Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘fostering

 

What a weekend…

This is me with my nephew, Matthew.  We went to see him on Saturday. He’s absolutely perfect and beautiful and one day will be primeminister and solve the energy crisis….

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Maybe not. But I will be happy if he is happy, finds his reason for being here, is true to himself, is loved and finds love.

I know now why people still believe in miracles, because the thought that he came into the world is just amazing, and all of the things that he will learn in such a short time can not be explained by anyone on earth because it is nothing short of an act of God.

And that is the opinion of a qualified cynic.

The other thing that was brilliant about this weekend was that we attended the Sefton no-limits ceremony at Aintree race course on Friday night.

No limits recognises the achievements of looked after children. It was a great night, with entertainment, a buffet, and an awards ceremony. The top prize was won by a young lady who had been in foster care and gone on to gain a first class honours degree. It is recognised that children who are fostered or brought up in chidren’s homes often do not achieve at school, so it was an honour to be involved in a ceremony which recognises the achievements of looked after children.

And it was especially significant to us that our foster son (who I call Duane on this blog) won an award for his extra-curricular achievements.

So here I am, this time last year there were no kids on the horizon, and now I am a proud foster dad, uncle and god father.

What a difference a year can make.

My week so far…

Saturday…

 Went to see ‘Mary Poppins’ at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Although we took our foster child with us it was actually a late fortieth birthday present for my brother-in-law, who is now at that age and secure enough in his sexuality to feel able to ask for whatever he wants.

Karen, my sister-in-law is due to have a baby in May, and I couldn’t help wondering how live musical theatre is perceived in the womb. According to Karen the baby has already mastered ‘Riverdance.’

The show was brilliantly executed, the climax being where Mary flies right over the stalls and up into the gods.

Sunday…

Went to see some newly acquired friends who we met through the fostering network. The kids played, the women talked about the kids and the men compared the sizes of their sub-woofers.

Monday…

Got the promised e-mail from Ted Smith, saying that the book matches the cover at Lightning Source, so there is a problem at Amazon which should sort out within a couple of weeks.

Although I don’t want to steam ahead with marketing until the correct cover is appearing and I have a copy in my hand, I have started to ‘dabble’ a little. I have registered for the Amazon ‘Search Inside’ facility. I’ve also signed up for ‘Author’s Den.’  This is a site which showcases new novels. It has had mixed reviews, but the good ones are very very good.

And I’ve contacted a site which is keeping alive the tradition of the Staffordshire oatcake. I was born in Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, where the oatcake is a local delicacy. The Kidsgrove oatcake shop features in the first chapter of ‘Tasting the Wind’ so I wondered if the current owners of the shop would be interested in knowing about this. Who knows- it could lead to a joint marketing venture: a free bag of oatcakes with every copy bought? (or a free book with every bag of oatcakes…)

Monday- Wednesday…

The day job. It’s Winter, which means viruses, which means short staffing. When this happens I stand in and do ‘hands-on.’ I manage a service for people with profound disabilities, so today I accompanied a lovely lady to ‘Wheelchair aerobics’ at the local leisure centre.

Wednesday…

Things have started to get nasty on the Absolute Write/ YouWriteOn thread. Which is sad. Several posts have been deleted.

Which brings me to tonight…

Dropped our foster son off at scouts. He’s had a great day. I can’t name him or say much about him because of confidentiality, but today we have been very proud of him. Before he came we made up a name when we tried to imagine how our lives would change with a child around, so from now on I will call him ‘Duane.’ Today we were proud of Duane because he did a sponsored swim to raise money for his school. He told us he thought he could do 3-4 lengths, so we sponsored him for £1.00 per length.

He did twenty six lengths… perhaps I should recruit him to sell my book.

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Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas. This has been one of the best. The reason for this being that  for the first time we have a child in the house.

We have been fostering for a few months, and this young man came to us in August for a long term placement. During a year of training we were prepared for the worst case scenarios- children who have been moved from pillar to post often have attachment problems because it doesn’t pay to get attached if you’re just going to get moved on again. But in this case we have found a perfect match, and are getting so much from sharing our lives with him.

Okay- confession time: we went a bit O.T.T for Christmas. I even did the dressing up as Santa to pass by his room. Of course, he slept through it, so I went out and and tapped on neighbours windows- didn’t want the suit to be wasted!

Christmas morning was just the most magical experience ever, and I finally realised what friends with children had that we had been missing out on.

The rest of the day was spent tuning in his new television and setting up his model of a Tardis interior.

As I say, we have been lucky in that we are a perfect match. Even down to the fact that our foster child shares my obsession with Dr. Who.

6p.m. Christmas day, and my wife was chucked out of the living room so that we could watch the latest Christmas Special. Admittedly, it wasn’t the best story they had ever done but, what the heck, it was Dr. Who, Christmas day, and a perfect bonding experience.

Now we thought we had got it worked out- the Dr. goes to victorian England and finds, as well as Cybermen, another Dr. with an assistant called Rositta. Obviously, he was the Dr. from a parallel universe- the one from which the cybermen came. Russell T. Davies had cleverly led Whovians to this conclusion through a Radio Times interview where he said that the other Dr. also had a sonic screwdriver and a Tardis.

I won’t spoil it for anyone who may not have watched it yet, but the Tardis turned out not to be what we’d  expected.

And it’s nice to take a break from work, and from book related activities- the online forums have either closed or are, generally, full of goodwill.  When I say ‘generally,’ It is with reference to the friction between YouWriteOn and other sites which are critical of their POD scheme. I did suggest a truce, but from one quarter this was met with a staunch refusal. 

It was at this time of peace that warring opponents once climbed out of the trenches and played football in honour of the festive spirit. But  when it comes to disagreements in the world of  writing and publishing  it would appear that we are venturing into areas of life and death, where there can be no compromise.


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