My summer

Whilst listening to a lovely relaxing album called Dancing Rivers by Alberto and Kimberly Riviera which contains lots of weather titled pieces such as sunshine, Storm and whirlwhind, I ponder on one of the best summers I’ve had.

It all started with a conversation with a friend, after they had offered to take me somewhere and I asked them for some help with a task I needed doing, it then led to chats, outings and meeting other people.  I’ve met some people I haven’t seen for a long time and some made some new friends along the way.

Some of my trips involved furry friends including an owl, birds, a dog and a cat. My only real love affair this summer involved one of these furry creatures a dog, who seemed to be scared of me at first, but trusted me in the end.  The cat seemed to enjoy walking around all these people in their parents lounge as these other strange people joined them in discussion, the cat Mr Ginger at one point decided to jump on me which made me jump as I wasn’t expecting it and I think I was listening intently at the time.  I met two new friends beautiful owl, which brought some consternation as no one quite knows whether it is male or female and the couple concerned have always referred it as a he and now it looks like a she after our visit to an owl sanctuary.  It makes conversations rather amusing when they said he isn’t in a good mood and I remind them don’t you mean SHE!  The birds I met by a set of bird tables situated right outside my new poet friend’s lounge window, when my friend and I paid him a visit, we would see the birds come over to pick up any birdseed left for them.

The birds although quite mesmerising weren’t as mesmerising as the gentleman poet I was listening too, who has had poems published. His delivery and writing hauntingly beautiful and inspired me to write a few of my own some of which I covered in my previous blog post.

Other delights was an impromptu visit to a park, a band gig, a large local garden area, some visits to one of my favourite eating venues KFC.  Oh and lots of cake particularly at Mr Ginger’s home who I mentioned earlier including, chocolate cake, apple pie, carrot cake, lemon drizzle, oh and the list goes on in one week I think I about 7 different lots of cake, no not at the same house.

The weather has been mainly kind on these outings and never really affected anything we did, apart from occasionally, feeling a bit hot as it would suddenly get really warm.

Travelling as we have done has meant meeting up with old friends unexpectedly and new alike, including two trips to see Mr & Mrs Bubble, who I haven’t seen for a long time, which resulted in an off road driving trip which I had never done.  It’s particularly amusing when your blind friend takes the driving seat and drives over puddles and you feel like your going to end up ejecting out of the roof of the car, but it was a thrilling experience.  It was wonderful to see longed missed friends those people who would sometimes be mentioned in conversations by others who had seen them since I had, which always stirs longings of desiring those you’ve met and bonded with in the past.  New friends like Mr Gingers parents and their friend who would give us talks, my poet friend and others I met at various gatherings, promise and bring new experiences to be enjoyed and shared.  One friend seems to lead to another like an invisible cord that reminds us that in many ways we are all linked, one friend reminds me of another or introduces me to another who knows someone who knows me or someone else I know.  I’ve often realised that the most important things you can give anyone is memories, and having many shared ones is wonderful with many people is even better.  I can sum up my summer in five words, animals, memories, friends, conversations and travel.  I can’t redo those experiences but I can certainly hang on to the memories and look forward to what the autumn/winter will bring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My creativity bug

As a child attending shcool I wrote essays, poetry and other forms of writing rather dutifully, there was no particular love or hate for writing.  The feedback I got from teachers wasn’t exactly encouraging, in comparison I hated maths and loved the bit of chemistry and biology I did and learnt some German which I revelled in for other reasons.  History I found stimulating and absorbing, but the general chore of writing to task was dull.  The end result was that although my spelling was excellent at the time I came out with a D for my GCSE English, which didn’t inspire me to think that I had any talent for writing or any particular spark of creativity.

However strangely as an adult things changed.  I worked as a proof reader for a while and the company I worked for decided to produce a newsletter I felt to write something I wasn’t sure why but went down very well, and it encouraged me to write more.

When my mother was terminally ill I felt inspired to write a story for her which she loved and others who saw I since enjoyed it.  To some degree this blog came  out of all that.

