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Saturday, 5 May 2012

Didn't I Tell You?....

Yes... I believe I did.... If you refer back to my previous blog post "Aren't We English Folk Queer?", in which I speak about the bizarre behaviour exhibited by the population of the locals when the sun came out, I think you will find I warned against presumptive action...

Well,

I was proven correct...

The unseasonal weather was a momentary hiccup in our normal pattern of English weather, and we are once more back to normal, wet, grey & miserable.

I am very glad that I didn't abandon my winter wardrobe in favour of t-shirts, summer dresses & sandals, I would be looking very silly right about now. Although there are a number of individuals who clearly attempted to do just this - to their detriment - and I have a word of advice or two for them.

In future:

Never trust the sunshine in March - it is un-natural,
Do not buy strappy tops or sandals in the shops before July (unless going on a foreign holiday somewhere it is justified) - you will feel stupid at some point,
Never hang up your winter coat before the end of May - You ARE going to need it again!
Make sure you have an umbrella in your handbag - You will thank me for this even if it seems pointless at first,
and
Try to use your common sense when dressing your children - use yourself as an example.


Maybe next time people will listen to me.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Aren't we English folk queer?



It is the end of March and the weather is predicted to break after a spell of unseasonable heat and sunshine. I've noticed a few things changing in people's behaviour over the last two weeks and would like to share my observations with you.


BBQ's are just an excuse to burn otherwise perfectly edible food...
It's hit double figures - bring out the BBQ!!

Whilst I quite enjoy the pleasures of a well done al fresco dining experience it does take a certain breed of people to take advantage of whatever little sunshine the British weather decides to offer us (taking into account it is only spring) by dragging the gas-powered (or for those with more taste, charcoal) outdoor oven.... Otherwise known as the BBQ. Because lets face it, whilst the temperature has been nice during the daytime, once the sun starts its decent, about 5pm ish, this quickly changes .... I'd personally rather be inside of an evening, then shivering trying to enjoy my food outside.

Style, sophistication.... the string vest just says it all...
The sun's shining, quick get the string vest on!!

Look, I have no doubt that in someone's eyes you are an attractive person, and, in the right situation that vest top is probably the right thing to be wearing (actually, no, it really isn't, not in public) but it is still only Spring, and this is the United Kingdom..... So, Really????  I don't want to see your pasty British arms & hairy back.... Please cover up.... at least until you've made attempts to look like something that hasn't just come out of hibernation.


Because Ice cream is exactly what you need for lunch isn't it??
You do not need an Ice-cream you miserable child...

Yes my darling... I know the sun is out & the omnipresent child-luring ice-cream vans have started to trawl the streets once more like the leeches they are.... but little one, you do not need an ice-cream or an ice-lolly to live, and yes I can handle the temper tantrum & "you hate me" which I know is going to be levelled at me as a response to this..... So.... Tough......
(One day you'll thank me for denying you all those empty calories.... although it might be some way down the road yet)


It only takes a few minutes to cut your nails & polish them...
 Sandals..... with those toenails?

You could, at the very least, have cut them, even if you didn't paint them...... they look like talons..... Please replace the sandals with appropriate footwear until this has been resolved...

And finally.... for now,



Soooo. Who forgot to shave then? 
Ladies, if you are going to wear a skirt....

Don't forget that we British women do neglect our legs during the dark winter months..... so remember to begin the hair removal process now...... or stay in trousers until you decide you are brave enough to do so.



Ah........ The British & their weather!!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

50 Things to do before I turn 50....

Update
I thought I'd revisit this particular post now I've had (yet another) birthday.... and add to my list... otherwise what's the point of it?

I've reached a turning point in my life despite only being 35.
I've also come to realise that I haven't done a lot of the things I said I going to when I was a teenager. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and has influenced who I am at the moment... Confused, uncertain & a little bit scared maybe.
In order to improve my focus (as much as I have any control over my future) I decided recently that I am going to create my very own "Bucket List" ... except that I have no intention of dying when it's completed, but will have reached a new turning point with a whole lot more satisfaction then I reached this current one with.


Hence the title of this post "50 Things to do before I'm 50"...


I am not about to list all the obvious things like go on a road trip, or have a tattoo etc, as that is not what this is about. I'm going to take a look at my life, the people around me & the experiences I have already had and work out a list of things which I feel are important enough to put down on paper (so to speak) and which are achievable... I hope to make my life more interesting, varied & full of life as a direct result of widening my engagement with the world, once more aiming to be a more rounded person at the end of this time.
And whilst my list may seem trivial, or even casual to some, each item on it will carry a huge amount of meaning for me personally, and surely this is what is important, after all, the idea is to help myself reach my potential, and not to become "famous" or even "infamous".... I am not a celebrity, I have no wish for notoriety and cannot see the point in this being the goal of my list.
Whilst I have entitled my post "50 Things To Do Before I'm 50" I shall not be including a list of these things at first... I realise that developing the catalogue will take a little time & serious thought. However, there is 1 thing I can say and that is I'm not adverse to people making suggestions for the list... Indeed you are most welcome to, for you may be able to see chances that I cannot and therefore offer me the opportunity to add something as a result of your more, outside point of view of my existence.
Will you help? I look forward to reading your thoughts. In the meantime I shall start things off with this:


Number 1 - Ride on the back of a motorcycle....


