28 March 2006


A little side effect of the impending eclipse that some might have noticed is that everything's going as far bloody wrong as is possible. Astro-Friend says people are hyped up on nervous energy, like headaches when there's an electrical storm on the way, but somehow I get the impression that things and situations are going doolally in a way that no mere human could predict or prearrange.

In my own little world I don't appear to have the graphics software or the savvy to start off with a 200dpi badge template from cafe press, and a few colours and a bit of text, and still have the damn thing be 200 dpi when I'm done. It won't have it, so anyone who's hot at graphics and could rescue me is very welcome to do so! In fact you would be my hero and linked mercilessly with or without public and gushing thanks (as you wish, depending on whether or not you fear a stampede of sundry bloggers with similar requests.)

Meanwhile I am letting down a very lovely lady who runs things over at Aspire.com and is waiting to see the final design to give approval for their URL to be used. Aspire is the site that organised International Aspergers Year and I am incredibly honoured that they are talking to me because if you look, they tend to deal with people at the cutting edge - you know the types - half a dozen doctorates and on the shortlist for a Nobel prize. And I've gone quiet on them because its all gone bonkers since Friday. How do you send a little thank you email asking people like that to bear with you while you sort out cats, rats (uhuh), guinea pigs and kids in meltdown? I mean it all sounds a little domestic and disappointing, almost like I would be confirming myself as the unreliable flash in the pan that in this silence they can only suspect me to be. I'm not; and this is eating at me. When I requested a hero, I was not being over effusive in my choice of words.

Still, husband left on Monday, for the second part of his current training course and won't be back until Friday night. This is a mixed blessing, purely because he tried to educate me on the difference (or lack of difference) between dpi and pixels, but my brain won't have it. Anyone trying to educate me on anything other than UK Special Needs Law, especially if they become aeriated in the attempt, is meeting a very blank stare, a brow that threatens instant migraine (shared if possible; I mean, give me a gift, I'll always offer to share, it's manners) and the occasional nervous twitch. I'm not in a corner, vacantly rocking,..... yet.

Big daughter did her best to help that along today. Further to her arrival at 5am on Saturday morning, she claims that someone called her to say her handbag had been found across the road from the club, with only half the money taken. Something rings off key there. I failed to notice the warning signs because she has two very similar states - one is when she is totally in control of her life and really ought to be managing something somewhere and getting paid by the bucketload for it - the other is when she is edgy, tetchy, needing a break and therefore faking it.

I made her snap. She decided to explain how Bozo Boyfriend had £100 of hers that he owed her and that this meant she wasn't as broke as all that. This is a guy who lives with his mum (okay he pays rent, but it doesn't equate to a mortgage) and who has a full time job and has just bought himself a huge TV for his bedroom. I happened to mention (as she has moaned abouthimn often enough recently) that I think its wrong of a man with any self respect to even ask to borrow from a woman on benefits.

I stand by that - whether it was him or another, her or another, whether he'd run up the debt wining and dining her or on something else - these are his books to balance, his decisions, his problem. Plus in this particular instance the guy is living at home with a whole house full of wage earners.

As I write, according to my darling Big Daughter, I always do this - I always hear half the story and make the rest up and how dare I impugn her boyfriend in any way shape or form and I am always assuming that just because she's called him the dumbest most useless lump on the face of God's earth that I can go assuming things about him.

Alright dear.

I'm fine with that, its the high horse she gets on to say it. I'm really not in the mood to be talked down to, this week. I told her that if she didn't run me down behind my back then she had my permission to start, she could think anything she wanted of me, but not to lay into me like that, because I can't cope with her hyperactive slanging matches.

The answer?

A deep breath. Not a good sign, it means about ten sentences are going to come out before the next one.

"Well mum, how am I supposed to fucking behave when you keep being so fucking pathetic...... yah yah, rhubarb, rhubarb, etc etc. At least I assume there was an etc. To my eternal shame I put the phone down on her, but not before I'd slipped to her level with an 'Oh fuck you'. I am not proud. Resigned, tense and headachey and (ahem) jolly peeved, but not proud.

Quite apart from these 'little inconveniences', since Monday morning I have:

