19 September 2016

I strolled all alone through a fallout zone and come out with my soul untouched

So. The flat is quiet again.

 Mycroft has begun his new journey - the next chapter in his life. His college is lovely - small, old, all the things you'd expect from a college founded in 1897 really - although they kicked off in 1281, they just had a rough time for a while and only got back in in 1897.

Well, I'm not sure I'd have expected the monks, but Mycroft prepared us.

He got himself settled in, and then we went and found coffee. Which is obviously the next most important thing. Then had a little walk around the area, before going back and meeting yet more of his new...college mates?

Very odd, to be dropping him off at a new place, after seeing him off to school so many times. It is really nice though.

His mum is going to have dinner with them all at the end of the week. We've been invited to go back for dinner sometime, too, which is nice.

Sherlock scowled a lot. Even though he was getting a day off school for free.

Sort of for my birthday the guys got me a camera. I do like taking photos, and I usually just use my phone. But they asked Jo for advice and got me a great DSLR. Except it's for all of us to use, obviously.

Anyway, Sherlock took it up the allotment when we went up a few weeks ago and very politely asked some other allotmenteers if he could search their patches for things to snap. Then he was very quiet and patient and got some brilliant shots, which he wanted to share with you.

27 July 2016

All our times have come

This is my 599th post. I can't believe that a. I've rambled on that much and b. you've all listened. Well, read, I suppose. Anyway...

We all went to Steve's grave today. Took some flowers, did a tiny bit of tidying. There weren't any other flowers there this time, as there have been in the past. I wondered if someone would come along, but they didn't. I kind of hope they do though, and see our offerings and know someone else is thinking about him.

We sat on a bench for a bit, and Sherlock had a lot of questions about post-death rituals. He wants to be a ghost. Slightly hampered by the fact he doesn't believe in ghosts...but as a concept, he wants to believe, and he wants to do some haunting.

He got most excited by being turned into a diamond (Mycroft's suggestion), being shot into space (John's suggestion) and being buried at sea (My suggestion). None of us really knew much about anything apart from being buried at sea, though, so that was his quiz topic of the day. He wants to donate himself to science anyway, but he said once they were done he'd like to be turned into a diamond and then shot into space. Everyone's got to have an ambition, I suppose?

Work has been....work. Good results, bad results.

Sherlock has announced this is how he wants to sleep for our camping trip:

Don't forget where you are and jump out of bed...

I said I thought I'd spend all night needing a wee. John pointed out at least you could just stick your chap out and go.... (I'm also confused as to the ingress and egress...but Sherlock has that in hand..."You'd just carry me and put me in it!" I don't know why I asked...)

Anyway, we have cautiously allowed the possibility of hammocks to enter our plans.

Aaaand now I have to go because Sherlock decided to see what percentage of his body weight of carrots he could fit in his mouth and now there are carrots all over the floor and the dogs are eating them ... never a dull moment.

1 June 2016

I've come home. I'm so cold!

Halfway through our last week of having Mycroft 'home' from School. Next time, he's left school and is about to go to work for the summer! After that, Uni...

We are entering an entirely foreign world to me, and mainly foreign to John (And stupid, if you ask Sherlock). Because Oxford University- where, I'm not sure if we've ever mentioned it or not, he is going (barring him sticking pencils up his nose, underpants on his head and sitting under his exam desk and not even writing his name) - demand rather more in the way of tradition than most, so Mycroft has to have all the right clothes and gowns and ties and whatnot ready and visit again to see his digs once he does get in to the college he wants to, and it's all completely baffling but he seems thoroughly happy about it all, and what more could we ever want than that?

He also has to take various sworn oaths and all sorts, and we've even been told we might get to visit! For formal dinners, no less.

I hope everyone understand how hard it is to behave when confronted with John in a posh suit. It'll be my only defence when questioned!

We also talked about some summer holidays - even though the big lad is working for the cyber spies for most of his 'holiday'. And Mycroft is very sure that he wants to go back to the Moors...where all of this started, for me and the boys.... and sort of where most of it started for John, although not the bloggy bit.

