Ice Ice lady ..

Everyone who knows me well knows how much I LOVE snow.  We’d been talking about snow at work, and how this winters weather forecast had mentioned lots of it.  It brought back many snow memories, such fun times, and then there was one which was, well, something I look back on and laugh.  But not back then at the time, oh no.  I wasn’t laughing back then..

do you wanna build a snowman

It was back in the day, I was about 21 or so: picture this..

It’s freezing cold and thick of snow first thing on a Monday morning in lovely Leeds, Yorkshire.  Beloved Yorkshire the home of my family roots. Although it’s ice cold, the sun is shining, and as a lover of snow I’m top banana happy it’s so thick. Anyway, the gritters have been out, so although the roads are a bit tricky, they’re driveable. Sounds for a pretty wintery scene to drive in doesn’t it ?!

I’m ready for work in the bank; as I’d recently passed their exams to sell life insurance and regulated products, I was feeling good about myself.  Bag ready, pre packed sarnie ready, got my gloves, boots, and off I go.

So my 1.4L blue Ford Escort hatchback is parked on the driveway in front of my Dads garage.  I was leaving for work before Dad today, I always like to set off early, and still do to this day 🙂 I’ve scraped the ice off the car windows, placed everything on the passengers seat (no mobile phones back then lol lol), heatings on full blast, I’m freezing, and I’ve reversed to part way down the driveway.  Cars being cars back then, and me thinking I knew everything about cars, but actually being not so clued up, I didn’t think that the hot air inside the car might make the windows freeze up again so quickly…. but oh yes they had already fogged and frozen so badly that I couldn’t see through them. Oh sugar I’d have to get out again and sort the windows out.  No problem, it won’t take me long.. Or so I thought.


Ok. So, I got out the car, left the engine running to keep the warm air ready for when I got back in. I do like it cosy, even now, I like it warm and Mr G likes it cooler, and cars nowadays you can control your own respective sides. Back then, back in the day, it was all or nothing lol lol. I made a better job of clearing the windows this time, waved at my parents who were at the front window and was good to go.

Or so I thought.

I tried to open the car door.  No such luck. Unbeknown to me, when I’d got out the car, before closing the door I had knocked the knob down on the door, which meant as the door closed, it locked. The car was locked. Locked ?! The car was locked, the keys were in the ignition with the engine still running, and the heating was still on FULL blast. O M G.

Get your spare keys I hear you say. But oh no, I had no spare set of keys. No spare keys. My heart sank. I looked back at the living room window to see my parents still looking out. My Dad definitely wasn’t smiling anymore, he had a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp.. Mum had a face that said what’s the problem. My face looked a mixture of being cross, cheesed off, worried, upset and stressed all in one.

OMG what could I do now. Of course I had signed up ages ago with the AA, so a quick call to them would suffice. Or so I thought. First I had to go inside and explain to Dad.  He took the news with about as much joy as you can imagine. Add into this, the fact that it had been the coldest thickest snowfall we’d had for ages, and as such one of the busiest times the AA had ever experienced with call outs.  ‘Yes Miss of course we can come out.  At the moment we have a backlog and are prioritising, so at present the estimated time we could be with you is in about 90 minutes’. NINETY MINUTES ?!

I was on the phone in the living room, my parents sat with faces looking like they were sucking lemons.  I think you can guess my Dads reaction. You see, let me explain a bit more.  My car was towards the end of the driveway.  Our driveway was high up on a level raised separately to next doors. In other words, unless I moved my car, my Dad wasn’t getting his car out anytime soon either. He would be late for work too. His face was a picture.

Ok. Next to phone my boss, only don’t forget there are no mobile phones yet, so I have to call the works phone and they won’t be there yet.  No way of me letting them know I would be late until it was almost opening time. I was going to be ‘Very late’ .. Colleagues would all still be travelling to work at present.  Dad phoned his work and they were ok, I’m sure I heard them all have a giggle at the other end of the phone when my Dad explained what I had done ..

ice ice baby

Back outside, I looked inside the car as best I could through the  steamy windows. The pre packed sarnie packet looked like it was swelling up, it looked like it would be ready to explode with egg n cress splattering everywhere in the car.  If it was much longer waiting for the AA it would.  Then I realised I only had a small amount of petrol in there .. that would be slowly dwindling as the engine was still running..  Oh the joys of owning your own car as a young adult never seemed to run smooth for me.  You should of seen me in the car before this one.  Let’s just say it had it’s own in built air conditioning system by way of a huge hole under the car mat under the pedals..

