Tuesday 30 October 2007

Friday 26 October 2007

Irrational Fear

It's what paralyses us . It stops us from acheiving , coping, reaching goals, making progress, overcoming difficulties. Given such a bad press why do we allow it to dominate us ? There's the rub . We have no choice. When it came to handing out bravery I must have been last in the queue. You know when people say , when faced with extreme danger , that somehow they just did what they had to do and didn't consider the consequences ? I worry that I don't have that gene in me. I'll be a blubbering wreck with those jelly legs you get in dreams when you try to run and can't. Fiight or flight ? I'd go for the latter every time.

So what's brought this on ? Fear of the unknown. The worst type. My youngest son sat in the dentists chair today at the Eastman Dental Hospital whilst they told me that sadly he'd lose his front tooth having knocked it out last week in a swimming pool accident. It had been expertly re-inserted by our lovely dentist and given every chance of recovery by being stapled to the adjoining tooth for extra stability . But the gum hasn't healed as it should and the tooth itself has dropped considerably , is still wobbly and worse, the gum has clearly started to recede which they can do nothing about . All this means is that we now have to go through the laborious and possibly painful process of having a plate fitted to his upper jaw with a false tooth attached as he's too young to have an implant yet.

And why does this worry so much ? It's not as if his leg's dropped off or they've just diagnosed a life threatening illness. I'm embarassed by my extreme reaction to something which is clearly, on a scale of 1 to 10 of worst things that could happen to you in life, probably only rating around a 2. It's because I don't know what the outcome is going to be . I can't anticipate how much discomfort he will have to endure. I have no way of measuring how this will affect his confidence nor how long the process will take nor wheter it will work. That's why. Fear of the unknown. The worst kind. I'm one of those awful people who has to know how things are going to work out. I can't deal with all the uncertainty.

Thursday 25 October 2007

Nearly There

If half term only lasted a week, I'd love it . Five consecutive weekdays minus the early morning rush and the scrabble for undone homework. But no , ours lasts for a hideous 3 weeks. As I write this I worry that my childern will read this and hate me , unless of course they're all grwon up by the time they see this, with kids of their own , in which case they'll understand.The trouble is they're at different schools with different holidays that each last a fortnight but on;y overlap by one week. Our relentless half term has gone something like this.

Day 1 - managable,limitless patience plus a spot of shopping
Day 2 - hideous swimming pool accident
Day 3 - recouperation
Day 4 - beoredom with recouperation
Dat 5 - trip to dental hospital
weekend - obligatory family outing, manageable
Day 6 hideous
Day 7 worse
Day 8 defies words
Day 9 actually OK
Day 10 trip back to dental hospital
yes and there's still another week to go.

Here's what we haven't done...
Theme parks - can't whilst recouperation underway
Museums - central London - you've gotta be kidding
Homework - can't face it during term time let alone during holidays

Here's what we have done
Shopping - lots
Eating - even more
Bickering - endless
Shouting - yep
Guilt - by the bucket load

Monday 22 October 2007

Real Knowledge

My 8 year old has just told me that a great white shark can measure up to 6 metres in length . Now that's what I call a fact. So does it really matter if he struglles with 8 x 9 ? If you're surfing off the coast of Queensland (and lets hope he is rather than sitting behind a desk in some seedy suburb in later life ) I reckon it's better to know about about your predators than your 9 times tables. It's week 2 of half term and i could hug him. he's watching a National geographic DVD about Sharks but then I suppose it's only a matter of time before the Spongebob loop goes on.

Sunday 21 October 2007


Teeth have always been a big part of my youngest son's life. He chipped his baby front tooth as a toddler. Sucking 'thumby' made them stick out at a jaunty angle and now at the age of 8 he's managed to knock out his front tooth completely on one of those wrteched swimming pool tube slides. The phone call from my husband went something like this ...
Husband : Max has had an accident
Me: Oh My God !
Husband: Don't worry he's alright
Me: Thank God
Husband ... but he has knocked out his front tooth
Me: Jesus Christ

