Friendship

As many of my nearest and dearest know I have had a tough month or so but that is not my story to share.

The story I want to share today is that of friendship – I am about to embark on a return to work after 6 weeks of sickness leave due to (non-work related) acute stress and anxiety but I am still feeling a little overwhelmed about going back tomorrow morning.

Thankfully during my six weeks absence I have had the good fortune of great support and friendship. Not least seen this weekend when celebrating a dear friend’s wedding day in Fareham.

Not only was it a pleasure to attend such a beautiful service and celebration – the casual style of the day was nothing short of sublime. It totally encapsulated the wonderful couple but it was also a reunion of some of the girls I played rugby with back in my Exeter University days (including the bride) – some I have seen regularly over the years and others I have not seen since 2004.

We may have had many children between us, a number of marriages, some divorces and many have lost loved ones since we last met but our friendships endure – we have fond memories of our University days (some memories better than others) and we had plenty of tales to tell of our somewhat different lives now, but we could also just sit around and talk about the real stuff.

The stuff that matters and the stuff that doesn’t matter so much – some time it is just good to talk and what better way than with old friends.

Daddywithlplates and I also enjoyed a weekend free of Little Girl J as she stayed at Grandma’s and we were very excited about buying and reading newspapers and drinking hot coffee as an added bonus of the weekend wedding celebrations.

Small things please in life!

Not all partners were able to make it but those who did were like naughty kids sneaking a peak at the football at the back of the church as the wedding clashed with Kick-Off.

I just hope that Little Girl J has the good fortune of developing great friendships in her life – at the tender age of 4 she appears to be a little fickle with her friends although she already seems to have a definite little group in school but I hope she will one day be able to celebrate and reminisce with good friends like I have this weekend.

I know I haven’t mentioned all the other friends who have helped me over the last 6 weeks but I am sure you all know who you are and even if it was just a text or a cup of coffee or something stronger – it really has helped.

Thanks for being my friendsb82ce19e-10a4-4dbd-a3a0-9b2b0a18e38f

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Happy Fathers Day

So my gift to my dear husband this Father’s Day is taking his daughter out for the day so he can have a day to himself – I imagine he will watch some of the football.

It sounds like I am cheating him out of a gift but neither me or Daddywithlplates really celebrate these Hallmark holidays.

Little girl J has made him a card in school and then upset him this morning by saying she could give it to anyone – maybe Bampi would like it – obviously school must have said children could give cards to whoever they wanted as not everyone has a father figure in their life. So it looks like at some point today we will be making another card for Bampi – I have got shop bought cards as well but don’t generally go down the gift line.

Although I have been talking to other wives who have bought a range of gifts including steak ready for the bbq and one lady whose children are grown up who was worried she hadn’t done anything for her husband for Father’s Day who did laugh when I pointed out he wasn’t her father and it was really up to her kids – little girl J is 4 so can’t really be held responsible for organising anything for Father’s Day but apparently neither are some people’s grown up children.

My parents also never really celebrate Hallmark holidays so Dad may get more cards than he has ever received on Fathers Day if we manage to create one today.

I definitely think Daddywithlplates deserves a day off though – we have had a stressful month or so and he has been super strong throughout.

He is currently bouncing around a trampoline park with little girl J while I nurse a hangover having had yet another Friday night at home alone with Little girl J.

There is no way I could be involved with the PTA and be Captain of the golf club and hold down a job and have fun with friends without the amazing support of my husband.

Don’t worry girls he still drives me mad with all the things he doesn’t do but I am very lucky the amount he does do.

Hope you have a lovely day off tomorrow.

Survived

Well we are all still speaking to one another after half term.

I think this is the first school holiday we have spent together at home as a family with no-one working.

It has been a busy week with trips to Dyffryn Gardens, Cardiff Bay and the Volvo Ocean Race and plenty of golf for Mummy.

I think it is safe to say daddywithlplates is looking forward to a rest back in the office tomorrow while little girl J goes back to school.

