Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last day in England

It came too fast. Although the journey was quite long and full of everything, the last day came too fast. As we at first thought to visit London, I made booking for the ferry in the afternoon. But then we changed our minds. Unfortunatly it was too late to change the booking. 

So we had time and we had free pass for the last thing I wanted to see for a long time. We went to the Dover castle. Magnificent place looking down strait to Dover's port. 
At first looked like it will rain - there were some drops of it. Enough that we took out our umbrellas. Useless. The rain stopped before we reached the old castle. So, as Loris wanted the umbrella, she carried them all the time. She had a lot of comments but she carried them untill we came back to the car. OK, she didn't carry them all three houres as we had our tour, but let say approx. 45 minutes.
 
It's very interesting - the place it self was 'populated' from the 1st century - there still stands the light house from the Roman times. Right next to it stands old Saxon Church. 
Castle was built in 12th century (again - it looks like this century "followed" me everywhere I went) - still almost intact - it was not ruined during any war England fought - not even in II. world war. 
 
There are three theories why not. As we were told by a guide:
1st * Hitler thought to have a base there, if he managed to invade and defeat England;
2nd * Hitler thought about the historic value of the place and castle; 
3rd * Dover castle stands on the hill above the town of Dover. Location is seen from the sky, that's whay is a great navigation spot. The most probable reason why the castle was not ruined in II. world war was that they (Germans) used it for the navigation. When the pilots saw it they knew they were already in England.


After almost three houres long tour and walk, it was time to say goodbye to the castle. Later when our lunch was finished (in the meantime rain started again) we somehow find the road to the cliffs, so we saw them from the bottom up and not the other way around. 
I think it was better for us that rain started, otherwise I would probably had even harder time to say goodbye. But in the rain and only two hours to the boarding the ferry, we; Janez and I, decided to go to port and wait there. Actually that was a good decision. Although we should departed from Port at 4:45 pm we got invitation to board one hour earlier as the ferry was not completely full. We were lucky also because I returned from Costa's caffe only two to three minutes earlier. 
So we did and not long after that, we left the "Island" and were on our way to the Continent.

Something ended... As I looked back to the white cliffs of Dover - rain stopped again, so we had a chance to be on the deck - I felt - funny and maybe I shouldn't write this, but I don't want to forget - I felt homesickness. Can you imagine? Actually we went back home, but I felt homesickness... over the Island.

But now this is over. Tommorow new beginning starts. It's Loris's first day in school again - she is in second grade this year. How she will do it? 

We will see it soon, I believe... :o) 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

RDI® therapy evaluation - day 2

We were up early on Thursday morning. Nothing new actually. Patrik is an "early bird" - what Janez and myself are not. So this is always problem for us. But we undrestood, that what he is - we can not change this.

At 10 am we had to be at Elisa's again. Second day. Will he be as successful as day before? We were all very happy to see that he was. As the last time, this time was his 'minutes' with Elisa alone. By the way, we are still waiting for the videos, but we know that he was good as he didn't come out of the room untill they were finished - and that lasted almost an hour. In January he came out after each "steep" of the therapy they did together. As if he wanted to see if we are still there, waiting for him. This time he stayed in till the end.
We were all very pleased and happy. We were promised to get the complete analysis very soon and we know that we really will. After that Elisa showed us some of the footages from the previous day - when we worked with Patrik and told us what impressed her the most. Yet there were many things - not just the progress at social part - to write them all down at this moment.

Then we went through new objective to see which part he already does and what we have to check. One of them was to see if Patrik seeks our attention by him self or do we have to engage him always to do something with him. So, me and Elisa sat down in therapy room, giving no attention to Patrik and what he was doing. We made small talk. Not long after that - I saw with the corner of my eyes, he was watching us - he came to me and leaned infront of my face (we were on the floor) with a big smile on his face. Of course I couldn't made myself no to laugh. When we got serious again, he decided to go to Elisa and smiled at her. We were triing to engage him to do the first step, with nothing but we left him alone. All the time, we didn't 'noticing' him, he tried to get our attention. That part of objective he clearly does well.