Now one of the creative tasks I found difficult was poetry and song writing, but lately something rather odd has been happening.  I’ve been writing little bits of poetry and possible song writing material, how did that come about.  It all started when I visited a man known for his poetry and I really enjoyed listening to his creativity, really appreciated the depth coming out of him, not long afterwards one of my friends embarked on a creative spurt of song writing, after conversing with her and a couple of other friends words started coming to me inspired by the conversations.

I’ve been wondering why now, some of the stuff coming out is quite emotive and personal which I’ve been surprised by.  I’m  generally not been a big fan of poetry, but what I’m doing now I’m really enjoying it’s stimulating and fun.

I feel as I’m writing I seem to be drawing stuff out of me or attempting to get to the bottom of something, either way the conclusion I’ve come to is that this is exactly it’s purpose to either draw something out or find something deep.  whichever way I’m happy to go with the flow and I feel whilst that inspiration is there to grab it with both hands and run with it.  So I’ll end with a little bit of inspiration.

Now I’m alert to this creativity spurt, I’ve got so much pleasure by this written treasure, I’ll continue to dig deep, for the words which will speak through this season of time, for I don’t want to bypass this gold mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some 70’s reminiscing

Today I’ve been listening to an audiobook called Jubilee by Shelley Harris, part of which is set during the time of the silver jubilee in 1977, it certainly evoked memories for me not just about the jubilee but about my own childhood during the mid 70’s.

After my mum gave birth to me in the early 70’s the family moved to  a Close somewhere in Stafford.  The street was lined with houses that petered off to the left on one side, if I remember correctly.  The unusual thing about that street for me and I’ve not seen it since was the white pavement and road, it wasn’t the usual grey and black of our roads and pavements today, since looking it up on google it looks fairly different now.

On some weekends my sister and I would go to the local fair for a bit, on the Saturday, mornings would be spent watching the tv, various cartoons and perhaps eating some space dust one of the many treats from the local sweet shop.  Either my sister and I or my dad and I would trudge up there, I vaguely remember an incident when my dad and I walked through the subway or tunnel out to where the shops were and two lads on bikes came perilously close to me and my dad telling them off.  Once there I would look wide eyed at all the treats on offer I remember coming away with Spangles I think lime or the cola ones were my favourites at the time.  I think sherbert dips or dib dabs were my other treats from there, for the life of me I can’t remember what else they sold there.  Sometimes on a Saturday my sister and I would go to the local park, I don’t remember much being there at the time apart from a slide and a couple of swings.  I remember us both in not very good moods singing nobody loves me, everybody hates me…  We used to attend a local hairdressers on the same street as the sweet shop, but my mum was not pleased when she felt the hairdresser had ruined my then curly hair as it became all straight.  She then had a lovely hairdresser who would put rollers in my hair with pins in to try and curl it.

Sometimes other children would be round and we used to play in the garage area I think just outside the side door to our house, I had a little orange car that I would drive around or a little  blue and red trycycle.  Outside in our garden in the summer time I would sit with a large yellow bowl of my mums and remove pods from garden peas, which I would find rather therapeutic now.  I remember us having a street race and I either fell off the thing I was riding or was upset because I came last, I certainly had a few bruised knees those days!

I remember a party we had and Rod Stewarts Do you think I’m sexy was playing either from the stereo or the telly.  Some evenings my dad and I would watch Star trek on the telly or one of my favourite programmes at that time Monkey.  Equally I remember Saphire and Steel another great programme.  Unfortunately I was plagued by nightmares as I watched the armchair thriller and some other horror movies as I didn’t always go to bed when I should have done.

I remember my cousin teaching me to read on a magnetic board with magnetic letters and bringing home Peter and Jane books then Janet and John books, followed by Enid Blyton books.  But my favourite reading was the Mr men books, hence the image of the mug my mum bought me, in which I used to drink hot chocolate or Ovaltine.

