An extra day!

Saturday 29 February 2020

Leap-year day! I make myself a strong morning cuppa and sit down with a stack of mail to contemplate the day ahead. It’s mostly junk. I tip out the contents of an Asthma Lottery envelope, fully expecting some ‘extra raffle tickets’ to fall out. But it’s a letter. I am a winner. Blimey … I am quite a big winner. I read and re-read the letter in disbelief. I scrabble through the papers looking for the cheque. Can it be true? Prom-dress daughter reads the letter for a second opinion. She thinks it is. The two of us start to jump around the lounge, then three of us and then four. What a great start to the day!

Now I do feel the need to clarify. When I say a big win, it’s only big in relation to our usual £25 triumphs. I am not about to give up the day job… even for a day! However it is a big enough win for the Asthma Lottery to ask if they can use my name in publicity and, to my great amusement, to offer the services of a ‘model’ to represent me visually!

You’d think that would be the highlight of the day, but it is not. That comes at precisely 2:15 pm. Small Boy is off into town, to buy crickets and sand from the petshop … and then to head onto a date! But I am not ferrying him around the unique logistics of this trip. My eldest is! Yes, I have finally managed to fund car insurance for my lovely girl, who passed her test many months ago. There’s no denying that it is a hefty financial hit, but today, as the two of them set off with a bundle of car keys, and for the first time in 10 years, I don’t, it feels worth every penny!

I actually don’t know what to do with myself at first. My afternoon suddenly has a full extra hour of peace and quiet and pleasing myself. It’s unheard of. It’s unnerving. It’s magical and it’s not to be wasted. I am heading out too today. In an hour and a half I am setting off to Yorkshire, for a meal and a night at ‘The Opera’. Do you know what. I am going to get ready, properly ready. Hair washed and straightened ready. Full face of make-up ready. Lotion and perfume ready. Matching earring ready! Try out more than one outfit ready!

It’s a whole new world, and I think I could get used to it, every day, not just on this (unexpectedly lovely ) extra day…

Sometimes the wheels just come off.

Thursday 10 January 2019 
This morning one of my children had an severe asthma attack and any plans I had for the day went up in smoke. I hope that she will recover quickly and am thankful that the doctor does, at least, allow us back home on this occasion. 

But I am worried about the asthma and I am worried about Thursday’s workload which now all gets added to Friday’s workload. I am worried about deadines which are now 24 hours closer and suddenly seem like a mountain to climb. I am worried that there’s only ever me to sort everything out and that one day I might break. I am worried that it’s now 7pm and we all still need to eat. I tearily try to remember the last time anybody said “you look really worn out love, sit down and let me sort the tea”

Oh ‘get a grip‘ I shout inwardly… and laugh, as it does make me feel better. I recall the numerous times when the kids have sorted out tea… well to be precise have turned the oven on as I leave work! I smile as I think about the times they have noticed that I need a cup of tea and with varying degrees of skill have made me one.

As any kind of parent, it’s is never ‘only me’. You always have an unbeatable team by your side. And at work its the same. I’m blessed with fantastic colleagues, ever ready to lend a hand whenever I seem to be going under. And we’ll keep postive about the asthma too, with our GP and a fabulous specialist. I fire up the laptop and read through some updates on the Asthma UK site. I decide to sign up for their lottery. I remind myself that it’s 2019, time to stop seeing problems and concentrate on smashing them  …