Friday, 26 October 2012

School Trip

Today I was 'volunteered' to be a parent helper on my oldest's class field trip to the relics of a roman villa. Apparently there are more roman villas in our part of the world than anywhere else in the UK.... We are truly blessed. I arrived at the school as the rain poured out of the sky, great  stuff! Sixty kids at a damp archeological site. I was given my group, which included KC and one of his best friends, plus another child who was late, his Mum had overslept and they were on their way, apparently.... To balance my three obviously dysfunctional kids I was presented with three over achieving children, I knew this as the minute I walked in they started sprouting A level knowledge of the Roman way of life... I knew my day was not going to be a straight forward one.

How right I was.

The kids were all given a worksheet to complete upon arrival (apparently all the answers were at strategic points around the villa. There were things to draw and every group (we were group 7 of 9) was allowed a ten minute break in the gift shop. Great!

I hadn't counted on the competitiveness of other parents... They were off! Some of the parent leaders informed their groups that they would not be having lunch until the entire worksheet was completed. I heard another tell her group that if anyone needed the toilet they had to do it now or wait until they wre going home. Manic Mums... I was the only Dad there, as you may have gathered. I didn't want to enforce the 'learning' aspect if the day on my group... I would like to say that this was as a result if my 'Guardian reading'' middle class method of education, whereas in reality the little girls knew far more than I did about how to complete a year 3 worksheet and the boys were too busy racing around and pretending to be Roman gladiators to give a damn about the history of the building. I spent most of the time running around after the three musketeers and preventing them from further destroying the building and in between checking the answers of eager youngsters desperately seeking approval of their answering ability. Eventually if was lunchtime... I sank to the floor to consume my cheese sandwich and flask of coffee...

It was during this period that one of my group discovered that one of the other groups had completed their worksheet in full... All 14 sections. The Mum in charge was loving it, then one of my over achieving charges said quite loudly 'I wish we were in her group instead of this one...  We are only up to number 11!" I would have responded but I was trying to stop KC's best friend from flicking his cheese sandwich at another school group who had just arrived...

Then it was our turn in the gift shop.  KC wanted everything he saw, including a full roman soldier outfit for £50. I told him he had £5 like everyone else. He ended up buying a rubber sword, despite my showing him all the fantastic books about roman life... As I showed him he said, "it's my pocket money and you said I could get what I want... And I don't want a book." Fair enough. So he bought the sword and I bought the book. Mainly so I could share my knowledge of Roman life with the obnoxious threesome... Actually they were lovely, just very earnest!!!!!

We then came home and I was so pleased to open that Friday bottle of wine whilst Papa does the bedtime routine!!!!!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Thats all I can say - Wow!
I have been amazed and touched by the sheer amount of people who have expressed their good wishes and support after my blog entry yesterday. The number of page views has gone off the scale - the most I have ever received and I can only say how truly humbled we are.

There is so much more to add to yesterday's blog - as I said it really is only the tip of the iceberg - but I guess that is something that will wait until after the legal stuff has run its course - who knows, perhaps the TV show will lead to a book spin off - 'The Reality Behind 'Relative Strangers'' - believe me there is definately a books worth of material - I just wonder if it would be too depressing. On the other hand, as I said yesterday, we have been blessed with the gift of balance. I think if the kids had Fairy Godparents (instead of just Fairy Dads - I thought I would say it before anyone else did) then the gift would have been 'balance'. Interestingly, when we met the boys the cottage that they put us up in (self catering - to keep costs down, naturally) was actually called Fairy Cottage - and there were lots of little fairies hidden around the house. At the time we thought it was hilarious - now I wonder if it was the beginning of a homophobic jibe... Or am I reading too much into things. I'm doing that a lot recently, especially as I am currently recounting the entire placement period with the Ombudsman and various other legal bodies - it just never seems to end. The complaints system is ludicrous - you go through months and months of investigations - then when the complaint is upheld then local authority are not really obliged to do anything - why would they be? They are investigating themselves after all. Its kind of like the Jimmy Savile debacle going on in the UK at the moment - the BBC are investigating the BBC - all big corporations seems to have the right to investigate themselves. But thats another axe to grind....

