Category Archives: shopping

Drawing a line and move on.

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Last week has to go down as one of the worst.

On Wednesday I received a letter saying I had to attend court because I was contesting the fine I had been issued for failing to attend jury service.       If that wasn’t bad enough, I had to attend court on Friday.     Yes, just 48 hours notice.    As you can imagine, I went into full blown panic mode at the arrival of the letter.     I wish I had just paid the fine in the first place.      Luckily I have some very good friends who were able to offer some helpful advice.     I thank them with all of my heart.      I made notes about what had happened and why.    I felt I was doing the right thing.

On Thursday I went to the doctors.     It was a scheduled appointment to see how I was getting on since the change of my medication.     I just blubbed my way through the consultant as I told the doctor I had no idea if they were working as with everything going on I was beyond any level of stress I had previously encountered!       She thought that considering I was on such a high dosage of my previous medication that the new one should be upped.      I am now on the middle dose of these pills, and to be honest now I have been on them a few days, I am actually feeling quite good with them.     I am hoping it is a corner turned.

Thursday night, I didn’t sleep at all well.    I felt sick to my stomach all night and it only got worse when I got up!      Hubby took the day off work to support me at court, and I am so glad he did, as I would not have been able to do it by myself.

We parked in the city centre and walked to the court.     I felt terrible.     I found which court room I was in, and then I waited.      Listening to all the cases being heard before mine was horrible.      There were drug addicts, shop lifters, and even a paedophile.       I just felt so horrible.      I felt dirty sitting there with other bad people.     After over 2 hours waiting I was called.    Standing in the dock was frightening to say the least.        The judge was horrible.        He called me an “irresponsible citizen”.   I felt about an inch tall, as he laid into me about how not turning up for jury service was extremely serious.       When I tried to explain I had misread the citation because my medications were being altered, he did not want to listen.       He threatened to increase my fine to £1000, because he was allowed to do so.     He did however after making me sweat, reduce it by half, and allow me to pay it in small amount.       It caught in my throat as I thanked him before leaving the court.      When I got outside, I just burst into tears.   Hubby was really supportive, telling me it was over now.     I just felt like the scum of the earth.     I felt really unworthy.

I don’t think I had taken my failure to go to jury service as such a serious matter as it actually was.   I know it was wrong, and if I had read it properly, I would have definitely have been there.   It was my civic duty.    I have always considered myself to be a community minded person, and would not have deliberately ignored my duty.     It was a genuine mistake.

I spent the rest of the day, feeling like the scum of the earth, because that is what I was made to feel like.     I cried every time I thought about it.    I have replayed every word spoken at me in court so many times.    It was horrible and humiliating.      It was an experience I hope I never repeat.

I am now drawing a line under the whole episode.     I need to move on from it, and not stew and let it upset me for any longer.       I know to use my depression as an excuse for stupidity  doesn’t add up, but the fact is, they are inter locked.

My advice to anyone who receives official looking paperwork, is to read it, re read it, and for good measure, read it again.     Possibly, even get someone else to read it for you too!       I assure you, I wont be making the sort of idiotic mistake again!

I am not a bad person, I’m just a wee bit messed up right now!

Onwards and upwards……

Run up to Christmas

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This time of year seems to go mad.    There is so much to do and so many places to go that it seems there is little time to stop and take it all in.

I am one of these ridiculously organised people when it comes to the preparations.    I shop throughout the year.    If I see something that will be a perfect present for someone, I get it and put it away.     This not only means there is less to do as the time gets closer, it also means it spreads the cost!      I think one of the reasons I like to be organised early, is that after all the years of working in retail catering, I learned to dislike the crowds in the town centres during the festive period and therefore made sure I had all my shopping completed before all that.    These days, it is so much easier with the joys of internet shopping – I don’t think they’d let me into the shops wearing my PJ’s and holding my favourite coffee mug!

The month of December is difficult for my boys, even more so than every other time.      There is so much happening that is out of routine that it can be quite disturbing for them.      We have to try to make each new or different thing into something that they can understand.   It isn’t always easy, in fact it rarely is, but we learn on the hoof how to handle each situation that they find uncomfortable.

