Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Flood House

Stood in the village feeling totally displaced, we were very relieved to see my friend pull up. We could stay at her house for as long as we needed.

Other people were having to go to the local leisure centre and schools if they had nowhere else to go. I have seen news items before, where there has been for whatever reason people having to do this, I have thought poor buggers, not giving a minutes thought to what happens next.

It is difficult to explain how it feels to be homeless, for a week or so we were aimless and in shock, we more or less sat in my friends listening to the news and weather reports obsessively. The area of flooding was the size of Windemere in the Lake District, this made any journey of normality very difficult, school and work, not an option. We weren't allowed back in our home, the area was policed, it was too dangerous as they were considering blowing the river bank if needed, to protect the main towns homes and businesses. If the banks were broken the 2ft of water would rise to ceiling height. In my home on a downstairs wall I had a gallery of family photographs, one of my dad when he was aged 15 was pride of place. I had to use all my powers of persuasion on one of the policemen to allow me back in my home to retrieve these photographs, sod the furniture, these things were very precious.

The process of trying to put life in some sort of order needed to begin, insurance company was contacted, we needed to find somewhere to live. As the area of flooding was so large trying to find a rental property was like finding rocking horse shit. We came upon one in an unusual way, the local council had set up a website for people to donate things to the people who had been flooded, the offers ranged from a room or furniture, amongst all of these things was someone offering a house rental, it was a four bed and on the right side of the river. We arranged to see it and agreed to do a private let with the owner.

The house was lovely, I nicknamed it the Flood House and I hated it.

Sha X

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

November Rain

An early November morning, the sky was the brightest blue, it was eerily quiet, apart from a distant sound of someone calling Help Me.

The calling woke my husband and I up, confused we got up, hoping to locate the source of this strange sound, nothing could have prepared us for what we saw looking out of the window, we were completely surrounded by water as far as the eye could see. The cry's of help totally jarred against the stillness and almost ethereal picture before our eyes.

The previous evening all of our street was outside, police were going around to tell us to either vacate our property or to at least move belongings higher. I asked the policeman did he really think we were going to be flooded? In his opinion, no he didn't, they were taking precautionary action.

At that time all of our neighbours were not just neighbours we were friends too, we had all moved in around the same time as it was a new development, we socialised together, had bbqs, bonfire night parties, even some Christmas's together. It was lovely social time in our lives I sometimes felt like we were on permanent holiday.

Practicality set in very quickly, there was no mobile phone signal, husband went downstairs to investigate to be greeted with 2ft of rank freezing cold water. How the hell were we going to get out, how far did this water stretch and where would we go. We then heard men,s voices and a dinghy boat. They instructed us to put the house key on something to lower down to them from the bedroom window to enable them to get in. They then gave us dry suits to put on, mine looked very fetching given that it's purpose was for a 6 footer and I am 4ft 11. On coming downstairs I couldn't believe the damage and devastation. We had packed a suitcase and with son and dog were assisted in to the boat. I remember our rescuers hands were blue from the cold, a look of exhaustion on their faces, they had been working tirelessly through the night to rescue people.

The cries for help were another neighbour in complete shock. We were taken to higher ground in the village, it was like something out of a movie, every news channel had a van with a satellite dish on top, there were hundreds of people milling around, the army, police and a chinook in the air.

What the hell happened and what do we do now running through my head.

Sha X

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Talk of the Wash House

Born and bred in Leeds quite a lot of my family lived in a place called Quarry Hill. It was, when I was a kid the largest social housing complex in the UK. It was where "Queenies Castle" was filmed, the star of the show being Diana Dors, but Quarry Hill itself put up quite a bit of competition.

The place was quite intimidating, entering the large archways into its inner sanctum, lots and lots of flats and lots of people. My mums sister lived here and I would visit often, especially on a Sunday as this was baking day. As the oven would be on a long time to cook the roast it was thought best not to waste gas and utilise this by getting all the weeks baking done at the same time. The smell on entering the kitchen was to behold, the table would be full with all sorts of sweet and savoury delights, my Auntie was a cracking baker.

This place was very communal, everyone knew everyone and it was surprisingly a very safe place for the kids to play, if anyone strange entered those huge archways there was always somebody hung over the balcony to quiz and question who they were and who were they going to see, and chased off if the explanation wasn't satisfactory.