TJ managed to pull his curtains down last night - completely, the brackets were ripped right out of the wall - there was a terrible crash and I raced into his room to find him sitting amongst dust and football embroidered curtain material. He looked up at me with his big blue eyes... I looked down at him with my cold stare (not unlike Paddington Bear's) "What happened?" I asked authoritatively. I got the standard shrug of the shoulders. "I think you had better think about your answer whilst you have your bath and I fix the curtains" I told him. He agreed.

A little later I asked him again, "So, are you ready to tell me what happened?".
"Yes," he replied. "I was trying to close my curtains and they just fell off on my head."
"Really?" I said.
"Really - it did really happen."
"Tell me more..." I cajoled him....
"Well, I was trying to close them by climbing to the top to reach the round hoops (curtain rings) and then they fell down."
And so we got to the bottom of it - needless to say he is no longer allowed to close his own curtains - even if the old lady living over the road does get to see his bottom (he is very worried he might scare her)... and poor Papa spent a good hour last night polyfilling in the huge holes TJ had made in the walls. And its a brand new house!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 22 October 2012


I dont know whether I should be writing this here or not. I dont know if you want to read about the reality of adoption, not just in how tough it can be but also in how we have been treated by the local authority that placed the children with us. I dont even know if I can legally say too much as we are still in dispute - so I guess, you must read everything I am about to say with an open mind and recognise that it is only my version of events and mainly speculation as to the reasonings and outcome (whatever that may be)

Today is not a 'light hearted look at adoption', today is about honesty and if there is anyone who has media contacts and wants to help me share this part of the story then by all means direct them to my blog. However, I am going to ask anyone who actually knows us to please respect the privacy of our children.

Here goes...

In February 2011 two children were placed with us for adoption. Two children who had a hideous past, two children who were incredibly traumatised by their birth family, two children who were abused, mentally tortured and subjected to neglect, victimisation and eventually abandoned by every member of their birth family before being taken into care. One of the children has a recognised disability and the other has a learning delay - which was hardly surprising. I am not going to go into details as that is their story to tell but, as you know, children are only ever taken into care as an absolute last resort - something would be adopters are warned about on the pre-adoption course but it is something they will be assured that they will be supported through by a water tight post adoption support package.

When we first read about the children's background we were horrified but we had decided to adopt because we wanted to help children just like these two, we could have taken the far more fashionable and less risky route of surrogacy and had a beautiful bouncing baby. Instead we opted to take two children who needed a home, needed security but most of all needed a loving family. We told the social workers that 'yes, we were interested in pursuing this adoption but that we needed a robust support system as we had never dealt with many of these issues.' Remember we were new to parenting, I had worked with children extensively, but, as any parent will tell you, working with children and parenting children are two entirely different things.

In December 2010 we were officially 'matched' with the children and we were sent DVD's, pictures, drawings of what they wanted in their new family and we had already grown to love these children even though we had never met them. They even made us a Christmas Tree decoration 'to my new family' We were promised full adoption support, therapy in place, financial assistance - if we asked for it, social services promised it.

Then we were told that due to the cutbacks and the fact that this local authority was very poor that we would now only get £350 to buy a set of bunk beds and.... oh, that was it. Nothing else, no adoption allowances to help meet their, or our, needs, no therapy (it was too expensive)... nothing. Oh, and I was to give up work for a year in order to help the children settle into their new home. We didnt really know what to do, we didn't want to lose the children, we felt that we knew them and we didnt realise at that point what having no effective support would actually be like. So we agreed. Although, I did state that I would not be able to afford to give up work, so it was agreed that I could work from home during the school hours but not during holidays. Two weeks later we met the children and in February of 2011 the children came to live with us....

People talk of a honeymoon period in adoption - where the children work really hard to please you and are as good as gold. We didn't get that. Ours hit the ground running. Once again, I won't go into details but it was a very tough time for us. We were stressed - we didnt know if this was how it was supposed to be. If all children behaved like this? If we were reading too much into every bit of behaviour? But needless to say it was horrendous. To say we were finding it difficult was an under statement. The children were struggling too, I was in school almost every day dealing with one problem or another - luckily I have experience of the school system and I know the right questions to ask - we were also very lucky that they are in an amazing school - I researched a lot and although our school may not be the best academically it is by far the best in terms of nurture and child well being - thank goodness we got it! The behaviours we were experiencing from both were far and above anything we had been expecting from the adoption course (and indeed from the the children's notes - social services are never truly honest), other parents were complaining, teachers didnt know what to do and to cap it all - we didnt see a social worker for nearly 3 months. I was firing off emails everywhere, calling everyone, trying to get some support or some help from anywhere - eventually Adoption UK (an excellent charity) suggested the Post Adoption Centre and they were put into place - which really helped me at that time.

