Sunday 25 April 2010

Anzac Day

For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Thursday 15 April 2010

There's No Place Like Home

We've done! We've moved! Moving day was very odd, serene is not a word you would associate with the chaos that comes with house moving, but the day was full of peace and serenity. The movers arrived at 8.15, grinning with delight when they saw the one bedroom, living room, and lack of boxes (that we had packed and moved into storage to facilitate an easy move) They proceeded to get everything into the truck, and were done by 9.30! They were expecting a long wait in their truck, as settlement usually doesn't go through till mid-late afternoon on a Friday.

At 11.30, as we were busily cleaning the flat, the call came, completion had gone through, and we could collect the keys at around 1pm! By 12.30 we had the keys, and the guys had us all moved by 2pm! We sat for a minute looking at each other, thinking right then! Now what?

The only things left to do were to pick Atticus up from the flat, and Joseph from our lovely friend Rebecca.

The new house is amazing. Its quiet, its huge (for us) has a lovely plain back garden ready for me to attack, and is a very tranquil place to be. (Apart from the 12 year old next door who listens to an hour of dreadful music after school, but I can live with that!)

To be posted seperately, my new house resolutions!

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Place without a Postcard

Today, whilst procrastinating, I am watching the Jeremy Kyle show, which for a change is not a shoutfest of dysfunctional families throwing accusations at one another. Its about living with disability. And it inspired me to write this.

I haven't really mentioned my husband much in my blog, but he's (please don't tell him we need to get his head out the door on moving day) amazing. He was born with a complex disability, arthrogryposis multiplex congenita.

It basically means hooked joints, affecting multiple limbs, and its from birth, but thankfully most cases are not genetic. Corey has fused joints, his ankles and wrists are worst affected, but his knees are affected too. There isn't much he can't do, because he was brought up to just get on with it.

Having a child with a disability is like being put in a town that isn't on the map, a place without a postcard. The books you might buy in pregnancy or shortly after bringing your baby home are useless. People don't know what to say. Doctors don't know what to do, particularly if its a rare disability that affects each child very differently.

I also chose Place with a Postcard for another reason. It was the title of a Midnight Oil album released in 1981 (and contains the song "I don't want to be the one") which was the International Year of the Disabled Person. I was nine, and just beginning to become more aware of the world, and the people in it.

I had to attend an assessment centre (well it was a special school really) every week when I was 7, and I met loads of children with a variety of disabilities. Later my school used to host children with disabilities once a year. I was always amazed by these kids, despite one of my teachers (quite unbelievably) telling us these kids were very different from us, and would steal our toys, I always found them incredibly normal, and fun loving. They taught me how to play in different ways, to do things just that little bit differently.

I had a little friend, a few years younger than me, who had down's syndrome. I never realised it was a disabilty, I thought she was just amazing and funny, and clever! Her older sister was my sister's age, and this little girl, Melissa, was younger again. I played with her, so my sister could play with her sister.

Some years later I was in a youth orchestra and we played at Melissa's special school. She ran straight up to me and sat on my knee. One of the pieces I put my violin down, and played the triangle, I let Melissa do it, much to the horror of Jane Himmelhoch-Mutton our conductor (fab name!). But I knew Melissa could keep perfect time!

To me disability is just difference, its not necessarily bad, it's society that makes disability difficult. It still makes me angry sometimes when people assume Corey is drunk because he can't walk properly (we almost got refused entry into a club because they thought he was drunk!)

It made me angry when I was pregnant when people asked me if I would terminate if our baby had Corey's condition.

And it makes me angry when people automatically assume Joseph will be disabled because he was premature.

Not that I would be bothered, he would still be Joseph.

But it makes me wonder, have we really moved much beyond 1981.

Friday 2 April 2010

Good Friday Outing

Today we had a lovely break from packing and organising for the big house move and we took a day trip to Hebden Bridge, a lovely town just on the other side of the Pennines from our lovely town. Hebden Bridge is a bustling town, full of artists, cafes and shops.

Hebden Bridge is one of the first places Corey and I went when we found out we were expecting. We went to a beautiful shop where I tried a sling with a bear brandishing a cutlass (strange but true!), and had a spooky conversation with the owner about premature babies (very odd)

And when Joseph was in hospital it was the first place we went on a Saturday afternoon after spending time with him, for an outing. We went to another lovely shop and bought some premmie clothes, and of course, got our sling, which I used for the first time in hospital to carry Joseph from the sleep over room into the ward.

It's such a magical place, the sort of place you would love to live in, but then you wouldn't be able to escape their at weekends!

And today was lovely. Joseph sat in a highchair and ate parsnip and ginger soup, hoummus, the biggest most bitter green olive you have ever seen, and tortilla crisps.

And, best of all, an old man next to us guessed Joseph's age......10 months (ok he is nearly 11) but that trip today kind of marked for me the ending of our journey with a premature baby.

Joseph isn't the teeny premature baby anymore, he's a little boy, full of fun, energy and promise!

And that's fantastic.