Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Poetry, Writing

Following in my Footsteps?

Finally for today –

One from my son. A quick poem he made up this evening.

Money

By Alexander Bailey © 2018

Money doesn’t grow on trees
Some people keep bees
Everyone has knees.

Well, it made me smile 🙂

 

Posted in Family, General

A sunny and refreshing weekend

We had a lovely relaxing time this weekend. Saturday was courtesy of one of Alexander’s school friends birthday party held at a local farm attraction – which included a playground and a miniature train. Perfect! We could sit back and let them have fun.

Sunday was a combination of a walk along the coast and the local Transport festival and fun fair!

Here’s a few pics.

Posted in Family, General

Thank you!

First of all – many thanks for all the birthday wishes – this is for my friends and family reading this via Facebook. I haven’t had the time to respond. It has been a very very stressful week at work with all kinds of stuff going on from resignations to shareholder meetings to urgent product development and website updates. I have been totally snowed under and stressed out so have neglected everything else in life. On top of that I have had the heaviest head cold ever!

So now taking a deep breath – before it all begins again.

I have to thank my lovely wife too – for putting up with me during these periods. I have been grumpy to say the least.

The other person I have to thank is my eldest son as he has indirectly kept my spirits buoyed. Lately he had really got into Minecraft. and he watched YouTube videos of other people playing them and other games even more. He stumbled on one of a skating game where the people playing were not actually very good and it ended up being more about how much carnage they could cause by falling off.

While I was stressed out working from home in the evenings while dealing with a number of issues and pressures – it was a magical lift to the spirits to hear him in the background laughing his head off at their antics. Real belly laughs. There’s no better tonic.

So this weekend, I will try an relax and get back to some writing!

Posted in Family

Sunny Days

So we took advantage of the sunny weather this weekend and got out and about. I dusted off the camera too.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Plead the Fifth.”

The question I find hard to answer – How many kids have you had. I have two – one by birth – one adopted. But we have had three – and whenever I say two it feels like we are betraying the memory of the one that was with us so briefly. Yet if you say three – that leads to many complicated conversations.

I have to add Alexander considers he has three brother’s as he also counts the one we lost at 7 weeks. In my mind we never has that one – we never saw him but I do see his point.

It’s a question that will probably never have a proper answer.

Plead the Fifth

Posted in Daily Prompt, Family, General

Another blast from the past.

image

http://timehop.com/c/fs:10152558296793452:10153292991413452:10420123:e2d7d

I love timehop. Always brings a  smile.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.”

Zombie Apocalypse?

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By Scott Bailey © 2015


From paper to cheek
Paint is slapped with joyful glee
Release the zombie!

Zombie Apocalypse?

Posted in Family, General, Poetry, Writing

Memories that made me smile

For some reason WordPress won’t let me re-blog tonight!

So am posting the text of the original here:

I was working though my old blog articles, gathering together all my old poems from the Year long poem a day challenge for publication  – when I came across this. Alexander was only about three at the time – he was bright and cheeky already.

Alexander got reprimanded a little at nursery today. When told to do something he delegated it to two other children. I say leadership qualities!

Then tonight he wanted to watch a DVD. For the sake of my sanity I forbade another Scooby-Doo. So he thought about it and then said.

“What I really think I would like to watch is something that has two men. Two ladies. And a dog. And they go around solving mysteries.”

Mmmmm. So that narrows the options then.

We settled on How to train your dragon.

Posted in Adoption, Family, Financial, General, Health, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Forgetting it all for the weekend

So it seems the moment I signed up for NaNoWriMo the pressure from all sides of my life takes off like a rocket.

Work has become more and more stressful. To the point of the web site having major problems last thing Friday night. At this point I was so sick with stress I decided it would have to wait until Monday morning. I walked out and decided to try to forget everything for the weekend.

This was not easy, as I said work stress is building up and up, relentlessly. Getting tired of it now.

On top of that the pressure from our adoption is also growing – all the social workers and health visitors want a mass meeting with us – we are naturally stressing about this as we don’t know what it is about. The annoying this is that we feel we have made great strides in the last few weeks and the little one if definitely feeling settled, safe and his behaviour has improved dramatically. The problem is we don’t think they are seeing it.

And then there are financial strains, cars breaking down, things going wrong and family illnesses. All piling on and on.

So this weekend I though sod it all. Lets just concentrate on family time.

And we had a great time. On Saturday we took both boys to a local children’s centre and they had a great time. They found some bikes and played together lovely with them. Then Alexander went to one of his classmates birthday parties. It was in a cake shop, making cakes.

Although he could have stayed we decided that L would just cause chaos in such a small place with flour and eggs! So I took him down to the beach and we spent a great couple of hours together, the best behaved he has ever been. While Alexander had a great time making “Alien” fair cakes and eating marshmallows dipped in a chocolate fountain, L and I threw pebbles in the sea, raced the tide and sat an ate lollies while watching the boats. It was bliss.

On Sunday we went for a walk in the country side around the village. Again the kids were remarkably well-behaved, collecting leaves and twigs for a Halloween picture project mummy has planned.

I won’t say I wasn’t stressed – it was still there bubbling under but time with the kids and my wife has helped.

So despite all that – because of all that and to spite all that – I decided to plough ahead with NaNoWriMo. I uploaded the cover (see below) and synopsis. Using Scrivener I have made a very rough plan. Writing down some very rough scenes, mostly in order though a few may change. I think my next stage of planning will be to describe for each character how they change between each scene. So I get a little journey plan for each of them as a guide.

I still think there an extra dimension to my idea missing, but not going to worry about that at present. It will only be a first draft – I can add more to it later if I still think it needs it once i have finished.

