Monthly Archives: July 2011

An exam? Really?

On Friday 22nd of July OH took an exam. ITIL foundation.

There was little to no drama about it and I’m pretty sure I only found out he was taking it about a week before.

We have to do the same exam where I work, but we get a five-day residential course and huge build up.

It surprised me the amount of drama there hadn’t been about this exam.  And then I realised that this was part of the self-absorption I’m suffering from for having to look after two children.

First of all I don’t remember him mentioning the exam prior to this week. He must have known.  Maybe he did mention it and I just wasn’t listening for whatever reason.  Then I wasn’t really there to offer support.

Since having the Toddler I’ve felt like there was a limit to how much attention, help, backup and even love I can offer other people.  Now I have two babies, I’m spread even more thinly, devoting day and night to ensure they both have what they need yo be healthy and happy.

It’s strange because OH seemed to accept my non-involvement and disinterest in the exam but can’t understand my limited emotions.  Being so disinterested and detatched has caused me massive concerns though.  If I have managed to distance myself so much from OHs life then why are we carrying on as a couple? Ok. I know new babies cause a shift in focus but surely a distance this substantial is cause for concern?

By the way, he passed the exam with 85%.

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A surprising Hashtag

On Sunday night and Monday morning, a surprising hashtag began trending:

#blamethemuslims

Now, I don’t normally check out hashtags but I’d seen the explanation for this hashtag in my timeline overnight so entered it as a search…

It is full of people saying things like “why is #blamethemuslims trending?” “#blamethemuslims is the most racist thing I’ve seen on twitter” and “don’t #blamethemuslims, #lovethemuslims.”

I had to laugh at the ignorance.  Firstly, the reason the hashtag is trending is because those of you showing “outrage”  at it are hashtagging it, making it statistically more popular. Secondly, I’ve seen a lot more racist and offensive things on twitter.  That is the folly of free speech.  Furthermore I notice that most of the people crying outrage are white and between 16 and 25. Thirdly, the hashtag was started by a MUSLIM WOMAN to bring attention to how quickly the press are to jump to the conclusion that it’s all the fault of the muslims.  The tweets actually “blaming” the muslims are accusing them of doing things like discovering advances in medicine and respecting their women.

Personally, I feel that the outrage criers were the ones turning this hashtag into a negative.  If we are to rid the world of racism, we need to learn not to jump to conclusions and assume that everything we read highlighting a particular race or religion is racist!

The Chain

When my children are not well, I like to pull them to me and hold them close, making sure they can hear my heartbeat.

A mothers heartbeat is an eternal comfort.

When Oscar is restless and will not sleep, I rest his head on my chest and don’t speak, letting him hear the sounds from the womb.

My body branded O before he was born.  The strawberry kiss on the back of his head a reminder he was pressed low in my pelvis for a long while.  But it is his face which is the most telling and fascinates me.  His forehead bears a reddy purple v shape; the shape of my uneven pubic bone.  It will fade.  Maybe not until school age, but it will go.

I love these small things as they link me to my children, prompting me everyday to remember that together we are something wonderful.

A waste

The weekend was full of sadness for a lot of people.  There were horrific events across the globe and a lot of people have had their lives changed irrevokably.

I always feel saddened when I hear a celeb has died (yes, I’m going to talk about that story, but it does not mean it should eclipse all the other tragedies.) There will always be a story which pulls at heart strings, and the death of Amy Winehouse did just that to me. It makes me so sad to hear of such a waste of talent.

I think the reason why this story touches me is because of a personal experience a few years ago.

When we were at school, there was a group of girls of various ages who used to hang out in the music room.  We would go there at break times and lunch times and we were considered by the rest of the school to be the music geeks.  We immersed and surrounded ourselves in every aspect of music from playing to composition, aural to history and were all very talented and highly skilled.

I have a lot of memories from those days at school; the concerts and parents evenings, the brass band being praised as one of the best in Hampshire. We all moved into college and once again were celebrated for our talents.

College had a different dynamic and there were two very distinct cliques.  At school, we all got along, even though there were members of the group we each favoured less.  College made us choose.

