Some of my thoughts the day before voting

On top of my mantelpiece my polling card sits where I can see it waiting to be used, I’m glad I’ve got the freedom to vote, but I also feel generally disillusioned with politics. Over the last few weeks I’ve observed and heard trends that are concerning to me.

A few weeks ago I saw one of the main leaders being approached by someone who made their voice heard but the response was atypical of many politicians, the response was the usual script that many leaders adhere to on their campaign trails, I wish the response was more personal and direct, I wish the leader concerned bore in mind the person they were dealing with that they were not just a potential voter but a human being.   It struck me as distant and showed a lack of empathy.  We’ve all heard the same thing trotted out of politicians mouths we just want that politicians to be real not sounding like robots. Yes I completely understand they have to sell their various manifestos, that’s fine when dealing with the media, but when dealing with potential voters, that same tactic shouldn’t be used.  I like politicians to talk to people like they are one of us not above us but as us.  just maybe that’s too much to ask.

My other concern is more troubling its something that erodes are democracy, that’s extremism, sometimes it’s obvious sometimes it’s very subtle and sneaky.  It manifests itself through playing on people’s emotions, such as fear anger or desperation and pain, gives them false hope, they are often sold a vision without any substance, then swept along by emotion and encourage those with strong emotion to take action. Now I don’t see anything wrong with activism  as such but one thing I’ve noticed is they become so narrow in their thinking that anyone who is outside of their bubble is a threat to them and they resort to tactics such as intimidation to deal with that threat, ultimately they will try and shut down any real debate or anyone with a different opinion, which I believe is undemocratic.  I believe everyone has a right to a voice but not at the expense of everyone else’s voice. Minority groups are often targeted by these extreme groups, seemingly giving people the power to get their voices heard over everyone else’s, because they haven’t been heard, yes those who are minority’s should be heard but not be encouraged to go to extreme lengths to make that happen.  Ultimately they will probably lose because whoever shouts the loudest will not necessarily be heard, because they don’t want to listen to anyone else, so completely defeating the purpose.  Nothing wrong with being passionate about what you believe in but not when you become intimidating.

Thank God for secret voting,  I can shut the door on both these concerns as well as the noise of the confusing and muddling media. for as I walk into the peace and quiet of the polling booth tomorrow with my ballot paper, knowing that I can vote with a clear conscience knowing who I’m voting for and why.  I hope others entering the polling station will be able to do the same. I can then walk out with a smile on my face because I’ve used and allowed my democratic freedom to choose for myself without any fear or intimidation or frustration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where’s Tony?

On Maundy Thursday I headed out with my companion Tony to my local supermarket, whilst there I bumped into my sister, or rather she bumped into me, Tony as usual remained quiet, my sister invited me to hers for tea.  So paid up and made a quick exit to my sister’s car, rushed into my house packed up a few things and promptly came back to hers for tea.  After a lovely evening I returned home only to discover Tony had disappeared, Tony who doesn’t make much noise, apart from a few gravelly ones had vanished from sight or hearing.

I was low, Tony who guides me through many obstacles on a daily basis helping me avoid bollards, and helping me find edges to pavements so I don’t walk into the road (how gallant of him).  Tony with his bright red and white suit lets motorists know when I’m wanting to make my journey across the road and to drive with caution.  I go into shop and he doesn’t have to say anything as his non verbal communication lets people know that I may need a little extra help or just to talk a little louder too me.  He isn’t heavy he’s good at waiting for me in shops he stands against a counter whilst I hunt for cash as I’m normally holding on to him.  At home he may stand for hours before we head out together and sometimes he likes to sleep in a folding position in my bag, yes indeed the importance of being Earnest does spring to mind.

I know people who have similar partners sometimes we meet and clash from time to time.  Tony has a habit of knocking people if they get in the way, some can even skip over his feet, some ignore him not realising who he is or why I have him in my life. Sometimes people avoid him when they see him or move so Tony and I can get past.  Oh I did miss him his familiar feel and constancy.  Whilst still on the hunt for him I had another companion Claire who isn’t like Tony she isn’t as tall for one and her feet don’t make as much noise, she doesn’t wear red either which is a hassle.

Well  I asked my sister if Tony had either been sleeping in her car or had been staying at her house, rather odd really as my sister really doesn’t need Tony in her life, well I hope she never has too anyway.

