a mini roadtrip

Once we got the wet pants dry ….breakfast stuff cleared ….laundry to Mohammed’s  ….and dropped Matt to meet his girlfriend ….Sam and I went on a little roadtrip ….took him over to a little place I know on the Pennines between Leeds and Manchester …it’s a LONG time since I’ve been to that particular place ….it seems to have become very twee since I was last there ..less earthy …. less rugged …my guess is it’s Inhabitants are mostly made up of commuters …… you know …business folk who like to ‘live’ out in the country but tend to stay in hotels in the city mon to fri …..it’s a funny carry on isn’t it? ….where’s the ‘soul’?

Even Sam noticed it ……he was laughing at how miserable everyone looked ….AND LIVING IN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PLACE!!!?   He also noticed how ‘white’ it was.  I explained to him I didn’t know why …I didn’t remember it as such …but maybe it was ….we therefore began playing a game of ‘spot the minority’ …..yes ….yes ….I know:D:D:D  …..and yes ….there WERE one or two when you looked closely which was very reassuring:D:D:D

Sam said when he gets back to school if Mr O’Connor asks them to do that excersise wherby they write what they have done in the holidays he will add ….’and the highlight was going on a mini road trip with my Mum…where we got lost in the wilderness ….trapped at a remote farm where a strange old lady came out eyeing us suspiciously ( yep …both true ….kept saying …ooooh don’t remember this little lane let’s see what’s up here) …and we ended up playing spot the minority’:D:D:D

He’s starting to fine tune his sarcasm

He’s having a growth spurt too ….nearly as tall as me now ….well no …a little ways to go yet:D:D:D….his  voice is breaking tho…and he’s broken out in teenage spots …I’ve been lucky really ….I KNOW it tends to happen within the first year of high school …and we’ve got to the end of that now ….he’s growing up ….he’s becoming ‘Slick’ ……truth be known I would like him to remain cute little wild haired Sam without a care in the world …but that’s both selfish on my part and unrealistic:D:D:D

Hmmmmm yep ….we guide them thro as best we can then off they go …and that’s the natural order of things

For today he was happy to spend some time with me …1 to 1 …. I know these days are numbered …..he’s starting to get ‘shy’ with photo’s too like Matt did ……so I sneaked a couple in :D:D 😀

Sunday night again …hmmmmm you wouldn’t think these pics were taken in summer ….look more like autumn

ANYWAY  Goodnight

The ‘Race’ issue ….

Well in case you hadn’t noticed we are a mixed race family:D:D:D …..I hate the notion of ‘Race’ I hate the notion of ANYTHING which creates a seperation …division ….BUT there it is.   I long for the day where their won’t be ….where people are just people judged by their character rather than the color of their skin to quote Martin Luther King …..We’re a long way from that yet tho and indeed are at a point where things seem to be going backwards rather than foreward. It is therefore imperative to be intolerant of intolerance WHEREVER it resides:)

SO …..to my family ….lets start with my sons as they are the most important …..to me anyway:D:D:D. Let’s start with Matt as he is the one having the trickiest ride.

When Matt was a baby he was the most gorgeous looking child ….yes ….yes ….I know ALL parents say that ….but we would be stopped in the street by strangers to say so and were once even approached by a modelling agency but I was having NONE of that:D:D:D

After having Matt I wanted to give up work for a while ….be a stay at home Mum untill he started school ….but number one I would have had to pay bay back maternity pay received whilst on leave …and number two I was persuaded otherwise by my then husband who felt we couldn’t afford it and that it would drive someone like myself insane:D:D:D      I think he underestimated how childbirth changes a woman’s perspective tho ….your priorities …..or it did mine:D:D:D  ANYWAY so poor little Matt was packed off to a day care nursery at the tender age of 6 months old ……I HATED it …..felt ripped apart and bereft ……something I hated and regretted for a LONG time ( and I think looking back caused the first unease in our marriage) untill I finally came to the conclusion that I couldn’t change the past and needed to focus on the here and now and making the most of the ‘moments’ but I digress

So ….at 3 years old I remember Matt asking me ‘Why is no’one my color?’ ……he used to ask ALL kinds of questions as 3 year olds do:D:D:D ……but I distinctly remember this one ….they had apparantly been painting pictures of themselves at nursery and there was just pink paint to use requiring the staff to mix a different color just for him

I remember telling him …

‘Well …..if you get Daddy’s color and my color …just like paint you mix them together and get your color ….a beautiful golden brown ……and ANYWAY it’s just at nursery ….there are lots of people your color …..think of some of your cousins’

‘Oh yes ‘ said he and seemed happy with that …..phew!!!

