Worms, ‘Cockygate’ and Busy, Busy, Busy

Hi all,

Just a quickie to say I know I haven’t posted on here for a while but life has just grabbed me by the proverbials and run.

I’m ultra busy editing as well as trying to complete the next in my Terrible Tales series, am still shaking my head over the whole ‘Cockygate’ debacle (I’m not going to go into my views on author megalomania today – it’s been done to death already), and writing short stories for SAT practice as well as regaling you with amusing (I hope) stories from the wry side of life: https://mumispullingherhairout.wordpress.com/

In short, I’ve neglected this site. Sorry!

In the meantime, here’s the opener from Terrible Tales Book 2: Enjoy!

The Worm

(c) JM Turner

“Tequila’s gonna kill you, Terry,” I say, as I twist open the lid of the second bottle my husband has begun in as many days.

“Mind your business,” Terry snaps. He grabs for the bottle, ignoring the glass I hold out, and swigs. “You took as much notice of this house as you do of my drinking and I wouldn’t need to blur it out, would I?”

I turn away so he can’t see my involuntary eye roll and bite back any of a number of retorts that could have sprung from my lips. I walk out of the lounge and into the kitchen, click on the kettle and make myself a decaffeinated coffee, then I nod towards the French doors and Simba, my Alsatian, raises his head and chuffs.

I smile as I open the doors releasing the dog, and carry the mug out into the garden behind him. It is ten in the morning and it looks like it will be another long, hot, day spent avoiding Terry’s foul temper, although with any luck, he’ll be snoring by midday.

I perch on one of the loungers and watch the butterflies as they flitter in and around the buddleia, and then flutter around just out of reach of Simba’s attempts to catch them. Fat bumblebees buzz lazily in the heat of the summer sun, gathering pollen to take back to the hive. The sun shines its rays onto my face and arms and for the first time in a long time, I relax. I studiously ignore the empty pool with its stained and moss-strewn bottom, because every time I look at it I feel that painful lurch in my chest…

I hope that’s piqued your interest and I’ll keep you posted on when it’s up for release.

Until next time, stay well, stay safe, and stay away from cocky people!

Jill x

 

How to tell, and what to do, if your child is self-harming

In my last post, I said I was going to be talking a bit about self-harm. At this juncture, I need to make it clear that I am not a doctor, nor am I a psychologist or any other kind of mental-health expert. I’m just a mum who writes, edits and has many years’ experience within the education sector who is currently writing a novel covering this subject.

As such, I did a lot of online researching and speaking to people who could possibly help, or at least offer advice on how best to write about it without either glamorising or demonising the issue. It’s a tricky subject and I am still not entirely whether I can write the story and do it justice. By chance, I came across several people whose children/teens had either gone through this, or were going through it that time, and the overwhelming feeling I came away with was that these parents blamed themselves. They all said they must have done or said something, or not said or done something, that made their child go down this route. Ultimately, they believed they had failed as parents.

Obviously, I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors (and yes, there probably are some truly awful parents out there), but these people all appeared to be stable, relatively happy, human beings who were doing their very best for their families. Yes, they had their ups and downs (as do we all), but they couldn’t shake the belief that they were to blame for what their child was doing. [See, ‘What can you do to help your child?’ below.]

So I’ve put this together in the hope that it may help you if you find yourself in the position of having a child who may be self-harming, or heading towards it:

So what are the signs to look out for? [Note: the word ‘child’ used below indicates a person under the age of 18 years.]

Firstly, it may surprise you to know that there are two types of self-harm; emotional and physical. Each is different and it’s important to note that the first does not necessarily lead to the second:

  1. Emotional signs

This is a tricky one because not all children who have emotional problems will go on to physically self-harm. Emotional problems can be hard to pinpoint because a lot of children will successfully hide their feelings – you’ll just have the sense that something is not right, or perhaps, put it down to hormonal changes. However, the following issues seem to be at the forefront of the lead into physical self-harm:

