Sunday, 31 July 2011

Re-embracing the Demon Drink..

I think I have mentioned, quite possibly more than once, that a big part of my getting better was to stop drinking. In the past, alcohol has played a major part in my life and at times it's been too major for my own good. In my early twenties I gave up for a year and a half out of necessity ~ I was far too close to having a serious problem if I am honest. You know that person who's quite funny, very funny, and then a royal pain in the arse when they're drinking?? Yep, that was me.. Some may say that wasn't down to alcohol but I beg to differ. I needed that lovely warm glow to allow me to be the person people wanted to see.. I just didn't know when to stop. Anyway, glossing over the, um, finer details, suffice to say that abstention was the only option at the time.

So, fast forwarding more years than I care to admit, I was proud of the fact that I had got through some of the worst times in my life without falling back into a bottle.. Bereavement, marriage break ups, all of those without that reassuring warmth and lovely blurring of the edges that drink gave me. Sure I could drink socially, and the odd glass at home of an evening wasn't a problem; the trouble is that complacency is a dangerous thing and drinking crept up on me and my last serious relationship involved a vast amount of alcohol ~ the alcohol lasted longer than the relationship and getting drunk became quite normal.. Not hideously falling over drunk, just a happy blurring that I convinced myself helped me sleep at night.. well, if I could have slept of course!

Anyway earlier this year I realised that I needed to stop again and so I did.. Just like that and it wasn't hard.. in fact it was very easy. I didn't miss drinking, I didn't miss the hangovers and mostly I didn't miss the disappointment in my kids' faces. Granted my consumption of "Pointless Coke" (that's caffeine free Diet Coke) went through the roof, and my friends were staggered to find out I really do like Pepeprmint and Jasmine Teas, but that's no bad thing.

So now, I have cautiously re-introduced alcohol into my life. I currently have 2.6% strength French Lager (known as Rat's Wee) in my fridge and I enjoy drinking a cold beer on a warm evening but funnily enough one or two is more than enough.. I have no desire to reach the warm fuzzy place that had become so normal in my life. For anyone who knows the film "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" you'll know that Paul Newman's character talks about drinking until he hears a click in his head, and that click mean peace.. well, I've learnt that the click doesn't bring peace it brings a blurring of the edges that comes roaring back into sharp focus the next morning.

I'm not saying I'll never get drunk again, but I am saying that I can now enjoy it in moderation ~ it is no longer a means to an end it is simply one of life's small pleasures to be enjoyed in the same way as everything else.. within reason.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A Whole New World.. without the Disney stuff.....

So, moving swiftly on from the "whether or not to call the Police" malarky of my last blog (No, alright, I didn't call them but let's gloss over shall we??) ~ today's random stream of whatnot concerns what exactly to do about moving this summer..
You see there are logistical problems, which include money, and organisational problems, which means me being rubbish really, and time constraints, meaning school terms. Oh and the slight issue of no job and the fact that my car appears to be terminally ill. So apart from all that ~ oh and having NO idea where to move to, it's a piece of old whatsit really..
So.. do I stay around here so the kids can stay at their schools and I can hope to sort myself out for a job sometime before The Rapture (scheduled for October apparently, for those who missed the first one). Do I head back to where I was before? So very tempting, back to friends and familiarity. Or do I strike out, take a brave pill and move somewhere totally new? It's not as easy as you think you know..
So, we accept that staying here is NOT an option, certainly not in this house. Moving back, so tempting, also means living with the ghosts of my past life, which isn't always a good thing, and having to live in a town that contains my dream home that now belongs to someone else. And somewhere new.. where?? Darn Saarf? Oop North? Abroad even? And do I look for a job first, or a school, or a house, or all three?? 
If anyone would like to make the decision for me, feel free to comment ~ or more importantly, if anyone would like to organise and finance this move for me, feel free to send wodges of cash in plain brown envelopes.. I Thank You..

Thursday, 7 July 2011

S.E.P. ~ And Why It's Not The Case

Oh look, I'm off on another child related rant... Quick, non parents run away whilst you still can.

When I had kids no one was more shocked than me by the realisation that I was in charge of turning 3 snotty, screeching blobs into fully functioning members of society, and if they turned out to be vile, dysfunctional little gits it would probably be mainly my fault. No pressure there then!

Anyway, I cracked on the best I could, even when I took on the role of single parent I still tried to instill in them the values that had been taught to me by my parents. I believed, and still do, that education is vital, and that fighting is NOT an answer, no matter what the provocation. It would appear that, by accident, I also taught them to fight like cat and dog with each other and to sulk for Great Britain in times of need ~ but we'll ignore that for the sake of this blog.

However, it would appear that I am in a minority. One of my children has been so badly bullied she has been off school due to be terrified, and another has been threatened by a local Mother (!) after her daughter belted him with a Golf Club. When I remonstrated with the Mother, she proceeded to threaten to burn my house down. Now I may be a little old fashioned, but this does seem a slightly disproportionate to the incident - although around these parts it would seem to be the norm.

And today, one of my children was assaulted on the way home from school. You may think that I am over stating the case using the word "assault", but when 4 girls surround 1 and repeatedly hit her with a long cardboard tube, and put yoghurt on her hair, they are, according to the word of the law, assaulting her. 

Now here's the quandry.. Do I say "enough" and report this to the Police, knowing that it will cause problems for the girls' families, or do I report it to the school (again) and hope they deal with it, or do I keep quiet and tell my daughter that it's only 2 weeks to the end of term?? And if I do go to the Police am I ready for the fall out that is sure to follow ~ I can protect my daughter, but I can't protect myself ~ and am I strong enough to cope?

In the words of the slightly dreary Bob Dylan "The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind". But for those who are interested, I suggest you watch this blog as I suspect the rise of the new style Super Mother is upon us!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Why Homework Appears To Be MY Problem...

Can we talk about homework?? This is the cue for anyone childless to yawn and turn their attention to far more exciting things I know, but I feel I need to rant..

When I was at school we started at 9 and finished at 4 and we had homework afterwards. If it hasn't done you got into trouble ~ as I well know. Now kids appear to spend about 17 minutes doing lessons, 4 hours doing Registration/Lunch/Library and all the sodding homework is computer based.

Now I am the world's greatest fan of t'interweb (yes I know..) but the fact is I can't bloody SEE what's being done on a computer and I can't then confirm that it's homework going on and not Facebook/MSN et al.. And if, as has happened to me, the printer decides to expire then God help us all.. It would appear that my children are lacking a basic tool with which to do their homework.. Excuse me? Does the school pay for my printer cartridges or the paper?? And don't even start me on Food Tech (that's cookery to anyone over 30) ~ approximately £10 worth of ingredients most weeks ~ Aaargh!!

Anyway, I would just like to make a small suggestion... Why not give them proper homework, as well as the tools to help. Sending them home with the stock phrase "Oh look it up" is NOT helpful. And please remember that personal laptops, colour printers and scanners etc are NOT staples in every household.. some kids have to *gasp* SHARE, and some parents are not in a position to furnish all of these things all the time.

So with that in mind I shall now revert to the usual Sunday mayhem that involves me screaming "Well, if you KNEW you needed to do this on Friday, why the HELL did you leave it until Sunday evening??" and wishing that I still drank....