The Unit. Day 71

Day 71. And LB is happy again. He’s definitely turned a corner, as staff told me yesterday, and is delighting them with his humour. He is one hilarious dude. Time to start thinking about next steps.¬†But for now I’m off to a disability conference in Finland (and some cheeky Finnish street photography) which couldn’t be better timing. ūüôā

 

The Unit. Day 25

LB was well and truly back to his old self today. ¬†We could hear him chuckling away to himself as soon as we went in the unit. Tasty cottage pie smells, a Yellow Pages to leaf through, Al Murray on his DVD player and a jug full of squash in his room. His day was rocking. He bounced off to get Rosie and I drink, then we hung out answering his questions about the break-in at Rosie’s student house. Burglars, forensic police, finger printing and offloading an Xbox on the black market. The stuff of dreams for LB.

When we went to leave, I asked him if he wanted me to bring him anything in particular tomorrow. Silence.

“Hey, LB, say now if you want Mum to bring anything tomorrow, while you’ve got the chance.”

“Now now now now now NOW!!!

The Unit. Day 20

We went to visit this evening, a bit concerned as LB had been sleeping all afternoon. He’d been sleeping yesterday when Rosie and I visited and was sluggish for a bit while we were there. A change in medication was agreed at yesterday’s weekly team meeting. Concern tentacles appearing a go-go.

AbiHe was in bed but woke up like a chill pill when we pitched up. Rich gave him photos off the Fagan and Whalley website (a new competitor on the heavy haulage company front) and we hung out, chewing the fat about Dappy’s recent altercation in a Hereford nightspot, Maggie T’s death and adding photos of Chunky Stan looking out the window on a holiday to Devon, to the growing gallery on his wall. We had a chuckle.

When it was time to leave, LB took us downstairs to see  us out. No staff were around but there were tasty cooking smells.

You’d better find someone to let us out,” we said.
SECURITY!” called LB cheerfully wandering off down the corridor. He reappeared alone.
Ha, looks like we’ll have to stay the night. That’ll be a laugh.
No no no!” said LB, with a sudden determination. ¬†“J! J! Where are you J!!?

Cheerful times. In an uncertain space.

Smithy’s father and the large German bear

Tom was chatting this morning about the graphic novel he and LB had produced a while back. LB was the story teller, Tom the illustrator. LB called it Pointbreaker as he’d just read Point Blank and Stormbreaker. Tom and Owen dug it out this afternoon. ¬†Brilliantly random. “Stop, I’ll shoot you like a large german bear”. The names on the gravestones are hilarious; William Blake, John Kelly (Busker John) and Smithy’s father (from Gavin and Stacy)…

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The bath and the bell

One of my birthday presents was a bell so I could ring for ‘service’ (wine, newspaper, clean towel, etc) ¬†when in the bath. I know. It’s a laugh riot in our gaff. On Sunday, LB was about to get in the bath when I realised the full potential of the new, shiny bell. LB loves baths but has quite a way to go to mastering effective tap control (heat and quantity). We run it for him and leave him to soak. Trouble is, it’s tricky to decipher general chatter from a help request (or outright alarm). This means he doesn’t get much privacy. ¬†Dinging the bell could resolve this.

“So LB, if you want anything ding the bell. Like this…” DING!
“Yes Mum.”
“Ok? If the water gets too cold or you need anything, just ding.”
“Yes Mum.”
“Ok, I’m going in the other room.”
“Yes Mum.”
DING!
“Wow. That was quick. What do you want?”
“I love Irish lorries Mum.”

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Christmas Wrapping

LB’s presents this year. A success. We managed to get him a die cast cattle truck that he’s wanted for the best part of this year. Very, very cool. And Eddie Stobart; The Ultimate Guide to British Trucking Legends (by Martin Roach). A full colour, hard back guide to the legend that is Eddie S. Rock and roll presents that are kind of age appropriate (or at least no Playmobile for the second year in a row).

