The Special Needs Tunnel

Magical but hard is a great way to describe the early years of motherhood. So far so familiar, in a beautiful and encouraging article by Kate Takes Five. But unlike other mums I didn’t come out the other side. Motherhood is a bit like a tunnel you see, and the special needs tunnel is longer and more convoluted than most. Twenty two years after becoming a mum, my days are still book ended by children. I still stay up with one, and get up to another. So it was bittersweet moment when I acknowledged that I may never leave at all, and may always be on the inside looking out.

When you think of a tunnel, what do you see? Is it a dark, scary place that you can’t wait to leave? Or a safe dry comfortable refuge from the world? The special needs tunnel can be both of these.

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Unbreakable Jazzy and the Determined Universe

To celebrate the launch of Tina Fey’s new comedy series ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ on Netflix on March 6th, I have a guest post by the lovely Jazzygal, who, in her own words, is a knitting needle/crochet hook wielding Desperate Housewife, and stay-at-home mum of one fabulous teenage boy, who believes that your fifties are the new forties and keeps mind and body fit with blogging, social media and dancing/choreography. Phew!

Over to you, Jazzy…

I see that a new show ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ is launching on Netflix on March 6th.

After living in a cult for fifteen years, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper – The Office/Bridesmaids) decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City. Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books, she’s ready to take on a world she didn’t even think existed anymore. 

The people over at Netflix think that we mums are quite unbreakable too, and I’m inclined to agree with them.

I may not wear the fabulous bright colours that Kimmy wears, nor the light-up sneakers – and my library books are usually in date – but I have had some unbreakable moments in my time!

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The beginner’s guide to book reviews

Because I really am a beginner. Who knew that I still have so many things to learn? Book reviewing is a skill that I never expected to need, but between my Kindle app and self-publishing, everything has changed: I usually download fiction now and after every purchase I get a hopeful email from Amazon asking me what I thought.

At the same time, t’internet has made self-publishing a possibility, and a number of my friends are now actual authors, so obviously I feel the need to be able to write a half decent book review in support.  I’ve probably said it before, but I have huge admiration for anyone who has the patience to write an entire book, as I often get bored before the end of a blog post: which is another reason why I have so many drafts…

More here

Reasons to be cheerful about a carer’s mid term break

The teens were off school all week for their mid term break, and all was calm, and even productive, so I thought I might share it all with you for this week’s reasons to be cheerful.


Involved several outings to…

The Chemist – to fill the regular prescriptions
The Supermarket – for food
The Bank – to pay in cheques

Afternoon, exercise for Smiley, admin for Mum: finished up the medical card application (presumably the first of many as they usually refuse to sanction them multiple times), baulked at new requirements for disabled parking permit and had to ring to clarify. Paid eye watering gas bill. Note to self: must change supplier as soon as I have time…

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I don’t need a food processor, do I?

I’ve survived more than 50 years without one, so why on earth am I thinking about buying a food processor now?

1. Someone burnt out the motor on my precious liquidiser (that I love and adore) by trying to mix a very sticky cake in it. I cannot imagine life without a liquidiser for making soups and smoothies which are my go to healthy fast foods. I love this piece of kit so much, especially as I can just chuck it in the dishwasher afterwards.

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Chasing away the January blues and February chill #StreamTeam

With even more time than usual stuck indoors during the miserable winter months, we got great value out of our free Netflix package.  Here’s what we’re liking right now…

Arrested Development

Lots and lots of happy laughter while this was on, and it was even entertaining enough for Smiley. It’s supposed to be about a wealthy family that loses everything, and the one son who has no choice but to keep them all together. Actually it’s about a bunch of adults behaving like spoiled toddlers, which I wouldn’t normally like at all, but in this case it worked, and definitely helped to chase away the January blues!

More here


Motherhood is an odd experience: we all go into it without professional training, and all the manuals say different things.  And of course every child is different, so getting it right is often more a matter of luck than anything else.  It’s no wonder that motherhood can be a confusing place.  Add special needs into the mix and things get really complicated.

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Reasons to be cheerful 5.2.15

After my weekend meltdown, this week has been better, though not without its challenges, such as the possibility of watching Billy Elliot, just so I can help with the English homework.  The things we do etc etc.

But yes, I’ve dug deep into the boringness of an unusually humdrum week and managed to retrieve these nuggets for reasons to be cheerful.

Read about them here

8 things that annoy me about supermarkets

So it seems that shoppers are abandoning Tesco in their droves.  Which makes me a little sad, as I still remember the feeling of awe when I first visited their first Superstore in Essex in the 1980s.  With a demanding job, life was busy, and the idea of being able to buy everything in the one place was very seductive.

For me it still is.  The prices are still pretty good, and my local Tesco superstore has almost everything, including a pharmacy, which we seem to need regularly.  I still shop there every week.  But I go to other places too.  And they all drive me demented me in different ways.

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