This week is the school Christmas Fayre.    The kids work really hard to make this a wonderful evening.    Each class has specific projects that they work on for about a month before.   They use these as alternative teaching ideas, and then the kids sell the final items at the fayre.     It is a must attend event!      The children volunteer to help put on the stalls.     Neither of mine want to, both siting they don’t want to be doing school things in the evening.   They will however both want to attend the fayre – it is almost as if they believe they have to.      They have also been learning Christmas songs which some of the students will sing.   D particularly doesn’t like this.    He is extremely anti-religion at the moment, so while he says he accepts there is evidence that Jesus existed, he thinks the rest of it is rubbish! I have told him that he is entitled to his own believes, but should never try to force his opinions on anyone else.      He therefore thinks singing songs praising Jesus as the saviour of mankind is wrong.   I may not be a particularly religious person, but I do love carols – they are always so happy and hopeful.

One way we help the boys build up to the big day, is to make a slightly bigger thing of advent.     They have their advent calendar every year, which is a Lego Star Wars one, and I must say are very good at taking turns in opening the doors.   The biggest argument each year is actually about who gets odds and who gets evens, as going first is very important, but equally getting Christmas Eve is a major deal.    It is usually decided on the toss of a coin!       I also make advent bags.     Every day they get a small gift during advent.   It means that they make a  bigger deal about it so by the time the main event comes it is less of a shock at the change of routine.      In the advent bag there is something small and usually silly, such as a pencil, or a toy snake, and of course a chocolate coin – its only at this time of year we allow our kids to eat chocolate for pre-breakfast!     Today, D was ecstatic at the gift he opened – Fossilised Dino poo – so much so that he instantly wanted to record a video showing his You-Tube friends!      Its gone to school and I am sure he will have great fun showing his equally gross friends!   At the weekends, I tend to put something crafty in the bags so we can spend some family time, as I think when we are so busy it can be forgotten at this time of year – the extended family is thought of, sometimes at the expense of the immediate one.     Last weekend we painted ornaments to hang on the tree, and we made teddy bears – I got a kit of teddy bear skins with the stuffing and wishing hearts to go in them, we all made one, and they were great fun to do.   All 5 of the bears have had a lot of cuddles!      I think it is something we will all remember making.

One day last week, Hubbys Mum came over for a visit.    She stayed for her tea, then I took her home – she lives the other side of the city.     D came with me and asked if we could drive through the city centre on the way home to see the lights.    They are beautiful, and we chose our favorites.   D was however really under whelmed by the main Christmas tree.     He made a very valid point of saying it was no where near as beautiful as the one in our little town.   I had to agree with him.     The shire council give a tree to each town community, and then volunteers decorate it.      The team that do the one here every year, do an amazing job.    It is just as you come into the town, and it is so bright and cheerful, that one cant help but smile when you see it.

I can understand why the boys find it strange at this time.   I imagine most kids do.    The anticipation of the big day can become over whelming, but for kids that like their routines kept to, if we are not careful, it can become a recipe for them to fall apart.      It is, as usual a case of trying to think of all the possible outcomes to each event, and planning accordingly for how to deal with it from there.     The boys, being as they are, will of course manage to come up with something that I would never had imagined in a million years and I am becoming quite the expert of thinking on my feet!

There is still loads to do before the big day, with food shopping and baking, but I feel confident I am well on target.     A couple of days before the kids break up, the Mums I know are getting together for coffee and a mince pie – more a case of a chance to put our feet up for a couple of hours gossiping  before all hell breaks out trying to keep our kids occupied before they have new presents to play with!    It’s always nice to see the ladies and catch up, as since the kids are taking themselves to school, we don’t see each other so often!

I hope you are well on with your plans.     Merry Christmas.