Promises of baking and painting went out the window as the sun was shining most of the week and when it did rain we still managed to enjoy the outdoors.

She is shattered and has been snoring for hours already – I can almost guarantee she will sleep in tomorrow morning and be a little nightmare to get up and dressed for school even though she has been up by 6.30 most of this week.

Those of you who may have seen me or her recently you will be pleased to know she has her flip flops according to her they look like zebra pooh not sure how she knows what that looks like or if I agree with the description but she is just happy to have flip flops.

Can’t believe she only has 8 weeks left in Reception – growing up too fast!

Lovely weekend

We are back in reality after a lovely weekend away with friends – I’m a little bumped and bruised after a small late night hot tub debacle but fully relaxed and ready to face reality again tomorrow.

The Big Weekend has been in the calendar and on countdown and could not have come at a better time – exactly what the Doctor order. Plenty of fresh air, countryside, good food a few drinks and lovely company.

Walkers Farm cottages in Somerset Levels was the perfect destination for a gang of us to get together with the kids and the beautiful weather helped too.

With pigs, dogs, chickens and a pony on site plus lots of land to wander there was plenty to do and we even managed a game of croquet on the lawn although boule lasted longer although was taken a little too seriously when the measuring tape came out.

With four children in the group ranging from 1 -11 the games barn was a fantastic feature which was exactly what it said on the tin. Table tennis, football, badminton, snooker table and a netball hoop.

No set itinerary we all just did our own thing except meal times when we all gathered together either in the common kitchen area or around the 30 man barbecue.

Leisurely walk to the local pub – 2 miles cross country with a Mexican stand-off with some bulls but we all survived. Thunderstorm Saturday night that clears air for a beautiful sunny day on Sunday. Little girl J didn’t fancy a day trip anywhere yesterday so we stayed on site all day and enjoyed the various facilities.

After check out this morning we descended upon Glastonbury and had a lovely picnic in the tranquility of The Chalice Well.

Fab weekend and I even survived having my face painted by a 4 and 11 year old

What is in a name?

Princess Stroppy Knickers, Poddle, Speedy Gonzales, nightmare teenager in the making – these are just a few of the terms and phrases Daddywithlplates and I have used to describe our little cherub over the last week or so.

To say she is testing the limits of our patience is an understatement- but is it her or is it just us?

Just under a month ago she had an awful ear infection and I have been overcome by Mum guilt as i kept saying she was fine it was nothing until her ear basically burst and after a week of antibiotics and a further week of ear drops she is still struggling with her hearing and we are now being referred to ENT – I know there is nothing I could have done differently other than maybe take her to see a GP earlier but still it doesn’t help relieve the guilt.

The poor little thing has already got glasses and the lenses have been made stronger again and now she has to got to the hospital for referral on both eyes and her ears – I remember being petrified on my first visit to the hospital and I think I was about 8 before I was taken to hospital for anything.

We initially put the struggles with her hearing down to being a fairly selective four-year old but when both my deaf father and deaf mother-in-law commented that she appeared to be struggling we thought perhaps it was worse than we first thought. I digress – I started off talking about names didn’t I?

Daddywithlplates sent me a message in work on Thursday asking “How Princess Stroppy Knickers had been after he left for work in the morning?” and the question first made me laugh but then made me think – how many different names do we call our child?

I often joke the A for her middle name should be for Awkward, my mother in law calls her Chicken Lickin, my mother calls her honey bunch, my father calls her flowerpot I call her sweetheart, speedy gonzales, half-a-job, and both daddywithlplates and I often refer to her affectionately as a pain in the neck, pain in the arse or a little cherub.

I would be heartbroken if she came home from school and told me she was being called names although her teacher has told me she calls her Matilda as she reminds her of the Road Dahl character – if only she had the magical powers yet I seem to be perfectly happy for her immediately family to refer to her in a number of ways that are not her name.

