Friday, 13 December 2013

Is Venting good for you?

Okay, so we all like a little rant now and again. I'm good with that. It's fine.  It's normal. Isn't it what Facebook is for after all? Something annoys you so you have a little rant and release all that pent up angst and fury.  Keyboard warrior comes rushing to the fore.  Let it all out. It’s good for you.    But is it? 

I’m a member of a forum of which I’m quite active.  A few of the people on the forum are personal much as the internet allows relationships with people you don’t actually know in real life.  A few are also Facebook friends.  I’d posted something on Facebook which I thought was ironic, witty and sardonic.  However, someone to exception to the status and proceeded to lambast all similar posts on social networks on our little home (the forum). 

Now, I’ve taken this a wee bit personally as my status was clearly supposed to be humorous . This particular person waxes lyrical about being pious and saintly yet has the audacity to take others to task over something which is a personal choice.  What followed was a debate about people who don’t send Christmas cards, preferring to donate to “charidee.”   I think the “friend” was more cheesed off with the fact that people were posting it rather than the actual act.  What’s wrong with that?  Isn’t it a personal choice? The “friend” thought it was tacky publishing it for all to see, but isn’t it a way of letting people your FB friends know that you won’t be sending cards to them all?  
"Charidee?  Charity?  Wassat?"

 I send cards but the list has gotten smaller these days.  Relatives dying off; friends moving out of your life; lost addresses.  I used to love writing Christmas cards but now it’s just a chore.   Looking through my Christmas card address book (oh yes, I have one) I see the names of those no longer with us.  It makes me feel sad and it makes me feel vulnerable.  I send cards to people who are important in my life and people who I don’t see as often as I’d like, not to send a card for cards sake.  I send a card to a friend each year in the hope that one day we’ll be friends again; and I send a card to Mrs B down the road, so that she doesn’t think she’s been forgotten.  She’s not on Facebook.

But charity is a choice and there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s nothing wrong in letting people know you won’t be sending them a card, is there? 

One year I sent a card to a friend I hadn’t seen in years. We sent the yearly Christmas card but that was about it.  Soon before Christmas I had a phone call from her. 

“Is everything all right?” she asked 
“How lovely to hear from you! Everything's fine. Why?” I replied.   
“It’s just that Connors name wasn’t on the card and I wondered why. “ she said warily.   
“No, Connors fine...but he’s the dog”. 

Whilst it might feel good to get it off your chest research has shown that that “venting” could make you less happy and more angry in the long term.  Andrea Weckerle, president of CiviliNation, a nonprofit organization working to reduce online hostility and adult cyberbullying, said "Online hostility is a public health crisis. Lives are destroyed through aggression online,".

Actually, I feel a bit better now...thank you for letting me vent.   And she’s off my Christmas card list!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

My Left Foot - Day 18

Yep, it's still there...marginally better but it wasn't that painful in the beginning so I can honestly say that it's been a bit of a breeze...until yesterday that is.
Yesterday, I thought I'd take a spin around town and do a little bit of well earned retail therapy. I thought I'd take a look at shoes as I haven't even been able to contemplate pretty shoes for a very long time.  Just practical ones...ones that didn't hurt.
I'd forgo the mobility scooter and take my chances on the crutches  I haven't been out since the operation -and I don't count the visit to the hospital to get the dressing changed and the visit to the petrol station, afterwards! So I was kind of looking forward to leaving the kids at home, especially as BH had volunteered to come home early to take me out for a coffee! How could I resist such a gallant offer? But I wish I hadn't.

It was...scary.  It was very scary.  I was invisible even with the crutches.  I was jostled. I had giant, audible "Tuts" whispered into my ear as able bodied humans whooshed passed. People came to stand in front of me as I peered at the baked goods.  I'd actually become invisible and a pest...both at the same time!

I was advised not to walk without the crutches in public.  People apparently avoid you when you're on crutches..apparently. Which wasn't apparent to me.

I kept my eyes to the floor in case, inadvertently came across an uneven pavement, or step. I couldn't move that fast and I couldn't avoid the crowd swervers.  You know, the ones who swerve out into the oncoming traffic because the crowd is moving too slowly, only to come nose and face to my forehead as I edged my way along hugging the shop-fronts. 

"Hrrumppp!!" one particular swerver admonished. My crime? Looking in a shop window.  He kicked my crutch (I'm sure in error) and had I not been resting on my good foot I would've gone "a" over "t"!

