Friday, 23 May 2008

Am I a Grown Up Yet?

So , I have half an hour before I go to collect Joe from his friends house. Have I been counting the minutes? Honestly no, not until Elyse and Thomas went to bed, then YES.

Keith is asleep, but watching Road Wars at the same time,so I'm getting my thoughts down on blog.

Joe mentioned this morning that a group of them were going round 'this mates house' after school for a while. Then at break time I recieved a text asking me how late he could stay out.

Keith has phoned to ask permission to play Golf with my dad after work and I wasn't sure what time they'd be going and although I sometimes leave E and T at home to collect Joe from here and there, Elyse hates it - she worries ...HMmmmm! and it's not fair to drag them about late, so I suggest 8:30. The text comes back,'Later?'

The questions commence:
  • Where does this person live?
  • Will their parents be there?
  • Is everyone in your year?
  • Will there be older kids there?
  • etc

I phone Keith who goes a bit mad, but here's my reasoning for 'letting him go'.

I said NO to Camden Market and still stand by that, but this is local and I know location means nothing - kids can get into trouble anywhere. So this is like a test for me and Joe really. It's the start of me being a grown up parent, trusting my son in his judgement and hopefully earning some parenting brownie points along the way.

My stomach IS flipping about a bit though - oh it's so hard !

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Where there's a knead.....

My job is nothing if diverse which makes it a real joy mostly and a difficult thing sometimes. The joys do outweigh the difficulties though...most of the time.
However, to reflect the diversity, on Thursday the culmination of a number of months planning, on and off, will result in the Parent and Toddler Training Day - ta dahh!

Our theme is 'Helping You to Build' and we'll be learning about various ways P and T groups can be effective mission and ministry in a church situation.There are some quality folks coming to lead the sessions and me! My session is called the Nitty Gritty and is prempted by a creative prayer time where the delegates will be encouraged to 'become like little children' and use various messy and creative media to connect with God. I don't want to give too much away as people who are coming might read this and change their minds...however, one of the less messy things is Playdough and I have just returned from my kitchen having made 2 batches of the stuff. I'm not sure that my saucepan will be the same again.

So I followed some instructions for the first batch, which I chose to colour pink, but could tell from the start that it wasn't going well - a bit dry really.So I added more water cooked it some more and turned it out onto the worktop to knead , decided to push it to one side, no further comment required.

Fot the next batch I made it up as I went along - to be honest you don't have to be Gordon Ramsey to make this stuff, but it did feel pretty nifty using a pinch of this and a handful of that etc. I chose to colour this batch blue and it is rather lovely. Turned out onto the top, responded to the kneading beautifully and is now cooling off rather smoothly and proudly.

I returned my attention to the pink mass - don't know if you were bought up on Dr Suess, but in one of the stories, the Cat in the Hat comes to help clear away the snow and somehow mums' dress ends up being washed in the bathtub, leaving a pink rim around the bath which proceeds to colour everything as the Cat attempts to clean that too - soon the snow is completely pink.
well I had a vision of that as I watched this stuff try to hide behing the bag of flour and slope off behind the microwave.

I started to knead it some more and you know, it's still pretty dry, still needs some work, but is responding to the kneading and it's not rocket science to relate that to us is it?

Mostly people respond to feeling needed - simple really :)

Sometime people need to be kneaded too - but that's for another blog I think.

PS My little old lady was visited today and one of things 'they' were planning to do on the basis of what she told them on the phone is get her a grant to install central heating - cool...or rather, hot!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Little Old People are little and old..and sometimes scared.

This evening on the way back from dropping the kids at karate, I stopped to chat to an old lady standing in her front garden. She always used to chat to me when I walked the kids past her house to playgroup. She's lovely, but tonight she was scared.

She thinks her neighbours hate her and that they want to deface her house - she showed me some damage where she is sure someone is coming and picking the cement out from between the bricks. She tells me they are stealing the plants from her garden.

I told her to ring the police, but she didn't think they would bother to come.
I asked about her family - she has a daughter who lives away and doesn't visit EVER.
I told her to go back inside, she was freezing, but she was afraid 'they' would come back.

I told her I would pop along a see her every evening to make sure she is ok, but it didn't feel enough, so I made a phone call to get some advice from Social Services. They were really helpful and advised me to phone the police who would make sure she is safe and carry out a sort of assessment on her health.

Here's the rub - I don't want to freak her out with the police arriving at her doorstep, but she is scared and she might be ill.

What do I do?

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

So, I paid my fine today with one day to go, using the automated payment system that tells me my debt ( to society) is paid - I love that!

Short sharp response to Roots and the 'command' to go public - Maybe I should spend MORE time in that dreadful place where I bought my permit!

