A few days away from my blog after a busy weekend and a crazily long day at work – where to go next? I think maybe it’s time for me to extol the virtues of the much maligned phenomenon that is Social Media. I think I’ve mentioned before that Luke very generously allowed me to be his friend on Facebook as a way of keeping in touch when he went away. I have a feeling I may have been a bit of a stalker as far as my kids and their Facebook was concerned; Alexandra certainly banned me at one point – hmmmmm – could that have been when she was having her little ‘I’m a nightmare teenager spell’ I wonder? So, Facebook had been in my life for a while before Luke went away and it was to be the mechanism by which we stayed in contact – and by which he asked for more cash of course! For the 3 months Luke was in Thailand I was able to see what a wonderful time he was having; see all the great people he was meeting. And now of course I’m so incredibly grateful that I can go back and look at the photos and videos he posted. And even see the messages we exchanged. So many were asking for extra money – I was sure Thailand was mean to be cheap??? But they nearly all finished with ‘I love you’ as did the phone calls we exchanged.
Sitting here now I’ve just gone onto the page set up by Luke’s friend Oli to have a look at the photos and videos there. To have videos of Luke is so special and I’m eternally grateful to both his friends and the locals on the island in Thailand who made the effort to find his belongings including the very precious camera. So, in those early days I’d say that Facebook helped keep me sane; it was lovely to read the things other had to say about Luke, lovely to see photos I’d never seen before. 5 years later I still take comfort in looking at both the ‘tribute’ page and Luke’s own page. Alexandra has allowed me back too!
And here I go wandering again! As is my way. I so wasn’t going to do this, but a story worth telling I think. Just after Luke went away Alex asked what must have been an incredibly stupid me if she could go to the ‘Camden Crawl’ – a music event apparently. I’m not entirely sure which part of the reasonably intelligent me didn’t read – ‘pub crawl’ into the ‘Crawl’ part of the whole thing. But keen to encourage my kids’ love for music I agreed to her going and merrily paid for the ‘ticket’. Now this tale is meant as a bit of a warning really; Alex was still only 17 and I let her take off into London with someone I didn’t really know. She took my phone and stayed in contact for a good part of the day/evening; then communication stopped. The plan was that she stayed at a friends’ house that night; again I didn’t really check that. A phone going at 5am is never really a good thing, especially when the person on the other end of the line was a place officer (bearing in mind my not being friends with a particular police force). This police officer wasn’t from the dreaded (at that time) Essex police. oh no, this was an officer calling from the Kentish Town police station. The scenario was that Alex had been separated from her so called ‘friend’ as well as her belongings; she was at that time asleep in one of their interview rooms! Oh, and being very careful police officers they’d left her sitting in their waiting room with a well known local homeless man, who was now in a cell due to his interaction with her!
I pretty much had little idea where Kentish Town was; but jumped into my car to go and collect my lovely if errant daughter. To say I was furious when a still inebriated face greeted me might be an understatement! I suspect I was angry at myself as much as Alex for allowing her the freedom to get into such a position; oh and more than a little angry at the lad – her ‘friend’ who hadn’t made sure she was safe. I’m not sure Alex would remember too much of that morning; but, I made her eat something before we left. Turned out that wasn’t too much of a good plan! I am actually laughing at this next bit, although I really wasn’t at the time. As we drove home Alex felt unwell; I made her hang her head out of the window. I suppose I thought I was being clever, the side of my car, covered in breakfast basically, said otherwise! So, not too much harm done, it could have been so much worse. Alex happened on kind people who took her to the police station. The waiting room man was remanded in custody but hadn’t really done anything worth a charge, so I guess he got to have a bed for a while. And I’d say that both Alex and I learnt a very valuable lesson. One thing I do know, her big brother would have gone ballistic at both of us had he known what happened!
Having dished a fair amount of teenage dirt on my beautiful daughter I should probably bring her story up to date. We’ve just finished a FaceTime conversation ; she was siting in her apartment in Paris next to her lovely french boyfriend Gautier, the clue’s in his name. Having gone out to Paris in January 2013 to be an au pair she’s a fluent French speaker earning proper wages as a Nanny rather than a pittance as an au pair. As she has a Mum who doesn’t have a domestic bone in her body she’s a good cook and ooh she can bake a cake! Whereas I only compute eating cakes! Alexandra is a daughter to be proud of; she’s more than a little bit wacky, but only in a good way. And like both her brothers she has a real empathy for others, a real kindness running through her being.
A small story about little brother Jake before I sign off; he works on the roads and today as he was out and about an 85 year old man fell as he was walking round the works. He fell on his face; lost a lot of blood and was very shaken up; Jake, far and away the youngest of the 3 in his gang took control of the situation, called for an ambulance and looked after the man until the paramedics came. So, it seems I have a son to be proud of too! And let’s not forget Peter and Kerry, I will write about them too, a warning Kerry!! Lots to be happy about in life in spite of a real sadness running through me.
Twitter tales next time if I can stick to my original thoughts and not go off on a tangent!