Friday, 15 December 2017

Thank You!!!!!

When I said in my last post that this blog was my support, I wasn't trying for the pity party.  It's truly been a massive support for me for years.  There's been some sound advice given, which I've appreciated and sometimes takne, and some great stories and experiences shared - there are so many lovely people out there and I am lucky enough to have some of them following this blog.  I am very grateful and thank you so much for the messages.  I feel hugged and inspired.

Susan said that she thought I was brave sharing my problems.  I don't feel brave.  I think it's important to admit that sometimes things go wrong and, to be honest, sometimes life is so much more entertaining when there is a little less perfection.  For example, it took me days to get all the dried rose petals out of the toilet brush and that's much more fun to share than me saying how I keep my bathroom perfectly (I don't - but that's a work in progress and it's okay).

If this was fiction then the house would suddenly be gleaming after I decided to pull myself together.  It really isn't.  However it's cleaner.  I've sorted through a few shelves, tidied others and I've found a place for the washing powder stash.  It's a start.  It is better than it was yesterday by a little bit, and I'll take that. 

The freezer came.  I was up until the early hours trying to defrost the old freezer.  It was deeply encrusted.  I'd manage to use up most of the stuff and so there were only the dregs of some frozen mixed veg and some dubious chicken pieces that had to be thrown out.  The old freezer was as tall as me and it took a lot of towels to soak up the mess, but by the time the men came I had defrosted it, moved it out of the walk in cupboard and into the kitchen, mopped where it had stood for the last ten years and cleared every chair, box and hanger out of the path for the new freezer. 

The delivery men were very nice, and unpacked the new freezer with frightening and ruthless efficiency, but they seemed to be shocked that there were steps into the kitchen.  I had warned them, and the same firm (AO) had previously taken a fridge and a washing machine down the same steps, but these men seemed shocked at their very existance.  Once they had got over that, though, the old freezer was taken and the new fridge installed in double quick time and they were off.  I'm letting it settle and Tesco are delivering lots of frozen food tomorrow.

Bear has had his last day of term.  It was Christmas Jumper Day.  He was wearing the same one he wore last year, which had been big on him.  It's still got plenty of room for growth in it and should he need a Christmas jumper next year I'm sure it will still do.  As ever, bear came home with one more Christmas present than he left with, but that's okay.  It means that there is now a home for the duplicate chemistry set I bought accidentally when it was an excellent deal.  I'll have to hand it over in January, but I don't suppose that it will be a problem. 

I think Step Two is going to have to be getting me out of the house on a daily basis.  I've tried to set that goal before and not managed.  I'm going to have to work on that, and with the holidays it's probably going to have to wait until after New Year.  However I feel positive that things are a little further on than they were yesterday, so Step One is continuing. 

Thank you again for listening to me and for the amazing support.  Hugs x

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Another Day, Another Fail

Jake's a Girl - massive hugs. 

Bear was complaining bitterly about being forced to walk miles (around a few hundred yards) on really slippery roads (they were fine) in the pouring rain (it was dry) to go the Carol Concert at the local CofE church.  When he got home he was out playing football in the freezing rain.  I am getting very good at a 'nod and smile'.

I've been thinking about the whole issue about getting out of the house.  I realise that I've been basically assuming that the only thing I can do is pull myself together.  I would never encourage anyone else to take this attitude, but I can't imagine another way of doing it for me.

Back in the early eighties I escaped from my mother and went to university.  I never graduated.  I had a breakdown and lost all my short term memory.  I could remember who I was and where I lived, but I couldn't remember anything from one moment to another.  I have very fuzzy memories of the time but I remember being lost in Preston bus station.  At the time it was the biggest bus station in Europe and one of the few things I can remember is knowing that I could keep walking around because I'd never remember whether I had been somewhere or not and the helpless feeling that went with it.  Looking back it's one of my most vivid memories.  Yet I have no idea why I was in Preston.

