Show us your blog :linky

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Hello,
Show us your blog is my linky which I’ve been trying to get off the ground for a while now , I’ve decided not to give up on it because (if i may say so myself) I think its a good idea .
So, I’ve moved it to saturday as it wasn’t doing too well midweek, and its now open from the saturday through to tuesday . Plenty of time to link up .
The rules are the same , there are no rules . If you have a blog, new or established, big or small, beauty, baby, family or anything else you are welcome to join in. The idea of the linky is simply what it says in the title “show us your blog” its a good way to find new readers or to find new blogs to read .
You can either link up your whole blog or if there is a particular post you’d like to show off feel free to do so .
The only thing I ask is that if you link up you have a look at and maybe comment on one or two others that have also linked up .
So thats all you need to know, I will of course give you a shout out when you link up.

The linky is here

its easy to do, even I can do it , I look forward to reading and sharing your blogs .

Thanks for reading, G xx

Not the rules

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Twitter and blogging can be a wonderful thing , although I’ve been thinking about leaving twitter lately because as in real life there can be many sides to twitter, not all of them pretty. I asked people who follow me to list some pros and cons, the overwhelming answer for the pros was the amazing support you can find on twitter. The fact that its easy to find the specific support you need ,ie the #autism community is fantastic. People enjoy the conversation on twitter although I’m not alone in feeling that there is increasingly less conversation as self promotion takes over a bit (more in this in a moment) .People enjoy the fast easy access to up to date news and many enjoy joining in tweeting along with banter about tv shows.

Many people have formed real friendships from twitter and through blogging. And its a good way to make friends with people with similar interests ie baking, crochet, reading.

Some of the cons mentioned were the fact that twitter seems to have become more cliquey ,it can be hard to find your way in to some twitter circles.

Timelines are now often cluttered by tweets promoting blog posts (spamming ,where the post link is tweeted repeatedly ) and competition entry tweets. So of course less interaction.

Blogging is also changing though ,many blogs have evolved from small family blogs( for example) to review heavy blogs or blogs full of sponsored posts.

There’s nothing wrong with reviews as such and some people make money from their blogs with sponsored posts , but its bought about the term blagger blogger and while I don’t like to see individual tweeters called names the fact is many tweeters now clutter timelines with pr requests asking for everything but the kitchen sink to review. Many bloggers review things that are not even relavant to their blog or their lifestyle.

There can also unfortunatly be a very ugly side   to both twitter and blogging.

Just recently we’ve seen a horrid derogatory article with about a fellow blogger for no reason other than to make a very personal attack on someone who in no way deserved it.

Ive watched as a blogger did something wrong and although she did perhaps deserve to be pulled up over it she didn’t deserve what turned into a huge bitch fest about her. I felt it got a bit playgroundy as more tweeters jumped on the badwagon , Ive seen this many a time on twitter ,the playground mentality kicks in and a group of tweeters will gang up on an individual.

And then the situations like the one that happened this week, Katie Price tweeted about her cheating husband and divorce just days after tweeting about her 5th pregnancy and she was hurled so much vile abuse on twitter that it was sickening. Noone deserves that. I’m no fan of hers and sure she seems to have made some bad choices but she’s a human being.

Then there’s the subtweeting. I subtweeted once got called out on it and apologised because it wrong of me also, then the twitter arguements they can get quite heated and personal. There’s a fine line between debate and argueing for arguments sake.

Now my blog is hardly up there with the big wigs (so what do I know) and I don’t have a huge twitter following (so, again, what do I know?)

I’m also not the boss of the internet or twitter  so I cant make the rules but I would like to throw a few things out there :

first and foremost remember twitter is a social media site where people came to chat, make friends, and offload. Social media is all about being social. Connect ,interact, but at the same time try not to get cliquey ,let new people in.Help newbie tweeters find their feet.

You can find amazing support on twitter don’t be afraid to reach out and look for it, ask for it ,use hashtags to help.

Be considerate of peoples timelines promoting your blog is fine as long as you don’t do it so frequently it becomes spamming. I think having a separate account where you can promote your blogs etc and spam away with competition retweets are a useful idea. It gives people the option to keep following you for your chat and interaction without feeling spammed.

