Our Trip Away ..... Down Memory Lane

We had a lovely few days away in Clonea Strand Hotel and on the car journey back home I started thinking about the many times we've stayed there.

Wiiboy has practically grown up there as we've been going since he was 18 months old!

We've had a lot of fun there over the years but it's not always been easy. We've had some horrific trips away in order to get where we are today. I remember the screaming sessions and when the staff offered to serve us our dinner in our room as things were so bad. They realised the stress we were under and wanted to help. I remember the running around the restaurant, the bar and EVERYWHERE! I remember the temper tantrums in the play loft and at bowling. Particularly at bowling! And more specifically the day I had to pick him up by the arms and legs, in an effort to remove him from the cause of his stress. He succeeded in getting away from me and ran screaming and screeching throughout the whole hotel, while I sat on the stairs and cried. For about 5 minutes, then I picked myself up and just got on with it! As we do!

And yet the staff always welcome us warmly every time we go down and are quick to comment on how tall and grown up our wiiboy is getting!

However, I remember the fun times more and how wiiboy has always loved the sea! And how, within about 5 minutes of getting on the beach he'd manage to strip off all his clothes and wallow in the freedom of running through the water, no matter the hour or the temperature! I have some lovely sunrise photos of him skinny dipping age 3 .... but I don't think he'll thank me if I post them here!!

He also loves running! I remember the first time I put him on that beach. He was only 2 or 3 years old. It was December and he had his fleece on. I swear to God he took off with such gusto that I honestly believed he'd no intention of stopping until he reached England .... or France for that matter !! I had to race after him!

Now I remember where he got his love of theme parks! This is his first (and only!) trip to Tramore!!

And he loved playing in the hotel playground .... that gives you electric shocks!! He still remembers that!

On this trip however, he was much more sophisticated! No stripping off in public! But he still loves the water.

He LOVED his new Body Board!

And playing in the waves with it!!

Mind you, he did give me a bit of a fright last Thursday! He was playing in the waves and the tide was a good bit out, on it's way back in again. Now, he wasn't in too deep at all (not even up to his hips) but it was windy and he couldn't hear me calling him. My concern was that he kept going out further and further, with the older boys, to catch the next wave, and the next one. He always gets carried away. I was scared. I rolled up my trackie bottoms and in I went and got wet up to my waist in the process! I really do have a thing about getting "wet to my knickers" don't I! Anyway, all was fine as a lovely man got in with his board and his kids and even gave wiiboy some instruction!
I guess the point of this post is to show how perseverance with holidays can pay off. Over the years that is. It helped I suppose that we've gone to the same place every year .... as I've said before : Familiarity breeds .....content! That's another reason why we always "go to the pub for Tea". That too took many, many years to get used to. I mean, at first the child never ate there. I felt so mean but there was nothing I could do. But persevere. Now he eats there no problem. He eats the same thing every time, but so what??!
So, stick with it and persevere with whatever programmes and interventions you have in place and hopefully you can remember the fun times more too!! xx Jazzy

Back To School: Let The Preparations Begin!

There's only ten days to go and there's a flurry of preparation going on all over Ireland!

School books are being bought, if they haven't already been bought and then that dreaded job .... covering them begins! Well, I dread it anyway because I am sooo bad at it. That bloomin' sticky stuff sticks in all the wrong places. Some of the books turned out all right I suppose, but some have air bubbles everywhere which looks awful. Then I thought, well
maybe he could use the bubbles as an engine tool if he gets stressed in class. Kinda like how he might use a piece of prickly velcro stuck under the table or a piece of blue tac in his hand. It might even have a similar effect to sitting on a move'n'sit cushion. I discussed all of these here. When I suggested my very good idea (as I thought) to wiiboy he said..."well, I just stick a pencil in them!!" Ah well.... another good idea bites the dust!

