My job is mobile and I split my time working alternate weeks in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. I drive down country roads, enjoying rural England through the seasons.


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Happy New Year, Happy New Decade

I started this last year, meaning to spend a few minutes reflecting on the end of another year, and the end of the first decade of the new millenium we were all so mad to greet just a couple of years ago, and then move on to my new year's resolutions. However, family visits, and general Christmassy activities followed by taking the decs down and then starting back into work on Monday have kind of got in the way of my good intentions.


New Year's Eve came and went in that usual odd combination of anticipation, angst and boredom - both my sisters and their other halves came to mine for the evening meal so the anticipation was on their part and the angst on mine as I'm not comfortable with cooking for large numbers of people (7 is a lot for me to cope with!). But the meal was fine and we all enjoyed it, although to be honest by the time midnight came round I was well and truly ready to tell everyone to go home and let me go to bed -I know, such a party animal as I am!!

Anyway, on to the New Year's Resolutions - which usually fall into 2 categories

First of all there's the usual "I want to look different" one: learn how to dress with style and elegance, to pick and wear clothes that suit my frame and age - preferably with timeless Chanel-like chic. Learn how to do my hair properly, stop my make up from evaporating, running or smudging by lunchtime, keep my nails perfectly manicured and polished. Master the art of walking in heels all day and every day - and then go out in the evening in even higher heels and dance the night away.

Following on from that there is the "I want to sound different" thing: I want to speak with a softer, lower voice, stop stammering and speaking in rushed half sentences, umming and ahhing as my brain tries desperately to keep pace with my tongue, stop shouting on the telephone as if I really do need to project my voice right across the miles between me and the person at the other end of the line. When I meet new people I will be able to make pleasant, interesting conversation, impress them with my poise and friendly manners, make friends easily and often.

A complete make-over and personality transplant in fact!

But as we're now well into the first week of the new year, and I'm still me, still addicted to black, comfortable and slightly grungy clothes, still speaking before engaging my brain and changing my mind half way through, I'm giving up on all that rubbish.

So here are my TWO resolutions for this year.

1) Accept myself for what and who I am, get on with living and stop fussing about it all so much.

2) Develop a habit of kindness; practice again and again and again until I get good at it.

Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Still in a festive mood

So some pics as a memento. I have to admit I forgot to take my normal photos of the dinner table on Christmas day, so the cake shows some wear and tear. But it still looks good I think - mum made it in November and then spent the next month libating it every few days or so with brandy. Very nice!
The cutting of the cake - serious business. My father, like a lot of men, I think, has this thing about cutting cakes or carving meat. It becomes a military operation as he works out the best place to make the first incision, grills everyone in turn about how hungry they are, how big a slice they want, then caculates the angles, the position of the sun and the major planets...
I don't ever have turkey or whole chickens any more - only beef or pork, something off the bone. I can't cope with the stress otherwise.

Friday, 25 December 2009

And so this is Christmas..

And thank goodness for that is all I can think of to say right now. For the next week and a bit I get to put my feet up, catch my breath and have a bit of a rest - and after this past year, I feel that I not only need it, but actually deserve it as well.

Just me, mum and dad for Christmas dinner. We had loin of pork with all the usual roasted and veg stuff - big thanks to Aunt Bessie for the roast spuds, parsnips and yorkshire puds, but the rest was all our own hard work and effort. I feel I have to admit to using frozen and pre-prepared roast potatoes and stuff - both my sisters are kind of smug about how they do all their own roast spuds from scratch. But I'm happy to cheat and make life a bit easier. Having the 3 of us (mum, dad and me) in the kitchen makes for more hands to help, but in fact can make it difficult to get on with things as we end up fighting over the chopping board, cooker and sink if we're not careful. Anyway, the pork was tender and tasty, the crackling perfect, and the whole thing delicious.

After dinner, we watched La Boheme on Beeb 2, followed by a documentary on Botticelli's Mystic Nativity and are now watching CSI - dad can't do without his daily CSI fix, even on Christmas day!! I feel like I won't ever need to eat again - but at the same time my eyes keep being drawn to the tin of mince pies on the coffee table in front of me.

Jasmine is snoozing on mum's lap - with one eye on me in case I get up and go in the kitchen. She spent most of the morning in the kitchen worshipping the oven and feels that a measly 2 or 3 pieces of roast pork are just not enough to keep her from starvation. She has a bowl of her usual biscuits on her mat of course - but they apparently taste like poison in comparison to the pork.

Christmas presents were all lovely - new slippers, handbag, smellies, garden bird feeder structure-thing, jewellery. We opened them late this morning after I had been to feed Jo's chickens and cats. They're away until Sunday, so I took dad with me. The roads were still white and frozen, but the sun came out and made the road and fields glow with a golden haze. Put that together with a complete absence of traffic and it made the 10 mile drives there and back a perfect treat.

I actually read a book yesterday - just an ordinary, off the shelf, pick up and lose yourself in it kind of a novel. I think it's the first I've read since spring when life started to get all busy and complicated. It was wonderful - the story and the book of course, but especially having the time to read, time to lose myself in something outside of studying, shopping, travelling, working, changing career and life, helping kathryn move her horses etc etc. I think that was my Christmas present to myself - and I'm hoping I may even get chance to read another over the next week.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Qualified at last!

Not doing very well with keeping up my blogging at the moment - but life doesn't seem to be getting any less hectic and I'm still finding it hard to keep up with myself.

A quick update then:

I passed the course and my clinical placement and am now a fully qualified and fully insured foot health professional - YIPPEEEEEEEE!

I got home from the placement in Maidenhead late on friday 6 November - and the very next monday set off for what is to become a weekly commute to Norfolk, working in partnership with my sister Kathryn who has been working for herself as an FHP for a few years now.

I have had 2 patients so far and have 2 more tomorrow. It's all very scary and I am so far out of my comfort zone that I have found myself asking again and again why on earth I did any of this - but I have to admit I am really exhilerated and excited by it all at the same time.

So very tired, though - which is my reason for yet another short and inadequate post.....

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Clinic day 3

My birthday today - and how have I spent it? In clinic cutting nails, removing corns and callus, and dealing with couple of veruccas!

And enjoying it very much - not everyone's cup of tea I know, but as they say it takes all sorts...

I think I'm ok at it. I mean, it's still early days, but it's going well, I like the patients and they like me, I'm safe with the equipment, enjoy and am interested in what I'm doing, and so far haven't made any really awful mistakes - all my patients walk out with all 10 toes, and no one has been unhappy with my work.

