Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Haiku, Poetry, Writing

Holding Hands

By Scott Bailey © 2016

Tiny, warm, fragile
Fingers tightly holding mine
Treasured memories

Image from Pixabay
Posted in Family, General, Poetry, Writing

Intentions

By Scott Bailey © 2015

“It was just a bit of fun”

To the broken hearts and home

“I meant no offence”

To the victims of riot and guns

“I was just following my dreams”

To the crushing weight of debt

“I will never do it again”

To the frightened wife and child

“I was trying to save some cash”

To the shattered future lost

“I thought I knew best”

To the chances that are gone

“My intentions were good”

To the consequences of action

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Gone

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Gone
The blue eyes sparked with new
Gone to shadows

Gone
The play, the cowboys and indians
Gone to payments and tax

Gone
The times to stop and breathe
Gone to endless turmoil

Gone, gone gone

A little magic
A little luck
Is needed

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com
Posted in Adoption, Family, Health

Autism a Colourful Spectrum

A reminder – for me – and anyone who needs it.

Amongst all the dreary advice and articles I have read I came across this comic. Which I think is just brilliant

introduction to colorwheel autism spectrum

The original article is here.

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Crossing Out

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Crossing out
Deleting
Inserting
Adding on
Dropping
Expanding
Changing
Evolving
Inserting
Crossing out
Life
And death

Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels.com
Posted in Creative Writing, Poetry, Writing

Rescue

By Scott Bailey © 2015

From butterflies in spiders webs
To wandering dogs down country roads
These are just some of the deeds
Of rescue
She has done
And of course
She rescued my heart
From certain single life
And ensconced it in
A loving family home

Posted in Family, Health

Happy Birthday To Our Own little Angel

He would have been seven today
Had things gone differently
Who knows?
Being nearer to the hospital?
Or some other factor?
That we can never change
So now
I remember you
Every morning
Then shoulder the burdens
Of life
And the joys
Of your brothers

 

Read more about his short life here

Posted in Creative Writing, Self Publishing, Work, Writing

Winding Down to Take a Break

As the year starts to come to an end I am thinking forward to the new year. How will I approach blogging this time?

Last year I started off with the intention of dialling back. It didn’t work out that way. As I watched my stats dwindling in the first month I couldn’t take it. I started doing the daily prompt and when that suddenly stopped I started my own. I ended up beating last years figures by September and I have had by far the best year since I started.

But at what cost?

I mean why? It took a lot of effort to get there – and in the end, it was my obsession with the stats that drove it.  When I first started blogging it was a personal thing, it then developed into a way of keeping my writing habit. This then got me back into producing a book, a collection of poetry and another of short stories.

Then my blog became – at least partly – a way to promote these and try and get some sales.

That has not worked. Probably because I was not really concentrating fully on that and was obsessed with increasing my stats day in day.

The problem is with a full-time job and a family – including some special needs demands – I get very little spare time, seemingly less and less as time goes on. The result has been that ALL of it has gone on blogging. The writing, the networking, the scheduling. Which means I have done nothing else. No other writing.

So, as reluctant as I am I think its time to take a break – maybe for a whole year. And use my spare (sparse) time to do some more meaningful writing. Produce some more actual books. Enter some competitions. Move towards becoming a real writer. Blogging has become a distraction from that instead of an enabler.

You all might hear from me now and then. I will maybe post once a week to keep the blog alive. And, if I do publish anything near I will need somewhere to announce it.

I have met some wonderful people in the blogosphere – and its the only real source of support and encouragement I get in my writing world. But maybe that’s also what has kept me here.

So it’s not goodbye but I will be quieter come the new year.

I wish every the best in their own blogging 🙂

Image from Pixabay

Posted in Family, Health

Happy Birthday To Our Own little Angel

He would have been six today
Had things gone differently
Who knows?
Being nearer to the hospital?
Or some other factor?
That we can never change
So now
I remember you
Every morning
Then shoulder the burdens
Of life
And the joys
Of your brothers

 

Read more about his short life here

Posted in autism, Family, Health, JusJoJan, Poetry, Writing

Boisterous

For JusJoJan 2nd Boisterous

Boisterous

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Our boy is a bundle
Of boisterous fun
But he doesn’t know
When to stop the fun
And hurts someone
(Rarely himself)
Because of his mental health.
What to do?
What to do?
I am no expert
And no expert
Seem to know
What to do.
Move him on
Move him on
Is all we get
But we will not give up
Like them
His challenges will be his victory

 

 

In response to #JusJoJan, JusJoJan.