School Uniforms are being bought and new School shoes also. I've learned to leave that until August as wiiboy always takes a stretch in the summer. Gosh, going Back to School is an expensive business. I can't imagine how familes with 2...3.. or 4 children are coping.

Wiiboy's school jumper is expensive. The old one still fits so I'm not buying a new one. However, that's more to do with the fact that he truly hates wearing it. He found it very difficult to even try it on and it was worse when we went to the shop to try on a bigger one. The 18 year old school leaver serving us was firm with him ... he wasn't taking any nonsense from a "bold" child who wouldn't do what he was asked. Sigh. Whaddya do?? Nuthin'. What's the point.
I didn't bother explaining.

Wiiboy is already talking about Favourite Uniform so we still have the issue I talked about in that post. I have decided to do what I can about it. I don't care that the school parents committee/BOM chose a jumper that can't be replaced with a cheaper version. The generic ones are plain navy while our school jumper ( see above picture) has a light blue stripe on the V neck and cuffs. Also the school badge is part of the jumper, it is not sewn on separately. I am going to buy a jumper in Marks and Spencer and together with my sewing, panto pals figure a way of transferring the emblem! Incidentally, he tried the M & S jumper on with no problems at all. It was "very comfty"!! That made my mind up for me.

You may also notice in the above picture that I've included a good ole Social Story! Oh yeah, ya can't beat the Social Stories! We haven't bothered this year, I can just chat to him about it. But I highly recommend them to anyone who's concerned that their child will have difficulities in settling in to the new school year. A couple of lines per page with accompanying picture(s) will suffice. Most schools, like ours are open the week before the children start so I used to arrange to call in that week and show him around his new classroom and introduce him to his new Teacher. That really helps too. It also helps because you get to have a personal "chat" with the Teacher too and hopefully set up a meaningful rapport that will see you right through the year. Well, it's worth a shot anyway!

This year I've included a new preparation for Going Back to School. You may also notice a few bottles of potions and lotions at the bottom of my picture, above. My Weapons of Mass Destruction against the dreaded Swine Flu! I like to feel I'm doing something, rather than just sitting back and accepting that it's gonna hit us whether we like it or not. In an effort to boost our immune systems, giving us some hope of being able to fight back somewhat, wiiboy and I have been taking Solgar Multivitamins (Kangavites for wiiboy) with a separate Vitamin C tablet for the last two weeks. I also started him on his usual MorEPA at the same time. The little blue bottle is Milton's Antibacterial gel which we also use daily .... well, when I remember! As it's unlikely that the school will provide hospital-style hand gels in each classroom wiiboy will have a little blue bottle in his school bag that he'll apply before he goes to school and after lunch each day. Well, that's the plan anyway. Mr Jazzy, on the other hand is "being a man" and doesn't need to take any multivitamins! I did try!

As we speak, this theory of mine may already being put to the test. His best friend "on the road" came over to play again today . He has a cold. His mum phoned after some time to say that she'd just been told that the friend her son was playing with last week has Swine Flu. Well, no point in sending him home now as the damage is already done! The liklihood is that he only has a summer cold, her doctor said that the other boy's immune system might have been lower so he got Swine Flu. Maybe there's something in my theory after all!

I don't know about you but if wiiboy gets as much as a sniffle he's not going into school. Maybe the damage is already done but I'm not taking chances. That's just my opinion. Wiiboy doesn't officially have an underlying health issue but, while he doesn't have Asthma per se he was on Asthmatic inhalers for a few years and his annual cough is quite wheezy. Also, he only has one fully functioning kidney, his left kidney is badly scarred and is only at 15% capacity. He had a very successful Sting procedure last year ...... but like I say, I ain't taking any chances. Oh, and when the friend went home I used Dettol wipes on EVERYTHING!! And I made them all use the Milton!

