21 Sep 2009

Happy Anniversary and other Pressing Matters

Yesterday was our 12th wedding anniversary and I'm pleased to report that they have been a dozen happy years and I couldn't have asked for a better husband.

We don't usually get each other expensive presents for our anniversary - so he got me some flowers and I got him a few hundred grams of jazzies from the newly opened old-fashioned sweet shop on Farnham's Castle Street. You know the kind, they have everything in jars so you can choose what you want. And they had giant jazzies too - husband heaven!

I remarked to the young girl serving that it was so nice to see an old-fashioned sweet shop. Yes, she said, a of of older people really like it, in a way which unmistakeably lumped me in with said 'older people'. I smiled sweetly, imagining cramming her head into one of said glass jars.

Anyway, this was, as I said, my anniversary present for my husband and very pleased he was too. After a lazy breakfast, off he went to take some stuff to the tip before we were due for lunch with my in-laws at Mikado in Ascot, our favourite Chinese, owned by Robert Cam. (If you're in the area, you must try it - buffet on a Sunday, yummy.)

My husband seemed to take quite a while at the tip, which I assumed meant there was a queue. But no. He had stopped off at Homebase. I got you an anniversary present, he said, grinning. He stepped aside to reveal.. an ironing board.

Not just any old ironing board, mind you. It was a Brabantia, thus very expensive, ironing board. But all the same, AN IRONING BOARD? For our ANNIVERSARY?

It's for both of us, he said quickly, noting my stunned silence. It's guaranteed for ten years, he added, we'll be celebrating our 22nd anniversary by then....

Oh, we will, will we? He's so thoughtful, my husband.

But after we got back from lunch he gave me my real anniversary present.. he did all the week's ironing so I could have an afternoon nap. Now he can give me a present like that every week...
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15 Sep 2009

Dinner With The Spirits

I had a small dinner party over the weekend; a dinner party with a twist. As well as some mums from my sons' school, my friend Kim Worgan came over. She was the 'guest of honour' as she had agreed to share with us her mediumship skills as an after-dinner treat.

After a lovely dinner (though I say so myself) of vegetable chilli - roast the veg first - and a hot chocolate fudge cake for dessert, we were ready to proceed.

Kim rose from the table (not literally, she doesn't do levitation as far as I'm aware) and took command of the gathering.

She explained what mediumship was about, how she could act as a conduit between those in this world and our loved ones who had passed and then she brought through a lady who had gone prematurely grey and loved cruises - my mother, to a tee. That's a photo of my mum to your left. Kim knew it was my mother as she also brings with her a pain in Kim's abdomen, a legacy of my mum's terminal pancreatic cancer. She gave through some accurate and comforting information through Kim and then reluctantly moved to the side to let someone else through.

Everyone at the table got a message of some sort, although my friend Sam's was more a menagerie of animals she had known.

Deborah, another guest later checked with her mother some of the details about a great aunt, which she hadn't known about- a purple tree in the garden. She discovered her great aunt had a lilac tree.

The format of a demonstration worked really well and everyone had a really fun evening. Kim works in the North Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey areas, so if you are interested in having such an evening yourself, especially as Christmas approaches (and we mums need all the fun we can get) please contact her via her website http://www.kimworganpsychicmedium.co.uk/ or via email: kim_psychic@hotmail.com. The costs for the evening are very reasonable considering you get a really unusual dinner party that will be the talk of your guests for a long time to come.
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4 Sep 2009

It weren't like this in my day..

Coming to the end of a long, long, long summer holiday. I haven't written anything for over a month because my children have squeezed out any energy I have as if they were sucking out the last drops from a Capri-Sun juice pouch.
Don't think I don't like having them around, I do. But for two months and four days solid? When everything they want to do besides play on the computer either requires a) great expenditure of money that I don't have, or b) great expenditure of energy that I also don't have.
They've been on a film and animation course (£70 for one for two days) and a make-a-movie course (£280 for both for a week); they've been to Grandma's several times; they've been to Italy; they've been to the park with the dog umpteen times (and complained every single time); they've watched the Disney Channel until they developed American accents; they've had friends over and been to friends' houses; they've been on bike rides and long walks. And now, by September, they are experts on Roblox, a computer animation program for kids where the worst that can happen is to be called a 'Noob'. My eldest son knows every Michael Jackson song word for word (and of course, that means so do we- I can hear it as I type).
The thing is, all of these activities, except the TV watching and computer time, involve an adult, ie, me or sometimes Grandma.
When I were a lass, oop North, I used to spend the summers wandering around the village and meandering through fields and along streams alone or with friends. My sister and I used to play out for hours, unfettered by the irritation of grown-ups, coming home only for dinner and tea (we didn't have lunch in the North-West). We used to call round for friends across the village without a parent needing to be with us.
Even on school days, my mother would leave for work at 8am and we would have to get ourselves to school, home again and start the tea, letting ourselves in with keys that were tied with ribbon around our necks. Now, I'm not saying being a latch-key kids was ideal, but it taught us independence and to make our own drink of juice if we wanted one at the very least.
Is the danger to our kids any greater today than it used to be? Well, yes, it is if you count the increase in traffic and as my kids have Asperger Syndrome, it's not so easy to let them out of your sight. But is the danger of being snatched off the street by an evil-doer any greater? I honestly don't know the answer to that, but I do know that because of the media input, the fear of the worst is much greater than it was when I was a child.
I don't remember my mother ever worrying about us being kidnapped and murdered when she waved us off on a Saturnday morning to walk to Tottington for our ballet class, or of me coming home alone from school aged 7 through our quiet village. She wouldn't have dreamed of walking or driving me to a friend's house unless it was too far for foot travel and not on a bus route.
And yet, even if my children didn't have special needs, I couldn't imagine letting them go any further than a short walk with the dog, and that's only the elder one as he is almost my size.
The question is, does this lack of early freedom do our children any long term harm? Or any long-term good? Again, I don't know the answer but I'm not about to experiment with benign neglect to find out. I would, however, be interested in your views, so leave me a comment if you have time.
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