Monthly Archives: June 2015

Hello, hello….

…..I’m at a place called Vertigo…..

Apologies if the U2 reference goes way over some heads. 

I’ve been feeling a bit off kilter for a few days. Not really dizzy and not really off balance, just not right. It’s an odd feeling and I don’t like it! I’m not a fan of being inebriated and it’s a cross between that and walking in mud. Sort of. See? Not easy to explain!

So I got K to take me to see the nurse at the surgery and get my lugholes checked out. I was thinking inner ear infection, build up of wax, virus. Err, no. Apparently (and this is not official as she wants me to see the doctor to get it confirmed), it’s my age. (No I don’t need that confirming – I’m sure of it). Apparently when you get to my age (hello?! 43 not 83!) these things called crystals that reside in the bottom of your ear canal can get a bit dislodged and they are what tell your brain that you’re upside down. And when they move they tell your brain that you’re upside down – when you’re not. Great. The official name is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. 

So I need to get a diagnosis and then some medication hopefully as it can go on for a few months if left unchecked. Next available appointment with the ENT doctor? A week on Saturday. Oh. 

Hello, hello. I’m at a place called Vertigo. And could be here for a few weeks. Normal service will be resumed shortly. We hope. 

Cocktails, competition and choons 

Last night was our quarterly works night out. I always enjoy these nights despite some trepidation beforehand. I’m never sure what to wear, I always worry I’ll end up drinking too much and feeling ill and I hate the idea of feeling rubbish the next day. But as usual I was sensible without being a party pooper. We had a lovely raspberry cocktail and some ridiculously expensive steak. Lots of laughs as usual and another great night. (I would still rather be at home in my pj’s watching TV with K). 

Today was sports day at A’s school (another reason for not wanting to feel crap) and it was another scorcher – we always seem to have brilliant sunshine for sports day. A was in the egg and spoon race and the cross country. She tried her hardest in both races – almost making herself sick after the cross country – and her team came 2nd overall. It’s always a good afternoon and the children all see to enter into the spirit of it with the older children cheering on the younger ones. You can see the element of competitiveness getting stronger as the children get older. Some of the boys in A’s class that she has grown up with are already starting to look like (very) young men. One mum told me her son has size 7 (adult) feet! What are we feeding them?! 

Tonight after picking A up from guides K and I (and A) popped in to the Three Blackbirds to watch/listen to our neighbour playing with his band. They are very good and play my sort of music – A loved it. Some of her friends from guides were there and it was nice to put faces to names and I think she felt quite grown up. 

A busy 24 hours and I am shattered. Need a good nights sleep ready for what lies in store this weekend. 

Shy veins, sad songs and silliness

I gave blood today. I thought it was only a few years since I last did it but on checking the system I was informed it was 5 years ago! I felt suitably disgraced. I first gave blood about twenty years ago with mum and have donated on and off since then. I don’t mind needles too much and it’s all over pretty quickly, but I have very shy veins. Yes, shy veins. They’re not visible to the untrained eye and I end up with the torniquet very tightly placed round my bicep and having to pump my arm a lot before one can even be felt. Today was no different. But how things have changed! Instead of the camp bed style contraptions we used to have to lie on (always wondering if it would collapse and what would happen if the needle fell out) there are rather fancy new tilting chairs which you start off cocooned in in an upright position and then get flipped back when you’re ready and the blood is flowing! It was all over very quickly and I was given an “orange card” to indicate to the “tea and coffee man” that I was a cold drinks only doner. No cup of tea for me then. But the strict instructions of “no strenuous exercise”  – ha ha – and “eat regularly to avoid blood sugar dropping” – no problem – were easy to take on board. 

After picking A and friend N up from school (for N to come to tea) I sorted the girls out with drinks and snacks and resumed work in the dining room. I am having a break from trashy American TV and am listening instead to some old favourite albums. This afternoon I started Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1 by George Michael from 1990. I was a huge Wham! fan as a youngster and I still think GM has a fantastic voice. I had, however, forgotten how emotional one of the songs is. It’s called Mothers Pride and is about a mother seeing her son off to war. It gets my eyes blurry every time. 

A and her friend N have been having a lovely time in the garden with the tent and blankets. They’ve been dancing and had their tea out there. It’s been lovely and they’ve been silly and had fun. 

