I think ” really?” About a hundred times a day, I obviously say it too as Lucy has started to say it. Marvellous.

This week I think I have thought and said really ? A little more than I usually do. This week has been up there with the most stressful of them. Let me take you through it.

Sunday both kids were a living nightmare, Jack was angry about everything, it took ages to get him to take his medication which involved me dancing about , cracking jokes and singing made up songs until he eventually swallowed them. Shower time was awful for both of them . Thankfully they both went out with support workers for a few hours so we kind of collapsed in bed. All was quiet until ian received a call to say that Lucy was staging a naked protest in the toilet at Asda , hopped in the car to go and collect her. Thankfully she remained calm and clothed for the rest of the day.

On Tuesday I arrived at work at 8:20 am to be told that Ian had been desperately trying to get hold of me and it was urgent , now he never says that so I called him immediately. His opening line was ” now don’t panic” now never in the history of telling people not to panic has this ever worked so I immediately started to panic. It turns out that Jack had punched the living room window, smashed it and cut his hand and they were on the way to A+E. Never has that drive from one county to another seemed so long . I arrived to find a lot of blood but a remarkably calm Jack ( thank you Saint Valium) but of course A+ E was full of the worried well who couldn’t get an appointment with their GP, the wait was set to be 2 hours. After an hour Jack lost it and started to swear and shout so we were ushered into a private room to wait, thankfully it was a short wait as Jack shouted at a passing nurse ” hey sugar tits , is someone coming to help me?” . I can’t praise the staff highly enough for the way that they looked after him , they let him play his Alice Cooper music on his phone to keep him calm whilst they treated him , it was over and done with quickly with no serious damage, he was incredibly lucky to have not sustained serious damage. We arrived home to clean up glass, ring a glazier, his psychiatrist etc and reflect on how bad it could have been.

Wednesday I was travelling on a train to a meeting when Proudfoot rang me to say that he was in hospital and probably needed his toe amputated , I mean WTF?? He assured me I wasn’t needed and besides there wasn’t a great deal that I could do whilst stuck on a train . This was closely followed by a text to say that Lucy was on yet another naked battering rampage . By this stage I just thought ” yeah, why not?”

Thursday saw Proudfoot hobbling about in a boot that looked like it had come straight from the set of the Tweenies but he still had a full complement of digits , as I left for work I reminded him to play a game of this little piggy while he still could.

Friday we had another naked battering rampage before school. It was timely as we had an appointment with her psychiatrist, of course at the appointment she behaved like a little angel instead of the bare breasted virago that we are so used to these days . Then I got the migraine from hell and was wiped out for the rest of the day . I think it all caught up with me finally. I had to cancel appointments including Lucy’s haircut, so she now looks like one of the Beetles bless her. I should add that Lucy told the psychiatrist that she hated the shower as it was too watery. Really?


Just a quick one

Today has been a tough one. At 5pm Jacks new transport provider arrived to introduce himself ahead of tomorrow, I felt hopeful as the kids were quite calm at this point. As soon as they walked in Jack decided to start screaming up a storm, using language that would make a sailor blush , Lucy threw herself on the floor in a spectacular fashion and filled her pants. The dogs started barking . Ian and I wrestled with kids.

I’m sure the poor guy would rather take his chances down the Kingsway on international day than deal with this lot.

As he’s leaving I’m shouting down the path “ they’re not usually this bad” 🤥

Schools out

Well Jack, today was your last day at school. I can scarcely believe that I am writing these words. It feels just like yesterday that we were taking you to school for your first day. I remember that day vividly, I was absolutely petrified. Unlike other families we didn’t get to put your name down for the school of our choice, you were assessed relentlessly by professionals before a panel of strangers decided which school would best suit your many complex needs. We battled, argued, fought and had many sleepless nights before your first day. When the time came I sobbed all the way home after dropping you off , despite leaving you with a list of written instructions for the staff I was still worried that they wouldn’t be able to look after you, you had only been walking for a few months and were very unsteady on your feet , you were still in nappies and you point blank refused to eat anything but fromage frais ( that was on the days that you would actually eat at all) , you had a few single words and signs and like most children with SLOS you were absolutely tiny. You did ok but weren’t happy to be separated from me, I felt the same and was worried sick. Your transition to settling in at school was slow and difficult, you started to go to school in a mini bus with other children, I followed the bus like some sort of ninja/ stalker to make sure that you were ok. But looking back I should have trusted you more, you slowly found your feet, the staff fell in love with you ( how could they not?) and things changed when you had a wonderful 1:1 called Lou, she changed your life. She spent hours getting to know you, realised that you had a great sense of humour ( just like her) and really brought you out of your shell. To this day she remains a good friend of the family .

