Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Don't get me wrong when I say I am using VERY STRONG painkillers, I feel a lot better that I have in ages.
The painkillers are really helping with the pain and the side effect is that I am not feeling so down because the pain is better regulated.
I was given enough to take three lots a day(enough to be seeing and kissing Pixies!) but after the first day, I am finding that two lots a day controls the pain and I don't feel the desire to be going dancing and singing naked in the street!
Three lots a day was definitely too much.
And I am not taking the Diazepam!!!
I managed to take Sali and Anna shopping in town on Boxing day and whilst I could feel the pressure in my back increasing there was no increase in pain.
However, the painkillers do wear off in the night and I do feel as if I have been kicked in the back by a donkey and walking first thing is not an option!
I visited the doctor on the Wednesday before Christmas and she was able to tell me the results of the MRI as her computer is linked to the hospital computer.
I have 9 inches of damage/severe arthritis and 3 Torn Spinal Discs......so not much really!
As you can see, my sense of humour is still intact even if my back isn't!
So no more 10k runs in the foreseeable future!
But for Christmas I had a new laptop so I do not have to sit at the computer table but can lie down in bed and rest my back AND still go on the computer and right my blog.

We had a lovely Christmas though.
Whilst my back was in a lot less pain, Snowhite and Fiona still cooked the Christmas lunch.

Snowhite doing Christmas baking :D

The Chocolate Christmas Puddings that Fiona made :D

The only thing not as I would have made it was the broccoli which was a little(a lot!) al dente but then I do prefer it cooked to mush.Yes I can hear you all saying YUK!
Beauty decided to have a long lie in and so none of us got up until gone 10am and then lunch was not until 3pm but we had a very restful but enjoyable day.

Opening my Christmas Stocking x

Something I read on Paulo Coelho's Facebook page today

If I had my life to live over, I would try to make more mistakes.
I would relax. I know of very few things that I would take seriously.
I would go more places. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less bran.

I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary troubles.
You see, I have been one of those fellows who live prudently and sanely, hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I have had my moments. But if I had it to do over again, I would have more of them – a lot more.

I never go anywhere without a thermometer, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had it to do over, I would travel lighter.

If I had my life to live over, I would pay less attention to people telling us we must learn Latin or History; otherwise we will be disgraced and ruined and flunked and failed.
I would seek out more teachers who inspire relaxation and fun.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted a little earlier in the spring and stay that way a little later in the fall.
I would shoot more paper wads at my teachers.
I would keep later hours.

I’d have more sweethearts.
I would go to more circuses.
I would be carefree as long as I could, or at least until I got some care- instead of having my cares in advance.

I doubt, however, that I’ll do much damage with my creed.
The opposition is too strong.
There are too many serious people trying to get everybody else to be too darned serious.

(there are several versions of this text circulating in Internet. The one above is attributed to Don Harold)

I shall definitely have to think about this and write my own version.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Gandhi's policy of Non-cooperation is legendary but my family will all agree that Beauty's takes Non-cooperation to the next level.
If Beauty does not want to do something, convincing her to actually do it can be almost impossible .
Beauty's non-compliance in school concerts goes beyond even Gandhi's hard-core ideals.
For example, she spent last years concert sat in a a paddling pool on stage and the year before she sat in a giant box.
Now if I were her teacher I would be pretty peed off at this as she is the most verbal and most aware(and most obstinate!) child in the class.
She is also always singing and dancing but refuses to perform to request.
She also knows an amazing amount of Christmas carols and songs.
What a party pooper!
In today's concert she is a reindeer.
However, I have no idea what she is going to be sat in!
Such a sweet child x
Anyway, today is Beauty's school concert but I do not think I will be attending due to this virus I have as I think it would be unfair to inflict it upon anyone else.
It has got worse and it has now got to the 'HACKING AND SPITTING' stage!
Also, all down my wind pipe is starting to feel sore.
I shall ask her teacher to take a photo of her sat in whatever she is sat in then I will not miss anything!
The sad thing is she never notices if I am there or not!

My memories of my own school concerts include always being an angel but never Mary and being dressed in Edwardian clothes singing to Mary Hopkins' song Those Were The Days..

My most significant memory of the concerts Beauty's older sisters did.....Fiona dressed as Mary seen drop kicking the baby Jesus across the stage just as the stage curtains are closing.
I was weak with laughter
You have got to love that kid.
She is a star.

Oh yes.....PC gone mad.
I can imagine this happening!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Yes I know.
As my girls have told me many times,years ago I would have been burnt as a witch!!!!!

And what is my crime?

Well I make all my cleaning products myself using borax,soda crystals,bicarbonate of soda, natural soap flakes and white vinegar but I do have ready made eco-products for when the girls need to do some cleaning or washing(oh I am so funny!) or when I cannot be bothered messing!

I have also made my own shampoo and hair conditioner which seems to work better on my hair than the most expensive 'frizzy' products .

When a girl has hair like Crystal Tips then she HAS to try everything to tame THE BEAST!

If that makes me a witch then Oooops!

Or it could be the fact that I spend the summer in long dresses.
But surely that just makes me like a hippy but then again the girls also think I look like a hippy!!!!!!

I am not sure !

I don't do labels!!!!!

I am also a vegetarian and cook lots of vegetable stews using herbs and spices in large steaming pots on my large range cooker.

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble

but I don't use

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--For a charm of powerful trouble,Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."Macbeth (IV, i, 14-15)

BUT you never can tell so be careful what you eat at my house!