This all might seem very bland to you - perhaps you are thinking that birth parents dont get any support so why should we as adopters expect any? I can see that argument but believe me when I say that the problems we were faced with were massive - Papa and I had no experience of them and, in all honesty, the school didnt know what to do either - with no social workers to advise anyone we were all making it up as we went along.

Papa and I were struggling, financially, mentally and physically. By the end of the summer of 2011 we had put a complaint into social services, an immediate investigation was ordered and people finally started to listen. By October of the same year, with still no assistance or therapy in place for the children we faced a potential disruption (where the children would have had to have gone back into care). It was at this point that suddenly help started to arrive after all, the cost of taking them back into care would have ben huge. And thats what adoption today is about - the cost.

It sad to say that adoption support, whilst deemed necessary by the Government and the major adoption charities, is not a right. It is a post code lottery. We got nothing and yet took on two children with massive problems - the social services defence was 'other people walked away from these children - you didn't - therefore you knew what you were taking on.' I am not joking, that is the defence they gave at the investigation. When we went to court for the Adoption Order, the placing social services sent in their lawyer to fight us (yes, they were fighting the very people they had recommended to adopt) - they accused us of not having the children's best interests at heart - of only coming into adoption for the financial gain and they told the judge to adjourn our case until the Ombudsman (who is still looking into the injustice of our case) had made a final decision. The judge threw that out and granted the Adoption Order, but it was a horrible position to be in, to be sat in court and accused of these horrendous things whilst all the time knowing that you have opened your home and your hearts to these children and all you want to do is to make sure they get what was promised to them in the first place. Thank goodness the judge told the authority that he did not have any sympathy with them - that they had made this about finances and not us. That it was in  the 'best interests' of the children for them to have a stable and loving family and he would not delay proceedings any further - even at this point the lawyer started to argue and the judge told him to sit down, that he was granting the order. The social services team didn't even speak to me afterwards - they just walked away from me and started talking with their lawyers. The only person who congratulated me was the court official - who, I think it fair to say, had never witnessed this sort of behaviour before and felt sorry for me standing there in the courtroom all by myself, unsure of what to do next.

Now we have parental responsibility we can share our story and, as we have been advised, can begin proceedings to sue the local authority on behalf of the children. The Ombudsman is further looking into our case - to find out why when all of our complaints were upheld within the extensive investigation that we didn't get any further assistance. Our MP is now involved. Family Futures, a respected charity working with adoptive families, called this 'the worst case of poor social worker practice they had seen in years.' The only people who don't seem to think that they have done anything wrong are the placing social workers.

So today we are still fighting - we are now in debt up to our eyeballs - but we needed to do it to give the boys the home and the safety that they needed. We don't know how we can cope with my wage gone - but cope we will. Papa and I have committed ourselves to these children - we won't join the long list of people who have abandoned them - social services may not like it and we may face many obstacles but we will keep on fighting for our kids - we will fight to ensure that they get everything they need to help them overcome their past and become responsible and caring young adults.

As I say, this is only the tip of the iceburg and when I look back at the full story I often have to sit down and think 'how did we get through that?' I don't have the answer but when I read some of our family's many exploits in this blog it makes me realise that there is a balance, that the wierd and wonderful things that happen to us (and make so many people laugh) are there to balance out the sheer horror of these children's experiences and the incredibly poor way in which we have been treated as adopters.

It was suggested to me this weekend that maybe it is because we are a same sex couple that we have been treated so badly,  I hope not - but there has definately been no respect for us (respect for adopters is high on Mr Cameron's list of adoption reforms).  I hope that we have just been unlucky in our placing local authority.

I don't want to put people off adoption - it is an amazing gift and I wouldnt change our family now for anything but to anyone who is or who is thinking of adopting - please make sure before you commit to anything that the adoption plan is written in stone and learn to read 'social worker speak'....

Friday, 19 October 2012

Delivery Day.....