I chose not to group with a girl who clearly hated me and got drunk at the back of the bus with the goth outcasts, one of which was Jo.

Jo had been in the year above me at school and we’d never gotten on famously.  I had never really liked her, mind you she seemed to have this problem with a lot of the girls.  Not that she particularly minded.  She was nice to everyone no matter how she knew they felt about her. I didn’t like her because I was jealous.  She had everything.  She was an amazing trumpet player, she dabbled in piano, she got straight a’s and was good ay every thing.  Teachers loved her.  She was modest, she was strong.  I only ever saw her cry once.

Anyway I lost contact with everyone from school and college after some very bizarre events. This was how I’d wanted it as my depression had left a bit of a trail of destruction and it was important for me to be able to start a new life without the kind of negativity that was thrust upon me.  So I meet OH…

Then I meet his friends, one of which was in an external orchestra with all the people I went to school and college with. One day AH is at AR with us and he says:

Did you know Jo?

Me:yeah. I never really liked her.
Him: she died last month.

BOOM! Wait what? She died? How? She was only 27. She had everything.  And now it is gone, lost forever.

I didn’t and still don’t know how to feel about her death.  All my memories are tainted by knowing.  Her absence is noticeable every time I even think about school and college.  It makes me sad, drags on my heartstrings, that the blaring high trumpet notes that came from the bell of her instrument that I have on CD will never, ever ever be played again.

We had a reunion of sorts in 2008 and she was the hot gossip.  We had been told pneumonia had killed her but it had been revealed later by a couple of the girls who are now nurses that it was a drug over dose.

She had mixed with a bad crowd and taken a lethal cocktail of drugs.

That’s why Amy Winehouse dying makes me sad.  Yes, ok, they needed help.  They didn’t get it, either because they didn’t want it or they didn’t know how.  Such a tragic waste of something fantastic.

Every genius pays the price.  The currency being mental health.

Saturday 23rd July

I had plans for the weekend.  You see, on the 29th we have our lodger moving in. So everything needs to be ready and in place before then.

We have a medium-sized 3 bed house with two double rooms and a single.  The Toddler had the single room, we had one of the doubles and the other double room was supposed to have been an office/study/craft room.  Well, that dream faded when we realised we had nowhere to dump years worth of crap. The room became this.

I tried numerous times to clear it.  It wasn’t even at its worst when that pic was taken.  So, when we decided our financial situation and The Change dictated we would need a lodger, we had to rethink.

The lodger has agreed to having the single room and the children would both take the junk room.  After it was cleared obvs.

We have known about the lodger coming for around three months.  I have been desperately trying to persuade OH to clear that room during this time.  Even to the point where his mum came round while I was heavily pregnant with O and we cleared 11 boxes of his shit…

My plans for the weekend mainly consisted of sleeping, food shopping on a budget and a car boot sale early tomorrow morning.

Alas, I have been thwarted again as I overheard:

“…yes, tomorrow we are going to move Toddler into the spare room…”

Spoken by OH on the phone on Friday night.

We are, are we? Three months of trying to persuade you to pull your finger out of your arse and get it done and you decide to spring it on me with less than 24 hours notice?

This is the story of my life.

So I spent all Saturday feeding, moving furniture, cooking lunch and settling a Toddler in a new room.  At NO POINT did I get a nap, lie in or snooze and the shopping still remains…well, unshopped.  For this reason, I was “treated” to a pizza tonight.  I’ve told him he will have to find something to sell to make up the price of the pizza.  And we didn’t get up early enough to do the carboot sale. For fucks sake.

On the plus side, the room does look amazing.  Shame we had to scatter the stuff semi-strategically around the rest of the house!

F ing finances

We are in some serious monetary doo doo.

We shouldn’t be.  We should be riding free at the moment with around £400 excess a month.  But for some reason we’re not.  There could be a problem with my bank account, but I doubt it.  The only problem is that I spend too much money on stuff we don’t really need.

Basically, at the moment, I’m on mat leave and we’re only paying child care for one child (don’t even get me started on this). However, in December when I go back to work, we will be paying for two kids.