With the tooth slopping around in a polystyrene cup of milk they legged it back home and straight to the dentists where I was waiting , pacing the floor. Our brilliant dentist looked noticably shocked when he saw the extent of the damage . Never a good sign. The impact had managed to wipe out most of his front gum leaving a large black hole where his lovely big teeth used to be. One hour later we left the surgery with a large metal staple holding the dddislodged tooth back in place . No tears , no fuss and this from a boy who would weep as a single droplet of blood would emerge from a tiny scratch. I was dumbstruck by his bravery as was the dentist.
I had always wondered how we'd managed to raise 2 boys to the respective ages of 12 and 8 without a trip to A&E so I suppose it was only a matter of time. I wanted to line the walls at home with feather cushions , every movement brought the possibility of dislodging the tooth again painfully nearer, but so far so good.
There is nothing more painful than the sight of your own injured child. It leaves a resounding impact on your sense of security and an intense desire to trade places to save them any pain. It will be slow progress now for the next few months and I don't think we'll forget this week in a hurry but at least we can look back on the evnt knowing that we both managed to survive.
As with all such events there is always a moment of lunacy and this was no exception. As my husband left the swimming pool scene of the crime ,clutching a blood soaked towel to my son's face, the manager pressed a couple of complimentary tickets for a return visit into his hand.

Sunday 14 October 2007

The Battle of Hastings

You have to wonder at grown men and women who spend their weekend dressed as mediaeval foot soldiers playing out a reenactment of The Battle of Hastings dressed in shapeless sacking and in need of a good haircut. Having said that , we wandered around the boot camp stroking the fur pelts and poking the arrow heads to test their sharpness for a good hour, after which I was more than ready to swap my jeans and crocs for a linen tunic and rustle up a simmering pot of rabbit stew with the rest of them. Whether it was the jolly cameraderie and the jocular banter or just a desire to escape the dreariness of the school run and the misery of the supermarket was difficult to discern. I have to hand it to them though . No nylon sleeping bags or plastic groundsheets for this lot . Proper carved wooden beds strewn with soft downy rabbit skins under oily canvas with a real fire belching out delicious woodsmoke - now that's camping in style.
The audience comprised mostly ambitious parents dragging along their key stage 2 children who'd just got to that bit in their history curriculum. The parents watched the battle with interest whilst their children pushed eachother into the horse pooh and beat the hell out of eachother with wooden swords happy for the opportunity to infict real damage on their siblings under the guise of a bit of living history.
A good day was had by all and I couldn't help thinking, as we pulled into the Wild Bean Cafe petrol station cum M&S food mini store just off the A21 to buy a plastic wrapped pizza for the kids tea, that the option of a night under the stars with a steaming wooden bowl of vegetable broth would have been a far better option.

Saturday 13 October 2007

Spooky or what ?

England have just beaten France in the Rugby World Cup semi final . I love the way that tripped off the tongue as if I knew what I was talking about . With about 15 minutes to go , England were trailing by one point and David began to get distraught at the prospect of us losing . With unwavering certainty , I reassured him that we would score in the final 7 minutes to win the match . And we did . How weird is that ? Wish I could predict more useful outcomes like how many GCEs my boys might pass or when interest rates are going up again. Still , should be grateful for albeit limited psychic powers. I wouldn't mind but I've never watched a rugby match in my life. Something similar happened once before . I went to see Man Utd play Arsenal on some corporate hospitality jolly never having seen a match in my life . The opening bars of the Match of the Day theme tune on the telly used to send me into a comatose deep sleep. We all had to bet on who would score the next goal and at what time and I guessed at Thierry Henri. Well he only went and scored the next goal . It was rather nice pretending that I had a bit of flair for these things especially as all the men present claimed to be footie experts.

Friday 5 October 2007

My Apple iMac has changed my life. I've discovered iTunes - the soundtrack to my life.Enough already , don't want to turn into an apple bore.

How's it possible to fill the hours from 8.30am until 4pm with just 'stuff' and have nothing to show for it at the end of the day ? I've turned into a homebody. Nothing wrong with that. Saves me a fortune , not going into town to do some shopping. Home made tea costs pennies , think of the pounds I'm saving on those designer coffees. I love my scrap room and spending time in it so much that I'm terrified I might one day go off it and then what will I do ? It would be far worse then any ended affair, cut adrift with nothing to fire me up. Better not go off it then . But what is it in me that has to explore the possibility that I might ? Am I the only one that has alternative endings in my head , examines every 'what if' , allows such thoughts to even exist ? Or am I just a fanatical contingency planner ? The latter I hope.