Saturday, March 31, 2007


Did anyone read this in the last week?

Call for blogging code of conduct

The support for a blogger hounded by death threats has intensified with some high profile web experts calling for a code of conduct in the blogosphere.The female blogger at the centre of the row has been shocked to discover that hers is not an isolated incident.It has led her and others to question some of the unwritten rules of blogging.It could force a re-examination of the way the tight-knit blogging community behaves.

the article goes on

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Ms Sierrra has personally witnessed the usually harmless feuding that is part and parcel of blogging take on an altogether more sinister tone, with threats of a violent and sexual nature gathering pace over the last month.
She agonised over whether to publicise what had happened to her, she told the BBC News website.
Since describing the campaign against her, she has been shocked to discover that cyber-bullying is widespread."As well as around 900 comments on my blog and hundreds of comments on other blogs, I have received around 300 personal e-mails and about 70% of them say they have been through a similar thing," she told the BBC News website.Among the messages is one from a blogger Ms Sierra described as "far more prominent than me" who has been avoiding industry conferences because of persistent online threats.
Ms Sierra herself pulled out of a planned appearance at ETech in San Diego this week.
She believes it is time the technology blogging community sat up and took notice.
"I think there is a culture of looking the other way. When other prominent people look the other way it is creating an environment that allows this type of behaviour," she said.
She also thinks it could be time to re-examine whether the blogosphere needs to be completely uncensored.
"There is an unwritten rule in the blogosphere that it is wrong to delete nasty comments. It suggests that you can't take criticism but now there is a sense that this is nonsense," she said.
Denise Howell, a US lawyer and blogger, believes that the blogosphere is no place for legal requirements.
"The tools of the Live Web have made it easier than ever for ordinary people to communicate and express views in their individual capacities, and to provide platforms, e.g. on their blogs, for others to do so," she said.
"I think anyone who enjoys any aspect of the Live Web would celebrate this fact, and agree its vitality would be impaired if the law expected or required these ordinary people to envelop themselves and their sites in elaborate legal provisos and conditions if they hope to be shielded from potential responsibility for the bad acts of others," she said.The Kathy Sierra situation is, she said, "forcing bloggers to examine their moral compasses on a number of fronts". But, ultimately self-regulation is the only way forward, she believes.

The first I became aware of cyber bullying was on DOOCE's website.
Dooce is the US woman who was sacked for talking about her workmates in her blog, hence the term be 'dooced'- to lose your job because of blooging.
Every few months or so Dooce publishes some of the emails she has received that are not so nice. Her latest batch of hate mail was published on 15 March 2007, I never cease to be shocked at the awful things people say.

Here are some of the best(worst) bits

You’re an absolute joke of the worst kind…GET A FRIGGIN LIFE.
And I hope your dog runs away and never comes back because that would be the best day ever!

Hi my name is deland i’m from salt lake i seen your story in the paper so I thought i would check out your blog . Well I think its Lousy it really sucks I bet the only thing U R GOOD AT IS SUCKING ON DICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, yes you have to be one of the most pathetic people I have ever seen in my life. for God’s sake (and I’m not even religious) please stop abusing your child.Your family should sue you too. I’ve enjoyed your blog but I thnk that you have some serious issues. I read about your legal battles, your depression and all of your other problems, and I can’t help but think that bad things keep happening to you because you are a bad person. I mean look at how much you husband and your child have suffered because of you, and the more publicity you try to get for yourself the more awful things seem to happen in your life. In addition when your child gets older and goes to school everyone there could know that her mother is literally crazy. Imagine how hard that will be for her. Why are you doing this to your family? Do you really need the money that badly?

Why did you turn comments off? Mad because they point out that you are medicated fool? That you really have nothing going on? That you really aren’t that sharp? That you act irresponsibly and foolishly? That you aren’t that attractive?

I just started reading. blogs like last week. I do’nt really care what mundan nerds do and then write about. But, you are so cynical. I c’ant get why you would have such a depressed. blase, I dont give a fuck, mean-spirited-attitude. Is that supposed to be “cool?” Its really dorky. Even the “dooce” thing is dorky…what is that? poo? a gambling reference? (SAHF) or a Shit Ass Ho Fuckingbadass? what does that mean? its soooo fuckin dumb….
oh, the only reason I feel compelled to do this, is cuz you get paid for it and its your job. Therefore, I am within my right to criticize. I certainly would’nt go picking on some 14 year olds blog, about the same mentality tho…

Every time I read the hate mail Dooce receives I am gob smacked that people can behave in this way. What are they trying to achieve? If it were fame from being published on Dooce's website it is a weird kind of fame, fame for being a nasty piece of work!

I try never to be nasty about people on my blog, I now feel really guilty because of the picture of Lembit Opik looking really dumb that I put on my site( I previously discussed how I felt I had lost respect for Opik because of him cheating on Sian Lloyd with a Cheeeky Girl).

I try never to be nasty to people as I really think there is something in KARMA.
Yesterday within minutes of writing

Would I be happy to be a patient in the NHS? The only way you would get me in to a ward is if I were unconscious and it was an emergency situation

I had fallen and hurt there's Karma for you!
Beauty was playing on her computer and something was really upsetting her, she likes to play lots of different games but doesn't understand how to play them all so she gets very frustrated.
I got up to help her and my arthritic knee just collapsed under me and I fell hitting my ankle, my knee, my hip and I really hit the side of my head hard on the door frame. I lay on the floor shocked, trying to decide whether I should puke or pass out but when I realised that neither were going to happen and the stars I had been seeing had settled, so I decided to see if I could stand up. I suddenly realised that I had forgotten about Beauty but all was fine, just as I decided to try and get up she came to me, stepped over my head and sat down at the computer again! The fact that she was totally unaware that anything had happened and her totally lack of empathy scared me more than the actual fall. What would have happened to her if anything had happened to me? Ariel my 17 year old is convinced that I need one of those emergency button things that you have on a string around your neck, if you have a fall then you press it and they contact somebody on your emergency phone numbers list.
I managed to get up fine, a bit of a sore hip and a lot of a sore head but I am sure no real damage has been done.
Imagine if Karma is real and I had said something really bad?(just joking).

Friday, March 30, 2007


After getting up so early not even the appeal of the computer could keep Beauty awake

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Sleeping Beauty

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Beauty's bad hand, she loves to chew here hands!
She really loves the plaster.

