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, 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.

  • 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!


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.


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