Today at your leaving coffee morning I sat and watched you , yes you cried to begin with, but let’s face it you cry about everything ( I mean you cried because Lucy farted the other day) but then you calmed down and smiled all morning . You greeted the many many staff and pupils who came to say goodbye , you hugged them and kissed them, each one of them cried and told us how much they loved you and would miss you , you even managed to get in your lunch order when the school cook came to say goodbye. We watched a slide show of your special moments and you received your record of achievement ( which I can’t bring myself to look through yet) . I reflected on all of your achievements, highlights included your lovely ex teacher Rachel getting you to have a staring role in the school concert when the previous year you were so crippled with anxiety that you hid backstage vomiting, you sang with the cast of Les Mis in London, you even sang at the House of Commons for the speaker of the house. Today I am bursting with pride.

So my baby boy ( because you are still my baby boy) as we move on to the next chapter of your life, when you start day services on Monday remember this, if you look for me I will be in one of three places, I will either be in front of you fighting the way clear for you, at your side holding your hand or behind you having your back . We have got this kid 💙

For better , for worse and all that shite

Since I have been writing this blog I haven’t really mentioned Proudfoot too much , yet I couldn’t do any of this without him.

It’s no secret that I have been married before, I was married to Mark who is Jack and Lucy’s biological father. I met Proudfoot when Jack was 5 and Lucy was 6 weeks old , we were both trustees of a charity for children with disabilities but hadn’t met in person until that fateful day. We were at the play centre for the charity we were trustees of , Lucy was screaming up a storm as she was hungry , Jack was having a spectacular meltdown as I was trying to get his shoes on him to take him home , I was trying to get the shoes on Jack whilst jiggling a hungry Lucy up and down in my free arm . Proudfoot strolled over and asked if I was alright, in my post natal and harassed state I barked at this kind stranger ” do I f*****g look ok?” Without missing a beat Proudfoot calmly said ” no you don’t, which is why I came over” . He then very calmly spoke to Jack who immediately calmed down, he put Jacks shoes on for him and then took off his jacket and offered it to me , I gave him a withering look until he gestured to my top which was now soaked through with breast milk. I wasn’t very gracious as I took the proffered garment and hastily put it on whilst he held my screaming baby . I didn’t see him again for a few weeks when I apologised and returned his now washed jacket , we sat and chatted over coffee and I realised he was actually really funny and interesting. We continued to become friends over a year , he was always a listening ear and the voice of reason , my confident and biggest supporter. He supported me through a divorce, accompanied me to the million hospital appointments that I had with the children. one night we went out for a drink , it got a bit silly and just like that our relationship changed.

The early weeks and months of our relationship were spent trying to build a relationship around Jack and Lucy , Proudfoot is an ex nurse and didn’t bat an eyelid at the bodily fluids , medication, tantrums and tears from me when it all got a bit too much. Lucy came on every lunch date that we had , weekends were spent feeding the ducks with the kids and then me fighting to stay awake when they went to bed ( Jack was a dreadful sleeper) , I’ve lost count of the times I fell asleep dribbling on Proudfoot’s shoulder in front of the TV or at the cinema .

He sat with me holding my hand when the Dr told us that Jack had SLOS , he was waiting with a big hug when I got off the phone to the same Dr a few days before Christmas when Lucy’s diagnosis was also confirmed. He arrived at the hospital with Red Cross parcels when a very young Lucy was admitted time after time, he spoke to Dr’s and nurses when I was too tired or stressed to take in what they were saying .

And 13 years later we are sitting in front of the TV celebrating our anniversary , hopefully we can go out and celebrate at the weekend. So Proudfoot , you drive me around the bend ( as I’m sure I do you) , you’re a bit of a tit but you’re my tit. Thank you for not minding when there are winegums , crisps, hairbrushes and god knows what left in our bed, thank you for not minding being bitten by Lucy or hit by Jack . I suppose you’re alright really x

Another day in paradise

Today started just like any other, with Lucy bursting into our bedroom demanding a drink and telling us she had done a poo. Jack is having a short break away from home until tomorrow so we didn’t have the pleasure of him screaming up a storm or singing a tone deaf version of Alice Coopers Poison at 6am. After the morning chaos of making sure Lucy was clean and dressed I jumped into the shower. Whilst I was rinsing my hair Ian popped his head in to say that he had done Lucy’s hair , but she looked like Toya’s Wilcox so could I please take a look .