Dundee Science Centre

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At the weekend we decided to have a family day out.     We decided to encourage M to get out of the house we needed to plan to do something he would really enjoy.       The decision was made to go down to Dundee for a visit to the Science centre – http://www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk/, as both boys love the science centre in Aberdeen.

We took the train down, which made the travel part of the day out.      It is only a 45 minutes journey, but after just one stop, we were getting “is this our stop?”    Goodness knows how they would cope with a longer journey!

Dundee train station is under going a major refurb at the moment, so the area was a total mess – I am sure it will be lovely when it is finished, as it is all part of the new V &A museum being built across the road from it.       It is a five minutes  walk to the science centre, and luckily it stayed dry!

The first thing we saw when we arrived was one of the Oor Willie statues – http://www.oorwulliebuckettrail.com/ – Hubby was super excited by this as he his a huge fan of the comic strip.     All three of them insisted on having their photos taken sitting on the bucket next to him.

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The centre had an exhibition about forensics.     It was brilliant.      The boys got their finger prints taken by a police man.     They found out about forensic archology, getting to dig up bones and then identify them  – they were ones purposely buried for the kids to dig up, or I hope they were any way!!!!!

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The best exhibit in my opinion was a mind controlled game.     The player had a headband with sensors put on and there is a magnetised ball and by relaxing you push the ball to the other player.    The most relaxed person wins.       The boys sat for ages in quite a stand-off, before M managed a push towards D and won.     The guy manning the exhibit did asked if they were usually so relaxed, and when I said as an aspie, it was usually impossible for D to sit still let alone relax, he laughed and said he was also aspergers so he understood that one!!!        Hubby and I played off against each other, and Hubby trashed me, which just proves he is used to sitting down and doing nothing, while my brain is constantly on the go!!       The boys seemed to love the robot area.    There were sensor robots that they had to trick, and we spent ages while the boys tried to out think the machines, and were both over the moon when they finally managed it.

We had a really pleasant snack lunch in the centre before heading into Dundee city centre which was a short walk away.

The boys did plenty more OOr Wullie spotting – Hubby has said he wants to go back to find some more!       At some of the statues it was a waiting game while the crowd took their turns to get photos taken.       We then went to see the Desperate Dan statue.

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We told D that this was who we had names him after, and it took him a while to work out we were joking with him!!

The whole time we were walking around the city, M was holding my hand which is something even when he was little he used to refuse to do.     I think it was his way of getting reassurance that being out was not a totally scary experience.     It was a lovely thing, despite me knowing there was an ulterior motive behind his actions.

The boys asked if we could get some munchies for the train home, and so we bought a box of doughnuts in the shopping centre.      I was really impressed with the boys though as there was a stall from a local fruit farm, and the boys asked, or rather begged me to let them get some strawberries and raspberries.         We sat on the wall outside and rather than diving into the doughnuts, they demolished the strawberries – I only got 2, and Hubby doesn’t like them!          While we were sat there, M wrapped his arms around me, and told me what a great day he had had.      It was lovely to see and hear.

We wandered back to the train station, only stopping to see one more Wullie on the way.

The train was crowded but we got seats.    The boys had a doughnut each and then took the raspberries, leaving one in the punnet for Granny!

We decided to pick up fish and chips for tea on the way home   and so stopped at the award-winning The Bay – http://thebayfishandchips.co.uk/menu/     While Hubby got in the huge queue – it is so good that it is worth waiting for, the boys wanted to go into the sweetie shop next door to get something to say thank you to Granny as she had given them some money to get something at the Science Centre – sometimes they can both be so lovely without even trying!    It was a lovely tea.

The boys went to bed totally shattered after a lot of walking around and fresh air.      M told me several more times how much he had enjoyed the day.     I think a day in a different surrounding did us all the power of good.     It was a lovely day.

I do think M had a little difficulty processing everything he had done and seen during the day, as the following morning he was totally withdrawn, refusing any company.    Getting him to go out was a step we had to do, but we know how hard it was for him.     We will continue to encourage him to get back into the world, but doing it a little at a time will hopefully mean he is able to build on each time until it no longer becomes an issue for him.