I think we all have a responsibility and I hope hard working parents don't send a child to school with a bit of a temperature or whatever. That will be difficult for parents who both work outside the home, it will be very challenging for them. I feel that the health of our children could deteriorate rapidly in the day if they are actually in the throes of Swine Flu. That said, it normally hits very quickly so we'll probably be in no doubt that our child is unwell. The other responsibility we have is that we're not party to spreading the illness to a child (or fellow colleague in the work place) who's immune system is low or who has an underlying health problem.

The last thing I do every year in the Back to School Preparation is not compulsory, it is however advisable and highly recommended. If funds allow. The last thing we do is ......Go on Holiday!!!

Yay!! Our 4 day break to "our" hotel in Clonea Strand starts next Monday and I cannot wait! Four days of pool play, jacuzzis, steam rooms, beach play , Bowling and yummy food! Oh, and possibly a wee drinky or two!!

Like I said this time last year .... keep a bottle of Vino Sol chilled for me Mr Barman, I'm on my way!!

On a final note, let me just wish everyone a successful start to the new schoolyear with your child. Whether your just moving up a year, transitioning from pre-school to primary school or primary school to Secondary School or moving from one educational setting to another (within or from a Special Need setting), I truly wish you well.

Take care and good luck. xx Jazzy

Welcome to Wiiboy....and a Name Change

Well, as promised Snuggles has started his own blog, he now goes by the name Wiiboy and has just done his first post! He had a little typing help from me to start him off but the words are all his own.

He's delighted with himself. He did his own drawings for the Header and his Profile Picture. If anyone can help me fit the picture to the header I would very much appreciate it and yes I did hit the "fit to shrink" button!! It was much bigger before I hit it believe me! Also, even though we've seperate google accounts I can't sign him up as my follower as it keeps reverting to me! If anyone could help with that too that would be good .... God knows I've few enough followers as it is! I mean, if my own son can't join up it truly is a sad state of affairs!

I've also finally made a very difficult decision. It's been on my mind for some time now. Sad to say I think it might be time to bade a sad farewell to the name "Snuggles". He will be 10 years old in December you see and he has probably long outgrown the name ..... I know I'm doing the mammy bit and holding on tight to "my baby". He too believes it's time to move on and so that's what I must do.

Let me hereby state that from heretofore the Artist formerly known as Snuggles will now, from this date on, be known as Wiiboy. A very Snuggly Wiiboy .... of course!!

Wiiboy's first post is about the movie Aliens in the Attic which we went to see today in Dundrum. It was great. I thought it was really funny and was guffawing away with gusto! I usually do that at kids movies and am usually either the first or the only adult to laugh at the gags! It was good not to be the only adult laughing today! It was hilarious. I thought the actor playing "Ricky" did a great job.... what a fun (but difficult to carry off) role. The little girl was adorable and a great little actor! The theme of the Movie also interested me, given that it tied in with the subject of my previous post! The twin boys nintendo addiction and the older boy's mathematic ability helped to save the world!! Yet another good aspect to screen play addiction then! No surprises there then, eh??!

So, if you get a chance please pop over to Wiiboy, to glance at his first post and maybe say "Hi"!!

Thanks! xx Jazzy

Summer Friends...and Obsessions

I know there's still 2 weeks to go so I'm afraid to speak too soon, but, we are really having a great summer. No problems with Snuggles at all. I don't say this lightly ... we've had some horrific school holidays, no more than some, believe me! It's good to know though that over time, it DOES get easier.

As you can see from my previous summer post he was kept very busy for July! So, what to do in August? Well, I signed him up for the NRG (gymnastics) Summer Camp for this week while we took it easy in the first week of August. This is the first summer camp he's done in his mainstream school. I'm glad I waited so long because it's been a huge success. He was attending NRG after-school classes all year so that helped too! Guess who came to visit them?? Dave's Jungle!! So, more Tarantulas on his head! My friend B thinks I'm being cruel! Honestly B...he wasn't terrified, he was trying to see it on top of his head!! I swear, no children were hurt in the taking of this photo!!! Besides, there was nothing I could do as I was hiding under a chair (as far away as possible) at the time!! Being the good, caring mother that I am!

