6 weeks of Summer. What’s Not to Love?!

This is my first week off; My last summer holiday before I begin secondary school.

Mum has loads of plans …

BUT!!! As an 11 year old, Summer holidays are MORE about no school work, computer games, Lego, toy cars and action movies.๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽฎโšฝ๏ธ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿ”ซ 

Also, for the first time we’re going to Spain, with Dad. The good part is that it’s all inclusive, which means I can have what I want, when I want. Bad part is…. I just don’t want to go๐Ÿ˜ก!!! It’s going to be really hot, I’m sure the wifi won’t be as good, I’m thinking there won’t be that much entertainment. We’ll see.

I am having two visits from my two best friends, at my house, during the holidays… and I’m going to visit them aswell, on other days. Now THAT will be really fun๐Ÿ˜„!!! There’s already been bowling. Scone baking is next !!

Family time, at times, can feel boring (like having to go to the shops with everyone, for food, and having to join in with other people’s choices) but most of the time it’s great as I get to spend all day with super cute, baby Tilly ๐Ÿ‘ถ

Mum sometimes now asks me to walk down the hill, turn left, walk up a hill, round a roundabout, then another 500 metres… To get something she’s forgotten to buy, from a local shop… on my own!! This is quite boring but she does give me money to buy a chocolate bar to eat on the way home. At least I like that bit.

Not so long ago Mum also started letting me and my brother play at the park by ourselvesโšฝ๏ธโ˜€๏ธ We take a watch and a football and are allowed to play for one hour.

Last weekend I had a really fun time at my Grandad’s birthday party! We got him the Electronic Chubacca Mask (as seen by millions on youtube) …we all LOVED playing with it, even Tilly did; she was waving at Grandad when he ‘talked’ in it! ๐Ÿต I wore it with my glasses on top ๐Ÿ˜‚

I hope you are having a great summer!
Also – Have you thought about being a part of a ‘helping’ project this summer? An idea the local police came up with, near me, is to stop kids aged 10-18 getting into trouble by helping their community instead.

To get involved you have to:

1) Get 2-5 mates, can be kids from other schools aged 10-18 (and a grown-up over the age of 18)
2) Fill out an online form and pick a thing to help (eg. autism awarness)
3) Across the summer holidays do activities to help and note online every time
Why don’t you see what is going on near where you live?! 

Speak soon ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
P.S I have discovered em-o-j’s for my blog LOL!!!๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ˜€


He’s my Favourite, You’d Think, Right?


SEVEN SCHOOL DAYS until the Summer Holidays begin ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™ƒ

The kids’ll GO WILD on life across the next 2 months – recharging on relationships and fun experiences, sunshine and no school work!! FAMILY TIME ๐Ÿ˜

We’ve been taking swimming lessons weekly for months; a Spanish, Water Park holiday with Daddy, firmly in mind. โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ’ฆ

Our 9 year old is really getting into running too and is already mapping out 5k park runs at the weekends, across some favourite northern cities, with his Step-Dad. His 2-years younger sister is desperate to be in on the action!

On the way to school in the car this week, Summer-time suggestions abound: 

PLEASE can we go to the beach?!!… Legoland…Go-Ape…Sea-life?”

…not forgetting the BIG adventure to Spain (for the first time) by aeroplane (for the first time)…

…sleeping in late, uninterrupted children’s television, water fights in the garden, meeting up with cousins/ best friends, soft play, pub meals, baking, Summer Clubs, new water-sports to try, City day-trips, Blackpool Tower!

But our Awesomely Aspergers boy, Caleb, is sort of caught between excitement and dread. For every suggestion made by his brother and sister this week, I watched him sink further and further down his car seat, face setting in stubborn opposition ๐Ÿ™ˆ

On the one hand, Caleb can’t wait to finish with school for a few weeks and be in the comfort of home…be done with work pressure and authority figures, swap his school uniform for Pjs until 11am, and wind down with his tablet! But he already anticipates his siblings will wind him up. I guess he represents your typical pre-teenager up to this point!

