THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

7 September 2014

A.W.O.L. AT THE END OF A TETHER



I've just changed the title of this post as my absence has been so protracted now that I feel it needs some titled attention. Since we got back from Cornwall, I seem to be finding less and less time for anything personal I guess, which the blog is. I realise how much my sanity depends on it and the contact with all of you away from what can be an isolating situation. I've been struggling a bit with OB. He is the most loving and enchanting child who I love more than I ever thought possible, but his obsessions and need to tell me every tiny detail about them and every other thing he is doing, every waking moment, can be a little challenging after the length of the summer holidays. His later bedtime means that that extra time is also filled with this and I find, by the time I've said goodnight and done everything I have to, I may have an hour at most to do something for me. This time has often been taken up with discussion with M about STUFF, so I fall into bed, read for five minutes before falling asleep, often with my specs on and the book on my chin. I feel terribly guilty grumbling. Poor OB's tics have been absolutely awful all summer and, whilst I can grit my teeth as he shouts "F**k you!" at me or screaches every few seconds, he, poor love, feels it necessary to apologise for something beyond his control. The motor tics have been terrible for him too; head wagging and a kind of full body convulsion that must drive him to distraction. He copes SO well and it's just awful being powerless to do anything to help him other than not reacting. As the title suggests, I am obviously at the end of my tether and everything will seem so much better after OB has a day at school tomorrow and I have a few hours to myself after I've spent the morning sorting my mum out. Right - I feel even more guilty for getting this off my chest so I'll STOP.

Our lovely week in Cornwall was followed by inevitable catching up and planning for another trip to Great Ormond Street the Friday before last. I think we'd better get used to that as we'll be there at least another couple of times in the near future. However, I'll talk about that another time. I've trying to write this post for two weeks now so.......Cornwall. It already seems a distant memory. We stayed in a tiny cottage in Kingsand (above). Kingsand and Cawsand are twin villages on the Rame Peninsula just over the river Tamar from Plymouth. Until boundary changes in 1844, Kingsand was in Devon but since then has been part of Cornwall like Cawsand (below).


I forgot to take my own picture of the marker on a house which shows where the boundary was so I've had to pilfer one from the internet:


Many of the streets are too narrow to get cars down (phone pics so apologies for (lack of) quality):



Both villages have their own gravelly beaches. Cawsand's didn't allow dogs:



Unfortunately, we didn't see the signs the first evening and nobody said anything. Jack is a very enthusiastic sea swimmer: 




Kingsand beach is fine for dogs all year round: 



Our mornings and evenings were often spent walking the dogs here.


Looking back along to the two villages:


The evening sun catching the Devon coast running along the Plymouth Sound into the river Tamar. The building on the right is Fort Picklecombe, commissioned by Lord Palmerston in the mid 19th century to protect the Devonport Naval Base at Plymouth. Since the 1970's it has been an apartment block with fantastic views I imagine. 


A bit later that evening, this amazing rain-smudge appeared in the sky over the Sound:



OB swam every day:


As did Jack:


We had amazing weather some days and only one rain shower the whole week:


This one in the distance never made it to us:


Three mornings we were there, we went along the coast a bit to Portwrinkle beach where I took some great pictures of sea birds to be published next time.....


The rock formations here were amazing too. I think they come under post three.....fish and sea-life....


Some more evening shots of the sea off Kingsand:






A view through foliage on one of my morning walks with the dogs:


This gate belongs to a house in Cawsand framing the beautiful view:


On the Thursday, we decided to get the ferry from Cremyll over to Plymouth to visit the grade 1 and 2 listed Royal William Yard, which has been done up within an inch of its life, with shops, offices and apartments. We approached Plymouth past this marina:



Royal William Yard was a victualling yard built between 1826 and 1835 to provide food and other stores to the Royal Navy and named after King William IV:



We had some lunch, walked around a bit, took some pictures...............










...........then got the ferry back to Cornwall, looking back at the buildings in all their glory. Rather Venetian looking....


I took these two pictures on my phone as we came home to Devon on yet another ferry from Torpoint into Plymouth. These ones worked on a system of chains that pulled them across which OB found fascinating.



Sea birds next time and I promise not to whinge and that it will be reasonably soon, if not before the end of the week. So, until next time, here are the dogs on one of our MANY walks; there was no garden....something we hadn't really thought about with regards to dogs and their lavatorial needs. I think this picture is very reminiscent of the old Start Rite shoes advert, don't you?


62 comments:

  1. You need to get the frustration off your chest, kind of the same way as OB has to twitch. I'll bet the anxiety of school starting aggravates the condition.

    Jack is beautiful. I miss Minnie, my black Lab!

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    1. Jack was bitten by a snake this afternoon and is currently sleeping off the anti-venom and antihistamine in his system.

      Thanks so much for your comment and it's a very good way of looking at it. x

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  2. I am sorry that you have little time to yourself during the hols and hope the next few weeks will give you more time to recharge your batteries. Poor OB I hope Great Ormond Street is giving you all the support you need. Kingsand is one of our favourite places so it was wonderful to revisit it again with you.
    Sarah x

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    1. Great Ormond Street are being absolutely amazing. We had a call from them today actually.....so impressed.

