Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Jamie where art thou??

As you know from a few blogs back we had a bit of trouble with some water coming into the wall in Jamie's room. So we pulled the bed away from the wall about a foot and put the bed rails up. He seemed to take no notice of this at all, we thought. Then, the other morning, he started knocking on the wall rather than the door as usual. When I went in I found him standing behind his bed by the wall, stuck. He'd got himself there but couldn't get back. So I heaved him over the rails back onto the bed. Fine, no harm done, he had only been there a few minuets.

Then on Monday the alarm went off and it was still all quiet. Usually he has me up long before the alarm at 7.30. So I went to wake him to get ready for school. I opened the door, walked in, no Jamie. Small amount of panic until reality kicked in. There is no way he can get out of his room as it's a door knob rather that a handle and he hasn't worked that one out yet. Anyway our room is right next door so he couldn't have gotten out without passing our open door. Anyway the door was still shut so he hadn't gone anywhere. But the fact remained the bed was empty and he was nowhere in sight. But I could hear him snoring.

Somehow he had got between the bed and the wall and had gone to sleep on the floor, with Pooh Bear as a pillow. He hadn't made any attempt to alert us that he was stuck. He is so accepting of everything that he didn't try to wake us. Most kids would have got upset and cried or something. But Jamie just curled himself up on the floor and went to sleep. I don't know if this is an autistic thing or just a Jamie thing. It worries me sometimes just hoe accepting he is. When he's ill or even when he broke his finger, he just seems to shrug and carry on.

Dad update. He's in hospital right now having his second lot of chemo. He seems ok, but is now starting to loose his hair. Keeping everything crossed.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Synopsis for Fiona.

A few weeks ago Fiona asked for other writers to post their synopsis. I thought this was a good idea because we know what happened and what's going to happen in our novels, but no one else does.

So this is the synopsis for Digging for Victoria. Please be honest, if it's crap or makes no sense then tell me. I need to get it right before I start subbing.

Synopsis for
Digging For Victoria.

When Fiona, Larissa and Izzie get to the top of the waiting list for the Long Meadow allotments they think they are just going to grow a few vegetables. In fact they grow much more. They grow friendships that will last a lifetime and other relationships they never thought possible. When they go into battle with the council over a proposed housing estate to be built on the allotments; when Fiona discovers her husband has been having a long term affair; and when Izzie discovers Oliver has left her with more than a broken heart the three women find they have more in common than they thought.

Because they really could’t be more different. Fiona has longed for a baby for longer than she can remember, and has lost more than she wants to count. Perhaps she should have done something with that law degree after all. Larissa loves everything that is pleasurable in life except love itself. She is never, ever going to get tied down. Until she meets Noah. But Noah is hung up on Izzie, who is hung up on Oliver. When Oliver left Izzie for America she was sure she would die. She soon discoverers she isn’t going to die, she’s going to have a baby.
Several sticks get grabbed by the wrong end.

Then there’s Connor Spence. He’s the man from the council, and the enemy to the allotments. But he has the most beautiful eyes Fiona has ever seen. They discover they hate each other in a way that means they can only ever end up in bed. And when Oliver turns up again things are set to become very complicated for all concerned.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Nobody loves me, sniff :0(

Nobody wants to play Pay it Forward with me! I only asked for three of you. I promise good pressies, honest. It's pathetic, no one has had to beg for players before. The cold's gone now and I did wash this morning, so it's safe to come near me.

Except that I look like a post box! We went to New Mills farm park near Launceston. We went with Little Rays of Sunshine (of which I am now Secretary apparently). The kids had a great time. Jamie loved the trampoline and the sand pit. I would show you the photos only I took them on the phone and I can't get it to transfer them to the computer !!!! Anyway it was a fantastic day so the kids were all smothered in sun cream. Trouble was I didn't do the same for myself. Now I know I'm blond (very sometimes) but I never used to take the sun, at all. I could lay in it for hours and nothing. But since I had Jamie I seem to have become prone to tanning, and burning. The trouble is there haven't been enough good summers in the last five years for me to remember this. So yesterday I came home lobster like. The bath was bloody agony this morning. I was glad I didn't have to face the great British public today, my face got quite a dose. My arms are the worst. Note to self, long sleeved tops!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Pay it Forward

