Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gadgeteen, alcohol and the local A & E

Earlier on this evening I answered my mobile....

'Is that Gadgeteen's Mum?'

'Yes, why?' - heart already in mouth.

'This is a paramedic from the London Ambulance Service. We've got your son here, drunk and lying in his own vomit. We're taking him to hospital and have to inform you because he's only 14'.

Oh my god!

Turns out that he's been home today whilst we were at work and picked up Gmans almost full bottle of Blue Label Vodka, and gone off into town again.

I have been to the, get this....'pediatric' A & E, that made me laugh, and sat with him for a while. He didn't seem to know who I was. I've obviously spoken to the doctor & nurses, who have sent me home whilst they sober him up. I did ask if they would pump his stomach but they said that they don't use that method anymore. Nowadays they fix 'em up with a line 'n drip and rehydrate 'em. We expect a call any moment to go and collect him.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Gadgeteen goes AWOL again

Fate has been testing my resiliance since I stopped smoking in several ways, but funnily enough every stressful situation seems to involve Gadgeteen, so I guess it's not fate really.

The most recent test was during this last weekend.

Gteen had promised to collect Gadgetgirlie from school on Friday because they both finished earlier than usual for the last day of term. To cut an even longer story short - He didn't. Gadgeteen wasn't even answering his mobile or texts and I didn't have a clue where he was.

This was the Friday of the torrential rainfall in our area and the subsequent flooding to all the underpasses on the A3, which naturally resulted in the A3 being closed in both directions. I use the A3 to get home, and the journey usually takes me about 15 minutes from work.

So I had Gadgetgirlie stuck in an empty school with the last of the school staff still there finishing off bits and pieces. My last resort to getting her collected, was calling our neighbour, but I didn't have their number so I had to get the school to ring them, their daughter being in the same class as Ggirlie. I knew they wouldn't be best pleased as they had already collected their daughter and deliberately left Ggirlie because they knew the Gteen was collecting her.....Still, nothing else could be done until I got home....

My journey then took an hour and a half of driving slowly in the general direction of home, along the detour that everyone else was on. Aaaaaaah!

....I rushed over to our neighbour as soon as I arrived, only to be greeted by a very angry neighbour, who had a good old go at me for having to go back up to the school to collect Ggirlie. He went on to tell me that five minutes before the school had called him, he had received a call from his brother saying that his neice had just been involved in a car accident whilst crossing the road, and had broken her leg quite badly. He was cross and stressed, and worried that he might need to go and look after his other neices and nephews.

I felt so humiliated and ashamed at being told off and having a son that had let the side down like that. I collected Ggirlie and came home very cross and upset with Gteen.

The neighbour said that he had even seen Gteen at lunchtime, and it was obvious by the dirty crockery, that he had eaten lunch at home so I knew that he had deliberately gone somewhere and purposely switched off his phone.

Grrrr! I really wanted a cigarette many times that evening I can tell you but somehow resisted.

Through a friend, (Lala actually), whose number Gteen wouldn't know, we eventually found out that he was okay and somewhere warm and dry, then he hung up on her.

Saturday was Gman's parent's golden wedding anniversary and they had a huge party organised for family and close friends, to celebrate their 50 years of marriage. We were all expected to be there of course.

Gteen didn't get home before we left, so we decided to lock the house up really securely so that he wouldn't be able to get in if he did return during the day.

At the party everyone asked where Gteen was and all we could tell them was that he had done a runner and we didn't know where he was. We had a lovely day and the rain stayed away for most of the afternoon. We got back home well after dark to discover no Gteen, but signs that he had been sitting in the porch for a time. He eventually came in about an hour later. He disappeared up to bed straight away and we decided to deal with him in the morning.

Lala was 14 only 8 years ago and was a bit of a rebel herself. She was great on Friday evening, calming me down from my extremely angry state and offering her two cents worth of advice, which was a much calmer response than the way I felt like dealing with him.

We've dealt him a few consequences and banned him from a few things and told him that if he wants to live with us then he needs to follow the house rules that we all live by. If he wants to do something like that again then he can go and live somewhere else. If he thinks that he can do better with his friends then with us at home then don't bother coming back. Hope that he will take what we say seriously and realise that we love him and care for him and are the better option for his well being.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Calshot & beyond

Yesterday I dusted her off and wiped away the cobwebs, for a day out along the south coast, led by me, to ensure that we don't have to do any 'U' turns.

We all met up at the Gadget home and left Gadgetman rewiring the trike.

Then headed down to Calshot for lunch, where Lala pulled on Fazermans jacket....and pulled them both backwards off the bench seat onto the ground, that was funny. Then she went off to meet the sea.....that was funny too....

......Fazerman unsuccessfully avoided a photograph

....then posed for me in front of Calshot castle, keen to get back on the road....

Off we rode, through the New Forest, and saw lots of wild ponies, which thrilled Lala to bits because she'd never seen wild ponies before. Then we sat behind lots of traffic and didn't get over 40 mph, the limit in the forest because of the ponies and their foals. The sun shone and we passed through picturesque countryside.

Somewhere near Lymington we stopped in a petrol station where I filled up and we rehydrated ourselves. Fazerman made Lala's bike disappear whilst she was in the shop. She had to go and find it and we thought that was really funny and all laughed.

