Thursday, October 28


After everything that has happened since Tuesday night, loads of phonecalls yesterday and a whirlwind going around in my head which just won't stop - and is causing lack of sleep, I think I have come to a few conclusions, and I basically have two options.

1. Take the questioning, the answering, the guilt laying, the 'you should have', and all that comes with it.

2. Walk away from it all

I phoned mum yesterday morning, afterall, she did tell me the night before she was going to kill herself. I am not the cold hearted uncaring person I am sure she and my brother percieve me to be. She was ok, but full of questions wanting answers. 

The basic upshot of it all is:

She can't bear to be in the same room as my hubby. She brought up an incident 11 years ago when hubby and I first got together. It was Christmas and we'd all gone to my brothers house. Hubby (unknown to me at the time) is what's known as a binge drinker alcoholic. He didn't drink during the week, but when he was off work for any time, he would drink to excess every evening. He IS an alcoholic, but has now been t-total for 5 and a half years. Hubby decided in his drunken state to tell my mum what he thought of her and how she'd treated me. It didn't go down well obviously and everyone ended up in a state. She brought this up yesterday and told me I was wrong for not standing up for her at the time.  This had all been discussed and (I thought) solved years ago.

Various other incidents were brought up which all involved hubby's alcoholism and how he abused me. Again, since he stopped drinking none of this happens anymore. That has all been dealt with over the years and threat of divorce etc due to his drinking. He is a different person sober and has changed so much for the better. Sleeping dogs will not lie however and now Mum and my youngest brother have both said they can't stand him for what he's done over the years and don't want him in the same room. A nice position for me to be in eh? considering it's a 3 hour drive to visit mum... one that I can't drive alone for various reasons (including medical)... which, according to my brother (I've since found out) are just excuses and I'm a whinger.

All through the phone call I was being asked 'why didn't you do...?' or told 'you should have done this...' I can only do what I can do based on my judgement and situation at the time.  All the time she was telling me that she was seriously ill for 4 years. I am fully aware of that. She had a mental breakdown.. was treated, told she was bipolar, told she wasn't, but now insists she is again. Either way, whatever it is, I supported her the best I could. Considered her as much as possible. My actions are now being questioned. When I asked if she needed me to come over, no, she couldn't cope with anyone there, especially a child under 5. I didn't go. She had dr's and nurses visiting, my brother, my aunt and various other people, I thought there were enough people to care for her. Now it seems that I should have rented a flat near her house for a month or so, just so she knew I was near if she needed me. I should have over-ruled her decision for me not to go and gone anyway. WHAT?

She has gaping holes in her memory of the last 4 years, which I can understand. When you suffer a breakdown, one day rolls into another and you don't remember things or situations.  I have suffered with depression on and off for over 20 years. I have fibromyalgia which can immobalise me at times. I am an emotional wreck and am currently on medication for anxiety and depression. I am not a coper, especially when it comes to me having to justify myself. But when I said this, it was met with, but that's nothing to what I've gone through. Nowhere near. Maybe it's not. As far as I'm concerned, it's not a competition as to who has been the worst medically. I was trying to explain that things can be difficult for me too because of medical reasons. To which the reply was, when you were sick as a single parent with two young children I came straight over to help. Where were you when I needed help?

Oh it went on and on, I tried to fill in some of the gaping voids and explaining situations that she had no recollection of or had got totally wrong in her head, and that decisions had been made with her being foremost in the decision making to ensure things were the least stressful for her. 

