The Week Ahead!  

Sunday, 30 November 2008

This is a hard week for me, a hard week for all of us; Aaron would have been seventeen on Friday.

Of course, I don’t think of Aaron as seventeen at all, I still think of him as fourteen, I always will I think, because that’s how old he was when I last saw him.

I do wonder what Aaron would be like at seventeen, how tall, how strong, how cheeky. And I think of all the things I’ve missed and will continue to miss in the years that he should have been here with us learning and growing and laughing. But in my heart and mind, the last image, the last photo, the last hug is how I think of Aaron.

And I know there will never be a moment when I don’t feel the loss and remember that last moment.

The same way as I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t a mum. I know I had a whole life before, and I know it was full with family and work and socialising. But I can’t imagine what filled my heart and my time to the capacity that being a parent does. I couldn’t have been fulfilled… I probably thought I was, but I couldn’t have been. And now, I can’t even remember myself before. I can’t imagine waking up and my first thought being of me, I can’t imagine going to bed without the kids to kiss goodnight, without wishing Aaron goodnight.

This time seventeen years ago, I may have been wallowing around like a beached whale, eating my (rather increased) bodyweight in marmite and bananas (yes together) on toast, but essentially it was still just me. I do remember rubbing my tummy and having a bond with my baby, but a baby I didn’t even know was a boy or a girl, and I have a vague memory of thinking the bond was’ it’, because it was a strong protective feeling unlike anything I knew before. Of course the moment Aaron was born; I knew it as nothing compared to the ‘discovering the meaning of life’ moment of actually becoming a mum.

So that day, that moment I stopped being a single entity and became a mum will be on my mind all this week, even more than usual. I’ll be emotional at times and angry at times, and all at the same time as trying to make sure that Jordan, Robyn and Deion aren’t suffering in silence. I co-ordinate a whole group of the kids friends and teachers to look out for them and report back to me on anniversaries like this in case they aren’t telling me exactly how they feel. They do luckily, but Robyn in particular goes quiet sometimes, and as much as I hate to see the sadness in her eyes, I hate even more that I can’t do anything about it. And after all, I know how she feels.

I will be avoided the shops, as I will undoubtedly see a million things that Aaron would have loved, I know there will be a sudden influx of postman Pat goodies wherever I go, so I’ll stay away. I’ll avoid bakeries and the cake section of the supermarket, and the card section, and the toy section. And I’ll hold in the tears and be strong for everyone else, because that’s what being a mum means. But once everyone else is in bed, its another story!

I am lucky and blessed to have family and friends around me, and this is why I know I’ll get through the week. For them, for me, for the kids, and most of all because of Aaron. He taught me to be strong. And most of all, he would be very disappointed in me if I fell apart now.

xxxxx

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Heart Lessons  

Friday, 28 November 2008

Someone sent me this beautiful poem written by a lady called Brenda Conley, I wanted to share it with you.

“Heart Lessons”

When you look at my child
What do you see?
A child with limitations
Or disabilities?





When you look at my child
With his smile to behold
Will you find, as I do
His heart of gold?





When I look upon my child
With all his special needs
I look beyond the veil
That you might see





When you look at my child
Does your heart understand?
Or do you… simply look away
Without any… compassion at hand?





God makes no mistakes in this life
Everything… is for a reason
We can either open up our hearts and learn
Finding the sweetest of His blessings





When I look… upon my child
I see a heart filled with love
Kindness for all that he may meet
With a manner so gentle and mild
His beautiful smile to greet




When you look at my child… today
Will you just turn and walk away?
Never realizing what the moment
Could have held for you this day





When I look… upon my child
The Lord teaches me even more
Than He did just the day before
Showing me another blessing
An important chapter of this life
I like to call“Heart Lessons”



Brenda Conley © 2006

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NOT Smarter Than A Ten Year Old!  

I was looking forward to today. Deion’s school has an in-set day, so the two of us were going to have some quality time, a cosy day indoors playing games. Jordan and Robyn went of to school to cat calls of, “you’ve got school, suckers, I’m having a lay in.” But Deion told me to stop being mean!!!

So far, I’ve had my butt kicked at Connect Four, been annihilated at Black Jack and thrashed at Wii Tennis, I managed to scrape a win at Bowling, but only just.

So just to be mean, as Deion kept winning, I told him we had to do his homework..ha! Serves him right!

But now, I take it back everything I said about Robyn’s trigonometry. I have no problem being made to feel stupid when I don’t know the homework of a fourteen year old, I welcome it, it was certainly preferable to my ten year old asking me what a progressive pronoun was and being stuck for an answer…and me an author…how will I ever live it down.

Did we even learn this stuff at school????

So on to maths, I know I was good at maths, how hard can a ten year olds maths be right??? So give Deion a sum like, 1344-876 and he can do it in his head before I’ve even written the bloody thing down. And they do it so differently now, they don’t add from the units first and carry the tens like we learned. Kids nowadays can glance at the adding and subtraction problems, they start from the front and can get the answer at a glance.

We seem to be raising a whole generation of brain boxes, kids who can double as human calculators; it’s a conspiracy, devised to make parents feel stupid.

So now I’ve given in, I’m defeated, I’m letting him play some rubbish on the play station while I get a cup of tea and try to find some sort of adult learning, English and maths courses to enrol in!!!

Big sigh!

Sal xxxxx

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20 Questions, Revised!  

Thursday, 27 November 2008

The response and views of the 20 questions video has been brilliant. Now, since Trojan so kindly dropped me in at the deep end, I had no time to think about my answers. But now, after much deliberation, I have thought of something I should have said for every single answer. So I would like to revise my answers please:

Name: Wonder Woman

Place of birth: Whatever planet Wonder woman is from

Right or left handed: ambidextrous, ‘cos I’m that amazing

Shoes I wore today: the latest Jimmy Choo’s, as it is important to look glamorous at all times, even if only doing the housework or the school run

My weakness: I don’t have any.

Goals I want to achieve this year: world domination as far as the blogs are concerned

First thought on waking up: what a beautiful day, what can I achieve today.

Most missed memory: that really was too easy; it is Aaron’s big cuddles and sloppy kisses.

Chocolate or Vanilla: I don’t eat refined sugar; I only eat organic, healthy food. Ah hem!!!

Do I sing: Yes, I’m brilliant; I was considering going on X factor

Do I believe in myself: YES!

Country I’d most like to visit: Italy to make sure my children experience that part of their heritage, then Jamaica, for the same reasons.

What do I want to be when I grow up: Wonder Woman

MY FILM…I’ve finally got it, “it’s a wonderful life” with James Stewart, because I do sometimes wonder what my life would be like without Dave and the kids, and it’s a terrible thought, it reminds us to appreciate what and who we have, and it is a Christmas film, which is my favourite time of year…YAY!