Apart from baking day my other favourite day to visit was a Monday, it was wash day. My Auntie and I would wrap the dirty laundry up in a bed sheet and pile it on to a pram to take to the wash-house. The wash-house amazed me, with huge washing drums, wooden draining boards to scrub collars and cuffs, and the dryers were a little scary, they were about door height and you pulled them out toward you where you then hung the wet washing on metal rods, it was very efficient, the clothes would be dry in super quick time.

Most of the day would be spent at the wash-house, getting the clothes washed, dry and there was also a room where you could iron. All the women would be busy getting everything done, in those days each day of the week meant a specific chore to do. There was also another room where you could have a cup of tea and toast, the women would chatter away whilst doing their work, but it was hot, steamy and noisy in the work area, this room was where they really could have a conversation! Everything and everyone was discussed, no misdemeanor unnoticed, it was a catch up of the previous weeks events and more importantly the weekends, who had come home drunk, who's husband had hit his wife and who had brought a man back to her flat.

This place was a rich source of one of my favourite past times, people watching, even as a kid I loved it, but learned very quickly it wasn't a good idea to be the "Talk of the Wash House".

Sha X

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Loves Young Dream

 Never think you are too old for love to come your way.

When my son was younger after mass on Sunday morning we would go to my friends for a cup of tea and a natter. I always enjoyed these Sunday mornings and was delighted when my friends older brother started to join us. His wife of 40 years had died recently and he would sit there quietly with a cup of tea listening to us blabbering on. He was a very dignified man who didn't say too much and had a shock of thick dark hair peppered with grey. I guessed he just came for the company not to contribute.

Overtime I discovered a sharp dry wit and great banter he was warm funny and eventually a twinkle in his eye. They are an Irish family and we would rib one another about the nuances of the way Irish people would say things compared to English. The bring and take issue we would argue about, oh and his idea that he had met me when I clearly had passed him in the car argument was never resolved, he was right as far as he was concerned and I was adamant that I was.

His sister and I started to encourage him to get out more, his children were grown and there was so much life in this man it was sad to see him being lonely. We arranged to go one Sunday evening to the Irish Centre in Leeds, James protested but eventually gave in and we had a great night, dancing and singing the old Irish songs.

He continued to go to out on a Sunday with his sisters and clearly enjoyed these nights out. No one was more pleased than I when he met Celine a beautiful diminutive lady, and she was a real lady. She came from very near to where James grew up in Donegal and was a widow. There relationship blossomed and grew.

It was time to get a hat, my husband and I were invited to James and Celine's wedding in Donegal. The hospitality was fantastic, a friend of theirs let us stay in a cottage in Meenagran. we were welcomed like family and boy were we fed, a cup of tea always came with a table groaning with food. They had decided to retire back to there homeland and the wedding was a joyous affair going on into the wee small hours.

James told me it was important to him that I attend his wedding, he said I had opened his eyes to having a life  again and having fun or the craic. A lovely accolade indeed but I can honestly say it gave me so much pleasure in seeing this couple in their 60s began a new chapter in life, he was the one who opened my eyes that you are never too old to find new love.

In Loving Memory of James.

Sha X

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Moving in Mysterious Ways

As a follow on to the Top of the Tree Post.

I left my brother in tears, I was in tears too, in a rush to collect T from last day of school I was running a little late and parking up was met by a mother who said they needed to see me in the office at school. Oh shit what had T done now. I was also getting very strange looks in the playground.

Rushing in to the school office I was told I had won 1st prize in the Christmas raffle and the first prize was £200. My relief that T wasn't in trouble then turned in to more tears I had never won anything before, ever.

My other brother who's Peruvian wife had recently arrived in this country had been dealt a blow trying to rent a house, as he'd been living abroad he had been knocked back from a rental property he had set his heart on, he didn't have the references they required.

Early in the day I'd had a light bulb moment, a Polish friend of mine rented her house and I asked for her landlords name and number. I called her and as a private landlord had a few properties and she had one that had become available a few days ago, we could view it that evening.

I called my brother and we went to see it that night, it was a lovely 2 bed terraced and just perfect.

The date of these events was the 18th December.

My Dad's birthday.