I already have £243 come out of my account for the childcare vouchers.  My take home is around £614 per month.

I need to pay out another £450 on childcare a month for O…and then £113 on council tax and another £150 on my bills.  Now, even if you’re rubbish at maths (like me) you’ll see that the above will put a large strain on my bank account every month.

Sooo what am I doing…(apart from freaking out)

I’m also trying to budget our food and encourage the purchase of the Sainsburys basic range.  We’ve written a loose menu for a week and I managed to purchase most of what we needed for about £40 so far.

I walk as much as I can to stop burning precious petrol.  With prices rising all over the place, every penny counts.

The only thing I can think to do is to change my hours so that I’m working the same amount of hours that I’m paying for childcare.  At the moment, I work 21 hours a week.  And I pay for 30 hours of childcare.

This will take some thinking about as it will mean more time at work (deep joy).

The Change is about to get bigger.

The Change from the beginning

The big day looms.  Our household of four is soon to become 5.

NOOO I’m NOT having another baby (yet – still have to persuade OH!)

Our friend is moving in with us.

Today I’m going to talk about WHY.  And the WHY is The Big Change.

2011 has turned out to be the Year of Change for our little group of friends, but The Change is part of a chain reaction which I actually kicked off 5 years ago.

When I met OH and we were working in the same place (oh yeah…I will have to tell you about this too) he was in the process of buying a house with his best friend S.  His best friend is in the army and was getting posted out across the world regularly.  When he came home, he would stay with OH’s mum and dad (where OH was also living) so they decided it was time they bought a house.  The arrangement suited them as it meant that OH could get on the property ladder and S would have somewhere to go when he came home.

I didn’t live with OH and S for a long time.  I moved in, and then moved back out again after a fight with S (he actually asked me to come back – not OH).  they paid the mortgage and I rented a room from them.  It worked well…until I got my first blue line on the pee test.

It wasn’t really practical for us to continue living the way we were.  The house (we’ll call it AR) isn’t really the biggest house.  It had three bedrooms, but it was tiny.  It had a downstairs bathroom, which I hated.  Laminate flooring throughout.  It was basically a bachelor pad,  Fine for 2 men and a tom boy, but not so great for babies.  OH decided we would move.

We looked into the possibility of buying AR but quickly discounted that idea for the reasons about and many others. Then we looked at the possibility of S buying OH out and us moving.  The housing market had just crashed, which was highly unfortunate for this part of the transaction as it meant that there was no equity in the house and banks were lending much less.  OH was unable to remove his name from the mortgage as the bank would not let S take on the entire outstanding amount due to a shortfall of about £4000.  He also had to walk away from his initial investment of £10k.

It was a hard decision to make. even though S was paying the mortgage in its entirety after this, it was always a worry as once your name is on the mortgage, whether you actually physically pay for it or not is irrelevant.  If the payments go into arrears, it’s your neck on the line.  And there is no way to write your way out of this.  even if your solicitor writes you a letter to say you are not paying anything towards the mortgage, if it goes to court, you are still liable.  We asked.  It’s shit and was very scary for us as we were taking on another mortgage and couldn’t afford two if something went wrong.

As S didn’t want AR to be empty when he was posted, he asked one of our mutual friends N to move in.

I like N.  He’s awesome.  He’s a good guy.

Life carried on like this for a while and then S met L.

L is originally from Canada.  She’s a lovely, bubbly, very cute girl.  She fit straight in with  our group.  Funny, sweet and good for S, it wasn’t long before she moved in with them.  Then, around 3 months ago, S gets told he is getting posted to Italy.

He didn’t want to leave L here but the only way for them to go together was for them to be married. Cue The Wedding.

Now, N isn’t paying a massive amount of rent to S.  Afterall, he only has one room in the hose.  S knew he could get a lot more renting to a family so, after they couldn’t find anyone else to move in with N he is having to move out.  It made me sad to see the rental sign outside the house that was my home for two years before we moved here, but that is the way life goes.

N is now coming here to become our 5th member.