Saturday, November 24, 2007



Ice-rescue tourists to fly home
M/S Explorer listing - 23/11/07
The Explorer lay on its side in the frozen seas for several hours
Passengers rescued from a cruise ship that sank after hitting ice in the Antarctic Ocean are expected to start their journeys home within hours.

The 154 tourists and crew from the M/S Explorer have been spending the night at a military base on a Chilean island.

They are due to be flown to Chile and then to their home countries. The ship's operator Gap Adventures said they were in "good spirits".

Some 23 Britons, 17 Dutch and 13 Americans were among those on board.

What is it with me and cruises? Remember I also said that I wanted to go on a cruise on the Nile and the scary thing is that I would still go on both. There is also a cruise between St Petersburg and Moscow that I would love to do, when I went to Russia we traveled on a train between the 2 cities so a cruise would be nice to see the country.
I wonder if Qantas do cruises?( just joking).

Also in the news , Ziggy complains that Chanelle' bitch slapped' him!
Well, when they were on Big Brother he messed with her head so much that if he had treated one of my girls like that I would have 'bitch slapped' him myself. Chanelle may have emotional problems but Ziggy is certainly no gentleman and definitely does not know how to treat women properly.
WOW.....I really enjoyed being shallow.

SnoWhite is 22 today and as a birthday present I bought her a very adult coat, it is a dark purple swing coat and it looks really good on her, my baby is all grown up! It must be OK because even Fiona has given it her seal of approval.Anyway, SnoWhite really needed a coat because her present coat looks very similar to the one that Betty wears in Ugly Betty(the pale blue coat).
And I bought her a penguin for her penguin collection!
Carrying on with the shallow theme.....Oh please! Wasn't it just a little bit predictable for Alan Dale(Bradford Meade) to die of a heart attack! Isn't that how he died in The OC and Neighbours? Personally for me he will always be Jim from Neighbours .
And last night Rab (Derek Riddell) from The Book Group showed up as Christina's husband, I love them both as they are both such good actors.Though personally I don't trust him in Ugly Betty!
I also bought myself a new coat, I think the last coat that I bought is about 4 years old and it has gone quite thin and as this winter is promising to be very cold a thicker coat was definitely needed. I have a very long Russian Army style coat but it isn't very fashionable at the moment but I couldn't get rid of it as it is still in very good condition even though it is 8 years old and Russian Army style coats seem to come back into fashion quite regularly.

Beauty has a unique talent with the computer! When she watches short videos on children's channels she stops and starts them in the same way that a DJ does what he does to his records(scratching?) and whilst entertaining for a few seconds, after a while it gets verrrrrrry irritating.Scratching any longer than a minute usually gets the comment........HE GETS IT( from 2 Pints of Lager when Janet tells baby Corinthian something in baby talk-repeatedly and Donna shouts at her!).
I recently bought a new record player which Beauty is banned from playing on, I can imagine her sneaking out of bed at night and DJing for a party for her and the guinea pigs!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


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After Beauty's run-in with the thinner than thin and lighter than air computer screen we have gone back to using an old monitor to hopefully prevent a repeat of her last attempt at trying to 'KILL' a computer screen!
It weights(is it weight or weigh?) twice as much as Beauty so it should hopefully be too big for her to move and I am also going to attach it to the table with duct tape and attach the table to the computer desk next to it to prevent the table being pushed over.
And yes Anastasia, anytime Dimitri wants his monitor back is fine with me!

I WAS WRONG........


I watched this documentary on Sunday night and have not been able to sleep since because I was so traumatised by what I saw.
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children


aims to challenge the standards of social care in Bulgaria and promote the practice of community based care for all disabled children and adults.

We began our campaign following the broadcasting of Kate Blewett’s harrowing film 'Bulgaria's Abandoned Children' that exposed the appalling neglect of 75 unwanted and disabled children in the state-run Mogilino Institute. Members of the public, outraged at the children’s suffering contacted Kate and together they have begun the campaign to challenge this neglect and rebuild the children's lives.

We have joined forces with an established charity, The Bulgaria Project, who have many years experience of working in orphanages and institutes across Bulgaria . Together we are campaigning to bring help into the Mogilino Institute to improve the children's immediate situation as well as ensure that they have long term care in a therapeutic environment that recognises their right to be protected, educated and respected.

