Not Dead

Hey, look, I’m not dead!

I just felt like I was dead for the best part of a month. It is my own fault for teaching the children to share.

I got the bug, I got all the different symptoms and I got it hard. Combine that with what I lovingly refer to as ‘all my pre-existing shite’ and I haven’t really been sharing the same planet as everybody else and even something as simple as throwing some words together and hitting ‘publish’ has been too much to contemplate at the end of the day.

Good news is that I am over most of the bug now and while the ‘pre-existing shite’ is having a bit of a party having gained my hard defended higher ground I shall be seeing the aptly named ‘pain team’ just as soon as I get to the head of the lovely waiting list and we can then hopefully tweak some of my medication, maybe throw in some more physio therapy and regain the upper hand. Until then I am just a bit slower, more tired, dealing with more pain and just ever so slightly off the ball. Try and stick with me as I build myself back up again terminator style.

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Pictured: Mad Cat playing Rambo up a tree because… cat

So what else has been going on, well lets see, my laptop hard drive felt a bit like I did and gave up so the laptop went for a holiday to the sick Mac hospital but has come back strong post transplant. The children have kept me ever amused with gems like when the girl exclaimed while playing a game ‘Oh, maybe I am not as good as I thought I was!’ and when the boy pitched a 10 minute fit about the location of his other shoe only to find it on his foot. The banned topic has also kept me busy banging my head against brick walls so thats been fun.

Time now to move onward and upward. We find ourselves just a week away from yet another school holiday and another daily holiday diary. I am throwing a curveball on this one by actually taking the children on holiday! We have to be out of the home while we have a new bathroom fitted to replace the one that was badly installed when the house was built in the early 80’s. For a moment I will put aside the terrible drainage, poor workmanship and lack of shower to say the most offensive thing that I will be glad to see the back of it the fact the sorry mess of a bathroom is peach in colour and more 80’s than shoulder pads.

So on the 16th The girl, The boy and myself shall take Bob on his first trip north as we head off first to Liverpool and then the following weekend Greater Manchester. For our time in Liverpool we are booked in for some solid Grandma time but if anybody in the geographical area wants to get together and be bored senseless by me and or the boy and girl please, let me know, I am needy and would love to see anyone who is willing to put up with me. If anybody is up for a grown up evening for one week only I could even get a babysitter or you could join Grandma and me for a night in. I’m deprived (also depraved) needy and willing!

On that sad, sad note I will sign off with the hope I will write again before the holiday diary starts because so far my blog plans for the year haven’t got off to the best of starts!

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Emergency exit

Oh dear.

How quickly resolves crumble in January.

Unfortunately although my life has had a run of fun and games in the back half of this last week and I would love to write about I can not due to that pesky rule of mine. One day I will be able to and it will blow your mind. One day.

As an alternative and as I have neglected my writing duty I shall give you this.

Let us go back through the mist, 3 years ago this coming week

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Pictured: The mists of time… probably

It was as normal a day as I am ever likely to achieve. The children had gone back to school and pre-school the week before after the Christmas break. I was feeling free as I headed to the riding school to have some horse time before going to my final appointment with my exacerbated councillor who had unfortunately for me sussed out my mastery of avoidance.

After a normal mornings work I hopped onto a horse called Whisper who my brain insisted was called Flicker and would not see reason on the matter. I was trotting around, like you do, completely absorbed in the argument I was having with the Flicker/Whisper beast about the merits of rear wheel drive over front wheel drive when he suddenly morphed into a bunny rabbit crab beast and leapt violently upwards and sideways.

The world went into slow motion and I had time to contemplate that I could either try and hang on for dear life but probably fall off anyway in an even more embarrassing manor or I could just go with the flow and fall off without bothering to do the hanging upside down under the horses neck like a pig on a spit. I went for the second option and that proved to be a rather costly mistake.

Time dutifully returned to standard speed as I hit the ground, on my feet, given in youth I had experienced a similar unplanned exit with cat landing and managed to loose half the bone in my right ankle for the trouble my helpful brain instinctively protected this vulnerability by allowing all of my weight and motion to go through my left leg. Second costly mistake brain.

