Sunday, 25 September 2011


Ok so part of this is dedicated to 2 friends of mine,  a couple far braver, and more committed to each other than most I know. He is one of our brave servicemen, recently gone to serve his country, not returning until february, which means he will miss Christmas, his sons 6th birthday, new year, and the every day life with his 2 amazing children, when he returns his daughter will no doubt have grown into an even more incredible young woman, one step closer to fulfilling the potential she shows every day, his son, so full of character will have many many animated tales to tell his daddy. But behind all of this, is one of my closest friends, his wife. Who for the next 4 months, will be both parents when the children worry about daddy, explaining that he will be back soon,  making sure they understand that daddies love for them is unconditional , and that if he had a choice, he would be at home with them. Charged with ensuring she survives, and remains strong, is myself, and a few select others who understand that when she says "I'm ok" it really means"please don't push the point", Or that on the rare occassion she admits weakness and needs a friend, we will move heaven and earth to be there for her, until he returns and makes everything complete once again.
Life here gets no less complicated, Beth is now starting her GCSE's a year early, because of course teenage life has far too much spare time, and needs filling;). My amazing Amy mouse grows more full of wonder every day, and is still as dizzy as ever, Theo is sat beside me, having filled the whole living room with a den, desperately trying to read the words as i type them, and doing a pretty fair job of it.
I for my sins, have decided to take on the local Cub group and am working toward becoming Akela instead of a pack assistant, its going to take every part of my self confidence to pull it off, but if i can't control a bunch of 8 year olds............ oh dear god why did i say yes?:) My first official job as Akela will be rememberance day, somehow right now that seems to be very fitting..

Life poodles on, but if you read this, and you have a spare moment, spare a thought for those who keep us safe, whatever their job, be it forces, police, nhs or any of the other jobs in which people willingly risk their all for our sakes.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Been a while...

Yeah I know I'm a slacker...

Life has been pretty interesting these last few weeks, in both good and bad ways.

Fowey was idillic, the children loved it. The balcony's over the estuary were perfect for crabbing, and catching fish and shrimps. The local beaches were stunning and the Eden project even more breathtaking that the last time we visited. The sense of peace, and just a little bit of hope I felt while there, did a lot to make the holiday amazing. Since we have returned, reality seeps in again, like some kind of underlying disease, something that cannot be ignored or cured, just stayed off with the careful juggling of time and events and an unending ability to forget about self needs on a regular basis.

A few days ago, My husband gave me a link to something he had written, the first time I have ever really seen him put into words properly what he does or doesn't feel inside.

This is life in his words, needless to say it blew me apart...I try so very hard to keep things going, and yet right now it feels like I am failing badly.

I respect him hugely for what he has written, to be that frank took some real guts.

Yesterday the children and I went to pick up their latest aquisitions. 3 russian hamster who have been named Tim, Fred and George, lets hope they are all boys. The sound of giggling and happiness these very tiny creatures can create truly is a tonic for a sore soul.

Hopefully over the next few days if it ever stops raining i will get some more work done on my garden, with the help of a few very willing volunteers, and then i will have somewhere peaceful to retreat to on the odd occasion it isn't raining.

right, short and sweet, but i did work a night duty last night, and i know there is a tub of cookie dough ice cream somewhere with my name on it.

Take care chaps

Friday, 8 July 2011

Faeries at the bottom of the garden....

Ok...... bare with me on this one, random thoughts splurging out.

When you sit back and look at the world, it seems so very grey, as an adult its about work, and earning the money to exist. Its about making sure everyone has everything they need on a day to day basis materialistically, but as a parent when do we stop to ensure our children have the things in life that don't cost anything?. We give them love, unconditional and unending but who gives them their right to be children?.
Theirs is an existence of blank pages waiting to be doodled on, written in languages only understood by other children, of whispered words, and shared secrets, harmless secrets with so much meaning to no one but the owner. I have many fond memories of planting seeds with my Grandad Jim, a man who always seemed so very tall, and magician like to a young me. We would plant seeds, and he would mark their places with plastic flowers, so that the child would be in awe of flowers grown overnight. The simplest magic, but enough to fill a young heart, and create memories that will live as long as nature allows.
When I watch Amy and Theo play together, theirs truly is a world of amazing transforming cars, faerie princesses, Hero's and heroines, dragons and monsters, and I love it. It is a world which will stay with them in the way that my childhood memories do, it will create unbreakable bonds between them.
At the rear of my house, there is a metal archway leading into the garden, hanging from it are some windchimes, when the wind blows, you can hear the gentlest tinkling noise in the childrens bedrooms, Amy likes to think of it as angels and faeries giggling as they play among the flowers, and what right do I have to tell her she is wrong?  Next time a child asks you if this world exists, remember we live in a society rife with "monsters" and bad people, we study other worlds, and ask our children to believe in the possibility of life existing on them, and yet we so eagerly tell them that magic, unicorns and other mystical creatures cannot possibly be. I personally see no harm at all in shielding my children, allowing them to take their time to grow up, allowing their world to grow with them at a pace they are happy with.
Do Faeries exist? Was Peter Pan based purely on one mans imagination? who knows, but whenever I hear a tinkling bell on the wind, it makes me smile inside.

