Friday, 26 November 2010


Yesterday was an odd day. I heard some brilliant news that I'll pass on when the plans have come to fruition as I'm very superstitious and I don't want to jinx anything; I once told everyone about a fab new job that fell through at the last minute. And then I spoke to my parents and found that the tumour on my Dad's bowel has responded well to treatment but that he now has metastatic liver cancer. That means that the cancer has spread and, whilst the lesions are very small and he says his oncologist is very positive, I cannot find much to be hopeful about on any of the reputable websites.

Unlike my mother, my dad has never suffered from ill-health before and it's like seeing something strong and enduring like Nelson's Column melt in the rain like sugar cubes. I don't quite know how to cope and there seems to be absolutely nothing I can do to help.

I can't do nothing though so I'm thinking of having a a sponsored stitch-in at my local coffee shop. I thought I'd ask them if they'd mind me sitting with my crochet and embroidery one Saturday. I wouldn't bother their customers, I'd just have a bucket in front of me and I'd collect for Macmillan. Maybe some of my friends could drop by and say hello now and again but it would be a solo effort. I'm busy coming up to Christmas but I'm free on Saturday 18th December. Do you think this is too close to Christmas or do you think that people will be in a giving mood? I was in there last weekend and reckoned there were fifty people in their at a time so even if only a proportion of people donated I could collect a fair amount over a full day.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

O.O.M.A. Part 2

Subtitled: How I finally stopped stalking and talked to him...

It's amazing how many things you can think of to buy at The Range when you put your mind to it. I'm thinking of lining my bedroom walls with lolly sticks, or maybe not.

Oh my god he just walked past when I was writing about him.

Sorry, stream of consciousness there! I should explain that I'm sitting at a window seat in a coffee shop using their t'interwebs and making myself available should he choose to come in, which he clearly hasn't. Bah!!

Anyhooo, so I decided that getting totally over-excited whenever our eyes met over a cut-price crafting display and hyper-ventilating in the coffee shop was stupid, immature and more suited to an eleven-year-old than a forty-one-year-old who's like, you know, even like kissed a boy before. So I called in the troops, in this case my friend Dee who used to work with him and who was enthusiastic and prepared to give up her Saturday to going to a shop with me so that I could be casually introduced. Her partner offered to look after their twin boys and drive us there and we went on Operation Git Me Ah Man.

It was his day off.

We had a lovely time though. We looked at all the Christmas Decorations, had a coffee, did a bit of shopping and I was even able to buy cat food and cat litter without worrying about looking like a mad cat lady. Dee asked one of his colleagues when he was working next and even asked to be remembered to him and I was so crap I had to turn away because I started to blush.

On returning home I went out to get the papers and to have a coffee. He was in the coffee shop. Did I speak to him? No, of course not. I made sure I sat in his line of vision though. And read my papers in an attempt to look clever and cultured, and used my phone in an attempt to look popular and cool.

Of course the fact that he hadn't been at work meant I didn't have to wait my customary two weeks before returning to The Range and last week I went back to buy some crap or other(to those of you worrying about my bank balance I should say that I tend to buy things I genuinely need for school and can claim back from the tax man but that I wouldn't normally walk two miles to shop for). This time he was working and what's more he was on Customer Services so saw me arriving. When I queued up he offered to serve me and made a comment about how I'd be busy (it's those lolly sticks). I told him I was a teacher and we talked about what age I taught, how cold it was and how I was planning to have a coffee on my way home to ward off the cold. So imagine my delight when I was sitting in the coffee shop later and saw him there. He passed me when he left and did a double-take. And now here comes the embarrassing admission. I followed him.

He went to the greengrocers which was handy as I needed vegetables and as we finished our shopping and went to leave at the same time I smiled up at him and said,

"I hope you're going in a different direction now because I'd hate you to think I'm following you!"

To which he replied,

"Oh, I wouldn't think that."

That was last week and I haven't managed to speak to him again but I feel that a channel has been opened and I'd be able to start a proper conversation. And I'm delighted that he's noticed me without realising quite how ridiculous I am.

I see stupid people.

I watched an item on Breakfast News earlier this month about a little American boy who went to school on Hallowe'en dressed as Daphne from Scooby Doo. Apparently other mothers from the school had something to say about that and there's been a backlash against his parents for letting him "cross dress".

How utterly ridiculous. And how deeply sad that there are people so scared of anything different that they won't let children play normally. I was working in the Nursery Class today and we had a circle time about our favourite dressing-up clothes. One little boy said he wanted to dress as a princess and later put on some purple gauzy number. Will that cause him to grow up as a transvestite or make him gay?

Of course not. Just like I never became a hairdresser despite that being my favourite game at four (though I do remember my funky 70's hairdryer with fondness). Just like my friend's son who played with a toy vacuum aged 3 and ten years later can barely raise himself from the sofa long enough to turn the TV off. The child in our classroom will grow up normal, whatever his own particular normal is. Whether the child in America will be as lucky, given the bigots who surround him, remains to be seen.