Work was busy today , the financial year has recently ended so it’s report writing season for me. During work I received a call from my GP ( I had been waiting for him to call me) but of course he called when I was in the loo, it was ok as none of the other cubicles were occupied but as I’m half way through the telephone consultation someone else care into the communal toilets, right at the point I was explaining some recent gynae symptoms. Like a good quiz master I had started so I was going to finish, but now some random at work knows I need to see the fanny mechanic – great.

In my lunch break I spoke to the undertaker about my Dads ashes which was difficult. Grief has kicked my arse today.

I arrived home to the usual chaos of animals and Lucy waiting at the front door. Did the usual fighting Lucy into the shower , went into our bedroom and found the dead mouse that little Sox ( cat and trained assassin ) had so lovingly left there. Sat down with a cup of tea and read through judicial reviews ahead of a meeting that I have about Jacks future on Friday ( it shouldn’t be this hard) so that I am armed . Took Lucy to bed where I found a wee from our puppy on the floor, I really have to be careful about what I mutter to myself as when I had kissed Lucy and settled here down she started shouting ” piss” at the top of her voice . Ideal

It’s 8:-15pm and I haven’t began to think about dinner. Is it responsible to eat left over Easter eggs for dinner?

Who lives in a house like this?

No I am not turning into Lloyd Grossman (Keith Lemon for younger readers) but I did ask Ian this question earlier today. Surely regular families don’t live like us?

To put it into some context , today has been the usual run of the mill Proudfoot stuff , nothing extraordinary happened today , well nothing extraordinary for us that is. It had been a busy but lovely day at work today and as I drove home from work I reflected on how much I love my job , I know not everyone can say that. Anyway as I was driving home I passed a car travelling in the opposite direction, had a quick look at the driver and thought “he’s a bit of alright” , as he got closer I realised that it was Proudfoot, after all these years he can still make me look twice. When I got home I was greeted by a grumpy nine year old Gwen who has been described by a vet as ” some sort of terrier”, Ruby the 14 week old Schnauzer and a delegation from the cats in the form of Will the tool. As I made my way through Noah’s bloody arc I spotted a pile of boxes and parcels , great I’ve been pissed shopping again FML. But the boxes can wait, I need to answer the phone whilst still wearing my coat and carrying bags .

Ian and Lucy arrived home quite soon after, the litany of ” no shower” started as soon as Lucy saw me , I managed to distract her with an Alice Cooper video on YouTube and the promise of a Blizzard of Ozz ( or as Lucy calls it Crazy Trains tummy) . Right it was time to open the boxes, I had truly surpassed myself this time, I had

  1. A new top
  2. A computer game for Jack
  3. A cuddly dog for Lucy
  4. A set of eyeshadows
  5. A copy of the film Pride
  6. A straw boater that is a tad on the small side

The black top hat that I have apparently ordered will arrive tomorrow. Marvellous 🙄

I then asked Ian a question and he stood there staring at me, he then said ” babe sometimes I just need a minute to process the random things that you say” . I decided to cut my losses and shower Lucy who was already waiting in the bathroom shouting up a storm. As I got to the top of the stairs she shouted ” Ruby has done a wee on the floor” , I acknowledged it and went to the airing cupboard to dump the pile of towels I was carrying . When I got to the bathroom I asked Lucy to show me the dog wee, she very proudly said ” I wiped it up” and proudly brandished my now urine soaked Clinique face cloth.

After the ordeal of showering and dressing Lucy ( somehow we both ended up covered in poo) I checked my phone, my friend Billy had messaged from Spain to tell me all about their new dog, a darling little thing who apparently can’t speak a word of English so Billy’s partner Rob has to translate instructions into Spanish .

I picked up the mail, well I actually wrestled it off Ruby who obviously thinks she’s Postman Pat. When I opened one of the letters I discovered an application for a reduction in our Council Tax on the grounds of Jacks ” severe mental impairment” I mean who thinks of these descriptors for people? In addition to the form I have to submit evidence of Jacks eligibility to receive a disability benefit, now that I can kind of deal with , this is public money and local authorities are accountable for how it is spent. What did give me pause for thought was the consent form for them to Write to our family Dr asking him to confirm that Jack is severely mentally impaired. It made me stop and think of how other families with children function, do they have to jump through hoops alongside juggling a demanding caring role?