Having said that, tomorrow will be the end of our first week, and I'm feeling that 2 weeks is just not long enough. I want more practice before being out there on my own, I want more variety, more different cases so that I can learn and experience more.

At least I'll have my sister when I go out into the real world, some of the students really will be on their own.

I wonder how many of us will really make a go of it - if I will even?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Clinic day 2

I'm so glad I nearly bankrupted myself and attended the intro week back in August, it has made such a difference. I'm still nervous but at least knowing what to expect, and how the clinic works etc is a real help. And because of that week and the subsequent practice I had in cutting nails etc, I'm finding a lot of the work so much easier this time round.

I'm still quite painfully slow, though, really do need to speed up a bit - or else charge a lot more when I go into practice!!

Finally today, after all the waiting, I got to use the scalpel on a real live person - well on 2 of my 6 patients to be exact. And it went very well, I found it so much easier than I thought I would, and I'm thinking with a lot more practice I'll be fine with it.

Re-reading the above, I really hope I don't sound like a trainee psychopath...

Monday, 26 October 2009

Clinical Placement day 1

Started my clinical placement today - feeling shattered, exhilarated, relieved that the waiting is finally over, terrified that I might fail, scared of what is to come during the next two weeks, and feeling that tomorrow can't come soon enough and I can't wait...

There are 7 of us in total, 6 (including me) on our final placements, and one doing an introductory week. They all seem very nice, but I miss the group I was with in August on my Intro week. I'm sure, though, that over the next few days we will get to know each other and bond as a group.

Most of the day was spent in tutorials and demonstrations, but we finally got our very first patients later in the afternoon - mine was a lovely lady with nails that needed sorting and only a little scalpel work that the tutor did. Nice and easy and I was relieved to find that the practice I have put in at home cutting nails for my family (and anyone else unwary enough to sit still for more than 5 minutes in my living room!) has helped my skills and confidence.

We did a little practice with scalpel blades but only on wax. Tomorrow I think we will be doing it for real on real live feet - but I'm trying not to think about it too much tonight or I'll end up not sleeping.

Talking of which, it's only 10.45 but I'm so tired I can't type straight so am off to bed.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Procrastination

I set today aside to re-write my final 6 theory essays.

So I came upstairs at about half 11 this morning, got all my books out, switched the laptop on and even opened up the first essay.

Then I decided I needed to check my online credit card account - just to make sure the payment really had gone through (I might have been mistaken when I checked the other night and saw that it had been paid).

Then I thought I'd check my current account online - I only set up the online access the other day, and need to practice regularly in case I forget my username and password.

Then I checked my emails - both accounts.

Then I read the news headlines. Only the headlines, though, don't want to be wasting too much time I told myself.

Then I checked a couple of my favourite blogs.

Then I went and had some lunch and made a cup of tea.

And now here I am - torn between "just get on with it Gill for goodness sakes", and finding another "one more thing I just need to do before I get started".

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

View from my window at work - September








Finally remembered to bring my camera in to take my September snaps.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Found it!

Been looking for this poem for a couple of weeks and finally tracked it down:

SILENCE SINGS

Thomas Sturge Moore

So faint, no ear is sure it hears,
So faint and far;
So vast that very near appears
My voice, both here and in each star
Unmeasured leagues do bridge between;
Like that which on a face is seen
Where secrets are;
Sweeping, like veils of lofty balm,
Tresses unbound
O'er desert sand, o'er ocean calm,
I am wherever is not sound;
And, goddess of the truthful face,
My beauty doth instil its grace
That joy abound.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Feels like Monday to me

I had a lovely 3 day weekend, but I've still come back to work with that Monday morning head-still-on-the-pillow feeling, and even 5 cups of fairly strong and sweet coffee haven't yet removed the cobwebs and fluff from my brain.

That's the final bank holiday of this summer over and done with and it's perfectly legitimate to start talking about Autumn and the changing seasons . Although, to be honest I've been feeling sort of Autumnal for this past few weeks. Which is good for all sorts of reasons from my point of view at least.

I love Autumn, it's easily my favourite season. I think I've tried before and just about any poet that every wrote could say it all much better, soI'm not going to send myself to sleep waffling on about change, the relentless passing of time, the end of summer and "the flower of our youth" dadedadeda....

Suffice it to say I love Autumn because of:

* The colours - for someone with sallow skin like mine, finally a season that suits my colouring!

* The way you can smell the crispness of the air in the morning

* Tidying up the garden, burying the evidence of all the failures - the sprouts (every single one of them!) that got eaten by caterpillars, the Italian garden theme that didn't really work, the honeysuckle that grew "the wrong way" thereby NOT covering the trellis put especially up for it, the nasturtiums that over-excelled themselves and just about throttled any other plants foolhardy enough to get in their way...

* Pyjamas and slippers, as opposed to cami-tops and flip flops

* Cardigans and thick woolly socks

* Feeling reinspired to pick up and finish at least 1 or 2 of the half finished knitting and crochet projects put to oneside in the summer

* and one final one only relevant to this year - I can FINALLY FINALLY say "when I leave next month.." as opposed to the month after next, which didn't really work.

I'm not so keen on the drawing in of the evenings, the central heating going on when I haven't quite cleared last winter's bill, and the car feeling more than a bit nippy when I got in it this morning.

And most of all, I'm NOT ready for the build up to Christmas - which is one of the many many things that crystalised my decision to quit my volunteering work at Oxfam at the end of September. The advent calendars and diaries went on the shelves last week, and the christmas cards will go out this week. And everything else that we might want to sell has to be shoved to one side to make way for it. I already feel completely let down by the multimillion pound industry that is Oxfam these days, and that was the last straw really.

One day I might write a blog post about my time with Oxfam - but I'm still too cross to write judiciously and reasonably, made worse by feelings of guilt for deciding to walk out on a small, rather tatty and neglected, "old school" Oxfam shop already desperately short of volunteers, money, support, management....

Friday, 28 August 2009

Back to the Blog

I'ts about 3 weeks since I last posted, although I was only away and unable to post during the middle week. The weeks on either side of my week away were the before and after "prepare for" and "catch-up from" the work that I wasn't able to do while I was away.