  1. Low self-esteem – a child with low self-esteem will blame themselves for everything. They may tell you they are stupid, they’re ugly, nobody likes them, they have no friends because… [insert anything here, but there will be an ultimate reason for them to blame themselves]. Some children will turn these beliefs inwards and begin hurting themselves as punishment for their ‘faults’.
  2. Isolation – a child may withdraw from people, both within the home and outside of it. Again, this can be tricky to identify because as a child matures they may naturally want to spend time alone in their rooms away from everyone else (bear in mind, they could just be interacting on social media and not want you to be privy to their chats!). But if they don’t want to spend any time with the rest of the family, or with friends, it could be that you need to have a gentle chat with them.
  3. Crying – a child can find it hard to talk about their feelings and show this by crying over seemingly ‘silly’ things. This could be because they may not have the linguistic skills to express how they feel – but in some instances, they may not know why they feel like they do. If your child is constantly welling up; if you can’t get to the bottom of it, and if it lasts for a long period of time, it may indicate depression. Adults tend to think of depression as being something which affects only adults, but how many adults have you heard saying to their kids, “What have you got to be upset about?” Children can suffer from this too, and it needs careful handling. See your GP.
  4. Anger – your child may have inexplicable bursts of anger and this anger could be directed inwardly, towards themselves, or outwardly, towards others.
  5. Gaining/losing weight – I imagine we’ve all heard about anorexia and bulimia (in some instances these issues can be caused by a child feeling they have no control over certain important aspects of their lives, whereas they can control what goes into their mouths), but the polar opposite, overeating, is also an emotional way of self-harming.
  6. Abuse of drugs or alcohol.

If your child has any of these issues and you are afraid they are self-harming, please seek advice as soon as possible. Your GP should be your first point of contact, but be aware (UK) that any referrals offered may have a long waiting list and your child may not be offered an appointment for some months. When I asked parents what they did when they became aware of problems, nearly all said they (eventually) went to their GP as the first port of call. Some had GPs who offered appointments for the children to go to talk to them during the wait for the specialist appointment, others didn’t. Support for your child can be a hit or miss affair.

  1. Physical signs

These could be cuts*, burns*, bald patches, or bruises, and are usually delivered to the wrists, thighs, arms, chest or head. A child who is physically self-harming will [usually] try to hide the fact so they may start wearing high-neck sweaters or t-shirts with long sleeves, and will wear trousers rather than skirts.

If you do happen to spot any physical signs, the child may have a ready excuse. ‘It was an accident,’ appears to be a commonplace explanation, often accompanied by a convoluted account of how the accident happened. You need to be aware that your child will have agonised over what they will say should their self-harming become apparent, particularly if this is something they have been doing over a period of time and the explanation will, most likely, not ring true.

Okay, so now you have an idea of what can happen and the kinds of things you should be aware of. If your child is self-harming, it needs careful handling.

What can you do to help your child?

The first and most important thing to do is to stay calm. Seeing evidence that your child is harming themselves will have an enormous emotional effect on you, but losing your temper with them, or dissolving into tears, will not help them. It will simply fill them with guilt and reinforce their beliefs that they are a bad person. You must stay calm. The harsh reality is that your feelings are secondary at the time you make the discovery – your support for your child is what is paramount because you do not want the behaviour to escalate.

Something has made your child want to hurt themselves, and if you want them to be open with you, to help them work out why they are acting this way, they need to trust that they can tell you anything and that you won’t pass judgement on them or blame yourself or take it personally.

If your child wants to tell you about it, shut up and listen. Really listen. Don’t put words in their mouths – hear what they are saying.

Do not belittle what is troubling them. Their reasons could be something you consider to be unimportant. The evidence in front of your eyes shows they are not unimportant to your child.

If your child does open up to you, tell them you understand why they are doing it – even if you really don’t. Tell them you want to help. Ask if they know what triggers them to self-harm and ask them what they want you to do to help them stop. Tell them you know that when they hurt themselves it feels like it’s helping them to manage things/to cope, but tell them you want to help them with whatever is causing the problem so that they don’t need to hurt themselves, (which is better in the long run).

If they won’t talk to you, ask if they will talk to someone else.

If they still refuse, give them the ChildLine number: 0800 1111.

Find something physical they can do to let their feelings out safely when they are overwhelmed, e.g. punching a cushion, or punching/kicking a punch-bag. Tell them they can use it whenever they like with no explanation needed.

Keep a stock of ice cubes in the freezer so your child can hold one until it melts.

Get them to take a look at this site: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/feelings-emotions/building-confidence-self-esteem/ as there lots of tips they may find useful.

*If your child has cut or burned themselves, you need to ensure they are cleaning the wounds properly. If they have wounds that need medical assistance, get them to hospital immediately.

This next point is one of the hardest for parents, but it is important: don’t smother them. You are going to want to be with them 24/7 to make sure they don’t do it again, but if you give them some privacy it will help build their confidence and trust.

