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Showing posts from July, 2013

The DIY Aspie, approach with caution

A simple job, you know? Take out one cupboard, replace with one dishwasher. How hard can it be? Especially with two strapping teenage sons to help (sigh).

Firstly, IT Teen has an opinion on everything. Rather like the perennial meddler in office management, he'll be completely absent until you start to do something useful. Then, fleet as a fox, he's there, watching what you're doing and offering advice on how you could do it a whole lot better.

Similarly, Custard the cat who thinks he's a dog likes to supervise any kind of DIY. You can do anything else without him, bake, dance, perform acrobatic striptease, but once he hears the sound of a hammer or power tool, he's there.

This was how, on Tuesday night, I came to be supporting a half-broken worksurface and concertina-ing cupboard, with the dishwasher teetering on two corners, while Custard zipped past, trying to get under the whole thing and make sure we were doing it right.

It's a bit like a can of worms, DI…

The perfect storm: aspie vs aspie

The scene was set for a proper aspie showdown, a chance for all those little niggles to grow and inflate until they're big enough to take over the house. I asked RT Teen to do something and he messed it up.

Now, if I had swapped those two sentences around, you may have looked at it and thought, 'What's the big deal? Teenagers mess up all the time?' Yes, I know, I am a mother of teenagers and I'm well aware they mess up a lot. As I'm also an aspie, I can't say too much about their messes when I create my own on a daily basis.

RT Teen and I usually get along very well together, both in our haze of aspie-ness, buffered from the real world by the belief that our inner lives are as important as the outer. Sometimes we crash up against each other (and sometimes that's literally, if we both rush for the same door), but usually we're happy to accept each other for who we are.

When we do collide, it's nearly always on a grand scale, often set off by me …

Aspie in the City 3: A whirlpool of people.

As we left Chinatown, I was ready to face the crowds and go shopping. IT Teen told me that when he came on the college trip with his friends, they wandered around for ages before coming upon a big shopping mall.

'That's the Arndale Centre,' I said, looking for signs.

'No,' he said, 'It wasn't, it was a shopping mall.'

Why he took against the name I don't know, but he was sure he knew where it was and that it wasn't the Arndale Centre (it was) so I let him lead the way. At this point, I want to make it clear, getting lost was not my fault for a change.

It's surprising how many side streets there are in a city. Well, maybe not surprising but shocking how many times you can find a new one and only be a stone's throw from the main areas. We ducked down street after street, in the distance seeing people who knew where they were and were probably going to the Arndale Centre.

Stopping to photograph another building, IT was distracted long enou…

Aspie in the City 2: Chinatown and Step-gate

This is a short series of articles based on my recent trip to Manchester.Part 1 can be found here




So, off we go to Chinatown with me thinking an awful, awful lot about the cup of tea I had been craving since we passed the halfway mark to Manchester. It was an extremely hot day and as we come from Up North, it only got hotter as we moved down to Manchester. The need for any kind of drink was great but the desire for tea superseded the rest.

IT Teen said I could have some tea in Chinatown, but I said I didn't want Chinese tea, I wanted Indian tea (whine whine). He said there'd be no difference, which led to a small spat in the middle of a gaggle of young professionals.

I dropped subtle (as a pit clog) hints about stopping in a cafe on the way to Chinatown, how we could look online to make sure we found Chinatown (while in cafe drinking tea), how Chinatown was probably many miles away and if I didn't get a drink right now I was going to collapse.

Didn't IT Teen care tha…

Aspie in the city 1: Making it to the Start Line

This is a short series of articles based on my recent trip to Manchester.Part 2 can be foundhere.


When I think of visiting a city, I am confronted by so many of my phobias, irrational fears, OCD and social issues, that it can be exhausting just thinking about it. Panic is always the watchword of the day. For the next few blog posts, I'm going to take you with me, as I went into the city and, amazingly, came out the other side of it.

I am seriously good at getting lost. Let me say that straight away. So when IT Teen and I went to Manchester this week, I expected to see parts of the city and its surroundings that weren't on any guided tour.

Usually when I visit a city, I also visit the worst area, the most congested area, the same area at least three times and the one-way system/bus route. In fact, I'm very fond of bus routes.

We were well prepared, though. IT had used his almighty iphone to download the route and we carefully, deliberately followed it until we were almost a…

When your son comes clean about what he truly loves

I've reached the day every parent dreads. I've discovered my son likes smoked meats.

I suspected this day might come when, as a little boy, he always wanted to eat the stronger flavoured food and avoided sweets. All little boys like to experiment, but is it really normal for them to ignore sweet food?

When he was older, I forgot about my worries for a while. He seemed just like other boys then, eating big meals, trying new things, copying what his friends were eating. It was a false sense of security.

By the time he was a teenager, he was asking me to make curries all the time. Bacon had to be thick and well-cooked. He liked his sandwiches with butter instead of margarine or low-fat spread. And he wouldn't drink milkshake.

I put my new worries to one side. All boys go through phases, don't they? Especially in their teenage years. Friends can have such a big impact on them. So, I blamed his friends.

Except, his friends ate anything. They didn't insist on special me…

Your life, on screen...required viewing for aspies and friends

I come to you today a wiser woman. Aren't we always saying, how good it would be to see ourselves as the world sees us? Well, thanks to a new Japanese anime show, I did just that. For the first time in my life, I saw what I look like from the outside.

Readers, this is not a paid review or anything officially linked to the Watamote, the anime. This is purely my response to something which, hum, how can I put it? Well, if I tell you that I sat through the whole show, with an expression of horror and recognition on my face, would that tell you how it was?

IT Teen had told me to watch it. He bought the manga first, the Japanese version. He waved it in my face and said, 'This is about yoooo!' I remember scowling at the book cover, to find a edgily-drawn girl scowling back at me. Yes, already it was accurate.

IT told me that it's a 'slice of life' story, all about this socially awkward girl called Tomoko. I thought, well, yes, I am socially awkward but that doesn…

Facing the monster

I dreamt last night of someone I know, their face twisted like a monster. We sat, facing each other and they were growling and turning their face away, as if they couldn't decide whether to attack me or run from me.

There is no love lost between me and this person, though we get along when we relax. I try my best, I'm just being myself most of the time, but they resent me. This resentment is a living thing between us and causes intense friction each time we meet.

The dream came as a shock to me because I had thought things were okay, even though there is the tension there. I thought the good times, the laughter, outweighed the negative feelings. It seems I was wrong.

What keeps coming back to me is the expression in their eyes, a bright, dangerous gleam, as if they would do just about anything not to have to look at me again.

In the dream, I was less afraid than I make myself sound. They had someone with them, telling them to behave, cautioning them, raging at them. This made…

Absolute Aspie Frustration...doing things the right way

I often think of Danny Kaye when I'm having one of those days - and I'm often having one of those days. You know, how he would sing, piling one idea on top of another on top of another until, in a paroxysm of chaotic feeling, he'd somehow bring it all together at the end in a last, gasping effort. Does this sound at all familiar?

I feel like the piles and piles of ideas are always there in the aspie world: you get used to one idea only to be confronted with another. And the first idea has to match up with the second one and together they make something new, which I guess makes number three. Then they have to be kept handy while you consider idea number four, which goes with idea number seven, leaving you wondering what happened to five and six.

Somewhere along the line, on days like this, you just know that you'll be expected to hop forward to eleven, realising as soon as you manage the jump that everyone else already moved forward to fifteen. By the end of all this h…