Friday, 17 September 2021

Post Comment Love 17th-19th September 2021

Welcome back to #pocolo with Stephanie and I. Thank you to all of you who linked up last week and if you're new here, don't be shy, do join in, we'd love to 'meet you'

It was going to be a quiet week. Hubby walked the dog to the pub on Sunday while I watched Harry Potter and on Monday he spent the day with a friend helping him clean out a storage unit. I've just been pottering around and sending emails, some complaints, some job seeking, most just tidying up lose ends. Then on Tuesday we went to view (our potential) dream home on the same street where we are now, then we headed off to Lyme Regis with the dog for a couple of days.

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Monday, 13 September 2021

How do you deal with a NIMBY? (not in my backyard)

We've had some horrendous neighbours over the years, from the woman who built a brick wall on my land blocking access to my parking when we were selling the house (it was empty, we'd already moved) and the drug dealer over the road with domestic abuse, police raids and parking a bus in the cul de sac, to the half way housing over the road from us with fights and late night parties to the inconsiderate drunk and his mates breaking a door down at 2am in a communal block of flats where we own an apartment we bought when we were visiting the UK.

I'm sure with 5 kids we've caused upset to the neighbours with shouting, fights and kicking footballs and I know we've upset our neighbours with two sets of 'tenants from hell' over the past 10 years while we were living abroad.

But this post is about recent events with our daughters neighbours.

Our eldest child is 32, she is profoundly disabled and lives in a group home in Gloucester. She's been there 12 years, living with another resident and a 3rd on and off. It's a bungalow on a street, just like anywhere else and for the purposes of this, it's in a large cul de sac and the garden backs onto the M5.

We've had words with a neighbour opposite in the past about parking in front of their drive. Their definition of 'in front of their drive is opposite and half on the road, half on our daughters drive. They have a large, gated drive, for which they can turn around in, one car and we rarely see visitors when we go there. The road is more than wide enough to allow cars past if one is parked on the street.

But recently a 3rd resident has moved in, so more staff, more family visits, more cars. But the neighbours have decided to have a go over recent months and it's not been pleasant.

The staff and management informed us they've received letters through the door, neighbours calling round to complain about taxi's making the street look untidy and the noise from 2 of the residents, squealing and spoiling their ability to sit peacefully in their gardens. I'll remind you again that the gardens back onto the M5, you can hear the noise of the motorway through closed windows most days.

Life is hard enough with a disabled child. It's also NOT an easy decision to find 24/7 care for your disabled relative.

'how can you put a child in care?'

'just giving your child away'

'I'd never do that if it was mine'

Well until you walk in our shoes, you shouldn't judge and mostly these comments have come from people who actually have a disabled relative. We don't judge their reasons for keeping their adult child at home, often at the expense of other family members, for going a full nights sleep for the past 30 years, or holidays, or days out, or spending a day without being hit, or having curtains still hanging over the windows. Add to that physical age of parents of an adult child, the personal care needed. Even getting in and out of a car is a struggle for me alone and I know for a fact I would not be able to get her in the bath unaided.

We go to the supermarket, she spits, she grabs at others, she yells out, she will pull hair if you're too close, she'll try and sit on your lap if she's tired. We take her out together or with a friend or one of the other adult kids. We do our very best to minimise any disruption to other people. We avoid busy cafes, pubs, shops, tourist areas. We stick to supermarkets with level floors, good lighting, large cafes, decent toilets, we avoid getting in and out the car. We don't stop in the middle of the aisle to piss you off, we don't yell out for no reason.

As parents we have to try and work out what the problem is, she could be in pain, hungry, need her pad changing, just randomly happy. The floor colour could've changed and we've failed to notice and for her it could be a small step or a 1000ft drop. We just don't know.

We've had people tut loudly, ask us to 'do something about it' and once had a woman ram her with a trolley to try and shake her off holding on while I was unloading at the till.