So yesterday Claire and I headed up to my local supermarket just on the off chance he may have stayed there, well I asked if they had Tony, oh well they thought Tony may have belonged to another chap who also has a similar companion (shock, horror).  Well there he was the staff treated him well, he is still in fine fettle.  Oh by the way his surname isn’t Blair even though he wears red and the fact that I found him on the day of the UK snap election is no coincidence is it?  Well just to let you know Tony wears red because he supports deaf people.  So now Tony my trusted red and white cane is sticking with me and is currently safely standing in a corner of my lounge waiting for my next trip out 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

The role of sin in our lives, but there is good news!

I bet the headline of this  blog post has you anxious that I’m going to write a post about all the sins you’ve committed in your life and harp on about it and makes you want to either scroll on by or click the x at the top of the screen or close the app on your phone, please don’t as that’s not what I’m going to write about.

I’m sure many of you today have been chomping away on chocolate Easter eggs or something like that,  the closest thing I got was a mini egg on one of Easter nest cakes at church  and yes many of you may feel guilty for over eating and berating yourselves for eating too much and some may even think I’ve just sinned.  Many times the message of the cross is that Jesus died for our sins.  Many of those reading this already know what your sin is and the consequences but WHY is sin such a big deal it’s because of it’s role in our lives.

The role of sin

There are 3 roles to sin that are worth knowing about and even many Christians don’t see this either.

1 Sin causes us to think we are separated from God

Most people have heard sin separates you from God but the truth is that sin and the resulting guilt, shame and condemnation causes you to think you are separated from God.  God was has and is always with his creation, he is not separate from it at all, when Adam sinned in the garden Adam hid himself FROM God, God was still present, when God called where are you Adam,  it wasn’t because God couldn’t see him he knew where he was but he wanted Adam to know he was there and very present indeed.  It was sin that convinced Adam to run from God and that there was a veil there between them.  When Jesus died he cried out “my god, my God, why have you forsaken me” he cried that out when he became sin, sin caused him to think that, he was God in the flesh after all there was no separation, at that point on the cross he knew what sin causes us to believe in our separation from God.

 

2 Sin causes us to believe the worst about God

There seems alot of folk who have real misconceptions about God. That he is distant, angry and one favorite expression of mine the unmoved mover.  He’s ready to whip,  beat and catch us doing wrong at any time and ready to throw judgement at us, nothing could be further from the truth, first of all Jesus told his disciples to call God Our Father.  A real good father is not remote or ready to lash out at you whenever you do wrong.  God is the best Father and wants everyone on this planet to relate to him in that manner, sin and will tell you otherwise. the Father that does not want you to be anxious for anything to provide for and love you though thick and thin and allows you to make your own choices and trusts you like any Good father does  and wants you to come to him freely. Sin will rob you of that notion believing the very opposite.

3  Sin causes you to think that there is absolutely nothing good about you as well as God.

Yep when God created  man (man and woman) he declared it was very good and not  just that he created man in his image and likeness, we are like God, we are not God but like him, just like when you look at a family member and see your eyes, or you hear them say something a certain way you think I’d say it like that.  They aren’t you but look and sound like you.  We are like God in that we look and sound like God and portray his nature in different ways.  The serpent in the Garden like sin convinces us we are not like God and we are dark humans walking the planet and there is nothing good about us.

The good news

The good news is Jesus when he died on the cross he wanted us to know three things

1 We are not separated from God,

2 Our Father  is love personified and is not mad at us at all rather he is mad at sin and it’s destructive nature in our lives and it’s purpose, putting distance between us and his love.

3  You are good, very good, he created you and is much good in you, your sin is masking that reality of your true nature.

For any reading this your wandering I get this but now what must I do,

Talk to Father God, he loves you he knows you intimately, you don’t have to do it in a religious fashion just be yourself, he loves you like that.  Ask him to remove the veil between you in your thinking and in your heart towards him.  Tell him what you think of him and that you need help in having a revelation of who he is, ask him to come alive to you on the inside and simply be open to receive the revelation of love because Father God is love.

