Sunday, 28 November 2010

Advent Again

Folks, can you believe how quickly this last year has gone by?! It only feels like the other day that I was baking ginger bread men to mark the first Sunday of Advent in 2009, and now we're almost at the end of 2010! 

The snow has made me feel so Christmassy! Spud and I watched our first Christmas film yesterday, and today it's the first Sunday of Advent. We marked the occasion by attending a candlelit Advent service the evening. It was very atmospheric, with the church yard all covered with snow, and the candles (which were far to short) setting the cardboard discs alight midway through the sermon! Lol. We sang Oh come, oh come Emmanuel, which is such a beautiful carol, and the Church of England format was a pleasant reminder of university days (my university chaplaincy was C of E - Spud and I now attend a Methodist church). I also listened to my absolute favourite Christmas album (Sixpence None the Richer: Dawn of Grace) twice!

It has been such a lovely day off, and my rota for this week seems so much more manageable, for which I am grateful, because I have been so tired recently. Tomorrow afternoon Spud and I are going to make our Christmas cake (my tradition for the last three years or so). 

Saturday, 27 November 2010

'Snow Fun

The snow has been falling since Wednesday, but I'm afraid I haven't welcomed it this year (call me a humbug if you like). I've loved watching it fall from the window, particularly at night, but unfortunately work won't stop for the weather. Care work continues 24/7. So the snow hasn't meant all fun and games for me. 

This morning, the weather prevented my colleague from getting in and taking over. I had just done a sleep-in and was stuck in the house with one client, and consequently facing the prospect of another 24 hours in that situation, as I was down to do the sleep-in tonight too. And, of course, there's the problem of driving on icy roads. I sat in the staff bedroom, watching the snowflakes whirl, which was soothing. I was very much resigned to my fate, and couldn't care either way. 

However, everything took a turn for the better. My client's parents live very nearby, and are very involved in her care. They often have her to stay. They took my client off my hands and said I needn't come back to do the sleep-in, which frees me up for the whole weekend! The roads weren't that bad to drive on, and it didn't take me long to get to Spud's. Now the snow fun can begin!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


I remember being the first one to scoop him out of the box the day he arrived. I expected him to run away, but he was fearless. I cradled him in my arms like a baby. He belonged to my brother really, but I knew I would always be his protector and supervise his care. 

I was the one who spotted the dry skin beneath his ear, and was later praised by the vet who diagnosed the ear mites. 

There was a time when I swore he knew my voice, and would come rushing to the bars of the cage whenever I was near.

I didn't know him much during old age. I moved away six months before he died, but last time I saw him I think I knew he wasn't far from the end. He was perfectly healthy, although clearly older, slower, frailer. 

And sure enough, on Saturday night I learned (via Facebook) that Fudge, the last family guinea pig, had passed away, at the respectable age of 5 and a half. 

R.I.P. Fudge. 

May 2005 - 20th November 2010

Friday, 19 November 2010


All robed up!

My proud fiance

My proud parents

With my brothers

Floella Benjamin greeted each graduate with a huge smile, a warm hug, and a few brief words of wisdom

My friend Hannah was called up...

And then a few minutes later it was my turn to take the stage...

A big smile of relief!

My degree!

Spud got to see what he missed by not attending his graduation ceremony (not that he was particularly bothered!)

It was a very happy day!

Saturday, 13 November 2010


Here is my personal guide to relaxing, although I appreciate that this will vary for everybody. 


You can relax at any time of the day, but be sure to allow yourself several hours, preferably a whole day. 


The best location is a place where you feel most at ease. I expect for the majority of people this will be their bedroom.


Choose an outfit that's comfortable and makes you feel good. For some this may be pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers. You might choose your favourite, worn sweater, or loose jogging bottoms. Now is the opportunity to wear whatever you like, even the things you wouldn't be seen dead in outside of the house!

Tools and Activities

You can use any combination of the following suggestions:

Bed/sofa/comfy chair


Snacks - choose some of your favourite treats, or go for something healthy that tastes good and makes you feel great! 

A good book


Music - again, this can vary. For some this may be soothing and meditative, and others will choose something that they can sing and dance along to

Face mask/make up/nail polish (pamper kits)

Craft activity

Personally, I find it easiest to relax on days when I have nothing else on, because this ensures I'm not constantly looking at my watch. My preferred locations is my room. When I relax I love to wear my pyjamas but if I am wearing them at a certain time of the day I feel extremely lazy and like to change, so if this is the case I just put my dressing gown on over what I'm wearing and that makes me feel cosy. I think it's important to feel good in what you wear, otherwise you won't feel fully relaxed. I will often spend such days reading, but I may vary this by watching a movie and knitting, or surfing the net. I may play some music in the background, and this will normally be that of my favourite or most-played artist of the time. My choice snack is usually a few squares of chocolate and a cup of tea, but I recently enjoyed a bag of pick and mix sweets - my first in a very long time! I also find having a long hot bath very relaxing. 

So, how do you like to relax?

Thursday, 11 November 2010


Dear readers,

So much has happened since we last spoke that it's hard to know where to start. Firstly, I must apologise for yet another absence. All I can say is that when I'm not working, I'm either spending time with Spud or too tired to blog. That's not an excuse, that's just fact, but I'm sure you can all relate to this. I've been so short of time that I haven't rung my parents for a fortnight! Before I started work, blogging felt compulsory, but now it's fallen behind on my long list of priorities, which I'm very sorry about because I find blogging ever so therapeutic. 

Anyway, my big news, which I'm sure you've already guessed from the title, is that I may be promoted to a senior after only six weeks in my job! However, I believe this promotion is only by default. Since I started, we've lost our two seniors, and during my third week of work we were all encouraged to apply for the two vacancies, as it would suit our management best to employ someone already within the ranks. I found out the other day that I was pretty much the only one of my colleagues to employ. I honestly don't believe that had they all applied I would have been called to attend an interview next Monday. I am still new and the promotion is going to be a long learning process. Should I get the post I am going to be utterly dependent on my colleagues for their support, cooperation and patience, without which I cannot do the job effectively. 

I am in two minds about the promotion. At the moment the staffing situation is at its worst and I have seen very little evidence of teamwork and communication. There will be a lot of work involved, but now I have the opportunity to make a difference, and I can only pray for the strength and wisdom I need to fulfil this role and improve the work environment. Any prayers will be so valued. I will try to update you as often as time will allow!