I had planned to post on a daily basis while I was away as it was the first week of my clinical practice so I thought I would have a lot to write about, and I had my lovely new baby Dell. I also had a mobile broadband USB stick courtesy of TMobile. I'm not going to rant (too much) - but anyone considering purchashing one might think of going to any other provider than TMobile! The stick was late, they lost my order, they promised refunds and then changed their minds and said I couldn't have it, and when I finally tried to use the stick, it either fell over and lost its connection every 10-15 minutes or worked at considerably slower speeds than my pre-broadband dial up modem - making accessing the BBC or any other site with images so slow as to be a complete waste of time. And then to cap it all, when I tried to log into this blog, the "adult content blocker" stepped in and blocked it - and although I tried to follow the various processes to prove that I am indeed over 18 and therefore able to access whatever I might wish to, I was unable to remove the block...

So, back to the clinical practice. IT WAS GREAT, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS AND I HAD A BALL! The week passed by so quickly it was unbelievable and the only downer was that the other 4 students who were on their full placement got to come back this week and graduate, while I still have 2 months in which to wait and look forward to my turn. It was good that we got on very well together and in fact when I go back for my final practice, I am going to stay with one of the students, Kate.

Although my week was meant to be primarily an observation week, I was pleased that I did get quite a lot of practical experience. I got to know how the clinic works, and had about 20 or so patients over the week so got to do assessments, nail trims and reductions, and record the treatments on their patient cards. I wasan't allowed to use a scalpel but I did use the nippers and drills and was much niftier with them than I thought I would be. The patients were lovely - they know that it is a teaching clinic so they are all very supportive and kind to the students. I also got lots of very useful observation in on scalpel work, PNRs and other clinical treatments. I even bought a scalpel and some blades so that I can practice on wax and oranges in the next couple of months.

So although I'm still gutted to be back at work and not a qualified FHP yet, it is good to have a list of things I can practice and get better at in the meantime. And various family members are also being very good and lining up for pedicures and nail trims to give me more hands on practical experience as well.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Harry Potter

I took mum and dad to the cinema to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince today.

The afternoon had a bit of an inauspicious start though. We had to charge up the A1 and M18 instead of pootling along the A638 via Bawtry because we were a bit late setting off. And then we got lost and couldn't find the cinema and nearly missed the start of the film because I had to abandon the car in the next-door Asda car park - we found the cinema (eventually) but had a short but manic farcical interlude when we couldn't find a way into the car park! For anyone who doesn't know the Lakeside area of Doncaster - it's a nightmare, there are no meaningful signs to tell you where to go, and when you do by the grace of god and a lot of luck, find your destination, some arse in a red BMW will make it their life's project to prevent you from changing lane/getting onto/round or even off the roundabout.

But we got there eventually, I parked mum and dad in their seats and then rushed back to move the car - having been told by one of the ushers exactly how to find the way into the car park from the main road, surprisingly easy when you know what you're looking for!

So, back to the film. I enjoyed it in spite of the freezing cold auditorium, the overly surround-sound-dolby-burst-your-eardrums volume and the seats that make your nether regions go completely numb after the first half hour (I'm not complaining about the trailers, though, as they were the reason I was able to race out, and move and park the car without missing any of the film).

I thought it was great. The scenery's wonderful, the special effects more than impressive, the pace of the film hectic and the storyline mostly true to the book. And I had a tear in my eye by the end of the film, even though I knew what was coming.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

My new baby

I have just bought a baby Dell notebook - at 10" it's the size of an average hard back book, which makes it perfect to put in my bag, and will be great when I finally get into business and am on the move all the time. I'm going to keep my appointments and accounts on it, and will also register with the DPA people so that I can keep my patient records on it, rather than have cumbersome and not-very-portable paper files.

It arrived just a couple of days ago but I've not had time to play with it until today, and altho' it is going to take some time to get used to the teeny tiny keyboard, and to going back in time with windows XP, I have to say my first impressions are very positive.

Being a woman, I'm not going to dwell on tech specs that I neither care about nor fully understand. It's easy to use, lovely to look at, has great screen visual quality and definition, and best of all got itself up and running quickly and painlessly. It was even easy to connect to our wi-fi home hub.

I have Jasmine on my desktop, have customised my screensaver and browser colours - so that's it, all set up and ready to roll!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

I feel grey

...I feel miserable and fed up

Not sure what it's all about, but my chirpiness just went off on its holidays and left me feeling grumpy, disgruntled and downright brassed off with my life, my job, my - everything!

Perhaps it's my job, the assignments, the stats and transcripts, the never-ending series of spreadsheets I seem to spend my life updating and creating.

Perhaps it's the weather - not a break in the clouds, it's as sullen out there as I feel in here.

I feel like getting in my car and whizzing off somewhere for a few days, getting right out of my boring middle aged old skin and living a different life even if only for a few hours or days.

:(

Friday, 31 July 2009

On a mission

Just having a quick break to rest my aching back for a few minutes.

Today I'm archiving all the assignments, portfolios etc from the July boards - and as the powers that be here decided in their infinite wisdom that my archive room is to be up on C floor, that means lugging box after box up 2 flights of stairs. When you put lots of sheets of it together, paper really does weigh quite a bit, hopefully even enough to offset the calories from the Twix bars I ate this morning. I 'm supposed to be back on my diet having put just under half of what I lost in the new year back on, so I'm hopeful that this may be the case.

Anyway, back to archiving (which it has to be said I would rather do than diet). It's quite satisfying in a way, I can see lots of square feet of my office that have been hidden under boxes for the past 3 months, and it almost makes me feel that I'm on top of all my work, that having all this space ready for the next lot, which are already coming in thick and fast, means that I'm prepared and all set for it.

Which is important, as I discovered yesterday that the Institute running my foot course can't organise a p-up in a brewery and posted the wrong information about booking on to the clinical placement on the website. Apparent I could have booked myself on to the one at the end of Sept if I'd phoned them after passing my module 12 assessment, but as I chose to believe what they posted on the website, I thought I should wait until I posted my portfolio to them - and have consequently found that all the placements are fully booked until the end of October!

Thankfully my bosses here like me and are sorry to be losing me (I really don't want that to sound quite as big-headed as it does), and have agreed that I can move my leaving date by a month.

This, however, means that the July boards weren't my last - I have another set to go...

It's enough to make me turn to chocolate in industrial quantities...

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Four down...

