I had the wallpaper, duvet set, toy horse, everything. The only thing I never got, was to see any of the actual TV programme. John and Michael used to give me a dead leg and make me watch Thundercats instead.
Didi and Bliss don't know who Rainbow Brite is, but they enjoy stealing the doll I found Gracie on ebay (overpriced and a bit stinky) and putting it in Buddy's basket.
Buddy just had his tackle removed and is chewing everything in sight to reassert his manhood. I asked my dad if this was normal and he said he was just the same when he had his done, so I feel very reassured.
He also had a poisonous wart removed from the end of his nose (Buddy, not dad) and looks a bit of a state. Someone asked me where I got my 'old rescue' from the other day. I was incensed!
My handsome dog is asleep on the floor next to me, on his little fleece blanket. Every so often he wags his tail and lets out a 'love puff'. Gracie has got the lavender spray close at hand. James is out so we don't have to put him in the garden.
Her and Didi go to Pre-school together now. The incident book has a few more entries than normal. My lovely friend and their key-worker, Joy, spends a lot of time cleaning orange paint up in the bathroom after they leave.
I still have Bliss at home on a Monday and Friday. We walk Buddy down the beach then drink lots of tea to the annoying sound of Fireman Sam, which they are all obsessed with.
They have Fireman Sam phones they call one another from and Fireman Sam laptops and jigsaws and books and safety hats. Not as safe as they seem. They are too big and Didi walks into lampposts when she wears hers.
The siren in Fireman Sam sounds a lot like the noise of our tumble drier. I find the noise comforting. I think "Ah, lovely. Another load of clothes being dried." It turns James into a maniac.
He spends a long time cleaning socks and dog hairs out the filter in a bid to make it quieter. I call him my DIY hunk. He tells me to piss off.
He has started buying me box-sets to get some peace in the evenings. Amazon parcels arrive all the time. Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife, Game of Thrones.
It was a bit like last week, when I phoned him, hysterical, to tell him the Budgie was dead.
"Buddy? Buddy is dead?!!"
"NO, No. Sam, the budgie. The poor budgie."
"The budgie is dead?"
"Yes. Isn't it awful? You'll have to come home and get rid of it. I can't bear to look at it."
"You have seriously phoned me in the middle of a Board Meeting to tell me the Budgie is dead?"
"Yes (slightly less hysterical) I am scared of dead birds."
We were going to move, but it fell through. I think it was fate. This house is not ideal for someone with RA but it's our home and we love it. James proposed on this drive (more romantic than it sounds), I bought my babies home here from hospital. It's open-plan so I can chat to James at all times. He pretends he cannot hear me over the noise of Mr McTumble. I don't mind. I save up lots of chat for long car journeys. No escape then.
Gracie is getting on well at school. I can't believe Didi will be starting this year. It seems impossible. She still has at least four screaming tantrums a day and can't say the word please. The thought of her sitting in a classroom fills me with dread.
Bliss on the other hand, would be fine to go to school now. She is the biggest know-all you ever met. It's like having a mini James with pigtails. "No no, not like that. I know how to do it. I'm so clever. Look at me, I am a princess!"
I am still not in remission, but hopefully it's not too far away. I want to feel a bit fitter than I do now, so I am going to start swimming again. James happily re-started my gym membership. I think it's so I might shave my legs for the first time in a year.
He is always picking me back up.
Photos below, and more on what we have been up to at www.muminthesouth.co.uk