Wednesday, March 29, 2006


think I survived the school meeting but am feeling very teary and vulnerable (those who know me would be surprised). tried to find ways to encourage laurie back to the school after easter. he is desperate at the idea. We need time to think.

I gave the Glasgow family and Child Health Centre a thumbs up yesterday and today I can only say a heartfelt thankyou. they reviewed his case in their weekly meeting and have given us an urgent meeting on Monday next week. RESULT!!!!!!!!

where we go from here I don't know but at least we know we have someone on our side (ie willing to help). the irony is that you become so grateful for something so fundamental. I believe he deserves some help and attention. it's taken over a months worth of effort and here I am being grateful.

I finally decided to ask for some leave from work becuase I can't do it all any more. They gave me some time - so grateful...

If anyone has a magic wand to take away this nightmare i would be ever and always... so grateful

My life has crept so long on a broken wing
Through cells of madness, haunts of horror and fear,
That I come to be grateful at last for a little thing.
[Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

This photo from my flickr pages is called solitary perfection

solitary perfection

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


feeling defeated tonight - in anticipation of an early morning meeting with the headmistress tomorrow. I know she'll patronise me and make me feel like shit.

I was supposed to meet with the educational psychologist attached to the school today but he put me off till next week. That will leave me exactly one week to sort out some type of educational support for my son. Either that or I get arrested, or have to lose my job and my home.

I rang the Education Authority for Glasgow and got no help. Apparently the only person who can help me find an alternative school is the ....wait for it.... educational psychologist. When I rang him and asked if he could suggest a school he said the one we were at was one of the best. Hey Ho where do we go....

Tomorrow I'm going to ask if they will let my son avoid the nightmare playground and lunchtime events. If they can excuse him from the gym because of the noise. I'll ask if he can be excused from group working which he finds so challenging and if he can wear ear plugs to block out the sounds that 'hurt'. Well I wonder what they'll say to that. Of couse I'm just a liberal parent who doesn't exhert any discipline of my child. Strange that given that he is a stickler for rules and gets very upset when people don't adhere.

Still I had a bright spot on my horizon today. The health authority came through trumps. I rang up to chase my referral from the GP to child and family psychiatric unit and found that they were faxing it through as urgent to be considered in todays round of cases. I don't know what priority they gave it but at least I know that someone, somewhere is thinking about the welfare of my son.

Also it was Tim's birthday and Laurie gave him a card saying ' no. 1 dad - you truly are the best'. So true...

We are so lucky...

This one is called Goldfish from a set called A different view - all taken by Laurie to show his perspective. This one represents us as a family swimming in one direction (against the tide) but strong and true... This one is for the health authority.


Stanley the dog is not here yet - kennel cough so he has to go to the vet on Fiday. we hope to pick him up on Saturday. hope he's good at swimming....

Sunday, March 26, 2006


When you've always been strong and feel that nothing could get you it strikes hard that the world can suddenly turn upside down. And even when all of your friends and family support you it is so easy to feel alone when confronted by the mightly faceless powerful "LEA" of wherever you live.

So our headmistress has garnered her powerbase and turned against us - the educational psychologist, a key supporter ( but employed by her) and the bloody faceless LEA. And although we know our son better than anyone, we are left doubting ourselves, but only for moments. And you wonder how the less powerful cope - but when you fight for your child maybe all mothers become articulate in some way.

I have an amazing man to help me, who believes in my son and me. He gives his all to make the world understand my son and for that, on mothers day, I give an honourary mention to him.

and this is the man. In flickr its called
puma in the barren wilderness

puma in the barren wilderness

This fab Pablo Neruda poem acompanies the photo:

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent, starving I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disquiets me, I search the liquid sound of your steps all day.
I hunger for your sleek laugh, For your hands the color of the wild grain, I hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails, I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your loveliness, The nose, sovereign of your arrogant face, I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
And I walk hungry, smelling the twilight Looking for you, for your hot heart, Like a puma in the barren wilderness.

Thanks to my friends who daily offer support to Laurie on flickr. Thanks to this man.
And thanks to Laurie.

Tomorrow we are adding a new member to the family - currently called patch but probably to become Stanley. A dog - photo to follow. We struggle on...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I've finally gained access to photoshop and have had a go at some Amazing Circles. Quite pleased at my first attempts, but just need another 24 hours in a day to do some more.

