Sunday, 21 August 2016

A quandary

So, things have finally come to a head at work.

My boss has been struggling since she returned in February last year from a year off work due to breast cancer. Her consultant colleagues do not seem to have a drop of compassion in their bones - funny really when you look at the speciality they work in and the types of patients they have to deal with every day.

We have employed two new consultants - one to replace someone who has just retired and another due to the increasing workload - this takes our consultant number to 5. The agreement for the 5th consultant was that they would be part H&T - our speciality.

In reality this is not going to happen. The other 4 have had a pre-meeting prior to the official meeting yesterday and they have basically ganged up on my boss and told her that she needs to just carry on with her work. The workload is unmanageable and to top it all, we have recently lost our secretary due to the other secretaries ganging up on her because she worked for our boss who "wasn't really a haematology consultant as she doesn't do malignancy!" So, between the two of us we have also taken on secretarial work which has me working most days 12 hour shifts and at least 6 on a  Saturday - I am like a walking zombie this evening!

After yesterday's meeting, my boss just text me and said that she would be looking for a new job and was at that point looking at the commute to one of the larger hospitals not far from us.

I knew from that short text, how that meeting had gone - badly.

My boss has said that when she leaves, wherever she ends up, she will make me a part of her package - she does not want to leave me behind. That makes me feel wanted as I can see the nightmare that will await me if it is just me as the other consultants really have no idea at all about H&T and we run even more specialised clinics with pregnant women in too - I dread to think what will happen there!

However, the problem I see at both of the bigger Trusts near us, is that the already have specialist nurses who do my job - because we are a small district general, I am doing 3 roles in one - the other Trusts have a nurse (even a team of nurses) for each of my roles and I am not sure how I would fit in.

The smaller of the two Trusts is the longest commute - do I really want to either drive an 80 mile round trip 5 days per week or travel on the train for 2 hours each day? The larger of the two Trusts is where I trained and then worked for a further 13 years prior to moving to the Trust where I am now. I'm not sure I really want to go back there.

That puts me in a quandary - do I stay where I know it will be unbearable - or do I go with the boss to a new world?

Watch this space - I think it may cause some fraught discussions at home as well!!

Monday, 20 June 2016

The theatre!

My boss is very much a theatre goer - she regularly goes and she enjoys it!

Apart from the obligatory pantomimes as a child I have never really been.

She has been through a lot in the past 2 years and in November 2014 she completed her radiotherapy just as we were due to go to London for a meeting at Parliament.

When I mentioned that I had never been before, she said " let's go and watch Les Mis" it's a great one to start with.

So £135 lighter in the pocket (and that was a cheap seat) and off we went!

To say that it blew me away was an understatement - I have never seen the films, or even listened to the soundtracks before, but this was amazing. It was at the London Queen's Theatre, minimal scenery and props, and a revolving stage. I came home that night tired but blown away.

Then for Christmas that year she gave me a ticket to see Legally Blonde - the musical at our local open air theatre. It is one of the top ones in the country and seats about 550 people under very large canopies.




Again, never seen the film and had no idea about the story but that was great too.

Christmas present last year - West Side Story at the open air theatre this week and that was amazing too.





I have two more evenings booked for this year as well - beyond the barricades (have no idea) and Thoroughly Modern Milly (again no idea).

While I do enjoy theses nights out - I am starting to believe that I am nowhere near the sophisticated socialite that my boss is and really do not appreciate the theatre as much as she does - last week she went to our local large indoor theatre and watched Jane Eyre as a ballet - that is something I could never do!

As a girls night out, I would thoroughly recommend it - if you have a partner who would put up with the show, then our local outdoor theatre is situated in the grounds of a very swanky hotel and they do dinner, show and stay over packages which would make a lovely anniversary treat or just a "get away from it all" treat.

Monday, 13 June 2016

What to do with all of that spare time I now have!!

So, I now have an extra 90 minutes a week - or so the official Girlguiding UK publicity blurb would have you believe that is all is needed to run a unit each week!!

I have been busy since I stepped down as Brown Owl - I was training at the time for the half Moonwalk. I do not do exercise and I do not walk long distances! This was a challenge - especially as they had moved the starting point this year so the distance was actually 15.1 miles - not the 13.1miles that a half marathon should be.

If you have never heard of the Moonwalk this should let you know a bit more! It is a charity that has become very close to my heart over the past couple of years, following on from my boss being diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago. She has fought every step of the way and has been given the 18 month all-clear today, so things are looking up!

You are sent a wonderbra and you have to decorate it according to a theme - this year's was carnival. Now I am no craft person and so managed to pull together this:


A Sharpie pen around the wire, some buttons glue-gunned on and a pink feather bower glued on as well!

You are then asked to walk your distance in your bra and a pair of black leggings - that is all!!

The route left Clapham Common, went through Battersea Park, past Vauxhall, along the Thames, past Parliament and then over the river and then back along the Mall, and back along to  Clapham Common - there were many more places but that was the general route.