Onwards

Cold Sanctuary

Cold Sanctuary by Scott Bailey

Synopsis:

Orphaned, wrenched from their home, can Gabriel look after his adopted brother? Can he find a voice to stand up for himself?

In an alien world, unwelcomed and lost, all they have is each other. They must endure a clash of cultures, adapting to a radically new life and dealing with deep-seated grief. Gabriel struggles to keep the promise to his parents to look after the brother he has waited for all his life whilst coming to terms with his new surroundings.

Can such a young mind take all the demands? And, when they are suddenly separated, can he find his brother again?

Their searches for answers, for each other and to fill the holes in their hearts leads them on paths of rebellion and revenge.

Posted in Family, General

Batman and Sun

What a wonderful afternoon we had yesterday.

Went to too a mini school play. Alexander was Batman! The coolest superhero of all! Watching him come on and dance around to the Batman theme tune (60’s TV show – has to be doesn’t it!) is a memory I will cherish forever. L was squealing with delight when he saw his brother come on stage.

The afternoon was topped off by a lovely picnic and playtime at the seaside with good behaviour from the kids!

But getting back to Batman – it got me thinking. Every one of those kids knew that theme tune – it has remained in our cultural conscience. Probably because of the many repeats and references to it in other programs. I was wondering why some things stay with us and other fade away. For example. How many people of my generation remember this little ditty?

Jingle bells
Batman smells
Robin flew away
Kojak lost his lollipop
And didn’t know what to say

Now doubtless there are other versions still in circulation but I doubt that one is. The youngsters of today wouldn’t get the Kojak reference?  I wonder what it is that has made Kojak fade from the forefront of most people’s minds. I mean he is not forgotten. In this day and age of electronic records nothing will ever be forgotten. He is just not a part of the cultural conversation any more.

I suppose if I could answer the question I would be rich.  Also I realise it means that I am getting old enough now that things that once seemed permanent and solid are fading into history.

Posted in Family, Financial, General, Work

Goodbye Goldie

So we have just had one of the wettest weekends we have seen for ages – and of course it was a bank holiday. But we were determined to have fun and relax. Especially after I had a day of total crisis at work – the stress after-shocks of which I am still feeling.

Anyway, we still had our days out. Firstly we took the boys for along the river in Sandwich. Alexander had the rare chance to get on his scooter and scoot free. They both loved it. Unfortunately the fun was cut short when Alexander got badly stung by a stinging nettle. It only brushed him but his whole arm blistered – leading us to wonder if he has an allergy to then? Thankfully it went down again very quickly.

The next day we went to a steam rally. This was a mix of old steam engines, vintage cars and  – the only thing that interested the boys – fun fair rides. We were treated to the sight of Alexander and his little brother enjoying something together for once. L just looked up at him with a look of sheer pleasure and joy as they went around and around on the mini roundabout.

Maybe I am getting old but after paying to get in, paying for three or four rides and having a hot dog each for dinner we burnt through £50! What happened to cheap days out?

Then it chucked it down – we got out just in time. So we went around to visit Nanny Jean and Grandad Maurice. This was L’s first visit to any of our relatives – most have now met him but at our house. Nanny has a new large tropical fish tank which they were both entranced by.

The forecast for the next day was again for heavy rain. Once again were up early – relatively – and ready to go. I found us something to do but I knew if I said what it was it was unlikely to appeal to Rachel. So I declared it a mystery tour. I reasoned that the best place in the abysmal weather would be underground. So we went to Chislehurst Caves. And we had a fantastic time there – reminded us of our Holiday at Wookey Hole a few years ago. L was wide-eyed with wonder all the way through and Alexander thought it was a great adventure.

So it was back to work today and back to reality. Now have the extra project of seeking out a new hosting partner for our web app. The day was further spoilt by the loss of one of Alexander’s goldfish – Goldie. He was very brave about it, Helped me fish her out and bury her. He insisted he wanted a “cemerony” and made up his own prayer – which went like this.

“Oh God! My goldfish is dead. Amen!”

Short and to the point I suppose. I think we will get the reverberations of this in a few days when it sinks in more.

But overall it was a good weekend.

Posted in Family, General

When did you understand death?

When did it become real and thereby lay you open to its impact?

Personally, I cannot remember. There was no defining moment of clarity that is salient in my memories. It must have come in slow parcels of cognition until it formed a picture I could comprehend.

Or maybe I still don’t understand it.

Growing up it was never real. I lost aunts and uncles, all my grandparents – but by the time this happened I had gained enough knowledge to know what was happening, and to be able to deal with it.

I ask the question as we have a four year old who is struggling with the question. Who lost his brother at three. How can so young a mind come to terms with this? Most of us have far more time to prepare for such events.

He is missing his brother immensely. He wants him back. He said to mummy that if we asked Jesus – “who lives in Bethlehem” – to bring him back. Mummy said this was not possible as much as we wanted to. Alexander has issue with things not being possible – perhaps a good trait for his later life. He had obviously been thinking this through a lot as he already had his answer ready.

“You go to the pound shop mummy, buy a lamp, rub it so the genie will come out. The genie can ring up Jesus and ask him!”

Of course – why didn’t we think of that…

But it roubles him deeper now. He has come to understand that we all die, and now he is frightened that we are going to die and leave him. We try to explain to him that this won’t happen for many years and he will be all grown up by then. He said to Mummy that is she died Daddy would cry very hard and he would not be able to get a wife! He know’s that Aunty Carol likes him but he is not sure he wants to marry her. (So you’re safe Uncle Daniel!)

He hasn’t quite got the difference between wife and mother yet.