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The other night night I went to a Tesco superstore late in the evening to buy things for school for the next day and I felt that I had walked into a nurses convention. I was surrounded by nurses who must have just finished their shift and were shopping on their way home.............whilst wearing their uniforms! I walked past 2 student nurses looking at clothes who were holding the clothes against their uniforms whilst looking in the mirror. I am glad that I did not confront them in the store as I probably would have been thrown out. Having had MRSA which the Doctor told me afterwards he didn't think would heal and a friend who died of MRSA, I feel very strongly about this subject. I would however like to admit that ONCE I did go home in uniform(but I went straight home and did not go shopping) and felt so guilty that I never did it again, Remember I was trained in a time that you couldn't go out wearing your uniform without your hat ! I still have my original cape! We were also told that we were not allowed to smoke whilst in uniform. Well that one certainly no longer applies!
I read this this morning,
NHS staff 'would not be patients
Nearly two thirds of health staff would not be happy to be a patient in their own NHS trust, a survey shows.The Healthcare Commission poll of more than 128,000 workers also found just 45% felt patients were a top priority.And the watchdog urged the NHS to "redouble efforts" to cut violence against staff with one in three reporting attacks in the last year.Patient groups said views on patient care were "deeply worrying" and caused by the financial pressures in the NHS.

I have worked on many wards and in many hospitals due to having done agency nursing and I have found that over 95% of nurses I have met are really good, hard working people. BUT sometimes I have gone to wards and found individual nurses who didn't get off their butts the whole time I was there. I am sure that this is the same wherever you work, whatever the occupation. The other nurses seem to run around like headless chickens , unable to do everything because of limited staff numbers.
From what I have seen, low standards usually arise from low staffing levels. The overworked staff are just not able to do everything that is asked of them.
Would I be happy to be a patient in the NHS? The only way you would get me in to a ward is if I were unconscious and it was an emergency situation.

The children at Beauty's school made a Jesus' tomb to have in the school assembly.

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I also read this
Storm in US over chocolate Jesus
A New York gallery has angered a US Catholic group with its decision to exhibit a milk chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ.The six-foot (1.8m) sculpture, entitled "My Sweet Lord", depicts Jesus Christ naked on the cross.Catholic League head Bill Donohue called it "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever".The sculpture, by artist Cosimo Cavallaro, will be displayed from Monday at Manhattan's Lab Gallery.The Catholic League, which describes itself as the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organisation,also criticised the timing of the exhibition."The fact that they chose Holy Week shows this is calculated, and the timing is deliberate," Mr Donohue said.

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Whatever the purpose the artist had for creating the structure, I actually think that the creation
of the statue has quite a symbolic message. As with Christmas, Easter has become more and more commercialised and many see it as merely a time to exchange chocolate eggs. Whatever your religion, this time of year -SPRING-is seen as a time of rebirth and new beginnings and whilst chocolate is wonderful at anytime of the year, a time to take stock and re-evaluate is good. OK ...........Hippie message over!
My children think I was born too late and should have been born earlier as they feel that I am a tree-hugging, flowers in my hair wearing, non-meat eating , wicker- weaving Hippie. Oh well, variety is the spice of life.
The Easter biscuits Beauty made in school.

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Beauty is now home for 2 weeks easter holidays.

Thursday, March 29, 2007



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Beauty awoke this morning at 3:25am and is now exploring computer safety with Dongle on the computer, showing my computer ignorance I Googled dongle and found this.
Very clever!
On Monday I stopped by the Doctors surgery to make an appointment for one of my daughters but was told that I could not have an appointment for her until the third week of April! For the last year my Doctors have been using a system whereby you phone at 8am and try and get a place that morning to see the Doctor, if it is non-urgent and you fail to get a place then you have to phone back the next day but if it is urgent then they will fit you in somewhere. In the last year I have NEVER made a morning appointment because I see those as being for more important or urgent things. I have only needed antibiotics once and I was lucky enough to have an appointment anyway. I feel incredibly guilty going to the Doctors as they are so busy and usually my appointment is medication related so I try to keep the appointment as short as possible, the appointments are in 10 minute slots but I try to be out of there as quickly as possible.
My daughter's appointment would also be a short one, we need some information and possible referral but the quandary is do you wait nearly a month for an appointment or go in the more urgent cases in the morning?
If private health care did not exist then the NHS would go in to meltdown as it would not be able to cope with everybody but if you go for the private option then you are made to feel that you are queue jumping in some way or causing trouble.
I don't have spare money for private health care and any money I might spend on it would have to come from non-essentials such as food and clothing but if I had to spend the money I would find it.
Twice I have used private health care and each case resulted in the need for an operation but I want to add that in no way did I queue jump, as a Nurse I personally could not have done that. If any of my children needed an operation and I felt that the wait on the NHS was too long and by waiting it would cause them stress or concern then I would re-mortgage my house to pay for it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Coming home today I noticed that the 'pub-on-the-corner' was again open for business which must mean that the weather is warming up if it is warm enough to imbibe alfresco.


Last night I watched Life on Mars which is a detective drama with a possible time travel twist set in 1973. I find it to be very funny, probably because I vividly remember 1973.
Last night had one of the funniest one-liners of the show, Sam suggests to his boss Hunt that the crime they are investigating may be a hate crime and Hunt replies, 'What! as opposed to a I really,really like you crime'.
What a politically correct world we live in compared to 1973!


Second stupidest thing that I heard yesterday, 'are the Buddhist's the ones who don't believe in sex?' If Buddhists didn't believe in having little Buddhists then the whole Buddhist world would not carry on!
And the first stupidest thing? All my family knows not to give Beauty Daisies because she likes to eat them.........that's right EAT THEM! But after Beauty had eaten a daisy that had been given to her by her sister, her sisters response when being told off was, 'But she likes Daisies'
What like a shark likes to eat passing swimmers? But would you let them come and eat you by advertising your where about with a sign that said,' fresh human for lunch' and jumping into the sharks mouth?
SnoWhite and Fona nominated the 'stupidest thing's' heard,this was totally their own idea!
The other day I discussed idealism with the girls .........BIG mistake!
As an example for greater understanding I talked about when a fridge is open you see a lighted fridge but when the door is closed then what you have previously seen does not exist.
According to Descartes, we really know only what is in our own consciousnesses. We are immediately and directly aware of only our own states of mind. The whole external world is merely an idea or picture in our minds. Therefore, it is possible to doubt the reality of the external world as consisting of real objects. “I think, therefore I am” is the only assertion that can’t be doubted.

The answer to this is that an analogy is not a good way to discuss anything with a child on the autistic spectrum. Fiona could not grasp the analogy and got pretty pi**ed off when her argument against 'because I don't see it then it doesn't exist' was that the light isn't always on when you open the fridge because she likes to mess with the light and turn it on and off was not deemed as relevant! Beauty was awake at 4:45am and so my mind just cannot deal with the deeply philosophical and all I can think of at the moment is, 'why turn the fridge light on and off?' She got quite upset with this philosophical idea because she did not agree with it and thought it was stupid, and when I tried to explain it wasn't me who had expressed these idea but Descartes and he lived a long time ago and that she needed to take a chill pill , she was less than impressed. If there is ever the us of an analogy again with Fiona then Hello Kitty will feature prominently to grab her attention, with SnoWhite it will be Jared Padalecki!
However, I am the first to admit that stupid moments are also not just reserved for my children. Once on Big Brother a contestant asked how they could grow an egg into a chick and the production team made fun of the contestant! Well I am the first to admit that at the time I knew nothing about egg production and fertilisation and I am grateful for Google who has now filled that gap in my knowledge!
When I asked my parents questions that they didn't know the answer to they would tell me to look the answer up in a book,I tell my children to 'Google It'!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Recently the 2 minibuses at my daughter's school, a wild garden at a local primary school and numerous cars have been vandalised in the area where I live. As the police did not witness who committed the crimes it is really difficult to do anything about the situation. Gangs of golf club wielding youths between the ages of 10 and 16 have been seen wandering the area all hours of the day and night but unless you witness them doing something ................nothing can be done.
I was recently asked to write a short piece for the BBC Wales website on what I thought the Welsh Assembly and assembly members could do for young people. The reason that I had agreed to take part in the Wales 60 group was because I wanted to voice my opinions about Special Needs Education and provision. As yet I haven't managed to say anything on that subject.
I was so upset with the mindless vandalism that has damaged the two mini-buses at the Beauty's Special Needs School and the other vandalism mentioned that I used my recent piece on the website to discuss lack of parental control.
The question I was given for the recent piece was

