The Joy of having Teenagers

 

We, the family, drove up to Suffolk yesterday, caravan on tow, to spend the weekend having some quality time together. That was the plan anyway. Having two teenage children means that plans don’t always work out the way you want them to.

This morning daughter says “Can we go to Aldeburgh today, they have fantastic tasting ice cream”. (We’ve previously visited). There were no objections, so off we set.

Son: “How long is it going to take to get there?”

Husband: “As long as it takes”

Daughter, smacking her lips together: “But it’ll be worth it”

Aldeburgh is a former Tudor port on the coast. Some of it’s buildings date back to the sixteenth century and it was once the home of composer Benjamin Britten. It is very picturesque and definitely a tourist attraction.

We walked along the promenade with the dog and back through the high street to partake of our ice cream treat. Daughter was right, it was delicious.

Back to the car and we drove further up the coast to Southwold. Another beautiful seaside town with a sandy beach, beach huts and a pier; plenty of eateries and independent stores. We visited a French cafe bar and sat in the outside area to eat lunch. This is where things started to go downhill. Son was getting fed up with walking around, and generally felt we were wasting the day. He wanted to go back to the caravan site to swim.

Daughter: “Get off me!”

Son: “What?”

Daughter: “You keep touching my hair!”

Son: “I’m looking at the blond bits on the ends”

Daughter: “Well don’t, it’s my hair, leave it alone!”

And so they went on, bickering for what seemed like an absolute age. The trouble with children of a certain age is they think they know it all. If you intervene you suffer their wrath followed by tremendous sulking and pouting. Then again, if you let the argument run its course, the end result it the same! Husband verbally bangs their heads together and we eat lunch in silence.

Travelling back in the car, they both fell asleep.

Lovely.

Son: “Right, can we go swimming now?”

Daughter: “No, I don’t want to, it’ll be too cold”

Feeling my son’s frustration, I tried to persuade daughter to go, but she was not budging. Grrrr!

Mum to the rescue: “Come on, let’s go for a bike ride”

Guess what? Daughter agreed to do that! I’m sure she deliberately sets out to upset her brother whenever she can. Having said that, son does the same.

Bike ride complete, I’m knackered. Kids are actually getting on again.

What are the odds of it lasting all evening?

Out of Steam

 

It’s been just over a month since I started this blog and I’m already at the point where I’m struggling for inspiration! Is my life that boring? Where has all the positivity gone? I’ve hit a flat spot. I imagine if other people are going to run out of steam it would be much longer than a month in surely?

No need to expand on that at present.

183 // The Boredom Challenge

This was my day yesterday, with the exception of finishing “the endless list of things you wanted to do in a day”. My ‘get it done’ head was most definitely absent.

Mindfump.

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When does the sky become space? When does red become yellow? When does Wheet-a-bix become mush? When do cells become conscious? When does your belly button become a hideout for fluff? When do sounds become music? When does the metaphysical concept of ignorance become Donald Trump? When does a caterpillar become a butterfly? When does relaxation become boredom?

I will be honest and say I only know the answer to one of those questions. I mean, I could probably have a stab in the dark where some are concerned; Catapillars go into a cacoon then magic happens and it flies away as a butterfly. Red becomes yellow after it evolves through orange, which also happens to be the meeting point in which the metaphysical concept of ignorance becomes Donald Trump.

I surely know the answer to the last question though and…

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The Longest Day

 

08:15, the house is quiet; son is at school, daughter has gone to a Sixth Form induction day at the same school, husband is at work: washing machine making random swishing noises in the background. The street is eerily still after the usual commotion of people driving to work, hurrying to the train station, and children walking to school. The world seems to have stopped, waiting for me to decide the next step.

Things I should attend to:

1. Tidy the dining room table, which is constantly used as a dumping ground for school bags, paperwork, books, computers, and dishes which could reach the sink if only the dumpee would walk another five paces. This list is by no means exhaustive.

2. Dust, polish, hoover the whole house.

3. Give the kitchen a spring clean.

4. Thoroughly sort out the ‘toot’ I’ve stored in the eves. Things I’ve kept for the memory box, which doesn’t exist because it would have to be as large as a box room to fit everything in it. Why do we hold on to ‘stuff’?

