Brexit bloody Brexit

Now this is a very rare event for me. I have my political views but very rarely share them with others.

Since July 2016 we have been (OK, Theresa May) has been negotiating our exit from EU. I am not afraid to state that I voted to remain in the EU as did my grown up sons and their friends. However as much as I was very angry (much to my surprise) that the vote narrowly went to the Leave camp. I have said all along that we shouldn’t have a second referendum as that would make a mockery out of having it in the first place.

Having sat through so many updates on the current saga, I am afraid to say that our Politicians have made a right pigs ear of the whole thing. There has been so much squabbling over what each camp don’t want but nobody has put forward any sensible plan for what they do want. I do believe that, not all but a huge number of those who voted to leave did so under a very simplistic view of what would happen. No one on either side had any clear view of how complicated the whole thing would be.

I have now come to the conclusion that with the current shambles that is our Government. It is now time to reconsider. Our Government are insisting that to revoke Article 50 would be to let down the Electorate who voted to leave. The Electorate would no longer be able to trust our Government. Do they truly believe that any of them has our trust at the moment?

I now believe that had the Electorate been made aware of all that Article 50 would entail then the results of the referendum in 2016 would have been different. Maybe the end result would still have been to leave but at least everyone would have had a clearer idea of what they were voting for.

I can understand why the Government are saying that we have to go ahead because it was the will of the people. The people didn’t know they were voting for this. I don’t want to say we should keep voting until The Remainers get the result that they want.

I am saying now that we know more about what it involves, lets have a go at starting again.

Revoke Article 50

Christmas is on it’s way

Today we have been making preparations for Christmas. Yesterday I bought a few items to make the house a little more Christmas like. The first thing I did this morning was to put up a few decorations.

In previous years we spent Christmas together at the house I shared with my husband. My sons and their partners would visit either just for the day or for a couple of days.

Last year was my first Christmas living with Mum. We didn’t have a tree. Mum hasn’t bothered in recent years other than her wreath for the front door and a Christmas candle bridge for the dining room window. I left all my decorations behind when I left.christmas 2019

This year although we are getting together with my sons and families for lunch on Christmas Eve. Three of my sons will be visiting us for Christmas morning before going their separate ways. My little grandson who will be almost 20 months will be here. I know he is still too young to understand what is going on but I want to make it nice for his visit.

During the morning we both set about filling gift bags for various family members. Mine are still upstairs but we now have a crowd of festive bags in a corner of the room.

Do you have family traditions that you always follow on Christmas day?

There have been times when I have wanted to change things about but my sons have been very resistant to any change.

The day usually begins with Bacon rolls for breakfast. (I’m not sure how or when this began). Once everyone has assembled either from bedrooms or arriving from else where. Snacks are available for anyone who wants them. While the turkey is cooking we gather round for the distribution of gifts. It generally falls to my youngest to hand out the gifts. It starts out being one at a time but gradually speeds up. Once everyone has opened all the presents and the wrapping have been disposed of there is time to chat and catch up on everyone’s news before lunch is served. Now that my sons are all adults there is no need to find batteries for toys. I think that will soon change again.

After lunch the chat continues until someone decides it’s time to start playing board games. The Queens speech is watched even if we are still eating at the time. In the evening there are sandwiches, mince pies and Christmas cake if anyone has room.We watch Eastenders either before or after I become chauffeur depending on timings.

This year things will be different as we are having our big meal the day before. We will probably have a nap in the afternoon once it is only us and possibly just one of my sons.

 

Being tactical

It’s 10 days to go before the election. On the radio they are discussing people who don’t vote and the many reasons why. One of the reasons being ‘my vote won’t make a difference’.

Where I live we know that no matter which party you vote for the same party will win. The same party has won for decades. It is what is known as a safe seat. There are four candidates standing in this constituency. I know which party I shall be voting for. It’s the same party I have supported since I was a young woman. However it doesn’t matter which of the three parties I vote for other than the one that will win. Many people think that there is no point going out to vote when the result will be the same anyway.

I don’t agree. I think we should all vote. No matter which of the three alternative parties you choose. Every vote cast against the leading party will reduce their winning majority. If we can do this each time eventually our votes will begin to make a difference.