Whilst I agree that it is very important to give children a safe and secure grounding to life, it is also true that childhood is over far too soon.

Thursday, 7 July 2011


Camp was awesome!!!

A really fun way to spend the weekend, shame about the bronchitis. Returned from camp feeling tired, but thats not unusual, the ensuing chest pain and breathlessness were not fun.
Just sat and watched Jeremy Kyle, because that always makes me feel normal by comparison to the people on there, sad I know, but it helps.
Tonight I get the pleasure of the school disco with Amy and Theo, watching the entire school, which in fairness is less than 100 children, charge around the hall, dance with each other and generally try to impress is always an amusing way to spend the evening. It makes me think though, as part of the training we do at work, we read a poem called "What do you see?", if you haven't read it, its easy to google, but have tissues ready. It recounts an old ladies thoughts on the way her carers view her,and is an amazing insight into the world of a dementia sufferer. What it makes me think,  is this... the lives that we lose as we grow old, the memories that fade, and become transparent, are tragic. The simple things, my childrens disco's, first days at school, first boyfriend ( not for a long time yet please Beth;)), all these things mean the world, each deserves its place in history, its own marker on an indellible timeline.
So while I was sat watching Jezzer, thinking about how empty these peoples lives must be, it occured to me that mine is anything but empty. A struggle sometimes yes, plain sailing in the same way the titanic was maybe, but still amazing, and worth every second. So tonight while I am watching the girls compare outfits, and the boys skid around the floor, I will do everything I can to commit each moment to memory, in the hope that it remains fresh for a long time to come.

Enjoy your day, mark it well.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Guilty pleasures.....

Okay, I defy anyone to look at the closest person to them, and say with a staight face they do not have at least 1 guilty pleasure..... singing in the shower, dancing in the rain, licking the spoon and the bowl and then telling their children "aw really sorry, i have already washed up the cake stuff".

Mine ( well the public one at least) is that I am a cub leader... not so unusual most ppl might think but put it this way, I have only held this role for 6 months and I am heading at breakneck speed toward the latter half of my 30's. I seem to have aquired this role because Amy wanted to go to beavers, and I wanted to spend some time with the least "demanding" ( through no fault of their own) children. If I totalled up time spent watching Theo sleep, or helping Beth complete the tasks her joints prevent her from doing independantly, then the time I spend with Amy is less than 1% by comparison. She doesn't begrudge this, but I wanted to do something about it. So last year I duly borrowed a tent, and went on beaver parent camp, just me and Amy.... well needless to say I was pretty stunned at how much I enjoyed it, this combined with the "gentle" ahem persuasion of the other leaders about how much I would suit the green t-shirt that leaders wear......I have bright red hair!! what was I thinking????, and I end up here, preparing for beaver district camp. I have my green t-shirts with my pack name on them "Dizzie" which is apparently perfect for me.
Tonight will be a night of tired grumpy little people just getting to know what may be their first camping trip, and there will be us... the leaders in their green t-shirts...anyone else seeing a vision of a Butlins redcoat?? (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargggggh), tryng to make sure everyones tent goes up ok, and that each little person is well entertained until that magical hour when they head to bed and we can become semi sane adults again.

Right back to the packing of rucksacks, but a thought for you.... next time you look at the person next to you, in a queue, on a bus, or even a work colleague, don't take them at face value, you never know what alter ego lurks beneath.

Have a good weekend all :)


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Consider this....

When making up funny nicknames for your children..

A good few years ago now, my mum and special dad had taken Beth away for a few days to one of those campsites that all sane ppl avoid, you know the ones, with childrens entertainers!!!!!!!

So Beth is decked from head to toe in pink, with bunches in her hair, and a butterfly painted on her face, when she volunteers to go on stage and be part of the show. Mum and Alan sit beaming like proud grandparents. When it is Beths turn to talk the conversation went something like this....

Juicy Julian ( and yes folks that really was his name): So sweetheart whats your name?
Beth: Beth
JJ: and who are you here with?
B: My nana and grandad
JJ: and what do they call you?
JJ: and what does mummy call you?
B: The antichrist...

needless to say the ground did not  open up and swallow my parents at that point, no matter how hard they wished, and no, I wasn't the most popular person on the planet for a little while after that.

Let this be a cautionary tale... no matter how cute they look, they are still children, thus capable of anything!!


Small thoroughly inconvenient little things, that fill every gap in your heart, take over your world, and make sense of the nonsense.