Or perhaps it is my PREMONITIONS!!!!
I have had quite a few premonitions of things going to happen in my life but I have never been able to do anything about them.
They usually seem pretty vague until they have happened and then they seem crystal clear.
My most recent was that Beauty was going to cut her own hair and that happened though I did try and hide all the scissors, she found a pair that had been lost!
The most significant was the day of the Hungerford Massacre.
I was walking through Newbury which is only a few miles from Hungerford (a number of Newbury people died in the massacre) and I had what I can only describe as a vision. I am not religious but I realise that there are a lot of things that happen that I don't know about or understand.Anyway, I was walking towards the market square when I felt I saw a man , there but not there, run around the corner of the post office carrying a rifle and he ran straight passed me and was gone.
Then I thought it was just silly imaginings but at that time the gunman had already killed a number of people in Hungerford and went on to shoot more.

My theory?

I obviously have no more firm evidence that anyone else but I think it is to do with how you are as a person.
I am a mother of 6 and being a mother of 1 or 6 heightens your senses and makes you constantly aware and sensitive to what is going on around you with regards to your children.
You are always listening and always watching and you can also sense things when nothing can be heard or seen.
I also read The Nun's Story and she describes Nun's who are Mental health nurses as different to other nurses.She said it was as if they were hyper aware and constantly alert.
I think we humans have that ability to be hyper alert BUT where the 'visions' or what ever you want to call them come from......I have no idea.

Conclusion.......Witch or not a Witch?
Perhaps what they said in Practical Magic is the answer.
'There's a little witch in every woman.'

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Having a child who is profoundly autistic can be exhausting at the best of times but when you the carer are also unwell it can become a nightmare.
Beauty is a very demanding child and when she wants something or wants to do something, she cannot understand WHY you say no.
How to convince a child that she cannot have six packets of GREEN CRISPS or why she cannot have half a dozen bars of DAIRY MILK CHOCOLATE.
And then the only answer is to hide them and to re-hide them because she will find them.......over and over!
I have found over the last year as my health has got worse is that the best way for me to deal with the situation is to deal with her the way that I did when she was a new baby.
And that is......when she sleeps, I sleep.
Having Fibromyalgia,Spinal Arthritis,R Arthritis, under active thyroid, anaemia or whatever the heck else is meant to be wrong with my body,means that I am tired ALL the time and so the only way to cope with Beauty is to sleep when she is asleep or sleep when she is in school.
At the moment I can barely write this and keep my eyes open and as soon as I have finished I shall be going back to sleep.
Most days I manage to cope but the days when she is awake from 2 or 3 am and does not go back to sleep then I feel as if I am dying.
I feel like a Zombie.
But on a NORMAL day I like to get out of bed at least an hour before Beauty so the meds have a chance to kick in.
When I get her out of bed she goes straight in the bath and most days I attempt to clean the bath room whilst she is lying in the tub but usually all that I manage is to sit on the toilet with my head resting on my arms on the sink.
However, today I did manage a not bad clean of the bathroom.
I think Kim and Aggie would find it acceptable(but it is really tough if they don't!).
And I dress her and then she comes down and eats breakfast and then onto the computer until it is time for school.
Whilst this is happening I TIDY through and put the dishes and laundry on to wash before I dress myself for the school run.
This sounds so efficient but it just isn't!
It is all so exhausting and I get so little done!
I am always tidying but never cleaning because I just have no energy but that is all sorted now thank goodness.
On Friday a cleaner comes for 2 hours from an agency to do the cleaning I never manage.I am so thrilled that at last I have a cleaner.
And then I spend the day recovering by sleeping so I have the energy for Beauty when she gets home from school.
Evening is when I seem to have most energy and get most tidying done and then when Beauty sleeps again...I also sleep!
If only I didn't have to sleep so much and had some more energy.
I think I might finish this blog post later as I just nodded off and my nose hit the computer screen!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(Slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers

Slipping through my fingers all the time

Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile

Monday, September 27, 2010


YOU CAN'T TELL A WELSH MAN ANYTHING.......is something my father told my mother BEFORE they got married and she still married him and stayed with him!
All I can say is there is no accounting for love.


I first read about this research when I was doing my masters in Autism and there is a lot that I agree with.

From The Times
September 12, 2007
Testosterone finding backs the ‘extreme male brain’ autism theory
Mark Henderson, Science Editor