It's given me food for thought.  It's made me realise we take a lot of disability for granted as it's not ours.  Not the access, ramps or parking facilities but the small acts of human kindness, of thought, of care.
  • Being aware that when someone is on crutches they might not be able to take their hands off their crutches to prevent the door from slamming in their face. 
  • Thinking of assisting a customer who's appearing to have difficulty with a basket and is pushing it along with a crutch.
  •  Holding the lift as someone hobbles towards it and not keeping your finger on the "Close" button.  
  • Being patient in the car park as someone gets into the car whilst holding up the traffic as they couldn't manoeuvre their way passed the tightly parked vehicles. 
  • Thinking that because someone is disabled their capacity for coherence is limited too.
As we stood waiting for the lift to the car park (which had quickly disappeared on my approach) a middle aged woman turned to BH.

"Wassa matta wiv 'er. then?"

"Foot operation." he replied.

"Oh. My mum 'ad one and it was a nightmare. Couldn't get outta bed for a munf"

At that point I pretended I was deaf too...what was the point? She would never have got "it", would she? 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Overstepping Boundaries...get outta my zone!

We all know that personal space is that precious zone that others shouldn't encroach on. Sometimes we allow others in that zone.  Sometimes we allow others in to save offending them. Someone that gets up close and personal feels like either we're being threatened or comforted.

The other night I was at a party.  There's someone I've met on several occasions, and we've exchanged the usual chit chat, but I don't know her well. Each time, she gets up soooo close that her breast is rubbing against my arm.  She talks from the side of her mouth almost like she's whispering secrets.  I found myself leaning in closer. She's right in that comfort zone, but it's OK because it makes me like I'm a really good friend each time we meet.

There's another person at the party who also invades my space, but on this occasion I find it really off putting.  I move back each time they lean in. I know them well, but they just get too close for comfort and I find myself feeling very uncomfortable.  I want to say "Step're in my zone" but they continue to follow until I find my self pressing up against a chair or someone else...I'm invading their zone so step forward into the zone that's become a problem with them almost touching my nose.

Personal Space Calculator

My next door neighbour.  She invades my space. She cuts holes in the hedges when I'm not looking and each time I go into the garden I can see more holes she's cut through. The hole started off as a little hole and got so large that I had to put a shed in front of it!   It's driving me insane.  I've no idea why she's doing it, although she has mentioned that she wants the whole hedge down.  It's a weird one this, and I don't know how to deal with it.  Short of cutting it all back and sticking in a 9 foot fence which will take time, I don't want to feed into this "You cut a bit, I'll stick a another plant in, cut another bit, I'll find a piece of wood to block in the hole!"  I'm a little bit over sensitive on this subject.  We came home from our anual holiday a couple of years back and they'd taken down a 9ft section of hedging.  No discussion, nothing!  I told BH he'd better get round their PDQ otherwise the kids might hear some very choice words! So up went the fence which I didn't want in the first place. 

So that's boundaries and zones...I suppose one way to get them to back off is to lick their face!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

My left foot Day 11

I had a bit of a sneak preview yesterday. It's all looking pretty lovely. 

Who would've thought I'd be getting excited over a foot! I had to go and have the dressing changed and was a little apprehensive as she peeled but the layers but once the last layer came off and my foot was exposed I nearly wept. It looked great. It looks like it's healed...and it's all nice and straight and pointing in the right direction. 

I called in BH to have a look at the surgeons great handiwork and he peered over my shoulder squinting, exclaimed,

"Is it supposed to look all gory and mutilated? I'd get the Frankenstein boot on quick if I were you. You don't want to scare the kids!" 

He asked about the wire in the second toe and how they'd get it out...I stuck my fingers in my ears at that point and chanted "Lalalalalalalalala!" in case I heard the answer. 

As I stopped I caught the tail end of BH saying "...suppose they just pull it out!" 

The nurse explained exactly what had happened as immediately after the surgery I didn't really take anything in. I'd assumed they'd broken the toes with a hammer, used a sander 
and sanded down the bone..all very primitive like. I was surprised and delighted that they'd 
moved on from that type of barbaric surgery. What they'd actually done was broke the toes with a hammer, chiselled a V in the bone, put it together with a pin. Chiseled another V somewhere stuck in another pin. Stapled it somewhere, shaved something. The wire sticking out of the second toe was to keep it straight until it set then something would happen to it. I lost track with the first pin as my stomach was heaving ever so slightly. 

I told the nurse that I'd been wearing the boot in bed as I have a tendency to flex my toes and feet in my sleep and it seems to stop me doing it with the left one. 

