Thursday, March 27, 2008

Better Than A Poke In The Eye With A Sharp Stick

Two strange things happened to me today. (Three, if you count turning on the computer and writing this.) For the first time in… God knows how long… I left work, started to drive home and realised I was in a good mood. But, and here’s part one of the strangeness, I had absolutely no idea why. Still don’t.

Something to do with the fact that it was still daylight outside perhaps? Or because it’s nearly Friday and I’ll maybe get away with just having to work one day this weekend? Or because three weeks today I’ll be playing golf with my good friends (Oh Dave, we’ll miss you) whilst enjoying the warm, Florida sun on my back? Who knows.

So, I arrived home, changed into some comfortable “leisurewear” (“jogging” trousers, not leather) and considered my dinner options. I almost rustled up a mouth-watering combination of Campbell’s meatballs and potato waffles but then I realised it’s not 1977 and had some pasta instead. With the Campbell’s meatballs.

Soon enough it was time to grab a good book and lie back in a warm bubble bath of lavender and ylang-ylang – the small flower from the cananga tree of course, NOT the name of a recent acquisition from Korean Brides Monthly magazine. Her name is Ming-Ming.

And that’s when part two of the strangeness happened… although it’s just now dawned on me that I don’t really want to write much more about it because ‘ER’ is about to come on and I need to find out if Abby is going to be okay after her recent fall off the wagon and let’s face it, if she leaves the show then it’s not really going to be worth watching anymore. Unless Maria Bello comes back as lovely Dr. Anna Del Amico. And I suppose Neela has her moments. But now I’m just haivering… as Lesley would say.

Anyway… in short… if you want to find out some of the dark places and thoughts that have occupied my mind in recent months (now that sounds like F.U.N. eh?) read chapter one of ‘A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away’ by Christopher Brookmyre. So striking and close to home that it left me shaking in the warm soapy bubbles. Or was that Ming-Ming?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Run Rona Run

Regular readers (both of you) will quickly realise that the following is something I don’t do very often. While I admire people who can write about personal things in an engaging way, I’ve preferred instead to try and find interesting subjects that have a funny side which I can a) enhance or b) take the complete piss out of. Or preferably c) both! It’s fair to say that these have been in short supply lately so as you might have noticed, I’d rather write nothing at all than drone on about… whatever.

However, I wanted to share an email I received from my beautiful wee sister the other day, not only because it highlights an extremely worthy subject but is written in such a loving and compelling way that it made my heart burst with pride when I got to the end. If it moves you also, you’ll notice there’s some support you can give, but regardless, I hope you enjoy reading it and I’m glad I finally found something worth writing about.

Dear Family

As most of you will already know, our lovely little boy Tommy, was diagnosed with autism last year.

This means that he has great difficulties with:

  • social interaction, such as playing with other children;

  • communication, such as understanding what other people mean or talking meaningfully using his own words;

  • being flexible, such as tolerating changes to everyday routines

It also gives him considerable strengths. He has a fantastic memory for rote learning and scripts which usually lands him the lead role in the Christmas nativity! And he is great with computers, numbers, jigsaws and other such things which are visual, consistent and predictable.

When he is not frustrated or anxious, he can be the most adorably funny and affectionate little boy.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has been a huge source of support to Al and myself since Tommy's diagnosis. In fact, we are currently taking part in a NAS 10 week course called Early Bird Plus, designed to help parents, and it is proving to be absolutely invaluable. The cost to us for doing this course is a mere £30, even though it costs the NAS thousands of pounds to run.

To give a little something back to the National Autistic Society, I have decided to run the London Marathon this year with all sponsorships and donations going to the NAS. I have pledged to raise £2,000.

Just a fraction of £2,000 can be put to good use:

  • The NAS autism helpline takes over 40,000 calls each year. Just £10 enables the NAS to provide an anxious caller with vital information, advice and support;

  • For just £260, the NAS can help a child with autism get the right education for their needs through the Advocacy for Education service;

  • For just £110, a volunteer befriender can be trained to offer friendship and support to someone with autism and their family.

Please support me in raising money for such a worthy charity. You can sponsor me online by visiting or you can send me a cheque made payable to The National Autistic Society.

Wishing you all a very happy 2008.

With love,

Rona "think differently about autism"