I thought, at this rate I would be better setting off to work on my sledge; a favourite pastime of mine in the snow in my younger days – I was good at it too.  Think of the scene in one of my favourite Christmas films ‘National Lampoons Christmas Vacation’ with Chevy Chase on a tin lid speed sledging down a hill – that was me 🙂

Whilst waiting neighbours were walking past waving at my Mum in the window pointing at my car with inquisitive looks saying ‘You know the engines left running on your daughters car?!’ My Mum to my Dad was like ‘Just nod and smile sweetly at them love, look busy!’.  I had brought embarrassment to the street 😉 oh the shame lol lol.

Eventually the AA arrived. 3 HOURS it took them. Three whole hours. You see I wasn’t technically stranded I was safe at home so not a priority call out. When the guy arrived, within seconds he opened my car door. Job done. He tried so hard not to laugh but I could see his face. I never forget I thought I bet he goes back to his colleagues later and tells them all about it.

It was all just in time before the sarnie packet exploded. Warm egg n cress sarnies. The packet looked ready to literally burst. Not a nice thought, so they went in the bin, I called work and explained I was now on my way. I will never forget their faces when I arrived, they looked at me like I had made the whole sorry story up, but it was totally true, every word of it.  The Manager wasn’t impressed she was convinced I had made it all up.

That was to be the first encounter with things going wrong with me in this car.  But that’s a story for another time ….

The moral of this true story; where do I start, I think there’s a few. Needless to say I have a real good laugh about it now, hope you do too.



Why is Life so hard Mumble?

The other day something our CH said broke my heart.  He laid faced down on my bed and said something that made me think. He said; ‘Why is life so hard Mumble?’  I wanted to cry but of course I couldn’t. I wanted to squeeze him so tight and stop all the difficulties he may face but of course I couldn’t.  My heart was in my mouth, I’d never heard him talk like that before, but it made me think two things; one that yes he was right, and two that as his parents whatever life decided to throw at him we had his back.

So then I had to think how I would find out what it was that was bothering him. You see when you have autism thrown into the mix sometimes you can’t just ask a question and get an answer. Don’t get me wrong, if I was to ask him about the Titanic, or the latest level on minecraft, he would probably answer me 😉 And I’m sure we can all think of a time anyway autistic or not, when we’ve had something bothering us but we just didn’t wanna talk about it. So then add autism into that.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a range of similar conditions, including Asperger syndrome, that affect a person’s social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour (NHS).

Of course I tried asking CH what was wrong. No answer, silence and then he began humming.  Sometimes he would give an answer to a question days later, weeks later, months even, we’ve had a response to something over a year after. CH has a fab memory, his mind seems to have many different compartments like a filing system with literally EVERYTHING stored in its rightful place, according to him. He has the ability to pull something out of his mind at a moments notice…… so long as he is ready to.  It all depends.

For example, CH has been asking us for years to go back to the place ‘with the brown floors and walls’, since he was about 6 years old. He’d not long been speaking then. Mr G & I have wracked our brains thinking of where this place may be, and we’ve suggested many different places all of which CH says ‘No it’s not there.’ But he won’t and literally can’t say where this place is. Yet Mr G and I have no clues! One day I’m hoping CH will pull the name of this place out of the right file in his mind and we’ll say ‘Oh yes that’s where you meant!’ But if not, that’s ok too. We may never get to know.

So anyway, I laid next to CH, mirroring his pose, quietly positioning myself.  I used a calm tone of voice, not too many words, thought of what things he liked talking about, things that make him tick, and used all that to try discover what was bothering him. Only I didn’t make it sound too obviously ‘question like’ if you get me. Then I leave a quiet space of time, give him enough time to process what I’ve said, I won’t speak again too soon. It might take CH a few minutes to process my words. That’s ok. We’ve used different methods of communication over the years; PECS (picture exchange communication system), photos, symbols, makaton signing, music, and more. Done it all.  CH had music therapy initially, then has had SLT (speech and language therapy) since he was first diagnosed, ongoing, it’s been a great help to him.  The truth is that sometimes we’re just not gonna get a response. That’s ok though, we understand, that’s ‘our’ CH.

