It’s been a while, so here’s a little update…

38

Tom on his birthdayHello everyone,

Oh how I wish I could say ooooh isn't this sunshine divine and how lovely to feel the sun on us… But NO it's downright soggy and I for one have had enough of it!

Yes the grass is lush and "we so needed it" to quote my husband who has so many people claiming to envy his job, but funnily enough NO ONE wants to be a landscaper in this relentlessly torrential rain. Aside from all this weather talk, how are you all doing?

Thank you for all your lovely comments

I cannot chat longer without saying from my heart how special it was to read, (though hard at times) your replies to me following on from my last blog. I am always so honoured and humbled that you choose to respond with your thoughts and personal stories for each of my blogs and in particular for my last one.


I have felt warmed by your care for me and in turn thought a lot about you all and what you wrote. It seems to me that life truly is our own wonderfully personal journey, sometimes we will have no control of it, but when we do, we should try with all our might to grasp the moment and stick up the signpost saying "stop and breathe, happy times are here".

Now my current signpost says "Happy calm times are here". That's a nice thing to write isn't it and let's hope I don't stumble off that lovely road and down a dodgy old path any time soon!

Tom turns 11!

It's been a busy time in our household having celebrated Tom's 11th birthday. The plan was to be in our garden as it's almost always guaranteed to be fab weather on 4th May. But the blasted rain made it a wash out so luckily as the church hall was free a hasty change of venue ensued and all his classmates Zumba partied!

It was brilliant, even Tom who's response to the news of a Zumba party was "Hate Zumba, hate the hall", loved it!

I meanwhile was in shock at the energy and noise levels of 30 11-year-olds. Unsurprisingly the 100 sausages I'd cooked disappeared swiftly and the chip shop chips wolfed down in a tic. Mr Whiffy (Tom's name for Mr Whippy ice cream van) did arrive in time and served up 30 ice creams from his van. Birthday Boy had a brilliant time and I took up residence on the sofa for the remainder of the evening!

Next step – secondary school

It was poignant though as it will be our last party with all his school friends as looming up oh too quickly is the next chapter….. secondary school . I'm acutely aware that Tom has, I believe, the best ever class friends and has enjoyed his primary school immensely and I am totally fearful of the next chapter..

Having done all my homework and visited all our mainstream secondary schools, most of which are super-sized and huge, I was quite shocked and I suppose saddened at the attitude of so many of the SENCOs or inclusion officers as I believe many are now called.

There seemed to be such a defeatist attitude and I was pretty much told I was mad putting Tom through mainstream? He should be in a special school, and it was a foregone conclusion that he would end up in a special school.

I cried, lots and lots, and also visited the special schools in my area so I could make an informed choice for Tom. Then I asked for a sign! I don't know, I just wanted to be helped I guess, as how do I know what to choose.

Anyway, at one mainstream school I was impressed by the SENCO, her attitude and obviously the school – I just felt this is it, kind of like when you view your house and just know it's the one!

It is most definitely going to be a terrific challenge for Tom but I was told early on never to underestimate him and he deserves the chance always to try. So, the decision was made.

Sadly no one from his school will be going as it's out of our area (that's hard). Getting him there and back (that'll be tricky) and wearing a shirt and tie!!! Better start working on that one now!!

You can sense it's a huge step for him, and us! I just hope that we can all work together, keep an open mind, and remember that good preparation is the key to success. If it is successful then superb if not then we think again, but at the end of the day all I want is for my fabulous Tom to be happy.


Our home is making me happy!

Claire's brand new kitchenI'm even cake making in my new kitchen, would you believe?! Here are a few slinky shots. I know it's way too tidy but finally I have a place for everything and everything in its place. Well for the photo anyway and perhaps once or twice a week!

The chandelier is up and I love it! Though it was rather an Only Fools and Horses moment getting it there, and oh blimey so heavy. Dan said "let go Darling". Let go? Was he mad, I was unable to release my grip and when finally he prised me out from underneath (not a sensible place to be!) I was a gibbering wreck as I was totally untrusting that it was indeed up and was safe!

