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Yesterday, I drove from Birmingham to Nottingham to watch the last Harry Potter with my friend Milena. Some may wonder, why I drive an hour to watch a film with someone, but the reasons are simple. For one, I really like Milena and wanted to catch up in person anyway. And even more importantly, I wanted to watch the film with someone who wanted to see the film as badly as I did.

I am totally unashamedly a huge fan of the Harry Potter series. I love kid’s fiction a lot and often feel that writers of so-called grown up fiction can learn a lot from writer’s writing for a youth audience. Like many adults who found themselves lost in the books, for me the attraction has always also been the fact that I identified with Harry. The reality of his day to day life was gruesome and then suddenly a magical letter came and all was good. When I was little, I dreamt of a rescue too.

It felt sad watching the last film, knowing it was all over but at the same time, it also felt really good on the way home when I realised that I cried during the film for the ending of Harry Potter and that I was no longer crying about the past. And that was a rather good feeling.

I will miss the wizard and I am sure I will read those books many times again, listening to the audiobooks while doing the washing up, folding laundry or cleaning the bathroom and watching the films when I am alone and hopefully, in years to come I hope to share the experience with my daughter.

As Alan Rickman said in an interview: “When I’m 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, “After all this time?” And I will say, “Always.”

Me too.

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I have learnt over the years that freaking out is really not helping when things aren’t going the way I planned it, usually, staying calm and collected is a much better approach.

But you know this last week kicked my butt. My husband finally had a week off and we had plans on taking it easy and spending some quality time. As often best laid plans are just an invitation to chaos, I first dropped my laptop last Sunday. The computer wiz recommended by a client, came, saw and delivered the news that he would be able to get my data of the hard disk but that the laptop screen would be too expensive to warrent repair.

An hour later the washing machine broke for good.

Then I broke the printer.

Then I broke the power adapter for the other laptop.

Then finally on Thursday, it was the kid’s first speech and language session. Last August I went for the first time to the health visitor to ask for help with the speech. She sent me to the GP, first GP totally sent me packing, calling my concerns ridiculous. Second GP I saw referred me to hearing test. In November, we finally had hearing test appointment. All good, the doctor said she would refer us speech and language therapy. And since then I have been chasing up this referral letter. I called the BCH about every two weeks, kept being told they sent a letter, that I would get a call which never came. I finally ended up writing a letter to their Chief Exec which resulted in the letter being sent. First I was told we dropped priority and wouldn’t be seen by next year. I complained and was referred to their “in community” service and had an appointment within the next month. Long Story ey? Imagine how I feel about it, drained, emotional and frustrated. Then imagine how I felt when I was told by the therapist that I could have referred myself. Simply calling them making an appointment. No one told me.

And this is not the end. When Dharma had nephritis, we were told to give them a call if anything happens that we are worried about. So this past week, the kid has been incredibly tired. Like totally tired. Falling asleep as soon as she sat down. GP sent us packing when we went. But I am worried, she is sleepy, pale, not hungry and she drinks a lot. So I called BCH. Was told I would get called back in an hour. That was Thursday. No call back came. Called again two hours later, had to explain everything again, was told I would get called back. No call back. Called Friday morning, was told I would get called back and I said I would hold and she should get a registrar on the phone for me. Registrar came on the phone and got a bit snappy with me. So I snapped back. And then he said, you can relay your concerns at your appointment on the 8th of August. I had no idea about this appointment, in fact I had been chasing this appointment for a few weeks now because I had no letter and then he says that the appointment had been made in March. No one cared to tell me, in fact even when I called no one was able to tell me about it, no letter sent. When he then suggested that I had misplaced the letter I freaked out. Yeah right, blame the parent. I totally misplace important letters about my daughters care all the time. If this had been the first case of miscommunication from them I would have probably thought it was me. However, this was the umpteenth time.

I lost my calm yesterday. I raised my voice to the registrar, which is unfair because it’s not his personal fault. However, the institution he works for totally pushed me over the edge this week.

I feel upset about this not only for my and especially Dharma’s sake but also for the sake of children, who don’t have parents that are able to fight their corner. Adults who may lack the verbal skills to fight their corner, don’t know their rights and so their kids fall through the huge gaps and lack the care they deserve. It’s not the adults faults then, it’s the hospital’s fault, the NHS fault to not do their work properly.

Sometimes I just cannot be calm.

Dharma currently has a lot of fun drawing people with extremely enlarged heads because it’s funny! So here are we

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I am currently totally addicted to these. I could eat them, morning, lunch, night, get up in the middle of the night. I bought several packs of the rice paper stuff from “home bargains” which is kinda like the pound shop/dollar store for 19p for a pack of 20. Let’s just say I spent £5. I know. But they are so yummy. I either have them with that peanut sauce or I make a sweet/sour chilli sauce (think chilli, some raw sugar, some rice vinegar, blender, add cucumber if too hot).

Part of my vegan journey is that I want to get away from obvious meat replacement foods. It’s very easy to just buy vegan hot dogs, vegan steak, vegan cheese etc. I am not saying that I will never buy them but I don’t want them to be the first thing I reach for when I prepare a dish. Ideally, I am looking for dishes that are vegan from the outset because they are then well balanced and satisfying. Well, in my experience anyway. Also that meat replacement stuff: it costs a lot of money, is heavily processed, bad for the environment and you know tastes often quite yucky.

Last year, I gave up my blog. There were many reasons. For one, the new found long lost family complications it created, some of my husband’s family members reading blog posts and then wanting to discuss them in real life with me or disapproving, shaking their heads of what I share, and most importantly: I had said it all I wanted to say in that space. And once everything is said, it’s hard to continue.

So inspired by dear Jo, I thought: Hey, I can just start afresh. I just can’t blog about some things on my business blog. Just doesn’t work and sits right. I doubt potential customers are interested in my adventures of achieving a total animal cruelty free lifestyle (i.e. being vegan) or whether I should colour my hair in an extreme colour or stay beige. Sometimes thoughts pop into my head and I just want to write it down somewhere.

So: no idea what I will blog about yet, but blog I will. Be prepared for atrocious grammar, awful spelling, nonsensical posts and stuff no one needs to know.

Love

Me