I was given the chance to have a look at a new App for the little one called Dino Tales. I have recently given her my old iPad because hers was an original and there are now a load of apps that just don’t work on it.
I’m gonna stick the press release and the blurb at the bottom of this post. I was given a code to try it for free but I would definitely pay for it. It’s got loads of immersive gameplay and you have the reassurance of knowing it’s educational too.
You get a chance at the start to set the reading age. We set it at 8 for the little one because she’s pretty good and it’s just on the edge of what she can manage. Challenging enough but not impossible.
You get to have your own dinosaur pets. As you achieve stuff you collect more pets of different types. It gives something to work towards
You have the wheels where you can turn them and ask questions. The dinosaur answers in a fairly robotic voice because it uses the words to make any combination. But the little one loves the answers and the choice of questions. She asks it if it can pick it’s nose and giggles at the answer. It also often says things like “Good question” and that makes her feel really good which is nice.
I would definitely recommend buying this app. She has been playing it for well over a week and keeps going back to it. She even plays it instead of watching Netflix and that’s saying something!
The press release blurb
Dino Tales is now available on the Apple App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch for $3.99 / £2.99: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id923963949
The trailer video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ux0rDcNd_o
Key Features of Dino Tales:
You’d be mad if you didn’t buy this app
Really good and worth buying
Ok app, may have short term interest
I have been having really vivid dreams this past week. It’s not unusual for me to have bad dreams – particularly when I have stuff going on. But in the past they have followed a pretty consistent pattern. The same characters have been involved and although the scene was often different I was always helpless in the role I played.
This week the dreams have been very different. They have involved very different people and the stories behind them have been totally random. They’ve still not been good dreams though. I woke up from one of them with a full on panic attack.
So as I went for my walk today I was pondering on the most recent dream and what it had in common with the others. On the surface, nothing obvious. I believe dreams are just the subconscious sorting and filing and linking stuff that has gone on through the day. In themselves they have no meaning but stuff that happens in your day affects what you dream about.
I realised that the theme running through each of these dreams was that the people in it weren’t acting in character. They weren’t responding in the way I would normally know them to respond. As a result I felt I wasn’t being taken seriously.
The reason that these dreams are so difficult for me is the really intense feeling that I am a lone voice and that nobody will take me seriously – even when it is blatantly obvious that there is a problem.
That gave me the ah-ha moment.
I need to be able to understand something to be able to work on it.
In May I am going to be on the stand being questioned by a defence lawyer. They will be trying to prove that I made everything up. I have spent my whole life thinking no one would believe me. Heck, I have spent my whole life thinking I had made the whole thing up – even though I had all the painful memories to prove otherwise.
So I will be taking the stand and will have to justify myself. In the context of really horrible, humiliating details, prove that I am credible. That I should be taken seriously.
And I’m terrified.
Because abuse is mostly psychological and emotional. It is done from the basis of power they hold over you. They create a reality that you can’t escape from. It’s your fault. They’re doing you favour. If you talk there will be consequences. Whatever it is…the whole basis of it is not the physical act but the altered mental state. This is equally true of children as it is of adults who experience domestic violence.
And now I’ve called him out and said that all that conditioning was not true. That it was abuse and he should be accountable for that, and more importantly, he shouldn’t be allowed to do that to others.
And yet when I stand in that courtroom, how do I stay in the reality of being a 43 year old woman and answer the questions from that basis? Instead of a 10 year old girl.
That is why I am scared. That is why I am terrified. Because I don’t know how I can answer questions that are intended to prove me wrong.
I’ve been a bit rubbish at blogging lately so here is a general update.
Things didn’t work out for Gibson at the farm. His brother was their first dog and it was just too much having 2 puppies. But he went straight from there to a lovely new home with a retired guy that shoots and will train him as a gundog. This is perfect because he’s a clever dog and will really benefit from some decent training.
The little one has been fine since I first told her. She’s enjoyed being able to play with her toys in the lounge again and being able to have a sarnie through there on the table without a dog nicking it!
I’ve missed having to go on a daily walk but otherwise I have loved the weight that has been lifted off my shoulders. I was constantly on edge when at home because Gibson kept hurting the hubby (not on purpose). The hubby has a broken back so any jarring or continual movement can cause him a lot of pain. I couldn’t be here all the time and I would go to see a client in my therapy room dreading coming back up and learning what had happened to hurt him. There was always something. Gibson would choose the time I had a client here to run away from the hubby and he couldn’t chase him to catch him. When he ran onto the road and had to be brought back by the postman I knew something had to change.
Ironically it is the hubby that missed him most. Because despite everything he was a lovely dog. It’s just that we are not the right family for him.
So life has settled down into something far more peaceful, and less stressful, for all of us.