My theme tune: the wonder woman theme tune (Mission Impossible’s a close second)

In a film of my life, who would play my husband: Denzel Washington, because he’s almost as good looking as Dave, although Dave is younger with a better body. (This should get me out of trouble)

Most precious childhood memory: okay I have millions, so I’ll leave that the same.

What am I most proud of: That’s still the kids, but I may leave Jordan out for accusing me of being old the other day!!!

If I could buy anything, what would I buy: a smaller arse and a flatter tummy….no, I’m kidding, I would set up a dolphin programme on an island, and we’d have our own, adapted accommodation, medical centre, staff and a retreat for parents….perfect…one day!

Colour that most describes me: I stand by my original answer, purple is my colour…so there Trojan!!

The most difficult question of all was “what film best describes you?” Now everyone around me is wondering about their own film. It’s not easy, and a couple of the answers have quite frankly been scary, I may be rethinking some of my friendships!

Some people have said Trojan should have asked more questions, so we’ll do another 20 questions in a few weeks, if there is something you want to know about me, then e-mail a question to phelix@blueyonder.co.uk and he can keep it a secret and surprise me…oh goody.

Also you can send me a list of your own answers to the questions, in writing or video, and we’ll post the best ones.

So if you haven’t seen the video blog already, click on and see what I really said….

Enjoy!

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Junk Mail  

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Today, I would like to thank Lewisham social services. I want to thank them for the letter that landed on my doormat today. A letter addressed to Aaron no less. It was a form to fill in, asking him how he is finding their services now that he is a disabled adult and is no longer in full time education.

It is exactly what I needed, especially as it’s his birthday next week. I wasn’t feeling quite bad enough about having to spend his special day without him, so thank goodness for their incompetence!

How can they not possibly know?

Tactless, thoughtless, idiotic are just a few of the words that spring to mind, the rest aren’t fit to print. This needs to be addressed as it is distressing and unnecessary. There is a special needs data base, at least one, and all the relevant people, agencies and authorities have been informed of Aarons passing. Yet, somehow, the letter still got sent.

So I rang them and told them to get their act together. And lets hope they do because the next one I’ll be hand delivering to the person who sent it and I’m going to make them eat the bloody thing!!!

Ridiculous!

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Pythagoras who?  

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Do we get less intelligent as we get older…or are kids just getting more intelligent?

Is it normal to be made to feel completely stupid by trying to help a fourteen year old with their homework?

I was bright at school, I passed all my exams, I consider myself and intelligent woman, I’ve read books on quantum physics and am smack bang in the middle of a psychology degree for goodness sakes.

So why when Robyn asked me to help her with her homework just now, did I end up chewing my lip and asking my fifteen year old to help her instead, because I couldn’t for the life of me remember Pythagoras’s theorem? I made a feeble excuse about having to get the washing on/washing up done/needing the loo (I hope they didn’t notice I was just making excuses!)

Of course Jordan made me feel much better by announcing that I couldn’t possibly be expected to remember something that I had learnt soooo long ago…thanks for that J.

Apparently losing brain cells even as we speak,

Sal xxxx

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Fact and Fiction  

Thank you for your e-mails through the book site. And thank you to all the people clicking on and buying Aaron’s book, I’m very happy that more and more people are getting to know him.

And to answer your questions…

“Yes I am writing fiction too.”

“I find the time at night usually; when everyone else is sound asleep in bed like normal people.”

“They are generally popular women’s fiction, humorous, with a bit of crime thrown in for good measure.”

“I have no clue where the ideas come from; I guess I have a quirky mind and a good imagination.”

“Ermmm…no I’m definitely not rich!”

I have always written stories for as far back as I can remember, I used to love English at school. As I got older there were far more important things to do, like, partying, fashionable clothes, trying out make-up and discovering boys. Then as I got older still, there were even more things to do, like working (and partying, fashionable clothes, make-up and boys).

Then of course, move on a couple of years, and there was parenting, housework, hospitals and sleepless nights. I wouldn’t have known what the fashion was if it had jumped up and bitten me on the arse, and I wouldn’t have been able to locate my make-up bag if you paid me. And believe me, if you’d have caught sight of me at times back then, you probably would have paid me to slap an a bit of blusher!!!

So writing, like all other hobbies became unimportant compared to being a mum. We were busy concentrating on the kids and making a home and family, and all my time and energy only went into that. Besides, if I ever got a moment to myself, I would have spent it sleeping I can assure you.

After Aaron passed away, I wrote his book, and I think it reminded me of how much I got out of writing. So I didn’t stop, I wrote second book for Aaron, and several novels. To me, writing is relaxing, it’s expressive, and the best bit of all, is that as a fictional character in a book; you can be whoever you want, say whatever you want, about anyone you want. It’s very cathartic.

I love to read, I read anything I can get my hands on from psychology books, to autobiographies, to historical fiction to popular women’s fiction. It’s a way of unwinding for me. And I love it if a book can make me laugh. So my aim was to write books that could do that, let someone escape real life for a while, and make them smile. It’s not life changing, change the world writing or anything, but they might change someone's mood or their day.

You can go to http://www.sallyannestephenson.com/ to read the book synopsis’s.

Happy reading,

Sal xxxx

P.S. Any likeness or resemblance when describing events and characters…is totally intentional!!!

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Endless Form Filling!  

Monday, 24 November 2008

I would like to hunt down the person who invented the Disability Living Allowance forms. Then I would like to lock them in a room and make them write ten million lines, something to the effect of, “I will not ask endless, inane questions over and over again.”

I have just spent the last three hours filling in Deion’s DLA forms…and as you may have noticed, I’m not all that impressed about it.

Deion has cerebral Palsy, its not curable, its not going to go away. Barring a miracle he isn’t going to suddenly leap from his wheelchair and announce he can walk. As much as we wish it would happen. And if it did, I can assure you I would ring the DLA people and gladly tell them we no longer needed it. But I still have to fill in the forms. Can’t they just send a single page form to ask if anything’s changed, a phone call even…no, too simple. Even better, if a child has an illness that cannot improve, just leave them alone.

I think they make it difficult on purpose, they must do…I have just answered the same question, asked in four different ways…“does you child need to be changed in the night, and if so how many times, and how minutes does this take, and how many nights per week it is needed?” now, sorry to say, I don’t time this to the second, nor do I time how long it takes me to reposition him in the night, get his pyjamas on or change his sheets should they need it. And NO, I don’t always know how many times I get up in the night, it is often a blur. And when am I even counting from, a normal person’s bedtime, or my bedtime???

The forms are quite frankly ridiculous, they want to know how long things take to the minute, not taking into account that the time for everything varies continually depending on so many things. They are kind enough to say you can estimate it…thank goodness, otherwise we might feel we need to stand with a stop watch trying to improve our times when flushing gastro tubes or changing nappies!

I understand people abuse the system at times and I understand they need details, but proof of a disability, and what it entails should be enough for them to work out the rest. I bet I could ask a dozen questions and get the relevant information. And I wouldn’t ask someone how long it takes to cut up their child’s food, simply saying a child needs assistance at meal times should be enough.