But after we changed - Janez and me - Patrik, at least that how did look, didn't want to do this anymore. He lay down next to Janez and looked at the ceiling. The whole time they were together in the room. My thought were and are, that he didn't want to do the same as he thought that he will banish Janez out of the room. I believe he thought that he banished me out of the room, because I left and sent in Janez. I did that withouth words, without explanation. Yet, this are my thoughts. If I was and am right - God and Patrik know. Will they tell us? I don't think so.
In the afternoon we went back to the coast - to Hythe, where I booked the last hotel in England. First plan was to go and to sleep in London - and to see London of course. But because of the riots only less than two weeks ago, we had decided before we went to UK, to skip the London and go back to Dover or it's surroundings. I found Hythe, less than 15 minutes from Dover, so we went there. We were lucky as M25 was again - real road to hell. We had luck to went through the Dartford crossing quite fast, although all the zones were ful. 
Hythe is a small town at the coast. It looked (at least for us) very sleepy and nice. As we came there later in the afternoon, around 7 pm we decided to make short walk near the beach. An there this photos were made.

Ahead of us was just one last day in England... We were expecting it with... 
I think... I will tell you this tommorow. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you..."

by Crowded House... We could sing that. :o) As we went to England, here in Slovenia the weather was nice, not too hot, but nice. In England we had great weather - rain only two or three times and when we didn't care what kind of weather is outhere... In Slovenia we were told the temperatures went 'sky high' - up to 35°C and even more. On Saturday night when we passed through the Karavanke tunnel - temperature changed in 7 km distance from 11°C on Austria side to 24°C on Slovenia's side - hour 9 pm. But Sunday and also today, the weather was nice - warm 26°C. A little more than we had in England but much less than last week's temperature in Slovenia.

I was at work today - first day after 2 weeks of absence. I... don't want to talk about it... I still owe you some pictures, don't I? And some informations about second day we have been at Elisa's. Well, here they are. 

On Wednesday when we left Peterborough we went further to the EastNorth to Castle Rising Castle. So, those who don't know... Castle Rising is a village and second 'castle' is a medieval castle - again from approx. 12th century. It was the last home from queen Isabella after her husband's - king Edward II - death. I think she had something to do with it... ups...
It was nice to see a castle with high dikes and deep ditches. I wondered how it must have been when the ditches were full of water... But my imagination helped me once again. We had lovely day and we made quite a few photos... Not all I will sare with you.. :o)
Returning back to the hotel, Patrik fell asleep. No wonder. First an hour and half of work, than walking through the town, having good meal and after that again more than an hour long walk through the ruins... I almost fell asleep, but... Loris didn't let me to... She was full of questions which had to be answered immediately... Mostly about the castle and the queen. She is in that age that kings and queens attract her magicaly. Well, I learned something through the castle and other... I confess, I made up. Yet, she was satisfied. At least I hope so...
And for the last, one more time...
 

Friday, August 26, 2011

RDI® therapy evaluation

At last we came to the place we had to. Peterborough and Patrik's evaluation of the programme and therapy. I was a little scared how Patrik will act, as when we had our last Skype conversation with Elisa, we told her how much progress he made durring the last half year as we were at her place.

Now we made quite a travel. Will he be tired? Will he still recognise Elisa? He saw her only twice. Will he know where to go? Will he know what we want from him? Did we exaggerate in our last conversation about how much progress he did? Many questions runned through my mind. I believe through Janez's also, although he said nothing. Neither did I.

But... all mine/our worriers were in vain. As soon as we drove to the parking spot at Elisa's house, he was smiling. As usuall for me and Janez... we were too early. Not for much, but in 95% we are always early - except if there is Belgium in the way... :o) - then we are definitely late...

So, Elisa saw us and came out. Patrik was still smiling and went strait to her and her house. When we said hello and went into the house, he put off his shoes and went strait to the first floor and in the room where the therapy is always ongoing. The first, the second and the third questions were answered in less than 5 minutes. A lot of worries went down from my shoulders.

Well, I knew that last answers will be answered soon.

First Janez & Patrik did a work together. Coordination - playing with drums together: thumbs up!!! Back and forward: playing with toy car: thumbs up!!! Watching the pictures - well, at least Patrik didn't run away. Elisa videotaped the session. Durring this time I talked to Elisa about - well about everything concerning Patrik.

After that - it took us approx. half an hour, it was my turn with Patrik.

