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Dust of life

May 6, 2011

Every tiny thing that I make into a big huge issue appears totally insignificant when I hear sad news like I have today.

The loss of a child is something no-one should ever have to suffer.

I have felt totally lost and confused all day.

This morning I was pleased that I would be coming home to a child free house for the weekend in order to get some things done. But now all I want is my boy. I want him so much.


Interview Fear

May 6, 2011

I have an interview on Monday. It is a.

Before we relocated to the midlands last year I had reached the top of a Grade 4, and was looking for Grade 5 positions. Then we relocated. I struggled to find anything that was even Grade 4 equivalent; we needed me to have a job for mortgage purposes so I took a Grade 3 in a role I hated, a data entry yawn fest.  It was pretty demoralising.

I lasted 3 months then moved in January to a Grade 4 post working on a course in the top department one of the most prestigious Universities in the country. The department itself has an international reputation of being one of the top in its subject area and I am working on the ‘money making’ course. So a good step. However the position is boring, I am not challenged, I am totally overpaid for what I do, but that said the pay is not the same as what I was on before relocation. So I am bored and paid less than before, feeling a bit sorry for myself.

A post came up within the department for a Grade 6. I was not going to try for it as thought that given a few months ago I was a Grade 3 they would just laugh at me. But my boss insisted I apply and I met with the Big Big Boss and she had a chat with me about the role, welcomed me to apply and since then has been giving me little projects to do which are linked to the advertised role, so a really good way for me to learn more in advance of an interview.

Hence I was really surprised not to be shortlisted. I was pretty gutted.   My boss couldn’t understand it and insisted (against my wishes) on finding out what was going on. Big Big Big Boss (with me still?) came to see me: “you need to check your personal e-mails as that is the address you gave on your application form.”

“I have, about every hour for the last week” I popped open the window “look nothing.”

“Ah, well you have been shortlisted and you were invited to interview, you should have received the information yesterday morning, the interviews are on Monday. Can you go see HR and ask them to send you the information?”

I promptly legged it down to the HR office, no one was in!  I nearly cried.  Big Big Big Boss kindly pulled some strings and now I have my lovely invite for interview. But now I am scared.

I have to do a presentation.

I don’t know how too.

One of the interview panel is not a big fan of me (it is the purple lady from an earlier post)

I have nothing to wear.

Shit shit shit shit shit.

Wedding on Wearde Quay

April 28, 2011

Mr T’s niece got married on Easter Saturday.  That element of Mr T’s family (it is very complicated!) live in Saltash and own land including a quay with stunning views.

My foot enjoying the view on arrival

 The wedding was held along the quay, accessible by many steps, or a long trek through various people’s gardens. A large marquee was set up and boats were moored alongside for additional party space.

View of marquee on the quay

The happy couple

The ceremony was held outside and was just beautiful, although Cereal Boy did insist on doing loud fake burps during the vows. He could be forgiven though as he looked so amazingly cool in his outsit (clothes from sisters trip to Tibet, hat made at nursery for Easter and elvis throwback glasses).

Cereal Boy

The weather was kind, the drinks were plentiful. It was fantastic to see all the various members of Mr T’s extensive family all together again, the last time had been for his dads funeral in 2009.

A piano had been brought down to quay (at great effort) and we had live music over the course of the afternoon which then changed to a random spotify playlist which threw up some bizarre numbers.  The whole atmosphere was very laid back, with a hot buffet, no seating plan and a request that guests bring puddings instead of presents.

We were lucky enought o score staying with one of the family on the quay, so we were able to put Cereal Boy to bed and leave him with a  babysitting family member and head back for a bit of additional partying.

The following day everyone, including those with hangovers, assisted with getting all the furniture, crockery, and musical instruments back up the houses from the quay.

How many men with a hangover does it take to get a piano up a hill?

I now have severe wedding envy. Do my vows run out at any time so I can renew them?

It’s not like I like to win or anything……

April 27, 2011

Mr T and I had a proper disagreement last week. This has only happened maybe 3 times in the 13 years we have been together. We argue, and disagree on things all the time, but severe disagreements when neither one of us wants to back down rarely happen.

It was all because of a lovely sports car.

Easter weekend we were due to drive 4 hours to a family wedding. We own a nice ‘family car’ with plenty of boot space, plenty of cabin space for everyone and air-conditioning etc.  Mr T put in to borrow a fancy car from his work, and they granted his wish, with a Jaguar XK.

Pretty but not practical for a family journey.

I told Mr T it was a no-go, he refused to budge as A) he wanted to show up at the wedding in it to impress his family,   B) someone at his work went to the trouble to acquire it for him and C) Mr T really wanted to ponce about in it. 

I refused to budge as A) no space for me to sit in the back with Cereal Boy which is pretty necessary on a 4 hr journey,  B) no boot space so would have to pack light, and C) The car seat probably wouldn’t fit.   

In the end we agreed that Mr T could take my little car to go collect it, then when it was back at ours we could see if it was workable, that way we would still ahve the ‘family’ car as a fall back.  Prett car was not at all suitable. None of the car seats would fit in the back, and even if we put the car seat in the front the back seat was only the size of supermodels elbow so not really comfortable for me to sit on for 4 hours.

So I won. Ha!

