Sleep­ness nights mean even the tea tow­els are now get­ting ironed

In­som­nia hin­ders the rou­tine of mum-of-10 Dawn Mill­ward but fun is to be had when her fam­ily gets its skates on.

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - MUM’S THE WORD -

A SEV­ENTH birthday party, a 30th birthday party and a fu­neral within five days.

And the usual pre Christ­mas den­tal prob­lems, home­work, pre-christ­mas de­clut­ter cam­paign, vi­ral ill­nesses...

Linda Mill­ward, wife of Tony, and Pete’s late brother was re­mem­bered last week. Steve and Cara, son and daugh­ter in law, were grate­ful to ev­ery­one who went to the ser­vice at St Oswald’s church.

I have been late tak­ing Dolly and Min­nie to school for sev­eral morn­ings. Dolly still has a per­sis­tent virus and has rest­less nights. Hor­monal in­som­nia means I am up from 1.20am un­til 5am. I will get up as I be­come an­gry be­cause I can’t sleep. I am cur­rently work­ing my way through the Youtube sec­tion on med­i­ta­tion ex­er­cises claim­ing to help induce sleep.

I start to lis­ten to a med­i­ta­tion, phone on the pil­low be­sides my ear. The vol­ume is too high, I lower the vol­ume, then I can’t hear clearly, I in­crease the vol­ume, the phone is too close, too dis­tant from my ear, I can sense the screen’s bright­ness, so I ad­just the level. I de­cide I don’t like the calm­ing mu­sic, so skip to an al­ter­na­tive med­i­ta­tion, I then de­cide I don’t like the Amer­i­can, Aus­tralian, English ac­cent, skip to the next med­i­ta­tion. I then de­cide I don’t like the male or fe­male voice of the per­son talking on the med­i­ta­tion; skip a few more med­i­ta­tions; I then think the med­i­ta­tion com­men­ta­tor doesn’t sound sin­cere. I gave up on the Youtube med­i­ta­tion option. This leaves be­ing awake for sev­eral hours per night, over­sleep­ing each morn­ing and as a re­sult be­ing late for school.

On a pos­i­tive ba­sis, the noc­tur­nal night-times are be­ing spent iron­ing ev­ery last tea towel, pil­low slip and sock in the iron­ing pile. For the first time in many awhile the wait­ing-to-be-ironed bas­ket is free from laun­dry.

Dolly’s friend Lily Rose Cun­ning­ham had a birthday party at Lu­nar Lift Off. Dolly and Lily have been friends since they met at Nurs­ery. I made a de­ci­sion to move Dolly from Hill­top School to Ash­bourne Pri­mary a year ago. Lily was soon to fol­low. This year has been pos­i­tive for each lit­tle girl. Both are happy to be at school. Both have shown huge progress over mul­ti­ple ar­eas of the school cur­ricu­lum. And both Dolly and Lily are happy. A happy sev­enth birthday to a spe­cial lit­tle per­son, Lily. And thank you for the party.

Fri­day night and a sur­prise 30th birthday for Ben Woodroffe, my daugh­ter Ruby’s boyfriend. Dolly and Min­nie were not in on the party de­tails. Min­nie will dis­close top se­cret in­for­ma­tion im- me­di­ately to the re­cipi- ent. Dolly is able to main­tain si- lence, Min­nie likes the may- hem. And spilling the beans. The party guests had a good time. Dolly and Min­nie were still danc­ing as I gave Ruby a hand to clear up af­ter the party. An easy-go­ing fam­ily party ideal lo­ca­tion in the func­tion room at the Exser­vice­mans Club on the Mar­ket Place.

Jess had her

18th birthday in the same venue. A life­time ago.

As De­cem­ber made its ap­pear­ance Min­nie made a start on her Mal­teser ad­vent cal­en­dar. Min­nie found her cal­en­dar and had eaten half the dates early morn­ing of the first of the month. A few Mal­te­ser­less days ahead.

Ice skat­ing with Santa Claus has been a fam­ily first this week­end. Ruby took Dolly and Min­nie ice-skat­ing a while ago. Ex­pen­sive at £11.50 per per­son, (less for Min­nie as she is five), a fam­ily ticket will cut a pound from the en­trance fee. Skate hire is in­cluded in the ad­mis­sion price. Sun­day morn­ing, ideal time for non­skaters. At the be­gin­ning of the ses­sion we had the Ut­tox­eter iskate to our­selves and Santa. Santa lent a hand with Min­nie’s skates, and gave a few ice skat­ing ba­sics.

Pen­guin and po­lar bear sta­bil­ity equip­ment are avail­able to hire at an ad­di­tional £5 per item. For non-skaters, all of us, they were ini­tially use­ful. The pen­guin and po­lar bears have han­dles at waist height. The user is able to gain sup­port and sta­bil­ity from the de­vice.

Dolly and Min­nie were able to work out how to use their feet to push for­ward with the aid of the pen­guin or po­lar bear. Reuben has a nat­u­ral bal­ance, and can re­lax. He was im­me­di­ately able to skate. Teddy had the most falls, Pete the fun­ni­est fall. A mis­judge­ment of a cor­ner caught Pete by sur­prise. The bits of ice from the rink hang­ing off his jumper, where he had laid in a heap on the ice. Reuben gave Pete a drag to the bar­rier and a hand up.

Ice skat­ing will be on our ‘re­turn to’ list. Hav­ing the rink to our­selves was a bonus.

To find an ac­tiv­ity suit­able for a cross-sec­tion of age and abil­ity can be dif­fi­cult. The off­peak tim­ing did help. As the rink be­gan to get busier, get­ting around be­came hazardous.

The ticket booth should of­fer, or ad­vise par­ents new to the fa­cil­ity the ben­e­fits of hav­ing a po­lar bear or pen­guin to hold onto. These add-ons can only be pur­chased via the pay booth and not at the skate hire. The toi­let fa­cil­i­ties are ba­sic con­sid­er­ing the en­trance price and the du­ra­tion of the ac­tiv­ity.

All things con­sid­ered we will re­turn to i-skate in Ut­tox­eter.

I will check on­line for of­fers and fu­ture classes.

The night-times are be­ing spent iron­ing ev­ery last tea towel, pil­low slip and sock. Dawn Mill­ward

Skat­ing inUt­tox­eter was a hit with the Mill­ward fam­ily, es­pe­cially when the rink was less busy. Clock­wise, from above, Santa helps Min­nie put her skates on; Min­nie is given a help­ing hand by Reuben; a sup­port­ing pen­guin keeps Min­nie on her feet; Reuben helps Pete get ready for his skat­ing

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