Monday, December 12, 2011


Beauty and I got Pianoman a Christmas Tree and we decorated it for him :)

I know it took a while Fiona but we managed to decorate your hanging basket at last :)

Look what Santa left early under someones Christmas tree :)

The Porthkerry Church where Nanny and Grandad are.

My eco-friendly Christmas wrapping paper, Beauty decorated it :)

When Beauty met Santa :)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Christmas is Coming :)

Well the Christmas tree is up and the twinkle lights are twinkling

The decorations are on the piano

And the Christmas wreath has been hung

The Christmas cards are made

And the presents are wrapped .

And here I am as a Humanist wondering why I am doing all of this :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Beauty had a Hauntingly Happy Halloween :)

My day started with the 'punky ' creation :) Whilst he will last a few day, he will not be staying in our house as long a Vada Sultenfuss 'mother kept her 'punky' :)
When Beauty was little she couldn't say Pumpkin but she could say Punky and so that is what she has called pumpkins ever since :)

This year we went to MacDonalds. After 10 years of Burger King it was decided that it was time for a change.
Beauty enjoyed it very much and really enjoyed her Tintin toy Snowy .
She also ate all her food and half of mine!
I only bought her a Happy Meal because I knew she had eaten earlier.
When she had finished her meal she then set about eating mine !

Me with my 'Skully' bobbles, I think they are pretty cool and even though I am 50 I have decided I shall never grow up.
Who says we have to ?

We also visited Ariel and Matt who were having a party, this is Ariel post-glitter bombing :)
Wednesday is practicing her scary stare !
Thank you for all the chocolate guys, Beauty :)

Beauty visiting Fiona :)
We were banned from glitter bombing Fiona as she was going out !
As you can see,Wednesday is stunned by the goodie pot and Halloween treasure that Fiona got for her.
My girls are such stars :)

And last but not least, Beauty visiting SnoWhite.
Beauty was very pleased with the Ripple bar that SnoWhite bought her BUT Beauty was very concerned about Snowhite and kept telling her to go and put some clothes on.
She didn't want SnoWhite to get cold :)
Plus the look on Beauty's face when SnoWhite was glitter bombed was classic,Beauty looked totally shocked but she obviously like it because she started to jump up and down and stim furiously :):):)

I have to say a special thanks to my wonderful girls for making Beauty's first ever Trick or Treating such a wonderful success, she totally loved it.
We will definitely be back next year girls so definitely stock up on the chocolate :):):)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

In the words of David Cassidy......

And no it isn't in a 'I think I love you way' but an 'I can't sleep tonight' kind of way !
I took painkillers for my hips way too late so sleep is evading me even though I am very tired.
Oh well.
I don't do imaginary sheep so I am thinking about a bucket list.
And to show how exciting I am the only thing that I can think of to go on the list is cruise up the Nile !
I don't do heights or crazy adventures so that probably limits my horizons somewhat.
Learn to bake in a French boulangerie perhaps.
Visit Ayres rock or walk the Great Wall of China maybe.
Do something truly altruistic.
I think I am at the , 'I need suggestions' stage :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

School's Out For Summer :)

Day 4 Week 1 and already I know Beauty is bored and last night she had a meltdown when the technology in the house would not was a video player thing !
Her computer is playing up and every time she uses her laptop and watches a video it freezes plus she now has an actual video stuck in her TV/Video combi :(
Yesterday Beauty came to me and said OFF which means she wants me to turn the parental control off on her computer so she can watch YOUTUBE, my answer was NOT A CHANCE to which she replied ANGRY and made a grrrrr! noise and turned around and went back to her computer making Baby Bear growling noises!
OK , communication skills improving :)
Plus the weather is so sticky and humid that this all combined is making for one stressed out 10 year 
old !
Let me add to that, it is also making for one stressed out Momma lady :|
' I will survive'.....Thank you Gloria Gaynor , that is my anthem for the week, well the next 6 weeks .
Top of my To-Do-List today is to clean the back garden up, which basically means get rid of everything that can be dumped or re-cycled. I am hoping that Beauty will enjoy helping as she likes being in the back garden despite the mess.Yesterday she was out there counting gravel! She also spent a lot of time seeing how many  pebbles would fit into my gardening gloves.......not enough it seems as she got in her words ANGRY when she could get no more pebbles in !
I am so glad she didn't try and see if the rabbit or the guinea pig would fit in the gloves.
Thankfully the rabbit is a VERY FAST runner and can escape her and the guinea pig scratches and bites so I think they are safe for the time being. 
Beauty has become closer to the animals now that the boys live in the garden and she even enjoys cleaning  them out at the weekend( the job is yours kid !).