What should candidates for the Welsh assembly elections on 3 May offer the young?

Other panel members talked about provision of affordable housing for young couples, another member talked about changes in secondary education and again affordable housing, another talked about set curriculum stifling teachers and families being better off working than finding it easier to be on benefits, another the worries of providing an education for your children, and another talked about young people feeling disengaged from politics in general.
I wrote the following

I am concerned with parental responsibility.

Two of my daughters are university graduates, one is in university and one is going in September and whilst they were growing up they had plenty of places to go and things to do in the area in which we live - Pentwyn, Cardiff.

They attended dance classes, youth club, went swimming and went to Guides and Brownies and when not attending activities they did homework, watched TV, used the computer or read books.

All these activities still happen in Pentwyn, as well as computer classes for children at the local community education centre. A skate park has been built at the leisure centre, where there are many activities for children and young people.

There is also a park and an all-weather pitch has been built which is within walking distance.

So why, then, do we have gangs of children of all ages wandering the streets, all hours of the day and night committing acts of vandalism and instilling fear into local residents?

Maybe they will not ask me to write again as they might think I am too stroppy!

And before I even got to voice my opinions on Special Needs issues, not much of a voice for the cause am I ?

Monday, March 26, 2007


Did you read this today?

Cabinet minister Ruth Kelly has lost her complaint against the Daily Mirror, over its coverage of her decision to educate her son privately.The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) rejected her complaint that the story had breached her son's privacy.The former education secretary decided to send him to a private school because of his learning difficulties.The PCC said the Mirror had correctly balanced the public's right to know with the child's right to privacy.In its ruling, the PCC said the issues raised in the article were "a matter of considerable public interest"."The fact that a Cabinet minister - who had previously been Secretary of State for Education and Skills - had elected to remove her child from the state system to be enrolled in a private school raised important issues for public debate," it said."Even if government policy included an acceptance of private schooling for those with special needs, the fact that the complainant did not feel that the current state system could meet her child's requirements raised questions about the nature of publicly-funded schooling and its ability to cater for children with special needs - including those whose families would not be able to pay for private schooling."

The article goes on to say

Mirror editor Richard Walla

Mirror editor Richard Wallace argued that it was "right and proper" to identify her, as her actions "were clearly at odds with government policy".

When a government minister tries to hide behind their child to get what they want then the truth need to be told. The headmaster of this child said that the child had minor dyslexia and the LEA were confident that they could deal with the situation but Ms Kelly was not so confident of the education system she had helped to shape .
Yes her actions were clearly at odds with government policy and had to be shown as such.
What about the government that wants parents to take more responsibility for their children but their leaders son was found drunk and incapable in a gutter. Nice!


Yesterday the aliens in Starship Troopers chased me up the street've guessed rightly IN MY DREAMS. And that was the sanest part of the dream.If I were to relate anymore of my dreams then you would be convinced that I should be certified. Probably a sign that I watch too much TV! And when I saw the film I didn't even watch it out of choice as I saw it in an hotel where I was working in the late 90's.Whilst I was doing nurses training I worked part-time as a waitress for an agency and one of the jobs that I did was working in probably one of the largest hotels in Wales. I was serving at a wedding and we had to keep returning to the staff room between courses and playing on repeat in the staff room was the film Starship Troopers. The TV was linked to the guest viewing system and all we could manage to get out of the TV all day was the film Starship trooper, the lads were thrilled and enthralled! My opinion of the film.............a war film, anytime, any place, anywhere! WITH TOO MUCH BLOOD!

Beauty went out for the afternoon with her child minder whilst I had a little R&R(rest and respite), Beauty had a wonderful time. They visited the beach at Barry Island and Beauty enjoyed it even though it was a very blustery day and quite cold. I think I need to search out my duffle coat so I can take Beauty for more walks in her little red wagon, when you go from car to shop you tend only to wear a little jacket. It was very sunny yesterday but still quite cold.
Late yesterday afternoon we went to Porthkerry Churchyard where my parents are buried, I took SnoWhite, Fiona and Ariel and we took some ornaments for my mother's birthday. Porthkerry Church is situated on a little green with 2 houses and a farmhouse hugging the edge of the green. Next to the churchyard is an old school house and Fiona said that she would hate to have a house that overlooked a churchyard but I told her that she had more to worry about in the living than the dead. I blame Buffy, she grew up watching it with her older sisters.

I am getting worrying thoughts! Passing through the garden this morning to get to the car to take Beauty to school I suddenly thought, 'I need to sort out my garden'. I must be feeling better, I am constantly having spring cleaning and de-cluttering thoughts! My garden is so small it would only take a couple of hours to clean it! Last week when I went to 'WHAT' a bargain shop, I managed to buy some garden windmills in the shape of flamingos, I don't care how stupid people think garden ornaments are, Beauty loves them. It is not as if my garden is Highgrove or Hampton Court. It will be nice for Beauty to be able to play out in the garden again.

The local council are doing grant work in my house and are coming around with the builders this afternoon to check the building work that has been done. I have had work done on my house because of Health and Safety issues due to Beauty being a lot of an escapologist. Our front garden that was pretty much unusable has been safety floored and a very high wooden fence put up BUT.......... the fence has been put on the wrong way round! The support slats have been put on the inside and Beauty can use them as steps to escape!
Also........ we had doors put in between my bedroom and her bedroom so a window could be put in so she could have the independence of sleeping alone but still be seen. And the work is done so badly that they will probably have to be taken out and done again and the fence will also have to be done again. Never mind, I am sure the work will be finished by the summer.............but which summer I cannot tell you!
Would life be so much fun if everything were easy!

Sunday, March 25, 2007



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We need more puppy pictures and news as we are all getting withdrawl symptoms.


