Posts tagged ‘family’

Confusing time

Hi mum how was Reading? It was today you went to Reading wasn’t it?

Yes it was ……fine thanks.

Did you drive your car?


But your car was still here

No I drove my car what other car would I have driven?

But you have a small tiger in the window and your reg no is *******

Yes….and I drove it today

But it was outside when I went out

It couldn’t have been unless you went out before 6.45

Don’t you mean before 5.45 ?

No I didn’t go until 6.45 …………what were you doing going out at that time?

I swear your car was out by the garages when I went out

Not unless you were up very early…..I assumed you were still in bed when I went. What time did you go ?

Just after 4.30


Oh what time did you get home ?

Just before 4.30

Are you saying you were in when I got home? The front door was locked!

I went out the back way……….you must have been walking up the front path when I was going out the back.


confusion over



November 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm 3 comments

That’s my boy

My boy is home for one night only. He hasn’t said he has come home to see his mum, no he said he was coming home to see his brothers and the cat……I doubt she is bothered whether he is here or not. All she cares about is being fed and having attention when she wants it. Unfortunately she is out of luck when I am the only one around…..I couldn’t make a fuss of her even if I wanted to as I became allergic to her about 8 years ago …..she is 14.5 now.

Anyway back to my boy. Statto was out celebrating with his new friends in Sheffield on Thursday night, then with his University friends in Guildford on Friday night, before coming home for a quiet night in with us tonight (Saturday 22nd October 2011).  Why the celebrations? today he turned 21.

When he was a little boy he collected football stickers. Everyday we would count them, how many he had collected and how many he needed to complete each team. By the time he started school he could count to 500. When he was 6 his teacher had him statemented as a gifted child. At junior school his teachers were dumbfounded at his ability to work out complicated maths sums in his head quicker than they could write them down.

At senior school he soon had a reputation within the maths department. Again he was identified as a gifted child and put forward for the Naturally gifted child program which he declined to take up. During his GCSE course he never dropped a single point in any of his exams. Obviously he gained A* for his maths GCSE with maximum points.

He then went on to college where he studied both Maths and Pure Maths at A Level, along with Law and IT. He of course earned himself 4 Grade A’s in his A levels. I can’t remember at what age he decided he was going to go to University to study Maths, I am pretty sure he was still at junior school at the time.

He was going to apply for Oxford but decided that it wasn’t for him. He is good at maths ….very good at it even but it is not everything to him. He loves sport especially football and cricket and knows all the stats about all the premier clubs in both sports. Hence his nickname. He felt that it was enough to know that he could have gone to Oxford if he had wanted to. Eventually he chose to go to University of Surrey. Partly because they have a good scholarship program but also because he would have the opportunity to do a year of work experience.

Now he has completed his first two years of University and begun his year of work experience. He is working for NHS in Sheffield (for those of you who don’t know that is a city in the north east of England). He has been there since the start of August so a little under 3 months, yet he has already made his mark there. He was asked to help out with the creation of  an automated excel spreadsheet to make graphs of cancer data simpler and easier to access. He ended up taking over the whole project and is now going to Loughborough to do a presentation on it to chiefs from NHS NE region. If they approve of what he has created it could become nationwide throughout the NHS.

I think he has every right to be proud of himself. Just as I am a very proud mother. I would be very suprised if at the end of his degree he doesn’t get a job offer from NHS. Which in the current climate of job losses can only be a good thing.

We have been discussing the disappoint of discovering that many of our peers are uninterested in anything that goes on outside their own lives. We both feel a need to have people in our lives who we can discuss wider topics with. Whether it is the fall of Gadaffi, the state of the English Education system or the lack of resources in poorer countries. The latest football scores or the previous night’s tv are of course well covered topics of conversation but come on people there is more to life. I am pleased that all of my sons are interested to know more even if they don’t understand certain situations in the world they are interested in learning about it.



