Alcohol and the family

A couple of days ago I noticed that someone had been having a good look around this blog. Whether it was someone I know or not I don’t know. That someone had looked at lots of posts including one called where has my dad gone.

As i scrolled through the list of posts looked at I knew what most of them were about but this one puzzled me. My dad died in 1995. So it couldn’t be about him. This particular post was written back in 2015.

Reading it again it took me a little while to remember it. I was describing a visit to one of my sons in London. On the way to the flat he shared with his now wife and another couple. They stopped at a local shop. Whilst they were inside (I was waiting outside with my youngest son). A drunk was ejected from the store.

When my other son came out he asked “where has my dad gone?” I knew instinctively what he was on about. Growing up with an alcoholic father had an impact on my boys. This particular son could do a very accurate impression of his dad when he was drunk.

When my two eldest sons were going off to university within a week of each other I wanted to take my boys out for a drink. All four of them chose non alcoholic drinks even though two were old enough to drink and one was 17.

All four boys are now adults (2 are fathers) they do all drink now but only moderately. As a young adult my eldest son used to be the designated driver when out with mates. My second son was usually the one taking care of his drunken mates. Although I have heard a few tales of his drunkenness. My younger two are not keen on alcohol.

Talking about it earlier my mother commented that when she came to our house once when eldest was about 8 or 9 he told her. ” If you have come to see my part time father, he’s at the pub”. It is sad that from a very young age he knew the telephone number of the pub off by heart. ( Before mobile phones).

As a family our lives revolved around the pub even if we were not in one. If we went anywhere at the weekends we had to be back before the pub opened. My husband couldn’t cope with getting there after the door was unlocked. During the day his friends would come and go but he would still be there.

He would frequently phone home to say he would be back in half an hour. Other times he wanted me to fetch him. When I did (with boys in tow) he would need to finish his drink. I always refused to have a drink. Sometimes it would take several hours before he managed to leave. Often I just left him there and went home.

My boys grew up knowing that their father was very good at making promises. Not good at keeping them. They learnt never to expect him to keep a promise. He would buy them play station games or football shirts to make up for not being there. I lost count of the birthdays he missed because he was five minutes away in the pub. I don’t know where he got the money for his guilt gifts. We never had enough money for the bills.

I learnt over the years that everything was an excuse to drink. Bad day at work, good day at work, hot day, wet day. Money worries or me being annoyed with him.

After I divorced him he was upset that he didn’t want to be a weekend father. I said that would be an improvement. He would arrange to see the boys. Not do much the eldest as he was off leading his own life. Frequently he would either cancel seeing them or he wanted them to lend him money for cigarettes or beer or both. When they did see him I would drop them off. Happy to have some me time. It never lasted. I think 2 hours was the longest before I got the plea from them to pick them up.

I am happy to say that he gave up drinking about 4 or maybe it’s 5 years ago now. He is better for it. He is trying hard to rebuild his relationship with his sons and have a good relationship with our grandchildren.

Since i moved back here to live with my mother I see him regularly. He has been a great help to both of us in the last couple of years. I wouldn’t go back to him but we are at least friends now.

Besotted granny

One of my friends has joined the besotted granny brigade. Her granddaughter is 4 months old and she is so in love with her.

For years I said I wasn’t ready to become a granny. I hadn’t finished being a mother. Then a few years ago I started to worry about my health etc, that was when it hit me that if my sons didn’t hurry up and start having children I would be to old/ill to enjoy them.

Three years ago I became a granny for the first time. I instantly fell in love with my grandson. Teddy is three now. I was afraid that he wouldn’t know who I am what with covid restrictions and them living in London. Video calls were me watching him play whilst I chatted to his daddy. The other week when lockdown rules were eased I got to spend time with him in the garden (very cold). Then last week on his birthday we had a video call where he actually talked to me. He showed me his toys and books. Today we had another video call with him interacting with me. He knows that I am granny. I love this new stage in our relationship.

19 months ago my eldest son provided me with a granddaughter. After 4 sons and a grandson I was delighted to finally have a girl in the family. She has always been used to video calling with her other family and with me so she has always been interactive. When she visited our garden the other week she would take gammy by the hand to look at things or fill her little watering can.

We also had a video call today. She tells me lots of things that I don’t always understand but her speech is coming along well.

This granny is besotted with both my grandchildren.