"Wear your shoe in bed?" She exclaimed. " It's very unhygenic! You wouldn't normally wear tshoes in bed, would you?" 

So I gave it a whirl last night and what did I do? Flexed the foot! So on it'll go again tonight. 

I wish I'd taken a picture of the before.  I didn't.  I've taken plenty of it with the Darco shoe which rocks the foot backwards to the heel so that pressure it only placed on the back part of the foot.  I actually quite like it. It's comfortable but I won't be adding it the wardrobe as I've only been given one!
Darco shoe

I asked when I could start going out.  

"If you do go out then I suggest a chair."

"What sort of chair?" Thinking she meant one of those fold up ones that I could tuck under my arm...which might be a bit difficult as I'm still on crutches! 

"A wheel chair."

WTF!! Am I supposed to roam around the village in a wheelchair looking a fraud...I don't think so!  So I've been looking into the feasibility of hiring a mobility scooter! We've found one that might suit the whole family.  It has a back seat, a basket in the front and I thought we could add a side car so that BH could come along.

Mobility scooter
Mimi said she'd "Bling it up! " but I'm not too sure of the colour...

Luckily, I've had no pain.  I'd been reading horror stories of the amount of pain some have suffered and I can honestly say, hand on heart, I haven't had any.  

I've been doing a lot of sitting on my bum with my foot perched on the stool...watching daytime TV (which I've never had the chance to do!) or sitting in the garden under an umbrella watching the dogs and the kids frolic in the garden in this amazing weather.  They've been fantastic I can tell you...the dogs I mean!  I think they have this innate sense of something not quite right.  They've avoided my foot and skirt around me gently.  The kids however, haven't seemed to have mastered the art of avoidance and their patience has worn off. They don't see the crutches any-more and twice, each of them have inadvertently trod on my foot!   They still think I'm Super-mum and look at me in confusion when I ask them to empty the dishwasher!

Ah well......normality has resumed!

Monday, 15 July 2013

My left foot... Day 1

I have a left foot. I think I've had it fixed although at the moment my eyes are not too clear and the brain still a bit fuzzy.  I had a lovely sleep, thank you very much but they woke me up to make sure I was still alive.  Did I ever tell you how much I like sleeping?  Anyway, I digress

I've never been a fan of feet.  They look disgusting - on me anyway so for years I've hidden my left foot beneath various items of covered shoe-wear or socks.  Ski boots have been the best as they show no deformity. My shoes have generally been a size too large.  I often trip out of one as it's too big and embarrassingly end up bleating "Oohhh...there goes my shoe!" giggle, giggle!

In my befuddled state I've posted a picture on Facebook of my left foot.  I didn't mean to, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  My foot is twice the size of the other one.  The sympathy trail was delightful.  People thought I'd had an accident.  I hadn't. I'd had Hallux Valgus and an Osteotomy Hallux scarf  surgery and a few other things.  In plain English that means a Bunion (disgusting word) and a hammer toe surgery.  I didn't ask for too many details about the surgery as I didn't want to worry unduly which is what I'd do if I knew exactly what they were supposed to do. I'd worry I wouldn't wake up and I'd worry that they'd do the wrong foot, which is what they could've done had they not triple checked with me and the foot! Thank god, they didn't ask me in the pre-op phase.  I may have told them to take them both off and give me a face lift instead! 

For some reason, I thought the view from bed as they wheeled me to the operating theater was really cool! I hadn't taken any drugs at that point but I could see how the impact from a patient's perspective could be quite interesting.  I wish I'd taken my go-pro!
The anesthetist told me that shortly I'd feel like I had a G&T  "I think I've had 10!" I said.  "I'm not saying anything else in case I incriminate myself." and "I think some one may have to show me back to my room as I'm not sure I'll be able to walk straight!".  I think they laughed, but I'm not sure because I next woke up in the recovery room.

I have a long piece of wire sticking out the end of the second toe, supposedly to keep it straight.

The hospital staff are absolutely lovely.  I love 'em! They were sweet, thoughtful and ever so caring. I'm not sure what I thought they'd be like but in their hands I had no worries and woke up with a gentle stroke of my arm and a sweet smile. I feel like I'm in fluffy land.  No pain at the mo, but I'm sure it'll kick in once the anesthetic wears off.

So now I'm sitting up in bed, with a nice cuppa and two hobnobs finishing off "And the Mountains Echoed" with a few blokes moaning and groaning around me.  I think they've had their bits done...I think I might have heard one of them ask for them in a jar...or did I imagine that?

Friday, 21 June 2013

Weird searches and rogue aupairs!