Here is my favourite so far made form a photo taken late at night in Hong Kong...

late at night

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Well a few days later and we're surviving the aftermath of the exclusion.

We got the report of the incident and it was a very poorly written document full of subjective comments and emotive language. I have prepared a 4 page reply which is very measured, contains quotations from government documents and the National Autistic Society (NAS) which describes the kind of sensory overload that my son experiences in his school and the likely impact of this on his behaviour.

Some awful statistics from the NAS website include:
This is one example of how gifted my son is - entitled self portrate

self portrait

Friday, March 17, 2006


yes I need some buffers.

I've been bashed around a bit in the last few days and I need some cotton wool.

My son has been excluded from school - his behaviour is unacceptable....

he has had a 'meltdown' (common terminology in the world of aspergers syndrome)

there is construction work going on at his schools - this overloads his senses. the school report no undue noise levels. I finally have an URGENT referral to the childrens psychiatric department. Well what does it take...

swearing at a teacher
exclusion from school
saying you want to die
self harm

"it could take 3 months to see someone" - well actually this is just not good enough.

I still don't have a diagnosis - this makes me vulnerable.

But hey - don't mess with this mum.

I am on his case... and I will never give up on him...

how do you sense the world?

you should see his photos on flickr...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Well I don't think I'll be able to keep up the 'ings' endings on all my posts but I will try.

I'm so happy because I finally have a tag cloud on my blog. I had to abandon the previous attempt and tried ZoomClouds instead. Much easier and done in 5 minutes so thanks for a great (and free!) service. I'll tell everyone I know...

More later but I want to post this photo today as it's my first photo to be viewed over two hundred times in Flickr. It's called Way of Heaven and has a daoist quote attached to it.

Way of heaven

Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things. (Chuang Tzu)

This was taken in Yangshuo in China during a great trip last August. It has the bright paddyfields in the foreground and the dramatic karsts at the end of the path. I like the path which ties in with the daoist concept of 'the way'. I also like the way that it leads you beyond the picture to whatever lies behind the karsts.

Monday, March 13, 2006


A strange day full of airports, phone calls, worrying and trying to stay focussed. Maybe this will all be explained but probably not today. The stutterings title refers to the faffing I've had to do today.

Ok I know I'm demanding but I really want tagclouds on my blog - it's the librarian in me. I need some kind of retrieval system especially as I've started by deliberately mixing up my posts. This is an EXTREME experiment for me who would ideally like a blog for personal stuff, a blog for work stuff and blog for studying stuff. I'm trying to stop the separation thing but this may not work. What if, for example, my work colleagues saw something about me personally that they didn't need to know, such as my penchant for dressing up in uniforms (pretend example of course - I dress up in much more interesting stuff really).

In order to maintain order ( and yes this is very important) I need tag clouds...

So I found the fantastic site and did as they asked.

I also added a different feed to my blog using

I'm no techie but I can cut and paste html like the rest or so I thought. So either I've done it all wrong or it takes time and more content to show a real live cloud.

Looking forward to the day when I see the tag uniforms appear large in my cloud...

If you've never seen a tagcloud then look at the fantastic my

photo for today is of my son and called too bright. It fits today for me - trying to run before.... the future's bright - I just need to catch up.

too bright
too bright

Sunday, March 12, 2006


I started using a week ago and my life has changed...

It has prompted me to finally get a blog started.

I also need a blog to record some reflections on elearning for an online course that I'm doing with Oxford Brookes University.

It is about time I did it as I've been banging on for some time now about how 'social software' is the key to enhancing elearning - as opposed to the 'lets put all our content on a VLE approach'. I've also made students do blogs to reflect on their learning so it's only fair that I should too.

So it's official - I'm part of a huge community of bloggers, and a huge community of people who want to put their photos on Flickr. Within Flickr I'm part of several smaller communities who have something in common. I like the Utata group as it acts as a salon in the traditional sense where people talk, play, experiment and learn. The Photodominos group is great as they post photos that connect with each other in some way - with some really interesting interpretations.

Have a look at my photos.

Here is a photo that I took at 3.00am this morning in Glasgow after a massive and sudden snowfall - that's how bad my addiction is...

It is called rear window and has been added to two film related photo pools - Dial H for Hitchcock and Let's talk film!

rear window