These endless forms need to be simplified. Yes, proof from doctors about a disability, we expect to have to provide. But the rest of it is endless, time consuming, and frustrating. Contrary to what people may think, spelling out every single aspect of our child’s disability over and over again in the minutest detail isn’t all that nice. Even though Deion is a wheelchair user, the forms still require me to fill in the parts that say, ‘no’ he cannot walk one step, ten yards, a hundred yards or further, ‘no’ he cannot get in and out of the bath and ‘no’ cannot go upstairs unaided. Hence the wheelchair people!!!

And sadly, they make it just as hard for you to stop claiming DLA…

When Aaron passed away, I phoned them to inform them, and they wanted proof, I asked her if she was joking, but she said no, and that they wouldn’t stop paying unless I sent proof. I offered to send a signed letter, but it wasn’t enough, they wanted the death certificate, the original no less. I refused to send this, and told her that I was happy for them to continue paying the DLA in that case…and I did put it in writing. Funnily enough, they did manage to figure out how to stop the money without the adequate paperwork.

Every time I fill in the DLA forms, I send them back with a short letter explaining my views, and I have no doubt it goes straight in the trash, maybe if more people did complain, they might take some notice. It wouldn’t even take that long to revise the forms to make them ‘friendlier’ and think of the money they would save…and think of the benefits to the environment, not only could they halve the size of the 40+ page form at least…they could also do away with the extra bulky booklet that tells you how to fill in the form in the first place. If it was simplified, they wouldn’t need a booklet! And quite frankly the booklet just makes it more confusing than ever.

This is a conversation I’ve had with many of my friends, and we all put in out little letter of complaint every time we return our forms, so perhaps you’d like to join us, you never know it might just help. It certainly makes you feel less passive about it I promise.

Take care

Sal xxx

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Immortalised in Print.  

Sunday, 23 November 2008



After Aaron passed away, I found myself sitting for hours at a time going over and over everything in my head; I was trying to remember every moment of his life in the tiniest detail. People thought I was sitting grieving, staring into space, maybe just thinking about the loss, or maybe just crying, letting the tears fall, and sometimes that was the case. But really, I was trying to recall it all, I wanted it all committed to memory so solidly, because I was terrified I was going to forget something, I couldn’t bear to forget the tiniest thing about Aaron and our precious time together.

The more people that came round, the more we spoke about Aaron, and it was then that we realised that not everyone knew everything about Aaron, everyone knew Aaron at different stages of his life, so some people never knew he could walk up until he was seven, some never knew that he was born with a cleft palate, and had to have a tracheotomy to breathe after they repaired it.

So I decided, to write it all down. At first it was just for me, it was therapeutic, it gave me something tangible to hold on to and to do, it’s not like I was sleeping anyway, no matter what the doctor gave me, I couldn’t bear to close my eyes. Maybe because I knew that in that second I woke up, I was going to be oblivious, and then it would hit me like a ton of bricks all over again. So when everyone else was getting their fitful nights sleep, I sat at the computer and wrote, and wrote and wrote…and once it was down on paper, I could stop obsessing about that particular event because it was tangibly on paper.

But the more I wrote, the more I realised how inspirational Aaron is. We all know that, of course, we lived with him; I doubt I will ever meet a stronger or more determined person as long as I live. But I realised that he had so many lessons to teach others too. So it naturally progressed into a book.

I surprised even myself when I remembered everything in so much detail. And one thing I am so grateful for is that we had such a close and intense relationship. Aaron and I were inseparable, and how many mums can say they have that much quality time with their 12/13/14 year old, I know Jordan and Robyn are more independent, they hardly need me at all…but Aaron needed me, and even if at times that was hard, and exhausting, I am so glad now I can’t tell you. It means that we got to cram in far more love and quality time than most mothers and sons do.

The book is not all doom and gloom, honestly, nothing written about Aaron could be. There are some bits that are hard to get through, there are some bits that will undoubtedly make you cry, but you will laugh as much as you cry, I promise. Aaron was a character; he lived life to the max every day, and embodied the meaning of the word love. When you looked at Aaron, you saw the love shine out of him, in his eyes there was just total acceptance, and he was happy just to be with you. A true angel on earth and it’s not just me as his mum that has said that, it has been said by hundreds of people. And anyone who ever got a hug from him with never forget it, mainly because his hugs were like across between the Heimlich manoeuvre and a half nelson…but he meant them, you certainly knew he meant it as the oxygen flow was cut off and your eyeballs started to bulge.

God I miss those hugs the most. I would probably give everything I own for just one more of Aarons hugs. And I would cling on to him and cherish it, because this time I would know it would be the last one. I wonder sometimes if I didn’t cling on enough in that last hug I gave Aaron before he passed away, how was I to know it would be the last one? If I’d of known that I would have clung on and never let go.

I know Aaron book has helped lots of people, many families are gaining hope and strength form Aaron and his amazing character. The book is real and honest and it answers the questions that no-one dared ask me at the time, and since to some extent.

Trojan created a short book trailer yesterday, so if you think this is something for you, then you can find it on www.sallyannestephenson.com, Barnes & Noble or on Amazon.


I hope you enjoy it, I hope Aaron’s strength shines through to you.

Take care

Sal xxx

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20 Questions  



Trojan had another one of his bright ideas yesterday, and decided to fire 20 quick questions at me with no warning and no time for me to think of good and acceptable (maybe less honest I’ll admit, answers). So here are the results, you may find out a few things about me that you didn’t know, maybe a few that you didn’t want to know.

It was actually very funny; it was a lot of pressure, saying the first thing that comes into your head isn’t always the best idea…as you will see. And Trojan sitting to the side reacting to my answers didn’t help. And no, there was no violence involved at the end; I was just defending my answer!!!

And he was a total meanie; he wouldn’t let me redo any of the really cringy answers. Mark my words; I’m going to think of a way to get my own back…

Hope you enjoy,

Trojan & Sally xxxxx

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Missing Wheels  

Saturday, 22 November 2008


I had to give a statement to the police yesterday, some reprobate made off with my spare wheel…again! This is getting ridiculous; they surely can’t be worth very much on the black market. You don’t often see people on street corners accosting passers by to see if they want to buy a fiat wheel! It’s going to be two trips to the (not so local) dealer to get the wheel replaced now; quite frankly I don’t need the hassle.

I was quite embarrassed to phone the police station and report it. Motabilty won’t replace the wheel without a crime number, you can’t get a crime number until you’ve reported it, so over one spare van wheel, I spent ages on the phone, twice, giving details, phone numbers, number plates, vehicle colour, e.t.c. and two police officers had to pay a visit to my house.