Playing with balls - last time he was not particulary interested in playing with balls - he wanted to stand on them and tried to balance himself. This time, we played with the ball at least 5 minutes and if Elisa wouldn't stopped us, we would still be doing that.
Then, it was - the hard stuff: putting the house together - cutting the paper, sticking together the paper - well, I could say 'brick by brick'. Last time we were supposed to do this, he was running away like he was facing I don't know what kind of danger. This time - well, he didn't make a house by himself, but at least, he sat at the table, watched me doing it (I'm a poor constructor) and he even took scissors into his hands - with a help of myself - but, there is still not enough strenght in his palms and fingers - we will have to strenghten them up, and soon.
As we know that he doesn't like to watch pictures - Elisa borrowed us her computer and we watched some photos from our trip on my Facebook profile. He sat on my lap and he acctualy looked at the photos - when I said to him to give me his finger, he gave me his hand so that we pointed together on us on the photos. Marvelous.

This again took us about half an hour - then we talked a little more and as Elisa had to see the videos and do the evaluation, we were free to see the city and the surroundings. Now, I could put some pictures here - do you agree?

First we went to town. In the city centre of Peterborough stands beautifull cathedral which was boult in this form between between years 1118 and 1238. The history of it began even earlier than that, in 7th century. We went to see it in January and it was really so facinating that we went back this time.
We were so fortunate that we came directly to the concert - it was around 1 pm and the concert was free of charge - later we discovered that concerts were happening every Wednesday in August and that they invided people to bring in their lunches. Can you imagine this in Slovenia? I can not.

The cathedral it self is magnificent - at least for me as I love this medieval Gothic buldings.

 In the cathedral now is burried only one queen - Katherine of Aragon - the queen of England. The first wife of Henrik VII. Widow of his brother and the one who died with her "head on her shoulders". She still lies there and people even bring her flowers.
This photo was taken by Loris - who actualy did all the photos in the cathedral. She's quite good at it and fond of taking photos... :o)

Well, the second queen which was buried in the cathedral was Mary Queen of Scots. But she was re-buried in 1612 to Westminster Abbey, where she lies only feet away from her cousin Elizabeth I. who, at the end signed her death warrant.
So, as you can see - I'm learning a lot - not only of RDI therapy and how to help Patrik to get the best of his life, although is the most important thing I'm doing right now - but of English History it self. I can't help it - I simply love it.

But this was not the end of the day yet - we went to another place, but this will be theme for tommorow...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bath & University Cities

First I have to appologise - in our last two hotels we didn't have the internet conectivity as I wanted to - so I was unable to update our travel.

On Sunday we left the Exeter and were heading to Bath - another place so many times described in, at this point, Jane Austen's books. Janez wanted to visit Roman Baths but, there were too many people and the waiting line was very, very long.

Knowing Patrik, we decided not to wait, we rather went around the city. So, we soon found the Circus - the part of Bath where the buildings stand in circle - three streets lead into it - Gay Street, Brock Street and Bennett Street (I don't think, the last name has anything to do with the Bennet family in Jane Austin's Pride & Prejudice - :o) )
The Circle is really very interesting and beautiful. I think we will never get used to their parking in the middle of the streets - on sides - no matter how wide the road is... And no one get angry because of this...
Another beautiful place is Royal Crescent - not a whole circle but only a half - with a wide park infront of it.

After leaving Bath, we then went to Oxford. As we took too much time to se as much as possible of Bath, we were too late to visit university in Oxford. But Loris anyway tried to get in... :o)

We told her that she has a lot of time ahead of her, but... the child is stubborn... :o) (only joking)
Anyway Oxford has many sites to see, but we had too little time to see them all...

Next day we were heading to Cambridge. Although the Oxford is nice, we liked Cambridge better - and not only for the reason that we managed to get into the St. John's College, but the city itself is more... more... ok... it breathes with the knowledge - that was my and Janez's impression of it.
And as Loris tried to get into the university in Oxford - this time Patrik was trying to. :o)

St John's College is really something to see - at least the places that are open to the public (library was not) and here are some photos of it.
 Mirror arcade is somehting you really had to stop and look carefully. It looked as there is really a mirror as it offeres the 'mirror' look of the wall besed it.

