Blog 54 ?...End of the alphabet...
Well I certainly didn’t plan this very well...I’ve run out of letters to put next to the number 54! When I started the blog in February I simply used a,b, c etc. I didn’t actually think that anyone would read it and that it would fizzle out as an experiment gone wrong! But I am delighted to say that I have been encouraged over the passing months to continue! Currently I have 3,159 views on the blog page; viewers from near and far: United Kingdom, USA, China, Norway, Italy, France, Jersey, Ireland, Mexico, Guatemala, Ukraine, Alaska, Latvia, Canada, Germany, Russia to name some of the audience...I am stunned and also a little more than plain old excited!
Once I had made the decision to start a weekly blog I remained anonymous purely because I felt firstly that if it flopped it didn’t matter as no-one knew it was me and secondly to protect the identity of family I talked about: ‘Hubby’, the ‘Intelligent-one’, the ‘Cutie-pie’ and not forgetting the ‘Bridezilla!’
However, close family members soon saw it on my younger brother’s Face-book page and then it became a suggestion to link it to Face-book properly myself. I was a little worried as I had been enjoying seeing comments on the blog page each week...and of course these faded once it was on Face-book as my family and friends could tell me directly what they thought! I did panic because with no comments at the foot of the page I felt as though no one outside the family and friend circle was reading it or that people were put off by the thought that it was obviously not worthy of a comment or two. But, by tracking the progress, the audience and the number of hits I soon became encouraged and persuaded myself that people writing books and columns do not get personal messages about what they have written! Do not get me wrong I am not likening myself to any of the greater writers out there! But I do enjoy writing this blog. In fact it is safe to say that I am hooked!
At the very beginning I thought that I would probably run out of things to say...ha! Safe to say that will never happen in my day to day life...but I do need to be careful and selective in case I become boring or even becoming in danger of writing my memoirs as opposed to a blog!
Whilst I have been blogging the country has celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we have hosted the 2012 Olympic Games and my own town is preparing for the Preston Guild 2012 which only happens every 20 years. I have shared memories and incidents as they arose and in a sense I have created a 'diary' that I can reflect back on.
My life has changed a lot over the past few months in ways that I would not have thought possible or even noticed as much had I not been blogging!
The biggest change of all was the ‘Bridezilla’ moving out...an experience I thought I would not get over and I certainly didn’t think that I would adapt to life without her 24/7. But I would like to offer hope to all the people reading my blog that you do, gradually and in time, get used to them not being there. It was strange and sad not saying: “Goodnight, see you in the morning...” and the disappearance of the regular sound of her key in the door. There are no more fashion shows before she decided what to wear on a night out and there’s no more consulting about decisions that will affect her...she has her ‘young-man’ as first port of call for all these things now. Sitting in her room sharing chocolates and a bottle of wine to watch a ‘chick-flick’ whilst the males of the house watch football is now also a thing of the past and instead of that little girl/surrogate mother relationship something new is taking place...we have time to sit and have a coffee, we have the chance to look for wedding items, we also text more and speak for longer on the phone. In fact we have now got the quality of time that we didn’t have before. How is it that you can live in the same house and not have the time to finish a conversation and yet the minute you live separately we are blessed with this new depth of friendship? Who knows why it happens but I’m glad it has!
With the departure of the ‘Bridezilla’ came a new routine for the house as a whole...the bathroom is free more often, there are more dry towels, the washing basket never spills over and dare I say it but we actually have more toilet paper these days! We have also re-arranged the bedrooms for the hundredth time since the boys were born! After lots of discussions it was decided that the ‘Intelligent-one’ could have the ‘Bridezilla’s’ old room: a bonus because it came with fitted wardrobes, fluffy carpet and more space for friends to play on the Play Station. [It was of course minus the larger T.V. that both boys had their eyes on without thinking she’d take it with her!] This then meant that the ‘Intelligent-one’s’ room was free...and very quickly I claimed it as my study. A quick shuffle of furniture was all that was needed, actually no what am I saying? There was nothing quick about this process at all! I waited for several days after the ‘Bridezilla’ had moved out as I didn’t want it to look like I wanted her out of the home. I was spending too many parts of the day wondering into her empty room and worrying in case she hadn’t been as happy as I thought or that she hadn’t felt as much a part of the family as we tried to make her or that perhaps she might change her mind and decide to come home! [All parents must feel some of these emotions at some point when children are fleeing the nest!] I had a deep rooted urge to turn the clock back and start all over again with the ‘Bridezila’ as a little girl...now that I knew she had a happy ending to her story and found her ‘Prince Charming.’