It's Friday and I have taken the day out to wait for the delivery men to deliver my new sofa set and the aerial man to come and fix us up to freeview - sod Sky. When we cancelled it I expected an uproar from the kids, an outcry about how cruel we were and how deprived they were being. But no, they simply watch less tv. Honest. They might watch a bit of CITV or CBBC but once they got bored with it they go and do something else. Yesterday, TJ said, "This TV show is boring, I think I'll read my book." I kid you not! I nearly fell off my chair! He went up to his room and I found him reading a Horrible Histories book all about Ancient Egypt... Obviously, I was the victim of an alien invasion akin to Invasion of the Body Snatchers whereby my son had been replaced by an alien clone who was trying to be the epitome of human kind and blend in. I decided I quite liked it, so he can stay.

So I waited in all day for my 8am to 6pm delviery slot although I specifically said to the delivery team - don't come between 3 and 3.20 as I have to pick the kids up from school. Sure enough, at 3.10, as I stood outside the school gates, the phone rang. "Its your delivery sir, we're outside your door but there doesn't seem to be anyone here."

I told them I would be back asap. To which I got the reply, "Well, we do have six more deliveries to do today sir, so we can only wait 10minutes - after that it will have to go back to the depot and we will arrange another delivery day." They had already delayed me twice and I have waited two months so far. So I snapped, you hang on and I will be there. I grabbed Lea by the collar (TJ is at after school club) and we ran home. As I got here the delivery man got out of the car laughing and said, "Well, at least the run did you some good - no need to go to the gym today mate." How we laughed.....

He soon stopped laughing when I showed him that all three pieces were going upstairs to my first floor living room (Papa calls it the drawing room - he watches far too many period movies). Afterwards the two men spent a good ten minutes chatting on my doorstep - I knew they were waiting for a tip. They knew I knew they were waiting for a tip. But no-one was going to say anything and they had made me run. Anyway, eventually I said, "Well, I know you have another 6 trips to do so you had better be on your way." I wished them a lovely evening and closed the door as they slammed back into their truck.

I am now sitting here typing this waiting for the TV aerial man - apparently we are his last job of the day... oh and there is the doorbell!!!!! TV tonight!!!!!! On a sofa!!!!!!


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

School photos today and back to the gym for me!

Yes, today is the taking of the official school photo - the one that will be displayed upon Granny's sideboard for a full year and then put away until the kids bring home prospective partners and we bring them out to embarrass them!

We couldnt use last year's as KC kept pulling silly faces in all the shots and his hair was stuck up at the back making him resemble a ginger chicken. TJ just cried throughout so by the time they got a decent shot his eyes were so red and puffed up he looked like he had gone and stuck his head into a wasps nest to see what was in there.

This year will be different. This year I am prepared. School uniforms were ironed and laid out on the beds, boys hair was rinsed through before school and dried into an acceptable position. both children were instructed to stay tidy and to keep their jumpers on for the photo - otherwise TJ's shirt tends to come out and his tie ends up around his head like Rambo. I just pray that TJ doesnt throw paint over himself or worse still decide he wants to colour in his sleeves (don't ask...)

I shall wait and see what the final results are - the best laid plans etc... but at least this time if it doesnt work out it won't be my fault!!!!

I went back to the gym today and we now have lovely big flatscreen TV's on every running machine. Oddly enough they were all tuned to the Jeremy Kyle Show which really does give an interesting snapshot into a world no-one really believes exists (does it?). The sound was turned down in order for us to be able to run in time with the latest pop tunes. You know you are getting old when the only time you hear high intensity gay clubbing music is at the gym... I concluded that they must have this particular TV show on during off peak times in order for us to realise that although we maybe 'stay-at-home' parents (with a couple of students and a pensioner thrown in for good measure) at least we are not on TV discussing the paternity of our dear children in front of millions - I imagine it also makes unemployed people feel marginally better about their situation, or it motivates them to turn off the TV and reach for the Jobs pages.

Then an enormous lady came on the show (she was huge) and her problem???? Apparently a member of her family had stolen the money she had set aside for the purchase of a mobility scooter. Even with the sound turned down this generated a number of giggles among my fellow gym members but what was funnier was when the lady started to berate the audience members who were laughing at her. She certainly found her mobility when her family came on and she accused them one at a time of the theft... I was astonished. But, what it certainly managed to motivate everyone in the gym as we pounded our hamster wheels with a lot more vigour inorder for us not to end up on Jeremy Kyle. An interesting fact is that my therapist is actually employed by the TV Producers to dish out therapy after the show to the panellists - most of whom (in her words) dont really care what others think as long as they get their money - the cult of celebrity in the UK never ceases to amaze me!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Trip 2 to A and E...