In Cambridge we found a very nice restaurant - Italian one - Prezzo - which will definitly see us again if we will have business there again. Two hungry and thirsty children got enough of everything - and ate without complaining. :o) uffff...
Now we will have almost two days of work. The reason for this travel finally came and tommorow we will see Elisa (hope the hour still stands) and confirm how much Patrik Ian's development went further and what will be new assignments for the next 6 months...  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pen-an-Wlas

The place where England starts and ends at the same time. Visiting the place was something I wished for a long time. In many romantic novels where the stories take place in the past, the Land's end was the 'point of no return' as it may be said. This land was last seen when men sailed to America. A perfect view on the Atlantc Ocean.
I read (I confess I can't remember where) that when the ships sailed to the West - the guy who sat in the basket on the mast called to the sailboat's capitan: "Land's end!" (By the way; that was before the GPS...) and when the capitan and the crew heard that, they had known that for days, weeks, there is nothing ahead of them, but the ocean.
Durring the way heavy rain cought us. Mile after mile I was not quite sure if this was the best idea and the best day to visit Land's end. But on the other hand, this was the only day possible to take the trip.

From Exeter to Land's End is around 220 KM and because we didn't take the fastest possible way it took us almost 4 hours - togehter with the lunch.

When we arrived to Helston, where I believe (but maybe I'm wrong) part of my favorite book, by Elisabeth Gaskell: North & South, take place, the rain stopped and the sun looked out of the clouds very shy. I was very pleased.
At the Land's end we did a walk around the place although it was windy. You can take quite a tour if the weather is fine - and you don't have two 'tired' children with you.
As we decided to go back, in the minute we sat in our car, the rain started to fall again. Maybe my children have the six sense?!

So this was our travel through the South-West England and although we have Garmin in the car, we are mostly useing it to recalculate km/h to miles per hour. I have to thank my friend Olga for lending us her AA Road map; it is very usefull. 

The most funny thing happened when we already came back to Exeter and we realised we run out of Patrik's milk. As we saw Tesco Extra store the day before - and of course visited it - we agreed to go there again. So we decided to use Garmin as the address was already in - and what happened - we were almost lost. We drove - who know how many miles in vain - before we came to the store. Why we knew that - Garmin took us around the whole place instead to lead us strait.

But we got what we needed and returned to the same hotel again. It's name? Clock tower Hotel

- and the tower with the clock is in next roundabout - only few meters from the hotel.

Now I'm strait to bed. Loris and Janez are already sleeping. I'm vaiting for Patrik. He slept in the car on the way back, so I hope he will be tired enought to sleep in a few minutes. He is still 'talking' to me... Maybe...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Seeing the Druids

In the morning we left Amesbury. I'm not sure, but we came at Woodhenge site quite fast. Only few miles out of Amesbury and the hotel we stayed in.

It was a misty morning and sun just rose out of it, when we set our foots on the grass. Peace. No people around. It looked like the place was forgoten. The feeling was - extraordinary.

After that we drove to the 'big brother' of Woodhenge - The Stonehenge. There we became a member of English Heritage. Payed 46 £ for a membership - but - now we have free visits to many places on our way. The Family ticket for Stonehenge alone was 19,50 £. The thing is, on all of those places we have free parking as well.

So, as members of English Heritage we were invited ahead - the opening hour started at 9 a.m. We were allowed to go in at 8:30. So we and few other people (I believe BH members too) were in and we could take some photos before they opened for all other visitors. 


Unfortunatly, as soon as the 'horde' of people came in - the mystic was gone. As at the beginning you could see - if you possess at least a little imagination - the Druids between the stones, they slowly fade away. Loris said, she saw the fairies.
After few full coaches came, we said farewell to the Ancient ruins.

Druids said that the rest of the day will be nice, warm and sunny. And so it was. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beatle mania at Amesbury

We woke in the morning - Patrik Ian woke at 5.15 am, but somehow we managed to get him quiet till 6am, but after that no way.

First 'check point' we had in Brighton, where we decided to see some things - of course the famous Brighton pier 
and the Royal Pavilion

More about this Palace you can find here: The Royal Pavilion in Brighton

Of course Loris wouldn't be Loris. She just needed to show off a little bit...

But almost the best was yet to come for today. After site seeing in Brighton we went forward. We had to come to Amesbury, where I booked a hotel. We have Garmin with us, but we tried to use my map from Michelin Route site and as hard to believe, we found the hotel without Garmin. Only the road signs. OK, I will be honest with you. We missed only exits, but we were never to far to turn around and go back.

When we came to the hotel Antrobus, we got room No. 20. After coming to the room we were a little bit surprised to see so many pictures of The Beatles on the walls. Finally we found out that we got the room in which The Beatles stayed while they were filming the 'HELP' in 1965.  