... and 2 to go. Essays, that is. I'm more than half way through my final portfolio essays and feeling rather relieved about it. Today's essay was the first one I actually enjoyed out of this latest batch - probably because I can see the end and am feeling a little less pressured. I've written 4 essays in just under 2 weeks, and am racing full speed to complete the theory modules. I am a little disappointed that this is the case. I would have liked to be able to study this year with a lot less rushing and stressing - but as I rather stupidly also embarked on major house renovations at almost the same time as I started the course, I only have myself to blame.
But I'm nearly there, and looking forward to my first week's clinical practice in just over 2 weeks - and to finding out what my accommodation is going to be like. One day I'll write a blog post on the 2 bizarre telephone conversations with my prospective landlady - but I don't have the energy to put it into words tonight. Suffice it to say I'm taking a sleeping bag and my own pillow - just in case.

It's been a good weekend. As well as writing the essay, I managed to get out in the garden for a few hours. We harvested the pink fir potatos yesterday and are really pleased with what we got. We won't be needing to buy any potatoes until the remaining 2 bags are ready for harvesting this autumn. Finally, we're self-sufficient in something!! It's a nice feeling after the cucumbers died on us, the courgettes got drowned in the spring monsoon, the peas didn't quite get there, and only 1 butternut squash struggled its way to adulthood.

It's not been a total disaster - we had lots of lettuce, a good crop of broad beans, and after a shaky start we have more tomatoes than we quite know what to do with at the moment. But I've had better years gardening-wise.

I planted the rest of the leeks out in the plot where the broad beans had been - we now have over 50 in the garden in various places - and in a few months time we'll be self-sufficient in leeks as well...

Not that the point of gardening is self-sufficiency. But it is nice to walk into Morrisons on a Saturday and think - no, we don't need to buy any ...., we've got plenty of our own at home. It's a cross between smug and downright astonishment that we've actually managed to get something from seed/plug to the end stage in spite of the slugs, snails, bugs, frost, drought, floods....

Tomorrow night I start my "diabetic foot" essay, but for tonight I'm having a couple of hours off. I've just caught up on my emails, checked facebook yet again and still don't get it, and have caught up on all my favourite blogs. Time to go make a cuppa and put my feet up for a bit. I might even pick up my next book club book and make a start on it.

Friday, 24 July 2009

The Silver Swan

"The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approach'd, unlocked her silent throat;
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more.
Farewell , all joys; O Death, come close mine eyes;
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise."

Orlando Gibbons

He was a composer/musician in the court of King James 1.

Talking about...

Jasmine (my cat) - she came home covered in car oil yesterday, having spent time investigating the innards of the van that one of my neighbours has kindly left to rust and decompose at the end of my garden.

Anyway, I had to bath Jasmine to get the oil off her - not as difficult a process as you might think because although she protests loudly, I think she secretly likes all the attention she gets.

She doesn't like being laughed when she's all wet and spiky though...



And talking of swans, this is what I saw driving through Sprotborough to work this morning:



Wednesday, 22 July 2009

7 things about me and 7 blogs I read

Thanks Fran from Being Miss, for recommending my blog. I'm still fairly new to blogging and all that, and am very chuffed to have been mentioned as an interesting person. Now I have to try to live up to it...

So here goes - things you might (not) want to know about me:

1) I like trees - a bit obvious this one, to anyone who has looked at my blog already I suppose. I blame Tolkein, I was perfectly normal until I read about Fangorn in The Lord of the Rings as a teenager. I only have a tiny town garden where I live - but I've already packed over a dozen (baby) trees in so far.

2) I'm a bit of a twitcher - card carrying member of the RSPB in fact. Maybe it goes hand in hand with the tree thing? It's the every day song birds I love the most, the ones I grew up seeing and taking for granted all around me - but that are unfortunately not quite as common these days. We put seed out of course, and in addition I have my mother trained to put catfood out twice a day for "my" garden birds - mostly starlings, sparrows and blackbirds with the odd robin, magpie and thrush, althbough a greenfinch did come visit the other week, and I have seen a wren in the garden... The cat isn't keen on the use of "her" food in this way - which brings me on to...

3) I have extremely spoilt and stroppy siamese oriental cat. I love her to bits but at least one of my sisters has referred to her as "the devil's child". She's most definitely a child substitute. Siamese cats have the intelligence and attention span of your average 3 year old, so it works very well. Better in fact, because when I go on holiday my parents are resident cat sitters and I don't have to take her with me.

4) Song that best relates to me? El Condor Pasa, sung by Simon and Garfunkel. And as a bonus it mentions swans, wonderfully mythic creatures. Plato and Socrates believed that swans sung at the moment of death "more sweetly than ever, rejoicing in the thought that they are about to go away to Apollo, whose ministers they are." (from the Phaedo, I think). I've also got a verse from one Orlando Gibbons on the subject - but will put that in a separate post sometime.

5) I like lists. And notebooks. And paper. And handbags.

6) I like to knit and crochet - although I am notorious for starting lots of things and finishing relatively few of them. Getting better though - last year I crocheted 2 throws and a fancy long cardigan/housecoat-thingy. I have a bedding trunk full of wool bought in sales or impulse buys from markets/wool and craft shops.

7) My favourite author is a relatively unknown, and rather old fashioned lady called Elizabeth Goudge. There's a link on the left of my blog somewhere to a website about her and her books. I have almost all of her books in paperback editions and am working my way through purchasing "proper" hardback first editions for my bedside bookcase.

And now, finally, the blogs that I'm reading the most at the moment...

1) http://shooresh1917.blogspot.com/

2)
http://sjcintherok.blogspot.com/

3)
http://karwar-daily-pic.blogspot.com/

4) http://cancerbanter.blogspot.com/


5) http://sfbaywhalewatching.blogspot.com/

6) http://aez1001.blogspot.com/

7) http://www.operationnice.com/

Monday, 20 July 2009

As changeable as the weather

Moods are funny things aren't they? They're us, or at least a part of us - they affect the way we act, think, respond to and interact with people and the world around us. We talk about being "in" moods, which kind of implies that they're not really us, just passing phases or optional states of mind.

I try to be in control of mine, I don't want random hormones or passing emotional triggers to get the better of me. But I'll admit that I'm finding that quite hard at the moment. I can go from reasonable and rational to "Kill Bill" mode in about 2 seconds flat.

I'll start with my excuses: I'm tired, I've been very busy recently - my studies and final portfolio essays, going to Norwich and back twice in a week to help Kathryn move house, UCD exam boards, Oxfam on Saturdays, keeping house...

Meditation and deep breathing only gets me so far I find.

Especially when my favourite (and only) teapot gets smashed, and I have to say "oh it's all right, anyone could have done it, it's an accident. Don't worry, we'll get a new one to replace it".