So that's where we're going. Hopefully this time without assassins, hell hounds (normal ones, or rehabilitated hell ones, both fine), no being rescued by helicopters (Unless required for entirely different reasons). We are not only going to camp, but we are going to Wild Camp. We will take bivis and bashas, we will rely on John's military expertise (and my expertise at finding places to sleep when in no fit state to find home), take a tiny amount of gear and live off the land (and pubs. And small cosy tea houses). It will be a proper, genuine, adventure. We will bike around, find cosy spots and bed down under the stars. I'm kind of excited already. (Provided the above rules are obeyed.)

Currently, the allotment is growing like a jungle - mainly weeds - Sherlock's pond is full to bursting with newts, the coffee machine at the office has broken, (reminds me, must find way of making good coffee in the wild...), my work laptop keeps freezing (must get Mycroft to look at it) and Anthea hasn't yet killed me (at time of writing this). Must also warn Dartmoor plod of potential for rustling figures to go through the roof this summer. And warn Dartmoor prison of chance of small boy trying to break IN....

31 March 2016

Happy Birthday John!

We truly are the luckiest household in the world, having you in our lives, looking after us, looking out for us, caring for us, loving us.

I've no idea what I'd be doing if you hadn't come into my life, but I know that now,  5 and a bit years on from you falling at my feet (well, sort of) I feel more alive, feel like every day I want to get up and face whatever life throws at us.

Anyway, dear readers, I'm writing all this whilst my husband and the boys are out on a Birthday Bike Ride. The boys said it's traditional, and now Mycroft's got his own wheels they can still go without little old me.

So I've been here, setting up tea. There's two sorts of cake, there's posh little sandwiches, involving cucumber and salmon and things, no crusts, naturally, there's biscuits (Mrs Hudson, I owe you, because John still thinks he's just getting cake) and there's indoor sparklers, because candles have been banned (owing to global warming). The boys have both got their poshest suits ready to throw on when they get back, and I'm about to clamber into my best bib and tucker in a minute, once I'm done with this.

My leg is getting better all the time, I'm allowed to walk in my big air boot thing, it's just a bit awkward. And I'm allowed to take it off in bed now, and for washing. It's just about being careful not to stretch anything I don't mean to... which doesn't include stretching that I do have to do, which John helps with, and is amazing at, because otherwise once I am allowed back onto it properly it'll all have healed too tightly. So. It's boring because Sherlock, particularly, is so FAST and I am so SLOW (as he tells me, frequently). And I can't ride my bike. and and and boring boring boring.

BUT it has given me a few weeks to thoroughly enjoy John's company (and feel lonely when he's off at work). It is lovely, just spending time together, relaxed, laughing, getting on with bits and pieces. Although I do have some paperwork to do now. But still, I get to do it with him. :)

And here's a composite photo of some bees that Sherlock found. I think it's by some people called Acidmath. It's very beautiful, anyway.

27 January 2016

I've always been a coward, And I don't know what's good for me

There was an article on the Beeb this week. It made me think.

There's this woman I know, Daisy. She's about sixty now. She likes her fashion, always dresses nicely, does her hair with clips. She's from the North, originally, around Liverpool, but she's lived in London since she was in her mid-twenties. When she was five or six she broke her leg, but got it all sorted. She's got kids, but I've never met them.

And there's Roger. He was in the Navy for years, before he came to London. He's nearly 80. He got tattoos, when he travelled the globe with the Navy. He was born in India, spent some of his childhood there, before moving to the UK. Then he was in the WestCountry - Bristol area - until he joined the Navy. Maybe that's why he joined, seeing the people working in the docks there. I don't know anything about his family.

Neither of them have ever met me. I don't know what either of them looked like. They're two of 'my' unidentified corpses.

Daisy had a hairclip with a daisy on it in her hair when we found her. Roger has a jolly roger tattoo. I don't know their real names, and I don't know where their families are. I don't know if someone is missing them, wondering about them.

I do know we'll never stop looking for their killers.

On a happier note, I've done my 2 day refresher, which was horrible as ever, but still, all done now, signed off for another year. It's so stressful doing it all when it's not real but in a way I think it would be easier when something was actually going on, because there are more people and more things going on.

