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I’ve loved being away despite my wobbles – but there’s still nothing quite like that first shower when you’re home, and the settle back into your own bed. The silence was briefly unexpected and then I remembered this was a good thing and all was well.

We of course hit the souvenir shop on our way out the door, and have some nice odds and ends snuck away for presents as well as for immediate gratification.

Fortunately the traffic and weather was good for the return trip, and I did have one of those quiet moments of sublime happiness at seeing my partners asleep in their seats as I drove for a while. Its no secret I’m a soppy soul.

As a bonus, I have tomorrow off as a planned recovery day. Sleep is very much on the agenda

Out And About

The grand outing to Alton Towers has had, if you’ll pardon the pun, its share of ups and down with amazing rides, humour, silliness, and some mealtime stresses

The weather has been kind, with only minor showers once or twice, and comfortable temperatures and breezes. The banter and cheer has been great for recharging batteries and passing time in queues.

My anxiety however has been through the roof on occasion, mostly around mealtimes and things connected to that not going to plan. We’re also crammed a little sardine-like into two hotel rooms: four adults and three children. With no aircon it’s all a bit close-quarters.

Still, I’m choosing to be positive and reminding myself of all the positives despite by brain doing its best to sabotage me.

And She’s Back

Lady M is back in the country, having lightly terrorised her European counterparts, traumatised random gawkers who tried ogling her, and bemused fellow travellers by snoring through takeoff on the way home.

Apparently.

Lady M always looks nonplussed when people say that she is scary. I’ve never seen it myself, but I’ve had enough people confess that they’re lightly terrified of her to presume it’s some combination of the North East accent and her tenacious attitude.

Lady M in full sail is a masterclass in watching someone go from point A to point C without being concerned that point B makes it not a straight line journey. It might be a zigzag for most people, but not Lady M. Nine time out of ten, reality shuffles a bit to accommodate this, and the times it doesn’t is where I step in.

In the words of Nanny Ogg shes’ “an old softie really”

Any similarity between Lady M and Greebo is purely coincidental.

Jubilee Weekend

I’m not particularly engaged with the jubilee, probably because I’ve been helping my staff arrange events around it over the last few months. While I appreciate the event for the historical thing it is, it doesn’t really set my world on fire.

It’s also, after a half term of looking after the cub, actually been nice to do very little today but play Two Point Gospital, some Destiny2, and watch some TV without a quizzical little voice in my ear.

As for the rest if the weekend, I’ll be catching up with the Charleesi tomorrow for a birthday meal, and then fingers crossed for Dungeons and Dragons in the evening.

I’m more excited for those two things, I have to say.

Half Term, oh and that Pride thing too

Being utterly awful people we all forgot it was half term this week until the cub reminded us. Fortunately Lady M and I had already booked some time off to take advantage of the bank holidays so we’ve taken him in while boy s continues to work.

Being myself I immediately booked tickets for myself and the cub to visit boy s at his work place and caused all kinds of merry havoc while we were there. The rest of the week has seen us take the cub to Go Ape, and a variety of other activities away from his usual computer screen.

We’re having a quiet day today – I can hear YouTube videos from the other room, I’ve gone shopping for groceries, and I may even have a nap to make up for a broken night for a while.

Meanwhile, its June. Happy Pride Month alongside all the other things taking place. Its as important as ever, because its impossible to understate how much of a difference it makes for people to be able to live as themselves.

I’ve been asked to put my name forward at work for a position with the LGBTQ+ Staff Network which will be hard work alongside the day job but well worth it if I can help facilitate positive changes. The AGM isn’t for a few weeks so I’ll talk more about that when the dust settles.

And yes, the autism referral stuff continues in the background. I’m not expecting to hear anything on that front for quite some time as it doesn’t seem to be something that BUPA covers and the NHS is overwhelmed. Patience, and all that.

Celebrations

It’s been delayed a couple of years by the pandemic but today is special. The Charleesi is having her graduation ceremony. We came up after work yesterday evening and have a quiet morning planned before it all kicks off.

I’m proud of her. She has done so well and brokered her hard work and focus into a job she enjoys and a life recounted with wry humour.

Today is all about her.

Split Attention

I’ve worked up a good mixed routine of cardio and resistance training via the KickStart coach at the gym which I’m looking forward to getting to grips with. I made a start on it today but by necessity I couldn’t entirely focus on it as I also had the cub with me.