But I now feel that I can't justify myself and my decisions over the last however many years of my life any longer. My life and my decisions have been mine. Rightly or wrongly made they were made for a reason at the time and I dealt with the consequences. I feel that now my mum is trying to go through a big therapy session to solve her life through, in particular, me and my middle brother, or more.. his wife. It isn't just me this is happening to. My sister in law has just had mum over for the weekend and told her a few truths. This led to the killing herself phone call from mum. My elder daughter is also involved in this. But what mum can't see, is that she is the common denominator in all this. All her immediate family are involved. We all feel the same way, we're all being put through the mill because my mum has decided that things need discussing. I know that there are still more things she wants to discuss.. it's looming over me but I can't take any more of it. It is taking over me. It's all I can think about and it's not fair. My hubby's point of view? Why are we all still pandering to her like we always have? She's no longer depressed by her own admission. She's trying to sort herself out and she has a cuckoo land idea of what her family should be. And it's not the way she wants it to be so she's trying to change it. 

She is behaving like a spoiled brat stomping her feet because she's not getting her own way. But for me there is no happy medium. I'm not prepared to do the 3 hour each way drive once a month and stay for the weekend without my hubby because that's what my mum wants. But if I remain in contact with her, I will constantly be told she needs to see me. She even said we can stay in a hotel somewhere for the weekend just so that we can spend time together.. her, me and Isabelle. She said she's not making me choose between her and my hubby, but she's made it clear that he's not welcome in anything that involves her and myself.

I need to write to mum to say a few things. I can't think quick enough on the phone. I don't like confrontation. And having had at least 4 confrontational phone calls with her, I really can't deal with any more. But how do I write without being accusing and saying it's her fault, even by implication? I don't want to upset her, especially when her emotions are all over the place. But in the interim, she has no idea what I'm having to deal with. And even when I did say I was struggling to cope with it all, she said 'Well I've had to deal with it for years and I'm trying to sort everything out now.'

Having written all this to try and get it out of my head and sort some kind of sense, it's becoming more and more clear what my only option is. I just need to work out a way to go about it. I don't like hurting or upsetting people, I put other peoples feelings first.. to a fault.. but I'm not prepared to live with a whirlwind in my head and my self esteem plummeting lower than it already is.. if that's possible.

Wednesday, October 27

novel? if only it were

Hubby was late home and she and her young daughter had already finished eating dinner when he got home. She started to wash the dishes mulling the day over. It had been a rough week what with her daughter having a stomach bug and then her. For the best part of a week someone or other had been throwing up. It looks like the bug had finally left.

She was up to her armpits in soap suds when the phone rang. Surely hubby would get it afterall, he was in the living room whilst she was washing up. No. Her young daughter came running through to the kitchen with the phone in her hand. In her hurry, her little girl dropped the toy she was playing with and started wailing I've lost it, I've lost it. She anwered the phone with a 'just a second', she found the toy and handed it back and picked up the phone again. 'Sorry about that' had to sort a major catastrophe out'. It was 7.15pm. 

A voice on the other end of the phone spoke. A female voice, it was her mother who had been to stay at her daughter-in-law's for a couple of days. Her mother said.. "what did I say to your eldest daughter on her birthday that upset her?" What? she said. That was back in June.. hold on, I can't think... although she did wonder what had happened to the words hello, how are you? Oh, she said, i think it was something about her getting a motorbike and some comment you made. Her mother replied.. I can't take this anymore, (in tears) why do you all hate me so much, I'm going to kill myself and hung up.


Her mother lives a 3 hour drive away and she'd just said she was going to go and kill herself. She stood in shock, looking at the phone in her hand. Had she heard right? Yes she had. Panic!! What was she to do? Phone the police? What? What was she supposed to do? her mother had been in a poor mental state on and off for 4 years, but it had never been this bad. She phoned her brother who hadn't spoken to her since a previous argument with her mother a couple of months before. She told him what had been said and told him to get round there to her mother's house quick. He could be there in 10 minutes. Still in a panic she phoned her mother back and was relieved to hear her pick the phone up. Don't do anything, she said to her mother. I might as well, she replied, but your aunt is coming round. Thanks for being my daughter, and hung up again.

She was in floods of tears now and didn't know what to do. What would the next phonecall entail?

She waited a couple of hours and phoned her brother back, who didn't go round but phoned and was told someone was coming to see their mother. He had spoken to her again and she was ok, she told him. She had calmed down some and was ok. 