5. Ironing. The pile of crumpled clothes now outweighs those in the wardrobe.

6. Clean the bathrooms. I hate that job the most.

Things I might do if I can find a way through this mind fog:

Number 1. I have to walk past the dining room table to reach the kitchen, so that’ll probably get some attention, begrudgingly.

Since returning from Budapest, my mood has dipped considerably. I’ve had a headache for three days and I’m so very tired, I’m at that stage where you can feel the downward pull and can’t find anything to grab onto. It’s not that I want to slide, it just seems to creep up on you. Maybe it’s due to my reduced antidepressants? Maybe it’s being home again and adjusting back to the humdrum? Who knows?

The washing machine is bleeping; at least it is capable of starting a job and completing it within a reasonable time, I’d better go and hang the washing out to dry.

 

Budapest

 

I’ve spent the last four days sightseeing in Budapest with my daughter. Sitting in Ferenc Liszt Airport waiting for our departure to the UK, we are reflecting on our experience.

Being British we have only one complaint…. the weather! It has been in the mid 30 degrees Celsius, and apparently this is unusual for this time of the year. I don’t do heat very well, so spent lots of time mopping up the pints of perspiration leaking from my skin!

That said, we visited the majority of the main tourist attractions via the hop on hop off bus service, the most poignant being the ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank’, erected in April 2005 ‘to the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45’. (Further detail can be researched via internet search engines). A few quiet moments to pay our respects and remember those who suffered; still a relatively recent event in history, one questions how human beings can behave so barbarically towards one another.

Our hotel was beautiful, restaurants for all tastes were in abundance, street artistes scattered here and there for our entertainment, and the people were very friendly and welcoming. I will not hesitate to recommend Budapest should anyone ask my opinion.

We’re now discussing where in the world our next city adventure will be, and how soon we can disappear again!

 

Grief

 

If you are not in a good place mentally today, please read this entry another time. 

 

Where to start?

In my introduction, I mentioned a life changing event. I will expand on that today.

My Dad passed away in February this year, age 77. He wasn’t unwell for very long, he had a cold which wouldn’t go away, was sent for a routine x-ray and admitted to hospital with a chest infection. Within two weeks he was dead. He accepted the situation and just ‘wanted to get on with it’.  Very stiff upper lip was my Dad; dealt with whatever life threw at him without complaint.

I lost my Mum in 2010 to cancer, age 68. She too was diagnosed and dead within a very short time. Again admitted to hospital suffering chest pains and didn’t return home.

Dead. I find it a very harsh word. It makes you flinch when you say it.

I have really struggled to cope since Mum’s passing, and found it hard to ‘reach’ my Dad who was dealing, privately, with his own grief. He wasn’t a man who showed his feelings openly and didn’t engage in idle chit chat. He was opinionated, stubborn, and a stickler for good manners. He mellowed a little when his grandchildren came along; me and my siblings (one brother, one sister; both younger) used to compare his treatment of them to our upbringing, Lets just say they never had a ruler down the back of their tops to make them sit up straight at the table!

All through my adult life, I’ve never felt an equal to my Dad. In his presence I would revert to being the child. He was in charge. Don’t talk back. Don’t voice your own opinion. Do as you’re told, etc.

It is now July and we’re waiting on probate. This is such a long drawn out process, which keeps that raw sense of loss and, dare I say it, abandonment, right at the brim, ready to spill over at the slightest trigger. I have been unable to visit Dad’s bungalow since his funeral.

It’s difficult to explain how it feels to have no parents. Millions of people are in the same predicament, and it’s different for each and every one. I feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights, not know which way to run. Mum and Dad were the glue holding us all together as a family. Now, even though I have my own family with my husband and two children, the umbilical cord is truly severed. There is no turning back. My identity, my reference points, shoulder to cry on (Mum), have a giggle with (Mum), discuss politics and put the world to rights (Dad), have gone. Deceased. Dead.

I am focussing on my family, and recently we’ve had some good days (see previous posts); I must concentrate on moving forward in this direction now.