Thursday, 22 March 2012

A proper relaxing day

 After all the peace and quiet of yesterday it was off to University and a day of interviewing students.

Rest and relaxation, what could possibly disturb that, and indeed it was quite a restful day

Then home to the all action house.

The fostering team whose ears had been severely bent yesterday, had promised to rattle the young persons social work team cage with great vigour.

Presumably so much vigour that their fingers were incapable of dialling our number.

The fostering team though had managed to make a call.

Now lets recap, amongst other things, yesterday we mentioned that we had a special family weekend planned for this weekend.

The student also volunteered that she had three essays and a 4000 word report to write over the next month.
Out of the blue today fostering phoned and asked if we would take on another young person for a time not yet specified.

This young gentleman made I from last summer sound like a choir boy.

Dope, booze, fags, drugs, a taste for arson, violence against people and property using knives and anything else that came to hand.

Not to mention the need to securely lock up anything that might possibly have potential to be sold on.

Every foster home should have one....

We had to commit to take him tomorrow, i.e. our special weekend for my daughters birthday had to be cancelled.  

This young person would be offered out to tender to the commercial £5000 pound a week establishments unless we agreed immediately to take him

The student, God bless her, said that taking him on would be a family decision and the family was in work or school or college.

This was not what the Social Worker wanted to hear so she told herself the young man was going "out to tender".

With that sort of CV, the student mused, there would be a feeding frenzy of agencies after this young man.

We would be home Monday and they could negotiate with us then.

NEGOTIATE, that's not how it works she said.

If we were standing between them and a 7000 pound a week bill, then our standard weekly fee was not going to cut is said the student.

She didn't seem to be on the same planet as the student at that point.

For ourselves, we really want to meet this tortured young soul; there has to be more to him than this tick box  risk assessment, in our experience there is a bigger script to what is filled in to the social work assesment forms,    it would be good to see what work there is to be done to help him get his life back on track, if he wants it.




Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Work will make you free....

Today has been a welcome break from the nose to grindstone university life. Time to chill a little and slow down.

Ahh yes, The morning started with a relaxing decision by herself that now was a good time to dismantle the flues on the wood stove and clean the chimney. Those who know me well might wish to factor in a fairly new carpet in the living room and sit back and wait for an orgy of soot and swearing. There was indeed a decent supply of swearing, but fortunately soot was relatively well controlled and vigorous vacuuming dealt with such mess as came down the flue before cleaning the back of the stove out.

This has had a remarkable effect, the fire is running far better hotter and using less fuel.

This was a good time for the phone to ring, someone wanted to speak to one of our foster kids, something didn't feel right and so, smelling rodent  I did a bit of probing.Obviously what i found out is confidential but on a scale of 1 to 10 it was a 9.

Time to spring into action then get his social worker on the case. I'm not sure if it's just me but: "She's on holiday this week." Also on a scale of 0 - 10, as a response to an urgent situation that one does not do too well.

So off we went into town to make some enquiries, some little time later with quite a bit learnt, it was home and "relax".

The chosen "relax" in this case being digging the garden. Again, if we want to use scales this was closer to a 0 than a 10. Anyway, pick in hand, out came lots of Comfrey and Burdock and a big fire was started to burn it all.

It was a little bit later that i remembered I had a load of stuff to post. 
On the way back I noticed Phil the bikers truck was outside our local. "I really should buy him a pint" I thought, so I did.

This had taken up rather a lot of time so, I thought maybe home was the place to be.

Turns out the at home crew had gone for a bit of a rest too, so it was back to pick axe and burn.

Every cloud is lined with silver though and we discovered quite how many potatoes we had not picked last year. A second bucket was needed, this was completed just in time to get the kids from the school bus.

Then a divert to pick up the T4 from greasy garage with it's new twin front seat. A great addition to the truck.

So now, it was bath time and tea time and take fosling to youth club time.

Now it's relax time and get ready to go to bed time.

Tomorrow is University, after all that relaxation - I am looking forwards to going to work.



Tuesday, 20 March 2012

An easy life

To get the student to her lecture this morning meant leaving here at 7 am, that's a time, I have heard of it, but a 7 am start is quite outside my normal life.