The worry is, that her mother lives alone and no one is staying with her tonight. It's going to be a long night, hence typing this at almost 1am.

No it's not a novel.. this actually happened to me tonight, and I don't really know what to do.

Tuesday, October 26

Whispered words

Still fast asleep at 7.15 in the morning, I feel a gentle kiss on the cheek and a whisper in my ear, Mum... is my bum clean?  I open my eyes in the still dark bedroom with just the landing light on to see my 5 year old bent over, bum in the air and definately NOT clean. 

The poor girl had spent the two nights previous, throwing up for England. She'd complained of tummy ache and couldn't settle and asked if I'd stay with her. So we lay down in my bed for a snuggle and the apparent stomach cramps eased after Milk of Magnesia and calpol. She drifted off to sleep and I left her in my bed thinking I'd move her when she was fully asleep. Half an hour later I heard a little cry but then silence. Mummy instinct kicked in so I went to check if she was ok. She'd thrown up all over.. projectile all over, my double bed! Full bed change and two more of the same, and she settle off again on a bed covered in towels. Several more episodes successfully caught in the bowl meant my poor baby was now empty, or so I thought. No, then the other end kicked into gear. Oh dear. 

She was like this all the next day, and that night and the following day.

Then the next morning she was better. Just like that! Back to normal and hungry. Thank god for that.... except... I started that night. Despite my dilligence with bleach, antibacterial handwash and hand sanitiser, I still got it. It wiped me out. Yesterday I had to phone my hubby to come home from work. I couldn't function. I was so tired from being up two nights in a row with Isabelle and the following night myself. Hubby got home and complained. He was so busy at work, he went on and on, and I ended up in tears. I'm sorry I'm sick, I can't help it I said.. I can't look after Isabelle. 

The thing that annoyed me the most was I never ever phone him to come home from work. Well I say never ever, the only time in 11 years that I've had to ask him to come home from work was when I fell down the stairs 4 years ago and thought I'd broken my leg, I needed taking to hospital because I couldn't even walk! So I just went to bed and fell asleep at 1pm. I woke up at 6pm! I thought oh no that's buggered me for a nights sleep.. but no. I slept from 11pm until 7am this morning when Isabelle woke me up. 

Thankfully I do feel a lot better this morning, albeit a bit light headed, but that's probably because I've not eaten in 2 days. Coffee stayed down this morning.. phew! 

So hopefully it's all gone and I hope to god Mark doesn't get it. I may have to kill him. He doesn't suffer quietly or go to bed like anyone else does. He lays on the sofa in full moan mode, complaining and groaning for everyone to hear. Please.. don't let Mark get it!!

Wednesday, October 20

The Gallery - Red

This week's promt for the Gallery from Tara at Sticky Fingers is RED

I had a good think on what to use, and opted for the slightly ghoulish (halloween coming up remember) strawberry with added bite. I photographed the strawberry and then used a photograph I found on the internet of a large bitey fish and merged the teeth with the strawberry..

Thursday, October 14

Musical Taste? or lack of?

I have a rather eclectic musical taste. It's very varied.. sometimes bizarre. Sometimes heavy, sometimes smooth and soulful, sometimes just odd.

My teen years were in the colourful 80's full of new romantics, and to fit in with the school crowd, I had to go along with that, although really I loved rock.. heavy rock.

I've been on a memory lane on you tube finding songs that I love, or mean something to me, or both. So I thought I'd share them, in no particular order, other than the order I listened to them, here are a selection of my faves. Please listen and enjoy.. or just turn the sound off and think my god she's bonkers!

Musical taste, or lack of... part I

Oasis - Don't look back in anger

Radiohead - Creep

Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire

Guns n Roses - November Rain

Bon Jovi Wanted (Dead or Alive) this one still gives me tingles as soon as I hear the intro. It was the first thing I ever heard my now hubby play on the guitar.