Sulking? Me? Well, yes - but only in this blog! Hopefully this will get it out of my system and I can move on to something more important in my life.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Some pics instead of text

Will come back and maybe add some text to this later, but for now I only have time to put some photos I took during my whistle-stop visit to Kathryn's this weekend to lend her a hand with the house move.

These are taken from near the stables out Claxton way, looking out towards Halvergate marshes and the broads.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Trees - a poem

Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer

Didn't this used to be an ongoing sketch in The Muppet Show in the 70's? If not, I can't think why that show always comes to mind when I hear this poem...

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Cheap Days out in Notts

I had the day off work yesterday - very unusual this close to the exam boards (which are next Tuesday and way too close for my comfort) - but as my family is such a small one, visits from relatives are relatively (if you'll pardon the pun) big deals for us. In this case it was my cousin Michelle, her hubby and little girl. My mother has one brother, with whom she doesn't really keep in much contact, but Michelle and I get on well and when we lived nearer to each other, we used to meet up fairly often. Now that I'm in Notts and she is still in Lancs, we have dwindled to bi-annual emails and phone calls and the odd visit.

So it was a big deal, and a very nice day spent with them. And as Kassidy is only 3 and not of an age to sit still for too long, we braved the elements and went out - to Sherwood Forest visitors centre near Edwinstowe - a first for me in spite of having lived down here for the past 5 years.

And it was lovely, in a run down, slightly neglected way. The council didn't manage to get the funding they applied for last year to turn it into an all singing, all dancing major tourist attraction - for which I am very grateful. There were only a few other people besides ourselves, the woods were quiet and tranquil, and as the rain held off and the sun even came out for a while, we had a lovely ramble around along the paths to and from the Major Oak.

I forgot to take my camera though, so have filched this one from the Notts county council website.

Like any other old lady, the tree would be lost without her sticks - and in this case there are quite a few of them holding the tree together and upright - so it was hard to conjure up any spirit of romance and derring-do. But I still felt a lot of admiration for her age and sheer tenacity - I'm so glad they haven't managed to Disney-fy her yet.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Silly phobias

I have what must be one of the stupidest phobias around.

You know when you run a bath and put the bubble bath in - unless you occasionally give it a bit of a whisk around, the foam and bubbles all pile up beneath the hot tap?

Well that's my phobia - putting my hand into it once it's turned into that foamy mountain!

I'm fine with it otherwise - in fact hate having a bath without the bubbles, it's just that bit, putting my hand into the foam. Once I've done it and the bubbles are nicely distrubuted around they turn back into nice comforting bubbles again.

And if I don't, well, that doesn't work. At some point I have to break it up, or there aren't any other bubbles to soak in. And I never have time to give the bath the odd stir while its running - the water pressure is really low so I go off and make a coffee, feed the cat, brush my teeth... while I'm waiting. I never remember to come back and give the water a stir so I only notice it when the mountain has got to "phobia" size.

So every day, I have to steel myself, close my eyes and plunge my hand in and madly whisk it around a bit.

And then I'm fine.

And no, I don't have a shower, so that's not an option.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Just a very quick rant before I go back to my exam board lists..

Just been reading Being Miss's blog post on the comprehensively helpful advice given by the BBCs health pages on dealing with the heat, aimed perhaps at people with a very small and limited experience of life in a hot country - or maybe of life itself? I'm not IT literate enough yet to put a link thingy to her post (oops, am I being unconsciously ironic here?) , but she's listed below left in my blogs list.

But whilst sagely nodding my head and agreeing sadly that we simply aren't given enough information to protect us from ourselves these days, I would like to add my own criticism of auntie Beeb.

And that is - what have they done to the tennis coverage? I haven't watched Wimbledon for a few years admittedly - moved house, went on holiday, went a few years without telly etc etc - but when I watched the Murray Warwrinka (might have added/missed a consonent or 2 there) match the other night I nearly ripped up my dad's free over 75's TV licence and put the telly on Ebay.

What's with the constant shots of the audience - who cares about them? I don't, and I certainly don't want to see them jumping up and down, oohing and ahhing and cheering every 30 seconds or so. I also don't want constant shots of the night sky, the moon, the covered roof and every other sort of attempt to show the cameraman's versatility.

I want to watch the match. I want to ignore the crowd cheering when Murray's opponent loses a point - how unsportsmanlike can you get? I don't mind (too much) the cheering when someone wins a point, but when they lose one it's just not, well it's not tennis! I can turn the sound down, but I can't keep turning the telly on and off.

So sort it out Beeb. Let me watch the tennis, and not the audience!

A room with a (summer) view










"My" squirrel friend has been visiting a lot recently, so I brought my camera in to take another snap - so of course s/he's decided to go visit other friends and relatives and give me a miss today.

But as I mused on the dangers of working with children and animals, I remembered my intention to take pictures of the trees and view from my window every month so I could record the seasons.

So here are June's snaps. Trees in full leaf, everything looking very big and very green.










I will miss this when I leave. My first ever office to myself, and such a great view.


Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Corny puns...

.. wonder if I could have got away with titling my last post...

Burning my boots?

No? Oh well, never mind, it's been a long day.

Burning my boats

Well, I've done it! Just come back downstairs from handing N a letter confirming my intention to leave when I complete the theory part of my course. I haven't given an exact date yet, but it means that they can now advertise for my replacement and unless I change my mind within the next couple of days I will HAVE to leave by the end of September at the latest.

Which is fine, and what I want to do.

Except...
  • What if I fail the clinical practice
  • What if I turn out to be completely crap at it even if I pass the clinical practice
  • What if I hate it even if I'm not completely crap and pass the clinical practice

To say I've got cold feet would not only be untrue but would probably rank pretty high amongst the world's worst puns.

But I am a bit scared!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Another ramble about Lancaster

Went round to Jo's for yoga last night, but in the end we just sat and drank coffee and caught up on gossip since I haven't seen her that much this past week.

So once we'd caught up on the saga of the exploding elderflower champagne, our other sister's impending house move, driving lessons etc and I'd talked about Ange and Lancaster and how nice it was to see my old stomping ground again, she asked me if I ever regretted moving south and thought of going back.

Well, yes I have thought about it once or twice - but never in terms of actually wanting to go back, more a kind of academic, what would it be like if I did thing. And I have to say that lovely as it is I'm always glad to be driving away again - even though I'm sad to be leaving friends behind me.