Sha X

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Kissing Cousins

When I was young my cousins and I were very close, we went to Butlin's together with our mums, we had sleep overs, had tea at one another's house's and it always fascinated me what  the different rule's and regulations in each household were. In one of my uncle's you had to eat everything on your plate and if you didn't it got saved for the next meal "Waste not, want not" being the motto. Meanwhile me and my cousin Lainey would practice dance routines in the bedroom and sing songs from musicals long into the night, laughing and giggling much to the disapproval of Uncle Jack. And I would dread being presented with the egg yolk from a previous meal.

Another cousin's brother would do a fantastic rendition of Gary Glitter's "Do you want to be in my Gang" with all the moves, his mum tutting at our childish behaviour, while we were egging him on and singing along.

We had very close bonds which I am glad to say have carried on into adulthood, and after realising that the only time we actually got to see one another any more was at funerals made a pact to have a night out together a couple of times a year.

Our first one was in Wakefield on a November night, managing to schedule 8 of us was no mean feat but we did and everyone turned up. We ended up in an Irish bar which we took over, the drinks were cheap and we reminisced,  laughed, danced and generally went back to our childhood.

Another night was arranged but I ended up going into hospital for an operation that weekend and someone else couldn't make it either so it was shelved. We did however sort out a night out in Leeds for this weekend. The dynamic a little different because daughters of the cousins wanted to come.

We ended up in a gay bar with transvestites and all manner of things going on, the younger generation were transfixed by all going on around them and I was transported back to our Butlin days, of laughing and loving being with people I have history and a connection with.

Our roots, family connections and memories are important they make up where we came from and who we are and I for one cherish them and love the fact that we pass these on to our children. So was glad to introduce the next generation in to our night out.

We may not see one another on a regular basis but those bonds which tie us are strong because if they weren't we wouldn't feel the need to arrange these get together's and commit to them.

My immediate family and extended family are very important to me, they are where I came from, who I am, my memories and the future.

It was lovely to spend time with my sister, my niece, my cousins and my cousins daughters and we reminisced, laughed, hugged and kissed.

Sha X

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Land of Smiles

Both of my parents were very much into movies and they would take my sister and I on a regular basis. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" "Where Eagles Dare" my dad and "Gone with the Wind" "10 Commandments" my mum. How they expected a 6yr old and a 8yr old to sit through such epic 3 hour plus movies I don't know, but we did.

I shared my mums passion for musicals and could still recite my favourites word for word now, but the stand out musical for me was "King & I". I think I fell a little bit in love with Siam and Yul Brynner (this may explain my penchant for bald headed men).

My delight and excitement when my husband said he had booked a trip for Thailand couldn't be contained, I was fit to burst and a little wary I had never been this far flung before, would I like the food, I don't particularly like flying and was also aware there was a seedy side to our destination. We were to go to Bangkok for three days, one of which had been arranged to go to the war museum on the border as my husbands father had been a POW there in the Second World War. And then onto Koh Samui for a further ten days.

Bangkok was a complete barrage on every sense, the hustle & bustle, the colours, street food, bartering was a delight, any worries were unfounded. I loved this place, covering as much ground as we could on tuk tuks and the skytrain. Our trip to the war museum was quite eventful, my husband got bitten by a scorpion, his father survived 5 years there and my husband was felled in 5 minutes! So I was quite relieved to be flying on to the island the next day. It was quite literally like flying into Fantasy Island, I could almost hear "Da plane da plane" as we landed. And after a hectic few days we were looking forward to the R&R. This place did not disappoint it was completely stunning, the attention to detail unbelievable.

I really enjoy visiting new cities and exploring but my favourite bit is the beach, and this was paradise. I had settled on to my sunbed with my book and noticed a young lad in his early teens at the end of my sunbed with a beaming smile and a cool box. He asked if I wanted to buy an ice-cream, it was about 11 in the morning and I didn't really fancy one I said if he was around later I might buy one then. Around 2 he arrived back, could I have a Magnum or something similar, he was gutted as he had sold out of them earlier and I really didn't like anything else he had. He said he would see me tomorrow and he would have a Magnum. I felt a bit bad as I felt like I was fobbing him off as this clearly was his way of making a living.

True to his word he was back the next day with a Magnum his name was O, he asked my name and he pronounced it Shalon. There were other young lads selling ice-cream on the beach, but for the remainder of my holiday I would buy mine from O.