Subtweeting is often not nice. If you cant say it directly to someone, perhaps don’t say it.  And I don’t believe its ever necessary to carry out a very public disagreement on twitter, either block and get on with life or take your disagreement to dm or email.

If you cant say anything nice then don’t say anything atall. Obviously everyone is entitled to an opinion but noone deserves vile abuse. Its easy to do sitting behind a keyboard but its not big and its not clever. Its easy to be judgemental when you don’t know the full story. Also in the same way its fine to blog an opinion but its just never fine to blog a personal attack on somebody who absolutely does not deserve it.

As for the blagging, remember there are others blogs dying to get something to review ,give them a go and perhaps don’t review things that aren’t relevant to your blog ,let someone they are relevant to enjoy them instead. Another point id like to make is that if your blog started of as more of a journal type blog remember people came ,saw, read and followed because they loved your work don’t let reviews take over from your more personal heart felt blog posts. On the flip side if someones ‘blagging ‘ offends you , you can always unfollow .

And perhaps don’t spam time lines with pr and blogger requests. Nobody likes it and it can possibly lead to you looking a little desperate or greedy.

 For my last point i would like to ask my fellow mums / dads to come together and support eachother more. We are all in this parenting thing together. Lets help eachother ,stand side by side as parents who all do things differently but all want the same thing ,happy healthy families.

As I said these are not the rules, I’m not in a position to make any rules ,just suggestions to help keep twitter the fun, informative, supportive  place it is.
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No place for my child

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If you’ve read my blog before you will know that I took Oliver out of school in november last year. Ollie is 9 and has autism. School was traumatic for him and I believe it was harming him ,mentally.

I had decided to keep him home and educate him myself. We had a few months of recovering from school and had begun to settle into a routine of learning at home ,then our education welfare officer stepped in ( the same one that completely failed my older son with autism) and wasn’t happy that I would be depriving Ollie from socialisation ( because obviously a child can only socialise at school * sarcastic face* ) she pressed me into agreeing to apply to schools ( he had his statement by this point) so we applied ,we talked about it with Ollie ,we drove him around schools ,walked him to and from schools ,caused him to become stressed again and we waited for weeks , months, for news, we were hopeful about one in particular , an asd unit where we knew they had space ,it was ideal .

Today our special needs caseworker phoned me to say that all of the schools we applied to have said they cant meet Ollies needs ,even the asd unit .

I’m furious with the whole stupid system ,he has a statement , he is entitled to go to school if that’s what we want but no school wants to take him on.

What is the use of an asd unit if they cant meet the needs of an autistic child?

Why did they pressure me so much to apply for a school place that isn’t there ?.

I’m not sure what’s next.

I’m not sure if I should just tell them to do one ?

I feel like I want to take this further now just on principle because he is entitled to a place.

But I don’t know if I want/need the stress.

Once again let by the SEN system.
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Things i don’t say enough …

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I spend alot of time moaning about my lot on twitter. But actually they aren’t THAT bad infact they are all pretty great.

lets have a quick run through, my eldest D is 20 he’s at uni. He loves ( and i mean LOVES maths and science ) he’s doing physics and its no lie to say he is massively intelligent ,he’s also quiet ,he has never caused me a moment of stress in his life.

Then J is 18 he had asd ,tourettes, ocd and social phobia ( possible agorophobia) he left the school system at 14 as he had no support. He has had extensive iq tests with an ed. Psychologist and scored in top 3 % of the population. So he’s a bit of a genius. He’s a wizz with all kinds of IT or anything electrical.
despite his problems he’s polite ,and caring ,and he’s a funny kid. He has what i call funny bones, ie he’s naturally very funny, he’s hard work. But worth it.

Then we have B ,he held a record during his 11th year of school ,lowest attendance ever !! ( but we can forget that ,right?) he was a bit ” of a challenge for that year ” In an amazing turn around he’s loving college and has 7 distinctions so far. He’s going to be a plumber. He’s recently started making me tea ,even waking me up with a cuppa.