Which is good really because last Monday I got a call from school saying the little one was ill. I went to fetch her home and she was really ill all week. In fact I’ve not know her that ill since she was a baby. It was a weird combination of a flu and vomiting bug.
This meant that she spent every night last week with me so that I could keep an eye on her. We had a few bad nights in a row. And of course life carried on with clients in Aberdeen and Dundee and a book launch. It also meant she couldn’t come to the book launch which was a real shame.
At the end of the week I bought her a new duvet and covers and a new onesie and that made her feel a lot better!
This morning when I tried to get her up for school she didn’t want to get up because she was so cosy! Eventually she got up and dressed in her uniform but came downstairs with her duvet so that she didn’t have to get out of it. I love the way that child thinks.
I can’t work out whether Spud is worried about us getting rid of him too or whether he is just grateful that the dog isn’t here any more. Whatever he seems to have resumed his dog-like cat duties and is never far away from my lap.
If you didn’t know I was having a book launch last night then I will be amazed. I was on about it everywhere! In fact, even Chris Evans mentioned it on his breakfast show yesterday morning.
The lovely Eleanor from Red Pepper Events helped me organise attendees. STV Dundee, Dundee Literary Festival and countless others shared the event. My friend Adrienne was relentless in tweeting everyone she knew about.
By yesterday evening there was nothing more I could physically do to promote the event!
Luckily my books had arrived on time from the publisher.
Waterstones did a lovely job of setting it up. They even organised refreshments.
I was so excited.
I was right to be excited. The event was great fun. Although there were far fewer people there than I expected – there were still about 20ish there which was enough to have a laugh with.
The best news is that I was talking to Richard in Waterstones and he is going to talk to Waterstones in Perth, St Andrews and even Edinburgh to see if we can do further book launches. So he wasn’t worried by the lack of people.
In August 2013 I nervously picked up the phone to the NSPCC and reported a historical abuse case. It was 30 years after the abuse had taken place.
In October 2013 I did a first interview with police in a local police station.
The case was handed over to a specialist unit in North Wales police.
They did not have enough information in the written statement so I travelled to North Wales in January 2014 and spent 3+ hours doing an interview to video
The following months were spent with the police gathering evidence and interviewing relevant parties.
In November 2014 the CPS approved the case to go to court.
On January 26th he made his final solo appearance in court and entered a plea of Not Guilty against all counts raised against him.
On 18th May I have to attend court as a witness to the case I raised.
I will have to watch the video once before then and once again in court. The video will be played as my evidence. All those people are going to hear the sordid humiliating details of what he did to me. And I will have to be there while they do.
I will be cross examined. I will be asked questions in public about the way I was abused.
I am worried about so many things but one of my biggest worries is having an abreaction while on the stand. I know when I try and talk about this stuff my head shuts me down. I stop being able to move or speak. I shake. I can hear everything around me but I can’t respond. What happens if I do that in court? It happened during the video interview and the policewoman was really worried about me.
I started this process so that he could not do the same to others. I was kind of hoping he was dead but he isn’t and he’s young enough still to be a threat.
This process is rubbish for closure. It’s like picking a scab that hasn’t really healed properly. You keep making it worse and it hurts. I would never have done this if it was about me – it’s not worth it.
Now I’ve been through this much I will continue until I achieve what is needed – that he can’t harm any other kids again. And maybe there will be people he’s already hurt who watch for the wings and know that he has been found out.
It’s a horrendous process that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy – but it’s worth it.
It has become clear that we are not the right family for Gibson. He is a lovely good natured dog. But he is a Labrador and he is a puppy and he is big.
He loves everyone. Every dog we meet on our walk (and we meet a lot because dog walkers use the same route). Every person (with or without dog).
He loves the little one
And he loves us.
And we love him.
But he is too much for us.
It’s ok when I’m here. But when I’m down with my clients or up in Aberdeen then the hubby needs to look after him. The hubby has a back injury that left him paralysed 20 years ago and still causes him ongoing pain.
The hubby + 5 month old big black labrador with a defiant streak = bad combination!
The other day, while I was in my therapy room with a client, Gibson went out to do his business. We have a large garden and he likes to stay out and have a play for a while. But the garden isn’t contained. Gibson decided to head towards the road. The hubby tried to grab him but he got defiant and ran away.
The postman brought him back. He was very lucky not to be run over.
Something had to change.
And it’s icy and snowy. Stepping outside is a risk for the hubby right now, let alone with a huge enthusiastic puppy on a lead.
Something had to change.
I contacted the breeder to see if there was anyone she knew who was after a puppy and missed out on Gibson’s litter.
As it happened, a family that had his brother had originally wanted 2 but were too late. So they said they would try him for a few days and if it worked out they would keep him.
The little one sobbed at first – but when I told her he was going to live on a farm with his brother she was quite excited for him. There were no tears when she said goodbye this morning even though she knew he wouldn’t be here when she got back. She was happy that he was going to have such a fun life.