The rabbit is now 'free range' and it is quite sweet to see them together in the garden, they don't play together but they don't seem to be afraid of each other anymore which is nice :)

However, Buzzy Bee Bunny has been wandering a bit too far of late and has been upsetting 'Mr McGregor 'who lives next-door and grows vegetables , Buzzy Bee is obviously very interested in what is on the menu !
So yesterday I got some chicken wire and wired up the bottom of the gate so now Buzzy Bee can longer escape. Buzzy is not a happy bunny , ah well, life's a beach .
Also on my list of To-Dos today is to make a plan of action for Beauty for the holidays., what to do and where to go .I don't think I want to cope with another meltdown from her.

One meltdown in the family is enough but with me the meltdown is a physical thing, it is an age thing!!!!!
I have spent a fortune on Black Cohosh and special vitamins and supplements and as of yet there are  no  visible results.
They had better start kicking in soon before I melt into a puddle like The Wicked Witch of the West though I am sure Beauty thinks I am already The  Wicked Witch of the South with my lack of sympathy to all things technical!
Oh well, time to get up, wash dress and breakfast Baby Bear :)


Thursday, July 07, 2011


I have 6 girls and of the older 5, 3 have done language based degrees.
The eldest Anastasia did Russian and French, Belle did English and American Studies and Ariel did Arabic.The other 2 have done or are doing art based courses,Snowhite did Textiles and Fiona is doing Fashion.
And the youngest Beauty, if she ever develops to the stage of doing a degree it will DEFINITELY be something to do with computers and Disney :)
And if you were to ask me for advice as what degree is best for your child to do,I would have to say as far as the parent is concerned..........Language based subjects ALL THE WAY !
It took 1 car load to move Anastasia,Belle and Ariel from their university halls of residence whilst Snowhite and FIona, my art based students ,the amount of stuff they own seems never ending!(Though I have to say that Snowhite has downsized hugely).
I just helped Fiona move from halls of residence to a student house and it took me 4 car loads!
One of Fiona's sisters was heard to comment, 'Next time Fiona moves,she is renting a van AND I'll pay for it'.
So my advice is,if your child has leanings towards being the next Picasso, make sure you teach them to drive as early as possible so when they go to university they can move themselves!

Oh and don't forget, when they finish the university year and they have moved ALL their stuff, you will still be requested to help with the piles of washing they  have accumulated through the year NO MATTER WHAT SUBJECT THEY STUDIED :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I dreamed a dream last night and in the dream I was given one wish .
I know, one wish is not  three and I even said in the dream ,'Sorry but it is meant to be three', but sadly the wish giver was not listening:(
So one it was.
But what to wish for ?
Obviously, anything I wished for would be something to do with Beauty but what to choose ?
What  a terrible position I felt I had been put in.
First I thought NO MORE AUTISM.
But then I thought WHY, she has had the happiest childhood that any child could have.
Second I thought,all the money I need and more to provide for her.
But then I thought WHY, she has everything she wants and needs now.
Then thirdly I thought, a world that doesn't stare and treat her like a freak would be fine.
And that is what I wished for.

Monday, June 20, 2011


'You pay peanuts, you get monkeys' as the saying goes.

I know people who are working in care homes and the wage is usually basic rate, not enough to feed a family on and because of this the turnover in care staff is high and quality of care cannot be maintained in some care homes.

If the staff were better paid, taught and regulated then perhaps there may be an improvement in the provision of care.

But these are private businesses looking to make a profit so the moment the staff find a better paid job they move on.
I watched the film and from the first few seconds of filming I could pick out those who were not suitable to work in that environment.
So it is not just the carers who should be found guilty of abuse but the people who employed them.

The whole of the Castlebeck company needs to be investigated.