 

Posted in Adoption, autism, Family, Health, Journal

One of THOSE days

So TV glamour aside – the reality of living with Autism in the family.

I ended the weekend totally exhausted. Went to work determined to leave it all behind me and concentrate on a major project which culminates tomorrow – when we retire two old websites and divert all the users to the newer current one. Tomorrow is going to be a late one.

First thing I get is a hitch in that process. Second – and before I get to look at that – another site we have has a major problem! It’s main functionality stopped completely.

Deep breath! Put aside the planned work for today – deal with this.

A phone call from the wife – Our youngest -the one with Autism – who has to face a long journey on a bus to get to school every day and has been struggling with it – has finally snapped. Just like we had been warning them – and asking them to change his transport arrangements – to no avail. He has flipped out and hurt other children. Now the bus company are refusing to take him anymore. Not even to bring him home.

So now we have an issue. I now have to get these jobs done quicker as I have to leave early to pick him up from school.

So bang – get one done. Bang get the other one done – need to get them tested and live.

Another phone call from the school.

Now – he has had a fall at school and had been rushed to A&E.

Got to get this fix live! Now! And leave!

Raced over to get him as my wife is in the hospital for heart cardiac rehab.

By the time I get him home and safe my heart is racing and chest is hurting so bad I think I might be joining her pretty soon!

I would say I can’t take many more days like this but this is becoming normal for us.

Oh for the easier days!

I am just thankful I have an understanding employer.

Posted in Family, Journal

New Superhero Idea

My eldest – aged 8 – came up to me today and proposed his idea for a new superhero, with a grin – he relayed it.

It’s a man who gets bitten by a radioactive man and gets all the powers of a man. It’s Man-Man!

That’s displaying quite sophisticated humour, I think.

 

 

Posted in Family, Health

Coming Back to the Blog

The attentive amongst you will have noticed that I have been quiet lately. Posts have been going up of course – but they are the ones I scheduled a long time ago.

I have had other things on my mind.

Two weeks ago my wife went into Hospital to have a Aortic Valve and Aorta replacement. I dropped her off at Kings College Hospital and had to leave her. She was booked in for the op the next day at 12pm. The care was superb. Then and throughout. She was due to receive a new type of valve – described as the RollS Royce of replacement valves. The surgeon was one of -if not the top – in the country.

None of that helps when I was on the train heading home while she was left there. But I was not allowed to stay and I had to get back and take over looking after our kids. Grandparents are good but they have their limits 😏

It was the culmination of a stressful time. I had just started a new job – only been there 3 months and now I was having to ask for time off. On top of that we then received news that our youngest – who has autism is likely to be transferred out of his new school. The one he had been sent to because it was recommended as being the best school to deal with his needs!

It never rains…..

So the next morning I was up early. Got the kids off to school and onto the train back to London.

It was cancelled! No problem! I had left early just in case of something like this – the next train would get me there with 10 minutes to spare. So I am on the train trying to calm my nerves and Rachel’s with texts to say I was on my way – when they announced suddenly that the train would now not be stopping at Denmark Hill! Instead it would go straight to Victoria from where I would have to get a train back to Denmark Hill.

Shit! This meant that I was not going to make it. My wife was going into the most important operation of her life without me. An op that there was every chance she might not come out of.

I was not happy with Network Southeast at that point – to say the least.

I finally got there at 12.30. Rachel was still there! The op was delayed. Some good luck at at last!

So an hour later she went in and I got to see he off and wish her well.

She was in for 5 hours. During that time I wandered around the Denmark Hill area and had lunch though I couldn’t eat much. While I did that the surgeon went to work.

