What is it with people and phones???????!

OK I have this bug with ringing phones.  If I hear one it has to be answered.  I guess it goes back to working as a trainee and if it wasn’t answered I was shouted at!! Lol!

Any way, I’ll start with the beginning of the day and then my rant about phones will be clear!

DHD1 told me on Friday that her dream was to ride a horse.  Saturday my friend told me if I could get her to the stables this morning she could do it.  So our plan to go to the beach was delayed!  The girls got ready for the beach, I hid trousers and trainers in the car!  Thank gawd we live in the UK and the weather changes a lot.  I hid it all under their coats and said they might need coats later! 
So off we went to ‘the beach’ neither girl having any clue what was going on!  We got to the stables and they looked totally bemused.  They couldn’t figure out what was going on.  Then DH said ‘you like horses, would you like to ride one?!’.

DHD1 looked at me stunned!  She thought it was a joke until I said ‘happy birthday, it’s true!’. There was a look of total happiness and then sudden fear!!!! Lol!!

My friend tacked up the horse while DHD1 got changed.  She went out and got on the horse.  She was really nervous but off they went.  She was led around the yard then off down the road. 

Ages later she came back with the biggest smile on her face! She’d loved it.  She came off the horse and gave me, then DH, then DD the biggest hug ever!!! She was over the moon!!!

DHD2 wasn’t impressed.  In fact I think she was a little nervous!  Give her her due she got on the horse!!! She only went round the yard.  She wasn’t interested in doing any more! Lol!!

So dream ‘wished’!  Off to the beach.  I knew it was going to be a long drive.  We were going to West Bay in Dorset (Where Broadchurch was filmed!) To meet up with my old mate.  We got going and the sat nav said 2 hours 27 mins.  Oh I wish!!!  Accident on the motorway meant lanes closed and big tail backs.  It took over 3 hours.

Got there and had an amazing day.  They swam in the Sea (yrs it was very very cold!) They loved it!  I had a good old chat with my old mate and life was good.

We left aiming to be back by 8.30 so DHD1 could phone home.  No! The traffic gods were against us!! 10 mins down the road and we got the first accident.  Road Closed, follow diversions.  OK a little delay, no problem!  30 mins later, Road Closed, follow diversions again.  OK, this isn’t funny but not too bad.   Another 20 mins ROAD CLOSED!!!!  OK this isn’t funny any more!!  In the end we didn’t get home until 9.45pm. 

Note the rant!  I get is 11.45pm in Ukraine but if my phone was ringing and my daughter was away I’d run and answer it!  Did they?  NO!!!!  Nor did they for the next 30 minutes!!!  In the past we’ve had to call DHD2’s parents and get them to tell DHD1’s parents to answer the phone but as it was so late I didn’t think it was a good idea.  If it had been an emergency I’d of done it but this wasn’t.

So here I have a little girl who’s had the birthday of her dreams and she’s in tears because she can’t talk to her mum!!  Right.  She’s my baby now too and no one makes her cry!!

I go through everything until I find the profile the charity sent me (note to future self.  NEVER lose those profiles!!! Lol!) I remember there being another number on there that I couldn’t figure out what it was.  Sometime suggested it was mobiles and that’s what I was counting on!  I dig out the folder and got the code for Korosten, I dial the number, it rings.  Then some one answers!!!  ‘Oh s**t’ goes through my head! I done speak any Russian and neither kid is any where near me!!!!!

I say hopefully ‘is ******** there?’ (* is DHD1’s mama!) I get a reply from a man!!!  I say her name again and he repeats whatever he said!!  In total desperation I shout down the phone ‘DON’T HANG UP!’ and DHD1’s name!! I then run across the house and shout for her, she comes running totally confused!!! I virtually throw the phone at her and say ‘it’s papa’ hoping it is!!!!! Lol!!

Turned out it was Papa and Mama was there too.  She told them all about the horse ride, they thought it was a joke! Lol!  She said everything else she’d done then calmed down.  She gave me a big hug and said ‘I love you Mama’.  I told her I loved her and I’ll do anything for my daughters.

So all the tears had gone.  Everyone went to bed with the McD’s we picked up on the way home (dinner time was on the road!) And things have calmed down again!!!

Let that be a lesson to you!  Check out package deals on your phone.  I’m with Virgin and I can call Any where for 400 minutes a month.  That includes Ukraine and Ukrainian mobiles!!  Thank gawd!!!  I’ve not had to stop and think.  I’ve just let them call when they want too.  But watch out.  If your kids ate home sick calling home too often can make things worse.

Well it’s now midnight and I’ve got another busy day in the morning so I’d better upload this and get to sleep!!!  Just needed to rant about the phone and share the rest!  Hopefully it’s going to be the birthday she’ll remember forever.


Sneaky little toads!!!!! ;-)

I can’t believe how sneaky those kids have been!!! Four weeks of sneaking around behind my back!! I’ll get them back!!