I couldn't go home.  My mother was a big part of the problem.  I didn't have anyone to advocate for me at the university.  I didn't know what choices were possible.  I spent some time in the University Health Centre (again, I'm a little hazy on the details) but the stalker I picked up made it impossible to stay there.  I wasn't offered any medical treatments and I was unable to make it to the counselling that was arranged because it was too complicated for me.  So I got a part time job in a supermarket and sort of got on with things. 

Antidepressants have helped me in the past but the anxiety I'm suffering from at the moment makes it impossible for me to swallow tablets.  I don't want to discourage anyone else from trying counselling but it didn't work for me.  I'm very good at saying the right things and then utterly failing to manage.  My main support network is on here.  At the moment I can keep bear clean and warm and fed (and I fight his corner for school and all the extras) and DH always has dinner and a clean shirt, but I am getting able to do less and less. 

So today I'm making a conscious decision.  Today is the day I start to pull myself together.  I am really not recommending anyone trying it, and to be honest, I'm not sure where to start, but I'm starting.

Step One - post something positive on here every day. 
Step Two - I'm working on step two, but I'll share when I know. 

Today's positive - the kitchen, dining room and walk in cupboard look like they are in the middle of an explosion but while I've been clearing I've found enough old towels to mop up the defrosting freezer - new freezer tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

More Nothing of Much

If you look in the comments on the last post you will see the issues Eloise is having with the snow.  In fact, the comments on the last few posts reflect how different it is across the blog community.  Margie in Toronto is having far more snow and far fewer problems.  Eloise and Jake's a Girl are having a lot of issues with unfamiliar weather.  We had rain.  There are times when I really count my blessings.

I have not yet replaced bear's gloves.  The last few pairs (yes, I know) have been quite padded.  Bear claims, with mingled innocence and indignation, that it can't possibly be his fault, they just fall out of his pockets.  As he usually takes less than five minutes to go between school and home, plays football relentlessly at breaks and it isn't that cold here, perhaps a few days with cold hands will focus his attention.  I'll look for thinner gloves next time. 

Today was difficult for me, as I went out of the house.  It was incredibly hard.  I am starting to get really worried.  Still, I made it to the bus stop and chose to get a bus that meant I needed to do more.  When I got to Leeds I looked in Home Sense for candles.  There wasn't many nice candles.  I suspect that they don't get many overstock candles at this time of year and the time I'll really score big is probably nearer March.  It was all very disappointing.  Then I got another bus out to Aldi, where I just picked up some cola and some chocolate, then home.  So I did it.  I just need to keep doing it. 

I have my last Approved Food order of the year on its way.  I think that there may then be a really possibility of the house bursting at the seams.  Like I say, I'm counting my blessings.  I have good stuff coming in a Morrisons order tomorrow, a new freezer on Friday and a stock up for the freezer on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to Christmas. 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Weather (such as it is) continues

Yesterday I called into Matalan, to pick up a pair of gloves for bear.  I had seen the weather forecasts and I knew that he had lost his last pair so I got the next of no doubt a series.  He forgot them this morning.

Unlike a lot of the UK we are barely affected.  It's cold, it's icy and I got hit by at least six snowflakes yesterday but it's nothing to the disruption caused in other parts of the country.  While places like Canada (hi to Jean, Margie, Sharon et al over that side of the pond and subject to snow!) and Norway are dealing with banks of snow just fine, we are really struggling.  However we rarely get snow in the Midlands to the extent that has fallen, and snow is usually after Christmas.  I don't think most of the UK (with the usual exceptions) know how to deal with it so that it's a problem when it comes.  Sending out huge hugs and good vibes to all those affected by it.  Snow and ice are treacherous and even dangerous for people unused and unprepared for the conditions. 

I can consider myself blessed in that the biggest problem I have had today is that the very inexpensive scented candle I picked up was inexpensive for a reason.  The whole house smells of cheap cleaning fluid instead of the Lime and Mandarin I was promised.  I've had windows open (not all day!  I'm too nesh for that) but I still feel like I've been splashed with toilet cleaner.  I'll put out some saucers of vinegar if it doesn't fade soon.