Yesterday the postman bought be a jiffy bag from the lovely DJ Kirkby. This was my Pay it Forward girt from her. As you can see it was two great books and a copy of 'Shrek Rap'. The books are 'Ideas Above Their Stations' by various writers and 'Music of Maninjau' by David Green. They both look like good reads and I'm looking forward to them.
So now it's over to you. I expect you all know the Pat it Forward rules by now. The first three people to contact me on my comments page to say they want to receive a gift from me will be my Pay it Forward recipients. You won't owe me anything but you have to agree to Pay it Forward to three other bloggers when you get you gifts. So I'll wait to hear from you.
It seems I got the wrong end of the stick about autism and facial recognition. I can't remember where we got the idea that autistic people struggle to recognise faces. I know about the struggle to recognise expressions and emotins, I guess I assumed that meant faces in general. Saying that Jamie knows when we're smiling, and will smile back. And, when he was little, he would come up and touch my face when I was crying (bad post natal depression). But he either can't (or won't) acknowledge a cross or angry expression. Can this change? Can we 'teach' him to recognise emotion?
By the way Fiona I will post the synopsis for DV in the next day or two. I'd like the feedback.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Little Puppy Dog.

Ok I'm fed up with this cold now, I want it to go away please. I have turned into a snot factory ( you wanted to know that didn't you?).

Today Jamie had his appointment with the eye doc. He hates it because they put these drops in his eyes to dilate them so he can see right to the back. He needs to do this because of the hydrocephalus. They need to make sure there is no pressure. There wasn't. So far there hasn't been, but we need to be careful. As I said the pressure was up on the last lumber puncture, not by much, but we still need to keep an eye on things (so to speak). In fact he was better than he usually is. He wasn't happy about the drops and it did mean pining him down, but he stayed still enough for the drops to go in this time. And then, with the doc, he, more or less, did as he was asked. We were in and out in under half an hour!! Result. Now if they could just provide enough parking spaces for the size of the medical centre....But that's a grip for another time.

As you all know Jamie doesn't speak. He makes lots of different sounds, squeaks, growls etc. Recently he has started a new sound which is just like a whining puppy. It's very sweet. When he does it I've started calling him 'little puppy dog'. On the way to bed last night he was making the noise, but I hadn't said anything. Half way along the landing he stopped, turned to me and made the sign for dog. He wanted me to say 'puppy dog'!! When I did he carried on to bed!

And he can defiantly recognise faces. This was something we've been told autistic children can't do. But he knows who certain favorite TV presenters are and can find their picture in magazines. Fiona Bruce seems to be a favorite at the moment, Richard approves of this very much. And if he's got his computer on iplayer (it's my old lap top), and we have the TV on he will find the programme we're watching and play it on iplayer.

As for my last post. Ok, Ok I'll write it, I'll write it!!! Already this week we have had two men in a bright pink Suzuki Vitara soft top. And they were sharing a one double bed roomed cottage. Perhaps I'll give you a weekly new flash of all the stupid things they've done this week! Don't worry Frankie, I'm sure all yours will be lovely.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!
I know what you're all thinking. Puffins aren't very Eastery. Well no. But round here we quite like them. We called our business after them. And Easter marks the start of the 'silly season', our feet won't touch the ground now until after October half term.
I have to say the novelty of looking after nearly 20 holiday cottages has worn off a bit over the years. It would be fine, if it wasn't for the holidaymakers. Oh you've gotta love 'em. Already we've had a leaking shower. That was fair enough I suppose. But some of the things they come up with!! Like setting fire to the quilt because they had let their child take the bedside lamp under the covers to read her book.
And the man who phones up at 11pm to get the web code for the WIFI because the kids were in bed and he wanted to watch porn. Or the one who called demanding we go down and change a light bulb for them (we live 10 mile away). And how many people have lost their keys or locked themselves out I've lost count. I really wonder how they manage to be quit so vacant and odd. I really hope I don't act like that when I'm on holiday. Like the man who complained that the towels 'reeked' of smoke. He was, he said, allergic to cigarette smoke, unyet he had booked a smoking cottage (one that allows smokers)!! There was the couple who bought their African parrot with them. And the woman who brought her two cats and then had a hissy fit when they caught fleas from the farm cats. The cottage had never had a cat in it before and she'd been letting them out. I'm still not quite sure what she thought we could do. We offered to get flea spry but she didn't want it.
A lot of people just think they can get some compensation if they complain. You can guarantee it when the weather's not good. One of the best complaints was that the radiators only got hot when the heating was turned on, and that there was only one grill pan (there was only one grill !!!). Someone even complained that the wall cupboards in the kitchen were not regulation height above the work tops.
We really do see it all. Like the business man with two Thai sisters. I won't go into details but we had to scrap the sheets!!
I keep saying I'm going to write it all down, but no one would believe me.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