In general though people are pleasant and helpful when asked, cafe staff will bring trays of food to us as queuing for her is difficult and she will grab at the food in a the blink of an eye. People will hold doors, help with steps if she's in her wheelchair. Kids will come over and ask questions and we tell the parents it's ok to ask. Occasionally someone will tell us, in a nice way that their neighbour/friend/family has one like this at home and they understand and tell us not to worry about the noise (we don't worry)

Mostly we get asked 'did we know before she was born?' my response is always whilst I'm not her birth mother, I've been 'mum' for 21 years and known her since she was 8, I often wonder if what people mean is 'if it was known she'd be like this, do you think she'd be here now?' I think I'll ask that in return next time.

Anyway, like I said 'life is hard enough' without the current situation at her home.

I firmly informed the neighbour who had a go about parking that she lacked compassion and was a throughly unpleasant woman and I hoped she never found herself in this situation with people like her as neighbours and if she wanted to complain further, I strongly suggest she complains to the council about the disabled people living in her street, who make a bit of noise now and then when they're enjoying their own garden that also backs onto the M5 on the few weeks the sun shines and whose staff members (on the minimum wage) use a taxi rather than walking home at 9.30pm as suggested by another neighbour or at least get their taxi ordered to the next street, so theirs doesn't look untidy.

I don't think this will be the end of it, another neighbour who was weeding by his front door, blatantly came out the front and was half heartedly weeding the drive when we arrived back and the neighbour opposite had enlisted support from someone else and they'd set up table and chairs in their driveway to stare at us on our return.

Have you ever experienced something like this? I'd love to hear from you if you have.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Week 36 One Daily Positive Project 365

Any idea where this lovely weather came from? I'm not complaining other than having to dig my summer sandals back out. Then it absolutely chucked it down by the end of the week. 

I woke up on Sunday morning in a right mood, nothing in-particular and nothing out of the ordinary planned. Within an hour I had the start of a migraine which I was able to stop dead in it's tracks with medication, but I know I'll have to let it out at some point. I'm not sure whether the anxiety is an aura or a trigger. It's something I need to keep an eye on as they are becoming more frequent as in weekly at the moment. I have stopped the beta blockers as I don't want to rely on medication the rest of my life and I'm making diet and lifestyle changes. I've been able to do this before but then I become complacent about it.

I've been checking up on my teaching qualifications to see if they're up to date (which they are) and looking for volunteering roles just to ease myself back into it after 5 years away from the classroom. I can't complete my OU course as it's too long ago now and would have to start from scratch. When I started it in 2007 it was around £600 per unit. now it's £3600 for each one. There's no advantage to continuing with the OU, I may as well go to Uni and have actual classes. It's on hold for now, we'll see how the job hunting goes first.

247 A quick fresh food shop, a most unpleasant coffee and the rest of the day doing some gardening, washing, tidying, blogging, letter writing, general pottering.

248 Off to the Forest of Dean with Bob, met up with child 2 and grandchild, then off to visit a friend.

249 Off to Birmingham on the train for a specialist food shop in China Town and a wander round. I had a bit of a meltdown over food, no idea why, we ended up going home earlier than planned.

250 LFT testing at a school in Droitwich and afternoon in the pub.

251 Met a friend for breakfast in Gloucester and some shopping, she was my former neighbour from 20 years ago, we've kept in touch over the years and it's nice to have more regular catch ups. I had a tonic water (no gin) in the evening and my head started thumping. It appears that's another food/drink item to add to the growing list. Will buy some lemonade tomorrow, I seriously don't think it's the alcohol.

252 Food shop and dog walk in Ledbury then spent the rest of the day in the attic and craft room, looking through all my dad's stuff from his professional football days. Thing 1 has started playing in goal now and wants to know everything about his Great Grandad. These two weren't happy with it raining.

253 Boiler service due back in February, re scheduled for June but we were in hotel quarantine, then again after we got pinged. Another situation where a company try to make out that they're doing me a favour, when in reality I'm actually paying them to do the job. Back up in the attic for the day. 

The cat was in a good mood all day.