As all of us unhinged enough to think climbing onto an flight animals back know the first thing you do after an unfortunate parting of directions is jump up, dust yourself off and demand to get back up. I did that but unfortunately went down again the moment I tried to take a step. Still convinced it was just a flesh wound I attempted to rub the tingling that was running up both my legs away and tried again, no dice, couldn’t even get up this time. Dam.

I was still in denial when my good friend (who is so not the manager or head instructor) suggested we remove my boot. It took the two of us some time and a great deal of pulling and wriggling to remove my boot from foot and when it finally came off I knew I was in trouble when I had to catch my foot. I seemed to remember that traditionally the foot is supposed to be connected to the leg in someway and shouldn’t behave like a broken baguette in a bag.

I was still reeling out ideas of how I could hop to the car or maybe hitch a ride in a wheelbarrow while friend phoned for an ambulance. The pain hadn’t really hit me at that point so my biggest concern was that my councillor was never going to believe my excuse and just think I was displaying an exacerbation in my avoidance behaviour. I remember phoning a friend and asking her to call the surgery to let them know I wouldn’t be there and asking her to make sure she left the councillor a message to say it really wasn’t on purpose and I had actually acted on what we had been talking about. Honest. I don’t know if that message was actually ever left or got through as I never saw the councillor again. Not that I was avoiding her or anything…

Anyway. After a short wait a shiny and as it turned out, brand new ambulance on it’s first ever run arrived at the stables and pulled round through all the mud to where I sat in the dent in which I had landed. I liked the ambulance crew as they brought me gas and air and that stuff rocks, they where less keen due to all the mud and muck I brought to the shiny new ambulance.

After leaving the riding school a farce naturally ensued that involved them first driving my 5 miles west to the minor injuries unit in Witney as for some reason they thought that even if something was broken it was all where it should be. On arrival at the unit I waited with my old friend entornox close at hand for a medical professional to come out and see if they would have me. When somebody arrived (far too high to remember a job title at this point) they took one look and said no chance.

We then had to drive the 10 odd miles back east to the Accident and Emergency unit over in Oxford passing the riding school on the way with benny hill music playing in my head I was thankful that I was just about high enough to not swear with great abandon or be able to string enough words together coherently to give an accurate insight into my opinion about every single bump in the road and the outrageous pain it brought. I tried with limited successes not to resent the fact I had now traveled over half of them once already needlessly. Even in a fairly rural location like this you don’t really expect to be in the back of an ambulance for over an hour even if it is a brand new one on it’s inaugural patient journey.

It was mid afternoon when I finally arrived at the big hospital with it’s hard drugs and x-ray machines. A few hours later I had been x-rayed and had the news

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Pictured: Is it meant to look like that?

Not only had I managed to break my ‘good’ leg I had gone for the maximum impact of breaking it in three places. I was plaster casted from thigh to toe (twice as they got it wrong the first time) and removed after midnight to the ward to await surgery the following day.

I left hospital a week later with a large amount of metal work, little memory of the week that had passed due to all the lovely, lovely, drugs and in a wheelchair as due to all my pre existing physical silliness using crutches was considered suicidal.

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Pictured: Cankle

Recovery was long, slow, painful and only mitigated by the fact I could not only scare children but medical professionals when my dressing where changed.

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And about that recovery bit, three years down the line and I am as recovered as I am ever going to be. I can do almost everything I could do before but less well and with more pain. Combined with my pre exiting condition it has been a tiny bit disastrous and hastened progression but considering there was a time when they thought I would lose the leg and I was completely okay with that due to the pain, I am not really in a position to complain.

If I want to be a bit soppy and fluffy I can say how I don’t know how I would have got through it if it hadn’t been for my great friends, fab Mum and wonderful village who all came together to make sure I had everything I needed to get back on my feet again (literally and figuratively).

One pair of friends summed the whole thing up beautifully with a lovely picture they sent me (and is still up in my living room today) as they couldn’t travel to see me.

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Pictured: Yes. just yes.

Jinx!

I really just need to shut up sometimes and not make flippant jokes.

Had fun at the eye hospital today.