A very happy Easter to you all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why it still hurts and what changed

As I write this in just a few hours it will be mothers day.  For me on two counts it’s not as I’m neither a mother or have a mother.  So it will just be an ordinary day apart from the clocks going forward as I live in the UK. I lost my mother in 2012 from a short battle with cancer.   You certainly do change when you lose a mother, it’s hard to put a finger on how that change impacts you or always put into words how it  affects you, but as far as is possible or reasonable or printable I will try to share how it has changed me and why it still hurts when we are now in 2017.

From discussions I’ve had with others and through observation the impact  a parent’s death has on a person is profound.  When my mum’s father died she went to pieces, her was her soulmate, there was always a pervading sense of sadness around home I often think that was why, I don’t think my mum ever got over losing her father and it was rather poignant she died at the same age as her father did and on the same weekend.  I’ve heard say married couples when one of their parent’s dies how it impacts them and thus their spouse and sometimes ends their marriage or contributes to it.

I remember reading an article about grief of a mother in an online Oprah Winfrey magazine.  It summed up well how it impacted me.  The strange thing from the article I had read and  certainly became true for me was the new sense of freedom I felt, no more nagging and worrying from my mother, I didn’t have her looking over my shoulder every time I did something or travel somewhere.  I definitely felt guilty about being happy about having those shackles lifted off me, but that was my ultimate vulnerability that I didn’t realise at the time as unfortunately it did make me a bit reckless, but freedom can do that to you when boundaries have been removed and I learnt the hard way that I needed that stabilizing influence of my mother that I actually really still needed. It was certainly right that I had the freedom but I also needed the stability which is something I lost and I actually had not necessarily valued.

One of the incidents that struck me was when following my mum’s coffin up the church I knew at that point things had changed family order wise, I felt older and more responsible.  There was a lighter moment at my mum’s internment when I attempted to get over some snow only to discover that I’d climbed a tombstone instead to the helpless laughter of my nieces.

I had to adapt to going to various shops on my own that used to going to with my mother, my mum used to help me shop for clothes now I couldn’t rely on my mum to give an honest opinion about what suited me the best or what really looked terrible on me, now, I now have to just try and judge for myself feeling my way through and hoping that I may have made a good choice but I still don’t always feel that confident that that I’ve made the right choice as my mum’s choices were excellent.

My mum’s standards were high and my ability to wash, iron and cook to her standards are nothing compared to hers, and she would assist regularly with ironing, but now she is not around so I have to hope for the best when I iron it’s not a disaster.

The two things I miss most of all are my mum’s attention to detail and her sense of intuition which I didn’t always appreciate, she was always thoughtful, if I was staying over night she would set my breakfast out  before I came down (if I had to be up early), everything was set out she knew what I liked with little I had to do to put my breakfast together, I liked hot chocolate in the morning at the time, and that would be in the mug ready for me to just pour the water in for example with me not having to go hunting for the hot choc container.  She was even like that when she was ill, which obviously  I didn’t expect from her at all.

But the thing I miss most of all about my mum and why it hurts so, is that I could trust her, not in the sense of being a confidante as she wasn’t a friend, but it was in the sense I could trust her regarding me, she always had the right motives concerning me, I knew she would do me no harm.  If she did give me advice it was always with my best interests  at heart, no guile no deceit just pure love.  Of course I trust people but not in the way I could trust my mother.  It has made me more cautious, and yes this is what hurts the most.

At the same time I’m grateful that a support network materialised through one thing or another which has helped me come to terms with her loss, but yes it’s changed me and yes it still hurts.  I wish a happy mothers day to those reading this, but my thoughts are with those who have no mother or are not mothers themselves.  So to those who still have mothers or have children don’t take either for granted you don’t know if it’s the last shopping trip or outing you will be on or the last bunch of flowers you can buy your mother, or toys you can buy your child embrace and enjoy every moment you spend with your child.  If you can please spare a thought for those of us who can’t enjoy doing what your doing, and if any of us look sad or far away, don’t think we don’t want you to enjoy this special day just know for us it just still hurts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why being a visually impaired pedestrian is becoming a perilous,isolating nightmare

When I was a small child I remember walking with my mum in my local town holding her hand, we walked on the pavement and I felt perfectly safe, I couldn’t see very well but knew there was a road to one side and a step onto it would be dangerous for me.  I knew what traffic lights were and was taught the green cross code, it was simple.  There was a distinction between pavement and road, but now this is no more.

