Tag Archives: holidays

Good and not so good news.

This will be long. Just warning you.

1. Good news

1.1 I got the electronic version and the typescript of the book off to the editor. No response yet, but no news is good news.
1.2 Genius Brat went off to stay with his little friend and friend’s mum in Devon, and then they all went off to Centre Parcs (but not before Genius Brat had been picked up by an 11 year old girl in the park, which had been duly discouraged).
1.3 This meant The Grouch and I could go off for five clean days in Brighton, after I had led worship on the Sunday (which stopped us going for a whole week as soon as Genius Brat had gone).
1.4 All of us had a good time on our respective holidays.
1.5 Best news of all: we arrived back to find an email telling us Genius Brat has been awarded a place in the autistic spectrum unit at a mainstream school, which we had asked for. This is really a miracle, as they were only creating two 6th form places in the unit and there were already at least two other kids interested.
1.6 We had a very busy but good weekend: me at a book launch on Sat, with the couple from the US who founded our congregation (sadly not ‘funded our congregation’ as I typed first…!). Sunday, a church lunch, also with this couple, then a lovely service, then a question and answer session with aforementioned couple, who are very important to our church’s history. Then a party to celebrate 40 years of one very special lady’s history with the Mennonite Centre and the church. And lots of people from the church’s past attending one or more of these events.

1.7 I’m on Premier Radio on Friday morning, and speaking at Christian Resources Exhibition on 11th May, both about my depression book (Crying for the Light), of which I have discovered the publishers still have 500 copies so it’s still worth plugging it.

1.8 We have another busy weekend ahead, with a church awayday on Saturday and a civil partnership celebration on Sunday.

2. Not such good news

2.1 We weren’t sure till the last minute whether the special lady could come out of hospital to attend the party, as she is dying of cancer. The good news is that she was able to come and take part fully, and that we were able to sit round her and share memories of her, and tell her nice things about herself while she was still with us.
2.2 She has moved to a hospice today, and we don’t think we’ll have her for much longer. And her husband and 20 year old daughter, both much beloved of our church, both died of cancer within the last 8 years. As you can guess, our party with her was very emotionally moving.
2.3 Much less importantly, I weighed myself after coming back from Brighton, and I weigh as much as I did when 9 months pregnant. Time to engage in some Lenten discipline, methinks.


Significant events of the last 10 days or so:

Genius Brat went to genius camp and we drove him there and had a few days teenager-free holiday a deux – in Northamptonshire. It is a surprising pleasant place to holiday in, though not exactly a tourist area. It was a lot better than when we did the same last year, when we had to leave a day late because of my bad back and I had to hobble everywhere. I read a lot of books.

The morning after we got back, I went (non-resident) to a film weekend in a local conference centre, and saw four films back to back (well, three on Saturday and one on Sunday) which was less exhausting than I expected, since only one of the films was at all intense.

I finally signed the contract for my next book.

I generally felt good.

Today I went to the dentist and the hygienist and was told what good teeth I had. I can’t help feeling proud of this in spite of having no responsibility for the fact at all. My gums, for which I do hold some responsibility (ie they improve when I take better care of them), have also improved a great deal since my last visit

GB’s school was closed today because the builders have found a potential asbestos risk. And several teachers are stranded at various places in the world because of the volcano. However years 9-13 are back tomorrow, though not years 7-8. I can envisage a number of parents being seriously inconvenienced. Thank God I work for myself (and sometimes get on quite well with the boss….)

GB’s best friend found my lost favourite earring at church last week, when I wasn’t there, and pinned it up on the church cupboard for me to find this week. I am eternally grateful.

Meanwhile, our holiday in the US this summer is gradually falling into place, as various Mennonites offer to host us. That is, if planes are flying across the Atlantic again by July…


Sorry folks, I failed to post the next nailbiting episode. OK, where was I? Oh yes, hubby out of hospital and doing well, all set for our little holiday before Easter. The plan was that we would drive Genius Brat up to Northamptonshire where he was due to go to genius camp, and then continue on for a few miles to the lovely looking (and expensive) hotel I had finally booked online. Only it didn’t quite work out that way. On the day before we were due to go, I was sat (as we say in the Midlands) at our breakfast bar on a stool, when I leaned forward to take a spoonful of Healthy But Not Very Interesting Breakfast, and my lower back totally seized up, causing me to be unable to move from the spot. And I hadn’t done any of the packing yet either.

The upshot was that I spent the next 36 hours laid on one side in a bed of sickness (as it were) while issuing instructions to The Grouch to help him pack GB’s case, then he drove GB up to sunny Northamptonshire on his own and came straight back, while I phoned the hotel and told them we would be a day late. Meanwhile I saw the osteopath who lent me a sort of elastic corset effort with lots of Velcro to support my back. Wearing this, I managed to pack our case and was duly driven to Northants the next day, getting into and out of the car extremely carefully.

In spite of my walking and sitting extremely carefully for the entire four days, Northamptonshire turned out to be a suprisingly good, if unconventional, place to be a tourist. It abounds in stately homes including the very romantic Elizabethan semi-ruin, Kirby Hall, which had been substantially restored in the twenty plus years since I last saw it (and was consequently less romantic but more authentic). There are also lovely gardens: we discovered Coton Manor with its resident talking macaw (he mostly says ‘Good bye’) and its stunning bluebell wood, at  least it would have been stunning if the bluebells had been out yet. The highlight, on our one rainy day, was undoubtedly the Shoe Museum in Northampton’s Town Museum, with shoes dating back to prehistoric times, and shoes in good condition from the 17th century onwards, not to mention a fabulous 20th century collection. I was in shoe heaven, while The Grouch sat and drank coffee and read the paper, not being so much of a shoeaholic.

The hotel was as gorgeous as it had looked online, with surprisingly cheap and good food, and they looked after us like royalty (we were the only guests), giving us a downstairs room so I didn’t have to negotiate stairs, and removing the fluffy mattress topper to make the bed firmer for me. Altogether a very pleasant if brief few days, and GB seems to have had a great time at camp, and was already talking about the next camp on our way home.

So ends the saga of our very unwantedly exciting week before Easter; since then the back has been steadily improving, though I have had to go light on sitting at the computer (hence no blogging) and had a relapse in the middle of the night last week when I tried to get up to go to the loo and found I couldn’t get out of bed without excruciating pain. I think I’m really on the mend now, and hopefully will be blogging a bit more regularly.

In other news, May is out (or possibly in) and I have cast a clout. But I put it on again today cos it was colder.

Ahoy there me hearties

Time for another randomly selected incident from my list of 20 (full list here).

13. and 14. It was a Christian-run sailing holiday on the Norfolk Broads. We were sailing 1930s wooden Broads boats, 20 foot, really beautiful and each sleeping four (sleeping on a boat gently rocking on the river is something no one should miss).

I was reliably informed that the one I was helping to crew was the boat that had been used in the recent TV series of Swallows and Amazons. Like London taxis, they can turn (or tack) on a sixpence. I was very proud, but unfortunately, not being a  very experienced sailor, I managed to crash my boat into someone else’s, splintering the gunwale and probably running up a high insurance claim. I was deeply embarrassed.

This was also the holiday on which one of my shipmates remarked idly as we were going to sleep, “Some people say ‘Puh’ when they rinse their teeth, and some people say ‘Tuh'”. I have never forgotten this. I’m a ‘puh-er’, by the way. What are you?