The Big Trip

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

In honour of the phenomenon that is Smash

  1. Listening to the sounds associated with the football match going on outside my office window
  2. Eating M&S's shortbread - one of the best around in my well informed opinion - got the waistline to prove how well informed I am!!!
  3. Drinking tea - white no sugar.  I am the proverbial tea jenny although my first drink of the day (at work) is a tall skinny latte - no sugar.
  4. Wearing black sweater, black/grey long skirt, black patent pumps - standard winter workwear for me
  5. Feeling glad to be over the hump of the week, glad my boy will be home for a long weekend on Friday
  6. Weather is sooooooooo cold.  From my office I can see a good covering of snow on top of Ben Ledi - looks like the forecasters got it right for once.
  7. Wanting to be home, dinner finished, playing with my new Promarkers - love them.
  8. Needing a big hug
  9. Thinking about the phenomenon that is Pinterest and how it led me to type this post!
  10. Enjoying the contract between the warmth of my office and the freezing wind and clear blue skies outside - simple things today.


Friday, 19 August 2011

What's Rocking Your Friday (and the Friday before that, and the Friday before that.........)

Firstly a big grovelling apology for the lack of posting, and a complimentary drink of your choice because you're going to need it if you stick with this post to the end!!!

Beginning of June saw OH and I off to have tea with the Queen! My Head of School had nominated me to attend this year (my first ever nomination I hasten to add) amd I was lucky enough to be chosen to receive an invitation.

One particular entry in the Royal calendar reads thus: Each year, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh entertain around 8,000 guests from all walks of Scottish life at a Garden Party in the spectacular grounds of the Palace, which stands at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile. The guests enjoy tea in the gardens accompanied by music from regimental bands and The Royal Scottish Pipers Society. King George V and Queen Mary held the first garden party in the grounds of Holyroodhouse and the tradition has been maintained ever since.

The powers that be obviously didn't realise that they were inviting a scrapper (amd upsetting her) when they continued the ban on cameras and mobile phones. at least I know that we were there and have the posh letter of invitation to show for it (and the sore feet at the end of the day). The sun shone, it was a fabulous occasion for people-watching and, all in all, it was just a lovely afternoon which we'll long remember.

End od June saw the University's usual well-oiled machine taking over for four Graduation ceremonies. Of very great excitement to many although a little lost on me, was the conferment of an honorary University Doctorate on Sir Alex Ferguson. As an usher and met the man and found him very pleasant and down to earth and he gave a really good speech on behalf of the graduands on the merits of hard work, self-motivation and basically "got out there and use what you've worked for because no-one's going to do it for you!!". Not an elegant summary but you get the gist of it. And just for the benefit of the marvellous SusieJ here's the man on the day

July started off with major hospital visits for our darling boy and my mum at separate hospitals on the same day but with very different outcomes. Ross passed his eight month endocrine review with flying colours. Suffice it to say that his consultant (who's known hi since birth) was delighted to see a tall, lanky, spotty teenager walk into the clinic. For Ross it means that puberty has kicked in without the need for hormone replacement therapy assistance. We hope that he'll continue to produce sufficient to see him through puberty and out the other side bur he'll remain uder review for a few years yet. So three cheers for the boy!!

My precious mum, however, discovered on the same day that she needed to have at least part, if not all, of one of her kidneys removed. It came as a real shock to us all but the hospital staff have been great and are planning to carry out surgery at the beginning of September when she returns from Norway.

You may remember a few posts back that Ross was admitted to hospital and has been continuing to undergo tests as he continues to produce spectacular black urine. Well, he went back to Yorkhill in Glasgow at the beginning of August and met the renal team for the first time, the Haematologists having satisfied themselves that, from their side of things, there was no significant malignant cause for these symptoms despite proof that it is an ongoing and consistent feature. Long story cut short with the renal team - the bold boy will undergo renal biopsy in October once his Granny is safely over her procedure. The team at Yorkhill think it is just a really unfortunate coincidence with Granny and Ross and were able to reassure Granny about that as she had come with me to take Ross to the Renal Clinic. So now we sit and wait and keep everything crossed for Mum.

Mum's news certainly made me realise yet again how very precious she is to us all and I took the opportunity to arrange a wee treat for her. She got a new camera at Christmas and hadn't really had a chance to get to grips with it. While blog hopping a few weeks ago I noticed that Kirsty Wiseman was coming to Edinburgh to do a group photo lesson at the beginning of August so I duly booked Mum and I on it. Come the day the rain was chucking it down but we still had a fab day and we learned loads. The other girls were lovely and I managed to get a couple of decent shots but I really lovethis one of my mum and Kirsty. (Click on Kirsty's nameto get her account of the day!!

Kirsty took this one of mum and I. I really truly hate having my photo taken but here it is anyway!!

