I’m on my way

I wrote this blog after being at Hampden in March for the Hibernian v Ross County League Cup Final when Hibs got beat 2-1 ūüė¶¬†

I used to go see Hibs home and away as a teenager. Then I met a man who wasn’t interested in football and he got me pregnant. Therefore, Easter Road was forgotten about until my son was at an age I could take him. We then started going to all the home games. Then he met a woman who wasn’t interested in football and got her pregnant. Now my son and I are just ‘allowed’ to go to the big games. It’s our day out together and we both look forward to them. Him because Hibs have a chance of lifting a cup. Me? Because I get to spend time with my son, drink Guinness and forget I’m a feckin’ Gran now.

So Scottish League cup final weekend and we had tickets for Hampden. *excited face*

Although the old Famous Fife supporters bus no longer runs, 2 big Hibs fan had taken on the thankless task of running a minibus. Imagine the widest assortment of Hibs fans you can – that was our bus load! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the 3 Musketeers, long suffering partners, lone wolves, well meaning parents, the guy that has been drinking for 3 days solid and the loveable rogue.

We were picked up outside Wetherspoons at 10.30am all resplendent in different shades of green. Apparently the carryout de jour was bottles of rose wine and Mad Dog 20/20. Of course, as a grandmother, I was a lot more sophisticated and had a floral design hipflask full of Jack Daniels secreted about my person.

As we made our way towards Glasgow the CD player, at full blast, played every Hibs song imaginable and then when they ran out Bobby Nicholson came on singing Go and See the Pandas (honestly You Tube it).

3 toilet stops later (lay-bys) and all bottles disposed of pre Harthill (to avoid the police) we were almost at the rugby club in Giffnock we had booked into for some (more) pre match drinks. It was at this point in the journey it came to everyone’s attention that there was an almost overflowing cardboard pisspot on board the bus. Yes – the ones you get in hospital – someone had come prepared! However, they hadn’t thought through the emptying of it. Every corner the minibus took became dicey as it sloshed about. The singing then restarted, ‘Your pissssss is stinking’ to the Proclaimers tune Sunshine On Leith. I deliberately looked away at the next red traffic light.

The rugby club was great – how/why they put up with us all (we weren’t the only bus load in town) gawd only knows – yes I know money over the bar BUT…(that was a big but btw)

Then it was time for Hampden *excited face* We got off the bus near the ground and was told Purple Zone carpark for pick up. Whatever. *runs off with excited face*

So then there was some football stuff. The guy who had the seat next to us (who I’ve met before) appeared at half time. Turns out his flight from London had been cancelled and he’d had to fly from Gatwick/Heathrow instead (I forget which one because JD and Guinness) and his flight didn’t get in until 2.30pm. He had managed to share a taxi with other Hibees he’d met on the flight and had just caught the equaliser at the top of the stairs. Unfortunately, he had to change his flight home too because of course his car was now parked at Heathrow/Gatwick. Therefore, he had to head straight back to the airport after the match. I don’t need to spell it out to you what this means but incase I do

D E D I C A T I O N!

Full-time whistle blows. Bugger.

So dejectedly we head back to the bus. Purple zone?? Excuse me Mr Policeman…. He directed us to Aitkenhead Road. What’s that word that rhymes with tanker? Long story short we got to the bus 40 mins later – it was parked right next to the stadium and I was the colour purple!

The best bit though (apart from the fact the bus had waited!) was one of the long suffering partners had made everyone on the bus a ham salad roll – yippee!!


Parenting Toddlers and Teens

I work with families who have troublesome teenagers. The teen’s behaviours usually include things like truanting and causing bother in school when they are there, offending in the community, being verbally abusive to their parents/carers, trashing their houses and usually¬†drinking alcohol or taking substances with their negative peers. My job is to help the families change their anti-social teens behaviour often by changing their own behaviour. This is usually a huge stumbling block because carers seldom¬†believe they need to change, after all they’ve been bringing up kids for years and have never had this trouble before.

So anyway, we’ve had our 2¬Ĺ year old granddaughter, Teeny Mini-Me, staying with us for the last 5 days. She’s been no trouble at all but like most toddlers is always on the edge of a tantrum, is demanding and needs to be constantly supervised because she is into everything. Are you starting to see the similarities to teenagers?

I did but only after getting home from a particularly difficult day at work. Although I was shattered when I spoke to Teeny Mini-Me I noticed I used a soft tone, I gave her time and listened intently to how her day had been. To be honest, I didn’t understand everything she said but I appeared interested and replied with Really? Wow! You’ve had a busy day. She was happy with this and then wandered off to finish trying to force fir cones into her toy car. ¬† When I was hanging out the washing I asked for her help but after she got bored with handing me pegs I didn’t complain that she was no longer helping but thanked her for what she had already done. When she wanted to spend time with me I put down my phone and played with her. After all, that funny meme on Facebook is still going to be there in half an hour. When she did something new or good we clapped and shouted hurrah. If there was anything she couldn’t do herself either me or OH would help her. We didn’t assume she could do it herself. We watched her constantly from a distance to make sure she was safe but at the same time giving her the freedom to learn for herself. Of course there were times when she wasn’t getting her own way and she’d start to moan and get stroppy or start to cry but we distracted her with other interesting things she could do. Obviously we used incentives to get her to finish her food – the usual finish your chicken and you’ll get a yoghurt; help me wash the dishes and then we’ll go to the park.

