Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Having Kittens... Literally...

It's the last day of March, to state the obvious, and I can hardly believe the way the year is cantering on already. And it's lighter because of Summer Time - but still blooming freezing here.
What news from Hove? Well Daughter has finally reached her Weightwatchers Goal Weight - an amazing 10st. 12lbs, which is a huge achievement for her, since her decidedly porky days when she had Grandson as a wee baby and was dumped by the bastard bloke. It has taken her this four and a half years to fully regain her self-esteem and her previous gorgeousness - and I really will try and put on a photo of her as she is now, just to show you how wonderful she looks. Next news, hot off the press, is that their "kitten" Tinkerbell has just had five kittens - the naughty baggage was obviously out having sex at a very early age, and is now suffering the dreaded consequences. Daughter wanted to have her spayed, but the Boyfriend didn't - he thought she should at least have the chance to have kittens before she was "done". So he is in charge of looking after and finding homes for the little newcomers. He says he doesn't think they need looking after, but I guess he'll find out..

Son is back from Argentina, and phoned to have a chat on Sunday evening. He obviously had a really wonderful trip, and was exhausted when he got back. I am hoping for a few of his photos too, so that you can see some of what he got up to. He has also been asked to be Best Man for his old mate Ed, who now lives in Australia. Ed and his intended are getting married in Thailand in January, so that will be another great trip for Son. And he is hoping to celebrate his 30th somewhere in Africa with a crowd of friends - apparently there is a Music Festival there in October. There is also talk of New York some time next year. And I expect he will be off to the film Festival in Cannes again this year! Oh what a great life.

I've been pretty quiet about myself lately because of the continuing Therapy which I'm having every other week. It has been very interesting and sometimes very painful and traumatic (both physically and emotionally). I've been through what I can only describe as "re-birthing", I've re-lived the time around the Brain Tumour (see my previous posts) and the births of both my children. Plus the inevitable emotions around relationships with parents and partners. And I have come to realize that I have buried a lot of rubbish in the past, just so that I could cope with life generally on a day-to-day basis. I'm sure that this isn't unusual. Many of my friends have been through piles of shite in their lives, and so have many of my Blogging Friends, I know.
And Blogging is pretty good therapy in its own right, I think. I've been keeping this diary on and off for nearly two years now, and I know that it has been therapeutic for me. It has certainly been wonderful to have the comments and support of all you Bloggers out there. Without it, I don't think I would be putting myself through this latest emotional struggle. It's strange how a bunch of complete strangers can turn into real friends who bring a smile to my face every day, without exception. Thank you again. I really appreciate it.

By the way.. anyone want a kitten?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Early Bird

Surprisingly for me, I'm up and busily catching worms this morning. My London BF Sue came down yesterday for a belated Birthday treat (for me) and we went out to the gorgeous L'Eglise restaurant which just happens to be a short stagger across the road. There we met up with two more friends of hers, who live in Hassocks, and had superb food (as always), good wine and lots of good conversation. Somehow being late to bed nearly always means I'm awake early, hence the worm-catching.

As I sat with Heinrich chatting over breakfast (well, not exactly chatting, but you know what I mean) I looked out of the window and saw a tiny silver aeroplane winging its way, high in the blue sky, towards the airport, and wondered if it might be Son on his way home. Maybe, maybe not, but it was a nice thought. He is due home this morning from Argentina, so it could have been I guess. I had a lovely message from him, via one of his friends, late on Sunday evening. Apparently he had been trying to call me for Mother's day and hadn't been able to get through. He was sitting beside the pool in a hotel in Iguazu on the border between Brazil and Argentina, where he had gone to see the waterfalls. Sounds just wonderful doesn't it?

My Aristocratic BF is planning a special Garden Party for her 70th Birthday on 31st May, and I have been volunteered to design and print the party Invitation. She has the most lovely garden, near Sissinghurst in Kent, so it will be perfect if we get the weather. Anyway, I sat down at my easel today and painted a gorgeous garden party hat with flowers and ribbons, in soft, smudgy pink and green watercolours. Somehow, it just came out right, so I'm not going to fiddle with it and spoil it. My next challenge is to paint some little cupcakes to decorate the other corner of the invitation, and then I can hotfoot it up to David, Son's lovely friend, who can put it all on computer for me, and then print it. Otherwise I'd have to get out my old John Bull Printing Outfit and do it myself - perhaps not :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mothering Sunday.

