Friday, 31 October 2014

A little more light

This week the roof on the conservatory was replaced. It went from a striped glass moss covered thing to something of wonder and light. Blue glass apparently. Keeps things warm in winter and cooler in summer. 

Note plane trail. We are near Gatwick...
We piled all the things back into it today and it was such a quick and easy task because NON of the cluttery bits have made their way back in and it still - weeks later looks serene and welcoming. How I love it. 

This week has been a crash course on life, living and dying and on humility and compassion. Three long, long shifts (to me) showed me how much our NHS staff put into caring. The press does so many a rude injustice by highlighting the (few) really rotten people. They do need to stopped and dealth with, but it is easy to tar everyone with the same brush.

It took me the full three days to comprehend that those with advanced dementia and Alzheimer's cannot be reached most of the time. They can be very articulate and lucid, althought that ludicity applies in a space or time they once lived or experienced and not now. 

Most people want to be at home with familiar people and families, if they remember them, but many have no idea where they are or who we are. However, they all need to be cared for, treated, fed, bathed and toileted and it brought me almost to tears at one point to see how each person was responded to, no matter how many times they called for help, how many times they repeated themselves, refused to eat, got cross, shouted and even cried. 

Those who could not call out were watched and checked. No one was left uncomfortable. 

The colleagues who looked after me were amazing, hard mind! They worked me, physically and mentally. No excuses, I need to know it and know it all before qualifying and day one is the best place to start. 

When I got home last night I was shattered. One glass of wine in front of the TV with Big J and I was a gonner. Bed at 9:30.

There were moments when I felt completely out of my depth and thought it was all a big mistake and moments when I thought 'is this really me doing this work?' All the weeks of anatomy and physiology which have not sunk in yet are essential and what a motivation to get down to some swotting. 

Five more weeks on this placement and I plan to make the most of it. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

New addition to the blog list

I am a huge fan of Sarah Wilson and her food ideas. I find I eat a LOT less sugar since discovering her and am more aware of what I buy and cook. I am also a fan of cooking from scratch and really don't like ready bought meals, although do eat them when they are the easiest thing on hand sometimes. But I digress a bit. 

A few times since we started this nursing course we have been told by some of our very rather large teachers that we might notice our uniforms becoming tighter over the next 3 years and we may need to buy bigger ones. Quelle Horreur! WHY? Yes the hours are long and yes breaks can be erratic and one tends to go for fast pick me up food when feeling tired....but stacking on 2 or three stone is not really a good idea.  We are HEALTH professionals....'physician heal thyself' and all that. And is it ok just because we might feel a bit tired or run down or need a pick me up, to go mad with the donuts.....?
Some of my new nursy friends have pledged to be in the same tunics and pants in three years. Me too. I would like a smaller pair of pants in fact. I got a size bigger than I normally wear (on advice for movement) and they are baggy round the bum and have a seriously unattractive elasticated waist at the back with pleats at the front. A side glimpse of myself in a window yesterday was truly scary. 
But good old Sarah and some of her simple snacky ideas help and so do healthy packed lunches - mostly leftovers. Lots of water and the odd cup of strong tea. Watch this space.... and check out some of her food. 

PS. It is Book Club at my house tonight and I am making a pumpkin pie!!!!! LOL.

Thursday, 23 October 2014


I have been tinkering with photos today and changed a few around on this blog and on FB. Loving Juno's bright little face in this pic for the blog, wearing the bandana Han made for her. 
Love my dog!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Reccie to the ward

The staff on the ward let me visit today to get a sense of the place, as well as to find out where to put my bag and lunch box and where to park. My heart was pounding a bit when I finally found it. The hospital is big and very busy. They couldn't have been nicer and more encouraging, but wow, talk about work load. The Sister gave me some reading tips and an idea of what their typical cases are so that I can prepare a little before MONDAY......So excited.

And excited too that Artist Sister and Mr B changed their plans and are staying overnight before heading back to Australia. Yippeee. I have made that ricotta cheesecake again for them to try.
Got a ton of work to do, making beds, vacuuming and STEAMING...before they arrive. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Old Bailey

Today I was at the Old Bailey as an observer. I went with two of my classmates. We learned a great deal about how the legal system works. It was moving, shocking, sad and despite that, respresentation seemed fair and balanced. The case continues, but it was a privilege to be able to see a little of how the process works.
We walked back after the session through one of London's oldest areas and enjoyed the atmosphere. I do love this city. 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Letting go