Bon Jovi (again) - Dry County. Poignant words and the best guitar solo ever

Metallica (with the San fransico philharmonic orchestra). It shouldn't work, but it does.

More to follow.....

Wednesday, October 13

Why do I.... ?

Why do I feel guilty or embarassed to talk about it? I shouldn't be. I'm very proud of it, but it's something I don't often talk about, especially in real life. A post Jen made at TheMadHouse made me think. She asked the question What do you do when your children are bright?

I have a very bright 5 year old daughter. I don't mean that I think she's bright, everyone she meets thinks she's bright. But it's not just bright, it's quite shocking sometimes just how clever she is. She is the baby in her class as her birthday is mid July. When she went back to school to start year 1 in September, my little girl who had just turned 5 was attending birthdays of children who were turning 6. She has been put in a class of year 1 and year 2 children and is coping extremely well. She is a very friendly little girl who gets along with anyone. She has the emotions of a typical 5 year old and is prone to the odd temper tantrum when she doesn't get her own way at home, but no more than any other child of her age. She does prefer to mix with children older than herself, so I guess being in a class with 7 year olds works well for her.  Her vocabulary is amazing and can hold a conversation with an adult, often questioning them and often causing surprise with the level of understanding she has. She loves space and anything to do with the planets and will sit and tell you what most of the planets are made of, how hot or cold they are and their size. She has a map of the world on the wall and I put small post it notes on each of the main countries, took them off and asked her to put them back in the right places. She did it, replacing about 15 post its with the names on, in the right countries.  Is this normal for a 5 year 3 month old? I don't know. I don't really have a measuring stick to go by. I can't talk about it with other mums, it's too difficult. They either snub you or make excuses to move away from you ending the conversation.

Tonight was parents evening. She got a glowing report even though she's only been in that class 5 weeks. She is doing maths with the year 2's and doesn't struggle at all. By the end of this year she is supposed to know her 10x's table and 2x's table. She knows them already, and her 5's and can also do her 3's and 4's although she does have to stop and think a bit sometimes. She can count a handful of coins correctly. She counted £1.75 in various coins the other day. I asked her if I paid £8 for something with a £10 note how much change would I get? She said £2 right away and followed up with if i'd bought 2 lots it would cost £16 worked out in her head.

Her reading is way ahead of her age. She seems to be able to read and understand anything. Mark has just finished reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory with her. She read it and understood it. Apparently her spelling is also well above her age level. Her writing has improved vastly of late, but her muscles aren't developed enough to cope with what she expects to be able to write. We have quite  a lot of problems with frustration, particularly with her drawing. She is very good at drawing for her age, but she is too harsh on herself. She sees the image in her head but isn't pysically advanced enough to transfer it to paper and she gets cross and angry with herself because it doesn't look right to her, she says it's rubbish and throws it away.

She is on the high achievers register (as they call it at school) so they are aware of her ability and she does get extra tuition at a level she can cope with. Luckily her teacher is the high achievers teacher anyway so she is fully aware of what Isabelle is capable of or not. 

The comments from parents evening is that she is a lovely, kind, caring little girl with a great sense of humour. She can make the teachers laugh at the drop of a hat but it's humour with intelligence rather than clowning about and being stupid. Her teacher and teaching assistant absolutely adore her, yet I know that they take no messing and will pull anyone into line that needs it.

I suppose this post is a little brag really that I can't do in real life. I don't have high expectations of her or put pressure on her. I want her to be 5 and enjoy life, but she questions constantly and wants to know more.. and more... and more. She absorbs everything and still asks for more.  I wonder how long before she pushes my intelligence to the limit and I can no longer answer her questions.

I'm don't for a minute think she's the next child prodigy, or a genius, but I do know that she is clever... high achiever? Gifted? I don't know... but I am glad that the school are aware of her capabilities and are prepared to push her that bit harder - she loves a challenge, but she seems to be finding the challenges fairly easy at the moment.