Oh well, I just haven't been able to keep up my diary lately, no excuses really. Yesterday was such a lovely day though, and it occurred to me that I'm letting all these days go by without marking them in any way. That's how life just slips by, I guess. I don't mean to sound at all melancholy, but what with poor Natasha Richardson's tragic accident last week, and then Jade Goody's well-publicized early departure, it just makes me more conscious of my mortality. And wasn't it terribly poignant that Jade Goody should die in the early hours of Mother's Day? Poor little thing, she was only 27, and hadn't had much of a start in life. She was a character, and didn't give a fig for the rest of the world. I cringed every time I heard her talking, but she did her best with the gifts she had been given. Personally, I can't bear the thought of her boys, and Natasha Richardson's boys, growing up without their Mothers. It brought back my own experience with awful clarity. When my brain tumour was diagnosed, I was sent home to make a will and make arrangements for the care of my two children because no-one could guarantee that I would survive the operation. And even if I did, they were pretty sure that I would be disabled in some way. It was quite clear that my ex-husband didn't expect me to survive either (and was rather hoping that I wouldn't). He clearly expected to take over both my house and the children, though he did make the mistake of telling me that his wife-to-be probably wouldn't want the children, and that therefore they would be sent away to school. (Bear in mind that they were then eighteen months and three and three quarters!) It was a tough week, not least because I was feeling pretty ill by then, but I did make a will, and made sure that he wouldn't get his hands on either the children or the house. Luckily my Sister and some of my good friends were prepared to make sure of that. Not only that, but I was determined to survive because I couldn't bear the thought of not seeing my children grow up. Even now, when they are 27 and 29, remembering it just tears me apart.

Anyway, survive I did, against all the odds, and I vividly remember waking up after the operation and realizing that I was actually alive. I was on a trolley in Intensive Care, and though I couldn't move an inch, I felt such a surge of joy that I could have jumped off that trolley and run around the room. I was so lucky. Poor Jade wasn't - and I do hope her little boys will be loved and cared for as she would have wished. Poor Natasha wasn't either, and didn't even have a chance to say goodbye to her children. My heart goes out to them, and to her grieving family. How lucky we are, those of us who have survived what life throws at us. And how wonderful life is. Isn't it? I surely am one lucky Mother.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Creepy Crawlies..

Watching TV on Saturday night, with KT and Hon. Grandaughter, we were squealing and screaming at a programme about poisonous creepy crawlies like caterpillars, scorpions and spiders. It was a truly scary programme, and I must remember to tell Son to shake out his shoes every morning before putting them on, while he is in South America. I did know that the smallest scorpions are the most dangerous, but I didn't know about those spiny caterpillars whose venom can kill, just like that, or those gila monsters whose bite can also be very nasty - especially if they think your hand is dinner and hang on to you for fifteen minutes! Apparently all these little buggers like to travel, and can hitch a ride in or on almost anything - a bunch of flowers or a bowl of fruit, for example. "Don't touch anything!" is what I'll be telling him, and don't go barefoot, and look where you're treading. Honestly, exotic foreign travel is not all it's cracked up to be. Son will probably laugh it off, but I don't care as long as he just remembers..

It's a glorious day here today, and I walked by the sea this morning, watching two-metre waves crashing onto the shingle. There were lots of us exercise freaks out today, walking, jogging, running or just walking their dogs. It was the perfect day for it. Sadly though, KT and Hon G. are not feeling too good today, with swollen glands, runny noses etc. I do hope I didn't give it to them last week. Anyway they are tucked up in bed with a dvd, and I'm off to collect Grandson from School. It probably sounds terminally boring to you - but I really like this family life. I'll be back later to cook up a storm for supper, and I mustn't forget to phone Son and warn him about the creepy crawlies.. he's off tomorrow to B.A.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In Bed with Alan Bennett..

Well, lucky me, I've just got the teensiest bit of a cold (probably from Grandson who had a runny nose on Monday) and I've decided to spend the day in bed, just cosying up to Alan Bennett. One of my BFs, who lives in the Forest of Dean, gave me a little book of his for my Birthday, and I have just got around to reading it. It's a slim volume, called "The Uncommon Reader", and Dear Reader, if you haven't read it, I do recommend it. I started it the night before last, at bedtime, and I have a job to put it down to go to sleep. It's witty, funny, so absolutely believable, despite its unbelievable scenario, and a joy to snuggle up with. I'm nearing the end now, sad to say, and am trying to delay finishing it.