Claire's chandelier
And Gypsy is looking totally beautiful amongst the meadow grass Dan has laid for her to nestle in and I had my lovely brother spend some long days working on her so she's nearly ready for a proper unveiling…I can't wait!

Get Gorgeous

As I've written this the rain is STILL hammering down so I've been emailing work and looking ahead to my shows coming up. One of my days will be the Get Gorgeous Event on Friday 18th May. I laughed nervously when Paul (presenter manager) said I should share my tips on being gorgeous! Was he joking? Or just being downright cheeky?! Luckily my husband thinks I am… long may that last! But, what I see in the mirror isn't deserving of that title .

The shows do, however, have lots of fab fashions, accessories, skincare and make-up to really help us feel gorgeous, and that's, I feel, where it really begins… the feeling.

Tiana B lace dressFunnily enough I have just lent a handful of dresses to a friend for a wedding she has this weekend. Guess which two she's chosen from the six I offered? The fantastic and flattering lace dress from Tiana B in navy!

I just knew she'd look gorgeous in it – you might find the perfect dress for you on the 18th. Or if it's an old faithful, you've had for ever but ALWAYS feel gorgeous in then Mr Wilson may provide the all important wow piece for you!


Spoilt for choice with skincare

Charlie Brook funnily enough commented on my skin last week, saying how good it was. Now a compliment really helps in the feel gorgeous stakes doesn't it? So big huge thank you Charlie, you made an old bird very happy!

It's all too easy to be a little lazy, especially when I think I'm in pretty good control of my skin. I go for the "do a little less" routine. However, what a result I saw after I had wandered around with my Papaya Enzyme Peel on, followed by my shiny face mask, Tri Enzyme Gel. Keeley would've been so proud!

I'm looking forward as always to hearing more from Keeley on Friday extolling the virtues of one of my most favourite moisturisers. Decleor and Elemis are my beauty necessities.

It must be said though that I completely adore Emma Hardie's Moringa Balm, I really think its kept me on an even keel, but last scrapings of that too means I'm up for repurchase… again. Or do i try a new product? iI's hard not to be fickle when we have so much available to us.

I'm hoping to catch up with Kelly from New CID Cosmetics, who I admire greatly. Actually that reminds me, my Mummy's eyebrows look fab with her angled brow pencil. Kelly and I knew each other in our previous lives as dancers. I love her range and am always excited to see the demos on air.

Oh I could chat for days, I may not blog often, but when I do… Sorry! J

School run now, in the rain!

Loads of love,
Claire x

38 Comments

  1. Kristina Moore May 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm -  Reply

    Hello Claire, the number of times in life I have felt “organised” by someone or something. No I don’t believe in God but I have been having a “conversation” with someone all my life. One day I hope I will find out who. The answers I get aren’t necessarily the ones I want but the ones I need and it is always good to enjoy the good times and remember them. I have CFS which has stopped me working for several years now and I have limited stamina levels. I have it for a reason. I don’t yet know why but I will.
    I think you do find the right things when you ask for help. My husband bought our car like that.
    I do hope your family and Tom get on alright when he moves to secondary school. He is amazing and so are Joe and Maddie. I do hope they all enjoy themselves in life.
    What an amazing kitchen and I am so glad that the chandelier is now in place and that Gypsy is coming along too. I said it would all be sorted out eventually and you just had to hold on to what you wanted it to look like in your head and it would happen.
    Love to you all
    Tina X0X0X0X0X0

  2. qvc May 12, 2012 at 9:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire-hope Tom finds the right school. I have taught similar children through mainstream schools and I think it is down to the individual child-some cope fantastically and get the best out of the experience, while others do not cope so well-that is why it is such a difficult decision. Also I taught(on Supply-mant years ago-when money was pumped into special education) in a Special school and it was amazing-those children excelled and were literally made to feel so special in every achievement, and on a daily basis.I do not envy your decision-making but I am sure your motherly instincts will be the best help you need.Good luck Tom. Your home is looking wonderful-more photos of Gyspy please??? Will the QVC move make trevelling easier for you or harder? Take care and do NOT over-stretch yourself. K.XXX

