100 Days to be Happy: Escapism

My house is stuffed full of Escapism. Everything from books through DVD’s to console games.


Just so we’re clear, here’s a definition from the Collins English Dictionary:

noun 1. An inclination to or habit of retreating from

unpleasant or unacceptable reality, as through
diversion or fantasy

This can be a good thing.
Why? Well, The Dragon’s Tower (my name for our house)  is too crowded for the number of people in it.
If you can’t physically escape people, mentally escaping is perfect:
I dive into one of my favourite books; NOS gets lost in the Pokemon worlds in several different ways; TOH becomes Batman, a Skylander or an Artist; PT embraces her inner fashion diva and creates outfits for her dolls. PW is too young yet to need to escape…
Recently, tempers and tension have been running high here.NOS is Aspergers and he’s having problems at school with the amount of noise and stuff going on around him. He’s been holding in his temper perfectly, doing his work and generally being a good student, even if he’s reading in class a little too much!

All of those stimuli have irritated and niggled at him every day. Peace is difficult to come by at School and tricky at home  – his sister insists on talking to him, when he’d prefer to have some down time.

Saturday, he almost blew up.  Unable to take his sister’s irritating singing, our requests to dry up the washing up and the lack of silence in the house generally, he came and talked to me.I could see how tense he was. No one should be so het up that your muscles strain against your bones. I talked him down. I let him tell me what the problem was and then gave him a solution to put into place the next time he felt it building up.  I taught him a meditation routine – breathing exercise and music, and explained how to use it in different situations.

He was fine after that, but then TOH blew up… figuratively speaking.


The Dragon’s Tower was thick with tension so strong that you could have used it to build a wall. It didn’t help my temper either. I blew up at him back. He escaped by taking his sketchbook down to the beach; I headed for our bedroom and shut the door.

Escape was essential at that point in time, and thus, I celebrate the fact that we have somewhere to escape to mentally most of the time. Without it, occasions like the weekend would crop up nine times out of ten.

When was the last time you escaped and where did you go? Physically or mentally?

Monday Musing… My Family

Today is sunny, with a little wind, but because it’s a Monday, it means I won’t see TOH and the children until after school. To be honest, I’m rather glad of it. Not because I don’t like my kids or my partner, but because after a weekend full of them, it’s nice to have some peace and quiet!

And that’ll change soon enough… so I’m making the most of it while I can.

I thought today, I would introduce you to my family. I think I posted about them before, but I can’t remember when, so it’s been long enough that I have new friends to introduce them to.

We’ll start at the top of the Pile: The Cats.

Why are you looking at us

Yes, I am a cat slave. The pair in the picture are brother and sister – the orange and white one is Gizmo and the tricolour is Cleo.

Gizmo is named after the adorable character in Gremlins because when he was a kitten, he had huge ears and paws, was the fluffiest thing I had ever seen and loved to eat. It’s the eating that got him to the size he is now (massive) and almost cost him his life (he had urinary tract problems a year ago and was in pet hospital for nine days)… not that that has put him off eating – he’ll eat anything and everything, including cardboard and plastic.

His favourite place to sit is on me, snuggled up under my hair. When he was a kitten he used to sit on my shoulder, actually under my hair, and he thinks he can still do it… I don’t have the heart to tell him that he’s too big to do that any more! I am his human, despite the fact that I got him for TOH.

Nicknames: Flump, Fatcat, GIZZIE!, Guzzleguts, Stinkycat.

Cleo is his smaller (but no less fluffy) full blood sister. We rescued her from her last owner who was using her as a kitten factory in a bid to make some money.  She came to us already pregnant and eventually had five kittens… they were rehomed together as a family, and Cleo stayed with us.  We think she’s been mistreated a little, because she is incredibly skittish and runs away from the slightest hint of danger (she even runs when there is no danger!)