So, tonight we will sleep in famous room from the 20th Century, tomorow we'll meet the Druids from 3000 BC.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

White Cliffs of Dover

We woke at 3 am. Most of the luggage was already in the car - the evening before Janez and I had an argument - as always - about the things I packed. Nothing new. We have this every year, or better, every trip we take. He doesn't understand me, why I'm taking so many things along, I have hard time to persuade him that what I packed are all necessary things. I confess... I always take a little bit more than we need, but I say, better safe than sorry.

The road was quite OK untill... Yes, there is alway untill... we came to Belgium. Belgium is our curse we could say... Ring in Brussels, always congestions and delays. No matter when we arrive tu Brussels. Of course, we were quite late for the ferry - at least our Garmin told us so and... the argument began again. Nothing new. Whos fault is it that we are again late. Janez claimed it was me, of course I defended myself and argument continued untill... we started to laugh. We realised that no matter what we do, we will be late for ferry, but we then decided to try to get another one.

Last 300 kilometers Janez drove - 'waaaaay' too much (200 KM/hour). Pssst... don't tell anyone. We are waiting for photo if we were caught.
In Calais we came to the ferry 5 minutes before departure - we were too late. When I asked where can I buy new ticket for new ferry, lady told me, that she can give me ticket for the next ferry - no additional costs. Sure we grab the opportunity so, we departed from Calais approx. hour later than we should.

As for Patrik Ian and Loris... Patrik survived as he always does. With no complaining, no fuss, nothing. Like we do this every day. As for Loris, she was full of questions all the way, which we had to answer immediately. We tried with much energy that left in us. She was silent only the minutes she slept.

Dover's white cliffs were magnificent in grey sky and green patches. Unfortunatly I haven't took any pictures as it was raining. Maybe in the way back I will be more fortunate.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Adiction

This is a commont truth; when something goes wrong, things are keep on going wrong more and more...

My name is Petra and I'm adicted to computer and internet.

Here and Now: This is my confession. I said it out loud.

About month ago my laptop died - mother board. Then yesterday morning we found out that PC gives no sign of life. After that, we learned that we can not connect on internet with Janez's (my husband) lap-top. It made me crazy. Really. I just couldn't believe it. Janez said I have 'bad influence' on our computer devices. Crazy. And no stores were open as it was national holiday.
Fortunatly Janez was right what went wrong with PC so, today we bought the part and PC is working... Hallelujah!!!

OK it was not so bad, but I missed it... As we didn't have Loris at home, I had some time for me and then I usually go and check E-mails (home, work, home...), but yesterday the only thing that worked was my phone and that was not enough for me.

And now... I started to feel 'travel rush' and I hate it... :o(



Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Journey

We love to travel. Usually we go to the coast, but for this summer we decided not to. Why? Mainly due to financial reasons. So, as we have to go to England and do the evaluation of the RDI® programme and progress of our son, we finally decided to join our vacation and 'business' and see some more of England. 

Some of you might think ok, they're going to UK and yes, you will be right. But I'm more specific as we are really going to England - even more specific, Southern & Eastern counties - in this map (copied from Wikipedia) marked with yellow.

Unfortunatly we will not have enought time to visit Wales or Scotland this year. Maybe next? Who knows.

As this is the third trip to Englad for our son, it is only first one for our Loris. You might think, why didn't they take her with them the last two times? Well, the reason was, we didn't know what Patrik Ian's reaction on the voyage would be. As the last (going by car) and the one before (traveling by plane) were quite something we didn't expect in positive sense, at last we decided we will all go and try to get the best of it. :o) Fingers crossed... 


The Reason

There are several reasons why I started to write a blog. 
* One of them is - I love to write. But in last few years I haven't found the time to do so. And I miss that. A lot. So that's one.
* Second reason; there are many blogs, stories writen about Autism and living with it. Non of them is the story of us; of our son, our daughter (NT) and last but not least, of us - my husband and me.
* Third, and not insignificant, I promised to several people I will do it... i'm trying to keep my promise.
* Fourth I promised to my friend Olga that I will show her some updates and photos from our next journey - England... 
Thise are some reasons, many more will arise in the future. I'm sure of it. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Beginning

I found this on internet and I love it...

Why? Well, first of all I'm a mother of two - a 7 years old girl Loris (NT) and 5 years old son Patrik Ian diagnosed with Autism. 
Although we became almost indiferent to what people we don't know, think about our son's behaviour, here and there I (especially) just can't walk away with no answer to those who give comments about it. 
And this are the perfect words for our T-shirts. Maybe, just maybe, people will think before they will start to comment.