Here's a quick update on my week. Oh, and be warned - it ends with a rant!
FORMULA 1 GO-KARTING
Oh boy! What can I say? The teen and Mr Misfit had a blast. Me? Well I simply tootled around the track, at an average of 16 miles an hour, like a nervous granny on her way to church. And the heat! Dressed from head to toe in a rather unfetching BO-infused boiler suit, a beanie and a helmet, I was sweltering. My only escape was putting myself in the Sin Bin so that I could remove the helmet and cool off. The teen found himself covered in bruises as he has no flesh on his gangly bones and was thrown around in the kart as he swerved around corners. As each day passes the bruises grow and change. We tell him it's the birthday gift that keeps giving!
The teen pulling a daft pose.
Just as well this isn't a scratch and sniff photo! The suits were ripe!
His final lap
It's been 28 years since I last saw my cousin and her husband so it's been wonderful having them here. They are both huge fans of my books and I was delighted to learn that I, at the grand old age of seven, had been the one to help my cousin's husband 'get' AA Milne. He said it was the British accent that suddenly made it click for him. Their lovely daughter is named after me and we keep in touch through Facebook and Twitter. We were amazed at how many similarities there are between the two of us and also between her and the teen. Families, can be spooky things!
On Saturday, our family got together at our place and a good time was had by all.
Sharing family memories.
My mum, me and my cousin.
On Friday night Mr Misfit and the teen came back from a late night walk and told me that there was an injured squirrel at the end of our cul de sac. Being a bit of an animal nut, I headed off to see if he could be saved. He was right in the middle of the road where he could have been squashed by any passing cars returning home or ripped apart by foxes (or our cats!) so we knew that we had to stay with him. We managed to give him some Rescue Remedy (a herbal medicine) and for a while it looked like he might be perking up a bit. Sadly though, we suddenly realised that his leg was broken and there didn't seem to be much hope. After willing him to live, I found myself willing him to let go and drift off to squirrel Heaven. We called him Faith as we told him that we had faith in him and that we would stick with him to the bitter end. Watching him die was horrible. He threw his little head back in a final spasm of pain and then he passed. The teen then decided it would be cruel to just throw him in the bushes and insisted on a proper funeral (the second one we'd been to that day!)
A shoe box was duly found and Faith was laid to rest with a gladioli.
Sadly, Faith was dug up again two mornings later and then he disappeared.
This reminds me of the time we buried our goldfish in a Dove soapbox and the teen, then quite young, was concerned that when he got to Heaven God would be confused as the box said 'Dove' and not 'Goldfish'!
I had drinks with 'Fenella' last night and I found out that she'd had a falling out with a Putney mum who had been rather vocal about me and the way I'd dealt with the teen's school phobia. I was livid! This was a mother I'd known reasonably well and always got on with. How dare she pass judgment on me and my life when she knows nothing about what we went through. As any mother knows, if someone starts to pick holes in your child you become like a protective tigress.
When we went 'public' with the teen's problems, people fell into two camps - those who sympathised or had been through something similar and those who thought they knew everything and that the condition quite simply doesn't exist. So there's no such thing as depression then? Is that what I'm hearing?
So, to all you Putney mums who feel you know me oh so well, I hope your boring little lives where you have nothing better to do than discuss me at your dinner parties are never blighted by any mental health issues. Oh the shame! Enjoy your perfect children as they grow and head off in to the world and hope that you never have to stand by them in the way I stood by my son. I, meanwhile, will be the one having the last laugh as I know who each and every one of you are in the Misfit books and my son has grown into a confident young man, doing a job that he loves. And, do me favour, if you do have an opinion, say it to my face so that I can educate you. But then that would take bravery wouldn't it?
Rant over! As you were.