Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Who needs an alarm clock when you have a thunder and lightning storm that wakes you up at exactly 5:15am and is finished by 5:20am! That was a short but massive storm. I awoke wondering what had woken me and then I saw the lightning........and the heavens opened. AND the pressure in the air caused me to have a really splitting headache! Weird!
I'd rather Beauty as my alarm clock-not so violent.
When Beauty was 6 weeks old we went on holiday to Portugal, one night we had the scariest storm you could imagine.The storm took a long time building up and had travelled across the Mediterranean and we were in its path when it finally went out into the Atlantic ocean. When it hit us I thought that a bomb had hit the hotel it was so loud, I have never heard or seen a storm so loud and noisy. Even the storm of 1988 that took the roof off SnoWhite's nursery school was quiet in comparison.
Last night I watched a TV show called Never Did Me Any Harm,

From the makers of Channel 4's acclaimed series That'll Teach 'Em, this new four-part series is for every parent who has ever said "It wasn't like that when I was young." The McIvers' house in Morecambe is packed to the rafters with toys, gadgets and gizmos.

They have six televisions, six DVD players, three video players, five games consoles, two computers, six hi-fis, four digi-boxes and a karaoke machine. Mum Cheryl's childhood - only a generation ago - couldn't have been more different. When she was young there was no indoor toilet, let alone the latest technology. There was just the one television set and the family watched it together. She saved up for a cassette player to listen to her favourite band: The Bay City Rollers. Cheryl has worked hard to give her children everything she didn't have when she grew up. But now she is starting to question what it is doing to them. She wants to know if a dose of her strict no-nonsense 70s upbringing will sort out her lot. In tonight's third episode of Never Did Me Any Harm, the clocks are turned back for two weeks to when Cheryl was young, so that her family can get a taste of her no-nonsense childhood. Mum is desperately hoping that this experience will help them to learn how to communicate better with each other, how to work together more as a family and how to entertain themselves, all without the aid of modern technology.

it was really uncomfortable viewing...........this was my childhood!
Except for the 2 weeks holiday in Blackpool, the nice clothes and the good food she had when she was younger!
I was impressed with how well behaved her children were, for a walk along the beach the boys allowed their mother to dress them all alike in grey trousers, shirt and jumper.........yes the boys did look smart but not for a walk along the beach! I really have never grown-up because when the mother kept saying,'Well when I was a young girl' it really started to get on my nerves and I mentioned it to Fiona and she laughed and said that she was thinking exactly the same thing.
The program confirmed what I have been saying recently that pre-internet days was literally The Dark Ages in it's own way.I did my degree without using the internet but one of my lecturers on my masters course recently said,'if it's in a book it's out-of-date'.
I know that the internet has all the bad stuff on it but it is still a powerful tool for good.
Think of all the stuff you couldn't do we can easily buy
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Britney's hair, view people making nit-wits of themselves on YouTube and even online dating! What more could we ask for?
I don't often tell Beauty off because I am not sure how much she understands. However when she does something dangerous I do tell her forcefully that she has done something that could hurt her and if she has touched something that could hurt her I usually tap(not hit) the back of her hand to reinforce what I have said. Yesterday in a fit of pique that the computer would not do as she wanted she pushed the screen, the keyboard and the mouse on the floor. Yes I did tell her off forcefully and she put her hands over her ears and started to cry! The little moo made me feel so guilty but at least I felt that she knew there was something not right with what she had done. I can hope!
Later on she was having difficulty with one of her internet games and she started to get a little over enthusiastic with the computer so I said, 'NO..........I don't think so' and instantly her hands covered her ears BUT she did calm down so perhaps it worked.
When Beauty was little and first diagnosed with autism her first speech therapist said to simplify commands and speech so that it was easier for her to remember and understand what was being said and it really seemed to work.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This is going to sound like all I do is watch TV but like I've said before YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE and I am pretty selective about what I watch. Last night I was watching Dog Borstal, I really cannot believe the behaviour of some of the dog owners, some of them seem to have no commonsense whatsoever and I feel sorry for the dogs. One of the dog owners was teaching his dog to sit, stand, walk know , follow basic commands. Instead of giving giving strong basic commands the owner kept waffling on and I remember thinking.'oh shut up and say things like sit, stand etc and keep the waffling for the shows of affection'. AND the trainer said exactly the same thing. Beauty to me acts very much like a puppy at times and responds very well to simple language and predictable , consistent behaviour. When I was training to be a nurse I remember being shown the embryos of different animals , including humans , and being surprised at how similar they looked. As long as I am not being patronising and I talk to Beauty with respect, I can see how teaching and learning can be similar in humans to certain animals. Obviously development , emotional and physical does eventually separate and take a different path in humans to animals but early development in the very young does seem to have similarities.
Years ago I remember a TV advert where a father is looking after his young son whilst his wife is in hospital just having had a baby. The father asks the young son what he wants for dinner and the son says,'Choc ice and chips' and that is what he gives him! Well it sounds good to me, only one dish to wash. This morning I found Fiona making herself breakfast of raspberry ripple ice cream! She was surprised when I laughed at her less than traditional breakfast!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
What joy a child on the autistic spectrum can be.........never a dull moment.
Brilliant News!
SnoWhite has caught the girly bug..........she now has a beautiful hairstyle!

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Yesterday evening there was a bit of a commotion in the local garage when I went to pick up a few groceries, it seems that someone had stolen a cancer charity collection box! I felt really sorry for the women working in the shop because they thought that they were going to get into trouble from the owner of the shop.
How could anyone possibly steal something like that?
I am totally baffled.
I know that my thoughts are not totally mainstream on a lot of things but that is totally unacceptable. I could understand if somebody was totally without money and stole groceries for their children but this is different. Thankfully I have never been in a situation where I have felt compelled to steal to feed my children.
And what would the person who stole the money spend it on anyway?
These charity boxes are placed in such a way in shops so you put your 'shrapnel'(spare change-coppers) in when you receive your change after paying. So how much could possibly be in one of these boxes? Not a lot!
Don't get me wrong, I really believe that there can be situations that arise that you have no control over that can leave you financially desperate(and yes I have been there) but I also believe that some of the situations are created by the individuals themselves.
A few years ago, a few days before Christmas, I took my children into a charity shop to look at second-books and whilst we were there a young mother came in with her 3 small children and asked the shop assistant if they had any toys for sale. I was devastated to see this young mother trailing her children around charity shops just before Christmas looking for toys as there was nothing I could do for her and God only knows what had happened to bring her to this situation.
However their 'poverty' was nothing compared to the beggars that asked me for money in the Moscow train station when we were waiting for the train to St Petersburg. The toilets in the station were not very disability friendly and were at the bottom of a huge stair case so I waited at the top with Beauty whilst Anastasia and SnoWhite went down and I went down when they came up. Whilst I was waiting a gypsy woman with her 2 small children asked me for money but I didn't have any so I gave her children some pink iced buns that we had bought that day and were going to eat on the train journey. The iced buns had literally cost pennies but the children's faces lit up like they had never seen anything like it before and when Anastasia came up I asked her if she had any change and she gave me a few pennies which was enough to buy bread for the family for 2 days. The mother of the children was almost in tears with what we had given her but it made me feel awful that she should have so little.
I also feel that 'poverty' or what defines it has changed since I was a child. When I was growing up we gad a rented TV and that was it but today the list of what an individual has in their house is endless..............TV(PLASMA MAYBE , DVD, computers, laptops, I pods , Mp3's, sound systems, video games consuls etc. Whilst I was going around visiting with the Health Visitors when I was doing my nurses training we visited a family who were recently on benefits and were having a hard time but the only thing the health visitor could comment on when we left the property were the amount of videos the family had. Even if they had sold them they wouldn't have got much for them, a tenner if they were lucky.
However, I also visited some families who had been on benefits for many years and they lived in luxury and I can remember thinking, 'I want whatever they are having'.
I am with Andrew Collins who wrote the book WHERE DID IT ALL GO RIGHT, I hate miserable childhood stories. I am sorry but I had a miserable childhood, no I don't want to write about it and publish a book and yes forgetting the bad bits of my past is fine by me but I do feel that poverty today is relative in this country compared to what it was when I was a child.
No child in this day and age should be reared in poverty and any government who allows it to happen has failed. Today I read about
Hospices warning of service cuts
Hospices have warned they may have to turn away terminally ill patients in Wales because of a funding crisis.The Hospice of the Valleys in Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent which provides palliative care said it would have to cut services unless it was "properly funded".