I have recently started standing up for myself more with my name which is Victoria and I have always preferred to be called Tori or Victoria but since my school days many people have called me Vicky or Vix – two names that annoy me as I do not think of myself as either – as I have gotten older and more confident I stand up for myself but people are finding it odd that now at 36 I am apparently changing my name – I am not, anyone who came into my life once I was 18 will know me only as Tori or Victoria – I will answer to the others but I do not like them so why do I think it is acceptable to call my daughter all the nicknames under the sun?

I will endeavour to call you by your name from now on – and only use your full name when you are in trouble – I promise!

It took us long enough to agree on it – if your Dad had got his way you would still be called Jellybean!pexels-photo-772278.jpeg

Shattered…

I am currently sat on a park bench unable to identify my husband and child in a sea of children, parents and grandparents – it is however a joy to see – the sun is shining and it finally feels like spring!

Daddywithlplates and I have agreed 15minute shifts as little girl J isn’t quite big enough to be let lose in the big park on her own so I thought I would take the opportunity to blog!

I vaguely remember blogging from Roath Park last spring too but today’s blog is about me and the irony of the current book I am reading – Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the illusion of equality -the irony is that I have been trying to read this book which was recommended to me by a very successful business woman and mum but I have been too shattered to read it. In fact every time I pick it up I fall asleep and am yet to get to the end of chapter 1.

I think it is safe to say maybe I have been burning the candle at both ends lately and the Easter holidays have been hard work – roll on Monday and the normal routine of school etc just need to get uniform washed and ready by Monday – I had every intention of getting it done and out of the way at the start of the school holidays but here we are at the last weekend and not quite there yet.

On the bright side the sun is shining and we are having a fun family afternoon at the park. Think my 15 minutes might be up soon though.

Who needs play equipment when there is a hill to roll down though!

#UniteforParkinsons

Life has been a little busy not only with day to day family admin and School Easter holidays but I have recently added yet another plate to spin – since March 28th I have become Ladies Captain of Cardiff Golf Club which is a great honour.

As part of my captaincy year I get to name and raise money for charity and I have named Parkinson’s UK as my charity for the year.

My life has been largely affected by this disease for the last decade as my Mum has suffered with it for the last 10 years and the challenges it brings get harder each year.

Unfortunately there is no cure and lots more research needs to be done to understand the cause and hopefully create an effective treatment.

I wrote about Parkinson’s this time last year and it is once again Parkinson’s Awareness Week – I made a pledge to hold a charity event last year which I did not manage but have already started raising money through my Captaincy and £154 is already on its way to Parkinson’s UK

I will continue to put a variety of events on at the golf club and am grateful for any additional donations anyone may like to give.

I will end by sharing this very poignant poem by Jeremy Simon for those of you who have no idea about Parkinson’s this poem gives an insight!

INSPIRATIONAL POEM

I’m tired as hell my vision is blurred

My tremor’s in overdrive my speech is all slurred

But I’m used to it been like this for all these years

I put on a fake smile but inside its tears

This is how I feel although the days always feel the aching

The pain’s constantly there as well as the shaking

The pins and needles are driving me mad

If I could fall asleep trust me I’d be very glad

But Parkinson’s is an Illness that’s always on my case

It takes over your body it alters my pace

My walking’s very slow my balance is out

Wish it would leave me alone I’d like to get about

But no, it’s still here doing it’s worse

It strikes me down like some sort of curse

I try to be independent but my life’s changed a lot

I have to ask for lots of help although I try not

I’m fighting this disease but feel like I’m way behind

It’s playing with my body as well as my mind

It won’t finish till it’s done me in

I’m know I’m fighting a battle I’m never gonna win

But I’ll give it all I’ve got as all will no doubt see

I’ll struggle with all the pitfalls it throws at me

But I’ll lose the war I know I will in the end

Parkinson’s a loner, it’s nobody’s friend

#uniteforoparkinsons