I'm having a bit of a dilemma with all this screen-playing to be honest. On the one hand he LOVES it so much and is quite good at it. Computers is his forte, definitely. How beneficial can all this game playing be, I wondered??

He's better than a lot of his friends at most of the games. He's also just recently figured out, by himself, how to get the internet/WiFi connection on both his Wii and his Nintendo DS (always gets called by it's full title I notice!). So, he can now play with people all over the world. That's communication covered then, even if it's just electronically! I guess you could also say he's polishing up on his problem solving techniques??!!

He does have some friends in to screen-play (usually just one at a time) so he has to share and take turns. He also has to remember to ask the friend if they want to play the same game. You see, not everyone wants to play computer all day (or play the same computer game we want to play).... so, we can take turns at playing each other's favourite games, and still be friends. He does of course need gentle reminders of all this from time to time! So ,that's some Social Skills covered also!!

A lot of dexerity required when screen-playing so I reckoned he's doing some great work on hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. Just in case anyone reading this thinks I'm codding myself ( and I was a little concerned about that too!!) I was backed up on this by a comment one of my wonderful fb buddies made the other day on her status. Her Occupational Therapist confirmed that for Dyspraxia children some Wii playing ( Boxing in particular) is great for hand-eye co-ordination and it helps them cross their mid line. And as WE all know Dyspraxia is part of our wonderful spectrum. So therefore it's official, screen-playing is of huge O.T. benefit for the ASD, PDDNOS or whatever-your-having- yourself kid!!

On the other hand it's very addictive AND we have to be careful what games he plays. For Nintendo/Wii/PS2 the games he buys must be appropriate to his age. I positively do not care if little-Johnny-down-the-road has a 12+ game Snuggles cannot have it! The reason for that is more about the skill-level required to play ( some games can be absolute melt-down-inducers!) than the level of violence involved. Oh, and if Snuggles wants to buy a game he saves up his pocket money and buys it himself. I guess that's saving/money matters and responsibility covered too then!!

I have to be very careful with what he accesses on the computer too. We've found some scary sites that have been accessed due to him typing in his "bold"words..."boobs, willies etc"!! So, a big chat was had and that's all stopped now. Instead we've made him a member of the very innocent Club Penguin and Runescape. Again, he gets to play with other members around the globe as well as his friends on the road, as they're also members. However, these games also feed into his other obsession of collecting things! They can "collect" things in the game and with Club Penguin you can also buy club Penguin cards in Smyths! So as well as having a mind-numbing collection of Yu-Gi-Oh cards (among other things) he's starting yet another collection! Then again obsessions can be used as positive re-inforcers. He's been quite good the last 2 days because, when I'm finished this, we're off to buy a Wii classic controller he needs. And while we're there he thinks we should also buy some Club Penguin cards!! He's worked hard for them though. He even walked to Mass today and was very well behaved.

I have a couple of other ideas in mind for computer play. I'm VERY bad at farmtown on fb. In fact my farm is a bit like my head ...... all over the place! So, I'm thinking I might move to farmville and hire a manager. Is it illegal to hire a 9 year old manager I wonder??!!

Also, as he's to get a laptop for school ( if he doesn't get it we'll buy one) we could help him by doing something that would continue working on his mouse-control and also work on his English and spelling skills. His very own Blog perhaps???? He's interested.... and we have a name picked!! Watch this space!!

I have tried to limit this game playing and get him outside playing as much as possible. In an effort to encourage him to go outside and renew his friendships with the other kids on the road ( and to play some outdoor games) I borrowed the school's Giant Jenga that he loves so much! He played with it on the footpath and it did indeed attract some friends!

However, it was shortlived and the box of Jenga lies abandoned in the hallway now! But he did reacquaint himself with the other kids and some games of community baseball were played on the local green.