On the positive side – he has a long time to get to grips with this and at least he is showing the intelligence and imagination to question and explore his feelings – and feels safe and happy to do so with us.

Posted in Family, General

The Entertainer

So Alexander has been entertaining us in many ways.

First he delighted us my writing and singing a song to nanny. The proclaimed that “Snowflakes have children’s wishes in!” Lovely.

Then to add to that I was talking to him about school. I asked him what they had been doing. He said that the two class puppets Ozzy and Lucy had got married. (They are learning about celebrations.) Then he beckoned me closer and said – these were his actual words.

“This’ll make you laugh daddy. They fell in love in the cupboard!”

Priceless.

Here’s a few of the other things he has been up too. Including, meeting one of his heroes (Jake – from the Neverland Pirates), seeing Dotty the Dragon at the Marlowe theatre and dressing up as a pirate for Children in need.

Posted in Adoption, Family, General

Proud Parents

Yes – forgive me but time to boast! Alexander got top marks from his teacher – doing very well in all ways. He has lots of friends at school and is enjoying it immensely. She particularly praised him for his participation – always willing to answer questions and take part in activities.

We are very proud.

In other news – there has been a silence on the adoption front since we have had our approval. Maybe we are being impatient now – it’s all a such a slow process. The waiting is hard. For my part I have an absolute shed load of work and associated stress to go with it. Rachel has been busy meeting up with her friends in a sudden social whirl to keep her mind off it.

It is increasingly looking unlikely that anything will happen this side of Christmas now.

Sigh.

Posted in Family, General

A Growing Son

Everyday we see more and more things about Alexander.

For ages we have been trying to teach him to write his own name. He gets as far as A and then gets bored, but we keep trying. Then tonight he was busy drawing a picture and he went very quiet – we were busy reading some leaflets school had sent home. Then suddenly he pops up and shows us that he has written his name at the bottom of the picture – complete and readable.

He also has his first crush – a hot redhead – Daphne – from Scooby Doo!

Posted in General

End of a Short Era

As Alexander has his last day at nursery today. A short break of a few weeks then he is off to school…

 

Posted in General, Writing

Little Story Teller

So Alexander – in the middle of having a bath suddenly tells me that there is a special book waiting for me in his room. It’s magic and even he doesn’t know what’s in it.

“Where did it come from?” I ask. Thinking that he is going to say mummy brought it or Nanny and Grand dad gave it to him.  Instead he says:

“Well Daddy. When we went to my friend Alex’s party at the beach there was that man digging for worms in the mud.”

“Yes I said”.

“I went to help him and dug up a big worm – as big as you daddy! And next to it was this magical book. So I picked it up, washed it off and brought it home.”

I was there at the party with him so can confirm that he made all this up!

That’s my boy!

Posted in General, Writing

Progress, achievements and heartbreak

Well yesterday kept getting better.

After the good adoption news and because of the fact that I had the day off I actually had some time to do some writing. And I had done yesterdays poem the day before so was ahead of myself there too. So After blogging yesterday’s news I sat down and did the final part of editing for my book.

Its done! Finally finished. – Oh there’s a part of me that wants to go back and make some tweaks but I am resisting that now. It’s just further procrastination and delay. It would be never-ending. Time to draw a line. I want to move on to a new one.

Still go work to do – collating all the chapters into one manuscript, formatting for e-book and creating the cover – but essentially it’s there! So watch this space.

But all this was overshadowed for me by the terrible story about Daniel Pelka. Perhaps hitting home more than it would normally as he was the same age as Alexander is now. I imagined how he would feel to be put through what Daniel went through…. it’s horror in its worse form.

I like to think I am liberal-minded and I have never – ever condoned the death sentence but if my finger were on a button for an electric chair for those two – I don’t know what I would do next. I would hope be bigger than them but….

What makes me despair more though is the inevitable reaction that has already started. The anaesthetic approach, the refusal to look in the eye of the horror of what two individuals have done and instead start to break it up and parcel out the blame to faceless organisations and scapegoats. The story will be about failing systems and incompetent staff.

Of course the enquiry is necessary but I can’t help thinking that if we put as much money and energy into studying the two individual who are the ones who, in the end, are responsible – we might learn something that would help us start to eradicate this kind of behaviour?

But that would mean looking direct into the face of “evil” and I think it scares us too much. Not the evil itself, but the enormity of the task. So we look away and try to find easier tasks.

Surely we can do better in the 21st Century?

Posted in General

From the mouths of babes.

Alexander got reprimanded a little at nursery today. When told to do something he delegated it to two other children. I say leadership qualities!

Then tonight he wanted to watch a DVD. For the sake of my sanity I forbade another Scooby Doo. So he thought about it and then said.

“What I really think I would like to watch is something that has two men. Two ladies. And a dog. And they go around solving mysteries.”

Mmmmm. So that narrows the options then.

We settled on How to train your dragon.

Posted in General

One more upside

That I forgot to mention.

Last week Alexander had his first taster session at the primary school he will be going to in September. He loved it! Got on really well, had no qualms about going and had to be dragged away when we picked him up.

Hopefully school will be a better experience for him than it was for me.

Posted in General

Baby Memorial Garden, Car Trouble and Adoption Homework

Holiday has started.

Not entirely well.

So much for relaxing. Started with a quick trip to the garage as my wheel is making all sorts of noises. (I am thinking now the bearings are going). The garage (the second I have taken it to in as many days) could find nothing wrong. They could however finally diagnose the check engine light – which it turns out could be the turbo going. Great! To fix that is nearly half as much as I paid for the car!