So, finally I started to re-organise furniture which led to the most incredible de-cluttering of all times! Suddenly we had a surplus of bedroom furniture. Wardrobes were emptied of clothes that were too small, out of date or not worn for ages and as I was filling the charity bags with the boys’ clothes I decided to de-clutter the ‘Hubby’s’ and I’s wardrobe and drawers as well! Then it was down to books and toys and DVDs and before we knew it we were all knee deep in bags of items which probably would have raised some much needed pocket money for the boys but it was easier and quicker to donate the lot! Then there was the moving of the furniture; no easy feat when I wanted things doing ‘now’ and the ‘Hubby’ preferred to ‘leave it until the weekend.’ There couldn’t be too much to pushing an empty wardrobe could there? I mean I used to move furniture all the time...but that was years ago and age and chronic pain get the better of me these days! However, I decided to pace myself and try a little at a time...shuffling a pine wardrobe across a shag pile carpet is not as easy as I thought it would be and by the time I got it to the doorway I realised that as I had kept pushing and pushing the carpet was rolling forward bit by bit and by the time I reached the doorway it was somewhat piled and there was no shifting it...also I was trapped behind the wardrobe which had now become wedged in the doorway at an angle quite alien to what I had imagined! There was nothing for it but to shout for help...of course the ‘Intelligent-one’ was at that point out on a run and the ‘Cutie-pie’ was downstairs sitting with his ear phones on whilst taking part in the most important on-line match on the Play Station of his summer break! So defeated I sat down on the bed and switched on the T.V. and watched some very interesting shopping channels until the ‘Intelligent-one’ returned and found he couldn’t get in his room...as I couldn’t get out of it!
Then the next issue to be resolved was the moving of the beds; well the ‘Intelligent-one’s’ bed was easy as he and the ‘hubby’ shifted it quickly one night before tea-time but I had decided that with a change of furniture which had led to more space in the ‘Cutie-pie’s’ room that his bed needed to be against a different wall. I pushed and pushed on all fours and there was no sign of it moving. Perhaps the wheels were stuck on the carpet? Not at all...I had forgotten that he had drawers built into the base of the bed and these were full of trains and Lego and Transformers so it was just too heavy to move! I was so disappointed as the thought of emptying everything again in order to move the bed across the room was too overwhelming! Once again I sat down on a bed pondering and then a light switched on in my head...of course! The head board could be unscrewed and swapped to the bottom of the bed and then I got both boys to help push the bed up against the wall...so much better than trying to shuffle it around! Doh! Sometimes I’m just dumb!
Following this from then on it was suggested that both boys would do all the removals...why hadn’t I thought of that? They lifted, they pushed, they pivoted until after four whole weeks after the ‘Bridezilla’ had moved out all four bedrooms were now neatly re-arranged with bookcases, drawers, tidy wardrobes, storage boxes: containing special-not-to-be-disposed of-EVER- toys and teddies; were placed decoratively and all old and un-matching furniture passed on. Phew! It was surprising the space we suddenly had by re-organising and de-cluttering and to top it all I now had a study with space and with a desk, my old computer finally out of retirement due to always being pushed to one side to make room for the laptops or homework on the desk downstairs: now it was fully plugged in, paper stored neatly and a lovely view looking out over the garden added to the excitement of this room. Peaceful and a great place to write. At last after all these years of school work, books and clutter! Ah well that is until the ‘Intelligent-one’ also found it a great place to do some pre-term reading and the ‘Cutie-pie’ decided it was a better desk to sit at to do his summer holiday Maths revision...it’s a quiet room you see at the back of the house...perfect for me...er all of us!