After wrapping them up, I couldn’t resist going to check with him what he wanted for Christmas. Just to enjoy hearing him say ‘Cattle truck Mum’ again. For the last time.

“A onesie Mum”, he said. Without missing a beat.

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Happy Christmas!

Jelly bean tears

Overheard, from the front room:

“Can you get our sweet day sweets when you go out Dad?”
“No. You had them yesterday.”
“No we didn’t! We didn’t get any in the end!”
“Oh.”
“And we haven’t had them for weeks.”
“Tom, we’re like getting a bit old for “sweet day sweets” bro…”
“I’m THIRTEEN!”
“Well it ain’t “sweet day” now.”
“You’re 19 and saying we’re too old for sweets when you had them till you were at least 16???”
“Yeah. Well, come on, you did get a lot of added benefits being the youngest…”
“Yeah, like playing ’15’ games when you’re only THIRTEEN..”
“Yeah! And the rest!”
WHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAA…
“Er, what you doing Tom?”
“I need some tears.”
“Eh, what?”
WHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA…¬†I need to test my tears.”
“What?”
“I need to test my tears for sweet stuff.¬†Kids’ tears should taste like jelly beans. And sweet stuff.”
“Eh?”
“Not vegetables.”

Hilarious.

But I’m right back with¬†Willy Wonka… singing Pure Imagination.

Unashamedly.

 

Mind your language

Tom was teaching Will some Spanish this morning. He’s off to Valencia on Wednesday to stay with his girlfriend’s family.

“Pretty impressive Spanish Tom. Where’d you learn that?”
“Er, Spanish lessons.”
“Spanish lessons? What in school?”
“Er, yeah. I’m doing Spanish GCSE in Year 10…”
“Ah cool. Do you speak any other languages LB?”
“Yes.”
“What ones?”
“Irish.”
“Wow! Say something in Irish.”
“Top of the morning to you.”

“Dear Wilbur…”

Rosie and Owen said they’d sort out the clutter in the loft today. They pulled everything out of cupboards into a huge mess of stuff (and more stuff). When I got back from work we sorted through it.

Well.

What a load of rubbish. And memories.

A few (of so many) highlights; my Kate Bush fan club card, 500 francs from the Central African Republic, a load of charcoal life drawings, my autograph book (including Arthur Askey and Daley Thompson), old school textbooks covered in waxed paper and an old laptop we decided to keep for comedy value. The LOL Laptop as it was renamed.

Then there was my battered old case of birthday cards and letters. We chucked the cards. Well apart from 18th and 21st birthdays. And handmade ones from the kids.

Various diaries also turned up spanning several years. Didn’t realise I was such a diarist to be honest.

“OMG Mum, you’re so lame..” muttered Rosie, leafing through them. “Woke up. Washed my hair. Walked to school…Watched Angels, went to bed…

1982 quickly became the favourite. From March 2nd, I started writing it as though I was writing to a mate from my old school. ¬†I’ll save the details for another day other than to say this shift meant there were a lot of exclamation marks and I signed off entries “TTFN, Sara!” ¬†On May 5th I switched to writing to an imaginary person, ‘Wilbur’, ending each entry with “Well that’s about it for now! Sara.” By the end of May, I reverted back to type. Thank goodness.

Rosie read out several entries, howling with laughter. Then we got back on with the job. Head first in dirty boxes.

OMG Mum. Stamps!!! You.were.a.stamp collector?????

Nuff said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LB’s speech

LB was a school camping trip* last week. He’d prepared a speech but I had to get him just before the end presentations. So here it is;

I liked talking to Becki.
I really liked telling everyone jokes.
My favourite part of the week was looking at the lorries in Dover. I was in lorry heaven.
Thank you and goodbye.

A cracking speech.

*Thanks Amy, Alex, Rachel, Kane and Vicki! Camping in torrential rain all week (and a 4am start for a day trip to France) is way beyond the call of duty. As usual.