Funnily enough, I was talking to the said BF on the phone, and she had been to London last week to stay with another friend and combine some sightseeing with the theatre. They saw an Alan Bennett play, "Enjoy", which is currently enjoying a good run. Apparently it was put on back in the Eighties, and didn't last long, my BF thinks because it was before its time. It concerns the life of a family whose son is homosexual, and whose daughter is a prostitute, the funny part being that the parents have no idea of their childrens' inclinations, and are living what they think is a normal family life! That is the very briefest of summaries, but it does sound both fascinating and funny, in a contemporary sort of way. I do remember that I saw Bennett's "The Lady in the Van" some years ago in London, and thought it was one of the best plays I'd ever seen. The man is a wit for our time, that's for sure, and a lovely writer.

Son has been rather quiet of late, and I'm missing talking to him. He's always busy, and his social life just beggars belief. Last Sunday we did have a very brief conversation when he was with friends in a pub watching Spurs play Man U (and losing at the penalties stage, to our disgust), and was then going on to an event at which he was DJing. This was an all-nighter scheduled to finish at 4am on Monday, and he was then going on to work! It makes me feel tired just thinking about it. He is also flying off to Buenos Aires next week (on the 10th), for a wedding, a concert and some work-related music stuff. He is going with friends, and they are renting an apartment for their stay. It sounds a wonderful trip. Exhausting, but wonderful. I think I'll go back to bed..

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hello Heinrich. Wilkommen Aus England.

Say hello to Heinrich, my latest student, who is from Kiel in Germany. He smiles a lot, has very little English and eats everything - except milk, butter, cheese or yogurt - so no dairy then. It's very easy at breakfast, because he just takes a dry weetabix and puts marmalade on it. He likes orange juice and the fresh coffee I make, so no worries there. This evening I cooked a very colourful chicken and vegetable stir-fry with noodles, which he gobbled up in record time. He is here for four weeks to improve his business English (he is a telecommunications engineer) in preparation for a new project he is starting in the Summer. So, despite his limited grasp of the language, I have managed to learn quite a lot already. Izzy had eaten earlier as she comes in from school at 6.15, absolutely starving, and KT opted out of the communal supper this evening, taking hers on a tray into the Sitting Room. I can't say I blame her, because yesterday evening was painful. Trying to prise words from this nervous man (in his fifties and never been to England before) was like trying to get blood out of the proverbial stone. I wasn't much looking forward to this evening either, especially since I had rushed back from Dorking after an afternoon with Grandson, but in fact Heinrich was obviously feeling a bit more relaxed tonight and though the conversation didn't exactly flow, it was a mite easier. I said last night that it is going to be a very long four weeks, but let's hope the thaw continues.

Grandson and I had a lovely walk after school today, in the sun. He spotted a little girl (well, little to me) and said "That's my new girlfriend, Trititty." (?) So we parked the car and followed Trititty who was walking home across the field with her Mum. When we caught up with them, William was delighted and started prancing around with glee. The Mum introduced herself as Andrea and her daughter as Trinity! The riddle solved, though Grandson continued to call her Trititty. They had a new baby boy, whom Andrea was carrying in a papoose on her front, (I didn't catch it, but it was another unusual name) and we learned that there was another little girl at home. Grandson's girlfriend is an older woman - she's in Class 1 and he is in Reception, but she didn't seem to object to his advances. We walked to their house, where they have the builders in, and the children bounced up and down on springy planks and balanced on new brick footings. I didn't envy Andrea her building work, but she seems very upbeat and was coping very well with three children under six, a full set of builders including Portaloo, and a husband who was installing an en-suite shower upstairs. I'm sure it will be perfect when it's finished, but rather her than me.

On my walk with Grandson we saw a very cute house for sale, which looked rather like a gingerbread house, just along the road from Andrea and family. I told Daughter about it, but when she looked it up on the Internet, it was unbelievably expensive - well out of their price range - because of being in a very desirable area close to the Tennis Club which Daughter actually belongs to. Never mind, though I reckon it's worth making a cheeky offer for something you really like. With things as they are, you just never know...