He cut open her chest, sawed her breast bone in two and then spread open her rib cage. This apparently puts a huge amount of pressure on the shoulder blades – almost to the point of breaking them. The nurses told us afterwards that when he saw Rachel’s ailing valve he was shocked at how bad it had become. He said she had been extremely lucky that it had not failed already. She had had a lucky escape there.

The operation went well. The breastbone was stitched back together with wire – which will remain there, the rest was done with normal stitches that will dissolve in time. Once it was over she was sent to the cardiac recovery unit where I was allowed to see her at last.

This was when the emotional wave hit me. To see your loved one with so many wires and pipes and dressings, looking so helpless is scary as hell. She was still deeply asleep, she had a breathing pipe down her throat which I knew she would have hated had she been awake. Even in her drug induced sleep she was trying to get it out and the nurses had to hold down her arms gently.

The care in this ward was again superb. The nurses had to watch the patients constantly. Never taken their eyes off them. They had little time for me but that was not a concern, it was how I wanted it.

Watching her there like that was hard, there was the fear mixed with the relief that she was through the worst. I was worried about how much pain she would be in when she awoke. Worried about what the future held.

But on top of that were memories. I had seen her in a very similar state before. All that came flooding back and I was back in another hospital room watching my newborn son die in my arms.

I nearly didn’t get through it all then. I was waiting for the time when they would wake her up and remove that breathing pipe. Then I knew that she would be more comfortable and that she would know I was there for her.

Before that time came though – visiting hours came to an end and they would not let me stay. they were very strict on that.

So I had to leave he to wake up alone and in a strange place. That was hard. It was a hard getting on the train back home – the only thing that helped was that I knew my kids needed me back home.

Yet this was just me – I was not the one who had been through the operation. I could not begin to imagine how Rachel was feeling – how she would feel when she awoke.

When I got home I rang to find out how awaking her had gone. The breathing tube was out and she had gone straight back to sleep. That made me feel a little bit better.

Over the next 6 days the nurses and doctors imposed an efficient, hard but caring regime in order to get Rachel back up to speed. She went from beings very drugged and unresponsive to walking around the ward in a surprisingly quick time. The staff were very understanding and took everything we said seriously. They were superb. We trusted them completely and therefore were able to accept the way they pushed her to recover.

She is now home. Still very fragile but improving slowly each time. We have had a close call, a brush with death. Rachel is under the influence of a lot of drugs so there are bad dreams, even hallucinations but she is already looking forward and feeling hopeful again.

For my part, it has made me think deeply. There are changes I need to make – just need to figure then out – and stop the everyday trivia from getting in the way of making them.

I would like to conclude this ramble by saying a few things. One  – a big thank you to all the staff at Kings College Hospital- especially Professor Wendell, and to our local Doctor who picked up the issue in the first place – an issue I suspect had been there for a long time but missed by her previous Doctor.

Secondly, an equally big thank you to our family who have all been there when it counted. Helping out with childcare and housework!

Thirdly – thanks to my new work colleagues for being so understanding.

Finally – I would just like to say – well done to my wife! I am so proud of how you have handled it with bravery and grace. I doubt I would have been as good.

But then – that’s why I married you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Health

A Nature Weekend and Bird Watching Challenges

This weekend we decided to relax a bit and get out and about in the country. This was partly down to my musings about bird watching. My wife wanted to do some walking, as did I, rather than cycling this time around. The two things – bird watching and walking – immediately made me think of the marshes near us. Haven’t been there for years and what a surprise! It’s always been a lovely place to walk, now it has been taken over by a wildlife trust and they have made some great improvements – including installing some bird watchers hides.

After that, we went to a local woodland park that used to be a gunpowder mill. I have never been there – tough Rachel and the kids have. Again I was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway here are a few pictures of the day – and I am hoping there some ornithologists or keen birders out there who might help identify some of these.

Trying to capture swallows! Rare to see them these days and so low as well.

An oystercatcher? Or a lapwing? anyone know?

Again – what are these big black birds? There are some other angles later on. I think they may shags? Or are they just geese? I need a better telephoto lense.