Spending so much time on appointments with Ross has meant that I've used up a great many holidays travelling to various parts of the country and not really had any time off with the opportunity to just do what I would have liked. However this week saw me off on holiday, no hospitals to visit, my baby's 14th birthday and Mum and Dad in Norway on their cruise of the fjords.

Here's my boy yesterday when we went down to the school to spend his birthday with him.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshowCreate your own slideshow - Powered by SmileboxCreate a free slideshow

To all the marvellous bloggers who make me smile, make me laugh, and give me inspiration - no names mentioned - too many to mention. Andthat reminds me, amidst the chaos and mayhem of recent months I have managed a very little crafting so have a peek at the slide show above. Some little books for our three Graduate Assistnats at work who leave us after two years of work and studying for their MSc's.

To the above mentioned Susie for keeping me supplied with sequels - time spent reading is my guaranteed shill time, Thanks again Susie, you're a star!

To my workmates who've put up with me in recent months when I've not been quite the little bundle and sweetness and light that I'd like to be.

To the various hospital staff supporting us all in recent months and in the months to come - there are no words.

Our darling daughter who at 15 seems to take everything in her stride, apparently going on the theory that if we tell her everything and always tell the truth then she's fine with it all. I love her to the sky and back and hope she knows it.

To the staff at Daldorch for ........... everything.

For the joy of BT Vision which let me record Twilight (despite owning the DVD) and the joy of sitting watching on on a Friday morning when I really should be doing "H" or "I" stuff but really can't be bothered - and to Alexandra for encouraging me LOL!!!

The joy of mum's homemade wholemeal bread, Lurpak and homemade bramble jelly and a big mug of tea - I seriously need to learn to become less high maintenance.

I'm sure there are many things I've forgotten but at the risk of boring you any further dear reader, I'll finish now.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope it's not another three months before my next post.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Rocking Your World Friday!

Good morning all,

I am starting on this post mid-week in an effort to make a timely contribution by Friday. I am also aware that even on darker days there are small things which can make you smile despite everything else which goes on around you. For these things we should all be grateful.

Several weeks ago I read of Pinterest on a blog post and my curiosity was aroused. I now have a Pinterest account and love it! I make a point of making at least one daily addition and by pinning just one "thing" which makes me smile, I feel better so I give thanks for that! For other Rockers and Rockettes who are Pinterest devotees my boards are here. Also thanks to the great team at Pinterest who were swift to help when a glitch prevented me from adding/altering my boards.

I remain in awe of the mechanism that is internet shopping - love it. Not many recent purchases but they included a supply of Grungepaper, Craft Stamper magazine and a white Zig pen which had long been on my wishlist but which I'd quite simply never got around to sourcing!

Later in the week - Thursday afternoon now and my grateful is a simple one - sunshine! It seems to have been raining up here endlessly since last Friday. However I stepped outside about ten minutes ago and was met by blue skies, white clouds and a balmy breeze - just lovely - long may it last.

Friday morning and taking some time out to get this post done and dusted. So.......

Reading good books - the only thing which ever focuses my mind entirely on one thing. My book this week has been Water for Elephants - sure didn't see that ending coming!

Yorkhill's Schiehallion staff for continuing to be fabulous, accommodating, unquestioning and pulling out all the stops for our precious boy, leaving absolutely nothing to chance. It goes without saying that the staff at Daldorch coninue to be all things to Ross and us - words are not enough.

My true friends old and new who understand my sense of perspective at the moment and know why it's not important for me to spend far too precious time and an exorbitant sum of money hunting down an outfit for the Royal Garden Party. If I go, good and well and acknowledge the honour in being asked, but they'll take me as they find me!

Crafting - no photos yet - but am working away on three projects which have to be ready for mid-August so work has started in an effort to avoid being in a last minute rush as usual. Loving crafting on nights last night when I could sit in my shabby shed until late, with the door open, enjoying the quiet, the garden smells and some Il Divo (my crafting music of choice in summer!).

Right - must get on with the work of the day.. If you want to keep track of what the other Rockers and Rockettes have been up to then pop over the the home of the Queen of Rick, Virginia and follow the links from there!

Until next time..........


Friday, 10 June 2011

What's Rocking Your Friday!

Ok, so it's getting to look like I'm a quarterly blogger and for that I apologise!

I'm a regular follower of WRYF and admire the dedication of regulars such as Carmen, Virginia, Jet and Susie (in no particular order ladies).

Anyway, recent days have given me a need to try and count my blessings so here we go.

Hospital staff for treating my darling mum so promptly and so well - it's great to see her back up and about as normal.

A massive thanks to the ladies who supported Candles and Cupcakes for Daldorch on 29th May when we raised the princely sum of £240 in two hours for my darling boy's school = apologies for the lack of photos.

