Monday 19 July 2021

Finding joy

 Wow that took a while! 

Yeah I know what you are all thinking. 

Who are you? And just why should I be reading this old tat again?

Honestly I can’t answer either question as it’s been a lifetime and would take far too long to explain but anyway here goes: I got hacked. I lost my mojo. Life got in the way. A myriad of reasons. None of it interesting enough to blog about...

But I am just so glad I got all this back. It’s like looking at an old photograph album you had stuffed in the attic. You know you find it when you are looking for something else and you stop for a moment to have a quick look then you find yourself swallowed up in the vortex of memory and when you finally escape it’s like you are stepping back into the real world after eons of time has passed by - or else you are caught out and everything comes abruptly to a full stop as your kids demand supper cos they are starving and it’s like 11pm when you only nipped into the attic just after 5...

So right now I am sitting in a darkened room on my bed trying to ignore the aches and pains in my legs, the sore throat, the dull headache just the fact that I have Covid really - and I was twice jabbed! It’s Freedom Day and I ain’t going anywhere. Nor are the rest of my household. 

But despite that this has brought me joy. I am blogging again. I have my blog. I shall enjoy it.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Matters of the heart.....

I have got all my bits and bobs together NHS number, insurance number, authorisation number, phone number and am basically just waiting…
Waiting to go and visit the Cardiologist.
At present I am trying to work out whether or not I want all this to be a storm in a teacup or actually something serious…
I don't want it to be too serious but I do want there to be something wrong…
If you get what I mean.
Nothing too wrong, mind.
To put you in the picture ever since I was put on Tricyclics/serotonin for depression back in 1992 (Yes I do mean last century) I have had dizzy spells. I stopped taking anti-depressants more than 20 years ago but the dizzy spells have persisted. Every now and then I get them so badly I sway and a few times I have blacked out totally. However, after 25 years I am used to them - more or less.
However recently they have been a bit more noticeable and the other day in Finbows, while buying some kit for the builders (when am I ever without builders), I had such a bad turn that I frightened myself. It was horrid and I remember thinking that people must have thought I was drunk.
I decided to get hold of the Doctor and rang them up. There was a spare slot that very afternoon so I took it.
Not such a clever idea, I fancy.
Or maybe it was a lifesaving move...???
I am afraid the jury is still out on that one.
Anyway, I saw the Doctor she asked what had happened and took my blood pressure and pulse.
I thought she was going to pat me on the head and send me away admonishing me for getting worked up and stressing myself out.
She instead asked me to go immediately to the other clinic and get on the heart monitor.
OK says I a bit bewildered.
“Oh!” says she, “did you drive yourself?”
I looked at her as if she were mad – we live in the countryside FFS, its four o’clock in the afternoon in the middle of the week and bus services between villages are unheard of even at the best of times… “Yes.”
“Well you’ll have to leave your car here and get someone to take you.”
I was non-plussed to say the least, but so very forceful was she that I did as I was told.
I went to the other clinic, I was strapped into the monitor and the next thing I know an ambulance is called and I am on my way to hospital.
To cut a long story short I have low blood pressure coupled with a low heart rate of under 60bpm – which is fine if you are Mo Farah or Usain Bolt  - not so good if you are me - an overweight 50-year old mother of two who instead of exercising for the past 11 months has taken up chocolate eating as a past time.