I am ashamed to say that it is not the first time that I have read about what is going on in Bulgaria and a few years ago I wrote to the government in Bulgaria and explained how I felt about the situation. However, I also write letters for Amnesty International and have done so for the last 16 years and I am ashamed to say that after a while you read about so much suffering and pain that in the end you push it to the back of your mind to protect yourself.

I was so upset by the treatment of the children in the Mogilino Institute that was shown in the documentary. I found the treatment of the deaf and blind children especially disturbing and upsetting because they received food(if you can call it that) and were washed daily and pottied and that was it. Then they sat in a little room , on little seats, doing nothing but rocking all day. None of the children were educated in anyway as the powers that be had labeled them ineducable.
I was especially upset by the plight of Vasky,

the poor little soul is blind and sits in a buggy all day. The documentary makers noticed that Vasky had a broken leg but the nurse was not interested and blamed some 'condition' for brittle bones. I wanted to scoop Vasky up and bring her home and care for her. Vasky was bedridden by the end of the documentary.
I also found the adult institutions that were shown at the end of the program appalling and was deeply saddened by the man in his 30's talking about all he wanted was a Mummy.

This is the President of Bulgaria
Sergey Dmitrievich Stanishev (Bulgarian: Сергей Дмитриевич Станишев, born May 5, 1966), Bulgarian politician, is Prime Minister of Bulgaria and Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).

Sergey Stanishev

Stanishev, the second-youngest chairman of the BSP, is an unconventional politician. Although not married, he has been living for a long time with prominent journalist Elena Yoncheva. In 2002 he amazed party members when he came to a gathering at Buzludzha on a motorcycle with a rock-style jacket that had a label on the back saying: "If you are reading this, Elena must have fallen off on the way." Stanishev is an active Internet user. He joined the Internet Society - Bulgaria [1] on April 22, 2001, and immediately following his election as leader of the Socialist Party in 2001, he had an ICQ-chat with hundreds of users.

This is a quote from Wikipedia

I cannot believe that this man, who seems firmly seated in the 21st century could allow institutions like Mogilino to exist. What would happen if he and his girlfriend had a child and the child was deaf or blind or had learning difficulties? Would that child end up in an institution?
What would happen if their child were born 'perfect' and after an infection or accident developed problems? How many of us had any idea of our child's problems at birth?
I cannot believe that he can know what these institutions are like, nobody as intelligent and well educated could know and allow them to continue.

From the website Bulgaria's Abandoned Children

Our website explains the what, who and how that’s involved in our campaign - and the ways you can get involved to help.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


What a bimbo!
I have sprained my left ankle and wrist by tripping over a camel(toy one of course!).Well actually I didn't technically trip ......I stood on the camel and skidded across the stone tiled kitchen floor!
It is not as mad as when I pushed a full shopping trolley over my toe and broke my toe on Belle's 8th birthday!
Or when I fell in a river whilst playing with the girls and AGAIN broke my toe BUT also having to have MANY stitches to sew it back together!
Thankfully no break this time.

Yesterday, Beauty and I had a frank and vigorous...... she threw the computer screen on the floor-so I slapped her well nappied butt. It obviously didn't hurt her but she was certainly aware that she had done something wrong. She may not understand WHY she shouldn't throw a computer screen on the floor but I think she will think twice about doing it again. Why do Mums have to be the mean ones to stop all their little girls fun?

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Today Beauty woke me at a very unreasonable hour by singing Old Macdonald Had A Farm, to which I told her LOOK, EVEN OLD MACDONALD AND HIS WIFE HAD A LIE IN ON A SUNDAY MORNING!(Yes I know, Farmers don't get a day off BUT it sounded good) and believe it or not she rolled over and let me sleep another 2 hours. I was very impressed.

I read this on the news today and I had to look up the word CANYONING
I am a very unadventurous soul.
I can think of a lot more interesting things to do on a Saturday in cold and driving rain than getting wet and freezing and getting yourself almost killed!