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Friday, 10 September 2021

10th - 12th September 2021 - Post Comment Love

Welcome back to #PoCoLo with Stephanie and I, where you can link up with any blog post, on any subject, you've written this week, we'll share and comment and we'd love to hear back from you on one or two other posts.

So lovely to see so many linked up last week, I really do enjoy reading such a variety of posts.

It was feeling cooler here and it's getting darker earlier, but I'm still outside as much as possible and enjoying going out and about a bit further now the kids are all back in school, as it's quieter, but still avoiding weekends and tourist attractions at peak times. The sun reappeared for most of this week and I had to dig out my sandals from the back of the cupboard, back to rain and dreary weather again.

I'm enjoying life back in the UK, hubby is back playing golf, visiting friends and I've had some paid work and been getting out with friends also. We do an awful lot together as well and spend most of our time at home and just enjoying this new slower pace of life.

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Monday, 6 September 2021

Feeling calm and patient

Yes, I've been feeling much calmer over the past few months and my tolerance is improving, but so would yours be with no kids at home and finances to worry about, no work, no stresses, no international moves or hotel quarantines and delayed containers, just peace and calm, dog walks, coffee and chocolate.

A few years ago, child 3 exclaimed that 'mum is calmer these days' My husband and him failed to recognise it was because there were no longer 5 kids at home, pulling me in several directions, no ex's causing us crap and 1000's of miles away from everyone else.

Last month, my husband also exclaimed that I was much more tolerant these days towards him, patient and calmer, but he failed to recognise, he is no longer going out to work, leaving a trail of glory behind in in the form of washing up, wet floors in the bathroom and not leaving me on my own for long periods of time while he travelled with work.

I've never been able to just go out the door since I had my first child. I worked up until 2016, managing 5 kids, pack lunches, school runs, activities, fights, arguments. I would get so wound up with piles of washing up and coming through the door with a food shop and not being able to just put it all away.

Yes, it was just 1 cup, 1 bowl, 1 child who made a sandwich, but it would all pile up in the kitchen, then when space was full in and around the sink, it would just be dumped somewhere else.

This was a bit of washing up from the night before, a couple of glasses and tea/coffee cups from the morning. I was cooking the blackberries and thought I'd wash up in one go. Peter wanted his breakfast and I told him just to leave everything on the side and I'd take care of it as I went along.

However, I finished the blackberries, made myself a cup of tea and left all this till lunch time. And that's all there was.

No crumbs swiped onto the floor, no knocked over glass, broken in the sink and no one saying anything. Nothing balanced on the sauce pan and it wasn't filled with water to splash all over me and the floor.

There are only 2 loads of washing each week, that can be washed, dried, ironed and back in the cupboard on the same day, even when it's raining out as I can put the clothes horse up in the dining room without it 'accidentally' falling down as the boys pushed past to fight for the best seat.

I can also leave stuff on the dining room table and not have it swept to one side for a board game, homework or just because.

Housework is done as and when it is needed, instead of on a Saturday morning by one of us while the other attempted a food shop with 2/3 kids and then ran the other 2 around for football matches.

We eat what we want, when we want, no preparing 3-4 different meals at different times.

There's also money in my purse, fuel in my car, chocolate and sweets in the cupboard and drink in the fridge.

Do I miss it? No, not really. Would I do it again? No way, I'm 50 now, with one grandchild and another on the way. Would I do it differently? Of course I would, but I have no idea how I would've implemented it with 5 kids, other than.....
  • less after school activities
  • no involvement with PTA, Scouts, etc
  • caterers for parties and shop bought cake
  • more money
  • bigger house
How about you?

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Week 35 One Daily Positive and Project 365. A photo a day, every year since 2015

I've restarted my weekly blog posts that I stopped in June when we reached the UK. There was just too much stuff to deal with, it was hectic trying to leave Dubai. Our rent was up, there were no routes to the UK as Dubai was now on the red list, we had to organise our furniture to be shipped, find temporary accommodation, checking several times a day for flights, finally flying via Amsterdam on June 3rd and booking a 10 day mandatory hotel stay.