October 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm 2 comments

Too taxing for me

I didn’t pay much attention to the news earlier this week from the HM Revenue and Customs. Yet again 1.2 million people had been found to have under paid their taxes. But approx 6 million would be receiving refunds of around £400. This is the second consecutive year that our HMRC has made these announcements. Last year Prodigal was a recipient of a refund having left full time work to go to University mid way through the 2009 tax year.

Having heard that this year there was to be a repeat my only thought was that knowing my luck I would be one of those who would receive the demand for more tax. I didn’t give it any further thought as I was still exhausted after my busy last few weeks.

The previous week had been extremely mentally tiring for me. My senior colleague was on a week ‘s annual leave which meant that I would be covering for him which is always very tiring for me. I find myself doing tasks that I only really perform in his absence. They are not difficult tasks however because I only do them a few times a year it takes me a while to get my bearings. Most of this extra work involves dealing with an external agency who think we have nothing else to do but pander to their demands……. as if!!

But this time things were going to be harder still as our line manager (I think that is the usual term these days) would only be in the office on and off as her husband had become seriously ill. She managed to come into the office for a few hours on Monday and Tuesday mornings but then the awful news came, her husband who she absolutely dotes on has lung cancer. Of course I am terribly sorry that he has this and I can only wish that it wasn’t so. He is still a relatively young man (mid 50s) never smoked and hardly drinks, lives for his daily sessions at the gym yet here he is seriously ill, without the promise of a future he deserves.

This meant that now I was having to cover for our boss too. I was having to take decisions that I would not normally have to make without having anyone more senior to turn to for confirmation. I was given a big quote to put together at very short notice which has the potential to bring in a lot of business…… pressure there then.(Apparently the customer liked my quote but only time will tell how much. Added to this the two of us who were left holding the fort suddenly found that our volume of work increased unexpectedly. We worked through our lunch breaks all week in an effort to keep up with the workload.

So by the time I drove to Eastbourne on Friday evening I was glad to get away. But that wasn’t the end for me. Mid afternoon a customer had called wanting a Rep to visit (his area Rep had retired in June with as yet no replacement). The temporary solution being that my boss would call on the customers who needed to see someone. But for the foreseeable future she is not going to be able to do this. As the customer in question was only a short  drive from where I was staying I agreed to visit him. This was a first for me. I have visited customers in a semi formal situation before but this would be to take a purchase order. I arrived at 10am and left at 12.20 with a 4 page order which I was very pleased with. (my boss was very grateful to me for doing this for her.)

I enjoyed the challenges of last week even though it was tiring. I have now volunteered to go out once a week for the next few weeks visiting customers. It will be a good experience for me and good to meet some of the people who I already deal with on the phone. I am not making life any easier for myself but I don’t see this as a negative.

I am one of those lucky  …..ok so it isn’t really luck……people to receive a tax refund. Apparently I over paid my tax in year 2005 -2006 and again in 2006 – 2007 and yet again in 2007 – 2008. Very silly of me really as I could have done with that money during those difficult early years after I divorced the other parent. Talk about timing, just when I really needed it the money came even if it will be next Friday before I can access it. It seems to me that whenever I am in desperate need of help it comes along at just the right time even without me asking for it.

I can only say that no matter how bad things get for me there is always a silver lining or a light at the end of the tunnel which ever you prefer.

October 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm 5 comments

It will be worth it in the end

It has and is hard going but in the end it will all be worth it.

The hours of driving will be worth it when my son graduates from whichever University he chooses. It is currently looking like his first choice will be University of East Anglia with University of Hertfordshire as his second choice.

There was a definite buzz about the place when we visited UAE, of course that might have had something to do with the exceptionally hot weather on 1st October. Pug almost instantly felt at home there, a stark contrast to our visit to University of Kent a week later. A cold and windy morning, in a campus which appeared to be populated by open day visitors and a smattering of  student guides. The information we got from there was helpful but Pug didn’t feel any warmth towards the University at all.

The following day we visited University of Hertfordshire, again a cloudy windy day but warmer, there was a better atmosphere but still not the buzz of UAE. Pug feels that Herts could be his fall back Uni if he doesn’t get the results he needs to get into UAE then the lower entry requirements at Herts would be useful. Until a few weeks ago the idea of Pug going to University was a possibility for the future, now it feels more of a reality. Experience tells me that the next year until he moves to whichever University he goes to will fly past with all the preparations that will be required.