  3. Louise May 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    I also love the moringa balm. I find it is so practically effective on the hair, and the smell is sublime. I toook receipt of the SBC tsv the other day and began using it straight away. The combination of the manuka honey and orange blossom makes this a gr8 buy. Health benefits of the manuka honey and the gorgeous aroma of the orange blossom. Plus, due to being in a car crash, I have been applying the arnica gel daily and needed some more, so I excuse this purchase as being a necessity, rather than a treat! Arnica is brilliant for dogs also, isn’t it? I use it on my boxers who, due to their boisterous nature, need it quite often.
    Who are you sharing with at the new premises? What’s happening to Marco Polo House when QVC vacate it?
    Excuse my ignorance – what is SENCO? Hope the family are all well. Take care.
    Louise.

  4. Julie Ann Roberts May 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm -  Reply

    I love reading your blogs Claire, and you and Jilly are my favourite presenters! I know it’s not the same but I have spina bifida and hydrocephalus and my parents had to make the same decision as to wether or not I went to mainstream. For them it was also a foregone conclusion that I would enter mainstream, and, with my parents support and my own determination I was just fine. All my love to you and your family! Love from Julie x x

  5. sylvia May 15, 2012 at 10:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    A belated birthday to Tom.I cant believe he is 11 already! Doesnt time fly.I have to say I am truly envious of your beautiful kitchen,and what can I say the chandelier was worth the wait! Woweee—-so beautiful Claire just like you.
    Take Care Claire–Sylvia x

  6. Suzie Barrick May 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    A belated Happy Birthday to Tom, 11 already. My son Ben who also has Down’s was 8 on the 7th May and I cannot believe how the years have passed so quickly with him, he is hard work but my inspiration, a gorgeous little boy with so much love to give, I am sure you will understand. I hope Tom settles well into his new school in September, it is a big step and I worry what will happen in 3 years when Ben moves, he is in a fantastic mainstream primary school at the moment with great SENCO’s and support, what more can you ask. Anyway take care and I will visit your blog again soon.
    Hugs
    Suzie xxx

  7. Claire Sutton May 15, 2012 at 6:37 pm -  Reply

    Tina, you always write such lovely things to me, thank you! Talking of ‘conversations’ I regularly have them with myself too! Mad I know!
    When you mentioned about your lack of stamina it made me think of my brother, who lives with MS and funnily enough was told by a nurse helping him to manage better to think of ‘parcels of energy’. And basically when you’ve used it up….you’ve used it up, till the next day. I felt so aware of this when he came to help me paint Gypsy and was totally bushed…..a guilty little sister I was. It was so lovely having him, though and he really enjoyed it, so the guilt disappated a little.
    I bet you’ve loved this cooler climate! As I recall you and sunshine are not best friends so to speak!
    I send my love to you and from three busy busy children creating havoc!!!
    Claire x

  8. Claire Sutton May 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm -  Reply

    Kay, hello and thank you so much, though my heart twanged as I read what you had written about the special school you had worked in.
    There is a super one here too and I was shown around by two brilliant young students. I will fight tooth and nail to get a place for Tom should that happen, as it is out of our catchment also, so I’ll just have to hang on to my instincts and…pray!
    I travelled to chiswick last Saturday for a day in studio – wow wow wow, cannot wait to be there. I’m trying to clear my dressing room and not succeeding too well, I do hang on to stuff, but having seen my pristine dressing room I don’t want to put any dirty dusty stuff in it!
    The journey was surprisingly good, but it’s the travelling at ordinary times that worries me as Gunnersbury and the north circular can be awful, my travelling is a huge negative but…I’m a lucky girl really, just wish I had a plane!!
    C xxxx