Remember how I made jokes about soldering irons to the eyes? Well about that…

Turns out that while my body lets me down daily every way it can think of (I realise I should probably write about this given many wont know how broken I am!) and in the most original, rare and imaginative ways but when it comes to tear ducts I am blooming Wolverine. Very typical, very me and utterly unsurprising at this point.

Even without the X-man magic leading to my previously cauterised lower tear ducts reopening I was once more headed toward the hellish regions of more eye surgery. We only found out about my powers of healing (but only when healing is the one thing not desired) while poking around in my eyes to put teeny tiny plastic bath plugs in my upper tear ducts as an interim measure while I waited to have those cauterised. So the plans changed. He stuck the bath plugs in my ‘reopened under new management’ lower tear ducts instead, taking great delight in informing me that not only had they reopened but they where now bigger than they had been previously, he then proved his point by squirting saline solution down the back of my throat via my eye an experience I am sad to report is not a new one but one I will never, ever, get used to. So now I wait for a date for round two of soldering the lower ducts closed and my upper ones can be a special gift for Christmas 2015. I also have a whole new collection of eye drops, one of which I was gleefully informed is ‘even more gooey’.

Fabulous.

Last time I sported my two black eyes for three weeks so by quickly utilising my astounding A level maths skills that will be 6 wonderful weeks or 11.4% of this year spent looking like an aged balding panda and it also means that I will have to keep still while a soldering iron is pressed into my eye at least 4 times, possibly (like last time) by somebody who has never done it before. I will also be reminded what burning flesh smells like (spoiler: unpleasant) on two separate occasions. I have so very much to look forward to this year. My year. My year.

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Pictured: My year as a cautionary tale.

I’m not finished whining yet about todays tails of woe and karmic red letters pointing out the folly of making light of things.

The next hit was in the form of text message while I sorted the children out for bed. Yes, bed. THE beds. The ones we weren’t talking about, most defiantly weren’t thinking about and had foolishly bargained to at least have one week of term before I had to deal with. I should have known really. When I had to turn the pre christmas delivery down they only let me in on their exiting plans the day before so why on earth I was surprised to get a text this evening informing me that the beds would be delivered tomorrow afternoon is beyond me. I can’t tell them not to deliver again but I am also no nearer being ready so I am going to have to deal with living in a flat pack warehouse as I somehow manage to dispose of a set of bunk beds, a metal frame double bed, a huge wardrobe thing (the open type thankfully, small mercies and all that, no doors.), a chest of draws, one single mattress and one double mattress. In a 3 door Corsa called Bob. Can he do it? Don’t be bloody daft.

To complete the holy trinity of things I have written about and clearly jinxed myself about for ever more the girl has swimming in the morning and if you think I am as organised enough to have her swim kit all in one place post Christmas holidays then you haven’t been reading.

I did today while at the hospital however happen to hear one of the best names I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. Congratulations to Penelope Gotobed. You win big… although I appreciate that childhood was most likely painful and you are probably on the brink of jail time if one more person makes one more joke…

Don’t call the doctor

The Doctor failed to come through on the lone of the Tardis. Selfish git.

I decided in fine fashion that if I was not going get everything done I would instead get next to nothing done and promptly gave myself the day off. I said ‘ahhhh’ and skipped home from the school drop off feeling light as a feather. Walking away from school on the first day of term is quite a glorious feeling and the rejuvenating properties of this experience should not be overlooked. Unfortunately they get very tetchy if you fail to return at 3.15pm to pick the little blighters up but I recommend that rather than dwelling on this you should rather focus on the fact you get to drop them off again the next morning.

Tomorrows joy shall be blighted slightly by having to haul myself up to the hospital in the morning for the biannual ritual of having doctors look deeply into my eyes, shake their heads and suck air through their teeth just like a plumber about to give a quote. Again I look on the bright side, a good couple of hours to sit and read my rather neglected book guilt free, as long as they don’t decide they need to dilate my eyes and spoil my fun. It is remarkably hard to read with pupils that resemble daft cat when he gets into one of ‘those’ moods and any movement at all triggers a flying ginger ball of claws and teeth that attaches it’s self to any uncovered flesh and is only sated once it has tasted blood. Caution should be used however about being too forthright about this wanton sabotage of reading time.