And the following article

You are just left alone'
Shirley Nurock talking about her husbands dementis care
She said there was a desperate need for better support for people with dementia and their families."You do not get much help from state services, and voluntary services are overstretched and pushed for cash. It made me angry and I am still angry now.
"Services are really fragmented. People w
'ith dementia are being rationed. Its criminal.
"Basic care should be seen as a necessity.

There seem to be cuts and problems with funding everywhere.

Dirty, badly maintained streets, cuts in social and health care , inadequate educational provision etc

Monday, 4 December 2006, 11:51 GMT BBC News
Anger at MPs' '66% pay rise call'
MPs have been criticised after reports some are calling for a 66% pay rise, taking salaries to £100,000 a year.MPs are reported to have written to the Senior Salaries Review Board saying the rise is needed to bring them into line with senior civil servants and GPs.

I wonder if the MP's are happy with the funding for their salaries?
If they are then at least somebody is happy with the way government money is being spent.

Re-reading this entry I think perhaps it comes across as confused but I think probably that is because I covered so many issues, probably badly..........sorry. I think that even if I didn't have a child that was autistic and fighting for better educational and social provision for her then I would still be fighting for someone or something. Perhaps I get that from my Dad!
Richard Bach said the following in The Reluctant Messiah
Here is a test to know if your work on earth is done.........if your alive, it isn't.
That's how I feel, there's always something more to do.

Monday, February 26, 2007


My 6 year old has one scary cough, she coughs like an elderly gentleman who has smoked way too much, and at the end of the cough is a hugely disgusting expectorating noise like Spit the dog(I dislike that dog!). But not as much as that bl**dy emu!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Emu is the thing of nightmares and should definitely stay in his box.

For many people having curtains is something that they take for granted but for the last 4 to 5 years our lounge has seen a succession of curtain rails.......all torn down by Beauty swinging on them! So we have had throws, bed covers , sheets and for the longest time a pink sari covering our lounge window and all held up just by being tied to hooks. But now we are trying a curtain rail again(but still suspended by the hooks) to see how Beauty reacts to them, she seems to have lost interest in the window. When Beauty was diagnosed with autism there was no mention of house trashing which seems to affect a lot of autistic children!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
These are Beauty's bedroom curtains! Yes I know that they are bright but I bought them on sale when Fiona was little for her bedroom and she loved them. They were designed and made in Australia and so have an aboriginal theme.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Beauty also ripped the radiator off the living room wall(thankfully she doesn't do that anymore!)
flooded the expensive cream berber carpet(what was I thinking buying that?) and so we replaced it with wood flooring which is a wonderful thing to have when you have a a child on the autistic spectrum, so much to easier to keep clean!
Terence Conran once said that it was better to decorate you house in whites and creams so you could see the dirt and clean it. It maybe a good idea if you can afford to pay a legion of cleaners but I'm afraid it is not such a good idea when you have a child on the autistic spectrum who will only drink blackcurrant and apple squash and loves to 'decorate'(artistically pour all around the room) their world with it. My answer is to cover all the furniture in throws and wash them constantly. My washing machine is very hardworking(eco-wash of course!).


Mid blog creation I decided to have my breakfast so I went to the fridge to find some yoghurt.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I decided on Weight Watchers fromage frais with forest fruits. However, I made the mistake of passing the sink to get a teaspoon and I found the sink overflowing..........can anyone explain why my sink should be overflowing but the dishwasher empty? That one always confuses me!
So I filled the dishwasher and turned it on. I also emptied the tumble dryer and folded the clothes, sorted out clean clothes for Beauty to wear, re-filled the tumble dryer and turned it on and filled and turned on the washing machine(remember all eco-washes). None of these tasks were too arduous so I have decided that for Mother's Day (they are already asking me what I want) I shall ask for the day off housework! I shall also ask that my off spring also DO THE WORK that I am not doing so that the next day I do not have to do twice as much work.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Well, here's hoping!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Last night, some local little sh*t trashed my wing mirror! And why am I really not upset? Because the little shit did the same thing to the other wing mirror a few days previously. Which means that I only have to pay for 1 repair instead of 2! Said like a true Pollyanna.
Probably done by a group of hoodie wearing young gentleman I saw earlier wandering the estate with golf clubs! I may not be psychic but I predict their next holiday will be at her Majesty's Pleasure. The little band of brothers (aged between10-15) should have been home with their parents...........and where were their parents? That I couldn't tell you but the mother of the leader of this little band of brothers is a known drug user and has had hysterical screaming episodes in the street, so whilst not inevitable, I suppose you could see the behaviour of this leader of the band coming!
Frequently you hear people saying ,'ah but they have nowhere to go and nothing to do?'
and things like
' oh they need youth centres and places to go'
Well as a mother of 6 my strong feeling is that, 'NO.......they don't need somewhere else to go and something more to do'. They have a youth club in the week in the local community centre and my friend John runs an after school computer club and we live 2 minutes from a leisure centre with a swimming pool and the local council has spent a lot recently on a skate park and a basketball/football court with an all weather pitch. What more do they want? They need to be where their parents know where they are. My children only went out when they had somewhere specific to go and that was their choice, they did not want to go wandering the streets. They went to Brownies, Guides, youth club, dance, art classes, music lessons etc and if not out doing that they watched TV or did homework or went on the computer. I think that laws should be amended so that parents can be held responsible for their children's bad behaviour, obviously there will be exceptions when children get to an age or a size where they could not be physically controlled but that can't be the case for every under 16 year old wandering the streets after dark!
And there is also the possibility that these under 16 year olds who are running around in the dark unsupervised could also be harmed in some way. And if something did happen then the first thing that their parents would say would be.'Why my child?'
So what's the answer?
Beats me!
I'm just a mother.