That went pretty well and he coped with missing the ball when batting, though he did get upset when an adult got him "out". He also got very upset when another adult ran into him "on purpose, mum".... and Snuggles gave him the middle finger!! Ooops. I wasn't there but if I was I would have taken him away immediately. It's Ok to get upset but absolutely NO bad language OR showing the middle finger. He hasn't played since...or hasn't been invited to play since! Think it's the former though, as I'm blessed with lovely neighbours.

While I'm on the subject of Summer Friends I must tell you about the reunion I had recently with my childhood friend who now lives in Abu Dhabi! We reckon it's 10 years or so since we last met. I have only seen two of her four children and they've never met Snuggles! So, they all trooped over to us one fine, fairly sunny day and we had a BBQ, in between the raindrops!! I swear, we never stopped talking from the moment they got off the Dart! Snuggles immediately hooked up with their 9 year old and they got on fantastically. They had a lot in common!

Everyone got on so well and we had a great evening. I think we're gonna be part of their itinery on their annual visit to Ireland! At least I hope so. Think we'll make it a sleepover though as they struggled to catch the last Dart!!

You know, this reunion was another thing we can put down to fb. If it wasn't for fb it wouldn't have happened. Good to know that MY obsession is beneficial too .... as it led me to reunite with my Summer Friend!!

xx Jazzy

(P.S. I seem to be having problems with my links in my recent posts. Don't know why but this time I've steered clear from "Preview" and "Spellcheck" as they seem to mess things up. Therefore, I also apologise for any spelling errors!!)

Where Are You Scamp????? (Updated)

Poor ould Scamp is still missing. It's been six weeks now. Is it possible for a dog to survive that long in the open??

We have established that he was back on our road on Monday, the day after he went missing. Unfortunately I was in Bray looking for him at the time. I can't help wondering if I'd have seen him had I come straight home from collecting Snuggles from his July school that day.

He was seen on the Wednesday in Shanganagh Park . He was also seen in another part of the same park on the Thursday where he gained access to Woodbrook Golf Course.

Since then?? NOTHING. NADA.

Well, there was the crank call we got that Friday night of course. The one where the guy tried to muffle his voice and I kept saying "I can't hear you" , so he had to speak out. Sometimes I am just so trusting ... or naive ... or just plain dumb.

I believed the caller and off we went to the address the caller had given us. I should have copped when a man opened the door in his underwear ... I, apparently having got him out of bed! Nope. Went straight over my head. And Mr Jazzy's too, I might add as he suggested we ring the caller back! Which we did .... to the absolute delight of the caller. And his friends. Oh, the hilarity in his house that night. Not so in ours as I had to explain to a distraught and sleepy 9 year old why his dog wasn't coming home. Of course, I also had to explain why someone would make a call like that. I had to tell him that it was a joke. Yea, right ... a joke. Gawd ....it was hard enough getting him to understand "joke" in it's true sense in the first instance.

So thanks a bunch Mr Joker, you really messed up a little boy's head that night. For your own amusement. Such a big man, huh? I was going to send him a text but then I thought.... why bother. I'd probably only get more grief. I decided that letting it go was best.

As it's been so long since we heard anything I just presumed he'd been taken in by someone. Or, that he was dead in a ditch somewhere. We looked for a long time. We searched Shanganagh Park high and low. We're always on the lookout. Even when we were driving to our SugarLoaf climb last Monday. We'd stopped going out searching though as it's totally head wrecking and upsetting. It's also pointless when you've no reported sightings. He could be anywhere, we reckoned.

Snuggles has been coping well, or so it seems. He mentions him form time to time. He quite matter-of-factly told me he's probably dead. But that's just him. He does get it he just doesn't go on about it. It's like when it was his teacher's last day and she was crying her eyes out... she had us all in tears! Snuggles couldn't understand it, saying: "Why is she crying? She's still in the school, isn't she?" !!