The theory that autism is caused by an extreme version of the “male brain” has won strong support from new research showing that male hormones in the womb are linked to social and emotional skills in childhood.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge found that both boys and girls who are exposed to high levels of testosterone before they are born are more likely than usual to develop traits typical of autism, such as a preference for solitary activities and strong numerical and pattern-recognition skills.
The study included only children who are not autistic, but it gives some of the firmest biological evidence yet that the social impairments that characterise the condition may be affected by prenatal hormone exposure.
This in turn backs the theory that autistic people are best understood as having extreme versions of a brain type that is common in the population at large, particularly among men.
The idea advanced by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, who leads the Cambridge team, is that human brains are predominantly attuned either to empathising with others, or to understanding how systems work. Women are more likely to be in the first group and men in the second, while autistic people are extreme systemisers whose social problems emerge from a fundamental difficulty with empathy.
The model fits with the observation that autism is four times more common among boys. One possible explanation is that male hormones in the womb could promote systemising at the expense of empathy. Very high exposures may thus trigger autism.
Professor Baron-Cohen’s study, conducted with his graduate student, Bonnie Auyeung, looked at prenatal testosterone levels in 235 foetuses whose mothers had had amniocentesis.
When the children were born, they were followed up to assess their psychological development. The latest data, from questionnaires given to mothers when the children were eight, were presented yesterday at the British Association Festival of Science in York.
While all the children were developmentally normal, boys and girls who had higher levels of foetal testosterone were significantly more likely to have a large number of autistic traits such as preferring playing alone to joining in at birthday parties, and being good at remembering numerical patterns, such as car numberplates.
About 20 per cent of the variation between children’s autistic traits appeared to match foetal testosterone levels, with the remainder likely to be caused by genetic and environmental factors.
Previous research with the same group of children has shown that at 12 months, children with high foetal testosterone make less eye contact with their parents and look at others’ faces less frequently. At 18 months, they have a smaller vocabulary than children exposed to lower concentrations of the male hormone.
Professor Baron-Cohen said that the results did not prove that the link between male hormones and autistic traits was causal: both could be the result of something else. He also said that his team had not yet examined autistic children, only autistic traits in the normal population.
Even so, he said, the work added strong biological evidence to his extreme male brain theory. “The hypothesis was based on observed sex differences,” he said. “Simply put, girls tend to show better empathy, and boys tend to have a stronger interest in systems. Children with autism seem to have an exaggerated version of typical male preferences. They have a strong interest in systems, and difficulty empathising.
“We are now moving from a psychological level down to a biological level. It is an exciting development.”
Professor Baron-Cohen has won funding from the Medical Research Council to conduct a study using two large databases in Denmark, an archive of 90,000 amniocentesis samples, and a national register of people with psychological or developmental disorders. He said: “We are going to look at who has a diagnosis of autism and then pick out their amniocentesis sample and look at testosterone.”
Professor Baron-Cohen said it was unlikely that it would be possible to prevent autism by controlling foetal testosterone, not least because doing so might adversely affect other aspects of foetal development.

I believe that Beauty is TYPICALLY autistic in lots of ways but I would also like to say that she has an amazing sense of humour, fantastic imagination and loves to hug and kiss which are not meant to be typical traits of autism (well, as every other article on autism seems to want to reassure me of)!.
It is a bit like saying though that all little girls love ponies and all little boys love football!
Do they?
Well I have 6 girls and only Belle was PONY obsessed but Beauty is DOG obsessed and parents of small boys will have to let me know if they are football obsessed!
However , next door to me lives a young family with 2 small boys and they are regularly coming into my garden to fetch their ball though I think it is the Dad who is the most obsessed.....he has a Cardiff City scarf in the back window of his car!

If what Professor Baron -Cohen (and yes I think they might be related) has to say is true then I think it goes a long way in explaining the behaviour modification that works best with Beauty.

Hands up how many women have heard of or employed the following Behaviour Modification Theory.
Men can be guided into doing what ever you want them to do as long as they are guided in the right way.In subtle ways, plant a seed of an idea that allows a man to believe that an idea is all his own and there is no stopping him but tell him he has to do something and he will dig his heels in like a mule and totally refuse to comply.
I am being totally serious here and I want you to know that I am not "BlokeBashing".
Whilst females need to be wooed in different but still subtle ways, men are less complex creatures and you take care of their creature comforts and and they will be happy to go along with most things.
Random thought I know but it must be easier to get a man to go shopping now that so many men have i phones and droids and other fancy phones.......they can surf in comfort in the best and the worst of the shops.
Yesterday I went to Asda and there were so many trailing men on their phones!!!!

Beauty is therefore very "male brained"from what Professor Baron-Cohen has explained.
If she does not want to do something then she will not but let her think it is her own idea and there is no stopping her.
Beauty has a Selective Eating Disorder which seems to happen a lot with children who have an ASD.

Selective Eating Disorder (SED) (also known as picky or fussy eating, or perseverative feeding disorder) is an eating disorder that prevents the consumption of certain foods. It is often viewed as a phase of childhood that is generally overcome with age. Children may not grow out of being a picky eater, however, and may continue to be afflicted with SED throughout their adult lives.

The British Journal of Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry states that:

Selective eating is the little studied phenomenon of eating a highly limited range of foods, associated with an unwillingness to try new foods. Common in toddlers, it can persist into middle childhood and adolescence in a small number of children, most commonly boys. When this happens social avoidance, anxiety and conflict can result.

And my way of dealing with the situation is to make Beauty think that any additions to her eating repertoire are purely her own choice.
If I were to put something new on Beauty's plate at meal times then she is very unlikely to even to try it.
However, if I sit next to her whilst she is eating with my own food she is more likely to see it on my plate and want to try it.
From this technique , Beauty has learned to eat fish, chicken, Yorkshire Puddings,ham,fromage frais,pizza and so much more.
I have seen a number of programs on TV about selective eating but the children I have seen them working with are normally developing and what works with them would not work with Beauty.
Plus the ultimate treatment for normally developing children with this problem is to only allow them to eat the offered food and eventually they will eat it.But with a child on the autistic spectrum this will not normally work and will possibly result in starvation as they will just refuse to eat.
And that is just cruelty.
As Beauty's teachers in school have commented " SHE WORKS TO HER OWN AGENDA" and if you push her and she does not want to do something then she has been known to become like a crazed, flailing animal and that can be physically painful.....for others!