I check my stats and searches occasionally, just to see where they come from and to see how peeps end up here.

Unfortunately, for the  few that probably end up here, probably turn off in disgust when they realise that this isn't a site for "sexy au-pairs" or "dustmen xxx porn" .  I mean...really?  Dustmen porn?  Where do they get the idea that dustmen even have a porn site? I've had searches for school gate porn, mummy porn, garden porn, nude au pairs... funnily enough au pair porn comes out tops!  All you guys out there really do get your rocks off on our au pairs don't you? It happens quite a lot and it makes me wonder what goes through peoples mind when searching for that particular content?

Which reminds me of something that someone spoke to me about the other day.  We were all standing around at the school gate gossiping and someone asked how I found my how I found her generally. Miriam has gone (weep, weep) but in her place we have Silvia.  Silvia is lovely and after all these years of Miriam it's a breath of fresh air.  She loves the kids, the dogs...and me!  She's pretty (we need something nice to look at!) and kind and she's very young.

Anyway, one of the mum's grabbed me as I left with Mimi.  I don't know her too well.  She's generally quiet but sits on the periphery of our group.

"Don't trust her" she whispered.

"Oh, why's that?" I asked thinking she'd seen something I hadn't.  We always like to know what's really going on. 

"I've had the most awful experience and you must promise that you don't tell anyone"


I do keep a confidence when it's told to me in secret however I don't feel that the blog is breaking that confidence.

"I  went out with some friends the other night and came home the other night earlier than expected. Ian was supposed to be working late and I had left the children with the Minka, the au pair.  Ian was sitting on the sofa covered in a blanket.  I thought he'd come home early as he was ill.  I went into the kitchen and there was Minka draped in my silk dressing gown filling two glasses with wine. I couldn't workout why she was in my dressing gown.  I went back into the living room where Ian was frantically trying to throw some clothes on.  I hadn't realsied he didn't have any on.  I started to scream and shout and told her to leave.  "You leave!" she said.  I couldn't understand it.  It's been a nightmare! " 

And there was me thinking everything was peachy! She looked fine and I had no idea she was in meltdown.

Anyway as far as I can make out her husband has been having an affair with the au pair. He says he loves her and that "wifey" should leave as the kids love Minka! 


She hasn't left. Neither has he or the au pair.  What a mess! So I best get prepared incase Silvia has designs on BH.  On second thoughts she can have him.  I'm fed up with picking up his pants and smiling tolerantly while he thinks it's ok to fart when sweet talking me!  I've had enough already! Do you know how hard it is to get an au pair?

Anyway, if you're here looking for porn the nearest you're going to get is a blog about me going off to the pawn shop hocking the silverware when BH decides to trade me in for a younger prettier model...he can only but try!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Giving up the weed...

I'm a terrible smoker. Well, not terrible as I'm really quite good at it. In fact I will go so far to say that I'm an expert. And I've loved it. I know, I know.  It's a disgusting habit which is ageing me faster than a fortnight in Spain, but I've loved it.  I've loved every minute of it.  But I know it's time to say goodbye, sayonara, Taraa!

You see, we've had a bit of a scare. Bro has cancer.  The stark reality makes you realise life is short enough without poisoning myself and everyone around me.  I didn't make a pact with didn't work before and anyway I'm not about to play the blackmail game.  "If you cure Bro, I'll give up smoking".  Nahhh, that isn't me. And I'm not pretending to do it for Bro.  I'm doing it for myself.  Bro is giving up too, which is a positive move. Maybe a bit like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted but who am I to criticise?   The cancer is about Bro.  The smoking is about both of us.

So tonight I will be smoking my last ever cigarette and will be waking up in the morning a non smoker.   I've got my vapour fags, I've got my patches so I can only try and be a bit less of a bitch.  The smoking thing will not define me. I will not be a statistic.

I can do without the fags but I can't do without Bro.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

My Rubbish Cleaner...

I have a cleaner.  Not a very good one, but she's ever so nice.  She took early retirement from her (real) job and thought "I'll do some cleaning.  It can't be that difficult...I do my own!" I probably should've gone and looked at her house before I said yes.  I can do my own but I'm not very good at it. 

Anyway, like I said...she's not that good, but I wanted someone to come on a Friday to make it all nice for the weekend.  I wanted it all spick and span. I wanted to smell the polish as I came through the door and I wanted it to last until the next week. Obviously my expectations are too high.  She doesn't like my Dyson and doesn't like cleaning under the sofa...I have to do that. She doesn't like spiders (OK, I do) and I hate anyone squashing them so I go around the homestead trying to find the little critters in case she leaves! She won't pick up anything from the floor but will maneuver her vacuum around them.  But she's very nice.