I know this one! A heron in the reeds 🙂

Posted in Family, General, Health, Work

Bouncing Frogs and Manic Birds

It’s been a strange week. I have taken some time off. Partly because the kids are on half term. Partly because a week today I start my new job so not sure when I will next be able to take time off for a while. Partly because we are still reeling a bit from the news that my wife is facing some serious surgery. Finally, because our youngest, having been diagnosed with ASD, and the mainstream school he was at being unable to cope – he has changed schools and went for his first day there today. So We have had to support him in this – and his brother who now has to cope with the fact that his little brother won’t be at school with him.

For someone with ASD it had the potential for disaster. He has had so much change in his life already, now he has been taken away from all the friends he made at school and has to face a long journey on a minibus with strangers to go to a much larger – but admittedly better – school. He managed admirably on his first day. Time will tell what the effects will really be. At least he will get proper attention now. He has gone from a class or 29 to a class of 6! With 4 teachers!

But all that’s just life. There were some oddities during this time off.

The first was late one night when we awoke in the middle of the night to an awful racket outside our window. It was a bird giving an alarm call and going totally mental. We looked out the window and I caught a glimpse of a cat slinking away with a dead bird in its mouth. I feared that it had got one of the noisy bird’s chicks. My wife – who can’t stand to see an ant hurt – raced out in her nightie to try to find the cat – all in vain. But the bird was still making a racket. So Rachel turfed your’s truly out of bed to go and take a look. After hunting around and finding nothing for ages I finally discovered another cat lurking in the shadows. After shooing it away the bird was finally silent. All kind of weird but ever since every time I go out the front door the same bird flies down to a nearby fence and sings at me. Rachel is convinced it is saying thanks for trying to help.

We must have weird wildlife around here as it gets stranger. A few days later while cycling back from the park with the kids, we saw that one of our neighbours was giving away a mini trampoline. One of those with a bar to hold on to – for toddlers really. We snapped it up. Our youngest loves nothing more than to bounce. On beds, on my back – anywhere! Well, that night we started to prepare our living room for some DIY (painting). This – against my protests – turned into actually doing the painting and went on to 3am! Once we finally got to a stopping point I went out into the garden to put some stuff away in our shed to find – I swear this is true – our resident frog jumping on the trampoline!

The frog – actually a whole family – appeared a few years ago and can be seen quite often in the garden at night. This is especially odd as we don’t have a pond! Nor do any of our immediate neighbours!

I just wish I had it on camera.

Oh well, back to work tomorrow. Three more days then a job of ten years comes to an end. Will be very strange.

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Financial, Health, Work, Writing

Long Time No Write!

So this month is turning into a nightmare – writing wise – and in other ways. This has largely been down to the fact that I have felt ill for most of it. Running a high temperature and feverish. I can’t afford to take any time off sick and have been crawling into work, making it back home and straight into bed most nights.

All this has had a detrimental effect of our youngest’s autism and he has been a handful, to say the least – in turn, this has had a knock-on effect on our eldest.

To make matter worse – my car has been out of service. It has taken three garages to work out what it was and fix it. I started off using public transport at first but when the Bus broke down it just about finished me off. I ended up having to hire a car. So much money down the drain.

I was feeling a little better over the last few days but of course, there’s so much to do now to catch up. One of those things was to tighten the security on all the kids’ devices. That’s when I discovered that the Microsoft account on my eldest was not working. He could not log into anything – for example, One Drive as it was asking for a parent’s permission. Ok, I followed the steps but this did not work as it was insisting on a US based credit card. It proved impossible to do what they were asking. So I contacted Microsoft, who didn’t believe me. I spent 4 hours going around and around in circles. It appears that when setting up his account originally I must have set it to US. by mistake. Simple – they said  – get him to log in and reset the region. He can’t log in!

ME: He can’t log in without my permission!

THEM: OK you give him permission. I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you.

ME: I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you!

THEM: Just enter your credit card details at this link.

ME: The link I told you insists on a US. based credit card so I can’t complete it.

THEM: Ah, that would be because his region is incorrect. Get him to log in and change the region.

ME: @#@!ing hell! He can’t LOG IN!!!!

Four hours! Four hours of this before they admitted it can’t be done. Then they asked me to Fax them his details. Fax! FAX! Is the Microsoft help department still living in the 80’s! I can’t remember the last time I even saw a fax machine. I certainly don’t have access to one.

