Nice to meet you

I have no idea what brought you to my blog, some random link on Google, a link via Facebook, Twitter or a dozen other sources but you made it and I hope you spend some time browsing and perhaps getting to know me, my demons, my challenges and what is important to me. There’s a fair bit about disability, there’s a fair bit about the family courts and my experiences with them, there are a fair few rants, there are a fair few raves and there are other bits and pieces that make up my life. It’s all real, it’s not all interesting but it’s all here. Welcome to the Netherhells 🙂

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Excuses, Excuses

I said I would try to blog once per week but I’m struggling to do that. I am trying though I’ve just been busy and yesterday I set aside time for blogging when the Black Dog decided to pay a visit.

However a lot of TLC from my fiance and my demons managed to shove that mutt back into his kennel and I feel a lot happier today.

So challenges

  1. To weigh less this time next year. I’ve actually been slimmer of the week twice now   Progress so far – 6lb
  2. To swim 104 times this year.  I’ve been enjoying this so much especially one day when it had snowed and I had the pool to myself Progress so far – 5 swims
  3. To read books from at least 24 of the categories on the reading challenge. I’ve started -re-reading The Silver Chair from the Narnia series  Progress so far – 3 Categories
  4. To have at least 20 “Date Nights”  special child free nights when DG and I spend time together. We have managed one more but it was just a night in nothing special planned – oddly we enjoyed this more than the one we made an effort for…   Further nights have been hindered by my dad being a little off form but we have got an entire night away planned for the 13th which I am really looking forward to Progress so far – 2 Date Night
  5. To right a positive about each day on the desk calendar and put it in the memory jar. We are behind! Need to catch up so will make this a plan for the weekend  Progress so far 30 / 365
  6. To blog sort of weekly or at least 52 times.  This is the 5th one including my post about attendance issues (which my MP is now raising so hopefully will have an update) Progress so far 5/52 

Things are ticking over quite nicely.

Attendance Issues an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education

Dear Nicky Morgan

I am writing to you because so many schools have recently written to friends of mine about the attendance levels of their children.  At the moment it appears that when attendance falls below a certain percentage a letter is triggered advising the parents, warning them what could happen if their child’s attendance drops further and giving reasons why 100% attendance is desirable.

In theory this is a great idea. Parents do sometimes keep their children at home when they shouldn’t. Or they book holidays in term time leading to disruption in their child’s education.  However there are a group of people who will never manage 100% attendance.  These are the parents who regularly received these letters and who I am writing to you about.

You see these are parents of children with disabilities or with complex medical needs. These are the parents who have to take their children to appointments often travelling to different towns and cities to do so.  These are not appointments that you discuss and make after school, these are appointments you wait six months for and then are given. These are appointments that you dare not miss and cannot reschedule to be after school.  If you do miss them by the way you are often discharged and have to go through a long and drawn out process of getting a re-referral and being put back on the waiting list.

These absences from school are almost always known in advance and the school notified.  That’s why the register has a (M) for medical in place of any other mark.

I ask, and other other parents and guardians of children in similar circumstances ask, that these be removed from the equation when letters, fines, referrals to EWO and other sanctions around attendance are issued.

Not only is it unfair to penalise children this way it is also hugely upsetting. I know that I would be thrilled if my children could get 100% attendance,  I know that this is not going to happen but a letter or investigation when the school are well aware of the circumstances really is rubbing salt in the wound. Believe me if our children could be in school with their friends rather than undergoing invasive and often painful medical appointments then they would be.

Regards

Demon Wrangler

Challenges for 2015

As I blogged about yesterday I have set myself a series of challenges for the year. These have various degrees of difficulty but I hope all are manageable

  1. To weigh less this time next year. That’s it, I’m trying and have joined Slimming World I’m not going to put a figure I just want to weigh less than I do now.  I already weigh one pound less than I did last week. Tiny steps on a long journey but hopefully will get there.  Progress so far – 1lb
  2. To swim 104 times this year.  That’s an average of twice per week. I’ll try for more some weeks but  know that some weeks I’ll have the demons in tow and will not manage it. Progress so far – 2 swims
  3. To read books from at least 24 of the categories on the reading challenge.  Progress so far – 2 Categories 
  4. To have at least 20 “Date Nights” these are special child free nights when DG and I spend time together. Progress so far – 1 Date Night
  5. To right a positive about each day on the desk calendar and put it in the memory jar. Progress so far 18 / 365
  6. To blog sort of weekly or at least 52 times. Progress so far 3/52 

That’s all folks, just the six challenges for 2015. They all seem pretty achievable at the moment but that may change.  I may add more, I may remove some. It’s my life after all and if it’s not making me happy or having a positive effect I’m removing it from my life. Actually that could be a 7th challenge… or maybe it’s the whole thing summed up? Reading, swimming, blogging, seeing the weight come off and spending time alone with my fiancee make me happy. Mind you so do wine and crisps, sitting on my bum playing Candy Crush and spending time with my fiancee when the demons are with us too.

I just have to get the mix right.

2015 Reading Challenge

I (and a few random internet weirdies) are doing this. It looks like fun and will help me read more rather than play Candy Crush or whatever game I am currently wasting my time on. Anyway this is the the list and we have a Facebook group to discuss things. If you want to join in then please do. I will attempt to review and comment as I go along. You don’t have to do them all but if you are like me and sometimes get caught in a rut reading the same genre and same authors then it might just shake things up a little.

This is one of the challenges I have set myself and my 2nd blogpost of the year.. go me! A whole two paragraphs (almost) and a bit of copy and pasting.  I’m on fire I tells ya!