But being as stubborn as a mule also works!
We have guinea pigs and a rabbit and so I prepare them raw vegetables and when Beauty was small she went to take some of the vegetables to eat and I shouted NO because they were a bit grubby but she tried to eat them anyway and has ever since.
She eats raw cabbage, broccoli , carrots and lettuce and I am convinced she eats them because she thinks she is doing something naughty.
She also eats daisies!!!!(which her idiot sisters have been known to feed her because they think it is funny!)

Beauty also has sleep disturbances and sometimes she can be awake from 2am and not go back to sleep but she can also veer towards the other end of the spectrum.
At times she is like a teenager and nothing seems to make her want to get out of bed in the morning.
However, there is something that she loves and that is bath time and I only have to put my head around the bedroom door and call BATHTIME and she is up and out of bed and undressing herself to get in the bath.
Forcing Beauty never seems to work.

I also find that arguing with her never works.
When she sees her school dress after bathing she frequently starts shouting NO SCHOOL and I totally ignore it, if I didn't she would just repeat NO SCHOOL no matter what I replied. I help her to dress and sit her at the breakfast table for he breakfast and carry on as nothing has happened.If Beauty had been a normally developing child her favourite phrase would have been BUT WHY .
The girls will vouch for this because when they are on the phone they complain of Beauty's noise and they say they cannot concentrate and I say WHAT NOISE?
Many males can be like this.
How many males out there think that they have "won an argument" but yet the woman went on to do what she felt was right anyway?
I am in no way saying that men and children on the autistic spectrum are stupid.....far from it.
It is because of their high level of intelligence that such subtlety has to be used.
The point I am making is that dealing with men and children on the autistic spectrum , there needs to be a similar approach and Professor Baron-Cohen's research has a lot of truth in it.
However, to prove that this is just the opinion of a mother of a child with autism(who most of the time suffers from sleep deprivation due to her child's inability to sleep properly!!!!) I also think that children and dogs need to be brought up in a similar way.
I have watched Dog Borstal ( and Mic is brilliant)and strength ,love ,organisation and reward are the best ways for dogs and children.
Though I am not sure Beauty would go for the doggy treats.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Just a little note for Sunday.
I have a STAT COUNTER here on my blog and you can see it down on the right hand side of the front page.
It is something I look at every few days or so and I find the information really interesting.
I have never had over 200 hits in a day and that is not a problem as this blog was never meant to be more than a journal for me and my girls and friends.
However, the one thing that fascinates me is WHO ARE THE OTHERS that visit my site regularly?
Most people I can guess because of their locations but others just have me wondering constantly.
Who in Israel reads my every new entry?
The girls have a cousin there but I can't see him being interested.
And who in the Yorkshire Dales likes to read of my mundane life.(I know it is not you David as you show up closer to your home)
And London and Texas and Germany!
And they are not just random readers.
They read all the time and they go straight to my site and are not directed through one of the Autism sites.
Truly we are a Global village and I love it.
For a woman who did not leave the UK for the first time until she was 38,I love this ability to communicate EVERYWHERE.
My Blog makes me think about my favourite book THE CHRYSALIDS.
I know I have whittered on about it before but for those who have not heard me expound on how brilliant it is before,here is a brief synopsis.
It is set in a post apocalyptical future, after a nuclear war.
The society is basically set in the middle ages in lots of ways.
One of the main themes is that the society is religious and some are more fundamental than others.
There are laws which state what mankind can and cannot look like ...i.e how many hands, length of bones, number of fingers etc...... and deviants are sent to live in the badlands as they are a sin against God.But NORMALITY is difficult to achieve due to the radiation that still lingers from the war.
However, a group of telepaths have evolved and whilst the powers that be think they exist , they are not sure and are pursuing them.
But the main character who is a telepath talks of those other telepaths he can talk to in his head and understand and others who are either further away and cannot be heard or those who do not fully understand their capabilities and are not able to be any more telepathic than a few ghost whispers that they might transmit in times of distress.
And how does the idiot woman see this in relation to her blog I am sure you are asking?
It is all about communication.
Whilst computers were invented before John Wyndham wrote his book The Chrysalids, could he have ever imagined the capabilities that actually come from them and their ability to communicate with others in the far reaches of the world?
I don't know but when ever I go online I feel there are different ways that I communicate to others that resemble Wyndhams telepaths.
I talk and see directly through SKYPE and at other times I INSTANT MESSAGE and at other times I just EMAIL.
Some people I speak to in REAL LIFE and are current friends and family, whilst others I have only met on ONLINE and will probably never meet face-to-face.
It is all about levels of communication.
In the book, one of the characters says that to be married to someone who was not telepathic would not be something he could contemplate as they would not be able to fully communicate their feelings for each other and I know what he means.
I would not want to go back to a time when I could not communicate as freely around the world as I do now.Yes I am a Luddite in many ways but only because I am crap at making technology work but the thought of NOT being able to communicate with my family and friends whenever I need to is just a scary thought.
Whilst I love to write letters and do, to have to go back to relying on that for communication would be impossible for my mind to comprehend or want to accept.
Honestly, who has not felt some anxiety when their Internet connection went down?
I think it is a way of describing our need to reach out and feel that someone is there, even if we do not see SOMEONE,to know we are not alone.
Therefore to paraphrase Ephesians 2:19 BE YE NO MORE STRANGERS.
If you like to read my blog then stop and say HELLO ,I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010