I’m pretty sure every one of them was thinking they had far better things to do that to hunt down a rogue fiat wheel thief, and who could blame them.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, that’s two spare wheels and a stolen stereo in total. Also, a long while ago someone bizarrely broke into the car to steal Aarons oxygen cylinder, proving that people really will steal anything. I had to report that too so that I wouldn’t be responsible for replacing it. Again, hassle I didn’t need. And the policeman was pretty confused too, when you report stolen items, they have a list with and item number by it, no surprises for guessing that an oxygen cylinder wasn’t on his list. He scratched his head for a while as we both scanned the list and settled on first aid kit as ‘items stolen.’

Now, one could argue that it is total inconsideration that a thief would target a disabled vehicle, after all our van is very clearly a disabled vehicle, in a disabled bay and covered in various stickers to prove it. And there is certainly enough to worry about without someone making life even more difficult.

On the other hand is there any such a thing as a considerate thief, I doubt the thief was considering the victim and/or their limitations for a second as he crawled under the car and nicked the wheel.

And after all, I’m always shouting about us not being treated differently just because of disability issues, should I be pleased that we have been treated just as badly as anyone else. We were not discriminated against in this case; the thief couldn’t care less about the physical disability of the wheel owner.

So what should we be most concerned about, the fact that someone is totally thoughtless and is willing to steal from some of the most vulnerable people in our society, concerned in general that there is no respect across the board, that people will steal anything from anyone, or should we be glad that our vehicles are not singled out and left alone simply because they display a blue badge???

It just got me thinking, that’s all. What do you think?

So yes, it is annoying for everyone, it’s called petty crime, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a wheel, it replaceable. But it doesn’t feel petty when you’re taking half a day to sort it out, its still people taking something that doesn’t belong to them.


Hoping today’s crime free!

Sal xxx

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Man Flu!  

Friday, 21 November 2008

For years I doubted the phenomenon which is Man Flu, but I can no longer deny it as a real illness.

I am more shattered than usual today, run ragged, exhausted from the demands made upon me. Yep Deion has ‘Man Flu’…he may only be ten years old, but the symptoms are all there.

On the outside, and from a medical point of view it would seem that Deion has only the same virus that Robyn and I both had recently. Yes it was horrid, yes it took us two days to get over it, but in Deion’s own words, “you and Robyn can’t have had it as bad as me mum.” It seems that no-one has ever suffered as much in the history of the world.

He has a bit of a temperature, a bit of a headache and a sore throat…things that don’t seem to debilitating when occurring in a girl…but they are causing Deion to suffer greatly. He has been on the sofa for two days straight, wrapped in a quilt, watching TV (quietly as not to hurt his head), eating only the most yummy (because its easier to swallow) foods, drinking lots of fluids (doctors orders), and demanding I leap up and get anything he might need or the TV control should it be slightly too far away for him to pick up without reaching for it…

“You don’t know what its like,” he said. And, funnily enough, this same thing is said to me every time Jordan or Dave have had the same mild cold….sorry, “Man Flu!”

So Man flu, the most deadly disease known to mankind. How could a woman understand? Thank goodness we have nothing so awful to have to contend with, I’m sure the excruciating pain of child birth, periods, hysterectomies’, are nothing compared to MAN FLU!!!

Right, better go, Deion needs ice cream to ease the terrible pain in his slightly pinkened throat!!

Take care, wrap up warm, you don’t want this illness.

Sal xxx

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Murder On The Dancefloor!!!  

Thursday, 20 November 2008



I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's been watching our latest video. It's had the best number of views yet. I have had an extraordinary number of e-mails and comments with LOL in them. Also if one more person calls me Ginger Rogers or quotes ‘Nobody puts baby in a corner,’ I may have to scream. IT’S NOT ORIGINAL, everyone’s doing it. And I’m really trying not to take offense that so many people are saying ‘Trojan’s really good is't he, has he done it before?’...erm...helloo.what about me???

You wait, next time we video ourselves I’m going to be in full evening wear and heels...I’m better in heels...I promise.

But the one thing people are consistently saying is that it looks like we are having loads of fun, and we are; which is what matters most, after all, that’s what it’s all about. So if you haven’t seen it already, take a look, it will make you smile if nothing else. We may not be competition level exactly! YET! But watch this space!

Take care

Sal & Trojan xxxx

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Happy Birthday  

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Happy Birthday to Trojan, today is his twenty first birthday...again!!! I'm kidding, but I'm not sure how he feels about revealing his true age...but I think you'll agree, he looks great for seventy two!! (now he really will kill me). You are a true friend and a brillinat dance/blog/video/radio show partner....Hope you have a lovely birthday Trojan, and many many more to come. x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

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Traffic W*#”!*’s  

I would just like to send my commiserations to the traffic warden who missed out on a commission today. It’s a good job I forgot to lock the car door; otherwise I wouldn’t have seen the attempted delivery of an unfair parking ticket.

A traffic warden was standing on the curb when I parked in a disabled bay, set the badge to the appropriate time, placed it on the dashboard and got out. The traffic warden saw me unload Deion in his wheelchair, saw me put the ramp back up and watched as we began to walk away. Luckily we had to return after a few steps as I realised that I forgot to lock the doors.

I was surprised when I saw the warden punching my number plate into his little machine of his…the same machine I was tempted to take off of him and place somewhere safe, somewhere that would have required a trip to the hospital to have it surgically removed.

I asked him what he thought he was doing, he ignored me, I asked him louder and pointed to the badge. “It’s upside down,” he said in a bored tone. Actually the badge was sideways, but surely that’s not the point. The expiry date, the time and the number were all clearly visible, even if the poor traffic warden would have had to perform the hard task of tilting his head 30 degrees to the left to check that. I guess it was unreasonable for me to expect such a thing.

The truth is, I didn’t know that the badge had to be upright; I thought as long as you could see it, that was good enough.

Anyway, I turned it so that it was perfectly upright, took the names of a couple of passers by who had stopped to gawk in amazement at the tactless traffic warden just in case I ended up with a ticket in the post anyway. And I think he decided to cut his losses and he walked/stalked off up the road in search of another four wheeled victim.

It would be interesting to know though just how many tickets have been issued in this way, and if people are paying them.

How ridiculous. I drive a HUGE adapted vehicle with a bloody great electric wheelchair lift, there are about thirty stickers warning anyone not to park within 8 feet to allow the ramp deployment and wheelchair access. I have enough to think about without having to become paranoid that my disabled badge is at an exact ninety degree angle to the dash board should some idiot come along and slap a ticket on just for the hell of it.

Is it any wonder that Traffic wardens are some of the most hated people on earth, be honest we all put their job title right up there with serial killers, armed robbers and politicians, I’ve never met a nice one and I don’t think I’ve heard anything nice ever said about one.

Aarrghhh!

Sal xxx

p.s That does say Traffic Wardens in the title by the way…what were you thinking? Traffic Warden is enough of a swear word, I didn’t need to elaborate!

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Dyslexia!  