Eventually after being laid next to each other for a while, CH said ‘Where’s my drink! No more talking.’ Ok. That was my cue to leave it there for now, and get his drink of course. So that was it, there was no way I was going to get anything more out of him at this point.  I had no clues or snippets of information to go on.  There was nothing on his home school sheet to indicate anything either.  What would you do? As an autism parent you become like the best ever detective, Cagney and Lacey, Miss Marple.. Columbo!  Yet I’ve also been on the other side of the coin, on the receiving end of CHs daily question times where he interrogates me (which you will see on twitter if you follow me 😉 @yorkiepuddings).

I could’ve left it there, but I knew that something was clearly bothering him. CH doesn’t like too many questions, or demands which he struggles with at times, unless it’s in the right setting or phrased a certain way, or not at all. Different things can have an impact on CH, including tone of voice, other noises in the background, any smells, where we are, how his day at school has been, the list is endless.  I’m not gonna lie it can be difficult of course, and no I’m not complaining, I’m just being honest, and I’ll never give up, you can’t, you’ve got to carry on and keep going, and why wouldn’t you?!

So here we are. Next Mr G tries to discover why CH said what he did. No joy. ‘No questions, no more talking. Get out of my room!’ That’s that then. Mr G and I sit down alone and try to ‘guess’ what we think has happened. It could be anything.  We wrack our brains, did we miss something, we go over everything a million trillion times.  We reside ourselves to so long as CH is safe and comfortable, he’s playing happily on his iPad now, then we will have to pick our moment carefully.

CHs dinner time comes and goes, excitement over progressing a level on his game passes by, lots of drink requests, and all so soon it’s time for his bedtime routine. It’s no different to any other day, yet we still don’t know why he said it ‘Why is life so hard Mumble?’

No more clues tonight. Is our CH struggling with something at school? what is it he’s found difficult? Is he being bullied? Is it school work? Teachers? Has he noticed differences and started to wonder? What? Mr G and I decided we had to accept this for today, and bank it for a different ‘moment’.

Reality is that it’s now a week later and suddenly a gem of a clue was inadvertently given by CH …. ‘We’ve friend accepted each other again Mumble after school, so now I’m too busy to talk, bye!’ Ahaaaaa a light bulb moment! It turns out CH and a school friend had unfriended each other on a game, and had become friends again online.  Ahaaaaaa!! ‘Is that why you felt life was too hard last week CH?’ I said. ‘Yes Mumble but you should know that!’ CH said, but of course! Of course I should 😉

There we had it. CH and his school friend had clearly got cheesed off with each other for whatever reason, but had made friends again. Reality is yes life is hard for many reasons. Being autistic doesn’t mean feelings don’t exist. CH still has feelings, in this case they were heightened for him, he couldn’t see the wood for the trees so to speak. Both he and his friend clearly worked it out, somehow, and it’s good that he experienced this and came away with a positive.  For CH it wasn’t just a case of him not wanting to tell us what had happened, he literally couldn’t tell us, he had found it difficult to communicate, he had been unable to communicate it in the way some people would expect, at the time you wanted the information.  Yet, if you think about it, he had being grown up to tally up what he was experiencing,  realising and commenting on the fact that situations and life in general is hard.  It’s just he couldn’t actually communicate what was bothering him to us, at least not in the way you probably think.

Life is hard. We all know that. Whether you’re autistic or neurotypical. Life doesn’t make any concessions for anyone, we’re all constantly evolving and learning, all of us in our own way – and who says which way is right or wrong?  Everyone has their own ups and downs. We know that there will undoubtedly be many other situations and challenging times ahead, yet we also know there are going to be so many fabulous positive things on the horizon, some fantastic pockets of greatness for us all to cherish forever.  Our CH has his whole life ahead of him, and one things for sure, whatever he comes across his Mumble & Daddy Cool have his back xx


‘Doing the Dabb’

‘Dabb is a popular dance where you bend your arm 90 degrees and bend your head into the bent arm’

In our house ‘Doing the Dabb’ isn’t just a dance move.  Oh yes of course our son CH has showed us how to do the move, many times, putting a huge smile on our faces.  He usually says ‘I’m an expert at it now Mumble, I think you guys need to practice more!’