I probably did not train as much as I should have - but have managed to discover several reservoirs around the two counties that surround our house.

On the night, I really did not think I would make it, but with the support of the friends who agreed to walk the route with me, we made it. It took us around 6 and a half hours to walk it in total and felt like zombies at the end of it. I honestly thought I would  never be able to move again!

At the end of the walk we were presented with this:




It was worth it and I would recommend it to anyone to do as a once in a lifetime challenge - I can now say I have completed a half marathon! I will however, never be doing it again.

Give it a go, if not a half marathon, how about one of the 5K or 10K walk/runs events that Race for Life promote each year? They are just a walk in the park - simples!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

And so I am no longer an old wise bird

So, the term has passed very quickly and I find myself no longer Brown Owl!

Is it wrong that I spent the term counting how many meetings were left and how happy that made me feel?

My final night was our usual end of term awards night - we play games, sing songs, give out badges that they had worked towards, as well as award best brownie and best six.

I had spent time thinking about what I could give the leaders as farewell presents and ended up ordering mugs with their Owl names on them and a picture of an owl too. The young leaders had Nemo mugs with their Nemo names on as well.

I managed to find someone who was able to make me personalised thank you letters too - they said "thank you from Brown Owl" on them.

The night passed quickly with leftover biscuits and squash from pack holiday the weekend before and one of the other leaders made some brownie cakes for us all to have.

Some of the brownies gave me cards and presents - the best one was one from sisters that I have in the unit at the the moment which had "open with a smile" written on the back! The one that made me cry was from a mum and two daughters  - the youngest of which is currently in the unit.

Barn Owl gave me a beautiful silver trefoil broach which I shall cherish always.

The unit gave me a lovely Darlington glass vase which was tinted blue and has a trefoil on it - I put my tulips from one of the brownies in it as soon as I got home!

I feel nothing at the moment - that might be because my dining room is covered in brownie stuff waiting to be collected by the leader who is babysitting the unit for the coming term. No one has come forward to be Brown Owl which worries me, as the 2 leaders who are babysitting the unit for the coming term are very clear that they will not be able to take it on full-time - one is about to qualify as a new teacher and will be working about 45 minutes away (not in rush hour traffic) and the other is about to start a Head of Faculty job which will be full-on as well.

I have started swimming with Barn Owl - my aim is to swim each week as part of my preparations for the half Moonwalk in May. We sneak in to a "This Girl Can" session at our local pool on a Tuesday night. I say sneak in as the campaign is actually aimed at 14-40 year olds and although we don't like to admit it, we are fast heading towards our 50's!

This week when we met, I gave her a bunch of flowers and another thank you card - if it wasn't for her, I would never have gone to run the unit. She has helped me through so many challenging times and to me is an excellent role model for anybody wanting to be a guider. I wanted to give her something else besides the general presents that I gave to everyone else. I know that the flowers won't last forever, but the card was different to everyone else's and to me that made it just a little bit more personal.

The recruitment blurb for Guiding says that we only have to give 90 minutes each week - I look forward to claiming back that 90 minutes each week then!!

Goodbye for now Guiding - I think I deserve a rest after 33 years with you.






Sunday, 20 December 2015

Time to say goodbye

My Guiding spirit has finally been broken. I am at that point in my life that I need to say enough is enough and walk away.

For the past 9 years I have been Brown Owl - at times very rewarding and at others a very thankless task.

I have met some fantastic people and am proud to say that some of them have become very good friends - there are many experiences in my life that I would not have had, had it not been for Guiding.

I thought about stepping down about 18 months ago, just before I started my prescribing course, but another long-standing leader beat me to it. Since then I have only gone through the motions and now feel that it is starting to show to the girls.

I am tired - I am the only leader who turns up week after week, the others rotate through. Barn Owl has offered to cover me at times when she has seen how down I am, but I feel guilty asking her to do so, as she is busy running her Ranger unit by default and she never has any other help!

My house has cupboard, after cupboard full of brownie stuff - boxes of left over craft, cupboards of just stuff! I want my house back, I want my life back, I want someone else to take over the responsibility of running the unit.

Work hasn't helped in that I seem to be working 14 hour days at the moment and at least 5 hours each Saturday - and no there is no overtime as its the NHS and we're broke!

This time last year, we were trying to deal with the sudden death of one of our fellow Guiders - it was not her time to go, how can life be so cruel? The past couple of weeks, has seen me thinking about her a lot and maybe this hasn't helped with how I am feeling in general, but I know now is the time to say goodbye.

I hope that I will return to Guiding sometime in the future, I just know that if I don't walk away now, I will come to hate Guiding and will never return.

I have challenges for the New Year - my weight loss has never really got going, so I have persuaded a group of Guiders to help me complete the half Moonwalk in May - it's meant to be 13 miles, but because it's a new route this year, we will have to do 15 instead!! There will be 5 of us walking that night so we will have fun whatever!