We tried to put that to the back of our minds and took Alexander to Whitstable castle as we had promised him. He had a great time there and at the beach throwing stones.

We came home to try to relax, this was not helped by the fact that our burglar alarm kept going off all by itself for no reason at random times during the night. It never rains…

Sunday. After a slow time getting up as we were tired out from kept being woken up! We went to Ashford. Today was the official opening of the SANDS baby memorial garden. Lucas has a stone there.

We picked up my Aunty Kath on the way. Alexander’s first words were – “She looks nice!” Compliments from a four-year-old. We were glad she could come as she was there for us on the night Lucas died.

We met my Mum and Dad at the garden.

This was a lovely service with readings, doves being released and balloons being let off. (Environmentally friendly ones I understand)

It was all very emotional and hit Rachel harder than she expected. There were tears and Alexander came to the rescue with a cuddle. (after everyone else had gone he also got very tearful as he said his own goodbyes)

Alexander missed most of the service though as he was off with a little girl called Charlotte that he befriended. They were inseparable all afternoon – I even caught them whispering about marriage!

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We came home and had a relaxed tea.

After getting a tired Alexander to bed, I spent the rest of the evening working on our adoption homework – hence the late hour of this post 1am!

Tonight was filling out forms about our relationship, family upbringing and how we deal with children.

So another up and down weekend but hey – no work tomorrow!

And Andy Murray won Wimbledon!

Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

Nursery Notes

Late night so short poem today.

Work was frustrating – I was so tired for some reason that couldn’t get my head around anything properly – though did make some progress – specifically getting Crossworks to work!

Spent this evening looking through Alexander’s nursery notes as they have requested some feedback to put together a pack to pass onto his school.  It’s bringing tear of pride to my eye 🙂 There some lovely photo’s of him with his friends and doing different activities with smiles or looks of intense concentration.

The overall picture we get matches what we have at home, he loves playing, especially role play and constructing. Love stories but is less keen on writing and art. Doesn’t dislike them but at present at least he is much more a doer than a thinker – though a lot of planning and thought goes into the games he plays and the scenarios he dreams up. Will be interesting to see where he goes. I have said before he is a different child to what I was, has more of Rachel in him I think – and that will bode well for him.

Whilst doing this also watched a program on TV about the London buses at night. There was a guy driving through a rich part of London, looking on the houses that were forever out of his reach. How little progress we have made.

Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

Father Son Time

Oops – realised that my post today was a draft and therefore was not quite the haiku it should have been. (Not enough syllables!) OK it’s not strictly a haiku anyway but the update obeys the structure at least now I have updated it.

Anyway. Didn’t have a lot of time to write today and took a break over the weekend – having managed to get two poems ahead on Friday and save them :-). I think the lack of writing over those two days made me my imagination a bit stilted today, plus feeling a little under the weather.

Had a good weekend though. Rachel was deeply engrossed with doing essays and preparing for her final observation on her course this weekend. She had so much to do and has put so much hard work into this that we decided to stay on and let her concentrate solely on that. So this meant a whole weekend of Alexander and Daddy playtime!

Apart from playing knights – guess what gave him the greatest pleasure… empty cardboard boxes. Oh and using daddy as a climbing frame.

AlexanderKnight

He was much better behaved this weekend, most likely due to having a lot of attention. He was lot less well behaved tonight and was quite mean to his newest little friend who he has taken to playing with a lot.

He has a very strong character and I love that about him. He has strengths that I certainly did not have when I was younger and that I wish I did have at that age, For that reason I don’t want to be too harsh with him a drive those strength out. But it doesn’t worry me sometimes that he can be a bit too domineering – and that could lead to bullying. And I wonder where it comes from.

Maybe he is just pushing boundaries. Perhaps there are still effect from losing a brother that yet to surface. It’s always on his mind as he talks t us about it.

Or maybe he is just a four year old boy 🙂

Whatever the case – a weekend of quality time makes your really appreciate how wonderful he is.

When he grow’s up and reads all this as I am sure he will one day – I hope he can see how much we love him and am trying to do our best to support him.

Posted in General

Father’s Day

Well after the spending yesterday stressed in shops and garages (and watching naked bike rides!) we were determined to have a more relaxed day today.

It started as I woke to find Alexander (who woke up hours before us) had collected all his soft toys and stacked them on me! He had also managed to sneak downstairs without us!

So we got up and popped over to My parents to drop of my dads card, Were supposed to pop in very quickly but ended up having Sunday lunch.

We then went to Herne Bay Football club where they were having a sci-fi event. It was great, lots of Daleks, Cybermen, Stormtroopers, Several Darth Vaders (including some in the live band) and a real Doctor Who, Colin Baker! What did Alexander run straight to. Bouncy Castles!

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We then  headed over to Tankerton slopes where there was a fun fair and we met up with Rachel’s parents to drop off her dad’s card. Alexander went on more rides and … bouncy castles.

Well at least he should sleep well tonight.

Posted in General, Health, Poetry, Work, Writing

Walls and Nakedness!

Well its been a stressful few days. Work had been full on (but nothing wrong with that!). Life has been equally full on, rushing to the doctors or the garage! My car is feeling as creaky as me – but as with me – nothing apparently appears to be wrong.

Alexander has been very demanding these past few days – not particularly naughty (well no more so) but aside from issue with listening to what he has been told, he has for some reason needed more attention than usual. Particularly from me.

Anyway – it has all meant that writing time has been in very short supply. Yesterday was the closest I have come to failing this challenge so far – just squeezing in a haiku just before midnight. Today I had a little more leeway but was finding it really hard to get inspired. Hitting the writer’s equivalent of a wall – and still a long way to go!

