Thursday, 12 October 2017

Candid Autumn

Well hello.

The photos above are from last week, but the weather today has been very much the same. A lovely,  warm, crisp Autumnal day. I've managed to walk the beach most days with Honey, and it's been a real tonic to take my shoes off (flips flops or die until November), paddle in the foamy surf and feel the sand between my toes. The summer wasn't the best here in St Ives, and my days off from working were just not beach worthy. I'm hopeful that Olly and I can venture down this weekend. I've promised him a trip to the cinema, but am thinking a pasty and a play on the beach first.

It's the absence of the windbreak that I love. And the reclaiming of space. It's quite hard to beach comb and grub about for nature when Porthmeor is full to bursting with visitors. We are still busy here, but not so many people venture onto the beach. They stick to the other delights that St Ives has to offer, and tend to cast admiring looks at our sweeping stretches of white sand from a distance. I guess that's what a zoom lens is for. I sometimes think that they are missing out, but on balance I'm quite happy for them to stay up there.

We've had lots of Portuguese Man Of War wash up along our shores. Spectacular creatures, with the most amazing iridescence in their colouring. Highly poisonous of course, and dog walkers are wary. Luckily for me, Honey takes no notice of anything when she's carrying her ball, so I have been able to get very close to them. I had never seen them before last week, and was enthralled. They were enticing, and I had to really resist the urge to touch or stroke them. Anyway lots of photos and videos were taken of them to show Olly. Who is struggling somewhat at the moment, bless him.

He has found the transition to junior school very difficult. The infants and juniors are different schools here, and routines, rules and all that goes with it are new for him. Unfortunately, he's regressed back into old patterns of disruptive behaviour and is challenging boundaries, both in the classroom and at home. I do feel for him. He's a complex little boy, who can find it difficult to engage effectively with his peers. He can push others away with words or defensive actions. He's eloquent and quick witted, but this can turn sharp and he can often end up upsetting others. It's really tough to be the Mum of a child who you know is utterly fabulous, and yet acknowledging that their behaviour can be unacceptable for a lot of the time.

Olly has a lovely teacher, who is working hard with him in the classroom. He has a token in his pocket that he can raise into the air if he's feeling agitated. It helps him to manage his feelings and behaviour, and also alerts staff so that they can deal with any issue in the moment. She has also made him a monitor to give him some responsibility in the classroom, especially during the transition parts of the school day. He enjoys this very much, and today helped her to use the guillotine. It was all he could talk about on the way home from school. I have hope that he will settle down eventually, but honestly there have been moments (yesterday evening comes to mind) when I'd love to be the Mum of three laid back, socially adept kids. I envy those who breeze in and out of school, unaware of the stress of the 'walk of shame.'

I know I've written these tales of woe here before, and I also know that there's not a Mum out there that has it easy every minute of every day. All of us have our own light and shade, and so do our children. I was a very socially awkward child. I never knew the appropriate reaction to a situation. I wasn't a child with a ready smile, or a cutesy face. I was more liking to be picking the scab on my knee or kicking the bus stop, than grinning at the elderly neighbour or charming those around me. I am not, and haven't been that person for longer than I was. So I grit my teeth, and keep plugging at this parenting lark. Like we all do.

Work carries on apace, as does running. I'm back up to three runs a week, and am gearing up to try and fit in a fourth. I run about five miles, which takes me about forty minutes. It fits in with work, dog walking and all the other stuff  that I have to cram into a school day. I'm happy with that. My latest challenge to be able to run up a particularly steep and winding hill in one go by the end of November. At the moment I can get nearly halfway before I'm bent double, with my hands on my thighs. I'll get there. I enjoy running during the Autumn so much more than any other time of the year. The heat has gone out of the sun, and so I'm not sweating like a bull mastiff five minutes in. The roads are quieter (my route takes me along the back roads for some of the run), and I'm not getting heckled by drivers who seem furious that you are on their turf. I run at the edge of the road, and am very visible. I expect they treat cyclists in much the same way. I don't get it though.