I stayed I the hospital overnight and was released back in the community the next day a bit shaken up but more or less OK with the promise that I will be booked into have an ECG and 24 heart monitor at some point as an out patient.
Not really knowing what was going on  and keen to get to the bottom of this I went to speak to my GP the following Monday morning and what happened there put me in  a real spin.
I arrive, having driven myself. I get to see the doctor.
I ask what is happening and when will I get to know what is wrong. I say I am fed up with being dizzy and tiered all the time and not getting any headway as to what is wrong. I suggest perhaps it’s my thyroid.
I get told forcefully that I have had every blood test known to man over the past 10 years and that the problem lies with my heart.
For a moment I am silent.
My heart? Seriously?
Yes seriously – the heart should always be taken seriously.
And I would advise that you don't drive…
Oh! But I have to drive – FFS we live in the countryside, I am the sole carer of my children during the week, its the holidays, how can I shop….
It’s too risky for you to drive or take exercise
What do you mean too risky?
If your heart rate increases then the oxygen cannot get to your brain  and that is serious…
You need to talk to the DVLA and inform your insurance. I have written this down on  your medical notes…
The upshot is basically no driving at all. The DVLA are happy for me to drive but I am uninsurable so I am stuck…
This has necessitated me calling in the troops and my mother turning up to act as chauffeur for the time being and it has brought home to me that perhaps: THIS IS SERIOUS.
With that in mind I am afraid my imagination has run riot.
I am one of those people who have to know and understand what is going on or else I worry.
So for the last week I have worried.
I have also Googled but luckily - or unluckily depending on your point of view - my symptoms are not very normal so there is not much about it.
If you look up  slow heart rate and low blood pressure you get a lot of stuff about low blood pressure but the combo of the two  there is not so much…
When you look up the technical medical terms for low heart rate and low blood pressure (Bradycardia and Hypotension) it just becomes far too bizarre and way beyond my technical medical knowledge.
And thus I sit here trying to calm myself…
No kidding I have devised a worse case scenario but it wasn’t pleasant especially the first couple nights when I could not get to sleep for fear my heart would stop beating. I only managed to calm myself enough by writing out my will…
Now that that has not happened I have gone onto other scenarios – heart transplant was the worst I could think of and managed to reassure myself that I would be Ok as I have bulk standard ordinary blood: Type O Positive.
I have also worked out that if I am never able to drive again I could move to Framlingham quite happily and live in town. There are a number of very nice homes available with big enough gardens for the dogs that I can afford and we would be able to buy a pad in London too for Charlie to live in as Fram is just too far away  to comfortably commute with his long hours.
So I have crossed of the worst scenarios and found that I can survive quite happily.
But there is the thing…
What if there is actually nothing wrong with me at all?
The last week has been just a storm in a teacup..
THAT is a scenario I am totally unprepared for….and I will feel SUCH a fraud.
I have to keep reminding myself that this isn’t my fault especially if it IS a storm in the teacup. I didn’t take myself to hospital. I didn't just decide not to drive…
So there is:  I don't want there to be anything wrong and yet I do….