Footage of the man's rescue
The man was winched 230 ft into the rescue helicopter

A 22-year-old man has been airlifted to hospital after he injured his back and hip during a fall near the top of the Neath Valley.
It is understood the man was canyoning with a group of 12 people.Forty members of Brecon Mountain Rescue Teams and a helicopter crew from RAF Chivenor in north Devon were called at around 1700 GMT on Saturday.The man was winched 230 ft (70m) into the helicopter and flown to the Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.The members of the Brecon, central Brecon and western Brecon mountain rescue teams were called to an area of the Neath valley, between the village of Pont Nedd Vaughan and the Ystradfellte waterfalls, at around 1600 GMT on Saturday.

Talking about trying to get yourself almost seems that Ariel has spent the weekend on Salisbury Plain doing some kind of training. And she was happy to remind me that it is a Ministry of Defence and NATO training ground that uses LIVE AMMUNITION. Couldn't she have told me this AFTERWARDS?

Army recruits in training

Friday, November 16, 2007



It is officially winter-well according to SnoWhite anyway, she says it started to get cold from last Monday but SnoWhite no longer gets up really early so she has missed a lot of very cold early mornings.
The other day the weather forecast said that it was to be 2 degrees but it ended up as 2 degrees below zero so YES SnoWhite, it is definitely winter.

Yesterday I was reading through the other blogs that I read and I felt that my blog was very shallow in comparison. When I started to write my blog I decided to call it a Blog On The Spectrum because I wanted it to be about all of my family and for my family. To help keep in touch with my girls and talk about how autism influences our lives but still to talk about every day things, which doesn't always include autism. My blog is definitely not as profound as the other blogs that I read and that makes me feel quite guilty.
I love to write about TV , the news(usually stories of injustice), disability and anything else that happens in my weird and crazy life BUT this doesn't make for a best read blog it seems.HOWEVER, I don't know how people keep up with their blogs when they become very well read because mine is even now quite tiring to do. One of my children commented about my 'eventful' past and suggested writing about that but I DON'T THINK SO.
I love Andrew Collins and his book Where Did It All Go Right?- who needs another miserable childhood or miserable life book, I hate reading them so at the moment I do not have any intentions of adding another mis lit to the best seller list!

Talking about the news, am I missing something here?

Bike sex man placed on probation

Bike sex case sparks legal debate

And they put him on the Sex Offenders register, what a strange case.
For pity sake it was drunken man in his own private space.
I have seen drunken students bare their butts and do much worse in the street(I live in a university city) .
Having worked in hostels I personally feel that the Hostel warden and the cleaners need a good slap for invasion of privacy AND wasting the police time. Anybody who has worked in a hostel has almost definitely seen worse than that, reporting this kind of situation is not going to encourage trust.
He is not a danger to others and especially not a danger to children so what he has done wrong I do not understand.
I have heard many stories(none I can repeat because of privacy)of friends who have worked in casualty(ER) and the things they have had to remove from places..... in future will such people be prosecuted for causing offense to those doing the removing?
Curiouser and curiouser!

Thursday, November 15, 2007



Keating joins Boyzone for UK tour

Boyzone have sold more than 15 million records
All five original members of Boyzone are to begin a UK tour in May, which will be their first in seven years.
Ronan Keating, who left the Irish boy band to pursue a solo career, will join the group for the series of concerts."We've been talking about getting back together for some time now. I can't wait to be back on the road and all the guys feel the same." Keating said. The 10-date tour is due to start on 30 May at London's O2 arena, and will end in Glasgow on 23 June.

Boyzone are SnoWhite's first love.
We will never hear the last of it.
Well I suppose it could be worse, she could have been a crack head but instead I have a child obsessed with Irish boy bands.....sounds like a good deal to me!
We have had Take That reform for Anastasia, Boyzone for SnoWhite and now all is left is PJ and Duncan for Belle(believe it or not I have seen PJ and Duncan 3 times in concert!). They were surprisingly very entertaining.

Ant and Dec

Yesterday I had to buy new keyboards for the computers as both had pretty much died, death by yoghurt-well fromage frais to be exact.Beauty has been known to eat at the computer(well frequently actually) and so no matter how hard we try the keyboards were filthy.I decided to trash the keyboards after sending an email to Belle in which her name was spelled wrong due to sticky keys causing a typo. The keyboards was also stringing all the words as the shift key was the stickiest of all keys. Now we will have perfect emails and no risk of salmonella.

It shows how easily pleased I am.....whilst searching for something else I just discovered how to create a € sign and I was so thrilled. Imagine what I would be like if I discovered time travel or the answer to world peace.