Cleo’s favourite places to sit include on the front room curtain, on top of whatever clean washing she can manage, and on the loose material of TOH’s favourite lounging-around-in trousers. Like her namesake, she is beautiful and very demanding when she wants something. She is also very picky about the state of the litterbox; if it is not up to her standard she will find somewhere else to do her business… and as she shares it with Gizmo, that happens about twice a week if TOH doesn’t sort it out first.

Nicknames: CLEOPATRA COURT! Queenie, Sweetheart, Little One.

Yes, I know we are supposed to have separate litter boxes for them. we tried it and it doesn’t work. Gizmo used whichever one he fancied, so we had twice the problem.  You’re also supposed to have separate food bowls for them; we tried it… Fatcat just ate all his food before Cleo could finish hers, then when she wandered away (she’s a grazer) ate the rest of her food as well.

Okay then, from my Master and Mistress, we shall move on to… * drum-roll*

TOH (aka The Other Half )

Yes, he has a name, but I am not allowed to use it upon the inter-web. So get used to the acronym. This is he:

TOH and one of his favourite creatures...

TOH is an artist with all that goes with it – the mess, the tantrums and the up-and-down enthusiasm for his chosen profession. He was originally a Civil Engineer / Hydrologist, but after a series of job losses to do with his dyslexia and the economy  he decided to return to his one true love (no, not me, I’m second fiddle to this) – Drawing / Painting / Animation / Manga and Comics / Console Games; aka ART in all it’s myriad guises.

Just recently he’s become excited about ceramics. *rolls eyes* I foresee an awful lot of mess coming from this one…

Next up…

NOS (aka Number One Son) 

This isn’t the most recent picture I have of NOS – it’s from 2011:

2011-12-13 19.40.25

Unfortunately he’s managed to avoid being photographed  since then – and he’s changed so much! In this photo you see a cherubic, sweet, well mannered ten year old. He’s not like that any more – he’s 12. NOS has entered that scary time for all parents, the pre-teen years and is currently experiencing the joys of High  School and having his very first girlfriend (all together now – Ahhh).

What this actually means is that I have a confused man/child on my hands. He still likes cartoons, Pokemon and stuffed toys (I’m surprised he can actually fit into his bed with the number of toys he has on it still), but he also likes ‘Sexy ladies’ (his term), Top Gear and action movies. He’s also now the same height as me, which can make it difficult to discipline him,  as he is practising his ‘looming’ a lot. I know his ticklish spots though…

Last, but very much not least…

PT (aka The Princess Terrorist)

Getting a picture of PT is easy – I just point a camera at her. Here’s the latest one:

2013-05-04 11.03.26

She’s not so much the sweet, cute little girl any more (she was really cute when she was a baby, but don’t tell her I said that) mostly because she’s growing far too fast; you can practically see her grow overnight! She’s up to my chin and accelerating…

PT likes to dance and sing and be the centre of attention. In fact, she loves it so much that she’s done a video about our back garden for my blog… I have yet to edit it together, but as soon as I have, she’ll be appearing on your screens. PT is a diva in all things. She has to have her own way so much that it’s getting tiring saying “No.”
Having said that, she can also be very sweet and loving. She tells us that she loves us half a dozen times a day or more, is always up for a cuddle (despite being too big for my lap) and will do anything to make you happy when you are sad.

*  *  *  *

So that’s my family. I love them all and they support me in whatever I do. My children help me write books for other children,  read the ones I’ve written and generally make up my cheerleading squad. TOH provides emotional support and idea bouncing and the cats are very happy to keep me company while I write…

Doctor Who Day!

Yes, that’s right – today is Dr. Who Day. Apologies to everyone in Australia etc who have to wait until tomorrow to see it, but I am so excited, I’m bouncing! I’m more excited than I was for the new season of Castle… and that’s saying something, because I refused to cook dinner that night.

I may have to do that tonight…

Tonight is the first episode of the second half of series 7 (none of that season nonsense here) in which… what happens? I don’t know: but here’s the trailer –

Our whole house will be watching… will yours?