Next up L , my football girl. She plays football and plays it well. She was even a mascot for an international game once , She’s a real brain box  especially in the sciences,maths and history. She’s on her second DofE course ,a first aider and is going to a football coaching course.

Next my E ( who we call Barry for no good reason ) she’s 14 and another maths/science brainbox. She’s the one that gets us all up on time every morning and feeds milo at 5:30a.m never any trouble ,she’s my housework partner every weekend .

Z is next ,she’s 12 ,again very clever and above targets in school,She is my “cant sit still, cant stop talking girl” she’s my shadow .My companion around the house. She’s stubborn ,strong willed and determined ( like her sisters) something I admire in my daughters

last but not least …Ollie  ,I’m sure you all know lots about Ollie. Yes he has autism and tics but he’s a funny polite ,curious ,wonderful boy ,he is amazingly bright ,his memory is amazing.

I’m massively proud that these 7 wonderful people are my children.they are growing up with manners and values. And taking education seriously.

 Even if you see me moan about them on twitter …know that I am deep down ,completely and utterly in love with the beautiful souls that are my children !

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It doesn’t sit well with me

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This post will not make me popular,I will take that chance because something doesn’t sit well with me. I’m sure it will look like a bad case of sour grapes but its not. Its really not. The Morrisons Mum thing , I didn’t apply to be one ( did you have to apply,I don’t know) because I don’t do reviews unless ive bought something I like ,so I’m genuinely not bitter about it. The reason being i simply don’t have time to dedicate to the blog for posts other than what I WANT to write .Also I have no issue with anyone doing reviews type things! What it is that isn’t sitting well with me is this, first off I hope that while morrisons where giving out lots and lots of free vouchers they were also donating something to food banks. Because ,you know, they really do NEED free food !!

Also the vouchers seemed to be given to quite a few who really didn’t seem to need them. £80 is ALOT of money to ALOT of people. I gather the idea was to buy barbeque stuff (correct me if I’m wrong) and tweet /instagram the heck out of it. But for many people that money would have been spend on real essentials. Just the necessary to get by. It seemed like quite a lot of booze was bought.

This weekend so many people will have been scraping by on pennies, having to go without things they usually buy because they cant afford enough food. While seeing endless pics of shopping on twitter . I’m lucky ,I did my shopping already this week but it left me with -£48 in the bank ( yes, minus)

I do not blame the bloggers given the vouchers, who wouldn’t be delighted to get £80 in vouchers? I know i would be but the spamming of timelimes with pics of carrier bags of shopping etc has been a bit much.

The whole bragging about your free supermarket shop just seems a little unsavoury to me in current times especially as so much alcohol was bought .  

Morrisons could have done a wonderful thing here they could have given them vouchers to people/bloggers who REALLY needed them

That’s all, I genuinely do hope the morrisons mums enjoyed the barbeques etc but I think the whole thing was badly handled. My beef with this issue isnt the bloggers at all ,its with the it was handled

The fact that food banks have been a huge issue lately and so many are going hungry just made this whole thing something that didn’t sit well with me.

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The one where I forgot the importance of a good plan.

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As it was a lovely day I decided that I’d take the 3 youngest to my mums today ( not favouritism, the older ones don’t surface till afternoon on weekends) and walk along the Thames to McDonalds ,its a nice walk ,twenty minutes each way and Ollie is familiar with it , as you will know if you’ve read my blog before its a struggle to get Ollie out ,he hates bus rides but he can tolerate it if we are going to my mums.

We got to my mums and after a quick pitstop for the loo we headed off for a nice walk. Me, mum, 3 kids and the dog.

The walk along the river was lovely ,there was lots of helicopters landing and taking off at the heliport, we always stop and have a look at them, the tide was really low so the kids pointed out all the various bits of rubbish along the *beach* (nice !!) And then it all started to unravel.

McDonalds was closed.

It’s  being done up. The kids were hungry so we decided to head into town to another McDonalds and get takeaways to eat at mums. This meant two (short) bus rides, already this was obviously getting too much for Ollie . There were tears on the bus.

Town was very very busy and the short walk to McDonalds was a bit fraught, busy streets with a very stressed boy and a dog that’s never been to the high st before.