  9. Claire Sutton May 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm -  Reply

    Louise, my apologies, do you know I hovered over explaining SENCO when I wrote it…should’ve shouldn’t I?!
    Anyway it’s Special Educational Needs Co Ordination Officer….I think!
    Basically the person within mainstream school who co-ordinates with the parent, pupils, staff, training etc etc, you’d think life would be simplified but oh goodness, sadly not!
    But, let’s hope the lady at Tom’s new school is brilliant!
    I was sorry to hear you’d had a car crash, how awful and I hope you are feeling ok, the Arnica must be working hard, poor you.
    I was only listening to Adele on air with the TSV you bought and a lovely lady was saying exactly like you that she’d been using it on her dogs! Aaaaaah boxers, I saw a puppy boxer last week, so sweet, we are really talking through the realities of when it would be sensible to get a pup again, especially after we dog sat Bess last weekend……watch this space.
    Miss Greenwood and I will be together at chiswick, which will be a guaranteed good laugh, whatever time of day it is! Can’t wait, though I’ll have to be tidier!
    Loveto you, Claire x

  10. Claire Sutton May 15, 2012 at 7:04 pm -  Reply

    Sylvia Sylvia Sylvia, thank you oh so much, I’m so grateful you are appreciating “her” as much as me, aside from the yuk weather.
    At least just prior to each huge downpour the sky darkens and it’s such an excuse to put the dimmer on, and bask in the glamorousness of her.
    Sending you my love,
    Claire x

  11. Joanna Downey May 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm -  Reply

    Hello Claire, I can identify with all your feelings about Tom’s move to High School, it is when our children make that step I think we realise just how quickly the childhood years pass by. I thought he looked really grown up in your photo – it was a young man opening that gift! I have had the privilege of working in a secondary school for twelve years and I want to share with you some of my thoughts and opinions about inclusion and the experiences I’ve had. However, I feel they would be better by letter so I’m sending them to the current Q address. Your home looks gorgeous and it’ll be lovely to see photos of Gypsy. Love from Jo x

  12. cyl May 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi claire so nice to read your blog and by the way you are gorgeous a good northern lass,good luck to tom when he goes to his new school I’m sure he’ll do very well. you know we all have our problems and cope in all sorts of ways,I think you do very well, let’s look forward to some sunshine when we all feel better,lovely kitchen by the way. x

  13. Claire Sutton May 16, 2012 at 8:41 am -  Reply

    Julie, thank you so for telling me your story, and yes I know everyone is an individual but to hear a positive experience does lift me!
    It’s a little like when you’re expecting a baby everyone seems to delight in telling you the horror stories… all that matters to me at the end of every day is that Tom is happy, so I’ll do all I can to ensure that.
    Sun’s out as I type this, yippee, have a lovely Wednesday.
    Claire x

  14. Claire Sutton May 16, 2012 at 8:48 am -  Reply

    Hey Suzie,
    So good to hear from you, I shall think of you and Ben each May time now!
    If ever I can help with anything, as we’re a few years in front of you, I will always try, please ask. I know when Tom was first born I struggled sometimes when I met older children, I didn’t want to see Tom as they were , even though they were fantastic….call it acceptance, adjustment I don’t know! But as we’ve all grown I know just how helpful it can be and Up On Downs our local support group here can be a fab source of help.
    I’m just wondering how to really crack cycling for Tom, specially as he has no interest, but I’d love him to take elements of his cycling profficiency, in the playground!
    Scout Camp this weekend, now that’s a huge thing….for me!!!! AAAAAAAArgh,
    Keep in touch!
    Claire x

  15. claire_sutton May 17, 2012 at 7:32 am -  Reply

    Cyl
    Happy morning,
    Sun is trying to get through! Lovely to hear from you and thank you for all your nice comments,
    Have a super day,
    Love Claire x