1995

At the start of 1995 I lost my father. He had a heart attack and died just a month after his 55th birthday. I can’t believe that was almost 25 years ago. In March I discovered that I was pregnant again. I already had 3 young sons (it hadn’t been my intention to increase my family). This baby was due on 16th December (my father’s birthday). Of course we told the boys that this baby was a gift from their Grandpa. This year, 2019, my father would have been 80 on 16th December.

Because I had had two babies by caesarean section, plus I also have a propensity to have big babies, it was decided that I should have this baby by elected caesarean early to prevent the chance of an early labour.

So it was that, early on the morning of Friday 1st December 1995, my husband drove me to the hospital where I was booked in for the birth of my fourth child. In those days we didn’t routinely know the gender of our baby before we met in person. Having 3 sons I was convinced that if this child was another boy I would suffer from postnatal blues. I had asked to be sterilized during the birth process. I enjoyed pregnancy but felt that I shouldn’t put my body through any more pregnancies. This decision meant that if I had another son I knew I would therefore never have a daughter. I love my sons and don’t regret having any of them but I knew that in later years I would have no daughter to do girly things with. My life ahead would be football orientated. (Which it was).

I remember being prepared for theatre and telling the nurse that I don’t want to do this. “I know about dirty nappies and broken nights, I don’t want to do that again.” Laughing she told me it was a bit late for that now. I was then wheeled out of the room leaving my husband behind. Although I was having an epidural he wouldn’t be joining me, as my third son was being dropped off by Grannie, while she went off to a meeting having taken my elder sons to school. It was his turn to look after our young son.

It wasn’t long before I was given my 4th son. It was a day before we had a name for him. He was a healthy 7lb 7oz even though he was 16 days early. Although he wasn’t the daughter I had hoped for I loved that baby boy from the very second I met him all slippery and red.

I have now had 24 years of love for and from that boy. I feel very lucky to have this child (now an adult) in my life. I do love all my boys more than anything or anyone else (except my grandchildren). However this boy and I have been through some challenges together. He was only 5 and not long started school when I was told that I had stage III cancer. His father had told our boys that “Mummy is going to die” Obviously I didn’t. Then a few years down the line my marriage collapsed. This little boy of mine refused to go to school most days saying that he was ill. In time it was discovered that his reluctance to go to school was because he was scared that if he left my side he would lose me.

You see although I had filed for divorce from my alcoholic emotionally abusive (now known as Coersive control) husband. We were still living in the same house. I had moved out of the marital bedroom and slept on the sofa for months. My husband had made many threats to my life. This little boy only 9 years old witnessed things a child should never see. He wanted to protect me from the kitchen knife that was being used to threaten me with, among other things. He was the one who wiped my face clean after his father had spat in my face.

Once their father aka The other parent had moved out of the house, life calmed down a little. As my boy grew older he was afraid that he might turn out like his Dad. I knew that just the worry of that meant that he wouldn’t. He is a very caring lad. He worries about everything. The 5 years between the other parent leaving and our divorce being finalised and me meeting husband number 2. My four boys and I were happy even though life was tough.

Then I met husband number 2 and moved my baby boy away from his friends. He was not happy. It didn’t help that 2nd husband was a very reluctant step father. He didn’t make life very pleasant for my two younger boys who were living with us before going to Uni. I felt very guilty for everything my little boy ( a strapping 16/17 year old by then) had been through in his life. He was very unhappy. When he finished college he went of to University in Southampton. By the second year of Uni his anxiety problems had become so extreme that he was often sick in the mornings. I spent many hours trying to give him a sense of peace so that he could cope with life.

18 months ago he left Uni and moved into a flat with his girlfriend. He tried to find work to support them both. He did have interviews and even job offers but his anxiety problems got in the way. He was so unhappy, he desperately wanted everyone to be proud of him. He wanted to be able to support himself and his girlfriend. Finally last winter he got a job that he was able to keep hold of. He didn’t enjoy it and the travelling was a problem but he kept going even though his hours kept being cut. I am please to say that they are both now working in places that they are happy in and the pay has increased for them both.

Throughout everything that my boy has been through he has been there for me when I need support. I know that all my boys love and care about me. This young man just gets me. Maybe it is the many many hours we have spent talking things through. All the time I have supported him. It doesn’t matter what the situation he can vocalise my thoughts and feelings as though he can see inside my head. I will and do do anything I can to make his life better for him.