28-04-07 The last time my girls were all together

Me and Beauty at Roath Park

Belle and Beauty
Belle's Graduation Day


The girls at St Fagans 2007



SnoWhite and Beauty

Beauty Baking

Ariel and Beauty

Beauty and Ariel

Fiona and Beauty at school

Friday, September 24, 2010


1 The rain will pour at school run time,shop assistants will say when you take something back WELL NO ONE HAS EVER COMPLAINED BEFORE and last but not least, MEN WILL LIE TO YOU!
Accept it and get over it.
They cannot help it, it is a design flaw.
If their lips are moving, there is a good chance they are lying to you.
And why do they lie?
Because we as women have let them get away with it.
So why on earth would we do something so stupid?
Because many women fear the confrontation and also possibly losing the man.
Yet why do we women turn men into the Gods that they are not?
Probably because men need to be adored to feel complete, something we mothers taught them as children and in doing so ruined them for the poor woman they end up with!
But the upside is that most men seem to be totally unaware that their women KNOW THEY ARE LYING. Unaware that we are actually ALLOWING them to do what they do
because it is easier and it keeps them happy.
But yes there is an upside......treat this species of animal considerately and they will adore you like a new puppy loves its owner.
Feed them, keep them clean and warm and very much loved and they will dote on you.....most of the time.......well a lot of the time.......or possibly only some of the time but they can be worth the effort!
Please remember.......no animals were hurt in the writing of this piece and it is of course a gross generalisation and merely my own opinion!

Children will grow up and leave home and break your hearts because they are no longer sweet cuddly babies!

When my children were born they failed to read the small print which said that they had to stay a baby for always......Well apart from Beauty who will always be a baby in lots of ways.
They were not meant to go to school,be a Brownie,go to university, fall in love, get married but hey .....the grand babies will be ok when they arrive!

3 In reality, your own parents were as clueless as we were when dealing with screaming babies and child rearing,that's the deal......it was not their fault or ours.
It was meant to be that way!

Every parent had to learn to be a parent on the job, there is never any real work experience.
However, we do now have SuperNanny and all I can say is that if there had been somebody like her around when my girls were little they would not have had to deal with such a psychotic, useless mother.
SuperNanny has been my Guru for lots of Beauty's problems.
Just remember though, you are your child's expert, no one else.

4 You have a body that is uniquely yours
Sometimes it will be fatter, sometimes it will be thinner.
Sometimes you will believe you look like a Super Model(after a few drinks maybe) other times you will be convinced you look like Pat Butcher but at the end of the day you are always you and remember significant others come and go but you will always end up in bed with yourself SO LOVE YOURSELF.
Would you really want to be in bed with someone you didn't love?

5 That money will not make you happy.
I know it can make life comfortable and you will be secure but think of all those famous, wealthy celebrities who took their own lives.
It didn't mean much to them.
However, offer me a nice house with a big garden for Beauty and I would snap it up. But what can I say?
I am only human.....and honest!

6 Never let your dreams escape.
They are what make you who you are.
You may not achieve everything you want straight away but keep them polished and shiney.
I will finish my masters one day.
I will cruise the Nile.
I will tell the woman who told me I was fat that she is fatter than me!
Well.....two out of three ain't bad!

7 Sex is just Sex!
It can be wonderful and joyous and perfect!!!!!
But it can also be boring and not just a little tedious.
Do not enshrine it as the wonderment of your life.
When you one day realise that you would rather do the laundry or wash the car then you have truly arrived.
You have become a true adult and sex is in its rightful place.
And that is , that there is a time and place for it.
And sex is not love but just an expression of it.

8 You will have regrets and it is just not possible to forget all your mistakes.Just say WHAT WAS I THINKING(or not as the case maybe!) and walk away.
IT is important to have dated,lived with or married a total idiot because then you will truly appreciate the perfect person you meet and fall in love with who is not a complete idiot.
As passé as it sounds it is important to have EXPERIENCED THE BITTER TO KNOW THE SWEET.
And by experiencing these mistakes , you will learn a lot about yourself, I have.
Mostly that I have poor judgement skills when it comes to at least 50% of the men I have ever known.
The other 50% are probably just grateful that they escaped from such a crazy woman.

9 You will not be forever young and you will grow old.Now I am sorry but I was never meant to be 49 with arthritis and walk like I have a 'rod up my arse' as one of my delightsome daughters so sweetly described it.
I was never meant to be 49 going on 50.
Like everyone else I was meant to be young and beautiful(well I was never that but it is nice to dream) and always in the prime of my life.
So take care of your body as you will need it to be healthy so much more as you grow older.
You want to be one of those people in their 70's and 80's who go snow boarding and not like me with walking sticks, even if they are very attractive with stars and moons on them.

10 And last but I feel so important.
Do not take what you are told as gospel.
Just because some one says something is a truth long enough does not make it so.
Find your own way in life.
Be your own guide.
Find your own path.
Be true only to yourself and then everything you will do will be right and just.
Which means that you will seek to make yourself happy which is the only way you can make anyone else happy and make the world around you a better place.

I conclusion, these are things I have learned over the years but do I practice my own ideals all the time?
I try but fail on a daily basis but the important thing is that after you fall you get up and start again....it is the only way.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Hi Girls
I was just thinking that I haven't done a Saturday Postcard from home for a long time so I thought that today might be a good day to re-start.
I had WI-FI installed this week so I am able to use my netbook whilst Beauty is on the main computer which is good news for me.
I have been really tired this week as I have had a problem with anaemia so it has been a good excuse to sit and write and of course use the computer.
Whilst on the netbok I have come across photos that are not so recent and I thought you might like to see them.