Do not tell anybody other than the people who need to know (GP, school, college) and only then with your child’s knowledge/permission. If they tell you about it and ask you not to tell anyone and you do, any trust they held in you will disappear. They may be embarrassed, feel guilty, know that it is a stupid thing to do, and refuse to let you tell anyone else in the belief that they will think less of them. Wait until they are ready for you to do so. Close family members may pick up on things, but again, only speak to them if your child agrees.

Show them you want to help and that you will listen to whatever they have to say, even if it’s not what you want to hear.

Your reactions

You are going to react to this. I know I said above that this is not about you (and it still isn’t), but you are going to have a reaction. As I mentioned at the start, parents will inevitably blame themselves, for not seeing, for saying or doing the wrong things, for a multitude of reasons. Others are angry – with themselves, with the child, with whatever circumstances have brought them to this situation. You need to be able to react, but try not to do it in front of your child. Drive out somewhere secluded, close all the windows and scream out your grief, pain and anger where no-one can hear you.

One parent (whose child eventually received a referral after a 6-month wait) told me that at the first counselling appointment, when her child cried, tears came into her own eyes and she automatically crossed the room to her child’s chair to comfort her. The counsellor was extremely curt, told her to sit back down and said she must not react or she would heap guilt upon her child. As my friend said to me later, ‘She made me feel like I was to blame for XXX’s self-harming. XXX needed a hug. She’d just opened up for the first time since I found out, and it made us both cry. I’m not a robot – I have feelings about all this too, and I need someone to talk to, to make sense of it! And if I don’t react at all, won’t that make XXX feel like I don’t really care?”

She has a point. I don’t know if this was a particularly over-zealous counsellor but the child refused to go back to see her again because of how she treated her mum. They got over it by talking. The floodgates had been opened and her mum was able to pick her way through it without any further outside help. She told me she had no idea if she was doing it right or wrong, but that so long as her child knew she loved her and would help her and never judge her for [what she’d done], they’d wing it.

The last words on this post come from children who were brave enough to talk to me:

15-year-old, A, told me: ‘It’s nothing to do with Mum. This is about me. I know it’s a stupid thing to do but I can’t stop myself. If I don’t do it [cutting] I don’t know if I’m alive. When I hurt myself, I feel something and I know I’m real.’

‘A’ was unable to say why she felt like this.

14-year-old, K, told me that she felt angry about everything. Her parents had recently divorced and both sides were battling for her attention and bad-mouthing each other. She said: ‘I know Dad didn’t love me enough to stay with me and Mum, so why is he pretending he cares now? He was horrible when he was at home, always sarcastic at Mum and ignoring me, but now he suddenly wants me to go stay with him and buys me stuff. He doesn’t want me, he just wants to hurt Mum and I hate him for it, but I hate myself too because I want the stuff and that makes Mum upset because she can’t afford to buy it for me. So if I let him buy me something, I come home and punch myself in the head or in the stomach because then I hurt too, and it’s okay to take the stuff.’

16-year-old, B, refused to eat. He knew it was making him ill, but he liked the power it gave him over his parents: ‘Mum’s always trying to make me eat stuff. She never shuts up about it and Dad’s the same. He shouts. She cries. I’m sick of them telling me what to do all the time. It’s all, go and do your homework [B], go and do this and that and, no, you can’t go round your mate’s when you’ve got all this study to do. I know I need to study! I know I won’t get to uni if I don’t get the grades – they tell us all the time at school. I just want five minutes to be a bloody kid!’

As I said at the start, I am not an expert, so if I have made any mistakes in this please do let me know and I will happily edit any areas that need it. Your experiences may be utterly different from those I have spoken of, and if you would like to comment below to help others who may have experienced the same as you, please, please, do.

Finally, I hope the information I gathered will help, if only in a minor way, if you ever find yourself in this position.

Further help and support for relatives of self-harmers can be found here: http://www.harmless.org.uk/whoWeSupport/familyAndFriends

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/self-harm/for-friends-and-family/#.WuIiCcgvzIU

http://www.hopeforhurtingparents.com/encouragement-for-parents-of-self-harmers/

 

Peri-menopause (or, WTF is happening?)

This is a piece I wrote some years back – I came across it and thought it may make you smile.

The perimenopause.

Sounds like a high-class drink doesn’t it? Something sparkly, light and refreshing?

“What’s your tipple?”

“Oh! A bottle of Peri-menopause, please. On ice.”

peri-menopause

If only.