  16. claire_sutton May 17, 2012 at 7:45 am -  Reply

    Jo, I so need you, it’s clear out time in our dressing rooms…ready for the move! I have 8 more days here so have to get a wriggle on with this so called clear out and sort.
    You’d be just perfect to organise me into my small but beautious new dressing room, funnily enough I was only smiling away to you on Monday, looking at all your lovely lovely pictures. I wonder has Bex avoided the humungous first year married row… I recall having a humdigger, sort of just because I could! I knew I was safe to let rip!!
    Hope they’re all well, and you too. I shall await the letter and thank you, though im not sure if cup of tea or large glass will be better as I’m sure it’ll be a mix of good and bad…till then, all love, Claire x

  17. Valerie Cadman-Khan May 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    My beautiful daughter Aimee, has Downs Syndrome, she is nearly 16. I wanted her to go to mainstream school when she was small also, however i came across so much negativity. I went to visit a “Special School” It was the best decision i ever made to send her there. She has excelled academically and socially. She is a performer and has played on many stages from lead roles as Miranda in the Tempest to Dance roles, She is also a piano player reading music albeit only small scores like twinkle twinkle little star. (I cant play or read music)I do worry about her future, but she will carve a life for her self i am positive God has given her a role to fulfil and she will certainly live life to the full. P.S she has just come back from a week in Germany with the school and had so much fun.
    My love and thoughts to you and your family, and your home is so beautiful xxx Val Cadman-Khan

  18. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen May 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm -  Reply

    good t9o hear from you claire .hope you find a school for your son tom.does he have special needs.

  19. Susan May 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    I love your blogs and I don’t mind when they are because they’re just always a joy to read! I just had to say I completely sympathise with your emotions re gorgeous Mr Tom and I hope you find the school he is happy in be it mainstream or not. I work in a special needs school and I have to say it is the most happy and positive place to work!! The children make it an absolute joy and of course the staff. Please do not worry about what sort of school he goes to as as long as he gets the care, attention and happiness he needs then that’s all that matters (and learn along the way).
    Much love and look forward to hearing your next update. Hope the wedding goes well by the way!
    Susan x
    PS You’re gorgeous always!!

  20. Susan May 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi again Claire,
    I just spent some time reading through to see the experiences of other ladies and I love Valerie’s comments above. Just great. And I just had to say how amazing that Tom is off to Scout camp! You may be on the wine now as I type lol!
    Enjoy your weekend,
    Susan x

  21. Steven May 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Just wanted to say how sensational you looked in the pampoos hour. You must have been using Julia’s pilates machine lately because you looked fit…. well to me anyway.
    Keep looking gorgeous. You always do
    Steven xx

  22. claire_sutton May 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm -  Reply

    susan. so sorry to be so tardy with my reply, i couldnt get the thing to work! still it allows me to say, yes the wine was needed, but…oh my goodness who’d have ever thought my boy would do so fantastically at scout camp! pot holing, abseilling and…wait for it…air rifle shooting….! all achieved brilliantly, whooo hoo.HOW PROUD! THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH FOR YOUR CHATS TO ME, SENDING YOU LOVE , Claire

  23. claire_sutton May 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm -  Reply

    Val. what a wonderful and inspiring read, you must be bursting with pride when you watch Aimee. I enjoy Tom’s moves shall we say, but as yet shows no want to follow in his mother’s footsteps!!!! Possibly a good thing. How amazing does your daughter sound. Congratulations to Aimee for all her successes and those to come I feel sure. I often want to stop parents with older children than Tom and ask after them, so you replying is a joy to read. Thankyou Val and keep in touch, With Love Claire x

  24. claire_sutton May 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm -  Reply

    Martin Hi, nice hearing from you, yes Tom has Downs Syndrome, so keeps me on my toes! along with Maddie and Joe of course! Hope youre well, Love Claire x

  25. claire_sutton May 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm -  Reply

    Steven,
    Good Afternoon kind sir, and thank you, though I fear it was just the dress! oh and a bit of mad zumba! That said…always great to hear!so Kisses from me, C x

  26. claire_sutton May 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm -  Reply

    Jo, what can i say but THANKYOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XXXXXXXX I’ll be in touch.