Guess what day this photgraph was taken?










Thursday, September 16, 2010


Well, the sun shone this morning and it seems as if the nice weather is back.
Obviously a chilly start considering the time of year but the rest of the day turned out to be nice and warm.

Back to the Hollies photograph.

Beauty is loving being back at school.
I read this recently and I copied it and put it on my mirror so I would constantly see it and reflect upon it.

The Dalai Lama's Recommendations for You


1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:
Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

Perhaps I am getting cynical with old age but I personally wonder if any love , no matter how great, is worth the effort
Of course I am not taking about the unconditional love we have for our family, especially our children.
However, guess how old I was when I wrote this in one of my journals?
Deep is the stream
Where flows a love
That time will stop
And lie down for.
19......No, just kidding.
The answer is 49.
So do we ever lose that desire?
Probably not, we just store it away and let it collect dust because it is easier.
I think that the problem is that we find it easier to do nothing and let life pass us by.

And it is easier not to get your heart broken

So if great love requires great risk then so do great achievements.

But because we think of 'great achievements' as being something that is so unobtainable and 'surely must take a lot of effort' we fail to do anything at all.
I truly believe my greatest achievements in life have nothing to do with any qualifications I may have acquired or any professional distinction I may have achieved.I believe my achievements lie in the ordinary but even the ordinary is not easy but takes super human effort at times.
In the book the Bell family by Noel Streatfeild, Ginnie the daughter of a vicar in the East End of London comes to realise that life is not about performing heroic deeds but about the small achievements that we make daily.

Personally, when I think about great love and great achievements I think of the following poem

Ithaka by Constantine P. Cavafy

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon-don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon-you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind-
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean

The destination of the journey is Ithaka. Ithaka is the island off the western coast of Greece to which Odysseus returned after the Trojan war. Odysseus’s journey was a long and difficult one. It was ten years before he was able to rejoin his wife Penelope in Ithaka. However, Ithaka in this poem can also be understood as the destination of any journey, and it can be further understood metaphorically as a journey through life.

Is there no greater love than this or no greater achievements?

I think perhaps there is.

The mother who leaves the house at 5am to do a second cleaning job just to pay for food everyday before her fulltime job.
The carerer/nurse who washes patients day in day out and changes their soiled bed linen.
The man who cleans the streets.
The teacher who spends hours teaching children to read and write.
The day in day out essential jobs that others don't always give true recognition to.

My special recognition goes to the RAC man who came out when my tyre exploded in the Civic Centre.He spent the entire time he fixed the car talking and stimming with Beauty.A sight to behold indeed, a 6 foot plus large built guy bouncing up and down stimming next to Beauty!
It seems his son is also AUTISTIC.
My belief is that there is greatness in the little things.
The only true greatness


Yesterday it was Beauty who was awake at 3.30am who couldn't sleep and today it is me.

I have a nasty little sucker of a headache and I am afraid it might be of the 'only a good puke will relieve this' kind of headache!

I was meant to got to University with regards to my dissertation yesterday evening but puking over a tutor is NEVER a good idea!

However, what I did manage to do was take Fiona to University and install her in her new halls of residence Tŷ Pont Haearn.

Fiona is about to start a degree in Fashion at The Atrium in Cardiff.

It was oddly moving in a way that it hadn't been with any of her sisters when I took Fiona to University.

When I took Anastasia I was very pregnant with Beauty and that had been quite emotional but in a different way.Anastasia had worked the summer as an au pair in Cornwall and the first empty nesting pains had happened then, so by the time she went to the University of Bath she was really looking forward to it.
Definitely no leaving home for the first time tears!

Belle was confident and bubbly about her going to uni and HEY......it was in Swansea!

Well known territory.

Snowhite was and is a Boomerang child and will never be too far from home for too long.As she did a foundation year in Art at UWIC she did not leave home and then in her first year she went into a privately rented house.
Totally different ball game.
And when Snowhite started her second degree!!!!!!!.......well she knew the University of Newport quite well because she had studied in the library whist doing her A levels when I had done my Masters degree.

Ariel, well what can I say?
Ariel had spent lots of time away from home due to school trips, Army Cadet trips and Language School in Geneva one summer and she went into fully-catered Holland Hall at Exeter University so it felt like one more adventure and she was thrilled to be there.

But Fiona, whilst she would not think it was any different , for me it is
Fiona was my baby for 9 years until Beauty was born after I married again.She will always be her Dad's baby of course!!!!
Fiona at 19 seems oddly grown up compared to the other girls I saw moving in and at 19 she is 'oddly' more mature than her sister Ariel!
Ariel admits this herself.

I write snatches of thought, sometimes poetry, all the time, in little notebooks scattered around my life.
I wrote this whilst Fiona was moving her things into her university residence.

My baby leaves home
not for foreign climes
another chapter closes
we have done this five times.