Beauty has been coughing and spluttering all morning so no trip out with the child minder for her. She has spent her morning either in bed( but not sleeping) or playing on the computer on CBeebies . Thankfully there was no repeat of night terrors last night just a very disturbed wriggly night. Difficulty in communicating is a major issue in autism, especially with regards to Beauty because I do not know how she is feeling. I do not know if is she is sad or in pain or hungry or thirsty. Whilst she can make desires for food and drink known I would especially like to know about pain etc as she appears to have a very high threshold for pain which does worry me.Fiona is also unwell and after sleeping all night is sleeping again on the sofa.
SnoWhite is in work and in a couple of hours Ariel will be back in Cardiff from Florida. Dare I say it has been very quiet without Ariel? Oh well, back to school tomorrow, half -term will be over but I doubt if Beauty will be well enough to go back.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
BEAUTY SLEEP-Beauty made herself a little nest on the floor and fell asleep.
Well last night was an experience that I hope not to repeat too quickly!
Night terrors!
Beauty woke up about an hour after going to sleep and she was absolutely hysterical with fear, nothing I could do would comfort her or make it better. She went back to sleep after about 30 minutes but her sleep for the rest of the night was very troubled. AND how do I know about night terrors? Well we've been there before but that was about 20 years ago with Belle who also had night terrors which lasted for about 2 years.
And what are night terrors?
Well according to Wikipedia
A night terror, also known as pavor nocturnus, is a parasomnia sleep disorder characterized by extreme terror and a temporary inability to regain full consciousness. The subject wakes abruptly from the fourth stage of sleep, with waking usually accompanied by gasping, moaning, or screaming. It is often impossible to fully awaken the person, and after the episode the subject normally settles back to sleep without waking.
Nightmares and night terrors by Trisha Macnair on the BBC Health Website

Night terrors are more common in children than adults, tend to run in families and usually start before the age of 10 (most common age two to six).

the Wikepedia article also goes on to say

While each night terror is usually different, all episodes of the same person will generally have similar traits. One of the most common qualities of night terrors is a strong sense of danger. For these people there is always a being, tangible or otherwise, who wishes to hurt the sleeping person, or the sleeping person's loved ones. Many sufferers of night terrors are reluctant to speak of them because of their violent and often disturbing nature.

Well that explains a lot(and no I am not being sarcastic).
As I have said before, pre-internet was almost like a dark ages time and getting information on anything was a major undertaking. When Belle was experiencing her night terrors I could find nothing on night terrors in the library and so I asked a psychologist we knew if she had any idea what it was and she merely said that it could be caused by stress in the day time. Looking back that wasn't a lot of help and not completely accurate. I remember as a child waking up from a dream and not knowing what the dream was about, I always felt that remembering the dream was just like a word on the tip of your tongue that you cannot remember. I have memories that the dream was something terrible and awful and it was about something I had done which was really bad(like a pre-schooler could have done something that bad!). And if I had these night terrors as a child why didn't I mention them? Because I was afraid that what I had dreamed, the really bad thing, was real and that I had done something really bad. There were 3 things I remember about the 'dream'(if there ever had been a dream), a huge endless dark cavernous space, a tiny black boat with sails on the sea with an ink black sky and the awful terrible feeling that I couldn't change something(what I don't know). I have had flash backs of the 'I couldn't change something' part of the dream and I still occasionally get it as an adult and each time I get it I feel sick with anxiety/ fear whatever...............not pleasant. The thought of a a child like Beauty going through something like this is not pleasant.
I remembering waking from these 'dreams' and being hysterical and crying and crying and crying and nobody coming to me. I am wondering now if the reason nobody came was because it wasn't the middle of the night as I had previously thought but

Night terrors, on the other hand, occur during a phase of deep non-REM sleep usually within an hour after the subject goes to bed.

If everybody was still downstairs they may not have heard me crying which is comforting to know now but wasn't much help then. And because of the terrible fear I never discussed it with any one........silly moo!
And as an adult I still occasionally get these night terrors, I awake with a terrible jump, I am absolutely terrified for no reason that I know of and my heart is racing and will not calm down. I then cannot sleep because I am worrying about what happened to wake me up and what terrible things might happen(oh Anastasia I am so glad you are no longer living in Russia- I had a lot of sleepless nights then).
SnoWhite had 1 night terror Christmas eve 1995 when she had the flu and it was a scary experience for her and me. Fiona also had night terrors when we lived in Victoria park in 1994, she would have been 3 years old. Who needs the Genome project when there is my family?
What with vitiligo, autism, night terrors, arthritis etc we could keep researchers going for years!
And it is nice to know we are in good(!) company
according to Wikepedia
H.R. Giger
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
who created the designs for the alien in The Alien films also suffered from night terrors and he was an architect by trade and his first paintings were a form of art therapy with regards to his night terrors.
H.P Lovecraft was also widely believed to have suffered from night terrors. Lovecraft was an American writer of fantasy, horror and science fiction. Lovecraft influenced many of the US fantasy, horror and science fiction writers including Stephen King.
I can see how these individuals have been inspired by fear.
Minds are scary things.
The Wikipedia article suggests the following way to deal with night terrors
The consensus for treating night terror episodes is three-pronged: gentleness, disposal of anything nearby that might hurt the subject, and avoiding loud voices or movements that might frighten the subject further. It is also critical to remember that the person experiencing the terror is unaware that they are experiencing one. As a result, they may become even more agitated if told that "it was just a dream," as they are quite convinced that the experience is real. The quickest remedy is simply to calm the person by telling the person that you are there for them or simply say, "I'm here" or "I love you". Telling the victim "It's OK" or "nothing's there" may agitate the sleeper further because feelings they are feeling are very real to them and obviously not "OK". However, simply knowing the person's source of "calm" helps immensely. If he/she has a favorite companion dog or cat, telling them that the cat or dog is warm in bed, safe and asleep, and that they need to sleep as well could also be a good trigger. Calm the person and convince them to "go back to sleep" In some cases, they may be calmed by the mere presence of familiar person.

As far as Belle, SnoWhite and Fiona were concerned , the above suggestions would have been a perfect way to deal with the situation but with Beauty I am never sure that she understands what I am saying and touching and holding are not always a good idea even when she is well or not experiencing a night terror, such is the contrariness of the autistic mind. I should imagine that the percentage of children with autism who suffer from night terrors is probably the same as the percentage of normally developing children who suffer from night terrors. Next on my to-do the net to see how other parents of children with autism deal with night terrors. Just in case it happens again.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I really believe that my poor Beauty needs to go into isolation during the winter to be able to cope, she has JUST recovered from that flu bug thing and now she has a a temperature and a really productive cough and she is really poorly bad. I don't think that she will be able to go out with the child minder on Sunday and possibly she might not be well enough for school on Monday. Hey I'm with the 'let's wear hospital mask's in public' brigade if it stops my Beauty getting sick all the time.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When Beauty was small, Anastasia, Beauty and I went to Paris for the weekend and we saw a group statue and one of them was wearing a hospital mask.The funny thing was I didn't notice the mask until we looked at the photo's when we had them developed at home! I would make a rubbish expert witness. That visit was also the first time that I saw street statue artists.................there are so many now that you trip over them in the street! I personally find them very odd and they unnerve me a bit. A bit like a picture on a wall where the eyes seem to follow you.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
After weeks and weeks and weeks of being badgered by Fiona to have her hair cut, YESTERDAY WAS THE DAY. She looks really good. Whilst she was having her hair cut I took Beauty for a walk to see the other shops and I bought her the cutest little 'primpesque' hoody.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Her sisters inform me that not only will she hurt me when she is older for dressing her like this but she will also never speak to me again when she finds out that I put the pictures on the internet! I personally think that she looks really sweet. She's a little kid for pity sake, it's not as if I am dressing her like a mini-lolita. When we were on holiday recently we went to the hotel entertainment every night so Beauty could watch the mini-disco. I was shocked to see little girls of Beauty's age dressed like 21 year old out on the pull. One little girl who was about 9 years old constantly wore mini-mini skirts and cut-off halter tops and a face full of make-up. AND her dancing was so provocative she made Christina Aguilera's dancing in 'Dirty' look positively modest in comparison! I don't think that the parents are wholly to blame either, shops manufacture and sell this rubbish! Children are enough at risk as it is without dressing them so provocatively, you may as well put a neon, light over their head which says, 'come get me'.
Last night I watched a TV show about child anorexics and I was appalled to see that the youngest receiving treatment was 12! There has to be something wrong with a society that has such young girls suffering from such an awful illness.Magazines bombard them with 'PERFECT' images, they see stick thin celebrities, they see it on TV and all around them and nobody will accept responsibility and the parents have to pick up the pieces.
The human psyche is such a fragile thing, those responsible for the damage should be made to address the situation rather than merely profit from it.
The definition of anorexia used to be something that we were led to believe only affected young girls but today I believe we all have food issues. I think about everything I eat and yes guilt is a big part of it, I eat healthy food but I eat too much healthy food. I think SnoWhite is one of the few people who I know who has no problem with food. She is a slim10-12 and eats whatever she wants, she has the same high metabolism that I had at her age. Sadly it will not last.
Last night the girls were watching a stand up comedy show and one of the comedians made a joke about autism, it was just a play on words ........autistic/artistic. I actually found it quite funny because in it's own way it accepted autism as a normal thing. I did not feel it was patronising or mean in anyway and it was no different to somebody telling a joke about flat feet. Perhaps that is what we need more of , conditions such as autism being treated as different not special.


