Monday, 21 December 2009

The Round Robin - love it or hate it?

Well the Christmas cards are arriving and with them the "round robin" updates to fill us in on last year's events. I have to say those we've received have been a lovely read, in comparison the type my parents continue to get I have been pleasantly surprised. I have been guilty of sending them myself in the past but with everything pretty much here now those I don't see can log in and read if they choose.

Is it a good idea to hear all the high points from someone else's family I ask myself? Sometimes ignorance is indeed bliss. Take Facebook for example - FAR too much information. There I was, thrilled with my first party invitation for FIVE years until I read of the daily - yes daily - parties and Christmas events my friends are enjoying. Personally I think one invitation is pretty good when we can also actually GO, providing the snow melts to allow my parents a safe journey to babysit. (Thank goodness for grandparents, the danger money and compensation required by our babysitters here is extortionate!)

Anyway, I digress. The "round robins" have certainly made interesting reading. A close friend from Cambridge days sent a delightful one detailing their many and varied exploits this year. Made me wonder though whether I had once again found evidence for some kind of parallel existence.

CAMPING??? OMG? Where did they order their kids from? Walking to pick blackberries?

We are very envious. Getting ours to walk anywhere together without WW3 would be impossible, going away anywhere is impossible and I have to admit the thought of camping makes me laugh hysterically...... the twins would be up at 5am yelling and running around the campsite and H would be at full throttle until his meds kicked in.... and no-one would be able to eat the same thing!!! My lot seem incapable of amusing themselves without fighting for approximately half an hour right now. And a shared cottage holiday would be interesting too, I suspect we'd probably end up with the place to ourselves after 24 hours!

Jealous, moi?!!!!

Friday, 18 December 2009

The Festive Spirit

Well it happened. When I least expected it. Surreptitiously creeping over me on a fairly stressful morning with a week still to go. All of a sudden I felt the urge to mull some wine, reach for the Quality Street and gaze out on the snowy landscape. That's right, I suddenly got hit by the Festive Spirit.

I should point out this doesn't usually happen to me until nearer the Big Day. Maybe it had something to do with watching the boys make snow angels, helping K bake Christmas Cookies and later surrendering the (tidy) kitchen to festive mayhem with penguin potato painting and glittery snowmen. Or the fact that I have been struggling to maintain the momentum since the little ones broke up a full week ago believing they would be enjoying Christmas within a day or two. Not helpful.... Perhaps I gave in deciding to "ride the wave" in a "if you can't beat them, join them" concession, but I somehow doubt it.

The snow helped, and the fact that I am now "ready". The presents are wrapped, cards delivered and the menus planned, the tree is up and the excitement is already at fever pitch here.(Although shopping is a challenge for next week!)But in the end I think there was a chink in the "Bah Humbug" armour and whilst cuddling on the sofa watching a Christmas movie with the twins I was well and truly "got".

So somehow this has to be sustained until the end of next week, but the Festive Spirit is here, the Quality Street are open (but don't tell Richard...) and the wine ready to mull. Bring it on!

Happy Christmas Everyone!!!

Saturday, 12 December 2009


We've just returned home from the first Christmas Party I have been able to take H to successfully. The West Suffolk branch of the National Autistic Society held their Christmas Party today (see Links section for their Blog) and I took A and H. How totally fabulous are these people? H looked set to have a "wobble" on arrival because the craft tables were not *exactly* what he had planned to do - let's fact it apart from crackers there is a limit to the festive versatility of loo rolls..... - but someone directed us the the Games room and he was one happy boy.

Of course, if you have an ASD the best kind of party is a low-key, quiet event with opportunities to "tune out" and a quiet zone. H even found some others with the obligatory DS consoles and declared it the "best party ever!"

A was in his element creating decorations, bead necklaces for K and colouring much to the amusement of others who were impressed with his concentration and love of all things glittery!

And me? I actually found time to sit with a cup of tea before it went cold (bliss!) and chat to others who are dealing with similar stresses on a daily basis.

So THANK YOU to all the staff who worked hard to make it such a success.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Guidance for the singing of 'Festive Songs' (ELF & Safety)

Festive frivolity for a change, rather than anything too serious ;)

The Rocking Song

Little Jesus, sweetly sleep, do not stir;
We will lend a coat of fur,
We will rock you, rock you, rock you,
We will rock you, rock you, rock you:

Fur is no longer appropriate wear for small infants, both due to risk of allergy to animal fur, and for ethical reasons. Therefore faux fur, a nice cellular blanket or perhaps micro-fleece material should be considered a suitable alternative.

