By SWAN UK MEMBER, PARENT REP FOR NORTH YORKSHIRE AND BLOGGER LISA BEATON - definitelynotthewaltons.com
I’m on a train down to London. By myself! Sans enfant!!! I’m practically fizzing with excitement (which likely explains why despite quite a busy train, nobody has ventured to sit next to me!
Those of you who have to commute regularly are probably perplexed by my merriment, and wondering if I am a little ‘touched’ as the saying quaintly goes. Well perhaps I am but not by grubby little fingers, no one bugging me for the window seat or because he/she is taking up too much space/breathing too loud or heaven forbid LOOKING at them. Added bonus, I haven’t had to share my Kit-Kat with anyone and my coffee is still hot. Result!
This dear reader is actual TIME OFF … and I get to converse with grown ups later in the day too! I’m giddy with it I tell you! (I’ll apologise now, especially to all the English teachers for my prolific use of exclamation marks).
So, what did I do to deserve this parole? This time off for good behaviour? Well there is the *slightly* minor matter of speaking to MPs later this afternoon at an All Party Parliamentary Group (basically a meeting that is not political party specific, affects the wider community and therefore theoretically is something all MPs regardless of their political party or leanings should be interested in since it is likely to affect all their constituents.) I did email my local MP last week and tweeted him at 3:46 this morning. Funnily enough he didn’t tweet me back … Can’t think why. Although I haven’t heard back in response to my email either, I’m hoping he will take the time to attend and gain some understanding of why I feel so passionately about raising the profile of SWAN UK – a support network for parents/Carers of undiagnosed medically, physically and/or cognitively complex children.
So although I don’t know exactly what I’m going to say (after all I’m not sure what I might be asked!) I do know it’s a subject that I can speak with first hand experience thereof. The feelings of isolation, worry, fear; the struggles of co-ordinating care between multi-disciplinary teams, departments and hospitals; the impact having an undiagnosed child/ren on the wider family both financially, emotionally, mentally and physically and so on & so forth.
To be honest since I was asked if I would be willing to attend, I’ve been more preoccupied with a wardrobe crisis. After all, I live, sleep, eat and breath the undiagnosed bit every day but it’s not everyday I get to play with the grown ups in the wider community is it?
Since I still hadn’t settled on an outfit de jour until 10:20 this morning, I have been fretting slightly. Serious, efficient, business like are not particularly words that fit my current couture.
My last paid employment was carried out from home and frankly clients had no idea if I was in my PJ’s, ballgown or even in the ‘altogether’ so my daily wardrobe is much more based around comfy, practical and what can be sponge-cleaned with a baby wipe … My clothing predicament has also been challenged by the good old fashioned British weather; renowned for its ability to encompass an entire gamut of meteorological conditions in the space of a day; especially when factoring the travelling from ‘oop north” to “daaan saff” factor … Not to mention the dilemma of whether I travel in my posh attire or change on arrival (creases being a factor either way). Decisions decisions.
I did suggest to hubby that the tax-payer should foot the bill for a new outfit for this opportunity. He looked somewhat perplexed and asked how I expected to float that one past HMRC, even with receipts. Witheringly I pointed out that since HE was A tax payer, I had in fact meant him. From his snort of derision and eye rolling, I took it as meaning a new frock was a no no. Sigh.
Still, I’m sure you will be pleased to know that as in previous posts, I had already decided on my shoes quite some time ago. Not red ones this time but pink.
So I’m now going to use my remaining train time to read on my kindle uninterrupted by small folk squabbling & enjoy the rest of my biccie!