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Out and about in Bristol…

Another good combined trip to Bristol to visit my Mum for lunch and then my mate Dave for some drinking!

Always a cultural experience and lots to see. Having veggie sushi with my Mum was great, ending up at the Harbourside with Dave – the Monkey Shoulder whiskey was pretty good!

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Car death…!

The car is now officially off the road.

We got back from my Mum’s place in Bristol, having just been to Westonbirt and pulled up alongside the space at the front of our house. Claire tried to put it reverse gear but it just wouldn’t go in! On the journey back, she had been saying that 1st and 3rd gears were also getting harder to shift. So, we went around the block and went in to the space front first, then I pushed the car back into the space!

I tried to get it into reverse and managed it, but not before some serious grinding and difficulty. The clutch has officially died. Maybe also the gear box.

On leaving Mum’s, she had said good-bye to the car (having been the previous owner) and we had been talking about giving it up within the next few days on the journey home. So between reversing at Mum’s place and arriving at home, the reverse gear failed. I think there’s some kind or Herbie thing going on!

It’ll be 1 less car on the road, lots of positives for the environment and £170+ per month savings. The 1994 Nissan Sunny had done 81,000 miles and is 17 years old. I’ve been driving that car since I was 17 (on and off) and we’ve owned the car outright for the last 2.5 years.

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Westonbirt Arboretum…!

My Mum was up visiting and we had given her a present of a day out to Westonbirt Arboretum + lunch, for her birthday. So, we drove down there yesterday and arrived mid-morning.

Some amazing Rhododendron flowers around the Loop walk and we had loads of fun running around the woods and the kids play areas.

Had a nice lunch then went further into the Old Arboretum area and found some great areas with stepping logs, carved wooden sculptures and massive wooden feet! Both boys were out for the count in the car when we dropped Mum back to her flat and on the way home!

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Playgroup + advice…

Ok, Jamie was dropped off this morning at playgroup with no problems. He came out quite happy and I had a word with his teacher about things. She said there had been another incident but that Jamie had gone to her and said what was happening, which sorted things out. She was watching in the background to see what would happen anyway. I said was it to do with sharing cars and she smiled and said yes. Ok, not a big deal.

Claire called my Mum the other day for some advice and it might be having some effect. My Mum was a clinical psychologist for about 15 years, dealing with families, so i’m sure she has some good advice!

Anyway a few of the things which she said were as follows:

– Try making / printing a calendar with the days of the week split into mornings and afternoons etc so that Jamie can see when he’s doing things. We’ve drawn pictures on the various days and we’ve been showing him (and Jac) the sheets. It’s useful for mornings and afternoons information and for which week either myself or Claire are at home.

– Try recounting the events of the day, maybe at bedtime. This will help him process the information and become more aware of the days of the week and what is happening when.

– Try explaining the various situations which have come up to Jamie. Make him understand why things are happening, such as the boy who blocked him just going the wrong way. Also that some kids want to play with him and ways to deal with this. Look at it from the other kids side.

– Get him to learn more words associated with emotions and feelings, so that he can describe more clearly what is going on, not just words like mean or scared.

– Try babying him more. Obviously don’t literally treat him like a baby, but just spend more time with him. There are lots of growing up issues to deal with and he might not be ready to be the big grown up boy completely, particularly as Jac is getting loads of attention for being younger and less able.

– Persevere with the playgroup, even if he isn’t going to school till he’s 7. This will enable him to learn the social skills which you get from being in group situations. It’s also not good just to give up on things too quickly. She was also saying that this is the age when these skills develop and form, and it’s important to learn these skills at this age. I had actually said this to Claire but was willing to leave it if necessary! Good to know the instincts are working.

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