Archive for February, 2011

It shouldn’t be this hard?

February 27, 2011

I am writing alot more on my blog, for that I have to thank the community of bloggers & those I have met through twitter. They have been really encouraging and positive. Consequently  I am finding it all very cathartic & it’s a positive move.

My last few blogs have been fairly positive, focusing on moving forwards. I’m sorry to say this last week has been rubbish. There is no other way to describe it! & I am struggling.

My situation at work has become energy sapping everyday. I am trying so hard to be positive & it is draining. But I have carried on, focused on the positive & kept going. I was supposed to be on holiday the week before. I spent the week on the phone; emails; taking solicitors calls; networking to try and protect our future – exhausting.

So to this week – I came back with a chest infection that has now become an ear infection. I had no voice (yes a blessing to some) & now I can’t hear or walk in a straight line. Our landlord has now decided to sell the apartment we live in, no huge deal within the current mele, except he expects us to move out for a few days here and there so he can show people around and have open house days! Plus we have to allow a stylist into the apartment to move all our belongings around to suit how they want to market the property!

Last night the shower flooded the whole bathroom – I have been asking said landlord to fix the small leak from the base of the shower unit for weeks – it finally gave up last night!

To add final insult to injury the handbrake failed on the car today. Parked on the hill that is our drive I got out to adjust my sons seatbelt; handbrake failed; car starts rolling; instinctively I try to jump into car; slip on ice under car; which fortunately is stopped by the garage door. My son was distraught I was in agony couldnt get out from under the car. Several neighbours just walked past, my son ran to knock on doors, nothing! (Culturally they really do not do help here). I stupidly then decide to move the car, which is now stuck in ice- slip on ice further & damage myself more! Idiot!!

I am dosed up on whatever painkillers I could find; I have eaten a whole tub of B&Js chocolate fudge (not as good as H&D, but better than nothing); and still barfing up a lung with this infection. I have to put on my positive face again tomorrow, for an even tougher week!

I know I have done something really wrong for my life to be such a drama all the time – I wish I knew what it was because I could then genuinely apologise and move on. I really don’t want much – just to have more good days than bad with lots of smiles in bewtween – it really shouldn’t be this hard should it?


Can you match the emoticon to the picture?

February 23, 2011

Great title from this week “Expressions”.

I thought I would approach this a bit differently and set the readers a challenge. There are a series of emoticons and a series of pictures. Which picture matched which emoticon? Please respond in the comments section. I will post the answer by the end of the day. There is no prize apart from the knowledge that you will have made my day reading and commenting on my blog!(Please also note I am trying to improve my techinical ability on blogs etc so being able to get this to work is a big 🙂 for me!)

I have never used emoticons, until today –  Wikipedia defines them as:-

” An emoticon (pronounced [ɪˈmoʊtɪˌkɒn]) is a facial expression pictorially represented by punctuation and letters, usually to express a writer’s mood ”

Here they are then:-

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There are 4 emoticons and 4 pictures – I look forward to your comments!


The answers are…..!
The red emoticon represents me being proud of us starting our life again, & doing a pretty god job – this goes with the view from my office window which I think is stunning
The emoticon in glasses – is my serious preparing for a big meeting – picture the desk laptop and papers!
The emoticon that with bug eyes is me being completely confused as to what my new blog should look like & contain – picture my scribblings in my black book for inspirational scribbles!
The emoticon sticking out their toungue – me being smug to the rest of the Swedish office for having the healthiest lunch that day – which is never normally the case.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed puting it together! Thanks for your coments, long may they continue!

5 Things that make me feel good…..?

February 22, 2011

Its all too easy to get wrapped up in everyday life and not stop and think about what makes you feel good just in your everyday activities – I spied this twitter feed and so here we are. I am on my lunch break in the office (we have to have an hour for lunch over here in Sweden – that is good), so thought I would take time out from what felt like a very miserable day to respond.

1. My son’s teacher stopped me in the corridor this morning to relay a small incident that occurred in the classroom yesterday that showed huge improvements in his way of coping! – good and poud, powerful combination.

2. I was just asked (in Swedish) “Where has your arse gone?” – weight loss without trying always makes you feel good.

3. Waking up this morning, I felt good – it is not yet as regular occurance as I would like it to be, but it is happening more often than not – good progress.

4. Thumbs up from the legislative organisation I have been negotiating with just recently (in Swedish) – thank goodness I got the process right!

5. I am cooking supper for good friends and work colleagues this evening – despite being full of cold – that always feels good.

So maybe this day is not as miserable as I first thought – amazing what taking time out to think differently can do.

Living in the country that you are in

February 18, 2011

This is my son in ridiculously cold winds – he needs to get out and about everyday – whatever the weather!!


One of my wonderful friends sent me this poem yesterday. To put it into context for me –

 – I didnt sign up to go on holiday in the first place, in fact I had been told it was something I wasn’t able to participate in!

–  I also avoided any kind of preparation as it then all became a bit too real and a bit too scary

–  however I always had in the back of my mind that everything would be wonderful once the plane touched down.


Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.


My son is not disabled, nowhere near. He has some very real challenges in his behaviour, ability to learn and socialise – within what we class as a “normal” environment. As yet there is no clear diagnosis, as yet I do not think he needs one. I am growing to love Holland passionately and know that I will not be leaving anytime soon – I am now working on bringing others with me to this wonderful place, because some of them really are missing out on the trip of a lifetime!



February 15, 2011

One of my closest friends had her daughter 2 weeks after I had my son.  We have both been fascinated watching them grow up together , both becoming individuals but developing an incredible bond between them that even geography doesn’t seem to impact on.

As they have grown up the differences between them as  individuals  has become more apparent. However they are both completely accepting of each other – with no question & do not judge each other on any level.  Their educational development couldn’t be more different, my son struggles to sit still for more than 1 minute as a start, which brings lots of challenges, Boo however is very studious and clearly advanced in academia. My son is boisterous, loves the outdoors and all things sporty, Boo couldn’t be more girlie living in a wonderful world of princesses, pink and glitter.

Their togetherness was summed up for me in one moment that I was fortunate to witness a couple of weekends ago.  My son gets very upset about not being able to just read something, write something down etc  it really impacts negatively on his self confidence and subsequently he actively avoids any kind of situation where he might have to ask for help, particularly from his peers.  They were sat together in Boo’s Dads chair, both attempting to read a book. N got up from the chair, ran around the chair, sat back down again, several times – Boo just shuffled into his space and back out again without a murmur, N then asked (very  casually)  “What does this page say?” Without missing a beat, Boo read out the page to him. He shrugged said thank you and shuffled back down again.

They just get each other – that for me is togetherness.

Thank you again to for yet another inspired title.

PS unfortunately there is no update on my 24 hour post yet – very frustrating, but it is what it is!

The last 24 hours!

February 8, 2011

I have decided to capture the last 24hours in photographs – the idea being given courtesy of in the weekly gallery. I have posted a link, which I hope works!

I’ve had a successful career and held some senior positions, however the last 24 hours had been one of the most stressful times in my career. I am CEO of the Scandinavian company, belonging to a UK group of businesses. The business is having a tough time (through the actions of clients & creditors), but through it all we have pulled together still managed to smile everyday.

However being at the top is sometimes very lonely & not being able to really say how you are feeling on a really stressful day can be torturous. Add to that being a single parent in a foreign country ……! So here is my 24 hours, I hope it gives you an insight into my life.

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(I really hope that you are able to use the slid show for all the pictures – first time I have tried this)

First thing – taking my son to school, singing “Here come the girls” in the car whilst my stomach is churning & heart racing

My first cup of coffee & I am fighting the urge to resort to emergency measures!

Add my twitter feed.

Checking that the numbers are right – we can;t stretch it any further & have gone through this a hundred times. I am responsible for peoples’ livelihoods & therefore I have to check again

Pacing the floor, all I can do is wait. The day seems to be going on forever. Being in someone elses’ hands is not something I am wired to deal with.

Pick up superman, with an air of noddy holder to him from after school club. He’s had a great day at school and is full of life. Suddenly things are not quite so stressful

Finish the 100 project for school – we had to make something to represent 100 days of school. It has taken my strongest negotiating skills to get N to sit still (5 mins at a time) & colour in the cardboard 100 & then stick 100 good behaviour stickers to it – but it’s finished & he actually looks me in the eye & says he likes what he has done!

Phone rings – not the news we were hoping for. Take several more calls whilst N plays his DS for 30mins. Turn phone off because he needs & deserves my full attention for at least an hour.  My team know how I manage my time & that they can get hold of me in an hours time.

Fried cheese sandwich for my tea – for those that understand the stress induced need for carbs!

Sleep eludes me – there is no photo of my in my pyjamas – that would be too much for all concerned.

Back to where I started yesterday morning – gave “Here comes the girls” a real good shout out today. Laughing all the way to school.

On my way upto the office – head is spinning, not sure what today holds again, in the hands of others.

Wish me luck!


February 2, 2011

I am writing about this picture because it represents such a breakthrough. My son has some real challenges concentrating, sitting still basically focusing on one task for more than 45s (it has been timed in a professional assessment!) His frustration and annoyance at himself has led to reduced self confidence and behaviour that has proved very challenging particularly at home! I have fought for help for him in the UK and got nowhere. We arrived in Sweden and within 2 weeks he had been assessed, first stage and we were on our way to progress. The school has been fantastic and we have put some great strategies in place that have made such a difference to his confidence and performance in school it is astounding. He completed the above picture just after the new year. In order to do it he had to sit still, with a group of his peers (his cousins same age) and concentrate – those pieces are really fiddly. Also this is his own picture from his own head! The fact that he did this voluntarily is amazing. Then add in that there are some proper well formed shapes and I burst into tears! Even 3 months ago, this would not have been possible. Why was he not getting the help he needed in the UK is a whole other debate and one that I get extremely annoyed about. The important thing is that he getting the support he needs and he is thriving! & for now that is all that matters.