But this time, driving away on Wednesday morning, I actually felt a little resentful of that, and as I wondered why I realised that although for the best part of 20-odd years I tried very hard to turn Lancaster into my home town - I never did manage. It was C's home town in every sense of the word, but I was just a tourist with a long-stay visa. And really, that's not the town's fault - how could it be? If any blame is to be attached, it should be to me for not seeing it sooner, and for not moving on to live the rest of my (post-student) life in the way and the place that I really wanted to be. The trouble is that I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up - consequently it's been quite a drawn out process!

I don't necessarily intend to stay in Retford for ever - but I know now that I have choices. And that it is up to me to make them.

So to end my rambling, here are a couple of photos that my friend Dan took of Lancaster.



Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Nostalgia Trip

A few thoughts and snaps from my weekend in Lancaster visiting Ange.

For once I went for a a few days - this past year all I seem to have managed are overnight stops for birthday parties etc. And as Ange is still fairly convalescent and a bit down about it all, we had small, gentle trips and days out rather than the usual hectic rushing here and there.

We went to Morecambe, had a wander down the prom on a grey and blustery Sunday and ate tapas in the Spanish Bar. The prom is great now, and I especially like the birds - what are they, statues, busts, casts, ornaments?! Can't think of the word... But what a shame that the rest of the town is still so run-down and tumble-down - like a painted old lady trying so hard but not managing to conceal the ravages of her life. But the second hand book shop opposite where the pier used to be is still there - and I had a good opportunity to nostalge about my student days and dancing on the pier in the glory years....

We drove up to the Lakes - only got as far as Windermere but Fell Foot is as lovely as ever, the swans are still there and the cranberry cookies delicious (and huge - bigger than the plate!)

And we wandered into Lancaster on a very hot and sunny Tuesday, went to Penny Street caf (without the e) for tea and toast, mooched about the shops and walked back via Greaves Park and the Monkey Rack.

We even went up on to campus and Danny sneaked me into the SLC to see how it has changed. I'm so pleased (and I have to admit proud) that my baby has not only survived but thrived since I left. But there are new buildings everywhere - including on County field which they said they would never build on (yeah, yeah...) and the residence blocks in Fylde a long gone memory...

God I feel old!!

So I'll shut up and post a few snaps I took:



Winderemere from Fell Foot National Trust part


















A ramble in the woods at Fell Foot.







The Monkey Rack and Sharpes Hill:








Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Garden update

Decided to keep my blog politics free, so have deleted my last blog entry and will post some pics I took of my garden at the weekend instead.


Spuds! Earlies should be ready in just a couple of weeks.


Broad beans, still at the flowering stage, but a few pods showing now


Fruit bushes - currents, raspberries and gooseberries. All looking a bit wild, but doing ok this year. Last year was the first year I put them in.

And some misc flowers...












And one picture to show why pictures of the WHOLE garden don't work...

... because my lawnmower blew up last autumn so I took it as a sign, and this spring removed all the grass (which was a mess of thatch, clover, weeds and dock anyway) - but can't yet afford the cobbles and stones etc that I want to replace it with. And in the meantime, the weeds are fighting back and I'm too busy studying and working to keep up with the weeding!
It'll be lovely one day though...

Sunday, 14 June 2009

I may be tempted...

to take action and temporarily abandon my live and let live organic pesticide-free principles if this carries on much longer.

I have a plague of greenfly - not just on my roses, although they are there. But the problem is they are everywhere else - on my tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peppers, and very single other green palnt or flower in the garden - and this is in spite of daily dousings with soapy water - which I believe my principles do allow (please don't tell me if I'm wrong...) And what is almost worse, every time I set foot in the garden I come back in covered in the little bleeders. AND they nip, quite hard when you consider how small and weedy looking they are. It's like they think they own the place.

I lost 2 roses and a lupin to them last year.

So it's time for a google search to find out how to get rid of them - in a way that doesn't compromise my karma of course!!!

And if there isn't one, well I may have to look the other way while I send my father out with something from the local garden centre...

Friday, 12 June 2009

Equal and Opposite forces

Driving home I decided I needed to post a more cheerful blog entry to balance my karma a bit - you know, like the law of physics... can't remember exactly but it's along the lines of reactions needing equal and opposite forces.

When I heard my fave Bob Marley song and managed to beat a BMW off the slip road and onto the A1 I thought that might be it...

But then, when I finally managed to boot my mah-jong obsessed parents off the laptop and logged onto my email - I had TWO comments to moderate.

Two! In one day! I never had a comment before, and now I've got a follower as well, a follower who liked my post.

Suddenly I feel all warm and glowing and happy.

Blogs and the internet are very strange.

But this unknown, insignificant UK lady is very happy tonight - and she hasn't even had her first Baileys yet.

That was the week that was

Just about to pack up, log off and get the hell out of here for another week.

About half an hour ago I was feeling quite elated at what I'd achieved - and (in my opinion at least!) totally against the odds. After all I have managed to extract assignments and marks from 5 programme leaders and sent them off to 5 different externals, get most of the mark sheets at least half done, typed up the last pl meeting mins in time for the next one next Weds, replied to at least 50 students with their grades/advice on their assignment submissions/apps for extensions etc, AND make a good start on the general preps for the next boards.

But then I started my to do list for next week so that I'd know what I should be doing when I get in on Monday with my brain still fuzzy and fluffy from Sunday's studying.

And I wish I hadn't.

It really isn't possible. I really don't think I'll be pulling the rabbit out of the hat this time.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Foot course Update

Studied, completed and passed module 9 in 2 days flat with a score of.... 100%

Onwards and upwards!

Following

I've become a lot less interested in writing and posting to my own blog recently - which I have put down to 2 factors:

1) I don't have much spare time, being busy at work and home at the moment.

2) What time I do have spare when I'm online I seem to spend reading other people's blogs.

Some I find through the Blogs of Note, others just randomly appear when I click on various links/interests and hobbies etc.

The only way I have found to keep them listed so that I can find them again is to add myself as a "follower" of the blog - which being fairly blog-illiterate bothers me a bit as it seems to me to be one step away from stalking...

I do it publicly - anonymous following seems even worse to me, but every time I add myself to a complete stranger's blog I have to admit to feeling slightly uncomfortable - I mean, these people don't know me at all, won't they think it weird that some unknown lady from the UK is reading their thoughts and comments?