A few days ago I told him that I am lucky to have him in my life. His reply…

“We are all so lucky to have you in our life. We could never neglect you or allow anything to happen to you without the best care we can give.”

How could I not love this young man. I am so proud to be his mother.

Happy birthday sweetheart. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Enjoy your evening with your friends.

Here’s to a great future for my lovely son

Lots of love Mum xxxx

Joe

Train of thought

Our garden borders the train line between Portsmouth and Southampton. The trees at the bottom of the garden and along the side of the track mean that I can see glimpses of the frequent carriages that whizz past although sometimes not so much whizz as rumble.

At this time of year as most of the trees are losing their leaves I get a better look at the trains passing by. I know that many people would hate to live so close to a rail track. I wouldn’t say that I don’t notice the trains but I do notice them. I am fascinated seeing them through the foliage. Other than the goods trains that rumble along from time to time, there are three regular rail companies to be seen.

Southern Rail which is the one I catch when I visit my family in Brighton.

southern rail

Great Western which goes to Cardiff. These are usually only short trains

GRW rail

Finally there are the South Western Rail which are probably the most frequent

south western

The reason I am talking about these trains today is that this morning I noticed a string of brown carriages flashing past. Possibly a steam train. I didn’t see if this was being pulled by a steam train or not. We do get them now and again. I did notice that on a couple of carriages the words Dream Steam appeared so I’m guessing that it was. I couldn’t find any images with the logo I saw.

Not long after I saw another train I had not seen before. It turns out to be a new train belonging to South Western rail so I expect I shall start seeing these more often.

SWR

Do any of you live near to a rail line and what are your local trains?

Early days of motherhood

I have been reading a book about a ‘Mummy Blogger’. In this book an aspiring writer is thrown into motherhood sooner than she was prepared for with the early birth of her daughter. She begins writing a blog about life with her new daughter. I have reached a chapter where she describes being incredibly lonely once the first visits from family and friends have dwindled and her husband is back at work. She spends a lot of time speaking to her husband on the phone whilst he is meant to be working.

Reading this has got me thinking about what it was like for me as a new mother for the first time. I had moved from Kent to Hampshire and was staying with my parents for the first few months. My father was commuting weekly between Hampshire and Kent for work. The father of my baby had been made redundant from his job. He hadn’t decided until my son was born whether he wanted to be a father. He was splitting his time between Kent and Hampshire until he found a job in Hampshire. I was alone all day Monday to Friday while everyone else was working. I didn’t know anyone locally, I didn’t have access to my own friends. This was in the days before mobile phones and even the internet . My days were revolved around my little baby boy. He was one of those babies that doesn’t want to sleep.

When he was 4 months old the three of us moved into a bungalow about 5 miles from my parents’ house. If I thought I was lonely before the loneliness was about to increase a notch. Now I found myself living in an old farm house with no neighbours. We had fields on two sides, woods on the other side and a Household Waste site across the road. My only access to a phone was the Public Telephone five minute walk away. I had no transport as my son’s father was using it for work. At least I had had my mum to talk to in the evenings and weekends before but on the plus side I didn’t need to worry about my baby crying now. I was the only one who heard him now.

Life did improve when I started working in a local DIY store down the road at weekends. My baby would be with his dad and I would be with other adults. I made a couple of friends who also had young children/babies. I’m trying to search my memory (this was 31 years ago). Both these women lived at the other side of the large village/small town. I walked everywhere in those days but I don’t think I would have walked that far. Maybe I did. More likely they came to visit me more often. Later in my son’s life I had the use of a car so I could drive everywhere but by then we had moved again to another village 3 miles from my parents’ in the opposite direction.

This little boy of mine now has a two month old daughter with his fiance. Although they also moved shortly before the birth of their daughter, life is very different now. Contact with family and friends however far or near is at the click of a button. With the wide use of digital photography and mobile phones I am able to watch the progress of my granddaughter (and my 18 month grandson in London) from a distance.

What are your memories of those early days of parenthood?

It saw me and didn’t care

Last week I noticed that the bag of bird food by the back door had been nibbled at. I bought some mouse poison, the same as I had used back in the early spring. A few days ago I saw something out of the corner of my eye falling out of the fireplace. I put the mouse poison box on the fire place. Each morning I have crept about looking for any dead mice. Nothing! I have moved it to the same place as last time we had mice.