20 June 2011
Winterbourne View Panorama 'abuse' hospital to close
Castlebeck will close Winterbourne View on Friday 24 June Related Stories
Parents 'feel sick' over 'abuse''Abuse'
film nurses are suspended
Care home serious review date set
A residential hospital for vulnerable adults near Bristol where alleged abuse was secretly filmed by the BBC Panorama programme is to close on Friday.
Castlebeck, which runs Winterbourne View, said the hospital would close on 24 June when the last patients would be transferred to alternative services.
Patients at the unit were filmed by an undercover reporter posing as a care worker
The footage showed residents being pinned down, slapped and taunted.
A spokesman for Castlebeck said the company had been working closely with families and carers, the NHS and social services "to ensure patients are safely transferred with minimum disruption to their lives".
After the programme was broadcast Castlebeck apologised and launched an internal investigation.
A number of people have been questioned by police and released on bail following the programme and the government said it would carry out its own review of what happened.
A serious case review into the alleged abuse at the residential hospital has been set for July.
'Future untenable'
Jack Lopresti, the local Conservative MP, said he had met Lee Reed, the chief executive of Castlebeck, earlier in the day.
Mr Lopresti said: "Mr Reed gave me his assurances that the closure of the hospital will be conducted in as sensitive a way as possible.
"I stand by my call for the hospital's closure and I am pleased that Castlebeck have come to the same conclusion.
"Given the horrific events which have taken place at Winterbourne View I believe its future running is untenable."

Sunday, June 19, 2011


And that secret is.......I iron my Tea Towels!

When I have had visitors, some have noticed that I iron my Tea Towels and they then proceed to fall about laughing.
They have told me that is the last thing they iron BUT if there was only one thing that I iron it would be my Tea Towels.
I am not OCD, my children can confirm that but I do believe in avoiding unnecessary infection.
I also am not the kind of mother who believes in keeping their children all safely wrapped up and not allowed to get wet and dirty.
Beauty is a champion puddle-jumper and will pick the most disgusting things up of the floor and put them in their mouth :)
I once worked at a traveller/gypsy clinic and in the depths of winter,when there was frost on the ground, I saw children running around without shoes and socks and they seemed pretty healthy children.
I use a dishwasher because it uses less water and hotter water than hand washing and I quite regularly bleach, soak and boil and iron my tea towels.
Beauty and I had MRSA when she was approximately 10 days old and I think this is probably one of the main reasons I make an effort with food and dishes cleanliness.
Also, Beauty's autism makes her totally unaware of the need for personal hygiene (she is yuk!!!!!) and I use many cloths a day to wipe her hands and face and the table too.
Most cloths are usually only used once.

I Googled ironing Tea Towels and the results seemed to be a half way split between those who DO & those who DON'T .
The following is one of the many who feel the same way as I do.
The following is from somebody who works inn the catering industry and I have to admit that most are not as fastidious as her. I worked as a waitress part-time for over 22 years and most restaurant kitchens are not a pretty sight!

From Yahoo answers

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Firstly buy good quality tea towels - old fashioned white glass cloths are the best as they can with stand all washing, even bleach if needed. Colourful pretty ones are not great as dyes can run in hot washes.
Secondly the way you handle your tea towels has to be to ensure that you are keeping any bacterial growth to a safe level. This is why you hang up them to dry after using them as damp conditions are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria. If you wash by hand then you do need to use a fresh one at least every day. I use a dishwasher and use one a week! but rarely dry anything with it so it never gets damp and will pickup very little bacteria. If changing everyday I would still hang the tea towel to dry at the end of the day, but in the morning put out a clean one putting the previous days "down for washing" then do a hot (at least 60'C) wash once a week. If you buy the white "stockinette" dish clothes then do the same with these - a fresh one every day.
So hot wash (on their own and certainly never with any clothing), and make sure you dry them quickly removing them from the machine as soon after washing as you can. Once dry IRON them even if this is the only thing you ever iron do it as it sterilises the cloths.
Hot wash + Iron = Safe Bacterial levels
When washing use Biological POWDER. The biological action breaks down proteins such as will be picked up from food and powder (with the exception of powder to wash colours) contains a bleaching agent which you don't get with liquids - compare Persil Biological Powder with Persil Biological Liquid next time you are in the supermarket!
Follow this and you will have beautiful spotless tea towels but more importantly safe!!