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Pictured: Eye hospital complaints procedure

I hope to get onto delivering the next and overdue part of the ‘Mothering the Apocalypse’ series over the next day or so eye sight and laziness permitting. I think there is a good 2 – 4 more parts in that one left to tell. Then there is also my reckless decision to kick off a new fiction series that I must address, there are 2 more parts of ‘The Holiday’ and they will come along as soon as my crippling procrastination allows.

My hope is to get the blog on something resembling a schedule with one fiction piece coming out on a set day each week. Even though the daily posting of the holiday diary has at times been exhausting I have found that overall I quite enjoyed knowing I needed to produce something every day and this evening I sat down thinking ‘At least I don’t have to blog’ but it didn’t take long before the fingers started to twitch and for better or worse here we are. So I am setting myself a loose goal to be getting something up 6 days as week.

Please let me know what you think in regard to the posting frequency and content, it can be quite nerve wracking working in a vacuum and trying to judge the balance between fiction and horror life. I am as always keen to hear what you think, what you like and what you would like to change. You are also welcome to tell me that I am hopelessly deluded and self centred (unless you are the bitch), all feedback is good (unless you are the bitch)!

School night

Day 17

Sorry. skipped a day. I did it just to keep you on your toes or because I took a last moment holiday, got bored of relaxing in the warm winter sun and came back after only 24 hours or because I had spent the day mainly in mud and was tired. You choose.

Back to school tomorrow. Am I ready? Well, I may just flee the country abandoning the children to the care of the first pack of wolves I can find (a slightly grumpy dog would do) just to get a moment of peace if they didn’t go back to school tomorrow so in that sense, yes, so ready for them to go back but am I ready as in school bags located and packed, everything labeled and P.E kits replenished then no, don’t be silly, of cause I am not.

The children seem in a similar state of high excitement about returning to school. It seems they share my feelings about enforced long periods of ‘togetherness’. The girl was jumping around the place in glee about the promise of school and the boy was just as joyful about giving his new pencil case it’s first run. He was a little more reserved about leaving his baby though. The much anticipated Furby that landed on Christmas day has had the boy fretful each time he leaves it in my ‘care’. He checks I know all the details of the care it required before he goes anywhere, the last thing he is thinking of as we say our goodbyes is that I know how to get it off to sleep and will feed it. He even refers to me as its Grandma. As a result I spent well over an hour last night tending to every whim it had as well as keeping it fed and bathed. Not quite sure how this gels with my New Years promise to be more social in my childless time.

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Pictured: Uncanny family resemblance

I am going to have to hit the Doctor up for a loan of the Tardis if I am to have a hope to do all the things I have in mind to get done tomorrow. My list just keeps getting longer every time I think of a task that has either been halted or put off due to the children being off school and the new beds, lord, don’t want to think of the beds.

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Pictured: Not thinking about beds.

Death of a dream

Day 15

So here it is, the final weekday of the Christmas holidays. This is the only school holiday of the year that I get to this point and I am not ready to show up at the school gates at 6am on Monday morning. It is the one holiday when I find myself thinking that maybe another week would be nice. It is the fact that there is never a clear week of the holiday when there isn’t an ‘event’ and associated public holiday. This wistfulness only lasts as long as the break between sibling arguments mind so never gets enough time to form into anything like yearning or a resolve for change, I see this as natures inbuilt self protection and I am grateful for it.

Once the children got home from their Fathers in the middle of the day we set out to first get the boy the haircut and then with plans to go into Oxford to find the 1 billion pound shop.

Clearly enough time for thought had passed to build a deep yearning for that 1 billion pound shop the boy had assured me lay waiting in Oxford because not once, but twice I completely ignored the fact our first stop was the local town for hair cutting and bill paying. After the first time I merrily ignored the turning for town and had then navigated myself back onto the correct route I suddenly realised why the boy had been repeating again and again that ‘This is the way to my doctors!’ from the back of the car. That was because I had yet again strayed from my path to the town and was heading off towards Oxford again.