The day before we were due to leave O asked what time I was leaving and would I meet him on the beach before I left. All packed and ready to go I went to the beach to say goodbye to O, he was so pleased I came. He then presented me with a red box, I looked at him quizzically without looking in the box. His eyes implored me to open it, inside was an elephant wind chime, I don't deserve a gift I said to him and he said Shalon you have helped me and my family and I want you to take this to remember me.

Every time the wind blows through my dining room and I hear the tinkle of the wind chime I think of O, and his generosity of spirit and the Land of Smiles.

Sha X

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Imaginary Friends

In the friends department I am very blessed.

My friends are very diverse and on rare occasions when some of them are in the same room, some gel with others and some take an instant dislike to one another. There can also be an element of I have known Sharon longer or I know her better, childish I know but then we all can be at times.

Over the years I have come to realise that you embark on a relationship with your partner and expect that person to be everything to you, this all encompassing person who will full fill all your needs on all levels. How unfair to put all that pressure on to one person. No-one can be "all that" to another and it's setting the bar a little high and setting the other person up to fail. This reality came to me sharply on two occasions with my husband. I consider myself a strong person but at times things have happened that have floored me, any strength depleted, so you reach out to your partner to bolster you, to support you and I realised he wasn't able to, it was like a slap in the face, a complete shock. My husband is a good, kind, loving man, he's a great husband, a good dad and grand-dad, we bicker and we laugh, he loves me unconditionally, but I am his strength, and at the times I haven't been he finds that hard to cope with. Does this make him a bad person, not at all. We are human we aren't perfect and we have to forgive and look beyond peoples shortcomings.

In our friends there are parts of there character we prefer to others, we overlook those to maintain our friendships. And there support in times of need can vary, it maybe listening to you weeping and wailing for hours, a card, flowers, a meal, coffee all gestures that acknowledge you need support and they are my strength. My oldest friendship began when I was 10, we don't live close and we don't see one another all that often, when we do catch up it is like I saw her yesterday and she is there like a shot in times of need and I reciprocate. I value my friendships immensely, they full fill my needs on many levels and my husband embraces there importance in my life. If I'm happy he is happy.

He is however not so embracing of my "Imaginary Friends" the people I laugh with, cry with, glean knowledge from and introduce me to new things. I guess you realise I mean twitter people, and I questioned and discussed this with my future daughter in law. Can you call these people "friends"? The conclusion we came to was are these people any less valid because you have never met them or don't really know them. I have been fortunate to meet some of my twitter people in real life and they have been just as kind, supporting and lovely as they are on twitter.

Friendship is friendship in whatever form it comes, however old or new, embrace it. It full fills.

Sha X

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

One Born Every Minute

I often joke with a friend of mine that I frequently end up having roles or jobs that are never advertised in the local paper or recruitment office's, I never remember applying for them and they all come with no salary.

I speak with lots of women of my age that are now caring for elderly infirm parents, they help out with grandchildren, they work, have partners and run the household, they also have friends that are important and friendship like any good relationship needs to be nurtured and time invested into it. My dining room table is as my friends say "A place where they can take there head off" we discuss, well, life, love and laundry, we cry and we laugh......a lot.

When I was little I always wanted to see a baby being born, I'm not saying I wanted to be a mid-wife as a job, it was just something I wanted to see. Years ago only the father could be present at births so this was something that would never happen, other than being present at the birth of my owns kids, obviously.

Times change and I have been honoured to be a birthing partner 4 times. I was there when both my grand-daughters entered this world, my cousins daughter and my nephew. To be asked to be part of such a special momentous event is an amazing experience and as I said a great honour. I would do it again in a heartbeat. My wish had been granted not once but four times.

We all lead very busy lives and juggle lots of balls, I'm not always as successful at the juggling as I would like to be and sometimes I drop them, but I have discovered putting ourselves up for certain roles and positions, nurturing  and caring comes with great rewards.

Sha X

Monday, 15 August 2011

Magical Moments & Fairy Dust

Suspend logic with me for a little while, regress back to being a child. Do you believe?