For someone who has never considered themselves to 'suffer' from Seasonal Affective Disorder I certainly seem to whitter on enough about how I can't wait for the clocks to go forward an hour in March. And here we are ...........and I am ashamed to say I missed it. Silly moo!
At 6:30 this morning Ariel got up to go to work, she told me her bus was at 7:50 and I gently reminded her of the time. She looked at me pityingly and told me in a manner I have witnessed too many time in Care of the Elderly establishments (sorry probably not a very pc description but one most people use) that the clocks had changed. A few years ago, when the clocks all changed in the spring I altered all the clocks BUT forgot my watch and ended up in work an hour early for a night shift! It wouldn't have been so bad but that ward was staffed with a few very unpleasant members of staff and that night I was working with a particularly unhelpful member of senior staff. One hour extra can seem like an eternity in those circumstances.
As a result of working on that ward I left the NHS, I was newly qualified and a newly widowed mother of 5 children trying to keep it all together and I asked a senior member of staff for help with a certain procedure and she said , 'F-ck off, I'm not doing your work for you'. Considering I was allegedly meant to be mentored because I was so newly qualified, the mentoring was non-existent.I left the NHS and went to work in the private sector doing agency work which was as-and-when work and therefore better suited to a single parent. I loved working with older patients and I would never return to work on a ward in the NHS because of my fear of MRSA.
I am currently studying for a Masters in Special Needs Education(Autism) so when I return to work my career will take a very different path, it will probably be something in the community with individuals with Special Needs.
Thankfully no night terrors last night and no Sporticus this morning, Beauty seems to be happy dancing with Boogie Beebies.I seem to be losing touch with TV at the moment, due to Beauty's unpredictable sleeping I don't think that I have watched any TV in days which proves that I am not totally addicted! Even in the summer when I watch the likes of Big Brother I only catch the highlights and the eviction show(well that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!).A while ago I bought the the first series of Life on Mars on DVD and as yet I haven't got around to watching it.
I actually really enjoy watching TV and it is something that I do for an hour or so at the end of the day to wind down, I usually watch TV between 9 amd 10pm and maybe more if something interesting is on.

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Oops I have just remembered I did watch some TV last night! I saw the CAULIFLOWER episode of Two Pints of Lager............ even though they are repeats, Two Pints is one of my favourite shows on TV at the moment.


Check the last reference I gave you, we seem to be pinging off the radar again!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


It is 6am and Beauty is up, scoffing down fromage frais by the bucket load and watching a video on the CBBC website about how to surf the web safely because people may not be who they say they are. The story is about a crocodile who pretends to be a rabbit so he can meet and eat the rabbits!

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She went to bed at 9pm, had a very small episode of night terrors but mostly slept through the night.

This last week saw the Fallas celebration in Valencia in Spain.

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The origins of the Fallas Festivity goes back to an old tradition of the city's carpenters, who before the Festivity of their patron Saint Joseph, burned in front of their workshops, on the streets and public squares, their useless things and other wooden utensils they used to hold the candles that gave them light during the winter season. This is the reason why the night of the cremà (in which the Fallas monuments burn down) is always on March 19th, the Festivity of San José.

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One day I would really like to go and see the burning of the Fallas. Once on holiday I visited the museum in Valencia and I was so impressed that it is one of those memories that really stay with you.

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The museum hold a small number of Fallas(obviously not many as they get burnt!, photos and Posters from the poster competition. I once witnessed a Fiesta whilst on holiday on Malta at Rabat and it was an amazing experience, the fireworks were VERY noisy but funnily enough Beauty loved it.
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Though I think that the burning of the Fallas would definitely be a different kettle of fish.

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I have also witnessed a Fiesta in Fuengirola and the one thing I like best was the emphasis on the children, the sale of sweets , balloons and toys. Beauty was happy, she loves getting new toys on holiday. On our last holiday to Fuerteventura Beauty came back with a red parrot called Polly, a blue parrot called Paulie, a camel called Camel and a chess set(she chose the chess set!).
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I have also wanted to visited Oberammergau

At the beginning a solemn promise was made: During the Thirty Years' War the Black Death came to Oberammergau in the year 1632. In 1633 nearly every family bemoaned one or more victims as a consequence of the Black Death.
At the Cemetery (Beinhof) the Black Death invalids promised to act the history of Jesus Christ every ten years. The inhabitants of Oberammergau erected a Symbol for Jesus Christ. This is testified by an etching of the artist Hans Schwaighofer from Oberammergau.On Pentecost 1634 the inhabitants of Oberammergau acted the Play on a stage which was built at the cemetery and constructed over the fresh graves of the Black Death victims.

and in 2010 I will DEFINITELY go. I have wanted to go since 1980 but money or life always got in the way BUT 2010 is definitely the year.

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Did you know that the men have to let their hair grow to take part

Ash Wednesday 2009: The "Hair Decree" - from this date on all the men in Oberammergau taking part in the play are requested to let the hair on their heads and faces grow

Love it!
I may not be a traditionally religious person but I love to see how people express their religious beliefs in their way of life. Having a high proportion of relatives and in-laws that are Catholic I have witnessed and participated in many Catholic services and celebrations and I have always felt huge surges of spirituality at such gatherings.

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When I was in Valencia I attended a service in the basilica which was constructed between 1652 and 1667 .

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It was like stepping back in time with the older women in black dresses and head scarves, the incense and the prayers and the service was all conducted by candlelight

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Whilst on Malta I visited the St John's co-cathedral at Valetta and it was one of the strangest churches I have ever been in, very eerie.

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Friday, March 23, 2007


I forgot to tell you that the Water Tower on Cyncoed Road has been finished and is now for sale at £1,250,000!
Check it out

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Sleep(or lack of it!) seems to be taking over my life at the moment. Last night Beauty went to sleep at 9pm but was awake(!) again at 1:30am with a night terrors episode. Thankfully it wasn't as long as last time and she spent the time between my bed and her bed, repeatedly getting up and going into the other bed and falling back to sleep complete with snoring then up again after a few seconds and into the other bed! She finally fell asleep in my bed but I wasn't going to move her(do I look stupid to you! Answers on a postcard). Beauty's bed has a nicer mattress than mine so it wasn't too much of a hardship.
When my body stands still I seem to fall asleep on my feet, I fell asleep at 6pm and woke at 9pm the I went back to sleep at 10pm , awoke for the night-terrors incident and then slept through until 5am. I am impressed with anyone who can do this and work during the day, they must be super-human.

