The randomness that is My World

Reluctant writer

Year 7 English homework for my son. Teacher suggests 30-45 minutes. Overall, including anxiety/procrastination/planning/writing it took him three hours. Poor lad.

Reluctant is putting it mildly; he has always disliked writing and being a lefties makes it a little more interesting (?) as the ink smudges as he writes.

I didn’t help matters by expressing my frustration in the form of losing my temper around 40 minutes in. Not a very grown up thing to do. Definitely failed there but tried to put it a bit right by apologising and cuddling and explaining my frustration.

I think I need to meet his teacher and explain how long things take him and ask if said teacher has any helpful suggestions….

It’s going to be a long five years til GCSEs are over.

(Another random photo)

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Laughter – The best medicine.

Watching great British bake off last night with one of my daughters and the partner of another daughter. Partner hadn’t ever had blancmange (lucky thing!) and was asking us to describe it. After a few attempts (disgusting;wobbly;weird;yukky) I tried a more scholarly explanation….

“The French call it Panna Cotta” 😳 cue fits of laughter from my daughter for about five minutes 🙄 . She was laughing so hard and for so long it cheered us all up!

Apparently my brain cells had switched off for the night already!!!! Oooops

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Holiday Packing….

When I was living with men (various monogamous relationships, not multiple men at once) it was me that packed for holidays for us all, now it’s me plus children I really should be expertly ready for it. Nope.

I detest packing with a vengeance that you can only begin to appreciate. We go away tomorrow. I have half-filled a suitcase for me and checked number 3’s packing. I am up to date with the washing for 4 and 5 but haven’t started their packing yet.

On the bright side, lots of other things have been accomplished in order to avoid the packing.

I plan to leave at three o’clock tomorrow afternoon. Here’s hoping!

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Different lives

I have such a wide range of friends and acquaintances. I am currently on benefits (due to change soon, hopefully!) and I count people from this lack-of-income bracket up to and including multi-millionaires as my friends.

Amount of wealth really is no indicator of the person in question. I know people with very little money who are lovely, and some who are much less so. Equally true of those I know with a lot of disposable income. The best friends are the best friends, either with money or without. People often pre-judge those with money. Try not to judge anyone: especially in advance.

It’s a bit like age – the elderly are not, as a whole, a jolly lot. Generally, the ageing process does not alter the person. Grumpy, mean and volatile as a younger person usually equals the same in old age. Thankfully, a lively, fun, funny 20/50 year old can, given time and health, be a lively, fun and funny 88 year old.

I love my friends, the whole disparate collection of them.

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What about me?

Always bottom of the heap, and usually my own fault. Brought up by parents who believed that a man went to earn the living and the woman looked after the house and the children I find it difficult to put myself on the same level as my children (or the rest of the family/neighbours/friends/charity I help out occasionally/cats/random strangers in the local co-op even). Today I was going to use some time for me. Younger children at various clubs/summer school/parties; elder offspring out of the country/at work/lazing on the sofa. As it turns out, this is the first time I have been on my own all day.

Trying to avoid Facebook with it’s perfectly edited moments in time of family holidays (I prefer reading about the things that have gone wrong just so I know it’s not just my family).

Refused my teenage girl permission to hang out with her friends by the river (“they all jump off the bridge into it, looks like fun mum!”) as I prefer the more supervised jumping into swimming pools. I am, apparently, the only parent to say no. Oh well.

Youngest two happy watching Alvin and the Chipmonks.

I’m off for a bath then bed.

Good night all 🌞

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London bus route number 87

I love this bus route. Why pay for a tour bus when the top deck of any bus in London can provide amazing views of our wonderful capital city? I have never lived here but visit frequently and usually find something new to see, examine or admire. The architecture I’ve seen today is stunning.

I’m usually with at least one of my children but today is a very rare trip on my own. A leisurely ride on this bus (love the Oyster card as I do not have a contactless bank card!) was the perfect start to my day. Bridges over the Thames; Westminster; horseguards parade and Trafalgar Square are all highlights of this route for me.

