"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Nearly there!!!

Christmas presents wrapped (nearly).
Food for Xmas period bought(nearly).
Cards all delivered(nearly).
Presents that need delivering done(nearly).
House sorted and decorated ready for the big day(nearly)
Emily fit to burst with excitement(nearly)
Alan's man flu gone(nearly)

What a week,it seems we have not stopped. I have moved seamlessly from pleasurable get togethers with friends, to being stuck in long ques in one shop or another,and I can't even recall my experience in the main post office without a shiver!! The Que wound round about 4 times and there were three sections open,after 20 mins we all perk up as another section was opened,our excitement was soon dashed as one of the other sections promptly closed!!
A young girl and her boyfriend attempted to jump the que and stood in front of the lady in front of me.I remember thinking naively that they couldn't possibly be intending to do it as blatantly as that and they must not be aware the que went on behind me but oh yes they were and as the que moved forward slightly they attempted to go in front of the lady.She turned to them and said there was no way they were going to push in in front of her and all hell broke loose with the young girl shouting and swearing and getting right in her face and threatening to punch her!She claimed she had been waiting in line for ages.Everybody in the que just stood and stared and I felt I had to back the woman up, so shaking like a leaf and with visions of been thumped I said that she hadn't been there for ages and that they were in fact behind me.At this point the woman in front shouted to ask the tellers to call the police as she was being threatened,they looked over but never attempted to phone!! However at the mention of the police the guy with her suggested it was daft to get the police involved and suddenly like a real gent he waved me forward graciously saying you go before me love!!Why the change of heart? During another heated conversation they got into with a lady behind me it transpired the guy was wearing a tag and would obviously not want to have the police called.The girl kept whispering behind me about what she was going to do to the woman when she got outside,she looked perfectly fine, a pretty girl,nicely dressed but obviously very used to situations like this.I am sure if it hadn't been for the guy needing to stay away from trouble it could easily of escalated because it was so obvious she was not going to back down.I can't tell you how badly shaken I was.I used to Manage a discount retail store in Liverpool centre and had to deal with shoplifters every day of my life.I was threatened so many times it became just a part of the job.I was on first name terms with some of the police officers.I have been away from that kind of thing for so long and have never been involved in the kind of violence since then and to see it at such close quarters and be reminded that so many folk live with it day in day out was sobering.When I was working and had to tackle a shoplifter my reactions were very often instinctive and that day in the post office I was impressed with the lady in front of me for sticking up for herself and instinctively felt I should back her up,as well as the fact I was also livid they thought it was OK to just jump in the que with total disregard for anyone in it.Sometimes it is perhaps safer not to get involved but sometimes instinct just kicks in.

My thoughts about the couple have moved on from anger about the way they made me feel to sadness that the life they live appears to have so much violence in it.I am thankful for the life I live and the love and respect that surrounds me.I am so glad my life isn't touched by the kind of violence that was once an every day occurrence for me.My heart goes out to others that are not so lucky.

A timely reminder at this time of rushing around and jobs to do before the big day to be thankful for the things that really count.

An opportunity missed to remember how lucky I am and focus on the good instead of the hate (nearly)

Merry Christmas to all of you, I hope you have a wonderful time with your families and that Santa brings you all you wish for.xxxxxx

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Drumming and dressing.

Busy busy day today = one tired Mummy.

Off to do some shopping this morning before Home ed group.Fabulous drumming workshop at Home ed, the sound of 20 or so Djembes was amazing;-)I didn't drum as it would have been too much physically for me but I loved watching and listening.Everyone young and old really enjoyed it and we are talking of doing more workshops regularly.That would be two activities we have found that will become regular,we go to a local farm and do pottery,walks in the woods to make memory sticks,and last week we made wreaths.Some of the kids joined in but most of them chose to be outside in the frost.In future we aim to do orienteering and den building amongst other activities.The kids love it there,a river and lots of space to wander.The couple that run it are really inspirational and a valuable lesson in the fact that you never stop learning as they diversify and try new ventures.

After home ed a quick stop off at home to drop things off and then out again into town to exchange some clothes I had bought for Emily that were too small.I was intending to go back on Saturday and was surprised when she said she would come in as she hates shopping.On our journeys through town to pick Alan up on an evening she had spotted a shoulder back in the window of New Look,it was perfect to hold her Alethiometer and has decided that some of the money she makes from her car boot sale on Sunday will go to the bag, so she wanted to check it out.They only had two left so I bought it for her and she will repay me.Got all the clothes changed,bit of a mad dash and then picked up Al.

Home to make tea while they walked Beauty.A little strictly take 2 and then tree dressing,with dancing hyper excited child:-)Mulled wine and lots of toasts by Milly for happiness and family time at Xmas and peace to mankind:-)I have just finished wrapping a few more of the family presents and just have Milly's to do at the weekend,they are scattered all over the house in various cupboards so I hope I remember them all!!