Thursday, February 22, 2007


Brilliant piece that I found on the blog SHALLOWLANDS

Cyber people of Britain dot com,

This is your prime minister here, virtual hand gesture, shiny hard-drive, smiley emoticon. I have now read your 1.7 million emails. I had a bit of trouble, I couldn't make the smiley paper clip thing go away, so I have made him minister for Northern Ireland.

I do understand your worries about the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy. Believe me, there is nobody more concerned about vehicle tracking than I am. After all, I need to know where Gordon Brown is at all times.

As I said at a party conference, I am listening. I hear. And I will act. Apparently, deleting with this matter will be simple. Sorry, did I say delete? I mean dealing with this matter will be simple. Why did I think of the word "delete?"

But do keep your ideas coming in. Number 10 values receiving your half-baked ideas, as we've decided to start charging £1.30 per email.

Blogging off for now,


'TWIST ME AND TURN ME AND SHOW ME THE ELF......................'

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Last night I watched a program on TV called My Family and Autism.
Jacqui Jackson had seven children, and all four boys have a form of autism. 14-year-old Luke tells the story of his family and provides a unique insight into how the world can seem to a child with autism. For his mother, Jacqui, the challenges of caring for her sons includes a relentless search for anything which may improve their life - a special diet, a consultation with a research optician, and a visit to an educational psychologist. But as Luke is always saying, "different is cool", and this special family more than proves it.

It is a repeat of a program that was shown on TV in 2003. At the time it was shown Beauty was approximately 2 nearly 3 years old and I remember being upset watching the show the first time because the youngest child who is profoundly autistic was so much better than Beauty. BUT I can now look back with experience and can accept that all children are different, even children on the autistic spectrum.
The show had so many similarities to my own life and seeing the connections to my own life made me laugh. For instance, the typical night where the children would not sleep!!!!!!!!! Sound familiar?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
How many nights have I spent with SoWhite and Fiona wandering around all night. As in the TV show, the sleep pattern of the profoundly autistic one is really the easiest to cope with.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I have thought many times that The Borrowers must live in my house as so much seems to go missing. My children call my house the Black Hole of Pentwyn. In the TV show all the laces went missing from their shoes..................that is so something that would happen in my house! Things disappear and show up years later! I have stopped asking why when I come across something weird in my house, now I just think O.K it is better not to know. We have many situations like 'sausage (or was it a chip) down the side of the cooker' in Adrian Mole.
For instance, I went on holiday approximately 18 months ago and returned to find the living room mirror cracked! My offspring had no clue as to how it happened and I really believe that they did not know. Bloody Faeries Again! I don't want Faeries in my house, I want Brownies. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
All my girls have been through Brownies and Guides and I love the story they tell in Brownies about the Brownies that secretly live in the house and do jobs and acts of service. £5.50 an hour to any Brownie(of the adult helper variety) who wants to come live with me!
Once upon a time, there were two little girls who lived in England with their granny and their father. The girls played all day while the granny and father had to work very hard. One day granny told the girls about the Brownies, who used to do lots of things to help around the house. They are gone now, she said, but we were always so much happier when they helped. The girls wanted to know where the Brownies had gone and how to get them to come back. Granny said, "only the wise old owl knows!"

That night, when everyone else was asleep, one of the girls ran out of the house into the magic forest. There she found the wise old owl. "Please", said the girl, "where can I find the Brownies to come and live with us? The owl said, "I know where two live – right in your house!" She was very surprised! Tell me how to find them, she begged. He told her to go to the pond in the magic forest, turn around three times and say, "twist me and turn me and show me the elf… I looked in the water and saw…….!" The wise old owl said, "When you finish the rhyme, you will see the Brownie in the magic pond."

The girl went to the pond in the magic forest and did as she had been told. She went back to the forest and found the wise old owl and said, " something must be wrong, I did all you told me to do and I only saw myself! And I am not a Brownie!" " Are you sure?" said the owl. To be a Brownie, you must be ready to help those around you, make friends wherever you can, and every day try to discover something new. "I'd like to be a Brownie", said the girl. Then go home and try, the wise old owl said kindly. He touched her hand with his feathers, and suddenly she was back in her house, in her own bed.

Quietly, she woke up her sister, told her all that had happened. Together the girls tip-toed into the kitchen and began to clean the house. In the morning, when granny and father saw the house, they wanted to know what had happened. "Who did this?" said granny and father! The girls danced around and shouted, "it's the Brownies!" And from that day on, theirs was a very happy house near the forest, all because of the Brownies!

Last night SnoWhite's boy 'friend', a boy who is a friend came over to visit. He hadn't been over in a long time because SnoWhite has her own flat but recently she has taken to spending most of her time in my house(her flat is very cold). When he came and sat down in the living room the first thing that he said was,'Where is Beauty' and for a second I was a bit confused and said,' in her bed of course!' not remembering that the last time he visited Beauty was still awake and wandering around until 1am. How quickly you forget, having her in bed and asleep a few minutes later is such a blessing and something I thought would never happen. She now goes to bed promptly at 9pm, any earlier and she is up at stupid o'clock! perhaps going to bed earlier will come in time.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Last night SnoWhites's boy 'friend' did not show up until about 11pm because he was at Magic.
That is Magic of the card variety, not tricks. No matter how hard I try and get my head around it ,Magic is just something I do not understand.

Magic: The Gathering (colloquially "Magic", "MTG", or "Magic Cards") is a collectible card game created by Richard Garfield and introduced in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast, which was later purchased by Hasbro. Magic was the first example of the collectible card game genre and still thrives today, with an estimated six million players in seventy countries. Magic can be played by two or more players each using a deck of printed cards or through the internet-based Magic: The Gathering Online on a computer.

Each game represents a war between powerful wizards who use magical spells, items, and fantastic creatures depicted on individual Magic cards to defeat their opponents. Although the original concept of the game drew heavily from the motifs of traditional fantasy role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Magic bears little resemblance to pencil-and-paper adventure games. Rather, Magic is more similar to bridge or poker but with substantially more cards and more complex rules than other card games.

The world-wide popularity of Magic has spawned an organized tournament system and a community of professional magic players as well as a secondary market for Magic cards. Magic cards can be valuable due to scarcity arising from their power and utility in game play or the aesthetic qualities of their artwork.

