Friday, 30 January 2015

Happy Friday 2 - Slippery babies

Today I was in a baby massage session. No photos were allowed, but it was great. Buck-naked babies on mats with mums gently oiling them. They use sunflower oil!! They were all slippery looking and shiny. The background music was the same as for an adult spa session, low, melodious and slow, but, it was things like Brahm's lullaby, Scarborough Fair and other songs that a mum might sing.  A happy way to spend some time. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Broken hearts and babies

One of the hardest things for me being a mum has been talking to Han - a very upset Han this week, about splitting up with her first real love. She is so far away and so sad, he is sad and it breaks my heart that no-one can do anything to reduce the hurt they both feel. 

I have enjoyed the clinics and visits so far this week and participated in a meeting about a Gypsy Traveller Project which was fascinating. 

The area I am in is so multicultural and it is a real priviledge to be invited into so many homes in my mere student capacity to talk about very personal issues. 

And I confess, all those tiny babies are just gorgeous!!!

Cluck, cluck. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Dragging my feet

You know that kid that dawdles on the way to school, that runs a stick along the fences and hedges, that get slower as school gets closer? That's me tonight. 
The essay is done, the references are done, spell-check done, grammar check, done. BUT I cannot bring myself to send it because I am still not convinced the Harvard referencing is correct. For some reason references have always bothered me. I think it is because I do not get the Volume, issue, thing and referencing a book is so much easier than referencing a government publication.
So - it is ready and I will send it in TOMORROW after I print out the reference page and pick over it with a fine tooth comb, again. 

Two weeks in Community Health begins tomorrow with a bump to baby clinic....eeek! Not sure how I will be with mums and offspring. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Joining in with Happy Friday...

Great for starting and not finishing things, here I go again with Planet Penny's Happy Friday. This will not be weekly for me, but thought it might be good to summarise on the odd Friday, good things passed.

For me it has been being able to keep the house a little more clutter free, (Big J helps no end). Small thing to some but it is really important to me. As you all know I crave simplicity and balance and am just so not good at either. 
For every item that has come in of late at least 3 have gone out. I have culled my crochet books down from about 60 to about 6. I am working on ONE THING AT A TIME for now, and making time to walk, breathe, eat less and drink rarely. 
I am doing my best to meet deadlines and today will be an academic one to make the final tweaks to an essay.
My desk area is a tip, it is on the list. Watch this space. 
Have a serene Friday friends. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015


Inspired by the film 'Mr Turner' and the fact there is the Turner Contemporary Gallery there and a BEACH, Big J and I took a drive to Margate.

The Gallery was twixt exhibitions, so not much going on, although nice to poke around the shop. In the summer there is a Grayson Perry exhibition coming, would like to see that. 

We ate in a Caribbean themed place, Mullins Brasserie and the food was brilliant. Butternut and ginger soup! Must try that at home. 

We saw these lovely little sanderlings and some turnstones, (the brown ones) apparently all resting before they head off south. 

A walk along the beach was bitterly cold, runny nose sort of weather. Not much in the way of sea glass, but I did find a lovely piece of sea porcelain in blue and white. 

So good to get out, to walk, chat, read the paper over coffee. A nice day. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Breasts and bras

Years ago, when our relationship was still new, my stepson told me that 75% of British women don't wear properly fitted bras. Quite a brave subject for a 14 year old! I was proud to say that I am not in that per centage, for I always have a fitting done.  Every time, although the times can be many moons apart and that is why I turn up on the appointed day in a grey, stretchy looking thing that could not hold up a feather let alone a boob.....

Each time I vow I will return more frequently so as not to have to put myself trough the angony of revealing the shrivelled garment to the expert eye of the fitter. 

Hah! Today was fitting day and I had to scrabble through my undies to find the least saggy, least discoloured bra. When the fitter asked me what size it was I panicked because I was sure that the tag had frayed away, but NO, we could just make out the number. Based on that and the fact that the one I had on was cutting into me, she gently suggested a larger size. A size that (a now defunct) Page Three Girl would be happy to up with the times I am!