I have purchased a metal Bird food container. It actually looks quite cute. That will stop them stealing the food I buy for the birds.

This morning to my surprise I saw a mouse run from the fire place towards my mum (who is totally oblivious). A moment later I saw a mouse peering at me from behind a stack of books on the fireplace. I don’t know if this is the same one or a second one. He/she looked at me looking at it and calmly ran across the room and under the sofa.

I’m not going to look for it, I’m not that brave. I am stunned that I didn’t scream and climb onto the furniture. I have put down more poison, granuals this time. Time will tell but I won’t be able to relax until I know they have gone.

mouse

Unlike many of my friends I am not bothered by spiders but I am terrified of rodents of any kind. My instinct is to seal up the room and never go back in there again until I am sure we are free of mice. I know I can’t do that. My Mum who is disabled spends most of her time in her special riser armchair. She is aware that I thought I saw a mouse last week.

Before I left my husband we had mice in our house for a while. He used the little nipper mouse traps. I can’t use those as a) I am terrified of getting my finger caught in them. b) I wouldn’t be able to remove the dead creature (if it was successful in catching any).

This time it is up to me to deal with. I’m not happy about it but so it goes.

What they don’t tell you

As I have said before as in my last post, in 2001 I was diagnosed with stage III cervical cancer. In September (just a week or so after 9/11) I was given the all clear. My treatment had been successful. Yippee, hurray, I got my life back. I remember one of my boys saying “I’ve got my mummy back”. It was a time to celebrate.

download

What they didn’t tell me (I was told a few people have long term bowl/bladder problems). I would from then on be terrified of food that I had always loved. I look at the fruit bowl with longing. Grannie smith apples beckon to me with their glistening green peel. Crisp pears appeal to me. Peanuts and Cashews tempt me. In short anything with fibre is dangerous to me. Last week I treated myself to a small handfull of dried fruit in the evening. I woke up in agony and had to rush to the toilet not quite getting there in time.

I can and do occasionally eat small amounts of the foods I desire but fear. I have to plan when I can eat these things ie when I don’t expect to be out of the house for long the next day. Going for long walks are a thing of the past unfortunately. Apart from the time the activity makes my bowels work harder.

As I talked about in my last post ” the cost of surviving cancer” my bladder is badly damaged and I am now awaiting major surgery to make my life better. However over the last 18 years although my bladder has been a problem it has been my bowels that have made my life so difficult. It is only the last year that my bladder has over taken my bowel problems.

This doesn’t mean that my bowel problems have become less annoying. For 18 months until this April I was delivering parcels for a living. Not the best career for someone with my problems. I would be working when I would get a feeling and have to make a mad dash either home or to the nearest place where I could use the public toilets. I didn’t always get there in time even though it might have only taken me 5 minutes. Many times I only get seconds let alone minutes notice that my body is about to eject it’s contents. I can’t begin to count the number of times that I have needed to get completely changed and showered. During the years I worked in an office there were times I had to dash home to get cleaned up.

I love to wear pretty clothes, skirts, dresses, bright colours. I have had to learn to wear clothes that are dark (black or navy trousers) long tops that camoflage any accidents that may occur.

I wonder how many women would think twice about not being tested for cervical cancer if they knew that apart from the treatment which can be harrowing. If they knew that their reluctance to under go the indignity of a smear test could lead to a life like mine.

During the months of treatment there are rules that have to be adhered to. There are reasons for these seemingly odd rules. When I attended my first radiotherapy session (following weeks of tests measurements, scans etc) I was given a list of foods I couldn’t eat. Basically I could only eat food that is generally considered to be unhealthy. I still keep to this diet now because my body gives me no choice. I couldn’t wear perfume. Showers were out. Baths had to be luke warm and no bath oil or bubbles. How disconcerting to be laying in a luke warm bath with nothing to hide the floating hair. I didn’t lose the hair on my head as I didn’t have chemo, but the hair on my body.

How many women would willingly put themselves through all this for the sake of a five minute appointment if they knew what they were letting themselves in for.

I know I am lucky to be alive, others didn’t make it, however I wouldn’t wish anyone to live this way if they can avoid it.