Couldn’t really think so instead tried to get my head around the final part of my book – literally a few more pages to do. This was equally unproductive but out it today’s poem formed slowly. It’s probably my least successful I think so far but at least I am getting words down on (virtual) paper. It all helps.

On a more surreal note. We witnessed a mass naked bike ride through Canterbury today.

Posted in General

Normality

Today’s poem of the day was in response to WordPress’s own Daily Prompt which was “normal”.

It was kind of apt as well as we have had a pretty normal day today. Not normal in the sense of the same as every other day but normal as in what we would like to have more often. The kind of normal that is actually very rare.

It consisted of not having to be anywhere or have any timetable. We spend the day together at home. Playing and relaxing. Had a nice roast chicken dinner and enjoyed the day. Alexander was very well behaved. 

I had time to do some writing and some reading. All in all a perfect day.

Posted in General, Poetry, Work, Writing

Ants in my pants – well almost

Well another very busy day. Was late to work as Alexander was clinging to me this morning not wanting me to go.

I have decided at work due to the growing list of jobs that keep coming up the dwindling hope of getting any outside help to try to get out of the feeling that I am drowning by getting organised. So listed all the out standing jobs.

Not the best idea. Just highlighted how much more there is to do. Just as I had finished this Tim ring’s up – we have a new deal imminent but to get it we need to implement some major changes. Job number four hundred…..

First task on Monday – project management!

Rachel and Alexander went to one of his play groups today where he had a good time. They came and met me down in Folkestone. We went to our favourite fish and chip show to have a quick meal. While we were there – and they did warn us – we were descended upon by 50 French students.

Now most children – most people – would have been overwhelmed by that many suddenly coming in. Alexander however loved it. He went around to all of them telling them random things like “My Daddy has a Golden Compass!”

He also explained to one of them – and to me – how talking works.  According to Alexander it works like this. Small parts come out of you brain, fall down you throat into a microphone box which then makes words. Not bad for a four year old!

Didn’t get home until late. Alexander was hyper and late to sleep hence only a short poem tonight. Until about 30 minutes ago that was going to be no poem but then a line sprung into my head. Again – it’s one that will need looking at after I have left it for a long time.

Oh and the title – another reason I didn’t have much time on my hands tonight – came home to an ant infestation!

Posted in General, Poetry, Work, Writing

Another one of those days!

Started with it taking ages to get Alexander awake and off to nursery (not unusual really) He loves his lies ins – can’t think where he gets that from?

Went over to our factory in Broadstairs to pick up some units. Went to put the heavy box in the car when it split so I had to put it down hastily. Went to pick it up again and this time it was my trousers that split – completely. I had the feeling that I was in a seventies sitcom. (or a 2013 Ben Elton one).

Luckily the factory is right next to a shopping centre – so an emergency trip to a shop I’d rather not have had to buy from got me an £8 new pair.

So just had to get back to the office then. Which was easier said than done as the whole of Dover appeared to have been closed off due to a jack knifed caravan. Well according to the radio anyway so I had to detour through the country which would have been fine if I hadn’t seemed to have come across every closed road in existence.

So the result was I didn’t get into the office until nearly 12 and as I had to leave early not a great deal was done.

I had to leave early in order to get to an Evening at Alexander’s soon to be be new school. (I mean the one he is going to in September.) It’s all getting real now and he is growing up.

We met Alexander’s friends Alex’s parents there again. They had been previously torn between school choices whereas we had decided pretty much straight away after visiting that this one was the right one. After this evening they were agreeing.

We got him some bits of his school uniform to try on. He was so excited about this his reaction being “Awesome!” But then it is his favourite word at the moment.

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Now must think of a poem – have one half finished so either have to finish that an post or write a complete one.

Posted in General, Poetry, Work, Writing

Memorial Stone

We decided to try and have a slow relaxed and easy day today as far as is possible with a four year old.

We needed supplies for the fish tank so popped to a garden centre to get some bits and had a quick bite to eat there.

Then we went to the SANDS baby memorial garden as Lucas’ stone has now been laid. It is a very lovely and peaceful place of reflection. Looking forward to the official opening in July. The garden is somehow a more positive place than the graveside – but I think both are needed.

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The rest of the day was then coming home and mowing the lawn. Alexander’s friend from next door came in for a while and played with his knights.

I then has the chance to get another poem done and try to sort out some of the photos from the weekend.

One plus was that my diagnosis of the latest problem we have seen at work turned out to be spot on once the hardware had been examined. Opens a whole new can of worms though.

 

Posted in General, Work

Jousting and Farewells

A busy few days. Friday was another stressful day at work  but rushed home to go out to a leaving do for an old friend. Helen was another escapee from Christchurch. One day the penny will drop for them. They are going to really miss her there as will we.

It was good night out and it was good to catch up with her and with all our friends from Christchurch. We are starting to see more of them all now.

Saturday we had an equally god day. We met up with Liz and Martin to go to the jousting – which is something we have been trying to arrange with them for ages.

At one point the master of ceremonies asked for a dozen or so children to come out into the fields to help them out. They got about 100 – Alexander included. For a frightening few minutes we lost sight of him completely in the throng. We he emerged he was with the leader of the knight leading the whole parade of children around the field. That’s my boy!

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The jousting was as good as usual. Alexander then spent the rest of the afternoon running around challenging every other child in the grounds to a battle.

We all came out totally worn out.

Posted in General, Poetry, Work, Writing

Poems and Stress

That has been today.

Work has been a stress fest – everything seems to be coming to a head at once, just when we are most under resourced. Still the problems we have are – as the boss says – good problems to have. i.e. struggling to meet demands.

