Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What a Bunch of Softies!

I don't think any of the boys in my household would ever be described as 'tough guys'. Oh, Anthony puts on a bit of a gruff show, but he's a big-hearted old thing. Just like my little boys.

Among many things. The three of them also have something else in common. PD.
PD is (obviously) a teddy bear. He hasn't always looked like that, but he has ever since I've known him. He was Anthony's when he was a little boy (sadly, I don't have a picture), and when Samuel was born, Anthony passed PD on to him. I can't find any pictures of Sam with PD either, but here's one of him asleep with PD in the background:
Samuel had lots of teddies as he was growing up, and PD was just one of them. As he got older, he became more attached to some of the stuffed tigers he was collecting (I'll tell you about Sam and tigers some day), especially one called 'Gritty Kitty', which is displayed on Sam's shelf in the lounge room.

When Oliver was born, Samuel decided (on his own) that Oliver should have PD. So he gave it to him early on. Oliver's got quite a few teddies too, but PD has become very important to him. He sleeps with PD every night,
and if he goes to stay somewhere else (even before Sam died), PD has to go with him. Even to hospital.
He was pretty attached to PD even before Sam died, but now he's even more so. He keeps the nightmares away and gives Oliver something to hold on to when he's having a more restless, worried night. PD's been a real comfort to him, and it's almost like a piece of Sam is with him every night.

It's amazing what one teddy can do.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Hurdle Jumped

An unexpected outcome of my wonderful trip to see the Foo Fighters was that we (I) had to face a bit of a 'hurdle' in my grief 'journey'.

As you know, Sam died while staying over at his Nanna (Anthony's mum)'s house. So as you can imagine, it's been pretty hard for me to let Oliver out of my sight, let alone let him sleep over anywhere (I still get up at least once per night to check on him).

He has stayed at my parent's place two or three times (they also spent each of those nights with one eye open!), but that's about it.

Of course Oliver is now at that age when kids start to have sleep overs. When his friends first started asking, even he was hesitant. We got around that by asking his friends to stay here instead. And they had great times when they did.

So last Thursday, even though we planned to go home after the show, we knew we'd get back too late to pick Oliver up from anywhere (we ended up getting home around 2am). So we decided to have him sleep over somewhere.

He ended up sleeping at his Nanna's place. This was a hard decision for me to make; not because I blame her for what happened to Sam, but because there was that tiny, very irrational fear about it happening again. You might even call it a phobia. I know it probably sounds very strange to you, but it was something I was having a lot of trouble with!

Well they had a great time together, and Oliver's very keen to do it again, so of course my fears were unfounded, but the fact that I let it happen it shows how far I have come in facing some of those demons that surfaced in late December 2009.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Worshipping the Foo

I know you probably don't want to hear any more about the Foo Fighters, but I simply must document my awesome evening (mainly because I want to remember it past today!).

So I'm going to write a (probably long) post about my day yesterday. Feel free to skip if you like, I'll be back on the weekend with something about my boys...


Anthony and I arrived in Sydney long before the registration started. But that was OK; we had a nice walk through Darling Harbour and did some serious people-watching as the crowds arrived. Everybody was extremely well-behaved (throughout the night too) - no yobbo-ing or pushing and shoving, which was nice. There were all sorts of people there, from young kids who were toddling when the Foo Fighters released their first record, to folks much older than Anthony and I.
When the boat finally arrived (a very comfortable three-story one), Anthony and I climbed up to the top floor and grabbed a seat. I'm not great on boats, but I needn't have worried, the short trip was calm and the butterflies in my stomach came more from excitement than nausea.
After a short trip, we disembarked at Goat Island, and walked around to what turned out to be a very intimate and scenic venue.
The small stage was set up with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background, and the ground space in front of the stage was tiny. But that was OK, because there were only about 300 of us there anyway (later on, the balconies on the building behind us filled up with 'VIPs' - or people who had some connection to the radio, record company or TV channels, many of which obviously had very little interest in the Foo Fighters, more the prestige of being there...)

Finally, the band came on stage:
They ripped through their new album, one after the other, with no breaks to chat or even take a breath. The new songs are great - fast, loud and rocking, like their first album. Lots of chances for Dave to roar his trademark scream.
We were about 6 people back from the stage, and stayed there all night, with none of the crushing and shoving you'd get in a 'regular' mosh pit. Everyone there was on such a high, and so busy loving the band (and loving being so close to the band) that there was none of that stuff.

