A week off: Portsmouth School Runs

We’re having a rare week all together and I have been rediscovering the joys of the school run as Lady S was a bit under the weather the last few days. (She is again this morning, but it’s self-inflicted today after a little too much wine last night at a meal for the whole polycule.)

I digress.

The cub has been discovering that I am not quite so easily wrapped around his finger, but that I am also more than happy to act completely daft at a moment’s notice.

So far we’ve convinced him that his monster-like school bag is related to the Monster Book Of Spells from Harry Potter, and needs it’s spine stroking before being opened. I have also taken to occasionally lumbering and loping like a silverback gorilla to speed him up in the mornings. It sounds daft, but it encourages him to catch up and try and tickle my tummy.

He’s a bright, inquisitive, energetic boy, who tries to push boundaries as much as any normal kid just starting at junior school – and his teachers are already singing his praises. He also has a rebellious streak a mile wide; and seems genuinely surprised when most of his attempts to subvert things like putting on shoes are met with my spotting them and teasing before he’s even finished starting.

We were talking last night about how we’ve all been pitching in this week – how it spreads the load and reduces stress to know that all of us are invested in helping raise and guide him.

I just didn’t expect, as the Charleesi starts her second year at university, to be brushing off the parenting skills again. Life’s funny that way, isn’t it?

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A week off: back to uni

I took the Charleesi back to her university yesterday, borrowing Lady M’s car in the process. She would have come with us but she was still exhausted from the St Alban’s Comic Con on Sunday. So I loaded up the car and then loaded more things in top of the Charleesi and her mother and off to Oxford we tootled.

It’s her second year, so she’s technically out of Halls, but the flat complex is also owned by the Student Union. As a result there’s a certain peace of mind with regard to the landlords and the maintenance of the rooms. The Charleesi is also sharing a set of rooms with firm friends that she made last year through her course.

As a result I think she was a lot more relaxed about moving in, and so unpacking and getting some basic provisions in really didn’t take very long – and by the time she had configured her XBox to connect to the student LAN we figured we’d sneak away and leave her to it.

And then Lady M and I drove down to Portsmouth to begin a week with Lady S in the lead-up to her birthday. The plan is for her to have a small present each day beforehand before the proper celebration on Saturday.

We caught up with her family, said Hi to the cub, and then stole a very tired Lady K away with us to go eat supper at the local pub.

Not a bad start to the week…

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Having a Clear Out

We’ve been cleaning out the guest room, which has served as a bit of a box room over the last few years, as a prelude to finally redecorating in there.

This has then expanded, as is ever the way of these things, into shredding any personal documents not needed any more or that are more than seven years old for financial documents.

All of which means that the last few days have been a bit of a rollercoaster as I re-read and destroy documents relating to financial troubles, diabetes, hospital stays, divorce, redundancy, remarriage, and the fraud that claimed Lady M’s father before he died.

There have been things taken to the charity shop, rooms clearer than they’ve looked in years, and a huge pile of gaming material that I will be selling on in the near future.

It will be all worth it. It makes space in the flat we sorely need, clears remnants of painful times, and despite being a hard slog is giving us a sense of a clean sweep – as well as a general clean.

I suppose it also draws a line in the sand to move on from some of the things in the past and background and make a new start.

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Sorrow

It’s a Friday night, and one of my brothers is celebrating his birthday. On the sole social media platform that he hasn’t blocked me on I can see pictures of him celebrating with friends, and know that he has not invited me or mine to be part of that.

While I doubt that on his part there is necessarily a conscious thought to it, there is only a grump that wonders if he is so offended by the life and loves that I have that he fears contamination.

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The Little Things

We’re out at Chessington World of Adventures today – myself, Ladies M and S, and of course the cub. It’s another day in what has been a lovely long weekend of us all together; and yet another series of little moments where we’ve continued to gel and grow as an extended, if unconventional, family unit.