I actually have hard evidence that Fairy Dust does exist. Whenever T has lost a tooth, as all children do, she puts it at the side of the bed for the tooth fairy to come. When she is asleep my husband sprinkles glitter, icing sugar and puts tiny footprints in the icing sugar in place of the tooth, along with obligatory coin. He has done this with every tooth she has lost. T is excited about the coin but the magical bit is that she has seen that the tooth fairy has been.

I have owned two dogs in my adult life, here is someone that is not a huge dog lover, to me they are like our children, you love your own but I'm not that interested in any one else's. I firmly believe I was sprinkled with some sort of fairy dust when I went to see both the puppy's I ended up owning, how else could I have such an about face. Both were runts and both picked me and I just fell in love.

In the car park at the supermarket I always ask the car park fairy to find me a space, it's a bit of a joke in my family, but out of nowhere a space presents itself.

A few years ago I was going to the airport with my brother to collect his Peruvian wife, I was a little apprehensive, I'd never met her and she spoke very little English. I was greeted by a smile I would learn was as big as her heart. Driving back home Jenny was sat in the back seat and I kept watching her through the rear view mirror. I stopped the car, she was a little disconcerted, and I asked her to swap seats with my brother so she could sit in the front. I wanted her to be able see everything.

Over the next month, it was December, we had very heavy snow, Santa's sledge came down the street and we had a huge family Christmas dinner, with everyone there, we hadn't done that since Dad had died. And I saw everything anew through her eye's.

It was magical and there were lots of Fairy dust moments.

 They are there if your eyes and heart are open.

Sha X

What do I want to be when I grow up?

When I was very little and I mean this in the sense of being a kid as I am only 4ft 11, I wanted to be a singer, dancer, actor. My idols were Shirley Bassey, Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor, Ginger Rogers oh and Sandie Shaw, loved the barefoot thing & still do.

I had a spell at middle school where we did dance drama, it was contemporary dance and in hindsight our teacher Nadine Senior was ahead of her time. The rule was do your lesson's and you could come to dance.....I loved it so would comply with the rules. As it came time to move to secondary school I didn't get in to Intake a school in Leeds the likes of Mel B went to after my time. The truth of it was I wasn't that good, enthusiasm doesn't equate to talent. This was a huge disappointment to me and I kind of lost my way, I didn't do any exam's and  reading Jackie & painting your nails didn't result in any qualifications. So I left school with none.

When I left school I worked in W H Smith's and then at jewellery manufacturer's and seem to have lurched from job to job ever since. Some being more successful than other's, most of my sales jobs I have done very well in, having nice company cars, travelling, commission, bonuses and the like. I liked being suited & booted that was me. Since I got the kids I have had to cut my cloth accordingly, long hours and travelling weren't going to work and I really didn't want to put them in daycare all day.

Having being made redundant last year, I decided to take stock and really think about what I wanted to do, I know nearing 50 I should have had an idea by now, but I did realise what I really wanted to do, so I applied to a national bereavement organisation to become a volunteer. It has taken many months of them interviewing me, references, CRB checks but I have finally been accepted to attend a 6 month course which starts in September. I am really excited about this and so hope I am suited to this kind of work.

After all this time I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. 

Wish me luck ;)

Sha X

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Living Years

"I wasn't there that morning when my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him all the things I had to say"

This line from the Mike & Mechanics song resonates very strongly with me because I wasn't.

It was a glorious sunny June day, the day before Father's Day, I had gone to work it was Saturday. I worked as an Area Supervisor for a cleaning company, we did mainly retail outlets so working Saturday's was part & parcel of the job. I covered quite a large geographical area but liked to try to be more local to home on Saturdays. This was in the days of no mobile phone's pager's etc. I always told my boss where I was going but never usually bothered to inform my husband.

I had done my job visiting a couple of store's checking standards, chatted to the cleaners and speaking with the store manager's. The nature of the industry is an early start, so I was usually done by about 10am. The only thing I had to do before going home was a get a Father's Day card. I clearly remember like it was yesterday being in Clinton's picking up a jokey card for him and then thought I never tell him I love him, so kept the joke card as it was very apt but also got another that said all the things I wanted to say.