About ten years ago I fell down the stairs in my house and my Doctor feels that this fall is probably responsible for or contributed to the arthritis that developed in my back. The arthritis in my back is not in the usual area you would expect to develop degenerative arthritis with age.
I also have lots of pain in most of my joints and especially the bones in my feet and in my neck. At 46 I am not getting any younger and it is normal for the body to deteriorate and to wear out but I want to be as fit and healthy for as long as possible. I have been considering for a while now to have a Bone Density Test done at a private hospital because of my advancing years(I sound ancient) and arthritis etc, I would like to be aware of the possibility of Osteoporosis and ways that I can deal with it.
I would be prepared to seek private treatment because I do not believe that I would meet the NHS criteria for referral for such a test.
Today I read the following article

Crackdown on screening proposed
There should be a clampdown on private medical screening, government advisers are set to recommend.The National Screening Committee is considering how best to regulate the industry, Pulse magazine reports.It is acting because of fears there are too few checks on the sector - and too much pressure on the NHS.Tests cost from £10 for a cholesterol check to thousands for a body scan, but people can then be sent to the NHS for further - often unnecessary - checks.Sir Muir Gray, programme director of the National Screening Committee, said the whole industry would face close scrutiny and tough new regulations.He told Pulse: "We are thinking of how we control private testing because it's an example of low value activity which generates work for the health service, may cause harm and does not benefit the individual."Lots of GPs I know are very concerned about people who go to a private clinic for a blood test and then the people who run the private clinic say 'Oh your kidney results look a bit funny - just go and see your GP'."The Royal College of GPs is backing calls for tougher regulation.Professor Mayur Lakhani, chair of the RCGP, said: "Screening is becoming increasingly popular and is not without hazard if done in an unprepared way."Working to national standards would bring added peace of mind."
Dr Peter Mace, BupaWellness' Assistant Medical Director said: "We refute the allegation that health assessments cause patients anxiety. Our experience is quite the opposite."We identify a health issue for around a third of customers which they were previously unaware of."

Pianoman was asked by his Doctors if he wanted to take part in an NHS research project on Prostate Cancer due to him fitting the age and lifestyle criteria and he agreed. He had tests taken and when the results came back he had small but raised levels of the the indicator that showed he could possibly have cancer.
Had it had come back at this low level whilst receiving normal NHS care he would have been told that this could be normal and not indicate cancer and not to worry(information that he was given by the research Nurse and Doctor) and no further tests would have been done. But because he was part of the research program he was sent for further tests and cancer was found. He has since had radiotherapy and there are no signs of the cancer returning which of course is good news.
But still there is the possibility of what could have happened if further tests had not been done.
I know that financially the NHS cannot do everything but to limit the choice of the individual to seek private medical care is in my opinion immoral. Doctors who work in theses private hospitals are either NHS trained and still work within the NHS or have trained in other countries and have received approval to work in this country so they are competent practitioners.
I want to go to have a Bone Density Test and for the Doctor I see to give me a plan of action as to how I can best take care of myself. I can't see anything wrong with that.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Today Beauty had a lie in until 7:30 am! We seem to be having cycles of OK day and then early wake-up days. I hope that we at least get a few days of lie-ins.
Hi Belle
I forgot to tell you, you know Ariel's friend from US of number 7 daughter? Do you remember that she works in a photo shop in town on the weekend? Well guess who came in recently to have a photo taken for his US visa? seems that he and Ant want to make it big in the US and will be starting a show there soon!


I love clocks and mirrors! Not to an obsession because I have some rooms without either but my kitchen has a very large station clock, a timer clock and a cuckoo clock. Having friends who live in Switzerland I received a small cuckoo clock from there but I have always wanted a large cuckoo clock so last Christmas Anastasia bought me one. I love it is like having an extra member of the family that you have to consider constantly!
Due to my disabilities and Beauty needing watching 24/7 , we had an extension built a few years ago which meant that Beauty and I could have adjoining bedrooms but the extension is on the ground floor and the extra bedroom comes off the kitchen. AND the cuckoo clock works on a light sensor(well who would have thought it?Not me!) which means that the room where the clock is has to have it's light switched off before bed-time as the clock seems to have a light memory time of over an hour. 'Move it' I hear you all shouting at the stupid mother but not so easy, it cannot go in the lounge as Beauty would tear it off the wall. The hall walls are all thin board and nothing stays up very long and the second half of the kitchen wouldn't be any good as the clock has such a loud cuckoo you could hear it in Geneva, so that leaves the front kitchen.
Already I have suspended the use of the pendulum because that swings every second and is louder than the cuckoo! The cuckoo is so loud that it interrupts conversation and quite regularly I tell it to ,'Shut up' or say to it ,'Who asked for your opinion'. Beauty is at that stage where she says thing that really seem as if she understands a lot more than she wants you to think and her conversation at times can be alarmingly relevant. She also seems to include the cuckoo in her conversations! Yep, I know .............cuckoo the lot of us!

What a little sweetheart.

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Did you know

Ad campaign features newest NI model
A little Belfast girl has been chosen to represent the British Skin Foundation to help the charity raise funds.Anyone travelling in the London Underground will soon get the chance to see latest cover girl Olivia Curran.The three-year-old is not exactly camera shy.When she was given the opportunity to become the new face for the British Skin Foundation - she jumped at the chance.Her mother Patricia said Olivia has a birthmark which covers most of the left-hand side of her face.

The following is a wonderful piece of research. Whereas some of the research that I highlighted yesterday may have been a little obvious in the outcome, this definitely offers hope. As someone who has had MRSA and had a friend die from it ,I can only hope that the results of this research are found to be valid and can be used to combat super bugs.

Essential oils 'combat superbug'
Tests of new machine at a hospital have found it could be effective in the battle against the superbug MRSA.Consultants at Wythenshawe Hospital found that using a vaporiser to spray essential oils into the atmosphere killed off micro-organisms.Airborne bacterial counts dropped by 90% and infections were reduced in a nine-month trial at the burns unit.The recipe of oils used in the machine was refined by microbiologists at Manchester Metropolitan University.Scent Technologies, the Wigan-based company which makes the machine, developed the device to mask smells on wards but found it had a beneficial effect on infections.The study was started after the recipe of oils was modified by the university team, in conjunction with Wythenshawe consultant Ken Dunn."Many people will be aware that there are decades of experience with the use of essential oils to control infection," said Mr Dunn."I think the novelty of this is putting the two researched technologies together and being able to affect a really surprisingly large area of the ward with a single machine."There were no MRSA infections in the burns unit while the machine was being used with the recipe of oils.In the final two months the natural essence blend was removed from the machines and MRSA levels in the air increased - and there was an MRSA outbreak in the ward.But despite the apparent success of the trial, MRSA campaigners have urged healthcare professionals to continue with strict cleaning regimes.Bev Hurst, whose mother Margaret died from an MRSA infection, said: "If this is something that is going to help then that's brilliant."But it has to be in conjunction with everything else - it can't just be a machine on a ward."The National Audit Office estimates hospital-acquired infections contribute to some 5,000 deaths annually. Further tests are now being carried out.

Did you know(listen careful because I have a theory on this but don't quote me!)

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) was first detected in Britain in 1961 and is now "quite common" in hospitals (from Wikipedia)

How is it that MRSA was first diagnosed in 1961 but has only really become an issue in hospitals in the 90's and now?
I think it has developed because of a number of reasons.