But is it not the page three bits that are bigger it is those awful fleshy bits that you need to poke back into the bra....But to be honest I didn't give a toss. I was happy to be supported and held and have big wide straps at the back to reduce the gouged flesh look, so happy in fact, I refused to take it off and wore it home...
(I did pay for it and she did take the tag at the back off). If I had been run over by a bus however, the tag at the front of the bra would have let the world know my new size. LOL

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Waiting for news

Juno and I have been walking in the mornings before I head off up the motorway to the library. Today it was frosty and crisp. 

We were watched by this little fellow. Robins are getting bossy at this time of year and readying for the mating game. 
Juno is always hoping for a treat, or a ball......or both...
It is nice to commune with nature before commuting in traffic.

Tonight though, we are waiting to hear if Japanese Grandad is alright. He is very ill in hospital. The girls spoke to him on Sunday via Facetime when Granny was having her ukelele lesson with Em and he was his lively self. He took ill yesterday. All our thoughts are with him, Granny and Dada in Yokohma. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

And breathe

The air has been cleared a little. Growing kids is hard and it is especially hard when they are literally on the branch about to take flight into their own lives. Will they be ok? Will they cope? Have I done enough? When the black clouds descend will they have enough reserves to see it through?  I like to think, yes to all the questions and if not, then they just have to call home. And if a nagging is in order, they might just get one!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Blowing up

I am really cross and maybe this is not the place to rant, but rant I will so switch off if you don't like it.

The current stormy weather caused havoc on the roads today. It took 2 hours and 10 minutes to get to the hospital. Most of that time I was sitting on a narrow B road waiting my turn to ford a humungous flooded area. There was no room to turn around, and those who had tried to cross the water and failed had squeezed their vehicles onto the sliver of an embankment, hazard lights ablaze, and were standing in the dark on their mobile phones summoning help. Not sensible, they might have been hit by a car. Had I been in the Micra it would have been certain disaster, but I had the big car and it got to the point where there was only one way to go and that was forward. Jaw clenched, shoulders pinched and with bloody good timing I made it....only because two big trucks went through one after the other displacing some of the water. Still I was thrilled and just a bit proud of the driving....For those wondering why I did not avoid it in the first place the answer is simple. I thought of all the routes it was the one LEAST likely to be disrupted by debris, trees even, surface water etc and I even checked the BBC travel sight and not a mention of it.

So long start to the day, but work was buzzing and interesting and it only took 90 minutes to get home. But here is the rub. I am not the only one that lives in this house, currently only Em is here. But day after day I come home to a mess, (some of which I create, I admit) nothing to eat - unless I do it myself and I find I do what I can before falling into bed and repeating the same thing the next day. 

I get home to be told how tired everyone is, that there is hardly any loo roll left and am asked if the pets were fed in the morning. 

Today I blew at the only other person here, which is not entirely fair, but I feel so bloody undervalued. Yes, there is a ton of ironing, yes, the house could do with more of the blitzing that took place early this week, the bins need emptying regularly and all the rest. 

I seriously want to live alone at times. 

Big J is coming home tomorrow morning and every time he goes away before he arrives back I feel the need to plump cushions and clean and fuss as if he were a bloody visitor. (My Irish mother influences that.....she even cleaned out her cupboards before people came over...). I just want to yell. I am doing a DEGREE, I am working full time hours, running a home, dealing with kids who have issues/needs. I have bloody issues and needs. 

I am so cross and frustrated.

Something has to give. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Diversion and ramble

Yes, I am at the laptop with an essay to edit, but somehow found myself reading about crochet as tends to happen when one procrastinates...

And I found this and it is fabulous. A Bunting Blanket. Great idea and it could be made in a little version for little people and their prams and car seats etc. Clever lady.