The beautiful car spent most of the weekend making the outside of our house look nice, although Mr T and Cereal Boy have taken it out for a few spins.


April 15, 2011

As part of his settling in at the new nursery we have been asked to send in some pictures for an ‘About Me’ book for Cereal Boy. One of these was to be a picture of ‘my family’ .  How awful is it that we only have about 3 family pictures and they are all over a year and half old?

Thus we set up the camera on a tripod and Voilà!

(Oh how I wish I had taken off my slippers!)

Ofsted – Cunts.

April 15, 2011

Cereal Boy is cared for by a husband and wife childminding team. They both have separate registrations as required by Ofsted.  On Monday night we had a text to say due to bad news they could not care for Cereal Boy the next day. This is very unlike them, and assumed it was due to the death of a family member.  Then on Tuesday I had a very emotional conversation with Mrs Childminder,  Ofsted had pulled their registration, effective immediately.

In January Mr Childminder had a nervous breakdown, the childminders took on an assistant and Mr Childminder arranged to not be on the premises when the children are there as he is very depressed and didn’t want it to affect the children.  The childminders reported the situation to Ofsted and invited them to come out and visit to check on everything, but had no response.

On Monday morning they had a phone call from Ofsted to say Mr Childminders registration was being revoked due to mental health issues. They had been expecting this, although it was very disappointing. No mention was made of Mrs Childminders registration.  Then at 4.15pm on Monday Ofsted called again and said that Mrs Childminder would be losing her registration, effective immediately, and that she should notify parents so alternative arrangements could be made for child care.  Basically she can not be registered as she is married to someone with mental health issues. It boiled down to her husband or her job.  They have been in touch with solicitors etc, but there is nothing that can be done. 

As parents this is a massive blow, we adore our childminders, they have been fantastic with Cereal Boy, they are very affordable and flexible. We are now having to use up our annual leave and take unpaid leave in order to remain at home.  It is terrible for Cereal Boy, he loves the childminders, he loves his friends there. He is very unlikely to see these children again now. There has been no warning, no goodbyes, no preparing him for the change. At short notice we are having to place him somewhere else, do settling sessions etc.  I am not sure he really understands that he will not be going back to Mr and Mrs Childminders.

It is devastating for Mr and Mrs Childminder. They have been caring for 20 years. Their entire house is dedicated to the care of children. They have lost their livelihoods and children they love. We went to visit them yesterday afternoon and they are broken. Mrs Childminder was telling me how she broke down when she say all the little handprints on the glass of her patio doors.  For Mr Childminder this is having a serve impact on his health, all the improvements that have been made with his emotional well being since January have been wiped out, he is now distraught that his health has had this impact on his wife, the children and the parents.

Mr T and I are so frustrated, we are writing a letter to Ofsted, as are all the other parents, we know nothing will change as it is a point of law. But it is

Best laid plans….

April 11, 2011

Dad had asked to have Cereal Boy for the weekend (score!) so after delivering child to grandparents on Friday Mr T and I went, for the first time, to our local village pub. I wouldn’t say the banjo music stopped when we walked in…but close to it.  No one sat at any of the tables, everyone was sat at a stool at the bar. This resulted in Mr T and I having to do lots of waving etc to try and get a drink.  We took our speciality ales to a corner table and felt very conspicuous and scarpered home as soon as we had drained the glasses.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early. My plan was to paint the en-suite from  a vile purple to a lovely bright white by lunch time, then spend the afternoon pottering  in the garden drinking shandy and then some late afternoon bed business  with Mr T.  After the first coat of paint I was cursing there former owners and their purple obsession as I realised it would need a second coat.  Even worse my period started, so there went all the plans for nookie.

After the second coat I was swearing a lot and realised it would need a third coat. Mr T was sent to B&Q for supplies. After the third coat I was close to tears realising it would need a fourth.  It was 4pm, I’d been painting in a tiny room all day, I needed to let the paint dry a bit before I had a shower and got ready to go out. I quit for the day in a bit of strop.

We always try to go out for a meal when we are sans child, we went to try our local Chinese restaurant. We are very fussy about Chinese food, we were blessed in Cardiff with a fantastic restaurant where the food was on par with the food we had eaten when we were on honeymoon in China, since moving to the Midlands we have been on the lookout for somewhere else where everything doesn’t just seem to be pumped full of MSG.   From the outside we didn’t expect much, it looks more like a roadside café and actually used to be a Little Chef.

However inside it was lovely, if basic, and the food and service were amazing.  The grilled dumplings were particularly outstanding next time I shall be having the steamed red snapper as someone at the next table had it and it smelt wonderful. I had fully intended to take pictures of the dishes…but only remembered when I had finished, whoopsie.

Sunday morning I was straight back into the sodding en-suite for a fourth coat of paint. After finishing I made it very clear to Mr T that if he went in there and said he could still see purple he would be in danger of losing his testicles.

Dad arrived with Cereal Boy not properly strapped into the car seat, after a chastising we headed off to a pub near the Great Union Canal known as ‘park pub’  where we ate a lovely big roast dinner in the pub garden whilst Cereal Boy stood at the top of the climbing frame yelling at all the other patrons to let them know they were: “dirty rascals”.

Back at home later on Cereal Boy went to inspect the ensuite and pronounced it: “a bit pink’“. Mummy was not impressed.