I started training in to be a nurse in 1980 and did further nurse training in 1996 so I feel that I have enough experience(however limited) to comment on the changes in hospitals and nursing in the intervening 16 years.
The cleaning of the wards has been outsourced to the bidder who can do it for the cheapest amount of money in the shortest time. In 1980 the ward cleaner/maid cleaned the ward daily and maintained it to a high standard of cleanliness. Now when I visit hospitals I see dirty furniture, dirty walls(as portrayed in the Trial of Tony Blair),dirty floors and bulging bags of rubbish and dirty laundry.
When I trained as a nurse in 1980 we were taught how to wash beds between patients, clean lockers and do a whole load of other tasks which put the nursing staff in control of hygiene and in closer contact with the patients. This no longer happens because there are so few nurses per patient so that the patients are lucky to get basic nursing care as the nurses are being run ragged. When I trained again in 1996 most of our nursing care studies revolved around giving the patient Total Holistic Care.
Holistic Nursing Practice takes a whole-person approach to nursing addressing both medical and psychosocial concerns.
To borrow the words of Jim Royle of the Royle Family , 'Holistic Care...............MY ARSE'
Th RGN Nurses barely have time to give the patients medication, do dressings, endless paperwork, Doctor's rounds...........the list is endless, they may want to provide holistic care but many things are against them actually providing holistic care.
Th following article shows this

The lure of nursing 'Down Under'
They entered nursing with high hopes of working in a valued profession which made a difference to peoples' lives.But the staff shortages and cash cutbacks have taken their toll on nurses such as Sarah Hector and Rob Carey who have joined the exodus of staff heading for Australia.According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) 3,200 nurses of the 8,000 registering to work abroad want to work Down Under.Senior intensive care nurse Sarah, left her job in London worn down by the National Health Service's problems."I was sad to leave the people and my friends because the people here are brilliant but it's just the conditions, the lack of staff, the lack of finance that I'm not sad to be leaving," she told BBC One's Real Story."You just come away each day feeling demoralised. You've given your utmost best yet you still can't give the level of care that your are trained to do and would so love to give."She added: "I think my grievance with the NHS is a national thing - I think it is shared all over the UK."Everybody who works within the NHS, I think to a certain extent are disillusioned and would like change."

The article carries on

"I've been here for two years. You're really well supported, really well educated whereas where I used to work in the UK you'd have 12 to 15 patients and it would just be dangerous.
"When I got here they had a strict five to one ratio - five patients to one nurse - and I just thought oh my goodness because that would never have happened in England," she added.

So my theory is that money is the root of all evil (well dirt anyway).
You take the funding away and what do you think is going to happen?

An extra £400m to be allocated to the Ministry of Defence to cover overseas commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

What do I say to my 15 year old on the autistic spectrum when she asks why the government is spending £400m on 'Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere' when she knows that we have to fight for every penny in educational funding for her sister. Will the following
Investment in schools, hospitals, security and defence and infrastructure will rise from £43bn this year to £60bn by 2012

be enough to pay for repairs to crumbling schools, pay for resources and facilities for schools, more nurses and cleaner wards and suitable after-care for returning soldiers.
There is a pathetic group of unsupported ex-servicemen, who may be suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, who are homeless, jobless and wifeless

If a 2p reduction in the income tax rate is a pathetic attempt to garner votes for a political aim then don't bother Mr Brown, that money could have been put to many good uses.

Last night I managed to watch Freaky Eaters before my eyes would stay open no longer after Beauty's early morning wake-up.
In a way I did not think that the person on the show was a Freaky Eater she just had a good old fashioned food addiction.
Episode 6: Addicted to chicken
Everything about Debbie Ezeogu's life is great - her job, her friends, her flat. Everything, that is, except for her diet - a high fat, high salt and high sugar cocktail of fried chicken, takeaways and ready meals. At just 24 years old, Debbie is already clinically obese and risking some serious health problems. Can our experts help Debbie to understand why she resorts to food for comfort?

And her behaviour was that of a 14 year old child! All I could think was this girl didn't really want any help just 15 minutes of fame on TV. After a disastrous 45 minutes of the program where she didn't co-operate at all(she claimed that the lime juice in her Vodka was a portion of fruit") the finale was for her to produce a healthy meal for Natalie the nutritionist and Benjamin Fry the psychotherapist. Debbie ended up drunk on the kitchen floor!
You could tell that Natalie and Benjamin were less than impressed.
Many of these type of 'make-over' shows are predictable, take Super Nanny for instance, 45 minutes of the viewer wondering why social services are not called then in the last 15 minutes they become family of the year!
Well Freaky Eaters was anything but predictable last night, Debbie your eating habits may not have changed a lot but you were highly entertaining and are assured of a place in my memory.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The way that this is going there will soon be no point in going to bed! Wake-Up time is getting earlier and earlier and Beauty's voice is getting louder and louder on waking. Fiona has alarm clocks in her bedroom(!) but I have not had the need to use an alarm clock in years.
Such is the difference between Beauty who is profoundly autistic and Fiona and SnoWhite who are somewhere else on the spectrum. Whereas when Beauty awakes she sees no point in staying in bed (so much to do, so little time), Fiona and SnoWhite on the other hand do not see the point of going to bed at night but sleeping through the day and getting up when the fridge starts to call them or when Hollyoaks is on! Sounds like your average student to me!

Last night SnoWhite went to see a Westlife concert in the CIA in town, she took Ariel's friend as she is also a huge Westlife fan. I am so glad that SnoWhite found someone else to go to the concert with her because last time I had to go. Don't get me wrong, I really like Westlife's music but 2 hours in a concert seat is more that my old arthritic hips can cope with. The concerts are all seated so it is a bit pointless me being there as I cannot see anything, I have to sit down because of pain but everyone else stands up in their seat spaces. And last time I went I had one of my painful neck episodes so I probably would have had more fun watching YouTube..........sorry SnoWhite but hey, at least this time you got to go with somebody who was as equally mad about Westlife as you so it can't be bad!
When I was doing Nurses training I worked part-time in the CIA and got to see many concerts for free, in comparison to some of the shows I have seen, i.e Blur, Oasis, Gary Glitter(save me God)...........I have to say that Westlife's stage show is up there with the best. Tom Jones' one man show, no warm- up act , was equally as brilliant.
Sorry, am I waffling? Lack of sleep can do that to you!
Oh no, Sporticus is back, bouncing around in my kitchen! Now I know that I am truly awake.

I read the following on the BBC website

Councillor sold partner for sex
A councillor who advertised his girlfriend for sex over the internet has been given a suspended sentence.Alan Burkitt, 48, of West Bromwich, West Midlands, admitted four counts of causing prostitution between November 2005 and February 2006.The court heard more than 20 men paid £50 for her services while Burkitt, an Independent member for Sandwell Council, sat in the room next door.A council spokesman said the council found the matter "abhorrent".Prosecuting, Stuart Clarkson told Wolverhampton Crown Court the woman had an IQ of 52 and mild learning disabilities."She is easily led and was not able to give informed consent to sexual activity in return for money.

It seems that in his defense the Councillor said

In mitigation, Andrew Fisher said she had consented to the work and that it was to help them out of financial difficulties."He thought both of them could put themselves forward to earn money on the site, but to nobody's surprise there was little interest in him."He said the woman made the accusation after she mistakenly believed he was seeing another woman.