My daughter Robyn has dyslexia, but she does not let it get in her way...in fact Robyn lets nothing get in the way of what she wants, but that’s another story entirely.

When she was younger, spelling tests were hard for her, but she would work and work at it every week to ensure a good mark. On the one occasion a class mate suggested her 15 out of 20 mark was because her dyslexia made her stooopid, she asked him what he got, he didn’t want to tell her, but upon seeing his 12 out of 20 mark, she flicked her hair over her shoulder and said “you wish you had dyslexia”.

So no problems with it making her feel inadequate then.

Robyn is the inspiration behind the dyslexia range of t-shirts, and is single handled responsible for raising awareness within her school and her peer group. She makes sure anyone with dyslexia has a shirt to show how proud they are. And as Robyn says “I can’t be good at everything mum!” or if Dave or I make a spelling mistake, Robyn will say “and I’m the one with dyslexia!” with a roll of her eyes. You may smile, but its not always cute, sometimes it’s a little embarrassing.

In Robyn’s own words, “In the grand scheme of things, it’s hardly a big deal is it!” I guess having brothers with far greater special needs helped to put things in perspective for her.

Robyn knows that her dyslexia not make her stupid/or stooopid, she knows that with hard work, she can do just as well, if not better than most others. So she knows that if she can have dyslexia and get the same results, she must be even more intelligent…I second that. Imagine simply reading a book or the newspaper and before you even start, you need to decipher some sort of jumbled up code…would we just give up and watch the news or a DVD instead, after all, its hardly relaxing if your fighting to understand words is it.

And if you were in your early teens, would you have continually struggled with your school work, or would you have given up, even messed about, and like thousands of kids have been labelled a problem child and let the education system wash its hands of you…how would that effect your future?

This is one of the reasons kids with dyslexia get left behind, and one of the reasons that kids and their parents love the slogans so much. Times are changing now, dyslexia, like many special needs is widely recognised, there’s no stigma attached to it, and there is help available in every school. For example, arrangements can be made so that your child can have extra time for their exams and most schools provide extra help in English and literature.

There’s a British Dyslexia Association for help and advice should you need it…go to http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/ for information about getting exactly what you need.

The onus lies on us as parents to make sure our kids are secure and confident and know that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. Charleze Theron, Einstein, Hans christen Anderson, Magic Johnson, Agatha Christie, Richard Branson, Keanu Reeves, Jamie Oliver…all dyslexia sufferers, it didn’t seem to hold them back.

So Robyn wanted you to know this, and she also wanted you to know that I use spell check more than she does…cheeky!

Take care

Sal & Robyn

P.S. Since writing this blog someone left a comment to say that www.causesofdyslexia.com is a very informative site. He was right, so check it out.



xxx

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Who Cares?  

Monday, 17 November 2008

Trojan and I did our third live radio blog yesterday afternoon, we spoke for 45 minutes about the lack or respect and appreciation full time mums/carers get from family, society and the government on the whole. Obviously it’s a subject very close to my heart, and one I am very passionate about. So please click on the radio blog to the right and have a listen, and let us know what you think. You may agree or disagree, we want to know either way.

As promised in that radio blog, I have a small list of agencies/support groups who may be able to help you get what you need and you are entitled to.

http://www.familyfund.org.uk/ A charity aiming to support, advise and possibly help with funds for families with severely disabled children.

http://www.carerslewisham.org.uk/ A charity providing advice for people looking after ill or disabled friends and relatives. Directory of support groups and meetings.

http://www.carers.org/ For support advice, information

http://www.direct.gov.uk/ For information on being a carer

If you contact your local borough council, you can find out lots of information on the groups you have in your area. I know first hand how isolating it is at times to be a carer; there is help and support out there for you. Not as much as there should be, and not as widely publicised, but it is there.

Also don’t forget to look up wish foundations, they are a lifeline for families who have children with life threatening and terminal illnesses, we had a foundation help us and it made a huge difference to us as a family.

And of course, I’m here if you think I can help you with anything, or point you in the right direction.

Take care xxx

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Strictly mad!  



Good morning!

Now, it is very important in life not to take yourself too seriously, it is essential to be able to laugh at yourself. Although whether that is supposed to be taken as literally as we did yesterday, I’m not sure.

After we finished our radio blog we felt we needed to lighten the mood, and despite the lack of space and not having any high heels (me not Trojan) we decided to practice some of our salsa moves…it was a lot of fun, so we videoed it and thought we’d show you how we’re doing. The pressure got to us a bit, we now fully understand the nerves the celebs suffer with on Strictly come dancing, the pressures huge…and not having an instructor shout out the moves and thirty other people doing them simultaneously made it harder than the class. But we laughed, the camera man cried…I think with laughter! and we thought we’d let you see.

As I say, normally we ask for feedback and your opinion, we take that back for this particular video blog…no, I’m kidding, please feel free to let us know what you think. It’s had quite a few views already, so we’ll be expecting that phone call from a big LA based dance agency any day now!!!

Enjoy

Trojan and Sally xxxxxxxx

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Radio Blog Three  

Sunday, 16 November 2008


Just a quick reminder to say don’t forget to tune in to our live radio show 5.30pm tonight. We are going to be talking about the issues surrounding being a full time mum and carer. There are so many issues on this subject that effect how we feel about ourselves and what we do, and what we feel we contribute to society and the family unit. You can phone in and have your say, agree, disagree, whatever you want, as always, we love getting your views too.

We will ask why it is predominantly women who end up filling this role? Is this another outdated tradition, or is it the way it should be? We will explore how we end up where we do in general, is it by spoken agreement, it is just presumed, has it just ended up that way? Who is it that decided these things? Has maternal instinct got a lot to answer for? And even if we chose it, are we happy where we are, can caring alone be fulfilling? What message are we sending our children? How do we feel about the stereotypes society has about our role in general?

Big breath!

So we will explore as many of these issues and feelings as we can.

Please also log on later tonight or tomorrow and see what we managed to produce in the way of video blogs, we’ll try to stick with the same subjects to a certain degree, and if we have time (if Trojan has time I should say) we’ll record another video advertisement, the last one was very popular, maybe I’ll try to tip Trojan off his chair or something, because everyone seemed to love the blooper…I’ll see what I can do.

See you later

Sal & Trojan xxx

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Christmas Angel  

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Its that time of year again, the shops are filled with Christmas goodies, nine out of ten adverts are trying to sell us overpriced toys and games that our children had no idea they wanted until they saw the adverts and the shops are filled with mums practically wrestling each other to the ground for the latest Power Ranger action figures…

My friends used to tease me mercilessly. I am as over the top about Christmas as you can get. I buy gifts through the year and by October the gifts are bought, wrapped and tagged, the cards are written and I have detailed lists and schedules of every little thing I might possibly need come the big day. I have a pad that goes under the doormat, so the mere act of stepping on it causes the mat to shout ‘Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas’ we almost gave our long suffering postman a heart attack with this one. I have snowmen that sing, reindeers that dance and a surprisingly large array of Santa’s that do both. You can’t pick up a cup or piece of crockery that doesn’t have some sort of festive being staring back at you past November in my house. Our ‘night before Christmas’ book is the one I bought the year Aaron was born 17 years ago.

