Kate's Blog

Follow me if you will as I try to navigate through the ups and downs of my world.

I'm writing this blog to help me make sense of all that has happened - from my diagnosis with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while pregnant with my third child in May 2008
, through to my reflections on chaotic family life as I try to pick up the pieces of my life again.

The kids are so small, and I'm working hard to keep us all safe and to stay in remission.

Stay with me - it won't be all doom and gloom I promise!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Off To Scotland

We're off to Scotland for the half-term break tomorrow. Away for the whole week - I can't wait.

I am slightly less enthusiastic about the 9 hour drive with a small tyrant in the car. This afternoon on the 10 minute drive to pick up the kids from school, Hattie wailed and cried and shouted at me because she wanted me to close MY window which was open approximately 2 inches! Reasonable? I think not. On the way home she yelled all the way because she dropped her small plastic red teaspoon which she likes to carry around with her for absolutely no apparent reason that I can see.

I've just remembered that 2 year-olds are not that big on reasonable - how could that have slipped my mind?

Actually do you find 5 and 6 year-olds all that reasonable?

At what age exactly do kids become reasonable? Let me know.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Where Have All The Comments Gone?

Am having 'comment problems' - they're not showing up on my blog! Of course I know that you all will be trying to comment, unless everyone has unilaterally decided to boycott me which is a possibility but would seem a little unfair! Paranoid? Me?

While I'm here I must just exclaim at how tyrannical Hattie has become seemingly overnight. She has transformed from an easy and delightful, laid back baby into Pol Pot! 'Hattie do it', is her favourite and oft-repeated mantra. It's all very very exhausting.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

This May I'm........


For the past two years our garden has been a source of embarrassment -even if I have had a pretty good reason for the neglect, what with my survival kind of taking centre stage, and my exhaustion meaning that the sofa was more appealing if I had any child-free time.

But this May, I'm feeling well. Not tired - hence my gym visits, and feeling much more confident that I might just get to next May with a bit of luck. Gardening seems a positive investment in my time and energy. Martha and I are spending time together digging, weeding and watering and things are looking better on the green front. Admittedly Hattie is not entirely an asset when tidying up the garden - pushing her toys into my brand new lupin indeed! And the kittens are keen on helping with the digging in their own particular way. However it is a very good thing to be alive and well and in the garden at all.

We're planning a rasberry and pear crumble made with fruit grown from our own garden. We won't be able to make the crumble until next August - but that's ok, we can wait.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Thomas Cromwell and the Gym

OMG!!! I went to the gym again. And cycled and treadmilled until I was worried about my rapidly increasing heartbeat. Phew. I'm very proud of myself.

And this morning I took Hattie shopping and we bought her new sandals to celebrate the start of the lovely summer weather.

And at the risk of repeating myself I have to rave again about 'Wolf Hall'. I feel as if my life is a mere shadow compared to the world I'm inhabiting whenever I find five minutes to open the book. I keep expecting to bump into Thomas Cromwell. You might think he's unlikely to be in the gym though, or in the shoe department at John Lewis..... but I'm not so sure.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

This Week

Yesterday I was 41.

This morning I went to the gym in an attempt to ward off the advancing years.

Now I'm very very tired and want to eat biscuits while reading 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel which is amazingly, wonderfully brilliant by the way.

Or, snuggle down like the baby every afternoon and SLEEP!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Why I can't Get My Arse into Gear - an essay

Ho hum.... birthay parties - Hattie's 2! Also washing, cooking, cleaning, ironing and shopping. And reading Michael Frayn's 'Spies' at top speed so that I can be useful when I take top dollar from some poor unsuspecting student who's coming here tonight for tuition before her English A Level. Only joking! Actually, I'm quite good at the teaching thing on the whole, although having to use my brain after 7pm is quite a stretch these days.

I'm struggling with my regular sinus thing at the moment - attractive red eyes and all, but I'm just about to start on my millionth course of antibiotics so maybe I'll make a miraculous recovery in the next few days. My immune system's still not 100% so there we go.

And it's my birthday next week. For a long while it didn't seem likely that I'd see my 41st birthday. But here I am and all that stuff......

Am not really managing all the writing projects and ideas for more writing which are swirling around unwritten or at best half-written. I don't have enough time after I've done all of the above.... and I do have to fit in some TV and reading down-time too. I guess successful writers are quite a disciplined bunch. I wish I wasn't quite so easily distracted. Oooh - another cup of tea I think while the baby sleeps before I have to go and get the kids from school. See what I mean?

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Clegg, It's A Trapp!!

What is going to happen after the election results on Thursday? I cannot IMAGINE how the Lib-Dems could possibly possibly contemplate any kind of alliance with the Tories. Surely that would split the Lib-Dem party in two? I'd be furious if I'd voted Lib-Dem (I'm a Labour voter through and through in case it's not obvious) as no-one would vote for them and expect that vote to help the Tories into government.

I can see that there's a bit of an insuperable problem here to be sure. Labour did not regain enough seats to hold the confidence of the country (why the hell not?) and it would be kind of difficult to see how they could form an alliance - even if various other fringe parties joined with them and they limped towards a majority, and govern with conviction.

But, If I had the chance I would urge Nick Clegg to think very very hard before he joins with Cameron. I think Cameron is a sly and slippery character. At least with Thatcher (and I certainly had no love for her the old battleaxe) one damn well knew what one was getting if one voted for her. Cameron's untrustworthy and insincere, not that game-show host Clegg doesn't ooze a certain smarminess. I guess there are some things which the two parties may have in common after all.

It might be that it would be best for Labour if some alliance between the Tories and Lib-Dems does happen. There'll be chaos and instability and when another election has to happen in a few months as a result, Labour may be voted in with the majority they should have had on Thursday if people hadn't had some foggy idea about voting for change without being clear about what change they wanted or indeed whether they really wanted it.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

I Hait Mum

So, another bank-holiday weekend bites the dust! What did we find ourselves doing on our extra day off work and school? Buying shoes for the kids, that's what!! I have my regular sinus thing back again which makes me feel totally totally rubbish (struggles to find polite word...) and trailing around looking for shoes to fit Ed who seems to have mysteriously impossibly unusually shaped feet, was not helping matters for me. Cue lots of shouting and tears from us all - when we got home not in the shoe-shop, although lots of furious hissing was employed there instead - and cue huge amounts of guilt from me about what an appalling parent I am. Not helped by discovering Martha's touching message for me which was on the floor of her bedroom. 'I hait mum'. Hmmm.

She later amended it to 'I love mum', but only after I'd produced the first offending note and she felt sheepish.

I hope the kids don't all end up in therapy in 20 years time expanding upon exactly why they all 'hait' mum.