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!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Home Again... Holidays Over

I've just been shopping with the kids. And now I need to lie down in a darkened room to renew my breathing abilities. All three needed new school/nursery shoes. The two older ones needed new plimsols for PE. Ed needed the new regulation black shorts/white t-shirts needed now he is in the Junior school. And I spent a fortune yesterday online buying them uniform.

The coats are going to have to wait intil my first pay-cheque (and there was me wondering why I'm going back to work!) Until then they can squeeze into last year's ones.

Children are so expensive....so expensive....so expensive

By the way the floorboards look fantastic. I did have a small sense of humour failure when I came home to the whole house covered with a layer of wood-dust, but now I've regained my sunny outlook (ha ha).

Back to Frankenstein.... Blog, Facebook, Twitter stop distracting me!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

In Cold Blood .... amongst other things

We're still up here in the Highlands, minus Rog who had to head home to work. I'm getting twitchy. Work is looming, ever closer and I'm reading, reading, reading in preparation. No-one could say that I'm not putting in the hours - and I'm not even getting paid yet!

Have you read Truman Capote's 'In Cold Blood'? I'm teaching it, so I thought it was a good idea to read it!! It's fascinating. Amazingly written and chilling for unexpected reasons, mostly for what one can see about how Capote's focus changes as the story unravels. I have spent the past few days feeling as if I'm in Kansas - and not Dorothy's Kansas at that. Instead, a far darker and sadder place. I didn't know before reading the book that Capote was a very good friend of Harper Lee, and in fact she helped him to interview the residents of Holcomb after the murders. I had, however, noted to myself that there was something about Capote's style that reminded me of 'To kill a Mockingbird' - and then couldn't help but feel a little pleased at picking up on that reference from Capote's text alone.

Home at the weekend. Either to my mum's so that Rog can strip (and varnish) our kitchen floor down to the boards, while the kids are out of the way - or not, in which case our slightly manky and very old carpet will have to remain for some time longer. Not sure - the DIY option risks chaos well into next week as Rog (possibly inevitably) discovers that the job will take him longer, while I decide to implode through stress at the dusty and unusable kitchen alongside kids and school and work approaching fast. On the other hand I do hate that carpet so...... and maybe I should be grateful that I have someone willing to hire a horrible big sanding machine and do a job like that - while I'm safely out of the way.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Glamping? I Think Not!

We're home now - weary and grubby, but having had a lovely time (notwithstanding the soaking tent complete with puddles throughout - after a particularly impressive night-long storm). I may be lying if I said that going home at that point didn't cross my mind.

But, visiting Tintagel - King Arthur's amazing castle which falls off the Cornish coast, was a high point. High point in many ways as the huge steps were cut into the cliff edge. Hattie insisted on climbing every step herself - showing a toughness suitable for the court of King Arthur himself.

We went to The Eden Project, The Tate at St. Ives, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Lanhydrock House and beaches, and walks.... and went to the circus.

Camping was kind of fun - more so than I expected. Hattie got increasingly overtired though, missing her afternoon sleeps and inevitably getting to bed much later than usual, bundled into her sleeping bag alongside her big sister. So - it certainly felt pretty full-on, but it was a good family time - time to play Monopoly, to eat breakfast outside together every morning. And Rog and I went to bed much earlier than we usually do. By the time it got dark, bed called - and reading with a flashlight on a blow-up mattress was certainly a novelty which after 10 days lost some of its charm.

The older kids had a great time - buying fresh croissants from the farm shop every morning. Ed made a friend who lives in London, whom he's determined to write to. Even Rog and I had the odd chat with fellow campers - especially our neighbours with their four sons and dog called Hattie (imagine Hattie's delight....)

We're already planning our summer holiday next year - camping in the French Pyrenees maybe?

I've managed to stave off impending job anxiety by living in denial. Job? What job? September? That's months away! etc etc.

I'm feeling much better too at the moment - which showed that I needed a holiday I think. However I am going to have to have an interview by Occupational Health before I start work, which has annoyed and upset me greatly. I'm well enough to go back to work, and if I'm not, then I should be able to receive the disability benefits for which I'm no longer eligible. I've been entirely up-front about my cancer when I had my job interview and I fail to see how an interview with some individual from a private company whose services are bought in by the council employing me, can shed any more light on whether my cancer will return and require me to have time off work. I wish I knew the answer to that question. Having this interview feels intrusive and potentially upsetting. I'm 2 and a half years in remission, and we're skint. So I have to return to work. If I could have some more time to rest and recuperate I would. But I can't.

Anyhow - off to Scotland in a couple of days. Lots of driving this summer, that's for sure.