And on a much much happier note, Mycroft has indeed been successful in his university application, but I've been forbidden on saying anything more. And he's also gone for this perfect summer job, which I really hope he'll get - his housemaster has written him a glowing recommendation.

And Sherlock has some VERY exciting news too - his school are taking part in a live talk to Major Tim on the space station! They have to think of some questions to ask him about Space, and then they get to talk to him on the radio.

I shall miss the team I've been working with on Child Protection - they're fantastic. You have to have the right sort of personality to work in that kind of environment. We had a lot of laughs, whilst doing a lot of very harrowing work. I'm glad I did it, but I'm also very glad to be back with the MITs.

And on a final note...humans think they're so great, don't they, with their thumbs and gadgets and jobs and motorbikes...yet Maf gets fed, watered, cuddled, stroked and still fits in a long sleep... I might cut my thumbs off...

14 December 2015

Sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away.

Well, I wasn't going to write this tonight but then I saw the comments on John's blog...and realised what the next three days holds for me...and decided I'd be in no fit state to try and write one of these any time soon.

So...life is...well, the usual. The job remains difficult. The processes remain slow and frustrating. But there we go. No one said it was gonna be easy.

But we have Mycroft back with us, which is wonderful, and the flat is packed to the rafters with creatures great and small. I feel like I should get myself a critter - Sherlock has the goos, John has Maf (Or, actually, Maf has John), Mycroft has the hounds, Anthea has all of us.... I feel left out!

So, have a Christmas tradition - the choosing of the baubles!

I'll leave you to guess which one belongs to each of us. (This is a lie - they all clearly belong to Queen Maftet)

25 October 2015

I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take.

So, I think I've discovered that I like Wasabi. Which is obviously odd, given that I don't like hot curries. But there's something about wasabi that is hot without being burny... I can't explain it. But I think I might have become addicted to wasabi coated peas, courtesy of one of my sergeants, Amy. It's probably a slippery slope. This time next year I'll be living under a railway arch mainlining scotch bonnets.

The rest of this, until just above the picture, is about my current work in child protection, so please don't read it if it will be upsetting.

My team is small (but, they inform me, perfectly formed). Honestly, it's frequently a very odd office - well, room - to work in. We're a bit squashed in, and frequently 3 or 4 people will be sitting at their desk, headphones on, notebooks out watching what would commonly be called pornography, but is in fact abuse. Until you've spent a whole day trying to note down every distinguishing feature on an offender and their surroundings whilst doing your best to ignore the actual content of the video you can't really understand how horrible parts of this job are.

On the one hand, it's a nice feeling to think you've 'saved' victims - albeit too late, obviously, for the ones you know about, and the ones you've saved before it happens, well, neither of you will ever know that. Because I'm under no allusion that without being caught these people would ever stop offending.

on the other hand, sending a body to a morgue for PM and having forensics hopefully give you a plateful of evidence will forever be easier and more pleasant all 'round than trying to interview a terrified 4 year old for evidence.

So, it's a job that is unbearable hard, but also incredibly worthwhile, and I'm still coming to terms with that, whereas most of the team are old hands and better at this than I am. Overseeing kids being removed from their parents/guardians, making decisions about informing completely unsuspecting parents about what's happened to their kid, explaining to wives (so far it's only been wives, although obviously won't always be) why we are arresting their husbands, and watching them realise their marriage has been full of lies, it's all...wearing. And wearying.

Which is why one of the things I'll be bringing back to my team is our 10am tea-break, where everyone who's in the office is welcome to gather around, with a brew and discuss whatever they want - from casework, to something that's made them cry, to how bad their suspect smelled when arrested - whatever, it's a time to share experiences and ideas, and it works really well. Brings everyone together, keeps everyone up on what other cases we have in.

On a far brighter note, both Mrs Holmes and John's parents and Nicky have all invited us for Christmas...or part of it, given work.

And here's a picture of the rugby we went to see. I believe if you look closely you can see SH, winning the trophy ;)

NZ, doing the Haka at Namibia.

Aaaaand....there was a great clamouring for another Upstanding Column (well, okay, one of you asked). So...have at it. As always, all information given is completely unfactual and entirely possibly wrong ;) the topic is anything, from recipes to romance, pet care to plumbing.