My daughter

Is brilliant. GCSEs time… Dance, acting, singing. Triple threat time.

2014

Made it through last year.
At one point was in hospital bleeding internally; operated on; on several levels my world was unravelling, with a worsening of mum’s dementia coupled with her erratic health and a fall resulting in back injuries… Pip has continued to grow in most ways, I’m most proud of her. Fifteen has been a difficult age for her, and teenage angst and tantrum doesn’t sit well with any of the family… However, we are all still here at the moment.
2013 that was

Lazy, tardy, busy, not busy

It’s been a long time since I posted to this blog; I’m not sure if that means I’m a lousy blogger or I’m not cut out for it, but it most likely means I’m lazy and get sidetracked by Facebook etc. So, what’s happened?

Thing still the same on Mum front, she’s still hanging on, still in the home, getting worse on the maintenance and memory front (recently she was convinced I was really into football and would be out playing a match – me, football, ha!) I must admit that my visits have become rarer, the emotional stress and bravery required for a full on visit is too much for me any more. I phone, she answers, I feel awful. It’s a cruel disease, as any fule know.

Pip – has had a good year at school. Good results and reports, etc and now moves up to the “Upper School” and embarks on GCSEs. There was a bit of wrangling with the school with this, but it’s all now resolved. Her only slight twist is that the school have jumbled up classes and it seems at the moment left Pip in a class with no real friends, mostly just acquaintances and people she doesn’t really know (it’s a big school with 300 or so in a year) … she has emailed the school re this, don’t really know if this will do anything.

In dance/theatre Pip has had a great year, starting with Annie last December, where she played Pepper and took on a solo. Acquitted herself really well for her first stage show; it was a good production, too – Southwick Players at The Barn Theatre.

Easter was Oliver with the City Youth Theatre Company, at the Old Market – she was one of Fagin’s Gang. Excellent production all round again, and she did really well and thoroughly enjoyed herself.

She’s got the part of “French Mouse” in Alice in Wonderland, Southwick Players’ Pantomime for Jan 2013, rehearsals start soon… then auditions for “Cats” with the CYTC… all fingers crossed for that.

She also won (!) her category in her first singing competition (Sussex Festival of Dance and Song), singing “Taylor The Latte Boy” – a great surprise and very encouraging for her!

Great results in Ballroom and Latin this year as well so far – several first places and lots of other trophies!

She got “half colours” for sport at school, for 3 years of good work in dance, the first year colours have been given for dance.

Trying to do some decorating (P’s room) but tidying up/clearing/purging in order to get the room is an ongoing problem…

Been a difficult time with work; very little design stuff (and zero in the offing) and weather being so appalling that Apex has ground to a halt. Health, me: still feeling strange from pneumo. Can the effects last this long? and still seeing doc bi-monthly for checks. Mostly feel ok but some days so poorly and down. Never mind, mostly good.

Will try and hop on here more often.

I had the Salad Niçoise…

So. The years of OU work have “paid off” and I now own a shiny new degree, and can put other letters after my name (other than Idiot that is). BA (Hons). I might get some cards printed up. I just looked into post-grad OU options, but they have severely trimmed their choices in the last couple of years and very few of the combos “grabs me”. Hmm. Graduation day was great fun, anyway, dressing up and being all pomp and ceremony. P and L enjoyed, and afterwards we had a be-suited wander round and an Italian lunch. I had the Salad Niçoise…

What else? Work is dire, there’s no money about post-recession, it seems. I ought to advertise to bankers and politicians, as I am led to believe that they have all the money these days.

Health: hmm. For a few weeks suffered excrutiating chest pains – was investigated for the obvious but given a clean bill of health (though I still have to visit a cardiologist to be finally “signed off”- was checked for a recurrence of the lung malarkey from last year (negative); cholesterol (negative}; liver problems (negative) &c… BP was a bit high (as it has been for the last 5 years) but I was seeing a new doctor, she put me on meds… and… the pain receded (though this of course may not be anything to do with BP) – but – the recurring fierce headaches of the last few years have – touchwood – ended. Like magic. No solpadeine for the last three weeks. No headaches. The unexplained chest pains have receded also.

What else? Easter holidays – Llama farm with P and her mate … 2 dance comps for P, both successful … Beatles Rock Band 🙂 … until next time…

Nearly 19, she was…

My little friend Yodi has just died, she was my (our) little chum for nearly 19 years; P has know her all her life; she’s been pretty ill for a couple of years though not in pain, but the end came when the vet found that she was riddled – I think that’s the technical term – with cancerous growths, and her liver functions were impaired (in other words, constant pain was setting in). Awful, sad time for us 3.

Work is proving very hard this year, with additional threats posed by the advent of cheap “coupon” style deals undercutting profits and devaluing the work we do.

I’ve been suffering another “low” period pretty much since Xmas, though L and P do their best to keep me cheered up. The strange thing is I know it’s happening, but seem unable to snap out of it. Feeling a bit better since the sun has come out, I suppose.

We’ve booked a holiday on the Welsh Borders in a woodland cabin, using the Forestry Commission thing. Should be nice, and I’ve never been to that part of the country at all.

P’s dancing is progressing, she got a second scholarship place to the Centre for Advanced Training (The Place/Laban Satellite) for Contemporary Dance, and now has a place for the Brighton Young Dancer’s Collective later in the year. Latin and Ballroom are going well, she has dance club at school and street/disco once a week for fun.

Just about to graduate in a few weeks, at the Dome. Looking forward to a Salad Nicoise afterwards.

Endings

Still amid a terrible month of depressive moods (circulating darkly around our house) and depressive vampirism (mum’s ongoing medicals) this has been a funny old time. Along with this is the usual raft of missed social engagements, and also a small sprinkling of pressure for P – upcoming school tests, peer group changes and a slight waver in her performance-confidence. Mum is in a respite home mostly in order to re-regimen her meds, she simply can’t cope with taking them herself. Strange times.

I handed in my final essay for OU yesterday. Assuming I get more than 40% for it – ?! – I have finally got my degree at 2.2 and will graduate in April 2011 assuming I live that long. I feel sort of empty with no focussed reading to do any more. Dickens here I come… I wonder if I’ll ever write another “essay” again? Pulling out the pin…

Skinbat Scramble have an upcoming gig at the Forum as part of the Syd Barrett trust; also recording to do for the next album; I have committed to this. Syd Barrett – could it be any more perfect?

Last night I dreamed that my next-door-but-one neighbour urinated on me from his window, in the dream I pretended to ignore it and haughtily went on with unloading groceries from my car.

Repwtez

Into the Granary tomorrow to continue work on the soon-to-be nascent Skinbats album. Hooray. My mum’s medical problems overhang everything like a manky sword of Damocles. It’s harsh and dull. P is doing well in dancing, and at school. But everything is overhung… Off to Vegas at Easter for a bit of desert therapy, which is a big sky-anchor, a big holiday, a big five-oh.

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