If you go through a lot of tea towels and dishcloths then you can do what I do at work. All cloths are never carried from one day to the next - fresh for each day. At the end of the day I soak the cloths (and oven cloths/gloves) in a solution of biological soap powder and COLD water in a STAINLESS STEEL pot (don't use aluminium as the detergent will break this down and the cloths don't come out to clean, enamel pans will work but the enamel eventually corrodes). I leave these soaking all night and then in the morning put the pot on a very low heat and leave it to gradually come up to boil temperature but don't actually let it boil (if you do you end up burning the dirty water which goes a horrible smelly brown that stains the cloths!), giving it an occasional stir I leave them on the low heat for 4-5hours. I then put the pot in the sink and run the cold water through it agitating with my hand. Then give them a final rinse under the hot tap, hand ring and hang up to dry. I then refill the pan with soap powder and cold water and then just add that days dirty cloths one at a time making sure by end of the day all cloths have been put in to soak.
Am a Caterer

So whilst I have A VERY GRUBBY CHILD that I am training to be A NICE CLEAN CHILD I shall have to maintain my NOT SO DIRTY LITTLE SECRET:)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Panorama BBC Undercover Care (31/5/2011) Part 1

I once taught manual handling to carers in a nursing home and one of the carers said,'no matter what you teach us,I will do what I like when I am on my own'.
How do you deal with that kind of mentality ?

1 June 2011
A pattern of abuse at a residential hospital uncovered by BBC Panorama has been condemned as "shocking" by the government.
It comes after Bristol police arrested and later bailed four people over the treatment of patients with learning difficulties at Winterbourne View.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said he was determined to strengthen safeguards for vulnerable adults.
NHS South West said it had been "appalled" by the issues raised.
The hospital's owners, Castlebeck, have apologised and suspended 13 employees.

There can be no place for such inhumanity in care services. ”
Paul Burstow
Care services minister

During five weeks spent filming undercover, Panorama's reporter captured footage of some of the hospital's most vulnerable patients being repeatedly pinned down, slapped, dragged into showers while fully clothed, taunted and teased.
Mr Burstow said: "The abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View uncovered by Panorama is shocking. There can be no place for such inhumanity in care services.
"There have been failures of inspection and adult protection which have exposed people to appalling abuse.
"I am determined to strengthen the system of safeguarding to protect vulnerable adults from abuse."
Avon and Somerset police confirmed three men - aged 42, 30 and 25 - and a 24-year-old woman were arrested as part of their investigation into the hospital.
Mr Burstow said he had already ordered "a thorough examination of the roles of both" government regulato, the Care Quality Commission, and the local authorities.
Secret filming caught patients being dragged and slapped by support workers NHS South West said it was "appalled" by the issues raised surrounding the care home.
In a statement, it said: "We always expect safe, high-quality care from providers of services and the abuse of vulnerable patients is totally unacceptable."
Warnings ignored
The programme decided to film secretly after being approached by a former senior nurse at the hospital who was deeply concerned about the behaviour of some of the support workers there
"I have seen a lot over 35 years but this I have never seen anything like this. It is the worst I have seen," former nurse Terry Bryan told the programme.
Mr Bryan reported his concerns to both management at Winterbourne View and to the CQC, but his complaint was not taken up.
In a statement, the CQC said that, following an internal review, it recognised that "there were indications of problems at this hospital which should have led to us taking action sooner".
The CQC says it was alerted to the allegations on 12 May 2011 by Panorama reporter Paul Kenyon and carried out unannounced inspections on 17, 18 and 24 May.
Joe Casey said filming the abuse was the hardest thing he'd done
There is currently a team from the local mental health primary care trust at Winterbourne View and the CQC is in touch with them and going in regularly for informal visits.
It said that, in response to the Panorama film, it had carried out three unannounced inspection visits of the hospital and taken steps to ensure it will not admit any new patients.
It had also written to Mr Burstow proposing the launch of a programme of risk-based and random unannounced inspections of a sample of the 150 hospitals providing care for people with learning disabilities, a move which the minister backed.
Patients moved
Castlebeck has launched an internal investigation into their whistle-blower procedures and are reviewing the records of all 580 patients in 56 facilities.
Winterbourne View can accommodate 24 patients and is taxpayer-funded, charging the state an average of £3,500 per patient per week.
NHS South West said: "Following initial checks, and a subsequent inspection by the CQC it has been agreed that patients should move to alternative facilities at the earliest opportunity."
It said: "Primary care trusts in the South West which commissioned placements at the unit have carried out an urgent review of the processes used to commission and review privately provided services. The outcome will be fed into the wider multi-agency safeguarding review."
From the BBC website.