Look what else I found girls! How to accent your sister's name.
accent site
ô alt + 0244( using right hand number pad)
Ô alt + 0212(using right hand number pad)

On Tuesday evening I went to Beauty's parent teacher meeting and it was all very positive. The biggest problem with Beauty is her lack of compliance, basically because she doesn't really understand that she needs to do something rather than her being naughty. All her goals I know she has already achieved but it is a matter of her doing them ,on demand, in school. Her speech is coming along so well, apart from the one naughty word that she came out with(which could have just sounded like a naughty word as her speech is still unclear at times) , she is doing brilliantly. Sometimes I have to stop and think about what she means when she says something as one set phrase could mean a few different things in Beauty's head. For instance, when I picked Beauty up from school on Tuesday she said WELL DONE, which roughly seemed to translate at the time as THANK YOU FOR COMING TO GET ME, I WANT TO GO HOME NOW. I think!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Ad pulled after terrapin attack
Turtle by the firework

An online advert showing a tortoise being shot into space has been pulled after it was linked to an incident when a terrapin was tied to a lit firework.

The creature was found injured by a dog in a garden in Wrexham on Bonfire Night. It had suffered a cracked shell, bumped head and a bleeding mouth.

The RSPCA linked the incident with the Virgin Media broadband advert which uses a cartoon tortoise.

The company apologised for any offence and said the advert had been stopped.

The RSPCA had accused Virgin Media of depicting animal cruelty with its cartoon image of a lit firework being used to fire a tortoise into space, ripping off its shell in the process.

A spokesman for the company said the advert was symbolic of a tortoise who wanted to get faster broadband and it did not condone cruelty to animals.

"We have stopped running our online advert, depicting a tortoise with a rocket, and sincerely apologise to anyone this may have offended," added the spokesman.


My neighbours have issues .....and I am not talking about the fact that they have been arguing non-stop for the last 11 years!
It is commonly held local belief that my neighbours have a rodents nest in their garage and every time they make an attempt to clear out their garage the furry little friends go walkabout.Well- at the weekend the neighbours made a half-hearted attempt to sort out their garage, which meant that Sunday evening we had a little visitor, of the mouse variety.
The mouse scared myself and Fiona who nows insists on wearing her Uggs everywhere.Why it scared me I don't know because I pick up and care for the Weekie boys daily.When the girls were younger we lived in a 17th century farm laborers cottage on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire border and when the grain silo was emptied yearly we had our fair share of visitors.
So yesterday I bought a bait box to catch the mouse and keep him alive until I could get rid of him in a local field. Would the sneaky little bu**er take the bait? Not a chance.The bait box now contains one of Beauty's chocolate stars(she doesn't know or she would be in there after it!) so perhaps we will have more joy.

I love the way the police make it clear that the guy was not intoxicated!

Man hurt using gun to change tyre
Changing a tyre
The man had removed all but one of the wheel nuts
A US man has injured himself in both legs after attempting to loosen a stiff wheel-nut by blasting it with his gun.
The 66-year-old man from Washington state was repairing his car outside his home when the accident took place.Shooting at the wheel from arm's length with his 12-gauge shotgun, he was peppered with buckshot and debris. The man - who police say was on his own and not intoxicated - was taken to hospital with severe, but not life-threatening, injuries.

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We all love the bunny but when he is cuddled on your lap he always has an accident.
The answer......a bunny bowl to sit bunny in, bunny loves it and we get to pet bunny.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Wow the temperature sure has dipped today-2 degrees!
I now have wanderlust which I get this time EVERY year,it is never a desire to travel anywhere new just to travel to one of the warmer places that I have already been. As sad as it sounds I just want to go to Benidorm and stay in one of the traditional Spanish hotels that I have stayed in before in the old town. I am so boring, when I go on holiday all I seem to do is take walks, eat and play with Beauty in the sand. Winter is definitely my time to travel, any other time is too hot.