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  3. Your pictures are, as ever, fabulous and an inspiration. I would not believe a photographer could capture silver dancing on the waves, and you have done it.
    I car pool an OC boy, with a photographic memory, twice a week. He spends the time in the car reciting and explaining pages and pages of history facts. He's a fifteen year old history buff, I'm a seventy year old one. A two word question from me elicits a half hour response. I enjoy our time in the car, but as he leaves I thank the universe I am not his mother.
    Bless you.

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    1. That fact makes me feel so much better as I'm constantly being told what a delight OB is (which he is of course), when someone has only spent a couple of hours with him. Normal days are fine obviously - just that six week stretch that's difficult.

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  4. Beautiful images Em, I don't know how you do it, but the skies are fantastic and that's just on your phone! So sorry you are stressed out right now, I hope that with the start of normal routines you will find your sanctuary once again and have time to re-charge and blog.

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    1. Only the houses, the ferry and Jack and Snippet in Start Rite mode were on my phone. I'm not that good!

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  5. I have been thinking about you and wondering how you were getting on. Sorry to hear that things have been difficult, I hope that they ease a little when you have some more time to yourself or at least not with quite the same support needs for OB. Take care and enjoy some time for you if you can my dear. xx

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    1. Thanks so much Amy. I would have had a day like that today if it hadn't been for Jack being bitten by an Adder and having to rush him to the vet's 20 miles away! xx

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  6. I've not been to Kingsand yet and it seems delightful. The clock tower building looks a bit battered from the storms. I hope OB settles down when he gets back to a familiar routine, and that you get more time to relax.

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    1. They're currently renovating the clock tower and it's going to be stunning. Definitely worth a visit.

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  7. Or, poor you and poor OB. Yes, I really thought that was Venice for a minute.

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    1. I'm a fake Tom having made that comment. I've never been to Venice but have always wanted to go. M doesn't fly which makes it a bit difficult. Maybe one day....

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  8. Don't feel guilty for getting things off your chest Em, we all have to have an outlet. Hopefully things will settle and you will have more time to yourself. Take care xx

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    1. Thanks Chickpea. I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone's blogs I must say. xx

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  9. Glad you had a good time in Cornwall. Your photos reminded me of our trip a couple of years back to Cawsand and Kingsand, if I remember correctly, a small coach (and obviously it had to be small with those streets) got stuck in the village...it took about an hour to reverse out!! Apart from holiday, you have obviously had a bit of a trying time with OB...here's to GOSH helping.

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    1. We had a call today offering us a slot for the neuro-developmental assessment needed for an absolute diagnosis of Aspergers which will be important when he changes school next year. They're SO efficient. It's shocking!

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  10. Well that was fun with pink houses that look like hey are made of saltwater taffy on the outside and round rainbow prisms in the sky !

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    1. I had to look salt water taffy up and you're absolutely right!

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  11. Poor you! Poor OB! So glad a bit of a break is just around the corner.
    Cornwall looks absolutely charming.
    Love that gate.
    Take good care of yourself, Em. Lots of stress just now.

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  12. On the days that OB is with you all day, could you have a friend/companion/nanny stay with him for a couple of hours? I can't remember how old he is...11? 12?

    Pictures were gorgeous as usual.

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    1. He was with friends now and then so I would have a couple of hours here and there and he had many friends here, but that last week was the tipping point! He's 10 and a half now.....

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  13. Hello Em! I'm so sorry that you are at the end of your tether. Please don't ever feel guilty about saying how you feel. I admire you for "keeping it real" and expressing those feelings and thoughts. I hope it helped to write about it, and I hope you and OB find your way down this path to the support you need.

    I also really enjoyed your photos. Other blogs that I follow have posted photos of Cornwall, and it's such an enchanting and lovely place. I love that you can bring your dogs--Here in the US, they aren't so friendly about people bringing their dogs with them.

    Take care and find time for yourself, okay?

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    1. Thanks Kim. It absolutely helps to write it down and having feedback from my lovely followers makes a HUGE difference. Hugs over the pond to you.

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  14. Rant all you want Em, I'm more than happy to read it. Don't ever feel guilty about it.

    Loved all the photos, the pink house was great and I surely hope that wasn't someones swim suit that Jack had in his mouth!

    Take some well deserved time for yourself and try not to let the stress get to you.

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    1. That was someone's ball in Jack's mouth that he had pierced with his teeth....ooops.

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  15. People say so many bad things about the internet. The only negative I can see is that it eats up so much time, But it opens up connections to so many interesting people...and after a while one really feels like friends and cares ... I so hope you can muster all that strength you need and get some through sharing and through our virtual support.

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    1. Thanks Margarethe and you're so right about the internet. I'm sure one of the reasons for my feelings was llack of contact with my blogging friends. It makes such a difference.

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  16. I think you are doing a great job under difficult circumstances and I take my hat off to you.