Over the years I’ve seen a large decline in safety for myself and other pedestrians.  It first started in the 90’s with the predestinization  of cities which although was brilliant, motorists and retailers didn’t like it, hence the arrival of retail parks, However predestrinized streets brought other problems, speeding  bicycles ; swerving pushchairs. Some mobility scooter users were going much faster than foot speed  would come at you from all directions.   At certain times of the day (not always knowing what times) some vehicles would be allowed through, and you wouldn’t know a vehicle was there until it was right on top of you from the front or behind.  A-boards and street furniture would appear in random spots, some of it small enough for me to walk into many a time.  When it got completely mad I considered getting a guide dog, that’s how bad it got in one town locally, a cane doesn’t work when people/things are speeding towards you.

In this century the idea of shared spaces/surface where anybody and anything can travel on the same space has made things worse, with buses now added to the melee of wheels, with their virtually silent engines it’s easy to miss a bus turning a corner and nearly being crushed by it or a van reversing unexpectedly; children running about; adults not looking where they are going as their eyes are glued to their mobiles.  Oh yes and the steps that appear from nowhere that I went falling down near our new bus station.  That’s just the streets in city centres.

In my own area where I live many things are taking up space on these supposed footpaths, numerous bins; large skips;  leaves not been cleared up for months which can cover up vital markings; cycle paths which you have to step on to avoid the rest of the clutter; runners not always clearly visable;  plenty of pavement parking by motorists who can’t be bothered to walk.  When pavements get resurfaced they don’t feel flat anymore either, many feel steeper or uneven underfoot possibly due to civil engineers can’t put their various pipes and cables deep enough underground. Some pavements are cracked due to trees roots growing from underneath, even overhanging trees or bushes can appear unexpectedly or from the side where you can get scratched. It’s concerning that pavements can get so cluttered finding space to walk on safely is a navigational nightmare. Even taking a regular route to my GPs last year ended with me taking a tumble.

But here’s what topped it off for me.  I think it was a couple of weeks ago I heard a  loud noise outside my window and discovered later there were some roadworks outside my home, I got a letter from the council a few days later to say there were road works being carried out.  It stated the times when the roads would be disrupted but didn’t give dates of start and finish of the said works.  But thankfully does give a feedback form which I fully intend to fill out here’s why.

Just this week I was heading out when it was very windy to catch bus I went back inside as it was too windy for me to breathe normally, I also had to make a cancellation.  I tried again later as I needed to get some shopping it had dropped off a bit so I was able to manage a walk to the shop, however when I got to the bus stop I noticed a large sign bus stop closed.  I checked later and nothing reported that my bus stops were closed, so if I’d managed to get past the wind I would not have been able to catch a bus no warning issued . No one has been able to pick me up during the day because of the road closure either so no access to transport whatsoever. Whilst the roadworks continue  it’s pretty isolating and no there’s no guarantee this will not happen again. How about the perilous bit, well one day on the pavement I saw a big truck parked right in the middle of the pavement, dangerous for someone totally blind, I have enough sight to avoid it but if it had been dark it might have been a different story.   Another truck was parked on the side of the pavement I needed to cross too. I didn’t know why that area seemed blocked by this truck, I discovered later why when I almost walked into a pink  barrier.  Whilst this work continues I’m potentially housebound for a large part of the day, I’m sure some of the other disabled and elderly folk around here will be too.

Now I’m increasingly concerned along with I’m sure many of my other visually impaired friends what unsuspecting  dangers  lie ahead once our feet head out the door and will it come to the point like a large percentage of visually impaired people that it’s just too dangerous and stressful to risk life and limb on this particular obstacle course of our streets which has no health and safety regulation attached to protect us.

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts as 2016 disappears

I haven’t blogged on here for a while, but I thought I would talk about the year and my thoughts on next year. So as I listen to the last few hours of the new year with the BBC Trunk of Funk, I’ll share my year with you.

I think 2016 has been rather a turbulent year in many respects. But lets start with January

January 2016 was rather cold from my notes from my facebook posts and I was still recovering from my stay in hospital a year before, thankfully no repeat hospital visit apart from an outpatients appointment in June, and back to my voluntary work.  I baked Oatmeal peanut butter squares that went down well, they were ok not my favourite bit of baking.  More politics re disabled people surfaced.