  • Taken a long phone call from my (rather wonderful) contact at the National Autistic Society.
  • Had my legalese email writing skills praised.
  • Been advised to copy what I sent to the SEN caseworker to the LEA's Director of Education, as (in NAS' lady's opinion) there were such clear and multiple breaches of SEN law and code of practice detailed in my post-meeting email that I ought to give the Dir of Ed the opportunity to have a heart attack correct the situation before we move on to totally showing the whole County up at Tribunal.
  • Raced around for the rest of Monday morning trying to find leads, crawl under computers and get one of the printers to work so that I could comply, instead of seeing to my soon-to-be-absent husband.
  • 12.30pm caught the same first train as him to deliver my letter to the County by hand, as the alternative was to spend just as much as the fares would cost on recorded delivery, which would have got the papers to County Hall today, which is a day of strike action for unknown numbers of Council employees across the country.
  • Raced from County Hall up to my daughter's flat to say hello as she lives in the same town and was then supposedly trapped indoors through the loss of her second set of doorkeys, only to find that a acquaintance of hers had come round for the afternoon, so she had left him there guarding the house while she went back to work!
  • Raced back up two hills and just missed my train home and had to wait half an hour on the platform for the 2pm.
  • Rushed home, changed bags, knocked back a cup of tea and legged it all the way to school for 3.10pm because the letters announcing the first ever Year 5 'dressing up as a Tudor' day came out a week ago, but school had told all the parents not to worry, there were a lot of costumes available to borrow, except children can't choose on their own, the parents have to physically come in to school.
  • Waited politely whilst an increasingly red faced teacher searched two classrooms and discovered that all that was left was one outsized white mob cap and a curtain-cloak for a boy.
  • Smiled politely while he tried to convince my daughter that dressing up as a Tudor male would be fun; then suddenly remembered an important meeting and rushed off leaving the 'choice' to us.
  • Walked two kids all the way to town to the second hand shops. Three things we have in abundance here are pubs, solicitors and second hand shops, all in a single block known as 'town', all about three miles from school and two miles from home.
  • Walked two kids back home clutching one floral curtain, a roll of elastic and two pillowcases; total cost £6.25.
  • Began chopping fabric, planning and sewing hacking bits together until the kids pointed out it was nearly an hour past their bedtime and asked if there was any chance of dinner.
I'll admit that I do have a sewing machine - very handy when you need to do long straight lines of stitching or put a zip in. The thing is it's my grandmother's Singer treadle, at least 100 years old, on its last legs (a lot of the tiny metal nails in the wooden casing need replacing so it wobbles) and the leather belt has snapped, so the treadle works a treat, it just doesn't communicate with the sewing machine itself. I still used it, turning the upper wheel by hand, one stitch per rotation, so ended up with a finger stuffed through the (the what, spokes?) the wheel itself to pick up a little speed.

Right now however, still ion the same thread and halfway through a bobbin, it has decided that the previously perfect tension is all wrong and is producing darling little lines of knots and loops. I haven't got the time nor the brain capacity to sit and experiment with tensions on the bobbin and the reel feed, so the sleeved will have to go on by hand. Bugger.

Still (wish me luck) it all has to be fit to wear to school by Thursday so I have 24 hours left. This is a good thing because on Friday I am off to be part of a committee of SEN parents, to look at plans this LEA has to do away with Individual Education Plans in preference for something that means less paperwork. Allegedly.

Photos tomorrow if I get ahead of myself (haha) and/or come up for breath.

So, after that long but very therapeutic little assessment of where I am, I remember this was all about this week being arse about face, upside down and back to front and some sort of cosmic, karmic game of cat and mouse; theoretically for many of us. So the polite question which I acknowledge I should have asked in the first place, is;

'How's it going with you?'


She Weevil said...

Don't you just want to tell the whole world to bugger off!! I've just had a snotty email from an irate former (resigned governor) asking me to confirm that I have received her letter. BOLLOCKS. COW COW COW.

I don't know what to suggest vis a vis your elder daughter; I could come and give her very short shrift but that would probably make you unhappy. You could also borrow my sewing machine but it being in Plymouth is a fat lot of good.

Cheryl said...

Send her a postcard, like the MPs do.

"Your communication of (date) has been received"

Nothing else.


Stegbeetle said...

As long as that was "therapeutic", Cheryl, then it's all to the good. Alas, my graphics skills are even less impressive than my sewing skills. I fear I'm not the hero you're looking for!
Mercifully Elder daughter hasn't reached the "boyfriend" stage yet, or if she has she's succeeding in keeping it very quiet. God help the first spotty, monosyllabic lout that she brings back to the house. If he's anything other than a future world leader or poet laureate I'll have his balls on a platter should he so much as hold her hand!
I would impart my usual wisdom to you ("Try not to stress about it!") but I get the feeling it might be a bit late for that.
I'd let Big Daughter stew in her own juices for a while (ah, such piquancy!) while you grapple with graphics software and Tudor costumes and remember - things are meant to calm down once the eclipse is over.
Hang on, what's that smell? It couldn't be bullshit, could it?

jane said...

Damn Cheryl, you are 1 busy lady. The things you will do for your children amazes me. Although knowing you, as I do, I should have known you will go to any end to provide for your kids. I think you are the absolute tops!

fineartist said...

Oh honey who of us has never said oh f-you to one of our bi polar or bi polar ACTING kids? My oldest son, love him to pieces, is bi polar and omg you cannot imagine the things he has said to me and the things that I have said in retaliation. Like you said, I’m not proud of it, but still, it happened.

We SNAP, and if we are lucky we aren’t too hard on ourselves for being human.

I asked my kid once, why he thought he could say the things to me that he had been saying, prior to meds, and he said, “Because, mom, I KNOW you are crazy about me, and shit rolls down hill, you hurt the ones you love, and the best one, I’m sorry.”

Good Lord woman you are walking all over creation, damn, my lard arse should be walking with you. I’ll bet we could really walk off some anxiety and stress together, and I am sure we could find time to give everyone who is messing with us a good going over in the process.

Good luck with your banner, and ginormous hugs from this body to yours. Xxx, Lori

Badaunt said...

Oh. My.

Anybody who can whip up a Tudor costume out of an old curtain has my UNDYING ADMIRATION.

She is very lucky to have you as a mother. I'd be wrapping it around her and holding it together with a safety pin. That is the extent of my sewing skills.

fineartist said...

badaunt is cracking me up, this comment and the mildew and spot comment, heeeeeeeeeee

zilla said...

Bravo! You've earned your curtain calls this week, Cheryl. And you've once again managed to make me feel rather unscathed, for which I offer you my eternal gratitude.