I have clutter in the living room with box's of Dec's and candle holders etc waiting to find a home around the house.I have clutter at the top of the landing as we have cleared so many toys from Emily's room for the car boot sale and more clutter sitting on her bedroom floor waiting to be sorted.I will be glad to get this weekend over with so I can sort the place out and get it all back in the loft out of the way.

A day at home tomorrow,probably in PJ's :-)We sent for a darker henna to go on Emily's hair to give a chestnut red colour, so will be elbow deep in cak for a while in the morning and while she is cooking for as many hours as she can sit with cling film on (her record so far was 4 hours) we will be pricing all the toys for the car boot,whilst constantly wiping the henna that drips from under the clingfilm!! It is a faffy job but the colour is great and has lasted ages as well as giving her a great shine on her hair.Thanks to Jax for recommending LUSH.

Off to bed now,hoping I can sleep as I have had two terrible nights waking up lot's and not able to get back to sleep:-(
Night night xx

Sunday, 7 December 2008

A little muddled, but a post at last!!

I miss blogging every night.I really used to enjoy getting my thoughts straight and recording our days.Here we are again and weeks have gone by without posting.Our evenings have changed and we have found a kind of rhythm that works for us but I still haven't got back into sitting down each night to blog.To be honest I have started a couple of posts and then found that I couldn't put into words the thoughts and feelings I was having so I saved to draft and hoped to come back when my head was clearer!!Needless to say I have just spent time deleting the muddled posts.Not too sure why I haven't been able to get it out and written down .I hope this isn't destined to be another half finished attempt.

I have been mulling over the last 20 months since we took Emily out of school. This whole journey has been about so much more than just swapping school for another way to educate Emily.It has always been about finding a lifestyle that would enable us to live and learn with freedom, where learning was not separated from living,where Emily could learn at her own pace, in her own way, to enable her to shine and for her particular talents to emerge without being nipped in the bud by the system or for that matter by us,however well intentioned we are it is so easy to try to steer her in another direction,to think we know best what she needs.We aim to open the world up to her,(metaphorically of course, we do have a tight budget ;-o) but accept if she isn't keen on any particular journey,because it might just be that journey is more important to us than it actually is for her at that time.To set aside any expectations and dreams we may have had for her future, to enable her to make and live her own dreams.Emily being Emily meant the normal methods of school and parenting were not cutting the mustard ;-) I feel as though we have come such a long way from the start of our home ed journey,we have all grown and the things that were important to us have probably become even more so.It has been quite an intense period,evaluating how we live and the parenting strategies we use,letting go of other peoples expectations and creating a way of living that is peaceful and respectful.I have read so many books websites and blogs with advice on how to achieve the kind of relationship we want to have as a family and I think it has taken time to digest this info and to filter the things that I feel can work for us.In our relationship, as with many I am sure, I tend to do all the research then pass on the nuggets to Al and have a chat about it before moving forward.Parenting in a different way to the parenting you received takes a whole lot of effort before it becomes a natural process because in stressful situations we fall back into auto response.My parents did the best they could . I believe there is a better way and I aim to find one.I have always liked something I heard many years ago and it helps me to accept my mistakes in life and the mistakes others have made that affected me " when we know better we can do better",( Edited to add, just found out it is a Maya Anjelu quote)we don't always know better but when we do I believe we should try to do better.We have come a long way,we now see learning in every aspect of life and I very rarley find myself thinking how educational something will be and buy things or go on trips because I think Emily will enjoy them not because she might "learn" something.We still have a way to go and are by no means perfect but the life we are creating feels good,it's good to do things that create joy.

As a family we have our own particular challenges to making things work, as tiredness plays such a large part in my life it is hard to find a balance.Exhaustion does mean that some days are pretty difficult but I aim to do the best I can and move on without too much self criticism, in the hope that the next day will be better. I have been attending a weekly group meeting organised by the NHS for Chronic Fatigue/ME.Over 8 weeks we have been learning about Mindfulness, living in the moment and how it can help living with pain and fatigue.I have also continued on the hypnotherapy course I started in May which includes meditation,positive affirmation and visualisation.So all in all there has been a great deal of information for me to take on board.Mindfulness is not just useful for those of us living with illness, to be fully present in the moment when we are going about our daily lives can have a major impact on anybodies health and state of mind.

Emily has been going through a phase of hibernation after a growth spurt( she has grown a lot, we just got some tops and jeans from tesco today and she is in the 12/13age size!!) so there has not been too much happening to blog.Milly has been complaining about pains in her legs and ankles and general pain all over.I had thought these were growing pains and after a visit for some Cranial osteopathy this was confirmed.Her tendons have not caught up to her bone growth and that is causing the pains in her body and almost constant headaches because of the muscles in her neck.Judith also tried a new technique she had just learnt, which is good for children who did not take their first breath on their own when they were born and were on a ventilator.It is said to release tension held in the cellular memory.This can have great benefits both physically and emotionally.Alongside a Homeopathic remedy she is back on form and we are more likely to be doing blog worthy activities ;-)