Our tea or dinner times would include tinned salmon with potato and peas, sometimes my mum would bring something from the bakers who I found out later may have been distant relatives, Victoria sponge, éclairs, meringues.  My mum would sometimes do jelly and ice cream.  I used to have trouble eating, so either my sister would play aeroplanes with me, or my mum would give me a dose of minidex.  I remember the crisps were not in these foil wrapped packets you get now, oh on they were in flimsy bags and not that much choice of flavours then either.

Well what I can remember of the jubilee was us having a party at some neighbours house where there were many children and adults, I think I sat at the top of the table.  I think triangular party hats were worn and the plates were union jack plates.  party blowers and balloons were the things of partys in those days, the balloons weren’t as fancy as they are now, but yes definitely some pops and fizzy pop too.  I tended to drink lemonade in those days.  At the time of the party our family had not long come back from abroad, so I think that jubilee party was in the August, as I was going to be starting boarding school in the September.  I don’t think I wore red white and blue though. .

70’s music always reminds me of warm summers, I vaguely remember standing outside the front of our house hearing I’m not in Love by 10c blaring from the lounge or kitchen, the charts I would record on the stereo on a Sunday on tape, which used to be recorded on my dads open university tapes which he would get very cross about if he discovered I’d used them whoops.  I would often tape myself singing or doing things, play with cars or my weebles or read some of my sisters Jackie comics even though I was not the right age to read them I had the reading ability to read them.  I remember reading Jane Eyre which I found rather chilling at the time, I don’t think it was quite the adult version though.  My particular children’s’ comic was called Twinkle which I loved.

What is my most abiding memory of the 70’s though well something I alluded to earlier, I suppose for me it will always be the music, from the bad soul album being continuously played on my parents stereo, to the gentle tones of Demis Roussos, played on my little tape recorder to help me sleep at night. Music got me through anything and everything. the other abiding memory is the fact we weren’t always in the UK, but I may write about that another time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A life to be thankful for

Today I attended a funeral of a couple who are friends of mine who’s 43 old son died last week, leaving a wife and four children.

I was more than happy to go as the mother of the son who had died had unexpectedly attended my mother’s funeral just a few years ago, and It had meant a lot to me that she had been, and she and her husband had been such a support to me since that time.  I generally prefer funerals to weddings, not because I like people dying but because your presence alone means a great deal to those suffering around you, whereas at a wedding I’ve often felt just a casual observer.

I was rather surprised to be affected by this funeral, as I’ve attended quite a few this has been one that affected me the most apart from family members of course.  I didn’t know this couple’s son very well, but I couldn’t help being moved by first looking at the order of service and seeing the man who I will call John looking radiantly happy with his wife, that happiness cut short, and then the picture at the back of the four children left behind, also seeing John’s father walk in with his arm protectively around his wife following his sons coffin beautifully decorated with photographs, which must have been an ordeal for them followed by the large family impacted by John’s death. I couldn’t help the large amount of tears in my eyes.

At the same time there were some moments which were funny, with my kind of humour I couldn’t help noticing someone nearly trip over part of the pew that’s used to kneel on, later on navigating a song that either didn’t have the correct words printed  or the organist got the wrong music, whichever thankfully  there were quite a number of voices got round that particular mistake well.  It’s usually me who gives people laughs at funerals, at my nan’s funeral I was sharing a car with my cousin and it was thundering and lightening, I said to my cousins, well at least she went off with a bang, which made them both laugh. my eldest cousin said “only you could get away with saying that”.  At my mums internment it had been snowing heavily getting round the tombstones was rather difficult I climbed over a large mound of snow only to discover I was clambering over a tombstone which made my nieces laugh.

Towards the end of the funeral the father gave an overview of his son’s life.  I sat there thinking about the fact John was only a year younger than me he had a wife and children I hadn’t and he was more worthy of living than I was, but after hearing his euology, about his love of sport, that he travelled extensively, studied at university, travelled again, and settled down with is wife and became provider of his four children, I got the impression he loved life and lived it to the full.  I came to the conclusion that although his life was short he had achieved a great deal most importantly loving his family. Although this is a deep loss to his family and friends no one can say he hadn’t lived his life to the full, and after all isn’t that the purpose of life.