Needless to say ….when it came to looking for a primary school ….as an only child at the time it was a priority for me to ensure he went to a school with a healthy mix of kids from a range of backgrounds …..I wanted him to be confident in mixing with others …..rich …poor …..black …..white ……skybluepink with yellow dots on …..no easy task ….as believe me ….even in relatively mixed communities you find schools populations are NOT …..BUT if there was one thing I feel  I DID get right as a parent was getting my boys into an EXCELLANT primary school with a really switched on headteacher and largely young, creative and dynamic staff team:):):):):):) ………and YES it always got ‘Outstanding’ ofsted reports but in truth that wasn’t what I was going for ….more the overall ‘feel’ of the place

So then Sam came along …….I can honestly say this was a really happy, settled period as far as the boys were concerned …..I took a full year maternity leave with Sam ( the law had changed allowing longer time ) so I was at home during Matts first year of primary school too….before I went back to work I had also managed to find day care which accommodated them BOTH ( even school pick ups …Sam only left this time last year) …this was also EXCELLANT …..the woman who owned and ran it with her husband was the same age as myself ALSO mixed race ( but didn’t look it) and had given up her career in nursing as she had been unable to find childcare she was comfortable with following the birth of her son a number of years previously. She knew EXACTLY where I was coming from and was passionate about providing quality care and education along Montesouri lines:):):):):)

Alas ……high school proved more tricky for Matt ….partly fuelled by the boys dad and myself seperating when he was just 2 weeks in …….AGAIN something I have felt TERRIBLE about but accepted you can’t change the past and it takes 2 to ensure a relationship is pulling in the same direction ….riding any storms the test is in pulling together NOT apart ……….but I digress:)

So …Matt started high school ….a different one to the majority of his primary school chums …..his family was falling apart ….and he was having to make his own way home across town by bus and let himself in …..

Needless to say I had a confused and angry kid on my hands …..angry at his father AND myself ….a heartbreaking and difficult situation …..and sadly at THAT time …..because Matt was REFUSiNG to see his Dad …it was to quote ….my problem to deal with on my own:)

So all in all its been a bit of a roller coaster ride with Matt …I certainly do believe that black kids get into more serious trouble for things which would be worked with or considered teenage ‘high jinx’ for white kids ….I KNOW having experienced both sides of the fence …and ANYONE of color is viewed as black

Matt and myself have just had a chat about it …started by him …he said

‘You know Mum ….when you’re mixed race it’s pretty tough …..white folk see you as black, black folk think you’re too white and the Muslims seem to think you’re some kind of heathen that needs saving’

‘What do YOU think’ said I

‘I’m just mixed race ……I like both sides of my family …..yep I like being mixed race …it’s everyone else that seems to have the problem and I’m not sure where I fit in’

‘Yep …just remember it’s THEIR problem …but you WILL be judged …that’s why .although it might seem unfair …you have to try to be impeccable ….don’t play to some kind of perceived negative stereotype ‘

‘Hmmmm …yeah …think I’m getting it now Mum’

‘Oh …and it’s not just mixed race young people who struggle to wonder where they fit in ….they pretty much ALL do to a greater or lesser degree ….you’ll be ok in the end’

Hmmmm he’s gone to meet his girlfriends parents today ….they’re white …he’s got to ride his own ocean now tho …and makes it clear he wants to …….I’m putting the line down …he .can swim on back if and when he feels the need:)

PS ) Sam has just read thro this …he asked so I let him ….he said that there is another aspect he would add …and that we should learn about different races history ….the true history …then we get a better understanding of each other and why we are where we are

God he’s got a wise head on young shoulders sometimes

The Angler

I cast the line
and reel it in
Oh the pull …….with ALL my might
Oh the tug ……..with ALL your fight
Cut the slack

Pulling back
Let go a little further
Pull back a little less

You tell me it’s time
to put down the line
free to explore

the fun ….anticipations
trials …..tribulations
the bitter sweet journey to manhood

( To Matt ……with all my love ….Mum X )

Day 15

Slept like a baby last night …and thank goodness for THAT!!!! …..this dreaming business is all well and good but sometimes you just need a rest:D:D:D

ANYWAY ….talking of baby’s ……..in real life today ….I was fortunate enough to share a WONDERFUL moment when I met up with a young woman I know in one of the local parks with her 18 month old son

It was a beautiful sunny day ……we sat on a bench chatting and enjoying the obvious delight of this little chap who ran back and forth between us and the grass gazing in wonder at, and showing off his ‘Noooooo Shoooooos’

It’s hilarious how little humans once they descover they have legs and can stand seem to be unable to walk ….they tend to run everywhere with that pottering gait that toddlers do ….occaisionally sitting flat down BUMP on their bum ….only to get straight up and off again:D:D:D …….it’s as tho they are excited by their newly found perspective on the world and are in a rush to take EVERYTHING in:D:D:D