National Gallery next.

Fabulous couple of hours at the National Gallery. Disappointed that they will allow cabin sized cases if visiting a paid for, pre-booked exhibition but only smaller rucksack or handbag types if only visiting the free part of the gallery. Cost me £7.50 to leave bag at the Charing cross baggage storage, money I would rather have spent in the gallery shop. Security concerns I understand: to allow medium sized baggage in one part but not another baffles me.

Remember to look up.

Finished my time with a free gig outside the station. #GigsBigBusk Excellent initiative.


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Appearances can be deceptive

This is a photo I took last week. Looks like autumn and it sounded like autumn. It is not, however, autumn.

I can smile to order when out and about – I am not, however, smiling inside.

Feelings can be hidden. Depression can be covered up for short periods of time.

A recent hashtag is “it’s okay to not be okay”, but often it doesn’t feel like that. Society is not good (on the whole) at acknowledging invisible or difficult to see problems and health conditions. Broken leg = oh, poor you! How did you do it? Can I help? Do you need any shopping? Depression = silence, often from the person who has it as well as the people they meet.

There is no typical day. I can accept an invitation or make plans for my children only to find that on the day I am completely unable to leave the house/have a shower/get dressed/drive/stay awake. Sometimes I will manage the activity/day out with the kids to be faced with a day in bed the following day. Not too bad if they’re at school, not good if it’s a Sunday.

If you see someone you know has an illness or condition, whatever it may be, do not assume that because you are greeted with a smile and that they are dressed that they are okay.

I wish that it really was okay to not be okay.

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Look up….

When I’m suffering really badly with anxiety and/or depression then I forget to look up.

If I spend any time out of the house (my safest of safe places but also, paradoxically, a reminder of my trigger) I look at my feet/the pavement/ the dog/the children’s heads (worked better when they were smaller), walls (definitely NOT any mirrors!), did I mention the pavement? It’s a tried and tested technique of not catching people’s eye and therefore avoids talking to people.

I’m really good at spotting litter and if the dog didn’t object to me dropping regularly would pick more up then the one piece each walk that I currently do.

Making the area better one piece at a time is a realistic aim for me.

But time spent looking up is marvellous! The trees – their differences and their similarities, the things they can reveal if you look properly . A beautiful building in a state of disrepair as an ageing star of screen and state might age. An old cottage being renovated lovingly and carefully one hand-carved stone at a time. Birds are beautiful and their songs uplifting (okay, not all their songs are great)

Local trees here are already showing signs of shortage of water. Their leaves are brittle, some are brown and beginning to look like early autumn.

If I’m in a city then looking up can be very rewarding. Old buildings often retain their original features past the first floor. Stained glass windows can often be glimpsed.

Just need to remember to look down occasionally so I don’t bump into people or walk through thoughtlessly left dog poo. Always, always pick it up!!!!!!

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“You’ve got the light to fight the shadows”

Sunday, quite often an easy day for me. I don’t cook a traditional Sunday Lunch, we don’t go out to visit educational places (I’m too tired), we don’t go for perfect family walks around our village. Today I let my two youngest go to support their friends at the local football tournament. I Read the rest of this entry »

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Kindness of strangers

My daughter (grown up) out with friends tonight at a local festival. Friends call me saying they haven’t seen her for about an hour, have searched for her in the usual places bar/loos/meeting point etc with no joy. They don’t want to leave without her but don’t know what else to do. I tell them that it’s okay to leave, they’ve tried their best and thanks for letting me know.

My daughter calls me back after I’ve left message, text and a missed call. She’s absolutely fine (if very squiffy) and is being given a lift home by “a very kind lady” who she doesn’t know.

Thankyou to this “very kind lady”. Meant I was able to put my daughter’s friends minds at ease and restores my faith in Human nature.

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