How can an autistic 18 year old stand trial in a court of law.
Anyone else think that this young man has been let down and failed by a society that was meant to care for him?
And do they really think that 2 years in prison is a fair or sensible action to take ?

"Latson to serve two years instead of 10-plus

STAFFORD — An autistic teenager from Stafford whose case drew national attention was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday instead of the 10-and-a-half the jury recommended.

Reginald “Neli” Latson had eight-and-a-half years of his time suspended in Stafford County Circuit Court, leaving him with two, according to Judge Charles Sharp, who said that the time he already has served — about a year — will count toward his sentence.

Latson mostly kept his head down low while seated and when responding to Judge Sharp he was barely audible in the full but small courtroom.

The 19-year-old was convicted by a jury in March and ordered to serve 10-and-a-half years in prison for an altercation that took place against a school resource officer in May of last year. At the time, he had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Several people were called to testify Tuesday including Latson’s former middle school wrestling coach David Emison; and Vicki McCarthy, a licensed therapist who works in Fredericksburg — she met Latson when he was in middle school.

The prosecution team, led by Stafford prosecutor Jim Peterson, played a 911 tape from an incident in the spring of 2008 when Latson’s mother Lisa Alexander called the police and wanted her son removed from her home due to his being violent.

She told police her son was cursing at them all day, behaving violently and “needs to get out of the house.”

The prosecution also noted in court that Latson has hit other children and exposed himself to them.

McCarthy, when called to testify, described Latson as very shy. She said she met him just after he had been diagnosed with an autism disorder. He had earlier been diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, she said.

“I think he needs a lot more support than the prison system can offer him,” said McCarthy. … “I was horrified at what happened to Deputy Calverley. …Our community lost on both ends. I would like to see [Latson] get the help he needs.”

On May 24 last year, Latson scuffled with Calverley after the school resource officer approached him, police said.

That day, a call came in to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office from an adult at Park Ridge Elementary School at about 8:30 a.m. The caller reported a “suspicious” man sitting in a grassy area near Porter Library. Some confusion about whether there was a gun or not came about, but the man in question did not have a gun, police determined.

Meanwhile, local schools were put on lockdown.

The school resource officer reportedly administered pepper spray, but Latson gained control and sprayed Calverley in return. Calverley suffered a head laceration, cuts, abrasions and a broken ankle.

Latson was later convicted of assault on a law enforcement officer and wounding in the commission of a felony, according to court records. He was also convicted of disarming a police officer and obstruction of justice.

McCarthy described some of Latson’s idiosyncrasies such as carrying a key around his neck, carrying three playing cards, often wearing a hoodie, repeating television and movie lines out of nowhere and carrying string that he runs through his fingers. She said he had an aversion to strong odors.

Emison, when testifying, spoke about Latson’s earlier athletic talent. The coach said he didn’t have problems with Latson on the team.

The defense, led by William Reichhardt, asked Emison, “Knowing what you know today [about Latson] would you still want him on your wrestling team?”
Emison, who coached Latson at A.G. Wright Middle School in Stafford, responded: “Yes, I would take him on my team in a second.”

A doctor who testified for the defense recommended that Latson go to several facilities for treatment instead of prison.

He has “significant difficulty making appropriate social judgments,” the doctor said, noting that sending him to prison for an extensive period of time would not only result in an “abysmal prognosis” but it would mean “we’re missing this window of opportunity to intervene.”

The judge’s conditions in suspending Latson’s time include time spent at residential treatment programs and probation."

Written by Tracy Bell
Tracy Bell is managing editor of the Stafford County Sun.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Tonight Beauty and I baked.
We made these beautiful cupcakes and almost all of the mixing was done by Beauty.
And even if I say so myself, I think they look fantastic :)
But ........when you eat one you will find that not everything is as it seems .