Friday 24 March 2017

Somewhere along the way I have lost my confidence: problem is, I have only 20 days to find it again...

That's it in a nutshell really.
I have 20 days to find my confidence.
My show jumping confidence that is.
Yes, I know someone my age really shouldn't be gallivanting around like a teenager - but I love it. And loving it should mean that I am confident about it - shouldn't it?
It does not seem so at present.
Two years ago I was persuaded to take part in the British Horse Society's Riding School Competition, which is held at Moreton Morrell in Warwickshire every year. It is a horse riding competition that is only open to those who do not own or loan their own horses or ponies and all the horses and ponies have to belong or be used at a BHS Affiliated Riding School or Equitation Centre.
It is a wonderful opportunity and somehow I qualified for it being one of three adult riders selected to go. I might add there were only three of us who could!
Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed myself and came last after a disastrous dressage test where I and my caller got in a frightful muddle as to what test I should actually be doing and generally mucking it up (note ALWAYS learn your dressage test off by heart). I then had complete a stable management test - where I astounded myself by getting all the answers right.
And finally I had to jump a course of nine show jumps in a professional arena with full watching audience!
My lovely equine partner at the time, Candy, took me round with aplomb and although not a tidy round  - it sufficed. I was incredibly proud as only three months previously I had never jumped a show jumping course in my life!
Me riding the wonderful Candy aka My Sweet Girl at Warwick in 2015
Roll on two years and I have jumped a lot of show jumps - with a variety of equine partners. But the other day I scared myself.
God only knows how but I really did.
Normally I ride ponies that need a bit of encouragement to get a move on and wake up - and that is fine with me. But I am getting better and so I have progressed onto horses, which thoroughly love their job - especially jumping.
And that is the rub I think.
I am not quite as keen to go at their speed as they think I should be and we tend to part ways - sometimes quiet literally.
Tonight I have fallen off twice.
Once I landed perfectly on my own two feet and would not have disgraced the most elegant of horse vaulters and the other time I involuntary dismounted so as to avoid being smeared against the riding school wall - the look on my mount's face was of total astonishment and consternation.
This loss of confidence - which I fear now is becoming a somewhat self fulfilling prophecy - all started I think about two months ago when I was competing to be selected to go once again to Warwickshire. I was riding the incomparable Poppy, a 15h bay thoroughbred mare with pretty white snip on her nose. Usually she is very quiet and will happily plod on if you let her so is excellent for those learning to ride. She was my mount of choice when I returned to riding through the 2012 Olympic Legacy's Take Back The Reins programme. While she is great to learn to ride on she isn't just a one trick pony: with the right rider she can also pull out all the stops: four years ago she and her rider Helen won the heavily contested Dressage competition at Warwick.
But the thing Poppy loves most is jumping.
The change in her attitude is astonishing from barely going forward, suddenly she is very up for it! Positively dancing in excitement. Her ears twitch forward and she flies.
However, she is not a push button horse and you do have to have her straight and balanced before a jump and when you do she just takes you - she loves it SO much!
When I rode her, I had actually never ridden a full show jumping course on her before. In fact, I had only ever jumped one or possibly two jumps in succession on her.
My mistake.
We did a lovely dressage test then we went in to show jump. I will admit I was a tad nervous - wrong make that suddenly very afraid.
We got to the practice jump and refused. I had taken her in at an angle and quite rightly she said (if she could talk): You what???!
It wasn't very elegant.
I bottled it and was not keen to ride at all. I was all set there and then NOT to do this silly thing and leave.
However, I was persuaded to jump the practice fence properly, which we did. And although I was ready to leave and everyone was just about OK with that; I realised that I could not do it and with the understanding that I would be overseen round the course, I went for it knowing I would only kick myself if I missed the opportunity.
I can honestly say I have no recollection whatsoever of how I got round - we flew. At one stage I was told by my coach to sit up and back as we soared over a skinny and tore round a corner. I never heard her but everyone says I did it beautifully almost before she spoke.
I don't think I breathed at all.
The whole way round.
I rode out not feeling pleased and happy as you would expect - but utterly shaken.
I burst into tears.
And that I think is when I started to overthink.
Get scared.
And lose my confidence.
Each and every time I have jumped since, it seems I go backwards in ability. If I watch others ride before me I almost start to hyperventilate and I look for almost any excuse NOT to do it.
It has landed up with me today - on a new horse I will admit - unable to jump a cross pole. And it was only one side of a cross pole as well - barely off the ground...
I have only 20 days to get this sorted and be able to jump a course of nine 2ft 3 inch show jumps on a new horse  - the fabulous Earwig, with whom I really am doing very well with on the flat. We are unsure that the gorgeous Poppy will be fit enough to go - but that is beside the point as I am just as scared about show jumping on her at present.
So my many friends, and any who are into horses - what on earth should I do?
How am I going to get over this lack of confidence and do myself and everyone else proud?
Is there enough time?
Should I just forget it and stop the pressure and perhaps just concentrate on the dressage?
Do I go at all?

Wednesday 10 February 2016

The one where I really don't want to be "Off Games"

Corporal - like butter wouldn't melt...