Perhaps if I saw a game being played it might be different.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
SnoWhite also bought her boy 'friend' a steak as he hadn't eaten, I can still smell the steak this morning. Even though I am a vegetarian I still love the taste of meat. I don't eat meat because I really don't like the thought of the animal I am eating but that doesn't mean that I don't like the taste of meat. When I used to go out for a meal I ALWAYS ordered steak or a mixed grill and I loved every bit of it.
I know that I physically could not eat meat as the thought would make me sick but still I lust after it.
Ariel is still in Florida visiting Belle and she has been there about a week and comes back on Sunday. Yes Ariel I do miss you(and not just because it is quieter) and you being away reminds me how much I miss you and Belle and Anastasia in Vienna. See you soon Ariel and see you Anastasia and Belle in May for the wedding.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Whilst searching blogger search today I came across a blog entry where an individual wrote that they had sex 2 days ago and my first reaction was,'bully for you'. I am just gob smacked sometimes at the things I read on the net. I was watching an episode of NCSI a few weeks ago and it was all about pay-to-view sex and I could not believe that all this was going on and I know nothing about it. Obviously I am aware of the 'child porn' cases in the news but I don't think my mind has ever really processed the vastness of what is actually out there and I find it very scary.
There was a case in the news a few years ago of an ex-marine in his 30's who abducted a teenage girl who he got to know on NeoPets and my 15 year old used to be on NeoPets a lot. Thankfully my 15 year old would NEVER have gone off with a total stranger in this way, she just would not have had the confidence to meet a stranger in this way. Being only 'somewhere on the spectrum' thankfully only affects aspects of her life and I do not believe that her judgement in a situation like this would be adversely affected. However, I think that I am going to have to be more aware of the net in future with regards to Beauty because obviously I do not know how she will progress.Autism can affect a person in many different ways and not always how you would expect. Children on the autistic spectrum can have obsessions i.e specific toys, cartoon characters etc which can make them vulnerable because these things can be used to entice them away. Sometimes Beauty can meet a person just the once and she loves them to pieces and treats them like her best friend. She once had a visit from a psychologist who she had never met before and when her left she cried for hours and was inconsolable and he could have been a mad axe murderer for all she knew. Quite regularly Beauty turns Ariel's MSN on without realising it and I only get to know when I hear Ariel's friends PINGING her. One day we found that Beauty had opened a window accidentally and it was a French person asking if she wanted online sex!O.K
When SnoWhite was younger and a lot more naive(it is possible!) she got angry with the computer and repeatedly typed in the word S*H*I*T and it turned up page after page of porn. My girls are very careful now what words they actually 'google'. I make sure of that!
Even now I am occasionally surprised at what a google search will throw up, usually it comes from typing in a girls name or getting a well known websites name slightly wrong.

Being half term I was quite impressed with Beauty having a lie in and letting me sleep until past 8am but waking up to constant nursery rhymes can be a bit trying. Rock-a-bye baby seems to be the favourite at the moment. Beauty however is always thrilled though when I say 'O.K I'm getting up', she stops singing instantly and bounds out of bed.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Oops!Late again, sorry Vienna..........I know that you check in to see what's going on in the mornings. I must have been looking less 'miserable' this morning because Fiona asked me if I was feeling better! Don't worry , Fiona wasn't showing her softer side by showing an interest in my welfare, just wondering if I was well enough to take her over to the hairdressers to make an appointment for her. Which reminds me of Philip Schofield from This Morning when they had the knife throwing act on, even after the assistant had been struck(not badly of course) by a knife he could still be heard asking how many knives had gone into the board!That's it Philip, the show must go on.
I think I must be feeling better,for the first time in ages I have woken up without feeling like I have been kicked in the head by a donkey. If it had been half term when I was really ill then I don't think that I could have coped with Beauty as well. Good news on the child minder front though, I have been granted extra respite care during school holidays which means that Beauty will be going out for an extra 3 hours tomorrow afternoon. Beauty went to Roath Park on Sunday but she wasn't too impressed with walking around the lake so they went back to the child minders house and Beauty happily played with toys for the rest of the afternoon.Oh what a fickle child, she usually loves walking around the lake.
Momentary panic over, I couldn't find Beauty........I found her on the floor in the bedroom by the back door. Fiona is fast asleep on one of the beds and Beauty had made a bed for herself on the floor next to her sister and saying , 'Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight'. Beauty has gone into giggle mode(again) whilst chewing on a dinosaur, you couldn't make it up! Reality is definitely stranger than fiction.
I was searching blogs today and I found one where a mother said that in Europe Doctors still believed that autism was caused by cold parenting.I haven't heard any doctor actually say that but I honestly believe that any Doctor who suggested to me that my child's autism was caused by my cold parenting would witness my less than cold reaction! A couple of times Beauty's sisters have commented on how affectionate I am with her and I think they feel that I was less affectionate with them but that wasn't true. I was just the same with them but they don't remember. Beauty was assessed by a psychologist when she started school and the psychologist said that her emotional development was that of approximately a 12 month old. It feels like we have had a toddler in the house for 5 years so they have witnessed the affection that you give to a toddler for a prolonged length of time. When Beauty was assessed by the psychologist her separation anxiety was also a major issue but I feel that has improved immensely. Now she is happy to go to bed, stay in bed on her own and will go to sleep without anyone staying with her.
Though we do think that she has an issue with the window and maybe it frightens her a bit when she goes to bed so I am going to put up some larger, wider curtains so she can't see the night sky at all (though she does love being out in the dark so I wonder if she is afraid..............only when she starts talking properly will we really find out).

Monday, February 19, 2007


Beauty has her giggle pants on today! Everything is a laughing matter as far as she is concerned. I took her out to the shops today and every few minutes she would burst into spontaneous laughter, perhaps she was seeing fairies again! As we turned into ASDA (WALMART)car park, Beauty could hardly contain herself with joy, ASDA(WALMART) means a new comic.Beauty is now a connoisseur of comics, when we get to the comics she has to handle each comic and assess the quality of the free gift.I don't think she realises how lucky she is when it comes to comics, on Fuerteventura we found only one comic all the time we were there, thankfully we had taken some old ones with us. Today's toy is a xylophone and Beauty went around the shop playing and singing.
Even though I am still feeling really rough, Fiona informs me that I do not look ill only miserable! Such is honesty. Who needs friends when you have children on the autistic spectrum. Perhaps I look o.k because the sicker I feel, the more slap I put on.Gee you can't win.Definitely the worst illnesses are the ones you can't see, not a lot of sympathy going begging when the only evidence of illness is what you say it is.
My idea of sympathy is a child spontaneously filling or emptying a dishwasher for you without the threat of physical pain or being thrown out of the house.
Beauty is 6 years old but wears clothes between 6 and 10 years old as she is quite tall for her age. ASDA(WALMART) recently started to sell an adult range of clothes which included a size 4 which is the same as a US size zero.Personally I think that ASDA should be ashamed of themselves. A size 4 is the equivalent of a child size 8, only very rarely can an adult be a size 4 and be healthy. ASDA(WALMART) has just reduced this new range of clothes and LOTS of the reduced clothes are a size 4. GOOD!
Let us hope that ASDA(WALMART) has learnt from this. Morally and financially!

A-The young person who goes out on a winter's day in canvas pumps, flared jeans(scraping the floor by about an inch) wearing a white(!) coat and is shocked when they get soaked to the skin on their way home from university.
B-The young person who when I mention that this months phone bill is approximately £15 more than usual laughs naturally and honestly says, 'It was probably me'.

