The Empire Strikes Back

christmas 2013




By the by, in case you’re in need of a light read, one of my short stories has just been published by Kind of a Hurricane Press in an anthology called “In Gilded Frame,” and is available to download or purchase a hard copy from their website.

It references this picture, Danse Macabre by Michael Wolgemut.

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Career Opportunites for the ever so slightly deranged

Today I am also over “here” at “5 Minutes for Special Needs Mums.”

I sometimes think that I missed my calling as an air traffic controller. So many of the campaigns around here are premised on the scaffolding of visual aids. They used to be mainly PEC’s, writ large but these days anything goes.

Not so long back I would send my little darlings to school with a whole collection of aide memoires, dangling from their back backs. From the Incredible 5 Point scale, to talismen, many and various, as well as other clues to help them cope. I do believe that they looked like Christmas trees out of season, all the year round. They needed them to be physically available, as visual and tactile work well together for some children, especially mine.

It’s all about helping them to express themselves, sometimes in a socially acceptable manner but now they all talk, they have trouble taking turns with their announcements and questions. Currently, they believe that the best way to get results is to shout. They have naturally adopted the ‘squeaky wheel’ policy, figured it out for themselves, with ear splitting results. It seems to be a case of ‘he who yells loudest’ will ping mum into action. Thus far, it’s working rather well as I dart around fulfilling the latest request.

However, I plan to retire from my post as ‘short order commando cook’ and implement yet another new campaign, roughly along the lines of ‘how to take turns.’ I have yet to polish off the details.

I either need to print all the rules on a serviceable T-shirt and adopt it as my new uniform or alternatively make up a sandwich board to include the never ending list of ‘how to’s’, reminders and cues.

Pop on over and enter your “name” for a thoroughly free review of your blog.

In my next life I’m coming back as a sheepdog as I already have fabulous herding instincts.

Lastly, coming soonishly = lucky numbers.

Any requests?

Cheers dears

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The sleeping life

We are nocturnal, again. I trundle through days and nights with attrition, neither asleep nor awake, merely treading water as I wait for the phase to pass. I adopt my own coping mechanism, a constant stream of espresso interspersed with pots of tea, as there’s nothing like a full bladder to keep you on your mark. Bloated but vertical, will just have to do.

As I wait outside the classroom with my youngest son for the others to join us, I am reminded of the steady stenographer. She would sit in the courtroom with her neatly crossed ankles below her tidy legs, encased in a pencil skirt, nursing a soft little pot belly of womanhood on her lap. Still as a statue, palms down. The only movement came from her curved fingers as the tips followed the words of all the parties present. Her neutral face was calm, open and expressionless.

I pay my son no heed as he is huge and eight and discretely inappropriate and waiting is always tough. He nestles into my body, not so much from the cold but for protection from other more ethereal attacks. His moans are sotto voce, the suppression expression of the frustration of waiting, whilst his fingers tap my tummy.
“It doesn’t hurt to me!” he bellows at 50 decibels as volume control is work in progress. All around the school yard, faces turn towards us with one accord on cue. Maybe a hundred pairs of black bee sunglasses stare blankly through the watery piercing sunlight, in the chill of the afternoon.
“Oh good. It doesn’t hurt me either dear.”
“Mom?” he continues.
“Yes dear?”
“Are yah fat or pregnant?”

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Be careful what you wish for

My best physical feature, are my ears. [translation = only, as everything else seems to be subject to gravity] They are small and neat, [translation = do not resemble cauliflowers] and luckily, I also have a matching pair, one ear on each side of my head. [translation = it's a shame that they're mis- aligned, as it makes the bifocals wonky]

Lately, I have become dissatisfied with their performance. I need a new more modern type of ear, the type of ear that can close itself. [translation = like a flower furling it's petals at night] Except that they need to close more quickly and efficiently. [translation = emergency trap door] This is due to the development of new developments around here. Now that the non-verbal around here are less so, I find that all too frequently I am trapped in a vortex of noise. [translation = volume control of children needs tweaking]

I am seriously considering having my name changed. The chorus of mom/mum/mummee, where each requires instant administration, is frustrating my ability to be efficient. I think it's only fair that I should now be able to exploit the speech delays, turn the tables on them. [translation = refuse to submit to speech delays. [translation = make life even more difficult for them.]

Hence, the new campaign plan will be to pick a name that is long and difficult to pronounce, which might mean that I am called on less often. [translation = they'll give up sooner due to negative reinforcement] Since they've already read the book “Chrysanthemum,” I know that I need something more challenging. All dinosaur names are out, as they'd mastered them when they were under three. This means that I have a much smaller pool of potential names than one might initially envisage. [translation = guess]

I'm best off picking a name that is in their area of boredom. For instance, last time they were tested for whatever it was they were tested for, I discovered a wide variety of items with which they were unfamiliar, [translation = were unable to name] such as telephone, microscope and bag. This would redeem my endeavour, [translation = new campaign] providing a beneficial motive. [translation = forcing them to acquire a basic vocabulary, as opposed to the current ‘advanced’ but ‘spotty’ vocabulary.]

Indeed, now I come to think of it, I should probably change my name every week to ensure that a whole slew of new words could be acquired. Such a scheme would also have the added benefit of easy review, “no I'm not envelope this week, that was last week, this week I'm chair leg.” Additionally, it feeds into the need to teach them about time, the ‘yesterday, tomorrow and today’ kind of time, which they find very confusing. [translation = I do too, but for different reasons]

I could start with the word 'lounge,' that would make a great temporary name, then we could do hall. [translation = corridor] The possibilities are endless.
There again, 'lounge,' may not be the best one to start with.
[Translation = Main Entry: 1 lounge
Pronunciation: ‘launj
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): lounged; loung·ing
Etymology: origin unknown
intransitive verb : to act or move idly or lazily : LOAF
synonym see IDLE
transitive verb : to pass (time) idly

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