I mean, who lives in a house like this?

Crazy Train

I am sure that Ozzy Osbourne wrote the song Crazy Train as a soundtrack to my life. I hear the song around 10 times a day as Lucy is a rock chick and of course I really do feel like I am riding a crazy train every single day!

This week has as usual been filled with all sorts of chaos ( would you expect any different?) We have a new addition to the family, her name is Ruby and she is a 14 week old miniature schnauzer. Ruby was initially my Mum’s dog but she was a little to raucous for my Mum so we have adopted her ( Ruby, not my Mum) she is completely hyper in the way that puppies are , she is also completely adorable and looks like a little Ewok , she also chews anything that she sees , pees constantly and barks at her own tail . This morning as I was showering Jack , Ruby jumped in , cue a minor riot , as I was chasing her out she grabbed a toilet roll which rapidly unravelled as I tried to catch her . Today I took Gwen our grumpy 9 year old dog and Ruby out for a walk ,it was Ruby’s first walk and after today it may be her last, she constantly tangled both me , Gwen and herself in her lead, she nearly strangled herself by jumping up and dangling , at one point I actually felt like Albert Pierrepoint FML. While we are talking about animals I should tell you that Cooper the kitten that Lucy adopted in November had an appointment on Tuesday to have his boyos chopped off , as the nurse examined him she smiled and said ” Erm, actually Cooper is a little girl” , of course she is 🙄 . We went ahead with surgery but because Cooper is actually a girl the surgery doubled in price . That night we told Jack and Lucy that Cooper was a girl, Jack didn’t take it well but has accepted it now, and Lucy didn’t care and went back to her bedroom to talk to the werewolf that lives in there. I tried to change Coopers name to Tabitha but it just confused everyone and the kids started calling her Coopitha , so Cooper is still Cooper. The silly sod never responds to being called anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter. And Jack is delighted to tell anyone that will listen that ” Cooper has turned into a girl” forcing me to regale the story to total strangers who are just trying to buy bread in Tesco.

I finally gave in and bought one of those activity tracker things , I did this mainly because I frequently get teased about my reluctance to move unless I absolutely have to . Ian often jokes that he walks more than I do and he uses a wheelchair most of the time . Anyway that little rubber band has been a bit of an eye opener , do you know that it takes just over 500 steps to shower Lucy? Of course a major contributing factor in this is me having to perform an Irish jig to avoid getting bitten . I also discovered that I get approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes quality sleep each night, the rest is disturbed or wakeful sleep . So it’s little wonder that I look like I do . The little judgemental band has shown me that I take over 10,000 steps every day, even on the days where I am sat at my desk for the majority of the day. Take that all of you that tease me about my sedentary lifestyle.

In other news Jack hasn’t been doing so well with his mental health recently so we took a trip to see his psychiatrist on Wednesday . It was difficult to speak to the Dr properly as Jack kept putting the poor guy in a headlock and telling him he loved him. But his medication has now been increased so fingers crossed things will start to improve . Of course I am still a total helicopter parent after the events of last July ( see earlier blog post ) and I’m guessing I will be for some time to come. A manifestation of his mental illness is constant questioning and frequent verbal attacks , last night he was trying to describe a tshirt that he wanted to wear, I was really struggling to understand what he was trying to say , Jack became quite exasperated and shouted ” oh go and piss yourself ” before flouncing off the changing table half naked and in to his bedroom.

But as I sit here typing this I am acutely aware that I am blessed beyond measure . Our close knit SLOS family has lost 6 beautiful children in the past 6 weeks, each time we lose someone we all feel it deeply , our hearts break for the parents and close family and of course it makes us fearful for our own precious children . So while I may be riding a Crazy Train and feeling completely knackered I wouldn’t want it any other way .

I do not have time for this

I probably say ” I do not have time for this ” multiple times every single day. When I woke up this morning I realised I have half a cold, you know what I mean? Like not a full blown , I feel dreadful cold, more a slight sniffle, a bit of a sore throat and just slightly warmer than usual – half a cold. Ian ( the highly qualified nurse) thinks that I am deranged ( probably from the half a fever ) as either I have the cold virus or I don’t. I however stand by my initial diagnosis, either way I do not have time for whatever this is.