He lives splashing around in the pool. After complaining about the days heat in the flat today it made for a good reward for doing his homework to bring him along. Lady M is mired in paperwork so stayed behind, while boy s is working today. That meant it was our first visit just the two of us, rather than the whole triad trading off watching duties.

If I’m making this sound more momentous than it was, it’s not deliberate. The cub is familiar enough with the pool, and gym, to not be phased if I’m momentarily out off his line of view. That said, I did make sure that the treadmill I used was in plain view overlooking the pool so we could gesture or smile as needed to reassure.

So I’m now sat in the cafe area, waiting for him to emerge from showering and changing, then we’ll go pick his dad up from work

Funny Numbers

I was having lunch with a friend today and we got to comparing the weird and wonderful things said by their youngest and by the cub that make us pause briefly every time. Both are of an age where they voraciously consume online content by a variety of providers. One thing that both have picked up is their concept of Funny Numbers that always seem to provoke laughter.

The Funny Numbers are 69 and 420, the meaning of which are utterly unknown to the cub. He sees and hears other people reacting in videos or in comments and seems to have constructed a world view where these are somehow intrinsically funny to people.

I have no intention of instructing him as to what they refer to, as he says them to get a reaction. In some ways it was reassuring to hear from another parent that he’s not the only child who does it.

For now then I’ll carry on carefully not reacting beyond a slightly bored bemusement. He’ll get bored at some point I’m sure…

Escape Room Shenanigans

We’re celebrating the cub’s birthday across this weekend, accompanied by Lady M’s niece and nephew, and the highlight as far as he’s concerned has been this morning where we took him to an escape room at the Denbies Estate just outside Dorking. He’s been wanting to do one for months since watching YouTubers attempt them and so we had a look round without telling him. Through careful questioning we discerned he wanted to try something spy-based, so it seemed appropriate to allow a little cloak and dagger about the event. Which is why we made sure it was all a big surprise.

Even as he got out of the car, he still didn’t know why we’d made him get up on a Saturday morning to come to a vineyard. When he noticed the signs, he started getting excited and asked again why we were here – and then when we confirmed we were there for an escape room, he started bouncing up and down on the spot. It’s probably the most excited I’ve seen him in quite some time, and the gleeful grin was wonderful.

The scenario was, as described, an explosive spy thriller, involving hidden rooms and videos of missile launches and we managed to not only beat the game, but completed every single puzzle – the last with 8 seconds to go. It was far more fun than I imagined it would be, and our respective skills and experiences meshed well. From knowledge of Ancient Greek, autistic hyperfocus, a head for logic puzzles, and all the inquisitive running around you can imagine; we all cracked puzzles, found solutions, and unearthed conundrums.

The kids, and cub especially, were buzzing with excitement and retelling of things they’d found and done – and to be fair so were the adults as we gathered for a pub lunch. About the only thing that sparked more excitement was the unwrapping of presents later – but that’s the cub for you.

Wouldn’t have him any other way.

Tidying Day

We’re getting ready for boy s and the cub to move out, and so today we’ve been having a bit more of a tidy and gather of their things into readily shiftable containers. It was always going to be a short-term living arrangement while he looked for somewhere to start fresh but there is an element of sadness to it. Admittedly there’s also a sense of relief that we won’t be four people crammed into a two bedroom flat and that he will have space of his own, but even so – all a bit mixed.

Still its been good to have a day where we all got round to sorting out bits and pieces – I’ve even started to grab the various Christmas-themed Funkos to make a display, because it’s that time of year. I’m saying that quietly as there’s a birthday needs to be sorted before we go into full Festive mode. I even have a multipack of DC characters that I picked up from Tesco the other day ready to take their place once I’ve cleared some shelf space.

Next week is largely going to be a mixture of another round of interviews, an appointment with a specialist to finally investigate my stomach issues – oh and assuming the references all come through in reasonable time we’ll of course be helping boy s and the cub do the whole relocation thing. It’s only going to be about ten minutes drive away, but that’s enough to give them their space. I do feel a little for the cub though – he honestly thought that because he is due to move he wouldn’t have to go to school any more. It had to be broken to him by boy s that buses exist..

The look on his face was one of shock, horror, and disbelief that the universe could be so cruel – he had no problem with us being so, but that society would continue to insist that he go to school was just too much. There may have been pouting. By him, I hasten to add. I know boy s has his moments, but this was sheer outrage on the cub’s part and I have no shame in finding that deeply funny – admittedly for all the wrong reasons.