Infact, we ‘Do the Dabbs’ every night.. every single night.  It’s part of our routine.  But not in the way that you probably think …. well not quite.  It’s kinda cute really to us, a ‘family thing’ that makes us smile, it’s our thing.  Yes.  It’s now actually a serious part of CHs bedtime routine.  An important part.

We don’t just ‘Do the Dabbs’.. We do; The ‘Margaret Dabbs’ 🙂 Curious?  Well let me tell you more..

I first came across Margaret Dabbs one day whilst flicking through the tv, and it popped up on the QVC shopping Channel .. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!  I was engrossed in the presentation, and haven’t looked back since.  Margaret Dabbs is a popular foot and hand treatment brand, I’d never heard of it before.

I suffer with plantar fasciitis and suffered various challenges with my feet for the last few years, (nothing really yucky 😉 don’t worry) so I decided it was time to give this brand a go.  Reaching another milestone in my life (think Hawaii five-O), I thought why not treat myself on my birthday to some ‘Dabbs’ as our family now calls it.  I thought give it a go, nothing to lose.

Being on my feet a lot during the day, both at work as Front of House and as a busy autism Mum, I rarely get the chance to put my feet up, so the high hopes I had for this brand to deliver were pretty big.  I initially went with the Foot Hygiene cream and Powder, and started using it immediately. WOW is all I can say.  After forgetting I had used the cream the first night, when I got up I instantly felt a difference. What’s happened to my feet I thought?!  I had become so used to suffering and ‘getting on with it’, I couldn’t believe the transformation.  Dabbs had instantly made such a difference, so much so, that I felt lighter on my feet, the difference walking was huge. The appearance of my feet was smoother, they looked dare I say it.. healthier. Going to bed and waking up with a refurbished pair of feet was just what I needed.

The foot powder was next. It was fine and delicate, and oh my it smelt like lemon sherbet, taking me back to my youth; was there no end to the surprises with this brand already?!  The next Dabbs step for our family was huge. Here’s where our CH got involved!

Let’s try it on CHs feet, I said:-) As you already know, our CH is autistic, has hypermobility, and always seemed to have problem feet. With autism, and sensory challenges he could be highly picky in so many areas, so I wasn’t sure what he would say.  Would he even let me touch his feet?  I literally have a battle on my hands to cut his toe nails even when he’s in the bath, or even helping him with his socks.  So this was a BIG decision, no exaggeration….. but, success, I needn’t of worried.  He loved the foot hygiene cream, he enjoyed the foot massage that he got in the process, and the results were fantastic.  He actually said ‘Mumble my feet feel supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ WOW (he has practised saying that word for ages bless him).  I felt like we’d hit the jackpot.  The condition of his feet improved, including his nails! What a huge result and a major breakthrough for our autism family. Then one night he said ‘Let’s do the Dabbs Mumble’ as he did the dance move and said ‘Go on then where’s the cream?!’ So that’s what he called it, we all did, from that moment on!

That was it.  ‘Doing the Dabbs’ nightly became routine.  We were sold as a family on the brand, so we got the foot lotion, hand serum, and hygiene cream in supersize versions!  We thought we’re onto a winner!  Winner winner chicken dinner 😉 The foot lotion was another gorgeous product with lemon myrtle, so delicate it woke up your senses, and was silky smooth and fresh to apply.  The smell sent me back in time to the sweet shop down the road as a kid buying a bag of sherbet lemon pips, and lots of memories came flooding back.  The hand serum was so cooling, fresh, and was instantly absorbed into my hands, I’ve got a thing about hand creams, and this smelt divine.


So, I cannot praise and thank this brand and Margaret enough.  It has made such a huge difference literally transforming our feet into refurbished versions.  Everyones’ time is precious to them in their own way, and as the mother of a son on the autism spectrum, quite literally every second in your day counts.  To find something like this to be accepted by CH and have a positive effect was literally a gem.  It might not sound huge to you, but to us it was progress.  It’s also allowed me to have that tiny bit of me time every night, whereby although I’m treating my feet, I’m pampering them too, and it makes me feel good, I look forward to it.  You see I can justify spending the time using the products as they have a valid purpose, and our feet are transformed into ‘happy feet’.

So now every night, as part of bedtime, we announce ‘Let’s go CH are you ready to do the Dabbs?!’ and he loves it.  It’s a key part of his night time routine and he accepts it. And yes, he does the Dabbs move each time, every night, just before I put the cream on his feet.  Precious!