My day has been the usual chaos , but this evening has been something else . I arrived home from work to be greeted by Lucy screaming at me that she didn’t want a shower, I placated her as best I could in the hallway with 3 cats and 2 dogs also clamouring for my attention, whilst trying to get into the house and drinking the much needed coffee that Ian was trying to hand to me. We had the usual watching documentaries about wolf packs whilst trying to catch up with each other , fielding ridiculous questions like ” Mam have you got a giraffe in your belly?” ( for the record I don’t, I’m just fat) , cooking tea for Lucy and opening the mail that had arrived when I was at work. And then it was time for the dreaded nightly ordeal that is shower time.

The shower itself was reasonably uneventful by Lucy’s standards , mind you she did try to clean the floor of the wet room with my expensive Clinique face cloth and start waving an empty toilet roll holder around ( it’s the type that looks like a giant dildo and could probably do some serious damage) in a threatening manner. After I got her off the floor of the wet room I took her into her bedroom , she was naked, soaking wet and screaming , she threw herself dramatically onto her freshly changed bed screaming , while Ian cleaned up the water with the new pool cleaning blade on a pole that I bought online after a few too many glasses of wine, I mean we live in Port Talbot and don’t have a pool so goodness only knows what I was thinking. But hey it now has a use! In the midst of this unfolding drama Lucy vomited all over her bed, herself and the floor. To make the situation even more ridiculous she then threw herself dramatically on to the vomit covered floor and rolled about a bit – well I mean why wouldn’t you? As I watched my teenage daughter roll about in half digested chicken nuggets I shouted out to Ian that we needed him. He set about wiping up the vomit while I showered Lucy again. When we came back into the bedroom with my soggy child Ian said ” oh God is that a shit on the floor now?” I tried to reassure him that it was just a big lump of brown fluff that Lucy had bitten out of the carpet on the landing , but the words wouldn’t come out. I was laughing way too much, tears pouring down my face , hiccup inducing laughter / possibly hysteria had taken over. I mean who the hell has time for that?

When we eventually managed to get back downstairs Ian proudly showed me the two large dinner plates he had bought, our plate stock has been diminishing rapidly thanks to Lucy’s belief that she is in a Greek wedding everyday . He excitedly decreed that he would no longer have to eat all of his meals from a large pasta bowl – result .

Jack arrived home with his support worker and he was quite happy, he has been struggling with his mental health again this past week so it was a relief to have some quality time with him. Anyway they both went up to bed with a minimum of fuss tonight so I took the opportunity to dye my hair . Now I don’t colour my own hair , I have a fabulous hairdresser that does that brilliantly, but my diary is so busy I won’t get the time to see her for a few weeks and those grey hairs are just too much. I applied the colour with relative ease , probably because I now have as much hair as Gollum since Jack was sectioned and my Dad passed away, but hey ho a girl can try. As I was washing it off later I noticed that I had inadvertently dyed my right boob purple , yay me . The wet rooms also reminded me of the shower scene from the movie Carrie -but my hair looks ok which is good because seriously I do not have the time to deal with another f*****g disaster today

The Apocalypse cometh

Today February the 28th is World Rare Disease Day . Rare disease day highlights the people who are living with a rare disease , a rare disease is the description used for a disease that effects less than 1 in 20,000 people. I am the very proud Mum of two people with Smith Lemli Opitz syndrome ( a rare disease) . For us it’s an important day, it provides us with the opportunity to raise awareness and hopefully much needed funding for the SLOS foundation so that the vital research can continue.

Jack and Lucy are oblivious to rare disease day and SLOS, they are however acutely aware that we have experienced a sprinkling of snow. Most children and young people love snow, I fondly remember the blizzards of 1984 . Poor Jack however is literally petrified of snow, the snow is too much for his constantly overloaded sensory processing system, his already high levels of anxiety are increased tenfold. In short, he hates snow. His anxiety over snow begins at the start of winter, every day throughout the season he must ask at least ten times if its going to snow. All of our close family and friends know the well rehearsed reassurances about snow. If he sees snow on TV or in a picture he becomes quite hysterical .

For the last few days in the UK we have heard of little else but the impending snow , it also doesn’t help that the entire UK goes into meltdown when it snows, everything comes to a standstill and people really do behave as though the apocalypse is imminent, shops sell out of food, schools close with even the threat of snow and people generally behave like they are preparing for a zombie siege.