  27. David Morris May 31, 2012 at 6:59 pm -  Reply

    Hello Claire,
    Glad the house is looking fabulous & also Gypsy coming along nicely. My ‘Great Nephew’ has Autism with a touch of ADHD & Aspergers thrown in for good measure. He is just taking his GCSE’s at a big ‘Academy’ school here and hopes to go on to ‘Tech’ college to do photography & then start his own business. There have been some issues at the school, but with various meeting over the years he has managed to do well and hasn’t been bullied to the best of my knowledge although he has various ‘quirks’ to deal with, which has sometimes been difficult for the teachers to understand (hence the meetings to explain). I also have to say, having seen you on screen a few times lately, how gorgeous & slim your looking!! xxx. Mind you, on Wednesday’s morning show, you were in trousers!! (Get those legs out gal!!). Still being cheeky eh?? Hope the move to Chiswick goes well and look forward to seeing the new shows from there. On my home front, although can’t go into too much detail here, 2012 will not be a very good year with family illness. Am trying to be positive on it all, but things will be tough. Look forward to seeing your happy smile on screen & your blogs (or tweets) whenever you get round to them.
    David xxx

  28. Susan June 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    How fab Tom did so well with all those activities!! I hope you all enjoyed a nice Jubilee weekend though a little wet! And how about the wedding you were going to?? Enjoy the weekend…deja vu…a little wet!
    Susan x
    PS Always a joy to ‘converse’ with you.

  29. Elizabeth McKinley June 8, 2012 at 7:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Claire,
    After reading about your Tom, all I can do is to say to go for it, every single day. I lost my beloved son when he was only 26yrs old. I did not know my son was living with a deadly brain disease until he was 17yrs. So, his young life was packed with all sorts of rough and tumble games at school, and although he struggled academically, we persisted with main stream schooling. He was diagnosed as dyslexic when he was 9, but, of course with hindsight, I realise this was an early symptom of the terrible disease which killed him. But he excelled at rugby, cross country running and loved the Territorial Army as a very willing and active cadet.
    I am so eternally grateful that I never knew of his illness then, as I would have been so tempted to “protect” him and would have limited his short life immensely. All I can say is that he had a happy “normal” life until the disease took over. I feel honoured to have known my wonderful son. Sometimes, it won’t be easy, but, oh, the joy you will share and the memories you will all make together.! I wish you and your precious family all the luck in the world

  30. Sarah Connor June 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Claire
    It is s lovely to read your latest blog and to hear that life feels a little kinder. The road that takes us through life is unpredictable and like yours mine has made some diversions that at the time have felt difficult, painful and sometimes utterly cruel. However looking back, all the twists and turns have taught me something, not only about myself and my husband but about each of our beautiful children. Each a gift with different qualities, some of those qualities have required a little more patience and taming but all have a unique richness that make our lives amazing. Your enormous love and proudness of Tom will ensure that wherever he goes to school he will thrive. I too had to make difficult choices for my youngest daughter, which whilst in different circumstances gave me sleepless nights, necessitated multiple packs of Kleenex and even then probably wasn’t right BUT at the time I made it it was right and had a made a different choice I would have always wondered what if. Be proud Claire you’re a fab Mum to all yours , keep smiling
    With a big hug …Sarah

  31. Claire Sutton June 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm -  Reply

    Sarah, I’ve tried to post this now three times, so I am hoping this will finally work! Thank you so so much and I particularly connected with you saying BUT at the time I made it it was right, regarding your tricky choice … That’s just what my Mummy said, we have no ability for peeking into the future …luckily!
    So yes, right now it’s the right choice and the what ifs can be put away! Reading your blog makes me realise the juggle goes on for so many of us and I hope your road you’ve been travelling has some delightful scenic moments..so to speak!
    With my love Claire x