But add to this some bigger perceived challenges of venturing OUT; on top of new surroundings and broken routine – the beach involves the feeling of sand on skin; struggling to coordinate yourself to play watersports (and being highly suspicious little bro made this suggestion JUST to annoy you!); physical exertion in general too draining (unless it’s Football – albeit you opted out of watching the Euro Final when offered; and when playing, you’ve recently begun tackling like a rugby player)… bored of the park… sea-life – meh! …finding the sun too bright, longer car journeys too restrictive…and only just coming round to the idea of venturing abroad, mainly because your favourite car blogger (EVERRRR!) just did a road trip around Europe and Dad has promised free Icecream on tap!

On the surface it could look like I have the biggest soft spot for Caleb. Over-protective, nurturing preparation for activities, supportive and reassuring, taking up hours of my time and thought life.

The truth is I absolutely adore each one of my 4 children, and I feel keenly the impact of supporting Caleb on the other children at times, both in terms of them having to deal with a big brothers’ negative headset, anxiety or withdrawal on the lead up to their most fun times: What a dampener! …or the reduced attention they get from me as I try to coach Caleb through each day.

Don’t get me wrong, I do actually think he’s ACE. So loving. Great to relax and chat with. So compassionate and nurturing, especially with his baby sister…very keen to protect and see justice ….and so fun-filled when he’s chilled!
So VERY proud.

But daily EFFORT to support Caleb, to access what his siblings easily do, with gratitude… That’s not favouring. That’s not taking extra pleasure in him.

What that is is sheer commitment. Investment. Often exhausting. Sometimes upsetting. Rarely registered by him.

It is determinedly LOVING DEEPLY, without recognition. And choosing the challenges worth tackling, and letting other things go for now.

It’s trying to enable in a way that builds Caleb up and invests in him, and doesn’t hurt or ridicule him. (I hate sarcasm when it’s directed in conflict. Fact.)

The ironic thing is, despite complaining, Caleb always has an amazing time. In-the-moment, he loves life! But this requires careful handling of the day by supportive adults, and resisting the urge to just do what Caleb wants for an ‘easy’ life, and  neither bullying him along in haste.
…An added frustration, too, is that no matter how much of a brilliant time Caleb does have, if he considers the activity to be outside of his named interests, chances are he will reflect back on it as mediocre! So the extra support invested in him is rarely appreciated on his part either. He just doesn’t see it. He sees only his thoughts.

Once we took a trip to Disneyland, when Caleb was about 6 years old. Caleb never stopped laughing and  simply loved every moment. But looking back, shortly afterwards, he would tell you he didn’t enjoy it all that much. Today he’d have you believe it was practically torturous!

So why bother?
Well we do bother because …

  1. We have 4 children who I want to enjoy life to the fullest and give every opportunity to. Being one of 4, Caleb has to learn to be one part of a shared journey
  2. Caleb is now relaxed and comfortable during activities he once found impossible… only yesterday offering to go pick up some groceries on his own from the local shop, riding a bike, enjoying showers, eating the same food as the rest of the family, throwing himself into swimming lessons …
  3. I have a million photos that capture Caleb’s sheer JOY in the midst of the experiences he has had. I hope one day, he may not register the effort we put in to supporting him, but he will look back on his childhood experiences with happiness.

In the meantime, we also try to give Caleb ‘out’ time too. Alone time. Recharge time. Comfort zone time. His agenda time. Away from siblings time!

And I keep trying to learn from other people’s experiences and wisdom, researching Aspergers… So that I stop taking Caleb’s outlook as a personal criticism of the family life we are championing , and instead grasp not only how he views the world, but how lots of likeminded people do…where discomfort lies, how that can manifest in behaviour …. And keep trying to understand.

To respect. To accept his ways.