It started innocuously enough with what I thought was a touch of flu. I woke up in the small hours having apparently decided to go for a swim in my sleep without bothering to change out of my jim-jams. I was freezing cold yet simultaneously, boiling hot. Flu. Obviously. I went for a quick shower, changed the bedsheets and went back to sleep after tossing and turning until, oh, roughly ten minutes before I was due to get up when I dropped into a coma that was only broken by my daughter’s screeching that I’d slept through the alarm and she was late for school.

For flu, I felt surprisingly chipper during the next day. Life carried on as usual. Apart, that is, from the overwhelming desire to either commit homicide if someone looked at me the wrong way or to burst into tears for the same reason. I put it down to the lack of sleep and promised myself an early night.

Dinner over with, five-year-old daughter in bed snoring sweetly, I had a bath and, book in hand, toddled off to get some much-needed sleep. I was exhausted. But sleep was not my friend that night. As soon as my head hit the pillow and my eyelids closed everything that had ever gone wrong in my life (and, like most people’s lives, that’s quite a lot) put in an appearance and said, ‘hello, bitch!’. Memories danced around my head like evil fairies and became, in those wee small hours, devastating indictments of me. I was a horrible person! I sobbed myself to sleep feeling utterly worthless. And I woke about an hour and a half later having been swimming again.

After a week of this, I knew it wasn’t the flu. As I stood in the shower (my neighbours must have wondered what the hell I was doing every night) rinsing the salt from my body, I knew there was more to it. All sorts of things went through my head, ranging from cancer to HIV (nothing simple, obviously, never mind the fact that I’d not had sex with anyone since my divorce – and I’d been with my ex for fourteen years and this was two years later – so that was not the likeliest of scenarios).

I went to see my GP who listened to me intently, laughed at my self-diagnosis, and announced that I was depressed. Considering that my ex had moved our family from one end of the country to the other (where we knew nobody) and then walked out to go and live back with his mother less than a year later, leaving me to deal with the people he owed money to turning up on my doorstep with regular monotony, and the very real threat of losing my home, I thought she may have a point. Not knowing any better, I presumed that depression came with night sweats and feeling like shit. She prescribed me Paroxetine.

Three weeks later I was back to see her again. Although I appreciate that it probably works well for the vast majority of others, Paroxetine made me feel seriously suicidal – by this time, what with the nightly swimming sessions and lack of sleep, I was ready to jump off a bridge. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to check out the side-effects and realised what was happening. I stopped taking them. The (alarmed) doctor agreed and suggested yoga as exercise helps with depression.

The only classes I could find were held at night and, as a single parent living in the arse-end of nowhere with a five-year-old and no babysitter, were never going to happen. I started exercising on my own after I’d put my daughter to bed. I got fitter, but the night sweats got worse. They started to happen twice or three times a night. Every night. I’d fall asleep, wake up dripping, eventually go off again and reawaken an hour or so later, wet again.

It made me scared to go to bed. So, late one night, with sleep apparently having become my worst enemy, Google became my new best friend. I typed in my symptoms and hit return. It was narrowed down to three things: TB, cancer or the menopause.

I went back to my GP and she said, “Of course! You’re in the perimenopause!”

I was only in my mid-forties. Surely that didn’t happen to women until they got to their fifties or sixties? “Oh,” she said, “it’ll probably be over within the next couple of years; unless you’re one of the unlucky ones – it can hang around for decades for some people.”

Fuck me sideways! Decades?!? Decades of changing the bed every day? Decades of absolutely no control over the horrifying thoughts plaguing me daily? I’d always wondered why my mum said she was coming back as a man. If I could have grown fruit and two veg, at that point I’d have happily changed sex.

I thought about the word ‘perimenopause’. I compared it to that sparkly, light, refreshing bottle of something chilled. And I laughed.

Sparkly? I suppose the rivers of sweat that trickle down my sodden neck could sparkle in the right light.

Light? I felt so dull and dim-witted it was like my brain had taken a vacation.

Refreshing? Well, having become surgically attached to the shower every night was quite refreshing at the time, I suppose.

Thank God it only happened at night…

Fast forward a decade:

It didn’t only happen at night – but more on that at a later date…

Little Writer…

Valid points made here – we don’t need to rush.

Through The Gateway

It’s been a while since I actually got over to this blog to write anything. Christmas break with several children to entertain kept me from having very much (if any) time to myself. Then the New Year hit and the temperature dropped to a level so low that my brain was forced into hibernation. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

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A Watched Pot Never Boils

This proverb strikes a chord with me and, no doubt, with many of you, too (even if it is a slightly daft saying – I mean, come on, unless you forget to switch on the heat beneath it, if you watch it long enough it will boil).

