13 Jan 2010

Snow Joke - Duvet Days and Council Failures

Okay, a bit of snow was fun; the kids enjoyed themselves, built snowmen, lobbed a few snowballs. But now, after either being marooned or taking our lives in our hands to venture out, the novelty has definitely worn off.
Yesterday, I had to be given a lift up the hill to the Hampshire Farmers' Market office by Toby and his tractor after my Prius slewed across the narrow access road and needed to be dug out.
Overnight, another couple of inches fell on top of the white-out still left behind from last week and that meant one more duvet day for everyone in our little lane. Fortunately, my husband had done a supermarket sweep round Tesco last night so at least we're not starving.
The government and local councils say they can't set aside cash to pay for a 'just in case' severe weather event and so our roads were not gritted, post has not been delivered, bins have not been emptied and recycling has not been collected. And we live on the edge of a town for heaven's sake, not in the rural wasteland.
It's funny, I'm sure they don't say the same thing about potential terrorism - "it doesn't happen often so let's not bother preparing," and yet the bad weather has cost families and the economy much money and in some cases, people's lives. But with global warming likely to bring more unpredicable weather, isn't it about time they did get prepared?
Our council says it's stationed some bin trucks at the local Sainsbury's so people can take their stinking rubbish in their cars to be disposed of, but it's far too dangerous for their workers to get to people's homes. Or out to grit the roads either, apparently. Will we see a refund in council tax because our bins haven't been emptied since before Christmas or because the council has refused to grit roads, making it hazardous for us to get to work? I won't be holding my breath.
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3 Jan 2010

It's A New Decade - So Who Stole My Energy?

"We must do something", I said to my husband.
"What do you mean, do something?" he asked.
"You know DO something, get some energy together, get busy, change our lives. It's 2010, a new decade!"
"Oh, that", he replied.

We slumped back into bed and read the papers instead. I'm sure we're not alone. The dawning of a new decade brings with it the prospect of new possibilities but, damn it, where's the energy gone to take advantage of it all?
I had lots of it in my twenties, great flat in Primrose Hill, little red coupé, friends to have a good time with, career in TV, new horizons to explore. Only myself to look after though, perhaps that had something to do with it. That and the optimism of youth.
My thirties were lost to a haze of child-rearing and adapting to life in the home. Two kids in two years meant giving up my burgeoning career as a television journalist because I'd waited until I was thirty to have them and I didn't want to miss anything. To misquote Philip Larkin, if anyone was going to f*ck them up, it was going to be me.
I discovered child-rearing, particularly my hyperactive older son and dreamy younger son who was afflicted from toddlerhood with reflex anoxic seizures, was physically exhausting. It was also a lot tougher than I had imagined and, oh my God, I wasn't as good at it as I was at writing and presenting news. But then I'd had a lot more practice and training for the latter and none at all for the former.
Then both boys were diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and all my energy was taken in finding them the educational support and financing they needed. I succeeded but every day was a struggle; weekends went by in a flash in which nothing seemed to be accomplished. Every birthday, every Christmas, it seemed as though the years were slipping through our fingers like grains of fine sand.
Now we are in our forties, our boys are older and are growing up to be intelligent and thoughtful adolescents and I have work again - not the same but more suitable to my lifestyle. But still, what's happened to the energy?

My theory is, the kids stole it. I used up a whole decade's energy in half the time sorting out the kids' early years, so I had to borrow half my allocated forties energy from the age of 35. That only leaves five years worth of energy to be eked out through this decade.
This explains why I'm ready for bed at 10pm and why walking the dog has to be done first thing while I still have some energy left. 
I have searched Amazon.co.uk for 'supplies of energy', but it just came up with ways to conserve or monitor energy rather than create it and I somehow don't think walking around clad in a PV panel is going to be the look of the year.
So this year, 2010, my resolution is to find some energy. I don't really know where to start but maybe I should try a spa or meditation, or some superfoods or a new exercise regime (if I had the energy). If you have any ideas, lemme have 'em.
Though tired, I'm not actually dead yet and I'm going to make sure that the next decade ends with my supply of energy heading towards full. But (yawns) writing this has taken it out of me so I might just have to leave starting my quest until tomorrow...
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