Starting to feel the mania creeping in!

Anyway, there was one bit of good news amongst all this garbage. I should be ecstatic and singing about it but all the rest has just left me feeling so drained I haven’t really had time to think about it properly.

I have got a new job! Accepted the offer and last week handed my notice in. It’s going to be a big change. Been in the same job for 10 years – time to blast away some cobwebs!

Posted in Family, General

Alexander’s Half Term Adventures

This one spookily fits today’s Daily Prompt. #DailyPrompt

A bit of guest post here – from Bailey junior – courtesy of homework duty.

Alexander’s Half Term Adventures

By Alexander Bailey

My family and I went for an adventure in the park.

First, we went over the bridge to play pooh sticks.

Also, we went on a nature walk and rare yellow 7 spotted ladybird.

Photo by Scott Bailey
Photo by Scott Bailey

Next, we climbed a really big hill that had a windy path that led to a secret hideout. Also, the path was very steep.

20170219_150222 20170219_150623 20170219_150633

We also saw more hideouts.

20170219_145129 20170219_150004 20170219_151518

After that, we rolled down a grassy, muddy hill.

Then we went bird watching and saw some ducks and a dove. After that, we played pooh sticks again.

20170219_152823 20170219_153337

On last Thursday I went scootering with my grandad and cousin.

We also made a den at home.

20170218_155901

The End

Posted in Family, General

Alexander’s Half Term Adventures

A bit of guest post here – from Bailey junior – courtesy of homework duty.

Alexander’s Half Term Adventures

By Alexander Bailey

My family and I went for an adventure in the park.

First, we went over the bridge to play pooh sticks.

Also, we went on a nature walk and rare yellow 7 spotted ladybird.

Photo by Scott Bailey
Photo by Scott Bailey

Next, we climbed a really big hill that had a windy path that led to a secret hideout. Also, the path was very steep.

20170219_150222 20170219_150623 20170219_150633

We also saw more hideouts.

20170219_145129 20170219_150004 20170219_151518

After that, we rolled down a grassy, muddy hill.

Then we went bird watching and saw some ducks and a dove. After that, we played pooh sticks again.

20170219_152823 20170219_153337

On last Thursday I went scootering with my grandad and cousin.

We also made a den at home.

20170218_155901

The End

Posted in Family

Birthdays – not so happy

Happy Birthday, son, Lucas who should have been 5 today.

Happy birthday William – up there with him teaching him how to play lego.

Happy birthday to his cousin Hayden – over the seas in the green land.

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Interior

 

By Scott Bailey © 2017

What’s inside
Distorts and shapes
The exterior
All those dreams and hopes
Hates and fears
That make up the interior
The moiling
Boiling
Packed and stacked
Stretched and tense
Earnest pretense
That inside us all
Makes us all
What we are
Rather than what
We wish

In response to the daily prompt Interior

#DailyPrompt

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Family, Poetry, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

New Year

It was rough last year. I am not just talking about celebrity deaths.

We as a family have had it rough. We have had family members in and out of hospital, having to deal with a diagnosis of Autism for our youngest and his so far very rocky transition into school. I have had work stress and uncertainty. We have seen our social lives and our house being slowly taken apart. I have seen my writing dreams slip away.

Midlife crisis? Maybe.

I have to cling to hope. It is the only thing left.

So not really new years resolutions as such but goals I am aiming for this year.

To find a new job. But not just another role. I need to get back to enjoying work again. That has been totally destroyed of late – I had thought beyond hope – but if I give up hope then all is lost. I have been thinking about a total career change and that’s the way I will try to go.

To improve our daily lives by trying new techniques for dealing with Autistic behaviours.

To reinvigorate my writing dreams. To help with this I will attempt to complete the daily prompt as well as Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge. This is purely to get my juices flowing. Behind the scenes, I will try to put together two more poetry collections for publishing as well as another short story collection and a new novel. Ambitious but I must attempt it.

I wish everyone a happy new year and hope you all attain your own dreams and goals.

In response to the daily prompt Year

#DailyPrompt

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, General, Health, Journal, Mankind Limited News, Review, Work, Writing

What a Week

It’s been a hell of a week – hence a quiet one on here for me.