What a git!
And he was given a suspended sentence! The courts are mad. This elected councillor sold his learning disabled girlfriend for sex and the courts are OK that this person is allowed back out onto the streets with just a suspended sentence. What a warped vision of reality the courts have.

And what would they have done if he had been violent to her?
Given him community service somewhere sweeping floors?

we are still jailing 6,000 people a year for non-payment of fines.

Yet this little git sells a learning disabled women into prostitution, puts her at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and violence and profits financially for the situation and the bloody judge thinks that a suspended sentence is an adequate punishment. It doesn't look like any punishment to me.

I saw this new story and thought ,'Oh really!'

Dance 'could keep young healthy'
Dance classes could be a good way to tackle childhood obesity, say ministers.Public health minister Caroline Flint and culture minister David Lammy touted the idea on a visit to the Laban dance centre in London.They highlighted research by Laban which found children who dance enjoy physical and psychological benefits.The researchers said creative dance should be considered as an alternative to sport for children.They said it might encourage girls who have no interest in sport, or other physical activities, to stay healthy.A separate study by the University of Bristol found that a small amount of moderate exercise a day could have far-reaching benefits for children.

I am so glad that government money did not fund this research being touted around by government minister Caroline flint.
Could we the public not have figured this one out ourselves?

Research seems to be telling us many weird and wonderful things, for instance
The Prison Service has said it will not fund further research into prison food even though a recent study found that changing inmates' diets cut violent behaviour by 35%

New research carried out at Unilever's Beverages Global Technology Centre could help us understand why taking time out for a cup of tea is beneficial and makes such a difference.

Elephants visiting "graveyards" of long-dead relatives may be a myth, but new research suggests that they may, like humans, be able to recognise their own kind among the dead.

A new study by Oxford researchers has produced the strongest evidence yet to suggest that female badgers can conceive during pregnancy.

A groundbreaking study from Brunel University has revealed that the combined effects of a cocktail of chemicals are affecting UK waterways to a far greater extent than previously thought. This groundbreaking research unearths evidence that mixtures of chemicals are acting together to affect reproductive processes of fish.

Ice cream can help a woman conceive, new research has shown.
A study found that eating high-fat dairy foods reduced the risk of ovulation failure.

SHEEP experience complex human emotions like love, scientists have discovered.Ewes fall in love with rams, sheep have best friends and they feel sad when members of the flock die or are slaughtered, studies have found.

I am sure that one day research will be able to prove anything, whether it is true or not!
But then of course we have what Mark Twain said LIES, DAMNED LIES AND STATISTICS.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


If Pink is the New Blog and Size Zero is the New Thin(not!) then for Beauty 5am is the new Wake-Up time!
Many autistic children seem to suffer from irregular sleep patterns, difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep etc. Our problem was 12 midnight or later bedtimes, wakeful nights and early rising. the last few months Beauty has managed to go to bed at 9pm and stay there, not wake so often at night and stay in bed until 7-8am. However, that seems to have changed recently and we are back to early wake-up calls. I am hoping that this is a result of her being ill so much this winter and now that she seems to be getting better then the sleep schedule may sort itself out. If not, then Sporticus gets it because at 5am when your body is awake but not your mind, Sporticus (ex-aerobics world champion)jumping around in what seems to be your kitchen(even if it is on the computer) is not my idea of a leisurely wake-up call!

Family's concerns over 'abuse'
Suffering a severe form of autism means the welfare of James, 39, is always a concern for his family.They say his condition makes him particularly suggestible and easy prey for others.But the normal worries of his sister Linda were heightened a year and a half ago when she began to suspect somebody was stealing from James, who was living in sheltered accommodation with no support from staff overnight.He told his sister another resident was taking items from his bedroom and entering without his permission and had taken money from his trousers while he was still wearing them.His family believe an estimated £2,000 was stolen over time but worse was to come.Linda was shocked when James's behaviour in the shower one day seemed to indicate he had suffered sexual abuse and even rape.

On the 2nd November 1982 Channel 4 started and I watched the film Walter starring Ian McKellen and I was really shocked at the treatment that Walter, a learning disabled man received when his mother died and he went to live in a hospital for people with learning disabilities. I can look back and honestly say that I did not believe that this film or the possibility of disability had anything to do with my life. I had a 7 month old baby, Anastasia, who I believed was perfect and would not have any problems. Beauty was 9 months old when we first suspected autism so that blows my past youthful confidence out of the water!
And I had thought that things had changed.
However , the above news report has frightened me, and as an older parent of a child with a learning disability it does not fill me with confidence in the system to care for my child.

"He started crying and I'd never seen him crying. He said this other person keeps hurting me," she told BBC File On 4.
"It was very distressing."
Another sister witnessed the same behaviour and the family's fears increased when his daily care worker said that James told her another resident had been in the shower with him.
The care worker told the family and her bosses about the concerns.
His family are still seething at the "professionals meeting" called by Halton Borough Council which they say was riddled with inaccuracies.
"We thought it was disgusting, they didn't even get his name said their was no evidence of a change in his relationships but staff remarked how unresponsive he was and had not been out of his room for days," said Linda.
An independent council report said the notes of the meeting were very poor.It criticised the fact that neither the police nor several health professionals were present at what should have been a multi-agency meeting.
The care worker who knew him best was not invited to attend.The council director of social services told the family that after a police investigation the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) found there was insufficient evidence to take the case further.
Yet when contacted the CPS said no such case had been referred to it.
The independent report "largely upheld" the family's complaints but Linda said the council's response has been inadequate.
"There was no personal apology to James and no recognition of the hurt caused by failing to take proper steps to protect him," she said.
Halton Council said it is working with its legal advisers and the family to "resolve this matter as soon as possible."
The council added: "At this stage it would be inappropriate to comment any further."
Hear the full story on Radio 4: File on 4 Tuesday, 20 March, 2007 at 2000 GMT.

How do I prepare for my child's future?


When Social Care (and special needs education) appears to be finance led what hope is there for our children................who in many ways will always be children!

Thankfully Anastasia has always said that she would care for Beauty when the time came but it still worries me that Anastasia was also an adult when Beauty was born and so who will care for Beauty in that possible future?
It is way too early for such negative thoughts so I shall revert to type and discuss something less critical and more mind numbing TV viewing from last night(remember DOES TELEVISION CAUSE AUTISM?)

I think I should change my name from Mother Of Many to Mother Of Not So Many after watching Ten Kids and Counting that was on TV last night at 9pm.

OnThrong-UK TV's Watching Community someone comments

While I am an avid supporter of diversity, and all these family have a right to have as many children as they like, so long as they are supporting them and not relying on the state for their sole income (sorry to the family from Kent but I really do not believe that the nation should pay for your choices, you have the children and you support them), I am shocked to think that the Wilson family go through 500 bags of crisps a week. I really hope this is a typo as this would equate to 33 bags per person (13 kids plus 2 parents) per week. This is horrific and inexcusable regardless of how many children you have.

