Category Archives: Everyday disasters

Vicissitudes of daily life

Fish pie not so tasty

So I bought the local paper, and hunted for the ‘Con man caught out by fish pie’ headline. The story turned out to be less interesting than I had hoped: apparently this man had conned £200,000 out of people by selling them holidays at non-existent holiday apartments, so the police were tracking his credit card, and nabbed him when he bought a fish pie in Tesco. There’s no getting away with it these days…

More of the unexpected

Oh dear. Another month gone and I haven’t blogged. I do have some good excuses however. On New Year’s Eve my 95 year old mother went into hospital with severe breathlessness and ended up being there for two weeks, with what turned out to be multiple embolisms (or emboli? Never sure which is right) on her lungs. This, hardly surprisingly, took up a great deal of our time and energy. However she has now been home over two weeks, dismissed her carers because there was nothing for them to do, and is generally back to her old charming, lovable and interfering self.

Meanwhile in early January we had a meeting with son’s school and decided he would not be returning there for the time being. The first thought was that we could get home tuition for him, especially if we asked for something really expensive like a specialist residential school, which would make home tuition look comparatively cheap to the local authority. Since then, however, we have talked to his psychiatrist, who is very against home tuition, and I have also visited an autistic spectrum unit at a not-too-far-away secondary school and loved it. I have also started to research specialist residential schools and they look very enticing. So now we are not at all sure what we want, but his case went to panel last week and we are waiting to hear what they have decided. It is not easy living with this degree of uncertainty. He does have one voluntary job for a few hours once a week, but he really needs to get back into a routine, leave the house regularly, and do something other than playing computer games all day. And I need some time alone to continue writing my book which is getting dangerously close to the deadline.

So all in all, life is as complicated as ever. Not to mention the other commitments I am trying to get out of in order to concentrate on the book. At least things are going well with the new therapist, especially as she has agreed not to give me more homework until I have consolidated the last lot.

Watch this space…

It came – it went.

OK, OK, so I haven’t blogged for three weeks. A certain busy period called Christmas came along, and I was busy making it happen (Christmas does not happen in our house unless I make it). Unbelievably, I still have the cold which started at the end of November. Added to that, I fell flat on my back on the ice on Boxing Day, hit my head hard, and now ache in places where I didn’t know I had places. Please don’t tell my mother, or she’ll have me off to an orthopaedic consultant in seconds.

Apart from all that, Christmas was actually pretty good. No presents are going back to the shops, Genius Brat (whom I am thinking of re-christening The Grouchlet), even liked some of the crap presents I bought him, and both meals (we do double Christmas, Austrian on Christmas Eve and British on Christmas Day), went well. The Grouch as usual did all the cooking, bless him, and I did everything else: 90 cards, all the presents except my own, the tree (though he bought it this year), most of the wrapping, and keeping everybody from each other’s throats. Though actually with only four of us, everybody is a pretty small crowd – which probably increases the risk of throat-grabbing.

Anyway, I’m now enjoying the slack days in between Christmas and New Year, and getting up at midday most days. I blame the dodgy back – not feeling up to tackling the January sales. Also I have already spent lots of money on the online fairtrade sales. Must be feeling good – I always spend more money when I am not depressed.

Psych appointment next Thurs – thinking about a medication change. Although this is a bad time of year to do it.

PS From Freecycle recently: ‘TAKEN: ice axe’. Ready for a Christmas murder? And ‘WANTED: Baby hangers’ doesn’t sound too good either.

Of snowflakes, throats and skiving

On the way to the therapist this afternoon, a snowflake flew up my nose. That was definitely The Wrong Kind of Snow. On the way back, the flakes were bigger and more settle-y, so I decided they were now The Right Kind of Snow. Just as I decided this, a large flake landed in my eye, despite the fact that I was wearing glasses. Perhaps it was The Wrong Kind after all…

Not because of the snow, but because my throat is still sore and I coughed something nasty up at lunchtime, I am dropping out of the Anabaptist Theological Forum tomorrow in Warwickshire. This is a big disappointment as I missed the spring one this year too, and was looking forward to some sharp theological debate. But I do have to save myself for the local retreat I’m going to (non-residential) at the weekend. Also for skiving off the retreat twice, once on Friday night to go to the school Christmas Fair, and once on Saturday afternoon to go to the London Mennonite Centre Christmas party, the last one at that location before they move. Not that one has to be well to skive off, but it probably helps.

Voice update

My voice came back just enough to preach my sermon, and to sing my one and only hymn afterwards. I do admit now that five verses is a bit much to go to the rather slow tune of ‘Lo! he comes’, and understand why the publishers put it to a different tune, even though I’d written it specifically for that tune to make it possible to sing the lovely tune at other times than Advent. I did rather try to get the whole sweep of salvation history (or Heilsgeschichte) into one hymn.

I think the sermon was appreciated. Having woken up with a stiff neck I could only look at one side of the congregation, where a couple sat with the man smiling and the woman frowning throughout my sermon. I guess that means at least one of them liked it…


Sitting here writing this with two layers of woollies on and a scarf round my neck, while son lies in bed and sips fresh hot lemon and honey. Both of us seem to have succumbed to the cold weather, although in his case this is more to do with the fact that he refuses to wear a hat, scarf or gloves to go to school. My own folly was to go out into the cold with wet hair after swimming yesterday, even though I only crossed the road and then was indoors again straight away (in my favourite café, where I got chatting to a nice Welshman who apparently goes in there every day).

The worst of it is that I am preaching tomorrow afternoon and have almost no voice. The Grouch has offered to read out the sermon for me but it’s not quite the same. Though I say it as shouldn’t, I think I have put together a good sermon on Colossians 1 and John 1, based on the last chapter in Richard Bauckham’s book Bible and Ecology, which we are studying. And, if we can find the music, we will be singing the one and only hymn I have ever written, ‘Christ the Word’, which is published in a real hymn book and goes to the tune of ‘Lo! he comes’, which at least makes it Advent-y. The irony is, even if we do use it, I won’t be able to join in singing it!


Went to the osteopath last week. It turned out not to be my usual osteopath but a stand-in (it also turned out that I had arrived half an hour early, and while I was sitting in the waiting room, a man turned up who was three quarters of an hour late). Anyway, while chatting to the osteo, I discovered that although she spoke impeccable English, she was in fact an Austrian (does that make her an austriopath?). So we had a fun conversation about differences between German German and Austrian German, and whether I can understand broad Viennese (I can’t). This somewhat, but not entirely, compensated for my discovery that no, my usual osteopath is not the most ferocious massager in the world. This one made me cry out in pain. I guess she’s just one of those strong Austrian girls…