Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to Son..

Son's Birthday today - he is 32 - and he's in Warsaw with his polish girlfriend. I did get to see him on Wednesday; we had a lovely lunch sitting in the sun outside a London restaurant and I took him a couple of presies and a little birthday cake. It was great to see him looking so happy and positive, especially when I think back to last year and how deeply "in the wrong" I was for most of the summer. Ah well, life is made up of changes.

This year I feel much more positive too - which is, I think, an indicator of just how much my children mean to me: last year I was unhappy because Son didn't want to communicate with me and Daughter was not terribly happy, and having problems adjusting to being on her own again, and though Grandson wasn't too unhappy, he was certainly still feeling insecure. Now, though, Daughter is also feeling more positive and happy, the new Boyfriend is turning into a regular boyfriend, the job is turning into something she feels happy doing (though she is also thinking of doing a PGCE so that she can teach and have the same holidays as Grandson) and Grandson is happy as a flea at his new school.(Yesterday he came out positively skipping with happiness, and proudly showing off his certificate from the Headmaster, which said he's had an excellent start at Elm Grove School!) So, either I'm pathetically attached to them, or just more honest about it than most - either way, the fact is I'm happy when they're happy. Pick the bones out of that one...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Whether the weather..

There's what you might call a stiff sou'westerly blowing down by the sea today. Huge greeny-sludge coloured breakers with dirty cream tops are hurling themselves onto the shingle in a spectacular display of what looks like very bad temper. It was a magnificent sight as I dodged along, seeing very few other brave walkers. One woman I passed, wrapped against the wind and rain, said just one word as we passed and smiled at each other in complicity: "Wonderful". Indeed it was. And although it's far from gale-force winds today, I was reminded of that night in October 1987 when the whole country was lashed with 'unexpected' gales.

We were living in Cambridge then, in fact had recently moved into our new house, and the gales came as a complete surprise. Son and Daughter were then 8 and nearly 6 respectively, and as the noises from outside were so frightening, they climbed into bed with me at about 5am and we cowered under the duvet until getting up time. Our house overlooked the Cambridge Botanical Gardens, so you can probably imagine the devastation that greeted us. I think the Botanical Gardens lost about half of their mature trees that night. Closer to our home, a huge branch had been ripped from the horse chestnut tree in our garden and lay lengthwise along our balcony. Luckily it hadn't been blown crosswise, or we would have had all the windows smashed and half a tree in our sitting room. Several branches from that and other trees had been blown across our roof and into the Mews outside, but we were relatively untouched. As it turned out, we had a smallish hole in the roof which was attended to without much trouble. All the roads, parks and gardens around were littered with bits of tree and roof, and many people and houses had been injured and damaged. Several poor people died when trees landed on them or their cars or houses. And I remember that my ABF's cat-slide roof was blown right off. It was all very scary and we counted ourselves pretty lucky to only have the inconvenience of closed schools and no public transport for a couple of days. We even had a phone call from the Ex that morning, to check if we were still alive! It was probably wishful thinking on his part, but sadly for him, we were all fine. Hard to believe that was 24 years ago - history really. Let's hope these winds subside without doing too much damage.

Good news on the school front from Grandson. He has had nearly a week at the new school and seems pretty relaxed about it. I've been collecting him after school and if his responses are anything to go by, he's fine. The usual answer to the question "What did you do today?" is "Nothing".. and that's just what I've been getting. He has two new friends, plus a girlfriend (not sure of her name, but she is "beautiful") and he is eating all his packed lunch every day. So far, so good...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Perpetual Motion...

"Oh it's a long,long time from May to December" so the song goes, but we're more than half way through and time is just galloping. Now we're into September and the new School year is about to start. This means that Grandson is about to start at his new school, which will be his third in three years!! He first went to Powell Corduroy in dreaded Dorking for just over a year, then to St. Aubyn's in Rottingdean for a year and a half, and now he's due to start at Elm Grove Primary on Tuesday. He is both excited and nervous, which I really understand. And I do hope it will be a good place for him.

The other day we were also counting up the places he has lived, and it was quite an impressive total for a seven year old. He started life in Wakefield (1), moved swiftly here to Hove (2) when he was four months old and his father disappeared, then they moved into Son's flat in Brighton (3) and lived happily there for a couple of years. Next they left Brighton and moved to Dorking (4) with the ex-boyfriend (big mistake - huge). A year ago last Christmas they moved swiftly back here to Hove (5) where they stayed with me for 7 months, and then moved into a shared house in Hanover (6) with Daughter's friend, which lasted precisely a year, and they have now moved into a flat on their own, also in Hanover (7), which is near his new school. Bless the boy, that's 7 homes in 7 years. I bloody hope this one sticks, because they could both do with a bit of stability. It's no wonder he loves coming to stay here with me; I guess it's the one place that doesn't change in his little life.

I have been on a mini-jaunt up to London this weekend to stay with a London BF. I drove up in brilliant sunshine, and we had some lunch in her lovely garden before walking round the corner to see an open-air performance of "The Importance of being Earnest". I love Oscar Wilde, well, I love his wit,and it was a very good and funny production. We sat with glasses of wine and laughed in all the usual places. Then we sat in her garden again, catching up on all the gossip until it was almost dark. This morning we breakfasted in the garden again, and then went to a London Car Boot Sale where the heavens promptly opened and soaked us literally to the skin! Sadly, it meant we couldn't meet up with Son for a drink, as we had to beat a hasty retreat and change into dry clothes. Never mind - though I did mind really, I so wanted to see Son, however briefly, because his busy working schedule and his jet-setting back and forth to Poland (I actually wrote Pooland there!) and his girlfriend mean that we see very little of him. And he's off again very soon - he's flying to Pooland on his very Birthday (16th September). Carole King said it perfectly in her song "Far Away". "Doesn't anybody stay in one place any more?" Me and Grandson too - we both need a bit of solid ground...