Continued thanks to the staff in Schiehallion Unit at Yorkhill for keeping an eye on the boy so regularly and accommodating all his little ideosyncracies when he comes to visit them.

To the staff at the school for remaining steadfast in their love and support for Ross, and especially on dark days like yesterday when his dad and I struggled and bit with the not so great prospects , details on which shan't darken this post.

For online craft shopping, soothes the soul even if all I do is stroke and admire my purchases. One day............

For books, the paper version, which I adore and of which I have three different titles on the go at the moment. Have just finished Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll and can thoroughly recommend it and hope SusieJ enjoys it - another vampire for her collection! Although I like the idea of a Kindle, I adore the feel of paper pages.

To the milder weather and light nights - I love these nights when even as I type this post at 10.20 at night it is still so very light outside - a bonus of staying so far north of the border.

Right - gotta go collect my girl, catch up on some sleep and then another busy weekend ensues including a necessary hunt for an outfit for THA garden party - wish me luck.

Take care all.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Going back with some good news

Dear Aunt Anna and Uncle Bob

Even after 23 years there's still a hardly day goes by that I don't think of you both, especially when, like yesterday, something happens which I know would have pleased you both so much. I phoned Mum to tell her about my totally unexpected invitation to the Royal Garden Party in July and without thinking I said to her that you would have been so pleased and she totally agreed. You brought Mum up as your own when you had no children and she had no parents. You taught all of us your core values and you will be glad that they've stayed with us.

With Ross, Aunt Anna, I often wonder what your take would have been with him. You were a true and dedicated teacher and I suspect you would have loved some of the challenges he presents, and loved him regardless. I've no idea how many times I have wished I could lift the phone to you or drive out to the house at Barnock for tea and reassurance. I loved the summer especially when we could sit out in Uncle Bob's precious rose gardens and listen to the total quiet - no traffic, just the sounds of the cattle and birds.

You gave me my love of crafting and reading and these remain two of my biggest passions to this day. How Mum gave you rows for spending so much money on books for me, and how we laughed when you took no notice and carried on anyway!!! You always believed that books were an investment in the future. I have to say though, I think you would have loved the internet - access to all kinds of wonderful things. I suspect you would have been the silver surfer to beat them all. How could you have been anything else with you own education at Oxford then Loughborough and the years spent guiding all those young minds. As a head teacher you were so so hands on. I remember staying with you on local holiday weekends and because the school was in a different area from where we lived at home, you made me attend class at Barnock anyway!!! 15 kids, primary 1 to primary 7 all in one class - an amazing experience.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I chose to write this other than to say that I still miss and love you both and wanted to pass on my news.


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Not MIA - just waylaid!!!

Dear blogger,

Can hardly believe that I've already been back from NYC for almost two weeks. I seem to have been overtaken by events, most worrying of which is my darling mum's admission to hospital last week, prior to whch she hadn't even been near her GP for over 35 years!!! Net result is that I haven't had time to turn since I got back home. She is however receiving great care, even by her own admission and that's saying something for a former nurse.

Once things calm down a bit I promise to download my photos and share.

Hope you are all well and enjoying this lovely spring weather.


Friday, 1 April 2011

What's Rocking Your Friday?

Hello dear reader - remember me? Short, fat with a lousy sense of humour - yep - that's me!!!

Anyway, for the first time in too long I feel able to share some things that have rocked my week, my life and my Friday.

Here comes the list-

My darling boy whose bravery in the face of a really scary and confusing world - he's the ultimate star. We as a family, and the staff at school, are so so proud of him and everything he's had to cope with in recent months. Daunting to any 13 year old, but to a special lad like Ross, potentially so scary - he has just been an absolute star and impressed us all with his coping skills.

To the fabulous staff at school who continue to be so loving and supportive to our darling boy and ourselves, they are just the most incredible bunch of people and we will never stop being grateful to them.

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow (known as Yorkhill to all and sundry). Especially to staff in the Schiehallion unit - all we can say is WOW. Such kindness, empathy and tolerance is truly amazing - nothing fazes them in the least - it's whatever it takes to get the job done, just so utterly fabulous.

To my colleagues at work for seeing me through the bad times (panic attacks and all) and tolerating the good times, especially this week when I have started counting days in sleeps until Sunday!!!!!!!!!

To my darling mum and dad who have supported us through the worrying times of late, looking after our darling girl when we've had to be with Ross.

Is this starting to sounds like a vote of thanks at the Oscars?

To my crafty friends and F/B buddies for poking me to keep me awake and posting out missing alerts - nice to know that I'm missed sometimes.

I think it's safe to say that with only 2 sleeps to go I'm finally getting excited about heading off to New York on Sunday. No packing done apart from essentials but hey - still 48 hours to go and I always perform better under pressure!

Crafting has been non-existent but I'm sure I'll have lots of incentive when we get back (note to self - must remember to pack camera(s)!!!!).