I have 3...

Beth, a truly beautiful 13 year old who is considerably smarter than the average bear.She never ceases to amaze me with her knowledge of all things pointless, and sometimes bizarre ( she gets that from her grandad). The heart of a lion and courage to match, any man lucky enough to win her heart in future years will have his work cut out for him.

Amy...hmmmm what to say,8 years old, she has to be seen to be believed, a true english rose, but beware the thorns.  Amy is fiercley loyal, incredibly affectionate, and a complete and utter airhead in all the best ways. She has a massive sense of right and wrong, and will fight for whatever she believes in. Can't wait to find a box big enough to lock her in before she hits her teenager years....or is that before her teenage years hit us?

Theo- lump... the nickname says it all. My baby boy, the most adored 4 year old in the universe, Mr I can do no wrong... to my sisters anyway. Theo is considerably bigger than the majority of boys his age, and when he runs into your legs,  it feels like you have been steam rollered. Cute, and knows exactly how to use it to his advantage, and not above commenting on the young ladies "lumps" when they walk past him....

Oh dear god we're doomed........

So thats my life, they are my universe, the most awesome collection of creatures ever. Every day is an adventure, every week an exploration of the bizarre. Add to them some of the best friends a girl could ever have, My amazing family is complete, and growing stranger by the day.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Sleep Apnoea........

The bane of my life, and I don't technically suffer from it, I am a victim by proxy......

My Partner of 16 years, husband of 12 however does, so does my 4 year old son. Its a cruel disorder that at best can be controlled by operations, or Constant Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) and at its worst can cause constant debillitating tiredness, severe depression, an inability to work and a general loss of quality of life for the sufferer. My son has the mild form, he has recently had his tonsils and adenoids removed in a bid to "cure" him, My husband has the severe form, he has no energy to enjoy our 3 gorgeous children, he is an amazingly intelligent man, but feels he may as well be dead, to the extent he has talked about it.

Sleep Apnoea takes on a few forms and while i won't bore you with science, anyone with an interest can check it out here:

To us it means we can never plan anything, a day ahead is a day too far. My husband cannot commit to being able to help anyone, take the children anywhere, visit anyone or even do things for himself. Thats not to say he doesn't want to... he physically can't, the debilitating tiredness, inability to concentrate, loss of mental focus, and depression it brings with it, often bring our lives to a grinding halt. The children are learning to deal with it, Beth now knows that if daddy says no to something, its not because he doesn't love her, or doesn't want to do things with her, but that he fears for her safety. The younger 2 are learning, Amy still hurts, but then she is a sensitive soul. Theo on the other hand seems to feel an affinity with daddy that has existed since his birth.

My husband now has to renew his driving license on a yearly basis, the fate of his independance resting in the hands of someone he has never met.Our priorities when younger now mean that only he can drive, as we decided that if one of us had to learn, it should be him, as we live in a rural community, as things stand at present it will be a very very long time before we have the financial stability for me to learn. theres the laughable part, We have our pride, as long as I am able I will work to support my family and provide them with everything they need to have a good life, but we are both aware there may come a day when this has to stop, thankfully each passing day makes that less likely as the kids become more independant.

There are days when I go into work with visible bruising, I can state categorically my husband has never once attempted to harm me, while he is awake..... asleep his parasomnias mean that he is neither aware, nor able to control his sleeping self, his "other" self. This is the self who will be verbally agressive toward me, and on occassion the kids, if caught at the wrong time, he can also lash out. Each of these episodes breaks my husbands heart when he wakes up and finds out.

I may talk further about apnoea at some other point, but I wanted to make an introduction and create an awareness, to show everyone what it is like to suffer, by proxy.

Glastonmuddy festival!!!

Hi to anyone who just happened upon this, my first attempt at a blog...

My name is Shells, I live in somerset with my husband and our 3 Kids Beth who is 13, Amy  8 and Theo 4. More about them another day.

Theo and I have just returned from a trip to town, nothing special just a bit of fresh air, now as anyone who has watched the tv over the last few days will know, last weekend was Glastonbury festival, what you may not know is that it is actually held in a small village called Pilton... not in the legendary town itself.. I live about 5 mins drive from there.  It amazed me somewhat that this morning when heading out for the school run there was a huge queue of traffic on the main road near my house ( this is somerset, main road is just a term for something that has 2 lanes of traffic!!). What is more amazing is that 4 hours later, that queue is still there. While it causes minor inconvenience to us, it amused Theo no end, as all the people sat in their cars in the stationery traffic decided to speak to him as we walked along, one mud covered young lady even called him cute, to which he replied "yup". I hope she and all the other mudmonsters heading home today a safe and uneventful journey, and there may even be a small pat of me that will miss the colourul characters lighting up our town, but yes I like many other locals will be just a little greatful for the break next year!.