Anyway his ‘Noooooooo Shooooooos’ were in fact summer sandals ….bought when he and his Mum had been on a recent trip to the shopping mall:)

Now ……I hope I’m not betraying a confidence here ….but not tooooooo long ago this young mother was locked away in a flat …..hidden under a blanket on a sofa …..unwashed ……un fed ……curtains drawn  …isolated and overwhelmed….believing  this little guy would be better off without her …the suicide note written along with the plan worked out and the intent to carry out …..the mere contemplation of getting up and dressed never mind ANY sort of  trip as insurmountable as climbing Mount Everest at that time

But TODAY …….it was pure joy to witness these two:):):):):) …….during his back and forth potterings the little one suddenly stopped dead in his tracks and stared down at his feet:D:D:D …….he had noticed the daisies on the grass all around ……he bent down for a closer  look:D:D:D ….bending from the knees …. more a crouch to sit on the heels the way young children do ….AND the position we tell adults to adopt when lifting to prevent a bad back ….

Oh that spirit AND wisdom of 3 ( or in this case 18 months) ……it’s certainly not to be sniffed at and should be held onto in my view rather than try to ‘relearn’ and tap into as an adult when things have already gone horribly wrong …..but I digress:D:D:D

SO ….he crouched for several minutes studying the daisies ….then …..PLUCKED one ….and came toddling back gripping the flower tightly, arm outstretched to give to his Mum:D:D:D

It was REALLY heartwarming to see him climb up onto his Mums knee and them both study this little flower together ….him with a studious expression ….her with a warm smile in her eyes …….she looked up and our eyes met …….

Sometimes there are no words :):):):):)

I left Mum and son pottering off to make a daisy chain):):):):):) ….life won’t be easy for sure but I wish them well …they’ll be ok …..once you’ve climbed one Mount Everest there’s a very good chance that you’ll be able to climb any:):):):):)

And that’s it really isn’t it?

It’s about moments isn’t it?

Yes …..life can be SHIT sometimes  ……..it might be due to events beyond our control ………it might be due to our own poor choices/reactions……or a combination of the two ………BUT if we focus on those wonderful little ‘moments’ ….hopefully they WILL expand:)

Slick :D:D:D

Ok …so I was unable to sit with my feet up on the coffee table …hands clasped behind my head for long as I had to make tea ….whilst doing so had the radio on and a blast from the past came on ….SO had a bit of a boogie with THIS young man:D:D:D


Yep it’s Sam with the new haircut …..he was making me laugh saying  when he filed into class on Monday as he walked past Mr O’Conner he said  ‘Goodmorning Sam …looking slick’  and folk have been calling him ….’slick’ …all week which he seems to be pleased about:D:D:D ( He seems to really like his form teacher since parents evening …he was terrified of all his teachers before …in fact I think he was a little terrified of high school period …but as of next week he will have completed his first year unscathed ….phew!!!)

I must admit …not sure I like him ‘looking slick’ he looks much older than he did this time last week ….ah well ….here’s the music  ( click below) ‘Got to turnaround’   by  Phats & Small ……..  it’s a good one for finding your groove whilst the tea’s cooking :D:D:D

https://youtu.be/Qmec_yYCkek

The wonders of blogging

What with the terrible events last week I  forgot to blog this …. now we may have national borders or oceans between us BUT one of the beauty’s of blogging is that they ‘virtually’  disappear:):):):):):)

I am a busy working mum in the UK …pescatarian (that’s fish eater not a swear word) ….like to cook …but time is of the essence particularly during the working week ….HOWEVER, I am following a fabulous cookery blog from an equally busy lady in India whose blog is called ‘Ministry of Curry’…..the other week I did a fabulous beetroot salad from this site and this week cooked this very simple fish recipe ( although I used halibut steak instead of the pomfret described as it isn’t available here) …..the beauty of these recipes is that they are quick, easy and believe me DELICIOUS!!!

Now mine doesn’t look quite as good as hers …I doubt I am going to make it onto the TV show Masterchef anytime soon:D:D:D …BUT …..Ta DaaAH!!!

Yep …believe me these recipes are wonderful ….I think Archana should put them in a book and sell it on Amazon or something …I would certainly buy it ….meanwhile check out her blog and enjoy:):):):):)

 

and so preparing for another week ….a little sad …a little hollow …. but it’ll be ok … just do your best ..and keep moving foreward ….think need to remember to switch on the ‘lone worker’ device tho ….yep we were reissued but keep forgetting about it ….ANYWAY ….breeeeeeeeeath