Oh - just remembered a big positive that happened in the last three months! Way back at the beginning of January I was approached by the NAS (National Autistic Society) who wanted to interview me for a profile of one account of living with autism. I did that and it all went fine but about a week later they called me back. This time they asked if I would go on STV (Our regional ITV up ehre in Scotland) to do a shot feature on autism on a popular tea-time programme called The Hour. All this coincided with Ross becoming ill but we managed to tick all the boxes so if you're up for a laugh you can watch the result here.

Not much for a three month absence I know but hopefully the box is ticked.

TTFN, and take care.


Monday, 31 January 2011

Cola and the white stuff!!!!!

Sorry dear follower

Haven't meant to neglect you but life's just been a tad on the hectic side for the past couple of months.

To start with we had snow on the ground from 29th November constantly right through to about 7th January. Made for very time-consuming work just getting to and from work and daily with other routine activities which meant leaving the house. In the midst of the white stuff and I two car-related incidents. In the first I collided with another car on packed ice but no-one was hurt so that was fine and the financial penalty wasn't too severe. Several weeks later on the same road I collided with a brick wall - no cars around this time! That one really shook my confidence a fair bit but needs must and so I carried on driving through all the horrible white stuff until it finally disappeared.

Christmas came and went with it's usual highlight - hostage-taking of all the wrapped presents under the tree on Christmas morning!!! I know, I know - it could only happen in our house when you have a 13 year old like Ross. Thank goodness Alexandra was up before him that morning and managed to stash away her pressies and goodies before he came downstairs.

Dinner at my parents on Boxing Day saw only Alexandra and I in attendance from our house as Ross had been unwell overnight on Christmas night and we didn't want to risk passing it on to the rest of the family.

The day after Boxing Day saw me confined to bed with flu for five days but fortunately Ross was due back t school that morning until New Years Eve so mixed blessings there - everything happens for a reason you know!

New Year came and went (not a big fan of it) and before I knew it we were all back to work and school - where had the time gone?

Returned to work at it's normal pace despite the continuing sub-zero temps and ice and snow. Novelty had definitely worn off by this time - that had been more than a month!

Then to crown it all, on 19th January Ross was rushed into hospital in Kilmarnock with some very strange and worrying symptoms including totally black urine!!!!!!! It was literally the colour of cola. Staff in Crosshouse Children's ward were fabulous, as were the school staff who joined us on rotation to help out with the bold boy who had decided that no medicine was going to be take, only one blood sample was allowed and anyone who tried to persuade him differently was cancelled from his Christmas list!!! Finally it was decided that he should return to school, being reasonably well in himself despite the spectacular symptoms.

Five days later we got good news from Glasgow that the most worrying possibility for the aforementioned "water colour" had been ruled out. Such a relief, I'm sure you can imagine. However the fact remains that there is something very strange and obviously concerning with the prodigal child and so we await a visit to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow for further thoughts from their eminent Haematology team. That should be interesting given Ross's aversion to needle sand pain!!! Imagine the difficulty you have getting a tablet down your cat's throat - multiply the physical effort (including scratching, kicking pushing and shoving) involved by about 30 and divide the outcome by at least half and you've got some idea of what we're up against!!!

He's been home this weekend past and is reasonably ok but many of you will recognise that feeling as a parent when you just know that although they seem ok, there's something not quite right? Well that's the one we and school staff have so it's really a waiting game.

At the risk of sounding like an utter and complete moaning minny, there is some good news. Many of you will be aware that I was invited to appear on The Hour, a programme broadcast north of the border on weeknights at 5 p.m. I'll be on on 10th February with an amazing guy from Aberdeen University, who goes by the name of James. If you want to know more about James click here - it's fascinating stuff. I'll be on talking a little of Ross's life and it's different path from that James experienced.

Scottish TV came out to film at the school with Ross and I last week and suffice it to say that he was an absolute star - you know the way children have of proving you wrong? Well my little man did exactly what was asked of him on demand with hardly a blip far less a tantrum or outburst. It should make for an interesting piece of film and I think the whole studio piece will do a fair bit to raise further awareness of the condition that is autism, in all it's shapes and forms.

I couldn't finish the post without sending out a massive load of thanks to my many craft buddies who were so fabulous and supportive during the days of waiting - one of the glories of t'internet. They helped the long days and nights to pass just that little more easily and bolstered my often flagging spirits. You know who you are girls, each and everyone of you. And to the marvellous Susie for being her usual self and supplying me with new reading material for when sleep eludes me. Susie, you are a total star.

Right, dear reader. At the risk of having bored you rigid - that or feel positively suicidal, I shall go now as I hear the kettle boiling - yippee - tea and bed and a good book for a while - simple pleasures girls.

Take care all and remember - be kind to all you meet for everyone is facing a battle!!!