I would truly recommend it, it’s worth spending the time and money to try it.  If you have fussy children, on the autism spectrum, or not, or anyone for that matter, wanting to treat your feet, then give it a try Margaret Dabbs – QVC

So, here’s to you Margaret Dabbs, praise from me, as an autism Mum, and especially our son CH, a huge thank you.  He specifically wanted me to tell you, Margaret, about him doing the Dabbs nightly; recognition from him like this is gold dust!  Doing the Dabbs in our family is more than a dance move 🙂

Well, it’s time to say goodnight for now, the usual bedtime routine is ahead, and of course with that it’s time for our CH to ‘Do the Dabbs’ 🙂


Why ‘Mumble Says’ ?

Ey up everyone. Welcome to my blog ‘Mumble Says’.

Here’s just a tiny bit about me, as I’m sure we’ll get to know each other more later.

I’m a Yorkshire lass, proud of my roots, and have been living in London for a few years now.  My hubbie’s a Londoner and makes me laugh lots, when he talks cockney and I talk Yorkshire neither of us can understand each other 😉 It makes for great fun! We have one Son, our little man ‘Ch’ and we’re so proud of him.  Ch is our World, he’s our absolute everything, no one and nothing comes close.  I work part-time as Front of House for ISS at BMW i Park Lane, and yes I know it’s corny but I love my job, I really do. I’m also mega proud to be part of a supportive team as a Charity Champion for autism charity raising awareness, acceptance, and understanding wherever and whenever we can.
Then one day, I found myself here.  Where do I start?
I have so much to say..

And that… quite literally is just how this started. I’ll admit, it’s taken me some time, but as the old saying goes… better late than never 😉

I actually wrote 2 blog articles for our Autism Charity Expo site last year, check them out; Bevs Blog1 AKO Expo and Bevs Blog2 AKO Expo
and I’ve been wanting to write more for such a long time, I just didn’t quite get round to it. Well, now I have! And here I am!  Ok, I know what you’re thinking though .. why call it ‘Mumble Says’?
What's in a name
Let me tell you I spent quite a few weeks thinking of a suitable name, I wanted to make sure I had the right blog name first, and nothing I came up with seemed to click right with me.  All I knew for sure was that I wanted to include the word ‘Mumble’.
Mumble is so much more than just a word to me. It doesn’t mean as you would think muttering under your breath, or something the person sat behind you on the bus is doing on the phone so you can’t hear them. The word Mumble to me is so precious. It’s one of the most important valuable things to me. It’s worth way more than any diamonds and gold, or that money can buy. You can’t put a price on it. I hear the word Mumble a million times every day, and each time it makes my heart swell. It’s a word I love.  AND it was literally made with love. I know that for a fact because it’s the name our Ch calls me instead of Mum or Mummy!
You see, the reason why the word Mumble is so so special to me, is because I never thought I’d even hear the word Mum or Mummy from our Ch.  When the specialists diagnosed our Ch with autism, at just over 2 years old, he wasn’t speaking, and we didn’t know if he ever would.  Can you Imagine, when at over 5 years old Ch finally did begin to talk, one day he finally said Mum!  I had a little cry to myself. As time went by and his speech improved, randomly one day he called me Mumble. And he’s done that ever since. And I LOVE it.
Bev & Ch
So there you go, Mumble just had to be part of my blog name.  So whilst chatting with my work colleagues over lunch one day, I was doodling on my new notepad.  I’d bought the notepad ahead of starting this blog, we were talking about what to call my blog name, and they were all being so supportive going through ideas with me.  They continued chit chatting and I continued doodling.  Then I wrote it down.  It literally came to me in a moment of inspiration. I wrote down ‘Mumble Says’ at the top of the page. I said it out loud. MUMBLE SAYS. They all stopped talking and we all smiled ‘that’s it!’ we all said.  Mumble Says!  It seemed right.  It felt right.  It seemed appropriate for all I have to say about everything.
So there you have it, that’s how my blog name was created, and I really hope you like it. Let me know what you think.
Well, here’s Mumble Says signing off for today, it was so nice to meet you, and I’ll see you all again soon.
Bev xx
aka Mumble
A special mention must go to an amazing lady, friend and author L.S. Pullen
for your inspiring encouragement with this, and also very dear friend Andrea for reminding me about something I had planned to start ages ago xx
If you can dream it, you can do it – Walt Disney