This is what gets me – a lot of people assume that the focus of polyamorous relationships is on what happens in the bedroom. While that’s as fun and and varied as in any other healthy relationship it doesn’t take any more priority than it does in monogamous relationships. Less, in some instances: for example Lady K (Lady S’ fiancée) identifies as asexual)

Our relationships manifest in how we take turns looking out for each other, and the cub, just as we look out for the Charleesi even as she has headed off to university. It’s in being a choice of hands to hold, or whoever is available helping to wash hair or run baths. It’s in the hugs, the managing of tantrums or boundaries – all of which will no doubt be ringing bells with parents.

Among us grown-ups it’s in the acknowledgement of silliness and mistakes; the gentle touches, the cups of tea and coffee, the winding down at the end of the day and sharing of moments that have bemused or vexed us. It’s being surrounded by love and support that fuels and encourages us to give out as much as we receive.

And with a small cub in tow, yes that does include sharing the emotional and physical workload so we don’t run out of spoons – extremely useful on a theme park visit..!

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Captain Boomerang Will Return

Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! It is slightly tongue in cheek though. The other week we went to the lovely market town of Alton to take part in the GoGeek Events comicbook convention as part of the Squad UK group. I’d been challenged to create a costume based on the character Captain Boomerang as seen in Suicide Squad and for a while I’d been unsure quite how to pull it off as several parts of the costume are quite expensive to duplicate. Then I reminded myself that no one was going to quibbling over details as long as it felt right.

There are a number of places that break down character costumes into component parts, and I made sure to check on some for ideas and identify cheap places to find suitable articles – an chain necklace and grey infinity scarf from Amazon, a logo-covered beanie hat from eBay, a blue hoodie from Tesco, and a pair of replica boomerangs from Etsy (the most expensive part of the costume at £45 the pair plus a customs charge when they arrived). The rest of the costume I put together from what I had around the house. The long coat I’d had hanging in the wardrobe for years. A faux-leather bracer for the left arm was adapted from a knock-off Assassin’s Creed prop I’d bought a few months previously on the off-chance. Black jeans, a grey t-shirt, and my Doc Martens finished it all off – and miracle of miracles the weather cooled just enough for the event that I didn’t actually melt under all the layers.

Some experimentation with an extensive eyeshadow palette gave me bruises to the face and a creditable cut across the bridge of the nose – and I spent the whole event bopping around and acting the fool, much to the delight of children and families passing by. Its been a great costume to wear, and I think I have a new favourite beside my Harley and Karnak costumes. I’ll be wearing it again at St Alban’s in a couple of weeks – and quite likely to MCM London in October as well

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Poly – the cub’s eye view

Every now and then I get questions about my “weird and wonderful” life – and I’m going to start addressing them from time to time here as they spark inspiration or shake loose thoughts worth investigating. In particular I have been asked how Lady S’ son – ‘the cub’ as she refers to him on social media – copes with it all. Now, the word ‘copes’ is pretty loaded in this context as it assumes that he is in any way confused by the goings on around him. Most recently, for example, he’s simply checked in on who is allowed to kiss Mummy – and then taken the mickey out of everyone, usually with an enormous grin on his face.

Any thought that he might be getting confused or feeling in any way insecure was banished by how he has recently been talking to friends at his school about us. When he first started at school, and the class bullies worked out there wasn’t a father figure in his life, he was mocked and told that he must have been very bad for his father to have left them. Lady S was understandably angry on his behalf and a number of robust conversations were undertaken at the school and with the parents of the child in question.

Skip forward a few years, and the settling of our polycule into its current configuration, and the cub is inordinately proud of telling his school friends, teachers, and in fact anyone who will listen, that he now has three mummies and a dad and they wouldn’t believe the number of presents he gets from us all. Despite the endless loop of “ask your mother” looming over his head he is happy, contented, and secure in knowing he is loved and supported on all sides.

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