We then had to go to Northern Ireland to collect the dog and then deal with the container arrival debacle (I'm getting constant emails asking me for feedback)

Furniture in and unpacked. Cat and dog settled. Lots of family and friend visits.

We're still avoiding indoor spaces as much as possible and wearing a mask and social distancing around family and friends. I did get hugged without warning the other week as I came out of a village shop, still wearing my mask, when a woman from the kids old primary school that I hadn't seen for 15+ years, just  hugged me.

The weather is getting cooler now and we're noticing how much earlier it gets dark. We've had equal sunrise and sunset for the past 10 years as well as 24 hour sun, that at most times has been unbearable to be out in, so we're outside as much as possible, with blankets and/or sat in the shed if it's raining.

240 Saturday Up at 4am, just couldn't sleep. I spent the day cooking and baking, getting ready for next week.

241 Sunday Child 2, his wife and our grandchild arrived for a roast lunch, we ate in the garden and were outside most of the day. The neighbour popped round early evening with her 18 month old. Everything from our grandchild at the moment is 'Granny/Grandad' so I ended up putting them to bed. DIL was most impressed I was out the room in 20 mins and child fast asleep.

242 Monday A lazy morning, waffles and pancakes for breakfast then into Worcester for coffee, some shopping and playing in the water fountains by the river. We had a BBQ when we got home and they left around 8pm. Peter and I just collapsed on the sofa.

We keep a constant eye on the dog around our grandchild, we will allow NO exceptions.

243 Tuesday 20 min memory time that the kitchen fitter was arriving and I was dressed and tidied the house. We then took the dog for a walk and Peter sorted through his golf gear ready for tomorrow whilst I watched the soaps, blogged and ate sweets. In the afternoon I rearranged the attic/storage space.

The cat was unaware I'd spotted her stalking me.

244 Wednesday Peter off to play golf, he dropped me and the dog in town, had coffee and walked home. Afternoon spent helping child 4 with obtaining his deeds and I wrote letters, blogged and watched TV.

245 Thursday Spent the day with Here to Help at a local secondary school as a volunteer processing LFT's as part of the Return to School. I've got another day booked in Droitwich next week. I've also been offered some paid work. 

246 Friday Off to Gloucester to visit child 1, we did some shopping and had coffee and cake out.

There's an issue with her neighbours about parking and noise, they've made numerous complaints and written letters. Our daughter has been in her home for 12 years, so why now? We had an encounter with an extremely unpleasant neighbour. I'll be writing more in a post.

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Friday, 3 September 2021

3rd - 5th September 2021 Post Comment Love

Welcome back to #PoCoLo a weekly linky hosted by myself and Stephanie from Lifeat139a.

We have a variety of posts linked up each week from personal stories to knitting patterns, fashion and hobbies. It makes for interesting reading and I'm loving the new friends I'm making through the blogging.

I can't believe it's September already, I think I say this every single month at how quickly this year is going.

Having decided to stay put in our family home and not move again, we've been getting quotes for the work needed and we want done in the house and the garden, trying to get builders though is harder.

The weather has been nice and we're outside as much as possible. We're out today with child 1, she is in her 30's now and lives in care home in Gloucester, we visit once a fortnight. It gets difficult taking her out and about with covid as she won't wear a mask and won't keep a hat/hood on, so if it's cold or raining we need to be indoors, same for food and drinks and getting access to toilets to change her.

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Monday, 30 August 2021

My August English Garden 2021

There's been a lot of planning in the garden and the house. We're getting a new kitchen, extending the back of the house, building new sheds and creating an allotment. It's a small patch of land and with our dining room already full to the brim with furniture, we're trying to work out in which order to do the jobs, so we can still function in and outside the house. 

We want to replace the conservatory, that's 24 years old, with one that covers the back of the house.

I think new shed first, then we can use the old one for storage.