Please note, only persons who have been subject to a Criminal Records Bureau check and have enhanced clearance will be permitted to rock baby Jesus. Persons must carry their CRB disclosure with them at all times and be prepared to provide three forms of identification before rocking commences.

Jingle Bells
Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

A risk assessment must be submitted before an open sleigh is considered safe for members of the public to travel on. The risk assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly if passengers are of larger proportions. Please note, permission must be gained from landowners before entering their fields. To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, we would request that laughter is moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance.

While Shepherds Watched
While shepherds watched
Their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around

The union of Shepherd's has complained that it breaches health and safety regulations to insist that shepherds watch their flocks without appropriate seating arrangements being provided, therefore benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available. Shepherds have also requested that due to the inclement weather conditions at this time of year that they should watch their flocks via cctv cameras from centrally heated shepherd observation huts.
Please note, the angel of the lord is reminded that before shining his / her glory all around she / he must ascertain that all shepherds have been issued with glasses capable of filtering out the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and Glory.

Little Donkey
Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road
Got to keep on plodding onwards with your precious load

The RSPCA have issued strict guidelines with regard to how heavy a load that a donkey of small stature is permitted to carry, also included in the guidelines is guidance regarding how often to feed the donkey and how many rest breaks are required over a four hour plodding period. Please note that due to the increased risk of pollution from the dusty road, Mary and Joseph are required to wear face masks to prevent inhalation of any airborne particles. The donkey has expressed his discomfort at being labelled 'little' and would prefer just to be simply referred to as Mr. Donkey. To comment upon his height or lack thereof may be considered an infringement of his equine rights.

We Three Kings
We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

Whilst the gift of gold is still considered acceptable - as it may be redeemed at a later date through such organisations as 'cash for gold' etc, gifts of frankincense and myrrh are not appropriate due to the potential risk of oils and fragrances causing allergic reactions. A suggested gift alternative would be to make a donation to a worthy cause in the recipients name or perhaps give a gift voucher.
We would not advise that the traversing kings rely on navigation by stars in order to reach their destinations and suggest the use of RAC routefinder or satellite navigation, which will provide the quickest route and advice regarding fuel consumption. Please note as per the guidelines from the RSPCA for Mr Donkey, the camels carrying the three kings of Orient will require regular food and rest breaks. Facemasks for the three kings are also advisable due to the likelihood of dust from the camels hooves.

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

You are advised that under the Equal Opportunities for All policy, it is inappropriate for persons to make comment with regard to the ruddiness of any part of Mr. R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr R Reindeer from the Reindeer Games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence. A full investigation will be implemented and sanctions - including suspension on full pay - will be considered whilst this investigation takes place.

Monday, 7 December 2009



Well I have well and truly landed myself in it this time! Having managed to suitably impress the local Wraparound Care/Preschool that I know a lot about website building I've been given the job of rebuilding theirs. What I wanted, it's fun but now I'm feeling slightly nervous!

I've joined the Committee since H uses their After School Care and I felt I would like to "give something back" whilst gaining an excuse for some (limited!) kind of social life and the opportunity to dust off the old grey matter. At least, I figured I could book a Tesco delivery and be conveniently out leaving Richard to unpack at least once a month!!!

I have done this before, (the website building, not the Tesco delivery avoidance!) and I LOVE messing with on-line stuff, but it's a bit daunting nonetheless. I find the whole on-line creation process totally absorbing, for me it combines my love of writing, creating, designing and gives my artistic side an outlet. It's been a while since I was let loose on the public though, and exposing my abilities to further public scrutiny leaves me feeling about 21 again and trying for my first job.

Anyway, watch this space. Time to embrace my inner geek and get cracking I reckon. Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

We found "hamster"!!!!

Three trips to town later.... and countless calls to all the shops we visited and we found him!! One happy small boy :)
It would appear "Hamster" became engrossed in the children's magazines at WHSmith and got left behind. The Wonderpets saved the day (and Mummy!) and he is safely home on A's bed. Thank goodness, Mum was at least as worried as A was!
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