I loved being able to lock eyes with the guys in the band, getting lovely smiles out of Nate and Pat,
and even managing to look the wonderful Dave Grohl in the eye...*sigh*.

I know, I know, it's a silly thing to get excited about, but realistically, I'm never gonna meet these guys. I never know where to 'stalk' anyway, and always have someone else with me who probably wouldn't want to hang around for hours waiting for that 'chance' anyway. Not that I resent that, I love have someone I love with me at these gigs, especially 'cause I can't take Sam. James waited for a couple of hours with me, after the Them Crooked Vultures concert, with not much of a result, and Anthony probably would have last night, but he had to drive the three hours home anyway (it was OK, we had a lovely beer and a burger at Grill'd, then a nice drive home, reminiscing all the way). So I'm happy that I got that close to them.

After they played the whole new album, from beginning to end, they started in on all their hits. They started with 'All My Life', which got everyone in the (downstairs) crowd jumping up and down and going crazy. They then proceeded to play song after cool song, with yours truly jumping up and down like a mad thing, screaming and singing myself hoarse.

All in all, they played more than 30 songs (I think 38 was the final count). As you can see on the set list (which a fellow Foo fan graciously loaned me for a photo - he even took the photo!), all the hits were covered. Some highlights for me were 'My Hero' (as always: it's a great song, and it reminds me of Sam - we even have 'There Goes My Hero' on our concert shirts), which got everyone singing (even some of the wet blanket VIPS!); 'Stacked Actors', in which Dave leaped into the crowd, ran upstairs and stood up on the balcony for a while, dangling his guitar over the edge; 'Monkey Wrench', which never fails to get everyone up bouncing and singing; 'Everlong' (of course, one of my favourite songs); 'Up in Arms', where Dave dedicated it to a lookalike fan Jim (who had been standing next to us all afternoon), who proceeded to jump up on the stage, chug Pat's beer, and sit down while they sang the intro.
Lucky guy.

In the encore (which was more than the four songs on the set list), they played the lovely 'Butterflies', an old, rare track, and one of my highlights for the night, a truly fabulous cover of 'Darling Nikki' by Prince. Pure gold.
Dave promised us 10 songs in the encore, but by about the 8th one, the powers-that-be were looking at their watches and tapping their feet, because they'd hit the noise curfew. They probably could have gone on for another hour (at least, that's the impression they gave us), but were kinda struggling to find songs to play anyway, or at least struggling to remember how to play them.
They finished off with 'This is a Call', which, as their first hit, was a very loud and fitting way to end the night.

Dave was his usual funny and charming self, Taylor pounded away on the drums (apparantly he could be heard all around the harbour!), Nate and Chris were totally immersed in the music, and Pat alternated between big smiles for the fans and eyes-closed blissful music making.

All in all, 3 hours of musical yumminess which I would gladly do again tonight, and every night. (I found out this morning they're putting on another gig in Sydney tonight - it's times like these I really wish I lived in a big city). The cool thing is, it was all filmed for Channel V, and will be screened on the 2nd of April. Now I've just gotta work out how to get a copy!

By the time they finished, my whole body was stiff, and I had lost my voice. A sure sign of a great night.

A great, great night.

Oh gee, I'm supposed to be studying but I just can't concentrate! Check out the photos on the TripleM website. If you look at photo #48, you'll see me on the top of the boat with both arms in the air. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

An observation (or two)

Ok, I know I've done this before, but there are things I notice as I go about my business, that probably take up way too much of my cognitive time.
So I share them with you. It's only fair...

I wonder if people even notice that they're always talking with their hands. Especially when they're the alone. Especially when they're driving alone.
A few times lately, while I've been driving around the place, I've noticed that many people, alone in their cars, talk with their hands. Waving them around wildly as they (supposedly) concentrate on the road.
Obviously they're being very safety conscious and using a hands-free kit, but surely this is counteracted by the fact that their hands are waving frantically around as they try to make that point that can't be made while the car is stationary (or, god forbid, in person)?
And now that I've noticed it, I notice it ALL the time. Everywhere I go. Are people conducting whole seminars in their cars, or what?