My wife went to a very emotional funeral to send off her Uncle. While My parents got to see the granddaughter they haven’t seen for nearly 10 years!

My wife also had an appointment about our youngest’s diagnosis of Autism. While I had excruciating physio on my frozen shoulder.

On top of that, server problems of the worst kind meant that I was working well beyond midnight for half the week.

The result being I have had very little time this week. No time to write, no time to take advantage and spread the word about the wonderful review I received for my book (see what I did there) – other than retweet all the retweets!

So the stats are down and so my energy levels.

The plus side has been that the kids have spent a lot of time this week with my brothers and their families. And they have enjoyed that a LOT!

I cannot thanks them enough for their support this week and in recent weeks. It has bonded our family even more I think. Even if it did mean Uncle Daniel getting dunked in the swimming pool a lot and being roped into Batman Games all day and Aunty Carol and Aunty Charlie falling in the sea!

IMG_3445

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, General, Poetry

The Lies We Tell Boys

The media lies. We all know that. Sometimes, though, it is very subtle.

Like what it tells us about being a man.

Everything we see gives us the same message. The brash businessman dispensing his wisdom, the cocky chancer charming the ladies, the whisky guzzling spy or DCI. Even the greedy bankers and the corrupt politicians – who we all condemn but are still reaping their rewards.

They all tell us the same thing – to be a man and be a success – be strong, take what you want! No one will give it to you so grab it with both hands.

Far more subtly than that but that’s the message.

I have come to a different conclusion lately. To be a man, properly (and I don’t claim to be this by ay means) you have to learn to give. To give of your strength – and to keep giving when your strength has run out. Give your strength to those you care about.

When you’re in love
Nothing matters
Yes, there are annoyances
Sacrifices
Anger
Even tears
Nothing matters
Savour the moments
Bask in the sunlight of her smile
Be warmed by her touch
And keep on giving
Your strength

By Scott Bailey © 2016

Posted in Family

Just Like Spiderman

Putting our youngest to bed tonight I pulled off his socks to find his feet lined with sellotape?

I asked him what that was all about. He rolled his eyes and sighed.

“So I can be spiderman, Daddy!”

Of course. Obvious.

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Fiction, NaNoWriMo, Science Fiction, Writing

NaNoWriMo Day 5

Not so good today only 730 words managed. It’s been a hard day. Didn’t leave work until 7:00 for one thing. For another, our youngest has been under the weather and acting a bit strange.

This morning he woke up laughing so hard I thought he was going to be sick. It was the kind of laughing that kids only do when someone is tickling them until they give up.  In our sleeping stupor in the early hours of the morning we all thought one of the others was in there with him, but he was alone.

When we did go in he screamed at us to go way and get off him, even though we were not anywhere near him. He only calmed down and got out of bed when his brother went in to get him. 6 years old and he calmly went in took his hand and lead him out of sleep and into reason.

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square

#NaNoWriMo

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, General, Work, Writing

Absence and the heart

You know what they say – hopefully there’ something in it as I have been a bit quiet on here lately. Work has been hectic and have been doing a lot of late nights.

This is partly due to trying to get everything done before this coming week – as we are off on our holidays!

So don’t expect too much from me for a while longer 🙂

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, General, Journal, NaPoWriMo, Writing

A few days off

Having finished National Poetry Writing Month and it being a bank holiday weekend I decided to take a few days off from blogging. And boy does it show. Stats have dropped to zilch, nada, a big fat zero.

But hey – it’s not about the stats – however much I obsess over them. Honest. I am doing this to try to stretch my writing muscles, build my confidence and build a join a community of friendly like-minded people. I have certainly done that.

But I am not taking on any more daily challenges. I will still try to post but on a less regular frequency now. And it will be more of a mix of writing and journal entries hopefully.

I am going to spend some more time on the relaunch of my book and the launch of my second (very different) one. So watch this space.

But talking of journalling  and the bank holiday weekend.