I had a cleaner a couple of years ago as Miriam (the au pair) was totally rubbish.  The cleaner I had was very nice and very good. We negotiated for three hours. I would make her a coffee and she'd sit...and sit...and sit.  She'd sit for an hour and I'd have to pay her for her sit down time! In the end I had to say I was having work done and I'd call her when I needed her back...I obviously didn't make that call.

Last week,  I asked her how it was going. She was looking for some extra work and a lady (why do cleaners always call their cleaning jobs "Lady"?) she works for mentioned she knew someone who needed a cleaner.  She said she'd give her a trial.  "It was filthy!" she told me in disgust.  "I mean, who lives like that? I'm not going back!"  I thought the purpose of a cleaner was to get your home into tip top shape.  Being a cleaner entails...surprise,! 

My sis told me that her cleaner moans about the windows. "You must open them every day for two hours.They get dirty as they are not opened."  Sis just laughs. She pays her to clean,  and if the windows get dirty week after week...too bad!

I liked her because she loved the dogs...and the kids.  Maybe I should've asked her to be the au-pair?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

This is England - 2012 update.

Do you remember a post I made last year?  A post about a friends son who'd be attacked?

Well, if you don't let me refresh your memory...or at least give you a point in the right direction.

This is England - 2012 

Did I tell you what happened next?  I know I didn't because it was important to keep that information to myself...just in case!

I didn't tell you they caught the "perps" and I didn't follow up with a "what happened next" because "what happened next" meant that had this information been freely available it may have hindered any conviction and may have halted a process that needed to be seen through to it's conclusion.
(In this day of modern technology it helps to be aware that it could be used against the very people you're trying to help and protect and I had no intention of that happening).

At the time of the attack and for a few weeks after, we had no idea who the attackers may have been or why this unprovoked attack had happened. Her son was beaten to within an inch of his life.  He thought he was going to die when he saw the feet come running over on that petrol station forecourt and those same feet aim kicks at the head. 

My friend "Daisy" and her family were kept informed and updated and once the wheels started turning...they turned!

If you remember, several cars turned up in the forecourt.  Some of their registrations were clear on the CCTV tape. Those cars were traced to a group of men, one of whom was Costadinos Contostavlos...better known as Dappy from N-Dubz.  Shocked yet?

The footage of the attack has now been released by Surrey Police for public consumption. This is not the full attack but an edited version of what happened.

"Daisy" when she saw the footage in court for the first time, had to hold her hand over her mouth to stop herself from shouting out in horror. To see her boy being beaten to the ground for protecting two young women was too much for any mother to view.  She breaks down each time she re-calls her experience. I break down when I see her despair.

 Unfortunately, the poor girls who were standing as witnesses were derided for their contributions on twitter and were made to look as guilty as "Crappy from NDubz" despite the fact that they were witnesses in a brutal attack and were defending those who had been attacked for protecting them. In spite of the "Defences" attack on the girls, they were credible due to the fact they stood by their original statement...they had no idea who the attackers were.
Dappy in his defence stated that "I was just promoting me new record...guv!".  Really? Even though all those present hadn't a clue who you were? I think not matey!

However, the prosecution stance was not that the girls had been attacked, nor that they were to be abducted (as they clearly were and may have been had the boys not been there) but did an attack happen? Evidence proved that it did...assault was proven, affray was proven, but not the ferocity of the attack. How could you calculate how bad an attack was? Broken teeth, broken nose, black eye?  Death?  Had it not been for the quick response of the police, I have no doubt that it may have been a murder charge.

After a gruelling week at Guildford Crown Court, Dappy and a couple of the ones that were caught were found guilty and last week they were sentenced.   I'm sure you know all this...and if you don't...well now you do.

Thankfully, those boys have moved on. They won't dwell on what has happened.  One of them told their parents that they would do the same again.  They would protect the fairer species.  They would stand up to the bullies

The thing is, Dappy was guilty and although his suspended sentence may have been appropriate, had he not been there the attack wouldn't probably have happened.  For "Daisy" and her family, justice has been served.  I doubt very much that Dappy will be able to stay out of trouble for the required 18 months and when he steps out of line

I'm not knocking Dappy for his musical ability (if he has any), I'm knocking him for his contribution to humanity as lower than the sewer rats who infest our drains.  Yes, Ladies and Gentleman...This is England!


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