All my hard work at the gym will be worth it in the end. I have been going at least twice a week since I joined in August but for the last 3 weeks I have only managed to go once a week due to being very busy and tired. But I have done a lot of walking each weekend. Hopefully enough to go some way to compensate for not going to the gym. A few weeks ago I was feeling good about myself and the hard work I had been putting in but during these weeks I have felt fat and bloated. However other people are starting to comment in the changes in my body shape. Changes that I have not noticed but other people say they can see.

If I can keep up with my hard work it will be worth it in the end.

October 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm 6 comments

Driving there, there and there

I enjoy driving which is quite a good thing seeing as I am the primary driver in my family. There was a time when my mother took me to places. These days when she needs to go anywhere outside of our little town I drive her.

But because I work full time this means that long journeys take place at weekends or on days I take off from work. My mother aka 56 whilst never a good driver was very independent and would take herself off to all sorts of places. This included long weekends to visit my paternal grandmother in north Gloucestershire. But just under 5 years ago 56 had a knee replacement op. It wasn’t straightforward as she had other problems with her leg apart from the knee joint.  She has not walked more than a few paces without a stick since. I have lost count now but think she has had about 4 different ops on that knee in the eight years since she retired. She is currently able to drive but only short distances.

Visits to my grandmother are now much shorter, often with me driving there and back in one day or perhaps with one overnight stay. She is now in a nursing home (aged 93) so visits have become less frequent. This is partly because my grandmother no-longer knows who we are. It is a long way to drive to spend an hour with someone who thinks we are social workers. I am feeling guilty for not visiting my grandmother more than I have done in recent months.

Another reason I cannot visit her as often is that I also act as chauffeur to my sons. There have been trips to Guildford  where Statto was living/studying. Trips to Southampton where Prodigal was living/studying (he has now moved nearer to home). Statto had to be moved to Sheffield where he began a year’s work experience last month.

Just when I have Prodigal and Statto settled in their new homes along comes the next phase of ‘project empty nest’. Pug has now decided that he also wishes to go to Uni. so starting next week  we begin the University Open Days tour.

Stage one of this current tour begins with a 4 hour drive to Norwich next Friday where we will stay overnight (having dinner with family friends). 56 will be going with us and spending Saturday with these friends while I spend 6 hours with Pug at University of East Anglia before the 3 of us make the 4 hour journey home ……guess who will be driving.

Stage two comprises of a 2.5 hr drive at the crack of dawn on Saturday  8th October to University of Kent (Canterbury) 6 hrs on campus and 2.5 hrs drive home (just the two of us this time). I might resort to takeaway for dinner that night as I shall have to be in bed early.

Stage three quickly follows stage two in that we will have to leave home at 6.00am to drive to University of Herfordshire  (Hatfield) ready for a 9am start on Sunday 9th October. Once we have spent 6 hours there and have done the 2 hour drive back home I will probably fall into bed without dinner……will have to be alert for work next day as we are going to be one short in the office due to annual leave.

So that is the next two weekends taken care of will I get to have a rest the following weekend, of course not. I shall be finishing work at 4pm on Friday 14th October and heading straight off to Eastbourne, I hope the traffic won’t be bad as dinner in the hotel restaurant is at 6.30  that night. It is the area Rotary conference weekend. Last year I accompanied 56 to the conference in Jersey, this year it is Eastbourne. There will be entertainment in the conference hotel on Friday night. I may or may not go to some of the many talks on Saturday then it is the gala dinner in the evening. Back home again some time on Sunday.

Just in time for another hard week at work while I deputise for my senior colleague on his week off. I think Statto will be home the following weekend for his 21st. I think I then get two weekends free before stage 4 is the long trek up to Stoke on Friday 11 November. for University of Staffordshire.

Maybe I might find time to see ‘ the man who kissed me‘ eventually.