How many of you have had an idea for writing a book, or starting a small business? Did you worry it around in your mind, plan, scrap that plan and re-think, plan again, and finally, finally, try dipping a toe in foreign waters?

Was the result what you imagined?

Did fame and/or fortune come knocking at your door?

Were you an instant runaway success?

Me neither!

 

I guess the meaning is that to build up anything worthwhile takes time and you can’t sit and wait for it to magically happen.

*Sigh*

*Where’s my magic wand?*

Lumps, bumps, and Trouble at Christmas

Hi all!

This last month has been – well, let’s just say that different is a good descriptive word (that actually doesn’t really cover anything, much).

So what’s been going on? New Puppy (‘NP’) has started asking to use the great outdoors (aka our garden) as a toilet, unless, of course, we’re busy and not paying him attention wherein he’ll bypass the asking and simply carefully avoid all the pads and paper put down to catch his little ‘accidents’ and pee in the six square inches left uncovered, the defiant little sod!

He’s actually really bright – sits on command, lays down on command, plays fetch (and is learning to let go of whatever we’ve thrown for him so we can throw it again), comes to us when called (if we have something he wants… otherwise he’s great at cocking a deaf’un – think toddlers, pre-schoolers, school-age – hell, just about any age of kid in reality – or husband…).

He’s learned that if he pushes it in a certain way, his water bowl comes loose and when it’s empty he dislodges it and chucks it at our feet wearing a look of utter disdain that says, ‘See what you’ve made me do? Water me, now!’ He’s obviously seen me laughing at  ‘Simon’s Cat’.

All plants in the house are now raised from the floor – NP’s developed a penchant for digging out the mud and chucking it all over the floor which, despite him thinking differently, is not in the least amusing.

The cat’s slightly more tolerant of him. Now she sits at a height he can’t quite reach watching him with contempt as he goes nuts trying to get her to play with him (front paws down, bum in the air, wagging tail) – her tail twitches in annoyance and he reads it that she’s telling him he’s now her new best friend – until she’s had enough of his gentle persuasion and hisses at him like a demon and swipes out. (Claws retracted – she’s not evil.) Funnily enough, her growl is way louder and more dog-like than his – who knew? Yet, when both are hungry, she’ll wind around his legs while he licks her and they both delight in tripping us up while we rush to attend to their needs. I swear they share a look and snicker – every, damn time.

A few years ago we bought musical dogs as Christmas decorations (we inherited one, if truth be told, and bought the second because – well, just because). They look remarkably like NP and he finds them a bit freaky – possibly because one sings Slade and the other sings Wizzard. After the initial ‘What the hell?’ moment, he carefully ignored them until I went into the kitchen a day or so after we’d put them out and came back in to find him dragging one around by its Christmas hat. Slade now sounds like they’ve hit the bottle. Hard.

Health wise? Hmmn – I was punched by a student (not the best of days), and like many others, the sickness bug is currently visiting our house. Nuff said on that score.

Finally, my latest book for children has been released – it’s called ‘Trouble at Christmas’ and you can get a copy for your own ankle-biters kiddliwinks here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077XN1GCV (if you’re in the UK), or here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077XN1GCV (if you’re over the pond).

Make an author happy and read it with your kids in the build-up to the big day – they’ll thank you for it. And if you really want to make an author happy, please leave a review of the book.

‘Til next time, take care!

Jill

Trouble at Christmas

Mason doesn’t want to visit his grandparents this Christmas. His grandad never shows his face because he’s too tired, and Mason is convinced the real reason is that he doesn’t like him. But his grandad has a secret, one that Mason can’t know until he turns 18. But secrets have a way of being discovered, especially when there is one careless elf and a whole lot more who are ill…

Here’s a sneak peak of the first chapter:

The North Pole

Father Christmas sniffed and wiped away a tear.

“What on earth’s the matter with you now?” sighed Mrs. Claussen. “Honestly, it’s the same every year – you have to go to work, there’s no way out of it. So pull yourself together, get the elves to sort the reindeer out and get those presents on the sleigh before it’s too late.”

“It’s all right for you,” Father Christmas snapped. “You get to spend the happiest time of the year with our grandson while I’m out doing all the work. It would be nice to be able to see him open his presents is all I’m saying.”

“You didn’t say that when his mother was little, did you? Oh no! Then it was all, ‘See you later, try not to let her open them all in one go – wake me up on Boxing Day’, wasn’t it?” Mrs. Claussen put the finishing touches to the ribbons that surrounded the final gift she’d had the elves make for the boy. “There,” she said with satisfaction.