... but this time it was with our younger son TJ and the experience could not have been more different than our last.

TJ had an asthma attack during the night and no matter how I tried I just couldn't settle him, so I called our local out of hours clinic and they simply said 'bring him in now'. I took him in and we were taken straight into the treatment areas - TJ thought he was extra special, I began to panic. They popped the pulse indicator thingy on his finger and everyone looked at the screen and went very silent - again, very scary. Then they said 'right, his oxygen levels are through the floor' and popped him onto one of three nebulisers. I say three as they kept changing the level of dosage in order to regulate his breathing. Eventually they manage to get him back on track and the doctor was so kind. He said to me 'I didnt want to have to admit him to hospital as I think that would stress your son out even more, I notice he is adopted and adopted children often don't cope with separation very well'. It is so refreshing to meet professionals who just 'get' the different ways in which adopted children have difficulties where birth children may not. A birth child knows that their parent will always come back for them, to an adopted child that may not be the case, no matter how much we reassure them, in the back of their mind they will have been abandoned.

Mind you, this attack was on the back of a weekend of parties - both kids were invited ice skating and for the first time, we left them with the birthday boy's family - lots of 'dont worry they'll be fine' type things being said. although Papa and I did worry - we worried that we only had two hours to get lunch and some shopping in! Yay! We said 'goodbye' and 'be good' and then shot out of there before anyone realised what they had committed themselves to. I noticed a lot of parents seem to do that at kids parties - just drop the kids off and run!!!!!!!

When we came back it was mayhem. KC was still on the ice (apparently they couldn't get him off) and clutching onto a penguin stabiliser whilst trying to knock other skaters over - which he found hilarious. TJ, on the other hand, had had a Little Lord Fauntleroy moment, and on being given his burger (which he ordered at the beginning of the party) promptly threw it back at the waitress shouting at her that he 'didn't order cheese!' Obviously, when the birthday boy's mother informed us of this behaviour we were mortified - and a little surprised as to why TJ would order burgers when he hates them. But words were had and groundings given. I dont know if I should share this but I needed to make TJ understand how rude he had been and telling him off gets you nowhere as he simply dissociates and shuts down mentally. So I let them both have beans on toast for tea (no TV and straight to bed afterwards) and then served them the delicious birthday cake that had come home with them as part of their party bags (also confiscated). They were about to tuck into their cake when I said, 'Right, before you take a mouthful. I want you before every bite to say 'I'm sorry for being rude to Birthday Boy's Mum' and then you can eat and swallow, then before you take another bite you say the same thing and so on.

They looked startled but I made them do it and by the end TJ was crying and saying I dont want any more cake - but I made him finish it, complete with his phrase. I have to be honest I quite enjoyed the experience (is that a bad thing to admit to?) but at the end he went to bed full of remorse and promising to eat whatever is put in front of him - especially when he is out.

KC is grounded just for being a hooligan and not being good like he promised - so its a quiet week without TV for us this week.....

...and now I'm at home all day with a bored 6 year old without the use of TV to baby sit him and keep him quiet... He has to rest for 48 hours and take horrid steroids, keeping him still is quite a chore so as I type this I have to admit that I buckled and he is currently sat in front of CBeebies... but to be honest, I think he got quite a fright with his asthma attack so I won't be too hard on him... KC on the other hand.....

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Nothing to Report...

... which is a strange way to start a blog I guess. I have nothing to say... nothing has happened...

But that in itself is nothing short of miraculous. The children went to school this morning, Papa went to work, I started on my Open University course - I manage to get wireless access to the internet - essential for distance learning... I watched a couple of short educational films, drank tea... took the dog out for a walk... made a few calls... replied to a few emails... all in all very dull...

Then the cleaner came... she was stunned by the new house... 'You make the white floor, you have a white dinner table and white chairs", she sucked her teeth, "You also have two small kids, you is very crazy." I told her smugly that the children only used the table for family occassions and for all other meal times they used the breakfast bar... She looked at me, "this will work for a short time only," she said, "you have two kids with much energy, they sure to throw food at each other soon, then who will have to get stain out of white leather? It will be me you are calling." "Well, we could always look for someone else to clean for us," is what I wanted to say, instead I just laughed and said, "Oh well, we'll see."