Beauty seems to be a lot better so hopefully tomorrow will be the return to school day.
It will be nice to catch up on my sleep.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Today is Sunday, the sabbath, a day of rest........however, somebody forgot to tell Beauty.We have been up and awake(well sort of awake!) since 7am and Beauty has been playing games on Mama Mirabelle's website. I am now aware of where snakes and lions and monkeys and big horn sheep like to live and what they like to do!I never cease to be amazed at the information that I learn from Beauty's websites, computers are amazing things. When I was Beauty's age my only source of information was of course the local library which was not that extensive in the late 60's.I was addicted to reading books about Tutankhamun and there was one book that I read from cover to cover many times. Who would have thought I would grow up to do a History degree?

Another book I read as a child was AN HOUR IN THE MORNING,but it certainly did not have the same profound effect upon me!It was the story of a maid in Edwardian times and how an hour spent working in the morning seemed to achieve more than an hour spent working in the afternoon.
When I get up I get Beauty ready for school and take her there and I also collect all the rubbish and sort it, collect the dishes and empty and fill the dishwasher and collect all the dirty clothes and sort out the washing and drying ,sort out the animals AND then the best part of the day....... I lie down to recover! Without that morning nap(well lie down really) I couldn't cope with the rest of the day.And then I get up and carry on!
The funny thing is when you tell other people that you have a disability , many people think of you as being ill but apart from when I get an infection like anyone else I do not think of my self as ill, exhausted all the time but definitely not ill.

Thanks to PBS my ears are being assaulted by the dulcet tones of BARNEY, perhaps my praise of the computer was a little hasty!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I am surrounded by crazy people!
I really tried to fall asleep early last night but it just wasn't happening(Beauty slept through everything!), I felt as if I were in the film Rear Window.We live in front of a block of flats and last night one of the young ladies who lives there decided to have a blazing row with her ex-boyfriend, in front of the flats and it went on for hours.AND THEN..... at 8am this morning the council workers show up to carry on building an outhouse for the flats that they had started yesterday.If they had spent more time working yesterday rather than hanging around talking on their mobiles, gossiping or smoking then the job would have been finished yesterday.Yep.....I have turned into a grumpy old woman, lack of sleep will do that to you.

Terrapin by the firework
The terrapin had been taped to the firework with white masking tape

Anger at terrapin firework launch
The RSPCA has called for an internet advert to be pulled after a terrapin was taped to a firework rocket and fired into a garden on Bonfire Night.
The creature, thought to be a female, was found by a dog in Wrexham with a cracked shell and a bleeding mouth.
The animal charity claimed there was an "obvious" connection with a Virgin Media Broadband advert of a cartoon tortoise being launched into space.The company defended the ad but said it did not condone any animal cruelty.The RSPCA has appealed for help in catching the culprits behind the cruelty to the terrapin, calling it "callous and sick".
The creature is being cared for at a North Wales specialist reptile centre.

Trust no one!

Is it late or early?
I spent yesterday spring cleaning my bedroom.
I cleared 10 carrier bags of clothes which I took to the OXFAM bin at the local recycling centre, 3 black bags of rubbish, I green bag of recycling and 4 sacks of general stuff for a charity shop.
Whilst spring cleaning I came across a book that has been lost for quite a while, Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui!
Almost as ironic as my key ring with the picture of St Anthony of Padua on it, the picture fell off and is now lost!
Next the front bedroom, perhaps I will find the picture of St Anthony!

Beauty's tummy is better but her cough persists, however she is as happy as ever.She is our little Miss sunshine.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I now have another memory that I would rather not have!
When the girls were younger they came home after a sleepover and they were not even 13 and it seemed that they had been allowed to watch the video American Pie, I was not best pleased. When I was younger I watched the film Damien:Omen II (why I couldn't tell you) an all I remember from the film is the sheet of glass coming off the back of the lorry. Yuk!
Because of this I told the girls to choose wisely what they saw as they would never forget the things that they had seen in films even if they had wanted to.
Anyway, back to the point, last night I watched Heroes and I now have another memory that I would rather not have. Sylar, by telekinesis, levitates shards of broken glass and uses them as a weapon and Peter Petrelli gets 'killed' by a piece being embedded into the back of his head. As a nurse, I am not an overly tender soul but sometimes I think that there are things we shouldn't have to see.