In February they changed the local bus service which I still find rather annoying, planning meeting anybody at my city centre, by car it takes 10 mins by bus more like 30 mins, it’s a nuisance, but you carry on and adjust the best you can, our local city council doesn’t want to invest in our public transport services so not much improvement planned.  I also did a morning’s dementia training which I really enjoyed.

March heralded in the spring and I met up with an old acquaintance from school, its certainly been a year of new found friendships and catching up with the old.

April heralded a visit to my friends up north and a prayer breakfast which I enjoyed thoroughly .

May I had a good bank holiday what I did I dnon’t know.

June was a great month for sunbathing, also a hot month for debating politics , the whole experience was depressing with a loss of friends needlessly and much people dramas which continued for a while and wore me out.  The UK got wore out with Europe and ande chose to leave the European union, I met up with some friends in a nearby city at the end of June a promptu meet up which I thoroughly enjoyed.

July had an xray on my arm which showed up nothing but eventually a physio suggested I had damaged my rotary cuff the part of the arm that connects the shoulder to the arm, which rotates it hence the name rotary cuff.  I also got to know a couple form my local church better which was lovely.

August heralded a time of spring cleaning and meeting a new friend who I’d met through facebook, great to meet new people a good time was had by all.

September is my birthday month, some relatives of mine came to see us from Europe and a meal out at a local indian restaurant. Also had a memorable appointment where the people treated me witht he greatest respect.  Spent a day out with a friend at a local weatherspoons where I had a curry which I enjoyed.

In October I got my first new fiver that has been released in the UK.

Movember heralded Trump being elected as the next US president, as far as politics is concerned all I can say on here it’s never been a more exciting time in politics.

December had some very intresting gatherings with people introduced to someone I wanted to meet, also met some new people, always look forward to meeting new people as you never know what comes of them.  Christmas week I ended up with an unpleasant chest infection, so these last two weeks have been rather quiet

As I write this its now 20 minutes till midnight. After a year where relationships have been tough and and a lot of introspection it’s easy to fall into a deep depression, I heard something on a podcast which I found helpful, live in the moment do what needs to be done today as what is done today impacts on the future, I’ve paraphrased that.  For those with a spiritual mindset it means take not thought for tomorrow as today has enough to deal with.  There are things i’m going to work on which God has spoke to me about, but also, endeavor  to make the most of each day I have as far as possible.  So I want to wish you all a happy, healthy and wonderful 2017 from me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A satirical look at the last few years of UK politics

As things have been heating up in politics in the land of the British Isles for a while now, there’s never been a more exciting time to be alive and everything happening in Westminster and beyond proving to be of great stimulation not just to my intellectual side of my brain but my satirical one too.  I don’t think the British people have had so much opportunity to visit the polling booths and cast their influence on our government in years.  I wonder how many people have even thought of setting up  a polling station in their own homes particularly in Scotland where the voting addiction began and is set to continue for a few years to come.

Scotland was first to get their people to mark the spot on their ballot papers in 2014 for Independence , the decision to create an ocean between Scotland and Carlisle or maintain their travel links to any English destination.  It’s a wonder whether if they had decided to create an ocean there if they would have the capacity to swim in it, or try and look for lifejackets made by English manufacturers to rescue them.  Now they are trying to find access to the channel tunnel independently without travelling through Kent first to use the channel tunnel but their mentality is probably fly a plane as  it’s a great shortcut even if it places huge strain on the oil reserve.

Next came the general election but there was  some dispute over tv debates, I was starting to feel rather green when Cameron started to find every little excuse to not participate, and it left me feeling a little jaded after a while too.

The general election result surprised everyone including the pollsters who must have been taking hallucinogenic drugs because they obviously seeing some strange colours depicting their results.  Paddy Ashdown must have sold all his hats because I’ve never seen him wear one, I wonder if he ate anything at all after the results came through, maybe he went to live in a stable for a while as theirs plenty of straw to eat there enough for many hats.  Mind you I wouldn’t have wanted him ending up with a messiah complex that would not go down too well with many in the Lib Dems, even if their new leader claims to have some links with the messiah.