Something I’ve wanted to do

This is something I have wanted to do for ages. Probably the last couple of years. I have gone as far as starting a new template a couple of times but found that starting a new blog is harder now than it was years ago when I began blogging. There are so many templates to choose from. The widgets and plugins are a minefield. Earlier this week I decided to alter a blog that I had started perhaps 5 years ago with my husband. It never really got off the ground. Trying to work full time and run a business at the same time as creating posts for a new blog became overwhelming.

Now though I have more time. I have converted my old blog to one dedicated to my Avon Business and Sunshine Team. I have over the last few days added a few posts for different products. I am also creating a new page for each group of products with links to individual product posts. There are links to my online shop and I shall be adding a link for joining my team.

Elliesdeals

On another note. I had visitors yesterday. No I’m not talking about birds or squirrels or even cats. My youngest son and his g/f. came to see us. Sitting at a distance and with face masks. The last time my son visited, He only lives 20 minutes away by car. Was back in July before my hospital stay. It was so nice to see them. Apparently it was very odd being on a train again after all these months. Sitting chatting felt almost like normal times.

Next week ( just after my birthday) I shall hopefully, providing that everything goes to plan. See my older boys and their families. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone. We are meeting at a local play area near the creek. The last time I saw both my grandchildren at the same time, was our family Christmas dinner 2019, when my granddaughter was 3 months old.

I just hope the weather is better than it has been the last few days. We even had a few snow flurries yesterday. Very unusual for here.

No antibiotics for me

I have just ordered my latest repeat prescription through the online site linked to my Drs surgery. At the top of the side bar on the website was a tab for antibiotics. I am glad to say that I have not had any antibiotics since my initial recovery from my surgery. During 2019 and 2020 I was on antibiotics so many times that I started a diary specifically for my antibiotic courses. This time last year I had been on 5 courses since the start of the year.

Because of the problems I was experiencing I was getting numerous kidney infections. It became a vicious circle that ultimately prevented me having my surgery in March 2020. My PRD (pelvic radiation disease) was destroying my bladder. This meant that I was prone to kidney infections. These infections affected my iron levels. The longer I waited for surgery the more infections I got, leading to lower and lower iron levels which in turn rendered me unsuitable for surgery at that time.

In order to get my iron levels to a suitable level I needed an iron infusion. (Iron tablets would take too long and not be as efficient). However Lockdown came along and prevented my infusion from going ahead. (I was already at the hospital being prepared for this treatment when it was cancelled.) I later began a course of iron tablets which over the following months did indeed increase my iron levels. (Not fully but enough).

At the time of my surgery I was again very unwell with a kidney infection. Along with the frequent infections I had over the last four or five years I had several that were so bad I was house bound for weeks/months. The first time I was ill for four months whilst I went through a variety of tests and scans to check that my cancer hadn’t returned. The second time it happened it was only six weeks before I was strong enough to leave the house. This last time it began three weeks before my surgery, I was still very weak from the infection as well as the surgery when I came home from hospital.

I am so relieved that my surgery although dreaded at the time has hopefully put an end to these kidney infections. No more antibiotics (at least not for kidney infections) is a blessing. No more having to deal with side effects like a horrid taste in my mouth for a week at a time or having to work out what I can or can’t eat when because I can’t have milk products within 2 hours either before or after taking the tablets. For now at least I am free from that life.

FEAR

I have recently been following The Hot Goddess. In truth she started following me first. The last post I read was about fear. It got me thinking about fear too. She talked about her fear of heights and her drive along a road in Montana that scared the life out of her, it reminded me of the trip I made on my honeymoon with second husband. Here

I personally don’t have a fear of heights but that doesn’t mean I am not fearless in certain situations. I really don’t think I would be able to go on any of those glass walkways at various landmarks. I don’t take risks, I will look over the side of a cliff but from a safe distance. I do have a fear of rodents of any kind, yet I am fine with spiders.

Are you aware that there are two very different definitions of FEAR.

Forget Everything And Run which I guess is the more common reaction to fear.

Then there is

Face Everything And Rise

I do try to go with the second definition but that doesn’t always work. For many years I would do anything to avoid rollercoasters. After I recovered from my /cancer treatment I decided that I needed to learn to live life not just let life pass me by. On a trip to Belgium with my #2 son’s football team I went on my first rollercoaster at a water park we visited. I actually enjoyed that.

Being an introvert it is not easy for me to approach strangers. Joining Avon has helped me with that. I can’t always do it but I am getting better at talking to people I don’t know. Either to ask if they would be interested in becoming a customer or a Rep or just for a chat about anything.

In 2019 my #2 son was getting married and asked me to do a reading at the wedding. I’m ok talking to 2 or 3 people but a gathering of 6 or more leaves me feeling extremely red in the face with my eyes watering. It really isn’t something I enjoy. So imagine how I felt being asked to read to 100+ people mostly strangers to me. I did it though and I am very proud of myself.