Today I went to Welwyn Garden City and it took me 2 hours to get there and after my 'meeting' I popped in to Somerfields to get a sandwich and was aware, while standing in the queue that someone really smelly was behind me. I chanced a look and there was really elderly man and a not quite so elderly woman and they were both 'dishevelled' and arguing over which newspaper to get - the Sun or the ...whatever. Anyway, he asked if I would put his basket onto the little shelf prior to him unloading it and he smiled at me - it was horrible .......... but I nearly cried really.

2 thoughts:

a)Who is looking after him - surely NOT the quite so elderly woman! If so, who is looking after them?

b)I'm not ready. ( nah, I don't know what I mean either!)

Thursday, 1 May 2008

The Car I Drive!

Somehow I seem to attract the attention of speed cameras by driving too fast and traffic wardens by parking in a contraventious ( new word?) way.

My second from latest contravention was parking in a loading bay to 'unload' my daughter for her keyboard lesson. The irritating little SMART car with the camera ( SPY!) provided glorious evidence of that.

My latest misdemenour was failing to renew the parking permit that allows me to park at least 50 miles away from my house in the evening and only outside my house if I am ill or working from home, when no one else wants to park there anyway.

This really sticks in my throat - I don't benefit from the £13 a year it costs me, ( £17 for a second vehicle, £20 for a third etc) even though the man at the LBH office assures me that if we didn't have Resident Parking in my street, people would indeed, flock from miles around to park there and take the convinient 15 minute walk into the town to buy all the stuff they need and stagger back - I DON'T THINK SO. Even I drive into the town sometimes!

However the oversight - it ran out on April 1st, IRONIC - has cost me £50 and to my shame made me say a swear word.

So I am going to wait til the last minute to pay it, but I then had to make the trip to the horrible LBH office to renew my Residents Parking Permit. It is dire to visit and must be even more awful to work there.

They have done a good job at making it seem like an inviting place, but I'm guessing that most of the folks that visit there have problems and attitudes that I have no idea of and so the people behind the desks have learned to treat everyone with suspicion and ...yeah contempt!

You have to take a little ticket and go and sit in a holding bay until they call your number - I say 'they', it's a computer really and quite clever, but again lulls you into a false sence of security. You think that all the people there will address you in the same sing song welcoming way - this is a lie!

And so, you wait, listening to all the various desks that people might be invited to i.e

Ticket number 43 please go to desk 3
Ticket number 679 please go to window 19
Ticket number 3248( seriously) please go to desk 12
Ticket number 2 ( obvioulsy a new department) please go shopping you are in the wrong place etc
Each announcement causes all the 'ticket numbers' to sit up expectantly, only to sink back into the waiting stupor when it's not you. I tried to catch the eye of a fellow 'waiter' but it seemed everyone had lost the will to live, added to by the fact that the computer for printing to new permits ( hence the price increase from £10) had broken.

So anyway, eventually I arrived at 'The Window' presenting my documents and last years permit only to be advised that everything is not in order and I need a letter from the SA proving that the car I drive is indeed the car I drive. I point out that last years permit has the same registration number on it and that they took a copy of a letter last year, but NO. I even still have last years letter in my filofax and uncrease it before their very eyes, but NO. I need a new letter.
I am storming out of the office when a really lovely lady who must be new there asks me if I am OK. I am nearly crying, as this adventure has taken me a hour already, but bravely explain the problem. She, who must be an angel, suggests phoning the SA lease company and asking them to fax a letter. I refrain from telling her that I love her and with hope in my heart, make the call.

I speak to a guy , quite clearly over worked and underpaid, who advises me that YES that can do that, but he is alone in the office, the phone keeps ringing and he can only type with two fingers. I nearly laugh at this point,but play my best telephone flirting card, suggesting that it would be so helpful if he could do it asap as I am about to get another ticket and be returned to the holding bay. His response,
'Did I tell you I am on my own here today?'

OK, so I return and my number is called again about 5 mins later - I appraoch the window where the guy I saw only 20 mins ago max looks at me as if he has never seen me before in his life, and I repeat my story, advising him that a letter is being faxed and suggesting that he might add that to his list of helpful things to say to people in a similar situation to me ( not really, but would have loved to!)
He returns from the fax machine with the awful news that there is no letter. I suggest making a call and he asks if I can do it away from the window as he can't sit there doing nothing, plus the phones mess with the system - that's BROKEN anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mr Overworked says he will do it as soon as he can and I thank him profusely, retuning the to holding bay WITHOUT taking another ticket because I have been advised that I will be 'called over' when the letter arrives....................which it does......................eventually.

My 'call' is a cheery wave! and I respond with a cheery skip over to the cheery window, where the man and I are now best mates, because all is in order and the machine is fixed - hurrah!
I have a rant about permits generally and he rattles off his script. I notice that my permit has a shiney hologram and suggest that the £3 price increase really is making a difference already.

His repsonse?
'Yes, it certainly is!'

I am going to get my permit by post next time, put a reminder in my diary and NEVER go to that place again EVER.