Monday, 8 June 2009

Jools Holland at Thetford


Not a great photo - too many bald heads in the way!! Wanna guess the audience's average age? Me neither, I may not be bald but the grey hairs shock me every time I look in the mirror. How did I get to be this old on the outside when I still feel young on the inside?!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

I came on line to write something about the Jools Holland concert we went to in Thetford forest last night - but have spent so long showing mum how to search for clues for dad's crosswords using google and wikipedia that I'm too tired to be bothered now!

So will leave this title up and add to the post tomorrow...

Brilliant night though - lovely place, great great music, lots of dancing, lots of fun.

Friday, 5 June 2009

The Apartment in Calis

The pool...
Where we spent our days

house guest


view from the balcony



a few holiday pics



Before I forget how lovely it was...










I think I will always remember Turkey in shades of blue.



Thursday, 4 June 2009

Module 8

Jst finished and passed the module 8 test - got 19 out of the 25 questions right, which is ok I suppose, but it took me nearly all the time allowed and I had to keep looking up and checking my answers. Definitely NOT a good idea to do this again - so I need somehow to find more time in my days to study better and longer and make better notes so that I'm more prepared.

After all, when I qualify and start to wield my nippers and scalpel I won't be able to go away and quickly check my notes or course materials - can't see that inspiring much confidence in my patients if I do!!

But how am I supposed to find the time to study "properly". I work full time, run a house, look after and cook for 2 parents and 1 very spoilt cat and already there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to do more than "rush" my way through each of the modules as I gallop towards my goal of finishing the theory modules by the end of July. That means I have to do 1 module every 2 weeks..

Anyway, I'm too tired even to moan properly, so will post this, make a cuppa and take it up to bed with me.

zzzzz

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Oh no, Oh no...

It's back to work I go ...

Got back from Turkey in the wee small hours of yesterday morning - mercifully unaware of the Air France plane crash in the Atlantic due to a whole week of no TV, no radio, no newspapers (or at least none in any language I can understand). It's no good telling me that flying is safer than any other means of transport, I'm sure it is, but it's also (in my book anyway) the most unnatural means of transport. I'll repeat once again - if god had meant us to fly, he'd have given us wings. Tin cans with turbo jet engines and fixed wings are a pretty poor substitute.

And yet without them I'd have missed Turkey, which would have been such a shame, as I loved what I saw of it and the people so much more than I thought I would. I'm at work at the moment and have a week's worth to catch up on as no one does my job when I'm away so I can't write much - so will put a few bullet points to remind myself to come back later to:
  • The white arab horse galloping past the villa in the dying light of the evening
  • Brilliantly coloured flowers and the general bright loveliness of Calis
  • The colour of the Aegean, the 12 island boat trip, swimming in the warm sea, wondering if Odysseus got lost anywhere around here on his way home from Troy
  • The friendly, courteous, happy and welcoming local people
  • The fun of trying to speak Turkish, shopping trips and getting lost following maps that made no sense at all because the map maker had obviously never been to the area
  • The villa, the swimming pool, life by the pool
  • The heat, the mosquitos, the lorry squirting horrendously foul insecticides into the air every night
  • The local cats

Friday, 22 May 2009

Hi ho hi ho..

But not to work - it's off to my holiday I go!!!

A whole week and a bit of not getting up at half 5, not screaming up the A1 with all the BMWs and Audis cutting me up and looking down on my little zoomer.

A whole week.... and a bit...

Letting off steam

Right, I'm going to write this, post it, get it out of my system and then come back and delete it later when I've calmed down, regained my sense of humour and can see how silly it is to be wasting time over it.

....

3 hours later

Which I have now done. Sad and silly details no longer required so I have deleted all but the memory of all that negative energy.

I read something that the Dalai Lama wrote about how being angry at something you can't resolve is like standing on the deck of the Titanic shouting at the approaching iceberg. I get that, but still haven't found a way to see it coming in time to manoevre past to safety.

It was all so much simpler when it was just me and Jasmine...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

And to end on a cheerful note...

My new bed arrived yesterday so I finally got to fold up and replace the camp bed I've been sleeping on for the past 4 months or so.

It's only a cheap metal framed single bed - so I couldn't exactly do my star fish impression, but it was the same height from top to bottom, doesn't sag in the middle, supports the mattress properly, and most of all - there was finally enough space for Jasmine to share the bed and pillow without having to push me over the edge halfway through the night.

I'm so pleased with it, I might even take a picture of it tonight to post tomorrow...

Feeling blue

I should be all excited, I'm going away on holiday in just a few days time, and will have a whole week to loll by the pool, read my books (correction, study hard...) and generally not have to be here.

But I'm not, I'm feeling tired, stressed, put-upon and generally fed up.

Why is it that the current work ethic seems to be that when you book time off work, you have to work extra hard before and after to make up for the few precious days you have when you temporarily escape from the hive?

I'm tempted to launch into a complete and utter whinge about work and other "sorry for myself" topics, but will stop right now.

The bottom line is:

A) Stop whingeing and do something about it Gill

or

B) Put up with it, get on with it and stop whingeing Gill.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Catch up from home

Been using the laptop loads but it's been either to teach mum and dad how to use it - Vista, mah jong, email and the internet..

Or to access my course. Passed the module 7 assessment on Sunday and now on to nails and common conditions of the nail. Good job I've been working on my innate squeamishness - some of the images could put you right off your lunch!

Mum and dad are fine on the whole on the computer, and the touchpad seems much easier for them to use than the old mouse. Which surprised me at first but then again it can't run away with you and it's much harder to accidentally click when you shouldn't.

They can both navigate their way round the BBC website now and send and reply to emails - although that can still be a bit hit and miss. But considering we've been online less than a week, they're doing amazingly well. Dad is probably more competent at the moment, but he's used to teletext and to machines - mum is still quite scared of it, which I remember from when I first started on computers and had this fear that I would delete everything and "break" it if I hit the wrong key.

On the whole it's great and so nice to be able to use the computer at home insteaad of having to squish it at work in lunch and tea breaks.

Talking of tea, though, time for a cuppa...

Thursday, 14 May 2009

blogging from home

Well, here it is - my first blog from the laptop at home! And I'm not so much excited as knackered, as I am having to get used to Windows Vista, different email set up, different Windows explorer, different everything...

Don't want to sound like a luddite but why do they have to keep changing everything!!!

But in spite of all that, the laptop is lovely, BT came up trumps in the end and sorted the email address issue out quickly and efficiently, and mum and dad have both used the laptop quite a bit and have even had their first forays into the web.

It's all good.