I wonder why people turn up at the supermarket between 4 and 7pm (the busiest time of the day) and then complain about the crowds.

I wonder why people drive the long way round just to skip a couple of traffic lights.

I wonder how a newspaper that is completely wrapped in plastic can still be soaking wet after a rainy night.

I wonder why there are so many people in the world (or maybe it's just this place) that seem to spend their whole day making negative, cynical comments about everything. Witness The Riot Act as an example of this phenomenon.

And just for a laugh: thanks to iGoogle (and presumably many others) for these ones...

I wonder why more psychics don't win the lottery.

I wonder does the reverse side have a reverse side?

I wonder if you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?

I wonder why we drive on parkways and park on driveways.

I wonder what was the best thing before sliced bread...

Oh don't worry, there'll be more....

Friday, March 18, 2011


I won!!!

The other day, I posted about the new album by Foo Fighters, and Sue, one of my wonderful readers, told me about a competition that Channel V was holding.

Well I spent a day coming up with an entry, which included a poetic ditty and this fairly dumb YouTube video, of course getting to the end of the day thinking about how I'd wasted the day.

Well, turns out the day wasn't wasted, 'cause I won some tickets!

I'm very excited and happy. It was a great day anyway (the student summit was today, I'll tell you about it later), and this totally topped it off!

So Anthony and I are going to drive up to Sydney next Thursday, get whisked off on a boat to some secret location, and treated to a cool show with a heap of serious Foo fans and lots of new songs. Yay!

(and thanks Sue, for the tip!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why can't we all just...get along?

I read this morning that 10% of the people we meet will take an instant dislike to us.

I'm appalled! Everyone should just like me! I'm nice and friendly. Aren't I??

Despite the dramatics, cleverly designed to make you think I don't actually care, this concept does not sit well with me.

I like it when people like me. And I try very hard to be receptive: I listen carefully, ask questions that show I'm interested, smile, act politely and mind my body language. I hate thinking that 10 of the people that I've met in the last year don't like me.

I know, I know, it's a personality flaw, and a major indication of my insecurities and low self-esteem, but I'm always going to wonder now, especially when I meet someone new: are they one of the 10%?

Because I've always been a pretty good judge of character. I read people fairly well (or so I thought - I've obviously had blinkers on to the whole 'I don't like you' thing, but that's more denial I think!). I can usually tell if they're going to be annoying, or rude or quite lovely. I'll be on the look out for the hate signals now!

My kids have varying degrees of success with judging someone's character. Samuel, bless him, was just such a nice guy who didn't want to ruffle any feathers or make anyone feel bad. So he often hooked up with unsavoury types. The kind of kids who'd swap him something really lame for something of his (like the bloody kid who duped him out of his game-boy for a stack of footy cards - don't worry, we got them back!), or steal from him outright (like the one who stole his phone, on the pretense of 'having a look'). He learned his lesson though, and had built up a really good group of friends by the end.

Oliver's a little less tolerant. At the beginning of the year, he told me there was a new kid at school and that he really didn't like him. I'd never heard him say anything like that before. Well, this kid was the one that stuck a knee into his injured groin last week. So it looks like he may be a pretty good judge of character after all.

I'd like to think that I'm above making a decision about a person before I've given them half the chance, but the truth is that there have been a few people in my life that I've taken an instant dislike to. It's that whole 'they rub me up the wrong way' thing. For me, it's usually the people that just won't shut up. They are constantly talking about themselves, usually butting in on other people to do so.

I guess we all have things that irk us, and seeing those things in people are probably going to be the trigger for those negative feelings.

Have you ever taken an instant dislike to someone?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I see you everywhere

I see you everywhere Sam.
The blonde kid on the diamondback at the skate park.
The teenager with the AMAZING curls.
That guy at the shops with the same jacket.
In the CD shop.
At every school I visit.
In Oliver.
In my mind.

Sometimes I forget what you look like, and I've gotta check a photo. I don't like that. I want you imprinted in my mind forever.

I think about you all the time.
I miss you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Entertainer

I'm in rock mode at the moment, so please forgive the rantings and ravings of a rock tragic!