On my quest to get some writing done I have decided – along with my book – I will also do some poetry. As as it’s short and sweet – mostly – I have set myself the challenge of writing one per day. I’ll post each one as a separate post but also add them all the the Poem A Day Challenge page.

The rest of the evening has been cooking, cleaning out the fish tank again, eating dinner and dealing with Alexander’s testing behaviour. Sometimes he can be so naughty – but then the next so amazingly cute.

Looking back at the pictures of the last few weekends though something struck me. No mater what we do – and no matter how misbehaved he is, he does go for everything with a huge amount of energy and enjoyment. You can see it in the smiles and laughter in the pictures.

We didn’t have a lot growing up but one thing we did have was a good childhood. I am glad that so far – no matter what other parenting mistake we may or may not be making we are giving him that! A wonderful and enjoyable childhood.

Posted in General

Good Weekend

Just a quick update – more to follow.

We had a great bank holiday weekend – meeting up with old friends and going out – drinks and walks. Will post more detail and some pics later.

This morning Alexander woke up and launched straight into conversation. Telling us he needed to have his coat and an umbrella. When asked why he paused – realised he had been dreaming but carried on with the fact that he needed them to be able to make the dream he had been having real – so he has his days playing worked out.

Posted in General

Thwarted again

Was intending to do some writing tonight but Alexander is poorly and needing attention.

Another night.

Few ideas brewing though

Posted in General

Catch up

Haven’t blogged much over the last week, a combination of a bad eye infection and being totally busy.

Had a good night out with old friends and work colleagues from Migrant Helpline.

It was quite a quiet weekend. We took Alexander out to Kearsney Abbey where he had a great time running around and exploring. We came back and watched the Season Finale of Doctor Who which had the best reveal for a long time.

John Hurt! Great!

We swapped the blu ray player which was indeed faulty and got a new more basic one. So now need to get a HD freesat receiver- preferably with internet access. When I have some spare cash. Hah!

At least it means I finally got to see the Hobbit. Which was a lot better than I was expecting.

Well eye are still sore so will write more later on.

Posted in General, Work, Writing

A New Story…

Well today has been both normal and different.

I had the same getting up and going to work, some report writing and investigations there. Same old same – though the weather was better.

Alexander and Mummy spent the day going out to one of his play groups and had a good time. He was his normal mix and naughtiness and adorability.

When I cane home we spent some time playing football in the garden with him and again he was both short-tempered and having the occasional tantrum, (which were ignored and therefore diffused) and at the same time inventive and intelligent in the games he was making up with the footballs.

We had dinner, settling down time and then put him to bed. He was asleep in my arms before he even got into bed. Mummy got into writing more essays for her course.

The differences?

Well. Alexander – for the second time this week, suddenly had a fit of being very scared of something. He couldn’t tell us what it was but Mummy had to ring me up at work and pretend that I was coming home right that minute in order to calm him down. It was very strange and by the time I got home he had forgotten it and could not tell me what it was all about. A bit strange – maybe separation anxiety resurfacing – maybe due to the fact that he is talking about and thinking about Lucas more.

The other difference. I wrote and finished a short story – the first for ages. I say finished it’s not technically but my part is finished. I will be posting it shortly after this and you will see what I mean.

It was an idea that had been buzzing around in my head for ages but not as a story, just as a concept. I realised at work today that it could be a strange little story – as well as an experiment in collaborative writing. I have done my part but it can be appended by other people,

So watch this space

Posted in General

Sunshine and fun.

At long last the sun has made an appearance. We had already decided our day and this just encouraged us more.

We had a quick trip to stock up on picnic goodies then went to the sea wall at Seasalter to eat it.

This was wonderful, sun cool breeze, smell of the sea. And very quiet too.

We then headed off to Maidstone to go swimming. By the time we got there both mummy and Alexander were both asleep, heads swaying side to side in unison as we went around corners.

We had a fantastic time swimming. Alexander had no fear – which was a bit of a problem as he kept running off beyond our reach. Luckily no harm came but has made us more determined to get his swimming lessons sorted out.

After I had a surprise for them – something I had spotted while they were asleep. In the park next to the swimming pool was a fun fair. So we took Alexander to that.

Again he showed no fear by insisting on going on a very fast Bob sledge kind if ride. He did regret this a bit though but did not care for long as he then won a plastic sword on one of the stalls. That was his day made.

Came home and he snuggled on the sofa with us watching Peter Pan which he was completely absorbed by.

All in all a good family day.

Posted in General, Health

Ninja Pirates Ahoy!

Well didn’t get to write anything yesterday, it’s been a bit of a sick bay here this weekend.

Yesterday we took the car in for a check as we have an engine light flashing. Was just a faulty sensor so that was OK. Fully had the intention of taking Alexander out somewhere to run around as he has had an upset stomach and need some help there. However once we got back in the car my back started hurting.

It wasn’t a spasm or a pulled muscle like you would expect but rather came on like a very dull ache that escalated very quickly. The long and short of it being we were forced to go home as I could hardly drive. Rachel was also feeling ill so we all ended up on the sofa variously watching films and falling asleep. We then had an early night though stayed awake in bed watching Parenthood with Steve Martin. (which is a film I always liked and now appreciate even more being a parent. There were some lines that just rang true – particularly Steve Martins Line -“My whole life is Have To’s”)

So did not achieve much Saturday. Sunday we got up and struggled through housework. Went and got Alexander some stronger medicine. The we took him where we were suppose to go yesterday – to his favourite playground. One with a pirate ship in.

He straight away made a couple of friends and they played Ninja Pirates for over an hour. Getting him some much-needed exercise.