My father was not a tall man but what he lacked in stature he more than made up for in personality and heart, he was a sorter, whatever problem I went to him with he would know what to do. He made me feel safe. He was funny, quick witted, very sarcastic and his most endearing qualities could also be his most irritating. He would turn up in the most obscure place's to check I was ok (sometimes welcome, sometimes not). His tardiness was shocking, I said at his funeral "He was always there for you, just not always on time" I didn't care much for his fart sharing! (he thought this was funny). He taught me to honour deals and promises, treat people the way you like to be treated, a strong sense of right and wrong, a  good work ethic, if a job is worth doing do it well and he loved to do a deal, so long as neither party were getting shafted. He made me feel very loved.

I arrived home that Saturday in a great mood and couldn't wait to show my husband the funny card for my Dad..........and then my world fell apart. My husband had the unenviable job of telling me my Dad was dead, I didn't believe him, I remember hearing this horrible animal howling sound, it was me.

I was in total shock,  my husband drove me to the hospital, I remember so clearly the Rose of Sharon flowers outside the hospital and going in to the hospital they said he was on another ward to which we had been told. It's not true he's not dead they have got him mixed up with someone else.

They hadn't and I was led into the family room, my mum, sister, brother's were in there, they had all been there when he died. I hadn't.

Tell someone you love them TODAY

Sha x

Friday, 12 August 2011

Extra-Curricular Activities

I don't have many hobbies, and one of my main passion's reading, I just don't get the time to do as much as I used to. Pre the girls, a 7 day holiday meant taking 7 books.

However at the end of January this year I committed to doing something for me, 45 minute sessions, three times a week it was called "Boot-Camp" lured by the drop a dress size in a month, I was having some of that! I'd had a dabble at Zumba, but my co-ordination isn't that great and my technique bore no resemblance to lady up on stage teaching. It didn't make me feel good.

So feeling like the new girl at school, I arrived a little nervous at bootcamp, first shock, we were outside, I don't do cold, and then we started, things called burpee's, squats, lunge's, press up's, planking.....this guy was speaking a language of which I knew nothing, I wanted to throw up! The PTs parting words were, see you Wednesday, you will have "Bungalow Legs" but it will pass.

Bungalow legs???? wtf does that mean? I soon became acquainted with the meaning, the next day I wished I lived in one, I couldn't walk, get up the stairs and the loo was tricky, a plastic toy left on a laminate floor causing me to do involuntary splits didn't help.

Being stubborn I returned on the Wednesday and apart from a months break have continued to do so. People come and go it's been amazing to see the the awkward overweight teenage boy become not just slimmer but actually laughing, smiling and gain in confidence.

I have lost weight although I don't do the nutrition plan as advised, the PT doesn''t shout at you sergeant major style, but he does instill a sense of accountability. Who cares in the gym if you do all your given programme or the amount of reps that you do.

I love it and hate it in equal measures.

 I love how I have improved my technique, my strength and well being, toned up and it makes me feel mentally strong.

I hate it because it is tough and always challenging and unlike the other campers, at the end of it I look like I have been on a spin cycle of the washer.

Sha x

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Quality over Quantity

It became very clear to me within the space of an hour this morning that I really needed to "Have a word with myself".
I communicate all the time, I considered myself excellent in communication, hell I'm a Sales Person, isn't that a key skill to be good at my job.
I text people all the time, I call people on landlines & mobiles, I like on FaceBook, I comment on comments, and say "Aww how lovely is that photo".  And am an avid tweeter.

But today in a stark realisation, having upset a couple of people, for very different reasons but fundamentally  the key reason, is that communication is much more important to people on an interactive basis, by this I mean listening and actually paying attention.

I use a saying frequently, "We have two ears and one mouth" have I recently been actually practising this? The answer to that is a big fat NO.

It has also become clear to me that I also don't pay attention! Evidence of this is a grumpy husband who brought back the wrong thing from the supermarket, (I am sometimes guilty of the fact that I thought it so I said it). A dead cat in a tree, I took no notice when the kids came in and said the cats stuck up the tree (oh it will be fine, cats go in tree's all the time) was my response. And do you know why, I will have been too busy communicating!

So after "Having a word with myself" I am now going to make a concerted effort, to really communicate. Listen and pay attention to the people I see day to day, look out for the non-verbal signs of communication and look out for the things that are not said.

Am I never going on Facebook, Twitter or reach for my mobile to text again? God no!!!!