All of these responses were natural and not put on at all. It’s what you do as a parent of a toddler or in my case, a granny. ¬†It was all the stuff I had been telling my families to do that day at work.

Suddenly it dawned on me. What I needed was for my families to treat their teens like toddlers. The mums, dads, grannies, granddads, aunties, uncles and  other carers need to go back and do what they used to do 12 years ago. Back when it felt like the kids were so much easier to deal with. When you think about it, stroppy teens need the same kind of attention that toddlers need. They need spoken to calmly, listened to intently, spent time with, praised and appreciated, given choices and constantly supervised.

However, can you actually imagine treating your teen like a toddler? Chances are they’d think you were taking the piss, feel patronised and then revert to form, swear, stomp off and slam some doors – leaving you feeling like you’re the bad one. If you speak to anyone like a child they will act like a child, which obviously is fine with toddlers but with a teen you want them to act like adults. And don’t tell me you don’t because you’re constantly telling them to grow up!¬†No, what you have to do is treat them like toddlers but speak to them like adults. ¬†So be consistent, no sarcasm, no shouting, answer them when they ask a question and don’t tell them 2 minutes when you really mean half an hour.

So I’ve got a new meme for Facebook. It’s going to be my new mantra. I’m going to patent it and make posters and fridge magnets.

Stroppy Teenagers: Treat them like toddlers, speak to them like adults.

stroppy teen.jpg

Kelso, Dryburgh and Ancrum

As I’m a bit of a twat and didn’t realise it was a Bank Holiday weekend I only booked one night away¬†this weekend as I honestly didn’t know I had Monday off. ¬†Anyway, OH and I had already decided to get away for the night and instead of heading north or west as we often do, this time we headed south towards the Borders.

We wanted a dog friendly hotel so my search led me to the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel, a country house hotel just north of Kelso. As we arrived in the area too early to check in we took the dog for a walk to see the nearby Wallace Statue. 2016-04-30 12.47.22.jpg
Having never heard of the statue before I had no expectations, therefore when I saw the massive stone structure (ha you thought I was going to say erection – stop being so childish.) I was gobsmacked. It was humongous. You could even see up his kilt! 2016-04-30 12.45.04.jpg(btw I will know if you click on that pic to enlarge it ;))

After the dog had stretched her legs we drove on to Kelso and had a wander around the historic town situated on the Tweed. We also had a  lovely lunch in the The Cobbles, where the service and the menu were great.

With full bellies we headed back to check in to our hotel. The hotel was fabulous. A proper country feel to it with comfy old couches and arm chairs. Our room was large and had everything we needed. OH had brought his rod with him and, as we knew the hotel had fishing rights on the stretch of the Tweed in front of it, we went out to investigate.¬†It wasn’t long before OH had donned his wellies and was out casting and I was in the warm hotel with a glass of wine in hand. Yeah, I’m not daft. As if I’m going to be outside on a Saturday evening trying to work out what kind of flies are dancing on the water. 2016-05-01 10.57.41-1.jpgOH didn’t catch anything but him and Amber seemed to have a great time. We finished the evening in the hotel bar where dogs were made very welcome and thankfully Amber (who is trained as a gundog) didn’t retrieve any of the stuffed birds scattered around the hotel.

The¬†hotel breakfast was great. As you do, I ate far more than normal as there was so much on offer. After my apple juice, fruit, muesli and toast, I had to chose from the hot menu so every dish was cooked to order. I had a 3 egg bacon omelette, which was lush. OH had smoked haddock and poached egg. He was just a little disappointed that his egg wasn’t runny. (I say a little he was devastated).

I have to say ¬†The Dryburgh Abbey Hotel has been one of the best hotels I have stayed in for along time. The receptionist couldn’t have been more helpful. The waiting staff were friendly and the hotel facilities spot on.

Before driving home we headed to Ancrum as, thanks to lots of little photocopied flyers scattered around Kelso, I knew there was an art thing happening. Turns out it was Art At Ancrum where the village had opened itself up to over 30 artists who were exhibiting their wares. We were welcomed into peoples homes, offered coffee by a stone mason  and spoke to a number of interesting artists more than happy to discuss their techniques. I came away with a cute little green pottery jug and almost bought an expensive green suede handbag that had my name all over it but the wrong price tag.

Of course, the best bit is I’ve been away for what has felt like a long weekend and I still have Monday to go ūüôā