Both of the above are the behaviour of SnoWhite, one would think that the behaviour in situation A was the sign of someone with a few issues but no, as a mother of six girls I would say that was pretty normal behaviour(for my girls and other girls locally) whilst admitting to the phone calls promptly and without guile is a bit unnerving and a bit more to worry about. A lot of children would probably hedge their bets and say nothing(or deny it). Thank you anyway for the honesty Snowhite!(Well I think I'm supposed to be grateful!).
Autism is a strange thing.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Before I went to sleep last night I instructed my children that
A-They were not to wake me up by asking me stupid questions ie Can they cook something at stupid o'clock.
B-They were not to listen to music and wake me up
C-They were not to make ANY noise and wake me up
The warnings worked. Beauty slept in until gone 8am! And me with her. I agree with the theory that autism cannot be 'cured' but it sure as heck can be taught.
Having a sense of humor definitely helps when you are not well. I have been unwell now for about 3 weeks, it started when I caught a cold on holiday in Feurteventura. Beauty bounced back after about a week of being unwell but I think that I caught different bugs from different people rather than the first bug lasting so long. Everyone in my website design class was ill with sniffles etc and everyone in my digital scrap booking class also had coughs and colds. Also Beauty's teacher and teacher's aides have also been off with the 'winter flu' virus that seems to be hitting the local hospitals. I spent yesterday feeling dizzy and disorientated and I was worried(as a nurse I worry about all medication) that it might be to do with the decongestant medication I was taking so I did not take my last dose last night. After a very bunged up nose kind of night, with dizziness and disorientation persisting and head throbbing I am now convinced that the decongestant tablets were not the cause of my dizziness etc but were making me feel tons better! My nose and head feel like my nose is broken,Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I dropped a lava lamp on my nose when Beauty was a baby and it feels just like that.(Yes, what kind of idiot drops a lava lamp on her nose I hear you ask!ME)It is actually quite surprising how strong Beauty's head is, she re-broke my nose a few times by accidentally head butting me! We seem to have a tendency for breaking noses in our family, Anastasia was the first. Swiveling on an office type chair when she was about 6 or 7 she fell forwards onto the edge of a desk and broke her nose! SnoWhite was helping to pull the fold-down seats up on our 7 seater and it swung back so fast it caught her in the nose! Ouch. Anastasia re-set it for her on the spot!Thank you Anastasia, you are not just a pretty face! Ariel seems to break toes and wrists a lot(like me) but not noses, and Fiona and Belle have broken their wrists but again not their noses. I don't think that we are a particularly accident prone family, it is just that there are a lot of us. Beauty went through a spate of being in Casualty every few weeks or so but thankfully that is over! Beauty's first visit to casualty was her second Christmas when she found a twinkle light holder under the Christmas tree and put it on her finger like a ring, it was so tight that she had to have it cut off(the ring not the finger) with a ring cutter before her finger, which had turned blue, fell off. Beauty has a very high threshold for pain so we have to watch her carefully as she could break bones and not make a fuss!
Beauty continues to wear her new hat, with the bells tinkling on the hat I keep thinking that next-doors cat must be somewhere in the house. I wonder if giving an autistic child a hat with bells was such a good idea! Beauty loves to jump and flap her arms so the noise can be constant at times, there must be a lot of angels out there getting their wings at the moment.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Today I went shopping in Tesco and found them selling these wonderful hats for St David's day.After 23 years of sending my girls in to school on St David's Day in traditional costumes(2 years for Beauty), I have decided that now is the time for change! Sorry girls but they weren't around when you were small.
I am a diamonds are a girl's best friend kind of girl, Anastasia is a bag girl, Belle is a T shirt girl, SnoWhite is a shoe girl, Ariel is a Primp girl, Fiona is an anything Hello Kitty girl whilst Beauty is a hat girl and boy does she have lots of them. She will wear her hats all day...........and to bed if she can manage it!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


This time it is not daughter number 6( who is profoundly autistic, she is sleeping like a baby!), it is not daughter number 3 (who is somewhere on the spectrum and woke me at 5am yesterday!) BUT daughter number 5 (who is also on the spectrum and lives on the planet Fiona!).
I awoke to to find her asking me could she cook pasta! I blame all night TV, she is watching a house makeover show! When I was growing up there was no all night TV and only at the weekends did we have late night films. Fiona like SnoWhite(21 year old sister) is somewhere on planet autism.
I have read a lot about autism(hasn't every parent of a child on the spectrum?) and there seems to be approximately 4 boys who are on the spectrum to every girl but that is just a statistic and obviously varies from area to area. I was quite surprised to read recently that in Utah in the USA the ratio for girls being on the spectrum is higher(I wish I had noted the article) and this was being discussed on someones blog in the light of Utah's polygamist history(possible reduced gene pool) and the possibility of autism being a genetic thing.
I have also read that autism is a male-brain cannot comprehend(unless you have been there!) what it is like to be in a household where 3 girls, with three sets of female hormones rushing around and on the spectrum, can possibly be like. Fiona and SnoWhite are like a pair of feral cats when they set to each other, fights between them are infamous!Yet it is usually not a physical thing, they have the same nasty habit of giving one punch and then running like a squealing rodent. When the civil partnership laws came in in the UK I read what one gay man said, 'if you thought divorce was bad before then you have no idea what it will be like when two gay men separate', yep,I can imagine that the fur would fly.
Autism in our house is definitely not a totally male-brain thing. I have seriously hurt my wrist on one occasion holding one of them back. AND don't forget my autistic tendencies too.........but I am more the type who likes no noise, everything in it's place and just a quiet life really and there is nothing wrong with that.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Why am I, I hear you ask?
Because it is 5:30am on a school inset day and I and Beauty should be still asleep.
Who woke us up?
The daft bat of a 21 year old who has been on the computer all night photo-shopping photos of Beauty, suddenly she decides to watch a Grey's anatomy video on YouTube , WITH MUSIC..........!
'I'm sorry' she says
'I thought it was on quiet'.
It woke Beauty up and she got out of bed and came and stood next to me and said,'READY'.
Yep, I'm ready at 5am on a school in-set day to get out of bed and sit in a chair trying to wake up, doing a fair representation of someone experiencing catatonic symptoms!
Autism and it's behavioural tendencies are not reserved for the likes of Beauty,(profoundly autistic children) but can be seen in the likes of you and me and a daft 21 year old! Don't get me wrong, I love the 21 year old but her issues can be a heck of a lot more tiring than the 6 year old. When I look back and assess the signs that were there I can honestly say that yes it was easy to see she was autistic but the Doctor couldn't accept that she was autistic because she could 'pretend play' by pouring a toy tea pot into a cup! Give me strength..........Beauty can do that. Oh good the consultant was wrong, Beauty can pretend pour tea so she can't be autistic. I am sorry for my sarcasm, yes I accept that this was coming up to 20 years ago and autism had only really been defined 40 or so years before that BUT If I knew about it and could read the signs then so could the Doctor. The Doctor was just a little bit older that me, not an out-of-date GP who had qualified in the 1050's.
SnoWhite saw a speech therapist because she had speech but lost it, she had a lot of obsessive behaviours (I know, who doesn't!), a serious lack of awareness of danger and very little empathy but having said that she was the sweetest darling little girl. She very rarely spoke to teachers in school all the way through her primary school years and Fiona was diagnosed with the same type of selective mutism after also having speech but losing it. SnoWhite was diagnosed as having the same type of processing problems as Beauty but at the age of 21, not 2. In school the teachers were just grateful to have a quiet, well behaved girl. I do feel that one of the reasons for so many more children being found to be autistic is the fact that we are now more aware and have the confidence to say to doctors what we really think. If SnoWhite had been diagnosed early like her sister then I would still have wanted a mainstream education for her but I doubt whether it would have been through the medium of welsh. I feel that learning a phonetic language didn't help with her processing and she would have made greater strides just being taught through her first language which she is being taught through now in university.
I once attended a lecture where the idea was explored that we all are on the spectrum and exhibit signs. I can look back on things my parents said and did and yes they each had a number of behaviours that were autistic. I also have a lack imagination in certain areas and have difficulty accepting many things, at times my mind can be very literal. I look back at the behaviours of the girl's fraternal grandfather and he also had a lack of imagination in certain areas and lived a very set lifestyle. Sorry girls! You didn't stand a chance.
And as for Beauty's Dad..............a distinct lack of imagination and rigid behaviours there too.What was I thinking?
Remember the old joke.............look at the mother-in-law to see what the daughter will look like one day! Well I think the same is true with the way we behave.
In the evenings I can be found sitting at the kitchen table reading a book- I also love books. I prefer to stay in rather than go out and I love my that sounds like my mum. Or are they just learned behaviours? Who knows.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
See..........she should be asleep.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


The new blog is called ME AND MY WORLD.
I shall continue to write on this blog about Beauty, the family and Autism and my new blog will be me writing about my views on the world around me and my thoughts and opinions(I know, scary stuff!).On the new blog I get to talk about politics, philosophy, religion(sorry guys!) and general world goings on. Just a separating of what I write about already.
You can link under ABOUT ME on the main page , in my links or in my profile.