Today we had a thank you tea party for everyone who helped us and part way through the kids did a performance.  DHD2 sang in Russian and DHD1 read a poem in English!!!!  She’s had this English poem book everywhere she goes and I couldn’t figure out why.  It turns out the girls were practicing in their room and she was reading the poem wherever she could!!! Sneaky madam!!

They not only did that but have me a card saying thank you Mother.  They have DH a Thank you Father card and DD a thank you sister card.  That made me cry.  It was so sweet.  They did so well.

Only 3 and a half days left.  It’s going to be hard. We had a few years tonight.  They’re pleased to be going home but will miss us.  I told them to think about going home and don’t think about missing us.  We’ll deal with that on Thursday. 😦

Wedding day!

Every new event it gets a little harder to accept the girls are going soon and last night it was really hard.

Yesterday we all went to my sister in laws wedding.  The girls told me they’d never been to a wedding before.  DHD1’s sister is married but when she did there was no money so they didn’t ‘celebrate’ it was just them and a vicar.  No cars, photos or party.  So this was all new to them.

My friend is a hairdresser so she came round and trimmed hair and put it up in my case and curled the girls hair.  DHD2 looked worried about having her hair cut.  I couldn’t figure out why until my friend said

‘I’ll only take a little off, just the split ends’. 

She relaxed then and said ‘not lots?’

‘NOOOOO’ I said exasperated!! ‘Your mama would kill me!’

‘No’ she replied ‘Mama wants it short!’ That’s what the problem was!!!  Mama wants her hair cut short and I think she thought Mama had asked me to get it cut!! No way! Not even if she’d asked me to.  These girls agree going back as they came! No extras not things removed! 

After that little mix up things got sorted.  Everyone was dressed up in fancy clothes, shoes etc and looked amazing.  Off we went!  The wedding was lovely and the party was great fun but there was something pulling at my heart all night.  This time next week they won’t be here.  They’ll be gone and there’s a good chance I’ll never see them again.  Just topping this now I can feel my heart breaking.  Last night my mother in law said goodbye to them and they both started to well up.  I spoke to them when we got home and they said they were both really going to miss our family and friends.  They’ve been made to feel like part of our family (which they are!) And they love us all. 

It was the hardest conversation I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some toughies!!  I had to stay positive and say that they’ll be home with their families soon who miss them as much as they’re going to miss us! And that I’ll send photos of everyone at Christmas etc so they know what’s going on and don’t forget us.

Thursday is coming too fast.

The more I think about it the more I want them back as returnees in 2 years.  If I fund raise I can get the money then we can have two different girls next year and them back the year after to have dental treatment and their glasses checked.  It’s going to be hard work but the girls are so worth it.  They’re family now and you do all you can for family.

Even with all the heartache now is do this again next year.  I’m sure there will be some wobbly moments next week where I think I’ll never do this again but I will!!!  It’s been worth it.

On a lighter note, DHD1 is 12 tomorrow and she’s told me what her dream is.  There’s a chance it will come true tomorrow!!!!  Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!  

DHD2 told me hers too, trying to sort it for her birthday in November.  Don’t suppose any one knows who manages 30 seconds to mars or Paramore?????!! Lol!!!!

Oh come on!!!

Yep rant time!!!! 😉

Every morning I get a Google Alert telling me about all the coverage in local papers about visits from Chernobyl.  Kids going on trips, getting free shoes etc.  Can we get the local paper to cover our 18? NO!!!

We had to virtually beg the Adver to come and take a photo when Victor Mizzi MBE was down.  There was a story!  MBE comes to visit local charity shop and 18 kids from Chernobyl who are being hosted in the local area.  What do we get? A photographer who didn’t even take names let alone all questions for a story!  The Swindon Advertiser had three perfect opportunity to talk to the kids and ask them what they thought of Swindon and how it’s all gone but no! Despite us being in the very next building it was far too much effort!

In the last 3 weeks they’ve stick one photo in the paper and that didn’t have an explanation!  Just a photo of a kid having his eyes checked!  Why bother? No one understood what it was about other than us who are involved already!

Other links have had full coverage of their visits including interviews with the kids, background stories about the work they’ve done and photos.  There’s also been stories about how Brantano branches were giving free shoes to the kids saving the host money they badly need.  Our local branch never even replied!  I tried going in but was told the person I needed to speak to was ‘unavailable’.  They couldn’t take my details so I wrote and never heard a thing.  In fact we contacted to over 40 different places and ask we got was a £25 voucher and a few family passes!!!!!  Wow that’s really generous of you all! Just think how far that’s gone between 18 kids??!  It’s worse than a joke.

On Sunday we’re having a thank you party for those that were kind enough to help us, the Mayor will be there along with a few other VIP’s but I’d bet the Adver will send a photographer and stick us in a back page somewhere.  So much for local paper helping the local community!