When I got home from work today I was greeted by Jack who was practically Morris Dancing in the hall , his litany about not wanting snow was in full flow, he also had a blanket over his head like a criminal leaving court . I knew it was going to be a long night, especially when he opened the front door and screamed at the snow “f**k off and melt you freezing bastard ” Lucy on the other hand can’t wait for the snow to arrive, she is planning to throw Snowballs at Alice Cooper. My new Wooly hat had arrived, but alas when I tried it on I did not look like a model of sophistication, I actually looked more like Victoria Wood performing her friend Kimberley skit. The dog went out but decided it was far too cold to lower her hairy arse onto the floor and the sprinkling of snow, so she promptly came back in and shat on the floor. I made a mental note to look for a taxidermist at the first available opportunity, obviously when the snow or threat of snow has abated as the whole country has ground to a standstill.

So for now I am going to open a bottle of emergency inclement weather wine as I’m pretty certain I just saw the four horsemen trot by.

Maybe you’re the same as me we see things they’ll never see….

Those of you of a certain age will recognise the title of this blog from the 1994 Oasis song Live Forever. I was and remain a huge fan of their music , however that particular line from the song often pops into my head when I am dealing with a ridiculous SLOS related incident. It makes me think of all the things I’ve seen as Jack and Lucy’s Mum , things that only certain people get to see. People who are the same as me , living a chaotic lifestyle because of their caring responsibilities. But anyway, back to the song. When it was released I was 21, I was at college , having fun, being carefree and wanton. The future crossed my mind now and again but I always envisioned that I would live a fairly normal life, you know? Get a job , maybe settle down and get married , go on nice holidays. Kids were never part of my plan , and I most certainly didn’t ever think in my wildest dreams that I would have a kid with a disability, I mean that would never be my life, it happens to other people.

Fast forward to 2018 and I’m living in the middle of a daily hurricane .

This week is a school holiday, so no school for Jack and Lucy . Lots of parents love to have their little darlings home from school, they bake salt dough together ( do you even bake salt dough ? I have literally no idea) , go on lovely walks together and just generally live the cereal packet norm. For us? Well we just batten down the f****g hatches and hope for the best. Jack hates being off school, he misses the structure and routine , his anxiety and nagging are 100 times worse . Lucy doesn’t mind being at home but she will use this as an excuse to resist further our attempts to keep her clean ( I mean she would happily walk around smelling like a tramps arsehole if we let her) , the ” no shower” mantra starts as soon as she opens her eyes. It’s exhausting. So this week I was delighted when Proudfoot came home with a plumbers nipple, I had never heard of one before and felt certain it was something that you could get two weeks off sick with, but no! This little connector has changed my life. It means that we now have a super long shower hose , so no matter where Lucy hides in the wet room I can reach her! Have that you soap dodger!!!

This morning I noticed that Jack has a blister on his ankle from he way that he sits cross legged on the floor, I called the resident nurse to deal with it and Jack took exception . Poor Proudfoot got a kick in his boyos for his troubles, which reminds me, I must book Cooper into the vet, he’s 6 months old now and keeps trying to shag Furbys . Jack also called me a pube for noticing his blister.

Lucy has also developed what we call an ” angry tit” ( obviously not in front of the kids) , when she is angry or frustrated she grabs her left boob and shakes it vigorously for emphasis , I first noticed it when I wouldn’t hand over my phone to her. She exacted her revenge a few hours later when I was stuck in a compromising position ( no loo roll , we’ve all been there) I shouted to Lucy to pass me some in , she quickly assessed the situation, grinned and said ” give me your phone first” . Mercenary little sod.

Today Jack and I went with my Mum to a local car dealership to choose a new car for my Mum. Fortunately our good friend Ross works at the local Volkswagen Sinclair garage so Jack was delighted to see him, the staff were great with him even when he nagged them all, sang Alice Cooper House of fire on top of his voice and then beeped the horn of a car he was sitting in inside the car showroom making everyone jump out of their skin.

This week I have dealt with an inordinate amount of bodily fluids, seen more naked bodies than I would have cared to. Been nagged within an inch of my life, watched Riverdance far too many times, administered medication, refereed fights and probably drunk too much wine. No salt dough for us , which is probably just as well as I don’t know how to make the stuff .

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