I go in phases though, I wonder if anyone else does, or if it's just my crazy personality?
I mean, I can go for a couple of weeks without listening to anything more than what's on the radio (my station of choice? Triple J. Not necessarily because the music is better - though they don't tend to play the really annoying top 40 stuff - but because they have more music than chatter. That's what a radio's for, dammit!). Then, something will come over me and I'll have to listen to music all day and most of the night.

I'm in one of those 'music all the time' phases, so yesterday, as we pottered, we watched a count down of 100 'Most memorable Videos'.
I love music videos. And I have ever since I can remember. I used to fight with my brother every Saturday morning over control of the TV: he wanted cartoons, I wanted Video Hits, or Rage or whatever else was on.

There were a few years that I obsessively taped them too. I built up hours of carefully cued and time videos; sometimes taping whole shows, then going over the ones I didn't like, other times cuing up a spot on the tape and then waiting for that moment to press record. Sad, I know, especially to those of you that haven't known the wonder that is tape. it's so easy to just watch the video on YouTube now!

Anyway, I digress (how unlike me!).

I really think that to make a good video, you have to be an entertainer. You have to be able to ham it up if necessary. There are a few bands that do that really well, so I thought I'd point a couple out.


One of the videos in yesterday's countdown was 'I want to break free' by Queen:

It's not my favourite Queen song of all time, but it's a corker of a video!

In the years of music videos where most were bands jumping up and down on stage, Queen came up with some great stuff.
This video borders on obscene in places, and is very bizarre, but they pull it off because they just know how to play their parts.
I love how Freddy Mercury keeps his moustache while he's in drag, but has shaved it off for another part of the clip. Gold. He's got pretty nice legs too!

Red Hot Chili Peppers

There are any number of videos I could choose for these guys. Californication is one of the coolest videos ever, and I also love Dani California and Can't Stop, which all totally demonstrate the whole 'entertainer' thing. I've decided to share 'Give it away', which is an older chili song, but a goody:

Again, possibly bordering on obscene in places (hmm...what does this say about me??), but showcasing some true entertainers!

Fat Boy Slim

Ok, I know this one technically doesn't count, because he doesn't actually appear in any of his videos, but he manages to get people doing very cool things in them. Like Weapon of Choice (sorry, they wouldn't let me embed this one). If you like Christopher Walken, you'll love this.

And of course, the Foo Fighters

I know what you're thinking; she just put them in because of that insane fan thing. But no, the Foo Fighters make truly awesome videos. it's because they are fabulous musicians that understand the value of a good video, but it's also because they're quite good at hamming it up.

Everlong is a very cool video (if you've ever seen Evil Dead, you might see a couple of familiar scenes), and coincidentally one of my all-time favourite songs. Long Road to Ruin is a very funny clip, and there are many more that are just awesome. Learn to Fly is one of my favourite videos, just because everyone's hamming it up (once again, embedding disabled, you'll have to go to the site if you want to see them). Oh, and dressing in drag. Is that a right of rock passage or what?

Just wanted to add: Oliver and I were just watching some Green Day videos on Channel V, and it reminded me of Sam. Every time American Idiot came on he'd say 'mum, check this out: one of them is moving at normal speed and the others are moving in slow motion!'
It didn't matter that I'd seen the video many times, or that he'd said it to me every time it was on, he still pointed it out! So cute!

I could go on for hours! What are some of your favourite videos?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fan Time

So, you may have guessed by now that I have a little crush on Dave Grohl, and consequently love everything Foo (Fighters, that is).

I've even recovered from the disappointment of Dave not replying to the email I wrote to him about the impact music (such as the Foo Fighters among others) had had on Samuel's life, when the lovely Chris Cheney did - what a guy!

I'm a little excited at the moment, as they've just released a new single and video:

Which means that a new album is on the way, and possibly a tour! Anthony and I have seen the Foo Fighters 3 times now, and they always put on a kickass show. So I'm looking forward to that!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day (and thank you teachers)

I've never been much of an outspoken feminist, but I've never put up with anything (or anyone) that says 'you're not a man, so you're no good'. I've always told off the boys who made throwaway sexist remarks, but that's the extent of my feminist leanings.

There have been a few times in my life when I've done something that I wasn't expected to do because I was female. I was always surprised when I got that reaction, because I was just trying to do things that interest me.

