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Archive for January, 2017

Stacy and I have been in a civil partnership since 2008. Civil partnerships were brought in by our government after pressure for equality. They were only open to same sex couples and it wasn’t marriage.

I get asked a lot, why do you want to get married? We already think of you as married!

Here are some key differences between civil partnership, and marriage:

  • Civil partners do not have the same pension rights as married couples. If one civil partner dies, the pension share that the surviving partner receives is often lower and lasts for less time than with married couples.
  • The language of marriage carries a social weight that civil partnership does not. This is a reason why civil partners often refer to their partnerships as ‘marriages’, rather than ‘partnerships’. (We have referred to ourselves as married the whole time – hence peoples confusion that civil partnerships aren’t the same as marriage)
  • Travel restrictions apply to civil partners but not married couples.
  • Separate marriage and civil partnership regulations mean gender and orientation are the deciding factors in what relationships are legally recognised.
  • Civilly partnered people are forced to state their sexuality, ticking a separate box that says ‘civil partnership’ rather than ‘marriage’.
  • Unlike marriages, consummation is not a legal requirement of civil partnerships. Neither is adultery recognised as grounds for dissolution.
  • There is also no requirement for civil partners to take any vows.

 

But really, we just want to be married, to be equal.

Our original wedding day was a big affair paid for by our families as well as ourselves. We were pretty poor at the time, but it was a lovely day, and will always be our wedding day. But we did really want to acknowledge the new wedding day too, and we have booked a ceremony in the Norwich Castle, followed by a reception in a beautiful hall in the countryside, with disco and party afterwards.

There is a lot to work out, such as what do we wear?? White dresses again??

One interesting thing that will happen once we have converted to marriage, is that they will backdate our marriage date to our original civil partnership date. This means that we shall be married right now, in the future 🙂

We have chosen to do this on the date of our original wedding day too, so we keep our anniversary, and it will also be our 10th and 1st anniversary on the same year.

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Modern childhood

After my last post about my children not playing very well, we decided to ban (or in reality, severely  restrict) the TV.

It worked really well! They accepted this new norm very quickly, and began to find other sources of entertainment.

Rosa has started to produce some really lovely drawings. She is using multiple colours, and adding small, cute, details. I love asking her questions about them, and she explains what everything is. They have got to a level where I can’t throw them away, and have begun storing them with the date added on and some of the details she tells me written on also. I am loving this creative side to her.

Charlie began to play more on his DS. Is it inevitable that boys (typical types) will hunt out and be attracted to these things? He used to own a tablet and was always on that until I took it away. He owns a Wii but didn’t play on it very much…likewise with his DS…but now he is always asking to play on it. I have now begun limiting the time he has those things also. It seems I am always having to limit things, to get him to behave or play how I think he should be playing. I am perhaps fighting a losing battle.

The way things currently stand is that after dinner, we will sit down as a family and play a multiplayer game such as Mariokart, or Bomberman, or Rayman Raving Rabbids etc… we all do enjoy this, as even though it is screen based, we are interacting with each other. I get bored very quickly and so end it after about 20 mins or so. Stacy would play for hours if I let her (I don’t! lol) We then read or send them off to play, and he is usually happy enough.  He wants to be on the DS as soon as he gets home from school though. When I say no, he sulks or whines until I give in.

They are on the whole though playing better! I do still find myself fighting them to behave like normal children though. My Mum never had to force me to go and play!!! No one can ever say I didn’t try though, and if it is their choice to waste their childhood not playing, I can’t beat myself up.

Cleo is my experiment baby though. She has never been on a phone or a tablet, and she does not watch any TV. We occasionally put on a Disney DVD, but our days are mostly filled with trips out, clubs, walking, seeing friends, going out for lunch, shopping, walking, swimming, going to see grandparents and so on. There isn’t any time I NEED to put the TV on to babysit her. Our schedule is too full for it! It’s EASY to completely shield her from technology. She does already play better than they did at her age.

Once thing I have noticed is that school expect children to be on the internet. They have internet based home works more often than not, and several log ins for various places where the school monitors their progress. We don’t have a desktop computer, and like I mentioned above, I took away all tablets a while ago. They never go online with me or by themselves and I want to keep it that way. I told the school this, and they were really bemused by my position. I supposed I could let them use my laptop, but I still don’t really want them to. At the moment, they have no interest or knowledge of my laptop or where it can take them…and I can’t help but feel that once the cat is out of the bag, it will just be another thing I end up having to bargain and limit.

I sometimes feel sad, that they are growing up in a world of technology. I truly believe that it is ruining childhood. Not just the children themselves…but the parents too.

I am an Optometrist, and I have lost count how many eye tests I have carried out on children, whilst the parent sits behind on their phone, completely uninterested in what I am doing with their child, or how they are performing. How disconnected and unsettling I find it.

I am not blameless. I am addicted to Facebook. I am on there FAR too much. As soon as we have downtime, I pick up my phone. Stacy is the same. I am aware of my addiction, and how it can effect my relationship and my children and I do make an effort to limit myself. But I often fail in my own ability to self regulate.

I hate Facebook and love it simultaneously. I do wish it didn’t exist. I wish phones didn’t exist. I wish we still only had 4 channels on the TV. I wish we still lived in a time where you picked up a phone and spoke to someone instead of sending them a written message. I can’t leave though. If I did, I would be cutting myself out of a world where everyone else was. They don’t pick up the phone, and me leaving wouldn’t change that.

I met up with a friend I haven’t seen for over a year. I have nothing to tell her, because she knows it all. She read it all on Facebook. She never comments or interacts with me on there, but she was always there, reading, watching.

I watch period dramas, even things from the 90’s, and think how lovely it was to live day to day without the smart phone . But i’m only half watching it really, because every now and then I will be scrolling down another few minutes. Then, when I am watching it again, I laugh at something, and look over to Stacy to share the moment, the laughter, and she is stoney faced, not laughing, because she is looking down and staring at her phone.

Technology zombies. Numb minds. Hypnotised.  Addicted. Cut off from the real world.

Wake. Up.

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