Remember the film ICE AGE?
Remember when Sid says,'Why am I the poop checker?'
Well that is me!
Beauty has been in nappies for 6 years and 4 months and that is way too long, I am afraid that we are going to have to deal with the situation. Over the last few months Beauty's language skills and understanding have increased immensely, so now is the time to put her new found understanding to good use. I think she will cope.
Autism or not I am sure she will cope. A couple of years ago I bought Potty Training in a Week by Gina Ford, Beauty was obviously not ready for it, will I use the book this time? I was so impressed with the book that I did something I never ever do with books! I got rid of it! To all the Gina Ford fans out there.........sorry! Please do not comment on Gina Ford's book as she threatens to sue people who discuss it adversely or criticise it.
Autism can be a very tiring thing at times ,unfortunately autism is not a 40 hour a week job with two days off a week and 20 odd days holiday a year. Oh I wish at times! It is the night times that leave me most exhausted. However, Beauty learning to use the computer has been an absolute blessing, she loves it and it is definitely stretching her brain.
I found this on Amazon Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism & Related Disorders: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents & Teachers by Maria Wheeler , does anyone know if it is any good? I think I shall order it and give it a go.
This a good article Autism and Toilet Training-By Danica Mamlet.
This I thought was important

impaired social interaction can be demonstrated by "the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction." Impaired social interaction can also be regarded as a "failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level" as well as " a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people" and a "lack of social or emotional reciprocity (American Psychiatric Association, 1994, p. 70)". Often autistic children are happiest when left alone, not seeking out connections with parents or peers. Autistic children may actively avoid interactions with others, straining away to avoid eye contact or being held. An autistic child does not get pleasure, as typically developing children do, from making their parents happy or proud. They may be taught to say, "I did it!" or "Look at me!" but rarely think to do this on their own.

That is so true. Beauty is not really interested in being praised for what she does which is an incentive for a normally developing child to do things.
Beauty has learned in the last few weeks that she has to let me do her hair or she doesn't get to go back on the computer and she has become very obliging, this I feel might be a very good incentive to make her sit down on the toilet for a few minutes.A lot of children with learning difficulties have treats as incentives such as sweets and chocolates, as yet Beauty will not eat any sweets but will eat chocolates but I do not want to go down that road as she has such thin enamel on her teeth and at the moment she only eats chocolate rarely.
Half term begins tomorrow with an inset day( a buzzy bee day) or teacher training day. I really feel that the teachers at Beauty's school really deserve the half term holiday as they are so hard working. I did part of my nurses training at another special needs school in Cardiff and it was such hard work.The communication difficulty I felt was the biggest problem that the children had and as communication increased then so did their ability to do other things. Here's hoping!
Life will be quiet in Cardiff for the next 10 days as Ariel has gone to Florida to visit with her sister Belle and brother-in-law Beau. It will be the first time that Ariel has met Beau as Ariel was away when Beau visited us from the US and she was in Spain doing an expedition with army cadets when Beau and Belle got married.
The weather here is still grey and that 'nothing time' that C.S Lewis talked about in Shadowlands seems to be easing a little as I noticed at about 6pm that there was still some daylight. I have never been one to suffer from SAD( seasonally adjusted/affective disorder) but I really do like it when the evenings start to draw out again. One summer we spent two weeks in Malta and I loved the way the locals spent their summer evenings either promenading along the front or sitting on the beach, it was brilliant. My idea of a relaxing life! We visited with family friends whilst we were there and they had moved from inland to a summer chalet for the summer and the father had to get up at 4am to be in work to lay a load of cement early as the weather was too hot later. The only thing I wasn't keen on was the lack of anything green, because of the heat everything was brown and burnt. But I am sure that I could cope!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007



Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
ONCE UPON A TIME..........................!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

STATISTICS...................'MY AR*E!

How accurate are statistics?

Today we have the following news report
UK is accused of failing children

The UK has been accused of failing its children, as it comes bottom of a league table for child well-being across 21 industrialised countries.The Unicef report looked at 40 indicators including poverty, peer and family relationships and health.The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland head the list.Children's charities have condemned the findings. The government says it has made progress on child well-being through several initiatives.

Unicef - the United Nations' children's organisation - says the report, titled Child Poverty in Perspective: An Overview of Child Well-being in Rich Countries, is the first study of childhood across the world's industrialised nations.A spokesman for the UK government said its initiatives in areas such as poverty, pregnancy rates, teenage smoking, drinking and risky sexual behaviour had helped improve children's welfare.

Welfare Reform Minister Jim Murphy said the Unicef study was an "historic" report, which used some data which was now out of date."It looks at some information and analysis from perhaps six, seven, eight years ago," he told the BBC's Newsnight. "Some of the information really is out of date in that sense

I have looked at he data used and feel that not all geographical, sociological and economic
situations in each country are fully appreciated with their regard to the data obtained.

In a list of countries by crude birth rate, based on The World Factbook, as at August 2006 it shows that the UK is above the following countries in Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

Romania, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Poland,Hungary,Switzerland,Germany, Italy,Canada, Malta, Poland, Czech Republic

Have they mentioned how this can effect their results?

I want to say straightaway that my evidence is purely anecdotal and I am not a sociologist, anthropologist , psychologist or any other -ologist but recently I read a news article about a decline in birthrates in Spain and a similar trend in other European Countries.When on holiday in Spain recently I read about a falling birthrate which was seeing the decrease of the larger Spanish families to families that only had one child. The article talked about how the government had become worried as to decline in population but the women of child bearing age felt there was no way they could afford to have more than one child. Because of this, from my own observation, Spanish children are adored and treasured and there is nothing wrong with that.

This is a list of by countries total fertility rate (TFR

Czech Republic

So does this evidence show that countries with a lower Total Fertility Rate fare better in the Unicef Report?
I think on average it does BUT did you notice that I did not list the countries that did not fit in with my theories?
So the less children you have then the better quality of life you have?
Well I think we were all aware that 'only children' gain many advantages from being an only child but possible sociological and emotional issues are not included in the UNICEF study. Of course you can't mention everything but please mention the possibility of other evidence skewing the results.
Larger families on limited incomes , whilst financially 'poor' according to statistics , do not necessarily live a less happy or fulfilling life. Yes I see this in a personal sense but I feel more upset that yet again statistics are being manipulated to show what the researcher wants to show(I showed how that could be done). I have 2 daughters who have graduated from University, one who is currently studying in University and one who will begin her studies in October and another who wants to study art. They grew up having less than their peers(being in Welsh Medium Schools and on scholarships to private schools was always going to ensure that) but they have said that they never felt that financially they missed out on anything they wanted(apart from expensive trainers I guess).

Colette Marshall, UK director of Save the Children, said it was "shameful" to see the UK at the bottom of the table."This report shows clearly that despite the UK's wealth, we are failing to give children the best possible start in life," she said."The UK government is not investing enough in the well-being of children, especially to combat poverty and deprivation."