"I would advise that you do not run."
How I used to long for such words in my youth - especially on a cold grey day like today. I hated games especially lacrosse which I was next to completely useless at. That feeling of inevitable dread that would settle on one as a 14-year old, as you watched the skies getting greyer and the relentless march of the minute hand on the clock taking you to the appointed hour of your doom - the Games lesson.
But now I don't like to hear those words at all - I want to run, I need to run, I've got a marathon in less than three months!
It all started with me landing my head on Friday. And it really wasn't my fault at all. I was doing everything I should and doing it properly but as I was reminded probably not properly enough. "If you'd been sitting well back and not tipping forward you'd probably have stayed on."
Not definitely.
To be honest I don't remember what happened. The last thing I recall is trotting over a dry water tray on Corporal, the white-faced cob, and feeling pretty pleased with myself in that  he went over it without a murmur...the next thing I remember I was getting up from the ground and not quite sure exactly why. My head was ringing and I could have sworn that the horse and rider I was looking at really should not have been there, they should have been behind me not in front.
After getting my bearings I remounted and continued the lesson, trying very hard to put all the pieces together and not really succeeding.
I seemed OK and got home later feeling a tad discombobulated.
The next day I surely felt what had happened with an uncomfortable case of whip lash, headache and sore back. Thank heavens I had been wearing my hat and body protector - as I obviously do not bounce anymore!
Headaches soon cleared away and apart for a good rest I didn't think anything of it - I mean I went to ride again twice at the weekend and one of those included a show jumping competition! But I wasn't daft enough to run.
Come Monday I was getting a bit stir crazy re the running but because my back was painful thought I had better hold off for 24 hours. Come Tuesday I thought sod it and went out for a quick four miler and that is when it became uncomfortable, the pain building with every step, so that by the time it came to the evening  I could barely sit down!
Thus emergency call to the doctor today and the resulting "Off Games" slip - I've only gone and bruised my kidneys with the force of the fall and they are not happy that I did not get my head checked as well - I tried to tell them it was a lost cause, there was no point getting my head checked as I am considered as mad as a box of frogs anyway!
So as well as the bruised kidney I also have a mild case of concussion...
"So when can I run again?"
"When it is better but  if you run now it will only get worse!"
Oh how I wish I could tell my 14 year old self that  I should take all the days I can running about as one day it won't just be a case of not being able to, I won't be allowed to!
Doc says I will probably be alright by next week...
Not definitely....

Friday 20 November 2015

Sometimes you open the door to shit....literally!

For those of a delicate nature or who just happen to be eating lunch - turn away now! For the rest of you - well you are warned.
I am sitting here in the middle of a freezing breeze in my kitchen contemplating the irony of eating the last of the chicken liver pate and trying hard not to giggle.
Life sometimes is just shit.
I arrived home not more than 45-minutes ago and it might as well be a lifetime. So much seems to have happened.
As I started to open the door I  think it was the stench that alerted me to the fact that all was not well in Denmark or indeed my kitchen.
Radio Four droned on oblivious.
I opened the door further, and heard a frantic scrabble, a scratching, a slightly wet thump and more scrabbling as whippet feet and whippet nails tried to gain purchase to launch themselves to greet me home.  The largest one was damp and in fact as I drew my hand away from him I realised that what I thought was damp was actually poo, very runny poo that was smeared all across his back and down one side; I stupidly ran my hand across my leg to get it off me at the same moment that I surveyed the scene in front of me.
Confusion can last a lifetime, similarly a heartbeat.
Before me lay a scene from Armageddon - it's the only way I can describe it - it didn't in the least look like my kitchen.
There was dog poop everywhere, splattered, splurged, splodged and smeared. There was even evidence of slippage which might explain the state of Jet Bag, the largest of my four whippets.
Having ascertained the problem and registered it, though not really acknowledged it, my first action was to open the patio doors and get the dogs outside fast. I left them ping ponging up and down outside. A thing they do often.
And that is when it the full impact of what had happened hit me.
At least two of my dogs had had the squits, possibly more, it was a little difficult to tell as evidence sort of ran together.
I vacated the scene swiftly to contemplate my next move and once outside the backdoor promptly burst into tears. It seemed the most logical thing to do - it hasn't been the most restful of weeks and this was the icing the cake - sorry...
However, a swift blub over and it was once more time to gird my loins and tackle the problem at hand. Donning a make-shift bio hazard suit made up of a pair of veterinary gloves, red wellington boots, waterproof trousers and a plastic festival cape, that I found rather fortuitously in my handbag, I was able to make in-roads on the kitchen floor.
And not long after I actually found it again.
Copious amounts of kitchen paper, capfuls of Miltons and a serious splash of lemon scented Flash later and the place is once more habitable.
Jet was manhandled towards the outside hose and while he was busy trying to snaffle a snack out of an old Kong I squirted him clean. I was extremely lucky and had him cornered for a good 10 seconds before he leapt out of the way, getting all the detritus off him. The art of these things is not to let the poop dry on the dog before you turn the hose on him.
As for me  well I stripped off as soon as, flung everything in the wash, dashed upstairs and got into the shower at full blast to strip away the lingering stench.
So now I am here in the kitchen, wrapped in clean towels eating the left overs from the fridge and it can only happen to me that I am eating what looks exactly what I have just cleaned up off the floor!
A toast to a shit life!