And as for Beauty.... who knows what course her life will take!
Perhaps that is why it feels so different!
Here I am with Beauty who is profoundly autistic and I have no way of knowing what the future will bring for her.
Beauty received a provisional diagnosis at an exceptionally early age,
she was 9 months old and she received a full diagnosis from Professor Fraser when she was approximately 22 months.
And the worst bit for me was the fact that I didn't even notice that she had a problem of any kind.
She was referred to the consultant by a doctor who had noticed problems when she failed her hearing tests a number of times.
My beautiful, lovely girl had problems and I had not noticed a thing.
She was 9 months old and I was a nurse and the mother of 5 normally developing girls and had not noticed a thing.
A few of days ago it all came to a head when I took Beauty to run in the Cardiff 2K.Many people, adults and children were staring at her because she was different and it really upset me.
I wrote this the following day.

Winter came early that year
No autumn winds
Blew the last
Smells of summer
Across lawns dancing
With golden lights on
Gluttering leaves.
And no Indian summer
Sun shone it's last
Rays of sunshine
On little children
Playing in the dried
Grass of the last
Lawn cuts of summer.
But only cold winds blew
And rains fell,
And bleakness
Was all around
And it encompassed me.

The last 9 years have been a journey of discovery for me.
A spiritual journey to find my own answers and my own way.
I am a more spiritual person than I was when I joined the church 34 years ago yet I still do not have the answers.
Though I would confess to my life experiences having made me a deeper, more spiritual person(not religious though!!!) .
But hey...who isn't going to become more inwardly reflective when you lose a baby and then you are widowed and lose both your parents within 18 months.
I would love to believe in a God and a next life and being with my family in an eternal heaven but my mind says NO and will just not let me believe it.
So my only other option is to be true to myself and live a life the best I can and hope that if there turns out to be a God then he will be a kind God who will say to me that even though I did not live a life worshipping him,I still lived a good life.
And for that I will be blessed.
In the book The Last Battle by C S Lewis , Lewis writes at the end of the story

'Aslan appears, and as they watch at the stable door, all of the people and animals, including those who had previously died, gather outside the barn and are judged by Aslan. Those who have been loyal to Aslan or the morality upheld by Narnians join Aslan in Aslan's Country.'

And there is a Calormen soldier who is also blessed but he does not understand why Aslan blesses him because as he declares he has worshipped Tash all his days.

However, Aslan explains that whilst he served another , he led a good life and it was as if he served him and so he would be blessed.
So that is my hope,if there is a God then he will be equally as kind.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Growing up in the 60's it would be fair to say that that being hungry quite frequently was a significant part of the memories that I have.
I loved food but I never was able to get quite enough of it and until I was 25 I looked as if I was anorexic.
My bones literally stuck out and the bones of my spine were very pronounced. But boy did I eat from the time that I was living on my own but it was mostly my beloved friends.....CARBS!
I remember a professional explaining to me the theory of famine and feast that occurred in families with limited income(and I know she could be reading this and I want to thank her for enlightening me).
Before I go on however, I would say that the situation has changed somewhat due to the availability of cheaper foods.
But what I was told was that small children have little choice and grow up eating what they are given and that can be very small amounts so they are constantly hungry.
However, the situation changes as they grow older and became more vocal and have a voice of their own.Then they demand food and they go from undernourished children to over-fed teens and obese adults.
I know that I definitely went through that and my body still has not come to terms with finding a healthy, stable weight.

Last night I watched a report on Humanae Vitae

Humanae Vitae (Latin "Of Human Life") is an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI and promulgated on July 25, 1968. Subtitled "On the Regulation of Birth", it re-affirms the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church regarding abortion, contraception, and other issues pertaining to human life.
Mainly because of its prohibition of all forms of artificial contraception, the encyclical has been controversial.

that was presented by activist Peter Tatchell
and it discussed as part of the presentation the situation of Catholic families in the Philippines and it case studied a woman called Vilma who had 9 living children(2 had died)and she was pregnant again and they lived in poverty and squalor.
The church and local Bishops and priests had told them they were not allowed to limit their families through artificial means because it would be a sin to do so.
They lived in abject poverty in a slum area and they earned their living by scavenging through the local dump for plastic and they earned barely enough money for the family to survive. Their diet appeared to be mostly rice.
Even though there was rice coming into the family the mother stated that there were often times when there was not enough for her to eat .
This is one thing I remember about my own mother, there were times when she did not eat and I dedicate my writing today to her.
Going back to Peter Tatchel's presentation however, I want my family who are equally split between the membership in the Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints that my words here are purely personal and NOT a reflection upon you as individuals.
I totally , 100% believe that a religious doctrine(or dogma) that condemns the use of condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and prevent pregnancy is wrong. Even though the following statement will make me sound like a hypocrite, I also believe that abortion should be freely available and the woman be allowed control over her own body and make her own choices.
It is not for me to make or influence her choices.
I have personally given birth 7 times and would NEVER have considered an abortion and even if I had been told of Beauty's condition prior to birth, I still would not have considered an abortion.
Beauty is my happiest ,most care free child and so far she has had a wonderfully loving life.
But these are my choices, I would never impose them on anyone else.
From the time my girls were able to understand, I have told them that if they got pregnant, no matter how young they were or whatever the situation, to tell me and I would be happy and totally support them with their choice.
Obviously they knew my own choice would be to keep the child, they still knew that I would support what they chose.
I do not believe that we should blindly accept that is right for children to be born into squalor and poverty and to die in pain and suffering.