But this year, like the last two, my hearts not really in it.

Christmas is the time of year when we most miss those we’ve lost. It is undeniably the hardest thing to get through without them. It doesn’t help that Aarons birthday is the 5th December, but family Christmases’ are our thing. Or they were. And although we are still a family, it feels like someone’s missing so much sometimes I can hardly catch my breath.

I know we have three children to spoil and make sure they enjoy Christmas, and we do that, but it’s not the same. The mad noisy stuff, the glitter, the over the top decorations, was mine and Aaron’s thing in a way. He often got colds and had to have time off school in winter, so we were often holed up together making Christmassy things and trying to find a spare inch of house that wasn’t already glittered to within an inch of its life. He had his favourite Christmas films that we started watching daily from October onwards and as for the Christmas CD’s…need I say more.

Aaron was the one who dragged me to every shopping centre and garden centre within a thirty mile radius to meet every Father Christmas ever to don a false beard and padded tummy. I loved it all, the shopping, the carols, the school plays, fairs and parties, mine and Aaron’s Christmas socks, our Santa hats…

So it’s just different now. For all of us I know, but for me more than anyone. The first year after we lost Aaron we ran away, literally. We went to Orlando to spend Christmas with family there. Not because we thought we could escape Christmas, but because we had to escape the place we spent it with Aaron. Last year we stayed home but I thought my heart was going to break on Christmas morning as I walked past his closed bedroom door.

So this year, we’re doing a bit of both, we’re taking the kids away to Orlando to visit family, and we come back on boxing day. We’ll still have the tree and family get together in both places, and we’ll just have to try and accept that Aaron is with us in a different way.

It is only our third Christmas without Aaron, so we expect it to be hard. But I can’t imagine a Christmas, in all the years to come where there’s not a physical pain, a longing so great it’s hard to imagine looking forward to it ever again.

Deep down, I know this is not what Aaron would want, I know he would want us to be happy, play and laugh, and I really try. On an every day basis, that does work, even if sometimes I’m just putting a brave face on it. But that brave face is harder to maintain over the time when we should be celebrating his birthday and Christmas together.

So we are taking it a Christmas at a time, hoping for a time when the smiles come easier, but also dreading it because in a way I am terrified it might lessen the connection I feel with my Christmas angel.

Sally xxx

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Drinking and Driving.  

Friday, 14 November 2008

Well, they let us home from the hospital today, I’m a little concerned that is was more to do with the fact that Deion was constantly demanding food and chatting the ears off the nurses than that he was actually alert enough from the anaesthetic to come home.

I was up late last night packing his bag…and don’t think I’m talking about pyjamas, reading books and slippers, I’m talking about chicken drumsticks, Doritos, chocolate chip cookies, Haribo and a Satsuma…the Satsuma was for me.

Sadly, I underestimated, and in the last four hours, he still needed two hospital meals, one of the nurses lunches and a constant supply of drinks…with chipped ice if you don’t mind, not the cubed kind!

I’m not sure he was totally ‘with it’ as we left the ward and he drove his chair down to the car park. After taking out a potted plant, a chair and a doctor, I realised, he might not be fit to drive after all.

Is driving a wheelchair under the influence the same thing as drink driving, I’m not sure. It may seem less dangerous, but if you’ve ever been run over by an electric wheelchair, you know it’s no joke!

But in all seriousness, Deion was a star, he hated the starving part, but he was great when they do the blood tests and put the drip in and stuff. He had a muscle biopsy, a lumbar puncture, and an arterial blood test. All went well, and apart from feeling a bit sore, he is fine. He’s gone to bed now and I expect he’ll be using his sore back as shamelessly as he can, and we’ll all be charging around catering to his every need all weekend.

I also had to explain to Jordan, Robyn and Dave that Deion was not halucinating, as they presumed on hearing about it. And we did actually see a storm trooper in the lift at the hospital. It was a little surreal, I got a fit of the giggles, and the stormtrooper looked at me as if to say 'grow up' which made it worse. But he didn't shoot me!!! so that was okay!

We’ll be getting the test results in a week or two, so fingers crossed for good news.

And I just want to thank everyone for your messages of support. Family and friends obviously texted, phone, e-mailed and sent their love. But we also had many good luck messages from people who only know us through the blogs. So thank you, we are touched and everyone’s messages of support were much appreciated.

I need to go and get some rest now, Deion’s going to have me on my toes tomorrow.

Take care

Sally and Deion (Demon Driver) xxx

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Valuable Goods.  

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Do you know why we’re not valued? …I do, it’s because we don’t bloody well value ourselves enough thats why.

When you’re out and when someone asks you what you do…how many of you feel happy saying I’m a mum, how many are proud to say I’m a carer. More importantly how many of you have said those words and seen the look of disinterest in the person's eyes. And sorry to say it, especially if it's a man who's asked.

Of course being just a mum and a carer means you couldn’t possibly have anything of interest to say to that person. I’m sure they’ll soon be scuttling off just in case you start talking about nappy changing, children’s books or god forbid…childbirth, after all, that’s all we could possibly know anything about.

No, its true, I couldn’t possibly be in my fourth year of a psychology degree, couldn’t possibly be a published author, couldn’t possibly speak two languages, run my own business and know more about advertising, marketing, taxes, finances than most people in the room….nope, I’m a mum, a carer…see ya!

Of course that person may have more luck next time, the next person they ask may be a teacher, a receptionist, a lawyer, a doctor, a chef…you know, someone who really contributes something to our society, not someone who sits at home all day drinking tea, eating cake and watching daytime TV…thank goodness, this time they might find someone who has something interesting to say.

Of course, you may walk past them ten minutes later and hear them talking about Eastenders as if it's real life…what a shame you missed out on that intellectual conversation…after all, I for one wouldn’t be able to hold my own in a conversation about any of the soaps on TV…I don’t watch them, I’m far too busy editing my novels, doing my tax returns, arranging hospital apointments and making sure my kids, husband and customers are happy to sit on my arse and watch TV!

So when someone asks…say it, say I’m a MUM! I’m a carer, and you know what, if they look bored, feel free to tell them that there’s no point in having a conversation with you because YOU are way out of their league, there’s no way they could understand someone as complex as you…they don’t hold a candle to you and you need to know that. As soon as you believe in yourself, it will shine through.

Right, I’m off to beat someone up…

Sal xxx

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Builders Bum!  

Okay, I’m a little mad, and a lot hypocritical.