Pillow talk

well strictly speaking it’s a cushion not a pillow. My giant ball of wool has got marginally smaller, although not that you’d really notice, and my first of the pair of cushions is finished. I’m chuffed to bits and a little bit pleased with myself. 


Bed-itation….that’s what you need….

Posting for yesterday. Too busy watching the final episode of Sherlock with T (gutted). 

Yesterday afternoon A took a picnic blanket from the garage, laid it on the grass in the sun and asked me to try “beditating” with her. It’s the latest mindfulness technique that they’ve been taught. 

We started off laying on our backs with our hands by our sides. She then told me (in a very soothing voice) to imagine a torch was lighting up my feet and toes. No problem. The torch then moved up my body gradually until it was on the top of my head. By which time I was nearly asleep. Absolutely lovely. You’re supposed to do it in bed to help you relax and be “mindful”. I find it hard to switch off at the best of times and suspect that the lovely lunch is had, combined with a busy week and the sunny afternoon all conspired to help me relax but I’m still going to give it a go whenever I can’t get to sleep. It’s a similar idea to the molten lava trick that I was told to try when I had Reiki. (It was with the same lady that does the mindfulness with the children). 

T and I are now at a bit of a loss as to what to watch on our Friday nights. I can’t get hold of the next season of Smallville without buying it (seems pointless when we rented the previous 3 series) and Sherlock is finished. I might suggest a bike ride while the weather is nice but we’re both normally knackered on a Friday night and quite enjoy snuggling up in our PJ’s. 

Lovely lunch with Mrs F and Mrs Lovely, talking poppy business and life in general. The snogging couple in the garden nearly put me off my lunch (who am I kidding?) and we decided that they clearly weren’t married to each other because who does that with their own husband?! 

Talking to teens….

Ive bought a book called “How to talk so teens will listen and listen so teens will talk”. It’s a bit of a mouthful and as you’ve probably guessed its written by an American. 

I don’t normally refer to books for parenting advice. I borrowed the “What to expect when you’re expecting” book when I was pregnant with T and I bought one to help me get the little bugger to sleep when he was two years old but other than that I’ve pretty much gone on instinct and advice from those around me. And, whether by luck or judgement, it’s not been too bad a ride so far. Yes, A was a hideous nightmare for the three years from 1-4 (and beyond on occasion and mostly when she’s tired – as witnessed by our neighbours earlier this evening) but other than that and the usual ratty behaviour it’s been ok. 

So why the book? Well, although T appears to be coping pretty well so far with the becoming a teen malarkey, I want to have some tricks up my sleeve and like any good Scout, Be Prepared. (On a side note did you know that this motto actually ended with the words “ die for your country” when it was first introduced? Just a bit of trivia for you.) 

The book was recommended on a Teens parents network I’ve joined on Facebook and it’s actually not too bad. The best bit is that K doesn’t have to read it as it has some cartoon drawings that summarise each section. Result. The basic premise so far is to outsmart your teen. Not too difficult surely being as we were all one of them at some long distant point? Well, apparently there’s ways and means of doing this. My favourite one so far is “Instead of nagging do something unexpected”. For example, instead of nagging your teen to stop slurping their soup, challenge the whole family to eat their soup without slurping – but said in an “I’m such a fun mum” kind of manner. Okaaaaayyyyy. 

But, in all seriousness there have been some good ideas about how to respond in certain situations and I’ve found some of them quite useful. Not nagging comes up a lot. Talking to them as if they are a work colleague – one that you like and respect rather than the idiot that you’d like to punch in the face – and taking on board their feelings. Validating what they say by repeating it back in your own words “you feel it’s unfair of me to ask you to do the washing up when you have schoolwork to do.” 

Staying calm. Not backing down. Giving them time to think it through before you continue the discussion. Don’t say “no” to everything. Some of these sound obvious but I am guilty of doing or not doing most of them. But I’m going to try and work on it. I managed to stay calm with A earlier, and I didn’t back down and I gave her time to think it through. I may get some use out of this book after all. 


I’ve been reading my “happy quotes” book today and this one really struck a chord with me:

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our soul blossom. 

Love it. I’ve had book club tonight and this saying is very true. Despite our very different lives and backgrounds we are a happy bunch when we are together and we make each other laugh. 

I’ve got some very special people in my life and they are all the gardeners of my soul.