Saturday, 7 March 2009

Balls in the air

And balls to most of them! I can remember my grandmother, post-stroke, who would struggle to find a word but who never seemed to have a problem with “Balls!”

This week we have had big scaffolding put up before the work starts on our roof. That’s a good thing. The fact that it has entirely blocked one of our neighbour’s satellite signals is a bad thing. This is embarrassing though, of course, there is nothing we can do except offer a financial contribution towards getting their dish re-sited. It is one of the drawbacks of these little terraced houses that anything anyone does has implications for their neighbours. Big trucks block the road, building noise is heard in both adjoining houses etc. One of our next door neighbours has been a great help and allowed a ‘foot’ of the scaffolding to come down on her side of the garden wall. People are great round here because we all live with the reality, but it doesn’t stop it being worrying. I am also nervous about such major work being done on the structure of the house. I can’t help thinking about one of the houses opposite, where they took out a window in the front to replace it with double glazing and the whole bay fell off the house... Must stop that kind of thinking.

As well as irritating us with their review response, the local council has declared a possible plan to demolish the crummy (but much relied upon) building in which Kids’ Club runs – instead of using money already earmarked to improve it. It is primarily used by an organisation that runs an after-school club and playscheme – and we use it two mornings a week. It is in a little park so it is ideal. Kids’ Club (for any readers recently arrived here) is a play based, co-operative learning group for home ed kids of about 6-11. A play worker is there to act as a facilitator and help the kids manage the business of being in a group – along with a parent on a rota basis. Leo gets four hours a week (over two mornings) playing with his friends and doing other cool things. The other day I was looking at some fantastic dinosaur ‘top trumps’ that two dino-fans had made and this week there was a bit of filming going on. The council looks like it will propose that the after-school club/playscheme organisation can re-locate itself into the school next door. This obviously isn’t an option for us. Kids’ Club has been running for more than six years now and currently has seventeen kids attending at least one of the sessions. I do so hope that they change their minds on this as it would be nightmare to find another venue...

Our council’s review response had, in common with others that I seen, a ‘poor us, we have no powers’ theme, which is extremely irritating. They just seem to be denying the legal powers they have. It’s clearly a tactic. We have written to Mr Badman and copied it back to the council pointing out the fact that they do, in fact, have powers...

I have recently had some sad news regarding someone in my extended family. I have since been plagued by extremely vivid dreams – always the way when things are on my mind. It’s been many a year since I woke up sobbing but I did it this week. It startled poor old D. I have a lot of trouble shaking off such dreams.

In amongst such worries we have been getting on with life. The kids and I had a good day yesterday because the sun was shining and we managed to have no commitments. We had a gentle morning at home getting various things done and time in the park with a skateboard and a scooter. We bought gorgeous bread for lunch from the Muesli Mountain Market. It costs an arm and a leg but Dani always defends it as a quality product, which it certainly is. I made choccy cake in the afternoon.

The kids are happy with all their group stuff at the moment and we seem to have a routine that is working well. This is probably what makes the council plan all the more stressing. Have you noticed how it’s always when things are just balanced that they get shaken up? Little Green Pig, in particular, continues to be wonderful. Pearlie has moved up to the older group and is really enjoying it. I can’t sing its praises enough. It costs us just £4 a week for Leo to go the 7-11 group and Pearl to go to the 12-16 group. Creative writing doesn’t *require* a group, of course, but I know from my own experiences that a supportive group can be really inspiring and motivating.

We’re enjoying a morning where no-one is off to work, so everyone is lounging about in pjs reading, listening to audio books, knitting and so on. We’re off to the museum in a bit. It isn’t so sunny today but spring is definitely springing, isn’t it? That’s good.


mamacrow said...

We went to RHS Wisley today, and found out that 'Orchid' comes from the greek for testicals. naturally we've been calling everything 'orchids' ever since!

blah about the possible venue disapearing, and sorry to hear about the relative ((hugs))

btw - the whole bay fell off the house?!?!?!?!

Allie said...

Yes. I learned that about orchids recently when there was some publicity about mumps among the student population and it mentioned 'orchitis'.

Yes, it was dramatic when the bay fell off the house opposite. I've seen it happen on more than one house round here. Our house had its bay removed in the sixties so that's one thing I can't worry about.