Well for once I am not really sure what to say, for my girls that must be a bit of a surprise!
I was on my own when Fiona was about 1 years old and from them until now I have managed to gain a degree in Welsh& History, become a Registered General Nurse, gained a certificate in teaching English as a Foreign Language and trained as a teacher/lecturer. I have also learned some Spanish, British Sign Language, gained an A grade in Art GCSE(probably the achievement I am proudest of), learned to drive and taken desktop publishing, photo shop and website design classes and currently studying for a Masters degree in Special Needs Education. And work full-time as a nurse.
The reason I am telling you this is not to boast(well maybe a little- hey I am normal!) but to show that whilst having children and being part of a family is a wonderful thing, there is more to life. Some of the mothers on their show expressed how that they liked the feeling of being needed by the younger ones and they lost that feeling when the children went to school and started to grow up and so went on to have more babies.
The Catholic family, parents Greg and Aggie , felt it was important to show that just because you come from a large family doesn't mean you have to lose out on anything and I think that they portrayed that very well. Apart from the Kelly the 25 year old who has 6 children with her partner and he has 7 children from his previous marriage, the mothers all seemed to be in my age group. It would be nice to see the women exploring ways to expand their lives as they all seem to have come to a natural turning point in their lives. I hope that now as all these mothers have older children who should be helping(not that I'm an expert on that!) , these women can enjoy their children and their personal lives more.

Hi Belle, did you get Beau's card and present? Let me know.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Well Mothering Sunday was GOOD(my 15 year old has told me that I shouldn't write things in capital letters to emphasise things, her English teacher said so!). I ate enough chocolate to rot my teeth, my gut and my brain.........and the remains are still in my fridge. But as suggested they did donate money to charity and no flowers showed up, so in the words of Lou Reed's Perfect Day
Just a perfect day,Problems all left alone.
Thank you girls.

However back to the real world. Before I relate to you this story I have to say that I am surprised that I am not more pi**ed-off. Due to Mothering Sunday I have spent the entire weekend trying to find my camera because obviously on Sunday I would need to use it but as with many things in my house( hence the term The Black Hole of Pentwyn) it appears to have sprouted legs and just walked away. Or so it would seem! On Thursday I went to my digital scrap booking class and I put my camera in my lap-top bag(but I didn't take the lap-top thank goodness) just in case I needed to use any of my pictures on the camera during the class. Well I didn't need the camera during the class, in fact I forgot it was in my bag.Well big mistake! I accidentally left the camera in the bag during break-time and when I went to look for my camera in my bag on Saturday it was not there.
If somebody so badly wanted a digital camera then I would have bought them one, my camera is old(but I love it) and even the cheapest newer cameras have enough pixels to make my camera green with envy. If they wanted the camera to sell to make money for desperate necessities that they need like food then I would have given them the £5 they would have been very lucky to get for it. Thankfully there were no special photographs on the memory card(the card is probably worth more than the camera!). It could have been a lot worse , the teacher had his wonderful new lap-top in the room and enough hardware to make Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator look like spare parts in a boot(garage)sale.
As I said earlier ,I am surprised I am not a lot more pi**ed off.
Last night I watched the film Patriot Games and when Samuel L Jackson's character asks Ryan why he got involved in the attack by the IRA his answer was something like,' They pi**ed me off, they just made me mad' and Samuel L Jackson's characters retort is something like ,'Well I hope I never pi** you off like that'.
I put my lack of emotion on the loss of the camera down to my getting older and becoming more mellow with the years (or more likely just the effects of too much pain medication!)
A P.S on Patriot Games, I love that film but I made the mistake of reading the book first and because you obviously get a lot more thoughts and emotions in the book I found the film lacking in some way. But don't get me wrong, I still loved the film.

The following is posted today on the BBC Health website

People are making progress on cutting their salt intake but too many still forget to check for hidden salt in foods, campaigners warn.Three-quarters of the salt we eat is already lurking in the food we buy, says the Food Standards Agency.Sandwiches, ready meals, pasta sauce, and pizza are some of the biggest sources of "hidden" salt, it says.The agency's next round of TV ads, launched on Monday, shows consumers how to check food labels for salt content.

In my house I ensure that everything I buy is low or no fat, sugar or salt but I rally don't think that manufacturers help. When I want to buy margarine I am faced with the choice of low fat, diet, low salt, tastes like butter, sunflower, cholesterol lowering name it, the choice is there! I just want one that is the lowest fat, lowest salt but the best taste. One that is all singing, all dancing but in one tub! If anyone can figure this puzzle out please let me know because the vast array of margarines on offer have got me beat.

My children are not too impressed with my healthy eating choices, when going to Asda (Walmart) they have been known to buy their own Baked Beans because they feel that my healthy option...... low fat and low sugar Baked Beans are low on taste!
I also rarely use sugar, I have brown sugar in my dry/cooking cupboard and I use granulated sweetener. Last week I heard cupboards being banged open and shut in the kitchen and the call of an exasperated voice, 'Do we have any sugar in the house' , looking back I can see that my answer of ,'Don't look at me' was not the best response to give a child on the autistic spectrum!

Weather Update(for Anastasia and Belle).
I dropped Beauty off at school today and I looked up and there was snow on the mountain! I know they said there might be some but it was still a bit of a surprise.

Sunday, March 18, 2007



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It is Mothering Sunday and remember that I don't do flowers or chocolates!
There are a lot of other things that I would appreciate though.
I have a list of suggestions........
I always start with the predictable when asked what do I want for Birthdays, Christmas etc.
George you would be worried if I didn't say his name!
But there are always plenty of other things that I would be happy with.
Buy a goat from FARM-AFRICA
Donate a Solar Cooker
Donate to improve maternity care information worldwide
Vaccines for three pregnant women
Put some pennies in a collecting box next time you see one and think of Nanny. She always supported The National Lifeboat Association but anything Pink Ribbon would be good too.
If you insist on buying me something then there is always the choice of the following
Anything Fair Trade
A couple of energy saving light bulbs
A plant from from the Riverside Market on Fitzhamon Embankment

And last but not least........
Spend a minute thinking about Sally Clark and her family.

Obituary: Sally Clark

Sally Clark, who was wrongly jailed for the murder of her two sons, has been found dead at her home.Her family say she never recovered from the trauma of her ordeal.
Sally Clark was wrongly jailed for three years after being found guilty of murdering her newborn sons Christopher and Harry.Although cleared by the Court of Appeal in January 2003, a family statement following her death at the age of 42 said she never fully recovered from the effects of this "appalling miscarriage of justice".Three judges decided that the conviction of the solicitor, who used to live in Wilmslow, Cheshire, was "unsafe".Reacting to the appeal court decision, she said: "Today is not a victory. We are not victorious. There are no winners here."We have all lost out. We simply feel relief that our nightmare is finally at an end."

Think about all the mothers, those who are still with us and those who are not.

Thank you.




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.