Like when I was in high school. As they still do, in year 9 and 10, schools give you a choice of elective subjects. While I was interested in cooking and did that elective, I was also interested in metal work, so I signed up for that for a while too.
I was the only girl in the class, but got along really well with the boys in there. The girls, of course, gave me a hard time, but I didn't really care. I enjoyed it, and I did pretty well too (god knows what I ever did with the plumb bob that I made!)

And then when I had worked at the cinema for a while, I decided that I'd like to be a projectionist. I was fascinated with the projectors and the way the sound worked, and how everything worked so well together. Plus, at the time it was the closest I was going to get to working in the movie industry (I had vague ambitions of going into film editing, then directing).
When I asked about it, everyone told me that 'women aren't projectionists'. Full stop. They couldn't tell me why, except that the boxes of film were really heavy. They were, but only as heavy as a child. So managable.

Being the stubborn sort that I am, I nagged persevered; putting the pressure on until finally they decided to give me a go. Apparently, I was the first woman in Australia to take on the job.
And, once again, I was good at it. I was really good at it. In a couple of years, I had been promoted to head protectionist, and was training everyone else.
Eventually, I got sick of the solitude. I don't think that was a necessarily 'female' problem, more of a 'Mel' problem. I like people. So I moved back downstairs into management (which I also did very well, thank you!), and then went off to uni.

Funnily enough, I'm now working in one of the most female dominated professions in the world. Teaching.

And today, on International Women's Day, I'd like to salute teachers. Especially female ones, but really every teacher.

As you know, I have moved away from the classroom. For me, it was too big an investment of my time, and most of all, my emotional energy. I might return there soon. But probably not to a primary school classroom.

Secondary teachers have to deal with ratty teenagers and all that's associated with them, but being a primary school teacher is hard work! You are responsible for a group of up to 35 students for a whole year. Their 'life' is in your hands for that whole year. If you don't get them where they need to be by the end of that year, it's your fault. You may have changed the course of their life.

It sounds dramatic, and it probably is (this is me we're talking about!), but sometimes it is like that. There is so much pressure from so many directions: the community at large, the principal, the education department, other teachers, the students, and most of all, parents.

But teachers do it every day. And all the teachers I know do it really well. And it's not just teaching kids to read and write, it's a whole lot more: social skills, appreciation of the world beyond theirs, art, music, performance, maths, manners, ICT skills, problem solving, critical thinking, environmental responsibility, science, languages, construction...etc. For some students, teachers provide their only smile for the day, a compliment, a meal...

I couldn't do it. It was too much pressure, too much responsibility. Perhaps because of Sam. But maybe it would have happened anyway.

So I take my hat off to everyone who can. So often, you're told what you're not doing right. Today I'd like to tell you what you are doing right. You're teaching. You're doing a job that everyone thinks they know how to do, but probably couldn't. Especially not for the money they'd earn for doing it.

Well done teachers. You are awesome.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Sam Birthday

Yesterday ended up, once again, being a lovely day.

In the morning, we listened to a few Sam songs, and had a bit of a cuddle and a cry.

Around lunch time, 3 of Anthony's brothers turned up with their partners. We had a lovely hour or so chatting, drinking beer and eating the types of junky food that Sam loved (fairy bread, sweet chili philly, chips and lolly snakes).

A couple of hours later, a big group of Sam's friends turned up. By then, we had lit a fire in the backyard, and they sat around chatting and watching as Oliver and his friend cooked marshmallows (then, possibly because the bigger boys were prompting them - grapes, bread, tomatoes, they even tried a Tim Tam...)

After a while, Oliver got out a bag of water balloons that his friend had brought around, and all the boys (Sam's friends as well as Oliver, his friend and Anthony) had a fairly decent water fight.

My parents and Anthony's other brother came around as the water fight was winding up, and then, after all of them had left, my best friend Sally and her son Jack came over, topping off a lovely day.

Sam would have loved it. Good friends, family, great music (we played a playlist of his songs all day), yummy food and a water fight. A very fitting way to celebrate his 15th birthday.

We were very impressed with his friends, who not only had the idea to come over, took 3 hours out of their Saturday afternoon to spend with us, and then included Oliver and his friend in a game. They are such nice kids (I know I keep saying that, but it's true!), but then again, Samuel wouldn't have been friends with them if they weren't (I know, I keep saying that too!)

