Home Again

selfie of  tired tim rubbing his right eye. He wears a yellow tshirt with an abstract pattern of lines on it, his head is shaved, and his beard has grey running through it

You can tell it was the end of the half term because like everyone else we were on the road today – and a projected four hour journey ended up being six, just as it was heading up mid-week. Still, we rarely ground to an actual halt until we were just outside London.

This morning started with the usual groggy checklist of “do I have all my body parts?” and “where is the coffee jar?” before progressing to “have I packed my medications?” and “whose towel is this?” The usual quiet confusion and desperation set in as plans for leaving at a particular time ambled straight past the target and on towards lunchtime. This is, in and of itself, nothing particularly unusual, even if it does make me twitch a little.

Everyone had a good time, even if the cub protested loudly about there being no computers to play his games on. Suddenly being expected to wash things up for himself was a bit of a revelation, but he rallied well and made a good stab at it. We even had him asking for and drinking cups of tea by the end of it all.

And so now we’re all home in our respective homes and unwinding. I have a painting that I need to pick a place for – a watercolour of the old family home created by a parishioner. I always liked it, and it brings back happy memories of summers of absolute mayhem with my brothers and friends alike. I think I’ll put it near the entrance to the kitchen so I can glance over at it every now and then. It does mean I’ll need to move one of my prints to make way for it, but then I do like excuses to switch things around every now and then so its hardly a chore – more a means of expression.

This week looks to be fairly busy, but hopefully will go with relative swiftness so I can then go into another week off. I might even plan something, who knows?

A Trip To The Zoo

The salt sea air always knocks me sideways when we visit the coast, hence my not posting for a couple of days. We’ve been visiting my parents – the first time I’ve had the opportunity to see them since before the first covid lockdowns. The journey up was fairly draining due to roadworks slowing our average travel speed, but safe enough as these things go.

Today then, the boy s and I went to Blackpool Zoo – in particular to see the otters there. The boy s is currently hyper-fixated on otters, so the news that the local zoo offered him the chance to see some in real life rather than just on YouTube. We left everyone else behind and made it a mini road-trip for the day.

The weather kept threatening showers, but held off, so we had a great time exploring the whole place. He grabbed a map and marked off every animal that we found – but his first sight of the otters I think just made his day. There was a massive grin and shocked expression at just how loud their chirps were. We did also find many other animals that provoked a similar response, but that and the promise of feeding time later was the highlight of the day. He was also blown away by the sealion display as we went into full tourist mode to fill the time.

All in all, a really good day out. I enjoyed rediscovering somewhere I last visited when the Charleesi was small, and boy s is determined to return once the wild cat area has finished being redeveloped.

Back on the road tomorrow…

On Holiday

I’ve been looking forward to a break, and as of this evening I’m at the very least not going to work for a few days. I have the opportunity to spend time with loved ones, and not be expected to be reachable for work.

The work phone is switched off, plates metaphorically set spinning, and weight well and truly off the shoulders.

Shenanigans are planned

Time Off

On my way out the door at work today I quipped that it was finally my turn to have a holiday – and at least in the respect that its not been leave taken in support of anyone else it’s true. I’m not going away anywhere but will be off work to decompress for a couple of weeks.

I can already feel my anxiety trying to get traction as I ruthlessly turn off all work electronics and tell myself my team are all adults and highly capable.

It’s definitely needed as it is that time of year again when the fireworks make life very uncomfortable. My PTSD is in many ways much improved, but it’s difficult not to flinch at unexpected pops and crackles with no obvious source.

I have at least managed to keep it all together and even managed to deliver a brief talk for a black history month event celebrating the leadership of the Stonewall Uprising and what eventually became the Pride movement. I had the usual pre-speech nerves that then disappeared once we started, and so that felt a good positive end of the working week for me.

Yes, it’s only Thursday, I know

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.

On Holiday

We’re off on out for a couple of days – myself, Lady M and the boy s with assembled kids. I’m not saying he’s excited, but the cub has not stopped exclaiming in his stream-of-consciousness babble all day, and it’s only the first morning.

We definitely need the time together. The last few months have been remorseless in their grind and we’ve really not had much quality time together.  Rollercoasters and silliness seems a good excuse.

There might even be some opportunities for some sleep at some point – a commodity that has been in scarce supply of late. I have driven the first half of our journey, and now Lady M is completing it. A snooze may be in order.

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.

Time For A Break

It’s nearly a weekend, I think. To be fair it’s been another slightly hectic week between boy s falling ill and a variety of surveyors and engineers needing access at strange times to various buildings – all while covid continued to rampage through my staff.

So tomorrow/today is Good Friday, which at least as far as myself and Lady M are concerned is a Bank Holiday. If the gym is open, we shall take the cub with us so he can swim and frolic – and we will unwind on a variety of exercise machines and possibly dip into the spa. Rude not to use all the facilities available.

On the games front, I’m still mostly playing Destiny2 with boy s and Lady B a few evenings a week. I have also managed to recover my old GOG account so I have most of the old Bioware D&D games to rediscover on my laptop. I even dipped into playing Alpha Centauri for nostalgia this evening. I do have a soft spot for turn based games.

Oh, and an added bonus: Lady M has twisted my arm into taking some leave next week, so that’s going to do wonders for my blood pressure.

Christmas and Beyond

As someone recently noted on social media, I live a strange life, and I embrace that and aim to keep it that way so it doesn’t lapse into being boring and dull. I am proud to include a diverse and vibrant bunch of people in my life and celebrate their individual journeys as well as our commonalities.

This Christmas has allowed us to reconnect and bond with friends, partners, family, and those who might wander between. I caught back up with my brothers, and the Charleesi, with friends who have built their own forge, my parents, my partners, and a variety of children attached to various of the above.

So the plan today has been to sit quietly with Lady M, give our presents to each other, watch TV, play games, and not stray too far from the sofa.

It’s not the family gathering we had planned, but it’s a good substitute and rest ahead of the excitement and busy weeks ahead.

Christmas Eve

Well, here we are again – well done everyone for getting through another chaotic time. I’ve been purely focused today on chilling out with the xbox after a busy few days – escorting Lady M and boy s in turn to get their booster jabs and running the gauntlet of last minute christmas shopping with them each for starters. Tomorrow is planned to be mostly round with boy s and the cub in the new flat to welcome in their first Christmas. I’m sure the cub will play up as far as he can push things – but then he’s eleven and I would expect nothing less.

So, I’m off back to watch some Masterchef and share some wine and curry with Lady M – see you on the other side