  32. Claire Sutton June 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm -  Reply

    Elizabeth, your words are truly courageous, as indeed was your son. I’m struggling to word something appropriate, when all words seem …not enough…. Your advice I will heed and treasure and will try hard to live by Elizabeth.
    I will hear you saying “go on ” when others may be making me fearful…THANK YOU and I send you my love and appreciate you sharing your thoughts, I hope too in writing to me you had memories flood in which were lovely ones and that they shone through,
    With love Claire x

  33. Claire Sutton June 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm -  Reply

    David, I admit to feeling worried about you yet appreciate that it’s not always appropriate to chat about all things, I hope all iss well and that you have strength to cope with all that is undoubtably going on.
    Thank you for telling me about your great nephew, it seems a constant open line of communication is pretty vital doesn’t it.
    I’ve just taking Tom for a visit to the new school, he asked about bullies….took my breath away to hear him say he was worried….the lady answered well and I hope has allayed his…and my fears !!!!
    We are all settling into Chiswick really well, my drive has been good so far…. And whilst a little different in some ways, all new and nice and exciting!
    Life’s ramping up here with the end of term looming, so I must away and spray ivy gold for Maddie’s head dress…Roman didn’t you guess. Graffiti up Tom’s – shirt for his 80s costume and see if Joe could be persuaded to wear his sisters jeans for his 60s look.
    All in a days work preparing for a school village day!! I tell you it’s busier and busier!
    I’ll see you Monday Morning Show if you’re around.
    Take Care David, C x

  34. Sian July 1, 2012 at 7:53 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    I have also had to make the difficult choice of which school to send my daughter to. My daughter has receptive and expressive language disorder. She went to a fantastic mainstream primary school. I also worked I the same school supporting children with additional learning needs.
    When the time came to choose a comprehensive school it was so difficult. I will be honest this is probably one of the hardest choices that I have ever made. I was lucky to have knowledge of what questions to ask about the support they could provide. I also had to go with my gut feeling. My husband and I chose to send her to a mainstream comp which has an STF unit (specialist teaching facility). This way she has the best of both worlds, she attends 50% of mainstream lessons with a teaching assistant and the remaining lessons in the unit.
    She is about to finish her second year in comp and she is doing really well. Thankfully we did make the right choice in school.
    All the best and I am sure Tom will do well wherever you choose.

  35. claire_sutton@qvc.com July 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm -  Reply

    Sian,
    That really is so good to hear, I am pleased she is thriving there. Tom visited last week and said he felt happy! That made my heart soar… it seems that the school is intending to support Tom well so I hope hope hope this becomes a reality.
    Really nice to hear from you and I wish your daughter continued success,
    Love Claire x

  36. Mel July 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm -  Reply

    Claire thank you for sharing your stories you are so bubbly and inspirational you really have made such a difference to me. I have always been very quiet and not very much confidence but I have a son Josef who has special needs who at 7 is leaving mainstream school to start at a special school. I to have done the crying and viewing schools praying for a sign I hope I have made the right decision but Josef can’t speak so over the years I ave had to make my self heard for him. Hope your son settles in is new school take care and thank you x

  37. CLAIRE SUTTON July 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm -  Reply

    Mel,
    I was really touched that you think of me that way…thank you for taking the time to tell me and for replying. I hear the most beautiful stories from my gorgeous girlfriends whose sons attend a wonderful special school and who like you cant ask their boys what they feel or think as they also dont have speech . My own lovely nephew, who has Autism and Fragile X who has really come on so so well and is so happy at his special school too, so I hope Josef is happy and thrives…and you too!!!! Keep in touch and let me know how you both are…
    Big hug..(.sometimes theyre needed!!) CLAIRE XXXXX

  38. Lynn Mc Ginty February 13, 2013 at 11:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire, I just had to say what a lovely cheery lady you are, you are obviously so proud of your family the love you have for them just oozes from you, you really are a breath of fresh air.with so much doom and gloom in the world its nice to see a lady who loves life! I must say you have the most gorgeous hair , I would love it! Take care Lynn

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