So if you're reading this, thanks for turning up. A couple of people didn't, because they obviously have some issues. But hey, it's their loss. We had a great day.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wish You Were Here

For the last couple of weeks, I've been spending a lot of time at schools. Many of them high schools. In the months after Sam died, I reflected a little more on teenagers, and how wonderful they (especially Sam's friends) were. After yesterday's conference, I am utterly convinced that we're in pretty good hands. They've really got their heads together (most of them), and I know they will contribute a lot to the world.

But of course while I'm observing all this, I'm aching for Sam, and what he could have been. Sam was already showing signs of social conscience, good skills with money, and even some leadership qualities (he had an ability to bring all sorts of people together, mainly through his acceptance of all kinds of people). Every day I regret that I'll never see his life fulfilled.

Sometimes, it's harder to live without Sam than at other times. It's like the grief (or the feelings of loss) comes in waves. There was the horrible emptiness at the beginning, the absolute disbelief that he was gone. Then, we adjusted to that, and could go on with life a bit. In those times, it was a little easier, because we were busy getting on with things.

But now, it's the enormity of it. That he's never coming back. That he won't be getting his license soon, or heading off to University (I like to think that he would have - science maybe?), or finding his first love...

It's different of course. It's not as crippling as it was in the early days. I can still laugh and work and actually face the world (I didn't leave the house at all for the first few weeks). But it's there, in the background, jumping in every now and again. When I least expect it.

Today's Sam's birthday. Last year, we had a nice day with family and friends. This year, they'll come over again. But I'm not nearly as organised. Anthony is halfway through the kitchen renovations, so there's no oven and lots of mess.

But it will be a nice day, because we'll be thinking of Sam.

Happy Birthday Sam

Wish you were here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chattin' with the Minister...

For the past few weeks, I've been working on a big project. I've been organising a video conference.

What's a video conference? I'm glad you asked!

It's basically a conference (or conversation) that takes place over the internet (or similar): where all the participants can see and hear each other.

This particular video conference was about cyber safety, and is related to a bigger event that I am helping to organise, which involves students from many schools. The video conference took place today, as a 'warm-up' for the bigger event in a couple of weeks time.

It involved getting together the local Minister for Education with a bunch of students from schools across the city. Then connecting them all together on the internet and getting them to have a conversation.

And they did! There were technical issues (we are talking school/government internet after all!), but they all had a pretty great conversation about some very important issues, and I think everyone got a lot out of it. It even got some good coverage on the nightly local news.

A heck of a lot of work was involved, in prepping everything, briefing the kids and the minister, and, just getting things to work. But it went off OK. And I organised it. I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself tonight.

Mama Bear's Claws Come Out

To my dear readers: I'm probably going to bombard you with posts over the next couple of days: lots to say, but all unrelated. Nothing for it but to write, write, write!

I was very dismayed this Wednesday, when I got a phone call from Oliver's school, telling me that he had been 'kneed' in the groin.

For those of you who don't know, Oliver had surgery on his testicles about two weeks ago. He was off school for a week, and had been back only 2.5 days when he was accosted by a child of, let's say, less than average social skills. Well, that's the only way I can think of to describe it. Who on Earth kicks other children, instead of actually trying to make friends?

I know, I should be understanding an nurturing - I'm a teacher after all - but this one got me all riled up. The protective mother within me leaped to the surface: it was all I could do not to march down to the school and drag the errant child out by his ear.

Oliver's OK. We think. We called the surgeon's office, but he's away until next week. My GP said he thought Oliver would be OK. Oliver himself said the pain wasn't that bad by the next day. But a part of me cries 'what if he has to do the surgery all over again?'; 'what if he can't have kids?'...

A couple of nights earlier, Oliver had told me that his friends were playing rough games at school: fighting, punching and kicking each other, and that he didn't like those games. I had told him to tell them 'stop it, I don't like it' (by god, I'm such a bloody teacher!), which is exactly what he did. His friends were playing rough, and he told them to stop. This other kid, who was really only hanging on the peripheral, came up and stuck his knee fair into Oliver's balls.
Bloody hell. Poor Ollie. From what people (men) tell me, it's hard enough getting a kick on a normal day, but two weeks after surgery??

Needless to say I went into mega-hover mode. But he seems OK. Me, on the other hand...not sure if this will ever get any easier...