In the meantime I've planted more crops, carrots, onions, potatoes and turnips. I've also sown some peas, beans and sweet peas to 'over winter into a tangled mess' as advised by Monty Don. I did it last year and it worked well.

Winter crops of potatoes and onions already poking through the soil.

Made a cloche to try and keep the cabbage white butterflies out the way. Next year I'll be planting sacrificial marigolds and nasturtiums. I've also been gifted beans, cauliflower and beetroot from a friend and the neighbour gave me some sweet blackberries.

It's great planting lettuce and watching it grow, literally over night. It would be nice to have a few more tomato plants but I was late getting them with not getting back from Dubai until mid June. 

I've bought plants now for my pots and hanging baskets that were on sale in the garden centre and DIY store and the cold frame has been reassembled so I can put them in there over winter.

I've finally realised that I really do need to label everything, more so because I've ventured into other parts of the garden and I caught Peter digging over an area where I'd planted carrots.

I'm still enjoying sitting out in the garden and in the shed if it's raining (although the cat has taken over that spot for now). And it's nice sitting out in the evenings with the garden lit up. The rose bush is in it's second bloom and there are still scented sweet peas to be picked.

Saturday, 28 August 2021

August 2021 One Daily Positive, Project365. Getting pinged, fully unpacked and jelly shortage

I got my numbers out of sync, thankfully only from mid July so didn't take too long to rectify.
I've not been feeling the best emotionally for the past few months. It's been a huge lifestyle change adapting back to life in the UK full time and with Peter retired, it's taken some adjusting as we've spent so long living apart, not just due to covid but for the past 4 years as we've juggled two lives in different countries.

I feel I'm in a better place now, calmer, relaxed and actually enjoying a slower speed of life. I've picked up the blogging again and it's just so nice having everything in one place and at hand. Although sadly the migraines have returned. A whole week affected by them.

I don't miss travelling at all, but we've just passed the two year mark since I last saw child 3 who lives in Australia and it's been 4 years since my husband saw him. 

We've started to notice the food shortages (delivery drivers) but other than supermarkets the only other place we've been shopping has been in DIY shops and garden centres. Now we've got everything in one place our need to shop has reduced greatly, especially with clothes, toiletries and general household items.

We got pinged again, the same place in Gloucester as the last time a few weeks ago, I was asked a series of questions and told to go about my normal business, Peter was told to isolate for 5 days. We've both deleted the app now and LFT was negative.

Day 213 - 243
213 a lovely walk with a friends and the dogs

214 blackberry picking

215 chilling out in the garden

216 we got pinged

217 doesn't matter if it's raining, I just sit in my shed

218 LFT negative, but we continue to isolate

219 decided to sort out the dining room and kitchen boxes

220 another rainy day but the dog won't walk round to the kitchen door

221 ready for the charity shop

222 what is it with kids and sticks

223 there appears to be a jelly shortage

224 child 4 and his pregnant wife are visiting for the weekend, we walked the dog at Croome Park

225 child 2, his wife and our grandchild joined us for the afternoon and night. We went into Worcester in the day and had a BBQ in the evening.

226 a 5 mile walk after breakfast and a wedding do from June in the evening.

227 migraine, in bed all day

228 another PJ day, did some washing and ironing and made beds

229 went to look at kitchen, didn't see this sign until we were leaving the field

230 a trip to Gloucester to visit child 1

231 had enough of the butterfly/caterpillar damage

232 day spent with a friend, came home with these goodies and the blackberries were on the doorstep from the neighbour

233 long dog walk and a day in the garden, over night lettuce sprouting

234 a dog walk and a day at home, some gardening, a roast and a movie

235 car serviced, looked at sheds, afternoon spent sorting photos and reading gardening magazines

236 pirate pants, tea, chocolate, dog, tv and garden design

237 spent the day with Mary and son

238 garden visit with friends

239 collaged child 1's old school work to display

240 getting chilly in the mornings

241 Grandchild coming for the night and a roast dinner planned

242 weather dependent there is garden play planned

243 kitchen company came to measure 

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