• A book with more than 500 pages
• A classic romance
• A book that became a movie
• A book published this year
• A book with a number in the title
• A book written by someone under 30
• A book with nonhuman characters
• A funny book
• A book by a female author
• A mystery or thriller
• A book with a one-word title
• A book of short stories
• A book set in a different country
• A nonfiction book
• A popular author’s first book
• A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet
• A book a friend recommended
• A Pulitzer Prize-winning book
• A book based on a true story
• A book at the bottom of your to-read list
• A book your mom loves
• A book that scares you
• A book more than 100 years old
• A book based entirely on its cover
• A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
• A memoir
• A book you can finish in a day
• A book with antonyms in the title
• A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
• A book that came out the year you were born
• A book with bad reviews
• A trilogy
• A book from your childhood
• A book with a love triangle
• A book set in the future
• A book set in high school
• A book with a color in the title
• A book that made you cry
• A book with magic
• A graphic novel
• A book by an author you’ve never read before
• A book you own but have never read
• A book that takes place in your home town
• A book that was originally written in a different language
• A book set during Christmas
• A book written by an author with your same initials
• A play
• A banned book
• A book based on or turned into a TV show
• A book you started but never finished

I’m only blinking blonking back!

There’s a lot going on and I’ve decided that the world needs to know about it. Actually I’m finding that Timehop shows me old blog posts and I love reading them and love the memories that they bring back. I am also aware that there have been no new ones for far too long and soon Timehop will not show me any and I will miss them. I will also not have memories of key points in the lives of the demons, well I will but the details will be fuzzy… this is not necessarily a bad thing some times but you have to take the rough with the smooth.

So I’m back and I will be blogging once per week. This was my New Year’s resolution. Its already week three and this is my first post.  This gives you some idea of how busy and crap I am being at the moment.

There are my many and varied excuses for not blogging but this is the real one. I am lazy – I cannot type properly on iPad or iPhone and these are the devices I use the most.  To blog necessitates actually getting out my ancient MacBook and it’s a pain in the rear. The battery is knackered so it has to be plugged in and it dies if you accidentally unplug the charging cable by tripping over the damn this as HELLLOOOO wires? What is it the 20th Century or something? Wires are in the past. Then there is the fact the iTunes/Adobe and every thing else will need updating the moment it switches on which will mean a good 10 minutes ranting at the pinwheel of doom and then iTunes won’t update due to the ancient nature of my Macbook anyway. By this time I am so stressed I’ve forgotten what I wanted to rant about and am ranting about iTunes instead.

I’ve gone right off Apple. Not enough to by a Windows computer but I’m still cross with them.  Lightning cables self destructing after 2 minutes and my iPhone 6 not updating to OS8 without iTunes may tip me over the edge…. but I digress as I knew I would.

So in summary I am back and there are new challenges.

I’ll update you on those later.

Pinky promise 😉

Almost a year…

I haven’t blogged in ages. I have no idea why but the mojo just has not been there.  However I do like reading my old blog posts when they pop up on the Timehop app and it dawned on me that soon there will not be any popping up.  So here I am having a go at the blogging lark.  In order to do that I am going to have to summarise the last year. I am also going to have to give myself some structure and challenges because randomly blogging about stuff isn’t going to inspire me to keep it up so..

THE PAST (Highlights of last year)

  1. Fab holidays at Argeles-sur-Mere and Skeggy Butlins.
  2. Fab weekend in That London with the whole family including seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  3. Losing 6 stones (putting some back on and almost losing it again now )
  4. Completing c25K which I certainly WILL do again when my stupid plantar problem is sorted.
  5. Fab Christmas
  6. Fab summer spent in the garden (which may be why I didn’t blog as much) with so many barbecues
  7. Finding a local parent and carers group called Barnsley Little Stars and being involved – such a fab group and so friendly and the demons have got so much out of it
  8. Feast Nights/Games Nights/Film Night – in short just Family Time with DG and the demons. We have really enjoyed each others company and taken every opportunity to turn a meal into a feast and a day into a celebration.
  9. The younger demon’s DLA award came through after much wrangling but that means some measure of security for his future (until he’s 16 anyway)
  10. I’ve been happy – really happy.

Can’t say fairer than that now can you? It’s been great. Hopefully it will continue in a similar vein, and you know what? It didn’t happen through luck or because of money it happened because I worked at it. That’s something to be proud of isn’t it?

I’ll do the future post later when I’ve had time to ponder but I’m back blogging.  I missed it.

Emotional

I’m feeling a little emotional at the moment. So many people have been so supportive of my weight loss and it’s just wonderful.

I was a size 16 before I got pregnant with the elder demon but then childbirth, depression, and general life being shit took it’s toll. I set myself targets over the past 3/4 years to stop smoking, get off Anti Depressants, get the house adapted and garden sorted and finally to lose weight. I’ve done the others and they were hard. I’m not the person I was 4 years ago so I don’t want to look like her.

I’m not there yet but I am a massive 3 1/2 stone lighter than I was at the start of the year. That’s not bad for 16 weeks is it?

Here are the pics to prove it

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October 2012

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One month into dieting

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3 1/2 stone lighter after 16 weeks 🙂

It’s not over of course, I want to lose another 1/2 stone in May – we are going off for a few days and going out for DG’s birthday a few times so I know it’s going to be hard but I am confident I can do it.

I have a great support network online and at home. The demons are great, I tried on a dress the other day I have not been able to wear for years and they spontaneously applauded! So sweet (at times) 😉 Then there is DG who has also lost a huge amount of weight too and looks fantastic.  No longer is he fazed by the French rule on swimming trunks in pools for our holiday later in the year lol

Here comes the son…

More progress

I really LOVE intermittent fasting