Two weeks ago a child who visits her Grandad on our road told me she'd seen Scamp that day. She brought me around where she'd been. To be honest, I don't know if she was being entirely truthful. She told me a few untruths on the way. At the very least, she exaggerated things. So, I kinda ruled that sighting out.

I've been having dreams of Scamp returning. And they're increasing, in duration and credibility. I mean, I woke up a few days ago really believing he was coming home that day. I'd dreamt that I found him on the road. He was wet, thin and very bedraggled and I was trying to half carry him back to the house but I couldn't quite get there. I woke up just before I got there, of course!

Then, I heard the stories of dogs been found having travelled miles. One was found in a Roscommon farm having come from Northern Ireland. Then there was Muffy, the Australian dog found after 9 years!! Now, there's a story!

Then there's today's sighting. The little girl I told you about came to the door with her cousin, a boy J. Now I know the Grandad and I know J's mum. It seems to be a genuine sighting. He was coming from Shankill village onto Corbawn Lane (at the church roundabout) and spotted a very thin dog (he could see his ribs) walking down the middle of the road. The dog looked at him. Scamp always looked at little boys... on the lookout for Snuggles I always believed. J looked back at him twice and then he was gone. He's not sure what direction he went. He spotted him at around 2 0r 3 pm but it was only when he went to the park and saw one of the only remaining posters that he realised it was Scamp. Now, we quizzed him, gently, and it really does sound like a genuine sighting of a dog fitting Scamp's description.

Needless to say we searched the Village this evening but as there was a time delay of about 3 hours in getting the info we couldn't find him. Snuggles was VERY upset this evening. He said it was his fault Scamp went missing. I think I managed to re-assure him on that front. The poor thing.

I have rallied the troops by texting everyone I know in Shankill and I have spent tonight printing and laminating more posters. We will search again tomorrow.

We just need a little luck. Why, oh why is it never us driving or walking along when he appears?? I actually drove up that road TWICE today between 2 and 3 pm! So frustrating!

And why, oh why is no-one noticing a very thin bedraggled dog wandering around?? PLEASE, PLEASE PICK UP THE PHONE PEOPLE!! Our details are with the local Gardai and Vets and he's micro-chipped.

I ask anyone reading this to please, please say a prayer to whatever God you believe in that we find him soon. Before it's too late.

Come home soon Scampy. Your bed still awaits you .....

xx Jazzy

UPDATE: 11/08/2009

Unfortunately the sighting appears to be a false one :((

I spoke to the child's mum today and she was with him when he saw the dog. First off she doesn't think it was Scamp but she's not sure. Secondly the child was confused as to where he saw him! It wasn't in the Village, it was at one of the entrances to the park.

Methinks his little cousin with the, ahem.... imagination put ideas in his head! The thought did cross my mind at the time, which is why we quizzed him.

Ah, well. I'm still thinking of Muffy .... maybe Scamp will do a "Muffy" on it .... I just hope he doesn't take 9 years!! xx J

Climbing Mountains

I think it's fair to say that most of us here are climbing personal mountains, mainly of the Special Needs variety.

Some of you are only commencing the climb and have been issued with some safety gear and maybe even some instructions. If you're lucky.

Some are not so lucky but are listening to the advice and the recounting of personal stories from others through blogland and facebook .... thus they are able to tentatively commence the climb while waiting for the professionals to catch up. Giving themselves a headstart, as it were, though they have to hold on tight on the upward climb while they wait.

Others are half way up the Mountain and are making good supportive progress.

Some others have even reached the top ... or thereabouts! However, they may not be receiving continued support in order to stay there. I mean, once you're there you've got to be very careful ... you don't want to come tumbling down, unsupported.

Life is all about ups and downs (Special Needs or not), so you never get to stay at the top. Indeed the top of the Mountain varies in level for each of us taking the climb ...... and you'll be up and down that mountain a number of times! Though, hopefully you NEVER have to go completely back to the very bottom of the heap ... eh, sorry... mountain!