I've put in the last Approved Food order of the year and hopefully I will soon get a very large box stuffed with treats.  I even got free shipping.  I've got the last few bits of grocery shopping and then I'm done.  If I've forgotten anything, tough.  It will have to do!

Sunday, 10 December 2017


Snow was forecast for the UK.  Around here there is very little snow.  In fact I don't remember seeing any last year at all.  However the BBC forecast snow so I made sure that I had hot chocolate in and got on with things. 

The Daily Express forecasts dreadful storms and snow every year so I ignore their weather pages.  If the BBC forecast snow, however, I usually keep an eye out.  In places like the Highlands there have been really low temperatures.  In places south of here there has been a lot of disruption caused by snow.  Places in Scotland, the Lake District and Wales get plenty of snow and know what to do.  Here in Leeds the buses faint and disappear at the first snowflake and people watch anxiously as the temperature drops.  We've had a few flakes.  It's nothing special.  There's a trace of snow on the walls and bear managed to make a snowball the size of a small grape.  Tomorrow is likely to be more hazardous, but as far as I can tell with the weather forecast (as much as you can tell!) not only are we likely to miss most of the snow but we are also likely to miss the worst of the ice which is going to cause real problems elsewhere.  I am not complaining.

Bear did manage to score some serious complaints about his glasses in the fifteen minutes before getting used to them.  He looks so serious in them.  I just hope he doesn't break them before he grows out of them. 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Bear's Christmas Play

Bear's school put on a play every Christmas.  They have done a few different once, this year it was the Lion King, and they are amazing.

One of the teachers actually writes a script in rhyming couplets.  It's absolutely tailored to insult the area and all of the teachers.  There are dance numbers, lots of songs and some of the kids sing solo and dance solo.  This year I really appreciated how amazing the school is as they put on a performance with 10 and 11 year olds, dancing, singing, almost acting and following all sorts of different cues.  They were also in costumes.

Bear only had a few lines (every kid had a few lines) but he was dancing away with more than a reasonable amount of elbow flying around.  I swear his arms looked like bits of broomstick connected with elastic bands.  He also started a shoving match with the lad next to him during one of the numbers and nearly ended up pushed off stage.  Neither DH nor I had the will to challenge him on that but we were very limp when it came to sympathy. 

Also we have had to pay out a lump of money because when we woke up this morning, one of the downpipes from the guttering had snapped in two and was completely away from the wall.  I managed to get someone to come out, quote, and fix it this afternoon for an extortionate amount before the builders and roofers were overbooked by people affected by the current storm.  I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but there is often someone lurking at the corner by the drainpipe.  I usually notice a shadow as someone disappears a step or two back, I've no idea who they are or what they are doing, but I suspect the wind more than any phantom lurkers and so far they've been okay.  Besides, they smoke and a hand with a cigarette disappearing into the shadows lends a sort of film noir air to a rather dull terrace.   

Monday, 4 December 2017

Boys will be Boys

Bear's pal came round tonight.  I fuelled them up and left them to get on with it, just as I usually do, but not before giving bear's pal a joking complaint that in this weather, around 7 celsius or around 45 Fahrenheit, he thought it was a good idea to wander through the streets in just a short sleeved shirt. 

I mentioned the concept of jackets and sweaters as bear and he chuckled, and obviously he took no notice of me.  He's two years older than bear and already looking like a teenager.  I know that nothing either me or his mother could say would convince him to wear anything more than a short sleeved shirt in quite cold weather.  I know it's not cold cold but it's not warm either.

Bear is far worse than his pal.  Sweaters and shirts get dropped wherever he sees fit as he just sheds as he goes.  I have spent most of his life putting blankets back on him, insisting on a coat, insisting on a jacket or insisting he at least puts a t-shirt on.  He does not feel the cold. 

Lucky him!  I feel the cold to a ridiculous degree.  I huddle down with blankets and sweaters while bear looks at me in bewilderment and takes off his vest.  He sometimes snuggles under blankets, but it's more for the cuddles than anything to do with temperature.  I can see that I will spend around half of his teenage years trying to get him to wrap up. 

In other words, it looks like bear will be a perfectly normal teenage boy.