But equally to love and encourage him onwards.
To help ENABLE Caleb to ENGAGE with life in all its fullness. And feel content with himself, tolerant of others, and capable of thinking BIG and reaching his dreams.

Double Bubble Beauties!

Here’s some middle of the week car EPICNESS to get you through the week:

Car1: 2015 Camaro ZL1

Top speed
: 184 MPH.

0-60: 4.0 seconds

Engine: 6.2 liter V8 with a supercharger

Car2: Lotus evora sport 410

Top speed: 186 MPH

0-60: 4.0 seconds

Engine: 3.5 litre V6 with a supercharger

….From AAB!  Peace out!

Sent from Samsung tablet

Another School Sports Day?! Noooooooo!!!

Here is Caleb’s little sister โค๏ธ Today, she took part in three events at the children’s Primary School Sports Day.

In the first and second individual races, she was first across the finish-line, and then in the team relay event her group came second! She was absolutely on Top of the World, and basqued in all the deserved praise.

Her 9 year old brother also picked up 2nd place for the Long Distance Race, and came 3rd in the Sprint. He enthusiastically carried on his own Sports Day in the garden, with his sister, as soon as they returned home ๐Ÿ˜€

To be honest, the pair of them had been buzzing since bedtime, last night. Excited. Nervous. Going to dream about it! Today, searching for us in the crowd. Big waves!

But that is just NOT the case for Caleb, our oldest, 11 year old, Awesomely Aspergers boy. Things couldn’t be further from this happy picture!

It has always mystified me how much discomfort Sports Day brings Caleb, on EVERY level. 

Is it the change from the usual school day routine? Motor control challenges? Team events? Physical exertion? Public praise? The disappointment? Crowds of spectators?…

I’ve never really researched it as an Aspergers issue, but I can tell you that Caleb and Sports Day, for whatever reason, have a troubled history!

Last year seemed a lot better because Caleb had a gentle-natured male teacher who he massively looked up to, and the competitive events were reduced to a short period, with fun activities and group games taking up the majority of the day. Caleb even happily acknowledged we were there watching (!), which was amazing because usually my presence only seems to exacerbate his misery. Playing football that day, he regularly called over to us, and seemed very proud!

But having recently moved to a new school, Caleb struggled today, albeit he bounced back quickly when home. He talked about the positives much more than in his younger years. He was keen to point out what he’d succeeded at. Happy classmates didn’t criticise that he was allowed to sit out of the sprint race. No one insulted him.

But not a pleasurable day!

So I tried to put myself in his Aspergers shoes…. And this is the ‘experience’ I imagined…

Dazzling sun or drizzle assault on skin; What will these next hours hold? 

Shoe laces have (AGAIN) come undone. Fingers shake as I bend down.

DON’T look for those familiar faces in the crowd. A frenzy of excited children, surround. A rush of activity, where to now? 

Sit there! Get in line! Get ready! Look smartAn in-charge voice rings out LOUD across the field. 

A high pitched whistle blows. Cheers and chanting explode. From somewhere my own name is called. “Faster! Faster! Come on! You can do it!”…Every stranger’s eye on that finish line, high expectations abound. 

The scent of cut grass mixes with sweaty bodies.  This body, no longer my own… Heavy limbs, prickly skin, aching chest. Breathing shallow.

Can’t swallow. 

Senses in overdrive, yet feeling my energy leave. So weary.

Team points, others look to me… So much for just blending into the background. 

Everyone else happy, celebrating community?

Pressure. Scrutiny. Competition. 

Broken routine. Adapted rules.

1st? 2nd? 3rd? Not today. Yet to know HOW THAT feels.

But all the fun’s in the taking part, I’m told.


Glad I didn’t keep Caleb off school, despite secretly wishing for rain! Proud this is another tough area he is facing and navigating his way through.

Maybe I need to look into it more, to help him keep moving onwards and upwards. I can see, from a quick google search, we’re far from alone in this challenge.