We've been climbing our mountain for a while now and it's been an interesting climb.

Snuggles has been showing an interest in climbing mountains , of the real variety, recently so this year I felt brave enough to... well....brave it.

On the suggestion of my good friend of old ( I avoid using the phrase "old friend" as much as possible!) .... I'll call him "Mr Funny ".... we decided to climb the Sugar Loaf mountain, in Bray, Co Wicklow on Bank Holiday Monday. Well, Snuggles and I decided. Mr Jazzy wasn't too enamoured by the suggestion!

Unfortunately the day started with me (blush) having a wee bit of a hangover. Which I, martyrlike, was trying to pretend I didn't have! As a result it took a while to get up, eat something, get dressed and just.... well .... go and climb that mountain!

As we headed off the weather was getting very changeable and it was doubtful whether or not we'd get to do it. After much giving out by Mr Jazzy...about the weather and us being mad eejits...we arrived at the base to find LOTS of other mad eejits!! We were in good company I thought! I also wondered if he'd had the same, ahem, "reservations" when he was heading out golfing last Friday?? In the teeming rain??? I think not, but better not go there I reckon!!

So, with Snuggles feeling very strong off we went to "have a look".....

We were still unsure of how far we'd go! But, the sun came out and we went a bit further......

Before we knew it, we found ourselves some way up the first rocky incline ... you can see the path in the above picture. It was extremely windy and clouds were hovering, getting a little closer. So we had a, ahem, "discussion" of what-to-do-next. Mr Jazzy was adamant we were going back down whilst Snuggles was equally as adamant we were going to the top! In the middle of our "discussion" a number of people passed us by, on their way to the top. No worries at all.

Every mountain climb, real or personal, is fraught with difficulties, changes of direction and endless "discussions."

Mr Jazzy's point was that it was too dangerous with the wind etc. Snuggles point was "it's my lifelong dream to climb a mountain"!! How dramatic of him... wonder where he got that from??! And, besides younger people than him were "bloomin' climbing it" (Hmmm...holding back on the swear words I noted ... impressive). He had a point.

Mr Jazzy made his decision and started to walk back down leaving me rightly stuck in the middle. Meanwhile Snuggles decided he was going on his own!!

The sun was out, others were climbing and we were so close to the top so Sod it I said and we went for it. Leaving Mr Jazzy waving frantically at us. He then realised we were OK and just stayed where he was.

The last part of any mountain climb is always the hardest and this was no different. It was quite steep and extremely rocky. Snuggles was full of joy showing me the footholds etc. I had already pointed out to him to check for loose stones first. He was a great help to me. I have to admit I nearly chickened out!

But I didn't ...... I made it to the top!

And, more importantly so did Snuggles. Here he is ..... on top of the world:

Getting to the top of any Mountain is quite an achievement and we were thrilled! Thanks Mr Funny! There can also be danger when you get there though.

We phoned Mr Jazzy from the top ( the joys of technology!) and Snuggle was able to wave down to him. Mr Jazzy was thrilled for us and advised to eat and drink something ( as if it were Mount Everest we'd climbed!) and not to stay too long.

Very soon after, just as these photos were taken in fact, I suddenly noticed the cloud descending on us. Oh my God..... it was sudden and you could hardly see in front of you. I panicked a little. So did Mr Jazzy as he could no longer see the top of the Mountain. We followed a man and his two boys as they calmly started their descent. Snuggles on the other hand, was highly animated by the exhilaration of realising his "life's dream" and was chatting to everyone on the way down! I kept him close though, the descent can be dangerous too, and thankfully the cloud lifted in no time. Have to say though ..... Mr Jazzy was right to be concerned.

So, all was well and the hangover was blown away! We arrived safely at the bottom to a waiting and proud Mr Jazzy!

It was great up there, at the top of our mountain. We liked it a lot. We may even do it again and recommend the climb to anyone.