It was a sunny day with only a slight chill in the air so was lovely to walk along the seafront for a bit – even if I did have to carry a four year old most of the way.

Back home we had lunch and tried to get Alexander more comfortable but with no success. I did a water change on his tank so hopefully Pinkie and Goldie will be happier.

Mum and Dad popped over and brought over their old TV – it might be old but it will be the first flat screen I have ever owned. Alexander was keen to set it up straight away but we have to work out how and where we are going to do it first. PLus moving the old one is beyond me at present as my back is still hurting and it is the HEAVIEST tv I have ever come across – and I used to work in a shop selling TV in the late 80’s so I have lifted a few.

So as my eyes are sore now, it looks like this blog will be the only writing I will have achieved this weekend.

Never give up though.

Have to think about what I could write a poem for the Canterbury Festival. Need a spark of inspiration.

Posted in General, Work

Going on..

Well my Facebook friends cheered me up, wish they lived nearer so we could have the same conversations over a pint.

Was very cold again today. Work was trying to replicate problems in order to examine and solve them. Unsuccessfully so far.

The day was underlined with the rolling news about the terrible manhunt going on in Boston.

Alexander had a great day with mummy as he went trampolining. Proper bouncing – he was in heaven.

After dinner and washing up treated myself by watching Airplane.

Alexander was very unsettled and couldn’t sleep, consequently is now asleep on my chest.

Posted in General

Fish and Words at last.

Apart from housework and shopping (normal service) two things happened today that I have been trying to get done.

Firstly Alexander’s fish tank was finally ready. So by the skin of our teeth we just got in before the pet shop closed and got him two fish. Two fantails one a mottled tabby cat kind of colour, the other orange like a traditional gold fish. They appear settled in the tank. Alexander has named them Bill and Bob.

Secondly, I actually got to do some creative writing at last. Writing a draft of a small fairy tale (which is told inside my novel). The original version in the book is very short and not very good. So I am rewriting independent of the main book and will re insert it. There are several more in the book and I will do the same with them. Once these are done I will consider the book finally finished. Then …. Self publishing beckons.

Posted in General, Health, Work

Crawling back to life

Well, after returning to work last Tuesday I promptly had to take the rest of the week off due to feeling very ill. Alexander joined me in this and was too ill to go back to nursery.

It was still an eventful week. A warning light had come on my engine over the last few days. I was going to take into the garage near me on Wednesday. However ended up ill in bed or being sick in the loo! Still it did not worry me as I was not going to be driving it until I was better – and then I would get it fixed. Other people had other ideas and being helpful got it booked into the garage for me! Where it still is being fixed.

I decided that enough was enough and that we had spent too much time and energy on this car, along with struggling with the lack of space in it. Something that was only going to get worse when we are successful in our adoption mission. (See – being positive there!)

The upshot of all this is I have a hire car for the week and will have a new one by the end of the week – by new I mean new – used – quite old actually but it the best we can do. It’s a triumph of function over form by which I mean it won’t be winning any beauty contests but will win our hearts by doing what we need it to. (6 Seats! Three of them in the front! It’s a Fiat Multipla for those who are interested.)

Anyway – this was all stress, stress, stress. There were better things going on.

This weekend was to be about Alexander’s 4th Birthday.

Friday night we received some good news – Alexander got offered a place in out first choice school – the local village one so that makes life easier.

Saturday, after picking up the car we went to get the fish for Alexander’s fish tank. However after they tested our sample of water it’s not quire ready for fish yet. Need to do some more preparation.

Then my parents, my Brother Adrian – his girlfriend Charlie and her son Sean came around for a birthday tea. Alexander had a great time opening some of his presents but most of all playing with Sean who he totally worshipped all afternoon/ He told him

“I really want a brother just like you.”

Much fun was had (despite being slowly sapped by the flu.)

The fun continued next day – we met up with My other brother Daniel and his fiancée Carol. We had lunch with them at the play gym and again Alexander had a great time.

Then we took Alexander to a kids show at the gulbenkian -“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”.

He had a great time – it was kind of like a mini panto.

All this feeling ill was put into stark contrast as on this Sunday two of my oldest friend are both doing Marathons.

Liz was running in the Paris Marathon which she completed – we were all very proud of her.

David – who is just mad – was running the first of his six marathons (in seven days) in the Sahara desert! The Marathon Desables. Mad Mad Mad. He is still going and doing well. Finger crossed for him!

Returned to work today which was a real struggle as I felt like I had regressed a bit this morning. Did a lot a resetting devices and upgrading them in the field.

Came home and after a quick bite to eat Rachel and I headed out to our SANDS meeting

This was quite hard as one of the regular people was quite heavily pregnant – we didn’t know as we hadn’t been able to go for the last few sessions. Rachel was quite upset but bravely stayed. She said for my sake but I am glad she did as I believe it helps her quite a bit as well.

There were more new people and some more hard stores to hear. Some cases that really sounded like negligence too. At least we aren’t faced with that – I think  that would make it worse.

We paid for our memorial stone now so that will be added to the SANDS Memorial garden in Ashford in time for the grand opening in July.

Also during the last week Rachel has done extremely well in her course. She has achieved her first target early and got really high scores all round. Very proud of her.

So an up and  down week summarised quickly there. Will try and do better this week and keep updated.

 

Oh.. and Maggie Thatcher Died

Posted in General, Work

Back to work

Woke up with a stinking cold. So did Alexander and I think Rachel is heading that way.

After four days together Alexander was disappointed I had to go to work. He asked what I would do at work.  I told him I would be working on a computer.

“And what else?” he asked.

“Er… that’s about it.”

He frowned and thought about this.