Oh and somewhere along the line will be the open evenings for local colleges that Skater needs to visit. That basically means every college within 20 miles of here.

September 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm 5 comments

That time of year again

It’s that time of year again!!

Mum come up here


Come up here 


Just come up here

why is there a spider in the bathroom?

no just come here

is there a spider outside the bathroom?

no, come here

So I start going up the stairs slowly, suspiciously.

Now look to your left and up

Oh so there is a spider outside your room

I won’t be able to sleep while it’s there.

then keep your door shut

but it might crawl under the door

In this house even though my boys are all much bigger than me (in height) it is always me who has to deal with the difficulties like spiders and blocked toilets etc.

I am after all ‘ The Parent’ even if I am the only female in the house.

Here is another example of a spider episode in this house.

mum Scott is downstairs come quick

who the hell is Scott and why is he here at 12.20am

come quick mum Statto has got him in a pot and he cant do the paper


scott!! Statto has him in a pot and we need you to sort it

Statto is stood on sofa holding a plastic pot up to the ceiling with a sheet of paper half pushed across the top of the pot. Pug is also stood on sofa, they are taking it in turns to hold the plastic pot against the ceiling. they are both shreiking excitedly. they want me to deal with Scott. I stand on the sofa too but I am too short to even reach the pot. eventually I persuade them to use a thicker envelope to slide across the pot. once this is in place I persuade them that they can bring the pot away from the ceiling if they hold the envelope in place. I am given the pot and the envelope complete with inmate walking out of the front door along the garden path then the footpath along the alleyway around the corner and place Scott on to a garden hedge. then picked my way back home making sure not to tread on anything nasty, really should have put some shoes on.

September 9, 2011 at 12:11 am 3 comments

Lonely old spinster……noooooooo

Last night I was chatting to a male friend online. During the chat he suddenly asked me how my love life is going.

I cheerfully replied that I don’t have one at the moment. I am just enjoying the relationship I have with my boys. It will only be a few years before they are all off living their own lives getting married moving away etc. Already two are living away from home, another is planning to go to University next year and youngest won’t be far behind.

I am lucky that I have a good relationship with all of my boys. I absolutely dreaded the awful stroppy teenage years. But to my delight Prodigal got through his mid teens without sign of any tension between us. I couldn’t possibly be that lucky a second time but I was and a third and I have managed to get through most of Skater’s mid teens unscathed too ……..fingers crossed behind my back that the next few years will continue the same way.

When I was first divorced I couldn’t wait to be on my own, my boys all leading their own lives so I could finally have a life of my own…….stupid woman that I was. But 5 years down the line I realise how precious these few years are.  My boys are not small children any more, but they do still love and want their mother’s approval. I don’t know if they are the way they are with me because they have witnessed my struggles. Maybe it has something to do with them knowing that we are all lucky that I am still alive. I really don’t know but the five of us are all really close.

But I am very aware that things will change once they start having families of their own. So I am making the most of this special bond we have before it changes.

My friend doesn’t understand this and quite bluntly stated that I should be careful I don’t end up a lonely old spinster. (impossible as not only have I been married but as you know I am not childless).

I am putting his statement down to disappointment that I told him a few months ago that although I am happy to be friends with him I am not interested in a relationship. There are several male friends in my life who this applies to. I feel bad that these men have feelings for me (probably more lust than love) but I care for them as friends only. I am flattered that they want to be with me but I know that it would never work even if I did fancy them.

I can’t abide negative people, people who are always moaning (not in a sexual way). Life is what it is and we have to make the most of what we have. Not spend all our energy complaining about what we don’t have.

Years ago I used to see single women who were desperate to have a man in their life, I swore I would never be like that. But I was for a while after I divorced the other parent. But now I am happy with who I am and who my boys are becoming.  At the moment I don’t need a man in my life. If one came along who fits the bill, happy, intelligent, kind etc etc then I will have to rethink but at at the moment I don’t  feel any rush to find a man.

Will I end up a lonely old spinster ………nooooooo

When the time is right I will find a nice man to have a relationship with.

August 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm 4 comments

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