Archive for the ‘divorce’ Category

Stepping…

I am feeling rather grandmotherly as I prepare for the imminent arrival of two little-ings from Paree… the step-children. A bouncy boy (more of a Tigger than a boy reallly), who smiles at everything unless it displeases him in which case we get a quick scowl before the smile returns (he can’t keep it up for long) and his sister, for whom I believe, life is a series of puzzles and conundrums that she is forced to deal with at the hands of adults. Whilst her brother bounces around crashing into the day, she eyes it up, assessing the pros and cons, gauging the players in it before responding to them – the result being, when she does accept and react to you, a feeling of such satisfaction, it makes the wait worthwhile. I’m covering all bases here as far as sleeping arrangements go… pink bedding in The Lovely J’s room, put-you-up at the side for one or two boys, or… girls dorm and boys dorm with the two boys top-and-tailing in Curly Boy’s room, or… visitors in our bed with dad, and me in Lovely J’s bed or… “I expect,” their dad says, “you’ll all end up in one bed, with me on the floor.”

Now I’ve done this stepping thing before… sadly it has all come to an abrupt halt due to, I do not know what… since their father and I parted ways I have not heard a whisper from either of them… less of a concern for the older one who is now almost 30, but for the younger – we met when she was 7 and now she’s 18 – it is like losing a part of the family. I have no way of knowing exactly why she has chosen not to respond to cards and letters and emails, even texts. The break up with her father was an extremely complicated and dramatic one, involving lies about being hospitalised, which uncovered a web of lies stretching back over 10 years. I am left, well actually we (friends, family, children) have all been left wondering what was true and what was not – sadly the little girl I have watched progress from long white socks (which she wore with everything) to having her first tattoo, seems to be a casualty of it all.

My nature is to be persistent, to let the people I care about know that I care, but in this case I am wondering if it might just be best to let it all go and leave that decision to her.

My step-daughter (who we discovered after the event, suffers from vertigo) stepping out in happier times

 

 

Running hell for leather into reading for pleasure

I think it would be fair to say that I tend to run headlong into things. Once I’ve decided I’ll do it, I just do it. This has had disastrous results at times – marriage and divorce springs to mind – but something good generally comes of it all – in that case a couple of kids who are pretty good company at times and a bit of wisdom, not to mention some great ideas for poems and stories.

So, at the beginning of the year I applied for a job as Creative Practitioner at a local comp – the remit being to encourage and enthuse year 8s about reading for pleasure. My interview was by a panel of six students, the teacher who heads up literacy at the school and the regional manager of the project as a whole – he’s called the Creative Agent – what a great title.

I was thrilled to be appointed and rushed headlong towards the project as is my wont. However, after our first planning meeting I had to meet with HR – they needed all my details for the enhanced CRB check – now you see where I’m going with this… weeks have passed… 6 in fact. Then I discover that the local council sat on the paper work for 4 weeks before passing it on. CRB reckon to clear applications within 4 weeks of receipt – at this rate the summer term will be over!

I was really impressed with the group I am supposed to be working with, maybe there is hope for the future after all – and I’m not talking about a carefully selected group of high achievers either, the group are made up from a cross-section of pupils, some ‘reluctant readers’ or dyslexic, some may have ADHD etc – although to me they just seemed like regular human beings – which I think is the great thing about outsiders going in to schools to work with pupils.

Given the constraints of the curriculum at the moment teachers seem hard pushed, targets get in the way, meeting guidelines, statementing children in order to gain extra funding bla bla bla.

The thing about what I can do is that I flit in and flit out none the wiser, so if some kid is known as having  some kind of ‘statement’ I’ve no need to know, I just get on with the task in hand.

I have great plans about what to do and how to approach the project. The head of dept wants a reading cafe in the school, I want to get them blogging and writing and to feel free to read whatever they want to read rather than what they feel they should be reading. I LOVE to read, whether it’s the Metro for a good shout or something deep and meaningful.

If only that one piece of paper would come through and allow me to get stuck in there!

D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

Freecycle is a wonderful thing – I have just had a spell of giving away stuff. It never ceases to amaze me how in a short space of time I am privy to the private lives of the people I meet  through giving and taking. I know all about one lady’s childhood – she is expecting her second child you see and tells me how she was so lonely as as a youngster, brought up by her mother and wants her child to have company whilst he’s growing up. Another lady it transpires finds herself newly unattached – her husband walked out three weeks ago – so there I am, in the dark, helping her load stuff into the back of her car and giving advice on what to do when you find yourself at 47, having spent the past 20 years with one man, working, raising a family, everything in joint names, suddenly alone. Perhaps there should be a self help book out there on the subject – council tax reductions for lone occupancy, Working Family Tax Credit, EMA for those over 16 still in full time education. It’s a mine field and at a time when most people are left reeling (I’m sure some men too, when the walker-out is wife not husband) the practical things I think are a way of regaining control of a situation. Another lady was asking for stuff for a small dog as she had found one the day before – she lived quite close to me and I emailed asking whether it was a shitzu as one of our neighbours had lost theirs the day before – and strangely enough it was – so dog and owner were reunited. Freecycle is a real community after all, a bunch of disparate odd bods with similar goals, just muddling along with life. Not a bad thing to swap advice as well as stuff.