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.


The road to B.O.B

Day 9

It has been brought to my attention that not only have I failed to introduce the new member of our little clan I have also failed to note the significance of this addition.

I am naturally talking about the little car. A name for this hunk of metal has not yet been chosen as it is not yet been formally adopted and is just now in a fostering situation until final decisions have been made so for now we shall refer to it Bob (More accurately B.O.B – Borrow Or Buy).


Pictured: Bob in his best light

I little background to start us off. I have been the holder of a driving licence for almost 20 years however for a medley of boring reasons I found myself around 6 years ago in a situation where I didn’t have easy access to a car and my need to drive was low. This ended up with me forgetting to renew my driving licence when the photo expired.

It continued to be forgotten about and then the cumulative side effects of one of my medications combined with the temporary increases of said medication when I so carelessly dismounted a moving horse via the emergency exit came together to cause my corneas to resemble an LP owned by an over enthusiastic yet amateur DJ in the early 80’s. My doctors over at what we call up in Liverpool the ‘Gozzy Hozzie’ where somewhat relieved to find I wasn’t currently driving, they recommended that I keep it that way.

Now, we are a couple of years on from that. I have a strict and continued regime of all the eye drops ever made applied every hour or so of the day combined with having had my lower tear ducts cauterised, one eye was done by my consultant and the other by a student who had never done it before. New pants where required after I had the experience of a young man leaning over me with what amounts to a soldering iron asking his boss which bit of my eye he needed to stick it in while his hand shook with nerves. Thankfully about a year after my brush with the soldering iron I was passed fit to drive (as long as several gallons of goo a day kept my eyes artificially lubricated) and it was just case of sorting out my licence.

Due however to the very long time since I had needed it I had to change what felt like every little detail, my address, my name, my picture and naturally I had no clue where the paper counterpart of expired photo card where located so I was going to have to do the job lot with the DVLA.

We now enter into the long and boring bureaucratic process of banging ones head against a brick wall but suffice to say that in early December I was finally in possession of an up to date photo card driving licence with all the correct details. All I needed was some wheels to go with it. (Minor side note, I completely failed to think though my wardrobe choice for the picture, the orange jumper means it could be mistaken for a prison I.D. I was sad enough as it was at losing the old picture, the still teenaged me looked good in that picture, I have now lost all possible means of pretence.)

Getting mobile again had become a massive, massive deal once I had become a single parent, I live in the village that public transport forgot. My organisation levels did become unheard of for me and the ease of online shopping and supermarket delivery made life at least liveable however for things like doctors, dentists, hospitals and just all those general bits and bobs you take for granted when you have means of transport I was more than a bit stuck. Yes I have lovely friends who will always help out but it is simply not practical or reasonable to ask for help with some things and I really hate to put people out. However generous people are it just isn’t cricket to, for example, ask somebody to drive me to the hospital for an appointment and then either wait around with me for hours or be on call to come back and get me at some unspecified time. The biggest thing though is work. Having transport means being able to get more work in. I shall be talking more about the work thing in a post planned for later in the week but the bottom line is, driving is essential for me to earn my living.

So, we get to Bob, eventually. I have had use of Bob for almost 3 weeks now and apart from all the little runs to shops and things so far Bob has allowed me to take the children on a couple of outings and we have more planned for next week, Bob enabled me to make the most of a difficult Christmas afternoon by allowing me to go and be with horses and help out a friend in the process, there are also things Bob has helped me with that are on the banned topics list so we will skip to the fact that Bob has also just taken me between Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire and back again so I could go and see the biggest bitch in the known galaxy and call her a bitch and a few other names to boot. Bob even got me through Milton Keynes, twice, it is hard to ask more of Bob than that.

Hopefully Bob will become a permanent member of our little madcap family, and if it is not this Bob, it will be another because I am officially mobile again and I fully intend to make the very most of it.