Sunday 28 April 2013


Ever wondered what it might look like if several thousand rubber ducks were released all at once in a fairly slow running stream?

Here's your answer.

Despite many eddies, an unfortunately situated gully, and several vole holes, eventually a leader duck made it across the finishing line, netting it's lucky owner £300.

We didn't win. But, as one of the charities who will benefit was ROSY, the girls were grabbed by a photographer and a rather large duck, to spread the word. Smiling at a photographer with a huge camera is a big enough prize for tLP, at any rate. And mad races across fields and around the garden centre work pretty well as a back up. As for me, I'll settle for tea and cakes and the sound of happy children.

A lovely afternoon together before tLP's sleep study. Currently sharing a hospital room with two babies and a woman who may be in labour. It's an interesting location.


Saturday 27 April 2013

TLP logic

Mummy, how old were you when you were my age?

And how old was Grannie when she was my age?


Wednesday 24 April 2013

Chunc users help please!

Mog's footplates have become unlatched. I think the grey clip underneath is supposed to hold them all in place but I can't clip it. Any ideas?

Pictures all out of order but I need to get it back where it's held upright not drooping all over the place.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Eye of the storm

Faith's a funny thing. Faith let me treat Mog's big seizure last week, then leave her at school to go swimming. And then enabled me to leave her at the hospice for a long weekend, as I went off for a weekend a couple of hours away. That couple of hours is significant - thirty minutes is my comfort zone, my ability to get back to her bedside to give her the second dose of emergency medication, my chance to be with her before it's all too late. Helen House is the only place I can leave her when I'm more than thirty minutes away, and even then I rarely do.

Logically, I know that Mog is just as safe in God's hands whether I'm sitting right beside her or on an island with a lengthy walk and then a ferry and then a too long drive home to get to her. But whilst my head says "God's in charge", my heart says "My beloved child; what if she needs me?"

Which makes Sunday all the more precious.

Saturday was a beautiful day. It was a day with 1477 other women (and a few brave men in the band!), an appointment with God which we'd booked up in the middle of a different storm, in January. Make a date with God and He tends to show up. And there was worship, and there were tears, and there was teaching, and because it was my friend and I, there was a certain amount of inappropriate laughing too. But God made us, and God gave us both a shared sense of humour, and I think He might have been laughing too.

A message delivered so fast that I'm finding different sentences floating up now; sentences I'd somehow filed away to think about later whilst trying to keep up with the next thing Christy Whimber was saying. And a message I didn't entirely agree with, but like an apple; plenty of sweetness, a hint of sharpness, lots to chew on, and some pips to be spat out.

And a beautiful sunny afternoon, a walk along the rocks, and as bonus light relief from some of the heaviness of the day, a big black lab bouncing along the waves, exuberantly retrieving the most revolting tennis ball ever from the black salty water.

And then another lovely meal at our hotel, and then tears and honesty and openness and a ridiculously late night (Sorry my friend!), followed by a good night's sleep.

Sunday was supposed to be cloudy and cold and somewhat grotty; we had gone to bed knowing that we'd had the best of the weekend on Saturday. But instead we woke to streams of sunshine forcing their way through the gaps in the curtains; a perfect day for our trip to the island.

And not once did I stop to think about how far away from Mog I'd be. After a wobble on Saturday night, I woke up without any of the "what-if she needs me"s on Sunday. Just knowing she was safe in God's hands, and in the hands of the hospice staff, and not even thinking very much about either girl, except to be thankful for them.

And the day was a gift. I think God likes to give us things, and on Sunday He just kept on giving. We had a slow start, but still managed to catch the first ferry of the morning. And the sun blazed down on us, and the water danced, and we landed on beautiful Brownsea Island. We walked through Scouting history, and we were surrounded by outstanding beauty, and the sun shone down on us. The ground was soft beneath our feet; moss carpets and bouncy clay; the ultimate in easy walking. I had forgotten how good it is to walk without either pushing a heavy chair or carrying a heavy backpack. And my friend carried our water and money, so I had nothing but my coat to hold me down.

It was a day for singing, a day for tree climbing, a day for dipping toes into icy cold water. A day for discovering that my friend's geocaching habit can actually be quite fun (Yes - I apologise to all of you for being rude about it in the past). A day for nearly being savaged by an angry peacock, a real "Taste and see that the Lord is good" kind of a day. A red squirrel. Birds. Scouts camping where Baden Powell held the first ever Scout camp. Bell ringers in a tiny church. Pink trees, blue skies, steep paths climbed gently. Laughing and smiling and talking and standing together in silence.

Finally time to start thinking about coming home. And so we meandered down to the ferries again, and, the icing on the cake, our own private upper deck (OK - the wind was up and no one else was silly enough to want to freeze) and so our own private tour around the other islands in the harbour. Sitting freezing feeling the force of the wind, and realising that what we'd expected to be the first step towards home was in fact the icing on the cake, an extra portion running over. God is good.

A clear run home, and a slow walk back to normality. The chance to get to an evening service (happens once or twice a decade), a peaceful night, and then a different kind of busy day on Monday.

And then back to reality with a bump and a bang and a whole lot of twitching. A Mog with a long long seizure - record long for her - and a Mog struggling either with whatever new breathing thing caused the seizure in the first place, or with whatever breathing thing the huge dose of diazepam has left her with. Hopefully temporarily. But a night full of alarms and beeps, and now a morning where she has woken up as I write this, but is unable to cope without her CPAP.

A morning where I'm back to "Help me, God, I don't know if I can do this", and a morning where the reality of the possibility of losing her (not immediately - I assure you I wouldn't be blogging if that were the case!) feels far too close. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small, protect me O Lord.

Is my faith any less than it was when I left here on Friday? No. Am I scared? Yes. But Sunday is a precious jewel of a memory, a bright shining reminder of how much God loves me, and how He is so much more immeasurably immensely everything than I can ever possibly begin to imagine. And tears and worship come hand in hand. This weekend we stepped briefly into the eye of the storm, and there was peace and beauty and perfection - and we were sheltered from the winds of life around us. And now I've stepped back into the storm again, and I'm breathless. Breathe on me.

Jesus, be the centre.

Sunday 21 April 2013

Brownsea Island


Will you walk with Me through the fire and the rain?
Will you trust in Me through the joy and through the pain?
Will you love Me always when the world hates My name?
Will you take My Hand and lean on Me again?

Saturday 20 April 2013

Running away.

Having a child-free weekend with a friend. I think we're going to like it here.

Thursday 11 April 2013


We have upgraded our holiday accommodation slightly!

OK maybe not, but we did manage (after a bit of persuasion and a promise that Mog's chair was not in fact a powered chair) to get the full tour with our own personal tour guide and Princess-transferred-to-an-adult-manual-chair pusher.

All good, apart from our half hour stand-off at the sculptures.

And home, and a sillily giggly tickle-the-pickle toddler, and a very twitchy Mog. But a mostly pretty good day. And tLP even finally registered that whilst going home would mean seeing the cats again (her aim all week), it would also mean not seeing our friends any more. I think that's progress.


Wednesday 10 April 2013

Two beautiful evenings

Which would you choose?


Photos by C, as I handily forgot my phone. Friends, fine weather, teeny tiny roads with scary great precipitous drops far too close for comfort. Spectacular scenery, twin lambs everywhere and a calf carefully hidden in a byre. Wheelchair backsies for the toddler, giggles and hand holding for the two older children; long days for two mums but good times all round.


Friday 5 April 2013

We're going on a big hunt

Going to catch a big one.
We're not scared.
Well, only a little bit!


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