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne accused Chancellor Gordon Brown of having "failed this generation of children"."After 10 years of his welfare and education policies, our children today have the lowest well-being in the developed world," said Mr Osborne.He also said government could encourage parents to have greater involvement with their children through "a framework of more flexible working".But he added: "I don't actually think government has the answer to all these problems."This is not all about politicians in Westminster passing laws, it's about social responsibility, it's about parents taking greater responsibility for their children, it's about trusting teachers in classrooms, it's about us as neighbours in a society playing our part as well."

I feel that much government money is being wasted on things that are less relevant(but that gripe can best be left for another day!) our children's generation are those who will wipe your shitty ass Mr Brown when you are old and in your dotage and ending your days in a nursing home, SO PLAY NICE!

David Cameron has a child with cerebral palsy and epilepsy and I really feel that his personal awareness of children with disability has influenced his views on the difficulties of having a child with physical and learning difficulties.
I wonder if Gordon Brown whose son Fraser who was recently diagnosed with signs of cystic fibrosis
will also come to this awareness..............we can only wait and see!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Well I am absolutely frazzled after such an early start, and most of my day has been spent at a funeral.A long term family friend, Emily Butler died, she was 93. I have known her since I was 14 and she was an absolute star. A lady in the true sense with a fantastic sense of humor. As the years have passed my attitude to dying has changed so much, when they have lived a full life like Emily then their passing at a good age holds no regrets only peace and is a blessed release. It was an honour to have known her. Her family were all at the funeral and it was nice to see them all again.
Whilst we were standing at the grave I was reminded of a story, forgive me for not remembering it exactly but I shall try my best. I was about a mother whose child died and she was so distraught that she took the dead child to a wise man and begged him to bring her son back. The wise man told her to go to the houses of all the people in the town and collect a pebble
( I can't remember what it was exactly) from the homes of all those who had not lost someone and suffered. She was not able to find any house that had not lost someone and suffered and so was able to accept the loss of her child.
As I stood at the grave I looked at the group of people who had come together, family and friends, people I have known for over 30 years and I could not see a person that had not lost a child, a husband, a wife , a parent or a loved one. Such is the path of life, we love, we care and loved ones pass on and we carry on but not forgetting. I still think of loved ones who have left my life and I think of them in the way you think of a relative that you do not see very often but you think of every now and then with affection.
So whilst going to a funeral on your birthday is not what most people would choose, celebrating the life of a great lady was a fine thing to do.


Yes it's my birthday and I am 46, sorry it just can't be! I still feel in my thirties, I don't think I will ever really grow up(whoever really does?)
It is only 6:45am and already I have had quite an eventful day, the whole of Pentwyn and Llanedeyrn had an outage of electricity at 5:20am and so SnoWhite and Fiona were running around like headless chickens looking for candles! I left them to it and drove to Tesco to buy food for Beauty for school, I was too tired to go to the shop last night. It was quite surprising how many other punters were in the shop already, perhaps they too had been awoken by their crazy off-spring.
I arrived home to find the electricity working and a little bit of normality restored(if that is possible in my home!).
And of course Beauty was awake due to all the noise Fiona and Snowhite were making.
Yesterday I found Beauty playing with a pumpkin light that we had at Halloween and I asked her what it was called and she said,'PUNKY', well it's close enough for me.
I have found a solution to the angry noises that Beauty makes when she doesn't get her own way, the noise is a cross between a screech and a cat being strangled! I make the noise right back and she immediately stops and puts her hands over her ears. And then she listens to what I have to say(well more so than her sisters). Well at least she doesn't swear like her sisters, that's a blessing.
One of Fiona's favourite TV show is 8 Simple Rules(for dating my daughter), well the program seems to be on EVERY day, I think I am now word perfect on the scripts of the shows.
I personally have only one rule about dating my daughters, YOU HURT THEM, I KILL YOU sounds good to me! Why make it more difficult?

Monday, February 12, 2007


Yes I know I'm late blogging today, Monday is always a busy day!
Beauty seems to have got into the habit of waking up and getting straight out of bed, no more lingering.............just up and away.And the first thing that she does is head for the computer and play on CBeebies, usually Charlie and Lola but she has also started to go more off piste and now I find her playing on welsh language sites and older children's BBC sites. she is a star!
I asked Beauty yesterday what her name was and she said, 'I AM ME'. The perfect answer!
She also is getting better at telling the time and the other day she told me that it was 8 o'clock but it was in fact 20 to 12. She has difficulty working out the small and large hands but she is getting there.She is on the computer at the moment, flippy-flapping and giggling and laughing at her games.
The last of my website classes today but a new class will start in two weeks, I also have another Digital Scrap booking class on Thursday before we break up for half term. Beauty also has an in-set(buzzy bee) day on Friday and then the whole of next week off and of course Ariel is going to Florida to visit Beau and Belle on Thursday(lucky moo). Please allow me to comment on your blog Belle, you can adjust the setting so any comments can be sent to your e-mail...........I need to be able to comment on that amazing puppy! He is so cute.
Can you also take photos of your scrap booking and either email the pictures to me or post them on your blog, I am looking forward to seeing them.
I have kept the Llanedeyrn Chemist in business today, I bought a decongestant and an Olbas(thanks for the suggestion, it's brilliant) inhaler for me, Beechams cold cure capsules and an Olbas inhaler for Ariel and later I went to pick up my painkillers. the inhaler really helps.
The BBC phoned me today and told me that they wanted me for their panel regarding the elections, so the serious diet starts now, not tomorrow but now. And they want a photograph of me for their website so I have to seriously airbrush a picture of me.

And to the news.
Elderly at risk in nursing homes
Elderly people were put at risk in two substandard nursing homes, says the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

A whistleblower, who worked at Laurel Bank home in Halifax, told Panorama of "mental torture" and verbal abuse.The ex-worker said she had seen residents hit with towels, splashed with water and shouted at. One resident said she had been slapped in the face.The homes watchdog says Laurel Bank has improved but plans to shut another home in Halifax, the Haven.

Tariq Malik, whose family run the Haven, declined requests for an interview but said in a statement: "Problems at the Haven are symptomatic of a much wider picture.Many small homes are struggling because they cannot afford to pay good salaries to get the right managers."Mr Malik said funding from local authorities was inadequate but that the company had learned "painful but valuable lessons".The Haven was appealing against closure and it wanted time to bring in a new manager, he said.Mr Malik insisted staff training had been improved, that "improper restraint techniques no longer apply" and that any member of staff accused of abuse was suspended while investigations were carried out.

So what's new?
When I worked as an agency nurse in many of the care of the elderly establishments in South Wales I was shocked to find that much of the work was done by a core of hard working caring staff whilst the rest of the staff did as little as possible. Many of the staff were also very unkind to the residents and did not care about them or their feelings, whilst others were downright nasty to them. To leave a person all night in their own waste to me is abuse and many carers would rather leave their residents all night and only change them and their beds at 6am.
And what happens when you try and tell these carers they are caring enough?
I have seen in the news of carers who have 'reported' qualified nurses for alleged abuse and it has turned out that there was no abuse and the abuse claims had come about because of the qualified nurse trying to make the carers 'care' more. Yes qualified nurses have abused patients and yes carers have also abused patients but as is suggested in the above article, it is
'symptomatic of a much wider picture'.

The whole system of residential and nursing homes needs to be thoroughly investigated and measures implemented to ensure the residents and patients are kept safe and are well cared for.
Would I work in a nursing or residential home again with the system as it is?
Not on your life!
The staff and the residents and the patients are just too vulnerable as the situation stands.




An Irish Blessing

(A Blessing from St. Patrick)
May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And, until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.