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I ended my last blog with a reference to cycling and wall hitting. Well, that took a while to overcome but we finally managed to get out just before Christmas. Not our full circuit but a trip round Gunnersbury Park with a stop at the café. As to evidence, I'm afraid I didn't manage to do that either, although there might be a till receipt somewhere but don't hold your breath!

When you think about blogging from a reasonable distance it should be quite easy. I mean all you have to do is write a few words every now and then about your life. Tim Dowling seems to manage it very well. However there are times when you don't really want to share your life and then writing about it becomes really tricky and like a lot of things when you don't do them for a while it becomes harder to start again. Another of life's seemingly neverending patterns or rythyms. Anyway at the moment everything seems to be in place and so here I am putting metaphorical pen to paper.

I Love Thunder

In fact the last couple of months have been a mixture of all sorts of things. As I mentioned previously the trip to Wales with the band was a huge success but it is quite surprising how much something like that wipes you out both physically but also emotionally. There is a huge emotional investment in the work I do with the band. Things that I was not prepared for, like having to leave Vinnie, our bass player, behind. I knew that it was the right decision but at the same time I was distraught as he is such a fundamental part of the band.

I Love Thunder outside Mwnci Studios

Here we are outside Mwnci studio in one of the rare days without rain.

Also on the brightside we now have a CD of recordings that we managed to do and I'm currently investigating the copyright issues that I need to address in order to put it out for sale. Help raise funds to keep us rocking along. We had a couple of outstanding gigs just before Christmas where the band just seemed to come together really well. We have a new member, Keiron, who is helping me out and he has made an incredible difference. He plays bass alongside Vinnie making us one of the few bands to have 2 bass players joining such elite bands such as Talking Heads and Ned's Atomic Dustbin. Even then I doubt whether either of them had a 2 string slide bass player!

We ended up the year with a Christmas Karaoke Party at home, which was quite fantastic. A wonderful way to end our 5th year together as a band. Also a reminder that in all our work and the projects we're involved with you need to allow time for things to flourish. I truly find the band a constant source of inspiration and motivation. They've helped me through quite a few rocky patches over these years.

EHC

 On the home front we have been starting Luke's EHC Plan and preparing the ground for his transfer to further education. This all got off to a very unamusing start when a copy of said plan arrived on our doorstep in October giving us 2 weeks to respond and having had no indication that the EHC process had even started. We then had a planning meeting booked which tried to turn into an Official Review. Making sure the wording is right is still as critical as it ever was with statementing and the one thing that is essential is a clear head. Something that becomes very difficult in these circumstances.

I went down to Brighton to have a look at St. Johns which is where Dan, our drummer, went and also one of Luke's good friends from Pield Heath. Another drummer as it happens. There must be a link there somewhere? I remember my legs ached for about a week afterwards from walking up the hill from the station. Both my eldest children were at Brighton at various stages for their education and it seems so familiar and interesting. Also very quick and cheap to visit, epecially when you're of a certain age and have one of those senior railcards!

EalingHELP

As  we wind up 2015 EalingHELP is ticking along very nicely. We're working with the Ealing Parent Carer Forum on the Information Fair coming up in February and have been out to visit schools and spread the word about the various bits of information we have on the site and expecially our Facebook Closed Group which is becoming more useful as time goes on with many parents raising issues and problems that we all try and help them with.

I hope that the New Year is good to all of us and we continue to be able to work together to help our children develop and enjoy their lives. 


Nick Radclyffe writing about Life at EalingHELP on 31 December 2015

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