Beauty is still off school with her nasty cough so I am being terrorised by Beauty's advert of choice! It is an advert for Wii which keeps popping up on the Disney Channel and a family talk about how the Wii game has transformed their lives and how 7 year old MAX is the King of Wii.
This advert has had only one effect on limit my child's usage of the computer! I want to know 'MAX'S' address so I can send him a football.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Today we have a very(VERY-SHE IS SMILING!) happy 16 year old.
Fiona has inherited her father's old Prinzflex 500 35mm camera( circa 1972/.74), as she is doing Art and wants to do a fashion degree and is very interested in photography, we decided she should start practicing on her father's old camera. She is absolutely thrilled and I have managed to get an instruction book off the internet. When I was with her father I was the only one who ever used the camera so I am sure it will be easy enough to show Fiona how to use it. We have to look for a lens cap and a flash for it but it seems that EBAY has lots of things for sale for the Prinzflex. Of course Fiona would still like a new digital 35mm camera!
Ariel had a laptop when she went to university as I didn't want her using the library late at night on the campus when she needed to write essays so the next thing on my list of things to buy is a new digital camera for Fiona as she wants to start a photography course next September.

School started back yesterday but Beauty is still at home as she has a really productive cough and whilst some parents in Beauty's school send their children in with bad colds ,I(and the school) think it is better that a cough like Beauty has is better at home because it really is quite nasty.And I don't want the teachers and the other children getting the cough as it really isn't pleasant.
So Beauty spent yesterday and today playing with her wooden blocks(thank you M.), watching videos and playing educational games on Cbeebies. Beauty does love school but she doesn't miss it too much when she is not there as she has lots of toys and games to occupy her at home.She has also being paying a lot more attention to the piggies and the rabbit recently but I still have to watch her carefully when she is with them as she still doesn't realise that she can hurt them.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Tonight is Bonfire Night.....OFFICIALLY!
But the fireworks have been going off every night across Cardiff since Halloween and I am sure they will continue for another week to come.
As well as the fireworks we have to contend with the bonfires, the local children have been building and lighting bonfires for the last week and I am sure they will be building them for another week until their pyrotechnic desires are satiated for another year. I think this year has been more difficult than usual because the 5th November falls on a Monday, which means that many official firework displays have been on Saturday and Sunday but there will still be some official displays tonight and of course locals setting off their own fireworks and building their own bonfires.
The air quality was awful last night and I suppose we can expect more of the same tonight.
Tonight we will be taking Beauty for a walk down Cardiff Bay as we will have a brilliant view of all the fireworks being set off all over Cardiff. I think that fireworks are very unsafe and there was even an accident at a display over the weekend so we will not be attending any displays but watching from a very safe distance.

That will teach me never to take a nap!
After picking Fiona up from college I decided to make Beauty lie down and take a nap and Fiona went with her and I fell asleep on the sofa. I awoke in the pitch black to what I thought sounded like bombs falling!
It was half past five and the fireworks had started.
I shot of the sofa and all I could think of was THE PIGS and BUNNY BOY, they were still outside and the piggies were running around their hutch going crazy!
Thankfully they are now in and all is well, all I have to deal with now is marauding children trying to burn the contents of my garden!
Such is the joy of childhood.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Beautiful Belle and Beau dressed up for a Florida Halloween.

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Belle and Beau's spooky garden.

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The Destroying Angel/Wicked Witch.

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Fiona being cool.

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In the fridge.

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Fiona's pumpkin carving called..........SYLAR!

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Beauty complete with University of Exeter Hoodie that Ariel bought her for her birthday.

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Friday, November 02, 2007


Well Beauty definitely seemed to be feeling better so when she fell asleep early I took her to her bed and thought she would be there for the night!
Well not quite......
During our 275th watching of Mean Machine(I'm a Brit Flick fan, it comes on TV, I watch it) Beauty awakes, a bit of a temperature but basically seems OK.
AND then she proceeds to be ill .......EVERYWHERE!
My washing machine is again on what seems to be overdrive BUT Beauty has awoken this morning seemly as well as she was yesterday morning, she is again dancing to High School Musical!
It may be chilly outside but I am sure glad that the sun is shining and that I have a garden with a washing line. Anastasia lives in Vienna and typical to other European cities the majority of residents live in apartments, they have a laundry room in their basement but I just could not cope without having a washing line. When we were having our extension built a few years ago and the back garden resembled a bomb site, I used to take my drying over to Runningman's flat because they have communal drying areas in the gardens. When the Anastasia and Belle were little we lived in a flat in Oxford and the flats had communal drying areas on the top of the flats, we had a brilliant view over Oxford's Dreaming Spires.