If you can relate in ANY way, or have your own insight, I really would love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences ๐Ÿ˜Š

Another Sports Day over!!โœ…

And Caleb already has a smile back on his face, on the same day! 

This is most definitely progress โค๏ธ

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When Laughter Matters

Facebook Memory; February 2014The year Caleb gained a Step-Dad โญ๏ธ

Mum: Caleb, can I ask you something? Do you think you’d feel brave enough to get up in front of everyone, at the wedding, and read something out from the Bible, down a microphone? 

Caleb: [deep, hesitant breath] Ye-eess. Sure Mum, I can do that for you.  [Pause] YES! [more certain this time, beams a big smile]… Actually, I’d REALLY like to!

Mum: That’s brilliant Caleb, thanks!

Caleb: [Walking away, he continues to himself…] I think I’ll start by telling everyone a joke first, of course…

๐Ÿ˜† Haha!

An ‘awkward sense of humour’ is a commonly identified trait of Aspergers with inappropriate timing and misplaced content, if given the chance! BUT! I just don’t think social cues are the be all and end all here. 

There is SO VERY much about Caleb’s communal, energised, wholesome, fun-seeking outlook that, to me, is just heart-squeezingly special. Hilarious too. Enviable. Maybe even more advanced than the status quo?

Take me. When did I last properly laugh out loud, with abandon? Today? The beginning of this week? The weekend before? I’m actually not sure, off the top of my head. Not that I’m a misery! I’d like to think I’m rather cheerful! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Can you recall when that last, involuntary, bubbling up feeling overtook your body?

For Caleb, interacting playfully ALWAYS comes hand in hand with the sort of laughter that has him gasping for breath!

Things don’t get in the way. He doesn’t care about looks, how popular you are, nor about age, gender, ethnicity, background, sexuality, disabilty … Or any other label you can think of.

Face-to-face with you, Caleb will just accept you, wanting NOTHING MORE than to laugh with you. LOTS.


Tactile and affectionate, he was saying to me only this week, about high school I’ll be friends with anyone Mum. I’m not going to write anyone off, so long as they are nice back to me, and nice to my friends’ 

I read somewhere recently (unverified!), that babies laugh up to 300 times a day, and yet the happiest adult compares with a vastly lower 20 times a day, and even still – the typical 40-year-old laughs, on average, just three to four times daily.

I’d LOVE to have the capacity, like Caleb,  for laughter to override the challenges… wider worries dissolving: The house is a bomb site  – The bathroom STILL needs cleaning – I just watched something traumatic on the news, AGAIN. What is WRONG with the world?? – I’m in a rush – People are watching, this is embarrassing, what will they think? – Just had an argument, feeling sad -Got caught in the rain – hair is frizzy – Feeling fat … It’s-been-a-lonnnnnnnng-week...
But for Caleb, laughter is a regular,  in-built release, overriding all the negatives and anxieties. What an awesome gift!

Granted, he does rely heavily on his agenda and interests driving play. Caleb’s not remotely convincing in pretending to have fun, if the activity isn’t all that attractive!

And yes. You could argue he lacks some of the subtleties and timing, which more readily connect his peers…

But what I wouldn’t give sometimes, to strip away the sarcasm, synicism, caution and weariness – and just enjoy daily, good ol’ Laurel and Hardy Slap-stick, TRUSTING, fun!

I think one school teacher captures Caleb’s nature beautifully, in a single end of year report paragraph:

Caleb’s enthusiasm for life and the way he throws himself into each day with a smile on his face, and a spring in his step, is purely infectious, leading him to being well liked by adults and peers alike. He’s SUCH a keen, fun-natured learner, full of confidence, always excitable and enthusiastic…and I know he will continue to shine!

Summer 2010: Caleb leaps onto the school stage,taking his turn to shake the teachers hand, and receive his year-end Learning Journal โค๏ธ

Today, compared to your average 11 year old boy – Caleb laughs a LOT. Regardless of any awkwardness! And that makes me VERY happy.