    The holiday looks lovely. Such a beautiful place xx

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  17. Dear Em, It looks a lovely holiday, glad you can find some relief in expressing your concerns on your blog, we are all there for you, especially in those dark moments. Life always bumbles on around us anyway, school for OB this week, the dogs to walk over the moors.X

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    1. Things would have been much better today had Jack not managed to get bitten by an Adder! Your thoughts are much appreciated - thank Thelma.

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  18. Dear Em,
    Do feel perfectly at liberty to "rant" when you need to - we can't make it better for you, but we can listen sympathetically. I loved your holiday photos - what a beautiful expanse of coastline. I hope school gives you some relief. It looked like both OB and Jack had lovely holidays too.

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    1. You do make it better Virginia, just by listening!

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  19. I do hope you manage to get some time to yourself when school restarts and that visits to Great Ormond Street will be helpful and supportive.

    Beautiful photos - You always make me want to visit a place when I see your pictures :)

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    1. School has started! Spent most of the day to-ing and fro-ing from Okehampton with Jack and his Adder bite though.

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  20. Vent all you need to...it'll keep you sane.
    Love the piccies, we both know Cawsands and Plymouth although we've not been there in over 25yrs. Blimey, Plymouth has been tarted up!!
    Jane x

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    1. Plymouth was the pits of the earth wasn't it? It still has its seedier side but the tarting up has been on a massive scale.

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  21. Hello Em!! Please know your blogging family is here for you :-)

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  22. Your photos as always are brilliant, sun shining on the sea always makes me smile.I hope OB settles back into school routine soon and you have an hour or two to recover.

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    1. Thanks SSS and I completely agree about the sun on the sea. I sat and stared at it for many minutes at a time.

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  23. A distant memory maybe but what a lovely record xxxxxx

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  24. Em, my heart goes out to you (and to OB too) and never apologise for getting some of your worry and frustration off your chest. Keep telling yourself that OB will look back on his childhood and know that he was loved regardless of these awful things over which he has no control. He will also look back on this Cornwall holiday as being wonderful. Perhaps now that he has gone back to school it will be possible to get it all into perspective. I send you my love and very best wishes.

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    1. The same to you Pat and thanks so much for your lovely words. I hope he will. xx

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  25. 0h sweetheart, it's tough caring and being such a good Mum to a child with special needs. You are doing a great job, so now try to carve out some quiet time for yourself. Not filled with ironing and chores, but doing something nice.
    Big hug for you and kisses for OB, he is a very special little boy xx

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    1. Thanks Kath and a big hug back to you. A wave from the M5 as we fly past again to GOSH next week too!

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  26. Hi Em, I'm so pleased you had a lovely break and loved reading about it all and looking at the pictures. I don't know that part of the country at all but you make me want to go. Looking forward to seeing your photos of the birds...I really hope now term has started you find some more time for yourself and doing things that make you feel better. I'm sure you are a wonderful mum to OB, so don't lose sight of that and don't feel bad for getting things off your chest. Lily xxx

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    1. Thank you. Things could have been better the last 24 hours with Jack being bitten by an adder! Three 40 mile round trips to the vets since yesterday afternoon. Never mind. Time for some lunch and a tiny walk for the patient. Therapeutic gardening for my neighbour this afternoon! xx

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  27. So good to hear from you and see your wonderful photos.
    We who follow you are long distance friends and sometimes we all need to "talk" to someone. Talk away.
    And I agree with what Weaver said. OB will remember the good times and his wonderful family.

    Love the photo of Jack and the Sea monster !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks Parsnip. I love that one too. x

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  28. Yes, well, I think you ought to whinge away Em. It is good to have a place where you can vent and the blogging family we have out here has a good listening ear. Fantastic photos! As I always do, I enjoyed each and every one.

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    1. My blogging family is a huge support. Thanks Denise. Xx

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  29. Cornwall is a place I have always wished to visit. Your photos are a next best armchair trip.
    I've been pondering your thoughts on OB's Tourette's--reading a bit about it on the web. I can only imagine how frustrating and tiring it is--for him--and for you and your husband. Having the diagnosis may help to an extent in dealing with it, but faced with the manifestations each day has to be exhausting.
    So often care-givers must go without precious alone time to recharge--a dangerous thing if it continues for very long.
    I'm encouraged to read that OB will be seen at the clinic--perhaps better ways of managing the tics will be suggested.
    I note in what I read that OB is in the worst years for the condition--that hopefully the tics will subside as he passes into his teens--but that is still a goodly chunk of time.
    I hope that as a family you can invent ways to cope.

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    1. I'm so touched at your researching Tourettes MM; it's so misunderstood. You're absolutely right aboutcit peaking at this age. We have everything crossed that it will fade in his late teens. On the London underground yesterday I was watching people watching him as his body twitched and was relieved to see that he wasn't aware of their scrutiny. He just gets on with it. Anyway, I'm wittering on so just thank you.

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  30. Just adding my comment to the flow of support and admiration for all that you do for your family!

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Thank you so much for leaving a comment. It's great to read them and I will always try to reply.