I am also counting down until Mum comes to live in St Ives once more. She will be living with us until at least after Christmas, so I have been sorting out the house in order to accommodate another person. For the time being, she will be sleeping in Sam's box room. But when he comes home for Christmas, I'll be turning the conservatory into a private space for her. It's the best I can do, but I feel bad that I can't find her anything more permanent. And although I know that she won't mind at all, I mind. I mind that she is coming down here, to be shunted around. She's such an amazing woman, and life hasn't been kind to her in her later years. I'm hoping that I'll be able to score her a reasonably priced rental after Christmas, and that she can start to make a real home for herself. I just want her to have her own front door. And maybe a cat.

I've also bottled putting up a short story that I've recently written. I need to be in a 'sod it' kind of a mood to hit publish, and I haven't been. It's daft really, but there you go. The thing is if I don't do it soon, then this blog of mine will disappear in the ever decreasing circle that it's in. I feel as if it needs to evolve a little, or else it will just run out of steam. I do feel as if I'm just repeating the same subjects in much the same way, over and over again.

Anyway, there you have it. A little bit of candid musings during the witching hour of a Thursday afternoon. This evening I hope to be drinking all the tea and settling down to the new David Fincher produced Netflix series. It's called Mind Hunter, and I'm terribly excited about it; pyschopaths, profiling and pyscho babble. All from a perspective of truth. I literally cannot wait!

Love to you all,

Leanne xx


  1. I'm so sorry Olly has found the school transition difficult. Good that he has a lovely teacher though. I do hope he feels happier very soon. I see things in my boys that come from me when I was little. It's hard to explain to them how to deal with things, how certain things don't really matter. Great that you've written a short story, I'm very happy to hear it and I shall look forward to the day you're in a 'sod it' mood. Your blog is never repetitive, it's always good to hear your thoughts on things. Well done on the running. It never really takes with me, although I do wish it did. How lovely that your mum will be coming to stay with you for a while. Olly will love that I think. Wishing you a good weekend. CJ xx

  2. Olly's new teacher sounds great, getting him involved and feel needed. He also has an amazing mum who inspires him with the wonders of the world so don’t beat yourself up.
    You put me to shame with your running. Hills are definitely not my thing.
    Hopefully your mum will find her own place near you quickly. She will be great to have nearby and with a cat. Bring on that short story. I can’t wait :). B x

  3. Is Mind Hunter starting now? I didn't realize. I've been waiting for that one. I'm a big fan of John Douglas. The only thing I can't agree with him on is JonBenet Ramsey. I'm sorry to hear that Olly is having a rough transition, but it sounds like his new teacher is wonderful. I'm sure he'll find his feet soon. I know what you mean about wishing you had an easier parenting experience. Me too. For me, it's more about medical and developmental kinds of things. They both make friends easily but I can't seem to make healthy kids. Just this week, I had one diagnosed with hearing loss and the other one with bone issues in the legs. In one week! I have to keep reminding myself that doing everything right - all the prenatal vitamins, healthy eating, avoiding caffeine, breastfeeding for a million years each - was worth it, because sometimes I wonder when I meet people who don't seem to give a crap about doing things right and they don't have these problems. Anyway, it's not fair to dump this on you. I am so glad you're taking time for yourself with running and getting better all the time, and that work is going well. I hope everything works out for your mother. It sounds like you have a good plan for helping her get settled. My parents need a lot of similar help but are thus far unwilling to take it. I hope we get there eventually so they can be happier. I would love to read your story, if you're ever ready to share. You could send it to me if you wanted, I love to read other people's writing. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Leanne, take care.

  4. Life is a challenge: sorry to hear Olly is finding school life stressful and it sounds as though he has an understanding teacher to help him - the token idea sounds great! But how unsettling for you, too - I can worry about literally anything (and I've worried a lot lately) and the children's lives are up there at the top of the worry list.
    Your beach shots are amazing - your mum will be delighted to be back with you, walking along the sands: how lovely.
    And well done on that running: my God, you're a far better woman than I could ever be! Walking is my limit Xx

  5. It's really hard being a Mum isn't it. I'm sure that Olly will soon get used to the transition and his school seems to have some great ideas to help. In the meantime - I recommend alcohol and chocolate to help you cope with the stress! :O) Well done on the running, that's very impressive. I bet your Mum can't wait to be living with/near you - lucky lady to be moving near such gorgeous beaches. Go on, hit that publish button - I dare you! xx

  6. I think your mum will just love being at your house and being part of your family and it won't matter to her about the style of her accommodation she will just be happy to be part of life with you and to be able to help our-- feeling useful is so important as you get older. I'm looking forward to your story---I always enjoy your words. I watch from the sidelines as my grand children navigate school. Olly's school sounds very supportive. Keep writing.