I leave you with a picture I took of a rose in my garden just before it turned cold so much more pleasant than a steaming pile of poo...

A Rose from the Garden - wish my kitchen could have smelled as sweet!

Thursday 19 November 2015

Walking in the Air and prepations for a big busk....

So if you are about Framlingham on Wednesday 16th December and you hear what you think just maybe sounds like a recorder version of "Walking in the Air" squeaking and souring its way to your ear - it probably is..."Walking in the Air" that is and yes it is also a recorder.
We are now officially starting to raise money for Young Epilepsy and the Bog Boy and the Big One are being forced to practice happily practising any piece they know that is remotely Christmassy for our first foray into the cut throat world of charity fund raising at Christmas.
We were hoping to get the Saturday market but a brass band beat us to it - well actually they are there every year and they are amazing - and to be honest the Framlingham Market would probably prefer us not to be about on a day so near to Christmas less we send potential shoppers fleeing to the relative safety of Saxmundham.
Or at least they think it safe - I have plans to stake out Waitrose in the Spring and someone has told me that Tesco can get quite a good crowd. Personally I reckon Lidl would be the best as everyone is always so happy when they come out of there either because they have actually managed to come out of there in one piece - did you see the mad rush to get the smoked almonds at the Thirsk branch last year? Made Black Friday look like a picnic in the park - or else those who do come out are so blooming pleased with themselves for getting such a bargain that they are incredibly generous.
Anyway back to the task at hand; preparations for the the Big Busk.
"Walking in the Air" is one, or used to be one, of my favourite Christmas tunes but following the rendition I heard today I may have to review that. The first bit is OK and if you hang in there and ride the pregnant pauses and close your ears to the inevitable note stumble, it's not that bad. You can recognise it - sort of. I'm hoping that with nigh on a month to go Bog Boy will clinch it. (I have bought my ear defenders and I will be overseeing practice both night and day #thethingswedo)
As for the Big One, he's channelling his inner Sally Army vibe and going large on his trombone with "Bring me Joy" following that up with a rather nifty Jingle Bells 'avec glissade' as long as I remember to buy the trombone oil and cleaning kit.
Which of course I forgot to do today...
So fair warning folks Framlingham Market, Wednesday 16th December - bring your ear defenders...I said BRING YOUR EAR.. oh never mind!

Meanwhile enjoy Walking In The Air as sung by Peter Auty from The Snowman. The wonderful animation was first shown on Channel Four in 1982. It is based on the comic book by Raymond Biggs which I had one Christmas in 1978. Much better though was Fungus the Bogey Man and very scarily When the Wind Blows which for anyone who lived through the 70s and 80s brings back the very real fear we had of a Nuclear War - ah such lovely thoughts and memories close to Christmas...