I can’t leave the topic of the Messiah out without talking about the next unforeseen event by the psychics.  In September of 2015 came the Labour leadership elections which resulted with out with the seemingly old new into the seemingly new old,  the reincarnation of Michael Foot came to win the leadership context from completely out of the blue or rather the 70’s, with many of his followers who had suddenly found yes you’ve guessed it their new messiah who they had been seeking for, some of the disenfranchised in society who had  never had champagne or never liked the taste of it, were instead swept along or rather rode along on their bikes to see their leader speak of change or rather history repeating itself.  I wonder if that record will break or will it continuously be on repeat who knows. I’m not sure if it will be God save the Queen as Jeremy Corbyn would be left standing in silence for a very long time.

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review, Reflections and Resolutions

Well 2016 has begun, already we are on day 4 and I already have a few plans, but first a summary and  reflection on 2015.

A year of firsts

In April  and May I had 3 firsts, my first visit to Scotland not cold weather at the time either, I attended my first political hustlings which apparently was the most lively one in my area and I started my work at the hospital. June I baked banana bread for the first time and August baked Chocolate Caramel shortbread with two of the Bubble family whilst they visited me

A year of outings and events

Three visits to Middlesbrough, one to Manchester and a trip to Blackpool, and visits from my friends in Middlesbrough, a friend form Yorkshire, and a  visit from my friend in Scotland.  A trip to the theatre with my friends Mr and Mrs Bubble, several trips to cafe’s, restaurants and pubs with friends.  I didn’t have 4 weddings and a funeral rather it was one of each, both were impacting for different reasons.

Old and new

Bumping into friends I hadn’t seen for years and meeting new people, also creating a couple of groups one that had been in the planning for a long time, another almost done on the fly.

That was my review of 2015 now my reflections, in particular what I’ve learnt.

1  A year of firsts

A realisation that I still enjoy learning new things and experiencing new places and meeting new people. Scotland wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be and letting the Scots know I’m not anti Scottish.  I can still try new things when baking even if it doesn’t taste quite as nice as you think.  Some of the people I have met have been lovely.

2 It’s still ok to be vulnerable

When I was ill I lay thinking that I felt vulnerable but I also knew that it’s ok to feel that way.  I will write a post on vulnerability in the future. The fact is vulnerability isn’t something to be feared rather it is something to be embraced.

3 Surprised by reacquainting with others

Surprised because Two people I hadn’t seen for a while had been through some bad times which was saddening to see and hear about, one other person I hadn’t seen for years I hardly new and was pleased to find that although when I first knew them I didn’t think I  had much in common with I found they had more in common with me than I originally thought at the time, they also were informative and fascinating.

4 I can enjoy weddings or rather the receptions

I learnt at weddings or wedding receptions Joy has a way of spreading, people meeting in happy circumstances can create a great atmosphere and openness with others, it’s a bit like those who get drunk their inhibitions come down and they become more extrovert or feel relaxed and happy, that’s what an atmosphere at a wedding can do.

5 Getting more comfortable being myself

Embracing more and more of who I am, still more work there but I’m making progress. Celebrating my overall introverted nature but at the same time knowing that at times I do have an outgoing streak which I’m comfortable with too.  Knowing I’m a  peacemaker and the one that keeps going when things are tough.

6 Losing and finding your way and letting go

It’s ok to lose your way and you can find your way back whatever situation you maybe in from losing my way in Manchester to losing a sense of direction in my work situation. Letting go of not knowing, and to some degree of control again of outcomes.

Now to the resolutions.  Well I’m no fan of those, instead I have a few aims.

1 Walk more

I started walking yesterday so I aim to walk everyday, weather and whereabouts permitting.

2 Hone in on my communication skills and seek to widen their sphere of influence.

I want to write more expand on what I’m doing, my dream is to expand in the oral side of communication too not just the written, but it’s finding the vehicle to hone those skills  is the difficult one.

3 My relationships

I hope to see more of my friends this year and allow those relationships to grow or diminish just let go of what’s not important to be able to hold on to what is.  I hope some reading this will stay in touch.  I saw a good quote stop thinking more about personal ends rather than personal friends. I hope to see more of my family too.

4 Still visit more places

I want to visit more places both old and new, I hope if I get work to go on a proper holiday.

5 Try and get work.

I got something rolling towards the end of last year but with my health hiccup it has got put back lets hope that isn’t stalled for long.