When making them I used very low fat margarine and ordinary sugar.
I used these because that was all we had in the house and I didn't want to go out as my back was hurting and I thought,'what the heck, they should be ok'.
And when you eat them they taste delicious but because of the margarine being so low fat and the ordinary sugar not being as fine as caster sugar, it tastes crunchy and chewy.
Under ordinary circumstances I would have just kept them and eaten them but these were cakes that Beauty made and she knew that we were taking them to school and BEAUTY had made them.
She had made them knowing that they were for a Social Studies Project about weddings and she made them especially for her teachers and friends.
So as well as Beauty, the cupcakes will also be going to school tomorrow :)

Whilst whisking the cakes, Beauty insisted on covering her ears because she doesn't like the whisking noise.
She also doesn't like the noise of the assembly in school in the mornings as the loud noise upsets her.
She also dislikes the sound of hand dryers in toilets because the noise scares her and when she hears a baby cry she thinks a baby needs its nappy changed and she wants me to do it.
This kind of behaviour makes it very obvious that Beauty is different and has some kind of problem.
But being different doesn't mean she doesn't have the right to be who she is and accepted for that.

On many, many occasions I have been out with Beauty and I cannot get over the amount of people who just stand and stare at Beauty as if she is a freak.
All age groups.
When I find adults doing it I will stop and stare at the adult and wait for them to realise that I am looking at them and they become embarrassed an turn away.
But some do not and my next action is to ask them,' Can I help you, is something wrong'.
as of yet I have not had one person reply to my question, they almost always walk away embarrassed.
I am easier on children,when they are staring I usually say ,' Hello, how are you ?' and they also will almost always walk away without saying anything.

However, what I have noticed is that the staring is done by more people who appear to be of a lower social class. People I would believe to be of a higher social class, adults and children have not stared at Beauty in this kind of way or not that I have noticed.
But there is also the question, is it class that defines the behaviour or their intelligence.
I am sure that there are many working class people who would never stare and would never dream of doing something so bad mannered.
And there are probably people in higher social classes who have very bad manners and would also stare, it is just I have not come across them yet.
I was brought up in a council house which means I was brought up in a lower social class home but I taught my children not to stare as it would be hurtful to the person they were staring at.
That brings up another question.....Is the bad behaviour learned ?
In many cases I think it is.
Before Beauty went to school I was asked to look at main stream schools which I did.
One nursery teacher in charge of a nursery unit ( a qualified teacher) said that she did not think it was a good idea for Beauty to go to her nursery unit as she thought Beauty would upset the children and the children would not understand. She also said the parents also might not be happy having Beauty there.
Well what can you say to that kind of prejudice ?
How will children ever learn to accept people who are different and learn to live with them and accept them if ignorant adults are not a good example ?
Beauty is a lovely young girl, on the inside and outside.
Just because Beauty stims a lot, because she is so happy she laughs and chats to herself a lot,just because she is behaves differently to other people doesn't give others the right to judge her.
I have been reading a blog recently where a father who has 3 children who are autistic writes about his and their lives. He was told by one reader that his children did not have the right to live and he should not have had more children when he found out the first was autistic but at least when they found out the second was also autistic they should have stopped having children. This person felt very strongly about the situation and saw the children as being a drain on society. Whilst others were not as forceful in their beliefs, they did make it known without being as aggressive that they had similar feelings.
I was personally shocked that people should feel the need to say things like this.

I have a question.
People look at Beauty and see her as disabled.
As not normal.
As different.
As quoted in the case above, people with disabilities should not exist.
But who is to say she is different?
Who is to say she is not normal?
I read the book The Chrysalids by John Wyndham when I was about 10 and have never forgotten it

'The Chrysalids is set in the future - many years after a nuclear war has devastated much of the world. Waknuk, in Labrador, has survived, but it has been reduced to a primitive agricultural society struggling to return to the level of civilization that the “Old People” had enjoyed. Radiation from the war has left much of the land useless and is still causing mutations in plants, animals, and humans. The people in Waknuk, however, are unaware of the true cause of the deviations. Instead, they believe these deviations are a punishment sent from God. As a result, they follow a strict religious code that demands that a plant or animal born with any type of imperfection be destroyed. Human deviations are exiled to the Fringes, a lawless region to the south of Waknuk. Beyond the Fringes lie the Badlands (where all of nature is distorted) and then the Blacklands where nothing grows at all. '