People in uni, used to seeing me arrive in semi slumber at 10 am were quite amazed to find me waiting for them when they got in at 9, all bright eyed and lively. Then someone asked where all the coffee they had ordered for the interviewers had gone.....

Still tomorrow is a day off and Thursday my last day for a bit.

Friday is another huge day, but enough of that after the weekend.


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Lovely living here

Living beyond the back of nowhere sometimes has disadvantages.

It's a 5 miles drive if we run out of milk. Sustaining the childrens social lives can be a full time job.

Tonight though, it's crystal clear up here, no light polution, so the current Jupiter Venus conjunction is brilliant in our night sky So is everything else they whole sky is a blaze of light, light which left it's source so long ago you realise how irrelevant you are and how much you should be in awe of everything around you.

I wonder it thats one of the functions of town living, to blind you to that, make you feel like you matter.


A long shot..

I don't think it was ever going to work.

"Well, I did get you that rather good food processor" Was never really going to cut it as mothers day greeting. The fact her children all seemed to have forgotten her resulted in a fair amount of door slamming and harrumphing.

Then to make matters worse Serenity her oldest daughter did remember and decided to celebrate mothers day by turning up with all her kids and a clear expectation that something be put on the table to feed them all.

In times like theses there is only one thing to do: outside I went and split some wood. It wasn't actually freezing and it didn't rain, well not a lot any way I was there a long time, a lot of wood has been split.

And I mean a LOT about half a ton if not a little bit more

So I suppose that could be a bit of a result

The student seems calmer, she is relaxing with a rather decent single malt she got bought for her birthday.

To crown it all the student interviews start next week so we are both going to be rushed off our feet.

To cap it all I think the chimney might be a bit sooted up, a lovely job for whichever day I am less rushed off my feet this week.



Saturday, 17 March 2012

A Long day

 It's been a long interesting day. The food processor expired in a cloud of steam and smell, filled with love for my darling I rushed out and bought her anothr one with lots of attachments and acceasories  

For some reason she did not drip with delight

But at least I have agreed her birthday present, she is having a chicken coop.

This will of course be something too big to hit me with

Otherwise this week has been good

A win for Leanne and a win for Wales I suspect they are one and the same thing



Friday, 16 March 2012

Painting the town

 That dread time has passed again, the student really does not do birthdays, a ceremony to mark being a year further from being born and a year closer to being dead.

She has however accepted an invite out from one of her little mates, they have gone off to I am not sure where, leaving instructions that I am to go and collect them at some unspecified time. Now, if they are like that when they are sober, what chance when they have relaxed over a bottle of wine?

I suppose i could just wait for the Police to call to ask me to bail her out.


Monday, 12 March 2012

when it comes to the crunch

Been a bit of a weekend here, Saturday night spent looking for a teenie who had decided not to come home, then late night sleep disrupted by a student with her head down the toilet. A serious bug that sidelined her for most of yesterday. All that after she was run off the road by some maniac on Saturday afternoon, fortunately no injuries and only proper damage to the other car which didn't stop anyway. A bruce who decided to come home for the weekend. Thankfully we now have 3 cars making it easier on us all round. Though the T4 needs to go into the garage this week for some minor attention. R

Friday, 9 March 2012

Here comes the weekend

You wonder sometimes where the weeks go. Another weekend is on us with, thankfully Mr Tick the little AX back on the fleet.

Quite a bewildering set of signs of malaise from the car but it turned out that the  faults were actually down to an aged alternator which would not just die but would periodically go on strike.

Add in a few dodgy connections and a fuel filter that was not so much filter as solid obstruction and you are left with a proper full on head scratching session to work out what on earth was wrong. Still it is sorted now and the car is ready to go.

It's going to be an odd weekend, we actually have everyone at home, that's quite rare these days. I may have to propose to the student that we do something special like ohh I don't know, stay in and Watch telly!!! 

Or how about chopping loads of wood, thats sounds good.