6 Continue to be grateful for what I do have in life.

The gratitude project was a good plan but I didn’t keep it up as I’d wanted to much more important is to have a grateful heart and when the chips are down  to focus on what is good.

Well we’ll see how that goes in the meantime Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A day to remember

A few months ago I was invited to a wedding reception by a couple of friends from my school days who were getting married, it was totally unexpected but rather nice.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to go or not, due to a number of reasons but particularly down to concerns regarding my recent health issues.  Nearing the time of the wedding reception although I was feeling better, I wasn’t sure about going as I was concerned about travelling alone.  Amazingly one of my friends was coming to my area on some business and said they would come with me all the way there and some of the way back on Sunday, so I accepted.  He got a good deal on a hotel too.

The day before we travelled to Blackpool I met my friend with mutual friends and their daughter in a local café where we put all our plans together, the couple offered to give me a lift to the station which was great too.  That evening I booked my assistance they said they couldn’t guarantee the help as it wasn’t 24 hours in advance which rattled me a bit as it’s not always possible to book ahead, plus I had done some last minute Christmas shopping which delayed my call.  The people I ring up at Journey care are fantastic though.

Our lift got us to the train on time and the assistance turned up, so that was a relief.  Although our train was on time it didn’t arrive on time at our change over stop which meant we missed the train we were to catch but fortunately there were more trains to Blackpool from that stop than I originally thought, so we hopped on the train and arrived in time to do a quick call in at our hotel to drop our things off and head straight to the wedding reception.

My friends daughter spotted me if I remember rightly and found a table with my friend Mrs Bubbles and her husband Benedict Bubbles, we were all rather hungry, I hadn’t eaten till early that morning, fortunately I had a few flapjacks with me which I had baked a couple of days earlier! I managed to go and see the bride who looked lovely in purple and white.

I looked around and spotted a woman from my school year and her husband who I spoke to for a while, when I was at school we had little to do with each other really, however,  we then had a great conversation, which is probably the first proper conversation I ever remember us having. Eventually they came over to join us.

Mrs Bubble, Una Stubbs  (the one I had a great convo with) and I ended up having a picture taken when Mrs Bubble suggested we all said pooh and wee. Mr Benn the groom came over to chat as well later.  Mr DJ came over to get messages to record for Mr and Mrs Benn which I thought was a lovely idea.

At around 5 we ate buffet food we all managed quite well considering there were many people who were visually impaired and some of them had guide dogs, as far as I know there were no crashes and bangs oh  sorrys said which can happen in those sort of situations.  I stayed with a friend sometime ago, who had other friends staying too, we all kept saying sorry to each other because of bumps and crashes, they named it the sorry house. Anyway there was a meat feast and some pizzas and quiche and desert to fill our bellys, I personally found the sweets a bit too rich for me but the rest of the food was great.

There was much laughter, people buying one another drinks (I don’t think I got opportunity to buy drinks) and  discussions varying from books to school and music.  The in house entertainment was a woman who could play various instruments  and sing which was quite good, I wasn’t sure whether it was all completely live or not but I certainly saw the instruments but it was very loud.  I think it was around 8 we had a meal I had lasagne, which was tasty.

The disco got going just towards the end, there was what I call a group karaoke going on, first with Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, earlier on we had Oliver’s army by Elvis Costello. I joined in with the singing but not the dancing till the last track came on.  Apart from being grabbed by one person to dance with me, which I found rather uncomfortable, it was enjoyable both the singing and the dancing.  After saying goodbye to those I could Father Ted and I returned to our hotel.

I surprisingly slept quite well but it took a while to get comfortable as the duvet didn’t quite reach my shoulders.  The bizarre thing about my hotel room was that there was no window. There was also a lot of banging, however I have the beauty of lying on my hearing ear to block out the noise.

The following morning Father Ted and I had a delicious breakfast which was well worth the money, ahhs and oos could be heard when we had entered the restaurant because of Father Ted’s dog who is a gorgeous black Labrador who is a force to be reckoned with. After breakfast  we  headed straight off to the station to catch the train home.  At the station we met up with several of the guests at the previous nights do, and travelled home with one of them, who I will call Dougal, I don’t know why that name, a nice man who had few words but gentle ones.  Father Ted and I went our separate ways and I caught the last leg of the journey home, I was pleased to find I didn’t have to wait long for the bus either.