We took the opportunity to get out and about this weekend. We left chores and work and all other plans to one side and had some quality family time. It had to be done on a tight budget but we had a good time. We spent one day in a park, trying to find and photograph as many wild birds and flowers as we could. Didn’t really see many wild birds. Saw quite a few flowers (have no idea what any of them are) and on the trip back we also saw a mangy looking fox roaming the town in broad daylight! The park also had a play ground with a giant slide and a secret tunnel. They boys were in their element – as well as many fallen branches and sticks as could be carried.

Our eldest is obsessed with Minecraft at the moment and decided he was going to collect enough wood to make himself a real life crafting table.

The next day we managed to fond cheap tickets to go and see Home – which I can really recommend for younger kids. They loved it. We then spent the rest of the day down the sea front. The day after was also spent at a fair by the sea.

So it’s been an outside in the sun and wind weekend, and I think it has done us good.

Here’s a few shots from the weekend.

 

Posted in NaPoWriMo, Poetry, Writing

NaPoWriMo Day #15

Off prompt again today – this one came to me last night while filling out adoption paperwork

Rescue

By Scott Bailey © 2015

 

From butterflies in spiders webs
To wandering dogs down country roads
These are just some of the deeds
Of rescue
She has done
And of course
She rescued my heart
From certain single life
And ensconced it in
A loving family home

 

#NaPoWriMo

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.

Posted in Adoption, Family

Exactly 3 years ago today! (via timehop.com)

We remember this and are still thankful for the support we had and still get.

http://timehop.com/c/fs:10150826808718452:10153292991413452:10420123:54d74

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.

Posted in Adoption, Family, General, Health, Work, Writing

NaNoWriMo and life.

So those few who follow my blog (and despite nearly 500 followers I know only a few are regular followers) will have noticed a drastic drop in my output. Since finishing my year of a poem a day I have done very little since. This is despite my promise to myself to keep up the writing.

Well life always has its own designs on our plans. The old reason (excuse?) has been the lack of time. Its been a hard few months. We have been under a lot of pressure from all kinds of angles.

We are still trying to adjust to having a very full on two-year old join our family, and all the knock on effect of that. We love him dearly and would not change our decision but it is taking the wind out of our sails.

Talking it over the other day as we realised that one of the issues that has affected us in a surprising way was his age. When we signed up for adoption we, like many, were envisaging a baby. As you progress through the courses and the process it becomes clear that it is unrealistic, so we opened up our minds to a slightly older child. When it came to it, in our minds age was no longer an issue, and in some respects we could see an advantage in a two-year old. One of the driving forces behind our decision to have another child was as a companion for our oldest – who dearly wanted a brother or sister and had already been deprived of one already. A two-year old would be more ready to play and interact with him.

However the reality has hit us harder than we expected. When you have a baby – as daunting as it all seems, you get introduced to each challenge gradually. So when they are first-born, you have to learn how to feed, them comfort them, change their nappies etc. But their demands don’t go far beyond that – by the time new challenges come along you have just about mastered the first ones.

With adoption of a slightly older child, all the challenges come at once. Not only have you got to learn to change nappies but also how to get them to eat their dinner, deal with challenging behaviour and stop them escaping the push chair Houdini style and make their escape.

Now I hear you crying we don’t have to learn all that as we have already done it once. Well that’s true. But you have to get used to doing it all again, and its a bit of a shock to the system. I don’t envy people who are doing it for the first time.

On top of that, the support we have enjoyed in the past has slowly ebbed away. This is no fault of our support network, they have all had their own plan challenging life changes, and they all support us still in many ways. But the support of having someone there has fallen. For example – we haven’t had a night out together for over a year now. And the nights out alone can be counted on one hand. It takes its toll. On the one hand our sources of stress have bloomed while our outlets for it have wilted. It’s no one’s fault. Just one of those perfect storms of circumstances.

Throw in a few bouts of very bad illness, some natural disasters ( a flood and a maggot attack! Seriously!) and it all adds up.

And then there’s work. We are balancing on a knife’s edge of survival. We have run that knife’s edge for a few years now. It’s a situation of risk, where we could crash and burn or reap what could be ripe rewards. Those rewards draw ever closer but as they do the risk and the pressure increase. Due to my position a lot of the physical responsibility falls on me. No solely but were I to get something wrong it would tip the balance enough to crash it. We are all in that position at work really and after a few years of it, it is tiring. Many late nights home and sleepless nights worrying.