I know some will say ‘but Chernobyl isn’t local’ and they’re right, it isn’t.  However the hosts are and what they’re doing is amazing!  These kids need so much and we’ve all had to find the money for it ourselves.  Not that one of us would say no!  These kids become ours for 4 weeks and you buy your kids what they need.  No question.  If we fostered we’d get paid for it.  Because these kids aren’t being fostered we don’t but I tell you something most of these kids are more needy that the kids in the Swindon Care system!  Sit down and talk to them about their home lives, just for a minute or two and you’ll realise behind those smiles is a world of heart ache. 

That’s why this hurts so much.  If the Adver covered it better then maybe local businesses would support our hosts more and people would make more donations to the shop so we could help the children of Korosten more.  Yes, charity begins at home but even at my lowest point I’ve had more than most of these kids have at their highest.

I’ve never asked this before but please get word or about this blog or the charity website www.ccll.org.uk or the shop blog http://ChernobylCharityShop.wordpress.com or just tell someone about the shop in Vic Hill.  Don’t let these kids disappear, let’s keep them in people’s minds so next year we get much more support for our hosts.

Thank you x

The ‘Royal’ Visit!!

Well not quite ‘royal’ but still VIP!!  Victor Mizzi came to the shop today.  He meet all the kids and sorted a few problems out.  It was lovely to meet him even if I did have to leave early due to a bad migraine 😦

The local paper turned up and took photos of the kids with Victor.  Hopefully it will bring more donations and buyers into the shop.

I had a chat with the Chairman about how I’ll miss DHD1&2 and how they don’t live near each other so won’t see each other again.  She said there’s a ‘returnee scheme’.  We fund raise then give the money to the charity to pay for their visa’s and tickets.  It’s something I’m going to look into.   I know next year we’ll have two more girls but these are special.  I’ve learned what to do our what not to do (mainly not to worry and flap! Things work out in the end!) All thanks to the girls.  They said today that DD ‘is our sister and ‘DH’ is papa and you are mama!’ We’re our funny Ukrainian/English family!  They’ll always be in my heart and they’ll always be welcome at my home.  Maybe Christmas 2014 they can come over.  We’ll see.

So this is the last run.  We’ve got one free day between now and goodbye.  We’re all trying to carry on as if ‘goodbye’ doesn’t exist.  That’s going to be so hard.  The girls will be happy to be home.  We’ll have a big hole where two amazing, bouncy, cuddly girls should be.  I’ll have to fill it by fund raising so I can see them again and help other kids. 

Despite the sad feelings I have right now I’d still recommend to everyone to do this.  The joy DHD1&2 have given us is unbelievable.  DD has never laughed so much! Is been amazing.


Had a wobble this evening!  It’s been an emotionally draining few days and I was tired I guess!  The thoughts that every host must have at this point entered my head, ‘how can I say goodbye now?’.

It’s a tough question.  What if I never see them again?  They’re only 11 and 12, will they write? Will they remember to our even want to?  They say they do now but things change.  They’ll be home with their own family soon, they won’t have time to think about us. 

I’m happy they’re going home.  Really I am.  I want them to be with their mums again.  That’s where they belong, but in my heart I know I’ll never see them again.  I can’t afford to go to Korosten nor can I afford to fly them back here.  So next week I’ll stand at Gatwick airport with a fake ‘Happy Mum smile’ all us mum’s have while deep down my heart will be breaking apart. 

I know it will take a few weeks but then I’ll look at the photos and memories and know I’ve helped them and they’re happy, then I’ll start planning all over again for next year!!!!  Hey I’m a mother. We’re all mad, we have to be to go through child birth!!! Lol!!!

So heads up if you follow this blog.  End of next week things might get a bit miserable here!  Sorry in advance.  Plus don’t think because they’re gone I’ll stop blogging.  Things are changing around here for me so I’ll keep blogging as things cool down from this summers visitors and DHD’s 3&4 arrive next year!!

Happy birthday!!!!!

Yesterday we had a birthday party for DHD1 and 3 other ‘visitors’.  Birthdays tend to pass without much happening as there isn’t the money to spend.  So with the help of some great Madness fans at Mad Chat we had The party of a life time! Well kids party!!

We had amazing cakes, presents, games, even a local Am Dram group doing a sketch. It was great fun.  Hard work and I was exhausted by the time I got home but it was so worth it.  DHD1 was still bouncing when we got home!

This morning was different!  It took hours to get them up and we had to cancel a planned event, oops!  We opted for a lazy morning and swimming in the afternoon.  That wore them out completely and they barely made it to tea time!  Early night and lots of sleep me thinks!

As for us adults I’m hanging, DH is his usual miserable self! 😉 and is bet there’s one adult who left the party wearing a girly headband and skipped to the car who had a sugar come down headache this morning!  Maybe HE should cut back on the sugar next time!!!!! 😛

The party was so much fun I’m hoping to do it again next year.  Yes I am mad!  But it was great. Seeing the kids so happy was amazing.