Monday, 11 May 2009

He's back!

(picture from the RSPB website)

.. or rather I saw him again for the first time this summer - and this time I saw enough of him to be completely, totally and utterly sure that he is a yellowhammer and not a siskin or a yellow wagtail. As I drew near, he shot up into the air, did a bit of a wing commander's roll and I clearly saw the white flashes on his tail - so when I got to work out came my bird book and yes, he is a yellowhammer.

He was beautiful, such a bright canary yellow and much more of it than on the picture above, as the yellow continued down his front and tummy. I feel so privileged to have seen him again. For the past month I've been coming the back way to work in the hope of seeing him, but today was the first time since last July I think.

It's made my Monday.


Friday, 8 May 2009

End the week on a cheerful note

Here is "my" squirrel, back for quick bite to eat in between the rain showers.




Anonymity

I'ts funny, when I started this blog, I made it private so that only I could read it.

Then I got lazy and less paranoid and left it open, thinking that it is much too small and insignificant a twig to be noticed in the blogger jungle.

Which I like and find reassuring that I can write pretty much what I want without worrying about what anyone would think. I especially find that I don't want anyone who knows me to read it, and be comparing my thoughts and ramblings to the person they (think to) know.

But if I'm honest, I sometimes look at my profile counter and wonder if anyone ever drops by, and if so, what do they think - and most importantly of all "will they like me?" Which has always been my "thing" - a born and bred people pleaser who finds it hard to stand up against disapproval from family, friends, colleagues.

This morning, I read another blogger's post which I found interesting, and nearly added a comment to say so - but stopped right before I posted it, as I suddenly thought they might come to my blog - and they might not like me.

And yet, how terrible would that be? Would I / should I really care so very much?

Thursday, 7 May 2009

My (our) new baby!

The laptop has arrived and it's perfect. Very shiny, very blue, very Dell. I'm in love with it and would have taken it to bed with me if I hadn't had to leave it plugged in to charge the battery. It seems to work perfectly and Vista doesn't seem that bad, contrary to what I had been led to believe. I have set up 3 users - me, mum and dad. We have our own passwords, our own gadgets and desktops and it all seems to work fine. Full marks to Dell for great service and delivering early.

Not so full marks for BT. I rang them yesterday to set up broadband , having been told by lots of people that they are good, reliable, easy to use etc etc etc. The salesboy hassled me through the call as quickly as he could and the whole time made it quite clear he wasn't interested in me or what I wanted, told me not to bother getting an engineer out to help install it, even though I had said I wanted one because of the wireless problems Jo has had, told me that I could ring back later to cancel my old BT dial up account (I am now told he could or should have done the transition thing for me there and then) and WORST OF ALL, he told me that my email account wouldn't be set up until the kit arrives and I could ring BT then to set it up and decide what my email address will be.

Then, later in the day I received my confirmation and order details from BT, and guess what, they have already set up and given me the most random meaningless email address! So I rang them. I spent over half an hour waiting in queues and explaining myself again and again and again to 5 different people, and even now I have to take it on trust that my email address will be changed as 2 people just transferred me without even listening to me, 2 people told me that I couldn't change it and it didn't really matter anyway, and only 1 said I could - but that I can't do it now as my account is not live yet and therefore can't be accessed.

So I'll have to wait and see and try not to let nasty old BT spoil my fun with my new baby!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Food for thought

Taken from In God We Doubt, Confessions of a Failed Atheist by John Humphrys:

If you want God, then you must be prepared to let go of all - absolutely all - substitute satisfactions, intellectual and emotional. You must recognise that God is so unlike whatever can be thought or pictured that, when you have got beyond the stage of self-indulgent religiosity, there will be nothing you can securely know or feel. You face a blank and any attempt to avoid that or shy away from it is a return to playing comfortable religious games ... If you genuinely desire union with the unspeakable love of God, then, you must be prepared to have your "religious" world shattered. If you think devotional practices, theological insights, even charitable actions give you some sort of purchase on God, you are still playing games."

By Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Wonderfully put, thought provoking, meditatively inspiring stuff, I think.

Friday, 1 May 2009

More pics

To counteract the negativity of my last post, here are some I took on the way home last night...















I stopped under an old Victorian railway bridge. The woods look dark and mysterious to me.

In the mornings, coming from the opposite direction, it's like diving into a deep green living tunnel. My heart races a little every time at the potential for adventure.

More menopause madness

I'm really struggling with my moods. I keep pulling myself up but there were times last night when I had my mouth so firmly shut it must have looked like I was biting my lips off!

Which may be better than blowing up and shouting - but probably not much as I was aware of mum and dad both struggling with me. It wouldn't be so bad if they would just leave me alone to get over it, but they both try so hard to jolly me along - without wanting to sound even more like a stroppy teenager than I already do, the guilt just makes me feel worse.

So how do I manage to stay detached and calm and not take it out on everyone around me? I AM really really trying hard.

And failing miserably I think....

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

My skin doesn't fit today

Did you ever get one of those days when nothing seems quite right or quite real?

I felt fine when I woke up, a bit muzzy and vague, but that's not that unusual for a Wednesday.

But then things started to go wrong. I was late leaving the house because I couldn't stop fussing and fidgeting with things that didn't need any attention from me.

I got to work to find my milk bottle (an old jam jar with a badly fitting lid) had leaked ALL my milk all over the bottom of my bag - soaking my fruit, 2 books, some paperwork, and various othe bits and bobs lurking in the depths. In the process of trying to extract it all, I managed to spill milk in various places in the office resulting in a massive clean up operation as well as the washing of my bag - which is now hanging out of the window scaring all the birds so I have no feathered friends to cheer me up today.

My fingers won't work properly, I keep hitting the wrong keys but the habit of speed and touch typing means that I can't for some reason type any slower even though half the time I'm backspacing every other letter.

My skin doesn't seem to fit properly, my clothes feel wrong and twisted up. I keep getting really hot and then really cold...

It's either the return of the menopause or my fault for not saluting that magpie last night.

Remind me again - what do we need hormones for?....

Now that I've got the hang of posting pics...





Here are some more - lovely sunshiney day today and everything looks so fresh after a good wash.



Trying to be arty here and it's not worked, but the greens are so lovely I'll leave it in to brighen up my blog.








This is my special tree - the one right outside my window and from which the birds dip and dart to my windowsill for the food I put out.
I have no idea what type of tree it is though and am waiting for the leaves to be fully out so that I can then check and find out on the forestry website.