few bits of worry here.  I am finding it harder and harder to talk to people - physically harder.  I am just exhausted by speaking to a lovely person for a few hours.  This is worrying.  I missed a parcel, and the dratted thing is bound to turn up during the school run tomorrow.  I couldn't get through to a human, either, to explain that it is always okay to leave stuff with my lovely neighbours.

I also succumbed to five rolls of gift wrap - 4m of good quality and plain gift wrap for £1 a roll which is a good deal.

But I got out of the house!  As a bonus I also found that a particular bus route is a lot cheaper with a different bus company, so that is a result.  The drivers are nicer as well.

Father is poorly today.  He was so frail he was happy for me to bring him up cups of tea.  In fact he was too frail to go to the Bible class, and he had already bought sweeties to give to the ladies.   The battle of homework went with little incident, but bear is obviously tired.

I think tonight is a nice, quiet, easy evening and an early night - really needed.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

An attack of poetry

I've dropped the iron a total of four times, I've had an epic fail trying to work out what is happening with uncle (according to a member of staff he is heading to a care home local to him) and nearly forgot father's lunch.  He is still fretting a bit about the hospital appointment and op, but hopefully it will be dealt with soon.

I've displaced.  Write on Edge did a prompt where you had to write a piece that started with a phrase and had only 100 extra words.  It was easier than worrying about everything else.  If you are interested in it, the link is here.

I got soaked picking up bear as well.  I'll find the bright side soon.

High Gravity Day

I've just dropped my new iron.  Twice.  That is a record, even for me.  Mind you, I have been using language that would have made evil cat blush as I couldn't stop the cord wrinkling the bit of the shirt I had already ironed, which is a problem I don't usually have.  I ended up threading the plug through the steam iron rest to fix that.  Of course, then I had to rearrange the bits so that the ironing board lined up close enough to the plug.  The room is still a work in progress so I had to fiddle things around and shift heaps of ironing.  That is when I broke two hangers as well as dropping the dratted iron which, apart from those issues is ironing beautifully.

Then I made some toast for father and when the toaster popped I got some fresh bread out of the loaf bag and started buttering that.

I think today is a day for sitting quietly and carefully and staying away from fragile things.

Bear won a Best Actor nomination this morning for his portrayal of having a bad leg (when he remembered).  It may actually be a bit sore as he put quite a bit of effort into yesterday's martial arts.  I am sure it will come up in conversation tonight in the context of homework.  Bear would convince any jury in the land that a bad leg excuses him homework.

Yesterday when I spoke to uncle he was determined to go back to his bungalow.  If he decides to go there, we can't stop him.  There isn't even a bed there - he has slept in a chair for years and the rest of the house is far too cluttered still to fit in a bed and he certainly wouldn't countenance losing any of the 'stuff'.  I am a little worried, but all I can do now is wait and see.

Tuesday 4 February 2014


It is sunny and we have a rose blooming in the garden!

It is looking a bit battered but it is opening up which I consider utterly amazing.  There has been some real bite to the wind recently, though it isn't really as cold as it could be.  Also it looks like bear is going to get his first Valentine.  He has only just turned seven.  I'm just going with the flow on that one but it makes me chuckle and also wince.  One day I will be a mother in law.  I am putting off thinking about that for as long as possible!

Father has a hospital appointment today.  It is to talk about the results and book him in for an operation.  It is only minor op but of course I am worried.  I am also still exhausted after a day of telephoning about uncle.  It is not just the exhausting process of trying to get a healthcare professional to understand that things are awkward, but the tension waiting for the calls, then missing them on a quick comfort stop, then not being able to get them when you ring back so you leave a message and wait.  Fortunately it seems that we are just going to be waiting for the social worker as everything else seems to be falling in to place.  We need to see if there will be funding.  Poor uncle is crossing not only the borders between local authorities but also countries.

I know it is going to be incredibly tough when he gets here, as the demands on my time and mental energy are going to be heavy.  I am really worried.  However I can still enjoy a sunny day and an unexpected rose and I am sure bear will keep me smiling.  Also if uncle gets into this house I will probably be able to take a shortcut through the park and I love seeing green and growing things, so that will be good.

Monday 3 February 2014

In the Gym

Another spell in the writing gym.  If you are interested the link is here.

Still trying to work out what is best for uncle, I seem to have gone twelve rounds with the telephone and this has been the only faint, bright spot.  The story is okay, but the chance to write was a lifebelt in choppy waters.

Night Shift

When bear was tiny we used to split the weekend night feeds.  DH would do Friday night and I would have a night of uninterrupted sleep and a lie in.

When he was a little older one the split continued, so on Saturday mornings DH would have the first change of nappy and make the baby porridge.

As bear got older the split was on Friday night I slept in a bed while DH had the couch and would field bear at 6am Saturday morning.

When I moved up into my own bed the split was who would get up when bear coughed politely outside the bedroom door at 7am to get someone to make his breakfast.

We are moving on to a new phase.  Bear is making noises about making his own breakfast.  To be honest, there is no reason why a sensible, intelligent child could not pour milk on cereal if I left a bowl out (bear would have to climb on a chair to get the bowl from the cupboard and that makes me nervous).  Bear is also making noises about making his own toast.  Leaving bear to make his own cereal makes me feel like a bad and neglectful mother, but bear making his own toast makes me extremely nervous.  I can't put my finger on it.  A toaster is a relatively safe piece of kitchen equipment, and bear is very sensible, but I just don't feel comfortable with it.

I don't suppose I'll get let off much morning duty though.  Last Saturday morning bear wandered quietly downstairs and played minecraft until DH got up at around 9am, then they went off to have breakfast in town.  On Sunday bear woke me up at 7.45am as he couldn't find his pen top.  It's nice that I'm still needed.

Sunday 2 February 2014

Elves Delay Highway Construction

The link is here.

A very kind friend sent me the link.  A construction project in Iceland is being delayed because the local population fear that the road would cut through the local elf population.  People are standing in front of the machinery and it's gone to Iceland's Supreme Court.

I am comforted that the elves go to church, as apparently there is a concern that an elf church will be affected by the development.  The link is here.

I feel like my fiction is being left behind by the real world.


I've been trying a few different recipes.  I tried cauliflower rice, inspired by Angela on Tracing Rainbows, and that was quite successful.  You process the cauliflower in a food processor until it is the size of grains of rice then microwave it with 10ml of water (two teaspoons) for two minutes.  The menfolk quite liked it as a change, and bear seemed to put plenty away.  I was very grateful for the inspiration.

I got a bit carried away.  I shredded some cabbage and stirred it around in a tablespoon or so of oil and tried cooking it in the halogen oven.  It wasn't tasty.  It was more or less cooked, charred in places and I probably won't try that again, at least with a savoy cabbage.  Cooking cabbage in water with a good wallop of butter added probably is the least healthy way of cooking cabbage, apart from wrapping it round a Mars bar and deep frying, but that went down well with the menfolk.

I'm going to have a wander around the internet to see if there is anything interesting I can do to red cabbage.  That is the joy of a veg box - it sends you in strange directions and as I am getting seasonal veggies and it is the middle of winter I am getting a lot of cabbage.  Cabbage is good, and bear will usually eat it, but I'd like to ring the changes.

It does make me feel very lucky that I have a choice.  In Roman times May was an unlucky month to marry and it was the month of the dead.  It seems strange to have such a bright month as a time of the dead, but in the ancient world it was the time when the grain from the last harvest was running out.  If the last harvest had been bad, people would be suffering.  The Romans placated their ghosts with beans, and dried beans would probably be all that was left.

Wondering what else to cook with cabbage isn't that big a deal, compared to that.