I finally managed to block to lure to Oxford long enough to get us into town and after a spot of the boring task of paying bills we found ourselves waiting our turn at the hairdresser and I found myself yet again having to bargain with the boy that while Bieber hair may look cool to him he did need to be able to see past his fringe. We finally hit a compromise in which there where to be no clippers, the hair at the top could stay reasonably long but I would be able to see both eyes and ears at all times. The boy is happy with the results but has insisted gel shall be needed for the next school disco so he can perfect the ‘bed head’ style. Thankfully we have a whole term until that point and as he has a memory to rival my own I am hoping that if nobody says the words ‘Justin Bieber’ between now and that point I might just get away with it.

Next stop was to give in to the force dragging me into Oxford. Hitting traffic seduced us into giving the park and ride a try. It was a cruel lie. As soon as we where committed to the park and ride I could see that the traffic jam had completely vanished. The children at that point where full of the kind of enthusiasm for public transport only the under 10’s can have so there was no easy way out. I have become convinced that the traffic lights on that junction are set up as to make you think it is bumper to bumper traffic all the way into the city what ever the real situation may be just to trick you into using the park and ride.

On the bus ride the boy was as normal questioning me intensely on the lives and loves of every animal, mineral, vegetable that his eyes fell upon. He is of the unshakable opinion that I should know all and every detail about anything or anyone that his eyes fall upon and is only just starting to accept that outside the village I don’t always have all the answers. This resulted in my strangest moment of the day. The boy was questioning me about some people he could see from the bus window, when I was not able to satisfactorily answer the questions the boy pondered, ‘Maybe they are in mourning’. Oh. okay. Where did that come from? The boy has an expressive language disorder but he does love to throw some stuff out there just to keep everybody involved with him on the ball.

We couldn’t find the 1 billion pound shop. The girl found plenty of shops with pretty dresses and jackets. The boy found shops with superman braces and ties. I had to settle for a new bath mat and some towels. I’m very disappointed and in mourning for the loss of my happy hour browsing the shelves of the 1 billion pound shop.

About that boy…

Day 14

This morning was the morning of interesting conversations with the boy. He stated that his selection box was not chocolate. Intrigued I asked him what it was,

‘It’s wheat, all of it, even the flake’ he informed me like I was crazy to even ask

‘How do you know it’s wheat?’ I said picking just one question of the very many possible

‘The manager says so’ he replied quickly and calmly

‘Oh, who’s the manager?’ I enquired

‘I am. I am the manager’ he stated with absolute authority. Okay. Well that settles that. Wheat buttons anyone? Maybe dairy wheat bar?

The next conversation of note I have to admit that I can’t quite remember what sparked. It was about somebody having something new. I can’t remember who or what the new item was other that it was something rather large, somewhere between a house and car.

‘Did it come from the pound shop?’ he asked and on hearing my negative he moved on to

‘Did it come from the 99p shop?’ again my response was negative and I indicated that it probably cost a little more than that so the boy upped his game

‘Did it come from the 1 billion pound shop?’ he asked getting quite excited now. I told him that I didn’t think there was a 1 billion pound shop

‘There is a 1 billion pound shop! It’s in Oxford.’ again this was stated with such authority as to end the conversation. There was simply no more to be said, the hammer was down and the matter closed. We are planning on going into Oxford tomorrow, I would quite like a quick browse in the 1 billion pound shop. I hope it isn’t like Diagon Alley and hidden from the window shopping oiks like myself.

I have a strange and creeping notion that the boy is growing up to become an evil genius and is already planning his secret lair and recruiting henchmen and minions. The girl is defiantly on the pay roll. He probably pays in wheat bars.

In other news, tomorrow afternoon we are off to get the boy a hair cut. He has strongly maintained his desire for Justin Bieber hair. I am starting to wonder if this comes under the ‘within reason’ clause of my stance on the children’s hair, that they get to chose the style and cut given it is their hair not mine. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if I manage to brave walking into a hairdresser and making that request, maybe I could make a new clause that they have to tell the hairdresser themselves and I can pretend that they aren’t mine?