“That was because Christmas Eve was the only time I got away from you both,” Father Christmas muttered under his breath.

“I heard that, darling.” Mrs. Claussen put the gift to one side and thumped on the table with a small fist, making her husband jump. “If you’d only go into the real world more than once a year, you’d see more of both Mason and Lili, wouldn’t you!”

Father Christmas squirmed in his chair. “You know I can’t do that – I’d be too easily recognised.”

“Pah!” said Mrs. Claussen. “By who, exactly?”

“The children, of course!” Father Christmas stared at his wife in astonishment.

“The children who all think you’re a big, jolly fellow with white hair and a long white beard?” Mrs. Claussen raised an eyebrow.

Her husband was currently sporting a pair of jeans and a white tee-shirt with a rude slogan on it. He had been on a diet during this past year and had lost so much weight none of his Christmas clothes fitted him any longer. He’d also taken up weight lifting and running, shaved off his beard, cut his hair and dyed it a rather snazzy chestnut colour.

“I still think you’re having some kind of mid-life crisis,” she said, even as she admired his biceps.

“You have to be middle aged to have that kind of crisis,” her husband told her. “And as I’m only one-hundred and sixty-six…”

“Seven,” his wife corrected.

Father Christmas tutted. “Sixty-seven, then, I’m nowhere near the middle of my life, am I?”

“No,” Mrs. Claussen agreed. “Not unless you’re planning on living to three-hundred and thirty-four, you’re not.”

Father Christmas jumped to his feet, sending the kitchen chair he’d been sitting on skidding across the floor. “I’ve had enough of this!” he shouted.

“There’s a good fellow,” Mrs. Claussen ignored his mini-tantrum. “Go and put the toys on the sleigh.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Due for release 5.12.2017 for less than the price of a cup of coffee.

The Deaf, Warm, Duck (and other misunderstandings)

When I was a kid and feeling under the weather, my mother used to tell me I looked like a deaf, warm, duck. I never queried it – in my head a tiny little duck, wearing a woolly hat, waddled to and fro’ our local brook – and it always made me feel better. Just as well, really. When I grew up, I realised I had misheard her – she was actually saying I looked like death, warmed up.

I was reminded of this today when my friend told me she needed to nip into the chemist. “I want suppose it is’s,” she cheerfully said.

“Suppose what is?” I asked, thinking it was some kind of gift she wanted to give someone (seeing as we were Christmas shopping).

“You know what I mean,” she said, nudging me in the ribs.

“Sorry, nope. I really don’t.” Was my normally sedate friend buying something a little naughty perhaps?

She blushed profusely. “You know, what you shove up your bum when you’ve got piles.” (That’s hemorrhoids, to you across the pond.)

She meant suppositories. I didn’t ask who was going to be on the, ahem, receiving end of them, but as she was walking a bit tenderly, I suspect I know.

My daughter always thought there was a place called Bomb-sit. That’s down to me yelling, “Your room looks like a bomb’s hit,” my way of asking her to tidy it up.

Recently, a kid I know told me he wanted a ‘Git-hard’ for Christmas. I puzzled over that one for a while, until another kid told me he meant he wanted a guitar.

Ah, the English language! Let me know anything you’ve misheard…

Furry friends

There’s a new addition to the Turner household – a tiny, furry, 10-week-old fiend of a Cavapoo – with (sadly) poo being the operative word at present. He’d been wormed the night before we collected him and the wormer didn’t agree with him. Not one little bit! Cue a very runny botty, blood-stained poop and a trip to the vets on his first day with us.

We were advised to give him bland food; chicken, rice, scrambled eggs, and pasta, to try to settle him down and it’s definitely helping – but he’s still showing signs of blood in it (we collected him on Thursday). We’re hoping it’s just because his tummy was so upset and it isn’t worrying him as his personality is shining through and he’s not acting ill in the slightest. (At the moment he’s running around having gleefully nicked a sheet of newspaper!)

I have to say I never thought having a new puppy would involve warm water, cotton wool and me wiping clean a tiny bum while my teenager gags and holds him!

Apart from that, he’s a bundle of fun – chewing everything he can get his gums around (and he has a penchant for my toes…) – why is it that a pup can have bundles of new toys to play with, yet prefer the bottom of a dressing gown, slippers and feet? He bounces about all over the place, inevitably with one of our slippers or shoes in his mouth, running so fast he trips and does a roly-poly then gazes up at us in surprise.

Yep, it’s love!