And breath....

I've taken a few deep breaths and have started breathing again. I really shouldn't blog when I'm on a down, it makes me sound like such a whingey cow!

Anyway dad got on really well with his first Chemo session. He's a bit tired but other than that unaffected. He had two more sessions and then they'll do another scan and take it from there. Thank you for all your good wishes, it means a lot.

On the writing front. Well I have done two read throughs of DV and made lots of notes. I've just started doing the proposal stuff (synopsis etc) and then I'll get the first three chapters polished. So how do you do it? What order do you do it all in? I'll get those magic first three chapters ready and then polish the rest while I wait for the first round of rejections to flood in!

The garden is less weedy that it was. I will post pics when it's looking better and you can actually see some difference. Not that I'll be doing much out there for a few days. I've started with a massive sore throat and that skanky 'head in a bucket' feeling you get with the start of a cold. I shouldn't be surprised as Jamie has been snotty for a few days. And his ear infection is back. So another visit to the docs looks on the cards. Ho hum, chocolate is in order I think.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Ok DJ Kirkby you asked for them!!! This is how the garden looked last week. As you can see there is a LOT of crap and weeds. It has been some what neglected for months now. Last year we weren't even living here because of the roof, and then Richards heart attack and so on and so on. Anyway the sun came out, briefly, so I went out for a recky. I started by clearing the rubbish and tidying the bit you can see in front of the greenhouse. That looks better now. And yesterday I started weeding the beds. There are now lots of little red tulips everywhere. I was doing so well, but guess what? Yup, raining!!! So no gardening today. And DJ, yes porridge oats do work. The slugs don't like the dryness. The only problem is that the birds also like the oats so you have to be careful they don't pull up seedlings. Mind you while they're eating the oats they also eat the slugs.
If I had written this post an hour ago it would have been very depressing. Last week was the week from hell. Dad was rushed into hospital on Monday because he went to the docs and had lost so much weight (3 stone) and wasn't keeping anything down. The doc went mad that the consultant wasn't doing anything and sent him off to hospital. There they put him on a drip etc and he picked up. He had lots more scans and tests and they sent him home on Friday. Today he is starting 9 weeks of Chemotherapy. If that shrinks the tumor enough then they will do keyhole surgery to remove it. So we've been back and forward to Barnstaple all week (25 miles). But I was coping, ish.
Then last night there was the sound of a distressed cat coming from upstairs. I thought I'd shut one of them in somewhere. But no. It was my Twinkle, my baby girl. He back end had collapsed and she was dragging herself along by her front paws. A phone call and then a trip to the emergency vets followed. She had suffered a blood clot that had cut off all the blood supply and circulation to her back end, she was dead from the middle down. There was only one outcome, so I held her while the vet did what he had to do. When we got home I decided I didn't like this game anymore, and I didn't want to play. I wanted to shut myself in the bedroom and stay there. I mean what's the point? If every time you think you've got the hang of it the rules changes and the rug gets pulled out from under you again? Happiness is dangerous, there's only one way it can go.
And then I got a phone call this morning from one of my best friends. She had her fourth baby on Thursday. A little boy called Harry. So life isn't all crap then, not really.