Today his brother came to pick him up
You can’t tell from this picture but Gibson is a lot bigger than Enzo – his brother. They had a lovely play and got on really well.
So this morning Gibson went to a new home. A wonderful home on a farm with a family where he will get the life he deserves.
We are really sad to see him go. We love him to bits. But it’s for the best for him and for us.
As regular readers of this blog will know, I don’t do New Years Resolutions. Instead I look at what I want to have achieved when I look back at the end of the year. This was my post from last Xmas. In 2014 I will…
And these where the things I wanted to achieve in 2014.
1. Attended a TEDx event as a speaker doing a talk on the 10,000 BC Brain.
I applied to Aberdeen but my theme wasn’t on topic with the event. HOWEVER! I went one better and I published a book called the Caveman Rules of Survival
It’s published through Changemakers and will be on the bookshelves at the end of February and is available to pre-order on Amazon NOW by clicking on the picture of the book. I have already done a few of talks on the book which have gone really well and I am talking to Business Gateway Tayside about getting a TEDx event hosted in Dundee. Dr David Hamilton gave me the idea to write the book in the NCH event in February 2014. By July the book was written and I was signed with a publisher. So it’s been very exciting.
2. Generated enough income from my therapy practice to stop drawing on the leaver payment from my previous job and support the family and home
I have juggled my finances a lot and found a brilliant financial advisor called Phil Anderson up in Aberdeen. This meant I significantly reduced outgoings and I managed to sign up for Child Tax credits to give myself a very small but regular amount of money. The year has been about building the business and so I have had a lot of outgoings. I have opened an office in Aberdeen, renting a Regus space. By the end of 2014 I was up there once a week seeing at least 2 clients each time. It’s expensive in terms of overheads but I either break even or make a small profit for each visit so it’s worth it. I continue to see about 50% of my clients via Skype and Facetime. The rest are in Dundee.
It’s been a marvellous year with many lessons learned from some truly amazing people. I now have 117 clients in my private Facebook group where everyone who has my help receives lifetime support from myself and a very supportive community. I can’t thank my clients enough for allowing me to help them this year. So I’ve had months where I have broken even and ones where I haven’t. I have had significant expenses like our BioDisc breaking and costing over £1000 to fix. My car service required tyres and brake thingies which tipped it over £1000 (it’s a 4x4). But I’m not bankrupt yet. And I still have a small (ever-diminishing) pot of money left from the day job.
3. Escaped the whirlpool and my mind and body work in harmony now.
Ah now this one is not going so well. Although, in fairness, raising a historical abuse case with the police at the end of 2013 was always going to scupper things a bit. I started the year with a trip to N Wales to do an interview on video for the police. That was over 3 hours of just about the worst hell I have every experienced. It also stirred up stuff that had been long buried. The video will be played in court as an opening statement and I will then be cross examined as a witness. The good news is the CPS has approved the case and he has been charged. There will be a final plea hearing at the end of January and unless he pleads guilty (highly unlikely) it looks like the trial will be mid-May sometime. It has totally messed me up as you might imagine. And those memories that were stirred up can’t be laid to rest until after the trial. I had a trip to see Trevor In July and that helped a lot. But the reality is that I am in a very difficult place and my head is a constantly whirlpool of painful, vile memories. This is taking it’s toll on my weight. There have been times where everything felt ok and in control, but mostly it is out of control. I have accepted that, until this trial is over, it’s unrealistic to have expectations of anything changing. I just have to accept that, for the short term, I will not outwardly be the person I know I can be. I just have to deal with hating myself every time I look in the mirror or get dressed. I remind myself that there is a reason that I feel that way and the reason will change in time.
So that’s it. Quite the year I think. So now let’s look to 2015 and what I want to achieve.
In 2015 I will…
1. Deliver a talk about the Caveman Rules of Survival at a major speaking event (Not sure what it will be yet. Hopefully it will be TEDx in Dundee but I will keep options open)
2. Be busy on the media circuit talking about my book. This will include Radio and TV interviews. It will be the book everyone is talking about.
3. Continue to expand my business to include talks and workshops as part of my income stream. Sell enough books to make it a viable part of my income stream.
4. Find peace on resolution of the court case. (Whichever way it goes it will feel good to know it’s behind me once and for all)
It was a chilled out Christmas and the little one loved her pressies.
She got a Vtech watch which takes videos and pictures and records her voice, a self propelling scooter, a pram and a load of other stuff. She played with it all.
Here are the pictures off her watch camera – I am amazed at the quality
And here are some that I took.
The bow shoots rubber round-ended arrows up to 25m and they make a whistling sound when they fly. It’s amazing!
This is a video the little one did on her watch of Gibson