Just Zoë, Just Life

In Honour of Parents of Children with Autism



Sunday Morning Randomness

Sunday Morning Randomness

Welcome to the parallel universe of Sunday morning in an English non-conformist evangelical church. Click the link to watch my first-ever animation. It’s not brilliant – and I couldn’t get the camera angles to work properly, but it’s not bad for a first attempt I reckon. The choice of voices was somewhat limited – only a plummy RP accent for ladies, and the only non-RP male accent that was vaguely acceptable was the Australian one. I’d have loved to have done this with Yorkshire or Lincolnshire accents.Viva English humour 😉 Check it out!

I Can’t See the Sky Since We Moved

I’m no photographer, but I like this photo taken before we moved. Who says wind turbines are ugly?

Found Me on Facebook?

I am not a huge fan of facebook, but I realise others enjoy it, so I have created a facebook page for Just Zoë, Just Life. This may make it easier to access for those who don’t wish to sign up to notifications from wordpress.




Very interesting, thoughtful piece on the BBC today:

‘The Decades-long Shadow of Abuse’


It does not exactly reflect my own experiences, but enough to resonate. It’s good to read of other people’s journeys.


Do you want to be a hero?

God took a hurting little boy, broken and abused, and made him a hero, saving not just the lives of millions of children, but their hearts too.

It is my deep desire to help change the lives of ever more children. As a Follower of Jesus I believe loving children is just the beginning of the journey.

Compassion is unique in its approach, focusing on the needs of each sponsored child as an individual. You too can be a hero, and change the life of a child. Sponsorship costs less than £5 a week. Click the link to find out more http://www.compassionuk.org/

When do we get to do the hazelnuts?

The boy has been off school for nearly a month. I have been fobbed off again and again by the LA regarding any alternative provision, or any respite. Meanwhile, the Royal ‘Panel’ sit in their magnificent castle, away from the likes of us mere peasants, and occasionally have ‘meetings’ where they get to feel magnanimous as they discuss the fate of Special Needs children. The Royal Panel meet again on Friday when, with enormous largesse,  they may deign to grant my dear boy a place at the local special school. Or they may instruct their handmaid – the caseworker – to fob me off yet again, telling me they have to have another ‘meeting’ to decide to send him somewhere else.

That’s if we last that long. 

It is doing HRH no good to be stuck at home all the time, and it is doing me no good either. I have been valiantly trying to help him learn, while also trying to sort boxes, make the endless moving-house phonecalls, and keep up with the daily treadmill of housework (I hate housework with a passion) but, dear God, the last conversation about carbon monoxide made me almost wish for a faulty boiler.

I lost my temper, though I did not shout. I just said, through slightly gritted teeth, “Ok! Ok! Enough! No more questions about carbon monoxide, or carbon dioxide, or whether it’s going to kill anyone, or whether or not grown-ups are going to talk about you when you’re not in the room. I will talk about you sometimes. I’m your mother. Get used to it. No, I am not going to tell you each and every time I do. The boiler has been checked. We will get a carbon monoxide alarm, but WE ARE NOT GOING TO KEEP HAVING THIS CONVERSATION.”

I paused. Knowing that by heck I needed some time out even if he didn’t, I offered him twenty minutes on his precious wii (which turned into forty). The characters of Animal Crossing don’t mind if he asks the same question over and over and over. I do.

I am also waiting for a phonecall from the police officer investigating my case this morning. That is probably not helping my stress levels either. And I read someone’s lovely blog post about when she had her babies, and it made me want to cry, or smash something – I’m not sure – because I never had any of that. I don’t even have any photographs, because the ex-husband had stored the (innocent) photographs of my babies, my children, with the indecent images. At least, I assume he did because the police, during that investigation, took all the disks and I never got any back. Still makes me nauseated.

Why does this stuff come all at once? 

So I have turned to my Julian of Norwich book, which happened to be sitting beside me, open at the page of one of my favourite passages:

‘He showed me a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, in the palm of my hand, and it was as round as a ball. I looked at it with my mind’s eye and I thought, “What can this be?” And answer came, “It is all that is made.” I marvelled that it could last, for I thought it might have crumbled to nothing, it was so small. And the answer came into my mind, “It lasts, and ever shall, because God loves it.” And all things have being through the love of God.

In this little thing, I saw three truths: the first is that God made it. The second is that God loves it. The third is that God looks after it.

What is he indeed that is maker and lover and keeper? I cannot find words to tell. For until I am one with him I can never have true rest nor peace. I can never know it until I am held so close to him that there is nothing in between.’

Julian of Norwich, c.1400. From the book Enfolded in Love, containing modern English translations by Sheila Upjohn from Julian’s book Revelations of Divine Love.

My thoughts exactly