In our society, although no one will admit it, most of us discriminate against people who are different to us. In the science fiction novel The Chrysalidsby John Wyndham, people who are do not match the leaders’ idea of the ‘true image’ of god are either killed or banished to the Fringes. The novel follows David Strorm, a member of a group of people with hidden telepathic powers, as he realizes he is different and is eventually found out and chased out of their town. Through Wyndham’s use of narrative techniques the reader has been positioned to see him saying that our society is not too dissimilar to that of David’s. As a society we treat people that are different, either physically or mentally, differently to how we treat people we call ‘normal’.
Read more:

In the book, one of the characters asks how we know what is the norm.
How did the person who wrote the book saying what was normal know what was normal.
Everybody is different.
I honestly believe there is a spectrum for all things and people should not be judged for where they come on that spectrum.
I believe we just are.
And we should all be respected for being who we are.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I feel as if my washing has quadrupled in the last months.
And it is sending me grey and old before my time.

I do not believe that the Magic Porridge Pots that are my wash basket and ironing basket will ever be empty again.

No matter how many pinnies I put on Beauty,no matter how many throws that I put on the sofas, she still manages to get them dirty almost as soon as they go on.
Is this normal?

I am convinced there is a Dirt Sprite that lives in my house and drops dirt over everything in my house and stains all the clothes whilst we sleep,a bit like the Dust Fairy that I KNOW lives in the house.

I have this fear that the pile that is my washing is growing and growing and I wonder if it will one day become a monster and swallow the house .
Is this possible?
Does anyone else have such crazy fears?
Probably not :(

Friday, April 29, 2011



Today we had a tea party to celebrate the Royal Wedding.
Beauty thoroughly enjoyed the cheese sandwiches :)
And Fiona enjoyed making the cheese sandwiches !

Of course we had lots of Royal bunting.

And here we have Fiona and Ariel who loved watching all the hats and dresses and Prince Harry !

They were both enthralled and they were quite regularly heard to exclaim 'oooooh' and 'ahhhhh' and 'oh so sweet' and 'Harry is the best Royal' :)

We all of course LOVED the dress :)

And the kisses xx

Whilst Beauty was quite happy to watch the wedding (however briefly!) she was just as happy to play on the computer :)

But for Beauty the refreshments were definitely an important part of the festivities.

And this is the lovely Victoria sponge that Beauty helped to make and Fiona decorated :)

It was a lovely wedding and we had a lovely tea party and it was a very special day :)

Friday, April 08, 2011


As far as recycling goes I feel it is really starting to irritate me and after a lifetime of always making an effort I have had enough. WHY ? I think it is mostly to do with the attitude of Cardiff City Council. As I have mentioned before, even though I went to a state primary school, I feel that it had quite progressive ideas even though it was the 1960s. Yes girls, that was when life was still in black and white :) I had a subject called Environmental Studies where we learned about the world and how we were destroying the world and what we had to do to save it .

The first real example I have in my own life of feeling we were destroying the world was 1979 - The Winter of Discontent. I remember being shocked at the build up of rubbish in Claude Road and thinking that even when itwas all moved and back to normal, we would still be producing that amount of rubbish . And here we are in 2011 and SnoWhite lives on that road and because most of the houses have been converted to flats and bedsits the rubbish fills the front gardens constantly. Then when I had children.......reduce, reuse , recycle became a normal way of life . And then in the middle 80s recycling household rubbish began. And I have tried to recycle everything . But now I feel at times WHY DO I BOTHER! This week all the residents where I live received a letter telling us that because we hadn't been recycling correctly our collections were to be monitored for a month to check that we were putting the right things in the right bins on the right days. Were also told how much we would be fined if we didn't do these things properly. And the best bit......they got the collection date wrong on the letters they had sent out so they had to post it again with the correct date! Billiant ! So we as residents are told off for not recycling properly but who gets to tell the council off for c*cking up their letter and having to do it twice.Doubling the cost and doubling the amount that needs to be recycled. BUTit seems that buy checking our bins it means that they will literally be going through them to check that we have put the right things in the right bags. Well my thought on that are BE MY GUEST. If they want to go through the nappies and piggie poo and rabbit poo then they can knock themselves out. The smell surely will! Even though the councils rubbish collection department has peed me off I think I more to blame for my feelings than the council. My last years New Years Resolution was not to weight myself in 2010 because I was getting obssessed with weighing myself. So I didn't apart from when I was weighed for my MRI. My resolution this year was not to buy any new clothes because I felt I had way too many. My attempt at reducing and it has been so difficult. I have seen a number of dresses I REALLY love but I cannot buy them AND THAT IS DEPRESSING ME. There are dresses in Tesco,Asda,Laura Ashley and M&S that I would really love to have but I can't buy them because I am REDUCING : (