  7. Holly sounds like such a wonderful little boy in spite of his challenges. I'm a retired teacher and always found that school was so female orientated that it was often hard for the boys. Glad to hear he's got an understanding teacher.
    As for you hill running, wow. I'm so use to doing all my walking, no running, on flat land that hills just kill my calves. We're in Toledo Spain right now and everything is up one hill and down the next.
    Do hope you get the courage to post your story.

  8. What beautiful photos of a quiet St Ives.
    I'm sorry Olly is finding things tough at the moment; thank goodness his teacher is trying to help him settle, though. She sounds great. Hang in there – I'm sure you know from experience that one minute everything seems too complicated and difficult to see a way forward and the next minute you're through it and on to the next thing. I saw this very amusing pic on the dreaded Facebook the other day that went something like "Parenting today: (a whole list of things we should do for our kids, ending with feeding them coconut oil.) Parenting in any previous generation: feed them sometimes." It made me chortle.
    I hope you do post your story but if you'd like an opinion before you do, email it to me as I'd happily cast an editorial eye over it for you.
    Have a great weekend and enjoy your netflixing. We're off to a charity quiz this evening - first night out together for months. We know how to live. Sam xx

  9. Wonderful images from St Ives, I expect your Mum can't wait to be there with you. The Portuguese Man Of War turned up on Portland too, they look fascinating. Hope Olly is starting to settle in to his new class, our children can be challenging sometimes even when they are in their 20's. I wouldn't be without them though. Sarah x

  10. I'm sorry Olly is having a tough time -- I feel for you. My eldest (14 yo)struggles with crippling social anxiety and sometimes it's as if every day is an emotional battlefield. Then, holding space for her while she struggles wears me down to a nub. I said to a friend the other day that it's just as exhausting as having a newborn, just in a different way. :) Your boy is fortunate to have a good teacher...obviously one who understands him and is working to make things go a little more smoothly for him. That's such a gift.

    Please keep writing, the world needs your words. True story.xo

  11. Poor dear Olly, life is hard enough when you transition to a bigger school but to have other issues as well just makes it so much harder. I have three sons and they have all had their issues. My next door neighbors have beautiful children, they are beautiful, academically proficient, excel at sports and excel socially. They are at the top of their class, make great decisions, etc. My two oldest are about the same age and it has been interesting as my boys have made good decisions and bad, they have had health issues and my middle boy has anxiety issues. We have met the challenge of their lives and it has not been easy. Yet it prepared us to adopt our youngest who has cerebral palsy. I think had we had, "perfect" kids we would not be ready to help this little one sort out his life and be the best he can be. You are doing that with your son. It might not be an easy road for either of you but it is a road worth taking. Good luck with everything including your Mom.

  12. Have just realized you are back blogging!!! Yes, I know, better late than never though. Hope Olly settles soon, sounds like he has a good teacher, and a few weeks makes such a difference. Good to see you back. Bev

  13. Poor Ollie, it's hard being like that, I can identify muchly with all you say about him and yourself, it's not easy but it sounds like he has an understanding teacher and good support. This makes such a difference as I've seen with my youngest, he has flourished since age 10 because of the support he got at a new school. I'm with you on the empty beaches, what bliss, I'm hoping to get near a beach when we finally get on holiday next week! Hope your weekend is good, Rona

  14. Impatiently waiting for you to publish your short story! :-)


    XXx Kirsten_L_N (instagram ;-)

  15. I'm sorry Olly has been struggling with the transition to KS2 and I really hope it's getting easier for him. For what it's worth his teacher sounds wonderful and I like her strategies. Beautiful photos. Hope you're enjoying a quieter st Ives. X