The cleaner now has 5 clients in our neighbourhood - she told me all their secrets as she did the ironing and I made her endless cups of tea. One old man never leaves his house - he just watched TV... and not the good kind of TV apparently (whatever that means). Another couple leave for work in the morning drop the kids off at breakfast club, then don't come home till after 6 picking the children up from after school club on their way home. "They work all day to keep the big house and the fancy things, but they never see their children... this would not happen in Turkey." Or so I was reliably informed. I didnt want to comment.

Our cleaner left at her new later post ironing time and said in a cheery tone, "You have bought nice house, gay people always have the good taste." and with a cheery wave she jumped into her Nissan Micra.

The children came home and, yet again, homework was done without a grumble - although I have now laid down the ground rules that the TV/Wii does not go on until homework is done and that seems to really do the trick. TJ was so keen to get his homework done so he could play the wii that he even refused to have a biscuit - unheard of!

KC has now gone to dance class - he has street dance on a Wednesday andhe loves it. I shall watch all his new dance moves when he comes home... and try them out myself at the next drunken wedding I go to. As a legal father I can now officially 'Dad Dance!'

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Therapy and Homework

The beauty of having no Internet and working on a 3G network is that I can write my blog anywhere, well anywhere with a decent reception, which, oddly enough, includes the local park where my kids are currently tearing around playing football.

TJ came home from school today without his jumper. I looked at him, "where is your jumper?" I asked. "my teacher took it off me." came the reply. "why did the teacher confiscate your jumper?" I looked at him sternly... There was a silence and then he simply said, "because I was wearing it in my head and pretending to be a girl." I have never been so proud....

KC had his therapy session today. I don't go in with him and one day I am sure he will let me know what happened to him in his birth family, we know what social services have told us but I am sure the reality is much harsher and is something that we, as parents, need to brace ourselves for. As the children slowly become attached to us and we to them there will come a time when hearing about their abuse will be no different to any parent who hears how their birth children have suffered. It is at this point that many adoptive parents can suffer from secondary trauma, that is they take on the traumatic experiences their children eventually share with them. I guess there are two ways of looking at this, firstly that it is humbling that they would feel safe enough to share these often horrendous experiences but secondly that we should prepare ourselves for our own reaction to them.

On a lighter note tonight is homework night and for once, all homework was done without screaming or pouting or any of the usual responses. TJ is learning a poem for pirate day on Friday. I pulled out a copy of  'One Eyed Jack'. He is learning it with gusto complete with hand actions. I proudly told his teacher how well he was doing. She looked at me and said 'I shall look forward to seeing that' then she paused before adding, 'and the other twenty versions I am bound to hear.' I never felt so deflated... But we don't care, our version of 'One Eyed Jack' will be Olivier Award Winning... Or the teacher will have me to answer to!!!!!

Monday, 8 October 2012

A Weekend of Parties...

... Well, for the kids anyway. Papa and I had to suffer damp carpets as the French doors on our brand new house decided to leak and soak the carpets. As I type I am currently sat waiting for the building chap to arrive and take a look.

Anyway, on Saturday we had back to back birthday parties. In the morning there was a magician followed by lunch at a local village hall. It was lovely but packed and because this was a family friend the kids didn't really know that many children but they fitted right in and were soon shouting advice to the poor entertainer. I was even surprised when the child that had to be reprimanded for trying to de-unicycle the magician was not one of mine.

We arrived a little late, as usual, and upon arrival I was hurried into the kitchen to help reheat the pizzas. The birthday boys mum thrust a tea towel in my hand and said ,"I can't get that oven to work, can you check those pizzas for me and make sure they don't burn" I looked around for the tv camera and Mary Berry as I had obviously walked onto the set of the Great British Bake Off and I didn't want to be criticised for having a soggy bottom.

Luckily the pizzas were ok and the party went off without a hitch. Afterwards we stayed back to help tidy up. The local WI harvest supper was happening that night and my friends were under threat of dis communication if the kitchen wasn't left as it was found. We were happily throwing everything into black plastic bin liners when suddenly a woman in a floaty dress with blue doc martin boots came rushing over... "Recycling bag," she cried, "who has the recycling bag?" We all looked at each other and them back at the lady who was madly going through the bins taking out paper plates and boxes. "These can all be re used," she cried, "some of these boxes will be great at Easter." "then you store them at your house," the lady next to me muttered and them she went outside to have a cigarette. I don't think recycling was high on her list of priorities. I helped sort put the paper items, wiping cheese and juice off the plates. I did notice the same lady madly grabbing balloons for her bright pinkly clad daughter though, so I hope she recycles all that rubber.