But I am going to pay heed to this mornings lesson and on that note I'm going up to my mums with some dinner, a big cuddle, a smile and my two ears : )

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

There has been a so much going on in the news and social networking sites about the riots and looting over the last few days and it is appalling to see. Sometimes the social networking sites have been used to enable and orchestrate these crimes, however I have been pre-occupied with other things on twitter, things that are happening or have happened to people of which I can relate to.

This posed a bit of a discussion between my husband and I (he really does not GET twitter) when he asked me what I was doing the other night as I was constantly on twitter and I said I am talking to a guy who's wife has just been involved in a car accident and he's alone at the hospital with her, and I need to see the that the young boy who is about to have a serious operation is doing ok, his response was you don't even know these people!

My response to that was........and I went back to late last year when my daughter was in ICU with a life threatening illness, the feelings of despair, helplessness and a total suspension of control, having complete hope and faith in the medical team, and your loved one's sheer strength of character, that everything will be ok. It just has to be!

Having being told she was stable, and half breathing a sigh of relief, I went home to see to the kids and get some rest, I then got THE call, I had better get back to the hospital. I had to put petrol in the car and in my rush it blew back all over my clothes, arriving at the hospital car park at 8ish on a Saturday morning realised I also had no change for the car park.

Rushing over to the car park attendant stinking of petrol, I jibbered my daughter, not making a great deal of sense. His words to me were "Just go" gently pushing me in the direction of the hospital. My gratitude to this random act of kindness was immense and I burst into tears.

My point is I didn't know him from Adam, he didn't know me, you can show kindness in many ways and the most memorable cost nothing and really have much more impact when its from a complete stranger, as you know there is no gain to be had.

I have seen much of this on twitter in the last few day's and it gladdens my heart. Reaching out to another human in a time of need. I believe there are more of us than there are the people who loot and riot.

Sha x

My Airing Cupboard

This may seem a very strange analogy, which came to me today whilst changing the beds....My relationship with my drug addicted daughter is very much like my airing cupboard.
My airing cupboard is stuffed to the brim, it is not neat and it isn't tidy, it has mismatched duvets covers there accompanying  pillowcases long gone.
I open it and nothing is in any order, often on opening everything falls out on my head, so it gets stuffed back in and the door jammed shut because sorting it out is just too big a job.
On occasions I feel in the mood to take it on and set to, with neat piles and order restored, I stand back feeling quite smug.
The smugness quickly evaporates when things need to be added to it and it quickly gets back to exactly the way it was.
How crap am I why can't I keep it sorted, why does it unravel so quickly without my be even being aware of it.
Of course being the mother of an addict, is much more complex than that, but this is my take on it.
Sha x

Hello-This is me

Hello, this is my very first blog.

 So I thought I would give a little bit of an overview on my life as an introduction.
Our house comprises of me a mum of 2, a Nana of  the girls, hubby of mmmm a very longtime and Jasmine a 10 month old black lab.
I have a daughter who is 31, who is an addict, the consequence of this is that I have guardianship of my 2 grand-daughters T who is 10, she came to me aged 3  and A who is 4 (think of the Haribo advert) who I got when she was 3 months. As I have complete care of the girls, they will feature frequently in my blogs.
I also have a son who is 26 of who I am immensely proud of, he has just graduated from Oxford Brookes with a Masters with Distinction, he is also dyslexic so he has had to work extremely hard to achieve what he has.
Graduation was a major sense of pride (didn't bother with the mascara that day), we have some quite comical pictures from that day as he is 6ft plus and I am a borrower, he got his height from his dad and obviously his brains from me!

Our house is a bit mad, chaotic, but we try hard to make it all work and love each other deeply.

Other family comprises of my mum, who had a stroke a few years ago, and it is sad to see this glam lady in her clippy cloppy heels as she was to someone who relies on her family and carers to get around day to day.
I am the eldest of 4 (being bossy is ingrained) I have a sister who I value our relationship very much, flip back 30 yrs and we would have thought that would not be possible! And 2 younger brothers.
Since my dad died 20 years ago, and my mums disabilities, it has evolved that I am now the matriarch of the family. So have to do a bit of a Kofi Anan at times, which I am more than happy to do.

A little bit of how my family is made up so in future blogs, it may make sense, but then again, it may possibly make no sense at all.

Sha x

Contact Me