Thursday, 28 May 2020

All Change!

So I last wrote over 6 months ago about how I was struggling with basically everything in life!

So much has happened in that time I don't know where to begin!

Hubby - was away basically from a Monday morning until Friday evening every week - a colleague resigned at Christmas and they did not replace him. He was also starting to work Saturdays. He hated his job. He got a new job in the middle of March and he is now a very happy bunny! Based in our home town but he has been working in London for about 4 weeks now with Saturdays as well but, he is being paid overtime for this and that makes him happy. Drinking continues :(

Weight - a good friend offered to come with me back to face to face classes as she had about a stone to loose which had been creeping up on her over the past 12 months. I am now 24.5lbs lighter and hoping to get to my 2 stone loss in a couple of weeks. The only problem is I can't get any new clothes because of COVID-19 and my jeans are starting to fall down!

Work - I saw a higher banded job advertised at Christmas, had a blazing row with hubby over it as it was in a Trust 80 miles away and didn't apply. It was re-advertised after Christmas as nobody applied and after a sensible discussion with hubby I applied and was successful. I started this at the beginning of April just as COVID-19 hit full force. The service I was joining was shelved and I have been based at a different site for the first 8 weeks doing a bit of the job I was employed to do. However, the matron seems very supportive, we are about to redesign the service I was employed to be a part of as we are taking the opportunity of reviewing it and we are changing it in great detail! I have the responsibility of developing the e-learning and Trust wide education for VTE prevention and we are a very large Trust - 17,5000 employees compared to just 3,500 at the last Trust!. The team are great and I am managing to work my hours over 4 longer days and stay 2 nights a week up there.

My friend - well she is still missing in action. We briefly exchanged messages when I had a panic about an instagram account that had been set up with a number that had sent me abusive messages in the past but when I asked her about why she had stopped speaking to me back in September, nothing but silence. I remain devastated - I shouldn't be but I am.

So onwards and upwards with the job and home life, onwards and downwards with the weight. Friend - I can only hope!

Saturday, 12 October 2019


Life is difficult for me at the moment - in the grand scheme of things when I look at what others are dealing with then this really shouldn't be an issue but I've been feeling low for some time now and everything together is tipping me over the edge.

My knee injury is now 1 year ago but I still have problems with pain and stiffness first thing in the mornings - I am still taking painkillers and I really want to stop them - nothing addictive, just NSAIDs but I really don't want to be taking them every day - I have an unspecified bleeding disorder and this adds to my bruising and spontaneous bleeding.

I am tired - this is nothing new, but I am managing some nights to get between 7 and 8 hours sleep and by lunchtime I am ready for bed again!

Hubby has a new job - he is so pleased to be out of his previous job after 10 years. By the time he left he was really hating it and the people that he worked with and the secret and excessive drinking had started again  - this really worried me but if I tried to discuss it, I had my head bitten off. He is still in the training period but was told that he would need to be away from home no more than 1 night per month. So far he has been in the job 12 working days and has been away for 5 nights with a further 3 planned for next week. It was meant to be 4 but when I said I was struggling with him being away so much, he told work he would drive home from Poole on Monday and then leave again early on Tuesday morning to get to the other side of London for his 8 am appointment. While I appreciate this, it means he will be more tired when driving and then I start to worry about that as well. I am hoping that once his training has completed, he will not be having to drive between Cornwall and Scotland all the time!

Work is hell - I am not working on a Saturday now, as Hubby is home every weekend. This in turn has increased my workload in the week and I am struggling with everything that is needed to be done. I was checking emails from September last night before I left that the Boss had sent to me and I have missed an important one that should have been sorted 5 weeks ago. And now I can't contact the person to arrange blood tests. The Trust is about to go digital and we will be using 4 different systems to cover all the areas, however, nobody seems to be thinking about VTE which needs to be used by all 4 systems and they are now realising that something needs to be done and they are close to being launched. Then trying to speak to the correct people about it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack - none of them have contact extensions, they can only be contacted via email and then take forever to reply, by which time the launch date is nearer and they are saying, oh it's too late to add this now - so my answer back is what are you going to do about it? This is essential to the running of the Trust and patient safety.This is actually making feel extremely stressed and I am at the point where I could just walk!

My weight - I cannot loose any. I have been following WW for many years and while it keeps me at the weight I am, I need to loose weight. The first two weeks of Hubby's new job, I came home and cooked good nutritious meals the nights he was away. This week I basically hit the junk food and have eaten absolute rubbish. I was at the end of September the lightest I had been for over 18 months, but that weight has started to creep back on again and that makes me unhappy.