The student is away, off to see her mum. Normally of course I would go with her but today I declined. Yesterday she drove me to uni, of course she has been missing her Citroen C5 estate and she had a bit of playing catch up to do. In the first twisty special stage B road part of the trip I counted no less than 4 occasions when the car was totally airbourne and two occasions a vehicle coming the other way caused me to close my eyes and develop religion. I don't think she hit anything, I know they wern't there when I looked some seconds later.  

I arrived in the meeting in uni, just about able to squeak.

Soo today I thought she could go on her own, a man can only take so much excitement.


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tidings of great joy.

And here we sit in joy and happiness.

 Great is the joy here in Penole, there could be a few reasons for this.

A truly monumental pile of wood got cut today, more than a cord.

 Quite a pile of wood got chopped today.

 A decent amount of barrowing and stacking got done today.
 No, none of that counts.

The sawing was anyway a bit of an ordeal with the wind strong and from quite the wrong direction we were cutting in cloud of dust most of the day.

No, the true source of joy was Bihan, the students beloved C5 estate restored to good health and happy running by the greasy garage.

Bihan, not quite a suitable name, Bihan is breton for small, Welsh is bychan. Small is not a suitable name for a C5 Estate Branwen decided it was called that, based on a lovely piece of logic. At some stage someone had pranged the wing mirror and replaced it with a second hand one. This had Birmingham written on it shortened to B'ham, which Barnwen read as Bihan.

Bihan though has not been well, blown a head gasket and, for good measure one of the drive shafts gave up the unequal struggle meaning that 70 mph was accompanied by a heavy vibration from underneath the car.

All that has been restored and the student was unable to conceal her glee as she drove up the drive to collect Tallie from work in "her" car.

The three spare wheels for the T4 also landed today along with the new extension tent for our summer camping.

 Of course all is not cheer and light, Mr Tick Branwens AX, a lovely car as characterful as the old deaux chevaux has developed a mysterious charging fault. It is not charging, though the battery is fine and the altenator is delivering lots of power a silly fault One that I have given up on and sent the car to the greasy garage.

I sense quite a bill to come.


Sunday, 4 March 2012

Spring is here

Spring has sprung, the daffs are starting to  come up, snowdrops line the drive lambs play in the fields.

So which bright herbert came up with the master plan of cutting wood this morning when an icy blast had made it's way from Siberia to deliver winter like cold on top of this mountain.

Normally axing is a job done in a t shirt, not t shirt pullover 2 layers of DPM, firefighters thermal hood and gloves.    

Both of us are so cold we cannot remember which one of us suggested this hare brained idea.

Still it's done now and we have processed the best part of half a ton of wood. All chopped to matchwood so it will burn quickly delivering maximum heat.

I might need to use some of that heat to warm the water so I can sit in the bah for a few hours recovering from hypothermia.


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Saturday mornings

Saturday mornings are great times for lounging in bed with the student, reading the Guardian online, sipping coffee and eating bacon sandwiches brought by grateful offspring.

Now about what really happens....

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Life of adventure

It has been a roller coaster couple of weeks.

From conferences to working on research.  A load of secondary data analysis trawling through papers. Lots of analysis to do and write up.

Confidential stuff so I can say no more.

On top of this, much dashing round  sorting cars and things.
Then home the weekend   and out with our old and long missed friend - the chainsaw.

A break from the bleak winter drabness to the outbreak of sunshine.

There is something magical about walking outside after the long cold rain bleeding winter to the sun light life bright spring that is yet to arrive.

Ahh poetry over.   

A goodly amount of sawing then, bliss, I was well in the mood for some axing. Two axes a little and a big one. Reduced a load of wood to chips.

Reduced my knees too.

Back to pain and pain killers.

Half the night in pain, no sleep so I went downstairs to stay out of the students way.
No sleep and uuurrrghh

How on earth I managed to stay awake to write a research report I don't know.

Fell asleep yesterday in mid written sentence.

Spent most of the day in and out of sleep.

Not in  a nice way.

I woke up all fuzzed and woozie 

I hate these pain killers as they stop you thinking.

Is the medical profession here to help or blurr your mind to reality.  

Getting back on top of life now and the paper is forming.