We are having some building work done to the house at the moment. And me with my irrational need to be in control, offered to source and buy the materials. So over the last couple of days I’ve been to the builders merchants for a whole load of things I never knew existed. I’ve been in my oldest tracksuits, make-up free, with my hair un-brushed as I trotted around the shop, not getting an offer of help from anyone passing by as I tried to drag huge bags of bonding agent onto my un-steerable trolley…I’ve had to almost beg the actual shop workers to help point me in the direction of what I needed. So I’m achy and sore and fed up of building materials.

Today however, I had a couple of appointments, so I had to stop at the builders merchants in between times. So instead of my usual unkempt paint splattered self, I was looking a little different. I was only in jeans, but fitted ones, heels and a blouse, complete with a smart jacket. Not only was my hair brushed, and my lashes were laden with mascara, I was also wearing perfume and a splash of that elusive lipstick I’m always trying to find time for.

So today, I had lots of offers of help. I only needed one or two things, but a total of three men…who didn’t even work there stopped and offered to lift the ‘oh so heavy’ aqua board sealant tape into my trolley. Another man lifted a sheet of board for me, and someone who worked there loaded said items into my car.

And the worst thing of it all I guess is that I let them, I even smiled and thanked them sweetly. Afterwards, I though I should have ranted about how shallow they were, how dare they offer to help me because I looked nice and ignore me when I was looking bedraggled on my last couple of visits. But today, I was actually quite happy to stand back and let these men load my trolley and car. I was glad I didn’t have to get my jacket dusty and in a way felt it served them right for ignoring me last time, even though these were different men, perhaps they were just gentlemanly and would have offered to help regardless of my cleavage and butt hugging jeans….mmmmm!

Did I feed their chauvinistic attitude? On the whole I don’t do the ‘helpless female’ thing. Today, I just didn’t have the energy and went with it.

Is it any wonder that women, on the whole are insecure about their looks. It’s bad enough that we are made to feel inadequate if we are anything bigger than a size ten thanks to most of the celebs we see. But on top everything else we have to do, we have to get out the hair straighteners, eyelash curlers and slap on some make up to feel we’re worth speaking to.

Maybe I’m being oversensitive, is it just human nature to be kinder to more attractive people on a whole. Are we all shallower than we like to think? Regardless or whether we’re happily married or in a relationship, do we enjoy the male attention anyway? Who are we really wearing make-up for? Does our self worth and confidence in our looks depend on a man paying us attention?

Note to self…wear lipstick when buying building materials!

Sal xxxxxxxxxx

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Salsa Night!  

Well, as usual Trojan and I had a great time at salsa last night….we had our first dip finish…..and no…I didn’t end up on the floor as I thought I might. Although Trojan was a little over zealous and may have sprained his back a little while trying to get the big finish. Most men in the class were a little more conservative and just did a small dip, but that’s just not Trojans way!

It was brilliant, and we kept up and are amazed at just how quickly the routines are becoming easier. The steps are second nature now and I’m playing salsa music and dancing around the house more and more.

The kids just roll their eyes at me, but Dave doesn’t seem to mind…funny that, Dave not minding as I shimmy around the house wiggling my hips!

But one of the best things, was after I had completed an assault course of cooking and cleaning to enable my escape, Deion asked me if I wanted a quick game of blackjack, and Robyn said ‘no, mummy’s got salsa tonight.’

So Wednesdays are fully established salsa nights for mummy.

Livin la vida loca….well, sort of!

Sal xxxx

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Are Mums and Carers Valued Enough?  

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Today we are going to talk about an issue that many mums and careers have to deal with. ‘Lack of self worth’...uh oh!

Those of us who do not leave the house to do a conventional job, often feel like we're not seen as productive, contributing or valued members of society. Of course no-one sees the sheer magnitude of the stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis. There are days when as a parent/carer we’ll have a ‘to do’ list that would make a grown man cry…and all on less than four hours sleep in many case.

We’re not just housewives (god I hate that word!) like any mum, we’re cooks, cleaners, nurses and anything else raising children and running a home entails. As carers, we have the added opportunity to experience being physio therapists, psychologists, support workers, speech and language therapists, dieticians, occupational therapists…we have to keep up with dozens of appointments, add to that the fighting the system for school placements, key workers and equipment…are we having fun yet?

Then there’s often physical stuff, the lifting and handling…honestly I could arm wrestle Hulk Hogan and win after the lifting I’ve done over the years. I’m stronger than I look…and my godson deeply embarrassed his parents with a comment a few weeks ago as I helped them move furniture…”Auntie Sal aint ‘alf strong for a skinny bird” he said….his mum was affronted that he used the word ‘bird, and an argument ensued with his father on encouraging improper labels…I was just sadly thrilled that he thought I was skinny!

I have a feeling that a lot of women share these same thoughts of not being appreciated. Why is it that women are generally the ones that end up in this role in the first place. Is it by choice of by accident? Is it because the roles are so inherent in society. Women can earn as much as men now, so why are men still predominantly the breadwinners while women take care of the house and the children. Regardless of whether the woman works too.

It’s time that society started to recognize the importance of carers and all they do and contribute. What we do is beyond monetary value. As mothers we are raising the next generation of people who will be running the country. What we do is the most important job in the world. Can’t we acknowledge this on whole?

So the radio blog this week will explore and identify the value of our contributions as a mums, carers and friends. We can talk about how we feel our role is valued by society at large and also how it’s valued closer to home. If it was men having to make the decisions regarding their children’s schooling, hospital appointments, medical care and deal with the day to day running of the house, would it be more valued by society? Would it suddenly be an essential contribution to society as a whole.

We will also talk about how we ourselves contribute to this perception and what are we doing about it. Should we be asking if it’s acceptable, should we be demanding the respect we deserve?

Who are we? What makes us ‘us’, you and what example do we set for the people around us? Are we setting our children up to take on these same roles later on in their own lives.

None of us have all the answers but we can learn a lot by talking, listening and changing the negative mindsets that society, the government, our own families and we often seem to have of ourselves. This may be a good way to explore these issues and at the same time make a difference to someone else in a similar position.

These blogs have always been about reaching out to others and this way we can hopefully reach some of the least appreciated people in today’s society.

So let us know your views, if there is something specific you want us to talk about, and of course tune in to the show, you can phone in and have your say.

Right, I’ll take a breath now, as you can see, I feel strongly about these issues, I hope you do too.

Sal xxx

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Going Global!  

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

We just wanted to let you know that as well as the UK, we have readers and viewers, from:

USA,
Spain,
Belgium,
Switzerland,
Gambia,
The Bahamas,
Ghana,
Belize,
St Lucia,
Italy,
France,
Australia,
Singapore,
Germany,
Saudi Arabia,
And Greneda

Thank you to our international readers and viewers, and please, please feel free to e-mail us and let us know how the issues we talk about affect you in other countries across the world.

World domination. I think so!

Sally and Trojan xxx

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Hospital visit.  

