Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The land of Robin Hood

Well, it's week two, my second trip over and I love it. I love the little apartment I have and I love the area I am in. The first impression is how clean the city is. Separate recycling facilities at every corner, this is amazing! And the city is very small, I'd say about the size of one of the towns in the suburbs of Dublin, so everything is very near and commuting is super easy. From where I live at the moment to the University I have 5 stops on the tram line...like 10 minutes top, and for £1.70!! And the tram line is just outside the door. Traffic is clearly a fraction of what I would call "traffic" in Dublin...here it's about as busy as it is in Dublin at weekends or school holidays.

My plan is to get a bike hopefully next week and use that one instead of the tram. And the university has secure bike storage areas one can access only with the staff card. Amazing. I will have to look for a more permanent accommodation of course and now I have a much better idea what we can get and where. Despite the fact that I'm not in the city centre, very near me there is a 24h very large convenience store I can walk to (or one tram top). It feels very very safe and friendly too. Evenings are very quiet, maybe it will be more lively as the days stretch more, not that we ever went out that much of course but still one may want to at some point.

The children don't like my travelling much and neither do I. Specially the way Oliver has acted out recently (we have an appointment with a child psychologist on the 3rd of March). We had another very bad episode last staurday, full blown violent tantrum which he just could not control. And then he was a model child the day after. Go figure. I talked to the mother of one of his school friends, mostly I wanted to see if the friend would say something about Oliver's behaviour in school, and she told me they are going through exactly the same with her son...violent tantrums he never had before, zero listening, extremely bad behaviour when they are outside etc. We can't understand what's happening, they also were thinking of getting some external advice. We now wonder if it's something in school. There is a boy who is very physical and often sits on the "thinking chair" and apparently is really disobedient to the teacher also. We will have a parents-teacher meeting next week I think so we will ask.

And that's all for now my friends, I am doing well otherwise, anxiety settled completely, with Mike things are ok, I think he understand more the situation, I love my independence and freedom but I always look forward to going back home. Let's see how it goes once we all move here.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How to be a Brit

It's nearly time. On monday I'm starting in the UK. And for the last 10 days or so my anxiety is back. Ah I was doing so well... but no obviously not. Just give me something to look forward to, some target, something to develop and the anxiety just seem to come associated.

I started having this back pain which moved to the left side and comes around the upper part of the stomach...I know I know it has the classic signs of stress and all, but what can I tell you...

Things with Mike seem to have stabilised, I do my things he does his. On wednesday, our of the blue, he took me out for dinner. First time in 13 years I think. It was a lovely evening, the conversation was very normal. But it's as if I am now living in my head, with my own real life somewhere else and my actual real life is some sort of intrusion. Science is going very well, my group is really delivering and in particular a collaborative project is amazing. I brought a student with me to Switzerland (where the collaborator is based) and we got a day on the slopes too. I so so love skiing, it was just one of those perfect days. Made me realise how much I actually miss the continent, the possibility of just hopping on the car and go to the Alps for a day. Maybe one day...

As for the UK. I thought I was just looking forward to starting, it will be really intense at least until the summer when the family moves over too, I'm flying out every monday morning at 8 am and back every wednesday night with a 9pm flight. I'm not even sure they will like this much at all in the new place, but there's no way I can stay without seeing the children for 5 days a week. Plus I'm teaching in Dublin thursday and friday and I still have my group here. But I also don't have any commitments till the autumn semester, I will just write papers and grant proposals. Can really do this anywhere.
I have an Airb&b sorted at least till I find a house, and it will save me a good bit of money as I will only pay for the day I'm using it. My office over there should also be sorted, at least I hope so.

Oliver has had a couple of really bad days. Days where I think I want to have him assessed. Today he got to the point of actually hitting me. I really don't think it's normal. And what makes him escalate is nothing. Literally nothing. And he would make a scene like he is possessed. Nothing calms him and even if you give in to whatever it is he wants that very second, 10 minutes later there is another more pressing request. Today we went from water (no problem) to juice (no there is no juice, I'm sorry) to ice-cream, to electric toothbrush, vitamins, cake, nuts, marshmallows. In the space of 2 hours. 2 hours. We were out shopping and what seemed to work was to let him take what he wanted (vitamins) only to trade it in if he then wanted something different. We went home with a bag of nuts.  And it started this morning just out of bed. We don't know what to do. And this adds to my anxiety. Any suggestions is welcomed.

Martina thank god is the sweetest child. I don't even know how she is not influenced (though at times she is) and is just very very reasonable, and fun to be around. Let's hope it will last forever.