Monday 12 October 2015

The Last Place

The reason I am running for Young Epilepsy in the Virgin London Marathon 2016. This picture shows my eldest (some time ago) having an absence seizure, which is a type of epilepsy frequently affecting children. My son was diagnosed with Childhood Epilepsy when he was 5 but had been having seizures like this for at least 18 months - wish I had known what they were and got it sorted out so much sooner!
I've got the last place to represent Young Epilepsy in next year's Virgin London Marathon!
I had hoped I would secure the place. I had even prayed, in my own sort of way, but there was enough uncertainty that when the call came to say that I had got the place I was momentarily silent.
Not a natural thing for me - silence.
And then it gradually sank in.
I had got the LAST place.
The full weight of expectation became a reality and I could hardly breathe.
I had got the last place. I was the last person that had been selected to represent them. There were others who put forward their bid and mine won.
This is huge.
Charity places are like gold dust and with nearly a quarter of a million* applying to run next year and approximately 40,000 entries allowed, securing one of those place needs more than running ability.
I had a huge form to fill out  with all my details from why I was running - because my eldest son now 12 has epilepsy - to what  fund raising I had done in the past.
More importantly was how much fund raising I would be doing in the run up  to the marathon. What ideas did I have, what did I think each idea would raise, how I would go about hitting my target of £5,000. It was a kind of risk assessment, I suppose, aimed at testing out my resolve and how committed I would be during the whole process.
The London Marathon is the most successful annual single day charity fundraising event in the world and last year (for the ninth consecutive year running) a new world record of £54.1 million was raised.
No pressure then.
So as well as training for the Virgin London Marathon 2016, I will also be baking, busking, selling,  cleaning, collecting, organising and well, doing anything to hit that target...
I hope to raise more and to that end..well that's another story!

*A total of 247,069 people applied for a place in the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon following the decision to keep the online ballot application system for 2016 open for five days. More than 55 per cent of the applications for 2016 were from people who have never run a marathon and more than 42 per cent of the applicants were women. In 1981, less than 300 of the finishers were women. More than 100,000 women have applied to run next year. Approximately 37,800 people ran the marathon in 2015 making it the biggest ever in its 35 year history. More than £770 million has been raised for charity in that time.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

50things2dob4iam50 - #1 The One Day Event

So here I go - the start of my 50 things to do before I hit 50 - and I am straight in there with one of the biggest: the one day event*.
It must be one of the biggest indulgences ever and also one of the scariest.
I mean - what if?
What if I fall off? What if I break my leg/arm/neck? That really is going to cause a problem. Who will look after the kids/dogs/house?
Dear Charlie tells me to stop being so negative after I confess to him my worries as I drive him to the station at 5:45am. And then he tells me something else. He says he is proud of me.  He's full of admiration that I am doing something I love even though it could be dangerous. He says I shouldn't worry about it being indulgent because if I do then his relatively new found passion for cycling is also indulgent and dangerous.
"Life is too short to stop doing the things we love just because we may get hurt or injured doing it! If we did that we'd land up doing nothing!"
I get his point.
But I still worry.
Probably not helped by reading about someone who was out riding and had a very bad fall. And it was not clever watching all those YouTube clips of people falling off their horses while doing cross country...
So in a few hours I am going to start my odyssey, my personal quest in the year running up to my 50th birthday with a one day event.
I am scared.
But I am also excited.
I am going to challenge myself to go further than I ever dared to and if I fall off...

*A one day event is a horse riding challenge whereby a rider competes across three riding disciplines: dressage, show jumping and cross country.
Dressage is a bit like ballet but for horses and shows how well a horse and rider can work together. It is judged on the bearing, demeanour, discipline and elegance that the partnership brings to arena. The test consists of a sequence of movements to test the suppleness and obedience of the horse.
Then there is the show jumping bit which is a test of agility, precision and control of both horse and rider over a course of show jumps.Finally there is a cross country section where Horse and rider must negotiate a course of solid obstacles within a certain time limit. This part of the one day event is designed to test the fitness, technique and  all round ability of both horse and rider.

Monday 8 June 2015

Moving matters: When is the right time to buy a house?