Why? Because I have never done so but see it as a way of experiencing the freedom of movement this mode of transport can offer... Something you cannot achieve in a car (much as I like being in them too)


I will add to this list as inspiration takes me..... and ultimately fulfil the potential it opens up in front of me.


Number 2 - Travel to Barcelona by myself.....
Why? I have always wanted to go to the city and I feel strongly that travelling with others places restrictions on your choices which I would want to avoid.

Number 3 - Fly in a Helicopter.....

I love flying and the idea of being able to fly closer to the ground, and with more of a personal sense of contact with the aircraft is just alluring.

Number 4 - Have my portrait drawn (or painted) ....
Maybe this is just me being a little vain, but I would really like to see how someone else pictures me...

Number 5 - Dress in a Sari....
Number 6 - Learn to Pole Dance....
Number 7 - Sing live on TV for the 2nd time...
Number 8 - Learn to use a sewing machine....
Number 10 - Have a poem or other piece of writing published in print...
Number 11 - learn burlesque ...
Number 12 - have my picture taken "au natural" ....
Number 13 - Learn to box...
Number 14 - Shift the remaining 2 stone I am carrying...
Number 15 - Say "No" to someone and really mean it...

Monday, 12 March 2012

Torn between family and self

As many of you are now aware I have been lucky to return to return to work full time with a fantastic company in Garston, after a period of leave to care for my children and OH after the events of last year (which still, to be honest, rumble on in the background even now)
But whilst this is repairing some of the damage done to my dented (neigh, broken) self-esteem, through allowing me to gradually move back into wider circles of human contact, feel appreciated by others and show my capabilities outside of the home, it does not appear to be resolving the one lasting issue I have as to my ultimate place in society & life.

I've said before in my blog that I do not yet have a "life plan", but even finding a job which is within an organisation with room to grow does not seem to be showing me the way...

And what's worse, I'm getting to realise that I have a small seed of selfishness building inside of me, a sense of "when will it be time for me?" rather than "time for others" .... as it has been always for the last 18 years.

I love my family dearly, but have I done so to the point where I am losing (or have lost) my own identity & any chance of a sense of direction? Is it too late for me to retrieve it? Will I always place others needs above my own? It seems like that at the moment.
I have occasionally put my foot down & said NO, I'm going out, YOU will have to do without me for one evening..... but I then spend the evening feeling guilty. It's no fun, and I'm sure no fun for those around me.

On the other hand, maybe I'm supposed to be the matriarch.. Maybe that's my lot.... Maybe I'm supposed to act as the shepherd and gather others up & keep them safe?

I don't know.
And at the moment it's driving me nuts.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

How having a carer can make things worse....

As most of you will know, my OH had a heart attack last summer adding to his already complex issues, and forcing me to give up work in order to care for both him & my children. This was a very difficult time for us all & on his initial discharge we received absolutely no help from anyone - we managed because the children were all off school for the summer holidays - but it was very tiring.

When the new school term begun the adult care team had finally realised that in order for us to function as near normal as possible some kind of assistance would be required & they agreed to have a carer organised to visit every weekday morning, for about 30 minutes, to help my OH wake, take his medication, wash, dress & join the rest of the world, whilst I completed the 2-hour round trip to do my youngest daughters school run. At first this seemed to help. I would arrive home at just before 10am and find him sat downstairs, with a warm drink, or at the very least, having had a wash & back on the bed maybe watching iPlayer.... Then over the next 3 months the number of different care staff we saw gradually increased, the frequency with which they turned up late (his medication was supposed to be taken between 8 & 9am which is when they were supposed to arrive) or not show up at all also began to get higher, and by the week before Christmas we found that they failed to show up more often they arrived....

What this meant was three-fold 1) Andy was regularly missing a complete set of his medication doses & having to and rearrange the rest of the days tablets to take account 2) Hospital, GP & other appointments were missed or arrived late at & 3) There was no regularity to his days - if I did not go straight home after the school run because of needing to do shopping or something, for example, then Andy might not get up till lunchtime one day, but if the carer showed up, then it might be 8am the next.

We had received a letter from the company providing the care service, asking us what we wanted to do between Christmas & New Year and this made us stop and think about the whole thing. Having sent the letter back saying that we would get by without anyone coming in at all for this period, we managed to function again without the unreliability & frustration of not knowing who & when and if anyone would actually turn up... Okay, this was another school holiday, but sitting down and talking to the children too during this time, we decided that actually there was no point actually having this service. It provided no real support to Andy, or us as a family, indeed it had actually become a bit of a noose around our necks.So we got in touch with both Adult care services & the care provider & cancelled the service.

What this decision has left is a manic morning routine, the need for me to call & check that Andy is awake whilst I am out doing the school run and generally a tiring start to the day. But we are all agreed that it was the right choice to make. It now frees up the carer for someone elderly or frail who does not have the support of a family on hand (as Andy does) whilst saving us the frustration we were experiencing before Christmas of expecting a process to be carried out & finding that it hadn't.



Once more, it proves that you can really only rely on yourself & those closest to you when push comes to shove.