So , when I finalise the program for the coming term, the email that will go out to the other leaders will also say that my last night will be the 17th March  - light the touch paper and stand back - how many of the other leaders will stay? Who will step up and run the unit? It will become interesting I can tell you!


Saturday, 8 August 2015

The never ending weight battle!

I have blogged before in a roundabout way about my weight and what I was doing to try and loose some of it.

Well things have gone a bit astray and I am almost back to my starting weight :( I am however able to still fit into my new clothes which seems quite strange!

Life has been hectic since I returned from Tallin and I haven't been able to make time for Zumba or even fat club!

This week, Monkey is away with the Army once again for his annual camp and so I thought I would make time for me. I have begun gently though - Zumba on Monday night and aqua aerobics on Wednesday night. My plan is for Zumba on a Monday and Tuesday and Aqua on a Wednesday, walk to Brownies on a Thursday and meet a friend to walk with her and her dog on a Saturday morning.

I do not have time to attend a physical fat club meeting either anymore, so have decided to cancel my subscription for now and look at the online version instead. I have not yet signed up to that - I will see how things are going come September.

I do love a gadget and so I have invested in a Fitbit - a fancy pedometer that talks to my phone and tells me what I have been doing, it even tells me how many floors I have climbed if I can be bothered to climb them instead of taking the lift at work!

I was due to be meeting my friend today for the walk but she has had a bereavement in the family and so I haven't done that today, however, hubby is off work tomorrow and the weather is looking ok, so hopefully we will have a stroll to Wistow and back.

When I see some of the patients at work and also the complications my mum is having through her diabetes, I realise that I am a ticking time bomb and I really do need to do something about this - it becomes a harder challenge as you get older to loose weight so I need to do something and do it now.

My eating habits have become poor recently and I think it's about how tired I am when I get home - I can't be bothered to think about making my lunch for the following day and so I just nip along to the cafe at work the next day and buy a sausage roll - they sell lovely ones!!

I have managed to do well with fruit and I seem to be filling our fruit bowl 3 times a week at home now - even Monkey was eating better before he went to camp.

We rarely get to bed before midnight at the moment and eating around 10pm doesn't help much either. I am also up and leaving the house by 6:45 each morning so am tired before  even get to work. All of this needs to change - we say it each week that we should be in bed for 10pm but it just doesn't seem to happen!

Hubby and I also made a pact about 3 weeks ago to stop buying the reduced pastries when we were on our way home and not to have sweet stuff in the house - all well and good but when it comes to that time of the month - I NEED SWEET STUFF IDEALLY CHOCOLATE!

I have charged up the Wii Fit Board too and am hoping that on the days I don't do exercise or the long walk, that I will spend 20 minutes or so on that - it will track my weight for me too, so fingers crossed I can start to loose something.

Lets hope I can do something about this now, before it gets too late!


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Family Night Out

Each year, our small work department, has a Petanque challenge. Since starting there, I have never managed to make the night as they tend to hold it at the end of June, usually on my husband's birthday!

This year, they have held it at the end of July - I duly signed up, and then thought last week about asking the boys if they would like to come along too!

Surprisingly, they said yes!

So the evening looms -  it was forecast for heavy rain - and yep, there was heavy rain all night! The mood was somber in the car on the 40 minute drive out to the pub where it was being held, hubby apprehensive about being in a social situation with people he didn't know and not having alcohol to boost his confidence, monkey sulking as he had an evening planned in front of the X-box!

However, once we were there, things got better! We were pitched against a team where I only knew one person but we all got on and had some fun. Having never played Petanque before, we all just reverted back to the game we knew it as - boules from monkey's younger years.

The pitch was muddy and each time we threw a boule, a divot appeared in the ground! The rain poured, the boules were muddier each round and there was nowhere to wash your hands in between throws - they needed a bucket of water to dip your hands in to wash off the mud and to wash the boules with too!

We were the first match to finish - there were 4 other matches going on as we had about 20 people there. We thrashed our opponents - 14 - 1. They were happy though as they wanted to win Valerie the Wooden Duck and Spoon - the booby prize!

We won a commemorative plate - a large oval plate which was "borrowed" from the pub the first year they held the challenge and which someone has subsequently decorated and added the names of the winning team from each year on the back!

This year, our team name will be proudly written - No ifs, just buts - this was the best we could come up with as Far Canals, Norfolk and Hope, Ginger Nuts and Ginger Buts were all rejected!!!

Food followed and monkey was very polite and held his discussions well - loved the part where he was telling a consultant how protein works with his gym routine and muscle build-up!!! To give him his due, the consultant was very good and sounded impressed with monkey's knowledge!

Hubby offered to drive, so I was able to have a couple of drinks which was good too!

All in all a good night and the boys seemed happier on the trip home  - looking forward to more of these nights out soon!