Soon to be on the market...
I am just about NOT raiding the biscuit box, I think I may have a lower lip tremble and I have this sort of pricking feeling behind my eyes.
I AM being VERY brave.
My offer for a new home has been turned down virtually flat and needless to say I am feeling pretty cut up about it.
The thing is though, as I was told by a very knowledgeable Estate Agent friend (he sells houses I could never afford in a million years in London): "The only way to buy a house is to sell a house first."
I got turned down flat despite going £30,000 over the asking price because my house is yet to go on the market.
"To be honest," said the local estate agent big wig, "you are just not in a position to proceed and in my great experience you may not get an offer on your house for  six months even if it was on the market today."
Personally I was rather affronted at that - seemingly implying that I had obviously got my home on the market for way too much and that I would land up being very silly when trying to sell. In fact I got the feeling he didn't think I was serious about the property or indeed that I was a buyer worth his time and effort.
Can I blame him? There is no evidence whatsoever that I am serious. My home hasn't even made it to Rightmove let alone OnTheMarket or indeed the local papers.
Yet I am selling. Honest - even though I am not desperately happy about it (but that's another story).
The national estate agents have been selected to market and sell our home and we've signed on the dotted line, the photographs have been taken, the description has been written, the lawyers have been engaged and I have just been e-mailed the floor plans.
My home will be there for all and sundry to see by Wednesday.
And yet without having it under offer  I feel that no one is ever going to think I am deadly serious about buying.
So the thing is, do I wait until I have sold my property then look? Or do I carry on in the hope that  everything will fit like a jigsaw?
Cash is king - as they say but did you know only 38% have been sold cash in the past quarter of the year and it does not look to increase according to statistics by Nationwide. So that means that 62% of home buyers are just like me....
That is of course unless I sell my home first then I too will be that most vaunted of buyers, the estate Agent's dream - a cash buyer...
Wonder how I will be treated then? Wonder if that will be the right time to buy?

Monday 16 March 2015

Bringing up Boys - The Art of Being Ill

Bog Boy
Being very ill indeed
The art of being ill is hard one.

  • You must not be SO ill that you cannot take advantage of it nor must you be to not ill enough that you have to go into school anyway.
  • You will need to be just sick enough to get at least two days off as one day off is no good as your Mum will think you are just trying get out of a spelling test or a maths exam or basically something you don't want to do particularly; like English.
  • Throwing up is a good one as you have to be off school for at least 24 hours for that but you must get the timings right, if you throw up at night you'll only get the one day off but if you throw up in the way to school you might be able to squeeze two days off as technically you will have to clear the morning of the day after tomorrow as well before you can go back.
  • A good dose of chicken pox can be great - only as long as you get it mildly - but make sure your Mum has had it first as she's no good at pandering to your every whim if she's laid up as well. 
  • Remember Calpol is your friend - reduces feverishness and that really spaced out feeling fast and allows you to play Minecraft uninterrupted all day but still won't really knock a nail on the head of a persistent virus so that when Mum takes your temperature the next morning it's raised too high for you to go back to school just yet...
  • Don't forget to get picky with your food (preferably don't eat at all to begin with) refuse all our favourites with a sigh and say things like: "I'm just not  hungry Mum' "I can't Mum it hurts when I swallow." And allow her a small moment of triumph when she tempts you to eat with a Belgian Chocolate Choux bun*
  • Get practising with your cough a good flemmy coughing noise will keep her just off balance enough to give you the benefit of the doubt - possibly allowing you an extra convalescence day at home.
  • A really good  idea is to wake early and trip your way to Mum's room saying you really don't feel very well. She'll be too sleepy to argue the point and  more than likely allow you in for a cuddle. If you are too old for a cuddle in bed with Mum you can always sit on her bed and shiver. She will be so concerned that she'll jump out of bed, insist that you get in and keep warm while she gets up to fetch you a lovely cup of tea.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to say you've thrown up, feel really ill or have a headache is  another good way to make the point however, don't do this too much or you will rapidly lose her sympathy as she gets more and more tired and you'll not be able to get that extra day of convalescence.
  • Keep buttering her up with the want smile or the demands for a cuddle and always say thank you for everything she does and technically you could get a whole week off - and that might mean you manage to miss a spelling test, maths exam and the dreaded English
  • WARNING: Don't milk it too much or else Mum won't be as amenable to letting you stay home the next time. 

I have been ill enough to be off school for three days and have missed my spelling test, piano lesson and double English
Have a happy illness
Bog Boy 
(Aged nearly nine)

*Top Tip: Show a great deal of reluctance to eat this or indeed any treat as you are sure to get  another to tempt your appetite back

Go on you know you want to...


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