More recently I had to face my fears on medical grounds. I was facing major surgery which terrified me. It wasn’t the operation that scared me but the waking up and recovery together with the change in my life that was that I feared. Each time I was given a date for surgery I bravely psyched myself up it was cancelled. Third time lucky. I tried not to think about it until I had no choice. I just had to get on with it. Last week I had to face my fear of needles. I kept myself busy until half an hour before my appointment. What made it worse for me was that on arrival I had to join a long queue. If I could have just gone straight in and got it over with that would have helped. However I held on to my courage and gradually moved ever nearer to the dreaded needle.

What has you trembling with fear? Do you face it or do you run?

Ever increasing circles

Three years ago our immediate family was quite a small circle. My mother, myself and my four sons and their partners. Then my grandson came along. My second son and his now wife had baby number one Ted. Their friends(his daddy’s 2nd best friend) had a baby boy R within a week or so later. So that was two baby boys in 2018. In 2019 My eldest became daddy to my little princess. Her aunty had a baby girl G three weeks later (a month early). Oh and my brother’s step daughter had a baby girl E. That’s three baby girls in 2 months .

In 2020, Ted’s mum’s cousin had a baby boy F. R had a baby brother M. Now in 2021 there seems to be an explosion going on. Ted has a new baby boy cousin EC born in January. Talking to my eldest on video call last week I heard of a few more babies on the way. His partner’s friend is having a baby any day now. Ted’s daddy’s best friend is going to become a daddy this month. My eldest son’s band partner is also becoming a daddy later this year. Then today I found out that My youngest son’s girlfriend has twins joining her family in August.

I did hear in the news a few days ago that the expected baby boom caused by the pandemic hadn’t occurred other than in one road. I think my sons and their friends are trying to make up for it.

Christmas is on it’s way

Today we have been making preparations for Christmas. Yesterday I bought a few items to make the house a little more Christmas like. The first thing I did this morning was to put up a few decorations.

In previous years we spent Christmas together at the house I shared with my husband. My sons and their partners would visit either just for the day or for a couple of days.

Last year was my first Christmas living with Mum. We didn’t have a tree. Mum hasn’t bothered in recent years other than her wreath for the front door and a Christmas candle bridge for the dining room window. I left all my decorations behind when I left.christmas 2019

This year although we are getting together with my sons and families for lunch on Christmas Eve. Three of my sons will be visiting us for Christmas morning before going their separate ways. My little grandson who will be almost 20 months will be here. I know he is still too young to understand what is going on but I want to make it nice for his visit.

During the morning we both set about filling gift bags for various family members. Mine are still upstairs but we now have a crowd of festive bags in a corner of the room.

Do you have family traditions that you always follow on Christmas day?

There have been times when I have wanted to change things about but my sons have been very resistant to any change.

The day usually begins with Bacon rolls for breakfast. (I’m not sure how or when this began). Once everyone has assembled either from bedrooms or arriving from else where. Snacks are available for anyone who wants them. While the turkey is cooking we gather round for the distribution of gifts. It generally falls to my youngest to hand out the gifts. It starts out being one at a time but gradually speeds up. Once everyone has opened all the presents and the wrapping have been disposed of there is time to chat and catch up on everyone’s news before lunch is served. Now that my sons are all adults there is no need to find batteries for toys. I think that will soon change again.

After lunch the chat continues until someone decides it’s time to start playing board games. The Queens speech is watched even if we are still eating at the time. In the evening there are sandwiches, mince pies and Christmas cake if anyone has room.We watch Eastenders either before or after I become chauffeur depending on timings.

This year things will be different as we are having our big meal the day before. We will probably have a nap in the afternoon once it is only us and possibly just one of my sons.

 

Being tactical

It’s 10 days to go before the election. On the radio they are discussing people who don’t vote and the many reasons why. One of the reasons being ‘my vote won’t make a difference’.

Where I live we know that no matter which party you vote for the same party will win. The same party has won for decades. It is what is known as a safe seat. There are four candidates standing in this constituency. I know which party I shall be voting for. It’s the same party I have supported since I was a young woman. However it doesn’t matter which of the three parties I vote for other than the one that will win. Many people think that there is no point going out to vote when the result will be the same anyway.

I don’t agree. I think we should all vote. No matter which of the three alternative parties you choose. Every vote cast against the leading party will reduce their winning majority. If we can do this each time eventually our votes will begin to make a difference.