Then we came to the sea again, Milford-on-Sea this time, for the view of The Needles off the end of the Isle of Wight.

and the houses that have the view of The Needles

Lala met the sea again and got really wet....that was really funny and quite entertaining....

She liked the Needles very much but said that this would be the closest that she would ever get 'cos she doesn't 'do' boats.

My intention for our final stop for the day was a place that I remembered visiting that I thought was Sandbanks, just on from Bournemouth. After a long ride there through lots of traffic, I realised that it wasn't the place that I had intended after all, and after looking at the map again I realised that Mudeford was in fact the place that I remembered, with a spit of land and a ferry and an ice-cream shop.

So we had an ice-cream on the beach and watched beach volley ball for a while.....Lala enjoyed the view with the boys.....

so did lots of other people....

Robert did come with us, as you can see, but he was so well behaved that he doesn't really get a mention. It goes to show that those that shout loudest, get heard, and in this case....seen! Robert and I laughed a lot at the antics of Lala and Fazerman, so were an appreciative audience.

By then it was well after 6, and we were meant to be back at the Gadget house for 7 to meet up with all the 'other halves', for a chinese take away. We weren't going to make it but blasted our way illegally up the A35, A337, A31, M27, M3, A322 and the A3 until we got home at 8, absolutely shattered after a 230 mile days ride.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Britishexpats forum meet & picnic

Last weekend we met up with a bunch of people that are members on the expats forum that I am also a member. This was our 3rd meet for a chat and a picnic and each time we've met in a different area so have met different people.

The 1st meet was in Sherwood forest at the Major Oak. We waved huge Canadian flags around in the car park and attracted loads of attention from everyone visiting but at least we all met up. The weather was great, about 15 couples & families turned up from all points of the compass and we nattered away all afternoon about our plans and dreams of life in Canada. A few of us stayed in a B & B so enjoyed a few bevvies in the evening too. We felt like we'd known each other years because of the contact on the forum.

The 2nd meet was in Arundel near the castle, again we had a lovely sunny day and the kids played in the playground whilst we chatted the afternoon away. We ended the day with a pizza express meal for 12.

This 3rd one was in Shropshire near Bewdley in Upper Arley, on the river Severn. We went up on Friday evening and set up camp with another family on a campsite with a fantastic view across the valley with the river below.

No, this isn't our tent, just Gadgeteen's 'room with a view', his feet smell and he snores, so we put him away from us all!

Those meeting us for the picnic could hardly miss us.......

Except that 'someone', whom I won't name 'n shame here, forgot which way up a maple leaf goes!

Everyone found us, well, lots turned up anyway....

Some us wandered up to Arley station, though unfortunately the steam train can't run at the moment because the recent storms have caused about 40 breaches to the track.

The river was swollen with flood water too, some of the river paths were submerged, with many riverside trees and bushes underwater. It was flowing extremely quickly as you can tell by all the swirls on the surface.

We had a super-hot day and all caught the sun. It was fab to meet so many others from the forum that we've not met before, one particular family will no doubt remain friends in Canada in the future too. They are heading to Alberta, so not a million miles away and we have a lot of contact on the forum.

The kids had great fun in the field because the grass was so long, we frequently had to go off looking for lost Frisbees, balls and small kids too.

Gadgeteen got himself slightly lost whilst insisting on running back to the campsite ahead of us. The only problem was that he didn't know when to turn away from the river to climb the hill to the campsite, and he just kept walking/running along the riverbank. We got quite worried about him because he didn't turn up for dinner. we went back down to the river looking for him and Gadgetman went out in the car too. Eventually he turned up on foot about two and a half hours later than he should have been, just before dark .....and looking rather sheepish. If he had waited for me and the other mum, we were walking back too anyway, and he would not have had the long walk that he did, but his pig-headedness got in the way as usual.....

I'll post the rest of the weekends photos in flicka

Monday, July 09, 2007

A healthier me

I can't beleive that after 28 years of smoking I am finally free from my addiction....well.....on the way anyway.

Zyban is helping by dealing with my cravings, and I have changed a few routines as well. I no longer drink copious quantities of coffee, (in fact I've not had any today).
I chew lots of gum and suck on sugarfree sweets during the day, and I swim and go to the gym on alternate days.

I'm only at the end of day 5 but my feeling is that I don't want to smoke anymore, rather than, oh just one cigarette a day won't do any harm, which is what is happening to a colleague.

I can still be around people that smoke but I just don't want smoke. Isn't it weird how Zyban can take away the thoughts about wants and cravings like that. The course is 7 weeks long, by which time I should be completely cured.

So that's an extra £5 a day in my pocket and £140 per month! Jeepers-creepers that's a lot!

I've had few of the side affects that are listed on the instructions. My mouth/lips are a bit dry, I've had nights of broken sleep with weird and disjointed dreams, and I seem to need to wee more but that's probably be down to the 2 litres of water that I'm drinking every day. My water bottle goes everywhere with me, it's becoming a comfort thing. Green tea is my evening drink now, full of powerful antioxidents to fight off free radicals apparently, a bit too much info for my head but it tastes nice enough.

I am seriously dieting too, I really want to shift this excess weight and get back to feeling comfortable about me. I don't intend to eat badly just because I'm not smoking so figured that to avoid doing just that I would work on both at the same time.