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I haven't done an update about life for ages, but that is probably because it's a little calmer, a little more structured, a little less stressed than it normally is, which makes it pretty boring to write about. Kids are all good - oldest son is beginning to think about doing some work for his A levels - I know this because he has asked me to buy six files for revision. They have been quietly waiting on the table for something exciting to happen to them. But it's a start. I am thinking about trying to be a proper parent by doing him a revision timetable - I heard my friend say she was going to be doing one - but I have no idea what she's talking about so I have emailed her and asked for details. He's got his second X Factor audition coming up soon! I'm definitely going with him this time. Will report back. My daughter is on a Duke of Edinburgh camping weekend. WHAT a bloody palaver that was to get her ready for AND HOW MUCH MONEY are we all expected to spend on equipment she will probably never use again? I managed to borrow some things, but other stuff had to be bought - how many parents are having to do the same thing across the whole country? Why isn't there a second hand D of E shop? It's ridiculous. Anyway her rucksack weighed about 4 tons and she was going to have to walk 14 miles in new boots with that on her back. Good grief. She'll be exhausted when she comes back. Planning was meticulous for her. She started weeks ago. Did various reconnaissance missions with her friends to check out best prices for sporks or whatever those stupid camping combo eating implementy things are called. Completely different to the way my son organised himself for the same event a few years ago (his was more a "shit f*ck bollocks MUM!! Can you help me pack and check the list to see if I've got everything two minutes before he had to leave and of course we couldn't find any of his equipment for her to use). Youngest all calm and lovely again. Applying himself hugely to the art of organising himself at the weekend to hang out with friends. Builder Bloke hasn't got any work at the moment. What a nightmare for him. Just so stressful. I should probably try and help him get a website up and running, but frankly I'm not sure how successful that would be. Perhaps just a photo of him holding a beer might do the job, but do people really look for builders online? I'm sure that word of mouth is their best approach and nobody is doing anything very much at the moment given the climate so not many mouths are giving good word (oh, sorry, that wasn't meant to be a ridiculously bad pun on a rude statement, but it sort of works so I might just leave it in anyway). Houses are not selling and nobody can get a mortgage to extend their current house. Dead as a dodo. Perhaps he should still be thinking about disappearing to the other side of the world where a lot of building work is currently required. His problem with that idea is of course his children, who he couldn't bear to leave. I'm still trying to work out a way to earn more money so that my ex husband can stop feeling so aggrieved at having to pay me maintenance. Nothing to show for it yet. Everything frustratingly slow. Still. Maybe one day I will have. In the meantime, I'm focusing on getting my son through his A levels - he'll be gone by the end of the summer. FOREVER. How strange. Actually, in reality he'll be gone for a month then he's back for Christmas holidays and away for a few weeks and that pattern will continue for three years and then once the degree is over he'll be looking for a job in London and will probably have to live back at home. Apart from that? I'm missing, missing, missing my father. Big time. Not seeing enough of my mother. GUILT. Must try harder.