As well as these changes since I started my blog there has of course been others. Like for example my health issues whereby I have been following all the advice of my doctor and the Pain Management and trying to get out and about: learning to live with my chronic pain even though it meant I ended up in the brook on a good day and semi-comatosed on my bed on a bad day! Just recently the ‘Hubby’ has been tidying out the garden shed in order to organise his fishing tackle for winter storage and the bikes were re-discovered. After an afternoon of puncture repairs, seat adjusting, brake servicing and helmet fitting it was a case of ‘Right! Let’s use them!’
So the ‘Hubby’ and the boys set off on the ‘Tour de Preston’ along the new cycle pathways: “See you in a few hours!” they shouted as I waved them off with butties and pies and biscuits and juices in their back-packs. Then I stood on the driveway and thought mmm...been a long time since I’ve even seen my bike let alone ride it and it was all fixed and ready...I pressed my painkilling patch to check it was still in place, swallowed my pain killers, donned my helmet and locked the house up...I could just have a little try and I wasn’t feeling too bad. I intended to just cycle a short way as a warm up. Plus also I was doing what I had been advised to do; “get on with life, take your pain with you, don’t sit around wallowing...” I nonchalantly walked with my pink bicycle by my side and crossed the road heading towards the cycle path. I hadn’t been down here since that time I fell in the brook...probably one of the last times I’d ventured out on my own since. I waited until there was no one around and then attempted to mount my bike...good god have I shrunk? My feet barely touched the ground and the seat felt harder than I remembered... in fact one leg felt shorter than the other and I wobbled a bit but I persevered and began pedalling. Oh to have the wind in my hair [well inside my helmet, but against my cheeks...!] and feel a sense of freedom. The path was smooth and straight and I felt okay...not very confident and I have to admit a little shaky but nonetheless...oh er...oh heck...I hadn’t counted on the slope; how the hell I can forget these places I don’t know and isn’t it a well known fact that you don’t forget how to ride a bike? Ha! Suddenly, I was heading down the slope towards the bridge...I couldn’t focus on what I should do as the bike felt out of control...oh er...brake brake my mind was shouting...ignoring my brain I stopped pedalling , threw my feet as close to the ground as I could, my toes scrapping against the path, I squeezed my handles and uh oh I missed the bridge completely and pelted head first down the embankment and landed minus the bike into the brook...which by the way was deeper than before because of all the damn summer rain. I sat and looked at my pink bike all dry and shiny on the side of the brook and then I heard a little voice call; “She’s here mummy...that little old lady is in the brook...” I don’t know what hurt the most...my bottom, my back, my head or the fact that a little boy thought I was OLD!
I returned the bike to the shed, cleaned myself up, had a stiff whisky [not advisable when taking painkillers I know!] and sat comfortably by the T.V. furious with myself and my doctor...how on earth am I ever going to lead a normal life when every time I go out alone I end up in the brook?! Why do I have these sudden urges to do something that just makes the pain worse? To make matters worse when they all came home the ‘Hubby’s’ first words were... “That was brilliant...you should try and come next time...the path’s quite smooth and straight...” yeah right!
So you see I am more active now than when I started blogging although my health has not improved a great deal! Other changes have been the chickens who came to stay, the cat who wanted to stay and the ants who will never be allowed to stay; as well as all the other things, happy, funny and sad, that I have shared with you all over the period of 28 blogs...who would have thought it? So, I am going to continue with my blog...it will have a number after it instead of a letter and we’ll see how far we get!
So for this week it remains for me to say thank you for reading; thank you for finding me; thank you for introducing me to the weird and wonderful feeling of writing as a relatively unknown person for a relatively unknown audience.
Enjoy what is left of the summer month of August...
... I will be returning soon in September with blog 54...
Blog 54 ?