Fiona and I played a game of Scrabble last night, if Beauty had been awake it would have been impossible as she would have wanted to stack and line up all the tiles. There may be Beauty as well but in many ways Fiona is still the youngest, of the oldest girls anyway and I remember what that was like. I remember my older sisters and brother no longer being interested in Halloween, getting up late on Christmas Day and generally growing up and no longer being interested in childish things.Not that I can imagine Fiona dressing up for Halloween(of course when she is in Uni things will change!) but I have to remember that Fiona, Ariel and Beauty have had a different childhood to the older girls and remember to do things with them. However, as far as Christmas is concerned I don't think any of them will ever really grow up.
My girls were shocked and really felt sorry for Dimitri when they found out that because his family is German their main Christmas celebration is on Christmas Eve and not Christmas morning. They also really felt sorry for the Dimitri and his sister and brother when they found out that they usually have money for Christmas and not a sackful of presents like them.
BUT I spend only £100 on each of the girls for Christmas on gifts whilst I am sure that Dimitri and his brother and sister get lots more BUT it was the whole lack of opening of presents that the girls found so un-Christmassy.

On my 7 most interesting things list I mentioned that I had seen 2 'GHOSTS' so for Steve and anyone else who may be interested, here is an account of my encounter with ghostly apparitions.
When I was 15 I was lying in my bed with my eyes shut but I was NOT asleep and I was NOT dreaming and I opened my eyes to see a semi-solid grey figure standing by the side of my bed. The figure disappeared and I heard no noises and the door of my bedroom did not open or close, what it was I couldn't tell you.
Then a few years ago I was lying on the sofa in my living room in the day time with my eyes closed, again I was NOT asleep and I was NOT dreaming, when I became aware that something was directly in front of me. I said,' DON'T TOUCH ME'(as you would to a ghost!) and I opened my eyes and there in front of my face was a head shaped semi-solid grey 'THING'. As soon as I opened my eyes the shape which appeared to be attached to the far upper corner of the room, retracted backwards and disappeared. What it was I do not know.
In Regenerationwhich is about the poet Siegfried Sassoon and his experiences during the First World War, the psychiatrist discusses how many things we see may be a creation of our own minds, especially during that almost asleep/almost awake time.
I really do not know but I do believe that the human brain has amazing capacities that we as yet do not know how to harness.For example,

Poltergeist activity tends to occur around a single person called an agent or a focus. Foci are often, but not limited to, pubescent children. Almost seventy years of research by the Rhine Research Center in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has led to the hypothesis among parapsychologists that the "poltergeist effect" is a form of psychokinesis generated by a living human mind (that of the agent). According to researchers at the Rhine Center, the "poltergeist effect" is the outward manifestation of psychological trauma

Perhaps that is what ghosts are, possibly a projection of the human mind.
There is also the othe possibility it is, as one of the servants in the film The Others said, Sometimes the world of the living gets mixed up with the world of the dead.
Who knows!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Early wake up call from the 7 year old.......pooping and up-chucking!
Nice wake up, now I am spending my day washing the bedding and EVERY change of clothes. Thankfully she isn't too ill as when she is very poorly she takes to her bed or the sofa but today she has made herself a little nest next to the sofa and is happily watching videos on the small portable TV and Cbeebies on the large TV! Well what ever keeps her happy.
My Pollyannaism for the day.....I am glad that I no longer have white carpets but wood floors.
I also had a bit of a funny tummy last night but it passed quickly but true to form, when I have an infection of any kind it affects all my joints so today I am managing to do things but a lot slower than usual.

We moved back to Wales in 1990 so the children could go to Welsh language schools and we moved to an older terraced house 2 minutes walk from the University and the centre of the city. In the last 17 years I have seen a lot of changes in Cardiff, especially in the attitudes in the very student area in which we lived. Last night the area was absolutely overflowing with young people dressed up for Halloween, we even saw one group of approximately 15-20 men dressed only in bikinis! And they all seemed to be having good natured fun, it was really nice. 17 years ago when we moved into the area(and it was very much a student area even then), very few people would dress up and party. I do think thank society has become more social and I think this is a good thing, of course you will always get some who act silly but I think that will always happen.




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.