The Gallery - Favourite photo

Choose your favourite photograph says Tara at Sticky Fingers. Does she realise how many photographs I have to choose from? Each and every photograph is a favourite for one reason or other. 

I could choose my bald eagle photograph which has been very successful for me in competitions. I could choose my current favourite motorbike racing shot or I could choose any of the numerous photographs of my children.

I opted for a different photo for a different reason. I chose a my favourite photo of me and my dad, the reason being, I can still see any of the rest of my family but I can no longer see my dad. If I could only save one photograph in a house fire, it would be this one. It sits in a frame on the shelf in the living room. He watches over me all day and night. He is always there even though he's not here. I could never re-take this photograph or any other photograph of my Dad, whereas I could take more photographs of the rest of my family.

My Dad was my world, he made me who I am. He gave me good morals, rationalisation, world knowledge, he taught me how to care, he taught me to be a kind and compassionate person. We were very close. And in my adult life I have learned that I have taken the best parts of a very wonderful, kind, caring and compassionate person. He made me who I am, yet I can  no longer thank him in person.

So, my favourite photo: I am about 8 months old I think.

Sunday, October 10

It's been a weekend of bikes

My favourite way to spend a weekend. But I'll go with the proud mummy moment first.

Isabelle was 5 in July and is one of the most un-coordinated kids I've ever known LOL. She's very clever, but she was at the back of the queue for co-ordination. She loves riding her bike but she's almost too big for it. She does have another bike that hubby lost his marbles and bought off ebay which is way too big for her. So I decided that as it was such a lovely sunny day we'd take the stabilisers off her bike and take her to the park and see how she went. She got on the bike and took off as if she'd been riding without stabilisers for ever. She could just do it really easy after the first few tentative pedals whilst concentrating. I'm so proud of her and when I told her I was she said "thanks" and grinned. So that's it, she's off.. looks like Santa might have to stump up some cash for a bike that's the right size for her now.

And on Saturday it was my day. My day to go to the race track at Oulton Park to watch the British Superbikes. The sound, the smell, the feel of fast motorbikes roaring round the fantastic Oulton Park and to be able to take photographs of these bikes is my idea of Saturday heaven. Never mind a spa and pampering.. take me to the bike racing!!

It's the final round of the British Superbikes, and we've watched it all year, so it was really exciting.

Isabelle's day was made by Ryuichi Kiyonari on the HM Plant Honda. He's now the British Superbike Champion after winning today. On the victory lap, Isabelle (who was wearing her HM Plant Honda t-shirt) was waving like mad at all the bikers going round. Kiyonari waved to her. We know it was to her because we were stood alone at the side of the track. She was overjoyed that he waved at HER.

And I just got to take photographs of young lads in leather racing around on throbbing motorbikes.. ahhh bliss.

And before I bore you all to death, if you want to see more of my photographs from the superbikes CLICK HERE

I have more to edit, when/if I get chance... but sadly the superbike season is now over, so I guess I've got until May to get them done when the season starts again [sigh]

Tuesday, October 5

Hellrun up North

5 years ago, my hubby was an alcholic. He was 3 stone over weight and smoked 40 cigarettes a day and rarely moved off the sofa. He was 35 years old. 5 years down the line he is a 40 year old tee-total non smoker who weighs about right for his height and is extremely fit for a man of his age. He has completed a 10k run, a half marathon, cycles at least 20 miles a day and runs 3 times a week. He is training for a marathon, which he was going to do in May this year until a football accident buggered his knee up. His knee is slowly recovering and he is now in training for a marathon next year. 

However, his next event is on November the 7th. He is going to run the Hell Run up North. This is 11 miles through Delamere Forest through rivers streams and mud, ending up running through the bog of doom. He is trying to raise cash for childrens cancer charity but only has £20 so far. He'd love to raise more! I'll post donations details in a minute, but first take a quick glimps at the hell run from last year.

I know everyone is short of money and I know everyone is asking for some cash for a million and one charities all over the place. But if you can spare a few £'s only, we'd really appreciate your donation. If you can't spare any cash, perhaps you could give my post here a mention?