I may be neglecting the blogs a little later on this week. Deion has to go into hospital on Friday for some investigations. He developed a squint last year that the ophthalmologist repaired. But he’s also been having a bit of trouble chewing and swallowing for the last few months. And for a foodie like Deion…that’s a big disaster. So the doctors need to find out why it’s happening and if the two things are linked.

We have a couple of build up appointments, then, like I say he actually gets admitted on Friday. I will keep you posted on what goes on. I’m sure he’ll be brave, I panic a little about theses things, no matter how many times you have to do it…leaving your child in that anaesthetic room is heart wrenching. But Deion’s a total star always! Of course I have to bribe him with large quantities of his favourite things, and a DS game may be involved…

Oh yes, bribery, I’m not above it at all. Before I had kids I was very much a believer that children would behave and do well, be motivated, just because I told them so…how sadly disillusioned I was.

Of course operations are different, its only natural to spoil a child who’s in hospital…best get back to the re-mortgage forms…I think Deion’s made a rather large list this time!!!

I’ll still be blogging when I get time.

Keep well

Sal and Deion xxx

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Mixed Parenting  

After I wrote about Dave yesterday, a few people e-mailed and asked me if I thought that Dave being black and me being white created problems with regards to marriage, family and parenting.

I guess we did meet with a lot of prejudice when we were first together. Still do on some level, but society as a whole is far less concerned with mixed race relationships now I think.

I used to get stereotyped A LOT…… When I was pregnant with our third child, I was at an antenatal appointment with my eldest 2, the midwife asked me if all the children were by the same father, and when I replied in the affirmative she said “oh, well done,” as if it was shocking. I resisted the urge to batter her with the baby heart monitor and said nothing.

I guess there are always going to be issues with any mixed race or religion relationship. But if it’s right, it’s worth the fight. And you really need to not care what other people think. All married couples have differences; the racial ones are just more obvious to the naked eye. No, I don’t know what it was like to experience racism on a daily basis while growing up, but on the same note, Dave has no idea what it was like to be a girl growing up. He’s not experienced sexism in any way either. So we are all different, there are always things that we cannot of experienced in the same way our partner did. But that’s one of the things that makes a relationship interesting.

I for one do not want a husband who is exactly the same as me (we’d kill each other within the week!) And I believe that children of a mixed parentage have the best of both worlds, mine do because they can be enriched in both mine and their dad’s cultures. As long as we have the same values, as long as we want the same things for our children, as long as we love each other…that’s what counts. I guess we’ll just work the rest out as we go along; it’s worked for us so far.

We fall in love with a persons heart and soul, not their skin colour.

And no, don’t worry, two people asked, but I promise I was not offended in any way, if you want to know anything about me, I will answer as openly and honestly as I can (within reason) and after all, its only my opinion, and what I believe. Although it may be different to what anyone else thinks, I am more than happy to share my thoughts with you.

Take care

Sal xxx

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Dave!  

Monday, 10 November 2008

Today, I’m going to introduce you to my husband David.

Dave and I met over 20 years ago now, I was working behind the bar in a nightclub as a second job, and he was raving in the worst pair of shorts I’ve ever seen in my life…in his defence though…it was the eighties.

The kids still tease Dave for being stuck in the eighties because he recently bought roller skates in stead of roller blades…and Dave wasn’t too amused when the guy in the shop suggested some matching leg warmers, even though the kids thought it was hilarious.

Dave is laid back compared to my hyper. If we were both as frantic as me, the kids would probably be nervous wrecks. I joke about Dave being so laid back he’s horizontal, and I do on occasion have to check for a pulse…This however does not mean that Dave is not a high achiever. He worked in a job he was unhappy in for years as he’d never realised his dream of becoming a barrister. But when Aaron was busy fighting every day literally for survival, Dave realised he needed to settle less, and do more towards his own dreams. So he went to law school as an external student and got his law degree, and then his masters…all while doing a full time job. He had to give up work to sit the bar, then he got pupilage in a prestigious chambers in 2005.

So after eight years of hard work, Dave was called to the bar and became a fully fledged barrister. He now works in chambers and is a part time lecturer at a law school.

But that’s just a small part of who Dave is. Dave is an incredibly driven and strong person. While we were all falling apart after losing Aaron, he was the one who stood strong and held it all together. I’m not saying he didn’t...or doesn’t have his moments, but luckily they are only when I’m capable of being the strong one.

Dave is even more stubborn than me, even though he would never admit it in a million years. And he has a competitive streak that I have never seen matched. It doesn’t matter if its scrabble, football or a game of snakes and ladders, he the most unbearable winner and the worst loser…

Our children are our lives, and certainly our priority (when we’re not annihilating them at monopoly that is); we are trying to set good and strong examples for them and teach them that anything is achievable. So we work really hard, tell the kids that it’s important to achieve, and to get their education while it’s free!!! If we ever had to total the cost of Dave training late in life we’d probably slip into cardiac arrest!

If I had my choice, Dave and I would spend more quality time together. I know we had a recent weekend in Paris, the first time we’d been away together in 17 years. But in an ideal world, a few more hours to snuggle up on the sofa with a film and a glass of wine would be great.

Sal xxxxxxxxx

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Busy Day  



When Trojan opened the front door to me yesterday, I noticed that his skin looked suspiciously smooth. He insisted that he’d done nothing more than have a shave, yet it looked a little more like he’d had a facial to me…mmmm!

I felt a little insecure then, I had intended, as I do every week for the video blog, to brush my hair, slap on a bit of lipstick and make myself look half presentable. As usual, by the time I’d sorted out the kids, the cooking, washing and ironing of uniforms, answered e-mails and restored some sort of order to the house, I didn’t have time to even locate my hairbrush, let alone use it.

I can’t help feeling that it’s so much easier for men!

Well, Trojan is a few years younger than me; I guess I can’t resent his youthful complexion… I’m not bitter…honest!

Anyway, I digress,

We did the second radio blog, we spoke about what’s been going on this week, about Barack Obama being elected into the white house and what it means to us, what we feel it means to this country also. Of course, it wasn’t going to go completely smoothly, we knew that as I accidently introduced myself during the music intro.

And it wasn’t until we listened back an hour or so later that we realised we didn’t shut off the live feed and we can be heard chatting away about the blogs and various other things…thank goodness we weren’t saying anything derogatory about anyone…and we weren’t using bad language (which makes a change for us…...kidding!)

We also did our fourth video blog, a brief version of the radio blog if you like, this went well, we are getting quite good at these now, no nerves, it’s just like we’re sitting having a chat.

We did try something new, and that was a brief advert for the t-shirts, I looked a bit too serious…but I’ll expect QVC to be recruiting Trojan any time now. We had a couple of bloopers, and we left one in because it made us laugh so much and kind of depicts what we are all about, not perfection (if only) but fun and getting a message out there.

So please log on to the video and radio blogs, as usual all comments are greatly appreciated.

We’ll be back….If you want Trojans autograph, please send and SAE to……

Trojan and Sal xxx

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