The one thing that has really upset me and I think has pushed me to this tipping point is a close friend has stopped talking to me. A group of us went out a couple of weeks ago and this friend was at the same event. We all spent the evening talking and generally having a great time. When I left, she said that we would meet up the following week. Since then this friend has not answered any messages or texts and I actually feel abandoned. My best friend has tried to mediate and find out what is actually wrong and she won't talk to her either. What we both cannot understand is how everything was ok on the Friday and by the Saturday I was frozen out. We had a very close friendship and to be honest, this friend was the person I probably spoke to almost every day even if was just to say hello and to check that they were ok. They have been struggling themselves recently and having lost one of their close friends to suicide I had been supporting them even more. It actually feels like she has died - a bit extreme I know but maybe with everything else going on it is hitting harder than usual. It's silly as well as I can go weeks without talking to my best friend and I don't feel like this at all.

I am feeling sick when I wake in the mornings, I am fairly short-tempered at work although I am trying my best not to be  - my office colleagues are both lovely and pleasant to be with, but some days all I want is quiet around me. Ive taken to telling them I have a lot to do and not to be offended but I am going to put my earphones in and work without a distraction!

I don't know what else I can do. Maybe with Hubby away next week, I can try and only work until 6pm and then come home and try and be in bed by 10pm. Look to cook healthy meals again - cooking for one is not fun, I take my hat off to those who are always cooking for one. Maybe look to start the Happy Mile walking again in an attempt to at least give me some exercise each day. Keep my fingers crossed that Hubby's training finishes soon and he isn't away from home as much. My friend? I can only hope that she starts to talk to me again.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

A dream job!

So, it's been a while my friends and lots has changed in my life - but that's for another day!

I have often said that Guiding is an amazing organisation for meeting people who you would never connect with in your normal life!

This is so true for me.

In 2010 I was fortunate to attend the Guiding Centenary Camp at Harewood House in Yorkshire. I had signed up as a general dogsbody and had no idea what I had let myself in for!

I ended up on my second day helping to put up a couple of large tents for a Guiding version of Ready Steady Cook! The person who would be leading this had yet to arrive, so a group of minions were left to do the hard work.

Just as we were putting the final tent pegs this leader arrived - she had a good enough excuse for not being there, she had flown back in from Afghanistan after ending her tour. She wasn't formally in the forces but had spent a period of time out there supporting them by working extremely hard in the background - living conditions weren't great but she managed it!

As I hadn't been assigned to anything in particular at that point, I asked if I could stay and help run the activity with her for the rest of the camp - she agreed and a friendship began.

We are similar in age and have the same sense of humour and you know when you meet some people that this friendship would continue even after the camp had finished. There were a group of 7 of us in total who helped to run this activity and apart from 1, we still try and meet up at least once a year. I am fortunate that I am in the middle of everyone and I do get to see some of them at least twice a year depending where I get to go with work.

This friend was then posted to a British Embassy for 3 years and I was fortunate enough to go out one year for the Queen's Birthday Party as her guest - another experience I would never had got if it wasn't for Guiding!

That posting finished almost 2 years ago now and she has been based back in London since then. She has floated between jobs as her next posting abroad was cancelled and to be honest she hasn't really settled into anything with the gusto she usually does.

20 years ago, she went out to work at Sangam for a year and she has always yearned to return to work there. Just before Christmas, she messaged me to say that the Centre Manager at Sangam job was being advertised and didn't know whether to apply or not - I told her she would be stupid if she didn't!

She applied and obviously got short-listed! Her skills from working for the Government make her perfect for the job. She then had a Skype interview and was given 24 hours to answer 3 questions in 1000 words. She submitted that and was then shortlisted to the final 3. She was then flown out to Sangam with less than a week's notice for her final interview. She loved being back out there and completed the interview and then flew back home on the Sunday and then the wait began!

She waited and waited and waited a bit more - then she messaged me to say that she had been asked to go into WAGGGS on the Thursday. She thought that they would let her know to her face that she hadn't got the job. She was so wrong - they offered her the job and she starts in June.

To her this is her dream job - she has so much to do out there though. The occupancy rate is below 36% and one of her first challenges is to get this increased but knowing her, she will do this.

I am so pleased for her as I know that she is perfect for this - she has so much experience at being the perfect host and getting people to work well together that I know Sangam has an absolute diamond coming to live there.

On the downside, her Rangers and Guides will loose out on a fantastic leader, I won't be able to hop on a train at 3pm and spend an evening in London with her just because we both need to have a rant about anything and everything and set the world to rights!

However, there is What's App and Messenger as well as FaceTime so we will be able to keep in touch, but I will really miss seeing her but hopefully I will be able to visit her at some point!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

An Adult in the Army!

So, 6 months ago, we dropped our son at AFC Harrogate to start his Phase 1 training with the British Army - it was the day of his 17th birthday

This was him 6 weeks later

And this was him today

I think my smile says it all!

Sunday, 27 November 2016


Wow! what  place to visit.

Hubby and I have taken advantage of the fact that we are now child free and can go away whenever we want to and thought that our 18th wedding anniversary would be a good time to start!