Recently I wrote about the steam cleaner and how it helped me create a pristine, spacious conservatory. I also admitted that in fact, all clutter had just been moved into the garage....well guess what? It is not coming back!!
Yay and yippeee. It only took a few days for me to realise and accept that my life is not better for having 50 or so craft magazines and numerous balls of wool in colours that I frankly do not like. Not to mention the 'bargains' picked up in charity shops that have a yucky texture and I hate working with. 
So last night, after the weekend in London, instead of lazing around after the trip to the city, I went into the garage and carefully dusted down the mags and loaded them into the car. Lots of wool was bagged up to go too. I am off to have a routine blood test this morning and before leaving will put as much stuff in there to donate as possible. 
It literally feels like a weight has been lifted. There is a long way to go, but none of this stuff makes life better, happier or more purposeful. 
Let's see if I can carry on.....

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Poppies and a party

This weekend, we went to London to celebrate a friend's birthday.  A lovely, lovley girl. Before joining the throng, we had some time to see more of this amazing city. We visited the Tower of London and saw the poppies. 

I took so many photos, there were so many people, it was hot and slow moving and so hard to comprehend that all of these red flowers represent someone who died in conflict. In one war. 

We walked across London Bridge and the tide was out. I love that the river is tidal. We walked miles and our feet hurt. I had a bath and massaged mine. 
We met new people and invited them to visit us in our part of the world. We ate hot dogs...great party food. We slept in a king sized bed and for me it was heaven. Big J is like Winston Churchill, he sleeps little. 
This morning we found a patisserie in Chelsea where everyone speaks French and had coffee and a little snack. London is some city. So sad though that it is so expensive.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Putting in the hours

My first placement is 6 weeks on a surgical ward in a university hospital and I am both thrilled and terrified. They agreed that I could go in one day next week and meet the team and get the lay of the land before it starts. My shifts are 7am to 7:30pm.....what fun!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A natural sloth

As a natural sloth, I am fascinated by such television gems as 'hoarders anonymous' and fastidious cleaning shows where someone with an obsessive cleaning streak gets to meet a natural sloth and clean their house.....and to declutter it and streamline it and make it all lovely and that person will live happily ever after!

And for some reason that end bit, which is nothing to do with the show, is how it works in my head!!  If my house was clean, tidy, clutter free, I would be HAPPY and so would my family and life would be smooth and efficient and productive. 

So I bought a steam cleaner, to help acheive this blissful state, and do you know, it is quite the thing.
I have steamed loos, bathrooms, carpets, floors, furnishings, windows and even the wrinkly bits on one of Big J's suits. The most fantastic acheivement with the thing is a sparkling oven, I mean there is not a dot of grease in there....The dog loves it but keeps trying to bite the steam which makes operating it risky near a hyperactive Jack Russell. 
It is brilliant not to have to use loads of chemicals, although I cannot part with my bucket of hot water and bleach...that's my Irish, former nurse, mother in me....
Today the conservatory fell victim to it and right now that room is a zone of zen like serenity. 

The cushion covers are in the wash, the hydrangeas in the basket are from the garden. Where the flowers have been exposed to light they are purple and the underside is green, lovely. In the corner you might be able to see a fish bowl. This contains my growing collection of seaglass from around the world. Any beach I go to, I try to find a piece to bring home. The whole room smells of lavender, from the garden. 
I am HAPPY. But must confess, that two years' copies of Mollie Makes, my yarn basket(s) and one or two other items have been banished to the garage.....yes, not really dealing with the situation, but at least I feel good. They will be restored to their place in due course, but right now it is about enjoying the clutter free moment. x

Tuesday, 7 October 2014


We got our uniforms today. Pale grey, white trim and the uni logo on the left upper chest. Very proud. Now I need to work even harder. x

Monday, 6 October 2014

I'm still here....

The blogging bit is flagging, much to my annoyance but let's face it, I was in the car for more than 10 hours over the Manchester and back, as well as the rest, you know, life!

I keep looking at the lovely photos of creative work, walks, food, and reading the tips, plans, and ta dahs and wishing I had a bit more time.  BUT at the same time, I am learning, learning, learning. Today it was urinalysis, recording fluid intake and output and emptying a catheter and a vomit bowl and it was all brilliant. 

And if the truth be told, I cannot sit still and so when I settle to watch any TV with Big J, out come the knitting needles....not a crochet hook, and I make another little charity cardi. I have cast off five of them so far and am working on another. Want to put their little buttons on and get them sent off, it is getting cold and so many have so little to keep them warm this winter. 

I will post a picture before they go. 

Ciao for now x