Another thing, many of you read Frugal Queen's brilliant blog on how to live well and happily without spending heaps and with being creative. I wondered how many of you read the one about spring cleaning and did what I did....nip over to Aldi and get some kitchen cleaner? I found myself last night after a 90 minute drive home, being on my feet all day and awake at 5:30am, up on a chair thoroughly cleaning the range hood!! That woman weilds great influence I tell you. All night I had to go back and look at the streamlined bench top, the sparkling tiles and window no, too dark to see the smears but they are on the agenda....THEN I managed to fiddle about with academic work and it was such a productive evening. 

If only I could KEEP IT UP. I hate and despise clutter and know that it has a terrible effect on me, but boy do I struggle to streamline. Often it is not that I do not want to let go, but it is what to let go and the where to let it go to that is the problem. First thing is the notion that things could be/should be SOLD to generate some dosh. BUT with life as it is now the whole photographing, measuring, listing etc on ebay is too time consuming. The next thing is the charity shops. Happy to do this. In fact this is happening more and the bottom line is that some things are just tat and need to be tossed. My tat is not the same as another person's tat so this one is a delicate balance. I less than subtly hinted that Han could 'have a big clear out' when she was home for the hols!! There is still a stinky old girafe toy in the corner...

Anyhoo, enough for now. I plan to persevere with the whole streamlining thing. In my head I equate a clutter free life with serenity. At least if one is not surrounded by THINGS that need to be taken care of, then maybe there is more time just to live?

Monday, 12 January 2015

Bums, bits and a baby blanket

Into week two in the outpatients department and it has been quite a ride so far. Bum clinics (as the consultant calls them) and the wonders of the proctoscope, gynecology and vascular clinics, ENT, surgical, bariatric and elderly patients. It has been a whirlwind of learning, hand holding, asking questions and being shown the internal workings of the wonderful human body. I got to see a wound sutured as well. 

Still loving it, but am finding the drive to this placement a challenge. I LOVE driving. I only got my licence when I turned 40 and it changed my life. (When we moved to the UK I had two goals, one to drive in London - WHY you ask - it is a nightmare in most places for cars. But it was because it is a big difficult city and I just wanted the confidence to be able to do it and I am doing it now. The other goal was to drive in Europe and this has been done. In Spain, France, Northern Cyprus and last year the girls and I took Japanese granny to Belgium with only me behind the wheel.) 
However, this route to the hospital cuts through back waters, tiny narrow roads with room for one vehicle only, steep hills and sharp bends. It is the fastest route but to avoid the reversing to allow bigger boys to pass me I have learned to manipulate the sat nav better. Longer driving time, but a lot less intimidating. 

The study is still thrilling, we have just had our first exam. It was hard to develop a study method after all these years and maybe next time will be easier, but I hope I passed. 

As for the navel gazing and the moods. They continue. Flat as a pancake this weekend, but I still manage to DO things it is just takes a lot more effort and energy. Still wobbly about so many things, but am convinced that knowing there is something the matter and accepting it is a big step towards getting things sorted. 

On a really happy note, and there are always happy notes in a day, even a bleak, hard day...the knitting needles are out and I am making one of these...
in soft cream Aran weight yarn for a baby that may be on its way. The pattern is from this site. No rush to finish, this is just a wind down activity to be done at leisure. 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy 2015

This is Clara, made for (and named by) Celia B for Christmas. She  kindly brought her back today just so that I could photograph her for my blog and Ravelry!! The pattern, as mentioned before is by Kate E Hancock and you will notice how Clara differs from the original in small ways, especially the ears.

The rest of this break has been full on. A lot of illness and some lows. However, we did a lovely Christmas meal and then used the leftovers for a turkey and leek pie, a turkey curry and turkey stock.

We also had a vegetarian celebration for more family....

The remains went off in a food parcel with Adam and into the freezer for more meals later on.

I have done a lot of thinking about the blog, health, money and life (among other things) of late. I will be writing more when academic work permits. But let me take the time to say to you all that I hope you have a good, healthy, happy 2015.