Research identifies laughter at the heart of health and well-being: It basically ‘switches on’ our immune systems; reducing levels of stress hormones, increasing health-enhancing hormones, neurotransmitters, and infection-fighting antibodies; and improving blood flow to the heartโ€”all resulting in greater relaxation and resistance to illness, improved mood, sleep, short term memory, creativity, relationships, and overall positive outlook!

I’M IN! 

How about you?!

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Keep CALM Mum! – I’m going to High School!

Secondary School.

Grown up view: Maybe the place you know your child is needing to go when he, or she, develops an A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E and has their face stuck in tech all the time!…๐Ÿ˜†

…but for kids, it is a ticket.

A ticket to being bigger, older, more in charge and independent.

I’m going to an awesome secondary school, something I’ve had my fingers crossed for pretty much since I was in year 5, when Mum first started talking about this new stage in my life. That’s nearly 2 years!

I recently found out I’m in the same ‘form’ as one of my best friends ever! (as at secondary school you don’t have just one class, instead groups and ‘houses‘?!?!)

I’m really excited but also concerned as it is all very confusing stuff. I’m already feeling a lot of work pressure in Yr6 already, and secondary is meant to be even more hard and crazy than primary school work , so, basically, I’m worried I’ll be walking into a brain bomb detonator!!!

I went to visit my secondary school with my Mum though and it was amazing. I was allowed to take our family I-pad to take pictures. I met some of the teachers that were all very nice and took pics of some of the rooms as well. I feel like I might be THE most likely to know the most about this school when we get there, which makes me feel more confident when we meet (whoever “we” will be) at this very cool secondary school; it is based on a old tri-building set up, has a SUPER BIG field in the middle of it! Well, anyway, it’s going to be a very different world to primary school :^)!!!

I thought the uniform was very posh and a little strange to try on, a bit itchy, but very cool sports tops that look like actual sport kits, not like the plain kid primary ones, much more professional!

Awesome teachers, very nice, very friendly – they present themselves in a REALLY good way.

One word to describe the business of bringing lots of different books on different days though – ‘Craaaaaaazy!’… I think I’ll have different days of the week in different piles on the floor, then things in one pile that are for every day.

On the open evening (my second visit of four) I was so excited because my friend would be with me in my form. It all seemed brilliant. But by the end of the night I actually felt dizzy! Not in a good way, even though it’s all been great, nothing bad. But the more info I took in the more things whizzed around my brain and in the end I felt so dizzy that I just sat down!

So what makes an EPIC Secondary School to me?! As well as good standards and opportunities? (My school is in the top 7% in the whole country)…but most important :

Nice people, who respect you and give help if needed. No bullying tolerated. Nice people, everybody – but ESPECIALLY the teachers.

Not too many restrictions. My high school is ALL of these things. It also says it isn’t sorry to have traditional family values, but I have no idea what that means!

I hope that means they try to respect each other like a family does.

Like my family.

Two more visits to go! Excited.


Hat Trick of Cars!

It’s been a while since I did a car blog…my FAVOURITE PART! So take a look at these awesome cars….

Car1: Lamborghini Estoque

This is the Winner of my earlier Supersports Estate Cars voting competition, that I did with all you readers out there! Thanks for your votes!

Top speed: 208 mph!!!

0-60 MPH: it’s meant to be slow, but unknown 

Engine: 5.2 liter V10 from the gallardo, though Lamborghini say that they could have fitted a V12 or a hibrid 

Car2: Ford F150 Raptor

Top speed:140 MPH (ish)

0-60: 6.9 seconds

Engine:6.2 V8

Car3 : 2015 Ford Mustang GT

Top speed: It says 164 MPH, what’s very odd, as it’s a Mustang GT. I’d have thought at least 193(ish) MPH.

0-60: 4.5 seconds

Engine: 5.0 liter V8

Have a great weekend everyone ๐Ÿ™‚