“Is your boss called Tim?’ That was very well remembered! He then said.

“Tell Tim that you have to do activities. You have to do exercise, play in the garden, have a drink at break time, dress up as pirates and play with cars!”

Tim agreed.

However work was hectic as we try to keep on top of failing units.

The car was also I’ll today so another trip to the garage due!

In other news – David was good to his word and cut off his hair. Well he didn’t shave it as expected but for him its very very short. He will be off to the Sahara very soon for his six marathons!

Mad.

Back to reading about XML…

Posted in General

Fishing… Sort of.

Today was spent mainly going around aquariums to decide what fish Alexander will put in his tank. Then we came home and Alexander and I played for ages with his animals and dinosaurs. Was exceptionally well behaved even getting himself ready for bed. He was also very cuddly. But has been coughing since he went to bed so very unsettled.

Back to work for me tomorrow.

Posted in General

Easter Fun and Brogdale

Oops. Forgot about the clocks going forward until about mid morning. Consequently we did not get out of the house until gone 12:00.

As everywhere else was closed we decided to go to Brogdale farm. Had never been there before despite it being just down the road. It’s much better than I thought – there some very interesting shops there.  Proper butchers and bakers. We also got some organic beer. Nice. Drinking some now.

The restaurant was another story – very very slow service. Not enough staff working.

Alexander petted some animal including some rabbits mice and a ferret. He also feed some lambs with a bottle. He made some friends again and it was difficult to drag him away as they were going the opposite way around.

When we went to the butchers and brought some lamb Alexander began to put two and two together. We were honest and told him (not all the gory details but that meat came from animals) but he couldn’t accept that in his mind. He wasn’t upset he just decided that the lamb in the butchers was from pretend lambs not real. We didn’t press it any further.

We bumped into Marie, John and Rhys who had by coincidence gone there, they had intended to go to Leeds Castle but couldn’t find their tickets.

There was also a miniature train there which Rachel and Alexander had a ride on.

We came home and after a quick nap on the sofa (and some chocolate) Alexander and I set up the fish tank. He was very good and helpful with that. Just got to let it cycle now and add some treatments over the next few days. Looking forward to going out and choosing the fish with him.

Posted in General

Flying Kites in the Snow

Being determined to make the most of the four days off 🙂 we got up early. This was lucky as my mum and dad popped around with Easter eggs. This was a good start to the day! Chocolate!

We then went over to the Preston Easter Fair. This turned out to be a couple of stalls in a village hall and a bouncy castle that could have fitted in our back garden. And our back garden is tiny. Let’s put it this way, three three years olds was too much for it.

But don’t get me wrong – it was great – we actually really liked it. And Alexander befriended three older boys playing football who let him join in really nicely and gave him loads of encouragement. He was in heaven. Then we got his kite out – despite the fact it had started to snow. Two other boys about his age came out to join with that and he played really nicely with – all taking turns to fly the kite – which flew very well considering it was very cheap.

After a quick hot dog and burger we headed over to Westwood cross to look at his birthday present. This was a week early but we needed to get it this weekend. It is a fish tank and we need to set it up and let it settle before we get the fish on his birthday.

As we are probably tied up that weekend he also had another part of his present early – which was his first ever trip to the cinema. We saw the Croods -he loved it – even though he was hiding behind the seats for some bits. We treated ourselves to dinner out and when we got back to the car he excitedly told the car the full plot of the film in minute detail. He’s never spoken to the car before  – I think he was just so excited he had to tell somebody.

By the time we got home he was one tired but happy little boy.

Posted in General

Whitstable shopping trip

Alexander had woken up with a big idea of doing some sticking and gluing to make some Easter decorations.

So we went to Whitstable to get supplies. However after popping into a shop that sold all manner of odd things (but mostly toys) Alexander became totally fixated on a plastic £1.50 crab. So all up and down the high street he just wanted to go back and get the crab! We eventually got the supplies and had to go back and get the crab.

We returned home to spend the afternoon all making Easter decorations. That was the plan – Alexander was not al all interested in what had been his idea. He played with his crab instead, Rachel cooked dinner so Daddy was left doing the decorations.

Somehow this was quite exhausting so called for an early night all round.

Posted in General

Bright Son

Well despite being naughty all evening my son has impressed at least three times tonight.

Firstly: He repeated an advert he had seen explaining that poachers capture snow leopards for quote, their coats for fur, and their blood and bones for medicine. He then said that we should go out and capture the poachers, put them in prison and make them wear ladies clothes! Could be a good deterrent.

Secondly: On the spot he made up a story about “Owl Heart Beetles.” They apparently get inside you and eat your heart! But we don’t need to worry as we can get a tiny tiny kitten that has lasers that can shoot them – except the little ones that don’t eat your heart but stroke it and kiss it.

Thirdly: I agreed he could play four games on my Nexus. After playing two he turned around to me and said “We have two games to go Daddy!” Very impressed with the maths there!

Posted in General

Snow storm

40 minute drive turned into 4 hours! All due to no gritting being done despite everyone knowing it was going to snow!

All roads from Folkestone to Hawkinge were blocked by traffic that couldn’t move. My boss had to abandon his car – I picked him up on the way but then we had to give up trying to get past the traffic. We tried a back route but that was also blocked, In the end I dropped Tim off at his friend’s house. I then tracked back into Folkestone and went along the M20  towards Ashford. This was clear of traffic but so covered with snow I could not see the road at all. However once I got to Ashford it was all clear. Eventually got home at 9:30.

Alexander was convinced I was stuck in a “whirl” with some pirates and a shark!

We were supposed to go the SANDS tonight but of course never made it.