To donate, please CLICK HERE


Monday, October 4

Autumnal Morning

I've been somewhat withdrawn and a bit insular just lately. I've had  lot of emotional stuff to deal with. A cancer scare for my 25 yr old daughter which thankfully is not cancerous, has been dealt with and she's now got the all clear. The problems and fallout with my mum, who phoned last week after a month of not speaking. The phone call was very emotional, we both said a lot of things that needed saying, but she still can't see things from my point of view and I'm really not sure how I feel now. We've not spoken in over a week, but I know I'll be in bother for not phoning, but to be honest, right now I have nothing to say.

My son came to the end of his apprenticeship and qualified with an HNC in Engineering, but they didn't keep him on. So he's now jobless and really doesn't seem to be bothered about getting a job, despite me laying the law down. Ultimatum time is coming for him!

I have had a horrid fibromyalgia flare, which wipes me out. My back and hips are so flippin' painful, but I'm trying to keep going without complaining too much. Hubby (who does no housework jobs normally) has obviously noticed I'm in pain, he's washed the dishes three times this week!! That is more than he's washed them in the entire 12 years we've been together. 

I've also decided it's time for Isabelle to learn the concept of money. She's costing quite a bit lately even though she's only 5. The ice-cream van comes around every night, but I've always had the rule that she can only have an ice-cream from the van on a Saturday. We have ice lollies and ice-cream in the freezer and I'll be buggered if I'm paying £1 a night for one from the ice-cream van. She complains, but she knows it won't work. But now, for her to be able to have an ice-cream from the van on a Saturday, she has to earn some pocket money. It also gives her a bit of money for if we go somewhere or she wants some sweets at the weekend. We decided that £1.50 is plenty for her, and I also put 50p away for her to save. So she has to do some jobs to earn her £1.50 (which doesn't actually go that far considering an ice-cream is £1). She has to bring the waste food bin back into the garden when it's been emptied on a monday. She also has to stack the cartons of milk up in the cupboard when the asda delivery has been. And now I've added helping to dry the dishes to her jobs when she's asked. It's not every night yet, but it will be eventually. So on Friday night (my back was bad) I said hubby and son were on dishes duty and Isabelle could help dry and put away. She knows where all the dishes go, in fact she knows better than hubby. Well, the noise coming from the kitchen was immense. I had to laugh to myself. I could hear "this is the worst job in the world EVER! I hate doing this job. Please give me a different job to do.. I'll do anything.. pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease! Isabelle fussed and cried and shouted and went on and on LOL. She did do it on the threat of no pocket money, and it's something she has to get used to, but my god she put up a protest LOL.

Evenings are getting a bit busy now and I feel like an unpaid taxi driver. Not that I mind Isabelle attending things. It's good for her socially, especially as her closest sibling is 15 years older than her. Monday she has swimming lessons, Tuesday is gardening club after school, Wednesday is a free night (at the moment) Thursday is Rainbows which she started 3 weeks ago and absolutely loves. I've just had to buy her a Rainbows uniform. It's no longer a tabard for £8 like it used to be.. oh no... jogging trousers, t-shirt and hoodie.. in RED with Rainbows log on. Jeez! I managed to get a second hand set off ebay for £17.50. Much cheaper than the almost £50 a new set costs. 

So this morning after a busyish week and weekend, I took some time for myself (trying to ignore the guilt of I should be tidying up after the weekend, it looks like a bomb dropped in the house) and took my thinking-it-had-been-forgotten camera out into the garden. The Autum early morning sun was beautiful. I looked out into the garden and had a rather random thought, that how beautiful the cobwebs around the garden looked in the sunlight. Rather an odd thing to thing, but they did. So I took my camera outside and took these photographs. If you dont like spiders, don't scroll down to the third photograph! 

One of my favourite flowers - my Fuchsia's

 Having an early morning wash

God only knows what this spider is eating for it's breakfast!