We got to McDonalds, I thought we would grab their food and head back before things got more strained. But it was so busy in there. The staff were very shouty, shouting at eachother and customers( herding everyone into queues like cattle) we waited around ten minutes, Ollie crying the whole time.

We finally got our food.

The bus stop was busy and it was 7 minutes till the bus was due so it was decided that we could walk home faster.

Another change of plan that was too much for Ollie.

As we turned the corner there were a group of people with suitcases blocking the pavement ,as we said excuse me and tried to squeeze past a lady pushed her suitcase into Ollie, pushing him off the pavement, he screamed at the lady that she was an idiot and he hated her, I think by this point I was just as stressed as him. We came to the park across the road from my mums and again it was decided that the kids would eat here before the food got cold.

Just then Ollie saw a bee and made up his mind that he would not be eating outside. We walked back to mums with Ollie crying all the way.

When we got indoors he actually collapsed on the floor and we had to carry him to the sofa where he cried some more.

The whole thing was destined to go wrong from the moment the first McDonalds was closed.

Going out with an autistic child is a minefield. Clearly it all went wrong today but it was a huge reminder to plan, plan, plan, explain the plan, have a back up plan, explain the back up plan, and be prepared for everything.

It was a stark reminder of just how difficult Ollie can find going out and how much it effects him when plans change unexpectedly.

I didn’t think much could happen on an afternoon walk and a quick stop at McDonalds but …I can tell you the next such outing will be planned with military precision.

Its a constant learning curve being a parent of an autistic child, and if you let your guard down there will be harsh reminders.

Its all about the planning.

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If you want me to.

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Ollie is very polite. He has lovely manners ,which is of course a good thing. But recently he has taken to answering with “If you would like me to ” “I will if you want me to”

I’m not sure why. Perhaps its because he’s just eager to please ,perhaps its easier than having to choose things for himself ,I don’t know.

But it troubles me a little because I want ,need Ollie know that he’s allowed to choose. He’s allowed to say no.

Obviously not in all cases ,but when I ask if he would like a drink I don’t want him to reply with “I’ll have one if you want me to ”

When I ask if him to come over and give me a hug I don’t want him to say “I will if you want”

I could go on and on but I’m sure you have got my drift.

I want him to know that for example that if he doesn’t want to give me a hug he can day no ,it’s his choice.

And that he is allowed to say ”No I don’t want to do that “

I want him to know that he doesn’t always have to please people. I don’t want him to be vulnerable because he likes to do what others ask of him.

He doesn’t really get it at the moment. though. So every conversation goes like this :

“Do you want to …..”

“I will if you want me to”

“Do YOU want to?”

“If you want me to”

“But do YOU want to”

“If you want me to”

repeat to infinity .
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The one where its time the speculation and accusations ended

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The tragic death of Peaches Geldof is not my business. Except that I’m upset by some of the vile comments ive seen.

Still though its not my business.

I don’t know what went on beyond closed doors ,I don’t know her mental state ,I don’t know if she was a habitual user ,or was it something she tried to battle but every so often the addiction won. I don’t know.

I don’t know if she was a good mum (i believe she was)

That’s the thing ,I don’t know.

And nor do you.

I wish the speculation would end now.

Its just not our business.

let her family grieve in peace.

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Tragic

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I don’t know much about addiction at all. And yes I understand that there is a choice to take a drug / alcohol in the first place. But I believe that if you make that choice then chances are you are already in a bad place.

I imagine that the first time people try drugs they think it will be fun, just once will be fine ,or they wish to block something out ,they may not realise the full consequences ,that they are on the first step towards addiction. And by the time they do realise its probably too late and addiction has taken a hold .

Addiction is an illness. I wasn’t sure so I googled ” is addiction a mental illness” and it is. I read this among other things http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/addiction-realiseis-a-mental-illness/

Caused by bad choices but an illness just the same.

A death is tragic whatever the circumstances. A death due to drug use /addiction/ overdose is no less tragic.

A person in the grip of addiction is most likely not a person who is thinking clearly or able to make good choices.

Whatever has happened to compassion and kindness.   

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