So that I hope is some sort of explanation as to the lack of output.

Two things further to say. Firstly – that all sounds like doom and gloom but it’s not. In all areas we are making progress. A few months ago we felt like we were drowning. A few weeks ago like we were treading water. Now – we are swimming strongly towards shore. It’s some way off – but we will get there.

Secondly. Many people would say that if I had a real passion for writing none of that would matter – that I would make the time to write. Maybe that IS the difference between a successful writer and an amateur. I do love writing – but I also love my wife and kids and I can’t put down my responsibilities to them for my passion. I think that would be selfish.

That said – I have decided to give myself a rather large kick up the arse in the writing department. I am going to try the nanowrimo challenge. (Maybe unofficially if it’s too late to sign up formally.) For those who don’t know it it’s National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word short novel in 30 days. (The official website is here http://nanowrimo.org/)

Now I have all the same everyday stresses and challenges but I thought – sod it! I am going to attempt it despite all that – because it is difficult not easy.

Trouble is I am fresh out of ideas! I mean I have loads – but ones I think need longer than 50,000 words.

If it comes to November the 1st and I have nothing still then I will attempt the technique of just starting writing anything and see where it goes. Not something I have ever done before, I usually have a plan, even if it’s very rough.

But in the meantime – if anyone has suggestions or prompts they would be welcome. Maybe a title? Or just a single word? Perhaps a concept to explore? I like combining two disparate concepts into stories, that normally enlivens things. So maybe if I get enough separate ideas I will combine a few of them.

So wish me luck! I need a lay down now to think 🙂

Posted in Adoption, Family, General, Work

Quick Thoughts

Working hard from home – needed a break.

Just a couple of thoughts and occurrences from the last few days.

The second Hobbit movie was a lot better than the first!

So was the second of the latest Muppet movies.

Hosting kids birthday parties and play gyms is so much easier!

Off to bed now. Number one son is happily asleep now, content that he has a scalectrix set up in his room and a promise of one to one Daddy time every day. Number two son is settling in very well now. He is quite amazingly intelligent for a 20 month old. We put him down to sleep as normal tonight and left him to it – he normally goes to sleep quite quickly. Tonight, Rachel passed by his room and peeked in to check on him. He was slowly rising up over the edge of his cot, playing peek-a-boo with his shadow, giggling each time he did. Must be a sign he is happy and relaxed surely.

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #305 (A New Path)

A New Path

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Dawn will bring
New joy for some
Sadness for other
A new road for little feet

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #303 (Dadda)

Dadda

By Scott Bailey © 2014

I think I have broken my toe
But I am just too tired to know
Stubbed it on a childproof gate
Too tired to see it until too late
But the pain and the weariness melt away
Into warmth when you hear them say
Dadda and they give you a smile
That gives you the strength for the next mile

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #299 (Twilight)

Twilight

By Scott Bailey © 2014

In an old tractor tyre
A circle of friends
Dwarfed and reverent
In that magic time
Between day and night
The twilight
With new-born stars twinkling
And potential enchantment
Humming in the deep blue sky
Disappointed by the call
To bedtime

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #298 (Happy Family)

Happy Family

By Scott Bailey © 2014

And then
After an hours silence
He warms our heart
With a carefully crafted picture
Mummy in a tutu
Daddy very tall
Then himself dancing
And his new baby brother – coming soon
And Lucas up in the sky
Looking down from heaven
Not your average family
But happy

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

Posted in Family, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #157 (Fireworks) (Triolet)

(Fireworks) (Triolet)

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Hand in hand we all walk tonight
Mother, Father and loving son
Watching darkness bursting with light
Hand in hand we all walk tonight
Sky flowers blooming burn our sight
This time of year is always fun
Hand in hand we all walk tonight
Mother, Father and loving son

Get the previous ones here
http://wp.me/P3kG6h-bb  and get my début novel Mankind Limited

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

Sick Bay

No posts tonight – just a short poem that came into my head. Have apoorly wife and unsettled child to look after.

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