Third Monkey, Hear Evil
Thursday, April 13, 2006
  family crap
yesterday was my mothers birthday. It made me kind of miserable and grumpy, and today I'm just pissed off with her.

For those who don't know, my mother and I had one of _those_ fights on my eighteenth birthday. Three years ago I found her address, and went and introduced my kids to her. I left her all my contact details, and told her the next step was hers. Last year, after not having heard from her, I put a family photo in a birthday card and put it in her letter box, with all of our new contact details. I got a lovely phone call from the person who had bought her house a year before, who said that as far as she knows, my mother went to New Zealand.

My mother stole my family from me*, and now, in a way, she's doing it to my kids. Her family fractured when her parents died, and I don't have any contact with my aunts/uncles/cousins, so there is a great blank there that I've no idea how to fill. Most of the year, I ignore it. Today, I resent it.

So, anyone out there who encounters Clare Robertson, (although how you'll pick mine from many others of the same name), please tell her she has a grand-daughter. And I won't be so petty as to keep her out of my family, if she wants to be in touch. She just has to tell me what it is I'm not supposed to do....

grouch. grump. resent resent resent.

* That's how it feels. In reality, she stole me from my fathers family, but that's a short and boring story. 
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
We've managed to aquire rather a lot of new stuff over the last few months, what with xmas, five birthdays, and a bit of a January spending spree when we discovered that we had managed to save more money than we had hoped, so had some to put towards larger items that we've been putting off.

Some of the stuff we've been given has been strange, unloved or not appropriate, but some of the things we've acquired have been fantastic. Right now, I can't decide if the best thing was the piano (cheap, not great, will probably be replaced if anyone ever gets particularly dedicated, but good enough for me to fool around on) or the trampoline (free! from freecycle - a greatly appreciated gift from a family who had outgrown it).

The piano has become my relaxation tool. I've acquired (from the library, unfortunately) a book of very simple tunes, that I can _almost_ sight-read, and I'm working my way through it. It has one of the most wonderful loud, banging tunes I've ever encountered, one which is very good for destressing! And the kids are all showing and interest, and leaving a beginner book out on the piano is encouraging my 8 year old to have a go, and I'm showing the other two things as well. I'm not expecting prodigies, I'm just hoping to foster a life-long love of making music, as it is something that has given me a lot of pleasure over the years, and I think it is a skill that gives much, both to the person, and potentially to the community. Oh, and it is a lot more pleasant to listen to the 2 year old banging on a real piano than on a kids electronic toy one!

The trampoline is more of a whole family thing. The kids all love it, and it is a great way of getting them to burn off some steam. It probably means that I can advocate to get rid of more of the paving bricks that I so loathe.... Plus, I get to jump on the trampoline as well. I've discovered that a minute of jumping the first day turned my legs to jelly, but subsequent goes are better.

I think I notice these two because they are so large, and because they are getting constant use where I see it. Some of the other stuff has been way cool as well, but I'm out of time, so might have to comment on it later (Mr Potato Head space alien!)(Books, books books!)(stuff!) 
Life and times of someone who should know better....

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