We looked to go to Dublin at first but then we saw that Barcelona was cheaper to go to and thought what the hell, let's do it!

I hate flying but at least this time I wasn't on my own!

Early start on the Wednesday morning saw us landing to sunny blue skies in Barcelona at lunch time and we managed to get to our hotel by about 2:30pm - we took the aerobus to Playa de Catalunya which was a 10 minute stroll to our hotel. Hotel was meant to be a 4 star one but I think you can say that it was well loved and needed a bit of TLC. However, we had a lovely spacious room on the 8th floor with a large balcony. View was of the backs of buildings but we had the La Sagrada Família as a view from the balcony and that was our first destination.

We set off to walk there - didn't look too far.

We followed one of the tourist maps and walked passed the Arc de Triomf to begin with.

We then started to try and find our way to the church! Many steps later we finally got there!

It was an amazing place to visit and I would thoroughly recommend it. It just seems to be a never ending building site though!

We strolled back through the streets and managed to find our way back to our hotel - it was the middle of November and we were in short sleeved t-shirts at 8pm- although the locals thought we were mad as they all seemed to be wrapped up!

The next day, we purchased a T10 pass - 10 journeys on bus, train or tram which can be used by multiple people and the bonus is that if you continue with your journey within 75 minutes of getting off of the transport, it still counts as one journey!

We took a bus all they way out of Barcelona to the CosmoCaixa (science museum) which was sited almost on the top of the hills you can see from the harbour. To be honest it wasn't my first choice of places to visit but hubby's boss had said it was great - no it wasn't! The best bit was the amazon rain forest bit

Then we hopped back on the bus and stopped off here

And then hopped back on again down to the harbour. There were some amazing boats down there - hubby googled them when we returned to the UK and one of them was £160 million!

There's a cable car that goes from the harbour up to a mountain where you can spend the day but with my fear of heights I really don't think I will ever make it!

After a wonder around the harbour we made our way back towards the hotel. We stopped off at Barcelona Cathedral which was just around the corner from the hotel. We had to queue to get in as we were going for the free entry time

As you can there was a few of us who had the same idea! It was almost dark by the time we finally got into the cathedral but it was amazing. My camera is pretty naff so I didn't get any usable photos inside apart from this one:

The baptism font - big enough to be used as a bath! It's all locked away behind gates and is very very old indeed!

The food was great in the restaurants around where the hotel was and all in all we spent less than £400 for the 2 of us to stay for 2 nights. This was flights and hotel as well as parking and insurance.
Hubby is one never to return to places but he is keen to return and stay for longer the next time as we definitely didn't get to see everything we wanted to.

Barcelona is a beautiful city and I would recommend it to any of you to go and explore!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Power of Social Media

So, Monkey has left home and joined the Army! His 17th birthday was the day we dropped him off to the Junior Soldier College in Harrogate to start his new life.
We are now 5 and a bit weeks in and get to see him at his Passing in Parade (PIP) this Friday - no I have not been counting the days!!!!!
Just before he left home, I found a parents support group on Facebook which was a closed group run by a group of ladies who have been through the rollercoaster of having their child(ren) go to the College as well. These ladies have created intake groups for several years and do all of this as volunteers - being an ex-brownie leader I know how much time this takes!
They have been amazing on what to take in addition to the kit list that the Army sends you and generally great advice all around.
They are very clear that they are not affiliated with AFC and that everything discussed on that page stays on that page - no exceptions.
This intake is their biggest support group to date - over 400 members and a further 100+ waiting for approval - and this is where the problems have begun.
People have joined the official Army Company pages and then have got confused as to which page they are on, then commented on the wrong page with information that should only be on the parent page. This has upset parents and obviously the admin - apparently if the Company admins identify who the "rebel" parents are, they then take it out on their children!
Drama galore - it has been horrible watching everyone backstabbing each other and blaming each other for what is possibly a mistake. I have to admit, that I have had to think twice a few times about which page I am on and what I should and shouldn't be posting on it, it can get very confusing.
With this many people on the closed page, it is bound to get messy, but people really don't seem to understand that the parent page is the page to air our concerns and to offer support to each other, not just complain about this, that and the other.
At the end of the day, we are all adults and we should know how to behave - some parents seem to make a drama out everything and if they don't get the support they were expecting, then flounce off saying "I'm leaving, no one understands me!" and then have lots of messages, along the lines of "oh don't leave, I'm sure it wasn't meant to be interpreted that way!"
And that is my point - we can write many a thing in our own quirky way - we may even smile as we type it, but when it is read in the cold light of social media, it often takes on a different context and then upsets the next person and the next and the next and then that snowball has suddenly multiplied a thousand times and is a massive avalanche before you know it!
Social media is very powerful - just make sure that you are qualified to use it or be prepared to deal with the fallout!

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!!