We said our goodbyes and jumped into the car onto the next party... A Halloween themed disco... I am not ashamed to say that I flung the kids through the doors and left before I got dragged into helping out there as well!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Day 7 with no Internet!

The title says everything. Today marks a full week without any connection to the outside world... Well, apart from actually going outside and talking to anyone face to face of course.. Oh and using the mobile phone for its intended use rather than downloading DIY apps... But apart from those we are cut off... We even gave to watch free to air tv! The suffering is palpable!!!!

I thought the children would love being closer to their school but today the novelty had obviously worn off, mainly due to the fact it was pouring with rain. TJ looked at me with disbelief when I told him to do his coat up. "but the car is just outside," he told me, "we won't get very wet walking to it." "but you will get wet walking to school and I am not driving the three minute route to the school gate." he looked at me with an evil eye. His hatred was evident as he simply said under his breath , "then what's the point of having a car?" followed by, "I hate this stupid house, now I have to walk to school." how we make our children suffer. I simply shrugged it off and said with a cheery grin, "come on, the rain will help boost your immune system!" I have to stop watching Super Nanny...

Whilst unpacking yesterday TJ found a tin box of sweet in the shape of a bus. "Daddy," he asked, "Can I have my sweets out of my bus now?" KC was at drama and I was up to my armpits in the movers wrapping paper (3 tiny ornaments in one big box with reams of paper...sigh) " Ok," I said, go and watch some tv and eat your sweets." to be honest I was quite surprised they had lasted, TJ normally consumes any form of sugary treat as soon as it arrives. But off he went sweets in hand and sat in front of  kids tv gorging himself... Super Nanny would not have approved but at least he was quiet!

A little while later KC returned from drama, he rushed into the living room full of beans telling us about his latest endeavour with the impossibly cheerful drama teacher. Then he paused, stopped and screamed, "Who ate all the sweets out of my tin bus." I stared at him, "Your tin bus?... but TJ said..." and the penny dropped. TJ looked at me and grinned a chocolatey smile, "you said it was ok," he told me accusingly. KC promptly burst into tears. "I was saving those for Merlin (his favourite tv show). I looked at TJ with my harshest Dad stare. "Did you know they were KC's sweets?" I asked... There was no reply, just a quiet nod... "and you lied to me when you said they were yours?". ... Again a nod... "And did you take them from KC's room and pretend they were yours?"... A final nod... So TJ now has to buy his brother sweets with this weeks pocket money and is grounded for at least a week!!!!!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

All moved...

... But still no Internet!!!! So I am having to type on the iPhone thing, which with its tiny keyboard and my fat fingers is no mean feat!

We have finally moved though, and to be honest it was quite stress free. We had a packer named Bill who came to do the packing up of the house on Thursday, which seemed strange, one huge guy to wrap my egg cups etc... And there were so many boxes piled up when he finally finished. I felt a bit bad until I unpacked and realised he had used one huge box to contain 3 cups surrounded by reams of paper. I don't think that ecology was high on his list of priorities as he must have used at least 12 trees worth of paper, either that or he was preparing for a career with amazon as their packing technique is usually pretty similar!

The movers came in on Friday... At 7am! They wanted to start early so they could leave early as it was a Friday. But the three men, or in reality one man, a pensioner who smoked constantly and a young lad who looked about 12 and was so skinny that everytime he picked anything up I was afraid he would snap! But to be fair to them they worked hard and had loaded up and were unloading by lunch time. They even got their early finish... It was only later I realised they had basically thrown all the boxes in the living room and totally ignored the little labels that Bill had thoughtfully written for them stating the rooms each box should go in

But we are in and surrounded by boxes. The children were a bit stressed by it all KC was a little traumatised and it brought back memories of all his previous moves, of which there were many. Little TJ was just thrilled to get his own room and has tidied it up beautifully. I asked KC if he had tidied his new room as well. 'yes,' came the reply. Then I went into his room to find he had simply emptied all the boxes into a big pile in the middle. So he has obviously settled in!

I am now surrounded by boxes and am slowly unpacking. But oddly enough I get so much more done when I am by myself!!!!!