I want to thank Mr and Mrs Benn for inviting me and everyone who I spent time with over that period of time, it was fun and a privilege to be with such lovely people and certainly a day to remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not just an ordinary day

Last Wednesday, I had made plans, voluntary work in the morning, an interview with an employment advisor in the afternoon and a relaxing evening as it had been a busy week after the funeral I went to on the Monday and a friend coming round with a new TV on the Tuesday.  However my relaxing evening didn’t transpire.

As usual I went to the hospital to carry out my voluntary work, had a mixed morning, then had to navigate travelling from the hospital to our city centre by 2:30 in the afternoon I left a little earlier to compensate for the time as I finish by one normally, if I remember rightly I didn’t have to wait long.  I arrived at my appointment early got served my coffee and got on with the conversation, took my bus home about 3:45ish but it was late, and I think  I was in a traffic jam.

By the time I got home I was ready for a relaxing evening but it wasn’t meant to be, something wasn’t right. It all started on the Sunday, unusual aches in the far right of my body, I thought it was a bit of trapped wind to be honest or constipation, it would come and go, sometimes I get constipation before my cycle, everyday I was getting some discomfort then it would wear off until Wednesday.

By 5pm I was experiencing unusual pain ordinary pain, followed by fiery tearing shafts of pain, long and short of it I ended up in our local A&E (Accident and Emergency) for non UK people.  I was there from 7pm until about 2am before I got seen too, the first set of nurses weren’t that great.  Also in the meantime I’d been physically sick, and there had been one rather aggressive drunk woman, shouting her head off.  At the same time a woman next to me who worked in a care home passed me some tissues.

At 2am another waiting room greeted me and eventually a lovely nurse dealt with me, I had trouble understanding her, but she really went to the ends of the earth to help me. I found it difficult to talk the pain I was in.  She gave me morphine that did nothing, but eventually gave me liquid paraceatamol that did the trick.  I think before she did that I had a CT scan as they thought it might be a kidney stone, I then got seen by a lovely doctor who asked me a lot of questions its horrendous business being asked a lot of questions when your dealing with a lot of pain at the same time.  It turned out I had something on my ovary which is what the CT scan had picked up, so I would need an ultrasound to show more details.  Still in A&E I was put in a side room overnight, with a drip hanging out my arm, because the drip stand wasn’t great I had to have my arm at an awkward angle on a narrow bed, so I barely slept.

Thursday morning I hadn’t been given enough water for my scan so I had to drink more to get a proper one, much better.  oh yes, blood tests too. The day staff weren’t as nice and helpful, I had to drag my drip stand into the bathroom with me for the loo, the night staff made sure I had the stand right next to me before they shut the door on me, but the day staff just got me inside and slammed the door behind me.  I was concerned I would pull the drip out.

I then got moved to the surgical assessment unit, where again mixed experience, one ward assistant training to take bloods was great at getting the needle in without really hurting me, someone else staff trained was very rough the night before.  I was finally allowed to eat, earlier in the day, another examination and questions from a female doctor who was lovely.  I had difficulty getting comfortable to go to sleep although my main pain had decreased considerably I was left with bad constipation and stomach spasms, my best position was on my back with my head turned slightly to the right, well on the Thursday night at 1:30am I had just got into a comfortable position to be told I was going to be moved again.  This time I was moved to a plastics ward, which at least was more modern.

The consultant came to see me to say I was going home that day, and they would operate, that I would have another appointment and once I moved my bowels I could go home, and then disappeared, which hardly gave me any time to ask questions.  I didn’t go home till the following day, I saw  a much kinder consultant, who answered questions, who didn’t think what I had was ominous, but they do have to do further tests to make sure.

Now I’m at home recuperating from my ordeal, the strange thing is at no time was I frightened, in fact I was very peaceful, even though my BP at one point had been at a staggering 157, I don’t know what the bottom line had been.  I’ve always been used to what my former GP described as a disgustingly normal BP.  I still have to take meds and more tests to follow.

Upon reflection I’m glad I came through it, I have a deeper appreciation of what being in hospital is like as the last time I had been in I was only 10.  I can take what I’ve learnt and hopefully make patients that I see in hospital have a better and more comfortable experience than I did. For now I’m putting my feet up before I face that particular world again.