Now I am sure that the official organisation that is the Catholic church would say that my beliefs are wrong and are a sin but I do not understand how they can be.
They are truly what I believe and I cannot make myself believe any other way but yet GOD created me this way so surely what I believe must be right and true, logically it cannot be any other way.
I also believe that when a human is born their sexuality is who they are, they do not decide to become gay and so they are not 'sinners'.
I personally cannot believe that the situation in developing countries , where religion makes choices for the people that poverty, hunger, pain, inequality and suffering is right.
My mind will not let me think any other way.
Therefore, if there is a God and there is a heaven, then all I will be able to say if there is a judgement day


To carry on , no longer on global inequalities but on a more personal level,Beauty has a Selective Eating Disorder.

Selective Eating Disorder (SED) (also known as picky or fussy eating, or perseverative feeding disorder) is an eating disorder that prevents the consumption of certain foods. It is often viewed as a phase of childhood that is generally overcome with age. Children may not grow out of being a picky eater, however, and may continue to be afflicted with SED throughout their adult lives
SED is common in young people with autistic spectrum disorders

Beauty has made her own choices as far as food is concerned and has only a limited range of what she will eat and most of them are a GOLDEN COLOUR which seems to define what she will or will not eat.

She is a tall girl but she is regularly seen and weighed by a consultant who says her height and weight are within normal limits but I do still worry especially due to her hypermobilty and the hypermobility and arthritis that I have.I also worry because I am large person and am predisposed to putting on weight which is obviously not good for someone with the health problems that I have.Because of this,I am constantly worried about what she eats and the exercise that she gets.In one way her hyperactivity is a good thing because I think it gets rid of a lot of excess calories during the day and helps to keep her fit!I am therefore very interested in any programs I can watch on TV about children and healthy eating and last night and I watched Jamie Oliver's new program .

ABC Television Network - "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution"
Jamie Oliver is here to start a revolution. The impassioned chef, TV personality and best-selling author is determined to take on the high statistics of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in this country, where our nation's children are the first generation not expected to live as long as their parents. Jamie is inviting viewers to take a stand and change the way America eats, in our home kitchens, schools and workplaces, with the thought-provoking new series, "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution,"

And from the outset I was embarrassed and I could understand why the locals were asking


I have to admit though that I would have been tempted to tell him to bog off and put his own house in order(the UK)if I had been one of the cooks.
Jamies first issue was with the children eating pizza for breakfast.
Now I personally think that Jamie got too hung up on the fact that he had never seen pizza for breakfast.Whenever I have seen Gillian McKeith's program I have always felt that her biggest problem was failing to engage the children. Don't give them slop for breakfast....give them what they like.
Pizza can be good, it just needs to be produced as a healthy option.
Less fat,less preservatives and generally less of all the other rubbish it can contain but YES it can be good.I feel he should have focussed on what the children wanted.
My purpose here in discussing Jamie's program is that I feel you cannot judge a whole community,town, city, country from one point of view .I believe that the problems with healthy eating are different for everyone and I believe that real change can only come from central government initiatives.
Standards should be set and maintained regarding food to ensure that only good, safe, healthy food is entering the market and healthy eating taught from an early age for everyone and more exercise promoted.No this is not a magic wand solution, it never can be as we as humans should have our own free agency to decide about our own lives.

And from this......what am I saying?

Well there appears to be a lot of different things discussed here but I feel they are all saying and I want to reiterate what they are saying and that is



Monday, September 13, 2010


Yesterday was Beauty's first race.
She ran a 2k for Kidney Research around the Cardiff Civic centre and she had an amazing time.

I however was the one who was not so happy.
People just do not seem to understand that it is rude to stare and adults are the worst.
Children are not so bad but even they can be a pain when they follow you just to stare.
The ones who cause me most pain are the ones pushing babies who for all intents and purposes look perfect.I am grateful that their babies are perfect but when they stare too long I just want to stop these people and ask why they are staring.
What a lot of parents of small children do not realise is that YES YOUR CHILD MAY SEEM PERFECT NOW BUT THEY COULD TURN OUT TO BE JUST LIKE MY CHILD!
But I don't and I say to myself MUST TRY HARDER.

The giveaway sign that Beauty is different.....her stimming.

When I read this story in May, I felt shock and anger that this mother got to the stage where she felt there were no other alternatives for her AND HER CHILD!
In one article, I read that she found great difficulty dealing with the way other people stared and the way her son was treated by others when she was out.
And I wanted to say I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL.
But I must clarify here and now that what she did is not anything I could EVER contemplate.
I want more than anything to believe in God but I CANNOT MAKE IT SO and that makes me really sad but what it does mean is that I do not believe in an after life (another thing I would like to be true but can't make myself believe)and so I believe you have just one life that you should enjoy as long and as best you can.

Mother charged with murder of disabled son, 11South Wales police say child may have died 48 hours before body was discovered
(5)Tweet this (5)Vikram Dodd guardian.co.uk, Monday 17 May 2010 20.16 BST Article historyA mother was today charged with the murder of her 11-year-old disabled son who was found dead in a hotel room.

Police say they believe the child may have died up to 48 hours before his body was discovered. It is reported the child had severe autism, and that his mother was found sitting with his body.

South Wales police named the boy as Glen Freaney from the Penarth area in the Vale of Glamorgan.

His mother, Yvonne Freaney, 48, was arrested after her son was found dead at the Sky Plaza hotel near Cardiff airport on Saturday, after friends and relatives raised concerns about the child's safety

I read this story and just wish there had been someone there for her at that last moment when she felt that there was no one else she could turn to.




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.