April 2011 Shopping 'may improve health' By Helen Briggs Health reporter, BBC News Shopping prolongs life, at least for the over 65s in Taiwan, according to research. Even after adjusting for factors like physical and mental infirmity, men and women who shopped daily lived longer than those who shunned retail therapy, say scientists. Shopping may provide companionship, exercise and an opportunity to maintain a healthy diet, they report in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. A leading UK expert said the findings "made sense" since shopping involves physical activity, social interaction and keeping mentally active. In the study, published online in the academic journal, researchers led by Dr Yu-Hung Chang of the Institute of Population Health Sciences, Taiwan, studied nearly 2,000 men and women aged 65 and over who lived in their own homes. They found those who shopped regularly lived longer than those who shopped just once a week or less, even after adjusting for factors such as physical limitations and cognitive decline. The data Taiwanese researchers studied 1,850 people aged 65 plus All were living independently at home During a survey in 1999-2000 they were asked how often they went shopping The team tracked how long they lived by linking individuals to national death registries between 1999 and 2008 Those who shopped daily were 27% less likely to die than those who shopped infrequently, with the biggest effect seen in men They acknowledge that shopping could be a marker for those in good health to begin with, but suggest shopping itself may improve health. "Shopping is often for pleasure with the potential to increase psychological wellbeing," they conclude. "Compared to other types of leisure-time physical activity, like formal exercise, which usually requires motivation and sometimes professional instruction, shopping activity is easier to undertake and maintain." David Oliver, visiting professor of medicine for older people at City University, London, said the findings "made sense" He told the BBC: "What the Taiwanese researchers have shown is that continuing to shop is independently predictive of better well-being and longer life. "Shopping is going to involve physical activity, social interaction with other shoppers and because it's quite a complex task it's going to keep you mentally active. "It makes sense that it would be a predictor of better physical and psychological well-being."

Mmmmmm......perhaps I did make a mistake on the NO NEW CLOTHES RESOLUTION :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Anyone who has worked in the health service and is my age+ will remember weekend work.
It was a kind of mini spring cleaning session and looking back it was probably a good thing because there just doesn't seem to be time for anything like that today.
It also served another purpose and that was to check that everything was working properly,so I think it was a good thing.
Well I think that a lot of nurses carry on that tradition but not all of them because I know a certain nurse who doesn't live a million miles from me who hasn't cleaned her house since 1976 BUT HEY, we are not all the same thank goodness.
Well my house has weekend work and Niamh loves it.
How to save time and energy ?
Let the 10 year old do the work because she loves doing it, it is still a game for her:)

Beauty loves to cook and today we made pasta bake.
This is me trying to be frugal :)
Pasta -36p
Sauce x 2 - £2.00
So the meal cost me £2.71 to make and it will last for at least 2 more meals.

The finished product :)

Beauty LOVES baking :)

She also loves to clean :)

One thing that I have a problem with is the dust pan and brush and anybody who has recently visited my house wiill know this because they are always being asked to dust pan and brush something up that I have swept into a corner.......sorry girls :)
However, now I know that Beauty can help me.

One of the problems with the sweeping is that Beauty gets very excited and is likely to be a bit over enthusiatic :)

Beauty seems to go through stages of development and at the moment she seems to have made a huge step forward.
She just wants to learn all the time and this is constant and due to her ADHD which Prof. Fraser also diagnosed, she just wants to be DOING all the time.
Her learning seems to fall into 3 groups.
Personal care, educational learning and homemaking skills and these are totally her own choice.
I feel in a way that we are following a Montessorri type plan for her and she is leading the way and achieving at her own pace the skills she needs to learn.

Finding the energy to keep up with her enthusiam is the only difficulty :)




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.